Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Day After

Revelation 5:12

In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

RayMcDOne Sunday not too long ago we mentioned in a sermon that Christians sometimes take Jesus for granted.  It seems to be human nature that if things are going well – at work – in our marriages – at church – in life – we tend to take Jesus for granted. Most Christians spend more time on their knees when crisis is at their doorstep than when life is good. When life is not going well – we tend to turn to Jesus more often and with more ease.

Attendance in most churches the Sunday after 911 was an indication (September 16, 2001) of what I just wrote.  I was pastoring a church at the time with an average attendance of about 300 give or take a few on any given Sunday. But the Sunday after 911 there were well over 400 in attendance. It seems that crisis brings us to Jesus. Attendance figures during World War II saw this same truth played out.  The Sunday after 911 week (September 23) – when life was still in an upheaval – but out of crisis mode – attendance was back to normal. It is the same thing with Easter it seems – attendance almost doubles for one week and then we are back to normal – and at times less than normal – because folks who do not attend every week all came on Easter. Attendance this past Sunday (September 11, 2016) was slightly above normal as we came to remember. Continue reading

September 12, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Love Jesus? Does The Holy Spirit Dwell In Us?

Matthew 22:37-38

37 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

I thought of this passage Sunday – listening to Pastor Jon’s sermon.  He had a phrase that sort of hit me.  I think he said something like: the question isn’t the one we typically hear – how much of the Holy Spirit do you have?  The question should be – how much of you have you allowed the Holy Spirit to have?  He also reminded us that the Holy Spirit comes to transform us – to change us – to make us holy.

I thought of today’s passage and began to think – how committed are we to God?  We talk about being saved – but are we only after someone to save us from Hell? Isn’t He also our Lord – our Master?  And with what Pastor Jon said – if the Holy Spirit dwells in us through this salvation – what difference are we allowing Him to make in us – in our lives?

I know some Christians who have made radical changes in their lives.  Some have stopped smoking when they came to Christ.  Some have cleaned up their language – no longer sounding like sailors.  Some have turned from drug addictions.  Some have turned from pornography.  Some have turned from same-sex relations or extra-marital relations.  Some have made radical changes in their lives because of Christ in their lives – because of the Spirit dwelling in them.

But what about those who haven’t battled with these type issues?  Are they OK as they are because their sin is not as outward and evident to some?  Of course not!  What about the sin of a bad attitude – or of being a gossip?  What about our thought life?  What about our greed – even as some mask it with a façade of generosity?

What about those among us who have a hard time carving out even a few hours on Sunday morning for God?  What about those among us who have a hard time giving God 15-30 minutes a day in prayer and devotion?  What about those among us who will spend thousands on entertainment centers in our homes – and on our automobiles – on our hobbies – or in other ways – yet can’t bring ourselves to tithe our income and give even more to God’s work?

Are we sold out for Jesus or are we simply hoping that He has our back when it comes to Judgment Day?  Jesus said – if you love Me, you will obey what I command – John 14:15.  Do we love Jesus?  And if we say yes – are we following His commands – all of them not just the ones we find easy?  Are we loving Him with all that we have and all that we are?  If the Spirit dwells in us – are we allowing the Spirit to transform us into His likeness?  Or are we trying to have one foot in and one foot out so to speak?  We all know what God says He will do with the lukewarm – right?  Revelation 3:16 – So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

I’m just focusing on Mt. Oak Fellowship for a moment – not the whole Body of Christ.  I wonder what God could do with Mt. Oak Fellowship if our membership – our leaders – our pastors – were all totally sold out for Jesus – totally allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us?  Could we be transformed into a fellowship like the one found in the book of Acts?  A fellowship that was transforming the world?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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November 21, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , , | 1 Comment


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