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

Vision and Mission at Mt. Oak – Sending them Out

Matthew 22:37

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

When Jesus was asked for the greatest commandment – He responded with the passage Matthew recorded in his gospel account.  Sunday we talked about our love for God and how that love must manifest itself in our service to others.  One of the passages we used Sunday is from the 1st Epistle by the Beloved Disciple – John.

1 John 4:19-21 – 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Serving others takes love – for most of us.  Last Sunday we talked about being built up in our faith – and how that takes a heart turned over to Jesus.  The more we turn our hearts over to Christ – the more that loves develops.

I now have one set of responses – from and earlier sermon – with things we struggle with – things we battle.  I have another set of responses from yesterday – with the things that grab our hearts.  My prayer is that there will be some matches – some outreach ministries – not only to those hurting in our church already – but to others in the community – that will excite the church to reach out and serve.

My prayer is that we will love our Lord so much – that we are willing to give of ourselves to others – as He gave Himself to us – sacrificially.

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

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January 24, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Vision | , , | Leave a comment


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