Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Lord – Examine Our Hearts

Psalm 139:1

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.

Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart. This is one of my favorite sayings. I believe if our hearts are in the right place – centered on Christ and not on self – we will have the right attitude and will glorify Him. The right attitude is so important for Christians. We must have the attitude of Christ – the heart and mind of Jesus. Philippians 2:5 (NIV) – In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: (NLT) You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

One thing I’ve come to know about myself and other church people is this – we cannot fool God! God knows our hearts and our motives and our attitudes. God knows the things we say or think in private. God knows our motives for the actions we take. God searches our hearts and knows even our thoughts – you know – those things we think but have a filter to not say out loud (most times). Continue reading

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October 5, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s View People As God Views Them

1 Samuel 16:7c

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Our culture spends lots of time and money trying to work on our outward appearance. We pay tons of money and spend tons of time trying to lose weight – and to tone up what we have left. We spend major resources on our clothes and on our hair. Some of us even have surgeries to try and improve our outward appearance. We seem to care a lot about our outward appearance.

Today’s passage is found in the midst of God’s rejection of Saul as King. He was the people’s favorite because of his stature and his skill in battle. But as Samuel and God discuss this subject – Samuel saw another that seemed to fit his view of what a king should look like in Eliab – an older brother of David. David – of course – at his tender age – didn’t look anything like a king – but God knew his heart. In the midst of this we read these verses: 1 Samuel 16:6-7 – 6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Continue reading

October 3, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attitude: What Would Jesus Do?

Philippians 2:5

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

RayMcDI will begin today’s post by confessing that I have not always had a good attitude. I battle with my attitude at times. Sometimes more than other times. I have – through time and life – become more aware of my attitude(s) and the attitude(s) of those around me. Some may have a natural tendency to see the negative first – rather than the positive. For instance – as I mentioned yesterday – when someone arrives at home is it more natural for them to notice the lights on in rooms not being used – the TV running and no one watching – and the children’s bikes in the driveway – rather than notice that all the children are doing their homework – their partner is busy fixing dinner – and their pet meets them cheerfully at the door. Because this might be natural for some – it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work to overcome this tendency. Our attitudes impact people around us – our family – our co-workers – folks at church – folks at the grocery store – etc.

Throughout my ministry and my life – I have seen the impact a negative attitude can have on people – on me. Snide remarks on Facebook – in person – in an e-mail – on the phone – can scar people and damage our witness for Christ. Some people might think their spiritual gift is to complain – to be negative – to point out to those around them the things they are doing wrong – but that one is missing from the list of spiritual gifts the Bible gives us. Some seem to see the negative first. Some see the glass half-empty. For those with these natural tendencies – the task at hand might be tougher. But all of us should hear today’s Scripture and examine our attitudes with the attitude of Christ. Continue reading

January 5, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christ’s Attitude

Philippians 2:5

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

112015 Ray McDonaldAs many readers and church members know – one of my favorite sayings goes like this – Christianity boils down to attitude.  I have been known to elaborate on that by saying – Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart.

I enjoy writing about Christ’s attitude because we are called – as the church – to have a Christ like attitude.  It (the attitude of Christ) is missing at times in the church (isn’t it?).  I know that sounds judgmental – and I don’t mean it to be – but after being in church life my whole life and in ministry for 40 years I can honestly say the attitude of Christ is not always felt by me or others from good church people or their pastors.  Not that any of us are perfect – but that is what we are striving toward.  We should be striving to have the heart and attitude of Christ.

Here are a few examples (and feel free to post some additional ones please).  If the purpose of the church is to reach the lost – teach the saved – and turnaround and reach the lost again – why are so many churches dying?  It might just involve our attitudes.  Here is the Great Commission given to us by Jesus – our marching orders – Matthew 28:19-20 – 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Continue reading

March 10, 2016 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Looks at the Heart

1 Samuel 16:7c

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

112015 Ray McDonaldHow’s your prayer/fast going?  I’ve gotten some private messages – but would love to see some comments in the comment section.  What is God revealing to you?

Today’s passage is found in the midst of God’s rejection of Saul as King.  He was the people’s favorite because of his stature and his skill in battle.  But as Samuel and God discuss this subject – Samuel saw another that seemed to fit his view of what a king should look like in Eliab – an older brother of David.  David – of course – at his tender age – didn’t look anything like a king – but God knew his heart.  In the midst of this we read these verses: 1 Samuel 16:6-7 – 6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Continue reading

March 9, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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