Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Lord of the Harvest

Luke 10:2

He told them, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

In church life – there is a common statement that is very sad. It goes like this – 20% of the people do 80% of the work in the church. At times this might be because the 20% has a hard time sharing or delegating the work load. At times it might be a control issue on the part of the 20%. But most often it is because the 80% aren’t joining in the labors for Christ in the church. Are we part of the 20% or the 80%?

Think about this for a moment. Are we only attending worship in our church and doing nothing else? Are we only taking what the church offers – youth ministry – children’s ministry – family ministry – worship – fellowship events – etc. and not giving anything back? In essence are we takers without being a givers as well?

There is another saying we might be familiar with – it goes like this – you get out of something what you put into it. I wonder what a church would look like if everyone associated with that church were to serve God in some capacity in the life of that church? What if everyone in the church considered themselves workers in the harvest fields Christ has for us? I mean – we can all help somewhere! Right? Continue reading

March 14, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Serving Others

Mark 10:45

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

82015 RayYesterday – in the message – we introduced our mission statement at First UMC – Bring – Build – Send. We will have a sermon series in October to roll out some more details – but – here are the basics. We want to bring people into environments where they can encounter Christ – we want to build people up in their knowledge and understanding of Christ – and – we want to send people out to serve Christ.

Today’s passage – from our Lord’s own words – models for us being sent out to serve. Christ came to earth to serve and to model serving for us. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Mark 10:35–45 – 35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”  36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” 38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” 39 “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.” 41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Continue reading

August 31, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Who Serves

Luke 22:27

I am among you as one who serves.

IMG_0301Would you rather serve or be served? Some would really rather serve than be served – some would rather be served. I know people who serve others all the time – and yet they have a hard time allowing others to serve them when they have a need. I imagine there are those who don’t have a preference for serving or being served.

As Christians – we are called to serve others – to even think of others above ourselves – to love others like Christ loves us. John 13:34-35 – 34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

The call for Christians is to serve others – to follow the example set by our Lord – Jesus – who came not to be served – but rather to serve others. Mark 10:45 – For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Continue reading

May 7, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Prayer for the People of God at Mt. Oak

Philippians 1:9-11

9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God.

As a pastor – I often spend time praying for the congregation I am blessed to serve – and the other people I have served or know in my life.  It must come with the territory!  As a church planter – Paul had a heart for the congregations he helped start – by God’s grace and mercy.  In today’s passage Paul speaks the heart of many pastors I know – for the people they serve.

He prayed for this congregation – and his prayer was that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.  Love is so important.  We spoke of the importance of love in our Vision and Mission series – the need to fully love with our hearts our Lord and His cause.  Loving others is what allows us to minister to others – to reach out to others.  We want to build people up in knowledge – but if we haven’t grabbed the heart along the way – the knowledge will be destined to be merely knowledge.  Paul connects the abounding love with the growing knowledge in his prayer for these folks – and I pray this for us at Mt. Oak.

With a growing love and deepening knowledge comes a depth of insight, so that we may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless . . . filled with (or producing) the fruit of righteousness. . . to the glory and praise of God.  That is my prayer this morning – and many mornings – that Mt. Oak will be filled with people who will seek after the love of God – the knowledge of God – in order to discern the best way to serve God and bring Him glory.

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

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January 26, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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