Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Leaders Are Called To Serve

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.

Today’s thought is a quick reminder for all of us who feel a calling to lead. If we are called to lead – we are called to serve. Leaders in the church – be it pastors – Bible study leaders – Sunday School teachers – church officers – office staff – church staff – and more – are called to be servant ministers rather than dictators.

If we are followers of Christ – it should be more about whom we serve than the position we hold. Some people work hard for title or position – rather than to serve. Some people can’t wait to be called teacher – pastor – reverend – church leader – when it shouldn’t matter what we are called – we should all be serving Jesus and others. Continue reading

August 9, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We Ashamed of Jesus?

Luke 9:26

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

profileI need to confess – and I don’t feel good doing it – but there was a time in my life when I had a friend I didn’t want to be seen with at school.  I was ashamed of him in a way.  You see – he wasn’t part of the groups I hung with at school.  He wasn’t a jock.  He wasn’t cool.  He wasn’t in any of the organizations I was in at school.  But he did attend my church and we were friends.  I am ashamed today to remember how I treated him or rather how I avoided him at school.  It only happened for a few months – and God convicted me – but none-the-less – I did it.

At times that is the way we treat God.  We are friends at church – but at work or even around our friends we tend to avoid Him – at least some of us do.  We like being friends or thinking we are friends with Jesus – because there are such benefits we think – like heaven.  But are we trying friends with Jesus?  And if we are not – who are we fooling anyway? Continue reading

October 15, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Denying Self

Luke 9:23

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

profileI have a few too many pounds on this body of mine.  It is hard – it seems – to deny myself the things I like – food wise – and I like most foods.  Denying self is not easy.  I’d like to use the excuse that I’m a big fellow by nature – but I wasn’t while younger for sure (and I have the pictures to prove it).  I must have an issue with eating too much and not exercising enough.  Denying self is not easy for me – when it comes to food.

Denying self is not easy for some of us if not all of us when it comes to sin.  We like pleasing ourselves it seems.  We would like to say we are willing to deny self and follow Christ but we often fail to do so.  We fail to follow through and end up indulging self rather than denying self. Continue reading

August 22, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How convinced are you in the things that you believe?

Mark 2:11

“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”

RevRayHow convinced are you in the things that you believe?  I mean – you don’t have to have a lot of faith to believe that the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl for the 2012-13 season – because they did and it is history (sorry Steelers’ fans – I believe the last time you won was the 2008-09 season – not so long ago that you can’t remember or believe in your Steelers) (can you tell that the football season is just around the corner).

How convinced are you in the things that you believe?  Men tend to have more faith in their sense of direction than they should.  I mean – some men won’t even stop and ask directions – even though the family is getting restless and needing a break and they’ve been searching for what seems like hours.  They just know they know where this place is and it will just be around the corner (the same corner that have gone around before). Continue reading

July 26, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giving Up Everything To Follow Jesus

Luke 14:33

In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

RevRayGiving things up is not natural for most people.  For most people – human nature would seem to be to hang onto things.  Just watch a set of babies or small children playing – they will inevitably collect things and have a hard time sharing.  Most children have to be taught to share and for some it is a hard lesson to learn (for some adults as well and some have never learned this lesson).

An easy math problem as we begin to understand mathematics goes like this – If you have three apples and you give Johnny one – how many apples will you have left?  Of course if you haven’t learned to share you might answer three because I would make Johnny get his own apple.  Sharing is something that pleases God!

Sharing is something that the early church did well (mostly).  The author of Hebrews reminds the early church to not forget to share – Hebrews 13:16 – And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.  Sharing pleases God.

Sharing requires giving something up.  Today’s passage are words from Jesus – and call on the followers of Jesus to give up everything to follow Him – In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. Continue reading

May 23, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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