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

Advertisements

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

The Lamb Is Worthy!

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!”

82015 RaySeveral times in sermons and Bible studies of late I have mentioned Christians – at times – 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 someone or something for granted.  It isn’t much different in our faith journey.  Most Christians spend more time on their knees when crisis is at their doorstep than when life is good.  That just seems to be the pattern for many.

Attendance in most churches the Sunday after 9-11 – for example – was an indication.  I was serving as pastor at 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 9-11 there were well over 400 in attendance.  Crisis brings us to Jesus.  Attendance figures during World War II saw this same truth – according to some reports.  The Sunday after the Sunday after 9-11 – when life was still in an upheaval – but out of crisis mode – attendance was back to normal.  It is the same thing with Easter – attendance almost doubles for one week and then we are back to normal – and at times – even less than normal because folks who do not attend every week all came on Easter. Continue reading

September 15, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teaching With Authority

Luke 4:32

They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.

IMG_0301Our reading plan this week had us in Luke’s Gospel – as we began reading the entire New Testament in 40-days. I have enjoyed it so far and hope you do as well. Are you keeping up? We’re on day 3 of the 40-day plan. We’ll have Saturday and Sunday to catch up if we get behind.

I think it was in Tuesday’s reading that I found today’s passage. The people were so amazed that Jesus spoke/taught with such authority. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Luke 4:31–37 – 31 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. 32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. 36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area. Continue reading

February 4, 2015 Posted by | Book Review, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Evangelism – Our Next Sermon Series

Acts 5:42

Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgSunday we begin a new sermon series titled simply – Evangelism – at First UMC in Laurel. The first sermon is titled Zeal.   I believe that one must has zeal in order to evangelize.

I remember once – a pastor that encountered this experience. He was called an Evangelical by someone – but did not know what this person meant by that name.

Here is a definition I found. The National Association of Evangelicals defines an evangelical as someone:

  • who believes that the Bible is authoritative
  • who has had a born-again experience
  • who shares this message of faith.

Continue reading

September 5, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

%d bloggers like this: