Friday, July 12, 2019
MATT Good morning! I’m Matt Farmer, Associate Pastor at Central United Methodist Church in downtown Meridian. Identity theft is a big problem in the age of credit cards and the Internet. It’s not hard for someone to retrieve your vital information and pose as you. If that were to happen, however, it would not change the essence of who you are. The thief would not steal your true identity—just some superficial information about you. Your identity goes much deeper than your ID numbers. In reality, you are who God says you are. Nothing really matters except whether or not you are identified as a child of God. That alone will dictate your eternal destiny, and that alone will indicate whether you can live life to the fullest. In 1 John Chapter 2, there are three identity qualifiers—truths that reveal we are followers of Christ: obeying His commands, walking as Jesus walked, and avoiding hatred toward others. Who are you? Do you know Jesus? If so, you will obey His commands, walk as He did, and love others. That identity is one that can never be taken from you.
Thursday, July 11, 2019
BOB This is Bob Peden of Central United Methodist Church. I have come to realize that Jesus never intended his followers to try to live their life of faith in isolation. He sent his disciples out two-by-two on their mission journeys. He often used inclusive family terms to speak about their life of faith ("our Father," "your brother"). This emphasis on community and family is carried over in the rest of the New Testament as we hear about house churches and our need to be there for each other. The "one another passages" of the New Testament arise out of this background — a recognition that we need each other to walk the Christian talk. We can't do it by ourselves and we were never intended to try to do it by ourselves. It takes a community to live and walk faithfully in the service of Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
SABRINA I am sure it comes as no surprise to learn that many people are turning their backs on church because they think we think we are perfect in our walk, in our faith— wanting to be seen as shining examples to be lifted high. When is the last time you picked up a Bible and read Hebrews, Chapter 11? Some of our best-known men and women of faith are listed there. The lists include martyrs and prophets who helped to turn generations back to God. Abraham, Moses, Sarah, Joseph, Daniel. They all died believing in a promise they never saw fulfilled. Then there is Gideon, who never got over self-doubt, David - mmm. Adultery and murder. Rahab was a prostitute - they are ALL there listed in the “Faith Hall of Fame.” In all their human frailty, these ordinary human beings relied on an extraordinary God. These stories make the hall of fame not because their actors are famous, but because the actors lift up our faithful God. You see, we don’t have to be perfect, don’t even claim it. All we need to do is turn our lives over to the one who is perfection – and we have to do it over and over – every single day.
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
GLENDA Good Morning. Well, this is my last reflection for this go round. I have tried and tried to come up with something cute and witty to say today, but I am having trouble. My brain has quit on me. I even looked on the internet to find something to say. Found plenty of ideas, but nothing fit. I looked through devotional booklets. Plenty there, too, but nothing jumped out at me. I have just drawn a complete blank. Have you ever had one of those days? Well, for the answer, I turned to the Bible. The same word kept jumping out at me....Joy! The word joy in one way or another is mentioned 244 times. That tells me that our happiness is important to God. So, maybe, that's what he wants me to tell you today. Smile! Be happy! Make those around you joyful. And when you can't find the answer to your problems, do what I did...turn to the Bible. God is there. Have a joyful day!
Monday, July 8, 2019
BOB Good morning! This is Bob Peden of Central, A United Methodist Community. Chris Lahr a pastor with Mission Year in Philadelphia Pennsylvania says, "No one does anything great!" He continues, "I am convinced that we do not need to do anything great, but simply do small things with great love. A radical following of Jesus is about the day-to-day grind of life—it is doing small things with great love. Then at some point in your life, you take a step back and you become amazed at all of the ‘greatness' that has occurred." As you prepare breakfast for yourself and your family this morning, do so with great love. As you drive to work or deliver children to their next event or run errands, drive with great love. And as you meet and interact with people throughout the day, just do so with great love. Loving God means loving people. If you will just do all that you would normally do, but with great love, you will look back one day and find greatness has happened in your life.
Friday, July 5, 2019
JOHN Good Morning! I’m John Branning the Lead Pastor of Central United Methodist Church. A woman once asked John Wesley what he would do if he knew that he would die at midnight the next day. "Why, Madam," he replied, "just as I intend to spend it now. I would preach this evening at Gloucester and again at five tomorrow morning; after that, I would ride to Tewkesbury, preach in the afternoon, and meet the societies in the evening. I would then go to Martin's house...talk and pray with the family as usual, retire myself to my room at 10 o'clock, commend myself to my Heavenly Father, lie down to rest, and wake up in glory." So many people wonder what God's will is for their lives. John Wesley seemed to be quite confident that He was already walking in it! Maybe God has you right where he needs you most. All we have to do is to live his love to others. So today, let's offer our bodies, minds, and hearts again to the Lord and commit ourselves wholeheartedly to His perfect plan for our lives.
Thursday, July 4, 2019
GLENDA Good morning. Throughout the United States today, everyone will be celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The declaration begins: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Our founding fathers recognized that God played a role in the forming of our nation. So, the fourth of July should be more than a celebration of our independence. It should also be a day that we recognize God's participation in our nation's birth. We seem to be forgetting that in this day and age. Psalms 33:12 tells us “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” For our country to stay blessed, we must return to God. Celebrate and have fun today, but remember, we are only blessed as long as we have God as our Lord. Happy Fourth of July!