Friday, May 24, 2019
BENJI Well, you have made it to the weekend, and for many this weekend is a long one! You have persevered and diligently walked on through this week. Now you have before you the chance to rest, and it's up to you to do so! Scripture talks several times about taking time to rest, to get away from all the busyness of life and have a Sabbath. And the place where we will find true peace and rest is at the feet of Jesus our Lord. Let these words of Jesus resonate with you: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” This Sunday, take a well-earned rest, in body and soul, wake and go to church and rest in the arms of the One who made you.
Thursday, May 23, 2019
TIM Good morning, I’m Tim Wise, Senior Adult Minister and Sanctuary Choir Director at Central. God saves people; people cannot save themselves. This is the beautiful Gospel truth. But what else does God do with us? What is the Christian’s purpose in life? Often when we try to answer these questions, we look inside of ourselves and envision working the perfect career or achieving our childhood dream of climbing Mount Everest. But something is desperately wrong with this method of finding purpose as a Christian. If we properly understand the Gospel, then we know that it all starts and ends with Jesus. As believers, we should understand that the entire universe is about Jesus. However, many of us then leave it at that. We say, “Thank you Jesus for saving me!” and sing him some songs and maybe even attend small group on Tuesday nights. All the while, we’re looking somewhere other than Jesus for our purpose and fulfillment in life. It’s like our lives are transformed into a children’s picture with a horse riding on a man, asking, “What in this picture doesn’t belong?” Our life with Jesus starts “by grace…through faith,” but it shouldn’t end there. How do we know that? Paul tells us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Because Jesus saved us, “not a result of works, so that no one may boast,” does not mean that we will, therefore, not walk in any works. It’s just the opposite; we are saved to do good works. So then how does a Christian find calling and purpose in salvation? Go back to the place where it all started, and where it all will end: Jesus.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
GLENDA Good Morning. Did you know that back in Bible times when the master of the house left his seat at the table, he either left his linen napkin folded or thrown on the floor? Each indicated to the server, whether he was returning or not. Thrown on the floor said he was through and he was not coming back to the table. If his napkin was folded, that signaled that he was not finished, and he would return. Now, look to the tomb where Jesus was buried. When the disciples came to the tomb, Jesus was gone, but the linens that had wrapped his face and body were left neatly folded on the table where his body had previously lain. I have often wondered why they were left so neatly folded. Now, I know the answer. He wasn't through with us. He's coming back. It's as simple as that! Have a wonderful day!
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
JOHN Good Morning! I’m John Branning the Lead Pastor of Central United Methodist Church. In today's society, fast food is making billions. Some of these slogans are "have it your way" and "have it hot and have it now." How easy it is for us to fall into this "fast food mentality" when it comes to our faith. It has almost become who we are. But in God's kingdom, there's no fast food. We can't always have it our way and now. When we are caught up in this fast food mentality, we lose the true meaning of patience. We need to be patiently waiting on the Lord to answer us in a new way! We cannot shortcut the things of God. If we want a deeper faith, we need to avoid this fast food mentality. We cannot have a deeper walk with the Lord without spending time connecting to him through his word, through prayer, without walking in repentance and humility, and practicing a life of holiness. Let's not settle for a hamburger, fries, and coke — when the Lord has so much more for us.
Monday, May 20, 2019
BENJI Mondays can be hard days any week of the year, but doesn’t seem that the Mondays before long weekends are just harder? It takes longer to get moving and to get the day started? Let’s get in the right frame of mind so we can be people of positivity and productivity! Let’s rely on the One who will never leave us nor forsake us; let us lean not on our own strengths or understandings but on the Lord’s. Let’s take to heart the familiar words of Isaiah 40: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God; the Creator of the whole earth. He never becomes faint or weary; there is no limit to his understanding. He gives strength to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Youths may become faint and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.” Now, walk on, and know that God goes with you.
Friday, May 17, 2019
MATT Good Morning, I’m Matt Farmer, Associate Pastor at Central United Methodist Church. At some point or another in life, we will experience hardships. Often the struggles of life can have us feeling as if we are at the end of our rope or have hit rock bottom. However, even when we don’t see it, these struggles are forming us into stronger Christians. In Hebrews 12, we read that our heavenly Father loves us too dearly to let us remain immature. Like any loving father, He disciplines, corrects, and trains us—often through difficult situations. God uses our times of struggle to help us grow and make us more holy. Many people are motivated to live for health, wealth, and ease, and they try to avoid pain at all costs. But the abundant life that God intends for His people isn’t trouble-free. Growth and change are often unsettling, but the gain is worth the pain.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
BOB Good Morning! This is Bob Peden of Central a United Methodist Community. The author of the book of Ephesians says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast." God pours out his grace freely on us, and then we respond by living to bless others out of that grace. God's grace always comes first; our actions are our response to what he has already given us. But, what is grace? Grace is the mercy and love of God freely shared with us. Grace is also the style, the way in which God shares this mercy and love. We must choose to let God define grace for us. We must allow God to deliver grace with his expertise as he pours mercy and overflows love into our lives. We must allow God to display his artistry in grace as he reveals his beauty in creation, his word, his people, and especially, in his Son. And then we will share his grace with all those around us.