Daily Devotions

Friday, April 9, 2021 – Identity in Christ, Dr. James Merritt

   Good morning from Mount Pleasant. Today’s devotion is entitled Identity in Christ and comes to us from Dr. James
Merritt.

   Because of Jesus, God has accepted us. That means we can’t do anything so bad it would make God love us less
nor can we do anything so good it would make God love us more. Because of Jesus, God has accepted us for who
we are and then changes us into what we need to be.

   In light of this, we must learn to change our perception of self-esteem, so that we can understand the kind of confi-
dence we can have because of Jesus. Self-esteem comes from what God says about us; not how others see us.

   Until we see who we are in Jesus, we will never be what God created us to be. That is why we’ve got to realize who
we are in Jesus. We’ve got to center our identity in Jesus. If we center our life and our identity on our spouse, or another
person, we will be emotionally dependent, jealous, and controlling.

   With this in mind, I would encourage us to spend some time in God’s Word this week and remind yourself of who we
are in Christ. What does the Bible say about us? What does God say about who we are and how He created us? As
we answer these questions, we will begin to see where our identity should be rooted and how to build up a stronger,
Christ-centered sense of self-esteem.

 

Thursday, April 8, 2021 – Thoughts

   Good morning from Mount Pleasant Church. Sunday’s Easter Sunrise service began a beautiful day.

   Jim compared Christ’s resurrection to our own passage to a more hopeful reality with the progress being made
against Covid 19. Roberta’s flute was just the right accompaniment for the chorus of birds that heralded the awaken-
ing day. I remarked to Susan about the bird songs and she replied that only at the break of day do birds not wait their
turn, and sing as one. Well, I didn’t know that – so I am reminded again that when we unite as one church, our songs
and our strivings are much stronger.

   Oh, and by the way, the Bojangles biscuits and coffee were good, too. 

 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 – Easter

   Good afternoon from Mount Pleasant on Wednesday April 07. This story comes to us from the gospel of John
chapter 20 verses 1-18.

   Today two of Jesus’ disciples rush in and out of the tomb to witness the absence of a body; they are harried by
yesterday and worried for tomorrow. But Mary Magdalene lingers, allowing herself to pay attention to the empty
tomb and to her emotions. It’s as though Jesus has been taken from her all over again.

   This is the day when grief and glory collide; stretching our spirits to understand hope. This is the day when mystery
and intimacy interweave, stretching our perspective on life. This is the day when miracles and fear comingle, until we
stretch the legs of faith and run with joy.

   This is the day when an impossible stone is rolled out of place, when the lost is found, when the story continues
beyond death. Like the angels who keep Mary company as she weeps, life and love keep us company through death
and grief.  Love calls our name. Life reminds us not to cling too tightly.

   We are strained and stretched, distended and revived by the drama of Easter—by the drama of life. But this day,
and each day, invites our joyful confession: “I have seen the Lord.”   Amen.

 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 – “Many-Sidedness” from Leaves of Gold

   I tell you that Jesus challenges the attention of this world by His many-sidedness. He meets the needs of all
classes and conditions of men. As deep answereth unto deep, so does He respond to the movings of each soul
of men. Call the roll of the world’s workers and ask, “What think ye of Christ?” Their answers amaze us!

   To the artist, He is the One altogether lovely. To the architect, He is the Chief Corner Stone. To the astronomer,
He is the Sun of Righteousness. To the baker, He is the living Bread. To the biologist, He is Life. To the builder,
He is the Sure Foundation. To the carpenter, He is the Door. To the doctor, He is the Great Physician. To the edu-
cator, He is the Great Teacher. To the farmer, He is the Sower. To the florist, He is the Rose of Sharon. To the geo-
logist, He is the Rock of Ages. To the philanthropist, He is the Unspeakable Gift. To the servant, He is the Good
Master.

   What is He to you?

 

Monday, April 5, 2021 – Prayer Requests and Announcements

   Good afternoon from Mount Pleasant on Monday April 05.  33 people joined us for our sunrise service and about
33 participated live with our Easter worship service.

   Prayer concerns lifted up include Lynne Cates, Betsy Andrews, Cody Gossett-Lynne Cates’ nephew, Clarence
Durham, Sonia Benoit, Karley Riddle, L.D. Riddle, Kara Castle, Bob Davis, and Curt Kilburn.

   We also ask that you pray for Taylor Wright-Bonnie Blake’s granddaughter, Barry Munson-Jim Gard’s cousin’s
husband, Reather Ann Hunter-Linda Cooper’s cousin, Matthew, Gepsy, and Lance Gard-Jim Gard’s son and family,
Ann, Walter ‘Corky’ Harris, Jim and Elaine Ratliff, and Jeff Jones-pastor Jim’s cousin.

   Prayers are also requested for Scott Dorsett, Billy Williams-Terry Whitfield’s father, Rose Marie Ziedonis-Margaret
Sturdivant’s sister, Ronnie Beauchamp-a relative of Steve O’Dell, Tony Cash, Tommy Edwards, and Jerry and Kim
Sumner-Linda Cooper’s cousin and wife.

   New on our prayer list are Mary-Peggy Hall’s sister, Christie Tripp, Mike Honeycutt, Lee Widemeyer-Joe Wilson’s
Brother-in-law, and Julie Nixon.

   In the joys department Renee Rasmussen and her husband Marco have a greatly improved situation.

   Opportunities for this week include our Bible Study on Tuesday at noon and Sunday School on Sunday at 10:00
a.m. These gatherings occur via Zoom and anyone can participate. Each of these gatherings also offers a social time
which begins fifteen minutes before each study starts in which you are invited to participate.

   We will also have an Administrative council meeting on Wednesday April 07 at 7:00 pm via Zoom.

   I hope you will be able to join us and I pray you will have a great day! Take care and God bless!

 

Saturday, April 3, 2021 – Jesus Sacrificed Everything – Asheritah Ciuciu

   John 19:16-30

   My five-year-old knows that Jesus died on a cross, much like many of us did at her age, but she doesn’t yet under-
stand the tragedy of it all. And I fear sometimes that for us as adults, biblical knowledge about Jesus becomes so fam-
iliar that it fails to move us to worship.

   Under the Roman Empire, crucifixion was reserved for executing foreigners, lower-class Romans, violent offenders,
and traitors.

   Pilate’s soldiers, Herod’s guards, and even the Jewish leaders tortured and humiliated Jesus, and all this was before
the Roman soldiers mounted Him on a cross, driving spikes through His hands and feet, thrusting Him up to hang on a
roughly hewn stake in the ground, leaving Him to pull Himself up to gasp for each breath of air.

   The brutality and utter depravity of such an execution is too much for our modern sensibilities, so we turn our faces.

   But the worst moment was yet to come: Jesus’ own Father turns His face away from His Son. Every sin of every per-
son from all time past, present, and future – even the crimes of those executing Him – were heaped upon His innocent
soul. The perfect spotless Lamb of God was being slaughtered for the sins of the world in the most abhorrent and shame-
ful way.

   But unlike the two criminals hanging with Him, Jesus was not a powerless prisoner. With a single flex of His muscles,
He could have healed His own wounds and come down from that cross; a single command and the enemy would be
obliterated. What, then, kept Jesus on the cross?

   You know the answer, don’t you?

   But feel the weight of it.

   Love.

   Every blow He didn’t reciprocate was love. Every moment He stood naked and mocked was love. Every step toward
Golgotha was love. Every gasping breath was love.   Amen.