Yes Lord, Yes!

J. Fields
7-15-2021
 
In just a few short weeks the Third Anniversary of my father’s death will be upon us, wow where does the time go! There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the memories of my dad. While I absolutely love Summer, when I think about life a few years ago with the illness of my dad it brings back some crazy rollercoaster days. Let me explain a little about the hard days but also the joy that came from this adventure.
 
Life can sometimes throw us a curveball, that’s exactly what happened a few years ago when my dad lost his battle with Leukemia. There are many days that I’m out on a run and go through the cemetery where my dad’s body is and wonder why things turned out the way they did especially with how much faith my dad had. I’ll never forget when my dad was in the hospital and he was having a really rough night, I just asked him if he was scared of what could happen, I’ll never forget when he said “no, I am not scared when it’s my time I will be in glory”, wow what a powerful statement!
 
Let me ask you this question. Do you know someone who needs to say “Yes” to Jesus? None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Is there someone who you would love to see in the church? In the blink of an eye, our life could be done, we will spend eternity in one of two places, don’t you or someone who you care about want to see them spend that “forever” in the glory of Jesus?
 
You may ask why I am so passionate about preaching about salvation, it’s because I want to see everyone spend eternity with Jesus. John 14:6 says “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” Today is the perfect day to say Yes Lord, Yes. None of us are guaranteed another breath.
 
Blessings,
 
Pastor Jason

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Love Thy Neighbor

J. Fields
6-15-2021
 
The other day I received a phone call from my neighbor asking me if I would be interested in a few bags of leftover mulch that he didn’t use…it happened to be the exact color that I needed. I expressed my gratitude to him and immediately said, “Yes, just let me know the exact amount I owe you and I’ll swing it over.” This neighbor has always been a huge help for my family, so when he told me that I owed him nothing I wasn’t surprised since he has such a good heart and is always a generous person. I sure am blessed with having great neighbors.
 
This experience made me reflect on Matthew 22 when Jesus was confronted and responded about what the great commandment is: Matthew 22: 36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
 
You may be saying, “Oh Jason, your neighbor was just being nice, you are reading way more than you should into his kindness.” I agree he is a very kind man but freely giving his time and never wanting or expecting anything in return shows me the heart that this guy has, Loving your neighbor as yourself means that you not only care about your own personal wants and needs but you have a heart for helping those around you.
 
This man and his family don’t currently go to church anywhere. This family has had many trials over the past several years but instead of losing heart and just being mad at the world, they continue to be generous and kind to those around them. My hope and prayer are that this family will one day be sitting in a service at either our church or another one somewhere. The moral of my story is this, we are all called to love thy neighbor, no matter the curve balls that life may throw at us, we must represent the love of Jesus Christ in everything we do. Jesus didn’t make the second commandment so that we can just have the head knowledge of what it means, he commanded us to live this out in our everyday lives.
 
Blessings,
Pastor Jason
 
 

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Holiness Unto the LORD

6-1-2021
C. Hayden
 
The topic of holiness has always been a difficult subject for the Church to grasp a hold of. In the book of Hebrews 12:14 we read, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” If we are commanded to be holy, then how are we to do it? Does it mean we have to give up all worldly goods, become monks and live in a monastery the rest of our lives? Hardly. To understand holiness, we need to first remember that it is a work of the Holy Spirit by which we become holy, not our work. There are two aspects of holiness that we need to look at.
 
The first is that we are holy, not just by what we do, but by Who we belong to. We need to first be saved thereby being born again into His holiness. When we come to Christ, commit our lives to Him, receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are washed by the blood of the Lamb and step into the Lord’s righteousness. We become holy, not by what we do or have done, but simply because we now belong to God and are holy because He purchased us, now we are His. The Holy Spirit seals us and set us apart as holy, belonging to God and now are separated for His purposes. We are holy in the same way as the temple utensils, cups, bowls and platters in Solomon’s temple, are holy unto the Lord by the fact that they, and we, belong to God. This aspect illustrates that just as we cannot do anything to save ourselves, we also are unable to do anything to be hold, it is God’s work.
 
The second aspect of holiness is that, now that we belong to God, we need to put off the old man, sinful in nature and deeds, and start putting on the new man which was created in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). The Apostle Peter put it this way, in the epistle of 1st Peter 1:15-16 we read, “But as He which has called you is holy, so you are to be holy in all manner of behavior; Because it is written, ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy.'” If we will submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s work, we begin walking in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord, submitting ourselves to the ongoing sanctification that can be defined as a holy walk with Jesus. It is not that we do holy works to be holy, but that we submit ourselves to the Holy One. In this way, our actions begin to match His holiness by offering our will as a living sacrifice, allowing Christ to transform us into His image  (Romans 12:1-2), embracing His will for us.
 
Be blessed even more!
 
Pastor Chris

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Seeking Whom He May Devour

C. Hayden
4-27-2021
 
I love the Apostle Peter. This man of God, one of the Lord’s great Church Fathers went from the frightened Simon who cowered when confronted about his relationship with Jesus to the awesome Peter the Apostle preaching with such great power, bringing 3000 to the Lord in one day. Even through often maligned for getting his eyes off the Master and sinking when walking on the Sea of Galilee, the fact of the matter is, he did walk on water albeit for only a few steps. Peter was the only person to do it other than Jesus.
 
The Apostle Peter was also known for writing the 1st and 2nd Epistles of Peter in the New Testament. In Peter’s Epistles, we discover a variety of warnings for the Church. Peter sees the landscape of spiritual entropy taking place, not only in the world, but infiltrating the Church of Christ as well. He warns all who would listen to beware of false doctrines, false teachers, and false spirits (the devil). They lead our children astray, devour our families lives and turn us away from faith in God. In 1 Peter 5:6-8 we read, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all you care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
 
If things seem “not quite right” nowadays and sinful behavior and compromise appear rampant, even in the Church, maybe we are experiencing the devouring that Peter warned us of taking place. Maybe we should begin to take this Epistle’s (God’s Word) warnings serious and start following what the Apostle told us in verse 9 of this chapter, “Resist him (the devil), steadfast in the faith…” If you are not experiencing a resistance to your faith by the enemy of your souls in these difficult days, you may have already been deceived by the devil who has been munching on you without you even knowing it.
 
Be blessed even more!
 
Pastor Chris

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Changing of the Season

J. Fields
4-15-2021
 
After a long Indiana winter, I am so thankful for a changing of the season. Greener grass, flowers starting to bloom, the sound of birds chirping, and warmer weather, oh the sounds and sights of Spring. With the changing of a season comes an opportunity to change your outlook.
 
In the Old Testament, chapter three of Ecclesiastes talks about there being a time for everything. Even through some seasons seem to drag on while others seem to fly right by there is something that we can learn that will help us grow in life. There is a stretching, a time of molding that takes place during the season.
 
Life gets busy, the world is moving fast and with so much available at our finger tips we can keep ourselves stretched so thin that we don’t have a chance to enjoy the season. My challenge for you is to not become so busy with your life that one day you look back and regret the things you missed out on. Enjoy the seasons of life that God has blessed you with, take a moment to stop and smell the roses. Life is full of seasons, embrace each one.
 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
 
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
 
Blessings,
 
Pastor Jason

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