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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A Real Jesus

C.Hayden
3-25-21
 
Hello everyone, you are reading this blog either before or after one of the highest of holy days in the Christian world. That Holy Day is Easter Sunday, also known as Resurrection Day, the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead to solidify our deliverance from sin and the grave. What a wonderful gift! And even though it is the greatest story ever told, it is not a fairy tale. A real Jesus came down to die on a real cross, buried and rose from a real grave, and is seated on a real throne at the right hand of our real and living Father God.
How do we know this? The evidence of the truth of God’s Word is backed up by the categories of real evidence that when put to the test, is literally undeniable (Read “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel, former avowed atheist, investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and later the managing editor of the Daily Herald). There is archaeological evidence, historical evidence, literary evidence, thematic consistency, first-hand witness accounts, second-hand investigative, internal cohesion and coherence, cross checked external evidence (other literary accounts), and strong prophetic evidence. And then there is the miracles witnessed that have never been unproven. Far more evidence exists than most scientific theories out there today. 
But the greatest piece of evidence of all, the empty tomb (John 20). Jesus’ body was never, and has never, been found. The facts surrounding the Lord’s body is amazing. After being brought down from the cross, the Lord’s body was wrapped in cloth, much like a mummy might be, placed into Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb, sealed with a great unmovable stone and guarded by Roman soldiers. Yet, on the third day, the guards fell asleep, the stone was moved away, the napkin around the Lord’s head folded neatly, separated from the bloody body wrappings found elsewhere in the tomb (if thieves or the disciples did it, why risk being caught by taking the time to unwrap the body) with His body absolutely nowhere to be found…Except when He was found alive, not only by His 11 close disciples, but by approximately 500 other disciples who were willing to be imprisoned, exiled and martyred for the testimony that they saw Jesus after His crucifixion. People have been found innocent or guilty of murder by the testimony of only one witness. And questionable scientific theories have been adopted as fact by society on much less than the evidence that exists declaring the truth of God’s Word and Jesus’ resurrection. Pretty strong evidence, don’t you think?
 
Be blessed even more!
 
Pastor Chris

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A Real Devil

C. Hayden
3-10-2021
 
In Hollywood, we have so many examples of characters that set out to portray the prince of darkness, the devil. He is often characterized as a misunderstood imp wearing a red suit. Or he is the angle who was mistreated because he desired freedom from a vengeful and self-centered God. Or he is portrayed as God’s equal brother who simply wants people to have a good time. Sometimes he is portrayed as the evil one, but having the power to outwit or contend with the very Son of God. In fact, the devil is none of those things. These many images of devils and demons are usually meant to entertain for sure, but often the effect of these misguided attempts at humor or horror, serve only to cause individuals to not take him seriously or even doubt that he exists at all.
The fact of the matter is, contrary to the faith of many people, claiming to be a Christian or not, the devil is very real and is very malevolent when it comes to humankind. First Peter 5:8 says “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” And verse 9 tells us to “Resist him, steadfast in the faith…”. Jesus experienced a very real battle with the devil who attempted to derail our Lord’s ministry before it even got started. The devil is a real threat and he will destroy you and your faith (or at least render it ineffective) if you do not recognize it.
The devil’s main weapon is to deceive and lie. Jesus called satan a liar and the father of lies. He lies to get you to believe he is not real or not relevant to your life. He then lies to get you to believe the same in regards to our Lord; that He is not real or not relevant to your life. Neither of these ideas could be further from the truth. In John 10:10 we read, “The thief does not come except to kill, and to steal and to destroy…”. He tries to kill your life, steal your love, peace, and joy, and destroy your witness and relationships with those around you. The physical things you lose are just the end of the road after everything else has been stolen. My advice, don’t let him do it. Recognize that he is real and deadly. The Apostle said that we are not fighting against flesh and blood. We battle against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness and spiritual wickedness. They are to fear us as we destroy their influence in our lives, our family, our Church and the world. Turn your anger on the deceiver, not on your family or brothers and sisters in Christ. Happy hunting Man or Woman of God.
 
Be blessed even more!
 
Pastor Chris

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The Voice of the Spirit

The Voice of the Spirit
C. Hayden 2-25-21
 
The past couple of weeks we have been talking about the importance of the working of the Holy Spirit in order that we might hear the voice of God. While God’s voice is often heard as we read the verses in the Holy Scriptures, it is the Holy Spirit who gives us revelation and understanding of what God is speaking to us. As well, the Holy Spirit will continue to speak to us throughout the day, bringing to light those things Jesus has said during those times of Bible Study and prayerful meditation.
 
First Corinthians 2:9-10 says this, “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them unto us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes the deep things of God.” God reveals things to us by His Spirit if we will simply listen to Him. Verse 12 of that same chapter tells us this, Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” God will speak to us regarding His will through the Spirit that He placed in us at the time of our regeneration when we were first saved. When we are born again, when we call on the name of the Lord and make Him our Savior, the Spirit comes into our heart and is available to us, interacting and speaking to us the wonderful things. He opens the Word of God to us and guides us, utilizing our conscience, mind and spirit to speak so that we may listen and hear His voice.
 
Often, we fail to hear His voice because either we don’t really believe God is speaking to us, or we just choose not to turn our attention to listen for His voice, or we are distracted by other things in life and can’t hear what God would say. We are either the kind of soil that is too rock filled, shallow or thorn bush filled to be able to received God’s voice so that the Spirit is unable to get His message to our thick and stony hearts (Matthew 13:3-9). We need to be soil that is good, fertile, tilled and Holy Spirit led so that the seed, the voice of God can be heard clearly and consistently.
 
Be blessed even more!!
Pastor Chris

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