Decisions…Decisions…Decisions

10-15-2021
J. Fields
 
Have you ever heard someone joke around about them spending their life in hell after they die? How about this, have you ever heard someone  tell someone else to go to that place? Or how about someone just teasing around saying that it is hotter than hell? Whatever the circumstance may be, hell is truly no laughing matter. We should never want to see anyone, even our worst enemy to spend the rest of their life in total destruction.
 
Throughout Scripture, there are many mentions about the horrible place known as hell. The bottomless pit known as hell was never created for you or me to spend eternity in rather it was specifically created for Satan, and all that worship and follow his ways. Even though we weren’t created for hell, God does allow us to have free will in the choices that we make in life. SCripture states that the wicked will go down to the realm of the dead (Psalm 9:17) while the righteous will spend eternity in Glory (Matthew 25:46). 
 
There is a generational belief that someone can get into heaven by being a good person in life, while being a good person is important it will not lead you into the glorious life of heaven. Scripture explains that the road to heaven is narrow while the way to hell is much wider (Matthew 7:13-14). The first step in your walk with Christ is to live out His goodness in all the days of your life (Philippians 2:12-16).
 
Ponder these questions for a moment. Are you doing everything in your power to live a life that mirrors that of Jesus? Are you just trying to go through life as you do at work (punching your ticket)? When someone sees you do they see the love of Christ? Have you talked with anyone recently about God? Do you try and make church about you or do you go to glorify Him? These may be some tough questions to swallow but what would Jesus say about your answers?
 
We are living in a world that is looking for something. The way we have been doing church, and I use church as a broad term, it isn’t working (remember some of my statistics). I believe that we are getting closer and closer to the last days. Jesus is knocking, He is looking for the church who will rise up and preach the truth, speak the truth, and go out into all the world to save the sinners for His glory. Central Christian has done an incredible job of building up the congregations, you have “it” inside of you, the Holy Spirit is in charge but are you willing to step out of your comfort  zone and snatch someone out of hell and into heaven?
 
Yes, this is a subject that I am passionate about because as a lover of Jesus I am called to also love and pour into others. Take the time and pray to God about how you can be used for His glory. There are many ways we can be the light of the world, stretch your thinking and seek Him. Now let’s put our faith into action and reach the world for Jesus!
 
Blessings,
 
Pastor Jason

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What Should I Say Today?

10-1-2021
C. Hayden
 
Hello everyone. It is blog time again and I have been asked to produce another episode of Biblical wisdom to salve and edify the weary soul. So, the question I pose to my readers is this, “What should I say today?”. I do not want to simply dazzle with big words that amaze the masses or try to reveal some deep hidden mystery to those who care more about some newfangled doctrine than any actual truth. Yes, there is something called truth. But are we really interested in hearing it?
 
The Apostle Paul warns Timothy, a young Pastor, that there is coming a day when most people would not be interested in what is or is not true. They are far more interested in what pleases their interests, not God’s. The Bible, the source of all real truth, says this in 2 Timothy 4:2-4, (2) “Preach the Word! Be ready in seasons and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap for themselves teachers; (4) And they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables.” They would applaud the orator who declares the things that please them, that tickle their ears, but despise the sermon that speaks of holiness and righteousness. Central Christian left its denomination because we refused to accept doctrine that would please the world. Maybe we should only hear things that pleases everyone?! I think we should just preach about doctrine that people like?! Maybe we should just do that so people will be pleased with us.
 
We hear many sermons on how we are loved by God, how God wants to bless his people, how Jesus died for us, how He will provide for us, and the heavenly real estate reserved for us in the glorious new Jerusalem. All good messages. All appropriate. All needed. But do not shun the tough teachings. Those that call us to a closer walk with Him requiring commitment, dedication, exhortation, holiness, and life change. As scripture tells us, “For whom the Lord loves He chastens…If you endure chastening, God deals with you as sons…” (Hebrews 12:6-7). Maybe we should just stick with the truth, all of it.
 
Be Blessed Even More!
 
Pastor Chris

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Judge Ye Not

9-15-2021
J. Fields
 
Have you ever come to a stop sign in a busy intersection of town and saw a homeless person holding a sign that expressed that they were in need of money? Have you ever been walking down a sidewalk and witnessed someone sleeping right along the edge of the walk? The other day I was in Nashville, Tennessee for a work trip and witnessed many homeless people holding signs, playing music, and sleeping along the sidewalk, my heart was aching. I have no idea about each of their stories, I’m sure that some have made bad decisions throughout life while others may have just had a bad upbringing but regardless who am I to judge their story.
 
The things I saw in Nashville made me think about how many times I have walked past a homeless person and quickly turned the other cheek so I wouldn’t “lock eyes” with them. If I spoke with them what would happen if someone else saw me talking with them? I can’t imagine how bad they may smell, I’m sure they haven’t showered for days. If I give them money will they actually buy something nutritious or will they spend it on something bad? I know I’m probably the only one with these concerns but at the end of the day, who am I to think I am better than anyone else regardless if they are homeless or not?
 
God doesn’t call us to judge others. Rather, He calls us to love others. Love comes only through a relationship with Christ. How can you say that you love God but then you judge others? Love doesn’t say “I love you but…or I love you if…” 1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you have to show “tough love”, but you can show it in a Godly way.
 
Life is sometimes crazy, just because I’m a pastor doesn’t mean I don’t face the same troubles like everyone else. It is refreshing to know that God is full of grace, mercy, and love. Even when I fail, He’s there. Even when I have questions, He’s there. When I need that pick me up, He’s there to say I love you. We all leak, we all make mistakes, and we all make decisions we wish we could take back. Instead of being like the world, let’s choose to be like Jesus. John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
 
Blessings,
 
Pastor Jason

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A Dignified Transfer

C.Hayden
9-1-2021
 
As I begin writing the first few words of this blog, I hold back tears as I watch the return home of the 11 of the 13 U.S. service members who gave their lives in service to a mostly grateful nation. I am in such awe as fellow brothers and sisters in arms, march in total lock step carrying our fallen heroes respectfully and honorably from the Dover bound military aircraft to the ongoing transport in what is called a “dignified transfer” of fallen soldiers. As I gaze on this ceremony, honoring our fallen men and women, several emotions begin to overwhelm me. The first couple of emotions include anger and sadness as I contemplate the unnecessary loss of our brave men and women and the heartache of families. They must be feeling a pain unimaginable to most of us. We all lose loved ones that we must say goodbye to but most of us do not suffer the loss or sacrifice of those so young who give so much for our freedom, especially when a few common-sense measures could have kept them safe. 
 
Yet, there are emotions that rise above the others. That is those feelings of extreme pride and gratitude. I feel so blessed to be a part of a nation filled with so many courageous individuals who are willing to give so much for the cause of bringing freedom and protection to the world. It reminds me of the great sacrifice our Lord made for us. He was not given such a “dignified transfer” as He left this world, but Jesus’ entrance when joining the right hand of the Father as He took occupation of His throne must have been one glorious ceremony. Hebrews 10:12 says, “But this Man (Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sad down at the right hand of God.” Jesus had His dignified transfer after on the 3rd day, rising from the grave. Someday we will receive our dignified transfer. He offers it to all who would put their trust in Him. One day, when our Savior appears in the clouds and He calls us home, we will leave this planet in a great celebratory transfer to the Kingdom of our God.
 
And it will be glorious. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 says, “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ O Death, where is you sting? O Hades, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
 
Be Blessed Even More!
 
Pastor Chris

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God’s Grace / Human Grace

J. Fields
8/15/2021
 
As humans, life will many times throw us for a loop. Have you ever had someone say or do something to you that really hurt? Have you ever felt betrayed or just “stabbed in the back”? Have you ever just felt so angry for what someone did to you that you can’t seem to forgive them? If you have felt any of these things then you are human. However, we are called to be Christ-like which means we must learn how to forgive.
 
Recently I ran into a situation where I had someone get incredibly upset at me, this person got upset with me more out of their own personal frustration and not something that was wrong with me. I was called names that would be very disrespectful for me to relay in this letter. In my past, I would have “pushed back” however, by the grace of God, I am learning how to turn the other cheek, forgive, and move on. As I stopped and reflected, I felt God telling me to forgive, forget and move forward. While I was highly disappointed in this guy, we did end up talking, he apologized and was embarrassed for his actions. I graciously accepted his apology and we have both moved forward.
 
I would be lying if I said there weren’t times throughout my life when I held onto a hurt or grudge much longer than I should have. Holding onto a grudge or hurt will hold you back from what God wants to do in your life. Scripture tells us that we are to forgive, enven when someone may hurt you hundreds of times, you must learn to dig deep within your heart and forgive them (Matthew 18:22). Unforgiveness will put a grip on you that will squeeze the life out of your soul. Matthew 6:14-15 states that if you can’t forgive someone for what they’ve done, how can your Heavenly Father forgive you? True forgiveness will set you free, it will release the yoke that is holding you back.
 
Don’t allow the enemy to have victory over you today. Don’t fall into the trap and voices that may be speaking lies into you. Ife there is someone who you need to forgive, whatever that hurt or pain is when you forgive you will be set free. If there’s something that’s holding you back from forgiveness, pray for God to help you release the grudge. Just think about the difference we as Christians could make if we just follow the life of Jesus and forgive those who have done wrong to us. Forgiveness = True Godly Love. The world is watching us as believers very closely, allow the love of Jesus to flow out of you and into them by the way we live. 
 
Blessings,
Pastor Jason

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