The Greater One In You

11-1-2021
C. Hayden
 
Let’s start off this blog with scripture. The Apostle John says these words, “…every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:3-4). In this passage, God warns us not only of the coming Antichrist, but that his spirit is already existing in the world in John’s day that rejected Christ. We see that foul spirit in our own time as well, distorting, deceiving, and destroying lives. The good news is that we have not been left alone to our own devices. Jesus, the Lord of hosts, is in us and with us always. As the scripture above states, greater is He (Jesus) who is in us, than he (the devil) who is in the world.
 
Because Christ lives in us, we have access to His power to overcome what the devil may put in our path. In Ephesians 6 we are told to put on God’s armor so that we can withstand the enemy’s schemes. With God in us, there is no attack Satan can bring our way that we cannot overcome. 1 John 5:4-5 says this, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” The Scriptures are referring to us! We believe in Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. Simply put, our faith in Him makes us overcomers of this world, allies of the One True God and an enemy of an already defeated foe, the devil. So who are you really? You are a child of the King, a family member of the One True Lord of Hosts, who also lives inside of you. Trust in the Lord and let the overcomer come out in you!
 
Be Blessed Even More!
 
Pastor Chris

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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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