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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Revival, Yes or No?

C. Hayden
8-1-2021
 
The last couple of Sunday messages, and the next couple of Sunday messages, have and will touch on this idea of revival. Pastor Jason Fields has shared the historical context of the revivals of the Reformation period and those of the 20th century where God transformed and changed the landscape of several ecumenical Church movements in Europe and the United States. He also laid the foundation for our need for revival even at this very hour of our nation’s history in light of the trials and troubles we are living through today. My 8 year old grandson was even listening to Pastor Jason as Reid actually made me a paper airplane with the phrase “A Vision for Revival” written on both sides. If revival is such a good thing, and surely God desires revival in His Church and the world, why are we not seeing it in mass as we have in the past? Here are some thoughts. 
 
In the 2nd chapter of the book of Acts, the Scriptures state, “When the Day of Pentecost had finally come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a sound of rushing mighty wind, and if filled the whole house where they were sitting.” It was the first recorded revival that took place after Jesus went to heaven after the crucifixion. The revival continued for in the next chapter of Acts we see the Apostle Peter preach one sermon and over 3,000 people get saved and brought into the Church. Now that was revival! Why is that such a rarity today?
 
For one reason, at that time, the whole Church was in unity. They all wanted God’s presence. They all wanted God to change and transform them, they wanted to know God intensely, and there was nothing in their personal lives they were not willing to relinquish. Unfortunately, I believe that most of the Church, or at least a good portion, does not desire revival. We get comfortable in our lives, we get comfortable in our faith, we get comfortable with our things, and the last thing we want is for someone to disrupt our peaceful existence. Revival is messy!
 
When the Spirit of God brings revival, things get shaken up and “business as usual” is no longer satisfactory. My hypothesis, often we do not want revival and we do not hunger for revival, so we do not see revival except in individual hearts were being a “Christian as usual” is no longer enough. We need to pray for a hunger for the Holy Spirit to bring us a Holy dissatisfaction for comfortable, and a Holy hunger for more of God in our midst. Psalm 81:10 — “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of Egypt: often thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
 
Be blessed and pray for a Spiritual hunger for more,
 
Pastor Chris

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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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