Pastor’s Blog

I Will Build My Church (Part 1)

10-1-2022
C.Hayden
 
I Will Build My Church, Part 1
Often people that live in the world without Christ, and even many of those that may have received Christ, get the wrong idea of what certain things mean to God. When we think of someone getting saved, we see them as just having a change of heart to be a better person. God, however, sees them as being born again from spiritual
death and being raised to spiritual life as one of His children. When we think of prayer, often we define the word as just reciting a pre-written poem mentioning God. God sees it as communing with God himself through verbal and audio exchanges with the Almighty Himself. And when we define the Church, we think of it as a building or a gathering place for Christians. God defines the Church as the very people of
God, the very Body of Christ united as one family in Him. People like you and
me don’t just go to the church, we are the Church.
 
Matthew 16:18 says, “And I also say to you that you are Peter (little
rock), and on this rock (Rock of salvation through Christ) I will build My
Church , and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” The word
Church in this scripture is the Greek word “ekklesia.” It is where we get
our word ecclesiastic from and it means a community of believing members
or more directly, “the called-out ones.” We are the called-out ones. We are the Church.
Have you ever heard someone make one of the following types of statements:
 
– I don’t attend Church, the TV is my church,
– I don’t believe in organized religion (Jesus organized His disciples?)
– I don’t believe in Church, it is full of hypocrites,
– It does not matter if you go to Church, just be a good person,
– God knows my heart, I don’t need Church,
– I can be a Christian without church.
 
The problem with these statements (there are several) are monumental. First of all, if you have made one of these statements, you have misinterpreted what the Church is. If you are a Christian, you are a called out one and therefore are a part of the Church, like it or not. The Church is not a building. To look down your nose and snub the Church is to not only make insult of yourself as a Christian, but to make insult of what Jesus calls His very “Bride.”
 
The Church is the “Bride of Christ” and it is an insult to Him when we mock His Bride. It is through the Church of Christ that the gift of salvation is extended to the world, and through which the Holy Spirit brings spiritual growth to His children. If you say you love Jesus, how can you say I don’t need to or want to be a part of His Body or His Work? Next month, more on “I Will Build My Church.”
 
Be blessed even more,
Pastor Chris

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Yes, Lord! I WIll Go!

9/15/2022
J. Fields
 
It’s hard to believe that Summer is over, the good thing is we usually get to have summer
type of weather for another month or so before we see the seasonal weather change. I love
Summer however; I do enjoy the many changes that come with Fall. The Fall brings many
changes to our lives such as the change in the color of the leaves, football season, pumpkin-
flavored everything (one of my favorites), apple cider, campfires, and who could forget the
farmers that will be in the fields harvesting.
 
Many exciting things are happening here at Central Christian Church. We don’t just
want to be a place that goes with the flow we want to live by our mission statement of being the
church that experiences God together through community. We believe that it’s important to
equip the believer, empower the people, and engage our community; maybe you’re thinking that
sounds great and all but how exactly do we do this? Well, here at Central Christian we try and
be the hands and feet of Jesus.
 
Here is a list of things that we are currently doing. We have many exciting things
happening such as not only Sunday morning worship service but we have Sunday Morning Bible
Study, Wednesday Night Bible Study, Jr./Sr. High Youth Group (S.W.A.T.), we’ve brought back
Wednesday Evening Children’s Church (Kids for Christ), Thursday Morning Bible Study in the
office, CWF (ladies’ group) events, Men’s breakfast once a month, plus so much more! Not only
is the church hosting these events but our building is being used by many other groups and
organizations, put this all together and you have what our church stands for.
 
When I think about Fall and I reflect on many of the things we are doing at church it
gives me the chance to reflect on the “why”, why were we created, why life changes so often,
and why we put such emphasis on being the church, the reason is because of who it is we serve.
Can you imagine what would happen if we all (the church as a whole throughout the world)
would do exactly what Christ called us to do? The lives that could change, the miracles that
could take place, the world would be completely different!
 
Jesus didn’t just do church inside of some building, he went outside the four walls and
lived His life as the church. We are called to do the same thing as Jesus. Jesus isn’t looking for
“church as usual” He’s looking for those who will go and be the church. He wants the world to
know Him and it starts with us saying yes Lord I will go! And Jesus went throughout all the
cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and
healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for
them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to
his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the
Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38 / ESV)
 
Blessings,
Pastor Jason

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Back to School Again!

9-1-2022
C. Hayden
 
In the last several weeks, we have been studying the book of Ephesians on Sunday morning, moving from Scripture to Scripture, line upon line, precept upon precept (Isaiah 28: 10-13). It is refreshing on occasion to do a study that includes each Bible verse in the text. In this way, the Word of God is dissected within the context of the chapter or book. This helps prevent misinterpreting Scripture by taking the Word of God out of its contextual meaning. The bible tells us to continue in God’s Word so that we might know the Truth that leads to freedom (John 8) and to study to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
 
This week we see the return of Huntington students back to the classroom. Learning new things and reinforcing old lessons helping them to grow as a student and a person able to be ever more productive in a world that values such learning. In the same way, God is drawing us to continue learning, always adding knowledge to our faith and wisdom to our walk with the Lord. In 2nd Peter, the apostle encourages us to “give all diligence to add to our faith virtue, add knowledge…
 
Here at Central Christian Church, we value studying the Word of God consistently throughout the week to assist believers in the endeavor of “continuing in the Word.” We have Bible studies on Sunday morning, Wednesday evening and Thursday morning each week, as well as monthly fellowship groups and men’s and women’s gatherings to assist in our spiritual growth.
 
The youth have extra fun and fellowship in their own children’s church on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. In this way, all of us become like “iron sharpening iron” (Proverbs 27:17), helping us to become sharp spiritual instruments able to divide correctly the truth that God has for us. Come and join us for one of these ongoing learning opportunities. We believe we have a group that you can continue to grow in God’s grace and truth. And who knows, you might just have a little fun in the learning.
 
Be blessed even more!
Pastor Chris

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“Who’s Your Daddy?”

8-15-2022
J. Fields
 
A few years ago, I was in the best shape of my life, I was at the exact weight I wanted to be, I
was working out a lot and my eating habits were top notch but there was a problem, I had
become obsessed with trying to have this perfect image. Even though I was hitting these
personal goals it never did bring me happiness.
 
As I look back now, I do miss being skinnier however, I don’t miss making my life evolve
around my body image. I get asked at times if I stopped working out or wow “you’ve gained
weight”, the truth is I still work out a lot and while my diet is not as strict as it once was, I am in
a happier place in my life. Oh, it’s probably not the best to ask someone about their weight.
So, you are probably wondering what all of this has to do with a church blog, let me explain my
point. We are living in a culture that makes us feel as if we have to live up to everyone’s
expectations, it almost feels like we can’t be the person we truly are and it tends to put so much
pressure on us that we feel like we have to look, act, and be someone different when in reality we
just need to be whom God created us to be.
 
God created humans, which means you and me in His perfect images (Genesis 1:27). Since we
are God’s beautiful handy work (Ephesians 2:10) that means that we are already the person
whom God wants us to be. Believe me, if you have your eyes and ears focused in the wrong
places you will start looking and acting like the things you’re surrounded by, but if you stay in
alignment with God, He will bless you with everything you’ll ever need (James 1:12).
 
If you were like me where you had this negative thought about the person you are, maybe you
think you’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or strong enough let me give you this hope, by
the grace and mercy of God you are more than enough. Scripture tells us that we are chosen, a
royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) so the next time the enemy tries to tell you something different
remind him who your Father is. Walk with confidence, keep your head held high, and be
everything that God created you to be.
 
Blessings!
Pastor Jason

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The Spirit of Wisdom

8/1/2022
C. Hayden
 
In the last couple of weeks, Central Christian has been examining Paul’s letter to the Church of Ephesus during the Sunday morning service. I must say, when a sermon follows line upon line, scripture upon scripture, concepts of the Word of God seem to be exposed even when not looking for them. This past week we looked at Ephesians 1:15-23. In verse 17-18a, Paul reveals to the Church that he is praying for them regarding one thing, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened…” When a people come to Christ, and as a Church studies the Bible, God’s intent is that the whole congregation begin to grow in their knowledge of Himself.
 
His desire is for our enlightenment of His will and purpose for us. God’s ultimate purpose for is not so that we only become church members then wait until we die to go to heaven. The Lord makes it clear that He wants us to know Him, to be educated in His ways, and to become familiar with the workings in accordance with His will. Isn’t that what we want also? First Corinthians 2:9-10 says, “….What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – the things God has prepared for those who love Him – these are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit.” Within God’s Word are treasures that prophets and kings wished that they had seen and known, but the revelation was given to us, not them (Luke 10:24). It is amazing how willing so many dismiss and ignore the wonder of God’s Word because they are too busy with the distractions of this world!
 
I don’t know about you, but I do not like to be left in the dark on things, especially when something has to do with me. I want to know what God’s will and purpose is for me. You can find it! It is there! Seek God’s wisdom regarding you and your family. He will give you wisdom for the “now” as well as in the world to come. Jesus will not disappoint. God promises! “If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5).
 
Be blessed even more!
Pastor Chris

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You Say You’re A Christian?

7-15-2022
J. Fields
 
Have you ever come across someone whom you were eventually shocked to find out they were a Christian? While you are thinking about that question let me give you a few statistics that were taken in 2020 in regards to Christianity. According to a 2020 Gallup Study, approximately 50% of Americans say they belong to a church. In 1999 the statistics stated that almost 70% of Americans said they were regular church attenders. In a 2020 Gallup Poll, it was shown that only 42% of millennials attend church, one of the lowest generational percentages. After reading these couple of statistics you may be asking the same thing I was, if almost half of the American
population states that they belong to a church then how in the world can this Nation be in such an uproar and shambles?
 
So now back to my original question; Have you ever come across someone whom you were eventually shocked to find out they were a Christian? I ask this because “the church” has been gaining a bad rap because it has fallen away from living in alignment with the way Christ intended it or I should say us to live. Over the years I have been in churches and have often times scratched my head wondering “is that really the way God would want a Christian to act”, I’m smart enough to know that there is no one who is perfect outside of Jesus but, we are called
to be Christ-like. 1 John 2:6 “ Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” Can you imagine how full churches would be if the 50% of Americans who say they belong to a church really did show up or even if they lived the way the church was created to live?
 
Overall crime (violence, murder, rape, assault) is all up across America as a whole. We
are living, watching, and hearing about crime every time we turn on the news. The days when we felt safe to leave our vehicles unlocked are out the window. America needs a wake-up call, it needs to be shaken, and it needs a revival! The church is one of the greatest tools that God has given us, folks we are the church! If we want to see a Nation that repents and falls back in love with the Creator of the Universe then that change must start with us. America needs a fresh anointing; it needs another mighty revival!
 
 
2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
 
 
Blessings!
Pastor Jason

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This Is Eternal Life

 
C. Hayden
7-1-22
 
 
It is always wonderful to read the Word of God. These words were written down by men, but inspired and yes, dictated by God Himself as he spoke to men dedicated to Him. The words printed in red in our Red-Letter editions are especially sweet as they indicate the dialogue of Jesus with others as He spoke
words of life to all who would listen. In one such instance, Jesus prays to His Father God just before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. He said these words in John 17:1-3,
 
“…Father, the hour has come.
Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
 
 
What did Jesus say? This is what eternal life is, “knowing God?” When God rescues us and we become “born-again”, as Jesus termed the phrase, along with the gift
of eternal life we are actually given access to God with the express right to know Him. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
What a privilege it is to actually be able to come to Him at any time of the day, every day, and pour out are hearts to Him and then listen to what He may say to us. Through the Word of God and prayer, we come to know Him personally as our Lord and our Father in fellowship with Him. In this way, not only do we have eternal life reserved for us, but we have eternal life NOW, enjoying communion
with God as one of His children slated to live forever in His Kingdom. J.I. Packer authored a wonderful Christian classic titled, “Knowing God.” Packer takes the reader through the journey via God’s Word to knowing God for yourself. I recommend this text highly and hope you take advantage of this classic book. He knows you, now it is time that you get to know Him!
 
 
Be blessed even more!!
Pastor Chris

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Fear Not! Stand Firm

6-15-2022
J. Fields
 
Over these past several weeks it seems that every time I turn on the news there is nothing
but negative and evil information. For a few months now the war between Russia and Ukraine
has been leading the headlines but most recently there has been a string of shootings that have
grabbed the headlines. As I sit and read and watch all this sadness take place, I become more
disappointed and frustrated with the direction of our world. No matter who is in the White
House, Congress, or whomever the Pope might be none of those folks are going to be the answer
that will fix the problem. Now before you get too frustrated “believe me I feel you” I have some
information that I think will help you feel more at ease.
 
Scripture has warned us that all this evil was going to happen, I have no idea when the
end will come but one thing is for sure when it does, I’ve got a ticket out of here! In Matthew 24
the followers of Jesus were asking the same thing we are today; when the judgment will take
place on Jerusalem and how will they know the end is near. Jesus lays out the things that must
take place first, but don’t grow weary these things must take place as part of the plan. Matthew
24:6-13; “ You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such
things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom
against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the
beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and
you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith
and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many
people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one
who stands firm to the end will be saved. ”
 
As Christians, we shouldn’t just sit back and do nothing even though we know how
everything will turn out. The world is completely lost and we have something that everyone
needs, Jesus Christ. As believers we should be a walking example of the change that is needed,
we should be overflowing with fresh fruit. Is it okay to be angry, yes! Is it appropriate to be
broken-hearted with what we are seeing, of course! Should we just stay silent so that we don’t
ruffle any feathers, no! The world needs its toes stepped on just a bit, not in a rude and mean
way but in a truthful and loving way. What we are seeing is not okay and the church can’t stay
silent and then wonder why change isn’t happening. Yes, we need to love another but sometimes
true love hurts. I’ve heard it said that we should love the person but hate the sin.
Don’t lose hope, don’t think that it’s too late for change, and don’t just stay silent because
of the fear of hurting someone’s feelings. We shouldn’t be rude and hateful but we should stand
up and say enough is enough, the “church” is standing on the promises of God Almighty! We
are One Nation Under God and there is no evil in this world that is going to prosper. Rise up,
church! I’ve got good news, I’ve read the end of the Book, God and all those who are His
followers will win!
 
Be blessed,
Pastor Jason

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The Hard Truth

5/24/22
C. Hayden  
 
Jesus was such a wonderful teacher. He often spoke with gentleness and lovingkindness as He led His
disciples in the ways of God. He waxed eloquent at times, poetic in others. And at times, He would give
the hard truth in such a manner that you knew He meant exactly what He was saying. See Matthew
23:27 as He informs the Pharisees of their membership in the “White-washed Tombs” club. And if you
think Jesus only spoke hard truth to the religious leaders of His day, look at Matthew 23:37 as He
reminds all of the Jews in Jerusalem who rejected Him how He wanted to gather them to Himself, BUT,
they would not do it (thereby rejecting their Messiah). Hard truth.
Jesus spoke often of hard truths that are not easy hear.
 
Listen to just of few of the difficult sayings of Jesus:
 
 “Why do you call me good. There is no one good but God alone” Matt. 19:17
 “Love your enemies. Do good to those who despitefully use you” Matt. 5:43-44
 “Whosoever, is angry with his brother without a cause is in danger of judgment…
whoever calls his brother “a fool’, will be in danger of hell fire” Matt. 5:22
 “If any man come to me and not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children,
and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life, he cannot be my disciple” Luke 14:26
 
 Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. There are many more.
 
So what are we to make of these hard truths? Well, first, context is key. Jesus often gave hard sayings
for a reason. Following Him is not the same as signing up to be a member of the Kiwanis or Rotary club.
Believing in Jesus is not just giving mental assent to a great guy. It is recognizing that you are unable to
save yourself and making a life commitment to Jesus the Christ as Lord and Savior of your life. In other
words, Jesus is to be first place in your heart. It is then that life change can begin so that as we are
saved by grace, we also reveal this salvation by evidence of our Christian faith resulting in consistent
obedience to Christ good works (Ephesians 2:8, James 2 18). More truth that can be hard to swallow yet
tastes good when received by the Spirit that dwells in us. Don’t reject the hard truths that we see in
God’s Word. Recognizing and applying the easy sayings along with the more difficult directions from
Scripture, leads to tremendous spiritual growth and much, much, much fruit.
Be blessed even more!
 
Pastor Chris

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Trust the Way Maker

5-15-2022
J. Fields
 
As I’m sitting here thinking about what God wants me to write about, I keep thinking about how God made a way when there seemed to be no way. If you don’t mind, I’d like to just be real with you for a few minutes.
I’m absolutely blown away by the love of Jesus Christ. There’s nothing special about me but because of the grace of God, I am where I am today. I’m not sure about you but, I believe in
miracles! Did you know that God healed me of a heart condition when I was younger? Did you know that the doctors told my wife and me that we couldn’t have children? Three children later
we can say that the devil is a liar! I’ve seen so many miracles not only in my life but in many of my friends and family, but what happens if the miracle doesn’t come? I’m not sure why some people get healed while others don’t, but God hasn’t asked me to question Him rather, He has asked me to trust Him. Scripture tells us that His ways are much greater than ours; Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Life is full of seasons; some seasons are amazing
while others are full of pain and regret but I encourage you to not give up on what God wants to do in your life. I’m standing here only because He made a way. Don’t allow the enemy to get
you down, don’t allow your joy to be destroyed, keep your eyes on Jesus.
 
I’m praying, God come, and turn this thing around, God, turn it around, God, turn it around God, turn it around.
 
I’m calling on the name, that changes everything, yes, God, turn it around, God, turn it around God, turn it around.
 
All of my hope, Is in the name, the name of Jesus, breakthrough will come, come in the name the name of Jesus.
 
All of my hope (is in the name), is in the name (said), the name of Jesus, said, breakthrough will come, come in the name, the name of Jesus.
God, turn it around, turn it around, oh, oh, God, turn it around, turn it around, turn it around….”
 
Blessings,
Pastor Jason

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