Pastor’s Blog

 
 

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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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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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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