Pastor’s Blog

In Loving Memory

This morning I received word that Linda Hall’s father has gone on to be with the Lord. Her message to us was an uplifting one, honoring his life and realizing the blessing of his opportunity to go home to where the glories of heaven are ever present. Our prayers and condolences go out to Linda and several of our members and their families as they have said goodbye to a parent, grandparent or other loved one who has passed away in the last couple of weeks. Along with Linda, we want to pray for Mike Gregerson, Bob Harlan, Rob Jones and their families (and others) who have lost a parent, grandparent, or other relative recently. I, myself, said goodbye to a well-loved aunt of mine who went home to be with Jesus two weeks ago. While I know my Aunt Norma is now at home with Jesus, there is still that sense of loss we feel knowing that we are separated from those we love while living on this planet.

 

In light of the recent passing of these loved ones and as we remember loved ones we remember this Memorial Day, I want to send an encouraging word to all who have lost family and friends in Christ. I Thessalonians 4 says this, 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

 

While we sorrow and grieve when we experience the passing of those we love, we need not do so as people who have no hope. We have the hope of eternal life and know that we will be together once again with those who have died in Christ. Our prayers go out to all those who continue to grieve and sorrow over the recent loss of that special person in your life. We know that death has no hold on us, for Jesus died on the cross and rose again that all those in Christ shall never die! Hallelujah! As Paul reminds us, “…comfort one another with these words.”

 

Be blessed even more!

 

Pastor Chris


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New Life Anyone

New Life Anyone?

  1. Hayden 4-25=17

 

God has called us to new life. Jesus Christ rose from the day around this time of the year and each year we gear up to celebrate His resurrection. The kids get an Easter basket full of chocolate and baby peeps (and some adults too!), many have a barbecue cookout with family, and we lounge for most of the day watching a game or good movie (or at least sleeping on the couch while one is playing).   A nice day of rest. I certainly enjoyed it. But let me encourage all of us to be sure and take the time to go deeper as we remember the resurrection of our Lord. It was not so that another holiday could be added to our calendar in the spring. It was done so that we might experience resurrection for ourselves.

 

Jesus rose from the dead so that we might, along with our own bodily resurrection when God calls us home, experience the resurrection of our own soul and spirit today. We can know what it means when Paul says this in First Thessalonians 5:23-24, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” When we were born again, God provided us a new spirit made alive to Him through the power of His Spirit so that we might live redeemed, resurrected lives in Christ. Our Lord’s death and resurrection paved the way so that we may have a new life, free from the bondage of sin, free from our past failures and mistakes and free to live from Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior, our Friend.

 

As Paul tells us in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Paul applied the death and resurrection of Jesus to his own life and God calls us to do the same. We need to be able to say of ourselves, “We our crucified with Christ, but live as one raised from the dead and now live for the one who raised us up to new life.” Can you say that today? Look to Jesus for help in living out this new life in Christ that we have been given.

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

Pastor Chris


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Faithful To The Word

Faithful To The Word

  1. Hayden 4-10-17

 

The last decade has revealed an ever-growing apostasy that has attached itself to many in the Church. This apostasy has its support in the idea that “diversity” is the greatest benefit to society and so we need to embrace the belief systems of other religions so as to promote diversity. First of all, diversity that does not have “unity” as its foundation brings division and chaos. We see this in the news on a daily basis. But this idea that all religions are the same, only the names are different, is absolutely false at its very core. Focusing on the words of Jesus, it is clear that the Lord did not in anyway buy into this false concept.   While there may be many Christian denominations and non-denominational fellowships that are pathways to a relationship with Christ, there is only one pathway to God and that is through Christ alone. It is this apostate doctrine that all religions lead to God that has led many liberal leaders in organizations like The National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches to label missionary efforts and proselytizing (witnessing for Jesus) for the Lord as being arrogant and intolerant of other people and their culture.

 

John 14:5-7 says this, “Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Jesus is not one way to God, He is the only way to God! That does not mean we should be unkind with others of different religions or cannot be a friend to people of other faiths. On the contrary, we are told to love even our enemies, so loving those who believe differently than we do is a hallmark of our faith. But we should never join with them in accepting their faith apart from Christ as an acceptable pathway to God. We need to be faithful to God’s Word, realize that apart from faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our sins, and continue to love others enough to tell them the truth of their need for The Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

 

Be blessed even more!

 

Pastor Chris

 


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Joy, Joy, Joy

 

Joy, Joy, Joy

  1. Hayden 3-25-17

 

Don’t let the devil steal your joy. Let me say that again. Don’t let the devil steal your joy. It never seems to fail that when we experience a victory in our lives, i.e. a wonderful time of worship, a soul being saved and baptized, or a step forward in our spiritual growth, an unexpected blessing, the devil can often be found trying to rob us of our new found joy.   This can happen through negative circumstances or negative people or our own personal negativity arising in the shadow of victory like a wall sent to block all the good things God has been doing. We end up focusing on the negativity and soon the victory we experienced is forgotten and our joy in the Lord has evaporated. Proverbs 4:23 reads thusly, “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out it flow the issues of life.” If we allow the devil to steal our joy, our whole life is affected and we end up becoming the vehicle of negativity that goes about stealing joy from others, affecting the whole Church.

So how do we combat those attacks on our joy? First, look upon negative incursions as an opportunity to be joyful anyway. Scripture says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4). Though the attack may have it’s origin in the devil, God will use it for our good if we let Him.

And second, take the advice of Philippians 4:6-9, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” Let God’s peace be a guard over your heart. Remember, an attack from the enemy of our souls often means we have been and are doing something right! Don’t let the devil steal your joy!

 

Be blessed even more!

 

Pastor Chris


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When GOD Doesn’t Make Sense

An Encouraging Word

  1. Hayden 3-9-17

 

Our world can often be a very critical and cynical place to live in. It is so easy to see how many Christians see this generation in light of the scripture that says, “10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:10-12). With record violence taking place in many of our major cities, ever increasing anxiety over the direction of world and online communications with one another becoming less and less civil due to our expansive differences in belief systems, it would appear that our love for one another, as the prophecy reveals, is certainly growing colder than ever before. While we may be witnessing this icy transformation take place in our nation and around the world, it does not have to be a characteristic of the Body of Christ.

John 13:34-35 says this, “34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” When the Lord tells us that we are to love one another, what He really means is…that’s right…we are to love one another. That means we should say encouraging words that lift each other up rather than finding ways to tear each other down. We are to seek the best for our brothers and sisters in Christ, not just for ourselves.

We read in Ephesians 4:29–32, “29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” When we communicate with each other, is our speech laced with kindness? Do we make every effort to speak edifying words to one another so that we are consistently imparting grace to those that hear us? When we allow the Spirit to be our guide, our conversation will be an encouragement to our fellow believers and the world will see the love of Christ flow through us and thereby know that we belong to Jesus.

 

Be blessed even more!

 

Pastor Chris


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