Pastor’s Blog

Face of Faith, Part 2 Active Faith

On the sign out in front of the Church, we read the message that “faith goes where the eyes cannot see;” an excellent posting for our community and a needed message for God’s people. If we believe what God has told us in the Bible, we will do what it says. Our actions will be shaped by His Word and not by what we perceive by our five physical senses.
In the book of James 2:14, 17-18 tells us, “ What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?…Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yes, a man may say, ‘You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’”
Putting feet to what we believe is the active part of faith. If we believe that prayer works (as the Bible tells us), we will take time to prayer. If we believe that worshipping and fellowshipping together as one Body of Christ is important (as the Bible tells us), we will come together at Church regularly. If we believe that faith does come by hearing God’s Word and faith is absolutely vital to us (as the Bible tells us), we will make it a priority to read and study the Word each day.
To be effective, faith must be active. It is not enough just to say you believe something. The devil himself believes in Jesus and knows that He is the Christ, yet Satan will never submit to Him. If we say we believe Jesus is Lord of all, faith compels us to follow Him and to put into action His Word in our life. Our active faith is a testimony to the world that we truly believe in Jesus as our Lord as well as Savior.

Be blessed and be grateful,

Pastor Chris Hayden
Central Christian Church


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Face of Faith, Part 1

Trust does not always come easily. It often takes a period of time to develop the type of relationship that promotes and allows trust to flourish. But it is that very relationship that God invites us into. Jesus calls us to follow Him, to know Him, to love Him, and to trust Him, to trust Him even when the situation warrants skepticism and doubt. In Proverbs 3:5-6 we read, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”

When the fortress city of Jericho kept the Israelites from taking the land that God had promised them, Joshua became one of the many faces of faith. God instructed Joshua and the Israelites to do something that was absolutely crazy. They were told to march around the city quietly seven days in a row and to shout with all their strength on that last day. If they trusted God and were obedient to His Word, they would see victory. If not, they would never be able to breach the city’s walls. Joshua trusted the Lord’s instructions, not leaning on his own understanding and did the crazy thing, believing God over the wisdom of men. As a result, the city was delivered into the hands of the Hebrews and the first victory in the Promised Land was assured.

God’s Word does not always make sense. God tells us that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). We cannot always judge situations by what we see or reason as to the problem or the corresponding solution according to how we feel about it. Jesus simply tells us to have faith in God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:5-6).

Be blessed even more,

Pastor Chris Hayden
Central Christian Church


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They’re Coming!

It is no secret that I am a fan of 1950’s science fiction movies. I know, I know, they can be the corniest things to watch with their low budget effects and cheesy dialogue. However, these movies bring back a feeling of nostalgia for me and because they are usually pretty low budget, you get the opportunity to use your imagination a bit more than you do with today’s films.

One such favorite is called “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” A riveting title and compelling story, if you’re an avid sci-fi fan. In this story, seeds rain on the earth, become pods and begin taking over the planet. This is an unbelievable story except for those who have actually witnessed these aliens for themselves. The hero of the story, pictured here, witnesses the invaders and begins a journey to tell everyone what he knows, but no one believes him. No matter how hard he tries or the effort with which he tells the message, they just think he is out of his mind. That does not deter him; the hero tells the story regardless of who will or will not listen. Why? You might ask, because he knows the truth. When you know the truth, it does not matter what others think, you will be committed to the message because you know you are right and to not share the truth will be disaster for those who will not heed the warning.

In 2 Timothy 1:6-8, Paul tells Timothy to stir up what God has placed inside him for God has given us power, love and a disciplined mind; we need not be afraid. He continues by telling Timothy not to be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord nor of his mentor, but to join with him in the afflictions that come from spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. How could he be so bold regarding his faith?! Paul knew the truth and knew that separation from God awaited those who failed to accept salvation through God’s Son.

We have a message to give the world. Now that we are closing in on the Christmas season, this is a perfect time to start committing to this message and sharing it with others. The message, “For God so loved the world that He gave His Son, that whosoever will believe will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:1). In the same way that Invasion of the Body Snatchers is for sci-fi buffs, the message of God’s love is a “classic!”

Be blessed,

Pastor Chris


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The Church Awakening

On Wednesday evening, Dave Schroeder led a Bible study group in reviewing the book, “The Church Awakening” by noted Pastor and author Chuck Swindoll.  I was able to “Skype” in one week to catch the conversation, and to say the least, it was very informative and enlightening.  The central message of Pastor Swindoll’s offering is an urgent call for the renewal of the Christian Church.  According to Swindoll, the Church has seen and experienced a continually increasing slide of erosion in Biblical standards and faithful passion for a vibrant relationship with the one and only living Savior, Jesus Christ.

Both disciples, Peter and Paul gave stark warnings of the devil’s desire to destroy the Church.  In 1st Peter 5, the Apostle tells us to be sober and be vigilant because the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.  In Acts 20:28-29, Paul writes before his final departure, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the Church of God, which He bought with His own blood.  I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.”  Pastor Swindoll outlines very real dangers, in which the devil (with the help of savage “wolves”) has been doing just that.  It is amazing how relevant the author’s insights are and how they match up with the struggles Central Christian and the Church universal have been experiencing today.

We are continuing our study on this most important topic as we go page by page, gleaning vital information that can lead one in the path of Spiritual renewal.  We meet every Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm in the Topnotcher’s room here at Central Christian Church.  All are invited, so come and be blessed in fellowship and the Word, and discover what we, as a Christian body, need to be prepared for in a society that continues to stray from the moral and Spiritual moorings found in God’s Word.

Be blessed and be grateful,

Pastor Chris Hayden


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Tear Down This Wall

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan made one of the more notable challenges in this nations history. As the President stood in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, these historic words rose in view of the world, “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” I still get goose bumps when I see this freedom charged discourse. I get the same feeling when I watch President Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” address. We are a nation that values freedom.

Our Lord values freedom. Jesus conveys what real freedom is in John 8:31-36, 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”33 They answered him,  “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slaveto sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Jesus tells us that freedom is not necessarily being able to do whatever we want, when we want it. If we use our freedom to remain in sin and selfish living, we are actually slaves to our own carnal behavior. But if we continue in God’s Word and put into practice His Word, we are made free by the truth found in Christ. The wall of sin and deceit is knocked down and we are free to follow Jesus, free to love God with all our hearts, love others as ourselves, and free to be a true Disciple of Christ.

This year, as we commemorate the freedom purchased for this nation throughout our history, let us also remember the freedom from sin and freedom to follow Christ that was purchased for us at the cross. The events surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence, through the struggle for state and civil rights, and our desire to see other nations experience freedom, are all examples of why July 4th is so special to Americans as well as so many others around the globe who value freedom. I believe this value comes from God Almighty whose Son Jesus died and rose again to make all who dare to believe free! Not using our liberty as an occasion to indulge in sin, but an opportunity to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13).

Be Blessed and be grateful,

Pastor Chris Hayden


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