Pastor’s Blog

Promise without the Premise?

 

Promise without the Premise?

  1. Hayden 5-23-18

 

Have you ever been in a dark room, stumbling around to find the light switch? Feeling around on the wall for what should be easily found but is seemingly doing everything to escape your grasp? It’s an uncomfortable feeling until the light goes on and then you can see clearly. In Psalm 18:28 David says, “my God turns my darkness into light.” Isn’t that an awesome promise? No matter what you may be going through and how much darkness pervades over your life, God can turn it into light. However, I have noticed that most promises come with a premise first. In other words, “if I do this, God will in turn do that.” In Joshua 1:8, we are told at the end of the scrip­ture that we will be prosperous and successful. The premise found in the beginning of that verse, however, is for those people who study and meditate on God’s law so that they are able to do it.

 

When we turn to the light of the Gospel, we see the need to understand and accept the premise along with the promise. Most people want the promise without the premise. They want God to do His thing, but then they want to do their own thing regardless of God’s thoughts on the matter. Psalm 18:22-24 declares, For all His judgments were before me, and I did not put away His statutes from me. 23 I was also blameless [a]before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity. 24 Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.” In other words, I have kept myself from sin, and that the rewards have come from that kind of living. The premise of God being our shield (vs.30) is “for all who take refuge in him.” The promises of God are yes and amen for all who desire to know and do His Word; for those who “take refuge in Him.”. We cannot expect to have the promise without the premise, because it’s the founda­tion upon which the promise will come to pass. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, (PREMISE) that whosoever believes in Him……(PROMISE) shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

Pastor Chris


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The House of Salt and Light

Pastor Chris & Heidi Hayden

 

The House of Salt and Light

  1. Hayden 5-10-18

 

The last couple of Thursday mornings (10am), we have been studying the portion of scripture known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” This study has been an excellent journey into one of the most powerful sermons of our Lord Jesus recorded in the Gospels. It is in the Sermon on the Mount that we find the Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, and the call to enter through the narrow gate, not the broad way leading to destruction. It is also in this divine oration that we find the inspiration for the back of our Central Christian t-shirts “The House of Salt and Light.” I wanted to put this phrase on our shirts to send a message to others and to ourselves that our purpose in this world is to be salt and light as directed in the Gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 5:13-16 says this, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” In this passage we are to be salt and light. Salt which is a mineral that is used as a preserver of other foods, a seasoning that brings flavor to meals, and causes one to thirst for water. As Christians, we should live out our faith in such a way that we are agents that preserve God’s righteousness in this sin filled world, brings flavor as carriers of God’s Good News, and causes unbelievers to thirst for knowing the Christ they see in us.

We are also to be the light to those who are living in the darkness of sin and a worldly way of life that, in essence, denies the Lordship of Jesus the Christ. Billions continue to live without a relationship with the Son of God, and as carriers of God’s Word, we are lights that point the way to God and the path He has laid out for the salvation of the world. That is why we are to be the House of Salt and Light! The challenge we leave with you this week: Be the salt of the earth and be the light of the world! By doing so, we will become instruments of rescue for a lost and dying world.

 

Be blessed even more and have a wonderful week!!

 

Pastor Chris


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It’s a Spirit Thing

It’s a Spirit Thing
C. Hayden 4-23-18

The past several Sundays, since Easter, we have been focusing on the Holy Spirit and His reality in our lives.  We often over look the power of the Holy Spirit and His working in us.  This topic is so important that I have even decided to teach on the working of the Spirit to the Seniors in our community at the Heritage of Huntington this week!  Keep me in prayer!  The subject often baffles us and concerns us because of so much fear and disinformation surrounding what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Today I want to bridge the issue by revealing to you what a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit looks like and acts like.  Once we see what type of atmosphere is created by a Spirit-filled person, our fears of having the Holy Spirit take over our lives can be diffused.  We find the results of being Spirit-filled display in the book of Galatians.

Galatians 5:16-17 and Galatians 5:22-23 says this, “16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” AND “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”  Did you catch all of that?  This it what the Spirit looks like in a person:  LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, and SELF-CONTROL.  This list is known as the nine fruits of the Spirit.  There can be other signs in a person’s life that give a clue that the Holy Spirit has been given control, but these are the nine listed in God’s Word as the fruit that will come forth from a life given over to the Holy Spirit’s leading.  Does this describe you?  Maybe some but not all?  If we are lacking in any of these fruit, we know that there is more of us that we need to give over to the Holy Spirit fro His review and refinement.

What I would say to every believer today including myself, be filled with the Spirit.  As the scripture states above, “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).

Be blessed even more and have a wonderful week!!

Pastor Chris


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Magnitude of the Ressurection

Magnitude of the Resurrection
C. Hayden 3-26-18
This Sunday we celebrate and remember the most pinnacle event regarding the faith of every believer in Christ,
Resurrection Day, or as we have come to know so well, Easter Sunday! The time of our Lord’s great triumph over
hell and death. Of course we can’t separate Resurrection Day from Good Friday as we could never experience our
Resurrection until Jesus first
experiences the cross and His death thereof.
Through the cross and resurrection
of our Lord we are given opportunity to
receive great rewards if we would
just repent of our sin and give our hearts to
King Jesus in our decision to live for
Him. Revelation 22:11-13 says this, “He who
is unjust, let him be unjust still; he
who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is
righteous, let him be righteous still;
he who is holy, let him be holy still. And
behold, I am coming quickly, and
my
reward
is with Me, to give to everyone
according to his work. I am the
Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and
the End, the First and the Last.” Well let’s list some of those rewards that come from Christ’s death and
resurrection for those who believe.
1.
Eternal life (Live forever!),
2.
Fellowship with God and all the saints and angels,
3.
No more death or sorrow,
4.
An eternity of love, joy and peace,
5.
Total healing, no more sickness,
6.
No more poverty (We are joint-heirs w/Christ),
7.
Heaven as our home,
8.
We will be like Christ (No fallen or sinful nature),
9.
No more darkness or loneliness or depression,
10.
No more bills and no more taxes (That is good news)
11.
We will be forever living in God’s glory (Forever Light)
12.
We will always be with Christ forever in His presence.
This is but a few of the benefits (and does not even go into the benefits we can enjoy now) of being a follower of
the Lord Jesus Christ. He paid the price of the cross and was resurrected by the same power given to us through
the Holy Spirit so that all who dare to believe in His name will receive the benefit of being an adopted son or
daughter of God. No matter what you may be going through in this life, no matter what troubles you have and are
experiencing now, and no matter what trials may be on the horizon, the cross and subsequent resurrection of our
Lord has the FINAL WORD!! Hallelujah!! Now that is worth remembering and celebrating!!! Come worship with us
this Easter Sunday—Resurrection Day. All are welcome.
Be blessed even more and have a wonderful week!!
Pastor Chris

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Everything Ok?

Everything Ok?
C. Hayden 2-26-18

I want to write to you this month as inspired by my favorite auto repair shop.  The past two weeks have resulted in a banner month for having work done on my truck.  After having a tonneau cover put on the bed of said vehicle, I received an email from the installer requesting feedback on the quality of the work done.  As I recall, the owner wanted to make sure their work on the the truck went well and simply asked, “Everything ok?”  I was pleased to know that they are willing to follow up and open themselves up to such responses that may or may not be pleasant.  And while it can be unpleasant, sometimes receiving such feedback is often a good way to gauge the quality of services being provided.  I want to do something similar.  Before I do, however, I need to explain something.  A ministry of the Lord is a bit different than an auto repair shop.  First, a Church is not possessed by a single owner.  It belongs to the Lord and all of God’s people are fellow workers in this enterprise so that any criticism is one that involves all of us. And second, opinions often differ on how something should be done in a ministry (Determining the best way to reach a culture is not like changing a carburator on a truck).  So let us get feedback on OUR ministry.  in regards to Central Christian Church I have 4 survey questions:
1. How are we doing in ministering God’s love and truth to others? (Please be specific)
2. What things could we do better as a ministry in reaching our community and being a place people can grow spiritually?
3. Is their something we could do to help people grow more in their commitment to Christ and this ministry?
4. And finally, is there anything you would like to ask, say or advise the Pastor about in regards to Central Christian’s ministry? (I may or may not agree with you but I will respond in love and give reasoning for my thoughts).

Now you may ask, “Is there Biblical precidence for this kind of survey?” Sure.  Isaiah 1:17-18 records God’s request for His people.   “Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.  18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”  The Lord tells us to come and reason together with Him.  When we do, though we may have issues needing to be fixed, He will make us white as snow.  Let us come together also.  Though we need improvement, we can also grow into what God has called all of us to be.

Send your feedback to the Pastor’s email, which will be held in strict confidence: 4019hc@gmail.com
In this way I can know your thoughts and feelings about this ministry, what needs improving, who is being ministered to or not, who may or may not be reading this blog!

Be blessed even more and have a wonderful week!!

Pastor Chris


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Be My Valentine

Be My Valentine
C. Hayden 2-12-18

As we approach one of the Hallmark Corporation’s favorite of holidays, Valentine’s Day, we are reminded of the opportunity to once again show our love to that special person or persons closest to us.  Yes, we can view Valentine’s Day as another shameless attempt of corporate America at getting us to rush out and spend money on flowers, chocolates or any number of gift ideas trying to prove our love to our spouses or significant others (a thought for the overly cynical mind). But maybe there is a lesson that can be applied surrounding this mysterious holiday that most believe is based on the mixture of Roman pagan fertility deities and our own St. Valentine who was martyred around 270 A.D.  For the Christian ingredient of this mixture, there exists the story of a Catholic priest named Valentinus or Valentine who was martyred for defying the Roman emperor Claudius II who banned marriage for fighting age warriors.  The emporer believed that unmarried men made for better soldiers.  Valentine saw this as an injustice of power and burden on couples in love. In consequence, he married these young lovers in defiance of the emperors orders for which he was martyred.  Well Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
So what is the lesson we can take from Valentine’s Day.  For the answer, let’s gp to the scriptures, shall we!  The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 6:21-26, 33 (NLT), “And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of His body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.  33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” In other words, both husband and wife should love each other in the same way that Christ loves us all.  The practical lesson is this.  Christ loved us so much that He gave his own life to meet our greatest need…the need for salvation from the effects and consequences of our own sin.  In the same way, we should love our spouses and significant loved ones to the extent that we say no to our own wants and desires for the purpose of giving our all to meet the need of those we love – especially those we are closest to.  Christ gave all to meet our need, should we do less for our most beloved?

Be blessed even more and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!!

Pastor Chris


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Hope For the Hopeless

Hope For the Hopeless
C. Hayden 1-25-18

David Crowder, a contemporary Christian music artist and worship leader (one of my favorites I might ad), performed a song at Winterfest (a Christian concert-a-palooza held at the Coliseum each year) a couple years back singing several of his songs that have been chart toppers.  One of those songs performed is entitled “Come As You Are”, a moving hymn of worship that lifts the spirit of a person to the heights.  One stanza from that tune sports these words, “There’s hope for the hopeless, and all who have strayed, come sit at the table, come taste of the grace.  There’s rest for the weary, rest that endures.  Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t cure”…then to the chorus, “So lay down your burdens…”  I get goosebumps everytime!
This song illustrates an absolute truth, that God cares for those burdened and broken who dare humble themselves and bring their cares to him.   I particularly like the   beginning where the songwriter informs all that “There is hope for the hopeless.” That even when we experience disappointment and depression, heartache and hurt, God is greater than anything this world or the devil throws at us.  And when we are weak, and there are times we are, Christ is always strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11)!
In the Scriptures, 1Peter 5:6-7 says this, ‘Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time. Cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you.” Did you get that?  He cares for you!  Let me say it again, HE CARES FOR YOU! When God is on your side, the mighty giants, while they may be intimidating at first glance, shrink in the light of the King of Kings.  Just as David slew the unGodly Phillistine, Daniel faced the carnivorous lions, and Moses delivered Israel from the ‘apparent” onslaught of Egypt, our God will bring you through the trials of life that threaten you as well.  God has a special place in His heart for all of us, especially those who have had enough of themselves, broken and desiring to turn to Him.  Jesus says this, “Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, take My yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28).  Now that is “Good News!”

Be blessed even more!!

Pastor Chris


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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
C. Hayden 12-12-17

At this time of the year we want to take a few moments and wish everyone a very, Merry Christmas!  This can be an extremely busy time for many as we make preparations to provide a most wonderful Christmas for our children and for immediate and extended visiting family members.  Even so, our hopes and prayers for you would be that you not only enjoy said family but also find time to rest and relax personally; refueling and retooling for the upcoming new year.  Also finding time to spend with the Lord and carve out space to reflect on the real reason for the season.  That meaning being illustrated in so many of the Christmas Carols that we sing each year.  One of the more popular being “Joy to the World.”  The first lines of that joyous hymn says so much, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King.  Let every heart prepare Him room…”  This precious song dovetails with one of the most well known Scriptures, “For God so loved the world that He gave (the original Christmas gift) His only begotten Son (Jesus) that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting Life” (a wonderful gift indeed).
As you enjoy the wonder of the Christmas season, and as we embark on a New Year, may we also reflect on our relationship with the Lord for whom this celebration is supposed to truly be about.  While we enjoy reminding our children to be good for Santa Claus (Saint Nic-Claus) who is always watching, let us also spread the good news of the most important person who is always with us (Immanuel) and who died for our sin that we might have the gift of eternal life.   Christmas time is such a wonderful time of the year, but what makes it so blessed is when we are reminded of God’s love for us and what He has done on our behalf.
Linus from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was absolutely right when he quoted Scripture.  Here is the true meaning of Christmas:  9 “And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:   14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:9-14)

Be blessed even more and have a wonderful, Merry Christmas!!

Pastor Chris


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Communicate to the Lost

C. Hayden 12-10-17

This advent season, we have been examining this idea of communication; Biblical communication.  While many Christians and non-Christian cultures alike are currently preparing to celebrate one of the all time greatest events in all of history, the birth of Jesus Christ, many people overlook the fact that it is an account of God communicating His peace and love to a lost world.  Luke 2 gives an account of the open lines of communication being brought via angelic voices to lowly shepherds in the field: 8 “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:8-14).
God was (and still is) communicating to these shepherds, and to the world, that He does not hate us but loves us.  He was also letting us know that the wall that had separated mankind from their maker, a wall that brought silence from God for over 400 years, has now been done away with.  And what was the signifying mark of this heavenly communication? It was none other than the baby Jesus Himself.  The Babe in a manger was God’s billboard telling all of us that God has peace and goodwill for all willing to turn from their sin and come to Him.  What a wonderful message the angels brought to us!!!  It is this same message that we, as God’s people, need to take to the rest of mankind.  We need to be inviting others to come to the Lord also.  As Luke 14:23 says, “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” God calls His Church to communicate to the world the message of “Joy to the world the Lord has come.  Let earth receive their King!.”

Be blessed even more!!

Pastor Chris


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Would You Rather

Would You Rather
C. Hayden 11-10-17
In this episode of the “Pastor’s Blog”, we are going to play the “Would You Rather” game. When playing the Would
You Rather game. You have to first set up the background subplot in which the question is asked so that an
informed decision can be made. The Would You Rather question is this. Would you rather be traveling the open
seas on the most luxurious Carnival Caribbean Cruise Ship, or would you rather be sailing aboard the most modern
of US Naval Aircraft Carriers??? Now here’s the subplot that may help you determine your choice: You live in the
midst of a world war, the enemy
is moving to and fro everywhere, and
you never know when or where
he might attack next. The enemy is not
concerned with what type of
vessel you are on, he wants only to kill,
steal, and destroy, and our foe
will not hesitate to devour any and all
he has opportunity to do so.
Be blessed even more!!
Pastor Chris

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