Pastor’s Blog

Jesus Our Example

Pastor Chris & Heidi Hayden

 

Jesus Our Example

  1. Hayden 6-13-18

 

In the next month we are going to explore a sermon series on looking to Jesus as our example of Christian living. Often, the world would like to dismiss most of God’s Word by exclaiming that only what Jesus did and said is valid for us to live by. The Apostle Paul’s writings are not necessarily what we should take to heart because his lessons on Christian living did not physically come from the lips of Jesus himself. This is known as “Red Letter Religion,” that we only want to live according to Jesus’ example, not what Paul or Peter or any other author happened to pen. This is false theology as the whole of Scripture has been given to profit Christ’s Body and for our instruction in righteous (2Timothy 3:16). People often rely on the false doctrine of “Red Letter Religion” because they think that Jesus only taught the world to love others and not judge anyone. But when looking at what Jesus said and did, we actually find that living by Jesus’ example, is more challenging than simply following one of the Apostles.

Ephesians 5:1 says this, “Be followers of God as dear children.” The word “followers” in that Scripture is translated from the Greek word “Mimetes.” It means to imitate or, more properly, emulate God. It is the word that is the root of the word we understand as to “mimic” someone. We are to emulate Christ in our life, becoming more like Him as we grow-up spiritually. We are to emulate Christ in the lessons that He taught, emulate Him in the way He treated other people, emulate Him in His relationship with the Father, the words that came from His mouth and the ministry with which He provided to the world. We are to emulate Christ in our lack of concern for worldly pursuits, and emulate Him in are desire for the Holy Spirit working in and through us.

Philippians 2:5-7a gives us this mandate. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking on the form of a bond-servant…” To follow only the Red-Letter portions of the Scriptures will bring us to following the whole of God’s Word. Not just the portions we like.

 

Be blessed even more and have a wonderful week!!

 

Pastor Chris


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If GOD Be for Us

If God Be for Us
C. Hayden 6-26-18

There are few things in life that can ruin a person’s day more then finding oneself discontented with a present situation they are in.  Whether you feel that people do not appreciate you enough, the breaks in life do not seem to be breaking your way, or everyone else seems to get a bigger portion of the good life, we often feel that we are handed the short end of the stick.  That often puts us into a general state of depression and never-ending cycle of deep discontentment.  Philippians 4:10 – 11 says this,  ”But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”  Even in the midst of the Apostles struggles, he was content no-matter what the circumstances may have been presented to him.  Whether in prison, in house arrest, or free to roam as he pleased, Paull was always able to walk in victory knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ was with him where ever he found himself.
Paul continues in that passage to say, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:12-13).  That last scripture sums up Paul’s attitude regardless of what he may be facing.  I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST!  I am not sure what giants you may be facing today, but I know that whether good or bad, easy or difficult, we have a God who is “for us (and not against us), who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32).  Trust in the Lord and be content.  For there is nothing we cannot do nor giant we cannot face down through the power of God’s Spirit given to us in Christ Jesus!
Be blessed even more!!

Pastor Chris


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The Intimate Presense of God

 

The Intimate Presence of God

  1. Hayden 6-13-18

 

God’s intimate presence in our life is real and life giving. Few people illustrate this concept of intimacy with God then the psalmist David. In Psalm 63:1-4 we read these words, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.” It is easy to see why the Scriptures describe David as a man after God’s own heart. In the very first verse, David declares that he seeks God, thirsts for Him and longs for God’s intimate presence. David does not simply want to appease God or complete a checklist of “God stuff” so as to feel safe from God’s judgment. David wants to know and experience God’s presence intimately. He wants to know God in his life and become intimately acquainted with His presence.

How does David go about seeking this wonderful experience? Verse 2 gives the answer. He starts by looking for God in the sanctuary (vs.2), to see God’s power and His glory. David has an expectation of experiencing the Lord’s power and glory when he comes to worship. Read the verses of that Psalm again. The picture we see is not one of a person just marking time, but of David the King whose focus is on the Lord, worshipping God with all of his heart, soul and body. The wonderful thing about God’s intimate presence is that we can experience God daily no matter where we find ourselves. God’s presence is not just in the church building. He lives within each and every one of His children. For we are the temple (1 Corinthians 6:19) or sanctuary of God’s Spirit and we can know Him and sense Him anytime of the day regardless of where we are.   This week, take time to meet with the Lord, seeking His intimate presence and letting Him heal your heart, mind and body.

 

Be blessed even more and have a wonderful week!!

 

Pastor Chris


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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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