Pastor’s Blog

Be Not Dismayed

Pastor Chris & Heidi Hayden

 

Be Not Dismayed

  1. Hayden 7-26-18

 

In 2 Timothy, chapter one, a seasoned minister, the Apostle Paul says this to his young helper he sent to pastor at Ephesus named Timothy, “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” This is an amazing passage to a young man who has had his hands full leading a congregation of believers. This passage speaks to us as well reminding us that fear and anxiety is not to be embraced by those who are to just in and rely on God who loves and cares for us intensely.

In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul once again brings a message to the Church at Philippi, “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.” Here Paul reminds not to allow anxiety to rule us. There are few things in life that can short-circuit our faith like fear, anxiety and worry. Unhealthy worry, anxiety and fear not only robs us of peace and calm throughout the day, but can even serve to bring physical sickness and mental illness.

Let these words from the heart and mouth of our God as written by the prophet Isaiah bring encouragement to you, “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:1-2).

 

Be blessed even more and have a wonderful week!!

 

Pastor Chris


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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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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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