He Makes All Things New

This has been a very productive past couple of weeks for me (March 2013). As most of you already know, I was able to add the title of “grandpa” to my resume. It was a very exciting and surreal experience as I held Reid Christopher in my arms for the first time being reminded of the great blessings that come from the Lord. But not every experience is as joyous as seeing your first grandchild come into the world.

I also had an opportunity to pray and fellowship with 20 to 25 hurting pastors, many who felt betrayed in more ways than one, searching for God’s leading as they strive to be obedient to the Word of God, experiencing rejection and isolation for their efforts. Many men and women, in the fight to live by God’s Word, are experiencing what it means to remain faithful to the Word illustrated in a phrase of the song, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” which says, “Though none go with me, still I will follow.”

Jesus said to His disciples and all those who deny themselves, picking up the cross of Christ, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Revelation 21:5 also declares, that the one seated on the throne of God, it is He (Jesus) who makes all things new. In the midst of betrayal and difficulty, tragedy and trials, the Lord will revitalize and renew, and remind us of His great love for us. If you are in a place of hurting, be of good cheer for God has overcome those things that would bring sorrow. He brings forth joy from sorrow, glory from shame, acceptance from rejection, and NEW LIFE from death, resurrection from the grave, JESUS MAKES ALL THINGS NEW; the core message of Easter Sunday (Resurrection Day).

Be blessed and be grateful.

Pastor Chris Hayden

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God Requires Change Sometimes

What a change we are experiencing in weather from last week!  We’ve gone from icy cold conditions to feeling like spring in just a matter of days and then back to the tundra.  Sometimes change can happen fast.  For example, it only took 18 days of demonstrations to bring down the government in the nation of Egypt.  So, why does it take us so long to change? Change can be hard for some, but necessary at times.

In my observation, people are much slower to change and accept change than trees, grass, flowers and even governments.  What would it be like if you could change your health in 18 days?  How about your marriage?  Or, improving your finances?   God required change of Abraham, Moses, Joshua, James, John, Peter and Paul. God’s presence always brings change. Isaiah 43:19 says it like this, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Is God speaking to you about changes you need to make?

If an entire national government can be changed in less than a month, why does it take us so long to change?  Like give up smoking, drinking too much, pornography, other addictions or change in the Church?  How come the weather can change, but we are willing to live with the same bad attitude we had a week ago or fail to develop new ways of reaching out to our community? If we are spending any time in prayer at all, there are probably occasions when the Holy Spirit speaks to you regarding something that He requires revision in your life.

It seems like we could learn something from the environment around us.  What needs to change in your life?  What habits do you still need to kick?  What good habits do you need to practice?  What can we do to become a more effective and vibrant community of believers? You may not be able to get to the final outcome in a week or 18 days, but I bet you can make some strides if you try.  Consider a few you could do today, and if you do, think about where you might be this time next year. And remember what God told Joshua when they were about to change their place of residence (Joshua 1:6), “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.”

Be blessed and be grateful,

Pastor Chris

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