I cannot fully describe in words the awesome privilege and honor that it is to be a Pastor to God’s people. With this blog, I hope to be able to encourage and help those who are on this journey of faith with me as we walk with our Lord day by day. If you have been rescued from your sin by faith in Jesus, He has given you new life! Let us pursue this new and abundant life together by remembering His word, loving him supremely and loving others and the world by sharing the good news of the gospel in word and in deed.
 

Stay Awake and Be Serious

Fall is my favorite time of the year. Normally, the temperatures drop and cooler air can be enjoyed. Fall is also a time of beautiful scenery as the leaves begin to change color and then fall to the ground. This season of the year can also be a busy time in the life of a church. At New Life, we have several events coming up that I hope you will participate in. I am especially looking forward to our Revival with Jon Reed October 15th-18th. Jon is a passionate preacher with a deep love for souls. You will certainly want to invite others to join us for revival. It may very well change their life!  I know personally that I am longing for revival within my own heart and in the life of our church. I was reflecting again this morning on 1 Thessalonians 5:6 which states, “we must not sleep, like the rest, but we must stay awake and be serious.” These are serious times in which we live. The need for the church to live and proclaim the gospel is great. 
The time to awaken to a new awareness of responsibility is now for each of us who follow Christ. Every one of us as His church has a part to play in sharing the gospel and making disciples of Jesus Christ. We need to take seriously our obedience to Christ in the areas of church membership and attendance. Far too many Christians are sitting on the sidelines as spectators while their is a great battle for the souls of men being waged all around them. The time to awaken and be serious is now. It is time to stop allowing petty grievances or preferences to keep us from being the salt and light this world desperately needs.  At the current rate of decline and falling away that we see in the United States, it will not be long before we resemble Europe, where churches once were filled but now sit empty and closed.
In order to see revival, we must surrender. We must be willing to sacrifice our comforts and preferences. We must change our habits and surrender our lives to Christ so that the Holy Spirit can begin to shape and change our desires from selfish desires to selfless desires. Only God can do that!  Only God can change us and revive us! Will you surrender and seek Him today? May the changing of the seasons remind us of our need to change. Instead of sleeping in comfort, may we awake to the seriousness of our own spiritual condition and realize the impact we have on others as well. 
 
Love in Christ,
Chad

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Heavenly Citizens

As I was reflecting this week on Philippians 3:15-21, I have been reminded of a wonderful truth the scripture teaches us as Christians. Philippians 3:20 states, “but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly await for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. The word used in the King James is “conversation”, but a better translation of the word is “citizenship”. The word used in the original Greek is politeuma. This is the word from which we get our English word politics and relates to the acts and duties of citizens.  This is a word that would have carried great weight with the Philippians due to the high value they placed on their Roman citizenship. Other translations help us to understand the true meaning of what the Word of God is teaching us today. Our true “citizenship” is in Heaven. We may be earthly citizens of the United States or some other country, but as a follower of Jesus Christ we ultimately belong to another kingdom.  Philippi was a Roman colony and as such would conduct the business of Rome even though it was separated from Rome by hundreds of miles.  Likewise, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ should conduct itself as a colony of Heaven here on earth.  As citizens of this heavenly kingdom, we should seek to conduct ourselves in a way that would reflect the values, principles and priorities of the kingdom of God. 
 
This truth should impact the way we live in the here and now. The reality of the kingdom of God is here and now. Even though we await the full culmination of this kingdom according to God’s perfect timing, we enjoy the benefits of heavenly citizenship now. I am reminded of Ephesians 2:4-7, “But God, who is rich in mercy,  because of His great love  that He had for us,  made us alive  with the Messiah even though we were dead  in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens,  so that in the coming ages  He might display the immeasurable riches  of His grace through His kindness  to us in Christ Jesus.”  
 
To be in Christ Jesus means to be seated in the heavens and to enjoy heavenly fellowship and blessings today.  It also means that we await a future perfection that will last for all of eternity.  This is our hope for the future and our motivation for service in the kingdom of God in the present. C. S Lewis writes, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next….It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”  May it be said of us that we are not focused on “earthly things” but that our focus remains on that which is eternal.
 
In Christ,
Chad

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This World is Not My Home

The older I get, the more I realize how brief  and unpredictable our lives are. The bible speaks to this in James 4:14, “You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring -what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.” How true that is! Life here is fragile, brief and unpredictable. Yet as a follower of Jesus Christ, I also understand that life here is a beautiful gift given to us. As a follower of Christ, I also understand that the temporal was never meant to replace the eternal. Everything we see around us materially is temporary. Even our physical bodies are temporary.
 
The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:1 wrote, “For we know that if our temporary, earthly dwelling is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens, not made with hands.” He was writing to followers of Christ concerning the hope we have after our earthly bodies die. Death for the Christian is not the end, but only the start of a new beginning and life with no end. 
 
I can remember as a child taking camping trips with my family to Myrtle Beach, in South Carolina. We didn’t stay in a hotel or house, but in tents. I remember the tents we stayed in very well. The tents were the temporary structures we chose to stay in while we were away from home. I also remember very well the problems that would arise with those tents. During a hard rainstorm, water would always find a way in. The living quarters could become cramped and uncomfortable, it just wasn’t quite like home. While we enjoyed our time and had fun, it was always nice to take down the tent and go home.
 
One day each of us will lay down these temporary dwellings called a body. The tent of our bodies will be taken down and placed into the ground. Death is coming for us all. For the Christian physical death represents the fulfillment of a promised hope of eternal life in heaven with a new body to come. Paul states that “to be out of the body” is to “be at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8) The longer we live here in these tents, the more trouble, sorrow and loss we will face. C.S Lewis states, “I have found a desire within myself that no experience in this world can satisfy; the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
 
As a Christian this world is not our home. We are not meant to find our full satisfaction in the temporary things of this life. Our home awaits us in heaven. As Jesus said in John 14:1-3, “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.”
 
Christian, rest in the promised hope found in the person of Jesus Christ and the pages of his perfect word. Rest in the promise of eternal life in heaven with Jesus! Thanks be to God for His Amazing Grace, Love and Mercy! Who and what are you trusting in today?
 
In Christ,
Chad
 

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