How Do We Avoid Taking Scripture Out of Context?

by Pastor Billy Chidester
 
Another way of asking this question is, how do we avoid wrongly interpreting passages of scripture in the Bible? This is important because whole theologies (beliefs about God) can be based on one person’s interpretation. New denominations have been started and even false religions have been started because
of faulty interpretation.

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Fast and Faithful

by Pastor Billy Chidester
 
The Lord has called His followers to fast. That’s simple enough, right? Actually, in theory fasting is simple, but it’s not natural. And, it’s very much a counter-cultural discipline for Christians. The Lord has called His people to be counter-cultural. We are called to be holy and to be separate from the rest of the world. If we want to be different from the rest of the world, then we need to do things differently from the rest of the world. Or, we need to not do things that the rest of the world is doing. We are called to be faithful to the Lord and fasting is part of that. Let’s talk about fasting for a moment.

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Don’t Give Up!

by Pastor Billy Chidester

Following Christ takes courage and commitment. It’s not for sissies. It requires sacrifice. That’s why Jesus challenged His prospective disciples to count the cost. Luke records some of Jesus’ words in Luke 14:28-30: 

28 “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to make fun of him, 30 saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

So, Jesus wants to make it clear that before deciding to follow Him, one should first decide whether he or she is ready to do whatever it takes to remain faithful to their commitment to His agenda and plan.


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Why Does God Seem So Hidden?

by Pastor Billy Chidester
 
Have you ever asked that question? Maybe you asked the question in a different way, but surely you have struggled with the question at some point in your life. If you have not ever struggled with the question, then brace yourself, because it is likely that one day you will indeed ask yourself: Where is God at? In the meantime, you will likely run into someone who is struggling with a question like that.

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A Better Plan

by Pastor Billy Chidester
 
“But some of them said, ‘Couldn’t He who opened the blind man’s eyes also have kept this man from dying?’” (John 11:37) 
 

A question that has bothered people for thousands of years is the question of evil and God. It goes something like this: If God is all-powerful, He should be able to remove evil and suffering. If He is good, then He should want to get rid of evil and suffering. But the reality is, evil and suffering exist. Therefore, either God is not all-powerful or He is not good. So, how do we make sense of evil and suffering in this world? I can’t adequately answer that question in a short blog, but I would like to offer some thoughts.


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Imitators

by Pastor Billy Chidester

Recently I preached on forgiveness inside the body of Christ. One of the things I really wanted to talk about, but didn’t have enough time, was one of the reasons why we forgive others. “Why” is an important question. It’s how we learn. If you have kids you remember the “why” stage. Why this, why that. Why, why, why. One reason we forgive is because God requires it of us (see my sermon from May 15, 2016). But that isn’t the only reason we forgive. We also forgive because we are imitators of God.


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Speed Zone

by Pastor Billy Chidester
 
Recently, I planned to wear a particular t-shirt to church. Saturday night I laid out my clothes like I always do for Sunday and it never occurred to me to lay the t-shirt out. It was late Sunday afternoon before I remembered my plan to wear the t-shirt. What was my excuse? Simply, “I forgot.” Some things it doesn’t hurt to forget. In some things though, forgetting is detrimental. 

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A Church for the Nations

by Pastor Billy Chidester
 
Some of Jesus’ final words bring clarity to the mission of the church and His plan for the world. For example, in Matthew 28:19 Jesus said, “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations…” In Acts 1:8, Jesus said, “And you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In other words, Jesus was saying take the gospel to the nations.

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