Tag Archives: Pastor Ed Moreno

The Uniqueness of Christianity

By Pastor Ed Moreno

Jesus said in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This claim rankles people like no other. Christians have been called arrogant, narrow-minded, and bigoted for saying Jesus is the only way to God. But the thing is, Jesus is the one who says that. Christians are just relating what Jesus said.

Part of the reason why this claim is so controversial is because it strikes at the core of three great myths about religion. I’ll briefly address the first one. The first myth says: “When you get down to it, all religions are basically the same.” The truth is that there are major differences between the religions of the world. And Christianity is like no other.  Christianity’s uniqueness is rooted in the uniqueness of Jesus himself.

Someone once noted that other religious leaders say, “Follow me and I’ll show you how to find truth.”  But Jesus says, “I am the truth.”

Other religious leaders say, “Follow me and I’ll show you the way to salvation.”  But Jesus says,  “I am the way to eternal life in heaven.”

Other religious leaders say, “Follow me and I’ll show you how to become enlightened.”  But Jesus says, “I am the light.”

Other religious leaders say, “Follow me and I’ll show you the door that leads to God.”   But Jesus says, “I am the door.”

Then Jesus adds, “So follow Me.”

What the different religions of the world teach contradict each other, so let’s not pretend they are all true. That’s irrational. They can’t all be true. What one needs to look for is who authenticated their claims.  Jesus claimed to be divinity and the only way to God, so how does he back up his claims? Jesus backs up his claims with unique credentials that make him uniquely credible.

For example, Jesus fulfilled dozens of centuries-old prophecies against all mathematical odds of probability. And unlike other religious leaders, Jesus performed great miracles that further authenticated his claim of being God’s one and only Son. And in the most spectacular demonstration of his deity, Jesus fulfilled his own prediction by rising from the grave after three days exactly as he said he would. And this was witnessed by more than 500 people.  No other religious leader ever did the powerful things Jesus did.  So, it’s not narrow-minded to say Jesus is the only way to God if the overwhelming evidence supports that claim.

 

Uniqueness of Christianity

By  Pastor Ed Moreno

Jesus said in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This claim rankles people like no other. Christians have been called arrogant, narrow-minded, and bigoted for saying Jesus is the only way to God. But the thing is, Jesus is the one who says that. Christians are just relating what Jesus said.

Part of the reason why this claim is so controversial is because it strikes at the core of three great myths about religion. I’ll briefly address the first one. The first myth says: “When you get down to it, all religions are basically the same.” The truth is that there are major differences between the religions of the world. And Christianity is like no other.  Christianity’s uniqueness is rooted in the uniqueness of Jesus himself.

Someone once noted that other religious leaders say, “Follow me and I’ll show you how to find truth.”  But Jesus says, “I am the truth.”

Other religious leaders say, “Follow me and I’ll show you the way to salvation.”  But Jesus says,  “I am the way to eternal life in heaven.”

Other religious leaders say, “Follow me and I’ll show you how to become enlightened.”  But Jesus says, “I am the light.”

Other religious leaders say, “Follow me and I’ll show you the door that leads to God.”   But Jesus says, “I am the door.”

Then Jesus adds, “So follow Me.”

What the different religions of the world teach contradict each other, so let’s not pretend they are all true. That’s irrational. They can’t all be true. What one needs to look for is who authenticated their claims.  Jesus claimed to be divinity and the only way to God, so how does he back up his claims? Jesus backs up his claims with unique credentials that make him uniquely credible.

For example, Jesus fulfilled dozens of centuries-old prophecies against all mathematical odds of probability. And unlike other religious leaders, Jesus performed great miracles that further authenticated his claim of being God’s one and only Son. And in the most spectacular demonstration of his deity, Jesus fulfilled his own prediction by rising from the grave after three days exactly as he said he would. And this was witnessed by more than 500 people.  No other religious leader ever did the powerful things Jesus did.  So, it’s not narrow-minded to say Jesus is the only way to God if the overwhelming evidence supports that claim.

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road, next to the Fire Station.  For more information, call (951) 278-8367, or visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

Textual Criticism

EV - Ed Moreno.jpgBy Pastor Ed Moreno

Have you ever heard someone say: “How true to the original can the Bible we have today be?  I mean, it was translated from Greek to Latin, and then from Latin to German, and then from German to English, and so on.  By now our modern translations have surely been corrupted.  There’s got to be a lot of mistakes, alterations, and distortions.”

Is this objection correct?  No!  You see, our current Bible is not the end of some long chain of translations from one language to the next.  Rather, it is a direct translation from ancient manuscripts in the original language – Hebrew for the Old Testament and Greek for the New Testament.

Now, as is the case with all ancient writings, the original handwritten documents themselves no longer exist because they were written on papyrus, and those have disintegrated.  This is true of the writings of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and every other ancient work – including the original handwritten letters and books by the apostles.

But what we do have are very old reliable copies of these ancient writers.  And there is a science called, “Textual Criticism” that has methods and means for determining if the current text of an ancient work is pure or if it has been corrupted over time.   Please note that this science is applied in the assessing of all ancient writings.

One of the things Textual Critics do to determine the purity of an ancient work is to compare several of the oldest copies of that ancient work, if several copies are available.

If there is agreement, consistency and continuity between the oldest copies, then the original document is considered to have been kept in tact by the copyists who transmitted it and, thus, the current copy is considered to be pure and uncorrupted.

And the rule is that the more ancient copies the science of “Textual Criticism” has to work with, the greater the ability of Textual Critics to determine if the text we have today is true to the original or not.

Well, just for the New Testament alone, there are over 5000 more ancient copies than its closest competitor, which happens to be Homer’s Illiad with just 643 ancient copies for Textual Critics to examine.

So guess what the science of “Textual Criticism” has determined?  It has determined that the Bible is the most accurately transmitted ancient work of all time!   In other words, the Bible we have today is the same as the one early Christians used.  So you can trust it, folks.  It is trustworthy and reliable.  Read it.  Live by it.  You’ll be glad you did!

 

Money Back Guarantee

By Ed Moreno 

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

In Malachi 3:10a God says to his people: “Bring the full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple.” (Message Translation)

What this text is telling us is that God’s people are to bring their tithe to the place of worship because the tithe is the primary means by which the work and ministry of the Lord’s Temple/Church is to be financed.  This is also the primary means by which God wants his ministers to be financially supported. (See Numbers 18:21)

There have been those in recent years who have tried to argue that the tithe was for God’s Old Testament people but that it’s not something Christians are required to do.  That statement lacks logical, biblical, and historical support.  And those who make such statements rob themselves of God’s blessing, and they’ll rob you of God’s blessing if you listen to them.  So don’t!

The promise of God, to those who bring him the full tithe (10% of all God enables and allows you to earn and gain) is that he will cause abundance to just flow to your life, and that he will keep your financial base from being “chewed up.” (See Proverbs 3:9, 10; Malachi 3:10, 11)

Every year at New Day I share real life concrete stories of how God has fulfilled this promise, in completely unexpected ways, in my life during the preceding year.  And I share the real life stories of how God kept his promise in the lives of New Day family members who have chosen to trust God and bring the full tithe to the place of worship to underwrite God’s eternal purposes in the world in and through his church.

And every year for 20 years I have told the people at New Day and at the first church the Lord enabled me to plant, that if they give the full 10% for three consecutive months and they do not experience God blessing in some significant and unexpected way – I tell them that we’ll give them their money back!

Many have taken me up on this “money back guarantee,” but no one in over twenty-years has ever asked for their money back.  Why?  Because God keeps his promise.

Are you bringing God the full tithe at the church where you worship?  If not, you are robbing yourself of the abundance that God wants to cause to just flow to your life.  Bring God the full tithe!  You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

You’re Not Too Far Gone

Pastor Ed Moreno of New Day Christian Church, Eastvale

Pastor Ed Moreno of New Day Christian Church, Eastvale

By Pastor Ed Moreno

In the movie “The Godfather – Part 3,” there’s a famous scene called The Confession.   In this scene Al Pacino’s character says to a Catholic Cardinal: “I’m beyond redemption.”

Sadly, many people believe this about themselves.  Even many Christians, who fall into serious or habitual sins, will arrive at the conclusion that “they have gone too far,” “they’ve sinned too much,” and now they fear that God will no longer forgive them.

Friends, the Bible makes it clear that there is only one unforgiveable sin, and that’s blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  By the mere fact that you are reading this article strongly suggests that you have not committed that sin.  So any sin(s) you have committed are forgivable.

I know this can be hard to imagine, but once we’ve accepted Jesus, confessed our sins to God and have expressed genuine remorse for our wrongs, we enter into a state of ‘perpetual’ forgiveness.

On the cross there was something of an exchange that took place.  All the evil that you and I have committed, and that we ever will commit, was transferred over to Jesus, while all of his righteousness was transferred over to us – so as to make us holy and acceptable to God.

Now, God’s will is for us to obey him but he knows that we will never do that perfectly in this earthly life.  That’s why I John 1:9 says to Christians that if we confess our sins to God he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  It’s because Jesus already paid for our sins – the ones we committed before we became a Christian, and the ones we commit after we become a Christian.

Our badness is never going to overpower God’s grace and goodness.  Our sin will be never be bad enough to make God unwilling or unable to forgive us.  The truth is, God can and will forgive us when we sincerely ask him to; when we confess our sin to him; and when we genuinely feel remorse over the wrongs that we’ve done.

It is the spiritual enemy of our souls who wants us to believe that “we’re beyond redemption.”   Don’t listen to Satan!  Do not believe him!  Rather believe what God says.  Satan tries to ‘trick’ us into focusing so much on our shortcomings that we stop focusing on the sufferings of Jesus and what he fully accomplished for us on the cross through his sufferings.  Namely that all our sins – past, present, and future ones – were paid for!  Embrace that, dear ones.  There is redemption for you!

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road, next to the Fire Station.  For more information, call (951) 278-8367, or visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

 

Choosing A Road

Pastor Ed Moreno of New Day Christian Church, Eastvale

Pastor Ed Moreno of New Day Christian Church, Eastvale

By Pastor Ed Moreno

In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus says that there are two gates and two roads.  There’s the wide gate and the broad road, and then there’s the small gate and the narrow road.

It is easier to get through a wide gate, and it’s easier to travel on a broad road. But being easy doesn’t make them the best choice.

Indeed, Jesus strongly advises against that gate and that road.

That leaves option #2, i.e., the small gate and the narrow road.  To ‘whom’ or to ‘what’ do these refer?

Well, in John 10:9 Jesus tells us that he is the gate.  He is the one through whom we get onto the narrow road.  The narrow road is the one where a person adheres to the teachings and commands of God the Father and Jesus his Son, as outlined in the Bible.

You are free to ‘choose’ which of these roads you’ll travel on.  But be aware that, as Jesus says in Matthew 7, the broad road leads to destruction.  The narrow road, on the other hand, leads to life.

Destruction and life refer to hell and heaven.  So, one wants to choose wisely.  Here’s a brief description of both based on a study of the various words Jesus uses to describe each of these eternal destinations.

With regards to hell: Hell is a place where God’s presence, glory, wisdom and purity are completely absent.  Hell is going to be a place where ongoing shame, deep sorrow and regret will be experienced by those who go there. They are going to realize, too late, that they’ve blown it – that they’ve missed their opportunity to accept Jesus, and that now they have to exist for all eternity in a negative place where there is absolutely no hope of things ever getting better.  No good will ever be experienced there.

With regards to heaven:  Heaven is a place that is unrivaled in beauty and in breathtaking sites to see.  Heaven is unparalleled in splendor, radiance, majestic colors, and magnificent sounds.  Heaven is an unimaginable visual and audible feast.  And it is the ultimate positive environment, to which nothing on earth can compare.  In heaven, there will be ongoing and genuine feelings of happiness, security, and sense of wellbeing.  In heaven there will be ongoing peace and stability.  In heaven there will be no sadness, sorrow, arguments, broken relationships, discouragement, sickness, suffering, pain, disease, death, evil, sin, betrayal, hurt or unfaithfulness – and the list goes on!

It’s your choice, but Jesus recommends that you choose the small gate and the narrow road.

 

 

Choosing A Road

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

By Pastor Ed Moreno

In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus says that there are two gates and two roads.  There’s the wide gate and the broad road, and then there’s the small gate and the narrow road.

It is easier to get through a wide gate, and it’s easier to travel on a broad road. But being easy doesn’t make them the best choice.

Indeed, Jesus strongly advises against that gate and that road.

That leaves option #2, i.e., the small gate and the narrow road.  To ‘whom’ or to ‘what’ do these refer?

Well, in John 10:9 Jesus tells us that he is the gate.  He is the one through whom we get onto the narrow road.  The narrow road is the one where a person adheres to the teachings and commands of God the Father and Jesus his Son, as outlined in the Bible.

You are free to ‘choose’ which of these roads you’ll travel on.  But be aware that, as Jesus says in Matthew 7, the broad road leads to destruction.  The narrow road, on the other hand, leads to life.

Destruction and life refer to hell and heaven.  So, one wants to choose wisely.  Here’s a brief description of both based on a study of the various words Jesus uses to describe each of these eternal destinations.

With regards to hell: Hell is a place where God’s presence, glory, wisdom and purity are completely absent.  Hell is going to be a place where ongoing shame, deep sorrow and regret will be experienced by those who go there. They are going to realize, too late, that they’ve blown it – that they’ve missed their opportunity to accept Jesus, and that now they have to exist for all eternity in a negative place where there is absolutely no hope of things ever getting better.  No good will ever be experienced there.

With regards to heaven:  Heaven is a place that is unrivaled in beauty and in breathtaking sites to see.  Heaven is unparalleled in splendor, radiance, majestic colors, and magnificent sounds.  Heaven is an unimaginable visual and audible feast.  And it is the ultimate positive environment, to which nothing on earth can compare.  In heaven, there will be ongoing and genuine feelings of happiness, security, and sense of wellbeing.  In heaven there will be ongoing peace and stability.  In heaven there will be no sadness, sorrow, arguments, broken relationships, discouragement, sickness, suffering, pain, disease, death, evil, sin, betrayal, hurt or unfaithfulness – and the list goes on!

It’s your choice, but Jesus recommends that you choose the small gate and the narrow road.

 

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road, next to the Fire Station.  For more information, call (951) 278-8367, or visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

The Separation Of Church And State

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

By Pastor Ed Moreno

I don’t know about you, but I grieve over how far this great country of ours has drifted from what our Founding Fathers intended.  I know many today think that Christians are making it up when we say this country was founded upon God and the values and teachings of the Bible; but we’re not.  And this whole notion that the First Amendment means that there’s to be a Separation of Church and State is a falsehood that the Supreme Court of 1962 foisted upon the American public.

Our Founding Fathers wanted Christianity and the Bible to be integral to both our government and to our educational system, as any honest historian will tell you.

In his farewell address, George Washington issued three warnings.  Here’s one: “Of all the dispositions that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensible supports…In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these two great pillars.”  So much for our Founding Fathers intending for there to be a Separation of Church and State!

And just to clarify, when our Founding Fathers used the words Religion and Morality, they were referring to Christianity and the morality taught in the Bible, again as any honest historian will tell you.

The following statements are a couple of other things to ponder. Did you know that all elementary education in our country was in the hands of the Lord’s church up to 1892?  Only when the population of the U.S. got too big did the church turn elementary education over to the state.  Did you also know that 123 of the first 126 colleges formed in the U.S. had Christianity as their foundation – including Harvard, Yale, and Princeton!

America prospered like no other nation before it, precisely because we had God at the center of our government and educational system.  Things are unraveling now because we don’t.  This causes me to grieve.  The promise of Leviticus 26:3-6, 9a was once ours, but now it is slipping from our grasp.  “Faithfully obey my laws, and I will send rain to make your crops grow and your trees produce fruit.  Your harvest of grain and grapes will be so abundant, that you won’t know what to do with it all.  You will eat and be satisfied, and you will live in safety.  I will bless your country with peace, and you will rest without fear…I will protect you from enemy attack.  I will treat you with such kindness that your nation will grow strong.”

 

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road.  For more information, visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

 

 

 

Saved by Grace

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

By Pastor Ed Moreno

I became a follower of Jesus when I was twenty-years old.  I had a lot of sins to be forgiven of – believe me!

Once I became a Christian, I was determined to never sin again.  But after thirteen years – in spite of my intense and relentless efforts to do otherwise – I still found myself committing big sins, little sins, medium sized sins, and I had sins that I gave way to time and again.

I was so upset with myself and so disappointed in myself; I really wondered how much more God was going to put up with before He not only cut me out of his service but out of his kingdom, as well.

I was at a real point of crisis in my soul.  I remember being in the fetal position on my couch writhing in emotional pain and upheaval over my utter failure to achieve a sinless state of being.

It was in the midst of all this emotional agony over my ongoing sinful condition that I began to realize that God’s grace is a continual gift that he gives to us if we are willing to avail ourselves to it; if we repent day by day and just never stop pursuing the living of the life God called us to in Jesus Christ – knowing that we will never fully achieve it in this life, but that progressive transformation will occur over the years if we’ll just trust in and rest in God’s grace.

Folks, it was while lying on that couch, weeping before the Lord that I realized that I am saved by grace from Start to Finish, and that I was going to have to trust that God’s grace is enough.

Listen, dear ones, you haven’t gone too far – God’s supply of grace has not been exhausted.

Have you ever taken note of the fact that I John 1:8 (“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”) is written to Christians?  That’s right!  It’s written to Christians!

Now that you know that truth, know the truth of I John 1:9, as well: “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Believe it; accept it, and be cleansed.  Amen.

 

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road.  For more information, visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Pastor Ed Moreno of New Day Christian Church, Eastvale

Pastor Ed Moreno of New Day Christian Church, Eastvale

By Pastor Ed Moreno

When it comes to the successes and advancements we humans experience in life, are we quick to give God the glory?  Or do we seem to naturally give the credit to ourselves?

 

David went from being the youngest of eight brothers and a herder of sheep, to becoming a legendary warrior, a great leader, an accomplished musician, a prolific songwriter, and eventually King of the nation of Israel with a promise from God that David’s lineage would be blessed.

 

But even with all this success and advancement in life, David refused to take the glory to his own soul (2 Samuel 7:18-22a). Instead he gave all the credit and glory to God. David called God great, not himself.

 

David knew that he was merely a sinful human; that ultimately the only reason he had gotten so far in life is because God willed, allowed, and enabled David to achieve all that he did.

 

Folks, it is God who gave us our intelligence, our talents, our gifts, our drive, our abilities, and the air we breathe that keeps us alive.  Yes, we have been given free will to choose if we’ll utilize and/or develop what God has given us, but it is still God who has given us all these things.

 

The Apostle Paul said to his first-century and twenty-first-century readers: “What are you so puffed up about?  What do you have that God hasn’t given you?  And if all you have is from God, why act as though you are so great, and as though you have accomplished something on your own?” (1 Corinthians 4:7)

 

It’s always important for us to maintain a modest opinion of ourselves.  For again, only if God wills, allows, and/or enables us to achieve and succeed will we do so.  To God be the glory.  Like David, we know what we really are. So shouldn’t we stand in awe and just be grateful that God chooses to work through us at all?

 

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m. They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road. For more information, visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

The Resurrection

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

By Pastor Ed Moreno

After just celebrating Easter, it dawned on me that there might be those in our city who are not Christians, and who may be wondering why the followers of Jesus make such a big deal about the resurrection.  It is to such curious minds that I humbly offer this brief explanation.

Jesus made a lot of claims.  He claimed to be divinity – the very Son of God.  Jesus claimed to be the only way to God.  Jesus said that He came to die in our place-to pay the just penalty for our sins.  He said that if we accept what He did on our behalf and commit to follow Him as the Master of our lives, that we could then be justly forgiven, reconciled to God, and receive the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven.

But what proof do we have that what Jesus claimed, said, and promised is true?  The resurrection is that proof.

What other religious figure ever said he could die for our sins; was willing to die for our sins; and that he would resurrect after three days of confirmed biological death to demonstrate that he really does have power over death, and because of that, can resurrect us to new life as well?

The resurrection is the “proof in the pudding” so-to-speak, that Jesus is who He claimed to be; that what He said is true; and that He can do what He promised to do.

Now if it could ever be shown that the resurrection did not literally happen, then Christianity would crumble, disintegrate, collapse, and go completely out of existence because the resurrection is the very lynchpin upon which the whole Christian faith stands or falls.

This is why the resurrection is so important.   And since the resurrection of Jesus is an irrefutable historical fact, it should come as no surprise that every year we Christians can be found celebrating and making a big deal about it.

If the religious leader you are following did not resurrect, a question you may want to consider asking is this: “What’s the proof that what he/she said and taught about the afterlife is true?”

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road, next to the Fire Station.  For more information, call (951) 278-8367, or visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

Answered Prayers

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

By Pastor Ed Moreno

In the first church the Lord enabled me to plant, there was a little girl by the name of Mandy.  Mandy was born with serious kidney problems and at just fourteen months old she had to have surgery.

When the tubes were put down her throat, Mandy’s vocal cords got lacerated.  The medical professionals made it clear to her parents that Mandy might never be able to speak, and that if she did it would be with a low, gravelly kind of voice.

At age three, Mandy still had not made any vocal sounds, so her parents began to teach her sign language.  It was at about this same time that Mandy’s parents brought her to the church elders and myself to pray that God would intervene. (See James 5:14, 15)

Within six months, not only was Mandy speaking but singing!  And what was especially confounding was that, from a physiological standpoint, Mandy should not have had the capacity to sing because of her lacerated vocal cords.  It had been unlikely that she would ever be able to speak, but sing?  Well, that was simply never going to be a possibility.

And, yet, Mandy sang.  And at age five, Mandy was actually singing solos in the adult worship services – with a voice so strong and pure that it left the listeners amazed that one so young could sing so beautifully.

Let me say again, from a physiological standpoint, Mandy did not have the capacity to sing because of her lacerated vocal cords.  But there she was on the stage making it clear to everyone who heard her that God is still in the business of performing astounding miracles in response to the prayers of his people.

Folks, in every area of life, the followers of Jesus are authorized to pray for healings and miracles of all kinds.  And out of his great love, mercy and grace, God in his sovereignty will regularly choose to intervene and grant some of those healings and miracles.  So I want to encourage you, dear ones, to never hesitate to pray and ask God for them.

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road.  For more information, visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

Paul the Church Planter

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

By Pastor Ed Moreno

The Apostle Paul is known for many things.  He was used by God to write most of the New Testament, he was a bold witness, and he was a martyr.  But do you know what else he was? Paul was a church planter.

Church planters are a special breed.  Not everyone is called by God to be a church planter, and not everyone has been wired by God to plant a church.

Typically, church planters go to new, emerging communities that don’t have any churches. Or, they go to areas that need more churches.  But any way you slice it, church planting is enormously difficult work.  In no way is church planting ever to be thought of as an ‘easy path.’   Quite the contrary- it is one of most difficult paths a person can travel in ministry.

In most cases church planters have to raise support from friends, family members, their home church and the like.  They have to recruit people with a pioneering spirit to join in the venture.  They have to go where they don’t really know anyone.  They have to have a spouse that is supportive of the call God has placed upon their life.  And they have to establish a congregation from scratch.  They and their team have to set up and tear down their “church in a trailer” for years, because years is how long it takes to get to a point where the new congregation can secure land and then build a church facility.

Why do men and their families put themselves through all the years of struggle that are inherent in planting a new church?  They do it because they love God and people, and because they want to make sure that the residents of the new emerging communities they go to have a ministry that will share the saving message and love of Jesus with them.

Eastvale residents, you are blessed to have among you nine church planters that have come to you specifically to plant churches for you and your families.   I encourage you to treat them with love and respect.  Additionally, I encourage you to connect with one of the churches they are planting and help them in this great effort.   They have sacrificed much and deserve your support.  They are heroes of the faith and should be recognized as such.

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road, next to the Fire Station.  For more information, call (951) 278-8367, or visithttp://www.newdaycc.net.

A Piece of Humble Pie

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

By Pastor Ed Moreno

 

About thirty-two years ago, I was asked to speak at a Baccalaureate service for seniors of a Christian high school and their parents.

This was during a period of my early ministry when everything was going really well, and to be honest I was beginning to think I was “all that.”  Yep, I was fairly taken with myself and I arrived at the high school pretty much expecting to “wow” the crowd.

The guy who introduced me as the guest speaker said a lot of nice things about me and commended me to the audience.

I stepped up to the podium with a whole lot of pride in my heart.  My words and my body language basically assured the teens and parents that I agreed with everything that the guy who introduced me had just said.  The air of arrogance emitting from me could not be missed.

Because of this unmistakable manifestation of pride, the audience immediately left me, and so did the empowerment of God’s Holy Spirit.  And so, for the next twenty minutes, I choked down about fifty pounds of humble pie.

The situation was such that I also had to stay for the reception and fellowship time after the service, at which no one spoke to me.  It was an absolutely unbearable evening and a life lesson that I never want to be retaught.

That night, I learned first-hand the truth of Jesus’ words found in Luke 14:11, where he says: “For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored.”

You know, one does not have to study the Bible for very long before he/she realizes that human pridefulness does not sit well with God.

How are you handling pride in your life?  Have you had to eat any humble pie lately?

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road, next to the Fire Station.  For more information, call (951) 278-8367, or visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

The Ultimate Reason for the Season

Pastor Ed Moreno of New Day Christian Church, Eastvale

Pastor Ed Moreno of New Day Christian Church, Eastvale

By Pastor Ed Moreno

 

What is the ultimate reason Christmas is important?  Well, I’m not going to say expressing love and generosity through the giving of gifts and such isn’t an important aspect of our Christmas celebrations. Because the giving of gifts blesses people and brings joy to their lives, and that’s a good thing. But is it the ultimate reason Christmas is important?

What about all the supernatural and miraculous stuff that occurred surrounding the Christmas story – are they the reason Christmas is so important?  I mean, think of all the angel activity.  An angel appeared to Mary and to Joseph.  A bunch of angels appeared to the shepherds – that’s all pretty cool, right?

Then think of the fulfilled prophecies concerning the birth of Jesus, e.g., 700 years prior to that glorious event, the Old Testament prophet Micah predicted it would occur in the town of Bethlehem.  How could he possibly know the location where the Messiah would be born unless God revealed it to him?

The prophet Isaiah foretold that Jesus would be born of a virgin, i.e., of a woman who never had relations with a man – and then it happened!  Wow!  Even in our day of in-vitro fertilization, having a baby without any human male involvement whatsoever is still recognized as an incredible miracle, right?

But, even so, neither the Immaculate Conception, nor any of the other miraculous and supernatural happenings surrounding the birth of Christ are the ultimate reason Christmas is important.

No, the ultimate reason Christmas is important and should be celebrated by the whole world is because it was foretold that Mary’s baby would be called and, in fact, would be:  “IMMANUEL,” which means “God With Us.”

Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity, who existed from all eternity, and who is the One through whom all things in heaven and on earth were created – it is this second person of the Holy Trinity who humbled himself and allowed himself to be born into this world through Mary.  This is the ultimate reason Christmas is important.

For, if God the Son had not come and lived a sinless life in human flesh, so as to able to take the punishment upon himself that you and I deserve for our wrongs, then we would be lost and without hope.  But Christ did come, so for sure celebrate and sing with all your heart those glorious words: “Joy To The World, The Lord Is Come!”  Merry Christmas, everyone!

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road, next to the Fire Station.  For more information, call (951) 278-8367, or visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

 

Transformed

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

By Pastor Ed Moreno

I’ve been an avid movie goer for as long as I can remember, which is why it’s surprising even to me that I’ve never gone to see any of the “Transformer” movies; so I would not be someone who could comment on them.

I do, however, know something about what it means to experience transformation.  And I do know “the” real life Transformer who transformed me:  Jesus.

Let me begin at the beginning.  My birth name is Edward Hector Fernando Moreno.  That’s a pretty Hispanic name (as if you couldn’t tell).  I was born and raised in Los Angeles.  My dad physically and psychologically abused my mom, and he hit me so often that I would flinch when he walked by.

The gang infested neighborhoods that I lived in were violent, too.  In a seven year period, I was in about 15 to 20 street fights.  Drug use and a generally immoral lifestyle were also the norm for me.

I was definitely not a college-bound kind of guy, so after high school I immediately entered the work force.  There I found another kind of violence (i.e., the undermining and back stabbing others do to you to get ahead).

By age 19, I literally asked myself: “Is this it?  Is this what life is all about?”  That was the beginning of my search for the real purpose of life.

At age 20, I went with the other brown and black belts at my dojo to go see a new scary movie.  We were “tough” guys and thought: How scary could it be?

Well the movie was “The Exorcist,” and I have to be honest, it scared me a lot.  Because even though I wasn’t raised in a religious home, for some reason I believed that demonic spirits were real and that I was defenseless against them.

For some reason, I also believed that God was real and that he was stronger than the demonic.  So I became determined to go to a church to find out more about God.

The youth pastor had enough presence of mind to hand me an easy to read translation of the Bible before I left that Sunday.  I went to my apartment and started reading through the Gospel of Matthew.

Suddenly, all the lights began to go on.  I was taken with the beauty of Jesus’ life.  I read of a heavenly Father who loved me, even if my earthly father didn’t.   I saw that God had a purpose for my life, and I discovered the meaning of life, which is to love God and serve him gladly.

The next Sunday, when the Pastor gave the opportunity for people to accept God’s offer of salvation through Jesus, his Son, I couldn’t get down the aisle fast enough.

I went home, grabbed the two baggies of marijuana that I had in a drawer, flushed them down the toilet and never looked back.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

The Scripture says that we are a “new creation” in Christ.  I can testify to the truth of that statement.  And as one who has been transformed by the real live Transformer, I can say that now I’m living life with true and lasting purpose.  The old life served no such purpose.

When people feel like they’ll “miss out” on life if they become a follower of Jesus, the crazy thing is that it’s by not becoming a follower of Jesus that they wind up “missing out” on real life – a life of real substance and that has eternal value attached to it.

If you are not a follower of Jesus yet, my prayer is that you will become one soon.  So why not check out a church, and maybe the positive life transforming experience I had will become your experience, too.

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road, next to the Fire Station.  For more information, call (951) 278-8367, or visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

Forgiveness

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

By Pastor Ed Moreno

Why is forgiving others so difficult for humans to do?  Forgiving others should be relatively easy for believers to do, because we, of all people, know how much forgiveness has been extended to us through Christ, right?  And, yet, we seem to have just as much trouble forgiving those who have sinned against us as unbelievers do.

Jesus talked a lot about humans forgiving other humans.  Peter thought he got it when he asked Jesus if we should forgive a repeat offender seven times.  This was up from the four times prescribed by the Rabbis, so Peter probably thought he’d get commended by Jesus (Matthew 18:21-22). But Jesus said, “No, seventy-times seven would be more like it.”  By that he meant: Just keep on forgiving.  After all, isn’t this what our heavenly Father does for us?

You know the parable Jesus went on to tell.  He said (to paraphrase), “The President and CEO of a large company found out that one of his V.P.’s embezzled a ‘zillion’ dollars (i.e., an amount he could never hope to pay back).  So, the big boss was going to throw the book at the V.P.  The V.P. knew he was finished.  There was no getting out of this mess.

But feeling the full weight of his wrongs, and the reality of the consequences he deserved and was about to get, the V.P. breaks down and is sincerely remorseful.  In this state he falls to his knees, confesses his guilt, and begs for mercy.

To everyone’s surprise, the big boss feels compassion; lifts the V.P. to his feet; and tells the man that he is going to forgive his entire debt.  The big boss will suffer great personal loss by doing this, but he lets the guy go anyway.

One would think that after being forgiven an unpayable debt, that the V.P. would feel obliged to readily extend such mercy to those who (by comparison) committed minor offenses against him.  But he didn’t.

The big boss found out about this, reversed his decision and held the V.P. accountable for all his offenses (Matthew 18:23-35).

There are many lessons to be drawn from Jesus’ parable.  We’ll just share one:

Mercy is supposed to beget mercy, according to Jesus.  If humans want mercy, we should show mercy.  If we want grace, we should extend grace.  Those who show no mercy, and who are unforgiving, will receive back in like kind – from both God and man.

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road, next to the Fire Station.  For more information, call (951) 278-8367, or visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

The Hope For America

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

By Pastor Ed Moreno

As I’ve watched the news the last several months, it just seems like there are an increasing number of violent crimes, and that the moral decay in American society is steadily escalating.

Add to that the fact that most people seem to have lost their feel for the truth and have no problem lying, deceiving, cheating, stealing, etc.  And all of this, along with corruption at the highest levels of government and business, seem to be resulting in the unraveling of America at its very foundation.

And it dawned on me that this is what our Founding Fathers said would happen if we as a nation did not have morality and religion at the center of our government and educational system.  And by morality and religion they meant Christianity and the morality espoused by the Bible.

Well, as we all know, the God of the Bible and the Bible itself have been systematically removed from the halls of government and from our public schools, and the troubles predicated are increasingly coming about.

As John Adams said, in speaking to our military concerning the importance of Biblical principles in American society, “We have no government armed with power which is capable of contending with human passions (that are) unbridled by morality and religion.  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It (our Constitution) is wholly inadequate to the government of any other kind of people.”

And as Founding Father Noah Webster wrote, “The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our civil constitutions and laws.  All the miseries and evils which men suffer from – vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war – proceed from despising and neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

The internal restraints of the American citizenry are missing because, by and large, they don’t know what the Bible or what the God of the Bible says, and they do not have the Holy Spirit within to help them restrain their impulses and passions.

The only hope for America is for the American church to make the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:19, 20) their top priority.  For only those who accept Jesus will receive the Holy Spirit, and only the Holy Spirit can change the condition of people’s hearts.

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue, at Schleisman Road, next to the Fire Station.  For more information, call (951) 278-8367, or visit http://www.newdaycc.net.

Holy-Phobia

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

By Pastor Ed Moreno

Have you ever coined a word?  I think I have!  At least I haven’t seen this word used anywhere.  The word is “Holy-Phobia.”

I thought of this word about 15 years ago as I watched the historic Judeo-Christian ethics, values, and morality that our great nation was founded upon be attacked, overturned, and generally kicked to the curb.

I thought, “Why are so many people in our country fearful of God’s holy standards?”  Have not His standards of righteousness, godliness, and living in accordance with how He says life is to be lived served us well?

Did God not bless us?  Has this nation not prospered beyond all the great societies that preceded it?  Have we not enjoyed his favor and protection?  Have we forgotten our loving, heavenly Benefactor?

What are “Holy-Phobics” frightened of?  I suppose what they’re frightened of is not being able to do what they want to do to satisfy their own fallen human nature.

Well, it seems clear that “Holy-Phobia” has now overtaken America, and this causes my spirit to deeply grieve.

Now the time is coming, and has actually arrived, when those who are the true followers of Jesus and when those who are the true servants of the living God will become apparent.  They will be the ones who will be saying, “We must obey God rather than men,” (Acts 5:29), just as the early Apostles did when instructed to stop teaching the truth of God.

And like Joshua, it will be the true followers of Jesus and the true servants of God who will be saying (to paraphrase): “I don’t know what the rest of you are going to do, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” (Joshua 24:15).

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue (formerly “A” Street), at Schleisman Road next to the Fire Station.  For more information, call (951) 278-8367, or visit www.newdaycc.net.

The Importance Of Rest

Pastor Ed Moreno

Pastor Ed Moreno

By Pastor Ed Moreno

In Mark 7:24, 31 we read something very interesting.  These verses tell us: “Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.  He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it…Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of Decapolis.”

What Jesus is doing here can be missed if one does not know the historical context and geography of Jesus’ little trip.

Jesus had been healing and ministering to people; the Jewish religious leaders had been causing conflict in an attempt to mess up Jesus’ ministry; and so Jesus is tired.  He needs a break.  He needs some rest.  And so Jesus takes a vacation.

That’s right!  Jesus took a vacation.  When Jesus goes to the vicinity of Tyre, this is the very first time Jesus leaves Israel.  He goes to where he thinks no one knows him and, apparently, rents a house.

Tyre is a coastal town.  It sits on the Mediterranean.  They have beautiful Sunsets there.

At this juncture Jesus wants to go unnoticed and to keep his identity and presence a secret.   And when he leaves Tyre and makes his way back to Israel, he takes the long scenic route.   That is, Jesus took the 120 mile route rather than the 30 mile route.  And he does no ministering along the way.

The point is this: “Sometimes the most sacred thing you can do is rest.”

Look, to be good for the long haul in ministry or our secular occupation, rest must be scheduled into our weekly, monthly and yearly rhythm.

I just got back from a two-week vacation.  During that time I took no phone calls, and I did not read any texts or emails.  Does that mean I do not care for the people I serve at New Day?  No!  It means that I do care and want to be there for them for the long haul.  And to accomplish that, I must make sure I get rest.  Are you including down time in your life?  Jesus did!

New Day Christian Church meets Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  They are located at 7155 Hamner Avenue (formerly “A” Street), at Schleisman Road next to the Fire Station.  For more information, call (951) 278-8367, or visit www.newdaycc.net.