Enjoy God

March 31, 2014

God has told about himself through his creation, what theologians call general revelation. Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…” In other words, Paul says, nature alone is enough to know;

1) there is a God,

2) he is powerful, and,

 3) he is good.

 

But nature can’t reveal the fullness of God, only a dim outline. We need something more explicit, and the most explicit revelation is in God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:1, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son…” John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

 

But he has revealed himself in another way as well, in his Word. In the pages of Scripture we learn who God is, what he is like, and what we must do to have a right relationship with him. 2 Tim 3:15 tells us it is Scripture that gives us the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ.

 

God bless you, our chief prayer is that these devotions help you develop a hunger both for the Word of God, and  also as a help to draw you closer to God.

 

Please send your prayer requests to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

greatness

March 30, 2014

How great Thou Art.

I met someone today that never heard of this song. I wonder how many more have not heard this great song. It started out as most songs, as a poem. The first verse was born of a great thunderstorm in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania; and there are actually three different versions depending on what country you live in.

So with the possibility that some may have never learned these verses, here they are, and you can google it to hear it actually sung.

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the *worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the *rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Refrain

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Refrain

And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Refrain

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then *I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, My God, how great thou art!

God bless, from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Wilma that fell at 83 years of age and broke most of her front teeth.

There is, no doubt, a mystical union between Christ and the believer.

With Him we died,

With Him we were buried,

With Him we rose again,

With Him we sit in heavenly places.

 We have five plain texts where we are distinctly taught that Christ is “in us,” (Rom. 8:10; Gal. 2:20; 4:19; Eph. 3:17; Col. 3:11.)

So ‘get with it’

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Jill who is struggling with breast cancer.

Creampuff

March 28, 2014

Men like David, and St. Paul, and St. John, declare in the strongest language that they feel in their own hearts weakness and sin. The holiest men of modern times have always been remarkable for deep humility.

 

There is a magazine called; “the voice of the martyr”, I highly recommend it; it talks about the persons that are being killed or imprisoned today for their stand for Christ.

 

In our quest for Holiness we must admit two things; one, we can never be humble enough, and two, for the most part, most of us have never truly suffered for the cause of Christ.

 

Therefore, if we are praying to be more holy you can expect to be humbled and to expect some sort of suffering.

 

And there’s the rub (I haven’t said that in quite awhile).

 

Nobody signs up for humility classes or volunteers for suffering, and yet it is a part of a growth cycle for those professing Christ and truly desire to be holy.

 

That goes against everything the Osteen’s and the Hinn’s and every other ‘god is our sugar daddy, oh, he just loves us so much’.

 

So suck it up, creampuff, growing in Christ is going to cost you.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Pray for Richard who realizes that he is developing dementia.

there really is a recipe

March 27, 2014

Scriptures teach us that in following holiness the true Christian needs personal exertion and work as well as faith.

 

It’s not magic, nor is it all mystical (although part of it is mystical) and that’s one reason people shy away from the idea that they can be responsible for a part of their spiritual development.

 

As we mentioned before in previous devotions, our righteousness and our justification are by faith, the phrase “holiness by faith,” I find it nowhere in the New Testament.

 

True holiness does not consist merely of believing and feeling, but of doing.

 

Do right, be right, think right act, act right. In some ways it’s as simple as that. We can be more holy, and more useful to God by having right acts of practicing holiness.

 

I know what most of you are thinking right now because we all think this way; “but I’ve failed at this so many times, I’d rather just stay the same and not experience failure.”

 

2 Corinthians 7:1
New International Version (NIV)
7 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

 

So let’s try it again, yes, sometimes its three steps back and one step forward, but there is at least one step forward.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Lord Foul Bane

March 26, 2014

Pain, as uncomfortable as it is to us, is an important for our health. In the physical realm, the feeling of pain signals that there is something wrong with the body. Spiritually speaking, the pain of guilt, can signal to us that something is wrong with our souls. There is a remedy for that and it’s the same one that the church has always offered, namely, forgiveness. Real guilt requires real forgiveness.

 

Stephen Donaldson wrote a great fantasy series about a Leper, (I’m not recommending you read the series, just that I liked it). The main character is a tortured soul who in this world is a leper. But he is quite someone and something else in the ‘other world’ he transports to. There is a great explanation in the book about what leprosy is and all its symptoms and cause.

 

Part of the introduction in the book is about how pain is really useful and how we cannot live without it.

 

We don’t like pain, we try to arrange our whole lives around being comfortable. Yet pain is valuable feedback about the condition of our lives and in this case about our mental link (conscience) with God.

 

The Greek word for conscience appears in the New Testament thirty-one times, and it seems to have a two-fold dimension, as the medieval scholars argued. It involves the idea of accusing as well as the idea of excusing. When we sin, the conscience is troubled. It accuses us. The conscience is the tool that God the Holy Spirit uses to convict us, bring us to repentance, and to receive the healing of forgiveness that flows from the gospel.

 

And so pain and the pricking of our consciences is what helps us develop our personal holiness.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

In talking about Holiness, we have to remember that the New Testament teaches a fundamental truth that cannot be ignored.

 

Before consecration there must be conversion.

 

Talk all you want to about how to live your life, but if Christ isn’t first in your life as Lord and Savior, then any ‘Christian behavior’ you display is just an act.

 

I have had a deep conviction for many years that practical holiness and entire self-consecration to God are not sufficiently attended to by modern Christians.

The subject of personal godliness has fallen sadly into the back-ground.

 

That faith in Christ is the root of all holiness,—that the first step towards a holy life is to believe on Christ,—that until we believe we have not a jot of holiness,—that union with Christ by faith is the secret of both beginning to be holy and continuing holy.

 

Otherwise we are just practicing a religion.

 

So bear with me as we try to demystify what real

holiness truly consists of.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Well I received notice today that someone I used to work with when I was a prison chaplain died this week so this is in memory or her.

Sister Mary, what a hoot, she was from Dublin, Ireland, and she had a fondness for Jameson whiskey. Only on Thursday, that was her rule, at 10am she would take snort and offer one to me.

Now it would take to long to explain, but for some reason ladies always ask me if the can rub the hair on my chest. That fact that I’m as hairy as a grizzly may be the reason, that and the long beard.

Sister Mary was no exception, so we had a Thursday ritual, a snort of whiskey and then I would unbutton my shirt one button, (hey I’m no floozy) and she would rub the hair on my chest. Then she’d exclaim, “I can now die a happy woman”. We have a good laugh and then start our group therapy for violent sex offenders.

You need to have a good laugh and not take things to seriously when that’s going to be your whole day.

So here’s to Sister Mary, God bless.

Prayer requests at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

no sweat

March 23, 2014

It’s hard to talk about the gospel—and virtually impossible to understand Romans—without coming to terms with the word “righteousness” (Greek, dikaiosuna). In fact, the New Testament uses the term in one form or another no less than 228 times, at least 40 in Romans. What, then, does “righteousness” mean and how does the gospel reveal “the righteousness of God” (v. 17)

The word “righteous” goes back to a base, reg, meaning “move in a straight line.” Thus, “righteous” (rightwise) means “in the straight (or right) way.” Used with reference to morality, “righteous” means living or acting in the right way.

But the message of Romans is that God has done and is doing everything that needs to be done to restore things to the way He originally intended—to the right way. For example, He dealt with sin through Jesus’ death on the cross (5:6-11), and He transfers the righteousness of Christ to those who trust in Him (5:1-2). As believers, we can enjoy a restored relationship with God.

That means that we can begin to live with righteousness, that is, in a way that pleases God and fulfills His purposes for us. We can do that because He gives us the ability to do it (8:1-17). Rather than trying to “prove” ourselves good enough for Him or live up to impossible moral standards, we can relate to Him in love, expecting Him to help us as we make choices about how to live.

So we are justified with God and we are made right with God.

Happy thoughts, happy life,

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

the royal beheading

March 21, 2014

Justification is the declared purpose of God to regard and treat those sinners who believe in Jesus Christ as if they had not sinned, on the ground of the merits of the Savior. It is not mere pardon. Pardon is a free forgiveness of past offenses. It has reference to those sins as forgiven and blotted out. Justification has respect to the law, and to God’s future dealings with the sinner. It is an act by which God determines to treat him hereafter as righteous—as if he had not sinned. The basis for this is the merit of the Lord Jesus Christ, merit that we can plead as if it were our own. He has taken our place and died in our stead.

“He has met the descending stroke of justice, which would have fallen on our own heads if He had not interposed.” – Albert Barnes

In our quest to understand personal holiness and its application we are going to start with some short, hopefully simple ideas to help us understand who we are as believers.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com