where he leads, he drags me

November 30, 2014

footsteps

Your progress in your own spiritual life does not consist in having the gift of consolation, peace or even your happiness. Instead it will be found in enduring the withdrawal of peace and even the loss of blessing; but to do so with humility, resignation, and patience, so that you neither become listless in prayer nor neglect your other duties in the least; but on the contrary do what you can do as well as you know how, and do not neglect yourself completely because of your anxiety of mind of feeling of loss.

 

It is the backside of the wilderness experience.  Moses in the desert for 40 years. The 400 years of silence between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Elijah’s drought.

 

There are times when God hides his face, withdraws his presence. Predictably we do one of two things. We either chase God or we wait. You can guess where this is going. Chasing God is how we get into trouble. We try fads, emotionalism, promises to have better behavior, vows, we might fast, read our bible more.

 

It is God’s prerogative to give grace and to console when He wishes, as much as He wishes, and whom He wishes, as it shall please Him and no more.

 

Learning to wait on God is one of the paramount disciplines we can develop. It goes against our nature. If you were wise enough to remain always humble and small in your own eyes, and to restrain and rule your spirit well, you would not fall so quickly into danger and offense.

 

Habakkuk 3:19English Standard Version (ESV)

19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.

 

It is while we wait in solitude, the manna has ceased to fall, and our lips are numb from unanswered prayers. Friends are gone, there are no more encouraging emails or phone calls, even worship seems to dry our bones. You have finally reached the place God desires for you.

 Alone, unsure, struggling, pride gone, foolishness has been washed away, your prayers have completely changed. Like the woman with the issue of blood, if only I could touch the hem of his garment.

 

Then it begins to rain, wonderfully you are in his presence, the tears that fall are tears of relief. The drought is over and you realize that the one thing you should have been looking for is the divine zero. There is no worth that you have, there is nothing you have to offer, slaves own nothing, and they can only be useful by being obedient.

It’s a different song you sing now, worship is different, you pray differently. Alas, it will only last a short time, you will soon be filled again with a sense of comfort and self-worth and this time don’t be surprised when you end up in a desert experience again. We seldom learn.

 

Thank God he is gentle and will lead us as he deems appropriate.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

the real treasure

November 29, 2014

Treasure after

Being content with life means accepting the circumstances in which God’s providence has placed me.

“Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.”

“Godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6

Godliness is a God-centered life. It grows, not through the pursuit of a process, but through the presence of a person. Jesus Christ is the mystery of godliness (1 Timothy 3:16).

His presence in your life is your hope of becoming the person God calls you to be. Christ in you [is] the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

Contentment is finding joy in what God has given to you. The opposite of contentment is greed which destroys your capacity to enjoy what God has given.

Contentment is a Christian grace that grows over time. It does not come quickly, easily or naturally. Paul says “I have learned to be content” (Philippians 4:12).

 

A Christian comes to contentment, not so much by way of addition as by way of subtraction… Contentment does not come by adding to what you have, but by subtracting from what you desire. The world says that you will find contentment when your possessions rise to meet the level of your desires… The Christian has another way to contentment, that is, he can bring his desires down to his possessions.

 

Since we are in the holiday season, let us not get caught up in the ‘we have to have it’ syndrome.

 

Less is more, the paper plate with the macaroni glued to it, saying “I’ll always love you;” will outlast the shiny new bauble.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

The Poser

November 28, 2014

good_shepherdblacksheep

TEXT:Psalms 23:1-6

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (v. 1).

We had so many tell us that they had never heard the story before about the violin, that I’ve decided to post another oft told story.

 “At an evening gathering a gifted orator was asked to recite. He selected the 23rd Psalm. With expression, diction, beauty and all the accomplishments of his profession he eloquently and dramatically recited this famous Psalm. The guests vigorously clapped their hands and gave him a lengthy applause. He had done well. It was the masterly work of an artist.”

“Later that evening an elderly Christian Pastor was asked to say a few words. He was a man of God, a spiritual giant, a man filled with the Spirit of God. Strange as it may seem he stood and recited the 23rd Psalm. When he had finished there was hardly a dry eye in the audience. All present had been melted to tears. There was no clapping of hands. There was no applauding. There was a death-like silence over the entire audience. The audience had been strangely and deeply moved. God had spoken through His Word by His servant. After a few moments the orator broke the silence with this comment: “I know the 23rd Psalm. The Pastor knows the Shepherd.”

 

There is a passage in the book; “the Imitation of Christ” that fits in here; ‘if you are one of those who search the scriptures for the novelty of an idea than you are the worse for it because that will be your only reward.’

 

If you claim to know the Shepherd, The Master, than your life will change.

 

And to those deluded fools that believe Christians no longer sin, you are indeed a fool and ignorant of God’s Word and have no experience in His Grace. You are legalistic and have a proud, arrogant spirit.  Shame on you for the guilt you heap on struggling believers.

 

Prayer requests and questions to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Continue to pray for Olivia, the doctors are not going to have to place a permanent feeding tube, but some more surgery is in her future.

sshhhh, the secret is out

November 27, 2014

lightbulb

Compulsiveness is defined as “an irresistible, repeated impulse to perform some irrational act.” A few common examples of compulsive behavior are: gambling, sex, eating, talking, drinking alcoholic beverages or taking drugs, working, spending money, punishing children, etc.

Some of the activities named are perfectly innocent in themselves and others are nearly always harmful.  Whether an act is intrinsically right or wrong, it becomes wrong, and even dangerous, when performed compulsively. For instance, while there is nothing wrong with eating, the compulsive eater will become overweight and suffer ill health.

 

The operative word here is compulsive, if you feel out of control during any activity then the most innocent activity is fraught with danger, to yourself or to others.

 

The Apostle Paul warns those who are compulsive: “But when you follow your own wrong inclinations your lives will produce these evil results. . . ” The list includes eagerness for lustful pleasure, murder, drunkenness, etc. (Gal. 5:19-21). 19 Now the works of the flesh are revealed, which are these: adultery, sexual immorality, impurity, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousy, rage, selfishness, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I previously warned you, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

But when the Holy Spirit is in control, he produces such fruit as love, peace, patience, goodness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22,23). Modern English Version (MEV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law.

 

In order to change, the compulsive person needs to first make Jesus Christ his Savior and Lord. The one who has tried on his own to overcome compulsiveness will not find it hard to believe Jesus’ claim that “apart from me you can’t do a thing” (John 15:5). We’ve all tried to be good, but have fallen flat on our face. A relationship with Jesus not only gives us heaven as our home, but also a new power to change. The power that comes from him not from our own will power.

 

But don’t be surprised to find a Christian who still has a problem with compulsiveness. In Romans 7:22-25 the Apostle Paul describes his struggle and how he was set free by Christ: “I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is as war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me slave to the sin that is still within me.  In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.  So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin.  Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God!  It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord.

 Recognize that your old sin nature is dead. “So look upon your old sin nature as dead and unresponsive to sin, and instead be alive to God, alert to him, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11).

Thank the Lord for what he has done. “Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free” (Rom 7:25).

Allow the Holy Spirit to control your life. “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. . .” (Gal. 5:22, 23).

Cooperate with what Christ has accomplished in your life. “Do not let sin control your puny body any longer; do not give in to its sinful desires. Do not let any part of your bodies become tools of wickedness, to be used for sinning; but give yourselves completely to God. . .to be used for his good purposes” (Rom. 6:12,13).

 

Cooperation with Christ will include some tough decisions, like being honest and telling people about why you can’t drink, or stay away from betting places or people that bet, use an Internet browser that won’t allow porn or even ads.

 

I had a friend that could only use one checkout lane in the grocery store, because it had no magazines in that checkout. Even seeing a woman in a fitness magazine put him on a downward spiral. He knew that so he avoided the situation.

 

Contrary to the message the world gives, there is still a black and white, a right and wrong, a holy and unholy, sinful or spiritual. We were given free will so our love for God would be real, but we have to make right choices. There is no one we can blame, ultimate responsibility lies within ourselves.

 

Never stop trying, and don’t try it alone, a secret loses all of its power once it is no longer a secret. Find a mentor, a sponsor, someone to hold you accountable, trust someone that you can tell it all to.

 

God bless and keep trusting that one day total freedom will be yours.

 

Prayer requests and questions to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Happy Thanksgiving

 

Mental fleas

November 26, 2014

3 stooges

Mental Fleas

Weird title I know, I don’t know if its old age, dementia, or I’m just paying better attention to my thoughts. During my devotion time I can go from reading my bible to praising the Lord, to naked women dancing in my head, all in about 8 seconds.

 

It always amazes me, I can be deep in prayer, convinced I’ve entered the portals of heaven and then, bam, I’m thinking about zebras and comic books.

I’ve said the Lord ’s Prayer probably ten thousand times, the same with the 23 Psalms, and about half way through, it’s shotguns, Twinkies and fishnet stockings (no I’m not wearing them).

 

Part of this is we are just so bombarded by information, our brain is on overload. Part of it is satanic, if he can keep you unfocused, you feel like crap. Part of it is God reminding you not to be proud or boastful about your spiritual life, because he knows what a screw up you really are.

 

1 Kings 2 New International Version (NIV)

David’s Charge to Solomon

When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.

“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man,3 and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’

 

Observe

Walk

Keep

 

See that’s where we fall down on the job. Have you ever walked into a parked car, or a street sign, bump into somebody?

 

We have to watch (observe) spiritually as well as physically, you’d think walking would be the most natural thing to do. But how often have you tripped and then looked back to see what did it and nothing was there. (I know I just washed my feet and can’t do a thing with them).

 

Keep trying, I read all these great devotional books and lives of saints and guess what, they all leave out the daily, boring, ordinary stuff; like the daily screw ups.

There had to be, I mean just read the Old Testament it is really about how everyone basically bombs.

 

Of course we need a personal savior, I’m the living embodiment of the three stooges.

 

So take heart, the only perfection is found in Jesus, for the rest of us chuckleheads, well now you know why we call our devotions ‘scumlikeus’

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Maestro

November 25, 2014

vilon old and

I don’t want to think everyone knows this story and then have you miss a classic.

The Old Violin;

‘Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.

“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”

But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.

“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its’ worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”

“And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin

A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.

But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.

– by Myra Brooks Welch

I am often asked why I get so emotional about Bible issues, some would say Fighting Mad. The Apostle Paul said; “to those much forgiven, more is expected.” I thank God for the change he made in my lifestyle. The miraculous interventions, the pardons both from man’s law and God’s.

My life has been filled with miracles, God has been very merciful to me.

 

Even today as I have pondered his forgiveness, it is only because of grace.

 

 The word grace discloses not only the boundless goodness and kindness of God toward humanity, but reaches far beyond and indicates the supreme motive which actuated God in the creation, preservation and consummation of the universe. What greater fact could be expressed by one word?

Grace: An Exposition of God’s Marvelous Gift.

Don’t squander this gift if it’s been given to you. If you are standing on the precipice and contemplating do something that will totally screw up your life. STOP!

We don’t always get second chances.

 

To someone, somewhere, this is your last warning.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Continue to pray for Chris’s dad; David

For Regina that had a miscarriage today

For Reagan, who is having surgery on Wednesday

Brittany, a young run away, into prostitution at the age of 14, she’s in a half way house and will on her own during thanksgiving, no family and not in church, I’m hoping she makes it to Monday, I’ll be hopefully having lunch with her and will have a place open up for her to stay that day.

 

 

 

I’m big into lists,

November 24, 2014

lightbulb

Well this topic shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, Doctrine.

We would be in dire straits without it.

Here are the highlights  of why we should all study and develop a personal doctrine, it ain’t sexy but it is important.

 

  1. Sound doctrine re-tells the single story that sweeps through all of Scripture.

From creation, through our fall into sin, to Jesus’s saving work on the cross and the eventual restoration of God’s rule over all creation, the Bible tells a single epic narrative that spans Genesis to revelation. Sound doctrine traces the contours of this story and repeats it in simple, memorable forms.

  1. Sound doctrine summarizes and synthesizes the Bible’s teaching as a coherent whole.

For all its diversity, Scripture fits together as a marvelous unity because it consists of God’s own words, revealing God’s own thoughts and acts. Sound doctrine brings together all of Scripture’s teaching on every subject the Bible addresses.

  1. Sound doctrine is a guide and guard for reading and teaching the Bible.

The goal of reading and teaching Scripture is to love God, and the way to love God is to know God. Sound doctrine tells us what God is like so that we may love him more. And sound doctrine is an important guard for interpreting Scripture. It helps ensure that we confess and delight in all that Scripture teaches, rather than setting one passage against another or drawing conclusions from one passage that contradict another.

  1. Sound doctrine is God’s roadmap for the Christian life and the life of the church.

We listen to the teaching of God’s Word for the purpose of living it out. Sound doctrine isn’t an information archive that serves only to present facts. Rather, it’s a road map for our pilgrimage from this world to the world to come.

  1. Sound doctrine nourishes holiness.

Every biblical doctrine, embraced by the mind and applied to the heart, conforms us to the character of Christ. Sound doctrine drives us to devote ourselves more completely to God in our thoughts, desires, attitudes, words, and actions—which is what the Bible calls “holiness.” As Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).

  1. Sound doctrine is the ground and pattern of love.

The apostle John once told a church that he loved them “in the truth,” and that all those who know the truth love them too, “because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever” (2 John 1–2). Truth is the basis of the special bond of love that ties Christians’ hearts together. And truth is the pattern of our love: we are to love one another in deed and truth, since that is how Jesus loved us (1 John 3:16–18).

  1. Sound doctrine is the foundation of unity in the church.

When the Corinthian church was torn by divisions over favored leaders, Paul shot back, “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul” (1 Cor. 1:13). The unity of the church is grounded in the unity of the faith.

  1. Sound doctrine is fuel for the fire of worship.

Over and over again the Bible not only tells us to worship; it tells us why to worship (Psalm 95:1–7). Sound doctrine reminds us that God has rescued us from our sin, reconciled us to himself, and pledged himself to provide for all of our needs, now and forever. All of these are reasons to praise him, adore him, make a joyful noise to him, and bow down before him in submission and obedience.

  1. Sound doctrine equips and emboldens evangelism.

The better you know the gospel, the better you’ll share the gospel. And the better you remember that God is the one who gives life to the dead and sight to the blind (Eph. 2:1–10, 2 Cor. 4:3–6), the more you’ll boldly preach the gospel, pray for conversions, and trust God to save sinners.

  1. Sound doctrine fills up our joy.

Referring to all the teaching he gave his disciples on his last night with them—including some of the Bible’s richest teaching on the Trinity—Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:11). Because it unfolds the riches of God’s grace to us, sound doctrine brings light and hope and joy. It fills our hearts with satisfaction in Christ because of what he has done for us.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Peace & Rest

November 23, 2014

sound sleep

PEACE & REST

 

  1. Christ gives peace and rest to all who come to him in faith.

Matt. 11:28-30. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

  1. Peace comes through justification by faith in Jesus.

Rom. 5:1. Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. Jesus give us peace.

John 14:27. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

  1. Jesus was punished for our sins so that we may have peace.

Isa. 53:5. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

  1. The penitent woman, who wept at Jesus’ feet, found peace through him.

Luke 7:36-50.

Luke 7:48. Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Luke 7:50. Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

  1. Humble trust in the Lord gives peace.

Ps. 4:8. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

  1. God promises peace to his people.

Ps. 85:8. I will listen to what God the Lord will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints – but let them not return to folly.

  1. Peace is the result of being controlled by the Spirit.

Rom. 8:6. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

  1. Peace is the fruit of the Spirit.

Gal. 5:22-23. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

  1. God give peace to those whose minds are fixed on him.

Isa. 26:3-4. You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.

  1. The peace of God comes through praying in faith.

Phil. 4:6-7. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcend all understanding, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  1. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Isa. 9:6. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

  1. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace.

Isa. 57:2. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.

  1. God revives, heals, and gives peace to those who are contrite.

Isa. 57:14-21.

Isa. 57:19-20. “Peace, peace, those far and near,” Says the Lord.

“And I will heal them.” But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud.

  1. There is no peace for the wicked.

Isa. 57:21. “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

  1. False prophets will say, “peace, peace,” when there is no peace.

Jer. 8:11-12. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.  “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the Lord.

PEACE

 But only as Jesus Christ possesses our hearts can we know true peace. In this section, we shall deal with only two aspects of the subject.

Peace With God:

Peace with God comes to us in the forgiveness of sin through the merit and suffering of our Savior.

Peace with God means a cessation of hostilities.  When a person confesses his sinful pride, admits defeat, and submits to God, our war with God is over. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1, KJV).

 

Peace with God means reconciliation to Him. We are no longer alienated. “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight” (Colossians 1:21, 22, KJV).

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things to heaven” (Colossians 1:20, KJV). “That God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:29, NIV).

Peace with God brings a sense of well-being and confidence “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13, NIV).

Peace of God:

The peace of God is the legacy of Christian believers and comes as we walk in obedience to His will for our lives.

Many Christians have peace with God but have never gone on to experience the peace of God in their lives.  They are torn with anxieties and fears that destroy spiritual stability and joy in the Lord. Peace is a gift from God and the rightful legacy of all believers, but far too many do not enjoy it.

The peace of God flows from a full, unhindered fellowship with Him who is our peace of God in their lives.  They are torn with anxieties and fears that destroy spiritual stability and joy in the Lord. Peace is a gift from God and the rightful legacy of all believers, but far too many do not enjoy it.  The peace of God in their lives.  They are torn with anxieties and fears that destroy spiritual stability and joy in the Lord.

Peace is a gift from God and the rightful legacy of all believers, but far too many do not enjoy it.  The peace of God flows from a full, unhindered fellowship with Him who is our peace.

 

Here is a simple formula from the Word of God for enjoying the peace of God.

Psalm 37:1-6 (NIV) tell us:

  1. Do not fret (v. 1)

  2. Trust in the Lord (v.3)

  3. Delight yourself in the Lord (v.4)

Philippians 4:6, 7 (NIV) tells us:

  1. Be anxious for nothing (v.6)

  2. Be prayerful in everything (v.6)

  3. Be thankful for anything (v.6)

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, NIV).

Six Steps to Inner Peace

Be made right with God.  The one who has placed his faith in Jesus Christ is made right with God and can, for the first time, have real peace (Rom. 5:1).

Let the peace of Christ always be present in your heart. Peace of heart comes from Christ (Col. 3:15.). So, when we give Christ first place in our life and live as he wants us he to (Matt. 6:33), he gives us peace of heart. As members of the body of Christ, this is our responsibility and privilege (Col. 3:15).

Fix your thoughts on the Lord and what is good.  Those who trust in the Lord and turn their thoughts often to him will have perfect peace (Isa. 26:3). And the God of peace promises to be with those who fix their thoughts on what is true and good and right, and on those things they can praise God for (Phil 4:8,9).

Confess your sins to God. One method God uses to keep us pure and in close fellowship with him is to take away our peace when we sin against him and refuse to confess it (Ps. 32).

Before he will restore our peace, he requires that we confess our sins to him. Then he will forgive and cleanse us from every sin (1 John 1:9).

Resist the devil. James writes that if we submit to God and resist the devil he will flee from us (James 4:7). One of those times we should resist the devil is when he points his finger at sins that have already confessed.  Another time is when he causes us to have feelings of guilt that are so general we cannot identify the sin which must be confessed.  The devil hates God’s people and wants to destroy our peace of mind, so he falsely accuses. In Revelation 12:10, the devil is called the Accuser. Don’t ever let him get away with accusing you.  Instead, resist him in the name of Jesus and he will have to flee from you.

 

Remember, when God the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, he puts his finger on something specific, a sin you have not confessed; and he does it because he loves you and wants you to enjoy his peace.

 

“So give yourself humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee form you” (James 4:7).

Praising and thanking the Lord is the most powerful way to resist the devil.

 

Forget the past.  Although God has forgiven and cleansed us of our sins, we have a tendency to remember and impose self-condemnation. But the Apostle Paul tells us that the learned to forget his past sins and present imperfections, and look to Jesus Christ and his promises (Phil. 3:12-14).  If Paul, who claimed to be the greatest of all sinners (1 Tim. 1:15), was able to forget his past, the we should also be able to accept God’s forgiveness and forget.  The one thing to remember is that God is able to forgive and forget our sins (Jer. 31:34). “He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12).

Micha the prophet wrote that because God has compassion on us, he “will tread our sins beneath (his) feet” and “will throw them into the depths of the ocean” (Mic. 7:19)! Someone has said that “God has thrown our sins into the depths of the ocean, and put up a No Fishing sign.”  We have no right bringing up those issues God has forgiven, buried, and forgotten. Forgetting what God has forgotten brings peace.

 

We pray that the one who is suffering from inner turmoil will take the necessary steps to find real peace in Christ. We encourage youto thank the Lord that in the midst of a troubled world, we can have the peace that Jesus gives, a peace which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand (Phil. 4:7).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

sugar coating

A few days ago my wife and I spoke with a Buddhist man who said that Christianity was a bigoted, intolerant religion. His rationale for making such a statement was grounded in the fact that Buddhism had a canopy which embraced all religious truth equally. Christianity was ‘bigoted’ because it did not place equal value on each spiritual or philosophical assertion even if the competing claims were mutually exclusive. The technical word for this view is ‘religious pluralism.’ In other words, to assert one belief system to be true and another false constituted intolerance.

This conception of intolerance has become widely accepted in western culture.

 

When a truth claim is made it is necessarily ‘exclusive,’ but not ‘bigoted’ or ‘prejudiced.’ Exclusivity in this context simply means that not all possibilities can be correct at the same time.

 

First: Christian truths are made for all people, of all nations, of every culture and for all time. Christianity speaks to the ‘world’ and not a specific people group or nation. In this sense Christianity is radically inclusive.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” {John 3:16}

 Jesus of Nazareth’s truth claims necessarily exclude other claims.

 

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” {Acts 4:12}

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” {Romans 3:23-24}

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” {John 14:6}

 

If no one can come to the Father except through the Messiah Jesus, then other religious systems necessarily fall short. For a non Christian, the authenticity of Christ’s claims are a legitimate issue, however, any attempt to reconcile them with other truth claims is dishonest and logically impossible.

The truth claims of Christianity can not be reconciled with other religions or philosophies which do not place Jesus of Nazareth, and specifically his life, death and resurrection as the chief cornerstone of their belief system. Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism, to name a few world religions, all provide competing truth statements regarding people and God and the relationship between the two.

Christianity claims that Jesus of Nazareth is the exclusive bridge to God: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” {1 Timothy 2:5}

 

 

Christianity and its founder claimed to embody Truth and Truth is necessarily exclusive. While Christian Truth is exclusive, it is not bigoted nor it is it prejudiced.

Is this a popular stand today? No, it is not, does that negate the truth, again no.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Pray for Chris’s dad, David, for healing. Pray for Ed as he continues to deal with the death of his mom.

Pray for Frank, who was committed today with Alzheimer’s.

And for Patty and Linda, who lost their husbands one year ago today in a traffic accident.

oh, darn,

November 21, 2014

full custody

The Book of James chapter 4:11,12; deals with speaking evil against a brother. Someone has suggested that there are three questions we should answer before indulging in criticism of others—What good does it do your brother? What good does it do yourself? What glory for God is in it?

 

The Christian concept or law of love says that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. To speak evil against a brother, therefore, or to judge his motives, is the same as speaking against this law and condemning it as worthless. To break a law deliberately is to treat it with disrespect and contempt. It is the same as saying that the law is not good, and not worthy of obedience.

“He who refuses obedience virtually says it ought not to be law.” Now this puts the one who speaks evil of a brother in the strange position of being a judge rather than one who is to be judged. He sets himself up as being superior to the law rather than subject to it. But only God is superior to the law; He is the One who gave it and the One who judges by it. Who then has the audacity to usurp the place of God and judge another?

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com