the cult

July 31, 2016

son-of-the-mask

Nineteenth-century pastor and author E.M. Bounds, who is well-known for his

writings on the subject of prayer, said it best, “Prayer honors God; it dishonors

self” (Purpose in Prayer pg. 43).

Today our indulgent, selfish, materialistic society have washed ashore on

Christian theology in many forms, including the prosperity gospel. Although the

Bible teaches that God is sovereign and man is His servant, the prosperity gospel

implies the opposite. Teaching that claims we can demand things of God is

spiritual justification for self-indulgence. It perverts prayer and takes the Lord’s

name in vain. It is unbiblical, ungodly, and is not directed by the Holy Spirit.

Yet I hear over and over Christians that I thought were mature believers claim

they are “just standing on the promises, claiming what is rightfully theirs”.

God gives us many things, but the right to prosperity is not one of those promises.

He provides, but not a right to luxury. Blame it on guys like Joel Osteen and a host

of others that picture fluffy clouds, happy faith and a sugar daddy God. Sermons

full of fluff but they’re not even called sermons anymore; add to that the

hundreds if not thousands of pulpits where men (I won’t even call them pastors)

pervert the scripture to make their own gain.

Which brings us back to prayer, it should lift up God and lower ourselves. Hardly a

popular message in a world where kids can’t be spanked, never given bad grades

and told the world loves them and everyone is equal. Happy thoughts, no wonder

these kids crash and burn when they have to really work, oh wait, they don’t 70%

of all adult American kids still live at home up to their 40’s.

Happy prosperity day (that’s sarcasm if you missed it)

Scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

the never ending story

July 30, 2016

christ on cross

  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1)

  If we are weak in understanding the principle of complete justification by faith, we will be strong in seeking to produce our own sanctification.

 

 

  “In Romans Seven Paul is describing the inevitable conflict that every believer knows when he undertakes to lead a holy life on the principle of legality. He feels instinctively that the law is spiritual, but that he himself, for some unexplained reason, is fleshly, carnal, and in bondage to sin. This discovery is one of the most heart-breaking a Christian ever made.

Yet each one must and does make it for himself at some time in his pilgrimage.

 

 

The believer finds himself doing things he knows to be wrong, and which his inmost desires are opposed to; while what he yearns to do he fails to accomplish, and does, instead, what he hates. But this is the first part of a great lesson which all must learn who would matriculate (enroll) in God’s school. It is the lesson of no confidence in ‘the flesh’; and until it is learned there can be no true progress in growth. The incorrigibility of the flesh must be realized before one is ready to turn altogether from self to Christ for sanctification, as he has already done for justification.

There is no tougher job than being a Christian, we fail more times than we succeed and there is the story of grace, uncomfortable in our own skin, we seek what we already have, never ending love.

And it there is on the cross, the greatest gift, yet it has to be accepted before opening.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Comments, questions and prayer requests at the email address please.

 

this little light

July 29, 2016

crown of thorns

It’s cold, dark and rainy, it’s world war 1 and your alone in a fox hole.

You’re surrounded by barb wire, mustard gas, bloated dead bodies of men and horses.

There’s nobody left to talk to, you haven’t had vegetables or clean water in months.

All you hear is gunfire, men dying or weeping, so you pray.

“stay with me, God.

The night is dark

The night is cold

My little spark of courage dies

The night is long

Be with me

And make me strong.

(the note found in the hand of a dying German soldier in world war 1)

Our prayers don’t have to be long or eloquent… but they must be real, from the heart and felt down to the marrow of our bones. (GW)

Blessings from scumikeuschurch@gmail.com

strike three

July 28, 2016

knock you down

“O love the Lord, all ye His saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful.” Psalm 31:23

Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth were two of the greatest baseball players of all time. Ty Cobb was known for his record number of stolen bases, and Babe Ruth was known for his record number of home runs. What you may not know is that Ty Cobb was also thrown out more than any other man in baseball trying to steal bases. And Babe Ruth struck out more than any other man in baseball! These fellows didn’t let their failures stop them, and neither should you!

Fix your goal.

Face your faults.

Forget your failures.

Failure in the Christian life is not final.

Maybe you or someone you know is feeling discouraged today. Remind them or yourself of the promise in Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Remember to pray for Paul, recent heart attack and now a Mass on his kidneys and they can’t operate.

Praise, for Ann D, june 16th 2016, she cracked her head open from a fall, in and out of comas, doctors said she may never walk of talk again, saw her today and she is taking perfectly fine, I mean fine, no slurred words, perfect speech. Now we need to continue to pray she can walk

Dan S, salvation

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

crack the whip

July 27, 2016

sugar coating

A “Peanuts” cartoon shows Linus venting his hostility by throwing rocks into a vacant lot. As he hurls each rock, he shouts, “This is for all the nasty thing they said about George Washington! This is for people who hate little kids! And this is for people who kick dogs! This is for hot summer nights! And this is for cold winter mornings! And this is for lies and broken promises!” Then he turns and asks Charlie Brown, “Do you have any requests?”

If only it were that easy to tame your temper! But even Linus comes to realize, a couple of cartoons later, that throwing rocks is no solution for his anger. Neither is pounding a pillow as you think of the person you hate or letting out a primal scream.

Uncontrolled anger is a huge problem in our society. We frequently read about road rage, sometimes to the extreme where one angry motorist shoots and kills another motorist over some minor frustration. A Reader’s Digest article gave numerous examples of parents who watch their children’s sports activities and erupt in anger to the point of attacking other parents and even the children competing against their children! One father beat another father to death after a youth hockey practice! Another dad clubbed his daughter’s high school softball coach repeatedly in the head and body with an aluminum bat because the coach had suspended the girl for missing a game to attend the prom. The article stated that three-fourths of parents who have attended a youth sporting event have witnessed other parents being verbally abusive. One in seven have witnessed an actual physical altercation involving a parent!

You may think, “Well, that’s the world for you!” But, you would be naïve to think that Christians are exempt from anger. Angry people often split churches, usually under the pretense of maintaining doctrinal purity. Christian homes are often torn apart by anger. I have shared with you before about the time that my wife and I attended a Pastors and Wives conference, where the couple in the room next to us were screaming at each other and calling each other terrible names. We thought that maybe they were practicing for a skit! But sad to say, there was no skit! This was a pastor of a very large and well known evangelical church! How could he possibly pray for God’s blessing on his ministry when he treated his wife in that way? Christian parents yell angrily at their children, call them names, and even hit them in anger. Then they wonder why their children rebel!

The apostle Paul does not give us an inch of wiggle room when it comes to the sin of anger: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Eph. 4:31, emphasis added). He repeats the word all twice for emphasis. Getting rid of all except a little bit of anger isn’t good enough! You can’t justify it by saying, “Well, I’m only human! Everyone gets angry, but I’m on the top end of the curve!” We need to call it what the Bible calls it: Anger is sin and we cannot tolerate a little bit of sin in our lives. Paul says that we must put away all of it.

You may be thinking, “But what about verse 26? Didn’t Paul command us to be righteously angry?” You may be justifying much of your anger as righteous anger. But F. F. Bruce (The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians [Eerdmans], p. 364) is surely correct in observing, “This mention of anger as something that is bad without qualification, so soon after v. 26, suggests that to be angry without sinning is as rare as it is difficult.” I refer you to that message for a more complete treatment. But the distinguishing mark of sinful anger is selfishness: I didn’t get my way and I want my way! I didn’t get my rights and I demand my rights! We sinfully use anger to try to dominate and control others. If we justify it by thinking, “I’m the head of this household,” or, “I’m the boss around here,” we are only masking our selfish sinfulness.

By piling up all of these words for anger and by using the word all twice, Paul is slamming the door on all of the excuses that he knew we would try to use to justify our sinful anger. He is saying that as those who have been created anew in righteousness and holiness of the truth (4:24), we must get rid of all sinful anger.

To tame your temper, put off all bitterness and anger and replace it with kindness and forgiveness, just as God in Christ forgave you. (here’s the biggest clue, stop praying about, it is entirely your responsibility to tame your temper).

He makes three points, which we will follow: First, he uses six terms to describe the old, sinful behavior that we must put off. Then, he uses three terms to describe the new, godly behavior that we are to put on. Finally, he gives us the motive or reason why we should adopt this new behavior.

  1. To tame your temper, put off all bitterness and anger (4:31).

We need to begin by observing that Paul does not psychologize the problem of anger by saying that you must understand your childhood or probe your “subconscious” to get at the root reasons that you are angry. Maybe your parents didn’t love you, or maybe you have “low self-esteem.” He doesn’t go there! He basically says, “Stop sinning!” Put away all anger as you would cast off dirty, smelly clothes!

But, lest you think that this is just a matter of human will power, remember that verses 25-32 are built on verses 20-24, where Paul describes the supernatural new birth that God imparts to us. Before salvation, we were darkened in our understanding, excluded from the life of God, and given over to all manner of sin (4:17-19). But now we are new creatures in Christ and as such we have been taught a new way of life. We are to put off the old man, be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and put on the new man in Christ (4:22-24).

Furthermore, we now have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us and we are to live in a close relationship with Him so that we do not grieve Him (4:30). We are to be filled or controlled by the Spirit, who enables us not to fulfill the sinful desires of the flesh, but rather to produce His fruit of righteousness in us (Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:16-23). But the Spirit-filled life is not entirely passive, where we just “let go and let God.” We have an active role to play, where we fight daily against the sinful desires that tempt us and yield to the Holy Spirit in obedience to God’s Word.

Also, as I often emphasize, to overcome sin it is vital to recognize that all sin originates in the heart or mind. Sinful anger is a heart issue and so you must deal with it on the heart level (Mark 7:21-23). This means that it is not enough to force a smile and restrain yourself while you are seething inside. At the instant you begin to feel angry, you must deal with how you think. You must stop long enough to think, “God is sovereign and He has allowed this difficult situation for my training in righteousness. Any anger that I express towards the other person is really anger towards God, who has providentially allowed this. Also, I am a fellow sinner, as seen in my quickness towards anger. I must treat the other person with love, just as I would want to be treated.” And you send up a quick, “Help, Lord” prayer, that He would control your emotions, words, and actions in this situation.

Also, to point out the obvious, Paul’s commands here imply that you have been mistreated. You wouldn’t be bitter if everyone treated you rightly. You wouldn’t be harboring malice if others had been nice towards you. You wouldn’t need to forgive if others had not wronged you. So, Paul is showing us how to respond in a godly way in an ungodly world where people wrong us.

There may be a progression in Paul’s use of these terms (Peter O’Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians [Apollos/Eerdmans], p. 349). He moves from a resentful inner attitude (bitterness) through its outward expression in outbursts of rage and seething anger, to yelling abusively (clamor). Then he mentions spreading our anger by slander He concludes with a catch-all term that covers all forms of anger, namely, malice. Let’s look at each word.

  1. Remove all bitterness from your heart.

Bitterness develops over time as we nurse our anger and tell ourselves that we have good cause to be angry. We play the situation where we got angry over and over in our minds, often blaming the other person and justifying ourselves. The bitter person refuses to forgive or be reconciled. He wants to make the other person pay. Bitter people keep score. I once counseled a woman who pulled out a notebook with 16 pages detailing every major wrong that her husband had committed against her over the years. She thought that she had an airtight case that justified her anger. I glanced at it and said, “The first thing you need to do is to burn this notebook!” She didn’t like that advice!

Hebrews 12:15 warns, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” Your bitterness will defile others who are close to you. But, even worse, if you continue in bitterness, you will come short of the grace of God! If you need anything from God, it is abundant grace! So you’ve got to put all bitterness away from you. Vengeance belongs to God alone. One way to root out bitterness from your heart is to pray for the offending person—not that he will get hit with God’s judgment—but rather that he will find mercy and repentance.

  1. Remove all wrath from your heart.

The NIV translates it, rage. It is derived from a word meaning, to boil. It refers to outbursts of anger, when someone boils over. It is used to describe the people in the synagogue in Nazareth, whose rage at Jesus drove them to try to throw Him over the edge of a cliff (Luke 4:28). It is used of the rage of the mob in Ephesus that led to the riot against the Christians (Acts 19:28). Paul says that such hot anger has no place among believers.

  1. Remove all anger from your heart.

This is the same word that Paul used to refer to righteous anger (4:26). It is used of Jesus’ righteous anger (Mark 3:5). It is used of God’s wrath (John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; 12:19), which is His settled hatred of and opposition to all sin. With reference to sinful human anger, wrath and anger are largely synonymous. If there is a nuance of difference, wrath is the sudden outburst of temper, whereas anger refers to a more settled attitude, often with the purpose of revenge.

  1. Remove all clamor from your heart.

Clamor refers to loud, angry words, where people are screaming at each other. It includes cursing and calling someone abusive names. The only time you should yell at your mate or your children is to warn them of immediate danger. Sometimes you have to yell to be heard over the noise. But once things quiet down, you should talk, not yell.

  1. Remove all slander from your heart.

The Greek word is also used for blasphemy against God, but here it refers to speaking evil about someone to someone else who has no need to hear it. Usually, we do this to build our case against the person, so that we look like the innocent victim. Often, slander is accompanied by falsehood, where we stretch the truth or only give enough information to tilt the verdict in our direction.

  1. Remove all malice from your heart.

Malice is a general term for wickedness or ill will towards another person. It is the desire to harm the person, either emotionally or physically. When coupled with slander, the intent is to harm the person’s reputation or his relationships with others by smearing him. I think that Paul added it at the end to cover any other form of hatred or anger that we might try to justify as okay. Paul commands us to remove all six of these sinful attitudes and actions. They characterize unbelievers, but they have no place with those who are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.

  1. To tame your temper, actively engage in the process of replacing bitterness and anger with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness (4:32a).

As we have seen, Paul’s pattern here is not only to have us stop doing the evil behavior, but also to begin practicing godly behavior. We are to replace lying with telling the truth (4:25). We are to stop stealing and instead work hard and give to those in need (4:28). We are to stop using unwholesome words and instead use words that build up and give grace (4:29). So here, sinful anger is to be replaced with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness.

  1. To tame your temper is a process that you must actively engage in.

The Greek word translated “be” (4:32) means to become. It is a present imperative verb, indicating an ongoing process. The process begins when you face up to your bitterness and anger as sin and confess it to God, asking for His forgiveness. You choose to accept responsibility for your sin, rather than to blame others. At that point you begin a lifelong battle. You will never arrive at a point where you can declare permanent victory and lay down your weapons. But as you fight the temptation to be angry, you (and others that know you) should see noticeable progress. If you lose a battle, don’t give up. Confess it to God, seek forgiveness from those you have wronged, and get back in the battle.

  1. To tame your temper, replace bitterness and anger with kindness.

Paul says that love is kind (1 Cor. 13:4). Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). A kind person is not harsh or sharp with others. He allows others room to offend or make mistakes without becoming offended and crawling all over them. A kind person takes an interest in others and tries to understand what they are feeling by asking sensitive questions. God Himself is “kind to ungrateful and evil men” (Luke 6:35). His kindness leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Tasting His kindness motivates us to long for the pure milk of the word, so that we may grow in respect to salvation (1 Pet. 2:2-3). Dads, instead of being harsh and stern with your children, be kind. It will motivate them to obedience far more than anger ever will.

  1. To tame your temper, replace bitterness and anger with tender-heartedness.

The NIV translates this as compassionate. It is used in 1 Peter 3:8-9a, “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead.” It comes from the Greek word for “bowels,” which they saw as the seat of our emotions. To be tender-hearted means to have deep, “gut” feelings for one another. It means to have genuine concern for another person’s well-being. It is the opposite of being calloused, as we were before we met Christ (4:19).

  1. To tame your temper, replace bitterness and anger with forgiveness.

Instead of holding a grudge that develops into bitterness, we are to forgive those that have wronged us. The word used here points to undeserved favor. It implies that the other person has truly wronged us. To forgive is to choose to absorb the pain and show grace to the other person. If he has to earn it, it’s not forgiveness. If you put it on file and bring it up every time there is a disagreement, it’s not forgiveness. If it doesn’t cost you anything to grant it, it’s not forgiveness. I plan to devote our next study to probe this important topic more in depth, so I move on for now.

Thus Paul says that to tame your temper, put off all bitterness and anger and replace it with kindness and forgiveness. Then he gives us the profound motive or reason we must do this:

  1. To tame your temper, remember as foremost how God in Christ has forgiven you (4:32b).

Begin every day at the foot of the cross, marveling at the amazing grace of God that sent His own Son to bear the wrath that you deserved. As the psalmist puts it (Ps. 130:3-4), “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.” Briefly consider:

  1. God forgave you by His grace, not because of any merit.

If you think that you somehow earned or deserved God’s forgiveness because of your good works, you do not understand the gospel. The fact is, each of us has wronged God tens of thousands of times from childhood up. Even if you were raised in the church and trusted Christ as a child, your sins are too numerous to count. God’s forgiveness is by grace alone. So we must grant forgiveness to others not because they deserve it, but rather because we have been shown grace.

  1. God forgave you at great cost.

He forgave you “in Christ.” That means that He couldn’t just shrug off your sins as no big deal. To do that would have compromised His justice and holiness. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, came and bore on the cross the penalty we deserved. While forgiving others is never that costly for us, it still costs. There may be a legitimate place for requiring restitution as a means of teaching responsibility. But even then, forgiveness is costly.

  1. God forgave you far more than you can ever forgive anyone else.

Jesus graphically made this point in response to Peter’s question about forgiveness (Matt. 18:21-35). He told the parable of the slave who owed a king 10,000 talents. A talent was worth more than 15 years’ wages for a laborer, so 10,000 talents represented 150,000 years’ wages, an unpayable debt. When the man begged for mercy, the king freely forgave the entire amount. But then the slave went out and grabbed a fellow slave who owed him 100 denarii, about 100 days’ wages. When he couldn’t pay, the forgiven slave had him thrown into prison. The king was moved with righteous anger towards the unforgiving slave. The point of the story is, no one could have wronged you as much as you have wronged God. Since He freely forgave you, so you must forgive others. I’ll deal further with forgiveness next time, as it raises a number of difficult questions.

Conclusion

I conclude with some practical steps to apply Paul’s words. First and foremost, make sure that you have received God’s forgiveness through faith in Christ alone. There are unsaved people who have gone to anger management courses and learned to control their anger, but they will go to hell unless they repent of their sins and trust in Christ alone. The new birth is the foundation for the radical change of behavior described in our text.

Second, allow your heart to be humbled by God’s grace every day. Think about the wrath that you justly deserve. Think about where you would be if God had not graciously drawn you to the cross. As you are filled to the brim with God’s grace, it will spill over onto those who wrong you. Where formerly you would have been angry, now you will be kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving.

Third, structure your life for change. Turn off the TV (which will never make you godly) and read your Bible. Memorize verses such as our text, so that they immediately pop into your mind when you are tempted to be angry. Pray frequently for those you are prone to be angry with. If you live with them, pray often with them. It is really difficult to remain angry with your mate or kids when you get on your knees together before the throne of grace!

Finally, confess your anger quickly and ask the Holy Spirit to control your mind and emotions. Don’t let angry thoughts fester. Don’t let your anger go unconfessed. Ask God’s forgiveness and ask forgiveness of the one you sinned against. It’s a lifelong battle, but if you engage in the fight, by God’s grace you will tame your temper.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

pray for my good friend Paul and that he is healed by God

all in the family

July 26, 2016

marshmallow

types of Christians (over simplification)

The straight line Christian. Everything is normal, no battles with lust or wild mood swings, they accept that they’re not perfect. No highs or lows, not mentally or spiritually. >> this is God’s design, if you fit this example it’s ok. But realize not everyone is like you.

The melancholy Christian, always depressed no highs, they’re either legalistic (perfectionists) or anything goes because they’re never able to see the glass other than less than full and they fill ripped off (anger issues abound)>>> still made in the image of God.

The Tigger, hyper happy always smiling, never a trial, they ooze sweetness like a pudding pop. >>>they’re slightly schizophrenic, castles in the sky. >>>they’re most oft repeated mantra, “if only you had more faith”. (most likely to be found murdered in the church baptistery)>>> they’re  the church cheerleaders, we need them but hanging around them can make you spiritually diabetic.

This one might strike you as an odd classification; but just think about it. the sensual Christian. They intensely feel everything. They struggle with extreme highs and extreme lows, they are one day on the mountain, the next day jumping off a cliff. They are often the Elijah’s of the bible. They struggle the most with carnality, they wonder why the straight lines don’t feel like they do, they always have a cause or want to champion something but will often get bogged down and over whelmed >>>nobody needs more than a regular rest than they do. They burn out, and burn up.

The legalist, everything is a sin and the problem is everyone else

And we are all part of the body of Christ, there’s a lot of analogies I could give right here but let’s keep it simple. We need to love each other and accept each other and all of us need to learn the strengths and weaknesses of our family of God.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Prayer requests, comments and questions to the email address please.

the lie oft told

July 24, 2016

thinking over feeling

We have all heard the analogy of our hearts being home to a black dog and a white dog and they constantly battle. Which one wins? The one that is fed the most. Sounds so logical, and most sigh, and nod their heads in agreement, for they know all too well the never-ending heart battle of trying to keep their flesh from exercising authority over them.

The question is…what does Jesus say about it? Is this truth, or a lie?

As we study God’s word, it seems we have been believing a lie. We have been wrestling against flesh and blood, and the battle is the Lord’s. Our God seems to have a diffferent take on the black dog/white dog theory.

Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
James 3:11-12

For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit
Luke 6:43

Either make the tree good or make the tree evil.

Yet how many are still trying to by their efforts gain control over the black dog within them? Christ said thru Paul, “Reckon yourself dead indeed unto sin.” Our battle is over, and our loving God now wants to comfort us. Will we not run to His open arms for safety?

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished.
Isaiah 40:2

Listen, brothers and sisters in the Lord, we are not in the flesh if we are His! This is an indesputable fact, but our ignorance of it is causing multitudes to miss the joy of their salvation.

“but you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwells in you.”
Romans 8:9

Saints, we are told our warfare has accomplished! We have been planted in victory, and in liberty, and our counsel now is to stand fast in that liberty wherewith we HAVE BEEN MADE FREE. by faith. Why do we continue to fight our old man when our warfare is accomplished? It is our unbelief that gives life to the black dog, and it is faith that slays him.

Many here are afraid to confess their warfare has ended, for they feel the pressure will be on them to somehow “have arrived”. As long as they remain “in the battle” and are defeated, there is an excuse for their failing to measure up.

Oh, children of weak faith, do you not see you are thinking the thoughts of the world, looking through natural eyes, searching within yourselves to see the victory. Of course with men it is impossible. But it is not up to man! This is God’s fight, God’s salvation! Your eyes are on you, not on the God who can do all things. Can he subdue your black dog inside? Is the arm of the Lord shortened that it cannot save? Is there anything too difficult for Him?

Look up to the God who loved you enough to die for you, not at yourselves. He is the one who must save us from ourselves. This is HIS battle, not ours, and He has already won it!. We are to be His workmanship. He must be the potter of our souls, and we must be clay. The battle inside will cease only when we, by faith, accept the victory He won for us. He died for us, so that we might live.

James said this:

“A double minded man is unstable in all His ways.”
James 1:8

Do you know what the word double-minded means in the greek?

Two spirited.

Do you see, as long as we believe the battle is not over, we cannot by faith put off the old man (the flesh) and put on the new man. We will continue to fight, trying to beat our flesh into submission, and it will never submit. We end up spending years, decades, thinking we are making progress in the Lord, killing the black dog a bit more every day. It is a lie. The black dog has been killed. But it will not profit us to know that, until we believe God is that good, and accept by faith that amazing gift from God.

If you are still waging your own warfare, you will struggle with sin, and instability will be your lot. Up, down, in, out, high, low, on, off, hot, cold, this will be your walk. The things you want to do, you will not do. Your black dog cannot be disciplined or obedience trained. It must be killed.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that at one time you were 10% white dog and 90% black dog, and in the end you will be 90% white dog and 10% black (of course no one can be 100% white dog, right?). You are eithe rin the flesh, or you are in the spirit. There is no in between.

Jesus said: Either make the tree good, or make it evil, one or the other.
How do you stop bearing bad fruit? Battle the black dog? No! Lay the ax of faith to the root of the old tree.
How do you make the tree good and bear good fruit? Put on the new man by faith! Your warfare is accomplished! Will you believe it?

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

Listen, the battle you wage is not yours, but God’s, and He has already won! This is the good news of the gospel. It is your God’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Will you not right now lay down your fight, and yield yourself to God’s loving hand as those that are alive from the dead?

O Lord, no more double mindedness. No more two spirits. All on Jesus’ side. All. I choose by faith to give place to the devil no more. I receive the mind of Christ and the victory that has eluded me for so long, I now accept from your hand.

Scales

July 24, 2016

balance

SCALES

The poignant moment of messianic unveiling took place at Caesarea Philippi, when Jesus asked His disciples: “Who do the crowds say that I am?” (Luke 9:18). The disciples told Jesus the scuttlebutt of the mobs: “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Finally Jesus put the question to His inner core of disciples: “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied with fervency, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:14–16).

 Jesus’ response to Peter’s confession is pivotal to the New Testament understanding of the identity of Christ. Jesus replied: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (v. 17). Jesus pronounced His benediction on the one to whom God had revealed His true identity. He acknowledged that Peter’s recognition of His identity was correct. It had not been gleaned from an examination of external manifestations; rather, Peter had recognized Jesus because the scales had been removed from his eyes by the revelation from God the Father.

Do you have friends or loved ones or even co-workers that have not responded to your sharing the gospel with them?

You bought little gospel tracts, evangelistic books, looked up passages to answer their questions, all to no avail.

IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!

Unless the scales are lifted from their eyes, unless spiritually they are renewed, it is God, the Holy Spirit that opens spiritually blind eyes and softens hearts of stone.

That doesn’t mean you give up, I’ve lost track of how many 85 plus years of age people I’ve led to the Lord. It is always His time not ours. I lead a real scoundrel to the Lord one day at 97 years of age. He sat there and wept; at first I thought it was tears of joy but it didn’t feel right. I asked him what was wrong and his response was; “I’ve all my years when I could have been serving God, wasted.”

Remember the scripture says that the spirit will give us the right words at the right time. You just have to be willing.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for willie, a life of drinking and carousing and he’s wondering now about the condition of his soul. For the first time he seems to genuinely be curious about the Lord.

Pray for Doug, stage four cancer and has fought and railed against God his whole life and now lies dying. He still won’t’ talk about Jesus or his soul. His whole family is wonderfully saved and serving God in ministry but not him.

Pray for Lillie, 22 years of age and woke up today in someone else’s car in the back seat and realizes she blacked out from drinking. It was worse when she realized she had no phone, no id, and wasn’t even in the right town.

Thank you to all of those that faithfully pray for our folks.

forget me nots too

July 23, 2016

growth marks

What is false modesty? it’s not true humility. It’s pride disguised as humility. You see, low self-esteem is still self-centeredness. It’s still pride. Whether I have high self-esteem or low self-esteem, I’m still consumed with myself. And when my focus is on me, then it’s not on God.

Humility is not self-abasement. It’s not allowing others to abuse you or misuse you. It’s not thinking of yourself as inferior or subservient.

Humility is simply self-forgetfulness. Or as Tim Keller says, “humility is not thinking more of myself or less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.”

Humble people are people who are concerned with God and others. They are able to forget about themselves, focus on God and extend love to others because they understand the power of the Gospel.

God doesn’t delight in us beating ourselves up for our sins or dwelling on our failures. Instead, we are to confess our sins, repent of our inward focus, and turn our attention upward again toward God.

And why do we practice humility and choose to live a God-centered life instead of a self-centered life? Because in dying on the cross, Christ expressed the ultimate act of humility and self-sacrificial love. The perfectly loving and perfectly holy God bore our sins and shame so that we might intimately know God and enjoy him forever. We practice humility because it is an expression of our gratitude to and recognition of our good and holy God.

I pray that we would together, as the body of believers, continue to grow in gospel-humility, delight in the truth of the Good News, and worship and adore the Lord.

 

I hate to finish this devotion with the Goldilocks and the Three Bears; but it is fitting. How do we picture ourselves, as believers, saved, redeemed, not to high an opinion of ourselves and not to low, but just right. It will only take a life to figure it out.

 

Blessings in your growth, to fast and you’ll burn up, to slow and you’ll never grow up. Trust that God is developing you at just the right pace. Only our failure to accept his plans in our life slows us down.

 

 

Questions, comments and prayer requests to; scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

i am convinced

Pride occurs when we’re consumed with self.

It’s the attitude, “No one is going to help me, and so I must help myself.” And so life becomes about acting in my own self-interest.

Maybe I tell a little white lie to avoid embarrassment and save face. Maybe I take credit for the success of the team project so that I’m better positioned for a promotion. Maybe I walk a little bit quicker to the checkout counter because I see a woman with a full cart of groceries coming. And who has time to get stuck behind her?

At its most basic and primal level, self-centeredness, or pride, occurs when we put ourselves before everything else. And the problem with this is that when we rely upon ourselves, we’re displacing God. We’re placing ourselves at the center of our lives instead of God. We’re declaring ourselves, imperfect beings, to be superior to the perfect being, Godpride occurs when we’re consumed with self.

It’s the attitude, “No one is going to help me, and so I must help myself.” And so life becomes about acting in my own self-interest.

Maybe I tell a little white lie to avoid embarrassment and save face. Maybe I take credit for the success of the team project so that I’m better positioned for a promotion. Maybe I walk a little bit quicker to the checkout counter because I see a woman with a full cart of groceries coming. And who has time to get stuck behind her?

At its most basic and primal level, self-centeredness, or pride, occurs when we put ourselves before everything else. And the problem with this is that when we rely upon ourselves, we’re displacing God. We’re placing ourselves at the center of our lives instead of God. We’re declaring ourselves, imperfect beings, to be superior to the perfect being, God..

I’ve been on the road lately and when I got home I was thanking the Lord for a safe trip and no mishaps to me or my wife while I was gone. The one thing different about this trip and being away on business I realized more this month than anything else I’ve been practicing not being in control. (if that sounds idiotic than you’re not a type “A” personality and not wound as tight as I am).and the biggest contributor to letting go is giving God credit for all he does and not taking credit for anything I think I do.

That is killing a part of self-centeredness, you have very little control over anything.

The sooner you learn that the happier your life will be. There is an art form to thinking less of yourself. You’ll be happier with yourself, what you do and what you think.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for BJ in Turkey, things are tough

Pray for Rosalie, trying to work out her marriage to an uncommitted partner, it’s an uphill battle.