the wild God

October 31, 2016

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God is good, but in the words of C.S. Lewis, “He is not tame.” When it comes time for evil to be purged from the world, He is not timid, and when He acts, He rarely holds back. We see such a scene prophesied concerning the Day of Yahweh—the day He will return to the earth as Christ—in Joel 2:1–11.

 

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of Yahweh is coming—it is indeed near. A day of darkness and gloom, a day of cloud and thick darkness, like the dawn spreads on the mountains, a great and strong army! There has been nothing like it from old, and after it nothing will be again for generations to come” (Joel

2:1–2).

 

When God charges into battle, He seizes control of all that must be yielded so His purpose is not hindered. He then performs great and mighty deeds on behalf of

His people. As Joel says, “There has been nothing like it.” So why, then, has God not done this already? What is He waiting for? Why is evil allowed to continue if

God can end it?

 

We find our answers in Joel 2:12–17. God, in His mercy, is allowing a time of repentance: “ ‘And even now,’ declares Yahweh, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, and weeping, and wailing. Rend your hearts and not your garments, and return to Yahweh your God, because he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in loyal love, and relenting from harm’ ” (Joel 2:12–13).

Indeed, God’s trumpet will sound, but even with that time approaching, He is a compassionate God, and His call is simple: “Come back to me.”

 

What do you need to turn from today? What makes you hopeful about God’s

coming?

 

 

What will it take to bring you back? You can return because God is speaking to your heart, or you can return because he is driving you like a ship from the tempest storm, battered, broken, spent. It does not matter to him, but it will matter to you.

 

 

Be truthful with yourself and repent of habits not pleasing to God.

 

Be truthful about your own coldness of heart.

 

Here’s an old story; Fred and Ethel driving down the road in their old car. Ethel leaning against the passenger door, wistfully looking out the window exclaims; “remember how we used to drive for hours and I would lean against your shoulder and you’d put your arm around me and we would drive like that for miles, what happened to us doing that?”

And Fred’s answer; “well I haven’t moved.”

 

 

Get it?

 

Come back to the arms of God.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

number one requested repost

October 30, 2016

SO WHO’S WITH ME, YOU WANT TO GROW UP AND BE A POTATO CHIP.

BETTER LET ME EXPLAIN, LAYS POTATO CHIPS THEY HAVE ONE THAT’S LABELED, ‘LIGHTLY SALTED; IN A WEIRD WAY IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT THAT EXPLAINS THE FOUR GOSPELS AND THE BOOK OF ACTS (NOT COMPLETELY BUT ALMOST).

GOD IS LIGHT, HIS SON IS LIGHT, AND WE ARE CALLED TO BE LIGHT. IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN IT SAYS THAT DARKNESS (EVIL, THE DEVIL) CANNOT OVERCOME THE LIGHT OR EVEN UNDERSTAND IT. THAT’S HOW POWERFUL LIGHT IS.

SO WE ARE CALLED TO LIGHT.

WE ARE ALSO CALLED TO BE SALT

THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW 5:13 SAYS WE ARE TO BE THE SALT OF THE EARTH. WE ARE TO BRING FLAVOR AND BE A PRESERVATIVE TO THE WORLD. BUT IF THE SALT LOSES ITS FLAVOR IT IS NO GOOD; AND THERE IS THE PROBLEM.

FOUR THINGS WE ARE SUPPOSED TO DO AS CHRISTIANS.ONE, BE LIGHT, TWO BE SALT, THREE BE CHRIST LIKE, AND FOUR BE MATURE.

WE CAN’T LEAVE ONE PART OUT, WE ARE TO SHINE IN DARKNESS AND LET THE WORLD KNOW A RESURRECTED CHRIST; WE ARE TO HAVE AN INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD THAT ACTUALLY STOPS OR RETARDS THE PEOPLE AND THEIR SINS (CONVICTION AND THAT GOD LOVES THEM). BE CHRIST LIKE IN ALL WE DO SO THE LIGHT SHINES FROM US. AND GROW UP SO WE CAN GROW OUT.

SO HERE’S MY PROPOSITION, SPEAKING JUST ABOUT AMERICA, WE HAVE PRETTY MUCH FAILED IN EVANGELISM, WITNESSING AND SPREADING THE HOPE OF GOD. SO EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG IN OUR COUNTRY IS PRETTY MUCH THE CHURCHES FAULT AND OF COURSE THE SINFULNESS OF MAN.

ONE WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER, THE OTHER WE DO. DON’T BLAME THE GOVERNMENT, OR POLITICIANS, THE QUESTION WE HAVE TO ASK IS ‘HAVE OUR LIGHTS GONE OUT AND IS THE SALT GONE FROM OUR LIVES.

HOW MANY FAMOUS TV AND BOOK PASTORS ARE SAYING THE BIBLE ISN’T HISTORICALLY RELEVANT, IT HAS NO PLACE IN THE PLACE OF MODERN MAN. HOW ABOUT ALL THE CHURCHES THAT HAVE ONE GOAL ON SUNDAY, TO MAKE YOU FEEL HAPPY AND GOOD ABOUT YOUR SELF (BIG NEWS FLASH, GOD DOESN’T ACTUALLY CARE IF YOUR HAPPY).

THERE IS A WELL KNOWN PASTOR NEAR HERE THAT TOLD ME HE HASN’T PREACHED A MESSAGE ABOUT SIN IN OVER 15 YEARS AND WOULDN’T BECAUSE HE THINKS THAT MESSAGE WOULD DRIVE THE CROWDS AWAY.

ASK YOUR SELF ‘WHY DO I GO TO CHURCH?’ HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU’VE WITNESSED TO SOMEONE, OR TRIED TO HOLD A BROTHER OR SISTER ACCOUNTABLE FOR SOMETHING THEY ARE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH.

BE BIG

BE BOLD

BE BRAVE

SO TODAY WILL YOU RENEW YOUR VOW TO BE A POTATO CHIP, VOTE YES.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com for questions, comments or prayer requests.

cut the cord

October 29, 2016

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For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3, ASV).

It is futile for us to attempt to curb our sins while we ignore their source, the indwelling principle of sin. In trimming the branches (sins), we strengthen the root (self). Rather, as we count upon the finished work of Calvary, the Holy Spirit will apply the Cross to the old life. And as that death cuts deeper and deeper into the root, the branches will wither and fall away.

 

 

“The Lord Jesus has been waiting for us to come to the end of our own efforts. He sends the call, ‘Come back to the Cross.’ At last we can see we have been standing and working on the wrong ground, and we hear Him say, ‘It is you who are in My way. I can do My work myself. I simply need empty vessels. You parted with your sins, but you kept yourself. Come now, part with yourself, take your place where I put you. When I died you were in Me on that Cross.’ ‘Now I see! What next, Lord?’ ‘Now you pass to another sphere where you become aware that you are joined to Me as your life.’”

 

 

“Our identification with Christ in His death was a death unto Sin—the principle of Sin as a master and a tyrant—Sin, not sins. The Holy Spirit is ready to apply that finished work of death to the depth of our self-life, until Sin loses its mastery at point after point. It goes deeper than the cutting off of visible and external things. The Cross deals with the cause, not symptoms.”

 

“Christ, who is our life” (Col. 3:4).

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Sharon W. battling vertigo

Marilyn A. discouragement

Paul K. possible cancer and upcoming surgery at a VA hospital

Matt and Rosie, they have had their lives turned upside down by loss, betrayal, and grief.

Chasing God

October 28, 2016

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In Hebrews 10:36, the author exhorted his readers, “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised” [lit., “the promise”]. Then he devotes chapter 11 to many examples of Old Testament saints who endured by faith, although they did not receive the promise (Christ), which we have received. In our text, he returns to the theme of endurance, saying, “We have both this great cloud of witnesses from the Old Testament and Jesus Himself, who is the supreme example of one who endured horrible suffering by faith. He endured the cross and now is at the Father’s right hand.”

 

To run the Christian marathon with endurance, faith focuses on Jesus, who endured the cross and received the reward.

  1. The Christian life is a difficult marathon that we must run.

Many years ago, a young woman who was a drug addict found my name in the phone book and began calling me frequently. She was married with two small children, but she was hooked on drugs. She had no concept that normal people sleep at night, and so she would call at 2 a.m. from some phone booth where she was stoned out of her mind.

 

She professed to believe in Christ, and said that she wanted to follow Him, but she had no idea of what that meant. On one occasion when she was relatively sober, I described in detail what a daily walk with Christ looks like. I explained what a daily time in the Word and prayer was like, what obedience to the Bible means, how to think like a Christian, etc.

When I was done, I asked, “Have you ever done anything close to what I’ve just described?” She said, “Yeah, I did that once for two weeks, but it didn’t work.” She thought that she had given it a fair try in two weeks! I explained to her that the Christian faith isn’t a two-week sprint. It’s a lifelong marathon.

 

 

The Christian life is a lifelong, grueling race that entails some long hills to climb and some swampy marshes to plod through. To make it to the end, you need self-discipline to get into good shape, you will need to maintain your motivation, and you will need sustained effort. No one enters a marathon with the thought of dropping out after a mile. Finishing well is everything. In this race, you are not competing with other believers. We’re all on the same team. We’re competing against the enemy of our souls, who opposes God’s kingdom and wants us to drop out.

  1. To run the Christian marathon, we must get into shape and stay in shape.

The primary thing, as I said, is self-discipline motivated by the goal of finishing well. But it specifically involves two things:

  1. We must lay aside every encumbrance.

The word means weight. It can refer to physical weight (obesity), or to unnecessary baggage. Ancient Greek runners would actually run naked so as not to be encumbered. Olympic athletes in our day wear some pretty skimpy outfits. They don’t want anything to slow them down or drain their energy.

 

 

Encumbrances are distinguished here from sins. They include things that are not intrinsically wrong, but they’re wrong because they keep you from running as you should. If you got rid of those heavy hiking boots and put on some jogging shoes, you’d run better. If you dropped the pack and dressed in shorts and a tank top, you might finish the race.

 

 

At the risk of stepping on some toes, but to help you apply this, let me get more specific. Let’s say that in the morning, you don’t have time to read your Bible and your favorite blog before you head out the door to work or school. Which do you choose? You protest, “But I need to keep abreast of what’s happening in the world!” Really? Where does the Bible say that? It does say that you need to drink in “the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Pet. 2:2). Maybe you don’t have time to read anything because you don’t set your alarm early enough to spend just 10 minutes with the Lord. You need to shed the encumbrance of loving sleep or the paper more than God.

 

 

Too much recreation can be another encumbrance in the race. We all need some free time free to be renewed, but the question is, “How much time do you need?” Many Christians fill every evening watching TV or playing video games, but they don’t have time to study the Bible or read good books. They view the entire weekend as a time for recreation, even if it means missing church. To run the race, you’ve got to lay aside these encumbrances.

 

 

Some Christians ask the wrong question here. They ask, “What’s wrong with this movie, or listening to this music, or participating in this activity?” The right question is, “Does this help me to grow in godliness?” If not, cast it off as dead weight.

  1. We must lay aside every sin that so easily entangles us.

In biblical times people wore long robes. You can’t run with a long robe entangling your legs. You must either pull it up and tuck it in your belt or cast it totally aside. In the case of sin, you must totally get rid of it if you want to run the Christian race.

 

 

This doesn’t refer only to certain besetting sins, but to all sins. Sin always begins in the mind, and so we must judge all sin at the thought level. Pride, lust, envy, greed, anger, grumbling, selfishness—all of these things originate in our thought life. If you cut it off there, it goes no farther. If you entertain these things, they incubate and develop into sinful words and actions (James 1:14-15). But the author’s point is, you can’t run the Christian race if you keep tripping over your sins.

  1. To run the Christian marathon, we must run with endurance the course set before us.

Note two things:

  1. God sets the course.

If you’re running a marathon, you can’t make up your own course. If you stray from the course, you’ll be disqualified. The race is “set before us,” just as Jesus had “the joy set before Him.” God is the Sovereign One who sets the course for each of us, just as He set the course of the cross for Jesus.

 

 

To finish the Christian marathon, it’s important to keep in mind at all times that the Sovereign God sets the course. You may not like parts of the course. You may be prone to grumble, “Why did the course have to go over this hill, or through this swamp?” The answer is, “Because the Sovereign God planned it this way.” You won’t be able to run by faith unless you submit your will to His will.

  1. We must run with endurance.

Running with endurance requires adopting a certain mindset. If you have in mind that you’re running a 400-meter race, you’re not going to do well when the pack keeps going after 400 meters. When you learn that the race has barely begun, you’re going to quit with a bad attitude.

 

 

This is what Jesus meant when He talked about counting the cost of following Him (Luke 14:28-33). Before you make a glib commitment to be a Christian, think it through. Are you willing to put out the effort, the sweat, the endurance, and the pain of going the distance? If not, don’t start the race, because you’re going to look pretty silly when you drop out after 400 meters!

 

 

Obviously, one key to running the whole distance is motivation. But where do you get the motivation to run the Christian marathon? Our author suggests two sources, both valuable, but the second is incomparably greater than the first.

  1. The encouragement to keep running comes from those who have run before us, but primarily from Jesus Himself.

  2. The great cloud of witnesses encourages us to keep running.

The opening phrase of 12:1 refers back to chapter 11. All of the Old Testament saints, who endured all sorts of trials by faith, should encourage us to keep running when we feel like quitting. The word cloud was a classical Greek metaphor for a large multitude

There is a question about whether these witnesses are watching us from heaven as we run the race; or, more in line with the meaning of the word witness, do we look to their testimony as an example of how to run the race? There is no indication in the Bible (unless it is here) that those in heaven are watching us on earth.

Probably, with the race metaphor, the picture here is that as we run the race, along the route we encounter the Old Testament saints (and, by extension, other heroes of the faith in the New Testament, plus those who lived after biblical times). They are calling out to us by their examples of faith, “Keep going, I made it and you can, too! I know it’s hard, but the reward is worth it! Don’t quit! The finish line is not too far ahead!”

 

 

I would encourage you to study both the many interesting characters in the Bible and the great men and women who have run the race of faith over the course of church history. You’ll learn how they failed, so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes. And you’ll learn how they ran well, so that you can imitate their faith (13:7). Many of the battles they fought, whether on a personal level or in their ministries, you will have to fight, too.

 

 

No matter how tired, how worn, the bible promises rest and strength, they are both found by taking time to be with God.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

crossing over

October 27, 2016

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  We will pass over armed before the Lord into the land of Canaan, that the possession of our inheritance . . . may be ours” (Num. 32:32).

  If our Lord were to give rest from the processing required for spiritual growth, by what means would He accomplish His work in us? True, the war has been won at Calvary, but there are many “mopping up” battles to be fought. Victory is ours, but we must learn how to wear our armor and handle our weapons. We must also come to know and appreciate our Captain as we enter into what He has accomplished on our behalf.

 The Christian who imagines that life in the Promised Land is one of rest from temptation and conflict, is due for a surprise. There is not less temptation, but more strong and subtle temptation. There is no less conflict, but more constant conflict. The difference lies in the fact that in Canaan the battle is not fought under our own leadership, but under that of the Victorious Man with the drawn sword, who has never suffered defeat. It is not rest from conflict, but rest in conflict. In Canaan, Israel lost only one battle in seven years, and that was because of culpable disobedience and sin.

 It has been well said that spiritual believers are honored with warfare in the front line areas. There the fiercest pressure of the enemy is known. But they are also privileged to witness the enemy’s crushing defeat, so abundant is the power of God, and thus highly is the spiritual believer honored.

  “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper…. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord” (Isa. 54:17).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Marilyn A, she is facing many challenges right now and is bone weary.

Pray for Chuck, recovering from heart attack

Pray for Paul K, a tumor in his kidney the size of a orange

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The Social Nature of Man, part of God’s plan for man

According to Genesis 1, when God surveyed His creation piece by piece He affirmed it as “good,” and when He had finished His work He said it was “very good.” But there was one fly in the ointment: “And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him'” (v. 18). For the first time God announces something is “not good,” and it has to do with man’s sense of isolation and his inability to reproduce himself according to the divine instructions.

The “helper comparable to him” was absolutely necessary. There are as many opinions as to how long Adam was alone as there are opinions as to the significance of his mate being created after him. Some say that woman was clearly an afterthought, and others insist that when God looked at the man He had made He knew He could do much better so He made woman! One suspects, and sincerely hopes, that such comments are made with tongue in cheek!

 

 

This account of the beginning of man-woman relationships, however, is deeply significant. It is in the context of Adam’s review of the animal kingdom that “there was not found a helper comparable to him” (v. 20). Man and animals had their origins in the ground (adāmāh ), but as one species after another passed before Adam’s inquisitive and insightful gaze, it was clear that while he and the animals had much in common, they all had their mates, yet he was very much alone. So the Lord “caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs … then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman” (vv. 21, 22).

This beautiful, perfect woman was then presented by God to the revived Adam who immediately recognized that she was uniquely part of him. The estrangement and distance which he had felt so poignantly as he reviewed the rest of creation was gone. They were truly meant for each other!

 

 

Theologians and commentators through the centuries have had a great time working on the significance of the “rib” and some of the results have been somewhat fanciful. But it is safe to see the ideas of Adam giving of himself for her and of her coming alongside him in his aloneness and limited-ness, when we realize that the Hebrew word for rib can also be translated “side.” This “alongside” relationship receives more support when we consider the famous expression “helpmeet” or “helper corresponding to him.” It is unfortunate that “helpmeet” has been used in such a way that its meaning has been obscured. The word “helper” occurs twenty-one times in the Old Testament and on fifteen of those occasions it refers to God helping man in one way or another—a fact which casts doubt on the common suggestion that woman as man’s helper was in some way subordinate and inferior.

 

 

When man saw woman he was so excited that he exclaimed “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (v. 23). The expression translated “this is now” is really an exclamation of delight meaning “at last,” or as some commentators suggest maybe even “Wow, look at that!” Up until this point ādām has been used for “man” but now the word used is ˒ı̂š and the word for woman ˒išâh—a connection as obvious in Hebrew as the connection between man and woman in English.

 

 

The summation of all this magnificent truth about the oneness, relatedness, along sidedness of male and female is: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (v. 24). The words have a familiar ring, of course, not only because they are the basis for the Lord Jesus’ exposition of marriage in Mark 10:7-9 but also because they are usually quoted at some stage of the marriage service.

The social needs of mankind are to be met uniquely but not exclusively in the marriage bond. As surely as God built physical laws into the universe from the very beginning He incorporated societal laws, and as surely as we cannot ignore the former with impunity we cannot allow the latter to be disregarded and expect our society to survive unscathed. The “leaving” and “cleaving” may sound old-fashioned—and so it is—but it is still God’s societal law. The “one flesh” relationship of “a man” and “his wife” may sound very restrictive to a society bent on such high-sounding but low-living ideals as “sexual emancipation.” But the law stands today as surely as it did in the beginning, and when it is honored and practiced, the result is the same—man and woman in loving, mutual respect and support live in harmony and openness. It will be for them as it was when Moses wrote: they are “not ashamed” (v. 25).

 

 

Some years ago I picked up a hitchhiker who, in the course of conversation, told me he was “trying to find himself.” I told him somewhat facetiously that I knew exactly where he was; he was sitting next to me! He smiled rather warily but then we talked more seriously. He really meant that he was trying to find significance and meaning in his life. Like many other people I have met he needed to be told or reminded that man’s meaning is found in his relationship to God, and nowhere is it better explained than in these early chapters of Genesis.

Yes, Virginia, the bible is true, right down to Genesis chapter one, have you ever thought about that Genesis is mainly about Genes, the birth of man, the birth of the earth, and the beginning of the Scarlet Thread of Redemption, that blood red cord that intertwines the entire story into one great act.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

can the bible be weird?

October 25, 2016

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If there is one word to describe this opening chapter of Ezekiel, it would be weird.

It might seem like an insult to say any part of the Bible is “weird,” but when it comes to Ezekiel, the term applies in all its many variations. Originally, the word derived from the Old English wyrd, which literally meant, “that which comes.” The sense “uncanny, supernatural” developed from Middle English, while the meaning “odd, strange, disturbingly different” appeared in the 1800s.

If the Bible is to shape and sanctify our imaginations, we must allow it to be what it is, rather than attempt to mold it to fit our understanding. For this reason, we need to embrace the Biblical weirdness of Ezekiel’s visions. Here are three ways to do that:
1. Acknowledge all the ways it is weird—The weird parts of the Bible often have three components: they’re disturbingly different from our normal experience, they reveal a supernatural aspect of reality and they are “that which comes” from God, usually (as in the case of Ezekiel) taking the form of a vision.
2. Weird images aren’t literal—When the prophets saw a vision, it probably appeared to them much the same way our dreams appear to us, only much more real. If we try to imagine weird images (such as the “four faces”) literally, we fail to grasp what the prophets were really seeing.
3. Don’t rush to rationalize—When confronted with weird images in the Bible, we often rush to “translate” them into metaphors or symbols so we can rationally process them. We immediately ask, “What does this mean?” before “What am I seeing?” (i.e., the images produced in our imaginations from reading the text).
Most weird parts are found in oracles, messages from God delivered through a human spokesperson. Sometimes God speaks through the prophets to our rational minds directly, using words. Other times he reveals visions to the prophets, which use images intended to be processed first by our imaginations.

Don’t circumvent God’s intended form; if he uses images, he has a reason for doing so.

Don’t be dismayed when you read parts of the bible and they seem strange or difficult to understand. That’s normal, it’s what makes the bible the most studied book in the world.

Do you know that every government on the face of the planet studies the book of Revelation, Daniel and Ezekiel?

Because of all the prophecies that have come true, is that weird?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

knock, knock

October 24, 2016

After a spiritual victory expect the enemy of your soul to pay you a visit.

So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah, and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them. For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shecaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.
Nehemiah 6:15-19

It says in verse 15 that the wall was completed in fifty-two days and all the surrounding nations were afraid because they realized God had helped. You might expect an end to the memoirs of Nehemiah or a “They lived happily ever after” because the wall was completed, but that doesn’t happen. The enemy attacked again immediately.

The next attack came through the nobles of Judah, who would have been very influential, as Judah was the royal line. They were bound to Tobiah through marriage and were sharing everything Nehemiah said with him. At the same time, they continually spoke good words about Tobiah. However, these good words were ingenuous, as Tobiah kept sending intimidating letters to Nehemiah (v. 19).

Attacking immediately after a victory is a common tactic of Satan. We get a picture of Satan’s opportunistic nature in Luke 2:13, right after Satan’s temptation of Jesus. Look at what it says: “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time” (Luke 2:13).

The devil is always looking for an opportune time. Though Jesus had won the victory, Satan was still looking and ready to attack. I think a good picture of attacking after victory is seen with Jesus and Peter in Matthew 16:15-23. Jesus said, “Who do men say that I am?” and Peter responded, “The Christ, the Son of God.” Christ blessed him and said, “Blessed are you for man has not revealed this to you but my Father in heaven” and he also said, “On this rock I will build my church.”

Peter had been blessed by God; this was a great victory. Maybe, Peter felt really special after Christ’s blessing. However, only minutes later, he would stumble greatly. Christ told the disciples that he would be crucified and raised from the dead. Peter immediately rebuked Jesus saying that he would not die. Christ responded by saying, “Get behind me Satan for you are an offense to me.” Right after Peter’s victory, the enemy found a door to speak through him.

Similarly, in 1 Kings 18, Elijah had a tremendous victory over the priests of Baal, as God sent fire down on the altar, and Elijah had all the priests killed. However, in 1 Kings 19, Queen Jezebel promised to, likewise, kill Elijah, and he ran for his life. He became depressed and even asked for God to take his life. Right after his greatest victory came his greatest defeat.

Satan is always looking for an opportune time and typically that comes very shortly after a victory. Many Christians go to the mountain top only to stumble quickly down to the valley. This is a common tactic of the enemy.

As one who worked with youth over seven years, I saw this many times. The students would go to a retreat and get on fire for God, and it was right after the high that they would come stumbling down. It was right after the mountain top experience that they had a valley experience. They would have a major fight with a friend or family member, stumble on the Internet, start dealing with depression, etc. It was common.

Satan likes to attack right after a victory. Many couples stumble into an argument right after leaving a Spirit-filled service. Many are tempted right after getting out of their devotions and going to work. Satan attacks right after a victory. I think part of the reason this is common is because it is right after a victory that we have a tendency to let down our guard and relax.

Scottish minister Andrew A. Bonar said this, “Let us be as watchful after the victory as before the battle.” We must be as watchful after the victory as before the battle, especially because we know our enemy’s tactics. (I would highly recommend the reading of Rev. Bonar, they are deep, insightful and will stir you.)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

it’s all in your head

October 23, 2016

thinking over feeling

The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7).

If a Christian does not realize his identification with Christ in His death, he does not know true consecration. Crucifixion is the path to, and foundation of, consecration. The deeper truths are not entered into through consecration—they are its basis. “The price of consecration is crucifixion.”

Present yourself unto God as alive from the dead’ (Rom. 6:13). This is the true ground of consecration. For believers to ‘consecrate themselves to God’ ere they have learnt their union with Christ in death and resurrection is only to present to God the members of the natural man, which He cannot use. Only those ‘alive from the dead’—that is, having appropriated their likeness with Him in death—are bidden to present their members as instruments unto God.

The modern teaching of consecration, which is tantamount to the consecration of the ‘old man,’ seeks to bypass the death sentence and therefore only leads to frustration and failure. When, however, you and I are prepared, in simple humility, to make the fact of our death with Christ our daily basis of life and service, there is nothing that can prevent the uprising and outflow of new life, and meet the need of thirsty souls around us.

“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors bound not to the Flesh, that we should live after the Flesh [but to the Spirit]” (Rom. 8:12)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

really white

October 22, 2016

Image result for a pictures of a snow covered fields

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7

I heard of a missionary whose wife was very fastidious. They moved into a small hut, and soon she noticed that the floor was filthy. The first thing the wife wanted to do was to scrub that floor, so she scrubbed and scrubbed but to no avail. She began to wonder if she would ever get the floor clean. Finally, somebody told her the problem. It was a dirt floor! The more she scrubbed the more dirt she scrubbed up.

In the same way, we can never scrub off our sinful nature. All we do is reveal more of what is there.

I hate to tell you this, but we’re rotten to the core.

Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

How dirty are you this morning? How clean must you be before you can talk with your heavenly Father? Claim the blood of Jesus and commune freely with your Father who loves you.

I was talking to my publisher today and he is always trying to get me to publish my biography. I usually always say no, but today he said it would be a great read to those that feel they are to bad to get saved. It rang a real bell, and for the first time I agreed to send him three chapters and see what kind of feedback he gets.

Today’s devotional really fits the theme of my life and all believers, dirty filthy sinners, purged, white, forgiven saints; thank God, literally thank God.

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