OUT OF ORDER

January 31, 2017

WELL BETWEEN THE ANESTHESIA AND THE 8 SPINAL INJECTIONS I’M BUSHED, TIRED, STRESSED, EXHAUSTED. YOU GET MY POINT,

BLESSINGS AND SEE YOU TOMORROW.

SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

be a dog

January 30, 2017

Image result for lassie the dog

Unabashedly Repeated,

I thought I lost count of how many times I’ve preached from the book of Jonah, turns our 27 times in 40 years. And this small part is probably my favorite part about being obedient to God. So with no reservations…….

Who doesn’t like a story about a dog, you’ve got lassie, rin tin tin, old yellar, and now days movies with talking dogs.

So here’s a story about a dog.

A Wycliffe bible translator is in Africa, and he’s trying to write the gospels for this African tribe who has no written language, so he has to invent a form of writing that he can teach this tribe in words that they already know.

He’s at a point where he has the basics down and is teaching the tribe literally their ABC’s while at the same time trying to write the New Testament for them.

Well he’s stuck on one word; the word ‘obedience’ the tribe seems to have no word for this in their vocabulary. In frustration one night he steps out of his hut and there is a dog that has adopted him, the dog has no name, he is just the dog.

The man calls the dog to him and the dog comes and sits at his feet, the man kneels down and is petting the dog, when he hears the voice of a tribal elder speaking to him. The man says; “I see your dog is all ears” and immediately the Holy Spirit gives witness in his heart that this is the tribal equivalent to the English word for “obedience”.

All ears, that’s a pretty good way of understanding what it means to be obedient. We are called to not only hear the Word of God, but to obey the Word of God; and there is a special judgment on believers that hear the Word of God and not obey it.

So are you ‘all ears’

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

surprise

January 29, 2017

Although God doesn’t choose many who are “wise according to worldly standards,” he does call people from every imaginable circumstance and background. Our Father draws to himself people with few Christian resources and people with many Christian resources, such as those who aren’t able even to own a Bible and those who own many; those who do not live near a good, healthy church and those who experience rich fellowship and sound biblical exposition every week; those who cannot read or who have no Christian books and those for whom many Christian books are readily available; those who have no access to Christian teaching by means of various media and those who do.

But if God invites and expects all his children— regardless of their age, IQ, education, or resources— to do the same thing— to pray— then prayer has to be simple.

 

Look, I don’t know about anybody else. I just know that when I pray, it’s boring. So it must be me. There’s something wrong with me. In fact, now that you’ve shown me all the advantages I have in comparison to many other Christians in the world, I feel guiltier than ever. I felt like a failure in prayer before, but apparently I’m even worse than I thought. Thanks a lot! Boy, I’m sure glad that I decided to read this devotion!

 

 

It’s possible that you have been saying the same old things about the same old things in prayer for so long that it’s hard for you to believe that you could easily learn to pray any other way, as though you were listening to a lung specialist say that you could easily change the way you breathe. Many who are reading this devotion have endured the guilt of an incurably wandering mind and feelings of boredom in prayer for decades, and here comes somebody asking you to believe that there is a simple, permanent, biblical solution to a problem that’s plagued you for most of your life. Would I really ask you to believe that?

By his Spirit, he gives to all of us a desire to pray. Would he do this for all if meaningful prayer was doable only by some? Would your heavenly Father make prayer so difficult or confusing that you could never enjoy it or, rather, never enjoy him through prayer? Despite his love for his people, a love demonstrated by the incarnation and crucifixion of his Son for them, a love made evident by providing the Holy Spirit and the Bible and the church, would he then devise a means of communion between himself and his children that most would find to be a frustrating, boring monotony? That makes no sense. What does make sense is that the Father, who wanted to enjoy fellowship with all his children and wanted all his children to enjoy talking with him, would make it simple for all to do so.

Okay, there is a catch, or snag to the solution, you have to read your bible, especially the psalms. Just read one a day and take a pencil and underline the parts that speak to you and then pray them, it’s just that simple. In fact it’s so simple some of you won’t do it because it didn’t cost 20 dollars nor did some guy on television tell you it’s a secret.

Let’s start with the 23 psalms, Lord, I thank you that you are my shepherd. You’re a good shepherd. You have shepherded me all my life. And, great Shepherd, please shepherd my family today: guard them from the ways of the world; guide them into the ways of God. Lead them not into temptation; deliver them from evil. O great Shepherd, I pray for my children; cause them to be your sheep. May they love you as their shepherd, as I do. And, Lord, please shepherd me in the decision that’s before me about my future. Do I make that move, that change, or not? I also pray for our under-shepherds at the church. Please shepherd them as they shepherd us.

Yes, Lord, do lead me in that decision I have to make about my future. I want to do what you want, O Lord, but I don’t know what that is. Please lead me into your will in this matter. And lead me beside still waters in this. Please quiet the anxious waters in my soul about this situation. Let me experience your peace. May the turbulence in my heart be stilled by trust in you and your sovereignty over all things and over all people.

My Shepherd, I come to you so spiritually dry today. Please restore my soul; restore to me the joy of your salvation. And I pray you will restore the soul of that person from work/ school/ down the street with whom I’m hoping to share the gospel. Please restore his soul from darkness to light, from death to life.

See and I’m only up to the third verse, it’s that simple, your prayers don’t have to be long or fancy, just sincere. And once you start having success in your prayers so will your eyes be open to other verses in the bible.

the-prayer

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

wipe out

January 28, 2017

Image result for picture of a surfboard wipeout

  “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

  The Lord Jesus was in our place of death and judgment; we are in His place of life and glory.

  Romans Seven describes the experience of the believer who has been shown by the law principle the terrible consequences of his position in Adam. Romans Eight describes the experience of the believer who knows what it is to be “in Christ,” and who is being made free experientially from “the law of sin and death” by “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”

  “It is of immense importance for every Christian to know that ‘our old man’ has been fully judged and ended before God. Not changed or forgiven but utterly condemned in the death of the Lord Jesus. ‘God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh’ (Rom. 8:3). Where sin brought us, love brought the Lord Jesus—even to death; and His death is the end before God of all that we were as children of Adam—men in the flesh.

On the other hand, we have life in One who is risen from the dead. We did belong to the race of which Adam was head; but the death of Christ is, in God’s reckoning, the termination of our history in Adam. A new Head has been provided for us, and we have been transferred by divine grace from Adam to Christ.

  “He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves; but unto Him” (2 Cor. 5:15).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

oh the humanity

January 27, 2017

Genesis Chapter 9

THE HUMAN RACE, HUMANITY AS A COMMODITY

God’s words to Noah were intended to remind him of man’s unique and dignified position. He spoke of a “special commission.” “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Gen. 9:1). Despite his awful fallenness, man was still to reproduce himself and fill the earth with his kind. God’s purposes still incorporated man and he was to do what only man could do. God had chosen not to eradicate man and had decided not to replace him with another order of created being. The commission to man still stood. Man was still in charge of the animal kingdom and the agent of the divine rule, but a new note had crept in. Under Adam’s rule there was no suggestion of tension between man and the animal kingdom. But for Noah there would be a difference—”And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth…. They are given into your hand” (v. 2). In addition man was given specific permission to eat flesh—”Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs” (v. 3). This may have been an implicit right before the Fall but it had not been stated explicitly. The relationship between man and animal was basically the same, but the differences were real.

God also spoke about “special creation” reminding Noah, “For in the image of God He made man” (v. 6). There was no dilution of man’s dignity at this point either, but the same note of caution was sounded. Man, made in God’s image, had shown himself capable of taking man’s life, and this was totally unacceptable to God. Man had to be protected from himself. “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed” (vv. 4-6). While these verses figure largely in debates on capital punishment it should be noted that they serve a broader purpose. They certainly have something to say about retribution but they are saying much more. If an animal killed a man, killing the animal could hardly be regarded as retribution but it was required! The eating of blood with the flesh was also regarded as unacceptable even though the taking of the life of the animal was permissible. This passage is speaking of the inestimable worth of lifeblood, whether human or animal but particularly human, because life itself is the gift of God and must not be abused.

Then God reminded Noah of the “special covenant” which He had introduced in response to the loving sacrifice at the time of disembarkation from the ark. It was described as “the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth” (v. 16). The extent of the covenant is seen in the use of “everlasting” and “all flesh,” and the fact that it originated with God and guaranteed that there would never again be a flood like that which mankind had just experienced. In addition the introduction of an unmistakable sign in the heavens—”I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth” (v. 13)—showed the depth of God’s concern for His covenant children. For God to speak in this way to mankind was yet another indication of the unique relationship which man, even in his fallenness, enjoyed not only with a Creator but also with a covenant God.

Man has always displayed an innate sense of his own worth. He resolutely insists on being treated properly and consistently speaks of his high view of himself. But man’s reasons for this sense of his own dignity have not always been valid. It is only in his relationship to God through creation, commission, and covenant that man has the right to regard himself as uniquely worthy of respect. It is only in terms of deity that man finds dignity.

It is at these same three points that the prostitution of human dignity takes place. The doctrine of special creation has been widely dismissed. The concept of a divinely imparted special commission has been diluted, and to a large extent the special covenant has been ignored.

The results of these attitudes are seen in “the cheapness of human life.” Despite the clear prohibition of Genesis 9:6, human history has been stained with the blood of violence’s victims, and the horrors of terrorism and visions of nuclear disaster do nothing to alleviate man’s nervousness. When the United Nations Organization was founded at the end of the Second World War, one of its objectives was to put an end to the strife and tension which lead to violence and bloodshed. Since that time over 100 million people have lost their lives in warfare not to mention other forms of violence. At any given moment there are over 200 wars going on this planet.

Another evidence of the loss of human dignity is “the casualness of human relationships.” God had introduced the wonderful principle of covenant and in so doing had not only shown his commitment to mankind but had also shown man how relationships based on covenant and commitment were to be normative. The breakdown in this area can readily be documented and the seeds of this breakdown can even be seen in Noah’s family. When Ham, one of Noah’s sons, was inadvertently confronted with Noah’s shame he apparently delighted in it, shared it with his brothers, and was roundly judged for it.

Respect for parents, the sanctity of marriage, and the cohesiveness of the family unit would rapidly deteriorate producing all manner of aberrations in human sociology and psychology not to mention spirituality.

Then there was “the corruptness of moral standards.” The sad story of Noah’s downfall is but the preliminary to innumerable sordid stories of human disintegration. “Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent” (vv. 20-21). What the Bible has to say on the subject of strong drink and drunkenness should be carefully studied because the impact of alcohol on human morals and the resultant fallout in heartbreak and death is well documented. That Noah’s sons, Shem and Japheth, instinctively recognized something was wrong about their father’s condition is shown by their respectful action, and the blessing they received is evidence enough that there is reward for those who hold a high view of human dignity and refuse to do anything to diminish it.

Noah’s patriarchal curse on Ham and blessing of Shem and Japheth were prophetic in that they predicted the relationships between the tribal descendants of the brothers. The subjugation of the Canaanite descendants of Ham has been used by some to justify slavery and racial discrimination, but it should be remembered that One was to come who would accept the curse of all men and even become “a servant of servants” in order that freedom from oppression and opportunity for fullness of life might be available to all people. Those who follow the Suffering Servant seek to alleviate suffering and to elevate the downtrodden to a place of dignity in His name.

There is no shortage of opportunities to promote human dignity because there is no shortage of attempts to abuse and denigrate God’s creation. Anyone who has sat and counseled a battered wife knows something of the anguish caused by a man who either has no respect for his spouse as a person, whatever her failings, or has so little respect for himself that he has capitulated his life to forces which serve only to destroy whatever self-respect he may have preserved.

Many people are outraged at the incidence of pornographic materials which employ children or humiliate women. The callousness of those who seek to profit from such traffic and the condition of those who allow themselves to be aroused by such material serve only to show how deeply fallen we are and how desperately concerned we should be to see the results of human fallenness reversed in the power of Christ. Racism and bigotry continue to raise their ugly heads and in so doing plunge their victims into increasingly unacceptable positions of oppression and indignity. The commitment of many of God’s people to alleviate the deprivation of the underprivileged and the suffering of the abused is the only appropriate response to an understanding of man’s inhumanity to man and the need to redress it in the name of the Lord.

BLESSINGS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

 

cough!

January 26, 2017

Image result for picture of a person coughing

I THESSALONIANS 5:17

PRAY WITH OUT CEASING,

A VERY MISUNDERSTOOD VERSE IN THE BIBLE AND ONE THAT OFTEN MAKES CHRISTIANS FEEL LIKE THEY ARE NOT LIVING UP TO THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.

THE WORD PHRASE “WITHOUT CEASING IS FROM THE GREEK WORD adialeiptos

WHICH IS ACTUALLY A WORD FOUND IN ANCIENT MANUSCRIPTS OFTEN AS A WORD USED IN PHARMACOLOGY. THE “A” IN FRONT OF THE WORD; “DIALEIPTOS” IS A NEGATIVE PREFIX. MANUSCRIPTS HAVE BEEN FOUND IN REFERENCE TO THIS WORD AND WAS USED TO DESCRIBE A REMEDY FOR COUGHING.

SO THE CORRECT WORD USAGE OF THE PHRASE ‘WITHOUT CEASING’; WOULD MEAN PROLONG THE INTERVALS BETWEEN COUGHING. BUT IN PAUL’S CASE BY PUTTING THE NEGATIVE “A” HE REALLY MEANS; LESSEN THE INTERVALS.

SO PRAYING WITH OUT CEASING REALLY MEANS; LESSEN THE INTERVALS BETWEEN PRAYER.

WHEW, WHAT A RELIEF. NOW I KNOW THAT I’M NOT FAILING THE LORD BY SUPPOSEDLY PRAYING ALL THE TIME.

NOW I JUST HAVE TO WORK ON MAKING SURE I PRAY IN REGULAR INTERVALS, WITH THE INTERVALS GETTING SHORTER.

MY BURDEN TO PERFORM SPIRITUAL GYMNASTICS JUST GOT LIGHTER.

IT’S ALL GOOD NEWS, WHEW!

BLESSINGS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

 

HEY JUDE!

January 25, 2017

 Jude verse 24;

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,

And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25To God our Savior,

Who alone is wise,

Be glory and majesty,

Dominion and power,

Both now and forever.

Amen.(NKJV)

 

 And now from the Amplified Bible (AMP)

 

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling or falling into sin, and to present you unblemished [blameless and faultless] in the presence of His glory with triumphant joy and unspeakable delight,

 

 

I’ve literally read the book of Jude about 15 times today. It’s been a long time since I’ve done any sermons from it. but the part I keep walking away with, buried deep in my heart is “He is able” and “He Alone”.

And even though you have days where you feel like a complete fool, and utter failure, in God’s eye we haven’t even stumbled, we are faultless through Christ. How often do we need to remind ourselves that we are washed whiter than snow and seen in His presence as complete, whole, redeemed, and not a failure.

 

 

Praise God that he is so merciful and kind to us stooges.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Marion, she is 23 and just committed her life to being a missionary.

 

Tim S, he confessed today that he is arrogant, willful and stubborn and the major source of all the conflict in his marriage. This is a huge step for his recovery and saving his marriage

GO AHEAD, RUIN YOUR MARRIAGE, HERE’S HOW!

Be Selfish

The first step is to be selfish. My pastor once said that the AIDS of marriage is justified self-centeredness. Everything needs to revolve around you because, let’s face it, you are at the center of the universe, right? If you find something you like to do that ignores your spouses’ feelings and interests, go ahead and do it! Too bad if they don’t like it! You only go around once in life, so grab for all the gusto you can get!

Always insist on having things your own way. If you don’t get your own way, throw a tantrum. Or freeze your spouse out. Get your kids involved in this game by saying things like, “Would you please ask your father to pass the salt?” Don’t be afraid to withhold sex if your spouse isn’t letting you have things your own way. There’s a lot of power in that, so don’t waste it!

If there’s only enough money in your budget for what one of you wants, make sure you get what you want. Especially if you’re the wage earner, or if you make more than the other. Money is power, and don’t be afraid to use it against your spouse!

Make demands instead of requests. Wives, let your husband know that he will do things your way, or you’ll make his life miserable. Husbands, when you want your wife to do something, just tell her to do it. “Please” and “thank you” are for the kids. This is your spouse you’re talking about—they don’t need it. Save all your courtesy for strangers; don’t waste it on the person you said you’d spend the rest of your life with.

What we really mean to say:

Selfishness is guaranteed to hurt marriages, so ask for God’s help in putting your husband or wife ahead of yourself so you don’t trash your marriage.

Pick at Each Other

The second step is to pick at each other. If you know that something you do annoys your spouse, be sure to do it often. And intentionally. When she complains about it, tell her to buzz off, it’s not as annoying as the stupid things she does to bug you. The more childish the annoying habit, the better.

Be critical of the smallest thing the other one says and does. Don’t let your spouse get away with anything! Stay vigilant for every little offense. Be sure to address these small details with an air of superiority . . . unless it works better for you to act like a martyr, as if you deserve the Nobel Prize for putting up with someone who doesn’t squeeze the toothpaste from the end.

Always get the last word when you’re arguing. Dr. Phil McGraw has said that the most accurate predictor of divorce is when people don’t allow their partners to retreat with dignity. So make your spouse feel whipped and defeated at the end of a fight. As long as you win, that’s what matters.

Let The Kids Be More Important

A third step to trashing your marriage is to let the kids become more important than your spouse. Moms, make your husband feel left out of the intimate, secret relationship between you and your baby. As the baby grows, continue to draw the line where it’s you and your child on one side, your husband on the other. Keep your Mommy hat on all day and all night. Your kids don’t care if your hair is brushed and if you put on perfume and a little makeup before Daddy comes home, so why should he?

Dads, invest all your energies into making your child succeed at what he’s good at, or what you want him to be good at. Squeeze out Mom so that you will be your kid’s favorite parent. Work so hard on homework and school projects that there’s no time for family time.

Let the kids and your other priorities crowd out your “alone together” time. Date nights are for unmarried people! In order to be fulfilled as a person, it is essential to invest all your energies in parenting, career, housework, church commitments and hobbies, so don’t worry if there isn’t enough time left over for the two of you. It’s no big deal. There’s always tomorrow. Or next year.

What we really mean to say:

Hey! If you find yourself doing these things, stop! You don’t have to trash your marriage!

Show Disrespect

Show disrespect for your spouse, especially in public. One of the best ways to disrespect your partner is ugly name-calling, especially about things he or she can’t change. However, the old standbys of “stupid,” “fat,” “ugly,” “weak,” and “loser” are always effective, too.

Complain about your spouse to your friends. It’s even more powerful if you do it in front of your spouse. Then, if he objects, punch him in the arm and say, “I’m just kidding! You take everything so seriously!”

There are a number of ways to show disrespect with nonverbal communication. Roll your eyes, cluck your tongue, narrow your eyes in contempt. The heavy sigh is a real winner, too.

Wives: Straighten out your husband when he makes a mistake, especially in front of others. Lecture him. Ridicule him: his feelings, his behavior, his dreams, his thoughts. Do everything you can to emasculate your husband. Husbands: Let your wife know you think your opinion is better than hers. Interrupt her when she’s speaking.

Refuse to Meet Emotional Needs

Another easy way to trash your marriage is to refuse to meet your spouse’s emotional needs. Men and women need different things from their life partners. Husbands’ top needs, it turns out, are: first of all sexual fulfillment; second, recreational companionship; third, an attractive spouse; fourth, domestic support; and fifth, admiration. Wives, if you want to trash your marriage, ignore his need for sex and that you be there for him in leisure time. Blow off his desire that you look your best and he can be proud that you’re his wife. Make your home as stressful and chaotic as you can, and never, ever tell him what you admire about him.

Wives’ top needs are: first of all affection; second conversations; third, honesty and openness; fourth, financial commitment; and fifth, family commitment. So guys, if you want to trash your marriage, don’t show your wife you love and appreciate her. Don’t talk to her. Close off your heart to her. Make her constantly worry about finances. Don’t be a faithful husband and father.

Remember, we’re being tongue-in-cheek here. We want you to build your marriage, not trash it!

Treat Your Friends Better than Your Spouse

The sixth easy step to trashing your marriage is to treat your friends better than your spouse. Since a lot of men unfortunately don’t even have friends, this is something women tend to do more. Women know how to treat their girlfriends. They call them up just to encourage them. They drop off flowers for no reason. They send them cards, and they listen intently to whatever’s going on in their lives. They are emotionally invested in their friends. They are quick to mention when someone looks nice or does something well because women are usually good at affirming each other. If you want to trash your marriage, don’t do any of these thoughtful kindnesses for your husband. If your girlfriend is having a bad day, go out of your way to take her a wonderful casserole and fresh salad and dessert . . . but serve your husband Spaghetti-O’s.

But husbands, if your wife needs you for something at home, and your buddy scores some tickets to a game, tell your wife “too bad, so sad.” After all, she’ll be around forever but tonight’s hockey game won’t. If someone at church or in the neighborhood needs something fixed, drop everything to take care of it, even if it means that the broken things around your house will continue to go unfixed.

Be a Pansy

Step number seven for trashing your marriage has two parts. Husbands, be a pansy. Retreat into the safety of passivity. Refuse to take initiative or responsibility in making plans or suggestions. That way, when things go wrong, you can say, “Don’t blame me! It’s not my fault!” These are great ways to trash your marriage.

Be His Mother

Wives, be a mother to your husband. When people ask how many children you have, say things like, “Two—three, if you count my husband.” Tell him to wear a coat when it’s cold and take an umbrella when it’s raining, because he can’t figure it out on his own. Be sure to say “I told you so” as often as possible. If he is passive or irresponsible, jump in and rescue him so he won’t have to deal with the consequences of his own choices. Make sure he feels three years old. Tell him how to live his life, down to the smallest detail.

What we really mean to say:

Please, if you find yourself doing these things, ask for God’s help in being constructive instead of destructive. We want to help you build your marriage, not trash it.

When You’re Angry, Blow Up

Let’s talk about one final way to trash your marriage. Yell and scream, or quietly say hurtful words; it doesn’t matter. Inflicting pain is the important thing. Call each other names in the heat of your emotion. Dredge up the past and bring up old hurts. You can hit or slap with words as well as with hands, and they each leave a different kind of lasting damage to your spouse and to your marriage. Losing control when you’re angry is a powerful way to hurt your spouse.

WELL THERE YOU HAVE A BLUE PRINT TO TOTAL MARITAL FAILURE.

Of course, we don’t want your marriage to fail but a good marriage takes lots of work.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

GOD REMEMBERS

January 22, 2017

“God remembered Noah, and every living thing … and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided … then the ark rested … on the mountains of Ararat” (Gen. 8:1-4). Noah and his party were about to embark on an exciting new experience of discovery. But they were aware that all they had was directly attributable to the gracious intervention of God. This was underlined by God’s remembering of them. They were not likely to forget, either, that they had escaped the judgment of God only because the judgment had been meted out in such a way that they had not been destroyed by it. They had gone through the same things that their contemporaries had experienced except that they had been sheltered under the ark of God’s providing, and it was at His command that “the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained” (vv. 1-2).

These benefits accrued to Noah through faith and obedience which he had exercised over many years and which he continued to exercise as the ark grounded and the waters receded. He seemed to have been in no great hurry to open the window and look out at the new environment in which he and his family had arrived. Patiently he continued his life of faith and his careful attention to all that God had instructed him to do. It was thus that he entered the new creation. Nothing has changed for those who, today, experience a similar but far greater salvation. Paul describes the person who is in Christ as: “a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). Peter makes even more explicit use of Noah’s story to make a similar point in 1 Peter 3:20-22. In the same way that Noah sheltered in the ark so we shelter from the wrath of God in Christ and find ourselves raised into newness of life in Him in much the same way that Noah and his family found themselves in the new world.

 

Noah could have settled down in the ark and rejoiced in the fact that he had survived the wrath of God. But the ark might have been getting a little musty by this time with all those animals around the place! So he decided to start enjoying his new situation rather than rejoicing in his past experience. There is a lesson here for many of God’s people!

He shows us “the excitement of exploration.” Utilizing the resources he had available, in this case a raven and a dove, Noah started his scientific exploration of the new creation. Modern man has a tendency to think that he is smart and all his forebears were just chugging along waiting for modern man to appear on the scene and get everything together. But Noah certainly knew what he was doing. It would be a long time before Pavlov would experiment with his dogs and Skinner with his pigeons, but Noah knew how to use animals to discover his world. It would be many centuries before modern man would articulate the “scientific method,” but Noah showed that he understood how to make a hypothesis, how to experiment, and how to come to a conclusion. There was no way that he was going to trust himself to the new post-flood environment without the kind of evidence that would assure him it was time to move. This in no way reflected on his faith any more than being a man of faith suggests that rational inquiry is out of order.

Noah dispatched the raven “which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth” (Gen. 8:7). With all the death around, the raven found plenty to occupy itself so “He also sent out from himself a dove … but the dove found no resting place … and she returned … So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself” (vv. 8-9). He now knew that a raven could survive outside the ark and a dove could not so he drew his conclusions from that data. After a week he dispatched the dove again and this time she returned bearing the well-known olive branch. Now “Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth” (v. 11). After another week the dove flew another mission from which she did not return and Noah had all the information he needed so he “removed the covering of the ark” (v. 13). Noah, the man of faith and obedience, was also a man of resourcefulness and intelligence which he channeled into a thorough exploration of all that God had for him.

The excitement Noah experienced was tempered with “the discipline of delay.” While scholars do not agree on the exact duration of the flood it is reasonable to assume that from the time Noah and family boarded the ark to the moment of disembarkation, approximately one year had elapsed. On the one hand this may seem a short time for all the water to drain away (if the flood was universal and covered Mt. Everest the drain off rate would be in excess of well over 100 feet per day!), but for Noah sitting in the ark wondering what was going on outside it must have seemed an interminable amount of time. Yet he showed great patience as he methodically went about his work trusting the God who had given him every reason to trust Him. Being over six hundred years old has definite advantages when it comes to patience, but in our shorter life span we need to learn it more expeditiously. In an age and culture which has produced instant replays, instant potatoes, instant coffee, same-day cleaning, and digital photography it is not surprising that we have learned to pray, “Lord, give me patience and give it to me now!” But in the economy of God, which has an eternal dimension, things don’t always move as fast as we would like and we have to remind ourselves that delay has its own discipline, and discipline produces its own character. That which is gained easily is often lightly prized, that which arrives suddenly more often than not departs in similar fashion.

It is significant that Noah’s first action on dry land was an act of worship. He enjoyed “the sweetness of sacrifice.” “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma” (vv. 20-21). Noah’s resources for himself and his family were definitely limited, and the task of repopulating the earth was immense; so it would have been easy for him to rationalize that a sacrifice at this time might not be wise. Apparently he did not arrive at this conclusion. There has always been a segment of society which regards sacrifice as waste and can always find better uses for resources than to spend them in acts of generous praise and thanksgiving. But those who never learn the joys of giving become shriveled in their hearts even as they become bloated in their assets. The anthropomorphism of the Lord smelling an aroma should be seen as a delightful expression of divine satisfaction and approval—something that more than compensates for any criticism that the worshiper may be subjected to by those who are more materialistic in their views. Paul uses a similar expression to describe the Lord Jesus’ self-sacrifice on our behalf (Eph. 5:2).

God’s response to Noah’s worship was to say in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. / ‘While the earth remains, / Seedtime and harvest, / Cold and heat, / Winter and summer, / And day and night / Shall not cease'” (vv. 21-22). As a result of these stirring and welcome words Noah was introduced to a new sense of security. “The certainty of commitment” became a factor in his new life. While he had shown a remarkable commitment to the purposes of God he was being reminded of a far greater commitment—that which God exhibits to His own purposes and plans. Noah found himself caught up in these plans and as a result knew that he was safe in the sovereign immutable purpose of the Eternal One. It is worth noting that God’s commitment was not based on man’s worthiness. God’s statement was made at the same time that His awareness and disapproval of man’s unrelenting evil was reiterated.

Noah’s experience beautifully illustrates that of the believer who “in Christ … is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). This believer, like Noah, is invited to step out and explore the newness of life which is his “in Christ,” rejoicing in God’s grace, reveling in the bounty which is his in the new environment, resting in the assurance of God’s benevolence on his behalf, and reflecting his gratitude in sacrificial service. In this way the new creation is enjoyed and explored to the full.

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM 

 

garbage brain

January 22, 2017

Image result for character that lives in a garbage can

we must control what comes into our minds.

 

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Patrick Buchanan has observed, “The food that enters the mind must be watched as closely as the food that enters the body” (Reader’s Digest [11/89], p. 203). Frank Outlaw wrote, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny” (Reader’s Digest [date not known]). To obey what Paul is saying, we must exercise control over our thought life. This involves at least five things:

 

1. We need the mind of Christ through conversion.

 

Before a person knows Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, he has a depraved mind (Rom. 1:28). He lives in the lusts of his flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind (Eph. 2:3). God must supernaturally raise us from our state of being dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1) and impart to us a new nature that is able to obey Him (Eph. 4:22-24). Paul says that “the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Rom. 8:7-9). As he goes on to explain, the Holy Spirit gives us the power to put to death the deeds of the flesh and to live in obedience to God.

 

2. We must clean out and block out sources for sinful thoughts.

 

We cannot have a pure thought life without first ridding ourselves of things which defile us. It would be like trying to clean yourself while you’re lying in a mud hole. The first step is to get out of the mud and get to a source of soap and water. If we allow things into our lives which promote sensuality, greed, sexual impurity, crude language, violence, hatred, love of self, or anything else not pleasing to God, we cannot grow in holiness.

 

I agree with Pastor Kent Hughes, who in his book, Disciplines of a Godly Man ([Crossway Books], p. 75) writes, “I am aware of the wise warnings against using words like ‘all,’ ‘every,’ and ‘always’ in what I say. Absolutizing one’s pronouncements is dangerous. But I’m going to do it anyway. Here it is: It is impossible for any Christian who spends the bulk of his evenings, month after month, week upon week, day in and day out watching the major TV networks or contemporary videos to have a Christian mind. This is always true of all Christians in every situation!” (emphasis his). Amen!

 

It needs to be said: You will not be a godly person if you do not control the TV, videos, movies, music, magazines, books, and even the radio programs you take in. If something is polluting you or tempting you, get rid of it and make plans to avoid it!

 

3. Take in God’s Word from every source.

 

Read it daily. If you’re not a reader, listen to it on tape. You have no excuses for not saturating your mind with Scripture. As Kent Hughes also says, “You cannot be profoundly influenced by that which you do not know” (p. 77). I cannot encourage you enough to memorize verses that relate to problems you struggle with. Unless the Word is in your heart, God cannot use it when you are tempted (see Jesus’ example in fending off temptation, Matt. 4:1-11). You do not need to read the newspaper every day, but you desperately need to read your Bible every day! It’s like a daily shower–it cleanses off the dirt of the world (Eph. 5:26).

 

4. Expose your mind to the teaching and examples of the great Christians down through history.

 

Listen to and read sermons from godly men. The sermons and commentaries of John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, J. C. Ryle, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, F. B Meyers, J. Vernon McGee and other giants of the faith are available in print. Read the biographies of these and other godly men and women. With a few exceptions, avoid most of the modern Christian best sellers, and spend your time reading the works that have stood the test of time. These men walked with God, and they will feed your soul.

 

5. Listen to wholesome music, especially the great hymns of the faith.

 

I enjoy many of the praise choruses, especially those that are taken directly from Scripture. But also, some of the great hymns have a history of sustaining God’s people down through the years, and they are doctrinally meaty. The Wesley’s used hymns to teach theology to many who were illiterate. Get recordings of the great hymns and play them until you know them by heart. They will fill your mind with wholesome truth. And not the 7/11 songs, the same 7 words sung 11 times, even if it’s the name of Jesus, it’s not a great song, avoid songs that sing about “I”, as I’m really something.

Challenge your song leader if your hymnal’s been changed to “fit the times”.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com