Truly, Truly

March 31, 2017

It doesn’t matter if TV or the movies paint them as funny, emotional, gifted, misunderstood, passionate. Homosexuality is a sin. I am grieved that major charities like the Salvation Army and other charities afraid of lawsuits and loss of funding have committed to the idea that homosexuality is not a sin. That is the official stance of the national office. There is hope that the majority officers still believe in the bible. The salvation army has declared over and over that it doesn’t matter what the bible says about poverty or homosexuality, or even insurance for “alternate spouses”.

Any decision based on fear is a wrong decision, I hope the following shows what the bible truly says and the grace and forgiveness God has for all people.

Lev 18:22 You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman; it is a detestable act.

This straightforward law prohibits all homosexual acts. It makes no distinctions as to whether or not they were consensual. It comes in the midst of a section of laws related to sexual relationships. No consequence is given here in each verse for the individual laws, but rather they are all listed as things that must not be done. All of the items in this chapter’s list are said to “defile” (Lev. 18:24) and are called “abominations” (Lev. 18:27, 30).

Rom 1:20-32 For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse. (21) For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. (22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. (24) Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. (25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

(26) For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, (27) and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. (28) And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. (29) They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips, (30) slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents, (31) senseless, covenant-breakers, heartless, ruthless. (32) Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them.

This text discusses homosexuality more extensively than any other New Testament passage. However, homosexuality is not the overarching theme of this section. Paul wants to clearly explain the gospel. To do that though, it is necessary to show that all people are under God’s judgment and condemnation—and thus in need of the gospel. He starts by declaring that because the testimony of God is visible in nature all are without excuse for their rebellion against Him. The just wrath of God is on all ungodliness (Rom. 1). Then he shows that in condemning the sin of others we actually condemn ourselves (Rom. 2). Likewise even the Jewish people with the law are still fully under God’s condemnation for their sin. Furthermore they are incapable of remedying the situation (Rom. 2-3). Thus it does not matter whether one is apart from the law or under it. All people stand condemned without partiality. This paves the way for explaining God’s grace in Jesus—which is the good news of the gospel. There is indeed one way of deliverance from this predicament.

So this section on homosexuality occurs in the portion showing why God’s wrath is upon humanity, and how humanity is inexcusable before Him. Before moving to the negative, Paul starts with the positive good news that he is intent on sharing. The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel which is received by faith (Rom. 1:17). By contrast the wrath of God is revealed as being upon the ungodliness of mankind (Rom. 1:18). Where is this ungodliness seen? Where is this suppressing of the truth seen? It is seen in the inexcusable idolatry of humanity. All have seen in creation the invisible attributes of God, His eternal power and nature (Rom. 1:19-20). However instead of worshipping the true creator, humanity moved to idolatry and worshipping creation (Rom. 1:23-25). The existence of nature demands that there be a designer. This truth is suppressed and turned to the worship of self or some other created thing. One of God’s judgments for this behavior is the turning over of humanity to their own sinful desires (Rom. 1:24). This giving over to sinfulness and its consequences specifically includes homosexuality (Rom. 1:26-28). It also includes a whole list of other sins more briefly mentioned (Rom. 1:29-32).

God has designed men and women with functional capabilities. According to this text these capabilities are rebelled against through homosexual acts.

From this text then, we see that homosexuality is an example of God having delivered people over to the consequences of having rebelled against Him. It is not the only sin listed, but is indeed the highlighted one. It seems that this example is given because homosexuality diametrically opposes the clear design of God. God made people in His image (Gen. 1:27) with a built in complementary design in the marriage of a male to a female (Gen. 2:22-25). To commit actions clearly opposite God’s plan at the nature level distinctly declare the reality of rebellion. It declares that God’s very design and plan were wrong and inadequate. As it is listed here, homosexuality and the rest of the sins listed, are a part of God’s immediate (though not final) judgment. Sin is a judgment upon itself—in that it reaps what it sows. Additionally, the willful exchange of the truth of God for a lie can result in God delivering people over to a depraved mind. One’s ability to reason or view things in an accurate moral way can be seriously impaired (Rom. 1:28).

However, lest any become self-righteous, Paul immediately moves on to showing that all are condemned under sin. Indeed, condemning the sin of others condemns oneself (Rom. 2:1-5). The only reason Paul can share any of this in a worthwhile way is because he is not relying on his own righteousness. He is relying on the righteousness of God. This has been given to him in Christ Jesus by the grace of God. He himself has been forgiven of his sin. The point was not to condemn others in order to justify himself. The point was to make clear the existence of sin for every individual so that the grace of God that had rescued him could be shared with fellow humans who needed deliverance just like he had needed it.

The same purpose and point that Paul had here in the book of Romans remains for Christians to share today. We too are fellow sinners. We too were under God’s full and immense wrath. I too am a sinner condemned by these truths. By God’s grace we may be forgiven. Yet even with that grace, in ourselves we are not any better than anyone else. We have nothing of which to boast. This shows God’s work to be that much more amazing. That He would love and redeem us while we were His enemies in such a deep rebellion against Him is almost incomprehensible. This same grace that has changed and is changing our lives and that will bring us eternity with God in a perfected existence is available to the whole world. No person, gender, race, nationality, ethnic group, class, or any other possible division is excluded from this offer of the gift of grace. This is the grace Christians should be offering, because it is the true grace of God.

1 Cor. 6:9-11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, (10) thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. (11) Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Unequivocally then this is a strong and definitive statement about sin and its consequences as well as about the one way to be rescued from them. In this context Paul is powerfully reminding the Corinthian church that these kinds of behavior are not compatible with the kingdom of God. In this portion of the book Paul has been dealing with quite a number of behavioral and ethical problems that have been plaguing the church. Their former behaviors were influencing their lives presently in a completely inappropriate way. Apparently it had gotten so bad that Paul even challenged them in a following letter to examine themselves to see whether they had truly become believers (2 Cor. 13:5).

These sins in and of themselves were nothing that would keep them from truly accepting the grace of God and becoming children of God. However a continuation in them as a manner of life11 would be an indication that they were not truly believers and not going to inherit the kingdom of God (cf. 1 John 3). Quite helpfully for us today, this is a clear statement that some of the Corinthians had become believers out of that manner of life. This should lead us to at least two conclusions:

  1. Like other sins, homosexual behavior may be forgiven. God’s grace is not limited by this or any other sin. As Romans 5:20 states:

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)

  1. Since Christians have come out of such sins, they should be the ones most desirous to share God’s love with others. As 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 states:

So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away — look, what is new has come! (18) And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation. (19) In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation. (20) Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!” (21) God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Comfort from God

March 30, 2017

  “Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us” (2 Cor. 7:6).

  All of us are going to have sorrow, and none of us should miss its spiritual benefits. “Godly sorrow worketh repentance…while the sorrow of the world worketh death (2 Cor. 7:10).

 God’s purpose is to conform us to the image of the Lord Jesus. God had one Son, without sin, but not without sorrow.

  “Sorrow reveals unknown depths in the soul, and unknown capabilities of experience and service. God never uses anybody to a large degree, until after He breaks that one. It takes sorrow to widen the soul.”

  “We cannot do good to others save at a cost to ourselves, and our afflictions are the price we pay for our ability to sympathize. He who would be a helper must first be a sufferer. ‘Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God’ (2 Cor. 1:4). We cannot have the highest happiness of life in succoring others without tasting the cup which our Lord Jesus drank. The school of suffering graduates rare scholars.”

Well, it is but a little while and He will appear to answer all enquiries and to wipe away all tears. I would not wish, then, to be of those who had none to wipe away, would you?

  “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 7:17)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Continue to pray for Lori

Pray for Dave I and prostate cancer 5th time

Pray for Joe R, his shoulder, pray the Ins company approves surgery

For Steve L, calmness and peace

 

Good bye Sophie

March 29, 2017

Standing Neo.jpg

Sophie at eight months old

You may not know who George Gimarc is the best historian of rock and roll, he has been supplanted by others who profess to be experts but didn’t live the music the way George did.

He says the greatest rock song ever produced was by the band, Atomic Rooster, “Death walks behind you”, and I agree, since I own that album and was the friend of the bass player.

One of my favorite songs is “while my guitar gently weeps” done by countless stars, but my favorite is by Gary Moore.

So how does that fit with our devotion, I had a very short career in studio work as a guitar player, I dig old rock and roll. And today those two songs mean a lot to me.

We put to sleep our third dog in less than a year, our second in two weeks, our Neapolitan Mastiff passed today at 11 years old. We are now down to one dog, very unusual for us.

My wife wept, I was sad but didn’t cry, I grew up on a farm that butchered cows, went deer hunting and was in the military, 9 of my best friends have committed suicide, I’ve been to each funeral.

So “death walks behind me”.

And while due to arthritis I no longer play the guitar, I pulled out my 1967 Gibson and tuned it and played a couple of chords in remembrance of those gone before.

So “while my guitar gently weeps”

Into each heart a little rain must fall, (Longfellow)

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;

It rains, and the wind is never weary;

The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,

But at every gust the dead leaves fall,

And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;

It rains, and the wind is never weary;

My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,

But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,

And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;

Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;

Thy fate is the common fate of all,

Into each life some rain must fall,

Some days must be dark and dreary.

 

 

So to dog lovers out there, you get it.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

God Mind(part II)

March 28, 2017

The old mage by danbrenus

 

 

First Corinthians chapter 2; are you dependent upon the Holy Spirit in your Bible study? In your prayer life, do you ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you God’s wisdom so that you can pray effectively? In your marriage and family, is your prayer, Holy Spirit fill me so that I can be who you want me to be?

In 2:12-13, we learn that God is pleased to reveal His deep thoughts to us. Paul writes, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” The moment you trusted in Jesus Christ you were given the Holy Spirit as a “pledge” of your salvation (2 Cor 1:22; 5:5; Eph 1:14). One of God’s purposes in giving you the Holy Spirit is so that you may know the things He has “freely given” to us. There is no charge attached to the Holy Spirit’s ministry of illumination. It has been provided to every believer so we can get God’s answers to life realities. We have the Spirit of God, who knows the innermost thoughts of God and can communicate these realities to us. This means we don’t need more of the Spirit; the Spirit needs more of us.

In 2:14, Paul explains why some people do not respond to the Holy Spirit: “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”A “natural man”is a person who does not have a supernatural dimension—he or she is without the Holy Spirit. Their natural values are physical and material. A person like that cannot understand spiritual things. They are controlled by feelings, moods, urges, felt needs, desires…by natural reasoning, logical choices made on the basis of goals centering on this life—success, wealth, power, and pleasure. Such a person does not “accept” the things of God for they are foolishness to him.” The term “accept” literally means “to welcome.” It is a word that was used frequently of the practice of hospitality. Thus, I think 2:14 can best be translated, “The unbeliever does not welcome the things of God.”

Paul also states that the unbeliever cannot understand the things of God. There are two different words in Greek that are translated “to understand” in our English Bibles. One means to understand intellectually, while the other is often used to mean understand experientially, or “discern the true nature and importance of something.” It is the latter word which is used here. Paul is not saying that an unbeliever cannot understand the facts of the Bible or that he cannot grasp basic theology or even that he cannot interpret Scripture correctly. Rather, what he is saying is that he cannot know the things of God experientially—he can’t discern whether those things are true or good or valuable.

The best way I know to illustrate Paul’s point here is with the concept of radio waves. There are many, many radio waves in this room. But we can’t hear them because we don’t have receivers to pick them up. Our ears are not tuned to those frequencies. The same thing is true in the spiritual realm. The unbeliever doesn’t have the spiritual receiver, the Holy Spirit, to enable him to appreciate God’s truth. He is like a deaf critic of Bach or a blind critic of Michelangelo.

Therefore, we should not get angry when unbelievers act like unbelievers. How else are they supposed to act? The deaf cannot hear, the blind cannot see, the lame cannot walk, the dead cannot move, and the natural man cannot understand the things of God. How sad it is that many Christians castigate unbelievers for sinning when sinning is merely a part of their job description. Yet, we allow believers to live any old kind of life without any rebuke, discipline, or accountability. There seems to be a terrible double standard. We should not become angry, irritated, or impatient with unbelievers. On the contrary, we should have a great empathy and love for them. While we should also have love and empathy for believers, we must stop letting believers live like unbelievers. We’ve got it all backwards. We need to understand that the only reason we ourselves aren’t still living as natural men and women is that God miraculously entered our lives. It is a gift of grace that we can now see reality. So we have nothing to be proud of; we’re not superior to natural men and women, just saved. That’s the only difference.

Paul gives a contrasting perspective in 2:15: “But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.” We hear the term “spiritual” being used a lot today, and often very carelessly. People call themselves “spiritual” because they are seeking ultimate answers, whether in the paranormal or in New Age philosophy or in Eastern mysticism or even in their inner self. But the NT uses the term “spiritual” to describe someone who is related to the Spirit of God. Spiritual persons are those Christians in whom the Spirit has really become the fundamental power of life (cf. Gal 6:1). Paul is describing people who consistently obey the teaching of the Holy Spirit. As a result of that consistency, they have great potential for being used of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Verse 15 says, “He who is spiritual appraises all things…”

The verb “appraise” means to appraise the worth of something. In the art world, there are certain people who are fulltime art appraisers. They can look at a painting and say, “That’s a forgery. It’s worthless.” Or “That’s worth $5,000 at auction.” Or “That’s a Rembrandt. It will fetch at least $7 million.” These appraisers are well paid because they have the ability to spot the real value of a painting. Paul says that because we have the Holy Spirit, we can properly appraise the real value of things.

Contextually, this phrase doesn’t really mean “all things;” it means “all spiritual things.” Being a Christian doesn’t give one any special advantage in understanding calculus or in learning German. (I’m living proof of this.) A person’s I.Q. doesn’t automatically change when he gets saved, but his spiritual “I will” certainly does. The mature believer has a receiver for spiritual radio waves and his receiver is tuned in. He can therefore discern, appreciate, and understand the essence of spiritual truth. That means that we really can exercise moral judgment, because we have thoroughly studied the mind of the Lord in the Old and New Testaments. We have prayed about difficult issues and have examined them from every side; we have put them through the grid of biblical absolutes. Therefore, we have the courage to take a position on values and issues that the natural world is totally confused about. We have the courage to speak out on the wrongness of abortion, the destructiveness of the homosexual lifestyle, and the sins of materialism, racial bigotry, and oppression of the poor and needy.

There is another clause that follows immediately in 2:15: “…yet he himself is appraised by no man.” This phrase has been terribly misunderstood by some Christians. Some have suggested that this verse teaches that the Christian should not be judged by anyone. Yet, later in this very letter Paul will command believers to judge the flagrantly disobedient in their midst (5:3-5), to evaluate those who claim to bring words from the Lord (14:29), and to examine themselves to see if they are behaving appropriately enough to take the Lord’s Supper (11:27-32). Here, therefore, he is thinking primarily of being unjustly evaluated by non-Christians (or by Christians employing worldly standards), who have no authority to criticize believers for their misbehavior, since they themselves do not accept the standards they employ in making their judgments.

In reality, the natural world can’t figure us out. We are an enigma. They can’t understand why someone would volunteer for children’s ministry or youth ministry year after year, or give 10% of their income to the Lord’s work. They can’t appreciate why someone would want to talk about Jesus. Our lifestyle appears strange to the people of this world. We will hold convictions that other people don’t, based on a different set of absolutes. We will be kind and compassionate at times when others are cruel. We will be intolerant when other people are very tolerant. It’s all because we have insight into the mind of God.

Paul closes out this section in 2:16 with these dramatic words: “For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.” Here Paul quotes Isa 40:13 to remind us that we can’t know the mind of God apart from the Holy Spirit.

For without the light of God’s Spirit, we’ll be in the dark. Fortunately, Paul writes that “we have the mind of Christ.” Going back to 1 Cor 1:10, Paul urges us to be of the same mind. This means to share the mind of Christ, which is focused on unity and community life (see John 17).

In his epistle to the Philippians, Paul urged his readers to adopt the mind of Christ (Phil 2:5). He then spoke of the death of Christ. To have the mind of Christ is to participate in the pattern of the cross. God’s heart is that we put to death our selfish ambitions and humble ourselves before one another.

As Christians, we have the opportunity to live life having been told ahead of time about truths that are hidden from the world. What we believe about life essentially informs and influences how we live and how we make decisions. The information we have about life is the basis on which we make our way in life.

Paul has declared that true wisdom is cross-centered and Spirit-directed. It is available to you today if you will merely adopt the right perspective and the right power.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

God Mind

March 27, 2017

Image result for picture of wise man

It has been said, “Any idiot can be complicated; but it takes genius to be simple.”Indeed, the most effective oral and written communicators are those who take profound truths and make them simple. This has bearing on every area of our lives. When we communicate with others either individually or corporately, we must be clear and simple. The well-known acronym K.I.S.S. (“Keep It Simple Stupid”) applies here.

Although the apostle Paul is a deep thinker, he always strives to bring his great learning down to common folks like you and me. However, the passage that we will be looking at has endured a most unfortunate history of application in the church. Almost every form of spiritual elitism, “deeper life movement,” and “second blessing” doctrine has appealed to this text; however, each of these is nearly 180 degrees the opposite of Paul’s intent. Unfortunately, this trend continues today. By appealing to “the deep things of God” and “secret wisdom” all kinds of false doctrines are being perpetuated and widely accepted. Therefore, we must be on the alert against this passage and others like it being abused. Our goal must be to understand why Paul has written this section of 1 Corinthians and how it applies to our lives.

The book of 1 Corinthians expresses Paul’s heart for a disunified church to become unified (1:10). Thus far, Paul has humbled everyone including himself. He has said to the Corinthians, “Your message is foolish (1:18-25), you yourselves are foolish (1:26-31), and I am foolish (2:1-5).” Outside of that everyone and everything is just fine. Now in 2:6-16, Paul states that the only way the Corinthians and you and I can live a wise life is by having the right perspective and power. He will argue that without the light of God’s Spirit, we’ll be in the dark. Paul begins by addressing the right perspective in 2:6-9.

  1. True wisdom is cross-centered (2:6-9). In order to be truly wise and to consistently exercise a wise perspective, we must have a proper view of wisdom. Throughout this overarching section (1:18-2:5), Paul has declared that wisdom is found in “the word of the cross.” Thus, in 2:6-9, Paul can write, “Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, ‘THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.’” If you are a Bible student it is worth underlining the word “wisdom.” The word “wisdom” (sophia) is repeated five times in the first three verses. The apostles (“we”) speak the message of the cross to those who are “mature.” The “mature” are those believers who recognize and embrace God’s wisdom in the cross. Since Paul does not divulge who among them is “mature,” the readers must decide for themselves whether they qualify or not. This same principle applies to us today. Are you a mature Christian? If so, how have you arrived at that conclusion? Paul argues that we are only mature if we have the right perspective on the cross. Is the cross your solution to church conflict? Is it the means of unity? Then you are mature. Is the cross your solution to your marriage and family difficulties? Is it the means of reconciliation? Then you are mature. Is the cross your solution to work conflict? Is it the means of getting along with your boss and coworkers? Then you are mature. We never move on from the cross of Christ—only into a more profound understanding of the cross.

Although in the next chapter (3:1-4) Paul will discuss those who are immature and fleshly in their Christian walk, his expectation is that all Christians will live according to the right perspective. We cannot make excuses for ourselves and assume that maturity belongs to the spiritually elite. God’s heart for you is that you press on to a cross-centered life. Will you refuse to settle for stale Christianity?

In these four verses, Paul will tell us three aspects of God’s wisdom:

The wisdom of God is eternal (2:6). The wisdom that Paul declares is “not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away.” It is not like the wisdom that may come from Oprah, Dr. Phil, or influential political officials. The wisdom they utter is here today and gone tomorrow. However, God’s wisdom is eternal. Isaiah the prophet said it best, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isa 40:8). Since God’s wisdom revealed through His Word is eternal, how can we not invest in it?

The wisdom of God is beneficial (2:7). Paul informs us that God’s wisdom is a “mystery.” The word “mystery” refers to truth that God had not revealed previously. The message of the cross is a further unfolding of God’s plan and purpose beyond what He had revealed and what people had known previously. Paul makes this clear when he writes that the cross is “the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory.” This stresses the plan and sovereignty of God. It also demonstrates that God has our good in mind—our glorification.

The wisdom of God is supernatural (2:8-9). The Jewish and Roman rulers responsible for Jesus’ death did not understand the purpose and significance of the cross, so they crucified “the Lord of glory.” The phrase “Lord of glory” implies the divine fullness. It also ties in with the saints’ glory (2:7). It is through union with Him that we will experience glory. Paul explains that the reason these authorities crucified Christ was because they lacked the supernatural wisdom of the Spirit. Paul then cites Isa 64:4. This passage is not about heaven, although it’s often used at funerals. It is clear in the context of Isaiah 64 that it means life, here and now. God wants to reveal these things to us. He has done so out of love. Trusting Him for understanding and cultivating this love relationship with Him means that we will grow in greater and greater understanding of wisdom. Yet, without the light of God’s Spirit, we’ll be in the dark.

[Paul has just said that the right perspective is to recognize that true wisdom is cross-centered. He goes on to share with us the right power in 2:10-16.]

  1. True wisdom is Spirit-directed (2:10-16). Paul will state that it is the Holy Spirit who reveals deep things to Christians. Therefore, if we want to grow to maturity in Christ we must rely upon the Holy Spirit’s power. In 2:10-11 Paul writes, “For to us [the apostles and mature Christians] God revealed them [deep thoughts] through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.” The wonderful mysteries God has prepared for those who love Him are not knowable only by a select group of Christians. Any and every believer can understand and appreciate them because the indwelling Holy Spirit can enlighten us. However, without the light of God’s Spirit, we’ll be in the dark.

Paul informs us that the Holy Spirit searches the very depths of the heart and mind of God. He can do this because He is God—the third member of the Trinity. Paul’s point is that the Holy Spirit functions within the Trinity the way our human spirit functions within us. Our spirit is the innermost part of our being. It’s where our deepest, most private thoughts reside. To put it another way, no one knows you better than you! The reason is that you live with you. I don’t care how well your spouse knows you or how long you have been married, no one knows you like you do. No one knows your private thoughts and those deep internals struggles you keep hidden. Because we have a spirit, we are usually our own best interpreter. That’s why when two people get into an argument, one of them will often say, “Don’t try to tell me what I mean. I know what I am saying!”

Therefore, if you really want to know someone perfectly you would have to tune into his or her spirit. The Holy Spirit is tuned in to the deepest thoughts of God. He has access to the innermost workings of the Godhead. So just as no one knows the deepest thoughts of a person better than his own spirit, no one knows the deepest thoughts of God better than the Holy Spirit.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

the basic mindset

March 26, 2017

Because all wisdom and knowledge are in Christ, Christians should not be deluded with the persuasive words of false teachers. If a man does not have the truth, then he must seek to attract a following through the clever presentation of his message. That is exactly what false teachers always do. They argue from probabilities and build a system of teaching on deductions. They will quote Scripture to their own end.

On the other hand, if a man is preaching the truth of God, then he does not need to depend on such things as eloquence or clever arguments. The truth is its own best argument.

Sometimes plain and simple is the best way to teach. Charles Spurgeon, perhaps one of the greatest preachers to ever live would preach his sermon to the maids, and servants to see if it was plain and clear to the everyday person.

In this age of slick wolves and cultists of popularity they depend on stories, emotions and experiences over reason, not on judgment and the simple truth of the Scriptures.

If the only note a person plays is that “God loves us” and implies there is to be no change in our lives, no conflict over failures and shortcomings; everything is wonderful, they are heretics, seeking to win over the foolish and simple minded.

Living the Christian life is a battlefield where we must not only fight ourselves but the forces of Evil. It is not a lifestyle for the timid and weak of mind.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Spanky’s mom is doing better, pray works, after cat scans, mri’s, pet scans, xrays, etc. this Friday showed only one tumor on her liver. 10 days ago there were 9 in her body, all gone but one, they are doing surgery next week.

Pray for Joe r. shoulder surgery, was postponed, he’s in a lot of pain.

Steve L, pray for a calm spirit and victory

 

TALK THE WALK

March 25, 2017

When I was preaching through Genesis a man told me that he had become excited about being involved in church after many years’ absence. When I asked what had made the difference he said, “I love Genesis!” I was surprised and asked, “What do you like about it?” and he replied, “I like the stories about all those guys like Abram and Jacob because they’re all worse than me and it makes me feel so good!” I agreed with him that Abram was not perfect but he was a man of faith, and that we should not gloat over his failures but learn from his mistakes and emulate his strong dependence on the faithful God. You’ll be glad to know that my friend eventually came to call on Abram’s God.

How’s your walk?

No, this is not a commercial for some sort of cushioned insoles for your shoes. The real question is, rather, how is your walk with the Lord?

In Scripture, “walk” is often the term figuratively referring to a person’s conduct or way or life. One of the highest compliments the Bible gives anyone is that they “walked with God.” That’s what was said about Enoch in Genesis 5:24. It so pleased God that, according to some Bible scholars, Enoch never tasted death – he was raptured to heaven by God (“…God took him”).

Paul says that Christians should “walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4). John tells us we should “walk” in the light, which is Christ (1 John 1:7).

Why is such a “walk” important? Well, as Christians we certainly are to live in such a way that glorifies God. It’s how we should live our lives — honoring God in all that we do and in our relationships and interaction with others. How we do that is our “walk” as Christians.

But not only does it benefit us personally to live for Christ – according to His precepts – it is also extremely important regarding our witness to others. After all, that’s why Christ leaves us here on earth after we accept Him – to be a witness to others who haven’t found Him yet. That’s why we should – must – tell others about Christ. Yes, with words. (Romans 10:14.) But sometimes the first thing someone notices about us is not what we’re saying, but, rather, how we’re living.

One of the world’s biggest objections to Christianity is that Christians “are all hypocrites” who don’t live what they preach. “They all have a ‘holier-than-thou attitude’ and yet they live like everybody else – lying, cheating, living selfishly, etc., etc., etc.”

If our words about Christ are to have any credibility whatsoever, our lives, our actions, our “walk” must totally reflect what we’re saying. Our walk must show that we truly believe what Christ taught. Your “walk” … must “talk!”

That’s the theme of a song written by Rodney Griffin and Babbie Mason called “Your Walk Talks,” recently recorded by the Mark Trammell Quartet. Here’s how the song* says it:

        You know, your walk talks, and your talk talks

        But your walk talks louder than your talk talks

        Your behavior toward your neighbor

        Is really how you feel about the Savior

        When you exemplify and shine the Light of Christ

        You know the number in the kingdom will be multiplied

        Yes, your walk talks, and your talk talks,

        But your walk talks louder than your talk talks.

How you live your life – your “walk” – speaks more loudly and clearly to others than anything you would say verbally (as important and indispensable as that is). Have you thought about that line in the song – “Your behavior toward your neighbor is really how you feel about the Savior?” That can be convicting. If you profess to love Christ, you should do what He taught – love your neighbor.

        What did you do today to give your love away

        To a lost and hurting soul?

        Did you lend a hand to a fellow man

        And help him on down the road?

        When you illuminate it takes the dark away

        So let your little light shine

        When we follow through with what we say and do

        The Father will be glorified.

I think sometimes the world is surprised when a Christian actually does live like Christ. It baffles them because it’s not, unfortunately, what they’ve been conditioned by the world to expect. And that contrast – between expectations and observed actions – can actually get their attention in a very positive way.

About the message of that song, “…the Bible says we are a ‘peculiar people’ if we truly walk the walk and talk the talk. And we are. I think that’s the greatest compliment to a child of God in the 21st century, for someone to say, ‘you’re just a little bit strange.’ You’re not supposed to love someone when they walk up and slap you in the face. You’re not supposed to turn the other cheek.”

There’s only one way a Christian can actually do that: “We all know that we can’t be what we need to be outside of the infiltration of the Holy Spirit into our lives [and] allowing Jesus to live through us. This song is a happy little way of reminding folks just how important our walk is and the fact that it does talk louder than what our lips say.”

So…. Does your “walk” talk? It is saying something to those around you. And, when your walk does talk, what does it say?

How strong is your faith?

How close is your walk?

Do people desire to know your God?

Walk the walk, talk the talk.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

help me I hurt

March 24, 2017

Probably one of the hardest things we have to face is loss. It could be the loss of a child. We also lose parents and friends to death. We lose mates through death or divorce. We lose health and have to adjust to an entirely different lifestyle. We lose the companionship of friends because someone moves. We lose jobs. Engagements are broken. Friendships are betrayed. These losses cause us to sorrow and to grieve, deeply affecting our emotions.

Grief is a feeling of deep mental anguish caused by loss. It can be the loss of a loved one, loss of possessions, loss of a career, or some other life-changing loss. Grief can also be sorrow for something that someone has done or failed to do.

Because we live in a fallen world, life inevitably includes sorrow. When sin entered the human race, it brought death—physical death and spiritual death with all the accompanying ramifications. Death or loss of anything we value causes grief. However, God has a higher purpose for His people, and He is faithful to use our most painful times to mature us, to draw us into closer dependence on Him.

One Grieving Woman

A woman in the Old Testament suffered the loss of everything. She was no stoic, no super saint. She felt the bitterness and hopelessness that accompanies grief. As we study Naomi, we will learn a lot about the God who cares for us in our grief.

Here’s how Naomi’s story unfolded: Because there was a famine in Israel, a Hebrew man named Elimelech took his wife, Naomi, and his two sons, Mahlon and Kilion, to live in a neighboring country called Moab. The family only intended to stay temporarily, but once they settled down in that godless society, they remained there for ten years. In that time the two sons married pagan women.

During those Moab years, I’m sure Naomi, in particular, felt a sense of loss. They were aliens, away from family and friends, and now she had two Moabites for daughters-in-law. She must have thought, “If only we had stayed in Bethlehem. I’d have daughters-in-law from my own people who understand our faith and customs.” But the worst was yet to come:

“Now Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. . . . After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband” (Ruth 1:3-5).

Naomi’s future could not have been more hopeless, because she had no one to provide for her. In Israel, if a widow had no family she was cared for by the community. But they didn’t have such humane laws in Moab. So when the news came that the famine had ended in Israel, she prepared to go back home. When she told her two daughters-in-law what she intended to do, they wanted to go with her. But she said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands?” (Ruth 1:11).

TAKE TIME TO FEEL YOUR PAIN

It’s clear that these women loved each other. They had all suffered terrible losses, and they wept together at the thought of separation. They demonstrate something important: God gave us tears to express our grief. As the beautiful passage from Ecclesiastes reminds us, “There is . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Eccles. 3:1, 4).

Here is a primary lesson: If you are experiencing grief for any reason, allow yourself time to mourn and weep. If you try to hold in your tears and to ignore your pain, there may be serious problems later. God gave us tears to shed in our grief, an outpouring of our inner pain.

One of the most freeing verses in the Bible is also the shortest one. When Jesus came to the home of Mary and Martha after Lazarus had died, He saw their grief. Even though He knew that in just a few minutes He would raise Lazarus from the dead, the Scripture simply says, “Jesus wept” (John 11:38).

Those two words give us permission to weep in our sorrow because they reveal how Jesus modeled for us this normal response to grief. Don’t think it’s more spiritual to hold in your tears.

Naomi wasn’t afraid to feel her grief. Not only was she in extreme pain, but it is quite clear who she blamed for her loss. “‘The Lord’s hand has gone out against me! . . . Don’t call me Naomi,’ she told them. ‘Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me”‘ (Ruth 1:13b, 20-21).

I would say Naomi was pretty depressed, wouldn’t you? “The Lord’s hand has gone out against me. He has afflicted me, emptied me, brought misfortune on me, made my life very bitter.”

Her misery was evident in her demeanor, because once she got back to Israel, her old friends hardly recognized her. She still had no certainty about the future. By now, her daughter-in-law Ruth had insisted on returning to Bethlehem with her, but how were they to live? Naomi felt abandoned by God, and she had no reason at this point to think otherwise.

We can learn some valuable principles about grief from Naomi and her amazing story. Throughout the rest of this chapter, we’ll study these principles and learn godly ways to deal not only with our own grief but with the grief of others.

GRIEF MAY CAUSE DESPAIR OR DEPRESSION

During times of sorrow, our emotions are like a roller coaster. On the downside, we shouldn’t be surprised by feelings of despair or depression—those feelings don’t mean we’re unspiritual. In her despair, I’m sure Naomi asked the questions we all ask when sorrow comes. Why? Why did God allow this? Couldn’t He have stopped it? Couldn’t He have saved my job? Why did my husband have to die so young? Couldn’t He have healed my child? Couldn’t God have restored my marriage?

he Old Testament saints did not believe in second causes. They believed in God’s sovereignty over the world and the people in it. When Elijah held the dead son of the widow he stayed with during the famine, he cried out to God, “0 LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” (1 Kings 17:20).

When Job heard the news that he had lost everything, he said, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21).

God can handle it when we question His ways and put the blame on Him. But He wants us to accept what He sends us and still trust His goodness and His love. He has a purpose for our sorrow and loss.

BELIEVE THAT GOD WILL USE YOUR SORROWS FOR YOUR GOOD

Some of our afflictions come as consequences of sin, and others are intended to keep us from sin. Some come to make us draw closer to God and to enable us to grow spiritually. Some heartaches simply make us realize that God’s way is best. Whatever the pain, God means it for good in our lives just as he did in Joseph’s. It’s worth repeating what Joseph was able to say twenty years after he lost everything through the hatred and cruelty of his brothers: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Gen. 50:20).

Joseph certainly couldn’t have said those words the first thirteen years of his life in Egypt, but he saw God’s purpose clearly seven years later. Sometimes it may take years for us to see the pattern God had in mind when He brought sorrow into our lives. But we do know this: God is sovereign. Nothing happens in heaven or earth that He does not know about and even permit. That is tough theology. But if we don’t believe it we will swing aimlessly over an abyss of unbelief, uncertainty, and despair.

Think of the worst loss you have ever suffered, and consider these important questions:

Can you think of anything good that’s come out of it?

Did it draw you closer to God?

Have you seen answers to prayer because of it?

Have you been able to help others just because of what you’ve experienced yourself?

Do you have more compassion for others?

God uses everything in our lives to make us more like Jesus. And Jesus was a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’ (Isa. 53:3 NKJV). How can we bypass sorrow and grief and still expect to develop emotional and spiritual maturity? We just can’t decide to skip that course!

Even though Naomi didn’t see it, God had a plan to meet her need and restore her faith and joy. He used her hopeless situation to get her back to the land where He could bless her. And best of all, He gave her Ruth, a daughter-in-law who was committed to her for life.

RUTH—NAOMI’S GREAT BLESSING

Naomi and Ruth returned to Bethlehem at the beginning of harvest time. There was no welfare system in those days, but there was a way for the poor to get help. Farmers could only reap their fields once. Grapes could only be picked from the vines once. The widows and the poor were then to glean what was left over. This was workfare, not welfare. And since Ruth was the younger and stronger, she spoke up: “‘Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.’

“Naomi said to her, ‘Go ahead, my daughter.’ So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech” (Ruth 2:2-3).

“She found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz.” Ten little words. But behind them is the hand of Almighty God keeping His promise to defend “the cause of the fatherless and the widow, . . . giving [them] food and clothing” (Deut. 10:18).

GOD IS WORKING EVEN THOUGH WE CAN’T SEE IT

God’s plan for Ruth and Naomi was not an endless struggle for existence. He had a wonderful future planned out for them, but He didn’t reveal it to them ahead of time. It would be nice if God would tell us His plans before they come to pass. But what He really wants from us is faith—simple, childlike trust in His goodness, power, and love.

When Naomi heard whose field Ruth had gleaned in, she responded enthusiastically.

“‘The LORD bless him!’ Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. ‘He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and to the dead’ She added, ‘That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers” (Ruth 2:20).

Boaz was a close relative of Elimelech’s. The law in Israel stated that when a man died childless, his brother or closest relative was to marry the widow and have a child by her. That child would belong to the dead man and inherit his property. When Boaz stepped into her life, Naomi’s faith was given a shot in the arm. God had not abandoned them; He had arranged things so Ruth would end up in Boaz’s fields. And Boaz treated her with kindness and generosity.

LOOK FORWARD TO THE FUTURE WITH HOPE

When Naomi returned to Bethlehem, she arrived in a hopeless state of mind. That is often one of the results of grief When we grieve, we can see nothing but a bleak and empty future. But if we keep remembering that God loves us and has the power to help us and provide for our future, we are able to keep hope alive and our faith will remain strong.

The rest of the book of Ruth is a wonderful romance. Boaz loved Ruth, and Naomi instructed Ruth in the way to claim her rights under the covenant. Boaz immediately and gladly did all the legal things necessary to make Ruth his wife.

“So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. . . .

“Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, ‘Naomi has a son’ And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David” (Ruth 4:13, 16).

Ruth had been barren all the years she was married to Mahlon. Now the Lord gave her a son, and Naomi had a family again. Naomi’s old age was secure. God had not abandoned her. In fact, He had arranged all the details to fill her emptiness, provide for her needs, and restore her faith and her joy. This little grandson didn’t carry a drop of Naomi’s blood, but he was hers! And though she didn’t live to see it, Obed became the ancestor of King David and ultimately of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew 1:5, Boaz and Ruth are specifically mentioned in the genealogy of the Savior.

What Naomi and Ruth enjoyed in their happy ending was much more than they had lost, even though they couldn’t comprehend the full dimensions of the compassion and blessings of God.

Jesus Showed Us That God Has Feelings

Jesus came, in part, to reveal to us what the invisible God is like. What Jesus felt, God still feels. Listen to the Lord’s description of Himself to Moses in Exodus 34:6: “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”

Compassion, anger, and love are all emotions. God feels, so He knows how we feel when we suffer loss. As the psalmist wrote, “But you, 0 God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you” (Ps. 10:14).

During Jesus’ ministry, He came upon a funeral procession. The dead person was the only son of a widow, and she was accompanied by a large crowd of mourners, who shared her grief. In Luke 7:13, we read of Jesus’ reaction to this tragic scene: “When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, ‘Don’t cry.”

Then Jesus touched the coffin, “and those carrying it stood still. He said, ‘Young man, I say to you get up!’ The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”

Can’t you see Jesus gently saying to this grieving mother, “Don’t cry”? Then He simply brought her son back to life. The response to this wonderful miracle demonstrated to the people that God was a God of compassion. The people “were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help his people” (Luke 7:16).

The widow’s loss and the ensuing miracle were used by God to validate the claims of Jesus that He is the Son of God. God will still use our grief to bring glory and praise to Himself if we keep on trusting Him.

Avoid Emotional Extremes

When we are hurting, there are two extremes to avoid. One extreme is to block our emotions, determined that we will never care so much that we can be hurt that way again. It is unhealthy to block our emotions to protect ourselves. God wants us to feel so we are able to taste life in its fullness. The other extreme is becoming so consumed by our grief that nothing else matters. The best thing to do is to get back into the normal process of life again.

Comforting Those Who Grieve

Those who have suffered loss know better than anyone else some important principles for comfort. Let’s consider a few of those guidelines for encouraging the grieving:

BE AVAILABLE FOR THE LONG RUN

Everyone is there in the midst of the crisis, but after the funeral is over and the visitors are gone—that’s the time to check up on the grieving person. Be there just to talk. Go with them to help handle legal details if she needs it. Suggest doing things with them to help get through this period of sorrow. If you and your spouse have been friends with the couple, don’t leave the widow out of social invitations now that they are alone.

BE SENSITIVE AND FLEXIBLE IN YOUR COMMUNICATION

Don’t assume that the grieving person doesn’t want to talk about their loved one. You may be tempted to say, “Let’s not talk about it; it’ll only make you feel bad.” Many times, it’s a comfort to talk about the person we’ve lost. It keeps the memory real. It helps to know someone else valued our lost loved one, too.

If you’re visiting those who are dying, don’t pretend they are going to get well. Give them a chance to talk about their death if they want to. Remind them about heaven, and assure them you will meet them there. Since the Lord Jesus Christ proved His victory over death by His resurrection, death for the believer is the entrance to eternal glory. There will be normal grief, but we shouldn’t sorrow as those do who have no hope.

DON’T USE PAT PHRASES TO COMFORT OTHERS

It’s hard to know what to say to someone who is grieving. It may be easier to remember what not to say. For example, avoid saying, “I know how you feel.” One young mother whose child had died at birth was told, “I know just how you feel. My cat died last week.”

Don’t say, “Time is a great healer.” Don’t even quote Romans 8:28 when the wound is raw. Tell the grieving person you are praying for her or him. Say something like this: “I can only try to imagine what you must be feeling. But I want you to know that I love you and I am available to do anything you want me to.”

Don’t say, “Call me if I can do anything.” That puts the burden on the grieving person. Instead, you take the initiative. Offer to run an errand, pick up relatives at the airport, clean the bathroom, or answer the phone.

TRUST GOD TO BE THE COMFORTER

We must recognize our limitations and remember that God is the one who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Ps. 147:3). We should do all we can do to ease others’ pain, but we can’t do what only God can do. He is “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles” with a comfort that is transferable.22 In a fallen world where loss and grief are guaranteed, God will use us to comfort others when wounds are raw and deep.

As the Chosen of God, we have authenticity because we ourselves have come through the valley of sorrow and tears, and our faith remains stronger than ever. God is real. The promises of Scripture are true. There is life after loss. The future is as bright as the promises of God. And time is not even the size of a period on this page when compared to eternity. All separation is temporary for believers. One day we will be forever with the Lord and with each other.

In the book of Revelation, God offers one final word about our grief: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. . . . And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:1a, 3-4).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Always believe that when you don’t have anything to say God will give you something to say.

 

Our Heavenly Father never differs from Himself, in other word He never changes. There is not an Old Testament God and a New Testament, one God. In coming to Him at any time we need not wonder whether we shall find Him in a receptive mood. He is always receptive to misery and need, as well as to love and faith. He does not keep office hours nor set aside periods when He will see no one. Neither does He change His mind about anything. God never changes moods or cools off in His affections or loses enthusiasm.

 

 

God will not compromise and He need not be coaxed. He cannot be persuaded to alter His Word nor talked into answering selfish prayer. In all our efforts to find God, to please Him, to commune with Him, we should remember that all change must be on our part. “I am the Lord, I change not.” We have but to meet His clearly stated terms, bring our lives into accord with His revealed will, and His infinite power will become instantly operative toward us in the manner set forth through the gospel in the Scriptures of truth.

 

 

“I am that I am,” says God, “I change not.” As the sailor locates his position on the sea by “shooting” the sun, so we may get our moral bearings by looking at God. We must begin with God.

 

 

Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image. The flesh whimpers against the rigor of God’s inexorable sentence and begs like for a little mercy, a little indulgence of its carnal ways. It is no use. We can get a right start only by accepting God as He is and learning to love Him for what He is. As we go on to know Him better we shall find it a source of unspeakable joy that God is just what He is.

 

 

How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none. Eternal years lie in His heart. For Him time does not pass, it remains; and those who are in Christ share with Him all the riches of limitless time and endless years. God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which He must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves. For those out of Christ, time is a devouring beast.

 

 

The Christian man possesses God’s own life and shares His infinitude with Him. In God there is life enough for all and time enough to enjoy it. His love is boundless.

If faith is the gaze of the heart at God, and if this gaze is but the raising of the inward eyes to meet the all-seeing eyes of God, then it follows that it is one of the easiest things possible to do. It would be like God to make the most vital thing easy and place it within the range of possibility for the weakest and poorest of us.

 

 

To know God is at once the easiest and the most difficult thing in the world. It is easy because the knowledge is not won by hard mental toil, but is something freely given. As sunlight falls on the open field, so the knowledge of the holy God is a free gift to men who are open to receive it. But this knowledge is difficult because there are conditions to be met and the obstinate nature of fallen man does not take kindly to them.

As you read your bible, keep saying to yourself, “I Believe Every Word”

 

 

If you have doubts about the bible please read “from God to us” by Geisler and Nix.

 

 

God Bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

Keep Lori in pray as she undergoes chemo.

 

Pray for those under great stress

 

Pray for Ron U, adopted, and now 49, meeting his bio mom on Friday.

 

Image result for picture of an empty whiskey bottle in the street

Standing at the back door

She tried to make it fast

One tear hit the hard wood

It fell like broken glass

She said sometimes love slips away

And you just can’t get it back

Let’s face it

For one split second

She almost turned around

But that would be like pouring rain drops

Back into a cloud

So she took another step and said

I see the way out, and I’m gonna take it

I don’t wanna spend my life jaded

Waiting to wake up one day and find

That I let all these years go by

Wasted

Another glass of whiskey but it still don’t kill the pain

So he stumbles to the sink and pours it down the drain

He said it’s time to be a man and stop living for yesterday

Gotta face it

‘Cause I don’t wanna spend my life jaded

Waiting to wake up one day and find

That I let all these years go by

Wasted

Oh, I don’t wanna keep on wishing, missing

The still of the morning, the color of the night

I ain’t spending no more time

Wasted

She kept drivin’ along

Till the moon and the sun were floating side-by-side

He looked in the mirror and his eyes were clear

For the first time in a while, hey, yeah

Oh, I don’t wanna spend my life jaded

Waiting to wake up one day and find

That I let all these years go by

Wasted

Oh, I don’t wanna keep on wishing, missing

The still of the morning, the color of the night

I ain’t spending no more time

Wasted

Oh, I don’t wanna spend my life jaded

Waiting to wake up one day and find

That I let all these years go by

Wasted, yeah, yeah

Oh, I don’t wanna keep on wishing, missing

The still of the morning, the color of the night

I ain’t spending no more time

Wasted (for a free bible, tell who wrote this song)

Time flies and time passes. We make time, keep time and lose time. We take time and have time. And all too often we waste time and kill time. “Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.”

 Scripture commands that we take an alternative approach: redeeming time. The phrase “redeeming the time” originated in the King James Version of the Bible, while the New International Version translates this phrase as “make the most of every opportunity” (Col 4:5). What does this concept mean?

 The New Testament uses two different words for time, one to represent a succession of moments and the other for a definite portion of time when work or other activity is to be done. When Paul uses the word in this latter sense (see Col 4:5; see also Eph 5:16), he’s referring to “opportune” times of special work.

 As the Scottish minister Alexander Maclaren explained:

  And so here “redeeming the time” does not merely mean making the most of moments, but means laying hold of, and understanding the special significance of, life as a whole, and of each succeeding instant of it as the season for some specific duty. It is not merely “time,” it is “the time”; not merely the empty succession of beats of the pendulum, but these moralised, as it were, heightened, and having significance, because each is apprehended as having a special mission, and affording an opportunity for a special work.

  Our time on earth is a precious gift from our Creator. We “redeem the time” when we use this limited resource in ways that bring glory to God and help us conform to the likeness of Christ.

 Redeeming the time, though, does not mean we wear ourselves out in a legalistic attempt to maximize our efficiency in “serving God.” Instead, it’s a call to respond to God’s goodness by living intentionally and being effective stewards of the time we’ve been given.

One day you will stand in front of God and give an account for every second of your life. How did you spend it? unfortunately some of you will say, “damn, I’ve squandered so much, it’s to late to change.”

No! it’s never to late to make a good change.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com