Deep inside every man there is a private sanctum where dwells the mysterious essence of his being. This far-in reality is that in the man which is what it is of itself, without reference to any other part of the man’s complex nature. It is the man’s “I am,” a gift from the I AM who created him.

The deep-in human entity of which we speak is called in the Scriptures the spirit of man, (1 Cor. 2:11). As God’s self-knowledge lies in the eternal Spirit, so man’s self-knowledge is by his own spirit, and his knowledge of God is by the direct impression of the Spirit of God upon the spirit of man. The importance of all this cannot be overestimated as we think and study and pray.

From man’s standpoint the most tragic loss suffered in the Fall was the vacating of this inner sanctum by the Spirit of God. There God planned to rest and glow with moral and spiritual fire. Man by his sin forfeited this indescribably wonderful privilege and must now dwell there alone.

By the mysterious operation of the Spirit in the new birth, that which is called by Peter “the divine nature” enters the deep-in core of the believer’s heart and establishes residence there. Such a one is a true Christian, and only such.

An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.

One cause of the decline in the quality of religious experience among Christians these days is the neglect of the doctrine of the inward witness.

One distinguishing mark of those first Christians was a supernatural radiance that shined out from within them. The sun had come up in their hearts and its warmth and light made unnecessary any secondary sources of assurance. They had the inner witness. It is obvious that the average evangelical Christian today is without this radiance. Instead of the inner witness we now substitute logical conclusions drawn from texts.

The world’s own prophets, the unbelieving psychologists (those eyeless seekers who seek for a light which is not God’s light) have been forced to recognize at the bottom of religious experience this sense of something there. But better far is the sense of Someone there. It was this that filled with abiding wonder the first members of the Church of Christ. The solemn delight which those early disciples knew sprang straight from the conviction that there was One in the midst of them. How wonderful is this sense of Someone there. It makes religion invulnerable to critical attack. It secures the mind against collapse under the battering of the enemy. They who worship the God who is present may ignore the objections of unbelieving men. What they see and hear overwhelms their doubts and confirms their assurance beyond the power of argument to destroy. Nothing can take the place of the touch of God in the soul and the sense of Someone there. Where true faith is, the knowledge of God will be given as a fact of consciousness altogether apart from the conclusions of logic. The spiritual giants of old experienced God.

We are only now emerging from a long ice age during which an undue emphasis was laid upon objective truth at the expense of subjective experience.

Wise leaders should have known that the human heart cannot exist in a vacuum. If Christians are forbidden to enjoy the wine of the Spirit they will turn to the wine of the flesh for enjoyment. Our teachers took away our right to be happy in God and the human heart wreaked its terrible vengeance by going on a fleshly binge from which the evangelical Church will not soon recover, if indeed it ever does. Christ died for our hearts and the Holy Spirit wants to come and satisfy them.

One quality belonging to the Holy Spirit, of great interest and importance to every seeking heart, is penetrability. He can penetrate matter, such as the human body; He can penetrate mind; He can penetrate another spirit such as the human spirit. He can achieve complete penetration of and actual inter-mingling with the human spirit. He can invade the human heart and make room for Himself without expelling anything essentially human. The integrity of the human personality remains unimpaired. Only moral evil is forced to withdraw.

A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God. This is man’s greatest tragedy, God’s heaviest grief.

Sin has many sides and many ramifications. It is like a disease with numberless complications, any one of which can kill the patient. It is lawlessness, it is a missing of the mark, it is rebellion, it is perversion, it is transgression; but it is also waste—a frightful, tragic waste of the most precious of all treasures. The man who dies out of Christ is said to be lost, and hardly a word in the English tongue expresses his condition with greater accuracy. He has squandered a rare fortune and at the last he stands for a fleeting moment and looks around, a moral fool, a wastrel who has lost in one overwhelming and irrecoverable loss, his soul, his life, his peace, his total, mysterious personality, his dear and everlasting all.

When God infuses eternal life into the spirit of a man, the man becomes a member of a new and higher order of being.

We who live in this nervous age would be wise to meditate on our lives and our days long and often before the face of God and on the edge of eternity. For we are made for eternity as certainly as we are made for time. To be made for eternity and forced to dwell in time is for mankind a tragedy of huge proportions. All within us cries for life and permanence, and everything around us reminds us of mortality and change. Yet that God has made us of the stuff of eternity is both a glory and a prophecy.

Just here the sweet relevancy of the Christian message appears. “Jesus Christ … hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” For every man it must be Christ or eternal tragedy. Out of eternity our Lord came into time to rescue his human brethren whose moral folly had made them not only fools of the passing world but slaves of sin and death as well.

What is the supreme benefaction, the gift and treasure above all others which even God can give? He gives Christ to be in our nature forever. This is God’s supreme and final gift. Not the pearly gates, not the golden streets, not heaven, not even the forgiveness of sins, although these are God’s gifts too. Not a dozen, or two dozen, or a thousand, but countless hundreds of thousands of gifts God lays before His happy people, and then bestows this supreme gift. He makes us the repository of the nature and person of the Lord Jesus. “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:19–29.)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

biblios lover

April 29, 2017

In 1863 Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon on 2 Timothy 4:13 (“When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.”) In the sermon he said,

 

  The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every preacher, “Give thyself unto reading.” The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people.

 

 

 You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritan writers, and expositions of the Bible.

 

 We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service. Paul cries, “Bring the books”—join in the cry.

 

  Many of us recognize that reading is a key way to gain wisdom and insight. But it’s not always easy to find the time to read books. If this is a problem for you, here are a few tips that can help you read more:

 

  ➤ Set aside 15 minutes—Make a commitment to read for a minimum of 15 minutes every day. No matter how busy our lives might be, we can find a quarter of an hour out of the 24 we are given daily to find time to read.

But what can be accomplished in that amount of time? Quite a lot, actually. The average adult reads prose text at 250 to 300 words per minute. With 15 minutes a day you could read 3,750 words. In one year (365 days) you would read for 5,475 minutes. Multiply that times 250 words per minute and you get 1,368,750 words per year. Most books have between 300 and 400 words per page.

 If we take 350 words per page and divide that into 1,368,750 words per year, we get 3,910 pages per year. This means that at 250 words a minute, 15 minutes a day, you could read about 20 average-sized books a year. In five years you could read 100 books; 200 in a decade. All with only 15 minutes per day.

 

 ➤ Make a reading list—After you finish a book, you want to have another one ready to start. Make a proposed reading list of the books you want to read. Be sure to include a variety in case you decide that the next book on the list isn’t the next one you want to read. You don’t have to use the list as a rigid schedule, but it will help prevent you from losing days or weeks while you search for new reading material.

 

 ➤ Use audiobooks—Yes, audiobooks count as “reading” (don’t let print snobs tell you differently). Audiobooks might not be the best fit for topics you are unfamiliar with or that require close concentration, but they can be a refreshing way to help you “read” more books. They can also help you add more fiction or other imaginative literature to your daily reading.

 

 

 ➤ Have vegetables and dessert—If the only time you read is when you force yourself to “eat your cultural vegetables” (i.e., read books that require serious focus, attention and thought), you might soon grow tired of reading and give it up altogether. For every “vegetable” book you read, add a “dessert” book to read on the side. Light reading (as long as it’s not corrosive to the soul) can help keep our minds fit and limber for the heavy lifting of more serious texts.

 

 

Redeem the time—Make a list of all the activities you do every day. Look for areas where you can trade some time spent on unproductive leisure activity (such as watching television or playing video games) for time to develop wisdom and insight by reading more.

 

 

One of the questions I get asked quite often is how can I write a devotion every day. The answer is simple, I read a lot. I only watch television one day a week and then only for two hours, that’s for a week. I spend 4 hours every day reading. My wife who was never a reader, now reads one book per week. I average several per week. I love multivolume sets, it took me twenty years but I finally read the complete Harvard set of Classics. Did I enjoy every book, not all, I’ve read the “100 books you have to read in your lifetime,” and frankly I really didn’t like 20 of them, but there were nuggets in each one.

 

 

I can remember when reading 5 verses of the bible each day was hard, now 5 chapters in the morning, 5 in the evening. My wife kids me because I have books stacked up everywhere including one on the tractor, and I can read while walking (city walking). You CAN learn to love reading.

 

 

One word of advice, make your kids read real books not just electronic versions, science has proven that electronic reading only doesn’t develop the brain like the printed page. And teach your kids from age 2 to be at least bilingual.

 

 

Read every kind of book, hard to read, ones that make you think, there are several books that I read once every year and there are some books that take me a year to read as there is to much so absorb.

 

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

Remember in prayer

Joe R, and his shoulder

Randy H and his knew

Leslie and her mother’s battle with cancer.

Quinton and his recovery from surgery.

NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR. TOUGH NUGGIES.

One of the most popular ideas to emerge in Christian circles is that we all need to build and maintain proper self-esteem. Dozens of best-selling Christian books are laced with this theme. It is frequently mentioned in sermons and on Christian radio shows. It is a fundamental assumption underlying most Christian counseling. For example, one well-known Christian treatment program, endorsed by top Christian leaders, states in a promotional brochure, “Part of [this program’s] success is found in the unique ability to target and resolve problems of low self-esteem. At the core of all emotional problems and addictive disorders is low self-worth. It is never the only problem; but it is so major an issue that, if not dealt with adequately, one is kept from experiencing lasting, positive results.”

An article by a Christian psychologist on the problem of pastors who commit adultery stated that one reason pastors fall into sexual sin is low self-esteem. If they would just love themselves properly, they wouldn’t have a need to find “love” from another woman. Another article asserts that low self-esteem is a major factor behind homosexual behavior. A popular Christian author even used the story of Lee Harvey Oswald to illustrate how low self-esteem led this man to shoot President Kennedy!

The question Christians need to ask is, does the Bible teach this? Does it teach that we need to build our self-esteem? Those who say yes usually support it with the verse, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). They say that you must properly love yourself in order to love your neighbor. But that is not the meaning of the verse. It assumes that we all love ourselves just fine, thank you. If we would show the same regard for others that we do in fact show for ourselves, we would be loving them as God commands. Even those who go around dumping on themselves don’t need to focus on loving themselves. Their problem is precisely that they are too self-focused. They need to consider the needs of others ahead of themselves. The mark of biblical love is self-sacrifice, not self-esteem (see Eph. 5:25).

Even in the case of a suicidal person, the problem is not that he does not love himself. Rather, he loves himself more than he loves anyone else. He is not considering what his death will do to family or friends. He is only considering himself: he is in pain and he wants out of his pain.

Consider the adulterous pastor. He was esteeming himself above everyone else. He certainly was not esteeming God or he would not have dragged His name through the mud by committing adultery. Nor was he loving and esteeming his wife, his children, or the woman he defiled. He was esteeming his “needs” above all else.

The Bible teaches that love of self is at the root of all our sins. It warns that “in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self” (2 Tim. 3:1, 2). This is followed by a list of terrible sins. You can’t find a single command in the Bible that even hints that we need to esteem and love ourselves more than we do. To the contrary, Jesus explicitly said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34). Many Bible verses tell us to humble ourselves and not to think too highly of ourselves (see James 4:6-10; 1 Pet. 5:5-6; Rom. 12:3), but none tell us to focus on how wonderful or worthy we are. In fact, God operates on the principle of grace, and grace is for the unworthy, not for the worthy.

In his devotional classic, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, William Law writes of the “monstrous and shameful nature of sin” and then asks rhetorically, “Shall we presume to take delight in our worth, we who are not worthy so much as to ask pardon for our sins without the mediation and intercession of the Son of God?” (Westminster Press, pp. 106-107).

My analysis is that most American church-goers need to grow in a sense of their unworthiness, not their supposed worthiness. They need to see what the old Puritan writers called “the exceeding sinfulness of sin.” Then perhaps we would see how much we need the Savior. Being forgiven much, we would love much.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

my first love

April 27, 2017

Genesis 22: why the O.T. is so great. First love

Two episodes in the life of Abraham stand out with special prominence. The first, when against all natural hopes, he “believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Rom. 4: 3). In the second he was, “justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar” (Jas. 2: 21). To this second great event we come in Genesis 22.

“After these things,” we read, God put Abraham to the test, and this is ever His way. Peter speaks of “the trial of your faith,” and declares that it is “much more, precious than of gold that perisheth” (1 Pet. 1: 7). At the outset Abraham’s faith laid hold of God as One who was able to raise the dead. Under test he was now to demonstrate that such was his faith, in a way that would be apparent to any thoughtful observer. He showed his faith by his works.

If considered typically the chapter has remarkable significance. Here we get father and son both going up together to the sacrifice. In a figure the son is sacrificed and raised from the dead. We have already seen the death of Christ typified (1) as atonement, covering the guilty sinner, in the coats of skins (Genesis 3); (2) as the basis of approach to God, in Abel’s sacrifice (Genesis 4); (3) as the ground of acceptance, in Noah’s burnt offering (Genesis 8). Now we find a fourth and fuller type in the offering up of the son, and this brings in not only death but resurrection also. Consequently we find in this story details of very striking significance.

In verse 2 Isaac is mentioned as Abraham’s “only” son, which is rendered in Hebrews as, “his only begotten son” (11: 17) . ‘This makes it abundantly clear that Isaac was a type of our Lord, and further, it sheds light on the meaning of the words “Only begotten” as applied to Him. Ishmael indeed sprang from Abraham but being after the flesh he did not count in the Divine reckoning, and Isaac was quite unique. So our Lord Jesus Christ was Son of God in a perfectly unique sense.

It was God who declared Isaac to be Abraham’s “only” son, and He also added, “whom thou lovest.” Now this is the first time that love is mentioned in the Bible, which is remarkable, seeing it prefigures the love in the Godhead of the Father for the Son. Not until we reach the New Testament and such a statement as, “Thou lovest Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17: 24), do we get that love fully revealed; but now that it is revealed, we can better understand the great statement that, “God is love.” How fitting that the first mention of love should be typical of that supreme love, which is the fountain from which flows all true love of which we have any knowledge.

The command of God was that this only son of Abraham’s love should be offered by him as a sacrifice upon a mountain, chosen of God in the land of Moriah. He was to deliver to death the son, in whom all the promises were vested. This, was indeed a tremendous test of faith, as is made so plain in Hebrews 11: 17-19. That he did not fail under it was due to the fact that he believed that God was able and prepared to raise him from the dead.

The spot chosen for the sacrifice was that whereon, centuries after, the temple was built, and where Jewish sacrifices were made at the altar of burnt offering. Though Abraham cannot have known it the circumstances were divinely arranged to complete the typical picture. What we do see in Abraham is the energy with which he responded, rising up early in the morning, and’ the preparation he made to act in obedience. He departed with son, servants and wood for sacrifice.

On the third day Abraham saw the chosen spot; this was significant, for in after days he would look back to it not so much as the place of sacrifice as the place where in figure he received him as from the dead — the place of resurrection, in fact. That the faith of Abraham embraced resurrection is borne witness to by the closing words of verse 5. The sacrifice of Isaac was contemplated as “worship,” and the lad as well as his father was to “come again.” Abraham’s confidence as to this coming again is the more striking as he carried both a knife and the fire, as the next verse records. The wood was laid on Isaac. We may see in this a foreshadowing of that which is recorded in John’s Gospel — “He, bearing His cross, went forth into a place called . . . Golgotha.”

The sacrifice commanded was to be a burnt offering, hence to the eyes of Isaac the fire and the wood were perfectly natural, and the only question raised in his mind was, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham’s answer, though he may not have known it, was prophetic of something far beyond his own days: “God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” No lamb that ever died on any altar, patriarchal or Jewish, was other than provisional, and in view of that which was to come. The question, “Where is THE lamb?” was unanswered until John the Baptist was able to declare, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Abraham, however, was fully persuaded that God would provide the lamb for this occasion, and in that faith both father and son went together.

Verses 9 and 10 relate how full was the measure of Abraham’s obedience. Nothing was lacking up to the point where the death stroke would have taken place. At the last possible moment the Angel of the Lord intervened. His obedience had been tested to the full and had stood the test. He had not withheld his only son. This not only proved beyond question that he believed in God as the God of resurrection, but also furnished a foreshadowing of the infinitely greater moment when God “spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all.”

Though not stated in the narrative, we must not fail to notice the submission of Isaac. No word of remonstrance on his part is mentioned. He typifies the One of whom the prophet testified, “As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth” (Isa. 53: 7). His experience must have typified that which our Lord passed through, in infinitely greater measure, in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The voice from heaven arrested the death stroke that was to have fallen on Isaac, and now Abraham’s eyes were directed to God’s immediate provision; not a lamb merely but a ram. If we desired to have the strongest and most vigorous specimen from among the sheep, we should have to select a ram. This one moreover was caught in the thicket by its horns, symbolic of its strength, and it was offered as a burnt offering “in the stead of his son.” Though the actual words, substitute, or substitution, do not occur in our English Bible, here we have exactly that which the words mean. A substitute is one who stands in the stead of another.

So in this incident, which presents to us the fourth type of the death of our Saviour, we have before us salvation by a substitutionary sacrifice. And further, since the ram was detained to be the sacrifice by its horns, the strongest part of its frame, we may see how our blessed Lord was held to His sacrificial work by the strength of His love. No nail that ever was forged could have detained him on the cross. What held Him there was love to the Father, and love to us. (See John 14: 31; 13: 1).

Abraham recognized the wonderful way in which God had provided the lamb for a burnt offering, and signalized it by naming the place Jehovah-Jireh, meaning, ”The Lord will provide.” And out of that sprang a saying which was still current when some four centuries later Moses wrote these things: “In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen,” or “shall be provided.” That was the language of faith, for another four centuries, or so, after Moses, there stood on Moriah the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, and years after that Solomon’s temple was built there, and so it became the place for Jewish sacrifices. That to which all these sacrifices pointed took place “without the gate,” for the Lord Jesus was the rejected One.

The first call out of heaven had acknowledged the completeness of Abraham’s obedience: the second call pronounced great blessing, confirmed by an oath. This is the occasion referred to in Hebrews 6 when God, “because He could swear by no greater,” “swear by Himself.” The extent of the blessing might well have staggered Abraham. His seed was to be multiplied (1) “as the stars of the heaven,” (2) “as the sand which is upon the sea shore;” it was (3) to “possess the gate of his enemies,” and in it (4) “shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” It is not surprising, therefore, that God reinforced His bare word by His oath, that there might be “two immutable things” on which to rest.

The ancients knew but the stars that are visible to the naked eye. Only in our day has it been discovered that they are literally as numerous as the grains of sand on the sea shore. But we think we may see in (1) his spiritual seed, whose destiny is heaven (see, Galatians 3: 7); in (2) and (3) his earthly seed who, born again and redeemed, will enjoy millennial blessing and victory; and in (4) a prediction to be fulfilled in Christ, who is the Seed — in the singular, as Galatians 3: 16 points out — in whom all nations shall be blessed. All this blessing is guaranteed by the mighty oath of God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

STAND

April 26, 2017

Image result for picture of a viking guard

ONE THING

  Ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Rom. 7:4).

  Romans Six reveals our position as having died unto the principle of sin; Romans Seven teaches us our position as having died unto the principle of law. Both must be counted upon if we are to abide in Christ, and walk in the Spirit, as set forth in Romans Eight.

  “We have to look at ourselves and see how far we are devotedly following the Lord Jesus, with full purpose of heart—how we can say, ‘This one thing I do’; but we must take care at the same time not to get into legal bondage by this standard. If I say, ‘Here is a rule of conduct: follow it,’ this cannot reach the heart, the affections. The ministration of the letter brings only failure, and condemnation; for it prescribes a rule which man, being a sinner, can never follow. It does not change a man; it proves him ‘ungodly and without strength.’

  “We may turn even Christ into that letter of condemnation; we may take His life, for instance, and make it our law. Nay, we may turn even the love of Christ into our law; we may say, ‘He has loved me, and done all this for me, and I ought to love Him, and do so much for Him, in return for this love,’ etc. Thus if we turn His love into a rule of life, it becomes the ministration of condemnation.”

  “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1).

YOU WHO ARE CALLED CHRISTIAN, NEVER FORGET THE DEBT PAID THAT MAKES US FREE.

            GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

Remember Joe R in prayer for his shoulder

Paul k, and his surgery in June, he has to spend two weeks in the hospital before the actual surgery.

Pray for Leslie and her mom as the mom goes through chemo

 

Image result for picture of stevie wonder

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?

KNOCK ON WOOD, DON’T STEP ON CRACK, WEARING LUCKY JEWELRY. .

Very superstitious, writings on the wall,

Very superstitious, ladders bout’ to fall,

Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin’ glass,

Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,

Then you suffer,

Superstition ain’t the way

Very superstitious, wash your face and hands,

Rid me of the problems, do all that you can,

Keep me in a daydream, keep me goin’ strong,

You don’t want to save me, sad is my song

When you believe in things you don’t understand,

Then you suffer,

Superstition ain’t the way, yeh, yeh (Stevie Wonder)

I am puzzled by something. As I was visiting with a friend recently, I noticed on her kitchen counter a card with a prayer to some guy named St. Anthony on it. We started chatting about this prayer. My friend had been looking for a missing wallet full of cash for about 2 weeks. As a Christian, she asked Jesus to help her find it. After a few days when nothing happened, a Christian neighbor suggested to her that she pray this special prayer to a “Saint” because he was “good at finding lost things.” So, my friend did. Immediately, she looked in front of her and found the wallet. She told me, “I have never done anything like this before, but it worked.” Or, seemed to work. Maybe coincidence?

That reminded me of a news article I read several years ago describing how burying a statue of someone named Joseph upside down near your “for sale” sign gives you an edge when trying to sell your house. So, people—even professing Christians—began buying “St. Joe” kits and trusting this method to get their houses sold quickly. It seems to work. But, work to do what?

I understand traditions like that. Sometimes we do things without even thinking about why or what impact they have on our faith. But, placing our faith in some ordinary man named Joseph who died hundreds of years ago, believing there is magic associated with his statue or Anthony’s “prayer” has got to lead to trouble somewhere.

I read the Bible and see that all the power in the universe is directly available to each of us through our relationship with Jesus Christ. And, Jesus is more powerful than ANYTHING we can substitute for Him. We are fused together with Him by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:5) who comes to live inside us (Romans 8:11). We cannot get any closer to God. We have a direct pipeline to our Lord’s ear (Romans 8:26). Nothing and no one (alive or dead) is closer to Him than we are as His child. Why would we go elsewhere?

So, I have been puzzled by this—why some Christians choose to settle for a substitute power source to meet their needs rather than relying on the real thing—Jesus Christ. Could the reason be that some Christians are losing patience or confidence in the one true God to get what they want so they rely instead on the aid of other “powers?” I know my own weaknesses and realize it is not that hard to get caught up in superstitious behavior without realizing it when we try something someone recommends for “quicker action from God.” And, it “seems to work.”

That’s what bugs me—it seems to work. It dawned on that this “seems to work” outcome could be a deception from our enemy. My friend kept that card on her counter after she found the wallet. I bet she’ll use it again because it “seemed to work” to get what she wanted. I know if she had waited on Jesus, she would have found that wallet anyway. Does she believe that now? The one who buried the statue and sold her house quickly will likely use that approach again to get what she wants “from God.” My friend’s Christian neighbor certainly has used her “pray to the saint method”—and recommends it to others!

It dawned on me that Satan, the enemy, could be using our tendency to superstition (and impatience!) to get believers away from a life of dependence on Christ. Could that be why prayers to saints/burying statues “seem to work”? Paul said that Satan can masquerade as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Could reliance on “prayers to saints” be one way he does this? It certainly makes those Christians depend less on Jesus Christ’s power on their behalf and replace Him with a power substitute.

I am confident that the treasure we have in Jesus Christ is more powerful and valuable than anything I could substitute for Him. He hears my prayers instantly—no intermediary needed. I must choose to trust in His goodness in whatever He chooses to do. That means trust His timing, too. I choose to wait on my God’s timing than be drawn away from Him by any saintly superstition that “seems to work.”

SO BURY THE LUCK PENNY, SHOOT THE BLACK CAT (KIDDING) GO AHEAD SMASH THE MIRROR.

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

 

bet your life

April 24, 2017

You know what you know, bet your life on it

When you encounter a present-day view of Holy Scripture, you encounter more than a view of Scripture.

  What you meet is a total view of God and the world, that is, a total theology, which is both an ontology, declaring what there is, and an epistemology, stating how we know what there is. This is necessarily so, for a theology is a seamless robe, a circle within which everything links up with everything else through its common grounding in God. Every view of Scripture, in particular, proves on analysis to be bound up with an overall view of God and man.

 

 

  Our view of Scripture—particularly how we view the Bible’s truthfulness and authority over our lives—profoundly affects our spiritual formation. For this reason, the primary thing we should know about the Bible is that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2Ti 3:16–17).

 

 

 But our view of Scripture should also lead us to discover what the Bible is and how we came to receive it. Knowing facts about the Bible isn’t about gathering material for a trivia contest. It’s about becoming intimately familiar with the book that will most shape our lives.

 

 

 Here is a sampling of basic facts we should know:

 

 

  ➤ It’s a library of books—The Bible is a library of 66 books, written by 44 authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit over a period of about 1,500 years. The 39 books of the Old Testament were composed between 1400 and 400 BC, the 27 books of the New Testament between AD 50 and AD 100.

 

 

 ➤ The Bible is self-referencing—All the books of the Old Testament, with the exception of Esther, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs, are quoted or referenced in the New Testament. Jesus quoted or made references from Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs, 1 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Micah, Zechariah and Malachi.

 

 

 ➤ Why it’s called a Bible—The English word Bible is derived from the Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία (ta biblia—“the books”). While Christian use of the term can be traced to around AD 223, Chrysostom in his Homilies on Matthew (between AD 386 and 388) appears to be the first writer to use the Greek phrase ta biblia to describe both the Old and New Testaments together.

 

 

 ➤ The meaning of testament—The word testament means “covenant.” The term “Old Testament” refers to the covenant God entered into with Abraham and the Israelites, and “New Testament” refers to the covenant God has entered into with believers through Christ.

 

 

 ➤ Where chapters and verses came from—The practice of dividing the Bible into chapters began with Stephen Langton, an archbishop of Canterbury in the early thirteenth century. Robert Estienne, a sixteenth-century printer and classical scholar in Paris, was the first to print the Bible divided into standard numbered verses.

 

 

 ➤ How we discovered the canon—Canon is a word that comes from Greek and Hebrew words that literally mean “a measuring rod.” So canonicity describes the standard that books had to meet to be recognized as Scripture. God’s people merely discovered the canon—the authority of the books in the Bible is established by God. That a book is canonical is due to divine inspiration, while how it is known to be canonical is a process of human recognition. The process of discovery, as Norman Geisler explains, included the following questions:

  Was a book (1) written by a spokesperson for God, (2) who was confirmed by an act of God, (3) told the truth (4) in the power of God and (5) was accepted by the people of God? If a book clearly had the first mark canonicity was often assumed. Contemporaries of a prophet or apostle made the initial confirmation. Later church Fathers sorted out the profusion of religious literature to officially recognize what books were divinely inspired in the manner of which Paul speaks in 2 Timothy 3:16.

 

(read “from God to Us” by Dr. Packer, one of the best books you’ll ever read)

You can bet your life on it.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

right thoughts

April 23, 2017

SO WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND?

Think of all the things that preoccupy your thoughts, how many of them are of God?

We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God.

God is spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Only the Holy Spirit can enable a fallen man to worship God acceptably. As far as that’s concerned, only the Holy Spirit can pray acceptably; only the Holy Spirit can do anything acceptably.

Man was made to worship God. God gave man a harp and said, “Here above all the creatures that I have made and created I have given you the largest harp … you can worship Me in a manner that no other creature can.” And when he sinned man took that instrument and threw it down in the mud.

Why did Christ come? In order that He might make worshippers out of rebels. We were created to worship. Worship is the normal employment of moral beings. Worship is a moral imperative. Worship is the missing jewel in modern evangelicalism.

I want to define worship, and here is where I want to be dogmatic. Worship means “to feel in the heart.” A person that merely goes through the form and does not feel anything is not worshipping.

Worship also means to “express in some appropriate manner” what you feel. And what will be expressed? “A humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder.” It is delightful to worship God, but it is also a humbling thing.

Now what are the factors that you will find present in worship? First there is boundless confidence. You cannot worship a Being you cannot trust. Then there is admiration, that is, appreciation of the excellency of God. Fascination is another element in true worship; to be filled with moral excitement; to be captivated and charmed and entranced with who God is, and struck with astonished wonder at the inconceivable elevation and magnitude and splendor of Almighty God. Next is adoration; to love God with all the power within us; to love God with fear and wonder and yearning and awe. At times this will lead us to breathless silence.

The God of the modern evangelical rarely astonishes anybody. He manages to stay pretty much within the constitution. Never breaks over our bylaws. He’s a very well-behaved God and very denominational and very much one of us, and we ask Him to help us when we’re in trouble and look to Him to watch over us when we’re asleep. The God of the modern evangelical isn’t a God I could have much respect for. But when the Holy Ghost shows us God as He is we admire Him to the point of wonder and delight.

Worship … rises or falls with our concept of God; that is why I do not believe in these half-converted cowboys who call God the Man Upstairs. I do not think they worship at all because their concept of God is unworthy of God and unworthy of them. And if there is one terrible disease in the Church of Christ, it is that we do not see God as great as He is. We’re too familiar with God.

Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.

We’re here to be worshippers first and workers only second. We take a convert and immediately make a worker out of him. God never meant it to be so. God meant that a convert should learn to be a worshipper, and after that he can learn to be a worker. The work done by a worshipper will have eternity in it.

Labor that does not spring out of worship is futile and can only be wood, hay and stubble in the day that shall try every man’s works.

It is rarely that we find anyone aglow with personal love for Christ. This love as a kind of moral fragrance is ever detected upon the garments of the saints. The list of fragrant saints is long. It includes men and women of every shade of theological thought within the bounds of the orthodox Christian faith. This radiant love for Christ is to my mind the true test of catholicity, the one sure proof of membership in the church universal.

He’s not our papa, or sugar daddy, he’s not the God in the shack, he’s not a warm blanket just from the dryer, He’s THE ALMIGHTY GOD, and needs to be treated as such, especially in worship.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for those Christians that struggle with mental illness and wonder what bad thing they’ve done in their life to be so cursed, help them to remember who they are in Christ; and once they step over the threshold of heaven their mind, their thoughts will also be redeemed.

 

Image result for picture of a wallet with cash in it

Those who “think that godliness is a means to financial gain” (1Ti 6:5) are falling for the “prosperity gospel,” a false doctrine that claims financial blessing and good health is the will of God for Christians, and that faith, positive speech and donations to Christian ministries will always increase one’s material wealth and lead to physical healing.

  Rather than telling people that if they simply send in their check they will prosper financially, we give people the five steps or seven secrets to spiritual prosperity. Much like a preacher in a congregation who proclaims a prosperity gospel of financial blessing we tell our church members that if they will simply follow tips from Scripture or put into practice easy techniques, they will spiritually prosper.

  There is an element of truth in this,because if we stop sinning we will prosper spiritually. But the real path to prosperity can only be found in knowing, following and obeying Jesus.

 Want to avoid falling for a gospel of spiritual prosperity? Try this:

  ➤ Question your motives—Ask yourself, “What is my goal for spiritual formation? Are my efforts to become more like Christ, or am I seeking a more worldly form of ‘spiritual prosperity.’ ”

 ➤ Question your methods—Tips and techniques that aid in spiritual formation are not shortcuts to spiritual prosperity. While these practices can focus our efforts and clear our path so we might have an active role in our sanctification, they are merely means to an end: helping you to become more like Christ. Are you using any methods that put your hope for spiritual growth in anything other than Jesus?

 ➤ Question your understanding—Do you understand the role of sanctification in the Christian life? Do you understand what role God expects you to play in your spiritual formation? Until you do understand these roles, you will have difficulty achieving true spiritual growth.

It’s your heart God wants, not your wallet.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

DIRTY TOWELS AND JESUS

April 21, 2017

DIRTY BATH TOWELS AND JESUS

WARNING ADULT THEME, MATURE DISCUSSION, PLEASE DON’T READ IF YOU ARE EASILY SEXUALLY OFFENDED.

OK, THESE ARE JUST THE FACTS, NO BITTERNESS, NO FREUDIAN SLIPS JUST SOMETHING THAT CAME TO MIND.

MY WIFE CHANGES THE BATH TOWELS TWICE A WEEK (THAT I NOTICE, IT MIGHT BE MORE). I BRING THIS UP BECAUSE FOR SOME REASON WHEN I CAME OUT OF THE SHOWER AND WAS DRYING OFF, I THOUGHT OF MY MOTHER’S WEIRD HABIT ABOUT WASHING TOWELS.

EVERY TIME YOU TOOK A BATH OR A SHOWER THE TOWELS HAD TO GO RIGHT INTO THE WASHING MACHINE AND BE IMMEDIATELY WASHED.

I ALWAYS CHALKED THIS UP TO MY MOTHER BEING A PROSTITUTE. NOT THE KIND THAT STOOD ON THE CORNER AND HAD A PIMP; BUT A RENT WHORE. SHE SLEPT WITH GUYS THAT WOULD PROVIDE THE BOOZE OR THE DRUGS OR THE RENT OR WHEN THINGS GOT BAD AND REALLY WENT TO HELL A ROOF OVER OUR HEADS.

SOME MIGHT THINK THIS WAS AN ULTIMATE SACRIFICE AS OUR FATHER HAD LEFT US HIGH AND DRY. IT JUST PISSED ME OFF. SHE PUT MY LITTLE SISTER AT RISK AND IT MADE AN ALREADY VIOLENT SON EVEN MORE VIOLENT. ESPECIALLY WHEN I WOULD TAKE AN AXE HANDLE TO SOME CLOWN TRYING TO GO INTO MY SISTER’S BEDROOM.

AND THEN I WOULD GET YELLED AT BY HER FOR RUINING THE NIGHT OR THE GUY LEAVING WITHOUT LEAVING A LITTLE CASH BEHIND.

SO HERE’S THE DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT.

MY MOTHER WAS CONSTANTLY CLEANING THE HOUSE OR HERSELF, SHE WOULD TAKE SEVERAL BATHS AFTER THE GUYS LEFT, IF SHE WASN’T PASSED OUT OR DOPED UP ON PILLS. AGAIN, I DON’T LOOK AT THIS AS THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE OF A MOTHER FOR HER CHILDREN. I WAS  14 AND ALREADY DRIVING TRACTOR TRAILERS OUT OF STATE AND MAKING GOOD MONEY. I COULDN’T GET HER TO STOP. I WOULD GET ESPECIALLY PISSED WHEN SHE SAID “THIS ONE IS GOING TO MARRY HER AND WOULD THE TWO OF US CALL HIM DAD.”

AGAIN THE DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT, COMING FROM A PENTECOSTAL BACKGROUND AND THE ARMINIAN THEOLOGY OF BACKSLIDING AND ALWAYS COMING “BACK INTO THE FOLD”. I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW LIFE CHANGING IT WAS TO REALIZE HOW GREAT THE SACRIFICE THAT GOD MADE AND THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND THE SECURITY OF A SALVATION I COULDN’T LOSE.

NO MORE 6 BATHS A DAY, NO MORE FEARING DYING IN SIN, NO MORE DIRTY TOWELS. JESUS’S BLOOD, TOTALLY CLEANING, WHOLLY, COMPLETELY SAVING.

SO, IN HEAVEN THERE’S A GIANT SUDS SAVING BATH, THAT WASHES ME WHITER THAN SNOW. IT’S QUITE AN IMAGE, THAT I HAVE TO BE COVERED IN BLOOD TO BE WHITER THAN SNOW.

JUST ONE TOWEL PLEASE

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

PLEASE NO PSYCHOANALYZING, JUST READ AND THINK.

PRAY FOR JOE R AND HIS SHOULDER

STEVE AND THE FAMILY LOSS

ROGER E. AND HIS BORDER COLLIE ANNIE PASSING