MY BELOVED

July 31, 2018

  That I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12).

  Hopefully our immature spiritual love, based on feelings and emotions is soon lost, to be replaced through the years by our mature love that is grounded in faith. That we keep in our hearts that we are his bride and that we are to always gravitate to our Bridegroom. “My beloved spoke, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away” (S.S. 2:10).

 All of our Father’s arrangements for us, if rightly accepted, will lead us above, instead of binding us to what is here below. His gifts come down to ease us in a world like this, that our hearts may rise to the heavenly scene where He displays the fulness of His love for us.

 And if there be chastening in the circumstances here, it is only to detach us the more effectively from all here, and to lead us to the place where He has given all to us. So that seeing the things above ensures every good thing for us in every condition.

You may know the Lord Jesus as your relief—for what He has done; but it is quite another thing to know Him as your resource—for what He is. It is one thing to know Him as the One who has relieved you from every pressure, it is another thing to know Him as the One attraction of your heart.

 The Lord grant that you may know the wonderful blessing, and portion of light and joy we are brought into, instead of going through the world trying to overcome this and that, and saying, ‘I must give up this thing and the other.’ It is not a question of giving up at all; but I have something better, greater, brighter, and I just let it drop.

  “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord” (Phil. 3:8).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

PASSIVE NO MORE

July 30, 2018

boxing

  “For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:11).

  The growing Christian is often accused of passivity by the doing Christian. The Lord Jesus was not passive; the Apostle Paul was not passive; nor is the believer passive who seeks to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Compulsive activity is not necessarily fruitful, as the “works of the flesh” attest.

   I have pressed upon many of my younger students, not to give up their secular employment until the work of the Lord so increased upon them that they must give up one or the other.”

 The one who knows best the Father’s love will be the best advocate of that love—the best qualified servant for the Father to send on a mission of interest to those who are ignorant of it. Abide in Him. ‘The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him’ (John 1:18).

  Under the Mosaic law-system, love for others was to be in the degree in which one loved himself; under grace it is to be in the degree in which the Lord Jesus has loved the believer and given His life for him (1 John 3:16).

  “Perversion of truth takes its rise from having the eye turned to man, and seeking to make the truth suit him, and not to conform man to the truth; so that the way to resolve this difference is by the simple question, Is it God-ward I am looking, or man-ward?” (GW)

  “If you only know the work of the Lord Jesus you are prepared to make sacrifices, but if you know Him as your life then you are ready to suffer for Him.”

  “So then death worketh in us, but life in you” (2 Cor 4:12).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Bobbie G, she is cutting off all relations with every relative, and shutting her self off from all her friends, we are all very concerned for her

Pray for Jacob, a 30 year old, non verbal autistic man, who has been sexually abused by his father and is just now coming for counseling

Pray for Wanda, she has lost one child at 15 to cancer, one child to suicide at 18, and now her son 40, has just confessed to her that he has aids.

battle frenzy

July 29, 2018

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

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of Yahweh is coming—it is indeed near. A day of darkness and gloom, a day of cloud and thick darkness, like the dawn spreads on the mountains, a great and strong army! There has been nothing like it from old, and after it nothing will be again for generations to come” (Joel 2:1–2).

 

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

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

God can end it?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

hey, I know that voice

July 28, 2018

I get told all the time how wonderful my speaking voice is. That always cracks me up. I have a phone voice, a radio voice, a preaching voice, and my normal, I’m just being myself voice.

Funny thing is when I talk to people on the phone that haven’t met me, when I show up later and say “hi, I’m…..” they almost invariably go “really”, seems they picture me taller, or from the women, “ I thought Rock Hudson was going to show up, nope, you got Burl Ives.

The many years that I’ve done radio has always been funny because when my wife and I are out, especially in restaurants someone will always come over and say “hey, aren’t you that guy on station….”,

I’m doing a radio demo this weekend to see about doing a 3 hour talk show radio host. Just because of my voice and the radio station manager thought I was engaging.

Funnier still I was at the VA Hospital all day today and literally visiting every floor and every other floor someone would say; “hey you look familiar”.

As got off on one floor I heard the guy say; “do you know who that guy is?”

I guess I just got that kind of face or voice. Total strangers will come up to me at gas stations, in supermarkets.

One time they asked me to come set at their table and sign the menus.

I still don’t know who they think I am.

So devotional thought, do you know the voice of God, think you would recognize Jesus?

Closer to home, do you know the name of everyone in your church? We print a church directory with everybody’s name, picture and phone number and remind people every Sunday to call someone they don’t know in the directory and arrange to have lunch or dinner after the service. When we have fellowship dinners we put out place settings with names and make sure people don’t sit with their regular crowd, you wouldn’t believe the grumbling that causes sometimes. We have to keep the fellowship hall doors locked so people won’t’ go in and change their names around.

I just scratch my head sometimes. I need to tell you sometime my favorite church joke, it fits right in.

So this Sunday go up to someone you don’t know, say hello, invite them to lunch. Get out our of your regular church rut and see someone new. And if you’re feeling resistant to the idea (many of you are) ask yourself why.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

The sheep know His voice, do you know your brother or sister in the Lord.

Ps. You want a prayer ministry? Take you church directory and start praying for the people in it by name. you will be surprised what happens.

OUTSIDE IN

July 27, 2018

  “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).

  In regard to the external Cross, the obvious fact is that “Christ died for our sins.” As to the internal Cross, while not so obvious, it is still a fact that we are to be “always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:11).

Fundamentalist theology has emphasized the utility of the Cross rather than the beauty of the One who died on it. The saved man’s relation to the Lord Jesus has been made contractual instead of personal. The ‘work’ of Christ has been stressed until it has eclipsed the Person of Christ. Substitution has been allowed to supersede identification. What He did for us seems to be more important than what He did to us.

The death of the Lord Jesus was not only an atonement for sins, but a triumph over sin. By faith we see our sins not only on His head for our pardon, but sin under His feet for our deliverance. Multitudes who glory in the outward Cross know nothing of that inward crucifixion which it has also made possible, whereby they are delivered from the power of self and sin, the world, the flesh, and the devil. That they do not know: That their ‘old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, so that they should no longer be in bondage to sin’ (Rom. 6:6).

We are not only to take by faith the fact that the Lord Jesus died for us to pay the price and penalty of our sins, but we are to appropriate by faith the fact that He also took us to the Cross with Him. In Christ, God put to death our old man that we might be delivered from the power and dominion of sin in our lives. So the story of the pathway of faith begins with Calvary and our identification with the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus.

  “You were set free from the tyranny of sin” (Rom. 6:18, Wey.).

God bless from scumlikeuschuch@gmail.com

Pray for Abbie R, she goes to court tomorrow to hear her probation status.

Pray for John G, a new dad today, a baby girl, Melissa, healthy and all the fingers and toes you’re supposed to have.

drought

July 26, 2018

It isn’t hard to acknowledge the results of lack of water and the impact of drought on grass, trees, plants, flowers, animals and crops especially in Texas August heat.  There’s not enough water to sustain the root systems. It’s just harder to realize this is not unlike what happens to our souls when they are neglected and become mal nourished.

Our souls need maintenance, attentiveness, care and space to breathe. They need restoration, to be refreshed and nourished – especially in the midst of caring for the souls of others or in the midst of draining relational conflict.  They need rest and quiet to be restored.

Fast lane living, busyness, never stopping, never resting, working 24/7, not taking time to attend to what is happening to us internally and even unintentional neglect creates the perfect environment for “spiritual drought”. Spiritual drought, soul clutter and soul desperation all are screams for help. The hectic press of life, becoming dangerously tired with no rest, no attention, no break and following the world’s view that you burn it out no matter what the cost, never stopping, never creating space for God or for your soul to rest, regroup, recharge and be nourished exacts a cost. It exacts a cost on your soul.

The one thing we need in life is engagement, human to human contact, interaction, communication, feeling wanted, needed, loved and thought of. We can go about obtaining these through godly means or allow our warped carnal nature to lead the way.

Obviously, one leads to spiritual fulness and well being and the other leads to a barren wasteland of bad decisions and a spiritual cancer or drought.

Like the ultimate need for the body to have water and air so must we have relationships. Number one on your checklist is what kind of relationships do you have and where do they lead you.

It’s the literal pro/con list. Make the right relations with the right outcomes and there is harmony, the opposite is a recipe for disaster.

And no matter how far down the wrong path you’ve gotten yourself, you can always turn around and head back. I won’t lie, the way back from a wrecked life is tough. But it can be done. Find a good church or support group. Or reach out to us here at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Blessings.

Pray for Robin M, a child of the 70’s she is a great example of someone that is fighting her way back to sanity. But she needs Jesus as well.

Bonnie R, throat problems

Karl B, never got over a lost love, permanently depressed. 9th day sober.

ORDINARY

July 25, 2018

There are some church and parachurch groups which cater to the “committed” and think that they are doing a commendable work. Discipleship seems to be something like the Marines—a select group of highly committed people, a few good men and women.

one can “go along with Jesus” without even being a true believer (cf. John 6:66).

one can “come to Jesus” in saving faith, without becoming a disciple, a committed follower (cf. John 2:23-25).

When one decides to follow Christ as His disciple, one must surrender any other source of “life” than Him, and one must relinquish all self-seeking. Becoming a disciple of our Lord means to give up our goals and to pursue His goals. Just as in marriage the woman should find joy in giving up her goals and becoming a helper to her husband in reaching his goal (a not-so-popular idea today), so the disciple sets aside all his aspirations for those of the Master. And just as the Master takes up His own cross, so we, too, must take up that cross which God has ordained for us.

Unlike many preachers of our day, Jesus did not desire a large following. He would rather have men count the cost of discipleship and opt to stay out than to merely go along with Him ignorantly. Jesus’ words state that discipleship comes at a very high cost, but also imply that the price of discipleship often is collected later.

There is a price to pay for following Jesus. And some are willing to stand up for him and pay the price. But we can’t make out anyone as extra special. Or have a group earmarked as just the dedicated. Just like kids mock the ones that ride the short bus. We too must be careful a labeling the more committed.

We are all extraordinarily ordinary. We will never know on this side of the glass who really has a pure heart, virtuous intent and truly committed. So church and Christianity is a bunch or gaggle of geese, we may all sound the same but each is unique. But we are traveling in the same direction, but all may not arrive. Think about it.

We can’t label the church member as gifted without falling into a trap of knowing just what parts are in their clock. It may tick but so does a bomb. So we have to have accountability, credibility and a wee bit of silliness, (don’t take everything so seriously) but as a shepherd always watch the flock, there is always one that wanders, one that plots, one that promises and one is a wolf.

You think being a Christian is tuff, try being the shepherd.

Oh, and never label the pastor as special, I’ve seen to many fleece the flock.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

IF ONLY IN NAME

July 24, 2018

  “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree” (Gal. 3:13).

  The legal Christian considers the law to be his best friend who will enable him to live righteously. But in reality the law, in the hands of the Holy Spirit, is really his enemy. The Spirit’s purpose is to bring the well-meaning believer down into defeat, wretched and ready to realize, “I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Rom. 7:25).

  “It is perhaps the most alarming symptom of decay to be seen amongst evangelical believers today is that they proceed to build a new legal code by which to live, and seek to be sanctified by their own efforts and endeavors.

The more conscientious, when faced with the failure of this scheme of things, become the victims of the condemnation of the ‘accuser of the brethren’; and take their place among the great company of Christian men and women who are constantly beset with doubts and fears, and who, often in spite of intense activity in the cause of the Gospel, are living in the conscious bitterness of defeat.

The law cannot be broken or divided. It stands as a unit. To undertake any part of it is to be committed to it all. Nothing can be more unreasonable or more unscriptural than to borrow some portions from the law system, either that of Moses or of the millennial kingdom,(kingdom rules or kingdom living) and, at the same time, reject other portions. He who will choose the law must, to be consistent, do the whole law (Rom. 10:5), and if he should break it at one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10).

  “The law was our schoolmaster. . . . But after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Gal. 3:24, 25).

The balancing act of believing in grace and not living like a spiritual whore.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

TEMPEST FUGIT

July 23, 2018

“How Long Has It Been” (sung by Jim Reeves)

How long has it been since you talked with the Lord

And told him your heart’s hidden secrets?

How long since you prayed?

How long since you stayed on your knees till the light shone through?

How long has it been since your mind felt at ease?

How long since your heart knew no burden?

Can you call him your friend?

How long has it been since you knew that he cared for you?

How long has it been since you knelt by your bed

And prayed to the Lord up in heaven?

How long since you knew that he’d answer you

And would keep you the long night through?

How long has it been since you woke with the dawn

And felt this day is worth living?

Can you call him your friend?

How long has it been since you knew that he cared for you?..

We have a brand of chili here in Texas called ‘wolf brand chili’ and for as long as I can remember its been the same tag line; “neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a bowl of wolf brand chili, well that’s to long.

 

Time passes quickly, children grow up seemingly overnight. Time flies, tempest fugit, you’re wondering where that grey hair came from and why you have to shave your ears almost as often as your face.

 

How long has it been since you’ve talked to the Lord, more than a good luck prayer (you know Lord just let the light stay green) or the dinner prayer, I mean serious prayer. I know I’ve recommended this book(s ) several times, buy nothing better on prayer has been written than the works of E.M.Bounds. it’a classic.

Learn how to pray and you will change your life, and those around you.

 

I know I’ve told this story before but it’s worth repeating. A famous auto parts maker passed away and his wife inherited the business. People moved in like sharks, sales reps, men thinking they could out bid, or just take over the business, worry her enough to turn over the reins to real men.

 

She handled each and every person, decision or meeting by taking the person by the hand and then asking them to kneel in prayer as she asked God for the right answer. Sometimes she prayed for hours. No one dared to leave and soon the business was flourishing as never before and the respect this lady garnered was incredible.

 

So neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a heart to heart with the Lord, well that’s to long.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Pray for Bruce E, has he makes a career move to another state and no job at sight.

SAVVY??

July 22, 2018

  “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

  Hard as it is for the believer to finally come to rest concerning his spiritual birth, it seems to be even more difficult for him to simply rest in the Lord Jesus for his life and service.

There are two stages in the Christian life. The one in which, after conversion, a believer seeks to work what God would have him do. The second, in which, after many a painful failure, he ceases from his works, and enters the rest of God, there to find the power for work in allowing the Father to work in him. (this second stage is only possible if you are not in a legalistic church, and one that grace is available but not cheap.)

It is this rest from their own work which many Christians cannot understand. They think of it as a state of passive and selfish enjoyment, of still contemplation which leads to the neglect of the duties of life, and ruins for that watchfulness and warfare to which Scripture calls. What an entire misunderstanding of God’s call to rest!

Truly to rest in God is to yield oneself up to the highest activity. We work, because He worketh in us both to will and to do (Phil. 2:13). As Paul says of himself, ‘I labor, striving according to his working who worketh in me with might’ (Col. 1:29). Entering the rest of God is the ceasing from self-effort, and the yielding of oneself in the full surrender of faith to God’s working.

Not only does the Lord Jesus live in us, but He becomes the motivating Object of our life as Christians. The law is no longer our motive or rule of life. It is entirely displaced by a Person, and that Person ‘the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ Henceforth the soul has a new center and source—it is no longer self-centered, but Christ-centered.

  “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11:29

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com