PASSING BY FAILING

September 30, 2020

 

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. KJV

Consider the pattern of the Mount of Transfiguration experience. Although Peter, James, and John were given the glorious privilege of beholding the Lord Jesus transfigured, each one had to come down from the Mount—the Lord Jesus and Peter going to crosses, James to the sword, and John exiled to lonely Patmos. The same principle applies to us. We are given a glimpse of the glory and reality of the truth reckoned upon, and then we are taken into God’s processing so that the truth may be as real in us as it is to us.

Through His purposeful dealings with us, our objective reckoning upon the truth becomes subjective experience in our lives. As we count upon our old man having been crucified at Calvary, and our having died unto sin on the cross, we become progressively cross-centered Christians. As we count upon our new life in the Lord Jesus, we develop into Christ-centered Christians. The path of the cross is the path of growth.

In our failures, we learn more of what self is and thereby come to hate the natural, Adamic life. Then it is that we are taught to glory in the cross, by which we are freed from the old life’s influence, as well as the grip and lure of this world. “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14). Reckoning is the only means of escaping the entanglements of this world. It takes the separation of the cross, and our abiding in Christ.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

ALL WE LIKE SHEEP

September 29, 2020

PERSPECTIVE

I live in central Texas, what they call the Hill Country of Texas. Good news, bad news. When I moved here from the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia to here, I had dozens of people ask me how I liked living in the mountains of Texas. I never thought they were serious, but they were. Yes, I live on top of the highest hill in my county, but it is not a mountain.

Most of my friends live in Houston (flat and floods like crazy) or they live in the panhandle of Texas (flat and is in a drought most of the time). Yet when they come to my house for some occasion (I throw a lot of parties) they always tell their friends they are going to visit me on my mountain.

It is all a matter of perspective. Real Texas ranchers will tell you if you don’t own a least 1000 acres it is not a ranch but a horse trap. Funny thing is there are people with as few as 5 acres and because they have a gate, they hang a ranch sign on it. After all it is a matter of perspective.

Here is the one thing that a person’s perspective does not matter, salvation. They can say they are saved because as an infant they were baptized. Or, they went through confirmation, or they are members of a church, or their church believes in universalism, because God so loved the world that everyone is saved and going to heaven. It is a matter of perspective.

Except it is not. Jesus spoke about hell more than any other topic.

Hell is hot, heaven is not.

Hell is permanent, so is heaven. Sorry Catholics but there is no purgatory. Once you die you immediately go to one or the other. Perspective does not matter. They bible says you are either saved or you are unsaved.

What does it take to be saved? Actually quite a lot or maybe not, it is a matter of perspective.

You must believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he is eternal, has always been God. You must believe the bible is inerrant, inspired, and infallible. All the book or none at all. Jesus is the only way into heaven, nope the Virgin Mary (no such thing as she had several kids) she cannot do squat for you. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross in place of you. That you accept God’s gift of His Son and His sacrifice. And that you are a sinner and you cannot do squat to justify yourself.

So the shorter version, Jesus died in your place and you accept him by faith to forgive you of all your sins when He died on the cross, was resurrected from the dead and ascended into heaven to be our one and only advocate.

Just one simple act of faith to believe it is all true and all for you.

I sincerely hope that if you have not accepted Jesus as your savior you will do so now. Because you may not wake up tomorrow and you have already made a choice just by not making one.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please remember Peggy G, as she is still suffering from vertigo and still having radiation for skin cancer.

Pray for Barbara as she undergoes chemo.

Jim Asberry, still having migraines from the skull fracture.

Pat Little is getting a little better, doctors have maybe found a pharmaceutical path to help with the weight loss and nutritional deficiency.

LET MY PEOPLE OUT

September 28, 2020

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Once a week we are going to do a summary of the books of the bible. If you own a study bible you can always look at the summaries of each bible. This is a little different as it is a topical/subject introduction to each book of the bible.

Exodus is the heart of the Old Testament, the Book of salvation and identity for God’s people.

Exodus features God, His work and His expectations for the people with whom He is present. Exodus has four major parts: God elects a leader (1:1-7:2); God delivers a people (7:3-18:27); God makes a covenant with His people (19:1-24:18); and God shows His presence even with a sinful people (25:1-40:38).

Exodus highlights the saving grace of God contrasted with the unbelieving murmuring of His people.

God preserves a deliverer for an oppressed people (1:1-4:17).

God sends His leader on an impossible mission (4:18-7:2).

God shows His sovereignty in punishing Egypt’s Pharaoh (7:3-12:30).

God shows His power and faithfulness at the Red Sea (12:31-15:21).

God provides for a doubting, complaining people (15:22-18:27).

God starts His kingdom with a covenant people (19:1-20:21).

God gives civil, ceremonial, and criminal identification to the covenant (20:22-23:33).

God and people ratify the covenant (24:1-18).

God plans for His continual presence with His people (25:1-31:17).

God restores a rebellious, sinful people (31:18-34:35).

God is present with an obedient people (35:1-40:38).

Exodus sees a slave people in a foreign empire become an obedient people in a loving relationship with the God whose name they know, whose delivering love and power they have seen, and whose covenant they have entered. They have learned that idols have no power before Yahweh of Israel. Israel has learned God can and will fulfill His promises to the fathers. Individuals and nation have learned the identifying life-style that marks them as God’s covenant people. God has placed His presence among His people even after they have sinned. Exodus thus says life is an obedient covenant relationship with the God who showed His power and love in the Exodus and who expects their covenant obedience and worship.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Jim Asberry in prayer, still suffering intense migraines after his skull fracture. Doctors are also concerned about why he passed out.

Remember Barbara in prayer as she goes through chemo.

Pat Little is still suffering unexplained weight loss. Her stomach is not digesting food properly and her body is not pulling out any nutrition from what she eats.

Pray for salvation for Norma Perales and family, also for Anne and Drew, Olivia, Oscar and Cristina, Tara, Lauren, Nicole.

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God ordains trials so that we will honor Him when He delivers us.

In Exodus 14:4, God explains His reason for these events, “Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” He repeats (Exod. 14:18), “Then the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen.” Philip Ryken (the subtitle of his book) says that the theme of Exodus is “saved for God’s glory.” He further explains (p. 396) that everything that God has ever done, is doing now, or will do is for His glory. That is clearly the reason for Israel’s deliverance through the Red Sea. God is glorified both when He judges the wicked and when He saves His elect. Thus,

  1. When God delivers you, give Him the glory.

This applies both to your salvation through the gospel and to His delivering you from a trial. In Psalm 50:15 God commands, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” Pharaoh’s army, with its hundreds of chariots, was the most powerful war machine of its day, but it was no match for God’s power. He divided the sea to let Israel cross and to lure the Egyptian army to pursue them. Once Israel was on the other side, God commanded Moses to stretch out his hand so that the sea returned to its normal state, drowning all of the Egyptian soldiers. As a result (Exod. 14:31), Israel feared the Lord and believed in Him, as well as in His servant Moses (although temporarily).

If you’re going through a difficult trial, I encourage you to read the triumphant words of Romans 8, especially the crescendo at the end, where Paul declares (Rom. 8:31), “If God is for us, who is against us?” He goes on to list every conceivable trial, including being slaughtered as sheep for God’s sake. But then he adds (Rom. 8:37), “In all these things we overwhelming conquer through Him who loved us.” But that raises a final question: “What if God doesn’t deliver you?” What should you do then?

  1. When God doesn’t deliver you, give Him the glory.

Many of God’s saints trusted in Him but died prematurely from disease or were killed for their faith. The great faith chapter, Hebrews 11, records the many victories that God’s people obtained by faith. But after stating that women received back their dead by resurrection, the author continues (Heb. 11:35-38):

… and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

The same faith in God had very different results! I love the boldness of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego when the arrogant King Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into the furnace if they didn’t bow to his idol (Dan. 3:17-18):

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

They were ready to glorify God whether He delivered them or whether they burned to death!

Conclusion

At the cross, Satan and all of God’s enemies thought that they had gained final victory by killing Jesus. But through the cross, God disarmed and triumphed over the forces of darkness, securing our salvation (Col. 2:15). God raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him above all rule and authority (Eph. 1:20-22). So even if we suffer martyrs’ deaths, God will be glorified by raising us from the dead and having us rule with Him throughout eternity!

The 1563 Heidelberg Catechism begins with the question, “What is your only comfort in life and death?” It answers:

That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Honor God by letting that be your only comfort in life and death!

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Jim Asberry in your prayers, massive migraine from the fractured skull and depression.

Keep Caliste Burt in your prayers. 2 inoperable brain tumors. Doctors have decided they will not try anything unless they become life threatening. 2 have already been removed. Great Christian lady and very brave.

Remember Hunter Colt, (great name) Army Sargent, 4 years in Africa fighting Muslim extremists.

Remember our salvation list.

Remember our wonderfully saved ladies, Crissy, Sherry and Cherry. All former adult entertainers. Saved, married and praying for the church women to be more gracious.

EASY LESSON

September 26, 2020

 

 

Faith is probably one of the modern world’s most misunderstood words. Too often it is taken to mean “believing in something without having sufficient evidence.” But that’s not what the term means at all. In the Bible, faith simply means belief, trust or loyalty to a person or thing.

We use faith anytime we cross a bridge. We trust it will provide us safe passage because we have reason to believe it is sturdy and well-constructed. Similarly, we have faith in our friends because they have proven to be trustworthy in the past.

But Scripture also uses the term to refer to loyalty. For example, Habakkuk says the righteous person will live by his faith or faithfulness (see Hab 2:4). We have reason to be loyal to God because he is always loyal to us. Our faith in God provides us with an inner stability from which we can respond in trust even when we don’t understand where he is leading us.

Here are two mini-habits that can help us develop our faith in God:

  1. Memorize and meditate on Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

  2. Identify an area of your life (finances, vocation, relationships) where you have not fully put your trust in God. Ask the Lord to give you the strength to trust in his provision in this area, and then make a plan for showing how you will exhibit greater faith in this area. Habakkuk 2:4

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Trials in our Life part two

September 25, 2020

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PART 2 WHEN TRIALS COME OUR WAY.

God ordains trials so that we will trust Him to deliver us.

There are three lessons here about trusting God:

  1. God ordains trials so that we will trust Him.

God does this on different levels. Often, He brings trials into our lives before we have trusted in Christ as Savior to show us our need for Him. Countless testimonies run along the lines, “I was a happy unbeliever when suddenly I got hit with some overwhelming trials that showed me that I needed God. About that time, a Christian friend told me that Jesus died on the cross for all my sins and offers me eternal life as a free gift if I would trust in Him. I realized that I needed Christ and trusted Him at that time.”

I love the story of blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). If he had not been blind, he probably wouldn’t have been as desperate to meet Jesus. But as it was, when he heard that Jesus was passing by, he cried out (Mark 10:47), “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many tried to silence him, but he yelled all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus heard him, stopped, and called him to come. Jesus asked (Mark 10:51), “What do you want Me to do for you?” He wanted Bartimaeus to acknowledge his need and his faith. Bartimaeus said, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” Jesus healed him instantly, saying (Mark 10:52), “Go; your faith has made you well.” Bartimaeus’ blindness drove him in faith to the only One who could help. If you’ve never trusted in Christ as your Savior, let your trials drive you to faith in Him!

But also, God ordains trials for us as believers so that we will trust Him more deeply. The apostle Paul was not weak in faith. But even he needed to trust God more. He wrote (2 Cor. 1:8-10), “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us.”

But we need to be careful so that our cry to God in a time of need is genuine. In Exodus 14:10, as Pharaoh and his army drew near to the trapped Israelites, we read that they cried out to the Lord. But then they immediately (Exod. 14:11-12) accuse Moses of bringing them out of Egypt so that they could die in the wilderness. They remind him that they had said when they were back in Egypt that it would be better to remain slaves in Egypt than to die in the wilderness. Their accusation assumed that they knew better than either Moses or God about what would be best for them! So their cry to God was just a cry of panic, not of genuine faith. Genuine faith submits to God’s mighty hand in trials, casting all cares on Him (1 Pet. 5:6-7). Complaining or accusing God of harming you is evidence of a lack of genuine faith.

  1. We can trust that God always has the resources we need for deliverance.

The angel of God and the pillar of cloud that had been going in front of Israel to direct their way moved behind them to provide a barrier between Israel and the Egyptian army (Exod. 14:19). It served as darkness for the Egyptians, but as light for Israel (cf. 2 Cor. 2:15-16). C. H. Mackintosh (Notes on the Pentateuch [Loizeaux Brothers], p. 205) observed, “He has placed Himself between us and our sins; and it is our happy privilege to find Him between us and every one and every thing that could be against us.” He also notes, “The same waters which formed a wall for God’s redeemed, formed a grave for Pharaoh.” The point is that God has infinite resources to provide deliverance for us. As Isaiah 54:17 promises, “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper.…”

  1. Trusting God sometimes means doing nothing else, but at other times using appropriate means.

Exodus 14:13-14 reflects Moses’ great trust in the Lord:

But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”

This is a great picture of our salvation. We can’t do anything to help God out in the process. All we can do is receive God’s salvation by faith. But even saving faith and repentance must come from God (Phil. 1:29; Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 2:25-26).

Some object, “How can God command sinners to repent and believe in Christ if they’re incapable of repenting and believing?” But the Bible shows that with the command, God grants faith and repentance to those He sovereignly ordains to save (Acts 5:31; 11:18). Mark 3 reports that in the synagogue Jesus saw a man with a withered hand. He couldn’t move it. But Jesus called the man in front of everyone and commanded (Mark 3:5), “Stretch out your hand.” Was Jesus mocking him? He wasn’t able to stretch out his hand! But with the command, Jesus imparted the power to obey. The man stretched out his hand and was healed.

Here (Exod. 14:15), God gives Israel the impossible command, “Go forward.” That was a good idea, but there was this little problem of the Red Sea preventing them from going forward! But when Moses trusted God and lifted his staff over the sea, it parted so that the Israelites could obey God’s command.

There are a few other instances in the Bible where God commanded His people to do nothing except to trust Him and He brought a miraculous deliverance (2 Chron. 20:15-17). But God’s usual method is for us first to trust Him and then to use appropriate means to deal with the trial at hand: Pray for a job, but then do all you can to secure that job. Pray for healing, but get proper medical attention. Pray for problems in your marriage, but obey biblical commands that apply to your marriage.

Thus, God is sovereign over all things, including the trials that come into our lives. He ordains those trials so that we will trust Him to deliver us

GOD BLESS from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Peggy G, fighting with skin cancer.

Pray for Barbara, after a double mastectomy, dealing with chemo

Pray for Jim Asberry, he is not healing very well from the skull fracture.

Anne, from our salvation list, fell and broke her foot. Of all the folks on our list she seems to be the most stubborn and resistant to all of our pleas.

WHEN TRIALS COME OUR WAY

September 24, 2020

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I had a dear friend call me this week horribly depressed about the trials and misfortunes that have hit her family. Frankly, I was shocked by her statement, as 30 years ago I was her pastor and could not believe how the church they are attending now has wiped out it seems everything I ever taught her.

“Pastor, I don’t understand why God is doing this to us, it is so unfair, we never miss church (except when little league is in season), we pay our tithes. We are good people. Why is God doing this?”

I’m glad I have love in my heart, because I was about to say something rude. But I remembered that I love these dear folks but was shocked to see what their church had done to their faith, and contributed to their lack of bible knowledge and diminished their viewpoint of God.

After an extensive tour of the United States, the late German pastor and theologian Helmut Thielicke was asked what he saw as the greatest defect among American Christians. He replied, “They have an inadequate view of suffering.” (Cited by Philip Yancey, Where is God When it Hurts? [Zondervan, 1977], p. 15.)

It’s vitally important to have a biblical understanding of suffering because the enemy of our souls uses trials to try to devour Christians. Peter wrote to a suffering church (1 Pet. 5:8-11):

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Note how Peter emphasizes the sovereignty of God: He has eternal dominion and He is using our trials to perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish our faith. Without that understanding of God’s sovereignty over trials, your options are that Satan has equal or greater power than God (dualism) or that God doesn’t concern Himself with the things that happen to us (deism). A slightly different option is the more recent “open theism,” which claims that God feels bad about your trials, but He doesn’t know or control the future. All of those views attempt to get God “off the hook” for bad things that happen. But they’re all heretical because they deny who God is as revealed in His Word.

  1. God is sovereign over all things, including the trials that come into our lives.

Not just the “open theists,” but also many in the Pentecostal movement, claim that God doesn’t ordain trials. They usually ascribe trials to the devil, not to God. While the Book of Job is clear that Satan can inflict awful trials on the Lord’s people, it is also clear that he can only go as far as God allows. God uses demonic forces to accomplish His holy purposes (e.g. Paul’s thorn in the flesh, 2 Cor. 12:7), but they are subject to His commands. Thus …

  1. God is sovereign over all of the trials that come into His children’s lives.

In Exodus 14, the Lord told Moses to tell the Israelites to turn back and camp in a spot by the sea, where they had no route of escape when Pharaoh’s army came upon them. Scholars debate the exact location for the exodus. Some translate “the Red Sea” as “the Sea of Reeds,” since the Hebrew word means “reeds.” The problem is that papyrus reeds do not grow in the deeper waters of the Red Sea, but only in the shallower marshlands of northern Egypt. Thus these scholars say that Israel crossed at one of the lakes or marshlands north of the modern Gulf of Suez.

But there are some problems with this view (see, Philip Ryken, Exodus [Crossway], pp. 391-392). First, there are other places in the Bible where this Hebrew word clearly refers to what we know as the Red Sea (Num. 14:25; 21:4; 1 Kings 9:26; Jer. 49:21). Second, the depth of water that Israel passed through, which God then sent back to drown the Egyptian army, is greater than a shallow marshland or lake. Twice (Exod. 14:22, 29) the parting of the sea is described as a wall of water on the right hand and left. While God used a mighty wind to dry the seabed and part the waters (Exod. 14:21), it was clearly miraculous that the water stacked up like a wall on both sides.

More recent scholarship has shown that in former times the Red Sea extended farther north than it does today. It may even have been connected to the Bitter Lakes in the north, in which case there could have been papyrus reeds growing along its shore (Ryken, p. 392). While we cannot know for certain where the exodus took place, we can trust the biblical account that reports the mighty miracle that God did to deliver Israel through a deep body of water that subsequently drowned the pursuing Egyptian army.

But the significant point in Exodus 14:1-4 is that God specifically directed Moses to lead the Israelites to turn around and camp where they were trapped by the sea, which was suicidal from a military point of view. Pharaoh got a report of this and thought, “They’re sitting ducks! They can’t escape!” But the entire situation was orchestrated by God for His sovereign purposes.

Those who deny God’s sovereignty over the horrible trials that we see around us are trying to protect God from the charge of being responsible for evil. But the Bible affirms that God uses demons and evil people to accomplish His holy purposes, but He is not responsible for their evil actions (1 Kings 22:19-23; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28). If you deny God’s sovereignty over trials, you rob people of God’s comfort. A godly woman from our church who died of cancer in her fifties (after already losing her husband to an early death) told me shortly before she died that if she didn’t believe in God’s sovereignty over her cancer, she would have despaired. Knowing that He is sovereign gave her great comfort.

  1. God sovereignly ordains trials for our ultimate good.

Romans 8:28 is a familiar verse that brings great comfort when we go through trials: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” While we should not glibly lay that verse on a suffering person, saints who suffer should lay hold of it as an anchor for their souls.

Hebrews 12, which describes God’s discipline to train believers, assures us (Heb. 12:10b-11), “He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” Psalm 119:67 states, “Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I keep Your word.” It continues (Ps. 119:75), “I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.”

I’m not minimizing the trauma and pain of the difficult trials that many of God’s saints have endured. But the only comfort in that suffering is to view it as Joseph viewed his brothers’ selling him into slavery (Gen. 50:20): “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Note also …

  1. God is sovereign over the hearts of all people, including powerful political leaders.

God repeatedly lets Moses know that Pharaoh’s change of heart came about because God hardened his heart (Exod. 14:4, 8, 17). Proverbs 21:1 affirms, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.”

As you see evil dictators around the world committing atrocities against people, you may wonder, “Where is God in all this? Why doesn’t He do something?” The psalmists often utter similar cries (e.g. Ps. 2:1-3; 13:1-4; 94:2-7). But they take great comfort in remembering that (Ps. 2:4), “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.” God promises (Deut. 32:35), “Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, in due time their foot will slip.” The Book of Revelation reveals the persecution that the antichrist will inflict on the saints, but it assures us that after he has inadvertently served God’s purposes, God will destroy him and vindicate His saints.

So, the lesson is that God is sovereign over all things, including the trials that come into our lives.

And so ends part one of why we have trials.

Friends never forget that God loves you more than anything and all that He does is ordained to make you more Christ like. And look at what He allowed to happen to His own Son.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Things I really like, phone calls at 2am with someone asking for prayer because if something miraculous does not happen then it is a trip to the ER, or a bondsman, or the Feds. (yes, I really do get phone calls like that).

Then about 6 or so hours later, phone call number 2, “pastor, thanks for praying, everything has worked out, or the pain is gone, or they were really looking for someone else.”

NO, THEY REALLY CANNOT

September 23, 2020

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Worldliness manifests itself through pride and defiance of God. This is the very sin that brought Satan down, and it is the root of all sin (Isa. 14:13–14). Babylon typified this sin in the ancient world. Isaiah 47 gives a clear picture of how the Babylonians exalted themselves as the queen of the kingdoms (vv. 5, 7). In their arrogance, they believed they could provide financial and military security for their people (vv. 8–9). This pride also produced an alternate religious system, (vv. 9, 12–15) somewhat like the contemporary religions of today that are not really new, just a rehash of something old, but given a new spin, usually promoted by someone wildly popular but clueless.

Any government that thinks it can protect you and make you secure is promoting a lie. All our gifts are spiritual, including finances and security. God is both our rock, our fortress and our every blessing.

When governments leave God out of their plan that nation will fall. The people become slaves by being dependent on the government to provide everything. You know your country is in trouble when spiritual dialogue is curtailed.

I know this saying gets tossed around a lot but it’s still true, Freedom isn’t free, someone paid for it.

God gave us the most freedom of all.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Matthew, probably passing a kidney stone.

Pray for Jim Asberry, suffering from a skull fracture and is in tremendous pain and depression.

Remember Barbara, as she battles cancer, chemo is really taking a toll.

Our salvation list; Owen, Anne and Drew, Lauren, Tara, Nicole, Oscar and Cristina, Norma Perales and family.

ACTS

September 22, 2020

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Adding patterns to prayer is one method to help keep your prayer time focused and fruitful. One particular pattern for prayer many Christians have found helpful is expressed by the acronym ACTS, representing adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication (which includes intercession).

Here are suggestions for praying in these four areas:

A: Adoration—Adoration is an attitude of worship characterized by love and reverence toward God. Praising God ought to be the first element of our prayer—and an area of increasing focus. I’ve noticed over many years that as we grow in the discipline and in the delight of prayer, it seems that we naturally spend more and more of our time on this first element.

C: Confession—Confession, in this pattern, refers to the admission or acknowledgment of our sins. Be both general and specific, asking God to forgive your sinful patterns of behavior as well as individual sins. Think about the past 24-hour period and identify and name particular instances of sin you need to confess. Also, during the confession stage, make it a regular habit to ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of the sin in your life.

T: Thanksgiving—Thanksgiving, in this pattern, refers to the offering of thanks to God, especially for the daily blessings he has given us. Choose at least three things to express your thanksgiving. Consider including thanks for a life-changing blessing (e.g., eternal salvation), thanks for daily provision (e.g., the blessing of food and clothing) and thanks for a specific reason you feel grateful today (e.g., a particular blessing you’ve recently experienced).

S: Supplication (and Intercession)—Supplication in prayer is when we ask God for something, usually for ourselves. Intercession is when we pray for something on behalf of others. In some cases, such as in the case of Moses in Numbers 11, we are praying for both others and ourselves. In every prayer, try to include at least one request for yourself and one for someone else.

The area I have the hardest part doing, at least in the way I think about it is adoration. I can praise God, I can say halleluiah, but I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve said, “Lord I love you” I have never developed the habit or pattern of saying it. I had a very dear friend of mine always tell me he loved me, and I would always say “thanks, I appreciate it.” We were on a road trip one time and he confronted me and asked me why I cannot ever say more than thanks. I told him that unless he was an awfully close relative it wasn’t going to happen. This guy was my spiritual father and mentor and when his eyes teared up, I just walked away. As I was walking down the hallway the Lord spoke to my heart and told me I had hurt Bill very much. It was the hardest thing to go back and knock on his door and tell him I loved him too.

So tell the Lord you love Him and tell all those that are special to you that you love them too!

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Barbara as she struggles with chemo.

Pray for Jim Asberry, fractured skull, he is in tremendous pain and really suffering. He’s a very active and fit guy and the inactivity is causing depression.

Jennifer (his daughter) and newborn Waylon are doing great and says thanks for all the prayers.

Lord of All

September 21, 2020

 

The Spirit of Truth (The Holy Spirit) ministers truth to us by means of our mind—the spiritual mind that relies upon Him. This head-knowledge gives us the facts upon which we exercise faith, or reckon. In time, through deeper understanding and a quiet assimilation of the truth, there is both head- knowledge and heart-knowledge: we not only believe, but now we know experientially. Paul had believed on the Lord Jesus for many years before he wrote, “That I may know him” (Phil. 3:10). Likewise, he urges us to “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all” (I Tim. 4:15). For, as a man “thinketh within himself, so is he” (Prov. 23:7, ASV).

Countless thousands have read the bible and had no spiritual relief, it was just ‘head knowledge’. It is called the most important 17 inches. That is the average distance between your head/brain and your heart. There is a reason we say, “have you asked Jesus into your heart?”

Because being born again, saved, regenerated, becoming a Christian involves both a head knowledge, ‘that I may know Him’ and that I would confess Him. Lord and Savior, heart and soul, brain and heart. Christ must possess all of ourselves.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please continue to pray for Barbara, she came into the salon to have her head shaved as she is losing to much hair and it is just coming out from all the chemo. It is always a very emotional experience for everyone involved.

Remember Jim Asberry in prayer, he is not recovering well from the head fracture. In very much pain.

Remember Jennifer his daughter, their baby boy, Waylon, got to come home and mother and son need lots of rest and the baby needs to really grow and develop.