No Exceptions

February 16, 2018

  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7).

  Lincoln said that “a short speech requires great preparation; a long speech can be given anytime on short notice.” Now, are we going to “spend our years as a tale that is told” (Ps. 90:9); or are we going to settle down and grow in the image of our eternal Lord?

In our spiritual experience we often find that not least of our trials is the fact that God seems so slow to respond; sometimes it would appear that He is careless or indifferent—and that just when our needs are most acute. Two of the major elements in the spiritual life and experience of His own are the seemingly slow and hidden ways of God, and the demand for persistent faith in His servants.

  “The work of God in the lives of His people is designed to make them ‘partakers of His holiness.’ He undertakes their training in His school with the intention that, however difficult in practice the course may be, it will yield ‘the peaceable fruit of righteousness’ in the lives of those who undergo it.

This evidently represents His norm—no shortcuts and no exceptions. At least, He did not make an exception of Abraham, or Joseph, or Moses, or any of the great men and women whose names are listed in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Their training lasted for decades and led them into painful situations and difficult places. But their lives, as a result, were incomparably fruitful.

  “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him” (Ps. 62:5).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Matthew who became quite ill yesterday and spent a large part of the day in the emergency room.

Pray for Barbara D, who also is rather ill.

You trusted God to save you, but now you’re not trusting God to keep you? We trust God for spiritual things, but we can’t trust Him for material things. We’re trusting God for all eternity, but we can’t trust Him for next week.

when you’re out of the will of God, it doesn’t matter how many good things you think you’re doing because if you’re out of the will of God, the total result is sin, and you are wasting your time.

if you were ever going to live by faith, you ought to live by faith now.

“Whatever a man does without God, in that thing he will fail miserably, or he will succeed even more miserably.”

The way to live the Christian life is by faith. And, you stay where God put you, you do what God tells you, and you by faith obey God in spite of consequences or circumstances.

I call it a “hopscotch religion”, change churches every other week, pray one day, miss the next six, read your bible one day, miss a month. Make a promise to God and never keep it.

Moving never solves a problem, changing marriages won’t make you happier, bigger house, bigger truck, you get my point. Be satisfied with what God gave you, not what other people can give you.

the most miserable man in the world is not an unsaved man. The most miserable man in the world is a saved man out of fellowship with God.

It’s an old-fashioned term, often not heard in sermons anymore. Repentance.

you’re going to find God right where you left Him.

You don’t need a new thing, you need the right thing. Get right with God again.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

school of faith part three

February 14, 2018

PART THREE WITH A RANT IN THE MIDDLE. (never be afraid to speak your mind, no one has to agree with your point of view, but we do need to express our opinions)

The School of Faith part three

God’s photograph album of all his believers has his saints with warts and all. I mean, I’m glad because really if Abram is the father of all them that believe, that can be an encouragement to me. Because when I see how God helped Abram in his faltering faith then I can learn how God can help me in faltering faith.

Genesis 12:1: “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country”—underscore that—”and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will shew thee.” Nothing could be clearer than that. Get out. Leave your kindred and go to the place that I will show thee. Did he do that? Well go down to Genesis 12:4-5: “So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him.” Hey, wait a minute. Didn’t he say leave your kinfolks? Yes. Who is Lot? His nephew.

So first of all our faith falters or fails when we don’t follow the direction God gives us. Not being obedient to the Word of God. I’m always amazed at how people will say they believe the bible, literally, but refuse to follow the principles laid out in verses. For example; “not being unequally yoked” II Corinthians 6:14; that applies to marriage, business, all aspects. But it also has other applications, now these are just my personal applications from years of marriage counseling; a rich girl marries a poor guy, personally I’ve never seen it work; if they try to live in the ‘poor guys’ lifestyle, she’s unhappy. Either the daddy wants to ‘promote’ the guy or the keeps giving money to daughter, so she can be “supported in the manner she’s been accustomed to.” It never works out satisfactorily.

Or the mature Christian marries a newly saved person, oh, their marriage might make it but there is always discontent or frustration, or worse a compromise of values. Water seeks its own level(yes, there are always exceptions).

But, they didn’t go straight to Canaan and they didn’t leave everything that they had behind. Rather than going all of the way, he settled in Haran.

Now, does that remind you of anybody you know? I’d call them half way Christians. I mean, they’re saved, but they only go, it seems like they half way. Rather than forsaking this world as our Lord has taught us to do, we have those hang over sins. I mean, we bring the old things with us, just like Abram did. And, out there are the promises of God, but they’re unclaimed promises. And so, we’re sort of out of paganism, but we’re not into Canaan.

It’s kind of like the discussion of tattoo’s, mine are ok, because they’re Christian tattoos not pagan. Or they’re ok, because I’m not a pagan. Yet the bible says don’t do it. Will tattoos send you to hell, NO, will they cause confusion, probably, will they make you more spiritual, definitely not.

We do have this command in 1 Peter 3:3–4: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” Granted, this passage is directed at Christian women, but there is a principle here that may be apropos: namely, a person’s external appearance should not be the focus of our attention. Much effort goes into “elaborate hairstyles” and “fine clothes” and jewelry, but that’s not where a woman’s true beauty lies. In the same way, tattoos and body piercings are “outward adornment,” and we should be careful to give more effort to the development of the “inner self,” regardless of our gender.

In relation to tattoos and body piercings, a good test is to determine whether we can honestly, in good conscience, ask God to bless and use that particular activity for His own good purposes. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). The New Testament does not specifically command against tattoos or body piercings, but it also does not give us any reason to believe God would have us get tattoos or body piercings.

An important scriptural principle on issues the Bible does not specifically address is if there is room for doubt whether it pleases God, then it is best not to engage in that activity. Romans 14:23 reminds us that anything that does not come from faith is sin. We need to remember that our bodies, as well as our souls, have been redeemed and belong to God. Although 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 does not directly apply to tattoos or body piercings, it does give us a principle: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” This great truth should have a real bearing on what we do and where we go with our bodies. If our bodies belong to God, we should make sure we have His clear “permission” before we “mark them up” with tattoos or body piercings.

I don’t condemn them, but I will never endorse or promote them. It’s one more sign of how much more like the world we’ve become, and I believe they are a sign that most preachers are failing to reach out and make meaningful connections and relevancy to all generations. But that’s just my opinion, and comparing them to another abuse like overeating, is a straw man, and like comparing apples to oranges.

We’re sort of separated from sin, but we’re bringing some sins with us. In other words, it’s just a time of compromise. Now, I’m speaking to many today, you’re saved, and if you died right now you’d go to Heaven, but your faith is so weak. Now, I’ll tell you one of the reasons your faith is so weak, because you’re like Abram was with worldly compromise. Now, what’s the result of worldly compromise? I’ll tell you what is, it’s weakened faith.

Not a popular message, I’m sure, but trust me my heart is in the right place.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

The School of Faith part two

February 13, 2018

God wants you to know if your faith is real or whether it is bogus. Your faith is more precious than gold, 1 Peter 1:7, and again I want to tell you that a faith that cannot be tested, cannot be trusted.

Now, so many times we get the idea that if we’re trusting God—that if we are obeying God, if we’re doing what God has tell us told to be—it will be all milk and honey. As a matter of fact, that it’ll be all honey and no bees. That is not necessarily so. So many times when we get saved we say, “Now, wonderful, I’ve trusted God and He’s brought me into the land of plenty.” We think it’s all milk and honey, but it’s not necessarily so.

You’re going to meet the devil, you’re going to be tested in many, many ways. And, many of us are tested in ways after we got saved in ways that we never were before we got saved. Sometimes we get married and we think, “Oh, this is the land of milk and honey.” And, God brings heartaches and tears and trials right into the land of promise. And, you know, it is so. Sometimes in our prayer life we pray—and we’ve been told prayer is the land of promise—to trust God. And, we pray and people have simplified this matter of prayer. And they say, well, you know, God always answers prayer. Sometimes He says, “Yes,” and sometimes He says, “No,” but He always answers prayer. (make sure you keep reading).

Sometimes He doesn’t say anything. Have you noticed that? I mean, sometimes you just pray and you don’t seem to get an answer. And, I mean, it just seems to be darkness out there. Famine in the land of plenty. Sometimes we go to church and we get the idea that, you know over in church everything’s going to be wonderful. Oh boy! You know, all the sinners are out there and all the saints are in here. Ain’t necessarily so folks. I think it was one great theologian who said that, “The church is kind of like Noah’s ark,” he said “We wouldn’t be able to stand the stench if it weren’t for the storm outside.”

I’m not saying that the church is a failure. I’m not saying that at all. But friend, I’m going to tell you whether it be in your prayer life, whether it be in your marriage, whether it be in your salvation, whether it be in your church life, or wherever it is God will bring you into the land of plenty, but He’s going to test you there. He’s going to test you there in ways you’ve never thought. He’s going to see what your reactions are going to be. Go and read the book of Judges, just read chapter 2, a land filled with lots of ‘ites’, Hittites, Canaanites, all these ‘ites’ with just one idea, something more appealing to your 5 senses.

When testing comes don’t try to understand it. Learn something else. As Christians we do not live by explanation. We live by promises. We do not live by explanations. God has not promised to explain it to you. As a matter of fact, he says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8).

Real faith is obeying in spite of circumstances or consequences. Did you hear it? Real faith is obeying in spite of circumstances, a famine, or consequences. If I perish, I perish. I am going to go where God sends me, and I’m going to stay where God puts me until God moves me. I’m going to live by faith.

God will test your faith to find out whether you have the real thing. Now, God knows, but he wants you to know. God’s not trying to find out something about you, He wants you to find out something about you.

I’ve said this many times, being a Christian may be the hardest thing you ever do.

Stay tuned

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Nurses, especially Surgical Nurses in general, do you know they have one of the highest divorce rates. They harden themselves to not feel all the pain going on around them and they don’t realize they are shutting out their families as well.

We’ve started a group therapy for nurses to reconnect with their feelings and families and it has been amazing. And helping them to become better time managers and not get burned out if they want to stay in their career field.

 

The School of Faith

February 12, 2018

THE SCHOOL OF FAITH (PART ONE)

Your accomplishment is measured by your faith. Matthew 9:29 says that according to your faith be it unto you. Do you want to please God? People do all kinds of thing to please God. They go on pilgrimages, they give money, they make sacrifices, and some of them dress in strange ways and do outlandish things. Do you want me to tell you how to please God? Believe Him. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith pleases God, because faith honors God. And, by the way, if you please God, it doesn’t matter whom you displease. And, if you displease God, it doesn’t matter whom you do please. And, the way to please God is to believe God.

Faith overcomes the world. Are you having troubles and struggling? Is this world oppressing you and weighting you down? The Bible says in 1 John 5:4: “And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” You say, “Pastor, I’ve got a mountain of problems.” Our Lord says in Mark 11:23: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove.” I do not have the vocabulary, words, or emotion enough today to emphasize to you the importance of faith.

And if someone ever comes to you whether in print or radio, TV or online claiming they have found the secret, or they have the formula, or they know it all, don’t believe them. I’ve been a serious Bible student for almost 45 years. Bible college, Seminary, Doctoral degree, post-doctoral studies, pastor, professor, psychologist, street preacher. And I’ll tell you one thing I’ve learned, I’m as ignorant as a rock. The depths, and the heights of the Word of Truth, unfathomable, it’s like a diamond mind that never gives up all it’s secrets easily.

Now that’s not to be a discouraging statement, we are like builders, we have the shoulders of past giants to stand on. We have great books and sermons to guide us. But each and every great truth has to be relearned, rediscovered, reapplied. Head knowledge alone is worthless without the Holy Spirit making application, “making it real” in our lives.

Pick one bible and make all your notes in that bible, when it wears out buy the same bible and transfer all the notes over again, you’ll be surprised at the great gems you’ve discovered in your pilgrimage. And some stuff will make no sense at all, don’t erase it, there was a certain setting in time where it was important. Plus there will be stuff you wrote that now you know is just flat wrong. Don’t erase it, but mark it as incorrect and write the truth next to it and the source. Every quote you write down, write, who, when and where.

(As side note, only buy bibles in premium leather, calfskin or kangaroo, with Smyth binding. It will never wear out if cared for; as your bonded leather will give up the ghost no matter what you paid for it. Leonard’s bookbinding can resew it and put quality, premium leather on it, it will become a family heirloom. One last thing, lay your bibles on their sides, not upright like a regular book, you will ruin the ‘yap’ on the bottom).(now don’t panic, there is a church in Michigan??? That makes a premium KJV bible for under 100 dollars with large print and great paper and premium leather. just look up church bible printers(??) or email me.) if money isn’t an object than go to evangelicalbibles.com and the best hand sewn or Smyth Sewn with premium leather and the best paper and the text is lined up on each side of every page so there is no shadow or bleed through of text. Expect to pay up to $300 dollars for Schuyler Caxton Bible in any version you like and it will last a lifetime. Like a carpenter that has learned to buy the best tools for a lifetime, this is the same principle. I have my great, great grandmother’s bible, I don’t know how she could have afforded it, but it is a treasure to see her handwriting and the little notes or even a family recipe stuck in it, not to mention the genealogy written down with a few pictures as well.

Sorry got side tracked there.

Abraham was the Dean in the School of Faith, but he had to learn some lessons himself. At this time he was very young in the faith. And, God now brings him into the land of famine, as we’re going to see, for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to test him. But, he failed the test. Now, my dear friend, God’s going to test your faith. Not because He doesn’t love you, but because He does love you. If you don’t remember anything else that I’m going to tell you today, I’m going to tell you this. A faith that cannot be tested, cannot be trusted. How do you that you have the real thing? How can you trust what you have if it’s not been tested? Now, God will test you. Peter taught the same thing. 1 Peter 1:7: “That the trial of your faith”—that is the testing of your faith—”being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire” or through fire. Now, what Peter says is that your faith is worth more than gold. But, you test gold to make certain that it’s real gold and not fools gold.

Stay tuned for part two

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

LIGHT

February 11, 2018

Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles. During that feast, as we’ve seen, the Jews performed a ceremony where a priest went to the Pool of Siloam, drew water in a golden pitcher, and returned in procession to the temple, where he poured it out at the base of the altar. It commemorated God’s provision of water from the rock that sustained Israel in the wilderness. It was in connection with that ceremony that Jesus proclaimed whoever drank of Him would have rivers of living water flowing from his innermost being.

At that same feast, the Jews performed another ceremony where they lit four huge candelabras or torches in the Court of the Women in the temple, commemorating the fact that the Lord had been a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night to protect and guide Israel in that desolate desert for 40 years. That cloud appeared on the day when Israel left Egypt, standing as a barrier between them and Pharaoh’s armies on the night before they crossed the Red Sea. Then as it went with them in that wilderness, it was a graphic symbol of the fact that the Lord God was with His people.

Here’s what amazes me, Jesus fulfilled every Old Testament prophecy, yet the Jews didn’t believe. Today we tell people that He is the light of the world, still no response.

If you know anything about end-time prophecy (a topic I never post about and may have to change that) Jesus coming back again is not like a lamb or the hippie dude in the robe and sandals. It will be as a victorious conqueror and Lord of all.

God is long-suffering and patient, but time will run out. You get to choose where you want to spend eternity. God doesn’t send anyone to hell, we choose our own path.

Choose.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Linda R, widowed at 33, 4 kids, she is moving back to her parents but they are strapped. Pray for a blessing for this family that has gone through so much.

Pray for Ron L, knee surgery on Tuesday.

 

PEACE AND LOVE BABY

February 10, 2018

I don’t know whether you know what humanism is, but humanism is the pervading philosophy of the media, Hollywood, today. Humanism is a philosophy that makes man the center of the circumference of everything. Now the humanists are an actual organization. That is, there is an American Humanist Association, and they make their goals very clear and very plain. But there are a lot of people who are not members of the Humanist Association who are humanists at heart.

Now, simply defined, humanism is man’s attempt to solve the problems of mankind independent of God. Man’s attempt to solve humanity’s problems apart from God. Now, one of the leading humanists has written this for you and for me to understand what humanism is all about, and I quote precisely: Humanism is the viewpoint that human happiness is its own justification and requires no sanction or support from supernatural sources.

Plain English, be happy and leave God out of it. Listen to it again: Humanism is the viewpoint that human happiness is its own justification and requires no sanction or support from supernatural sources.

But the most dangerous part of humanism is they don’t believe in an eternity. And without the concept of eternity there can be nothing sacred.

So we can do anything we want, with our mind, our bodies, there is no morality.

We need to confront people with eternity, with the love of God. Do you know why the “Jesus Movement” was so big in the late 60’s and 70’s? Love, baby, love. It was like the book of Acts, all over. Now granted there were a lot of cults back then and high drug use (that’s a pun), but churches were filled. The long hairs and the bald, flower power and grannies. If the church would stop all it’s in house fighting and love at least the brothers and sister in the body of Christ, we’d see church evangelism begin to flourish.

It starts at home, love and peace, peace and love baby.

Rock on.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Hee Haw

February 8, 2018

Hee Haw

Somebody asked me the other day why I preach more from the Old Testament

than the New Testament. My answer was instant, heartfelt and I don’t think I’ll

change my mind anytime soon.

It’s the same reason I’ve called this devotional site “scum like us church”

I personally relate better to the people of the O.T. their failures, their quirks, their

constant failing. When asked ‘whom am I more like in the O.T.’ my answer is

quick, simple and still probably not going to change; Balaam’s Ass, (because I’m

still surprised what comes out of my mouth) and Samson (a good looking woman

still turns my head, and physical strength has helped me get through a lot of

scrapes).

Most people just shake their head and walk away, a few will say “you’re kidding”

some will smile, some get insulted. I can’t see myself ever saying I’m like the

apostle Paul or like any other apostle for that much, even Thomas with all his

doubts still beats me at my best .

I love all the Greek word studies of the N.T. and the book of Romans and

Colossians will probably always be my favorites. But when it comes to the O.T.

flawed folks rock.

So like any good country song here’s to all the screwed up people we know.

God bless

Prayer request for me, pray for my neck, talk about screwed up, (no I didn’t twist

it looking at a pretty girl) I’m in some serious pain. Thank you to all the wonderful

people that keep encouraging me to keep writing these devotions.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

NEARER MY GOD TO THEE

February 7, 2018

Nearer My God to Thee (hopefully you all are familiar with this song).

  But now in Christ Jesus ye who once were far off are made near by the blood of Christ” (Eph 2:13).

  Until we know our position in the risen Lord Jesus, we can never really face up to the sinfulness of our old nature. But “hidden with Christ in God,” we can both face up to and face away from the old, “looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter [marg.] of our faith” (Heb. 12:2).

God sets me in nearness to Himself in the Lord Jesus; and as I learn my nearness to Him, I am prepared for the exposure of my natural distance from Him, and I am, through grace, morally apart and sheltered from it (Rom. 8:9), at the very moment when I see it. The greater my height, the greater the enormity of the depth appears; but I am safe from it. As a consequence I ‘rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh’ (Phil. 3:3).”

Two things mark spiritual growth; one is a deeper sense of the sinful old nature, the other is a greater longing after the Lord Jesus Christ. The sinfulness is discovered and felt as the power of the Holy Spirit increases; for many a thought and act passes without pain to the conscience where the Lord Jesus is less before the soul, which will be refused and condemned as the knowledge of the Lord increases in spiritual power within.

  “When the Lord Jesus Christ is number one in our lives, things unlike Him drop off like dead leaves.”

  “For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

Pray for Jim K, met him today at my barber, retired Marine, was in ‘Nam from 66-69, (the wild years), swears it had no affect on him, nor does he have PTSD, just divorced 3 times, an alcoholic, prescription pill abuser and anger management issues. But swears he’s ok. Only comes to town for breakfast tacos, gas and a haircut. Pray for him anyway.

 

CREATING GOOD HABITS

February 6, 2018

Creating Good Habits

Proverbs 4 is a mini-course on how to live wisely. The main metaphor of the chapter is that life is a journey and we are to keep to the path of righteousness (see v. 18). We are to “give careful thought to the paths for [our] feet and be steadfast in all [our] ways” (v. 26). To do this we will need to adopt a number of life-changing behaviors, such as getting wisdom and understanding (see v. 5), guarding our hearts (see v. 23) and avoiding corrupt talk (see v. 25).

 Although Proverbs doesn’t use the word habit, it is implied throughout that virtuous habits are necessary to live wisely. Habits are unconscious patterns of behavior acquired through frequent repetition. We often acquire our habits unconsciously or through repetition forced on us by authority figures (think teachers and parents). But we can also directly develop habits through conscious effort.

 Once we understand the ins and outs of habits, we can harness the process to create virtuous habits like those mentioned in Proverbs 4. Virtuous habits also include behaviors such as reading Scripture and serving our neighbor, which help us to become more like Jesus.

 Want to create a new virtuous habit? Try this:

  1. Identify the habit loop—The new pattern of behavior you want to create will consist of the habit loop: a cue, a routine

    and

    a reward. Take a few minutes to think through (and if it helps, write down) the details of each part of the loop. Let’s use the habit of a daily devotional reading as an example. To set up the routine, to actually read the devotional, what do you need? Well, access to a Bible and some devotional material would be helpful. You’ll also want a time you can consistently carry out the habit loop (e.g., in the morning, before work). The more you understand the habit loop you are creating, the easier it will be to identify any problems that might prevent you from making it a regular behavior.

  1. Isolate the cue—Cues signal you to begin the routine. Research has shown that almost all habitual cues fit into one of five categories: location, time, emotional state, other people and immediately preceding action. A helpful cue will take advantage of as many of these categories as possible. For instance, your cue could be pulling into the parking lot at work (location and immediately preceding action) at 8:40 a.m. (time) when you are relieved to be out of traffic (emotional state) and no one else is around (other people).

  1. Create a reward—When creating a virtuous habit, surprisingly the reward stage can be one of the most difficult steps. Why should you be rewarded for doing something you should be doing anyway? And isn’t the habit—such as your devotional reading—a reward in itself? It’s understandable that you might feel guilty about creating a reward for a good habit. But keep in mind that you are not rewarding yourself for doing the right thing; you’re training your brain to create a neurological craving. If you “reward” yourself (by eating a small piece of candy, for example) after reading a devotional, it isn’t to actually reward you for your accomplishment. It’s merely a way to directly affect how your brain will respond to the habit loop.

  1. Plan and evaluate—Habits are difficult to consciously create because they have not yet become a habit. It’s the conscious part—making sure your brain is actively focused on the habit loop—that becomes the stumbling block.

  Making the habit loop part of your natural thought process requires effort and persistence. Ask yourself a few questions, such as,

  ➤ How will I handle obstacles?

 ➤ What if I miss my schedule and need to get back on track?

 ➤ Are my cues and rewards working like I want them to?

 ➤ Customize the idea to make it work for you.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com