Genuine Longing

June 29, 2017

True, real longing,

 I long to know Christ and the power which is in His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10, Weymouth Translation. If you can find a printed copy of this translation do so, it will really bless you).

  The difficult thing for most hungry-hearted believers is to wait in dependence upon the Lord for everything. Truth is not to be grasped, but received—received by faith, mainly through study. How true this is concerning reckoning! Many seek to reckon before they understand the scriptural facts upon which to count, and that adds up to failure. The secret is to learn the truth of our identification with the Lord Jesus so thoroughly that reckoning and its resultant growth will come as a matter of course, just as in our justification.

The death of our Lord on the Cross has depths of meaning that can only be plumbed by way of discovered need, but then reveals ‘unsearchable riches.’ To the believer who still has hopes of ‘attaining’ in the Christian life, a verse such as Romans 6:11 is a rather meaningless jargon used by those who give messages on the ‘deepening of the spiritual life.

To the believer who has been taught by the Holy Spirit something of his own utter, inbred sinfulness, it comes as a message from God full of hope and encouragement. He grasps the rescue rope flung to him by the right hand of Omnipotence, and with humble thankfulness sets out to learn how he can reckon himself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Jesus Christ our Lord. When he looks at the Cross he sees there the fact that not only did the Lord Jesus die for him, but that he himself was taken down into His death, in order that the practical reality of His resurrection life might transform him into the divine likeness.

  “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

NOTE: If you live in the Boerne, Comfort, Waring area of Texas and are interested in becoming part of a new church start up email me and let me know.

And as a housekeeping note, questions, comments, and prayer requests also to the email address please, blessings.

also having a problem tonight with posting to my twitter account. sorry about that.

 

twisted

November 22, 2016

It is indicative of man’s fallen condition that even when he dedicates himself to love, labor, and the Lord he is still capable of deviant behavior. Cain and Abel, for reasons not explained to us, determine to offer sacrifices to the Lord. Cain being the agriculturalist brought agricultural produce; Abel the shepherd brought animals from his flock. “And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell” (Gen 4: 4-5). It is tempting to read into the differing offerings some suggestion that one contained blood and was therefore acceptable and the other did not and was therefore unacceptable. But the text gives no indication of this but rather stresses the fact that the person offering was acceptable or unacceptable, leading us to believe that God was looking on the heart—the attitude of the worshiper—rather than at the specifics of his offering. Even in worship man is capable of deviant behavior and attitudes. Cain shows it and church history confirms it.

Cain reacted violently to his rejection, but not against the One who rejected him so much as against the innocent one who was accepted. Jealousy had raised its ugly green-eyed head and was about to prove that it is truly “cruel as the grave.” It is possible for us to read this story of fratricide with some degree of indifference because we have become conditioned to violence, but we should bear in mind that sin had “entered” and was already “abounding” and would shortly “reign” (see Rom. 5:12-21) in the most gross way. The text by repeatedly using the word “brother” brings this into sharp focus. The man first born on earth killed the second man born on earth—his own brother! Love had become deviant. This is shown by Cain’s response to God’s inquiry about his brother’s whereabouts. Callously, and untruthfully, he responded, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (v. 9).

Conjugal love quickly deteriorated too. Polygamy with all its attendant evils soon appeared on the scene through a reprehensible character called Lamech, who compounded his polygamous and murderous activities with an arrogance and belligerence frightening in their intensity. He killed a “young man for hurting me” (v. 23) and boasted about it in a song written for the occasion which he then performed for his wives. Man’s deviant behavior toward the Lord is clear in Cain’s reactions. He lied when reminded of the immensity of his crime: “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to Me from the ground” (v. 10). There is no indication of remorse, and when he was punished with banishment there was no acceptance but only complaint: “My punishment is greater than I can bear!” (v. 13). God graciously provided protection for him stipulating “‘Whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.’ And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him” (v. 15). But this elicits no gratitude and “Cain went out from the presence of the Lord” (v. 16). It should also be noted that while there is no record of man’s deviant behavior toward labor in the text (unless we assume that the killing suggests that skills in metal work were already being turned to making weaponry), it was not long until the first signs of man’s abuse of God-ordained work and God-provided raw materials began to appear.

The cause of all this is remarkably stated in Genesis 4:7: “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” The word “accepted” means “lifted up” and contrasts sharply with Cain’s fallen countenance but suggests much more than a brighter face. There is restoration for all who will turn to the Lord from the heart. The enemy “sin” crouches at the door of man’s life like a wild animal waiting to devour him, but God’s way is for man to overcome the forces of sin. Cain did not, and sin abounded and reigned. The same principle works today. The identical challenge confronts contemporary man.

I think of two brothers who were friends of mine from childhood. Born into the same family, fed the same food, reared in the same church, exposed to the same truth they were also susceptible to the same temptations. One from his earliest days began to show a genuine love for the Lord and a desire to order his life in accordance with divine principles. He disciplined himself in study and preparation, married wisely and well, and eventually became a singularly effective missionary in a primitive part of the world where very few white men ventured. Like every other man he was not exempt from sin crouching at his door, but he did well and was lifted up in blessing and honor before God and man. Meanwhile his brother who was less disciplined and less inclined to honor the Lord began to fudge around the edges. His business began to suffer, his marriage began to deteriorate, and eventually he became so gripped by the sin which lay in wait to devour him that he lost family, wife, and business and eventually sat desolate in a prison cell.

This sad chapter of Genesis, as is so often the case in Scripture, contains a bright note of hope. Seth (meaning “appointed”) was born to Adam and Eve and his mother said, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed” (v. 25). The reference to “seed” suggests that she was trusting in the promise she had heard from the Lord about the serpent’s bruising. Attributing the birth to the Lord’s appointing shows that in the midst of the chaos God still had His people. It is still true today.

Well we haven’t done this in a while, free bible giveaway, NIV study bible, compact version. No shipping no strings , just send a picture to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com of your best thanksgiving picture.

God bless

Warning Adult Themed,

August 15, 2015

200514520-004

You might have what seem to be impossible sexual issues at this moment. You may not see any way out. But God says, “Look, you come to Me. I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a hope and a future” (see Jer. 29: 11).

 

 

Okay, you may not believe this, but God has a plan for your sex life. I don’t care how screwed up you think things are God can and will still love and help you.

Forgiveness doesn’t wipe out Aids or STD, genital warts or love bugs that need a prescription. But he does forgive and he does help.

 

 

God wants to give you the best— intimacy with Him and healthy, vibrant sex within the bonds of marriage. Sexual immorality, whether it’s visual, mental, or physical, puts a barrier between you and God. It also puts a barrier between you and the you God intends you to be. And it puts a barrier between you and other people. God says, “I want to give you a spiritual reward. I want to give you emotional peace. I want to protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. I want to reward your life with the very best. I want to give you sexual fulfillment.”

If you are a young person on the verge of facing the world with all its temptations, God wants to keep you safe from the start.

 

 

It’s like booze or pot, don’t start and you don’t have to try stopping. And hey that big lie the guys always use; “if you love me you’ll do it” it’s still a lie, if you’re a guy don’t let your penis rule your world you will regret it.

Virginity is a gift don’t lose it, is contrary to TV there is no “re-virginizing”.

 

 

And all you Christians out there that are leading lives contrary to the bible, STOP.

Sex outside of marriage will never bless you, it will only separate you from being intimate with God.

 

 

Watch porn? STOP

 

 

Masturbating? STOP

 

 

When you’re all done ask yourself, “how’s that working for you?” that empty, dirty feeling. It really never goes away if you keep at it.

 

 

“How did the affair work out in terms of your finances?” “How did the affair work out for your kids?” “What is it like to log on and feel like you can’t wait to imagine sex with someone who isn’t real?” “How does it feel to have your life consumed by secrets and shame you are desperately trying to hide?” “What does it feel like to read romance novels and have such dreams and fantasies about people who don’t exist that you become so convinced you’re never going to find the perfect mate, so try another sex partner; “hows that working for you?”

 

 

God doesn’t want to control you he wants to love you and bless you and you love him back. But in spite of the sex crazed media, it will never fulfill you.

 

 

We all have things in our past we are not proud of. God wants to cover those things in His forgiveness. He wants to help you start doing some really good things the really right way.

 

 

Changing your life is hard, it’s not easy but get help, reach out to a pastor or counselor, you know that person you spy on because they seem so happy and love God, ask them for help.

 

 

Email us here at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com for help, one bit of advice stay away from sex addict group therapy, there are to many predators out there using it to troll.

 

God bless, let God lead your life not your sex organs.

through the eye

October 27, 2014

light vs darkness

Somehow many of the world’s religions have assumed that God is a kindly old gentleman who is so tenderhearted toward the sinner that He is willing and able to receive any pittance which the sinner offers to Him as the basis for that person’s salvation. As a consequence, there are many religions which teach man to struggle through life, isolating himself from happiness and from anything providing pleasure, in order that he may win an escape from the person that he really is and from the responsibility which that brings.

A horde of religious acts are saddled on grieving sinners with the solemn promise that by keeping these works, the sinner somehow will gain favor before a holy God. Sinners are led to believe that by these works they may gain the favor of God and release from the judgment which they deserve. Romans 1–6 explains that such an approach to salvation is part of the broad way which leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13). Or, just as bad, many teach that God’s work through Christ on the cross was not quite adequate to achieve a man’s salvation without certain vital works which the sinner must contribute.

The first 6 books deals clearly with the technical, legal means by which God has made this provision available for fallen man without impugning God’s own righteousness. God is perfectly just. In His perfect righteousness He will not make one step which would make Him unjust in order to save fallen man. He will not accept any work which a person may offer to Him as a basis for the sinner’s salvation. The first half of the book of Romans is a treasure in that it resolves this otherwise insolvable problem. It explains precisely how God is able to save fallen mankind without Himself becoming guilty by forgiving man without a just basis for doing so.

Paul in Romans very clearly explains that there actually is only one way by which a person can be saved. It is the way which has been provided by God as a free gift on the basis of the finished work of the Messiah.

Romans is possibly the most important book of the bible.

 

If I could only have two books of the bible it would be the Gospel of John and the book of Romans. If I could only have one book it would be a hard choice but it would be the Book of Romans.

 

If I were to test a candidate for ordination or the pulpit I would quiz him on the book of Romans.

 

If you told me you were a mature believer I would quiz you on the Book of Romans. And if you told me you were interested in growing as a Christian, you can guess.

 

Yes I read other books, it’s one of the most frequent questions I get; “what are you reading?”

So here’s my current reading list;

  1. Orthodoxy by C. G. Chesterton

  2. The Confessions of St. Augustine

  3. The Imitation of Christ (which I just keep reading over and over again).

  4. What’s missing from your bible; by David Daniels

  5. The Common Book of Pray for everyday Radicals

  6. Translators Revived: A biography of the Authors of the English Version of The Holy Bible

  7. A Gospel Primer

  8. And gasp, a 4 Volume set on the history of the Detective Novel (I’m so ashamed).

So at my funeral I know it’s kind of pagan but would somebody please slip into my casket or funeral pyre a book. (If it’s a comic book make it the Green Lantern).

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

New International Version (NIV)

7 ….. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong

Because of some ambiguities, it seems very unwise to form dogmatic conclusions about certain particulars of this section. What is clear, however, is a thorn in the flesh (an intense, wearying difficulty or affliction) had come by means of a messenger of Satan (probably a demonically instigated assault). God’s providence clearly allowed this (grammatically, a “divine passive,” indicating God as the unseen Agent overseeing the entire process) that Paul might avoid being exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations.

Though it is futile to try to identify the “thorn,” it caused Paul great consternation and ultimately served a good purpose, becoming the occasion for a revelation to him of the overcoming grace of God, which proved sufficient in the midst of Paul’s weakness (v. 9).

We must also note that though God does not respond to Paul’s repeated pleading that it might depart from him by removing it, there is no indication God is upset with Paul for so pleading. In fact, Jesus’ answer (v. 9) indicates God’s concern to respond, howbeit differently than Paul had prayed.

Finally, it is important to note that Jesus’ answer was not seen by Paul as punitive; nor did it cause him to resign himself to buffeting with a defeatist attitude. Rather, it affirmed in Paul that whenever Satan buffets him (either directly as the destructive adversary or indirectly as God’s controlled agent to bring about character development) he can boast in his infirmities because Jesus’ grace and strength will be sufficient to enable him to continue in his apostolic ministry. Neither the thorn, any messenger of Satan, nor any character-refining test from God will cause him to cease serving God. He can therefore take pleasure . . . for when he is personally weak, then he can be strong in Jesus.

 

 

in the can

April 24, 2013

Victory=defeat

Sounds like a contradiction, but look at 1 Kings chapter 18 and Elijah in that chapter and then look at 1 kings chapter 19 and a totally defeated Elijah appears.

Rule 1; often after a great victory, depression can set in.

Rule 2 often after a great victory, we get cocky

Rule 3 God doesn’t like cocky, or angry or frustrated, remember Moses, striking the rock, and not following God’s direction.

Rule 4 woman are evil, (kidding) except for Jezebel, there’s a reason why that term still has stuck around

Rule 5 christians are not immune from attacks

Rule 6 christians can get lukewarm

Rule 7 christians stop listening to the Word of God and get callused.

Wow, hopefully we are past the icing on the cake phase of our walk with God and realize life is tuff. I don’t know how people get through the day without God on their side. ( other than narcotics, addictions etc).

(not sure how long this list thing is going to affect me)

God bless

James 4:1 ESV

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you…

Versus; james 4:7-8

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Verse 1; In contrast to those who make peace, quarrels and fights are caused by the passions or self-centered desires (“hedonism” comes from Gk. hēdonē, “passions”) that are causing these people to make war against each other in the church. This is extremely violent language for dissension, and some even think it should be taken literally of people killing each other (v. 2), though it is best to view this as a metaphor for the devastating effect of unrestrained hostility.

The only way to resist the devil is by also submitting and drawing near to God (cf. 1 Cor. 10:13). Satan will be defeated and will have to flee, as indeed he did from Christ (Luke 4:13).

Cleanse and purify are OT terms for ritual purity (e.g., the priests at the bronze basin, Ex. 30:18) and ethical purity. Laughter shows how casually James’s readers were treating their sin. The only proper reaction to God’s impending judgment is to be wretched and mourn and weep, as is seen often in the OT (e.g., Isa. 15:2; 22:4; Jer. 6:26).

So we have a choice, it’s always about our choices; we can be naturally minded, (unenlightened by God unsaved). Or we can be carnally minded, (saved or unsaved but led by our fleshly appetites). Or doubly minded, (wavering back and forth between the two. Mindsets, not saved or unsaved) or last we can be spiritually minded.

As you can guess it’s best to be spiritually minded; but we often fail at doing this full time. It’s kind of hit or miss for most of us, we have our good days and our bad.

John 9:25

He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see

One thing I know, is the single-mindedness of conviction. We must choose, with every breath we take, with every thought, we must choose to be spiritually minded.

Since I often hang with a rather rough crowd, they think that Christianity is for women and sissies; I, tell them that nothing could be farther from the truth. Getting saved is the easy part, God does all the work, but the walk after ward is the hardest thing they will ever do. Because everything in this world is against you; your memories, your flesh, your thoughts, the devil, the temptations, and just simply being stupid on most days.

You want to know what tough is, its always fighting the flesh, its breaking habits, it’s not going with the crowd, its John Wayne on a Saturday night, (sorry I just love John Wayne movies).

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24: 15

It’s always about our choices.

Let’s pray together we make the right ones.

God bless

Scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

The continued theme of being a soldier.

Colossians 2:5

For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. (kjv)

Your order. This is a military term (Gr taxis) indicating an orderly array of disciplined soldiers. The Colossians’ ranks had not been broken yet; but the Gnostics were attacking, and Paul was concerned for them. Steadfastness of your faith in Christ. Another military word (Gr stereōma) signifying solidity. With unbroken ranks, every man was in his place, presenting a solid front. This speaks of the unyielding nature of their faith which was firm and true to Christ.

When Gnosticism came in touch with Christianity, which must have happened almost immediately on its appearance, Gnosticism threw herself with strange rapidity into Christian forms of thought, borrowed its nomenclature, acknowledged Jesus as Saviour of the world, simulated its sacraments, pretended to be an esoteric revelation of Christ and His Apostles, flooded the world with apocryphal Gospels, and Acts, and Apocalypses, to substantiate its claim. As Christianity grew within and without the Roman Empire, Gnosticism spread as a fungus at its root, and claimed to be the only true form of Christianity, unfit, indeed, for the vulgar crowd, but set apart for the gifted and the elect. So rank was its poisonous growth that there seemed danger of its stifling Christianity altogether, and the earliest Fathers devoted their energies to uprooting it (the catholic encyclopedia )

Gnosticism is still with us today and just as dangerous, at its simplest form the modern gnostic claims to have knowledge outside of scriptures. Which is why anyone, whether Pentecostal or mystic, who claims to have a revelation outside of scripture should be burned at the stake (or at the very least shunned, deposed and marked as an imposter).

The bible is not outdated, nor is it historically irrelevant, or in need of new interpretation, nor should it be set aside to let pluralism and multiculturism say that the bible is not relevant. Sin is still sin and what the bible proclaims as sin is still true today. It is not expired thought, or antiquated.

And nothing reigns supreme over it, not tongues, not prophesy, not visions, if someone says something that contradicts the bible they are simply wrong.

Be like the Bereans of Acts; “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” Acts 17:11 NLT

Make sure everything that you hear, read, or are being taught finds its truth in the Bible. Don’t just suck it in, examine everything. And then be steadfast.

God bless  

 

2 timothy 2:3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus

Human nature seems to practice comfort more than anything else. We isolate ourselves from the ugly, the horrible the unfamiliar. Only a small percentage of Christians volunteer at soup kitchens, homeless shelters, or bring meals to shut ins and the old bag lady on the corner.

Yet we are invited by the Apostle Paul to volunteer for hardship, to be a good soldier, to not be entangled by the cares of the world. But honestly we pretty much do the opposite, it’s human nature and as one of my favorite quotes go, and often used, “there’s the rub”.

How do you make yourself suffer, become disciplined, ‘soldier on’ as the Brit’s say. I honestly don’t know.

But God does, so he brings trials into our lives to test us, grow us, strengthen us and purify us. We don’t enjoy those times and we often whine and complain. It’s natural, again the way of the flesh versus the spirit.

The apostle Paul suffered, Jesus suffered, look at all the martyred Christian.

Verse 5 implies that there are a set of rules and they must be followed to win a crown, not everybody likes rules, but God has them and they must be followed. The benefit of following God’s rules is empowerment by the Holy Spirit.

Which is the secret to being an overcomer; to try on your own strength and repeatedly fail, or rely on the Spirit of God. Again not so easy because we demand a sign, goal posts, mile markers, a clear path, again, there’s the rub, the walk by faith.

It’s difficult, demanding, and necessary but still hard.

There were two famous preachers in London England at the same time, Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker, Spurgeon was of course famous for his sermons, but Parker was famous for his praying. In the People’s Bible commentary, written by Rev. Parker are some of the greatest prayers you can read.

Sometimes we need a really good sermon, but mostly we really need to become better at our prayers. So talking to God is actually better for you than most sermons. Hard to believe a preacher would say that, but hey, I’ve gone back and read some of my sermons from 30 years ago and can only say; ‘thank God my congregation loved me.”

So let us pray to be good soldiers and when hardships, illness and suffering come our way (and they will and they do) let us share with others the suffering of the Body of Christ and soldier on, as good soldiers.

God bless

May the Peace of our Lord Jesus be upon you

scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Rhonda, that God shows himself in a mighty way in her life   

Ernie Isley, of the Isley brothers hall of fame musicians has a great song called; ‘diamond in the rough’. And there’s one line in that song I want to use to start us off for our daily devotion. ‘There’s only broken glass around my heart’s door.’

Have you been wounded by someone, you can’t live long on this planet without someone either with malice and cruel intent or just stupidity saying or doing something to hurt you. 

I wish all churches had a Sunday school for adults based on the AA curriculum. Then we might be better at taking inventory of ourselves and practicing acceptance and forgiveness. Seems like the church doesn’t always do a good job of teaching us to understand. We are well schooled at understanding that God forgave us. But we have a hard time practicing forgiving those that have made us victims of cruelty and abuse.

And even when we have gone to the altar of prayer we can have a hard time with the painful memories that have left deep scars in our hearts and minds.

One practical truth that seems to be overlooked or actually miss-taught is that forgiveness is contingent on relationship, you know the old phrase, ‘forgive and forget’. Nothing could be more untrue, forgiveness between ourselves and our human relations is not based on relationships, but completely on the truthfulness of our genuine forgiveness of that person.

And sometimes because of the painful memories we have to go back in our hearts and say we forgive them again ( in our heart not to them up front). But let me stress this, you can forgive someone and completely lose the relationship, and the forgiveness is complete, genuine and done. So stop stressing or believing that forgiveness is based on having the relationship restored. That only works between God and ourselves.

Which brings to mind something I said in a previous devotion, think before you act, ‘because can a man heap coals into his lap and not be burned’. Proverbs 6:27, once the act is done it’s done.

I had a man come to me one time and he confessed that over the weekend he had slept with a hooker and then felt guilty and went home and slept with his wife. Then he found out he may have contracted a venereal disease. His question was since he asked God to forgive him, how could God let him pass a venereal disease on to his wife.

Simple answer, you murder someone and then confess and ask forgiveness, is God going to bring that dead person back to life, not even. This man was furious at my answer and said that God wasn’t being fair. I don’t know what god he was talking about but not the one from the bible..

So our prayer today is that God would sweep the glass from around our heart and forgive those that need to be forgiven and have an open loving heart towards God and toward those that are not toxic. But don’t think you have to have a relationship with those that continue to abuse and cause harm. 

Be safe as well as blessed.

God bless.