DARKNESS IS ON THE RUN

October 20, 2021

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Love One Another and Walk in the Light of Salvation

1 JOHN 2:7–11

John is good at simplifying the Christian life. Basically he says to know Jesus, obey God, and love others. Briefly introduced in verse 5, John will now give more intense attention to the theme of our love life. In verse 5 it was our love for God that concerned the apostle. Now in verses 7–11 he must address urgently our love for others.

John begins with an affirmation of his love for those to whom he is writing. He calls them “dear friends” or “beloved.” It is the Greek word agapetoi, and John will use it six times in this letter (2:7; 3:2, 21; 4:1, 7, 11). It is a term of endearment, of heart-felt love and concern. It usually serves John well as he begins a new thought. In this instance, though, it allows him to continue and expand on the idea of God’s commands. Here he will narrow his focus to one specific command: the command to love. Interestingly, though the idea of love is clearly the theme of this section, the word itself only appears in verse 10.

This section raises the question: Does John believe a right love for God (v. 5) is absolutely essential for a right love toward our brothers (v. 10)? I believe the answer is a resounding Yes! Indeed the two are inseparable.

In Christ the command to love one another is strengthened, deepened, expanded, and given a depth of meaning and understanding never seen before His coming in the incarnation. And now that same kind of supernatural love is being seen and experienced in those who love Him and abide in Him. But there’s more! Perfect love as revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has dealt a death blow to darkness. Darkness is on the run and it cannot outrun the light. In fact the darkness is already departing and the true light already shines! The light of the world (John 8:12) has come. The King of light and love is already reigning, and the fullness and consummation of that reign is just around the corner. How we love one another gives evidence of all of this.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, prayer requests or just saying hello, send us an email.

JUST A LITTLE PRICK

October 11, 2021

Why is America (and the World) not experiencing revival even though many are praying for it?

Ask 10 different preachers, professors, and bible scholars the reason and you might possibly get 10 different answers.

Some believe that man can do nothing to bring about revival. That it is strictly in the providence of God, His schedule, His calendar, and nothing we can to can change that. And there is some truth in that.

Charles Finney one of the greatest American Evangelists that ever lived felt that way but with a plus. If a church, each and every member would deeply repent of their sins, then God might grant such a revival.

Therefore, if a person believes there can be human participation working hand in hand with God, then there can indeed be a revival.

Since there has not been a revival and people every where are praying for one there is only two possible answers. One, it is not in God’s calendar, perhaps we have gone to far in the wrong direction and/or two, people (Christians) are not genuinely repenting of their sins.

Many understand the term repentance to mean “a turning from sin.” Regretting sin and turning from it is related to repentance, but it is not the precise meaning of the word. In the Bible, the word repent means “to change one’s mind.” The Bible also tells us that true repentance will result in a change of actions (Luke 3:8–14; Acts 3:19). In summarizing his ministry, Paul declares, “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 26:20). The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action.

Repentance involves recognizing that you have thought wrongly in the past and determining to think rightly in the future. The repentant person has “second thoughts” about the mindset he formerly embraced. There is a change of disposition and a new way of thinking about God, about sin, about holiness, and about doing God’s will. True repentance is prompted by “godly sorrow,” and it “leads to salvation” (2 Corinthians 7:10) and in our thinking it can also lead to Christians having a revival.

In the Bible, repentance results in a change in behavior. That is why John the Baptist called people to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). A person who has truly repented of his sin and exercised faith in Christ will give evidence of a changed life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:19–23; James 2:14–26).

No repentance, no revival.

Here is the dangerous part, not soul damning, but soul hardening.

If God has called us as a nation, meaning first of all YOU as an individual and the Holy Spirit told you which specific sin to give up and you did not become obedient, then you/we have hardened our heart and we will reap what we sow and it will not be a revival.

Think it over, is all that you do, think and act, pleasing to God?

NO REPENTANCE, NO REVIVAL.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Keep Margie in prayer, still in great spirit, still smiling, but her body is losing the fight, slowly but gradually. But what a testimony is shining through her. Many nurses have been touched by her sweet spirit and quoting of so many bible verses for each person.

Pray for Kaylee, a young (19) run away woman. Such a tale of sorrow. Needs salvation, needs healing, needs to let law enforcement do its part. Heartbreaking. We have her staying with Crissy, who is no stranger to abuse and will let Kaylee stay as long as she wants.

Less pain today, thank you for your prayers. I could actually walk today with out a cane or a walker.

Keep Steve H in prayer, guidance, encouragement, vim and vigor. For his wife Pam, we are praying for God to completely heal her knees.

BE ONE TOO!

October 9, 2021

NUMBER ONE REQUESTED RE-POST FOR DEVOTIONS AND BECAUSE WE HAVE SO MANY NEW READERS, BLESSINGS

WHO’S WITH ME, DO YOU WANT TO GROW UP AND BE A POTATO CHIP?

BETTER LET ME EXPLAIN, LAYS POTATO CHIPS THEY HAVE ONE THAT’S LABELED, ‘LIGHTLY SALTED; IN A WEIRD WAY IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT THAT EXPLAINS THE FOUR GOSPELS AND THE BOOK OF ACTS (NOT COMPLETELY BUT ALMOST).

GOD IS LIGHT, HIS SON IS LIGHT, AND WE ARE CALLED TO BE LIGHT. IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN IT SAYS THAT DARKNESS (EVIL, THE DEVIL) CANNOT OVERCOME THE LIGHT OR EVEN UNDERSTAND IT. THAT’S HOW POWERFUL LIGHT IS.

SO WE ARE CALLED TO LIGHT.

WE ARE ALSO CALLED TO BE SALT

THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW 5:13 SAYS WE ARE TO BE THE SALT OF THE EARTH. WE ARE TO BRING FLAVOR AND BE A PRESERVATIVE TO THE WORLD. BUT IF THE SALT LOSES ITS FLAVOR IT IS NO GOOD; AND THERE IS THE PROBLEM.

FOUR THINGS WE ARE SUPPOSED TO DO AS CHRISTIANS.ONE, BE LIGHT, TWO BE SALT, THREE BE CHRIST LIKE, AND FOUR BE MATURE.

WE CAN’T LEAVE ONE PART OUT, WE ARE TO SHINE IN DARKNESS AND LET THE WORLD KNOW A RESURRECTED CHRIST; WE ARE TO HAVE AN INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD THAT ACTUALLY STOPS OR RETARDS THE PEOPLE AND THEIR SINS (CONVICTION AND THAT GOD LOVES THEM). BE CHRIST LIKE IN ALL WE DO SO THE LIGHT SHINES FROM US. AND GROW UP SO WE CAN GROW OUT.

SO HERE’S MY PROPOSITION, SPEAKING JUST ABOUT AMERICA, WE HAVE PRETTY MUCH FAILED IN EVANGELISM, WITNESSING AND SPREADING THE HOPE OF GOD. SO EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG IN OUR COUNTRY IS PRETTY MUCH THE CHURCHES FAULT AND OF COURSE THE SINFULNESS OF MAN.

ONE WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER, THE OTHER WE DO. DON’T BLAME THE GOVERNMENT, OR POLITICIANS, THE QUESTION WE HAVE TO ASK IS ‘HAVE OUR LIGHTS GONE OUT AND IS THE SALT GONE FROM OUR LIVES?

HOW MANY FAMOUS TV AND BOOK PASTORS ARE SAYING THE BIBLE ISN’T HISTORICALLY RELEVANT, IT HAS NO PLACE IN THE PLACE OF MODERN MAN. HOW ABOUT ALL THE CHURCHES THAT HAVE ONE GOAL ON SUNDAY, TO MAKE YOU FEEL HAPPY AND GOOD ABOUT YOUR SELF (BIG NEWS FLASH, GOD DOESN’T ACTUALLY CARE IF YOUR HAPPY).

THERE IS A WELL KNOWN PASTOR NEAR HERE THAT TOLD ME HE HASN’T PREACHED A MESSAGE ABOUT SIN IN OVER 15 YEARS AND WOULDN’T BECAUSE HE THINKS THAT MESSAGE WOULD DRIVE THE CROWDS AWAY.

ASK YOUR SELF ‘WHY DO I GO TO CHURCH?’ HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU’VE WITNESSED TO SOMEONE OR TRIED TO HOLD A BROTHER OR SISTER ACCOUNTABLE FOR SOMETHING THEY ARE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH?

BE BIG

BE BOLD

BE BRAVE

BE SALTY

SO TODAY WILL YOU RENEW YOUR VOW TO BE A POTATO CHIP, VOTE YES.

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

PRAY FOR STEVE H, vitality and endurance, guidance for his old church THE HAPPY ZION BAPTIST CHURCH as they are seeking a pastor. Healing for his wife Pam, chronic knee pain.

Thank you for all the prayers, had a less painful day. Pray for all those that suffer chronic pain and the depression and tiredness that are all part of a vicious cycle.

Keep J.C. Hickman in prayer as he battles cancer.

Keep Margie in prayer, she is now in hospice but still smiling.

BEATING BURNOUT

October 5, 2021

Remember that burnout comes from being exhausted physically, mentally or emotionally. Sometimes it can come from all three areas. It can cause us to withdraw from life and others, feeling cynical, hopeless or despondent. But remember, that when you feel this way, not to isolate from others. Reach out to family and friends and let them know you are struggling. We need one another and we need the body of Christ.

We need to keep going. Sometimes, we need to hear the words, “You got this.” or “You can do this.” “Keep going!” We all know that there are days that are so much harder than others. And it feels like we take one step forward and three back. But these days will pass, and we will be so glad we didn’t give up and that we kept up the good fight. Because ultimately, when it comes right down to it if we know Christ as our Lord and Savior, then the work we are doing should be for Him. Even as I write this, it sounds trite, because when we are burned out, we are burned out. And that translates into not caring. Our feelings are blah, and our attitudes are blah. But, sometimes, if we act then our feelings will follow those actions. And we do want to hear at the end of our lives that God is well pleased with us. 2 Timothy 4:7 says, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

It is okay to take breaks to rejuvenate. Do something that gives you joy and energy. going to have lunch with a friend, taking a walk, get out on the old motorcycle and drive down your favorite ride. These things are good and needed when we feel burned out and beaten down by life. We need to do those things that make us smile and lift our spirits.

Stay in the Word and in prayer. I love the Psalms, because so many times I feel just like David. One minute he is telling God how much He desires Him and loves Him and the next he is pouring out his sorrows and disappointments. I love that we get to see how human David truly is. What encourages me so much about him is that we are told he is a man after God’s own heart. And yet, he struggled with his emotions and in life.

Remember that this too will pass. My grandfather has always told me this when I am feeling down or struggling. Some days are going to be great. Others are tiring or boring or disappointing. Don’t let them pull you under. Remember we serve an infinite, powerful, God who created us to need Him. Let Him invade every aspect of your heart and being today.

And the biggest bit of advice is do not act out or do something you will need to repent of.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

It is back to the VA hospital tomorrow for another look at my foot, still in a lot of pain.

Pray for Stanley W, he has outlived 3 wives, all his friends and bought a motortrike (motorcycle) I was supposed to take him out tomorrow for his first ride but a friend of mine is going to take the honor. Stanley is not a christian so keep him in prayer for depression, loneliness and salvation.

Keep Steve H in prayer, encouragement, and guidance. Healing for his wife Pam’s knees.

Margie says God bless and thanks for all the prayers. I think she might outlive us all.

In the 1546 version of John Heywood’s book of English proverbs, we find the origin of a common saying: “Beggars should be no choosers, but yet they will: Who can bring a beggar from choice to beg still?”

If you make a request for something, you should not question, as in the case of Naaman, how it is given. Naaman wanted to be cured of leprosy, but was offended when told to wash himself seven times in the Jordan. He expected a more dignified ritual and was initially unwilling to submit to a method so ordinary (see 2Ki 5:12).

Like Naaman, we are beggars who should not be so choosy about how God primarily provides for our spiritual growth—the ordinary means of grace. Grace is God’s unmerited favor extended to sinners, while the term “means” comes from the Latin word media, an instrument or method. A means of grace is therefore the term for the instruments or methods God uses to communicate his grace to believers.

Here are three things we should know about the ordinary means of grace:

  1. They are not considered the same in all traditions—Almost all traditions include baptism, preaching the Word and the Lord’s Supper. Reformed traditions also include prayer, while in Methodism, the means of grace include the broad categories Works of Piety (such as fasting and healthy living) and Works of Mercy (such as good works), each with individual and communal components.

  2. They are not the only methods for spiritual growth—The means of grace are a primary means of spiritual growth, though they are not the only methods we should engage in for spiritual formation. However, these means—especially prayer, preaching and the Lord’s Supper—should be the methods we turn to repeatedly and on a regular basis.

  3. They are not automatic—God never promises to bless any acts of obedience to the means of grace when faith is lacking.

The means of grace do not operate on the principles of mechanics. Baptism itself does not wash away sins. Nor does the Lord’s Supper automatically dispense the blessings of Christ. We must use the means of grace believingly, trusting the Lord—not the ordinances. 2 Kings 5

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Jac, is still in the hospital with a ‘mystery’ illness of the dozens of people we have mentioned that are hospitalized with a list of inexplicable illnesses there is one common thread, all have had 2 vaccines.

Remember the Happy Zion Church in Missouri, still waiting on the Lord for a pastor.

Our salvation list, at the top as usual is Lauren, a meaner, more cruel, selfish, self-destructing person, will submit to no form of accountability or of authority.

Then there is Anne, Drew, Tara, Hunter, Garrett, Lubbock, Tavon, Philip, Oscar and Cristina, Norma Perales and her husband Rick and adult son Rick Jr.

I have not mentioned in quite some time our wild girls, all saved from the adult entertainment world. All wonderfully, and gloriously saved and I wish I had 100 more like them. They are on fire for God and so anxious to be a help to the church. God bless them richly, Sherry, Cherry, Crissy and Mona.

Prayer is a surprising strategy for changing the world. Sometimes our prayers feels weak. We feel awkward trying. So we neglect prayer.

if we feel inept at prayer, it is because of our relationship to God. If we have been distant and negligent in our prayers, then they will feel the same way. We may need to have an individual revival in order to draw nearer to God. The best way to do this is to get a bible promise book and start reading all the promises God has made to us. He made those promises because He loves us and desires nothing more than to be close to us.

The second thing we need to do is discover a lost art in prayer. I can not remember a living preacher broaching this subject. Waiting on God in prayer. If you prayed 5 minutes than you should be silent and wait on God for Him to answer. Imagine talking to a loved one on the phone and asking a bunch of questions and then hanging up before they could ever answer.

Third, we need to plan, execute, evaluate, adjust, get better at it, and keep going in our prayer life. Like lifting weights. You will not gain strength or muscle if you do not increase the weight and intensity. We should do the same in prayer. We should also pray before, during, and after everything else we do. I am always amazed at the resistance I get in my prayer seminars from Christians who refuse to believe or put into practice praying about everything we do. The example I always give is, “do you pray before you go grocery shopping, that you do not over spend and the things you buy are actually good for you.” When I mention idea I hear “that is utter nonense.” But yet the bible says we are to bring all things to Gd in prayer. People who resist this idea are the same ones that have a boxed in God, He is allowed into some parts of our lives but not all.

Why so much prayer? For two reasons.

First, we’re picking a fight with demons: “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness” (Eph. 6:12). What would you think of soldiers who go up against enemy tanks with squirt guns? That’s us—without prayer. We’re not just fighting websites. We’re fighting the unseen forces that put their dazzling, blinding powers on the surface of porn’s hideous evils.

In a way, I find the Bible’s teaching about Satan comforting. It means that we human beings aren’t responsible for all the evil in this world. But it’s also sobering. It’s why Jesus taught us to pray, “Deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13). Washington can’t do that for us. But God can. Only God can.

Which gives us a second reason for saturating every effort with prayer: we’re fighting our battles by God’s strategies. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:4 NIV). We don’t have to get mean. We have prayer. The early Christians understood that, and it’s why they kept winning—against the odds. For example, the apostle Paul wrote, “Strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf” (Rom. 15:30). And this “striving” language means fighting, struggling. It’s how we call on God to send in the reinforcements only he commands against powers only he can defeat.

Think of your King this way, and you’ll pray more confidently.

The Lord Jesus Christ reigns today. He is in the control room of the universe. All the sins of man and machinations of Satan ultimately have to enhance the glory and kingdom of our Savior. We have become too enemy-conscious. We need to be more God-conscious, knowing that we have power over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). He has already lost control because of Calvary, where the Lamb was slain.

So let’s pray not just against the allure of porn but also for the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13). We think, The better the gift, the less God is willing to give it. But the truth is the opposite. “How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit . . .” We don’t have to deserve the Holy Spirit, but we do have to ask: “. . . to those who ask him!” God is calling us into a lifestyle prayer so that we experience lifelong power. Real kingdom advance isn’t mechanical or automatic, like an assembly line with us pushing buttons and in control.

Real kingdom advance is personal—our King himself drawing near to you and your brothers, sensitive to you, listening to you. It’s you guys asking him for his power again and again. What he’s after is not just a whole new world of nobility but a whole new world of nobility so obviously miraculous that you’re blown away by what only he can do. Prayer is where that miracle keeps happening.

You can start each day with a simple prayer for yourself. Like this: “Lord, I needed you yesterday. I need you again today. You’ve given me a task that’s beyond me. So please increase my faith both right now and that it will grow, however you see my need. Thank you. In your holy name. Amen.” It isn’t complicated. It’s just the Lord’s Prayer—“Your kingdom come”—in your own words. It will work, not because you’re twisting God’s arm but precisely because you don’t have to twist his arm. Not because your words are convincing but because your Father is willing.

You can pray also for worldwide awakening. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see the next historic revival starting deep inside the porn industry? I have no time for “revival” if all it means is some nice suburban church improving its comfortable lifestyle while easing into heaven on cruise control. The revival I’m praying for is the risen King coming down into the lowest hell of porn and gently forgiving the bosses, the investors, the videographers, the performers, the website managers, the advertisers, the users, and everyone driving that engine of oppression. Our King can pour out upon anyone a joy they’ve never known. And I will never stop praying for that. Will you join me?

If we ask for that mighty blessing, I’ll be shocked if Jesus says no.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, prayer requests, testimonies, just want to say hello, I’m always excited to get pictures of where you live or pictures of how you mark your bible.

Do you actually believe you are changing?

You have to believe in change, you have to believe that God can change you. You have to delete unbelief from your life.

Now, you believe in change, you can see it, measure it. It may be small victories at first but they are still victories.

Along the way, how are you changing? Where were you before, and where are you now? That story deserves to be told.

Why not compose a simple narrative of your before-and-after—not how Jesus saved you in the past but how Jesus is helping you in the present. Be ready to share it with anyone at any time. Your story—the more vulnerable, the better—might earn you a longer conversation at another time.

Your experience will give hope to men who are drifting. They feel stuck. They want out. But they can’t see an exit sign anywhere in their world. That’s where you come in. Tell them how you’re breaking free. Many men will join you and your brothers. It starts with small talk—which is a big deal. How about sitting down at your laptop and thinking it through? Your goal is “a good story well told.” So make your words modest, few, and from the heart. When a friend does you the honor of listening, just tell him, in a forthright, gentle way, how Jesus is surprising you. It is very loving to open a new door for someone else, whether or not he decides to walk through it.

And humor helps. Laughter can’t be pompous. And surely your story has some hilarity built into it. Capitalize on that. Who expects a Christian story to include laughing at ourselves? But it should. I speak at a lot of men’s meetings and conventions. I always dress down a little bit and make my speech a little rough or course, no swearing, just honest, guys in the garage talking. No church speak. It is amazing how many men come up and say; “if you are a pastor,, then how come our pastor never talks to us this candidly?”

Doesn’t everyone need a hope bigger than their own idiot moments? And how can the porn industry thrive in a world where more and more men are talking Jesus up—and enjoying it—rather than dragging women down?

When I do group therapy for violent sex offenders in prison, I record the conversations. They all know it will not be used in court; I give them a contract which I sign declaring my confidentiality. Then I play it back and make one comment, “when you were seven, would you ever describe your mom like this?” It is like hitting a guy upside the head with a hammer, they realize they have devalued women.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Betty C. her son who is mentally ill, was shot and killed by the police today because he did not understand their commands to put the gun down.

Remember J.C. Hickman in prayer, fellow biker, battling cancer.

Pray for Lauren, salvation and the most self destructive person I have ever met. She is on the edge and does not realize it.

Keep Steve H in prayer, vim and vigor, guidance at a new phase in his life or we should say assurance and encouragement. Pam his wife needs healing of her knees.

Linda, salvation, and very simple, if she does not stop drinking she will die and soon.

YOUR BATTLE AGAINST PORN

September 25, 2021

Photo by Maria Pop on Pexels.com

I became a licensed sexual addiction counselor in 1991. Since then I’ve seen hundreds of men gain victory over pornography. I believe the battle against porn is tougher than the battle against heroin or any other drug addiction. And please do not think I am just some Ivy League theorist, I have conquered both wars through my relationship with Christ. It is a winnable war. But it is a war that you must wage forever, and it means a complete change in lifestyle to win.

Here’s your biggest contribution to God’s new world. Just be a man of growing integrity. Who you are deep in your heart empowers what you do out in the public eye.

Your personal goal is nothing less than to be “a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21). As your Master shapes you into that vessel for honorable use, the devil’s world of oppression loses ground, more than you can see. The crucial battle is won deep within you. Then you’ll be ready for whatever public impact he plans to give you.

Not that it’s easy. This old poem tells us, in blunt language, how the Lord hammers on us for his royal purposes:

When God wants to drill a man

And thrill a man

And skill a man

When God wants to mold a man

To play the noblest part

When He yearns with all His heart

To create so great and bold a man

That all the world shall be amazed,

Watch His methods, watch His ways!

How He ruthlessly perfects

Whom He royally elects!

How He hammers him and hurts him

And with mighty blows converts him

into shapes and forms of clay

Which only God can understand!

How He bends but never breaks

When his good He undertakes

How He uses whom He chooses

And with mighty power infuses him

With every act induces him

To try His splendor out!

God knows what He’s about.

Stay there on his anvil, Son, however his hammer falls. It’s a hard place. But it won’t make you hard. It’s where God reshapes you for the gentle authority that moves history.

The men who chip away at the porn industry will be the men who’ve had their own rough edges knocked off.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Scumlikeuschurch has one goal, spiritual growth.

There are only three things you need to grow as a Christian.

KNOWLEDGE

BELIEF

OBEDIENCE

Short and sweet, there is a level of ignorance never seen before. In the bible, the book of Hosea, 4:6, “my people perish from a lack of knowledge.”

To many churches today are making the bible non-relative to the congregation, it is now being presented as fables, allegories, myths, vague instructions from a limpid god.

I am always amazed when people come in for counseling and I say, “let’s see what the bible has to say about this.”

The most common response, “we did not know the bible talked about this.”

Because of a lack of knowledge about God’s word the world is believing every lie and untruth out there.

After consuming the Word of God, we must believe it is true and the path to righteous living. I know orators that can quote whole books of the bible, but amazingly do not believe any of it to be relative to today’s world.

Adam and Eve real, Noah and the Arc, real, angels and demons, real. Crossing the Red Sea, real.

Jesus dying on a cross for you, a substitution for you, the gift of salvation, real.

And last but not least, and here is the world’s biggest problem, OBEDIENCE.

We will do anything but be obedient. Because being obedient means being submissive to a higher power. It means being held accountable for our actions.

In my over 45 years of ministry I have heard this more than a couple of times; a husband is sexually abusing his wife, I confront him, his response, “you and God have no right to interfere with what goes on in the bedroom.” Really, the bible says the opposite.

Three simple terms, knowledge, belief and obedience. Without them we will never see a revival.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

STAY THIRSTY

September 16, 2021

You will always encounter a mountain of problems when you seek to build God’s temple. Commenting on this point, Dr. James Boice said, “As I counsel with people in our day, many of them young people, I am convinced that one of their biggest problems is that they expect shortcuts” (The Minor Prophets [Baker], 2:510). He goes on to say that people want some simple principle to understand all the Bible apart from diligent study. They want some experience that will transport them effortlessly to a higher spiritual plateau, without daily discipline. They want a nearly perfect church, without the hassle of working through difficulties. But that is not the way God gets His work done.

Zerubabbel must have been thinking the exact same thing, “This project will never get done!” The work had begun over 20 years before. It would still take another four years. But God assures Zerubbabel (Zechariah 4:9) that his hands, which had laid the foundation of the temple, would finish it. Eventually, it was completed.

As I read the Bible I am amazed at how long God takes to accomplish His work through His people. God appeared to Abraham and promised to make him the father of many nations and to bless all nations of the earth through him. I wonder if Abraham thought, “Wow, I’d better start building a baby crib and Sarah needs to start sewing some baby clothes.” If they did that, those baby items sat around collecting dust for 25 years before Isaac was born! Isaac spent his life digging some wells out in the desert and raising Esau and Jacob. Jacob spent about 20 years working for Laban before he finally got back to the land of Canaan. But then the small clan moved to Egypt where they were enslaved for 400 years. Then came 40 more years in the wilderness. Later there was the Babylonian captivity and then 400 years without a word from God. He didn’t send His Messiah until 2,000 years after His promise to Abraham! Obviously, God isn’t in the hurry that we are in!

There are two ways to work for God. One is “by might and by power” (Zechariah 4:6). This refers to human energy and effort. G. Campbell Morgan paraphrases it, “Not by resources, not by resoluteness” (The Westminster Pulpit, Vol. VI, p. 53).

That is to say, you can utilize your human talent and be as determined as a bulldog and you will see some results. But when you stand before Christ, it will be as wood, hay, and stubble (1 Cor. 3:12), because it came from the flesh. When you work in the power of the flesh, you get the credit because the results were due to your ability and your hard work. God may get a tip of the hat, but He was not at the center and so He is robbed of glory.

The other way to work for God is “‘by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). This does not imply that there is no toil and sweat when you labor in the power of the Holy Spirit. Zerubbabel and his men still had to clear away the same mountain of rubble and lay the same heavy stones. But when God’s Spirit motivates and energizes the work, there is conscious dependence on Him, and He gets the glory.

A woman asked D.L. Moody once, “Why do you talk so often about the need for being filled with the Holy Spirit. You always are stressing the need to be filled again and again. Why isn’t once enough to be filled?” Moody replied, “I leak.”

Every Christian receives the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:2,3). But we must learn to walk by means of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16), continually, repeatedly depending on Him.

Dr. Charles Feinberg (God Remembers [American Board of Missions to the Jews], pp. 74-75) points out the appropriateness of oil as a symbol for the Holy Spirit. He lists seven functions of oil. First, oil lubricates, thus minimizing friction and wear. Second, oil heals. The Spirit of God heals hearts wounded by sin and the sorrows of life. Third, oil lights. The Spirit illumines God’s Word and gives us direction in life. Fourth, oil warms. The Spirit melts cold hearts that are unresponsive to God. Fifth, oil invigorates. The Spirit gives divine energy and strength. Sixth, oil adorns. In the Old Testament, it was used to adorn the body at a time of joy. Even so, the fruit of the Spirit in our lives is God’s joy. Seventh, oil polishes. The Spirit smoothes the rough edges from our lives as He produces His fruit of kindness and gentleness in us.

As we continually open ourselves up to the abundant supply of God’s Spirit, we will be used of God to impart the benefits of the Spirit of God to others.

If we stayed filled with the oil of God our lamps will never burn out.

Like the beer commercial, “stay thirsty my friend.”

God’s commercial, “stay filled my friend.”

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Many prayer requests; Anne, not only salvation but guidance for her doctors, she is seriously ill and it is a stack of illness and physical problems. The medicine is doing both harm and good. A necessary evil.

Pray for my son Matthew, a great Christian son, 3 weeks ago he went in for a MRI for lower back problems, nothing really wrong. Saw his doctor today and says he has a large mass in the same spot he was complaining about before. Very much in pain. Tuesday, hopefully we will see what the ‘mass’ really is.

Keep Steve H in prayer, bless his studies, bless his eyesight, vim and vigor. Keep praying for healing of Pam, his wife’s knees.