THE ACT

February 24, 2018

As God made plans to appear before the people in the form of a cloud, he said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people” (Ex 19:10–11).

 Consecration means making holy, making acceptable to be close to God. The consecration demanded of the Israelites for this encounter involved becoming spiritually ready to get close to God (thus the two days of preparation indicated in the words “be ready by the third day”).

 Like the Israelites, we, too, must consecrate ourselves when we gather to worship the Lord. Here are four ways you can prepare your heart for worship:

  1. Prepare before you go—On Sunday mornings, many of us find ourselves rushing to get dressed and out the door so we can get to church on time. The result is that we enter the worship service without having adequately prepared for an encounter with a holy God.

  1. Prepare to listen—During the worship service we hear God’s Word read, his message proclaimed and ymns sung to his glory. Prepare your mind by ensuring you are focused, mentally alert and ready to engage in active listening.

  1. Prepare to respond—In worship we enter into real and direct encounter with God. Prepare yourself to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit by expecting that the presence of God will move you in some way.

  1. Prepare to edify others—We join together in worship in part to bless others.

  take two minutes to pray for a friend, or greet a new person, or encourage a child. You have a part to play. This Sunday, prepare for gathering with your church family by asking God how he might use you to edify his church.

And the best way to be ready for church is by your worshipping and praising God during the week.

Originally I thought this idea was a little flaky, but it has produced some interesting results; any time something good happened in the presence of others I have said out loud, “well thank you Jesus.” What happens next is a real eye opener. The self-professed false believer shuts up, the true believer says ‘amen’ and the unconfessed either get verbal or walk away disclaiming my sanity or my Lord. Think about it.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

THE MAN

February 23, 2018

THE MAN

I had a business meeting downtown today and after it was over I saw a bookstore; it’s one of the oldest in town. It’s famous for being feminist, liberal, (redundant right?) New Age and never has carried a bible in the store.

But there in the most prominent spot, the Man, Billy Graham’s first book, originally published in 1953, and then again in 1984, “Peace with God.”

I was very surprised, I picked up the book and went to the counter and said, “how many Evangelicals come into your bookstore?” her answer; “only those from out of town, but he’s the Man.”

I was surprised at first but then thought she’s right, he is the Man. From dirt poor to one of the most recognized Christians in America and respected probably by all.

It has been a long time since I have read any of his books. What took me by surprise was the passion. Right from the very first sentence. His deep conviction that America has gone off the rails and is skidding into the abyss.

I waver sometimes about how bad it really is versus maybe it’s not so bad.

Truth is it’s probably worse than any other generation. Simply because we suffer from electronic brain rot. With most people, especially kids, spending a minimum of 8 hours a day on an electronic device.

But that’s not what this devotion is about. It’s about what is the legacy you have as a Christian. In your home, on your block and in your world. Where is your heart, and money and time being spent? How much money do you have saved and how much do you contribute, not just to church, but to other good works.

How about swearing? Fidelity or chastity?

Like the old Christian rock tune says, “how much evidence is there if they had to convict you of being a Christian?”

Just food for thought.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Preston Ryan, 11 years old and has brain cancer.

For Billy J, 13 years old and shot his neighbor 9 years old….on purpose.

Pray for his family, his dad is a police officer.

For Randall H, his brother 77, had a stroke today.

And so you don’t get bummed out. Jessica, a young drug user and prostitute gave her heart to the Lord today and has been taken into a Christian Home for Girls. When I laid my hand on her shoulder to pray for her she flinched, big tears welled up in her eyes and she just sobbed that someone would touch her and it would be innocent.

just as I am

February 21, 2018

  “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts” (1 Pet. 3:15).

  Many sincere believers are apt to put up an insincere front in order to “protect the Gospel,” so as not to “let the Lord down.” But He will increase, if we but decrease. There is nothing like being nothing!

  “It is true that there is the hunger to be devoted, and to be like the Lord Jesus, long before one’s acts and manner corroborate the hunger, and make it a fact; but the more the hungers which grace has generated in your heart are given a place, the sooner will they become experiential facts; and the more the Lord Jesus has His throne within you, the more you will ‘rejoice in Him, and have no confidence in the flesh’” (Phil. 3:3).

 I know so little of the Lord Jesus, one may say, and this may be true; but every grace that is in Him is in every saint, though not developed. If I am a babe in Christ, where there is true lowliness of heart, I display God, as a babe manifesting Him; but if, as a babe, I am attempting to manifest Him as a man, there will be frustration and failure.

My wisdom will be, not to set myself up above that which I really am. If walking in true lowliness and manifesting that measure of the Lord Jesus in which we have grown, there will be certain progress.

  “Perhaps there is nothing so hard as not to appear anything but what you are. If you do so to your advantage, you will be some day found out, but if to your disadvantage, there is no doubt that He who searcheth the heart and trieth the reins will one day vindicate you.”

  “But now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me” (2 Cor. 12:6).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

think it, do it

February 20, 2018

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR YOU

1 TIM 1:5, A PURE HEART, A GOOD CONSCIOUS, A SINCERE FAITH ( THE GOLDEN RULE FOR CHRISTIANS)

TITUS 2:12

SELF CONTROL

RIGHT CONDUCT

DEVOTION TO GOD

THIS IS CYCLICAL, IF I PRACTICE TITUS AS A DISCIPLINE, THEN 1 TIM WILL DEVELOP AND IF 1 TIM HAPPENS THEN TITUS BECOMES HABITUAL.

BREAK THE CYCLE TOP OR BOTTOM OUT AND OUR LIFE FALLS APART

SO 1 TIM IS OUR INTERNAL REGULATOR AND TITUS IS OUR OUTWARD MANIFESTATION

SO I PRAY FOR A PURE HEART, A GOOD CONSCIOUS, AND A SINCERE FAITH

BUT I WORK ON AND BELIEVE FOR IN FAITH PRACTICING SELF CONTROL, RIGHT CONDUCT, AND A VISIBLE OUTWARD DEVOTION TO GOD.

I’VE NEVER SAID THE VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIFE WAS EASY.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Charles S, him and the wife are going through empty nest syndrome.

pray for Harold P, his wife just passed away, 51 years of marriage, the are Rv’er’s and she passed in her sleep in their favorite state park.

Pray for Jennifer, her dad passed away, they had a rocky relationship.

We are not the world

February 19, 2018

It’s always good to know who your enemies are. And, may I tell you, beyond the shadow of any doubt or peradventure, that you that you have three enemies at least, and they are three big ones: the world, the flesh, and the devil. And, no Christian can afford to be ignorant of these enemies, for, to be ignorant is to be unprepared, and to be unprepared is to fall and to go down in shame and disgrace and ignominious defeat.

Now, of these three enemies, I want to just take one, and talk to you about that one enemy—and, that one enemy is the world. And, I’ve entitled this message “Your Friendly Enemy,” because the world seems so friendly, so charming, so innocuous, sometimes beautiful, sometimes helpful, sometimes harmless. But, I want to warn you that what the Bible calls the world is an enemy and a deadly enemy.

Now, what do we mean when we say the world? We have to be very careful because we’re certainly not talking about the earth—Planet Earth. Sometimes the word cosmos, that’s translated “world,” speaks of Planet Earth. For example, it does, in Acts 17, where the Bible says the Lord made the world and everything that is in it (Acts 17:24). There’s nothing evil about the rocks and the trees, the birds, the ocean, the fields, the mountains. Thank God for these things. Jesus said, “Consider the lilies how they grow” (Luke 12:27).

There’s nothing wrong with the material physical universe, and never think that there is. And, when the Bible warns about the world, it’s not warning about Planet Earth. Do you have that?

When the Bible warns about the world, it’s not warning about the people of the world. The Bible says, in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). There, he’s talking about the people of the world. Now, if God loves those people, we ought to love them. “Red and yellow, black, and white, they are precious in His sight.” He’s not talking, therefore, about the physical universe or the physical earth, he’s not talking about the people, some 5 billion of them now that live on Planet Earth.

When the Bible uses the word world, what does the Bible mean? When the Bible says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world”—1 John 2:15? Well, it’s the word cosmos. And, what does that mean? It means a system, an order.

there is a system that the Bible calls the world, which is the world of wickedness—and we’re told, not to love it. 1 John 2:15: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love [this system], the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

What we are talking about—this ungodly system—first of all, it has a prince. The prince of the world is the devil. Now, the Bible makes that plain. For example, in John 12:31, Jesus called the devil “the prince of this world” (John 12:31). What Jesus meant by that, is that Satan rules this ungodly system. He is the prince of this world. In John 14:30, again, he says, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30). That is, Jesus had no itch the devil could scratch. But, there again, Jesus called the devil “the prince of this world.” And, in John 16:11, He spoke, “of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:11).

This world has a prince, and the prince of this world is Satan himself. That’s the reason the Apostle John said, in 1 John 5:19, “And we know that… the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). The whole world, the whole system, lies in wickedness. And, the word wickedness there may be personified. It literally means the whole world lies in “the wicked one.” And, the word lieth there actually means, “to sleep in the bosom, or the lap, of one.” That is, Satan’s got this whole world in his hand.

We sing “God’s got the whole world in His hands,” but, actually, the Bible says that Satan has this world in his hands. This whole world lieth, sleepeth, in the bosom, in the lap, of the wicked one. So the world—put it down, number one—has a prince.

There is an enticing network of ideas and values that the devil has skillfully woven together in order to attract you as a child of God. For example, 1 Corinthians 2:12, speaks of the spirit of this world (1 Corinthians 2:12). 1 Corinthians 3:19, speaks of the wisdom of this world (1 Corinthians 3:19). 1 Corinthians 7:31, speaks of the passion of this world (1 Corinthians 7:31). And, so it doesn’t matter whether it’s from the schoolhouse to the courthouse, from Madison Avenue to Wall Street, whether it’s Hollywood or your neighborhood—it makes no difference. There is a philosophy that is permeating all that we see out there, and, my dear friend, it is your enemy.

The world wears a cloak or disguise, whenever a freedom is taken away from you that means the world is winning. Think of every dictator, every socialist, that is the world, trying to control all you do. Who rules the world, the devil, who controls the tv you watch, the media you listen to and read, the devil. If you haven’t put on the filter of God’s word and spirit you are being brainwashed into believing one thing. That you need the world, the system, government to take care of you. No self-reliance, no individuality, no ability to protect yourself.

Here sign up for free food, free housing, free education, free health care, surely you’ve heard the saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” there is no such thing as free, all this free stuff is borne on the back of the taxpayer, the distribution of wealth, socialism.

So any political figure in any country that promises to take care of you by robbing you of God given rights and freedoms is of the world and therefore of the devil. So how comfortable do you want to be? That’s what it really comes down to.

Now there is a difference between being provided for by God and a handout.

That moron standing on the street corner with the cardboard sign reading “God bless you.” is part the world, he’s depending on your guilt that your comfortable. He’s telling you he deserves to be taken care of, by you!

Ok, my blood pressure is shooting up, stay tuned.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Next time you feel overwhelmed by your obligations, consider what it must have been like for Moses. For the ancient Israelites, Moses served as the chief leader, primary lawgiver (delivering God’s laws) and sole judge in disputes.

 When Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, heard about these duties, he offered wise insight: “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone” (Ex 18:17–18).

Jethro recommended appointing other capable and trustworthy men to be judges. As he said, “That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you” (v. 22).

 For Christians, helping to share one another’s burdens is not just good advice; it’s a way we fulfill the law of Christ (see Gal 6:2).

  Some of you wonder what you are supposed to do with your life. Here is a vocation that will bring you more satisfaction than if you became a millionaire ten times over: Develop the extraordinary skill for detecting the burdens of others and devote yourself daily to making them lighter.

  Here are three ways to hone the skill of burden bearing:

  1. Be watchful for indirect opportunities—In many cases, we can’t bear others’ burdens directly. We can’t often take their place or do their tasks for them. We can, however, help them indirectly by reducing other strains and distractions in their life.

  1. Be willing to do small deeds—“So many of our good deeds are so small,” “They seem paltry. Instead of handing over the keys to a brand new car, we hand over a slightly over-cooked casserole. Instead of funding an extreme makeover for that person’s home, we show up on Saturday morning to help apply a new coat of paint.”

  1. Be ready for the boring—Burden bearing is often boring. It’s not exciting work that will garner you lots of attention. But it’s work that is absolutely essential. Don’t wait for a future time when you can be a hero; just be a help right now.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Robin M, 16 years of drug addiction, 23 years clean, her mom and dad both passed away within 8 days of each other. They were her grounding, pray she gets closer to the Lord.

Pray for Jessie d, in the early morning fog, his truck struck a hitch-hiker, the guy is in the hospital with a concussion, several broken bones and a ruptured spleen. The Highway patrol is still investigating.

 

the hard way

February 17, 2018

  “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39).

  John 3:16: The Savior laid down His life for His enemies. Have you ever thought of John 3:16 in that light? God, knowing that there would be those that would turn their backs on the greatest gift ever and the few who would accept the gift.

 1 John 3:16: We are to “lay down our lives for the brethren.” The death of the Cross spells love for both friend and enemy.

  “If we get a wrong idea about the inward working of the Cross we shall lose our own enjoyment of God’s love and fail to manifest that love to others. We have no doubt that, for the sinner, the Cross is the outstanding expression of God’s love, but when we realize that it brings us, as believers, into a very personal experience of being crucified together with Christ, we are apt to lose sight of the love of God.

  “We set our teeth, as though making up our minds that from now on everything is going to be grim and harsh. It almost seems that the carnal Christian may be cheerful and happy, but the crucified ones must expect to pass into a gloomier experience. Nothing is farther from the truth. The Cross will always bring us back to the love of God in ever-increasing fulness.”

The challenge of the Cross, the insistence that we have been crucified with Christ, may sometimes appear to be a dark and forbidding message. The Cross is not the end: It is the way through to His end. God is working for something beyond the immediate; He is working towards the glory.

  “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jer. 29:11).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

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