the long road

December 12, 2017

Why me? Why now? What is God doing? Suffering is a tool God uses to get our attention and to accomplish His purposes in our lives. It is designed to build our trust in the Almighty, but suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. Suffering forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources.

Suffering is not in itself virtuous, nor is it a sign of holiness. It is also not a means of gaining points with God, or of subduing the flesh (as in asceticism). When it is possible, suffering is to be avoided. Christ avoided suffering unless it meant acting in disobedience to the Father’s will.

“In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man may not discover anything that will be after him” (Eccl. 7:14)

All suffering is not, for instance, a product of our own foolishness, self-induced misery, or sin. It is true, however, that rarely does suffering not reveal areas of need, areas of weakness, and wrong attitudes that need to be removed like dross in the gold-refining process (cf. 1 Pet. 1:6-7).

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:6-7)

No matter the reason, even if it is not God’s discipline for blatant carnality, it is a purifier for none of us will ever be perfect in this life.

Philippians 3:12-14 12 Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The question we must each face is not, ‘if’ we are going to have trials in life, but how will we respond to them?

1 Thessalonians 3:3 so that no man may be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this.

1 Peter 4:19 Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Suffering itself is not the thing that produces faith or maturity. It is only a tool that God uses to bring us to Himself so we will respond to Him and His Word. It forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources. It causes us to put first things first. Ultimately, it is the Word and the Spirit of God that produces faith and mature Christlike character (Ps. 119:67, 71).

talk to God, talk to a friend, get counseling, change doctors, don’t give up, express your self, be honest with your self, cry, there is a place a time when you will find yourself closer to God.

and most of all find a reason to laugh.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

MARRIAGE 101

December 11, 2017

Marriage 101

We learn from the Bible that the Lord Jesus honored the marriage ceremony with His presence working there the beginning of His miracles. These miracles indicate that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the Sovereign and the Creator of the universe, and the wedding ceremony was the first used to demonstrate this glorious fact.

His purpose on earth was to “seek and to save that which was lost,” As the scriptures declare, “God commended His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The one who sanctifies the marriage union is the Savior of the universe. And the scripture says, “neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” And therefore His invitation to all who witness the wedding ceremony is to “come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”, “And Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.”

The Bible, which is the Word of God declares marriage to be honorable. It was ordained of God in the time of man’s innocency, before he had sinned against the Lord. Since marriage has always been a divine institution, it is to be entered into soberly and discreetly, as in His sight.

God Himself united the first members of human family, which fact alone should abolish all light and frivolous views of marriage. The bridegroom and bride are partners in life, each forsaking mother and father to cleave unto the other. They share a common name, a united household, a common experience, and a love which blesses and transcends all the cares and trials of life. The mathematics of love–Add and multiply joys while subtracting and dividing the sorrows.

Hopefully you recognize that as wedding vows, they have changed quite a bit since I got married 40+ years ago. Having done hundreds of weddings in hundreds of different settings one thing bothers me. Taking the ceremony seriously.

Number one, I won’t marry anyone that won’t have pre-marital counseling.

Number two, if they are sexually active before they wedding ceremony that have to stop having sex until after the ceremony (yes I’m serious).

Number three, are they equally yoked (that’s a whole different devotion idea I will have to go into.)

Number four, can I convince them that this is for life, “till death do we part”.

Number five, there ain’t no thing as a two headed rooster, someone has to be the head.  (another separate devotion).

Number six, it’s in the vow, “you cleave” stick to each other. Your parents come in second place to your marriage.

Get married and then move 1500 miles away from your family. If you’re daddy’s little girl, stop. Mister, grow up be a godly man.

Well this could go on forever, literally. Honor your marriage vows. Don’t get married just because the invitations went out. Go into it as a forever thing.

Good marriages don’t just happen, they take hard work and lots of maintenance.

Got questions, prayer requests? Send them to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

DIVINE BLESSINGS

December 10, 2017

  “To know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:19).

(and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God ESV).

  Our Father’s fulness of supply infinitely exceeds the sum of our needs. Positionally it is so: “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him.” Conditionally it is so: “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Col. 2:9, 10; Rom. 8:32).

  “As to the Gospel and the work of the Lord Jesus, I do not find that it is adequately apprehended that the benefit conferred by the Father is far beyond the need of the sinner. You cannot measure the benefit by the need. You may ask, ‘Does it not cover the need?’ It does; but you get no clue to the benefit from the measure of the need. You cannot find it in your own thoughts or expectations; it cannot be found anywhere save in our Father’s heart. It is ‘above all that we ask or think. . . . ‘

How little, indeed, do we enter into the fulness of the benefits of the Gospel! The elder brother in Luke 15 did not object to his brother being forgiven, but it was unwelcome to him to see the wonderful excess of grace bestowed on him by the Father. ‘Thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.’ Many have the sense of forgiveness without the knowledge of His abundance.

  “We shall never be able to glorify God, if we only take what we need.”

  “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory” (Eph. 3:20, 21).

“There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.”

THERE IS A FOUNTAIN (HYMN BY WILLIAM COWPER 1772, I told you I like really old hymns)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

MOTIVATION

December 9, 2017

  “Keep on seeking the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (Col. 3:7)

  When the Spirit of Christ has the hungry heart prepared, there will be surrender. No struggle; no questions. “We reason when we ought to repose; we doubt when we ought to depend. Confidence in our Father’s love is the true corrective in all things.” “For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him” (2 Tim. 1:12).

  “If a believer surrenders or lays aside anything without an adequate divine motive, he will either secretly hanker after it, and probably long to return to it, or he will take credit to himself for having given it up, and will thus reveal self-righteousness and spiritual pride.

 A certain school of religious teachers make much of ‘surrender’ as the way to attain blessing, but it ends in self-sufficiency, because the only motive that is presented for it is the acquisition of a better spiritual state, or power for service, or something of that kind. A divine motive and attraction is needed if souls are to be drawn into the race and prepared to surrender in a truly spiritual way, and this divine motive and attraction is our risen Lord in Glory.

  Communion with the Lord Jesus requires our coming to Him in the Word. Meditating upon His person and His work requires the prayerful study of His Word. Many fail to abide in Him because they habitually fast instead of feast.

  “Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us; for Thou also hast wrought all our works in us. O Lord our God, other lords beside Thee have had dominion over us; but by Thee only will we make mention of Thy name” (Isa. 26:12, 13).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

KEEP  MON ANGE IN PRAYER AS SHE RECOVERS FROM SURGERY.

SUDS SAVER

December 8, 2017

washingmachine1

SNOW DAY

Well we had almost 2 inches of heavy wet snow. Which for south Texas, that’s pretty rare.

My wife got home, changed into her ranch clothes and ran out side with our American Bulldog and she starts making Snow Angels and the dog is going nuts running through her first snowfall.

Ups jumps my wife and it’s a snowball fight.

We reminiscence about the snow we had growing up south of Buffalo New York or the heavy snows we had in Ohio. We were one time snowed in for 9 days.

The bible says we will be washed whiter than snow.(Isaiah)

A favorite evangelist friend of mine used to say that there was a giant Suds Saver washing machine in heaven and the blood of the Lamb was poured in and we would come out clothed in white with no more sin and that we would never get stained nor would that power ever fail to keep us white.

Not the most theologically correct statement but almost. But it always led up to a great altar call.

Question? Have you asked Jesus to save you and wash away your sins?

Well there’s this giant Suds Saver…….

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

26

December 6, 2017

So a few things you may have noticed about this devotional site.

  1. There are no ads

  2. There are no buttons to push

  3. There are pictures occasionally

  4. It’s about Theology

  5. It’s about Your Walk with God

  6. It’s about Growing into Christian Maturity

  7. We fight bad theology, crack pot preachers, bad books

  8. We dig rock and roll

  9. It is a daily devotion

  10. Some are long

  11. Some are short

  12. Prayer requests are taken through scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

  13. Questions are answered

  14. We do offer counseling

  15. I’ve been a Pastor and Professional Counselor for over 40 years.

  16. Everyone deserves a second chance

  17. Yes it is true that I don’t recommend authors unless they’ve been dead for 25 years (it takes that long for all the skeletons to come out of the closet and be time tested).

  18. And it’s kind of the same with Hymns, I listen to Hymns not gospel music (just my personal preference).

  19. I’m a veteran

  20. And lifetime NRA member

  21. Was a Pentecostal Pastor for 20 years

  22. Now I’m in the middle of the Road, and have gone in a semi-non-Pentecostal ministry, although I still believe in the gifts being used properly.

  23. Believe that Bible Reading and Prayer are to be the two major operations, habit, daily exercise, of all believers.

  24. Traveled extensively with all the big name whoop de doos of Pentecost during the 70’s and 80’s; point being ‘some’ of the them I wouldn’t let near a dog in heat. Other’s were stand up guys on the road and in hotels.

  25. And last but not least there is not one shred of political correctness or tolerance of non-biblical lifestyles.

  26. I’ve been married 43 years to the greatest, most lovely and supportive wife in the world. I still almost pass out when we kiss.

And that’s the short list. Not sure why the devotion went this way but it did.

I WANT TO HEARTILY THANK THE FAITHFUL THAT ENCOURAGE, PRAY AND BLESS US CONTINUALLY, GOD BLESS YOU GREATLY.

AND AS ALWAYS, SHOUT OUT TO US AT SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

 

INCOMPARABLE

December 5, 2017

INCOMPARABLE GAIN

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ” (Phil. 3:7).

As far as our Father is concerned, the early and middle years of the Christian life have to do primarily with our spiritual development. Maturity must underlie all abiding effectiveness. Most of our service during this time is learning how not to do it.

“Incalculable harm has been done to the deeper spirituality of the Church, by the idea that when once we are saved the using of the gifts in His service follows as a matter of course. No; for this there is indeed needed very special grace. And the way in which the grace comes is again that of sacrifice and surrender. We must see how all our gifts and powers are, even though we be children of God, still defiled by sin, and under the power of the old nature. We must feel that we cannot at once proceed to use them for God’s glory. We must first lay them at Christ’s feet, to be accepted and cleansed by Him.

We must feel ourselves utterly powerless to use them aright. We must see that they are most dangerous to us, because through them the flesh, the old nature, will so easily exert its power. In this conviction we must part with them, giving them entirely to the Lord. When He has accepted them, and set His stamp upon them, we receive them back, to hold them as His property, to wait on Him for the grace to daily use them aright, and to have them act only under His influence.

Above all the difficulty which Paul had to meet in his care of the churches, that which arose from our disposition to return to the law, or to ‘confidence in the flesh,’ was the most frequent and the greatest.

“I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord” (Phil. 3:8).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Prayer for Paul C. he’s kind of off the chart and needs to get back.

Pray for Donna H, fighting the Big C, she’s 49, three kids, married and she’s tough.

Pray for Stacey, 24, pregnant, left the Marines, and she has not much in the way of family support. We met at the VA hospital, I was sitting outside and she just came over and broke down. Pray her family reconciles. (she is the second woman I’ve met there that is in the same boat, she’s also dealing with feeling guilty about not still being in the Corp.)

HIJACKED

December 4, 2017

HI-JACKED

Susan Smith drowned her two toddlers by strapping them in their car seats and aiming her driver-less car into a lake. Political cartoonist John Deering drew a cartoon showing her car being hauled out of the lake, complete with a South Carolina license plate, a Baby-on-Board sign in the back window, and a Pro-Choice sticker on the rear bumper. There was no caption; there didn’t need to be. His point was clear: If it is wrong for a mother to choose to kill her toddlers, why is it not wrong to kill them a few months before?

A Planned Parenthood newsletter earlier this year ran an article titled, “Help Stop the Violence and Defend the Right to Choose.” The violence referred to was not killing babies, but killing abortion doctors. I’m against killing abortion doctors, but I’m also against Planned Parenthood which kills babies! Pro-choice means the choice to kill children who just aren’t as old as other children. The right to choose to kill your children should not be legal because it is not moral. Let’s drop the rhetoric.

The latest Planned Parenthood brochure says they are a good choice when it’s not convenient for you. Don’t wreck your plans your life call us when it’s inconvenient.

I want to recommend that you listen to Pastor Steven Davies, at Wisdom for the Heart ministries. And today’s sermon. 12/03/2017

He reads a speech by the president of Planned Parenthood, declaring that the services they provide are holy, sacred, and divine. That they are providing a sacred gift.

Ok, right now your blood pressure should have shot up, your fists curled and maybe a little cussing. Really, we can’t talk about our faith at work if you are a Christian, but an abortion clinic is holy, sacred and divine.

Dr. Walter Martin, the excellent author of the book “kingdom of the Cults.” Writes a great thesis in the beginning of his book, “we must agree what words mean.”

It started with Bill Clinton defining what sex meant, and now the language of God, of the Judeo-Christian world is being hijacked by abortionists. Do you want to know why? It because they are defying God, they are reprobates, their minds are darkened and they blaspheme God. It’s not politics it’s about the tower of Babel. What men think in their mind and imagination they will carry out against the wishes of their Creator.

Friends we need to pray for our country like never before and stop these ungodly people and their agenda.

if you have had an abortion, God loves you and forgives you.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

SHOUT

December 2, 2017

Shout at the devil

  Then saith Jesus unto him, Begone, Satan” (Matt. 4:10).

  There is a great difference between a foe, and; defeated foe. A conquered enemy can be put to valuable use in the hands of the victor, and that is exactly what God is doing with that old serpent. Satan is allowed to sift, and try the believer; he is used of God as a winnowing machine to clear away the chaff in us.

No power in present things allowed to Satan annuls the will of the invisible God.

 The story of Job shows clearly that it is God who sets the limit to the extent of the devil’s activities and power. From the human viewpoint the Cross looks like a colossal failure. In it the victory of the power of evil seemed complete. But ‘the weakness of God is stronger than men’ or the enemy, and by the power of weakness having ‘spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it’ (Col. 2:15).

It is inevitable that in a world like this the faith of Christians must be tried. For we are in an enemy’s land, and he resents our presence. And we have an enemy within our gates—the old man—that opposes us too. But take heart fellow believer, the trials of your faith will be found unto praise, honor and glory at the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:7). The happy outcome is a foregone conclusion. Trials work patience, experience, hope—and these are abiding qualities. Satan, as it were, is God’s scavenger, and all he can do is to remove out of your life those things that mar your joy, your growth, and your service.

  “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy [undo] the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

MORE RED MEAT

December 1, 2017

Fluff or Stuff

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,

Romans 5:12-19 On account of this, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death entered by means of sin, and so death spread into all men, because all sinned. 13 For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 But death reigned from Adam until Moses, even upon the ones who had not sinned in the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 And the gift is not like what resulted through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment from one transgression resulted in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift from many transgressions resulted in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more the ones who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 So then, as through one transgression condemnation came to all men, even so through one righteous act came justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Having described how God has provided His righteousness to sinful man through faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ (5:1-11), Paul begins in 5:12-19 to contrast that work of redemption with the work of the sin of Adam which created the need for redemption. In commenting on this passage, Jonathan Edwards wrote that Paul . . .

. . . had particularly spoken of the depravity and ruin of mankind in their natural state, in the foregoing part of this chapter; representing them as being sinners, ungodly, enemies, exposed to divine wrath, and without strength. This naturally leads him to observe, how this so great and deplorable an event came to pass; how this universal sin and ruin came into the world. . . [the Jews] were prejudiced against the doctrine of universal sinfulness, and exposedness to wrath by nature, looking on themselves as by nature holy, and favourites of God, because they were the children of Abraham . . . it was therefore exceeding proper, and what the apostle’s design most naturally led him to, that they should take off their eyes from their father Abraham, their father in distinction from other nations, and direct them to their father Adam, who was the common father of mankind, equally of Jews and Gentiles.

“. . . something has been accomplished by Christ which is as universal in its effectiveness as was the sin of the first man. Paul is no longer speaking just about the Church: his vision now includes the whole of humanity.” Christ is described in another letter as the “Last Adam” and is thus, by inference, God’s ideal Man fulfilling what Adam did not fulfill and yet was designed to fulfill. Christ ruled “. . . over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth,” and He thus demonstrated that He fulfilled God’s purpose for man as man. Christ also lived a life of obedience that Adam did not. This is seen dramatically portrayed in the two garden scenes. The garden of Eden provided Adam a choice to submit to the Father’s will or to die because of His sin. Adam willingly chose to sin, and this brought eternal ramifications for the whole human race. The garden of Gethsemene provided Christ a “choice” to submit to the Father’s will to die to pay for the sin of mankind in Adam, yet there was no other choice for Him, because as God’s ideal Man, Christ would obey the Father’s will above His own. Christ willingly chose to die, and this brought eternal ramifications for the whole human race. The two gardens and the two choices brought two results which are the topics of a theological comparison and contrast in Paul’s discussion in Romans 5:12-19.

The “Natural Headship” view. This view squares with the principle that each person pays for his own sins because each person was not only represented in Adam, but was actually present in Adam when He sinned. Paul said in v. 12 that death spread into all men because all sinned, each a sinner for his own sin. Calvin concurs:

Hence, even infants bringing their condemnation with them from their mother’s womb, suffer not for another’s, but for their own defect. For although they have not yet produced the fruits of their own unrighteousness, they have the seed implanted in them. Nay, their whole nature is, as it were, a seed-bed of sin, and therefore cannot but be odious and abominable to God. Hence it follows, that it is properly deemed sinful in the sight of God; for there could be no condemnation without guilt.

(this is the simple version, which I guess I should have put first)

The results of Adam’s sin and Christ’s righteous act have given the human race, all under condemnation in Adam, the potential for all to be righteous in Jesus Christ for those “who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness.”

An important application to the church today is to preach the gospel to all men in fulfillment of the Great Commission. All men being sinners in the one man, Adam, constitute the need for them to hear also of the righteousness provided through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Thank God for the Gift of Jesus Christ. The real reason for the Christmas season.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Ruby I, a very young 77, she fell today for the first time and is more devastated mentally than physically. (she kept saying this is what old women do).

Pray Jack P, needs to decide if the military is a career and a calling.