WINNING THE BATTLE

October 15, 2021

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The strategy for temptation targeting our spirit is to cultivate a deep, intimate, personal relationship with our Father God through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. We must also learn to hate (i.e., completely separate from) sin even as God hates it (Psalms 97:10.Proverbs 8:13.Hebrews 1:9). Then when temptation comes, we will realize;

This temptation threatens everything I hold dear! (Romans 6:23)

Jesus died a bloody death on the cross to purchase all of me! (1 Corinthians 6:20)

I have no right or authority to even consider this sin! (Ephesians 5:3)

We must “reckon” ourselves dead to sin (Romans 6:11,12). We must live our Christian life based on the fact that sinful nature’s power was broken for us by Jesus at Calvary. Consequently, we are under no obligation to obey its orders (1 Corinthians 9:27). We have been set free from sin, and the proper response is to read God’s emancipation proclamation to the insistent demands of the Adamic nature!

We must realize we are responsible for all sins that we commit after salvation. The believer must know that before salvation, we could not help but sin. After salvation, we sin as a free choice (similar to Adam in the Garden of Eden) (Romans 6:14).

We must count on the fact of our possession of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). This will free us from depending upon our own strength to live sinless (1). We will then recognize the necessity of being moment by moment filled (i.e., lead) by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). The Holy Spirit will then do two things for us:

  • He will suppress the activities of the evil nature (Galatians 5:16).

  • He will produce in the believer a Christlike life (2 Corinthians 3:18).

There are just two things that the believer must do to be moment by moment lead by the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39):

  • Sincerely desire His leading demonstrated by living an obedient life (Acts 5:32).

  • Ask the Lord Jesus for that leading and believe that He will do it (Luke 11:13).

Three Tough Questions:

  • How long will you live as if you are free to do your will and not God’s?

  • How long will you fellowship with a sin that crucified our Lord?

  • How long will you continue to sin against our Holy God?

We can start today to win the victory over this sin in your life by praying the following:

Heavenly Father, I rebelled against You by committing the sin of ________.  I now see that You were right in forbidding it – this sin is destroying my life. I deeply regret this act of rebellion against you, my Holy and Loving Father. Please forgive me of my sin and cleanse me now from this defilement.  I ask for Jesus’ victory over this sin to be displayed in my life that you might be glorified. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the presence of the Holy Spirit in my heart.  Lord Jesus, may those seeing and hearing me see You – be glorified in and through my life today!  Holy Spirit, please reveal the thoughts, words, actions, and attitude of the Lord Jesus in and through my life today.  Let the world see in me the one they so desperately need – the Lord Jesus Christ!  Thank you for continually leading me in life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

(Please read in addition Proverbs 28:13.1 John 1:9.2 Corinthians 7:9,10)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, prayer requests, just want to say hello, please feel free to email us, blessings.

CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS

October 14, 2021

Some of you may think this is so elementary, so basic, that you can skip right over it. Well let me tell you something, in a church of 500 people only 4 families did this exercise religiously, every day.

Can you imagine going to work naked (you wish you perv) or to school. Yet we step out into a world that hates us without any defense at all. This is why stable whole families are so important, a dad, a mom and “x” number of kids. All working together with the dad setting the tone. Everybody up on time, everybody knows what they are wearing (it was laid out the night before) everyone in and out of the bathroom on time, no cell phones on (or in possession) everyone at the breakfast table. And the father praying on the armor of God, every day, whether your kids are 4 years old or 24-year-old. In your house by your rules.

Remember, in school, we learned things by heart by first memorizing them with our brain but then persisted in saying them until we could quote them without even thinking about it (i.e., we learned it by (spiritual) heart (1)). We must do the same thing with scripture that addresses these fundamental teachings. Realize that the Apostle Paul was in prison in Rome (Ephesians 3:1;4:1;6:20) while teaching on this subject, so he used a Roman soldier’s armor as an object lesson to help us understand its importance (Ephesians 6:11-18).

Again, we put this armor on by learning by (spiritual) heart Bible verses that support our understanding of the following six armor pieces that represent foundational teachings of the Bible. Note that each of these pieces of armor is designed to neutralize Satan’s most successful strategy, which is causing us to fear rejection by God (Genesis 3:1-8), fear rejection (1) by others (which can lead to us preemptively reject them before they can reject us) and ultimately self-rejection. If you fear rejection by God, rejection by others, and ultimately reject yourself, then you are without God and without hope in the world and indeed very vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks (Ephesians 2:12. 1 Peter 5:8).

Rejected people, reject people, and easily feel rejected by others. Rejected people look for something to comfort this feeling of rejection, and Satan offers more sin (realize sin is what caused us to feel rejected in the first place!). While this may provide false comfort via temporary pleasure (Hebrews 11:25), it does not remove the feelings of rejection and make us whole. God alone can bring us true comfort that removes the feelings of rejection and makes us whole! (2 Corinthians 1:3,4)

Belt of Truth (Ephesians 6:14) The truth that holds everything together like a belt is that God is grace, mercy, and compassion, and He is for us and not against us (Exodus 34:6,7.Romans 8:31). That we are accepted not based on our performance but our FAITH in Jesus’ sinless performance (Ephesians 2:8,9). That we never have to hide from God when we sin but instead turn to Him to be cleansed of it (1 John 1:9). He is not holding out on us (i.e., not rejecting us) but has already given us everything He has, including Himself! (Romans 8:32.2 Peter 1:3,4). These things are always true, which means that they are TRUTH (Hebrews 13:8).

Breastplate of Righteousness (Ephesians 6:14. Isaiah 59:17) Our spiritual heart is protected knowing Jesus entered an exchange at the Cross of Calvary where He took our sin so that we might have His righteousness or right standing with God (i.e., we can stand right with God at His throne!) (2 Corinthians 5:21.Hebrews 4:16. 1 Thessalonians 5:8). This means we are as righteous as Jesus Christ is righteous! (1 Corinthians 1:30). This righteousness is not something we have earned but instead received by FAITH as a free gift (Romans 3:21-26;5:17;6:23). Consequently, we cannot lose this righteousness by our poor performance! Realize, when we sin, it is between Jesus and us and is none of Satan’s business! If we repent (i.e., realize that sin hurts our fellowship with God, change our mind to stop doing it with God’s help, and align with what God has said about it – that sin kills), then He is faithful to forgive the sin and to cleanse us from all the unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Nevertheless, the sin did not make us unrighteous, just like dirt that gets on sandaled feet does not make a freshly bathed body dirty – only the feet have dirt on them (John 13:10).

Sandals of the preparation that comes from the Gospel of Peace (Ephesians 6:15) We will not slip, trip or stumble due to wondering if God is angry with us because the war for mankind’s eternal fate is over! (Isaiah 54:8,9) God’s just wrath against sin has been fully satisfied having been released in full upon Jesus at the cross (Isaiah 53:4,5,10,11. Colossians 1:20). Consequently, the price for man’s sin has been paid in full by the God-Man Jesus Christ at the Cross of Calvary, thus canceling it (i.e., making it as if we never owed the debt!) (Colossians 2:13-15;1:13,14). We have peace with God, and the offer is available to all that will by FAITH accept it – the free gift of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ! (Acts 2:39. Ephesians 2:8,9. Romans 10:9,10,13)

Shield of Faith (Ephesians 6:16) The shield of FAITH stops the fiery thoughts of Satan that attempt to undermine our relationship with God. Note that all the other pieces of this armor are worn by FAITH, too. So how do we put it into use? When a fiery thought of the enemy comes, such as God is not pleased with you because you are not doing enough for Him (i.e., a works-based “condemnation” message), the shield goes up by doing what Jesus did when He was tempted by Satan (Luke 4:1-13). That is to say: “It is written” and finish with scripture that addresses the area of temptation. In this temptation, the following scriptures would work nicely to run off the tempter: Romans 8:1. Ephesians 2:8,9. Hebrews 11:6 ,etc. However, we must remember that to operate in faith, we must be living in the love of God (Galatians 5:6). That is because fear is the opposite of faith in God, and it is chased away by living in the love of God (1 John 4:18).

Helmet of Salvation (Ephesians 6:17. Isaiah 59:17) Our minds are protected and can be kept in perfect peace knowing that we can trust God to always be there for us (Isaiah 26:3. 1 Thessalonians 5:8). We know that nothing can separate us from God and that He desires to be with us forever! (Romans 8:38,39. Hebrews 13:5,6) That we never have to be anxious because God is more than enough for any and all situations and has already made provision for all of our needs in Christ Jesus! (Philippians 4:6,7,19) By not being anxious, we avoid the side effect of depression (Proverbs 12:25). Because God has saved us completely through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), we can always have hope no matter the darkness of our personal situation in life (1 Thessalonians 5:8). Furthermore, what we have hoped for becomes a reality when activated by faith (Hebrews 11:1).

Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), The sword of the Spirit, is wielded by saying the word of God – that the Holy Spirit prompts us to say – from our spiritual heart (Ephesians 6:18. Luke 12:12. Revelation 19:15). Note this is the “Sword of the Holy Spirit,” not our sword. That is, the Holy Spirit attacks the enemy of souls when we say from our spiritual heart the Word of God He brings to our remembrance (2 Corinthians 10:4,5. John 14:26). This is the same way we operated the shield of faith; however, the sword is an offensive weapon where the shield is defensive. The sword of the Spirit is sharper than any two-edged sword, and this double-edged sword is designed for stabbing the enemy to their death. (Judges 3:16-22. Hebrews 4:12,13)

In conclusion, to have the armor of God on, we must spend time studying and memorizing the Bible until we know it by (spiritual) heart (2 Timothy 2:15). An excellent way to learn scripture by (spiritual) heart is to say it over and over to God out loud in prayer! (Isaiah 55:10,11) Over time, we will find that this will change how we think and respond to the events in our lives (Romans 12:2). We will also cultivate our relationship with the Holy Spirit, and it is He who will cause us to live according to the Word of God and not the flesh (Ezekiel 36:27. Galatians 5:16. Isaiah 58:8). It is He who empowers the Word of God coming out of our spiritual hearts to rout the enemy! (James 4:7. Psalms 149:5-9. Romans 16:19,20) Lastly, we have also learned that we must walk in love and have hope activated by faith to wear the armor of God! (1 Corinthians 13:13)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Four hours in the hospital for a 20 minute foot surgery, but it went great thanks for all the prayers and the immense pain relief.

Keep Margie in prayer, she is just about at the end of her journey. Still smiling but not as cheerful, she is waiting for the heavenly clouds to part and go home to heaven.

It has been a long time, but we heard from Tommy today, and all is well. Still praying his sister forgives him.

Keep Steve H in prayer, health, strength, vision, guidance and prayers for his wife Pam, chronic knee pain.

SHOE LEATHER CHRISTIANITY

October 13, 2021

SHOE LEATHER CHRISTIANITY.

WHAT IS IT?

Sermons, Sunday School, Bible reading, all are worthless if there is not taught a way to apply it to our everyday living. Thus, shoe leather Christianity, it has to walk out the door with you and be able to be put to use.

One of the first lesson you need to learn especially if you are a new or young Christian is that a good percentage of the people attending your evangelical, or Pentecostal, Holiness church are fakes, wolves in sheep clothing, and they would like nothing better than to make you fall.

The simplest litmus test is how they act in church and how they act out of town.

The second most important lesson is realizing the devil will not just throw the temptation in your face (unless you are already more carnal that spiritual) no he will do it in increments.

For example;

How can a man of God fall into the trap of adultery? One wrong baby step at a time! The following breaks down the steps that many take leading to marital unfaithfulness or adultery. Note that each one is simply a “baby step” that any of us could take without seeing where it could ultimately lead.

  1. Sharing Common Interests.

  2. Mentally comparing with my mate.

  3. Meeting emotional needs.

  4. Looking forward to being together.

  5. Tinges of dishonesty with my mate.

  6. Flirting and teasing.

  7. Talking about personal matters.

  8. Minor yet arousing touch, squeeze, or hug.

  9. Special notes or gifts.

  • Inventing excuses to call or meet.

  • Arranging secret meetings.

  • Deceit and cover-ups.

  • Kissing and embracing.

  • Petting and high indiscretion.

  • Sexual intercourse.

(From Anatomy of Adultery – 15 Steps of Unfaithfulness by Keith Drury)

Someone quoted a tv speech to me the other day and it was the most vile, satanic, evil thing I think I’ve ever heard, with not one foul, dirty, cuss word in it. A woman of very loose morals made this comment; “I would never sleep with a married man with no kids, why should I ruin a married man’s life, no, I will only sleep with a married man, with 3-4 kids, that way I can wreck multiple generations”. That is evil incarnate.

Common deceptions or lies Satan uses to help men rationalize sexual sin:

  • Sexual sin is just part of being a man so there is nothing you can do about it.

  • You do not have a sexual addiction.

  • Partial obedience is good enough for God.  Remember, God is good!

  • Since my wife is unattractive or not sensitive to my needs; therefore, it is all right to have my sexual needs met somewhere else.  After all, God wants me happy.

  • You will only be happy with the woman who is your “soul mate”.  Consequently, it is permissible for you to be on the lookout for the right woman – your “soul mate”.

  • You married the wrong woman; therefore, it is all right to divorce her to marry the “right” woman because you were never really married in God’s eyes.

  • You can conquer your sexual problem(s) without God.

  • I was sexually abused; therefore, I cannot help myself.

  • Since I yielded some already, I might as well go all the way!

  • I sacrifice so much for the Kingdom of God that I deserve this indiscretion –  God understands.

  • No one faces the level of temptation that I face; therefore, God understands.

  • My wife is not meeting my needs; therefore, it is my right to have them met elsewhere – God understands

Strategies to stop the process of sin coming into our mind’s thoughts via our body’s senses:

Avert your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin from enticing people or things – immediately! (Job 31:1.1  Thessalonians 4:3-5.1  Corinthians 6:13-20. Galatians 5:19-21)

  • Concentrate on the other side of the road when female joggers go by (and do not look in the rearview mirror at them either!)

  • Change channels when sexual commercials are aired.

  • Do not rent any movies that are unsuitable for children, etc.

  • Install Web Blocking software.

  • Unsubscribe from provocative cable/satellite channels.

  • Block provocative channels that you cannot unsubscribe.

  • Go on a water fast because the desire for food is stronger than the desire for sex (the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach). (Psalms 35:13)

  • Flee – run away from the tempting person, places or things.

  • Have a strategy to avoid areas of temptation planned in advance.

Put these to good work and you will win the battle for moral purity.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Keep the Happy Zion Church in your Prayers as they continue to seek a perfect (for them) pastor.

Keep Steve H in prayer, vim and vigor, guidance, encouragement, for his wife Pam, healing of her knees.

Keep Bill and Lois in prayer, all the things you hate about old age is hitting them.

Pray for me to lose weight, I have gained 50 lbs of covid fat. (not enough activity).

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.

Over the weekend I was laying sub-flooring, the way my grandfather taught me. One nail every 4 inches in every direction. As we hammered along, one of the younger guys asked me why because he was doing every 6 inches. I told him 40 years from now his floor will squeak, mine will not.

Then he asks, “I see you hammer with both your left hand and your right, how do you do that?” “Simple, I am ambidextrous.” “What does that mean?” My answer, “it means I can screw something up easily with either hand.”

An expert is a drip under pressure.

Somethings come easily to some folks and not to others. My grandfather used to get really upset with me about building car engines. I can take one apart and put it back together. But you cannot hand me a box with all the parts in the box and then say “put it together”. I have to see it first the right way than I can put things back together.

The one thing we both could do that drove people nuts was shoot. We could pick up any rifle (with open sights) and always hit the bullseye. We won more turkey shoots and competitions than any one else around. I had beat a guy that was the expected winner quite easily and he was ticked. He thought we had somehow cheated. There was a rack of guns there and numerous targets all different shapes and at different distances. I told him to pick a rifle and pick a target and I would shoot it. Not always exactly dead center every time but pretty close to it.

Now he was really angry as quite a group of guys had gathered round. He demanded I tell him my secret, how was I doing it. My answer really torqued him off but it is the truth. “the bullet goes where I want it to go”.

There is no secret, I’ve been shooting since I was 5 years old, and being dirt poor, I was what was called a “pot shooter”. I would get handed two bullets by my grandfather and told to go out and kill dinner or ‘fill the pot’. You learn not to miss and I never fired an automatic or semi auto until the military.

So now the cross over to devotions.

You do not want to miss the target, so do not do anything wrong and you will hit it.

DO NOT READ THE BIBLE THE WRONG WAY.

Here are nine common but wrong ways to read the Bible:

  1. The warm fuzzies approach—reading the Bible for a glowing, subjective experience of God, ignited by the words of the text, whether we understand what they actually mean or not. Result: frothy reading.

  2. The grumpy approach—reading the Bible out of nothing but a vague sense that we’re supposed to, to get God off our backs for the day. Result: resentful reading.

  3. The gold mine approach—reading the Bible as a vast, cavernous, dark mine, in which one occasionally stumbles upon a nugget of inspiration. Result: confused reading.

  4. The hero approach—reading the Bible as a moral hall of fame that gives us one example after another of heroic spiritual giants to emulate. Result: despairing reading.

  5. The rules approach—reading the Bible on the lookout for com- mands to obey to subtly reinforce a sense of personal superiority. Result: Pharisaical reading.

  6. The Indiana Jones approach—reading the Bible as an ancient document about events in the Middle East a few thousand years ago that are irrelevant to my life today. Result: bored reading.

  7. The magic eight-ball approach—reading the Bible as a road map to tell me where to work, whom to marry, and what car to buy. Result: anxious reading.

  8. The Aesop’s Fables approach—reading the Bible as a loose collection of nice stories strung together independently, each with a nice moral at end. Result: disconnected reading.

  9. The doctrine approach—reading the Bible as a theological repository to plunder for ammunition for our next theology debate at Starbucks. Result: cold reading.

It would be horrible if I did not mention the right way.

There is some truth to each of these approaches. But to make any of them the dominant lens through which we read Scripture is to turn the Bible into a book it was never intended to be. The right way to read the Bible is the gospel approach. This means we read every passage as somehow contributing to the single, overarching storyline of Scripture, which culminates in Jesus.

Just as you wouldn’t parachute into the middle of a novel, read a paragraph out of context, and expect to understand all that it means, you cannot expect to understand all that a passage of Scripture means without plotting it in the big arc of the Bible’s narrative. And the main story of the Bible is that God sent his Son, Jesus, to do what Adam and Israel and we ourselves have failed to do—honor God and obey him fully. Every word in the Bible contributes to that message. Jesus himself said so. In a theology debate with the religious elite of the day, Jesus told those who claimed to be faithful to Moses and thus opposed to Christ, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me” (John 5:46). Jesus told his disciples, “Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms”—shorthand for the entire Old Testament—“must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44).

The Bible is good news. It must be read as gospel. And the result of this approach is transforming reading. We grow. As Luther said:

“He who would correctly and profitably read Scripture should see to it that he finds Christ in it; then he finds life eternal without fail. On the other hand, if I do not so study and understand Moses and the prophets as to find that Christ came from heaven for the sake of my salvation, became man, suffered, died, was buried, rose, and ascended into heaven so that through him I enjoy reconciliation with God, forgiveness of all my sins, grace, righteousness, and life eternal, then my reading in Scripture is of no help whatsoever to my salvation.

I may, of course, become a learned man by reading and studying Scripture and preach what I have acquired; yet all this would do me no good whatever.”

The Defining Habit

So as you seek to grow in Christ by becoming a deeper human, accept and embrace the truth that you will go deeper with Christ no further than you go into Scripture. To read Scripture is to read of Christ. To read it is to hear his voice. And to hear his voice of comfort and counsel is to hear an invitation to become the human being God has destined you to be.

The Bible is good news, not a pep talk.

So build Bible reading into your life in the very same way you build breakfast into your life. After all, we humans are habit-forming creatures. Our morning coffee, our evening dessert, the way we care for our vehicles, our methods for decompressing such as jogging or movies or bird-watching — and all our habits reflect an acquired taste, over a long period of time, resulting in daily rituals without which we do not feel we have lived a normal day.

And I want to say: Make the Bible your central daily ritual. Make it your habit without which you have not lived a normal day. By no means allow this to become a law towering over and condemning you. God’s favor does not take a hit when you fail to read the Bible some days. But consider yourself undernourished if skipping that spiritual meal becomes normal. Fight to stay healthy. Stay hooked up to the IV of gospel and help and counsel and promise by reading the Bible each day. Draw life and strength from the Scriptures.

To switch back to our original metaphor: take your asthmatic soul in one hand and the oxygen tank of the Bible in your other hand, and bring the two together. Reading the Bible is inhaling.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Blessings to you all for the prayers, Rosie says thanks, Margie is still smiling and fighting the good fight. I hope I am that brave when life gets that hard.

KNOW AND OBEY

October 1, 2021

Know and Obey to Be Happy in Jesus

1 JOHN 2:3–11

Main Idea: True followers of Jesus will have assurance in their salvation because they know, love, and obey Him.

  1. Obey Christ’s Commands and Enjoy the Assurance of Salvation (2:3–6).

  2. You will know that you know Him (2:3–4).

  3. You will know His love perfectly (2:5).

  4. You will know you are abiding in Christ (2:6).

  5. Love One Another and Walk in the Light of Salvation (2:7–11).

  6. God’s love has been with us since conversion (2:7).

  7. God’s love is seen most truly in Jesus and His followers (2:8).

  8. God’s love exposes the darkness of hatred (2:9–11).

Is it possible to know God and to live like the Devil? Is it possible to truly know God and have no life change? Adrian Rogers answered these questions this way: “Study the Bible to know about God. Obey the Bible to really know God” (Adrianisms, 33). The apostle John would agree. He explained in 1 John that it is one thing to say you know God, but it is another to really know Him. To help us be “sure that we have come to know Him” (2:3), John provides a threefold test that he returns to again and again in this letter. We can put them in the form of three questions. First, do I believe the right things about Jesus? We may call this the theological test. Second, do I obey the commands of God? This is the moral test. Third, do I love others? This is the ethical test. John addressed the theological test in 1:5–2:2. Now he will address the moral test in 2:3–6 and the ethical test in 2:7–11. His goal is that you and I would live in the assurance of our salvation and thereby be happy in Jesus all the days of our lives.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Keep Caliste Burt in prayer, she has been having headaches, with 2 inoperable brain tumors it is not always easy to tell allergies from something more serious. So more testing is coming up.

Remember Margie in prayer, according to the doctors she was supposed to be dead by now, well she is not out playing golf, but neither is she dead. Still up and around and still has that great sense of humor.

Keep Steve H, in prayer, vim and vigor, encouragement, guidance. We are all believing God to heal Pam of her knee pain.

NOT REALLY A GHOST

September 28, 2021

I read a staggering statistic this morning, “only 6% of evangelicals believe the Holy Spirit is real.”

WOW

6% of evangelicals, part of me wants to say how is that possible, but I know why. We are no longer a Christian nation and the church has failed miserably to be both salt (preserving) and light (evangelism) to the world. The United States is now a pluralistic nation. We are a nation of relativism. Hey, you believe what you want to believe but do not push your beliefs on me.

Well here are the Facts.

As early as apostolic times, false teachers doubted or denied the personhood of the Holy Spirit. Some pictured the Spirit as a force or influence exerted by God rather than a person. This tendency may derive in part from the word “spirit,” from the Latin spiritus, which means “breath.” The Greek word pneuma and the Hebrew word ruach both have the same meaning of “breath” or “wind,” as well as “spirit.” If we think of the Holy Spirit as merely the “breath” of God, then it is possible to perceive Him as an impersonal force rather than a distinct being having a separate identity from the Father. However, divine revelation is specific in its explanation that God is spirit (not material or physical). Like the wind, God exerts power and force while being invisible by nature. Observe the following proofs from Scripture (of which there are many) of the personhood of the Holy Spirit, as well as His separate identity from the Father:

  1. Personal pronouns are used in relation to the Holy Spirit: In spite of the fact that the Greek word for “spirit” is in neuter gender, the demonstrative pronoun ekeinos, “that One,” was used in John 16:13–14 to refer to the Holy Spirit. Paul used a masculine, relative pronoun to refer to the Spirit in Ephesians 1:13–14.

  2. Personal characteristics are ascribed to the Holy Spirit:

  3. a) Intelligence: The Holy Spirit is one who reveals the things of God (1 Cor. 2:10–12). Furthermore, “the word of wisdom” and “the word of knowledge” are gifts given by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:8).

  4. b) Emotion and feeling: The Holy Spirit loves (Rom. 15:30) and is grieved (Isa. 63:10; Eph. 4:30).

  5. c) A will: Gifts are distributed to people according to the will of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:11).

  6. Personal actions are attributed to the Holy Spirit:

  7. a) He speaks (Acts 13:2; Acts 21:11; Rev. 2:7; Rev. 2:11; Rev. 2:17; Rev. 2:29).

  8. b) He testifies (John 15:26).

  9. c) He teaches (John 14:26).

  10. d) He intercedes (Rom. 8:26–27).

  11. e) He guides (John 16:13; Acts 16:6).

  12. f) He gives commands and ordains (Acts 13:2; Acts 20:28).

  13. g) He works miracles (Acts 8:39; Rom. 15:19).

  14. Personal reactions are ascribed to the Holy Spirit: The feelings resulting from certain human actions reveal the personhood of the Holy Spirit:

  15. a) He may be tested (Acts 5:9).

  16. b) He may be resisted (Acts 7:51).

  17. c) He may be lied to (Acts 5:3).

  18. d) He may be insulted and blasphemed (Mark 3:29–30; Heb. 10:29).

  19. Personal relationships are maintained by the Holy Spirit:

  20. a) With the Father: In the baptismal formula, the Spirit is associated on an equal plane, in name and personal identity, with the Father and the Son (Matt. 28:19).

  21. b) With Christ: The Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ and declare truths that relate to Him (John 16:13–14).

  22. c) With believers: The apostles sought the will and good pleasure of the Holy Spirit in forming the policies of the local church (Acts 15:28).

  1. Additional names of the Holy Spirit

It was observed earlier that God’s names portray His character. The names of God are not mere designations or identifications; they reveal a facet of God’s nature, attributes, or works. This same concept holds true with the names of the Holy Spirit. There are about 350 passages in the Scripture that reference the Holy Spirit in which more than 50 names or titles are discernable. The list below, while not comprehensive, is intended to provide an overview of the titles that add to the understanding of the Spirit’s nature or activity:

    The Spirit of God (1 Cor. 3:16)

    The Spirit (John 3:6)

    The Spirit of the LORD, Yahweh (Isa. 11:2, ASV)

    The Spirit of the living God (2 Cor. 3:3)

    The Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9b)

    The Spirit of His Son (Gal. 4:6)

    The Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:19)

    The Spirit of holiness (Rom. 1:4)

    The Spirit of truth (John 16:13)

    The Spirit of glory (1 Pet. 4:14)

    The eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14)

    The Holy Spirit of promise (Eph. 1:13)

    The Helper (John 16:7)

I hope this helps you understand more of the nature of the Holy Spirit and that your faith and knowledge allow you to believe in the very real personhood of that part of the trinity known as the Holy Spirt.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please pray for Jac Spruce, she was taken to the emergency room today very ill and doctors are not sure what is wrong with her.

Keep in prayer Mary A, her husband is also quite ill and his family have never taken to her and are treating her horribly.

Remember to pray for Steve H, vim and vigor, guidance and encouragement. Keep his wife Pam in prayer, complete healing of her knees is our prayer.

Pray for Cheyenne, salvation and a better self image.

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