DARKNESS IS ON THE RUN

October 20, 2021

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Love One Another and Walk in the Light of Salvation

1 JOHN 2:7–11

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

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

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

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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

THE BARD

October 17, 2021

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There is an old illustration that’s hundreds of years old, but you might not have heard it yet and it does bear repeating.

In an old town in the Highlands of Scotland there was a small village that every summer they had a fair with all kinds of contests with rewards for the best tomato to the strongest man.

As it would be this particular summer a famous troupe’ of thespians happened to be traveling through the village and decided to stop and rest and perhaps even compete.

A master of the Bard (Shakespeare) decided that he could easily win when it came to the vocal speaking contest. Now it was time and the Bard stood and quoted the 23rd Psalm, masterfully, skillfully, his voice a resonant musical instrument pouring out a stirring rendition. The crowd applauded and threw coins to the talented Bard.

Then an old woodsman, grey haired and bent and hobbled with age and toil, painfully climbed the stairs to the podium. And in a voice just above a whisper, rendered his version of the 23rd Psalm. When done people bent their heads in prayer and others loudly praised the Lord. The Famous Bard approached the woodsman and said, “I truly know the oft quoted Psalm, but you surely know the heartbeat of the Shepherd.

There are those today who read the bible as an exercise in discipline, or read it out of curiosity, some for history and no doubt a host who seek to find errors or fault.

Yet blessed are those who read to find the Master and Savior of their souls.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Have a blessed week.

BE ONE TOO!

October 9, 2021

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

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

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

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

SO WE ARE CALLED TO LIGHT.

WE ARE ALSO CALLED TO BE SALT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BE BIG

BE BOLD

BE BRAVE

BE SALTY

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

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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

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

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

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

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

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.

PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT

September 19, 2021

OUTSIDE MY NORTH BEDROOM WINDOW

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit… New American Standard Bible: 1995 update

Jude exhorts the readers onward to faithfulness in the practice of Christian virtues. They should: (1) pray in the Spirit, (2) keep themselves in the love of God, (3) await the return of the Lord Jesus, (4) show mercy, (5) snatch others from the brink of disaster, and (6) avoid those who have fallen prey to false teaching. Some unbelievers will be won to Christ through tenderness and demonstration of compassion; “others we save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (v. 23). Attentiveness to the direction of the Holy Spirit in witnessing is crucial.

  Empowerment of believers: The indwelling Holy Spirit provides each believer with the power to “put to death the deeds of the flesh” and thereby overcome and resist sin (Rom. 8:2–4; Rom. 8:11–14; Gal. 5:16–24).

  1. a) Intercession: The Holy Spirit prays on behalf of believers (Rom. 8:26–27). The omniscient Holy Spirit knows the mind of God and the will of God for each person; therefore, He is able to direct us in prayer so that we can pray in accordance with His perfect plan.

  2. b) Divine guidance: The Spirit instructs and guides believers so that they may act in accordance to God’s will (Mark 13:11).

Praying in the Spirit is mentioned three times in Scripture. First Corinthians 14:15 says, “So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.” Ephesians 6:18 says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Jude 20 says, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” So, what exactly does it mean to pray in the Spirit?

The Greek word translated “pray in” can have several different meanings. It can mean “by means of,” “with the help of,” “in the sphere of,” and “in connection to.” Praying in the Spirit does not refer to the words we are saying. Rather, it refers to how we are praying. Praying in the Spirit is praying according to the Spirit’s leading. It is praying for things the Spirit leads us to pray for. Romans 8:26 tells us, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

Some, based on 1 Corinthians 14:15, equate praying in the Spirit with praying in tongues. Discussing the gift of tongues, Paul mentions “pray with my spirit.” First Corinthians 14:14 states that when a person prays in tongues, he does not know what he is saying, since it is spoken in a language he does not know. Further, no one else can understand what is being said, unless there is an interpreter (1 Corinthians 14:27-28). In Ephesians 6:18, Paul instructs us to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” How are we to pray with all kinds of prayers and requests and pray for the saints, if no one, including the person praying, understands what is being said? Therefore, praying in the Spirit should be understood as praying in the power of the Spirit, by the leading of the Spirit, and according to His will, not necessarily as praying in tongues, although the thought is not completely ruled out. .

6:18       With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

This verse introduces the general character of a believer’s prayer life: 1) “all prayer and petition” focuses on the variety; 2) “at all times” focuses on the frequency (cf. Ro 12:12; Php 4:6; 1Th 5:17); 3) “in the Spirit” focuses on submission, as we line up with the will of God (cf. Ro 8:26, 27); 4) “be on the alert” focuses on the manner (cf. Mt 26:41; Mk 13:33); 5) “all perseverance” focuses on the persistence (cf. Lk 11:9; 18:7, 8); and 6) “all the saints” focuses on the objects (cf. 1Sa 12:23).The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Eph 6:18).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Thanks for all the likes and shout outs from you all, I appreciate the emails and notes.

Questions, comments, prayer requests, just saying hello, do it here and send us an email.

SOUL CARRIAGE

September 9, 2021

SOUL CARRIAGE

Matthew 6:25-34

English Standard Version

Do Not Be Anxious

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

I heard a person today use the words “soul carriage” instead of saying “our body” throughout the presentation she was making at a women’s retreat. The emphasis of her message is that women spend way to much time (as compared to men) worrying about their looks.

The speaker was emphasizing that if we would spend less time worrying about our “soul carriage” we would grow spiritually, spend less money on ourselves, have more fun, less stress, because all our body does is carry our eternal soul.

Now, she was not saying do not take care of your body, but it is way less important than what we think it is.

Avoid fads, eat anything in moderation, do not compare yourselves to others, there is no magic formula, pill, or super food that will make you smarter, prettier or skinny overnight.

Accept how you look, God made you to look the way your do, including scars, wounds, permanent injuries. (remember He is either in control of everything or nothing). Including your temperament and mental capabilities.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Praying for salvation for; Lauren, Nicole, Tara, Anne, Cheyenne, Cristiana, Oscar, Hunter, Tavon, Lubbock, Philip, Drew, Norma Perales and her husband Rick and adult son Rick Jr.

MEN ARE FROM PLUTO

September 8, 2021

Men are from Pluto.

Had a conversation with 4 guys, old friends all married over 30 years; here was the question I put to them. Now these are friends that we have been through hell with each other, buried bodies together (figuratively) rode the river with. We do not hold back from each other. We are accountable to each other for our actions.

Have you ever had an affair?

All answered no

Then I asked why not?

Here were the answers.

  1. I was never offered the chance

  2. I was afraid if it started I might really like it

  3. I didn’t want to get caught

  4. I wouldn’t want to hurt my wife.

Now I went into the next room and asked their wives the same question.

The answers were.

  1. I love my husband

  2. Duh, my marriage vows.

So there you have it, deep psychological insight into the male mind.

Tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor when he made men and women so different.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Keep praying for Margie, I think the doctors will be surprised she is going to fight this cancer way longer than they think possible.

Happy Zion church, believing God for a new pastor.

Keep praying for Steve H, vim and vigor, bless his study time and that it blesses him. His wife Pam needs healing for her painful knees.

All my tests came back, there is no external cancer anywhere on my body. Although they cannot figure out what some of the strange marks are on my body. (secretly I think my wife is beating me in my sleep).(that is also a joke).

FALLEN

September 3, 2021

(Romans 1:18–32) 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

God’s wrath focuses on those who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” God’s wrath is not like human wrath. It is not an uncontrolled explosion of anger but a settled and consistent holy reaction to that which is contrary to the nature and will of God. His wrath is of a personal sort, directed toward offenses against Himself (“ungodliness”) and toward offenses against others (“unrighteousness of men”).

1:19 A naive notion that those who have never explicitly heard the gospel are not under condemnation is corrected in this passage. That which may be intuitively known about God has been placed in the minds (heart, conscience, cf. 2:15) of all men by God. This does not refer to the cosmos itself, which is an additional witness (Ps. 19:1; Acts 14:17). Rather, the “invisible attributes” of God are clearly seen and comprehended, stressing two great truths: (1) the fact of the existence of the godhead or deity, and (2) the eternal power of that deity. The apostle’s conclusion is that all men are, therefore, without excuse (v. 20).

1:21–23 Paul continues the theme of the accountability of all men by listing four ways in which men have demonstrated their rebellion against God: (1) Although men realize God’s existence, they do not glorify Him (v. 21). (2) Men are universally guilty of ingratitude to God (v. 21). (3) In the process of time men become increasingly “futile” (“empty” or “vain”) in their imaginations, darkening their minds (v. 21). (4) Finally, the process climaxes in a tendency to distort the concept of God and of His creation (v. 23). From this develops idolatry (v. 23) and distortion, even of the biological designs of the eternal God (1:24–27).

1:24–28 Three times God is said to give sinful man over to the evil desires of his heart (vv. 24, 26, 28). Within these declarations is a note of sorrow, together with a pronouncement of judgment.

1:24 Homosexuality is pictured by Paul not as the ultimate sin but as the ultimate distortion of God’s creative genius. When the human family indulges in sexual behavior antithetical to that for which they were biologically, psychologically, and emotionally designed, the “futile” imagination has so “darkened” the foolish heart (v. 21) that it is virtually impossible to view anything as God intended. To these awesome sins of homosexuality and sodomy, Paul applies six terms of evaluation: (1) “uncleanness” (v. 24), (2) “lusts” (v. 24), (3) “dishonor” (v. 24), (4) “vile passions” (v. 26), (5) “against nature” (v. 26), and (6) “shameful” (v. 27). After listing a host of other iniquities, Paul concludes the section with the promise of the certainty of God’s judgment against all such sin. Additional passages demonstrate that homosexuality is a hideous sin which falls under the scope of God’s judgment (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9).

1:32 This verse seems to imply that to “approve of those who practice” evil deeds is worse than the deeds themselves. In a sense this is true. To set up a favorable atmosphere in which evil is encouraged or applauded may have a much more disastrous effect ultimately than the committing of a single deed, because more evil eventually results.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember to pray for our salvation list, Lauren, Tara, Cheyenne, Nicole, Anne, Drew, Oscar, Cristina, Norma P and her husband Rick and adult son Rick Jr.

Keep Margie in prayer, doctors say a month tops. She is a tough cookie.

Keep the Happy Zion Church in prayer as they are still waiting on God to bring them a pastor.

Keep Steve H in prayer, encouragement, and guidance in the ministry, blessing for both him and his wife Pam, who needs relief from painful knee pain.

OPEN HEARTS, OPEN HOMES

September 2, 2021

One of the saddest declines in the church that really bothers me is the decline in after church fellowship. Not counting going out to dinner after church. But real extracurricular fellowship, “hey, come over to my house after church” or “lets all go out camping.” Not going to happen.

Why?

Because folks are afraid they will be embarrassed, our home is just average, my kids are rude, my husband is unsaved, your daughter is a slut and I do not want my perfect little angel to be corrupted (yes, I have actually heard a family use the last excuse).

The widow at Zarephath was down to her last meal. Drought had reduced her resources to a handful of flour and a little olive oil, and she expected that she and her son would soon starve. Even if she had wanted to show hospitality by fulfilling Elijah’s request for a piece of bread, she couldn’t have. She had nothing to give.

Or so she believed. But at his prompting the widow showed hospitality to Elijah anyway, and as he had promised, the “jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry” (1Ki 17:16).

The widow’s story provides us with one of the fundamental ways of practicing hospitality: simply share what you have. Our meals might be modest, but we can share them in a spirit of generosity and love. And if our hospitality is directed toward those who cannot repay us (see Lk 14:13–14), then it shouldn’t matter. To those who have nothing to eat, any meal can be a feast.

Along with that primary rule—simply share what you have—keep in mind these three realities when practicing hospitality:

  1. Hospitality must be offered without grumbling—Peter made it unmistakably clear: we’re to offer hospitality to one another without grumbling (see 1Pe 4:9).

  2. Hospitality is not the same as “entertaining”—Entertaining (providing amusement or enjoyment, such as at a dinner party) has little to do with real hospitality if the goal is to impress others rather than to serve.

Entertaining says, “I want to impress you with my beautiful home, my clever decorating, my gourmet cooking.” Hospitality, however, seeks to minister. It says, “This home is not mine. It is truly a gift from my Master. I am his servant, and I use it as he desires.”

  1. Hospitality is not without risk—With the crucifixion of Jesus, the world displayed the ultimate betrayal of the hospitality shown to us by God. Since that was the way we treated the most perfect host, we shouldn’t be surprised when the practice of hospitality proves costly. We are not above our master, like him we will endure suffering, persecution, and perhaps even death as we approach the end times and as we learn love through the practice of hospitality. 1 Kings 17:7.

Do not be ruled by fear, take a risk and ask someone to come over just to talk. If your nervous ask your pastor who is “safe” to come over and visit.

I once attended a church for 18 months filling a counseling contract with the church. Every Sunday we asked someone to go out to dinner with us, “I’m buying”. And no one ever accepted, they were afraid that in a counseling session I might let something slip or worse yet, “psycho-analyze them.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Margie, in her 60’s, doctors told her she has maybe a month to live. And yet she still had a joke for me today.

Keep Steve H in prayer, gearing up to be seriously committed to the ministry. Blessings and encouragement. Keep his wife Pam in prayer for chronic knee pain.

Keep my wife Sharon in prayer, she was verbally assaulted today and I mean severely, a vindictive, God hating, anti Christian, nut job. When my wife offered to pray for her as this lady shared a painful recent event. The woman further went online and continued her rant.

Keep Lauren in prayer, she is self destructing and defying all authority. She will even run a stop sign because it is a rule, a law, she is a female anti-christ. She will not follow any rules.