Sola Scriptura

July 19, 2018

  “That I may know him” (Phil. 3:10).

  “The one unchanging factor on this earth is the Word of God. It is upon the written Word, and in the Living Word, that the Christian life is to be established. Yet there are Christians throughout the world who are seeking to get along on the basis of questionable blessings, and fluctuating self-centered experiences.

 How many rest on the initial step of the new birth, ‘Begotten again. . . of incorruptible seed through the word of God’ (1 Peter 1:23), and fail to press on to know ‘Begotten. . . by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. . . unto an inheritance’ (1 Peter 1:3).

  “If our hearts are really true to Him we may be assured He will lead us on in the knowledge of Himself just as fast as we are able to advance. He knows how much we can take in, and He does not fail to minister to us the very food that is suitable to our present need. We may sometimes feel inclined to be impatient with ourselves because we do not make more rapid progress, but we have to learn to trust the Lord with our spiritual schooling.

 If our eyes are upon the Lord Jesus, and we follow with steadfast hearts as He leads us, we shall find that He leads us by the right way and brings us through all the exercises we need in order to form our souls in the appreciation of Himself, and of all those blessed things which are brought to pass in Him. We have to trust Him all the way through, and to learn increasingly to distrust ourselves.

The enemy will encourage you to do anything but carry out the systematic, Spirit-taught study of the Bible. He will give religious experiences, feelings and pious thoughts—all apart from God’s Word. Do not be deceived. The Scriptures are our only sustenance—there are no substitutes. Sola scriptura, the Word of God only.

  “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord” (Hosea 6:3).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Karey, a seeking heart, nearing the vanishing point (salvation). Think about it.

Pray for Thomas L, eye surgery on Friday.

Pray for Jennifer, her diabetes is getting worse. She fears losing her sight.

A NORMAL WEDDING?

July 14, 2018

After doing hundreds of weddings I have arrived at a new standard for the marriages I will perform in the future.

I’ve done biker weddings, LA gang bangers, moonshiners, rednecks, Klansmen,

Traditional Mexican weddings, an Inuit wedding, one lady that this was her 7th marriage, pregnant (NOT HER), a few virgins, no cousins and one special dispensation to do a catholic wedding.

Indoors, outdoors, in homes, hospitals, hospice, one prison wedding, small churches, huge churches, an arena, in the woods, on beaches, hotels, ranches and a racetrack.

A wedding where everyone was armed, more than a few military weddings, a Scottish wedding. Everything but skydiving.

That was then, this is now.

I will only do weddings in church, they must have 8 pre-wedding counseling sessions and they have to be Christians.

I’m tired of drunk weddings or believing this might be the only time they hear about God. I’m tired of stoners getting married. The bride puking half way through the ceremony because she was to hung over. I don’t want to have to redress the bride, pulls skirts out of pantyhose or pick up condoms in the church parking lot.

I don’t want to mace the wedding party, put out fires, smell dope or wait for the Sherriff to clear the building.

If there is such a thing as a normal, God loving, not pregnant, couple that believe they have sought God’s will and have waited to have sex after the marriage call me.

The rest of you, you’re out of luck, I’m retired from driving home shocked at the crap that went on by ungodly, stupid jerks that think maybe blind stupid and drunk is the best way to get married.

So that’s one of my few rants for devotions. Tomorrow will more uplifting. The biggest decision of your life, besides believing in Jesus, shouldn’t be performed because of hormones or a shotgun.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

the object

July 10, 2018

  “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:11).

  It goes without saying that Christianity is a vertical relationship with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually” (Heb. 13:15).

Somebody the other day asked me about my motivation for this devotional sight. My answer I think is simple; 1. To show that we can have a continuing hunger for the things of God, and 2. To always seek to grow. It is this cycle that keeps us in a perpetual pattern of desire for a daily connection to the Holy Spirit. That our days no matter how busy here on earth, we will carve out time for God. That fruitful prayer leads to daily prayers and always having our motivations constantly checked by the Holy Spirit.

 Grace is the Father’s favor to man according to His own heart, and for His own glory. If the need of man were the sole measure of His grace, then man only would be thought of, the work of the Lord Jesus would be simply for man, and the power of God expended merely in rescuing man and securing his relief. Man would be the object and end of it all, and not God.

When I have rest in the Lord Jesus, then I begin to find all my joy and strength in Him, and I occupy myself with Him. This is the foundation of true devotedness.

When the advantages of grace do not call forth praise to the Father, when He is not prominently before the soul, as the source of everything possessed, then the gifts take the place of the Giver in the heart, and must soon lose their vigor and value like flowers cut away from their roots.

  “The great question is, not whether I see a certain thing, and how it stands in relation to me, but do I see it as my Father sees it, and as it stands in relation to Him?”

  “Unto him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph. 3:21).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

WEIRD

July 7, 2018

So, it’s summer, (1986) I’m an evangelist, we are doing the home school thing and we are on the road preaching across America. Some churches are churches we’ve been to before or pastored, others are new to us and also cross denominational. Assembly of God, Nazarene, Church of God, Church of Christ, Lutheran and Four Square and a bunch of some crazy churches called Charismatic something or other.

Dinner on the ground, tent preaching, brush arbors, white churches, black churches, inner city or out in a hay field. A great time and a real blessing.

Last church on the list and then back home. Small west Texas town, very small church. We’ve been told the pastor is on vacation and we can stay in the parsonage (preacher’s home, owned by the church). We are supposed to preach a short revival series; Sunday morning, Sunday night, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

So we preach a real barn burner on Sunday morning, lunch in the fellowship hall and a short prayer time. We are given the key to the parsonage and told to make ourselves at home.

We unlock the door and step inside……

No furniture, no appliances, nothing but an empty house. The preacher isn’t on vacation, he’s skipped town.

Now this was before most people had cell phones. I have to walk down to the corner drugstore and use the payphone to call a deacon. Twenty minutes later all five of them are there with their wives. Some are angry, some of the wives are crying. They call the bank president and he comes over. Monday, he’s going to check the church accounts.

It’s 5pm and Sunday night service is at 6:30pm, they’re all standing there in shock. Do we preach or pack it in. I say preach. I ask one favor, tell the congregation after the sermon not before.

Whoops, the deacons decide to open the service by telling everyone what’s happened.

Well I tried to preach heaven down and hell out. I should have just ordered pizza. Service ends with a whimper. Deacons come up and ask if we can fill in until they find another preacher. I didn’t even have to think about it. “I’m sorry but I have other obligations.”

As we are driving home, my wife says “thank you” for not staying. We figure whatever is going on, wrong or right, either the church was really screwed up or the pastor was or both.

That was 32 years ago, and today totally by accident I had lunch with that preacher. One side of the story, he says it wasn’t him, that the church should have had “Ichabod” written over the door. God was gone. Out of curiosity I called a friend of mine in that little town. The church is indeed gone, a daycare and a pizza hut is now on that spot.

Churches with no spirit in them, it’s probably more common than I want to admit.

Pizza any one?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Ryan, throat cancer

Joe r, shoulder surgery

Don H, hip surgery on next Friday.

Susie K, praying for the adoption agency to work things out.

Katie R, first stages of dementia

And Ross, a brand new believer in Jesus, gave his heart to the Lord while listening to some old preacher on a cassette tape he got in a garage sale.

THE SECRET OF SUCCESS

July 4, 2018

“Whether, therefore, ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God “ (1 Cor. 10:31).

The present and eternal ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Son; the past, present, and future ministry of the Son is to glorify the Father. Our life and ministry will bring glory to our Father to the extent that we abide in the Son, and are controlled by the Holy Spirit.

When one’s ministry or outreach flows from close communion with the Father, one’s influence and moral authority will be recognized. Moreover, such a workman is not carried beyond what he has received from the Lord, so that his ministry finds sanction in hearts without any pressure.

The object of all Christian life and ministry, of whatever kind, must surely be to bring glory to God. Any lesser motive is inferior. If this were kept in the forefront of our thinking and praying, it would have two beneficial results. The hectic strain would be taken out of our lives and service, and spontaneous fruitfulness would follow.

We can aim to meet the needs of people as a primary objective, and fret because so many of our efforts prove abortive. We may secretly pride ourselves on our ability to minister, or on our efficient service, and reap nothing but frustration. It is only when our whole outlook is made radiant by His glory, because if we are hungry to do His will and that only, then our activities will be quickened into new life, and others be truly blessed.

“He [Abraham]. . . was strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Rom. 4:20).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Roger S, ever since he lost his mom, he been (his words) unbalanced.

Pray Elizetia P. today became a U.S. citizen.

Pray for Susan H, on the forefront of the conservative movement here and in Washington and wants to pass the baton.

 

ZEALOTS

June 26, 2018

shackles

  “For I through the law died unto the law, that I might live unto God” (Gal. 2:19, ASV).

  No true believer expects the Law to give life, yet many expect it to govern life. Too few realize that their death on the Cross separated them from the entire principle of law, and that their resurrection united them to the Lord Jesus, “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Hardest church I ever pastored was a legalistic, holiness church. Ironic, the tight-lipped, straight, clannish, ornery, bunch of zealots. Yet the biggest bunch of sinners I’ve ever seen in one place. Adultery, moonshining, (literally)250 stills, busted in a 15 mile radius of my house. Wife beating, drug running. Yet come Sunday, there they sat. the most judgmental group I’ve ever met. When I quit, in the middle of a Sunday morning sermon, walked out and packed up and left town. They sent two guys to either drag me back or bury me in the woods.

But the Lord protected us.

all of the Lord’s commands to me are according to the new nature I already have. I don’t have to do more to earn it. Don’t have to speak in tongues, stop playing cards, or whatever list you might come up with. He is my life, and all His words are the expression of that life. Therefore when His words are given to me, they only give me the authority to do what my new nature likes to do. ‘A new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and in you” (1 John 2:8).

  “Legalism is an effort to shape oneself to given laws or rules. Seeking to urge oneself into conformity to law, the old man is before the eye, and satisfaction is felt according as there is conformity to a given standard.

The moment legality is sanctioned, it must be with reference to that which needs to be made subject. This is not Christian, because as believers we are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, against which there is no law.

  “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

ONLY THE RIGHT WAY

June 24, 2018

OK, WORDPRESS IS ACTING WEIRD AND THIS MAY GET POSTED TWICE IN ONE DAY.

WARNING THIS POST CONTAINS ADULT SEXUAL LANGUAGE OF A VERY FRANK NATURE, PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED OR LEGALISTIC

THE APOSTLE PAUL SAID THERE ARE THINGS SO SHAMEFUL WE SHOULD NOT TALK ABOUT THEM. I DON’T THINK I’VE CROSSED THAT LINE BUT IT MAY BE CLOSE. I MEAN NO HARM AND DON’T WANT TO OFFEND SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

FIRST A QUOTE FROM A MOVIE, IT’S NOT FROM THE BIBLE BUT IT WILL KICK OFF THE DISCUSSION. ‘YOU WILL NEVER KNOW THE POWER OF LOVE UNTIL YOU COMPLETELY SURRENDER TO IT.’ (I DON’T REMEMBER THE MOVIE BUT IT’S STILL A GOOD LINE)

WOMEN HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE BY GIVING BIRTH, MEN HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL WIVES WHO ARE FULFILLED AND HAPPY BY BEING MEN WHO LOVE THEIR WIVES MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE ON THIS EARTH.

SO HERE’S WHERE WE GET INTO A SENSITIVE AREA, SEX; IF YOU WANT TO BLESS YOUR WIFE PRACTICE GODLY SEX.  THAT MEANS NOT FORCING YOUR WIFE TO HAVE SEX WHILE ON HER PERIOD ( BECAUSE YOU THINK SHE HAS TO SUBMIT AND THIS PROVES SHE’S A GODLY WOMAN) REALLY, IF YOU ARE THAT KIND OF HUSBAND AND YOU WERE STANDING HERE IN FRONT OF ME I’D PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE. (GODLY COUNSELING DOESN’T SEEM TO WORK )

ONE THE BIBLE SAYS YOUR NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE SEX DURING THIS TIME. HEY HOW ABOUT THAT, GOD KNOWS WHAT SCIENCE HAS PROVED. THE UTERINE WALLS OF A WOMAN ARE WEAKER DURING THIS TIME AND IT CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS. AND REALLY YOU HAVE TO FORCE YOUR WIFE TO PROVE SHE’S SUBMISSIVE, THAT ONE IS GOING TO BACK FIRE IN YOUR FACE.

PLEASE DON’T READ ANY FARTHER IF YOU ARE REALLY SENSITIVE.

ANAL SEX, IT’S WRONG, DON’T CARE WHAT SEX IN CITY SAYS, SEX BOOKS, PORN, ITS WRONG, IT GOES AGAINST BIOLOGY AND IT GOES AGAINST THE BIBLE; I DON’T CARE IF YOUR PARTNER EVEN LIKES IT; GOD IS STILL GOD EVEN IN THE BEDROOM. YES YOU CAN PRACTICE HOLINESS EVEN IN THE MARRIAGE BED AND THE BIBLE DOES NOT SAY THE MARRIAGE BED IS UNDEFILED AND ANYTHING GOES. IT SAYS WE ARE TO MAKE THE MARRIAGE BED UNDEFILED. GOD DOES NOT CONDONE ‘FREAKINESS’ IN THE BEDROOM OF A CHRISTIAN COUPLE.

I BRING THIS UP BECAUSE I HAVE SEEN THE DAMAGE THIS ATTITUDE AND THE DAMAGE IT CAN WREAK IN A CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE.

A WOMAN WAS BEING ABUSED BY THE ABOVE IN A CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE. THE MAN DIDN’T RESPOND TO COUNSELING. SO SHE DECIDED TO POISON HIM. NOT TO DEATH JUST ENOUGH TO MAKE HIM SICK TO HIS STOMACH AND HE WOULDN’T FEEL LIKE HAVING SEX AND SHE WOULD BE SAFE AND SOUND.

THE AMOUNT OF GUILT SHE RACKED UP WAS GIVING HER MIGRAINES, EVENTUALLY SHE INSISTED THEY GO BACK TO COUNSELING AND UNDER THE THREAT OF DIVORCE AND OTHER THINGS LIKE HER FAMILY HUNTING HIM DOWN. CONVINCED THIS MAN TO STOP ABUSING HER. AFTER SIX YEARS OF COUNSELING AND BEING SUBMISSIVE TO THE PASTOR, HE STRAIGHTENED UP.

I’M HAPPY TO SAY THEY ARE STILL MARRIED, AND HE DID STOP, BUT HOW CAN CHRISTIAN MEN BE SO WRONG, AND YET BELIEVE THEY ARE SERVING THE LORD AND DOING NO HARM. IT’S A LIE AND THUS THE DEVOTION FOR TODAY MAY BE UNPLEASANT AND EVEN MAKE SOME MEN ANGRY, YET IT IS NEEDED IN OUR VERY POLLUTED CHRISTIAN HOMES AND MARRIAGES.

REMEMBER MEN, THE APOSTLE PAUL ALSO SAID WE ARE TO SUBMIT TO OUR WIVES AS WELL; PLEASE BE GODLY MEN, EVEN IN THE BEDROOM.

GOD BLESS. From scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

ALWAYS LOVING YOU

June 19, 2018

2 Corinthians 12:15 New International Version (NIV)

15 So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?

2 Corinthians 12:15 King James Version (KJV)

15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

2 Corinthians 12:15 English Standard Version (ESV)

15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?

If you don’t recognize this verse, it is the ending of yesterday’s devotion.

I am finding verses that in my 40 years of preaching I haven’t done a sermon on this verse is one of them.

So I’ve read it over several times yesterday and again several times today.

I always ask the 5 ‘W’s’

Who, where, why, what and when. What does this verse mean? To whom was it written? Where, why and when. And then I ask myself how it affects me and then you.

8 possible answers to 8 possible questions.

And then there’s the word studies, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Theological German, the English dictionary.

How about gut reaction, how does this verse strike you?

Will you love me less, if I love you more?

We are called to be lovers, love the world, love our neighbor, love God. Are we good lovers. Not sex, but relationships, how do we react when our love is not returned?

God talks about it, we should to, what happens when love is not returned?

Lot’s of questions, some answers. We are to love the unlovely, we are to love unconditionally when we do love. No matter if it is returned or not.

So here are our prayers for today. For you that are loving and not being loved back, not enough, not in the right way, keep loving as a commandment, but also because love always changes us first.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

June 17, 2018

not ashamed

When you became a Christian, you became an ambassador for a kingdom. You were given not only “Good News” to share with others but also one of the most powerful communication tools ever developed: the conversation.

 A conversation is simply a form of interactive, spontaneous communication between people who are following unspoken rules of discourse in an agreeable and polite manner. What makes starting conversations about the gospel so difficult is we assume one of society’s “unspoken rules” is to avoid talking about religion.

 Consider all the Christians you’ve met. Almost every one of them came to the faith because someone had a conversation with them about Jesus. Similarly, millions of people of other faiths are “spiritual, but not religious.” They, too, are likely to have an interest in discussing religion.

 In his encounter with the woman at the well, Jesus showed how a conversation could be a powerful tool for revealing himself and his kingdom. We can unlock the power of conversations about the gospel by applying the following:

  ➤ Be open—When he sat at the well, Jesus was likely tired and parched and in no mood to talk. But when he encountered the Samaritan woman he remembered his mission was to “finish the work” he had been sent by the Father to do (see Jn 4:34). Remembering our mission makes starting conversations easier.

 ➤ Be interested in people—People like to talk about what they know. And the one thing they know better than anything else is themselves. People aren’t necessarily being narcissistic for wanting to talk about themselves; they might just want to talk about what they know with someone who appears interested. We will be interested in others when we remember we are called to love and serve them.

 ➤ Ask questions, but don’t interrogate—Rattling off a series of questions can be intimidating. Instead, show genuine interest by asking people about themselves. Asking follow-up questions based on their responses to previous questions shows you are listening and are sincerely interested in their thoughts and ideas.

 ➤ Uncover their burden—At some point in a conversation, a person is likely to say what they do for work or relate an experience they are going through. A simple way to establish empathy and signal you truly care is to respond with some variation of “that sounds challenging.” Almost everyone believes the work they do is difficult or unappreciated or that their life is, at least in some ways, burdensome. If they open up about the challenges in their life, it provides a key way to open the door to spiritual matters.

 ➤ The “prayer ask” opening—If the person is willing to reveal a burden, ask if you can pray for them about it. When you ask, though, the reason should be because you are truly interested in interceding to God on their behalf. It’s not a “technique” to turn the conversation, though it can help you gauge a person’s interest in talking more about the gospel. If it seems appropriate, you can then follow-up with other questions, such as “Do you think much about spiritual things?” “Does faith play a significant role in your life?” “What is your concept of God?”

 ➤ Listen carefully to their responses—You don’t have to agree with them, but avoid trying to show why they are wrong. Show them you are interested in their views, opinions and concerns.

 ➤ The “reason I ask” approach—After broaching a spiritual topic and listening to a person’s answers, you can transition by saying “The reason I ask is because . . .” and then explain why you think it is important to talk about Jesus. This is your opportunity to share the gospel, though you might find it easier to begin by first briefly sharing your testimony. Remember, however, that your testimony is your “witness”—it is not the gospel. It would be a shame to open the door for a discussion about the gospel only to forget the most important part.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Matthew, 40 years old and is stressed and suffering from anxiety attacks.

Pray for Carl V, looking for a new job

Pray for Susan K, just graduated from high school and will be leaving home for college in a month and is freaking (a little).

the tongue

June 15, 2018

full custody

The best devotion I’ve ever read on taming the tongue was in the late 70’s and it was written by Christian song writer Keith Green, if I can find that devotion I will post it for you, until then…..

Taming is a process by which a wild beast is subdued into adapting and submitting to human control. As James notes, “all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind” (Jas 3:7). But despite mankind’s success in taming the animal kingdom, there is one wild thing, James says, that we haven’t been able to subdue and adapt: “No human can tame the tongue” (v.8).

 While we might never fully tame our tongues, with God’s help we can learn to use our words in a manner that is increasingly more edifying and Christlike.

 In what way does your tongue most often get you in trouble? Look over the following list of verses that address how we are to use our words. Choose two or three verses to memorize and reflect on daily:

 Watch what you say and speak only after careful consideration.

  “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin” (Pr 13:3).

   “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity” (Pr 21:23).

  Sometimes the most becoming speech is silence.

  “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues” (Pr 17:28).

  Seek first to understand what someone is saying before attempting to respond.

  “To answer before listening—that is folly and shame” (Pr 18:13).

  Be slow to speak your mind.

  “Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them” (Pr 29:20).

  Be wary of making trivial or casual remarks that reflect ungodly attitudes.

  “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken” (Mt 12:36).

  Avoid obscenities, profanities and blasphemy; instead, speak words that build up others.

  “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph 4:29).

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

I’ve run this devotional before, but we have to practice what we preach, and unfortunately, I didn’t. I said something to someone close to me in what I thought was clearly a joking manner. They didn’t. I didn’t know their feelings were hurt until a little later. Because it took a week to apologize it only added fuel to the fire.

So there are no excuses for bad behavior. Ever. So the tongue will make you  fall. Keep a tight reign on it.