SICK REALLY SICK

June 30, 2018

TO SICK TO SEE, TO SICK TO WRITE

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

 

first love

June 3, 2018

One of my favorite sermons that I’ve preached on, is about Judas, it’s important to remember a couple of things about him.

  1. Jesus carefully prayed beforehand about who would be his disciples and still after prayer Judas was included.

  2. Jesus considered him a close friend. To me one of the most poignant, emotional filled statements in the New Testament is when Jesus says; “friend betrayest thou me with a kiss?”

You can feel the pain, this is the sign of your betrayal; a kiss. The anguish in that statement always moves me.

Judas wanted what every Jew wanted, the kingdom now. To have the yoke of oppression thrown off them. Freedom and autonomy, their own rulers, their own system, where religion would lead them, and they’d be a holy nation. Sounds familiar?

Judas chose to love the thought of the kingdom over and above the love he should have had for the Lord and his friend.

Here’s a keen insight from Matthew Henry, (a great reliable commentary if you are ever looking for one).

‎I have this against thee, revelation 2:1;7

The rebuke given to this church: Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, v. 4. Those that have much good in them may have something much amiss in them, and our Lord Jesus, as an impartial Master and Judge, takes notice of both; though he first observes what is good, and is most ready to mention this, yet he also observes what is amiss, and will faithfully reprove them for it. The sin that Christ charged this church with was their decay and declension in holy love and zeal: Thou hast left thy first love; not left and forsaken the object of it, but lost the fervent degree of it that at first appeared. Observe, (1.) The first affections of men towards Christ, and holiness, and heaven, are usually lively and warm. God remembered the love of Israel’s espousals, when she would follow him withersoever he went. (2.) These lively affections will abate and cool if great care be not taken, and diligence used, to preserve them in constant exercise. (3.) Christ is grieved and displeased with his people when he sees them grow remiss…

Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: Complete and unabridged in one volume (Re 2:1–7)

Not much to say after that, just guard your first Love, there is no replacing it.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

good ground

January 8, 2018

  “Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee” (John 1:48).

  “And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bore fruit an hundredfold” (Luke 8:8). The more fully and thoroughly hearts are cultivated before conversion the more healthy and fruitful they will be after conversion. Many Christians hurriedly seek to plant the seed in unprepared soil, and then wonder why it is so soon withered, choked, or snatched away. “Good ground are they who. . . having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15).

  “I believe that a work of God sometimes goes on behind a particular man or family, village or district before the knowledge of the truth ever reaches them. It is a silent, unsuspected work, not in mind and heart, but in the unseen realm behind these. Then, when the light of the Gospel is brought, there is no difficulty, no conflict. The battle has been won.

  “It is, then, simply a case of ‘stand still and see the salvation of God.’ This should give us confidence in praying intelligently for those who are far from Gospel light. The longer the preparation, the deeper the work. The deeper the root, the firmer the plant when once it springs above the ground. I do not believe that any deep work of God takes root without long preparation somewhere.” –

.

  “Concentrate your prayers on behalf of some soul or souls and pray for such, night and day, until they come to Christ. Then continue to pray for them until Christ is formed in them!” (Phil. 4:19).

  “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me” (Mal. 3:1).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

GOT WOOD?

December 29, 2017

GOT WOOD?

From the dawn of creation until today, in backyards and rainforests across the earth, there have been trees—trillions and trillions of trees. Imagine you are given the task of identifying the most important trees in the history of humankind. In retrospect, a trio of candidates would appear to be obvious contenders: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden, and the tree that provided the wood for Jesus’ cross.

But what if you had to identify the tree before it changed history? Even if we were told which country it came from or the forest it grew in, the task would be absurdly improbable. Certainly no one would have suspected the importance of a tree cut down in Egypt to make staffs for goat- and sheep-herding shepherds. But just such a tree made a stick of wood that became the staff of God (see Ex 4:20), a staff Moses and Aaron used for stunning displays of God’s power.

“Consider the mighty ways in which God used a dead stick of wood,” wrote Francis A. Schaeffer. “ ‘God so used a stick of wood’ can be a banner cry for each of us. Though we are limited and weak in talent, physical energy, and psychological strength, we are not less than a stick of wood. But as the rod of Moses had to become the rod of God, so that which is me must become the me of God. Then, I can become useful in God’s hands.”

“God so used a stick of wood”—and he will use us, too, if we are,

➤ Consecrated—To be consecrated is to be set apart or dedicated to the service of God. In what ways has God set you apart for his work?
➤ Shaped—Before it became the staff of God, the stick of wood was shaped into a shepherd’s staff. While we might not fully understand how God is shaping us, we must trust that it is being done so we will become more useful in his hands. Add to your prayer request list that God will form you for Christlike service.

From a little acorn to a mighty oak, who knows what God will turn our lives into.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

WHOOPS

December 23, 2017

WHOOPS!

I’ve lost track of how many mistakes I’ve made in the ministry. Saying the wrong names during a wedding ceremony (you should see the looks, especially if the name you said was an ex boy/girl friend). Or because nobody smokes in church no way to light a unity candle. Or the bride sticks the candle under her veil to blow it out and poof, there goes the veil and about a pound of hairspray, and now we have a bride with no eyebrows, veil and singed hair.

How about saying your so glad to be in this church (as a guest speaker and get the wrong name). showing up at the wrong church to preach.

Or leaving your label mike on when you go to the bathroom.

Your  zipper’s down and you have a plexiglass pulpit.

But the one that really sticks out in my mind is a river baptism (my first) I’m baptizing Wendel Blanton. 6’8 and 324lbs. he’s a new believer, shy, timid always afraid of hurting someone because of his size. And down he goes for baptism, under the water and somehow, I lost my grip and away he goes.

The look on my face, everyone knew something was wrong. And no sign of Wendel. I mean zip.

It seemed like eternity when up he pops about 30 yards downstream, with this huge smile on his face. And he just booms; “Pastor, that was so wonderful, I truly felt the presence of the Lord.”

Everyone starts clapping and shouting, he takes a step forward and totally disappears. He’s stepped in a huge hole. Up he pops again. I think by then every single person rushed out to get him, they couldn’t take the stress.

While ol’ Wendel is grabbing everyone and hugging them and dropping them in the water and now every one is rushing back as this has turned out (in their minds to be highly undignified). Everyone s back on shore and Wendel goes “Pastor, can I get baptized again next year?”

You know I said yes. Whoops.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Great Praying

December 7, 2017

praying mom

  “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us” (1 John 5:14).

  In order for us to pray according to His will, we must first know His will; not only that, but His blessed will must become our will. “If ye abide in Me . . . ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7). Prayer is the fellowship of an intimate, living union; as with all of the Christian life, it must be carried on in dependence upon the Holy Spirit. He is known as “the Spirit of grace and of supplications” (Zech. 12:10).

  “If I ask anything of God, and have received His answer, I then act with assurance, with the conviction that I am in the path of His will; I am happy and contented. If I meet with some difficulty, this does not stop me; it is only an obstacle which faith has to surmount.

  But if I have not this certainty before I begin, I am in indecision, I know not what to do. There may be a trial of my faith, or it may be that I ought not to do what I am doing. I am in suspense, and I hesitate; even if I am doing the will of God, I am not sure about it, and I am not happy. I ought therefore to be assured that I am doing His will before I begin to act.

  All flows from the soul being consciously in the place where it is set, in Christ risen. He can then trust us with the knowledge of His will; He can trust the sons of the family with the family affairs.

  “And if we know that He hear us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (1 John 5:15).

If you find yourself really wanting to learn how to pray read E. M. Bounds masterpiece on prayer, and Andrew Murray’s great work. These are the classics and best.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

A THANKFUL HEART

November 16, 2017

shout

A THANKFUL HEART

I want to talk about one of the most commonly tolerated sins among those professing to know God. It is a most serious sin, and yet I encounter it often and I find that it’s often excused or shrugged off as no big deal. In fact, many Christians aren’t even aware that it’s sin! I struggle with it myself. It rears its head in different forms: self-pity, grumbling, complaining, depression, anger, defiance. Often at the root of all these symptoms is the sin of ingratitude toward our gracious, sovereign God.

Ingratitude is a characteristic of those in rebellion against God. It was because of grumbling and ingratitude toward God that Israel was laid low in the wilderness (1 Cor. 10:10; Ps. 95:8-11). In Paul’s treatment of human depravity, ingratitude is one of the sins which plunged the race further into sin: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; … Therefore God gave them over …” (Rom. 1:21, 24).

On the other hand, believers are commanded to give thanks in everything (1 Thess. 5:18). As those delivered from Satan’s domain of darkness, we are to be “joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12). A spirit of joyous, continual thankfulness ought to characterize us as Christians.

It’s not surprising to discover that the man whom God called “a man after My own heart” was a thankful man. I want to examine “the roots and fruit of a thankful heart” from David’s experience in 2 Samuel 7: How to sink down roots that will produce thankfulness in us at all times; and the fruit which thankfulness produces.

  1. The roots: A thankful heart stems from focusing on the sovereign grace of God.

David’s focus was upon God, His purpose, and His sovereign grace. A study of these verses reveals three characteristic roots of a thankful heart:

  1. A THANKFUL HEART IS FOCUSED ON GOD, NOT ON SELF.

Think of where David was at: He was king of Israel after years of hardship. He had defeated many enemy nations. He was established comfortably in his capital city in a nice palace. He was a famous, powerful man, with many serving him. He easily could have become self-focused. He could have got caught up with enjoying the good life and had no concern for the things of God. But he didn’t.

Instead, his thoughts turned toward the Lord and His purpose. He had a burden for God to be central in the nation, for God to be worshiped by His people. He wanted to build a temple which elevated the Lord to His proper place. David could not rest content while God’s house was not a reality. David’s heart was focused on God, not on himself. So even when God said no to David’s dream, David was overwhelmed with gratitude for God’s sovereign grace toward him.

One of the main reasons we wrestle with ungratefulness is that we’re self-focused. We tend to pursue our own fulfillment, comfort, and happiness. The dominant theology in American Christianity puts man and his happiness at the center instead of God and His glory. It teaches that God exists to meet our needs. We’re even being told that Christ died for us because we’re worthy! So we have people who by nature are self-centered coming to Christ to get an “abundant life” which they think is their right, which they assume will fulfill all their needs. But they’ve never repented of their self-centeredness. Then they become disappointed when God doesn’t do what they think He promised to do.

We have churches filled with people who are there to get God to solve their problems and make them happy. Do they want their problems solved so that they can more effectively glorify and serve God? No, they want their problems solved so that they can enjoy a happy life. Unlike David, they have no burden for God and His purpose. Instead of being focused on God, they’re focused on trying to get God to meet their own needs for their own gratification. They’re focused on self.

Let me shoot real straight, since Jesus did. He didn’t say, “If anyone wants to follow Me, I’ll meet his every need so that he can live a happy, comfortable life.” He said, “If anyone wishes to follow Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s shall save it” (Mark 8:34-35). If you want to be a thankful person, get your focus off yourself and your happiness and put your focus on God and His great purpose in the gospel. If we focus on God and His purpose, He graciously meets our needs. If we focus on self, we come up empty.

  1. A THANKFUL HEART IS SUBMISSIVE TO GOD’S SOVEREIGN PURPOSE.

David wanted to build the temple; God said, “No.” That answer would have been especially difficult to accept because David’s desire was right. He didn’t want something for himself. He didn’t want a new addition on the palace or a higher salary. He wanted to build a house for God. His motives were pure. But God said no. True, God wrapped His denial in some other wonderful promises. But nevertheless, it was a denial.

What did David do in response? First, let’s think about what he could have done but did not do. He could have allowed his disappointment to grow into depression. He could have sulked and felt sorry for himself. He could have angrily thought, “See if I ever try to do anything again for the Lord!” He could have turned to self-indulgence to soothe his hurt feelings.

Instead, he worshiped God. He was overwhelmed with gratitude for all that God had done. He submitted to God’s sovereign purpose, and was willing to be used however God wanted to use him.

The key to David’s response is seen in the way David viewed God and how he viewed himself in God’s sight. Eight times (27:18, 19 [twice], 20, 22, 25, 28, 29) in this short prayer David calls God, “O Lord God” (NIV = “Sovereign Lord”; Hebrew = Adonai Yahweh). In addition, David repeatedly extols God’s greatness (27:22, 26, 27) and His sovereign choice of Israel as His people (27:23, 24). And ten times David refers to himself, not as “the King,” but as “Your servant” (27:19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27 [twice], 28, & 29 [twice]). Because he saw God as the Sovereign of the universe and himself simply as God’s servant, he could submit and be thankful when God’s plans were contrary to David’s plans.

How about you? What do you do when God’s plans run counter to your plans? The test of thankfulness is not when God does what you want Him to do. That’s easy! The test of being thankful is when God says no to your plans, even when they are plans to further His purpose. To be thankful then you’ve got to see God as the Sovereign and yourself as His servant so that you submit to Him.

Thus, a thankful heart is focused on God, not self. A thankful heart submits to God’s sovereign purpose.

  1. A THANKFUL HEART IS OVERWHELMED BY GOD’S SOVEREIGN GRACE.

When Nathan outlines God’s covenant promises to David, David is overwhelmed. In today’s slang, he is “blown away.” He goes into the tabernacle and sits before the Lord (27:18). As far as I know, it’s the only time in the Bible when a person sits down to pray. I think he was stunned, like when a lawyer calls you and says, “You had better sit down. A rich uncle has left you a million dollars.” David had wanted to build a house for God; but God says, “No, I want to build a house for David” (27:11). David’s response was, “Who am I?”

Grace means God’s unmerited favor. Don’t let anybody tell you anything else! Grace has two sides:

First, Grace is unmerited, which means, I do not deserve it. “Who am I …?” (27:18). I am totally unworthy to receive it. If I get it because I’m worthy, it’s not grace. If I can do anything to earn it or deserve it, it’s not grace. Grace is a sovereign act of God, totally apart from human effort or human will. Grace is hard for us to grasp, because it is not the custom or manner of man (27:19). In life, we are conditioned to a system of work and wage, of effort and reward. But grace is not a wage or reward. It stems from the nature of God, not at all from the efforts of man.

You cannot understand or appreciate God’s grace until you are overwhelmed with a sense of your own unworthiness to approach God in any way. Your good works cannot commend you to God. If God dealt with you according to your merit, He would justly send you to hell. Grace is totally unmerited. When that thought grips you, it fills you with thankfulness toward God!

Second, Grace is favor. That is, grace reflects God’s abundant goodness. God, who is infinitely wealthy, has opened the treasures of heaven and poured out heaps of blessings upon us. Like Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money pile, so believers are awash in God’s blessing. David here considers:

* God’s favor in the past (27:8-9, 18). Brothers and sisters, stop for a moment and consider God’s grace toward you in the past. For some of you, it may be the very recent past; for others of us, that past goes back a number of years. But for all of us, whether we were raised in Sunday School or in a tavern, as we look at the past we must say, “God has been gracious. He rescued me from a miry pit.” We were dead in trespasses and sins, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),… (Eph. 2:4-5).

* God’s favor in the present (27:8b). David was now the ruler over God’s people Israel. Think of God’s present grace toward you. Perhaps you’re thinking, “King! I’m not even the boss! I’m low man on the totem pole.” But as Paul continues in Ephesians 2:6, “[God] raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, …” That is our present! We are called to exercise the authority of our risen Head here on earth over the spiritual forces of darkness!

* God’s favor in the future (27:10-16, 19). God makes the astounding promise to establish David’s kingdom forever. This promise was only partially fulfilled in Solomon and the other kings of David’s lineage. It was and will be yet completely fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ, born of the lineage of David, who will rule on the throne of David in His millennial kingdom.

And what of our future? Paul continues Eph. 2:7, “in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” We cannot even fathom the good things that God has stored up for us in the future!

It’s all of grace! We’re surrounded by it: Grace rescued us from a sinful past; grace sustains us in an exalted calling in the present; and grace will preserve us for a glorious future!

God’s grace ought to knock us over at times. Do you ever spend time sitting before the Lord, overwhelmed by His tremendous grace? There ought to be frequent times (the Lord’s Supper [“Eucharist,” giving of thanks] ought to be one such time) when we sit before the Lord and turn over and over in our minds every facet of God’s unmerited favor as if we were examining a rare cut jewel. A thankful heart is overwhelmed by God’s sovereign grace.

Thus a thankful heart is rooted in focusing on the sovereign grace of God. The thankful heart focuses on God, submits to His sovereign purpose, and revels in His sovereign grace.

 

Thank you for tolerating a long post, every time I say they are going to get shorter, bam, here we are. Blessings for you all is our prayer

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

SIGN POST

November 3, 2017

Godly parents, who to the best of their ability seek to raise their children in the faith, can still have children who turn away. This will be the exception, not the rule. But it can and does happen. We have wrongly interpreted Proverbs 22:6, ”Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it,” to mean that if you train them properly, then it is guaranteed that they will follow the Lord. Thus if the child goes astray, the parent must be to blame. But the Proverbs are not ironclad promises. Rather, they state general maxims about life. It is generally true that if you train up children properly, they will follow the Lord as adults. But it is not a guaranteed promise, and therefore it is not necessarily a sign of parental failure when a child rebels. If there has been obvious parental failure, then we, as the church, should help a hurting parent to deal biblically with the area of failure. But it is wrong for us to be judgmental.

Ok, this may be way to much info but to be thorough here we go

This verse is a key to the whole responsibility of training children, but there is a particular focus in this verse that shows us a parent’s training must be based on knowing his or her child. This emphasis is not apparent in the English as it is in the Hebrew text. As seen previously, the word “train,” the Hebrew chanak, has as it primary meaning, “train, instruct, initiate,” and it can also mean, “to dedicate, throttle or discipline.” In this verb we see the primary responsibility. Parents are to train and so teach their children that it brings God’s control into the child’s life. And certainly, since their children are trusts from God, they need to dedicate these little ones to God and be dedicated themselves to the training process.

But what is the standard for the process? God’s Word is the standard, of course, but there is something else that must guide the process and this is seen in the words, “in the way he should go.” The Hebrew text is actually much stronger than this and literally reads, “according the measure of his way.” “According to,” the Hebrew ‘al pi, is literally according to the mouth of. This carries the ideas of “according to the command of, the evidence or sentence of, or according to the measure of.” The preposition ‘al denotes the norm, standard, or rule by which something is to be done. The noun pi is from pe, “mouth, opening, orifice.” Since mouths or apertures vary in size, it developed the concept of “measure” or “portion.” With this in mind, pe was often used with prepositions to mean “in proportion to.” A small child normally has a much smaller mouth than an adult and can’t begin to take in as large a portion as a man. The principle here should be obvious. Training should be done according to the measure, the capacity, or ability of something. But what is that? It is spelled out for us with the words “his way.”

Again, maybe a little to much info, but if you want to go from A to Z on the topic here we go;

The Hebrew text has the personal pronoun attached to the noun “way.” It reads, “his way” and not simply “in the way he should go.” “Way” is the Hebrew derek, “way, road, journey, manner.” It was used of (1) a way, path, journey, course of action, (2) mode, habit, manner as a customary experience or condition, and (3) of duty and moral action and character both good and bad. From the knowledge of Scripture and from an observation of our children, we know certain things about their way. First, we know that God, in His sovereignty, has a plan, a course He wants each child to follow—an orbit for him or her. Second, we know that every child has a specific make up as an individual with certain abilities, talents, and tendencies—a particular bent. Derek is from the verb darak, “to tread, march,” but it was often used metaphorically of launching something as in the bending of a bow in order to launch an arrow, or an assault, or bitter speech, or judgments in a certain direction (cf. Ps. 7:13; La. 2:4; 3:12; Ps. 57:7; 64:3; 1 Chron. 5:18; 8:40; Isa. 21:15). While darak does not have this specific meaning, the use of the verb form provides us with an interesting illustration considering the nature of children according to inheritance factors and as God has designed them.

With this in mind, let’s consider a few key ideas in training a child according to his way:

(1) Parents need to know their children as the unique individuals they are. To do this, they must prayerfully observe, study, and recognize the individual characteristics (or bent) of each of their children and train them accordingly.

(2) Parents should never think that seeing that a child gets plenty of Bible training or gets to church will be enough. Bible teaching, church, and growing up in a Bible-teaching home are all vital and a necessary part of the process, but each child needs to be dealt with as a unique individual and nothing should be taken for granted. Parents need to take special note of what is happening in each child’s life—responses, weaknesses, habits, attitudes, etc. The same environment does not mean that each child will respond in the same way. A blanket approach may not work. Some biblical illustrations of the different ways children will respond to the same environment and teaching within the same home are Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, and Absolom and Solomon.

(3) Parents should never try to force their children into the way they want their children to go. By this I mean parents often try to pour a child into some preconceived mold they’ve dreamed of for their child. This is often nothing more than a parent’s attempt, through the accomplishments of their child, to attain the applause or praise or whatever it was they wanted for themselves, but never received. For instance, a parent may have a dream of seeing their child become a great athlete or artist and do everything they can to manipulate and push their child in that direction when that may not at all be in keeping with the child’s aptitude, talents, abilities, or desire—let alone what God wants for that child.

(4) A bow is made by its designer to bend in one direction, according to its bent. We saw that the verb form of “way” was used of bending a bow to launch something. If the person using the bow does not recognize the way the bow is bent and tries to bend it differently, he will not only face a difficult task, but he may break the bow. In like manner, parents need to recognize the way their child is bent, both by the way God has designed them and by the way sin has affected them. If a parent fails to recognize this, they may also fail to help their child get launched into God’s orbit or plan for their life. This would suggest that children are not like a pliable piece of clay that may be molded anyway the parent chooses. Rather, they are unique individuals with a way already established that needs to be recognized, acknowledged, and reckoned with by means of the truth of Scripture and a parent’s careful observation.

So training a child in the way he should go really means helping them discover their temperament and uniqueness of character and going in a way that compliments their gifts and abilities, the verse should be interpreted “according to his (the child’s way)” that they should live a life that complements their strengths and talents and not be forced into a mold. So if you have two kids you may have to raise each one differently according to their temperaments.

I hope this helps those parents that have used this verse to beat themselves up because their child was “wayward” in the faith and they feel they have failed. That’s not what this verse has ever meant, not in its literal sense.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

SOVEREIGN

November 1, 2017

On July the sixteenth in the year seventy-nine, a madman named Nero burned the city of Rome. He only meant to burn the slums because he wanted to rebuild the slums and he was an ego-manic who wanted to build things for his glory and honor. And, in order to get rid of the slums he set fire to them. The people reacted in ways that he didn’t expect them to react and they turned on Nero the Emperor.

Nero was looking for a scapegoat and so he was looking around for someone to blame and they said, “Why don’t you blame the Christians, after all the Christians are a strange sect. They meet underground. They have a ceremony that they call the Lord’s Supper where they think they’re drinking blood. And, they also are talking about a judgment of fire. It would be easy to say that these people are cannibals who set the city of Rome on fire.” And, so they blamed the burning of Rome on the Christians.

Therefore, it was open season on the Christians and Christians in this day were nailed to crosses. Many of them were set on fire as human candles to light the gardens of Nero and for his wild parties and banquets. Many of them were dressed in animal skins and set loose in the forest to be hunted like wild beasts.

Now here we are over 2000 years later, and I want to ask you a question, could this happen again? Impossible you say, we are more civilized, more advanced, you really think so?

Hebrews 13:3, which instructs us to “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

 Persecution has always made the church stronger. It burns impurity out of the church. It drives away the nominal, worldly attenders, and separates the church from the world. It drives the church to prayer. It unites the church in brotherly love. It often causes the church to expand numerically, as seen in China under Communism.

I’m not ready to pray for persecution, because I’m not fond of suffering! I’ll leave it to the sovereignty of God, who knows what we need. But we do need to be ready for persecution in case it comes. Our religious freedom in America is on thin ice. It is not inconceivable that we could face imprisonment or have our children taken from us for insisting on the moral teachings the Bible. So we need to know in advance how to respond to persecution.

(Acts 4:23-35)

I’m speaking here about something that most of us have not experienced firsthand. Sure, I’ve faced opposition as a pastor; but I’ve never been imprisoned or beaten or had my property taken away because I am a Christian. But these principles also apply to the subject of how to respond to trials in general. I’ve encountered many American Christians who do not have an adequate theology of suffering. When trials hit, they rage at God, rather than submit to Him. They think that they have a right to prosperity and good health. So they grow bitter when trials hit.

Our text reveals the response of the early church to persecution. Peter and John had been arrested, put in jail, and then threatened by the Jewish leaders because they had healed a lame man and had preached the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the crowd. This snapshot shows them responding by drawing near to God in prayer. It also shows the care that the church had for its members and their continuing witness to the world. It teaches us to …

Persecution will either drive you away from God and cause you to become bitter, or it will drive you closer to God and cause you to become better. We see four ways that these early Christians affirmed their commitment to God:

The Bible clearly affirms the absolute sovereignty of God. Nothing happens apart from God’s ordaining it to happen. The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 (rewritten in modern English as A Faith to Confess [Carey Publications], p. 20) puts it this way:

From all eternity God decreed all that should happen in time, and this He did freely and unalterably, consulting only His own wise and holy will. Yet in so doing He does not become in any sense the author of sin, nor does He share responsibility for sin with sinners. Neither, by reason of His decree, is the will of any creature whom He has made violated; nor is the free working of second causes put aside; rather is it established. In all these matters the divine wisdom appears, as also does God’s power and faithfulness in effecting that which He has purposed.

“He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them” (Ps. 2:4). It is utterly futile and foolish to fight against the Sovereign Lord! God’s enemies thought that they won when they killed Jesus. But God triumphed by raising Him from the dead. He is coming again to judge the living and the dead and to reign as God’s anointed on David’s throne.

The best prayers always are based on Scripture, applying it directly to our present situation and needs. But we won’t be able to apply God’s Word in a time of crisis unless we are saturating our minds with it on a daily basis. In Proverbs 1:24-33, God’s wisdom warns fools and scoffers that because they had neglected wisdom when she cried out to them, later in a time of crisis when they cry out to her, she will be silent. In other words, the time to seek God’s wisdom through His Word is before the crisis hits. If we know God’s Word through a daily time with Him, we will be able to apply it when we face persecution or trials.

Thus we reaffirm our commitment to God in a time of persecution through corporate prayer, by having a high view of His sovereignty over all, and by knowing and applying His Word.

So what’s my point? First God is sovereign, second fear is not of the Lord.

I once pastored a church where a small percentage of folks got involved in the survival/militia movement, this was in the mid 80’s. they spread fear through that congregation like wild fire. I had to take strong issue with several members and spent many an evening in their homes trying to get them to balance their lives between common sense and practicality. Most of them put themselves into debt buying coins and guns, jeeps and one guy even bought a half track.

By revealing their ever-growing fear and self-dependence they were denying the Sovereignty of God and faith in His ability to provide and protect.

Now don’t get me wrong I have a bug out bag, and all the other high speed, low drag stuff, extra water, but I deal in reality, long droughts, storms, ice storms have kept me locked up for a week. But I’m not getting ready for zombies, and SHTF world ending scenarios or a plague altering the human race. Balance, faith, trust in God is more than a motto.

Special thanks to all those that got up and prayed for Jennifer at 5 this morning and all morning, her surgery went great.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com