IN THE NAME OF JESUS

June 22, 2019

ancient art black and white close up

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS

Well, to much excitement for today!

Stopped for gas on the south side of town. Then I did something I never do, went inside to get some lemonade.

You all know that gas stations are shark tanks, every conman, crook and bum is hanging out there.

The store was packed as temperatures have been in the 100’s with a heat index of 115+

So I’m standing in line and this kid (teenager) pulls a gun and starts yelling a bunch of things that don’t make any sense. I’m standing two people back and am thinking, run, duck, tackle or shoot in the back of the head.

Instead I just say out loud; “Holy Jesus, Son of God, Save us now” he turns around looks at me, steps up and hands me his gun and says he’s sorry and runs out.

I sit the gun down on the counter and all the ladies start crying and some guys start slapping me on the back and the cashier says the lemonades on the house anytime I want some. And then I have to wait 2 hours to explain 10 times (literally to the police what happened) and even they ask why I just didn’t shoot him.

Now I would like to tell you I’m the most spiritual guy in the world, but that’s simply not true.

So, I get home and tell my wife what happened, and she says; “you moron, what are you doing stopping on the southside for anything.”

Ah, got to love the little woman, always keeps me grounded.

So, praise God, no one got hurt, no huge lawyer fees and everyone went home in one piece.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Little Danny’s surgery went fine, he’s 5 with Leukemia, huge cancerous tumor on his leg. He folks all say thank you for the prayers.

Little Eli is gaining weight and the doctors have finally pronounced him well and the danger is passed.

Remember Bill Warneke in prayer.

And our Salvation list.

THE MIND OF GOD

June 18, 2019

D.L. MOODY, THAT GREAT PREACHER OF LONG AGO ONCE WROTE; “I felt I had the Lord’s mind for the message.

MANY GREAT PURITANS FELT THAT IF YOU WERE NOT READING THE BIBLE LOOKING FOR CHRIST, AND DOING SO PRAYERFULLY, ONE WOULD FIND NOTHING.

IT WOULD BE A TOME, AND NOT A BRIEF DEVOTION, IF ONE WERE TO ATTEMPT TO ELUCIDATE ON KNOWING THE MIND OF GOD. SO LET’S SEE WHAT WE CAN EXAMINE IN A BRIEF SPOT, AND A SHORT TIME.

1 CORINTHIANS 2:16 For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ

LIKE DR. MOODY ARE WE COMFORTABLE ENOUGH WITH SCRIPTURES AND OUR PRAYER LIFE TO SAY WE UNDERSTAND GOD, SCRIPTURES SAYS WE CAN.

WE HAVE DONE A GRAVE INJUSTICE TO THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO AS A PART OF THE TRINITY, IS TO LEAD US INTO ALL THINGS ABOUT GOD. BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS GOTTEN A BAD RAP, BECAUSE OF PENTECOSTALS, CHARISMATICS AND OTHER ‘FULL GOSPEL’ LUNATICS. THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR LIVES IS USUALLY ONE OF EXTREMES; WE EITHER PAY TO MUCH ATTENTION TO HIM OR NOT ENOUGH.

YET WE ARE TO TRUST HIM AS HE IS THE ONE GIVEN TO US TO LEAD, GUIDE, FILL, AND BLESS. One of those purposes for the indwelling of the Spirit is so He can search what is going on inside of us, take our needs to the Father, and then bring back to us the answer to what our Father’s will is about this specific situation

AND SO THEN WE WOULD HAVE THE MIND OF GOD. SEEMS EASY DOESN’T IT?

The Holy Spirit is that part of the trinity who has the ability to see into all the dark places of our lives! And since he also is the only one who knows what our heavenly Father’s will is in all situations, he can help us make sense out of life by communicating to us what God wants us to do. That is why frequent bible reading and bible memorization is so important. Since the bible is God’s letter to us, the Holy Spirit uses the bible to lead us into God’s will. What if someone told you that you can only enjoy heaven based on how much scripture you know? Well, thankfully that’s not the case but for a moment there I had you worried.

1 Corinthians 2:10-16

New International Version (NIV)

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[a] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”[b]

But we have the mind of Christ.

WELL I PROMISED BRIEF SO I HAVE TO STOP, BUT PLEASE THINK ABOUT THIS, YOU CAN KNOW THE MIND OF GOD.

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

Pray for Brent W, a pastor that just confessed to his church a serious problem that he has. He is in counseling with his wife and the church is doing all to help him.

Pray for Bill Warneke, chronic neck pain, depression and the beginnings of Parkinson’s.

For Caliste and Stephanie, pray for peace and no fear in their lives.

Salvation for Cristina B, and her husband Oscar, who has been dabbling in witchcraft.

Salvation for Mona R, Barbara D, Larry R, Elena’s daughter Yolanda.

Pray for Steve H, strength and encouragement.

Remember baby Eli, weight gain and good health.

ANOINTED TO PREACH

June 17, 2019

silhouette and grayscale photography of man standing under the rain

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

THANKS TO STEVE H, FOR GIVING ME THE TOPIC FOR TODAY’S DEVOTION.

We need to ensure that we maintain biblical balance concerning the Holy Spirit. It is impossible for any preacher to be effective, fruitful, or balanced in his ministry without acknowledging, and giving place to, the lordship, leading, illumination, and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can transform all your preparation (study of the text, outline of your sermon etc.) into a message from God that is accompanied by the power of God. You may rightly divide the word of truth; you may correctly study and analyze the text (the subject, structure, and substance of a text) and you may preach what you have prepared logically and flawlessly, but only God through the Holy Spirit can give your sermon the power to effect a spiritual transformation in someone’s life.

This is sometimes called the “anointing” of the Holy Spirit, or the “unction” of the Spirit, or the “empowerment” of the Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit to enable us to conduct thorough, scholarly study of the text in preparation for preaching, and we must also seek the blessing and power of the Holy Spirit to use the message to accomplish His work.

So, what is anointed preaching? What does it mean to preach with “unction”? How does a preacher obtain this empowerment of the Spirit?

First, let’s look at a definition of the term itself. “Unction” is an old fashioned word that is synonymous with “anointing.” For the purposes of this article, we will refer to “anointing” as the special empowerment of the Holy Spirit on the preacher. This is not the general empowerment of the Spirit that enables us to live the Christian life. This is the preacher’s access to special power for preaching through the Holy Spirit such that what we preach has supernatural consequences. Or, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones puts it: “It is God-given power … that lifts it (what we preach) up beyond the efforts and endeavours of man to a position in which the preacher is being used by the Spirit and becomes the channel through whom the Spirit works.” 3 E.M. Bounds puts it this way: “(Divine unction) supports and impregnates revealed truth with all the energy of God. Unction is simply putting God in His own Word and on His own preacher.” 4

Now, let’s look at some key biblical references. Luke 4:18-19, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Here, Jesus is in the synagogue reading from Isa. 61:1-2. In what sense does Jesus mean that the Spirit of the Lord had “anointed” him?

There was no evidence of any particular bodily change in him, no change in his manner of speaking, nor any sort of spiritual experience. It appears to have been a normal reading of Scripture. The only difference from any other Scripture reading in the synagogue was his characterization of the text as prophetic of his ministry, and the claim that the prophecy was that day fulfilled.

In the way Luke has constructed his narrative, however, it becomes apparent that this event (Lk. 4:18-19) is directly connected to the infancy narrative (Lk. 1:35) and the baptism (Lk. 3:21-22), all three of which are designed to emphasize that Jesus is the anointed Son of God – the One sent by God, the One set aside by God, the One empowered by God to proclaim (and, indeed, to inaugurate) his kingdom. 5

This seems to be, then, the nature of Jesus’ anointing here – namely, the affirmation of Jesus as the one whom God has specially set apart for the task of preaching the good news and specially empowered for his ministry. What is most striking about this is that even the Lord Jesus himself received special anointing from the Holy Spirit to carry out his earthly mission.

Luke 24:49, “Tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Here the disciples, who had followed the Lord for three years (they had heard him preach, learned his teaching, imbibed his commands, witnessed his miracles, observed his death and burial, and seen him after his resurrection) are now promised that they will be “endued” (invested) with power by the Holy Spirit, which, of course, took place at Pentecost as Acts 2:4 records: “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

You would not think that men such as this would need any special empowerment for their ministry. They didn’t need any additional knowledge or conviction of the truth about Jesus. What they needed was the power and ability to carry out their ministry and mission (the extension of Jesus’ ministry) now that Jesus had gone. And this is what they were endued with in Acts 2 – a special power from the Holy Spirit specifically to enable their witness and work to have supernatural effect.

The effect of this special empowerment is astounding. Peter, who had previously denied the Lord with oaths and curses, is now able to preach with boldness and authority such that 3000 people are converted in one day.

Acts 4:7-8, “And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, ‘By what power or by what name have you done this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders of Israel…’”. Clearly, Peter was “filled with the Holy Spirit” at Pentecost. So, why did he need to be filled again? Because the filling of the Spirit is a repeated process by which the Spirit empowers God’s servants to accomplish specific ministry. Once again he received a fresh supply of the Spirit of God that filled him for the particular task on hand here in this chapter – namely, his trial for healing the lame man in ch. 3. There are many more references to this same phenomena in Acts (e.g. Acts 4:31; 6:3, 5; 7:55; 9:17; 11:24; 13:9, 52), but these will suffice for our purposes.

1 Cor. 2:1-5, 1 “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

This is Paul’s self-testimony concerning the manner of his preaching and teaching which shows us that spiritually powerful preaching is not accompanied with outward evidences and inward subjective experiences of some sort of mystical power. Indeed, neither the content of Paul’s message nor the manner of his preaching were designed, at least at a human level, to be manifestations of power.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for salvation for Mona R, Barbara D, Norma Perales, her husband Rick  and her adult son Rick Jr. also Bonnie W, Sherri Jones, Cristina B and Gena G.

Healing for Caliste Burt and Stephanie Taylor. Inoperable brain tumors.

Bill Warneke, chronic neck pain

Eli, Olivia and Tim’s baby, he needs to put on weight.

Staci C, salvation, and the marriage she has just put on the rocks.

accessory blur close up cloth

Photo by Mat Brown on Pexels.com

I have counseled with many women who profess to be Christians, but they are engaged to be married to unbelievers. I always ask, “Do you want God’s blessing on your marriage?” They always say, “Yes.” I’ve never had one say no. I show them in God’s Word that He commands us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. This creates a trial for the young woman! She wants to marry this nice (they’re all “nice”!) unbelieving man, but God’s Word says, “Don’t do it.” Not only would it be very difficult to break up with him, it would also mean being single with no prospect for marriage in sight. That’s a trial! The test is, “Will she obey God, or choose her own selfish ways?”

One woman told me that she had prayed about marrying her unbelieving fiancé, and she “had a peace about it.” I told her that she had sinned by praying about this situation, because God has clearly revealed His will about marrying unbelievers. She didn’t want to know God’s will; she only wanted to do her will. So if we want God’s wisdom in any decision or in any trial, we must be fully committed to obey Him and His Holy Word.

I’ve never quite figured out why this is more of a problem for women than it is men.  Maybe it’s their biological clock ticking. What I see in men is ‘missionary’ dating. We’ll just date for a longer time and pray she gets saved before we get to the altar.

Or my all-time favorite, we can’t have sex (mister) until you accept Jesus. Talk about quick trip to an altar call. So the conversation goes like this; “well last night I accepted Jesus as my Savior, will you have sex with me now?” followed shortly by a pregnancy because we can’t’ use condoms because that would mean we planned on having sex and that would be wrong, versus “it just happened”. (of course, the brushing teeth and shaving the legs and taking a shower and putting on deodorant and cologne or perfume was planned either ‘it just happened’).

Folks, it’s pretty simple; ‘all the bible all the time’ you can’t pick and choose what parts you will follow and which you will ignore.

Yes, that right folks, God still expects us to be sexually pure, before marriage and after the marriage. It’s not old fashion it’s the bible.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember emails, prayer requests, questions or comments to the email address.

WISDOM FROM ABOVE

June 15, 2019

silhouette and grayscale photography of man standing under the rain

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

To ask God for wisdom implies that He can deliver. The Bible plainly states, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Prov. 2:6). It warns, “There is no wisdom and no understanding and no counsel against the Lord” (Prov. 21:30). In other words, if worldly “wisdom” contradicts or goes against God, it is false “wisdom.” Only God’s wisdom stands.

Paul contrasted the so-called wisdom of this world with God’s wisdom as seen in the cross of Christ (1 Cor. 1:18-30). He sarcastically asks (1:20-21), “Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”

The point is, if you have not come as a sinner to the cross of Christ to obtain God’s mercy through faith, you do not know God and thus you cannot obtain the wisdom that comes only from Him. But, how does God impart the wisdom that we need?

God’s wisdom comes directly from God and is revealed in His Word. It especially centers in the knowledge of Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3; see also, Col. 1:9; Eph. 1:16-17). God reveals His wisdom by the Holy Spirit to those who are spiritual (1 Cor. 2:6-16). That wisdom has to do with knowing how to apply biblical truth to particular situations in life. Thus if you are not spending consistent time learning God’s Word, you will not have the wisdom that you need when trials hit. The time to seek wisdom from God is before the calamity hits (Prov. 1:20-33).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Bill Warneke, chronic depression and neck pain.

Pray for Steve H, encouragement and strength.

Patty R, married 8 times. She is staying married this time because she thinks her looks are failing and couldn’t “catch” the big fish. (PS, needs salvation)

Jeremy L, several years ago lost his wife and baby to a drunk driver. To his family’s chagrin he’s dating the woman that killed them. Says it’s part of the healing process.

Pray for Eli, Olivia and Tim’s little baby boy, he needs to gain more weight.

Caliste and Stephanie, faith and no fear, as they manage their lives with inoperable brain tumors.

Remember our salvation list.

MATURITY PART 1

June 14, 2019

growth marks

It should be stressed at the outset that this subject is being addressed, not because this writer sees himself as the perfect example of a Christian leader or of maturity, but because this is one of the most lacking elements in the church today, and because the qualities of spiritual maturity are so determinative to the life of the church and society as a whole. This series of studies was originally developed because I recognized the need of these qualities in my own life and ministry as one in a position of leadership as a pastor or teaching elder and leader of men.

As we consider these marks of maturity, we are confronted with the reality that they are qualities that should be found in the life of every believer—man or woman. So let it be emphasized that this study has application to all of us regardless of our particular roles in the church or in society. As members of the body of Christ, we are all potential leaders to some degree whether a husband or wife, a father or mother, or a fellow worker in an office. As Christian men and women, we have a leadership role as we seek to lead others to Christ and as we seek to function as salt and light within society. For men or women these are qualities which will enhance their capacity as husbands or wives, as fathers or mothers, or as co-laborers in the gospel of Christ.

One of Paul’s primary personal goals and ministry objectives was to reach greater and greater levels of spiritual maturity and to see all Christians do the same. The goal of evangelism is never just seeing people come to Christ. Indeed, the primary command of the Great Commission is not evangelism, but making disciples. Making disciples naturally includes evangelism, but it goes far beyond that.2

That spiritual maturity was a major concern and a key objective of Paul and other writers of the New Testament epistles is clearly seen in the following passages (see Eph. 4:12f; Phil. 3:12f; Col. 1:28; 4:12; 1 Cor. 2:6, 16f; Jam. 1:2; Rom. 8:28-29; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18).

One of the key Greek words used here is teleios, “having attained the end, purpose, complete, perfect.” It was used of a full-grown, mature adult. A comparison of Hebrews 5:13 with 14 and 1 Corinthians 2:6 with 3:1 we find an instructive contrast. Teleios, “mature,” is contrasted with the word for “babe,” nepios in both of these passages. Thus, in a spiritual sense, teleios speaks of one who is fully developed, spiritually mature according to the spiritual qualities detailed in the New Testament.

Thus, spiritual growth and greater and greater levels of maturity are key objectives of Scripture and a key responsibility for church leaders (Eph. 4:11) and for individuals to be concerned about in their own lives (1 Pet. 2:2; Jam. 1:2).

Growth and maturity do not occur by naturally. The babe in Christ requires sound and consistent ‘spiritual pediatrics’ and there are certain agents God uses to bring about spiritual growth to bring us to deeper and deeper maturity in Christ:

  1. The Word is obviously a key and necessary element for spiritual growth (1 Pet. 1:23-2:3; 2 Pet. 1:3-4; 3:18; John 17:17). In John 17:17 the Lord prayed for the church and said, “sanctify them through your word, your word is truth.” The reference to “sanctify” or sanctification is fundamentally a synonym for growth and maturity and expresses the Lord’s objective for all believers.

  2. Church leaders (Eph. 4:11ff; 1 Thess. 5:12; Jam. 5:14).3

  3. The care and concern of the body of Christ as a whole (Eph. 4:16; 1 Thess. 5:11ff).

  4. Suffering or the trials of life (Jam. 1:2-5; 1 Pet. 1:6; Ps. 119:67, 71, 75, 92)

  5. Last, but not least, the indwelling and teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 3:16f; 1 Cor. 2:6-3:4)

So, exactly what does a mature Christian look like? A mature Christian is a believer whose life begins to take on the character of Christ-likeness. But what exactly is that? What are the specific qualities that mark out a person as Christ-like? This is the focus and point of this study, but before we begin to consider some of these qualities, there are a number of other things that we want to cover as a foundation before actually defining and looking at the qualities of maturity.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Sherrie J, she has lived life as a high profile celebrity, well she has crashed and burned for the last time, all her contracts are cancelled. Pray for her salvation and lesson she is learning about humility.

Pray for Steve P, motocross, lost a spleen and has a concussion. (out of the hospital, had some complications from the surgery and had to go back in for 3 days.)

Remember Caliste and Stephanie, both fine Christian women, inoperable brain tumors, Caliste is dealing better with it than Stephanie.

Jeremy b, pray for his 9 year old son, diagnosed with Leukemia. He has begun his cancer treatment and like most 9 year old’s we could learn a lesson from him about courage and faith.

Remember Bill Warneke, depression, degenerative disks in his neck and the beginnings of Parkinson’s.

Pray for Eli, Olivia’s 2-month-old son, he needs to gain more weight.

Pray for Steve H, strength, encouragement, a blessing.

Remember pastor Paul K, a healing touch from God.

Pray for Tara, salvation, Barbara D, Mona R, the Perales family.

STRAIGHT FROM ABOVE

June 13, 2019

clouds

Photo by Emma Trewin on Pexels.com

James the Apostle knew that it’s relatively easy to live as a Christian when things are calm. But it’s a much more difficult prospect when the storms of life hit with full force. At such times, it’s easy to get off course or even to make shipwreck of your faith. His readers were facing various difficult trials. They were dispersed abroad (1:1), mostly due to persecution. They had suffered the loss of their homes and possessions. Many were not able to escape persecution even in the places to which they had fled. James wanted them to know how to navigate through these trials so that they could not only endure, but joyfully endure (1:2).

“Consider it all joy” (1:2). We can do this if we understand a reassuring truth, “that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (1:3). But it is necessary to submit to the refining process: “let endurance have its perfect result” (1:4). But there is a further ingredient that we need to endure trials joyfully so as to bring glory to God, namely, God’s wisdom. So James tells us how to obtain wisdom from God:

When James says, “If any of you lack wisdom,” he is not suggesting that some have it together so well that they have no need of wisdom. The Greek conditional sentence implies that we all lack wisdom when we face difficult trials. But, we don’t always see our need for God’s wisdom. Thus,

  1. To obtain wisdom to endure trials joyfully, see your need.

We need to be clear about the terms that James uses here:

  1. JAMES IS TALKING ABOUT GOD’S WISDOM THAT ENABLES US TO ENDURE TRIALS JOYFULLY.

When you study the Bible, it is crucial to study the text in its context, and also to understand how the words are used in Scripture. In the context of James 1, wisdom refers to the wisdom that we need to endure trials with God’s joy, so that we will be “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (1:4). James realizes that in a time of trials, God’s people often do lack His wisdom on how to endure those trials with joy. Thus he adds verses 5-8. Of course, we can ask God for wisdom in any matter in life that we face, but in the context here, it is focused on asking God for the wisdom that we need to endure trials joyfully.

Enduring trials with joy goes against our natural inclination. When trials hit, we’re all prone to ask, “Why is this happening to me?” But that is usually the wrong question. Sometimes, God graciously reveals to us the reason for our suffering, but not always. Often the answer to why we suffer must wait until we’re in heaven. The important questions to ask when a trial hits are, “How can I understand this trial from God’s perspective? How can I navigate through this storm in such a way as to bring glory to God? How can this trial help me grow in maturity?”

Pastor Warren Wiersbe (Be Mature [Victor Books], p. 29) tells about a secretary of his who was going through difficult trials. She had had a stroke, her husband had gone blind, and then he had to be taken to the hospital where, as far as they knew, he would die. Wiersbe saw this woman in church one Sunday and assured her that he was praying for her.

She startled him by asking, “What are you asking God to do?” He replied, “I’m asking God to help you and strengthen you.”

“I appreciate that,” she said, “but pray about one more thing. Pray that I’ll have the wisdom not to waste all of this!” Wiersbe observed, “She knew the meaning of James 1:5.”

It also helps to understand the meaning of the Old Testament word for wisdom (my sources here include, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament [Moody Press], ed. by R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke, 1:282-284; and New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology [Zondervan], ed. by Colin Brown, 3:1026-1029). James is steeped in the Old Testament. The main idea of Old Testament wisdom is that of skill. It includes the skill of workers who made garments for the high priest and who were able to work with metal, stone and wood (Exod. 28:3; 31:3-5; 36:1-2). It also extends to those who are able to execute a battle plan (Isa. 10:13), lead in government (Deut. 34:9), and shrewdly assess a difficult situation and persuade others to take necessary action (2 Sam. 20:22). It refers to those who speak prudently (Ps. 37:30) and use their time carefully (Ps. 90:12).

Rather than just theoretical understanding, biblical wisdom focuses on practical living in obedience to God’s revealed will. The fool in Proverbs is not the man who is mentally deficient, but rather the man who is morally deficient. He ignores God’s commandments and lives according to human wisdom. The wise man lives in obedience to God. Thus he skillfully puts together a life that is beautiful from God’s perspective. Thus the Bible affirms (Job 28:28), “The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (see also, Ps. 111:10)

So, by wisdom, James is talking about the skill that enables us to live obediently before God in the midst of trials. The result will be a truly beautiful life that glorifies God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for our salvation list.

Remember Bill Warneke in prayer, chronic depression, neck pain and the beginnings of Parkinson’s.

Pray for Steve H, encouragement and strength.

Pray for Debbie G, battling breast cancer (4th time).

Stacey Keebs, welcome to America.

Remember Paul K, pastor, spot on his lung and cysts on his pancreas.

Olivia and Tim’s baby boy Eli- strength, growth, wellness, weight gain.

Yolanda V, her mom was hit by a scooter, downtown, you know those things that you rent in the city. The person never stopped, then his compadre, ran over her hand. They were both clotheslined about 10 seconds later by 2 attorneys. So yes hell has frozen over.

PERFECTION?

June 11, 2019

alphabet blur books close up

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Perfection

Matthew 5:48 nasb

48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Is it possible to be a Christian and be perfect, don’t be ridiculous, although we have all met people that thought they were “God’s gift to mankind”.

The word perfect used here is rather unfortunate; as it really means complete or growing or maturing. So if we can’t literally be perfect what can we be.

Jesus is trying to tell his disciples to be different than the ordinary religious man, by that he meant that being a Christian wasn’t a static or stand still kind of thing.

First lets start with our character, we can grow and become more Christ like, (remember my favorite book list, see “the life of Christ by Thomas Kempis)

Second, with holiness, we are called to be separate, different, accepting the values and lifestyle God would have us live. Yes there are things we shouldn’t be doing, that the world does all the time. (no list here, that’s between you and God and the church you go to)

Third, the version of the bible called the Message (which I’m not a big fan of) but will use here says in this verse, “grow up”, that’s pretty simple, mature in the Lord.

Fourth, all though we often sin, and seem to take two steps back and only one forward the chief thought of God is that He loves us, and we must return that love to Him and to our brother and sisters in the family of God. Since Christ died because He loved us, what greater character could we have than to be loving.

God bless

We have another bible give away, email us at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

So, here’s the question, 2 Chronicles 35:18 says; The Passover had not been observed like this in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel; and none of the kings of Israel had ever celebrated such a Passover as did Josiah, with the priests, the Levites and all Judah and Israel who were there with the people of Jerusalem.

So, from Samuel the prophet to this Passover celebration, how many years had passed? (and google can’t come up with the answer). The answer that’s the closest will win an Niv Study bible.

Remember Bill Warneke in prayer, he is suffering physically so bad, he will try any quack remedy but not take his medicine.

Pray for Steve H, Strength, encouragement, and a blessing.

Pray for our ‘bad’ girls, we have some young ladies that follow this devotional and they are spiritually seeking but don’t know it yet, they are in need of salvation. Pray they come to know the love of God.

Remember our salvation list.

Remember Caliste and Stephanie, divine healing. Which if you are not familiar with the theology of divine healing read Andrew Murray’s book on the subject, written over 100 years ago, it is a classic work and has none of the silliness associated with the TBN quack crowd.

DRAWING NEAR TO GOD

June 10, 2019

thinking over feeling

  “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:22).

  The darkness of this place will in time turn us to the light of His face—”the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).

 When the believer has a real understanding that he belongs to that new place in glory, the Holy Spirit delights his heart with the things of that place. ‘Set your affection on things above.’ I used to pity those who are alone in the world. I pity no one now who has a room where he can find himself isolated from everyone, to be with the Lord Jesus where He is; where he can have his spirit renewed, to come out and face all the roughness here.

  “May the Lord lead us into the shelter of His holy presence, that we may daily grow in the elevation to which He has raised us, and consequently into moral distance from the old man which is so entirely estranged from the light and perfection of the Father’s presence.”

  “If I am risen with the Lord Jesus, I must occupy myself with Him where He is, or I shall fall back to the things out of which He has risen; and the very fact that I am in the scene where He is not makes it the more necessary that I should be fellowshipping with Him where He is.”

 We are conversant with man in death and sin and distance from the Father, for that is our state by nature; but to know the Man in glory, One in acceptance with the Father according to all His moral greatness, is new to us and magnificent. And according as we know Him there we become not only superior to, but distanced from, our own state with which we are associated.

  “For. . . your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Steve H, strength and encouragement

Little baby Eli, not quite 2 months old, pray he continues to put on weight and is healthy.

Pray for Bill Warneke, chronic depression, severe neck pain, the beginnings of Parkinson’s

Remember our salvation list.

Pray for Caliste and Stephanie, only divine healing and intervention by God is going to ‘fix’ everything.

LOWER THAN LOW

June 9, 2019

background conceptual contemporary creativity

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

A familiar legend tells how the devil had put his tools up for sale, each marked with the appropriate price. Hatred, lust, jealousy, deceit, lying and pride were all there. Apart from these and marked with a ridiculously high price was a harmless looking but well-worn tool. A buyer asked, “What tool is this?” “Discouragement,” replied the devil. “And why is it priced so high?” asked the man. “Because it is more useful to me than the others. I can pry open a man’s heart with that when I can’t get near to him with anything else. It’s so badly worn because I use it on almost everyone, since few people know it belongs to me.”

We’ve all known discouragement to varying degrees. Even the giants in the faith, such as the Apostle Paul, knew times of deep despair. He wrote, “We were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life” (2 Cor. 1:8). But perhaps the worst form of despair is when you realize that you’re reaping the consequences of your sin; that you’re responsible for the mess you’re in. Add to that the accusations of those you thought were your friends, who now are blaming you for problems they’re having because of your failure. You feel alone, rejected, and as if everything you’ve been working toward has gone up in smoke.

That’s where we find David in 1 Samuel 30:6. But it’s at this moment of utter despair and gloom that we read one of the most encouraging sentences in all the Bible. It breaks through the storm clouds like a ray of sunshine: “But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” It teaches us that

No matter how low you go, the way back to the Lord is always open.

Failure is not final. Even failure due to our sin is not the final chapter for a Christian. Even though, like the prodigal son, you find yourself in the muck of a pigsty, polluted by the corruption of the world, and even though those circumstances are the direct result of your own rebellion against the heavenly Father, His grace can still break through the gloom and find you there. Even in the pigsty you can say, “I will get up and go to my father and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned ….’” (see Luke 15:18). And you can be assured that the gracious Father will see you from afar, will feel compassion for you and will run to you and welcome you back into His presence! Note first,

  1. How low can believers go?

Remember the old Chubby Checkers song, “Limbo Rock,” with the line, “How low can you go?” The answer, even for believers, is, “Pretty low!” David was in the lowest place he had ever been in his life.

I want us to feel David’s utter despair and gloom because when we feel down, we all have a tendency to think that no one else has ever been in as bad a situation as we’re in. And if the enemy can make us think that our situation is uniquely bad, then we will despair of thinking that there is any way back.

But there’s always a way back! You can never go so low but that the grace of God is sufficient to bring you back. There is always hope in the Lord! The only reason He allows His children to despair, even of life itself, is so that they learn not to trust in themselves, but in God who raises the dead (2 Cor. 1:9).

Perhaps some here feel overwhelmed with discouragement. It may be due to a health problem or a family problem. Maybe you can’t find work or you’re in debt so deeply that you can’t see your way out. Maybe you’re lonely, without family or friends who seem to care about you. Perhaps you’ve sinned and you feel like God has cast you off. But to you especially God put David’s terrible situation in the Bible to say, “There is a way back! In times of deepest despair, there is hope in the Lord!”

  1. The way back

David’s experience teaches us a number of things about the way back to the Lord from our deep despair:

  1. THE WAY BACK IS AN INTENTIONAL WAY.

“But David …” This is one of the many great “buts” in the Bible. Everything around David was gloom and doom. His property was either destroyed or stolen. His wives were gone and he didn’t know at this point if he would ever see them again. His men were talking of killing him. “But David!” He intentionally, deliberately rejected the faithless gloom and doom of his men. He intentionally looked beyond the smoldering ruins of Ziklag to the greatness of his God.

David’s strong intention is also seen in the Hebrew verb, “strengthened himself.” It implies persistent and continuous effort. There is nothing passive about coming back to the Lord at a time of despair. It doesn’t happen accidentally. Sometimes, like the psalmist, you have to grab yourself by the lapels and talk to yourself: “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance, and my God” (43:5; see 42:5, 11). Like the prodigal son, you have to determine, “I will get up out of this pigsty and go back to my father!” The way back is always intentional.

  1. THE WAY BACK IS A PERSONAL WAY.

“David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” David knew God in a personal way. God was not just the God of David’s country, though he lived in the covenant nation of Israel. God was not just the God of David’s father, though he was raised in a God-fearing home. God was David’s personal God. David had enjoyed personal fellowship with God as he watched his father’s sheep out in the fields as a boy. David had composed and sang many psalms, such as Psalm 23, which show that he knew the Lord as his personal shepherd who cared for his every need.

You do not know God if you do not know Him personally. You can know about God, but not know God. You can use a lot of religious language and attend worship services and even say eloquent prayers, but not know God personally. We come to know God in a personal way through personal faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins. Jesus said, “For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).

  1. THE WAY BACK IS A REPENTANT WAY.

To repent means to turn around or change direction. As we saw last week, David hadn’t sought God’s direction in his decision to go over to Achish, king of Gath. In fact, this move violated God’s explicit prohibitions for His people not to form alliances with the pagans in the land. But now David is very careful to seek God’s direction and to obey it.

In David’s day, a person could seek God’s will through the Urim and Thummim which were contained in the ephod, a vest-like garment in the possession of the high priest. Though scholars differ in their understanding of exactly what this was, it seems to have been some sort of God-ordained system of drawing lots. David now sought God’s direction in this way. The point is, this was a change from David’s earlier self-willed decision. He repented.

The way back to the Lord always involves acknowledging that I was wrong, turning from that wrong, and doing what God wants. Just as David now called for the ephod in front of all his men, so that they could see that David was not calling the shots, but rather that he was seeking and submitting to the Lord, so repentance often needs to be acknowledged in front of others, so that those who saw us going our own way realize that now there is a change.

  1. THE WAY BACK IS A SUBMISSIVE WAY.

Note 30:8: “Shall I pursue this band?” Many would not have bothered to ask the question: “These guys stole our families and our possessions. Let’s go get ‘em!” But David deliberately stopped to ask the Lord if he should pursue this band to try to recover what they had taken.

What if God had said, “No, David, your wives and your possessions are gone”? It would have been hard, but I think David would have submitted. You can’t write your own terms when you come to the Lord. You can’t say, “Lord, I’ll come back if You will do what I want.” He is the Lord, which means that He does what He wants, which doesn’t always fit with what I want. Submission means that I let Him call the shots. Whether He says, “It’s all gone,” or whether He graciously gives it back, I submit.

  1. THE WAY BACK IS A TRUSTING WAY.

God told David that he would recover everything and David took God at His word. He believed God and acted upon that belief in pursuing this band and fighting to take back what had been lost. It would not have done for David to sit around the ruins of Ziklag saying, “I’m just trusting the Lord.” He had to go and fight to recover what had been stolen.

Genuine faith is always active and obedient. Faith doesn’t passively sit around saying, “I believe.” Faith is taking God at His Word, often in the face of overwhelming circumstances to the contrary, and then obediently acting upon that Word until what is promised is reality. If you are recovering from a situation caused by your sin, you often have to believe what God says concerning your sins (that they are charged to Christ’s account, not to yours) and act upon it in spite of your feelings.

  1. THE WAY BACK IS A GENEROUS WAY.

On the way to pursue this enemy, 200 of David’s men were too exhausted to continue, so they stayed behind with the baggage (30:9-10). After they had defeated the enemy and recovered more than they had lost, some of the 400 men who had fought didn’t want to share the spoils with those who had stayed behind (30:22). But David would not let them act in this greedy way. He gave the men who stayed behind an equal share and he sent generous gifts to his countrymen in the surrounding towns (30:23-31).

The point is, the Lord doesn’t restore you to Himself so that you can live a comfortable, happy, self-centered life, hoarding all the blessings He has graciously given. The problem with David’s greedy men was that they thought they had recovered the spoil (30:22). But David’s reply makes it clear that he knew it was the Lord who had given them what they had recovered (30:23). If the Lord has given, then we must give an account to Him as stewards for how we dispense His gifts. The Lord never gives us His blessings just to make us happy. He gives us His blessings so that we can share them with others so that He is glorified.

So believers can go pretty low when they take the path away from the Lord. But, praise God, the way back is always open, even in our deepest despair! It is an intentional, personal, repentant, submissive, trusting, and generous way.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Eli, Olivia’s baby, normal weight gain and health.

Pray for Caliste and Stephanie, inoperable brain tumors, both had an emotional setback this weekend.

Our salvation list, Barbara D, Mona R, Salvation prayers for Norma Perales, her husband Rick and her adult son Rick Jr. and that they would be delivered from gambling.

Remember Steve H, strength and encouragement.

Ricky r, still sober.

Sherry M, surprisingly still behaving.

PRAY FOR Bill Warneke, healing for his neck, depression and that he would take his meds and go see a doctor.