DEEPLY ROOTED IN HIM

February 14, 2019

knock you down

  “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God” (Ps. 92:13).

  Defeat reveals the flesh; testing reveals the Father.

 The inward exercise of Romans Seven and the testing of the wilderness serve the purpose of teaching us what sin in the flesh is, and what is in our hearts; while such special discipline of the Father as Paul’s thorn in the flesh is rather to protect us from the unalterable tendencies of the flesh. The latter is always needed and goes on in one form or other to the end of our course here.

 We belong to another sphere altogether. We have died, and our life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). We are like a tree that has its roots in heaven, and its branches down here. No doubt our branches are fretted and ripped by the atmosphere here, but nothing can touch the roots up there. Planted inside the realm of heaven, they flourish outside.

No one can question the right of the Father and the Son to have and to hold the sheep; and if we see what it has cost them to secure us, it cannot fail to give us the most blessed assurance. Much yet may have to be done for us. We shall need support, preservation, discipline. If we are left here a little longer, we shall need the grace, mercy, and forbearance of the Father in a thousand ways, but all that will be needed in the future to keep us from ourselves is small compared with the stupendous cost at which divine love forever secured us.

  “There is more in the Lord Jesus, in the Father, in the Spirit, in heaven to give us rest and peace and joy, than in the whole universe to disquiet, trouble, or grieve us.” -G.W.

  “Heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Rebekah Grace, her mother passed away today at 88 years of age.

Pray for Caliste Burt. No plan b yet, for the removal of the third brain tumor, they are letting her rest for now while they consult other experts.

Remember to pray for Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression.

Pray for all those that suffer like that, those that suffer in long term suffering will always have bouts with depression.

Pray for Nickie, she is newly saved and she is a real testimony to her non believing family who is doing everything to prove this isn’t real.

Pray for Steve H, and the hunt for a great pastor.

Remember the Perales family, salvation for all

Remember me in prayer, today was especially rough. 4 more days of this phase of the meds, the side affects have reached there max and I’m not sure today which is worse the cure or the disease.

Remember Paul K, two cysts on his pancreas.

THIS IS OUR 2197 POST, WITH ONLY 3 DAYS EVER MISSED IN THAT TIME

This is from Chuck Swindoll’s Searching the Scriptures Study Guide.

OBSERVATION

Read the passage

thoroughly

When we observe our passage, we examine:

1) The who, what, where, when, why, and how

2) What you can see, touch, taste, hear, and smell

3) The logical connections, flow of thoughts, and range of subjects

4) What’s repeated, emphasized, related, alike, and unalike

INTERPRETATION

Understand the

passage deeply

When we interpret our passage, we study:

1) The author’s language and literary genre

2) The author’s culture

3) The historical events

4) The biblical context

5) The author’s beliefs about God and life

CORRELATION

Compare the passage

carefully

When we correlate our passage, we compare:

1) Our passage’s history with biblical texts addressing the same event

2) Our passage’s theology with biblical texts addressing the same core truths

3) Our passage’s application with biblical texts addressing the same principles

APPLICATION

Internalize the passage

personally

When we apply a passage, we:

1) Look for ways to pray in light of what the passage teaches

2) Ask questions about your behaviors or thoughts that need to change

3) Heed our Lord’s warnings

4) Obey our Lord’s commands

5) Believe our Lord’s promises

Remember: we study the Bible to cultivate our relationship with our risen Lord—and as the great reformer

Philip Melanchthon said, “To know Christ is to know his benefits.”

I would add a couple of other tools, a good bible dictionary, a good study bible like the Life Application Study Bible, available in just about any translation, a dictionary of theology. And a one volume commentary like Matthew Henry’s.

Also, Word Search software, is one of the most affordable bible study software there is and it comes with dozens if not a hundred free books.

And as the bible says; “we are to study to show ourselves approved… a workman not ashamed.”

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Paul K, considering a career change.

Pray for Paul C, safety and protection.

Remember Caliste Burt, still in the hospital and still no answer to brain tumor number three.

Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression

Remember Steve H, and the hunt for a great pastor.

Remember me in prayer, still in a lot of pain, and the doctors are going to have to come up with plan b, cause plan a, isn’t working. The medicine did not shrink the mass in my chest.

Pray for Kristal, our three now saved, former Adult film stars have led her to salvation in Jesus and the excitement is contagious. What a great encouragement for them all.

who loves you baby

February 1, 2019

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

  1. Jesus carefully prayed before hand 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 scarily 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

Long time since we had a bible giveaway, let me think of a good question and we will have one by Saturday.

Pray for Caliste Burt, 3 brain aneurisms, and some severe complications have put off the surgery date until the doctors can figure a way around it.

Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression, really keep this guy in prayer, in his 80’s and he’s Christian, but he is talking about giving up.

Cherry P, pray for people to come into her work life that will encourage her.

Sherrie, our prodigal church girl, she keeps thinking since nothing bad is happening to her she can continue to live a very carnal lifestyle. I want to bonk her on the head and tell her how she can think like that and go to my church for 20 years and even arrive to that conclusion.

The Perales, family, they all need salvation.

George McCannon, his wife passed away last week and he’s just collapsed from the years of strain of being her caregiver.

Pray for Karen M, a hyper controlling husband, that has done all but chain her up. We’ve tried intervening, but with 11 kids, she feels stuck. We’ve offered her shelter, we’d move her but she is brainwashed. We’ve called the police numerous times but you know how that goes.

Pray for Nano, street hustler, when we were doing a lot of street preaching, he was always there, gave a bible and a bible dictionary years ago. Folks say he’s still around but we can’t find him.

Remember me in prayer, Friday is my CT scan, hoping it’s just infected lymph nodes and not the big C.

  “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain” (Phil. 2:16).

  Many Christians are bogged down between the nursery and the schoolroom; between the playpen and the workshop. These resist the weaning period; but the spiritually hungry-hearted are eager to have their feelings replaced by faith.

It is true that the Father does take up those who are spiritually immature and permit them to speak His words years before they fully understand their import; but He does not wish any of us to stop there. We may go on that way for awhile, but is it not true that from the time when He begins in us His work of formation through discipline and chastening, it slowly dawns on us how little in fact we know of the true meaning of what we had been saying?

Our Lord intends that we should reach the place where we can speak, with or without manifest gifts, because we are that which we share. For in Christian experience the spiritual things of God are less and less outward, that is, of gift, and more and more inward, of life. In the long run it is the depth and inwardness of a work that counts. As the Lord Jesus Himself becomes more and more to us, other things—and this must include even gifts—matter less and less. Then, though we teach the same doctrine, speak the same words, the impact on others is very different, manifesting itself in an increasing depth of the Spirit’s work within them also.

Our Father’s hand is on the helm. We are being guided, even when we feel it least. The closed door is as much His Providence as the open, and equally for our good and the accomplishment of His own great ends. And one learns at last it is not what we set ourselves to do that really tells in blessing so much as what He is doing in and through us.”

  “Thou wilt show me the path of life” (Ps. 16:11).

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Caliste is doing great and says thanks for the prayers

 

Bill W, new medicine is helping somewhat.

 

Paul K, pray for healing of the two cysts on his pancreas

 

Olivia is doing great, appreciates our prayers.

 

Pray for Barbara D, the list of her illness and the hosts of other physical problems is amazing she can function, her cancer is back and we need to keep her in prayer.

 

Pray for the Perales family, salvation for Norma, Rick Sr. and Rick Jr.

 

Remember Steve H, and the church’s search for a pastor.

 

Pray for me as I am seeking new employment.

SEXUAL PURITY PART TEN

January 16, 2019

Chess_board_opening_staunton

Confession of sin both to God and to others is crucial. One of Satan’s schemes is encouraging believers to hide sin, instead of confessing it. Through spiritual hypocrisy, strongholds are developed and fortified in a believer’s life. This is the kind of Christian that Satan will destroy. They have closet addictions—closet lusts—that they never share with anyone.

When Christians don’t confess before God and others, they become desensitized to their sin—opening the door for greater strongholds. Paul talks about false teachers who have a “seared conscience” and are deceived by demons in 1 Timothy 4:1-2. Listen to what he says:

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

Paul called them “hypocritical liars”—meaning they professed godliness while living in unconfessed sin. Because of this, their consciences stopped working—making them more susceptible to demonic deception. Living in unconfessed sin opens the door for the devil in our lives.

This happens to Christians all the time. How does a pastor who preaches every week continually steal money from the church and live in an adulterous relationship? This type of stumbling doesn’t happen all at once. It’s typically a process of living in unrepentant sin while professing godliness. The hypocrisy slowly silences the conscience of the believer and further opens the door for the enemy.

This is what Satan aims to do in the area of sexual immorality. By continually living in unconfessed sexual sin. You lose the ability to be convicted by the Holy Spirit. Believers quickly find themselves bound to pornography addictions, sexual fantasies, homosexual desires, illicit sex, etc. This is the pathway to destruction, and it typically begins with Christians walking alone—with no accountability and confession in their lives.

Solomon, one of the wisest men to ever live, said this:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)

“Pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Who are your spiritual warriors who fight beside you? Who picks you up when you fall? Are there strongholds in your life that you haven’t confessed to anybody? He who walks with the wise becomes wise—they start to live a victorious, godly life.

In a battle, the one fighting alone is the most vulnerable and susceptible to attack.

Why do some fight alone? Some fight alone because of shame—the enemy makes them feel ashamed of their sin. They feel like nobody else struggles with it, and therefore, they never tell anyone. However, Scripture says, “There is no temptation taken you but that which is common to man” (1 Cor 10:13). This battle is something that we all share to various degrees. Don’t let the enemy lie to you and keep you from getting the support needed. Some fight alone because they think they can win the battle without help. However, 1 Corinthians 12:21 says, “The eye can’t say to the hand, I don’t need you.” God created the body of Christ in such a way that we are interdependent—meaning we need one another. We need one another to accomplish the works God has called us to do including gaining victory over lust.

Proverbs 13:20 says this: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Find wise, godly soldiers to pray with, to confess to, and to gain wisdom from in order to obtain and sustain victory against lust. These wise soldiers will include those who are battle tested and successful in winning the battle against lust. As a college student, I didn’t really start getting victory until I began to be mentored and held accountable by an older, spiritually mature man. Previously, my accountability partners were primarily young men like myself who wanted to be pure but were losing the battle. This was not wrong, but it wasn’t enough. Find wise, godly soldiers to help you win the victory.

This is a strategy every soldier must employ: Find other godly soldiers to fight with—to confess your sins to, to pray with, and to encourage. Also, be willing to let go of those who are not calling on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Reflection

Why is it important to have spiritual accountability in the battle for purity?

How should one select and initiate an accountability relationship?

Who are your accountability partners and how have these relationships helped you?

In what ways do worldly friendships and worldly dating relationships lead to suffering harm, especially in the area of sexual purity?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

We are waiting to hear about Caliste Burt’s surgery, keep her in prayer

Remember Steve H. and his church is looking for a pastor.

The Perales family, mom, dad and son, all need salvation.

Bill Warneke is doing better, chronic pain and depression, pray he will go to counseling.

Remember Olivia, pray she carries to full term this miracle baby, and Olivia and baby do fine.

SEXUAL PURITY PART SIX

January 12, 2019

thinking over feeling

Consider what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Like Matthew 5:29-30, this passage uses warfare terminology for our battle against sin. In order to be holy and pure, both in heart and body, we must fight. War isn’t easy. Our enemy is relentless in trying to conquer his prey, and lust is one of his most commonly used weapons. In this battle for our mind, Paul says we must “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Satan always targets the mind—it is our primary battlefield. He bombards every believer’s mind with sexual images and thoughts. He does this through the world system which he rules and his myriads of demons. He understands that if he can control the mind, he can control the body. So, if we are going to “learn to control our bodies in a way that is pure and honorable,” (1 Thess 4:4) we must fight to control our mind.

Satan’s attack on our mind overlaps with his attacks on our eyes and ears. It is through the eyes and ears that input is given to the mind. Therefore, by guarding the first two, we guard the latter. However, that is not the only way we guard our mind.

How else should we guard our mind?

  1. In order to guard our mind, we must recognize ungodly thoughts and ideas by testing them against God’s Word.

David said this in Psalm 19:7: “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.”

The Hebrew word for “simple” has the meaning of “open-minded.” “The ancient Jews described it as someone whose mind was like an open door: everything went in and everything went out.” This person is gullible and will believe anything. His mind is open even to thoughts and images that should be rejected. However, David says that by filling the mind with God’s Word, one becomes wise to discern what is not of God (cf. Heb 5:14). Wisdom in Scripture primarily refers to knowledge of God and obedience to him (cf. Prov 9:10). That is why Scripture describes the “fool” as one who says there is no God (Psalm 14:1).

A person who does not know the Word of God will have difficulty testing what is not good and therefore have difficulty protecting himself. His mind will continually be saturated by ungodly thoughts, sexual images, and lusts meant to control and destroy him. He will lack the power and discernment to close the door on sexual thoughts and many times will not only accept them but also cultivate them.

If we are going to protect our mind, we must recognize what is not godly. When watching TV shows, listening to music, or engaging in risqué conversations that cultivate and stir lust, the simple accepts what pollutes his soul, while the wise recognizes what would dishonor God’s temple (1 Cor 6:19).

With all that said, guarding our mind does not stop at recognizing what is ungodly by testing it against God’s Word.

  1. In order to guard our mind, we must reject the ungodly by using God’s Word.

While the simple opens the door, the wise closes the door. Again, this is done first by recognizing what is wrong and then using Truth to combat what is false and sinful. When Christ was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, he quoted Scripture to reject Satan and his lies. We should do the same. Arm yourself by memorizing Bible verses related to lust and purity such as:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:27-28 (ESV)

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (ESV)

For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

1 Thessalonians 4:2-8 (ESV)

Personally, when attacked by lust, I quote relevant Scriptures, confess wrong thoughts, lusts, and images before the Lord, and ask him to take them away. In our war for our mind, we must “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

  1. In order to guard our mind, we may at times need to command the devil to leave in Jesus name.

Again, when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, he initially responded to the temptation with quoting Scripture, but ultimately he commanded the devil to leave. Matthew 4:10-11 describes this:

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

Similarly, at times you may need to do this. When battles with lust, pornography, and illicit sex are especially difficult, we can be sure that the enemy has set up camp in these areas, and we may need to pray in authority over these demonic strongholds to be broken in the name of Jesus.

Some struggle with this idea of demonic involvment, arguing that authority over the demonic was exclusively for Christ and his apostles. However, I believe there are many evidences that demonstrate this is for every believer. For instance:

Christ is our perfect model for everything in life, including spiritual warfare (cf. Phil 2:5-11, Heb 12:2-4. 1 Peter 2:21-24).

We should model his life as the perfect example of humanity. His example in defeating the devil in the wilderness is not only descriptive but prescriptive.

Other believers commanded demons to leave throughout the New Testament.

In Acts 16:18, Paul commanded a spirit of divination to leave a slave girl in the name of Jesus. And in Acts 8:6-7, Philip, who was possibly one of the early deacons, also cast out demons. Yes, Paul was an apostle but Philip was not. This was practiced by the early church.

First, don’t be quick to blame in on a demon. We are our own worst enemy.

Second, don’t be lax, and think there can’t be possible demonic involvement. I want to say it takes great spiritual maturity to know when something like that is actually occurring.

Third, it will depend on the church you go to, Pentecostals see demons everywhere and never take personal responsibility. Liberals churches scoff at the idea of demons, or even the devil and everyone is going to heaven. Even some Evangelical churches reject the idea.

Fourth, demonic strongholds if they exist does not imply demonic possession. Christians cannot be possessed of a demon, or cursed, or have a bloodline curse.

This is was covered in our spiritual warfare series. If you have questions about it email me.

Finally, Scripture indicates that Christ has given us his authority based on our union with him.

Ephesians 1:20-22 describes his position of authority at the right hand of the Father seated above powers and principalities (the demonic) in the heavenly realm. And then Ephesians 2:6 describes how believers are seated with him. Again, this seating is not primarily a location but a position of authority which believers have in Christ. In fact, one day we will judge fallen angels with him because of this position (1 Cor 6:3). We have authority over the demonic just as the apostles and the early church, and we are called to conquer them with the spiritual weapons God has given us (cf. Eph 6:10-19).

Unfortunately, many believers neglect this authority not only to their own detriment but also to the detriment of others. When Christ sent believers into the world to proclaim the gospel, he sent them in all the authority given to him (Matt 28:18-20). We need this authority not just to spread the gospel but also for spiritual warfare.

Christ’s authority is important in battling lust because some strongholds and temptations are not just of the flesh, they are demonic. Like Christ in the wilderness, Paul, at times, recognized certain obstacles and temptations were not just of the flesh and of the world, but of the devil. Paul said this in 1 Thessalonians 2:18: “we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us” (ESV). We need to discern this as well and resist the devil.

James says this: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (4:7). As we submit to God through his Word, prayer, and the ministry of other saints, we can resist the devil, and he will flee from us. However, at times, resistance may include commanding the demonic to leave in the name of Jesus as demonstrated by Christ and the early church.

It is not God’s will for us to live bound to lust and sexual immorality, and God has given us all the resources to walk in freedom, including his Word and his authority. Thank you, Lord, for giving us everything needed for life and godliness (cf. 2 Peter 1:3). Thank you, Lord, for your grace. Thank you, Lord, that you are creating a pure and blameless Bride for your pleasure (cf. Eph 5:25-27).

Are you guarding your mind? Are you taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ? Are you filling your mind with God’s Word? Are you resisting the devil’s attacks so that he flees?

Reflection

Why is the mind so important in our battle for purity?

In what ways does the enemy bombard our mind with sexual images and thoughts?

How can a person tell when certain strongholds, especially sexual ones, are also demonic?

How should we resist the devil so he flees? In what ways is God calling you to better guard your mind?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, feel free to email us.

Pray for Caliste Burt, brain surgery next week.

Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression.

The Perales family, they need salvation and a good church.

Pray for me, the nursing home I work in just downsized because of State regulations and myself and 4 others were let go, bam, just like that. And because it is a nonprofit organization there is no unemployment.

SEXUAL PURITY PART TWO

January 8, 2019

Just as with any battle plan, one must count the cost of failure. What will be the cost of being overcome by sexual temptation? We see this strategy used when Solomon counseled his son in Proverbs about the lure of the adulterous woman. Solomon, who had many wives and concubines, knew the consequences of sexual immorality well. His father’s marriage began from an adulterous affair, and he struggled with his father’s lust. Consider the costs of sexual immorality in Proverbs 6:27-35:

Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished. People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house. But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away. For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.

Although Solomon is talking about adultery specifically, many of these consequences apply to lust in general. Solomon said, “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?” The answer to the rhetorical question is, “No!” In considering adultery, he said a person “destroys himself” and blows and disgrace will be his lot, and the shame will never be wiped away. The consequences last forever. Can anyone escape the penalties of indulging in lust? No. It is impossible. As mentioned, sexual immorality is a sin against one’s body (1 Cor 6:18). It always affects one’s body, mind, and spirit. It leads to mental and emotional baggage that is later carried into one’s marriage.

Personally, I still struggle with explicit images and thoughts from things I saw and experienced before marriage, but I don’t act out because I don’t want to lose my intimacy with God, nor with my wife. Plus I don’t do well with guilt, it tears me up way to much. I carry this baggage with me from the sins of my youth. Sometimes, the consequences are physical sickness such as STDs. Other times, it is an unplanned pregnancy—potentially leading to an abortion. When married, the costs become greater. Marital unfaithfulness leaves brokenness and carnage in its trail. A brokenhearted spouse and emotionally damaged children are just a few of the consequences.

As a married pastor with two adult children, I always think of the consequences of falling to my lust. I think of the pain it would cause my wife, the destruction I would be causing my children and grandchildren, believers who might fall away from Christ because of my example, and being disqualified from ministry (cf. 1 Tim 3:2, 1 Cor 9:27). The consequences would be devastating, and like Solomon said, the “shame will never be wiped away” (Prov 6:33). Certainly, forgiveness is available, but forgiveness does not eliminate the consequences. God forgave David for his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband, but the consequences were the sword never departing from his home and losing his first child with Bathsheba (2 Sam 12:9-14).

Another consequence of sexual immorality that must be considered is its effect on our relationship with God. In the Beatitudes, Christ said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God” (Matt 5:8). The word “pure” means unmixed. When we allow lust and other wrong desires to enter our heart, it hinders our relationship with God. It separates us from him. David said, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18).

Have you counted the cost of failure to sexual temptation? Fifty-six percent of divorce cases involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic sites. The seeds cultivated in a man or woman’s youth often bear destructive weeds in marriage. If we are going to win the battle against lust, we must count the cost. It is simply not worth it. I will say this, no matter what you did in your past with pornography and lustful behavior. One can lead a victorious life and not fail in those areas again.

O Lord, keep us from dishonoring your name, damaging ourselves, and damaging others. Make our feet like hinds’ feet and keep us from stumbling (Psalm 18:33). Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).

Reflection

What are some potential costs of falling into sexual immorality for both the single and the married?

How can considering the cost help in one’s battle against sexual temptation?

Do you ever consider the costs of this battle? How has it helped? If not, why not?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Paul C. in your prayers he has really messed up his back.

Pray for Steve H, and his church searching for the right pastor

Pray for Caliste Burt, 3 brain tumors, surgery late next week, and the anxiety is setting in.

Remember Olivia, carrying her baby to full term.

Pray for Christina, 8 years old and suffering chronic pain, doctors are not sure what is causing it.

IS GOD ENOUGH?

January 1, 2019

Is God enough when you are submerged in suffering?

Now, do you know what the devil did, when the Lord took down the hedge? Do you know what the devil did? First of all, he took away Job’s family—just like that. Job’s three daughters and seven sons were killed in a calamity. And then, on top of that, the devil came, and he stripped Job of all of his wealth. Job’s vast financial empire came tumbling down like a house of cards, and it was gone; and, overnight, he became a poor man. But, the devil wasn’t finished yet. Job’s body was stricken with a vile and a loathsome disease; and, from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, Job was covered with painful, putrefying, ulcerated boils that just covered him completely. Few people have known the suffering that this man, Job, knew. And, the devil had this theory that the only reason that Job was serving God was because of these things. So Job—the devil just knew, “If I take Job’s family from him, if I take Job’s wealth from him, if I take Job’s health from him, ole’ Job will curse God.”

But wait a minute. Not only was Job touched in the place of possessions, and not only personally, but he was touched in the place of his position in the community, because Job was a man who was known to have been a godly man. Everybody knew Job—that he was perfect and upright, that he loved what was right, and hated what was wrong. But, when ole’ Job lost it all—when Job lost his family, lost his health, lost his wealth—you know what people started to say, in that day? I’ll tell you what they started to say: “I wonder what’s wrong with ole’ Brother Job. I wonder what sin old Job must be committing. Look how God is judging Job. I wonder what Job did that was so bad,” because the philosophy in that day was this: that if you were healthy, if you were wealthy, if you were rich, if you had just been surrounded by blessings, it was a sign that you were right with God. But, if all of these things were taken from you, then that was a sign you didn’t have enough faith, and you weren’t right with God.

Now, I want to tell you, that’s an old philosophy, but it’s still with us today. Did you know that? And, if you don’t believe it, then you just tune in to some of these religious radio stations, or television stations, and see the trash—they’re not all trash, but I’m telling you, there’s some first-class trash on some of those programs. Some of these fellows, I call them the joy boys, the happiness cult. They’ll tell you, “Now, look—God just wants to bless you, and God just wants you to be healthy, and God wants you to be healthy, and God wants you to always be happy. And so, all you have to do is follow these neat little formulas; and, if you follow these neat little formulas, it’s just gong to be glory all the way. It’s going to be all honey and no bees. You’re gong to have health, wealth, and success, and prosperity all the way. Just name it and claim it.” Friend, there’s just one thing wrong with that philosophy: It ain’t so. It ain’t so. And, if you don’t learn that it ain’t so, the devil is gong to pull the rug out from underneath you.

Get your Bibles, lick your fingers, and turn to Hebrews 11. Now, let’s begin in verse 32. Paul has written a marvelous sermon on faith; the entire chapter is on faith. And, it gets down to the end of the sermon, and like somebody else I know, he runs out of time. And so, since he’s run out of time, he starts to try to sum things up. And, beginning in verse 32 of Hebrews 11, you’re going to find, as he starts to sum things up, he says, “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:”—now, notice what all of these people did, and see if you couldn’t shout through these things—”who through faith subdued kingdoms,”—well, hallelujah!— “wrought righteousness,”—praise the Lord!—”obtained promises,”—amen!—”stopped the mouths of lions.” Glory! “Quenched the violence of fire,”—marvelous!—”escaped the edge of the sword,”—beautiful!—”out of weakness were made strong,”—fine!—”waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” Amen and amen! Boy! That’s shouting ground—all of it—isn’t it?

And, how did they do it? By faith. It even gets better—look in verse 35: “Women received their dead raised to life again:”—oh, it sounds like glory all the way. Who wouldn’t want to live in that kind of an atmosphere? You say, “Oh, faith, mighty faith! Wonderful!” But, let’s continue to read, friend—”and others…”—now, just underline that, and put a star by it—”and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report”—now, watch it—”through faith, received not the promise” (Hebrews 11:32-40). These were people of faith, too. Just like those other people, they had faith, also. Now, friend, some had faith to escape, but others had faith to endure. Some had faith to be healed, but others had faith to die.

Now, I want to ask you a question: Are you ready for it? You’re suffering today, some of you. Some of you are sick, and God may want to heal you; and, by faith, God may heal you. He may do it by miracle, or He may do it by medicine; but God may heal you. But, the great question that I am asking this morning is not, “Do you have enough faith to be healed?” The question I want to ask you this morning is, “Do you have enough faith not to be healed, if it would bring greater glory to God?” Hmm? Do you have enough faith to be in that “and others” crowd?

Now, you talk about faith—that’s where faith comes in. And, these people did that… These people did that by faith. By faith, they endured these things; by faith, they bore these things. And, it wasn’t a lack of faith. Well, somebody says, “Oh, if you’ll just have faith, God will heal you.” No, dear friend, they endured those things. By faith, they were put to death. By faith, they wandered around, and they lived that life, by faith. Now, if it’s God’s will for you, that may be the kind of faith that God wants you to have.

I want to tell you, around this world, millions have died for Christ. Did you know—listen to me—more people have died in the name of Jesus and for Christ since I’ve been alive than died, since the time of Christ up until that time? Did you know that? Don’t you just think that the martyrs were in yesterday. The annual number averages between 100,000–160,000. This would make the daily average between 274–438. That’s today 2018.

And, how did they die? By faith! By faith! And, they loved God! They found out that God was enough. God was enough. And, they could say, with ole’ Job: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). You see, if you get the idea that, when you become a Christian, you’ve just got a ticket to Glory, without any trouble, the devil has set you up for a fall.

You can read the 73rd Psalm—and it’s a Psalm of Asaph—and Asaph said, “You know, I’m almost backslid”. He says, in Psalm 73:2: “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped” (Psalm 73:2). He said, “I almost tripped up and fell.” You know what it was? He got the idea that, when he got right with God, he wouldn’t have any more troubles. You say, “Can you be sure about that?” Yes. Psalm 73:13, 14—here’s what he said: He said, “Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning” (Psalm 73:13-14). What he says is, “It is not working—it’s not working. Well, man, I got right with God, and I still have problems.”

But, the question is—are you ready for the question? If it happens to you—and, I’m talking to some who are there, listening to me, right now, on a hospital bed, a bed of affliction, where some greedy malady is gnawing away at your body, and your body is wracked with pain—I want to ask, “Is God enough?”

Some of you who have lost your fortune and lost your job, some of you who’ve lost your family: Is God enough? If, in the midst of this, you can say, “God is enough,” I’ll tell you one thing you’ve done: You’ve shut the devil’s mouth. You have shut the devil’s mouth! The devil says, “Well, she serves You because of this; he serves You because of that. You’ve bought him; You’ve bribed him; You’ve coerced him—what a fat paycheck!” God says, “No, he just loves me for who I am—not because of the blessings that I have given him.”

Happy New Year and Blessings

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

  “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27).

  The Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Lord Jesus, and fills us with Him.

  “The one spiritual baptism positions the believer ‘in Christ’ (Rom. 6:3, 4; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12), and into His Body (1 Cor. 12:13). Since this position in the Lord Jesus is unchangeable, and eternal, the baptizing work of the Spirit is not repeatable. One ‘in Christ’ positionally, can never again through all eternity be ‘out of Christ’ positionally, as that position depends wholly upon the efficacy of the finished redemptive work of the Son, and does not hinge upon human merit or faithfulness.

The filling with the Spirit, on the other hand, is repeatable (Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17), and is, in fact, a continuous process, as it conditions variable experiences, and has nothing whatever to do with immutable position. Christian position is effected by the baptism of the Spirit at the moment of the new birth. Christian experience is affected by the filling with the Holy Spirit. One effects our position, the other affects our condition.

 

The Holy Spirit gives a living knowledge; His light is the light of life; He is the ‘Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.’ We see the Father and the Son as seeing us. When we behold them by the ministry of the Spirit it is as beholding us with infinite love, and bestowing upon us the blessings of grace. We know because we are known. ‘Thou Father, Thou Son, seest me’ is the immediate consciousness of the soul, when there is spiritual perception of the Father. In other words, love, petition, listening to the Father’s voice, receiving the love and peace of the Lord Jesus, fellowship, are invoked in this knowledge.

 

  “The communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14).

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Pray for “gramps” a neighbor of my son that has become a grandfather to him. ‘gramps’ is in horrible, never ending pain. And shared with us that he cannot go on any longer, the pain has brought with it great depression. He is a Christian, but is in so much pain he can’t imagine lasting any longer. I can relate because I suffer from chronic pain and know the effects upon me mentally as well as physically. Pray that in pain he sees the handiwork and beauty of God and a focus that some will never know.

MORE, MORE ABOUT JESUS

December 26, 2018

  “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10a).

  Fellowship with the written Word is the foundation, and fellowship with the living Word is the superstructure, for spiritual growth.

Most of us have probably heard a sermon on Martha and Mary. That Jesus said “Mary has chosen the better part”. We can be to busy doing church work or our jobs and not spend enough time being with the Lord.

While Martha was cumbered about much serving, and her love, most true in its way, went forth in actively providing for the Lord’s outward need, Mary, unconsciously perhaps, proved her stronger faith and deeper love by sitting at His feet and drinking in His words. The thought of Martha’s heart was, What a feast I must give Jesus!

Mary, on the contrary, felt that the best feast for Him, and for herself, was to receive and treasure up all she could from Him—to see, and hear, and be with Him. If we are learning thus from the Lord Jesus, we honor and please Him incomparably more than by anything we think to confer upon Him. In the long run, too, it is the listening at His feet which best fits for the most acceptable worship and service.

  We should ever remember that Christianity is not a set of opinions, a system of dogmas, or a number of views; it is pre-eminently a living reality—a personal, practical, powerful thing, telling itself out in all the scenes and circumstances of daily life, shedding its hallowed influence over the entire character and course, and imparting its heavenly tone to every relationship which one may be called of God to fill.

In a word, it is that which flows from being associated and occupied with the Lord Jesus. This is Christianity. There may be clear views, correct notions, sound principles, without any fellowship with the Lord Jesus in glory; but an orthodox creed without communion with Him will prove to be a cold and barren thing.

  “And the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Phil. 3:10b).

I pray that the New Year coming fast upon us will be one where you spend more time with Jesus, in prayer, in communion, reading the bible. Choosing less television, better books, less internet.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

I am always being asked what I am reading currently. It’s usually several books at once. But the last two weeks I’ve been re-reading for the 5th or 6th time, Walter Martin’s book; “Kingdom of the Cults” 1985 version is free online. Then I get asked “why read a book about cults”, one, make sure what you know, and where you may have weak spots in your theological growth. Second, Language, the most important thing his book teaches is cults use the same language as the Evangelical does, it just doesn’t mean the same thing.  Third, how a cult member sees you as an enemy and especially with the Jehovah Witnesses, to hate you. Harsh, but true.

We are commanded by the Lord to be ready to give an answer, make sure you can give the right one.