dark days

August 17, 2018

rainy-sleepy-snoopy-peanuts

“For you have had the privilege granted you on behalf of Christ—not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on His behalf” (Phil. 1:29, Wey.).

  The Father prepares His sufferers, by means of their sufferings.

  “I believe in perpetual favor with God, but I do not believe in unbroken sunshine here. On the contrary, ‘we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake.’ I say this that you may not think it strange when the collar which you have rightly accepted becomes trying or difficult to you; for surely if it be service it must be so; the servant must be more or less a sufferer.”

  “The Lord grant you to be so assured in heart of His interest in you, that daily you may more and more answer to His pleasure; and not be in any way cast down because you apparently do so little. The fragrance of His name is a crown of glory to the greatest invalid.”

  “‘Unto you is given on the behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake’ (Phil. 1:29). Yea, ‘if we suffer, we shall also reign with him’ (2 Tim. 2:12). The gracious gift of suffering is as distinct and specific a gift as any other of God’s gifts. But this gift transforms the blessed recipient more surely perhaps than all the others into resemblance to Himself, and is for this fellowship, the highest, greatest, noblest of them all.”

  “We naturally shrink from trials and sorrow, but when we find ourselves enjoying the resources that are in our Father, to which our trials have caused us to have recourse, we remember no more the path of affliction which led us thereto.”

  “The child of God is ever in the light, though not always in the sunshine.”

  “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (2 Tim. 2:12).

How different a message than what we hear from our popular authors and TV talking heads, that because they are false messengers. It will always be our lot to suffer sometime in some way. Think how oft you pray when in pain versus that shiny day.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

drowning?

August 14, 2018

Have you ever saved some one from drowning? Or have you ever taken a course on being a life guard? One of the first things they teach you is that you must get the drowning person to stop struggling. Second they teach you that you might have to get a little physical so the drowning person doesn’t drown you as well.

So this devotion isn’t about drowning it’s about why we need to cease struggling with God. This isn’t the same as wrestling with God, this is about the all to frequent struggle that believers have with God.

It’s frequently expressed through the thoughts like; “does God really love me?” “Am I really saved?”

Let’s look at some scripture that if you are struggling, hopefully you will find solace in the following scripture, these are some of the verses that are what I call “foundation verses” meaning you will build a solid Christian life if these are memorized or marked in your bible as ‘emergency verses.

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” ( Eph. 1:5 , 6 ).

See it was a pleasure for God to adopt us, and we are accepted.

The problem that I see in most struggling Christians is that because they are conscious of sin, they think they must do something more to please God, and the devil traps them in a snare of repetitive getting saved, going down to altar again, some good works, praying through. The fact is we must stand on the work that Christ has done and not try to add anything to our salvation of our own initiative.

Please read Romans 5:1-11 to get a great view of what has been done for us. This is another foundation set of verses that we should ‘get to know’ in order to not be persuaded by those well-meaning but seriously wrong Christians that tell you the problem is you’re not doing enough good works, or you are not enjoying the fruits of the spirit. The best thing you can say to all these well-meaning advisors supposedly sent from God to help you is ‘NUTS.’ (or swear at them; pick one its really multiple choice)

In order for our souls to find rest and have peace we must always understand that as long as we live on earth in these very carnal bodies, we will wrestle with failure and feel like we have failed God. The Holy Spirit shows us what we really are, not to make us feel condemnation, but to remind us that every day I need a Savior, that every day I awake I must accept the fact that today is a good day to die. That is what dying to self is about.

I am washed, cleansed redeemed accepted, loved and can be totally at peace with God even though I know I still sin and have my battles and failures.

Yet we are loved, with the greatest unfailing love from God.

God bless from scumlikuschurch@gmail.com

New Dwelling Place

August 10, 2018

Resurrection-Doubting-Thomas

  “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).

  Few see and stand upon the fact that our history in Adam ended on the Cross. Our past will plague us until we acknowledge that we are now clear of Adam and safely hidden in the risen Lord Jesus—newly-born creations in Him. One of the penalties of self-occupation is self-pity and corroding remorse.

 Regret for a sinful past will remain until we truly believe that for us in the Lord Jesus that sinful past no longer exists. The man in Christ has only His past and that is perfect and acceptable to the Father. In the Lord Jesus he died, and in Him he rose, and he is now seated in Him within the circle of the Father’s favored ones. He is no longer angry with himself because he is no longer self-regarding, but Christ-regarding: hence there is no place for regret.

  The knowledge of our union with the Lord Jesus is what will deliver the believer from all that is low and feeble, and will lift him to a life of joy and peace. To gaze upon our risen Lord in the Father’s presence, to whom all things are subject, will transform us into heavenly Christians, dwelling all the day in the Father’s presence.

The believer shares the Lord Jesus’ Cross (‘knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him’ Rom. 6:6); His death (‘ye died and your life is hid with Christ in God’ Col. 3:3); His burial (‘we were buried with him by baptism into death’ Rom. 6:4); His resurrection (‘as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we’ Rom. 6:4); His ascension (‘made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’ Eph. 2:6).

  “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Annissa, she is HIV positive, tests just came back

Pray for Dave I, still battling prostate cancer

Pray for Andrea and Todd, really struggling with finances.

a shot of courage

August 9, 2018

John-Wayne-p15

Courage

Adrian Rogers tells about the man who bragged that he had cut off the tail of a man-eating lion with his pocket knife. Asked why he hadn’t cut off the lion’s head, the man replied: “Someone had already done that.”

Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared. Eddie Rickenbacker, Bits & Pieces, April 29, 1993, p. 12Edward Vernon Rickenbacker was an American fighter ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient. With 26 aerial victories, he was America’s most successful fighter ace in the war world I.

David, a 2-year old with leukemia, was taken by him mother, Deborah, to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, to see Dr. John Truman who specializes in treating children with cancer and various blood diseases. Dr. Truman’s prognosis was devastating: “He has a 50-50 chance.”

The countless clinic visits, the blood tests, the intravenous drugs, the fear and pain—the mother’s ordeal can be almost as bad as the child’s because she must stand by, unable to bear the pain herself. David never cried in the waiting room, and although his friends in the clinic had to hurt him and stick needles in him, he hustled in ahead of him mother with a smile, sure of the welcome he always got. When he was three, David had to have a spinal tap—a painful procedure at any age. It was explained to him that, because he was sick, Dr. Truman had to do something to make him better. “If it hurts, remember it’s because he loves you,” Deborah said.

The procedure was horrendous. It took three nurses to hold David still, while he yelled and sobbed and struggled. When it was almost over, the tiny boy, soaked in sweat and tears, looked up at the doctor and gasped, “Thank you, Dr. Tooman, for my hurting.”

Miracles of Courage, Monica Dickens, 1985

And now the Duke: Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.

Or ; don’t pick a fight, but if you find yourself in one, I suggest you damn well make sure you win.

Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from today.

And lastly from the Duke; When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it.

John 16:33 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering; but have courage, I have conquered (overcome) the world.

The Original Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases lists boldness and fearlessness as synonyms of courage, but courage often exists in spite of the presence of fear. In fact, it is probably true that courage is doing what one is afraid to do. Indeed, courage is the capacity to resist fear, to master it, not its absence. Thus, courage is that quality of the heart or mind that gives one the ability to encounter danger and difficulty with firmness and resolve in spite of the presence of fear. “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”

  1. S. Lewis wrote, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.” Without courage, men and women will fail to be loving, to sacrifice, to count the cost, to tackle the challenges or take on the responsibilities that God calls them to.

What ever your trial, Jesus is with you going before you, alongside you, and He is interceding for you to the Father.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

AS HE WILLS

August 7, 2018

  “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter” (John 13:7)

John 13:7 New International Version (NIV)

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

  When our Lord takes us down into an area of processing and trial it seems as though He deliberately takes away our understanding, and we often react as though we had never gone through anything before. One of His reasons for this is that we may receive the full effect and benefit of the training as a child learning to obey his father.

 We should give our consent to our Father when He seeks to lead us through devastating processes. And we need have no fear, for He knows how to apportion our suffering. He exactly matches the suffering to our condition. He measures all things with unfailing accuracy and selects the particular trial suited to our particular need.

 He invariably chooses the lot of each with this in view—an increase of the divine content in our lives. If He chastens us, it is always ‘for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness.’ And ‘all things work together for good to them that are called according to his purpose.’ What good? What purpose? This, ‘that we may be conformed to the image of his Son.’

  “Let suffering come from any cause in the universe, if we give it over entirely into the hand of our Father, and sink ourselves into His divine will, with the desire for Him to work His purpose in us, He will make every pain, every tear, every particle of our suffering work in us a death to sin and to the old man, and to all things on earth which will be for our highest development and for His glory.” -G.W.

If we lay claim to the blessing of our Father, we must not fear what may lie in the path of blessing. It is ever through suffering to glory, through the Cross to the Crown.

  “In every circumstance of life be thankful; for this is God’s will in Christ Jesus respecting you” (1 Thess. 5:18, Wey.).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for those that suffer from depression

Pray for Sally H, she is concerned about her husband’s prescription abuse.

Pray for Dan F, that he forgives and comes back to the straight and narrow.

Pray for Harry S, a master carpenter, who is loosing the use of his hands.

Pray Janell, fear rules her life

GROWING DOWNWARD

August 3, 2018

the old pine box

“Death working in me works life in you” (2 Cor. 4:12,).

“The great lack in servants is not having a sufficiently self-less walk, because you cannot lead anyone beyond where you have been led yourself. Moses was himself many years in the wilderness before he led the people. I cannot ask anyone to leave anything that I have not left myself. It is not the man who sees defects, but the man who removes them who is being used of God.”

Would you like the Apostle Paul choose the path of death that others may have life? Will you choose to ‘fill up the afflictions of Christ for His Bride’s sake’? But what does it mean? It means living, weeping, suffering, loving with infinite patience, infinite tenderness, unwearyingly love for every member of the Body of Christ. It means the whole being bound up, not in your own progress, but in the progress of the Body of Christ. It means sinking all the personal element into the service of God, wanting neither credit, nor notice, nor recognition. It means an utter dropping of yourself, and a handing over of yourself to God to be poured out for His Body’s sake, the Church. It’s a growing downward.

Our joy in the Father’s presence, as He Himself and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, are made manifest to our hearts, gives us the character of the joy of true fellowship one with another.

“I, Paul. . . rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the church” (Col. 1:23, 24).

The downward path is the path to death. It is the constant act of putting off the flesh. Are you actively seeking to end bad habits? Have you stopped giving in to temptations? As I’ve said many times, the Christian life is the hardest life there is to lead, yet the easiest, a contradiction of our life, loosing it but gaining it. Only in Christendom.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for our country, that this liberal, left wing plan to socialize our nation doesn’t succeed.

Pray for Veterans, especially those that are homeless.

curses, foiled again

August 2, 2018

This topic “generational curses” has come up in counseling everyday this week. It is crossly exaggerated, and the term is not exactly carried out in it’s true biblical context.

The Bible does not mention “generational curses” it does however mention sins of a family being continued in its lineage for generations, not curses; several places (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9). God warns that He is “a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.”

It sounds unfair for God to punish children for the sins of their fathers. However, there is more to it than that. The effects of sin are naturally passed down from one generation to the next. That is after all what we call the Federal Headship Theory, of how all we in Adam sinned. And how it is the blood that carries this stain. Thus Jesus had to be borne of a virgin, without sin.

When a father has a sinful lifestyle, his children are likely to practice the same sinful lifestyle. Implied in the warning of Exodus 20:5 is the fact that the children will choose to repeat the sins of their fathers. A Jewish Targum specifies that this passage refers to “ungodly fathers” and “rebellious children.” So, it is not unjust for God to punish sin to the third or fourth generation – those generations are committing the same sins their ancestors did and are not saved, Christian people, but idolatrous and not following the Lord.

There is a trend in the church today to try to blame every sin and problem on some sort of generational curse. This is not biblical. God’s warning to visit iniquity on future generations is part of the Old Testament Law. A generational curse was a consequence for a specific nation (Israel) for a specific sin (idolatry). The history books of the Old Testament (especially Judges) contain the record of this divine punishment meted out.

The cure for a generational curse has always been repentance. When Israel turned from idols to serve the living God, the “curse” was broken and God saved them (Judges 3:9, 15; 1 Samuel 12:10-11). Yes, God promised to visit Israel’s sin upon the third and fourth generations, but in the very next verse He promised that He would show “love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:6). In other words, God’s grace lasts a thousand times longer than His wrath.

For the Christian who is worried about a generational curse, the answer is salvation through Jesus Christ. A Christian is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). How can a child of God still be under God’s curse, simple answer, you can’t (Romans 8:1). The cure for sin is repentance from sin and believe in the life-giving promise of faith in Christ, and a life consecrated to the Lord (Romans 12:1-2).

Let me just repeat this so I’m crystal clear. A Christian cannot be cursed, under a curse, plagued by a generational curse, nor can a Christian be possessed of a demon or a bloodline demon (no such thing).

You can be affected by your family’s lifestyle choice. Nature versus Nurture. You might have to unlearn family habits, like violence or lying. But it’s not a curse. You are free in Christ, under a new bloodline, a son of God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Linda H, hip problems

For Dave I, prostate cancer

For Matthew, going in for tests.

For Marilyn waiting for test results.

MY BELOVED

July 31, 2018

  That I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12).

  Hopefully our immature spiritual love, based on feelings and emotions is soon lost, to be replaced through the years by our mature love that is grounded in faith. That we keep in our hearts that we are his bride and that we are to always gravitate to our Bridegroom. “My beloved spoke, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away” (S.S. 2:10).

 All of our Father’s arrangements for us, if rightly accepted, will lead us above, instead of binding us to what is here below. His gifts come down to ease us in a world like this, that our hearts may rise to the heavenly scene where He displays the fulness of His love for us.

 And if there be chastening in the circumstances here, it is only to detach us the more effectively from all here, and to lead us to the place where He has given all to us. So that seeing the things above ensures every good thing for us in every condition.

You may know the Lord Jesus as your relief—for what He has done; but it is quite another thing to know Him as your resource—for what He is. It is one thing to know Him as the One who has relieved you from every pressure, it is another thing to know Him as the One attraction of your heart.

 The Lord grant that you may know the wonderful blessing, and portion of light and joy we are brought into, instead of going through the world trying to overcome this and that, and saying, ‘I must give up this thing and the other.’ It is not a question of giving up at all; but I have something better, greater, brighter, and I just let it drop.

  “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord” (Phil. 3:8).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

PASSIVE NO MORE

July 30, 2018

boxing

  “For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:11).

  The growing Christian is often accused of passivity by the doing Christian. The Lord Jesus was not passive; the Apostle Paul was not passive; nor is the believer passive who seeks to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Compulsive activity is not necessarily fruitful, as the “works of the flesh” attest.

   I have pressed upon many of my younger students, not to give up their secular employment until the work of the Lord so increased upon them that they must give up one or the other.”

 The one who knows best the Father’s love will be the best advocate of that love—the best qualified servant for the Father to send on a mission of interest to those who are ignorant of it. Abide in Him. ‘The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him’ (John 1:18).

  Under the Mosaic law-system, love for others was to be in the degree in which one loved himself; under grace it is to be in the degree in which the Lord Jesus has loved the believer and given His life for him (1 John 3:16).

  “Perversion of truth takes its rise from having the eye turned to man, and seeking to make the truth suit him, and not to conform man to the truth; so that the way to resolve this difference is by the simple question, Is it God-ward I am looking, or man-ward?” (GW)

  “If you only know the work of the Lord Jesus you are prepared to make sacrifices, but if you know Him as your life then you are ready to suffer for Him.”

  “So then death worketh in us, but life in you” (2 Cor 4:12).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Bobbie G, she is cutting off all relations with every relative, and shutting her self off from all her friends, we are all very concerned for her

Pray for Jacob, a 30 year old, non verbal autistic man, who has been sexually abused by his father and is just now coming for counseling

Pray for Wanda, she has lost one child at 15 to cancer, one child to suicide at 18, and now her son 40, has just confessed to her that he has aids.

ORDINARY

July 25, 2018

There are some church and parachurch groups which cater to the “committed” and think that they are doing a commendable work. Discipleship seems to be something like the Marines—a select group of highly committed people, a few good men and women.

one can “go along with Jesus” without even being a true believer (cf. John 6:66).

one can “come to Jesus” in saving faith, without becoming a disciple, a committed follower (cf. John 2:23-25).

When one decides to follow Christ as His disciple, one must surrender any other source of “life” than Him, and one must relinquish all self-seeking. Becoming a disciple of our Lord means to give up our goals and to pursue His goals. Just as in marriage the woman should find joy in giving up her goals and becoming a helper to her husband in reaching his goal (a not-so-popular idea today), so the disciple sets aside all his aspirations for those of the Master. And just as the Master takes up His own cross, so we, too, must take up that cross which God has ordained for us.

Unlike many preachers of our day, Jesus did not desire a large following. He would rather have men count the cost of discipleship and opt to stay out than to merely go along with Him ignorantly. Jesus’ words state that discipleship comes at a very high cost, but also imply that the price of discipleship often is collected later.

There is a price to pay for following Jesus. And some are willing to stand up for him and pay the price. But we can’t make out anyone as extra special. Or have a group earmarked as just the dedicated. Just like kids mock the ones that ride the short bus. We too must be careful a labeling the more committed.

We are all extraordinarily ordinary. We will never know on this side of the glass who really has a pure heart, virtuous intent and truly committed. So church and Christianity is a bunch or gaggle of geese, we may all sound the same but each is unique. But we are traveling in the same direction, but all may not arrive. Think about it.

We can’t label the church member as gifted without falling into a trap of knowing just what parts are in their clock. It may tick but so does a bomb. So we have to have accountability, credibility and a wee bit of silliness, (don’t take everything so seriously) but as a shepherd always watch the flock, there is always one that wanders, one that plots, one that promises and one is a wolf.

You think being a Christian is tuff, try being the shepherd.

Oh, and never label the pastor as special, I’ve seen to many fleece the flock.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com