We are not the world

February 19, 2018

It’s always good to know who your enemies are. And, may I tell you, beyond the shadow of any doubt or peradventure, that you that you have three enemies at least, and they are three big ones: the world, the flesh, and the devil. And, no Christian can afford to be ignorant of these enemies, for, to be ignorant is to be unprepared, and to be unprepared is to fall and to go down in shame and disgrace and ignominious defeat.

Now, of these three enemies, I want to just take one, and talk to you about that one enemy—and, that one enemy is the world. And, I’ve entitled this message “Your Friendly Enemy,” because the world seems so friendly, so charming, so innocuous, sometimes beautiful, sometimes helpful, sometimes harmless. But, I want to warn you that what the Bible calls the world is an enemy and a deadly enemy.

Now, what do we mean when we say the world? We have to be very careful because we’re certainly not talking about the earth—Planet Earth. Sometimes the word cosmos, that’s translated “world,” speaks of Planet Earth. For example, it does, in Acts 17, where the Bible says the Lord made the world and everything that is in it (Acts 17:24). There’s nothing evil about the rocks and the trees, the birds, the ocean, the fields, the mountains. Thank God for these things. Jesus said, “Consider the lilies how they grow” (Luke 12:27).

There’s nothing wrong with the material physical universe, and never think that there is. And, when the Bible warns about the world, it’s not warning about Planet Earth. Do you have that?

When the Bible warns about the world, it’s not warning about the people of the world. The Bible says, in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). There, he’s talking about the people of the world. Now, if God loves those people, we ought to love them. “Red and yellow, black, and white, they are precious in His sight.” He’s not talking, therefore, about the physical universe or the physical earth, he’s not talking about the people, some 5 billion of them now that live on Planet Earth.

When the Bible uses the word world, what does the Bible mean? When the Bible says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world”—1 John 2:15? Well, it’s the word cosmos. And, what does that mean? It means a system, an order.

there is a system that the Bible calls the world, which is the world of wickedness—and we’re told, not to love it. 1 John 2:15: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love [this system], the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

What we are talking about—this ungodly system—first of all, it has a prince. The prince of the world is the devil. Now, the Bible makes that plain. For example, in John 12:31, Jesus called the devil “the prince of this world” (John 12:31). What Jesus meant by that, is that Satan rules this ungodly system. He is the prince of this world. In John 14:30, again, he says, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30). That is, Jesus had no itch the devil could scratch. But, there again, Jesus called the devil “the prince of this world.” And, in John 16:11, He spoke, “of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:11).

This world has a prince, and the prince of this world is Satan himself. That’s the reason the Apostle John said, in 1 John 5:19, “And we know that… the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). The whole world, the whole system, lies in wickedness. And, the word wickedness there may be personified. It literally means the whole world lies in “the wicked one.” And, the word lieth there actually means, “to sleep in the bosom, or the lap, of one.” That is, Satan’s got this whole world in his hand.

We sing “God’s got the whole world in His hands,” but, actually, the Bible says that Satan has this world in his hands. This whole world lieth, sleepeth, in the bosom, in the lap, of the wicked one. So the world—put it down, number one—has a prince.

There is an enticing network of ideas and values that the devil has skillfully woven together in order to attract you as a child of God. For example, 1 Corinthians 2:12, speaks of the spirit of this world (1 Corinthians 2:12). 1 Corinthians 3:19, speaks of the wisdom of this world (1 Corinthians 3:19). 1 Corinthians 7:31, speaks of the passion of this world (1 Corinthians 7:31). And, so it doesn’t matter whether it’s from the schoolhouse to the courthouse, from Madison Avenue to Wall Street, whether it’s Hollywood or your neighborhood—it makes no difference. There is a philosophy that is permeating all that we see out there, and, my dear friend, it is your enemy.

The world wears a cloak or disguise, whenever a freedom is taken away from you that means the world is winning. Think of every dictator, every socialist, that is the world, trying to control all you do. Who rules the world, the devil, who controls the tv you watch, the media you listen to and read, the devil. If you haven’t put on the filter of God’s word and spirit you are being brainwashed into believing one thing. That you need the world, the system, government to take care of you. No self-reliance, no individuality, no ability to protect yourself.

Here sign up for free food, free housing, free education, free health care, surely you’ve heard the saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” there is no such thing as free, all this free stuff is borne on the back of the taxpayer, the distribution of wealth, socialism.

So any political figure in any country that promises to take care of you by robbing you of God given rights and freedoms is of the world and therefore of the devil. So how comfortable do you want to be? That’s what it really comes down to.

Now there is a difference between being provided for by God and a handout.

That moron standing on the street corner with the cardboard sign reading “God bless you.” is part the world, he’s depending on your guilt that your comfortable. He’s telling you he deserves to be taken care of, by you!

Ok, my blood pressure is shooting up, stay tuned.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Next time you feel overwhelmed by your obligations, consider what it must have been like for Moses. For the ancient Israelites, Moses served as the chief leader, primary lawgiver (delivering God’s laws) and sole judge in disputes.

 When Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, heard about these duties, he offered wise insight: “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone” (Ex 18:17–18).

Jethro recommended appointing other capable and trustworthy men to be judges. As he said, “That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you” (v. 22).

 For Christians, helping to share one another’s burdens is not just good advice; it’s a way we fulfill the law of Christ (see Gal 6:2).

  Some of you wonder what you are supposed to do with your life. Here is a vocation that will bring you more satisfaction than if you became a millionaire ten times over: Develop the extraordinary skill for detecting the burdens of others and devote yourself daily to making them lighter.

  Here are three ways to hone the skill of burden bearing:

  1. Be watchful for indirect opportunities—In many cases, we can’t bear others’ burdens directly. We can’t often take their place or do their tasks for them. We can, however, help them indirectly by reducing other strains and distractions in their life.

  1. Be willing to do small deeds—“So many of our good deeds are so small,” “They seem paltry. Instead of handing over the keys to a brand new car, we hand over a slightly over-cooked casserole. Instead of funding an extreme makeover for that person’s home, we show up on Saturday morning to help apply a new coat of paint.”

  1. Be ready for the boring—Burden bearing is often boring. It’s not exciting work that will garner you lots of attention. But it’s work that is absolutely essential. Don’t wait for a future time when you can be a hero; just be a help right now.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Robin M, 16 years of drug addiction, 23 years clean, her mom and dad both passed away within 8 days of each other. They were her grounding, pray she gets closer to the Lord.

Pray for Jessie d, in the early morning fog, his truck struck a hitch-hiker, the guy is in the hospital with a concussion, several broken bones and a ruptured spleen. The Highway patrol is still investigating.

 

the hard way

February 17, 2018

  “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39).

  John 3:16: The Savior laid down His life for His enemies. Have you ever thought of John 3:16 in that light? God, knowing that there would be those that would turn their backs on the greatest gift ever and the few who would accept the gift.

 1 John 3:16: We are to “lay down our lives for the brethren.” The death of the Cross spells love for both friend and enemy.

  “If we get a wrong idea about the inward working of the Cross we shall lose our own enjoyment of God’s love and fail to manifest that love to others. We have no doubt that, for the sinner, the Cross is the outstanding expression of God’s love, but when we realize that it brings us, as believers, into a very personal experience of being crucified together with Christ, we are apt to lose sight of the love of God.

  “We set our teeth, as though making up our minds that from now on everything is going to be grim and harsh. It almost seems that the carnal Christian may be cheerful and happy, but the crucified ones must expect to pass into a gloomier experience. Nothing is farther from the truth. The Cross will always bring us back to the love of God in ever-increasing fulness.”

The challenge of the Cross, the insistence that we have been crucified with Christ, may sometimes appear to be a dark and forbidding message. The Cross is not the end: It is the way through to His end. God is working for something beyond the immediate; He is working towards the glory.

  “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jer. 29:11).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

No Exceptions

February 16, 2018

  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7).

  Lincoln said that “a short speech requires great preparation; a long speech can be given anytime on short notice.” Now, are we going to “spend our years as a tale that is told” (Ps. 90:9); or are we going to settle down and grow in the image of our eternal Lord?

In our spiritual experience we often find that not least of our trials is the fact that God seems so slow to respond; sometimes it would appear that He is careless or indifferent—and that just when our needs are most acute. Two of the major elements in the spiritual life and experience of His own are the seemingly slow and hidden ways of God, and the demand for persistent faith in His servants.

  “The work of God in the lives of His people is designed to make them ‘partakers of His holiness.’ He undertakes their training in His school with the intention that, however difficult in practice the course may be, it will yield ‘the peaceable fruit of righteousness’ in the lives of those who undergo it.

This evidently represents His norm—no shortcuts and no exceptions. At least, He did not make an exception of Abraham, or Joseph, or Moses, or any of the great men and women whose names are listed in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Their training lasted for decades and led them into painful situations and difficult places. But their lives, as a result, were incomparably fruitful.

  “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him” (Ps. 62:5).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Matthew who became quite ill yesterday and spent a large part of the day in the emergency room.

Pray for Barbara D, who also is rather ill.

NEARER MY GOD TO THEE

February 7, 2018

Nearer My God to Thee (hopefully you all are familiar with this song).

  But now in Christ Jesus ye who once were far off are made near by the blood of Christ” (Eph 2:13).

  Until we know our position in the risen Lord Jesus, we can never really face up to the sinfulness of our old nature. But “hidden with Christ in God,” we can both face up to and face away from the old, “looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter [marg.] of our faith” (Heb. 12:2).

God sets me in nearness to Himself in the Lord Jesus; and as I learn my nearness to Him, I am prepared for the exposure of my natural distance from Him, and I am, through grace, morally apart and sheltered from it (Rom. 8:9), at the very moment when I see it. The greater my height, the greater the enormity of the depth appears; but I am safe from it. As a consequence I ‘rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh’ (Phil. 3:3).”

Two things mark spiritual growth; one is a deeper sense of the sinful old nature, the other is a greater longing after the Lord Jesus Christ. The sinfulness is discovered and felt as the power of the Holy Spirit increases; for many a thought and act passes without pain to the conscience where the Lord Jesus is less before the soul, which will be refused and condemned as the knowledge of the Lord increases in spiritual power within.

  “When the Lord Jesus Christ is number one in our lives, things unlike Him drop off like dead leaves.”

  “For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

Pray for Jim K, met him today at my barber, retired Marine, was in ‘Nam from 66-69, (the wild years), swears it had no affect on him, nor does he have PTSD, just divorced 3 times, an alcoholic, prescription pill abuser and anger management issues. But swears he’s ok. Only comes to town for breakfast tacos, gas and a haircut. Pray for him anyway.

 

CREATING GOOD HABITS

February 6, 2018

Creating Good Habits

Proverbs 4 is a mini-course on how to live wisely. The main metaphor of the chapter is that life is a journey and we are to keep to the path of righteousness (see v. 18). We are to “give careful thought to the paths for [our] feet and be steadfast in all [our] ways” (v. 26). To do this we will need to adopt a number of life-changing behaviors, such as getting wisdom and understanding (see v. 5), guarding our hearts (see v. 23) and avoiding corrupt talk (see v. 25).

 Although Proverbs doesn’t use the word habit, it is implied throughout that virtuous habits are necessary to live wisely. Habits are unconscious patterns of behavior acquired through frequent repetition. We often acquire our habits unconsciously or through repetition forced on us by authority figures (think teachers and parents). But we can also directly develop habits through conscious effort.

 Once we understand the ins and outs of habits, we can harness the process to create virtuous habits like those mentioned in Proverbs 4. Virtuous habits also include behaviors such as reading Scripture and serving our neighbor, which help us to become more like Jesus.

 Want to create a new virtuous habit? Try this:

  1. Identify the habit loop—The new pattern of behavior you want to create will consist of the habit loop: a cue, a routine

    and

    a reward. Take a few minutes to think through (and if it helps, write down) the details of each part of the loop. Let’s use the habit of a daily devotional reading as an example. To set up the routine, to actually read the devotional, what do you need? Well, access to a Bible and some devotional material would be helpful. You’ll also want a time you can consistently carry out the habit loop (e.g., in the morning, before work). The more you understand the habit loop you are creating, the easier it will be to identify any problems that might prevent you from making it a regular behavior.

  1. Isolate the cue—Cues signal you to begin the routine. Research has shown that almost all habitual cues fit into one of five categories: location, time, emotional state, other people and immediately preceding action. A helpful cue will take advantage of as many of these categories as possible. For instance, your cue could be pulling into the parking lot at work (location and immediately preceding action) at 8:40 a.m. (time) when you are relieved to be out of traffic (emotional state) and no one else is around (other people).

  1. Create a reward—When creating a virtuous habit, surprisingly the reward stage can be one of the most difficult steps. Why should you be rewarded for doing something you should be doing anyway? And isn’t the habit—such as your devotional reading—a reward in itself? It’s understandable that you might feel guilty about creating a reward for a good habit. But keep in mind that you are not rewarding yourself for doing the right thing; you’re training your brain to create a neurological craving. If you “reward” yourself (by eating a small piece of candy, for example) after reading a devotional, it isn’t to actually reward you for your accomplishment. It’s merely a way to directly affect how your brain will respond to the habit loop.

  1. Plan and evaluate—Habits are difficult to consciously create because they have not yet become a habit. It’s the conscious part—making sure your brain is actively focused on the habit loop—that becomes the stumbling block.

  Making the habit loop part of your natural thought process requires effort and persistence. Ask yourself a few questions, such as,

  ➤ How will I handle obstacles?

 ➤ What if I miss my schedule and need to get back on track?

 ➤ Are my cues and rewards working like I want them to?

 ➤ Customize the idea to make it work for you.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

THE WRONG WAY

February 3, 2018

The devil knows if he can get you thinking wrongly about God, he has you. The devil wants to get you thinking negatively about God so the devil slanders the character of God. Because if the devil can think you get you thinking negatively about God, fearing God, running from God or disbelieving God, he has you right where he wants you. He is the biggest liar. His lies are about the biggest subject. The biggest subject is Almighty God, himself.

The devil wants to control your mind. Because the devil knows that if he has your mind, he really has you. Because the Bible says as a man thinketh, so is he. You sow a thought, you reap a deed, sow a deed, you reap a habit, so a habit, you reap a character, sow a character and you reap a destiny and it all begins with a thought.

Some people are questioning the authorship of the Word of God. Others are questioning the accuracy of the Word of God. Others are questioning the authority of the Word of God. Others are questioning the acceptability of the Word of God.

There are seminaries that used to be the bastion of Christian thought, that taught the bible is infallible, inspired, inerrant and relevant to you and me today. But they allow professors to teach the opposite. Don’t send your kid to any bible college until you talk to the Dean of Theology or the president of that college and have a list of every professor and ask them point blank what each professor believes.

While we are at it, ask your pastor what he’s reading, drop by his house and see what’s on his tv. Ask to see his DVD collection. Ask him how comfortable he would be to have you look at his browser history.

I’m not joking, you have a right to peace of mind knowing that your spiritual mentor, leader, pastor is living a righteous life. It’s called accountability. I personally know several ‘mega’ pastors that would punch you in the nose just for you suggesting such a thing. The arrogant pastor is a guilty pastor. The unaccountable pastor is a dangerous pastor.

But check your Elders, Deacons, board members as well. We have a church in our small town that the pastor packed up in the middle of the night and left because the Board was so cruel, mean, disrespectful control freaks that made his life a living hell. So we need to be balanced in every aspect of our spiritual life.

The danger in all this is going the other way and be so narrow minded and legalistic, that we’re turning into either a cult or totally uninvolved or invested.

Hey, nobody said it was easy.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Ryan, 9 years old and told he has cancer.

Pray for Bob L, 65, and an alcoholic, he looks like he’s 85, his liver looks like it’s 105. Doctor told him today it is quit drinking or die in 60 days.

 

ALWAYS LOVED

February 1, 2018

ok, i’m on my ipad and can’t get to the “part two” of having a good fight, sorry, it will have to come tomorrow.

ALWAYS LOVED

  “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph 3:19).

  God led the children of Israel into the desert with its thirst, that He might bless them. “For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:4). It is for no less a reason that He takes us into the desert at times. “How shall He not with Him [Christ] also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:2).

Our Father disciplines us that we may be more fully free from the old nature, and find everything in the Lord Jesus. But He begins the lesson with the assurance, ‘I love you perfectly.’

‘I bring you into the desert to learn what you are, and what I am; but it is as those I have brought to Myself!’ He gives us a place with the Lord Jesus, but then shows us what He is and what we are. The discipline of the way teaches this; but if He, in His love, strikes the furrows in the heart, it is that He may sow the seed which shall ripen in glory.

Those who receive deliverance from their troubles never, grow like those who get strengthened in the difficulties.

How slowly one learns that His sympathy is not expressed in removing the affliction but in raising one above it to Himself, so that He becomes so endeared to the heart that He is more an object to the heart than oneself.

The hand of God never deals but in concert with His heart of infinite love towards us.

  “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them who are exercised by it” (Heb. 12:11).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

the balanced life

January 31, 2018

So let me give you some rules for having a good fight, okay? Let me tell you how to confront and all of these things I can back up with Scripture. I mean, you’re going to have to confront your mate. You are. And I want to give you some principles here. Very quickly, I’m just going to name them off. And if you’ll do this, you’ll learn how to make up and not break-up. And you’ll learn really to have that super glue marriage and you’ll not be able to do these unless you have the first two already, which is that lifetime commitment and that loving communion, or communication. Then you can have that loyal confrontation.

First of all, isolate the problem. Pinpoint the problem. Know what it is that you’re truly arguing about because many times we’re hurting in one place and we’re grunting in another. For example, your wife, she may be scolding you and fussing at you, but maybe she’s tired. Maybe she’s sick. Maybe she’s afraid. Maybe you hurt her feelings over here with something else that you said or didn’t say, and you have no idea that you did it. And so what you’re really arguing about is not the point at all. Or maybe you come home and you find yourself in an argument with your wife and you’re not really mad at her. You’re mad at what happened to you on the freeway coming home, or what your boss said to you.

Zig Ziglar, who is a great communicator, tells a story about a Mr. Sparks who was going to the health club one day and he was a business executive. And he was stopped for speeding. Made him so angry that when he got back to the office he chewed out the sales manager because the sales were down. He wasn’t mad at the sales manager, he was mad at the highway patrolman. Got all over the sales manager. The Sales Manager took it, couldn’t say anything back, but he talked to his secretary and said, “Where are those five letter I gave you? How come they’re not in yet? Get those letters out!” Secretary began to burn to a slow burn. She went over to the switchboard operator, “Oh you sit there everyday and just answer the telephone. You don’t do anything else. Why don’t you help me? Why don’t you do something to help me get these letters out?” Chewed out the switchboard operator. Switchboard operator went home that day and her twelve year old son was sitting there watching television, had a little nick in his blue jeans. She said, “Look, you’ve torn your pants. You go upstairs. No more television for you and no more dinner for you.” About that time, the cat crossed this little boy’s path. That was a mistake for that cat to come past right then. And he kicks the cat. Now Zig asks this question, “Wouldn’t it have been a lot simpler if Mr. Sparks, the business executive had gone over to the switchboard operator’s house and kicked the cat himself and not disturbed so many people in the way?”

So many times we’re hurting in one place and grunting in another. Happy is the couple the can say “What is the problem?” What is the problem? Pinpoint the problem. Pinpoint the problem.

Number two, learn to attack the problem and not one another. If we could only do this, most arguments are ego against ego. Right? Trying to prove we’re right rather than attacking the problem. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: There are no problems too big to solve, just people too small to solve them. If we would learn that the mate may have done something wrong and that is the problem, but the mate is not the problem. It’s what the mate did. You say, “I can’t slice it that thin.” Oh yes you can. Listen, if you have a child for example and you need to confront your child, your child comes in with bad grades or stayed out too late, don’t say to that child, “You’re no good. You’re a bad child. You have no respect. You have no integrity.” Don’t talk to that child that way. You’ve attacked him. Don’t do that. Attack the problem. Say, “Son, grades are important and here’s way. Here’s what you did that’s wrong and here’s how we’re going to fix it.” So many times it’s ego against ego. And our rotten pride wants to be right.

Stay tuned for part two “how to have a good argument”.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

YEP, IT’S A SIN

January 30, 2018

YEP, IT’S A SIN

Faultfinding over trivial things. You didn’t put the top back on the toilet. You squeezed it in the middle. Or you hung your stockings again on the shower rail. Or you never pick up your clothes. Did you know the word “Nag” and the word “gnaw” are related? You ever have anybody gnaw on you? It ain’t funny. Here’s what the Bible says. Now these verses you can tell old Solomon knew what he was talking about. Proverbs 21:19, “It is better to dwell in the wilderness then with a contentious and an angry woman.”

Proverbs 27:15, “a continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.”

Drip. Drip. Drip. But it’s not only the women who nag. Men nag. You need to confess it, not as a weakness, but as a sin and break the habit.

Think about your speech, to yourself, your spouse, children, co-workers. Does your speech bless?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Richard B, getting married this Sunday afternoon. First time, he’s 32 and she’s 28, both have been “saving” themselves. A very godly couple, it will be a pleasure to do their wedding.

Pray for Sarah L, February will be the anniversary of her mother’s suicide, 5 years ago during the superbowl. She’s a great Christian young woman and her mother missed a large part of her life past and present, but it’s still her mom.

Thank you to all that pray.