ANOINTED TO PREACH

June 17, 2019

silhouette and grayscale photography of man standing under the rain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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

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

Bill Warneke, chronic neck pain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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

DRAWING NEAR TO GOD

June 10, 2019

thinking over feeling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Steve H, strength and encouragement

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

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

Remember our salvation list.

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

Resurrection-Doubting-Thomas

To all the patient readers, doing this short series on “The Jesus Narrative” has been a personal blessing and for those that have ‘waded’ through thank you, we only have 2 more to go after this devotion and we will return to a shorter format. In this hurry up world it has been hard to find the time to post these and for those that have kept steady I hope this has been a light for you on the precious Son of God.

The Bible has hundreds of references to light and darkness. God’s first recorded words were Let there be light. God is Light. Satan is the prince of darkness. Sin is hidden by darkness and exposed by light. We were born in darkness and born again into light. The contrasts are sharp, unmixed, with no shadows. Light is good, darkness is evil. We must have light to live. Today’s lesson is about two kinds of darkness—physical and spiritual. Of the two the worst is spiritual darkness.

Jesus and His disciples had just celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles which celebrated their years in the wilderness. One of the features of this celebration was the lighting of giant lamps in the women’s court of the temple enclosure. The people sang and danced before the Lord as they remembered that He was their Light in the pillar of cloud and fire all through their wilderness wanderings. During this celebration Jesus had declared the second of His great “I AM” statements.

John 8:12 (NIV) I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

There can be no physical life without the light of the sun, and no spiritual life without JESUS.

This was a claim to be both God and Messiah. The O.T. called both God and Messiah Light. He promised light for all of life to those who believed in Him. But instead of seriously considering Jesus’ claim, the Pharisees challenged and argued with Him for the rest of the Chapter. They were determined to not believe regardless of the evidence.

Their discussion ended with an attempt to stone Him. But Jesus slipped away from them and as He and His disciples went along they saw a blind man sitting there by the side of the road. Blindness is one of the most dreaded afflictions that can happen to a person. And this man had been born blind. He had never seen his parent’s faces, never seen a flower or tree, a river or mountain. Never seen any colors at all. He lived in constant unrelieved darkness. The only thing he could do was beg for a living.

Notice the difference in the way Jesus and His disciples viewed this man.

John 9:2

To the disciples this man was just the trigger for a theological discussion. There was no compassion, no expectation or even a request that Jesus heal him. Jesus had healed blind people before. One of the signs of the Messiah was that He would make the blind see. (Is. 35:5, 42:7) but all they could think of was a question with just two alternatives!

“Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (NIV)

There was a popular assumption that some sin before birth was responsible for congenital blindness. This idea came from pagan sources which believed in reincarnation. This man had sinned in another life. Their other suggestion was that this man had reaped the consequences of his parents’ sins. This of course is possible. (Venereal disease, drugs)

We can see from this that the idea that all sickness or affliction is the result of personal sin is not a new idea. We often believe or hear the same thing today. Jesus gave them an answer that can help us today in trying to sort out the reasons for the trials we may be going through.

John 9:3

Jesus did not mean that this man and his parents were sinless, but that the blindness was not a direct consequence of their personal sin. Really said, “This man is blind so that I might come and cure him and God might receive the glory.”

That is pretty heavy stuff. Think of all the years he had suffered in the darkness. For this moment!

Time does not mean to God what it does to us. If you and I could look at the suffering we are going through and say, ALord, you know all about this. You can change this situation immediately if you want to. But if not, all I ask is that my response and the outcome will bring glory to you. Let other people know that it is only Jesus who enables me to endure this day by day. What a difference that would make.

John 9:4-5

Day meant the time He had left on earth to finish the work God sent Him to do. Night was coming. His death and the time He would no longer be in the world. Now was the time for Him to do the miracles that proved He was the Messiah. He had said He was the Light of the world and now He would prove it.

John 9:6-7

Imagine the blind man. He did not know who Jesus was, had never seen him or heard his voice before. Suddenly he felt some wet heavy clay being placed over his eyes. And an authoritative but kind voice said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.”

The pool was a good distance away. Jesus did not even tell him why He was sending him there, gave no promise of healing. Would he do it? The man got up and groped his way there with his eyes covered with mud. When he reached the pool he bent down and splashed water on his face. When he opened his eyes he could see for the first time in his lifeClight, color, beauty and human faces. Can you not see him running home, shouting for joy! But notice the reaction of his neighbors.

John 9:8-12

First they questioned his identity and he had to insist that he really was the blind beggar. Then they were just interested in the mechanics of his healing. There was no sharing his joy in being healed, just one question after another. But all he knew was that a man called Jesus had given him his sight. So they brought him to the Pharisees for further questioning.

John 9:14-16

Talk about missing the point! The only thing some of these Pharisees focused on was that Jesus had violated their Sabbath rules. They had added hundreds of restrictions defining work on the Sabbath. Making clay was forbidden. And healing someone was also forbidden unless their condition was life threatening. But they argued among themselves because some of the others had sense enough to reason that miracles like this could only be from God.

John 9:17

Even though this man was illiterate, he knew something about the Scriptures and he could think for himself. The Old Testament prophets performed miracles, so this man must be a prophet. This made sense to him. Notice the fact that he had not even seen Jesus yet, but his perception of him was gradually increasing. But the Pharisees were relentless in pursuing their investigation.

“Maybe we are dealing with a fraudulent healing here. Let us find out from the man’s parents if this really is their blind son, and no one else has been substituted for him.”

John 9:18-23

Notice the parent’s cautious answer. They knew only three things. Their son had been born blind, he now could see, and he was of age to speak for himself. They really did not know how he had been healed and they did not want to be excommunicated from the synagogue. They knew that was the predetermined penalty for believing that Jesus was the Messiah. This was a kangaroo court. Who would have ever thought that being healed from congenital blindness could cause so much trouble?

John 9:24-25

Put him under oath to tell the truth. “We know this man is a sinner.” (NIV)

But he was not going to be drawn into their argument. He knew one thing, “I was blind, but now I see.” He stuck to his guns. No one could obliterate the evidence or nullify his experience. All the theological discussions in the world could not erase the reality of what had happened to him. There is no argument that can win against a personal experience. That is why we must always share what Jesus Christ has done for us personally with others–not just give cold facts.

John 9:26-27

Now they provoked him to the point that he lost his fear of them and became sarcastic. This illiterate beggar had the nerve to challenge them, the strict keepers of the law, and actually imply that they would want to be Jesus’ disciples!

John 9:28-33

They were the authorities, unused to having their word questioned and here this ignorant nobody dared to stand up against their decision. But the former blind man’s logic was wonderful.

  1. Even they knew that God did not listen to sinners but to the godly.

  1. But no one had ever given sight to a man born blind.

No record in Old Testament of miracle like this.

  1. Therefore this man must be from God.

And you smart people cannot figure that out!

Nobody was going to tell him that this miracle was not from God. He did not care what these influential men with all of their degrees had decided. He was the one who had been blind and now he could see.

Sometimes we have to stand alone against rigid positions people take because of the way they interpret the Bible. We must stand firmly that the only way to God is through faith in Jesus Christ.

I remember when I was about 12 and my mother, sister and I moved to a new apartment. We had a landlady who believed you must worship on Saturday. One day after her efforts to convince us seemed to be getting nowhere, she told me, “You will never go to heaven unless you worship on Saturday.” But I knew she was not right. My mother had shown my sister and me the truth from the Bible and I was able to stand in the truth without doubting.

We must not believe that because something is legal that it is moral (abortion).

We have to help our children in school to realize that they do not have to believe in evolution, just because some scientists with a lot of degrees say that it is the way life came into being. The Bible says God created the world and everything in it.

The Bible says sex before or outside of marriage is wrong even if everyone else says it is OK. Teach them to stand for truth while young.

The Pharisees’ dishonesty, pride and hostility to Jesus were revealed by their response.

John 9:34

How could a person be “steeped in sin” at birth? These experts were sure that his blindness was for personal sin even before he was born. How dare he lecture the righteous! So they excommunicated him. He was cut off from fellowship with the community of his people. This was really serious!

Can you not see him as he started back home. He was mystified, angry and probably a little glum. The day had started with him in his usual place, blind and begging. Now he was penalized because he could see. He was alone. Even his parents had been wishy-washy instead of sharing his joy. Just did not make sense.

This should not surprise us. When we take a firm stand for Jesus Christ the results are not always trouble-free for us. You may not be given a promotion at work. You may be rejected by members of your family. You may lose some old friends. Your children may not be invited to some parties. You may have your good name slandered. Jesus warned that these things would happen.

Matthew 5:11-12

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (NIV)

This man had received his physical sight instantly, and his spiritual sight was increasing gradually. He first called Jesus, “a man they call Jesus,A prophet, then a man from God, but He still did not know Him.

Now Jesus took the initiative again to bring him full spiritual sight. For the first time He actually saw Jesus.

John 9:35-38

Son of Man was a title for Messiah to the Jews. Daniel the prophet saw all men and nations worship Him. (Dan. 7:13-14) Jesus asked this man, “Do you personally believe in the Son of Man?”

His response was so open. “Tell me who He is so that I may believe.”

Jesus completely revealed His identity. “You have now seen Him; in fact, He is the one speaking with you.”

“Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him.

He now had both physical and spiritual sight. He had responded to light and was given more light until he could fully see. Rejected by religious leaders. Welcomed by Jesus.

John 9:39-41

This confrontation is explained by

John 3:16-21

What a great illustration this incident was. The blind man received his physical sight through the touch of Jesus. When he received further light he believed on the Lord Jesus as his Messiah and his spiritual eyes were also opened.

The Pharisees, on the other hand, claimed to have spiritual sight, but they rejected Jesus, the Light of the world, as their Messiah, so they were spiritually blind. They condemned themselves and remained in darkness.

God is very patient with ignorance. He gives further light. But He will not tolerate arrogance. They remained guilty before God because they claimed to have light while still in darkness. They claimed to be righteous when they were sinners. They rejected the true Light of the world.

Have you ever noticed how many false religions and self-development courses claim to have light? Light from the eastern religions, light from the mystics, light from within, light from the energy of the universe and on and on. This is because “Satan masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14)

How many followers would he get at the start if he really exposed himself as the prince of darkness? Do not fall for any of these seductive appeals. Light from any source other than Jesus Christ is darkness. He is the True Light that gives light to every man 1:9.

John 9:5

But He is not physically in the world now. Who is the light of the world now?

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV) You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Do you see the responsibility that the Lord has placed on you and me? In our daily lives, at home, at work, at leisure, at hobbies, at church, whatever we do—we are to be light bearers. Christ’s light should shine through our words, attitudes, and actions. There is a distinguishable difference between light and darkness. Have you ever noticed how a very small light can overcome a very great darkness? You do not have to be a famous person reaching thousands to be light to the world. You have an area of influence, a place where others are in darkness, where you can shine as light. That is why we must have this as our goal.

John tells us something more in his first epistle.

1 John 1:5-7

In the days when light was given by oil lamps, the wicks had to be trimmed and the glass kept clean for the light to shine clearly. The same is true of us. What part of your life, your thought, attitudes, actions are in darkness? In God there is no darkness at all. When we hang on to favorite sins, we do not have fellowship with God or with other believers. We may say we do, but we are lying. Our light is not shining brightly. Our Father wants us to be in warm, close fellowship and He has provided for our cleansing from these sins that hurt us. The blood of Jesus Christ keeps on cleansing us from all sin. The Pharisees remained in darkness because they would not confess their blindness, their sin. Let us not let that happen to us.

Is there a particular sin that God has convicted you about? Will you confess and let Him cleanse you? Then as you carefully follow the Lord, you will see the impact you can have on others as His light shines through you to overcome the darkness of the world around you.

What does Jesus reveal about our heavenly Father in this story?

Our Father is omnipotent.

Our Father notices and cares for each individual.

Our Father has a purpose for our lives, even through suffering, that will bring Him glory.

Our Father takes the initiative to give us both physical and spiritual light.

Our Father can act in our behalf without a requestCthat He knows our needs.

Our Father is not limited by wrong human perceptions or bound by man-made rules about what He can or cannot do.

Our Father is patient with ignorance and intolerant of arrogance.

Jesus revealed that those who do not respond to His light condemn themselves to greater darkness.

Have you responded in faith to the Son of God as the only one who can guide you into the light you need for time and eternity?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

pray for Tina Miller, young mother, 32, three children, her husband Todd was shot today at an ATM, he survived, shot in the back for 50 dollars, he has a long recovery period. The perp was caught by a legally armed permit holder, as soon as he saw a man with a gun he literally threw his gun on the ground and fell down begging not to be shot. COWARD. Turns out he was only out of prison 6 days. Guess what for? Yep, you guessed it, the exact same thing.

Visited with Stephanie today, she says thanks for your prayers and asks for continued support. She is a very private person and sharing and asking for help in not really in her wheelhouse.

Remember those on our salvation prayer list.

Pray for Steve H, strength and encouragement.

Bill Warneke, pray he takes his medicine, it would help with 80% of his problems.

Pray for Pastor Paul K. health concerns and he’s really sad about seeing his mom 90+ years begin her decline into dementia.

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THE CONCEPT OF CONSECRATION., POSSESSED BY GOD, GRIPPED BY GOD.

1 : to induct (a person) into a permanent office with a religious rite

especially : to ordain to the office of bishop

2a : to make or declare sacred

especially : to devote irrevocably to the worship of God by a solemn ceremony

consecrate a church

b : to effect the liturgical transubstantiation of (eucharistic bread and wine)

c : to devote to a purpose with or as if with deep solemnity or dedication

3 : to make inviolable or venerable (Webster’s Dictionary).

Philippians 3:12 (Phi) …I keep going on, trying to grasp the purpose for which Christ Jesus grasped me.

Matthew 13:44 (Phi) “The kingdom of heaven is like some treasure which has been buried in a field. A man finds it and buries it again, and goes off overjoyed to sell all his possessions to buy himself that field.”

2 Corinthians 4:7 (KJV) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels…

Seized By God

1 Corinthians 6:20 (Jer) You are not your own property; you have been bought and paid for. That is why you should use your body for the glory of God.

1 Peter 1:18-19 (Phi) For you must realize that you have been ransomed by your futile way of living passed on to you by your traditions, but not by any money payment of this passing world. No, the price was in fact the life-blood of Christ, the unblemished and unstained lamb of sacrifice.

Romans 12:1 (TEB) So then, my brothers, because of God’s great mercy to us, I make this appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.

Available Vessels

John 1:12-13 (NAS) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor or the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

F.B. Meyer: “The act of consecration is to recognize Christ’s ownership and to accept it; and to say to Him, with the whole heart, Lord, I am Yours by right, and I wish to be Yours by choice.”

1 Thessalonians 4:3,4 (NKJ) For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you show how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor.

2 Timothy 2:21 (RSV) If anyone purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the Master of the house, ready for any good work.

Ordinary Jars In The Hands Of Jesus

John 2:5-10 (Wey) His mother said to the attendants, “Whatever he tells you to do, do it.” Now there were six stone jars standing there (in accordance with the Jewish regulations for purification), each large enough to hold twenty gallons or more. Jesus said to the attendants, “Fill the jars with water.” Then He said, “Now, take some out.” Then… [the banquet-master] called to the bridegroom and said to him, “… You have kept the good wine till now.”

God’s Will To Form Us Into Vessels Worthy Of Future Glory

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Romans 6:13 (Phi) But, like men rescued from certain death, put yourselves in God’s hands as weapons of good for his own purposes.

Titus 3:5,6 (Phi) He saved us in his mercy–not by virtue of any moral achievement of ours, but by the cleansing power of a new birth and the renewal of the Holy Spirit which he poured upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.

Philippians 3:12(NIV) Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Philippians 3:12 (NAS) …but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:5-7 (Jer) In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus; His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave….

Malachi 3:2-3 (NAS) “…For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. And He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that He may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.”

Apprentice Priests…

Exodus 29:44 (NIV) “So I will consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests.”

Hebrews 9:21 (NAS) And in the same way, he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood.

Exodus 28:41 (NAS) And you shall anoint them and ordain them and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests.

Consecration Is God’s Prerogative, Not Man’s

2 Chronicles 13:9-10 (NIV) …Whoever comes to consecrate himself… may become a priest of what are not gods. As for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests who serve the Lord are sons of Aaron…

E.W. Bullinger: “Thus it is now that the Holy Spirit consecrates all who are priests unto God. It is a Divine act, an act of sovereign grace. A grand reality when done for the sinner by God the Holy Ghost but a worthless vanity when presumptuously done by a mortal man.”

2 Chronicles 13:9-10 (GLT) …Whoever comes to consecrate himself … even he becomes a priest to no gods.

2 Corinthians 1:21 (Phi) It is he who has consecrated us to this special work, he who has given us the living guarantee of the Spirit in our hearts.

Defiled Vessels

Daniel 5:22-23 (NEB) But you, his son, Belshazzar, did not humble your heart, although you knew all this. You have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. The vessels of his temple have been brought to your table…

Daniel 5:30 (NEB) That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain.

Romans 9:22-23 (RSV) What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power has endured with much patience the vessels of wrath made for destruction in order to make known the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy which he prepared beforehand for glory.

Isaiah 52:11 (NAS) Depart, depart, go out from there, touch nothing unclean; go out of the midst of her purify yourselves, you who carry the vessels of the Lord.

From Desecration… To Consecration

Romans 6:19 (TEB) …At one time you surrendered yourselves entirely as slaves to impurity and wickedness, for wicked purposes. In the same way you must now surrender yourselves entirely as slaves of righteousness, for holy purposes.

Matthew 3:11 (NIV) “…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

Deuteronomy 11:22-23 (NIV) “If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow–to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways and hold fast to him–then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.”

Mark 11:15 (NIV) Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NKJ) Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

2 Chronicles 7:16 (NAS) “For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My Name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”

Exodus 29:43 (NAS) And I will meet there with the sons of Israel, and it shall be consecrated by my glory.

2 Chronicles 7:3 (NIV) …and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

Beholding His Glory

2 Corinthians 3:18 (TEB) All of us, then, reflect the glory of the Lord with uncovered faces; and that same glory, coming from the Lord who is the Spirit, transforms us into his very likeness, in an ever greater degree of glory.

2 Chronicles 29:31 (NAS)…”Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the Lord.”

Consecrated For The Wedding

Zephaniah 1:7 (NIV) Be silent before the Sovereign Lord for the day of the Lord is near. The Lord has prepared a sacrifice; he has consecrated those he has invited.

Revelation 19:7,8 (TEB) Let us rejoice and be glad; let us praise his greatness. For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself for it. She has been given shining linen to dress herself with…

Leviticus 16:32 (KJV) And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments…

Matthew 22:12-14 (RSV) “My friend,” said the king [after imploring people to come…], “how do you come to be here without your wedding clothes?” He had nothing to say. The king then said to his attendants, “Bind him hand and foot; turn him out into the dark, the place of wailing and grinding of teeth.” For though many are invited, few are chosen.

The Sacrifice Of Obedience

1 Kings 19:19-21 (NIV) So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother good-bye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the ploughing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.

F.B. Meyer: “Consecration is only possible when we give up our will about everything.”

Luke 14:26 (NIV) “If any man comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.”

Luke 9:62 (Phi) But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts his hand to the plough and then looks behind him is useless for the kingdom of God.”

Luke 14:33 (TEB) “In the same way,” concluded Jesus, “none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up everything he has.”

Oswald Chambers: “We… have to deliberately determine to be interested only in which God is interested.”

Clay… Ready For Change

Hebrews 10:20,22 (NKJ) By a new and living way which he consecrated for us…. let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

James 4:8 (NIV) Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded.

Oswald Chambers: “Consecration means the continual separating of myself… We cannot consecrate once and for all. Am I continually separating myself to consider God every day of my life?”

Joel 2:13-17 (NAS) Rend your hearts and not your garments. Now return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate… Blow a trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, gather the people, sanctify the elders… Let the priests, the Lord’s ministers weep between the porch and the altar.

Romans 13:13-14 (Phi) Let us therefore fling away the things that men do in the dark, let us arm ourselves for the fight of the day! Let us live cleanly, as in the daylight, not in the delights of getting drunk or playing with sex, nor yet in quarreling or jealousies. Let us be Christ’s men from head to foot, and give no chances to the flesh to have its fling.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember our Salvation list,

Barbara D, Mona R, Norma Perales, Rick Sr. and Rick Jr.

Pray for Steve H, encouragement and strength

Ricky R, Still sober

Sherry M, on a long streak of behaving, I think because I’m checking on her more.

Eli, is gaining weight…

Caliste and Stephanie, physically are doing as well as respected, but both are dealing with emotional aspects of the possible ticking time bomb with the brain tumors.

Remember Paul K, a little down about possible health issues and his mom at 92 years is beginning to have issues with dementia.

Bill Warneke, chronic neck pain, depression and the beginnings of Parkinson’s (maybe)

IT IS ALL JOY

May 7, 2019

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  “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8).

  Although both faith and joy are included in ‘the fruit of the Spirit,’ joy can only flourish upon the foundation of faith. When faith is present and active, favorable circumstances are not necessary for joy; trials and tribulations cannot daunt it.

There are some Christians who seem to be afraid of enjoying all the rays of the Son of Righteousness. They are afraid of being too happy. Perhaps some of us have not really considered that ‘joy’ is itself a part of that fruit by which the Father is glorified. There is nothing to be gained by despondency. Doubts are not marks of humility; unbelief is really evidence of pride. And there is no cloud that so effectively shuts out the glad sunshine of our gracious Father’s face as the thick cloud of unbelief.

Although as to His circumstances the Lord Jesus was the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief, yet He had a joy always before His eyes. But we never find Him rejoicing in anything but the will of His Father. ‘I delight to do Thy will’ was His true testimony. So may we ‘rejoice in the Lord’ though all is dark around, with the joy of faith that sees the unseen and looks beyond the present and temporal to the eternal.

The Old Testament believer had joy for God’s gifts to him. God’s power made things here contribute to him. But the Christian’s joy is in heaven and springs from what the Father is to him there. He demands nothing from this world, but in the life of the Lord Jesus he contributes to it, of the grace that nourishes and comforts him outside it.

  “Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance. In thy Name shall they rejoice all the day” (Ps. 89:15, 16).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Caliste Burt, brain surgery May 9th, 10-14 hours of surgery.

Stephanie Taylor, brain surgery some this month, Just like Caliste’s surgery, the surgeon cannot have done any surgery for 3 days, so they will call and say come in today or tomorrow and bang, just like that. Talk about not wanting to answer the phone.

Brad T, fine police officer, good Christian, on the force 22 years, just had his first shooting incident. He’s fine, but shook up, says he can’t believe how fast it unwound.

Pray for Timmy C, New York State Trooper, needs salvation, and this is a tale I hear to often, married a daughter of a multi-millionaire. State Troopers don’t make much, and you know how the hours go. So he just found out she has a secret bank account and has been stashing clothes and shoes at a girlfriends house. How did he find out? When pull the girlfriend over for speeding and his wife who was supposed to be home was in the car and she got out to yell at him and he didn’t even recognize her in her “clubbing” clothes. OUCH. By the way Timmy is my nephew. He’s a great guy.

Pray for Brad and Denise Thurman, 6 year old daughter diagnosed with Leukemia.

Count it all joy…….even when you don’t understand it, God puts us places we don’t understand but it’s all Part Of His Plan, His Perfect Plan.

THE LIGHT OF OF OUR EYE

March 26, 2019

gray scale photography of lighthouse

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

“Now are ye light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:8a).

  It takes us a long time to realize that all is darkness outside the Light of heaven and earth.

The moment we begin to rest our peace on anything in ourselves, we lose it. And this is why so many Christians have not a settled peace. How can you have settled peace? Only by having it in the Father’s way. By not resting on anything, even the Spirit’s work within, but on what the Lord Jesus has done entirely outside you. His death and resurrection for all our sins.

Then you will know peace—conscious unworthiness, but yet peace. In the Lord Jesus alone, the Father finds that in which He rests; and so it is with His saints. The more you see the extent and nature of the evil that is within, as well as that without and around, the more you will find that what the Lord Jesus is and did, is the only ground at all on which you can rest.

When the eye is turned away from the Lord Jesus, darkness must set in. But having Him for our Object. It is thus that light divine pours in upon us, until every chamber of our moral being becomes lighted up, and we become light for others. In this way the believer is kept happily free from obscurity, perplexity, and anxiety. He finds all his strength and joy in the Lord Jesus.

It is having the Lord Jesus as our Object and focus which alone gives us the power of truth. When we have anything of our own as our focus we slip aside, for the Lord Jesus alone is the full truth. It is only in proportion as we are filled with Him and have Him to the exclusion of our own desires, that we ourselves walk in the truth. Let us have our hearts fixed on only the One who is our whole life.

  “Walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8b).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Stephanie Taylor, she just discovered that she has a brain tumor and will have surgery very soon.

Remember Caliste Burt, her surgery for her brain tumor is this week.

Pray for Olivia, that carries to full term and that she and the baby will be fine.

Barbara D, salvation

Norma, Rick Sr. and Rick Jr. Perales, salvation.

Mona R, salvation.

Tommy M, gets out of prison Thursday, went in at age 19, now is 35, his mom passed away this year and his relation with his dad has always been strained.

the suffering sojourn

March 20, 2019

person standing on top of rock

Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com

“The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:11 NIV).

  There are two hearts that we learn in the process of suffering: our own sinful heart, and our Father’s loving heart. I have often been asked why I write so much about suffering. First, because we are to pick up the cross and sojourn with it. Second; we are in a foreign land, harassed by a vengeful king that wants us to feel abandoned. Third, to fight the scourge of positive, faith confessors that have flooded the airwaves with the sugar daddy god that is on a leash to our every whim. Fourth, that from our own suffering we learn to be compassionate and forgiving, full of grace and humble.

There is a Divine mystery in suffering, a strange and supernatural power in it, which has never been fathomed by human reason. There never has been known great saintliness of soul which did not pass through great suffering. When the suffering soul reaches a calm sweet carelessness, when it can inwardly smile at its own suffering, and does not even ask the Father to deliver it from suffering, then it has wrought its blessed ministry; then patience has its perfect work; then the crucifixion begins to weave itself into a crown.

There is no place for learning the tender sympathy of the Lord Jesus, and the blessings of the Father’s love and patience and care, as in the trials of the wilderness journey. True, we must first have reached by faith to come to the Lord Jesus. Then we find that this world is not the sphere in which the Father can bless us fully; but that there is no place where our own heart is more thoroughly learned, and the heart of the Lord Jesus, as in the wilderness journey.

‘Ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children; My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him’ (Heb. 12:5). I am not to despise the child-training, like a duck in the rain, indifferent to it, braving as it were everything; neither am I to ‘faint when. . . rebuked of Him,’ like a hen in the rain, which is a miserable object. I am neither to be miserable nor indifferent, but thoughtful and exercised.

  “The Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

We are waiting to hear from Pat Little how her stomach surgery went, keep her in prayer.

Remember Caliste Burt, we are getting close to the time for her brain surgery.

Remember Olivia, we are also getting close to the time of her delivery, of hopefully a well-baby and healthy mom.

Remember Bill Warneke, chronic pain, chronic depression, and early signs of dementia.

Pray for Paul K, 2 cysts on his pancreas, he’ll get tested end of the month to see what’s happening.

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

Pray for John Branton, and his soon prostate surgery. We already know there will be complications because he put it off so long.

thinking over feeling

“You were set free from the tyranny of sin” (Rom. 6:18).

  There is no use in forcing any spiritual issue in our lives, nor in anyone else’s. When our Father has us prepared for progress through the knowledge of His facts, we will believe; we will reckon upon and rest in the required truth.

What is the secret of reckoning? We need revelation from the Word of God (Matt. 16:17; Eph. 1:17, 18). We need to have our eyes opened to the fact of our union with the Lord Jesus. Most of us can remember the day when we saw clearly that He died for us, and we ought to be equally clear as to the time when we saw that we died with Him. It is not that I reckon myself to be dead, and therefore I will be dead. It is that, because I died—therefore I reckon myself to have died. It is not reckoning toward death, but from death.

There is no need talking about victorious Christian living unless we are willing to face the fact that as believers, we are out of our element here in this world. We are living in enemy territory. Believers may be in bondage because of deception or ignorance of the full scope of their inheritance in the Lord Jesus, or because they have not, according to Romans 6:11, reckoned themselves dead to sin and alive unto God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through grace ‘the old man’ was nailed to the Cross and buried in the tomb; through faith the old man will be kept there. Continuously reckon yourself to be totally severed from all that belongs to the old man and all that pertains to the old sphere, and faith will eventuate into experience.

  “The Sixth of Romans is not an aspect of truth, but the foundation truth upon which every believer must stand if he is to grow and mature in the ‘not I, but Christ’ life.”

  “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering” (Heb. 10:23).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Pat Little, tomorrow (Wednesday) she is having surgery to pull down her stomach (literally) it has moved up and is causing all sorts of problems. (this is a first for prayer requests in 40 years).

Remember Olivia, carry to full term and mother and baby are ok (April). There are several medications she has to take for a life-threatening illness. It was a miracle she got pregnant and now to carry to full term is also miraculous.

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

Pray for Andy O, that he will not act out.

My back is almost better, appreciate the prayers.

Remember Caliste Burt, brain surgery coming up soon.

John Branton, prostate surgery coming up.

Remember Sherrie in prayer, 33 days of sobriety.

Pray for Gwen, finances.

American Revival

March 18, 2019

praying mom

Many of you have heard the famous prayer, now, that a pastor prayed in the Kansas House of Representatives. He was called on to pray, and, you know, they were expecting the normal platitudes and pious phrases that, so many times, the clergy pour out when they’re called on—honored, they think—to pray in one of these enclaves. But, this man’s name was Reverend Joe Wright, and here was the prayer he prayed. I want you to listen to it, because you talk about a prayer that sounded like a rock, that acted, that had the result of a rock thrown into a hornets’ nest. Here was the prayer: He said, “Heavenly Father, we come before You, today, to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know that Your Word says, ‘Woe unto those that call evil good,’ but that’s exactly what we’ve done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values. We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it moral pluralism. We have worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism. We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building esteem. We have abused power and called it political savvy. We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, oh God, and know our hearts today, and try us, and see if there be some wicked way in us. Cleanse us from every sin, and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas and who have been ordained by You to govern this great state. Grant them Your wisdom to rule, and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your will. I ask it in the name of Your Son, the living Savior Jesus Christ, amen.”

I’d say that’s a good prayer, wouldn’t you? Well, they didn’t think it was a good prayer. I want you to know, folks, that it upset them so much, one just sat down in the middle of the prayer, refused to stand anymore. Another one turned and walked out. And, they began to buzz and to talk, and one man said, “I’ve never heard in ten years as divisive, sanctimonious, self-serving, overbearing prayer as I heard this morning.” That was a representative. Well, I’m glad he prayed that kind of a prayer. But, what happens, that we have done all of those things that Pastor Joe talked about! What is wrong in America?

Did you know, folks, that we are in a crisis? No longer in America do we believe in absolute truth. And, if you’ll go back to a period that began in 1962 through 1982, you will find out that the courts, in twenty years, reversed the principle of “one nation under God” that had been the principle of American history. In 1962, in a court case, Engle v. Vitale, the Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black ruled that voluntary prayer in public schools was unconstitutional. That’s 1962. Right hard upon that, in 1963—the Schempp decision. And, Justice Thomas Clark set in motion the dismantling of classroom Bible-reading. Then came 1980, and the posting of the Ten Commandments was declared unconstitutional. Then came 1982, and the courts prohibited the teaching of creationism—that men, boys, and girls were created by Almighty God. Twenty years it took them to expel God from the public schools and tell Him not to come back.

Pray for Revival in America, pray for revival in your country.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Caliste, about a week and half to go till her brain surgery, the removal of the third and final tumor.

Pray for Olivia, that she carry to full term (April) and that the life saving medication she has to take, will have no harm on the baby.

Pray for Shay B, she will find out if her husband has given her a STD, this week. Married with 3 kids, turns out he has been unfaithful for about half of their marriage. They are in counseling, but if the tests come back positive I’m not sure what she is going to do.

Remember Bill Warneke, chronic neck pain, and depression.

Pray for john Branton, he’s got surgery coming up for prostate cancer

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

Pray for Elena O, dealing with losing her mother and father in a short time interval and an adult daughter who is tormenting her.

Remember me in your prayers, lower back problems. The mass in my chest is almost gone and there is hardly any pain at all.