evil and the word

March 22, 2018

‎Evil (Heb. ra’; Gk. kakos, ponēros, phaulos). Evil has a broader meaning than *sin. The Heb. word comes from a root meaning ‘to spoil’, ‘to break in pieces’: being broken and so made worthless. It is essentially what is unpleasant, disagreeable, offensive. The word binds together the evil deed and its consequences. In the NT kakos and ponēros mean respectively the quality of evil in its essential character, and its hurtful effects or influence. It is used in both physical and moral senses. While these aspects are different, there is frequently a close relationship between them. Much physical evil is due to moral evil: suffering and sin are not necessarily connected in individual cases, but human selfishness and sin explain much of the world’s ills. Though all evil must be punished, not all physical ill is a punishment of wrongdoing (Lk. 13:2, 4; Jn. 9:3; cf. Job).

Have you ever had someone tell you that you are ill or sick because of ‘secret sin’?

We’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating about well-meaning and sometimes not so well meaning Christians trying to convince us that we are sick or ill because of sin.

Well guess what, we all sin, and we all live in a body that is riddled with sin, so I don’t know why so many people keep falling for this.

I guess my other pet peeve is non-Christians that are one step above ignorant savages who want to know how God who is supposed to be so loving; could possibly create Satan and evil if He’s so good.

Who’s that comedian who says; “here’s your sign” stupid?

Free will, choices, wow, we let that one out of the bag, guess they have never really read the bible, or I guess more importantly they don’t believe the bible.

So this devotional isn’t really about sin or evil it’s about belief, the question today is do you really believe the bible? That it is literal, alive, life changing and relative to our lives today. Inerrant, inspired, Holy, still good for giving the truth about God and ourselves, a road map for Holy living.

Well here’s another great quote from Rev. J. Vernon McGee; “sin will keep you from prayer (and bible reading) but prayer (and bible reading) will keep you from sin.” (Parenthesis mine)

And speaking of bibles, I’ve been reading the CSB (Christian Study Bible) which used to be the HCSB, or as some call it “the official southern Baptist bible.”

So far I’ve only read Acts and Genesis, next I’ll read Romans and let you know. I like it better than the NIV, but less than the NLT. How’s that for bible code. Their Pastor’s Edition has placed right in the middle of the bible, Funerals, Weddings, Baptisms and other stuff, at the end, before the concordance(which is pretty good) they have a topical section and it’s in goatskin, which is really durable, but they put in a stiffener, which ruins the whole point of goatskin and it’s more natural ‘rolling’. All in all so far I’m pretty impressed, though no red Words of Christ in the leather editions.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com



March 19, 2018

  “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us” (Rom. 5:5).

  Acknowledging our insufficiency and appropriating His all-sufficiency are the basic building blocks for our growth in the “not I but Christ” life.

  “There is no child of God that has set his face to go through with Him, who has not grieved over the weakness of his love for the Lord Jesus. Our hearts have mourned, and we have suffered when we have realized our selfishness and mixed motives; the weak, unstable love we have for Him.

  “Truly none of us can rejoice in our love for Him. But when we begin to apprehend His great, eternal love for us, our hearts are filled with joy. And we praise Him for His love, His longsuffering and patience; and we magnify His Name for that love which never fails.”

  “When we slip out of communion with God, how wretched we are, and how we contribute to the unhappiness of others! Whereas in communion with our Father there is power to enable us to resist the devil, to enjoy the Lord and to promote the true blessing of His own. May we have our Lord Jesus constantly in held in highest esteem in our hearts.”

  “Nothing but an intelligent and growing acquaintance with the Lord Jesus can satisfy the renewed heart. The very mercy that delivers a soul becomes a hindrance unless the Lord Himself be the one Object.”

  “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God” (2 Cor. 3:5).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com


Growing Up together.

March 17, 2018

But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” (Rom. 8:9).

The Spirit’s ministry is to make us all more like Christ.

We are the objects of the continual care and discipline of our heavenly Father. If we walk after the flesh, instead of after the Spirit, this may call for His loving rebuke and chastening (child training); but that in no way interferes with the precious truth of our continual acceptance and position in the risen Lord Jesus Christ, by whose one offering we have been perfected forever.

Through grace, we are not in the flesh, but in Christ, yet the flesh is in us; but our part is to reckon it as having been, before God and to faith, judicially put to death in Christ crucified, thus setting us free to be so constantly occupied with the triumphant Son of God, as to find all our resources, all our strength, all our being, in Him.

“If we have the Lord Jesus, we have all—without Him, we have nothing. You can be happy without money, without liberty, without parents, and without friends, if He is yours. If you have not Christ, neither money, nor liberty, nor parents, nor friends can make you happy. Christ, with a chain, is liberty; liberty without Christ is a chain. Christ without anything is riches—all things, without Christ, is poverty indeed.”

“If children, then heirs—heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ—if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8:17).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Roger S, throat cancer

Pray for Lauren, not a Christian, many are praying for her, and her life has been shattered, she is so scared, she is in the bargaining phase with God, thankfully she has been turning to her Christian peers for advice not her usual crowd.


Slow Motion

March 16, 2018

  “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12).

  In faith we apprehend the growth truths; in fact the Lord Jesus apprehends us for growth in those truths.

  “I have been much struck by the thought of the hiddenness and slowness of God’s workings. It must be a matter of distinct faith. If we do not understand this it will make us impatient. If we understand it will teach us to rest in God and to yield ourselves all the more joyfully to Him to work out His purpose. In all creation time is the great perfecter of growth. So with us, God will perfect that which concerns us.”

  “‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness’ (Rom. 4:3), when his faith apprehended the promise of God; yet it was nearly 40 years after that this Scripture was fulfilled, when he offered his son. The faith had its apprehension and enjoyment for many a year before the work of faith.

  “In proportion as the revelation is of God, in like measure must there be an answer to it sooner or later. Effect must follow cause. If the light has been received, the day will come that it must assert and obtain an expression of itself.”

  “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com


hang on or let it go

March 13, 2018

For some reason the last couple of days I’ve remembered more of the bad stuff than the good. It doesn’t cause me to doubt my salvation, just my sanity. Sometimes I’m shocked when I recall some things. But it’s important to remember your past has no hold on you, it doesn’t have to dictate the decisions you make today. Only if you are conscious of the influence thoughts have and you are more strategic then whimsical (never thought I could use that word in a sentence) in your decision making.

So I purposely, occasionally pull out this list of things I may think about and then I can put them in the right context of what I am doing today. It’s one of the reasons I’ve studied to become a master chess player and a martial artist. Train the mind, train the body.

Remember the forgiveness of God and the complete restoration He has given. Salvation and Sanity seem to go together.

What special memories do you have about your childhood?

  1. How did you get along with each of your parents? What were they like’

  1. What did you like and dislike about your parents’

  1. What were your hurts and disappointments as a child’

  1. What were your hobbies and favorite games’

  1. How did you usually get into trouble’

  1. How did you usually try to get out of trouble’

  1. What did you enjoy about school and its activities’

  1. What pets did you have? Which were your favorites and why’

  1. What did you dream about doing when you were older’

  1. Did you like yourself as a child? Why or why not’

  1. What were your talents and special abilities’

  1. What awards and special achievements did you win’

  1. Did you have a nickname’

  1. Who were your close friends? Where are they today’

  1. What would you do on a hot summer afternoon’

  1. Describe the area where you grew up—people, neighborhood, etc.

  1. What were you afraid of? Do you have any of those fears today’

  1. How did you get along with your brothers and/or sisters?

  1. If you had none, which relative were you closest to?

  1. Who did you date and for how long? Where did you go on dates?

  1. How did you feel when you liked someone and that person didn’t care for you?

  1. What was your spiritual life like as a child? As an adolescent?

  1. How has being an adult changed your life?

  1. How are you different today than you were 20 years ago? Ten years ago?

  1. What have been your greatest disappointments? How have you handled them?

  1. What have you learned from them that you would want me to learn’

  1. If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently’

  1. What do you want to be remembered for?

The Apostle Paul recounted his past and the complete forgiveness of God, all things are forgivable, the only exception is refusing the call of God, the wooing of the Holy Spirit to salvation.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com


Got Pruned?

March 12, 2018

Got Pruned?

A great mystery surrounds the spiritual growth of the hungry-hearted believer.

The Spirit gives a foretaste of a deeper life before the believer is led into the fulness of it. Many believers mistake their foretaste for the fulness, not realizing that the Lord is just beginning to lead them

The hard-heartedness of our nature is the failure of our youth—our spiritual youth, as well as our natural youth; eagerness to run in God’s path, but not apprehending what the path is, or what it requires to walk in it. On the other hand, when the cost is counted, and our weakness known, the energy begotten of self-confidence being gone, we need a stimulating call on God’s part, to get out of the persistent occupation with our weakness now, as with our strength before.

Suffering is not meant by God to be loss and deprivation. Satan says that it is. God means suffering to result in increased spiritual capacity, which is the basis of added responsibility, trust, and fruitful sharing. The branch of the vine may bleed from the drastic pruning and feel stripped of much glory; but more and better fruit is the vinedresser’s vindication.

But we being of such stubborn nature, like the Apostle Paul, ‘kicking against the prods.” Thus, the school of the desert, the wilderness wanderings, the warring in our hearts with what we should and what we most heartily do naught. There is as much left undone in our lives as what ought to be done. Thus the reason that God is a Vinedresser and we the vineyard.

  “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Cor. 15:49).

Thank God, He is patient, or we would be branches thrown in the fire.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

A special thanks to our prayer warriors, and a big shout to the encouragers. I can’t tell you how many nights I come to the keyboard and think there is no more to be poured out. And yet He gives more, all glory to God, He is worthy of all our praise. And to Ms. Kelly, yes, these are all rough drafts, “grammar be damned “ (G. K. Chesterton)

The one and only

March 10, 2018


In 1889 a schoolteacher told a ten-year-old boy, “You will never amount to very much.” That boy was Albert Einstein. In 1954 a music manager told a young singer, “You ought to go back to driving a truck.” That singer was Elvis Presley. In 1962 a record company told a group of singers, “We don’t like your sound. Groups with guitars are definitely on their way out.” They said that to the Beatles. Man is prone to make mistakes. Those who reject the Bible should take the time to look at the evidence before they come to a verdict.

  1. It is unique in its continuity.

    If just 10 people today were picked who were from the same place, born around the same time, spoke the same language, and made about the same amount of money, and were asked to write on just one controversial subject, they would have trouble agreeing with each other. But the Bible stands alone. It was written over a period of 1,600 years by more than 40 writers from all walks of life. Some were fishermen; some were politicians. Others were generals or kings, shepherds or historians. They were from three different continents,

    and wrote in three different languages. They wrote on hundreds of controversial subjects yet they wrote with agreement and harmony. They wrote in dungeons, in temples, on beaches, and on hillsides, during peacetime and during war. Yet their words sound like they came from the same source. So even though 10 people today couldn’t write on one controversial subject and agree, God

    picked 40 different people to write the Bible—and it stands the test of time.

  2. It is unique in its circulation.

    The invention of the printing press in 1450 made it possible to print books in large quantities. The first book printed was the Bible. Since then, the Bible has been read by more people and printed more times than any other book in history. By 1930, over one billion Bibles had been distributed by Bible societies around the world. By 1977, Bible societies alone were printing over 200 million Bibles each year, and this doesn’t include the rest of the Bible publishing companies. No one who is interested in knowing the truth can ignore such an important book.

  3. It is unique in its translation.

    The Bible has been translated into over 1,400 languages. No other book even comes close.

  4. It is unique in its survival.

    In ancient times, books were copied by hand onto manuscripts which were made from parchment and would decay over time. Ancient books are available today only because someone made copies of the originals to preserve them. For example, the original writings of Julius Caesar are no longer around. We know what he wrote only by the copies we have. Only 10 copies still exist, and they were made 1,000 years after he died. Only 600 copies of Homer’s The Iliad exist, made 1,300 years after the originals were written. No other book has as many copies of the ancient manuscripts as the Bible. In fact, there are over 24,000 copies of New Testament manuscripts, some written within 35 years of the writer’s death.

  5. It is unique in withstanding attack.

    No other book has been so attacked throughout history as the Bible. In A.D. 300 the Roman emperor Diocletian ordered every Bible burned because he thought that by destroying the Scriptures he could destroy Christianity. Anyone caught with a Bible would be executed. But just 25 years later, the Roman emperor Constantine ordered that 50 perfect copies of the Bible be made at government expense. The French philosopher Voltaire, a skeptic who destroyed the faith of many people, boasted that within 100 years of his death, the Bible would disappear from the face of the earth. Voltaire died in 1728, but the Bible lives on. The irony of history is that 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society moved into his former house and used his printing presses to print thousands of Bibles.

The Bible has also survived criticism. No book has been more attacked for its accuracy. And yet archeologists are proving every year that the Bible’s detailed descriptions of historic events are correct.

You can mock, you can laugh in derision, but the only people being martyred today are people who believe in the bible. It is estimated that over 150,000 people per year are killed for their faith in Jesus Christ. No other religion is being attacked like Christianity, the simple reason is it is the only true way to God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Continue to pray for Joe,

pray for Courtney and her failing health,

for Greg M. and his battle with addiction.

Melissa and sobriety and abstinence.

And for Beth Ann as she battles with an eating disorder

and for Olivia, 23 and facing the partial removal of her stomach, and her ovaries and a large part of her colon.

Thank you all for your prayer support, send your prayer requests and comments to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com God bless.

who i am

March 9, 2018

I am accepted…

John 1:12

I am God’s child.

John 15:15

As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:1

I have been justified.

1 Corinthians 6:17

I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.

1 Corinthians 12:27

I am a member of Christ’s body.

Ephesians 1:3-8

I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.

Colossians 1:13-14

I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.

Colossians 2:9-10

I am complete in Christ.

Hebrews 4:14-16

I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.

I am secure…

Romans 8:1-2

I am free from condemnation.

Romans 8:28

I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.

Romans 8:31-39

I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.

Colossians 3:1-4

I am hidden with Christ in God.

Philippians 1:6

I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.

Philippians 3:20

I am a citizen of heaven.

2 Timothy 1:7

I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

1 John 5:18

I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

I am significant…

John 15:5

I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.

John 15:16

I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.

1 Corinthians 3:16

I am God’s temple.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

I am a minister of reconciliation for God.

Ephesians 2:6

I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.

Ephesians 2:10

I am God’s workmanship.

Ephesians 3:12

I may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com




March 8, 2018

Can we know truth? Where is it found? Can we logically verify it? Is there an ultimate authority? Are there absolutes which can guide our lives, our world? Is there meaning to life? Why are we here? Where are we going? These questions—questions that all rational people contemplate—have haunted the human intellect since the beginning of time (Eccl. 1:13-18; 3:9-11).

Many claimed to have answers to these ultimate questions, but after research and reflection I found that their answers were based upon (1) personal philosophies, (2) ancient myths, (3) personal experiences, or (4) psychological projections. I needed some degree of verification, some evidence, some rationality on which to base my world-view, my integrating center, my reason to live.

I found these in my study of the Bible. I began to search for evidence of its trustworthiness, which I found in (1) the historical reliability of the Bible as confirmed by archaeology, (2) the accuracy of the prophecies of the Old Testament, (3) the unity of the Bible message over the sixteen hundred years of its production, and (4) the personal testimonies of people whose lives had been permanently changed by contact with the Bible. Christianity, as a unified system of faith and belief, has the ability to deal with complex questions of human life. Not only did this provide a rational framework, but the experiential aspect of biblical faith brought me emotional joy and stability.

  1. I believe the Bible is the sole inspired self-revelation of the one true God. Therefore, it must be interpreted in light of the intent of the original divine author (the Spirit) through a human writer in a specific historical setting.

  1. I believe the Bible was written for the common person—for all people! God accommodated Himself to speak to us clearly within a historical and cultural context. God does not hide truth —He wants us to understand! Therefore, it must be interpreted in light of its day, not ours. The Bible should not mean to us what it never meant to those who first read or heard it. It is understandable by the average human mind and uses normal human communication forms and techniques.

  1. I believe the Bible has a unified message and purpose. It does not contradict itself, though it does contain difficult and paradoxical passages. Thus, the best interpreter of the Bible is the Bible itself.

  1. I believe that every passage (excluding prophesies) has one and only one meaning based on the intent of the original, inspired author. Although we can never be absolutely certain we know the original author’s intent, many indicators point in its direction:

  1. the genre (literary type) chosen to express the message

  1. the historical setting and/or specific occasion that elicited the writing

  1. the literary context of the entire book as well as each literary unit

  1. the textual design (outline) of the literary units as they relate to the whole message

  1. the specific grammatical features employed to communicate the message

  1. the words chosen to present the message

  1. parallel passages

Recent statistics (which can mean anything you want them to) show that actual bible reading is down by 37%. I blame it on social media, everyone is more concerned about ‘likes’ than heaven or hell.

Of course, we have no idea what segment of society was polled or where.

I have often written about the versions of the Bible, and although I still stand by those suppositions, I’d like to say “read any version you want, just read”.

It’s about quality, not quantity. I still remember reading a ‘comic book’ style of the bible and quite enjoyed it. if you are worried about understanding the bible while you are reading then get the “life application bible” that comes in many different versions. Get large print so it’s easier to read. Read with a plan or just flip it open and read anything you want.

I just bought Chuck Swindoll’s study bible, it’s a little lighter on notes than I expected and there isn’t a large print version yet, but it’s an excellent place to start and to trust.

You can find any version you want free as an app online, just read. Used bookstores are filled with bibles (I’m not sure that’s good or bad).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com


heart knowledge

March 7, 2018

  “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19).

  The written Word is meant to reveal the Living Word, not to hide Him. Many know prophecy better than the Prophet. Our Father gave us His written Word that we might know His Son, not only as Savior but as our very Life. “Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17).

The knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ is the basis of the believer’s life. That is, it underlies our very relationship with God; it underlies all our growth in grace; it underlies every fragment of our service. There is nothing which comes within the compass of the life of the Christian which does not depend upon the knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

Heart acquaintance with Christ is the secret of spiritual growth. One may know all the truths of the Bible, and yet be practically ignorant of the person of the Lord Jesus. It is possible to go back into the world with an acquaintance with the scriptures, but it is virtually impossible to return back to the world with a true scriptural acquaintance of Christ in the heart.

The believer should have but one object: knowing Christ has laid hold of him for glory, his heart is running after Him. He is to have no other object, though he may have many things to do. The Lord Jesus is ‘in all’ believers as the power of life, and He is ‘all’ as the object of that life. He is ‘all and in all’ (Col. 3:11). And, ‘all to Him I owe.’

  “Having an high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:21, 22).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Crystal, in her 30’s, three boys, and she has stage 4 cancer.