thinking over feeling

The last words uttered by the Savior just before He died on the cross were, “It is finished.” He was not referring to the end of His life or ministry, but of His substitutionary sufferings on the cross which He would complete by His death which occurred immediately following His shout, “It is finished.” He was declaring He had finished the special work of salvation which the Father had given Him to accomplish.

We speak of “the finished work of Christ” because there is nothing left to be done to provide man’s salvation. God has done it all in the person and work of His Son and He raised Him from the dead as the proof of that very fact. The work of God in Christ is a once-and-for-all work of God accomplished in total by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Christ’s death was distinctly a work accomplished for the entire world (John 3:16; Heb. 2:9) and, provisionally speaking, it provided redemption (1 Tim. 2:6), reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19), and propitiation (the appeasement or satisfaction of God’s holiness) (1 John 2:2) for every person in the world.

Salvation is a done proposition. Man’s responsibility is to accept this by faith, faith alone in Christ alone. The finished work of Christ includes not only deliverance from the penalty of sin, but also from the power of sin. Faith in Christ for salvation means coming to Him as the source of salvation from every aspect of sin through trusting in the accomplished work of Christ.

When Christ cried out, “It is finished” (Greek, telesthai, the perfect tense of teleo, “to complete, finish” expressing completed action with continuing results), He was affirming the fact of the finished nature of what He had accomplished on the cross for the world. Regarding Christ’s work as a finished work, Lewis Chafer wrote:

The fact that Christ died does not in itself save men, but it provides the one and only sufficient ground upon which God in full harmony with His perfect holiness is free to save even the chief of sinners. This is the good news which the Christian is appointed to proclaim to all the world. (any book by Dr. Chafer is good to read)

In all the other religions of the world, salvation is a work that man does for God. This is what makes biblical Christianity distinct from all the religions of the world because in the Bible, salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:0); it is the work of God for man and Christ’s final shout of victory affirmed this truth.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember our prayer list, pray especially for Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression. He has fallen several times over the last few years and his balance is getting worse.

Remember Steve H, and the hunt for a pastor.

SEXUAL PURITY PART TEN

January 16, 2019

Chess_board_opening_staunton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)

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

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

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

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

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

Reflection

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

How should one select and initiate an accountability relationship?

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

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

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

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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

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

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

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

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

SEXUAL PURITY PART EIGHT

January 14, 2019

Senior Couple At Home

THIS COUPLE IS HAPPY AND TOGETHER IN MARRIAGE BECAUSE THEY STARTED OUT THE RIGHT WAY.

Since we consider the Bible to relevant, and God’s inspired word, than we consider the instructions and principles to be applied to how we live today.

Consider what Paul said to Timothy, a young single pastor in Ephesus:

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

1 Timothy 5:1-2

Essentially, Paul says that outside of marriage, one’s interactions with the opposite sex should look like a natural brother and sister relationship. In fact, he says it should be identified by “absolute purity.”

Again, most Christian dating relationships follow the pattern of the world. When I was a student, they called it first-base, second-base, third-base, and home. Couples went from holding hands, to kissing, to heavy petting, to sex. Now days it sex on the first date.

However, Scripture presents a very different picture—a familial one. A dating relationship, in many ways, should resemble a sibling relationship. We have forgotten a great principle, dating should be like being with a family person. Friendship, companionship, nothing crossing a boundary.

Once the boundaries of Scripture have been eclipsed, it is often like a slippery slope. First it’s OK to hold hands, then it’s OK to kiss, then it’s OK to cuddle and touch one another, then it’s OK to have sex because eventually you’re going to get married anyway—one reasons. This is a pathway to destruction.

I always encourage couples to declare their boundaries when initially considering dating someone. If that person is not willing to keep those boundaries, then move on. It is a lot harder to pull somebody up, than to pull somebody down. In dating and courtship, it’s important to be equally yoked, especially when it comes to purity.

A Warning about Clothing

In guarding your brother or sister, one of the things that must be considered is clothing. This is especially true for a woman since her body is more alluring than a man’s. That is why in many cultures, it is socially acceptable for a man to have his shirt off and not a woman. It seems that God made the woman’s body that way—it is the more delicate vessel (1 Peter 3:7). Also, this is especially important for women because men are typically more visually stimulated, while women are more emotionally stimulated.

In 1 Timothy 2:9-10, Paul said,

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

This means that a Christian woman should avoid extremes in her clothing. She should not be known for dressing haggardly nor with expensive clothing, as is so common amongst the world. Peter, similarly, said this:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:3-4

However, this modesty, especially, applies to provocative dress, which can cause others to stumble. It will be very hard for a woman to avoid provocative clothing, as Satan is the ruler of this world (John 12:31), which includes the fashion industry. Sex drives the fashion industry. Shorts and skirts continue to get shorter, tops reveal more cleavage, and pants are tighter. For a woman to dress modestly, she will have to go against the flow and be very strategic and particular in her purchases.

Dressing modestly is important to maintain purity and to protect a dating relationship. As a female, you don’t want to open the door for the enemy into your courtship. Also, you don’t want a man who is primarily attracted to you because of your figure. Solomon’s mother said “charm” or “form” is deceitful, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Prov 31:30). You should want a man who is primarily attracted to you because of your love and obedience to the Lord, which includes modesty. Be careful of your clothing, as it can be a stumbling block to your brothers, and it will make it harder to stay pure in a courting relationship.

With that said, this is also true for men. Men need to consider their clothing in order to not be a stumbling block to their sisters. Men should be careful of wearing t-shirts that are 3X too small and pants or shirts that are also to tight.

How is your clothing? Could it potentially be a stumbling block to others?

If you are going to win the battle for purity, you must guard members of the opposite sex by treating them as brothers and sisters with all purity and being modest in your dress.

Reflection

What are the common sexual practices of the world in regards to dating/courting?

Do you know the difference between dating and courting?

What type of Christian instruction did you receive in regards to one’s conduct in dating/courtship relationships? What did that instruction include?

How would you apply Paul’s exhortation to treat younger members of the opposite sex as siblings with absolute purity to dating/courting relationships (1 Tim 5:2)?

Do you feel as though Christian brothers and sisters often model the clothing standards of the world in regards to immodesty? How can we better hold one another accountable in regards to dress?

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

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please remember Caliste Burt, her brain surgery is this week.

Bill Warneke, we will be checking up on him this week, chronic pain and depression.

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

Thank you for your prayers for me I am feeling much better.

SEXUAL PURITY PART SIX

January 12, 2019

thinking over feeling

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

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

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

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

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

How else should we guard our mind?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew 5:27-28 (ESV)

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

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (ESV)

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

1 Thessalonians 4:2-8 (ESV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other believers commanded demons to leave throughout the New Testament.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reflection

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, feel free to email us.

Pray for Caliste Burt, brain surgery next week.

Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression.

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

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

SEXUAL PURITY PART THREE

January 9, 2019

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SEXUAL PURITY PART THREE

The next strategy in God’s Battle Plan for purity is identifying sexual temptations and being ruthless in getting rid of them. Listen to what Christ said in the context of teaching on adultery:

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Matthew 5:29-30

After teaching that a man who lusts after a woman who is not his wife has already committed adultery in his heart (v. 27-28), Christ says that one should be violent in removing temptations towards sexual sin.

The plucking out of one’s eye and cutting off one’s hand are hyperbole or symbolism for war time tactics. In ancient wars, when an army conquered another, they would at times pluck out the eyes and cut off the hands of the conquered so that they would never rise up and fight them again. This cruel tactic was used on Samson. When the Philistines defeated him, they blinded him with the intent of disabling him from ever harming them again (Judges 16:21).

By using this hyperbole, Christ shares how we must similarly declare war in order to be pure. He shows us how severely we must deal with sexual temptations. If our eyes—what we look at—are causing us to lust, we must get rid of it. If our hands—what we do—are causing us to sin, we must cut it out of our life.

The eye and the hand represent things dear to us—things that may seem essential for life. However, even these must not be spared in our efforts to be holy and pure. Is an intimate relationship tempting us? It must be severed. Is it our reading or TV watching? Let us discard it. We must be violent in our task of remaining pure and holy.

This violence will be demonstrated in various ways. I have had friends get rid of their TVs in order to be holy. Personally, as a seminary student and youth pastor, I wouldn’t own the Internet at home because I wanted to protect myself from temptation. I would only use it at work or school. I even had to end relationships that went too far physically to protect the person and myself, but most importantly, to honor God.

With this said, we can understand why many cannot remain pure. The reason is simple. They just don’t hate their sin enough. Purity is not a big enough priority to get rid of things that are dear to them. They love their eye and their hand too much. Friendships, TV shows, a dating relationship, the convenience of the Internet, etc., are too much to part with in their quest to be holy.

If we are going to win the battle against lust, we must declare war on it. Are you willing to go to war in order to be pure? For those who have opened sexual doors, this battle may be especially difficult and costly. But God will help as you are faithful.

I have no Tv service, haven’t for almost 30 years. One it’s a huge waste of time, to it pollutes your mind. I only read good books, yes, I do real mystery novels, but again. Clean. I only listen to full time Christian Radio, BBN radio, it is the best Christian radio station in the world. Listen to it on the internet or the app or see if it plays in your area.

Reflection

What types of cherished things commonly hinder a believer’s quest for sexual purity? Why is it often so hard to let go of these things?

What things have you had to cut out of your life in order to be pure? Are there any things God is calling you to let go of currently?

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

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

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

Remember all our prayer requests;

Olivia, a healthy pregnancy and carries to full term, and that her health continues to improve.

Caliste Burt, brain surgery next week

Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression

Steve H, the church finds the right pastor

Paul C, back problems

SEXUAL PURITY PART TWO

January 8, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reflection

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

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

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

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

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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

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

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

Remember Olivia, carrying her baby to full term.

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

SEXUAL PURITY PART ONE

January 7, 2019

WARNING, ADULT CONTENT AND LANGUAGE, EXTREME SEXUAL TOPIC(s)

I have been a counselor for sex addicts for over 35 years. I’ve been a co-founder of citizen’s against pornography and co-founder of The Pure Life Deliverance Ministries.

So we are going to run a series about immorality and how to lead a pure life. This is going to be a very frank discussion, so if you are easily offended or embarrassed about this topic please take care.

In order to win the battle for purity, believers must first answer this question: “What is sexual immorality?” If we are going to avoid it and flee from it, we must know what it is. I think many Christians are failing simply because they don’t know what sexual immorality is. It has never been defined for them. Some would even say that it is just “intercourse.”

Many believe that oral sex, anal sex, masturbation, heavy petting, etc., are not part of sexual immorality. Such belief leads then to open these doors as avenues of fulfilling their lust while trying to maintain their “virginity.”

I’ve had numerous college girls coming for counseling over how they have wrecked their lives and their bodies believing that anal sex would protect their virginity. And once the word got out that they were willing to that then the doors opened to abuse in all kinds of forms. An now they have physical problems as a result of this. And are unable to have healthy relationships with men in general.

However, by doing this, they are really committing sexual immorality and opening the door for the enemy to attack them and bring them under greater sexual bondage. Therefore, this is an important question to answer. What is sexual immorality?

In order to answer this question, let’s consider 1 Corinthians 7:1-3:

Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.

Paul, the author, said that it is good for a man to stay single and not marry. But because of temptation towards sexual immorality, each person should consider marriage as a spiritual protection. In marriage, the husband and the wife fulfill each other’s sexual desires.

From this, we can gain this basic definition of sexual immorality: Sexual immorality is the attempt to fulfill natural sexual desires outside of the marriage union between a man and a woman. This includes things like sex, oral sex, anal sex, masturbation, heavy petting, pornography, and sexual imaginations. In short, sexual immorality encompasses all acts and thoughts designed to fulfill sexual desire outside of marriage.

In fact, Jesus said this about sexual immorality in Matthew 5:27-28: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” In other words, a person has already committed adultery when lusting, since he went outside of the marriage union to fulfill his sexual desires.

This might seem unrealistic to some. “How can anyone keep themselves from sexual thoughts?” And some might ask, “Why would they?” The reality is that God created sex and he has given us ethics for its use. If we pursue these desires outside the marriage union, we do it at our own peril. We sin against our own bodies, and most grievously, we sin against God.

How then should a single person respond to his natural desires? Scripture uses the analogy of sleeping for those desires. Listen to what Solomon’s fiancée said in the Song of Solomon: “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” (3:5). She exhorts the young ladies in Jerusalem to keep their desires asleep until it is time.

Well, the next question we must ask is, “How can we keep those desires asleep?” or “How can we put them back to sleep after they have been awakened?” We will consider this in the following strategies.

Reflection

What was your previous understanding of sexual immorality?

Define sexual immorality. Why is it important to know its definition?

How commonly do you think people open sexual doors simply because of lack of truly understanding the definition?

Why is it important to keep sexual desires asleep?

When should churches and parents start instructing children about sexual immorality?

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

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

You can recover from sexual addictions, and from sexual abuse, self-committed or committed against you. But there is recovery and healing.

Remember Bill Warneke, depression and chronic pain, noticed I’ve changed the order of this prayer, I’m more concerned about the depression than the pain.

Remember Caliste Burt, brain surgery in 2 weeks.

And Olivia, she has been bed ridden for many years and then better, but under heavy medication, she was told she could never get pregnant and she has, we are praying the medicine and her illness doesn’t jeopardize her life of the baby she is carrying.

DIVINE HEALING

January 6, 2019

Resurrection-Doubting-Thomas

I just want to be up front about where I stand on divine healing. I believe that God can and does offer us divine healing. I think the best book written on the subject is by Andrew Murray. You can find this book free online.

I will also say I don’t understand why it happens one time and not another, only that it is the providence of God. I don’t believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit disappeared just because we got the bible as some teach. The idea that “that which is perfect” is a reference to the bible.

And as long as 1 Corinthians 1:7 is in the bible then all the gifts are still here.

So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: (KJV)

I have seen first hand divine healing that was immediately proven by a doctor. A man was being rolled into surgery for lung cancer, as they wheeled him into surgery, he cried out that he felt warm all over and for the first and only time started speaking in tongues. His doctor was a Christian man who didn’t believe in spiritual gifts but was so curious he had the man x-rayed again and there was no cancer. I know this story to be true as I was there when it happened.

And yet I know a dear old Pentecostal lady that is suffering greatly at this moment, who has had numerous healings in her life. But now she is suffering greatly and there has been no healing.

Then one more example, my best friend had a huge mass on his spine, the doctors looking at the x-ray told him it was cancer and they didn’t believe they could operate. I laid hands on him and prayed for healing. His doctor a skeptical Hindu, wanted to humiliate me and ordered x-rays to prove me wrong. The x-rays came back and no mass. Several more x-rays and still no mass. The pain was gone and he was released from the hospital.

Friends, God still heals, I do not know why it happens the way it does. China right now is experiencing an out pouring of the Holy Spirit and missionaries are saying it’s like the Book of Acts is happening all over. Hundreds being saved daily and great miracles with it.

God heals in many different ways.

God first revealed Himself as the Healer of His people in a strange little Old Testament incident described in Exodus 15. After four hundred years of bondage, the Israelites had just been delivered from Egypt by the mighty hand of God. They had seen plagues devastate the greatest civilization on the face of the earth. They’d had the exhilarating experience of passing through the Red Sea on a dry path while the waters stood firm as walls on either side. They had watched Pharaoh’s elite corps of horsemen and chariots drown—the enemies who had terrorized them all their lives had been defeated. In this dramatic way God gave us a picture of the first step we experience today as He begins our emotional healing: freedom from the bondage of our past.

GOD OFFERS HEALING FRONT THE PAST

When the Israelites saw that their bondage in Egypt was over and their former masters were powerless to enslave them again, they no longer had any reason to fear their former masters or obey them.

Much like those Israelites, when we put our faith in Jesus Christ we are freed from bondage to our old master, Satan. This liberation should also deliver us from the influence of the past on our emotions as well. But while this can happen right away, for most of us, it is a more gradual process. The first part of Exodus 15 is a song of praise to the Lord for His great victory over the Israelites’ enemies. The people were on an emotional high. Then began their journey toward the Promised Land.

As the book of Exodus tells us, “Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying ‘What are we to drink?” (Exod. 15:22-24).

Three days in the desert without water, then the disappointment of undrinkable water, and God’s people soon forgot His power and care for them. They could have said, “Look what God has already done for us! After all that, He’ll surely find a way to provide water for us. We’ll keep on trusting Him.” But they didn’t.

Instead the Israelites grumbled, a habit that persisted all through their journey. The text says they grumbled against Moses, but in reality, they were grumbling against the God who was leading them in the pillar of cloud and fire that moved before them. They were babies in their walk with their God. Fortunately, He understood that and was very patient with them. Despite their complaining attitude He responded to their spokesman’s plea: “Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet” (Exod. 15:25).

Such a simple solution. So easy for God to do. And then: “The LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you” (Exod. 15:26-27).

In the original language, God said, “I am Yahweh-Rapha, the Lord who heals you.” Rapha means “to mend, to cure, to repair, to make whole.”

God gave this promise to the ancient nation of Israel, but it includes a principle that still applies to us today:

Emotional and spiritual health are by-products of obedience.

Health is related to obedience both spiritually, physically, and emotionally. If we obey the commands against sexual immorality, we will not be infected by the sexually transmitted diseases that are rampant in our modern world. Meanwhile, our self-worth will not suffer from being used, cast off, and rejected.

If we obey the command to not covet, we will have a healthy attitude toward both relationships and possessions. We will be grateful for all that God has given us, whether much or little, and be immune to discontent, which works like acid in our emotions.

If we obey the commands against stealing, we will have healthy self-respect, a good name, and no criminal record.

If we honor our parents instead of rebelling against them, we will protect our family relationships.

There are innumerable healthy benefits to having a clear conscience. And God challenged His people to test Him and experience Him in a tangible way—He specifically said He would bless them with health if they obeyed His commands. But there’s more to the incident at Marah for us to learn . . .

THE POWER OF THE CROSS

The instrument God used to heal the bitter waters was a piece of wood. Why not salt, the substance Elisha used hundreds of years later? Why not just a spoken word? Instead God directed Moses to throw a piece of wood into the water because that piece of wood pointed to another—the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross is the only way the bitter waters of our lives can be healed. In other words:

The cross is God’s remedy for emotional pain.

God’s Additional Instruments of Healing

Hundreds of years before Christ’s birth, the prophet Isaiah, who was prophesying about the work of the Messiah, said, “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:4-6).

Isaiah said that Jesus would be taken up, carried, pierced, crushed, and wounded for our infirmities, our sorrows (emotions), our transgressions, our iniquities, our punishment.

Why did He do it? To bring us peace and healing: As

God, Our Healer

Isaiah said, “By His wounds we are healed.” Some people teach that this means physical healing is guaranteed by Christ’s atonement. But Peter interpreted this passage differently. He wrote, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Pet. 2:24-25).

Peter applies Isaiah’s words to our salvation. God knew that we have to be healed spiritually for there to be emotional healing. The cross of Jesus Christ, where He bore our sins and took our punishment, made it possible for us to be reconciled to our God. It enabled us to come back to Him, cleansed and forgiven. His sacrifice for us brings us peace. That’s spiritual and emotional healing, isn’t it?

Maybe you’re thinking, What about physical healing?

Remember that all healing is from God, whether it’s through rest, sunshine, a healthy diet, the God-given skill of physicians or surgeons, or the miracles of prayer.

And as far as our emotions are concerned, God uses, in addition to the cross of Jesus Christ, at least four “instruments” to heal us: His Word, the power that comes from praising Him, the encouragement of His people, and the gift of a godly self-image. Let’s look at each of these components of spiritual healing.

GOD’S WORD BRINGS HEALING TO THE PRESENT

The healing power of God’s Word is shown in, among other passages, Psalm 107, a song of praise to the Lord for His unfailing love for His people. He demonstrated this love by His deliverance when they called upon Him in their need: “Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his Word and healed them” (Ps. 107:17-20).

Here we have people who were suffering affliction and physical, emotional, and spiritual sickness as a consequence of persistent rebellion against the Lord. Yet when they cried out to Him, He “sent forth His word and healed them.”

How does God use His Word to heal?

Jesus demonstrated this godly gift beautifully when He was here on earth. He healed every possible affliction that humanity suffers, and He did so to demonstrate that He was the only One who could heal us from the root cause of all our troubles—sin.

Let’s take a look at one specific incident. Luke 7 describes a Roman centurion whose servant had fallen ill and was near death. The centurion had heard about Jesus, and he had sent some elders of the Jews to ask Him for help.

Jesus responded to the request for healing by making His way toward the centurion’s home, but before He could get there, another message from the centurion was brought to Him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it” (Luke 7:6-8).

Jesus listened to this statement in amazement and told the crowd that He had never seen that kind of faith among the Jews. When the messengers returned to the centurion’s house, they found that the servant had been healed.

This Roman warrior understood authority, and he knew Jesus had the authority to heal from a distance. Jesus could send forth His Word and heal, and that’s just what He did.

But does He do it today? And if He does, how? What relation does the Word have to healing our emotions? To answer these questions, we need to look at the ways God uses His Word to heal us: our praise of Him.

THE HEALING POWER OF PRAISE

One of the instructions we’ve received from the Lord says, “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4). This is God’s Word. But how can it heal?

Suppose you are filled with anxiety, fear, discouragement, or grief. Your future is uncertain. You have no job. There is terminal illness in your family. Your children have turned away from the Lord and are estranged from you. You are in deep grief because of the loss of someone you love.

In the midst of your troubles, this word is sent from God to heal you: “Rejoice in the Lord always.”

You see, God is the only unchanging constant in our lives. When all else is gone—health, family, friends, money, position—God remains. “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). Isn’t that something to rejoice about? Not only is God present with us, but His Word also tells us that He loves us and nothing can separate us from that great unconditional love.

Another word from the Lord says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18).

How can we apply this in a practical way? How about praying something like this:

“Lord, I feel terrible. I’m fearful, worried, lonely, rejected, grieving. [You put in your own words.] But Your Word assures me that nothing here on earth, whether past, present, or future, can break my relationship with You through Jesus Christ.

“Since I’m going to live forever, my time on earth is a very small dot on the pages of eternity. I can rejoice in You because You will never abandon me. You will never stop loving me. You hear my prayers when I cry to You just as You did for Your people long ago.

“You have given me Your Word, and I choose to obey it. I rejoice in You. I praise You. I thank You for who You are and for what You have done for me.”

Pray this prayer consistently, and I can practically guarantee there will eventually be a change in your emotions. But God knows we need help, both divine and human. And He provides that help.

GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT LIVES IN US

When we trusted Jesus Christ, He forgave our sins and called us to a new life of obedience to Him. He didn’t say, “Now that I’ve forgiven you, clean up your act. Do your best. Try harder. You’ll be able to change yourself.” How hopeless that would be!

The wonderful fact is that He knew we couldn’t change or heal ourselves in our own strength. He gave us Someone to help us. He gave us His Holy Spirit to take up residence in our hearts. He is the One who gives us new birth, makes us a new creation, and places us into the body of Christ. He is the One who makes us able to understand and apply Scripture (see 1 Cor. 2:12-13).

Romans 8 teaches us that the Spirit sets us free from slavery to sin. He is our new Master. He leads us in God’s ways. He gives us assurance that we are God’s children and can come into His presence with freedom and intimacy. He helps our weaknesses. He interprets our prayers, and He intercedes for us. Our part is to yield to His control, have our minds and hearts set on what He desires. Our part is to keep in step with His leading and trust Him to give us the ability to live to please God. He is the One who will work in our innermost being to give us the character of Jesus Christ, which is God’s ultimate purpose for saving us and adopting us into His family. The family of God, other believers, is God’s provision of the human help and companionship we need.

GOD’S FAMILY HELPS US HEAL

While I want to mention Christian friendship here as an instrument of God’s healing, we’ll postpone until chapter 18 an in-depth discussion. For now, it’s sufficient to say that friends and support groups are keys to emotional healing; they are effective because we humans were created to need each other.

The Bible tells us that God loves and accepts us, yet we need the tangible demonstration of love and acceptance from people we can see, hear, and touch. If one part of the Christian body suffers, every other part suffers with it. So if you are in difficulty, don’t be a loner. Reach out to Christian friends, support groups, or counselors, and allow them to help you. Give them the privilege and opportunity to pray for you.

A GODLY SELF-IMAGE ENCOURAGES EMOTIONAL HEALTH

God also uses another powerful tool to keep us emotionally healthy. When we accept Jesus Christ into our lives, God gives us a new self-image in Christ. This healthy view of ourselves is only possible when we stop believing what our emotions tell us and start believing what God says about us.

For example, our emotions may tell us: “I don’t think anyone has ever really loved me, so something in me must be unlovable. I feel like a loser. I don’t feel that I’m a good Christian. I don’t feel God’s love.”

In contrast, if we have a relationship with God because we have trusted Jesus Christ, this is what He wants us to hear: “I love you. You are now My child. I know all about you—past, present, and future—and I accept you. You are united with Christ. You are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. I will never abandon you, either in time or eternity.”

Faced with those opposing kinds of self-talk, who are you going to believe, your feelings or God’s Word? Not only must we believe God’s evaluation of us, but we need to reject what our own faulty experiences and emotions tell us. As we consistently reject the negative impressions that we have believed for years and accept our new status as those whom God loves as He loves His own Son, our self-images will change.

Self-image doesn’t change because we focus on pleasing ourselves, saying, “I’m doing something good for myself,” and following all the other suggestions that feed self-centeredness. It changes because we choose with our wills to believe God and accept His love for us.

Yes, God can heal our emotions. He is our Healer. He wants to heal us. He wants to free us from the crushing emotional obstacles that hinder our growth to maturity. The wonderful fact is that He has the power to heal, and He has provided everything necessary for our healing:

The cross of Christ,

His Word,

Rejoicing and praise,

The Holy Spirit,

His body, the church, and

A new self-image in Christ.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Caliste Burt, brain surgery is coming up soon.

Pray for Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression

Remember Olivia, that she carries this miracle baby to full term.

ring my bell

January 5, 2019

boxing

Why you should read your devotions every day.

I’m not a sports nut so I can’t quote stats, I do know that for every home run Babe Ruth hit there was like a 1000 misses. I’m sure you can google it and find out.

My point is this, not every devotion I write is going to ring your bell. Some of the long theological works probably put some to sleep.

When I write devotions sometimes I’m thinking of a person, or it’s part of a sermon. Sometimes its just something that comes out. There is a constant theme though, growth and our position in the Lord.

But yesterdays devotion, saved my life, my sanity, and whole lot more. Probably to dramatic a statement. But it did help win the victory today. I believe a great spiritual victory was won by that one devotion for me personally.

So it’s why you read your bible every day, prayer every day, read other devotionals, great biographies of the Saints. It’s why you study and build your theology. Because some days you are going to hit it out of the park, a spiritual mountain top. And some days it the backside of the wilderness.

But as the Apostle Paul said, “I’ve begun this race, I’m going to finish it.” So run.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Prayer requests, questions, comments please address to the email, and yes I will call you if you request counseling.

Pray for Gwen, financial hardship.

Pray for Steve H, and the search for a pastor.

Pray for Gary, our spiritually stunted pastor.

Pray you develop discernment

Pray for those that are lost and have not yet found Jesus.

Pray you develop a hunger for evangelism.

Pray for Paul C, our prodigal

For Olivia, the medication she has to take for the disease she has, she can’t quit taking it. Pray it doesn’t cause problems for the baby she is carrying.

Pray for Bill Warneke, crippling pain and a deep depression

Remember Caliste Burt, brain surgery coming up soon, wonderful Christian mom, wife and overall a great person.

r crumb

 

Have a horrible day today?

Don’t forget that as a Christian every place you set foot on is a battleground.

  “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:4).

  The true servant is finally subdued, but not dulled; prepared but not deprived of individuality. All that is rendered inoperative is the old man—and thank God for that!

When we are finally prepared, our Lord says: ‘When I died, you died. When I went to the Cross I not only took your sins, but I took you. I not only took you as a sinner, but I took you as being all that you are by nature; your good as well as your bad; your abilities as well as your disabilities; yes, every resource of yours. I took you as a worker, a preacher, and organizer. My Cross means that not even for Me can you be or do anything out from yourself; but if there is to be anything at all it must be out from Me, and that means a life of absolute dependence and faith.’

  How little does one know of the antagonism of our nature to the will of the Father, who thinks that service can be undertaken without that self-renunciation which can only be learned by experiential knowledge of the superiority of His ways and counsels! We never surrender what we value until we find a better, and man is so full of himself and his own will that until he finds out the sovereignty of his Father’s will he can be neither an obedient nor a suitable servant.

 And this is usually learned through varied and painful processes. The disciplined servant always finds a way to do his work however difficult it may appear. The greater the difficulties the greater must be the evidence that our resources are of a different order and character from those arrayed against us, and this will be found true in very small matters as well as in great ones.

  “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).

To be more Christ like is to be more like Christ, death to self, by faith it already happened. We must confess that Jesus is not only our Savior but is our life. Like practicing the presence of God, we must practice having the resurrected self-responding, all efforts done consciously as an extension of His will and power. This is walking by faith.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Bill Warneke in your prayers, great physical pain and deep depression.

I believe it is on the 15th of January that Caliste Burt has her brain surgery, keep her and her family in prayer.

Pray for those who felt defeated today, not sinful, not acting out, but weary, burdened, betrayed.