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 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.

yin and yang

January 3, 2019

balance

“Present yourself unto God, as those that are alive from the dead” (Rom. 6:13).

  The growth and consolidation of one’s spiritual life is predicated upon clear knowledge of the dual facts of Romans 6:11—dead unto sin; alive unto God. This must come first: Know! “Consider what I say, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Tim. 2:7).

  “Many have taken the word ‘present’ to imply consecration (which it does), without looking carefully into its content. It is not the consecration of our ‘old man’ with its instincts and resources, his natural wisdom, strength and other gifts, to the Lord Jesus for Him to use. This will be clear at once from the little clause ‘as alive from the dead’ (Rom. 6:13).

  “For what is to be consecrated is not what belongs to the old creation. The ‘presenting’ spoken of is the outcome of my knowing my old man to have been crucified (Rom. 6:6), and my reckoning myself alive unto God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:11). Knowing, reckoning, presenting ourselves to Him: that is the divine order.”

  “It is one thing to renounce or to drop off certain old things, and quite another to be occupied with new things. Nuns renounce the world, but they are not engrossed with the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Barbara Walters once asked Mother Teresa is she was sure about going to heaven; her answer, “Well I hope God will see all the good works I’ve done and it will be enough.” (I smell smoke) It must be not only forgetting the things that are behind, but also reaching out unto the things that are before.

  “It is what I give myself to that colors me and imparts character to me, not the fact of having abandoned other things. People often dwell unduly on what they have renounced, and are too indifferent to that which they should press toward, forgetting that it is the latter that will form them (2 Cor. 3:18).”

  “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2).

Christ is the only way to the Father, He is the only door, none may enter by any other way.

There are not many ways to heaven (the shack) only one, I need to remember to write down all that’s wrong with that book. If you haven’t read it or seen the movie this warning may be to late.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Olivia, sound health, and being able to carry this miracle baby to full term.

Pray for Norma, Rick Sr. Rick Jr, (Perales) to find salvation.

Pray for Karey P. the same

Cristina, the same

Pray for Bill Warneke (gramps) that he would take solace in the suffering of Christ compared to his own. That he would believe God for either healing or help.

Pray for Cherry Pop, yes that is her legal name (not the one her parents gave her). A stripper that’s been coming to bible study.

Pray for Paul C, the prodigal.

AMEN

December 16, 2018

In 1535, Martin Luther’s barber and friend asked for advice on prayer. Luther responded by writing a letter in which he described his own personal practice of prayer. In this little work, the reformer explains to his friend how to close a prayer:

  Do not leave from your prayers unless you have then said or thought: “Well then, this prayer has been heard by God. I know this for certain and for true.” That is what Amen means.

  The word amen makes its first appearance in the Bible in Numbers 5:22. When a husband accused his wife of adultery but she protested her innocence and had not been caught in the act, the matter was settled according to the test of bitter water (see Nu 5:12–31). During the ceremony, when the priest pronounced the curse, the woman was required by God to say, “Amen. So be it” (v. 22). In the term’s first use in Scripture, God commands it to be said by a person who is yielding to his examination.

 When you finish your prayer with “Amen” you are saying, “Yes, Lord, let it be so. According to your will, may it be.” It’s a final note of confirmation at the end of our prayers.

 We should also remember that in saying “amen” we are adding a comma, not a period to the end of our prayers. As long as we have breath we can pray continually, offering up our desires unto God, for what is agreeable to his will. Each prayer is but a single page added to the individual book of our prayers.

 The spiritual discipline of prayer helps us to conform our spiritual life so that each prayer becomes a variation on the theme, “Not my will, but yours be done,” and each amen bears witness to our desire for God’s purposes to be done.

And so we pray with confidence, because of who we pray to, God Almighty, who spoke the very world, time and space into existence just by a word. That’s why words are so important and why we must give thoughts to our prayers. Words matter.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Matthew, he is continuing to get better but he needs to get rest or he’ll never get better.

Pray for Kurt H, trying to give up smoking

Pray for Steve H and his family

Pray for Steve L, and his knees

Continue to pray for the Perales family, Norma, Sr. and Jr, they are trying to reform their lives, but they need the complete wholeness only Jesus can give.

Pray for Todd B, dabbling in witchcraft, pray for him and his wife Cristina, they don’t know how dangerous it can be. Obviously they need salvation as well.

a prayer with weight

December 6, 2018

not ashamed

If our prayers are but habit, or rote, then we have failed to pray effectively. According to Puritan pastor John Preston, “God takes our prayers not by number but by weight.”

If 90% of human communication in person to person dialogue is by physical cues, then how much is the weight of our prayers measured by our physical posture; i.e. the groaning, sighing, laying prostrate upon the floor, have you torn your garments, thrown ashes, if the God who lives inside our being is affected by posture, then why do we pray so casually?

Why would we read the prayers of others and think they are greater than our own. Is prayer better if done 5 times a day because of ritual?

Weight vs. number, heart vs. rote, maybe we’ve grown bored with praying and the lack of answers because it doesn’t really mean anything. If we are only praying because we are told that’s what Christian’s do.

Should prayer become a circus act, ‘prayer du Solei’ that’s not what I’m recommending, but maybe we should stop the steering wheel prayer, the now I lay me down to sleep, the quickie, whatever term you want to use and think about the physical act of prayer, literally.

God bless

Physical prayer requests taken at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Good reading “the theology of the Puritans” the edited version, only 1500 pages long. Now you know how they prayed so long. One puritan author wrote over 100 books on the “love of God”

Kittle’s theological dictionary, 65 pages on the word love

Deep thinking develops deep prayers? Maybe, maybe not. But great desires do birth great prayers. I know that you will pray more if you desire to pray more. That desire is placed there by God. Like Brother’s Lawrence great book, “practicing the presence of God” the key word is practice. Guitar lessons, piano lesson, karate lessons, you get my drift, the more we practice the better we get at anything including prayer.

Pray for Marilyn A, depression

Pray for Barbara D, her slow growing cancer isn’t so slow any more.

Pray for Mona, new job. Great demands

Pray for Butch, he’s blind in one eye and is now having trouble with his good eye.

This Ground

December 4, 2018

  “Ye have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).

  When we rely upon and cater to the old man, that ground produces “the works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19–21). But as we abide in the risen Lord Jesus, that new ground of our position, His life will be manifested in “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22, 23).

 God’s Word declares that we are ‘dead indeed unto sin,’ but nowhere does it say that we are dead in ourselves. We shall look in vain within to find death there. We have died to sin; not in ourselves, but ‘in Christ,’ and our death with Him is as sure as His death, and since we died with Him it is impossible for His death to be certain and ours uncertain.

 We were crucified with Him because we were in Him (Gal. 2:20). We are raised in Him (Eph. 2:6); we are complete in Him (Col. 2:10); we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Him (Eph. 1:3); the entire work regarding us is not done in us but in the Lord Jesus—the Father has done all in His Son. If you stand on the ground of what the Lord Jesus is (abide), you will find in your growth that all that is true of Him is becoming true of you; but if you remain on the ground of what you are in yourself, you will find that all that is true of the old man is true of you in life and walk.

The purpose of Paul, in Romans Six, is to show how completely the believer is identified with the Lord Jesus when ‘He died unto sin.’ To enter fully into the meaning of that death is to see that He has emancipated us from any further dealings with our old master, sin. The believer is privileged thus to take his position in the risen Lord Jesus, who is now ‘alive unto God.’ From that ground he is henceforth to regard sin.

  “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free” (Gal. 5:1).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

We have a really long prayer list today

Pray Andrea and Todd, finances

Karey P, salvation

Olivia, lyme’s disease, this can be as bad as any cancer

Richard Perales, SR and Jr. salvation

Stan R, stomach cancer

Sherrie, our prodigal girl

Paul C our prodigal guy

Mel L, Parkinson

Charmaine, alcoholism

Randy H, finances

Terry K, sever arthritis

Larry D, dementia

Sally H, burn out, emotionally, mentally, everyway

Jeff H, newly married and found out he has an STD, wife is denying anything

Virginia Mc. Wants to go home to Jesus.

Matt W, severe upper respiratory infection

Whew. Forgive me if I forgot any one.

the door to your heart

November 15, 2018

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Ernie Isley, of the Isley brothers hall of fame musicians has a great song called; ‘diamond in the rough’. And there’s one line in that song I want to use to start us off for our daily devotion. ‘There’s only broken glass around my heart’s door.’

Have you been wounded by someone? Of course you have, you can’t live long on this planet without someone either with malice and cruel intent or just stupidity saying or doing something to hurt you.

I wish all churches had a Sunday School Class for adults based on the AA curriculum. Then we might be better at taking inventory of ourselves and practicing acceptance and forgiveness. Seems like the church doesn’t always do a good job of teaching us to understand. We are well schooled at understanding that God forgave us. But we have a hard time practicing forgiving those that have made us victims of cruelty and abuse.

And even when we have gone to the altar of prayer, we can have a hard time with the painful memories that have left deep scars in our hearts and minds.

One practical truth that seems to be overlooked or actually miss-taught is that forgiveness is contingent on relationship, you know the old phrase, ‘forgive and forget’. Nothing could be more untrue, forgiveness between ourselves and our human relations is not based on relationships, but completely on the truthfulness of our genuine forgiveness of that person.

And sometimes because of the painful memories we have to go back in our hearts and say we forgive them again ( in our heart not over and over to them). But let me stress this, you can forgive someone and completely lose the relationship, and that forgiveness is complete, genuine and done. So stop stressing or believing that forgiveness is based on having the relationship restored. That only works between God and ourselves.

Which brings to mind something I said in a previous devotion, think before you act, because cannot a man heap coals into his lap and not be burned. Proverbs 6:27, (totally out of context here)once the act is done it’s done.

I had a man come to me one time and he confessed that over the weekend he had slept with a hooker and then felt guilty and went home and slept with his wife. Then he found out he may have contracted a venereal disease. His question was since he asked God to forgive him, how could God let him pass a venereal disease on to his wife.

Simple answer, you murder someone and then confess and ask forgiveness, is God going to bring that dead person back to life, not even. This man was furious at my answer and said that God wasn’t being fair. I don’t know what god he was talking about but not the one from the bible..

So our prayer today is that God would sweep the glass from around our heart and let’s forgive those that need to be forgiven and have an open loving heart towards God and toward those that need to be forgiven. But don’t think you have to have a relationship with those that are toxic or continue to abuse and cause harm. Forgive and then move on and away.

Be safe as well as blessed.

God bless.

Pray for Karey, a seeker, lots of questions, hopefully the ones that will lead her to Christ.

Pray for Paul C, still has slipped his leash, a true prodigal. We pray he comes to his senses.

Pray for Carey A, will have both knees replaced next Monday

Pray for John W, pray he finds the Lord.

GETTING SPANKED?!

November 7, 2018

GETTING SPANKED?!

I put a question mark there in case you are trying to figure out what is happening to you and an exclamation point in case you know what’s happening to you.

  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous” (Heb. 12:11a).

  Our Father chastens us “for our own profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness” (Heb. 12:10). We are not chastened because we deserve it, but because we need it. And there is no wrath in His child-training.

Many have the wrong idea of that word ‘chastening.’ We think, perhaps, that it represents God as having a big stick in His hand and knocking us about all the time. You have only to make a mistake and down comes the big stick! That, of course, is a totally wrong conception of the Father, and is not at all what the word means. The word ‘chastening’ simply means child-training, which has to do with sonship. Sonship in our Father’s mind is to have people who are reliable and responsible, who know in their own hearts what is right and what is wrong, and do not have to be constantly told and admonished.

We should always look at our difficulties in the light of this training. It often seems that the life of a Christian is more difficult than any other life, and more troubles come to us than to anyone else. Whether we recognize it or not, these difficulties and troubles which come to us are to train us for something and to develop in us the spirit of sonship; that is, to develop spiritual intelligence and spiritual ability in us.”

One of the main purposes of all the Father’s dealings with us is to bring us into a greater knowledge of His Son. We never know anything about greatness unless we have a great need to know it. Therefore we are brought into situations where we must know something much greater than we already know. This is why our Father brings His children into difficult circumstances—that they may learn how great their Lord Jesus is.

  “Nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them who are exercised by it” (Heb. 12:11b).

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

Pray for Ronnie R, his grandson 11 has developed serious heart problems

Pray for Robbey H, 50, and having heart complications, also pray for his salvation.

Pray for Terri I, married twice, she is dipping her toe back into the dating pool

Pray for Sherri, our church bad girl, three steps forward, 5 back. Pray she stops before it’s to late.

TRUE FREEDOM

October 27, 2018

  “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature” (Gal. 6:15).

  It required nothing less than the Cross to liberate us from the law.

 The law is not our ‘rule of life’ for the simple reason that it was the Israelite’s. The Christian not being a Jew, the law is not for him. ‘Holy, just and good’ it is, but the Christian’s rule of life is ‘in Christ. . . a new creature’ (Gal. 6:15). The believer’s place and rule is to walk as a ‘pilgrim and stranger’ upon the earth. The law has nothing of this. Had it been fulfilled, it would have made earth morally a paradise; and will, when written upon Israel’s heart in millennial days.

The Christian is on larger, higher, firmer ground than that on which Israel after the flesh stood. The law is good if a man use it lawfully; and its lawful application is expressly not to form, guide, and govern the walk of the righteous, but to deal with the lawless and disobedient, ungodly and sinful, unholy and profane, and, in short, with whatever is contrary to sound doctrine (1 Tim. 1:9, 10).

Any aspect of life or conduct which is undertaken in dependence on the energy and ability of the flesh is, to that extent, purely legal in character, whether it be the whole revealed will of God, the actual written commandments, or the exhortations of grace. Dependence on the arm of flesh is consistent with pure law; dependence on the power of God is demanded under pure grace.

  “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Steve and his family

For Paul K and especially his granddaughter.

The Lord knows the details of all our prayer requests, our job is to simply pray and lift up these families and praise the Lord for answered prayers