THE MIND OF GOD

June 18, 2019

D.L. MOODY, THAT GREAT PREACHER OF LONG AGO ONCE WROTE; “I felt I had the Lord’s mind for the message.

MANY GREAT PURITANS FELT THAT IF YOU WERE NOT READING THE BIBLE LOOKING FOR CHRIST, AND DOING SO PRAYERFULLY, ONE WOULD FIND NOTHING.

IT WOULD BE A TOME, AND NOT A BRIEF DEVOTION, IF ONE WERE TO ATTEMPT TO ELUCIDATE ON KNOWING THE MIND OF GOD. SO LET’S SEE WHAT WE CAN EXAMINE IN A BRIEF SPOT, AND A SHORT TIME.

1 CORINTHIANS 2:16 For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ

LIKE DR. MOODY ARE WE COMFORTABLE ENOUGH WITH SCRIPTURES AND OUR PRAYER LIFE TO SAY WE UNDERSTAND GOD, SCRIPTURES SAYS WE CAN.

WE HAVE DONE A GRAVE INJUSTICE TO THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO AS A PART OF THE TRINITY, IS TO LEAD US INTO ALL THINGS ABOUT GOD. BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS GOTTEN A BAD RAP, BECAUSE OF PENTECOSTALS, CHARISMATICS AND OTHER ‘FULL GOSPEL’ LUNATICS. THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR LIVES IS USUALLY ONE OF EXTREMES; WE EITHER PAY TO MUCH ATTENTION TO HIM OR NOT ENOUGH.

YET WE ARE TO TRUST HIM AS HE IS THE ONE GIVEN TO US TO LEAD, GUIDE, FILL, AND BLESS. One of those purposes for the indwelling of the Spirit is so He can search what is going on inside of us, take our needs to the Father, and then bring back to us the answer to what our Father’s will is about this specific situation

AND SO THEN WE WOULD HAVE THE MIND OF GOD. SEEMS EASY DOESN’T IT?

The Holy Spirit is that part of the trinity who has the ability to see into all the dark places of our lives! And since he also is the only one who knows what our heavenly Father’s will is in all situations, he can help us make sense out of life by communicating to us what God wants us to do. That is why frequent bible reading and bible memorization is so important. Since the bible is God’s letter to us, the Holy Spirit uses the bible to lead us into God’s will. What if someone told you that you can only enjoy heaven based on how much scripture you know? Well, thankfully that’s not the case but for a moment there I had you worried.

1 Corinthians 2:10-16

New International Version (NIV)

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[a] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”[b]

But we have the mind of Christ.

WELL I PROMISED BRIEF SO I HAVE TO STOP, BUT PLEASE THINK ABOUT THIS, YOU CAN KNOW THE MIND OF GOD.

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

Pray for Brent W, a pastor that just confessed to his church a serious problem that he has. He is in counseling with his wife and the church is doing all to help him.

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

For Caliste and Stephanie, pray for peace and no fear in their lives.

Salvation for Cristina B, and her husband Oscar, who has been dabbling in witchcraft.

Salvation for Mona R, Barbara D, Larry R, Elena’s daughter Yolanda.

Pray for Steve H, strength and encouragement.

Remember baby Eli, weight gain and good health.

Have you ever sat in church, listening to the soaring music or the impressive sermon, and your thoughts were all turned inward?

 

Here I am in church, 200 people, 4 friends, God how could I be so alone?

 

Thoughts like: No one here cares that I am hurting desperately. When I first was widowed or divorced or when this illness first was diagnosed, or when my child became a problem, people prayed for me, called me on the phone, visited me, sent me notes. But now that time has passed and everyone is used to me, I guess they expect that I do not need anyone, that I am coping with my problem and that I not really hurting anymore. Maybe they even think that if I were really depending on the Lord, I would be able to handle my situation without any difficulty. But I am in pain and I do not think anyone cares. I sometimes wonder if even God cares!

 

There was a woman in the synagogue one Sabbath morning when Jesus was teaching there that might have been feeling just like that.

 

Luke 13:10-11

Think about her a little. She was probably middle-aged. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. She had been crippled like this for 18 years! Can you imagine what her life was like? She could not stand at all, could not sit comfortably, could not lie down except on her side. Walking was difficult. Eating could not have been pleasant. Her appearance was pitiful, her face etched with pain. But what had caused her illness? She was crippled by a spirit? This was not a form of arthritis. This was a Satanic attack that affected her body. But do not you think that she also suffered emotionally and spiritually as well? She must have often felt discouraged, depressed, and even abandoned by God. Yet she still worshipped, she still was there in the synagogue on the Sabbath. She still listened to Gods Word. She still had faith. I have to give her credit for just being there.

 

It is interesting that her condition was caused by a demon. There are many different symptoms mentioned in the Bible that were caused by demon activity: Matthew 9:32-33, dumbness; Matthew 12:22, blindness; Matthew 17:14-18, seizures; Luke 4:33, 8:26, mental disorders, insanity, and abnormal strength. This of course does NOT mean that these conditions are ALWAYS demonic in source. But the Bible clearly says that this condition was. This should teach us that Satan is a real and very busy enemy. Over and over it is recorded that Jesus cast out demons of all kinds. He came to defeat Satan and to make him powerless against believers, and he clearly demonstrated his ability to do this while here on earth. We have to realize that His power and authority over the spirit world has not diminished one iota.

 

Ephesians 1:19b and 21

That is why we can have confidence that Jesus will protect us. He has authority over everything in heaven and earth. But we must be alert and armored, because Satan does not play fair or come out in the open. He masquerades, sets traps, hides behind fun games, self, development philosophies, even religion. He actively works to fragment our families, to destroy relationships, to cultivate selfishness and independence from God, to make us doubt God’s Word and distrust God’s character.

 

Peter warns us of that: 1 Peter 5:8. Likewise, Paul tells us about our armor—our protection— in Ephesians 6:10-14.

 

This woman had been the target of demonic attack for 18 years, but it had not destroyed her faith. She was still worshipping God on the Sabbath. As she stood there, bent over, with her head lifted as far as she could, listening to Jesus, and looking at Him, suddenly he noticed

 

Luke 13:12-13

He stopped in the middle of His teaching, pointed to her and called to her to come forward. She shuffled up to Him, surely wondering what He wanted her for. Then He spoke: “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”

 

He spoke these few words, He touched her and she straightened up instantly. She was totally healed and she immediately praised God. Did you notice the word Jesus used? He did not say healed. He used a word that is translated in other places, “loosed, put away, let go, set at liberty and released.” She had been bound by Satan and Jesus set her free.

 

Can you not imagine the joy she felt and the excitement that ran through the spectators as they realized what had happened? The noise level must have risen as the people turned to each other in their enthusiasm. Suddenly a stern cold voice broke through the furor.

 

Luke 13:14

The chairman of the board of elders was very displeased and scolded the people. I think he was just a little afraid of openly attacking Jesus directly after such a display of supernatural power. God had made the Sabbath day, the seventh day of the week, our Saturday, a holy day, set apart to worship Him. There were 3 major reasons given for Israel to keep the Sabbath.

 

Exodus 20:8-11 (10 Commandments)— It followed God’s example of doing the work of creation in 6 days and resting on the seventh.

 

Deuteronomy 5:12-15— It commemorated their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. Egypt— where they never had a day off and could not worship their own God. God gave them the Sabbath to show them that they were a free people, free to rest from their labor and free to worship their God.

 

Exodus 31:13— It was a sign of the covenant given from Sinai between God and Israel. God had given them a day off a week for worship, joy, freedom and rest. 1500 years later it had evolved, by the addition of hundreds of restrictions, into a legalistic bondage that was more concerned with external behavior than with human need. The religious leaders watched Jesus like a hawk because He was always violating their manmade rules about the Sabbath. They had had several sharp confrontations with Him and had always come out the losers. In one incident when He healed a man with a withered arm, He reminded them that they would rescue a sheep who had fallen into a pit and a man was more valuable. Then He said: “Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:11-12, NIV)

 

Another time He reminded them that, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27, NIV)

 

God gave the day of rest because people need time to relax, regroup, change their routine, worship and serve God without the pressure of other responsibilities.

 

Jesus claimed authority over even the interpretation and observation of the Sabbath. Why not? Was not He the One who had established it in the first place? His restoration of the true spirit of the Sabbath had enraged these men so much that they plotted to kill Him because of it. (Mark 3:6)

 

Now here He was doing it again! The ruler had rebuked Jesus by scolding the people and Jesus answered him. He is a wonderful Defender. Have you ever been unjustly accused or misunderstood and the only thing you could do was to say to Him, Lord, You must be my Defender. You must reveal the truth. There is nothing I can do but trust You. HYPOCRITES! (Originally, a “hypocrite” was an actor who wore masks in amphitheatre plays.) They pretended to be zealous for God, to be righteous. But they were not interested in what God could do in their lives. Their hearts were cold in the face of human need. They had more compassion on their oxen and donkeys than on this poor woman. They released their animals so they could drink but objected when Jesus released this woman, a Jewess, from the bondage of the enemy on the day that commemorated their freedom from bondage. How wrong these men were! They claimed to represent God, but they were completely the opposite. Jesus revealed the true heart of God. Jesus exposed their hypocrisy by His true revelation of the invisible God. He hated their pretense and they hated Him for exposing it.

 

Earlier in Luke He gave a stinging analysis of the Pharisees and experts in the law where He accused them of being only concerned with being externally clean, but inwardly they were full of wickedness. He accused them of injustice and pride. Then He said,

 

“Woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. …you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering. (Luke 11:46-53, NIV)

 

Do not you have to wonder what He must think of the greed, lust, and crimes that have been done and are being done in His name today? He still hates hypocrisy. Yet closer to home. Do we make a distinction between what the Bible actually says and what other people say it means? Do we make our application as binding as God’s? That is how legalism flourishes. Always check to see if our applications are consistent and Biblical. When we have a lot of rules about what we can or cannot do in order to make little loopholes that violates the very spirit of God. The religious rulers did that. For instance, they had a rule that you could not journey farther from home than 3000 feet (1/2 mile) on the Sabbath. So the day before, they would go ahead and deposit some food by a stone a half-mile away. That would then become their home temporarily and they could go another half mile, where they had deposited another sandwich, so they could travel another half mile. In this way they found ways around God’s law about the Sabbath, and violated the spirit of this holy day. This is just one example. They had 60 columns of regulations about the Sabbath.

 

Maybe you are wondering at this point if we should keep the Sabbath today. The Sabbath was given to Israel. It is the ONLY ONE of the Ten Commandments that is NOT repeated in the New Testament. The disciples and the early church worshiped on Sunday, the first day of the week to commemorate the Lord’s resurrection. Sunday is the Lord’s day.

 

We do not have rules about it in the New Testament. But we do know what they did on the Lord’s Day. They met together, studied God’s word, prayed, celebrated communion, and gave their offerings. Surely the Lord’s Day should have some special meaning for us. It should be a day of worship, learning God’s Word, service, praise and thanksgiving, giving our offerings, joy and rest and a time with family and friends. It should be different from the other six days of the week. After all, we have so much more to commemorate than Israel did: the resurrection of our Savior from the dead.

 

Look at the effect Jesus had on the people in the synagogue.

 

Luke 13:17

Can you imagine what His power and His authority meant to the common people who were under the burden of religious oppression as well as political oppression.

 

What Did He Reveal About God?

Jesus revealed the compassionate heart of God in this story. He initiated this woman’s healing.

He demonstrated that God knows everything, the cause and the cure!

He revealed some of God purposes for the Sabbath. It was not a day for misery and bondage, but a day for praise and freedom.

He revealed that God knows the motives of the heart and is not impressed with external behavior that masks unbelief, jealousy, and hatred. GOD HATES HYPOCRISY.

He revealed that God is greater than Satan and has authority over him.

But now I want to go back to verse 12. Woman, you are set free from your infirmity. The word for “infirmity” is translated in other places as “diseases, sickness, weakness.” It means literally, “without strength.” Very few of us are sick all the time, but all of us know what it is to be without strength.

 

We ALL have weaknesses. Do not you have things that fill you with dread when you have to face them? Fear of flying, fear of anything. Do not you have areas where you have consistently failed? Are there not relationships that you just cannot handle, people that rub you the wrong way? Maybe your weakness is a sense of worth that you have let someone else impose on you. Maybe your weakness is a habit you have not been able to break. Maybe your weakness is a disposition that always sees the bad side of everything.

 

Maybe your weakness is a crippling sin that keeps you from going on to maturity in your Christian life. Is it love of money and the things money can buy? Is it a desire to please people more than God? Is it a thought life that you would be ashamed to have projected on a screen for all to see? Is it a selfishness that keeps you from making a commitment to anything that will interfere with your own plans? Is it self-pity, pride, hypocrisy, a violent temper? I have suggested a lot of things to stimulate your thinking, and I may have missed your issue. But you just thought of it, did you not? Jesus came to set us free from our weaknesses. How does He do it?

 

First, we must come to Him for help.

 

Hebrews 4:14-16

We come to one who can sympathize with our weaknesses. He was a human being living on this earth, subject to all the temptations we face and He did not sin. He will give mercy and grace to overcome.

 

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

He may not remove our weakness, because then we would be independent. My weakness is given me to teach me to depend moment by moment on His power. His power is demonstrated where I am powerless. This changes my attitude towards my weakness.

 

Instead of hating myself for failing, I can see this as God’s opportunity to work in my life. God becomes real. Jesus really does live out His life in me. But it is only when I admit my weakness and depend on Him that I will experience His strength.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ wants to say to each of us today, “Woman, you are set free from your weakness.” He calls you to come to Him for freedom and strength. Will you come?

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

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

 

Remember Caliste Burt, inoperable brain tumor, pray for divine healing and/or a lack of fear of what could happen.

 

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

 

Remember those on our salvation prayer list, Barbara d, Mona R, Norma Perales, husband Rick and her adult son Rick Jr. and pray they are not only saved but delivered from gambling.

 

Pray for Steve H, strength and encouragement.

 

Bill Warneke pray he takes his medicine, it would help with 80% of his problems, chronic neck pain, chronic depression and the beginning of Parkinson’s.

 

Pray for Pastor Paul K. health concerns and he’s really sad about seeing his mom 90+ years begin her decline into dementia. Plus he has 2 cysts on his pancreas, not cancer or growing right now and they found spots on his lung.

 

Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

BEAR WITH ME, WE ARE ALMOST DONE WITH THIS SERIES, WHICH I KNOW EACH POST IS LONG, BUT TRUST ME IT IS WORTH IT TO WORK YOUR WAY THROUGH THIS POST. BLESSINGS!

 

What do people all over the world spend most of their time and energy doing? What are the barest necessities of life? Food, shelter and clothing. We spend most of our waking hours working to obtain these necessities. But of them all, food is the most important. Physical hunger is so consuming that we cannot think of anything else until it is satisfied.

Jesus used the legitimate cravings of the body for food to describe a deeper hunger the hunger of the soul for God and the longing for eternal life. And He demonstrated vividly His ability to satisfy that hunger forever. The disciples had been on the road with Jesus for over 2 years. They had heard His teaching and seen His miracles. He had been training them and now it was time to send them out in teams of two.

Luke 9:1-6

Do you see what He did? He delegated His power to them to do the same miracles he did. But He also sent them out by faith. They were to take nothing for their material needs. They were to trust God to supply their needs through other people day by day.

Can you imagine how excited they were when they returned? They had cast out demons and healed many sick people. And all of their personal needs had been supplied. What an experience!

Mark 6:30-32

Rest and refreshment. Time to be alone with Jesus. Time to relax and shareand be restored. How important that is for all of us. Have you ever had an exciting and productive experience and when it was over, there was a letdown? This is the remedy. Time alone with the One who made you fruitful and gave your life an impact.

Mark 6:33

The people ran around the northern shore of the lake and when the boat landed at Bethsaida, there was a large milling crowd waiting for Jesus. They wanted to see more miracles. This certainly was an interruption in His plans, was not it? How would Jesus react?

Mark 6:34

He welcomed them and had compassion on them. They were like sheep with out a shepherd. That does not mean much to us today, because very few of us have flocks of sheep. But a sheep without a shepherd has a very short life span. On its own a sheep cannot find safe pasture to feed on or still pools of water to drink. It cannot clean itself, defend itself or find its way home. Without a shepherd a sheep is totally helpless and hopeless and in peril for its life.

Jesus had come to be their Shepherd. So He healed their diseases and taught them God’s Word. This was what they needed most.

The hours went by as the crowd listened attentively. But the disciples began to worry about some practical matters. This was a very large crowd, 5000 men plus women and children; over 10,000 people. There were no Krogers or Tom Thumbs, and no Holiday Inns. How could these people be fed and find shelter for the night? They had better tell Jesus to quit preaching and send them home.

Mark 6:35-36

They were right to be concerned, but they had the wrong solution. The answer for anyone’s need is not to send them away from Jesus but to send them to Him. He is the only One who can meet any need we have, physical or spiritual.

But Jesus really surprised them with His answer:

They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat. (Matt. 14:16, NIV)

Who? Us? Surely Jesus did not expect them to buy bread for a crowd like this. Now remember, they had just come back from an extended tour during which all their needs had been supplied as God had motivated others to share with them. Surely they should have considered the supernatural in their equation. But they did not. Are we not like that? We do not remember God’spast provision when faced with a new crisis. Our faith for the new trials we face in the future will remain sturdy if we deliberately remember God’s provision in the past. Each experience should build on the last.

The disciples looked at the impossibilities, not at Jesus’ proven ability. They looked at their own inadequate finances and not at His limitless resources. They looked only to their helplessness and not at His power to work through them. Jesus was giving them the opportunity to be part of a great miracle, the only one that is recorded in all four Gospels besides the resurrection. He wanted to use them and all they could think of was their checkbook balance.

Are they really so different from us? God gives us a challenging child to raise, a difficult marriage, a job that stretches us, a family of origin that was unhealthy, an illness that saps our strength, finances that end before our expenses do. And we look at our inadequacies and poverty and say, “How can I do this? Surely God, you do not expect me to get through this.” And that is true.

He does not intend for you to find the strength you need from within yourself. 2 Co. 1:9 tells us that these things happen so that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God.

Mark 6:38

John tells us that a boy gave his lunch to Jesus: his five little barley loaves and two small fish. I wonder as the disciples went through the crowd asking for food, if there were others who had food but hung on to it selfishly. This little boy gave everything he had to Jesus and Jesus accepted his gift and used it. I think that children still respond this way to Jesus. That is why we must not wait till they get hardened and unbelieving as adults are before we tell them that Jesus loves them, died for them and wants them to trust Him. In fact, Matt. 18 says that adults must come to Christ humbly as little children do.

Mark 6:39-41

The crowd was now seated in orderly groups on the green grass. Jesus stood before them, took the tiny little lunch in His hands, and looked up to heaven. He thanked God and then divided the loaves and the fish. The disciples stood before Him with their empty baskets and he started putting bread and fish in each one. Before their astonished eyes the bread and fish just kept on multiplying till all of their baskets were full. Then they turned and distributed the food to the crowd.

I believe that even as the people reached in and took as much as they wanted, that the bread and fish in their baskets never ran out. Jesus took what was given to Him and multiplied it to feed all of these people. He used the little boy’s lunch and He used the disciples to meet the needs of over 10,000 people. You see, He never expects our resources to be adequate. He just wants us to give what we have and what we are to Him and He will multiplyour resources and use us to feed those who are dying of spiritual hunger all around us. But of course, the catch lies with us. How much will we give Him of our resources and ourselves? What was the result?

John says “Everyone had as much as they wanted.”

Mark 6:42

They all ate and were satisfied. Is not that the way it always is with Jesus? Just as He satisfied their physical need, He is the only One who can completely satisfy our spiritual hunger. This does not mean just the initial act of receiving Him as our Savior. This means that our spiritual life is sustainedand constantly renewed by Him alone.

John 6:12-13 (NIV) When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”

We never come to the end of what He wants to give us. He supplies more than enough. He came to give us an abundant life, not just mere subsistence. Nothing wasted: always enough for us to share with others. (One way to measure this is to see what God does with our money when we give it to Him. There is always enough there.)

As wonderful as this story is, there is significant meaning behind it that the Gospel of John goes on to explain. This miracle, in contrast to the others affected everyone there.

John tells us the crowd was so excited by this miracle that benefited all of them that they wanted to take Jesus by force and make Him King. This was not His timetable for that, so he withdrew from them and went back to Capernaum. The next day the people found Him there.

John 6:25-27

Jesus knew that they were there to get their stomachs full every day. That is how shallow their interest was. But he used their desire for food to teach them that He could give them something permanent-eternal life.

John 6:28

No different than millions of people today. They were so sure that if they just knew that special formula of works they could do, then they could do it and earn eternal life. Jesus answered them in words that could not be clearer.

John 6:29

There is only one work that will give you eternal life and it is not a work at all. It is simply to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. And God will give eternal life as a free gift.

To show you how materialistic and obtuse they were, listen to their next demand.

John 6:30-31

What miraculous sign will you do for us? Incredible! These were the same people who had all been fed just the day before. Now they challenged Him. They really meant, Moses gave our forefathers manna, bread from heaven, for 40 years. Can you top that? We will follow you if you feed us every day like you did yesterday! Jesus’ answer to this arrogant demand was very revealing.

John 6:32-35

Jesus here makes the first of seven claims about himself in John beginning with the words I Am. Surely this should have reminded them of the name God revealed to Moses at the burning bush, I AM WHO I AM. He is the Bread of life, (bread that is living/or gives life). Really saying to them: Do not compare me to Moses. Compare me to the manna. The rest of his conversation with them shows how God was giving them something greater than the manna that He sent their forefathers every day but Saturday for 40 years in the wilderness.

MANNA

JESUS CHRIST

Picture

Reality

Sent by the Father

Sent by the Father

For All

For all

Bread from Heaven

True bread

They had to pick and eat

We have to believe

They hungered again.

We will never hunger

Physical/temporal

Spiritual/eternal

They died

We live

Picture

Reality

The manna was just a picture of what Jesus Christ would be when He came to earth. He is the reality.

Sent by the Father.

Over and over Jesus states that the Father sent Him to give eternal life to everyone who believed in HIM.

For ALL

Just as the manna was for all the 3 million people of Israel. Just as the bread and fish were for all the 10,000 so Jesus Christ was sent for all the people in the world.

Bread from heaven/True Bread from heaven

The manna was bread from heaven. Ex. 16:4I will rain down bread from heaven for you. But Jesus was the genuine, real Bread from heaven. Six times in this chapter alone He claims heavenly origin.

They had to pick and eat. We have to believe

The manna did not keep them alive just by being on the ground. They had to eat it. It is not enough to know that Jesus came into the world, that He did miracles and that He died for sins. We each personally must put our faith in Him. That is why He kept using terms like eating, drinking, coming to Him. They all involved an act of the will to believe in His Person and His work.

They hungered again. We will never hunger or thirst

They picked the manna every morning for the day. They ate breakfast each day from it. After a few hours they were hungry again and had to eat again and the next morning had to gather it again. Jesus claims to completely satisfy the hunger of the human heart for God forever.

Physical-Temporal/Spiritual-Eternal

The manna kept them alive physically for 40 years in the wilderness. Though it was bread from heaven, its purpose was earthly and temporal. Jesus is the One Who gives life to our spirits, eternal life. Eternal life is a new quality of life as well as quantity.

They died/We live

The wilderness became one vast cemetery. The manna was just food for their bodies. Jesus gives us eternal life for our spirits now and resurrection for our bodies when He returns. Then we will be with Him in heaven forever.

Now He explained how He was the Bread of Life.

John 6:51-54

This bread is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. (NIV)

Can you imagine how repulsive this was to the Jewish mind? Blood was forbidden and human flesh! They missed the point entirely.

You see, again here that Jesus used material and physical things to explain spiritual truth. He used physical digestion to illustrate the process of faith. When you eat food, your body digests it and assimilates it and the food actually becomes part of your body. Jesus was telling them ahead of time that He would die for the world. That death and resurrection is an historical fact. But it does not apply to you unless you believe that Jesus Christ died in your place and you receive Him by faith. Eating and drinking are just another way of explaining what it is to believe. When you do that He comes to live in you and you live in Him.

Gal. 2:20 (NIV) I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

This means that He not only gives us eternal life when we initially trust Him, but He actually lives in us. He is our life. He exchanges our sinful, failing, inadequate life for His holy, powerful, fruitful life. He gives us the strength to endure suffering, He continues to change us and bring us to maturecharacter. In using the term Bread of life, Jesus is really saying that He alone is all that we will ever need to have eternal life, to know God, to be kept secure, to experience resurrection.

What was the result of this revealing discourse with was preceded just the day before by a spectacular miracle that illustrated it so powerfully?

John 6:60-66

REJECTION! It was a hard teaching to them to “eat flesh and drink blood.” Even though Jesus explained that He was talking about spiritual realities, not literal flesh and blood, they did not believe. And these uncommittedfollowers left Him.

Can you not hear the pathos in His voice as He turned to the Twelve?

John 6:67-69

FAITH These men did not understand everything Jesus said and did, but they trusted Him and were committed to Him. This sequel to the great miracle tells us something important. Miracles do not necessarily produce faith.That is why it is so important not to be presumptuous and demand of God that He do something spectacular for you to believe. Jesus Christ has already done everything miraculous that needed to be done for us to believe that the Father sent Him to reveal God to us and to give us eternal life. There are only two responses we can have to the claims of Christ.

Belief or unbelief. This applies to our daily walk with Him as well as our initial birth into God’s family.

What does Jesus reveal to us about God, our Heavenly Father?

  • That our Father’s heart is moved with compassion for us as we wander in our hopeless, lost condition.

  • That our Father knows both our physical and spiritual needs and provides for both.

  • That our Father is not impatient with us even when He knows our motives are self-serving.

  • That our Father will multiply what we give Him and use us to have an eternal impact on those around us.

  • That our Father will put us in situations that stretch our faith.

  • That our Father supplies abundantly, not skimpily.

  • That our Father always knows the degree of our commitment from the start.

  • That our Father sent Jesus to give eternal life to all who believe in Him. This is the only “work” we can do to be saved. We cannot earn eternal life by our own efforts.

  • That our Father gives us to Jesus and he will never drive us away. We are safe forever.

  • That it is our Father’s will that believers have eternal life and resurrection.

  • That our Father requires that we make a decision. We can choose to not believe in Jesus Christ. But there is no other way to God.

  • That our Father provides for our spiritual life to be sustained daily by “feeding on Christ.”

Are you feeding on Christ? How?

Matthew 4:4 (NIV) “Man does not live on bread alone…”

Reading His Word, obeying it, talking to Him, depending on Him and letting Him be our life. Jesus is the one who gives us the strength to face the trials and inequities of life. He is the One who gives us joy that is unrelated to our circumstances. He is the One who will take us all through this life with all of its uncertainties and then take us to be safe at home with Him. He is the Bread of Life and all we need.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Eli, that he gains weight and is a healthy baby

Pray for Caliste and Stephanie, both are doing well and they are staying busy enjoying summer and keeping their mind on the Lord and not on their brain tumors.

Pray for Elena, Norma Perales, Rick Sr her husband and Rick Jr her adult son, Barbara D, Mona R, Cristina B, Geena g, all in need of salvation.

Remember Bill Warneke, chronic neck pain, depression and the beginnings of Parkinson’s.

Pray for Willie s, since his wife died he really hasn’t grieved and dealt with the loss and anger.

Remember Steve H, strength and encouragement.

Remember Pastor Paul K, health concerns and his mom 90+ years of age, in great health physically, but the beginnings of dementia.

The Jesus Narrative (part one) We felt that this was such a seminal work that it bears repeating. God Bless.

God was here! Walking this planet. He lived in an obscure village in a tiny country on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. From the age of 12 till Jesus was about 30 there are no incidents recorded about Him in the Bible. So any stories you hear about the miracles he supposedly performed as a child are the product of someone’s imagination. But there are things we can know about his family life.

Mark 6:3 tells us that Mary and Joseph had at least 6 other children, 4 sons and 2 daughters. Jesus knew what it was to live in a large family and be the only half-brother. Joseph taught him the trade of carpentry and he supported his family by working as a carpenter, because by the time he began his public ministry, Joseph was dead. Jesus knew what it was to work with his hands to earn his daily bread. All the time Jesus lived on earth He never used his power to make life easy for himself.

But now the time had come to begin his public ministry. For months John the Baptist had been preaching that the Messiah was coming, and people were being baptized to indicate that they repented of their sins and were waiting for the Messiah (Christ) Jesus started his ministry by going to John to baptize him.

When he came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove.

John 1:32-34

Now John knew for sure that Jesus was the promised Christ. That was the sign he had been told to look for. After his baptism Jesus went into the wilderness and successfully endured 40 days and nights of fasting while Satan tempted him. He proved his qualifications to be our sinless Savior when he defeated Satan and would not sin.

John 1:19-21 gives us a rapid sequence of events that took place just before the occasion we are studying today.

When Jesus returned from the wilderness John pointed his own disciples to Jesus as the Lamb of God and the Son of God. So these men followed Jesus and brought others. By the time the chapter ends Jesus had about 5 men with him who believed on Him because of John’s testimony and their own experience. These 5 were the first of that special group of 12 ordinary men who lived with Him and were trained by him for over 3 years.

In John 1 we have many titles and names for Jesus:

The Word, the Light, the One and Only from the Father, God, the One and Only, Lord, Lamb of God, Son of God, Messiah or Christ, the Prophet like Moses, Jesus of Nazareth, King of Israel, Rabbi, Son of Man.

Theses titles had tremendous significance for the Jews familiar with OT promises about the coming Messiah. They meant that Jesus was the one they had been eagerly waiting for. What spectacular thing would Jesus use to reveal who he was? Where would he start? Can you imagine what Hollywood would do with an opportunity like that? But Jesus revealed His glory for the first time in a very strange but meaningful way.

John 2:1-2

Cana was a village in the hills of Galilee. Its location is not certain, but scholars believe it was located about nine miles north of Nazareth. I think it is worth noticing that the human race began with God officiating at a wedding between a man and a woman and the ministry of Jesus, God on earth began with His presence at a wedding. This tells us something about God’s view of marriage which we need to hear in a day when marriage is being avoided or destroyed by abuse, infidelity, lack of commitment and divorce. Actually, when it is in danger of being redefined to allow same sex marriage to be equally normal.

Jesus obviously was not a recluse. He was a social person. He was willing to take time out of his busy schedule to share in the joy of others. This was not just going to a ceremony and reception for a few ours. The wedding celebration lasted seven days. In that day a couple would become betrothed, usually for about a year. This betrothal was as binding as a marriage and could only be broken by divorce. The wedding was celebrated when the bridegroom came to take his bride and escort her to his home, where there would be a great time of feasting, singing, dancing and general rejoicing for a week. At the end of the week the bride would be escorted by her parents to the nuptial chamber and marriage would be consummated. This was obviously a time of great joy.

God wants us to enjoy life, to share other people’s joy, to smell the flowers along the way. He has given us all things richly to enjoy and Jesus modeled that for us.

John 2:3

Mary must have been visiting with their hosts or helping out when she was in on an embarrassing discovery. The wine had run out! Lavish hospitality in the east was a sacred duty. Either they had underestimated the number of guests or they had been skimpy in their provisions. This was not just an embarrassment, it was a disgrace. It was a never-to-be-forgotten social faux pas.

Mary knew where to go for help. She depended upon her oldest Son and he had never failed her yet. This request tells us a little about Mary. She was concerned about other people’s problems. She was not aloof or quick to pass judgment. She wanted to help her friends. Maybe she also thought this would be a super time for Jesus to do something spectacular to reveal who he really was. After all, she of all people knew where He came from. So she simply came to him and stated the problem. His answer seems strange to us.

John 2:4

Jesus knew His timetable. There is a sense of order and destiny in the measured way He moves through the Gospel records. He was not going to do the showy, spectacular miracle to draw attention to himself. He also in a gentle way let his mother know that he was no longer under her authority. Mary did not question him or go away disappointed. She just left it to him to do as he pleased. She trusted him to solve the problem and the next verse records the only command she ever gives in the Bible.

John 2:5

Do whatever he tells you. (NIV)

These words are as relevant to us today as they were to the servants then. You will notice that Mary never focused on herself, but on Jesus. He is the one we come, He is the one who has the power to help, He is the one to obey.

John 2:6-7

These large stone water jars were used for the ceremonial washing required by religious Jews. Their religion had become almost entirely external with very little impact on their spiritual lives. Can you imagine what the servants must have thought when a guest told them to fill all six water jars with water. That is from 120-180 gallons of water that had to be drawn from the well. But they filled them to the brim and came back for further instructions.

John 2:8

What do you think they thought? They knew these just were just filled with water. How could they take them to the master of the feast as wine? But the lady had said to do whatever this man said, and they just obeyed. We would do well to follow their example. Jesus speaks to us today through the Bible. We have in our hands the written record of what he expects his followers to do. It is not necessary for us to know ahead of time just how everything will work out. Our responsibility is to simply do what He says to do.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Bill Warneke, depression, Parkinson’s and severe neck pain.

Pray for Tera’s Grandmother, took her out of the most expensive nursing home in the city, she was almost a vegetable, (slight exaggeration). Moved her to another nursing home, in 10 days she was walking, talking, feeding herself and no signs of dementia. No need for any drugs at all. Needless to say there is a major lawsuit going to happen.

Pray for Eli, Olivia and Tim’s baby, that he continues to gain weight.

Caliste and Stephanie, inoperable brain tumors. Each is coping differently with the problem.

Remember Steve H in your prayers, strength and encouragement.

Pray for Paul K, pastor, 2 cysts on his kidneys, spots on his lung and his mother of 90+ years beginning to get dementia. He is very close to his mom and this is really hard on him.

Pray for my wife Sharon, she is having her first bout with back problems, it’s tough on her physically and mentally.

medieval-blacksmith

I’m always amazed at God’s timing. I was working on today’s devotional post and writing this quote from A. W. Tozer; (whom I strongly recommend for reading) while listening to BBN radio (bible broadcasting network, you need to tune in to this station or listen online, it is the best bible radio station in the world). And lo and behold Chuck Swindoll is quoting part of the same thing. I was stunned.

So there is no doubt that this is indeed the post for today.

It was the enraptured Samuel B. Rutherford who could shout in the midst of serious and painful trials, “Praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace.”

The hammer is a useful tool, but the nail, if it had feeling and intelligence, could present another side of the story. For the nail knows the hammer only as an opponent, a brutal, merciless enemy who lives to pound it into submission, to beat it down out of sight and clinch it into place. That is the nail’s view of the hammer, and it is accurate except for one thing: The nail forgets that both it and the hammer are servants of the same workman. Let the nail but remember that the hammer is held by the workman and all resentment toward it will disappear. The carpenter decides whose head will be beaten next and what hammer shall be used in the beating. That is his sovereign right. When the nail has surrendered to the will of the workman and has gotten a little glimpse of his benign plans for its future it will yield to the hammer without complaint.

The file is more painful still, for its business is to bite into the soft metal, scraping and eating away the edges till it has shaped the metal to its will. Yet the file has, in truth, no real will in the matter, but serves another master as the metal also does. It is the master and not the file that decides how much shall be eaten away, what shape the metal shall take, and how long the painful filing shall continue. Let the metal accept the will of the master and it will not try to dictate when or how it shall be filed.

As for the furnace, it is the worst of all. Ruthless and savage, it leaps at every combustible thing that enters it and never relaxes its fury till it has reduced it all to shapeless ashes. All that refuses to burn is melted to a mass of helpless matter, without will or purpose of its own. When everything is melted that will melt and all is burned that will burn, then and not till then the furnace calms down and rests from its destructive fury.

With all this known to him, how could Rutherford find it in his heart to praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace? The answer is simply that he loved the Master of the hammer, he adored the Workman who wielded the file, he worshiped the Lord who heated the furnace for the everlasting blessing of His children. He had felt the hammer till its rough beatings no longer hurt; he had endured the file till he had come actually to enjoy its bitings; he had walked with God in the furnace so long that it had become as his natural habitat. That does not overstate the facts. His letters reveal as much. (end of quote)

Such doctrine as this does not find much sympathy among Christians in these soft and carnal days. We tend to think of Christianity as a painless system by which we can escape the penalty of past sins and attain to heaven at last. The flaming desire to be rid of every unholy thing and to put on the likeness of Christ at any cost is not often found among us. We expect to enter the everlasting kingdom of our Father and to sit down around the table with sages, saints and martyrs; and through the grace of God, maybe we shall; yes, maybe we shall. But for the most of us it could prove at first an embarrassing experience. Ours might be the silence of the untried soldier in the presence of the battle-hardened heroes who have fought the fight and won the victory and who have scars to prove that they were present when the battle was joined.

The devil, things and people being what they are, it is necessary for God to use the hammer, the file and the furnace in His holy work of preparing a saint for true sainthood. It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.

Without doubt we of this generation have become too soft to scale great spiritual heights. Salvation has come to mean deliverance from unpleasant things. Our hymns and sermons create for us a religion of consolation and pleasantness. We overlook the pace of the thorns, the cross and the blood. We ignore the function of the hammer and the file.

Strange as it may sound, it is yet true that much of the suffering we are called upon to endure on the highway of holiness is an inward suffering for which scarcely an external cause can be found. For our journey is an inward journey, and our real foes are invisible to the eyes of men. Attacks of darkness, of despondency, of acute self-depreciation may be endured without any change in our outward circumstances. Only the enemy and God and the hard-pressed Christian know what has taken place. The inward suffering has been great and a mighty work of purification has been accomplished, but the heart [knows] its own sorrow and no one else can share it. God has cleansed His child in the only way He can, circumstance being what they are. Thank God for the furnace.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Sherrie J, she has lived life as a high profile celebrity, well she has crashed and burned for the last time, all her contracts are cancelled. Pray for her salvation.

Pray for Steve P, motocross, lost a spleen and has a concussion.

Remember Caliste and Stephanie, both fine Christian women, inoperable brain tumors, Caliste is dealing better with it than Stephanie.

Jeremy b, pray for his 9 year old son, just diagnosed with Leukemia.

Remember Bill Warneke, depression, degenerative disks in his neck and the beginnings of Parkinson’s.

Pray for Eli, Olivia’s 1 month old son, he needs to gain more weight.

Pray for Steve H, strength, encouragement, a blessing.

Remember pastor Paul K, a healing touch from God.

Pray for Tara, salvation, Barbara D, Mona R, the Perales family.

THE AUTONOMOUS SELF

May 27, 2019

The autonomous self. (the new mankind) This is the self that is not subject to outside authority and into which all reality has been contracted. The result is a radicalized individualism with a deeply privatized outlook and a mood that is insistently self-therapeutic (all answers come from within). All of this has produced soil throughout society that positively invites the new spirituality. It seems normal and natural. That is why it is difficult for the church to contest today a belief system that measures everything to its own personal, internal code.

What the church needs to today is a new Jesus. Okay, don’t freak, what the church actually needs is a new system of belief. If the real bride of Christ, the true church would wake up, and renew its core belief, if we could take the constant stream of consciousness that the Puritans held; and mix it with the emotional relief that Pentecostal systems brought, and the confession of Catholicism (true accountability to talk about our behavior) and honestly answered all the real questions the modern pagan has. We would have a genuine thrust at renewing the quest that the modern seeker has.

Like the parent that always answers his children; “because I say so” we have to stop that dialogue, which fosters a hostile attitude and resume the message of love and hope.

 The modernist struggles with how to relate to the divine, which seems

remote and removed from life because the church practices an austere and haughty attitude, that reminds them of over bearing, unreachable and uncommunicative parents.

At the heart of their spiritual quest was a search for the answer to evil. Wherever they looked, whether to the firmament above or to the bodies in which their consciousness resided, what they saw was a monumentally failed work. We are failing to explain to the Modern Man the very foundation of the true human condition and what they don’t need is rules and a dress code, but the all-encompassing love of a true God.

The next revival is the revelation that the problems of the world are not caused by ignorance, stumbling or lack of knowledge. But the lost concept of Sin. That nasty dirty word that the modernist hates beyond all other words. Because it implies that they are not the center of the universe, that knowledge is more valuable than faith. Look at the “revival” in all the discussions on Apologetics, especially “Christian Apologetics”, a causation of circular thought that leads the seeker not to the arms of a loving God but to more thinking. How common the answer today when challenged, “let me think on that”.

Well keep thinking, we are not done yet. God lives, and the loneliness of the human heart more than any other message will yet draw man to Him.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Robin M, she’s a wild child from the 60’s a trust fund baby who never grew up, drugs, LSD and rock ‘n roll. Needs Jesus.

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

Pray for Sherry M, a yo yo Christian. Up down, in and out, hot, cold. The merry go round never stops. I’m praying that she stops the wandering and really comes to the church dedicated and not carnal.

Pray for Paul K, pastor, good friend. 2 cysts on his pancreas, and not they found a “shadow” in his lungs.

Remember Stephanie and Caliste, no fear, that these inoperable brain tumors don’t rule their life.

Pray for Eli, Olivia’s baby, that he continues to grow, gain weight and is healthy.

Pray for Revival and especially in secular colleges.

Pray for salvation of Barbara d, Mona r, the Perales family.

Remember Steve H in prayer, strength, encouragement and a blessing.

PEACENIKS

May 26, 2019

woman sitting in grey fur sofa

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

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

  Those who rest in Him are often accused of passivity. But the Lord Jesus, who is our life, never was, nor ever is, passive.

  “Do you suppose that the Father ever doubts the victory that has been won by His beloved Son? Do you believe that He has a single cloud as to the result? And faith looks at things as the Father looks at them. That is the secret of all strength and courage.

Why has the Father given us His revealed Word? That we may think the same thoughts, have the same feelings, in our measure, as Himself. There is not a thought or feeling that arises from the old man that is not false. But we have new life capable of receiving and delighting in the very thoughts of our Father.

How am I to know what is the Father’s mind towards me? Is it by judging of it from what I find in myself? Surely not! Supposing that I even found good in myself, if I expected the Father to look at me on that account, would it be grace? There may be a measure of truth in this kind of reasoning; for, if there be life in my soul, fruit will be apparent; but this is not to give me peace any more than the evil that is in me is to hinder my having peace.

The Lord Jesus ‘has passed into the heavens, now to appear in the presence of the Father for us.’ It is the Lord Jesus who gives abiding rest to our souls, and not what our thoughts about ourselves may be. Faith never thinks about that which is in ourselves as its ground of rest; it receives, loves, and apprehends what the Father has revealed, and what are His thoughts about the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is His rest.

  “Let us labor, therefore, to enter into that rest” (Heb. 4:11

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Billie W, she needs guidance about career choices.

John G, in a bitter, sour marriage as he puts it. He knows God wants him to stay in the marriage but his wife won’t come in for counseling and since the last child has left the home he is sorely tempted to pack it up.

Pray for Bill Warneke, depression, severe neck problems, the beginnings of Parkinson’s he has his good days and bad.

Pray for Steve H, a double blessing, strength and encouragement.

Remember Caliste and Stephanie, both are dealing with the fact that they have inoperable brain tumors. One is doing better than the other because she has a bigger cadre of people supporting her. Pray God brings more people into both their lives. They are the perfect example of one being extroverted and one being introverted and how it has affected their circle of friends.

Pray for those on our salvation list; Barbara D, Mona R, the Perales family.

Remember Sherry M, our church wild child, back again after a long absence, pray with me that she would stop being carnal and come into the fold proper like and stop putting her life and health at risk.

GOING, GOING, GONE

May 22, 2019

clouds
Photo by Emma Trewin on Pexels.com

We have often talked about having a short list and a long list. The short list is the ideas (theology) we will fight over and take a beating. The long list is theology that can have different facets or positions and we should be full of grace on these positions. One of the items on the long list is when will the rapture happen. (not if).

For many years I was a mid-tribulation guy. But I’ve spent the last two years really studying this position more intently and preaching on it more often and have switched camps to the pretribulation position.

So let’s get started.

In eschatology, it is important to remember that almost all Christians agree on these three things: 1) there is coming a time of great tribulation such as the world has never seen, 2) after the Tribulation, Christ will return to establish His kingdom on earth, and, 3) there will be a Rapture—a translation from mortality to immortality—for believers (John 14:1-3;1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The question is when does the Rapture occur in relation to the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ?

Through the years three main theories have emerged concerning the timing of the Rapture: pretribulationism (the belief that the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation begins), midtribulationism (the belief that the Rapture will occur at the midpoint of the Tribulation), and posttribulationism (the belief that the Rapture will occur at the end of the Tribulation). This article deals specifically with the pretribulational view.

Pretribulationism teaches that the Rapture occurs before the Tribulation starts. At that time, the church will meet Christ in the air, and then sometime after that the Antichrist is revealed and the Tribulation begins. In other words, the Rapture and Christ’s Second Coming (to set up His kingdom) are separated by at least seven years. According to this view, the church does not experience any of the Tribulation.

Scripturally, the pretribulational view has much to commend it. For example, the church is not appointed to wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, 5:9), and believers will not be overtaken by the Day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:1-9). The church of Philadelphia was promised to be kept from “the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world” (Revelation 3:10). Note that the promise is not preservation through the trial but deliverance from the hour, that is, from the time period of the trial.

Pretribulationism also finds support in what is not found in Scripture. The word “church” appears nineteen times in the first three chapters of Revelation, but, significantly, the word is not used again until chapter 22. In other words, in the entire lengthy description of the Tribulation in Revelation, the word church is noticeably absent. In fact, the Bible never uses the word “church” in a passage relating to the Tribulation.

Pretribulationism is the only theory which clearly maintains the distinction between Israel and the church and God’s separate plans for each. The seventy “sevens” of Daniel 9:24 are decreed upon Daniel’s people (the Jews) and Daniel’s holy city (Jerusalem). This prophecy makes it plain that the seventieth week (the Tribulation) is a time of purging and restoration for Israel and Jerusalem, not for the church.

Also, pretribulationism has historical support. From John 21:22-23, it would seem that the early church viewed Christ’s return as imminent, that He could return at any moment. Otherwise, the rumor would not have persisted that Jesus would return within John’s lifetime. Imminence, which is incompatible with the other two Rapture theories, is a key tenet of pretribulationism.

And the pretribulational view seems to be the most in keeping with God’s character and His desire to deliver the righteous from the judgment of the world. Biblical examples of God’s salvation include Noah, who was delivered from the worldwide flood; Lot, who was delivered from Sodom; and Rahab, who was delivered from Jericho (2 Peter 2:6-9).

One perceived weakness of pretribulationism is its relatively recent development as a church doctrine, not having been formulated in detail until the early 1800s. Another weakness is that pretribulationism splits the return of Jesus Christ into two “phases”—the Rapture and the Second Coming—whereas the Bible does not clearly delineate any such phases.

Another difficulty facing the pretribulational view is the fact that there will obviously be saints in the Tribulation (Revelation 13:7, 20:9). Pretribulationists answer this by distinguishing the saints of the Old Testament and the saints of the Tribulation from the church of the New Testament. Believers alive at the Rapture will be removed before the Tribulation, but there will be those who will come to Christ during the Tribulation.

Some point to Jesus’ statement in John 6:40 as posing a difficulty to pretribulationism: “My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” Jesus promises believers a resurrection “at the last day,” but the pretribulational model has believers being raised at the rapture, at least seven years before the Christ’s second coming. The answer to this involves a general use of the word day—the end times, called “the last day,” will span the entire time from the rapture to the second coming. Also, the rapture will mark the end of the church age and thus is “the last day” of this dispensation.

And a final weakness of the pretribulational view is shared by the other two theories: namely, the Bible does not give an explicit timeline concerning future events. Scripture does not expressly teach one view over another, and that is why we have a diversity of opinion concerning the end times and some variety on how the related prophecies should be harmonized.

Tomorrow the midtribulations position.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

OK, we have a bible study question that is a real stumper, if you win you get a free NIV “every man’s study bible” tu tone (non leather). No shipping, entirely free.

So here’s the question; in the Old Scofield Bible, what is considered the most controversial note in the New Testament Section. And why. Good luck with this and google won’t help. (I don’t think). we will give new clues each day if no one can figure it out. and yes this probably the hardest question we’ve ever had.

Remember Bill Warneke in prayer, beginning stages of Parkinson’s, chronic depression and neck pain.

Remember Olivia and baby. Especially the baby. Eli.

Praise from Matt and Rosie, there house sold.

Ricky R, still sober

Pray for Stephan H, strength, encouragement

Paul K, so far so good, VA is still saying not cancer on/in his pancreas.

Remember Caliste Burt and Stephanie Taylor, inoperable brain tumors. Pray for divine healing and living with no fear.

lightbulb

Holy Margin, bless us all.

For the remainder of their lives, the disciples were likely haunted by the question Jesus asked them in the garden of Gethsemane: “Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?” (Mk 14:37).

Jesus had told them his soul was “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” and he had one simple request: “Stay here and keep watch” (v. 34). But when their master most needed their friendship and comfort, they failed him by falling asleep.

What would you have done if you had been in the garden? Imagine going through your normal daily routine—work, school, family activities—and then late in the evening you find your closest friend, like Jesus, “deeply distressed and troubled” (v. 33). Would you have the energy to stay awake with your friend and provide him or her solace?

We don’t often think about energy and rest as being a matter of love. Yet our lives can become so busy and our schedules so crowded that when we’re needed most, we’re too exhausted to love our neighbors. This is why as followers of Christ we need to create more margin in our lives.

Margin is the space between our load and our limits. It is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating.

Margin is the opposite of overload. If we are overloaded we have no margin. . . . If we were equipped with a flashing light to indicate “100 percent full,” we could better gauge our capacities. But we don’t have such an indicator light, and we don’t know when we have overextended until we feel the pain. As a result, many people commit to a 120 percent life and wonder why the burden feels so heavy. It is rare to see a life prescheduled to only 80 percent, leaving a margin for responding to the unexpected that God sends our way.

Take a careful look at your schedule. Have you “prescheduled” your life to 120 percent capacity? What can you do to create more margin?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Elena O, she has an adult daughter that terrorizes her. And her daughter came back and said “I’m sorry, lets be friends” pray this time it takes.

Pray for Bill Warneke, chronic depression, chronic neck pain and possibly Parkinson’s.

Remember in prayer, Caliste and Stephanie, pray for calmness, no fear and divine healing.

Ricky r, today will be 33 days sober.

Pray for Olivia’s baby, Eli, 2 weeks old, he lost some weight but is now back up to his birth weight, pray for mom and baby’s health.

 

CLOSER THAN A BROTHER

April 19, 2019

“Feed the flock of God which is among you. . . being examples to the flock” (1 Pet. 5:2, 3).

  It is one thing to teach, but quite another to cultivate, nurture, and bring to maturity. “There are ten thousand tutors,” but “not many fathers.” Not many who are willing to know the conformity to death which brings the travail for souls, in fellowship with Him who travailed on the Cross for us.

We must not expect to win healthy souls or lead them on into spiritual maturity without long travail. If it becomes Him for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings, who are we that we should expect easily to bring many sons to glory? ‘My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,’ that is what we must expect. And when this travail comes we must go through with it, not try to escape it.

Probably friendship is second only to prayer in its importance in soul-winning. With sincerity to offer one’s friendship to another is an almost certain way to gain an opportunity to speak an effective word for the Lord. But can one introduce two people to each other if one is a friend of only one? How can we introduce someone to the Lord Jesus if we know only Him, but not the poor lost sinner?

The life with the most favorable beginning will come to maturity the soonest. Let us aim at well-born souls. Let us seek to do more careful sowing, so as to send babes in Christ into the world handicapped as little as possible at the beginning. Moreover, let us remember that our own level oft-times determines the level of those we lead to the Savior.

  “Nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:6).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Caliste Burt, as she recovers from brain surgery.

Pray for Stephanie Taylor, also suffering from a brain tumor, but the doctors have not yet scheduled her surgery.

Bill Warneke, chronic neck pain and depression..

Salvation for Barbara D, Mona Rudd, Robin Messinberger.

Remember Rick as he is rounding week two of sobriety.

Remember Lance Huffman, upcoming back surgery for a truck accident last week.

David P and his addiction.

Pray for pastor Paul K, 2 cysts on his pancreas, VA is still not saying cancer

Pray for Matthew and Rosie that their house sells.

Pray for Gwen B, financial help.