the true mark

September 29, 2017

The subject of positive self esteem, love yourself, self love, our self-concept or self-image creates a kind of paradox. The Bible-believing Christian knows that he is a sinner, that in himself dwells no good thing, and that in himself he has no merit with God; yet, like a paradox, at the same time, he also knows, as a creation of God, created in God’s image and redeemed by His grace, he has value and purpose in life.

So how do we hit a proper balance? How do we avoid the self-centered approach and focus of the world and at the same time have a biblical concept of self, a proper viewpoint of our own value and purpose that sets us free to serve the living God, that sets us free from those thoughts and feelings that tie us in knots and ruin our personalities, create false agendas and motives that so people are incapacitated for ministry?

That we think properly about ourselves is important and is even commanded in Scripture. In Romans 12:3, the apostle wrote, “For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith.”

The basic word for “think” in this passage is proneo, which means “think, form or hold an opinion, judge.” “Sober discernment,” is sophroneo, “be of sound mind.” It means “to be in one’s right mind, be reasonable, keep one’s head.” But first, the apostle warns us against thinking more highly of ourselves than we should.” The Greek word here is huperphroneo, “to think too highly of oneself, to be haughty.” Ironically, quite contrary to our society today, the apostle does not warn against thinking too little of ourselves. Regardless, the sound thinking Paul is calling for is grounded in biblical revelation and faith in the work of God for us in Christ. Paul is calling for thinking and personal evaluation based on the authority of God’s revelation and on the facts of God and His grace. It means we are to look at ourselves through the lenses of Scripture.

To Timothy, whom some expositors have nick named “Timid Tim” because he seems to have been having problems with his self-confidence (or confidence in God’s gifts and ministry for his life), Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a Spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (or sound-mind thinking). The Greek word for “discipline” here is related to the word used for thinking in Romans 12:3. It is sophronismos from sophron, “sensible, prudent.” It comes from sos, “safe, sound, and phren, “the heart, the mind, or the inner man.” Sophronismos refers to “control, self-discipline, prudence” that stems from right thinking. A controlled life, one that demonstrates self-discipline stems from soundness of mind, from knowing and acting on the truth of Scripture in the light of God’s grace in Christ. In both passages, Romans 12:3 and 2 Timothy 1:7, the context deals with God’s gifts to us and the bold expression of those gifts in loving ministry for the sake of the body of Christ.

Thinking properly about ourselves stems from right thinking about God, but then that extends to right thinking about others so that it results in a freedom to serve according to the grace of God.

Now, let’s ask some questions: What am I worth as a person? Do I feel good about who I am or do I wish I was someone else? Have I accepted who I am as a person, not my sin or sinful habits, but the uniqueness God has created in me as a person (Ps. 139:13-14)? How we answer these questions may play a key role in what we do with our lives, how we live our lives, in the joy we experience in life, in the way we treat others, and in how we respond to people and to God. “Research has shown that we tend to act in harmony with our mental self-portrait. If we don’t like the kind of person we are, we think no one else likes us either. And that influences our social life, our job performance, our relationships with others.”

A biblical concept of self developed out of our concept of God and His grace is important to solid spiritual maturity, to ministry, to our ability to lead others, and especially to our ability to be servants. Without a biblical concept of self, we end up playing spiritual king-of-the-mountain and engage in promoting personal agendas to build up a sagging ego. We seek from position, power, and praise what we should get from resting in God’s grace.

Thus, in order to effectively lead or minister to others we must think biblically about who we are. This means two key things: (a) we need to know our abilities and limitations while (b) always keeping in mind a biblical view of God, His grace to us in Christ, and knowing our sufficiency is always in God regardless of our abilities or weaknesses (see 2 Cor. 2:16-3:6).

Why is thinking in these terms so important? Because without it we will vacillate between fear and pride or between insecurity and overconfidence. Without this we will become either withdrawn and introverted or we will find ourselves running around in a hubbub of activity trying to feel good about ourselves because of our achievements. Paul’s spiritual maturity and qualification as a leader is seen in his freedom to serve others because, resting in who he was in Christ as a servant called of God by grace, he was not seeking to protect a poor self-image or to impress men with his greatness (cf. 1 Cor. 4:1; 1 Thess. 2:1-6).

It’s all about balance, self identity, who am I, and why am I here. Talk about this topic with teens, young adults and college students; and not give empty rhetoric and blasé platitudes and you will pack out the house. Add to that have the meeting in a non-traditional place and wow, you will have people come that will never walk into a church. (until you show them it’s relevant.)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Roger D, and Jennifer, cataract surgery coming up soon, they’re both a little bit afraid.

Susanna B, against all advice from all her family, she went and had face surgery, (plastic) it went really wrong. The emotional damage done right now is epic.

 

INSIDE OUT

July 15, 2017

A BIG BITE

Ok, I’m going to assume, that if you have been following this devotional sight for any amount of time you are interested in your own spiritual growth. So, with that in mind I want to challenge you to put today’s devotion to practical use; i.e. “do it.” I mean really make an effort, print this out, make several copies and keep one with you everywhere you go and pray it into your life.

Our culture teaches us that people are basically good and that their internal problems are the result of external circumstances. But Jesus taught that no outside-in program will rectify the human condition, since our fundamental problems stem from within (Mark 7:20-23). Holiness is never achieved by acting ourselves into a new way of being. Instead, it is a gift that God graciously implants within the core of those who have trusted in Christ. All holiness is the holiness of God within us—the indwelling life of Christ. Thus, the process of sanctification is the gradual diffusion of this life from the inside (being) to the outside (doing), so that we become in action what we already are in essence. Our efforts faithfully reveal what is within us, so that when we are dominated by the flesh we will do the deeds of the flesh, and when we walk by the Spirit we will bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26).

A Process from the Inside to the Outside

Holiness is a new quality of life that progressively flows from the inside to the outside. As J. I. Packer (one of my top ten favorite authors) outlines it in Keep in Step with the Spirit, the nature of holiness is transformation through consecration; the context of holiness is justification through Jesus Christ; the root of holiness is co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with Jesus Christ; the agent of holiness is the Holy Spirit; the experience of holiness is one of conflict; the rule of holiness is God’s revealed law; and the heart of holiness is the spirit of love. When we come to know Jesus we are destined for heaven because He has already implanted His heavenly life within us. The inside-out process of the spiritual life is the gradual outworking of this kingdom righteousness. This involves a divine-human synergism of dependence and discipline so that the power of the Spirit is manifested through the formation of holy habits. As Augustine put it, “Without God we cannot; without us, He will not.” Disciplined grace and graceful discipline go together in such a way that God-given holiness is expressed through the actions of obedience. Spiritual formation is not a matter of total passivity or of unaided moral endeavor, but of increasing responsiveness to God’s gracious initiatives. The holy habits of immersion in Scripture, acknowledging God in all things, and learned obedience make us more receptive to the influx of grace and purify our aspirations and actions.

“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God” (1 John 3:21). It is wise to form the habit of inviting God to search your heart and reveal “any hurtful way” (Psalm 139:23) within you. Sustained attention to the heart, the wellspring of action, is essential to the formative process. By inviting Jesus to examine our intentions and priorities, we open ourselves to His good but often painful work of exposing our manipulative and self-seeking strategies, our hardness of heart (often concealed in religious activities), our competitively-driven resentments, and our pride. “A humble understanding of yourself is a surer way to God than a profound searching after knowledge” (Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, my second favorite book). Self-examining prayer or journaling in the presence of God will enable us to descend below the surface of our emotions and actions and to discern sinful patterns that require repentance and renewal. Since spiritual formation is a process, it is a good practice to compare yourself now with where you have been. Are you progressing in Christlike qualities like love, patience, kindness, forgiveness, compassion, understanding, servanthood, and hope? To assist you, here is a prayer sequence for examination and encouragement that incorporates the ten commandments, the Lord’s prayer, the beatitudes, the seven deadly sins, the four cardinal and three theological virtues, and the fruit of the Spirit. This can serve as a kind of spiritual diagnostic tool:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me,

And lead me in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139:23-24)

Watch over your heart with all diligence,

For from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

You shall have no other gods before Me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Honor your father and your mother.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

THE BEATITUDES

Poverty of spirit (nothing apart from God’s grace)

Mourning (contrition)

Gentleness (meekness, humility)

Hunger and thirst for righteousness

Merciful to others

Purity of heart (desiring Christ above all else)

Peacemaking

Bearing persecution for the sake of righteousness

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS

Pride

Avarice

Envy

Wrath

Sloth

Lust

Gluttony

THE FOUR CARDINAL AND THREE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES

Prudence (wisdom, discernment, clear thinking, common sense)

Temperance (moderation, self-control)

Justice (fairness, honesty, truthfulness, integrity)

Fortitude (courage, conviction)

Faith (belief and trust in God’s character and work)

Hope (anticipating God’s promises)

Love (willing the highest good for others, compassion)

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

Love

Joy

Peace

Patience

Kindness

Goodness

Faithfulness

Gentleness

Self-control

Some of these items are in the “put off” category and some are in the “put on” category. So get the inside out.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Dan and Lee, as they move into their new home today with their two little girls and go from city dweller to country folk.

miles from home

June 27, 2017

The apostle Paul said that the entire Christian faith rests on this single foundation, the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Cor. 15:13-19). If that fact of history is true, then our faith has a solid footing in spite of difficult matters that we may never understand fully in this life. But, if Jesus Christ is not risen from the dead, then the strongest faith in the world is useless, because it rests on a faulty foundation. In Paul’s words (1 Cor. 15:17), “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.”

If you want to examine a subject, it’s best to go to an expert. The most famous expert on doubt is the man whose name is always linked with it, Doubting Thomas. Perhaps it’s unfair that he has to wear that label, since all the apostles doubted the resurrection of Jesus at first (Mark 16:11; Luke 24:10-11). But, Thomas was the last holdout, so he gets the title. His story shows us that…

To overcome our doubts, we must rest upon the reality of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Thomas was what I would call a sincere doubter. Not all doubters are sincere. Some use their doubts as a smoke screen to hide behind their sin, which is the real issue. If one area of doubt is cleared up, they will quickly duck behind another, because they don’t want to submit to the Lord. These people do not need more evidence to believe. They need to turn from their sin.

But some doubters are sincere. They truly believe in Christ, but they are plagued by honest questions. They are submissive to God and want to do His will, but they can’t just close their eyes and take a leap of faith. They need evidence to clear up the doubts. Thomas was that kind of sincere doubter. His story reveals that…

  1. Sincere doubt can arise from multiple causes.

There are many causes of doubt. I am going to limit myself to exploring some of the causes of Thomas’ doubts. Perhaps you can relate to these sources of doubt as well.

Some Reasons For Thomas’ Doubts:

  1. PERSONAL FAILURE COUPLED WITH OUR PERSONALITY MAY LEAD TO DOUBT.

All of the disciples had failed Jesus on the night of His arrest and trial. Most notorious was Peter, who denied the Lord three times. All of the eleven had promised Jesus their loyalty, but they all deserted Him when He was arrested.

Thomas, along with Peter, had been outspoken in his loyalty to Jesus before the crucifixion. In John 11:16, when Jesus wanted to go to Bethany, near Jerusalem, to raise Lazarus from the dead, the disciples objected that it was too dangerous. But Thomas said, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” He was a pessimist, but at least he was loyal to the point of challenging the others to be committed to the point of death. But then he had joined the others in running away when Jesus was arrested. That failure led Thomas into depression and doubt.

It wasn’t just Thomas’ failure, but failure coupled with his personality, that led him into deep doubts. Peter had failed in a big way, too. But Peter was a buoyant, optimistic sort who felt badly about his mistakes, but who could bounce back more quickly. But Thomas was a conscientious, loyal, but gloomy type who did not commit himself to something lightly. To commit himself to Jesus and then go back on his word affected Thomas deeply.

We’re all wired differently and so it’s important to know yourself so that you can be on guard against your areas of weakness. Usually, by the way, our areas of greatest strength are also our areas of greatest weakness. A man such as Thomas, who is loyal and conscientious, who takes commitments seriously, is also more prone to depression and doubt when he fails.

  1. DISAPPOINTED EXPECTATIONS MAY LEAD TO DOUBT.

A second factor that caused Thomas such deep doubts was the disappointment and shock he felt as he watched Jesus die. Even though Jesus repeatedly told the disciples in advance that He would be crucified, it didn’t sink in. When Thomas saw the badly mangled body of Jesus on the cross, it sent him into shock. His emphasis on the wounds of Jesus (John 20:25) shows how deeply it affected him. The bloody holes in Jesus’ hands and feet, the gory spear wound in His side, and Jesus’ disfigurement from the scourg­ing and the crown of thorns, haunted Thomas in the week after the crucifixion and fed his doubts.

In the same way, whenever we face deep disappointment and shock because of some tragedy or unanswered prayer or something that doesn’t go as we had expected, we’re vulnerable to doubts. You begin to think, “If God is a God of love, then why did this happen? Why didn’t He answer my prayers?” Before long, you’ve joined Thomas in doubting the Lord.

  1. WHEN GOD WORKS IN WAYS THAT WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND, IT CAN LEAD TO DOUBT.

Thomas lacked understanding with regard to the Lord’s departure (see John 14:5). On the night before the crucifixion, Jesus told the disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them and that He would come again to take them to be with Him. He told them that they knew the way where He was going. But Thomas wasn’t the type to keep quiet if he didn’t understand. So he blurted out, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”

I’m glad he asked because Jesus’ reply was, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (14:6). But if you put yourself back into that situation, with all of the confused emotions of that night, and with the disciples’ still limited insight into Jesus’ death and resurrection, you can see how Thomas would still be confused about what Jesus had meant. He lacked understanding, which led to doubt.

John 20:9 states, “For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” In fact, none of them understood why Jesus had to die, let alone rise from the dead. Jesus rebuked the men on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:25-27), “And He said to them, ‘O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”

Many of our doubts stem from the same cause: we do not understand the Scriptures. Frankly, there are many hard teachings in the Bible, some of which we won’t resolve until we are with the Lord. We have to trust God, even when we don’t understand. In John 6:60, many of those who had followed Jesus turned away when He taught some hard things. Jesus even asked the twelve if they would go away also. Peter gave the great answer (John 6:68-69), “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. And we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” I have come back to that answer many times when I have struggled with doubt due to a lack of understanding. If Jesus is who He claimed to be, where else can I go?

  1. SEPARATING OURSELVES FROM FELLOW BELIEVERS, ESPECIALLY WHEN WE ARE DEPRESSED, CAN DEEPEN OUR DOUBTS.

Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus first appeared to them. We don’t know for certain why he was gone, but a likely reason was his depression. The last thing he wanted at a time like that was to be around other people. So he wandered off by himself to brood over the horrible events of the previous few days.

Then to add to his misery, when he finally did see the others, they told him that they had seen the risen Lord! How would you feel if you missed church because you were depressed and doubting and we all told you, “Hey, you really missed a blessing! It was the greatest church service in the history of FCF!” Great! That really encourages you, doesn’t it! But even though other believers may irritate us, the fact is, we need them. Whenever we separate ourselves from the fellowship, we make ourselves vulnerable to doubt.

I’ve not covered all the causes that cause us to doubt. But whatever the source of your doubts, the solution is the same: to come back to the basic fact of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. If that is true, then even though you may not understand everything, with Thomas you still must bow and acknowledge Jesus to be your Lord and God.

God bless you in your trials, your battles, in your darkest hours, hold up your bible in front of your eyes (literally) and tell yourself you really believe.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

BUT GOD!

May 19, 2017

Isaiah 55:1-3

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Compassion of the Lord

55 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.

55:1, 2 In ch. 55 the Lord issues a general call to all who would call themselves by His name, to abandon the Babylons of this world and to find their satisfaction and their security in Him alone, and in that city of joy and peace that He will build. This passage is a call to revival for all who have wandered far from the Lord or from that grace which is the basis for our relationship with Him.

The human condition, we chase after things that won’t satisfy, that don’t bring any lasting satisfaction.

 

 

I remembering counseling a guy one time that was dealing with sexual addiction. The reason he came in was he just had fulfilled his ultimate sex fantasy, and as he was leaving the apartment where this act had taken place he understood that in 10 minutes he was wondering what he would do to top that, and all of a sudden he realized the lust was still there; it hadn’t been satisfied at all.

Sin is like that, lust of the flesh, the eyes, the mind; drugs, booze, sex, shopping; it never ends.

 

But God.

 

One of the greatest sermons in the bible; “But God.”

 

Only He can give us satisfaction, rest, peace, and end to self-destruction.

Come all that are weary, and He will give you rest.

 

The first move is up to us, come, seek, then He does His part.

 

It’s your move

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Pray for all those searching for a good church home

 

Only God can give real happiness and lasting joy, everything else is artificial.

 

TALK THE WALK

March 25, 2017

When I was preaching through Genesis a man told me that he had become excited about being involved in church after many years’ absence. When I asked what had made the difference he said, “I love Genesis!” I was surprised and asked, “What do you like about it?” and he replied, “I like the stories about all those guys like Abram and Jacob because they’re all worse than me and it makes me feel so good!” I agreed with him that Abram was not perfect but he was a man of faith, and that we should not gloat over his failures but learn from his mistakes and emulate his strong dependence on the faithful God. You’ll be glad to know that my friend eventually came to call on Abram’s God.

How’s your walk?

No, this is not a commercial for some sort of cushioned insoles for your shoes. The real question is, rather, how is your walk with the Lord?

In Scripture, “walk” is often the term figuratively referring to a person’s conduct or way or life. One of the highest compliments the Bible gives anyone is that they “walked with God.” That’s what was said about Enoch in Genesis 5:24. It so pleased God that, according to some Bible scholars, Enoch never tasted death – he was raptured to heaven by God (“…God took him”).

Paul says that Christians should “walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4). John tells us we should “walk” in the light, which is Christ (1 John 1:7).

Why is such a “walk” important? Well, as Christians we certainly are to live in such a way that glorifies God. It’s how we should live our lives — honoring God in all that we do and in our relationships and interaction with others. How we do that is our “walk” as Christians.

But not only does it benefit us personally to live for Christ – according to His precepts – it is also extremely important regarding our witness to others. After all, that’s why Christ leaves us here on earth after we accept Him – to be a witness to others who haven’t found Him yet. That’s why we should – must – tell others about Christ. Yes, with words. (Romans 10:14.) But sometimes the first thing someone notices about us is not what we’re saying, but, rather, how we’re living.

One of the world’s biggest objections to Christianity is that Christians “are all hypocrites” who don’t live what they preach. “They all have a ‘holier-than-thou attitude’ and yet they live like everybody else – lying, cheating, living selfishly, etc., etc., etc.”

If our words about Christ are to have any credibility whatsoever, our lives, our actions, our “walk” must totally reflect what we’re saying. Our walk must show that we truly believe what Christ taught. Your “walk” … must “talk!”

That’s the theme of a song written by Rodney Griffin and Babbie Mason called “Your Walk Talks,” recently recorded by the Mark Trammell Quartet. Here’s how the song* says it:

        You know, your walk talks, and your talk talks

        But your walk talks louder than your talk talks

        Your behavior toward your neighbor

        Is really how you feel about the Savior

        When you exemplify and shine the Light of Christ

        You know the number in the kingdom will be multiplied

        Yes, your walk talks, and your talk talks,

        But your walk talks louder than your talk talks.

How you live your life – your “walk” – speaks more loudly and clearly to others than anything you would say verbally (as important and indispensable as that is). Have you thought about that line in the song – “Your behavior toward your neighbor is really how you feel about the Savior?” That can be convicting. If you profess to love Christ, you should do what He taught – love your neighbor.

        What did you do today to give your love away

        To a lost and hurting soul?

        Did you lend a hand to a fellow man

        And help him on down the road?

        When you illuminate it takes the dark away

        So let your little light shine

        When we follow through with what we say and do

        The Father will be glorified.

I think sometimes the world is surprised when a Christian actually does live like Christ. It baffles them because it’s not, unfortunately, what they’ve been conditioned by the world to expect. And that contrast – between expectations and observed actions – can actually get their attention in a very positive way.

About the message of that song, “…the Bible says we are a ‘peculiar people’ if we truly walk the walk and talk the talk. And we are. I think that’s the greatest compliment to a child of God in the 21st century, for someone to say, ‘you’re just a little bit strange.’ You’re not supposed to love someone when they walk up and slap you in the face. You’re not supposed to turn the other cheek.”

There’s only one way a Christian can actually do that: “We all know that we can’t be what we need to be outside of the infiltration of the Holy Spirit into our lives [and] allowing Jesus to live through us. This song is a happy little way of reminding folks just how important our walk is and the fact that it does talk louder than what our lips say.”

So…. Does your “walk” talk? It is saying something to those around you. And, when your walk does talk, what does it say?

How strong is your faith?

How close is your walk?

Do people desire to know your God?

Walk the walk, talk the talk.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Our Heavenly Father never differs from Himself, in other word He never changes. There is not an Old Testament God and a New Testament, one God. In coming to Him at any time we need not wonder whether we shall find Him in a receptive mood. He is always receptive to misery and need, as well as to love and faith. He does not keep office hours nor set aside periods when He will see no one. Neither does He change His mind about anything. God never changes moods or cools off in His affections or loses enthusiasm.

 

 

God will not compromise and He need not be coaxed. He cannot be persuaded to alter His Word nor talked into answering selfish prayer. In all our efforts to find God, to please Him, to commune with Him, we should remember that all change must be on our part. “I am the Lord, I change not.” We have but to meet His clearly stated terms, bring our lives into accord with His revealed will, and His infinite power will become instantly operative toward us in the manner set forth through the gospel in the Scriptures of truth.

 

 

“I am that I am,” says God, “I change not.” As the sailor locates his position on the sea by “shooting” the sun, so we may get our moral bearings by looking at God. We must begin with God.

 

 

Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image. The flesh whimpers against the rigor of God’s inexorable sentence and begs like for a little mercy, a little indulgence of its carnal ways. It is no use. We can get a right start only by accepting God as He is and learning to love Him for what He is. As we go on to know Him better we shall find it a source of unspeakable joy that God is just what He is.

 

 

How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none. Eternal years lie in His heart. For Him time does not pass, it remains; and those who are in Christ share with Him all the riches of limitless time and endless years. God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which He must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves. For those out of Christ, time is a devouring beast.

 

 

The Christian man possesses God’s own life and shares His infinitude with Him. In God there is life enough for all and time enough to enjoy it. His love is boundless.

If faith is the gaze of the heart at God, and if this gaze is but the raising of the inward eyes to meet the all-seeing eyes of God, then it follows that it is one of the easiest things possible to do. It would be like God to make the most vital thing easy and place it within the range of possibility for the weakest and poorest of us.

 

 

To know God is at once the easiest and the most difficult thing in the world. It is easy because the knowledge is not won by hard mental toil, but is something freely given. As sunlight falls on the open field, so the knowledge of the holy God is a free gift to men who are open to receive it. But this knowledge is difficult because there are conditions to be met and the obstinate nature of fallen man does not take kindly to them.

As you read your bible, keep saying to yourself, “I Believe Every Word”

 

 

If you have doubts about the bible please read “from God to us” by Geisler and Nix.

 

 

God Bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

Keep Lori in pray as she undergoes chemo.

 

Pray for those under great stress

 

Pray for Ron U, adopted, and now 49, meeting his bio mom on Friday.

 

huh?

March 3, 2017

HUH??

(today is the anniversary of my grandfather’s passing, so in honor of him, thank you for stepping in to be my dad)

 

 

SO MY GRANDFATHER WAS VERY HARD OF HEARING, AND EVERY SUNDAY WE WOULD GET DRESSED UP AND GO TO CHURCH; WE WOULD SIT ABOUT HALF WAY BACK ON THE RIGHT SIDE AND HE WOULD GO TO SLEEP AS SOON AS THE SERMON STARTED. IF HE DIDN’T SNORE OR THROW HIS HEAD BACK WITH HIS MOUTH WIDE OPEN GRANDMA WOULD LET HIM SLEEP.

 

 

WHEN WE GOT OUT TO THE CAR SHE WOULD ALWAYS ASK HIM; “WHY DO YOU ALWAYS FALL ASLEEP DURING THE SERMON”? HIS RESPONSE WAS ALWAYS THE SAME; ‘I CAN’T HEAR HIM’.

 

 

THEN MY GRANDMOTHER WOULD SAY, “WHY DON’T WE SIT UP FRONT THEY HAVE SPECIAL HEARING DEVICES IN THE FRONT LEFT PEWS AND YOU COULD HEAR THE SERMON”. FOR A MOMENT HE WOULDN’T ANSWER AND INEVITABLY SHE WOULD SAY, “WELL”.

AND THEN CAME HIS STANDARD RESPONSE, “I GO TO CHURCH BECAUSE YOU WANT ME TO, I DON’T NEED TO HEAR THE DAMN SERMONS AS WELL”.

 

 

I’D LAUGH AND GET THE LOOK.

 

 

IT WASN’T TILL YEARS AFTER HE DIED I FOUND OUT HE WAS RAISED IN A VERY STRICT (READ ULTRA) STRICT PENTECOSTAL HOME AND CONSTANTLY FOUGHT WITH HIS PARENTS ABOUT GOING TO CHURCH.

 

 

I CAME HOME ON LEAVE IN THE MILITARY WHEN I FOUND OUT HE WAS DYING OF CANCER, AND HE ACCEPTED THE LORD. I ASKED HIM WHY HE NEVER WANTED TO LISTEN TO OUR PREACHER, HIS COMMENT WAS,” I’VE HEARD ENOUGH SERMONS IN CHURCH AND AT HOME TO LIVE A LIFETIME”.

 

 

WELL NOW MY WIFE AND I ARE GETTING OLDER AND WE ARE LOSING OUR HEARING, AND OUR TWO MOST COMMON PHRASES ARE, “HUH” OR ‘WHAT DID YOU SAY’.

 

 

WHICH IS HILARIOUS BECAUSE WE USUALLY MISUNDERSTAND WHAT THE OTHER ONE SAYS AND COME UP WITH THE WRONG ANSWER TO THE QUESTION.

 

 

WHICH BRINGS ME TO OUR VERSE FOR TODAY;

 

PSALMS 135:17 They have ears, but cannot hear….

 

LET’S MAKE SURE WE DON’T GET SPIRITUALLY DEAF AND MISS OUT ON THE LORD SPEAKING TO US, IT CAN BE THROUGH HIS WORD, SONGS, FRIENDS, HECK IN THE OLD TESTAMENT EVEN A JACKASS SPOKE FOR THE LORD.

 

 

MY ADVICE LISTEN BETTER, LONGER, MORE OFTEN, WHICH BRINGS ME TO AN OLD CLICHÉ; “GOD GAVE US TWO EARS AND ONE MOUTH, WE SHOULD LISTEN MORE AND SPEAK LESS.”

GOD BLESS

 

 

REMEMBER SEND YOU PRAYER REQUESTS TO SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

 

 

AND WE ARE HAVING ANOTHER BIBLE GIVE AWAY. TELL US WHAT DEVOTION HAS REPOSTED THE MOST (REQUESTED).

 

 

 

ALSO HAS ANY ONE HEARD FROM MONOCHROMATIC?

 

holy prayers

February 17, 2017

praying mom

This is the third most asked question i

How can I learn to pray or how can I pray better

It just like sermon building, when you start with “Thus sayeth The Lord” its hard to go wrong, just like praying the Word of God, what you are doing is taking words that originated in the heart and mind of God and circulating them through your heart and mind back to God. By this means his words become the wings of your prayers.

 

You can’t go to far wrong with that. I say to far because you can take the verses our of context. That’s why good study bible like the “life application bible” will help you keep on track. Second I would add the one volume commentary by Matthew Henry. With those two resources you would be hard pressed to go the wrong way.

 

 

To pray the Bible, you simply go through the passage line by line, talking to God about whatever comes to mind as you read the text. See how easy that is? Anyone can do that.

 

 

And since faith comes from hearing the word of God, what better thing to do than read the bible out loud. So pray out loud, (it’s not just for Pentecostals you know).

pray about? Everything, right? The Bible tells us that in Philippians 4: 6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

We may bring “everything by prayer” to God. Everything is something we may pray about. Every person, every object, every issue, every circumstance, every fear, every situation— everything in the universe is something we may bring before God. So every thought that enters your mind as you are reading a passage pray about it.

 

 

I’m always amazed when older Christians will say “you’re not serious, everything?”

 

 

I always give the same example and they tell me I can’t be serious. What’s my example? Simple, you go to a grocery store and you pray, “Lord let me buy only what I truly need and nothing bad for me or spend more than I should.” (that means you don’t shop with a credit card, scandalous heh.)

 

 

God bless and take care.

 

Scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Prayer requests, questions, comments to the email address

 

Especially those that follow on twitter I almost never check my msgs there.

3,2,1, IGNITE

February 3, 2017

You are a special person. You are special because God says you are valuable to Him. He genuinely cares about you and what happens to you.

 

 

We are going to do something a bit different, I’m going to ask you to answer some questions and have you do some self discovery. Print these out and get your bible and learn about your unique relationship to God.

 

God created you.

God is present and knows you.

God loves you.

God adopted you into His family

 

 

BEGINNINGS. The most amazing ones flow from God’s cosmic plan and design. God Himself is infinite and amazing. Power. Knowledge. Creativity.

  1. The first chapter of the Bible tells us that God created the universe out of nothingness. Read Genesis 1:1-5 and list at least three things you notice concerning the Creation.

  1. Through what forces did God create the world? (Hebrews 11:3)

  1. Out of God’s infinite wisdom and capacity, He designed and created you. Why? (Isaiah 43:7)

  1. The dignity God gave human beings is shown by a persons uniqueness, authority, and purpose. List some ideas from Genesis 1:26-28 that indicate:

  2. The uniqueness of humankind

  1. The position or authority of humankind

  1. God’s purpose for humankind

  1. Do you like being part of God’s humankind? Why or why not?

  1. How do you respond to God as your Creator? (Revelation 4:11)

  1. In Psalm 139:1-8, David mentions several areas of his personal life that God has “searched and known.” List at least four of them. Then place a check mark by the areas you think God knows about your life.

Grace means there is nothing I can do to make God love me more, and nothing I can do to make God love me less. It means that I, even I who deserve the opposite, am invited to take my place at the table in God’s family.

—Philip Yancey,

What’s So Amazing About Grace?

  1. How did David respond as he realized that God knew him completely and that God is present everywhere? (Psalm 139:23-24)

  1. How do you feel about God’s detailed interest in you as revealed by Jesus? (Matthew 10:29-31)

  1. What was God’s greatest demonstration of His love? (1 John 4:9-10)

GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD…

WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM

shall not perishbut have

everlasting life

DEATH>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>LIFE

HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON JESUS

  1. Study John 3:16 in relationship to the previous illustration.

  2. What motivated God to sacrifice His Son for us?

  1. How can a person respond to Gods offer of eternal life?

Jesus offers himself as God’s doorway into the life that is truly life. Confidence in him leads us today, as in other times, to become his apprentices in eternal living. “Those who come through me will be safe,” he said. “They will go in and out and find all they need. I have come into their world that they may have life, and life to the limit.”

—Dallas Willard,

The Divine Conspiracy

  1. In John 10:9-16, Jesus uses metaphorical language by comparing His love and concern to the love and concern of a shepherd. According to this passage, what are some of the ways Jesus cares for us?

  1. Do you feel worthy to receive God’s love? Is receiving love easy for you? Why or why not?

  1. Do you think God requires you to be worthy of love or feel worthy of love before He loves you? Explain.

  1. How do you feel about addressing God as Jesus described in Matthew 6:9?

  1. Is it true that God is everyone’s Father? Why or why not? (John 8:42-44)

  1. How is one born into God’s family? (John 1:12-13)

The importance of the assurance of faith lies in the fact that, childlike, I cannot possibly love or serve God if I do not know whether he loves and acknowledges me as his child.

—Andrew Murray, The New Life

  1. From Romans 8:15-17 what are some blessings of being adopted as a true child of God? From these blessings circle the one that touches your heart most.

Finish this comparison:

Being born into God’s family is like…

  1. Describe briefly where you are in the journey of knowing God as your Father (Abba is a personal name for father).

It is important for you as a follower of Jesus to be assured that God is your Father and that you have eternal life. Although emotions are important in any relationship, they can change for many reasons. So our assurance of being in God’s family must ultimately depend on the word of God, who is trustworthy and keeps His promises. “I write these things to you who believe… that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

The following verses have helped many gain this assurance. Consider memorizing one of them to strengthen your assurance.

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12)

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

I sincerely helps new and young believers to grow and for the “been around long” group to get reignited

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

.

HEY JUDE!

January 25, 2017

 Jude verse 24;

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,

And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25To God our Savior,

Who alone is wise,

Be glory and majesty,

Dominion and power,

Both now and forever.

Amen.(NKJV)

 

 And now from the Amplified Bible (AMP)

 

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling or falling into sin, and to present you unblemished [blameless and faultless] in the presence of His glory with triumphant joy and unspeakable delight,

 

 

I’ve literally read the book of Jude about 15 times today. It’s been a long time since I’ve done any sermons from it. but the part I keep walking away with, buried deep in my heart is “He is able” and “He Alone”.

And even though you have days where you feel like a complete fool, and utter failure, in God’s eye we haven’t even stumbled, we are faultless through Christ. How often do we need to remind ourselves that we are washed whiter than snow and seen in His presence as complete, whole, redeemed, and not a failure.

 

 

Praise God that he is so merciful and kind to us stooges.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Marion, she is 23 and just committed her life to being a missionary.

 

Tim S, he confessed today that he is arrogant, willful and stubborn and the major source of all the conflict in his marriage. This is a huge step for his recovery and saving his marriage