who manages who

May 28, 2017

Firefighters know the danger of letting a fire get out of control. They are trained to respond quickly. You, too, must respond quickly to control the flames of anger before they consume your life and leave a smoldering ditch of destruction. “An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins” (PROVERBS 29:22).

 WHAT ARE THE DEGREES OF ANGER? Anger is an emotional agitation that occurs when a need or expectation is not met. Like heat, anger has many degrees, ranging from mild irritations to hot explosions. Indignation—simmering anger provoked by something unjust and often perceived as justified Wrath—burning anger accompanied by a desire to avenge Fury—fiery anger so fierce that it destroys common sense Rage—blazing anger resulting in loss of self-control, often to the extreme of violence and temporary insanity

WHAT ARE MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT ANGER? Is it a sin for a person to be angry? No, the initial feeling of anger is a God-given emotion. The way you express this emotion determines whether your anger becomes sin. Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger do not sin.” How can a person keep from feeling guilty when he is angry? Your anger is a signal that something is wrong. The purpose of the red warning light on a car dashboard is to propel you into action—to cause you to stop, evaluate, and do what is needed. For example, Jesus became angry at the hypocritical religious leaders who interpreted “resting on the Sabbath” to excess: “He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand’…and his hand was completely restored” (Mark 3:5).

WHAT ARE THE FOUR SOURCES OF ANGER?

Hurt—Your heart is wounded. Everyone has a God-given inner need for unconditional love. When you experience rejection or emotional pain of any kind, anger can become a protective wall that keeps people and pain away.

 Injustice—Your right is violated. Everyone has an inner moral code that produces a sense of right and wrong, fair and unfair, just and unjust. When you perceive that an injustice has occurred against you or others (especially those whom you love), you may feel angry. If you hold on to the offense, the unresolved anger can begin to make a home in your heart.

Fear—Your future is threatened. Everyone is created with a God-given inner need for security. When you begin to worry, feel threatened, or get angry because of a change in circumstances, you may be responding to fear. A fearful heart reveals a lack of trust in God’s perfect plan for your life.

Frustration—Your effort is unsuccessful. Everyone has a God-given need for significance. When your efforts are thwarted or do not meet your own personal expectations, your sense of significance can be threatened. Frustration over unmet expectations of yourself or of others is a major source of anger.

WHAT IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF ANGER? When we feel that our real or perceived rights have been violated, we can easily respond with anger.

 Wrong Belief: “Based on what I believe is fair, I have the right to be angry about my disappointments and to stay angry for as long as I feel like it. I have the right to express my anger in whatever way is natural for me.”

Right Belief: “Because the Lord is sovereign over me and I trust Him with my life, I have yielded my rights to Him. My human disappointments are now God’s appointments to increase my faith and develop His character in me. I choose to not be controlled by anger, but to use anger to motivate me to do whatever God wants me to do” (see 1 Peter 1:6-7).

HOW CAN PAST ANGER BE RESOLVED? Unresolved anger is a bed of hidden coals burning deep wounds into your relationships with God and with others. This powerful emotion robs your heart of peace and steals contentment from your spirit. So how is this anger resolved? Realize Your Anger — Willingly admit that you have unresolved anger. — Ask God to reveal any anger buried in your heart. — Seek to determine the primary reason(s) for your past anger. — Talk out your anger with God and with a friend or counselor. (Proverbs 21:2)

We need to remember that it is not a sin to get angry, it’s what we do while we are angry that is important. Good, godly responses are what important.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember all those on our prayer lists, especially Joe and his shoulder, a great deal of pain.

And Dave as his fights his 5th battle prostate cancer. He’s a brave guy.

 

  “Always guarded by the power of God through faith…. In such a hope keep on rejoicing, although for a little while you must be sorrow-stricken with various trials” (1 Peter 1:5, 6, Williams Translation, as you’ve guessed, my favorite New Testament Translation, although not as popular today as it was 40 years ago.).

  There are testimonies, and there are testimonies. Some can testify as to how God cleared up adverse circumstances for the victory; but others can testify to the triumph God gave in the midst of difficult circumstances. The essential consideration is that our Father be glorified in all His dealings with and for us. How He brings it all about should be secondary to us.

  “If there is a great trial in your life today, do not own it as a defeat, but continue, by faith, to claim the victory through Him who is able to make you more than conqueror, and a glorious triumph will soon be apparent. Let us learn that in all the hard places our Father brings us into, He is making opportunities for us to exercise such faith in Him as will bring about blessed results and greatly glorify His Name.”

  “God has put you in exactly the right crucible to burn up what He sees needs to be burnt up. Many think ‘victory’ means getting your circumstances put right. No! true triumph is within—when in the midst of your circumstances the Spirit of God can so energize you and strengthen you in spirit, that you can stand quiet in the thick of it all, and say, ‘God is God,’ and know that you are held by Him—which is infinitely better than all your trying to hold things steady.”

  “Therefore, my brethren . . . stand fast in the Lord” (Phil. 4:1).

God bless from scumlikeschurch@gmail.com

 

ALL OR NOTHING

May 21, 2017

All or Nothing

  “Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace” (2 Thess. 2:16).

  It has been well said that “it takes a lifetime to learn real dependence upon God, and to accept practically our own inadequacy.” We are going to learn this only through experience, and now is the time to settle down to this schooling—a day at a time.

We are to understand that God loves us, and that He justifies us by the work of His Son. We have no longer conscience of sins before God, because He Himself has taken them away before His eyes; we know that being united to the Lord Jesus Christ, who has fully glorified God in that which concerns our sins, we have been made the righteousness of God in Him. So the heart is free to enjoy His love in the presence of the Father.

I no longer attempt to produce that which will satisfy God from myself as originator. I know that even if I try I shall only fail. But I do seek to please God by faith in the activity of Another. The Son of God who indwells me by His Spirit is able and willing to carry out in me ‘those things that please Him’; and I count upon Him to do so. Consciously, day by day, I take the attitude that I trust Him to work the will of God in me, and in that attitude I go forward and serve Him. I do not trust myself. ‘I live by faith in the Son of God.’

  “Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work” (2 Thess. 2:17).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

KNOW FEAR

May 18, 2017

Know Fear

Yes, there has been much bad teaching about the Holy Spirit and yes the Charismatic/Pentecostal churches have probably done more harm than good. But one thing they did right was allowing genuine emotion to be a part of Christian Life. There is nothing worse than religion devoid of passion.

In my sober judgment the relation of the Spirit to the believer is the most vital question the church faces today.

Satan has opposed the doctrine of the Spirit-filled life about as bitterly as any other doctrine there is. He has confused it, opposed it, surrounded it with false notions and fears. He has blocked every effort of the Church of Christ to receive from the Father her divine and blood-bought patrimony. The Church has tragically neglected this great liberating truth—that there is now for the child of God a full and wonderful and completely satisfying anointing with the Holy Ghost.

The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people. There is nothing about the Holy Spirit queer or strange or eerie.

Unless you are convinced that it isn’t an added, unusual, extra, deluxe something that you have to go to God and beg and beat your fists on the chair to get, I recommend that you don’t do anything about it yet except to meditate upon the Scriptures bearing on this truth. You don’t have to persuade God at all. Dr. Simpson used to say, “Being filled with the Spirit is as easy as breathing; you can simply breathe out and breathe in.”

Before you can be filled with the Spirit you must desire to be filled. Are you sure that you want to be possessed by a Spirit other than your own? That Spirit, if He ever possesses you, will be the Lord of your Life! Do you want to hand the keys of your soul over to the Holy Spirit?

Again, are you sure that you need to be filled? Can’t you get along the way you are? But maybe you feel in your heart that you just can’t go on as you are. If you feel that there are levels of spirituality, mystic deeps and heights of spiritual communion, purity and power that you have never known, that there is fruit which you know you should bear and do not, victory which you know you should have and have not—I would say, “Come on,” because God has something for you.

Here is how to receive. First, present your body to Him (Rom. 12:1–2). God can’t fill what He can’t have. Now I ask you: Are you ready to present your body with all of its functions and all that it contains—your mind, your personality, your spirit, your love, your ambitions, your all? The second thing is to ask (Luke 11:9–11), and I set aside all theological objections to this text. He chooses to have us ask; so why not ask? Acts 5:32 tells us the third thing. God gives His Holy Spirit to them that obey Him. Simply live by the Scriptures as you understand them. Simple, but revolutionary. The next thing is, have faith. (Gal. 3:2) We receive Him by faith as we receive the Lord in salvation by faith. He comes as a gift of God to us in power. First He comes in some degree and measure when we are converted, otherwise we couldn’t be converted. But I am talking about something different now, an advance over that. I am talking about His coming and possessing the full body and mind and life and heart, taking the whole personality over, gently but directly and bluntly, making it His, so that we may become a habitation of God through the Spirit.

When the Spirit presents Christ to our inner vision it has an exhilarating effect on the soul much as wine has on the body. The Spirit-filled man may literally dwell in a state of spiritual fervor amounting to a mild and pure inebriation. God dwells in a state of perpetual enthusiasm. He pursues His labors always in a fulness of holy zeal.

The Holy Spirit came to carry the evidence of Christianity from the books of apologetics into the human heart. The Spirit of the living God brought an evidence that needed no logic; it went straight to the soul like a flash of silver light.

One blessed treasure we have missed is the right to possess the gifts of the Spirit as set forth in such fulness and clarity in the New Testament.

In their attitude toward the gifts of the Spirit Christians over the last few years have tended to divide themselves into three groups: those who magnify the gifts of the Spirit until they can see little else—those who deny that the gifts of the Spirit are intended for the Church in this period of her history—those who appear to be thoroughly bored with the whole thing and do not care to discuss it.

More recently we have become aware of another group—those who want to know the truth about the Spirit’s gifts and to experience whatever God has for them within the context of sound New Testament faith.

It is usually said that there are nine gifts of the Spirit. (I suppose because Paul lists nine in 1 Cor. 12.) Actually Paul mentions no less than seventeen (1 Cor. 12:4–11, 27–31; Rom. 12:3–8; Eph. 4:7–11). And these are not natural talents merely, but gifts imparted by the Holy Spirit to fit the believer for his place in the body of Christ. They are spiritual gifts.

For a generation certain evangelical teachers have told us that the gifts of the Spirit ceased at the death of the apostles or at the completion of the New Testament. This, of course, is a doctrine without a syllable of Biblical authority back of it. The result of this erroneous teaching is that spiritually gifted persons are ominously few among us. This frightening hour calls aloud for men with the gift of prophetic insight. Instead we have men who conduct surveys, polls and panel discussions. We need men with the gift of knowledge. In their place we have men with scholarship—nothing more. Thus, we may be preparing ourselves for the tragic hour when God may set us aside as so-called evangelicals and raise up another movement to keep New Testament Christianity alive in the earth.

The truth of the matter is that the Scriptures plainly imply the imperative of possessing the gifts of the Spirit. But I must also add a word of caution. The various spiritual gifts are not equally valuable, as Paul so carefully explains. Certain brethren have magnified one gift out of seventeen out of all proportion. Among these brethren there have been and are many godly souls, but the general moral results of this teaching have nevertheless not been good. In practice it has resulted in much shameless exhibitionism, a tendency to depend upon experiences instead of upon Christ and often a lack of ability to distinguish the works of the flesh from the operations of the Spirit. Those who deny that the gifts are for us today and those who insist upon making a hobby of one gift are both wrong, and we are all suffering the consequences of their error.

The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to restore the lost soul to intimate fellowship with God through the washing of regeneration. Gifts and power for service the Spirit surely desires to impart, but holiness and spiritual worship come first.

One obstacle to the reception of power is a widespread fear of our emotions wherever they touch the religious life. Feeling and faith are opposed to each other in modern teaching. This anti-emotionalism is nevertheless an unwarranted inference, not a Scriptural doctrine. Where in the Bible are feeling and faith said to be at odds? The fact is that faith engenders feeling as certainly as life engenders motion. Faith as a cold, unemotional light is wholly unknown in the Scriptures. The Book of Acts is almost hilarious with joy.

Another hindrance is fear of fanaticism. Instinctive revulsion from fleshly excesses and foolish undisciplined conduct on the part of some who profess lofty spiritual attainments has closed the door to a life of power for many of God’s true children. They have made the mistake of putting all teaching concerning the Holy Spirit in the same category. Such victims must be taught that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus, and is as gracious and beautiful as the Saviour Himself. The Holy Spirit is the cure for fanaticism, not the cause of it.

The doctrine of the Spirit as it relates to the believer has over the last half-century been shrouded in a mist such as lies upon a mountain in stormy weather. A world of confusion has surrounded this truth. This confusion has not come by accident. An enemy has done this. Satan knows that Spiritless evangelicalism is as deadly as Modernism or heresy, and he has done everything in his power to prevent us from enjoying our true Christian heritage.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

DO THE HARD PART

May 16, 2017

There are no secrets and there is no easy path.

Do the work, get the reward, that’s the only answer.

When we read or hear the words of Scripture, do we “pay the most careful attention” (Heb 2:1)? How often have you noticed that by the end of the week, you’ve forgotten the Bible reading you did only a few days earlier?

 Too often we attempt to build a framework for scriptural knowledge without first gathering the lumber and cement needed to create a solid foundation. To lay that groundwork check out this simple four-step process that could transform your life by, quite literally, changing your mind:

  1. Choose a book of the Bible.

  2. Read it in its entirety.

  3. Repeat step #2, 20 times.

  4. Repeat this process for all books of the Bible.

  The benefits of following this process will become obvious. By fully immersing yourself in the text, you’ll come to truly know the text. You’ll deepen your understanding of each book, as well as your knowledge of the Bible as a whole.

 This method is adapted from the book How to Master the English Bible by James M. Gray, so we’ll let him explain the benefits in his own words:

  The first practical help I ever received in the mastery of the English Bible was from a layman . . . One day I ventured to ask him how he had become possessed of the experience, when he replied, “By reading the epistle to the Ephesians.” . . . He had gone into the country to spend the Sabbath with his family on one occasion, taking with him a pocket copy of Ephesians, and in the afternoon, going out into the woods and lying down under a tree, he began to read it; he read it through at a single reading, and finding his interest aroused, read it through again in the same way, and, his interest increasing, again and again. I think he added that he read it some twelve or fifteen times, “and when I arose to go into the house,” said he, “I was in possession of Ephesians, or better yet, it was in possession of me, and I had been ‘lifted up to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,’ in an experimental sense in which that had not been true in me before, and will never cease to be true in me again.”

  Here are three suggestions for putting this reading plan into practice:

  1. Choose shorter books—Because you’ll be reading an entire book of the Bible and not just a chapter or two, you’ll want to choose books you feel are manageable. You might want to start with a short book that has only a few chapters that can be read several times in one sitting. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and help develop the reading habit. For example, a short book like John or Jude can be read four or five times in one sitting, allowing you to finish the entire 20 readings in less than a week. And then you always have the option to work your way up to more extensive readings.

  2. Read at your normal pace—Treating the material reverently does not require reading at a slower than normal speed. Read for comprehension, ignoring the division of chapters and verses and considering each book as one coherent unit.

  3. Stick with the process—After the eighth or ninth reading you’ll hit a wall similar to what runners face in marathons. The text will become dry and lose its flavor. You’ll want to move on to the next book or abandon the program altogether. Stick with it. Persevere and you’ll discover the treasures that repeated readings can provide.

  Keep in mind that not every book will be equally rewarding. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you if during one of your readings you find 2 John a bit redundant or Jude just plain boring. The Bible tells us “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching” (2Ti 3:16–17). Keep reading, and you’ll fully understand the truth of those verses.

The good news, it’s get easier and more exciting and more rewarding.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

overlooked?

May 14, 2017

Our new birth means that each one of us is a new creation in Christ, at which time the Comforter (The Holy Spirit) enters our spirit to abide forever (John 14:16). Spirit to spirit joined, we are “partakers of the divine nature.” At birth we are “babes in Christ,” but as we grow in Him we develop in likeness of life—thus glorifying the Son.

Thank God that we are new creatures, our legal identity has changed. Every single wrong that we’ve ever done is gone, forgiven, wiped away, and buried. When God looks at us He sees His Son, not the sinner.

The Apostle Paul called himself the chief of sinners. For some much is forgiven, some lives were more wrecked by sin than others. There should be a higher sense of the gift to those who were forgiven so much.

It seems as the devil spends more time harassing this type of believer. The memories are more painful, the nightmares worse.  Because of the damage we’ve done to others and ourselves we often believe his lies, that we are less than other believers.

We may struggle more than those who didn’t stain their souls to almost black. But the cure is the same for all. Simple trust in the love of God.

There are no second-class Christians.

Prayer requests at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com as well as comments to the email address please.

God bless

 

Hungry?

May 4, 2017

A Godly Appetite

  “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Ps. 107:8).

  Our Father gave us the hunger to be justified (John 6:44), and He gave us the hunger to be sanctified (Phil. 3:10). This same principle applies to our service, our sharing. He never pushed us, but drew us in loving kindness—and He would treat others likewise, through us.

If we are not living near the Lord Jesus and are not where we should be, we neither have an appetite for spiritual things, nor can we feed upon Him who is the living Bread. When God pours into you a hunger for your Beloved and begins to reveal your privileges in Him, rejoice with great joy and gratitude toward God. If He did not put into our hearts the longing to know Him better and to have His very best, we would be satisfied with the least we could have and be saved.

  “How wondrous are the working and drawings of God upon a human heart! How little do we behold Him or know that which He is doing, as day by day He works down in the depths of our beings. The most favored place a child of God can be in, is to continually feel the drawing of God urging and constraining him to a greater hunger for Him.”

  “God never gives anything till the soul is ready to receive it. When you are ready you will long and hunger for it.”

  “For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness” (Ps. 107:9).

Probably the best barometer of your spirit condition is how much you hunger for God and the things of God. No appetite, then worry, there is something in your life, in your mind, an inner kingdom, not yet turned over to God.

Consciously surrender to God and He will help.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

turn it up

April 18, 2017

Image result for picture of a mouth and a ear

Paul told Timothy to “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” (1Ti 4:13) That’s a passage about preaching,, “but it’s also a passage about just plain reading the Bible out loud.” Here are a number of practical reasons why reading the Bible aloud is a beneficial habit to adopt:

  ➤ Reading aloud is multisensory—Outside worship services, our engagement with Scripture tends to involve only one of our five senses—sight. When we add hearing to seeing, we stimulate different areas of our brain, providing a multisensory experience that can help us have a more meaningful experience with the Word of God.

 ➤ Reading aloud improves retention—When we read aloud, the words we speak are translated into speech, giving us two types of memories—the knowledge of producing the spoken words as well as the memory of hearing them. This makes our memory for the spoken word more distinct from the verses we read silently.

 ➤ Reading aloud slows us down—Our eyes and brains are faster than our mouths. When we read silently we see and process the words rapidly. Reading aloud forces us to read more slowly, which gives us more time to process what we’re reading and broadens our opportunity to hear God speak through Scripture.

  It is also valuable to read aloud to several individuals and groups. Here are some tips for making reading aloud part of your routine.

  ➤ You and your family—It might feel odd at first, but try reading aloud to yourself regularly during your individual Bible reading sessions. Or add reading aloud to your family night or family devotional time.

 ➤ Your church and small group—Most churches and small groups already include corporate Scripture reading into their services or meetings. If yours does not, talk to your worship or small group leader about adding regular readings to the program.

 ➤ The young and the old—Offer to read to children who might only hear about God during Sunday school class. Or perhaps volunteer to read to the elderly, who because of infirmity or advanced age might no longer be able to read the Bible for themselves. Every believer, whether young or old, benefits from being frequently engaged with Scripture.

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. The only time the bible says that “reading and hearing” the Word is a blessing. The implication is that of reading and hearing at the same time will bless.

If you can afford only one Commentary on the Bible get the one volume of Matthew Henry, here is a sample; “On all who read or hear the words of the prophecy, a blessing is pronounced. Those are well employed who search the Bible. It is not enough that we read and hear, but we must keep the things that are written, in our memories, in our minds, in our affections, and in practice, and we shall be blessed in the deed. Even the mysteries and difficulties of this book are united with discoveries of God, suited to impress the mind with awe, and to purify the soul of the reader, though he may not discern the prophetic meaning. No part of Scripture more fully states the gospel, and warns against the evil of sin.”

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

oh the humanity

January 27, 2017

Genesis Chapter 9

THE HUMAN RACE, HUMANITY AS A COMMODITY

God’s words to Noah were intended to remind him of man’s unique and dignified position. He spoke of a “special commission.” “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Gen. 9:1). Despite his awful fallenness, man was still to reproduce himself and fill the earth with his kind. God’s purposes still incorporated man and he was to do what only man could do. God had chosen not to eradicate man and had decided not to replace him with another order of created being. The commission to man still stood. Man was still in charge of the animal kingdom and the agent of the divine rule, but a new note had crept in. Under Adam’s rule there was no suggestion of tension between man and the animal kingdom. But for Noah there would be a difference—”And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth…. They are given into your hand” (v. 2). In addition man was given specific permission to eat flesh—”Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs” (v. 3). This may have been an implicit right before the Fall but it had not been stated explicitly. The relationship between man and animal was basically the same, but the differences were real.

God also spoke about “special creation” reminding Noah, “For in the image of God He made man” (v. 6). There was no dilution of man’s dignity at this point either, but the same note of caution was sounded. Man, made in God’s image, had shown himself capable of taking man’s life, and this was totally unacceptable to God. Man had to be protected from himself. “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed” (vv. 4-6). While these verses figure largely in debates on capital punishment it should be noted that they serve a broader purpose. They certainly have something to say about retribution but they are saying much more. If an animal killed a man, killing the animal could hardly be regarded as retribution but it was required! The eating of blood with the flesh was also regarded as unacceptable even though the taking of the life of the animal was permissible. This passage is speaking of the inestimable worth of lifeblood, whether human or animal but particularly human, because life itself is the gift of God and must not be abused.

Then God reminded Noah of the “special covenant” which He had introduced in response to the loving sacrifice at the time of disembarkation from the ark. It was described as “the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth” (v. 16). The extent of the covenant is seen in the use of “everlasting” and “all flesh,” and the fact that it originated with God and guaranteed that there would never again be a flood like that which mankind had just experienced. In addition the introduction of an unmistakable sign in the heavens—”I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth” (v. 13)—showed the depth of God’s concern for His covenant children. For God to speak in this way to mankind was yet another indication of the unique relationship which man, even in his fallenness, enjoyed not only with a Creator but also with a covenant God.

Man has always displayed an innate sense of his own worth. He resolutely insists on being treated properly and consistently speaks of his high view of himself. But man’s reasons for this sense of his own dignity have not always been valid. It is only in his relationship to God through creation, commission, and covenant that man has the right to regard himself as uniquely worthy of respect. It is only in terms of deity that man finds dignity.

It is at these same three points that the prostitution of human dignity takes place. The doctrine of special creation has been widely dismissed. The concept of a divinely imparted special commission has been diluted, and to a large extent the special covenant has been ignored.

The results of these attitudes are seen in “the cheapness of human life.” Despite the clear prohibition of Genesis 9:6, human history has been stained with the blood of violence’s victims, and the horrors of terrorism and visions of nuclear disaster do nothing to alleviate man’s nervousness. When the United Nations Organization was founded at the end of the Second World War, one of its objectives was to put an end to the strife and tension which lead to violence and bloodshed. Since that time over 100 million people have lost their lives in warfare not to mention other forms of violence. At any given moment there are over 200 wars going on this planet.

Another evidence of the loss of human dignity is “the casualness of human relationships.” God had introduced the wonderful principle of covenant and in so doing had not only shown his commitment to mankind but had also shown man how relationships based on covenant and commitment were to be normative. The breakdown in this area can readily be documented and the seeds of this breakdown can even be seen in Noah’s family. When Ham, one of Noah’s sons, was inadvertently confronted with Noah’s shame he apparently delighted in it, shared it with his brothers, and was roundly judged for it.

Respect for parents, the sanctity of marriage, and the cohesiveness of the family unit would rapidly deteriorate producing all manner of aberrations in human sociology and psychology not to mention spirituality.

Then there was “the corruptness of moral standards.” The sad story of Noah’s downfall is but the preliminary to innumerable sordid stories of human disintegration. “Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent” (vv. 20-21). What the Bible has to say on the subject of strong drink and drunkenness should be carefully studied because the impact of alcohol on human morals and the resultant fallout in heartbreak and death is well documented. That Noah’s sons, Shem and Japheth, instinctively recognized something was wrong about their father’s condition is shown by their respectful action, and the blessing they received is evidence enough that there is reward for those who hold a high view of human dignity and refuse to do anything to diminish it.

Noah’s patriarchal curse on Ham and blessing of Shem and Japheth were prophetic in that they predicted the relationships between the tribal descendants of the brothers. The subjugation of the Canaanite descendants of Ham has been used by some to justify slavery and racial discrimination, but it should be remembered that One was to come who would accept the curse of all men and even become “a servant of servants” in order that freedom from oppression and opportunity for fullness of life might be available to all people. Those who follow the Suffering Servant seek to alleviate suffering and to elevate the downtrodden to a place of dignity in His name.

There is no shortage of opportunities to promote human dignity because there is no shortage of attempts to abuse and denigrate God’s creation. Anyone who has sat and counseled a battered wife knows something of the anguish caused by a man who either has no respect for his spouse as a person, whatever her failings, or has so little respect for himself that he has capitulated his life to forces which serve only to destroy whatever self-respect he may have preserved.

Many people are outraged at the incidence of pornographic materials which employ children or humiliate women. The callousness of those who seek to profit from such traffic and the condition of those who allow themselves to be aroused by such material serve only to show how deeply fallen we are and how desperately concerned we should be to see the results of human fallenness reversed in the power of Christ. Racism and bigotry continue to raise their ugly heads and in so doing plunge their victims into increasingly unacceptable positions of oppression and indignity. The commitment of many of God’s people to alleviate the deprivation of the underprivileged and the suffering of the abused is the only appropriate response to an understanding of man’s inhumanity to man and the need to redress it in the name of the Lord.

BLESSINGS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

 

cough!

January 26, 2017

Image result for picture of a person coughing

I THESSALONIANS 5:17

PRAY WITH OUT CEASING,

A VERY MISUNDERSTOOD VERSE IN THE BIBLE AND ONE THAT OFTEN MAKES CHRISTIANS FEEL LIKE THEY ARE NOT LIVING UP TO THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.

THE WORD PHRASE “WITHOUT CEASING IS FROM THE GREEK WORD adialeiptos

WHICH IS ACTUALLY A WORD FOUND IN ANCIENT MANUSCRIPTS OFTEN AS A WORD USED IN PHARMACOLOGY. THE “A” IN FRONT OF THE WORD; “DIALEIPTOS” IS A NEGATIVE PREFIX. MANUSCRIPTS HAVE BEEN FOUND IN REFERENCE TO THIS WORD AND WAS USED TO DESCRIBE A REMEDY FOR COUGHING.

SO THE CORRECT WORD USAGE OF THE PHRASE ‘WITHOUT CEASING’; WOULD MEAN PROLONG THE INTERVALS BETWEEN COUGHING. BUT IN PAUL’S CASE BY PUTTING THE NEGATIVE “A” HE REALLY MEANS; LESSEN THE INTERVALS.

SO PRAYING WITH OUT CEASING REALLY MEANS; LESSEN THE INTERVALS BETWEEN PRAYER.

WHEW, WHAT A RELIEF. NOW I KNOW THAT I’M NOT FAILING THE LORD BY SUPPOSEDLY PRAYING ALL THE TIME.

NOW I JUST HAVE TO WORK ON MAKING SURE I PRAY IN REGULAR INTERVALS, WITH THE INTERVALS GETTING SHORTER.

MY BURDEN TO PERFORM SPIRITUAL GYMNASTICS JUST GOT LIGHTER.

IT’S ALL GOOD NEWS, WHEW!

BLESSINGS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM