ONLY THE RIGHT WAY

June 24, 2018

OK, WORDPRESS IS ACTING WEIRD AND THIS MAY GET POSTED TWICE IN ONE DAY.

WARNING THIS POST CONTAINS ADULT SEXUAL LANGUAGE OF A VERY FRANK NATURE, PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED OR LEGALISTIC

THE APOSTLE PAUL SAID THERE ARE THINGS SO SHAMEFUL WE SHOULD NOT TALK ABOUT THEM. I DON’T THINK I’VE CROSSED THAT LINE BUT IT MAY BE CLOSE. I MEAN NO HARM AND DON’T WANT TO OFFEND SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

FIRST A QUOTE FROM A MOVIE, IT’S NOT FROM THE BIBLE BUT IT WILL KICK OFF THE DISCUSSION. ‘YOU WILL NEVER KNOW THE POWER OF LOVE UNTIL YOU COMPLETELY SURRENDER TO IT.’ (I DON’T REMEMBER THE MOVIE BUT IT’S STILL A GOOD LINE)

WOMEN HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE BY GIVING BIRTH, MEN HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL WIVES WHO ARE FULFILLED AND HAPPY BY BEING MEN WHO LOVE THEIR WIVES MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE ON THIS EARTH.

SO HERE’S WHERE WE GET INTO A SENSITIVE AREA, SEX; IF YOU WANT TO BLESS YOUR WIFE PRACTICE GODLY SEX.  THAT MEANS NOT FORCING YOUR WIFE TO HAVE SEX WHILE ON HER PERIOD ( BECAUSE YOU THINK SHE HAS TO SUBMIT AND THIS PROVES SHE’S A GODLY WOMAN) REALLY, IF YOU ARE THAT KIND OF HUSBAND AND YOU WERE STANDING HERE IN FRONT OF ME I’D PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE. (GODLY COUNSELING DOESN’T SEEM TO WORK )

ONE THE BIBLE SAYS YOUR NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE SEX DURING THIS TIME. HEY HOW ABOUT THAT, GOD KNOWS WHAT SCIENCE HAS PROVED. THE UTERINE WALLS OF A WOMAN ARE WEAKER DURING THIS TIME AND IT CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS. AND REALLY YOU HAVE TO FORCE YOUR WIFE TO PROVE SHE’S SUBMISSIVE, THAT ONE IS GOING TO BACK FIRE IN YOUR FACE.

PLEASE DON’T READ ANY FARTHER IF YOU ARE REALLY SENSITIVE.

ANAL SEX, IT’S WRONG, DON’T CARE WHAT SEX IN CITY SAYS, SEX BOOKS, PORN, ITS WRONG, IT GOES AGAINST BIOLOGY AND IT GOES AGAINST THE BIBLE; I DON’T CARE IF YOUR PARTNER EVEN LIKES IT; GOD IS STILL GOD EVEN IN THE BEDROOM. YES YOU CAN PRACTICE HOLINESS EVEN IN THE MARRIAGE BED AND THE BIBLE DOES NOT SAY THE MARRIAGE BED IS UNDEFILED AND ANYTHING GOES. IT SAYS WE ARE TO MAKE THE MARRIAGE BED UNDEFILED. GOD DOES NOT CONDONE ‘FREAKINESS’ IN THE BEDROOM OF A CHRISTIAN COUPLE.

I BRING THIS UP BECAUSE I HAVE SEEN THE DAMAGE THIS ATTITUDE AND THE DAMAGE IT CAN WREAK IN A CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE.

A WOMAN WAS BEING ABUSED BY THE ABOVE IN A CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE. THE MAN DIDN’T RESPOND TO COUNSELING. SO SHE DECIDED TO POISON HIM. NOT TO DEATH JUST ENOUGH TO MAKE HIM SICK TO HIS STOMACH AND HE WOULDN’T FEEL LIKE HAVING SEX AND SHE WOULD BE SAFE AND SOUND.

THE AMOUNT OF GUILT SHE RACKED UP WAS GIVING HER MIGRAINES, EVENTUALLY SHE INSISTED THEY GO BACK TO COUNSELING AND UNDER THE THREAT OF DIVORCE AND OTHER THINGS LIKE HER FAMILY HUNTING HIM DOWN. CONVINCED THIS MAN TO STOP ABUSING HER. AFTER SIX YEARS OF COUNSELING AND BEING SUBMISSIVE TO THE PASTOR, HE STRAIGHTENED UP.

I’M HAPPY TO SAY THEY ARE STILL MARRIED, AND HE DID STOP, BUT HOW CAN CHRISTIAN MEN BE SO WRONG, AND YET BELIEVE THEY ARE SERVING THE LORD AND DOING NO HARM. IT’S A LIE AND THUS THE DEVOTION FOR TODAY MAY BE UNPLEASANT AND EVEN MAKE SOME MEN ANGRY, YET IT IS NEEDED IN OUR VERY POLLUTED CHRISTIAN HOMES AND MARRIAGES.

REMEMBER MEN, THE APOSTLE PAUL ALSO SAID WE ARE TO SUBMIT TO OUR WIVES AS WELL; PLEASE BE GODLY MEN, EVEN IN THE BEDROOM.

GOD BLESS. From scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

the tongue

June 15, 2018

full custody

The best devotion I’ve ever read on taming the tongue was in the late 70’s and it was written by Christian song writer Keith Green, if I can find that devotion I will post it for you, until then…..

Taming is a process by which a wild beast is subdued into adapting and submitting to human control. As James notes, “all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind” (Jas 3:7). But despite mankind’s success in taming the animal kingdom, there is one wild thing, James says, that we haven’t been able to subdue and adapt: “No human can tame the tongue” (v.8).

 While we might never fully tame our tongues, with God’s help we can learn to use our words in a manner that is increasingly more edifying and Christlike.

 In what way does your tongue most often get you in trouble? Look over the following list of verses that address how we are to use our words. Choose two or three verses to memorize and reflect on daily:

 Watch what you say and speak only after careful consideration.

  “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin” (Pr 13:3).

   “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity” (Pr 21:23).

  Sometimes the most becoming speech is silence.

  “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues” (Pr 17:28).

  Seek first to understand what someone is saying before attempting to respond.

  “To answer before listening—that is folly and shame” (Pr 18:13).

  Be slow to speak your mind.

  “Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them” (Pr 29:20).

  Be wary of making trivial or casual remarks that reflect ungodly attitudes.

  “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken” (Mt 12:36).

  Avoid obscenities, profanities and blasphemy; instead, speak words that build up others.

  “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph 4:29).

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

I’ve run this devotional before, but we have to practice what we preach, and unfortunately, I didn’t. I said something to someone close to me in what I thought was clearly a joking manner. They didn’t. I didn’t know their feelings were hurt until a little later. Because it took a week to apologize it only added fuel to the fire.

So there are no excuses for bad behavior. Ever. So the tongue will make you  fall. Keep a tight reign on it.

 

BOW THE KNEE

June 14, 2018

BOW THE KNEE

You may think I live in a cave, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard this song. What a great song.

Ron Hamilton

What a privilege to come into God’s presence,
Just to linger with the One who set me free.
As I lift my eyes and see His awesome glory,
I remember who He is and bow the knee.

Bow the knee, bow the knee,
He is King of all the ages, bow the knee!
God alone on His throne,
See Him high and lifted up and bow the knee!
Kneel before Him, all adore Him.
As you live to love Him more, bow the knee.

In His hand He holds the power of creation.
With His voice He spoke, and all things came to be.
Yet He hears each simple prayer I bring before Him
When I humbly seek His face and bow the knee.

Bow the knee, bow the knee,
He is King of all the ages, bow the knee!
God alone on His throne,
See Him high and lifted up and bow the knee!
Kneel before Him, all adore Him.
As you live to love Him more, bow the knee.

  “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19).

  Personal knowledge of and fellowship with our risen Lord Jesus is counter-balanced by personal knowledge of and fellowship in the death of the Cross. The principle of balance prevents our slipping past the Cross and pushing into His presence.

  “Where do you dwell? ‘Come and see. They came. . . and abode with Him’ (John 1:39). The highest satisfaction He can have is that we should be at home with Himself. He has removed the distance from His own side.

  “If you believe that, you say, I will approach Him. That is one thing. The next thing is, His love is so great He delights to have your company. It is not that you will feel yourself out of place there—you will be there in all the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Our Father delights in having us with Himself. Love yearns to satisfy itself about me. It is not only that I can go in, but a much greater thing—my Father, in all His majesty and glory, can come out! All is equipoised. Not only have I entree, but I am shaped to the grandeur of the scene, conformed to the glory of God. Not admitted like a stranger, but changed into the same image; not to equality but similarity; transformed into moral correspondence.

  “If we are not with Him where He is, we cannot be for Him where He is not. We must be inside the veil to be outside the camp.”

  “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:22).

 

YOU LITTLE ACORN

June 4, 2018

Called to Die

“That I may know Him. . . being made conformable unto His death” (Phil. 3:10).

The life that emerges from death is administered by a loving, nail-pierced hand.

If you follow this devotional sight at all, hopefully you notice its most predominant theme; “the growing Christian.”

We were never called to a stale or inactive life, yet the biblical theme for the growing Christian is death. We grow by dying to self, we conquer sin by ‘reckoning’ ourselves crucified with him.

As with the seed that is buried once for all, but then disintegrated through a gradual process that sets free the new life, even so does our Father deal with our old nature by delivering it to death with the Lord Jesus once for all, and then bringing about its mortifying in detail through the circumstances of daily life, until the power of the old man has lost its hold on us.

“We are going to have to learn death in order to know life. Redemption must be known first, and the ultimate effect will be death to sin, to selfishness; and all this is very trying. One might be tempted to say, All this trial comes upon me because I have not been redeemed. Not so; it is just because you are redeemed. We may seek to avoid the bitter waters of Marah, but our Father will bring us to them. He intends to break down what is of the old man, and then, in His own good time, He will pour in that which sweetens all.

But because God has brought me to Himself, He is putting His finger on everything that hinders complete dependence upon Him, or my soul’s full enjoyment of Himself. So count it not strange, though it be a fiery trial which is to try you; for the Father will have you drink of the very thing (death) that redeemed you.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5).

God bless from scumlikuschurch@gmail.com

 

REVIRGINIZATION

June 1, 2018

WELL AFTER YESTERDAYS DEVOTION THIS MAKES PERFECT SENSE

It sounds ridiculous. Become a virgin again? Why not ask to relive last week? Yet if you’ve had sex, you may be saying, “I’ve asked for forgiveness. Now please tell me how to answer people who want to know whether or not I’m a virgin.”

Maybe the best answer to the question, “Are you a virgin?” is “None of your business.” But what do you tell yourself? If you want to start over, is it possible? Can you be a virgin again?

A man once posed a similar question to Jesus: “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” (John 3:4) Jesus answered by talking about a second, spiritual birth. “Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven” (John 3:6).

You can lose your physical virginity just once. If you did it, you did it. You can’t get that first time back again. And the past carries with it physical and emotional consequences. If memories have been etched on your brain, you can’t pretend they’re gone. But spiritually, it is quite possible to start all over again.

Spiritual rebirth doesn’t destroy the past. It transforms it. A second chance, spiritually, means there are no limitations to what you can become. The God who made the universe out of nothing can take your past and make from it something beautiful.

The apostle Paul talked about this transformation when he wrote to a group of Christians in Greece. They had plenty in their past to regret. But because they trusted Jesus to redeem them, the past had been transformed:

Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshippers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers-none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

How do you begin that kind of transformation? You can’t manage it on your own. You need God’s power and forgiveness. And where do you find that? You ask for it. Spiritual transformation begins as simply and as mysteriously as that. You ask, admitting your need. And God goes to work in your life.

So when you’ve stopped having sex and asked for forgiveness, can you call yourself a virgin? Perhaps you are no longer a virgin in the physical sense. But because you have been purified by God, you are virgin in his eyes. That may not clear up your reputation or your memory. But it does clear up your future with God. You are as good as new.

Once you’ve experienced God’s forgiveness, you’ll still have to deal with the leftovers of your past, like guilt.

Feelings of guilt are your internal, emotional response. They aren’t always reliable. What we call a guilty conscience is often a mixture of feelings: regret, loss, sadness, self-reproach. These are natural feelings for someone who’s been heavily, emotionally involved in a sexual relationship.

The sense of guilt won’t instantly change. Like other natural consequences-pregnancy, disease, or painful memories-feelings don’t necessarily disappear when God transforms your life. But their sting is taken away. So, even though you may still feel guilty, it’s vital to know that, as far as God’s concerned, you’re not guilty. That’s the truth of

1 John 1:9, where God promises to forgive us and cleanse us when we confess our sins to him. And that’s the truth of Jeremiah 31:34, where God promises to forget your sins … forever.

Jesus didn’t die on the cross to take away your feelings. He died to take away your sins. Cleansed of sin, you can work on transforming your feelings into a useful tool for God’s service. They need not lead you downward. Transformed, they can give you compassion for the pain of other people. They can give you deep determination not to go wrong again.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Joey S, kidney stones

Pray for Dave I, 4 time treating prostate cancer

Samantha R, that she carries her baby to full term

 

Stick, Stuck, Stunk

May 31, 2018

THE BAND-AID THEORY

Ok it goes like this, you are a band-aid, you are in the box, in your wrapper and you are brand new.

You are a virgin, so let’s say you have your first sexual encounter, you are not in the box (protected) and you have lost your wrapper. And when you have your next sexual experience you have to peel yourself off the other band-aid; and you get stuck to the next one.

As time goes by and your sexual experiences with other people increase two things happen, less adhesiveness , and what level of sexual experience you had with the last person you will bring into the next relationship. Date a freak, have sex, become a freak, share that with someone else.

Hear the sucking sound, its your life, if you are fortunate to only have one sexual encounter with one person and it is there only encounter and you get married or are married you can see the power of the adhesiveness. But the more experiences the less ability to stick.

With our sick level of attention to sex, where little 8 year old girls look like hookers and the rate of under 12 pregnancies increase, children raping other children we are heading ( no we are already there) living in the exact age where God annihilated nations for worshipping sex.

So to you virgins, keep the wrapper on, to those who have lost their wrapper, practice celibacy, don’t go to that last level of sex you had with your last relationship.

Act like a virgin, practice purity, abstain from lustful practices, stop watching, reading viewing anything related to sex.

From your elder brother in the Lord.

God bless

scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

pray for Vickie, as she battles breast cancer

pray for Walter, he dipped his toe in the dark side in the early days of his divorce. Now his wife wants to get back together and he’s going to have to tell her about certain things, (and no, he doesn’t have a choice).

Pray for Geraldine, she waited till she was 43 to get married, had saved her virtue, gave her heart totally to a man, dated (courted) two years. God married, had a storybook wedding. 9 years later he’s in prison, she’s lost everything and is having a spiritual breakdown.

 

FREE, FREE, FREE

May 23, 2018

I’m going to share the greatest spiritual secret there is, after salvation.

Cursed by wrong thinking?

Plagued by dark thoughts?

Constantly nagged by guilt?

Troubled by bouts of depression?

Suicidal thoughts, crowding in?

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FILL YOUR HEART WITH SCRIPTURE.

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Seriously, if scripture fills your heart, it will stop cursing, swearing, irregular lifestyle choices. 100% organic, pure, full strength.

If what’s on your mind is God, bad thoughts banished, stop lust dead in it’s track.

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Try Bible memorization free, 30 day proof of a changed life.

Call 1-800-try Jesus (seriously don’t call that number I have no idea who will answer).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

The path to peace

May 16, 2018

Yield_Sign_in_New_Hampshire

“Let the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Col. 3:15).

  Peace does not, and cannot, exist in the fallen Adamic life; and as long as the old man reigns within, there is going to be turmoil both within and without. The path of the Cross is alone the path of peace.

  The moment came when the Lord Jesus could say, ‘Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you’ (John 14:27). This could only be on the ground of His death, for the man in Adam could never give up his will: to do so would be to give up his very existence. But the death of the Lord Jesus is—judicially, and for faith—the end of that man, and the Christian walking in the Spirit owns him no more.

  The believer can thus, and only thus, have freedom from the tyranny of sin as he reckons (having faith)himself to have died unto sin, and to be alive unto God as one ‘alive from the dead.’ He presents his body a living sacrifice unto God, and proves what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Thus walking, the peace of the Lord Jesus becomes an experiential reality in the heart of the believer. Thank God! we are no longer linked with the fallen Adam, and the Holy Spirit has placed us in union with Christ risen and glorified.

 The more clearly we enter, by faith, into objective truth, or what is true of us in the Lord Jesus, the deeper, more experiential and practical will be the Spirit’s subjective work in us, and the more complete will be the manifestation of the moral effect in our life and character.

  “Both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one” (Heb. 2:11).

It saddens me that our pulpits are deaf and dumb to the teaching of ‘reckoning’ oneself as crucified. We can memorize the verses but it needs to be taught more rightly about the crucified life. That we need to put ourselves on the cross daily and give no power to sin in our lives.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Matthew, picked up a parasite from a trip to Costa Rica

Pray for Greg W, threes years of intense IBS, some days like today totally crippling.

Put off, Put on

May 13, 2018

Putting Off the Old and Putting On the New

(Ephesians 4:22-24)

This is the end of our series on this passage in Ephesians. And this last devotional is a little long, you may want to print it out. Blessings

22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

In the first verses of Ephesians chapter 2, Paul described the unbeliever as being subject to the world, the flesh, and the devil. In most instances, the devil exercises control over lost men by means of the external pressure of the world and corresponding internal inclinations of the flesh. In Ephesians 4:17-19 Paul has instructed the Christian to turn from the corrupting influences of the world in which we live (our culture). Now, in verses 22-24, Paul turns to the subject of our flesh, urging us to put off the “old man” and to put on the new.

I understand Paul to refer to the flesh as our “old self,” or as the marginal note in the NASB indicates, our “old man.” In Romans chapter 8 this “old self” would be synonymous with the “mind set on the flesh” (Romans 8:6-7). The “new self” would be our new “inner man” (Romans 7:22; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Ephesians 3:16), the “mind set on the Spirit” (Romans 8:6).

Beginning at verse 25, Paul will specifically identify those attitudes and actions which we should “put off” and those which should be “put on” in their place. But here Paul is dealing with our manner of life in principle, in general terms. Our fleshly behavior is the outgrowth, the expression, of our inner fleshly nature, just as Christian conduct is the outgrowth and expression of the inner man, created and empowered by the Holy Spirit:

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:16-24).

Paul persists in emphasizing the continuity between our conversion to Christ and our conduct in Christ, which should be evident in our manner of life.

1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:1-14).

6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, (Colossians 2:6).

In Christ, our old man has been crucified, put to death. In our daily conduct, we should crucify the flesh daily, and put aside the conduct which springs forth from fleshly desires. In Christ we were made alive, raised from the dead and seated with Him in the heavenlies (see Ephesians 2:5-6). We should therefore walk in newness of life, manifesting the work of the Spirit of God in and through us. It is by His power that we are both motivated and enabled to live in a way that pleases God:

1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.… 10 And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. (Romans 8:1-4, 10-11)

20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20).

This expression, “lusts of deceit” is somewhat puzzling as to its precise meaning. What we can be sure of is that there is a direct relationship between “lust” and “deceit.” I believe it is safe to say that “lust” is “deceitful,” and also to say that “deceit” is “lustful.” Lust is deceitful in that it does not produce what it seems to promise. Lust promises pleasure, but it ultimately produces death (see Romans 6:15-23, especially verse 21). Deceit is lustful in that it never seems to be satisfied, it always wants more victims (see Proverbs 1:10-19).

Jesus warned of the danger of attempting to remove evil, rather than replacing it (see Luke 11:26). Paul’s words indicate that our old nature and its deeds are not merely to be rejected, they are to be replaced. We must “put off” the old man and at the same time “put on” the new. While the old nature is continually being corrupted by the lusts of deceit, the new nature is renewing us, in accordance with the nature of God and His righteousness and truth. The old nature is being corrupted, the new is being renewed. The old is deceitful, the new deals in truth. The old is sinful, the new is righteous. The old is driven by lusts, the new by the character and purposes of God.

Conclusion

Christ did not save us in order that we may live any way that we choose. He saved us to live godly lives, and thus to live in a way that is radically different from our lifestyle as unbelievers. Our conduct, as Paul has indicated in verse 1 of chapter 4 is to conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of our calling in Christ.

The conduct which God requires of Christians should not come as a surprise to them after they have been saved. The gospel, as preached by John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles, called men to repentance as well as to faith in Christ. Men were required to turn from their sin to Christ, and it was clear that this meant a new way of life. The “gospel” of our day is not so clearly stated. It is as though we fear that men will be receive Christ if they know what is involved. The irony is that the gospel, the true gospel, is the power of God unto salvation. The more we seek to rid the gospel of its unappealing aspects (from the unbeliever’s point of view) the more we rob it of its power. We then rely more on our cleverness and deceit than on the power of the Holy Spirit to convince and convert lost sinners. When we share our faith, let us tell it like it is.

This text, and those which follow in Ephesians, make it clear that while salvation and sanctification are the work of God, they require man’s response. God is sovereign in the salvation and spiritual growth of those whom He has chosen. He also ordained that men are to be informed of the gospel and of God’s standards of conduct, and that we are to act in obedience to His commands, not in our own strength, but in that which He supplies. Let us not leave this text with a passive view of our spiritual life. God has made every provision for our sanctification, and we are to obediently make use of them, for His glory and for our good.

It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of the truths conveyed in the passage before us. While the verses which follow it will spell out specific conduct which befits the Christian, this text speaks of the basis for our conduct in general terms. It is our commitment to the general exhortations of this passage which will greatly affect our compliance with the commands that follow.

The Christian lifestyle will not be lived out by those with a pagan mindset. It is the Christian mindset of our text which works itself out in the conduct which befits our calling in Christ. Allow me to point out some of the inferences of Paul’s teaching in our text and its implications in our practical daily living.

Our pagan culture believes that the past is the key to the present. What we think and how we act, we are told, is the result of our past. It is only by understanding our past that we can live as we should in the present. In other words, the past controls the present.

The Bible reverses this. Paul teaches us that our thinking and conduct in the past was the outworking of our unregenerate thinking. Paul insists that we refuse to allow our past to control us in the present. Instead, Paul teaches us that what we now are, in Christ, is what should override and overrule our past thinking and behavior. What we now are in Christ should cause us to put away what we once thought and did as unbelievers. Our past should not be resurrected, analyzed and dwelled upon, it should be buried in an unmarked grave. It is not what we were that matters, but what we are. Let us ponder what we are, in Christ, and not what we were without Him.

In our culture, what you believe seems to have taken second place to how you feel. The sensitive, intelligent, and probing thing to ask these days is, “How do you feel about that?” Paul would rather have us focus on what we believe. What we feel is often a far cry from what is true, and even from what we believe. Faith, as I understand it, calls upon men to act on the truth God has revealed in His Word, not on how we feel. Abraham did not “feel” like leaving his homeland and relatives to go to an unnamed place, but he obeyed God. Neither did he feel like offering up his son, Isaac, but he was willing to obey. Our Lord did not feel like going to the cross of Calvary, but He obeyed the will of His Father. Let us act on what we know to be the truth as revealed in the Word of God, more than on how we happen to feel. As a rule, faith acts on the facts of God’s Word and disregards our feelings.

If the renewing of our minds is so vital to our Christian life, how is it done? The Bible is not a book of formulas, but I would like to focus your attention on one key element: the Word of God. When a person wants to learn a foreign language, what is the most effective way to do so? It is to enter into that culture and language and become saturated with it. This is how our children learn to talk and to think as we do. If we would desire to have our minds renewed, then we must find God’s thoughts and immerse ourselves in them. His thoughts have been incarnated in Christ, the Living Word, and recorded in the Bible, His inspired written Word.

I dare say that most Christians spend more time in front of their television sets, radios, magazines, and books than they do in their Bibles. Even many Christian stations and publications contain much that is secular thinking sprinkled with a smattering of spiritual jargon. If we would think God’s thoughts after Him, we will find them only in His Word. Let us become so saturated with His Word that we begin to reflect His ways, His values, His goals, His methods. This is the renewing of the mind which Paul calls for.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Heavenly thinking

April 27, 2018

In the past two years, as I’ve watched people I love die, I’ve thought a lot about that mysterious, distant place called heaven. Within the blessed fellowship of my spiritual community, we’ve buried parents, siblings, friends. We’ve walked through the grass of cemeteries, sat in quiet funeral rooms and breathed the scent of flowers and the smell only a funeral home can produce wafting off the wood-grained lids of coffins. We have stood tearful on this side of heaven, while those we love have stepped onto the other side into glory we can only try to imagine.

Sorrow and pain have pointed our hearts toward heaven.

For us post-modernists, it usually takes such an experience with intense sadness and death to make us think about life beyond the here and now. For most of us, only great losses turn our thoughts away from our obsession with making for ourselves a heaven here on earth; only deep piercing grief causes us to contemplate the end of our days.

It hasn’t always been so.

In early Christian thinking, meditating on the hereafter was a common practice. It was considered a valuable, worthwhile exercise to not only examine life but also to contemplate death.

Richard Foster wrote, “The notion of reflecting on our own demise is actually an ancient spiritual discipline.”

You don’t have to look very far into classic Christian writings to discover how true that is.

Blaise Pascal was a brilliant seventeenth-century mathematician. He often was ridiculed by his intellectual peers for shifting his genius from mathematics to theology and apologetics. But nothing mattered more to Pascal than pursuing God, getting to know Him, and experiencing an ever-deepening intimacy with Christ.

His life was short—he lived only thirty-eight years, but he was a man consumed with love for God. Listen in as he prays, “…Grant then that I may so anticipate my death that I may find mercy hereafter in your sight.”

Teresa of Avila lived a century before Pascal, and her writings still vibrate with her longing for heaven. “O my delight, Lord of all created things and my God! How long must I wait to see you?”

Madame Guyon, writing to a dying friend, said, “I feel my loss, but I am very happy for you. I could envy you. Death helps to draw away the veil that hides infinite wonders.”

John Donne wrote that it is our job to make a home in this world while remembering that home is not here.

This is a challenge to us modern Christians, isn’t it? We aren’t in the habit of “anticipating” our death. We believe in heaven; we just don’t give it much thought.

How much time during the day do you actually contemplate heaven, your salvation, your Lord and Savior, your walk with Christ. Unless you’re a seminary student or pastor or have learned the discipline of daily devotions; it is to long a pause in between times.

You’ve heard the quote; “18 inches between your heart and brain, the longest journey ever.”

How far is it then to heavenly thoughts?

Make the journey more often.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com