SEXUAL PURITY PART FIVE

January 11, 2019

32ec6-raisins

Words are tremendously powerful. In fact, Proverbs 18:21 says, “The power of life and death is in the tongue.”

Words spoken over a person’s life has the ability to direct him—drawing him into a good and wise direction or an evil direction. It can build a person up or destroy him. If one sits under godly parents who faithfully teach God’s Word and attend a good church that teaches the Truth, the “power of the tongue” will help direct him into what is good. But if one sits under ungodly teaching and ungodly conversations, it will affect his life negatively. This is especially true when it comes to sexual immorality.

Adrian Rogers sermon today had a quote that fits right in, he was quoting a famous football legend that is a great Christian who does a lot of prison ministry. The quote was made while in a prison speaking to about 100 men. “How many of you did your father say you would probably end up in jail.” The majority of the men raised their hands.

No doubt, one of Satan’s greatest tactics is to influence people sexually through the music industry. Much of today’s songs are full of sexual overtones and graphic language. Some of it is essentially lyrical pornography—meant to control and guide people away from God and into sexual strongholds.

Sadly, many Christians fall prey to this tactic of the devil. They listen to ungodly, sexually charged music all day, then wonder why they can’t control their lust and don’t desire to read the Bible. The tongue is directing their lives—leading them away from God into lusts.

Psalm 1:1 says this: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers” (ESV). Some have called this the pathway of depravity. A person starts off listening to the “counsel” of the wicked, then he is standing in the way of sinners—practicing the same thing sinners do, and then they are in the seat of scoffers. Biblically, “scoffer” or “fool” is used of those who mock holy things. Psalm 14:1 says the fool says in his heart that there is no God. First, these people were just listening. Maybe like some Christians who listen to ungodly music, they say, “I only like it because of the beat; I don’t even listen to the lyrics.” The next thing you know, they are practicing sin, and one day they are mocking God and the practice of holiness. Satan led these poor souls astray by simply getting a hold of their ears.

In the same way, many raised in Christian homes with godly morals, such as waiting to have sex until marriage, are now sexually promiscuous just like the world. And it all started with the wrong counsel—sexually charged musical lyrics, sexual dialogue from movies, and sexually flirtatious conversations. Now, instead of following God, they mock what is holy and practice the sexual ethics of the world.

Who is speaking into your ears, and what are they saying? Are your conversations with friends full of sexual jokes and innuendo? Are your TV shows and movies promoting casual sex? If so, you won’t be able to remain pure.

Paul said this in Ephesians 5:3: “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”

He said that there should not even be a “hint” of sexual immorality in our lives. Many desire to be pure but their mouths and the mouths of those they listen to are full of sexual hints that eventually bear fruit in their lives.

Are you guarding your ears? Satan keeps many Christians in bondage to lust by flooding their ears with sexual garbage.

Lord, help us to take out the garbage so we can be clean.

Reflection

In what ways does the enemy flood sexual temptation into our ears?

How have you seen or experienced the power of words, especially sexual words, in guiding one’s life?

How is God calling you to better guard your ears?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember our prayer list.

Caliste Burt, brain surgery next week

Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression

Remember Richard Perales Jr. he’s kind of slipped up this month. He needs salvation.

SEXUAL PURITY PART FOUR

January 10, 2019

binoculars

The next strategy in our battle for purity is guarding our eyes. Jesus said this, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is good your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness” (Matthew 6:22-23).

What did Christ mean by the whole body being filled with light or darkness based on one’s eye? In Scripture, light typically refers to what is righteous, good, and true, and darkness refers to what is evil, bad, and perverse (cf. Ephesians 5:9). To have a good eye means for a person to continually view what is godly, and therefore, a bad eye refers to continually viewing what is ungodly. Though the context of this passage is riches, it can refer to being filled with anything that is good or bad.

The eyes are a doorway to the mind and whatever one’s mind continually thinks upon, a person will eventually do. If a person is going to be pure, he must be intentional about guarding his eyes. This will affect the types of movies watched, books read, and Internet sites visited. It will also affect how one looks at the opposite sex. For many, when they view the opposite sex, it is hard to not view them from a sexual standpoint. Their eyes continually trigger lustful thoughts and intentions, and if not combated, these eventually trigger lustful actions.

When a person views what is good or evil, it begins to “fill” them. To be filled means to be controlled by. In Ephesians 5:18, believers are called to be filled with the Spirit—controlled by it. When one is full of darkness, it means they are controlled by evil. In reference to lust, a person’s lust can become out of control, even leading to tragic acts such as sexual harassment, rape, molestation, etc.

Sexual abuse statistics are frightening! One out of three American women will be sexually abused during their lifetime. One out of four women and one out of six men will be sexually assaulted by the age of eighteen.i Four out of five sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.ii Why is sexual abuse so pervasive and overwhelming? No doubt, it in part has to do with the increased access to erotic material in books, on TV, and on the Internet. The result of people viewing these materials is that eventually they can’t control themselves—they are filled and controlled by the darkness their eyes continually engage in.

Conversely, a person whose eyes are continually engaging with the Word of God and godly things will be controlled by them. Fruits of the Spirit will be born in their lives—love, joy, peace, and self-control.

What are you filled with? Are you filling yourself with light which creates righteousness or darkness which creates uncontrollable, evil urges?

How can we practically guard our eyes?

Bouncing Our Eyes

Let’s consider what Job said about disciplining his eyes. In Job 31:1, he said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” In order to remain pure, Job guarded his eyes from looking at a woman lustfully. This was his continual discipline.

Some have called this “bouncing” one’s eyes. When seeing an attractive female, instead of cultivating lustful thoughts and intentions, a man quickly bounces his eyes to something else. When seeing seductive images on the TV or the Internet, instead of taking a second look, one bounces his eyes by turning the channel or closing the webpage. I had a professor in seminary who used to say; “the first look is free, the second look is sin, so make the first look fast.”

I remember one time in seminary seeing a young lady who was very attractive. I closed my eyes and prayed to God: “Lord, that woman is sooooo attractive—she will never get a second look from these eyes.” This was the type of discipline Job implemented, and it is the type of discipline we must implement as well if we are going be pure. Remember Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to “learn” how to control their bodies in a way that is holy and honorable (1 Thess 4:4). No doubt, “bouncing” their eyes in a sexually charged culture was one of those disciplines.

How else can we guard our eyes?

Praying Over Our Eyes

Another discipline we should practice is prayer. David, a man who struggled with lust and pornography, often prayed over his eyes. In Psalm 119:37, he prayed this: “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.”

He prayed for God to turn his eyes from the darkness of what is worthless to the light of God’s Word. Whatever we practice becomes a habit. If we’ve practiced sizing up members of the opposite sex and looking at alluring images, then we will need even more grace to break those habits. Prayer is one of the ways that God changes our eyes from being dark to light.

Lord, turn our eyes from what is worthless to what is good.

Reflection

Why is it so hard to guard our eyes in this culture?

How is your struggle with your eyes? In what ways is God calling you to better guard them?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Gwen, financial difficulties.

Pray for Caliste Burt, upcoming brain surgery, anxiety is weighing heavy on them

Pray of Bill Warneke, depression and chronic pain

Pray for Paul K, depression

GENUINE SAVING FAITH

December 22, 2018

crown of thorns

MANY YEARS AGO I ASKED A CONGREGATION TO CLOSE THEIR EYES AND THEN RAISE THERE HANDS IF THEY THOUGHT THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO CHRIST WAS A FAILURE. I WAS SHOCKED SEE SO MANY HANDS GET RAISED.

HOW COULD THIS BE, I KNEW THE PASTOR AND HE WAS A SOUND, BIBLICAL TEACHING PASTOR. AFTER THE SERVICE I SHARED THE RESULTS OF THIS NON SCIENTIFIC SURVEY. HIS ONLY CLUE WAS THAT HAD “INHERITED” THIS CONGREGATION, THEY CAME WITH THE CHURCH AND AS A NEW PASTOR HE WASN’T SURE WHAT THE REAL SITUATION OF THIS CONGREGATION REALLY WAS.

I WAS BEING INTERVIEWED AT THE TIME BY DR. JAMES KENNEDY TO COME TO CORAL RIDGE CHURCH AND BE ON HIS MINISTRY TEAM; HE ASKED ME IF I EVER READ HIS BOOK; “EVANGELISM EXPLOSION” (ANOTHER GREAT BOOK I RECOMMEND) I TOLD HIM I HAD STUDIED IT BOTH AT BIBLE COLLEGE AND SEMINARY, HE SAID; ASK EVERYBODY SEPARATELY AND PRIVATELY THE ‘DIAGNOSTIC QUESTION’

SO THE PASTOR AND I DECIDED THAT WE WOULD START WITH THOSE WHO RAISED THERE HANDS THAT HELD SOME SORT OF POSITION AT THE CHURCH EVEN IF IT MEANT THEY WERE A JANITOR.

THE RESULTS WERE STAGGERING, HERE IS THE DIAGNOSTIC QUESTION; “IF YOU WERE TO DIE TONIGHT AND STAND IN FRONT OF JESUS CHRIST AND HE ASKED YOU ‘WHY SHOULD I LET YOU IN TO MY HEAVEN’ WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?”

I’M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU THE CORRECT ANSWER I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU ALL THE WRONG ANSWERS; KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS WAS A FUNDAMENTAL, EVANGELICAL, HOLINESS KIND OF CHURCH.

THE MOST COMMON ANSWER WAS, “I TRY TO DO GOOD, KEEP THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND BE KIND TO EVERYONE” (WRONG ANSWER) BUT THIS WAS GIVEN BY 75% OF THOSE THAT HAD RAISED THEIR HANDS.

NEXT COMMON ANSWER,(FROM MEN) “I’VE NEVER CHEATED ON MY WIFE, WE GO TO CHURCH, AND I DON’T CHEAT ON MY TAXES, OH, YEAH AND I’VE NEVER HIT MY WIFE EITHER.” (WRONG ANSWER)

MOST COMMON ANSWER FROM MARRIED WOMEN; “I’M FAITHFUL TO MY HUSBAND, I READ MY BIBLE AND I TRY TO BE AND NICE TO EVERYONE, AND I KEEP THE GOLDEN RULE (WRONG ANSWER)

NEXT MOST COMMON, “I READ MY BIBLE, AND PRAY, COME TO CHURCH, TITHE, TAKE COMMUNION AND I ALWAYS TRY TO HELP EVERYONE I MEET” (WRONG ANSWER)

THE NEXT SUNDAY MY SERMON WAS ON “WHY DID YOU MAKE JESUS YOUR LORD, AGAIN A PRIVATE SESSION WITH THOSE THAT ORIGINALLY RAISED THEIR HANDS.

MOST COMMON ANSWER FROM WOMEN; “WELL THE PASTOR GAVE AN ALTAR CALL AND SAID IF I WANTED GOD TO SAVE MY FAMILY, MY CHILDREN FROM HELL I NEEDED TO COME DOWN TO ALTAR AND GET SAVED (WRONG REASON)

MOST COMMON ANSWER FROM MEN; “I STRUGGLE WITH YOU KNOW TEMPTATIONS AND ONE NIGHT THE PASTOR GAVE AN ALTAR CALL AND SAID TO COME DOWN AND ACCEPT JESUS AND CONQUEROR IMPURE THOUGHTS.” (WRONG REASON)

THE MOST COMMON TO EITHER SEX WAS THIS RESPONSE AND I LATER FOUND OUT IN THIS PARTICULAR DENOMINATION THAT THEY FIGURED 77% OF MOST OF THEIR FLOCK CAME DOWN TO THE ALTAR AFTER THIS PARTICULAR KIND OF SERMON, AND THE FOLLOWING ALTAR CALL, “IF YOU WANT TO NOT BE LEFT BEHIND, WHEN THE RAPTURE HAPPENS AND GO THROUGH THE TRIBULATION, TAKE THE MARK OF THE BEAST ETC. COME ON DOWN.” (DEFINITELY THE WRONG REASON)

NO WONDER SO MANY OF THESE PEOPLE FELT LIKE THEY WERE HAVING MORE PROBLEMS THAN OTHERS. THEY WERE NICE, FRIENDLY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE BUT HAD NOT HAD A GENUINE ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS AS THE ONLY WAY TO BE FORGIVEN OF SINS, AND THAT THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN THEIR LIFE WAS THEY NEVER KNEW THAT SIN SEPARATED THEM FROM GOD, AND JESUS WAS NOT A MARRIAGE COUNSELOR, OR A BANKER, OR LOTTERY TICKET, OR A SUGAR DADDY, OR AN ESCAPE CLAUSE FROM CALAMITY, THEY HAD NEVER BEEN INTRODUCED TO ONE FACT, ALL HAVE SINNED AND MISSED THE MARK AND WERE DESTINED TO HELL, AND FACT #2, JESUS WOULD FORGIVE THEM IF THEY WOULD ADMIT THEY COULDN’T GET INTO HEAVEN WITH OUT ACCEPTING THE FACT THERE WASN’T ONE THING THEY COULD DO TO BE BETTER OR WORTHY AND THAT ONLY CHRIST WAS WORTHY AND ABLE AND WILLING TO FORGIVE ALL THEIR SINS AND THAT HE ALONE WAS THE ONLY REASON THEY COULD GET INTO HEAVEN.

I’M GLAD TO REPORT THAT WE MET WITH EACH PERSON THAT GAVE AN INCORRECT ANSWER AND INTRODUCED THEM TO THE LIVING SON OF GOD AND EACH AND EVERYONE UNDERSTOOD AND STARTED A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST AS LORD, AND SAVIOR AND THAT THEIR SINS WERE FORGIVEN AND THAT THEY COULD NOW ANSWER THAT DIAGNOSTIC QUESTION, WHY SHOULD I LET YOU INTO MY HEAVEN, “BECAUSE YOU LOVE ME LORD AND FORGAVE ME ALL MY SINS AND WASHED ME CLEAN WITH TOTAL FORGIVENESS AND ONLY BY YOUR GRACE AND I’M SAVED.

 

SO ARE YOU REALLY A CHRISTIAN?  

IN THE VERY FIRST DEVOTION I EXPLAINED WHY I WAS NAMING THE CHURCH “SCUM LIKE US” FOR THOSE THAT FELT LIKE THEY WERE WATCHING ALL THE OTHERS BUT NOT BEING A PART OF THE CHURCH, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE WAS HAPPY AND FITTING IN, HAD JOY AND THEY DIDN’T. OTHERS WERE TALKING ABOUT BEING VICTORIOUS AND CONQUERORS AND RUNNING THE RACE AND SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND ALL THIS OTHER STUFF.

AND YOU FELT LIKE A SQUARE PEG IN A ROUND HOLE, MAYBE JUST MAYBE YOU’VE NEVER MET THE REAL JESUS, JUST THE CHURCH.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE AND THERE IS A POWER TO BE HAD BY MEETING JESUS REAL AND UP CLOSE AND NOT PLAYING CHURCH IF YOU THINK THIS MIGHT BE YOU EMAIL ME AT SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM AND LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO SOMEONE WONDERFUL.

 HHHMMMMMMMMMMM, MAYBE THE 80/20 RULE ABOUT THE PEOPLE IN CHURCH APPLIES, AH, I’M JUST MESSING WITH YOU. RIGHT?

REMEMBER VICKIE P, CERVICAL CANCER AT AGE 27

PRAY FOR THE PERALES FAMILY, NORMA, VIC AND RICK (SR. AND JR.)

PRAY FOR EMILY, HER HUSBAND IS 40’ISH AND HAS HEART PROBLEMS SINCE BIRTH, PLUS HE HAS SOME OTHER MENTAL ISSUES, SHE HAS SEVERE HEALTH PROBLEMS AND THEY ADOPTED A VERY TROUBLED YOUNG TEEN. WELL THE GIRL STARTED OUT ALL NICE AND SWEET AND NOW SHE’S “CHUCKY’. PRAY FOR THEM ALL.

REMEMBER OLIVIA IN PRAYER, GOING TO FULL TERM WITH HER BABY.

AND CALISTE BURT, BRAIN TUMORS. THEY ARE DOING SURGERY January 4TH.

PRAY FOR CRISTINA AND TODD, NEED SALVATION.

FIG LEAVES

December 21, 2018

thinking over feeling

We get right with God when we’ve sinned by confession and by submission to God’s dealings with us.

I realize that the ideas of confession and submission probably strike some of you as basic, perhaps even as boring. But before you tune out, I would point out that most spiritual failure involves a violation of some basic spiritual principle. In my years of pastoral experience, I have often mistakenly assumed that a person was applying the basics of Christian living. But quite often that is not the case, even with people who have been Christians for years. Thus we all can profit by studying this portion of God’s Word which shows how David got right with God after he had done wrong.

  1. We get right with God when we’ve sinned, by confession of our sin.

To understand confession, we must first look at …

  1. WHAT CONFESSION IS NOT: COVERING OUR SIN.

Since Adam and Eve fell into sin, there has been the innate tendency in the human heart to attempt to cover our sin. Sin results in guilt and estrangement from God and from our fellow man. Our sin embarrasses us and so we try, as Adam and Eve did, to put our fig leaves in place to cover our sin. There are various types of “fig leaves” that we use in our attempts to hide our sin from God and from one another:

(1) Deception and lying. David tried this first. He brought Bathsheba’s husband Uriah home from the battle and tried to get him to have relations with his wife so that the child would appear to be his. The human heart “is more deceitful than all else” (Jer. 17:9). So almost invariably when there is major sin, there is also deceit and lying.

(2) Being judgmental of others. The person who covers instead of confesses his sin is often judgmental of the same or even lesser sins in others. Note David’s harsh reaction to the rich man in Nathan’s parable (12:5-6). The law of Moses did prescribe four-fold restitution for the sheep (Exod. 22:1), but not the death of the one who took it. Certainly taking the man’s pet lamb was a crime, but it was nothing compared to David’s crime of taking a man’s wife. David’s harsh condemnation was a fig leaf to cover up his own wrong. If Nathan had not known better, he would have thought, “My, how zealous David is against evil!”

(3) Attacking the one who confronts us. David did not do this with Nathan, probably because Nathan was so shrewd in the way he got David to condemn himself. But if Nathan had been more direct, who knows but what David would have said, “Who are you to condemn me? You’re just a legalist, Nathan!”

Even though David didn’t yet realize it, the rich man in Nathan’s parable confronted David. David’s angry response was to attack the man: “He deserves to die.” We sometimes attack our confronter by applying the law to him but not to ourselves. If a man who stole a lamb deserves to die, what about an adulterer and murderer? “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye (Matt. 7:5).

So, the one being confronted often attacks the confronter, rather than facing his own sin. Two brief applications:

(a) If you find yourself getting angry and attacking the person who confronts you with your sin, it should serve as a warning that there may be some truth to the charges.

(b) If you go to confront someone in their sin, be prepared to bear the brunt of their anger. Recognize it for what it is–a fig leaf–and don’t take it personally. A fourth fig leaf:

(4) Rationalizing our sin. David did this when he sent word to Joab, “… the sword devours one as well as another” (11:25). In other words, “That’s the way it goes! We’re not responsible for such mishaps.” We rationalize when we make up excuses to absolve us of responsibility for our sin. Our whole criminal justice system has bought heavily into this mentality. Everyone is a victim, but no one seems to be responsible for his actions: “It’s just the way I am!” “I had a tough childhood!” “If you had been through what I’ve been through, you’d understand why I behave like I do!” A fifth fig leaf:

(5) Blaming others or God. David did not use this one, as far as the text reveals, but I include it because it’s so common. Adam blamed Eve and the Lord who gave Eve to him; Eve blamed the serpent. And we’ve all been in the blame game ever since. David could have blamed Bathsheba for bathing in a visible location. He could have blamed God for giving him such a strong sex drive. But if you’re blaming, you’re not confessing. Whatever fig leaf we use, covering our sin is not confessing it.

  1. WHAT CONFESSION IS: ADMITTING AND EXPOSING OUR SIN.

David confesses his sin in 12:13: “I have sinned against the Lord.” In Psalm 32:5 (written after David’s confession, to extol the blessings of God’s forgiveness), David wrote, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’” The word “confess” used in that verse means to make known or declare. God’s method is not to hide sin, but to expose it. Thus to confess our sin means to admit and expose it openly before God and usually to those we have wronged.

For confession of sin to be genuine, three elements must be present:

(1) Accepting full responsibility for my sin. “I have sinned.” David didn’t say, “We all mess up once in a while,” or “What do you expect when a red-blooded man sees a gorgeous, willing woman?” David admitted his own responsibility for it and he called it what it was–sin. As long as we shrug off sin or see ourselves as a victim of circumstances, we are not accepting responsibility for our sin.

(2) Agreeing with God concerning my sin. This means that I see my sin as God sees it. It is primarily “against the Lord.” Sin is despising God and His Word (12:9, 10). God sees sin as serious enough to separate us from His holy presence. That’s why He took the drastic solution of sending His Son to die for our sin. I need to see how my sin has wronged the holy God above all others. Just as God sees it as evil (11:27), so must I. Agreeing with God means that I must turn from it.

But if we stopped there, we would all be afraid to confess our sins. We would want to run from God rather than run to Him.

(3) Applying the blood to my sin. “The Lord also has taken away your sin” (12:13). Only God can forgive our sin, and that only on the basis of the shed blood of Christ: “Without shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22). Living under the Old Covenant, David’s forgiveness was based on what the sacrificial system pointed forward to. Living under the New Covenant, our forgiveness is based on the finished work of Christ on the cross, where He paid the penalty for all our sins.

All of your sin is forgiven at the moment you put your trust in Christ as Savior. God has once and for all reconciled you to Himself through the cross. But when you sin subsequent to salvation, in order to experience God’s forgiveness and to enjoy fellowship with Him, you must apply the blood of Christ by confessing your sin. It’s best to keep short accounts with God. The instant you’re aware of sin, whether in thought, word, or deed, turn from it and confess it to Him and you will enjoy renewed cleansing and communion with our holy and gracious Father.

But confession is only part of the matter. Many people don’t understand God’s holy opposition to all sin. So they expect there to be no consequences once they’ve confessed their sin. But if our confession is genuine, we will submit to God and His dealings with us:

  1. We get right with God when we’ve sinned by submission to God’s dealings with us.

The fact is, even though God forgives our sin, He does not erase all the consequences. He often deals severely with us after we’ve sinned in order to vindicate His own righteousness and to impress upon us the seriousness of what we did. God dealt very severely with David in the immediate death of his newborn son and long-range through multiple family problems. The genuineness of David’s confession is seen in the fact that he submitted to God’s dealings with him and never shook his fist in God’s face. If we’re defiant, thinking that God has no right to treat us so severely, we haven’t truly confessed. There were two broad areas in which David submitted and where we must submit in the aftermath of our sin:

  1. WE MUST SUBMIT TO THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.

From our human perspective, we would think that God would have tried to cover David’s sin from public view. After all, this was the man after God’s own heart. This was God’s anointed king over His chosen people. It makes God look bad if the word leaks out that God’s man had done such a thing.

But God’s way is not to cover sin, but to expose it. C. H. Mackintosh writes, “He will prove to every spectator that He has no fellowship with evil, by the judgment which He executes in the midst of His people” (Miscellaneous Writings [Loizeaux Brothers], VI, 169). God must vindicate His holiness. That means that when we sin, God will make it clear to the angels and principalities, to the world and the church, that He has no part in our sin and that He is not involved in our iniquity.

It would be erroneous to conclude that all affliction is the immediate result of our sin; but it would be equally erroneous to assume that none of it is. God uses affliction to vindicate His righteousness, and we must submit to Him in the matter. In Psalm 51:4 David writes, “Against You, You only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.” David wasn’t angry with God for His righteous dealings with him after his sin.

  1. WE MUST SUBMIT TO THE LAW OF SOWING AND REAPING.

Just as God must vindicate His righteousness, so He must impress upon us and upon the world the gravity of sin. He does this through the law of sowing and reaping, stated in Galatians 6:7-8: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.”

I remind you that the law of sowing and reaping occurs in Galatians, the epistle written to defend God’s grace, and thus it is consistent with God’s grace and applies to those under grace. It is God’s gracious, although sometimes severe, means of impressing upon us and others the serious nature of our sin. It is seen when a loving parent, whose teenager irresponsibly crashes the family car, forgives the boy and fellowship is restored. But to teach him the serious responsibility of driving a car, the parent restricts the boy’s driving privilege and requires him to work off the repair bill. There is forgiveness and fellowship, but there are consequences to teach an important lesson.

The crucial question is: How do you respond when God deals with you in the aftermath of your sin? Do you shake your fist in God’s face and exclaim, “It’s not fair!”? Do you pout and say, “See if I ever serve God again”? Note David’s response (12:19-23). His infant son had died. But instead of maligning God, David worshiped Him! He submitted to God’s dealings with him. He said in effect, “You are God; Your ways are right. If my affliction can vindicate Your holiness and can be used to impress upon others the serious nature of sin, so be it! I submit to Your dealings with me.”

Conclusion

A little boy visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot. He had great fun playing with it in the woods. He would take aim and let the stone fly, but he never hit a thing. Then, on his way home for lunch, he cut through the backyard and saw Grandmother’s pet duck. He took aim and let the stone fly. It went straight to the mark and, to his horror, the duck fell dead. The boy panicked. In desperation, he took the dead duck and hid it in the woodpile.

Then he saw his sister Sally standing by the corner of the house. She had seen the whole thing. They went into lunch. Sally said nothing. After lunch Grandmother said, “Okay Sally, let’s clear the table and wash the dishes.” Sally said, “Oh, Grandmother, Johnny said he wanted to help you in the kitchen today. Didn’t you, Johnny!” And then she whispered to him, “Remember the duck.” So Johnny did the dishes. Later in the day Grandfather called the children to go fishing. Grandmother said, “I’m sorry, but Sally can’t go. She has to stay here and help me clean the house and get supper.” Sally smiled and said, “That’s all been taken care of. Johnny said he wanted to help today, didn’t you, Johnny?” And then she whispered, “Remember the duck.”

This went on for several days. Johnny did all the chores, his and those assigned to Sally. Finally, he could stand it no longer, so he went to his grandmother and confessed all. She took him in her arms and said, “I know, Johnny. I was standing at the kitchen window and I saw the whole thing. And because I love you, I forgave you. And knowing that I loved you and would always forgive you, I wondered just how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.”

If we don’t confess our sin, we become slaves to our guilt. But there’s no need to do that. The Lord is gracious and compassionate, ready to forgive our sin. In His righteousness, He may deal with us severely even after He has forgiven us. But we can trust that He always has our ultimate good in mind (Rom. 8:28). So we can submit to Him and worship Him, even when He sends affliction into our lives.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please remember Caliste Burt in your prayers, 3 brain tumors, a young Christian wife and mother, they have agreed to hold off on the surgery until after New Year’s day unless something symptomatic happens.

Pray for Olivia, that she goes to full term, it’s a miracle she ever got pregnant, it’s a miracle all the medication she is on hasn’t harmed the baby, her husband is a submariner and will be home Christmas day, that is a miracle.

Remember Barbara D, besides the cancer, she fell and fractured 4 vertebrae and torn a ligament in her hip.

Pray for Mona R, that she finds a house and her husband is able to join her.

This Ground

December 4, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

We have a really long prayer list today

Pray Andrea and Todd, finances

Karey P, salvation

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

Richard Perales, SR and Jr. salvation

Stan R, stomach cancer

Sherrie, our prodigal girl

Paul C our prodigal guy

Mel L, Parkinson

Charmaine, alcoholism

Randy H, finances

Terry K, sever arthritis

Larry D, dementia

Sally H, burn out, emotionally, mentally, everyway

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

Virginia Mc. Wants to go home to Jesus.

Matt W, severe upper respiratory infection

Whew. Forgive me if I forgot any one.

Stay my soul on Him

November 30, 2018

Resurrection-Doubting-Thomas

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18). For the last two months, I’ve been really trying to live up to this verse, easy in theory, tougher in reality.

  Relief from pressure may seem merciful, but support in the pressure produces growth and maturity.

There is a greater blessing for us than relief; there is the Father’s support, for it imparts to you an acquaintance with Himself which relief does not. Relief makes one more satisfied with things here. I have known some who could tell you of a long list of mercies, most touching, truly proof of the tenderness of God.

Thank God, we all know something of His tenderness. But then there is a greater blessing, namely, that He does not remove the pressure, but raises you above it, so that, though you are not relieved, you are better off than if you were merely relieved, because you know His heart who supports you in the pressure. You have made a deep acquaintance with your Father, and your heart is more attached to Him.

 It is not getting away from our circumstances, our environment, our associations, that we need, but the need for our Lord Jesus’ likeness where we are. The Father placed us there, permitted the trials for a purpose, and He stands ready to bring us out into a life of liberty, if we will stand with Him in trust and endurance while He works it out.”

Have you asked to be made like your Lord; that it might be ‘not I, but Christ’? Have you longed for the fruit of the Spirit, and have you prayed for patience and love? Then fear not the stormy tempest that is at this moment sweeping through your life. A blessing is in the storm, and there will be a rich blessing in the ‘afterward.’

  “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:27).

Steady on, stay the course, there are plenty of slogans of that ilk, but they pale to the bible verses God lays in our heart in the darkest hour of the soul.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Richard Perales, dad and son, great changes have come into their lives, pray the see the hand of God.

Pray for Karey P, that she sees the need for salvation and that Jesus is the only way.

Pray for Xonia, recovering from a hernia surgery. She’s doing better than anyone expected.

Pray for Steve L, dealing with his mom’s downward spiral.

Pray for all the families we know that have been touched by dementia.

THE PATTERN OF PRAYER

November 23, 2018

Prayer for our Lord proceeded out of a basic attitude of deep dependence that resulted in a very intimate fellowship that He always had with the Father because, from the standpoint of His humanity, He was totally convinced He could do nothing of own resources. It is this that undoubtedly brought deep conviction and longing in the lives of the disciples. They came to recognize that, while they could be believers in the Lord, they could not be true disciples who became like their teacher (Luke 6:40) unless they learned to pray to the Father like the Lord Jesus in the intimacy and dependency that He constantly demonstrated.

This incorporates one of the basic principles that governed the life of the Savior. In John 5:19 Christ said, “the Son can do nothing of Himself.” Then, in John 8:28-29 and 14:10 He repeated the principle. The principle should be obvious for us. For Jesus Christ, prayer was a way of life, an absolute necessity: it was a means of communion with the Father and the means of bringing the power of God the Father to bear on the humanity of Jesus Christ moment by moment. We see this in Matthew 12:18 and 28.

Note that for the most part, it appears the Lord performed His works and spoke His words by the power of God the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit whom the Father had given Him. Though God of very God Himself, Jesus generally did not perform His works independently of the Father nor the Spirit’s leading (Acts 2:22). It was the Father working through Jesus, the man.

As we study the life of Christ in the gospels, we note a consistent pattern:

(1) In the midst of a busy schedule, when men were clamoring in their need for His attention, Christ retired to pray and to draw upon the resources of God the Father for He knew that “the Son can do nothing of Himself” (Mark 1:32-37).

(2) When it was time to choose the disciples we don’t find Christ reviewing the qualifications of each of the disciples. Rather we find Him retiring to pray. This is clear in Mark 3:13 and Luke 6:12-13. Why? Because “the Son can do nothing of Himself.” He needed the direction and provision of the Father.

(3) When Jesus stood at the tomb of Lazarus He raised His eyes heavenward in dependence and thanksgiving for what the Father was about to do (John 11:40-42). The actual prayer of Christ is not given, only the fact of His dependence, thanksgiving, and confidence that His prayer had been heard. The words of verses 41 and 42 imply, however, that not only did He pray to the Father, but that He wanted all those standing around to know it as well that they might learn the secret of dependence. This teaches us that when performing miracles, though not always heard by men, Jesus the man was praying in dependence upon the Father from the standpoint of His humanity.

(4) When He fed the five thousand. The words “and looking up toward heaven” demonstrate the Lord’s prayerful dependence (Mark 6:41). Also, “He blessed the food” which shows He thanked God the Father for it and for what He, the Father, was about to do through Jesus, the man, a God-dependent, God-approved man.

Think of Jesus Christ. He was the Son of God, God incarnate, the perfect man and the absolute Creator God who also as the God-man adequately and continuously fulfilled every expectation of God for man. He was the constant delight and joy of the Father’s heart. He always pleased the Father. Now, thinking of Him as such, ask yourself this question. How much did He personally, as man, contribute to His mighty works, deeds, and ministry? NOTHING! Christ Himself gives us the answer, “. . . the father abiding in me does His works” (John 14:10). And how did that come about? Through prayerful dependence on the Father!

When we work, we work. When we pray, the Father works. So out of this conscious and constant sense of need, there arose a continuing attitude of prayer: a continual expectation in the Lord Jesus that if anything was to be done, the Father must do it both by way of initiative, and wisdom, and power. Now if this was true of Jesus Christ, how much more shouldn’t this also be true for us? Indeed, prayer according to the pattern of the Lord Jesus is to be a vital goal of true disciples.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Grace, help restore to fellowship a brother or sister that has slipped or made a mistake, it’s not only God who forgives.

the secret garden

November 22, 2018

praying mom

It has been rightly said, “the secret of all failure is our failure in secret prayer.” Not just our failure to pray, but our failure in prayer. In the story of the Pharisee and the publican the Pharisee is one who prayed long and often, but he was a miserable failure. His prayers were never heard by God because neither he nor his prayers were ever right with God.

I think it was Oswald Smith who said, “when we work, we work, when we pray, God works.” Throughout history, the men and women that God has used mightily have been people who knew how to pray and for whom prayer was both a priority and a necessity. As we study the gospels and the training of the disciples by the Lord, we find that prayer is to be a vital part of a disciple’s life. For a couple of illustrations compare the following verses:

John 14:12-13 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. 13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.

An electronic concordance quickly shows the importance of prayer in the Word of God. Variations of the word “pray” such as “prayer” and “praying,” etc., occur 331 times in the NASB, 545 in the KJV, and 375 times in the NIV. The difference in numbers is caused by the fact some Greek and Hebrew words are translated differently in the different translations. For instance, the KJV might use the word “pray” while the NASB or NIV might use “ask.”

Most Bible believing Christians recognize and accept, at least intellectually, the need and importance of prayer. We read books on prayer, we talk about it, we ask for prayer from time to time, but somehow, the church today is anything but a praying church. We may have a few real prayer warriors, but the VISION AND DISCIPLINE of biblical praying as committed disciples of the Lord Jesus has somehow escaped the body of Christ. We talk of its necessity, but too often we fail to accomplish its reality.

I’ve found in my own life that my prayer life was based on my situation. Good situation, not much prayer; bad situation, lots of prayer.

It wasn’t until I started working with Oral Roberts, that my prayer life really began to be consistent and practiced. He never did anything without praying about it. We never went anywhere without praying about it. And when we choose a city for an Evangelism Tour. The hours of praying and days of fasting were rooted in everything we did.

It was Oral’s insistence that we read E.M.Bounds books on prayer that really shaped my prayer life. Then the works of Tozer and Vance Havner cemented the necessity and discipline of daily pray.

Next came the lesson of praying the Scriptures. Which made daily bible reading mandatory.

If this sound like hard work, it is. But then you discover the power of secret prayer, the time in your prayer closet. (a term almost never used anymore). The set times of prayer, the spontaneous moments of prayer.

And then the hardest lesson. Learning to be silent, to listen. If you prayed 20 minutes you listened 20 minutes. Nothing was harder to do. Then came the books of Thomas Merton, and the lesson of listening. Finding time to go away somewhere, where everyone was silent, listening. It started with weekend retreats and then a week and finally a month.

Maybe it’s my age, but I find more enjoyment now then ever before in bible reading and praying. Maybe I’m less compulsive. The need to collect things stopped.

I don’t want to discourage anyone but it took many years to get to this spot.

Like they say, “every journey begins with the first step.”

So don’t be discouraged with the gaps, the starting and stopping. It eventually comes together.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Well tomorrow is Thanksgiving, praise God for all that he has given us.

STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND

November 21, 2018

  “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

The Holy Spirit directs in the countless details of our daily life. Those who have faith, and are dependent upon His direction, will not be disappointed. But the Spirit leads according to Scriptural directions; so that which is called the leading of the Spirit, and which has not the truth of the Word behind it, is necessarily false.

The principle of walking in dependence upon the Holy Spirit must never be abandoned, however we may fail to carry it out. We must live by divinely given principles, even if winds and waves at times do throw us off course. To give up the Father’s principles because of opposing elements is to court shipwreck.

 Being led by the Holy Spirit is the principle by which the Father deals in grace with believers. Outside the circle of the Spirit, men are led by the flesh; under the law His people were in bondage and under the schoolmaster. Now, in Christian privilege, the Spirit leads: ‘if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law’ (Gal. 5:18).

 The Lord Jesus in glory is the standard of perfection, and the picture that Christ gave us on earth is the pattern for our walk here on earth. No one’s walk is perfect, but the Spirit of Christ who dwells in us is perfect, and as the believer learns to yield to the Holy Spirit as one alive from the dead (resurrected in Christ), the desires of the flesh are not fulfilled, and we find it easier to stay grounded in the Word and in the Spirit, and then the Spirit brings God’s fruit into our lives.

  “Walk in (dependence upon) the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).

Pray for Becky C, severe migraines

Pray for Ben S, early onset of dementia.

Pray for Olivia, living on a naval base, miraculously pregnant, and her husband a submariner, oh his first time out. Lots of prayer for this couple

Pray for Markus, a young man with autism and is living out his life grander than any one expected.

jackolanterns-6-500x375

The deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envyings, drunkenness, carousings, and things like these.

—Galatians 5:19–21

The flesh, the rebel within, is the major and most influential enemy facing the Christian today. Sure there are things that can fuel the fire, pornography, booze, drugs, no boundaries on our life, bad relationships, the list could go on forever. But the real danger isn’t ‘stranger danger’ but the enemy within.

Sure, we have a million excuses, the Pentecostal gets resaved, the Catholic confesses, the Baptist repents, everybody else just says, ‘screw it’.

The silence of the bible in some areas speaks volumes. For example, demons (or evil spirits) are mentioned only ten times, and most of these instances simply relate to certain factual truths about demons. On the other hand, these same books of the New Testament contain more than fifty references to the flesh as the primary enemy of the Christian (and flesh is only one term used to describe this sin nature). Obviously, the New Testament perspective emphasizes that the major source of our problem stems from our own sin nature.

The question today is, “are you ready to face yourself?”

In a society where it is always someone else’s fault, as Christians we must own up to our own short comings.

The next time you let the flesh win, and you give into your personal bad habits (sin). Try praying this scripture, Psalms 51. It’s a good test to see if your heart is still tender to God.

Be gracious to me, God,
according to Your faithful love;
according to Your abundant compassion,
blot out my rebellion.
Wash away my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I am conscious of my rebellion,
and my sin is always before me.
Against You—You alone—I have sinned
and done this evil in Your sight.
So You are right when You pass sentence;
You are blameless when You judge.
Indeed, I was guilty when I was born;
I was sinful when my mother conceived me.

Surely You desire integrity in the inner self….

If you have any twinge of conscience, any pricking of your soul, there will be a quelling of the rebellious self. (Maybe for only a short time) but still there is dawning of hope, for a moment, an hour, a day, we see the power of the Word and a true prayer of repentance restore our hope.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Caroline, having a real battle with depression

Pray for Kathy, Lisa, Debbie, Barbara, so many others dealing with cancer.

Pray for Sherrie, it’s the weekend, I would like one weekend when she doesn’t call saying she’s in trouble. And shows up for church not a wreck, pray for her 29 year old daughter that is following in her mother’s footsteps.

Pray for Lenny, new Christian, he has really changed, he’s going home for a week, none of his family are believers. He wants to be strong and a good witness.