Solitude

November 12, 2018

One of the great, yet neglected disciplines.

Throughout the ages, Christians have struggled to discern the proper balance between the cloistered existence and the life of reckless, zealous ministry—between bustling service and sacred hush—between Walden and the whirlwind. We contend with the Mary and Martha inside us. (Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening to what He said while her sister, Martha, was busy with the preparations for visitors in their home. See Lk. 10:38-42.)

To set aside everyday concerns and gaze uninterrupted at the Lord seems utopian and escapist. But the continual giving of ourselves in service for Christ brings a sobering awareness of our frail humanity and limited store. We become caught in the Mary-Martha dilemma, weighing the active life with the contemplative life.

TO WORK AND TO WAIT

True service for Christ, however, occurs only when Mary and Martha marry—when neither isolation nor compulsion characterizes our lives. Bernard of Clairvaux, born in 1091, wrote, “Action and contemplation are very close companions; they live together in one house on equal terms; Martha is Mary’s sister.”[2] Bernard of Clairvaux, Selections from the Writings of Bernard of Clairvaux, ed. Douglas V. Steere (Nashville, TN: The Upper Room, 1961), p. 25. William Barclay also referred to a kind of coexistence: “The more one reads of the lives and works of great men, the more one sees that they have a twin capacity—the capacity to work and the capacity to wait.”[3] William Barclay, Daily Celebration, vol. II (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1973), p. 165.

The Christian life should have a rhythm—doing and resting, speaking and listening, giving and receiving. The life of Jesus illustrates that perfect balance. This busy Man (in perfect harmony with His Father, Himself, and His purpose on earth), who completed to the fullest the work given to Him, withdrew for prayer again and again. The Scriptures indicate that Jesus worked at getting alone, just as He worked at serving and teaching.

From the beginning of His ministry when He spent forty days alone in the desert, to the end of His ministry when He prayed nights on the Mount of Olives, Jesus’ life was interlaced with periods of solitude. In these quiet times alone, He enjoyed a deep, abiding fellowship with His Father. Psalm 16:11 records David’s expression of the exultant delight of this kind of communion with God: “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Jesus was ever occupied with relating to and pleasing the Father, not in making use of Him. Prayer was the expression of Their unity, not a grip to wrest something from the Father. German pastor Otto Borchert wrote of Their relationship, “Prayer went like a divine shuttle backward and forward between Him and the Father—speech and answer, giving and receiving, a continual loving aloud, in the most intimate tones that the world has ever heard.”[4] Otto Borchert, The Original Jesus (London: Lutterworth Press, 1936), p. 223.

Jesus considered prayer crucial to ministry. Periods of prayer preceded the critical junctures of His life: before He began His public ministry, before choosing the twelve disciples, before His transfiguration that prepared His disciples for a fuller revelation of who He was, and before Gethsemane. On one occasion, He rebuked His disciples after they attempted, unsuccessfully, to cast out an evil spirit that had tormented a boy since his childhood. When the disciples asked why they were unable to drive it out, Jesus replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer” (Mk. 9:29).

Solitude in the life of Jesus meant prayer, and prayer meant solitude. While the religious leaders stood conspicuously on street corners to pray, Jesus rose early in the morning or departed after dark to pray in private. It was His practice to enter His closet and shut the door.

WORK IS WORSHIP, ALSO

To a culture that considered cloistered contemplation the highest status of the godly, Martin Luther proclaimed that work can be worship, too. Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me” (Jn. 9:4). Jesus was a Man of work, just as He was a Man of prayer. Throughout the Gospels we see Him giving Himself to people: He healed, cast out demons, and proclaimed deepest truth. Jesus engaged in earnest conversation with those who knew little of serious talk. He demonstrated His servant disposition as He cooked meals for His disciples on the beach or washed their feet. His life was one of sacrificial service even apart from His Death on the Cross. Virtue went from Him as He healed. His labors kept Him from food and brought Him to exhausted sleep in the stern of a boat. His ministry was hard work. Yet, as Romano Guardini has aptly observed, “Jesus is the bringer of the tidings of all tidings, but they neither crush nor drive him: he and his message are one.”[5] Romano Guardini, The Lord (Chicago: The Henry Regnery Company, 1954), p. 343.

Jesus and His message are inseparable. He stands as the perfect embodiment of all He proclaimed and taught. His totally integrated life and ministry reflect His union with the Father. His work, the expression of His life, is worship.

NO HAPPY MEDIUM

The marrying of service and solitude is not to be found in the balance of a happy medium, or in a swath down the middle between service and solitude. Rather, it requires pursuing distinct paths in each direction. E. Stanley Jones, fifty years a missionary in India, said, “I found myself going off in solitude and reading my New Testament, and when I came across a verse that spoke of Him, I found myself reverently pressing my lips to that verse…. But I’m soon up on my feet again with a compulsion, a divine compulsion to share this with everyone, everywhere.”[6] E. Stanley Jones, A Song of Ascents (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1968), p. 29.

This same rhythm of service and solitude characterized James Hervey (1713-1785): “But in-doors or out-of-doors, he was always full of his Master’s business, always redeeming the time, always reading, writing, or speaking about Christ, and always behaving like a man who had recently come from his Lord’s presence to say something, and was soon going back again.”[7] J. C. Ryle, Christian Leaders of the 18th Century (Edinburgh, Scotland: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1978), p. 350. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, says of His sheep, “He will come in and go out, and find pasture” (Jn. 10:9). Jesus has called us to go out into the world for Him, but He has also called us to come to Him for refreshment.

WE NEED TO BE FED, TOO

Service and solitude both require our full attention. Neither can stand alone and be truly Christian. Service without time apart for spiritual nourishment, reflection, and fresh instruction from God deteriorates into humanitarian effort. True spiritual ministry acknowledges God as the Source; the minister is merely the channel. The idea of living in Christ and letting Him live out His life in us is a recurring theme in the New Testament:

No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (Jn. 15:4-5)

Not only must God minister through us, He must minister to us. We must practice what we preach. Jesus called the honored teachers of His day whitewashed tombs because they taught what they didn’t practice. Earlier He had declared, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:20). We must not become so busy serving that we fail to obey God ourselves.

Unless we take time to reflect on who God is (His attributes) and what He has done in the past (our history), and contemplate what He says He will do in the future (His promises), our good works may have no eternal substance. Service in His Kingdom consists not of isolated acts for the benefit of mankind, but of acts of obedience done for Him, in Him, because of who He is and what He is like.

Likewise, solitude without service easily degenerates into self-absorption. Time with the Lord must quicken us to our needy world, not provide a soothing insulation from it. The natural fruit of looking at God is a heightened zeal and vigor to serve Him. As we ponder His grace and love, we long to express our gratitude in acts of obedience and to communicate Him to others.

If we emulate the Lord’s pattern, we embrace the poles: service and solitude. We acknowledge that although the needs of the world are great and ever-present, we do no real service if we are spiritually destitute ourselves. Withdrawing to be alone is not indolence or dereliction of duty; it is an imperative. But we must also remember the Jesus who left His silent chamber to freely give His life for our sake thousands of times, and then faced the Cross.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Leon W, his wife recently passed.

Pray for Rebekah H, that she would realize the importance of having a servant’s heart.

Pray for Robbey D, just told he has AIDS.

Pray for Tim C. State Police Officer in NY, his wife is considering leaving him, the long hours and the low pay are taking a toll.

  “Everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness” (Heb. 5:13).

  The Reformation, for all of its rise from Rome, to this day has never really gotten off the ground.

 Almost all the theology of the various ‘creeds of Christendom’ dates back to the Reformation, which went triumphantly to the end of Romans Five, and, so far as theological development or presentation of the truth was concerned, stopped there.

 The contrast between denominations is painful in the extreme between the uniform language of the New Testament about Christians as thus called to worship in liberty and joy and nearness to the Father, and all those stuffy churches whose formality of liturgies both ancient and modern; and this because the results of redemption soon became merged and hidden in Jewish forms, and the law was recalled to the place of the Holy Spirit, and man in the flesh intruded wholesale into realms which belong only to those solemnly accredited as God’s Church, the Body of Christ.

 The liturgies of ritualism merely fall back upon the feelings of man, with a slight tincture of Gospel and a large infusion of law. There may be sublime language and glowing ideas, chiefly borrowed from the Old Testament; but in substance they are utterly beneath spiritual or even intelligent Christian use.

The more formal the worship is, the more ceremony and pomp, the more costumes and mumbling of creeds, the more gilded the cross, the robes and rings. The more you can be sure Jesus has left the building.

I’d like to insert a joke here, “do you know why Episcopalians aren’t allowed to belong to a chess club?????? because they can’t tell the difference between a king and a queen.”

If the Word of God is not held as relevant, inspired, inerrant, and infallible, then that church really serves no place in God’s divine scheme. (I’ve poked enough fun at Pentecostals that I feel it only fair to acknowledge the clown show or the pomp and circumstance club that pays homage to humanity only. Their creed now reads, diversity, inclusion and universalism. Please stop by and purchase a pew and a brick with your name on it for the church roll and you will be given the keys to heaven. (really?)

I find it very interesting that the formal mainline denominations have added a contemporary service that imitates a Pentecostal/Charismatic flavor, yet salvation is still just a membership. They’ve learned all the vocabulary, so now you have to talk to them just like you were talking to any cult member.

  “The only thing that God ever acknowledged in religion and ritualism was Jewish. It all had to do with the flesh. That is repudiated in the Cross; all is crucified: your life is now ‘hid with Christ in God’ (Col. 3:3).”

  “But solid food belongeth to them that are of full age” (Heb. 5:14).

We have a special prayer request, pray for Richard Perales, unsaved, bitter, a half a day from going to jail, rebellious, angry, unforgiving. He is breaking his mother’s heart.

the objective Christian

November 3, 2018

rainy-sleepy-snoopy-peanuts

A Peanuts cartoon depicted a conversation between Linus and Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown was confused and disillusioned by his failing beliefs when Linus comforted him with these timely words: “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere.” I also recently heard a religious leader on television state that if the bones of Christ were to be discovered in Palestine today, this would not alter his Christian faith; his faith was not bound by objective truths.

Surveys are becoming emphatically more clear that the majority of our culture believes that truth is relative. It has been clear for some time now that our world is going through a major cultural shift. The illustrations stated above are all too common in today’s postmodern society. We have moved from a world of absolutes, objectivity, and dogmatism to one of relativism, subjectivism, and tolerance. The greatest commandment in this postmodern society is this, thou shalt tolerate one another. Springing forth from this relativistic epistemology, tolerance has become preeminent. As one writer has put it, “Tolerance has become so important that no exception is tolerated.” A person may have his or her religion, and may believe it, but he or she has no right to try to persuade another of his or her belief. Why? Because what you are saying is that your belief is superior to their belief. This is the supreme act of intolerance, the primary postmodern taboo.

Typical postmodernist men when they cry for “tolerance.” They are not asking people to simply tolerate and get along with the opposing belief. The fact is that they are asking people to compromise their beliefs. They are asking me to concede that my neighbor’s beliefs are just as true as mine, to forfeit my notion of objectivity, and to surrender my view of exclusivism. The result would accomplish nothing less than to render a death blow to my belief in the Scriptures. What they are implying when they push their definition of “tolerance” is that people should never stand up for their beliefs, if standing up for them means stating that their beliefs are the only true beliefs—that they are exclusive. They are not asking people to tolerate the homosexual, but to change their belief that homosexuality is wrong for everyone. But, again, this is not asking someone to be tolerant; it is asking someone to compromise his or her beliefs and convert to the postmodern faith. This is something that the Christian cannot do.

By tolerance, the postmodern means that we compromise the objectivity of God’s Word. By tolerance, the postmodern cries for us to stop reaching out to others with the Gospel. By tolerance, the postmodern demands that we approve of their lifestyles. By tolerance, the postmodern is essentially asking us to give up our faith. This we cannot do.

The first step in understanding and reaching out to the postmodern non-Christian is for us all to be able to understand and compellingly argue that it is not tolerance that they want, but compromise.

In chapter four of his epistle to the Ephesians, Paul begins to tell his readers how they are to live the Christian life. Speaking on the importance of unity, Paul states, “Therefore, I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:1-3, emphasis added). Here Paul tells us that one of the primary ways the Church preserves unity is by showing tolerance. The participle “avnecomenoi” here has the meaning “to endure, bear with, to put up with.” The King James often translates it, “to suffer with.” This word is used by Christ when He cries over Israel, “how long shall I put up with you” (Matt 17:17, emphasis added). It almost always carries a negative connotation. In 2 Maccabees 9:12, it is used of an unbearable stench; the smell was said to be intolerable. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul is telling the Church that it will sometimes be necessary to tolerate the “stench” of one another. This presupposes something negative about the ones we are to tolerate. Someone may have a repulsive personality—Paul tells us to endure them! Another has a bad temper—bear with them! Someone differs with you in some non-essential doctrine—tolerate them! Let’s face it, when we all get to heaven we will all find out that we were wrong about a few things. Some more than others, but we will all have some surprises.

We’ve mentioned this before, “the short list” and the “long list” they are the basics we cannot compromise on, that the scripture is inerrant, inspired and infallible, salvation only as a propitiatory act (divine substitute) that all of mankind is fallen and sinful, that God is full of grace and mercy, yet, will punish sin. Christ is eternal, yet born of a virgin, fully God, yet fully man, crucified, died, buried, resurrected, ascended into heaven. Salvation only through him.

After that list we begin the longer list, we may or may not agree but as brothers and sisters in Christ we will respect our folks in the body of Christ (the church).

As Christians we emphatically affirm the existence of objective truths. It is one of the bedrocks of Christianity. It is because of the objective truth of the atonement that you and I can have access to God. It is because of the objective truth that God created us that we exist. There is no room for relativity in these matters. It is our job to defend many of these objective truths at all costs.

  “But to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean” (Romans 14:14b). Therefore, if someone thought that it was a sin to eat ham, but did it anyway, this was a sin to him. Not because God would be angry that the person ate what was unclean, but because he consciously believed it was wrong and therefore rebelled against his conscience and God. Not only this, but Paul goes on to state that whatever is done without full conviction that it is right is sin (v. 23).

So we have to have respect amongst the church brethren regarding “the long list”

Love the Brethren, be humble, kind to one another, if we put this into practice maybe more people would like to visit our church and stay.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Anne K, she just had her baby, which was a miracle, the baby and mom are fine. Dear old dad is doing a long tour out to sea, leaves in 3 days.

Pray for Todd, fire fighter East Texas, will fighting a fire, got covered in fire ants. Taken to the ER, 120 ant bites. If you’ve never been bitten by a fire ant, it means you haven’t been to Texas.

EUTYCHUS

October 30, 2018

Luke relates the peculiar tale of a young man who fell asleep during Paul’s sermon and tumbled three stories to his death. Fortunately, the anecdote has a cheerful ending as God used Paul to restore Eutychus back to life.

 While many preachers have likely used the story as a warning against falling asleep during their sermons, there is probably another explanation for the accident. Eutychus was a common slave name, so it’s possible the young man came to hear Paul after a long day of work. That would account for the apostle “talking until midnight” (Ac 20:7).

 Although he came to feed his soul by hearing the Word of God proclaimed, Eutychus’s body could not overcome his exhaustion. He serves as a reminder that our spiritual formation can be impeded by a lack of rest.

 Obviously it can suggest to us that we need rest to function at a capacity that allows us to serve the Lord. But the story also points to how we can be a blessing to others: by giving the gift of rest.

   Many of us have offered to help a fellow believer with other spiritual disciplines, such as prayer or Bible study. Yet how many of us have offered to help our neighbor get some much-needed sleep?

 For example, parents of newborns and infants are constantly in need of sleep and rest. We could offer to come by their home and watch their kids for a few hours on the weekend, giving them time to nap or simply enjoy some peace and quiet.

 Similarly, caretakers of invalid family members have work that keeps them in a constant state of busyness. By offering to spend time each week caring for their loved one while they rest, we can help carry their burden.

 Many of us could also open our homes, especially on the weekends, to college students who need a quiet place away from the noise and distraction of campus life and roommates.

Do you like to cook, offer a meal to a busy single working mom. Mow the pastor’s lawn.

To many kids are over tired, between school, homework, karate classes, swimming classed, scouting or 4H, hobbies. When do the kids get a rest? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen moms conked out, dead to the world asleep in the church parking lot, picking their kids up from daycare or choir practice.

 To whom in your congregation or neighborhood can you give the gift of rest? Imagine the impact you could have by helping the “Eutychus” in your life.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Pray for Jimmie C, 34, and they just discovered a brain tumor, will decide tomorrow about surgery.

 

Remember Randi, she is taking her citizenship test on Thursday.

 

Pray for Lisa, trying to get her husband to come to marriage counseling, she’s tired that she’s doing “all the lifting.”

 

Pray for Connie, her son is having legal problems.

 

Pray for Veronica, ever since her divorce she has been “the wild child” everyone thought it was just a phase, but she is neglecting her kids, ruining her health and her first scare with the law.

IMAGE BEARER

October 25, 2018

  “Now we have received. . . the Spirit who is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God “(1 Cor. 2:12).

  The Holy Spirit ministers the truth of the Word via the mind, that we may share the One who is Truth via the heart.

  “If you do not know the Bible as the very Word of God, all is lost! Where have you learned anything from the Lord distinctly, but where every counter influence was inadmissible—in the sacred enclosure of His own Word and Presence, where nothing to qualify what He says can exist?”

  “I must not only be an expounder of the truth, but an exponent of it. There should be the sense, I have learned that word for myself. It is not just being able to describe it, or to put it in correct dispensational order; but having that word for myself from the Spirit.”

 

The mistake with many saints in the present day is that they think because they can describe a truth, that therefore they have learned it. When a truth is really accepted, the conscience demands that there should be accordance with it. And in a phrase I haven’t used in quite some time; “there’s the rub.” All across America there are bibles in almost all the homes, some homes have many bibles. In certain churches most people bring their bible to church. But so many who call Jesus, Lord, are ignorant of even the basic tenets of the bible.

Heart truth, yesterday we talked about spiritual brain power, I’m not contradicting myself it’s just part of the equation. You can read it, memorize it, but does it rule your life? Will it make you stop what you are doing, or thinking? It’s called the Living Word because it must live in me, active and activating.

 

The Scriptures tell me what the Father gives me, but they do not give it to me. The Spirit applies the Word to me in its divine meaning, and then I possess what Scripture tells me is mine through God’s grace. For instance, the Word tells me that if I behold the Lord’s glory I shall be transformed. It doesn’t transform me, however clearly I may see what it states. It communicates to me a very great thing, but it is the Spirit who makes it experiential to me.

  “Changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. “ (2 Cor. 3.18).

Are you changing? Do you see yourself become more Christlike, an image bearer of Jesus?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Larry R, just divorced wife number 5, and it’s never his fault. If you were to look up bitter in the dictionary it would have his picture.

Pray for Olivia, that she will carry to full term.

Pray for Jimmy H, I could write 5 volumes on this guy’s walk with the Lord. But his health is dealing him a real blow, this 6’7” giant, needs to start asking for help.

Pray for Steve and his family, blessings all around

MOMENT BY MOMENT

October 20, 2018

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

 

  We receive life by reliance upon the Savior; we grow in that life by reliance upon the Spirit.

 

  “Many think that because of faith they are cleared of everything before God through the Cross, and therefore by faith they are clear of everything in themselves. But that is the error of ‘holiness by faith.’ The objective (position) is that we are clear before the Father; the subjective (condition) is that we are cleared from ourselves by the growth ministry of the Holy Spirit.”

 

As you by faith in the positional facts realize that you are in the Father’s presence. You know His presence because you know that your position in the Christian life is a life of faith in the facts, nothing else, a life based upon what the Word of God tells us. Not your feelings, not a message in tongues, just the facts.

 

We are, naturally, suspicious of any offer to make us happy in God. Because our moral sense, our natural conscience, tells us of our having lost all right even to His ordinary blessings. But in the Word of our Father, faith reads our abundant title to be near to Him and happy with Him, though natural conscience and our sense of the fitness of things would have it otherwise. Faith feeds where the moral sensibilities of the natural mind would count it presuming even to tread.

 

 The moment we walk by sight we are outside of faith. The Father would never have us outside of faith; hence, even in answering faith, He so answers it that we need it again the next moment, even while we are enjoying the results of it. The Christian life is indeed moment by moment, faith by faith.

  “Faith is. . . the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

God bless from scumlikesuschurch@gmail.com

 

Pray for those struggling with cancer, Joe, Marybeth, Susan, Dave…

Pray for those struggling with depression

Pray for Susan, who just lost her husband in fatal car crash the funeral is tomorrow (Saturday)

the naughty list

October 7, 2018

THE ACTS OF THE SINFUL NATURE

No passage in the Bible draws a clearer contrast between the lifestyle of the Spirit-filled

believer and that of the person controlled by the sinful human nature than Gal 5:16-26.

Paul not only discusses general lifestyle differences by emphasizing that the Spirit and

the sinful nature are at war with each other, but he also includes a specific list of both

the acts of the sinful nature and the fruit of the Spirit.

THE ACTS OF THE SINFUL NATURE. “Sinful nature” (GREEK  sarx) pictures the human

nature with its corrupt desires. The sinful nature remains within Christians after their

conversion and is their deadly enemy (Ro 8:6-8,13; Gal 5:17,21). Those who practice the

acts of the sinful nature cannot inherit God’s kingdom (Gal 5:21). Therefore, this sinful

nature must be resisted and put to death in a continual warfare that the believer wages

through the power of the Holy Spirit (Ro 8:4-14; see Gal 5:17, note). The acts of the

sinful nature (Gal 5:19-21) include:

(1) “Sexual immorality” (GREEK  porneia), i.e., immoral sexual conduct and intercourse; it

includes taking pleasure in pornographic pictures, films or writings (cf. Lx 20:14; Mt

5:31-32; 19:9; Ac 15:20,29; 21:25; lCo 5:1);

(2) “Impurity” (Gk akatharsia), i.e., sexual sins, evil deeds and vices, including

thoughts and desires of the heart (Eph 5:3; Col 3:5);

(3) “Debauchery” (GREEK aselgeia), i.e., sensuality; following one’s passions and desires

to the point of having no shame or public decency (2Co 12:21);

(4) “Idolatry” (GREEK eidololatria) , i.e., worship of spirits, persons or graven images; trust

in any person, institution or thing as having equal or greater authority than God and his

Word (Col 3:5);

(5) “Witchcraft” (GREEK pharmakela), i.e., sorcery, spiritism, black magic, worship of

demons and use of drugs to produce “spiritual” experiences (Lx 7:11,22; 8:18; Rev 9:21;

18:23);

(6) “Hatred” (Gk echthra) , i.e., intense, hostile intentions and acts; extreme dislike or

enmity;

(7) “Discord” (Gk ens), i.e., quarreling, antagonism; a struggle for superiority (Ro

1:29; lCo 1:11; 3:3);

(8) “Jealousy” (Gk zelos), i.e., resentfulness, envy of another’s sllr.cess (Ro 13:13; lCo

3:3);

(9) “Fits of rage” (GREEK thumos), i.e., explosive anger that flames into violent words or

deeds (Col 3:8);

(10) “Selfish ambition” (Gk eritheia) , i.e., seeking of power (2Co 12:20; Php 1:16-17);

(11) “Dissensions” (GREEK dichostasia), i.e., introducing divisive teachings not supported

by God’s Word (Ro 16:17);

(12) “Factions” (GREEK hairesis) , i.e., division within the congregation into selfish groups

or cliques that destroy the unity of the church (iCo 11:19);

(13) “Envy” (Gkphthonos), i.e., resentful dislike of another person who has something

that one desires;

(14) “Drunkenness” (GREEK methel, i.e., impairing one’s mental or physical control by

alcoholic drink;

(15) “Orgies” (GREEK komos), i.e., excessive feasting and revelry; a party spirit involving

alcohol, drugs, sex, or the like.

Just how dark is humanity, well, you’ve read the list, we can be carnal, or we can be spiritual. In my sex addict counseling group, I don’t think I can be surprised and then I hear something that is beyond my imagination. It’s a good thing I have a great poker face. What is more surprising is that fact that these are supposed to be Christian people coming to me for counseling.

The most confrontational moment in counseling was when I told a man I didn’t believe he was a Christian. Not because of the magnitude of what he was doing, but by the fact that there was no pause button, no gaps, it was habitual sinning. This was a deacon, the song leader, the largest gift giver (offerings) in church.

It would take to long to tell the whole story. He stepped down from his church duties, confessed to his pastor his wrong doings, he looked repentant. That was until he called me from jail arrested for solicitation of a prostitute.

So here’s my warning. If you are fighting and struggling with a sexual sin I will give you the benefit of doubt. But if you are indulging and only sorry you got caught, then I say “liar” you are lying to me and to God.

So this may be the last waring God gives you.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

ONLY IN HIM

October 5, 2018

ONLY IN HIM

There is probably nothing more important for the believer to become mature than the understanding of knowing our position in Christ.

  “In [this] freedom Christ has made us free—completely liberated us; stand fast then” (Gal. 5:1, Amp.).

  We are never going to be able to stand before our Father in prayer and fellowship because we are fit in ourselves. We finally come to see that we are in His presence because of our position in His Son.

  “The ground upon which our Father deals with us is grace. Every blessing we receive of Him as His children is undeserved. In all of our spiritual existence we are debtors to the rich, free, sovereign grace of our Father. And what is it we are privileged to enjoy on that ground, when we enter ‘into this grace wherein we stand’? We then have a new position, and that position is the glorified Lord Jesus Christ.

We are not only pardoned, but justified—made righteous; and this is not merely by that which He has done, or by what He has procured or bestows—but in what He is. ‘As He is, so are we in this world’ (1 John 4:17). The believer must never lose sight of this fundamental truth: that the basis of his fellowship with the Father is not his own personal holiness, or what the Lord Jesus is in him, but his judicial position before the Father, or what the Lord Jesus is for him. He, ‘the Lord our righteousness,’ is the foundation and source of everything—of walk as well as of position.

Most look to get victory in order to get peace, but it is peace already made by the Lord Jesus’ work and risen life that is ours. Conflict we shall find, but we know that the Father is for us, and that makes all the difference.

  “Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us. . . righteousness” (1 Cor. 1:30).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Sharon who is having severe allergy problems

Pray for Sammie; she is 29, dealing with depression

Pray for Stacy, back problems

Freedom yet bondage

October 3, 2018

  “The law is not of faith” (Gal. 3:12).

  The law will break you; grace will make you.

 Nothing can be more sure than the steps of one guided by the Spirit of God and the Word of God, and yet nothing more complicated than to have to walk in ‘separation’ from all that exists around. It is indeed difficult to have to wind one’s way through things so perplexing and so complex as the religious systems of our own day. We have to avoid on the one hand organizations formed in imitation of things past (the legalistic church), and on the other systems more characterized by anticipation of things future (Kingdom-law and standing on principles only meant for the millennial period).

With many Christians, it may be almost thought that the Lord Jesus was but the introduction to Moses. That His death procured the payment of sin’s debt, so that the debt being paid, the believer might be in a position to keep the law, and that, accordingly, the law, and not the ‘Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,’ might be the believer’s rule of life.(you know the type of church, that everything is a sin and there is no grace, if you fall you move to another church).

 The walk of the believer should ever be the natural result of realized privilege, and not the constrained result of legal vows and resolutions—the proper fruit of a position known and enjoyed by faith, and not the result of one’s own efforts to reach a position ‘by works of law.’ All true believers are a part of the Bride of Christ; hence, they owe Him those affections which become that relation. The relationship is not obtained because of the affections, but the affections flow out of the relationship.

  “For I, through the law, am dead to the law, that I might live unto God” (Gal. 2:19

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Sherrie, she is playing at church, she knows all the lingo, but she is not even pretending outside of church. Pray she would feel the need to live a pleasing life to the Lord. The problem is she has been playing church for so long she doesn’t remember all the great things the Lord has done in her life.

Thanks for all the prayer for me, I’m feeling much better.

Pray for Randal, a bad case of gout.

Pray for Veronica, another church bad girl. She plays fast and loose on Friday and Saturday, but Sunday is the model of a proper Christian. The problem is her teen girls are now following in her footsteps.

Pray for our youth, that they will discover the bible is relevant.

GET OUT OF THE WAY

October 1, 2018

  “The Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and guard you from evil” (2 Thess. 3:3, R.V.).

 

  When once we see and accept His purpose for our lives to the extent that it becomes our will also, the details of His process cease to matter. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job. 13:15).

 

The one purpose our Father has in view, in all His ways, is to conform us to the image of His Son. This may explain our perplexities as to the past; it will govern our behavior in the present; it is to be our guide in the future. The chief concern of our Lord is not to instruct us about a multitude of details, not to explain to us the reason for the trials which we are called to pass through. He is working out everything to serve His one supreme aim in manifesting the character of His Son in His saints.

 

The God-given experiences of the Spirit’s working within many a time passes away, and leaves the believer apparently dull and dead. This is only until the double lesson has been fully learned: (1) that a living faith can rejoice in the Living God, even when all feeling and experience appear to contradict the truth (Rom. 8:28, 29); and (2) that the Divine life only predominates as the life of the old man is held in the place of death, inoperative, fully reckoned and experienced (Rom. 6:11a). The life of the Lord Jesus is revealed as His death works in us (2 Cor. 4:11, 12), and as in weakness and nothingness we look to Him (2 Cor. 3:18).

 

  “While our Father is dealing with someone in discipline, when He is applying the Cross in a life, be careful how you sympathize with that person. You may be taking sides with him against God. By such sympathy, you may, indeed, draw him away from the work of the Cross.”

 

  “For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:11)

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Thank God for answered prayers. So praise reports.

 

Thank God for leading and guiding and providing.