DIRECTIONS

September 19, 2018

Yield_Sign_in_New_Hampshire

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

  After years of reckoning with little or no deliverance from the dominion of sin, when you are just about to sink under the futility of it all, the Holy Spirit will turn your attention to the One who is your Deliverer. And by the Word, He will also begin to call your attention to the fact that where the Deliverer is, you are. “Hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6).

  “‘. . . our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him’ (1 Thess. 5:10). Can anything affect your heart so much as the way the man in Christ is received in the new position? What I press now is the right that we have to be in the place, and that it is not only that I delight to be there, but the ineffable thought is that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ delights to have me in His place, sharing His joys.

If we do not enter by faith into the new position to which He in His grace has placed us. A further fact is, that we have no place but that; and when we get even a glimpse of it, it alters immensely this place; this world through which we are passing, and all things in it, appear in another color altogether. There is so much more to salvation than just the new birth, there is learning, growing, abiding, practicing, cultivating the gifts we are given, witnessing, bible reading, bible memorization, praying, learning to pray, self-discipline, being filled with the Holy Spirit.

 If I only think of my position in Him above and do not study Him and His ways while here, then, though there may be a sense of power, there is no direction given to it. That is why so many Christians think the thing they are doing is in the will of God, but it’s not, it is only self-will. It is only in the combination of both that there can be a true study of the Lord Jesus, and conformity to Him. The eye of the soul must be open and receptive to learn of His ways and walk here.

  “But now in Christ Jesus ye who once were far off are made near by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Ken in your prayers, he is struggling with chronic shyness.

Pray for Laurie, 54 and losing her eye sight.

Continue to pray for Maureen as she is trying to recover from shingles, pray it doesn’t get into her eye.

It is impossible to list all the people we’ve asked for prayer for, but everyone has been encouraged knowing that there are folks all over the world praying for them.

More than a muscle part four (the end).

Thanks for all your encouragement and especially your patience to read through these long posts. this series on the heart was a real blessing to me. I hope you have been encouraged as well. God Bless.

The Heart Needs Prostrating

Over and over again, we are told in Scripture to worship God with all the heart. This stresses the need of total involvement with God, an involvement that includes the mind, emotions, and the will. So, note the following passages of Scripture: With all our heart we are to:

  • Love God (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30).

  • Search for God (Deut. 4:29; Jer. 29:13).

  • Return to the Lord (Joel 2:12).

  • Rejoice and exult in the Lord (Zeph. 3:14).

  • Give thanks. This means learning to live by praise and thanksgiving with one’s focus purely on the Lord (Ps. 9:1; 86:12; 119:7; cf. Rom. 1:21).

  • Believe God and His Word (Acts 8:37).

The Heart Needs Pouring

Psalm 62:8 Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

We need to go to the Lord in prayer in order to pour out our hearts and burdens to the Lord. The command here is based on the promise that He cares and wants to hear from us.

The Heart Needs Centering

Proverbs 4:21 Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart.

God is never to be just a side issue. In this passage, the word “midst” is the Hebrew tawek which means “the middle, the center.” We need to keep God’s truth on center stage in our hearts. When the Word of God is not central to life, God will also get pushed aside by other cares, desires, and issues. We become like ships without a harbor, or an anchor, or rudder only to be pushed about by the varying winds and storms of life.

We need God’s truth center stage because of the importance of His truth to our relationship with God, our ambitions, our values and pursuits. When God is not center stage, we ignore Him and His purposes, principles, and promises (cf. Isa. 40:9; Heb. 2:9; 12:1-2). In fact, people often try to sanctify their self-centeredness into a kind of self-centered godliness. Concerning this problem, J. I. Packer writes:

Modern Christians tend to make satisfaction their religion. We show much more concern for self-fulfillment than for pleasing our God. Typical of Christianity today, at any rate in the English-speaking world, is its massive rash of how-to-books for believers, directing us to more successful relationships, more joy in sex, becoming more of a person, realizing our possibilities, getting more excitement each day, reducing our weight, improving our diet, managing our money, licking our families into happier shape, and whatnot. For people whose prime passion is to glorify God, these are doubtless legitimate concerns; but the how-to-books regularly explore them in a self-absorbed way that treats our enjoyment of life rather than the glory of God as the center of interest.

The Heart Needs Exposing and Convicting

Proverbs 5:12 And you say, “How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof!”

John 16:8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment;

Jude 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

2 Timothy 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

Titus 1:13 This testimony is true. For this cause reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith,

Titus 2:15 These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.

Ephesians 5:11 And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

One of the purposes for centering our hearts on the Word is that of reproof.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

Also, one of the purposes for testing the heart with trials is to bring about conviction with repentance that will lead to confession and changed living.

Jeremiah 17:10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

The Heart Needs Cheering, Encouraging, Comforting

Proverbs 15:13,15 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. … All the days of the afflicted are bad, But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me …

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Life is full of pain and disappointments which bring sorrow and discouragement, so the heart needs to be cheered, comforted, and encouraged. But our tendency is to seek to cheer and comfort our hearts with the methods of the world—through our strategies for happiness, through the details of life as with the pursuit of power, pleasure, possessions, position, and the like. God has given us all things to enjoy, but God’s plan for lasting joy and encouragement comes from a heart that has been prepared and fixed to trust the Lord (Jn. 16:27; Ps. 37:4).

The Heart Needs Strengthening

Psalm 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip.

Psalm 40:8 I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart.

Psalm 119:11 Thy word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against Thee.

Psalm 19:7-9 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.

(1) The absolutes of God’s Word provide a sure FOUNDATION that promotes right thinking and attitudes, direction and choices, values, priorities, and pursuits, etc. (Matt. 6:21f).

(2) Strength of heart comes through humility of heart. A humble person is one who walks in dependence on the Lord rather than in proud self-trust (Ps. 10:17; 31:23-24).

(3) Strength of heart comes through waiting on the Lord and trusting God for needs. What exactly does the Bible mean when it calls us to wait on the Lord? In essence, from the use of this challenge in Scripture, to wait on the Lord is a summary term for living by faith or living dependently on the Lord as explained for us in the Word. On the one hand, it calls us to throw ourselves on the Lord in childlike trust. On the other hand, it calls us to turn away from all forms of independent living whereby we seek to handle life by our methods and means.

In the Bible, waiting on the Lord stands opposed to running ahead and taking matters into our own hands by turning to our own human solutions. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the LORD!” (RSV).

(4) Strength of heart comes through making God our portion. This means God is the reward or greatest possession and companion of the heart (Ps. 73:26; 119:56-57). “Portion” in Ps. 119:57 is the Hebrew cheleq. It was used of a reward or profit, but also of a chosen portion as a habitual mode of life. As a contrast, compare Psalm 50:18b, “and you associate with adulterers.” The NIV reads, “you throw in your lot with adulterers (i.e., you have chosen this as your portion, your way of life, the companionship of adulterers).”

The Heart Needs Biblical Desires and Longings

One of the most fundamental and life changing needs of the heart is to have biblical desires and longings. Please note the emphasis in the following passages:

(1) Psalm 37:4: Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart

Though this passage is filled with commands, we can summarize it into four key responsibilities:

  • Look up: get your eyes off of people and circumstances and trust the Lord. Do not fret, do not be envious, but trust, delight, commit.

  • Look ahead: Rest and wait on the Lord and what He is doing. Know that the way of life of evil doers is only temporal and unstable or insecure. God will bring forth your righteousness, you will one day dwell in the land, you will have eternal rewards.

  • Be productive: While resting in God’s provision for our needs and committing our way and our circumstances to the Lord, ever delighting in Him, we are to do good, cultivate faithfulness, and dwell in the land.

  • Be content: Compare Ps. 37:16f. with 1 Tim. 6:6f.

At the core or heart of all this is verse 4 and the words, “delight yourself in the Lord.” This is the basis of trust, commitment, and rest in the Lord.

First, the Command. “Delight” is anag which means (1) “to be soft, delicate, dainty.” In Arabic, a sister language, it meant “to allure” and “to entice” and was used of the amorous gestures of women in their looks and walk. There is a certain feminine quality to this word and it fits with the nature of God’s dealings with believers. Israel was the wife of the Lord and the church is the bride of Christ. As it was with Israel, so we are to respond to the Lord as His chaste bride and to be sensitive to His love and care. Knowing Him as such should build our trust and commitment and keep us from being lured away from Him. In the Hebrew text, the verb “delight” is in a reflexive stem which came to mean, “to take exquisite delight, to delight yourself in an exquisite manner.” So the Psalmist says in effect that God is to be our most exquisite source of joy. We are to delight in His person and being. He is calling us to pursue God that we might know and revel in His divine person and being.

Second, the Promise. “Desires” is the Hebrew mishalab which may mean, “prayers, requests, petitions.” Our requests are usually based on our desires, wants, or what we see as our needs, though this is not one of the major Hebrew words for desire. “Of your heart” points us to the source of the requests, our inner person through the function of the mind, emotions, and will. “Desires of your heart” refers to the results of the function of the mind, emotions, and will in the formation of aspirations, desires, and longings.

When our delight is genuinely in the Lord, our requests, the product of our desires, will be transformed and conformed to the will of God. When we start truly delighting in the Lord and trust in Him for our needs and desires, we will then stop depending on our own devices for security or significance. It is then that our desires and requests will naturally begin to change.

Therefore, God promises to give us those requests, as the context suggest, according to His timing.

(2) Psalm 94:19: “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Thy consolations delight my soul.”

Anxious thoughts multiply when a man’s delight is off the Lord. When this occurs, his trust will also be off the Lord and on his own devices and solutions to life. So what does the Psalmist say? “Thy consolations delight my soul.” What is God’s greatest consolation or source of comfort? It is God Himself. When Christians fail to delight their heart in the Lord by seeking Him as their number one source of comfort, they will begin to unravel and they will turn to their own devices.

Note also the emphasis of the following passages:

Psalm 42:1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for Thee, O God.

Psalm 62:10 Do not trust in oppression, And do not vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.

Psalm 73:25-28 Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For, behold, those who are far from Thee will perish; Thou hast destroyed all those who are unfaithful to Thee. 28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Thy works.

Such Psalms do not just express the desire of a highly spiritual man, but they acknowledge man’s need as a human being created with a vacuum that only God can fill. They acknowledge the fact that nothing else can truly satisfy.

Finally, compare Psalm 86:11 with Matthew 6:21-24. The greatest indication of man’s fallenness is his capacity to try to handle life, or to seek satisfaction, significance, and security apart from clinging to the Lord.

Psalm 86:11 Teach me Thy way, O LORD; I will walk in Thy truth; Unite my heart to fear Thy name.

Matthew 6:21-24 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Even at his best, such a person is guilty of a divided heart trying to walk with one foot stationed on the Lord and the other one stationed on his own solutions. So what does the Psalmist say? “Unite (remove any division of trust) my heart to fear Thy name.” To fear the Lord is ultimately to trust the Lord or to turn to Him in complete trust (Ps. 40:3; 115:11).

Problems of the Heart

(1) A wrong focus or thought pattern.

  • In Psalm 19:14 the Psalmist prayed for a right focus and thought pattern. He recognized the danger of a wrong focus or center.

  • The heart, when dominated by the sinful nature and man’s viewpoint, gathers wickedness to itself like impure imaginations, slander, false beliefs, false aspirations and solutions, impure desires, and deceit, etc. (Psalm 41:6).

  • Because the heart is the wellspring of life, and because the heart is incurably wicked, unrighteousness begins in the heart (cf. Ps. 36:1; 58:2; Matt. 15:18-19). Remember, the flaming missiles of the evil one, as with Eve, are aimed at the heart (the mind, emotions, and will) (Eph. 6:16).

(2) An unbelieving heart (Heb. 3:12). An unbelieving heart is what causes us to pursue our own solutions to life. This is what happened to Eve.

(3) Fear and anxiety (Isa. 35:4; 51:7). Fear or anxiety is removed through a believing heart or trust in God’s plan and supply regardless of the problems or how things look from our perspective (Ps. 112:7; 13:5; 27:3).

(4) Agitation, frustration of heart. The absence of peace because the heart is not truly centered on the Lord (Ps. 38:8-10).

(5) Fainting, depression, losing heart. The absence of endurance (Ps. 40:12; Lk. 18:1).

(6) Turning away from the Lord. Turning away into sin, unfaithfulness, backsliding (Deut. 17:17; Ps. 44:18; Pro. 7:25; Heb. 3:12).

(7) Trusting in the wrong sources of hope as human strategies for security, significance, or happiness (Ps. 62:10; cf. 64:6 with vs. 10; 73:25f. Also cf. Ps. 81:12, “to walk in their own devices”).

(8) Loneliness and brokenness of heart (Ps. 69:20; Pro. 15:13; 17:22).

(9) Bitterness of heart (Ps. 73:21; Pro. 14:10; Ja. 3:14).

(10) Stubbornness of heart (Ex. 7:14; Ps. 78:8; 81:12; Jer. 3:17).

(11) Divided heart, the opposite of singleness of devotion (2 Chr. 25:2; Ps. 86:11; Matt. 6:21-24; Ja. 1:6-8).

(12) Arrogance or pride of heart, the opposite of a humble heart (2 Chr. 32:26; Isa. 9:9; Ps. 101:5).

(13) False values of the heart (Matt. 6:21; Phil. 3:8).

(14) Hardness of heart (Pr. 28:14; Heb. 3:7-13).

Is it any wonder then, that Solomon challenges us: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV).

As emphasized previously, the heart is where our character is formed and maintained, the place that determines who we are, and what we do. As Scripture warns us, issues of life flow from the heart. It alone holds the secrets of true success or meaning in life. If our heart is filled with what is good, our actions and words will follow. If it is filled with what is evil, so will be our actions and words.

So then, the treasures of our hearts are priceless, but as stressed, they can be stolen. We face three thieves, the world, the flesh, and the devil, and these three stalk us always seeking ways to steal the good treasures of the heart and to replace them with what is evil and worthless, or at least, with those that are not the best.

How well am I guarding my heart? Is the condition of my heart my greatest concern? It should be because it is so determinative of every aspect of life. It ultimately determines my love for God and for others. It determines who I am and what I do.

Conclusion

As we have seen, God is terribly concerned about our hearts. But the thing that makes this even more difficult is the fact, as Jeremiah 17:9 warns us, the heart is deceitful above all things and incurably evil. Part of the deceitfulness comes from the self-protective nature of the heart and its commitment to trust in its own solutions. We would rather trust ourselves than someone else, even God.

Because of this, even our worship of God is suspect and needs to be cleansed or purified of selfish pursuits. Remember, God warns us in His Word that we can be very religious while we withhold our hearts from true faith and worship of the Lord (Isa. 29:23).

Since most people spend an enormous amount of time working, their time in church must be only a fraction of their involvement with God. As a result, unless we are challenged and equipped to live all of life for God from a heart fixed and prepared to trust in Him in the daily routine of life, Christianity degenerates into mere external religiosity in which people play church.

Unless we really deal with our hearts, our religious striving or our worship of God becomes egocentric. And though this can be purified and brought into the service of God through the Word, too often true religion is corrupted and nullified by cravings and striving for self-centered concerns like power, comfort, and security. The Word of God is more than a handbook of doctrine and a set of prescriptions for proper living that we can apply to make life work out the way we want. It is a God-breathed book designed to involve us passionately with the living God so that we trust Him even when life doesn’t seem to make sense. All we can do is trust God that He is in charge and a good and eternal plan continues fully in place.

What we often try to do is develop “trust in God by understanding why things happen and how to organize our lives to rule out severe misfortune. If we understood the whys and hows of life, of course, there would be no need for trust. A predictable world would require nothing other than conformity to its principles.”

Christianity and the promises of the Bible are matters of trust, and trust is a matter of the heart

Like the old song goes; “Trust and obey, For there’s no other way, To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey.”

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Ronne and Tim, they knew their daughter was devoted to being a missionary to Africa. So, they will travel to Africa to bury her there.

ACTION

September 2, 2018

No other book in the Bible is quite like The Book of Acts. The sequel to Luke’s Gospel is both a history and a theological adventure story about the spread of a news story (the gospel) and an institution (the church) that continues to transform the world.

 In Acts 1:8, Jesus provides the basic outline for the events of the book. But because of the book’s particular importance in the broader history of salvation, it’s necessary to pay attention to its details and recurring themes. Here are four ideas to help you get the most out of your reading of Acts:

  1. Highlight these three themes in different colors: The Holy Spirit, Prayer, Witness—These themes recur frequently throughout this book. By noting how the Holy Spirit transformed the apostles’ lives and strengthened them to spread the gospel, we can be encouraged to seek out the Spirit’s power to carry out our own assigned tasks. Similarly, we can be inspired to pray and witness boldly, imitating the apostles who first carried the good news throughout the Roman Empire.

  2. Make note of Old Testament passages quoted—Jesus said Scripture testifies about him (see Jn 5:39). Our study of Scripture is aided by carefully observing how the apostles presented the Old Testament as a witness to the Messiah.

  3. Make note of how conversions are worded—“Because using a certain type of language over and over again can shape our theology, we should use the words of Scripture as a model to describe conversion so we are expressing conversion like God does.”

  4. Follow along with maps—A distinctive feature of Acts is its journey narratives (e.g., Ac 16:6–8; 20:14–15; 21:2–3; 27:1–44). Because geographic locales play such an important role in the story of the spread of the gospel and the birth of the church, it’s helpful to follow along with maps to gain a deeper appreciation of how geography affects the narrative. Maps can be found online or in a Bible atlas. I like to use a map that distinctly covers Paul’s trips and compare that to a modern map. One thing on my “bucket list” (I really don’t like that phrase) I haven’t done is go to Israel. Hopefully one day.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Martin C, cataracts.

Pray for Betty R, having thyroid surgery on Wednesday.

Frank B. between the bobcat and the barbwire he’s pretty cut up. Good news is the bobcat didn’t have rabies and better news is his wife is a great shot.

Pray for Ann, 30ish and has to come to grips with her alcoholism.

Dead or Alive

August 31, 2018

  “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them” (Gal. 3:10).

  None can be born again by the law, and none can live anew under the law—neither its precepts, nor its principle. “The life I now live by faith—by adherence to and reliance on and (complete) trust—in the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20, Amp.).

Every believer is regarded by God as alive from the dead, to bring forth fruit (not works) unto God. The law only deals with a man as long as he lives, never after he is dead. ‘Ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ’ (Rom. 7:4).

And that is not at all what is said of us, after a ‘second blessing,’ or any other step of imaginary perfection. We begin with. . . ‘alive in Christ.’ I am identified with the Lord Jesus dead and risen. It is no longer the law dealing with me to try if it can get any good out of me. I have relinquished all by receiving Christ, and I take my stand in Him dead and risen again, as one alive from the dead, to yield myself as a ‘new creation’ to God and walk in ‘newness of life.’

The teachings of grace are perfect and sufficient in themselves. They provide for the instruction of the believer in every situation which may arise. There is no need that they be supplemented, or augmented, by the addition of precepts from either the Law of Moses or the teachings of the kingdom.

What an indignity religion puts on every Person of the Godhead alike, on the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ, when it drags souls back to the dread distance of Judaism or legalism or the “second blessing” crowd.

  “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21).

So in order to be alive in Christ, I have to die with Christ, buried with Him, but resurrected in Him. Alive to the Spirit and dead to the law, bringing forth good fruit by The Spirit and not works by my flesh.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember all those this month that have been on our prayer list. So many names, so many needs. Thank God we serve an awesome, powerful  and loving Lord.

SLOW TRAIN COMING

August 23, 2018

train 1

A very simple and short devotion, God loves you and forgives you. No matter who you are or what you’ve done.  Everybody has screwed up, there’s nobody perfect.

So the bible is the Word of God, God sent his Son, Jesus, to forgive us. Jesus is the only way to heaven.

It’s like a train, God owns it, you have to get a ticket, the tickets are free, paid for by Jesus, the urge, want, need, feeling to get on the train is the Holy Spirit. And the train goes to heaven. No ticket, no ride, no heaven.

The virgin Mary can’t get you in, Mormonism can’t, Muslimism cant’, (hey that word actually passed spell check.) Jehovah Witness, nope, Hindu, nope. None of the “isms” will work. Just faith in the gift that God the Father gave us in His Son.

Cant’ earn it, deserve it, work for it, buy it, nothing gets you on that train bound for glory.

What do you say?

Do you want to go to Heaven?

Than get on board.

Simple.

As Bob Dylan sings “There’s a slow train coming” great song, one of my favorites.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

GROWING DOWNWARD

August 3, 2018

the old pine box

“Death working in me works life in you” (2 Cor. 4:12,).

“The great lack in servants is not having a sufficiently self-less walk, because you cannot lead anyone beyond where you have been led yourself. Moses was himself many years in the wilderness before he led the people. I cannot ask anyone to leave anything that I have not left myself. It is not the man who sees defects, but the man who removes them who is being used of God.”

Would you like the Apostle Paul choose the path of death that others may have life? Will you choose to ‘fill up the afflictions of Christ for His Bride’s sake’? But what does it mean? It means living, weeping, suffering, loving with infinite patience, infinite tenderness, unwearyingly love for every member of the Body of Christ. It means the whole being bound up, not in your own progress, but in the progress of the Body of Christ. It means sinking all the personal element into the service of God, wanting neither credit, nor notice, nor recognition. It means an utter dropping of yourself, and a handing over of yourself to God to be poured out for His Body’s sake, the Church. It’s a growing downward.

Our joy in the Father’s presence, as He Himself and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, are made manifest to our hearts, gives us the character of the joy of true fellowship one with another.

“I, Paul. . . rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the church” (Col. 1:23, 24).

The downward path is the path to death. It is the constant act of putting off the flesh. Are you actively seeking to end bad habits? Have you stopped giving in to temptations? As I’ve said many times, the Christian life is the hardest life there is to lead, yet the easiest, a contradiction of our life, loosing it but gaining it. Only in Christendom.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for our country, that this liberal, left wing plan to socialize our nation doesn’t succeed.

Pray for Veterans, especially those that are homeless.

MY BELOVED

July 31, 2018

  That I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12).

  Hopefully our immature spiritual love, based on feelings and emotions is soon lost, to be replaced through the years by our mature love that is grounded in faith. That we keep in our hearts that we are his bride and that we are to always gravitate to our Bridegroom. “My beloved spoke, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away” (S.S. 2:10).

 All of our Father’s arrangements for us, if rightly accepted, will lead us above, instead of binding us to what is here below. His gifts come down to ease us in a world like this, that our hearts may rise to the heavenly scene where He displays the fulness of His love for us.

 And if there be chastening in the circumstances here, it is only to detach us the more effectively from all here, and to lead us to the place where He has given all to us. So that seeing the things above ensures every good thing for us in every condition.

You may know the Lord Jesus as your relief—for what He has done; but it is quite another thing to know Him as your resource—for what He is. It is one thing to know Him as the One who has relieved you from every pressure, it is another thing to know Him as the One attraction of your heart.

 The Lord grant that you may know the wonderful blessing, and portion of light and joy we are brought into, instead of going through the world trying to overcome this and that, and saying, ‘I must give up this thing and the other.’ It is not a question of giving up at all; but I have something better, greater, brighter, and I just let it drop.

  “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord” (Phil. 3:8).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

OUTSIDE IN

July 27, 2018

  “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).

  In regard to the external Cross, the obvious fact is that “Christ died for our sins.” As to the internal Cross, while not so obvious, it is still a fact that we are to be “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).

Fundamentalist theology has emphasized the utility of the Cross rather than the beauty of the One who died on it. The saved man’s relation to the Lord Jesus has been made contractual instead of personal. The ‘work’ of Christ has been stressed until it has eclipsed the Person of Christ. Substitution has been allowed to supersede identification. What He did for us seems to be more important than what He did to us.

The death of the Lord Jesus was not only an atonement for sins, but a triumph over sin. By faith we see our sins not only on His head for our pardon, but sin under His feet for our deliverance. Multitudes who glory in the outward Cross know nothing of that inward crucifixion which it has also made possible, whereby they are delivered from the power of self and sin, the world, the flesh, and the devil. That they do not know: That their ‘old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, so that they should no longer be in bondage to sin’ (Rom. 6:6).

We are not only to take by faith the fact that the Lord Jesus died for us to pay the price and penalty of our sins, but we are to appropriate by faith the fact that He also took us to the Cross with Him. In Christ, God put to death our old man that we might be delivered from the power and dominion of sin in our lives. So the story of the pathway of faith begins with Calvary and our identification with the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus.

  “You were set free from the tyranny of sin” (Rom. 6:18, Wey.).

God bless from scumlikeuschuch@gmail.com

Pray for Abbie R, she goes to court tomorrow to hear her probation status.

Pray for John G, a new dad today, a baby girl, Melissa, healthy and all the fingers and toes you’re supposed to have.

SAVVY??

July 22, 2018

  “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

  Hard as it is for the believer to finally come to rest concerning his spiritual birth, it seems to be even more difficult for him to simply rest in the Lord Jesus for his life and service.

There are two stages in the Christian life. The one in which, after conversion, a believer seeks to work what God would have him do. The second, in which, after many a painful failure, he ceases from his works, and enters the rest of God, there to find the power for work in allowing the Father to work in him. (this second stage is only possible if you are not in a legalistic church, and one that grace is available but not cheap.)

It is this rest from their own work which many Christians cannot understand. They think of it as a state of passive and selfish enjoyment, of still contemplation which leads to the neglect of the duties of life, and ruins for that watchfulness and warfare to which Scripture calls. What an entire misunderstanding of God’s call to rest!

Truly to rest in God is to yield oneself up to the highest activity. We work, because He worketh in us both to will and to do (Phil. 2:13). As Paul says of himself, ‘I labor, striving according to his working who worketh in me with might’ (Col. 1:29). Entering the rest of God is the ceasing from self-effort, and the yielding of oneself in the full surrender of faith to God’s working.

Not only does the Lord Jesus live in us, but He becomes the motivating Object of our life as Christians. The law is no longer our motive or rule of life. It is entirely displaced by a Person, and that Person ‘the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ Henceforth the soul has a new center and source—it is no longer self-centered, but Christ-centered.

  “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11:29

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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