Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 October 2018 Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.   For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
 

Another day friends! Another day in the life, as the universe unfurls as our great God planned it! Praise His holy name! We’re alive, be we kicking or not (smile), and that means the Lord still has work for us to do down here on this nonconforming earth. So let’s do it with a good attitude nuh, one that reflects all the values that Jesus taught us. 

And I simply could not resist the pull of this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, this Tuesday morning. It’s called ‘The Lesson of the Windmill.’ So please read with me: ‘Lorraine, Kansas, where I grew up, was known as the City of Windmills. I LOVED having one in our backyard. I was sure that if I climbed to the very top I could touch God! If only I was brave enough to try! 

My brother, two years younger than I, was usually eager to please me, so I begged him until he finally agreed. He stepped on the first rung, the second, the third and fourth. “Im proud of you!” I shouted. Another rung…and another…and almost to the top. Then he looked down – and froze. Our mother heard his screams. When she saw her young son on the ladder, she calmly silenced his screams while I ran for our neighbour. 

In moments Johnnie was rescued. I knew he was angry. “You said if I climbed to the top I could touch God, but I didn’t even see him.” Often God has used this memory of the windmill to remind me that we never reach God by climbing. Again and again we attempt to climb the rung of good works, the rung of prestige and success – until we discover anew that the ONLY way to reach God is by kneeling at the foot of the cross. He waits for us there!’ 

Wow friends! What Truth! Everything we are and ever will be begins and ends at the foot of Jesus’ cross, for that’s where He carried out His greatest and most important work. And if we need to meet Him, that’s the surest place to do it. And what I really want to highlight in the poem is the climbing, the striving behind the world’s treasures and rewards that so many of us supposed believers are still so voluminously (for want of a better word) involved in. 

Oh my people, we can’t serve both God and mammon, or the world’s vision, at the same time. We have to choose one or the other. And obviously serving Almighty God is the one that makes the most sense. Remember what Jesus said on the subject in His famous Sermon on the Mount? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Yeh friends, if we truly and diligently seek God, He will add all the material things we need. As the scholars say: ‘When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides.’ I like that… so much so that we’ll say it again: ‘Where God guides, He provides.’ 

And that’s the absolute truth! Our God DOESN’T ask us to go somewhere or do something and NOT provide the wherewithal to accomplish it! We need to remember that my brethren. But then again, we can only come to that point, that recognition through the working of our faith in the school of hard knocks. For it’s mostly when we struggle, but also persevere that we truly see God’s faithfulness. 

However, also in answer to our false and misleading attempts to reach God through good works and the world’s system of rewards, hear the basic impossibility of that approach – the scripture promise for the poem above, as well as our Bit – as penned by Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.’ 

Yes people, works have nothing whatsoever to do with our being saved! It is an undeserved favour, a divine gift of God! And why did God make it thus? Simple, as Bruh Paul elucidates: ‘Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.2:9) God knew the animal that He’d made, for if anything was up for grabs through our good works, men would be bragging and boasting from here to kingdom come, just like we do under the world system. 

 But instead, He turned it around. ‘For we are his workmanship (new creation) created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:10) So the long and short of the story is that God long ago decided that once we were spiritually saved, morally reborn, then our natural course would be to do good works. 

So please remember, as the scholars explain: ‘That no part of salvation is “of yourselves” or due to what we do – the whole of salvation is the gift of God. Man is saved “by grace” that is by the kindness of God in having Jesus die for our sins. But this grace is appropriated through faith, that is; man believes what God has done for him and relies upon Christ’s atonement to blot out his sins and bring him into a proper relationship with God.’ 

And having written that indelibly in our hearts, minds and souls, we can now go home declaring (yeah! spelled it right!) our Tuesday Mantra. In full voice, with a strong sense of purpose, let’s make known to this sinful world who and whose we truly are.

‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ Now let’s go out and do just that! Much LOVE!

…good works CAN’T get you into heaven…only faith in Jesus CAN…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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