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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2018 Proverbs 19:23.

Proverbs 19:23.    The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

Now if I didn’t already know it, I wouldn’t believe it! And what’s that, you ask with an inquisitive frown? If I didn’t know that it was Monday, I wouldn’t believe it, because everybody is so busy and diligently going about their first day of the workweek tasks in such good moods! Nobody’s sulking, miserable or seems depressed; no Monday blues whatsoever! No setta sick calls either! 

And then you’d tell me: Oh, they’re all following the example of that fringe group called Christians; the group that believes in what they call the Messiah, or Saviour, His name is Jesus Christ! Yes, they are very dependable, and do excellent work too! And all I’d be able to says, is ‘Glory be!’ (smile) 

What a great day that will be eh friends, when we have the whole world following our example of diligent and excellent work in Jesus name! Right now it’s still somewhat of a fairy tale, or massive future dream, but if we keep working away at it, in all diligence and excellence, and with Jesus’ help, that day will eventually come. So let’s not give up hope and stop trying, for once there is life, there is hope!  

However, for the many of us who still struggle with getting it together on a Monday morning, we have the perfect elixir to fix whatever ails you. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. It’s simply prayer, but then again, please remember that prayer is the most powerful tool and/or weapon in God’s great universe! So let’s not waste any more time in putting it to work nuh. 

All together now:  ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh my people, it’s working already! I know you can feel it; feel the positive improvement in your attitude, and the excitement that’s being generated by the rush of adrenaline that’s suddenly flowing through your veins!

Wow! Prayer Power is fantastic! It works miracles! Now let’s be on our way about Jesus business, with bright countenances, joyful spirits, and a heart overflowing with LOVE, as He so dearly desires of us. 

But before we jump into the fray, let’s take a moment and set the thoughts engendered by these wise words of Cousin Sol firmly in our hearts and minds. ‘The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.’ 

That’s for certain sure my fellow believers! When we reverence our Creator, it means that we do our best to exalt Him and do His will. And since He faithfully takes care of those who uphold His name and His commandments, then there’s no need to worry, He will ensure that we’re contented with our lot.  And Bruh Paul has also assured us: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

We do have to stand strong, steadfast and wise in the faith though for it to happen. And on writing to young Timothy, as per being a good minister of Jesus Christ, amongst other things, Bruh Paul warned: ‘For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.’ (1 Tim.4:8-9) 

And the scholars explain. ‘4:8: The verse may be paraphrased, “For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited value, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity.” 

That’s indisputable truth my brethren! ‘For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially (especially) of those that believe.’ (1 Tim.4:10) 

Yes friends, we definitely need to exercise spiritually, so that we live godly and thus attain the wonderful promise of many blessings and abundant life, down here on earth and through eternity.

Please note though, that although God has provided salvation for ALL men, only those who sincerely believe in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ WILL be saved. So, I implore us to live our lives in accordance with those principles, otherwise…crapaud smoke we pipe! Much LOVE!

…salvation is available to all…but you must make a conscious decision to accept it…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2018 John 7:37-38

John 7:37-38.   In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.

‘Sunday morning coming down…’ And the Lord’s sanctuary is filled to overflowing! Bless His holy name! The faithful believers have come to renew their connection to Almighty God; to sing His praises and give Him thanks, hear His Word and receive His body and blood in the symbolic gesture of communion, thereby reawakening and reenergizing their listless and tired souls. 

Wow friends! What a blessing it is to have fellowship every Sunday with other believers under the remarkable auspices of our Creator! So as we do every Sunday, let’s begin the proceedings with some praise and worship to soften up our hearts and make them more receptive to the word. 

And today’s song of praise is that old but magical hymn, ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,’ taken from the 10th and last movement of the cantata ‘Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life,’ composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in the early 18th century. This version we’re going to sing today, is apparently the most common English one, written by poet laureate Robert Bridges. 

So without further ado, let’s raise our heads, hearts, eyes and voices to high heaven in sweet, adorable and exalted praise, accompanied by the scintillating symphonic music of the master composer, as performed by the full orchestra. As one harmonious choir now: ‘Jesus, joy of man’s desiring, Holy wisdom, LOVE most bright; Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring Soar to uncreated light. 

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned, With the fire of life impassioned, Striving still to truth unknown, soaring, dying round Thy throne. Through the way where hope is guiding, Hark, what peaceful music rings; Where the flock, in Thee confiding, Drink of joy from deathless springs. Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure; Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure. Thou dost ever lead Thine own In the LOVE of joys unknown.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my brethren! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ALWAYS leads us, His faithful people, with LOVE, to unknown, unbelievable gasps of joy! Praise His Holy Name! Oh friends, Jesus is indeed the joy of our desire!

And why not eh? He has Holy wisdom, the brightest LOVE that exists and shines in the universe, not to mention the everlasting hope of salvation and eternal life He’s provided for us through His ever-faithful promises and sacrificial actions of two thousand years ago. 

Now let’s hear his Word, which fashioned our flesh, then breathed the fire of impassioned life into it, as we strive to uncover unknown truths from it. And today’s scripture deals with ‘Drink of joy from deathless springs.’ Listen as our Lord and Saviour expounds on His abilities with thrilling confidence. 

‘In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38) 

And can you imagine the confusion those statements caused amongst the mainly ignorant crowd. ‘But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.’ (John 7:39) 

Yes friends, Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit that was to come upon every believer after His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension back to heaven. And if we’re truly spiritually thirsty, the best place to seek relief from that thirst is in Jesus.  He is the ONLY one who can quench, can satisfy, can satiate our thirsty souls! 

And in the end of the Good Book, He again declares unto John: ‘I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star’ (Rev.22:16)

And what does this revealing angel make known to John? ‘And the Spirit (Holy Spirit) and the bride (the church) say, Come (to Christ in faith for eternal life). And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst (thirsty) come. And whosoever will (desires), let him take the water of life freely.’ (Rev.22:17) 

Oh friends, you can’t beat that offer! It’s the best offer going in this mish-mash world! And we’ll end with these beautiful words of scripture as prophesied by Isaiah about the Lord’s doings through Jesus.

‘Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 

And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:2-6) 

And our Lord and Saviour is indeed great in our midst my brethren! So let’s be wise and do like the prophet advised nuh; let’s call on His name, declare His deeds, exalt His holy name and above all, accept His free offer of grace, whereby we can receive salvation and eternal life! That is wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…in Jesus…we have EVERYTHING…we can ever need…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2018 Matthew 5:13a & 14a.

Matthew 5:13a & 14a.     Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world…
 
And Saturday has dawned somewhat cloudy, chilly and damp from early evening drizzle. And in Mother Nature’s eccentric way, a lot of the trees that only two days ago I said were surprisingly still green, are now almost all golden yellow. She’s delivered the final message; it’s time to buckle down for the cold winter months ahead. And we, people of God, should also be heeding Mother Nature’s missive, because I believe we’ll be in for some rather tough times in the near future. 

And talking about tough times, I was negligent in mentioning Hurricane Michael that devastated parts of Florida a couple days ago. It came up suddenly, did, it’s dirty work and was gone again. Please let’s pray for those unfortunate people, and do whatever else we can to help them. But that might just be the pattern of natural disasters, or really any kind of disaster that might soon befall us. 

You’ll notice how disasters of all kinds have happened all over the world this year with surprising regularity. I don’t want to read too much into it, but friends, if we are wise, we will at least suspect the hand of our omnipotent God somewhere about in them, sending us a warning, to repent from our sinful ways. 

I don’t know if the world has ever been this evil, adding to the fact that we’re trying so desperately to oust God from our society. Do you think He’ll just sit quietly by and let it happen? I doubt it. But that’s just a word of warning to the wise. 

And since today is Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And first up is this: ‘All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.’ I’m not so sure about that nuh. 

Yes, life is indeed experimental; you have to try stuff to see if it works for you. But I truly wonder if the more experiments we try, the merrier, or better off we are? I think at some stage, when we find our true calling, that the experimenting must either cease or slow down. 

Then there is this: ‘A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.’ Now that’s basically true, but some will need a definition of wasting time before they agree, since to them doing nothing, is not always a waste of time, sometimes it can be a means of refreshing and renewing oneself. But generally speaking, just letting time fly by, and it does fly by, without doing positive and productive stuff, even if it’s simply regenerating oneself, isn’t a wise way to use it. 

Now hear this quote: ‘All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.’ That makes sense. We can’t afford to be moving too often from top to bottom, because that just saps the energy and spirit of our souls. We need to try and establish a nice balance between the good times and the rough times, plus don’t stay down too long, or fly too high before we develop wings. (smile) 

And the last quote says: ‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.’ 

Now that is gospel truth my brethren! We were not placed down here to merely survive, to go about like ‘poor me ones,’ but to be salt and light and magnificent examples to the unbeliever: in other words to be excellent ambassadors of Christ. As Jesus so adamantly stated in His famous Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world…’ 

Yes friends, that’s what Christ’s followers are expected to be; full of vim and vigour, showing their excellence in all matters, leading the parade in His name! Now are we leading the parade in Jesus’ name, my fellow believers? I don’t think so nuh, otherwise the evil-doers would not be having the upper hand in the world today, and we’d not be trying like hell to kick Christ out of our society. 

That just shows we’re not on top of things. We seem to be more like how Christ described flavourless salt: ‘but if the salt has lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men’ (Matt.5:13b) Likewise: ‘A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:14b-15)  

Now if those two negative situations Jesus describes are true of us in these trying times, then it doesn’t speak well of us my believing brethren. And sadly, there is a whole lot of truth to it! Our efforts for Christ are simply not up to scratch; there are too many divisions, too much petty resentment and feuding between so-called believers, plus too much compromise with the heathen, and too much of just sitting on our laurels and figuring everything will just work itself out for good. 

No friends, winning souls for Christ, and the world for His LOVE Revolution WILL not happen without our saltiness and light blaring forth, dazzling the entire world! 

Now listen to Jesus final words on the subject. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) 

Yes friends, that’s how true believers ought to be behaving, so that God can be glorified! Remember that’s our chief mission here on earth! So let’s pull up our socks and go out and do better for Jesus nuh mih breddren! Don’t you feel bad that we’re letting the world blaspheme His holy name and kick Him around like a bloody football, after all He’s done for us? We ought to! Much LOVE!

…if you’re not flavouring the world with your saltiness…and dazzling them with your light…then you’re a poor ambassador for Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2018 John 4:34.

John 4:34.    Jesus saith unto them, My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
 

Well friends sorry I’m a bit late, but my friendly computer acted up on me this morning when I was already late. (smile) And no, we’re not supposed to have as wonderful a day as the last two, but the temp should be above the seasonal norm, and the sun is fighting valiantly to stay shining after the intermittent rain we had during the night. 

The temp is supposed to plummet after today, so I guess I won’t be able to sit comfortably again in shirtsleeves on my front porch at 3.30 in the morning like I did earlier on today. It’s so healing and cleansing to be able to sit in the peaceful silence and communicate with nature and one’s Maker. They say that an empty church has more room for God, well so does a peaceful neighbourhood, allow greater communication. 

So what shall we talk about today eh? I don’t have a clue. (smile) However, after sifting through the numerous bits of paper on my desk, I found this interesting quote, although I’m not sure who said it. And it says: ‘Discipline is not our enemy, but our friend. And discipline helps you be what you want to be, and you won’t be without it.’ 

Gospel truth mih people! We can’t be what we want to be without discipline! It’s as simple as that! Because discipline keeps us focused on whatever it is we desire to do, and if we’re not focused, zoomed in, we won’t accomplish whatever we set out to do. The problem though is that discipline goes against the natural grain of our carnal minds and flesh. It keeps us tied to one path, makes it straight and narrow, needing us to keep our eyes straight ahead so that we don’t veer off. 

And have you ever noticed how easy it is to veer off the straight and narrow path? It certainly doesn’t take much encouragement. (smile) That’s why it’s so difficult to be a true follower of Jesus, especially with all the worldly stuff that’s out there trying to drag us back to the wide and destructive path. 

But friends, to be successful in our godly endeavours, we have to take a page from Jesus’ book.  Please note what He says in our Bit to the disciples at the well of Jacob, when they offered Him food, after He met the Samaritan woman. ‘Jesus saith unto them, My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.’  

Yes my brethren, the Lord sent Jesus to perform a certain task, namely to spread the good news of the gospel and to sacrifice His sinless life so that we could be saved, and that’s all He concentrated on. He didn’t turn to the left nor to the right, just focused completely on the task of the Father, keeping in continual communication with Him. 

So if the Son of God, needed to be in continuous communication with His Father to be able to do His work down here on earth, how much more do we, mere mortals, need to stay in touch with and focused on our heavenly Father if we sincerely want to do His will. Glory be mih people, the ole fella is just running away with it! (smile) 

The Holy Spirit suddenly infused those thoughts in my mind and I couldn’t type fast enough to put them down. And it just brought to my mind the fact that I’ve been writing this Bit for almost eleven years is also a matter of discipline. I have to set my focus each day on writing it. 

And the truth be known, now I don’t even fret about it again. I just know that I have to write it and get up and ask the Lord for guidance, and like today, when I didn’t know what I was going to write about, He showed me a way. That’s why I can testify that the Lord is truly faithful! If you do what He commands you to do, then He WILL help you to do it. I certainly couldn’t be writing this Bit for so long without His marvelous help. 

But then friends, it takes that tough and unlikable word ‘discipline’ to do it successfully. Without it, in any area of life or situation, we’ll never reach the mountain top for which we all strive. And Cousin Sol gives a couple of interesting pointers here. ‘Commit thy works unto the Lord (roll on the Lord thy works), and thy thoughts shall be established. (Prov.16:3) And secondly: ‘When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.’ (Prov.16:7) 

Ah mih people, that just shows the wisdom of getting God seriously involved in ALL of our affairs. And when we have done that friends, then we can say to the Father, like Jesus did: ‘I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.’ (John 17:4) 

The scholars tell us that’s when He finished His active ministry, then thereafter took a more passive role. However, when He declared on the cross: ‘It is finished: and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.’ (John 19:30) that’s when it was all done, both His active and passive ministry. He had done ALL that the Father had sent Him to do, because He was focused and disciplined, and with the Father’s help was extremely successful. 

Likewise friends, if we are focused and disciplined, with the Father’s help we can also be extremely successful. Now it’s time to go home declaring (spelled it right again!) our Thursday Blessings, letting the world know of the goodness of God when you walk hand in hand with Him. 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, if we believe it, then we have to declare it, because a blessing is not a blessing unless it’s declared. Now let’s go out and share them all with others who are not as blessed. Much LOVE!

…blessings are bestowed…so that they can be shared…

 

 

 

 

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