Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.
 

Welcome, welcome, one and all to rainy day Tuesday! Yes the rain has not really eased up nuh. It drizzled most of the night. Good thing it’s mostly drizzles and not big downpours. I guess we can be thankful for small mercies there. But chuh! I’m tired talking about the rain yes! (smile) 

If it’s going to fall, just let it fall and ignore it. It’s got to stop at some time since the Lord promised that He wouldn’t ever destroy the earth by flooding again…but please note He didn’t say anything about no warnings by flooding! (smile) 

Anyway, remember last week when we heard from Gramps Schuller (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional on allowing trouble to lift you up, to let it be a golden opportunity to rise higher? Well today we’re going to continue in that vein, where he says: ‘Let Your Problems Lead You to God!’ And isn’t that the wise and sensible thing to do! 

Now listen as Gramps Schuller elucidates: ‘No problem leaves you where it found you. Read this affirmation out loud: “I will be a different person when this problem is past. I will be a wiser, stronger, more patient person; or I will be sour, cynical, bitter, disillusioned, and angry. It all depends on what I do with this problem. 

Each problem can make me a better person or a worse person. It can bring me closer to God, or it can drive me away from God. It can build my faith or it can shatter my faith. It all depends on my attitude. I intend to be a better person when this problem leaves me than I was when it met me.’ 

Glory be my precious people! That’s the ONLY wise way to go! Too many of us though go the wrong way, and then allow the problems to leave us BITTER and not BETTER! That’s a fool’s wisdom my faithful brethren! As true believers in Christ we are supposed to come up over the problem, and the first step in doing that is taking it to the Almighty, to whom we ascribe that nothing is impossible, and who promises to faithfully help us solve all our problems. 

So if we have someone to whom nothing is impossible, and whose help is assured, why don’t we run to Him with every problem eh? I’d guess that foolish pride or disbelief, or a combination of both keeps us from running to God first with our problems. Only when we discover we can’t handle them by ourselves, do we go cap in hand, miserably seeking the Father’s help. 

And one of the many ways He helps us is by providing protective armour for us in our earthly battle with the forces of evil and ungodliness. As we saw yesterday, Bruh Paul said that it was ever so important we: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes friends, the devil is always out there like a roaring, but toothless lion, looking for someone to trip up and deceive, and if we’re not wearing our protective spiritual armour, then we’re easy pickings for him. 

Now let’s refresh our memories about what exactly is this spiritual armour we’re talking about. Listen to Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Oh my brethren when we have those necessary pieces of protection, helmet, sword, shoes, shield and breastplate, then and only then are we ready to engage the enemy in battle. 

Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about those individual pieces of spiritual armour. ‘6:14-17. The whole armour of God consists of six pieces. (1) Truth (v.14a) is a knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. The ancient soldier’s loins (waist) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place, by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the truth of scripture. 

(2). The breastplate of righteousness (v14b) may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (righteousness) (3) Preparation of the gospel of peace (v15) means “eagerness that comes from the gospel of peace.” 

That is, as the Roman soldier wore special shoes called ‘caligae’ on his feet, enabling him to advance against the enemy, so the Christian must have on his feet (possess) a sense of “eagerness” or “willingness” to advance against the devil and take the fight to him. Such “eagerness” to contend with Satan “comes from the gospel of peace.” The gospel gives peace to the believer, freeing him from anxiety though he advances against such a powerful opponent. 

(4) The shield of (which is) faith (v.16) means taking God at His word by believing His promises. Such trust will protect one from doubts induced by Satan. (5) The helmet of salvation (v.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8) they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes this helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is, the certainty (assurance) of salvation. (6) The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God(v.17b): The Greek term rendered “word” is not ‘logos,’ referring to the whole word of God, but ‘rhema,’ referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.’ 

Oh my people, I know it all sounds very complicated, but if we sincerely and regularly read, study and meditate on God’s Word, most of those things will come naturally to us. We’ll know the truth of His Word, as well as have a good knowledge of Scripture, that will lead us to a moral and godly life, and the peace that we find in the Word will just make us eager to go out and fight God’s battles, protected by the assurance of salvation and the strong and sturdy shield of our faith, with Bible verses just saturating in our hearts with which to rebuke the devil! 

Remember though friends that the Word is sharp like a two edged sword that cuts right down to the bone! It’s a dangerous weapon my people, so we have to be very careful how we wield it. (smile) Anyway, enough on the spiritual armour topic, it’s turned out to be longer than I planned, but it’s all for our benefit. 

And having absorbed all the above, (smile) let’s go home fully clothed in our spiritual armour sincerely and vociferously declaring (bingo!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are! All together now: ‘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!’ 

Isn’t that just a wonderful situation my faithful saints of Christ! Now let’s go out and share His awesome LOVE and amazing friendship, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…only when faced with adversity…can we know the true strength and maturity…of our Christian faith…

 

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2019 Philippians 1:6.

Philippians 1:6.   ​Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.
 
‘It’s spring! It’s spring! Springtime is here! Thank God it’s spring!’ Hn, hn, hn! Yeh friends, the Spring Equinox has finally reached the North Country, but please don’t be deceived by the ebullient nature of that statement because that’s just man’s calendar. Mother Nature however, doesn’t hold to man’s demarcation of time, she does her own thing, so the temps will not always be above freezing, and some of that white stuff is possible in the next month or so.  

And having set the record straight on that topic, let’s move on to this interesting poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled ‘What is Your Schedule, God?’ The first time I read it, I had to laugh because it applies so appropriately to my present position and no doubt to some of you readers also. 

So please pray with me: ‘Lord Many years ago Martin Luther King said “It is God’s nature To make something out of nothing. That is why God cannot make anything Out of him who is not yet nothing.” In ways I had never anticipated, Lord Slowly but persistently You continue Your hammering and crushing In every hidden crevice of my life. 

You seem determined To reduce me to nothing In order to make something. I wonder… What is Your schedule, God? As You creatively continue To reshape and remake me How long will it last? Lord, could You hurry a little’ 

My sentiments exactly my people! It’s taking a rather long time for Him to complete His renovations in me! Oh I know that I will be a much better person, both physically and spiritually when He’s done, but did I need so much work, that it’s taking so long? (smile) I guess He seems to think so. And He’s the Boss, the Renovator, so there’s not much I can do but grin and bear it, knowing that He’s faithfully promised that He eventually will work out all things for our good. 

Even the bad stuff, He’ll make eventually work in our favour. And there’s also this other important and incomparable promise found in the Bible verse for today’s poem, which is also our Bit for today. In the immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ 

Ah mih people, our God is not a wishy-washy deity, who just does things vikey-vie, but an outstanding and upstanding Father figure who has an airtight plan and completes what He begins! That means that though I’ve been going through some rough times as He renovates me, and it seems to be taking a rather long time, I can yet be assured that he will finish those renovations in His own timing. 

We all know that His timing and ours very seldom coincide; (smile) we want it done now for now, but He’s in no rush whatsoever. That’s why He gives us His powerful grace to bear up under such tough and unwanted conditions. 

Now hear what the scholars say about our Bit. ‘1:6. Will perform it is said “will finish it.” Paul is convinced that the work of grace that God began in the Philippians at conversion will be divinely continued until the day of Jesus Christ. That is, the Lord will keep working in these believers until Jesus returns to earth, at which point He will finish His work, bringing it to completion. This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ 

Give our great God some thanks and praise my brethren, because He also has a purpose in saving us, and that purpose will neither be ‘abandoned nor unrealized!’ Wow! You can bet your bottom dollar on that! The Lord will continue working in and on each of us until Jesus comes back to claim His birthright! Isn’t that good news? Yes, it sure is wonderful news, to know that our heavenly Father is on the ball, even though we may not like what His work entails in our earthly days. 

But we’ve just got to hang on to those promises of His, the many promises found in His awesome Word, like those above and like He’ll never leave nor forsake us, will always comfort us, give us beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, keep us safe under His mighty wings from the always lurking enemy and life’s inevitable storms, just like a mother hen protects her chicks! And the list goes on and on my faithful followers of Christ! 

Remember, we are partners in this life with our Maker; that means He has a part to do, and we also have our part to do. And as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘God will not do our part, and we can’t do His part, though we often try to!’ And that’s gospel truth friends! So our part of the covenant is to hold on tightly to the promises of the Almighty, and walk obediently to His will, regardless of the circumstances, and just let Him get on with His renovation and renewal of our lives. 

Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours and a thousand days in His sight is like one in ours, so we will very seldom see eye to eye. (smile) But all will turn out well if we just believe and hold steadfast to His Word! It’s not always easy to do, but He’s also given us the grace and the help of His Holy Spirit do it. So let’s stop complaining and just get with the programme nuh! Jesus didn’t have it easy, so why should we have it so eh? No reason whatsoever! 

So let’s smarten up, and with the Lord’s strength and joy in our hearts, let’s go home declaring (steups – wrong again) our Wednesday Wail, telling the whole world our wonderful and enviable position in the Lord Jesus Christ, our most wonderful Leader and Saviour! 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And please remember, that future will be even more glorious than we can think or imagine! Way to go mih people! Much LOVE!

…a house built on sand will not stand…but one built on the rock that’s Jesus…will surely last forever…

P.S. Yuh see what happens when you all get the ole fella excited…he just keeps on writing…(smile)  Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2018 Zechariah 9:12.

Zechariah 9:12.    Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.

Well mih people, we might not have as nice a day as the last few, because they’ve called for showers, and we did have a small thunder squall earlier in the morning, but yuh know what? Right now, though it’s somewhat cloudy, the Sun is fighting valiantly to come out and shine, shine, shine! Yeh it does look hopeful out there. And yuh know the SON is always out there doing His thing! So no need to worry on that side of the ledger. (smile) 

Unfortunately however, those people in Hawaii are experiencing more volcanic activity, so let’s keep up our prayers for them, that the whole thing will soon settle down without further disruption and disaster. 

Now here is something from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. It gives us a very good insight into problems, and is appropriately titled: ‘Let Your Problem Lead You to God.’ 

Gramps Schuller writes: ‘No problem leaves you where it found you. Read this affirmation out loud: “I will be a different person when this problem is past. I will be a wiser, stronger, more patient person; or I will be sour, cynical, bitter, disillusioned, and angry. It all depends on what I do with this problem. 

Each problem can make me a better person or a worse person. It can bring me closer to God, or it can drive me away from God. It can build my faith or it can shatter my faith. It all depends on my attitude. I intend to be a better person when this problem leaves me than I was when it met me.” There are vast untapped resources of faith and talent that can only be discovered in adversity.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! It’s unfortunate, but the fact is that only through adversity can we build or discover true faith. And when adversity comes, the way we handle it will indeed make us a better or worse person. If we try to run away from it and hide, or adopt a completely negative attitude, then it will eat us up faster than the bat of an eyelash. 

But if we keep our peace and recognize that the problem is bigger than us and take it to God, then we’re already in the driver’s seat! Glory to God! Remember friends that you and God are a majority in EVERY situation, and with Him by your side, you can win every battle. 

If you are a wise believer, then taking your problems to God is a no-brainer, because that’s what He has asked us to do. He wants to be involved in EVERY situation in our lives, big, small or otherwise! And if we don’t involve Him in everything, He feels left out and pouts, just like we do, when we’re not invited in. (smile) 

Oh friends, we cannot pick and choose which situations in our life to allow God into, that’s why I’ve chosen this encouraging scripture from the prophet Zechariah, as he talks about Zion’s future king, to be our Bit today. ‘Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ 

Oh my people, what wonderful advice! And though it was given thousands of years ago, it’s still as pertinent today as it was back then. It only makes sense to turn to whatever is strong in our lives, not what is weak. And the strongest thing there is, is Almighty God, so why wouldn’t we turn to Him in all wisdom eh? 

But what I like most about that passage of scripture is the phrase, ‘prisoners of hope!’ Wow! It sounds like the perfect name for believers. Imprisoned by hope in Jesus Christ, we just keep trucking on in faith and never give up! I think it’s high time we emblazon that phrase on our mental billboards, and truly begin considering ourselves as prisoners of hope. We can never go wrong if we do. 

And yuh see what happens when we do behave as prisoners of hope? The Lord renders double unto us. He blesses us even more than He has already. So why not become a true prisoner of hope then eh my people? Wisdom and common sense demand it!  

And now, I just want to add a couple of obscure scriptures that most of us might not know, but which encourage us to turn to God. Listen to Hosea, as he talks about Ephraim’s sins being rebuked by God. ‘Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial. Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy (LOVING-kindness, faithfulness) and judgement (justice), and wait on thy God continually.’ (Hos.12:5-6) Now that’s a proven winner! 

And lastly, these most encouraging words from the vision of Daniel re the time of the end. ‘And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.’ (Dan. 12:3) 

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful promise! And since we consider these times, the end times, what better way to go than by being wise and shining brightly and turning others to Christ! Mama Mia! That verse surely excited me! (smile) 

Now, since we are wise, and are prisoners of hope, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, all that the Lord has given us for being so smart. Hn, hn! 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!’ 

What a wonderful God we serve and worship! But remember people, that’s not all for us, but also to share with the less fortunate. So let’s go and do that now nuh. Much LOVE!

…if you’ve got to be a prisoner…there’s none better…than being one of hope in Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2016 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. 

Well friends, the big day of New Year’s Eve is finally here! The partying will be sensational, the food will be to die for and the alco will be flowing like water! And everybody will hug and kiss at midnight and wish everyone a Happy New Year. Our society will be overflowing with good feelings for at least one time in the year. Glory to God! 

And everybody will be making resolutions to improve every aspect of their lives. But wait, by a couple of weeks later all those promising resolutions would have unfortunately bitten the dust. Most of us will revert to our former selves and our former caustic, uncaring behaviour, for the New Year’s scene is simply one without any real substance. We create a great clamour as we ring in the New Year, but in truth it only lasts for a short while, since nothing much changes from one day to the next. 

Oh I know some of you might think I’m being pessimistic, but I’m simply being realistic. I’ve seen it happen for so many years of my life, and each year our society becomes more evil and ungodly. Now nothing is wrong with a good party, but when we place so much emphasis on it and we don’t follow through, then it becomes a waste of time. 

Now since it’s Saturday, here are a few quotes, resolutions, from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one. ‘One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this – To rise above the little things.’ And that does make sense, because we should never sweat the little things. 

Then he says: ‘Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better person.’ Now that makes sense too. And the third one declares: ‘Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.’ And the last one is: ‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.’ 

Oh my people, all those resolutions are useful in their own way, but we don’t need so many. As I said at the end of last year, there is ONLY ONE RESOLUTION we need to make, and that is a sincere and diligent resolve to walk closer with Jesus, our Lord, Saviour, Friend, Brother, etc. etc. each and every day that His wonderful breath of life courses through our bodies! End of story! 

Walking sincerely with Jesus, and trying to be a more mature Christian encompasses everything else we need or want to do.  Why do you think He went through the trouble in the Sermon on the Mount to tell us our Bit eh? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’  Yes my fellow believers, all who have pledged their allegiance to Jesus, must keep on seeking His kingdom and its righteousness without ceasing. 

Then Jesus adds: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (Therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33) 

And the scholars tell us, re those two verses. ‘6:33-34. The present imperative form of the verb (Gr. zeteo) indicates a continual or constant seeking. The contrast between the spiritual and the material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. 

When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (v.34) This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’  

And the sad part is that many of us Christians are material seekers as well as tomorrow worriers! The things of the world take first place in our lives, and consequently we have to worry about what will happen tomorrow. But if we just concentrate on following Jesus, we won’t have those things to worry about and all our material needs would be met. 

Hear what Bruh Paul told Timothy on the subject. ‘But refuse (reject) profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 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. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.’ (1 Tim.4:7-11)  

Now listen to the scholars. ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, if we seek God first, things like physical exercise, healthy diets, and all the stuff we feel we need, they will be inculcated into our walk with Him. As we go, Jesus will see what we need and guide us and give us the wherewithal to accomplish them. 

And if you want an example of all that we’ve said, just read about Cousin Sol in 1 Kings 3:3-15, and you’ll see when he asked the Lord for wisdom and understanding to rule his people Israel, instead of riches and honour, the Lord made him both the wisest and richest man who ever lived. 

Friends, He will do the same thing for each of us who sincerely surrenders to and trusts in Him. Now the burning question I have to ask before we close, is did we walk closer with Jesus this year, did we become more mature, more spiritually minded Christians? 

Now only you and Jesus know the answer, and I sincerely hope we did. But just in case we didn’t, I’m pleading with us to make walking closer with Jesus our ONE and ONLY resolution for 2017. Let’s seriously focus in on it nuh. So at the end of 2017, if we’re still around, and I ask that question again, this time I’ll get a joyful shout of ‘Yes, I did!’ Now that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…dress up in yuh fancy dan-dan…and party hearty…but please remember…that drunk or sober…to mind yuh business…