Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2021 Romans 12:2 a+b.

Romans 12:2 a+b.     And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

Well, a great Wednesday to you my Scrip-Bits friends and family! I hope the peace and LOVE of Christ is flowing smoothly and sweetly through you this new day, and that you are doing your best to live for Him, as is expected of you. Yes my people, living for Jesus is wonderful, though sometimes difficult. (smile) But He gives us new, strong breath and energy every day to help us along our journey, plus new compassions and mercies so that we are not bowed down. 

That means every day is a new and remarkable event, not a mundane, same old, same old, like so many of us think it to be, and thus behave in a mundane, lackadaisical manner. But every day is a present friends, a wonderful gift from God, and we ought to treat it like such, appreciate it and use it in a manner to bring the utmost glory to His holy name! 

Consequently, we ought to begin the day with words like the psalmist of old did: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:24) And then we go out and do exactly that; make the most of every opportunity that comes our way to live for Him as well as enjoy our lives. Because that’s what He desires of us. Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that ‘I came that they might have life, and that they might have it abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) 

Now that certainly doesn’t mean we should live measly, merely eking out existences, but full and abundant lives with all that He has to offer. But it all begins with a change to our mindsets, because what we think, what we focus on, usually leads to the direction we follow and the actions we commit. So if we want to have different actions, then it’s obvious we need to think differently. 

And Bruh Paul gives us this wonderful advice in his epistle to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) Yes friends, we need to stop conforming to the thinking and dictates of this world. 

As the scholars say: We ‘are to resist being poured into the mold of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world.’ And no, it’s not easy to do when the things and values of the world are always in your face, like the bombardment of commercials, infomercials and all the other worldly stuff we have targeted towards us every day. But we can thwart the continual bombardment to our carnal lusts if we seriously want to do it. Here’s how…by seeking God’s will for our lives every day. 

And what’s God’s will for our lives? Listen, as the scholar’s talk about ‘Dedication to the Will of God. ‘12:1-2. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in all of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God, we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God (John 7:17). Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing (First Ref. Gen. 22:12; Primary Ref. Rom. 12:1).’ 

So you see friends, we can beat the world system and it’s sinful and ungodly values, but it takes a lifetime commitment to seeking God’s will for our lives every day that we draw breath on this earth! And I like how the scholars say that ‘Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ.’ Glory Hallelujah my faithful believing brethren! 

Now, you know that’s been God’s plan for us from day one; raising us from glory to glory, transforming us to the image and likeness of Christ, day by day. As Bruh Paul said to the Corinthians. ‘But we all with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘3:18. Beholding as in a glass: The term ‘beholding’ can have the sense of ‘reflecting.’ The believer himself ‘reflects’ the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the glory of the Lord. For Moses, the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ 

And yuh better believe that the Lord will never give up on us! Once we stay connected to Him, continually seeking Him, He will continue to work His glory in us. Bruh Paul puts it thus to the church at Philippi: ‘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.’ (Phil. 1:6) What encouraging words mih bredrin! 

Once God begins our transformation to a Christlike image, through His awesome grace, He will never stop until the day Christ returns! That confers an amazing amount of security on us believers! But on the other hand my people, it’s ever so important that we do our part, that’s keep believing and trusting in Christ Jesus, and putting our best foot forward in doing His awesome will. We all know it’s not an easy lifestyle to maintain, but it sure is wonderful, adventurous and fulfilling when we sincerely try, because that’s the marvellous kind of God we serve! 

And with all that encouragement and excitement bubbling up in our spirit, (smile) let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! All together 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 what a glorious future that will be, if we stand strong and steadfast and endure to the very end! Much LOVE!

…Jesus is so wonderful…it’s impossible to not LOVE Him…                                                                                                              

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2021 Luke 14:33.

Luke 14:33.     ​So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

It’s gathering time again friends! Time to gather, praise and worship our heavenly Father on this first Sunday after Easter, the greatest day in the Christian faith! Wow! Please, let’s always keep that awesome day of Christ’s triumphant resurrection at the forefront of our memories nuh, because without it, there would be no Christianity, forgiveness of sins or basic salvation and eternity in heaven with Christ our Lord and Saviour! Glory to God the Father, who gave His only Son as a living sacrifice to pay for our sins! 

So, as always, let’s open with a song of praise and worship. And the lyrics to today’s hymn is one of the many written by American hymn writer Judson Van De Venter (1855-1939), the tune composed by Winfield Weeden. The song was first published in 1896, and it’s still one of our favourites today. We know it as ‘All to Jesus I Surrender.’ Now, as we raise our voices in harmony, in sacrificial praise, let’s sincerely open our hearts, souls and minds and surrender our all to Jesus, our High Priest, Lord and Saviour, Advocate, Prince of Peace, Mighty Counsellor, and all the other titles He holds, because it is right proper for us to do so. 

In an up-tempo beat, because we’re celebrating, not mourning: ‘All to Jesus I surrender. All to Him I freely give; I will ever LOVE and trust Him, In His presence daily live. (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all.) All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow, Worldly pleasures all forsaken. Take me, Jesus, take me now. (Refrain: I surrender all..) All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Saviour, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. 

(Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy LOVE and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame; Oh, the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory, to His name! (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all…I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all…’  

Yes friends, that was most excellent! And doesn’t it make you feel good, make you feel free and unburdened? Surrendering yourself to Jesus certainly does that! It lightens your load and puts some pep in your hitherto haunting step. So why are we so reluctant to surrender our all to Christ eh? We might surrender some, to Him, but too many refuse to surrender all. But that’s what He desires: ALL of us! As the old saying goes: All or nothing at all! 

And this explanation from the hymnary.org website puts it in an interesting manner. ‘It is human nature to seek power and accomplishment through conflict, hence the popularity of athletic contests. Defeat in a championship game is humiliating, and giving up is even more so. Nevertheless, Christ calls His followers to totally surrender themselves to Him. 

He described it this way: “Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:31-33 ESV) 

There’s no mincing of words in that statement my brethren. Remember the rich young ruler, who wanted to be perfect and had been faithfully keeping the commandments all His life? ‘Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt. 19:21-22) 

Then Jesus told the disciples about it being easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, and they were all amazed, wondering then, just who could be saved. ‘But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this impossible, but with God, all things are possible. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?’ (Matt. 19:23-27) 

Oh friends, Jesus is not a hard task master, He just wants to see how faithful we are. In any case, when we give up earthly treasures on His behalf, He will repay us with even greater heavenly ones. Hear His answer to Peter’s question. ‘And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands (property), for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.’ (Matt. 19: 28-29) 

Yuh see people, sacrificing for Jesus here on earth will be handsomely rewarded in heaven. We’ve got to note though, Jesus’ last word on the subject. ‘But many that are first shall be last: and many that are last shall be first.’ (Matt. 19:30) Yes my fellow saints, the value system in heaven is very different to that here on earth. Not all that are important down here will be important in heaven. And likewise, not all that are despised and rejected will be so in heaven. 

As one commentator realistically puts it: ‘Don’t get caught up in the world’s way of ranking things; it’s too prone to error. Those who are first in the opinion of others (or first in their own opinion!) may be surprised to learn, on Judgment Day, they are last in God’s opinion.’ 

And I think that’s a very good note for us to end on today. Let’s remember it, so we don’t get any false opinions about our importance, be it here on earth, or up in heaven. Much LOVE!

…to get ALL that Jesus offers…we have to give Him ALL of us… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 October 2020 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Corinthians 5:17.     ​Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

‘Give me Jesus… give I Jesus… You can have all of this fallen world…Just give I Jesus…’ Oh friends, I’m chuckling here because you know how a song can just enter your spirt and keep percolating there constantly? Well that’s how ‘Give me Jesus’ has been constantly percolating in my soul since we sang it last Sunday. And why shouldn’t it eh, since Jesus is the greatest gift we’ve ever been given, and the greatest request we can ever ask. Remember Jesus’ words: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you…’ (Matt. 7:7) And His brother James says: ‘yet ye have not, because ye ask not.’ (James 4:2b) Cause even when we ask, we ask for the wrong things, so we don’t get anything. 

So yes, I’m asking for Jesus! Why? Because I need Him in the morning when I rise to help me get going, so I can do His work with diligence and excellence. And all during the day, I need Jesus to keep me running smoothly, purring like a well-tuned and oiled engine. And at night, when I lay me down to rest… oh brother, I need him to cleanse, purify and reinvigorate my soul, body and spirit, so I can have the strength and energy to go out and do His work again the next day. 

And most importantly people, when the breath of Jesus’ awesome Spirit has left my mortal body, I need Him, more than ever, to carry me over to the other side of the river, which ONLY He can do. To carry me to those wonderful mansions that He’s built for those who believe and have faith in His miracle working powers; those who believe that ALL things are possible with and through Him, and that in His LOVING-kindness, He works everything out eventually for the good of those who LOVE Him! 

So please, please, ‘Give I Jesus nuh! Just give I Jesus…cause He’s ALL I need… You can have all of this fallen world…Just give I Jesus…all day long…each and every day…until eternity…Just give I Jesus…!’ And that’s my spiel for today! (smile) 

Oh my people, my people, what a blessed and awesome day it is when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, and His magnificent Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us! Brother! There’s no better day, than perhaps the one when we finally set foot in heaven! It’s such a life changing moment! As Bruh Paul puts it to the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) 

Mama Mia! What a transformation; like that of an ugly caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly! And that’s only possibly through the receiving of Christ as one’s Lord and Saviour! So, as Bruh Paul further states to the church at Rome on becoming a new creation in Christ. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service. Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:1-2) 

Yeh friends, remember when we become a new creation in Christ, all the old things and evil ways of our lives are thrown out, so we also have to become transformed in body and soul. Those bodies of ours which had hitherto been used as instruments of sin, now have to work instead, on God’s behalf, as channels of righteousness. We have to manifest the works of God through them if we want to be hailed as true and serious believers in Christ. Thus we need to stop conforming, ‘to resist being poured into the mold of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world.’ 

Yes mih brethren, our lives need to take on a mighty change when Jesus comes into them. That means when His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us, we need to begin living after His Spirit and not by our old sinful systems. ‘For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.’ (Rom. 8:5) And that makes sense people. You can’t live by both the old way and the new one; you have to make a choice. And if you’ve chosen Jesus, then you must live by the leading and guidance of His Spirit if you want to fulfill His will for your life. 

As Bruh Paul continues: ‘For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.’ (Rom. 8:6-8) 

The long and short of the story friends, is that you can’t live like the world lives, fleshly, carnally, sinfully, and please God, because that style of living does not suit His kingdom, and if you want to be seriously considered one of His people, then you have to give up the fleshly, carnal, sinful style of living. As simple as that! Oh, we will sin and do wrong sometimes, but it will no longer be a lifestyle; our lives will no longer be dominated by sin, but by righteousness, by our living in the Holy Spirit of God! Isn’t that wonderful? It most certainly is! 

And for those of us who sincerely try to live thus, let’s go home now declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole world who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 then, as new creations of Christ, let’s go out and share that awesome friendship, trust and LOVE of Jesus with those around us nuh. Much LOVE!

…when Jesus comes into our lives…He brings us…everlasting joy… peace…and LOVE… with heaven as our eternal home…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.

Aye friends, it’s a wet one in my area today. And the rain can be so beguiling… Earlier on, for over half an hour, I lay in my bed tossing and turning from side to side, knowing that I was not going back to sleep, especially since my nostrils were all blocked up and my mouth was dry as chip, but yuh think I could get up, as I listened to the gentle rain falling outside? 

No way! There’s just something about the rain that makes you want to stay in bed and curl up under the covers next to your special someone. And don’t forget its potent aphrodisiac properties! (smile) 

And today the Lord pointed me to some stuff I have written here on a piece of paper. I don’t know who or where I got them from, possibly from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley), but I’m sure we’re not going to like them. They have to do with our behaviour as true and faithful believers in Jesus Christ. 

And they advise: 1. Don’t leap to judgement. 2. Take blame and give credit. 3. Don’t one up people, encourage them. 4. If it hurts say so, but don’t hit back. 5. Pray for your competitors. 

Mamacita! All of that goes against the very grain of our human nature! But that’s the way our Leader and Lord and Saviour wants us to operate in this crazy, selfish and greedy world. That’s how others will know that we’re different from the madding crowd and hopefully come to realize that we have what they’re missing and oh so badly need; the eternal and unconditional LOVE and saving grace of Jesus. 

And as we look back on those five things above, if we’re true to ourselves we will admit that they all play a major part in our lives. We all leap to judgement too quickly, with absolutely no relevant facts at hand. We just see or hear someone and we can spout a litany of things that are wrong with them. 

And when coming to taking blame…Hn! That does not exist in our current society. We’re all about pointing fingers at others and hogging whatever credit there is for ourselves. Oh, and one-upmanship is the name of today’s game. Yuh ever listen to group of people talking about their possessions? 

Each one comes up with something better than the other. And that’s one of the reasons why so many of us are so stressed out and miserable; foolishly, we’re trying too hard to keep up with the Joneses. 

And when it comes to being hurt, we’ll certainly let you know, but the trouble is that we also look for vengeance. But remember the Lord says that vengeance is His, and He will repay. Well I won’t even touch praying for our competitors, because that is definitely out of our behavioural sphere. Oh yes, we’ll pray for them, but for them to go under, not to succeed. 

Oh friends, please remember that we’re supposed to be IN the world but not OF the world; meaning we should not behave as the world does. No wonder Jesus prayed to the Father on our behalf: ‘And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (evil one). They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.’ (John 17:13-16) 

Ah mih people, what more can I say eh? Not a whole lot. Jesus prayed that we would not get involved with the world order even though we lived amongst it. That was necessary so that we could tell others about and show by example the good news He ushered into this world. 

And Bruh Paul reiterated the same sentiments to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Oh my people, we can’t be IN the world, but not OF it, unless we completely renew our minds and bring it into line with the will of God. And the scholars offer this explanation on that subject: Dedication to the will of God. 

‘12:1-2. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in ALL of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God. (John 7:17) Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen. 22:12; Primary Ref. Rom.12:1).’ 

The long and short of the story my brethren, is that we’re to live the will of God as found in His Word. And the only way we’re going to find out that will is by reading and studying His Word. So let’s get on with it nuh, so that we can all become the ‘living sacrifices’ that our Lord desires. 

Now it’s time to go home letting the world know who and whose we are by declaring our Tuesday Mantra. All together now, in full voice and complete sincerity: ‘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!’ 

And the corollary to that: let’s go out and generously share what Jesus has given us. Much LOVE!

…God’s basic wish for us all…to become Christ-like clones…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 September 2017 John 14:6.

John 14:6.   I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

Oh friends, it’s one of those days; the ole fella does not know what to say this Wednesday morning. Hn! Imagine that nuh! (smile) 

I slept the night away and got up feeling worse than when I went to bed. Can you believe it? But that was just my ignorance, for I knew that if lay in bed too long my back would act up something terrible. 

But I just refused to get out of the bed. If people could lie in bed for ten to twelve hours straight, why couldn’t I do it for a mere five or six eh? And now I’m paying the price. But that’s okay, because I have a rather appropriate quote for us from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. 

It says: ‘No one is guaranteed happiness. Life just gives us time and space. It’s up to us to fill it with joy and meaning.’ End of story! 

Yeh friends, it’s up to us to make our lives as joyful and meaningful as we can. Nobody else can do that for us. We have to put in the effort to make our lives whatever we want them to be. And believe me, that’s not always easy, since most of us want to live what is considered the high life, which is not easy to attain or maintain. 

But I’ll let us into a li’l secret here (smile)… serving Jesus is the way to live the best life possible here on earth, and even into eternity. And if you doubt that, hear what He says in our Bit. ’I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ 

What an awesome statement my brethren! But it’s true! NO ONE else has ever made, or been able to make such an enormous and truthful proclamation! Only through Jesus can we gain access to our heavenly Father. 

Remember how it was before Jesus? There was a heavy veil that covered the holy space of God within the tabernacle and only the high priest could enter there once a year to make sacrifice and atonement for man. 

But note when Jesus gave up the ghost on that cross at Calvary, the Good Book declares: ‘And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain (torn in two) from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent (split).’ (Matt.27:51) 

Yes my people, the tearing down of that oppressive veil opened the way for each and every one to come to the Father through Jesus! Wow! How amazing and reassuring is that eh? From then on Jesus became our high priest and heavenly intercessor, giving us individual access to the Father. 

And all of that was done out of the Father’s great and unconditional LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient children. That’s why we should be eternally grateful to both the Father, who offered His only Son, Jesus, as a living sacrifice, and to Jesus who willingly paid the enormous price for the cleansing and washing of our abominably sinful souls. 

Only Jesus, the sinless One, could have paid the exorbitant price the Father required to wash our sins away. And now we refuse to live for Him, abuse His holy name, doing our best to remove Him completely from our society. What ungratefulness my people, what ignorance and foolishness! 

Please note what’s happening to our society as we try to remove God from it. Our lives are getting rougher and tougher despite all the supposed amenities we now have. Nobody is really happy, and we have to work harder and longer to just make ends meet. 

It just goes to show that the physical things and the ungodly lifestyle that the world wants us to adopt are not the panacea for earthly living. JESUS IS! And until we get around to truly believing that and living it, our world won’t get any better. In fact we’ll just keep wallowing in the mire of sin and ungodliness and keep being unhappy and strife-filled. 

Oh friends, I don’t know what else to say to make us believe that Jesus is the WAY nuh. I guess most of us won’t give Him a try until we hit rock bottom. But don’t worry, whenever and however we come to Him, He will always receive us with open, LOVING arms, for that’s how magnanimous He is. 

But please don’t put it off until it’s too late. He is coming back a second time, in all His magnificence and splendour, and if you’re not a member of His flock then, you will be eternally separated from Him and the Father, and end up on the outside looking in. And I can guarantee that that won’t be a very good situation. 

Now for those of us who sincerely believe, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail as we go joyfully marching home. (smile) ‘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!’ 

Oh, how great it is to live for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…hope has a new name…that name is JESUS…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2015 Ephesians 5:10.‏‏

Ephesians 5:10.   Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Well Friends, welcome to a wet and windy Thursday morning. Yes the blessings from heaven eventually fell last night. And it sure was a good shower, for it wet up most of my front porch so that when I went out to commune with nature and release the day’s stress, I wasn’t able to sit in my favourite chair by the steps, but had to sit in the one by the door. 

And would you believe that habits are such strange things, that although the seats weren’t that far apart, it just never felt right. (smile) Oh I did sit and relax, but it just didn’t feel the same as in the other chair. We humans are such a piddling lot eh. (smile) 

Anyway. Here’s an interesting prayer from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from the Hour of Power Devotional. It’s titled ‘TO FACE DIFFICULTIES.’  

Please pray with me. ‘Truly, Father, all things work together for good to those who LOVE you. Thank you for the difficulties that produce divine dividends. I know that pain is only a phase of the growing process: that seed buried alive under suffocating ground in a windowless grave agonizes before it ruptures into new life. 

I know that I build hard muscles in heart, mind, and body only when I lift heavy loads. I thank you for tough times that produce calluses that could save my spirit from softness that would be weakness. There have been times, O Lord, when only through great difficulty have I learned the valuable lessons. 

I was too blind to see, too arrogant to believe, or too stubborn to accept any other way than by a bed of pain. I praise you for the times an open door slammed in my face and forced me out of an old rut that I never would have had the courage to leave, and led me down the road to a beautiful new life.

I thank you for heartbreak which causes me to bury the hatchet and speak again to someone with whom I had for far too long been out of touch. Thank you, Father, for life’s priceless times of fruitful difficulty. Amen.’ 

Ah my fellow believers, all of that is oh so true! Obviously we don’t like difficulties and pain, but it is in those times of adversity that we actually grow and mature in Christ. It’s the tough times that make us tough. But we have to be big enough and wise enough to realize it, then accept it and deal with it in a serious and sensible manner. 

If you don’t believe me, then look back at some of the rough times in your lives and see how your spirit seemed stronger and more mature after them. Every time we go through adversity, we come out stronger and more faithful on the other side. So let’s not look at difficulties as setbacks, but rather as opportunities to expand our horizons, obviously with God by our side. 

Now let’s look at our Bit. ‘Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

Yeh Friends, in all our doings we need to consider what is and what is not acceptable to our wonderful God. Once we’re born again, we become children of light, the bright and shining light that’s Jesus, so we cannot afford to be involved in anything that has to do with sin and darkness. 

Listen to how Bruh Paul puts it to the Romans. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:1-2) 

Now here are some explanations by the scholars. ’12:1. By the mercies of God summarizes all that God has accomplished for the believer in Romans 1-11 in justifying the believer (chs.1-5), enabling the believer to live a righteous life (chs.6-8), and being faithful to Israel (chs.9-11). 

That ye present refers to a definite act of presentation. The verb is used of offering a sacrifice that became “holy” under the Levitical system (cf. Ex.29:37). This shows that the Christian life begins with total commitment and irrevocable presentation. 

Your bodies: The body has been the instrument of sin (ch.6). Now it is to be presented to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’ 

’12:2. Be not conformed (lit. “stop conforming yourselves”). They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14).’ 

Oh Friends, it all still pertains to us. But unfortunately, too many of us are still conforming to the world. Remember Jesus said ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ (Matt.6:24) That means we cannot serve two masters at the same time; God and the riches or material possessions of this ungodly world. 

Now here is some more pertinent info from the scholars re Dedication to the Will of God. ’12:1-2. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in all of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God. (John 7:17) 

Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen.22:12; Primary Ref. Rom.12:1).’ 

There we have it Friends; lots of stuff to ponder on this Thursday morning. Hope it helps us stay in faith and obedience to Almighty God, the way we ought to. But it can’t unless we study it, then put it into practice. That’s where the real results, the true fruits show. Much LOVE!

…as true believers in Christ…we must not only talk the talk…but even more importantly…we must walk the walk…