Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 July 2021 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.        …for without me ye can do nothing.

Don’t look now friends, but it’s that big day, Monday, the first day of the new work week! (smile) And since some of those pandemic restrictions have been lifted, I guess more of us will be going back out to work today – some joyfully, others sadly, as their extended holiday is over. But let’s remember that whatever the circumstances, we can handle them successfully if we have the Holy Spirt of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ dwelling within us. That’s one of the many differences and improvements between believers and the infidel; with Jesus, we can do any and everything, through Him who strengthens us. Give Him thanks and praise my people! 

And how do we get and stay strong in Christ? Listen to His immortal words on the subject, to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ (John 15:4) How sweet is that eh mih bredrin! That’s how we get and stay strong in Christ. And if you didn’t get it the first time, He goes on to further explain. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

Wow! How direct and to the point is Jesus eh! Unless we stick with Him, we cannot do anything! And that’s the gospel truth my people! It’s only with Christ as the catalyst and moving agent in our life that we are able to do anything truly worthwhile down here on planet earth. 

And the scholars give us some useful info on that verse, re the Union with Christ.‘15:5. The uniqueness of the Christian experience results from the union of Christ and the believer. This is expressed in Scripture as Christ being in the believer and the believer in Christ. Ten times Paul uses the Greek preposition sun (“together”) to describe this relationship. Believers were crucified (Gal. 2:20), dead (Col. 2:20), buried (Rom. 6:4), quickened or made alive (Eph. 2:1-5; Col. 2:13), raised (Col. 3:1; Eph. 2:6), seated (Eph. 2:6), and glorified (Rom. 8:17) together with Christ. 

Illustration: Jesus used the image of the vine and its branches to describe His union with the believer. Application: On the basis of this union, the apostle Paul showed how the successful Christian life can be opened with four key words in Romans 6: know (vs. 6), reckon (vs. 11), yield (vs. 13), and obey (vs. 17). The Christian can conquer sin because Christ lives in him (Gal. 2:20). (First Ref. John 7:37-38; Primary Ref. John 15:1-5; cf. 1 John 5:13).’ 

Well, there you have it friends, our Bible Study for today! (smile) Lots of Scriptures for us to look up. And please do look them up, for it will be to our benefit, as they will only enhance our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. It’s all about inner growth or spiritual maturity my people. And that takes us to Bruh Paul’s prayer for just that in his missive to the church at Ephesus. 

‘That He (Christ) would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye , being rooted and grounded in LOVE, May be able to comprehend (understand) with all saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth and height; And to know the LOVE of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph. 3:16-19) 

Oh Mama, Mama! What a powerful prayer! And the scholars explain it all thus: ‘3:16-19. In these verses Paul makes three prayer requests for the addressees: (1) That they would be strengthened with might by His Spirit (vs. 16), that is, that they be divinely enabled to successfully live the Christian life. (2) That the readers be able to comprehend…the LOVE of Christ, that is to better understand the enormous LOVE Christ has for them. And (3) that they might be filled with all the fullness of God, that is, that the life, character, and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’ 

Now that does sound like a big programme for believers to undertake, but Bruh Paul knew what he was doing. Listen to how he ends that passage nuh. ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph. 3:20-21) Yes friends, Bruh Paul was not making those prayer requests for too much, because he was asking the One who could do ever so much more than we can ask or think; that’s Almighty God. 

So please don’t think that you can’t do anything because it’s too big for you. It might seem so, but it is definitely not too big for our God; the One who created us and still LOVES us dearly, despite all our faults and failures. That means we can go to Him right now with our problems and ask for His awesome help. So as one strong, confident, but humble voice, let’s offer up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

But let me warn us, that we won’t get our desires unless we sincerely turn away from our evil ways and seek God with right motives in our hearts! Much LOVE!

…we can never sell God short…for He is bigger than anything we can ask or imagine…                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2020 1 Corinthians 16:13-14.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14.     ​Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you (be brave) like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity (LOVE).

Sing it with me people: ‘And after the rain, yes after the rain, then comes the snow…oh yeah…after the rain, then comes the snow, alooking so white and beautiful, just like the good Lord made it to be, just like the good Lord made it to be…’ 

Oh friends, around 4 o’clock this morning, before I went to bed, I dreamed up that li’l ditty…obviously with the Lord’s help, since I could not concoct such profound statements all on my very own. (smile) But it had been raining for most of the day, and when I looked outside then, was I surprised to see the place all covered with that white virginal stuff. 

But yuh know something, once man puts foot in that virginal snow, he sullies it, sullies it good and proper, just like he sullies everything he touches. And just for your info, that white stuff is now falling again out there, coming down in a gazillion droplets, more like rain than snowflakes, but as they say, ‘one one cocoa full basket,’ so every drop that falls adds to, and heightens the level of snow on the ground. (smile) 

And another thing, it wasn’t only the snow that God made to be beautiful, but also mankind. That’s why it so cruelly breaks His soft and tender heart when we turn away from Him, and become the evil fiends our sinful nature adores. 

And remember, yesterday we were talking about the abdominal sinfulness of man, and considering if we had reached the limit yet where God would again destroy us? Well, unfortunately, I received this mind boggling, heartbreaking response from one of our Scrip-Bit family members. In her own words: ‘We have NOT reached the breaking point of sinfulness. The human capacity for evil is unending.’ Now doesn’t that just drive you crazy, to know that we can become even more sinful that we already are? 

Brother! I can’t even contemplate another level of sin for us to ascend to! I guess my mental capacity is just too small to comprehend such a big undertaking. But I prefer it so yes, because then I might just rise to a more sinful level myself. So please, please, just leave me at this level of sinfulness eh! (smile)

And the real sad part in all our sinfulness is not that it’s directed to, or against God nuh, although it works out thus in the long run, but all the evil we perpetrate is basically directed towards our fellow man and our life-giving environment. Man seems to be truly sadistic, destroying what he portends to LOVE, and in the process, his very self. 

And very unfortunately, it seems the olden but golden words of the prophet Jeremiah ring ever so true these days: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately (incurable) wicked: who can know it?’ (Jer. 17:9) Now does that mean our hearts can’t be cured of its wickedness? I certainly hope not, else there’s no hope whatsoever for us! 

The good thing though, is that our God and Creator knows the motives and will of all of our hearts. He made them so He knows how to decipher them, and that’s exactly what He does before He answers our prayers. That’s why the Lord said to Samuel, when He sent him to Jesse’s house to anoint a new king for Israel and Samuel thought the first son, Eliab, was the one: ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) 

Oh my fellow believers, that’s why we need to often cry out to God like Bruh David did in Psalm 51 – A prayer for cleansing. ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) Yes precious people of God, if our hearts are so wicked, then it’s only the Lord who can cleanse us and renew a right and steadfast spirit within us, so that we can continue to do His work down here on earth, and make it be as it is in heaven. 

And to help us with all that we’re currently going through, I read an interesting exhortation from Bruh Paul last night that seems very apropos to our situation. In his first missive to the church at Corinth, he exhorts them thus: ‘Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you (be brave) like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 16:13-14) Now that seems to be very good advice for all believers, or even better yet, ALL mankind, considering the turbulent, controversial and uncertain situation in which our world is currently entangled. 

And now just a few scriptures to reinforce that directive. First some more prayer and exhortation from Bruh Paul. To the Ephesians, he desired: ‘That he (the Lord) would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.’ (Eph. 3:16) Yes friends, we do need divine enablement to help us successfully live the Christian life. 

And in exhorting the Philippians to steadfastness, he prayed. ‘Only let your conversation be as it becometh (let your conduct be worthy of) the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. And in nothing (no way) terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token (a proof) of perdition (destruction), but to you of salvation, and that of God.’ (Phil. 2:27-28) 

That means my brethren, we need to stand strong together, in one spirit, in unity, spreading the gospel of Christ in LOVE, and not being afraid of those who come against us. For if our great God is for us, who can be against us eh, especially since He’s so faithfully promised that no weapon formed against us will prosper or harm us. (Is. 54:17) 

And last, but certainly not least, these momentous words from Christ Jesus as to when divine intervention would come, be it good or bad. ‘Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come… Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24: 42, 44) And if we believe in Jesus, then we ought to adhere to His words – watch and pray…and be ready. 

So for those of us who sincerely try to do so, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know 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!’ 

So precious saints of Christ, it now behooves us to stand strong and steadfast in unity and share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with ALL humanity! That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith, hope, LOVE…these three… but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor. 13:13)