Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 January 2022 John 10:10b.

John 10:10b.     I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Boy oh boy! Two days of decent sunshine in a row! That must be a record! But I think it’s going to be a tad on the cold side. That’s okay though, I can handle the cold when the sun’s shining. It’s just the dark, damp, dreary weather that gets to me. But all thanks to Jesus, I can handle both types of weather, if I just put my mind to it. 

And that’s the beauty of living for Jesus: He enables you to do anything that coincides with His will or plan for your life. That’s why we say, with full confidence: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ Phil. 4:13) Now just saying it doesn’t make it true. You have to sincerely believe it, and make it a customary practice, a habit in your life, so that after a while, it just blends in automatically. (smile) 

Ah friends, knowing who we are in Christ, and knowing the benefits that spring forth from such a privileged position, is extremely important if we want to live the abundant life that Jesus promised, and died for us to have. And you ask, what does it mean to be in Christ? 

Well, the simple answer is that when we are born again, when we receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour, He comes to dwell in us through His Holy Spirit, and we become a part of Him. We are made clean, renewed and acceptable to the Holy Father. But I found this article on the subject on the gotquestions.org website which I believe explains it better than I can. (smile) 

So let’s see what it says. ‘In Christ, we are regenerated, renewed, and born again, and this new creation is spiritually minded, whereas the old nature is carnally minded. The new nature fellowships with God, obeys His will, and is devoted to His service. These are actions the old nature is incapable of doing or even desiring to do. The old nature is dead to the things of the Spirit and cannot revive itself. It is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1) and can only be made alive by a supernatural awakening, which happens when we come to Christ and are indwelt by Him. 

Christ gives us a completely new and holy nature and an incorruptible life. Our old life, previously dead to God because of sin, is buried, and we are raised “to walk in newness of life” with Him (Rom. 6:4). If we belong to Christ, we are united to Him and no longer slaves to sin (Rom. 6:5-6); we are made alive with Him (Eph. 2:5); we are conformed to His image (Rom. 8:29); we are free from condemnation and walking not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:1); and we are part of the body of Christ with other believers (Rom. 12:5). 

The believer now possesses a new heart (Ezek. 11:19) and has been blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:3). We might wonder why we so often do not live in the manner described, even though we have given our lives to Christ and are sure of our salvation. This is because our new natures are residing in our old fleshly bodies, and these two are at war with one another. The old nature is dead, but the new nature still has to battle the old “tent” in which it dwells. Evil and sin are still present, but the believer now sees them in a new perspective and they no longer control him as they once did. 

In Christ, we can now choose to resist sin, whereas the old nature could not. Now we have the choice to either feed the new nature through the Word, prayer, and obedience, or to feed the flesh by neglecting those things. When we are in Christ, “we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37) and can rejoice in our Savior, who makes all things possible (Phil. 4:13). In Christ we are LOVED, forgiven, and secure. In Christ we are adopted, justified, redeemed, reconciled, and chosen. In Christ we are victorious, filled with joy and peace, and granted true meaning in life. What a wonderful Savior is Christ!’ 

And isn’t all that the gospel truth my fellow saints! In Christ Jesus we have EVERYTHING we can ever need! In other words, the abundant life. Like he said. ‘The thief cometh not, but (except) for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Yes friends, that was Christ’s stated purpose; to save us from eternal death and damnation, to give us a better quality of life both here and in the hereafter. So please, let’s not make His sacrifice a waste of time by not enjoying the life He died for us to have. Therefore, let’s turn sincerely to Him, cling tenaciously to him, and live victoriously for Him, for that is the wisdom of the ages! 

And one of the things that come with such absolute devotion is prayer, both in good and bad times. So, in these rough times we are currently experiencing, let’s turn to our Saviour, our Creator for badly needed divine help, through our Friday Chant. As one strong, confident, but humble voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Let’s remember though, that we don’t just pray for help, but we also keep the promises we made in our prayer. Much LOVE!

…only in Christ…can one discover many of the answers…to the mysteries of life… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2017 Acts 20:28.

Acts 20:28.   Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed (shepherd) the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

And then it was Thursday… and I don’t know what to write about. Hn, hn! It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, it both amuses and concerns me. 

Sometimes I have to wait a while for the Lord to show up and guide me, but today I didn’t have to wait at all. I just happened to look, or rather was guided to look at a sheet of paper in front of me with some quotes that I had written down, and there it was! 

It’s titled ‘Grasping the Cross!’ And it says: ‘Lord Jesus, Your cross is the focal point of our lives. Hold us tightly as we cling to Your cross and extend Your LOVE to others.’ 

And you know friends, we couldn’t want for a more stable and solid foundation to cling to than the cross of Jesus, for that’s where it all came to fruition. 

Yeh, it’s at the cross that it was all turned around; sin, death and the grave were defeated; salvation, reconciliation and eternal life were ushered in; our sins were paid for and we became adopted sons of God. Oh glory to the Most High! 

And this excerpt from ‘At the Cross’ by the Hillsong Group amplifies it all.   ‘At the cross I bow my knee Where Your blood was shed for me There’s no greater LOVE than this, no You have overcome the grave Glory fills the highest praise 

What can separate me now You tore the veil, You made a way When You said that it is done You tore the veil, You made a way When You said that it is done.’ 

Jesus certainly did, my fellow believers! No other act in human history has had such a sensational, fruitful and positive impact as Christ’s death on the cross. And it was all for us my people…all for us worthless sinners. 

Now do we truly appreciate that monumental sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? And do we pay the appropriate homage that is due to Him by the way we live our lives? I certainly hope so, otherwise we’d be doing Him a most serious injustice. 

He died that we could be free…free from sin and shame…free to live forever under His glorious umbrella of eternal life. Have we accepted that fact, and do our lives reflect it? That’s how His body, the church, ought to be portraying His sacrifice. 

That brings us to our Bit, the words of Bruh Paul to the elders of the church of Ephesus, whom he called to him at Miletus. 

‘Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed (shepherd) the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.’ 

Unfortunately though friends, in these modern times, I don’t think we are doing a worthwhile job of shepherding God’s body, the church. There are too many divisions, too much dissension and resentment within Christ’s body over miniscule matters. Too much, I an me, instead of we and thou. 

I don’t have to specify anything, because we all know of some negative matter affecting the smooth and godly running of our church, something that should not be taking place at all. And sadly, this disunity within the ranks of the church is turning others away in droves, for who wants to be a part of a body that’s cantankerous and quarrelsome eh? 

It’s obviously disrupting Jesus’ LOVE Revolution, since LOVE cannot exist under those circumstances. We desperately need to fix the situation my fellow believers, for until there is true peace and sincere fellowship in Christ’s church, we’ll keep going backward instead of forward, and that’s totally unacceptable. 

So let’s get serious about Christ’s business nuh, and stop all the petty infighting. Let’s focus on His cross and be as one, the way He desires us to be. That’s the only way we’ll accomplish anything positive. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. With such a great variety of blessings, we ought to be able to fund unity in the church. All together 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!’ 

Please put them all into action now, by declaring them over others too. Much LOVE!

…at the cross…at the cross… where I first found Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏‏‏‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

BLESSED  GOOD  FRIDAY!

And then it was Friday – Good Friday. Yes my brethren, it is one of the most historic and commemorative days in the Christian calendar, because this is the day that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sacrificed His sinless and holy life for us upon that old rugged cross at Calvary… 

And all God’s people gave a grateful shout of ‘All praise and glory be to the Lamb who was slain for us! May His name be revered for ever and ever!’ 

Ah mih people, it’s a sad day, but also a glad day. It’s sad because of the outrageous shame and punishment Jesus went through for our sake. But by the same token, there was gladness because that sacrificial death heralded our cleansing, our reconciliation to Almighty God! 

And all God’s people sang ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Without it we would have been all slated for death and hell, forever separated from the Father. How awful that would have been eh? But with Christ’s sacrifice, a way was prepared for us to come to Him in repentance and confession and be adopted into His household. 

Glory to God for LOVING us so much that He would give His only begotten Son to die for our disgusting sins, to bring us once again into fellowship with Him and calling us His children! 

Nothing can be sweeter and nicer and better and whatever word(s) you choose, than being a part of the family of Jehovah God, the omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present ONE who created the universe and still rules it from His throne on high! 

Now to many of the world’s population, this day is no different from any other. They still sing out ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here; a long weekend to boot! No more slaving for a few days, but plenty partying time. Thank God is Friday yes!’ 

And that’s okay to a certain extent, it’s good to be off for the weekend, but the weekend is not just to party, especially this one. It’s a time to seriously and sincerely ponder the basis of our Christian faith and our individual allegiance to it. But since the heathen has no knowledge or interest in the things of God, they just continue along their merry way rejoicing in the lust of the flesh and human senses. 

In time though, we Christians will also be celebrating, but today is a day for mourning, a time for grief and sadness, while remembering that that only lasts for a night, but joy comes in the bright light of the morning. 

And does it ever, with Jesus’ resurrection! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s stay on Good Friday, first by chanting our Friday Chant, which is still appropriate, since we’ve had a hard week of work and now have a few days off which we must use wisely. 

So please let’s chant together: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way to use the weekend, rather than just senseless partying and fleshly lusting. And our Bit is also ever so appropriate for today. ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Ah mih people, that’s the part we don’t like; the suffering for Jesus’ sake. It was okay for Him to suffer for us, but we should just have life clear and easy now. Unfortunately that’s not how it works precious people. As Christians, followers of Christ, we will also be called on to face physical, mental and emotional pain. It’s all part and parcel of His offer of salvation. 

Oh friends, I wonder if we have ever sat down and contemplated exactly the ‘sufferation’ Jesus went through for us? Have you ever considered the flogging, with whips embedded with flesh cutting particles? Or what about the crown of thorns pressed down unto His head? Or the psychological and verbal abuse, the cruel taunting and mocking He endured between Pilate and Herod’s yards? 

Remember Jesus was human too and felt all that we feel. Then having been flogged and tormented, He was made to carry His own cross up to Calvary Hill. Thank God for Simon the Cyrene yes! I think the sight of Jesus struggling along with His cross was just too much for the Father and He introduced Simon into the mix of things. 

And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, Jesus was then nailed hand and foot to the cross and left in the hot noonday sun, approximately three hours, for the life blood to slowly but ever so painfully ebb out of His abused and banged up body. And don’t forget the javelin in His side. And when He cried out for thirst they ignominiously gave Him sour wine. 

Oh my fellow believers, ordinary crucifixion is one of the most cruel and painful ways man has ever invented for human suffering, but Jesus’ crucifixion was extraordinary, so you can imagine the pain and anguish, because both the Romans and Jewish people went to great lengths to make a sorrowful spectacle and example of Him, between two ordinary criminals, naked as a jaybird. 

But yuh know what, throughout it all, Jesus stood His bounce, He took it all like a man, ‘despising the shame,’ for the joy that was to come, and He knew that that was the main purpose for which He had come to earth. 

The only thing that seemed to truly bother Him was the purposed and painful first and last separation ever from the Father, as all our sins were placed on Him, and He cried out ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” which is, being interpreted (translated), My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Mark 15:34) 

So friends, please, let’s not make a big fuss for the comparable little suffering we sometimes have to undergo on Jesus’ behalf. We all know that suffering is painful and we’d like to avoid it, but that’s just not possible in this world. It will be in the next one, when Jesus returns as a mighty conqueror. 

So having considered the extent of Jesus’ ‘sufferation’ on our behalf, let’s just hunker down and do what we need to do, without too much complaining nuh. Remember the Lord will enable us to bear whatever He allows to come our way, just like He enabled Jesus to bear His pain on that long ago Good Friday. 

And I’d like to end with one of my favourite childhood hymns that tells of Jesus’ demise upon the cross, titled ‘There Is A Green Hill Far Away.’ Please sing it with me, as we consider and ponder this day on Calvary. 

‘There is a green hill far away, Without a city wall, Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all. (Refrain) (O dearly, dearly, has He LOVED, And we must LOVE Him, too, and trust in His redeeming blood, And try His works to do.) 

We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear, But we believe it was for us, He hung and suffered there. (Refrain) He died that we might be forgiven, He died to make us good, That we might go at last to Heav’n, Saved by His precious blood. (Refrain) 

There was no other good enough To pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate Of heav’n and let us in. Oh, dearly, dearly has he loved! And we must love him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.’ 

Yes Friends, that’s what we, as followers of Christ need to do! Have a blessed Good Friday! Much LOVE!

…what’s a little Christian suffering…compared to Christ’s ‘sufferation’ eh…