Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 May 2022 James 4:7.

James 4:7.       Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

Awright mih bredrin, today, the first day of our work week, is supposed to be a scorcher; somewhere up around 30 degrees Celsius! And I know that there will lots of complaining as the first real hot day of the year hits us, despite our yearning for hot weather after the cold winter months we’ve recently experienced. And yes, there will be some people with genuine complaints because of their health situation, but for many of us it will just be a case of wishing for something, then not liking it when we get it. 

As the old people would say, be careful what you wish for, for every rose has a thorn in its stem. That’s for sure. All that glitters is not gold, nor is every beautiful face connected to a beautiful heart. In other words, outward appearances can be very deceiving. And that’s the very game that our enemy the devil delights in playing; throwing up beautiful scenarios before us, enticing us to take the bait, and when we do, only to discover that it’s only a beautiful façade, a pretty front, with nothing of substance behind it. 

That’s why Jesus called him the father of lies in John 8:44. From the very beginning he’s been a liar and deceiver, tricking Eve into eating the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden, and unfortunately, he’s still doing the same things today, still very successfully too, we should note. For whatever reason, although we know that his sugar-coated words are really filled with salt underneath, we still fall for them way too often. 

It’s obvious we have not taken the warning from James, Jesus’ brother to heart. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you, Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.’ (James 4:7-8) The long and short of the story friends, is that we don’t submit to, fear or flee from Satan, but stand strong against him. Like Bruh Paul says to the Ephesians: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all (that you can do), to STAND.’ (Eph. 6:13) 

Oh my people, the devil cannot lead us into temptation unless we allow him to. But it’s easier to resist him when we have on God’s armour and we are spiritually ready for battle. That’s why Peter also cautions us: ‘Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet. 8-9) 

Now, it doesn’t speak very highly of us if we know that the evil enemy is constantly prowling, just waiting for a chance to pounce upon an unsuspecting believer, and yet we still fall so often for his evil wiles and schemes. It’s obvious then that word of God is not as well anchored in our souls as it needs to be. We are not casting our cares sufficiently upon Him, not drawing near enough to Him, so that He can help us resist the enemy. And I believe it’s also necessary this morning for us to hear these wise and warning words from John’s first epistle.

 ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (physical desires), and the lust of the eyes (personal desires), and the pride of life (self-interests), is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

Oh my fellow saints, scriptures like that ought to be buried deep in our hearts so that they can shore us up when the devil attacks. And attack he will, again and again. But we need to resist him again and again, to stand strong in the powerful armour of God. It’s the same basic patterns he uses; physical desires, personal desires and self-interests, whatever our weakness, but since sin is such an inherent part of our nature and is so extensive around us, it’s ofttimes difficult to reject it. But reject it we must! 

And the first step in doing so is always prayer, always casting our cares before our wonderful God. So, let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one sincere voice. ‘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!’ 

Now, we need to keep our promises, if we expect the Lord to keep His. Much LOVE!

…we are not ready for spiritual battle…unless we are fully clothed in God’s spiritual armour… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 March 2022 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.       The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Now that’s how a Monday morning ought to open, bright and sunshiny, especially a Monday morning as important as this one in the Province of Ontario, when the mandatory masking plans for most places will be suspended. Well, except for places like Public transit; Health care settings; Retirement homes; Long-term care homes; and Congregate care and living settings. The latter includes homes for the developmentally disabled, shelters and jails. However, on April 27 of this year, even those mask mandates are scheduled to be lifted. 

And that’s a kicker if there ever was one! Two years of mandatory mask wearing will hopefully end in another month! Glory be! But, please remember that doesn’t mean Covid will just disappear. I believe it will be with us for some time until we develop the much-needed herd immunity. However, until that stage is reached, and no one knows when that will be, we still need to be careful in all our doings. As they say, prevention is better than cure. And a whole lot of us learned that invaluable lesson over the last couple of years, unfortunately losing friends and family because of irresponsible behaviour. 

So please let it be a reminder that we can’t take anything for granted with all the negative stuff floating around, because Covid numbers are still high for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated, and many people are still in hospitals and on ventilators. Consequently, we can only hope and pray that the situation doesn’t deteriorate, now that many of us will stop wearing masks. That means, as believers, we have to keep on being very diligent and responsible in our earthly walk. 

And I believe these words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church are quite appropriate for these current times. ‘And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ (Rom. 13:11-12) Yes my fellow believers, it’s time for us to wake up, to get really serious about our duties and responsibilities as followers of Jesus Christ in this dark and evil world! 

And the scholars offer these explanations re those two verses. ‘13:11-12. Sleep means insensitivity to the demands of Christ on the Christian’s life. Now is our salvation nearer: The coming of Christ to deliver us from this sinful world grows nearer every day. The night is the time while Christ is out of the world, and the world has been delivered into the control of the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2- which basically reminds us that before we received Christ, we walked in that darkness). The day is a reference to the time when Christ will return and establish His reign of righteousness.’ 

And since the world only gets darker and more evil every day, we have our job cut out for us my people. We need to increase our efforts to be lights in this dark world. Like Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved (exposed) are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.’ (Eph. 5:11-13) 

Oh friends, it’s obvious that we should not indulge in the sins of the unbeliever, but more importantly expose them, ‘bring them to the light and show them for what they really are, so that the unbeliever may see their hideous nature and their terrible consequences.’ For it’s shameful even to discuss that sinful behaviour in decent company. Thus, the necessity to bring them to light, expose them through Christ’s gospel, ‘for whatever sin is made manifest, is exposed, becomes light.’ But to do that successfully, we also need to put on the ‘armour of light’ because we are involved in a serious spiritual battle that cannot be fought without God’s protective armour. 

And Bruh Paul offers a serious warning on the subject. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (humanity), but against principalities (rulers), against powers (authorities), against the rulers of the darkness of this world (world-rulers), against spiritual wickedness in high places (wicked spiritual beings). Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on) the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph. 6:10 -13) 

Now that’s oh so true! As the scholars explain: ‘Because we face such a formidable foe, we must avail ourselves of God’s provision lest the enemy destroy our Christian witness and ministry, during the ‘evil day,’ that’s the demonic onslaughts and Satanic assaults that periodically come against us.’ Only God’s armour will help us to resist Satan, and once we put it on, we need to keep it on, since Satan will keep attacking us every so often. 

Now let’s remind ourselves of God’s armour, so we can get it all. They are, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, all encompassed in the mighty act of prayer. (Eph. 6:14-19) And talking of prayer, since we’re clothed in God’s armour, let’s go to God right now through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to complete the process. 

As one voice: ‘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!’ 

Now, since we have invoked the name of Jesus Christ, it means we have to be on His right side, if we want the Lord to answer our prayer. And we all know what that entails. (smile) Much LOVE!

…Christians are soldiers in Christ’s army…and no wise soldier goes into battle without protective armour… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 November 2021 Ephesians 6:13.

Ephesians 6:13.     Wherefore take unto you (put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Come on down Monday! We are waiting for you with bated breath. You might think you’re big and bad because so many people get intimidated by you…but not this bunch…not this group of Jesus followers. We have the Holy Spirit of Jesus, the most powerful assistant in the universe, dwelling within us, which means we can handily handle anything that you, or anybody else brings against us. 

So come on down today and give it your best shot. We going to eat you up and spit you out like a cherry seed, because that’s the power our Lord and Saviour gives us through His Holy Spirit. That’s why we can confidently declare: ‘We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.’ (Phil. 4:13) That means we are no longer afraid of you. We not tired and frustrated, because we gathered with other believers yesterday on the Lord’s Day and gave grateful thanks and praise and thus renewed our energy and commitment to Him. 

So today, this Monday morning, we bright and bold, just chafing at the bit, ready and eager to get out into the evil world and live for Jesus! We are going let out lives talk for us. Yes, we going to walk the walk! Let our lights shine brightly, like that city set on a hill with lights blazing for all to see, so that they can glorify our heavenly Father! That’s what Jesus expects of us, and that’s exactly what we going to do today! Glory Hallelujah! 

Oh mih people, what a mighty boast! But yuh know what? We can do it, because, as we said above, the Holy Spirit of Jesus dwells within us, and through Him we can do anything since He directs the mighty power of Jesus into our souls and spirits. And remember what Jesus said, if you have faith even as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains, and nothing shall be impossible to you. (Matt. 17:20) Well, I’m sure all of us have more faith that a mere grain of mustard seed, which means we can do anything that Jesus desires us to do! Bless His Holy name my fellow saints! 

And what a bam bam it’s going to be out there in that dark and ungodly world today when Jesus’ saints are unleased on it! It won’t know what’s hit it! The evildoers will be so shocked and petrified that they will just beg to embrace Jesus, to have Him come into their hearts and set them free from their evil lives. Wow! What a glorious time that will be. (smile) 

Now I know some of you are putting down my dream, like it’s a mere fable by Aesop or a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. But friends, that’s why God gave us an imagination and the power to dream. And remember we recently agreed that whatever we focused our minds and our imaginations on that it usually comes true. Well, that’s all I’m trying to do here now; get us to focus on living more seriously for Jesus, to stop being afraid and ashamed, and to start walking our talk. 

Please remember that our great and wonderful God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound and disciplined mind. (2 Tim. 1:7) Meaning we don’t have to be afraid of anybody or anything, and we have the endurance and the ability to stand and fight mano-a-mano against the evil principalities, the powers of darkness and spiritual wickedness when we are also dressed in His magnificent protective armour. That’s why Bruh Paul advised each believer in his letter to the church at Ephesus. ‘Wherefore take unto you (put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph. 6:13) 

Yes friends, we face a formidable foe in the powers of darkness and evil, but as the scholars so wisely tell us, we ‘must avail ourselves of God’s provision lest the enemy destroy our Christian witness and ministry.’ Unfortunately though, that’s what he’s been doing so far, because we have not availed ourselves of God’s protective armour and power. That’s His belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the mighty sword of the Spirit, God’s Word, (Eph. 6:14-17) 

And what a mighty sword indeed is the Word of God! The author of Hebrews describes as ‘quick (that’s alive), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrows, and is a discerner of (able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’ (Heb. 4:12) So you see the kind of marvellous protection and weapons we have to fight the evil foe. 

But there is one last thing that’s necessary in that fight to the death friends. Bruh Paul explains it thus to the Ephesians. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) Yes mih brethren, prayer is ever important, both individually and corporately, for without it you can’t win the battle even if you have all the other protection. So, since prayer is that important, what better time to indulge in it than right now, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

As one voice: ‘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 don’t forget my people, that the results of our prayer depends on the sincerity of our hearts and the keeping of our promises. Much LOVE!

…if eleven men can cause millions to come to Christ…why can’t we…those millions…with our marvellous technology…bring billions to Him eh…                                                                                                                     

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 September 2021   1 Corinthians 1:9.

1 Corinthians 1:9.      God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

What’s happening this new day filled with new compassions and mercies eh friends? And I know that most of us would say: same old, same old stuff. And to a certain extent that might be true, but just think that we are still alive and kicking, the marvellous breath of God is still flowing through us! Glory be! That means there are still lots of things for us to do down here on earth, otherwise the Lord would have taken us home. 

And you know that living and working for God is not easy, but it sure is chocked full of excitement and adventure, because we never know what He will do next, where He will send us or what He will allow to come upon us. The only thing we are sure of is that He won’t allow anything untoward to happen to us, and that He will bring us safely through any storms He allows us to go through. 

Remember His awesome promise in First Corinthians… ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtakes) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able to bear; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13). Now that promises a lot my brethren, but it also does not promise what some of us believe and/or expect. 

What we ought to learn from that is not that the Lord will always help us to escape the temptation, but rather He will give us a way to bear up under or endure it. Too many of us just want to escape from anything that’s difficult, but that’s not the way our God operates. Yuh don’t think that Jesus wanted to escape from all the horrific sufferation he went through? He certainly did! 

But the Father asked Him to suffer on our behalf and gave Him the grace, strength and power to bear up and endure the inhumane treatment He underwent for us. The Holy Spirit imbued Him with the power to handle it, and the same Holy Spirit imbues us with power to handle our problems. So, let’s stop thinking about ways to escape problems and instead forge ahead and come up over them through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

As one commentator, Vern Nicolette, puts it in an article on the subject found on the Active Christianity website. ‘In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it speaks about the time of temptation and that God makes a way of escape so we can bear it. How hopeful it is that we have a God who measures each temptation so we can bear it! God has a way of escape for us in every single temptation. The way of escape is to go before the throne of grace and pray for grace in time of need; in other words, before we fall. Then we have God’s promise that we shall receive the grace, which is strength and help at the right time, so we can stand after we have overcome all things.’ 

And the author references two scriptures there; Hebrews 4:16, and Ephesians 6:13. And since I like to spoon feed us, (smile) here are those two scriptures. The first one says: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) And the second comforting and strengthening verse of scripture in times of need is this: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph. 6:13) 

Yes friends, those are the two basic things we need to withstand the demonic onslaughts that occasionally come against us: the grace and armour of God! And with those working on our behalf, through the empowering Holy Spirit, Satan doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of defeating us! Now here are some more scriptures that will help us in our fight against temptation. Up first is this beautiful scripture: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) I like that verse because it tells me of God’s faithfulness, and that’s something I’ve totally experienced in my own life, so it boosts my spirit. 

And the next scripture comes from Psalm 125 – God surrounds his people. It confidently declares: ‘They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed (moved), but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about (surround) Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. For the rod of the wicked (the sceptre of wickedness) shall not rest upon the lot (land) of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth (reach out ) their hands unto iniquity.’ (Ps. 125:1-3) 

And here are two more scriptures to sustain those last two. (smile) Isaiah tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.’ (Is. 14:5) And Cousin Sol confidently proclaims from the wisdom of Proverbs: ‘He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity (trouble): and the rod of his anger shall fail (wrath shall perish).’ (Prov. 22:8) 

Now that further recalls the rebuke of Eliphaz to his friend Job, where he says: ‘Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils (anger) are they consumed.’ (Job 4:7-9) 

And though Eliphaz didn’t know about Job’s unique situation, he knew from personal experience that we reap what we sow., which is the living truth, just not in Job’s case. So though there may seem to be a lot of problems, temptations and enemy attacks in our lives, let us not forget that the Lord God Almighty has placed within us the power of His Holy Spirit to enable us to fight our earthly battles and be victorious in all of them. But we must get His grace and put on His spiritual armour if we want to win the spiritual battles that take place in our lives. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to live for God, let’s go home declaring (yeah!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who we belong to. In strong voice: ‘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!’ 

And having said that, we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know Him. For that’s His greatest desire. Much LOVE!

…I have been young…and now I am old…yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken…nor his seed begging bread… (Ps. 37:5)                                                                                                                             

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