Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 April 2019 Ephesians 2 10.

Ephesians 2:10.  For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.
 

At ‘em friends, at ‘em! The weekend is done now and work calls, and as a true believer in Christ, you have to answer the bell on time, diligently and efficiently! And I hear some of you steupsing and muttering: ‘What is his problem eh?  Who he think he is eh, to tell us when to reach to work and how to do our work eh?’ 

Ah mih people, is not me saying that nuh, but your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; that is the example He wants us to set to the world. So please don’t get on my case nuh, cause I’m just the messenger. Doh kill the messenger, just accept the message! (smile) Remember the Good Book says that whatever you do, you ought to do it as unto the Lord and not unto man. 

Anyway, the important thing is to get ourselves out into the workplace and do our duty. And if the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak this morning, then we have something that will liven up both body and spirit; our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; that wonderful antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday morning. Glory to God! So let’s get right with it nuh! 

All together in sincerity and strong sense of purpose: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh yes, I can see it’s working already, by the new pep in your step and the light that’s shining in your eyes. Give God the glory! Then let’s get out into the evil world and do the work God has destined for us; having His grace and mercy and strength to do it diligently and efficiently. 

That brings us to this pertinent reminder of Bruh Paul’s to the Ephesians. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any many should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:8-10) 

Yes friends, those are important things we ought not to forget. It’s only by God’s grace, His unmerited and undeserved favour that we are saved. It is only when we believe in Jesus Christ, are spiritually born again and develop faith in Him, that God’s grace flows down on us and salvation becomes a reality, and not by any good works that we might have done. In fact, there are no good works that we can ever do to merit or deserve salvation! 

And the Lord in His ultimate wisdom made it thus, because He knew that if it were otherwise, men would be boasting all over town about their good works and what it had earned them. That’s why Bruh Paul says that with all his accomplishments and revelations, he was given a ‘thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me (beat him), lest I should be exalted above measure.’ (2 Cor.12:7) 

Whatever it was, it was painful and problematic, causing shame and embarrassment, so that he could not get too big for his britches. And even when he asked the Lord three times to remove the blemish, the Lord refused, stating: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness. ((2 Cor.12:9a) And that’s the gospel truth! God’s awesome power is usually more apparent when we are going through times of weakness. 

All of this drove Bruh Paul to declare: ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me…for when I am weak, then I am strong.’  (2 Cor. 12:9b, 10b) Good logic friends, so that God’s power may show up more in his life. 

Bruh Paul also resisted boasting of his achievements, when he told the Galatians: ‘But God forbid that I should glory, save (except) in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.’ (Gal.6:14) And so should we too friends, only boast, take pleasure in Jesus’ atonement and all the spiritual blessings it brings, not our own accomplishments. 

But all of that aside, the Lord does want us to do good works, that’s one of the purposes for which He morally recreated us in Christ Jesus. He expects us to be like Christ and do good works when we are born again in the spirit, not just enjoy His largesse without giving back anything. So on this day that we are once again blessed with earthly life and the free gift of salvation, let’s go out and do our bounded duty nuh; good works in Christ’s name. Much LOVE!

…Jesus went about doing good…for God was with Him… (Act.10:38)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2019 Psalm 39:7.

Psalm 39:7.   ​And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.
 
Well it’s a wet and bright morning in my neighbourhood – bright possibly because I got up later than usual, – also went to bed later than usual. (smile) But anyway, I’d like to welcome us all back to the daily grind and common task, the banal, often boring existence we call everyday life! (smile) Yeh friends, no more celebrations until Valentine’s Day down in February. It’s mostly home and work and pay the bills until then. 

But some of us manage that quite well, possibly because we have the Hope of Jesus in our lives. And in the words of the renowned French writer of works like the Count of Monte Cristo, Twenty Years After, Ten Years Later and The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) – real name Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie; ‘All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.’  

And that is the gospel truth my believing brethren! What else is there in this life eh, but to hope for what we want and then to wait patiently for it? Without either hope or patience we’re like a duck out of water. (smile) As Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church so long ago: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

And that’s simple logic; why hope for something when you already have or see it eh? But friends, nobody personifies those qualities of hoping and patiently waiting more than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because He promises the best and greatest gifts of all time; salvation and eternal life, which He sacrificially and selflessly died to provide for us! And freely too, because it’s through the grace of God, we’re saved. 

As Bruh Paul points out to the Ephesians: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved…For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.2:4-5, 8-9). 

Ah mih people, Bruh Paul makes it abundantly clear that salvation and eternal life are not ours to attain on our own strength, but through hope and faith and patience and perseverance and obedience in Christ and His will and His wonderful promises. As He says, all we have to do is believe in Him! But some of us find that too simple and easy, and anything that comes to us too easily is no good; if we don’t struggle for something, then it’s not worthwhile. 

But with Jesus, my friends, it’s different. The first part, believing is the easy part, for after we believe then comes the oftimes hard part of being obedient. (smile) Anyway, all I really wanted to do this morning was to talk some about hope, and help us build it in Jesus this new year of 2019. But somewhere along the line I got lost and confused, (smile) so let’s get to some scriptures that encourage us and build our hope in Christ. 

And where better to start than with these most reassuring words of Bruh David: ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my people, when our hope is sincerely placed in the great living God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, then we’re not afraid of life, or whatever it brings against us, and we can rejoice and be safe and secure in His LOVING care! And Bruh David states it plain and simple and assured in this verse, our Bit for today: ‘And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.’  That’s exactly how we ought to also put it my people! 

And Cousin Sol has an interesting verse in Proverbs: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov.13:12) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ Yeh mih breddren, when we hope for stuff, we often feel depressed having to wait for it, but when we get what we’ve hoped for…Brother! Are we ever filled with joy! 

Now hear the lamenting prophet, Jeremiah: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ (Jer.17:7) And if Jerry could make such a statement, after all the hardship he went though on the Lord’s behalf, then there must be a whole lot of truth in it. Oh friends, there are so many wonderful scriptures on hope in the Good Book that I’m having a hard time to determine what to use. 

Anyhow, hear these last two: the first from Jeremiah in his famous Lamentations, one we all know and LOVE to quote, but don’t action so well. ‘It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:26) And this verse from Peter is a most wonderful one to end with: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet.1:3) 

Yes friends, because Jesus rose from the dead, we too have the hope that those who believe in Him will also rise at the sound of the trump on the last day! Glory be! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday mantra, loud, bold and sincere, letting the world know who and whose we are! 

In unison now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ And if we truly believe, then we’ll go out and graciously action those words. Much LOVE!

…HOPE renews me…and lets me face each day…with the best possible attitude… (From One More Day -Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele) 

P.S. It’s long and late, and I hope it all makes sense, but if it doesn’t, I know you all are wise enough to pick sense from nonsense! (smile) What a nice smiley day! Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2016 John 3:16

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

And the people sang: ‘Saturday, oh Saturday, what do you have in store for us today?’ 

And the Lord replied likewise in song: ‘For my beloved followers, today I have brand new blessings, brand new mercies, etched with forgiveness, grace, care, compassion and LOVING-kindness. That’s my constant menu, except they are freshly prepared each and every day. I don’t do leftovers for those I sincerely care about. 

And I have the best server in the world, My Holy Spirit. He will lead and guide you through the entire day, giving you good advice as to what to do and say. 

So if you like what I’m offering, come on down and sample my wares. I guarantee that once you’ve sampled them, you’ll never go away; you’ll just keep running back for more. So see you soon. All my LOVE! Your heavenly Father.’ 

And that’s exactly how it is friends! Our magnificent God prepares His menu of delights afresh for us every day. As he says, He doesn’t do leftovers. But the only way you can truly sample His wares is by surrendering your life and soul to Him, so that He can set up His Holy Spirit in your soul. 

The Holy Spirit is the server, so if you don’t surrender and allow Him in, then you won’t be able to sample the menu. No rocket science my brethren, just simple logic! 

And all of that is borne out in the marvelous words of our Bit. For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Oh precious people, how can we doubt or disbelieve those life-changing words eh? It’s been historically proven that Jesus did die on the cross at Calvary, and if He was indeed whom He claimed to be, and there’s no reason to doubt it, then that’s the greatest gift that has ever been given to mankind! Glory Hallelujah! 

We should all be shouting and praising and thanking God for His wonderful gift of salvation through Christ, and be ever so willing to live under His easy yoke and light burden. 

But mankind is a different animal, possessing free choice, foolish pride and a sinful nature, so he doesn’t always make the wisest decisions. And even when you read and spell for him, like I’m trying to do here, he still insists on going his own way. 

However, let’s turn to the scriptures for more facts on the subject. Yesterday we were looking at Bruh Paul’s message to the Ephesians, concerning faith and grace and how they work in a believer’s life. We ended up where he declared that God’s purpose was to demonstrate His goodness to them through Jesus Christ so they could have a better understanding of Him. (2:7) 

Today, we’ll continue from there. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and not that of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:8-10) 

Now friends, those are three of the most important verses concerning our faith! The first thing we need to realize is that we are saved by God’s grace, His unmerited favour, and nothing that we have done ourselves. 

The scholars explain that verse thus. ‘2:8. For gives the reason for this future demonstration of divine grace. It is because man owes his salvation to this grace or undeserved divine favour.’  Then they go into all sorts of explanations about the different tenses and genders of the Greek words which I will leave out. 

The long and short of the story though is: This means that no part of salvation is “of yourselves” or due to what we do – the whole of salvation is the gift of God. Man is saved “by grace” that is, by the kindness of God in having Jesus die for our sins. But this grace is appropriated through faith, that is, man believes what God has done for him and relies upon Christ’s atonement to blot out his sins and bring him into a proper relationship with God.’ 

In other words, NONE of our good works can get us into heaven. We can ONLY get there by accepting God’s LOVING-kindness and having faith, believing In Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.  Unfortunately though, a lot of people still misguidedly believe that good works will get them into heaven. I sincerely hope that they smarten up before it’s too late. 

As for ‘2:9. The reason in part, that salvation is not achieved by good works is to prevent men from bragging of having earned a place in heaven by themselves.’ 

Yuh think the Lord stupid? He made man, and He knows what we are capable of. Can you imagine the bragging and boasting that would have gone on if we could get to heaven through good works! 

‘2:10. For verifies the assertion of man’s good works having no part in obtaining salvation. Workmanship refers not to our original or physical birth, but to our spiritual birth: what we are spiritually in the good sense is due to God, not ourselves. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works means “having been (morally) recreated by Christ Jesus for good works;” that is, Jesus remade our spiritual lives so that we could then do good works. 

The apostle’s thinking is this: since the Christian has been given spiritual life for the purpose of doing good works, there could have been no good works by him prior to conversion that would merit salvation. Good works follow – do not precede – salvation.’ 

There you have it friends, Bruh Paul’s treatise on grace and faith. I know I’ve shared most of this stuff before, but it’s such an important part of our belief system that we can never hear it enough. 

So today let’s spend some time pondering on the meat and potatoes set before us nuh. It’s time we stop drinking milk and eating baby food and gain some maturity, moving on to a higher understanding of God’s Word (smile). Much LOVE!

…we can only grow in Christ…by gaining a deeper understanding of His Word…