Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 January 2012 Ephesians 4:23.

Ephesians 4:23.        And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;   

Now that’s more like it! There’s a hint of sunshine in the air, not the total murkiness we’ve suffered for the past couple of  days. Sunshine has been so lacking that lights which are recharged by sunlight have not been coming on because there hasn’t been sufficient sunlight to recharge them. I wonder what’s happening to those who use solar powered equipment in their homes, like on their rooves to provide heat, if they don’t have a large storage of that solar power.

It’s a good thing that we don’t have to worry about our spiritual power, because we have Jesus, the ‘awesomest’ power person there is, rooting for us in everything we do! But first we need to put our trust and faith in Him, believe in what He says, and live the way he directs, otherwise His power won’t work in us. It’s all conditioned upon our sincerely accepting Him as Lord and Saviour and doing His will.

And when we do that…Brother! Such new vistas will open before us, exciting things will begin happening, good changes will be made in our lives, in fact a complete turnaround will take place, and we’ll wonder why we hadn’t accepted Him into our hearts and lives before. As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: ‘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)

Yes friends, when you’ve found Christ, you become a brand new being. As the scholars put it: ‘When a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation,” and perceives Christ in a new way.’ And that’s borne out by the words of Jesus, first to Nicodemus, who came by night seeking information from Him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3)

It’s a spiritual rebirth my brethren! And unless it happens to us, we won’t see the kingdom of God. It’s as simple as that. And Jesus drives home that point later on when He tells the disciples: ‘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) Now that’s laying it all on the line. And it is the indisputable fact; without Jesus, we are very limited in what we can do.

And when we accept Him as Lord and Saviour, we make a break with the old things of our lives. We have to, because all the old carnal, sinful, fleshly stuff doesn’t work in Christ’s domain. That means a lot of new things, interesting changes must happen in our new life with Jesus, if we are to abide in Him, and He in us. As Isaiah writes: ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider ye the things of old.’ (Is. 43:18) And the wonderful thing about it all my people, is that once we come to Christ, our union with Him abides forever!

But here are some interesting words from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians, on some of the practical changes that we make when we come to Christ. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct of) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph. 4:22-32)

Yes my fellow saints, just a few practical changes to make when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour! (smile) But seriously though, we desperately need to consider how all of the above resonates in our personal lives, because it’s all a big part of our current angry, strife -filled world. And it’s not always easy to differ from the world, but we must, if we are to fulfill Christ’s mandate.

The major aspect though is a change in our mindset, because it’s in our mind that all the battles between the old and new take place. That’s why Bruh Paul wrote: ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.’ (Eph. 4:23) Now, the only way we can do that is through purposeful meditation on God’s word, sincere prayer and the genuine encouragement of other believers. And, since we’ve already pondered the Lord’s word, and encouraged each other, let’s go to Him in prayer now, through our Friday Chant, asking for His divine help and guidance.

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!’ 

Now, please remember that we just portrayed ourselves as faithful believers, and unless we live up to that promise, the Lord won’t answer our prayers. Much LOVE!

…being a new creation in Christ is wonderful…but it’s not always easy…we have to keep at it…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 January 2021 Ephesians 4:23.

Ephesians 4:23.     ​And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

HAPPY  NEW  YEAR!

Well a Happy New Year to all my Scrip-Bit friends and family! May this year of 2021 be much kinder to all of us than 2020 was. But right from the start, let us realize one thing; we can’t behave the same way we did last year and hope to receive a different ending. That’s what a lot of us do, but it’s totally unreasonable, in fact downright foolish, for how can you do old things and expect to get new and different results eh? That means we have to do new and different things if we want this year to be better than the last. 

And all of that will only work if we make ONE New Year’s Resolution; to follow Jesus more actively and sincerely this year! That’s the ONLY Resolution we need to make, for once we follow through with it, everything else will fall into place. Like Jesus said, if we seek the Lord God Almighty and His kingdom of righteousness, all our needs will be provided for. So friends, I plead with us, let’s be much better ambassadors for Christ this year of 2021 nuh. We all know, if we are truthful with ourselves, that we won’t so hot last year, we were tried and found wanting to a great extent. So this year let’s sincerely try and do better nuh.

I know we all can improve if we set our minds to it, and Jesus is expecting us to bring light and peace and LOVE to this dark sinful, angry and evil world. We are his ears, hands and feet in the world today, so only if we buck up will the world begin improving. And how do we do all of that eh, you ask? Well it’s simple, but definitely not easy. (smile) First we begin to truly live life in the Spirit. As Bruh Paul said to the Romans: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit…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.

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. 8:1, 5-8) That’s it right there in a nutshell my people! If we live a carnal, fleshly, earthly life we cannot please God because that lifestyle doesn’t mesh with the things of God. And how do we get to that state of spiritual living? Well by first changing our mindset.

And Bruh Paul laid it all out to the church at Corinth. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor. 5:17-18) Yes friends, when we come to Christ, old ways of living need to be set aside, and though some of us have come to Christ for some time now, we’re still living life through our old habits, habits that the world find good, but which the Lord finds sinful. That brings us to this confusing but rather interesting direction from Bruh Paul to the Philippians.

‘Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputing: That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:12-15) 

Wow! What a mouthful, but a useful one! Yes friends, we need to work out, not work for our salvation. Salvation is a free gift of God, but once we’re saved we need to begin doing the things that God requires of us, to live the way He wants us to, like Bruh Paul states above, don’t grumble and complain unnecessarily, stay clean and without fault – as much as possible (smile) so that we can shine as lights in this dark world like Christ desires of us. 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, salvation is wonderful, but sincerely living for Christ in this evil and sinful world of ours is not easy, and it doesn’t just happen, we have to work at it. But the good news is that God is right in the mix helping us, because it’s His work we’re doing, and He’s always with us when we do His work sincerely. As Bruh Paul assured the Philippians earlier on. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it (keep working on you) until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) 

Oh how sweet it is my brethren! God began the work in us, and He will keep on completing it until the day Jesus comes back for us! Glory Be. So we don’t have to worry about the work being completed, but we do have to do our part, which is to keep working on our behaviour; mental, spiritual, emotional and physical. And here are some more realistic and practical things we can do to achieve those aims, in the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. 

‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. 

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph. 4:22-32) 

And there it is my brethren, the practical stuff we need to do to work out our salvation. And it’s nothing that we all don’t know, we just don’t put it into effect for one reason or another, that’s why our witness, our testimony is not as good as it ought to be. But we going to fix that this year eh….?

And I hear a loud shout of ‘Yes! We going to fix things for Jesus this year!’ So let’s do it nuh, starting right now! Much LOVE!

…you can’t truly LOVE Jesus…and not do His bidding… 

P.S. Yes, I left out the ordinary workingman’s speech and our Friday Chant, because I thought it more important that we begin the new year with a new appreciation of Christianity 101! (smile)Much LOVE! 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2015 Ephesians 4:30‏

Ephesians 4:30.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

And a fine good morning to you all, my Scrip-Bit Family! And it is indeed a fine day to be alive, since new, unexpected blessings and mercies are in the offing! May the God, our God of peace and LOVE bless us all this Tuesday morning as we go about doing His holy will. 

And since today is Tuesday, I guess that calls for us to recite our Tuesday Mantra. So in one strong and sincere voice let’s affirm this wonderful affirmation. (smile) 

‘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 hurry. I don’t have to worry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, the most important aspect of our lives is that we are children of the Most High God Jehovah! That’s the telling characteristic that defines us!  What we do and what we have are immaterial and unimportant when matched up with the fact that we are God’s children. Please remember that. 

And to corroborate what we just said about Jesus being our Friend, listen to this poem from Gramps Schuller’s  (Dr. Robert A Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t know if I have ever shared it before, but it certainly is very apropos for today. So please pray this prayer with me titled ‘What a Friend!’ 

‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’ 

Oh my people, my people, that is gospel truth! I can testify to it, as many of you can, because in the darkest, roughest and loneliest hours of our lives, our ever-faithful Friend, Jesus, is ALWAYS there with us, and helps us to come through those unnerving times. Glory Hallelujah! 

NO ONE else is ever ALWAYS with us! And for that reason we ought to feel safe and comforted in each and every circumstance and be able to fulfill the words of our Bit. ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ 

Yes Friends, that’s something we should always try to do, because it shows a lack of trust and character on our part. The Holy Spirit indwells us to lead and guide us aright, on the straight and narrow path that leads to God. So if we continually grieve Him, then we’re showing a terrible lack of integrity, of morality and goodness of character. 

And how do we grieve the Holy Spirit? Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Ephesians. ‘Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. 

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:25-32)  

Now that’s how we grieve not the Holy Spirit my brethren! Basically by letting go of all our past behaviour and putting on the new man that’s in Christ. As we keep saying, it’s not always easy to give up our former habits and friendships, but with God’s ever-present help, we certainly can move along that long and challenging continuum of maturity in Christ Jesus. 

Now here are some more detailed explanations from the scholars. ‘4:25-5:2. This section gives practical guidelines as to how “the old man” (v.22) can be laid aside and how “the new man” (v.24) can be assumed in daily living. The passage specifies five sins to be discarded, the virtues that are to replace them, and the motive for such an exchange: 

(1) Lying is to be replaced by truth-telling, since Christians are fellow members (v.25). (2) Sinful anger is to be replaced by (briefly held) righteous indignation, that the devil may not be given opportunity (vv.26-27). (3) Theft is to be replaced by honest work, in order that one may have the means to meet the needs of others, (v.28). 

(4) Foul language is to be replaced by gracious speech, that it may edify others (v.28) and not grieve the Spirit (vv.29-30). (5) Resentment and wrath are to give way to kindness and forgiveness, since God has forgiven us (vv.31-32).’ 

And there we have it in spades Friends; how not to grieve the Holy Spirit! So please, today let’s ponder all what we’ve read and, obviously with God’s help, try to improve our individual situations, re the grieving of the Holy Spirit, for that is indeed wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…what a Friend we have in Jesus…all our sins and griefs to bear…what a privilege to carry…everything to God in prayer… 

P.S. You’ll notice that the font is slightly bigger, that’s because one reader complained that it was too small for her deteriorating eyes. I wanted to tell her, well just go and get some glasses nuh. (smile) But that would have been rude and unmannerly, and we pride ourselves on not being that way. Hope it helps some others with the same problem.(smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2015 Romans 12:2‏‏

Romans 12:2. 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.

So Friends, it’s Saturday! What’s cooking? No I don’t mean what’s on the fire literally cooking, like pigeon or gungo peas soup, or callaloo – the T&T kind made with dasheen bush, or the Jamdown kind made with spinach, or even some rice and peas and curry goat, a roti or bread and shark… 

And what about some ackee and saltfish, some patties, or even a big cooking oil tin filled with curry crab and some big, cartwheel dumplings, or even some flying fish eh… Mama Yo!  

But that sounds like a rather good West Indian menu though. As I keep telling these northerners the best tasting, the sweetest food in the world comes from the West Indies. And you better believe that they have come to realize that I was right, because if you see them nowadays in the West Indian restaurants and food stores, buying up we food.

And just talking about it, I know that mouths are watering for a taste of one, or many, or all of those delicious meals! (smile) And why not, is excellent food!

But that’s a different story for another day. I meant what’s happening in our lives, how are we handling the situations that currently exist, be they good, bad or indifferent? Are we anxious, fretting and stressing ourselves over them, or are we calmly going to Jesus with our problems, and being prisoners of hope, waiting with expectant faith for His answers? I do hope it’s the latter scenario, because that’s the only one that befits a follower of Jesus Christ.

Yeh Friends, we all know that putting that stuff into practice in this selfish, evil, ungodly world is much easier said than done, but as Christians we are expected to do it, because it’s all a part of our faith, our pilgrim’s journey. That’s why Christ came to earth and died, so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin that this world has us locked up in.

As Jesus says, when referring to the sheep of His pasture and His role as the Good Shepherd: ‘The thief cometh not but for (except) 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)

Oh my people, that is such a mighty statement, but to have life like Jesus gives it, one must become a whole new creature by shaking of the shackles of sin that’s keeping us in total bondage. And to do that we have to start in our minds, like our Bit says. ‘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.’ 

Ah mih breddren that’s gospel truth, for we can’t make any serious or lasting changes in our lives without first processing it through our minds and then keeping the other stuff out of them. But please note that all of that can only happen with God’s help. So why don’t we start making those changes right now eh Friends?

That’s provided you truly and seriously want to be freed from the shackles of sin that now bind you. But you have to go to Jesus in faith and believe that He, His precious blood spilled on Calvary can cleanse you, and then do your part, for it’s a two way street.

As Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17)  

As the scholars further explain: ‘5:17. When a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation” (cf. John 3:3; 15:5; Rom.8:1,9; Gal.6:14-15) and perceives Christ in a new way, making a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation, bringing new things into being.’

And Peter puts that transformation thus: ‘Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.’ (1 Pet.4:1-2)

Yes Friends, that’s how a follower of Christ is expected to live his or life; by the will of God, not by the lusts of men!

And in closing, let’s listen to Bruh Paul tell the Ephesians about living the new life in Christ. ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour; for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with malice: and be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:23-32)

And there we have it Friends, a general guide of how Christians ought to live. Now do we live like that, or anywhere close to it? I’d say no. That’s why we have such a bad reputation amongst the heathen. We spout a whole lot of scripture, but then live a completely different life style.

But it is possible to live much closer to those ideals than we currently do. So please my people, let’s wake up and get our act together nuh, if we want to bring others to Jesus, rather than drive them away as we’re doing now. Much LOVE!

…for Christians to bring people to Christ…we have to begin living more Christ-like lives…practice more of what we preach…