Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.
 

Well friends, it’s the first Sunday in Advent! And why is that important eh? Because in the church’s calendar, this is the time of year we begin preparing for Christ’s coming! Originally it seems like it was a time to think of Christ’s Second Coming, a cry for the Messiah to come back and take over the evil world. But apparently down through the years it got intertwined with the First Coming of the Messiah, what we call Christmas, so now we celebrate Advent by looking back nostalgically at the First Coming, while excitedly and expectantly looking forward to the Second One! Only in the Christian faith can we have such double celebrations my people! (smile) 

Anyway, as we gather today in joyful fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, to give thanks and praise and worship His Holy Name, we not going to open with an Advent hymn because I got a zeppo intimating that the Lord wanted to hear this particular tune, ‘Stand up for Jesus!’ I guess He’s feeling that believers are not being strong and steadfast enough in the faith. We’re being too fearful and wishy-washy, sitting on the fence, wavering like a leaf in the wind, and too ready to compromise so that we can go on with our comfortable lives! 

Consequently, He wants us to get our acts together, get really serious about our cause, and like true warriors come out fighting valiantly under Jesus’ banner, even to the death, if needs be! So let’s raise our voices in strong and solemn song, as we sing these most excellent sentiments, but also truly fighting words, written in 1858 by George Duffield (1818-1888) in honour of his dear departed friend and leader, Dudley Atkins Tyng (1825-1858) in a tragic farm accident. It’s reputed that Tyng’s last message to his associates was for them to, ‘Stand up for Jesus,’ and this became the theme of Duffield’s song. 

And to make it even more powerful, we going to do a scintillating, rocking Reggae version, a la Miss Carlene Davis. Wow! Rockers time mih people! (smile) So altogether now: ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross! Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army he shall lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; if while ye sleep he suffers, away with shame and fear. Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there. (Bridge: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up.) 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally. (Extro: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up….!’ 

Aye friends, I hope we truly meant what we just sang, because our world is desperate for somebody, for serious somebodies to stand up to the evil one in Jesus name! And it’s sad that we all know the scripture that characterizes that song, but we’re not putting it into full and proper use. Hear Bruh Paul as he articulates to the Ephesians, re the whole armour of God: ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ (Eph.6:10) 

As Christians we’re engaged in a spiritual battle from now until Christ’s Second Coming that we’re looking forward to this first Sunday in Advent. And there must be ‘no quarter given, no ceasefire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities.’ But to do that successfully, we have to stand strong, be strengthened in and through the Lord’s might and power. And this next verse is also of the utmost importance: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, no soldier worth his salt, goes into battle without armour, without protective gear. And since in this case our battle is not physical but spiritual, we need specialized protection: Our loins must be girded with God’s truth; the knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. Our chests must be protected by a breastplate of righteousness, holy character and moral conduct, through obedience to God’s truth. And then our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We must be eager and willing to take on the satanic one and his demoniac cohorts, take the fight to him, and we get that from the gospel of peace, that frees us of any anxiety and fear. 

Then we need the shield of faith so we can repulse all the fiery darts of the wicked one. That means taking God at His Word, believing His awesome promises, dispelling all doubt Satan might try to induce. And we must have a helmet; that of salvation; the hope of and assurance of salvation, the surety, that we’re saved. And you can’t fight without a sword, in this case the sword of the Spirit; the powerful and ever-conquering Word of God! 

But along with all of that protective armour friends, we still need to use the most powerful tool in the universe; prayer! Without it, the armour is useless. So let’s hope all of this has lit a fire in our bellies, reignited our passion for Christ, so that we can become better soldiers in His victorious army! Much LOVE!

…Christians…put on your spiritual armour…the time to fight is NOW…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 July 2019 1 John 5:13.

1 John 5:13.    ​These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
 
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY U.S. OF A!

 

Yes while we are working today, the U.S is celebrating their Independence Day! And those who can swing it might be able to make it a four-day weekend! Just think on that nuh! (smile) But I’ll tell our U.S friends and family members the same thing I told the Canadian section last Monday, when we celebrated our Independence Day; be careful, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business,’ because if you don’t, the devil will mind it for you. That’s for certain sure. So please be aware while you’re celebrating.  

Now earlier on in the week we talked about the secondary message in John’s first epistle; that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)  Today I want to delve into the primary message of the epistle: ‘These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.’ 

Ah mih people, what a blessed message! We have eternal life because we believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God! Glory to the Lamb who was slain for us! The sad part is that not all of us are assured of the fact that we are saved and heading for heaven. And the scholars offer this exhaustive explanation about assurance that I think I should share. 

‘5:13. The scriptures clearly teach that it is possible to know whether you are saved or unsaved. The assurance of the believer is not based on feeling, (though the Christian may “feel” saved), but on the principles of God’s Word. We can know we are saved because Christ is in our hearts (Col.1:27; 1 John 5:12), because of the witness of the Word of God (vs.10-11), because of answered prayer (John 14:14; 1 John 5:14-15), because of our understanding of the Scriptures (vs.20), because we keep His commandments (2 Cor.5:17; 1 John 5:18), because we LOVE the brethren (3:14), and because we have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:16). 

Illustration: Paul claimed to have this inner confidence and was fully persuaded concerning the keeping power of God in salvation (2 Tim.1:12). Application: Because of this assurance, the believer need not be ashamed of Christ, even when He finds himself in difficult circumstances (2 Tim.1:12). First Ref. Gen.15:13; Primary Ref. 1 John 5; cf. John 10:28).’ 

Oh my fellow believers that’s sure a lot of Scriptures to look up! But if we are in any doubt at all about our deliverance, about our saved state, then we should look them up. And even if we’re sure about it, we should still check them out, because in this evil day and age, we all need as much reassurance as we can get. And just for your info, I took a few minutes to look up those scriptures my brethren, and are they ever interesting and most reassuring! (smile) 

I can’t share them all here, but check out these two that follow our Bit. ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us; And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired (asked) of Him.’ (1 John 5:14-15) And the scholars tell us: ‘5:14-15. Assurance of salvation (vs.13) leads to confidence in petition. Effectual prayer is according to his will.’ 

Yeh friends, please remember that: we can ask for anything we want, but our prayers are most effective when they are in line with God’s will! And I want to share one more scripture here dealing with something that’s ever so pervasive in our Christian society today; that’s being ashamed of Christ, being afraid to acknowledge Him in public. 

Ah friends too many of us today are in actual fact ashamed of Christ, but you can’t be saved and/or go to heaven if you refuse to acknowledge His presence in your life. Remember Jesus said it plainly: ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32-33) 

Yeh friends, you can’t be a Christian in secret, at least not in our free religious society. So please stop being ashamed of Christ! Stop letting the enemy make us afraid of possible negative consequences or otherwise. We keep saying that anything and everything is possible with God, and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us…Well let’s show that in public nuh, let’s stop being wishy-washy and fearful! 

Let’s say and do like Bruh Paul, who, in writing to Timothy admonished: ‘Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.’ (2 Tim.1:12)

Yes my people, Christ is indeed able to keep us assured until the judgement day! But we have to first believe it and then work at it! It doesn’t just happen by osmosis! So with that point made and our assurance of salvation being reassured, (smile) let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Thursday Blessings; those wonderful promises that the Lord has showered down on us to enable us to do His work. 

In strong voice and full belief 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!’ 

Oh how blessed we are my fellow saints in Christ! But please remember that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to share with the less fortunate! Much LOVE!

…no need to worry…true believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit…until the day of Salvation…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

And then it was Friday, which was heralded by some pretty intense thunder showers in my area during the night. The ground should certainly be well watered this morning. 

And even if we don’t see the Sun all day, just remember folks, the SON is ALWAYS shining brightly, both day and night, and He is ALWAYS readily available to come to for succour and comfort, or just a friendly chat. 

Wow! What an awesome Saviour we have my brethren! Please give Him some well-deserved thanks and praise! 

Even the workingman does that in His own misguided way, when he joyfully declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Thank Him for the break from slave labour…even if it short…Thank Him for the time we have to party and carouse and shake we bodyline! Thank Him for the waters that will flow like water…Mama Yo! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

Ah friends, to some extent, we can all understand those sentiments, and in our lustful days, before we were filled with the Holy Spirit, many of us might have even participated in that kind of riotous living. But they are way too extreme for the true Christian. 

So let’s declare our Friday Chant nuh, which gives us a more sober view (smile) of how we ought to spend the weekend. As one now: ‘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.’ 

Now that’s much more in line with true Christian behaviour! And without further ado, let’s get to our Bit. ‘ Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s the first thing we need to do, if we intend to successfully fight and overthrow Beelzebub! Please remember that without God’s protective armour, we are no match for the enemy. 

And once again we’ll include the verses that describe the Lord’s armour, so we can have them right in front of us as we try to explain and understand them. ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your loins) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

And we’ll continue today with the fifth piece of God’s armour: ‘The helmet of salvation (vs.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8), they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes this helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is the certainty (assurance) of salvation.’ 

So my people, once we are saved, and thus assured of salvation, nothing or no one can take that from us, but we have to make good use of it, by keeping it first and foremost, front and centre in our minds, using it as a helmet. 

And now we come to the sixth and last part of God’s protective armour: ‘The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (vs.17b). The Greek term rendered “word” is not ‘logos’ referring to the whole Word of God, but ‘rhema’ referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.’ 

And the author of Hebrews tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (is able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’ (Heb.4:12) 

That’s how powerful the word of God is friends! And when we use it in all aspects of our daily life it mightily assists us in staying centred in God. And though my brethren, we put on all the armour of God, there is one more thing that’s absolutely necessary in successfully fighting Lucifer and his evil buddies; that’s Praying in verse 18. 

And the scholars tell us: ‘Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. 

In the spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Hope you all got that my people: Prayer is indispensable! It must be used with the armour of God, for us to be successful! And we need to pray for not only ourselves, but for all believers! 

So basically, God’s armour consists of our assurance of salvation, our helmet; our belt of truth; knowing the truth of God’s Word, plus our breastplate of righteousness which enables us to live a godly and moral life. 

And we definitely need a shield to protect us from Satan’s arrows, in this case our strong faith. Neither can we go into battle barefooted, we need the shoes, the eagerness that the gospel of peace offers us. And we surely can’t fight without a weapon; namely God’s word that’s so sharp and powerful, it can cut anything and discern whatever is necessary. But it must all be anchored by continuous prayer. 

Now let’s hope this brief refresher course, re God’s armour, reminded of stuff we might have forgotten, enlightened us some, and also raised our consciousness, so that we can run our earthly race more efficiently and successfully than before. Much LOVE!

…onward Christian soldiers…but remember…a soldier never goes to war…without his armour…his weapon…and prayer…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2016 2 Timothy 1:12.

2 Timothy 1:12.   For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.

And then it was Wednesday! Yes friends, it’s a brand new day filled with brand new blessings and mercies made especially for this day. No leftovers or anything from yesterday. 

So please let’s appreciate it as such and seek all that our wonderful God has prepared for us today, starting by proclaiming with confidence; ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps.118:24)

That’s the first step in today’s journey my people, acknowledging that we will enjoy the day. That will just lead us to focus on all the positives in our lives and not the negatives. 

And to help us do that, let’s wail our Wednesday Wail, again with supreme confidence, overwhelming enthusiasm, strong passion and heartfelt sincerity. 

Wailing: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my people, what a wonderful declaration!Who isn’t glad that they are alive today eh? I certainly am! 

And the breath of life is one of God’s greatest gifts to us mere mortals. Consequently, it should be highly appreciated, for a lot of people have lost that gift just today, and we are the blessed ones. 

And on top of all that, we’re being faithful and obedient in our walk of faith, looking ahead to a glorious future with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow friends; that is the ‘mostest!’ (smile) 

Yeh, nothing can beat a long and glorious time with Jesus, for He is the BEST! 

That’s why, when Bruh Paul was finally brought to his knees by Jesus, he spent the rest of his earthly life working his ‘soulcase’ out in his honour and glory!. Long time I haven’t hear that word ‘soulcase.’ It just means giving your everything, 110 percent. 

Therefore, as a preacher, an apostle and a teacher to the Gentiles, he could confidently declare to the young pastor Timothy, the words of our Bit.

‘For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.’ 

And the scholars offer these insights into that verse. ‘1:12. Persuaded (Gr. peitho): The perfect tense indicates that “I was persuaded in the past and remain so now.“ That he is able to keep refers to the assurance of salvation which is committed…against that day, when we will stand before the judgement seat of Christ.’ 

Yuh see friends, our faith and our assurance of salvation are not things to be trifled with. They are very serious aspects of our lives, both here on earth and in eternity. 

That means we have to be strong in Jesus, be fully committed to doing His earthly work, being good ambassadors for Him, not ashamed of Him, or be afraid to stand up and be counted in His name. Only then can we consider ourselves true followers. 

Believers believe, but followers act on their beliefs! 

Now hear this corroboration of Bruh Paul’s words by Peter, talking about being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.’ (1 Pet.4:19) 

And so it should be my brethren! If we’re walking in and suffering in God’s will, then it’s only logical that we should commit our very beings to Him, especially since He is also our Creator, and a faithful one at that. 

But it’s Bruh David who puts it in true layman’s terms, as he confidently declares in Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness). 

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday. 

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. 

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (for it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps.37:3-9) 

Oh friends, I couldn’t put it any better. Bruh David has laid out the template for all Christians in that short passage of scripture. If we sincerely adhere to it, then we won’t go wrong. 

Please, I implore us to check our lives today and see if we’re adhering to those wise principles, and as always, ask the Lord to help us wherever we are not coming up to scratch. Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s vocabulary should abound in these words…trust, delight, commit, rest and fret not…