Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 September 2022 Romans 8:31.

Romans 8:31.       ​ What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Well my people, it’s a beautiful late summer Saturday, ideal for lazing. (smile) And earlier on, I enjoyed some lazy time lolling around in my bed, although my back was aching, recommending my getting up. But it was just nice to lie there, contemplating life for a while, thanking the Lord for opening my eyes to another day in which I could enjoy His new mercies and compassions. Now isn’t that a great way to greet the day? It certainly is! A bit of peace and quiet before the busyness of the day gets into your spirit. 

But as they say, good things do come to an end, and eventually I had to get up and be about the Lord’s business, which on Saturdays, means checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first quote is very interesting and mind-bending. It says: ‘Change, like healing, takes time.’ That’s the gospel truth friends. A lot of us desire change, but expect it to come as soon as we wish for it, but just like our wounds, physical or emotional don’t heal suddenly or overnight, change doesn’t usually occur in a split instance, although there are instances when it can. 

And I do like what the opening paragraph of an article on change says on the website bibletools.com/ topical verses. ‘What does the Bible say about change and how can it inspire us in times of change? There seems to always be a guarantee in life that change will happen. Change is something we tend to fear and become anxious about because we do not feel in control of life. The good news is that God has a plan for your life that includes hope, future, and prosperity. We need to learn to trust in God and allow the change to grow us to become more like Jesus Christ.’ 

Now that’s the truth in spades my faithful brethren! Why? Because our most faithful and powerful God has promised that change, though inevitable throughout life, with sincere trust and faith in Him it will not deter us from our planned purpose in His will. This foundational verse says it all. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) 

Yes friends, if we believe in Almighty God, then although we might not want or need change, when it does happen, we will not be afraid since we know that in the end, over time, which therefore calls for patience and perseverance, it will all work out for our good through the Lord’s goodness and mercy. That brings us to this next quote. ‘Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.’ That’s wisdom to the nth degree! 

It’s all well and good to desire to change the world, but before we do the big things, most of us are first required to do the small things, like change ourselves. We all have areas in which we can improve, and that’s where we need to begin. It’s like Jesus said, why consider the mote or speck in your brother’s eye, and not the beam or log in your own. (Matt. 7:3) And we all do that at some time or other. But it’s always best to consider what changes we need before trying to change others. And these verses of scripture lead us along the right path to good and consistent change. 

Bruh Paul writes to the church at Rome: ‘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.’ (Rom. 12:2) And he hit the nail right on the head there, for change can only come through the renewing of one’s mind, or changing the way one thinks, because our mind is the controlling centre of our body, everything passes through there before it becomes a reality. Cousin Sol said it long ago: ‘As a man thinks, so is he.’ (Prov. 23:7) 

And the best change we can ever make in our lives is to become a follower of Jesus Christ, which brings us into an entirely new dimension of life, a spirit-filled experience. Oh yes, once we encounter Christ, it’s whole new ball game. As Bruh Paul says in 2 Corinthians: ‘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 mih people, when you come to Christ you become a new person! But note, like we said of healing above, that change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a while for you to understand, accept and put into practice the new aspects of life in Christ. In fact it’s a life journey. Like babies drink milk and soft foods at the beginning of life, so too, as new believers, early on, we handle the easier aspects of our transformation, but as we live out our faith, we daily become more mature in it.  

That allows us to segue into this next quote. ‘If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?’ Those are all good questions my brethren, so let’s see if we can answer them. The first one is the easiest and the best. You don’t need to be for yourself, because Almighty God is always there for you! It says it right there in the scriptures: ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Rom. 8:31) Not a single soul can be against us if God is for us! That’s the living truth! But you first have to be for Him. 

And per the next question; if you’re only concerned with yourself then you’re selfish, and not a sincere believer in Christ Jesus, because Christ didn’t have a selfish bone in His body, else He never would have sacrificed His life for us. And that is where the transformation, the changing and renewal of your mind comes in to play, because to follow Jesus we have to be willing to sacrifice everything we have, even our lives. And as always, the best time to initiate necessary change is RIGHT NOW! If we know we need to change, and how to make it, then there’s no need to put it off for later. The sooner we implement that change, the sooner our lives will improve. 

Then there’s this last quote. ‘Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.’ More glorious, though heart-hurting truth! (smile) Things are continually changing, both inside and outside. One of those changes is that friends leave us, sometimes suddenly, and ofttimes we don’t even know why. But it happens, and we just have to learn to deal with it. And again, LOVED ones die and leave us behind. We grieve, but we must carry on, because the world and life doesn’t stop for anybody. That’s just a fact of life. 

And the best way to handle all the change, all the topsy turviness in our world is to be a sincere follower of Jesus Christ, because He will lead and guide you through all the changes and storms, and comfort and LOVE you when you need it, through the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit that comes to live with you when you accept Him as Lord and Saviour. Wow! That tells us that the best way to handle this life is by having Jesus as the mainstay of our lives! But don’t just take my word for it; try it. you’ll find it’s oh so true! Much LOVE!

…you can’t critique or criticize Jesus…until you try Him… 

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

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 August 2022   Luke 14:33.

Luke 14:33.       So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 

It’s the Lord’s Day my people! The first day of the new week…Sunday, glorious Sunday! Just the fact that it’s Sunday, with its peace, quiet and contentment, is enough for celebrations, and when you add the factors of gathering and worship in the Lord’s sanctuary, or by the awesome means of technology that we now have, oh brother, the day gets even brighter! 

That’s why Christians are so joyful all over the planet this Sunday morning…and well they should be, as there’s nothing more important than gathering to give our wonderful God much thanks and praise for His everlasting kindness to us, although we don’t deserve it. 

And as always, we’ll begin today’s proceedings with a song of humble acknowledgement of God’s awesome LOVE, grace and mercy, written around 1896 by the American hymn writer, Judson W. Van De Venter (1855-1939). It’s a song we all know and LOVE, one that’s aptly titled: ‘All to Jesus I Surrender.’ So, without further ado, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise in a soulful and harmonious version of the song, letting heaven know of the high regard in which we hold our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And the choir sang: ‘All to Jesus I surrender. All to Him I freely give; I will ever LOVE and trust Him, In His presence daily live. (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all.) All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow, Worldly pleasures all forsaken. Take me, Jesus, take me now. (Refrain: I surrender all..) All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Saviour, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. (Refrain: I surrender all…) 

All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy LOVE and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame; Oh, the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory, to His name! (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all…I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all… All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all…’ 

Oh friends, that word ‘surrender’ is possibly the most important word when it comes to our relationship with Jesus, because if we don’t wholly surrender our lives to him, He won’t be able to do any meaningful work in them. He want’s ALL of us, or nothing at all, because He’s interested in even the smallest, apparently meaningless aspect of our lives! Yes, and when we surrender our all to Him, it shows that we sincerely revere and trust him. 

Now, I believe we can break down this term surrender into two aspects; the first being giving up our worldly possessions in the name of Jesus’ work, like He says in the gospel of Luke: ‘So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:33). It’s like how the brothers, Peter and Andrew, and the sons of Zebedee, James and John just gave up their fishing business and families and followed Jesus when He called them. (Matt. 4:18-22) 

And the scholars explain that verse from Luke thus. ‘Forsaketh means literally “renounce” or “give up.” Disciples must live in constant readiness to put their means at the disposal of the Lord’s ends.’ That’s why the rich man who wanted to follow Jesus and was told he first had to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, went away sad. Like many of us, he found it difficult to give up his worldly possessions. Thankfully though, Jesus doesn’t always want us to give up everything, but He does expect us to sacrifice on His behalf whenever the situation calls for it. 

And thus, when in sincere astonishment, Peter asked who could be saved, if the rich man would have problems entering heaven? Jesus replies with this promise. ‘And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or fathers, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands (fields), for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life,’ when the Son of man shall sit on His throne of glory. (Matt. 19:29) 

So, we lose some earthly possessions down here living and working for Jesus, but we will be well rewarded for the sacrifices we make when Jesus assumes His rightful place on the throne of His father David. However, I do believe that the other aspect of surrendering, that of our soul, hearts, and bodies, is more important and even more difficult. Why? Because things are easier to give away than oneself, and are also easier to earn again. But the giving away of one’s heart, mind, body and soul, is a horse of an entirely different colour. (smile) 

And just look at how Bruh Paul solemnly and seriously puts it in His letter to the Roman church nuh. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service.’ (Rom. 12:1) 

And the scholars explain: ‘By the mercies of God summarizes all that God has accomplished for the believer in Romans chapters 1-11 in justifying the believer (chs. 1-5), enabling the believer to live a righteous life (chs. 6-8), and being faithful to Israel (chs. 9-11). That ye present refers to a definite act of presentation. The verb is used of offering a sacrifice that became “holy” under the Levitical system (cf. Ex. 29:37). This shows that the Christian life begins with total commitment and irrevocable presentation. Your bodies: The body has been an instrument of sin (ch. 6). Now it is to be presented to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’ 

Oh my, my! Remember I said the second aspect was harder than the first. (smile) But Bruh Paul is so thoughtful, that whenever he gives us a hefty spiritual task, he always gives us some practical way(s) to perform it. So, here’s how we go about presenting our bodies a reasonable service to God. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect (mature), will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes, my fellow believers, all true surrender begins with transforming our minds, because that’s where the battle for supremacy between the flesh and the Holy Spirit takes place. And if you keep on thinking like the world does, you won’t be able to give your all to Jesus. Many of us try to ride the fence, with one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom, but that’s useless, because you’ll never be successfully transformed until you give ALL, not some to Jesus! 

And for some further practical advice on how to transform oneself, you can check out Bruh Paul’s advice to the Ephesians in chapter 4:21-32. That’s our homework for today. (smile) Now let’s go home rejuvenated, and inspired, filled with the confidence of our heavenly Father, that we can successfully handle whatever comes against us in this new week. Much LOVE!

…to the Father…to the Son…and to the Holy Spirit…be the glory…now and for ever more… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 August 2022   Ephesians 5:15.

Ephesians 5:15.       ​ See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise.

Well friends, the big sighs of relief went up this morning, as everybody declared: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ You’d believe that we worked so hard this week, when many of us only worked four days. That’s not counting those who booked off sick sometime therein. (smile) 

And would you believe the same thing that happened on Wednesday evening happened yesterday afternoon. The skies got dark, as though they were preparing for a huge deluge, with plenty thunder rolls. But yuh know what? Eventually we still only got a small sprinkling of heavenly blessings. 

Chuh! The thunder rolls were more than the rain. When yuh hear the rain didn’t even wet my porch, that’s to tell you how poor the shower was. Sorry, can’t even call it a real shower, for real showers splatter all over my porch, and soon thereafter the place was dry like chip again. So, Mother Nature is still crying out for thirst. 

Don’t know what is the problem between rain and my neighbourhood nuh. Can it be that we’re so ungodly that the Lord is withholding His blessings? Who knows? Anything is possible. But today, I want us to concentrate on some verses of scripture from Bruh Paul’s letter to the Ephesians that are ever so important in these dangerous and disastrous times. 

The first one says: ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise.’ (Eph. 5:15) Yes friends, it’s of the utmost importance that believers walk very circumspectly if we are to set a good example for the unbelievers, for it’s so easy to fall into the deceitful and lying traps of the always prowling enemy. 

Then Bruh Paul writes: ‘Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.’ (Eph. 5:16) Wow! That shouldn’t be news to us, because we are seeing and experiencing very evil times and actions! That’s why we need to take every opportunity to redeem, reveal or expose the sins of the lost, being a faithful witness to them in these seriously evil days. 

And Bruh Paul continues: ‘Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.’ (Eph. 5:17) And believe me, my people, do we ever need to be wise and understand what’s the Lord’s will since the world is so overrun with evil. It’s like Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome. ‘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.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

And the only way we can know the true will of God is by meditating on His Word, talking to Him in prayer and associating with other believers. Then, as is his wont, Bruh Paul gives a few practical and physical examples of what he’s talking about. ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit.’ (Eph. 5:18) 

Yes my fellow saints, ‘drunkenness leads to moral intemperance, which is clearly contrary to God’s will. His will is that Christians be filled with (by) the Spirit; that is, they are to allow Him to fill them with God’s own life, character and virtues. The analogy between these two moral states is this: a person filled with wine is under its influence; similarly, a Christian is filled with the Spirit when he controls his thoughts, attitudes and actions.’  

This brings us to a rather interesting subject -The Fullness of the Holy Spirit. What’s it all about eh? The scholars explain it thus: ‘The words be filled here mean “be continually filled,” emphasizing that the fullness of the Spirit is a repeated experience for believers. When a person is drunk with an alcoholic beverage, his walk, talk, and sight are controlled by alcohol. 

God desires that the minds of Christians be controlled by the Holy Spirit so that they will walk in the Spirit, speak on behalf of God, and understand the things of God. Because people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at salvation, they do not need to get more of the Holy Spirit, but the filling of the Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit gets more of the believer. 

Illustration: As we establish our fellowship with God through confession of sins (1 John 1:9) and yield to Him (Rom. 6:13), we can be filled with the Spirit if that is our desire (Matt. 5:6) and prayer Luke 11:13). (Please take a moment and check out those scripture references) Application: Every Christian should be filled with the Spirit in order that he may have God’s power to serve Him (Acts 1:8).’ Now, hopefully that gives us a better understanding of what it means to be filled with Spirit. (smile) 

And we move on to some more practical examples of Bruh Paul’s will of the Lord. He advises: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:19-21) 

Oh my brethren, that kind of stuff is so essential to helping us lead the true Christian life: songs and melodies that lift up our spirits, encouraging words and deference from and to each other, giving thanks to God, being grateful for all that He’s done, doing and promises to do for us. Those are just a few things that keep us on the straight and narrow path. And then there’s sincere prayer. So let’s get to that right now nuh, through our Friday Chant. 

As one 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. 

Also, 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, if we are to receive positive answers to our prayer, then we need to clean up our act and give the Lord some incentive to act on our behalf. Much LOVE!

…in these very sinful and ungodly times…the Holy Spirit ought to play a greater part in the believer’s life… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 July 2022 Luke 18:8.

Luke 18:8.      Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Wow mih bredrin! Another week is quickly passing by; it’s already Wednesday…what’s happening with the days eh, why is time flying by so quickly? One would think that with the numerous problems we have in our world that time would at least seem to stand still, but like everything else, it is behaving in a most contrary manner. (smile) It’s a good thing we have Jesus to keep us steadfast and focused yes, otherwise we’d be jumping all over the place like jackrabbits. 

And to help handle the uncertain situation which our world currently faces, we are going to look at a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin aptly titled ‘I Can Settle for That.’ So, please read with me. ‘The word rebellion frightens me. I always associate it with Revolt…terrorism…riots…death… with economic and social issues… With the drug scene That promotes life without purpose. I associate it with tempestuous waves of change That leap up like wild animals. 

Like the disciples in the storm I want to awaken You, Lord. I wonder why You seem to be sleeping. But, Lord, maybe I don’t Really know You very well. Maybe I don’t let God be God. After all, You are not frightened. You do not hold your hands up in despair. You never say, “You should have come yesterday.”  Nor do You say, “You’re the wrong age and colour.” You never say “You’re too timid, too slow.” 

You simply tell me to step out Of my rocking boat. You tell me to walk the waves with You. You assure me you are not asleep. You tell me to show genuine LOVE To a desperately needy world. You insist it is far better To walk over the billows than to go under them. You tell me if I die in the attempt At least I will die victoriously. Then, facing me directly, You ask “Can you settle for that?” Lord, if You are with me I can settle for that.’ 

Mama Mia! Isn’t that the living truth my people? If God is with us, we can indeed settle for anything, because He controls it all! And the reason why we are so uncertain, afraid and worried is simply because we do not have sufficient trust and faith in our great God, in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit that dwells within us and is supposed to lead and guide us to all truth. In fact, we have not given ourselves completely to Almighty God, therefore we don’t let God be God. How can He be, if we don’t surrender our all to Him eh? 

That’s why the Bible verse for that poem is Bruh Paul’s plea to the church at Rome. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service.’ (Rom. 12:1) Yes friends, we are supposed to surrender our entire bodies and souls to Christ, if we want to truly benefit from all that He has to offer. 

Now listen to how the scholars explain that verse. ‘12:1. By the mercies of God summarizes all that God has accomplished for the believer in Romans chapters 1-11: in justifying the believer (chps. 1-5), enabling the believer to live a righteous life (chps. 6-8), and being faithful to Israel (chps. 9-11). That ye present refers to a definite act of presentation. The verb is used of offering a sacrifice that became “holy” under the Levitical system (cf. Ex. 29:37). This shows that the Christian life begins with total commitment and irrevocable presentation. Your bodies: The body has been an instrument of sin (chp. 6). Now it is to be presented to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’ 

Yes, that all sounds like a big mouthful, but it simply means that we stop using our bodies for sinful purposes and instead use them for righteous ones. And we’d all be foolishly fooling ourselves to pretend that we don’t know the sinful things we use our bodies for. (smile) That’s why this next verse is so important in our transformation. Bruh Paul then declares in his usual practical way. ‘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.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Ah mih bredrin, to truly live for Christ we have to shun, to shuck off the things of this evil world that find no place, are not welcome in God’s kingdom. And no, it’s not always easy to do, because of our inherent sinful nature and the rampaging evil and evil doers that are currently controlling our world. But with Christ’s help and our perseverance, we can do a good job of it. 

We must just want it badly enough. But like we said yesterday, too many of us don’t want it badly enough to put out the necessary effort to live sincerely for Christ, that’s why Christianity is in such a shambles, why Christ’s church is filled with so much evil and ungodly doings, why there’s so much dissension within Christ’s church, and instead of getting better, it seems to be getting worse. 

Oh my fellow believers, we need to remember that Christ is depending on us to keep His church going strong and sincere. We are all He has down here to do His bidding, and if we are not doing it properly then His church will obviously suffer serious setbacks. This leads me to consider the question Jesus asked at the end of the parable of the persistent widow. He says: ‘Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?’ (Luke 18:8) 

Now that’s a very interesting question with the great number of former believers turning away from God, the apostasy that Bruh Paul warned Timothy of. ‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy…’  (2 Tim. 3:1-2) And he goes on to list a host of other ungodly activities which we are currently seeing at a high level in our society. 

However, my brethren, because we are sincere, faithful, and strong, we will do our best to stand up for Christ and continue to tell others about Him and the marvellous benefits living for Him bring. So, for those of us in that camp, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Wow! 

Altogether now: ‘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!’ 

And believe me friends, if we endure to the end, that future will indeed be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. So, let’s be with Christ for the long haul nuh; that’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…nothing worthwhile is ever easy…and that definitely goes for living for Christ…but the rewards will certainly outweigh the difficulties…   

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 May 2022 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.      If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

And then it was a sunny summer Saturday! Glory be my people! Good days are ahead in the northern climes, and it’s showing already with folks walking about half-naked, and driving around in their convertibles. The sun was actually hot yesterday…and hopefully from now on, it will dispel heat as well as brilliance. Although, when the heat really comes, we’ll start complaining about how it’s too hot. 

Yes, mankind is never satisfied. Even when we get what we call for, we’re not happy. When it’s cold we complain, but when it gets hot, we also complain. Before there was Christ, we complained about Satan and his sinful ways, but now that we have Christ and His awesome story of salvation and eternal life, we’re still complaining. Guess man’s dissatisfaction with life will never end until Jesus comes back and sets up His magnificent kingdom of peace, LOVE and contentment. 

In the meantime, let’s concentrate on our Saturday task, that of checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week we only must deal with three quotes because he inadvertently sent us one from last week, namely: ‘Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.’ We dealt with that when we talked about Mary, Jesus’ mother, and the many things she held in her heart re the birth, life, death and resurrection of her marvellous boy child, the Son of God. 

But believe me, a heart can hold a lot, since it is made for patience and long suffering, but how much, I don’t even think we can measure it, because it’s such a wonderfully made organ, second only to the mind, that it just keeps expanding with whatever is placed in it, be it PAIN or LOVE. Imagine the hearts of Mary and the Father when they watched their Son’s badly beaten and abused body, hanging limply on the old rugged cross nuh! That certainly gives us an idea of the heart’s amazing capacity. 

Then we come to this rather interesting quote. ‘Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.’ And that’s the gospel truth friends! We see it happening every day in our celebrity-based society, where you’ll find people fighting to hang around with a celebrity, and usually the latest and/or biggest one in town. And the celebrities themselves are so chocked full of themselves that they encourage these entourages and even seek to compete as to who has the biggest entourage. 

But you know what, regardless of how big we get, our flame dies or burns low at some time or the other, meaning we can no longer afford to have all those hangers-on hanging around us. And they usually just drift away to greener pastures, ofttimes without even a backward glance, and angry too that their good thing has ended, because they are only parasites; organisms that feed off a living body until they kill it, it dies from being fed on too much. (smile) 

None stay to help you get through the rough times, as you are forced to ride the bus instead of the limo. But that’s the celebrity game! And if you foolishly decide to play it, then you have no one to blame but yourself, if you end up paying the price for your big ego and foolish pride. 

Now hear this next quote, which makes a bold statement: ‘You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.’ That’s oh so true my brethren! Once you stay in the safe confines of your comfort zone, or the place(s) where you are comfortable and refuse to take some risks, then your life will never change. You’ll just drone on in the same comfortable but unexciting and unenthusiastic manner. 

Remember life was meant to be lived. Christ died for us to have life abundantly, and that means getting up and doing new and different things, taking risks, not foolish risks, but sensible ones through which you can grow and become a better person and a more mature believer. If you desire change, then you must stretch yourself, because that’s the only way change comes about. You certainly can’t stay in your comfort zone and expect to or acquire change. 

And Jesus is the perfect example of that. He could have stayed in His comfortable position in heaven, but He desired to see some changes down here on earth amongst the people, so He left his comfortable heavenly situation and came to earth to do something about it. Remember His famous words: ‘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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17)

Yes friends, the Father LOVED us so much that He didn’t want to see us go down the wide and destructive path that leads to death and damnation, and because of His justice and righteousness He couldn’t just wave our sins away, so He had to step out of His comfort zone and do something drastic, like send His sinless Son to die and pay our sin debt. Jesus Himself could have refused the Father’s entreaties, but He also decided to step out of His comfort zone, and do something big, something drastic and wonderful, but oh so painful, for mankind, telling the Father – ‘not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt. 26:39d) 

And it’s the same way He desires us to step out of our comfort zones to do His bidding. He said it in no uncertain terms to the disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ (Matt. 16:24) And to do that, we must certainly step out of our comfort zone, unlike the rich ruler who refused to sell his vast possessions, give the proceeds to the poor and then follow Jesus. (Matt. 19:16-26) 

That brings us to this last quote, another interesting one. ‘The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be minds.’ True words friends. If an animal, who is supposed to moult, that’s cast of their skins or feathers or change their outer appearance, like a snake, or certain birds, or a caterpillar, then those animals die. The same thing goes for those of us who are prevented from changing their opinions, like in certain dogmatic or dictatorial societies or organizations. 

Our minds simply die, because they have been made devoid of life, through the refusal to think other thoughts, or have other opinions. Man’s mind is the greatest thing ever made, but it was made for thinking, for being used in worthwhile pursuits, not just sitting dormant or not being profitably used. So, like all living organisms that don’t keep moving and improving, they eventually die from lack of use. 

Please friends, please don’t allow that to happen to our minds. Let’s keep them moving and grooving on the best thing that’s ever happened to us, that’s Jesus! Like Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome. ‘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.’ (Rom. 12:2) In that way, my fellow saints, our minds won’t die an unnatural and unprofitable death. Much LOVE!

…following Jesus is not easy…but it’s adventurous and exciting…because it takes you out of your comfort zone… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 April 2022 Romans 12:2a.

Romans 12:2a.       And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

It looks like it’s going to be a good Tuesday, but who knows with the contrary weather patterns that now seem to exist. Yesterday began and ended with rain, with some sunshine thrown in for good measure in between. (smile) Things are just not what they used to be; everything’s now in a state of upheaval and controversy. What a good thing though that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! That means we can place our utmost trust in Him to always react the same way under the same circumstances. 

And it’s ever so important in this life to have something or someone that’s steadfast and sure, that we can depend on for good guidance and safe refuge, that doesn’t change from one minute to the next. And the ONE person who fills that position so marvellously in the believer’s life is none other than the risen Christ! 

Give Him thanks and praise for His selfless sacrifice on our behalf! He died for us, rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven, where He now sits at the Father’s right hand advocating in our favour, while His Holy Spirit dwells quietly, but purposefully within us to lead and guide us in His ways and desires. 

That’s the best hand we could ever be dealt in this topsy-turvy world my brethren! So please, let’s be wise and hold on tightly to it nuh, because the only other option available, that of Satan and his evil ways is not a good one. Oh, his pleasures seem so wonderful on the outside, but deep down they are filled with misery and pain. His is just a façade to inveigle you to join in sin and foolish pleasures that in the end only bring pain and sorrow, with death and eternal separation from our Creator. 

And that’s certainly not something to look forward to. In fact, it’s the worst thing than can ever happen to a created being! But the enemy wants us to go to hellfire and damnation with him, so he makes his stuff alluring and sensual, working on the weakness of our minds, through the lusts of our flesh to bring us into his camp. And that’s where it all begins and ends friends, in our minds, for our minds are the battlefields of Jesus and the enemy. And whoever controls our minds controls our desires and behaviour. 

Thus, it is imperative to take control of our minds and keep them going along the straight and narrow path outlined by Jesus, and not the wide and destructive one used by the enemy. That’s why Bruh Paul seriously warns in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘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.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes friends, we are to stop conforming to the evil and lustful pleasures and desires that this world now hold so dearly, because they do not hold God’s will for us. We must stoutly resist being poured into the mold of this world’s value systems and thinking and therefore its conduct. 

And per our Dedication to the Will of God, as spoken of by Bruh Paul, the scholars tell us: ‘God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in ALL of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God (John 7:17). Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen. 22:12. (Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice Isaac) Primary ref. Rom. 12:1.)’ 

All of that simply means living for Jesus includes ALL aspects of our lives, without any exceptions whatsoever. And that is ofttimes hard, especially for new believers, but it’s something we must attain to, set our sights on, if we are to truly live for Him. And thus Bruh Paul wrote these words in his second letter to the church at Corinth which was then undergoing a lot of controversy. ‘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) 

Ah my people, those are words for us to treasure, and even more so to follow! (smile) That’s because when we come to Christ, all our old sinful behaviour must be cast aside, left behind, and we must become new people in Christ, living the way He expects of us. The scholars explain that ‘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. Old things are passed away, indicates a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation. Behold, all things are become new, stresses the abiding results of the Christian’s union with Christ (cf. Is. 43:18-19; 65:17; Eph. 4:24; Rev. 21:4-5)’ 

Yes, my fellow saints, once we come to Christ, we need to continually abide in Him if we want to see the fruit of the Spirit develop in our lives. And Jesus made that quite clear through these decisive words to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I abide in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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 15:4-5) 

Now I don’t think that needs any explanation, for Jesus said it as clearly and simply as it could be put; without Him, we can do nothing! And that’s a fact that should be written indelibly in our hearts, and thus kept uppermost in our minds as we go about our day’s tasks. And I believe we’ve said enough for today, we have enough to consider and contemplate upon. (smile) So, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and confident 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!’ 

Now, it behooves us to go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…in Christ…we put our everything…because He is our EVERYTHING… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 April 2022 Matthew 6:24b.

Matthew 6:24b.      Ye cannot serve God and mammon (earthly wealth).

Brother, are these early days of spring ever passing by quickly! Can you believe it was just April Fool’s Day, and now it’s already the sixth day of the month? But the good thing about today, besides that we’re alive and kicking (smile) is that it’s Wednesday, the middle day of the work week, when we catch our second wind, and then blast forth again into the universe, all on the behalf of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

What a privilege that is my people; living for the One and Only True Living God Jehovah! Let’s also remember that it’s not only a privilege but even more importantly a duty, a bounden duty; one that we most certainly need to improve upon in these sad and fateful times. If we take a true look at ourselves, we will all find that our efforts on behalf of Jesus have not been as good as they ought to be, otherwise our world would not be in such a state of shambles, flooded with negative sentiments like fear, resentment, hate, war, strife, division, disunity…

And that’s only what we bring to the table! Imagine how our world looks when we add the numerous natural disasters that have been occurring over the last few years, and look likely to continue! It doesn’t look pretty, or even close to what God created several eons ago. And unfortunately, I believe this picture of the spiritually immature Christian, set forth in the poem titled ‘Grow Up,’ found in our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin is a very accurate description of our current Christian walk. 

So, as the poem says: ‘Picture it with me: a piece of gnarled bark tossed to and fro over the crashing breakers. First one direction, then another, back and forth, over and under. Aimless. No set purpose. Drifting…always drifting. What an accurate picture of an immature Christian. Nothing but spiritual puttering. Up and down, in and out. One study group for a few weeks, then another. One church for a while, then another. Undisciplined, unsteady, one day soaring, the next day wading in self-pity. No consistency. 

The apostle Paul tells us to grow up! Not grow older, but grow up in Christ. What we are today is more important to God that what we were yesterday. Our life journey with Jesus is now…this very day, this very hour. Why yearn for change if we’ve made no effort to follow the direction God has already given us? To grow spiritually we must be single-minded. Our one goal? To be conformed to the image of Christ. He longs for our willingness to let Him root us, cultivate us, water us. He will take anything we give Him except second place.’ 

And that’s the God-awesome truth my Christian brethren! Offer whatever you have; God will take it… but He desires…and will accept ONLY FIRST PLACE in our hearts and lives! And sadly, that’s the very thing that we have kept from, not offered Him as supposed believers in His Son, Jesus Christ. We put all sorts of stuff and people before Him, but that’s totally unacceptable. Instead of being in the world, but not of the world, many of us have one foot on either side of the barrier, trying to play both ends against the middle. 

But friends, that’s a fool’s paradise! As Jesus so rightly said, a long time ago: ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold to (be loyal to) the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (earthly wealth).’ (Matt. 6:24) However, that’s what a lot of us are foolishly trying to do. It won’t work friends. You either have to be all in for the wealth of the world, or all in for God! And I beg to offer that the latter is the wiser and much more beneficial choice. 

But to do that sincerely, we must do like the poem says: ‘GROW UP!’ And how do we do that? Bruh Paul gives the basic advice in Romans 12:2, which is the Bible Promise for our poem. ‘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.’ Yes friends, to be good and true Christians, we must avoid being poured into the mold of the world’s current thinking! 

And the NLT (New Living Translation) puts it thus: ‘Don’t copy the behaviour of the world, but let God conform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.’ Now, if you can’t understand either one of those versions, then things are really bad with you! 

And if Bruh Paul was amongst us right now, I believe he would have accused us of this very transgression, that he accused the Corinthians of in his first letter. ‘I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto until now ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying and strife, and divisions (dissensions), and ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men (according to men)?’ (1 Cor. 3:2-3) 

Now that’s the indisputable truth my fellow saints! All the dissension and disunity amongst us makes us behave like the world; meaning, like babies, we are still in the milk drinking stage of Christianity. We have not grown up enough so that we can be fed with solid food, and consequently that’s why our Christian walk is not good enough. And until we stop conforming to the world and conform instead to the things of God, then we will never grow up, and will keep on drinking milk, much to the dismay of our heavenly Father. 

Anyway, I’m not here to chide, but to encourage us, to make us realize that we have to dramatically change our ways if we want to receive all that our great and wonderful God has to offer. That’s just a fact of life that we cannot escape! And now, for those of us who have woken up and are sincerely trying to grow up, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our marvellous position in Christ Jesus. 

So, with much gusto and sincerity: ‘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!’ 

And it now behooves us to go out and show the world the wonderful results of holding such a position, by truly living for Christ! Much LOVE!…babies can live on milk…but grownups need solid food to thrive…that’s the Word of God… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 March 2022 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.

Oh boy, is Mother Nature confused! The weather people are promising rain and snow for this first Monday in Lent. We already have the rain, only waiting for the snow to come. Yesterday we had bright sunshine and temps of up to 15 degrees Celsius, although a strong wind lent its cold self to the proceedings all day long. That’s what the cold winds do in March. So it wasn’t as warm as you might think by just hearing the temperature. 

Now today it’s a completely different story. It’s about 1 degree Celsius, and for the snow to come, it must get slightly colder. So why the drastic changes from day to day eh? It must come from our interfering with the delicate balance the Lord set in Mother Nature when He created the universe. And I guess in His awesome wisdom, knowing that everything we put our hands to, we will destroy or pervert, He gave us His only Son Jesus Christ as a strong tower to hold on to when we screw up. (smile) 

And that’s not really a joke nuh, because without Jesus for us to lean and rely on, what would we do, how would we survive in this frightful world that now surrounds us? And unfortunately, even with Jesus as our strong fortress, too many of us are still struggling to survive. Why is that eh? I believe it’s because we are not mature enough in Christ, and not trying as hard as we ought to acquire the maturity needed to stand strong in this evil and ungodly world. Now this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin admirably explains our situation. And it’s most appropriately titled, ‘GROW UP!’ 

So, let’s read together. ‘Picture it with me: a piece of gnarled bark tossed to and fro over the crashing breakers. First one direction, then another, back and forth, over and under. Aimless. No set purpose. Drifting…always drifting. What an accurate picture of an immature Christian. Nothing but spiritual puttering. Up and down, in and out. One study group for a few weeks, then another. One church for a while, then another. Undisciplined, unsteady, one day soaring, the next day wading in self-pity. No consistency. 

The apostle Paul tells us to grow up! Not grow older, but grow up into Christ. What we are today is more important to God than what we were yesterday. Our life journey with Jesus is now – this very day, this very hour. Why yearn for change if we’ve made no effort to follow the direction God has already given us? To grow spiritually we must be single-minded. Our one goal? To be conformed to the image of Christ. He longs for our willingness to let Him root us, cultivate us, water us. Above all, God wants our total commitment. He will take anything we give Him…except second place.’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my people! Our God is interested in all aspects of our lives and wants us to come to Him with all our concerns, but under no circumstance will He accept second place, or any other also ran position! It’s either first place, or nothing at all! And that’s the sad mistake many of us are making. We are trying to compartmentalize our lives, with Jesus in some and not in others. But that will never work, because Jesus can’t grow us up in His image unless He has full control of our lives. 

And the scripture verse used for today’s poem is one we all know and spout, but don’t take as seriously as we ought to and thus remain immature Christians. On this matter, Bruh Paul admonished the church at Rome thus: ‘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.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we need to do. Transform ourselves by renewing our minds in the image of God instead of the world. And we cannot transform ourselves into anything unless our minds are transformed because that’s where the whole battle for control takes place, and whatever is uppermost in our minds will also be uppermost in our lives. That means to live for Christ, Christ must be uppermost in our minds. However, right now, too many of us are still concerned too much, and rooting too hard for the things of the world and have Jesus In an insignificant position. 

And if Bruh Paul was to talk to us today, he would use the ever-appropriate words from his first epistle to the church at Corinth, where he lambasted them thus. ‘I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men. For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?’ (1 Cor. 3:2-4) 

Yes my fellow believers, it’s embarrassing that at this stage of our Christian development, there is still so much dissension and dislike in our ranks. Like babies, we are still drinking milk instead of eating solid food, being one in the body of Christ, His church. And it’s the same contention that both the author of Hebrews (Heb. 5:12) and Peter (1 Pet. 2:2) wrote about. It’s obvious that we have not taken any of those warnings as seriously as we should and foregone the things of the world by concentrating on the things of Christ. 

Some of us believe that we can live with one foot in the world and one foot in Christ’s kingdom. But that’s a fallacy my people, and the sooner we realize it, the better off we will be. For as Jesus said, you can’t serve two masters at the same time. You can’t serve God and mammon or money both together. (Matt. 6:24) So it’s time we wake up and choose one or the other, preferably Jehovah God. And when we do that, let’s make sure and follow this other directive of Bruh Paul, this one to the church at Ephesus. 

‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation 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.’ (Eph. 4:22-24) That’s the only way to go my fellow saints! So, let’s begin doing that right now nuh, by going to the Lord in sincere prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His divine perspective and help. 

As one confident but humble 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!’ 

And now, lest we forget, to receive positive answers to our prayers, we need to have sincere hearts and right motives therein. Much LOVE!

…we will never grow as Christians…until we submit or surrender totally…to God’s will for our lives… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 November 2021 Ephesians 4:23.

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

Welcome to Saturday friends, another great day in the life! And obviously, some of us will ask what’s so great about it? And the answer is the same as for every other day we live: we’re alive, we’re drawing God’s magnificent breath of life, and the Spirit of Jesus dwells within us to lead, guide and comfort us in all our endeavours! 

Wow! Now isn’t that good, no, great reason to be glad, joyful and give thanks? It most certainly is! So stop with the moping and complaining, the anger and the strife, because somewhere out there, someone has it much worse than we do. (smile) Now let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one says: ‘Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.’ And to a certain extent, that is certainly true, for our imagination generally causes us to go in the directions that we hold up to it, or focus on. But thankfully, for many of us we don’t always go where our imagination leads us or to what it focuses on, because we would find ourselves in a heap of trouble, both physically and spiritually. 

Our imagination is a good tool, but like all other tools we must use it wisely and appropriately for us to get the most benefit out of it. A lot of the good things and inventions of our society have been born out man’s imagination, but also a lot of the evil and ungodly things, because as the next quote says: ‘You are a living magnet. What you attract into your life is in harmony with your dominant thoughts.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth. The thoughts you focus most on will be the ones that usually come true, be they good or bad. We are irrevocably drawn to the things we consistently think on. So, if we want to believe in Jesus, have faith in Him and live for Him, then we must concentrate a lot on Him and His teachings, and do what He says, otherwise we will never live the good and abundant life He died for us to have. 

Oh my people, it all begins and ends in our minds. That’s the battlefield where all our fights are fought, won and lost. That’s why Bruh Paul wrote these wise words of advice on the matter to the church at Rome. ‘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 perfect will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) We can only think God-like thoughts when we transform our minds from thinking worldly thoughts which do not lead to godliness, in fact are the antithesis, the opposite of what Jesus wants us to think. 

Meanwhile, on the same topic, Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus: ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) in 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.’ (Eph. 4:22-24) 

Yes friends, we can only sincerely come to Christ with a renewal of our minds and the thoughts that fill them. We need to put off our old conduct or behaviour and put on the new man, or new conduct that’s more in line with God’s viewpoint. Meaning, if you think evil, you will attract evil, and if you think good thoughts, you will attract good things. 

We only have two options my brethren; good and evil, and as Bruh Paul also noted in the letter to the Roman church: ‘Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) However, we can only do those things when our minds have been renewed or transformed with God’s viewpoint and not the devil’s or the world’s way of doing things. 

That brings us to this next quote. ‘Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere. We can’t always understand them, but we have to trust in them. I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith.’ And I believe that’s quite true. Ofttimes good things unexpectedly happen to us, as though from out of the blue, and we can’t figure them out. But sometimes we are not meant to figure out the whys and the wherefores, just to accept our blessedness. 

It’s like when Jesus comes into our lives. Usually we are not expecting Him, we are on some other track a million miles away. But when He’s ready for us, He finds a way to cover those million miles of separation and come right to the door of our hearts and offer His unbelievable benefits. And all He’s asking of us is to believe, to have a li’l faith. Like He said to the disciples when they asked why they could not cure a mentally challenged child. ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.’ (Matt. 17:20) 

Yuh see friends, all we need is a li’l faith in Jesus and we can do wonders on God’s great earth. So, can you imagine what’s possible to us when we have great faith? Anything and everything! That ought to excite us and cause us to believe ever so strongly in Jesus! And that segues very nicely into this last quote: ‘Nurture great thoughts, for you will never go higher than your thoughts.’ 

You can’t beat that my fellow saints! Only great thoughts in and of Jesus will enable you to climb to the very heights of your destiny! So please, let’s think on, ponder, meditate on Jesus, each and every day nuh, so that we can reach our God-given destiny! Much LOVE!

…only with God’s help…can we be triumphant on the battlefield of the mind… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 October 2021 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.

Another rainy Friday evening, Friday night and Saturday morning. Much rain, but excellent weather for sleeping and also for sleeping in. However, I could not sleep in, much as I wanted to, that’s because I went to bed early, by my standards that is, and after some four or five hours in the bed, the ole body began complaining with aches and pains, so I had to get up, because resting was becoming more problematic than staying in bed. (smile) 

Anyway, here we are talking about too much rain, while so many unfortunate others in other parts of the world are dying from drought and lack of heavenly blessings. But whoever said that life was fair eh? It certainly isn’t. Our God though is fair and just! So, with that good thought in mind, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And we’ll deal quickly with this one, because he also sent it to us last week. That’s ‘To accomplish great things we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.’ Back then, we spoke of the importance of dreaming and planning, but more so the overwhelming importance of belief in accomplishing anything at all. Also very important was the source of our belief, or what we placed our belief in. And we gave the example of the synagogue ruler, Jairus, approaching Jesus to ask Him to come and heal his twelve year old daughter. 

But while Jesus was on the way to do it, Jairus’ people came and said that the girl was dead. But as soon as Jesus heard it, He said to Jairus: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’ (Mark 5:37) Meaning that Jairus was to believe He would and could do what He had promised, that is heal his daughter. And so it is with us, who claim to believe in Jesus. We must believe in the promises He’s made to give us a good future and a hope, of forgiveness of sins, leading to salvation and life eternal with Him in heaven. 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Nothing is, unless our thinking makes it so.’ I really don’t know what context our friend Anselm means that in, be it physical or mental. As per the physical aspect, I won’t say it’s totally true, because many things exist physically although we don’t think they are. In the mental realm though, a lot of things won’t exist for us, unless we think that they truly are. 

I guess we can use the allegory of philosophical theories, where some believe and even die for them, while others don’t. For the former they exist because they think on and about them, but for the latter they are non-existent, since they don’t spend time thinking about them. And I’m chuckling here because I was just thinking that that quote might fall into the philosophical realm of uncertainty. 

Meanwhile, the next quote tells us: ‘When you visualize, then you materialize. If you’ve been there in the mind, you’ll go there in the body.’ That quote is also similar to one we had last week, re ‘Visualizing is the great secret of success.’ And visualizing is an important part of success. You have to think of and on things, see them in your mind’s eye first, if you ever hope to reproduce them in real form. The world tells us that seeing is believing, but our Christian belief tells us, you must first believe it before you can ever see it, or bring it to reality. 

That’s what great inventors do; they picture something in their minds, then proceed to bring it to reality by whatever means necessary. And it is important to note, that unless you conjure up something in your mind, flesh it out first in your mind, be it a philosophical theory or physical product, you usually can’t bring it to fruition. Because that’s just the process of life, as the last quote says: ‘Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the truth in spades, whatever we continually think about and ponder on will usually come to pass, be it something we make or an attitude that we adopt. Ofttimes we associate it with the words of Cousin Sol, ‘As a man thinks in his heart so is he.’ (Prov. 23:7) And that’s quite true, although that’s not all of the proverb. The verse actually says: ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.’ (Prov. 23:7) There Cousin Sol is referring to someone who tells you outwardly to do one thing, but inwardly he really doesn’t mean it. I believe we call those kinds of people, hypocrites! (smile) 

And I want to share some remarks of an article on the crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study website by Clarence L Haynes Jr. titled ‘3 Reasons Proverbs 23:7 Says ‘As a Man Thinks, So He Is’ The article begins: ‘One of the most amazing gifts that God has given us is the human mind. The ability to learn, think, choose, and reason is the essence of what makes us human. While the ability to think makes us human, it actually goes deeper. Your thoughts become a reflection of who you really are. God certainly understands this, and he speaks to this in various places all throughout his word.’ 

Now that is the indelible truth! Whatever you steadily focus on for a length of time will eventually seep into your soul and become a part of you. That’s why the Bible warns us so much about the way we think; carnally and sinfully as opposed to godly and spiritually. So let’s check out a couple of those important scriptures on the subject. This first one is from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome, where he tells them: ‘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.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

That means we are to stop allowing ourselves to be conformed to ‘the present thinking, value systems and conduct of this world.’ And why is that? Because they run contrary to the Word of God. And what kind of thinking then are we supposed to embrace? Here are some wise and valuable words on it from Bruh Paul to the church at Philippi. 

‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil. 4:8-9) 

And we could not end today’s message with better words of advice my faithful saints. So please let’s spend the weekend thinking and meditating on those kinds of things, so that we can have the peace of God in our lives. Much LOVE!

…the human mind…God’s most amazing invention…let’s use it wisely nuh…  

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

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