Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 May 2022 Colossians 3:14.

Colossians 3:14.      And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness.

Welcome aboard Saturday! Hope you are going to remain steadfast and true to the sunny disposition you now have and grace us with a wonderful spring, or better yet, near summer day. (smile) We’ve got to hope and have faith friends that all will go well today. And even if it doesn’t, then we have our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to rely on, to bring us comfort, safety and a refuge from the trials and tribulations of this crazy and evil world. Now who wouldn’t want such an awesome life eh? 

Unfortunately though, many of us choose not to believe in Christ Jesus, only to their everlasting sorrow. But all we can do, as good ambassadors of Christ, is to keep on telling His story, the good news of His wonderful gospel that brings salvation and eternal life to all who dare to believe, and hope that eventually they will come to recognize the error of their ways. However, since it’s Saturday, we need to get on with our business of checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first quote tells us: ‘Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around. Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you. Spend your life with people who make you smile, laugh, and feel LOVED.’ And that’s the gospel truth! Life is indeed too short and the world too evil and confused to spend time with people who don’t appreciate and value you. Oh, I know that we all desire to be amongst people, that we were made to be in relationships, but sometimes it’s better to be alone than to be in unproductive relationships. 

And if you cannot find satisfying relationships, like those mentioned above, then turn to God and ask for His help. There’s no shame in that. He will lead you down the right path, but sometimes it might take a li’l while for Him to arrange it, so you might have to be lonely and unsatisfied for a spell. (smile) But placing the problem in God’s hands is always the correct answer. Remember, Christ died for us to have the abundant life, and being in unsatisfying, unvalued relationships certainly does not meet that criterion. 

And do I ever like this next quote, which says: ‘When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.’ Oh, is that ever true! And why not eh? As we just said life is short, so why wait when you find the one you want to be with in this life? But a word of caution here. Let’s not rush into things. With such a huge commitment, a lifetime one in mind, we need to first ascertain that the other person also wants to spend the rest of their life with us. And even more importantly, that they are the right person for us in God’s will. But if you’ve checked, and all of those things are in the positive realm, then why wait? (smile) 

Meanwhile, the next quote explains why we must be very careful in our every move nowadays for it tells us that ‘The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.’ And that’s an indisputable fact. Our world is made in the image of our thoughts. Our minds are the fountains of creativity, and the thoughts and ideas which flow through and from them lead to the actions that we take. And that’s why the enemy, Satan, is so gung-ho to get control of our creative space. It enables him to drive us down the path of evil, instead of the path of righteousness. 

No wonder the mind is called a battlefield; everyone is fighting for control of it. Thus it is true, that to change our world, we must change our thinking. However, it’s ever so important that we have the right kind of thoughts and thinking that will benefit our world rather than harm it. And Bruh Paul made that quite clear when he wrote these marvellous words of advice to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes friends, by its very nature, the world is sinful, and thus reflects a sinful lifestyle, but we can reject that by transforming our minds to believe and do the things that Jesus wants us to do. It’s not always easy, but with His help, it can be done. In fact it must be done, if we ever want to, or hope to see a better world for our children and grandchildren. That’s why Bruh Paul also wrote these words to the church at Corinth. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) It’s time for us to put away our old lifestyle and conform to the new one that Christ has designed for us, one of righteousness and not of sinfulness. 

Then there’s this quote: ‘There is no charm equal to tenderness of the heart.’ More awesome truth my brethren! There’s absolutely nothing in this world to beat a tender, compassionate caring heart! And undoubtedly, we have the best example of that in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Throughout the Gospels, they talk about the compassionate heart of Jesus, and that’s just a reflection of the heart of our great God. As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’ (2 Cor. 1:3)

Oh my fellow saints, our great and wonderful God is indeed characterized by mercy, care, comfort, compassion and long-suffering, otherwise we would have been destroyed long ago. And it’s that kind of heart we need to also have, as outlined in the words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and long suffering… And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness.’ (Col. 3:12,14) 

Yes my people, LOVE is the crowning glory or grace of all Christian virtues, as well as God’s greatest attribute. So, to be a true reflection of God, those attributes must also be reflected in us. That brings us to this last and very interesting quote. ‘Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.’ And that’s no lie. We don’t know for sure how much our hearts can hold, not even God’s heart. We just know that it can hold a lot, especially if one is a believer in Christ Jesus. 

But the heart that truly speaks to me amongst humans is that of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Her heart surely held a lot, from the surprising choice to be the mother of the Son of God, to seeing Him horribly punished and crucified for wrongs He did not commit. Then His triumphant rising from the dead and ascension back to heaven. No wonder the Good Book remarks after the shepherds came and paid tribute to Jesus in the manger after His birth. ‘But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.’ (Luke 2:19) 

Then after the only occasion where we see some rudeness from Christ towards His parents, when they found Him in the temple talking with the elders after searching for Him for three days. ‘And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist (know) ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:49) Imagine any other twelve-year-old saying that to their parents nuh. Hn! Many teeth might have been lost. But the Good Book continues. ‘And they (Jesus’ parents) understood not the saying which he spoke unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.’ (Luke 2:50-51) 

Ah friends, from day one, mothers have never had it easy, but they are indeed the backbone of the family, and on this Mother’s Day weekend, let’s fill our hearts to overflowing with LOVE for them nuh, and treat them as the queens that they are, for they always give much more than they ever ask for or expect. Much LOVE!

…it’s only the LOVE in our world…that keeps it from totally falling apart… 

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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… 

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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…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2021 Romans 12:2 a+b.

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

Well, a great Wednesday to you my Scrip-Bits friends and family! I hope the peace and LOVE of Christ is flowing smoothly and sweetly through you this new day, and that you are doing your best to live for Him, as is expected of you. Yes my people, living for Jesus is wonderful, though sometimes difficult. (smile) But He gives us new, strong breath and energy every day to help us along our journey, plus new compassions and mercies so that we are not bowed down. 

That means every day is a new and remarkable event, not a mundane, same old, same old, like so many of us think it to be, and thus behave in a mundane, lackadaisical manner. But every day is a present friends, a wonderful gift from God, and we ought to treat it like such, appreciate it and use it in a manner to bring the utmost glory to His holy name! 

Consequently, we ought to begin the day with words like the psalmist of old did: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:24) And then we go out and do exactly that; make the most of every opportunity that comes our way to live for Him as well as enjoy our lives. Because that’s what He desires of us. Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that ‘I came that they might have life, and that they might have it abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) 

Now that certainly doesn’t mean we should live measly, merely eking out existences, but full and abundant lives with all that He has to offer. But it all begins with a change to our mindsets, because what we think, what we focus on, usually leads to the direction we follow and the actions we commit. So if we want to have different actions, then it’s obvious we need to think differently. 

And Bruh Paul gives us this wonderful advice in his epistle 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 need to stop conforming to the thinking and dictates of this world. 

As the scholars say: We ‘are to resist being poured into the mold of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world.’ And no, it’s not easy to do when the things and values of the world are always in your face, like the bombardment of commercials, infomercials and all the other worldly stuff we have targeted towards us every day. But we can thwart the continual bombardment to our carnal lusts if we seriously want to do it. Here’s how…by seeking God’s will for our lives every day. 

And what’s God’s will for our lives? Listen, as the scholar’s talk about ‘Dedication to the Will of God. ‘12:1-2. 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; Primary Ref. Rom. 12:1).’ 

So you see friends, we can beat the world system and it’s sinful and ungodly values, but it takes a lifetime commitment to seeking God’s will for our lives every day that we draw breath on this earth! And I like how the scholars say that ‘Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ.’ Glory Hallelujah my faithful believing brethren! 

Now, you know that’s been God’s plan for us from day one; raising us from glory to glory, transforming us to the image and likeness of Christ, day by day. As Bruh Paul said to the Corinthians. ‘But we all with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘3:18. Beholding as in a glass: The term ‘beholding’ can have the sense of ‘reflecting.’ The believer himself ‘reflects’ the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the glory of the Lord. For Moses, the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ 

And yuh better believe that the Lord will never give up on us! Once we stay connected to Him, continually seeking Him, He will continue to work His glory in us. Bruh Paul puts it thus to the church at Philippi: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) What encouraging words mih bredrin! 

Once God begins our transformation to a Christlike image, through His awesome grace, He will never stop until the day Christ returns! That confers an amazing amount of security on us believers! But on the other hand my people, it’s ever so important that we do our part, that’s keep believing and trusting in Christ Jesus, and putting our best foot forward in doing His awesome will. We all know it’s not an easy lifestyle to maintain, but it sure is wonderful, adventurous and fulfilling when we sincerely try, because that’s the marvellous kind of God we serve! 

And with all that encouragement and excitement bubbling up in our spirit, (smile) let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! All together 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 what a glorious future that will be, if we stand strong and steadfast and endure to the very end! Much LOVE!

…Jesus is so wonderful…it’s impossible to not LOVE Him…                                                                                                              

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2015 Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

And then it was Wednesday – the middle of the work week, and sadly too my pen-ultimate day in Paradise! And I was just about to go for possibly my last morning work along the shoreline, when strong winds and a sudden shower of rain put paid to that little jaunt. So I began writing the Bit before I intended to.

Ah Friends, it’s been a wonderful time in sweet Tobago! I met so many people and went to so many places, places and people I haven’t seen in donkey years. (smile) Several of them that I never even remembered. And now that it’s drawing to a close, there’s an underlying sadness in my spirit.

But I won’t complain, get greedy, resentful or any of those negative things. Instead I’ll thank the Lord for granting me this wonderful reprieve from the cold! In His great wisdom and mercy, He obviously realized that I needed a break from the harsh, unforgiving weather, and from the exceeding busyness of my usual surroundings. And for that I will be most thankful and grateful!

In, and through the vacation, the Lord has certainly raised the level of my hope, faith and trust in Him! The way certain things came together to make it all possible meant only one thing; that His faithful hand and LOVING –kindness were working on my behalf. And all I can say is: ‘Thank You Lord, thank You!’

Ah mih people, as I keep telling us, the more we put our trust and faith in God, and wait on Him in hungry hope and expectant faith, the more we see of His blessings and great favour. But we have to believe, truly believe, and surrender our entire lives to Him. It’s not always easy to do, especially in the negative and ungodly kind of world in which we’re now living.

But it is essential, if we want to enjoy the peace, LOVE and understanding that He brings to those who put their faithful and undying trust in Him. And the beautiful thing about our magnificent, majestic and magnanimous God is that He WILL help us to understand His ways and means when we sincerely ask for His help to do so.

Which other supposed deity does that eh; put’s you through tests, then helps you work through them? NONE! And that’s because there is no other true, real and living deity besides the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! All the other stuff that man worships, are either inanimate, dead, or will die someday. Only the Holy One of Israel is alive and kicking; has been from day one, and will still be there till eternity!

Oh Friends, I’m chuckling here because I don’t know where all of this is leading to. But with the Lord leading and guiding me, I know that whatever it turns out to be, it will be helpful and useful to somebody who reads it. And unusually, in this dry season, another shower of rain has just come down. I like how the rain’s been falling during my stay here; fall strong for about ten or fifteen seconds, then let up, no continuous downpour.

But enough of my rambling, let’s turn to our wonderful Bit, chocked full of so much wise and wonderful advice from Bruh Paul. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’

Ah mih breddren, those are indeed golden words for us to live by! When we have found God, when Jesus comes to live in our hearts as our personal Lord and Saviour, then we definitely need a do over in our lives, to turn over a new page. New things have to happen in our lives, and some of the old things have to be consciously put aside, because they just don’t fit into the lifestyle of the followers of Jesus.

And don’t worry, the changes won’t happen overnight, for you didn’t become what you are overnight. But the Lord will gradually show you what He wants you to give up, and what He wants you to take up. But to successfully do that, you have to seriously communicate with Him, through prayer, Bible reading and study, and fellowship with other believers.

And what I LOVE about Jesus is that if you don’t understand what’s happening, you can always go to Him and ask about it, and He WILL give you an answer. Not necessarily right away, or in a manner that you like. But an answer will be forthcoming, involving a test of your faith and maturity, dependent on how you react to the answer.

If you react negatively, then it’s your loss. If you react positively, even if you don’t like the answer, then it’s your great gain, it might even be accorded to you as righteousness, as happened with Abraham. But know one thing Friends, our lives in Jesus are one unbroken line of tests.

From the moment we claim to believe, we are entered into a lifelong test; a cycle of ups and downs, zigs and zags, that sometimes seem unnecessary and even painful and unfair.

But fellow believer, if we have put our complete trust in Jesus, we have the faithful promise that in the end, it will all work out for our good. The Lord God is our Creator and Controller, and as such, His thoughts and ways are much higher than ours, and we won’t always understand what He’s all about. In fact we don’t need to understand everything, just trust Him to be our strong fortress, guide and Provider.

That’s where our level of faith comes into play. God deals with us according to the level of our faith, and we must realize that until the day He decides to take us home, our earthly lives will always be bound up in tests, trials and tribulations that we don’t enjoy, or even deserve. But it’s the Lord’s way of remaking us into the image of His Son Jesus!

And that’s what the whole programme is about my brethren – when we look in the mirror, to see Jesus smiling back at us.

And we’ll go home with some words of practical advice on Christian living, on truly living for Jesus from Bruh Paul’s second missive to the Thessalonians. ‘Furthermore then we beseech (urge) you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication (sexual immorality): That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence (passion of lust), even as the Gentiles, which know not God:

That no man go beyond and defraud (take advantage of ) his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us into uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth (rejects), despiseth (rejects) not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.’ (1 Thess.4:1-8)

Yes Friends, those are some practical words of advice in living for Jesus! So please let’s consider them today and try to inculcate them in to our daily lives as required nuh. That’s wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…living for Christ is no easy matter…but the rewards…both earthly and heavenly…are certainly worth it…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 February 2015 Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Ah Friends, it’s Tuesday, and we’re in the last days of our stay in Paradise! And as I gaze out at the wonders of nature, hear the birds and insects sing their songs of praise to their Creator, with the seas at high tide bashing against the rocky shore, I sadly realize that in another couple days I won’t be waking up to this beautiful panorama of God’s making, but to a scene of snow and ice, of cold and darkness.

Ah Lord eh! And the ole heart stutters and flutters as it comes to grip with the great seismic change. (smile) But you know the ole fella will take it in his stride, because that’s where the Lord has me based for the present time. This was only a vacation, a blessed change and reprieve from the uncomfortable aspects of winter in the North Country.

And if I claim to have faith and trust in our omnipotent God, and have surrendered my will to Him, then I have no choice but to grin and bear whatever He allows to come against me, trusting in His faithful promises that He won’t give me more than I can bear, neither will He leave nor forsake me, while working everything out eventually for my good.

Oh my people, what a good and mighty God we serve and worship! And I’ve been walking with Him long enough now to be fully aware and fully cognizant of His everlasting faithfulness. He’s brought me through enough rough situations before, so why should He stop now eh, especially when I’m more faithful to Him now than I’ve ever been?

So although there’s sadness and disappointment in my upcoming departure from God’s Little Acre, I am also bolstered by the fact that my God is able to do whatever He promises, and will provide for me in whatever situation I may be in.

Consequently, I’d like to share this prayer from a devotional titled ‘A Journey of LOVE – Walking with St. Therese of Liseux; the Saint of the Little Flower, who promised to spend her heaven doing good on earth, letting fall a shower of roses as her signature. However Friends, in these very rough and trying times, we shouldn’t wait till we get to heaven to do good on earth, we need to do that RIGHT NOW!

And what better time to begin than in this Lenten season of both intro and retrospection!

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, help me to live always in the light of your presence. Should any darkness challenge my belief and LOVE for you, dispel that darkness so that I might witness to your merciful and gracious LOVE. Grant me the wisdom to confront a secular and egocentric world with your message of care and compassion for all people. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.’

Yes my people, there’s so much darkness and evil in our current world that it’s only with the omnipotent help of Almighty God, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that we can ever hope to dispel and remove them from our lives. And it can ONLY be done through LOVE and compassion! So please let’s come together seriously nuh, and do what we know is meet and right for us to do.

The sad part of the situation is that we full well know what is right, but yet we allow the façade of the world’s false and short lasting beauty to lure us into wrongdoing and ungodly behavior. If we are truly children of God, then we desperately need to be walking according to the dictates of our Bit: ‘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.’

That’s the gospel truth my brethren! And it reminds me of a quote of James Baldwin (1928-1987), the controversial African American novelist, playwright, poet and social critic, who continually reflected on his experience as a black man in white America, penning such insightful works as ‘The Fire Next Time and Another Country.’

Well James is reputed to have said: ‘The future is like heaven – everyone exalts it but no one wants to go there now.’ And that’s a very accurate reflection of Christians nowadays! We all want to live a godly life, but just not yet, first we want to enjoy the pleasures and lusts of the fleshly world.

But Friends we can’t afford to wait one minute longer to live for Jesus, because we don’t know when He’s coming back. It could be today or tomorrow. And if we’re found wanting when He returns, like the five foolish virgins who didn’t prepare for a long wait with extra oil for their lamps, (Matt.25:1-12) we’ll be simply excluded from His train of glory, and forced to spend eternity in Hades with Lucifer, the prince of darkness.

And as I keep reminding us, that my brethren is the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being! So let’s get to it nuh, let’s begin living serious godly lives, putting into effect these wise and true words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts;

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth to his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath; Neither give place to the devil…

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:22-27, 31-32)

Oh my Friends, that’s how we’re supposed to live! Those are just some simple, every day, practical guidelines as to how we can put aside the ‘old man’ and assume ‘the new man,’ in our everyday lives. They’re definitely not very difficult to do, so let’s begin doing them seriously, diligently and Right Now nuh, so that we won’t be caught napping whenever Jesus comes.

Let’s put into effect these memorable words of Jesus. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt.25:13)

That’s heavenly truth and wisdom my fellow man, words for us to ponder today, and see if we’re ready to receive Jesus, just in case He returns today. Much LOVE!

…to create a better world…it’s essential that we put into effect…LOVE for God…for ourselves…and for our neighbours… plus sincere care and compassion for each other…