Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 May 2022 Ephesians 4:26-27.

Ephesians 4:26-27.      Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.

And then it was Thursday; bright, sunny and refreshing. But who knows if it’s going to remain like that all day though, because the weather has been so topsy turvy recently. Yes, would you believe that after all the rain yesterday morning, by afternoon it turned into a beautiful, warm, sunny day! And it’s certainly a good thing that we have Jesus and His Holy Spirit, who never change, to keep us smiling and level headed in the face of all the turbulence in our world and our weather! 

That’s why we can say: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps.118:24) And isn’t that a marvellous situation to be in? It most certainly is! So please give our magnificent Lord and Saviour some thanks and praise for His steadfastness and awesome faithfulness despite our whining and complaining ways. (smile) And it’s sad to know that these days, in our Western world, we’ve become unholy complainers despite the numerous amenities that surround us. 

Regardless of how much we have, we never seem to be satisfied, but are always seeking more, and seeking it more quickly too. And we all know that those attitudes are not welcome in the kingdom of Christ, and most likely constitute sin on our part, especially if we are otherwise very blessed by the Lord. And that’s the work of the enemy, the ruler of this evil world. He stirs up our greed and avarice, knowing that if we don’t get what we want, we will become angry and lose our peace and joy and behave less like the Christians we claim to be. 

But there’s a sweet and simple scripture that helps us to forego that behaviour. It’s found in Bruh Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where he wisely advises them, and consequently us too: ‘Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.’ (Eph. 4:26-27) 

Oh my people, there’s so much wisdom in those few words. Let’s check it out nuh. In the first place getting angry is not a sin, it’s a normal human emotion, given to us by the Father to show our displeasure. The Lord gets angry too. And we definitely don’t want to experience it. (smile) The problem lies in what we do when we get angry. Many of us do wrong and foolish things when we lose our temper, and that’s when we give the devil an opportunity to get into our souls and downgrade our Christian walk. Please remember, that‘s all the enemy is about; lessening our witness for Christ. And if we don’t control our anger, we will fall right into his evil and ungodly trap. 

And then there’s the wisdom of not letting the sun go down on our anger. Why is that so important? Because when we go to sleep angry, that anger percolates in our soul and spirit all night, and instead of restoring our peace and LOVE in Christ Jesus, we wake up angry and give the devil even more opportunity to invade our lives on that new day.  And there are several other scriptures that warn us to forsake anger and the damning effects it has on our Christian walk. 

Listen to Bruh David from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. He advises us to: ‘Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (for it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:8-9) True words of wisdom my fellow believers. 

And that other great psalmist, Asaph, had this to say, from personal experience no less, about evil and fretting. In his famous Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness – he tells it thus: ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone (I had almost stumbled); my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps. 73:1-3) Then he goes on to describe how the wicked seem to prosper in their wickedness. 

And we see the same thing too, and say like Asaph did: ‘Behold, these are the ungodly who prosper (are always at ease) in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain (kept my heart pure in vain), and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children (would have been untrue to thy word).When I thought to know this (understand it), it was too painful for me (troublesome in my eyes); Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end (the end of the wicked).’ (Ps. 73:12-17) 

Oh friends, too many of us find ourselves in Asaph’s situation, envying the prosperity of the wicked, and instead of turning to God for divine assistance, take up the ungodly activities of the evildoers so we too can acquire the world’s prosperity. And the scholars explain. ‘Psalm 73: This psalm is another dealing with the problem of the prosperity of the wicked . Unlike Psalm 37, however, it does not emphasize the brevity of that prosperity. The author observes that sometimes the bounty achieved by the wicked does in fact last throughout life ( v.4). He emphasizes every believer’s need to test his own personal relationship with God. That alone provides the ultimate satisfaction available to the believer who witnesses the affluence of the wicked.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! It’s only through a strong relationship with Almighty God will we be able to see the wicked prosper, as they often do in this evil world, and not desire to be like them! We need to firmly believe the word of God that says the wicked will eventually be destroyed, or else we will head down that wide and destructive path that only leads to hell fire and damnation. And the enemy would like nothing better than that. But friends, please, please, let’s remember, like Jesus said in the parable of the sower, that we are in this most important category: ‘But other (seed) fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty; some thirtyfold.’ (Matt. 13:8) 

Glory be my fellow saints. Let’s rejoice that we are good ground and the word of God has taken full root in us and we’re bringing forth good fruit. And how do we do that? By using these Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. So, let’s boldly declare them to activate them nuh. As one confident voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and use those blessings to bear good fruit in Jesus’ name, like He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…who hath ears to hear…let him hear… (Matt. 13:9)  

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

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

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

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

And when we do that…Brother! Such new vistas will open before us, exciting things will begin happening, good changes will be made in our lives, in fact a complete turnaround will take place, and we’ll wonder why we hadn’t accepted Him into our hearts and lives before. As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17)

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

It’s a spiritual rebirth my brethren! And unless it happens to us, we won’t see the kingdom of God. It’s as simple as that. And Jesus drives home that point later on when He tells the disciples: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Now that’s laying it all on the line. And it is the indisputable fact; without Jesus, we are very limited in what we can do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

As one strong, confident, but humble voice. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

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

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

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2021 Isaiah 43:19a.

Isaiah 43:19a.     Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?

So now it’s Wednesday, another beautiful day in the life! Thank the Lord for His goodness to the children of men! Especially when it comes to His wonderful Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; the most beautiful, powerful and LOVING gift ever bestowed in this universe! And the saints of Christ, all lifted their heads, hearts and voices and sincerely declared: ‘Jesus! Jesus! The light of my life, my salvation and my glory! Thank You heavenly Father for giving Him to us. We LOVE You dearly, and we praise and bless Your Holy Name! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, what a momentous and joyful experience it is when Jesus comes into our lives! There’s nothing in the world to compare to or outclass it! You just simply feel a different vibe in your spirit, body and soul. Nothing like you’ve ever felt before. And you’re just astonished that such a remarkable transformation is possible, and wonder why you never experienced it before. But that’s just part of Jesus’ mystique; nothing happens before it’s time, before He is ready to come into your life. And it’s nothing to be afraid of; for He’s never late or early, always right on time with His well-drawn up and executed plans for each of his creations. 

As the Father said so long ago, through the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) That’s a very pertinent scripture in the lives of all believers my people. It means that whenever you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, that is the exact right time, the time that He had planned from eons ago to come into your life. There’s nothing vikey-vie or wishy-washy in God’s economy. It’s all well laid out and executed. Every possibility and consequence have already been considered and plans made to countervail them. 

The prophet Isaiah declared it thus: ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.’ (Is. 43:18-19) Yes friends, when Jesus comes into our lives, it’s a whole new story, a rebirth! To all intents and purposes, we are born again, like He said to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily (truly) I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked surprised and asked: ‘How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily (truly), I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirt is spirit.’ (John 3:4-6) Yes my people, the rebirth we are talking about here is one of the spirit, one of life-changing attitudes, opinions and behaviour. 

And here’s how Bruh Paul explains this rebirth. ‘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) And it’s of the utmost important that we understand the meaning of those words. Basically, it means that we give up the old lifestyle we lived and adopt a new one where Jesus, through His Holy Spirit that comes to indwell in when we receive Him, is our guide and leader. We now consider His ways and means as the guiding light of our lives. 

Sin, or the rejection of it, now becomes of much more importance. We no longer live after the flesh, or as the world dictates, because then we are merely IN the world, but not OF the world! We take our direction, our orders from Jesus and the things He desires, not from what the world says. We now live life in the Spirit, not in the carnal and sinful desires of the flesh. As Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom. 8:1-2) 

Yes friends, when we come to Christ, the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives guides us in a new direction, to obedience and good works in Christ, not back to the old, carnal lusts and desires we once had. Oh precious people, receiving Christ brings us into a whole new ball game. Here is how Bruh Paul describes it to the Ephesians. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) 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) 

And the scholars offer these explanations re those verses. ‘4:22-24. Christianity taught the addressees to (1) put off…the old man, to renounce their pre-conversion life and sins; (2) be renewed in…your mind, to be constantly changed, being brought more and more into line with God’s own viewpoint; and (3) put on the new man, that is, to assume a new nature (character) and conduct (life) at conversion.’ And yes, we all discover that changing our lifestyle in mid-stream is not an easy, or always a delightful task. But as true believers in Christ, it is absolutely necessary that we give it our all! And never fear, for Jesus is always there to help us! 

Now, here are a few practical pointers that Bruh Paul gave to the Ephesians, which are still helpful to us today in this topsy-turvy, deceitful, evil and godless world. They run from 4:25 -32, 5:1-2, you can read them at your own leisure, (smile) but to save time and space, I’ll just list them as the scholars’ explanations. ‘4:22-5:2. …practical guidelines as to how “the old man” (vs. 22) can be laid aside and how the “new man” (vs. 24) can be assumed in daily living. The passage specifies five sins to be discarded, the virtues that are to replace them, and the motive for such an exchange: 

(1) Lying is to be replaced by truth-telling, since Christians are fellow members (vs. 25). (2) Sinful anger is to be replaced by (briefly held) righteous indignation, that the Devil may not be given opportunity (vs. 26-27). (3) Theft is to be replaced by honest work, in order that one may have the means to meet the needs of others (vs. 28). (4) Foul language is to be replaced by gracious speech, that it may edify others and not grieve the Spirit (vs. 29). (5) Resentment and wrath are to give way to kindness and forgiveness, since God has forgiven us (vs. 31-32).’ 

That’s it in a nutshell friends! Nothing exotic, but very practical guidelines that we can all implement as we walk in LOVE, as Christ desires of us. Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail letting the world know of our wonderful position on Christ Jesus. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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, if we walk that narrow path right to the very end, then that future will be even more glorious than we ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…to walk in step with Jesus…oh…what a joy divine…                                                                                

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2017 Proverbs 15:13.

Proverbs 15:13.   A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance (face): but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Happy Saturday friends, whether you’re simply lazing about the house, doing household chores or getting ready to go out and do whatever you’re going to do, be it work or play! (smile) Just don’t stress yourself out. Whatever you do, do it calmly with the thought of God’s rest on your mind. 

Today is not a good day to get upset and fly off the handle, because that’s exactly what the enemy is standing on the sidelines waiting for. So please take it nice and easy today…all day. 

And since today is Saturday, it means we have to check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. So without further ado let’s get into the first one, which is ever so important. ‘Let go of anger. Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.’ 

And that is the gospel truth friends! Anger corrodes our insides like acid in a plastic bottle, so it’s not a very good thing to hold on to. Why do you think Bruh Paul told us through Ephesians: ‘Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath. Neither give place (opportunity) to the devil.’ (Eph.3:26-27) 

Because anger is a powerful negative emotion which causes us to do stuff that offers open invitations to the enemy, if we hold it for too long. Note he didn’t say, don’t get angry, because anger is a normal human emotion, but don’t sin when you do, and don’t hold it for too long. 

And this second quote pertains very much to the now generation, and even to some of the older ones. ‘Release yourself from entitlement. Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.’ 

Ah friends, too many of the young people feel that the world owes them a living, and it’s our fault (the parents) for giving them everything they wanted, when they wanted it, without trying to instill some sense of appreciation in them. 

This next one is also very instructive. ‘Don’t focus so much on making yourself feel good. The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.’ And that’s no lie! When we’re feeling down, the best remedy for our blues is to find some other blue person that we can cheer up, and you’ll be surprised how quickly your blues will disappear. 

And from this last quote, I want us to set today’s stage. ‘Lighten up and have some fun. Humour is mankind’s greatest blessing.’ Hn! I don’t know if humour or laughter is mankind’s greatest blessing, but I do know that it is one of them. Laughter is one of the best medicines for all maladies; it’s free and easy to come by. 

And as Cousin Sol says so eloquently in our Bit: ‘A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.’  

Oh my people, we can all attest to that truth, because we have all encountered a broken heart at some time in our lives and know that there is no pain as devastating as that. But we have also experienced the emotional high that a merry heart brings, and nothing is as delightful and delectable as that.  

So, I believe that we should all endeavour to have our lives guided by a merry spirit and a positive attitude. Just look at our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus: He was always pleasant, always light hearted, not given to excessive negativity, even in the toughest of times. 

Listen to Cousin Sol from Proverbs again. ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.’ (Prov.17:22) And the scholars explain it thus: ’17:22. A cheerful mind is revitalizing to the entire person.’ 

Now that is indisputable truth, because all the battles for control of our lives begin, are fought, and are decided in our minds. That means we have to learn to control our thoughts and focus on stuff that keeps us light hearted. 

And we’ll end with one more shout of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘Heaviness (anxiety) in the heart of man maketh it stoop (causes depression): but a good word maketh it glad.’ (Prov.12:25) And the scholars enlighten us: ’12:25. A good word is a kind word that cheers the heart.’  More stuff that we also know from personal experience. So I don’t understand why so many of us Christians are so uptight, sour, sad and depressed. 

Yeh friends, if we’re true believers, then our spirits ought to be light, having the assurance that Christ is looking after our every earthly need, and our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life in heaven.  Oh, by the way, they also say that one of the best abilities we can have, is the ability to laugh at ourselves. Too many of us take ourselves too seriously. 

So let’s lighten up today nuh mih breddren, let’s just enjoy the day, and let laughter and levity be uppermost in our souls today. That’s the word of wisdom for today, as detailed by the Holy Spirit. He wants to see a joyful body of believers raising the level of joy and laughter in the world this day. Much LOVE!

…to every thing there is a season…including a time to laugh…

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to hurry. I don’t have to worry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2015 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Corinthians 5:17.  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.

Well Friends, that wonderful day called Sunday has rolled around once more. And we all know what that means; joyful praise and worship, thanksgiving and celebration, encouragement and upliftment in God’s sanctuary, for all those who believe in His glorious Son Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to whom every knee must bow and every tongue declare that He is the Sovereign Lord indeed! 

Oh Glory to God my people, for such a wonderful champion! There’s none else as mighty, as LOVING, as forgiving, merciful and compassionate as Him! 

Those who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ need to have their heads, hearts and souls thoroughly examined for stupidity and/or madness because He is the be all and end all to every human being. There’s nothing we can ever want that won’t be found in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Unfortunately though, the Father gave human beings the freedom of choice; the freedom to believe or not to believe in His Son, and with our naturally sinful, disobedient, prideful and rebellious nature, a whole host of humans are foolishly reviling and refusing to believe and put their trust in Him. 

Thank God we are not amongst that ignorant lot my brethren! We believe…and will keep on believing until the very end, because He walked His talk: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ (John 15:13-14)  

Then He went out and showed His great LOVE for us by sacrificing His holy and sinless life on the cross at Calvary, so that we could have salvation and eternal life. Now to prove that we are indeed His friends, we need to do what He’s commanded, otherwise we’re no friends of His. As simple as that. 

Now here’s an interesting quote from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. It says: ‘How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.’ 

When I read that a few days ago, it brought a chuckle to my soul and I knew that at some time I’d have to share it. But it does make a whole lot of sense. To become a butterfly you must stop being a caterpillar, and if you want to fly so badly, the only way to do that is to stop being a caterpillar. 

And the good thing about that statement my people, is that it applies to almost everything in our lives. If we want to be one thing, we need to stop being something else. We simply cannot be two things at once. And becoming something else is very seldom easy as the lowly caterpillar and many of us can attest to. 

And it’s very applicable to our becoming believers in Christ, as our Bit informs us. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.’ 

That’s indisputable truth my people! To be a true believer in Christ, we must stop crawling through the ungodly things of this world, shed that old caterpillar skin and soar like a brand newborn butterfly into things of heaven! 

Please note what Jesus told Nicodemus when he inquired about salvation. ‘Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

So like the caterpillar that goes through a metamorphosis, a significant change to become a butterfly, so too we humans have to go through a significant change to become a true believer in Christ. 

Now it’s not an easy task, especially with all the evil and ungodly bombardments we experience in this world. But with God’s help it can be accomplished, and believe me friends, it’s very worthwhile and rewarding. When we are born again, we develop an entirely new perspective about life, about living for Christ. 

Listen to how Bruh Paul talked about the new life in Christ to the Ephesians. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) 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) 

Yes my brethren, as new born believers in Christ we need to renounce our old worldly ways and sins, constantly being changed to become more like Christ every day, seeking the things that are God, and seeing the world from His viewpoint. All of that helps us to develop a new and godly character, so that we can walk in righteousness and truth. 

As Bruh Paul continues to the Ephesian’s. ‘Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.’ (Eph.4:25-27) 

Yes Friends, those are just a few of the things that we need to cut out from our old behaviour, and replace them with their opposite and godly behaviour. And there are many more characteristics of daily living that Bruh Paul advises us to change, which I won’t go through in detail, but you can read for yourself in Ephesians 4:28-32. 

So my brethren, now that we are new creatures, new creations in Christ, let’s act and look the part nuh. We can’t afford to be exhibiting the same ungodly traits and characteristics we showed before we were born again, otherwise we’d be considered hypocritical, like the Pharisees of old, and give Christ a bad name and a less than stellar reputation. 

And we surely don’t want to do that, so let’s grab the bull by the horns, get ourselves together, so that we can be good ambassadors for Christ. That’s everlasting wisdom! Much LOVE!

…to truly live for Christ…means throwing out the old ways of the world…and bringing in the new ways of heaven…

 

 

 

 

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…