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 16 December 2020 Ephesians 4:23.

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

Welcome, welcome mih Scrip-Bit family to another day in the life! It’s brand new and not like any that’s ever gone before or will ever come again! Oh, it might seem like the same old, same old type of day, but it’s not, for everyday has its own purpose and distinctive marking, just like we all have different and unique fingerprints and DNA. That means we have to figure out, with God’s guidance of course, what He has on the agenda for each and every day and do our best, put our best foot forward to accomplish it, so we can bring the requisite glory to His name and kingdom. 

So it’s always best to begin the day on our knees, for those who can get down there (smile) with a prayer for guidance and strength, wisdom and discernment, to do His holy will. Otherwise, it’s so easy to get caught up and totally lost in the numerous events and circumstances that our busy and hectic world constantly provides, and keeps declaring that they are too important to simply let them pass by. 

But the truth is that many of them need to be allowed to go on their merry way rejoicing, for they are basically evil, or lies, deceits and deceptions of the evil one, sent, and set there so deliciously, like the harlot’s call, to titillate and inveigle us to do stuff that’s outside of God’s will. That’s why we have so many admonitions in the Good Book as to how to conduct our day. And today we’re just going to remind ourselves of some of them, so we can take the pressure off, and just rest in the peace of God. 

So here’s this first passage, one from Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus. ‘And be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph. 4:23-32) 

Whew! Oh mih people, yuh see how much wrong stuff we could get into in one day, and if we try to go it on our own every day, we certainly going into fall into the miry pit and give the devil so many opportunities to lead us astray. That’s why it is so necessary to invoke God’s protection and guidance, every day, and to pray without ceasing, and to always give thanks. And I know some of us are going to question the practicality of those words, but they are very practical if you make them habits. 

All through the day, ask the Lord to help you in doing your tasks, then thank Him for helping you do them. When you make a mistake, ask for forgiveness, then give thanks for it. And when you get away from an accident by the skin of your teeth, give much thanks! (smile) I can definitely tell you about that one, because it’s happened to me several times over the last few years. And if you’re always on the road, the reality of that is very great. Yes friends, there is a way to pray without ceasing and giving thanks continuously. We just have to keep God uppermost in our minds throughout the day. 

Another thing too, is this encouraging passage also from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up and put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph. 6:10-13) 

Yes mih bredrin, physical strife is not our greatest enemy, but the spiritual warfare that’s thrown at us by the hosts of spiritual wickedness in high places in this evil world. And we can only combat it when we’re girded about with the armour of God; His truth, his breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, His mighty word, and the ever-needed prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Bubba! 

It’s a mighty battle in which we’re engaged my fellow believers, one we’re not to take lightly, because it’s a very serious affair, and the devil is fighting tooth and nail for hegemony over our souls, and we can only withstand him when we are surrounded on all sides by our God and His protective equipment. Now here’s some good news on that battle front. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 15:57) 

Yes friends, Christ has already given us the eventual victory through His conquering of hell, death and the grave, but meanwhile the battle still rages on, for the evil one still believes he can win, and he’s not a defeated foe, shades of our good ole boy Donald down in the good ole U.S. of A. (smile) ‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15:58) 

What more can I say eh friends? We just need to keep on fighting, keeping on running the race set before us with mucho stamina and courage! And to help us do just that, let’s declare (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our enviable position in Christ Jesus. 

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 will that ever be a most glorious day when we reign with Jesus in His eternal kingdom! Much LOVE!

…to God be the glory…through Christ Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 December 2016 Ephesians 4:32.

Ephesians 4:32.    And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Aye friends, we all know that like oil and water, late nights and early mornings don’t mix. So please tell me why I insist on trying to make them mix eh? I guess you’ll realize by now that I had one of those extremely late nights, and the ole body refused to get up too early to write the Bit. (smile) 

But that’s life mih breddren. At least I’m alive and kicking, though somewhat late. And enough with the excuses, let’s get to a rather appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Slow Growth.’ 

And it says: ‘In my fretful impatience I am so often inclined to ask “Why can’t she change?” “Why is she always so slow?” “Will they ever learn from past mistakes?” And then You begin to impress me With my own slow progress upward. 

I see Your stretched-out patience. I remember how long You’ve waited for me. And I grieve that my attitude Is so often intolerant. O God, keep fresh the imprint Of my own need to grow And make me more flexible More understanding And always more LOVING.’ 

Ah mih people, how many of us fall into that trap eh? We complain about the slowness and negative attitudes of others, only to later on find out that our progress is just as slow and negative, if not slower and more negative. 

We just seem to take immense pleasure in judging others, without paying any, or sufficient attention to our own shortcomings. Now that’s definitely not right my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Instead we should have the attitude as declared by the Bible Promise for that poem, which is also our Bit for today. 

However, let’s begin with the verse before it, so that we can have a better idea of the context. Bruh Paul was here explaining to the Ephesians the new life in Christ that Christians ought to live after they are saved. 

And having given them a long list of do’s and don’ts, he finally ends up thus: ‘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.4:31-32) 

Yeh friends, if there are two things we always need to remember in our dealings with our fellow man are the forgiveness and LOVING-kindness that the Lord God Almighty has shown us in our own lives, and show the same to those we come into contact with. 

Remember what Jesus said to His disciples after the withering of the fig tree. ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught (anything) against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ (Mark 11:24-26) 

Oh precious people of Christ, I don’t see how Jesus could have made the utmost importance of forgiveness any clearer nuh! But yet we still refuse to forgive others, while seeking forgiveness from heaven. 

It’s NEVER going to work my brethren! Only as we forgive, will we be forgiven. Forgiveness begins with us! Let’s try and remember that nuh, especially in this Christmas season, one of LOVE, caring and compassion in honour of Christ’s birth. 

And in regards to tenderheartedness, let’s check out this sermon on the Christian virtues, as outlined by Bruh Paul in his letter to the Colossians. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; 

Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness. 

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col.3:12-17) 

Oh my people, my people, what a wise and powerful prescription for earthly living! Can you imagine if Christians even put half of that stuff into their everyday lives, what a wonderful world we’d have? 

But as usual, we like to merely talk the talk and not walk the walk. But let me remind us friends that Christianity is an action movement, not simply a talk show. Jesus came and died for us, putting His words into actions. Now it’s up to us to do the same. 

And to help us do that, let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra with power and faith, and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

And as we believe those foundational truths my brethren, let’s put them into action nuh, otherwise it’s all a big waste of time. Much LOVE!

…only as we are tenderhearted and forgiving…will we receive the same…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2015 Colossians 3:13‏‏

Colossians 3:13.   Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Well Friends, it’s the second day of the week, but the first day of work. And I know that many of us are not happy about having to get up and go to work on this beautiful Monday morning. 

But as I keep reminding us, we have no choice, if we want to make a living and keep a roof over our heads and food on our tables, so the sooner we stop giving ourselves heartaches over it, and become contented and peaceful, the sooner we’ll understand and appreciate the joys of working.

And I know some of you are querying the term ‘joys of working,’ assuming that there can be no joy in work. But I’m here to tell you differently Friends. Many of us don’t enjoy our jobs because we come to them with the wrong mind set; a negative rather than a positive one. Granted, many of them don’t ingratiate themselves to us, are not really likeable in the natural.

But as Bruh Paul told the Philippians: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ (Phil.4:11)

Yes my people, the ability to be content in whatever situation we might find ourselves is one of the great tools of living. However, as the scholars tell us: ‘The Greek here suggests contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through practical experiences in life.’

And that’s a fact my brethren! Contentment is learned through experiencing the harsh knocks of life, and we have to consciously accept it, if we’re to be rid of most of our fears and anxieties, especially if we are followers of Jesus.

Anyway, let’s get to our Monday Morning Hymn that boosts our spirits, raises our adrenalin level and gives us the wherewithal to go out and fight the enemy, and thus bring souls to Jesus for saving.

So as one big, bold and harmonic choir, let’s sing: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’

That was a good rendition my people, but not good enough to move heaven, (smile) but our motors are running and that will enable us to face the day with faith, strength, courage and forgiveness.

Yes Friends, forgiveness must be a major part of our day, as so many things and people are out there to annoy us and bring negative emotions to our spirits, but we have to rise up over them by forgiving where forgiveness is called for. Because remember, forgiveness is for our health; physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Unforgiveness usually does nothing to the unforgiven, but it ALWAYS affects the ‘unforgiver’ negatively. So basic wisdom calls us to forgive as quickly and completely as possible. As our Bit so wisely and rightly tells us: ‘Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’

And the aspect of forgiving that I want to talk about today is extremely important, but one to which we don’t pay much, or definitely enough attention to; that’s forgiving ourselves.

Yes Friends, too many of us hold on to guilt and unforgiveness against ourselves. We tend to forgive others much quicker and more completely than we do ourselves. But that’s also wrong my brethren. Forgiveness is for everybody, including ourselves.

A good example of our negative response to ourselves, is in cases where we do things that we regret, and we even ask God for forgiveness, which He ALWAYS grants, but we still walk around with guilt and unforgiveness. Friends, it’s a basic law of nature that when we are given something, we have to receive and accept it, otherwise we won’t have it.

And the forgiveness, mercy, LOVING-kindness and saving grace of God are amongst those wonderful things that we need to receive with joy and gratitude. For if we don’t, we are doing ourselves great injustice, in fact negating the death of Jesus, making it of no account, for those are the things which He sacrificed Himself on Calvary’s cross to give us.

So if we don’t accept what Jesus died to give us, then we’re not His true followers, just seeds sown on stony ground with no real roots planted in the church and body of Jesus. The same goes for when other’s beside God forgives us. We have to learn to accept it with kindness and mercy and gratitude, else we’re still not doing ourselves any good.

And we’ll end with these wonderful and wise words on the subject; words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘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 (in Christ forgave) you.’ (Eph.4:31-32)

Words of everlasting wisdom my brethren! So let’s go out and put it all in to practice today nuh my people, obviously with the help of Jesus, because that’s our earthly responsibility, our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…we must learn not only to forgive…but also to receive and accept forgiveness…for it is the grace of God…