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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Bruh Paul continues: ‘Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.’ (Eph. 5:17) And believe me, my people, do we ever need to be wise and understand what’s the Lord’s will since the world is so overrun with evil. It’s like Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

Also, please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, that all sounds like a big mouthful, but it simply means that we stop using our bodies for sinful purposes and instead use them for righteous ones. And we’d all be foolishly fooling ourselves to pretend that we don’t know the sinful things we use our bodies for. (smile) That’s why this next verse is so important in our transformation. Bruh Paul then declares in his usual practical way. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

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

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

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

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

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

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please friends, please don’t allow that to happen to our minds. Let’s keep them moving and grooving on the best thing that’s ever happened to us, that’s Jesus! Like Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) In that way, my fellow saints, our minds won’t die an unnatural and unprofitable death. Much LOVE!

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

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