Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.

Aye friends, it’s a wet one in my area today. And the rain can be so beguiling… Earlier on, for over half an hour, I lay in my bed tossing and turning from side to side, knowing that I was not going back to sleep, especially since my nostrils were all blocked up and my mouth was dry as chip, but yuh think I could get up, as I listened to the gentle rain falling outside? 

No way! There’s just something about the rain that makes you want to stay in bed and curl up under the covers next to your special someone. And don’t forget its potent aphrodisiac properties! (smile) 

And today the Lord pointed me to some stuff I have written here on a piece of paper. I don’t know who or where I got them from, possibly from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley), but I’m sure we’re not going to like them. They have to do with our behaviour as true and faithful believers in Jesus Christ. 

And they advise: 1. Don’t leap to judgement. 2. Take blame and give credit. 3. Don’t one up people, encourage them. 4. If it hurts say so, but don’t hit back. 5. Pray for your competitors. 

Mamacita! All of that goes against the very grain of our human nature! But that’s the way our Leader and Lord and Saviour wants us to operate in this crazy, selfish and greedy world. That’s how others will know that we’re different from the madding crowd and hopefully come to realize that we have what they’re missing and oh so badly need; the eternal and unconditional LOVE and saving grace of Jesus. 

And as we look back on those five things above, if we’re true to ourselves we will admit that they all play a major part in our lives. We all leap to judgement too quickly, with absolutely no relevant facts at hand. We just see or hear someone and we can spout a litany of things that are wrong with them. 

And when coming to taking blame…Hn! That does not exist in our current society. We’re all about pointing fingers at others and hogging whatever credit there is for ourselves. Oh, and one-upmanship is the name of today’s game. Yuh ever listen to group of people talking about their possessions? 

Each one comes up with something better than the other. And that’s one of the reasons why so many of us are so stressed out and miserable; foolishly, we’re trying too hard to keep up with the Joneses. 

And when it comes to being hurt, we’ll certainly let you know, but the trouble is that we also look for vengeance. But remember the Lord says that vengeance is His, and He will repay. Well I won’t even touch praying for our competitors, because that is definitely out of our behavioural sphere. Oh yes, we’ll pray for them, but for them to go under, not to succeed. 

Oh friends, please remember that we’re supposed to be IN the world but not OF the world; meaning we should not behave as the world does. No wonder Jesus prayed to the Father on our behalf: ‘And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (evil one). They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.’ (John 17:13-16) 

Ah mih people, what more can I say eh? Not a whole lot. Jesus prayed that we would not get involved with the world order even though we lived amongst it. That was necessary so that we could tell others about and show by example the good news He ushered into this world. 

And Bruh Paul reiterated the same sentiments 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) 

Oh my people, we can’t be IN the world, but not OF it, unless we completely renew our minds and bring it into line with the will of God. And the scholars offer this explanation on that subject: Dedication to the will of God. 

‘12:1-2. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in ALL of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

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

The long and short of the story my brethren, is that we’re to live the will of God as found in His Word. And the only way we’re going to find out that will is by reading and studying His Word. So let’s get on with it nuh, so that we can all become the ‘living sacrifices’ that our Lord desires. 

Now it’s time to go home letting the world know who and whose we are by declaring our Tuesday Mantra. All together now, in full voice and complete sincerity: ‘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 the corollary to that: let’s go out and generously share what Jesus has given us. Much LOVE!

…God’s basic wish for us all…to become Christ-like clones…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 January 2018 John 15:13.

John 15:13.   Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Oh precious people of Jehovah God, welcome to another wonderful day on His great earth! Oh I know some of us will complain and ask what’s so wonderful about the day when you are surrounded by numerous problems, adversity and calamity? But let me ask you this? Would you rather be asleep in the grave this morning? 

Most of you would readily answer a big ‘NO!’ That’s because you know that once you’re alive and in partnership with Almighty God there’s always hope for successfully handling your problems. And besides, regardless of how bad earthly life might be, most of us are just not ready for the heavenly one yet. (smile) 

That brings me to an interesting ad I saw on the television recently, it said: ‘Killing can be so complicated. Mary kills people.’ That’s an ad for a t.v show about Mary killing people. Hn! How much more macabre and insensitive can we get eh? When we advertise a show about killing people, what does that say about our society eh? What does it teach our children and those that come after us? 

But yuh know, if we had an ad that says: ‘LOVE is so simple. Jesus LOVES people!’ There’d be a big hue and cry over it. We might never ever get the ad to air in the first place, because the t.v. masters would consider it inappropriate. So killing is appropriate, but LOVE is not. 

Ah Lord eh! What a downward slide our society is on! I’m reminded of the quote I got from somewhere that tells us: ‘Two natures beat within my breast. The one is foul, the one is blessed. The one I LOVE, the one I hate. The one I feed will dominate.’ 

Obviously our society is feeding the foul nature, that of sin, darkness and carnality, because that’s the one that’s dominating our world right now. But friends, as we said earlier on, once we’re alive and in partnership with our Creator, there is hope to fix whatever is amiss or broken. 

And that’s exactly what we are planning to do in this Year of LOVE: fix the things that are broken in this broken world with the help of Almighty God! But friends, we can only do that if ALL believers in Jesus Christ come together and seriously work together to overthrow the evildoers in our world. 

If we stay divided and broken, as we are, we will be of little use, since the iniquity workers will just continue to divide and conquer us. We believers are supposed to be ambassadors of Christ, here on earth, but it’s obvious we’re not doing such a great job, if evil and hate and not LOVE and compassion are still ruling the world. 

And the sad part is that so many of us have this great talk and plan to do something about it, but unfortunately only a precious few are actually doing something about it. Talk’s cheap friends, but actions are expensive and involve sacrifice, which few of us really want to offer. 

But remember what Jesus did for us? He offered His sinless life as a sacrifice for our abominable sins! He didn’t have to do it, but He LOVED us so much, and wanted a better future for us that He gave the ultimate sacrifice; His godly life. 

As He said so passionately to His disciples in our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ And what did He do? He went out and laid down His life for us, because He considered us His friends, and wanted us to become His adopted family. 

Hear How He continues after our Bit. ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known to you.’ (John 15:14-15) 

That’s about the best description of friends you can get my brethren; sharing important stuff with others. Jesus told the disciples, and consequently us, all that the Father had told Him, which put them, and us, in a position to be His friends. But then what kind of friends are we, if we don’t do what our friend asks of us eh? 

Hear Jesus again. ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained (appointed) you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give to you. These things I command you, that ye LOVE one another.’ (John 15:16-17) 

Oh fellow believers, we didn’t choose Jesus, He chose each one of us to go out and bear good fruit in His name. That means we have a serious responsibility here on earth, per doing what He commands. And one of the first and foremost, and basic commands is to LOVE one another. 

Oh my people, let’s concentrate on just doing that nuh: just LOVING each other as Jesus desires and letting go of all the resentment and negative emotions and activity that currently resides in Christ’s body, the church.  You’d be surprised at how life would change if we just did that. And why should that be so hard to do when Jesus has already been so generous to us in our Thursday Blessings? 

Let’s declare them in loud voice and sincere spirit. ‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

Now, our bounden duty, as faithful believers, is to go out and share those blessings with others. Much LOVE!

…Christianity is not a society for hoarding…but of generously sharing the wealth and good news of Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2017 Matthew 9:29b.

Matthew 9:29b.   According to your faith be it unto you.

Welcome once more to the Lord’s Day my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! It’s another wonderful opportunity to gather in the Lord’s house with other believers and praise and worship, exalt and glorify Him, hear His Word and leave strengthened and confident, assured and re-energized, able to face the upcoming week without any qualms, fears or anxieties. 

Wow! We serve such a mighty and LOVING God my brethren that we can’t help but place our complete and total trust and surrender in Him. That’s why to open the festivities, we will sing this song of faith and trust based on Psalm 56.3 – ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.’ So let’s raise our voices to heaven, offer the sacrifice of praise from lips and hearts sincere and true in the statements we sing. 

As one now: ‘When I am afraid, I will trust in You. Worries fill my heart; I will trust in You. O God my Father, Come do Your work in me. When I am afraid; I will trust in You. When my life is pain, I will look to You. Darkness all around; I will look to You. O God my Father, Come do Your work in me. When my life is pain, I will look to You. God of all my life, I will trust in You. Always, only LOVE, I will trust in You. Through joy and pain, Lord, You form Yourself in me. God of all my life, I will trust in You. God of all my life, I will trust in You.’ 

Yes friends, that last line is the most important and heart stopping: ‘God of all my life, I will trust in you.’ It says it ALL my people. I will indeed trust in the God who holds my life in the palms of His hands and LOVES me like no other of His wonderful creations! Glory to the Most High God! I would indeed be foolish to do otherwise. And so would any of you who claim to believe in Him, because He is our BE ALL and our END ALL! He made us, and has infinite power over all aspects of our lives, so why wouldn’t we bow to Him and worship and trust and have faith in Him eh? 

That’s only basic common sense. (smile) The unfortunate thing is that nowadays common sense seems to be sadly lacking in our society, as more people are turning away from God than are turning to Him. And no doubt that’s partly because they can’t handle His ways, which are higher and wiser than ours.  So foolishly, they choose to go their own way, down the wide and winding path that leads directly to Lucifer. They fail to realize that interacting with Jehovah God is not a now for now thing, but a gradual process based on our faith. 

As Jesus says in the words of our Bit: ‘According to your faith be it unto you.’ It’s simple and straightforward my people, as most of Jesus’ statements are. The more you believe, the greater your faith, the more you will see Him work in your life. But faith doesn’t happen overnight and also involves ‘sufferation’ and adversity, which too many of us try to run from. As the old people would say, ‘yuh could run, but yuh can’t hide;’ neither from God or trials and tribulations, because they are all integral parts of earthly life. 

And since Lucifer can’t help you when things get rough, our heavenly Father is the only logical person to turn to. But as a friend of mine would say, ‘enough palavering,’ let’s get some biblical info on faith. First up is the story of the Canaanite woman, a Gentile, who beseeched Jesus to heal her daughter, possessed by a devil. The disciples urged Him to send her away. 

But Jesus said: ‘I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel (to the Jews). Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet (right, good) to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to the dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt (you desire). And her daughter was made whole (well) from that very hour.’ (Matt.15:24-28) 

Ah friends, faith is a helluva thing yes! It can certainly work wonders when used right. Listen though to this explanation of that passage by the scholars. ‘15:26-28. By children the Lord means Jews, and by dogs, Gentiles. His attitude was intended to test the woman’s faith, which was rewarded by a miraculous healing. 

The term used for dogs (Gr. kuhariois) means little dogs (pets) not wild, scavenging beasts. She replied that such dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table. She knew what could be hers, even as a Gentile, and thus became an illustration of millions of Gentiles who would later be blessed by Israel’s messiah. Great is thy faith: Jesus again commends Gentile belief (cf. 8:10).’ 

Ah mih people, it certainly seemed that the Gentiles were somewhat wiser than the Jews, when it came to acknowledging Jesus’ power. And we’ll close with these stellar words of Jesus on faith. After telling the disciples that they should forgive as often as a trespasser repents; ‘And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine (mulberry) tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.’ (Luke 17:5-5) 

What a bam bam mih people! Even as much faith as can hold in a li’l mustard seed can work mighty miracles. Unfortunately, a lot of us don’t even have that much faith. 

But hear the scholars. ’17:5-6. The magnitude of the command in verse 4 (re forgiveness) leads to a plea for assistance. Faith, understood here not merely in a mental sense, but also in the sense of active “faithfulness,” is the key. One’s faith often increases as one steps out in trusting obedience.’ 

So friends, let’s try growing our faith by stepping out in trusting obedience today nuh, for that’s the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…without faith…there is no hope…and without hope…there is no faith…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 December 2016 2 Timothy 4:7.

 2 Timothy 4:7.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.

Ah mih people, at long last a semi-serious snowfall has hit my area. Chuh! And the time was going by so nicely! But that’s the nature of this good country Canada; wintertime means snow is very likely to disrupt the situation. (smile) 

However, it wasn’t too bad a snowstorm, and hopefully by now the roads would have been cleared and salted. But still, please be careful if you have to drive because there is liable to be some icy sections out there. 

And you’d think that the snow would dampen the weekend enthusiasm…not on yuh life! The shouting of  ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us!’ still rings out. ‘A li’l snow can’t stop the party. We’ll just have to stay inside and keep warm, while the drinks and whatnot flow! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Now that’s the song of the heathen, let’s sing that of the righteous; our Friday Chant, with as much, if not more verve and enthusiasm than the heathen. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way of handling the weekend, than simply giving into the lusts of the flesh and celebrating with gay abandon. 

Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit; Bruh Paul’s immortal words, for the last time. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

Oh precious people of God, it is essential that we believers in Jesus Christ, fight a good fight against the evil of this world! The world will not simply allow us to live our lives according to God’s will, because it doesn’t fit into their programme of sin and iniquity. 

That means, at each and every chance they get, they will try to dissuade us from following the righteous path with lustful and fleshly temptations. But we have to learn to resist it. 

As we saw Bruh Paul tell the Corinthians yesterday: ‘But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified).’ (1 Cor.9:27) 

And I worked that verse in there because I want to share a very interesting explanation of the scholars on it. ‘9:27. I keep under my body (i.e. discipline my body): The expression I keep under loses much of the original sense. It has the idea of to “give one a black eye,” “buffet,” or “bruise.” 

Paul’s readers knew that in the Isthmian Games, the boxers wore gloves consisting of ox-hide hands covered with knots and nails, and loaded with lead and iron. To prepare for such an event, a man would have to brace himself to endure all forms of physical abuse. 

Lest that by any means …I myself should be a castaway (lit. “So that …I myself should not be disqualified”): Paul was afraid of losing his salvation: his subject is still Christian liberty. The point is that the believer must discipline himself to avert both being disqualified from Christian ministry, and forfeiting the rewards for such service.’ 

Oh friends, can you imagine the bloodied bodies of the boxers in those olden times. One would have to be very brave and single minded to take part in such a carnal sport. But that’s the kind of mentality we need to have to fight off the temptations of this world and eventually win the victor’s crown. 

We can’t afford to be disqualified from Christ’s ministry and also lose the rewards earned through doing it. Now hear what Bruh Paul told Timothy in his first message re the good fight of faith. 

‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things: and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) 

And the scholars explain: ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a LOVE for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’  

‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. 

Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah friends, the life of a true believer is not an easy one. As Jesus told the disciples, we’d be persecuted just for believing in Him: ‘but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) 

So it’s up to us to keep persevering, keep fighting the good fight, keep maturing, obviously with God’s help, until we reach the end and are presented with the victor’s crown. 

Wow mih people! What a day that will be! It will certainly be worth all the trials and tribulations endured in this earthly pilgrimage! Much LOVE!

…to fight the good fight successfully…one must have plenty belly and backbone…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 November 2016 Psalm 28:7.

Psalm 28:7.    The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Well friends, it looks like it might be a cloudy day in my area, with a chance of rain, but just because we can’t see the sun, doesn’t mean that it’s not up there behind the clouds. 

And thankfully, contrary to the physical sun, the spiritual Son is always shining His light brilliantly in all His believers’ lives! Glory to God! 

Without the light of Jesus shining in our lives we’d be little more than invalids in an evil and ungodly world. But through His awesome power and Spirit living in us, we can do any and every thing! What a joy to be associated with the Saviour! 

Now here is an interesting quote from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. It tells us: ‘No one is guaranteed happiness. Life just gives us time and space. It’s up to us to fill it with joy and meaning.’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth! Even the rich and famous don’t just find happiness because of their wealth and fame. They too have to make a conscious decision to create happiness in their lives. 

And as believers in Jesus Christ, we know that the best way to find happiness and joy is through His healing and comforting power. Constant companionship with Him, through reading His word and following His dictates gives us the wherewithal to find peace and contentment in this angry, strife filled world. 

Now who wouldn’t want that eh? Apparently a lot of people don’t because they are turning away from Jesus, at their own peril. 

Our job is to stop them from doing that. And for those who have already done it, to help bring them back to the foot of the cross of Jesus, where they can find solace, find joy, find eternal life and salvation. 

But we can’t do that until we ourselves are fully rooted in Christ and are shining like a light in this dark world. And to help us do that today, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with true sincerity and plenty passion. 

Wailing: ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, that’s how we ought to be today; thankful that we’re alive and kicking. And having taken up our cross to follow Jesus, we’re focused on what’s before us, looking straight ahead so we can plough straight furrows in His name, keeping in mind the awesome future He’s promised us. Wow! What a beautiful picture my brethren! 

No wonder Bruh David could confidently declare in our Bit: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, anytime we can declare that with sincerity, means we’re on the right path! It’s not always easy to do, but the more we cling to Jesus and His ways, the more we see the truth in that declaration, the more it comes to pass in our lives, and the more confident we become. 

Listen to Bruh David as he declares in the verse after our Bit. ‘The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed (the Messiah, the commissioned One). (Ps.28:8) 

Without a doubt friends, the Most High God Jehovah is our saving strength through His Son Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary to pay for our sins. Now how caring and LOVING is that eh! More than enough for us to desire to shout it from the rooftops! 

Now let’s look at a couple of scriptures that reinforce our Bit. Bruh David says in Psalm 59 – A prayer for deliverance. ‘Let them wander up and down for meat (food), and grudge (howl) if they be not satisfied. 

But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning; for thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defense, and the God of my mercy.’ (Ps.59:15-17) 

Oh precious people of Christ, I do hope that that is the way we all feel, otherwise we’re in a whole lot of trouble! 

Now let’s end with one of Bruh David’s most famous declarations; that from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance. 

‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon he Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) 

Ah mih breddren, what joy and peace fills our hearts when we reach that stage where we can truly trust and believe in our magnificent and magnanimous God! There’s nothing else in this world that compares to it! 

So today, as we go out into the world, let’s stand tall, hold our heads high, with our shoulders thrust back, proud that we are followers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega, our Be All and End All. For that’s what He expects of us. Much LOVE!

…let your light so shine…that others will come to believe…  

P.S.  Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, it was just one of those late hockey nights. (smile) And please remember to pray for Scotty, our Scrip-Bit family member, sick in the hospital with blood pressure and diabetes problems. He desperately needs our prayers. Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 November 2016 2 Timothy 3:17.

2 Timothy 3:17.    That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.

Ah friends, that wonderful day called Sunday, the Lord’s Sabbath, has rolled around once more! It’s a day of rest and relaxation, but more importantly one also of worship and fellowship amongst Christians. 

That means, if we are able, we ought to get together with other believers in Jesus Christ to sing and offer praise and thanksgiving for His goodness to us, to listen to His word, as well as receive encouragement and strength to face the upcoming week. 

Now let’s begin with a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips, by singing the inspirational hymn, ‘The Church is One Foundation.’ With sincere enthusiasm and passion friends: ‘The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord; she is his new creation by water and the Word. From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride; with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died. 

Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth; her charter of salvation: one Lord, one faith, one birth. One holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with every grace endued. Though with a scornful wonder the world sees her oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping; their cry goes up: “How long?” and soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. 

Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace forevermore, till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest. Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won: O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we like them, the meek and lowly, may live eternally.’  

Glory to God my people for such a wonderful worship song, written way back at the end of the 19th century by the British pastor Samuel J. Stone! And over a century later, it’s still a worship favourite. I wonder if the songs we’ve recently penned will be sung so victoriously a century from now eh? Who knows? That’s even if the world is still around the way we know it. 

But regardless of what exists then, right now we have to go back to our Bit of a few days ago. I fully intended to continue it on Friday, but that was Remembrance Day, and the other Bit about a man laying down his life for his friend, just fit better. Then yesterday, the scripture about the true light, also seemed to be a better fit, per the direction in which I was being led. (smile) 

So let’s refresh our memories a tad with the verse before our Bit. ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.’ (2 Tim.3:16) And we said that the Bible was God’s guidebook to us for earthly righteous living, and though it was physically written by men, it was authored by God, through His divine inspiration. 

And our Bit tells us of the very important reason why the Lord authored it. ‘That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ And the scholars told us that ‘God’s inspired Word, properly used and applied provides all we need for life and ministry.’ 

Glory Hallelujah my people! We don’t need anything else to live this life proficiently, capably, righteously than God’s Book of Answers! 

Now let’s check out some scriptures on the subject. Listen to Bruh Paul admonish Timothy in his earlier letter. After talking about the LOVE of money being the root of all kinds of evil, and how some have ruined themselves through covetousness, Bruh Paul tells him. 

‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the Good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12)  

Oh friends, all of that also applies to us today, if we want to be considered a man or woman of God! 

And the scholars offer these interesting explanations. ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a LOVE for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to, God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’ 

There we have it my brethren; a chart against which we can measure our progress and success in being a true man, or woman of God. 

And the scholars continue: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Yes friends, those few words do say a lot about our Christian faith, and I think it’s a good time for us to take stock of our personal faith, or maturity, whether we’re making any progress or not. So let’s take a few moments sometime today, find a quiet spot and see how we measure up against those standards of righteousness nuh.  

Let’s see if we are truly fighting the good fight, really involved in the spiritual warfare; see how we doing with shunning the LOVE of money and the material things of the world. Let’s check to see if our faith is as strong as it ought to be, if we’re persevering and steadfast and gentle…and all the other righteous attitudes and capabilities we need to live a Christ-like life, for that’s supposed to be our earthly goal. 

And as always, wherever we find ourselves lacking, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and confidently ask for His always available help. Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s life is not an easy go…but the adventure involved is worth it…and the rewards at the end are truly phenomenal…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2016 Ecclesiastes 5:1.

Ecclesiastes 5:1.    Keep thy foot (walk prudently) when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear (draw near to hear, rather) than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. 

All hail, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! It’s a glorious Tuesday morning…Praise the Lord! 

Yes friends, we’ve been granted another eventful day on God’s great earth! Wow! Isn’t He wonderful to us unworthy children of men? He surely is! That’s why we ought to give Him a lot of thanks and praise throughout the day. 

And to do that, some of us might just need these words of encouragement from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. It’s titled ‘Learn to Know God.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘ Dear Jesus, I’ve got to know You better. Please help me! I can feel my spiritual and emotional walls crack. I can hear old chains break. I can feel my heart opening like a heavy old door whose ancient seals have just begun to break. 

I can sense the footsteps of Jesus walking into my life. I am beginning to experience the joy of a soul that is being saved, a life that is being born again. Thank You, Lord! Life’s not fair, but God is good. Amen!’ 

Ah my people, when Jesus is walking in our lives there’s such joy in our souls, and such pep in our steps! For remember, ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

And to further raise the joy in our souls, the level of our faith and the pep in our steps this Tuesday morning, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with the utmost sincerity and belief. 

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!’ 

Yes mih breddren, it’s certainly a wonderful God we believe in and great Friend and Saviour we have in Jesus! Nothing in this world can beat it! 

We just have to remember whose we are, and behave in a fashion suitable to their ideals and principles; basically living a godly life and sharing the LOVE of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

And the awesome advice in our Bit will surely help us to do that. ‘Keep thy foot (walk prudently) when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear (draw near to hear, rather) than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.’ 

Yeh friends, we’re still on that Bit because it covers such a wide area, especially where our mouths and our promises are concerned. We can either be righteous or evil with those two things. And James deals with them very nicely, obviously pointing us towards the righteous aspect. 

Listen to him: ‘Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20) 

And the scholars add this info to those verses. ‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ 

‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ So true friends, so true! 

And later on in that same passage, James tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘If any man among you seem to be (thinks he is) religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (useless).’ (James 1:26) 

What indisputable truth! We can’t claim to be truly religious if we don’t know how, what and when to speak. The old adage that says ‘silence is golden,’ is very true on a lot of occasions. 

We’d be better served by remaining silent than by batting our gums, for as Cousin Sol reminds us: ‘Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace (keeps silent), is counted wise (is considered wise): and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.’ (Prov.17:28) 

And I pray: ‘O Lord please help me to hold my peace, to shut my lips, so that I will be considered a man of understanding, even though I’m a fool!’ (smile) 

Ah friends, sometimes our mouths are our worst enemy, our tongues cost us more heartache than anything else. As James says: ‘Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter (forest) a little fire kindleth (sets on fire). 

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue (the tongues is so set) among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature (existence); and it is set on fire of hell.’ (James 3:5-6) 

And the scholars explain: ‘3:6.  The tongue is a system (world) of iniquity that sets on fire the whole course of life, and is even set on fire by Satan (cf.3:15).’ 

Yes precious people of God, the tongue is one of the smallest parts of our bodies, but it has unnatural control of the entire body. Since the beginning of time, our tongues have caused more war and strife than anything else, but we still can’t, or refuse to bridle them. 

Thus our lives are oftimes turned topsy-turvy by the words that trip off of our tongues. But today, I implore us to take good care, to ask the Holy Spirit to help us keep silent and think before we talk, and then to only talk that which is: ‘For the perfecting (equipping) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.’ (Eph.4:12) 

If we successfully do that, then our lives and our world will surely become more a representation of paradise, than one of hell, as it currently is. Much LOVE!

…many of us would be better off…if we had no tongues…harsh…but true…

 

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