Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2021 Proverbs 23:7a.

Proverbs 23:7a.     ​‘For as he thinketh in his heart (mind), so is he.

Well, it’s another bright and sunshiny day in the life friends! Please thank our heavenly Father for that! But because it’s also Saturday, we’re going to add a touch of lateness and laziness to it! (smile) That makes it a bright, sunshiny, late and lazy Saturday! Praise the Lord! 

So though we’re lazing through the day, that doesn’t mean we are allowed to forget our great and wonderful God. On the contrary, today is one where we should gravitate towards Him and His Word since we couldn’t spend as much time as we wanted with him during the busy workweek. And now that we have some more time on our hands today, it’s only appropriate, and right, that we spend more unhurried time with Him; talking, praying, reading and meditating on His wise and awesome Word, so that we can get our souls and spirits renewed. 

And a note of caution here, please don’t think that we’re doing this for God nuh, but for ourselves, so that we can truly enjoy the many benefits He offers. And as we are doing that today, let’s remember to send up prayers for the safety and protection of our unfortunate friends and families on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent where the volcano La Soufriere (sulphur outlet) erupted yesterday after being dormant since 1979. People are being evacuated from the island, but like it’s doing everything else, the Corona virus is making it difficult to do efficiently and quickly. 

Let’s pray that the Lord will give my old university classmate, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his associates wisdom and guidance to handle this most serious situation, as it will not affect only St. Vincent, but also the neighbouring islands, with the resultant ash clogging up the atmosphere, causing breathing problems and restricting air traffic. 

Now, as we do every Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. And the first quote tells us to ‘Learn to let go and be clear of where you really want to head for.’ And I have no dispute with that because it makes very good sense. We must learn to let go of, to drop all the baggage from our past that is keeping us back from our destiny. However, when we get rid of the baggage, we must also know, as clearly as possible, where we want or intend to go; what’s our eventual destination. 

And why is that important? Because, if you don’t know where you’re going, you will get lost, get distracted, and go in a direction that’s leading you away from your God-given destiny, which can also be very detrimental to your health, physically, spiritually and emotionally. That’s why you need to know where you want to go before you set out on your life’s journey. And it does help to discover your destination, if you also know where you are coming from. As they say, you can’t truly know your future until you know and understand your past. 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Owning our story and LOVING ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.’ And that’s no lie friends! Taking responsibility for our lives and LOVING ourselves in the process, takes immense courage, especially in this hate and strife-filled world, where everybody tries to blame somebody else for their problems and consequent lack of happiness. Now, it’s true that circumstances can come against us, over which we have no say or hold, but we’re still always responsible for our attitude towards them. 

But as faithful believers in Christ Jesus, that means we must come up over those circumstances with a good attitude, although that may be extremely difficult to do. Right now, the bane of our human existence is the sad lack of responsibility in our society! Nobody wants to accept it, but we all want to prosper and succeed…how? Riding on the backs of others. But God’s economy doesn’t work like that my brethren, for we only reap what we sow. And if we sow no seed, or only negative ones, we will get no harvest, or a negative one. Please, please, let’s remember that nuh, and begin taking responsibility for our actions. 

And this next quote segues very nicely into our conversation. ‘Self-LOVE is not selfish; you cannot truly LOVE another until you know how to LOVE yourself.’ And that’s gospel truth. Remember Jesus’ words on the two greatest commandments. ‘And the second is like unto the first, thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Matt. 22:39) 

Now, to keep that commandment, we obviously need to have a strong LOVE for ourselves, because as our quote says, we can’t LOVE anyone if we don’t know how to LOVE ourselves. But in that process, it’s of the utmost importance that LOVE for ourselves doesn’t turn into a selfish, arrogant, vain, inordinate fascination, unkind, ungodly, narcissistic attitude. That comes from the story of Narcissus in Greek Mythology, where he sees himself reflected in a pool of water and falls in LOVE with himself. But when he realizes that that LOVE can never be reciprocated, he tragically goes off and commits suicide. 

Not a nice story at all, but unfortunately many of us still fall to those low levels and make life difficult for ourselves and those around us. This last quote though, will open our eyes, if we’re serious about getting to our God-given destiny. It says: ‘You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.’ 

That’s the truth right there in spades my brethren! The first thing we ought to learn to control is our mind, because that’s where all the battles in our life both begin and end. In Proverbs 23, Cousin Sol talks about not eating with a man that has an evil eye (is a miser), for though he tells you to enjoy the delicacies, he’s not sincere. ‘For as he thinketh in his heart (mind), so is he.’ (Prov. 23:7) 

And that’s more truth friends, for you can’t think evil and do good on a regular basis. What’s really inside of you will eventually come out. As Jesus said about the things that defile. ‘Not that which goes into the mouth that defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man…For out of the heart (mind) proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt. 15:11,19-20) 

Yes my fellow saints, we can’t deny it, evil begins in our minds. Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian philosopher, politician and peace maker, said it thus: ‘A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.’ Oh my people, thoughts are extremely important in shaping our personality and attitude. They can be good or bad, constructive or destructive, and eventually make us who we are. And we need to make our minds positive and productive if we intend to sincerely live for Jesus. 

And how do we do that? Let Bruh Paul tell us as he told the church at Corinth. ‘Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ (2 Cor. 10:5) 

Now that basically means taking control over your thoughts; over what you think about yourself and life. It’s not easy to do with all the evil stuff that’s coming against us, but God has provided us with a way to do it, through His word and will, through His Holy Spirit that indwells us. So let’s remember that our mind is a battlefield between good and evil nuh. And Christ wants us to ‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:21) And there’s no better time to start practicing that than today; right now! Much LOVE!

…control what you think about…and what you think about will control you… 

P.S. Yes, it’s long and late, but that’s okay. It’s Saturday. (smile) Much LOVE! 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2015 Ephesians 6:12

Ephesians 6:12.   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.

Greetings mih breddren! All the saints greet you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, and wish you a most blessed day! A day where all your needs are met by our heavenly Father, where peace, LOVE, forgiveness, mercy and grace reign supreme in your household. And as such you can sincerely say: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we (my whole household and I) will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

Oh Friends, if only the majority of Christians would sincerely declare that statement, then actually rejoice and be glad during the day, what a wonderful world this would truly be. But unfortunately, a lot of us just mouth these scriptures and don’t actually put them into practice. How can we call down God’s blessings if we are not joyful and appreciative of them eh? 

And sadly, with the disastrous state of warfare, greed and economic downturn in our current world, more and more people, including Christians, are becoming negative, fearful and anxious, just waiting for calamity to hit. 

But Friends, with Jesus as our guide and leader we ought not to fear what the world can do, or what happens therein. For Jesus promised never to leave nor forsake us, as well as if our first priority is seeking the righteousness of God, then all that we need will be provided. 

We might not get an abundance of earthly riches, but we will certainly lack for nothing that’s necessary. So this Saturday morning, as we spend some quiet time with God in prayer, let’s ask Him to show us how to be joyful and appreciative of all that He’s done for us nuh, and how to stand strong and faithful despite any negative circumstances that may be overwhelming us. 

I know it’s not easy to do, but with the help of Almighty God, we believers can most certainly do it. Remember this other scripture that we all mouth. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

Well let’s truly believe it nuh, and allow God to help us put into practice. The Good Book is not just a theoretical tome yuh know, but a very practical and applicable guide book to earthly life. Let’s begin using it as such nuh, because that’s the only way we will ever get its full benefits. 

And all of that ties into our Bit rather nicely. ‘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.’ Yes my fellow believers, a lot of the fear and anxiety and negative emotions we experience stem from the actions of the evil one and his disgusting cronies. 

Note Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians in his second letter. ‘For though we walk (live) in the flesh (in a body), we do not war (fight) after (according to) the flesh (human standards): (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) 

Casting down imaginations (arguments) and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And having in a readiness to revenge (punish) all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.’ (2 Cor.10:3- 6) 

Yes Friends, we fight the spiritual warfare by destroying all the arguments, anything that we think or is brought to us which tends to be exalted above Jehovah God, and then making sure that all our thoughts are in obedience to God’s word, and not that of the world. And we obviously cannot do that in our own strength. The only way for us to protect ourselves from the barbs of the enemy is by putting on the whole armour of God. And we promised to delve into that armour a bit more, so here goes. 

The scholars explain: ‘14-17. The whole armour of God consists of six pieces. (1) Truth (v.14a) is a knowledge of the truth of God’s Word (cf.4:21). The ancient soldier’s loins (waist) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the “truth” of Scripture. 

(2)  The breastplate of righteousness (v.14b) may be read, “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (“righteousness”) 

(3) Preparation of the gospel of peace (v.15) means “eagerness that comes from the gospel of peace.” That is, as the Roman soldier wore special shoes called ‘caligae’ on his feet, enabling him to advance against his enemy, so the Christian must have on his feet (possess) a sense of “eagerness” or willingness” to advance against the Devil and take the fight to him.

 Such “eagerness” to contend with Satan “comes from the gospel of peace.” The gospel gives peace to the believer, freeing him from anxiety though he advances against such a powerful opponent. 

(4) The shield of (which is) faith (v.16) means taking God at His word by believing His promises. Such trust will protect one from doubts induced by Satan. (5) The helmet of salvation (v.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8), they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes the helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is the certainty (assurance) of salvation. 

(6) The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (v.17b): The Greek term rendered “word” is not ‘logos’, referring to the whole Word of God, but ‘rhema’, referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.’ 

Oh Friends, I do hope that that brings greater understanding of the armour of God, and also gives us a strong foundation to build upon. However, there is one postscript to all that, ‘Praying always…’ (v.18) for without prayer my people, the armour of God is not fail-safe. 

As the scholars say: ‘Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable.’ Please remember that. So until we meet tomorrow, God willing, let’s all make sure we are totally dressed in God’s armour at all times nuh… And keep praying, for that is heavenly wisdom. Much LOVE!

…to wage successful spiritual warfare against Lucifer…one must always be dressed from head to toe in God’s armour… accompanied by the awesome power of prayer…