Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2019 1 Timothy 2:3.

1 Timothy 2:3.    ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday’s here again friends! Glory be! It’s the day we cease from our normal labour and instead visit the Lord’s sanctuary and have fellowship with other believers! Yes mih people, it’s time for us to sing and dance and praise the Lord and give Him sincere thanks for the many blessings He’s so magnanimously bestowed on us! Wow! What a wonderful God He is! There’s none other like Him! That’s for certain sure!

That’s why we need to show our true LOVE and sincere gratitude by coming together as the body of Christ, His church, at least once a week! And not only do we offer up praise and thanksgiving, but we are renewed and refreshed in return, through hearing His Word and the encouragement of and communion with our fellow believers, so that we can go out and do His work with vim and vigour this upcoming week.

Now let’s get the show on the road by opening, as always, with a song of praise and worship. And today’s number is certainly an old but still very popular number titled ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ And I hear the excited sigh that rises from our throats as the song registers, because it is one we all LOVE to sing! So let’s sing it nuh, with plenty emotion, strong voice and the sweetest of harmonies!

All together now: ‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain]

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honor, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain 2]’

Oh friends, oh friends, what a powerful and emotionally touching rendition! Heaven could see that we truly believed what we were singing, felt it right down in the very depths of our souls! That’s what some of these old English hymns do to us. Now it’s reputed that the words to that song were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, while the music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871. And has it ever stood the test to time! Becoming the Salvation Army’s favoured processional hymn along the way.

Apparently ‘it was written to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces of the world.’ And it takes its theme from New Testament references of Christians being soldiers for Christ. One example of that is our Bit, Bruh Paul’s famous words to his young protégé Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:3-4)

Yeh friends as Christians we do need to stand up strong under whatever trials and tribulation comes against us, like a good soldier does. Consequently, that soldier doesn’t get involved with the unnecessary affairs of life, so that he can give his all, his total allegiance and attention to the business of the one who’s chosen him to be a soldier. That means, since Christ has chosen us to be His followers, then we too must endure the tribulation that will certainly come against us, as Christ promised in John 16:33, and neither get involved in the affairs of this world because we are not of it, as He says in John 17:16.

And the analogy of Christians being soldiers in Christ’s army is rather apt, since we are constantly fighting battles of temptation and deceit against Satan and his evil minions. However it’s not a physical battle, although many believers are fighting physical battles in many places in our strife-filled world, but it’s a spiritual battle that most believers face day by day. As Bruh Paul says to the Corinthians: ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh: (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 every thought captive to the obedience of Christ;’ (2 Cor.10:3-5)

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses. ‘10:3-5. Though we walk (live) in the flesh (in a body), we do not war (fight) after (according to) the flesh (human standards. The first phrase of verse 5 looks back to verse 3 and expresses the manner in which believers conduct spiritual warfare. It is by casting down (destroying) imaginations (false arguments), such as Paul’s opponents have raised.’

That also means refuting all the lies and deceit and the temptations the enemy constantly throws at us. And we do that by taking all those wrong thoughts captive and making them conform to Christ’s Word. Remember, our minds are where the serious spiritual battles take place, so we obviously must have our thoughts conform to Christ’s Word to be victorious. And as I was reading the words of the hymn just now, one verse struck me as being somewhat untrue in these evil, divisive times. ‘Like a mighty army moves the church of God;…We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’

I just have to shake my head and sadly chuckle because God’s church is certainly not moving in these ungodly days like a mighty army, more like a stagnant, sluggish, complacent, uninterested band of layabouts. And as to being one body with one hope and one doctrine…What a joke! Christ’s church has never been more divided and fractured and going different ways than now!

But friends, let’s remember that where there’s life there’s also hope, so it’s not too late. If we’re serious about rectifying the ills in the church we still can, if we come together, instead of moving further apart. It will take a lot of hard work and effort, putting our selfish, petty desires aside, and showing the true character of Christ. I know it sounds impossible, but remember too, that ALL things are possible with Christ! Much LOVE!

…to be true soldiers of Christ…Christians must stop seeking and seeing life…the way the world sees it…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 February 2017 1 Samuel 30:6b.

1 Samuel 30:6b.   …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Ah friends, these real late mornings are a killer yes! Going to bed at five in the morning does do justice to Shakespeare’s saying that to go to bed late is to be up early. (smile) 

But as they also say, better late than never. So though we might be somewhat late, we’re not irrelevant. (smile) That’s why they say too, that B.S. baffles brains! 

Anyway, on a serious note, let’s begin by offering up an interesting prayer a friend gave me a few days ago. There’s no title to it, but I’ll call it ‘Our Healing Prayer,’ and you’ll see why later on. 

So please pray with me. ‘Heavenly father, I call on You right now in a special way. It is through your power that I was created. Every breath I wake, I live under your power. Father, I ask you now to touch me with that same power. For if You created me from nothing, You can recreate me. 

Fill me with the healing power of Your Spirit. Cast out anything that should not be in me. Mend what is broken. Root out any unproductive cells, open any blocked arteries or veins and rebuild any damaged areas. Remove all inflammation and cleanse any infection. 

Let the warmth of your healing LOVE pass through my body to make new any unhealthy areas so that my body will function the way You created it to function. And Father restore me to full health in mind, body and spirit so that I may serve You for the rest of my life. I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!’ 

Now isn’t that just beautiful friends? It surely is! And what I like about it is that it gets right down to the nitty gritty, doesn’t pull any punches, it’s all about healing. And truthfully, nobody needs that kind of healing prayer right now more than me, as so many parts of my body are malfunctioning. 

And we all know that our mighty God’s name is Jehovah Rapha – The Lord our Healer. Yes friends, our God is the Great Physician. As the prayer says, if He created us, then he can surely fix us. So He should always be the first One we turn to for healing, in fact for everything. That’s what He sincerely desires of us. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit for today: ‘…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t know why, but that statement just kept churning in my mind this morning, so I figured the Lord wanted me to write on it. And you know what? It’s a very poignant statement. It occurs in the Good Book when Bruh David was running from Saul, and went to live with the Philistines, who set him up in the city of Ziklag. (1 Sam.27) 

Now on one particular occasion, when the Philistines were going to fight Saul and the Israelites, Bruh David and his men lined up with them. But though the Philistine king, Achish trusted Bruh David, his leaders did not, so they sent him back home to Ziklag. (1 Sam.29) 

But lo and behold, when David and his men get back to Ziklag, they discover that the Amalekites had struck in their absence and burned the town with fire. Luckily though, they had not slain the inhabitants but carried them away captive, including Bruh David’s two wives and family. 

And the first part of the verse that contains our Bit, tells us: ‘And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved (bitter), every man for his sons and daughters.’ (1 Sam.30:6a) 

Ah friends, yuh see the great responsibility and the built in frailty of leadership. None of Bruh David’s people considered that he had also lost his sons and daughters, they were only concerned about themselves. It just goes to show that when the heifer dust hits the fan, the true selfishness of man shines through. 

And that’s why my people, we keep saying to put no trust in man, but to lay it all in the Lord God our Creator, for He is the ONLY ONE you can trust when the chips fall. Now what would Bruh David have done if he didn’t have the Lord God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to fall back on eh? Crapaud smoke ‘im pipe! 

Likewise friends, when things get real rough with us, and there seems to be nowhere to turn, we need to have that unconditional trust in our God that will enable us to encourage ourselves in Him. That’s when our faith needs to be ever so strong that we don’t even think about giving up and succumbing to the enemy’s lies and deceits. 

And what did Bruh David do in his untenable situation? The only wise and sensible thing; he turned to God in prayer, asking if he should go after the Amalekites or not. The Lord told him to pursue them, and through the Lord’s miraculous and mysterious workings, he found them and destroyed them and got back all his people and his goods. (1 Sam.30:7-20) 

Yes my people, our God is great, and if we sincerely seek Him, we will find Him, and He will help us. So please, let’s build that tower of faith nuh, so that in times of need, it will be there to keep us strong in the Lord God Jehovah, our Creator and Provider. 

Now let’s go home encouraging ourselves in the Lord by declaring, in all sincerity and truth, our Tuesday Mantra. 

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 having said that, let’s go out now and put it all into action as our friend, our Lord and Saviour Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…believe it when Jesus says……lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt.28:20b)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 February 2014 Ephesians 1:3

Ephesians 1:3.     Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

Oh Friends, it’s Monday… And poor me, ah crying because is only three days left before I have to leave God’s Little Acre and return to the cold, dark, North Country. Steups! But what yuh going to do eh? Them’s the breaks! So you just have to grin and bear it. And most importantly, I know that our great and wonderful God will bless me wherever He leads me on His beautiful planet Earth.

So there’s really no need to worry, although the hot sun is much preferable to the cold one. (smile) Anyway, yesterday was a great day in memory lane travel. After writing the Bit, I went by Aunt Cicely for some home-cooked food. And it did taste better than and different to the store bought stuff I’ve been living on for most of the last two weeks.
 
Then my Uncle Foster came over and spent the night with us. We watched Barbados beat T&T in regional cricket competition, and Seattle blow out Denver in the overhyped Super Bowl. I felt real sorry for Peyton Manning though, because from the first snap of the ball, which went over his shoulder into the end zone, before he even appeared ready for it, you could tell that it would be a rough day for him.
 
Seattle however did deserve to win with their excellent play, both on defence, offence and special teams. That’s how teams are supposed to play; with all aspects positively contributing to the overall effort.  
 
But Friends, yuh know in all the reminiscing that’s been going on for the past two weeks, last night’s was the most important, because my Uncle Foster and I had a very special relationship when we lived bachey (as bachelors) in Trinidad in the early 70’s. We made so many memories, or as he termed them adventures, that some he mentioned, I had no recollection of them whatsoever. He obviously remembers more of them than I do.
 
And yuh better believe that the Duchess and him had their own private tete a tete, reliving their own memories, since she was always his favourite. And though I tried to stay out of their business, they still found some way to gang up on me, like they did in the past. Anyway, it was a most excellent time, with some of everything involved, even serious arguments. But the disagreements didn’t last long, because that’s the way we’ve always been.
 
And now Friends, on this Monday morning in early February 2014, let’s raise the roofs of both heaven and earth, with a miraculous rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s make it so sweet, that our Father in heaven will automatically get up from His throne and passionately begin singing the music and doing a feisty two step dance to it. (smile)
 
And remember my fellow believers, we can do anything with His help. So let’s sing up a godly storm. On three: one, two, three: ‘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!’
 
Oh yes mih people! We did it! We did it! The soulful harmony touched our heavenly Father’s very soul, and had him up singing and dancing His own version of the two step. And can the Father move! You bet!
 
During that time, Jesus stood aside smiling, clapping and urging Him on, for it had been a long time since He’d seen the Father so happy that He wanted to bust a move. So we know for sure that heaven will be a somewhat happier place today, but what about planet earth eh?
 
It won’t be so great unless we believers get out there and work some good works for Jesus! And since we have the Father prepped and in the mood for celebrations, we can’t afford to let Him down now. So please Friends, let’s try our very best to walk worthy of Him today nuh.
 
And how can we even contemplate doing otherwise after looking at our Bit and the resultant benefits and blessings that flow from it? ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ 
 
So let’s continue from where we left off yesterday; talking about how He predestinated us as His adopted children through Christ, through His fatherly LOVING-kindness. And why did He do all that?
 
‘To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (bestowed grace – favour – on us). In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.’ (Eph.1:6-7)
 
And since the scholars have excellent explanations of those verses, let’s hear them. ‘1:6. The reason God predestined us to be His sons (v.5) is expressed in the words to the praise of the glory of his grace, that is, in order to magnify the splendour of His goodness to us. Wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved may also read, “which (grace) He has bestowed on us by the Beloved.” Through Christ, we are the recipients of God’s unmerited favour.’
 
And there can be no argument about that Friends, for all our blessings, etc. etc. come straight from the goodness of the Father’s heart. That should be obvious, since in our natural, sinful state, we could never do anything to earn or even deserve His holy acceptance.
 
And re verse ‘1:7. Redemption referred to the release of a slave or captive upon receipt of ransom. But the following words, the forgiveness of sins, show “redemption” is used here in a moral sense. Christians are therefore released from their enslavement to sin and the resulting divine wrath. Redemption is effected for us through his blood, that is, by Christ’s atonement secured by His death on the cross.’ 
 
Oh my brethren, what else can we say but oodles of heartfelt ‘thank you’s’ to Almighty God, for the greatest gift ever bestowed on mankind, Christ’s atonement for our abominable sins on the cross of Calvary! What a blessed day! For without it, we would all be staring at a dark and disastrous eternity in the dungeons of hell, with Lucifer as our evil leader and companion.
 
However, fortunately for us, with Christ’s selfless sacrifice, His shed blood paid once and for all for all our sins, and now we’re able to look forward with great joy to spending eternity in heaven, holy, sanctified and reconciled to our Creator and Provider!
 
Wow! What a blessed future awaits us! So please my fellow believers, today, let’s ponder on those significant events, and try, with God’s help obviously, to bring our lives into line, into obedience with His plans for us. That’s the height of wisdom and common sense! Much LOVE!
 
…he who forsakes His Maker…will be forsaken by His Maker…as simple and straightforward as that…