Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 July 2022 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.      I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day in our workweek, but around here in the Greater Toronto area, not many people are thinking of work, but of the upcoming Caribana weekend and the Simcoe holiday on Monday. Yes friends, this is T.O’s big weekend, where it’s parties galore and the big street parade on Saturday. Oh, sorry, I believe I called the celebration by the wrong name. It’s now something like Toronto Caribbean Carnival, or some such moniker, because of the legal dispute over the ownership of the ‘Caribana’ name. But call it what they will, it will always be popularly known as ‘Caribana.’ End of story! (smile) 

Now, today we are going to consider an interesting writing from our One Year Book of Bible Promises authored by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled ‘It Takes a Lifetime.’ Please read with me. ‘How I LOVE the words of the apostle Paul. ‘I don’t mean to say…that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. 

No, dear brothers and sisters. I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.’ (And it’s noted there that that passage comes from the New Living Translation of Phil. 3:12-14.) 

But then the writing continues: ‘What tremendous encouragement! Paul, who knew Jesus Christ so intimately, whose consuming desire was to please Him, who endured illness, imprisonment, shipwreck, beatings, mockery, and heartache all for the sake of Christ – this very same Paul confessed he hadn’t “arrived.” God was still growing him! I see again, while my conversion took but a moment, my growth takes an entire lifetime. In God’s great wisdom and knowledge He anticipates the finished product while He LOVINGLY takes me through the long, long process.’ 

And is that ever the glorious though difficult truth my fellow believers! It certainly is! Yes, coming to Christ takes but a moment, but becoming like Christ takes an entire lifetime because it is not an easy process. And that is what a lot of us don’t seem to understand. God’s eventual purpose is to make us all over in the image of Christ, as the Good Book says: ‘For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.’ (Rom. 8:29) 

And to be made over into anything at all doesn’t happen overnight, and to be made like Christ…brother! That will obviously take ages! And, as the writing intimates, if Bruh Paul was so closely involved with Christ, knew Him so intimately and still didn’t consider himself ‘arrived,’ then it’s obvious that those of us who are not as intimate still have a long way to go. As Bruh Paul says in 2 Corinthians. ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image (that of Christ) from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

Yes, it’s the Lord’s Spirit that transforms us into Christ’s likeness from glory to glory or step by step, not all at once. And Bruh Paul assures us earlier on in his missive to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it (complete it) until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) Oh isn’t that wonderful to know my brethren! God will not stop transforming us into the image of His Son, until his Son comes back to take over His kingdom! Glory Hallelujah! 

That’s why these words of Bruh Paul are so important. And we’ll read them in the more powerful King James version. (smile) ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (arrived): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

And all of that simply means that he has given up all his earlier accolades, like his great education and position as a powerful Pharisee, in his determined pursuit to know the risen Christ. As he also said earlier on the same letter: ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ….and do count them but dung (rubbish) that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7-8) So knowing and winning Christ, and the divine prize, that’s ‘the joyful and personal satisfaction of having attained it,’ is all that he was then focused on. 

And it’s all that we should also be focused on, truly knowing Christ should be our life’s goal. So much so that when we come to the end of this earthly stage of life, we can say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto them also that LOVE his appearing (eagerly await His second coming).’ (2 Tim. 4:7-8) 

Now that’s what we ought to be working towards! And let’s hope that those scriptures we’ve considered this morning will light, or relight the flame in our souls and spirits for Christ, so that we can sincerely put our best foot forward and do His divine bidding with excellence, diligence and a true sense of purpose. And to help us do that, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been so generously bestowed on us to enable us to do our earthly work. 

Altogether now: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

And having activated those blessings by declaring (steups!!!) them aloud, we must now go out and generously use them in winning souls for Christ! Much LOVE!

…we can’t sincerely press toward the heavenly prize…unless the flame of Christ burns brightly in us… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​        

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2021 2 Corinthians 2:18.

2 Corinthians 3:18.     ​But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

So now it’s Thursday, what we going to do today eh? Hopefully, it’s more of what we did yesterday. And what’s that you ask? We talking about working for Jesus! What else could it be eh? If you call yourself a Christian then that’s your obvious life’s work, regardless of what other position(s) you might hold in society. And hopefully, we’ll do a better job today than we did yesterday, as we grow in faith, becoming more mature a li’l every day, as the Lord moves us from glory to glory! 

Oh friends, that’s such a wonderful journey to look forward to! As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians in his second missive: ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) And what can be more desirous than reflecting the glory of God eh? Nothing my brethren! 

Now here’s how the scholars explain that verse in simple terms. ‘3:18. Beholding as in a glass: The term beholding can have the sense of “reflecting.” The believer himself “reflects” the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the glory of the Lord. For Moses, the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ 

And as a commentator from the website GotQuestions.org, describes it. ‘With those few words – “from glory to glory”—Paul sums up our entire Christian life, from redemption and sanctification on earth, to our glorious eternal welcome into heaven.’ Yes friends,that journey from one glory, the Old Mosaic Law to the other, the New Covenant, the gospel of Christ, is so wonderful to behold, words cannot fully describe it. 

Remember back in the old days, when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai the second time, with the stone tablets on which the Lord had written the Ten Commandments, after the Lord had shown him His goodness and glory by passing before him, (Ex. 33:12-23), his face shone so brightly that the children of Israel were afraid to look at him, so he veiled his face when talking to them. 

As the Good Book recalls: ‘And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not (did not know) that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him (the Lord). And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh (near to) him.’ (Ex. 34:29-30) But Moses called the elders, and eventually all the people, unto him and spoke with them. 

And the Good Book reports: ‘And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.’ (Ex. 34:33). Yes people, that was indeed a momentous occasion in the time of the believer, for everybody could see the glow of God’s Spirit in Moses’ face, unfortunately though, the glow did not last, it eventually faded away. However, with the new and better, more glorious covenant of Jesus, the law was not written on stone tablets, but on the soft and yielding hearts of followers. 

As the Lord promised through the words of the prophet Jeremiah: ‘But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts (mind), and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ (Jer. 31:33) And as Bruh Paul writes earlier on about that: ‘Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered (cared for) by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables (tablets) of stone, but in fleshy tables (tablets) of the heart.’ (2 Cor. 3:3) 

So we know that promise made by Jeremiah was carried out with the coming of Jesus and His New Covenant. This is so much better than the Old one, for it forgives us of our sins, and with the Holy Spirit now entrenched within us, gives us new life. Here’s how Christ puts it: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) And that life is thus enabled: ‘It is the spirit that quickeneth (gives life); the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.’ (John 16:63) 

And with this New Covenant, only the believer’s spiritual eyes can behold the glory of God, of Christ’s gospel. As Bruh Paul writes: ‘For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Cor. 4:6) 

And these words from the commentator on GotQuestions.org complete our discussion very nicely. ‘But, as we move from glory to glory, there’s something even more important about the glory of the New Covenant that Christians must understand: its supernatural power to transform us. And that brings us to God’s ultimate purpose and destination for every believer, to transform us into the image of his own beloved Son (2 Cor. 3:18; Rom. 8:28-30; Phil. 3:20-21). 

Before he finishes with the topic of being transformed from glory to glory, Paul presents yet one more astonishing claim: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17). This is the invitation the Lord makes to all Christians, to have our lives radically transformed here and now, by opening our eyes to see the glorious journey He is taking us on “from glory to glory.” 

Oh friends, that is definitely an invitation we cannot afford to refuse, because it deals with our eternal security! So please let’s get serious about walking with Christ nuh, for it’s the ONLY way to salvation and eternal life. Now, for those of us who have already made that decision, let’s go home declaring (chuh man!) our Thursday Blessings, the tools which our God has so generously bestowed on us, so that we can do His earthly work. 

Altogether now:‘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 has 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 every day! Amen!’  

And our bounden duty is to now go out and share those blessings just as generously with others, as the Lord shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…only a fool…would refuse to see…the glory of the Living God… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                      

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2020 1 Corinthians 13:13.

1 Corinthians 13:13.    ​And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).
 

Greetings and salutations on this beautiful Wednesday morning, my Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s a joy to come into your homes and visit with you for a few minutes every day! Thank you so much for graciously inviting and then warmly welcoming me. (smile) And the word for today is that monumental and magnanimous one, the chief attribute of our great God; LOVE! And what a magnificent word and attribute it is. But before we delve further into it, here’s something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that beautifully expresses one important aspect of LOVE! It’s titled ‘Remembrance.’ 

So please pray with me: ‘Lord, somewhere I read That when two people LOVE deeply When they live together Sharing Caring Giving Forgiving Eventually they begin To resemble each other. Lord, how long will it be Before I look like YOU?’ Now that my people is indeed an awesome question! Why is that you ask? Because the Lord’s basic intention is to have all His children resemble Himself and His first born. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Corinthians in the Bible Promise used for our poem above. ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding (reflect) as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image (His likeness) from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:18. Beholding as in a glass: The term beholding can have the sense of “reflecting.” The believer himself “reflects” the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the glory of the Lord. For Moses, the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ And remember He’ll keep doing that good work in us, right until Christ returns. (Phil. 1:6) So it’s not a vikey vie, or hit and miss thing. (smile) 

Now let’s delve a li’l further into that marvellous attribute called LOVE nuh. And the first thing we need to realize and tearfully acknowledge is this verse from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Now friends, we’ll never understand the true meaning and value of the word LOVE until we sincerely appreciate what our great God did for us, while we were separated from Him by what He most despises; sin! 

Yes, it must have taken a great attribute for Him to sacrifice His only Son for a bunch of ingrates. But He did it because of His unconditional and everlasting LOVE for us, His original creation! And Jesus stated it unequivocally: ‘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.’ (John 3:16) Yes my people, it was all about LOVE! That’s why John could write so purposefully in his epistle: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us.’ (1 John 4:19) 

And some of you are still wondering what’s so great about this thing called LOVE – and it’s not the romantic aspect we talking about here, but the brotherly aspect. Well here are a few things that LOVE does within societies. Cousin Sol warns us: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth a multitude of sins.’ (Prov. 10:12) And that is the gospel truth, for if there was more LOVE and less hatred in our world, it would not be in the sad state it’s now in with strife and resentment fomenting from corner to corner. 

Cousin Sol also tells us this bitter truth. ‘Better is a dinner of herbs (vegetables) where LOVE is, than a stalled ox (fatted calf) and hatred therewith.’ (Prov. 15:17) And many of us have proven that for ourselves through disastrous and unhappy relationships. Now hear Bruh Paul again to the church at Rome: ‘LOVE worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.’ (Rom. 10:13) Glory be mih people! When we truly LOVE, we won’t, or can’t do wrong to anybody! 

And hear this wonderful power of LOVE from John nuh. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) Mamacita! What more can we ask or expect from LOVE eh? And remember that LOVE is not practiced by believers alone, for when Christ spoke about LOVING one’s enemies, He specifically stated: ‘For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? do  not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so?’ (Matt. 5:46-47) 

So LOVE exists in all spheres of our societies, just not between enough of those spheres to make our world a worthwhile place. And we’ll end the LOVE story on this dramatic note, (smile) with these momentous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ Yes friends, the greatest attribute man can ever acquire and most importantly put to work is LOVE. And please note that LOVE means more than just talking, but more importantly implies, calls for action! LOVE means doing, helping, caring for, showing compassion, etc., etc. all action words! 

And having filled our souls and spirits with scriptures of LOVE, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our position in Christ. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 we know, we believe, that if we endure until the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now is…LOVE…sweet LOVE…not for some…but for everyone… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but yuh know how the ole fella stay (smile) and I think it’s great though. (smile) Hope you do too. Much LOVE!