Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2021 Romans 8:35a.

Romans 8:35a.     Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ?

It’s the mid-week rest period – Wednesday- when we catch our second wind to ready us for the homestretch. And someday, hopefully soon, the four-day workweek that people are now clamouring for will be a reality. Now, that would certainly make the workweek less ominous and frightening. (smile) It would also give us more free time. But please consider the other side of the coin; if you work less, you will also earn less, and that might not fit well with your financial situation. So please, let’s be careful of what we wish for, because ofttimes the reality of the situation is totally different to its theoretical side. 

But here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that offers blessed assurance from the vicissitudes, the vagaries of life. It’s titled ‘Romans 8…to Me.’ Please pray with me. ‘God I may fall flat on my face I may fall until I feel Old and beaten and done in Yet Your LOVE for me is changeless. All the music may go out of my life My private world may shatter to dust Even so You will hold me In the palm of Your steady hand. 

No turn in the affairs Of my fractured life Can baffle You. Satan with all his braggadocio Cannot distract You. NOTHING can separate me from Your measureless LOVE. Pain can’t Disappointments can’t Anguish can’t. Yesterday, today, tomorrow can’t. The loss of my dearest LOVE can’t. Death can’t. Life can’t. Riots war insanity unidentity Hunger neurosis disease – None of these things Nor all of them heaped together Can budge the fact That I am dearly LOVED. Completely forgiven And forever free Through Jesus Christ Your BELOVED Son.’ 

Oh friends, what a powerful and totally true statement! If we believe in Christ Jesus, NOTHING in this world can ever cause us to lose the LOVE of our heavenly Father! Wow! That ought to be ever so reassuring and encouraging to those of us who know Christ as Lord and Saviour. And where does all this reassurance and encouragement come from? From the Good Book obviously… from Romans Chapter 8, as our poem declares. Let’s read exactly what the passage about separation from God says nuh. 

‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35-39)

Yes, precious people of God, those are all undeniable facts and divine truth that Bruh Paul is writing there to the church at Rome and subsequently to us. As believers in Christ, we are inseparable from the LOVE of God! Nothing this world can throw at us will ever do it. Now here the scholars tell it. ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself. Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. vs. 28).’ 

And that’s the living truth! But unfortunately, too many of us believers don’t seem to believe that God is greater than any enemy the world can cause to rise up against us. That’s why we cringe and eventually bow down to the evil of this world. That’s why Jesus would sadly accuse us: ‘O thou of little faith!’ We talk a good talk, but when the chickens come home to roost, it’s an entirely different story; we falter, and then crumble under the reality of the situation. And no one’s saying that living a meaningful life for Christ is easy, but what’s the point, if as soon as the tough times come, we scatter and run like sheep eh? 

And very often, it doesn’t even take the real tough times to scatter us, but merely some simple recurring difficulty. Unfortunately, too many supposed believers today fall into the second and third categories of Jesus’ parable about the sower sowing seed. ‘Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith (immediately) they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.’ (Matt. 13:5-7) 

Obviously those two categories are not good my people, because the seed never grows to maturity, blossoms and bears fruit. Now listen to Jesus’ explanation of those two categories. ‘But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it. Yeh hath he no root in himself, but dureth (endures) for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended (immediately he stumbles). He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ (Matt. 13:20-22) 

And the scholars define those two categories thus: ‘13:20-23. The stony places are shallow-hearted individuals who anon (at once) receive (outwardly) the message with joy. This emotional convert is not truly born again, for hath he not root and withers away. The one who is among the thorns (cares of this world) is the carnal, worldly convert, who never really breaks with his past. Worldliness and materialism choke the word in his life, and he is finally unfruitful (unsaved).’ 

Ah mih people, what Christianity desperately needs today to conquer the power and territorial superiority of the enemy is a bushel of what Jesus described as: ‘But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.’ (Matt. 13:8) And He explained that part of the parable thus: ‘But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth (produces), some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ (Matt. 13:23) 

And the scholars follow up with this: ‘The one who received seed in the good ground is the one who both heard the word and understood it, which also beareth fruit (evidence of true conversion). While such evidence may vary in its amount, all true believers will produce some fruit.’ 

Oh friends, do we ever need more believers bearing fruit in these troubled times. It’s not so much a matter of how much fruit we bear, but that we do bear some good fruit! The world and its cares are robbing us of the good and abundant life Christ died for us to have, so please, let’s try and turn this thing around nuh. We can, if we sincerely try. And remember, with Christ in our lives, we can do all things, because He strengthens us. 

Now let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as we do that, let’s remember that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…Christians make a great difference…when they bear good fruit…                                                                                             

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 November 2017 Proverbs 24:1.

Proverbs 24:1.   Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.

And then it was Thursday – the penultimate day of our workweek… And everybody gave a small sigh of relief, while muttering: ‘Wish it was Friday though.’ (smile) That’s just the nature of the beast. We’re grateful, while being ungrateful. 

That brings us to this quote ascribed to Louise Heath Leber, although there are naysayers who claim that it was already well known when she reputedly said it. ‘There is always room for improvement, you know – it’s the biggest room in the house.’ 

And regardless of who said or didn’t say it, is the gospel truth! We all have plenty room for improvement in many things in this life. But today I want to focus particularly on us Christian folk, because right now we are not living up to Christ’s ideal of true followers. 

Oh we talk the talk, but don’t sincerely walk it, and thus are regarded more or less as big time hypocrites. That certainly paints a bad picture of Jesus and His supposed LOVE Revolution. 

And I know many of us are bristling at that criticism, but if we look deeply and sincerely at what’s happening in Christ’s body, His church, you will see that it is definitely not functioning, as it ought to. 

There are too many divisions, too many religions, too many little cliques and groups who want to run it the way they want to, with envy and jealousy, resentment and anger very prominent in Christ’s body. And very often the leadership also leaves much to be desired, with everybody preaching their own version of the truth, or slanted to their personal benefit. 

That’s why the powers of evil and darkness are running the show. We don’t have a united enough front to challenge them, and apparently neither the will, thus they are picking us off one by one with the lures of their evil world, in the truly cunning manner of divide and conquer. 

Friends, we’re falling for the things of the world way too much and too often. Remember we’re supposed to be IN the world, but not OF the world. And yes the things of the world look wonderful on the surface, but deep down they have no real eternal values. 

So what’s our answer to these questions of Jesus eh: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ 

Oh my fellow believers, there is absolutely nothing to be gained by selling our souls for the trivial, valueless stuff that the world tries to foster on us. The world is evil…and wicked…and greedy…deceitful, envious, hateful and jealous… all the negative things that Jesus dislikes. 

That’s why our Bit warns us so sternly: ‘Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.’ For if you look enviously at what the evil people have or do, at how they prosper in their wickedness, you won’t ever be a true believer. 

You will be like the seed that fell among the thorns in Jesus’ parable about the sower. ‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ (Matt.13:22) 

And sadly, that is what is happening to too many supposed Christians today: we are too concerned with the cares of this world, thus we have less time, energy and appetite to do Jesus’ work, like we should. 

Now there are many scriptures in the Good Book which remind us of that fact and also point the way to the straight and narrow path, but this one is definitely the most colourful and thought provoking. Listen to Psalm 1 – Blessed are the righteous. 

‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder by talking to oneself) day and night. 

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in due season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:1-6) 

There it is right in a nutshell my brethren – the way to prosperity in God’s kingdom! The next move depends on us, whether we believe and practice it or not. It would be a grave mistake if we didn’t, for then, eternal separation from our Creator will be our eventual lot in life…the spiritual one that is. 

And for those of us who believe, and at least try to practice our convictions, lets go home declaring the wonderful blessings that our magnanimous God has so generously bestowed on us this glorious Thursday. 

With sincerity and true sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

And now, after the talk…the action! Much LOVE!

Christian folk…we are richly blessed…so that we can SHARE our blessings…remember that…

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 July 2013 Matthew 13:22

Matthew 13:22.   He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
 
Oh Friends, it’s ‘Summer time! And the living is easy…’ Well not for those who don’t have A/C or a cool basement to inhabit these last few days. For it was another hot, humid day in my neighbourhood, except that there was a decent breeze during the day. But as soon as the sun disappeared, the wind did the same.
 
Sitting on my porch, late last night, I had to strain to see any movement in the leaves on the trees. And again, even the insects refused to come out of their cool lairs to play in the dark, as is their wont. (smile)
 
Today seems like it will be more of the same. We’ve been calling for summer all along, and now that we have it, we’re not too thrilled. That reminds us of the old saying; beware of what you ask for, because when you get it, it might not be all you expected.
 
But let’s get right to our Bit, because there’s plenty stuff to share. ‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’
 
Ah Friends, how sad it is when we allow the cares of the world to choke our godliness and make us unfruitful! But here’s this little prayer, or poem, from Dr. Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional, which puts our shortcomings in the right perspective.
 
It’s titled, ‘My Walk,’ and goes thus: ‘O God, I’m inspired. For you have just impressed this truth into my mind: The most powerful force in the world is a positive idea in the mind of a believer who is walking in your will! I now reach forth my life and say, “God, put my life into the centre of your will.” Amen.’
 
Now Friends, that’s how we should be walking with our God, in a positive manner, passionately doing His will!
 
And as Jesus adds in the last verse of the parable on the sower. ‘But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth (produces), some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ (Matt.13:23)
 
Yes my people, that’s how we ought to be; hearing the Word, understanding it, then using it to successfully bring forth fruit, win souls, get others interested in living for Jesus!
 
However, too many of us still keep resisting Him, paying more attention to the things of the evil, ungodly world, things that sadly only raise up the lusts of our flesh and the lusts of our eyes, and cause us to walk in foolish pride.
 
Bruh Paul pointed this out to Timothy when he told him: ‘Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having LOVED, this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.’ (2 Tim.4:9-10)
 
Yeh mih people, Demas fell under the world’s spell and deserted Bruh Paul. And unfortunately that sort of thing is still happening today; believers are still deserting God’s army to assuage their earthly lusts in the wicked ways of Lucifer. 
 
Meanwhile, listen to Bruh Paul as he tells the Ephesians about grace and faith. ‘And you hath he quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
 
Among whom also we all had our conversation (conducted ourselves) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved.’) (Eph.2:1-5)
 
Yes Friends, all of us, like the Ephesians were once following the tendencies, values, pursuits and deeds of this evil world, until God sent Jesus to save us, and we became new creatures, new creations in Christ. Unfortunately though, too many of us are still following the world’s vision and values, foolishly reluctant to give them up and fully embrace Christ.
 
But listen to James talk about hearing and doing the Word nuh. ‘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). Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 2:26-27)
 
That says it all Friends!
 
But here are a few words from the scholars on those verses. ‘In verses 22-25 James has rebuked mere listening – by the hearer who does not do. In verses 26 and 27 he rebukes mere doing – by the doer who leaves his inner life unchanged. James offers not a formal definition but three key aspects of pure religion: controlled speech, altruistic service, and separation from the world.’
 
Now my brethren, it’s up to us to choose whom we will follow, the world, or Jesus. I’d suggest you make that decision right now, because time is running out, and decide to follow Jesus, for that’s where the smart money, the wisdom and common sense lies. Much LOVE!
 
…as for me and mine…we will definitely follow Jesus…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2013 Mathew 13:22

Matthew 13:22.    He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
 
Oh Friends, another day is blossoming in our beautiful but currently troubled and distressed world! But that’s no reason for us to just lie down and die, to meekly accept whatever comes our way. For we are believers in Jesus Christ, the ONE to whom all knees shall eventually bow, and all tongues shall readily confess that he is Lord, to the everlasting glory of God the Father! (Eph.2:10-11)
 
Wow! What a powerful declaration my brethren! But that means we’re supposed to be up and about doing the work of Jesus, with plenty passion, enthusiasm, trust and faith! In the words of the famous American poet and educator, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882): ‘Let us then be up and doing, with a heart for any fate.’
 
Yes my people, we ought to be getting involved in actions that bring glory to Jesus and the Father. It means taking some risks, stepping out of our comfort zone, not being content to simply wallow in mundane routine. Now there’s nothing wrong with routine, our lives must contain some for them to be orderly and stable, but for it just to be the same old, same old everyday, with no passionate highs, or chilling lows, is definitely unchristian.
 
Look at Jesus nuh. Everyday He went out and got involved in something or another. Not everyday was dramatic, but there were enough dramatic days to enlighten and enliven His earthly sojourn and make a difference in the world around Him.
 
So if we’re supposed to be following in Jesus’ footsteps, then our lives should also provide some enlightenment and enliven the world around us and thus make a difference. It shouldn’t just run along the humdrum continuum, as so many precious lives are unfortunately wasted doing.
 
We each have a part to play, a job to do for Jesus, and I’m sure that none of them are classified as sit on your laurels and fannies and do nothing. They all involve action that will eventually bring others to God. But please look around Friends, how many of us, out of the billions of believers, are actually doing that eh?
 
I can’t tell the exact numbers, but I’m sure that it’s no way near enough, because instead of turning to and warming up to God, too many people, unbelievers, as well as supposed believers, are turning away from God, for any number of reasons. But if we, the true believers were really living the kind of life that glorifies God, others would be turning to Him in droves, rather than the other way around.
 
A lot of the blame for the world’s ills lies with us, because we talk a very good talk, when we feel so inclined, but don’t walk the walk half as good. How then can we bring people to Jesus eh mih people, especially when our lives are filled with so much hypocrisy, deceit, resentment and ‘unforgiveness’?
 
And sadly, as the individual members of Christ’s church go, so does the overall body. That means if we’re not going right as individuals, the church won’t go right as a body either, which is certainly happening right now.
 
But unfortunately, a lot of that has to do with our refusal to give up the fatal attraction for the things of the world. Thus in the parable of the sower, so many of us fall into the category that Jesus talks about in our Bit. ‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’
 
Yes my brethren, too many of us allow the cares of the world to restrict the Word of God in our hearts, therefore we cannot perform His work properly.
 
But please remember Bruh Paul’s famous admonition to the church at Rome: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2)
 
And according to the scholars ‘Be not conformed’ literally means to stop conforming ourselves. We ‘are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’
 
And since many of you won’t check that scripture, I’ll include it here. Peter is calling the people to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for grace (put your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
 
As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct).’ (1 Pet.1:13-15)
 
Oh Friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler or more straightforward than that! Now we all know it’s difficult to resist and turn away from the lures of the world, but it’s doable, if we seriously and sincerely want to do it, especially when we’re guided by the Holy Spirit, which was expressly sent to give us good guidance and true direction in this wicked world.
 
So please, let’s raise our level of righteousness nuh, by seriously inspecting our lives and making whatever changes are necessary, and also helping those who come crying out for help. It’s only as a totally supportive and uniform body, can we ever hope to truly raise LOVE for Jesus, thereby bringing others into the welcoming and protective embrace of His LOVE Revolution, which is what we’re called to do, and expected to do. Much LOVE!
 
…a friend of the world…is no friend of God…and vice versa…