Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

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

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘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, onto 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 honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

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 (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 January 2014 Romans 13:10

Romans 13:10.   LOVE worketh no ill (does no harm) to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.

Hello there mih people, it’s Friday… And the raucous shouting begins: ‘Oh Lord, oh Lord, the weekend’s here! Work soon finish, then is time to behave like leggo beast! Oh Lord, oh Lord, it’s Friday… party time! Thank the Lord is Friday yes!’ (smile)
 
But Friends, you better believe that there are a lot of us out there with that mentality, that the weekend’s the time to go crazy. However, that’s a sad fallacy.
 
Granted, you do deserve to let down your hair some, after a long and hard week’s work, but definitely not to behave like leggo beast and put a big, broad grin on Beelzebub’s evil face. It’s supposed to be more a time of renewal than dissipation.
 
And to help us use the weekend the right way, let’s chant our Friday Chant as one loud, harmonious, groovy chorus. ‘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.’
 
Now that’s how we should approach the weekend my brethren, not with the earlier carryings on! It’s all about perspective people; about having the right perspective to this earthly pilgrimage.
 
And what better perspective to life is there than the godly sentiments contained in our Bit? ‘LOVE worketh no ill (does no harm) to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.’ None whatsoever!
 
Oh my fellow believers, we’re talking about LOVE, the essence of the omnipotent God Jehovah, Creator and Controller of the universe!
 
LOVE was the emotion that drove Him to save us from our sinful selves, thus giving us the wonderful, life-saving opportunity to be reconciled to Him, and not spend eternity in eternal darkness and separation. 
 
In light of all that, what could be a better perspective to living, than a life of LOVE eh? Nothing really my brethren!
 
As the old reggae song by Culture states: ‘It was LOVE that caused our first heartbeat.’ Gospel truth indeed! 
 
And Culture also declares that ‘LOVE shines brighter than the morning sun.’ And it sure does Friends, if we allow it to. 
 
That’s why Jesus kept reiterating the importance of and the necessity for LOVE in our lives. When asked by the ole hypocrite Pharisees about the greatest commandment, what was His reply eh?
 
‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:37-40)
 
Now why would Jesus expand and expatiate (smile) on the importance of LOVE, if it wasn’t a big deal eh?
 
But for some unfathomable reason, be it foolish pride, persistent rebellion, or our basic sinful nature, we seem to find it very difficult to LOVE; to show it, to put it into action. And that deficiency covers the whole spectrum; from God, right back to ourselves and our neighbours.
 
However my brethren, without that ‘agape’ LOVE, the spiritual kindness, consideration and decency towards, God, ourselves and each other, our world will only keep sinking into a dreary and murky mire of lawlessness, Godlessness, anger and strife.
 
In fact, we’ve already gone too far for comfort, down that unwise, devilish path. And the only thing that can bring us back is a serious revolution of LOVE, engendered by Christ’s followers!
 
Yes my fellow believers, it’s only through our combined and diligent efforts of LOVE that our world will ever be turned around!
 
Aren’t you tired of seeing our beautiful world constantly careening to lower and lower levels and standards, where the negative and evil things in life are dominating the positive and godly things? I surely am!
 
So please help me fix it nuh! It’s our job, our bounden duty! And if we don’t fix it, who will eh? Surely not the unbelievers and evil powers that be!
 
So Friends, in Jesus’ Name, today I’m asking us to all come together, as ONE, as the church, the body of Christ, and spread LOVE all around the world! Because as Culture also says: ‘LOVE shines brighter every day.’ That’s provided we allow it to.
 
So if we truly LOVE Jesus, then let’s allow the LOVE that’s buried deep in our hearts and souls to shine brighter today, and each and every day hence; for our world, and our children’s sake That’s godly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…oh, to LOVE…and be LOVED…are the greatest feelings in the world…  
 
P.S.  Sorry the Bit’s a tad late, but the ole body just couldn’t get up very early this morning. Please show some LOVE, and forgive my human weakness. (smile) Much LOVE!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 October 2013 Proverbs 3:25-26

Proverbs 3:25-26.    Be not afraid of sudden fear (terror), neither of the desolation (trouble) of the wicked when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (caught).
 
Oh Friends, at long last the nonsense in the U.S. House of Representatives seems to be over! Ah Lord eh! And would you believe some of them are still griping, figuring that the country should have been allowed to go even further to the dogs than it has already gone, simply because of their petty, selfish ideology! Steups!
 
And I’m sure most of those who are still whining can afford to put up with some economic pressure, so they were quite content to put millions of poor and needy Americans out of work for two weeks. And in any case, they, the Reps, were still getting paid. What does that say about them eh? What a travesty of justice!
 
However my people, as they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And that’s gospel truth where Christ’s followers are concerned!
 
Now I want to share an interesting quote attributed to Richard L. Evans (1906-1971) a writer and Mormon scholar, who apparently delivered many inspirational messages over Mormon Tabernacle Radio. He solemnly and wisely advises: ‘Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.’
 
That’s more gospel truth, my fellow believers! For to get from one place to the next, you have to begin wherever you are. As the old Chinese proverb asserts: the longest journey begins with the first step. And that first step is usually the hardest.
 
So this morning I want to encourage us, not to let changes in life discourage us, for we can always start again if necessary. And remember, when you’re working in league with, in close alliance with the most potent and powerful force in the universe, Almighty God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!
 
So please don’t give up, or give in to the vicissitudes of life, for they are simply what life is all about; alterations to the way we live and changes of circumstances. And though our lives can be drastically altered, and our circumstances seriously changed, we have to keep hanging in, stay tuned to God, and eventually we’ll see positive transformation, because that’s what our ever-faithful God has promised. 
 
And please remember it’s by faith we live, not by sight, and we cannot please God if we don’t believe and behave like He is whom He says He is; One who rewards those who diligently seek Him. (Heb.11:6)
 
Now let’s check out our Bit, where Cousin Sol confidently proclaims: ‘Be not afraid of sudden fear (terror), neither of the desolation (trouble) of the wicked when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (caught).’
 
Oh my brethren, what encouraging and comforting scripture! Who else is like unto our God eh? NOBODY! That’s why we have to keep keeping on in faith during those hard and scary times.
 
And it’s now time to look at some other scriptures which corroborate the advice of our Bit. First up is scripture from the Book of Job, where Eliphaz, Job’s buddy is rebuking him.
 
‘Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: for he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power (hand) of the sword.
 
Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh. At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth. For thou shalt be in league (have a covenant) with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee.
 
And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle (your tent) shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin (find nothing amiss). Thou shalt know also that thy seed (descendants) shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth (plentiful).
 
Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season. Lo, this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.’ (Job 5:17-17)
 
Oh Friends, I never intended to use all that scripture, but after reading it, I realized that we needed it all, for it shows just how good and great is our God to us. 
 
And we’ll end with one more passage of scripture, that from Psalm 112, superscripted, Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord. And the psalmist unhesitatingly declares: ‘Surely he shall not be moved (shaken) for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed (steadfast) in the Lord.
 
His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. He hath dispersed (distributed abroad), he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn (strength) shall be exalted with honour. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away; the desire of the wicked shall perish.’ (Ps.112:6-10)
 
Oh my people, there’s no more to say, for it’s all been said right there! The righteous shall be prosperous and the wicked shall be extinguished.
 
So please, today, let us all go out into this evil, unfriendly world and do our best to be righteous servants and followers of Jesus Christ, so that we can be good representatives – unlike those in the U.S. House of Reps. -worthwhile ambassadors of His heavenly government, thus furthering His glorious kingdom. Much LOVE!
 
…the faithful promises of Almighty God…keep His followers faithful…