Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 August 2019 Ezekiel 13:3.

Ezekiel 13:3.    ​Thus saith the Lord God; woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing (no vision).

It’s hump day friends! Wednesday! The middle of the work week, where we feel a psychological ease as though we’ve finally climbed the mountain, and can now take a refreshing breath as we get ready to go down the other side, meaning we’re in the easy part of the week. What tricks our mind can play on us eh? Or what mental ruses we can use to alleviate the pressure of work? Hn, hn! 

Yes my people, the human mind is God’s greatest invention, one that man cannot quite figure out, and I doubt if he ever will, so intricate and complicated is that handful of grey matter that runs the human body and thus the world! And yuh know what? That fact alone ought to make us appreciate and exalt our heavenly Creator. 

Look at how we worship and exalt men who do supposedly great things in the world, but the One who created those men and the minds they use to do great earthly things we want to relegate to the trash basket! How foolish! That reminds me of this bit of scripture from Ezekiel: 

‘And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts (inspiration), Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing (no vision).’ (Ezek.13:1-3) 

Yeh friends, there are so many false prophets in the world today that it’s becoming ever more difficult to tell the true ones from the false ones. And the sad part is that they think they will get away with their falsehood, but they won’t. The scholars explain it thus: ‘13:3. Woe unto the foolish prophets introduces a curse on false prophets. They were like workmen who tried to cover a severely cracked wall with whitewash (vs.11-12).’ 

And so are the false prophets of today trying to whitewash away our serious faults. But that’s a fool’s wisdom my faithful brethren, because the Lord’s eagle eye is upon us all and whitewashing our sins is just not going to work. They need sincere confession and repentance in Christ’s name! And it’s not like Jesus didn’t warn us about those false teachers. Hear Him in the Sermon on the Mount after He talks about two ways to live life. 

‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (ravenous) wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?’ (Matt.7:15-16) No they don’t! And a substantial price will be paid by those false prophets who distort or deny the truth of Christ’s gospel and teach doctrines that are not in consort with the truth, neither are the actions of their lives in line with it. 

Meanwhile Mark poses it thus: ‘And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not. For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders to seduce (deceive), if it were possible, even the elect (chosen ones). But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.’ (Mark 13:21-23) 

And indeed He has my people. But the falsehood will be so strong and so prevalent that through powerful signs and wonders it might even be able to fool the elders, the chosen ones. So if it can fool those who are reputedly strong and wise in the faith, what will it do to those who are not eh? 

That’s why we have to be ever so careful about whom we listen to, what we watch and what we read, for the enemy is very devious and with all the tools available in our modern society can put up a very good case for his false prophecy. As Bruh Paul warned the Corinthians against false leaders: 

‘For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed (transforms himself) into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.’ (2 Cor.11:13-15) Ah friends, as Jesus said, we shall know them by their fruits, and they shall pay according to their works. There’s no getting away from that! 

And John also warns in his epistle: ‘For many deceivers are entered unto the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.’ (2 John 7) And the scholars explain: ‘7. The deceivers seem to have been Gnostics, pseudo-Christian individuals who denied that the Son of God had really taken on human flesh (see 1 John 2:18-27, 4:1-6). John realizes that to attack the doctrine of the Incarnation (Christ’s taking on human flesh) is to strike at the very root of Christianity.’  And so it is people! Once you take away Christ becoming man, there’s nothing left of our faith! 

And John also gives us a basic way to challenge the truthfulness of what we hear and see. ‘Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.’ (1 John 4:2-4) 

But friends that’s just the basic step in telling whether something is really of Christ, because the enemy is so wise and devious that he can claim in his doctrine that Christ is come in the flesh, which he very well knows, but hook you in some other aspect. So please, please let’s be on serious guard in these very treacherous and deceitful times, for the enemy is always lurking around trying to gain a foothold in our lives. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail telling all and sundry of our wonderful position in Christ! In unison, with power and sincerity: ‘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 if we keep that steadfast and strong position in Christ…Wow! Will our future ever be glorious! Much LOVE!

…walking with Christ is not easy…but it sure is adventuresome… (smile) 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

And then it was Tuesday – the day after the ever-difficult day of Monday! (smile) Hope that all is well this morning and that we have less difficulty going out today than we did yesterday. But the problem is that difficulties have a way of helping us to grow, for when we just enjoy the good life we don’t grow in Christ at all. 

And this morning I have a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional that reminds us of the sublime purpose of difficulties in our lives. He calls it ‘To Face Difficulties.’

 Please pray with me. ‘Truly, Father, all things work together for good to those who LOVE You. Thank you for the difficulties that produce divine dividends. I know that pain is only a phase of the growing process: that seed buried alive under suffocating ground in a windowless grave agonizes before it ruptures into new life. I know that I build hard muscles in my heart, mind, and body only when I lift heavy loads. 

I thank you for tough times that produce calluses that could save my spirit from softness that could be weakness. There have been times, O Lord, when only through great difficulty have I learned the valuable lessons. I was too blind to see, too arrogant to believe, or too stubborn to accept any other way than by a bed of pain. 

I praise you for the times an open door slammed in my face and forced me out of an old rut that I never would have had the courage to leave, and led me down the road to a beautiful new life. I thank you for heartbreak which caused me to bury the hatchet and speak to someone with whom I had for far too long been out of touch. Thank you, Father, for life’s priceless times of fruitful difficulty. Amen!’ 

And yes friends, only when we can thank the Lord for those difficult times that build our faith and strength and trust in Him can we truthfully say that we’re growing in Christ! That’s Christianity 101! 

That leads me to think of all those believers out in the eastern parts of the world who are currently and constantly suffering persecution for simply believing in Christ, and are steadfastly refusing to renounce His precious name, standing strong through their difficulties, and thus growing in their faith. 

And that’s as opposed to us out here in the free western world where we can worship Christ in peace and freedom, we bitch and complain about every li’l problem and difficulty that crops up in our spoiled, lazy and complacent lives. Chuh! I’m tired hearing supposed Christians complain! And it’s even possible that we complain more than the unbelievers too. We live better than 90 percent of the world, but we also complain more than them. Life is just too nice and easy with us. 

And many believers feel that because they believe in Christ life should be just one, long, sweet, easy walk down the path of righteousness. But friends I have some unfortunate news for us; the path of righteousness  has NEVER, and will NEVER be a sweet, easy walk! Just check out what Jesus had to go through nuh. And though we won’t go through as rough a time as He did, it certainly won’t be all wine, women and song! 

Because it’s only when we face rough and tough times that we can grow, through having to actually exercise our faith and trust in Christ Jesus, our supposed Lord and Saviour! The same way we build physical muscles by lifting heavy weights, the same way we need to face difficulties to build our Christian faith! But unfortunately, too many of us are so weak and wimpy that it makes Jesus shake His head in disappointment. 

Please remember Jesus’ serious words to the disciples: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Yeh friends, in Jesus’ own inimitable style, He tells us the bad news along with the good, in one verse of scripture. Life will be rough, but settle down, look up, and be at peace, because I have already given you the victory. But so many of us are so spineless that we whimper and cry at the first sign of difficulty. 

But hear how Bruh Paul told it to Timothy: ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim.3:12) And Bruh Paul was an excellent example of those words. We wouldn’t have the wonderful news of Christ’s gospel today if he had simply refused to go through the numerous difficulties he faced in spreading it. 

And long before Bruh Paul, Bruh David said it thus: ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.’ (Ps.34:19-20) And Bruh David also knew what it was to face stormy times, but such was his trust and faith in the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that he never wavered from it, even when his life was on the line. 

So my fellow believers, it’s of the utmost importance that we stand strong and steadfast when difficulties come along, because we know that the Lord will never leave nor forsake us in the midst of them, but better still, He will help us to go through the fire and the flood and come out even stronger and more faithful than when we entered the time of storm! Now that’s a convoluted sentence of which Bruh Paul would be proud! (smile) 

But hear his famous words on the subject to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:37) And indeed we are! Glory be mih breddren! Rejoice and shout for joy because our Jesus has given us the victory! Now let’s go home declaring (yo!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole wide world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

Now mih people, let’s do our bounden duty by going out and cheerfully sharing the awesome LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others nuh, as he so desperately desires of us! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Christ…will show their joy and cheerfulness…during times of adversity…because of their overwhelming faith in Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2019 Mark 16:15.

Mark 16:15.    ​And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
 

And so we come once more to Friday, the day that we all long and wish for, especially in the summer time, when we get to go out and do all those fun things outside. (smile) And believe me the hot days are upon us right now, with temps of 30 and 30 something degrees predominating. And if we don’t get some rain soon, we’ll be complaining about how it too hot! That’s just the nature of the human animal, we just LOVE our comfort and are never satisfied even when we get what we ask for. 

And the 4th of July party is still in full swing down in the U.S. of A. And the workingman feels as though he’s died and gone to heaven. Hear him nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend is finally here! What would we do without the weekend eh? The slave master and them would gladly work out we soul case if we give them the chance, and for next to nothing too, because they so blooming greedy! They preach a good preach about sharing, but is only talk oui. 

But enough about them evil people yes. Is the summer time now and the weekend, we time to get out there and party, party like there was no tomorrow! And who knows whether there will be any tomorrow eh? What they say? You live today and tomorrow you die? Well then lemme live it up today eh? For who knows if I’ll wake up tomorrow? And the weather is fine, the beer’s cold, the grill’s waiting …and the winter soon come back! So lemme enjoy the fruits of mih labour eh, as Solomon says, that’s mih God-given right! So thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Oh friends, we do have to thank the Lord, but not only for Fridays and weekends, but for all that we have, because it all comes from Him! Remember how Bruh David put it: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:2-5) 

Oh my people, what words of marvellous truth! Our wonderful God does it all for us! Without Him, we’d be absolutely nothing! Jesus said it plainly: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) So please let’s remember that as we chant our Friday Chant this beautiful summer’s day with a strong sense of purpose and reverence. 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

And that’s what it’s all about yes my faithful brethren, furthering Christ’s kingdom here on earth, bringing forth fruit in His name! That was His last command to the disciples; what we call the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

So that’s our bounden duty: to teach and preach and baptize and spread the good news of Christ’s gospel, bringing unbelievers to the realization that they badly need His free healing and saving grace, so that they can enjoy salvation and eternal life in the beautiful halls of heaven! 

Now here is something that I’ve never noticed before, Mark’s version of the Great Commission, because everyone seems to be fixated on Matthew’s take on the subject. But though Mark’s is somewhat different, it’s just as interesting. ‘And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned). 

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils (demons); they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not (never) hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’ (Mark 16:15-18) 

What magnificent promises my people! But we have to believe and get out there and do the work Jesus commanded us to do before we see them coming to pass. And the last verse of Mark’s gospel tells us what happened after Jesus left them and ascended into heaven. ‘And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following (accompanying signs). Amen.’ (Mark 16:20) 

Yuh see that mih people, when they did as Jesus asked, He did as He promised; being with them as they did His work! And it’s the very same way He will be with us in these evil and ungodly times when we step out in faith to spread His word, whether it be as preachers, evangelists, teachers, etc. or just by being good, ordinary Christian folks, letting our Christ-like lives speak for us. It’s all about staying securely attached to the vine! Much LOVE!

…if you truly believe in Jesus…then you need to work His work…and show good fruit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2018 Romans 10:15.

Romans 10:15.   And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Ah mih people, it’s a somewhat dark and dreary looking Holy Thursday morning, and I’m making my apologies right up front. (smile) I’m a tad tardy today because I went to bed somewhat later than normal last night, or rather this morning. 

But not to worry, everything’s in fine shape. The sun might not be shining but the SON definitely is, and no more brighter than on this penultimate day before we celebrate His selfless sacrifice on our behalf some two thousand years ago. 

Give Him plenty thanks and praise my fellow believers, for when I think about what He so stalwartly endured for us, it severely pains my heart, although I know that if He hadn’t done it, our lives would not be as wonderful as they are today. 

And this quote from a Daily Bread Devotional shows exactly what I’m talking about. ‘Because of Christ’s cross, we can become friends of God.’ Yeh friends, it’s as simple as that. If Christ had not gone to the cross, we would not be able to have the wonderful and awesome relationship we now have with Almighty God! 

Mama Mia! How blessed we are but don’t truly recognize or appreciate it! Too many of us just seem to take everything for granted, but that’s not how it ought to be. A serious and most expensive price was paid for our freedom from the bondages of sin, and now we are expected to be grateful and give back something in return. 

And we’re talking about things like belief in Jesus, trust, and surrender to His Holy will, living and working diligently for Him. And as another Daily Bread quote tells us: ‘There is no better news than the gospel – spread it.’ Yes my fellow believers, spreading the good news of Christ’s gospel is paramount in our living for and serving Him, because that’s how others will know and understand what He died for and come to also believe in Him. 

For as Bruh Paul so plainly wrote in his missive to the church at Rome: ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Rom.10:13) But then he puts forth the dilemma inherent in accomplishing that task. ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?’ (Rom.10:14) 

Now those are all important questions re the furthering of the gospel: how can people believe and hear and thus call on God if no one tells them about Christ eh? That’s impossible. Thus the next verse in Bruh Paul’s message, which is our Bit for today. 

‘And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’ And that’s the indisputable truth my friends and faithful believers! There’s nothing as beautiful in this whole wide world as the preaching of the good news of Christ’s gospel! Glory to God! 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘10:14-15. In presenting the universal proclamation of the gospel, Paul presents the reasons why a universal proclamation is necessary: first, because the call must be preceded by faith; second, because faith must be preceded by hearing. 

This shows that knowledge is essential to belief. Faith must have a valid content; third, because hearing requires a preacher; fourth, because preaching requires being sent. The One who sends is God. Salvation is completely from God.’ 

And we all know that indelible truth my brethren! Without God and His great unconditional LOVE and concern for us, there’d be NO salvation whatsoever! 

Now here’s a li’l something for those of us who think that the Old Testament is passé, but that’s where Bruh Paul got the basis for his proclamation above. Listen to Isaiah as he reassures his people that the Lord will deliver Zion from captivity. 

‘How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (good news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace; that bringeth good tidings of good (good news of good things), that publisheth (proclaims) salvation; that saith unto Zion, thy God reigneth!’ (Is.52:7) 

And several thousands of years later my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, that is still the absolute truth! Our God reigns supreme in the universe that He created! And He HAS brought salvation to us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ! Oh what better news can there be eh? NONE WHATSOEVER! Glory to God my brethren! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, that our wonderful God has so magnanimously showered down on us because we believe. With strong conviction 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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And if we sincerely believe that, then let’s go out and share those awesome blessings with others as Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…believers lives and words…ought to be all about sharing the good news of Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2017 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.

Saturday, oh Saturday; what a great day! Oh, let me take that back…no embellish it. Saturday is a great day -good for sleeping in, like I just did – (smile), but the real truth is that EVERY day is a great day in God’s world! 

How could they not be when you have the Holy Spirit of your Creator constantly walking with and dwelling within you eh? Oh, we ought to know that just because we call ourselves Christians and have Jesus beside us all the time, that all our days will not be worry and problem free. 

Unfortunately many of us supposed believers seem to think so, but if you look through the Good Book you’ll notice that some of the men and women of greatest faith and holiness, like Bruh Joseph, Bruh David, Uncle Job and Bruh Paul had more problems than some of their lesser peers, with the most important being our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And what makes every day a great day is basically our mindset and attitude. A positive approach to life is the best. Obviously there will be some negative circumstances, but the trick is to try and consider them in a positive light; like the Lord is testing us, and this too shall pass, and He won’t allow more than we can bear. 

Our God must always be prominent in our thoughts whether we are experiencing good or bad circumstances. As Job said when his whole life crumbled in mere moments, we can’t always expect good and not some bad. That’s just how life is in our fallen and sinful world. 

And I have personal testimony to that this morning. And before giving it, I have to exhale a ‘Steups!’ and an ‘Ah Lord eh!’ Why? Because I just came down to my office to write the Bit, and lo and behold I saw that one of the panels in the ceiling of the office had come apart. 

Obviously I was annoyed, and further annoyed when I tried to put it back together and found that I couldn’t do it by myself. I couldn’t raise my hands above my head and hold all the stuff together at the same time. Some years ago I could have done it, although it has always been a finicky job; as you fix one side, the other tends to drop out etc. 

And believe me, I can’t see any reason why that particular panel fell out, except to test my resources. (smile) But am I going to let it spoil my day? Obviously not! It’s relatively a small, unimportant thing, which can stay as it is until I can get someone to help me put it back together again. 

Yeh friends, too many of us allow little things to rattle us and get us off of our ‘A game’ and spoil the rest of our day. That brings us to the quotes from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I only got two from him this week, don’t know what happened. 

But anyway, this first one segues in quite nicely to what we’ve been talking about. ‘Don’t think too much…. you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.’ And that’s quite possible. 

When problems befall us we tend to over think them, wondering why, what, when, wherefore and all the other questions, which only makes the current problem bigger than it ought to be. 

I could have done that with the fallen bit of ceiling, but it wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere, except miserable. And it at least brought home the knowledge that I’m not as agile and supple as I used to be. (smile) 

And the next quote says: ‘Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.’ I really don’t know how to view that nuh, except to think that when we make wrong choices we can end up in places so desperate and helpless, that we are forced to turn to God for help to extricate us. 

And that’s why our Bit tells it like it is. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.’ 

And all God’s people shouted a loud and grateful ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ because they know that that statement is the ultimate in truth. Yeh friends, when you belong to the most omnipotent force, the highest Being in the universe, you have no reason to fear what man can do to you. 

And as the sons of Korah continue to sing their song of praise and tribute: ‘Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.    Selah.’ (Ps.46:2-3) 

Yeh mih people, though the earth and all therein erupt in deadly turmoil, yet we who believe in Almighty God will not be afraid. Glory to God! So total is our surrender, so strong is our faith, hope and trust in Him, that nothing will move us, except His rejection. 

And we know that will NEVER happen! Not after He showed His undying LOVE and sacrificed His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to atone for our abominable sins. 

So let us go forward this Saturday morning, filled with the strength, wisdom and understanding granted us through His Holy Spirit and make it a great day, spreading LOVE and the good news of Christ’s gospel to all and sundry. That’s the way our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, desires it. Much LOVE!

…don’t fear man…but certainly fear God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

And then it was Tuesday…wonderful Tuesday! 

And amidst all your difficulties and troubles you ask, what’s so wonderful about it eh? 

Well for one thing you’re alive. That’s more than can be said for a lot of people. Most likely you also have a roof over your head, food on your table and a paying job. Well that means you’re better off than the majority of the world of some 7 billion souls. 

And for another you’re a Christian, a believer in the One and Only Son of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! That alone makes it a wonderful day friends, because working for Jesus is always filled with unexpected and interesting events! 

And since it’s Tuesday, before I forget, (smile) let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with true sincerity and much enthusiasm nuh. 

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 isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren? It certainly is! We’re not defined by what the dark and sinful world says about us, because we know that we are the beloved of God, and that no one can deny or take away from us. Oh glory to God my fellow believers! 

The problem though is that we don’t seem to take our designation as God’s beloved children seriously enough, we’re still anxious, doubtful and fearful, and thus continue letting the world’s unwise and often untrue and foolish systems define us. It’s time to break that oh so restrictive chain my people! 

And the only way to do that is by sincerely and faithfully taking hold of what our wonderful God has said about us, and the magnificent things He’s done and continues to do for us each and every day. 

In other words friends, we need to truly believe! Without true belief and faith, we’re lost, caught up in the worries and troubles of the world and our circumstances. But when we’re truly walking with, and living for Jesus, we don’t let our circumstances overwhelm us; we rise above them, of course with Jesus’ help. 

As I keep reminding us, being a true and faithful believer is no easy or simple matter, but it is certainly doable and enjoyable if we rest all our burdens and fears on His strong and healthy shoulders, as He tells us in His Great Invitation, Matthew 11:28-30. Please look it up if you don’t know it…and even if you do know it, please read it again so it can revitalize your spirit. 

And yesterday we saw how Bruh Paul exhorted the Philippians to steadfastness in Christ’s gospel, through proper conduct and behaviour in unity and oneness of mind. ‘And in nothing (no way) terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token (proof) of perdition (destruction), but to you of salvation.’ (Phil.1:28) 

And I repeated that verse because I want to share an explanation from the scholars. ‘1:28. One of the ways in which the readers’ proper conduct benefits the gospel (v.27) is mentioned here: not being terrified by their adversaries. The lack of intimidation is a twofold sign: (1) to unbelievers it is evidence of their lost condition; (2) to believers it is an assurance of their salvation.’ 

And that my brethren is one of the problems with present day Christians; we are terrified by our adversaries, plus have adopted the selfish behaviour of the current world; everything being, ‘I, me and mine, first person singular.’  If we weren’t, we’d be standing up strong and facing them and not allowing them to take God out of our society as they are so blatantly doing. 

Oh my people, Jesus died that we could have a good and abundant life, and we definitely can’t live that kind of life if we’re afraid and/or selfish. That brings us to the next verse in Bruh Paul’s exhortation, our Bit. ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Yes friends, we have the obvious privilege of not only living the good life through Christ, but also suffering with Him. It’s a two-pronged situation, though in our selfishness and fear we expect it to be simply all good times. 

When Jesus came to die for us, He didn’t have only good times, but also plenty rough ones, especially His crucifixion, which we’ll celebrate in a few days. So why should we have it all good eh? 

And the scholars provide an interesting explanation on that passage. ‘1:29. For reinforces the assertion that the proof of the believers’ salvation, provided through their courage in persecution, comes from God. 

This justification lies in the fact of the Philippians being divinely granted the dual privilege of believing in Christ and suffering for Him. Thus the assurance of their salvation is from God, just as is their suffering for Jesus, for the latter was the occasion providing the former.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, our salvation was provided by Jesus’ suffering, let’s never forget that, and therefore let it help us to stand up strong in His name and do His will, regardless of the tough circumstances we occasionally face, for salvation is greater than anything the world can do to, or offer us! 

And all God’s children gratefully and joyfully declared: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All power and glory be to the Lamb that was slain for us!’ 

And we’ll end with these immortal and most appropriate words of Jesus from the greatest sermon ever preached; the best laid out philosophy of life ever promulgated, the Sermon on the Mount. 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which went before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

Yes my brethren, persecution will follow us simply because we believe in Jesus, that’s a fact we cannot ignore or deny since it happened to so many prophets, including Jesus, meaning we’re in excellent company. 

But by the same token, when we stand up strong during the persecution we’re blessed and are storing up rewards in heaven. No, it’s definitely not easy, but the only way to overcome it is by keeping our focus on the rewards in heaven, rather than the persecution here on earth. 

So friends, though it might be somewhat on the rough and tough side, let’s go out and put that into practice today nuh, so that our lives can be more blessed, and Jesus’ message of, and free gift of salvation can be more widely spread abroad and accepted, for that’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed… 

P.S. Unfortunately, late nights breed late mornings. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2015 Psalm 103:8‏‏

Psalm 103:8.  The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).

Aye Friends, can you believe that it’s already the last day of June, and we haven’t seen a true summer’s day as yet! Hn! I don’t know if that augurs well for the supposed summer months, for since the summer solstice ten days ago we’ve had mostly cool, cloudy wet and windy days.

But as I keep saying, we can’t worry about the state of the universe because that’s God’s domain, and He does whatever He sees fit. We just have to believe that He won’t do anything to harm us, and will eventually work everything out for our good. (Rom.8:28) 

But here is something that we can get our heads around; a quote by Joshua Loth Liebman (1907-1948), the American rabbi and best-selling author. Rabbi Liebman was best known for His book ‘Peace of Mind.’

And in this quote, he says: ‘Believe and remember this: every saint and every sinner affects those whom he will never see, because his words and deeds stamp themselves upon the soft clay of human nature everywhere.’

And that’s gospel truth friends, for when we consider the ripple effect of our words and actions, they can affect millions of people whom we’ll never know or see. That’s why we have to consider seriously and sincerely the words and actions that we say and do, for if they are negative, they can cause lots of negativity all down the line to those who hear and see them.

Unknown to us, our words and actions will cause a lot of grief and heartache if they are not of godly encouragement and positive affirmation. We might see the reaction in a few people close to us, but generally speaking, we’ll never know the multitude that are affected by our negativity or positivity, as one person, or one institution passes it on to another, until it becomes a widely accepted and /or recognized saying or action.

And it’s exactly that far and wide kind of positive and godly ripple effect that I hope our Scrip-Bit has; where one person tells another about it and it keeps going until it is spread to all the nations of the world like Jesus commissioned His disciples to do. (Matt.28:19)

Yeh Friends, it’s ever so important that we watch what we say and do, especially in these times of instant communication, where some bit of information can go around the world almost instantaneously. And people are so insecure and gullible nowadays that they tend to believe almost anything they see on the social media.

That is helping in no uncertain terms to turn people, especially the young generation away from God. But fortunately my brethren, the social media can also be a two way street where we use it to bring people to God. There has never been another generation in man’s history where communication has been so quick and so accessible. Please let’s use it to benefit God’s work and not Lucifer’s.

That brings us to our wonderful and glorious Bit; a fact that we desperately need to communicate to people around the world. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).’

Oh Friends, I’m sure if more people knew about those most blessed attributes of our God, they would be more inclined to turn to Him and accept His free gift of grace and mercy that leads to salvation and eternal life.

The problem, to a certain extent, is that they are mostly hearing and seeing the negative messages of the world instead of the positive declarations of Christ.

And it’s our job, through the Great Commission to bring it to them, for they can’t believe and/or accept what they have not seen or heard. So please, let’s all do our best to spread the good news of Christ’s gospel, for it is our bounden duty.

Now let’s look at a couple passages of scripture which corroborate our Bit. And we’ll begin with this strange action of Jonah’s after he had preached to Nineveh and they had repented of their evil ways and the Lord had forgiven them.

The Good Book describes it thus: ‘But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was this not my saying (what I said), when I was yet in my country?

 Therefore I fled before (previously) unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness (LOVING-kindness), and repentest thee of the evil (one who relents from doing harm). Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.’ (Jon.4:1-3)

Oh my brethren, it has always been difficult for me to understand Jonah’s anger at the Lord’s pardoning of Nineveh until now that I’ve read a plausible explanation from the scholars. ‘4:1-4. Displeased…exceedingly and very angry: Jonah maintains a false Jewish nationalism and hatred of all non-Jews, especially Assyrians.’

Ah Friends, what a waste of time, energy and a good life eh! Unfortunately though, many of us supposed Christians still feel like Jonah these days; we feel and exhibit an anger that is not necessary and totally contrary to God’s will.

In a true believer, there should be no constant or consistent anger. For as Bruh Paul so wisely advised the Ephesians. ‘Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.’ (Eph.4:26-27)

And that’s wisdom in spades my brethren! We ought not to go to bed angry because that negative atmosphere will persist in our sleep and cause us to wake up angry and most likely do more negative stuff. And right there we give great opportunity to Beelzebub to infiltrate our souls and spirits, which isn’t very wise.

And we’ll end with some more wise words, this time from our other marvellous brother, Bruh David, from Psalm 86 – Teach my thy way, O Lord. Here He unabashedly declares: ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy (LOVING-kindness) unto all them that call upon thee…. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.’ (Ps.86:5,15)

Oh what words of absolute truth my people! Therefore, let’s take hold of them and run with them nuh, so that we too might be encouraged, uplifted and consequently, eagerly do the work that God has commissioned us to do, instead of having a forced or halfhearted attitude towards it. Friends, please remember that it’s all for our benefit, not for God’s! Much LOVE!

…living for God is easy…when we wisely recognize and accept …His plentiful mercy and grace…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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