Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 November 2018 Hebrews 12:1.

Hebrews 12:1.   Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us.
 

Well a Happy Cyber Monday to all you my wonderful friends and Scrip-Bit family out there in God’s great universe! It is a joy coming to you today in the name of the Lord, but not this early though. (smile) You can thank the medics again for that, because I have an early appointment for a vision test in the city. I’m tempted to cancel it, but the Lord’s telling me that wouldn’t be wise since it’s all for my benefit and no one else’s. 

So, ergo, I’m up and about His business this early in the morning. But when and where is it going to end eh? I’m talking about the mad rush for sales that are not really sales, only eye candy to draw you into these business places to spend what you don’t have on what you don’t need. Last Friday was called Black Friday; the day to do the rushing at the physical stores. Today has been aptly named, Cyber Monday; the day for online shopping! 

But how much shop can we shop eh people? I know I can’t afford to shop at all! (smile) And what do I really need that’s out there, that’s theoretically much cheaper than at other times eh? NOTHING! I have more stuff than I can already use. Right now I’m in the giving away mode rather than the acquiring one.

But the economic czars are not happy unless their cash machines are continually going, ‘kaching, kaching!’ And they will selfishly and greedily throw out all kinds of enticements to make it happen. But please don’t be taken in by their lures my friends. It’s just the devil’s work at hand in a different guise. 

Anyway, it’s Monday, and plenty of us are sad and miserable, so let’s invoke the grace and mercy of our great God Jehovah by declaring our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in strong voice with sincere hearts. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a powerful call to our omnipotent Creator! And I’m sure we’re all feeling a li’l lighter and brighter in our spirits now because He has allowed His Holy Spirit to work in us the way we asked. So now, let’s get on our horses and ride nuh, ride the good race for Jesus! 

As Bruh Paul says in our Bit: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, we’re all in a race, and the heroes of faith, plus the basic and simple witnesses who have gone before us are looking down on us with great expectation that we should finish it like the champions we’re meant to be. It’s not an easy race to run, but we’ve been gifted with all that we need to successfully run it. 

And yuh see, we even different from Bruh Paul; he was running the race, but we’re riding the race, (smile) because we have much improved means of getting around than Bruh Paul had in his day. We can also get the message out further and faster than he could. So although our mode of living and spreading the good news gospel might be slightly different, our big job is still to live it as exemplarily as we can, and spread it as far and wide and forcibly as we have opportunity to. 

And the catalyst and example we have for doing all that is none other than our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Listen to Bruh Paul again: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of the God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

Yay mih breddren! Jesus set the course of faith and finished it with excellence, despising any shame and other negative stuff that was involved in it. And thus the Lord had Him sit at His right hand after enduring the cross on our behalf without any complaints. Likewise, we are expected to finish our earthly race without too much complaining, looking forward to the great rewards that have been laid up in heaven for those who finish the race successfully. 

Jesus is standing at the door to heaven to greet us with a big hug and a bright and exhilarating: ‘Welcome and well done, thou good and faithful servant!’ Just imagine that wonderful greeting in your mind’s eye nuh, and it will help you to keep on keeping on! Much LOVE!

…riding for Jesus…Wow…it’s the most exhilarating and exciting activity on earth…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2015 Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1. Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us. 
 

All hail my fine Friends in Jesus Christ! It’s a brand new spanking day! Yes my brethren, we’ve been granted the fabulous gift of life on a new day through the wonderful grace of Almighty God, so please, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!
 
Let’s joyfully enjoy (smile) the new mercies and blessings that have been specially prepared for us for this day. Let’s also do our best to live up to the high ideals of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose motto is excellence at all times.
 
And having said all of that, on this chilly Thursday morning, the 15th day of January 2015, I have this most appropriate passage for this time of year to share from the One Year Book of Promises, with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s simply titled ‘January.’
 
Read with me: ‘It’s January, Lord – The drab, dreary middle – And my thoughts are as drab As the miserable month. Does everybody hit a January slump Or am I the only one? The first week wasn’t too bad: There were Christmas thank-yous to write A few resolutions to store away The huddle of year-end sales.
 
But thank-you notes bring no returns And resolutions are quickly broken And marked-down trinkets fast lose appeal. When you said Behold, I make all things new Did you forget January, Lord? Or in January do I sometimes forget You?’
 
Oh my people, those sentiments are so true, for many of us feel that way at this time of year. I guess we can call them the ‘dog days’ of January, where we’re somewhat lost in the middle of it all. The celebrations are over and done with for the old year, and the new one hasn’t quite taken shape or hold as yet.
 
Plus we’re wondering and contemplating how we’re going to pay the bills that we’ve amassed over the Christmas season. (smile) But yuh know what my fellow believers in Christ? In this time of uncertainty, we can all hold on to the promise attached to that passage, which we’ll use as our Bit.
 
‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’
 
Yes Friends, there are so many heroes of faith that have gone before us that we don’t lack for good and positive examples in living our Christian faith. But we need to do certain things if we’re going to be successful.
 
First of all we need to throw off any weight, both literally and figuratively, any impediment at all that is holding us back from running our race. We also need to throw off any sin, large or small, that’s entangling us, that has us struggling or keeping us back from reaching the lofty goals that Christ has planned for us.
 
And above all, we need to do those things with patience and perseverance, keep a steadfast and true pace. Yes my people, we need to be always trying to improve as we run this race of life.
 
And as the author of Hebrews so wisely and rightly continues, we ought to be: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2)
 
Oh Friends, what an encouraging and uplifting picture! Jesus is the best example of earthly living we can, and will ever have! He both began and finished the course of our faith. So we need to look to Him for proper guidance and strength to face this rat-race world that we’re currently living in.
 
We’ll never be perfect as Him, but the important thing is to try, to do our best to get as close to a Christ-like character as we can. That brings us to our New Year’s resolution of endeavouring to have a closer walk with Jesus.
 
I do hope that we haven’t already forgotten it as we get caught up again in the busyness of life. And I believe that if we’re feeling like the passage above from the Book of Promises, then we have indeed forgotten that resolution.
 
Please, let’s realign our priorities, with Jesus as NUMBER ONE, so that we can have a fruitful and successful 2015, for I firmly and faithfully believe that this will be the BEST YEAR in many of our lives!
 
Now let’s look at a scripture passage that adds weight to our Bit and empowers us in our faith. Hear Bruh Paul’s advice to the Colossians, where he’s talking about the new life in Christ. Here are some weights that we might need to throw off to lighten our load in running this race of life.
 
‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond (slave) nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.’ (Col.3:8-11)
 
Truly words of wisdom, my people! Now let’s close with some interesting and important notes from the scholars re those verses. ‘3:9. Seeing means “since.” The old man is all that a person was prior to salvation: his worldly thinking and sinful acts. Since all this was renounced at conversion, one should lie not. Falsehood ill becomes the person claiming to be a disciple of Him who said, “I am the…truth.”
 
3:10. The new man is the person one becomes after conversion: he possesses a new nature, values, aspirations, and a new life-style. This “new man” is constantly being renewed or developed until he attains a mature knowledge of the God who (re)created him. The more a believer knows and understands of God, the more he will be like God in character and conduct.’
 
‘3:11. Not only is the “new man” to put sin to death, he is also to put away man-made barriers that divide people and that nourish the vices of the old life. Among renewed humanity there are no national, ceremonial, cultural, or social distinctions. To the redeemed Christ is all; that is, He is everything, and He is what matters most to them. And Christ is…in all; that is, He dwells in all believers.’
 
Oh my people, it’s not easy trying to live a truly Christian life in this evil and ungodly world, but if we stick like glue to Christ, He will empower us to run this earthly race successfully, and that’s no lie! Much LOVE!
 
…just a closer walk with thee…grant it Jesus…is my plea…daily walking close to thee…let it be…dear Lord…let it be…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 May 2014 Luke 21:19

Luke 21:19.  In your patience possess ye your souls.
 

‘Wednesday, oh Wednesday, oh glorious Wednesday – the middle of the week! A bright light at the end of the tunnel! That means the weekend is near! Glory Hallelujah!’
 
Yeh Friends, it’s not only on Fridays we should celebrate, but if possible, everyday of the week, for it tells us that we’re alive and kicking through the generous bounty of our great and wonderful God!
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Thank You heavenly Father for allowing us to see another blessed day on planet earth! We bless you and praise Your Holy Name and promise to walk as worthily as we can in the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Amen.’
 
Ah mih people, it does feel great to be alive, doesn’t it? It surely does! Despite all the pains, the setbacks, the misfortunes, the trials the tribulations, I don’t think many of us would prefer to be dead.
 
We complain a lot about the negatives in this life, but remember it’s the only one we have, and furthermore, the only one we’ll ever get. So let’s enjoy it nuh, especially when we have such a wonderful faith like Christianity to live it under.
 
Remember what Jesus said in our Bit: ‘In your patience possess ye your souls.’
 
And if we don’t listen to Him and follow His wonderful example, we’ll just be wasting our God-given lives. And that would be such a tragedy!
 
And for the last day, I’ll like to bombard us with more scripture that teaches patience, perseverance, endurance, backbone and belly. (smile) No my brethren, you don’t have to tell me, for I know from personal experience, that it’s not easy, a bed of roses, working for and walking in Jesus’ footsteps, but it sure is exciting and interesting!
 
And you’ll never know how interesting and exciting it is, until YOU give it a try!
 
It’s all about a significant leap of faith Friends! A leap I enjoin us all to sincerely take today, right now, so that we can all work together to make this world a better place.
 
For that is what we were commanded to do by our leader, Jesus Christ: SPREAD the Word all over the world; LIVE our lives in true Faith, and above all, SHOW LOVE to our magnanimous and magnificent God and also our neighbours!
 
Wow! What an awesome mandate! Now let’s hear some scripture that’s supposed to encourage, uplift, exhort and keep us steadfast and strong in our earthly endeavours for Jesus.
 
Let’s start with Bruh Paul’s message to the Colossians, where he’s talking about prayer for spiritual wisdom: ‘For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 
 
(Scholars note: Wisdom is an accurate perception into the true nature of things. Understanding is the skilful application of his wisdom in practical situations).
 
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
 
(Scholars’ note: Patience is persevering through problems, trials, tribulations and so forth. Longsuffering is forbearing the faults and offences of others).
 
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in (the) light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated (transferred) us into the kingdom of his dear Son (the Son of His LOVE).’ (Col.1:9-13)
 
And the Scholars’ note in verse 12: ‘Light is the ethical condition in which God’s children live, namely, that of spiritual understanding with its accompanying morality and happiness.’  
 
Ah Friends, as I said above, it’s not easy, but working for Jesus is surely interesting! Now here these rich and encouraging verses from Hebrews 12, which we all know, but refuse to take seriously.
 
‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us,
 
Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls).’ (Heb.12:1-3)
 
Yes mih people, we find the best examples of it all in Jesus!
 
And the scholars’ have this to say: ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.
 
12:3-4. Though chapter 11 provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance is Jesus Himself.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my brethren! His is a very difficult, and possibly impossible example for most of us to emulate, but try we must. Don’t worry though, our God knows exactly what we are capable of, for He made us, and all He really expects of us is a sincere effort in our daily living.
 
And if we give that sincere effort, then He will help us to mature and grow in the image of His Son. For remember, our wonderful God doesn’t ever give us more than we can bear. And even then, He’s promised to work out everything for our good, when we’re called to do His bidding.
 
So there’s no need to worry and fret, for our heavenly Father has us in the palms of His hands, plenty better hands than All State, and will never leave nor forsake us. Ah mih breddren, what a marvellous and magnificent Deity we serve and worship! He’s just so phenomenal! I can’t understand how His human creations choose not to work for and follow His directives.
 
But we His true followers WILL change that won’t we? For sure, as we go about doing good, spreading His Word and living a life of Christian faith, celebrated with joy, peace and LOVE! Now that’s true wisdom!
 
And we’ll end here for today. You already have much scripture to ponder and meditate upon, so I won’t burden you with any more. I’m so kind and thoughtful, aren’t I. (smile) Please have a blessed day my brethren, walking in LOVE for Jesus! Much LOVE!
 
…better is the end of a thing…than the beginning thereof…and the patient in spirit…is better than…the proud in spirit…  (Eccl.7:8)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 March 2012 Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1.     Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
 
Oh Friends, it’s another day in our earthly sojourn! ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ And it looks like it will be another rainy one in my area, as it was yesterday. But that’s wonderful! I’ll take the colourless fluid any day over the more solid white stuff, even though the former reminds me that I still have a leak in the laundry room of my basement. But that’s a relatively small matter, which we’ll eventually solve, with the help of the Most High obviously. Now here’s an interesting and very appropriate story I recently read in the newsletter of a Real Estate Agent. It’s a legend about a French monastery, re the ‘extraordinary harmony due to the leadership of a man called Brother Leo.’ One day, several monks from a bickering monastery set out on a five-day journey to visit Brother Leo and find out his leadership secrets. True to the pattern of their monastery, they began arguing about the doing of chores as soon as they set out. However, on the third day of their journey, they met another monk on his way to the same monastery. But unlike them, when it came to doing chores, the new arrival never complained, and when the others were fighting over a chore, he’d pleasantly volunteer and do it himself. And as often is the case, when someone sets us an example, by the last day of the journey, the five other monks were working very well together. Oh how I wish we had more people like that sixth monk in our world, especially our church! Anyway, when they reached their destination, they asked the gatekeeper to see Brother Leo. Much to their amazement and consternation, the gatekeeper laughed at them. Then he pointed to the sixth monk and told them that was Brother Leo. The moral of the story Friends is that in these troubled times, those seeking public office and leadership positions are more interested in aggrandizing themselves, seeking what they can get personally from those positions, rather than what they can do to improve the positions. As the story concludes: ‘The parable about Brother Leo teaches a service model of leadership, where leaders are preoccupied with serving rather than being followed, with giving rather than getting, with doing rather than demanding.’ Yes Friends, that’s what leadership is really all about. But sadly, there are way too few of those types in power today. Please ponder that story and see if and how it affects us, or those we know. Then let’s consciously try our best to improve the model of leadership we, and those around us are currently following. For that’s the example that Jesus set for us. He came to save and serve, stooping so low as to even wash His disciples feet. (John 13:5-12) And in God’s mysterious way of moving, all of that ties in beautifully with our Bit, because it’s also talking about providing Christian leadership through serious, worthwhile behaviour, non-complaining service and humility as Christ did. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ Now let’s look at some scripture that details stuff we should and shouldn’t do as Christians, desiring to grow and mature in Christ. And we’ll begin with some of the bad things from Bruh Paul’s letter to the Colossians. ‘Mortify (kill) therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection (passion), evil concupiscence (desire), and covetousness, which is idolatry. For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience. In the which ye also walked sometime, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond (slave) nor free: But Christ is all, and in all.’ (Col.3:5-11) Yes my people, we have to discard all that old stuff we did before we were born again in Christ, and instead do stuff like this: ‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cling to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another. Not slothful (lacking in diligence) in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer; Distributing to the necessities (needs) of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one to another. Mind not (do not set your mind on) high things, but condescend to men of low estate (associate with the humble). Be not wise in your own conceits (estimation). Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men.’ (Rom.12:9-18) Oh mih breddren, yuh see the great difference between the two types of characters available to us? And the last one (see also Col.3:12-17) is that which we’re supposed to pursue and present as Christians, as true followers of Christ. But obviously we’re not following it as closely and perfectly as we should, otherwise Christ’s church and society as a whole, would not be in the state of confusion, turmoil and strife they’re currently in. Therefore Friends, I’m pleading with us today to seriously and consciously try to improve our lives and the image we portray to others as Christians by adopting more of the good habits and discarding the bad ones. And if we consistently do what’s right, then at the end, we’ll be able to give a last testament like Bruh Paul. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time my departure (death) is at hand. 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 to all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) Oh my brethren, that’s what we should all be striving for in this earthly pilgrimage! May the Lord help us all to achieve it. Much LOVE!…to win the race of life…we must first discard the character of the old man…then put on that of the new creation in Christ Jesus…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2013 Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1.     Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

Oh Friends, it’s Monday! Time to rise and shine and get ourselves ready to go out and labour! Time to joyfully shout,’TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday!’ the same way we shout ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ I know that’s not happening right now, but somehow in the near future I’m convinced it’s going to happen, because then we’ll all really become true believers and enthusiastically do what needs to be done to fight for Jesus and His most worthwhile cause. And yuh know, in that mysterious manner of our great God, yesterday morning I heard a song on the radio that I think speaks to our problem. The singer first tells us how Jesus left His heavenly home, where the living was easy, came to earth, was abused and mistreated by us humans, then sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary, was risen, and ascended into heaven to prepare a place so that you and I can go to spend eternity with Him. Then the vocalist poses this most interesting question: ‘What else do you want Jesus to do?’ And the question caused me to ponder it for a moment, cause surprisingly I’ve never really heard it put that way before. But my Friends, if we seriously consider the question, then we’ll be forced to truthfully conclude that the answer is nothing else. That’s because there’s nothing else for Him to truly do! He’s done His part in our covenant, over and above too, but now it’s up to us to do ours. And that’s basically our problem today; we lead a fairly easy and comfortable life and we don’t want to get up off of our fat rear ends and do what we ought to do. But yet we still expect to receive all the goodies that God’s promised. I’m sorry my people, but it doesn’t work so with our God of supreme justice and righteousness. He LOVES us a million fold, but He will not put up with our laziness and/or procrastination. Remember, obedience brings blessings, but disobedience entails punishment! So please, let’s band our bellies nuh, and stand up strong and steadfast and do our parts, and stop disappointing Jesus with our half-hearted, lacklustre, often hypocritical efforts. And the first move in that direction is to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with amazing enthusiasm and sincerity. As one great choir now, let’s rock heaven and earth: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ Now that wasn’t bad, but still not as good as it ought to be. Interestingly enough though, a semblance of a smile crossed Jesus’ face, as He looked at the Father with a positive nod, indicating some improvement over last week’s rendition. (smile) That brings us to our Bit, wise advice from the author of Hebrews to all believers. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnares) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ And how do we do that? By ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2)  And the scholars tell us that ‘Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ So my brethren, it’s not like we have to blaze a completely new trail with our Christian living, because Jesus has already done that. All we have to do now is follow His lead, which unfortunately is proving extremely difficult for too many of us. And you know that Jesus didn’t have it easy, and warned that His followers wouldn’t have it easy either; ‘but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And since we now have the belly and backbone of Jesus through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, we therefore have the ability to run that race set before us with good strength, endurance and perseverance. But like anything else, to improve, we need to practice and train seriously. And Friends, that’s where we’re falling down; we’re not practising and training with enough intensity and seriousness, as though we really want to run this race and win it. But here’s the first step we all need to take, as Bruh Paul so wisely tells the newly minted Colossian Christians. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.’ (Col.3:1-2) Yes my brethren, we have to put our minds to things like developing a deeper knowledge and understanding of Jesus, and thus a closer relationship with Him, developing godly virtues and putting them into action, and fulfilling our responsibilities both at home and abroad, because as I keep reminding us, our God is a living God, a God of action, and to be like Him, we must also be action oriented. So let’s get some serious action going nuh. Much LOVE!…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 March 2013 Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1.    Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
 
Well Friends, the deed has been done! It’s now Daylight Savings time! By just moving the hands of the clock around, we have supposedly gained an hour of daylight. As I said yesterday, I don’t think this time change benefits the ordinary citizen. In fact I saw a blurb where it reportedly causes heart and sleep problems. Anyway, no use crying over spilt milk now. We just have to grin and make the most of it. However, being citizens of heaven, followers of Jesus Christ, the One who defeated death and the grave, the One who rose victorious the third day, then ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of our heavenly Father, as our Advocate, making positive intercession for us, that means a little thing like an hour here on earth won’t bother us, when we have the whole of eternity to look forward to with the Holy Trinity. (smile) But in spite of all that, I’m still going to share and strongly advise us to accept this wise bit of advice from Laura Palmer. Now there are several Laura Palmers’ listed on the Web. Some of you might know Laura Palmer as a character on the T.V. show, Twin Peaks, but I can assure you that this is not her advice, neither is it from the porn star by that name, because the Devotional I got that from was written long before Twin Peaks ever aired, or that lady engaged in her nefarious activities. (smile)  I believe it comes from a New York author and journalist by that name. Anyway, she rightly says: ‘Don’t waste today regretting yesterday instead of making a memory for tomorrow.’ And that’s heavenly wisdom Friends! Too many of us waste the day in front of us, pining after and beating up ourselves over our mistakes of the day before, when we should be using today to do better than we did yesterday. Remember my people, when we get to the winter of our years, all we’ll probably have are our memories to look back on, and who really wants to have miserable memories to rehash eh? Nobody really. For as the Johnny Bristol song warns: ‘Memories don’t leave, like people do. They always stay with you. Whether they’ve been good or bad. They’re all that you have.’ So please let’s use today fruitfully, and run the race that the Lord has planned for us. As the author of Hebrews advises in our Bit: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ Now let’s get to what the scholars have to say about our Bit. And it sure is plenty. ‘The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter 11. These heroes of faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses” (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet this Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. This race of faith is provided by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to the impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner or the faithful Christian they must be removed. Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones). Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance. Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10. (cf. 10:32, 36-38, 11:13)’ Whew! I know some of you are going to complain about all that info, but that’s exactly what we’re talking about; stepping up to the plate and throwing off everything that prevents us from living the life the Lord wants us to live. And the Word plays a huge part in enabling us to do it. So if you don’t understand what the Word’s saying, then you obviously won’t be able to respond to it properly. Oh my brethren, to grow and mature in Christ, we have to grow and mature in understanding the Word, which isn’t always easy, and that’s what I’m trying to help us do here with the Bit. So please don’t get frustrated and give up if sometimes it seems to be a bit much and also somewhat difficult. That’s why we were told to look to those other witnesses who had it hard, but continued living by faith, not giving up. That’s also why Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.’ (1 Cor.9:24) And here too, the scholars’ have some good historical info. ‘Paul draws on a scene familiar to his Corinthian readers in order to drive home his point. The Isthmian Games were an athletic event known to all of his readers. They were held on alternate summers in the vicinity of Corinth. It was an event not to be missed by anyone of importance in all parts of Greece. As a national institution, it was as familiar to his readers as modern football to most Americans.’ So now my brethren, we know what race Bruh Paul was talking about in his famous monologue. But I think that’s enough for today. We’ve taken on a lot of info, so please let’s ponder it, let’s seriously consider today’s lesson. Read, mark and inwardly digest it, because we’ll be having a test on it tomorrow. And anyone who fails will have to write it over again. (smile) Don’t feel badly, because I have to write it too, and thus I have to do like Bruh Paul. ‘But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified).’ (1Cor.9:27) Yeh Friends, I’ve got to and study too, lest after teaching you, I fail the test. (smile) That would certainly be disastrous. Much LOVE!…to run any race successfully…the runner must be well trained and well prepared…physically, mentally and emotionally…