Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 March 2022 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.      And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Oh boy, is Mother Nature confused! The weather people are promising rain and snow for this first Monday in Lent. We already have the rain, only waiting for the snow to come. Yesterday we had bright sunshine and temps of up to 15 degrees Celsius, although a strong wind lent its cold self to the proceedings all day long. That’s what the cold winds do in March. So it wasn’t as warm as you might think by just hearing the temperature. 

Now today it’s a completely different story. It’s about 1 degree Celsius, and for the snow to come, it must get slightly colder. So why the drastic changes from day to day eh? It must come from our interfering with the delicate balance the Lord set in Mother Nature when He created the universe. And I guess in His awesome wisdom, knowing that everything we put our hands to, we will destroy or pervert, He gave us His only Son Jesus Christ as a strong tower to hold on to when we screw up. (smile) 

And that’s not really a joke nuh, because without Jesus for us to lean and rely on, what would we do, how would we survive in this frightful world that now surrounds us? And unfortunately, even with Jesus as our strong fortress, too many of us are still struggling to survive. Why is that eh? I believe it’s because we are not mature enough in Christ, and not trying as hard as we ought to acquire the maturity needed to stand strong in this evil and ungodly world. Now this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin admirably explains our situation. And it’s most appropriately titled, ‘GROW UP!’ 

So, let’s read together. ‘Picture it with me: a piece of gnarled bark tossed to and fro over the crashing breakers. First one direction, then another, back and forth, over and under. Aimless. No set purpose. Drifting…always drifting. What an accurate picture of an immature Christian. Nothing but spiritual puttering. Up and down, in and out. One study group for a few weeks, then another. One church for a while, then another. Undisciplined, unsteady, one day soaring, the next day wading in self-pity. No consistency. 

The apostle Paul tells us to grow up! Not grow older, but grow up into Christ. What we are today is more important to God than what we were yesterday. Our life journey with Jesus is now – this very day, this very hour. Why yearn for change if we’ve made no effort to follow the direction God has already given us? To grow spiritually we must be single-minded. Our one goal? To be conformed to the image of Christ. He longs for our willingness to let Him root us, cultivate us, water us. Above all, God wants our total commitment. He will take anything we give Him…except second place.’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my people! Our God is interested in all aspects of our lives and wants us to come to Him with all our concerns, but under no circumstance will He accept second place, or any other also ran position! It’s either first place, or nothing at all! And that’s the sad mistake many of us are making. We are trying to compartmentalize our lives, with Jesus in some and not in others. But that will never work, because Jesus can’t grow us up in His image unless He has full control of our lives. 

And the scripture verse used for today’s poem is one we all know and spout, but don’t take as seriously as we ought to and thus remain immature Christians. On this matter, Bruh Paul admonished the church at Rome thus: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we need to do. Transform ourselves by renewing our minds in the image of God instead of the world. And we cannot transform ourselves into anything unless our minds are transformed because that’s where the whole battle for control takes place, and whatever is uppermost in our minds will also be uppermost in our lives. That means to live for Christ, Christ must be uppermost in our minds. However, right now, too many of us are still concerned too much, and rooting too hard for the things of the world and have Jesus In an insignificant position. 

And if Bruh Paul was to talk to us today, he would use the ever-appropriate words from his first epistle to the church at Corinth, where he lambasted them thus. ‘I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men. For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?’ (1 Cor. 3:2-4) 

Yes my fellow believers, it’s embarrassing that at this stage of our Christian development, there is still so much dissension and dislike in our ranks. Like babies, we are still drinking milk instead of eating solid food, being one in the body of Christ, His church. And it’s the same contention that both the author of Hebrews (Heb. 5:12) and Peter (1 Pet. 2:2) wrote about. It’s obvious that we have not taken any of those warnings as seriously as we should and foregone the things of the world by concentrating on the things of Christ. 

Some of us believe that we can live with one foot in the world and one foot in Christ’s kingdom. But that’s a fallacy my people, and the sooner we realize it, the better off we will be. For as Jesus said, you can’t serve two masters at the same time. You can’t serve God and mammon or money both together. (Matt. 6:24) So it’s time we wake up and choose one or the other, preferably Jehovah God. And when we do that, let’s make sure and follow this other directive of Bruh Paul, this one to the church at Ephesus. 

‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph. 4:22-24) That’s the only way to go my fellow saints! So, let’s begin doing that right now nuh, by going to the Lord in sincere prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His divine perspective and help. 

As one confident but humble voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And now, lest we forget, to receive positive answers to our prayers, we need to have sincere hearts and right motives therein. Much LOVE!

…we will never grow as Christians…until we submit or surrender totally…to God’s will for our lives… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 January 2012 Ephesians 4:23.

Ephesians 4:23.        And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;   

Now that’s more like it! There’s a hint of sunshine in the air, not the total murkiness we’ve suffered for the past couple of  days. Sunshine has been so lacking that lights which are recharged by sunlight have not been coming on because there hasn’t been sufficient sunlight to recharge them. I wonder what’s happening to those who use solar powered equipment in their homes, like on their rooves to provide heat, if they don’t have a large storage of that solar power.

It’s a good thing that we don’t have to worry about our spiritual power, because we have Jesus, the ‘awesomest’ power person there is, rooting for us in everything we do! But first we need to put our trust and faith in Him, believe in what He says, and live the way he directs, otherwise His power won’t work in us. It’s all conditioned upon our sincerely accepting Him as Lord and Saviour and doing His will.

And when we do that…Brother! Such new vistas will open before us, exciting things will begin happening, good changes will be made in our lives, in fact a complete turnaround will take place, and we’ll wonder why we hadn’t accepted Him into our hearts and lives before. As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17)

Yes friends, when you’ve found Christ, you become a brand new being. As the scholars put it: ‘When a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation,” and perceives Christ in a new way.’ And that’s borne out by the words of Jesus, first to Nicodemus, who came by night seeking information from Him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3)

It’s a spiritual rebirth my brethren! And unless it happens to us, we won’t see the kingdom of God. It’s as simple as that. And Jesus drives home that point later on when He tells the disciples: ‘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) Now that’s laying it all on the line. And it is the indisputable fact; without Jesus, we are very limited in what we can do.

And when we accept Him as Lord and Saviour, we make a break with the old things of our lives. We have to, because all the old carnal, sinful, fleshly stuff doesn’t work in Christ’s domain. That means a lot of new things, interesting changes must happen in our new life with Jesus, if we are to abide in Him, and He in us. As Isaiah writes: ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider ye the things of old.’ (Is. 43:18) And the wonderful thing about it all my people, is that once we come to Christ, our union with Him abides forever!

But here are some interesting words from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians, on some of the practical changes that we make when we come to Christ. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct of) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph. 4:22-32)

Yes my fellow saints, just a few practical changes to make when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour! (smile) But seriously though, we desperately need to consider how all of the above resonates in our personal lives, because it’s all a big part of our current angry, strife -filled world. And it’s not always easy to differ from the world, but we must, if we are to fulfill Christ’s mandate.

The major aspect though is a change in our mindset, because it’s in our mind that all the battles between the old and new take place. That’s why Bruh Paul wrote: ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.’ (Eph. 4:23) Now, the only way we can do that is through purposeful meditation on God’s word, sincere prayer and the genuine encouragement of other believers. And, since we’ve already pondered the Lord’s word, and encouraged each other, let’s go to Him in prayer now, through our Friday Chant, asking for His divine help and guidance.

As one strong, confident, but humble voice. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, please remember that we just portrayed ourselves as faithful believers, and unless we live up to that promise, the Lord won’t answer our prayers. Much LOVE!

…being a new creation in Christ is wonderful…but it’s not always easy…we have to keep at it…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 November 2021 Ephesians 4:23.

Ephesians 4:23.     And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

Welcome to Saturday friends, another great day in the life! And obviously, some of us will ask what’s so great about it? And the answer is the same as for every other day we live: we’re alive, we’re drawing God’s magnificent breath of life, and the Spirit of Jesus dwells within us to lead, guide and comfort us in all our endeavours! 

Wow! Now isn’t that good, no, great reason to be glad, joyful and give thanks? It most certainly is! So stop with the moping and complaining, the anger and the strife, because somewhere out there, someone has it much worse than we do. (smile) Now let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one says: ‘Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.’ And to a certain extent, that is certainly true, for our imagination generally causes us to go in the directions that we hold up to it, or focus on. But thankfully, for many of us we don’t always go where our imagination leads us or to what it focuses on, because we would find ourselves in a heap of trouble, both physically and spiritually. 

Our imagination is a good tool, but like all other tools we must use it wisely and appropriately for us to get the most benefit out of it. A lot of the good things and inventions of our society have been born out man’s imagination, but also a lot of the evil and ungodly things, because as the next quote says: ‘You are a living magnet. What you attract into your life is in harmony with your dominant thoughts.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth. The thoughts you focus most on will be the ones that usually come true, be they good or bad. We are irrevocably drawn to the things we consistently think on. So, if we want to believe in Jesus, have faith in Him and live for Him, then we must concentrate a lot on Him and His teachings, and do what He says, otherwise we will never live the good and abundant life He died for us to have. 

Oh my people, it all begins and ends in our minds. That’s the battlefield where all our fights are fought, won and lost. That’s why Bruh Paul wrote these wise words of advice on the matter to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and perfect will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) We can only think God-like thoughts when we transform our minds from thinking worldly thoughts which do not lead to godliness, in fact are the antithesis, the opposite of what Jesus wants us to think. 

Meanwhile, on the same topic, Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus: ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) in the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph. 4:22-24) 

Yes friends, we can only sincerely come to Christ with a renewal of our minds and the thoughts that fill them. We need to put off our old conduct or behaviour and put on the new man, or new conduct that’s more in line with God’s viewpoint. Meaning, if you think evil, you will attract evil, and if you think good thoughts, you will attract good things. 

We only have two options my brethren; good and evil, and as Bruh Paul also noted in the letter to the Roman church: ‘Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) However, we can only do those things when our minds have been renewed or transformed with God’s viewpoint and not the devil’s or the world’s way of doing things. 

That brings us to this next quote. ‘Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere. We can’t always understand them, but we have to trust in them. I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith.’ And I believe that’s quite true. Ofttimes good things unexpectedly happen to us, as though from out of the blue, and we can’t figure them out. But sometimes we are not meant to figure out the whys and the wherefores, just to accept our blessedness. 

It’s like when Jesus comes into our lives. Usually we are not expecting Him, we are on some other track a million miles away. But when He’s ready for us, He finds a way to cover those million miles of separation and come right to the door of our hearts and offer His unbelievable benefits. And all He’s asking of us is to believe, to have a li’l faith. Like He said to the disciples when they asked why they could not cure a mentally challenged child. ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.’ (Matt. 17:20) 

Yuh see friends, all we need is a li’l faith in Jesus and we can do wonders on God’s great earth. So, can you imagine what’s possible to us when we have great faith? Anything and everything! That ought to excite us and cause us to believe ever so strongly in Jesus! And that segues very nicely into this last quote: ‘Nurture great thoughts, for you will never go higher than your thoughts.’ 

You can’t beat that my fellow saints! Only great thoughts in and of Jesus will enable you to climb to the very heights of your destiny! So please, let’s think on, ponder, meditate on Jesus, each and every day nuh, so that we can reach our God-given destiny! Much LOVE!

…only with God’s help…can we be triumphant on the battlefield of the mind… 

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