Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2019 2 Timothy 2:3.

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

And then it was the first Sunday of the New Year! Glory Be! And all the devoted followers of Christ flocked to His sanctuary to hear His Word, to give Him the praise and worship He so obviously deserves, as well as to mix and mingle and to encourage and edify and uplift their fellow believers. And for this first Sunday in 2019, we have an awesome and most appropriate song of worship to open the proceedings. 

It’s an old 19th century British hymn whose lyrics were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865 as a processional hymn for children walking from Horbury Bridge to Horbury St Peter’s Church near Wakefield, Yorkshire, at Whitsuntide in 1865. It was originally entitled, “Hymn for Procession with Cross and Banners.”  

 Then Arthur Sullivan composed the accompanying music in 1871. They say that Sullivan first named the tune “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose home he composed it. But eventually the Salvation Army adopted it as one of their favourite processional hymns …and the rest is history! 

Oh friends, let’s belt out that well known and greatly LOVED tune that calls us to be strong and steadfast soldiers in Christ’s Name. As one great army now, marching into battle, letting the enemy know that we’re coming…and coming for only one thing; victory! 

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) 

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain] 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] 

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain] Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!)’ 

Oh my fellow believers if that doesn’t stir up the LOVE for Christ in your hearts, then something’s seriously wrong with you! It’s exactly the kind of battle cry Christians need in these turbulent, decadent and evil times! And that’s why it was written; ‘to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces throughout the world.’ 

And there’s been no other time like now, when evil is running rampant all over and the heathen seems to be winning the battle! But friends, that’s only in their imagination, because we believers are coming out loud, proud and strong this year of 2019! We’re going to mightily embrace those rich and encouraging words of Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!’ 

Wow mih people! What better words to frame our year than with those eh? We are in Christ’s army, and as good soldiers do, we WILL endure hardship for Him, and in His name! That’s our faithful promise! For as Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

Yeh friends, if we are soldiers for Christ, we can’t afford to get entangled in the affairs of this world. We have to keep our hands and hearts clean of the evil that surrounds us, so that we can please Christ who has called us, who has enlisted us in His LOVE Revolution, to fight the good fight in His name! 

As Bruh Paul told Timothy earlier on: ‘This charge I commit unto (command) thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee (previously made concerning you), that thou by them mightest war a good warfare. Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away (rejected) concerning the faith have made (suffered) shipwreck.’ (1 Tim.1:18-19) 

Oh my brethren, we need to be ever so faithful having personal confidence in God, as well as the word, the gospel that’s been handed down to us by the saints. For if we reject those things, then we’ll surely become shipwrecked, lost and left on the outside looking in; the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul!

And later on, Bruh Paul again gets on poor Timothy’s case. After warning him of the deterioration of the church in years to come, (2 Tim.4:2-4) he declares: 

‘But watch thou in all things. Endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist (preach the gospel of Christ), make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of 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 unto all them that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:5-8) 

Yes my believing brethren, we ALL ought to be able to say that at end of our lives. But for that to happen, we have to begin being good, strong and steadfast soldiers of Christ, RIGHT NOW! So let’s get to it nuh! We have a crown of righteousness to win! Much LOVE!

…to win any race…especially the race of life…one needs to have commitment…courage…perseverance…endurance…and faith…and ONLY in Christ…can one find all those attributes… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but church had to come first…and anyway I likes it…hope you do too! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2016 2 Timothy 4:7.

 Timothy 4:7.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.

And then it was Thursday…Wow! Only 16 more shopping day to Christmas! 

Steups! Notice the language, the commercialism? That is how we count down the days to Christmas – in shopping days, not in days till the birth of Jesus Christ – the real reason for the season. 

Ah Lord eh! After all the rigmarole of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we are still talking in terms of shopping! How much shopping can we do eh, especially when so many people are not working? 

But that seems to be the overwhelming feature of our lives in these modern times. It’s all about gifts and presents and food and what not, all the material things! 

There is precious little talk, if any at all, of Jesus being born, of Him being the real gift of Christmas, the most wonderful present ever from our heavenly Father. And then when things get rotten, or go sour, we wonder why. No wonder our world is in such a sorry mess. 

Anyway friends, please, let’s not be found carrying that baggage of the secular and commercial world; let’s concentrate on the first coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when the angels rocked heaven and earth with their great pronouncement; ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:11) 

Now that’s what we should be getting all excited and enthusiastic about! Not the rushing and pushing and confusion of unnecessary shopping. 

So, having said all that, which might not make any difference to anybody, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit, the immortal words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

Now that again is something that should be resonating in our minds, souls and bodies, rather than the shopping days till Christmas. What’s going to happen, how are we going to feel when the days of lives are coming to an end eh? 

Will we be satisfied with what we’ve done down here? Will we be able to utter words similar to Bruh Paul’s? It’s ever so important that we can my brethren. Otherwise we would have wasted our earthly sojourn on things of the world, and stand the chance of losing the righteous crown that’s been set aside for us in heaven. 

We stand the chance of losing Jesus’ greeting at the pearly gates of: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord.’ (Matt.25:21) 

No Friends, we don’t want to be missing that wonderful greeting at all! So please, let’s smarten up and get with the right programme nuh; that of Jesus and not Beelzebub! 

Now Bruh Paul thought that running a strong race was so important that he also spoke of it to the Corinthians. Listen up: ‘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.9:23) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘9:24. 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 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 familiar to his readers as modern football to most Americans.’  

So that shows the Corinthians knew what Bruh Paul was talking about. But he doesn’t stop there, He continues forcefully: ‘And every man that striveth for mastery (competes for the prize), is temperate in all things (has self-control). 

Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown: but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as one that beateth the air: 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).’ (1 Cor.9:25-27) 

Yes my faithful believers, to run a good race and fight a good fight for Christ, we must have plenty self-control and self-discipline, for that’s the only way we can reject the amorous advances of the world. 

And even worse, what a shame and disgrace it would be, after we have preached to others about running the race and fighting the good fight, that we ourselves would be disqualified! Now I definitely would not like that, so I try, with God’s help obviously, to practice what I preach. (smile)

Anyhow, here’s the best part of today’s Bit nuh; we going home with the anointing of our Thursday Blessings. But remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. So in full voice and strong faith, let’s bless ourselves my people. 

‘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!’ 

Now my faithful believers in Christ, let’s go out strong and secure in those blessings and not be selfish, but remember to bless others too. Much LOVE!

…oh what a joy it will be…to win that crown of righteousness…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 January 2014 Deuteronomy 5:32

Deuteronomy 5:32.   Ye shall (carefully) observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

                                                          HAPPY  NEW  YEAR!
 
Oh my beautiful Friends and fellow believers, I’m wishing you and yours a Happy New Year; a bright and prosperous 2014, filled with hungry hope, expectant faith and overwhelming LOVE for our great God, our pilgrim selves and neighbours, who have all been created in the image of the ONE TRUE DEITY, Almighty God, Yahweh, Jehovah Jireh! 

Yes my people, 2014 will be a wonderful year, because we will all live up much better to our New Year’s resolution of having a closer and more intimate walk with Jesus, than we did in 2013. The whole point of the exercise is to get closer and closer, become a better mirror-image of Jesus every year that we’re alive.

And 2014 will be no different, for we’ll continue to build the LOVE Revolution that is destined to engulf this evil world, with our most able leader, Jesus Christ at the helm. Oh my people, with Jesus Christ leading and guiding us we can NEVER GO WRONG! 

So today, let’s all promise that in 2014 we’ll buckle down, take our faith and it’s world-wide spread seriously, develop plenty gumption, plenty belly and backbone, and with the help of Jesus raise the level of godliness in this too evil world.

And the only way we can do that Friends, is by joining together, for remember that a house divided against itself will eventually fall, but one that’s working together, that’s built on the rock, as Jesus’ church is, will stand forever! That means as the body of Christ we have to start working together instead of against each other, as Lucifer is intent on having us do.

And unfortunately in 2013 he has succeeded much more than he should have; the church has seen its fair share of dissension and division, evil and ungodliness has definitely increased, while believers have not stood up and fought as strong a battle as we ought to.

But all of that is going to change for the better this watershed year of 2014 – isn’t it my brethren? I just know that it will, because we’re getting wiser and stronger and more intimate with Jesus each and every day!

Wow! What a year 2014 will be Friends!

And that’s where our Bit comes in, for living for and glorifying God, is what its all about: ‘Ye shall (carefully) observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.’

Yes my people, it’s that straight and narrow path that leads to God that we must concentrate on walking this New Year. And to get us going today, let’s joyfully declare: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

Oh Friends, when we start out with joy, peace and LOVE, the essence of Jesus, in our hearts, minds and souls, how can we go wrong eh? NEVER! 

That’s why it’s so essential from the moment we awake, till the moment we close our eyes to sleep, that we give thanks, we keep up a continual conversation with our heavenly Father, who is the ONE that enables us to prosper in this crazy world. And a big part of all that is regularly reading His Word.

As He told Joshua when He anointed him leader of the Israelites: ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh.1:8)

Oh my people, as I keep saying, our God keeps it clear, simple and straightforward! What’s in there not to understand eh? You read His Word, do what it says and you’ll be prosperous and successful!

Wow! What a simple formula for success!

But we, the great and intelligent beings that we are, or rather foolishly think that we are, just won’t buy it. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s too simple; perhaps we think it will keep us back from enjoying some of the evil and ungodly delights of this evil and ungodly world?

But Friends, whatever is keeping us back from taking hold of God’s Word and running the biggest and best race of our lives, please let’s drop it, or them, this year and concentrate strictly on Jesus and His desires for and expectations of us.

Hear Bruh Paul tell it to the Corinthians nuh: ‘ Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate (has self-control) in all things.

Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 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 (be disqualified). (1 Cor.9:24-27)

Yes my people, that’s our biggest problem, bringing our bodies and minds under subjection, into a godly kind of discipline. But as Bruh Paul says, if we want to win the race, we have to put in the training time. It’s like everything else in our world; practice makes perfect.

And if we want to have a last testament like Bruh Paul, then we have to get to work seriously on our training program RIGHT NOW! ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of 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 unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, each and every one of us ought to be able to make that statement when our time to cross over to the other side draws near. But unfortunately we won’t be able to do so, unless we start training properly and seriously for that awesome race of life in Jesus Christ RIGHT NOW!

So I’ll leave us to ponder on all that now, and please, let’s enjoy this first day of 2014, as though it’s the first day of the rest of our lives, for in many ways it just might be. Much LOVE!

…turn not to the right hand…nor to the left…remove thy foot from evil…  (Prov.4:27)

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…