Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2019 1 Timothy 2:3.

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

Sunday’s here again friends! Glory be! It’s the day we cease from our normal labour and instead visit the Lord’s sanctuary and have fellowship with other believers! Yes mih people, it’s time for us to sing and dance and praise the Lord and give Him sincere thanks for the many blessings He’s so magnanimously bestowed on us! Wow! What a wonderful God He is! There’s none other like Him! That’s for certain sure!

That’s why we need to show our true LOVE and sincere gratitude by coming together as the body of Christ, His church, at least once a week! And not only do we offer up praise and thanksgiving, but we are renewed and refreshed in return, through hearing His Word and the encouragement of and communion with our fellow believers, so that we can go out and do His work with vim and vigour this upcoming week.

Now let’s get the show on the road by opening, as always, with a song of praise and worship. And today’s number is certainly an old but still very popular number titled ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ And I hear the excited sigh that rises from our throats as the song registers, because it is one we all LOVE to sing! So let’s sing it nuh, with plenty emotion, strong voice and the sweetest of harmonies!

All together now: ‘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 honor, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain 2]’

Oh friends, oh friends, what a powerful and emotionally touching rendition! Heaven could see that we truly believed what we were singing, felt it right down in the very depths of our souls! That’s what some of these old English hymns do to us. Now it’s reputed that the words to that song were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, while the music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871. And has it ever stood the test to time! Becoming the Salvation Army’s favoured processional hymn along the way.

Apparently ‘it was written to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces of the world.’ And it takes its theme from New Testament references of Christians being soldiers for Christ. One example of that is our Bit, Bruh Paul’s famous words to his young protégé Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 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.2:3-4)

Yeh friends as Christians we do need to stand up strong under whatever trials and tribulation comes against us, like a good soldier does. Consequently, that soldier doesn’t get involved with the unnecessary affairs of life, so that he can give his all, his total allegiance and attention to the business of the one who’s chosen him to be a soldier. That means, since Christ has chosen us to be His followers, then we too must endure the tribulation that will certainly come against us, as Christ promised in John 16:33, and neither get involved in the affairs of this world because we are not of it, as He says in John 17:16.

And the analogy of Christians being soldiers in Christ’s army is rather apt, since we are constantly fighting battles of temptation and deceit against Satan and his evil minions. However it’s not a physical battle, although many believers are fighting physical battles in many places in our strife-filled world, but it’s a spiritual battle that most believers face day by day. As Bruh Paul says to the Corinthians: ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ;’ (2 Cor.10:3-5)

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses. ‘10:3-5. Though we walk (live) in the flesh (in a body), we do not war (fight) after (according to) the flesh (human standards. The first phrase of verse 5 looks back to verse 3 and expresses the manner in which believers conduct spiritual warfare. It is by casting down (destroying) imaginations (false arguments), such as Paul’s opponents have raised.’

That also means refuting all the lies and deceit and the temptations the enemy constantly throws at us. And we do that by taking all those wrong thoughts captive and making them conform to Christ’s Word. Remember, our minds are where the serious spiritual battles take place, so we obviously must have our thoughts conform to Christ’s Word to be victorious. And as I was reading the words of the hymn just now, one verse struck me as being somewhat untrue in these evil, divisive times. ‘Like a mighty army moves the church of God;…We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’

I just have to shake my head and sadly chuckle because God’s church is certainly not moving in these ungodly days like a mighty army, more like a stagnant, sluggish, complacent, uninterested band of layabouts. And as to being one body with one hope and one doctrine…What a joke! Christ’s church has never been more divided and fractured and going different ways than now!

But friends, let’s remember that where there’s life there’s also hope, so it’s not too late. If we’re serious about rectifying the ills in the church we still can, if we come together, instead of moving further apart. It will take a lot of hard work and effort, putting our selfish, petty desires aside, and showing the true character of Christ. I know it sounds impossible, but remember too, that ALL things are possible with Christ! Much LOVE!

…to be true soldiers of Christ…Christians must stop seeking and seeing life…the way the world sees it…

 

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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) 

 

 

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 21 November 2018 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.
 
Well it looks like it’s Wednesday, the middle of the work week…but don’t quote me on that nuh, because I’m not completely sure. (smile) I’m just assuming that because I was so busy on the first two days, that this next one is indeed Wednesday, since Wednesday is supposed to be the third one in the troika!  And that’s why they say B.S baffles brains! 

Lighten up mih people, the Lord Jesus Christ is in the house, and all’s right with His people, because He says so: ‘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, I know that’s a very big, broad and difficult statement to handle, especially with all the stuff that’s going on in the world today. And I’m sure if you are one of those people in California who have lost everything through those terrible wild fires, and are now being threatened by flash floods, mudslides and landslides, it might be near impossible to accept that. But being a true believer means that you ought to accept whatever Jesus says as gospel truth, even though your circumstances are crying out in a much different manner. 

Ah mih people, it’s only faith, buoyed by hope that will take us through the terrible times. Without faith and hope in Jesus Christ, you’re just completely lost, because He is the ONLY ONE who can really turn things around in your favour. And yes, it is hard, and difficult and heart-rending, but with Him in your corner, please remember that ALL things are possible. End of Sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s try and break down our Bit into its salient parts and find passages of scripture that agree with it. Let’s begin with ‘in me ye might have peace.’ Listen to Bruh Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians. ‘But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes (once) were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he (he himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. 

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain (put to death) the enmity thereby. And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.’ (Eph.2:13-17) 

And what that’s basically saying is that Jesus came and broke down the walls of enmity between Jews and Gentiles and made them into one body, the Christian Church. The Jews felt that they were better than the Gentiles because they had a close relationship with God, and they considered the Gentiles outcasts.

But Jesus came and removed the dividing wall, the Mosaic Law, which had been instituted to protect the Jews from pagan corruption, and which the Jews were abusing anyway. So that now, through Jesus’ coming and sacrifice, both Jews and Gentiles are now one; Christians in Christ! Glory to God! 

And as pertaining to: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer;’ hear Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘But thou hast fully known (followed) my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity (LOVE), patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.’ (2 Tim.3:10-13) 

Yes friends, even Jesus, when speaking of the signs for the world’s end, said it in so many words: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) Ah mih people, we simply have to keep the faith and believe in the promises of Jesus! 

And finally, as per ‘I have overcome the world,’ listen to Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life; nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:37-39) Now that’s surely a most powerful statement my fellow believers…and a very true one at that! 

Hear the scholars: ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (v.28).’

Glory to God my believing brethren! Nothing can harm us because our heavenly Father is the most omnipotent power in His universe! Wow! 

Now let’s go home telling this evil world our position in that omnipotent force, Jesus Christ, through our Wednesday Wail! In loud, proud and sincere voice: ‘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 will that future ever be glorious my people! Much LOVE!

…believing in Jesus here on earth might be rough…but brother…are the heavenly rewards ever awesome and amazing…simply stupendous…

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2018 2 John 7.

2 John 7.   For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

It’s glorious out there friends! Both the sun and the Son are shining forth in all their brilliant glory! That’s why we can joyfully acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! Most definitely my brethren! We’d be foolish not to rejoice in the good things our generous God has so richly provided, for they do outweigh whatever adversity comes against us. 

And I know that a lot of people are facing serious adversity all over the world, like those in North Carolina facing the ravages of hurricane Florence. But what yuh going to do eh? Just sit and bemoan your misfortune? That’s not going to help any, just make you feel worse. We need to get up and do what we can to ease the situation ourselves, plus have a good attitude, while turning prayerfully to God, our Creator and Provider. 

Remember friends, it’s God who created us and allows whatever comes against us to do so, so it just makes good sense to turn to Him in times of need. Remember too that He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, so He won’t leave us in the lurch all on our lonesome. If he decides that we should battle through the adversity, then He will be in there battling with us. That’s for sure! 

And the workingman gives us a good example of facing adversity in his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Glory be! It’s the weekend and no more labour, no more labour, no more labour for that  wicked man called massa! He can’t touch me now, so I’ll just do my own thing; eat and drink and party hearty! And when I go back Monday, if I go back, I’ll deal with that then! But right now it’s the weekend which spells, party time! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes, he is pushing a bit to the extreme, but he’s not allowing his unfortunate work predicament to spoil his overall attitude. And so should we, my fellow believers. That’s why we have our Friday Chant; to keep us level headed and aware of what’s happening. As followers of Jesus, we can’t behave like the workingman, we need some more circumspection in our faith walk, but that doesn’t preclude us from having fun, fun within certain boundaries. 

So let’s chant up a storm today nuh! In unison and with sincere sincerity: (smile) ‘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!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, it’s time to relax from our weekly labour, but not get so relaxed that we forget about Lucifer and his ever constant attacks against our immortal souls. For as John the Revelator tells us in our Bit: ‘For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.’ 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘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 it is! For how else would we get a sinless body to atone for our sins eh? Anybody born of man and woman will always have a sinful nature and won’t qualify as propitiation, atonement or worthwhile sacrifice for the myriad of sins we commit against a most holy God. Thus John warns: ‘Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought (worked for), but that we receive a full reward.’ (2 John 8) 

Now hear the scholars on that verse: ‘8. The first and third we should probably be “you” (plural) according to many ancient manuscripts. It is dangerous for any person, including a believer, to follow teachings contrary to Scripture.’ 

And so it is! ‘Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.’ (2 John 9) And per that verse, the scholars advise: ‘9. John makes Christology the central doctrine of the faith.’ But what else could it be eh? If the basic doctrine of Christ is not the central theme in the study and advocacy of Christ, then the whole thing is false. 

So John continues his warning. ‘If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him (give him a greeting) Godspeed. For he that biddeth him (greets him) Godspeed is partaker of (shares in) his evil deeds.’ (2 John 10-11) 

And if you’re wondering why that is, listen to the scholars’ explanation. ‘10-11. In the early decades of Christianity, local churches were planted and sustained by itinerant preachers and teachers. For those workers to survive, it was necessary for believers to show hospitality. However, one had to be sure that he was not aiding and abetting false teachers, that is, those with unorthodox views of the person and work of Christ. 

To take such people in, John says, is to endorse their teaching. John’s command forbids true Christians to actively support the ministry of false teachers. It is not a prohibition against having non-Christians (e.g. unsaved family members or neighbours) into one’s home – unless, of course, they are spreading anti-Christian doctrine, and seeking to use one’s home as a base of operations.’ 

And you know what friends? All of that still holds true today, because there are even more false teachers and preachers out there than in John’s time. So please, let’s be careful as to whom and what we open ourselves to nuh in these trying and oh so deceitful end times. Much LOVE!

…if you don’t believe exactly what Jesus says about Jesus…then you’re not believing the truth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 May 2018 Psalm 133:1.

Psalm 133:1.   Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.

Ah mih brethren, another glorious day is in the offing in my neighbourhood! Can’t remember when last I saw so many gorgeous days strung together. And yuh know, even when the rain falls, it doesn’t fall at an inopportune time, and then those days end up glorious too. (smile) 

This springtime has really been a beautiful regeneration of nature! Glory Be! Let’s enjoy it as we thank our great and awesome God for the wonderful blessings of life and LOVE that He has given us. And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’ 

And by the way, that volcano watch on Hawaii – well it seems to be getting worse every day. I believe there have been some explosions that are causing even more problems than before. Let’s remember to keep them in our prayers, and hope it doesn’t truly erupt, as volcanoes are possibly the most terrible of all destructions that can occur; it encapsulates the real fire and brimstone, which we so mythically talk about. 

And today we’re going to get into our Bit very early, because it is possibly the most important problem facing Christ’s church right now. Hear these immortal words of Bruh David and give pause, let’s give thought to them in our own lives. ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.’ 

Oh my people, if only that state of affairs even existed to one iota in the church of today, what a great church we’d have! But bickering and quarreling and disunity are the name of the game. Thus Christ’s body has become of little use to a major part of society. They scorn it and turn away from it because of the tremendous infighting and confusion that exists therein, not to mention that we don’t walk the talk we preach. 

So how can Christ’s church ever become the focal point of our society under those conditions eh? Never! And it’s not to say that the arguments are all over major points of doctrine – No- a lot of them are over rather petty and immaterial stuff. But such is the hold of the world on us, that power and supremacy of religion or denomination keeps us from being more together. 

Ah friends, can’t we see that strife is the enemy’s number one goal amongst believers? That way he keeps us warring against each other and not living in the peace and LOVE that Jesus desires of us. How unfortunate that we are allowing it to happen. Let’s look at some scripture on the subject. 

We see way back when Lot and Abraham’s people were feuding over grazing land and water that Abraham wisely told him. ‘Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.’ (Gen.13:8) 

Oh fellow believers in Christ, right there we have the most important aspect of our being on this earth; being brethren in Christ! That means we don’t need to be fighting each other over petty stuff. We won’t ever agree on everything, but this much we ought to agree on: that we are ONE in Christ! 

And there is no better example of that than after Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit began indwelling believers and the new church was born. Hear the Good Book tell it re the day of Pentecost. ‘Then they that gladly receive his (Peter’s) word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.’ (Acts 2:41-42) 

Yuh see that friends, ‘they continued steadfastly.’ Those are the most important words in that sentence. And they didn’t believe the apostles’ doctrine because they preached it, but because it agreed with the Word of God, which also called for fellowship and prayers. 

And the Good Book continues: ‘And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by (through) the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common. And sold their possessions and goods, and parted (distributed) them to all men, as every man (anyone) had need. 

And they, continuing daily with one accord (mind) in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house did eat their meat (food) with gladness and singleness (simplicity) of heart. Praising God, and having favour with all people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be (were being) saved.’ (Acts 2:43-47)  

Wow! What a moving memorial of the early church! Now we know that the communal living couldn’t happen nowadays, and didn’t last long there either. People sold their possessions because they possibly thought that Jesus was coming back real soon (smile), but look at how they communed together ‘in one accord, one mind.’ 

That’s how we ought to commune today friends; with Jesus as our guiding light regardless of the circumstance! Not all the other nonsense that we’ve allowed the world to intersperse into the church. Anyhow, time and space are upon us, so please ponder those things and see how we can improve our own situations. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings that our LOVING God has bestowed on us, even though we don’t deserve most of them. In strong and sincere voice 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 please remember those blessings were not given for us to hoard, but to go out and share with others. Much LOVE!

…stand fast…in one spirit…with one mind…striving together…for the faith of the gospel…(Phil.2:27b)

 

 

 

 

 

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