Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2016 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.   Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Ah friends, it’s Saturday, which spells sleeping in and rest for some, while for the unlucky others, household chores will take up most of their day. But not to worry it’s all good. (smile) 

Yeh, tell that to the mothers who are up and busy while the fathers lay about in bed or slouch on the living room couch in front of the t.v watching some sporting event like the Olympics.  Hn! To each his own; the important thing is that you’re well-rested, bright and fresh to go back out on Monday morning and do the work thing all over again. 

In the meantime let’s check out some quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. Now this week it was kind of hard to pick just two, so I chose the easy way out and picked three. (smile) They are short anyway, so they won’t take up much space. 

The first one says: ‘Life is raw material. We are artisans. We can sculpt our existence into something beautiful, or debase it into ugliness. It’s in our hands.’ 

And that’s very true, for we basically hold the canvas of our lives in our own hands and to a great extent can make of it whatever we desire. We have the ability to paint a beautiful picture with our lives or just make it dark and ugly. Oh there will be problems and roadblocks, whatever path we choose, but technically speaking, our lives are ours to build as we see fit. 

And the second of Anselm’s quotes tells us: ‘One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.’ 

Now that’s definitely gospel truth my people! Life is not easy and there are many pitfalls, etc. that can get us down and discouraged, but that’s never the wise or smart way to go, especially if you are a believer in Jesus Christ. Now optimism doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will work out the way you want, but at least you’ll be able to handle the negative situations in a positive manner; staying encouraged, not giving up, leaning on and looking to Jesus for His faithful promise of help in rough times.  

And last but not least, Anselm declares: ‘If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.’ That also rings out with truth my brethren because our words have power, awesome power, and whatever we keep saying, be it positive or negative, usually comes to pass. And somehow or other, the negatives in our speech seem to come to pass more than the positives. So it’s extremely important that we stick to positive speech. 

That brings us to our Bit, some positive speech from Bruh Paul the Philippians. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Yes friends, that is a very necessary lesson for every Christian to learn. 

Then Bruh Paul goes on to make one of the immortal statements in the Bible. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) And that’s the basis on which he is able to be contented in whatever situation he finds himself. 

Hear the scholars: ‘4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman. The reason that he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances. God orders Paul’s various situations, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’ 

And nobody went through as many harrowing and dangerous experiences as Bruh Paul. Oh my fellow believers, the same thing applies to all of us! God sets us where He wants us and then gives us the wherewithal to stand; to stand strong and steadfast regardless of the circumstances. That’s why we Christians are able to bear up under pressure that non-believers can’t handle: our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ enables us to handle it through the help of His Helper, the Holy Spirit. 

So though times might look dark and disturbing, you are exactly where the heavenly Father desires you to be, and if you stick to Him like glue, (smile) He will enable you to bear whatever adversity you are currently encountering. 

Now let’s check out some scriptures that jive with our Bit. Listen to Bruh Paul again, this time to Timothy in his warning against false teachers. ‘But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (clothing) let us therewith be content.’ (1 Tim.6:6-8) 

Hear the scholars. 8:8. This verse prevents the wrong understanding of verse 7, that material possessions have no place in the Christian’s life. By figure of speech food and raiment stand for all of life’s basic necessities. These are all the believer needs, and having these he can be content.’ 

Let’s turn to the words of Agur now in Proverbs as he talks to God ‘Two things have I required (requested of thee); deny me them not (deprive me not) before I die. Remove far from me vanity (falsehood) and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient (you prescribe) for me. Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take (profane) the name of the Lord in vain.’ (Prov.30:7-9)  

And we’ll end with these interesting words from the scholars. ’30:7-9. Agur’s prayer is for a convenient and lifelong integrity, accompanied by a rejection of lies and riches. His resting in God’s provision for him (v.8) anticipates the words of our Lord. (Matt.6:11).’ 

What more can I say eh friends, except that that is a worthwhile and godly way to live. So let’s emanate him if we can nuh. Much LOVE!

…give us this day our daily bread… (Matt.6:11)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2015 Philippians 4:13

 Philippians 4:13.     I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
  

Oh Friends, I really don’t know what to say this cold, wet and windy Wednesday morning nuh. I was most surprised when I opened my bleary eyes and saw that it was after eight o’clock. But I guess the Lord saw that the body needed more rest than I was prepared to give it and He allowed me to sleep in. Hn!

But then when I did get up, the ole body was aching all over, from head to foot, which also shows that too much rest is not good for it. (smile)
 
But the long and short of the story Friends is that I’m up and about, though not kicking as strongly as I would like – yet. However, I do know that our wonderful God is on His heavenly throne in full control of all activities in His beautiful universe.
 
The brilliant light from His awesome Son Jesus surrounds us. His never ending and unconditional LOVE enfolds us. His unimaginable power protects us, while His faithful and comforting presence continually watches over us. And that means that ALL is well my people!
 
So there is no need to worry, because the gracious and merciful and forgiving I AM, has everything under control, the universe is proceeding and unfolding as it should. What a marvellous God we serve and worship my brethren! Never let anybody tell you differently nuh!
 
On the other side of the coin though, this morning I read where a farmer, a middle aged woman in Oregon, U.S.A was found guilty of murdering two men over a period of a year and feeding their remains to her pigs. How gruesome a crime – especially to be perpetrated by a woman!
 
We certainly don’t expect that sort of crime to be committed by women. And the sad part is that her picture shows her like a caring, motherly type. It just goes to show that we truly can’t judge others by their outward appearances, and unfortunately only the Lord has the power to see into our hearts and discern our real motives and agenda.
 
That means we have to be very careful of whom we allow in to our lives and associate with. What a sad time we’re living in my brethren. How ironic that at the most enlightened and advanced time in man’s history, that we’re possibly the most corrupt, cruel and sadistic, though in more refined ways.
 
We’re certainly not using the advances and enlightenment for good purposes like we should, but rather for evil and wicked stuff. Things like moral character, integrity and high standards are disappearing from our world, only to be replaced by stuff like greed, selfishness, heinous cruelty and ungodliness.
 
However my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, the good news is that we’re here to try and rectify the terrible situation that now exists in our world. And though it looks like a long, uphill battle, with our kindness, caring, empathy and the good news of Jesus’ gospel, we can prevail over the evil powers of darkness and win the battle of good over evil.
 
Glory Hallelujah! And we are assured of this in the wonderful words of encouragement that flow from Bruh Paul through our Bit. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’
 
And all God’s people shouted a loud and delirious; ‘Glory to God who empowers us to do whatever He wills!’
 
Yes my fellow believers that’s gospel truth and a basic tenet of our faith, which we must clearly and dearly believe and then act upon it with faith. But before we go any further, let’s hear the scholars’ important explanation on that verse.
 
‘4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman. The reason he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability.
 
Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances. God orders Paul’s various situations, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’
 
Oh my people, my people, those words also resonate with heavenly truth in our modern day situations. God allows us to be in different kinds of situations, then gives us the wherewithal to endure them and come out more Christ-like on the other side.
 
Thus we can, or ought to be able to say like Bruh Paul does before our Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
 
I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:11-12)
 
Oh Friends, all of that also pertains to us today! But please note one thing, that process of being content in any situation does not come easily, neither from book learning or overnight, but from hard practical experience. It has to be learned, as Bruh Paul says: ‘I have learned.’
 
So too we must learn from all the experiences that God allows us to go through, remembering that with His empowering strength, we can do whatever He calls us to do, and also that He has a good plan and a future for our lives, as well as He works everything out for the good of those who LOVE Him and are called to do His bidding.
 
Oh Friends, I had to chuckle at that last Spirit-induced sentence, as it contains three basic but ever-faithful tenets of our faith and the everlasting LOVING-kindness of our God. I’m not going to elaborate on them, because they are three faith-feeding scriptures that we all should know.
 
So let’s ponder them this fateful day, as we give thanks for the breath of life that God has allowed in us, and all the other mercies, blessings and forgiveness that He daily bestows on us, many of which we are totally undeserving of.
 
And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! For his goodness to the children of men endures for ever!’
 
And that’s gospel truth Friends! So with all that stuff in mind, let’s go out and show the world the real joy of being a follower of Jesus, so that they too can want, can greatly desire to follow in His footsteps. Much LOVE!
 
…where He leads me…I will follow, follow…for He will never lead me astray…that’s His faithful promise…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2014 Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13.     I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

 
Oh Friends, I certainly wasn’t able to sit on my deck yesterday afternoon and enjoy the warm, healing rays of the sun, for it was a tad chilly, just like the weather people had said. And it looks like today will be just the same. Oh the annoying vagaries of the weather eh!
 
However, with bated breath, hungry hope and expectant faith, we are patiently waiting for those ‘lazy, crazy days of summer’ to arrive. (smile) For we know that they will eventually appear, because the Lord has decreed it, just not exactly when.
 
And so, as we wait with eager patience for all that God has in store for us, let’s make, or rather reaffirm this pledge, this declaration of intent, since we have invoked it before.
 
‘I can do all things through Christ. God has new opportunities for me. I am not settling for where I am now. I’m stretching myself, and pursuing what He (God) has put in my heart. God’s plan for my life is greater than I could imagine, and I am determined to be who He wants me to be. This is my declaration of what I can do through Christ.’
 
And all of God’s people proclaimed a loud and lusty: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’
 
Yes Friends, please remember that when we partner with Christ, when we have Him and His Holy Spirit buried deep in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, when He’s our true guide and leader, anything at all is possible through His omnipotence!
 
And that’s something we Christians don’t take as seriously and believe as strongly as we ought to, for if we did, a lot of us wouldn’t be in some of the unfortunate and/or untenable situations that we’re currently in.
 
Unfortunately, too many of us simply pay lip service to our Bit. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’
 
Oh Friends, that’s a basic tenet of our faith! If we don’t truly believe that, and even more importantly put it into practice, then our faith is useless, since we can’t successfully fight the evil powers of this world in our own strength.
 
Now just before our Bit, Bruh Paul made two other famous statements to the Philippians. Speaking in appreciation of a gift they’d sent him (most likely money), he declares: ‘But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me (concern) hath flourished again (revived); wherein ye were also careful (though you surely did care), but ye lacked opportunity.
 
Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I both know how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:10-12)
 
Oh my fellow believers, what mighty words, and also lessons that each and every Christian ought to learn and apply!
 
Now here is some worthwhile info from the scholars on those verses and our Bit. ‘4:10. Wherein ye were also careful, or, “regarding your care for me, you really were concerned”: Paul acknowledges that they were concerned about his needs all along, but they lacked opportunity to minister to him.
 
4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication.
 
I have learned…to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.
 
4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is, to tighten the belt in lean times. To abound means to live in prosperity.
 
Every where and in all things I am instructed (or, “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is, “well-fed” To abound means to have plenty. To suffer need means to go without.
 
Paul has acquired the skill for successfully living with little and with much, the latter probably being harder: “For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” (Thomas Carlyle).
 
4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman.
 
The reason he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances.
 
God orders Paul’s various situations, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’
 
Oh yes my brethren, it’s God’s provision that enables us to be strong and content in any and every situation. But it’s not an easy thing to accomplish and can only be learned though life’s hard lessons.
 
That’s why it’s so awfully important to have the Holy Spirit of Jesus firmly entrenched in our being, so that we can have the necessary help to face all our situations, be they good or bad.
 
Steups! And it’s interesting that I had one of those situations a little while ago. In the middle of copying verse 10, above, the power suddenly went, and I lost a little of what I had written. But I didn’t pull out my hair and scream to high heaven, as I would have done previously. 
 
Now I was unhappy and annoyed, but over the years I’ve learned to save stuff as I write, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, or has been in the past, when I had to start over from scratch.
 
So I had to reboot and all of that, and with my already waking up late, it just makes the Bit even later. I don’t like it when the Bit is late, but life happens, and I just have to grin and bear it. (smile)
 
Oh, one more thing, for those of you who happen to check out my Blog site, please accept my humble apologies for the different fonts and sizes that have been appearing on it lately. That’s not my fault. I post it properly, but somehow or the other when wordpress, my blogging site, converts it, these days it comes up that way.
 
I’m not thrilled with it all, and I’m trying to have it fixed. But until then please bear with me. Chuh!
 
Anyway, we have lots to meditate and ponder on today, to learn to live contentedly in whatever situation we find ourselves, so let’s get to it nuh. (smile) And I know it’s long, but that makes up for yesterday’s short one. (smile)  
 
And I hope that the Bit helps us all to keep our focus on Almighty God, as it’s designed to do. For that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Him (Jesus)…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE HIM…for He makes everything worthwhile…