Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2020 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.     And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 

Well mih people, hope you all are having a fine Saturday, sleeping in or lazing on the couch. Some of us can’t afford those luxuries though, we have to get up and labour away, just like any other day. (smile) But it’s all in the Lord’s name, so I guess it’s okay. And the confusion in the streets and in the medical community still reign. In some places it’s better, in some it’s worse, but be it known that this is indeed a monumental time in the history of mankind. 

And who knows what the outcome will be? For sure there will be changes, but what changes and to what extent? And are they going to make a difference, a substantial or meaningful difference in the way our world operates. Right now, ONLY the Lord alone knows, but let’s all hope and pray, that at the end of this pandemic and these protests that our world will wake up in a new and better place. And all God’s people said a loud and prayerful ‘Amen!’ 

Now let’s get into our Saturday mode and look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one directly addresses one of our current problems. ‘It’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.’ 

And I know that some of you, particularly the privileged ones, won’t agree with that statement, because you have never walked a day in a black man’s shoes, but I do, wholeheartedly. That’s because all over the world, the people of African heritage are treated differently than others. It’s so ridiculous that even if you have a white parent, and you look white, you are considered black, because dislike of black skin or heritage is so deeply entrenched in our white ruled society. Now that’s not to say that other minorities aren’t treated in a poor manner too, but nowhere near as badly as black people are treated. 

And the next quote informs to the first one: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ And isn’t that the living truth! For some reason, possibly because we’re all so selfish and greedy, injustice travels faster and further than justice! The wheels of justice turn ever so slowly, while those of injustice just seem to race along. Have you ever noticed how quickly injustice spreads amongst a hitherto reasonably just society, but how long it takes for justice to be restored when the injustice has been broken down? 

What can I say eh? I guess it’s just the nature of the human animal, that’s why there’s so much truth in the saying, ‘Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.’ No doubt our Creator made us to be LOVING, humane beings, but with our free will, we have evolved to be the exact opposite. And the next quote interestingly advises: ‘If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.’ 

Hn, Hn! I like it. It sounds saucy and somewhat rebellious! And why not eh? If people keep jawing in your ears about your inability to move up and on, then simply do so well, move on and up so far, that you can’t hear their negative caterwauling any longer. (smile) It’s so sad when you realize the vast amount of people who never reach their potential because of loudmouthed naysayers! And that’s exactly why our next and last quote is so awesomely true: ‘It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.’ And that’s the backbone of our Christian faith: ‘NEVER GIVE UP!’ 

Yes my faithful believing friends, those words don’t exist in Christ’s vocabulary. His motto is ‘KEEP KEEPING ON!’ And anyone who chooses to seriously follow Him must also make that their number one goal. And Jesus said it ever so plainly: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ It couldn’t be any clearer than that. And for good measure, He said it a second time when talking about the signs before the end. ‘And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the LOVE of many shall wax (grow) cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matt. 24:12-13) 

And we’re seeing that right now; lawlessness abounds and LOVE is a meaningless word. But as a true believer, you just have to tell your awesome pilot, Jesus: ‘Steady as she goes!’ (smile) We just have to keep on keeping on, enduring and persevering right down to the very end. We can’t be like the seed in the parable of the sower that are sown on stony ground, who hear the word and ‘immediately receive it with gladness. And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction (tribulation) or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended (caused to stumble).’ (Mark 4:16-17) 

No friends, true believers need to react in Bruh Paul’s words, like Charity, like LOVE: ‘Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ (! Cor. 13:5-7) Yes mih people, true Christian behaviour is not an easy row to hoe, but with Jesus’ help we can certainly accomplish it, if we truly believe as we like to say: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And it’s why He also told Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship) like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:3) We believers are all supposed to be soldiers in Christ’s army, and good soldiers endure hardship for their leader and their cause. What we must therefore endeavour to truthfully say at the end, are these momentous words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘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. 4:7-8) 

Now friends, if we would all make that our sincere goal, and work diligently towards it, then our world will be eventually turned right side up, and we’ll get our just rewards in heaven. Much LOVE!

…with strong faith and trust in Christ…we can persevere and endure…whatever comes our way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2020 2 Timothy 4:7.

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

And yes, it is a cool and cloudy Tuesday morning, and we are beset by all kinds of problems, individually, nationally and internationally, but friends that is no reason to fear and be anxious and lose our cool, our joy and peace in the Lord. Remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength, (Neh. 8:10) and that the bright and energizing light of Jesus is shining powerfully right now, in the hearts and souls of every person who considers Him their Lord and Saviour! That’s His faithful promise, and as believers, we desperately need to hold on to it in these rather turbulent and dangerous times or else all will fall down. 

My brethren, we were made for these tough times, therefore we have whatever it takes to handle them successfully and see them through to the very end. And today friends, I just want to encourage us, to lift up and strengthen our faith with some enabling scriptures on enduring. So let’s begin with the indisputable truth contained in the words of the psalmist in Psalm 102 – A cry in distress. ‘My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. But thou, O Lord, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.’ (Ps. 102:11-13) 

Yes faithful saints of Christ, our great God will endure forever and will shower us with His never ending mercy. So please let’s not be afraid as the end times are getting into full swing, and to the ordinary eye, definitely not looking very encouraging. And the psalmist further encourages us: ‘Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure (continue forever): yea, all of them shall wax (grow) old like a garment; as a vesture (cloak) shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed (descendants) shall be established before thee.’ (Ps. 102: 25-28) 

What a mighty promise my people! But as always, we need to believe it and hold on tightly to it, otherwise it’s of no consequence. Yes, our great God will endure forever, there’s no doubt about that, because he is the Creator and maintainer of this wonderful universe, that is now going through the throes of its death knell. But remember this unalterable truth from the author of Hebrews: ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.’ (Heb. 13:8) Everything else has the capacity to and possibility of changing, except our Lord and Saviour, so let’s hold on to him nuh, and don’t give up or fear. 

For as Bruh Paul so famously and truthfully declared to the church at Rome: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?’ (Rom. 8:35) And the answer to that question friends, is a big, fat, loud ‘NOBODY!’ Yes indeed! And as Bruh Paul continues, quoting Ps. 44:22: ‘As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ (Rom. 8:36) 

And our enemies might consider us such, but Bruh Paul begs to differ. ‘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 separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:37-39) Now that’s how powerful the LOVE of our God is! 

And the scholars extend this wonderful and most encouraging explanation. ‘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 (cf. vs. 28).’ And we all know quite well what Rom. 8:28 says. But for posterity’s sake (smile) we’ll record it here. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ 

So having said all of those encouraging things above, let’s continue with some more scriptures on enduring and endurance. (smile) Hear this one, from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:3) Yes friends, we are all soldiers in the army of Christ and soldiers are expected to endure hardship, so let’s do it without too much complaining nuh. For as James says: ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried (has been proved), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12) 

Oh my people, our endurance and victory over trials brings God’s blessings. Thus we are not to always seek avenues of escape from our troubles, but rather to grow and mature in those tough situations! So that at the end, we can say with full confidence, like Bruh Paul. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure 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) 

What else can I say eh friends? It’s all laid out for us, but we have to do our part and accept, believe it, and work diligently (work out our salvation) towards a glorious end! And for those of us who have sincerely and diligently accepted the challenge, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, valiantly proclaiming to an unbelieving world, who and whose we are! 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now let’s get up action that proclamation nuh! It’s what Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…NOW is the time…for Christians…to be the salt of the earth…and let their light shine forth… 

P.S. Yes it’s late, due to the usual late nights…or early mornings, but an ole dog can’t change his stripes in mid-stream mih friends, much less his latter days. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
And on a rainy, somewhat gloomy looking Saturday morning, the urge to sleep in was irresistible, especially when the beddy-bye time was the wee hours of the morn. (smile) I was up late watching the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it has to be one of the best movies ever made, simply because of it’s scope, grandeur and length; 4 hours. It must have taken a long time to make since they didn’t have all the computer stuff and special effects back in 1939 when it was first released, that we have now. 

And it just shows the utter wastefulness of war; the civil war in the U.S, where the old South is fighting to keep a style of life that has outlived its usefulness, with slavery and the grand families, plantations and mansions of the time as its centre piece. However, by the time I got to the intermission, it was already 4 a.m. so I shut it down until another time. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what mental goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I’m in a quandary here, not knowing where to begin and end, as each of the quotes seem to have real truth, substance and body to them. (smile) Ah, the best place to begin is always the beginning! And the first quote tells us: ‘Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.’

 Now that’s ever so true my faithful brethren! It’s exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects from ALL His followers! It’s not easy to do, but with His help we can do it. That’s why He told us to not to indulge in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth situation, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to give away our coat too, and to LOVE our enemies, bless them and pray for them.’ (Matt.5:38) That’s also why Bruh Paul told us not to recompense evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

And that runs right into the next dandy of a quote: ‘There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ Ah friends, none of us like adversity, but unfortunately that’s the only way we grow in our faith walk and learn from our mistakes. It’s only when we go through rough times that we actually have to use our faith to help us get through them. Otherwise our faith just sits dormant and thus cannot grow. 

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘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.’ (John 16:33) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

Then there are also these awesome words of wisdom: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.’ Yes friends, none of us began our lives as wise as we now are. That’s because true wisdom comes with age and experience. So we don’t need to knock the young as much or as hard as we sometimes do, for hopefully they too will get wise with age and experience. 

Remember Jesus words: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt.7:1-2) Oh my people, if our current, oh so quick to judge and judgemental world would only adopt that teaching eh! Unfortunately it doesn’t like that’s going to happen at any time soon, because we’re all so engrossed on judging each other; just look at the foolishness that’s going unhindered on the social media platforms nuh. Some of us with the biggest planks in our eyes are daring to judge those with mere specks in theirs!  (Matt.7:3-5) 

Now here’s the piece de resistance (smile): ‘Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.’ And we all know that as gospel truth because we serve a God of new beginnings, new chances and starting over as often as is necessary. That’s why Bruh Paul admitted to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached where I want to be, the ultimate pinnacle): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul didn’t think he was a hot shot, although he could boast about many things, his religious credentials and past Christian achievements. As the scholars say: ‘In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life (v.11).’ 

And so should we be evermore focused on what’s coming up and not what’s gone before. Hear the scholars: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, my people, this Saturday morning I sincerely implore us to be wise and diligently seek that mark, that objective of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection, so that we can all eventually receive the wonderful heavenly prize given to those who have received and accepted the divine summons of salvation! Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence! (smile) And we can then declare like Bruh Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7)  Much LOVE!

…Christians should always be looking forward to the ultimate prize…that of being with Christ in heaven…for eternity…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2019 2 Timothy 4:8.

2 Timothy 4:8.   ​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.
 
And then it was Saturday, and the sun seems to be fighting a losing battle against the dark clouds in my neighbourhood. But thankfully, the souls of believers in Jesus Christ never have to go through that dilemma because the bright light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ALWAYS shining brightly in our souls! 

And all God’s children gave a loud and grateful shout of: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His Holy Name! Give Him unending thanks for sending Jesus to save and rescue us!’ 

Yeh friends, what a blessed day that was when Jesus came to earth to save the lost and free those caught up in the bondage of sin! That’s why I can’t understand why so many of us still reject Him. But to each his own, we’ll have to bear the consequences of whatever decision we make, whether it’s the wise one to accept Jesus, or the foolish one to reject Him! 

But since it’s Saturday and we have several quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow, let’s check them out nuh. And the first one says: ‘A year from now you will wish you had started today.’ And that’s certainly true! 

Any project you keep putting off, will come back to haunt you. You’ll find that time has gotten away from you and nothing’s been done on the project. It’s like the Chinese Proverb says: ‘The longest journey always begins with the first step.’ So it’s advisable to take that first step as soon as possible and don’t keep putting it off. 

And the second quote advises: ‘Lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at you.’ That certainly has some wisdom in it. Not all our critics or naysayers are wrong yuh know. Sometimes they do have valid points of criticism, and the wise person listens to those criticisms, evaluates them, and then uses whatever is pertinent to their particular situation. 

Granted, a lot of us just criticize for the sake of criticizing, and there’s no real value to what we say, but in many instances, there are some gems of wisdom which we can use as strong building blocks. So never just write off criticism as useless. 

 Now hear this next quote: ‘I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.’ Words of wisdom friends! We’re not superhuman, only human, and thus are subject to frailties and weaknesses, which mean we will occasionally fail at stuff we do. 

However, failure is not really failure until we stop trying! That’s the difference between success and failure; the act of not giving up! Look at our oh so technological society, how do you think we got to where we are? It’s because many inventors and investors did not give up when they originally failed. They tried and tried again until they succeeded! 

And that’s exactly what Jesus desires and expects of his followers: NO GIVING UP! Those words are not in His vocabulary at all, and should not be in ours either! So please, let’s keep on keeping on nuh, because we have ALLthe parts to do so. Jesus gave them to us when He died on the cross at Calvary to save our sinful souls and then sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us for all time! Wow! What an awesome Lord and Saviour we have! 

And in this last quote we’re called on to prove the greatness of Jesus in our lives. It says: ‘If you run, you stand a chance of losing, but if you don’t run, you’ve already lost.’ More truth from our friend Anselm! It’s like they say: ‘If you don’t have a ticket, you don’t stand a chance of winning!’ 

So if you want to win at anything, you’ve got to get into the race and run it. You might lose, but if you’re not in it, you certainly won’t win. Non-runners can’t win a race in which they don’t run. It’s as simple as that! (smile) And my fellow believers, the most important race we’ll ever have to run is the race of life that’s set before each and everyone of us, in bright and glowing colour, Technicolor, if you will (smile) because we are followers of Jesus! 

Yes my fellow believers, there’s a light that shines so brilliantly in our lives that at times it tends to blind us, especially when we escape from any dark times in which we find ourselves. It’s like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, but in our case it’s a true and sure light, that of heaven with Jesus at the end of our earthly lives…and not just for a short time, but for all eternity! And that means forever…and ever…and ever…until forever…whenever that might be! (smile) 

But seriously though friends, listen to these immortal words of Bruh Paul, his last testament to Timothy and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. ‘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) 

That’s the light at the end of the tunnel friends: a crown of righteousness from our heavenly Father, when we run our earthly race with steadfast faith and trust, and finish it with a fighting spirit, no matter how tired, bedraggled and abused our physical bodies might be! 

Ah friends, let me end by reminding us that the race of life is the greatest and most important race we’ll ever run, and the only way to win it is by running it with Jesus as your ever-present partner! That’s it in a nutshell! So please, let’s make the necessary arrangements to run our race of life with Jesus as our partner…RIGHT NOW! 

Why? Because we know not when our race will end; it could be shortly, or a long time from now, but wisdom dictates that we do it as soon as possibly, preferably RIGHT NOW, to avoid any unforeseen mishaps! Much LOVE!

…no Jesus in your race of life…means no winner’s crown of righteousness…at the end of your race…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2018 1 Timothy 6:12.

1 Timothy 6:12. ​   Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.

 

One more time unto the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yeh, I’ve got another medical appointment this morning, that’s why the Bit is so early again. The good thing though is that I don’t have to go into Toronto, it’s just some diagnostic testing not too far down the street from me. 

But I do have to fast for it, and fasting, or rather forced fasting and I are not the best of friends. The ole stomach is here growling away on me, calling for food, but I still have a few hours to go until I can grant it its request. (smile) But as they say, it’s all for my benefit. So just suck it up, grin and bear it! 

That brings us to this bit of good advice attributed to James J Corbett (1866-1933), the American Heavyweight fighter, better known as ‘Gentleman Jim.’ He advises: ‘Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round.’ And that from someone who knows what He’s talking about through personal experience! 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we Christians are called to do; fight one more round, even though we feel at the point of exertion, be it physical, mental or emotional. Oh, I know many of us are tired, what with all our personal problems, including health, wealth and friendship matters, but as believers, we’re not supposed to give up. Giving up doesn’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. 

And further still, they say that the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, so if you’re seeing what you consider a very dark hour, please believe that relief is right around the corner. Remember the mind is the most powerful tool in the world, and what we believe we can achieve. We have to use what resources we possess to our best advantage and keep on keeping on. 

As Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy in his first missive: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (LOVE of money, hurtful lusts, material wealth.); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ 

And as the scholars say of our Bit: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possess spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah mih breddren being a true believer in Jesus Christ is not easy, but since we have declared ourselves to be true believers, we have to just keep on keeping on. And it’s not like we don’t have ample resources and encouragement, assurance and help to fight our earthly battle. We do! Namely all the resources granted to us as believers in Jesus Christ; the biggest and most important ones being salvation and eternal life. 

As the Good Book declares: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) Oh friends, that provision alone ought to be enough to encourage us to stand strong and live and defend our faith. Which other faith has that sure promise eh…with the sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ to back it up eh? NONE! 

And then we have so many other promises of God, who has a good plan for every life, with a hope and good future. He’s also promised never to leave nor forsake us; to hear our prayers and pleas when we diligently and sincerely seek Him; to bring us out of the fire unscorched; to take us safely through the flood, and most of all grant us a Deliverer, a Messiah, one to sacrifice and atone for our sins, which He did through His only Son Jesus Christ becoming flesh and offering His sinless life upon the cross at Calvary so that our sins could be washed white as snow. 

Glory to God my people! For He has done all that He’s promised, and if we do what we’re supposed to do, then He will do the rest. The Lord will not do it all for us. He requires us to put in an effort on His behalf, since we’re partners in this New Covenant. So though life might be dark, dreary and difficult, we do have all the tools necessary to fight the good fight. 

And hopefully, at the end of our days, we’ll all be able to proudly say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy: ‘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.4:7-8) 

Yes mih breddren, what a joyful day that will be! But until then, let’s keep fighting the good fight nuh, and as a promise of our faithful intentions, go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our current position in Christ. All together now, let’s wail: ‘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 the future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can imagine. So think on that nuh! Much LOVE!

…when life gets difficult…consider our rewards in heaven…and the glorious future promised us there…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2018 1 Corinthians 9:24.

1 Corinthians 9:24.   Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.

‘On your marks; get set; Go!’ Yeh friends the race of life continues in earnest this Monday morning after the brief respite of the weekend. As soon as the trumpet sounds, you have to be off and running, if you want to be successful in this race. It’s not a simple sprint, but a long distance venture. 

So though you can’t run it all in one spurt, there is still no time to waste, no time to make excuses and just plod along. If we are entered under Jesus’ flag, then we have to give it our very best; make hay while the sun shines. So let’s get a move on nuh. The enemy’s runners are already gathering steam, and we can’t afford to let them get too far ahead of us. 

And to help bolster our spirits, let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty spunk and enthusiasm, knowing that it will raise our adrenaline levels and give us the jolt that so many of us desperately need. In unison now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah mih breddren, what an exciter and encourager that prayer is! (smile) Now let’s hit the road, dressed in Jesus’ colours, heads held high, with a strong sense of purpose; that being winning the race of life in His name. Glory to God! 

And we all know Bruh Paul’s famous statement to the Corinthians about running their race, which is a most appropriate Bit for today. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.’ Yeh friends, we have to run so that we can win, otherwise it doesn’t make any sense running. 

And the scholars offer this explanation of Bruh Paul’s remark. ‘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.’ 

I would probably compare it more to the modern Olympic Games, since more people know about that than American football. Anyhow my fellow believers, it is of the utmost importance for each of us to run our earthly race to the best of our ability. The Lord has given each of us the talents He wants us to use in running this race, so let’s use them nuh; stop hiding our talents, our lights under a bushel, let the world see them as the Lord desires. 

Now here is another famous treatise on running our race, this time from the author of Hebrews. He eloquently and enthusiastically declares: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.” (Heb.12:1) 

And the great cloud of witnesses that he’s talking about, are the saints and martyrs noted in verse 11, who had run the race before us. People like Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Abel, Enoch, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barack, Samson, Bruh David, etc. etc. So it’s not like we don’t have many earlier examples to follow. But in the process, we also have to remove any impediments that might be weighing us down, (physically or spiritually) and living by faith, so we can be lithe and light and move swiftly. 

But then he mentions the greatest example of them all: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’(Heb.12:2) 

Yeh mih people, there was none whatsoever like Jesus: He blazed the trail for us, perfected the course and won with significant achievement. He despised the shame and dishonour that was involved in sacrificing His life, to save us. That’s why the Lord exalted Him, to a name above every other name, and one to which all knees will eventually bow.  

And yuh know what friends, if we run this race with faith and perseverance, we too will be honoured significantly at the end. Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth 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 that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

And what a day that will be my people! So let’s keep running with faith and patience nuh, so that we can win our crowns when we see Jesus. It will all be worthwhile then. Much LOVE!  

…the race is not for the swift…but for the sure of foot….and the strong of heart…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 December 2016 2 Timothy 4:7.

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

Ah mih people, at long last a semi-serious snowfall has hit my area. Chuh! And the time was going by so nicely! But that’s the nature of this good country Canada; wintertime means snow is very likely to disrupt the situation. (smile) 

However, it wasn’t too bad a snowstorm, and hopefully by now the roads would have been cleared and salted. But still, please be careful if you have to drive because there is liable to be some icy sections out there. 

And you’d think that the snow would dampen the weekend enthusiasm…not on yuh life! The shouting of  ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us!’ still rings out. ‘A li’l snow can’t stop the party. We’ll just have to stay inside and keep warm, while the drinks and whatnot flow! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Now that’s the song of the heathen, let’s sing that of the righteous; our Friday Chant, with as much, if not more verve and enthusiasm than the heathen. All together now: ‘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 friends, that’s a much better way of handling the weekend, than simply giving into the lusts of the flesh and celebrating with gay abandon. 

Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit; Bruh Paul’s immortal words, for the last time. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

Oh precious people of God, it is essential that we believers in Jesus Christ, fight a good fight against the evil of this world! The world will not simply allow us to live our lives according to God’s will, because it doesn’t fit into their programme of sin and iniquity. 

That means, at each and every chance they get, they will try to dissuade us from following the righteous path with lustful and fleshly temptations. But we have to learn to resist it. 

As we saw Bruh Paul tell the Corinthians yesterday: ‘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.9:27) 

And I worked that verse in there because I want to share a very interesting explanation of the scholars on it. ‘9:27. I keep under my body (i.e. discipline my body): The expression I keep under loses much of the original sense. It has the idea of to “give one a black eye,” “buffet,” or “bruise.” 

Paul’s readers knew that in the Isthmian Games, the boxers wore gloves consisting of ox-hide hands covered with knots and nails, and loaded with lead and iron. To prepare for such an event, a man would have to brace himself to endure all forms of physical abuse. 

Lest that by any means …I myself should be a castaway (lit. “So that …I myself should not be disqualified”): Paul was afraid of losing his salvation: his subject is still Christian liberty. The point is that the believer must discipline himself to avert both being disqualified from Christian ministry, and forfeiting the rewards for such service.’ 

Oh friends, can you imagine the bloodied bodies of the boxers in those olden times. One would have to be very brave and single minded to take part in such a carnal sport. But that’s the kind of mentality we need to have to fight off the temptations of this world and eventually win the victor’s crown. 

We can’t afford to be disqualified from Christ’s ministry and also lose the rewards earned through doing it. Now hear what Bruh Paul told Timothy in his first message re the good fight of faith. 

‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things: and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) 

And the scholars explain: ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a LOVE for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’  

‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. 

Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah friends, the life of a true believer is not an easy one. As Jesus told the disciples, we’d be persecuted just for believing in Him: ‘but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) 

So it’s up to us to keep persevering, keep fighting the good fight, keep maturing, obviously with God’s help, until we reach the end and are presented with the victor’s crown. 

Wow mih people! What a day that will be! It will certainly be worth all the trials and tribulations endured in this earthly pilgrimage! Much LOVE!

…to fight the good fight successfully…one must have plenty belly and backbone…

 

 

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

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

Ah friends, another day, another dollar! But Ho! Some of you say that a dollar isn’t a dollar anymore, it’s more like fifty cents, or even less, and that’s possibly true. 

But yuh know what my brethren, the money isn’t as important as the fact that we’re alive. Our pictures and eulogies aren’t in the obituaries, and that’s much more important than the money we might make today. 

We’re alive and have the ability to do lots of good stuff in God’s name. And if by chance we aren’t kicking as strongly as we like, then we can always turn to our heavenly Father for help. 

And here’s a good prayer that reflects our problem. I got it from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals. It simply says: ‘Father, at this moment, I turn to You for strength in my weakness, energy for my weariness, and faith in my doubt.’ 

Simple and straight to the point my people. And if you are sincere, the Lord, who gives liberally to all who ask in faith, will shower you with His blessings until you are kicking mightily. (smile) 

Now, without further ado, let’s turn to our Bit, taken from what’s called Bruh Paul’s last testament, in his second letter to his protégé Timothy. And to keep everything in context, we’ll just do it all at once. 

‘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, there is so much stuff in those verses that still pertain to us. Let’s check them out. First of all, we all will die someday. And a lot of us shy away from talk of death, but it’s the only sure thing in this crazy world, even surer than taxes. (smile) 

And blessedly, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we have a great time to look forward to. But when that time comes, will be ready to meet our Heavenly Father on the other side of the great divide with strong faith and trust; eagerly expectant for what’s over there, gladly shuffling off this rough and difficult mortal coil? 

Or will be afraid and anxious, devoid of or with little faith, not knowing, or rather believing what Jesus promised. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 

In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Ah friends, that’s the basic premise of our faith; belief in Jesus Christ! And if we aren’t ready when the time comes to depart, then obviously we won’t be able to say as proudly and confidently as Bruh Paul says in our Bit: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

And we desperately and definitely need to be able to say that at the day of reckoning! You can’t fight a good fight in Jesus’ name if you don’t truly believe all He’s said, because that belief and faith is what makes you strong, keeps you ticking, has you eager to do His will. 

Consequently, there might not be a crown of righteousness laid up for you on that judgement day. That’s why we all need strong faith, and that only comes by diligently reading and meditating on God’s Word, through regular fellowship and constant prayer. 

So if we are neglecting any of those things, our faith will definitely not grow to the point that we can fight a good fight, and run a strong race, and thus attain that crown of righteousness which is laid up in heaven for all those who surely and steadfastly anchor themselves in the Word and work of God. 

Now please don’t get discouraged if your personal situation doesn’t line up with what we’ve said, because it can always be changed, preferably right now, by going to the Father and asking for strength, guidance and direction to run a good race in His name. 

Remember while there is life, there’s ALWAYS hope. But we’re never sure when life will end, so we have to do what we need to do as soon as possible. Now let’s go home with joy and passion, proudly and boldly declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

All together now, in strong voice and perfect harmony: ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, tomorrow we might see our name in the obits, (smile) but we have God’s gift of today, so please let’s enjoy it and go out and do our best to make a positive difference in this mish mash world we live in. For that’s what is expected of us, true believers. Much LOVE!

…winning races…needs strong faith and endurance…which can only be acquired through Almighty God…