Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2021 Hebrews 12:1b.

Hebrews 12:1b.     …​let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

It’s a new day people, so graciously granted to us by our heavenly Father, so let’s give Him some thanks and praise for it nuh, and promise to enjoy it to the fullest, while doing His awesome will! Yes friends, it feels so good to be alive on this Thursday morning, that despite all my difficulties, I still want to jump and shout for joy and sing praises to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! Hope you are also experiencing the same extraordinary feeling, because it is not a normal emotion that the world, that unbelievers can experience. 

That feeling of peace and calm, of LOVE and goodwill to our fellow beings, even when we are in the midst of a dreadful storm ourselves! And that feeling of euphoria, even in the darkest times is only possible when Jesus has first place in our lives. When we focus on Him, our lives take on a different quality, we rise to a higher level of humanity, we gain a strength and sense of purpose that enables us to run the race that our Creator has set out for us. 

Yes friends, when we embrace all the promises that our God has made down through the ages, we are then able to rise to the occasion, and allow Him to lift us from glory to glory, ever becoming more faithful and Christlike as we live this earthly life. And these awesome words from the Good Book epitomize all that I’m saying. The author of Hebrews, which resonate like the words of Bruh Paul, but which some scholars doubt, gives us this news of great assurance about running our race. 

‘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 I guess it’s only appropriate that I enclose the lengthy, but excellent explanation the scholars provide on that verse, so that we will get the real meaning and understand it perfectly. (smile) 

‘12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter eleven. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses” (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet the Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

This race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner, or the faithful Christian they must be removed.

 Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones). Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance. Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32, 36-38, 11:13).’  

There you have it friends, our race is all about faith, learning from the faithful exploits of those who have gone before us and setting glorious examples, glorious witness and testimony for those who are coming after us. And remember our race is not a sprint, but a marathon, and those require much endurance and strength, both physical and spiritual, that’s why we need to practice, and practice seriously if we truly desire to win our individual races. And friends, the ability to do that is certainly enhanced when Jesus is our focus, cause remember we can do all things through Him, who strengthens us. 

Thus, the second verse of Hebrews 12 boldly continues: ‘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) Oh my people, that verse is key, for it is Jesus who began our faith and completed the first race in it. 

And the scholars declare it thus: ‘12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

That makes Him the best example to follow in running our race. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb. 12:3-4) 

And the scholars explain: ‘12:3-4. Though chapter 11 provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance is Jesus Himself.’ Make no doubt about that my brethren! Jesus is the example that our heavenly Father wants us to emulate. Yes, He knows that it won’t be easy, but that’s why He has blessed us so profusely with all the parts and trappings to be successful. 

And let’s thank our lucky stars, or should I say, our heavenly Father, (smile) that very few of us will have to undergo and endure the sad and brutal punishment that Jesus endured for our sinful sakes. That means we need to show gratitude by putting our best foot forward in supporting and promoting His wonderful cause. And He’s so magnificent and magnanimous that He’s even given us the tools to help us do His work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. Wow! So let’s remind ourselves of them as we go home this bright but cold Thursday morning nuh. 

As one strong, confident but humble voice. ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

And having declared them, let’s now go out, or stay in, or whatever, and share them with others, use them to benefit others, just as magnanimously as Christ has done with and for us. Much LOVE!

…the Lord knew we needed help in witnessing…that’s why He provided so many good examples…the best being Jesus…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2020 Hebrews 12:2a.

Hebrews 12:2a.     ​Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith;

Well friends, it was nice while it lasted; I mean the physical ‘gatheration’ in the Lord’s sanctuary for the past couple of months. But with the Covid -19 business coming back with a vengeance in a second wave, it’s been thought prudent, in my local church, after today, to suspend the physical gathering for a month and revert to just the virtual stuff. And if that saves lives, then so be it. It was good seeing a few people after such a long time though, but the virus is no respecter of persons and it doesn’t make sense trying to buck it if it’s not necessary. 

So let’s get down to the business of worship now nuh. And today we’ll sing a song penned by Marijohn Wilkins and Kris Kristofferson back in the last half of the last century, a favourite of all believers, titled ‘One Day At A Time Sweet Jesus.’ And no, we not doing a strictly soul version, but an easy rocking reggae version, a la Carlene Davis, the well-known Jamaican Gospel singer. So altogether now, let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony as we give praise, thanks and adoration to our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

And we opening with the chorus…some easy skanking now. (smile) ‘(Chorus: One day at a time sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking from you Give me the strength To do everything that I have to do Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Help me today, show me the way One day at a time) I’m only human I’m just a woman (man) Help me believe in what I could be and all that I am. Oh show me the stairways I have to climb Lord for my sake teach me to take One day at a time. 

(Chorus: One day at a time sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking from you Just give me the strength To do everything that I have to do Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Help me today, show me the way One day at a time) Oh do you remember? When you walked among men? Well Jesus you know If you’re looking below That its worse now than then Oh there’s Cheating and stealing, violence and crime. So Lord for my sake teach me to take One day at a time) 

(Chorus: One day at a time sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking from you Just give me the strength To do everything that I have to do Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Help me today, show me the way One day at a time Oh help me today Show me the way One day at a time… One day at a time…Sweet Jesus…Teach me to take One day at a time…One day at a time…Lord help me today…Show me the way…One day at a time.’ 

Oh mih people, that was some nice easy rocking! And what I like about it all is that when the riddim is rocking down here on earth, heaven rocks with us! Glory be! And so it should be, all God’s creation ought to praise Him. As the psalmist so rightly says in Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord. It’s a universal declaration: 

‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass. 

Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons (sea creatures), and all deeps. Fire and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men and maidens; old men, and children: 

Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn (strength, dominion) of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah)!’ 

Yes mih people, the psalmist is calling on everybody, all of God’s creation; heavenly beings and heavenly bodies, as well as earthly beings and earthly substances to give God praise because of His creative power and the towering majesty of His awesome glory. Yes, our great and powerful God should always be showered with praise because He undoubtedly deserves it! And no more so than for giving us the greatest gift ever, salvation and eternal life through the sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Wow mih bredrin! If that isn’t something to give much thanks and praise for, then I don’t know what is nuh. For Jesus is all that we can ever ask for or desire! He’s our EVERYTHING! He came to earth and experienced the evil and tough times like we’re doing, was tempted just like we are, but did not sin, so He understands our predicament from personal experience, not hearsay. That’s why it’s simple common sense to turn to Jesus for help. 

And I want to leave us with a couple of appropriate scriptures that proclaim such wisdom. Both are from the Book of Hebrews. The first says we can run our race day by day: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfecter) 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) 

And the second scripture tells us of the sympathetic Christ. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:14-16) 

Yes precious saints of Christ, that’s why we can look to Jesus for grace and mercy to live each day as we ought to, in His name, doing His work, diligently and excellently! Much LOVE!

…if yuh not turning to Jesus for help…then yuh being foolish…