Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 October 2021 Ephesians 4:30.

Ephesians 4:30.      And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Oh Friday, are we ever glad to see you, because you are the harbinger of good news – the weekend! And this past week in my area has been so rainy, and if not rainy, then cloudy and grey, like the sun has lost its energy or will to shine. But it’s a good thing that we have the best light ever – Jesus – who shines His marvellous light on our souls, thus we can handle the lack of light on our bodies. So that even when our outsides are clothed in darkness, our insides are filled with joy, and gladness, the everlasting light of life that is Jesus! 

That’s why we shout: ‘The joy of the Lord is our strength!’ And no one can take that from us, though the enemy keeps on trying. Yes friends, once we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and effectively seals us as a child of God, a seal that no man can break. 

Hear Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest (down payment or deposit) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.’ (Eph. 1:13-14) And yes friends, that sounds like it’s very complicated, but it’s not. It simply means that we Gentiles who believed on Christ received the Holy Spirit when we believed, not afterwards. 

The scholars tell us: ‘The sealer is Jesus; the seal is the Holy Spirit. The sealing of the Holy Spirit guarantees the benefits of our salvation, as a person might seal an envelope to guarantee its enclosures. The Holy Spirit as the seal to the believer is also the earnest of our inheritance, that’s a down payment of Christ’s commitment to someday give the believer all other things God has promised. With that seal of the Holy Spirit, God therefore assures the Christian that the realization of the rest of his salvation is forthcoming.’ 

So, once we believe, there’s no need to worry about all the other promises of salvation, because we have the deposit, the down payment of salvation dwelling with us, within us, and by our side! Glory Hallelujah! Now why would I refuse to accept such a wonderful invitation to come into Christ’s marvellous body, His church eh? No reason whatsoever! 

And there are a couple of other verses that talk about the sealing of the Holy Spirit. Bruh Paul also mentions it in that beautiful fourth chapter of Ephesians where he discusses the new life in Christ that believers ought to adopt. Things like putting on the new man, being renewed in the spirit of our minds, not lying, not being angry, and not letting the sun go down upon our anger. Not using foul language, but words that are edifying to our listeners. Then He says: ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ (Eph. 4:30). 

Yes mih bredrin, we do grieve the Holy Spirit when we abuse our fellow men with foul language. It’s like James said of the tongue: ‘Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude (likeness or image) of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter. Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.’ (James 3:9-12) 

Oh my people, that’s ever so true! We bless God and curse those made in His likeness with the same tongue. It ought not to be that way, because then we grieve the Holy Spirit. And the last scripture about sealed by the Holy Spirit, comes from the second epistle of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth, where he reassures them of the promises of God and his confidence in them. ‘Now he which stablisheth (established) us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us is God. Who hath sealed us, and given the earnest (down payment) of the Spirit in our hearts.’ (2 Cor. 1:21-22) What reassurance for the believer! 

And the scholars explain that ‘The sealing of the Holy Spirit has a threefold significance in the New Testament. (1) to indicate ownership; (2) to indicate genuineness; (3) to preserve and keep safe (cf. Eph. 4:40; 2 Tim. 2:19; Rev. 7:2-3) This last idea is amplified with the earnest of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit Himself is the down payment or pledge, of redemption. The indwelling Spirit is the surety and the “security” of all that is to follow in the final salvation of the believer (cf. Rom. 8:9-11, 23; 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:14).’ 

Oh saints in Christ, what more or better assurance can we have, or do we need to put all our trust in Christ Jesus eh? None whatsoever! Christ not only died for us, He also pledged the Holy Spirit, the best deposit or down payment we can ever have as a promise of our salvation! 

Now being thus reassured of Christ’s promise, let’s do what we are advised to do nuh; go boldly to the throne of grace with our problems, to seek help in this time of great need. So as one strong, confident, but humble voice, let’s declare our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And I should not have to remind us, but I will, (smile) that all of what we asked for, depends on our repentant behaviour and the true motives of our hearts. Much LOVE!

…the best guarantee ever…the Holy Spirit…on Christ’s promise of salvation…                                                                                                       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2017 Psalm 89:15.

Psalm 89:15.   Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.

Ah mih people, the enemy is alive and well this Tuesday morning yes, and he’s in a foul mood too because of all the thanks and praise we offered up to our heavenly Father over this Thanksgiving weekend. 

Hear mih story: Some 45 minutes ago I came down to the kitchen to make a cup of java on my way down to write the Bit. Having made the coffee, I saw that there was some leftover food on the stove, so I decided to do a good deed and put it into the fridge. 

With that thought in mind, I opened the fridge and went to pick up a bottle of wine that was blocking some available space. Next thing yuh know, the wine flowing all over the duchess’ white tile floor with glass splinters near and far. Steups! 

I obviously wasn’t thrilled, and surprisingly no foul language emanated out of my mouth. I don’t know if that’s because my big daughter was in the kitchen with me. (smile) Anyway, I dutifully cleaned it up, breaking a sweat much earlier than I ever intended, and writing the Bit much later than planned. 

But it’s all good, the Lord is in His high heaven controlling things, and the enemy is still wearily traipsing to and fro across the land having little success in his evil endeavors. Glory to God! 

And since we’re running late, let’s go directly to our Bit. ‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.’  

Those my friends are ever-truthful words from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. This Maschil (contemplation) of Ethan the Ezrahite wrestles with God’s faithfulness to His promises, as Israel was going through some rough times. 

But we now know that our great God is ever-faithful and will NEVER renege on any of His promises. He won’t make the promise if He doesn’t intend to keep it. And the first section of the psalm, (vs.1-38) from which our Bit is taken, does indeed recount the goodness and mercy, strength and faithfulness of the Lord. 

Now listen to how it continues after our Bit. ‘In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defense (Our shield belongs to the Lord); and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:16-18) 

And that my brethren was true back then for all those who believed, and still is true today for all who believe! Yeh friends, that’s why there was such joyful sounds and celebration over the past Thanksgiving weekend; because as believers, we’re walking in the light of God’s awesome presence. 

His light is shining all around us, and as we obey His commands, He allows us to become prosperous and exalted amongst the nations of the world. And as the psalmist proclaims earlier on: ‘For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?’ (Ps.89:6) 

And the obvious answer to those two questions is simply NO ONE! How could there be eh, when it is the Lord God Almighty who made the universe and all therein? How could the made be greater than the Maker? Impossible! 

That’s why the psalmist continues his proclamation: ‘God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had (held) in reverence of all them that are about him.’(Ps.89:7)  And that’s exactly how it ought to be! 

But strangely enough, many of us fear man, the made, but don’t fear God, the Maker of man. We have it the wrong way friends. And Cousin Sol puts it directly to us in Ecclesiastes. ‘For in the multitude of dreams and many words, there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.’ (Eccl.5:7) 

And if you want it plainer than that, then listen to Jesus as He instructs His disciples. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) 

Oh my people, mankind can only kill our physical bodies but not our spiritual beings, so there is no reason to be deathly afraid of him. However, the Lord God Jehovah who made us, can kill both body and spirit and have us cast into Hades with Beelzebub. So in light of that, tell me now, of whom then shall we be afraid eh? 

That’s a question we all have to answer individually friends. But as for me, I am definitely going to fear the Lord, both in reverence, reverential awe, and in His potential power to cast me to spiritual death in Hades. Let’s hope we all make that wise decision. 

And in closing, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting all the world know, who and whose we are. With true sincerity and strength of purpose: ‘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 go out and do as we vowed, joyfully share that LOVE with all we meet. Much LOVE!

…to LOVE God…and to fear Him…are essential elements of a believer’s life…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2015 Ephesians 4:30‏

Ephesians 4:30.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

And a fine good morning to you all, my Scrip-Bit Family! And it is indeed a fine day to be alive, since new, unexpected blessings and mercies are in the offing! May the God, our God of peace and LOVE bless us all this Tuesday morning as we go about doing His holy will. 

And since today is Tuesday, I guess that calls for us to recite our Tuesday Mantra. So in one strong and sincere voice let’s affirm this wonderful affirmation. (smile) 

‘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 hurry. I don’t have to worry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, the most important aspect of our lives is that we are children of the Most High God Jehovah! That’s the telling characteristic that defines us!  What we do and what we have are immaterial and unimportant when matched up with the fact that we are God’s children. Please remember that. 

And to corroborate what we just said about Jesus being our Friend, listen to this poem from Gramps Schuller’s  (Dr. Robert A Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t know if I have ever shared it before, but it certainly is very apropos for today. So please pray this prayer with me titled ‘What a Friend!’ 

‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’ 

Oh my people, my people, that is gospel truth! I can testify to it, as many of you can, because in the darkest, roughest and loneliest hours of our lives, our ever-faithful Friend, Jesus, is ALWAYS there with us, and helps us to come through those unnerving times. Glory Hallelujah! 

NO ONE else is ever ALWAYS with us! And for that reason we ought to feel safe and comforted in each and every circumstance and be able to fulfill the words of our Bit. ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ 

Yes Friends, that’s something we should always try to do, because it shows a lack of trust and character on our part. The Holy Spirit indwells us to lead and guide us aright, on the straight and narrow path that leads to God. So if we continually grieve Him, then we’re showing a terrible lack of integrity, of morality and goodness of character. 

And how do we grieve the Holy Spirit? Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Ephesians. ‘Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. 

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:25-32)  

Now that’s how we grieve not the Holy Spirit my brethren! Basically by letting go of all our past behaviour and putting on the new man that’s in Christ. As we keep saying, it’s not always easy to give up our former habits and friendships, but with God’s ever-present help, we certainly can move along that long and challenging continuum of maturity in Christ Jesus. 

Now here are some more detailed explanations from the scholars. ‘4:25-5:2. This section gives practical guidelines as to how “the old man” (v.22) can be laid aside and how “the new man” (v.24) can be assumed in daily living. The passage specifies five sins to be discarded, the virtues that are to replace them, and the motive for such an exchange: 

(1) Lying is to be replaced by truth-telling, since Christians are fellow members (v.25). (2) Sinful anger is to be replaced by (briefly held) righteous indignation, that the devil may not be given opportunity (vv.26-27). (3) Theft is to be replaced by honest work, in order that one may have the means to meet the needs of others, (v.28). 

(4) Foul language is to be replaced by gracious speech, that it may edify others (v.28) and not grieve the Spirit (vv.29-30). (5) Resentment and wrath are to give way to kindness and forgiveness, since God has forgiven us (vv.31-32).’ 

And there we have it in spades Friends; how not to grieve the Holy Spirit! So please, today let’s ponder all what we’ve read and, obviously with God’s help, try to improve our individual situations, re the grieving of the Holy Spirit, for that is indeed wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…what a Friend we have in Jesus…all our sins and griefs to bear…what a privilege to carry…everything to God in prayer… 

P.S. You’ll notice that the font is slightly bigger, that’s because one reader complained that it was too small for her deteriorating eyes. I wanted to tell her, well just go and get some glasses nuh. (smile) But that would have been rude and unmannerly, and we pride ourselves on not being that way. Hope it helps some others with the same problem.(smile) Much LOVE!