Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 November 2020 2 Corinthians 1:3.

2 Corinthians 1:3.     ​Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort,

Aye mih people in my area, I think the time has finally come for us to begin experiencing that small white, cold, fluffy substance called snow! (smile) Yes, it’s all a part of living in the northern climes, but yet still when we see it for the first time in a year, it still astonishes us, although we’ve been expecting it all along. So I saw some of the wet stuff yesterday on my way out the street, and this morning I saw some flakes gently dawdling down from the cloudy sky. Don’t think there’s any risk of the real hard stuff falling right now, but just giving us a heads up, because it will come hard and fast eventually. (smile) 

But yuh know what? When it comes we don’t have to worry because we have been assured by our heavenly Father of His awesome comfort and mercy in whatever adversity comes against us. Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous Deity we serve my brethren! Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Corinth nuh. 

‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor, 1:3-4) Oh my fellow saints in Christ, isn’t our God wonderful? He surely is! Comforting us in our troubles so that we can comfort others in theirs. 

And I just want to add a note from the scholars. ‘1:3-4. Blessed (Gr. eulogetos, “well spoken of”) is used in the New Testament of God, (e.g., Eph. 1:3). It is a term of adoration and praise. The Father of mercies: The mercies in view here include everything from deliverance from the world, sin, and Satan, to participation in sonship, light, and life. But the force is even more than this. The stress is that the Father is characterized by mercy (cf. Ps. 86:5: Dan. 9:9, Mic. 7:18).’ 

Oh friends, until we fully realize that one of our God’s greatest attributes is His merciful character, we will never fully understand and appreciate how great a God He is! It all begins with His unconditional LOVE, where He simply cannot disregard His most wonderful creation. That then leads Him to be merciful unto us, with forgiveness and redemption and reconciliation through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, all of it is a free gift through His awesome grace! Now after all of that mercy and grace, undeserved goodness and favour, how can we not bless, adore and praise Him eh? 

Hear how Bruh David says it in Psalm 86 – Teach me thy way, O Lord. ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto them that call upon thee. (Ps. 86:5) But it’s all important that we acknowledge the last aspect of Bruh David’s words there: ‘them that call upon thee.’ We do need to sincerely call upon God to receive His blessings and mercies. 

And as Bruh Paul said to the church at Ephesus: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) Yes friends, our Lord is indeed worthy of much praise because He has bestowed so many heavenly blessings on us through Christ. Things like our citizenship (Phil. 3:20), our high priest (Heb. 4:14), our hope (Col. 1:5), our inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4) our treasure (Matt. 6:20-21). So there is much to be thankful for through Christ. 

But getting back to our major point of comfort from God, let’s hear some relevant scriptures nuh. And the prophet Isaiah had a lot to say about it. In talking about the comfort of the faithful, he says on God’s behalf: ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die (a mortal man), and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgetteh the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready (as when preparing) to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?’ (Is. 51:12-13) 

Yes my people, down through the ages we have indeed feared man rather than God, but please remember these momentous words of Jesus: ‘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 soul and body in hell.’ And the only person who can do that is God Almighty, so it’s about time we learn to fear Him, rather than mankind which shall perish as the grass in the noonday sun. 

And now this last word on comfort from our Lord God, as spoken through His prophet, Isaiah on the future hope of Zion: ‘As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb (grass): and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward (to) his servants, and his indignation toward (to) his enemies.’ (Is. 66:13-14) 

Oh precious people of God, our heavenly Father has done so much to relieve us of fear, anxiety and tension through the fulfilled promises of His word, I don’t see how we can still be so fearful and anxious about life nuh. From the day He created the world and its life, right through to the day He promises to destroy it, He has ensured safety for those who belief in and look to Him for help and succour. He even sacrificed His only son Jesus for us, so I don’t know what more He needs to or can do to make us believe in Him. 

So the ball is in our court; each of us has to make that fateful decision; to believe, or not to believe. And just a li’l tip, the smart money is on believing. Now for those of us who have chosen the wise way, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our most wonderful position in Almighty God and His most wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 remember, we’re guaranteed that if we endure until the end, our future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine!Much LOVE!

…the comfort of man…begins in the bosom of God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2020 1 Corinthians 1:3.

1 Corinthians 1:3.     ​Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 
 

Yes friends, it was indeed a late one, after five, and you know it’s not easy getting up with a mature body like mine, (smile) and then I had to do a couple of things before I got started, so we’re way behind the eight ball this morning. But not to worry, the Lord’s Word is NEVER late, it might be a bit tardy in our estimation, but in reality, it’s NEVER late! And now that we’ve made that crystal clear, (smile) let’s get right into the heart of the matter; prayer, the  refreshing and encouraging words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth, words that have stood the test of time and are ever so valuable to us in our current time of desperate need.

 So Lord, I pray that ‘Unto the church of God, in all parts of the universe, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:’ (1 Cor. 1:2) That applies to us my people! We are numbered amongst the saints of Christ, and corporate prayer, prayer for the entire church, ought to be a most important aspect of our prayer lives. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:2. Sanctified in Christ Jesus could be rendered “made holy by virtue of your relationship with Christ Jesus.” Here Paul has special reference to the Corinthians’ right relationship with God. They are set apart for God’s special use. His aim in the epistle is to bring the Corinthians’ actions and lifestyle into closer harmony with God’s expectations for those He has made His own.’ 

Ah my people, ALL of that applies to us today too! Through our belief in Christ Jesus, we’ve also been made holy and set aside for God’s personal purpose, but our relationship with him needs to be improved a whole lot. Our actions and lifestyle definitely need to be brought into closer harmony with His high expectations of us. We’re way below what’s expected of us, and that’s not a good sign. 

However, as Bruh Paul continues: ‘Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf (concerning you), for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind (short) in no gift; waiting for the coming (revelation) of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 1:3-8) 

Please note my brethren that Bruh Paul doesn’t just pray for the people of Corinth to have wealth etc. but more to be filled with the grace and knowledge of God so that they can live up to the principles of the gospel that they have received. And believe me in these trying and ungodly times it’s grace and knowledge that we need more than ever to stand up for the gospel and promulgate it all over the world, which is our bounden duty! 

Hear the explanation the scholars offer on the verses above. ‘1:3. Grace…and peace: In the former, Paul contemplates all that is understood by God’s gracious unmerited favour as it is extended to sinners. The latter has in mind benefits that fall from the exercise of God’s LOVE.’ Oh my people, those two things, grace and peace and are ever so much more important than wealth and power, and in several of the epistles that’s what Bruh Paul prays for his readers to have. And I believe that should also be a big part of our prayers too. 

‘1:7. While gift has a wide variety of meanings, here it probably has reference to spiritual gifts, a theme developed later in the epistle.’ ‘1:8. Confirm (strengthen, establish, make firm): Historically, the gospel has been confirmed on them. Now they anticipate the prospect of that blessed event when Jesus Christ shall also confirm them blameless before the throne of God.’ Ah faithful saints in Christ, that is the exact position in which we find ourselves. The gospel has been confirmed in us, as indisputable truth, and now we too are waiting for the final revelation of Jesus when He brings it all into reality! 

And I like how Bruh Paul ends his greeting with words of assurance: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) Now that’s something we can also hold on to in these disturbing and dangerous times… ‘God is faithful!’ And plenty of us can testify to that from personal experience, so why don’t we exhibit it more in our daily lives eh? 

Anyway, listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:9. Unto the fellowship of his Son: The term “fellowship” includes both union and communion. The Corinthian believers had been brought into union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly, this great truth implies that they had been brought into communion with one another. Here in a nutshell is the theme of this this epistle.’ 

And believe my brethren, just like the church at Corinth, today’s church is too divided and dysfunctional over too many petty and ungodly matters. And we desperately need to come into much better communion with each other if we’re going to serve our earthly purpose(s) with diligence and excellence. I don’t think any of us can doubt that fact with a sincere heart. But nonetheless, for those of us who are truly trying, let’s go home declaring (oh no!) our Thursday Blessings; the magnificent and magnanimous gifts the Lord has so generously bestowed on us, so that we can do His work down here. 

All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and share them generously but safely! Much LOVE!

…he who sows in peace…shall reap an abundant harvest of grace…