Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 April 2019 Ephesians 2 10.

Ephesians 2:10.  For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.
 

At ‘em friends, at ‘em! The weekend is done now and work calls, and as a true believer in Christ, you have to answer the bell on time, diligently and efficiently! And I hear some of you steupsing and muttering: ‘What is his problem eh?  Who he think he is eh, to tell us when to reach to work and how to do our work eh?’ 

Ah mih people, is not me saying that nuh, but your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; that is the example He wants us to set to the world. So please don’t get on my case nuh, cause I’m just the messenger. Doh kill the messenger, just accept the message! (smile) Remember the Good Book says that whatever you do, you ought to do it as unto the Lord and not unto man. 

Anyway, the important thing is to get ourselves out into the workplace and do our duty. And if the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak this morning, then we have something that will liven up both body and spirit; our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; that wonderful antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday morning. Glory to God! So let’s get right with it nuh! 

All together in sincerity and strong sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

Oh yes, I can see it’s working already, by the new pep in your step and the light that’s shining in your eyes. Give God the glory! Then let’s get out into the evil world and do the work God has destined for us; having His grace and mercy and strength to do it diligently and efficiently. 

That brings us to this pertinent reminder of Bruh Paul’s to the Ephesians. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any many should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:8-10) 

Yes friends, those are important things we ought not to forget. It’s only by God’s grace, His unmerited and undeserved favour that we are saved. It is only when we believe in Jesus Christ, are spiritually born again and develop faith in Him, that God’s grace flows down on us and salvation becomes a reality, and not by any good works that we might have done. In fact, there are no good works that we can ever do to merit or deserve salvation! 

And the Lord in His ultimate wisdom made it thus, because He knew that if it were otherwise, men would be boasting all over town about their good works and what it had earned them. That’s why Bruh Paul says that with all his accomplishments and revelations, he was given a ‘thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me (beat him), lest I should be exalted above measure.’ (2 Cor.12:7) 

Whatever it was, it was painful and problematic, causing shame and embarrassment, so that he could not get too big for his britches. And even when he asked the Lord three times to remove the blemish, the Lord refused, stating: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness. ((2 Cor.12:9a) And that’s the gospel truth! God’s awesome power is usually more apparent when we are going through times of weakness. 

All of this drove Bruh Paul to declare: ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me…for when I am weak, then I am strong.’  (2 Cor. 12:9b, 10b) Good logic friends, so that God’s power may show up more in his life. 

Bruh Paul also resisted boasting of his achievements, when he told the Galatians: ‘But God forbid that I should glory, save (except) in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.’ (Gal.6:14) And so should we too friends, only boast, take pleasure in Jesus’ atonement and all the spiritual blessings it brings, not our own accomplishments. 

But all of that aside, the Lord does want us to do good works, that’s one of the purposes for which He morally recreated us in Christ Jesus. He expects us to be like Christ and do good works when we are born again in the spirit, not just enjoy His largesse without giving back anything. So on this day that we are once again blessed with earthly life and the free gift of salvation, let’s go out and do our bounded duty nuh; good works in Christ’s name. Much LOVE!

…Jesus went about doing good…for God was with Him… (Act.10:38)

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2018 Psalm 119:80.

Psalm 119:80.    Let my heart be sound (blameless) in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

 

Oh mih people, would somebody please explain it to me, because I obviously have not been granted the heavenly wisdom to understand the ramifications of this mind-boggling situation! And I’m talking about how a body can go to bed feeling perfectly fine – well not perfect perfect, but fairly decent – then some five or six hours later wake up racked with pain in body and soul, reduced to moving around like a doddering old man? 

Oh, I know some of you will say than I am old, so that’s no surprise… But please, I beg to differ. I’ll grant that I’m somewhat aged, (smile) but nowhere enough yet to be doddering! And to make matters worse, while lying there contemplating the pain and getting up, I was seduced to stay in bed for another forty five minutes by a couple showers of seductive rain. Yes, it looks like it’s going to be a ‘riney’ day. But how fickle is the soul of man eh! (smile) 

And though I’ve asked the Lord a couple of times about this abnormal situation, I’ve gotten no answer, which leads me to thinking that He’s intimating to me, the same thing that He said to Bruh Paul, when he asked for relief from the thorn in his side. ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor.12:9a) 

And though I know that, and gratefully acknowledge it, it still doesn’t ease the pain. (smile) I guess the Lord’s waiting for me to say like Bruh Paul did after receiving that Bit of info. ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor.12:9b-10)  

Oh my brethren, I’m trying, but I’m nowhere close to Bruh Paul’s maturity nuh, and the Lord knows it. So I’m not going to fool myself by saying all those things that he says above. I’m just going to move around as best as I can, grin and bear the pain, and/or cry out for mercy, (smile) and have faith for the Lord to make ALL things right as He’s faithfully promised. 

Now let’s hope that I have enough space to write what I really intended to write, before the Holy Spirit led me to write what I’ve actually written. (smile) And it’s a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled, ‘Three Unalterable Truths.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, through the years Of walking hand-in-hand with You I have learned three unalterable truths: First, what you command me to do You consistently expect me to do. Never do you say, “Give the command a fair try.” Nor do You say, “Consider and then decide.” My natural weakness is never An acceptable excuse. Nor is my inability To reach unreachable standards. Rather, You tell me to seek And then to keep your commands. 

Second, all of Your commands Are always for my ultimate good. “Obey me,” Your Word says “So that I can do for you All the wonderful things I promised…” “In the keeping of My Word There is great reward.” Third, whatever You command me to do You fully enable me to do. As You give light to reveal a command So you give grace to fulfill it. Your divine energy is always at my disposal. The choice to obey is always mine. The power to obey is always Yours.’ 

And the sad, humorous and glorious fact friends, is ALL of that is indisputably true! When the Lord gives us a command, He expects us to obey without a lot of hemming and hawing, as we so often tend to do. And that’s simply because He never asks us to do something without giving us His powerful grace to enable us to do it. 

And the best part of it all my brethren is when we obey with alacrity and faith, there are innumerable rewards to be reaped from His magnanimity and outrageous generosity! Give Him His much deserved glory my people! And the Bible Promise associated with that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘Let my heart be sound (blameless) in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.’ 

Yes my brethren, being blameless in keeping the Lord’s principles is something we should all aspire to. And don’t worry, He knows that we’re not perfect, because He didn’t make us perfect, but He does expect us to try and get as close to perfection as is humanly possible. It’s all in the state of our hearts friends. As Cousin Sol warns: ‘Keep (look after) thy heart (and mind) with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (Prov.4:23) 

And the scholars explain: ‘4:23. Heart could often be translated “mind” in the book. Since the Hebrews had no separate word for “mind,” the word “heart” often served to represent the seat of the intellect. The key to the whole man is his mind. Whatever captures the mind captures the man.’ Gospel truth that my fellow believers! 

And remember the Lord doesn’t go by our outward actions, He searches our hearts and minds to discover our true motives. That’s why we have to cry out like Bruh David did in his prayer for cleansing: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) 

And having taken all of that to heart (smile), let’s go home declaring (Steups! Spelt it wrong again) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In loud voice and strong sense 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!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE with the rest of the world, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus is still waiting for us to show our true colours…to be the salt…and the light of the world…as He asked us to be…

P.S. It’s certainly been a smiley day! But why not eh? That’s why the Lord gave us the wonderful ability of smiling…to smile! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏‏

Ephesians 2:8.  For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Oh Friends, unfortunately the two big days off for the weekend are now over… And I hear a loud ‘Steups!’ in response. (smile)

That means today is Monday…yes Monday, and we need to get ourselves up and out to labour for another week, so that we can earn some money, often a pittance, to try and lead a half-decent life.

We all know it’s not the ideal scenario, but it’s what we have, so let’s just get over ourselves, stop the pity parties, the whining and complaining and rise to the occasion as Jesus desires of us. And remember that if you abuse the weekend, you won’t be fit for anything come Monday morning. So enough with the sermon, (smile) instead let’s belt our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with a whole lot of vim and vigour.

All together 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!’

Oh chuh people! That was a rather hoarse, half-hearted and off-key rendition! Jesus wasn’t thrilled at all. You could see Him shaking His head all through it, while His face bore an unhappy, puzzled ‘what else can I do eh?’ expression.

Anyway Friends, it’s too late to worry about that now. Hopefully though, just singing it boosted our adrenalin output and put a li’l pep in our step, enabling us to go out and do a good job in Jesus’ name.

We also need to remember quite clearly from whence all our blessings flow; from Almighty God. And one of the biggest blessings, if not the biggest, ever to befall mankind is enshrined in our Bit. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

Mama Mia! I can’t help but say it Friends – what a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship! And there should be NO DOUBT whatsoever about that, just judging from the fact that He gave His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for our disgusting sins. Has any of the other supposed gods ever done anything like that? Obviously not, because they are all dead, inanimate, ephemeral objects. But the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the ONE AND ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD!

And all God’s people shouted a loud and lusty: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes Friends, our God is a true living and breathing Being, who sees and knows all that goes on in our world.

Now let’s turn to some provocative scriptures that deal with grace. And one of the most famous ones occurs when Bruh Paul asks the Lord three times to take away ‘the thorn in his flesh.’ But the Lord’s response is certainly interesting. ‘And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’ (2 Cor.12:9)

Yes my people, in our weaknesses God’s power is demonstrated, for when we are unable to bear up in our own strength, God’s grace pulls us through. Please remember that in times of weakness and frailty. He doesn’t always solve our problems, but He ALWAYS gives us the wherewithal, the grace to handle them in our weakness.

Now hear what Bruh Paul says later on to the Ephesians, re the new life in Christ. ‘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.’ (Eph.4:29)

Ah mih people, are we following those wise words of advice? I certainly hope so, because it is imperative that our words lift up, benefit those who hear them. We can’t expect others to come to Jesus if our words are negative and self-serving.

Then to the Colossians, he says: ‘Walk in wisdom toward them that are without (outside), redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.’ (Col.4:5-6)

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘4:5. Paul turns from his responsibilities for evangelism (v.3-4) to the Colossians’ evangelistic duties (v.5-6). They are to walk in wisdom or “live wisely” in their relations toward them that are without, that is, unbelievers. Redeeming the time is to make the most of every opportunity. They are to seize every opportunity to display wise behaviour toward the unsaved and to use it as a chance for witnessing.’

And yuh know what Friends? Those same sentiments apply to us in these worrisome and difficult times.

‘4:6. An example of wise conduct (v.5) is daily speech that is gracious (with grace) in nature. Such speech is to be seasoned with salt, that is, characterized by the wisdom of verse 5. Gracious, wise conversation will enable the Colossians to know how to answer every man when speaking to him about the gospel.’

That also applies to us today my brethren! 

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s words to the Thessalonians. ‘Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath LOVED us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish (establish) you in every good word and work.’ (2 Thess.2:16-17) 

Oh Friends, I wish those exact sentiments upon us all today, as we go out into the crazy world to live and work for Jesus. Much LOVE!

…grace…the totally unmerited favour of God…given to totally undeserving men…a true and wonderful testimony…of God’s great LOVE for us…

 

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 August 2014 Proverbs 25:27

Proverbs 25:27.   It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search (seek) their own glory is not glory. 

Oh Friends, life’s definitely interesting and amusing yes! And sometimes we need to laugh at it and also take it with a grain of salt. What sparked my enthusiasm today was a quote from one of my daily devotionals. This quote is attributed to one Sydney Smith, but when I tried to find out about him, I discovered that there were several people by that name, including a couple of women.
 
Anyway, I believe they are referring to an English clergyman, wit and writer who lived between 1771 and 1845. The quote states: ‘I have gout, asthma and seven other maladies, but am otherwise well.’
 
That had me laughing because it reminded me of myself. I have numerous maladies myself, but other than that, I’m very well. Hn, hn! It’s like sometimes when I’m asked, ‘How are you?’ I reply, ‘My body’s a mess, but my soul’s in beautiful shape!’ And that’s often the truth.
 
At those times I’m reminded of the old hymn: ‘When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.’
 
Yes my people, that’s how we need to be, regardless of the trials and tribulations we’re going through. No, it’s not always easy, but as true believers in Jesus, we are required to stand strong and persevere.
 
That reminds me of Bruh Paul’s situation. ‘And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet (beat) me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought (pleaded with) the Lord thrice (three times), that it might depart from me.
 
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses) that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, than am I strong.’ (2 Cor.12:7-10)  
 
Yes my brethren, in our weakness, God’s strength and majesty are magnified! So much so, that nowadays when some malady, old or new bothers me, I ask the Lord to help me with them, but I don’t keep harping on it, because I’ve learned from hard experience that some things you just need to go through, and in His own time, He will solve the problem(s) one way or another.
 
Now I merely ask Him for the strength to keep on keeping on, while I’m undergoing whatever ailment is then affecting me. It glorifies God when we continue doing what we ought, while undergoing suffering and rough times.
 
That brings us to our Bit, which is tied up to a certain extent with what we’ve already been talking about. ‘It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search (seek) their own glory is not glory.’
 
Rather true and wise words from Cousin Sol!  Too much honey, or today we’d say sugar, is definitely not good for us, neither is too much boasting or self-promotion. As the old people would say; we’re not supposed to blow our own horn.
 
And as Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians, re his spiritual authority: ‘For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.’ (2 Cor. 10:12)
 
Yeh Friends, we’re not supposed to measure and compare ourselves to and by others, for that will only get us in serious trouble. In fact we should not boast of our accomplishments at all!
 
Listen to Cousin Sol as he opens Proverbs 27 by staunchly declaring: ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.’ (Prov.27:1-2)
 
Unfortunately though my fellow believers, our current world is one that glorifies boasting. And the sad fact is that our standards are set so low now, that any run of the mill, mediocre accomplishment a few decades ago, are now seen as great stuff. Everybody is an expert, a superstar, or some high flying personality… that is until their Achilles heel is exposed, and they are unseemingly toppled from their haughty pedestal. 
 
Oh my brethren, we all do some things fairly well, but we also do other things poorly. So there’s no need to boast about our doings, especially when whatever we excel at is basically through the workings of Almighty God, through the skills with which He’s endowed and blessed us with.
 
That’s why Bruh Paul said to the Corinthians: ‘But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.’ (2 Cor.10:17-18) And that’s the gospel truth my people!
 
And we’ll end with some important info from the scholars on the subject. ’10:17-18. Lest the Corinthians interpret what Paul has to say as an expression of conceit, Paul shows that, in the final analysis, his commendation comes from Christ. Paul was always careful to show that any success he enjoyed in the ministry was not due to his own innate ability, but to Christ working in him.’ (cf. Rom. 15:17-18).’
 
That’s more gospel truth Friends! So please, in all our doings, let’s not try to take the praise and glory that truly belongs God, for remember these specific words out of the mouth of His servant Isaiah: ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is.42:8) 
 
That says it all my fellow believers! So let’s ponder our own glorying today, and if necessary bring it into alignment with God’s Word, through His help obviously. That’s wisdom of the wisest kind! (smile) Much LOVE!
 
…to boast, to boast, and yet to boast…not of myself or of my doings…but of the majesty and glory of Jehovah God…