Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 November 2022   2 Timothy 1:12.

2 Timothy 1:12.       For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.

Then it was Friday, and we all gleefully shouted: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and the work week is finally finished! It’s time to begin the weekend party!’ But not so fast friends, the activities of some of us in the wintry climes will probably be curtailed by flurrying snow this weekend. So please check your weather reports and make sure you are well protected if you do go out. And if you don’t have to go out, then don’t! This is the time of year that that phrase comes in very handy. (smile) 

Now here is something else that will also make us smile cheerfully. It’s a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, aptly titled ‘I Do Know.’ So, please read with me. ‘There is much I cannot begin to fathom concerning the vast, indescribable universe created by our majestic God. There is much I will never comprehend. I want to sing and shout, so utterly overwhelmed I am with the magnitude of God. But I do know with confident certainty that I belong to the God of the universe – the Creator of all that exists. 

I know that I, a mere mortal, am forever linked to divine destiny. I know that my life has purpose and dignity. I know that God has chosen me as the object of His lavish LOVE; that His thoughts toward me are thoughts of kindness and mercy; that He has inscribed me in the palms of His hands. I know that all the LOVE of the Father, and the life of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit are freely, inseparably mine – now and throughout all eternity. This I do know!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what beautiful and oh so true sentiments! And I like how so many important scriptures are intricately and dextrously weaved into it. However, the question now is do we believe all of that? Do we know it in spades, without any doubt whatsoever? We know that with our finite minds we can never truly comprehend the vastness of the universe, but are we overwhelmed by the magnitude of our mighty God? Do we believe that we are truly ‘linked to divine destiny’ and that our lives have ‘purpose and dignity’ built into them by our heavenly Father? 

And do we truly believe that we are the ‘objects of His lavish LOVE’, with wonderful thoughts of kindness and mercy focused in our direction? And what about the fact that He has inscribed us in the palms of His hands eh? Does that ring true in our spirits, bodies and souls? For our sakes I hope so, otherwise we are lost and sadly in great danger in this evil and terribly sinful world. And one last question, possibly the most important; do we know that ‘all the LOVE of the Father, and the life of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit are freely and inseparably ours – now and throughout all eternity?’ 

Yes my brethren, that’s the billion dollar question this cold and snowy Friday morning in the middle of November 2022. Do we know the One True God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? The One who created the universe and all therein? The One who LOVED us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross at Calvary, using His precious, sinless and holy blood to purchase our sin debt in full? Yes friends, that’s the same God who LOVED us so much while we were yet sinners, that He couldn’t wait for us to change, but had to give us a good reason to change, through the coming of His Son Jesus Christ to earth in human flesh to show us what a great and merciful God He truly is. 

But enough of my yakking, (smile) let’s see what scriptural promise that poem was based on. And it comes from Bruh Paul’s second letter to Timothy, where he is exhorting the young preacher to endurance. He encourages Timothy early in that section, by telling him: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world (time) began.’ (2 Tim. 1:7-9) 

Oh my faithful brethren, the Lord God has purposed our lives through Jesus Christ from even before He created the universe and all therein. That means we’re not placed in these times by chance, but by God’s perfect design, and are expected to do His will for our lives. But finally, here’s the verse on which our poem is based. Bruh Paul goes on to tell Timothy: ‘Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher unto the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.’ (2 Tim. 1:11-12) 

Now, it’s that last verse on which all of our poem and our lives turn! Are we ashamed of the gospel of Christ, the One we claim to believe in? And are we fully persuaded that He can keep all that we have committed to Him until the day of judgement? I won’t get into it, but leave us all to contemplate our own situations. Here are some thoughts on the subject though from the scholars. ‘Persuaded: The perfect tense indicates that “I was persuaded in the past and remain so now.” That he is able to keep refers to the assurance of salvation which is committed…against that day, when we will stand before the judgement seat of Christ.’  

And today is a good a day as any other to ponder what that scripture means in our individual lives. But as a group of believers, let’s go to the throne room in prayer, offering up our Friday Chant with thanksgiving, pleading for divine guidance. Altogether now: ‘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 several viruses 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 viruses and the simmering unrest in our land. 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, the discontent and dissatisfaction in our land that’s threatening to boil over, as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, wake up and smell it sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now my fellow saints, we need to make the necessary changes in our lives and our hearts, that will convince the Lord that we are serious in what we’ve just prayed. Much LOVE!

…to live for Christ…means to suffer with…and if necessary…die for Him…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2021 Joshua 1:5.

Joshua 1:5.     ​As I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

And the weekly work cycle begins again…for those who have jobs that is, and are not sick from the Covid-19 virus. What a way Monday has changed in the last year eh? Back then we would wake up grouchy and miserable, annoyed that we had to go to work in the cold, winter morning. But today, although we are still waking up miserable and grouchy on a Monday morning, (smile) it’s for very different reasons. 

Now we’re wondering when the pandemic will end, do we still have a job, will we be able to work from home so we can escape the virus? On top of all that, money, food, clothing and the basic necessities are in short supply, so many of us are also very anxious about how we will get through this day. Yeh friends, what a difference a year makes! The pandemic has turned everything topsy-turvy, upside down, and many of us don’t know if we’re coming or going. 

But we believers in Christ Jesus ought to know that, for from way back when, our wonderful and omnipotent God has promised never to leave nor forsake us. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to His word. When Moses was about to die, he spoke these encouraging and reassuring words to the people of Israel. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them (your enemies): for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) 

And Moses commissioned Joshua to be the new leader, calling him in front of all the people, and saying unto him. ‘Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit. And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ (Deut. 31:7-8) 

Yes friends, Joshua and the people were encouraged by Moses of the Lord’s faithfulness towards His chosen people. And so should we be also encouraged in the Lord, because we are His children through adoption because we believe in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. What amuses me though, but also encourages me, is how the Lord also spoke to Joshua after Moses died, promising that He would be with him just like he was with Moses, and nobody would stand up against him all his life. ‘As I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh. 1:5) 

That just shows how important the situation was to the Lord. But then He issued some direct warnings to Joshua, amongst them this reiterated one: ‘Be strong and of a good courage…Only be thou strong and very courageous to do according to all the law…turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth: but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written there: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:6-8) 

Oh my people, that is the basic foundation of our faith: meditating on God’s word and obeying it! That’s how we become successful and prosperous. But just like the Israelites back then, we’re not obeying God’s command, so no wonder we’re not prosperous and successful. And just for good measure, the Lord pounded it Joshua’s head one more time. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) 

Oh friends, oh friends, how often must the Lord pound it into our heads too, before we begin to follow His commands eh? Look at the state of Christianity nuh! We’re more evil than the evil one, if that’s possible, more divided, resentful and hateful than the unbelievers. Not reading and meditating on the Good Book sufficiently, more interested in the things of the world than the things of God! Yet we expect to be successful. Steups! Now here’s this scripture that puts it in a nutshell. The words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

Yes my fellow saints, that’s what our wonderful God has given us; power, LOVE, and discipline, the basic things we need to be victorious, along with knowing and keeping His word. So let’s wise up nuh, bring our ways and lives into agreement with His word and will, so that we can be successful and prosperous. And the first step in doing that is turning to God in sincere prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, sincerely pouring out our hearts, seeking grace and mercy. 

So altogether, in confident voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now we have to seriously read, meditate and live according to God’s word, if we want to be successful and prosperous. Much LOVE!

…real success and prosperity…only come from sincerely living for God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2016 2 Timothy 1:12.

2 Timothy 1:12.   For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.

Oh my people, another glorious day is blossoming in our earthly lives! Thanks be to God! 

And would you believe that in my neck of the woods, on the first day of November the temperature is supposed to rise up into the high teens? Wow! Talk about climate confusion! 

Anyway, whatever the state of the weather in our particular area, please, lets enjoy the day, because that’s why the Lord made us to see and experience it. 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘I Do Know’. When I read it recently it reminded me so much of our Tuesday Mantra that I had to share it with you. 

It says: ‘There is much I cannot begin to fathom concerning the vast, indescribable universe created by our majestic God. There is much I will never comprehend. I want to sing and shout, so utterly overwhelmed I am with the magnitude of God. 

But I do know with confident certainty that I belong to the God of the universe – the Creator of all that exists. I know that I am a mere mortal, am forever linked to divine destiny. 

I know that God has chosen me as the object of His lavish LOVE; that his thoughts toward me are thoughts of kindness and mercy; that he has inscribed me in the palms of his hands. 

I know that all the LOVE of the Father, and the life of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit are freely, inseparably mine – now and throughout all eternity. This I do know!’ 

Ah friends, isn’t that a beautiful description of our relationship with Jehovah God? It certainly is!  

And if you don’t believe it reminds you of our Tuesday Mantra, then, let’s declare it right now with all the enthusiasm and sure belief that it deserves. 

As one beautiful voice now: ‘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!’  

Mama Mia! Oh what a bountiful blessing to be the beloved of God and the friend of Jesus! It definitely couldn’t get any better than that! 

And the writing above just expands on our Mantra; giving more detail of the awesome relationship we have with the Creator and Controller of the universe. Between them both, we ought surely to confidently know and understand who and whose we are – the blessed and LOVING family of Almighty God! 

Now here is the promise of scripture for that writing above, it is also our Bit for today. ‘For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.’ 

Oh glory be my precious people! Bruh Paul is confidently proclaiming his trust and sure confidence in the Lord his God to his protégé Timothy. And we should also be able to proclaim it, if we truly believe what we say we believe. 

In the verses before our Bit, Bruh Paul lays out his reasoning for his certainty in Christ. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. 

Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me in the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God; 

Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world (time) began. 

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light though the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.’ (2 Tim.1:7-11) 

What a moving passage of scripture friends! Bruh Paul lays out why he believes what he believes. And the same should apply to all who consider themselves Christians! 

Jesus was victorious over hell, death and the grave so that we could have eternal life and light, and it’s our bounden duty as His followers to spread that good news to all and sundry, in each and every part of the world. 

So my brethren, if we are assured of salvation through Christ Jesus, then we need to behave like it, and speak it boldly, not be ashamed of our faith, as so many of us tend to be when in the company of unbelievers. 

Remember Jesus’ last directive to His disciples: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Yes precious people of God, that is our Great Commission, which we are able to do because our wonderful God hasn’t ‘given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ 

So please let’s manifest those things in our walk of faith today, let’s boldly and gladly, share the LOVE of Jesus with the rest of the world, because only then, can we be considered true believers. Much LOVE!

…true Christians not only talk the talk…but also walk the walk…

P.S. Just one of those late nights and thus late mornings. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2015 Psalm 42:5

Psalm 42:5.  Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).

And then it was Saturday Friends! Wow! Another great day to be alive, because we don’t know what wonderful blessings and mercies the Lord has planned for us today. But be sure of this one thing; He does have stuff planned for us, otherwise His fabulous breath of life would not be flowing through our physical bodies right now. 

And all God’s people declared a loud and hearty ‘Praise the Lord for His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ We surely are thankful my people. 

And since we’re continuing our series of messages on HOPE, I thought this quote from Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) a Jewish Dutch philosopher of some renown, would fit right into our plans. Baruch is reputed to have said that ‘There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.’ 

Yes Friends, we all feel some sort of fear, anxiety and/or doubt, when we’re in a hoping frame of mind. And even when we’re truly fearful, there is always a smattering of hope lurking somewhere in the background, telling us that everything will be all right. So it’s just a normal human reaction to have a touch of fear in hope and hope in fear. 

But my precious people, let’s never forget those memorable words of encouragement that Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) 

So though it’s only natural for a little fear to sometimes creep into our lives, that is not our basic human nature, it is of the enemy. We have been empowered, filled with LOVE and a sound mind by Almighty God to pursue His purposes! 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ 

Oh my fellow believers, in this dangerous and difficult world it is normal for us to sometimes feel less than strong and powerful, and thus have our spirits sink to a fraction of their natural buoyancy.  But the important thing to remember when those times befall us is that we must turn to our great God for help. He is the only one who can provide the necessary comfort we seek. 

As the psalmist says in Psalm 130 – My soul waiteth for the Lord: ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps.130:7-8) Words of indisputable truth my people! 

Now listen to how Isaiah puts it in chapter 25 – The song of praise by the redeemed. ‘He will swallow up death (forever) in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is.26:9)  

Oh Friends, now why wouldn’t we hope for that eh? It’s such a wonderful promise! And we know that all of our God’s promises are faithful and true, though they make take a while longer to come than we would like. But as Habakkuk so wisely advises: ‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’ (Hab.2:3) 

Yes Friends, ALL of God’s promises will eventually come true, but in HIS OWN TIME. That means we have to hope and pray and wait. What better example can we find that our father Abraham eh? 

Here’s what Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church about him. ‘Who against (contrary to) hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations. According to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 

He staggered (wavered) not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded (convinced) that what he had promised, he was able also to perform.’ (Rom.4:18-21) 

My people are we as convinced that our God can perform His promises? I certainly hope so, otherwise we’re fighting a losing battle and we’re not true Christians. How many of us would have packed up all our belongings and moved far away from our families, not having a clue as to where we were going, just because some obscure and so-called God told us to do it? Not many. 

And how many of us would have believed that a woman could bear children at almost a hundred years old? Not many! And how many of us would have believed that we would become the father of many nations when the Lord told us to sacrifice our one and only son, from whom all the mighty lineage was supposed to flow? Again, not many! But Abraham did. That’s why it was ascribed to him as righteousness.  

Ah mih people, sometimes it’s a hard row we have to hoe, but with God’s help we can certainly do it. So please, regardless of the difficult circumstances we might now be undergoing, please don’t ever give up on our God. Abraham did not have to sacrifice his only son, but our heavenly Father did it so that we could be saved, be reconciled to Him, have salvation and eternal life. 

And remember He did not have to do it, but He did it for our sakes. Now if that isn’t LOVE, I don’t know what is. So just hang in there my people and all will be well in the Lord’s time. Much LOVE!

 …to hope…to hope…and yet to hope…that is a Christian’s lot…