Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.    Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!)

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee: On, then, Christian soldiers, onto victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! (Refrain) 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 

Oh friends of mine, it’s a beautiful white Tuesday morning in my area. Hn! Yes, we’ve finally registered our first significant snowfall of the season! It’s not too big a snowfall, and as always, it looks beautiful when unsullied by human passage through it. But trudging through it is something else…and so is shovelling it. Good thing I won’t be doing either of those activities today! (smile) 

Anyway, there’s lot’s of stuff I want to share this morning, so let’s get right to it nuh. And the first one is something called ‘The Tyranny of Things,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t remember if I’ve ever shared this before, but it’s ever so appropriate for these secular and selfish times, especially this time of year. 

Please read with me: ‘Materialism does not satisfy because it is tyrannical, and the human being was born to be free! We all know about the tyranny of things. We find that we don’t own a house – the house owns us. We are married to a mortgage. We become slaves to gadgets and garments. 

After we have all our “things” purchased, delivered, and installed, and have enjoyed a fleeting sense of pleasure, we find that they are still dominating, dictating, and demanding. “Press me, polish me, patch me, paint me, prune me, plaster me, repair me,” they shout. 

So we spend the best years of our lives and the bulk of our money working for the “things,” until, discouraged and depressed, we discover that we have no time left to pursue life’s really enjoyable avocations: visiting friends, having fun, and, yes, even going to church regularly. Thus mastered by materialism, tyrannized by things, we have no time left to do the deeds, or see the places, or visit the people, that would really give us great inner joy.’  

And isn’t all of that the living truth friends? It certainly is! In this materialistic, highly commercialized society, it’s all about things and stuff, especially at this season of Christmas. And in a couple weeks time, we’ve forgotten about all the stuff we bought – on credit; even get annoyed when we see some of the stuff, as we struggle to pay for them. Hn! Hn! 

So please, let’s take this advice to heart this Christmas season nuh, and not go overboard with the material stuff. Instead, let’s focus on the human relationships and spiritual processes that truly are the reason for the season, with Jesus being the main focus. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ More words of truth and wisdom, my brethren, whether you take them literally or figuratively! 

Time is flying by, and none of us knows how much we have left, so we need to use each second economically, purposefully and usefully, both in the human and spiritual realms. Darkness and evil have taken a stranglehold on our world, and as true believers in Christ, we can’t afford to let that happen. We need to push back…and push back hard too, if we want to make a difference in this crucial fight. 

And we have a quote ascribed to Antoine de St. Expury (1900-1944) the French author, poet and aviator. It says: ‘In these times one must write with one’s life. This is the challenge to all of us.’ 

And is that ever so true friends, especially for us Christians! We need to show the dark, evil and cruel world what true Christianity is like through the way we live our lives, rather than the way we talk. For one doesn’t always reflect the other. As the saying goes; ‘examples work more forcibly than precepts.’ 

So please let’s concentrate on living our lives as good examples of Christ’s LOVE Revolution nuh, so that the unbeliever will see our sincerity and want to follow Jesus too. That’s the whole point for our being here yes friends. 

Now let us take a quick look at the second part of our Bit; putting on ‘the armour of light.’ And all we have time for is Bruh Paul’s notable warning and brief description of God’s spiritual armour to the Ephesians. ‘Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (rulers), against powers (authorities), against the rulers of darkness of this world (world rulers), against spiritual wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yeh friends, only when we’re dressed in God’s armour, can we stand strong and resist the evil one, for He will attack again and again. That means we have to be continually ensconced in our ‘girdle of truth, and breastplate of righteousness, shod with the gospel of peace, bearing the shield of faith, having on our heads the helmet of salvation, and waving the sword of the Spirit in our right hand, with prayer and supplication’ driving us ever onward and forward! That’s our spiritual armour, and how we defeat the enemy. 

Now let’s go home declaring as we do on Tuesdays, our Tuesday Mantra, singing out loud and clear to the evil world who and whose we are. In full voice and sincere heart 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! How blessed we are eh! Now let’s go out and put it all into action; share the LOVE of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…dark and evil times…call for Christians…showing their light…the light of Jesus…and leading the way…out of the darkness…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

And then it was Friday, which was heralded by some pretty intense thunder showers in my area during the night. The ground should certainly be well watered this morning. 

And even if we don’t see the Sun all day, just remember folks, the SON is ALWAYS shining brightly, both day and night, and He is ALWAYS readily available to come to for succour and comfort, or just a friendly chat. 

Wow! What an awesome Saviour we have my brethren! Please give Him some well-deserved thanks and praise! 

Even the workingman does that in His own misguided way, when he joyfully declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Thank Him for the break from slave labour…even if it short…Thank Him for the time we have to party and carouse and shake we bodyline! Thank Him for the waters that will flow like water…Mama Yo! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

Ah friends, to some extent, we can all understand those sentiments, and in our lustful days, before we were filled with the Holy Spirit, many of us might have even participated in that kind of riotous living. But they are way too extreme for the true Christian. 

So let’s declare our Friday Chant nuh, which gives us a more sober view (smile) of how we ought to spend the weekend. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Now that’s much more in line with true Christian behaviour! And without further ado, let’s get to our Bit. ‘ Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s the first thing we need to do, if we intend to successfully fight and overthrow Beelzebub! Please remember that without God’s protective armour, we are no match for the enemy. 

And once again we’ll include the verses that describe the Lord’s armour, so we can have them right in front of us as we try to explain and understand them. ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your loins) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

And we’ll continue today with the fifth piece of God’s armour: ‘The helmet of salvation (vs.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8), they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes this helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is the certainty (assurance) of salvation.’ 

So my people, once we are saved, and thus assured of salvation, nothing or no one can take that from us, but we have to make good use of it, by keeping it first and foremost, front and centre in our minds, using it as a helmet. 

And now we come to the sixth and last part of God’s protective armour: ‘The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (vs.17b). The Greek term rendered “word” is not ‘logos’ referring to the whole Word of God, but ‘rhema’ referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.’ 

And the author of Hebrews tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (is able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’ (Heb.4:12) 

That’s how powerful the word of God is friends! And when we use it in all aspects of our daily life it mightily assists us in staying centred in God. And though my brethren, we put on all the armour of God, there is one more thing that’s absolutely necessary in successfully fighting Lucifer and his evil buddies; that’s Praying in verse 18. 

And the scholars tell us: ‘Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. 

In the spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Hope you all got that my people: Prayer is indispensable! It must be used with the armour of God, for us to be successful! And we need to pray for not only ourselves, but for all believers! 

So basically, God’s armour consists of our assurance of salvation, our helmet; our belt of truth; knowing the truth of God’s Word, plus our breastplate of righteousness which enables us to live a godly and moral life. 

And we definitely need a shield to protect us from Satan’s arrows, in this case our strong faith. Neither can we go into battle barefooted, we need the shoes, the eagerness that the gospel of peace offers us. And we surely can’t fight without a weapon; namely God’s word that’s so sharp and powerful, it can cut anything and discern whatever is necessary. But it must all be anchored by continuous prayer. 

Now let’s hope this brief refresher course, re God’s armour, reminded of stuff we might have forgotten, enlightened us some, and also raised our consciousness, so that we can run our earthly race more efficiently and successfully than before. Much LOVE!

…onward Christian soldiers…but remember…a soldier never goes to war…without his armour…his weapon…and prayer…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

Lo and behold friends, it’s already Wednesday, the middle of the workweek! These days sure are passing by quickly, and in another couple, summer should officially be upon us. 

That ought to make us happy up here in the colder climes. What a way we look forward to the hot and humid days of summer eh, after months of cold, depressing winter. But then we also complain that the summer’s too hot and humid! (smile) How to please us eh? 

Apparently we can’t be truly pleased. We are like our nowadays children, who, despite their abundance of toys, nonetheless get bored with them very quickly, and keep wanting something new to hold their short attention spans. 

That’s why some of us supposed Christians never grow in faith. We look upon Christianity as a toy, or something that will automatically bring us health, wealth and fame. But nothing is further from the truth friends. 

Of course you can become, healthy, wealthy and famous as a Christian, but that is not the reason for it all. And Christianity desires lots of perseverance, endurance, patience and oftimes much suffering and struggle. 

It’s not an easy row to hoe, especially when confronted by the many wiles and evil schemes of the devious enemy, who have set out to purposely discombobulate us. 

Consequently, many Christians fall by the wayside, because they don’t have the internal parts to run the hard race that’s set before them. But my people, if we are to be successful in the running of this earthly race, then we have to make certain preparations and hold on tightly to certain things. 

Now over the last couple of days we’ve been talking about the spiritual warfare in which we automatically enter in when we become followers of Jesus Christ. The enemy targets us, puts a big bull’s eye on our backs, once we’ve accepted Christ as our Lord and Saviour. 

And yesterday, as we saw from our Bit, one of the necessities for fighting this war is having on the protective armour of God at all times. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, without God’s armour in our possession, we’re like sitting ducks for Lucifer and his evil cohorts. But with it on, and the strength of the Lord flowing through us…oh my people, we can battle like you won’t believe. Glory to God! 

And since some of you might be wondering what this glorious armour consists of, let’s listen to Bruh Paul as he explains it to the Ephesians after our Bit. ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your loins) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

Yes friends, those are the things we call the armour of God, with which we can fight the devil mano-a-mano, giving no ground whatsoever! 

Now let’s get a brief synopsis of all that. Having our loins girded with truth is basically having on a belt of truth, which is knowledge of the word of God. 

The scholars tell us: ‘The ancient soldier’s loins (“waist”) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the truth of Scripture.’ 

There we have it precious people of God! The first and most important piece of armour is knowing the truth of God’s word! We can’t put up any resistance until we have God’s truth firmly entrenched in our souls, since that is the basic reason for our war; the truth of God, versus the lies of the enemy. 

Then we need to put on ‘The breastplate of righteousness,’ which the scholars say ‘may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (“righteousness”).’ 

Now there is much more stuff to talk about re God’s armour, but unfortunately we’ve run out of time and space. But tune in tomorrow and we’ll continue it. In the meanwhile, please ponder on what we’ve already talked about; the first priority of knowing the truth of God’s word, and then putting it into action with a godly, moral lifestyle. 

Now let’s go home declaring the truth that’s in our hearts via our Wednesday Wail. Wailing all: ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, what bliss it is to be in league with Jesus! Now let’s go out and share that joy with those who unfortunately don’t know Him. Much LOVE!

…a soldier of Christ…desperately needs God’s armour…to successfully fight his Christian war…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2014 1 Peter 5:10

1 Peter 5:10.   But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.

 And then it was Saturday…gaudy, colourful, party-hopping Saturday! And to make matters even worse, it’s the Saturday before Labour Day, the last long weekend of the summer cottage season, and the return to school next week. So you can imagine the amount of activities we will try to get into that small, short window of opportunity.
 
But all I have to say on that is to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And I don’t care if you all are displeased at my reminder, because this weekend is a most appropriate time for it, especially in places like New York City, where the Carnival-like celebrations will be taking place, and the leggo-beast behaviour will be on full display.
 
And don’t fool yuh fat either Friends, that sly ole crook, Lucifer, the voracious wolf will certainly be there in his best sheep skin costume, avidly seeking those undisciplined, naïve, or simply unmindful and careless ones he can capture. Do enjoy yourselves, but please try not to be counted amongst that unfortunate lot.
 
And my people, the best antidote for Lucifer’s evil forays into our lives is to be fully clothed with the whole armour of God! Read, mark and inwardly digest, as Bruh Paul declares and describes the situation to the Ephesians. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by the Lord’s mighty power).
 
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age). Against (hosts of) spiritual wickedness in high places.
 
Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Having dressed in God’s armour, be prepared to resist Lucifer, for he will continually attack you). 
 
 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist with) truth (a knowledge of the truth of God’s Word), and having on the breastplate of righteousness (holy character, moral conduct);
 
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (eagerness or willingness to take the fight to Lucifer, the gospel gives peace to the believer); Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked (one).
 
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:10-18)
 
Yes Friends, we need all those accoutrements of war to fight a successful battle against the prince of darkness and his evil cohorts. Starting with the helmet of salvation to guard our minds, our thoughts, where the war always begins, and can be won and lost right there.
 
Then the breastplate of righteousness to guard our hearts and souls and spirit, so we can walk in obedience to Almighty God. And we need the sandals of peace so that we can walk in peace bravely, wherever we go, with the gospel as our peace initiative. In addition to that we must have the belt of truth, so that we can live in and by the truth.
 
The shield of faith is an enormous ally, because it will enable us to stand our ground and deflect the fiery arrows of the enemy as he tries to break through our defences. And last but not least, we definitely need our trusty sword, the Word of God, to mow down the enemy, bring them to their knees and have them acknowledge that Jesus Christ is indeed the Lord and Master of the universe.
 
But what we often fail to see in our rush to talk about the armour of God, is that last verse we quoted, ‘praying always with all prayer…and supplication for the saints.(vs.18) That’s because my people without prayer, God’s armour is inadequate to bring us victory. Prayer is the thing that cements it all. It’s indispensable and we need to use the Spirit’s help to pray for that divine aid.
 
And furthermore, we’re not only to pray for ourselves, but for all God’s people, because ‘spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ And none of that is a joking matter my Friends, for as you read, Bruh Paul unequivocally states that we are in a constant war against the powers of darkness and spiritual wickedness, which are situated in high places.
 
That means the enemy is firmly entrenched in the upper echelons of our society, so they have great power and control over the general state of the world. But like ALL enemies of Jesus Christ, they too can be defeated if we stand strong and resolute, protected by God’s indestructible armour and prayer!
 
Now hear Peter’s take on the subject, with our Bit tacked on at the end. ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
 
Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.
 
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm) strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:6-11)
 
Yes my brethren, in this wicked, ungodly world we have to be very careful in our manoeuvres. But NEVER NEVER FORGET that the God who reconciled us to Himself through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ, will NEVER EVER LEAVE OR FORSAKE US, but will LOVINGLY work on us, like the potter with His clay, until He has made us into Christ-like images of His BELOVED Son!
 
And for all that, we ought to be very thankful. So let’s show our gratitude by truly living for Jesus nuh, because that’s the ONLY philosophy that makes sense on this earth. It is the epitome of wisdom! MUCH LOVE!
 
…and we know…that all things work together for good…to them that LOVE God…to them who are called according to his purpose… (Rom.8:28)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2014 Romans 13:12

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  

And what is shaping up to be the second best vacation ever, keeps rolling along nicely! Yes Friends, it has indeed been a blessed and joyous eleven days so far on God’s Little Acre! But has it really been eleven days already? Let’s see. I arrived here on the 16th, and today is the 26th. Yeh people, that makes it 11 days inclusive!

Our magnanimous God has certainly shone His incredible favour down on me in those past 11 days. Almost everything I’ve wanted, I’ve been blessed with; from a clean, quiet, comfortable and spacious place to stay, to coconut tart, pigeon peas soup, curry crab and dumpling, sea, sand, salt and good times with old friends and new acquaintances. How can I ever complain eh?
 
Rather, I’m giving thanks and saying ‘Thank You Lord! Thank You ever so much for looking after me! And I pray that as I continue to serve You to the best of my ability, You will keep on blessing me, so that I can bless others.’ Oh my brethren, that’s the only wise and sensible way to go on this evil and ungodly planet!
 
Right now though, at about two thirty on what has turned out to be a bright, sunny and windy Sunday afternoon, I’m having a cup of caffeine, struggling to come awake. Hn, hn! It’s already been a busy day. I was up and off to church for 7.30 this morning. And though it ran for almost two hours, it was interesting and soul searching.
 
I then came home and fed my face and had to catch up with some lost night time rest, for yesterday was hectic. That included a trip in the hot afternoon sun to the Windward side of the island, after my episode in Store Bay. Passing through villages and towns with historic names like, Hope, Mt.St.George, Belle Garden, Roxborough and Delaford, certainly brought back nostalgic memories of my youth on the island.
 
Because of time constraints, we stopped in Delaford at a beach called Kings Bay and hung out there for a short period. Strangely enough though, although the beach seemed fine, either through laziness to change my clothes and then change back again, and /or the movement of the Spirit, I just did not feel like bathing in the sea, and that surely says something.
 
Oh I just had a bit of delicious watermelon from my brother’s garden to cool the heat in the body. (smile) The winding hilly roads of my youth are still there, with very little been done to straighten or widen them. However the surface quality in many parts is crying out for serious fixing.
 
Then by the time I got home and rested some, my half-brother and his wife showed up with the curry crab and dumpling that they had promised to make. Mama Yo! Was it ever delicious mih people! I even got a new convert in the Duchess. (smile) She finally appreciates why I’ve always talked so highly of the exotic T&T dish.
 
And while we were here visiting with my brother and his wife, a party was simultaneously happening somewhere nearby in the compound, with plenty talk, laughter and hot soca riddims rocking through the atmosphere, accompanied at one stage by some brilliant fireworks.
 
At one stage too, a strong wind storm and driving rain erupted. But as anyone from these parts knows, a little wind and rain doesn’t stop the party. It only prevents one from going to work. (smile) Oh the wind and rain were hot to trot this morning too. The radio announcer was warning people not to leave home without their umbrellas, and I drove to church amidst intermittent showers.
 
And that my Friends, is where we stand at this most auspicious moment in time!
 
And for those of you who are fast and inquisitive enough to wonder what was our Number One vacation experience. Well it was a trip the Duchess and I took, what… possibly 20 years ago, to Jamdown, (sweet Jamaica) and stayed far from the madding crowd down in the Parish of Trelawney, renting a townhouse there and going on some guided tours around the island.
 
Now we’ve never been tour people, always wanting to do our own thing, in our own time, but the Lord must have guided us to that, because it was the BEST TIME EVER! The things we did and places we went, are etched indelibly in our hearts minds and souls. And try as we want, we’ll never be able to recreate that enthusiasm and energy that arises in such one in a lifetime occasion.
 
We were young, no younger and stronger then, and could handle the hectic pace that was necessary for those endeavours. Our honeymoon, right here in Tobago, forty odd years ago, has so far been batting number two, but it’s certainly getting a run for its money from this current experience.
 
For your info, it seems that another joyful gathering is taking place nearby in the compound. I can’t see anybody, but the sound of talk, laughter and sweet soca are circulating through the airwaves. It sure seems like a partying compound.
 
 And now that you know as much as I do, (smile) let’s see what out Bit has to offer. ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’
 
Yes my people, it’s certainly time for us believers to wake up and realize that the powers of darkness are smothering a lot of the world! Believers need to get serious about their Christian faith, to wake up and realize that Beelzebub is on a serious tear. And as Bruh Paul informs us, it’s only by putting on Christ’s armour of light, can we ever hope to beat back and eventually defeat those strong and evil powers that hide within the darkness of the world.
 
And the best way to bring that home to us, is by quoting Bruh Paul’s immortal, admonishing and ‘exhortatious’ (I just like how it sounds) advice to the Ephesians. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil.
 
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (rulers), against powers (authorities), against the rulers (world-rulers) of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (spiritual hosts of) wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Be ready for constant assaults from the wicked one).
 
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one).
 
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:10-18)
 
That says it all my brethren! I didn’t plan on quoting the last five verses which describe the spiritual armour, but I knew that very few of us would actually look it up, if I asked us to. So I decided to spoon feed us, (smile) so that we can get the full gist, the real importance of the subject.
 
It makes the Bit longer, but you can’t have it both ways. We need to get clothed, and stay clothed as long as possible in the strengthening and perceptive spiritual armour of God, if we want to bring the world to acceptance and conversion to Jesus.
 
So please, let’s go out and do that today, and every day, while there’s breath in our bodies nuh. That’s the wisdom of the age! Much LOVE!
 
…only as believers are filled with the redeeming Spirit of the Most High…will they be able to put up a good fight against the powers of darkness…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 October 2013 Ephesians 6:13

 Ephesians 6:13.  Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 
Oh Friends, can you believe it’s already Wednesday, the middle of the week? And even more surprisingly, that we’re already in the middle of October, which just began the other day? (smile) It’ll soon be Halloween, then U.S. Thanksgiving, then Christmas and New Years.
 
Wow! 2013 has indeed flown by rather quickly! And as usual, the conniving merchants have found a way that every few weeks there’s some big occasion for us to spend money on, money that most of us don’t have, because we’re either not working, or because of the measly wages those same merchants are paying.
 
Steups! The shame of the whole matter though is that people who are working, sometimes even two jobs, still aren’t making enough money to look after their families and have to go to food banks for assistance. Ah Lord! What a crying shame in these rich countries!
 
Forty years ago, when I first came to Canada, I can’t remember ever hearing anything about food banks. If they existed, they were the exception. Today however, they are the rule; they’re all over the place. You also have food kitchens, where the down and out can go and get hot meals. The problem though is that there are too many who are down and out, many through no fault of their own. 
 
And my understanding re food banks and kitchens, was that those things only existed during times of war, when there’s usually a shortage of food. Hn! But I guess we’re at war right now. Steups!
 
Anyhow, the good thing about being a believer in Christ is that we also have another avenue for help, beside man, in this selfish, greedy, ungodly world. We have a heavenly Father who renews our spirit during sleep, then wakes us up with a wonderful perspective every morning, where He faithfully provides, daily manna, mercy and blessings to all who come to Him in sincere faith.
 
And all the God’s children gratefully declared: ‘Oh thank You, thank You Lord, for looking after us everyday! Thank you for Your mercy, blessings and guidance that keeps us on the straight and narrow path that leads straight to Your ever-LOVING heart! We bless and praise Your Holy Name! Amen!’
 
Yeh Friends, though life might be rough and tough, those are the times when believers hunker down and fight it, with God’s help. And please note that He doesn’t only look after our physical needs, but also our mental and spiritual, as our Bit boldly proclaims: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’
 
And how I LOVE that last part; ‘and having done all, to STAND.’ Oh my people, that’s exactly what all believers need to do in these wicked and ungodly times; put on God’s armour and STAND STRONG AGAINST THE ENEMY! 
 
Anyway, let’s get to what I couldn’t share yesterday, because of time and space commitments. Friends, for those of you who don’t have a Bible handy when you read the Bit, or are just too lazy to open it (smile)  – I refuse to believe that any follower of Jesus doesn’t have a Bible at all – I’ll just share the scripture that pertains to the different pieces of spiritual armour.
 
Please listen closely, because this could mean the difference between salvation and eternal life, or damnation and eternal separation from the Most High God Jehovah.
 
Bruh Paul tells the Ephesians after our Bit: ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one).
 
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph,6:14-18) 
 
Oh Friends, doesn’t that just grab you by the heart and transport you to a much better place? It surely does!
 
Now hear the scholars’ take on all that: ‘6:14-17. The whole armour of God consists of six pieces. (1) Truth (v.14a) is a knowledge of the truth of God’s Word (cf. 4:21). The ancient soldier’s loins (waist) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, are held in place by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the truth of scripture.
 
(2) The breastplate of righteousness (v.14b) may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (righteousness).
 
(3) Preparation of the gospel of peace (v.15) means “eagerness that comes from the gospel of peace.” That is, as the Roman soldier wore special shoes called ‘caligae’ on his feet, enabling him to advance against his enemy, so the Christian must have on his feet (possess) a sense of ‘eagerness’ or willingness to advance against the Devil and take the fight to him. Such ‘eagerness’ to contend with Satan “comes from the gospel of peace.” The gospel gives peace to the believer, freeing him from anxiety though he advances against such a powerful opponent.
 
(4) The shield of (which is) faith (v.16) means taking God at His word by believing His promises. Such trust will protect one from the doubts induced by Satan.
 
(5) The helmet of salvation (v.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8), they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes this helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is, the certainty (assurance) of salvation.
 
(6) The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (v.17b): The Greek term rendered “word” is not ‘logos,’ referring to the whole Word of God, but ‘rhema,’ referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.
 
6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer, God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made.
 
Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’
 
Oh my brethren, I know that it’s long and heavy, but it’s all in a day’s understanding of the scriptures. We can’t always look for the short, easy stuff, else we won’t grow in Christ.
 
So please let’s take our time to read, study and inwardly digest all that we’ve said today. For if we sincerely do that, there’s no doubt whatsoever that our maturity level in Christ will rise. And that’s our goal; to mature some in Christ everyday. Much LOVE!
 
…oh what peace our souls derive…when we have the Word of God planted deep inside…