Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 January 2012 Ephesians 4:23.

Ephesians 4:23.        And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;   

Now that’s more like it! There’s a hint of sunshine in the air, not the total murkiness we’ve suffered for the past couple of  days. Sunshine has been so lacking that lights which are recharged by sunlight have not been coming on because there hasn’t been sufficient sunlight to recharge them. I wonder what’s happening to those who use solar powered equipment in their homes, like on their rooves to provide heat, if they don’t have a large storage of that solar power.

It’s a good thing that we don’t have to worry about our spiritual power, because we have Jesus, the ‘awesomest’ power person there is, rooting for us in everything we do! But first we need to put our trust and faith in Him, believe in what He says, and live the way he directs, otherwise His power won’t work in us. It’s all conditioned upon our sincerely accepting Him as Lord and Saviour and doing His will.

And when we do that…Brother! Such new vistas will open before us, exciting things will begin happening, good changes will be made in our lives, in fact a complete turnaround will take place, and we’ll wonder why we hadn’t accepted Him into our hearts and lives before. As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17)

Yes friends, when you’ve found Christ, you become a brand new being. As the scholars put it: ‘When a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation,” and perceives Christ in a new way.’ And that’s borne out by the words of Jesus, first to Nicodemus, who came by night seeking information from Him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3)

It’s a spiritual rebirth my brethren! And unless it happens to us, we won’t see the kingdom of God. It’s as simple as that. And Jesus drives home that point later on when He tells the disciples: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Now that’s laying it all on the line. And it is the indisputable fact; without Jesus, we are very limited in what we can do.

And when we accept Him as Lord and Saviour, we make a break with the old things of our lives. We have to, because all the old carnal, sinful, fleshly stuff doesn’t work in Christ’s domain. That means a lot of new things, interesting changes must happen in our new life with Jesus, if we are to abide in Him, and He in us. As Isaiah writes: ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider ye the things of old.’ (Is. 43:18) And the wonderful thing about it all my people, is that once we come to Christ, our union with Him abides forever!

But here are some interesting words from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians, on some of the practical changes that we make when we come to Christ. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct of) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph. 4:22-32)

Yes my fellow saints, just a few practical changes to make when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour! (smile) But seriously though, we desperately need to consider how all of the above resonates in our personal lives, because it’s all a big part of our current angry, strife -filled world. And it’s not always easy to differ from the world, but we must, if we are to fulfill Christ’s mandate.

The major aspect though is a change in our mindset, because it’s in our mind that all the battles between the old and new take place. That’s why Bruh Paul wrote: ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.’ (Eph. 4:23) Now, the only way we can do that is through purposeful meditation on God’s word, sincere prayer and the genuine encouragement of other believers. And, since we’ve already pondered the Lord’s word, and encouraged each other, let’s go to Him in prayer now, through our Friday Chant, asking for His divine help and guidance.

As one strong, confident, but humble voice. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

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

Now, please remember that we just portrayed ourselves as faithful believers, and unless we live up to that promise, the Lord won’t answer our prayers. Much LOVE!

…being a new creation in Christ is wonderful…but it’s not always easy…we have to keep at it…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 December 2021 Romans 5:5a.

Romans 5:5a.     And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); 

Oh friends, unfortunately, Thursday has not opened as nicely as Wednesday did; it’s wet and cloudy, but as always, the wonderful news and Spirit of Jesus lifts us up regardless of the quality of the physical day. And we’ve drawn breath today, so that makes it even more important! That’s why we confidently declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Yes mih bredrin, life might not be a bed of roses, but since we have life, we have hope.. ‘And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God has been shed abroad (poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ (Rom. 5:5) Oh my people, what we have in Christ Jesus through His Holy Spirit is more than hope, it’s a certainty of our eternal home and destination. 

But here’s how the bibleref.com website explains it nuh. They say: ‘Paul introduced a challenging idea in the previous verses (1-4): that Christians can see suffering as a cause for rejoicing. He did not mean by this that anyone should necessarily feel happy or enthusiastic about hard circumstances. Instead, those who are saved—who have expressed faith in Christ—can declare to ourselves that this suffering is worthwhile. It provides an opportunity to grow into the people that God is calling us to be. 

He began by showing that suffering produces endurance: a deeper, longer trust in God. This produces character, meaning we more consistently choose to do what honors God. This, in turn, produces hope, where we experience growing certainty that our ultimate destiny is an eternity of good in God’s presence. Now Paul concludes this chain by saying that our hope will never put us to shame. By that, Paul means our hope will be fully vindicated. We will never, in the end, be disappointed for hoping to receive God’s goodness forever.’ 

And of that we can be certain sure my fellow believers, because our wonderful God has already proven His awesome LOVE for us by sending His Son Jesus to die on the cross for us while we were yet sinners. Yes, through His shed blood we’ve been justified, sanctified, redeemed, saved from God’s wrath, received salvation, been reconciled to the Father, atoned for and all the other wonderful things we gain by being true believers in Christ Jesus! 

Wow! Which other supposed God has anything better to offer eh? NONE! Because they are not real gods, just wannabe imitations of the One and Only True Living God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! And that’s the indisputable truth! There is no other God but Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, whatever name we choose to address Him by! 

That’s why Bruh Paul could also write in his second letter to the church at Corinth, these encouraging words. ‘For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timothy, was not yea, and nay, but in him was yea. For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us is God; Who also hath sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.’ (2 Cor. 1:19-22) 

Oh friends, the promises of God in Christ Jesus are all yes, yes, yes! Now hear the scholars’ explanation of that passage of scripture. ‘1:20-22. Amen is equivalent to yea. Whether one is a Gentile (yea) or a Hebrew (amen), the promises of God are sure. But the force of Paul’s analogy is that his word is as good as the gospel, because he which establisheth us with you in Christ…is God. 

Sealed us: The sealing of the Holy Spirit has a threefold significance in the New Testament: (1) to indicate ownership (we belong to God, through Christ Jesus); (2) to indicate genuineness; (3) to preserve and keep safe (cf. Eph. 4:30; 2 Tim. 2:19; Rev. 7:2-3). This last idea is amplified with the earnest of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit Himself is the down payment, or pledge , of redemption. The indwelling Spirit is the surety and the “security” of all that is to follow in the final salvation of the believer (cf. Rom. 8:9-11, 23; 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:14).’ 

What more can we ask eh friends? Nothing really. God didn’t only send Christ to pay for our sins, but He also sent the Holy Spirit to seal us as His personal property. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘For ye are bought with a price: (the blood of Jesus): therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ (1 Cor. 6:20) Yes my people, we belong lock, stock and barrel to God! And He stakes His claim on us by sending His Holy Spirit to indwell us, as well as to give us security and surety of His promises. 

That means our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, consequently, we need to behave in a manner worthy and appropriate of such a high honour. Please, let’s try doing that nuh. We all know what it means and what it takes, but we need to put out a serious effort to make it happen, especially in these tough times. And our God is so good and wonderful that He even gives us the tools, numerous blessings, so we can do just that, and show the world what a magnificent God He is. And since those blessings don’t take effect until we declare them, let’s declare what we call our Thursday Blessings right now nuh. 

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

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

Now, the onus is on us to go out and share those blessings just as generously with others, as God shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…and grieve not the Holy Spirit of God…whereby ye are sealed…unto the day of redemption… (Eph. 4:30) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

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

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

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

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

‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to hurry. I don’t have to worry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2015 Ephesians 4:30

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

Arise! Arise my people! Arise and let us go forth into the wicked, godless world that surrounds us. It’s Monday morning, that means it’s the beginning of a new workweek and our free paper has been burnt. Glory Hallelujah! (smile) 

And with the burning of our free paper we have to get ourselves together and go out and work so that we can eat, buy clothes and have a roof over our heads. And while we are earning a living, we must also be furthering the kingdom of God through our witness, both spoken word and physical behaviour. That is the task that is set before us this chilly Monday morning in early October. 

Now let’s stop the foolish complaining, and throw of the miserableness, and simply do what we need to do; go out and join Jesus in battle; go out and do good like Jesus did. And since not all of us are quite awake and with it as yet, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get our motors running and our adrenalin pumping. 

Altogether 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!’ 

Ah Friends, that rendition of our famous Battle Hymn was not very moving or enlivening at all! You could see that our choirmaster, Jesus wasn’t too thrilled, because there was no enthusiasm, no brashness, no get up and go, no joie de vivre, nothing to truly light one’s fire. But hopefully we’re up and about now, our motors are running, or rather sputtering, until we imbibe that first jolt of our morning caffeine. (smile) 

Oh my brethren, if we are in such a sad state, then how can we go out into the cruel and evil world and adhere to Bruh Paul’s admonition in our Bit eh? ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ It’s very difficult to do under the best of circumstances, much less when we are somewhat under the weather, not at our finest.

That’s why we keep encouraging us to make Sunday a warm up day for Monday, so we can go back to work rejuvenated and refreshed – emotionally, spiritually and physically, and truly live the new life in Christ. 

And what is this new life in Christ, you ask? Well Bruh Paul spells it out thus for the Ephesians and also for us. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph.4:22-24)  

And what does all of that mean? Here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘4:22-24. Christianity taught the addressees to (1) put off…the old man, to renounce their pre-conversion life and sins; (2) be renewed in…your mind, to be constantly changed, being brought more and more into line with God’s own viewpoint; and (3) put on the new man, that is, to assume a new nature (character) and conduct (life) at conversion.’ 

Yes Friends, when we come to walk seriously with Jesus, we need to throw out all the old, sinful trash that was in our lives before; stop going to certain places and doing certain things with certain people, which will prevent us from being all that Jesus expects us to be. 

We’ve just got to scrap our old way of life and become a new person in Christ. Now that doesn’t happen overnight, or come easily, for there will be tests and trials and tribulations still in our lives, ostensibly to test our faith. So please understand that becoming a new person in Jesus is not all wine, roses and song. (smile) 

But with the Holy Spirit of God living within you and leading and guiding you, it is indeed possible for you to slowly move from glory to glory, and thus understand what the new man is all about. Again, it all depends on the individual’s willingness to learn; to read and study God’s Word and to put that word into practice. 

Unfortunately, that character trait seems to be sadly lacking in us Christians today. We talk about God, intimating that we’ve put on the new man, but in reality we live like the world, like we used to live before, with the old ways taking precedence over the new ways of God. 

Now that obviously grieves the Holy Spirit; in fact the entire God-head, the Holy Trinity which also includes the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. 

It’s just like our earthly bosses are displeased when we claim to do what we ought, but have actually done the opposite. And there can be serious repercussions for such lies and deceit. Likewise, there are repercussions when we are not obedient to God’s will. 

So Friends, let’s all wake up and smell the coffee, (smile) and get ourselves together this Monday morning, so that we won’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Now that is true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…like Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) says…the best way to live this life…is to simply obey God…and leave all the consequences to him…