Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2019 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   ​God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.

 

Allow Trouble to Lift You: ‘Truly we learn courage when we face danger; we learn patience when we endure suffering; we learn tenderness when we face pain; we learn to prize true friends when false ones forsake us; we treasure health when illness strikes and we learn to prize freedom when we are in danger of losing it! 

Without trouble we would be like plants that have sprouted, grown, and been nurtured in the overprotected shelter of a hothouse, too tender ever to live in the open.’ Oh what words of gospel truth those are! 

And furthermore: ‘We have matured as Christians when we learn that there is no progress without pain; there is no conversation without crises; there is no birth without painful travail; there is no salvation without agonizing repentance and no Easter without a Good Friday! There is no service without suffering…’ 

Yes friends, I couldn’t put it any better than that! Unfortunately those are not my words, but Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional. And yes, until we supposed Christians realize that a Christian life is not a sweet and fairytale life devoid of pain and hardship, but one fraught with periods of suffering, just like Christ’s, we’ll never mature, never grow in Christ as we ought to. 

Because as Gramps Schuller so rightly points out, if our lives are just easy and smooth, we won’t be able to face the rough and tumble trials that are truly life in this evil and ungodly world! In good, smooth, comfortable times we don’t grow, we just float along without a care in the world. But when adversity hits, that’s when we separate the goats from the sheep, that’s when we see what we’re truly made of, how strong is our backbone and belly! 

And in so doing, if we have the necessary faith and courage to stand strong in Christ, that’s when we grow! As Gramps Schuller also says later on: ‘Your trouble may be your greatest opportunity!’ And that’s no lie, because then you have to stir yourself and get yourself moving to solve your problems, in tandem with Almighty God if you’re wise! 

Remember Jesus didn’t promise that His followers would have clear and uneventful sailing in this topsy-turvy world, but exactly the opposite: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And if you’re a true believer, then you’ll know that Jesus doesn’t lie. Neither does He make idle promises. So if He says that life will contain rough times, then it will, but on the other hand, if He promises His peace during those times, then that will also come to pass. 

And remember He’s already vanquished the devil in his own territory; hell, death and the grave, by rising triumphantly on Easter Sunday, so we should not be overwhelmed by all the nonsense the enemy tries to tell us, for the victory is already ours! Glory to God! 

So now, let’s check out some scriptures that can help us handle trouble when it comes against us. And if anybody knew trouble, though he was certainly blessed, it was Bruh David. But he stoically declares (steups, wrong again) ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.’ (Ps.27:4-5) 

That means friends we just can’t run to God when times become rough, but must be in good communication with Him during the good times too. Now listen to the Sons of Korah: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3) 

Yes my brethren, let’s take a moment and contemplate on that nuh! Is our faith that strong? It ought to be, if we are truly walking in righteous and godly paths. And listen to Bruh David once again: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ (Ps.138:7) 

Oh my people, that’s the kind of unwavering confidence we ought to have in our omnipotent God, for with Him ALL things are possible! And no treatise on trouble would be complete without these famous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (struck) down, but not destroyed;’ (2 Cor.4:8-9) 

And why is that my faithful brethren? Because we’re ‘Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:10) And now that we’ve conquered trouble, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) all the wonderful things contained in our Thursday Blessings. 

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

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

And as always, I have to remind us that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others less fortunate than us! Much LOVE!

…if we are in Christ…and Christ is in us…then we can overcome ANYTHING that comes against us…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Ah mih Scrip-Bit breddren another hot summer’s day is in the offing… But what do we expect eh? It’s summer! It’s supposed to be hot! We’re just a bunch of pampered, selfish people, who only want it to be the way we want it! It’s a good thing though that our God thinks differently. (smile) 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s get going with some really interesting quotes this week from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.’ And that’s no lie friends, for all the material wealth in the world cannot be compared to the figurative wealth, talking about wisdom and experience and simple joy that one gets from living a full and productive life. 

That brings us to this next quote that’s tied up with the first. ‘Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think, and experience life. I realize how important it is to use the time I have.’ 

And is that ever so true! When we’re young, energetic and supple, we feel like time is there waiting on us, like we have oodles of it. But the older we get, the more restricted our bodies become and we realize that time’s not waiting on us, and we need to use whatever we have left in a big way. The old fogies like me, will recognize the ultimate truth in that statement. (smile) 

Therefore, one has to ‘Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.’ That also relates back to our first quote, because we all know that a life lived on the safe side does not produce any real joy and excitement, just a bland, so-so existence, and that’s not the kind of life that Jesus died for us to have. 

We were put down here to experience life, not merely go through the motions. That means we need to step out of our comfort zone and take some risks every so often; for that’s the only way we will ever grow, both in Christ and in the living world. 

And the last quote is rather eye opening: ‘Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms.’ 

Yes friends, if we could only see life through another’s eyes, we would not be as judgemental and cynical and repulsive and repugnant as we are. And only when we try to understand another’s position or circumstance can we have that wonderful trait called empathy, which is just another name for compassion. 

That brings us right to our Bit. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

h mih people, it’s the Lord’s empathy towards us that has us breathing and experiencing another day in His world! That’s what Jesus had for us, that’s why he came and died to pay for our sins, and it’s the same thing we need to have for others, even though they may be different in many or all respects from us. And I want to finish the scriptures on compassion today, so let’s get right to it. 

And the first scripture comes from a parable of Jesus, one we all know and talk about but don’t practice nearly as much as we ought to, else life would not be as bad as it is. (smile)  That’s the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Levite and the priest, supposedly good and religious people, passed by the wounded man on the ground with nothing but a mere glance. 

Regardless of what excuses they might have had for their behaviour, in Jesus’ eyes, they were heartless, unsympathetic people. ‘But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.’ (Matt.10:33) And we all know the story of how he looked after him, took him to an inn and paid for his recovery. 

And the scholars offer a good explanation of the situation surrounding the parable. ‘10:33. Jews and Samaritans were bitter rivals (John 4:9). The Samaritans were despised for having at least partially Gentile ancestry (due to Assyria’s conquest of Samaria in 721 (B.C) and for having a different worship centre (Mount Gerizim; John 4:20). 

Thus Jesus’ parable was highly provocative. Samaritan was to Jesus’ hearers automatically a term of reproach. To portray a Samaritan as fulfilling the commandment (see v.27) (LOVE thy neighbour as thyself), but Jews as circumventing it, would be a supreme insult to the listening lawyer (v.25) and to the rest of the audience.’ 

Unfortunately though my brethren, that’s exactly how a lot of us supposed believers behave, while unbelievers offer more empathy, sympathy and compassion to their fallen brethren. And just like it shone a poor light on the priest and the Levite, it likewise shines a poor light on us. So let’s try and be more supportive of others nuh, regardless of their race, creed or class, because that’s what Jesus asks of, and expects of His followers. 

And we’ll end this series of messages on compassion with the most important scriptures of them all on the subject; Jesus’ Great Invitation to a suffering mankind. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, my people, what a magnificent offer! No one else has ever offered such an invitation besides Jesus, because NO ONE else had, or has the ability to keep it! So please, I implore us, in these crazy times, let’s turn to Jesus and accept His invitation nuh, it’s the wisest decision we can ever make. And furthermore, let’s also try and get others to do the same, for it’s our bounden duty as followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…the Christian life is all about…compassion…compassion…compassion…as per Jesus’ example…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2018 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Good news friends; after about three days of wet weather, it’s cloudy but dry in my neighbourhood! Wow! Let’s hope the sun comes out later to make it an even more pleasant day. But even if it doesn’t, we still have the awesome light of the SON shining brightly in our lives, and He is more than sufficient to meet ALL of our needs! Glory to God! 

And without further ado, let me share something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, but is it ever so appropriate for our currently trying and troublesome times. It’s simply titled ‘Grow Up.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Picture it with me: a piece of gnarled bark tossed to and fro over the crashing breakers. First one direction, then another, back and forth, over and under. Aimless. No set purpose. Drifting…always drifting. What an accurate picture of an immature Christian. Nothing but spiritual puttering. Up and down, in and out. 

One study group for a few weeks, then another. One church for a while, then another. Undisciplined, unsteady, one day soaring, the next day wading in self-pity. No consistency. The apostle Paul tells us to grow up! Not grow older, but grow up into Christ. 

What we are today is more important to God than what we were yesterday. Our life journey with Jesus is now – this very day, this very hour. Why yearn for change if we’ve made no effort to follow the direction God has already given us? 

To grow spiritually we must be single-minded. Our one goal? To be conformed to the image of Christ. He longs for our willingness to let Him root us, cultivate us, water us. Above all else, God wants our total commitment. He will take anything we give Him except second place.’ 

And isn’t all that the gospel truth friends? It surely is! God wants our total commitment, but we’re not prepared to give it. We want to hold back stuff from Him. But that won’t work. As I said yesterday, God doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone! Only one fiddler in His band; that’s Him! 

And what we don’t seem to realize is that being a Christian is a process, a journey, like going to school; you begin in ABC (kindergarten) and work your way up through elementary, secondary and tertiary levels. But you must put in the effort required at each level if you wish to be successful and proceed to the next. 

Christianity is exactly the same; you get to know Christ and become more like Him by first putting your entire trust in Him, then studying His word, being obedient, sincerely and constantly praying (communicating) and thus gradually growing in His image; slowly – from glory to glory. 

But unfortunately today we have a whole lot of wishy-washy Christians, who talk a great talk, but don’t know the real Christ. We jump from church to church, apparently seeking what we want to hear, and not what the word really says. And the sad part is that plenty churches seem to preach that heresy. 

But friends, there is ONLY ONE WAY to truly grow in Christ, and that’s the one advised by Bruh Paul to the church at Rome, our Bit for today. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

Yes my brethren, it all begins and ends in our minds. The battle between a true relationship with Christ and one with the world is fought primarily in our minds. That’s why they say, as a man thinks so is he. Therefore, if we want to be born again and grow in Christ, we have to let go of the things of the world, we have to stop conforming to what the world wants us to be. 

As James so blatantly puts it: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be (wants to make himself) a friend of the world is the enemy (makes himself the enemy) of God.’ (James 4:4) 

John though puts it a little nicer: ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17)  

That’s it in a nutshell friends; we can’t be friendly with world and be friendly with God at the same time! So let’s stop trying to do it nuh. Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, that the Lord has so graciously bestowed on us who truly believe and are obedient to His will. 

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

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

Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s spoken over someone. So let’s go out and generously speak those blessings over others nuh, for that’s why God gave them to us. Much LOVE!

…sitting on the fence is not an option…you’re either FOR God…or AGAINST Him…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2016 John 3:16

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

And the people sang: ‘Saturday, oh Saturday, what do you have in store for us today?’ 

And the Lord replied likewise in song: ‘For my beloved followers, today I have brand new blessings, brand new mercies, etched with forgiveness, grace, care, compassion and LOVING-kindness. That’s my constant menu, except they are freshly prepared each and every day. I don’t do leftovers for those I sincerely care about. 

And I have the best server in the world, My Holy Spirit. He will lead and guide you through the entire day, giving you good advice as to what to do and say. 

So if you like what I’m offering, come on down and sample my wares. I guarantee that once you’ve sampled them, you’ll never go away; you’ll just keep running back for more. So see you soon. All my LOVE! Your heavenly Father.’ 

And that’s exactly how it is friends! Our magnificent God prepares His menu of delights afresh for us every day. As he says, He doesn’t do leftovers. But the only way you can truly sample His wares is by surrendering your life and soul to Him, so that He can set up His Holy Spirit in your soul. 

The Holy Spirit is the server, so if you don’t surrender and allow Him in, then you won’t be able to sample the menu. No rocket science my brethren, just simple logic! 

And all of that is borne out in the marvelous words of our Bit. For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Oh precious people, how can we doubt or disbelieve those life-changing words eh? It’s been historically proven that Jesus did die on the cross at Calvary, and if He was indeed whom He claimed to be, and there’s no reason to doubt it, then that’s the greatest gift that has ever been given to mankind! Glory Hallelujah! 

We should all be shouting and praising and thanking God for His wonderful gift of salvation through Christ, and be ever so willing to live under His easy yoke and light burden. 

But mankind is a different animal, possessing free choice, foolish pride and a sinful nature, so he doesn’t always make the wisest decisions. And even when you read and spell for him, like I’m trying to do here, he still insists on going his own way. 

However, let’s turn to the scriptures for more facts on the subject. Yesterday we were looking at Bruh Paul’s message to the Ephesians, concerning faith and grace and how they work in a believer’s life. We ended up where he declared that God’s purpose was to demonstrate His goodness to them through Jesus Christ so they could have a better understanding of Him. (2:7) 

Today, we’ll continue from there. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and not that of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:8-10) 

Now friends, those are three of the most important verses concerning our faith! The first thing we need to realize is that we are saved by God’s grace, His unmerited favour, and nothing that we have done ourselves. 

The scholars explain that verse thus. ‘2:8. For gives the reason for this future demonstration of divine grace. It is because man owes his salvation to this grace or undeserved divine favour.’  Then they go into all sorts of explanations about the different tenses and genders of the Greek words which I will leave out. 

The long and short of the story though is: This means that no part of salvation is “of yourselves” or due to what we do – the whole of salvation is the gift of God. Man is saved “by grace” that is, by the kindness of God in having Jesus die for our sins. But this grace is appropriated through faith, that is, man believes what God has done for him and relies upon Christ’s atonement to blot out his sins and bring him into a proper relationship with God.’ 

In other words, NONE of our good works can get us into heaven. We can ONLY get there by accepting God’s LOVING-kindness and having faith, believing In Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.  Unfortunately though, a lot of people still misguidedly believe that good works will get them into heaven. I sincerely hope that they smarten up before it’s too late. 

As for ‘2:9. The reason in part, that salvation is not achieved by good works is to prevent men from bragging of having earned a place in heaven by themselves.’ 

Yuh think the Lord stupid? He made man, and He knows what we are capable of. Can you imagine the bragging and boasting that would have gone on if we could get to heaven through good works! 

‘2:10. For verifies the assertion of man’s good works having no part in obtaining salvation. Workmanship refers not to our original or physical birth, but to our spiritual birth: what we are spiritually in the good sense is due to God, not ourselves. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works means “having been (morally) recreated by Christ Jesus for good works;” that is, Jesus remade our spiritual lives so that we could then do good works. 

The apostle’s thinking is this: since the Christian has been given spiritual life for the purpose of doing good works, there could have been no good works by him prior to conversion that would merit salvation. Good works follow – do not precede – salvation.’ 

There you have it friends, Bruh Paul’s treatise on grace and faith. I know I’ve shared most of this stuff before, but it’s such an important part of our belief system that we can never hear it enough. 

So today let’s spend some time pondering on the meat and potatoes set before us nuh. It’s time we stop drinking milk and eating baby food and gain some maturity, moving on to a higher understanding of God’s Word (smile). Much LOVE!

…we can only grow in Christ…by gaining a deeper understanding of His Word…

 

 

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…
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 March 2013 Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1.    Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
 
Well Friends, the deed has been done! It’s now Daylight Savings time! By just moving the hands of the clock around, we have supposedly gained an hour of daylight. As I said yesterday, I don’t think this time change benefits the ordinary citizen. In fact I saw a blurb where it reportedly causes heart and sleep problems. Anyway, no use crying over spilt milk now. We just have to grin and make the most of it. However, being citizens of heaven, followers of Jesus Christ, the One who defeated death and the grave, the One who rose victorious the third day, then ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of our heavenly Father, as our Advocate, making positive intercession for us, that means a little thing like an hour here on earth won’t bother us, when we have the whole of eternity to look forward to with the Holy Trinity. (smile) But in spite of all that, I’m still going to share and strongly advise us to accept this wise bit of advice from Laura Palmer. Now there are several Laura Palmers’ listed on the Web. Some of you might know Laura Palmer as a character on the T.V. show, Twin Peaks, but I can assure you that this is not her advice, neither is it from the porn star by that name, because the Devotional I got that from was written long before Twin Peaks ever aired, or that lady engaged in her nefarious activities. (smile)  I believe it comes from a New York author and journalist by that name. Anyway, she rightly says: ‘Don’t waste today regretting yesterday instead of making a memory for tomorrow.’ And that’s heavenly wisdom Friends! Too many of us waste the day in front of us, pining after and beating up ourselves over our mistakes of the day before, when we should be using today to do better than we did yesterday. Remember my people, when we get to the winter of our years, all we’ll probably have are our memories to look back on, and who really wants to have miserable memories to rehash eh? Nobody really. For as the Johnny Bristol song warns: ‘Memories don’t leave, like people do. They always stay with you. Whether they’ve been good or bad. They’re all that you have.’ So please let’s use today fruitfully, and run the race that the Lord has planned for us. As the author of Hebrews advises in our Bit: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ Now let’s get to what the scholars have to say about our Bit. And it sure is plenty. ‘The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter 11. These heroes of faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses” (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet this Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. This race of faith is provided by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to the impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner or the faithful Christian they must be removed. Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones). Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance. Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10. (cf. 10:32, 36-38, 11:13)’ Whew! I know some of you are going to complain about all that info, but that’s exactly what we’re talking about; stepping up to the plate and throwing off everything that prevents us from living the life the Lord wants us to live. And the Word plays a huge part in enabling us to do it. So if you don’t understand what the Word’s saying, then you obviously won’t be able to respond to it properly. Oh my brethren, to grow and mature in Christ, we have to grow and mature in understanding the Word, which isn’t always easy, and that’s what I’m trying to help us do here with the Bit. So please don’t get frustrated and give up if sometimes it seems to be a bit much and also somewhat difficult. That’s why we were told to look to those other witnesses who had it hard, but continued living by faith, not giving up. That’s also why Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.’ (1 Cor.9:24) And here too, the scholars’ have some good historical info. ‘Paul draws on a scene familiar to his Corinthian readers in order to drive home his point. The Isthmian Games were an athletic event known to all of his readers. They were held on alternate summers in the vicinity of Corinth. It was an event not to be missed by anyone of importance in all parts of Greece. As a national institution, it was as familiar to his readers as modern football to most Americans.’ So now my brethren, we know what race Bruh Paul was talking about in his famous monologue. But I think that’s enough for today. We’ve taken on a lot of info, so please let’s ponder it, let’s seriously consider today’s lesson. Read, mark and inwardly digest it, because we’ll be having a test on it tomorrow. And anyone who fails will have to write it over again. (smile) Don’t feel badly, because I have to write it too, and thus I have to do like Bruh Paul. ‘But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified).’ (1Cor.9:27) Yeh Friends, I’ve got to and study too, lest after teaching you, I fail the test. (smile) That would certainly be disastrous. Much LOVE!…to run any race successfully…the runner must be well trained and well prepared…physically, mentally and emotionally…