Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 July 2022 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.      I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day in our workweek, but around here in the Greater Toronto area, not many people are thinking of work, but of the upcoming Caribana weekend and the Simcoe holiday on Monday. Yes friends, this is T.O’s big weekend, where it’s parties galore and the big street parade on Saturday. Oh, sorry, I believe I called the celebration by the wrong name. It’s now something like Toronto Caribbean Carnival, or some such moniker, because of the legal dispute over the ownership of the ‘Caribana’ name. But call it what they will, it will always be popularly known as ‘Caribana.’ End of story! (smile) 

Now, today we are going to consider an interesting writing from our One Year Book of Bible Promises authored by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled ‘It Takes a Lifetime.’ Please read with me. ‘How I LOVE the words of the apostle Paul. ‘I don’t mean to say…that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. 

No, dear brothers and sisters. I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.’ (And it’s noted there that that passage comes from the New Living Translation of Phil. 3:12-14.) 

But then the writing continues: ‘What tremendous encouragement! Paul, who knew Jesus Christ so intimately, whose consuming desire was to please Him, who endured illness, imprisonment, shipwreck, beatings, mockery, and heartache all for the sake of Christ – this very same Paul confessed he hadn’t “arrived.” God was still growing him! I see again, while my conversion took but a moment, my growth takes an entire lifetime. In God’s great wisdom and knowledge He anticipates the finished product while He LOVINGLY takes me through the long, long process.’ 

And is that ever the glorious though difficult truth my fellow believers! It certainly is! Yes, coming to Christ takes but a moment, but becoming like Christ takes an entire lifetime because it is not an easy process. And that is what a lot of us don’t seem to understand. God’s eventual purpose is to make us all over in the image of Christ, as the Good Book says: ‘For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.’ (Rom. 8:29) 

And to be made over into anything at all doesn’t happen overnight, and to be made like Christ…brother! That will obviously take ages! And, as the writing intimates, if Bruh Paul was so closely involved with Christ, knew Him so intimately and still didn’t consider himself ‘arrived,’ then it’s obvious that those of us who are not as intimate still have a long way to go. As Bruh Paul says in 2 Corinthians. ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image (that of Christ) from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

Yes, it’s the Lord’s Spirit that transforms us into Christ’s likeness from glory to glory or step by step, not all at once. And Bruh Paul assures us earlier on in his missive to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it (complete it) until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) Oh isn’t that wonderful to know my brethren! God will not stop transforming us into the image of His Son, until his Son comes back to take over His kingdom! Glory Hallelujah! 

That’s why these words of Bruh Paul are so important. And we’ll read them in the more powerful King James version. (smile) ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (arrived): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

And all of that simply means that he has given up all his earlier accolades, like his great education and position as a powerful Pharisee, in his determined pursuit to know the risen Christ. As he also said earlier on the same letter: ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ….and do count them but dung (rubbish) that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7-8) So knowing and winning Christ, and the divine prize, that’s ‘the joyful and personal satisfaction of having attained it,’ is all that he was then focused on. 

And it’s all that we should also be focused on, truly knowing Christ should be our life’s goal. So much so that when we come to the end of this earthly stage of life, we can say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto them also that LOVE his appearing (eagerly await His second coming).’ (2 Tim. 4:7-8) 

Now that’s what we ought to be working towards! And let’s hope that those scriptures we’ve considered this morning will light, or relight the flame in our souls and spirits for Christ, so that we can sincerely put our best foot forward and do His divine bidding with excellence, diligence and a true sense of purpose. And to help us do that, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been so generously bestowed on us to enable us to do our earthly work. 

Altogether 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 every day! Amen!’ 

And having activated those blessings by declaring (steups!!!) them aloud, we must now go out and generously use them in winning souls for Christ! Much LOVE!

…we can’t sincerely press toward the heavenly prize…unless the flame of Christ burns brightly in us… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 October 2021 Romans 8:35a.

Romans 8:35a.     Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? 

A good Sunday morning to you my fellow believers in Christ Jesus! And am I ever so glad that you joined me for some praise, worship and thanksgiving on this the Lord’s Day. Now that is a must, as the Lord decreed to the Israelites when He handed down the Ten Commandments to them. Prominent amongst the directives was this: ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ (Ex. 20:8) And that’s what we are endeavouring to do this Sabbath Day. 

And as always, let’s begin with a song, a song of praise. Today’s song is a Contemporary Christian number ‘Give Me Jesus’ written by Fernando Ortega, but his version is too slow, (smile) whereas the live, more up-tempo version by Danny Gokey suits our purposes admirably. So let’s sing that song which shows how desperately we need Jesus, that it has us crying out to heaven for Him. And we better had be sincere, because He’s not only going to listen to our pleas and praise, but also check our hearts to see if what we’re singing is really true. 

Therefore, in soulful harmony, let sacrificial praise flow from our hearts and mouths …and don’t forget the sweet background vocals from the choir, and the majestic sound of the orchestra, for those are what raise the song to a higher level. (smile) ‘Ohhh ohhh, Give me Jesus… In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise Give me Jesus. (Chorus: Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus.) When I am alone, Oh When I am alone, When I am alone, Give me Jesus. (Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. For He is all that I need. Just give me Jesus) 

When I come to die, Oh, When I come to die, When I come to die, Give me Jesus. (Ohhhh Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. Oh it’s all I need, all I need is Jesus. So Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, You can have all this world, You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus, He’s all I need. He’s all I need. 

Give me Jesus…in the morning when I rise…when I lay my head down… when I wake up, when I lay my head down, said I need him, said I need you… said I only want Jesus…when I wake up… Just give me Jesus. All I need is him. We worship you, we worship you, say we worship you Lord. You’re the answer to my prayers, you’re the calm in the storm, you’re my rest and my refuge…oh yeahhh… Just give me Jesus…’ 

Ah mih people, that was beautiful…and made even more so when the heavenly host joined us in offering sacrificial praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wow! What a magnificent person He is, when we call for Him in any and every situation. When we rise up, when we lie down, when we are alone, when we die… The only name we’re calling out is Jesus! 

Bruh Paul learned that lesson the hard way when Jesus accosted him on the road to Damascus to persecute the believers. He tells the story thus: ‘And it came to pass, that as I made my journey, and was come nigh (near) unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth whom thou persecutest.’ (Acts 22:6-8) 

And we all know how he was blinded by the light of Jesus and had to be led to Damascus where the Lord commanded one Ananias, a devout believer to go and heal his blindness. And despite the Lord’s command, even Ananias was afraid to go and confront Saul, such was his reputation for persecuting the brethren. But he perked up his courage and went and confronted him and returned his sight. And it’s interesting to hear some of the words that Ananias said to him. ‘And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.’ (Acts 22: 14-15) 

Two thousand years later, we are still relating that story, as Ananias promised. Bruh Paul also turned out to be a mighty witness for Christ, journeying all over the known world with the single-minded purpose of spreading the gospel, which seems to have been burned or branded into his psyche, into his soul and spirit. You can’t consider anything else when he says stuff like: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.’ (Rom. 1:16) 

And later on in the letter to the church at Rome, he confidently proclaims: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life; nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not things present, not things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35, 38-39) 

Can you imagine all that from a man who encouraged the demise of Christians, even supposedly stood by and watched them being killed? And he eventually became so engrossed in Christ that he considered all his earlier accomplishments of no account. ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ…That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.’ (Phil. 3:7-8, 10) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul was very much into Christ. His zeal for Christ was amazing, more flaming that any of the other apostles. The scholars offer this explanation. ‘3:10. This verse may also be paraphrased: “In order that I may personally know Him, that I might both experience His resurrection power and share in His sufferings, and thus I will be more conformed to His death.” Paul wants “the righteousness…of God (vs.9) so that he can obtain a personal relationship with Jesus in actual day to day experiences. This knowledge of Christ is obtained by experiencing in daily problems, needs, ministry, and so forth, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. 

Knowing Christ also entails participating in His sufferings. Paul desires to share in the Lord’s sufferings because they bring him into a deeper and more meaningful relation with Him: companionship in sorrow establishes the most intimate and lasting of ties, as afflicted hearts cling to each other. The result of participating in Christ’s sufferings is that Paul is being made like Him in death. The word “death” has a double meaning here, including inward and outward, ethical and physical death. As Jesus died in regard to sin on the cross, so Paul is doing more and more in his daily life. As Jesus was bodily slain, so the apostle, should Caesar’s verdict go against him, is prepared to be slain.’ 

Awright, that was long, but I thought it necessary for us to get a better understanding of the scripture and Bruh Paul’s desires. Now we don’t need to become that zealous, though we must remember that suffering is a part of the Christian’s lot. But we do need to heed what he says later on: ‘this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Oh my fellow saints, we do need to put all our past glory and credentials aside and move forward to new ground, that of knowing Christ deeper with each passing day, so when we get to heaven, we will be greeted by Jesus with ‘Well done, oh thou good and faithful servant!’ Much LOVE!

…you can’t really know and appreciate Christ…without undergoing some pain and suffering…                                                                                                                 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 October 2021   1 Corinthians 12:14.

1 Corinthians 12:14.    For the body is not one member, but many.

And then it was Saturday, that day when we breathe a huge sigh of relief because there is no work to go to. No need to get up early and face the rush hour traffic, or rather the highway parking lots, as happens both morning and evening during the work week. Today is just a day to awaken late, then simply lie on the couch and relax some more. (smile) That’s why we call it, lazy Saturday. 

Unfortunately though, some of us don’t have that luxury, we still must get up and work; like me. On a Saturday morning, I have to take the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week and try to put them in some sort of biblical context. However, since we have such a wonderful and faithful God, I do have some divine help to accomplish it. In fact, I could not do it without that help from on high. 

So, let’s invoke that help right now nuh, (smile) as we look at the first quote, which tells us: ‘You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.’ Now that seems like a fair comment, for our eyes do play tricks on us according to the focus of our imagination. It’s like the thirsty man in the desert who believes he sees and oasis in the distance, but it’s only a figment of his imagination, a mirage. He’s concentrating on water, and his eyes reflect that concentration. So sometimes we have to be careful about what we perceive with the eyes, for as they say, all that glitters is not gold. (smile) 

Then there’s this quote: ‘Create your future from your future, not your past.’ Now that’s a tough one. We always say not to let our past dictate our future, but that’s much easier said than done. However, we can never assemble a good present or future until we understand our past. That’s the purpose of our past; to understand our present and prepare our future along better lines. 

We obviously should not let an unfortunate past stop us from having a good future, but we need to learn from that past, see our mistakes and don’t repeat them. Bring them to Jesus and lay them at the foot of His cross, so that He can help us to do better. As He so sincerely offers in His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28) And if we have had a wonderful past, why change it up much eh? Just tailor it, obviously with Jesus’ help, to make it fit our better future! (smile) 

That brings us to this quote: ‘You want to set a goal that is big enough that in the process of achieving it you become someone worth becoming.’ Now there’s some truth to that, but my query is to become someone worth becoming isn’t necessarily a factor of size. Yes, we always ought to set worthwhile goals, desire to reach higher, but worthwhile doesn’t mean it always has to be big. They must get us out of our comfort zone, but they must also be realistic given our circumstances and level of achievement. 

And in Jesus’ kingdom size doesn’t always mean more important. The lowest worker is just as important as the highest, the one who does a lot as the one who does little. In Matthew chapter 20, Jesus tells the parable of the workers in the vineyard. Some began working early and others much later, but they all received the same pay. Obviously those that worked harder and longer thought it unfair. At the end of the parable, Jesus tells them: ‘So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.’ (Matt. 20:16) 

And I like how this article from the gotquestions.org explains it. ‘The most direct interpretation, based on the content of the parable, is that all believers, no matter how long or how hard they work during this lifetime, will receive the same basic reward: eternal life. The thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43), whose life of service was limited to a moment of repentance and confession of faith in Christ, received the same reward of eternal life as did Timothy, who served God for years. Of course, Scripture also teaches that there are different rewards in heaven for different services, but the ultimate reward of eternal life will be given to all equally, on the basis of God’s grace in Christ Jesus.’ 

So, size of goal, or seat of power doesn’t really matter in Jesus’ kingdom. And His kingdom is the only one that really matters. Remember this world and all therein will eventually pass away, when the new heaven and the new earth of Jesus comes. And that leads us to the following quote: ‘You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.’ 

There we go again, that emphasis on big things! Oh, we must have good ideas at the back of our minds and work on the small things that will eventually lead us in the direction of those ideas. But I seem to have this problem with big, because big or bigger isn’t always good or better. What we as believers in Christ need to do is find out God’s plan and purpose for our lives. That’s where we should all begin, because not all of us are destined to have big goals or big ministries, but all the jobs are just as important. 

It’s like you need a janitor to clean a building where others who might seem higher and better can work. But the janitor’s job is just as necessary in the overall scheme of things, for the supposedly higher and better ones can’t work if the place is dirty. It’s also like how Bruh Paul describes the body of Christ in terms of the human body. The different parts all have different jobs, but they are all essential for the survival of the body. 

He tells the Corinthians: ‘For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, and are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Sprit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond (slaves) or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.’ (1 Cor. 12:12-14) 

And likewise, within the body of Christ different members have been assigned different gifts, that cause them to do different jobs. And as Bruh Paul explains earlier in that chapter: ‘Now there are diversities (various kinds) of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations (ministries), but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations (activities), but it is the same God which worketh all (things) in all.’ But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (all).’ (1 Cor. 12:4-7) 

So in the long run, the size of what you do for Christ isn’t as important as how you do it. You can have a big ministry and do it woefully, as so many are doing these days, or a small one and doing it well. Christ will certainly appreciate the last more than the first. And then there’s this last quote, which I think wraps up things very nicely. ‘No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities – always see them, for they’re always there.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth if you are a true believer in Christ Jesus! Regardless of how dark or bad things might look, with Jesus beside you and His Holy Spirit dwelling within you, there are always opportunities for improvement. There is always the proverbial light at the end of the dark tunnel, for Jesus is the Way Maker! He always makes a way where there seems to be no way. That’s why our sights should always be set on heaven, be looking up to Jesus! As Bruh Paul declared in his epistle to the church at Philippi: ‘I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:14) 

Yes friends, whatever God has called us to do, be it seemingly high or low, let’s do it with diligence and excellence, for that’s what He expects of us. Much LOVE!

…let’s ignore all that is past…and instead…reach forward to Christ…who is the Way…                                                                                                                                

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 November 2020 Matthew 7:12.

Matthew 7:12.     ​Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophet.

Well finally some decent sunshine in my area! Brother! We haven’t really seen the sun in my neck of the woods this past week, just mere dark, cloudy, dreary, wet days, with the occasional ray of tarnished sunshine. Let’s hope this bright flood will last for at a least a couple of days, I’m tired with what they consider the English type weather. (smile) And yes, I know I have Jesus to warm me up and brighten my day, but that doesn’t mean some physical sunshine isn’t nice every once in a while too! 

So since it’s that lazy day called Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow. And as the new style persists, they are all prefaced by: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content,’ but I will only reference it this one time. And a gentle reminder that all of that is only possible if you’re in cahoots with Jesus! (smile) And the first quote is an ever so important one: ‘I will not compare myself to strangers on the Internet.’ 

And do we ever need to stop doing that, because it is driving us crazy, especially when the images shown on social media are often outright lies and/or doctored images. We are allowing the practice of body shaming, amongst other negative habits, to destroy our self-esteem and make us dislike ourselves; the way we look, think and behave. That’s utterly foolish my brethren, for who says we need to look like or behave like others eh? If the Lord wanted us to be all alike, He would have made us so. But He wanted us all to be different, to be unique in our own selves, that’s why He created us like we are. 

So it’s a sin against Him, our trying to look like others, most of whom are fakers anyway. Right now, social media is the biggest expletive deleted satanic thing we have in our society. It’s being used for more negative stuff than positive. No wonder our society is in the disgusting state it’s in! Nuff said on that! 

Then there’s this quote that’s contrary to the first one: ‘I LOVE myself fully, including the way I look.’ Now that’s a li’l more like it! But we must also be on guard that we don’t over LOVE ourselves, or in a manner that’s more narcissistic than godly. It’s necessary that we like ourselves because we take ourselves with us wherever we go, and it’s not wise to have a constant travelling companion you don’t like. (smile) 

Remember the premium Jesus placed on true LOVE? He broke down all the commandments to just two: LOVE the Lord God, and LOVE your neighbour as yourself. (Matt. 22:37) That means respecting and caring for your neighbour as you respect and care for yourself. I guess it could be best described by what we call the Golden Rule, more sensitive and commanding words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophet.’ (Matt. 7:12) 

Yes precious people, that ought to be the rule that we live by; do unto others as we want them to do unto us. But unfortunately that doesn’t hold true in today’s society, we practice the other side of the coin, doing to others what we don’t want them to do to us. Or as the ole people would say: ‘Do so ent like so!’ We obviously don’t like others throwing back to us what we first threw to them! Now why does that surprise us eh? 

That leads us to this next quote: ‘I am enough.’ Now that I believe is a rather disturbing thought and sentence. Why? Because in the first place we by ourselves are never enough! The saying that no man is an island is ever so true. We can’t stand alone and be as productive and useful as God desires of us. Remember why and what He said when He created Eve in the Garden of Eden? ‘And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him (a helper comparable to him).’ (Gen. 2:18) 

Then He formed Eve out of Adam’s rib. If He thought that man was sufficient alone, He would never have made woman to help him. So why do we think that we are sufficient unto ourselves eh? Remember Jesus’ words too about the vine and the branches: ‘…for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5b) And that’s the gospel truth! And until we all understand that and act wisely upon it, we won’t ever amount to what we were made to amount to! Matter fix! 

And again we have another somewhat troubling quote: ‘I choose to be proud of myself and the things I choose to do.’ Now hopefully all those things are not within the ungodly realm of Satan, but within the godly realm of Jesus! If they are within Satan’s realm, then you should not be proud of them, for why should we ever be proud of evil doing eh? 

But if they are within the realm of Jesus, you can be proud of them, but not to the exclusion of the one who gave you the strength and grace to do them; meaning Christ, through whom we can do ALL things. And in our pride, please, let’s remember these notable words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.’ (Rom. 12:3) 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation of that verse. ‘12:3. The righteousness of God will cause the believer to conduct himself in humility in the local church (vs. 3-8). Paul meets two dangers that the individual faced in the exercise of his spiritual gifts. He might overestimate himself and try to exercise a gift God never gave him. Or he might underestimate himself and fail to exercise the gift God has given to him. Paul shows that God has given each believer specific gifts to enable him to do what God wants him to do. No one is excluded.’ And that’s the indisputable truth! 

However, we must be careful to remember that it’s only through God’s underserved grace that we do all that we do, and not get too big for our britches, like our world has recently gotten, else the Lord will cut us down to size, just like He’s doing right now with all the strife and disasters and sickness He’s allowing in our oh so wonderful, but oh so sinful world! 

And the last quote says: ‘I let go of all that no longer serves me.’ And that’s what we all need to do! And I’ll give us just two scriptures on that subject. The first is this, more words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘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.’ (Rom. 12:2) Yes friends, if we intend to live for Jesus, then we need to give up all that the world holds highly, and seek God’s righteousness first of all, by first transforming our minds, because that’s where all the major battles are fought. 

And lastly, let’s remember Bruh Paul’s words to the church at Philippi! ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung (rubbish), that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7-8) Yeh friends, Bruh Paul gave up all his many educational and religious credentials to know Christ! He even considered them rubbish in the end. 

Now let’s remember that God prizes humility above pride, but we still need to have a delicate balance between both. So let’s go home with these words of Bruh Paul ringing in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls nuh. ‘I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:14) We couldn’t do any better. Much LOVE!

… a good and successful life…all hinges on…being in sync with Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.     ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Okay, so the bubble hasn’t burst yet, there is no clear winner of the U.S. Presidential Election, but His Imperial Dictatorship in Waiting, has already declared it as being rigged and planning to fight it in the courts. I wonder if he will do that if he wins eh? However, knowing the eccentricities of His Dictatorship, anything is possible where he is concerned. (smile) 

Ah mih people, rougher days seem to be ahead. Can you imagine it eh, after all the fire ringed hoops we’ve been forced to jump through in the last six months, we might still have more serious ones to navigate? No, it’s not a pleasing thought, but please let’s not get any more worried and/or frustrated than we already are. Let’s remember that we are children of the Most High God Jehovah, living in a world that He created and still controls, and nothing happens without Him allowing it. No, He doesn’t always create or begin something, but unless it falls into line with His imperial and divine plan it does not last! 

Furthermore, He has faithfully promised to never leave nor forsake us, and that no weapon formed against us will ever prosper, not in this lifetime or the next. So if we sincerely believe that He is our rock and our fortress, our high tower and divine protector, then we should not be overly worried about what’s happening around us in these troubling times. Concerned, yes, but not worried, otherwise our faith is worthless. For, as the Good Book states: ‘Faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for. The evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) 

Yes my fellow saints, in God’s realm, we need to hope for and believe we have received things we haven’t yet seen! That’s the basic difference between the believer and the unbeliever; the former being able to wait expectantly and see through their eyes of faith, stuff that hasn’t happened as yet, once it’s in accord with God’s will. And in these troubled times, that is exactly where many of us are failing, are falling down. Our hope and faith levels are too low. But remember, it’s only in tough times that our faith and hope do grow. When life is good and easy, faith and hope merely exist in a kind of vacuum, waiting for the tough times to come along. 

And above all, the Lord wants us to grow in hope and faith, to become spiritually mature in the manner and character of His son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! That’s why, sometimes, in times like these, He tests our faith to see what we’re truly made of. He tests our mettle, to see if we can really walk the plenty talk we usually have in the good times. Our God desires to see if our salt is still full of flavour, and thus useful, and also if our lights can still burn bright and thus give light to the dark world that surrounds us. 

Oh fellow believers in Christ, our Lord is expecting us to stand strong in these crucial times. He’s expecting us to be examples of fortitude and perseverance, of help and encouragement to those who are shaking it rough. To be good ambassadors of his holy kingdom and take His word and His dedication to those around us. We can’t save or proselytize the whole world, but we can certainly be fully flavoured salt and bright lights to those in our neighbourhood. And I just came across and interesting scripture from Bruh Paul that I believe will be of much benefit to us this Wednesday morning. 

Hear him to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached spiritual maturity, fully knowing Christ): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Oh friends, that is the kind of attitude we need to adopt in these trying times. Let’s forget what has gone before, our successes and failures, and press on, move forward, towards the high calling that God has in mind for each of His children. Yes, He has a unique plan for each and every one of us, as Jeremiah says, a good plan, one to give us a hope and a future. And that high calling pertains to us knowing Christ better and better, and becoming more like Him in character and purpose as the Lord raises us from glory to glory! 

And here are some interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘3:13. Those things which are behind refers both to his (Bruh Paul’s) religious credentials (vs.5-6), now counted as “loss” (vs.7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (vs. 10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on his past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (vs. 10), and experiencing the resurrected life (vs. 11).’ 

Wow mih bredrin! Are those ever high and noble goals for us to live up to eh? But it’s what our heavenly Father desires of us, and simple fact is that we can’t approach Jesus’ stature if we just live the good life and don’t suffer some of His problems. (smile) 

And per our Bit, the scholars explain: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of vs.10-11 (i.e., knowing Christ). The prize is the personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, today, let’s reinvest in ourselves nuh; let’s set our objective, that goal to know Christ as best we can, so that we can win first prize; the satisfaction, the divine commendation and reward as we heed the divine call to salvation. That’s the true purpose of the believer! And for those of us who have already set those goals and objectives, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail nuh, letting all and sundry know our serious, sincere and joyful position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now: ‘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. NO! 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!’  

And there’s no need to remind us, but I will anyhow, (smile) that if we endure steadfastly to the end, that the future will be indeed more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…in these troubled times…let’s all be prisoners of hope nuh…so that our faith can grow…and be spread abroad to the glory of Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.     ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Welcome to Thursday friends! But can somebody please tell me, where have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday already gone eh? It was just Monday…now it’s already Thursday. Chuh! These days flying by too quickly for me yes! What happen to the times when the days would take their own sweet, leisurely time and just meander slowly on their way eh, giving you enough time to enjoy them, instead of catapulting by, like they seem to do now?  I think I much prefer those lazy river days to these hurtling down like mad ones oui! (smile) 

I don’t know if that’s because the older you get, the more apprehensive you become; meaning your waning days on earth begin staring you more fully in the face, and you don’t want them to go by as fast as they seem to be going. Oh, some of us are bored because we don’t have much to do in this age of no work – when you retire and it looks like your once busy world just stops in mid-air with absolutely no warning. Meanwhile, others of us have so much still left to do, that we get anxious about the fast vanishing years, wondering if we will have time to do all that we desire. 

But friends, there’s really no need to worry nuh, because our wonderful God will not take us home if there were things He still wanted us to accomplish here on earth. He’s not foolish or crazy. Why spoil His own well-laid plans eh? No reason whatsoever! So my brethren, let’s stop worrying nuh, let’s stop being anxious. For as Bruh Paul warned the Philippians: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’  (Phil. 4:6-7) 

Now there couldn’t be a more appropriate scripture for us believers in these troubled and uncertain times! As the scholars so interestingly explain: ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness –His Second Coming and His being spiritually close at hand – (vs.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and his ability to cope with and solve it. Shall keep means “shall guard.” This is a military term for a sentinel standing guard duty. As Philippi was guarded by a Roman garrison, and its citizens were accustomed to seeing soldiers protecting the city, this word would be especially appreciated by the readers.’ 

So we’ve concluded that there’s no reason for us to worry or be anxious. But what should we do then? Bruh Paul said it the same Philippians earlier on. ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) Yes my people, that’s what we ought to be doing; forgetting what has gone before and pressing forward with what the Lord expects of us. 

The scholars explain it more fully. ‘3:13. Those things which are behind refers both to his religious credentials (vs. 5-6), now counted as “loss” (vs.7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (vs.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (vs.10), and experiencing the resurrected life (vs.11).’ 

‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ Oh mih people, we’ve all been called to some high calling of God, and we need to work diligently towards that divine commendation and reward waiting for us in heaven! Please remember the wonderful words of greeting awaiting us at our entrance to the pearly gates: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant:’ (Matt. 25:21a) 

So what are we waiting for eh? Let’s respond to the call of God in our lives, whatever area that might be! And He’s so wonderful that He’s bestowed abundant blessings on us to enable us to do His earthly work. Wow! We term them our Thursday Blessings. So let’s declare (awright!) them right now nuh, so that they can lift up, enthuse our spirits. 

All together now, in strong and sincere voices. ‘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 the usual corollary to that is ‘Get Going!’ Get out there, or stay at home (smile) but share those blessings as generously as the Lord has shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…oh the joy in heaven…for doing Jesus’ earthly work…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
So it’s a fine looking Wednesday…what are we up to today eh friends and fellow saints in Christ? I do hope we said something sensible and worthwhile to the Almighty when we arose this morning, so we could set a good tone for our day and get His perspective on it all. And sadly this morning, I must admit that I find myself in the writer’s worst position; having a lot to say, but yet having nothing worthwhile saying. (smile) But then, as I was just sifting the numerous pieces of paper on my desk with oodles of things to say, I came across this saying attributed to John Maxwell, the famous American author, speaker and pastor. 

He reputedly said that ‘The way you deal with the worst determines whether you get the best.’ Now that might sound a bit confusing and sort of backwards, but when you look at it carefully, it does make some sense. All it’s really saying is the way we deal with the worst things in our lives, the adversity and trials and tribulations through which we all will and must go through, will basically determine the outcome. And that’s quite true; the way we handle our failures and disappointments, the rough times, like now in this current pandemic. 

There’s a mighty difference in results between bowing down and giving up, or learning from our problems and coming back strong through our faith and the faithful promises of our great God. It’s all about our attitude towards our problems my people. And when we have this marvellous promise and guidance of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we ought not to give up, but have our backbones and bellies strengthened and ready for another run at life. ‘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) 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful scripture of encouragement. Yes, I know it’s easier said than done, but the good things about those encouraging scriptures is that the more often we practice them and put them into action, the easier the next difficulty becomes. It’s like they say; practice makes perfect! And I think we have a perfect example of this in the life of Bruh Paul. He was amongst the best educated and wealthy and powerful young men in Israel, with an astonishing zeal to persecute Christians. 

But after his life-changing encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, (Acts 9) he became rather obedient to Christ, counting all those other worldly supposedly important things ‘dung, that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:8) And in the verse before that He states: ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7) So you see in one of Bruh Paul’s worst times in his early days, being knocked off his horse or mule or donkey, (smile) made blind and simply told by Jesus, to go to Damascus and he’d be told what to do, (Acts 9:6) he could have kicked up a fuss, and not obeyed, and his life would never have amounted to what it finally amounted to. 

Remember, this was the man who instigated and encouraged a lot of Christian persecution and abuse, including the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:54-60), and furthermore, he was on his way to Damascus to persecute believers, when the Lord accosted him, who then became the great apostle spreading the gospel of Christ to us, the Gentile world. And look at all the ‘suffereration’ and persecution he went through on Christ’s behalf, to preach the gospel. He did not let them bother him, but rather took them in stride, being assured that the Lord would look after him. 

From one who had not faith at all, to one who had probably more faith than most, is certainly a mighty leap, but it did not come easy, and it was only made possible by the tough times he went through, and how he handled them. His stated goal was : “That I may know him (Christ), and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made comfortable unto his death.’ (Phil. 3:10) And he sincerely pursued that goal all his apostolic life. And I think that all believers should set before them, these words written to the church at Philippi, as our basic goal. 

‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: (knowing Christ and His resurrection): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) Yes friends, as believers we are all need to move forward in the faith, and we cannot allow the baggage of the past to keep us back. We all have a high calling in Christ, and need to keep pressing forward towards our mark. 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e., knowing Christ). The prize is the personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ Ah mih people, a lot of what happens to us in this life is determined by how we respond to life. And as true believers, we’re required to respond to it with a faithful and positive attitude. 

Just look at all the tough times people like Bruh Joseph, Bruh David, Moses, Job and Abraham went through, a lot of it unfair and unjust, but they all stood strong in the Lord and kept a good attitude, knowing that the Lord would eventually see them through. That’s the strong faith and trust in Almighty God that we need to show in these tremulous end times if we want to be real ambassadors for Christ! Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our sincere faith and trust in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

As one strong voice: ‘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!’ 

And will it ever be glorious when the Lord welcomes us home with these marvellous words; ‘Welcome home thou good and faithful servant!’ Much LOVE!

…receiving heaven’s crown of righteousness…should be the believer’s earthly goal…

P.S. It’s a good thing I kept a good attitude when I didn’t know what to write. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
And on a rainy, somewhat gloomy looking Saturday morning, the urge to sleep in was irresistible, especially when the beddy-bye time was the wee hours of the morn. (smile) I was up late watching the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it has to be one of the best movies ever made, simply because of it’s scope, grandeur and length; 4 hours. It must have taken a long time to make since they didn’t have all the computer stuff and special effects back in 1939 when it was first released, that we have now. 

And it just shows the utter wastefulness of war; the civil war in the U.S, where the old South is fighting to keep a style of life that has outlived its usefulness, with slavery and the grand families, plantations and mansions of the time as its centre piece. However, by the time I got to the intermission, it was already 4 a.m. so I shut it down until another time. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what mental goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I’m in a quandary here, not knowing where to begin and end, as each of the quotes seem to have real truth, substance and body to them. (smile) Ah, the best place to begin is always the beginning! And the first quote tells us: ‘Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.’

 Now that’s ever so true my faithful brethren! It’s exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects from ALL His followers! It’s not easy to do, but with His help we can do it. That’s why He told us to not to indulge in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth situation, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to give away our coat too, and to LOVE our enemies, bless them and pray for them.’ (Matt.5:38) That’s also why Bruh Paul told us not to recompense evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

And that runs right into the next dandy of a quote: ‘There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ Ah friends, none of us like adversity, but unfortunately that’s the only way we grow in our faith walk and learn from our mistakes. It’s only when we go through rough times that we actually have to use our faith to help us get through them. Otherwise our faith just sits dormant and thus cannot grow. 

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘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) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

Then there are also these awesome words of wisdom: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.’ Yes friends, none of us began our lives as wise as we now are. That’s because true wisdom comes with age and experience. So we don’t need to knock the young as much or as hard as we sometimes do, for hopefully they too will get wise with age and experience. 

Remember Jesus words: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt.7:1-2) Oh my people, if our current, oh so quick to judge and judgemental world would only adopt that teaching eh! Unfortunately it doesn’t like that’s going to happen at any time soon, because we’re all so engrossed on judging each other; just look at the foolishness that’s going unhindered on the social media platforms nuh. Some of us with the biggest planks in our eyes are daring to judge those with mere specks in theirs!  (Matt.7:3-5) 

Now here’s the piece de resistance (smile): ‘Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.’ And we all know that as gospel truth because we serve a God of new beginnings, new chances and starting over as often as is necessary. That’s why Bruh Paul admitted to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached where I want to be, the ultimate pinnacle): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul didn’t think he was a hot shot, although he could boast about many things, his religious credentials and past Christian achievements. As the scholars say: ‘In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life (v.11).’ 

And so should we be evermore focused on what’s coming up and not what’s gone before. Hear the scholars: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, my people, this Saturday morning I sincerely implore us to be wise and diligently seek that mark, that objective of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection, so that we can all eventually receive the wonderful heavenly prize given to those who have received and accepted the divine summons of salvation! Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence! (smile) And we can then declare like Bruh Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7)  Much LOVE!

…Christians should always be looking forward to the ultimate prize…that of being with Christ in heaven…for eternity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2016 Philippian 3:13.

Philippians 3:13.   Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

And then it was Thursday, two days away from the great celebration of New Year’s Eve, with a smattering of fresh snow on the ground. It’s not a great deal, but sufficient to cause problems if we’re not careful. So please be careful on the roads this morning. 

And despite problems and otherwise, everybody is getting their dan-dan, (smile) their finery ready to go out and party and ring in the New Year with much pomp and ceremony. 

But here again, please, let’s just be careful while we’re having fun, because the slightest mistake whatever it may be, can cause disaster. And we certainly don’t want to ring in the New Year amidst a disastrous scene. 

Now here is a simple but interesting prayer I got from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals. Please pray with me: ‘Father, teach me to trust You for the strength to endure difficulties and the faith to wait for Your good purposes to be accomplished within me.’ 

Yeh friends, there’s nothing like trusting our heavenly Father and waiting with eager anticipation for His promises and purposes to be done in us, for spiritually we’re still a work in progress, and He’s continually molding and shaping us into reflections of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

No wonder Bruh Paul could declare in our Bit: ‘Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Yes, he was still in that molding process. In spite of all his successes and achievements, Bruh Paul still felt he hadn’t attained that level of maturity and ‘knowing Christ,’ the way he wanted to. 

Consequently he stopped concentrating on what had gone before, accounting it all loss and dung to the wonderful privilege of advancing his knowledge in Christ in the foreseeable future. 

And to continue his noble search, he further declares after our Bit. ‘I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:14) 

That verse the scholars explain thus: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, there can be no higher calling than that of God, which exists through Jesus Christ, bringing the wonderful gifts of grace called salvation and eternal life! 

Now the smart or wise thing for us all to do is to simply keep pressing on, reaching out for the prize, racking up rewards in heaven for the things we’ve done here on earth. 

And as Bruh Paul continues: ‘Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.’ (Phil3:15) 

And the scholars explain: 3:15. Be thus minded literally means “let us think this” or “let us hold this opinion.” Mature Christians must realize that they are not ethically perfect, but they tirelessly press onward for higher spiritual attainments (vv.13-14). 

There is present, then, a bit of irony: perfect (mature) believers are those who admit they are not perfect in any absolute sense. The apostle urges all mature Philippian Christians to hold his attitude; conceding that none has yet “spiritually arrived” but ever pressing on toward further development. 

If…ye be otherwise minded: The writer realizes that not all of the Philippian readers agree with this conviction of verses 12-15. But he is confident that God shall reveal their erroneous thinking to them.’ 

Likewise my faithful brethren, in these modern times we believers must also press on, seeking spiritual maturity in our earthly sojourn. And just like the Philippians, some of us might not agree with that path, but God will undoubtedly show us the error of our ways, if we don’t hold fast to that commitment. 

And Bruh Paul reminds us: ‘Nevertheless, whereto (to the degree that) we have already attained (arrived, reached), let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing (be of the same mind).’ (Phil.3:16) And that is simple common sense my people. 

But hear the scholars’ comments. ‘3:16. Whereto we have already obtained refers to whatever level of Christian knowledge and maturity the Philippians have attained since conversion. 

They are to walk by the same rule, that is, live in accord with the same level of knowledge and maturity, if God is going to give them further light. Fidelity to the truth possessed is a condition for receiving more.’ 

Yes friends, at whatever our level of spiritual maturity, that is the standard to which we must walk, if we want to eventually move up higher. 

So let’s go home with that in our minds and our Thursday Blessings being proclaimed by our tongues. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

Now in full voice and strong belief: ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, we are so blessed by our wonderful God, let’s go out and bless others nuh and thus glorify His Holy Name! Much LOVE!

…God won’t give us more…until He sees we can handle what we already have…