Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 October 2021 Hebrews 10:23.

Hebrews 10:23.     Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).

Well, after two days of almost steady rain, it’s finally eased up. But everything is still wet,  and the skies are still dark, no sign of the sun, so who knows what’s going to happen next. The good thing though is that despite what we see or feel, or what may come our way, the wise thing to do is to stay with God! He controls everything and has promised to not allow more than we can bear to come upon us. He will give us the strength to overcome. A strength that we never knew we had. That’s why Bruh Paul says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And don’t forget this most marvellous promise either from Peter: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (2 Pet. 5:6-7) Yes friends, when things get rough, or we just don’t know what do, wisdom dictates that we lose our inherent pride and arrogance, and humble ourselves before our heavenly Father, because He cares for us, even more than our earthly parents. We have life in Him, there’s hope, a bright future, and the awesome promise never to leave nor forsake us! 

Oh my people, Jesus promised it in so many words: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20) So we have no reason to fear or feel lost in the turmoil of this current world. That is, if we put our lives in God’s hands, let Him lead and guide us through His Holy Spirit that indwells us. He is always there for us, but we have to go to Him, and stay with Him, fully believing that He can and will do all that He has promised. Remember, walking with God calls for faith, for trust and surrender. 

As Hebrews so clearly puts it: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (that He exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) And then you ask, what then is this faith you talk about? It’s just believing for things that you don’t see, things that God’s promised, and waiting expectantly for them. For as Hebrews wisely advises: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).’ (Heb. 10:23) 

Yes, my fellow believers, we very much need to stand strong in our faith, because life is never easy, therefore, we need someone more powerful than us to help us walk through it successfully. And who is more powerful than Jesus eh? NOBODY! He conquered hell, death and the grave through His triumphant resurrection on the Easter morning so long ago. That’s why He could make this amazing statement: ‘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) 

Oh my brethren, who else could make such a truthful statement eh? No one but Jesus, because He did exactly what He said! That means no matter what happens we can rest assured that God is working in our lives for our good. Bruh Paul told us that in his epistle to the church at Rome. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Yes my fellow saints, if we LOVE God, put our lives in His awesome hands and try our best to walk in faith with Him, then He will eventually work everything out for our good. 

So, though the rains pour down, the skies stay dark and life seems forsaken, do not believe that all is lost, for when Christ is in your life, nothing is ever lost! It might be misplaced for a while, but NEVER lost, because Jesus has faithfully promised that it won’t be. And He never makes idle promises. Why would Father God send His only Son to die on the cross that we might be forgiven, then leave us in the lurch after that eh? 

No way! Bruh Paul made that abundantly clear to the Roman church when he wrote: ‘What shall we then say to these things (that God has done for us through Jesus, like justification, sanctification and reconciliation)? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom. 8:31-32) 

That’s only common-sense friends. Why would God put Himself out for us, then just leave us to fend for ourselves afterwards eh? No reason whatsoever, since that’s not the kind of God He is. And Bruh Paul emphasizes that in his epistle to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) Oh, how wonderful that is my fellow believers; that the Lord will continue working in us, offering us His grace, LOVE and all that we need until Christ returns! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ Glory be, mih people! The Lord’s plans for us will not be thwarted! You can’t beat that news! But that means we must also play our part in the partnership. As James advises: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw night (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye doubleminded.’ (James 4:7-8) 

So friends,  our role is basically to stay close to God, and if we do, He will work everything out for our good. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to stay attached to God, let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong. As one strong, confident and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the upshot of that declaration (yeah!!!) is that we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him! Much LOVE!

…in Christ Jesus…there is relief from this sinful world…and eternal freedom in the next…                        

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2021 Matthew 28:20b.

Matthew 28:20b.     …and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

Well hello there, you beautiful saints of Christ! It’s Friday, the day that so many of us look forward to, or rather used to look forward to, when life was normal and the world was not pandemic entangled. But now, things are somewhat different; many of us are finding it even more difficult than before to make ends meet, money is in short supply for numerous reasons, and our mental and emotional health is not as good, not as relaxed and contented as it once was. But I’m here to remind us that if we have put our trust in Jesus Christ, we should not despair or be afraid. 

Why is that, you ask? It’s simple; because He will look after us, for He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, (Heb. 13:5) and He is noted for keeping His promises…all of them. But we must keep believing them, and stand strong on them, let our faith rise to new levels, by recalling scriptures like: ‘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) 

Yes, it is difficult to raise our level of faith when we are undergoing serious stress and strain, but the truth is that’s the very time we need to raise it, when we need to stand strong in Jesus, because without His saving grace and faith, we will indeed crumble under the enemy’s onslaught. Remember Jesus last words to the disciples, and consequently to us, when He gave them the Great Commission to go out and evangelize the world? ‘…and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) Now that is another vital scripture to keep uppermost in our hearts and souls, to help in time of need. 

Oh my people, in these trying times, times that echo the last days, we need to be greatly encouraged in our faith, in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And if we are finding things difficult right now, it might take a while before they improve, but we need to believe that they will. And even if they don’t, because not all things fall under the mantra, ‘this too shall pass,’ we need to be strong enough to understand that we are being prepared for a better place, heaven, and that in due time, the Lord will work it all out for our good. (Rom. 8:28) It’s a matter of trust and faith in God’s promises friends. 

As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians: ‘But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.’ (2 Cor. 4:7) What that means is that we are brittle earthen vessels that have the power of God, of the gospel filling us. The scholars explain it thus: ‘It depicts humanity in its weakness. The gospel is not a product of human genius or clever intellect (humanity in its strength). Yet it resides in men of clay, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.’ 

Ah my fellow saints, under the New Covenant, God dwells in believer’s hearts, and it’s the source of power that enables us to keep keeping on, despite less than comfortable or favourable circumstances. It’s borne out in Bruh Paul’s words. ‘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; 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. 4:8-10) 

Yes friends, the life and death of Christ must empower us to hold on to our Christian beliefs. We need to remember what He suffered on our behalf – death on the cross, as well as what He also accomplished – resurrection from the dead, giving us the promise of salvation and eternal life. And that better life with Him in the future, is something we ought to think about a little more down here on earth, especially when times are rough. 

As Bruh Paul says: ‘Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound (abound) to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not (do not lose heart), but though our outward man perish (is perishing), yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ (2 Cor. 4:14-18) 

Oh my brethren, I know it’s not easy to ignore the things going on in our earthly lives and think about those that will occur in the future in heaven, but it’s one of the tools we need to use to help us get through the trying times. And we can do it, if we harness the amazing power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us, through the awesome grace that our heavenly Father provides for us to do His work. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t ask for divine help in our earthly troubles. So let’s take the many we currently have, to the Father right now nuh, through our Friday Chant. 

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

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And, as we supposed faithful believers truly behave like faithful believers, so will our current troubles be remedied. Much LOVE!

…earth is only our temporary home…heaven is where we will spend eternity with Christ…                                                                            

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 June 2021 2 Timothy 3:16.

2 Timothy 3:16.     All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 

Ahoy there my fellow saints in Christ! Hope that you are having a wonderful Tuesday, walking in LOVE with our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, for that’s what this life is all about; an interesting LOVE walk with Christ! Now nobody said it was going to be all wine, roses and song. No, it doesn’t mean life will be a bed of roses just because you’re walking with Jesus, for He didn’t have an easy earthly life and even promised that those who follow Him won’t have it easy either. 

Please note these words of His: ‘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 that’s where we believers in Christ win them! Yes friends, we have the ability to be peaceful and cheerful during all and any storms, trials and tribulations, or negative experiences that come against us in this evil and ungodly world! 

That’s because our Jesus has already conquered the prince of darkness, Satan, the evil ruler of this evil world. Mano-a mano, he wrested the keys of hell death and the grave from him! He did that when He triumphantly rose from the dead on that Easter Sunday morn some two thousand years ago, to live forever! 

Wow! What a mighty conqueror is our Jesus! And since then, Satan has had no power or authority over believers, unless we foolishly give it to Him. And as Bruh Paul so confidently proclaimed in his message to the church at Rome. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life; nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor 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, 37-39) 

Now that’s something we all ought to confidently believe. Why? For as the scholars explain: ‘We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (vs. 28).’ 

Yuh hear that mih people? NOTHING can separate us from the LOVE of God that’s found in Christ Jesus! But we must believe it sincerely and confidently, then act in a manner that speaks it out loud and clear! And Bruh Paul’s words to Timothy echo the action we need to do so. 

‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ (2 Tim. 3:12-17) 

Yuh see that friends: this world is going to get even more evil, than it is already – if that is possible – but we have the wherewithal to overcome it if we live according to the Word of God, the life-map written for us. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘3:14-17. Continue literally means “remain.” The things which thou hast learned were his oral instruction in the holy scriptures (the Old Testament, here) by his mother (Eunice) and grandmother (Lois). Inspiration of God (God-breathed) describes the unique character of Scripture. 

It is not only written by men, but authored by God. For doctrine means to tell one what to believe. For reproof means to tell one what is wrong. For correction means to tell one how to correct wrong. For instruction in righteousness means to tell one how to live. Perfect (proficient, capable) is having everything needed to do what God wants. Thoroughly furnished means “thoroughly equipped.” God’s inspired word, properly used and applied, provides all we need for life and ministry.’ 

Oh Mama, Mama! We don’t need anything else to live this life friends but the inspired Word of God! But the most important thing though, is that it must be ‘properly used and applied.’ And unfortunately, that is not what’s happening in these last days, where men are becoming worse and worse, as Bruh Paul so aptly described in the earlier verses of that chapter (3:1-11). God’s Word is sadly not being preached properly, and even worse, is being used as justification for all sorts of wrongdoing and ungodly stuff. But have no fear, the workers of iniquity will eventually pay. That’s the Lord’s promise, and we know He is very faithful that promised! (smile) 

And let us not forget this most meaningful bit of scripture, which allows us to live in peace. ‘But now in Christ Jesus ye (Gentiles) who sometimes (once) were far off are made nigh (near) by the blood of Christ. For he (Himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us.’ (Eph. 2:13-14) 

Yes friends, Jesus broke down the walls between Jews and Gentiles and made one new party, the Christian church, so there should be no more feuding between the two groups. He did that by taking all the sins of the world unto Himself and paying for them all with His sinless life on the cross of Calvary. Now, we need to be living examples of that peace and joy which His death and resurrection provided. And we do that by following the life laid out for us in the Word of God, confidently knowing that we can handle anything that comes against us. 

Oh my fellow saints, when we have Jesus living in us through His Holy Spirit, to lead and guide us into all goodness and righteousness until the day of salvation, we simply can’t go wrong. And for those of us who are sincerely trying to live the good life in Christ, let’s go home proclaiming our Tuesday Mantra. 

As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’  Now, the upshoot of it all, is for us to go out and share that awesome LOVE and friendship of Jesus with those we meet. Much LOVE!

…Christians…ought to be the most joyful people in the world…not the poor me ones…so many of us look and behave like…                                                                        

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2021 Philippians 4:7.

Philippians 4:7.     And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Oh my people, Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and LOVE!’ (2 John 3) What a most magnificent greeting this Saturday morning in these pandemic times! That’s why the Word of the Lord is so important to believers; it lifts us up, encourages us and keeps our faith strong, so that we can keep on keeping on despite the troubles and problems that surround us. 

So, knowing that the Lord is with us, all the time, if we only believe, and is constantly showering His grace, mercy, peace and LOVE upon us, let’s go forward today without fear, but with courage, wisdom and compassion, as He leads us on the straight and narrow path, right home to Him. Glory be, mih bredrin! 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Learn to let go and be clear of where you really want to head for.’ Now that’s certainly an interesting thought, for we can’t go anywhere successfully unless we know where we want to go and drop all the other baggage that’s preventing us from following our destiny. And I want to say here that associating with Jesus, committing your life to Him, is the best way to know where your destiny lies and to find it with a true sense of purpose! That’s because He cares and will always be there to help us navigate the storms and the rough roads of this earthly life. 

Then we come to this quote: ‘LOVING yourself is the greatest revolution!’ Well, I don’t know if it’s really the greatest revolution, but I do know that it’s a very important one in all of our lives, for until we learn to LOVE God and LOVE ourselves, we’re not fit for anything. And the best way I know to express those sentiments is by quoting these marvellous and wise words of Jesus, as to the great commandment. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Yes friends, that’s where it all begins and ends – with LOVE! And that’s why this next quote is also important for our well-being: ‘To LOVE yourself is to understand you don’t need to be perfect to be good.’ And that’s quite true. The fact is that no human is perfect, for the Lord God made us intentionally as imperfect beings. The only perfect Being in this universe is our Godhead! And since our Creator knows we’re not perfect, He doesn’t expect perfection from us. He just expects our best and most sincere effort. 

Unfortunately though, too many of us try to be perfect, when it’s impossible, and then get down on ourselves when we mess up. But friends, our great God sees and knows everything, that’s why we refer to Him as omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present. That means He looks at our hearts, and if they are right, then He will forgive, forget and comfort any and all imperfection. But we need to first understand that being perfect is not His expectation, but He does want us to be diligent and excellent in our efforts. 

That brings us to our last quote: ‘Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.’ Now, on a basic and fundamental level that seems to be true, but it’s definitely not the whole story! Granted, it’s good not to let people and events control our emotions too much, however, it’s a natural consequence of being human. And try as we want, it’s not possible to completely shut out other people or events from our emotional roller coaster. (smile) 

And even if, by some fluke, we manage to shut out other things and people, the peace we receive is still not true or lasting, because it’s a peace the world gives, and that can never be worthwhile because it comes from a world that’s plagued by an abundance of sin and evil, and those two things can never bring true or lasting peace. The only place one can find really true and lasting peace in in Christ Jesus! And if you don’t believe me, let’s hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, that’s directly from Jesus, as He so generously bestows what He alone has to offer. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Oh my fellow saints, that’s one of the most important and encouraging scripture verses ever! It’s something for us to hold on to tightly if we want to make it successfully through this confused and evil world. But we can’t get it until we sincerely commit our lives to Jesus. And if that wasn’t sufficient to convince you to seek the peace that only Jesus can give, listen to more of his awesome words, as He talks about overcoming the world. ‘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) Glory be my people! More good news and encouragement! 

And let’s also remember Bruh Paul’s awesome words on the subject to the Philippians: ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) Just imagine that nuh; a peace that we can’t even imagine or understand. And I just couldn’t leave out these explanations from the biblehub.com website. This from Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers. 

‘(7) The peace of God–i.e. (like the “righteousness of God,” “the life of God”), the peace which God gives to every soul which rests on Him in prayer. It is peace–the sense of unity in the largest sense–the “peace on earth” proclaimed at our Lord’s birth, left as His last legacy to His disciples, and pronounced at His first coming back to them from the grave (Luke 2:14; John 14:27). Hence it includes peace with God, peace with men, peace with self. It keeps–that is, watches over with the watchfulness that “neither slumbers nor sleeps”–both “the hearts and minds” (or, more properly, the souls and the thoughts formed in them), guarding our whole spiritual action, both in its source and its developments. 

It is “through Christ Jesus,” for “He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14), as “making all one,” and “reconciling all to God.” The comprehensiveness and beauty of the passage has naturally made it (with the characteristic change from the “shall” of promise to the “may” of benediction) the closing blessing of our most solemn church service of “Holy Communion” with God and man.’ 

Now that should open up some interesting comments and contemplations! (smile) And I’m also contemplating adding some more…but it’s already kinda long…Oh shoot! Tough yes! Who doesn’t want to get deeper into God’s word, that’s their business! But for those of us who so desire, here is the Pulpit Commentary on the verse. 

‘Verse 7. – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding. The peace which God gives, which flows from the sense of his most gracious presence, and consists in childlike confidence and trustful love. This peace passeth all understanding; its calm blessedness transcends the reach of human thought; it can be known only by the inner experience of the believer. The similar passage, in Ephesians 3:20, “Unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” seems decisive for the ordinary interpretation. 

Bishop Light-foot, Meyer, and others take another view of the passage: “Surpassing every device or counsel of man. i.e. which is far better, which produces a higher satisfaction, than all punctilious self-assertion, all anxious forethought.” Shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; rather, as R.V. (English Revised Version), shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Peace shall guard – “a verbal paradox, for to guard is a warrior’s duty” (Bishop Lightfoot). 

The peace of God abiding in the heart is a sure and trusty garrison, guarding it so that the evil spirit, once cast out, cannot return. The thoughts issue from the heart; for the heart, as commonly in the Hebrew Scriptures, is regarded as the seat of the intellect, not of feeling only. In Christ Jesus; in the sphere of his influence, his presence. True believers, abiding in Christ, realize his promise, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” 

Yes my fellow saints, it’s long, but interesting, (smile) and we couldn’t have a better ending. Much LOVE!

…the world is longing for true peace…but foolishly refuse to turn to Jesus…the only place that it exists… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2021 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.​     And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

What a bizarre time we’re going through my people! One day we hear that the police are authorized to make random stops to find out where you’re going, but the police refuse to do it. So, next day, we hear that authority has been rescinded. The government and the medical people don’t seem to be on the same wavelength at all, as there are too many conflicting statements on how to best handle the pandemic situation. But there’s no way to fix it without a fair amount of consensus among all parties. And when you add all the controversy surrounding the vaccines the whole scene is one chaotic mess. 

But let me remind us, that as sincere believers in Christ Jesus, we always have Him to turn to in times of doubt and despair. Life will never be easy or comfortable, especially when we’re living for Jesus, but He has faithfully promised that whatever negative stuff we are experiencing in the world, we can always turn to Him and receive His awesome peace and comfort that are way better than what the world offers. So, with all the bickering and dispute that’s currently going on, now is definitely a time to turn to Him for solace, comfort and wise guidance. 

A time to remember His amazing words of promise, like these. ‘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) Yes friends, that’s sometimes hard to understand and accept when our whole world seems to be falling apart. But we need to keep speaking it, keep believing it, until it sinks into our very soul and becomes a natural tool for us to handle unpleasant situations. 

And what about this other warning of persecution. ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues…And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt. 10:17-18, 22). And as the scholars explain: ‘In the ancient Near East the serpent was commonly regarded as the wisest of beasts. A cautious wisdom was necessary in order to deal with the fierce opposition that the disciples would face.’ 

And up to this day, the situation has remained the same: believers have to be wise and cautious in their dealings with the world. In some places today, the persecution is just as bad as in the days of the early church, but you see what a huge difference the perseverance and strong belief of the disciples made in the world, despite the terrible odds they faced. 

And in our western world, we don’t even have an ounce of the persecution they faced, yet we’re whining and crying. That ought not to be so friends. We are supposed to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The ones to lead others to Christ and all the good benefits He has to offer. And please remember that nothing worthwhile is ever easy to accomplish. 

Now listen to some more inspirational words of Jesus nuh. ‘If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would LOVE his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.’ (John 15:18-19) That’s something we too often forget my fellow saints; that we are IN the world, but not OF the world. So let’s stand up strong and face the world mano a mano nuh. Remember Jesus has already overcome it, and we only need to keep the victory going, with His help obviously. 

And in what is known in some circles, as the long version of the Lord’s Prayer (John 17) Jesus didn’t only pray for the disciples but also for us. ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. That they all may be one: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ ( John 17:20-21) 

Yuh see that mih bredrin, Jesus knew that His plan would work, and that down through the ages people would believe in Him having not seen Him in person, and He wanted them to be separate, sanctified, living as one, not as the many warring denominations we now have. But as we say, while there is life, there’s always hope, and I believe these difficult times were meant to bring us together and back to God, so let’s do just that nuh, be as one, in sincere prayer, and offer up what we term our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

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

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

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

Now, having said all of that, we need to show true humility and sincere repentance, if we want God to affirmatively answer our plea. Much LOVE!

…bear patiently the slings of the world…and your reward will be great…both in heaven and on earth… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2021 John 16:33b.

John 16:33b.     ​In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Good morning my Scrip-Bit friends and family! Oh what a glorious day to be alive! One more day walking with Christ, our wonderful Lord and Saviour, on this confused and troubled earth, but knowing that He has the awesome power to make a way for us and provide all that we need, for He sincerely promised that if we walk with Him, we’ll never want for anything that’s necessary and that our souls will be filled with the amazing peace that He offers all His followers! 

Wow! That means we need nothing or no one else but our dear Jesus, for He’s on our side, and all we have to do is stand strong and tall, don’t worry, and do what He asks of us. No other organization in this whole wide world has the benefits that we Christians have, so please let’s enjoy them nuh, and stop being miserable, worried and depressed, because the Good Book has always told us to not worry or fret, but to be of good cheer. 

All the way back in Genesis 42 and 43, we have this example of when Joseph’s brothers came down to Egypt to buy food in the famine and Joseph kept his brother Simeon as a pledge that they would return, and then they found the money they had paid for the food back in their sacks. But were they ever scared on their return with Benjamin, and had Joseph invite them to his house. But Joseph’s steward told them. ‘Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks. I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.’ (Gen. 43:23) 

And when yuh talking about being cheerful despite prevailing unfortunate circumstances, Jesus was the master of that! His words were always cheerful and uplifting. Some of His favourite words were ‘Do not fear,’ and ‘Be of good cheer.’ Let’s look at a few examples to encourage ourselves nuh. Remember that time when he healed the paralytic man? The Good Book tells us: ‘And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy (paralyzed man), lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy (paralytic); Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.’ (Matt. 9:2) 

And I just LOVE how Jesus liked to annoy the scribes and the Pharisees, for when He said that, their thoughts immediately turned to blasphemy. ‘And Jesus, knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether (which) is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house.’ (Matt. 9:4-7) 

Oh mih people, if we have such a mighty individual, High Priest and Saviour on our side, why do we keep worrying eh? Who knows? I guess, only God and the fearful individuals. And then, we come to the instance where Jesus is walking on the water in the early hours of the morning towards the disciples fighting a torrid storm in their li’l boat on the rough Sea of Galilee. ‘And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’ (Matt. 14:26-27) That’s when Peter took courage and walked on the water, until his courage failed him. 

And then we have this magnificent example when Jesus began talking seriously to the disciples about His approaching death and all the other things that were to come. He said to them. ‘Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own (place), and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 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 16:32-33) 

And that’s the awesome truth friends! Jesus has overcome the world, thus we can be cheerful despite whatever is happening around us. And please note, that though all the disciples deserted Jesus in His time of need, His heavenly Father did not! All glory be to our great God and Creator! And some of Jesus’ last words to the disciples, and consequently to us, was also a promise of never to leave us alone: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) And it’s a promise He faithfully keeps by having His Holy Spirit dwell in our hearts when we receive him as Lord and Saviour. 

And yes, it’s not easy living for Jesus, and all those encouraging words don’t always work for us. But I found, or rather was led to (smile) a passage from a Devotional by Camille Fronk, Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU, written on April 30, 2004 and featured on the Brigham Young University website. Please listen closely to Camille. ‘I wish to focus my remarks today on the role of Christ’s enabling power in our ability to feel cheer amid mortal gloom and doom. Misfortune and hardship lose their tragedy when viewed through the lens of the Atonement. 

The process could be explained this way: The more we know the Savior, the longer becomes our view. The more we see His truths, the more we feel His joy. But it is one thing to know that’s the right answer in a Sunday School class and quite another to experience firsthand a cheerful outlook when current circumstances are far from what we hoped. If we would develop faith to apply the Atonement in this manner and not merely talk about it, awareness of imaginary finite boundaries, inadvertently placed on the Savior’s infinite sacrifice, can be meaningful. Consider two false assumptions that, if pursued, will block our appreciation and access to the Lord’s divine assistance.’ 

And she explains those two false assumptions as being thinking that because we are Christians, we can avoid tribulation, and that we can trust in our own efforts. And yes friends, those are two major stumbling blocks in our Christian walk. But Jesus specifically said that we would all face tribulation in the world, especially if we believe in Him, and try to do His work in this evil and godless society in which we live. And please don’t forget about that scripture verse we are always quoting: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

What’s the point of talking about it if we don’t practice it eh? None whatsoever. So let’s hold our heads up high nuh, and smile, although things might not be going too good for us, because we have Jesus and His promises to keep us strong and fortified. Now let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us so that we can do His 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!’ 

Now it’s our turn to share those blessings just as generously with the unfortunate others around us! Much LOVE!

…faith and light will overcome fear and darkness…every time… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2021 Matthew 14:31b.

Matthew 14:31b.     ​O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

And so we move on; another day older and closer to heaven! Can you imagine it friends? Some of us have lived so many days already that we don’t know what to do with ourselves. But be not afraid of what’s in your future, for our great and wonderful God has a distinct plan for every one of us, to be His disciple, His ambassador, agent, representative, call it what you like, and it does not end even when we take our last breath and go over the other side to His golden mansions for eternal rest. 

That’s because He expects the lives that we’ve lived down here, to speak to others, as a glowing example of faithfulness and LOVE, even after we have departed this earthly territory. That means what we do, how we behave, how we treat others, every day of our lives makes a difference. And that’s exactly what the Lord desires of us; that we make a positive difference in the land as we walk closely with Him. So the question now my friends is, are we making a positive difference on others, as we live this earthly life? 

Are we being good examples of the kind of life the Lord expects of His followers? I do hope that all of us can answer a resounding ‘Yes!’ to it, but I know that that’s certainly not the case, else our world would not be living the selfish, greedy, godless, dog eat dog kind of life we’re currently living. Oh my brethren, if we’re true to ourselves, we’ll all realize that we’re not living the best Christian life that we can, which means we have lots of room for improvement. 

And why aren’t we living the kind of Christian life we want to lead eh? I think if we look to Bruh Paul’s words and examples in Romans, when he talks about the struggles of two natures, we’ll get some insight into the problem. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (don’t understand): for what I would (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.’ (Rom. 7:14-15) And we all have that same struggle between our flesh and the spiritual lives we want to live. 

The scholars however, offer an excellent explanation of our problem, re verse 14. ‘The law is spiritual: The law has characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ And yes, as we said above, we all experience personal struggles with sin, but that is no reason, no excuse not to do better than we’re doing, especially if we’re at a fairly high state of spiritual maturity. 

And I think that’s one of the many problems in the church, in Christ’s body today: the mature believers are not leading exemplary lives, and also are not taking enough interest in the less mature believers. But that’s just what Jesus desires of us, as we said at the outset; a life that makes a positive difference and sets a good example to others. And no, He does not expect us to be perfect, because He did not make us perfect, but He does expect us to do our best. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘Look your best, do your best and be your best!’ And that’s all the Lord is asking of us. 

But too many of us are too immersed in the ways of the world, the fleshly, sinful carnal life. And how do we get out of that? Only one way friends; by keeping our eyes constantly fixed on Jesus. And we have a great example of that with this interaction between Jesus and Peter. It’s that time when Jesus fed five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves of bread and two fishes, and they took up twelve baskets of remnants afterwards. (Matt. 14:15-21) Then He sent the disciples away in a boat over the lake, the sea of Galilee, while He dismissed the crowd and went up into a mountain to pray. (Matt. 14:22-23a) 

Now the Good Book says: ‘And when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship (with the disciples) was now in the midst (middle) of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night (from 3-6 a.m.) Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (a ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. 

And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent), he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth, thou art the Son of God.’ (Matt. 14:23b-33). 

And right in that li’l passage of scripture friends, we have our basic problem. We talk plenty about Jesus being the Son of God, but when the time comes for us to truly embrace it, we fail miserably. Peter was bold enough to step out of the boat, but when the wind got really strong, he took His eyes off Jesus, and doubt crept into his mind and made him afraid. And that’s what happens to too many of us; when troubles come, we stop looking to Jesus, forget the powerful being that He is, and all His faithful promises, and in fear, fall back on our own strength, which will never be enough to get us through this life. 

So friends, if we want to make a positive difference with our lives, we have to steadfastly keep looking to Jesus; don’t be too afraid, or lose our faith, or forget His promises, when troubles come, as they always will. And what better scripture to close with than these assuring words of our Lord and Saviour. ‘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 for those of us in whom those words have taken solid root, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and sincere 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 it’s also reassuring to know that if we endure to the end, the promised future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So let’s keep on keeping on in Christ nuh my brethren! Much LOVE!

…steadfastly looking to Jesus…is the ONLY way…to handle our doubts and fears… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2021 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.     ​Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us.

Welcome to Friday; somewhat snowy and blustery, but all a part of the winter system. Hope I think so when I have to go out the street later. (smile) So how’s your day going so far eh? I hope for those of you in my time zone it’s begun on a good note, and for those of you whose day is almost ending, hoping that you had a good one, despite whatever difficulties you encountered, as you walked with Christ beside you all the way. 

Oh my people, I shouldn’t have to remind us, but I will, (smile) that walking with Christ is the ONLY way to handle, to mitigate some of the troubles and difficulties we’ll experience in this evil and dangerous world. Remember Jesus promised that we’d have problems, but once we’re walking with him, things would be all right. Here’s what He said: ‘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) 

Yes friends, we all know that scripture, but do we really consider it when hard times come against us? That is the question. Do we remember promises like that when we’re facing uphill battles and need reassurance? I hope so, because that’s what those scriptures are for; to reassure us of the goodness of God and His promise to work things out eventually for the good of all those who LOVE Him, and sincerely try to do His will. 

So please, I implore us, in these rough and uncertain times, to keep the promises of our God front and centre in our lives, so we can use them to raise our faith and keep walking in His awesome and amazing LOVE! Otherwise, our supposed faith is just a waste of time. It doesn’t make sense having faith if you don’t use it positively. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s see what the ordinary workingman has to say today nuh. And he is somewhat crochety. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes, and I’m still alive, though just barely. And I don’t know what you all expect me to say nuh. Nothing has changed in the last little while; we still on lockdown, I still don’t have no job, money in short supply, the virus an’ them still running rampant all over the world…So what new thing all yuh expect me to say eh? 

Oh, they thinking about sending some of the children back to school…when? I don’t know, and don’t really understand why everybody want them to go back to school. If big people can’t handle the situation, how yuh expect children to handle it in such crowed schools like we have eh? 

Steups! I just give up yes! Things too conflicting, yuh getting all sorts of different information from different people, and everybody claiming that theirs is the truth. So what’s an ordinary body to do eh? I don’t know about nobody else nuh, but me, I’m just going to keep me peace, and do the best I can with what I have. That is provided this lock up home situation don’t drive me crazy before we get the situation under control. Until then, I’ll just have to thank God and ask Him to keep me and mine safe oui.’ 

Ah mih bredrin, I think that’s the best advice for all of us yes; don’t give up, obey the rules as best we can, don’t put ourselves in any untenable situations, and talk to the Lord in all sincerity about the situation. It’s all in His hands friends, and He’s promised that this too shall pass, and also that no weapon formed against us will prosper, and every tongue that speaks ill of us will be condemned. (Is. 54:17) 

And Bruh Paul has also reminded us of our divine heritage with these words. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor 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, 37-39) And all of God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

Yes friends, I do hope that we are all truly persuaded that NOTHING will separate us from God’s LOVE, because if we don’t, then our faith is again a waste of time and crapaud will smoke we pipe. And having said all that, let’s do the first thing we ought to do each and every day, and when we are in troubled times, turn to God in sincere prayer. And some of you might be wondering why I keep talking about sincerity, but that’s simply because the Lord doesn’t just hear our words, but checks the motives, the sincerity of our hearts before He considers our requests. 

So with sincere hearts (smile) let’s lift up our Friday Chant to heaven. As one voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And now that we’ve shown our hearts to be sincere, let’s show the world that we are truly faithful believers in Christ Jesus and handle the situation as we ought to! Much LOVE!

…faith is belief in action…so let’s get some serious action going nuh…to show some serious faith…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2021 Philippians 4:13.

Philippians 4:13.     ​I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

Monday’s on the board friends! How are we going to greet it eh? I hope it’s with plenty hope, LOVE, joy and peace, as our Christian tenets teach us, rather than with fear, anxiety and a whole lot of negativity based on our present troubled circumstances. Yes, we will have trouble, persecution, tribulation and what not in this sinful world, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said that, but then He went on to conquer the negative stuff, like hell, death and the grave by His crucifixion and resurrection so that we would not have to worry about all the negative stuff that came our way. 

Here’s how He put it: ‘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) What wonderful news that is my brethren! Jesus has already overcome the world, so we just have get ourselves together and maintain that victory! Maintain it with good cheer; that is LOVE, assurance, hope, faith and the promise of eternal life if we endure to the end. 

And no, living the Christian life in this sinful and ofttimes godless world is not easy, but with Christ’s divine help we can do it. Remember how Bruh Paul characterized it? ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) Now that’s quite true, but there’s something more we must learn, and that’s the context in which he said it. He was referring to a gift from the church at Philippi. And though he appreciated their care and consideration and gift very much, he told them: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.’ (Phil. 4:11) 

And that my fellow believers is something that we all need to learn in these troubled times and times of expected entitlement. Bruh Paul was grateful for their financial gift, but he could also have done without it, because he had learned how to be content whether he had a lot or a little. And the scholars add an interesting message. ‘The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Oh my people, that is a truth that so many believers need to learn. Yes, we ought to be contented in any state in which we find ourselves, with Jesus’ help of course, but it doesn’t happen overnight, and like all other growth it comes with hardship and adversity. So if you’re having trouble in that area, like so many of us in this pandemic time, just remember that you can do all you need to handle the situation with Christ in your corner, but it will take time and also some effort from you. 

As Bruh Paul continues: ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:12) Yes friends, it’s something that many of us are learning in these Covid times, when work is scarce and the essentials of life are difficult to come by. 

But we do need to learn how to discipline ourselves in times of prosperity and in times of want, to learn the secret of how to be well fed even in the rough going. So let’s not beat up ourselves if we’re not doing as well as we ought to or want to in these troubled days, remember Jesus is just a prayer away with help. 

Yes, I know it might not come right away, but our faith teaches us to wait and be patient and expectant. No wonder Bruh Paul could promise the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) He is aware of their sacrifice on Bruh Paul’s behalf, and thus will generously meet their needs. 

My fellow believers, that’s what God is about; providing, meeting our needs when we sincerely call on Him. That’s His ever-faithful promise. So why don’t we do that right now nuh through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s bare our very hearts and souls to our Creator, as He desires of us. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

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

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

Now we have to do our part; wait with eager and sincere expectation, that’s faith, and stay repentant and be obedient so the Lord can see that we’re truly sorry for turning away from Him. Much LOVE!

…life’s not easy in this sinful world…but God is good…Glory Hallelujah… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2020 Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.     ​For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving).

Come Tuesday – another nice summery day, just like Monday! Oh yes, that would indeed be wonderful my people! That’s why we need to give much thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s continually bestowing on us. As the psalmist so rightly says: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.‘ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Wow! What awesome words of wisdom and truth! And don’t forget what our Lord and Saviour Jesus said on the subject. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Mama Mia! If that isn’t a direct directive (smile) of our Lord’s to enjoy and be thankful for this earthly life, then I don’t know what is nuh! In addition to salvation and eternal life when our frail and fragile bodies wear out and return to the dust from which they came, He also desires us to enjoy and prosper and succeed in this earthly life. Oh, He certainly knows that it will not always be wine and song, because like us, He experienced trials and tribulations too. As the Good Book proclaims: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:15) 

Yes my brethren, Jesus experienced all the problems that we experience down here on this evil and ungodly earth, but never did you see Him miserable and downcast, regardless of the circumstances He faced. Just look at how brutally they treated Him in His own home town of Nazareth nuh. I like how the website waynestiles.com puts it. ‘When Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, He found a warm welcome at the synagogue—that is, until He preached. The young carpenter claimed to have fulfilled the messianic prophecy He had just read from Isaiah 61:1–2 (Luke 4:16-30). 

The hearers took offense that the local-yokel Jesus would dare to be remarkable. After all, wasn’t He the guy who built their dining tables? The townspeople were so enraged that they took Jesus to the edge of the Nazareth Ridge and wanted to fling Him off into the Jezreel Valley. But He passed through their midst and departed. You think that made for awkward subsequent holiday gatherings?’ 

Yes friends, Jesus always exuded a good attitude, which He also expects His followers to exemplify. No, it’s not easy, and He promised us that it wouldn’t be, but with His help we could make it. ‘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 we’re finding it difficult of be of good cheer, then we can always go to our understanding and sympathetic High Priest, who will empathize with us and enable us to have good cheer. 

Hear the author of Hebrews on the topic nuh. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Brother! Mercy and grace are the two great attributes the Lord uses in our everyday lives. Mercy is not receiving what we ought to, for example punishment for some disobedient act. Many of us know about that from our youth when our parents mercifully did not punish us for some verboten behaviour. 

While grace…ohhh…grace is so marvellous, that there are no words to truly explain it. It’s basically God’s favour; the wonderful things He does for us that we do not deserve. Even salvation is through grace. The Good Book puts it thus: ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving). Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) So grace is the basis of our salvation, the unmerited favour of God. 

The scholars offer this acrostic of grace. ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth, for it’s only through the expense of Christ’s life on the cross at Calvary did we receive salvation and the marvellous promise of eternal life! 

And hear this li’l tidbit from the great English Baptist Preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) affectionately known as ‘The Prince of Preachers.’ On the subject of ‘By Grace Ye Are Saved,’ he apparently wrote: ‘It is by the grace of God that ungodly men are preserved from instant death. The sharp axe of justice would soon fell the barren tree if the interceding voice of Jesus did not cry, “Spare him yet a little.” And isn’t that the indisputable truth! Were it not for Jesus, the sharp axe of justice would certainly have fallen on sinful, disobedient, ungodly man long ago. 

And yuh know friends, there’s only ONE real reason for all of that mercy and grace yes; God’s unconditional, irrational, indisputable, undying LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient creation. Hear the Good Book: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ (Eph. 2:4) And Jesus verified it, like only He could. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And that says it all my precious saints of Christ! 

So for those of us who sincerely believe, and also try to be diligent and excellent followers of Christ, wisely accepting God’s LOVE, grace and mercy, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are! 

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

And the natural consequence of that pledge is for us to keep on trusting Jesus and generously share His awesome LOVE with others! Much LOVE!

…without God’s grace and mercy…His LOVE would have been just an ordinary word… 

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