Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 December 2021 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.     … for without me ye can do nothing.

Well, a pleasant good morning to you, my beautiful Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s a pleasure to come to you and see a smile on your faces and feel the joy emanating from your hearts. For that’s what belief in Christ Jesus does! It doesn’t matter whether life is rough or smooth, Christians usually have a joyful spirit because they’ve learned to be contented in whatever situation they happen to find themselves. 

Bruh Paul spelt it out thus in his missive to the church at Philippi. ‘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. 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. 4:11-12) 

Ah my fellow saints, that’s not an easy situation to conquer, because you can’t go to school to learn it, it can only be learned in the school of life, the school of hard knocks. And only one person can help you to do that: Jesus Christ! Bruh Paul declares it by saying: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil. 4:13) And that’s the gospel truth friends! It’s only with the divine help of Christ that we can ever learn to be contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. 

As Jesus said so emphatically Himself. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

Wow mih people! Jesus laid it on the line right there! Without Him, our capabilities are severely limited. And aren’t we seeing the truth of that statement throughout our crazy and ungodly world right now? We certainly are! Without Christ playing the major part in our lives, we cannot seem to solve even the smallest problem, much less be content in our current situations. 

And I believe what our disunited and strife fille world needs to realize right now, if we want to make our world better, is the truth of these words Bruh Paul wrote in his second letter to the church at Corinth, where he emphatically states: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) 

Yes my brethren, until our world learns to accept that indisputable fact, including all the atheists, the heathen, the unbelievers, and whatever have you, our world will keep plummeting to the depths of ignominy, will continue riding that enemy handbasket all the way down to the catacombs of hell. Now, is that the legacy we want to leave behind for our children, and our children’s children? That our generation allowed the enemy to win the fight? I certainly hope not! 

And it’s definitely not too late for us to step up our fight and make a positive difference in our world…but we must begin right now, for time is running out, and we cannot afford to waste more than we already have. And it all begins with teaching the next generation, since it seems we might have already lost the current one. Unlike our parents, we obviously did not heed the words that Moses commanded the Hebrews when they came out of Egypt, since we were too busy making money and living the good life. 

But according to Moses, this is what we ought to have done. ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shall write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut. 6:4-9) 

Yes friends, our generation did not take the time to LOVE the Lord our God as we should have, neither did we teach it to our children like our parents did to us. No wonder this current generation is godless, and have been easily deceived into joining the enemy’s ranks. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. 

Remember these words of Cousin Sol in Proverbs. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov. 22:6) And that’s true friends. If you teach a child something, even though he may veer from it, he will not forget it. And we have a good example of that from the reggae song ‘August Town’, where the singer Duane Stephenson emphatically says: ‘Though I never lived the way He wanted, I never forgot what He taught me.’ 

And that’s all that’s expected of us as parents; to teach the children the right way, to keep the good news of Christ flowing down from generation to generation so that it doesn’t get lost and forgotten, as happened to the Israelites (read it in Ezra and Nehemiah) before Jesus returns to set up His earthly kingdom. So my people, please, let’s get serious and busy teaching the word of God to our grandchildren, since we seem to have lost our children to the enemy. Although that doesn’t mean we must give up on them, but just use other tactics to bring them to their Lord and Saviour. (smile) 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do our best in working and living for Christ, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether 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. 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 as always, let’s remember that if we endure right to the very end, that the future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Wow! What a time that will be mih bredrin! Much LOVE!

…with Jesus…we can move mountains…without Him…we can do nothing… 

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

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2021 Philippians 4:13.

Philippians 4:13.     I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

So Wednesday has rolled around once more, in the quickly passing weeks of summer. And I wish someone could tell me why the weeks of winter don’t pass even half as quickly. (smile) They just seem to drag on and on and on. But that’s life in the northern climes, and with the help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we handle them just the same, though we need to be a bit more careful in the nasty weather. That means with Jesus guiding our lives we can do anything that’s necessary. 

We have that ever-faithful promise from the Good Book, where Bruh Paul writes to the Philippians: ‘Not that I speak of in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:11-12) 

Yes friends, in these contrary times we believers must be good examples of contentment so that others can learn from us. And yes, contentment is something that’s learned, not in the classroom either, or overnight, but continuously through the hard knocks of life. We have become so accustomed to easy living that we complain about every single thing, and that’s the wrong attitude for believers to have. 

We need to be much more disciplined than we are; being able to tighten our belts in the hard times, or as the old people would say, band we belly when things rough, and then be able to live without airs and graces when the times get good. But it’s all a learning process, an acquired way of living. And what’s the basic underlying factor of our ability to do with or without? Bruh Paul tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

Glory to God my brethren! Yes indeed! Christ is the one who gives us the strength to live that contented life, both in need or in prosperity! Christ is the one who enables us to adapt to the various situations we encounter in this crazy and undisciplined world. Whatever He tells us to do, or wherever He sends us, He gives us the wherewithal to handle whatever comes against us. But the problem is that we don’t pay sufficient attention to Christ’s commands, that’s why we so often find ourselves in hot water, or out of our league. 

Then we blame Him, but we are the ones who need to bear the blame for our lack of obedience to His instructions. Remember Jesus’ warning to the disciples: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

And I like how after all the palaver, Jesus throws in that last statement that clarifies the whole situation: ‘for without me ye can do nothing.’ And that’s a fact friends! Without Christ in our lives, we can’t do much of anything that’s really worthwhile. But with Him running the show, oh brother, we can be supermen, do miracles, show wonders, prophecy, speak in tongues, etc. etc.! That’s why Christ is such a valuable part of our lives. 

And one thing I like about Jesus is that He does not mince words, but tells it straight and true. As He said above, ‘for without me ye can do nothing,’ later on He tells the disciples: ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do what I command you.’ (John 15:14) And earlier on He was just as blunt: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) And again He tells them: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yuh see friends, our entire discipleship is based on keeping the commands of Christ, which basically boil down to having LOVE for each other, that’s treating each other kindly and with compassion, like Christ treats us. And only as we show that LOVE for each other to the world, will they recognize that we are indeed His disciples. And I’m sad and sorry to say that we are not showing that LOVE for each other to the world as much as we need to. 

That’s why so many are turning away from God, or simply refusing to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. They see us supposed Christians as merely a bunch of ole hypocrites, who talk a good talk, but don’t walk it, like the Pharisees of old did! And they are quite right! There’s too much infighting, dissension and evil doing within Christ’s church; too many petty differences that breed unnecessary resentment and strife. And until we clean up our own backyard, we can’t fault the neighbours for not wanting to run with us. 

So please my brethren, this time of much strife, sickness and natural disaster, is the perfect time for us to do that, the time to come together and show the real beauty of living for Christ. Remember Christ is depending on us, His ambassadors, His earthly agents to do His work with diligence and excellence, something we are currently not doing. Yes, my fellow saints in Christ, let’s raise the level of our standards nuh, instead of following the world and lowering them. That’s Christ’s desire for us in these trying times! 

Consequently, with that on our minds, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ. Altogether 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. 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!’ 

Oh my, my! And please remember friends, that if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So please let that wonderful thought drive us this Wednesday morning as we go out to do Christ’s work. Much LOVE!

…until you start living for Christ…you will not know how wonderful it is…                                                                                                                       

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2021 Philippians 4:12a.

Philippians 4:12a.     I know both how to be abased (suffer want), and I know how to abound:

Well at last we have awakened to the sun and not dark, cloudy skies! (smile) As they say, you never truly appreciate the sun until you’ve seen the rain…and literally too much of it. But as good believers we must learn to be contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. As Bruh Paul wrote to the Philippians from a Roman prison regarding the gift they sent him. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (regarding need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (suffer want), and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:11-12) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul is saying that he was grateful for the financial contribution of the Philippians, but he could also have done without it, because he had learned how to be contented in times of plenty, as well as in times of scarcity. And then he added that verse we all find so easy to quote, but don’t fully understand: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phil. 4:13) Please note though, as the scholars explain: ‘The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

And that’s the indisputable truth my people! Contentment in all circumstances, or merely contentment itself, is a hard-earned lesson offered and majored only in the school of hard knocks, the school of life. But then again, it’s only through the grace and power of Christ that we can learn such an important lesson. Let’s never forget that aspect of it. And on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Website, I found this interesting commentary on the subject by Joy Allmond. She says: ‘It’s part of the human condition – we often want what we don’t have or what we see other people getting. Discontentment is a disease of the heart running rampant, even among the most faithful believers in Christ.’ 

Then she goes on to give some examples of discontentment, which basically break down to greed, envy, jealousy and selfish pride. And follows it up with this question, one that we can, ought to all ask ourselves. ‘Why are we so easily discontented? We could assume people in the above scenarios are too busy focusing on their circumstances and not on God.’ Now isn’t that the living truth? It certainly is. Most of our discontent comes from focusing on our circumstances and not on God and His awesome ability to change or improve them. 

Ms. Allmond then tells us a couple of ways to put our focus on where it belongs – in humility and praise. Yes friends, when we concentrate on those two areas of our spiritual lives, we won’t have time to make comparisons and become disappointed or discontented. That’s because our focus is totally concentrated on God, not the circumstances currently surrounding us. And the two biblical examples Ms. Allmond gives are first on humility, Bruh Paul’s words above to the Philippians. 

She then explains: ‘Paul wrote this letter from a Roman prison, having been incarcerated for sharing his faith. By our standards here in the United States, this is a very unfair predicament. Yet, Paul did not feel he was short of anything. He was humble to accept the circumstances he had been given, because he was humbled by the grace he had been given by God when he became a follower of Christ. He knew, at that point, that he possessed that most important thing he could ever obtain – assurance of salvation and a right relationship with his Lord.’ Now do we know that my faithful brethren in Christ? I surely hope so, otherwise we are definitely missing an essential aspect of our Christian faith. 

Then on the subject of praise, she highlights the passage of scripture where Paul and Silas are imprisoned in Philippi. ‘And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God (were praying and singing songs): and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands (chains) were loosed.’ (Acts. 16:25-26) And we all know what happened afterward; no one escaped, but the jailer and his family were saved, and no doubt some of the other prisoners too, which was God’s real purpose behind the earthquake. 

Ms. Allmond’s commentary on that scripture is also interesting. ‘In this passage, Paul was imprisoned (at an earlier time), along with Silas, for spreading the Gospel. They had been stripped and beaten severely. Instead of complaining or lamenting, the two men began to sing praises to their God. It’s probably safe to say they didn’t feel like praising the Lord, but they chose to have a grateful heart. They literally “brought down the house” with their songs of praise! The floor of the prison was shaken by an earthquake, and everyone in their midst were set free (chains loosed). Not only were the other prisoners set free (chains loosed) by their praise, the heart of the jailer was changed (verses 31-40). 

It’s interesting to see that their attitude about their circumstances not only pleased God, it impacted other people – it freed them. We can become so caught up in our attitude of discontentment that it affects the people in our paths. It could even keep them from wanting to know Christ. Do you think the jailer would have been attracted to a relationship with Christ if he sensed a bitter heart in Paul and Silas? Let’s commit to freedom from the bondage of discontentment through attitudes of humility and praise. By doing this, we can do more than live the abundant life in Christ that was intended for us. We can impact the world by living this outwardly for those around us to witness.’ 

Oh my fellow saints of Christ, I could not put it any better than that. So please let’s take that wise and wonderful advice to heart nuh, for it will certainly benefit us all. And there’s no better time to begin doing that, than right now, (smile) by going to our great and wonderful God in humble prayer, acquainting Him with our problems, through our Friday Chant. 

As one strong, confident, but humble voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the various other areas of 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 please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’  

Now that all sounds wonderful, but please remember that unless we do change our evil ways, and become truly faithful believers, our prayer will not be positively answered. Much LOVE!

…the Lord searches our hearts…for right and sincere motives…before He answers our prayers…                                                                                           

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

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…