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

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

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

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

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

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

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​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.
 

Well it looks like it’s going to be a wet and woolly Saturday in my part of paradise, with the distinct possibility of ice pellets later on! (smile) But the sad fact of the matter is that all over the world, the weather is in a state of flux; fluctuating like we’ve never seen or experienced it before. We’re either not getting what we’re supposed to get at this time of the year, or too much or too little of it, and that’s creating a lot of havoc in our lives. Now the reason for this state of affairs, or who’s fault it is, that’s another story, (smile) which we won’t get into this morning. 

Instead, we’ll check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And speaking of Anselm, miraculously, just this morning I received an e-mail from one of our Scrip-Bit friends saying that her curiosity had been piqued by Anselm and his quotes. Consequently, she wanted to know if he was a real person and where he gets his quotes from. My answer was yes, he is a real person, but I don’t know where he gets his quotes from. And for those of you whose curiosity has also been piqued by our friend Anselm’s identity and otherwise, please remember the ole people’s saying that curiosity killed the cat, so be careful it doesn’t kill you too. (smile) 

Ah friends, it’s good to have a li’l fun sometimes, life is too short to be serious all the time. And here is Anselm’s first quote: ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ And isn’t that the living truth! So many things we need or try to do seem so hard that they teeter towards the impossible side of the ledger. But having completed the seemingly impossible task, it then seems as though it was a piece of cake, and we wonder why we thought it was impossible in the first place. But that’s just the way life is friends; tasks always seem more difficult than they really are, before we tackle them. And since we know that nothing is impossible with Jesus as the Master of our lives, let’s think in terms of possibilities rather than impossibilities nuh, our lives will improve ever so much. 

And the next quote tells us that, ‘An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.’ Now that’s surely an interesting way to put it. And the optimistic attitude is obviously the better way, since it makes us look forward to better times in the coming year than we’ve had in the one just past. Chuh! Can you imagine if I had not been optimistic in the past three years when I was so sick, even unto death, as some people thought, but definitely not me, (smile) I certainly would not be around today! 

That does say something for optimism, for looking on the bright side, even when there seems to be no reason whatsoever for doing so. That leads us to this next interesting quote: ‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.’ More optimism, more faith and hope and belief in the good and faithful promises of Jesus my people! That’s the only way to live this life with a modicum of success; optimistic, and strong and steadfast in our Christian faith; the only faith that has all the magnificent benefits like mercy and grace, salvation and forgiveness, and that’s only a few, where we don’t get what we deserve, but the good things we don’t deserve. 

Ah my people, I can’t begin to tell us how good and great and merciful and gracious is the God that we serve nuh! The Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Creator and omnipotent ruler of this magnificent universe! So here ‘s the last quote. (smile) And we keep the best for last. ‘I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.’ And do I ever, for as far as I’m concerned my best days are still ahead of me! Glory be my brethren! And so should ALL believers think and believe, because with Jesus running our lives we’re on the gravy train. (smile) 

Remember He said, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) That means He doesn’t desire us to be living struggling lives all the time, but enjoying the kingdom of heaven down here on earth too. And the talk about the gravy train was a bit facetious, because life will not always be wine, song and laughter, but as Jesus also warned us: ‘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.’ 

What a marvellous and encouraging verse of scripture that is friends, from our Lord and Saviour Himself! But until we truly believe and live them, our lives will not improve. And in strong support of Christ’s words, here are a couple of scriptures from Bruh Paul. The first one, written to Timothy, after outlining his own suffering, he confirms our earthly ‘sufferation’ ‘Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra: what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly for Christ shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim. 3:11-12) 

So though trials and persecutions may – no, will come, if we hang in there, the Lord will eventually deliver us from them all. And as Bruh Paul defiantly proclaimed 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.’ (Rom. 8:35 & 37) Glory Hallelujah my brethren! What words of positive and encouraging faith! 

That means, as true believers, there is a lot of good stuff for us to look forward to, including heaven and eternity with Jesus eventually. There’s nothing better than that available friends, so please, let’s keep a good attitude and believe that even better times than these are in our future. Much LOVE!

…what’s the point of faith eh…if it doesn’t give one true hope…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2019 Job 19:25.

Job 19:25.    ​For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter (last) day upon the earth.

 

Well how shall we put it this morning eh? It’s not raining…the roads seem fairly dry…and the sun seems to be valiantly fighting to push out above the eastern horizon…but in my area it’s still somewhat cloudy and overcast, which means any number can play! But after two days of steady rain we do deserve a short break from all that heavenly blessing. (smile) 

Nonetheless with the omnipotent Lord God in our corner, we are well able to handle anything that comes against us. As the Good Book so wisely and truthfully says: ‘If God be for us, who can be against us eh? (Rom.8:31) Not a single, solitary soul my faithful brethren! So with that most important bit of information in mind, let’s move on this Friday morning to hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself. 

And as always, he puts it plainly. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend is on the horizon. Hallelujah! But rain, rain, rain, please go away to Spain – or wherever you come from nuh…give us a break…and come back some other time when we badly need you! As they say, too much of anything is good for nothing! 

And…Chuh man! Though it’s been fairly warm, these past few days has just been too much rain, which meant I couldn’t go outside and do anything, and even worse, it kept the children in the house and underfoot all the bloody time! 

Let’s hope though that this stoppage is for real, and we’ll get a rain free weekend, because after being cooped up in work and the house whole week, I want to get outside for my free time and do things with my buddies, and the children also need to get out too, else they’ll soon drive their mother bonkers. Thank you Lord for Fridays and weekends, and please, keep it warm, but make this weekend rain free!’ 

I’m sure that many of us believers also share the sentiments of the ordinary workingman, but we know that we have to keep a good attitude, for Jesus’ sake, re anything that comes against us. So it could rain everlasting, or be dry, warm and sunny, we still need to handle it all with a certain aplomb; that’s self-confidence, coolness, poise, and unwavering stability. (smile) Yeh, it’s not easy to not react like the world does, but that’s why we have the Holy Spirit of Christ dwelling in us – to raise us up to His level of strength and obedience. Glory be mih people! 

Now let’s turn to our weekend song, our Friday Chant, which isn’t as worldly as the workingman’s, but it does suit our needs admirably. Let’s chant: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, I know it’s somewhat frustrating to always be on the lookout for the enemy, but that’s what we signed up for when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. He didn’t have it easy, and neither shall we. He promised tribulation in the world, but that we should also be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world. (John 16:33) That’s not easy to do either, but if we sincerely believe, we will be able to do it, with His help. 

Then we can calmly, steadfastly and truthfully declare like Job did, in spite of his overwhelming calamity: ‘For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter (last) day upon the earth.’ And all God’s children gave a loud shout of thanks and praise: ‘Bless His Holy Name! Bless the name of Jesus Christ! That name that’s above every other name in the universe!’ 

Yeh friends, we need to do that, because that’s exactly what Jesus promised; to be with us to the very end, to include us in His latter day kingdom, to rule and reign with Him! What could be better eh? AbsolutelyNOTHING! And listen to how Job continues with absolute certainty in God’s deliverance and LOVING-kindness: ‘And though, after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me (how my heart yearns). (Job 19:26-27) 

And to boost that vision of Job, listen to John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, now are we the sons (children) of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.’ (1 John 3:2) So we can be assured that when Jesus returns, in whatever form, we shall see Him and be like Him. All praise and glory to God my people! Jesus also promised that the pure in heart shall see God. (Matt.5:8) So it’s not a matter of if, but when? 

Now here is a paraphrased version of the scholars’ explanation of Job’s speech and problems.‘19:23-27. Although God has humiliated Job, and his friends and relatives have abandoned him, so he’s reduced to pleading for pity, still, from the very depths of degradation he expresses the confidence that if his case could only be recorded for posterity, future generations would judge him favourably.’ And it has been recorded, and we have judged him favourably. 

‘Furthermore, he knows confidently that he has a Redeemer, (Heb. go’el) One who will champion his cause and vindicate him. The Redeemer is more than an arbiter (9:33) or a witness (16:19) but a Kinsman-Redeemer who will avenge him. Clearly Job viewed God Himself as the Redeemer, and the Hebrew word is in fact used often of God (Ps.19:14; Is.41:14) 

In my flesh (vs.26) speaks of a resurrected body . Though it may also be translated “apart from my flesh,” as a spirit being, the emphasis of the original means “from the standpoint of my flesh,” in my resurrected body. Here then is clear evidence of the Old Testament belief in the resurrection of the human body.’ 

Ah friends, everyday we learn something new – at least we’re supposed to.  (smile) And all who have been saved know one thing for certain sure: that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has redeemed us, paid for our sins through His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary, thus gloriously reconciling us to the Lord God Almighty, and we are now His justified, sanctified and righteous children! Glory Hallelujah! Much LOVE!

…let the words of my mouth…and the meditation of my heart…be acceptable in thy sight…O Lord…my strength…and my redeemer… (Ps.19:14) 

P.S. Sorry it’s somewhat long and late, but I got up late, then I had several important e-mails to answer before I could get started. Hope it’s informative, and you like it. Much LOVE!