Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 September 2021 Mark 11:22.

Mark 11:22.     Have faith in God.

Then it was Saturday…and life keeps moving on regardless! Yes friends, despite what we say, do or think, life is moving on, and it will move on, because that’s what it was programmed to do by its omnipotent Creator. And until He decides that it’s time to curtail life, there’s nothing the creation can do to thwart it. So, having made that indisputable fact clear, (smile) let’s go out then and enjoy life nuh, live life to the full, live it abundantly, as Christ Jesus died to have us do. For there’s no sense in trying to change or disrupt stuff over which we have no power. 

That means letting go of all our worries, anxieties and negative circumstances. We claim to have faith in the One and Only God Jehovah, and in His Son Jesus Christ, who can enable us to do anything, so please, let’s show more of that faith in our everyday lives nuh. Otherwise, we are making ourselves liars, for in these greatly troubled times, great faith in Almighty God is an absolute necessity. So, as life moves on, let’s move on too, and see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. Help me to wrap my head around them and make some sense of them. (smile) 

And the first one says: ‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.’ I guess that’s basically true. You can’t make progress unless you change up stuff in your life, and it sounds logical that if you can’t change your mind you will never change anything, since change begins and ends in the mind. It’s the control centre of our life. But friends, a serious word of caution here, do all the changing you want, but please don’t ever change your mind about believing in Christ Jesus! For without Him, we are nothing! 

And I guess our friend Anselm was on a faith kick this week, because all the other quotes deal with some aspect of faith. So hear this one: ‘Make a space in your life for the glorious things you deserve. Have faith.’ Now I don’t know how much we deserve, if anything, but the Good Lord does shower us with glorious stuff, and we do need faith to believe that He will continue doing so. Remember that several times Jesus chided those around Him for having little or no faith, and after cursing the fig tree that had leaves but no fruit, He told the disciples: ‘Have faith in God.’ (Mark 11:22) 

But what exactly is faith eh? I found this simple but interesting definition on the pushpay.com/blog website by commentator Allison Sakounthong. She says that ‘Put simply, faith is believing in God and trusting in His plan, even when you don’t understand it and can’t see it. As it applies to our life, however, faith is about more than just a feeling, it’s about living it. We live our faith through obedience to God and acts of service.’ And I think that’s as simple as you can put it. It’s all about believing in God and living for Him, with great expectations of good things in our future. 

That’s segues very nicely into this next quote. ‘Patience is not the ability to wait. Patience is to be calm no matter what happens, constantly take action to turn it to positive growth opportunities, and have faith to believe that it will all work out in the end while you are waiting.’ Now that’s all true, but again we have to transfer it to faith and belief in God, since there are a lot of things we cannot make happen on our own, but remember what Jesus said about the camel going through the eye of a needle, as opposed to a rich man entering the kingdom of God? ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

That’s what we need to believe, with absolutely no doubt whatsoever in our souls, and spirit! Otherwise we will always be lacking something, or even shortchanging ourselves, for it takes great faith to live sincerely for Jesus. Just check out the lives of the great saints before us, like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, and our three Bruhs, Joseph, David and Pablo. (smile) And I guess most of you didn’t know that Joseph was a Bruh eh, because I don’t talk about him much. But to be truthful, I believe he was an even bigger example of patience and perseverance than Job. Just look at all he went through as a teenager; from slavery, to prison, in complete innocence. 

But you’ll notice that he never whined or complained about his unfair treatment, and that wherever he was, be it in Potiphar’s house, or in prison, the Good Book tells us that ‘the Lord was with Joseph…’ (Gen. 39:2, 22) Yes my people, Bruh Joseph had a dream of great things from God, but the way it actually played out in his life seemed very contrary to the promise. But he never gave up, he stuck it out without complaints, possibly sensing deep down that there was a good and godly reason for all his unwarranted hardship. 

And that’s what faith in God means: to stand strong and steadfast in your belief, and keep being godly, although the reality of the situation doesn’t match up with your dream. For God doesn’t move us to high positions unless we go through the low ones faithfully. That brings us to this next quote. ‘Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere. We can’t always understand them, but we must trust in them. I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith.’ 

Ah mih people, that’s the contrariness of our great God! Sorry, ‘contrariness’ is not the best word nuh, but I just couldn’t think of it at the time of writing. (smile) I basically mean that sometimes God allows us to go through hardship without any explicit reason, but then He also blesses us with beautiful things, also without any explicit reason. But if we truly know who He is, and how He operates, then those unexpected storms or beautiful sunsets won’t bother us, we’ll take them in stride, knowing that He has a good reason and purpose behind all He does, and as He has faithfully promised, eventually He will work it all out for our good. 

Then there’s this last quote. ‘Believe in a LOVE that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this LOVE there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.’ Oh my fellow saints, we know about that LOVE! We’re talking there about the greatest LOVE EVER! That of our wonderful God for us: The Good Book tells it plainly: ‘But God commendeth (showed) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) 

Now how can ever be a LOVE greater than a Father sending a Son to die for ungrateful, disloyal and disobedient people eh? No way! And though that LOVE is visible right now in our earthly lives, it’s also stored up in heaven for us, as Peter tells us. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-5) 

Oh friends, there’s nothing else I can say nuh, except to rally us to the cross of Jesus, for that is where it all begins and ends! And if you don’t come to foot of that wooden cross at some stage of your earthly life, to lay your burdens down and receive Christ, as Lord and Saviour, then your life would have been a total waste! Much LOVE!

…if God could display so much LOVE…mankind ought to display much more faith…                                                                                                      

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2015 1 Peter 1:3

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Ah Friends, it was just one of those days where the ole fella went to bed at a  Shakespearean early hour. (smile) Three o’clock found me sitting on my porch, but I didn’t stay long because the wind was in a rather frenzied state and had the poor trees dancing to an incredibly fast riddim, and it was also a tad chilly in my shorts and T-shirt.

It’s surprising that nothing seems to have been blown down, for since early evening the wind had been having serious histrionic fits. I had to close a couple of my windows because it was making such a fuss. And it’s still not completely over it’s bad behaviour, but just not as challenging as during the night.

Thankfully though, both the sun and Son are shining quite brightly this Wednesday morning. And since it’s Wednesday, then I guess it’s time for our Wednesday Wail. Please wail with me.

‘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 people, what a Friend, Lord and Saviour we have in Jesus Christ! Glory to God! I don’t know what we’d do without Him nuh, for He is so LOVING, gentle, kind, compassionate, merciful and forgiving… And that’s just the tip of His attributes. It would take me half the day to name them all.

Yes Friends, having Jesus as the guide, the rudder and compass of our lives is the wisest action we can ever take down here on God’s great earth! I don’t know how I lived, how I existed before I truly let Him into my heart. Oh, He was always there, but lurking in the background, waiting for me to smarten up and surrender my life to Him.

As they say, hindsight is certainly 20-20 vision yes! For in hindsight, I can now see the many occasions on which He lent me a helping hand. Many times when others couldn’t or refused to help, He was the One who stepped into the breach and shored it up.

That’s why, now that I’ve truly bought into His plan, I can say with all sincerity and truth; what a wonderful God we serve and worship! And am I ever so grateful for His LOVE, mercy, comfort and grace which certainly makes this life worth living.

And I know that I’m not alone in that regard because the Lord works His magnanimous works in the lives of ALL who sincerely believe in and honour Him.

That’s why we can agree with Peter when he so wisely declares in our Bit: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’

Yes my brethren, this new life of ours all stems from the resurrection of Christ. Without His resurrection, there would be no new creation of man!

And as Peter continues:’(We have been raised) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:4-5)

Oh Friends, what powerful and encouraging words and promises! But all of it indisputable, gospel truth!

Now let’s delve into what it all means with the help of the scholars. ‘1:3 –2:10. The Christian’s destiny: salvation. Salvation means “deliverance.”  Peter’s view of salvation is ultimate salvation, that is, when the believer will be rescued from this world into the presence of God.’

‘1:3-12. The plan of salvation: Peter does not look at time from a Western perspective. The Hebrews regarded the present as so fleeting that in their language they have essentially only two tenses: past and future.’

‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vv.3-5) is described as to its effect. Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation.

This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible (Gr. aphtharton), imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e. morally untainted). That fadeth not away (Gr. amaranton) means it is not subject to the ravages of time.

Further it is reserved (Gr. teteremenen, perfect tense), that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin and into the presence of God.’

Ah Friends, I do hope that the general descriptions, as well as the more specific ones help us to better understand what salvation is, and all that’s laid up for us in heaven, and also helps to increase our faith by knowing, by being assured that Almighty God, our Creator and Provider is constantly watching over us, and we can have no better security than that.

Now let’s ponder it all, then put it into action as our lives unfold, obviously with God’s help, for it is indeed the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…oh what an auspicious, blessed and reassuring day…was that Easter Sunday morn…when Christ triumphantly rose from the grave…and gave us all the hope of future life eternal…with Him in heaven…