Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2019 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.   ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!
 

And then it was the first Sunday of the New Year! Glory Be! And all the devoted followers of Christ flocked to His sanctuary to hear His Word, to give Him the praise and worship He so obviously deserves, as well as to mix and mingle and to encourage and edify and uplift their fellow believers. And for this first Sunday in 2019, we have an awesome and most appropriate song of worship to open the proceedings. 

It’s an old 19th century British hymn whose lyrics were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865 as a processional hymn for children walking from Horbury Bridge to Horbury St Peter’s Church near Wakefield, Yorkshire, at Whitsuntide in 1865. It was originally entitled, “Hymn for Procession with Cross and Banners.”  

 Then Arthur Sullivan composed the accompanying music in 1871. They say that Sullivan first named the tune “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose home he composed it. But eventually the Salvation Army adopted it as one of their favourite processional hymns …and the rest is history! 

Oh friends, let’s belt out that well known and greatly LOVED tune that calls us to be strong and steadfast soldiers in Christ’s Name. As one great army now, marching into battle, letting the enemy know that we’re coming…and coming for only one thing; victory! 

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) 

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain] 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] 

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain] Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!)’ 

Oh my fellow believers if that doesn’t stir up the LOVE for Christ in your hearts, then something’s seriously wrong with you! It’s exactly the kind of battle cry Christians need in these turbulent, decadent and evil times! And that’s why it was written; ‘to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces throughout the world.’ 

And there’s been no other time like now, when evil is running rampant all over and the heathen seems to be winning the battle! But friends, that’s only in their imagination, because we believers are coming out loud, proud and strong this year of 2019! We’re going to mightily embrace those rich and encouraging words of Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!’ 

Wow mih people! What better words to frame our year than with those eh? We are in Christ’s army, and as good soldiers do, we WILL endure hardship for Him, and in His name! That’s our faithful promise! For as Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

Yeh friends, if we are soldiers for Christ, we can’t afford to get entangled in the affairs of this world. We have to keep our hands and hearts clean of the evil that surrounds us, so that we can please Christ who has called us, who has enlisted us in His LOVE Revolution, to fight the good fight in His name! 

As Bruh Paul told Timothy earlier on: ‘This charge I commit unto (command) thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee (previously made concerning you), that thou by them mightest war a good warfare. Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away (rejected) concerning the faith have made (suffered) shipwreck.’ (1 Tim.1:18-19) 

Oh my brethren, we need to be ever so faithful having personal confidence in God, as well as the word, the gospel that’s been handed down to us by the saints. For if we reject those things, then we’ll surely become shipwrecked, lost and left on the outside looking in; the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul!

And later on, Bruh Paul again gets on poor Timothy’s case. After warning him of the deterioration of the church in years to come, (2 Tim.4:2-4) he declares: 

‘But watch thou in all things. Endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist (preach the gospel of Christ), make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:5-8) 

Yes my believing brethren, we ALL ought to be able to say that at end of our lives. But for that to happen, we have to begin being good, strong and steadfast soldiers of Christ, RIGHT NOW! So let’s get to it nuh! We have a crown of righteousness to win! Much LOVE!

…to win any race…especially the race of life…one needs to have commitment…courage…perseverance…endurance…and faith…and ONLY in Christ…can one find all those attributes… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but church had to come first…and anyway I likes it…hope you do too! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2014 Proverbs 15:5

Proverbs 15:5.       A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth (keeps, accepts) reproof is prudent (sensible).

Oh mih Friends, one more day has just been added to our illustrious lives! Glory Hallelujah! What a wonderful God we serve and worship! A God of mercy, of LOVING-kindness, of forgiveness, of compassion, of comfort, and above all, of LOVE! 

Wow! How could we not LOVE Him in return and bless and praise His Holy name and thank Him for the myriad of blessings He showers down on us each and every day eh, even if we don’t deserve them?
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and thankful: ‘All praise and glory be to God the Father, who in His never-ending stream of LOVING-kindness, sacrificed his only Son Jesus Christ on the rugged cross at Calvary so that we abominable sinners could be reconciled to Him, brought back into a holy and glorious relationship with Him, featuring salvation and eternal life!’
 
Yes my people, it is of the utmost importance that EVERYDAY we recognize and appreciate and give thanks for God’s goodness to us, the undeserving children of sinful men! A lot of us just take it for granted. But that is oh so wrong my brethren.
 
Remember too, that one of the reasons God created us from the dust of the earth, then blew the breath of life into our nostrils is so that we could laud and magnify Him, worship Him in all faithfulness, with pomp and splendour!
 
And since today is Sunday, the day that most of us recognize as the Lord’s Day – no divisive arguments over that now – it’s only fitting that we should gather at His sanctuary and fellowship with other believers, exhorting and encouraging each other in our faith, while giving the Lord the thanks and praise He so richly deserves!
 
And having said all of that, let’s turn to our Bit which encapsulates it all. ‘A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth (keeps, accepts) reproof is prudent (sensible)’
 
And since those words are truth-bearing my brethren, it means that the majority of us on this planet earth are fools, because we very much despise and disobey our heavenly Father’s instructions, laid out for us in His Word. There’s no getting around that, if our Bit is true. And it certainly is, even by our mortal standards, as we saw from the several Proverbs we quoted yesterday, and will see from some more that we’ll quote today.
 
Yes Friends, we consider disobeying our earthly parents to be unwise, but hypocritically, we set up a different standard for our disobeying God. But disobedience is disobedience: in reality it’s the same; not abiding by the rules and regulations of a higher authority.
 
And Cousin Sol in his Proverbs, so wisely warns us that: ‘Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth (disdains, ignores) instruction: but he that regardeth (accepts) reproof shall be honoured.’ (Prov.13:18) And that my people goes for both the children of earthly men, and the children of our heavenly God!
 
When our children disobey us, we punish them; likewise, when we disobey God, we shouldn’t be surprised if He punishes us, because He states it quite clearly in His word. And if you don’t believe me, then just read Leviticus 26, where blessings for obedience are listed from verses 3-13, but penalties for disobedience run from verses 14-46. What does that intimate eh Friends? That there’s a very heavy price to pay for disobedience!
 
And in that vein, Cousin Sol tells us:’ A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again. Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end (days).’ (Prov.19:19-20)
 
And we come back to why there are so many disobedient children; because there are too many disobedient parents. Parents who are not rearing their children in the dictates of God, with a proper balance of LOVE and discipline! Oh my people, if we don’t teach them, the right way, someone else will teach them the wrong one, as is happening so much nowadays.
 
Hear these wise words from Cousin Sol. ‘Apply thine heart unto instruction; and thine ears to the words of knowledge. Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. My son, if thine heart be wise, my (own) heart shall rejoice, even mine. Yes, my reins (my innermost being) shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.’ (Prov.23:12-16)
 
Now Friends, that doesn’t mean we have to beat our children senseless or abuse them, but by the same token if we don’t apply some measure of physical correction they’ll just turn out as they are today; spoiled rotten, undisciplined, ungrateful, believing that the world owes them a living, and all because the goody two shoes folks in their false wisdom declared that physical punishment tends to child abuse.
 
Hogwash! Most of us who received some sort of physical punishment for disobedience have turned out pretty good. Like everything else, if it’s overdone, it’s bad; just like mental and emotional punishment, or no punishment at all, can be abusive.
 
The only way our innermost beings can rejoice over our children’s behaviour, my brethren, is if we teach them discipline in the proper manner – just like God is trying to teach us, so that His heart can rejoice. (smile)
 
Anyway Friends, enough for today, let’s ponder all that we’ve read and heard, but in the end, let’s ensure that we are all following the Word of God, which is the only true wisdom that exists. Much LOVE!
 
…our world will only improve when discipline and self-control…based on God’s Word…take precedence over all else…