Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 June 2022   1 Corinthians 9:25a.

1 Corinthians 9:25a.      And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate in all things (has self-control). 

Once more Monday has rolled around friends, as it tends to do every seven days, (smile) but let’s hope that this one isn’t too rough because of the lingering effects of yesterday’s Father’s Day celebrations. I know that many of us used it as an excuse to over-indulge in food and drink and general merriment. And it’s not a crime to indulge, as Cousin Sol says in Ecclesiastes. ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion (heritage).’ (Eccl. 5:18)  

Yes friends, eating and drinking and enjoying the fruit of our labour is a God-given heritage, the problem though is over-indulgence in those activities. What we need is moderation in those things that are righteous…not moderation in all things, as some people claim. I like how this commentator writing on the biblereasons.com website puts it: ‘Have you ever heard someone say moderation in all things? If you have, I want you to know it’s false. When talking about moderation we must also remember the word abstinence. There are some things you just can’t do.’ 

And that’s the living truth. You can’t do all the sinful things in moderation and think that’s right. And as the commentator continues: ‘You must have self-control with everything and the Holy Spirit, which lives in Christians will help you. Thank God that we have the ability to do things that some can’t, but be on guard when shopping, watching TV, surfing the internet, drinking caffeine etc. Don’t be obsessed with anything in your life, except for the Lord. Don’t put a stumbling block in front of other believers. Without moderation you can easily fall into sin. Be careful because Satan does all he can to try to tempt us. Do all things for the glory of God.’ 

Now we should indeed do all things for God’s glory, but to tell the truth, I don’t even think we should be obsessed with God, because the word has an inherent negative quality, one clouded with fear, like a phobia or a mania, and it continually intrudes on your thinking so that you can’t think on anything else clearly. But, if however, there is one thing or person we should be obsessed with, it is indeed our heavenly Father. (smile) 

Anyway, we ought to do as Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Philippi. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, we Christians should be known for our moderation, that’s graciousness and reasonableness. And if we are at peace with our fellow believers and rejoice always, then we ought to be gracious and reasonable people. And furthermore, we’ll have the peace of God, a divine tranquility enveloping our lives, where fear and worry don’t intrude. Then Bruh Paul goes on to give the Philippians some practical applications to help them in achieving those outcomes. 

He says: ‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phill.4:8-9) 

Now, we can’t say we don’t know what things to think on my people, (smile) especially if we truly desire the divine peace of God to be safeguarding our hearts and minds. And we can’t leave out these passages of scripture when talking about moderation, which includes a healthy dose of self-control. Bruh Paul writes thus in his first epistle to the church at Corinth. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain. 

And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate in all things (has self-control). Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as uncertainly: so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified)’ (1 Cor. 9:24-27) 

And that last verse there is ever so important for preachers and teachers; meaning that every day I have to consider what I do and say, lest after teaching others the word, I don’t have the self-discipline to run a strong race and fight a good fight, and get disqualified, herded with the goats and not the sheep. Now, having learned all of that, (smile) it’s time for us to put it into action. And the first line of action is always prayer. So, let’s go to the throne of grace in confident humility, and, with supplication and thanksgiving, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, lay our requests before the Lord. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has 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 wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. 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!’ 

And what do we do after making our requests known to God in prayer? We keep our promises and wait expectantly and eagerly in faith for Him to answer…in His own time! Much LOVE!

…heaven on earth is possible…if we will just use the tools God’s given us… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 January 2022   2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.      For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.

Oh friends, our God is so good and thoughtful that over the last few days He’s opened each day with bright sunshine to help those of us who might be feeling down because of the inclement weather or suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Praise His holy name! And thus, in conjunction with the light and life that Jesus brings, believers should have no problems adjusting to whatever comes against them in these turbulent times.

For just as the prophet Isaiah declared the Lord’s LOVE to the people of Israel, that same LOVE also applies to us right now. And Isaiah’s reassuring message was as follows: ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is. 54:17)

Now, add to that, Bruh Paul’s message to the church at Rome, where he declares: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:37) Brother! Does all of that ever provide an airtight cushion of LOVE to protect us from the enemy’s assaults. And all God’s children gave a grateful shout of: ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness to the children of men!’

And to further encourage us, Bruh Paul continues his message by saying: ‘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. 8:38-39)

And that should come as no surprise to us my fellow believers since Bruh Paul also told the Ephesians: ‘And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto redemption.’ (Eph. 4:30) That means once we receive Christ as Saviour and His Spirit comes to dwell within us, then we are sealed as belonging to Him, and no one can break that seal.

So there is no real reason to fear anything that comes against us in this life. Yes, we must be careful and concerned, and some fear will always come upon us when life surprises us, but lasting fear should not ever be numbered amongst our many attributes. That brings us to this other most encouraging scripture, more words of Bruh Paul, this time to his protégé Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7)

And that’s the gospel truth friends! Through Christ Jesus we have received all the tools we need to run this race of earthly glory in His mighty name! And if you don’t believe Bruh Paul, then hopefully, you will believe Jesus, when He says: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27)

But some of you remark, that’s all well and good for Him to say so, but how do we do that in real life? Well, I believe if you follow Bruh Paul’s recipe to the Philippians you can certainly accomplish it. Listen up as he details it. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (He is coming back soon and He is always spiritually near).

Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) And there you have it my brethren; the way to find the peace of God in this unpeaceful world!

Now, that’s not always easy to do, especially with the evil and ungodly world doing their best to derail our good intentions. Meaning, it only comes through experience, in other words, through plenty practice and perseverance. (smile) But when we continually rejoice, are gracious, thankful and prayerful, with the wonderful fruit of the Spirit thriving in us and manifesting itself in our lives, then obtaining that peace of God should not be a problem.

And on top of all that, our God is so wonderful that He’s also bestowed numerous blessings on those who choose to sincerely follow His will and do His bidding. We call them our Thursday Blessings. And since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been declared, let’s go home declaring (yeah!!!) them right now nuh, so that they can be put in place for godly use.

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 duty to go out and share all those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us! That’s His ardent desire! Much LOVE!

…fear and faith don’t mix…but only through Christ…can the latter prevail…

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