Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2018 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.

Well friends, it’s Saturday…and yuh know what? The ole fella slept in some. (smile) But who wouldn’t want to sleep in when the spring rain is falling gently on the land, moistening and nourishing it after a long, dry, hard, ugly winter, so that the beauty of nature can sprout and gaily flourish in the spring time? 

Yeh friends, spring is God’s most colourful and productive season where He advances His grand plans for the rest of the year, letting us know through the beauty of a resurgent nature that all things are possible with Him in the lead. Glory to our great God, my people! 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes from our friend Anselm this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And it seems like he was on a happiness trip this week, because all of them either deal with happiness or being happy. (smile) 

Here’s the first one. ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’ Now that’s invariably true; regardless of your circumstances, be they good or bad, you are the one who ultimately controls your happiness, although oftimes we unwisely allow others to do so. 

And the next one says: ‘Happiness …is governed by our mental attitude.’ I guess that’s basically true, although our circumstances play a large part in our happiness. Then there’s: ‘Happy people plan actions; they don’t plan results.’  Now you might not plan the results, but you definitely put forward the actions which you believe will bring about certain results that you desire. 

Next up is: ‘The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.’ Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? (smile) Happiness depending on thoughts? But yes, they do to a large extent. And the last quote tells us: ‘Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy, and make the most of where you are.’ 

A lot of truth in that too, especially in this ‘I and me,’ selfish generation. We certainly don’t care about each other as much as we should, so it’s best if we try to enjoy where we’re at, at any particular time, without depending too much on others or our circumstances. 

That leads us to today’s Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Now friends, that is the Christian way! All this talk about striving to be happy just confuses and muddles us up. We have to learn to be content in whatever state we currently are encapsulated. 

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 to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

Yeh mih people, that’s how Christians ought to live. But remember it’s a learned behaviour, through practical experiences and the hard knocks of life, consequently, it doesn’t happen overnight. And we need to have the joy of the Lord as our strength to accomplish it. Or as Bruh Paul tells his Philippian readers: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

Now that is a magnificent verse of scripture; possibly the most endearing and reassuring for true believers. But as always, in God’s economy, we have to believe it first, before we see it. And if by faith, we don’t believe it, then we’ll never see it. That’s the foundation of our Christian way of life: all things are possible through Christ, if we believe that they are. 

So please my fellow believers, let’s stop killing ourselves to acquire the things of the world which we believe will make us happy, because happiness is but a fleeting illusion, if we depend on our circumstances, or other people, or our possessions to make us happy. Those things and people can change from one day to the next, thus will what we call our happiness. 

But if we find joy, which is a constant state and does not change with circumstances, then we’re in a much better position to live a contented life. But on the other hand, real joy can only be found in the Lord God Jehovah; in His strength, His promises and His eternal and unconditional LOVE, because they never change, but always stand steadfast and strong, and therefore can be relied upon to keep us anchored and well grounded. 

Oh friends, since we’re running later than I expected, I’ll close with this one piece of advice from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that covers it all: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Yes my faithful brethren, if we put God first in EVERYTHING that we do, we’ll want for nothing, we’ll be contented, joyful, happy and have all we need in this earthly life. That’s the promise of Jesus…and He doesn’t lie! Much LOVE!

…he who places wants above needs…will always be left wanting…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2018 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.   Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

And then it was Saturday, that long awaited day of sleeping in! ‘Yeah!’ come the joyful shouts. But others claim a big ‘Nay!’ Why?  Because they are the ones who have a lot of household chores and other stuff to do around the house that they don’t have time to do during the week. No couch surfing for them today. 

But that’s the way of life in our progressive and forward-looking society! (smile) If you want to live in what’s a supposedly first world society, then you just have to do those things that are required in it to prosper and be successful. Oh, I hope you realize that the ole fella is being a li’l sarcastic and facetious. (smile) 

Anyhow, it’s Saturday, so let’s look at some of the quotes our wonderful friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.’ 

Now that’s some thing we all strive for, but can’t always achieve, because in this fallen, mish-mash world, often are the times we have to do stuff that doesn’t make us happy. We hope that on average though, that we will have to do more happy stuff than unhappy ones. Although I recently heard that something like seventy percent of people don’t like or are unhappy in their jobs. Now that doesn’t seem to have much happiness potential. 

That brings us to the second quote: ‘The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.’ Likewise, it’s usually best to do what makes one happy, but we can’t always have it our way, sometimes it just has to be the highway. (smile)  

Then there is this: ‘Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.’ And generally speaking that’s no lie, for positive people just have this aura, like a ray of sunshine around them, that draws others to them, like bees to honey. 

However, it’s not always the good and positive kind who gather round, notice the amount of hangers ons around most celebrities today. That’s because some negative people will be smart enough to jump on the bandwagon of the positive, knowing that good things will eventually come from a positive source. Now it’s certainly better to be positive, but one has to be on the look out for the smart negative ones. 

And then we have this quote: ‘What consumes your mind controls your life.’ Another fact of life friends. Yes, the battle all takes place in our minds, and thus the things we constantly think about are what control us. So if we want to be positive, then we need to think about positive things, and if we want to be happy, then we have to think happy thoughts. 

That brings us to our last quote: ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’ And that’s gospel truth! We can’t depend on others or things to make us happy, because it’s an internal feeling, controlled by us. So regardless of the circumstances, if we want to be happy, we can make ourselves so. 

Notice how a lot of people have all the toys, wealth and excellent circumstances that the world has to offer, but they are still not happy. Meanwhile, many other folks have next to nothing but they are satisfied within themselves. That’s the secret of being happy friends; being satisfied, being comfortable with yourself in any circumstance. 

Hence the words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians in our Bit: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Wow! What a statement! The exact opposite of what the world teaches. 

Ah mih people, if we could only learn that principle and apply it to our lives…oh how much better our lives would be. We wouldn’t always be happy, but we’d be contented, satisfied, not whining and complaining about petty things like so many of us, Christians included, do nowadays. 

Listen to Bruh Paul as he explains. ‘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 to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

And how has he come by that remarkable ability? Because, as he proudly declares in the next verse: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that verse and spout it often, but it obviously does not ring true in our hearts, otherwise we would not be still tripping all over ourselves to get hold of the world’s wealth and other insignificant things it has to offer. 

If we truly follow Christ, who has promised to meet all our needs, we won’t be so consumed with the things of the world. And an important part of all that, is like the scholars say: ‘The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Yeh friends, contentment will not come overnight, but like life, it’s a process we have to go through, but if we sincerely stick with Jesus, He will eventually show us the way. Remember, He IS the WAY! Much LOVE!

…to be contented in this evil, greedy world…one must know Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2014 Philippians 4:13

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

 
Oh Friends, I certainly wasn’t able to sit on my deck yesterday afternoon and enjoy the warm, healing rays of the sun, for it was a tad chilly, just like the weather people had said. And it looks like today will be just the same. Oh the annoying vagaries of the weather eh!
 
However, with bated breath, hungry hope and expectant faith, we are patiently waiting for those ‘lazy, crazy days of summer’ to arrive. (smile) For we know that they will eventually appear, because the Lord has decreed it, just not exactly when.
 
And so, as we wait with eager patience for all that God has in store for us, let’s make, or rather reaffirm this pledge, this declaration of intent, since we have invoked it before.
 
‘I can do all things through Christ. God has new opportunities for me. I am not settling for where I am now. I’m stretching myself, and pursuing what He (God) has put in my heart. God’s plan for my life is greater than I could imagine, and I am determined to be who He wants me to be. This is my declaration of what I can do through Christ.’
 
And all of God’s people proclaimed a loud and lusty: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’
 
Yes Friends, please remember that when we partner with Christ, when we have Him and His Holy Spirit buried deep in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, when He’s our true guide and leader, anything at all is possible through His omnipotence!
 
And that’s something we Christians don’t take as seriously and believe as strongly as we ought to, for if we did, a lot of us wouldn’t be in some of the unfortunate and/or untenable situations that we’re currently in.
 
Unfortunately, too many of us simply pay lip service to our Bit. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’
 
Oh Friends, that’s a basic tenet of our faith! If we don’t truly believe that, and even more importantly put it into practice, then our faith is useless, since we can’t successfully fight the evil powers of this world in our own strength.
 
Now just before our Bit, Bruh Paul made two other famous statements to the Philippians. Speaking in appreciation of a gift they’d sent him (most likely money), he declares: ‘But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me (concern) hath flourished again (revived); wherein ye were also careful (though you surely did care), but ye lacked opportunity.
 
Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I both know 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 to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:10-12)
 
Oh my fellow believers, what mighty words, and also lessons that each and every Christian ought to learn and apply!
 
Now here is some worthwhile info from the scholars on those verses and our Bit. ‘4:10. Wherein ye were also careful, or, “regarding your care for me, you really were concerned”: Paul acknowledges that they were concerned about his needs all along, but they lacked opportunity to minister to him.
 
4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication.
 
I have learned…to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.
 
4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is, to tighten the belt in lean times. To abound means to live in prosperity.
 
Every where and in all things I am instructed (or, “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is, “well-fed” To abound means to have plenty. To suffer need means to go without.
 
Paul has acquired the skill for successfully living with little and with much, the latter probably being harder: “For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” (Thomas Carlyle).
 
4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman.
 
The reason he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances.
 
God orders Paul’s various situations, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’
 
Oh yes my brethren, it’s God’s provision that enables us to be strong and content in any and every situation. But it’s not an easy thing to accomplish and can only be learned though life’s hard lessons.
 
That’s why it’s so awfully important to have the Holy Spirit of Jesus firmly entrenched in our being, so that we can have the necessary help to face all our situations, be they good or bad.
 
Steups! And it’s interesting that I had one of those situations a little while ago. In the middle of copying verse 10, above, the power suddenly went, and I lost a little of what I had written. But I didn’t pull out my hair and scream to high heaven, as I would have done previously. 
 
Now I was unhappy and annoyed, but over the years I’ve learned to save stuff as I write, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, or has been in the past, when I had to start over from scratch.
 
So I had to reboot and all of that, and with my already waking up late, it just makes the Bit even later. I don’t like it when the Bit is late, but life happens, and I just have to grin and bear it. (smile)
 
Oh, one more thing, for those of you who happen to check out my Blog site, please accept my humble apologies for the different fonts and sizes that have been appearing on it lately. That’s not my fault. I post it properly, but somehow or the other when wordpress, my blogging site, converts it, these days it comes up that way.
 
I’m not thrilled with it all, and I’m trying to have it fixed. But until then please bear with me. Chuh!
 
Anyway, we have lots to meditate and ponder on today, to learn to live contentedly in whatever situation we find ourselves, so let’s get to it nuh. (smile) And I know it’s long, but that makes up for yesterday’s short one. (smile)  
 
And I hope that the Bit helps us all to keep our focus on Almighty God, as it’s designed to do. For that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Him (Jesus)…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE HIM…for He makes everything worthwhile…

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 November 2013 Philippians 4:12

Philippians 4:12.   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 to suffer need.

Oh Friends, sadly on this autumn Saturday morning my mind is blank. And though I’m trying to wait patiently for the words I need to flow from heaven, as Jesus promised, so that I can reach out to you with God’s LOVE, mercy, goodness, and forgiveness, they seem to be taking their own sweet time to come. (smile) But I have no doubt that they’ll come, just in the Lord’s own time.
 
Yuh know that’s the only problem I have with the Lord; His timing. He obviously wrote the book on the just in time method that manufacturers are using these days. Sometimes I just can’t handle this last minute business that He likes to indulge in.
 
But believe me people, though in our opinion, our God might be a bit tardy in answering our supplications, I can guarantee us one thing; He’s NEVER LATE! And that’s the gospel truth! I can testify to that with all my heart, because it’s happened to me often enough over the years, and not once has He ever let me down.
 
So until the Lord decides it’s time to let those words flow into my spirit, let’s check out this poem, re ‘God’s Promise,’ which I’ve shared with you before, but which is still good to hear and run through our souls every so often. I don’t remember where I got it from, but it’s very appropriate and invaluable in helping us to live a good Christian life.
 
And it says: ‘I will not fear; God is always with me. I will not doubt; God is always in control. I will not despair; God is always good. I will not falter; God is always watching. I will not fail; God is always victorious.’
 
Yes Friends, those are indeed thoughts, words, affirmations, or whatever you choose to call them, which we should hang on to for dear life, possibly make them a mantra, because each statement is indisputably true! For God is always with us, always in control, always good, always watching over us, and always victorious! Let’s never forget those things my brethren! Instead, let’s write them indelibly in our hearts, minds and souls, since they can be of great help in times of struggle or low faith.
 
And there we have it my people, the words I’ve been waiting for from heaven. (smile) I told you that our God is faithful and wouldn’t leave me in the lurch. He NEVER HAS, and NEVER WILL leave any of His children to walk the rough, ungodly paths of this evil world alone. 
 
And all God’s people gratefully declared: ‘Thank You Lord for looking out for us, although we don’t deserve Your LOVING-kindness! We truly LOVE You, and will try to improve our ungodly behaviour. We pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.’
 
Now those are most excellent sentiments Friends, but please remember we should not make promises, especially to God, unless we intend to keep them. For as Cousin Sol so wisely informs us: ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl.5:4-5)
 
Words of true true wisdom mih breddren! Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘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 to suffer need.’
 
Ah my fellow believers, being contented, though not necessarily happy, regardless of our circumstances, is an exceedingly vital and integral part of Christian maturity! For without it, we’d just go crazy, being constantly buffeted by life’s ups and downs.
 
And that steadying influence can only come from steadfastly standing on the promises of Jesus, who suffered the same highs and lows in His earthly sojourn, but found strength and succour by staying in constant contact with the Father. That’s what we also need to do my brethren, if we hope to survive the raging billows, and then the sudden calms of the sea of life.
 
Now here are some thoughts from the scholars on our Bit. ‘4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is, to tighten the belt in lean times. To abound means to live in prosperity. Every where and in all things I am instructed (or, “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is, “well-fed.”
 
To abound means to have plenty. To suffer need means to go without. Paul has acquired the skill required for successfully living with little and with much, the latter probably being harder: “For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” (Thomas Carlyle)’
 
Yeh Friends, sometimes having too much is harder to handle than not having enough. Anyway, the important thing is that we learn to bear whatever state we’re in without too much grumbling and complaining, for that’s what pleases our God. Much LOVE!
 
…earthly circumstances will change…but our God and His promises…NEVER WILL…and until Christians truly believe that…and also act on it…Christ’s church will never become all that it’s capable of becoming… 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2013 Philippians 4:12

Philippians 4:12.   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 to suffer need.
 
And the band played, as the people lustily sang: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Work soon done, then it’s my time to play, my time to party! Yes work soon done, then is my time to play, my time to party!’
 
But hold on a minute Friends, please don’t jump off the deep end so fast. Now some partying is good for the soul, but like too much of anything, it can either get boring or too rip-roaring and thus cause us to go astray, consequently allowing the evil one to gain a foothold in our souls. And that my people we must try to avoid at all cost.
 
So let’s stop for a moment, let the euphoria of Friday simmer for a bit, while we put on our thinking caps and find some wisdom to lead and guide us successfully through the weekend. And we’ll start by sincerely chanting our Friday Chant, which gives us the right attitude for handling the weekend.
 
All together now: ‘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.’
 
Yes my brethren, that’s what we need when the weekend rolls around, a shot of circumspection, so that we don’t run lose like wild animals and lose our God-centred focus.
 
Now there’s one new disaster to contend with, as though we didn’t have enough worldwide. The super typhoon Haiyan apparently hit the Central Philippines this morning, with winds roaring up to 195 miles per hour. Mama Yo! A hundred and ninety five miles an hour!
 
Yuh know the amount of disaster and destruction that can cause mih Friends! There will most likely be plenty loss of lives and lots of physical destruction, so please, I implore us to pray for them in their time of dire need, and also help however else we can, for that’s our sure duty as true believers.
 
Ah Lord eh! There isn’t a day that passes by without some kind of bizarre catastrophe taking place in our world, either natural or man-made. But the good thing my people is that as followers of Christ we don’t have to get too low or too high about whatever happens, for we know that come what may, the Lord is firmly planted in our corner.
 
For as Bruh Paul tells the Philippians in our Bit: ‘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 to suffer need.’
 
Now my brethren, that’s how the Christian ought to be able to live. And I daresay that I have reached a fairly mature point in that respect, because I’ve been around long enough – don’t read or think old – (smile) and have gone through enough ups and downs to appreciate both the rough times and the good ones.
 
As a lot of things in Christianity, it’s a learned behaviour; one you can only truly acquire through experience. And the one thing I have going for me in that regard is that though I like nice, expensive things, it doesn’t rile my soul if I don’t get them. I’ve been dirt poor and I’ve also hung out with some wealthy folks, but truthfully, I don’t like either end of the spectrum.
 
I have to thank the Lord that I’ve never been a greedy, ‘gravalicious’, ‘wanty-wanty’ person. My feet have always been firmly planted on solid ground, and at this stage of my life, I’ve done some of all that the Lord’s put in my heart, though not to the extent that I would have liked. But I’m a prisoner of hope, Glory Hallelujah! And I am still waiting patiently for Him to fulfill those desires to a greater degree. 
 
But Friends, I know the glitzy, glamorous things of the world, the lifestyles of the rich and famous are causing havoc in many believer’s lives today because they want to be able to live the same way. But as I keep saying, we don’t know what they’ve done to get what they have, they’ve most likely sold their soul to Beelzebub.
 
Now that’s something you surely don’t want to do. Unfortunately though, many of us are indeed doing it. We need to stand strong though and resist that temptation. Granted, none of us want to be poor, but being rich also has its inherent problems.
 
Oh I know you’re going to say, I’ll take the rich problems rather than the poor ones. But please remember that our God doesn’t judge us by our possessions or outwards actions, but by the motives of our hearts. So all the possessions and good deeds don’t mean a thing if you’ve sold your soul to Lucifer. 
 
For as Jesus asked of His disciples: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt.16:26)
 
Now that my Friends, is a question each individual has to answer for him or herself. But I just want to let you know that the correct answer to that is, NOTHING OF THE WORLD should be able to purchase our souls!
 
In fact they’re not for sale, because Jesus has already bought and paid for them with His selfless sacrifice upon that old rugged cross at Calvary some two thousand years ago!
 
And all God’s people shouted a most grateful, ‘Praise the Lord for His wonderful goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ And that’s as it should be my people!
 
We’ll end here for today, because it’s already long and I don’t want to tire us out by having to read too much heavy stuff. (smile) So we’ll continue this message tomorrow, obviously if the Lord’s in favour.
 
Till then, please let’s go safely, constantly walking and talking with God, so that He’ll bless and keep us and cause His wonderful countenance to shine upon us with peace, wisdom and LOVE! Much LOVE!
 
…it’s not easy…but Christians must learn to be satisfied…contented in whatever state or stage they’re currently at…because that’s exactly where the Father wants us…at that particular time…