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 17 September 2020 1 John 5:5.

1 John 5:5.     Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Well it’s Thursday! We’ve gotten over the hump of Wednesday and every eye is now focused on Friday; that magical day that just seems to lift our spirits with the thought of the no work weekend just around the corner. So what are our plans for today eh friends? I hope they are to live life to the full, while doing the work God has set out for each of us, to the best of our ability. 

For as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes so truthfully proclaimed, having searched after truth, pleasure, wisdom and whatever else the world had to offer, as only he had the means and time to pursue: ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ (Eccl.12:13) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, that is all we’ve been called to do down here on this earth; sincerely reverence our wonderful Creator, and do whatever He has asked us to do, in other words, faithful obedience to His holy will. Now is that so difficult to do? Yes, at times, with the state of our world, it is very difficult to accomplish, as the enemy exerts all his pressure on us to follow his will instead. And with our inherent human nature of fear and doubt that evil, demoniacal pressure makes it even harder. 

But the good news my brethren is that once we’re walking faithfully with Jesus, we do have the means, the wherewithal to avoid, to throw off the enemy’s evil attempts to keep us weighed down in sin and bondage. Christ, by His most sacrificial death on the cross has set us free! But as Christ so plainly said: ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ (Matt. 16:24) Yes friends, we have to take up our own cross, die to self, and follow Him, if we want to be truly free of the enemy and his lying, deceitful ways. 

We have to fully embrace Christ and all that He stands for if we want to successfully fight the enemy. And we not talking here about physical war, but a spiritual one, because that’s where the enemy focusses most of his attacks; in our spirits, our souls, our minds, where his manipulative powers can do the most damage. But as we’ve been saying, with Christ in us, and we in Him, we can do anything, because He’s given us the power, the awesome power to fight the enemy mano-a-mano, without fear, and convinced of victory! 

Yes my people, John boldly proclaims it: ‘For this is theLOVEof God; that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome). For whatever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith.Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’(1 John 5:3-5) Mama Yo! What powerful words of assurance and victory my bredrin! Hundreds of years later, after encountering Jesus in person, John agrees with Cousin Sol that keeping the Lord’s commandments are imperative to our well-being. 

And Bruh Paul adds his own commentary on the subject in his first letter to the church at Corinth. ‘The sting of death is sin: and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15:56-58) Ah mih people, victory and rewards are assured, but we still need to fight some battles, especially spiritual ones, and can do so very successfully with all the tools that’s been granted to us by the Lord. 

So let’s take a quick look, really a remembrance (smile) of those spiritual tools in our arsenal nuh. Bruh Paul refers to them as spiritual armour in his missive to the Ephesians. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ (Eph. 6:11-12) So that means we fighting in the spiritual realm, against demons, world rulers and other forces of darkness and evil, including the prince of darkness, Lucifer himself. 

And since no true soldier goes into battle without protective gear, this is the armour we, the soldiers of Christ, need to successfully stand up to the enemy. Our loins must be girded with truth; the truth, the knowledge of God’s Word. That would be the belt holding the rest of our armour in place. Then there’s the breastplate of righteousness. We talking here about Holy character and moral conduct; obedience to the truth which produces a godly or righteous life. 

And we can’t go into battle without proper footwear, and in our case our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. That means a sense of eagerness or willingness to fight, to advance against the enemy, to take the fight to him. For remember the best method of defence is attack! And then mih bredrin, we need the shield of faith, so that we can stop the fiery darts of the evil one and his evil cohorts. That means taking God at His word, using the faith based promises to strengthen us in times of doubt. 

And we can’t forget the head gear, protection for our heads is invaluable. There we need the helmet of salvation; that’s the hope, the certainty, assurance of salvation; knowing that we’re saved and can’t lose it. Now we can’t go into battle without some sort of weapon to fight with. And ours is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God! 

Brother! I won’t want to bounce up that sword in battle nuh. For remember what they say about it? ‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’ (Heb. 4:12) Now that’s the kind of sword you want to go into battle with! 

But yuh know what friends, with all that armour, you still can’t win the battle unless you have the most important and powerful tool in the universe; prayer. As Bruh Paul says: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) Yeh friends, prayer is indispensable; without it we can never achieve victory! 

So having reviewed, rather lengthily, I must say (smile) our earthly job and spiritual protection, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, wonderful accoutrements that have been endowed on us to help us do God’s work, for He never asks us to do anything without giving us the grace, the power, the anointing to do it. 

All together in strong, sure and sincere voice: ‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And the usual corollary is now invoked: let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously as they’ve been shared with us!Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…you soldiers of the Lord… 

P.S. Yeh, it sorta long, but that’s how and where I was led, and I think it’s good. (smile) Hope you do too. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2017 John 10:10.

John 10:10.   The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

And then the rains fell – soft and gentle upon the thirsty land. Oh friends, what a joy it is to see and hear the rain falling gently, especially when you’re lying in bed with your special someone beside you! (smile) 

Oh yes, the rain fell in my neighbourhood most of yesterday afternoon and last night. And thankfully it wasn’t a great flood-like outpouring of water, but a constant, steady drizzle that resembled a gentle caress rather than a fierce bear hug. 

And I believe both the land and its inhabitants benefit more from that type of rainfall than big, gushing streams of water all at once. 

Now here is a quote attributed to Jürgen Moltmann (April 8, 1926 -) a Reformed German theologian and Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. 

He is most noted as a proponent of his “theology of hope” and for his incorporation of insights from liberation theology and ecology into mainstream Trinitarian theology. Whatever that means. (smile) 

But he is obviously a man of some learning and some importance in the church, and thus we should pay some attention to what he writes. ‘The more passionately we LOVE life, the more intensely we experience the joy of life.’ 

And that my people is gospel truth! The more we LOVE life, and throw ourselves into it, the greater joy we receive from it. It’s all about the passion we bring to whatever we do, especially the living of life itself! We can’t always hide from life, for that’s unhealthy. 

But as the devotion from our One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness tells us. It’s better to ‘live the drama, LOVE it, cry with it, and at times even hate it. Choosing to live life on its terms brings enthusiasm and passion into our experiences. 

Our decision to LOVE life – despite the highs and lows – allows us to delight in the highs and to accept the lows as unavoidable, but momentary setbacks. Although hiding from reality can sometimes insulate us from the pain, it also blinds us to the joys and wonderment of living fully.’ 

Now we all know that the basic philosophy of our Christian faith is to live life to the full, as Jesus our leader declares in our Bit. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ 

And the only way to have a truly abundant life is by getting passionately involved with it, whether it be for good or for evil. 

Obviously it’s much better to live a passionate life entrenched in goodness, by being fully yoked to the aims and desires of Jesus Christ, so that we can enjoy all the good things, the wonderful rewards He has in store for those who sincerely believe in and work for Him. 

Unfortunately though my brethren, that passion for Christ that we’re talking about seems to be sadly lacking in His church these days. 

A handful of us might be showing such passion, but most of us are simply just plodding along, taking life as it comes, which we sometimes need to do, but generally speaking, not responding with the energy and enthusiasm we need to overcome it. 

Please note that Jesus didn’t just give us abundant life, He had to painfully earn if for us, by sacrificing His sinless self on the cross. So who are we now to just expect to go through life without any problems eh? 

Remember what Job said to his wife in the middle of his calamity? She said to him: ‘Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) 

Yeh friends, it’s not easy to accept calamity with a smile, but when we look at the overall picture, sometimes we need to do it. We just cannot afford to let life dig us into a hole in both our circumstances and our emotions, because that’s a hole from which it is often very difficult to get out of. 

Now here’s an interesting explanation from the scholars on those two verses from Job. ‘2:9. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it is no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. 

But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen.50:19-20). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear in the book again.’ 

Good riddance! So friends, in general, what we bring to life, is what life gives to us. But at times, life can be quite contrary, so as believers, we need to stand strong and with the help of Jesus, fight life on our terms, not on his. And we can only do that when we bring a strong and passionate LOVE for Christ to the table. 

Now let’s go home declaring that passion we have for Jesus in our Tuesday Mantra. ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and action that LOVE…with passion. Much LOVE, my faithful brethren in Christ!

…from today…I will be enthusiastic about life…regardless of what it brings…