Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);

Ah Lord eh people! Steups! The ole people was right yes: in this life, when is not one thing, is a blooming other yes! Chuh man! The devil get mih early this morning. I was coming downstairs a while ago, early to boot, (smile) to start writing the Bit when I had an unfortunate accident. Steups! So I had to waste valuable time, spend over half an hour cleaning up the spill and myself. Obviously I was annoyed, especially when I had argued in a lost cause for staying longer in bed. I guess the Lord really wanted to wake me up in a big way. (smile) 

And I had such a grand opening planned for today: And then it was Saturday; a day unlike the other days! One that does not follow the rules and regulations like the others. It’s a law unto itself; of the lazy, laidback, do it if and when you want it breed. No stuffy rules and regulations for Saturday. And I should have taken advantage of that lazy, laidback nature and stayed in bed! (smile) 

But we know that the Lord has a purpose for everything He allows to come our way, I just don’t know, or can’t see His purpose for allowing that accident this morning. But like the good believer I am, I’m just going to grin and bear it, and keep on keeping on. Someday I might know the reason…or I might just never. But that’s okay too, for the Lord is a good God and whatever He allows is always for my benefit, in my best interest. Sermon done! 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one, which is ever so appropriate for our world today. ‘Complacency is the forerunner of mediocrity. You can never work too hard on attitudes, effort and technique.’ And that’s the awesome truth. You can never work too hard on your life skills. But the most significant sign of a declining person and a society is its level of complacency, the level of its overall standards. When we stop building and just decide to relax on our fat fannies, dwell on our laurels or past achievements, that’s when our standards and everything else begin to fall. 

Life is a constant cycle; it’s always moving, and if you’re not moving along with it, to a reasonable extent, you’ll get left in its dust. And that’s why our society is now in freefall mode; our complacency is dragging us down; our standards are falling lower and lower every day. And that’s not me speaking, that’s history. Just look at all the old, great societies. Once they got fat and prosperous, they laid down and became complacent, and it was only a matter of time before they died. 

That’s why the next quote is important. ‘I don’t worry about maintaining the quality of my life, because every day I work on improving it.’ Yes friends, we need to constantly work on improving the quality of our lives, our standards. Now that doesn’t mean just running after material things and wealth of this world, but more about enjoying everyday life, having it more abundantly like what Jesus promised. (John 10:10) Please note one universal truth: if you run behind the material things of life, without judicial and godly wisdom, without common sense, then you’ll certainly pile them up, but you won’t be able to enjoy them, since you will always be too busy trying to attain more. 

So what’s the point of piling them up if you can’t enjoy them eh? None whatsoever! No wonder Bruh Paul advised us to use moderation in all things. (Phil. 4:5) The scholars’ term it ‘graciousness’ or ‘sweet reasonableness.’ I term it simple common sense! (smile) 

That brings us to this quote: ‘I’m never satisfied with what I do. I always think I can do a lot better.’ Now that can either be a bane or a blessing in our lives. We can either overdo it, by never being satisfied with what we’ve done, or we can be satisfied when we know we’ve done our best. 

Oh, we must always try to be excellent in whatever we do, for that’s what Christ expects of His followers, but at the same time He doesn’t want us to go overboard and be overly fussy. None of us is perfect, and some are just better at certain things because of the divine gifts they’ve been given. So please don’t compare yourself with others, that’s the surest way to bring unnecessary sorrow to your life. Just do your best and be satisfied. The Lord knows and sees your heart. 

Now there’s also the other side to that story, as this quote explains. ‘Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.’ And that’s the living truth. Fear, or the devil’s work is too big a part in too many of our lives. So much so that we can’t get around to working on our dreams. Remember some of Jesus’ favourite words were:‘FEAR NOT!’ 

And that pertains to both the physical fear of danger and the spiritual and emotional fear of not being able to work on the dreams and desires of our hearts that the Lord bestowed on us. Again, that invokes godly wisdom and common sense, which can only be truly found when we put out trust in Jesus, read His Word and believe His promises. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. And as they say, when fear knocks on your door, the best response is to send faith to answer that knock. 

So finally, we come to this last quote, which sort of encapsulates them all. ‘Pause and remember – Every single event in your life, especially the difficult lessons, have made you smarter, stronger, and wiser than you were yesterday. Be thankful!’ And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes, I’m being a li’l facetious there, because most of us don’t want to experience difficult times. But the truth is they do make us wiser and stronger than before we experienced them. 

For as James so wisely says, when talking about Christian living, faith and humility.‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith, worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing,’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation. ‘1:2-3.In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing…’ 

Yes, I know it sounds somewhat harsh and unreasonable, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t grow unless we go through adversity. It’s only in the rough times that we grow and mature, both spiritually and emotionally, so if we want to grow, we have to learn to face adversity mano a- mano. And the scholars wisely add: ‘1:4.The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

And that’s the honest truth! So if you really want to grow in godliness, you just have to bite the bullet and find joy in your trials. Remember though, that the Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and that He’ll work everything out for our good. That means He will ALWAYS be beside us in whatever trial we’re going through, holding our hands to bring us out safely and stronger on the other side. But in those trying times, like now, we have to remember the immortal words of Jesus; ‘FEAR NOT!’ Just relax in His awesome presence and allow Him to lead the way! That’s true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be overcome…through trust and faith in Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2014 1 Corinthians 2:9

1 Corinthians 2:9.    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that LOVE him.

So Friends, it’s Saturday and the weekend is well on its way. Hope you have lots of good stuff planned for it, including all the new blessings and new mercies that our omnipotent, most generous and benevolent God is going to shower down on us today. It pays to be grateful and give thanks, especially for stuff which we most definitely do not deserve. So let’s spend a moment in earnest prayer nuh. 

Please pray with me: ‘Heavenly Father, today is a new day and we give you thanks for causing us to see it. We are also thankful for your promises to look after all our needs if we walk in righteousness and obedience to your will. Unfortunately we cannot do this on our own, therefore Lord we ask you to help us stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to you and your LOVING-kindness. This we ask in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh mih people, isn’t it interesting that we cannot do what God wants us to do without His help? For sure! But there are also many times we can do better in our own strength or even with God’s help, but we don’t. Why? 

Because as our Friend Anselm, who always tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow, says in his quote from yesterday: ‘Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.’ 

And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Although Jesus assured us not fear, too many of us believers are still living fearful lives because we are sorely bombarded with all the cares of the world. Now we have to be concerned about our affairs, but even when times are bad, we don’t have to live in fear. That’s the awesome mark of a true believer in Jesus! That’s what faith and trust in Him is supposed to cure, to suppress. 

Remember what Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome? ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose…. What shall we then say to those things? If God be for us, who can be against us…? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:28, 31, 37) 

Yes Friends, if we sincerely LOVE God, and believe those truths from Bruh Paul to the Roman church, then there is absolutely no need for us to live fearful lives, but lives filled with big dreams, hungry hope and expectant faith that’s based on the solid foundation of the rock that’s our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

That brings us to our Bit, the same as yesterday, which ramps up even more the surety and confidence we can place in almighty God, our Creator and generous Provider. ‘But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that LOVE him.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, isn’t that a beautiful and assuring statement, showing how much our great God truly appreciates us. As we saw yesterday, He reveals to us the things that matter most to Him through the power of His Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Unbelievers have no idea what He’s all about…but we do. And that’s glorious! 

Now let’s continue where we left off yesterday in this important scripture passage on wisdom being God’s gift. We’ll repeat verse 13 because there are some explanations that are necessary. 

‘Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.’ (1 Cor.213-16) 

And we’ll go straight into some scholarly explanations, as there are plenty. ‘2:13. Comparing spiritual things with spiritual: The term comparing occurs only here and in 2 Cor.10:12 where the meaning is clearly “compare.” However, in classical Greek, the term was always used in a sense “to compound” or “to interpret.” 

Probably the most satisfactory interpretation is “combining spiritual things with spiritual words.” After speaking of spiritual “things,” (vv.11-13),  Paul now speaks of the “forms” in which they are conveyed. Spiritual truth is conveyed in language that is given by God’s Spirit.’ 

‘2:14. Natural man (lit. “unspiritual man”) is unreceptive. He does not admit the truth into his heart (cf. Luke 8:13; Acts 8:14; 11:1; James 1:21). As spiritual discernment is generated only by the Holy Spirit, the capacity to know spiritual truth is beyond the innate powers of the natural man. 

Spiritually discerned: The fundamental idea of discerned is that of “examination” or “scrutiny.” It is used only by Paul and Luke, and mostly of “judicial examination.” (cf. Luke 23:14; Acts 4:9; 1 Cor. 9:3; 10:25, 27). On the spiritual plane the natural man does not have the ability to sift the facts.’ 

‘2:15. The difference between the natural man and the spiritual man is primarily that the spiritual man has founded his faith on God’s revelation. He can judge now both earthly and heavenly things. He can discern what is and what is not of the gospel and salvation, and whether a man truly preaches the truth of God.’ 

‘2:16. We have the mind of Christ means that Christians possess the Lord’s own understanding, that is, His thoughts, opinions, judgements, plans, and so on. This answers the question that Paul puts in the same verse. Who hath known the mind of the Lord? The answer is, “We do!’ The term we includes the apostle Paul and to some extent all true believers, though believers today are prudent to acknowledge the superiority of apostolic insight into spiritual matters to that of their own.’ 

Oh Friends, I know that those explanations are somewhat plentiful and heavy, but they are necessary if we hope to properly understand the Word of God, be able to discern truth from falsehood and thus grow in Christ-like maturity. As Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians later on, we can’t always be drinking milk, we need to grow up and eat some solid food, some meat and potatoes from the Word. (smile) 

So please let’s sit down and take our time and read and meditate and ponder on all that’s before us, so that we can learn and truly appreciate all that the Lord’s saying to us. Much LOVE!

…like a human being needs solid food as he/she grows physically…so too do believers need to delve into the more intricate aspects of the Word and understand them…so that they can  grow spiritually in Christ…