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 19 September 2018 1 Timothy 6:12.

1 Timothy 6:12. ​   Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.

 

One more time unto the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yeh, I’ve got another medical appointment this morning, that’s why the Bit is so early again. The good thing though is that I don’t have to go into Toronto, it’s just some diagnostic testing not too far down the street from me. 

But I do have to fast for it, and fasting, or rather forced fasting and I are not the best of friends. The ole stomach is here growling away on me, calling for food, but I still have a few hours to go until I can grant it its request. (smile) But as they say, it’s all for my benefit. So just suck it up, grin and bear it! 

That brings us to this bit of good advice attributed to James J Corbett (1866-1933), the American Heavyweight fighter, better known as ‘Gentleman Jim.’ He advises: ‘Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round.’ And that from someone who knows what He’s talking about through personal experience! 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we Christians are called to do; fight one more round, even though we feel at the point of exertion, be it physical, mental or emotional. Oh, I know many of us are tired, what with all our personal problems, including health, wealth and friendship matters, but as believers, we’re not supposed to give up. Giving up doesn’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. 

And further still, they say that the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, so if you’re seeing what you consider a very dark hour, please believe that relief is right around the corner. Remember the mind is the most powerful tool in the world, and what we believe we can achieve. We have to use what resources we possess to our best advantage and keep on keeping on. 

As Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy in his first missive: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (LOVE of money, hurtful lusts, material wealth.); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ 

And as the scholars say of our Bit: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possess spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah mih breddren being a true believer in Jesus Christ is not easy, but since we have declared ourselves to be true believers, we have to just keep on keeping on. And it’s not like we don’t have ample resources and encouragement, assurance and help to fight our earthly battle. We do! Namely all the resources granted to us as believers in Jesus Christ; the biggest and most important ones being salvation and eternal life. 

As the Good Book declares: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) Oh friends, that provision alone ought to be enough to encourage us to stand strong and live and defend our faith. Which other faith has that sure promise eh…with the sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ to back it up eh? NONE! 

And then we have so many other promises of God, who has a good plan for every life, with a hope and good future. He’s also promised never to leave nor forsake us; to hear our prayers and pleas when we diligently and sincerely seek Him; to bring us out of the fire unscorched; to take us safely through the flood, and most of all grant us a Deliverer, a Messiah, one to sacrifice and atone for our sins, which He did through His only Son Jesus Christ becoming flesh and offering His sinless life upon the cross at Calvary so that our sins could be washed white as snow. 

Glory to God my people! For He has done all that He’s promised, and if we do what we’re supposed to do, then He will do the rest. The Lord will not do it all for us. He requires us to put in an effort on His behalf, since we’re partners in this New Covenant. So though life might be dark, dreary and difficult, we do have all the tools necessary to fight the good fight. 

And hopefully, at the end of our days, we’ll all be able to proudly say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy: ‘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 also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

Yes mih breddren, what a joyful day that will be! But until then, let’s keep fighting the good fight nuh, and as a promise of our faithful intentions, go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our current position in Christ. All together now, let’s wail: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And the future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can imagine. So think on that nuh! Much LOVE!

…when life gets difficult…consider our rewards in heaven…and the glorious future promised us there…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2018 1 Corinthians 9:24.

1 Corinthians 9:24.   Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.

‘On your marks; get set; Go!’ Yeh friends the race of life continues in earnest this Monday morning after the brief respite of the weekend. As soon as the trumpet sounds, you have to be off and running, if you want to be successful in this race. It’s not a simple sprint, but a long distance venture. 

So though you can’t run it all in one spurt, there is still no time to waste, no time to make excuses and just plod along. If we are entered under Jesus’ flag, then we have to give it our very best; make hay while the sun shines. So let’s get a move on nuh. The enemy’s runners are already gathering steam, and we can’t afford to let them get too far ahead of us. 

And to help bolster our spirits, let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty spunk and enthusiasm, knowing that it will raise our adrenaline levels and give us the jolt that so many of us desperately need. In unison now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah mih breddren, what an exciter and encourager that prayer is! (smile) Now let’s hit the road, dressed in Jesus’ colours, heads held high, with a strong sense of purpose; that being winning the race of life in His name. Glory to God! 

And we all know Bruh Paul’s famous statement to the Corinthians about running their race, which is a most appropriate Bit for today. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.’ Yeh friends, we have to run so that we can win, otherwise it doesn’t make any sense running. 

And the scholars offer this explanation of Bruh Paul’s remark. ‘9:24. Paul draws on a scene familiar to his Corinthian readers in order to drive home his point. The Isthmian Games were an athletic event known to all his readers. They were held on alternate summers in the vicinity of Corinth. It was an event not to be missed by anyone of importance in all parts of Greece. As a national institution, it was familiar to his readers as modern football to most Americans.’ 

I would probably compare it more to the modern Olympic Games, since more people know about that than American football. Anyhow my fellow believers, it is of the utmost importance for each of us to run our earthly race to the best of our ability. The Lord has given each of us the talents He wants us to use in running this race, so let’s use them nuh; stop hiding our talents, our lights under a bushel, let the world see them as the Lord desires. 

Now here is another famous treatise on running our race, this time from the author of Hebrews. He eloquently and enthusiastically declares: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.” (Heb.12:1) 

And the great cloud of witnesses that he’s talking about, are the saints and martyrs noted in verse 11, who had run the race before us. People like Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Abel, Enoch, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barack, Samson, Bruh David, etc. etc. So it’s not like we don’t have many earlier examples to follow. But in the process, we also have to remove any impediments that might be weighing us down, (physically or spiritually) and living by faith, so we can be lithe and light and move swiftly. 

But then he mentions the greatest example of them all: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’(Heb.12:2) 

Yeh mih people, there was none whatsoever like Jesus: He blazed the trail for us, perfected the course and won with significant achievement. He despised the shame and dishonour that was involved in sacrificing His life, to save us. That’s why the Lord exalted Him, to a name above every other name, and one to which all knees will eventually bow.  

And yuh know what friends, if we run this race with faith and perseverance, we too will be honoured significantly at the end. Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth 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 that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

And what a day that will be my people! So let’s keep running with faith and patience nuh, so that we can win our crowns when we see Jesus. It will all be worthwhile then. Much LOVE!  

…the race is not for the swift…but for the sure of foot….and the strong of heart…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2014 Matthew 24:13

Matthew 24:13.  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.


O Friends, you all have to excuse the ole fella yes, because it’s ‘Summertime, And the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumping, And the cotton is high. Your daddy’s rich, and your mama’s good lookin’, So hush little baby, Don’t you cry.’
 
Yes my people, those memorable lyrics of the George Gershwin song, ‘Summertime,’ were particularly apt last night. Oh, and just so you know, my daddy wasn’t rich, but my Mama Molly was sure good lookin’! (smile)
 
And it’s not like I did anything special last night. I just hung out some with the duchess, then when she went to bed, I listened to some music and watched the first half of the Argentina – Netherlands soccer game.  But it certainly kept me up until the wee hours of the morning – two o’clock, I believe.
 
And though I know that Willie Shakespeare said something in one of his plays about going to bed late means being up early, I didn’t arise until six o’clock this glorious summer’s morn!
 
Let me warn us right now, I’ve never been an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy, more of a night owl, so if the summer weather stays as beautiful as it is, don’t expect to see the Bit early every day. For when the summer magic and craziness hits me, I am liable to get involved in stuff that doesn’t include, or rather, precludes going to bed early. (smile)
 
And there, now that I’ve warned us, let’s see what else I have to say for myself? Nothing really nuh, for the sleep is still enveloping my mind, the caffeine hasn’t taken effect as yet, the allergies are acting up, and I’m simply asking the good Lord to help me endure. What a way to practice what you preach! (smile)
 
And my brethren, asking the Lord to help you endure is never a bad thing; in fact it’s always a wonderful way to go, especially since in our Bit, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ so seriously warns us: ‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’
 
So as true believers, we are ALL expected to hang in until the very end! And you don’t need to tell me that that’s not always easy, because I’m experiencing one of those hang in there, enduring times right now. (smile)
 
But Friends, please remember that with our serious buckling down, and with Jesus’ generous help, we can endure any and every thing! And it’s so important that we do, since almost everything in this wide world calls for some kind of endurance or another.
 
So, like the last couple of days, let’s continue looking at some interesting and important scripture passages on endurance and enduring. Listen to Bruh Paul natter at poor Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 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.2:3-4)
 
Yeh mih breddren, a good soldier endures all that comes against him! And like Bruh Paul and Timothy, we’ve been chosen to be soldiers by Jesus Christ in His wonderful army. That means we need to endure hardship, with a smile, if possible. Hn!
 
Meanwhile, James, in talking of patience in affliction, says: ‘Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman (farmer) waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish (establish) your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (has come near).
 
Grudge (grumble) not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
 
Behold, we count them happy (blessed) which endure. Ye have heard of the patience (perseverance) of Job, and have seen the end of (intended by) the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful (compassionate), and of tender mercy.’ (James 5:7-11)
 
What a hard row to hoe my people, but vitally necessary amongst believers!
 
Now hear Jesus to those who had followed Him after He miraculously fed them. They weren’t really interested in the miracles, just looking for more physical food. ‘Labour not for the meat (food) which perisheth, but for that meat (food) which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.’ (John 6:27)
 
Yes Friends, in real life we throw away lots of physical food because it cannot endure, but as believers, we need to seek spiritual food that lasts, that’s not here today and gone tomorrow. And only through close association with Jesus Christ can we find that kind of everlasting food.
 
And we’ll end as we began, with memorable words from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, 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 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 also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:5-8)
 
Oh my people, my people, it is imperative that when our last days on earth are drawing nigh, that we are able to say words similar to those of Bruh Paul, because we have, obviously with God’s help, endured everything that’s been thrown at us!
 
If we can say that in all truth, then we’ve done our best, and there’s nothing to worry about, because that’s all our wonderful God expects of us; our very best.
 
So today, and every day hence, let’s ensure that even if we do nothing else, we endure for Jesus’ sake. That’s wisdom from above! Much LOVE!
 
…I have fought a good fight…I have finished my course (race)…I have kept the faith…oh how beautiful those words sound at the end of every believer’s life…  
 
P.S.  And who says I’m not truly enduring this morning eh, since the ole computer decided to freeze on me just as I was about to send out the Bit. Ah Lord eh! The Lord surely tests us on what we preach! And I’m not even done yet! (smile) But with the Lord’s help, the ole fella is enduring! Glory Hallelujah! Much LOVE!