Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 
Well the sun seems to be fighting a valiant battle out there against the dark, evil clouds that want to cover it up and shut it out from providing light for our day. But yuh know what friends? Whether the sun wins, or the dark clouds prevail, we will still be awright, in fact blessed, because we have the GREATEST, the ONE and ONLY, Jesus Christ in our corner, and He has the power to make ALL things right! Glory to God! 

So we don’t really have to be overly concerned about whether the sun shines or not, since Jesus is the true LIGHT of the world! Give Him much thanks and praise my people! And to further sweeten things, without His selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, and His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday, we’d all be headed for Satan’s hell instead of Jesus’ heaven! 

Wow mih breddren! No amount of thanks can ever be sufficient for those acts of selflessness by our Lord and Saviour! So let’s just worship Him, and praise Him, and give Him all the glory nuh, like we should, instead of trying to cozy up to Satan and his evil buddies, who only have evil in their hearts and no LOVE at all for their fellow man. 

No, we definitely should not be kow-towing to their values, their beliefs, their self-serving culture, seeking to build up their earthly treasures, because it all goes against the very grain of what our Leader Christ teaches us. Our concerns should be more heavenly than earthly. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have to pay serious attention to our earthly life, but that our focus should not be so steadfast on it, that we lose sight of our life to come in heaven. 

Remember what Jesus said yesterday: that wherever our treasures are stored up, that’s where our hearts will be. (Matthew 6:21) Well the same way He declared to the Father, re our worldliness: ‘I have given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:14-17) 

Ah friends, once we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and His Holy Spirit comes to indwell us, we automatically become enemies of the world, hated by it because our ways don’t conform to their evil ways. And they shouldn’t because Jesus teaches a whole different way of life; one of LOVE and caring, compassion, grace, mercy and forgiveness, and the world holds most of those things in scornful disdain. 

So as Bruh Paul said so unequivocally to the church at Rome: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) Yes friends, we are to steadfastly resist being poured into the same mould as the world, for we are only pilgrims, sojourners here on earth, and our real home is in heaven. 

And the battle all begins and ends in our minds! That’s because the mind controls our actions. So that’s where the evil one keeps fighting for supremacy. But if we keep Jesus steadfast in our hearts and sight, we will be able to defeat the enemy.

And as John in his epistle so sternly admonishes: ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.’ (1 John 2:15) 

It couldn’t get any simpler or clearer than that my fellow believers. Satan is the ruler of this world, and if you LOVE the things in his world, then you cannot have true LOVE for the Father too.

As Jesus so rightly said: ‘No man can serve two masters…Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ (Matt.6:24) And that’s gospel truth. So if the things of the world are our main focus in life, then I’m sorry friends, but we don’t truly have God in our hearts. That’s just the simple logic of the situation. 

And what’s the solution to the whole ‘confuffling’ situation? Again, Jesus provides us with the simple and straightforward answer: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Ah my people, please remember that God is the Creator and Provider of all good things, so it is certainly possible for Him to provide the things that we need in this world to live it successfully, but we have to be obedient to His will. It’s that simple. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (Spelled it right! Glory to God!) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on His followers. All together now in strong voice, for remember a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

‘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 those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to go out and share with the less fortunate. That’s Jesus great desire. So let’s go out and do just than nuh my faithful brethren! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus can indeed be tough…but just think about all the wonderful rewards…both earthly and heavenly…that moths will not eat…that will not decay…or be stolen…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2018 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15.   LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.

Oh friends, like Job so famously said, we can’t expect to receive good all the time and no bad. That means we can’t expect glorious sunshine every day, there must be some rain too. And really, the rain’s not bad nuh, it’s just the opposite of sunshine, and it is in fact very good itself, for if we had no rain there’d be no food crops or beautiful nature to admire, just a dry, brown inhospitable desert. 

Hn! And all of that just to say it’s a rainy day in my neighbourhood today. (smile) Now here’s a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. Don’t know if I’ve shared it before, but when I read it yesterday, it reminded me so much of our behaviour, that I just had to share it. It’s titled ‘Divided Heart,’ like ours are so much of the time. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord I am so often tormented By my lack of clear direction – So often disturbed By my divided heart. I am like a little child Who wants to rock her doll And jump rope at the same time. I want to obey You in part If I can choose the area of obedience. I want to be real except at those moments When compromise is more appealing. I want to be half-motivated And half-satisfied with things as they are. 

I want to walk a straight path If now and then I can enjoy A few side trips into the far country. I don’t want to be a miserable sinner but neither do I feel excited About being a stoic saint. I want to be partly Yours And partly my own. But in the secret chamber Of my divided heart I am so often disquieted By the pointed question: “Why do you so foolishly Mix weeds with seeds?” 

Now isn’t that a very good question my brethren? We all do it at some time or the other, because we find it difficult to surrender our ALL to Christ. And oh, do we ever want to choose our areas of obedience to God! But God wants it ALL! And isn’t it a good thing, that when we foolishly take a side trip into the far country, like the prodigal son did, He welcomes us back with open arms when we come to our senses! 

And yuh know what friends, there’s no reason to be a miserable sinner or a stoic saint, because we’ve become a new creation in Christ, which puts us on firm and solid ground, makes us able to go to the Father with confidence and ask for whatever we need, with Jesus right there advocating on our behalf. So there’s no need to compromise; just take it ALL to the Father in prayer! 

And the Bible Promise for that prayer is also our Bit for today; those famous words of John in his first epistle. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.’ Yes my people, it’s that simple. As Jesus said, you can’t serve two masters at the same time; you can’t serve God and mammon (earthly wealth) too. (Matt.6:24) 

And John continues: ‘For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:16-17) 

That puts it so plainly and simply my people; all the evil things of the world will one day disappear, go up in smoke, but those obedient to God’s will, will live forever Now it’s your decision to make; whether you’ll go up in smoke, or live forever.  

And the scholars tell us: ‘2:16. World for John signifies the evil desire and sin so much a part of human existence.’  Therefore we are to sincerely pledge our loyalty and devotion to God first and foremost. Like Jesus said: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things (worldly needs) shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

And we’re going to add Bruh Paul’s voice to it all, as he wrote to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Yeh friends, again we’re reminded that it all takes place FIRST in our minds; that’s where the change needs to be made before it can me manifested anywhere else. Unless we bring our minds into true acceptance and conformity with God, His will and His word, we’ll continue to follow the unhealthy and ungodly value systems and evil conduct of the world. Nuff said! 

Now for those of us who have made the right decision and are truly trying to be righteous, (smile) let’s go home sincerely acclaiming to the world, our position in Christ, by declaring our Wednesday Wail. Altogether in strong voice now: ‘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 what a glorious future that will be! Our puny minds can’t even imagine it. But we know that it will be great, because Jesus promised it! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus…is the wisest decision a human being can ever make…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2018 Proverbs 16:18.

Proverbs 16:18.    Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (stumbling).

And then it was Wednesday; the midway point of the workweek, but yet another glorious day seems to be in the offing in my area! This spring weather is really outdoing itself yes! (smile) 

But unfortunately not all around is wine and roses and glorious weather, because the Hawaiian people are still being plagued by their convulsive volcano, and those things can be so temperamental that you never know what they’ll do or when. So please, let’s continue praying for them and helping however we can. 

And this morning I’m going to give us a few reminders about what is what in our faith. (smile) First off, please remember that ‘Faith gives us that inner joy of dreaming again.’ Yeh friends, it’s the presence of faith, catapulted by hope that enables us to dream. Without them dreaming wouldn’t happen. 

And remember too, that there’s ‘Serenity in the LOVE of God.’ In fact that’s the dwelling place of Serenity, so if you don’t have the LOVE of God within you, then you won’t be able to achieve Serenity. And lastly, this one is ever so important, remember that ‘Your ego is not your amigo.’ 

Definitely not mih breddren! Our ego more often than not lines up as our enemy, because it’s pride based and has us panting for the things of the flesh and behaving in a fleshly manner. So when it begins to cozy up to you, please check it very carefully before you accede to its desires. 

I guess that can only lead to a lesson on pride and egotistic stuff. (smile) Thus our Bit: ‘Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (stumbling).’ And we all know that to be gospel truth! 

Unnecessary pride and haughtiness and a rather bombastic ego never last long. How could they eh, when the Lord declares amongst the seven things He thoroughly dislikes is ‘a proud look (haughty eyes).’ (Prov.6:17a) 

And Cousin Sol continues later on in Proverbs: ‘The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward (perverse) mouth, do I hate.’ (Prov.8:13) 

Meanwhile Isaiah declares in his condemnation of Ephraim: ‘Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim…The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden (trampled) under feet:’ (Is.28:1,3) Yeh friends, those that are full of pride shall eventually be brought low. That’s why Cousin Sol advises after our Bit: ‘Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil (plunder) with the proud.’ (Prov.16:19) 

And the big thing nowadays is to be in the upper echelon of society, to walk with the rich and famous. We boast about whom we know and associate with in the corridors of power. But friends, that show doesn’t get us any place really, for what happens when our supposed rich and famous associates are no longer rich and famous eh? 

And it something that happens everyday. Being rich and famous isn’t guaranteed for a lifetime, especially if you flaunt your worldly assets in people’s faces. You know the ones who put you up there will bring you down even faster than they put you up, and take even more joy in doing so. 

Remember the scripture we recently quoted from the prophet Obadiah re the destruction of Edom. ‘The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as (high as) the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.’ (Obad.3-4) 

Yes my brethren, pride and power and pomp and glory and fame and riches do not make the man that God desires. I think John says it best in his first epistle. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (physical desires), and the lust of the eyes (personal desires), and the pride of life (self-interests), is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

That’s the word of the Lord my people. And if we believe that it’s true, then if we are wise, we will pay serious attention to it, and try to follow it as best we can. What more can I say eh? We all have to make these personal decisions for ourselves. 

Now let’s go home joyfully declaring our position with and in Jesus through our Wednesday Wail. In strong and sincere voice now: ‘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 for those of us who wisely plod on to the end, will that future ever be glorious! Much LOVE!

…if the Lord hates it…then it doesn’t make sense to have it…and He surely hates pride…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2018 John 17:15.

John 17:15.    I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one).

And as one working day morphs into the next, we suddenly discover that it’s Friday…but another Friday with a twist; Friday the 13th, considered by many as an unlucky day, where all sorts of disasters happen. Hn! 

For a society that prides itself on being so advanced in our thinking, we surely don’t seem so forward thinking when we consider the many superstitions we still live under, like believing that 13 is an unlucky number, and Friday the 13th is a day unleashed from hell itself. 

And the sad part is that no one really knows where most of these superstitions originated from, but they do abound in the most advanced society of mankind’s long history. But that particular superstition seems lost on the ordinary workingman as he sings his Friday Song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and we don’t care if is Friday the 13th or whatever you want to call it. As far as we concern, Friday is the beginning of our party time, freedom from the bondage of work. So you can do what you want with your superstitions and them, but they won’t stop our having a good time come Friday. Wow! The weekend is here at last! Party animals get ready! As we thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

Ah mih people, what a crazy world we live in, one where almost anything goes, as in the workingman’s song. But as followers of Jesus, we Christians cannot afford to be so footloose and fancy free. Yes, we are allowed to party and have fun, but with some rules and restrictions, where the workingman has none whatsoever. 

We’re in a spiritual battle for our eternal lives, and if we cater to the hedonism and licentiousness of the world we can get ourselves in serious trouble by allowing the enemy to breech our walls. That’s why Jesus set some boundaries for His followers. And consequently, our Friday Chant differs substantially from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh with heartfelt gratitude. 

‘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.’ 

Oh my believing brethren, we can never be reminded too often of the necessity to keep ourselves out of the evil clutches of Lucifer’s world, because he and his cronies are always looking for a way to inveigle us into something that doesn’t fit our status and standard as believers.

That’s why Jesus prayed in our Bit: ‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). 

Yeh friends, Jesus doesn’t want us to be taken out of the world, because we can only spread the good news of His gospel by being IN the world, but we should not be OF the world. In other words, a part of the evil world system, for how can we change it, if we are a part of it eh? Not very likely. So precious people of God, we need to live IN the world, but not do as the world does. 

As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind; that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Oh my people, please remember that the battle for supremacy is basically waged in the mind, so whatever the mind holds worthy, that is what we will do. That’s why, when we are born again we have to transform our minds, change our way of thinking from that of the world, to that of Christ, so that we can do God’s perfect will. 

And James puts it thus: ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:27) 

Oh friends, it is indeed difficult to keep ourselves unspotted from the world since it is so all-pervasive, abounding in every aspect of our lives. But if we are sincere and try our best, with God’s help, we certainly can. Now let’s close with these beautiful and encouraging words of John from His first epistle. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

How very true all of that is my fellow believers! All the stuff that the world holds dear will eventually be destroyed, but God’s will won’t.

So please, let’s stop kowtowing to the things of the world nuh; stop engaging in the lustful aspects of our sinful human frailty, stop allowing our flesh, our eyes and our pride to make us a part of the world. That’s wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…only by following God’s will…can believers be IN the world…but not OF the world…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2018 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Good news friends; after about three days of wet weather, it’s cloudy but dry in my neighbourhood! Wow! Let’s hope the sun comes out later to make it an even more pleasant day. But even if it doesn’t, we still have the awesome light of the SON shining brightly in our lives, and He is more than sufficient to meet ALL of our needs! Glory to God! 

And without further ado, let me share something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, but is it ever so appropriate for our currently trying and troublesome times. It’s simply titled ‘Grow Up.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Picture it with me: a piece of gnarled bark tossed to and fro over the crashing breakers. First one direction, then another, back and forth, over and under. Aimless. No set purpose. Drifting…always drifting. What an accurate picture of an immature Christian. Nothing but spiritual puttering. Up and down, in and out. 

One study group for a few weeks, then another. One church for a while, then another. Undisciplined, unsteady, one day soaring, the next day wading in self-pity. No consistency. The apostle Paul tells us to grow up! Not grow older, but grow up into Christ. 

What we are today is more important to God than what we were yesterday. Our life journey with Jesus is now – this very day, this very hour. Why yearn for change if we’ve made no effort to follow the direction God has already given us? 

To grow spiritually we must be single-minded. Our one goal? To be conformed to the image of Christ. He longs for our willingness to let Him root us, cultivate us, water us. Above all else, God wants our total commitment. He will take anything we give Him except second place.’ 

And isn’t all that the gospel truth friends? It surely is! God wants our total commitment, but we’re not prepared to give it. We want to hold back stuff from Him. But that won’t work. As I said yesterday, God doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone! Only one fiddler in His band; that’s Him! 

And what we don’t seem to realize is that being a Christian is a process, a journey, like going to school; you begin in ABC (kindergarten) and work your way up through elementary, secondary and tertiary levels. But you must put in the effort required at each level if you wish to be successful and proceed to the next. 

Christianity is exactly the same; you get to know Christ and become more like Him by first putting your entire trust in Him, then studying His word, being obedient, sincerely and constantly praying (communicating) and thus gradually growing in His image; slowly – from glory to glory. 

But unfortunately today we have a whole lot of wishy-washy Christians, who talk a great talk, but don’t know the real Christ. We jump from church to church, apparently seeking what we want to hear, and not what the word really says. And the sad part is that plenty churches seem to preach that heresy. 

But friends, there is ONLY ONE WAY to truly grow in Christ, and that’s the one advised by Bruh Paul to the church at Rome, our Bit for today. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

Yes my brethren, it all begins and ends in our minds. The battle between a true relationship with Christ and one with the world is fought primarily in our minds. That’s why they say, as a man thinks so is he. Therefore, if we want to be born again and grow in Christ, we have to let go of the things of the world, we have to stop conforming to what the world wants us to be. 

As James so blatantly puts it: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be (wants to make himself) a friend of the world is the enemy (makes himself the enemy) of God.’ (James 4:4) 

John though puts it a little nicer: ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17)  

That’s it in a nutshell friends; we can’t be friendly with world and be friendly with God at the same time! So let’s stop trying to do it nuh. Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, that the Lord has so graciously bestowed on us who truly believe and are obedient to His will. 

In sincerity and truth 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 everyday! Amen!’ 

Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s spoken over someone. So let’s go out and generously speak those blessings over others nuh, for that’s why God gave them to us. Much LOVE!

…sitting on the fence is not an option…you’re either FOR God…or AGAINST Him…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2017 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

And then it was Wednesday…another brand new day of mercies and God’s everlasting goodness! Wow! Are we ever blessed my fellow saints in Christ! And I do hope that we truly appreciate God’s LOVING-kindness, else we’ll be missing out on a lot, foolishly shortchanging ourselves. Anyway, that’s a sermon for another day. (smile) 

Today, we’re going to get right into our Bit. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ As we said yesterday, you cannot enjoy the good things of God, unless you change your way of thinking, adopting the way God thinks, instead of the way the world operates. 

The scholars offer this explanation: ’12:2. Be not conformed  (lit; “stop conforming yourselves”): They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’  

And the important thing there friends is to RESIST being made like the world. We have to consciously and forcefully resist the world’s titanic efforts to swallow us up in its evil schemes and dreams, because it is an unrelenting force that never stops trying. 

And the only way we can resist is by having the mindset of Christ, keeping us resilient and ever strong. Remember friends, all that we are and do begins and ends in our minds. As Sister Joyce’s (Joyce Meyer) book title indicates, it’s a battlefield, ‘The Battlefield of the Mind.’ 

And that’s no lie, for all our battles are first fought in our minds, then we put whatever it is we think into action. That’s why they say be careful what you think about, because whatever is uppermost in your mind will be revealed in your actions. 

Now listen to this cerebral quote from Dallas Willard (1935-2013), American Philosopher, great spiritual thinker and writer. He says: ‘The ultimate freedom we have as human beings is the power to select what we allow our minds to dwell on.’  Selah! 

Yeh friends, ponder that for a minute nuh. We have total control over what we think about, but like everything else we need to practice it continuously, for the enemy is always around trying to put unholy and ungodly thoughts into our minds. But when we know who we are in Christ, and consciously take control, then we can fight tooth and nail to keep our minds in a Christ-like state. 

Our minds are like a garden; it must be carefully and continuously tended, otherwise like a normal garden, the weeds and other unwanted stuff will spring up and choke the good seed. And as Jesus says, that’s when ‘the care(s) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’  (Matt.13:22b) 

Yeh mih people, if we want to be fruitful for Jesus, we have to stay attached to His vine and carefully tend the garden of our minds, otherwise we’re liable to lose whatever fruitfulness we might have. As I heard Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller) say the other day: ‘Good thoughts bear good fruit. Bad thoughts bear bad fruit.’ 

And that’s indisputable truth my brethren. So let’s try to keep good thoughts circulating in our minds nuh, so that we can bear good fruit for Jesus. Now here is another very important sister scripture to our Bit, this time from John’s first epistle. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17)  Oh friends, it couldn’t be stated any simpler, and yet as profound! 

Now hear the scholars: ‘2:15. LOVE not the world is a command implying that action now in progress must cease: “STOP LOVING THE WORLD!” There is, of course, one sense in which Christians should LOVE the world, since God Himself did and does (John 3:16). But in the sense of pledging personal loyalty and devotion to one’s whole being and means, Christians are to “LOVE” God first and foremost (Deut.6:5; Mark 12:30).’  

And all God’s people declared a loud and sincere ‘Amen!’ 

Now here is some more important info from the scholars re ‘Temptation.’ ‘2:16. Though all people are tempted differently according to their individual weaknesses, temptations follow patterns. They appeal to three fundamental areas of life: (1) the lust of the flesh (physical desires; (2) the lust of the eyes (personal desires); and (3) the pride of life (self-interests). 

Illustration: When Satan caused the fall of the race, he appealed to each of these areas of weakness (Gen. 3:6). He also appealed to them when he tempted Christ (Matt.4:1-11), who defied Satan’s temptations by relying on the authority of the Scriptures. Application: The Christian today should also depend on the Scriptures to defeat temptation. (First Ref. Gen 3:1-6; Primary Ref. 1 John 2:15-17; cf. Rom.5:12).’ 

And having taken in all of that, (smile) and we do have the God-given capacity, let’s go home proudly and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know that we’re on a long and wonderful journey with Christ. 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, let’s weep for joy that we are in Christ, and that He is in us! Much LOVE!

…to truly know Christ…is to be totally enamoured of Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2017 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Oh friends, the week finally finish! Glory to God! And for us Canadians, after the Caribana weekend, it was indeed a short week. So now we have a li’l time to rest and recuperate from all that exhilarating action. (smile) 

But for some really exuberant folks, the weekend will always be the time to totally celebrate the couple days off from work. Consequently they are now excitedly shouting: ‘TGIF! TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The Lord give us two days to party, so leh we party hearty nuh! 

We can’t afford to waste the li’l time we have for weself in foolish thinking about work and all the other nonsense. Just let it all hang out, free up yuhself and doh worry about nothing till Monday! That’s why we have the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

And I dare say that many of us believers would like to let it all hang out on the weekend, (smile) but we know that is not the Christian way; that is the way of the world. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the weekend, but just that we need to put some limits on the ‘carefreeness.’ 

We definitely don’t want to be dissolute and licentious and give Lucifer any opening whatsoever to come against us. We need to think more like our Friday Chant says: ‘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.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s the Christian way; we enjoy the time off, get some rest, relaxation and fellowship, so that we can handle the upcoming week with new energy and enthusiasm. 

If we don’t apply some limits to our life with some resuscitation along the way, we’ll just keep going downhill until we burn out completely, and worst of all, won’t be able to do a good job on Christ’s behalf, which is our major calling. 

So though we may feel to let it all hang out on the weekend, let’s hang in there, persevere with some circumspection, remembering that we are disciples of Christ, ambassadors for His kingdom and we can’t afford to behave like the world does. 

That’s why Bruh Paul was so emphatic to the church at Rome as our Bit declares: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

That’s only basic common sense friends, for the world does not recognize the things of God nor His kingdom. So if we want to be true followers of Christ we need to abstain from a lot of things which the world thinks is right, but which our heavenly Father totally abhors and detests. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ’12:2. Be not conformed  (lit. “stop conforming yourselves”): They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’ 

And since most of us won’t go and read that verse, I will spoon-feed us. (smile) Peter in his call to Christian dedication, says: ‘As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.’ Meaning we should not go back to being the old kind of persons we were before we found Christ and put on the ‘new man.’ 

Now let’s look at a couple of scriptures which also admonish us to stay away from the evil, ungodly world. Listen to James: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of  (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) 

It’s that simple friends. As Jesus said: ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon (the world, material possessions).’ (Mat. 6:24) So you obviously can’t serve the One True God and also worship, or idolize, or run behind the material possessions of the world. 

And we’ll conclude with some of the most authoritative words on the subject from 1 John. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.’(1 John 4:15-17) 

Oh my fellow believers, it couldn’t be put any simpler and plainer than that. As Christians we ought to LOVE God and do His will first and foremost. 

Remember Jesus’ words to the hypocrite Pharisee who asked Him. ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus saith unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:36-38). 

So friends, let’s go and do just that nuh, for it is the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…that’s the Christian’s mandate…

 

 

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