Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2019 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   ​And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
 

Well my Scrip-Bit brethren, in these northern climes, it’s a chilly Monday morning out there! Yes, it’s winter, so what else do you expect eh? ‘Oh we tired with it!’ comes the sullen reply. ‘Chuh! We tired with the snow and the ice…and the cold…and all the other problems that winter bring!’ But that’s nothing new eh? It’s something you ought to be accustomed to by now… 

‘Foolishness!’ is the angry reply. ‘Who could ever get accustomed to that nonsense eh, much less like it? That’s why they call it the winter of our discontent! Every blooming time it comes around we discontented, so much so that we get sad and miserable and develop the winter blues, what they now call some big name…can’t even remember the blooming thing…Oh…Seasonal Affective Disorder! Yes, it happens every winter season, so how you could tell me about being accustomed and contented eh?’ 

And there is a point to be made there my people. When the dark, gloomy, often sunless, snowy and slippery days get into your blood, it’s hard to be enthused about the weather, especially if you have to be getting around on P2 (on foot). But as believers in Jesus Christ we have a somewhat different take on the situation (smile). 

We are encouraged to believe the best, even when we experience the worst. Now that’s not easy to do, or even comprehend, but with the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, if we’re serious, we can overcome all odds. 

And for those of us who are shaking it rough this Monday morning, let’s apply some salve to our wounds nuh; let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, call upon the omnipotence and mercy of our heavenly Father to give us some succour down here on a turbulent and ungodly earth. 

All together 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!’ 

And yuh see friends, our prayer has barely reached up to heaven when it’s quickly answered! Note the smiles on our faces now; the lifting up of our spirits, and the desire to get out there and work diligently and excellently for Jesus! That’s what we call the awesome power of prayer! With sincere heart, right motives and strong belief, any and everything is possible in Jesus’ realm! 

But the responsibility to call out for help, through prayer, remains solely in our hands. If we don’t ask in prayer, we won’t get. And that needs the power of belief, both to get us to pray, and also for us to expect whatever we’re praying for to happen. And Jesus says it quite plainly in our Bit: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ 

Oh my people, please remember that TWO conditions are necessary there; asking for in prayer, and believing. If those two aren’t present, then all bets are off. As Jesus also said earlier on: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?’ (Matt.7:7-11) What an interesting question my people! And yuh see how Jesus builds up to it, ever the logical philosopher! (smile) 

Now hear these explanations from the scholars: ‘7:7-10. The three imperatives ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continued prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (vs.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves no excuse for failure.’ 

Yes friends, we have no excuses if we don’t pray, or if our prayer requests fail. As James, in his two cents worth on the topic declares, (wrong again): ‘Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (murder), and desire to have (covet), and cannot obtain: ye fight and war (battle), yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (earthly pleasures).’ (James 4:2-3) 

It couldn’t be any plainer than that nuh my fellow believers. We either don’t ask, or ask for the wrong things, for the wrong purposes, and ‘instead of wrestling with God in prayer,’ we ‘are striving with one another.’ 

So today, let’s consider our lives nuh, both our earthly relationships as well as our prayer life. Let’s ponder on how we treat others and the things we ask for and the motives behind them. Then as always, let’s ask God for His help to do better. He will NEVER refuse such heartfelt pleas! Much LOVE!

…if the heart and the purpose are not right…then Lord will obviously say NO…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2019 James 4:7.

James 4:7.   ​Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
 

Beautiful…white and beautiful…but oh so dangerous…slippery like and eel…and treacherous and deceptive like the serpent who personifies our enemy Satan! That’s the snow covering our neighbourhood this Friday morning! (smile) And sadly, we in the northern climes are bracing ourselves for even more of the white stuff because we’ve been promised a major snowstorm this weekend. 

Let’s hope the duchess and I just have to stay inside and look at it and admire its beauty, but don’t have to venture forth in it, cause remember we’re not as mobile and steady as we once were, we’re not spring chickens any longer…but contrary to popular opinion we’re NOT old, just advanced in years! (smile) So for all of you in the wintry climes, remember, as the man says, if you don’t HAVE to go out, then DON’T go out! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself this winter’s morn. And I like how he’s ever so enthusiastic, regardless of the circumstances: ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend is here, which means is time to party! And though they calling for plenty snow, yuh think a li’l thing like snow going to stop me from enjoying mih li’l two days off from the slave master work? 

No way Jose! My time is my time, my time to enjoy whatever catches mih fancy! And if ah want to play in the snow, I’ll play in the snow. But if I just want to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire and sip something strong and warm, then that’s what I’ll do! It’s freedom time, come the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes in this ungodly capitalist society!’ 

Now there’s a wonderful idea for this snowy weekend; cuddle up in front of a roaring fire with a hot toddy and just commune with whoever you’re with and with God! Let the world go by however it wants to, since there’s nothing you can do about it. Just luxuriate in the warmth of your home and the comforting LOVE of your wonderful God! 

And all of God’s children declared (right ho) a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Praise Him and give Him much thanks for His undeserving goodness and mercy to us!’ Yeh friends, we must NEVER forget the goodness of God in our lives, for it’s the ONLY thing that keeps us from an even more miserable existence. 

Now let’s respond to the workingman’s exuberance with our more controlled Friday Chant. Chanting in unison: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes mih people, it’s not as exuberant and fun LOVING as the workingman’s song, but it suits our purposes very well, reminding us of our purpose down here on earth, to work for Jesus, and helping us to stay out of the clutches of the ever-hovering enemy. And as true believers, we like it! Glory be! Anything that keeps us out of Satan’s evil grasp is certainly welcome! 

That’s why friends, we have to pay particular attention to James’ warning: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’  Yes my brethren, there are two things we need to do to stay out of the enemy’s clutches. The first is submit ourselves to God; then actively resist Satan’s advances! And we know that in this world he’s always lurking around offering lust and pride and other immoral and ungodly ways of life. 

But as James continues: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8-10) 

And the scholars offer this explanation re the above verses: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 (worldliness and pride). Resist the devil: Do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3: 57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’ 

Oh friends, please check out those scriptures, for they all show God’s welcoming hand to all who turn to Him. And we’ll close with these inspiring, reassuring and warning words from Peter on the subject. (smile) ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5: 6-11) 

Oh my people, we could not ask for more fervent and reassuring scripture this cold, snowy Friday January morning! So please let’s take it to heart and follow it nuh! That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…submitting to God…resisting Satan… 

 

 

 

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 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 10 February 2018 Matthew 5:20.

Matthew 5:20.   For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Oh friends, out there is like a true winter wonderland! Everything is as white as ever, for as far as you can see. And the white stuff has begun coming down again, at least in my area. Chuh! 

But that’s the Lord’s will. There isn’t anything we can really do about it. It’s winter, and that’s what happens in winter. We’ve just been lucky over the last few years not to see so much snow, so early in the season. 

But remember, anything God brings us to, He will bring us through. So if you have to go out today, please be careful, because that white stuff, though it may look beautiful on the ground, like the enemy it can be very deceiving and dangerous. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one. ‘When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.’ And why would you want to do that eh? It’s your life. You have to control it. 

Now check this out. ‘All the days that you wake up, you got one job, and that’s to get better every single day.’ And that’s oh so true, especially for a Christian. We need to aspire to grow in maturity and Christ-likeness every day that we draw breath. 

That leads us to: ‘Clear your mind of can’t!’ Wonderful advice! For as a believer in Jesus Christ, ‘can’t’ is not supposed to be in our vocabulary, since ALL things are possible with God, and we are God’s chosen people! 

And here’s an interesting one. ‘If you wanna fly, you got to give up the useless stuff that weighs you down.’ Is that ever so true friends! You can’t fly, or prosper, or take off, or rise up if you are being weighed down by useless and unnecessary stuff. 

Note how they carefully pack airplanes and ships for balance, and consider how much stuff is placed in them, otherwise they won’t be able to lift off the ground or sail. The same goes for people, improperly placed and unnecessary baggage will hold us back. 

And this last quote says: ‘If you do not go after what you want, you will never have it. If you do not ask, the answer will always be NO. If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.’ 

And that is certainly true, but for believers a serious proviso has to be added to it: All we do, must be done under the will of God, His leading, and in His awesome timing! If not, our seeking will be to no avail; we’ll never truly fly, or write a good life story. And I do hope those quotes give us something to ponder this snowy Saturday morning, as we laze around the house. (smile) 

And we have a very interesting Bit today; memorable words of Jesus, as He talks about the law. ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ 

Wow mih people! Imagine that nuh! And those people were supposed to be the most religious in their day, but Jesus lambasted them right, left and centre for their hypocritical behaviour. 

Hear how the scholars explain it. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered those people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. 

In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action.                                  

              Law                                           Spirit                         

             No Murder                               No anger

              No adultery                            No lust

              No divorce                               Commitment

              No oath-taking                      Speak the truth

              No retaliation                        Forgiveness

              Hatred for your enemy       LOVE for your enemy                  

             (tradition allowed it)                  (commanded)

Ah mih people, yuh see the basic difference between the laws of man and those of God. Our God expects us to come up to a higher standard than that of the basic law. Just living by the law is not good enough. And the scribes and Pharisees didn’t even truly live by the law that they propagated. 

Unfortunately, so do a lot of us supposed Christians in these end times. Some of us put on a great outward show, talk a good talk, but behind closed doors it’s an entirely different story.

But please remember Jesus’ words; unless we are more righteous than the religious leaders of His day, we won’t enter heaven. Now, that’s something of immeasurable value and importance for us to ponder this Saturday morning. Much LOVE!

…unless you walk the walk…in God’s eyes…where it really matters…talking the talk is useless…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2018 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.   This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Well friends, at last it’s Friday!  Glory be! Now what it is about that work that we dislike so much eh, even when we have so many modern amenities that makes it so much easier? (smile)  Our forefathers couldn’t even imagine or dream about the stuff we have now, and they willingly went to work. 

That’s possibly because they knew for sure that if they didn’t work, they wouldn’t eat. But nowadays we have so many layabouts who eat and live well without even raising a finger. Could it be that’s the fault of our over indulgent society? Well that’s something to ponder on later. (smile) 

But right now the ordinary but ever so proud workingman is singing his Friday song. ‘TGIF! Thank God it is Friday and labouring finish for another week. And yuh know, I thought hard work was done with long time now. But apparently I was wrong, for all that missing from slavery time is the whip and the dogs, they still have the guns and them! 

Everything else is still the same. Deh trying to enslave we mind now though, rather than we body with iron shackles. But tell them for me, that that won’t work either. The same way we escape from the physical shackles, we going to escape from the mental chains. And we going to start doing that right now, by enjoying the weekend as if there was no tomorrow! 

Brother, come what may, we going to party and carouse, and carry on fuh so. And if we too sick and tired to go to work on Monday, then let massa fire we nuh. He still ain’t going to get he slave work done! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes! Because if the massa had he way, we’d work seven days straight every week without a break!’ 

Ah mih people, it’s always sad to realize that a lot of what the ordinary workingman says is so true. Our modern day economies are going backwards rather than forwards in terms of employee satisfaction, employees are not being treated as well as they should be. 

The problem though is that the ordinary workingman is taking the wrong road in trying to solve the problem. Instead of carousing and catering to his carnal will, he ought to turn to Jesus and do His will, like we try to do. It’s all about purpose and the right way my brethren. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant, which shows a marked difference from the workingman’s song. In sincerity and truth now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, the big difference is that we don’t go overboard in our carnality, and thus lose control of our senses. Instead, we turn to Jesus to rejuvenate us, so we can continue doing good work in His name, for that’s what this life is all about. 

Ah mih people, it’s good to enjoy some aspects of fleshly living, that’s why God gave them to us, but we have to know where and when to draw the line, so that we don’t allow the enemy to encroach on Jesus’ territory in our hearts and souls. That’s why Bruh Paul admonished the Galatians so strongly, when he said in our Bit. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

And what does that mean? Hear the scholars: ‘5:16. Walk in the Spirit (i.e.; “live by the Spirit”): Christians are to live with the Spirit’s help. How does one “live by the Spirit”? (1) The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with him, having been sent by God into his heart (4:6). (2) In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit.

(3) One must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to live a God-pleasing life (v.5). (4) The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. The believer who “lives by the Spirit” will not fulfill (accomplish, carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful nature).’ 

There you have it friends, a general explanation of how to walk in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit that dwells within us is supposed to lead and guide us in ALL of our activities. That’s why the Lord gave Him to us. As Bruh Paul says earlier on: ‘And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.’ (Gal. 4:6-7) 

Yeh mih people, as soon as God adopts us, He sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts, to give us an awareness of Himself. And having been granted such a wonderful station in life, sons of God, heir of God, through Christ, it now behooves us to behave in a son-like and heir-like manner. 

So please let’s take a minute today and ponder if we are indeed behaving son-like, heir-like and Christ-like, as we should, then ask the Lord to help us improve in whatever area(s) we need improvement. He will NEVER turn down such a request. Much LOVE!

…walking in the Spirit…is like walking in the Garden of Eden…just demanding more attention…

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries