Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 January 2012 Ephesians 4:23.

Ephesians 4:23.        And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;   

Now that’s more like it! There’s a hint of sunshine in the air, not the total murkiness we’ve suffered for the past couple of  days. Sunshine has been so lacking that lights which are recharged by sunlight have not been coming on because there hasn’t been sufficient sunlight to recharge them. I wonder what’s happening to those who use solar powered equipment in their homes, like on their rooves to provide heat, if they don’t have a large storage of that solar power.

It’s a good thing that we don’t have to worry about our spiritual power, because we have Jesus, the ‘awesomest’ power person there is, rooting for us in everything we do! But first we need to put our trust and faith in Him, believe in what He says, and live the way he directs, otherwise His power won’t work in us. It’s all conditioned upon our sincerely accepting Him as Lord and Saviour and doing His will.

And when we do that…Brother! Such new vistas will open before us, exciting things will begin happening, good changes will be made in our lives, in fact a complete turnaround will take place, and we’ll wonder why we hadn’t accepted Him into our hearts and lives before. As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17)

Yes friends, when you’ve found Christ, you become a brand new being. As the scholars put it: ‘When a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation,” and perceives Christ in a new way.’ And that’s borne out by the words of Jesus, first to Nicodemus, who came by night seeking information from Him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3)

It’s a spiritual rebirth my brethren! And unless it happens to us, we won’t see the kingdom of God. It’s as simple as that. And Jesus drives home that point later on when He tells the disciples: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Now that’s laying it all on the line. And it is the indisputable fact; without Jesus, we are very limited in what we can do.

And when we accept Him as Lord and Saviour, we make a break with the old things of our lives. We have to, because all the old carnal, sinful, fleshly stuff doesn’t work in Christ’s domain. That means a lot of new things, interesting changes must happen in our new life with Jesus, if we are to abide in Him, and He in us. As Isaiah writes: ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider ye the things of old.’ (Is. 43:18) And the wonderful thing about it all my people, is that once we come to Christ, our union with Him abides forever!

But here are some interesting words from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians, on some of the practical changes that we make when we come to Christ. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct of) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph. 4:22-32)

Yes my fellow saints, just a few practical changes to make when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour! (smile) But seriously though, we desperately need to consider how all of the above resonates in our personal lives, because it’s all a big part of our current angry, strife -filled world. And it’s not always easy to differ from the world, but we must, if we are to fulfill Christ’s mandate.

The major aspect though is a change in our mindset, because it’s in our mind that all the battles between the old and new take place. That’s why Bruh Paul wrote: ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.’ (Eph. 4:23) Now, the only way we can do that is through purposeful meditation on God’s word, sincere prayer and the genuine encouragement of other believers. And, since we’ve already pondered the Lord’s word, and encouraged each other, let’s go to Him in prayer now, through our Friday Chant, asking for His divine help and guidance.

As one strong, confident, but humble voice. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, please remember that we just portrayed ourselves as faithful believers, and unless we live up to that promise, the Lord won’t answer our prayers. Much LOVE!

…being a new creation in Christ is wonderful…but it’s not always easy…we have to keep at it…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2020 Isaiah 43:19.

Isaiah 43:19.     ​Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Well it’s another bright and sunshiny day out there, but probably the last warm one in this long run of Indian summer days! But yuh better believe that we in the north country up here are very thankful for them, for it’s been a long time since we’ve seen so many consecutive warm days in November! Thank You Lord! 

And today is Remembrance Day, where we stand and acknowledge and remember the many who fell in the crazy wars of the last century. ‘Remembrance Day was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth. It was originally called “Armistice Day” to commemorate the armistice agreement that ended the First World War on Monday, November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m.—on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.’ Yes, that was supposed to be the war to end all wars. 

Hn! What a joke! For twenty something years later, another mighty world war broke out! What a waste of human life eh? And sadly, nothing much has changed. There are still way too many strife-filled countries in our world, and still way too much religious, economic and political differences that only lead right back to warring words and the modern term ‘terrorism,’ cowardly attacks on innocent, unsuspecting people. But I guess from the first killing, that of Cain on his brother Abel, man’s lust for blood has taken centre stage. 

But since this is Remembrance Day, let’s remember; first with as someone puts it: ‘The most sacrosanct and central element in Remembrance is the Two Minutes of Silence.’ – Silence  

And now, let’s really remember through the immortal poem‘In Flanders Fields’ written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres.  

Read with me: ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,LOVEDand wereLOVED, and now we lie,  In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw  The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’ 

What can I say eh? Not a whole lot nuh! But here’s this tidbit of info. ‘The symbol of Remembrance Day is the red poppy, which grows on the First World War battlefields of Flanders (in Belgium) and northern France. As the artillery barrages began to churn the earth in late 1914, the fields of Flanders and northern France saw scores of red poppies appear.’ 

Now is that symbolic or what? Death and Birth at the same time! Only an amazing and awesome God like ours could frame such a situation. And with our world currently in a state of pandemic and strife, we need that awesome and amazing God even more than ever, for without His grace, mercy,LOVEand forgiveness, our world willNEVERreturn to some sort of calm. It willNEVERbe like it was before, but some form of peace with less anxiety and frustration and uncertainty won’t return until we make peace with Jehovah God, until we return to His fold, until we give up our sinful, evil, wicked ways and start being obedient and obeisant to Him! 

That brings to mind this awesome scripture from the prophet Isaiah to his people, Israel, on behalf of the Lord their Redeemer, in one of their times of ‘sufferation’ for gross disobedience. ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.’(Is. 43:18-19) 

Oh friends, that was always God’s desire for Israel, and He showed them it as He moved them through the wilderness to the Promised Land. But all along they stumbled and turned away from Him and were subsequently afflicted. Now we are in the same godless, sinful position, and the Lord is putting forth that same standing promise for true believers and obedient nations. He is willing to do a new thing in our lives and countries if we are willing to turn back to Him and truly live in obedience and obeisance to His will and word! 

And I never thought it was possible for people to be more foolish than the Israelites of old nuh, but I’m ashamed to say that this generation is so. In times of prosperity, the Israelites often turned away from God, but when they found themselves between a rock and a hard place, they quickly turned back to Him and were received with opened with arms. But we, this proud, knowledgeable, know it all, but yet illiterate generation, refuse to do that, even though nothing we try in our own strength is working! 

As Bruh Paul prayed for the Colossians: ‘we desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his (God’s) will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.’ (Col. 1:9b) Yeh friends, that’s how Bruh Paul usually prayed for the churches he dealt with. Not that they had less problems or such stuff, but that they would be filled with wisdom and knowledge of God. That His will would be revealed in their lives. And that is exactly what we need to pray for in these turbulent and uncertain times: ‘That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge.’ (1 Cor. 1:5) 

Oh my people simply praying for God to heal us and our land is not enough, will never be enough! We need to pray that we know Him, the One and Only True God more and more, both personally and societally! That will lead us to better, more godly behaviour: ‘That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.’ (Col. 1:10) 

Friends, we need to seek God very deeply and very sincerely RIGHT NOW, if we want our world to improve. That’s just the simple truth! And for those of us, the relative few, who are endeavouring to do so, let’s go home now declaring (awright!) our wonderful position in Christ through our Wednesday Wail! 

All together 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!’  

Now let’s see that through the eyes of faith and endure till the end, because our future will indeed be more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…only when we sincerely seek the Lord…will a new thing spring forth…