Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 October 2022 Romans 6:23.

Romans 6:23.       The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ah friends, can you believe it’s already the last day of October; what we term Halloween Day, a pagan ritual to darkness, evil and the making of money! Yes, the dark night will be filled with young children going around their neighbourhood dressed up in ghoulish, ugly costumes, crying, ‘Trick or treat!’ hoping to get some candy from the house owners. At one stage it also involved fruits, but then wicked people began putting things like razor blades and other sharp, harmful objects in the fruits, so now it’s mostly a candy-based operation. 

Remember how once upon a time the dentists would caution us against too much candy? But apparently those days are over, for the dentists, like the retailers, also seem to welcome the brisk business they get from Halloween. Hn! It’s all about the money, and any evil or foolish scheme that will fill the coffers is fair game. But as true believers, we have to resist the devil and his deceitful schemes and instead of accepting his darkness and lies, seek, accept and nurture within our souls the light and truth that’s Jesus Christ! 

And He said it out loud and clear. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6). Then there’s this other concrete pronouncement to the unbelieving Pharisees. ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) Thus, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ‘the way, the truth, the life and the light’ of this troubled world. If you want to come out of the darkness and into the light, and find the way, which is based on truth, that leads to eternal life, then He is the answer! 

Now, that’s why Bruh Paul warned the Corinthians thus: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship (in common) hath righteousness and unrighteousness (lawlessness)? And what communion (fellowship) hath light with darkness?’ (2 Cor. 6:14) Now those are very good questions, but the answer to both of them is absolutely nothing in common! Although light and righteousness should be always trying to invade darkness and turn unrighteousness around. That’s one of our jobs as a disciple of Christ. We don’t hook up with those who don’t believe in hope and goodness, don’t let their toxic energy cannibalize our godliness, but do our best to turn them around. 

And these words of Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus also remind us of the great care we need to take regarding darkness and unrighteousness. ‘Let no man deceive you with vain (empty) words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now ye are light in the Lord: walk therefore as children of light. (For the fruit of the Spirit (Light) is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.’ (Eph. 5:6-10) 

Excellent words for us to remember and live by! And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘5:8. Darkness indicates that the readers used to be spiritually unenlightened and accompanying this ignorance was immorality with its resultant guilt and misery. Light denotes that the recipients are now to be religiously informed. Their knowledge of the truth is attended by moral purity and happiness.’ ‘5:10. Because of constant temptations and solicitations to evil, believers must always be proving or discerning what is and what is not acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

Then these words of James anchor us even more to the truth and the light. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried (has been proven), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust (desires), and enticed. 

Then when lust (desire) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin: and sin, when it is finished (full grown), bringeth forth death. Do not err (be deceived) my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:12-18) 

Yes friends, the unchangeable Father of lights made us with the word of truth to be the shining light of His creations. But the devil, the prince of darkness tries to mess up our witness with his evil temptations, not God. And please note that the temptations that James is speaking of here are different from the ones in verses 2-12. In our verses ‘the source is identified as internal, from one’s own lust, and the outcome is death. 

In verses 2-12 the “temptations” or trials have an external origin in that they fall on man. Those trials cannot be avoided, so believers are encouraged to endure them, and mature as a result. The temptations of verses 13-15 must be avoided, according to God’s express commandments (Rom. 13:14; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22). The progression of sin, from temptation to death, has an analogy in the physical life cycle: conception, birth, maturity, and death.’  

Wow! Isn’t that last sentence rather interesting? It surely is! That’s why Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: ‘The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) In other words: ‘Wages: Emphasizes what we deserve. Gift of God: Emphasizes God’s unmerited favour.’ And sadly, right now our world is in a terribly sinful state, so you know what we are looking at; death, rather than life. But there is always hope when you believe in Christ, so let’s call on that hope right through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. 

That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now it’s time to turn from our sinful ways, keep on praying and asking for forgiveness, so that we receive eternal life and not death. Much LOVE!

…only two options in eternity…life…or death…your choice… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2021 Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8.     ​Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.

Ah mih people, the days just keep rolling along, from one to the other, without any apparent recognition of mankind’s many problems. Some things change, while others remain the same, but throughout it all, we still need to deal with all sorts of controversial situations and upheavals, not knowing what will happen from one day to the next. But those ole days don’t seem to care at all, they just keep doing their thing; running changelessly into each other, detailing weeks, months, seasons, years, and even centuries. 

But fortunately for us, there’s been ONE Being, that’s remained constant over the many topsy-turvy days of mankind, that’s our Creator: Almighty God. Yes friends, He’s been there from the very beginning…and wonder of wonders, He’ll be there right to the very end! And why is that eh? Because as He says in His word, He is unchangeable, immovable, immutable, irreplaceable, the ONLY Living God! So let’s hear some scripture that will remind us of our God’s omnipotence, omniscience, omni-presence, steadfastness, unchangeability and immutability. 

And we’ll begin with His message to Cyrus the pagan king, through the prophet Isaiah. ‘I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (to its setting), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ (Is. 45:5-7) And yes, the Lord does create physical evil or calamity, not moral evil or sin. And yes, the Lord did use pagan kings, like Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzar as conduits to fulfill His eventual will. 

Moving on, we come to Malachi, where through that prophet, the Lord confronts His people Israel about turning away from Him and their lack paying tithes. He says: ‘For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?’ (Mal. 3:6-8) 

Oh friends, that’s the exact thing the Lord is saying to us today, and the very same answer we are giving Him. We have turned away from Him, and instead of returning to Him like He desires, we are trying to turf Him and His ordinances out of our society. So what can we expect but calamity eh? 

Now listen to the author of Hebrews, as he talks of service well pleasing to God. ‘Remember them which have the rule over you (who lead you), who have spoken unto you the word of God; whose faith follow, considering the end (outcome) of their conversation (conduct). Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers (various) and strange doctrines (teachings). For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats (foods), which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.’ (Heb. 13:7-9) 

But do you think we have followed, or are following that directive? Oh no sir! Instead, we are being led away by a whole set of strange teachings and proceedings that don’t profit those who practice them. Steups! How sad it is my people! And then we wonder why our world is in such a mess. 

So, let’s now consider James words on the subject. ‘Do not err (be deceived) my brethren. For every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variations, unexpected, unforeseen changes), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will he begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:16-18) 

Oh my people, our God created everything that exists, and mankind as the jewel of His creations, that’s why He so desires to redeem us all, and not lose any to the enemy. And he gave us His holy word that we should walk in it. But being the disobedient, stubborn, hard-headed creatures we are, we have refused to do so, with disastrous consequences to our ungodly actions. 

Now here is the last scripture from John the Revelator, from the mouth of Jesus Himself. ‘And behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.’ (Rev. 22:12-13) All I can now say friends is that wisdom dictates that we return to the waiting arms of our Creator. And if you agree, then please join me in offering up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in heartfelt prayer. 

As one sincere and humble voice now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now let us go and keep our solemn vows to our wonderful, forgiving and LOVING God! Much LOVE!

…God is the ONLY thing in this universe that has NOT changed…and will NEVER change…whether you believe it or not is immaterial… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 March 2021 James 1:17.

James 1:17.     ​Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.

A good Tuesday morning to all you my beautiful, wonderful and faithful friends in Scrip-Bit Land! Grace and Peace, Mercy, LOVE and Friendship to us all from our heavenly Father. And as James, Jesus’ brother puts it: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17) Wow! And isn’t it good to hear that ALL good things come from our heavenly Father, our God, Creator and Redeemer! But what does all of that mean eh? And we have plenty info to share on all of that. (smile) 

Let’s begin with this general description from the gotquestions.org website. ‘It would be reasonable to conclude that the title “Father of lights” in James 1:17 communicates the idea that God is the author of all that is not darkness. There is no sin or transgression in Him. Everything represented by light is exemplified by God. Integrity, loyalty, honor, glory, wisdom, the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), compassion, and LOVE are all qualities of God and examples of spiritual “light.” 

Physical lights, too, owe their existence to God: the starry heavens and the planetary kingdoms are all created by the Father of lights for His glory and purpose. As the Father of lights, God embodies all that is good and right. Just as God is LOVE (1 John 4:16), so God is light (1 John 1:5). God does not merely possess LOVE and light, as though they are qualities that can be taken away. God is LOVE and light, which makes Him the Father and originator of all lesser lights.’ So technically speaking, God has everything to do with the light we enjoy, be it physical, spiritual, emotional, or whatever! (smile) 

Now let’s look at the part about variation and changing, as the scholars talk about the Immutability of God. ‘1:17. Since all changes are either for the better or for the worse, God is unchanging because He is perfect and cannot get any better nor become worse. The Scriptures describe God’s nature, will, and character as immutable or unchanging. Illustration: To be immutable, however, does not mean to be immobile. God also has the qualities of personality and can act, think, create and make decisions. Application: God is unchanging; therefore Christians can depend on His LOVE and power, because God has not changed since biblical times (First ref. Ps. 9:7); Primary ref. James 1:17; cf. Lev. 19:2).’ 

And all God’s people gave out a loud, and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and honour to the Most High God Jehovah! The First and the Last! The Alpha and Omega! Who was, is and always shall be!’ Yes friends, we’re so blessed to have the Lord God Almighty in our corner. I just wish many many more of us would realize it and accept His free and wonderful gift of salvation through His amazing and awesome Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour! 

Then there’s also this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:17. Three great principles are presented: (1) God is the Father, or Creator, of the heavenly bodies. (2) As their Creator, He is certainly more stable than they. With God there is not even the slightest change; He is immutable. (3) God is only good – and always good. This third principle relates verse 17 to the preceding context. It answers the implication of verse 13 that God may sometimes tempt man to evil. Though God tries the saints (John 6:6; Heb. 11:17), He NEVER tries with evil intent so as to tempt them.’ 

And now that we’ve got that straight, (smile) that our God never tempts mankind with any evil intent, I guess we should go back and look at the previous verses that could cause some of us to think differently. James says: ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12) 

And the scholars offer this explanation for that verse. ‘1:12. Mankind understandably may look on tragedy as the curse of God, as Job’s friends did. Trials are, however, the means through which God’s blessings can come. One’s endurance in and victory over trials bring God’s blessings. Christians, therefore, are not instructed to seek avenues of escape. God desires that they mature in the situation than move from it (cf. Rom. 5:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:6-7). 

He does, however, promise to provide an escape if the testing becomes unbearable (1 Cor. 10:13). God’s people need to meditate more on James 1:12 than 1 Corinthians 10:13. The reason for this, and why God allows trials in the lives of his people, is revealed in the Mosaic Law. ‘That he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end (Deut. 8:16).’ 

Oh my brethren, it’s in our own interest that we endure trials rather than always trying to escape them, for maturity, spiritual growth and heavenly blessings come when we endure temptations. And that’s why it’s suggested that we meditate on James 1:12, which encourages us to stand strong under the temptations, rather than 1 Cor.10:13, which talks about finding a way to escape them. And that’s definitely why a lot of us are not more blessed and spiritually mature, because we always seek the easy way out through escape. 

And James continues: ‘Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust (desire), and enticed. Then when lust (desire) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin: and sin, when it is finished (full grown), bringeth forth death.’ (James 1:13-15) And that’s the gospel truth! 

Now please pay particular attention to these explanations from the scholars as they provide some very important points about trials and temptations. ‘1:13-15. The temptation of verses 13-15 differs from that in verses 2-12, as the context shows. Here the source is identified as internal, from one’s own lust, and the outcome is death. In verses 2-12 the “temptations” or trials have an external origin in that they fall on man. The trials of verse 2-12 cannot be avoided, so believers are encouraged to endure them, and mature as a result. 

The temptations of verses 13-15 must be avoided, according to God’s express commandments (Rom. 13:14; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22). The progression of sin, from temptation to death, has an analogy in the physical life cycle: conception, birth, maturity, and death. James uses words with the same Greek root in verses 2-12 and 13-15 to express different concepts. Outwardly, trials and temptations may appear the same, and what may start as a trial may develop into a temptation, if not properly answered by the Word of God.’ 

Mama Yo! It’s a lot to take in, but we need to get serious and do take it in, for our eternal destiny and rewards depend on how we handle these consummate forces of earthly life. And it will also do us a lot of good if we check out some of those many scriptures listed today. It’s plenty for us to ponder today, and I never intended or expected to get into so much stuff, but that’s where I was led. And as faithful children of God, I know we can handle it. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong, sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

So what are we waiting for eh? Let’s go and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…life is full of lusts and temptations…but with God’s Word in our hearts…and His divine help…there’s no need to fear…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2020 James 1:17.

James 1:17.     Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.

Well at last we have a somewhat sunshiny opening to a day, not the cloudy, overcast stuff we’ve been having recently! And it’s a big Saturday in the northern climes; Halloween Day! It’s the day the society dresses up in ugly, evil looking costumes – the uglier and more evil looking, the better- and have the children go out ‘trick or treating,’ begging at other people’s houses for candy, and the adults have costumed balls and riotous parties. Well let’s see what’s going to happen this year of Covid nuh. 

Halloween hasn’t been officially banned, and there have been all sorts of comments, for and against, but the Covid-19 numbers have not been coming down, although the more populous areas are still in Stage 2 Lockdown. So, in my humble opinion, it is pure folly to have children running around the streets in the dark in this pandemic time to beg for candy from people most of them don’t know, and for adults to be having parties with unprotected crowds without any physical distancing. 

Even in the good times there have been petitions to ban the process because of the evil stuff people were putting in the candy and fruit to harm the children. And worse of all, if it glorifies the evil spirits like witches and goblins and the like, why have such a day in a supposedly godly society eh? But what does the ole fella know eh friends? Obviously not a whole lot. (smile) So we’ll just leave that subject alone and see what transpires later on. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to more appropriate things, like the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And it seems like he’s adopted a new style, prefacing each quote with the words: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are….’ 

Now I think that statement contains elements of both good and bad. The bad part is that if we focus on it too much, it could lead us to believe that we’re so wonderful and awesome in our own strength and thus we develop proud and narcissistic thoughts and behaviour. However, on the good side, we are awesome and wonderful IN Christ! No doubt about that! So let’s put some wise and sensible reins on our thoughts about our awesomeness nuh. (smile) Anyway, I’m not going to reiterate the opening sentence in each quote, since we already know what it is. I’ll just give us the important last part. 

And the first quote tells us: ‘My life is a gift and I appreciate everything I have.’ The first part is indeed true: our lives are gifts from God Himself. For God Himself, with His own hands, moulded man from the dirt of the earth, in His own image, then breathed His precious breath into his body. (Gen. 1:27; 2:7) And furthermore, James tells us thus: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17) 

It stands to reason then, that if our lives and all the good stuff we have are gifts from God, then we ought to appreciate everything we have. But do we truly appreciate them? Not really nuh, not in our current greedy and ‘gravelicious’ society. For we complain more about the few things we don’t have, than we are thankful for the plenty we do have. Consequently, many of us can’t truthfully declare the next quote. ‘I’m calm, happy, and content.’ And we will never be able to do so until we realize that ALL we have comes from Almighty God…and begin appreciating it. 

Yeh friends, calm and content only come with an attitude of appreciation. And also, until you show appreciation for all that God has done for you, and is still doing, you won’t be able to make this next statement either. ‘I’m more at ease every day.’ For ease, likewise, comes only with true appreciation of all our blessings. One can’t be cantankerous, miserable and unappreciative and enjoy the abundant life that Jesus died for us to have. (John 10:10) 

Remember too that Jesus is the biggest and best gift that God gave us, through whom we achieve eternal life, despite our sinful, ungodly beginnings. Bruh Paul put it this way to the church at Rome. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 5:23) And if we have become wise and accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then most likely we’ll be able to proclaim this next quote. ‘I’ll surround myself with positive people who will help bring out the best in me.’ 

Oh friends, that is indeed wisdom from above! Why? Because too many of us surround ourselves with those who bring out the worse and not the best in us. That’s why the Good Book tells us so specifically: ‘Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort (encourage, lift up) one another daily, while it is called TODAY; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.’ (Heb. 3:12-13) 

Oh mih bredrin, it is ever so important to surround ourselves with wise, godly people, who will encourage us to do good, to do our best, for that’s what Jesus desires of His followers. Remember too that no man is an island, and we can’t live this life alone, or in too much seclusion, for the Lord made us to have fellowship one with another. As the old people would say; ‘Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.’ And that’s the living truth, since our friends’ behaviour and attitude rub off on us. 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘I approve of myself and LOVE myself deeply.’ Now if all the other quotes are true of us, then we can make that kind of statement, but not too strenuously, (smile) because like believing we’re so awesome, it can lead us away from God, to the heights of narcissism, and we know there’s nothing the Lord dislikes like a proud, supposedly independent, self-LOVING person. Oh yes, we do need to LOVE and approve ourselves, but with a very careful attitude, so that we don’t go overboard and fall victim to the evil inherent in such thinking. As Jeeves would probably say: ‘circumspection my dear man – much circumspection.’ (smile) 

And I can’t think of a better way to end today, than with these immortal words of Jesus as per our earthly duty. ‘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. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people, straight from the Giver of the gospel! So let’s go out and action them nuh. It’s our bounden duty as believers in Christ Jesus! Much LOVE!

…from Genesis to Revelation…it’s all about LOVE…God’s LOVE for us…our LOVE for Him…and for each other…