Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2016 Ephesians 6:11‏‏

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil.

Oh my people, who ever says that life isn’t good eh, tell them I say that deh lie! (smile)

Oh, like everybody else, I have my spate of problems, but I try to put them at God’s feet at the cross, per His Great Invitation to come and unburden ourselves on Him. (Matt.11:28-30) And that leaves me more time to enjoy His beautifully created universe. 

Now, I guess you all must be wondering what has me waxing so ecstatically this early, on a somewhat cloudy morning? Well it’s no rocket science friends. It’s simply because for the first time this year, I was able to sit comfortably on my front porch at two a.m and commune with my Maker. Oh glory to God mih people! 

And those of you who know me, know that I’m just a simple man with simple tastes, thus simple things enthuse me. 

And when I can sit on my porch in the early hours of the morning in the north country, without much clothes on, feeling the cool wind blow over me, and hear it rustle the the leaves of the fully clothed trees with song, as I look out over the quiet boulevard in a fairly decent neighbourhood, admire the lights in the surrounding gardens, and spy at the beautiful full moon through the dry, gnarled branches of the dead ash tree on my front lawn – got to cut it down soon yes – and above all, commune quietly with my God, then I must be thrilled! I couldn’t be anything other than that! 

It’s almost like being in Paradise – Sweet Tobago. All I’m missing now is the gentle crashing of the sea on the rocky shoreline. Mama Mia! So how can I not be happy eh mih breddren? Oh friends, it just makes me want to sing, to shout in praise and thanksgiving! 

So let’s do that nuh. Everyday we talk about ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps.118:24) Well the best part of rejoicing is singing praise and worship and thanksgiving. 

So please sing with me, the chorus of another of my favourite gospel songs that I recently heard; a nice li’l rocking reggae ditty by Jermain Cowan titled ‘Re-Arrange my life.’ 

Singing: ‘Things I used to do, I do them no more. Since You saved me. Places I used to go, I go there no more. Lord for You I rearranged my life. Jehovah, please stay by my side.’ 

And Again: ‘Things I used to do, I do them no more. Since you saved me. Places I used to go, I go there no more. Lord for You I rearranged my life. Jehovah please stay by my side.’ 

Oh friends, that’s how Christians are supposed to be when we get saved and become new creations in Jesus! And what more can we ask than for Jehovah God to stand always by our side eh? Not much. And we know He’ll do it, because He’s faithful to His promises. 

And we’re not done singing and rejoicing this morning my breddren. It’s Wednesday, that means we have to wail out our Wednesday Wail. 

So wailing, with sincerity and strong faith: ‘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!’ 

Ah my fellow believers, how good it is to feel the breath of life coursing through our mortal bodies this morning, especially when we’re walking steadfastly with Jesus, looking forward to the glorious future He has promised. Glory Hallelujah! 

Now I’m chuckling here because I don’t know if we have much time and space left for our Bit. But since we’ve been rejoicing and singing praise and worship and giving thanks, it surely means that we’re in full agreement with it. 

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yeh friends, we can’t give our great and wonderful God thanks and praise without having on at least some of His protective spiritual armour. Now finally, let’s see what that armour of God consists of. 

Listen to Bruh Paul enlighten the Ephesians and us. ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). 

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

Yes my breddren, that’s basically what the armour of God consists of. And we’ll end there so we can ponder it all. Tomorrow, God in favour, we’ll get into a deeper discourse of all the ramifications. (smile) 

Till then though, please, let’s walk in LOVE and true fellowship, wisely eschewing, abstaining from the lusts of the world for the rewards of heaven. For that’s the true mark of wisdom. Much LOVE!

…once the lifeblood of God is flowing through a Christian…songs of praise and thanksgiving must emanate from his mouth…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2015 Ephesians 2:10

Ephesians 2:10.     For we are his workmanship (creation) created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared)  that we should walk in them.

Greetings and salutations my people, in the glorious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on this blessed but damp and foggy Sunday morning! All power and glory be to the One who sacrificed His holy and sinless life for us disgusting sinners.
 
And to show our grateful appreciation of that wonderful token of LOVE, let’s gather together in His sanctuary on this Sabbath Day, as He desires, to praise and worship Him, give Him the thanks that He so rightfully deserves, and in return receive His grace, mercy and forgiveness, so that our spirits can be renewed, our faith strengthened, and our actions positive and LOVE-filled!

And all God’s people said a loud and sincere: ‘Yes, let us do that, for it is meet and right so to do! 

And now, from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin, here is ‘Something Beautiful!’  ‘Here I am dear God  Your Child  A member of Your Family  Asking You  To make something beautiful of my life. Yet, even as I ask I am convinced  That the one beautiful thing  About a child of God  Is You, Jesus Christ. So, dear Lord  As You saturate me with Yourself  My life will be beautiful.’

And isn’t that the living truth Friends! There’s nothing as beautiful as a human being saturated with Jesus Christ! That inner beauty and LOVE of a true child of God just shines through the darkness of this world, knives through it like a big, bright spotlight closely focused on a performer on a stage! Oh my brethren, there’s no better state for us to be in, than to be filled with the beauty and joy of Jesus Christ! For we become new creations, old, evil ways are forgotten, and we look to the future with hope and faith. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is our Bit today; fateful words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’ Friends, that’s truth to the nth degree!

And here are some explanations from the scholars to enlighten us. ‘2:10. For verifies the assertion of man’s good works having no part in obtaining salvation. (vs.8-9) Workmanship refers not to our original or physical birth, but to our spiritual birth: what we are spiritually in the good sense is due to God, not ourselves.

Created in Christ Jesus unto good works means “having been (morally) re-created by Christ Jesus for good works,” that is, Jesus remade our spiritual lives so that we could then do good works. The apostle’s thinking is this; since the Christian has been given spiritual life for the purpose of doing good works, there could have been no good works by him prior to conversion that would merit salvation. Good works follow – do not precede – salvation.’

And I’ll be my usual nice self (smile) and quote the two verses we mentioned above, re good works having no part in salvation. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.28-9)

Yes Friends, part of the reason why salvation is not achieved by good works is so that men can’t boast about obtaining it on their own strength or merit. Remember, it is a free gift of God!

Now let’s look at a couple scriptures that reflect the theme of our Bit. Hear the palmist declare from Psalm 100 – A call to praise the Lord. ‘Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.’ (Ps.100:3-4)

Oh my people, if we’d only follow that wise advice of the psalmist, our lives and our world would be a much better place than it currently is!

Now listen to Isaiah, as he talks about the redemption of Israel. ‘But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify (hallow) my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.’ (Is.29:23)

Without a doubt Friends, we are God’s handiwork, His greatest creation! Glory Hallelujah!

Another psalmist joyfully proclaims: ‘Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.’ (Ps.119:73) Words of awesome truth my brethren! And we’ll end with Bruh David’s version from Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well.’

My substance (frame, bones) was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as not there was none of them.’ (Ps.139:13-16)

Yes Friends, Jehovah God was the planner, designer, architect and builder of every human being that was ever made. Therefore He knows all about us. We are definitely His, for He is our Creator, our Provider and our God. Without Him, we would not exist. Please, let’s remember that and give Him the appropriate level of praise, worship and thanks He deserves. That’s the duty of a sincere child of God. Much LOVE!

…without the Most High God Jehovah…nothing that was made…would be made…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 July 2013 Matthew 13:22

Matthew 13:22.   He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
 
Oh Friends, it’s ‘Summer time! And the living is easy…’ Well not for those who don’t have A/C or a cool basement to inhabit these last few days. For it was another hot, humid day in my neighbourhood, except that there was a decent breeze during the day. But as soon as the sun disappeared, the wind did the same.
 
Sitting on my porch, late last night, I had to strain to see any movement in the leaves on the trees. And again, even the insects refused to come out of their cool lairs to play in the dark, as is their wont. (smile)
 
Today seems like it will be more of the same. We’ve been calling for summer all along, and now that we have it, we’re not too thrilled. That reminds us of the old saying; beware of what you ask for, because when you get it, it might not be all you expected.
 
But let’s get right to our Bit, because there’s plenty stuff to share. ‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’
 
Ah Friends, how sad it is when we allow the cares of the world to choke our godliness and make us unfruitful! But here’s this little prayer, or poem, from Dr. Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional, which puts our shortcomings in the right perspective.
 
It’s titled, ‘My Walk,’ and goes thus: ‘O God, I’m inspired. For you have just impressed this truth into my mind: The most powerful force in the world is a positive idea in the mind of a believer who is walking in your will! I now reach forth my life and say, “God, put my life into the centre of your will.” Amen.’
 
Now Friends, that’s how we should be walking with our God, in a positive manner, passionately doing His will!
 
And as Jesus adds in the last verse of the parable on the sower. ‘But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth (produces), some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ (Matt.13:23)
 
Yes my people, that’s how we ought to be; hearing the Word, understanding it, then using it to successfully bring forth fruit, win souls, get others interested in living for Jesus!
 
However, too many of us still keep resisting Him, paying more attention to the things of the evil, ungodly world, things that sadly only raise up the lusts of our flesh and the lusts of our eyes, and cause us to walk in foolish pride.
 
Bruh Paul pointed this out to Timothy when he told him: ‘Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having LOVED, this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.’ (2 Tim.4:9-10)
 
Yeh mih people, Demas fell under the world’s spell and deserted Bruh Paul. And unfortunately that sort of thing is still happening today; believers are still deserting God’s army to assuage their earthly lusts in the wicked ways of Lucifer. 
 
Meanwhile, listen to Bruh Paul as he tells the Ephesians about grace and faith. ‘And you hath he quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
 
Among whom also we all had our conversation (conducted ourselves) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved.’) (Eph.2:1-5)
 
Yes Friends, all of us, like the Ephesians were once following the tendencies, values, pursuits and deeds of this evil world, until God sent Jesus to save us, and we became new creatures, new creations in Christ. Unfortunately though, too many of us are still following the world’s vision and values, foolishly reluctant to give them up and fully embrace Christ.
 
But listen to James talk about hearing and doing the Word nuh. ‘If any man among you seem to be (thinks he is) religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (useless). Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 2:26-27)
 
That says it all Friends!
 
But here are a few words from the scholars on those verses. ‘In verses 22-25 James has rebuked mere listening – by the hearer who does not do. In verses 26 and 27 he rebukes mere doing – by the doer who leaves his inner life unchanged. James offers not a formal definition but three key aspects of pure religion: controlled speech, altruistic service, and separation from the world.’
 
Now my brethren, it’s up to us to choose whom we will follow, the world, or Jesus. I’d suggest you make that decision right now, because time is running out, and decide to follow Jesus, for that’s where the smart money, the wisdom and common sense lies. Much LOVE!
 
…as for me and mine…we will definitely follow Jesus…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 November 2012 Ephesians 5:8

Ephesians 5:8.     For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.

Oh Friends, another Monday has dawned sunny and bright on God’s Little Acre! Praise the Lord! And as He would have it, I’m sitting here on the porch of my cottage in Store Bay, enjoying the cool breeze that’s blowing across the compound, writing encouraging words of LOVE, Peace and Togetherness to you. Oh, I can feel your pain (smile) as you get up to go and labour this Monday morning after a hectic weekend – Thanksgiving in the U. S. and the Grey Cup in Canada. And I can imagine the mess that Toronto must be in seeing that the hometown Argonauts won the 100th edition of our famous game! But don’t worry about anything Friends, for our great God has everything under control, and He has the ‘rightest’ remedy for whatever ails you; just turn to Him, asking in all sincerity for healing, strength and courage to do His will today. And we’ll help and encourage each other by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, harmoniously and with as much energy as we can muster. 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!’ Yes mih people, that should get us going in the right direction, with more energy than we previously had! And please remember that going out to earn an honest living, is one of the many ways in which we can please and glorify our wonderful God and further His righteous kingdom. That’s why in leading up to our Bit, Bruh Paul expounds to the Ephesians on what a believer ought not to do. (Eph.5:1-7) Then in our Bit, he reminds them of what they had become: ‘For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.’ That’s the absolute truth my brethren! If we’ve been converted from children of darkness to children of light by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, then we have to give up the things of darkness and concentrate on the things of light. As the song by Germaine Cowan so rightly says, since I’ve rearranged my life to suit Christ; ‘The things I used to do, I do them no more. The places I used to go, I go there no more.’ And that’s exactly as it ought to be Friends! For all old things have passed away, and we’ve become brand new creations in Christ. Now here are some scholarly observations on the subject. ‘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.’ And after our Bit, Bruh Paul continues: ‘(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.’ (Eph.5:9-10) And the scholars here direct that; ‘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.’ Yes Friends, it’s a constant battle we wage against the powerful forces of darkness, so we have to be constantly on the lookout to do God’s acceptable will, and not that of Beelzebub. Then Bruh Paul continues his warning: ‘And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.’ (Eph.5:11-12) And here’s what the scholars have to say about those two verses. ‘Reprove  is better translated “expose.” The believer’s duty is expressed here in two ways. Negatively, he is not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, that is, not indulge in the sins of the unsaved. Positively, he is to “expose” (reprove) these sins, that is, bring them to light and show them for what they really are, so that the unbeliever may see their hideous nature and their terrible consequences.’ Then on verse 12, they explain: ‘For tells why the Christian must expose the sins of the lost. If it is shameful even to discuss their iniquities in decent company (cf. v.3), how much the worse is the committing of these sins. Hence, the need to bring them to light.’ Ah my people, there are indeed some real atrocious deeds been perpetrated by the evildoers in these wicked and troubled times. ‘But all things that are reproved (exposed) are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ (Eph.5:13-14) Yes fellow believers, we need to diligently root out sin from our lives and the lives of those around us where possible. And as the ole people would say, ‘whatever is done in darkness will eventually come to light.’ And that’s the gospel truth! And even better, the gospel of Christ will bring us out of the darkness into the light, for that’s its basic purpose. So mih breddren, let’s seriously ponder our deeds today nuh, and see where we’re falling behind, giving into the things of darkness, then uproot them with the light of Christ’s gospel, so that we stay true to our faith and calling. It’s not easy, but with God’s generous help, we can surely do it. Much LOVE!…only by storing the truth and light of the gospel in our hearts…can we reject and expose the darkness and evil of Lucifer…