Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 September 2022 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.       With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Well it’s lazy Saturday again friends! But the ole fella wasn’t lazy this morning, he was up bright and early and moving around. (smile) I guess that was possibly because he went to bed fairly early last night, or this morning. That’s one of the disadvantages of going to bed too early, you can’t have a good excuse to lie around in bed all day. In any case the Lord’s work is always waiting to be done, so lying around is not an option, we have to get up and shake a leg, have a look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Unfortunately though, this past week our friend must have been a bit confused because he sent us three quotes that he had just sent us the previous week. And out of the new two ones, I struggled to understand one of them, as they say, couldn’t make head nor tail of it, so I’m leaving it alone, rather than make a mess of it. That leaves us with only one quote for this week, but it’s a good one, and we ought to be able to do it justice. (smile) And here it is: ‘There is nothing impossible to those who will try.’ 

Now, we all know the mantra of success is try, try, try and try again, until you succeed. And that’s true to a certain extent, but some things are just impossible to man regardless of how often he tries. And that’s because he wasn’t made by the Creator to accomplish all that he desired in his own strength. The truth is that one needs to be a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ to be able to do certain things. 

And we all know, or ought to know (smile) the story of the rich young man who came to Jesus asking what he could do to gain eternal life. And though he had kept the basics of the Ten Commandments, Jesus told him: ‘If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.’ (Matt. 19:21) 

Oh, that was obviously difficult for the young man to do since he had many possessions, so he went away sad and disappointed. But we should not look down on him, because most of us would have done, and right now would probably do the same thing if Jesus told us to sell what little we had and come and follow Him. That led to this very controversial statement of Jesus to the disciples. ‘Verily I say unto you that a rich man shall hardly enter (it is hard for a rich man to enter) into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ (Matt. 19:23-24) 

Now there are a few things we must clear up before moving on. Jesus’ response to the rich young man was simply to show how hard it is to be a true disciple. As the scholars explain: ‘This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be a Christian.’ At that time, it was thought that the rich were blessed and would automatically be saved, no wonder the disciple’s shock at Jesus’ statement. But He was showing them the human difficulty for the rich to be converted, because wealth just brings out a selfish and greedy aspect of our human nature. 

It was indeed difficult, but not hopeless. Otherwise, people like Abraham and His children, Job, Bruh David, Cousin Sol and other filthy rich people wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance in hell of entering heaven. (smile) The things that seemingly disqualify the rich from heaven are firstly what they do with their wealth, and secondly if they believe in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour. If you sincerely believe, and use your wealth to help build the kingdom, then there should be no problem. 

Remember too that it is God who allows us to get wealth, and there’s no call for Christians to be poor and needy, since Jesus came that we might have life and enjoy it to the full, until it overflows. You can’t do that if you’re destitute. So, finally moving on, we come to Jesus’ reply to the shock the disciples felt at hearing that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter heaven. He said to them: ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

Yes friends, that’s the clincher! It’s what we need to sincerely believe if we are to journey through this earthly life successfully. Remember, none but Jesus is perfect and thus we cannot live a blameless life, and some things just need the impossible power of God to make them happen in our lives. A perfect example of that is God’s gift of grace that gives us eternal life. Without it, eternal life would be impossible for us to achieve. In fact, without a personal relationship with Almighty God, health, wealth and whatever else are of no real benefit to us. 

And I like what Candice Lucey states in her article on the subject on the website Christianity.com. She says: ‘Throughout the Bible, God’s people accomplish unfathomable tasks. God is most glorified by bringing an event to pass which seems impossible.’ And then she points out ‘3 Things to Remember about “With God All Things Are Possible” 1. Power to accomplish the impossible comes from God. 2. The impossible is accomplished for God’s glory. 3. The impossible is accomplished for our good.’ 

Now those are extremely good points for us to contemplate. The impossible can be done only through God’s power, like how Moses brought water forth water from a rock. He didn’t’ do it through His own power, but that of God. Likewise barren women, Elizabeth and Sarah and Hannah didn’t eventually have children through their own power, but through God’s. And what about Abraham impregnating Sarah when he was a hundred and she ninety years old eh? That certainly had nothing to do with their power, but all with God’s. And then the virgin birth, the incarnation of Christ! Mary gave birth to a child without knowing a man! That could only happen through God’s majestic power! 

And then we need to realize that God usually does the impossible to display His glory. Oh, does he ever like to display His glory and power so that men could wise up and see that there’s none like Him! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE to whom all honour and glory belongs! And we only learn that by getting a task that seems impossible in our own strength, but completing it successfully through God’s omnipotent help. And God’s ‘showing off’ is never just to show off, but always for some useful purpose, like the examples we quote above. 

And finally my people, until we realize that ALL God does is for our good, we’ll miss out on a lot of wonderful things, our lives will never be as rich and full as they could be. That’s simply because God LOVES us so completely, we are the apple of His eye, and He wants nothing bad to happen to us. And though we can never be perfect, and this sinful world is filled with problems, we need to put our entire and ultimate trust in His hands so that He can lead and guide us safely along the narrow path that leads through His Son Jesus Christ and ends up at Him! 

My fellow saints, the Lord created us because He wanted fellowship and communion with us, and only when we believe that and do our best to put it into practice, can we ever enjoy life to the fullest, with the joy of the Lord flowing through us! So please, let’s make that our number one purpose and goal nuh! It’s wisdom and common sense to the max! Much LOVE!

…to truly know God…is to truly LOVE Him… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 June 2022 Ephesians 6:12.

Ephesians 6:12.       For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places.

So friends, we’ve come to the end of another work week, another Friday, with a host of people, good, bad and indifferent joyfully shouting: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ Yes, even the ones who don’t believe in God, or don’t even know Him, shout it. It’s like a universal mantra, where a great load is unburdened and the supposed weary slaves, many of whom are thoroughly lazy and do as little work as possible, (smile) are set free for a couple of days. And believe me, that also applies to Christians, for we do talk a good talk, but can be rather unchristian in our walk. And that’s why so many unbelievers refuse to listen to us, we don’t practice what we preach, as much as we ought to. 

All over the globe, Christians have a reputation for being hypocrites, and in a lot of cases the name is well-deserved. So, unfortunately, the many are tainted by the deeds of the few, and that is definitely not the character trait Christ wants the world to have of His church, of those who profess faith in His name and all that He’s done for mankind. And we all know how difficult it is to correct a bad reputation, even one that is untrue. Therefore, those of us who try to do the right thing are often faced with an uphill battle, not of our making. 

But let’s remember that our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is omnipotent, and gives us the tools to do whatever He desires of us. So, if He desires us to evangelize the world, then there’s nothing the world can do to stop us. We just have to faithfully believe and get up the gumption to do Christ’s work, because we have all the necessary tools to otherwise do it, backed up all the way by the awesome power of the Holy Spirit! That means fear of failure should be a no-brainer. Remember what Bruh Paul told Timothy about fear? ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

Consequently, Christ’s followers ought to be positive, optimistic, powerful and fearless. Yes, it’s a lot to ask in this scary, turbulent and deceitful world. And though none of us will ever be perfect, because it’s not in our DNA, for only Jesus is perfect, I know that we can all come up higher than the level we are currently at. It all depends on our state of mind, our state of maturity, and if we truly want to be good soldiers for Christ. The battle is not easy, and is not one we can see, for it’s being fought in the spiritual realm, but believe me, it is still as real as if we could see it. 

Bruh Paul explained it thus to the Ephesians. ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ (Eph. 6:12) So we really are in a battle, and one to the death, for the forces of evil will not give up, and neither should we. 

Meanwhile, here’s how the scholars explain that verse. ‘6:12. Wrestle, used of hand to hand combat, emphasizes the personal and individual nature of spiritual warfare waged against each local church and Christian. Flesh and blood refers to humanity. Such is not the church’s adversary. Instead, she opposes principalities (rulers), powers (authorities), rulers (world-rulers), spiritual wickedness (wicked spiritual beings), that is, fallen angels, demons, and Lucifer (Satan) himself.’ 

It is therefore an all-encompassing war that will not end until Jesus comes back and sets up his kingdom. These words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth also highlight the kind of warfare in which we are continually engaged. ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ (2 Cor. 10:3-5)  

Yes my brethren, the scholars tell us that ‘Though we walk (live) in the flesh (in a body), we do not war (fight) after (according to) the flesh (human standards): The first phrase of verse 5 looks back to verse 3 and expresses the manner in which believers conduct spiritual warfare. It is by casting down (destroying) imaginations (false arguments) such as Paul’s opponents have raised.’ 

Oh my people, please remember that it’s in our minds that spiritual warfare is being fought; the devil tries to invade our minds with evil, ungodly thoughts, but we need to fight him mano-a-mano, taking every thought into captivity, that’s checking it out, using the Holy Spirit to make sure that it lines up with the word and desires of Christ. And if it doesn’t, then kicking it out! 

That’s why James warns us to ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded….Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-8, 10). 

And Peter strongly advises, ‘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.’ (1 Pet. 5:8-9) 

Oh my fellow saints, it’s time for us to truly get serious about the battle in which we are engaged. Once you call yourself a believer in Christ Jesus, there’s no getting away from it. So please, let’s raise our level of passion, of faith and sincerity and thus put up a better fight in Jesus’ name nuh. He’s depending on us. There’s no one else to fight for Him and His church and kingdom but us. Now let’s take the first step in that direction, prayer, and through our Friday Chant, approach the throne of grace with confident humility. 

As one 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!’ 

And, as always, after prayer, you keep whatever promises you’ve made, then wait patiently, with expectant faith for God to answer…in His own time. (smile) Much LOVE!

…the battlefield of the spiritual world is our mind…so please ensure we have on our spiritual armour… 

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