Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 August 2018 2 Corinthians 1:3.

2 Corinthians 1:3.   Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.

Ah friends, some more gentle soothing rain fell in my area this morning. Praise the Lord! And this time it was no big shower, but just a light, continuous drizzle. I was already up, but it’s soothing properties drove me back to bed, I just could not resist its siren call. (smile) That’s why the Bit might be a bit late. 

And we are going to begin with some inspirational and wise words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, where he talks about ‘Undetected Possibilities.’ 

And he reminds us that ‘To Jesus every problem was a possibility in disguise. Sickness was an opportunity for healing. Sin was an opportunity for forgiveness. Sorrow was an opportunity for compassion. Personal abuse was an opportunity to leave a good impression and show the world how Possibility Thinkers react. To Jesus every person was a gold mine of undiscovered, hidden possibilities…! 

To Jesus the important fact about you and me is not that we are sinners, but that we can be saints. So Jesus proclaimed the greatest possibility: the immeasurable mercy of God.’ 

Yes my people, in most negative occurrences or circumstances there is a seed of positive undertaking, if we will only look for it, and not concentrate solely, or so much on the negative aspect of the problem. 

And there is no better example than the one quoted above, where Jesus didn’t concentrate on the fact that we were sinners, for if He had done so, if He had thought that we couldn’t change, wasn’t worth saving, He might never have sacrificed His sinless life for us. 

But thank the Lord He saw possibilities in us! And likewise, He is calling on us to see the enormous possibilities in others and ourselves. As they say, God doesn’t make inferior stuff, so whatever He has made has positive potential. 

And Gramps Schuller continues: ‘To Jesus the whole world was jammed, pregnant, loaded, bulging with untapped, undiscovered, undetected possibilities! Jesus really believed in the supreme spiritual possibilities! Man can be born again! Character can be changed! You can become a new person! Life can be beautiful! There is a solution to every problem! There is a light behind every shadow!’ 

And so should we as His followers. ‘Yes! Jesus had an unshakable faith in these ultimate spiritual possibilities: God exists! Life goes on beyond death! Heaven is for real! Jesus was prepared to prove it. By dying – and rising again! Jesus was impressed by what the world could become – never depressed by what the world does.’ 

And friends, if we as Jesus’ followers adopt His positive attitude, we will be able to change the world, just like He did! Glory be my people! Jesus was the greatest Possibility thinker ever! And a good thing too, else we’d be Hades bound with nary a hope of redemption. 

But for that to happen Jesus had to proclaim, like Gramps Schuller says above: ‘the immeasurable mercy of God.’ Yeh friends, it’s only through God’s mercy, not giving us what we deserve, His divine favour, His wonderful compassion, that drove Him to send Jesus to our rescue, so we can now stand up proud and strong. 

As Bruh Paul puts it so appropriately in our Bit: ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’ What an awesome God we serve and worship my people! 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:3-4. Blessed (Gr. eulogetos, “well spoken of”) is used in the New Testament of God (e.g. Eph.1:3). It is a term of adoration and praise. The Father of mercies: The mercies in view here include everything from deliverance from the world, sin, and Satan, to participation in sonship, light, and life. But the force is even more than this. The stress is that the Father is characterized by mercy (cf. Ps. 86:5: Dan. 9:9; Mic.7:18).’ 

And are we ever grateful for that merciful character of our wonderful God! Now let me spoon feed you with those scriptures mentioned above. (smile) Bruh David proclaims in Psalm 86: ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.’ (Ps.86:5) What truth! 

Meanwhile, in Daniel’s prayer for his people, he solemnly declares: ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.’ (Dan.9:9) How magnanimous is the God we serve, not giving us our just deserts! 

And Micah says with strong authority and experience, as he talks about God’s concern for His people. ‘Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by (over) the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy (LOVING-kindness). 

He will turn again, he will have compassion on us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their (our) sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform (give) the truth to Jacob, and the mercy (LOVING-kindness) to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.’ (Mic.7:18-20) 

Oh friends, our God isn’t only merciful, but faithful to His promise! Praise His Holy Name! And because of all that, we the faithful believers in His Son Jesus Christ, can boldly declare our Wednesday Wail, which shows our position in the ongoing universal catharsis. (smile) 

Altogether 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 if we’re wise, we’ll continue on that path of eternal wisdom. Much LOVE!

…to live for Jesus…is the only thing worth living for…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 August 2018 2 Corinthians 5:20.

2 Corinthians 5:20.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.

So it’s Thursday…what’s new eh friends? I guess most of us will say the same old, same old. And we may be right, because that’s what life mainly consists of. However, with Jesus ‘ Spirit dwelling within us, we have the opportunity, the privilege to take that same old and turn it into something bright and beautiful! 

Yeh friends, if we have heaven and all that extraordinary stuff to look forward to, from now till the end of time, then we should at least be able to put a pleasant smile on our faces and have a good attitude in our hearts, because that’s how our Lord and Saviour, our Leader Jesus Christ walked while He was here on earth, and followers are supposed to show the same example as their leaders. 

And in keeping with that philosophy, here is some wise advice from the ‘First Lady of American Theater,’ Helen Hayes (1900-1993). She dispenses that ‘Positive attitudes – optimism, high self-esteem, and outgoing nature, joyousness, and the ability to cope with stress – when established early in life, may be the most important basis for continued good health.’ 

And that’s no lie friends, for whatever you’re building needs a strong foundation. And in the affairs of men, the earlier you build that strong foundation the better off you will be, the better able you will be to handle life. 

Like the Redwood trees in California that grow to enormous heights and live for a long time because they have put down long, strong roots in the earth in their formative years, so too we need to have a solid root system if we intend to live long and make a difference in this life. 

And each believer in Christ is expected to make a difference in this life, be it big or small. Why? Because as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians in our Bit: ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we are ALL ambassadors for Christ! And ambassadors have certain rules and regulations to obey, and a certain type of behaviour to exhibit because they are representatives of a higher authority and ought to do so in a proper manner. That means behaving with dignity and a calm spirit and not bringing shame and disgrace on their higher ups. 

Likewise, as ambassadors of Christ, we have the responsibility to behave in a manner consistent with Jesus’ mandate and not bring negative consequences to His organization. And in Christ’s organization, His church, we do that by being faithful to His principles. 

First and foremost is the principle of LOVE; God’s defining attribute from which flow a whole lot of other things, like kindness, helpfulness, mercy, forgiveness, grace, joy, peace, long- suffering, faith, meekness, temperance (self-control). Those are things that Bruh Paul define as the fruit of the Spirit, and are expected to be a major part of a believer’s life.  

And you’ll notice my believing brethren that none of those attributes or behaviour is a mainstay of today’s world. Instead, the world glorifies all the opposites of those spiritual fruit, with the resultant consequence that it is a morass of greed, poverty, sickness, murder, strife, warfare, anger and all sorts of evil doings. 

Now that’s not what our Jesus wants to see in His world. Remember He came to save the lost and downtrodden, and there are way too many of those in our current world. Thus, as His representatives, we are called to show a different attitude, a better example to this sinful world, a more graceful and LOVING persona. 

We also need to spread His faithful Word to all and sundry, so that the lost and suffering will see what they are missing by not being a part of His kingdom and will reach out, cry out to Him for help. That’s our mandate, our bounden duty my brethren. 

And Jesus has given us some awesome tools to work with, namely our Thursday Blessings. So let’s proclaim them now nuh, to remind us of them, and to claim their awesome power, because the Word of God unleashes a mighty stream of power when spoken out loud. 

All together now in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, what awesome tools and blessings! Now let’s go out and put them to full use, sharing them with the less fortunate, as Jesus so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus never sends His workers out…without the right tools to do His work…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2017 Psalm 41:13.

Psalm 41:13.   Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

‘Oh what a beautiful morning…Oh what a beautiful day! Oh what a beautiful morning…Everything’s going my way!’ 

Yes friends, it is indeed a glorious morning in my neighbourhood! Both the Sun and the Son are shining brightly. And you know when that happens all of heaven is excited. 

I just wish I could get my body to respond with the same level of excitement that my soul and spirit currently enjoy. (smile) And I know a lot of you feel the same way. 

But as the song says,’ two out of three ain’t bad.’ Let’s be thankful, for many others are batting zero for three…if you get my drift. (smile) 

But it’s Saturday, and we’re either doing housework or shopping, or simply lazing around the house, if we’re lucky, or getting ready for a picnic or barbecue or some such outside entertainment. 

And we had better get in as much as we can because this is the last Saturday in July, which means the summer is almost done; just August to go now…then it’s September – Labour Day, the cooler weather, and back to school! 

Wow! Can you believe that the summer’s just whisked by like a fleeting thought? And we haven’t even had any real hot days…Even today is cooler than it usually is. But yuh know what, most of us will take this kind of weather over the cold, white stuff any day! Glory be! 

Now let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say this week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here is the first one: ‘Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? We only learn persistence and resilience when we’re confronted by tough problems, then we stand strong, work persistently on them, and finally conquer them. 

And this next quote, though it might be the proverbial truth, it surely isn’t widespread in practice today. ‘Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.’ 

Hn, hn! In which companies today do we see people excited to deal with problems eh, especially with all the downsizing and doubling up of work on those left behind? 

Then we have: ‘The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.’ 

That surely is in the realm of truth in this crazy, strife filled world. Life is certainly full of blocks and tackles and attempting to score points, as we try to manoeuvre through its wild and jungle-like atmosphere on a daily basis. 

But I’ve left the best for last. ‘It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself and the problems you face in life. A sense of humour can save you.’ Now that has oodles of truth percolating through it. 

Without a sense of humour we’re just sad, sourpusses, painstakingly trudging along on our pilgrim’s journey. But a sense of humour relieves the tension and frustration and helps us bear the burdens much better. Remember laughter is the best free medicine one can buy. 

And I believe it’s Winston Churchill himself who said that the best ability one could have was the ability to laugh at oneself, for it keeps us solidly grounded and not overly proud like a peacock. (smile) By the way, that last part was mine, not Winston’s. 

And since today is such a glorious day, and we’re so joyful, I’ve been led to keep it simple and thankful, thus our Bit; words of Bruh David from Psalm 41 – Abuse and assurance. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.’ 

Oh precious saints of Jehovah God, we couldn’t do any better than to praise His holy name, for that’s why we were so fabulously made. And in a Bit earlier on in the week, we saw how the living creatures and elders in heaven continually praised and worshipped their Creator. So how could we do any less eh? 

Now we’re just going to wind down by checking out some joyful scripture along the lines of our Bit. Hear the psalmist from Psalm 106 – Israel sins against God’s LOVE. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. (Hallelujah) Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.106:48) 

And Listen to Cousin Sol from the first of the only two psalms he authored. The other is Psalm 127. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen. The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.’ (Ps.72:18-20) 

And according to the scholars that psalm closes the Second Book of the Psalter – The Exodus Book – Concerning Israel as a Nation. And we’ll end appropriately with these glorious words of Psalm 150 – Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. 

‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness… Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah). (Ps.150:1-2, 5-6) 

And that’s how it ought to be my fellow believers! So please let’s go out and do that nuh, let’s do our bounden duty; praise the Lord, shout ‘Hallelujah!’ Much LOVE!

…giving much deserved thanks and praise to our heavenly Father…is one of the best things a believer can do…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2016 Isaiah 41:10.

Isaiah 41:10.   Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 

‘Oh rain, rain, go away, come again some other day!’ Aye mih people, how many of you remember that li’l ditty we sang so long ago, when the rain seemed to never stop falling? 

Well I think I’m singing it this morning yes, because the rain’s been falling through most of yesterday evening right into this morning. 

Obviously it’s dark and dreary out there, but believe me, the light of the Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is brilliantly shining like the noonday sun! Glory Be! 

Let’s remember that even though we may not see it, God’s light is always brilliantly shining in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. 

Now listen to this devotion titled ‘When the Road Ahead is Short,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I’ve shared it before, but I think we need to hear it again. 

Please pray with me. ‘O God, from the vantage point of today the road ahead looks very short. I sense that I am about to reach the end. Remind me that every time of ending is always a time of new beginning. Every time one door closes, another door opens. 

Every sunset is a move closer to a new sunrise. Death is always the prelude to resurrection. Help me to forgive myself for my imperfections and faults. I dishonour you when I disgrace myself by nursing regrets over my human shortcomings. 

Help me to honour you by recalling great accomplishments you’ve made possible through my life. So let me come to the end of the road with pride behind me, LOVE around me, and hope ahead of me – only to discover that what I thought was the end of the road is a bend in the road leading me into an exciting new world of opportunity or eternity. Amen.’ 

Yes friends, oftimes what we consider the end is merely a bend, and new opportunities flower and blossom before us, through new doors opened by our magnificent and magnanimous God. So we’re always to have hope, even, or rather, especially in the difficult times, for we never know what wonderful things our God is up to. 

And that prayer blends in quite nicely with our Bit for today; Isaiah’s prophecy on the final restoration of Israel. Listen, as our great God faithfully proclaims: ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, our God doesn’t change, which means that promise is still valid even today! And brother, do we ever need the assurance and confirmation of God’s renewing and strengthening presence in our lives in these end times. 

Our world is swirling out of control with all sorts of war and strife, so we have to have something to keep us buoyed and strong enough to keep keeping on, though times look dark. And there’s nothing like the Word of God to do that. 

Listen to Isaiah again as he promises that our enemies will be vanquished. ‘For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm of Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.’ (Is.41:13-14) 

Ah mih people, how many times do we encounter those two blessed words ‘Fear not,’ in the Good Book eh? Numerous times! 

Our Redeemer keeps telling us not to be afraid, but we keep on being fearful, because our faith is lacking, and in the face of the world’s problems, we just can’t seem to settle down and take them in stride. 

But friends, if the One whom we worship and adore tells us not to be afraid, then why should we be eh? He is the Creator and Controller of the universe; the omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present Being, who sees and knows everything and is everywhere. 

As I said before, if we are still fearful with such a powerful, caring and compassionate Deity in our corner, then our faith is weak indeed. And remember the words of Hebrews: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6)

Oh precious people, I know it’s not easy in these trying times, but we do have the best of the best on our side; Almighty God. So there is no reason to fear or be anxious for anything, because with Him leading and guiding us through His Holy Spirit, which indwells us, we are certainly in the best of hands! 

Now let’s go home, full of assurance and confidence, boldly declaring our Thursday Blessings, for remember a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

As one 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and put them all into action, as we sincerely and diligently work for Jesus. Much LOVE!

…faith can certainly move mountains…but it must be strong faith…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2016 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Aye mih people, another bright, sunshiny day is in the offing… And it’s Friday to boot! So you can imagine the raucous shouts worldwide of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Hurrah for the weekend! Get yourselves together to party! No more slaving for two, whole big days! Mama yo! We going to mash up the place! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, you can’t help but voice those sentiments after facing the endless traffic jams, both morning and evening, that result from everybody commuting to work these days and working in the li’l fishbowls that so many of us toil in, five days a week. 

But we have a better perspective on the usage of the weekend. It’s called our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it and raise the stakes to a higher level nuh. As one 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.’ 

Yes my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, that is a much better way to spend the weekend. It provides some semblance of balance and circumspection, along with some godly intentions, not merely a free for all of worldly lusts and pleasures. 

Now here is an interesting quote from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. It says, quite straightforwardly; ‘Almost all of our unhappiness is the result of comparing ourselves to others.’ 

And there is indeed a lot of truth in that statement friends! Comparing ourselves to others is one of the big problems in our current society. Keeping up with the Joneses causes more confusion, debt and jealousy than we can ever imagine. 

The world’s wrong definition of who and what we are, which depends on our material possessions, social standing and level of power, drives too many of us to levels of debt, work, lies and pretensions that we cannot safely manage. 

I thank the Lord everyday, that though I may desire some of the things and standards of living that others have, I’m not envious, neither do I try my level best to become like them. And the sad part is that oftimes we don’t know what others have sacrificed to get what they have and where they are. 

And if we knew, we wouldn’t be so quick to want to be like them, because many have sold their souls to Beelzebub for their power, social standing and material possessions. So friends, let me strongly dissuade us this Friday morning from comparing ourselves to others, because it’s just a fool’s game. 

The Lord in His absolute wisdom made us each different for a purpose. If He wanted us to be all the same, He would have done so. And trying desperately to be like others only drives a negative wedge in our lives. So please stop it! End of sermon. (smile) 

That brings us to our rather appropriate Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ 

Oh my brethren, learning that, takes so much stress and strain off of our frail human shoulders, especially in this show-off society of ours. 

Hear the scholars take on our Bit nuh. ‘4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication. 

I have learned …to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

And indeed so it is my people! Contentment is a learned way of life, through many trials and tribulations. Bruh Paul was here acknowledging the financial aid he’d received from the members of the Philippian church. 

‘But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of (concern for) me hath flourished (revived) again; wherein ye were also careful (though you surely did care), ye lacked opportunity.’ (Phil.4:10) They were concerned about him, but lacked the opportunity to minister to him. 

That leads Bruh Paul to continue after our Bit. ‘I both know how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

And we’ll end with some interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is, to tighten the belt in lean times. 

To abound means to live in prosperity. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed (or, “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is, “well fed.” To abound means to have plenty. To suffer need means to go without. 

Paul has acquired the skill required for successful living with little and with much, the latter being harder. “For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” (Thomas Carlyle).’ 

Yeh friends, for many of us, living in prosperity is indeed harder than living in adversity. When we have plenty, we often don’t know what to do with it. However, when we only have a little, we just have to make do. 

Now please don’t get the idea that we’re supposed to live miserly or stringently, because Christ said He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, but by the same token, we also need to know how to live when we don’t have abundance, and not be greedy or envious of those who have. 

So let’s go out there today and begin learning the life lessons we need to live as we ought nuh. (smile) Much LOVE!

…contentment can only be had through the peace of Jesus…

 

  

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 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.

Greetings and salutations my wonderful Scrip-Bit family on this glorious Thursday morning! It’s another most worthwhile opportunity for us to serve our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in this evil and ungodly world. 

In fact, it’s not a choice, but our bounden duty as believers, and we only heap ridicule on Jesus’ holy name if we don’t pursue that challenge as we ought to. 

And there’s no time to lose, so let’s get busy and declare our Thursday Blessings that will feed our faith, uplift us, and give us the wherewithal to go out and face the enemy with much needed belly and backbone. 

Altogether 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!’ 

Oh glory to our wonderful God my precious people, for He has generously gifted us with all that we need to succeed in this sinful world! Now let’s go out and succeed… 

But first we need to do this absolutely necessary thing as directed by our Bit: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes friends, without God’s protective armour, we’re just like innocent, naïve, sitting ducks for the enemy. He’d be all over us in no time at all. That’s why Bruh Paul seriously warned us about wearing God’s armour at all times. 

And I’m going to repeat the verses of yesterday about what the spiritual armour of God consists of, because I want to share some very useful info from the scholars on the subject. And don’t get hoighty toighty with me now because you think we’re wasting time by repeating those verses. (smile) 

Friends, we can never hear those verses enough since they are a major part of our basic Christian foundation and the deeper we write them into our souls, the better off we will be. 

Now hear Bruh Paul pontificate. ‘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 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) 

Listen to the scholars now: ‘6:14-17. The whole armour of God consists of six pieces. (1) Truth (v.14a) is a knowledge of the truth of God’s Word (cf.4:21). The ancient soldiers loins (waist) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. 

Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the “truth” of Scripture. 

(2) The breastplate of righteousness (v.14b) may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (righteousness). 

(3) Preparation of the gospel of peace (v15) means “eagerness that comes from the gospel of peace.” That is, as the Roman soldier wore special shoes called caligae on his feet, enabling him to advance against his enemy, so the Christian must have on his feet (possess) a sense of “eagerness” or “willingness” to advance against the Devil and take the fight to him. 

Such “eagerness” to contend with Satan “comes from the gospel of peace.” The gospel gives peace to the believer, freeing him from anxiety though he advances against such a powerful opponent. 

(4) The shield of (which is) faith (v.16) means taking God at His word by believing His promises. Such trust will protect one from doubts induced by Satan. 

(5) The helmet of salvation (v.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8), they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes this helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is, the certainty (assurance) of salvation. 

(6) The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (v.17b): The Greek term rendered “word” is not logos, referring to the whole Word of God, but rhema, referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.’ 

And that takes care of the basic armour of God. But we’re not done yet my people. Listen to these other explanations from the scholars. 

‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. 

In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

And thus ends this refresher course on the armour of God! (smile) Oh friends, I know that some of the explanations might be somewhat confusing, but if you take your time and concentrate on what you read, you will understand what’s been said. 

And above all, please note the indispensability of prayer! Without it, the armour of God is ineffective. Now may the Lord bless and keep us as we go forth clothed in His protective armour, totally backed up by sincere prayer! Much LOVE!

…no Christian soldier goes out to battle without his godly armour…and prayer…

 

 

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