Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2020 Ephesians 1:18.

Ephesians 1:18.     ​The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints
 

And the summer days pass by…steadily and stealthily. Meanwhile the situation in our world seems to be getting worse rather than better. The pandemic is resurging in places where it seems to have been brought under control while ratcheting up its profile in other areas. And the strife and protests in our streets…well they continue unabated. Hn! So what’s a body to do eh? 

The first thing is to stop being afraid, worried and panicked because the Creator of the universe still sits upon His throne and has everything under control! And in His good time our problems will be solved. Don’t ask me how or when? (smile) I just know that like all problems these too will pass at some juncture. In the meantime, it’s our job to pray and be strong, fruitful, generous and encouraging, and do whatever is necessary to stay safe. 

So this Sunday morning let us have church nuh. Come let us worship the Lord by any means possible, either individually or corporately. Let us sing out our sacrifices of praise. And today’s song is a li’l soulful ditty I discovered this week, although it seems to have been around for some time. It’s titled: ‘Drinking From My Saucer.’ So in soulful harmony with sincere hearts, let’s allow our praises to rise to heaven on high. 

‘I’ve Never Made A Fortune And It’s Probably Too Late Now Oh but I Don’t Worry About That Much Cause I’m Happy Anyhow And As I Go Along Life’s Journey I’m Reaping Better Than I Sow, I’m Drinking From My Saucer Because My Cup Has Overflowed. I haven’t Got A Lot Of Riches And Sometimes The Going’s Rough But I’ve Got a friend in Jesus And That Makes Me Rich Enough I Thank God For all His Blessings on me And The Mercies He’s Bestowed, I’m Drinking From My Saucer Because My Cup Has Overflowed. 

I Remember Times When Things went Wrong And my Faith Wore Somewhat Thin But All At Once The Dark Clouds Broke And the Sun Peeped Through Again So Lord, Help Me Not To Grumble and complain About The Tough Rows That I’ve Hoed, I’m Drinking From My Saucer Because My Cup Has Overflowed. 

And If God Gives Me Strength And Courage to go on living When The Way Grows Steep And Rough I’ll Not Ask For Other Blessings I’m Already Blessed Enough And May I Never Be Too Busy To Help Others Bear Their Loads, Then I’ll Keep Drinking From My Saucer Lord Because My Cup Has Overflowed! Yes, I’ll keep drinking from my saucer Lord, Cause my cup has overflowed, Oh my cup has overflowed…. Yes Lord, thank You, My cup has overflowed…’ 

Oh my people, are those ever-true words for so many of us! I know they’re very true for me because I’ve been so blessed despite the hard times I’ve been through. And many of us will acknowledge it too, if we seriously sit and consider all the dark times we’ve experienced but how the Lord brought us safely through them with renewed strength and even greater faith. And I just LOVE the analogy, drinking from my saucer because my cup has overflowed. A lot of young people won’t understand that because they don’t know anything about cups and saucers. 

In my day, you’d never give a person a cup of anything without placing it in a saucer – a small plate. That was just the way it was done. It was also a good way to catch any spillage or overflow. Some people even drank from their saucer if the liquid in the cup was too hot. But unfortunately, nowadays saucers have gone the way of the dinosaurs; extinct. We no longer use the small, dainty cups and matching saucers, but talk instead about mugs, etc. Now I need to find a scripture passage to tie that all together… Soon come. (smile) 

Oh friends, I’m back, after about five or six minutes…and I’m not sure if this is the most appropriate scripture, but it’s the one that keeps speaking to me. (smile) So here goes. It’s Bruh Paul’s prayer for knowledge and understanding for the Ephesians. ‘Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and LOVE unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you making mention of you in my prayers; 

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him ( a disposition consisting of wisdom and revelation in knowing Him): The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 

And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set (seated) him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world (age) but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.’ (Eph. 1:15-23) 

And what does all of that mean, you ask? The scholars offer some explanations. ‘1:18-19. When the figurative terms are removed from the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, the clause means that “your mind’s understanding may be fully enlightened.” This clause further explains verse 17. That ye may know signifies that the believer comes to know three things upon being enlightened: 

(1) what is the hope of his calling; that is, he realizes how sure and certain is his heavenly destiny; (2) what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints; that is, the illuminated Christian recognizes more and more both the priceless value of his salvation, and what a priceless treasure he is to God; and (3) what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe: perceiving how God’s power has changed him since conversion, he experiences to a greater extent this divine strength in daily living.’ 

Ah friends, the long and short of the story is that the Father has raised Christ above everybody and everything except Him, and it’s only when we become illuminated believers, mature Christians, that we truly understand the importance of Christ in both our lives and the world, and can thus turn to Him in ALL situations, be they good or bad, full-well knowing that He will look after us, and allow us to drink from our saucers because our cups are overflowing. (smile) Much LOVE!

…Jesus is the fixer of any and every problem…call on Him at any time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2019 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26.   ​And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm.
 

Well it’s Tuesday now, and the crazy wind storms and snow squalls that have harried us for the past couple days seem to have died down, but it’s still beastly cold, somewhere around –12 in my area. And I’m chuckling here because I know that during the inclement weather many of us were praying, trying to get God’s attention to stop it. Not me so much, because I was praying rather that He’d get me safely to where I was going, cause I got caught out in it a couple of times. 

But this time I don’t think Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat nuh, He was wide awake and just waiting to see how we’d behave. And we behaved just like the disciples did when the storm caught them going across the lake and Jesus was resting quietly, ostensibly without a care in the world, but the disciples panicked: 

‘And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him.’ (Matt.8:25-27) And that kind of behaviour from men who had been with Jesus for quite some time and seen Him do all sorts of miracles! 

The point I’m trying to make here this morning friends is that too many of us supposed believers are still too small in faith like the disciples, though we have seen Jesus do great and extraordinary things in our lives! We talk a good talk about faith, but when the occasions come for us to show that faith, we always seem to fall short. 

Why is that eh?  Don’t we truly believe…or are we just scared and afraid of whatever comes against us? No, it’s not easy, and Jesus promised that we’d have trials and tribulations in this world…’But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes, and even with that encouragement, He knows that it will be hard for us, but He expects that our faith, which is supposed to grow each and every day we draw breath, will strengthen us and see us through whatever difficulties we encounter down here on earth! 

And the sad part is that even before Jesus came, the Lord was dissatisfied with the faith of His people Israel, as outlined in the words of Moses’ song to the Israelites. ‘And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very forward (perverse) generation, children in whom is no faith.’ (Deut.32:20) 

So I guess nothing much has changed sine way back then! And how many times did Jesus lambaste, castigate His people for not having the faith they should have eh? And there are several! Here are a couple of illustrations: In talking about nature versus Cousin Sol’s glory, nature won out every time. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe(s) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall ye not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ (Matt.6:30) 

That means we ought not to worry and be anxious or fearful of what’s going to happen because we’re more important to our heavenly Father than nature, which He looks after so well. And when the Roman centurion came to Jesus, asking Him to heal his sick servant, and Jesus offered to go to his house and do so: 

‘The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in all Israel.’(Matt.8:8-10) 

Yeh friends, the servant was healed, not because of his own faith, but because of His master, the centurion’s faith. Jesus was just showing up there the foolishness of His Jewish people who refused to accept t Him for who and what He proclaimed to be, but this supposedly heretic Roman, had no problem with doing so! And He’s doing the same thing today my people; crying out to us to truly believe and have the faith that belief ought to instill in us, but which seems to be sadly lacking! 

Remember the words of the great psalm that we all like to quote: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:1-6) 

Oh my people, how do you think all of that wonderful stuff, those mighty and awesome  promises are going to happen eh? They won’t just fall into our laps like manna from heaven nuh, but we’ve got to believe them and have the faith to expect and do our part to allow them to happen. 

So please my brethren, please let us improve our faith nuh, starting today, RIGHT NOW, both for our sakes and the sake of Jesus’ church, for if we don’t do better very soon, our world will surely fall apart with all the ungodliness and evil that’s currently being foisted upon it. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world, loud and clear, who and whose we are. In strong and sincere faith now: ‘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!’ 

And the corollary to that is for us to now go out and share the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with those who don’t know Him, but desperately need to! Much LOVE!

…according to your faith…be it unto you… (Matt.9:29)