Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 November 2020 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,

Aye mih people in my area, I think the time has finally come for us to begin experiencing that small white, cold, fluffy substance called snow! (smile) Yes, it’s all a part of living in the northern climes, but yet still when we see it for the first time in a year, it still astonishes us, although we’ve been expecting it all along. So I saw some of the wet stuff yesterday on my way out the street, and this morning I saw some flakes gently dawdling down from the cloudy sky. Don’t think there’s any risk of the real hard stuff falling right now, but just giving us a heads up, because it will come hard and fast eventually. (smile) 

But yuh know what? When it comes we don’t have to worry because we have been assured by our heavenly Father of His awesome comfort and mercy in whatever adversity comes against us. Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous Deity we serve my brethren! Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Corinth nuh. 

‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor, 1:3-4) Oh my fellow saints in Christ, isn’t our God wonderful? He surely is! Comforting us in our troubles so that we can comfort others in theirs. 

And I just want to add a note from the scholars. ‘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).’ 

Oh friends, until we fully realize that one of our God’s greatest attributes is His merciful character, we will never fully understand and appreciate how great a God He is! It all begins with His unconditional LOVE, where He simply cannot disregard His most wonderful creation. That then leads Him to be merciful unto us, with forgiveness and redemption and reconciliation through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, all of it is a free gift through His awesome grace! Now after all of that mercy and grace, undeserved goodness and favour, how can we not bless, adore and praise Him eh? 

Hear how Bruh David says it in Psalm 86 – Teach me thy way, O Lord. ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto them that call upon thee. (Ps. 86:5) But it’s all important that we acknowledge the last aspect of Bruh David’s words there: ‘them that call upon thee.’ We do need to sincerely call upon God to receive His blessings and mercies. 

And as Bruh Paul said to the church at Ephesus: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) Yes friends, our Lord is indeed worthy of much praise because He has bestowed so many heavenly blessings on us through Christ. Things like our citizenship (Phil. 3:20), our high priest (Heb. 4:14), our hope (Col. 1:5), our inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4) our treasure (Matt. 6:20-21). So there is much to be thankful for through Christ. 

But getting back to our major point of comfort from God, let’s hear some relevant scriptures nuh. And the prophet Isaiah had a lot to say about it. In talking about the comfort of the faithful, he says on God’s behalf: ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die (a mortal man), and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgetteh the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready (as when preparing) to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?’ (Is. 51:12-13) 

Yes my people, down through the ages we have indeed feared man rather than God, but please remember these momentous words of Jesus: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ And the only person who can do that is God Almighty, so it’s about time we learn to fear Him, rather than mankind which shall perish as the grass in the noonday sun. 

And now this last word on comfort from our Lord God, as spoken through His prophet, Isaiah on the future hope of Zion: ‘As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb (grass): and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward (to) his servants, and his indignation toward (to) his enemies.’ (Is. 66:13-14) 

Oh precious people of God, our heavenly Father has done so much to relieve us of fear, anxiety and tension through the fulfilled promises of His word, I don’t see how we can still be so fearful and anxious about life nuh. From the day He created the world and its life, right through to the day He promises to destroy it, He has ensured safety for those who belief in and look to Him for help and succour. He even sacrificed His only son Jesus for us, so I don’t know what more He needs to or can do to make us believe in Him. 

So the ball is in our court; each of us has to make that fateful decision; to believe, or not to believe. And just a li’l tip, the smart money is on believing. Now for those of us who have chosen the wise way, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our most wonderful position in Almighty God and His most wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 remember, we’re guaranteed that if we endure until the end, our future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine!Much LOVE!

…the comfort of man…begins in the bosom of God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2015 Ephesians 6:18.

Ephesians 6:18.  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

Greetings my Scrip-Bit family! ‘Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.’ (1 Thess.1:1b-2) 

Yes Friends, we do bring you grace and peace from on high, and it’s true that we always remember you in our prayers. Praying that you might be strengthened in your faith and grow in God’s righteousness each and every day. Do not forget that prayer is the greatest power on the earth, and Jesus recommended ‘that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) 

Meanwhile James wisely advises: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:16) 

That’s gospel truth my people! And what we need in these turbulent times is a prayer revolution around the world, where people of every creed and race, denomination and faith are praying for each other. With such a bombardment of prayer up to heaven, God would find it difficult to refuse our requests for peace and LOVE, healing and forgiveness. 

But then too my brethren, the other side of the coin is that we would have to return to worshipping God the way our forefathers did, walking in sincerity and obedience to His Word. For remember it takes two to tango, two hands to clap, and one hand has to wash the other. So we can’t expect a whole lot of blessings from heaven without doing our part of walking in righteousness.  

Now here is some more true and interesting advice from our Friend Anselm, aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  He simply says: ‘Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.’ 

That my Friends is indeed wise counsel! Why? Because discouragement only brings us down, makes us lose hope and faith and eventually give up on all our dreams and whatever desires the Lord has put in our hearts. 

Now it’s not always easy to avoid discouragement, especially when our whole world seems to be falling down around us. But through patience, perseverance, steadfastness and stick-to-itiveness, we can succeed. 

Life is in reality a bully-boy and will beat you down if you allow it to. But stand up strong to it and never give in to its bullying and false advice, and you will be surprised how it will step away from you…for a time that is. (smile) 

And if we follow Bruh Paul’s advice to the Ephesians, re putting on the whole armour of God, in conjunction with our Bit, life and its cohorts like discouragement will never defeat us. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ 

Yes Friends, not too long ago we delved into the subject of the armour of God and discovered it was not enough to protect us from the evil one, but it needed prayer; that prayer was indispensable for the armour to work. But praying is not a one-time thing either. One must be constantly at it, as the first two words of our Bit declare: ‘praying always…’ and then ‘with all perseverance…’ 

That means not giving up, but keeping on regardless of the circumstances, knowing deep down in your heart of faith, that your ever-faithful heavenly Father will not abandon nor forsake you. 

We also need to remember these words of Jesus to His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion, when His soul was exceedingly heavy and they couldn’t watch with Him while He prayed to the Father for a possible stay of execution. ‘Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but flesh is weak.’ (Matt.26:41) 

Yes my people, we certainly need prayer power to keep us from falling into temptation, especially in these advanced days when there is so much temptation around. Note though, that prayer won’t stop us from being tempted, because that’s a normal fact of life, but it will help us from falling prey to temptation. 

And on the point of temptation, hear these encouraging words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Now there are a few points we need to note in that passage my brethren. The first is that we’re not alone in temptation; all men suffer temptation during their lifetime. The second noteworthy point is that our faithful God will not allow more temptation to come upon us than we can bear. 

And the third and most important point in that scripture is that the Lord will not necessarily make a way for us to escape the temptation completely, but on most occasions He will allow us to endure it and come out safely and stronger on the other side. 

So please don’t go thinking that that means we’ll always escape or get away from temptation, because we won’t. Instead we’ll have the Lord’s help to handle it successfully. And that’s about all we can really ask. 

So Friends, on this Saturday morning in mid-September, regardless of what activity we might be engaged in, let’s never forget the importance, the necessity and the power of prayer in a believer’s life, for without it, we will be severely stunted in our spiritual growth and easily fall prey to Lucifer’s evil machinations. Much LOVE!

…have a constant attitude of prayer…pray any and everywhere…pray about everything…pray for everyone…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 August 2015 1 Timothy 6:11

1 Timothy 6:11.     But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness.

Aye Friends, on this summer Saturday morning, I greet you with the words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ! Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’ (2 Cor.1:2-3) 

Yes my brethren, we have indeed been blessed by seeing another day on God’s great earth! And grace, and peace, mercies and comfort are all ours for the taking. So please, let’s take them as we need them nuh, through expectant faith and hungry hope, turning to Jehovah God in every circumstance of our lives, with every beat of our heart, with every breath of life we take! 

That’s what He expects of us my brethren, faithful followers that we are. And since we have lots of stuff to look at, I won’t ramble on today… ‘Praise the Lord!’ several voices mutter in the background. (smile) 

So let’s get straight to our Bit, wise words from Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy. ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness.’ Wisdom indeed Friends! Bruh Paul had just finished telling him what not to follow. 

And the scholars have a good explanation of that verse. ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a LOVE for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’ 

Yes Friends, it all applies to us in these troubled times too. And in simple language it means don’t run behind the evil, idolatrous, destructive things of the world, but rather concern yourself with the good, wholesome and everlasting things of God. I don’t know how many times we need to hear that before we believe it and put it into practice nuh. 

But too many of us are still running behind the things of the world, especially material wealth and money and are suffering the resultant negative consequences like general unhappiness, busyness, weariness, stress, anger and resentment. 

Ah my people, trying to keep up with the Jones’ is a rough scene yes, which could eventually cost your life, and there are no guarantees of success. So please pay serious attention nuh, and let go of the flimsy, worthless things that Lucifer and his evil hordes are pushing. It will serve you much better in the long run. 

Then Bruh Paul goes on to tell Timothy: ‘Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:12) Ah mih people, all of that also pertains to us in these dreadful and distressful times. 

Hear the scholars’ explanation. ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Yuh see mih breddren, as we face the daily struggles and hardships of life with steadfast faith, we grow, we mature in the Christian life. Oh it’s by no means an easy journey, but when we consider the prize, the eternal reward that’s waiting for us, it certainly makes it all worthwhile. 

I don’t know about you nuh Friends, but I surely prefer to have salvation and eternal life with Jesus amidst plenty hard knocks down here, than to satiate myself with the things of Lucifer, then end up in the burning lake of fire when the time of judgement comes. 

And to show how most of the things of the world that we hunger and thirst for are a waste of time, just take a look around your homes and you’ll see that amongst those things that we had to have, most of them are languishing, or have languished in obscurity for ages, as the shine and desire wore off in the early days. Most of them we only want them until we get them, then our interest quickly fades. So why do we still run them down eh? The Lord alone knows! 

And Bruh Paul continues: ‘I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth (gives life to) all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; (c.f. John 18:36-37). That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable (blameless), until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; 

Which in his times he shall show (manifest), who is the blessed and only Potentate (sovereign ruler), the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; who hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.’ (1 Tim.6:13-16) 

Oh Friends what glorious words of truth, what a perfect word picture of Jesus Bruh Paul paints there! Glory be! 

And the scholars’ explain thus: ‘6:13. A charge is a command. Quickeneth contains the idea of giving life to. Since god gives life to all things, He can also enable Timothy to “fight the good fight” (v.12).’ 

‘6:14. This commandment refers back to the charge in verse 13 which embraces the injunctions of verses 11-12. Thus ‘this commandment” is the charge to pursue godliness (v.11) and to fulfill one’s ministry (v.12). Without spot, unrebukable means Timothy is to be meticulous in his obedience of verses 11-13, that is, without fault and failure in compliance.’ 

So Friends, there’s no more left to say today. Please pay careful attention to all we’ve said, and I do hope that the Most High God Jehovah will help us to understand it, then put it into practice, as soon as possible. Much LOVE!

…Jesus…the ultimate ruler…King of Kings…and Lord of Lords…Potentate of all He surveys…