Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2019 John 13:15.

John 13:15.    ​For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you.
 

Oh my people, it’s a perfect beginning to what seems like a perfect day! The sun’s shining ever so brightly although it’s just eight o’clock in the morning, merrily reflecting off every possible surface. I was quite surprised at how bright it looked when I went outside a short while ago. And the temperature is nice and comfortable, so let’s hope it will continue like that all day. 

But the most important thing is that we’re alive to enjoy it! Yeahhh! Through God’s LOVING grace, mercy and forgiveness, we’re still around to enjoy another memorable day! Wow! Give Him much thanks and praise my fellow saints in Christ for being so wonderful to us when we don’t deserve any of it. 

But most of all, we have to give Him thanks for His most wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless blood on the cross at Calvary so that we could be made right with the Father! Glory to God! That’s why the Daily Bread Devotionals could tell us: ‘In a world filled with heartache, we can model the compassion of Jesus.’ And furthermore: ‘We serve Christ when we serve people!’ 

Words of gospel truth my brethren! Jesus is the most worthwhile example of all that we should aspire to be! Yes, we can never be truly like Him, be perfect in every way, because of our inherent sinful nature and His accompanying deity, but we can certainly try to get as close as possible to perfection in our humanity. And serving others while having a heartfelt compassion for mankind are possibly the two most important ways we can model Him. 

Oh, we won’t forget spreading His gospel, but people are more receptive to that good news when we first assuage their physical wants. Meaning, if someone’s hungry, before we begin preaching, we should first feed them. And likewise, if they are naked, clothe them first before trying to shove the gospel down their throats. 

And unfortunately that’s a mistake we often make. We reach out to the impoverished, both in body and spirit, but we put the gospel first. But as Sparrow once said in a calypso, ‘Yuh can’t make LOVE on an empty belly!’ (smile) And that goes for almost every other situation. You’re not receptive to much of anything if you’re cold and hungry. So please, in our own li’l worlds or spheres of influence, let’s try and satisfy the physical needs of others before we begin preaching to them nuh. 

And sadly, there are so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in these supposedly prosperous times who are suffering severe and serious want, especially with all the natural disasters, like flood and famine and sickness, plus rampant greed and strife that’s occurring all over our world in these last troubled and trying days. 

And I just came upon a most interesting and ever so applicable statement of Bruh Paul’s to the Philippians, when he promised to send Timothy to help them in their faith walk. ‘For all seek their own, not the things which are Christ’s.’ (Phil.2:21)  Yes friends, in this age of me, mine and my own, everyone is more concerned about seeking their own needs and wants than those of Christ. 

But remember He said that if we seek first His kingdom and the things that are important to Him, we would be granted all the other ancillary stuff. (Matt.6:33) Sadly though, very few of us really pay attention to those words and instead run off to do what we think is best for us. But I’m straying from the original topic; servanthood amongst the followers of Jesus. 

Friends, we ought not to be too proud to do whatever job is necessary, even if it’s the most menial of jobs, like sweeping the floors or cleaning the toilets. And again in Jesus, we have the best example possible, when He washed the feet of His disciples. That was possibly one of the most menial jobs in Israel in those days, reserved for slaves, since they wore sandals and their feet were always dusty and dirty. 

But Jesus stripped Himself at the Last Supper, the Feast of the Passover, took a basin of water and washed every disciple’s feet. Why? Listen to His reasoning. ‘Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master (Teacher) and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 

If I then, your Lord and Master (Teacher), have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord (master); neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.’ (John 13:12-17) 

Ah friends, as always, Jesus gives us some dynomite examples to follow! And is that one about doing menial jobs ever so applicable in these days, where we all are so proud and hoighty-toighty and only want to do the jobs that the world thinks are so uplifting and convey what it calls success. 

But please remember that though the C.E.O might make the most money and have the biggest say about how to do things, it’s the lowly factory workers who actually do the jobs, make whatever they sell. Without them, he wouldn’t be in His glorified position. Likewise we should never forget the poor and unfortunate around us and not be too big and proud to help them in whatever way they need it, because that’s what our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader, Jesus Christ was all about. 

And if we want to truly follow His example, then we have to do what He did! And having washed away some of our foolish pride, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole wide world, in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

All together now in strong and sincere voice: ‘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 if we believe it, then let’s follow Jesus’ example and go out and share His amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship! Much LOVE!

…no job…should ever be too menial…for a true believer in Christ…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 October 2013 Ephesians 6:13

 Ephesians 6:13.  Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 
Oh Friends, can you believe it’s already Wednesday, the middle of the week? And even more surprisingly, that we’re already in the middle of October, which just began the other day? (smile) It’ll soon be Halloween, then U.S. Thanksgiving, then Christmas and New Years.
 
Wow! 2013 has indeed flown by rather quickly! And as usual, the conniving merchants have found a way that every few weeks there’s some big occasion for us to spend money on, money that most of us don’t have, because we’re either not working, or because of the measly wages those same merchants are paying.
 
Steups! The shame of the whole matter though is that people who are working, sometimes even two jobs, still aren’t making enough money to look after their families and have to go to food banks for assistance. Ah Lord! What a crying shame in these rich countries!
 
Forty years ago, when I first came to Canada, I can’t remember ever hearing anything about food banks. If they existed, they were the exception. Today however, they are the rule; they’re all over the place. You also have food kitchens, where the down and out can go and get hot meals. The problem though is that there are too many who are down and out, many through no fault of their own. 
 
And my understanding re food banks and kitchens, was that those things only existed during times of war, when there’s usually a shortage of food. Hn! But I guess we’re at war right now. Steups!
 
Anyhow, the good thing about being a believer in Christ is that we also have another avenue for help, beside man, in this selfish, greedy, ungodly world. We have a heavenly Father who renews our spirit during sleep, then wakes us up with a wonderful perspective every morning, where He faithfully provides, daily manna, mercy and blessings to all who come to Him in sincere faith.
 
And all the God’s children gratefully declared: ‘Oh thank You, thank You Lord, for looking after us everyday! Thank you for Your mercy, blessings and guidance that keeps us on the straight and narrow path that leads straight to Your ever-LOVING heart! We bless and praise Your Holy Name! Amen!’
 
Yeh Friends, though life might be rough and tough, those are the times when believers hunker down and fight it, with God’s help. And please note that He doesn’t only look after our physical needs, but also our mental and spiritual, as our Bit boldly proclaims: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’
 
And how I LOVE that last part; ‘and having done all, to STAND.’ Oh my people, that’s exactly what all believers need to do in these wicked and ungodly times; put on God’s armour and STAND STRONG AGAINST THE ENEMY! 
 
Anyway, let’s get to what I couldn’t share yesterday, because of time and space commitments. Friends, for those of you who don’t have a Bible handy when you read the Bit, or are just too lazy to open it (smile)  – I refuse to believe that any follower of Jesus doesn’t have a Bible at all – I’ll just share the scripture that pertains to the different pieces of spiritual armour.
 
Please listen closely, because this could mean the difference between salvation and eternal life, or damnation and eternal separation from the Most High God Jehovah.
 
Bruh Paul tells the Ephesians after our Bit: ‘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 prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph,6:14-18) 
 
Oh Friends, doesn’t that just grab you by the heart and transport you to a much better place? It surely does!
 
Now hear the scholars’ take on all that: ‘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 soldier’s 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, 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 (v.15) 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 the 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.
 
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 to be 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.’
 
Oh my brethren, I know that it’s long and heavy, but it’s all in a day’s understanding of the scriptures. We can’t always look for the short, easy stuff, else we won’t grow in Christ.
 
So please let’s take our time to read, study and inwardly digest all that we’ve said today. For if we sincerely do that, there’s no doubt whatsoever that our maturity level in Christ will rise. And that’s our goal; to mature some in Christ everyday. Much LOVE!
 
…oh what peace our souls derive…when we have the Word of God planted deep inside…