Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2021 John 3:3.

John 3:3.     ​Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Well here comes Saturday; that lazy, hazy day! And with the worldwide lockdown, there’s even more reason to have a lazy and hazy Saturday since you can’t go anywhere and do much of anything! (smile) But God is good, and He operates on both the good and bad days, so there’s nothing to fear if we have Him uppermost in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Yeh friends, if we want to make it through all in one piece in these treacherous and perilous times, then the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob definitely has to be our rock, our anchor, our place of safe refuge, our Good Shepherd. 

And as we always do on Saturdays, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And thank God it seems like he’s stopped putting that unwieldy preface before each quote! (smile) 

And the first quote says: ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.’ Now there is truth to that statement, although I don’t believe that intelligence is only the ability to adapt to change. It’s also a whole lot of other things. But you do need intelligence if you’re going to successfully adapt to change. You need to first be intelligent to know that you must adapt in some things and places, and then be intelligent enough to know which things and places to adapt to. If you don’t, the world will quickly leave you behind. 

But for heaven’s sake, don’t just adapt for adapting sake, or because everyone else is doing it. You just have to look at the state of social media nowadays and see how it’s sucking so many people into bad habits with its ever expanding tentacles and reach! You have to be intelligent enough to know how far to let it take you. 

And the next quote tells us that ‘Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.’ Now I think that’s somewhat contradictory. Granted, foolish people might never want to change, but a wise man, because he is wise, ought to know that change is sometimes very necessary, even though we may not want to make it. So personally, I think that part is wrong. And I can say that from personal experience. (smile) I’m not a great believer in change, especially just for change sake, but I do think I’m wise enough to know that at times I do need to change, although I may not want to. 

And that’s where I think wisdom becomes very necessary. Yeah, they used to tell me that I was living in the 18thcentury, but now I’ve moved up to halfway in the 20th. So you see, I was wise enough to recognize the need for some change, though they had to drag me screaming into it! (smile) And change is especially important if you want to be a true believer in Christ. A couple of scriptures will show us that. 

The first comes from Jesus Himself, when Nicodemus came to Him by night, afraid of the wrath of the Pharisees, and asked how to gain salvation.‘Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’(John 3:3) Yeh friends, that’s the first and wisest change we need to make if we want to follow Jesus! 

And it doesn’t mean entering into our mother’s wombs again, but ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) And once you’re born again of water and the Spirit, then you need to hear Bruh Paul’s words to the church at Corinth. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) 

Now that’s another time when change is oh so necessary! We have to put away the old, worldly things of our lives and pick up new spiritual practices that fall under Jesus’ guidelines. And I believe that this next quote addresses our problem with all that change very adequately. ‘If you have a purpose which is bigger than you, all your problems will become tiny.’ 

Oh,  all your problems definitely won’t become tiny, but with Jesus as your main man, with His divine help, they will become manageable. But we must have Jesus as our special purpose, a purpose bigger than us, if our problems are to become manageable. That’s just the way life is friends. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus as He talks about the vine and the branches. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) And if that isn’t telling it like it is, then I don’t know what is nuh? 

Bruh Paul also corroborated Christ’s statement in his second letter to the Corinthians. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) And if you don’t make that change and start depending on God, then you’re not wise! (smile) 

And the last quote says: ‘The ones who can see the vision when no one else can, and work on it like there is no tomorrow, will succeed. The rest will follow.’ Oh friends, there is much truth in that statement, but the crux of it is the second part. Many of us see visions, know what we ought to do, what the Lord wants us to do, but for whatever reason we refuse or hem and haw until it’s too late to work on it. 

That’s the whole thing about being a Christian my brethren; we not only have a new and different way to live, but we also have to diligently work at it, since we are servants, workers, ambassadors of Christ on this evil earth! He is depending on us to bring about the necessary changes He desires. And truly working at being a Christian is no easy matter since the devil and his evil cronies delight in putting obstacles in our way. That’s why we need to read and know the word of God so that we can put it into use when the enemy comes against us, as he undoubtedly will. 

As Bruh Paul said to Timothy: ‘Fight the good fight of faith…’ (1 Tim. 6:12) As believers, we all have to daily fight the hardships and adversity that comes with the Christian life, show the true nature of our faith, as we daily grow and mature in it, until we can accomplish that balance between faith and works that James talks about. ‘Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2:17-18) 

Oh precious people, it’s great to have faith, but faith is useless if it isn’t put to work. Jesus didn’t come to earth to just have faith, He came to do works, and we are called to do likewise, in His name. So let’s get to it seriously nuh, the world is anxiously waiting for us to show it our true and lasting faith by our sincere works! Much LOVE!

…a believer must be responsive to change…but wisely… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2018 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.   Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock.

And yes, a savage thunderstorm hit my area early yesterday evening and cooled down the heat and humidity some! I have to laugh though, because I went out on my front porch to check it out, but could only stay a couple of minutes as the wind soon began blowing the rain in on me and the incessant lighting wasn’t too appealing. Let’s hope that today is not as hot and humid. 

Anyway, today I want to share something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, something appropriately titled ‘A Family Pledge,’ and it’s oh so appropriate to individual families as well as the family of Christ, His church. 

Please pledge with me. ‘We will permit God to use our conflicts and mixed emotions as lessons in quiet growth. With LOVING patience, without ridicule or judgement, we will support each other in the gradual untangling of built-in defenses. We will focus on each other as persons made in the image of God. 

We will seek to please rather than to pressure, to delight rather than to demand, to give rather than to get. We will share the humdrums as well as the highlights, the tears as well as the laughter, the defeats as well as the victories. We will not insist on perfection – rather we will anticipate growth. 

We will not compete for the mountaintop, rather we will climb the mountain together. We will wait for each other if one of us gets behind. We will lift our hearts in a celebration of gratitude for God’s amazing LOVE, which makes our family LOVE possible. We will LOVE each other as we do these things.’ 

Oh friends, can you imagine the joy, especially in heaven, the goodwill, the glorious relationships in our cruel and evil world if we were to put those pledges into real action! And the sad part is that they don’t represent anything new, it’s just what we’re supposed to be doing all along, what we know we’re supposed to do but simply aren’t doing, 

That’s why Jesus died; so that we could be one big, happy and righteous family! Instead we’re allowing the prince of darkness and his evil cronies to invade our families and Christ’s church and turn them into dens of devilry. How sad my people! 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit; immortal words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock.’ (Matt.7:24-25) 

My friends and fellow believers, have we built our houses, both literally and figuratively on a rock? I certainly hope so for all our sakes, especially the figurative house that wisdom dictates must be built on the rock that’s Jesus in order for our souls to survive. 

Now listen to Jesus as he details the other side of the equation. ‘And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt.7:26-27) 

Unfortunately my brethren there are way too many of us who have built and are still building our lives and our houses on sinking sand; meaning not on the words and instructions of Jesus. Now that’s a seriously irresponsible and foolish way to go, for Jesus is the ONLY way to a secure, sincere and eventual eternal life with our magnificent and magnanimous Maker and Godhead. Anything else is simply foolishness and not true. 

But hear the scholars. ‘7:24-27. In drawing His concluding illustration of the two foundations, Jesus begins with the word therefore. On the basis of all that He has taught and illustrated, He concluded that all who both hear and do His sayings shall be saved. As a great Master Counselor, Jesus reminded His listener that hearing this message alone will not change his life. He must both hear and do what Jesus has said. 

The elements of the closing illustration are drawn from the simplicity of nature itself, the rock, the rain, and the winds. The man whose house collapsed was at fault, not because he failed to labour, but because he did not lay the proper foundation. The shifting sand represents human opinion and the doctrines of men as opposed to “these sayings” (vs.28).’ 

Ah mih people, please let us not be numbered amongst those who have laboured hard, but have built their lives on the wrong foundation; the opinions and doctrines of mortal men and not those of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, our Rock and safe place of Refuge. 

And for those of us who have built wisely, let’s go home now declaring to the world who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Glory be my people! Now let’s go out and do what we’ve just pledged; share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world. Much LOVE!

…to LOVE…to LOVE…and yet to LOVE…that is the truly Christian way…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2013 1 John 5:14.

1 John 5:14.    And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Monday – officially the second day of autumn, that beautiful, unique season between summer and winter, when nature starts to go into hibernation mode, but before doing so, bathes us in bright, colourful hues and splendid, panoramic scenes. I guess you can call autumn (fall) the season of eye-candy! (smile)
 
Anyway Friends, the Lord, in His usual mysterious movements, wanted me to remind us that ‘We, we are blessed! If you’re a believer, then you, you are blessed. So let’s tell the world, that we, we are blessed!’ That’s a take on the song ‘I am Blessed,’ by I believe it’s sung by Kay Morris and her group. But my people, it’s ever so important that this Monday morning, as we get up to go back out to labour in God’s name, and it’s in His name that we’re working, not man’s, that we remember we’re BLESSED in all that we do. For without His blessing we can do very little.
 
And having brought that fact in to focus, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get us ready to go out and battle Lucifer and his evil cohorts. And since we’re not as tired as we usually are, because we’ve gotten some decent rest this weekend, let’s let it all hang out and sing with pomp and glory nuh. (smile) 
 
As one voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
Awright mih people, the engine’s revving and the adrenalin’s flowing, so let’s get out there and be worthy soldiers in Jesus’ army. Remember, He’s already at the front lines, and, like His magnificent steed, He’s just chomping at the bit, waiting for us to arrive and engage the enemy.
 
Now let’s get to our Bit: ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.’ And that my Friends, is what’s called absolute truth!
 
That brings us to supporting scripture. And we’ll begin with some wise words from the wisest man ever, Cousin Sol, as he contrasts the wise and foolish. ‘In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart (turn one away) from the snares of death.’ (Prov.14:26-27).
 
Wow! Wise words indeed my brethren! When we have a proper reverence for Almighty God our confidence never wavers, always stays strong, because we know we can always turn to Him in times of need. There’s always a place of refuge for us under His wide and ever-LOVING wings. That reverence will also keep us alive and kicking, in that it will keep us from falling for, and into the death traps that the enemy lays for us. 
 
Next we’ll turn to Bruh Paul, as he talks to the Ephesians about pressing towards the mark. ‘Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision (mutilation, circumcision). For we are the circumcision which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.’ (Phil.3:2-3)
 
Ah mih people, Bruh Paul was here warning the Ephesians of the Judaizers, those supposed Christians who were preaching that you still need circumcision, per the Law of Moses to receive salvation, which was a total lie. He called them dogs, because dogs were regarded as shameful, despicable, creatures, just running around behaving like scavengers, and the Jews held the Gentiles in the same disdain that they held for stray dogs.
 
Bruh Paul even refuses to refer to them as ‘the circumcision’, instead using it for those circumcised of heart in Jesus, and not of the flesh. He turns the table on those false Christians, the Judaizers, and calls them ‘dogs’ instead.
 
And here’s what the scholars have to say about verse 3. ‘3:3. The circumcision or true people of God are described here in three ways. (1) They are those who worship God in the spirit. Their worship of God is prompted, directed, and enabled by the Holy Spirit. (2) Real Christians also rejoice in Christ. They boast and take pride in Him, not in themselves.
 
(3) They have no confidence in the flesh. “Flesh” here means one’s earthly privileges, human attainments, and religious accomplishments. God’s people refuse to depend on such things for their salvation; instead, they rely upon Christ to obtain favour with God.’  
 
And that’s it for today Friends! As usual, I hope the message moves us further along the continuum to maturity in Christ Jesus, for that’s the ultimate purpose; to help us grow a little more each day, in wisdom, righteousness and LOVE. That’s God’s plan for us, so please, with His awesome help, let’s keep working faithfully towards it. Much LOVE!
 
…if our hearts aren’t truly circumcised in Christ…then we can’t really be true believers…