Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2020 1 Peter 2:2.

1 Peter 2:2.    ​As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
 

Another Monday friends… Yes, one more in the long line of Mondays lined up for us to go through in our work experience! And hopefully some of us might eventually wise up and realize that it doesn’t make sense to go through the Monday morning blues every week, and thus find ways to minimize the weekly frustrations and consequently decrease our stress levels and add a modicum of happiness to our lives. (smile) That’s the basic hope of our Monday offering. 

But sadly, for whatever reason(s), not all of us will be able to do that, which means we will always have need for our Monday Morning Battle hymn to help us get our Monday fix of spiritual adrenaline from heaven on high, through the Holy Spirit. Now that’s not a bad thing, but with age and experience, we’re expected to achieve spiritual maturity, meaning our food types ought to improve too, move from soft, baby food, to adult stuff, like meat and spuds. (smile) 

But my people, what the Lord desires more than anything else is that we come to Him, in whatever state we’re in, humbly and sincerely when we need help, regardless of whether we’re still eating baby food when by age and Christian experience, we should be eating solid stuff. (smile) So let’s come before Him now nuh, humbly and sincerely crying out for help, but confidently expecting Him to help, because that’s His awesome promise, and He keeps His promises. 

Altogether 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!’ 

And our God is so wonderful, that the answer is on the way before we’ve even finished our supplication! Wow! Give Him some thanks and praise my fellow believers (steups!) for being such and awesome and compassionate Deity! Just look at how we’re all energized and smiling, how our attitudes have suddenly changed, and now we’re excited to go out and work for Jesus! That’s the power of the Holy Spirit friends doing the Father’s timely bidding! 

And today friends, we want to talk about spiritual immaturity, the fact that we ought to grow in our Christian faith and move on from Christianity 101 to higher grades and not have to keep repeating the elementary aspects of our faith. There are several scriptures in the Good Book that deal with the subject, a few of which we want to share, beginning with Peter’s admonishment: ‘Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.’ (1 Pet. 2:1-2) 

Yuh see that friends, young Christians, like babies need milk to grow, they too need to learn the elementary aspects of God’s Word. But unfortunately, many of us don’t grow spiritually, we remain carnal, doing the things that Peter advises against. Thus Bruh Paul also had to admonish the Corinthians. 

‘And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (solid food); for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?’ (1 Cor.3:1-4) 

Of course they are, since spiritually minded believers (steups!) don’t fight about who converted or baptized them, because it’s team work. As Bruh Paul says two verses later: ‘I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.’ (1 Cor. 3:6) Yeh friends, whatever work we do for God, in the long run, it’s He who causes our work to bear fruit. Let’s remember that and stop arguing amongst ourselves as to who’s doing better than the other, because that only causes strife and disunity and destroys our witness. 

Unfortunately, the continual warfare between the flesh and the spirit is a human trait that still exists, and is still causing disunity and division in Christ’s church today. As it was embarrassing to Bruh Paul with the Corinthians, so it is embarrassing today to see people who should know better, because of their long walk as Christians, still fighting and envying over petty stuff. And the scholars tell us that the flesh and spirit warfare was a big part of Bruh Paul’s writings, (cf.  Rom.7:14-8:13; Gal.5:17). Please check out those scriptures, for they are very important and enlightening. (smile) 

And the author of Hebrews didn’t pull any punches, but put it all in a direct manner. In his appeal to believe, he writes: ‘Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered (explained), seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time (by this time) ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles (sayings) of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat (solid food). 

For every one that useth (partakes of) milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat (solid food) belongeth to them that are of full age (mature), even those who by reason of use (practice) have their senses exercised  (trained) to discern both good and evil.’ (Heb. 5:11-14) 

Ah mih people, too many of us are still drinking milk when we should be eating solid food, and it’s only causing serious problems in our church and our world. Please, for Christ’s sake, and with the Lord’s help, let’s try and do better nuh. Much LOVE!

…there is too much warfare…between too many immature believers (yeah!)…in Christ’s church…  
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2017 Psalm 119:105.

Psalm 119:105.   Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Ah friends, bacchanal time done now! It’s Ash Wednesday, the first day both of March and of the Lenten Season, where Christians settle down and get real serious about their interaction and communication with Almighty God. 

It’s a season of intense study and meditation and looking inside to see what’s there and how it relates to our Christian faith, and how we can bring ourselves into closer association with our heavenly Father, as we go through the forty days of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness that lead up to His eventual crucifixion. 

Now that doesn’t mean we have to be monk-like and don’t enjoy our lives. Absolutely not, but we do need to cut down on some of the worldly activities and be more God-centred, more God focused and serious about our faith and how we react to temptations, a-la Christ. 

And here is a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that sort of describes what I’m talking about. It’s titled ‘At Last.’ 

And it says: ‘At last there is One With whom I am perfectly safe. One who knows thoroughly All the rubbled ruins of my heart. At last I see all that is Riddled and distorted in me Can still find God-planned fulfillment. 

At last I need no longer explore The deep, dark forest of my thoughts For there is One who understands me Far better than I understand myself. One who stands with me In the thick of the battle One who supports me On the slippery, ice-crested paths. 

At last I have entrusted myself To One who guarantees my wholeness Someone whose LOVE is immeasurable. In all the world He alone can LOVE me As I need to be LOVED. At last there is One – My Lord and my God!’  

Yeh my people, that is the stage that we all need to come to; a proper understanding of whom our God is, what he’s all about, and the immense trust that we can and ought to place in Him if we call ourselves believers. 

That’s the kind of stuff we need to sincerely seek during this Lenten Season. And the Bible Promise for that poem comes from Psalm 62 – God only is my rock and my salvation. 

‘Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense (strong tower); I shall not be greatly moved (shaken).’ (Ps.62:1-2) 

Yes friends, when we can truly declare those words with the utmost sincerity, then we’re getting the situation right, then we’re truly moving along the right path. But before we can get to that point, we have to invoke the words of our Bit. ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ 

We need to get serious about God’s Word. And as we said yesterday, MAKE TIME to read, study and meditate on it, then put what it tells us into sincere action in our lives. Remember that the Word has been given for our benefit, not God’s, and if we don’t try to practice it in all sincerity and truth, then crapaud smoke we pipe! 

But you can’t practice what you don’t know, that’s why it’s so important to become very knowledgeable about the Good Book and what it says. Only then can we hope to say that it’s a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. 

Now listen to what Bruh David says about the Lord’s word in Psalm 19- The creation and covenants of God. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting (restoring) the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the (drippings of the) honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.’ (Ps.19: 7-11) 

Oh my brethren, isn’t that great news? Wow! It surely is! Look at all the benefits we can derive from knowing and keeping the word nuh: it restores our souls, makes us wise, rejoices our hearts, enlightens our eyes, the word endure forever and is true and righteous. 

Chuh man! It’s worth more than gold, the real good kind, and is even sweeter than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb! Mama mia! 

And if that wasn’t sufficient, it also warns us when we are going astray. And then, when we abide by the Word, we are handsomely rewarded in the end! What can be better than the Word of the Lord then eh mih people? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! 

So please, I implore us to ponder on all those things this Lenten Season, so that we can get right all that we need to get right. Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, with much enthusiasm and true sincerity. 

‘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!’ 

What a wonderful life my precious people of God! Much LOVE!

…God gave us life to live…but we can’t live it fully without Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2017 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.   This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Ah friends, the ole fella must be getting better yes, because I woke up this morning and actually felt for a cup of coffee! Glory Hallelujah! 

That does say something, since I haven’t been drinking any since I left the hospital. The couple cups I had earlier on, just didn’t sit right, so I just left it alone. But this one actually tastes good. Glory to God, my taste buds are being revived! 

And in honour of that, this chilly and gloomy Saturday morning, here is a poem from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘Beauty!’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Thank you, Father, for filling the world with beauty. I thank you for the beauty of life, the beauty of LOVE, the beauty of children, and the beauty of old people. I thank you for the beauty of Christ and for the beauty of any life when Christ is invited through the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Father, that you have made my life beautiful too. Amen.’ 

And I don’t know about you all nuh friends, but the Lord has indeed made my life beautiful! I can plainly see it after that scary, life threatening moment a couple of weeks ago. 

You never seem to truly appreciate something until you almost lose it. And yuh better believe, I am very appreciative of life right now, regardless of the state I’m in! And it’s all to the glory of God! 

Now here is an interesting quote from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us. This one says: ‘Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.’ 

And is that ever so true friends! A lot of us are clock-watchers, especially when it comes time to quit work and go home (smile) but you’ll notice that despite the circumstances surrounding it, the good ole clock just keeps on ticking on its merry way to wherever. 

Likewise, Christians are not to let our circumstances stop us from ticking on for Jesus. It will not always be easy to do, but if the Father has brought us to it, He will bring us through it, that’s His faithful promise. 

However, we also have to do our part in the partnership between Christ and us. It’s not a one-way street. Thus the advice of Bruh Paul to the Galatians: ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Yeh mih people, to walk with God, means to walk in His Spirit, so that our carnality doesn’t come to the fore. 

Listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘5:16. Walk in the Spirit (i.e. “live by the Spirit”): Christians are to live with the Spirit’s help. How does one “live by the Spirit”? (1) The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with him, having been sent by God into his heart (4:6). (2) In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit. 

(3) One must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to live a God-pleasing life (v.5). (4) The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. The believer who “lives by the Spirit” will not fulfill (accomplish, carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful nature).’ 

Ah mih breddren, I know all of that sounds hard and confusing, but it is the basis of our Christianity. We can’t live on the fence, it’s either Spiritual or carnal, fleshly living, and the first only comes by working constantly and continually at it, with God’s help. 

Please realize friends that true spirit living doesn’t come overnight, but like everything else in life takes practice and time to develop and mature. 

And the reason for Bruh Paul’s admonition in our Bit is: ‘For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’ (Gal.5:17) 

Yeh friends, it is a controversy within our souls. And the scholars tell us: ‘5:17. One’s sinful human nature (flesh) and the Holy Spirit lusteth against one another, that is, they have desires and yearnings contrary to one another. 

The Christian then is a battlefield, having desires to do good and evil. The outcome is that ye cannot do the things that ye would: the flesh seeks to thwart the Spirit, who, in turn, attempts to frustrate the flesh’s evil desires.’ 

But you know what friends, it’s not really a tug of war, because once we’ve made up our minds to live by the Spirit, we consciously try and remove sin from our lives, so that the flesh doesn’t have much hold over us, and we can just go on sincerely and seriously ticking for Jesus. Now that is wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…each tick and tock of our spiritual clock…means one more point for Jesus…Glory to God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2016 Proverbs 1:22

Proverbs 1:22.   How long ye simple (naive) ones, will ye LOVE simplicity (naivete)? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 

And then it was a wet, windy, snowy, slushy, icy, miserable Monday morning! Ah Lord eh! When is this nonsense going to end eh? I guess a certain amount of bad weather is allotted for every year, and since we didn’t get it when we were supposed to, while I was away, we’re getting it now that I’m back. Chuh! That’s exactly why I went away when I did. 

Hn, hn! The Lord and His mysterious ways eh! But them’s the breaks friends, we just have to grin and bear it, because we don’t any other choice. We’ve got to work, and thus we have to get out on the roads in the nasty weather. So let’s leave home a little earlier than normal, and please, let’s take our time and drive even more carefully than usual, because in this kind of weather it doesn’t take much to cause fatal accidents. 

And to help us on our faithful and fateful journey this morning, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much gusto and enthusiasm as we can manage. 

As one heavenly choir 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!’ 

Oh friends, if that was how a heavenly choir sounds, then I surely don’t want to hear an earthly one! (smile)  Now it wasn’t terrible terrible, but it surely did not come up to our usual standards. And you could see the disappointment on Jesus’ face as He tried His level best to get us to perform better. Let’s hope we do a whole lot better with His work out in the world. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, but first the verses that precede it, so we can put it into its proper context. ‘Wisdom crieth without (calls aloud in the street); she uttereth (raises) her voice in the streets (plazas). She crieth in the chief place of concourse (concourses), in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long ye simple (naive) ones, will ye LOVE simplicity (naiveté)? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?’  (Prov.1:20-22) 

Ah my people, those are very good questions. Why you ask? Because wisdom is the number one attribute we all should seek, and not the world’s wisdom, but that of Almighty God. And what is wisdom, you further ask? Technically speaking it’s simply “skill in living.” 

And one doesn’t obtain that by just being one of the boys. But one must apply oneself to its study and its practice.  You can’t acquire any skill without study and practice. Why then do we think we can acquire that of living without going through the necessary training process eh? 

And Cousin Sol is declaring that wisdom is out there, everywhere, shouting her head off for people to come and learn from her. Apparently back then not too many people were answering wisdom’s call, and unfortunately, not too many of us seem to be seeking it today either. 

And the scholars have this to say about the whole dilemma. ‘1:20-33. Wisdom is personified as a prophetess calling in public places to everyone to come to her and learn. Three groups are especially singled out in the appeal: the simple ones, or untaught; the scorners, or scoffers; and the fools, or morally dull (v.22). The consequences of rejecting wisdom are immense (vs.26-28).’  

And that is indisputable truth my brethren!  But wisdom, like our God, is so caring and faithful that she continues to call out to the unwise ones in our midst…and there indeed a lot of us. 

‘Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded: But ye have set at nought (disdained) all my counsel, and would (have) none of my reproof.’ (Prov.1:23-25) 

Ah friends, we see it every day; the many scorners, simpletons and fools who refuse to acknowledge and accept wisdom as an enhancement for their lives. But as the old people would say, if you don’t hear, you’re going to feel. So when we don’t heed wisdom’s call, then we will pay the price. \

For wisdom has declared: ‘I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear (terror) cometh; When your fear (terror) cometh as desolation (a storm), and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early (diligently), but they shall not find me: 

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would (have) none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away (waywardness) of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity (complacency) of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet (secure, at ease) from fear of evil.’ (Prov.1:26-33) 

And that my people is indisputable truth! So please, as we go about Jesus’ business today, let’s all seek the elusive, but ever so necessary and important attribute called wisdom nuh, for it’s the mark of a true and mature believer. Much LOVE!

…wisdom, oh wisdom…thou art sweet like honey…how I LOVE thee and diligently seek thee…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2015 2 Peter 1:8

2 Peter 1:8.  For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Aye Friends, this going to bed early is truly for the birds yes! Steups! I tried it last night and what a fiasco it turned out to be. 

Chuh! I was up almost every hour on the hour, then couldn’t find a comfortable position to go back to sleep, and thus kept turning and tossing. 

Then I was finally forced to get up by my aches and pains. It surely seems like they have all come out of the woodwork this morning, and have me doddering around like a real old man. (smile) 

Don’t know how people lie in their beds for 8 to 10 hours nuh. I could not even make seven comfortably. After about five, if so much, things begin to go awry with me. 

But you know what Friends, I will take those aches and pains any day over the more serious problems that more than half the world has. I at least have a roof over my head, food on my table and a comfortable bed to sleep in, I just can’t spend too much time in it. (smile). 

However, a lot of our brothers and sisters around the world, don’t have those luxuries, and may never have them throughout their entire lives. What a sad tale in a world of plenty! 

At least I know that as the day goes along and I move around, my aches and pains will gradually diminish, but there are too many unfortunates in this rich world whose lives will never change without help, and it is our bounden duty to help them in whatever way we can. 

We have to be people of excellence, of LOVE, care and compassion, as Jesus desires us to be, and share our good fortune with the less fortunate. That’s how people will know that we are true disciples of His. 

And while we’re on the subject of excellence, listen to this quote attributed to the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C). It says that ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ 

And that’s very true my people. You just don’t develop excellence overnight; you have to work at it continually. That means that excellence can only be achieved through repetition. And that is why we practice and practice and practice yet again, at the things we want to be excellent in. 

Nowadays everybody wants to be a supposed superstar, but unfortunately they don’t want to put in the effort and work necessary to become one. I think it’s the same with our Christian faith. We all want to be mature and righteous and otherwise, but we don’t want to do the things it takes to become such. 

Those Christian attributes don’t come overnight nuh mih people. Like everything else, they do take a lot of toil and time, effort and energy, misfortune and suffering. But the beauty of our situation though is that we have the powerful help of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in becoming excellent Christians, provided we’re willing to do what it takes. 

No other faith has that divine body continually with them, and I’m sure it disappoints Jesus when we don’t use His Spirit to the max, or in the best ways possible. 

Now let’s turn to our guidebook, the Bible, where we have this passage from 2 Peter that exemplifies all that we’ve been speaking about. ‘Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like (the same kind of) precious faith with us through the righteousness of (our) God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this (but also for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 

And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE). 

For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’(2 Pet.1-8) 

Yes Friends, we already have everything we need to live fruitful lives, we just have to raise them up and work continuously at them. That’s the only way we can grow in spiritual maturity, which Peter is encouraging us all to do. 

And Peter doesn’t stop there, he also shows us the other side of the coin. ‘But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is shortsighted), and hath forgotten that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins. 

Wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (stumble): For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (2 Pet.1:9-11) 

There we have it Friends; to become excellent in the knowledge and glory of Christ, we have to work diligently at it. And a large part of becoming mature in Christ is that as we grow, we also put our knowledge, faith, virtue, godliness, brotherly kindness etc. to work. 

For we ALL need to remember that our faith, Christianity, is not merely a lot of talking, but even more importantly, plenty, plenty action. So today, as we grow in faith, let’s also grow in our actions nuh, so that others may see our worthwhile fruits and desire to come to Jesus, and get what we have. Much LOVE!

…wherefore…by their fruits ye shall know them…  (Matt.7:20) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2014 1 Peter 2:2

1 Peter 2:2.    As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.

 

Oh Friends, neighbours and fellow believers, it’s a beautiful morning, so let’s get up and get fellowshipping with others of like ilk! Time to give thanks and praise to our great and wonderful Creator and Saviour Jesus Christ for all they’ve done, are doing and have promised to do for us.
 
And all God’s people declared a loud, hearty and grateful; ‘Glory Hallelujah! Praise His Holy Name!’
 
Yes my people that’s what we need to get out and do this Sunday morning, without any reservations, resentment or being forced to go, but just having a heart brimming with so much LOVE and thanks, that we’re automatically propelled to the sanctuary. (smile)  
 
Now here’s an interesting quote from an interesting and inspirational person; Helen Keller (1880-1968), the deaf/blind American author, activist, lecturer and humanitarian, reputed to be the first deaf/blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Wow! Now isn’t that something else! Nowadays I’m sure it’s much easier than back then.
 
However, Miss Keller is reputed to have said that, ‘When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.’
 
And that’s gospel truth my people! For often we don’t know what ripple effects our actions may cause, somewhere down the line. Like throwing a stone in the water and seeing it form concentric circles; one circle after another. That’s how our actions, both good and bad can affect the lives of those we don’t, or may ever know. Therefore it behoves us to be generally kind and responsible in all our deeds and actions.
 
And the best part of that kind of responsible behaviour is that often we also see and feel the growth within our own selves. And that my Friends, is what we all desperately need in these vey treacherous and troubled times; personal growth! Not only physical and mental, but even more importantly spiritual growth and maturity, so that we can truly understand what’s happening and thus take the necessary precautions.
 
As Peter warns us: ‘Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.’ (1 Pet.2:1-3)
 
Yes my brethren, we all begin as new born babes in Christ, where like infants, we can’t handle the heavy stuff, the heavy food, the heavy doctrine and such. Therefore we need to ingest simpler, lighter stuff, like milk for new-borns. That means first getting a basic, rudimentary understanding of the Scriptures, of Jesus and all that He stands for.
 
But then Friends, we just can’t stop there, like the mental and physical aspects of our bodies, our spirits also have to grow in the understanding of Jesus, and then we need to put those things into practice in our everyday lives. That’s when we begin to attain maturity. We never really are completely mature, because spiritual growth is a never ending course of study.
 
That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Corinthians about carnal minds hindering, inhibiting the growth of the spirit. ‘And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions (dissensions); are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as (according to) man?’ (1 Cor.3:1-3)
 
Oh my people, you know those statements sadly brand a lot of us in Christ’s church today as spiritual babes, because there is still so much infighting amongst believers, with strife, envy and general pettiness and selfishness causing unnecessary and unwholesome divisions in the body of Christ.
 
And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘3:1-3) I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: In the case of newborn babes this would be natural and to be expected (1 Pet.2:2). But it is embarrassing at this stage in their development. ‘Milk’ figuratively stands for elementary Christian instruction, and ‘meat’ refers to advanced doctrine.
 
Carnal (lit.“fleshly”). The warfare between the flesh and the spirit receives continual emphasis in Paul’s writings (cf. Rom.7:14-8:13; Gal.5:17). The factions that have destroyed the unity in Corinth indicate that these believers were not walking by the Spirit, but were allowing the flesh to direct their behaviour.’
 
And doesn’t that ever still apply to the church today my people! A lot of us who are supposed to have Bible knowledge, but behave in a non-Christian manner, according to Bruh Paul’s logic, are still spiritual babes in arms. Because it’s not necessarily what we know that’s important, but often what we do with that knowledge, how it causes us to behave. And if we claim to know what the Bible teaches, but don’t practice it, then all that knowledge is wasted. They say knowledge is power – but only if it’s used wisely.
 
So Friends, as we go out to worship today, let’s seriously consider if we are behaving like newborn babes; that’s walking carnally, in the flesh, or rather like the mature people we’re supposed to be, walking in the Spirit. How we walk in Jesus’ name, my brethren, does cast a serious reflection on His church, therefore let’s do what we know to be right nuh, and walk maturely – in the Spirit, like we ought to. That’s heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…to walk in the flesh…when we should be walking in the Spirit…is a serious dereliction of our duties as believers in Christ…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2013 Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1.     Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

Oh Friends, it’s Monday! Time to rise and shine and get ourselves ready to go out and labour! Time to joyfully shout,’TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday!’ the same way we shout ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ I know that’s not happening right now, but somehow in the near future I’m convinced it’s going to happen, because then we’ll all really become true believers and enthusiastically do what needs to be done to fight for Jesus and His most worthwhile cause. And yuh know, in that mysterious manner of our great God, yesterday morning I heard a song on the radio that I think speaks to our problem. The singer first tells us how Jesus left His heavenly home, where the living was easy, came to earth, was abused and mistreated by us humans, then sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary, was risen, and ascended into heaven to prepare a place so that you and I can go to spend eternity with Him. Then the vocalist poses this most interesting question: ‘What else do you want Jesus to do?’ And the question caused me to ponder it for a moment, cause surprisingly I’ve never really heard it put that way before. But my Friends, if we seriously consider the question, then we’ll be forced to truthfully conclude that the answer is nothing else. That’s because there’s nothing else for Him to truly do! He’s done His part in our covenant, over and above too, but now it’s up to us to do ours. And that’s basically our problem today; we lead a fairly easy and comfortable life and we don’t want to get up off of our fat rear ends and do what we ought to do. But yet we still expect to receive all the goodies that God’s promised. I’m sorry my people, but it doesn’t work so with our God of supreme justice and righteousness. He LOVES us a million fold, but He will not put up with our laziness and/or procrastination. Remember, obedience brings blessings, but disobedience entails punishment! So please, let’s band our bellies nuh, and stand up strong and steadfast and do our parts, and stop disappointing Jesus with our half-hearted, lacklustre, often hypocritical efforts. And the first move in that direction is to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with amazing enthusiasm and sincerity. As one great choir now, let’s rock heaven and earth: ‘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!’ Now that wasn’t bad, but still not as good as it ought to be. Interestingly enough though, a semblance of a smile crossed Jesus’ face, as He looked at the Father with a positive nod, indicating some improvement over last week’s rendition. (smile) That brings us to our Bit, wise advice from the author of Hebrews to all believers. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnares) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ And how do we do that? By ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2)  And the scholars tell us that ‘Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ So my brethren, it’s not like we have to blaze a completely new trail with our Christian living, because Jesus has already done that. All we have to do now is follow His lead, which unfortunately is proving extremely difficult for too many of us. And you know that Jesus didn’t have it easy, and warned that His followers wouldn’t have it easy either; ‘but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And since we now have the belly and backbone of Jesus through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, we therefore have the ability to run that race set before us with good strength, endurance and perseverance. But like anything else, to improve, we need to practice and train seriously. And Friends, that’s where we’re falling down; we’re not practising and training with enough intensity and seriousness, as though we really want to run this race and win it. But here’s the first step we all need to take, as Bruh Paul so wisely tells the newly minted Colossian Christians. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.’ (Col.3:1-2) Yes my brethren, we have to put our minds to things like developing a deeper knowledge and understanding of Jesus, and thus a closer relationship with Him, developing godly virtues and putting them into action, and fulfilling our responsibilities both at home and abroad, because as I keep reminding us, our God is a living God, a God of action, and to be like Him, we must also be action oriented. So let’s get some serious action going nuh. Much LOVE!…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2012 Psalm 11:5

Psalm 11:5.     The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

‘Oh be still my racing, astonished heart!’ I commanded that powerful organ. Then I asked in excited wonder: ‘Can it really be true Lord?’ And with an amused smile, the Lord answered. ‘Yes my son, it’s really true. In my universe, wonders never cease, but daily they increase.’  I just chuckled and shook my head in wonder. And I know you all so ‘farse’ and inquisitive that you’re racking your minds, trying to figure out what I’m talking about. (smile) Well prepare yourselves for an astonishing act, cause just as I had trouble fathoming it, so will you. And some of God’s impatient people ‘steupsed’ and complained: ‘Stop with the Hitchcock drama and tell us what yuh talking about nuh!’ Okay. I just hope you all are ready for this. I just saw a group of believers down the street, dancing, clapping and singing; ‘TGIM! TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday!’ Yes Friends, as they say, what ain’t meet you, ain’t pass you. But miracles are still happening in this wicked world. Believe it my brethren. If the Lord brings you to it, then He will bring you through it. So let’s give vent to our feelings of great joy, that it’s Christmas time, and that believers are actually happy that it’s Monday, even thanking God for it. Let’s raise our voices heavenward in loud harmony and make the heavenly hosts sit up and take notice as we trill our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. All together 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!’ Yes mih people! All heaven was proud of us, especially Jesus. So let’s go out into the evil, ungodly world now and use that same bold, brave attitude to fight with a true sense of purpose, thereby making Jesus even prouder. Now turning to our Bit: ‘The Lord trieth (tests) the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.’ And both parts of that statement are living truth my people. Our God desperately dislikes wicked and violent people, but though He LOVES the righteous, He tries, tests them to see what their true character is like. And yesterday we saw how He tested Abraham, asking for the sacrifice of his most prized possession, his son Isaac. But Abraham in strong faith, passed that test with flying colours, and was subsequently made the father of many nations, as God had promised. Yes fellow believers, wondrous things like that happen when we listen to God’s directives and faithfully obey them. And I seriously doubt that the Lord will give us any tests of the magnitude of Abraham’s, so technically we should all be able to obey and pass our tests of faith and trust also with flying colours. Now here are some scriptures that deal with testing. I think we ought to be aware of them, as they will most likely come in handy when we are tried. They both come from James. In the first, talking about faith and humility, he says: ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12) And there’s no disputing that statement Friends, as we have so many examples, from Noah to Jesus, who obeyed and received the crown of life. And later on, in dealing with patience in affliction, James wisely advises: ‘Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy (blessed) which endure. Ye have heard of the patience (perseverance) of Job, and have seen the end of (intended by) the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful (compassionate), and of tender mercy.’ (James 5:10-11) Ah Friends, unfortunately, to achieve anything worthwhile in this life, we must stand strong in the three ps’; practice, patience and perseverance. That goes for maturing in God’s Word too. So please, let’s not faint or get weary when we’re tried and tested. Let’s remember that our God is true and faithful, and will never give us more than we can bear or handle. We just need to do our part, obey, and He will do His. That’s what covenants, contracts are all about. Much LOVE!…the purpose of God’s tests…that he might humble thee…and that he might prove thee…to do the good at thy latter end… (Deut.8:16)