Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2019 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.   ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

Well it’s Saturday, March break Saturday, and the airports are still full of people trying to get away from this cold weather for a few days. Some of us though are not so blessed so we have to stay and stick it out. And I hear the groaning and grumbling: ‘Chuh man! why me eh?’  

But let me remind us of this one very important fact; wherever we are right now is where Jesus wants us to be, and wherever He plants us, that’s where He’ll help us to handle all that comes against us, and we’ll even grow in our adversity and discomfort through His evergreen gardening thumb! And that’s no lie! What a Lord and Saviour we have my people! 

And since today is Saturday it means we ought to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, this week though, I’ve only received one quote from our friend Anselm, but it’s an interesting one, so let’s check it out. 

And it says: ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’ And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! It’s one of the ways the devil tries to steal our joy in Jesus, simply by letting little things offend us. 

But we have to be strong and watchful and don’t allow resentment and other negative emotions to take root and grow in our souls, else our joy in Jesus will be completely destroyed. The enemy knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh.8:10) that’s why he goes after it. And sadly, so often, so many of us allow him to steal it, which throws us into depression, resentment and not being able to focus positively on our God. 

And this Lenten season, when we are all wrapped up in getting closer to God is exactly when the devil is at his most rampant, because he obviously doesn’t want us to get closer to our Maker! That’s why Jesus warned the inner circle of His disciples, who were supposed to be praying with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but were instead sleeping: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’  

And nothing has changed since then friends, except possibly our spirit getting weaker as we go after the enticing things of the world more than we ought to. And if you don’t believe what Mark says, then hear it from Luke. After telling the disciples the parable of the fig tree, Jesus cautioned them thus: 

‘And take heed to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.’ (Luke 21:34-35) 

Yes friends, too much carousing and good times can make us miss out on Jesus’ coming. The scholars put it thus: ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetitive excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’  

And sadly again, too many of us are not getting and staying ready for whenever Jesus reappears. And how do we not fall into that very unpleasant situation? Jesus gives us the answer: ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:36) 

And here is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of Man, when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to the temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’  

So there you have it my faithful brethren, prayer is the anchor, the foundation stone on which we must build our daily lives, otherwise we’re liable to fall into temptation rather easily and damage our reputation with Christ. And yes we all know that our Christian walk is not an easy row to hoe, for even that great man of God, Bruh Paul, had a hard time fighting the lures of his flesh. 

Listen to his testimony. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. 

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not (want to do), that I do. (Rom.7:14-19)  

Yes friends, even Bruh Paul had problems with the sinful nature of his flesh, versus the spiritual nature of his mind. So we ought not to feel too badly when we experience the same struggle between out two natures, it’s a part of our earthly walk.

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s handling of the matter. ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the (this) body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom.7:24-25) 

Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about out two natures, except to try and let the spiritual law of our minds outwork the carnal and sinful nature of our flesh. And the best way to do that is through constant prayer. Much LOVE! 

…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you…quench not the Spirit… (1 Thess.16-19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2012 Matthew 7:7

Matthew 7:7.    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Oh Friends, there’s some good news to share this beautiful Sunday morning! The ole fella’s getting better! All thanks and praise to our heavenly Father!  Yeh, I’m not feeling as weak, unenergetic and wishy-washy as I was a couple days ago. I guess that’s because I’m finally getting some more sleep and getting back into the riddim of my normal routine. The ole ying and yang seem to be finally getting in sync again. And I just want to glorify our great God for enabling me to do it, because I certainly couldn’t do it on my own. For remember, without Jesus we can do nothing. (John 15:5) And that’s why He spoke the critical words of advice and wisdom contained in our Bit: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ Those are action words my people, and Jesus desires His followers to be persons of action, like He was during His earthly sojourn, and like He still is, pleading and advocating for us with the Father. Consequently, we should be talking less and putting more of our energy and efforts into actually doing. Now let’s look at some scriptures that corroborate our Bit, obviously beginning with Jesus, where all things begin. (smile) The Good Book says: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) The parable was about the woman denied justice who kept bugging the judge until he heard her plea, though for the wrong reason. (Luke 18:2-8) Like that persevering woman, followers of Jesus ought to keep on fighting for their rights, for truth and justice! And we can only do those things by taking positive actions, like asking, seeking and knocking on closed doors, since stuff won’t just fall into our laps because we wish it to. Remember it takes plenty backbone and belly, born of a strong, persevering, fortitudinous faith in Jesus, to successfully navigate this evil, ungodly world. Now listen to these famous words of James on our topic: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) There’s abundant truth in those words my brethren! If we want wisdom, or anything from our God, who’s ever so generous with His gifts, we have to ask for it. But we have to ask with faith, being decisive, not double-minded, for such a one is unstable and untrustworthy. Meanwhile, the beloved disciple, John, in his first epistle, puts it this way: ‘Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and LOVE one another, as he gave us commandment.’ (1 John 3:21-23) Therefore Friends, if we live right with God, He will give us whatever we ask, though with the ever so important proviso; provided it coincides with His will. And before we conclude, let’s hear from the scholars: ‘Both Jesus (Luke 18:1) and Paul (1 Tim.2:1) emphasized the importance of prayer, noting that people ought always to pray. Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God. But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God. By its nature, prayer is talking with God. It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin (1 Sam.12:23). When we pray, we should follow the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples and address it our heavenly Father- beginning with adoration, including thanksgiving and confession of sins, making reconciliation with others, praying for our needs and the needs of others, and concluding in Jesus’ name  (Matt.6:9-15; John 14:14).’ Those are indeed wise and truthful words my Friends, which we should most definitely heed! Now let’s end with the heartfelt, authoritative words of Jesus, as we like to do whenever possible: ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue ye (abide) in my LOVE!’ (John 15:7-9) There you have it Friends, in black and white, from our Lord and Saviour. So, if we’re to be considered His true followers, then let’s do as He desires nuh. It’s the only wise and sensible path! Much LOVE!…,continual heartfelt communication with God…is the hallmark of the true Christian…