Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 October 2021 Ephesians 5:8.

Ephesians 5:8.     For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now ye are light in the Lord: walk as children of light. 

No more rain…And the sun is finally peeking out…Glory! Oh, the dark clouds are not all gone, but there is a great possibility of light, (smile) much more than we’ve had for the past few days. And that’s exactly how our Jesus comes and shines through our personal darkness. When we think that there is no hope, that the darkness will overwhelm us, He shows up unexpectedly with the bright light of His presence and chases the evil darkness away! Give Him some thanks and praise my faithful brethren for He is indeed a Saviour to those whose lives are consumed by the evil enemy. 

As the prophet Isiah so prophetically declared long ago, re the Prince of Peace: ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath a light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) And that’s one of the most potent and prophetic prophecies ever prophesied! (smile) It heralded the coming of Jesus…the light of the world! 

But the sad news is that, as Jesus said: ‘And this is the condemnation that (the) light is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth (practices) evil hateth light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed).’ (John 3:19-20) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Those of us with evil deeds in our repertoire hate the light and will refuse to accept Jesus because we are afraid that those evil deeds will be exposed, for that’s what light does; it exposes the darkness, the sin, the evil in our souls! And we are not talking about physical light, but spiritual light, ‘light that shines on our hearts.’ 

I like how this article on thebereancall.org website with a conversation between Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon describes the situation. T. A. McMahon says: ‘And men loved darkness rather than light.  Dave, is this in the statistical manual it talked about earlier? (Referring there to a manual on the power of DNA to operate without words or a language).

Dave Hunt replies: ‘Yeah, they don’t want to know the truth. I would say that whole statistical manual is a witness to this fact; men loved darkness rather than light. Instead of accepting the truth that we are separated from God by sin, that we are rebels in our hearts, that we need to be reconciled to God, we need to recognize that Jesus Christ is God who became a man to die for our sins, paid the penalty for our sins, died for our sins, rose from the dead and we open our hearts to Him and we allow Him to come in and He changes us completely. 

We are born again of the Word of God, Peter says. This Word that brings understanding, the truth that is the light that Jesus brought.  Now, it says they hated me without a cause because the light of Jesus Christ shows up the darkness, the darkness being what? Well, rebellion against God, running to hide from God, not wanting to know the truth and so forth.’ 

Now this passage from an article on the subject on the mtvchurchofchrist.org, further enlightens us. ‘The reason for the world’s LOVE affair with darkness is that it hides sin, or so it is believed. As long as it is dark, as long as there is no light of truth, those in sin can perpetuate their evil. But let one beam of truth pierce the darkness of sin and error, let one ray of goodness break through, and those in darkness scatter like so many roaches exposed to daylight. But the feeling of having hidden sin is only an illusion, for all things are open and naked before God (Heb. 4:13).’ 

And I’ll just insert that verse here. ‘Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight (hidden from his sight): but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (must give account).’ (Heb. 4:13) So, as we well know, there is absolutely no hiding from God, but many of us still foolishly try to retain the illusion. 

The article then continues with this interesting slant. It says: ‘One of the reasons, if not the main reason, those in the world often feel uncomfortable around faithful Christians is that the faithful child of God reminds sinners of their sins. The faithful child of God might well feel uncomfortable around the sinner, as well (Eph. 5:11).’ Oh friends, I surely hope we do feel uncomfortable around evil doers, but nonetheless show them the light of Christ shining through our words and actions. 

And to substantiate all that we’ve said, let’s listen to the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus on the ways of the believer. ‘Let no man deceive you with vain (empty) words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be ye not partakers with them. For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now ye are light in the Lord: walk as children of light. (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.’ (Eph. 5:6-12) 

Yes my brethren, once upon a time we too walked in darkness, but then we saw the light of Christ, and our lives were transformed. And the scholars explain it all thus: ‘5:8. Our knowledge of the truth is attended by moral purity and happiness. 5:10.  Because of constant temptations and solicitations to evil, believers must always be proving or discerning what is and what is not acceptable unto the Lord. 

5:11. Reprove is better translated “expose.” The believer’s duty is expressed here in two ways. Negatively, he is not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, that is, not indulge in the sins of the unsaved. Positively, he is to “expose” (reprove) these sins, that is bring them to light and show them for what they really are, so that the unbeliever may see their hideous nature and their terrible consequences. 5:12. For tells why the Christian must expose the sins of the lost. If it is shameful even to discuss their iniquities in decent company how much the worse is the committing of these sins. Hence the need to bring them to light.’ 

Ah my fellow saints, I do hope that all the above has now elucidated and enlightened us about walking in darkness and light, (smile) so that we are now capable of making good decisions on it. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to walk in the light, let’s go home declaring (oh yes!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now: ‘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 believe me, if we endure until the very end, then that future will be even more glorious than we ask or imagine. So please, let’s hang in there my faithful brethren! Much LOVE!

…if light brings truth and happiness…why fool with darkness…which only keeps one trapped in sin and rebellion towards God…                                                                                                     

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2015 Ephesians 5:10.‏‏

Ephesians 5:10.   Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Well Friends, welcome to a wet and windy Thursday morning. Yes the blessings from heaven eventually fell last night. And it sure was a good shower, for it wet up most of my front porch so that when I went out to commune with nature and release the day’s stress, I wasn’t able to sit in my favourite chair by the steps, but had to sit in the one by the door. 

And would you believe that habits are such strange things, that although the seats weren’t that far apart, it just never felt right. (smile) Oh I did sit and relax, but it just didn’t feel the same as in the other chair. We humans are such a piddling lot eh. (smile) 

Anyway. Here’s an interesting prayer from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from the Hour of Power Devotional. It’s titled ‘TO FACE DIFFICULTIES.’  

Please pray with me. ‘Truly, Father, all things work together for good to those who LOVE you. Thank you for the difficulties that produce divine dividends. I know that pain is only a phase of the growing process: that seed buried alive under suffocating ground in a windowless grave agonizes before it ruptures into new life. 

I know that I build hard muscles in heart, mind, and body only when I lift heavy loads. I thank you for tough times that produce calluses that could save my spirit from softness that would be weakness. There have been times, O Lord, when only through great difficulty have I learned the valuable lessons. 

I was too blind to see, too arrogant to believe, or too stubborn to accept any other way than by a bed of pain. I praise you for the times an open door slammed in my face and forced me out of an old rut that I never would have had the courage to leave, and led me down the road to a beautiful new life.

I thank you for heartbreak which causes me to bury the hatchet and speak again to someone with whom I had for far too long been out of touch. Thank you, Father, for life’s priceless times of fruitful difficulty. Amen.’ 

Ah my fellow believers, all of that is oh so true! Obviously we don’t like difficulties and pain, but it is in those times of adversity that we actually grow and mature in Christ. It’s the tough times that make us tough. But we have to be big enough and wise enough to realize it, then accept it and deal with it in a serious and sensible manner. 

If you don’t believe me, then look back at some of the rough times in your lives and see how your spirit seemed stronger and more mature after them. Every time we go through adversity, we come out stronger and more faithful on the other side. So let’s not look at difficulties as setbacks, but rather as opportunities to expand our horizons, obviously with God by our side. 

Now let’s look at our Bit. ‘Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

Yeh Friends, in all our doings we need to consider what is and what is not acceptable to our wonderful God. Once we’re born again, we become children of light, the bright and shining light that’s Jesus, so we cannot afford to be involved in anything that has to do with sin and darkness. 

Listen to how Bruh Paul puts it to the Romans. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:1-2) 

Now here are some explanations by the scholars. ’12:1. By the mercies of God summarizes all that God has accomplished for the believer in Romans 1-11 in justifying the believer (chs.1-5), enabling the believer to live a righteous life (chs.6-8), and being faithful to Israel (chs.9-11). 

That ye present refers to a definite act of presentation. The verb is used of offering a sacrifice that became “holy” under the Levitical system (cf. Ex.29:37). This shows that the Christian life begins with total commitment and irrevocable presentation. 

Your bodies: The body has been the instrument of sin (ch.6). Now it is to be presented to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’ 

’12:2. Be not conformed (lit. “stop conforming yourselves”). They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14).’ 

Oh Friends, it all still pertains to us. But unfortunately, too many of us are still conforming to the world. Remember Jesus said ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ (Matt.6:24) That means we cannot serve two masters at the same time; God and the riches or material possessions of this ungodly world. 

Now here is some more pertinent info from the scholars re Dedication to the Will of God. ’12:1-2. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in all of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God. (John 7:17) 

Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen.22:12; Primary Ref. Rom.12:1).’ 

There we have it Friends; lots of stuff to ponder on this Thursday morning. Hope it helps us stay in faith and obedience to Almighty God, the way we ought to. But it can’t unless we study it, then put it into practice. That’s where the real results, the true fruits show. Much LOVE!

…as true believers in Christ…we must not only talk the talk…but even more importantly…we must walk the walk…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2015 Ephesians 5:10.‏

Ephesians 5:10.   Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Greetings Friends and neighbours… and a few salutations too thrown in for good measure! (smile) It looks like it’s going to be another cloudy day in my neck of the woods. 

I just wish the rain would fall though, instead of the dark clouds just playing games, for the earth does need some heavenly blessing to successfully stave off the heat and keep Mother Nature green and lovely. 

Oh my people, I do enjoy sitting out on my front porch in the early hours of the morning, just communing quietly with nature, letting the peace of God refresh my mind and throw out all the muck that has clogged it from the day’s activities. 

Sometimes I have to drag myself inside to go to bed, so that I can get up at a reasonable hour to write the Bit. Last night was one of those nights. It was so peaceful and calm out there that I felt like sleeping right there. (smile) 

At one stage I closed my eyes and put my head back against the wall for about thirty seconds, and I’m sure if I had left it there for much longer I would have fallen asleep right there. Hn, hn! 

So, judging from personal experience, I do believe that it would help us all a lot, if before we go to bed, we just find a peaceful place to sit and commune with nature and/or with God, just to release the pressures that have built up in our bodies, souls and minds during the busy day. Just a simple bit of relaxation to forget today, and not think about tomorrow as yet. 

Please try it and see how it works for you. But in the meantime and between time, let’s not forget that today is Wednesday, therefore wailing is the name of the game. So let’s wail on nuh, as one hearty wailer: ‘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!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s how our souls ought to be trending this Wednesday morning, and hopefully every morning. Oh I know the vagaries of life try to intrude and cause confusion, but if we hold that vision constantly before us, it will faithfully serve us, and we will come up above our problems. 

That brings us to our Bit.‘Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

Yeh Friends, we’re continuing to look at the scriptures where Bruh Paul is talking to the Ephesians about the ways of the believer. And after telling them that they, we, must be constantly discerning what is and is not acceptable in the sight of the Lord, he continues. ‘And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them. 

For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved (exposed) are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.’ (Eph.5:11-13) 

And the scholars provide some useful explanations for those verses. ‘5:11. Reprove is better translated “expose.” The believer’s duty is expressed here in two ways. Negatively, he is not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, that is, not to indulge in the sins of the unsaved. 

Positively he is to “expose” (reprove) these sins, that is, bring them to light and show them for what they really are, so that the unbeliever may see their hideous nature and their terrible consequences.’ Are we doing those things Friends? I certainly hope so. 

‘5:12. For tells why the Christian must expose the sins of the lost. If it is shameful even to discuss their iniquities in decent company (c.f. v.3), how much worse is the committing of these sins. Hence the need to bring them to light.’ More food for thought my people! 

‘5:13. This verse may be paraphrased: “All sins that are exposed are made visible by the gospel, for whatever sin is made visible becomes light.” 

Ah mih breddren, sin was bad in Bruh Paul’s time, but nowadays it’s off the charts. If Bruh Paul was alive today, he would certainly hold his head and bawl, for the kind of depravity that exists in these modern times, is certainly mind-boggling. 

But be that as it may, it is our job to try and change it, obviously with God’s help, since we can’t do very much in our own strength. So though it’s certainly an uphill climb, we just have to band our bellies and keep slogging away at it. The one proviso being, never, never to give up! For giving up is not in the vocabulary of Jesus and His believers. 

So today, as we face the sinful world, to try and turn it around, may the great God of our fathers be constantly with us, and grant us His peace, LOVE and understanding, along with the strength and faith necessary to do His bidding, which is to overcome the evil that’s currently strangling our world. Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) would say…the best way to live this life…is to obey God and leave all the consequences to Him…gospel truth that my people…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2015 Ephesians 5:10.

Ephesians 5:10.  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Forward on Christian soldiers, the battle awaits! And though this Tuesday morning might be gloomy and cloudy on the outside, on the inside the followers of Jesus are burning with the bright light of His resurrection that fulfills the promise of eternal life! Glory to God! 

Yeh mih people, once we’re truly connected to Jesus there is no need for fear and worry because His LOVE and LIGHT displaces all the darkness within us. Now isn’t that wonderful? Yes, it truly is! That’s why despite what the weather might look like, we always have a bright light shining out from us; a beacon showing the way to Jesus. Glory Hallelujah! 

And to show the truth and the practicality of all that, here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘On the Way to the Airport.’ 

It says: ‘The women’s retreat had ended, and I was on my way out the door. I had only a little while to get to the airport for my plane trip home. As I hurried toward the waiting car, a charming young wife followed me. I sensed her deep anxiety when she asked, “How can I live before my husband who wants nothing to do with God?” 

From the car window I said, “Let me give you four DON’T’S and four DO’S. 1. Don’t push. 2. Don’t preach. 3. Don’t pretend. 4. Don’t puncture his self-esteem. 1. Do permeate your home with LOVE. 2.Do practice forgiving. 3. Do pay compliments to him often. 4. Do persist in prayer. “Oh, yes, one more DON’T: Don’t ever, ever, ever give up!” 

The young woman reached inside her purse for her personal card. With gentle persuasion she asked, “Would you be willing to write all of that down for me when you get home?” I promised I would. 

We’ve never seen each other again, but almost a year after the retreat I found a short note in our mailbox. Just three words and her name. “Thanks! It’s working!” 

Oh Glory to God my people! It does warm the cockles of one’s heart and enlarges one’s faith when good advice is given, it’s taken seriously, and then it works! 

Now that particular problem might not be present in our own home, but there are many homes where one spouse is a practicing Christian while the other is not, and it does cause some awkward and uncomfortable situations, and that is exactly the kind of response the Christian partner ought to have. 

But yuh know what Friends; in actual fact, that is the kind of atmosphere that ought to permeate EVERY Christian home, be they all followers of Christ or not! No pushing, no preaching, no pretending, no puncturing of self-esteem. But a place where LOVE permeates every nook and cranny, where forgiving is paramount, compliments are paid, and prayer is continuous. Actually, that’s the Christian Charter in a simplified form! 

Oh my people, if only half the supposed Christian homes were run like that, Christianity would be so much further ahead. But unfortunately, in these troubled and trying times, most families are not run like that. Too many of us are too busy occupied with our own personal agendas to give the needed time to others. 

And the Bible verse associated with that writing is also our Bit for today. ‘Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

Oh Friends, that behaviour is not only acceptable to the Lord, it is what He expects from every believer! 

Bruh Paul is here explaining the ways of the believer to the Ephesians, encouraging them not to associate with unbelievers, or those who practice the evil deeds of the world. (Eph.5:1-6)

As he says before our Bit: ‘Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth:)’ (Eph.5:8-9) And indeed that’s what the fruit of the Spirit is, my brethren! 

And before we go any further, let’s get some explanations from the scholars. ‘5:8. Darkness indicates that the readers used to be spiritually unenlightened, and accompanying this ignorance was immorality with its resultant guilt and misery. Light denotes that the recipients are now to be religiously informed. Their knowledge of the truth is attended by moral purity and happiness.’ 

‘5:10. Because of constant temptations and solicitations to evil, believers must always be proving or discerning what is and what is not acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

Yes Friends, we need to always be on our p’s and q’s as to what’s right and wrong in the Lord’s sight, as we make our pilgrim’s journey through this dark, evil and deceitful world. It’s not always easy to do, especially when we get caught up in the confusion that’s modern life. 

But as believers, we need to make the effort, and as always, with God’s help we can and will do it to the best of our ability. Now let’s review and consider and ponder on all that we’ve said today, and with the sure assistance of our heavenly Father, try to put it all into practice, so that we can all lead successful Christian lives. For that is our basic purpose here on earth. Much LOVE!

…once we have encountered the brilliant light of Jesus…the darkness of the world…ought to hold no fear or fascination for us…

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit Friends. The ole fella’s just been a tad under the weather these last few days with a cold and cough. Thankfully though, with the Lord’s help, they are now on their way out. Much LOVE!