Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2019 Colossians 3:16.

Colossians 3:16.    Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

 

Well a blessed Sunday to all you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, in whatever part of God’s great universe that you might currently be ensconced! (smile) Consequently, it being the Sabbath Day, the Day of the Lord, we are expected to join other believers at the Lord’s house to praise, give thanks, fellowship, hear His Word and receive His awesome strength and confidence to go forth into the new week, refreshed and renewed! 

 

Oh how wonderful that is my brethren! And what an amazing situation it also is when we lift our heads, hand, eyes and hearts to heaven in humble and sincere gratitude for all that our heavenly Father has done on our behalf. And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with song! There’s nothing like song to convey true, heartfelt gratitude! 

 

And this morning we have a song that will do just that in spades mih people! It’s simply titled ‘THANK YOU!’ It’s another Bebe Winans tune from his ‘In Harm’s Way’ album. And this morning mih brethren we going funky; funky as funky can be; real up-tempo style! 

 

And I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed that when we giving sincere thanks in song, it always seems to sound more authentic when it’s upbeat, than when it’s just slow and soulful!  And that’s what we going to do this morning in our time of worship!  Pure funk right through mih people! 

 

So let’s clap it in: One Clap, Two Claps, Three Claps, Four Claps! And vocals: ‘Yeh, yeh, yeh! Say it again, say – Thank You, Thank You! All I want to do is…Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! Feel my emotions, You keep me going strong.

 

Source of my solution, When things are going wrong. When my life’s uncertain, There’s no place I’d rather be, Than standing here beside You. Your LOVE always comforts me! So – Thank You, Thank You! Thanks for being a friend! Thank You, Thank You! Over and over again. Thank You, Thank You!

 

I could never repay, The LOVE You sent in my way, my way. Thank You, Thank You! Something else I want to tell You. You’re my salvation…Oh yes You are! Don’t You know You’re everything? Set my feet a dancing, When I think of all You’ve done for me…Thank You, Thank You! Just for being a friend…Thank You, Thank You! Over and over again, Thank You, Thank You!

 

I could never repay, the LOVE You sent my way, my way. Here and now my heart’s confirmation…You are awesome and true! You’ve been better to me, than I’ve been to myself. I’ll always give thanks to You, to You, to You! I will, Oh yes I will! 

 

Heavenly Father…Right now…I want to Thank You for what You’ve done for me. Right now…I want to Thank You for taking good care of me. Right now…I want to Thank You for all that You mean to me. Right now, right now…I can’t live without Your LOVE! 

 

Thank You, Thank You! Right now…I don’t want to live without Your LOVE! No doubt about it! Thank You, Thank You! For all that You’ve been to me…Thank You, Thank You!

 

And all that You’ve done for me… I can’t live without Your LOVE…Can’t live without Your touch…No doubt about it! I just have to say…Thank You, Thank You! From the depths of my heart…Thank You, Thank You! Thank You, Thank You…!’ 

 

Oh friends, wasn’t that just wonderful! It surely was! I don’t know about you, but it surely set my feet a dancing, my soul a rocking, as I sang along, sang those oh so true words, and my fingers flew over the keyboard. (smile)

 

Obviously, in my excitement I made several mistakes, but that was okay, because the joy it brought my heart certainly overwhelmed the effort it took to correct a few mistakes. And don’t think it wasn’t funky in heaven too, because they like nothing better than a good funk tune, especially when it’s all about praise to our wonderful Triune God!

 

And yuh know what friends, we truly can’t ever thank or repay the Lord enough for all that He’s done for us nuh, especially for all the LOVE that He’s sent our way. How can we ever thank Him for Jesus eh? Or even the comfort and guidance of His Holy Spirit? What about salvation…peace…mercy…forgiveness…grace etc. etc.? 

 

But we not going to dwell on all of that this morning, because if you’re a true believer, you already know it. Instead, let’s get to the Word; God’s magnificent guide for kingdom living here on earth.  And in the words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians, let’s check out a li’l Christian virtue nuh. 

 

‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies, heartfelt compassion), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering ; Forbearing  (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 

 

And above all these things put on charity (LOVE) which is the bond of perfectness (the crowning grace). And let the peace of God rule in your hearts. To the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 

 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col.3:12-17) 

 

That says it all my people. And the scholars offer this explanation of our Bit. ‘3:16. When believers are forbearing, forgiving (v.13), and LOVING (v.14) toward one another , when peace reigns among God’s people (v.15) then the church is fertile soil for the blessings produced by the word of Christ.’ 

 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that right now that the church is not fertile soil for Christ’s Word because there is too much disunity and dissension amongst its members, not enough compassion, LOVE or forgiveness. And I’m sure this breaks Jesus heart every time He thinks about the ‘sufferation’ He went through to bring us the Father’s good news of salvation and eternal life. 

 

Please, let’s not let Him down nuh. Let’s make the effort to pull things together for His sake, in His precious name. That’s wisdom of the highest calling! Much LOVE!

 

…if Christ’s people can’t live in LOVE…then who else can eh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.
 

Welcome, welcome, one and all to rainy day Tuesday! Yes the rain has not really eased up nuh. It drizzled most of the night. Good thing it’s mostly drizzles and not big downpours. I guess we can be thankful for small mercies there. But chuh! I’m tired talking about the rain yes! (smile) 

If it’s going to fall, just let it fall and ignore it. It’s got to stop at some time since the Lord promised that He wouldn’t ever destroy the earth by flooding again…but please note He didn’t say anything about no warnings by flooding! (smile) 

Anyway, remember last week when we heard from Gramps Schuller (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional on allowing trouble to lift you up, to let it be a golden opportunity to rise higher? Well today we’re going to continue in that vein, where he says: ‘Let Your Problems Lead You to God!’ And isn’t that the wise and sensible thing to do! 

Now listen as Gramps Schuller elucidates: ‘No problem leaves you where it found you. Read this affirmation out loud: “I will be a different person when this problem is past. I will be a wiser, stronger, more patient person; or I will be sour, cynical, bitter, disillusioned, and angry. It all depends on what I do with this problem. 

Each problem can make me a better person or a worse person. It can bring me closer to God, or it can drive me away from God. It can build my faith or it can shatter my faith. It all depends on my attitude. I intend to be a better person when this problem leaves me than I was when it met me.’ 

Glory be my precious people! That’s the ONLY wise way to go! Too many of us though go the wrong way, and then allow the problems to leave us BITTER and not BETTER! That’s a fool’s wisdom my faithful brethren! As true believers in Christ we are supposed to come up over the problem, and the first step in doing that is taking it to the Almighty, to whom we ascribe that nothing is impossible, and who promises to faithfully help us solve all our problems. 

So if we have someone to whom nothing is impossible, and whose help is assured, why don’t we run to Him with every problem eh? I’d guess that foolish pride or disbelief, or a combination of both keeps us from running to God first with our problems. Only when we discover we can’t handle them by ourselves, do we go cap in hand, miserably seeking the Father’s help. 

And one of the many ways He helps us is by providing protective armour for us in our earthly battle with the forces of evil and ungodliness. As we saw yesterday, Bruh Paul said that it was ever so important we: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes friends, the devil is always out there like a roaring, but toothless lion, looking for someone to trip up and deceive, and if we’re not wearing our protective spiritual armour, then we’re easy pickings for him. 

Now let’s refresh our memories about what exactly is this spiritual armour we’re talking about. Listen to Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Oh my brethren when we have those necessary pieces of protection, helmet, sword, shoes, shield and breastplate, then and only then are we ready to engage the enemy in battle. 

Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about those individual pieces of spiritual armour. ‘6:14-17. The whole armour of God consists of six pieces. (1) Truth (v.14a) is a knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. The ancient soldier’s loins (waist) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place, by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the truth of scripture. 

(2). The breastplate of righteousness (v14b) may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (righteousness) (3) Preparation of the gospel of peace (v15) means “eagerness that comes from the gospel of peace.” 

That is, as the Roman soldier wore special shoes called ‘caligae’ on his feet, enabling him to advance against the enemy, so the Christian must have on his feet (possess) a sense of “eagerness” or “willingness” to advance against the devil and take the fight to him. Such “eagerness” to contend with Satan “comes from the gospel of peace.” The gospel gives peace to the believer, freeing him from anxiety though he advances against such a powerful opponent. 

(4) The shield of (which is) faith (v.16) means taking God at His word by believing His promises. Such trust will protect one from doubts induced by Satan. (5) The helmet of salvation (v.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8) they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes this helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is, the certainty (assurance) of salvation. (6) The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God(v.17b): The Greek term rendered “word” is not ‘logos,’ referring to the whole word of God, but ‘rhema,’ referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.’ 

Oh my people, I know it all sounds very complicated, but if we sincerely and regularly read, study and meditate on God’s Word, most of those things will come naturally to us. We’ll know the truth of His Word, as well as have a good knowledge of Scripture, that will lead us to a moral and godly life, and the peace that we find in the Word will just make us eager to go out and fight God’s battles, protected by the assurance of salvation and the strong and sturdy shield of our faith, with Bible verses just saturating in our hearts with which to rebuke the devil! 

Remember though friends that the Word is sharp like a two edged sword that cuts right down to the bone! It’s a dangerous weapon my people, so we have to be very careful how we wield it. (smile) Anyway, enough on the spiritual armour topic, it’s turned out to be longer than I planned, but it’s all for our benefit. 

And having absorbed all the above, (smile) let’s go home fully clothed in our spiritual armour sincerely and vociferously declaring (bingo!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are! All together now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Isn’t that just a wonderful situation my faithful saints of Christ! Now let’s go out and share His awesome LOVE and amazing friendship, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…only when faced with adversity…can we know the true strength and maturity…of our Christian faith…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.
 
And after a rainy Sunday for Mother’s Day, it looks like we going to have a rainy Monday for work too! Chuh! What’s with this rain eh? And I know for many people it’s like the brother and sister duo, the Carpenters said in their 1971 hit song ‘Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.’ 

Yeh, there’s something about rain that brings out the sadness and blues in us, like sunshine brings out the joy and gladness. And when it’s the first day of the workweek, it just makes it worse! But please remember my people, we have the eternal light, the light of all lights, Jesus Christ in our corner, so even if you’re feeling down and blue this rainy Monday morning, we just need to turn to Him for help, and He will gladly assist us. 

So let’s just lay it all before Him right now with true sincerity, as we declare (right ho!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one 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 friends, that’s our antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday morning! And I see its working, because you’re stepping higher and lighter already, and your eyes have that bright light of Jesus shining in them, and you’re just more business like as the Spirit of Jesus works on you. Glory to God! 

And today friends, the Lord has put it on my heart to talk to us, to remind us of that spiritual and protective armour we pray about every Monday, how important it is for us believers to be always ensconced in it. As Bruh Paul commanded the Ephesians: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes my faithful saints in Christ, we are in a war, a war against the forces of evil, and soldiers can’t go to war without proper protection. That’s why the scholars tell us to ‘put on’ denotes a sense of urgency, demanding immediate action. And to stand has military overtones. This verb was used in classical Greek meaning to resist the enemy and hold a critical position.’ 

So we need to be always aware of what’s happening around us and stand strong for Jesus. But what makes it even more difficult is as Bruh Paul says: ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (spiritual hosts of) wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:12-13) 

Oh friends, please don’t take this all lightly, we are in a serious war with the satanic forces of evil, and a lot of it exists in the high places and powers of this world, plus there are fallen angels, demons and Satan himself. And besides, it’s not only a war being waged against the church proper, but also against individual believers like you and me. 

And the scholars explain verse 13 thus: ‘6:13. Wherefore means “because of this,” that is, because we face such a formidable foe, we must avail ourselves of God’s provision lest the enemy destroy our Christian witness and ministry. The evil day refers to the periodic demonic onslaughts and satanic assaults. Having done all includes both dressing in God’s armour and resisting Satan. Having done all these things, be ready, for the Devil will attack again and again.’ 

Oh friends, that last part is ever so true! If it’s one thing we can count on is that the forces of evil will always be on our case, especially since we’re believers, since their avowed plan is to make believers look foolish and fall for their wiles, lies and other evil schemes. That’s why we have to be ever so careful and take our Monday Morning Battle Hymn very seriously, because it’s a prayer for help, for the ability to resist the enemy, and even more to fight a strong and victorious fight in Jesus’ name! 

Oh my people, my people, believe me, the battle is getting hotter with each passing day, because the enemy is seeing that he’s losing and is trying to fight back; yuh know like how a wild animal behaves when its back is against a wall, so we just have to stand up strong and steadfast, dressed in our powerful armour, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us out to battle! Glory to our great God! 

And we’ll end there today. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the various parts of the spiritual armour that we need to stand before the enemy and defeat him. Till then, may the grace of God bless all His saints and keep us safe from harm, as we step out courageously to fight the enemy, and may we all live to fight another day! This we pray, in Jesus’ name! Amen! Much LOVE!

…God’s saints can’t fight His spiritual battle victoriously…if they’re not clothed in His spiritual armour…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2019 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   ​Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
 

And the snow has stopped falling – at least for the time being! Who knows what’s next eh? But what to do, nothing but grin and bear it as best you can. It’s not like we don’t expect snow to fall in winter, but yet we complain so much when it does! (smile) 

Anyway friends, we not going to talk anymore about the weather, I have to go out the street and do some stuff today, so we’ll just leave it all in the Master’s hands, to carry me and bring me back safely. I do hope though, that the fellow we’ve already paid to clean our driveway will come and do so before I’m ready to go out. End of complaining! (smile) 

Now let’s move on to the topic for the day; a rather important one in the lives of ALL believers, and one which we don’t do as well as we should, we’re talking about ‘Forgiveness.’ And that’s the title of the reading from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

It says: ‘Forgiveness. What does it do for us? In an amazing way it creates a fresh beginning. It lifts us out of the tangled seaweed of resentment. A miracle is performed! It may not happen in a moment or a day. We may have to forgive at six o’clock on Monday and start over again at two o’clock on Tuesday. 

There is no magic wand to simplify forgiveness. Forgiveness is a deliberate setting of our will, often with no emotional high whatsoever. But once having genuinely forgiven, our soul is washed clean. We walk in dignity again. We sense a new vitality. We’re no longer concentrating on hurts; we’re concentrating on God. If we would only forgive, our lives would undergo transformations beyond our highest expectations. 

Above all, Jesus Christ would be exalted, for it is His forgiveness that makes the difference. Forgiveness is a beautiful word. It is God’s word passed to us to use freely, joyfully. When we ask for the gift of forgiveness, God always says yes. He gave His Son to make us free, and forgiveness is the key to freedom.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends; we can’t be free until we’ve been forgiven…and we have forgiven! That’s just the way the Lord set it up! And the most important thing we need to know, understand and get deep down in our spirits is that forgiveness is not merely for the forgiven, who oftimes don’t even know or care, but forgiveness most of all is for the forgiver! It’s for us above all else. Because it sets us free from resentment and all the other negative emotions that can occur through a spirit of unforgiveness. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Colossians nuh, when talking about the Christian virtues. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (heartfelt compassion), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ (Col.3:12-13) 

And the scholars have an interesting explanation of that last verse. ‘3:13. The fact of believers being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’ 

That’s simple common sense friends, all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, therefore we need to be compassionate and forgiving of each other’s faults and weaknesses, just like Christ forgave us. And so many of us forget that oh so important fact; that Christ forgave us, that’s why our sin debts have been paid and we’re heaven bound. 

But foolishly and selfishly and arrogantly we refuse to forgive others while we go with hypocritical hearts to God crying out for forgiveness for our own deficiencies. That’s so wrong my brethren. And Jesus made that quite clear early on in His ministry. Note in the prayer that He taught, which we call the Lord’s Prayer, the second to last line says: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12) And it means just that; as we forgive, so we will be forgiven! 

And Jesus made it even clearer a couple of verses later: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) It couldn’t be any clearer than that friends! 

So let’s get some wisdom and common sense going in respect of forgiveness nuh, because we only hurt ourselves when we don’t forgive. No one says it’s always easy, but with God’s help we can ALWAYS accomplish it, no matter how long it takes! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our position in Christ Jesus: With sincerity, in loud voice and strong sense of purpose: ‘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 please believe it, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…forgiveness frees the forgiver…so that Christ can forgive them… 

P.S. I just went upstairs to reheat my coffee, and looked outside…and wonder of wonders, the snow has begun falling again! So who knows what the day will bring eh? (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 

Oh friends of mine, it’s a beautiful white Tuesday morning in my area. Hn! Yes, we’ve finally registered our first significant snowfall of the season! It’s not too big a snowfall, and as always, it looks beautiful when unsullied by human passage through it. But trudging through it is something else…and so is shovelling it. Good thing I won’t be doing either of those activities today! (smile) 

Anyway, there’s lot’s of stuff I want to share this morning, so let’s get right to it nuh. And the first one is something called ‘The Tyranny of Things,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t remember if I’ve ever shared this before, but it’s ever so appropriate for these secular and selfish times, especially this time of year. 

Please read with me: ‘Materialism does not satisfy because it is tyrannical, and the human being was born to be free! We all know about the tyranny of things. We find that we don’t own a house – the house owns us. We are married to a mortgage. We become slaves to gadgets and garments. 

After we have all our “things” purchased, delivered, and installed, and have enjoyed a fleeting sense of pleasure, we find that they are still dominating, dictating, and demanding. “Press me, polish me, patch me, paint me, prune me, plaster me, repair me,” they shout. 

So we spend the best years of our lives and the bulk of our money working for the “things,” until, discouraged and depressed, we discover that we have no time left to pursue life’s really enjoyable avocations: visiting friends, having fun, and, yes, even going to church regularly. Thus mastered by materialism, tyrannized by things, we have no time left to do the deeds, or see the places, or visit the people, that would really give us great inner joy.’  

And isn’t all of that the living truth friends? It certainly is! In this materialistic, highly commercialized society, it’s all about things and stuff, especially at this season of Christmas. And in a couple weeks time, we’ve forgotten about all the stuff we bought – on credit; even get annoyed when we see some of the stuff, as we struggle to pay for them. Hn! Hn! 

So please, let’s take this advice to heart this Christmas season nuh, and not go overboard with the material stuff. Instead, let’s focus on the human relationships and spiritual processes that truly are the reason for the season, with Jesus being the main focus. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ More words of truth and wisdom, my brethren, whether you take them literally or figuratively! 

Time is flying by, and none of us knows how much we have left, so we need to use each second economically, purposefully and usefully, both in the human and spiritual realms. Darkness and evil have taken a stranglehold on our world, and as true believers in Christ, we can’t afford to let that happen. We need to push back…and push back hard too, if we want to make a difference in this crucial fight. 

And we have a quote ascribed to Antoine de St. Expury (1900-1944) the French author, poet and aviator. It says: ‘In these times one must write with one’s life. This is the challenge to all of us.’ 

And is that ever so true friends, especially for us Christians! We need to show the dark, evil and cruel world what true Christianity is like through the way we live our lives, rather than the way we talk. For one doesn’t always reflect the other. As the saying goes; ‘examples work more forcibly than precepts.’ 

So please let’s concentrate on living our lives as good examples of Christ’s LOVE Revolution nuh, so that the unbeliever will see our sincerity and want to follow Jesus too. That’s the whole point for our being here yes friends. 

Now let us take a quick look at the second part of our Bit; putting on ‘the armour of light.’ And all we have time for is Bruh Paul’s notable warning and brief description of God’s spiritual armour to the Ephesians. ‘Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (rulers), against powers (authorities), against the rulers of darkness of this world (world rulers), against spiritual wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yeh friends, only when we’re dressed in God’s armour, can we stand strong and resist the evil one, for He will attack again and again. That means we have to be continually ensconced in our ‘girdle of truth, and breastplate of righteousness, shod with the gospel of peace, bearing the shield of faith, having on our heads the helmet of salvation, and waving the sword of the Spirit in our right hand, with prayer and supplication’ driving us ever onward and forward! That’s our spiritual armour, and how we defeat the enemy. 

Now let’s go home declaring as we do on Tuesdays, our Tuesday Mantra, singing out loud and clear to the evil world who and whose we are. In full voice and sincere heart now: 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!’ 

Mama Mia! How blessed we are eh! Now let’s go out and put it all into action; share the LOVE of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…dark and evil times…call for Christians…showing their light…the light of Jesus…and leading the way…out of the darkness…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 

Arise friends, arise and greet this brand new day, filled with both mercy and work. The Lord is granting us new mercy so that we can be strong and courageous and go out and diligently do His work this Monday morning. So let’s rise and shine and greet the day with joy in our hearts and the LOVE of God in our souls! 

Remember it’s the Christmas season, one of the most important times of the year, when we celebrate the miraculous birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! That alone should be enough to drive our engine this morning. But just in case it isn’t we have our favourite stand by, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which fires us up, even when we are at the ebb of our spirits. So without further ado, let’s sing it out with some enthusiasm and sincerity. 

As one 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!’ 

Yuh see friends, when we put some zest in it, it just raises our spirits, gets our adrenaline flowing and make us just want to get out there and work our fannies off for Jesus. (smile) So having said all of that, let’s get a move on nuh, for as our Bit so rightly says: ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ 

And just for this moment we’re going to take our Bit at face value; the night is almost done and day is dawning, so we desperately need to get up and make preparations for going to work, and getting there on time too, for punctuality is one of the strong points of the followers of Jesus. 

Turning now to the philosophical side of our Bit, let’s see if we can get some more serious insight into what Bruh Paul is talking about. Now yesterday we saw it basically meant to give up the sinful ways in which we knowingly are involved; ways that don’t suit a follower of Christ. For as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians: ‘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) 

Yes my people, when we become people of Christ, we are to shuck the old sinful habits we had, and pick up the new ones which reflect the nature of Christ. But a lot of us are still doing the old stuff and it’s giving both Christ and us a bad name. The unbelievers keep shouting ‘Hypocrites!’ And more often than not they are right. 

As Bruh Paul puts it later on to the Corinthians: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness (in common) with unrighteousness (lawlessness)? and what communion (fellowship) hath light with darkness? And what concord (accord) hath Christ with Belial (Satan)? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel (unbeliever). And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ (2 Cor.6:14-16) 

Yes friends, individually and collectively we are the temple of God, the church of Christ, and as such we need to live a life that reflects the nature of Christ, and obviously the unbeliever’s life doesn’t reflect that, so we shouldn’t be too chummy chummy with them and pick up their bad habits. 

Now that doesn’t mean we can’t associate or work with them, because how else would we show and teach them about Jesus eh?  However we have to make sure that their unbelief doesn’t contaminate us, and that our belief is the more powerful nature of the relationship so that we can eventually draw them to Christ. 

But seriously though my believing brethren, in these troubled and evil times, we desperately need to come up higher. There is way too much strife and evil happening in our world, not enough LOVE, joy peace and goodwill, and if it continues in the current vein, it will only lead to a massive explosion, which I’m sure none of us want. So please, please, in Jesus’ name, I implore us, let’s do better nuh, for all of us have room for improvement.  If not for our sakes, then for our children’s. Much LOVE!

…the light of Jesus’ followers…ought ALWAYS to overpower…the darkness of the unbelievers…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

And as the days of Advent, the preparatory period before Christ’s birth advances, and the Christmas season intensifies, LOVE and joy, peace and goodwill fill the air! Wow! And I naively wonder, why can’t it be like that all year round eh? But I guess that’s just asking too much of our sinful secular society. A few days, once a year is all they seem to be able to spare. But we’ll take it and just keep working to get more. 

And as we gather in the sanctuary this Sunday, to worship and fellowship and give thanks, let’s burst out with a most worthy song, one of the all-time favourites of the Christmas season, ‘O come all ye faithful.’  In true Christmas spirit, let’s raise the roof of our sanctuary and that of heaven too with harmonious sacrificial praise from our joyful lips and hearts. 

‘O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, Come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, born the King of angels; ( Chorus: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.)  True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal, Lo, he shuns not the Virgin’s womb; Son of the Father, begotten, not created; (Chorus)  Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation; Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above! Glory to God, all glory in the highest; (Chorus)  

See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle, Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze; We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps; (Chorus)  Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger, We would embrace Thee, with love and awe; Who would not love Thee, loving us so dearly? (Chorus) Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be glory given; Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing. O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.’ 

Ah friends, what a beautiful and grateful way to praise our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for all that’s He’s done, is still doing and will do for us in the future. Praise His Holy Name. He is the reason why we have hope for the future, faith in salvation and joy in the promise of eternal life! All the more reason to LOVE and adore Him! Not to despise and cast aspersions and try to remove Him from our society. 

But I guess there will always be doubters and evildoers, so it’s up to us believers to raise His profile and make His LOVE Revolution a success. For we are His ears, arms, mouths, legs, and hands in the world, His ambassadors, His disciples, and as we go, so will His movement, His church. Some parts of it are thriving, who knows why, but most are finding it difficult to survive, and many are even closing. 

That’s not a very good vibe my people, and means that we’re not doing as good a job as we should. Christ is not being reflected in us as fully as He should be. That’s why we need to take the wise advice in our Bit, from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s almost dawn, Jesus will soon be coming back, and right now our efforts are sadly lacking, so we need to improve dramatically. As Bruh Paul continues to the Roman church: ‘Let us walk honestly (properly), as in the day; not in rioting (revelry) and drunkenness, not in chambering (licentiousness) and wantonness (lewdness), not in strife and envying.’ (Rom.13:13) 

And it’s no secret friends that too many of us so-called Christians are deeply involved in too much of those worldly improprieties. We need to stop the hypocrisy; narrow the gulf between the Christian stuff we mouth, and the worldly trail we walk. As Bruh Paul warns: ‘But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.’ (Rom.13:14) 

And the scholars offer this explanation re that verse. ‘13:14. Make not provision for the flesh: One should not seek opportunities to satisfy deep-seated desires of the sin nature, but should seek occasion to manifest works that are consistent with the new life in Christ.’  

And that’s all Christ is asking of us yes friends: if you claim to believe in Him, then please live the way He desires you to live. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, because we don’t have the capacity for that, but He does expect us to be excellent and diligent in doing His work, like He was excellent and diligent in doing the Father’s work here on earth. When we don’t walk our talk, we just cause others to bad-mouth our Saviour and further demean His reputation, thus playing into the hands of the workers of iniquity. 

Therefore my faithful brethren, let’s do like Bruh Paul suggests to the Ephesians nuh. ‘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.5:11-14) 

Oh friends, if we sincerely want to help the cause of Jesus, then we have to stop indulging in those sins that we know are ‘unfruitful works of darkness,’ sins of the unsaved, and instead expose them, bring them into the light, show them for the wrongdoings  that they are. It’s time friends, time for less talk and more action, time to throw off the cloak of darkness and put on the mantle of light that Jesus offers. That’s the ONLY way our world will ever improve. Much LOVE!

…Christians…oh Christians…where is your light that’s supposed to shine in the darkness…to light up the world…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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