Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 November 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:2.

1 Thessalonians 5:2.       For ourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

And then it was Wednesday…already, I complain. (smile) Yes, but it’s a beautiful day in my neighbourhood; with bright sunshine, you can even feel a dash of heat from the glowing orb, no snow and temps around 7 Celsius. For this time of year, around here that’s gorgeous weather. So, let’s do like the psalmist did and declare out loud: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Yes friends, we had better enjoy this day the Lord has given us, for who knows if we’ll ever see another one. Remember, God’s mercies and compassions are new every day, like fresh bread, He gives them to us for our enjoyment. So let’s show some gratitude and appreciation by enjoying them nuh. 

And yesterday we were talking about a very important topic in the believer’s life; that of being ready for whenever Jesus returns, which to all intents and purposes will be sudden and unexpected. Please don’t laugh, it’s no joking matter, like some people think it is, because if you’re not ready when He returns, you will be left behind to suffer all the evils and persecutions of the Great Tribulation. And who wants to really suffer those indignities eh, when we can go home with Jesus in the Rapture of the church. 

But that means we have to be ready and waiting in faith whenever He returns for His bride, the church. And there are a few other scriptures we ought to look at, besides those we studied yesterday. First of all, there is the parable of the unfaithful servant (Matt. 24:45-51) who was abusing his authority in his master’s absence, when the master suddenly returned home unexpectedly and caught him red-handed. And Jesus ends that parable by declaring (steups!!!): ‘there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ And so there shall be when He returns and many are not ready. 

Then there is the parable of the ten virgins: (Matt. 25:1-13) five who were smart and took oil for their lamps to wait for the bridegroom’s coming to meet his bride, and five foolish who took no oil, and eventually got locked out of the ceremony when the bridegroom came late, and they had gone looking for oil for their lamps. And friends, Jesus ends that parable with this warning again. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 25:13) 

Now just in case you didn’t get Christ’s warning, then please check out chapter 5 of Bruh Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, where he writes: ‘For ourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess. 5:2) Jesus also issued that warning, though in a slightly different way when talking about the thief coming at an unexpected time to rob the master’s house. ‘Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:44) 

Then Bruh Paul goes on to warn the Thessalonians: ‘For when they shall say, Peace and safety (slogans of the Roman Empire); then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail (labour pains) upon a woman with child (a pregnant woman); and they shall not escape. But ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as ye also do (are already doing.’ (1 Thess. 5:3-11) 

Wow! What a momentous passage of scripture my fellow believers! It’s educational, encouraging, comforting and a serious warning, all at the same time. And that warning still holds good for us today, possibly more so than back then since Jesus hasn’t returned yet and can do so at ANY TIME; day or night, today, tomorrow…or even a hundred or a thousand years from now! But return He will! And it is certainly time for us, the supposed children of light to awaken from our lethargy and get ourselves ready for Jesus’ return. 

Meanwhile, the scholars explain that ‘The day of the Lord is an all-encompassing term to describe the period that begins with the Great Tribulation, and includes the second coming of Christ, and the millennial kingdom.’ So, there’s plenty stuff that’s coming, but exactly when, no one but the Father knows, that’s why we have to be in a state of constant preparedness! 

Then there’s this last scripture which Jesus relates to John in the Book of Revelation. ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15) That’s ‘an exhortation to the surviving believers after the last great war, Armageddon, to be watchful and alert, and to remain faithful and loyal to Christ during a time of intense persecution. To have garments rather than be naked, relates to spiritual preparedness.’ 

Yes my fellow saints, from today, right down to when Jesus actually sets up His millennial kingdom, we must remain spiritually prepared. And for those of us attempting to do that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail. 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 right down to the end with Christ, then that future will be even more glorious than we can either ask or imagine. Now that’s good encouragement to keep us living for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…a lot of the believer’s time…should be taken up with…watching and praying…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ      

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 July 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:6.

1 Thessalonians 5:6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). 

Come on friends, it’s time to gather for another Sunday session of praise, worship and thanksgiving! Glory be! Sometimes I just can’t wait for Sunday to come around so we can get together to celebrate the Lord’s Day in high fashion, or low style, (smile) which ever one is more appropriate to our circumstances. 

Yes, there is just something unique and wonderful about a bunch of people from different creeds, cultures and races gathering in one place to enjoy fellowship with each other in the holy presence of our great God Jehovah. And while we give Him thanks and praise, He blesses us, gives us the strength and confidence to go out and face the world like what we truly are – children of God! 

Now, the song to open today’s proceedings is a fairly new one, written in 1970 by Ron Miller and first performed by Stevie Wonder. We’re talking about that soulful number, ‘Heaven Help Us All’, which was very appropriate back then and sadly, is still relevant to our times today. So, let’s get soulful and sincere as we offer up our sacrifices of praise in sweet harmony, in a mid-tempo version, a la Ray Charles and Gladys Knight. 

Singing: ‘Heaven help the boy who never had a home Heaven help the girl who walks the street alone And Heaven help the roses if the bombs begin to fall Lord, won’t you help us all? Heaven help the black man if he struggles one more day Heaven help the white man if he turns his back away Heaven help the man who kicks the man who has to crawl Heaven help us all. (Chorus: Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all. Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call) 

Oh, yeah Heaven help the boy who won’t reach twenty-one And Heaven help the man who gave that child a gun And Heaven help the people with their backs against the wall Lord, won’t you help us all? (Chorus: Heaven help us all…when we call) Gladys – monologue: “I want everybody within the sound of my voice this evening to fall down on their knees and say a prayer; asking for His guidance, His grace, His mercy. You might want to say: Lord, Lord, Lord, have mercy!” 

Now I lay me down before I go to sleep In a troubled world, I pray the Lord, the Lord to keep. Keep hatred from the mighty and the mighty from the small, Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all. Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call. We need You Jesus so won’t you hear us when we call. We can’t do without You, so please hear us when we call. Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all, Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call… Heaven help us all…’ 

And my faithful friends, do we ever need a lot of help from heaven in these very evil and calamitous times! Without help from heaven we certainly won’t make it through the dismal and disastrous days that our world is currently undergoing. What with the unprecedented amount of strife and warfare all over the globe, the immense poverty and starvation of billions of people, the poor economic outlook, made even worse by worldwide sickness and disease…

And that’s just some of the manmade stuff. When you add the natural disasters like serious drought and famine, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes that seem to be more prevalent than before, possibly because of climate change, it’s easy to see why we need heavenly help…and quickly too. 

However friends, I don’t believe we will get that heavenly help as quickly as we need it unless we quickly turn back to the God of our forefathers and give up the idols and foolishness that the world sees as valuable. Remember Jesus words, His memorable advice from the Sermon on the Mount? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

Yes my bredrin, the only way to get heaven’s help is by sincerely seeking God and His righteousness. We can’t go worshipping the things of the world and doing the ungodly things the world wants us to do, and expect godly help. But that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re only paying lip-service to God. It reminds me of what the Lord spoke through the prophet Isaiah re Israel’s blindness. ‘Wherefore the Lord said, For as much as this people draw me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear (reverence) toward me is taught by the precept of men.’ (Is. 29:13) 

Ah mih people, it’s the same thing we’re doing now that Israel did back then; simply honouring God with our mouth and lips but not our hearts. And our reverence is being ‘taught by the precept of men,’ meaning, as the scholars tell us, it’s ‘merely an intellectual accommodation. For true worship must begin with a proper reverence for God and His Word.’ 

And if we don’t do that, if we don’t wake up to the realities of life asap…then crapaud smoke we pipe. The Lord’s not going to put up with our dalliance with the devil for ever. He might be long-suffering and all that, but at some stage He’s going to say enough is enough, like He did with Israel when they became unfaithful and with so many other proud and foolish nations, who in their prosperity, turned away from Him unwisely believing that their prosperity was their own doing. 

That’s totally wrong my people. It’s the Lord’s goodness and mercy that causes a nation to prosper. And the psalmist tells us in no uncertain terms. ‘Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; Except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but (stays awake) in vain.’ (Ps. 127:1) And I believe these words from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians when he talks about Jesus coming as a thief in the night might just be a good wake up call for us. 

Listen closely please. ‘But ye brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that are drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Thess. 5:4-9) 

Oh my fellow saints, if we are the children of light, then we must behave as such; wake up and seriously and sincerely hold on to the trappings of our faith, and do our best to encourage others to do the same. We already have all we need to do the job, and if heaven sees that we’re serious, heaven will certainly help us. But we need to take the first step to help ourselves. Much LOVE!

…heaven won’t help us…until we start helping ourselves…that’s for sure…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 October 2021   1 Thessalonians 5:5.

1 Thessalonians 5:5.      Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 

And it’s an indecisive Friday morning; the sun seems to be fighting through the dark clouds. Who will be the winner is yet to be determined, (smile) but at least it’s dry so far. And as I like to remind us, the physical state of the day doesn’t really matter once we have the wonderful light of Jesus shining in and through us. For He is more than sufficient to meet all of our needs! Thank You Jesus! Yes friends, we desperately need to keep remembering that once Jesus is in our lives, that darkness is no longer a part of us. 

As Bruh Paul reminded the Thessalonians. ‘Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. 

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort (encourage) yourselves together (each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as also ye do (are doing).’ (1 Thess. 5:5-11) 

That’s a great and rather timely message my fellow believers, for in these dark, dangerous and evil times, filled with sickness, strife and all kinds of disaster and ungodly stuff, we need to heed it more than ever. Yes my people, we must wake up and embrace the light of Christ, bathe ourselves in it, otherwise the darkness will overtake us, and then we will be subject to the wrath of God. 

For the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night, and we should not allow ourselves to be found wanting whenever that happens. We need to be always prepared, for we are the children of light, and consequently not subject to the wrath of God. That’s why we need to be sober, keep close watch, ‘putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE, and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.’  

It’s very important in these crucial and critical times that we be ready, that we do like Bruh Paul advised the Ephesians. ‘Wherefore take unto you (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. 6:13) And yuh better believe my fellow saints that this is indeed the evil day! For evil, ungodliness, strife and disaster are running rampant in our world like never before! 

And once we are clothed in the spiritual armour of God, then we need to stand up strong, because that’s the whole purpose of the armour; to enable us to stand up against the formidable foe that we face. As the scholars explain: ‘We must avail ourselves of God’s provision (that’s His spiritual armour) 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 oneself in God’s armour and resisting Satan. Having done all these, be ready, for the devil will attack again and again.’ 

Of that you can be very certain my brethren! The devil is a very persistent foe, and will keep coming back whenever we best Him, like a bothersome insect or an itch that never goes away, despite how much you scratch it. (smile) Yuh see how he was persistent against Jesus, the same way he will be persistent after us, who have even less will-power than Jesus had. And please notice too the words of Luke after the temptation of Jesus. ‘And when the devil had ended all the temptation (testing), he departed from him for a season.’ (Luke 4:13) 

That means until another opportune time. It’s the same way he will come against us, time after time, so we always have to be prepared and ready to withstand the evil one. And we can only successfully resist the enemy when we are clothed in God’s armour; namely, having the truth of God’s word firmly girded around our waist, with the breastplate of righteousness safeguarding our chest, and on our feet, shoes made of the gospel of peace. 

The shield of faith to withstand the fiery arrows of the enemy is also important, then the helmet of salvation to protect our heads, and in our hands the mighty sword of the Spirit, that two-edged sword,  the Word of God, that is so powerful it can divide asunder soul and spirit. Wow, mih bredrin! Nothing the enemy has can stand against the spiritual forces of our God. 

However, there is one more very important aspect of our heavenly armour, that being, ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) Oh my people, prayer is ever so important in our daily walk. 

As the scholars tell us: ‘6:18. Prayer is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion” that is when Satan attacks. In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

And since there’s never a better time to pray than at the very moment (smile) let’s do so nuh, let’s take our problems to God, through our Friday Chant. As one strong but humble voice. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, we need to remember the promises we made…and keep them, if we want the Lord to keep His. Much LOVE!

…we can’t go into battle against the enemy…without God’s protective armour…                                                                                                         

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8