Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2020 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.    ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
 
Well who says that this life isn’t interesting eh? When I got up about half an hour ago, it only seemed to be a cold, dreary looking kind of day in my neck of the woods. However, on going back upstairs just now to make a cup of caffeine, I happened to look outside again, and boy was our friend, those beautiful looking white flakes ever coming down out there! Yeh! With a vengeance too! Just goes to show how quickly things and times can change – except for ONE all-important fact; the unchangeability, the unchanging nature of our great God, Jehovah! The steadfast and everlasting sameness of His sovereignty and faithfulness! 

And all of God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!  Praise Him for being the same yesterday, today and forever! Praise Him for being ever-faithful and constantly watching over us like a good shepherd does over his flock! We thank You Lord for giving us this day, and know that despite the difficulties we may face, you are always right there beside us, riding shotgun, through the flood, through the fire and through the storm, ably leading and guiding us! We give you thanks and praise in the most holy and revered name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, our God is indeed a great and very interesting deity. It wasn’t my plan to get into that prayer above, but I guess He wanted to hear some sacrifice of praise from us this morning, so He led me there. (smile) And if that’s the case, then I had better do the other thing He seems to want me to do. What’s that you ask? Well yesterday when I opened the Good Book, it opened at this particular scripture, but I ignored it and looked elsewhere for our Bit. However, today, it’s opened at the very same scripture! 

Now would you call that coincidence…or luck…or some such worldly thing? Well it just might be, but I’m not taking the chance to ignore it for another day. I’m going to behave as if it’s a sign from the Almighty, that He wants us to delve into this particular Bit of scripture on this particular, cold and snowy day! Call me cowardly if you want. (smile) So here s that particular Bit of scripture…and it’s a powerful one too! Hold on to your hats and your horses, as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher -Ecclesiastes, gives us the benefit of his extensive research. 

‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ Yes friends and fellow believers, that is the wisest and most sensible course of action we can ever take in this life. And how did Cousin Sol come to that awesome and auspicious conclusion? Because with his time, money and wisdom, he had embarked on a thorough research project of seeking work, pleasure and all the other vices known to man and had found them to be all less than fulfilling. In his own words, it was all, nothing but vanity; futility. 

And what made him conclude thus? I suppose this certain fact he discovered: ‘For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:14) And that’s something most of us either don’t know, or forget or just casually ignore. But please listen to these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, re Jesus Christ being the only wise foundation to build on. 

‘Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (straw); Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (through) fire.’ (1 Cor. 3:11-15) Oh my people, those are words of mighty importance to our lives. 

Listen to the scholars explain them. ‘3”13. The day is the day of the judgement seat of Christ (cf. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10). Fire is figurative for judgement, more specifically, the absolutely righteous judgement of God. Fire is used here to denote, not enlightening power, but consuming power. Of the six types of material mentioned, three are combustible and three are incombustible. See also Deut.4:24; Malachi 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 12:29.’  That means our work for Christ has to be solid, not cheap and frivolous, built on gold, silver, or precious stones, not hay, wood and straw, which will be quickly consumed in the judgement day fire. 

‘3:14. Reward (lit. “wages,” cf. 3:8). Of course, even the “wages” mentioned here are entirely a gift of grace (cf. 1 Cor.9:17; 2 John 8; Rev. 11:18).’ Yeh friends, we can get many rewards in this life and the next, but ALL are based on the grace of God, not on our efforts. ‘3:14. Saved: Such a one does not suffer the loss of his salvation, but the loss of reward. The stress in this entire passage is not on a person’s relationship to Christ, but on service to Christ.’ Hope those explanations bring a greater understanding to Bruh Paul’s words. But it’s also important for us to check out the scriptures listed in the explanations of the scholars. You will be surprised how they can enlighten you on a particular topic. 

So having said all of that, we come back to Cousin Sol, who from all he’s seen and experienced, reasons thus: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.’ (Eccl. 5:18). Ah my fellow believers, as the scholars explain: ‘5:18-20. Enjoyment is a gift of God, and man should be motivated by the brevity of his own life to experience it.’ 

No wonder Jesus said that He came so that we could have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) And He’s certainly given us the tools to do so; our Thursday Blessings. So let’s invoke them now in loud voice and sincere hearts nuh. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And the same way those blessings were so generously bestowed on us, the same way we have to generously bestow them on others, not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…working diligently for Jesus…doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2018 1 Corinthians 3:13.

1 Corinthians 3:13.    Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is. 

Ah friends, more glorious weather is in the offing in my area, but in a couple of other parts of the world, that doesn’t seem to be a likelihood. Apparently the ash from the Hawaiian volcano is still causing problems and the North East coast of the U.S. has been battered by a wicked wind and hale storm, leaving thousands without power. 

Brother! That area of the U.S has certainly taken a pounding this year. Let’s keep hoping and praying and doing whatever we can to help, because we never know when we’ll find ourselves in such a disastrous situation. 

And today I want to share some words attributed to John Maxwell, pastor, author and famous leadership expert. I think I might have shared them before, but if so, they are indeed worthy of being repeated again. (smile) And here John talks about dreams and positive attitudes. 

‘A dream without a positive attitude produces a daydreamer. A positive attitude without a dream, produces a pleasant person who never makes any progress. A dream, together with a positive attitude produces a person with unlimited possibility and potential.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth friends! You can’t have one without the other and be successful. So from today, let’s start putting our dreams together with our positive attitudes nuh, so that we can become people of unlimited possibility and potential. 

The Lord has put many dreams and desires in our hearts, and He has also given us all the tools to bring them to pass. It is now our duty to blend and meld whatever is necessary to produce the good works that God has planned for us to do in this life. 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is.’ 

Yes my brethren, come the judgement day our works will be tried by fire to see what they were made of. Hence before our Bit, Bruh Paul writes: ‘According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. 

But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stone, wood, hay, stubble (straw);’ (1 Cor.3:10-12) 

Yuh see friends, the ONLY sensible foundation for us to build on is Jesus. But even then it’s very important what materials we use to build on Jesus. There are a lot of different things we can use, but we have to be sure that whatever we use can withstand the fire come that fateful day. 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘ 3:13. The day is the day of the judgement seat of Christ (cf.4:5; 2 Cor.5:10). Fire is figurative for judgement, more specifically, the absolutely righteous judgement of God. Fire is used here to denote, not enlightening power, but consuming power. Of the six types of material mentioned (vs.12), three are combustible and three are incombustible. See also Deuteronomy 4:24; Malachi 3:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 12:29).’ 

And friends, I’d strongly suggest you look up those last four scriptures, I just did, and they surely convinced me of the awesome firepower of our God. So for our works to last we not only have to build upon the foundation that’s Jesus, but also build with incombustible material, meaning, strong serious, worthy work. 

For as Bruh Paul continues: ‘If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (through) fire.’ (1 Cor.3:14-15) 

And the scholars explain: ‘3:14. Reward (lit. “wages,” cf. 3:8): Of course even the “wages: mentioned here are entirely a gift of grace (cf. 1 Cor.9:17; 2 John 8; Rev.11:18).’ ‘3:15. Saved: Such a one does not suffer the loss of his salvation, but the loss of reward. The stress in this entire passage is not on a person’s relationship to Christ, but on service to Christ.’ 

That’s good news in a sense friends! If our works don’t hold up, we’ll still be in heaven, just somewhat the poorer! (smile) But I know that ALL of us will like our works to stand the test of time and fire, we don’t want to be the poor relations in heaven, therefore we will ALL endeavour to build on Jesus with time tested, incombustible materials. 

And to help us do that, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world clearly know our position in Jesus. In loud voice and sincere heart 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 will that future ever be glorious my believing brethren! Much LOVE!

…now he that planteth…and he that watereth…are one…and every man shall receive his own reward…according to his own labour… (1 Cor.3:8)