Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 January 2022 John 10:10b.

John 10:10b.     I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Boy oh boy! Two days of decent sunshine in a row! That must be a record! But I think it’s going to be a tad on the cold side. That’s okay though, I can handle the cold when the sun’s shining. It’s just the dark, damp, dreary weather that gets to me. But all thanks to Jesus, I can handle both types of weather, if I just put my mind to it. 

And that’s the beauty of living for Jesus: He enables you to do anything that coincides with His will or plan for your life. That’s why we say, with full confidence: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ Phil. 4:13) Now just saying it doesn’t make it true. You have to sincerely believe it, and make it a customary practice, a habit in your life, so that after a while, it just blends in automatically. (smile) 

Ah friends, knowing who we are in Christ, and knowing the benefits that spring forth from such a privileged position, is extremely important if we want to live the abundant life that Jesus promised, and died for us to have. And you ask, what does it mean to be in Christ? 

Well, the simple answer is that when we are born again, when we receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour, He comes to dwell in us through His Holy Spirit, and we become a part of Him. We are made clean, renewed and acceptable to the Holy Father. But I found this article on the subject on the gotquestions.org website which I believe explains it better than I can. (smile) 

So let’s see what it says. ‘In Christ, we are regenerated, renewed, and born again, and this new creation is spiritually minded, whereas the old nature is carnally minded. The new nature fellowships with God, obeys His will, and is devoted to His service. These are actions the old nature is incapable of doing or even desiring to do. The old nature is dead to the things of the Spirit and cannot revive itself. It is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1) and can only be made alive by a supernatural awakening, which happens when we come to Christ and are indwelt by Him. 

Christ gives us a completely new and holy nature and an incorruptible life. Our old life, previously dead to God because of sin, is buried, and we are raised “to walk in newness of life” with Him (Rom. 6:4). If we belong to Christ, we are united to Him and no longer slaves to sin (Rom. 6:5-6); we are made alive with Him (Eph. 2:5); we are conformed to His image (Rom. 8:29); we are free from condemnation and walking not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:1); and we are part of the body of Christ with other believers (Rom. 12:5). 

The believer now possesses a new heart (Ezek. 11:19) and has been blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:3). We might wonder why we so often do not live in the manner described, even though we have given our lives to Christ and are sure of our salvation. This is because our new natures are residing in our old fleshly bodies, and these two are at war with one another. The old nature is dead, but the new nature still has to battle the old “tent” in which it dwells. Evil and sin are still present, but the believer now sees them in a new perspective and they no longer control him as they once did. 

In Christ, we can now choose to resist sin, whereas the old nature could not. Now we have the choice to either feed the new nature through the Word, prayer, and obedience, or to feed the flesh by neglecting those things. When we are in Christ, “we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37) and can rejoice in our Savior, who makes all things possible (Phil. 4:13). In Christ we are LOVED, forgiven, and secure. In Christ we are adopted, justified, redeemed, reconciled, and chosen. In Christ we are victorious, filled with joy and peace, and granted true meaning in life. What a wonderful Savior is Christ!’ 

And isn’t all that the gospel truth my fellow saints! In Christ Jesus we have EVERYTHING we can ever need! In other words, the abundant life. Like he said. ‘The thief cometh not, but (except) for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Yes friends, that was Christ’s stated purpose; to save us from eternal death and damnation, to give us a better quality of life both here and in the hereafter. So please, let’s not make His sacrifice a waste of time by not enjoying the life He died for us to have. Therefore, let’s turn sincerely to Him, cling tenaciously to him, and live victoriously for Him, for that is the wisdom of the ages! 

And one of the things that come with such absolute devotion is prayer, both in good and bad times. So, in these rough times we are currently experiencing, let’s turn to our Saviour, our Creator for badly needed divine help, through our Friday Chant. As one strong, confident, 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!’ 

Let’s remember though, that we don’t just pray for help, but we also keep the promises we made in our prayer. Much LOVE!

…only in Christ…can one discover many of the answers…to the mysteries of life… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2015 James 4:8‏‏

James 4:8.     Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. 

And then it was Saturday; a supposedly rainy day. But who knows eh? We’ve been promised some showers of blessing for the longest while, but we haven’t seen hide nor hair of heavenly water for at least two, possibly three weeks in my area. It’s been cloudy at times, but not even rain-clouding dark, and the strong winds we’ve recently been having have blown those wispy rain clouds away. (smile)

They remind me of the story of Elijah when he prayed for rain in Israel. On the seventh time Elijah’s servant went to see if any rain was in the offing per Elijah’s prayers, he came back and reported: ‘Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.’ (1 Kin.18:44)

That was the beginning of an abundance of rain for Israel, but no such luck for us. Anyway, it’s still pretty early in the morning to despair, for with our God’s omnipotent powers anything can happen at any time,  in the blink of an eye.

But here’s an interesting general prayer that we can say every morning when we arise. It’s attributed to Norman Grubb (1895-1993), a British Christian missionary, writer and theological teacher. Please pray with me. ‘Good morning, Christ. I LOVE you! What are you up to today? I want to be a part of it! Thank you, God. Amen!’

Now my people, isn’t that simple and straight to the point? It certainly is. And it does help to get you connected with the Father as soon as you get up, before any evil and negative thoughts can enter your still fragile and not wide awake mind and spoil your day. And that’s all it takes Friends, something short and to the point to get us running on the correct spiritual track.

But before we can get to that, we first have to put into operation the words of our Bit, where we’re born again and can have that kind of ongoing relationship with Almighty God. ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.’

Yes my people, it’s of the utmost importance that we have a close personal relationship with the Father, through the Son, Jesus Christ, while being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And we can only do that by repenting of our sins, cleansing our hearts and turning over a new leaf, becoming a new creation in Christ.

Now listen to how Peter deals with the matter. ‘Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned (sincere) LOVE of the brethren, see that ye LOVE one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible (perishable) seed, but of incorruptible (imperishable), by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

For all flesh is as grass, and the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the (spoken) word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.’ (1 Pet.1:22-25)

Yes Friends, Peter is there repeating the words of Isaiah 40:6-8, where  mankind is likened to the grass that sprouts up bright and fresh in the morning, but soon withers and dies, especially when the hot sun beats down on it. And that’s the absolute truth!

But unlike that short-lived grass, the word of our Creator lives for ever, through the gospel being preached throughout the earth; the good news of his Son Jesus Christ, who was sacrificed for us on Calvary’s cross, then rose again in glory and ascended to heaven, where He now sits on the right hand of the Father, advocating for us.

Wow! What an omnipotent, but magnanimous God we serve and worship my brethren! It just can’t get any better than that, though a lot of us seem to think otherwise. But as I keep saying Friends, refusing to accept God’s grace and mercy and His free offer of salvation through Jesus Christ, which ultimately leads to eternal life, is the wisdom of a fool. And there surely are a lot of fools in this evil and ungodly world.

Anyway, enough of my carping, or proselytizing (smile), whichever one catches your fancy, and listen instead to an explanation by the scholars on the topic at hand. ‘1:23. Being born again (lit., “having been born again”) refers to all believers having been regenerated by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, which communicates His offer of salvation to mankind. Thus our salvation rests, from the human perspective, upon OUR willing reception of that offer.’

Yuh see Friends, it all depends on us willingly receiving God’s wonderful offer, that’s why I capitalized and highlighted ‘our’ above. The Lord has done His part by putting the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ on the table, so like any contract that is worthless unless there’s offer and acceptance, we now have the opportunity to accept or reject God’s offer.

However Friends, in this case, rejection of the Lord’s offer will bring disastrous and calamitous consequences, namely eternal separation from Him, and eventual death and damnation. So as far as I can see, with my limited human reasoning powers, accepting God’s offer is the wise thing to do.

I’m therefore urging us to do so as quickly as possible, if possible right now, because the time for Jesus’ return is imminent, and once He returns in majestic splendour and awesome might, that offer will be taken off the table…forever. So please take my wise advice and seriously get involved with Jesus. It will be the best decision you’ve ever made. I guarantee it! Much LOVE!

…to be separated from Christ…for all eternity…is the biggest mistake  a man can make…