Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 July 2021 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.        …for without me ye can do nothing.

Don’t look now friends, but it’s that big day, Monday, the first day of the new work week! (smile) And since some of those pandemic restrictions have been lifted, I guess more of us will be going back out to work today – some joyfully, others sadly, as their extended holiday is over. But let’s remember that whatever the circumstances, we can handle them successfully if we have the Holy Spirt of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ dwelling within us. That’s one of the many differences and improvements between believers and the infidel; with Jesus, we can do any and everything, through Him who strengthens us. Give Him thanks and praise my people! 

And how do we get and stay strong in Christ? Listen to His immortal words on the subject, to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ (John 15:4) How sweet is that eh mih bredrin! That’s how we get and stay strong in Christ. And if you didn’t get it the first time, He goes on to further explain. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

Wow! How direct and to the point is Jesus eh! Unless we stick with Him, we cannot do anything! And that’s the gospel truth my people! It’s only with Christ as the catalyst and moving agent in our life that we are able to do anything truly worthwhile down here on planet earth. 

And the scholars give us some useful info on that verse, re the Union with Christ.‘15:5. The uniqueness of the Christian experience results from the union of Christ and the believer. This is expressed in Scripture as Christ being in the believer and the believer in Christ. Ten times Paul uses the Greek preposition sun (“together”) to describe this relationship. Believers were crucified (Gal. 2:20), dead (Col. 2:20), buried (Rom. 6:4), quickened or made alive (Eph. 2:1-5; Col. 2:13), raised (Col. 3:1; Eph. 2:6), seated (Eph. 2:6), and glorified (Rom. 8:17) together with Christ. 

Illustration: Jesus used the image of the vine and its branches to describe His union with the believer. Application: On the basis of this union, the apostle Paul showed how the successful Christian life can be opened with four key words in Romans 6: know (vs. 6), reckon (vs. 11), yield (vs. 13), and obey (vs. 17). The Christian can conquer sin because Christ lives in him (Gal. 2:20). (First Ref. John 7:37-38; Primary Ref. John 15:1-5; cf. 1 John 5:13).’ 

Well, there you have it friends, our Bible Study for today! (smile) Lots of Scriptures for us to look up. And please do look them up, for it will be to our benefit, as they will only enhance our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. It’s all about inner growth or spiritual maturity my people. And that takes us to Bruh Paul’s prayer for just that in his missive to the church at Ephesus. 

‘That He (Christ) would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye , being rooted and grounded in LOVE, May be able to comprehend (understand) with all saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth and height; And to know the LOVE of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph. 3:16-19) 

Oh Mama, Mama! What a powerful prayer! And the scholars explain it all thus: ‘3:16-19. In these verses Paul makes three prayer requests for the addressees: (1) That they would be strengthened with might by His Spirit (vs. 16), that is, that they be divinely enabled to successfully live the Christian life. (2) That the readers be able to comprehend…the LOVE of Christ, that is to better understand the enormous LOVE Christ has for them. And (3) that they might be filled with all the fullness of God, that is, that the life, character, and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’ 

Now that does sound like a big programme for believers to undertake, but Bruh Paul knew what he was doing. Listen to how he ends that passage nuh. ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph. 3:20-21) Yes friends, Bruh Paul was not making those prayer requests for too much, because he was asking the One who could do ever so much more than we can ask or think; that’s Almighty God. 

So please don’t think that you can’t do anything because it’s too big for you. It might seem so, but it is definitely not too big for our God; the One who created us and still LOVES us dearly, despite all our faults and failures. That means we can go to Him right now with our problems and ask for His awesome help. So as one strong, confident, but humble voice, let’s offer up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

But let me warn us, that we won’t get our desires unless we sincerely turn away from our evil ways and seek God with right motives in our hearts! Much LOVE!

…we can never sell God short…for He is bigger than anything we can ask or imagine…                                                                                          

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2014 Psalm 31:20

 Psalm 31:20.   Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence (the secret place) from the pride (plots and plans) of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion (shelter) from the strife of tongues.

And then it was turtle Thursday! Turtle Thursday in the sense that Thursdays always seem to go slowly. We want them to rush on into Friday, but they just seem to take their own sweet time to get there. But remember Friends, patience and perseverance are the things that get us where we really want to go.
 
As they say, the race is not for the swift, but for the sure of foot. That’s why the turtle beat the hare in the race. He was slow and steady, while the hare was in a hurry and somewhat capricious, guided by whims and feelings.
 
And I don’t know whether I’ve shared this bit of wisdom before, but even if I have, I believe it’s worth another go round today. It comes from a small four by five inch card I have sitting at the front of my desk in my study. Ostensibly you should see it as soon you enter the study, but that rarely seems to happen. It did sometime yesterday though, and I had to chuckle when I noticed it.
 
These are the refreshing words it displays. ‘God’s tape measure goes around hearts NOT heads.’
 
And that’s an indisputable fact, my brethren! The Lord doesn’t judge us by the size and cleanliness of our heads, but by the LOVE and right motives in our hearts. God isn’t looking for big heads, but rather big hearts! Hearts that can encompass His LOVE and goodness, then share them with others who are in need of His LOVING-kindness.
 
So my people, I ask you now, which group do you belong to, the big heads, prideful, boasters group, or the big hearts, humble, LOVING-kindness group? I certainly hope you all will instantly jump up and shout: ‘The big hearts, humble, LOVING-kindness group of course!’
 
And that’s the right answer, but for your sake I hope it’s the true one, because you can fool me and those around you, but remember you cannot fool Almighty God, since He doesn’t take your words and outward actions as proof of your genuine character.
 
So I would strongly suggest that today we take a genuine look at our internal attitudes and make sure that we do have a big, godly heart and not a big, proud head.
 
Remember too that ‘a proud look… and a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations (devises wicked plans and schemes)’ are two of the abominations that our wonderful God greatly despises. (Prov.6:16-19)
 
That’s why Bruh David unequivocally declares in Psalm 31, from which our Bit is taken, his certain trust in the Lord. ‘Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
 
Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence (the secret place) from the pride (plots and plans) of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion (shelter) from the strife of tongues.’ (Ps.31:19-20)
 
Yes my brethren, the ONLY antidote for human pride that’s so prevalent in these prideful, ungodly times, is sincere trust and surrender to Almighty God! For as our Bit says, He shall hide us in a secret place, where the pride and plots of man will not touch us. But before He can do that, we have to give our entire lives over to Him.
 
And just to show how our God dislikes pride, let’s look at few scriptures that point it out. First up is Cousin Sol, who in his marvellous wisdom declares: ‘In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.’ (Prov.14:3)
 
Now listen to Isaiah as he condemns Ephraim. ‘Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on (at) the head of the fat (verdant) valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
 
Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast (them) down to the earth with the hand.
 
The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden (trampled) underfoot… In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people.’ (Is.28:1-3,5)
 
Then hear Jeremiah in his prophecy concerning Edom. ‘For, lo, I will make thee small among the heathen (nations), and despised among men.
 
Thy terribleness (fierceness) hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord.
 
Also Edom shall be a desolation (an astonishment): every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof.’ (Jer.49:15-17)
 
Yes Friends, the Lord doesn’t make joke when it comes to the prideful dealings of man!
 
And we’ll close with some beautiful and very instructive words from 1John. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.
 
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17)
 
Oh my people, truer words were never spoken!
 
So today, let’s sincerely check our hearts and souls and see whether there be any pride and worldly lusts therein nuh. Then, as usual, let’s call out to our mighty, merciful and forgiving God for help to cleanse them. That, my Friends, is heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…pride goes before a fall…and the haughty shall surely feel the wrath of God…