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…                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 March 2021 Ephesians 3:17.

Ephesians 3:17.     ​ That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye be rooted and grounded in LOVE,

Gather round friends, gather round your technological devices let’s have worship! Let there be praise and singing, adulation and exultation of God’s holy name throughout His universe! For it is the right thing to do on the Lord’s Sabbath! And the Lord looked down from His high heaven and saw that His people were being obedient to His word, and He said: ‘It is good!’ And God is especially grateful when we make the necessary effort, despite the pandemic lockdowns, to praise and worship Him, because it means that our hearts are in the right place, our motives are sincere, and that’s what He most desires of us. 

So let’s begin by singing one of our favourite songs of worship nuh, Jesus LOVES Me. Yes mih bredrin, we going to mash that up today. Glory be! But before we do, here is some background info on the song, from the Wikipedia website.”Jesus LOVES Me” is a Christian hymn written by Anna Bartlett Warner (1827–1915). The lyrics first appeared as a poem in the context of an 1860 novel called Say and Seal, written by her older sister Susan Warner (1819–1885), in which the words were spoken as a comforting poem to a dying child. 

The tune was added in 1862 by William Batchelder Bradbury (1816–1868). Along with his tune, Bradbury added his own chorus “Yes, Jesus LOVES me, Yes, Jesus LOVES me…” After publication as a song it became one of the most popular Christian hymns in churches around the world, especially among children.So let’s belt it out in a nice, sparkling, scintillating, harmonious, up-tempo version nuh. 

As one sweet voice: ‘Jesus LOVES me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so; Little ones to Him belong; They are weak, but He is strong. (Refrain: Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! The Bible tells me so.) Jesus LOVES me! This I know, As He LOVED so long ago, Taking children on His knee, Saying, “Let them come to Me.” (Refrain) – Jesus LOVES me still today, Walking with me on my way, Wanting as a friend to give Light and LOVE to all who live. 

(Refrain) – Jesus LOVES me! He who died Heaven’s gate to open wide; He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in. (Refrain) – Jesus LOVES me! He will stay Close beside me all the way; Thou hast bled and died for me, I will henceforth live for Thee. Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! The Bible tells me so. Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! The Bible tells me so.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth friends? Why else would Jesus sacrifice Himself for us on the cross at Calvary, taking such brutal punishment for sins He had not committed eh? There could only be one reason: LOVE! True compassion for us, not wanting us to end up in eternal damnation with the evil Satan. 

And the website God Tube gives us this comforting explanation. ‘The Bible tells us that God LOVES each and every one of us, despite our sins and faults. Be comforted by the simple lyrics of ‘Jesus LOVES Me’ and remember that our Creator is almighty and all-LOVING. He is with us each step of the day and will never leave our side. We may be weak, but He is our strength.’ Now that ought to boost our trust and faith and strength in Him! 

Oh friends, it all comes down to that marvellous and wonderful word LOVE! Hear Jesus when He spoke to the disciples re the promise of the Holy Spirit. ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him, and will manifest (reveal) myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man LOVE me, he will keep my words: and my Father will LOVE him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode (home) with him.’ (John 14:21-23) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘the divine indwelling of verse 23, is conditional on LOVE, and obedience to Jesus’ words. The Word of the gospel is primarily (though not exclusively) in view here.’ Try as we want friends, to be true believers, we can’t get away from LOVE, or obedience to Jesus words; one leads naturally to the other, they are inseparable. 

And that’s why Bruh Paul prayed thus for the Ephesians, and we also ought to pray for ourselves and others. ‘That he (God) 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 be 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 the fullness of God.’ (Eph. 3:16-19) 

Oh my people, Christ’s LOVE for us is so big, so enormous, so wide, deep, long, and high, that it’s only through the help of His Holy Spirit dwelling in us, that we can ever come close to understanding it! Yes, we need divine enablement to successfully live the Christian life. That’s the only way that the characteristics and virtues of God will ever develop in us. So as we go about our business today, let’s concentrate on those two immortal words nuh; LOVE and obedience, for they are the basic foundation of our very lives in Christ Jesus. Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…that’s divine wisdom… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2016 Ephesians 3:20.

Ephesians 3:20.   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.

Happy Birthday T&T! Wow! Congratulations! You’ve made it to a big 54 years old! 

Yes friends, today is the 54th birthday of Trinidad and Tobago. It received Independence from Britain on August 31 1962, and has certainly made its mark on the world stage in several different areas. 

Now obviously things have changed over those 54 years, some for good, others for worse, and although right now it’s allegedly steeped in crime and corruption, it hasn’t lost its essential Trini vibe; one of an easy going, come what may, fun and laughter character. 

And you can imagine the partying that will be taking place today! But please, I implore us to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, please, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ For it’s in those times of great celebration that the evil one does his best work. 

And I sincerely pray that the Lord will open the eyes of the people of T&T and show them the error of their ways and encourage them to repent of their sinfulness and return to the God who once made them the most prosperous country in the West Indies. 

I don’t know if any other small country had as many churches, and well attended ones too, in its heyday. And like so many other countries, these days that’s changing, God is also being pushed out of the society. 

That brings to mind the quote of the first Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) that says: ‘The basic fact of today is the tremendous pace of change in human life.’ Hn! 

And if Nehru thought that life was changing fast in his time, he wouldn’t like to experience it now, for at no other time in man’s history has change been as quick and revolutionary in all aspects, as today. 

Now some change is good, but others not good. Unfortunately though, our world seems to be accepting more readily the changes that are not so good, thus our continuing fall from God’s grace. 

But yuh know what my people? We’re not going to complain about all that’s wrong with our world nuh, instead we’re going to do our very best to fix it, while enjoying the good things. And that all begins with a positive, Christ like attitude which is found in our Wednesday Wail. 

So, as one strong, positive enthusiastic, energetic Christian body, let’s wail it nuh! ‘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 if we’re true Christians, that should be gospel truth my brethren! We should be excited about being alive, of securely holding the plough and moving forward with Jesus to what ever wonderful opportunities He has planned for us! 

Remember His promise in Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11) 

And our ever faithful God is truly a man of His word. So if He says that He has a good future in mind for us, then there is an excellent plan laid out for each of our lives. I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but I believe my best years are still ahead of me…Glory to God! 

Now let’s check out our Bit. ‘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.’ 

Steups! As usual, I’ve left too little time and space for our Bit. But we’ll soldier on and do our best. (smile)

Now yesterday we saw that Bruh Paul was praying for the inner growth of the Ephesians, and by extension us too. Today, we’ll look at the actual prayer, the three verses before our Bit. 

‘That he 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 friends, in these desperate times, we also desperately need that prayer over our lives. We need to understand, be strengthened, rooted and grounded in Christ’s LOVE, so that we can courageously and faithfully go about His business here on earth. 

Now here is some info from the scholars. ‘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 (v.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 the fullness of God, that is, that the life, character, and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, we need to have all of that worked into our lives too. So let’s end like Bruh Paul did; sending those prayers up to the One who could successfully answer them. 

‘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) 

And may the Lord answer our sincere, heartfelt prayer my people, as we stay strong and steadfast in faith! Much LOVE!

…only when our lives are built on the strong foundation that’s Jesus…can we truly enjoy our earthly life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2015 Ephesians 3:20.

Ephesians 3:20.     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.

Well Friends, it’s Sunday the 1st of November! That means Halloween is over, October is done and Daylight Savings Time is also over. Now on that last one, the benefits or drawbacks are still being argued over. 

What we do know is that some people lose an hour’s sleep while others gain an hour, and now some people will be going to work in the dark and also coming home in the dark. 

No wonder there is so much depression and its cohorts come the winter time where people don’t see the sun enough. But that’s the decision of the ruling, the moneyed class, so we poor serfs just have to grin and bear it. (smile) But I’m here to tell us my fellow believers that all of that doesn’t truly matter once we are walking obediently with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And having read this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises yesterday, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, it struck such a powerful chord in my thinking, that I just had to share it. It’s titled ‘Enormous Rewards.’ 

And it says: ‘O dear God  Thank You for teaching me The enormous rewards  Of walking obediently with You. There is joy without guilt  Freedom without fear  Satisfaction without sordidness  Purpose without confusion  Friendship without compromise  Forgiveness without penance  Fulfillment without disappointment.’  

Yes my brethren, that is indeed the description of what a true believer enjoys when He walks in close relationship with Almighty God, his Creator and Provider! And consequently, he does not have to worry about all the nonsense that is happening in our wicked, godless world. Oh glory to God! 

How wonderful it is to be able to ignore so much of the world’s foolishness because of a strong faith and eternal trust in Jesus! There is no need to worry, hurry or fear anything, because our Saviour has faithfully promised that He will be always with us through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, which will lead and guide us successfully through this hellish world. 

And our Bit today comes from Bruh Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. ‘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.’ 

But before we delve into it, I think it’s best that we know what comes before, so we can better understand the context of what he’s talking about. But that puts me in a bit of a quandary, because almost every verse has some useful information from the scholars, and I’m not sure whether I should do the explanation after each verse, or lump them all together. I’m not sure which method will bring easier and greater understanding. But let’s mosey along (smile) and see where the Holy Spirit leads us. 

Now in this section of his letter, Bruh Paul is offering a prayer for the inner growth of the Ephesians. And he tells them: ‘Wherefore I desire (ask) that ye faint not (not lose heart) at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.’ (Eph.3:13-15)  

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘3:13. Which is your glory: God will use Paul’s tribulations and sufferings in the ministry to spiritually benefit his recipients. Such edification will then bring about glory on their part in that they praise and honour God.’ 

‘3:14. For this cause: This expression resumes the apostle’s prayer begun in verse 1 but delayed by the discussion of verses 2-13.’ 

‘3:15. Is named means “is derived.” The whole Christian family, including those saints now departed and in heaven, and those saints still living on earth – all of them “derive” their spiritual life from God.’ 

And Bruh Paul continues: ‘That he 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 the 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.3:16-9) 

And yuh know what my people? That prayer is still completely viable to our situation today, for we are suffering the same doubt, frustration and lack of confidence that the Ephesians suffered back then, and we need desperately to grow in Christ if we intend to make a positive and meaningful difference in this strife filled world. 

And the scholars’ offer these explanations. ‘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 (v.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.’ 

And finally, we’ll turn to the scholars’ explanation of our Bit. ‘3:20. In making the three above petitions (vv.16-19), Paul has not asked for too much. For he prays unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that he can ask or think.’ 

And that’s it in a nutshell my people! Our God is so great, so powerful, so omnipotent, that He can do way way more than our finite minds can even begin to think, imagine, ask for, or comprehend. That’s why He is GOD! And I do hope that the way I structured the verses and explanations enabled you to better understand the Word. 

Now remember today is Sunday and we need to go to the sanctuary and fellowship with other believers; to  sing, pray, give thanks and glorify our heavenly Father and receive His strength, confidence, mercy, compassion and forgiveness, so that we can truly live the Christian life. Much LOVE!

…there is only ONE Power…and ONE Presence here…God the Good…God the Omnipotent…