Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 

Oh friends of mine, it’s a beautiful white Tuesday morning in my area. Hn! Yes, we’ve finally registered our first significant snowfall of the season! It’s not too big a snowfall, and as always, it looks beautiful when unsullied by human passage through it. But trudging through it is something else…and so is shovelling it. Good thing I won’t be doing either of those activities today! (smile) 

Anyway, there’s lot’s of stuff I want to share this morning, so let’s get right to it nuh. And the first one is something called ‘The Tyranny of Things,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t remember if I’ve ever shared this before, but it’s ever so appropriate for these secular and selfish times, especially this time of year. 

Please read with me: ‘Materialism does not satisfy because it is tyrannical, and the human being was born to be free! We all know about the tyranny of things. We find that we don’t own a house – the house owns us. We are married to a mortgage. We become slaves to gadgets and garments. 

After we have all our “things” purchased, delivered, and installed, and have enjoyed a fleeting sense of pleasure, we find that they are still dominating, dictating, and demanding. “Press me, polish me, patch me, paint me, prune me, plaster me, repair me,” they shout. 

So we spend the best years of our lives and the bulk of our money working for the “things,” until, discouraged and depressed, we discover that we have no time left to pursue life’s really enjoyable avocations: visiting friends, having fun, and, yes, even going to church regularly. Thus mastered by materialism, tyrannized by things, we have no time left to do the deeds, or see the places, or visit the people, that would really give us great inner joy.’  

And isn’t all of that the living truth friends? It certainly is! In this materialistic, highly commercialized society, it’s all about things and stuff, especially at this season of Christmas. And in a couple weeks time, we’ve forgotten about all the stuff we bought – on credit; even get annoyed when we see some of the stuff, as we struggle to pay for them. Hn! Hn! 

So please, let’s take this advice to heart this Christmas season nuh, and not go overboard with the material stuff. Instead, let’s focus on the human relationships and spiritual processes that truly are the reason for the season, with Jesus being the main focus. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ More words of truth and wisdom, my brethren, whether you take them literally or figuratively! 

Time is flying by, and none of us knows how much we have left, so we need to use each second economically, purposefully and usefully, both in the human and spiritual realms. Darkness and evil have taken a stranglehold on our world, and as true believers in Christ, we can’t afford to let that happen. We need to push back…and push back hard too, if we want to make a difference in this crucial fight. 

And we have a quote ascribed to Antoine de St. Expury (1900-1944) the French author, poet and aviator. It says: ‘In these times one must write with one’s life. This is the challenge to all of us.’ 

And is that ever so true friends, especially for us Christians! We need to show the dark, evil and cruel world what true Christianity is like through the way we live our lives, rather than the way we talk. For one doesn’t always reflect the other. As the saying goes; ‘examples work more forcibly than precepts.’ 

So please let’s concentrate on living our lives as good examples of Christ’s LOVE Revolution nuh, so that the unbeliever will see our sincerity and want to follow Jesus too. That’s the whole point for our being here yes friends. 

Now let us take a quick look at the second part of our Bit; putting on ‘the armour of light.’ And all we have time for is Bruh Paul’s notable warning and brief description of God’s spiritual armour to the Ephesians. ‘Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (rulers), against powers (authorities), against the rulers of darkness of this world (world rulers), against spiritual wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up, 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.6:10-13) 

Yeh friends, only when we’re dressed in God’s armour, can we stand strong and resist the evil one, for He will attack again and again. That means we have to be continually ensconced in our ‘girdle of truth, and breastplate of righteousness, shod with the gospel of peace, bearing the shield of faith, having on our heads the helmet of salvation, and waving the sword of the Spirit in our right hand, with prayer and supplication’ driving us ever onward and forward! That’s our spiritual armour, and how we defeat the enemy. 

Now let’s go home declaring as we do on Tuesdays, our Tuesday Mantra, singing out loud and clear to the evil world who and whose we are. In full voice and sincere heart now: I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Mama Mia! How blessed we are eh! Now let’s go out and put it all into action; share the LOVE of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…dark and evil times…call for Christians…showing their light…the light of Jesus…and leading the way…out of the darkness…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2017 Hebrews 1:3.

Hebrews 1:3.   Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. 

Ah yes friends, we’ve finally progressed to the magical day called Friday… And the workingman will most definitely remind us of that fact as he vociferously declares his song of freedom. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and slaving finish for this week! The next couple days is mih own to do with exactly as I please. And brother, yuh better believe I’m going to do just that! 

Wow! I’m going to eat down the place, if I want to; drink up mih liquor until ah black up and tumbling down; party like there was no tomorrow, and just thumb mih nose at the massa till Monday morning roll around again. Whew! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes, otherwise I’d just go crazy with this slave labour and a pittance for pay!’ 

Unfortunately my brethren, the ordinary workingman is finding it increasingly difficult to make a decent living in this prosperous world through the greed, incompetence and inhumane behaviour of those who own and control the means of livelihood. And sometimes you can’t really blame him when he goes overboard because the rampant injustice and strife in our society is more than enough to drive a body crazy. 

Luckily for us, we belong to the Christian faith, where our Leader Jesus Christ applies boundaries to our behaviour, so we don’t go overboard and fall into the tempter’s grasp. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different to the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it out now nuh, and thus give us the better picture of how believers ought to handle the weekend situation. 

In chorus now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we ought to put Christ first and get ourselves ready for another week of work, rather than add insult to injury by beating down our bodies even further and giving the enemy control of our lives. And for all of our blessings and good tidings, we have to thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as our Bit says: 

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.’ 

And today we are going to delve a li’l deeper into verses 16-17 of Col.1, where Bruh Paul talks about the pre-eminence of Christ, to help us understand the full significance of our Bit. ‘For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in (on) earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities (rulers), or powers (authorities): all things are created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by (in) him all things consist.’ (Col.1:16-17) 

The scholars then explain thus: ‘1:16. This verse provides the reason Christ is called the “first-born” in verse 15. Paul’s rationale is this: Since by him were all things created, then, (1) Christ must have existed before the universe, and (2) He must be greater than all He made. Thrones…dominions…principalities…powers all refer to angelic beings (cf. Eph.1:21; 3:10). 

“Thrones” refer to angels who sit on thrones as rulers; “dominions” refer to domains or kingdoms over which these heavenly beings reign; “principalities” refer to rulers, and “powers” refer to angelic monarchs who wield regal power. Since Christ created these various ranks of angels, He is supreme over them. 

Striking a blow at the Colossian heresy advocating angel worship (2:18), this text forbids Christians to pay homage to angels or other heavenly beings created by God.’  And re ‘1:17. By him all things consist: That is by Him all things are held together; Christ now preserves all that He made in Creation.’ 

Yeh friends, Christ made it all, and now holds His creation together, as He sits at the Father’s right hand advocating on our behalf. So let’s remember that and thus keep everything in its proper perspective: Christ is Creator, Lord and Saviour, and the ONLY ONE deserving of worship and exaltation, not angels or any other beings He has made. 

Tomorrow we will touch some more on the angel situation, but for today, let’s ponder what we’ve said and keep believing, keep studying the Word and living it out successfully in this evil world, in Jesus name, I pray. Much LOVE!

…to whom eventually shall all knees bow…and all lips declare His awesome glory…JESUS…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2017 Hebrews 1:3.

Hebrews 1:3.   Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. 

And moving right along, we run smack dab into Wednesday, the middle day of our workweek! And some of us heave a sigh of relief, knowing that two’s down, and only two more to go. But that’s okay friends, whatever works for you, to get you through the week is fine, once it has the power of Jesus involved in, or behind it. 

Glory to our great Redeemer, my brethren, who through the sinless sacrifice of His holy life, paved the way for our eternal salvation! We must always remember to give Him much thanks and praise each and every day of our mortal lives…and even when we get to heaven too, to spend eternity there with Him! 

Oh glory to God the Father for the LOVE with which He has LOVED us right down through the ages, despite our sinful ways and willful, protracted disobedience! 

That’s why we are in our current blessed position, and why all those who believe on the name of Jesus, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, and who diligently follow His will, will be enshrined in His Lamb’s Book of Life FOR EVER! Oh give God the glory of which He is so worthy my people! 

And as usual friends, some days I just have to chuckle at what the Holy Spirit leads me to write! None of the above was in my mind previous to writing it, but as I wrote, it just kept flowing, and my fingers couldn’t hit the keys fast enough. Obviously some of what I had planned for today can no longer be included, but that’s okay, because I believe this is a much better intro to our wonderful, uplifting Bit. 

‘Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.’ 

Oh what a Friend, and Advocate, LOVER and Redeemer, High Priest and Lord, King and mighty Fortress is our Jesus! He did it all for us! That’s why the Father exalted Him so highly! He is indeed the mighty Mover and Shaker of this world that He helped to create in the beginning of time! 

And if you don’t believe what the author of Hebrews says, who by the way I believe is Bruh Paul, because the writing is way too similar, then listen as Bruh Paul disserts on the pre-eminent Christ to the Colossians. 

‘In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born (first in rank) of (over) every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in (on) earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities (rulers), or powers (authorities): all things were created by him, and for him: 

And he is before all things, and by (in) him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;’ (Col.1:14-19) 

Oh friends, that is indeed a mouthful, but it is the very basis, the foundation for and of our Christian faith! Without that sound and solid reasoning there would be no substance to our faith. The long and short of the story is that it all exists through, and hinges solely on Christ, the first-born, who Bruh Paul declares existed even before the Creation, and who created all that exists, thus He has the right to be pre-eminent, ruler of all that He surveys. 

Ah mih breddren, there are so many explanations provided by the scholars on these meat and potatoes scriptures (time we stopped drinking solely milk){smile), but we don’t have space to list them all, so I’ll just do what we can today, then tomorrow do the rest. 

And the scholars declare: ‘1:14. Blood reminds the Colossians of the enormous price and sacrifice paid to secure their redemption. Redemption, then, is achieved by the atonement wrought by Jesus’ death. See Ephesians 1:7 for “redemption.’ 

And yes my fellow believers, that same blood paid for our redemption too! Let’s never forget it! And you ask, how could we ever, since it’s the whole basis of our forgiveness and the atonement for our abominable sins? I don’t know, but some of us very conveniently do. 

Anyway, enough for today, don’t want to give us more than we can handle in one sitting; too much heavy food would just send us to sleep. (smile) So let’s end then with our Wednesday Wail, which authoritatively declares where we’re at in our spiritual journey with Jesus Christ, our eternal Lord and Saviour! 

In strong voice and true sincerity 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 what a glorious future that will indeed be my people! Now let’s go out and tell it to all the world, as our Jesus desires! Much LOVE!

…without Jesus…I shudder to think what our lives would be like…both now and in eternity…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2014 Isaiah 9:16

Isaiah 9:16.   For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and they that are led of them are destroyed.
 
Ah mih people, at last the ole fella’s beginning to feel somewhat human again. (smile) I finally had a decent night’s rest. Thanks be to God! Oh, I was up early, but decided to go back to sleep, if I could. And you better believe I fell back to sleep with no problem whatsoever. 
 
Ah Lord eh! I never expected it to be so hard to re-acclimatize to the cold, but that just shows what a finely tuned machine the human body is. Oh, and I haven’t felt so cold in a long, long time. Steups! But what to do eh? Just grin and bear it, and believe that with the Lord’s help you will make it through!
 
So what’s on today’s agenda eh? Oh I just discovered this interesting quote on a piece of paper here. I don’t remember where I got it from, or if I’ve ever shared it before, but if so, it’s definitely worth sharing again.
 
It’s attributed to the American artist, Skip Whitcomb. And it says: ‘Outdoors is where the great mystery lies, so going into nature should be a searching and hushing experience, like going to church.’
 
Oh Friends, that’s perfect truth! For God’s creation is so magical, magnificent and efficiently designed that when we venture into nature, we ought to be quietly astonished and respectful to the wonders we find there! And we’re not only referring to lush greenery and colourful flowers, but also to the desert areas, the watery spots and even the snow covered fields.
 
That’s because each type of territory has its own special attraction, as well as the essence and presence of God, so that wherever we are on God’s great earth, we will find something beautiful to admire and contemplate, and most importantly, feel His sublime but refreshing presence.
 
That’s why there’s such cleanliness, beauty and majesty in a new snowfall, as you look at it through a window, behind warm walls. (smile) And even when you go tramping through it, it feels somewhat euphoric. Hn, Hn! Don’t think I’m going to feel euphoric today though. (smile)
 
But then, once man has ventured into any natural areas, it becomes ugly and full of garbage, since we seem to always abuse God’s generous gifts.
 
Oh Friends, sorry for that short interruption, about ten minutes, I heard the garbage truck in the area and had to run to put out mine. Well not really run, since that word no longer seems to be applicable to my actions. (smile) Then I had to make a cup of hot ginger tea, which I’m now sipping as we speak, to replace the warmth I lost in the cold outside.
 
But getting back to our abuse of God’s generous gifts, it not only happens in nature, but even more so in humankind, as our Bit so rightly declares. ‘For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and they that are led of them are destroyed.’
 
Oh my brethren, unfortunately, it also seems that wherever man and man congregate, abuse, oppression and all the other negative and sinful acts and emotions always abound!
 
But in this last message on this topic, I want us to pay particular attention to what God declared through the prophet Micah, because in God’s unchanging nature and law, it still stands, still holds true for our generation and all those to come. Here Micah talks about the judgement on the prophets. 
 
‘Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth and cry, Peace (when there is a bite to eat, they cry, all is well); and he that putteth not (nothing) into their mouths, they even prepare war against him.
 
Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision (be without vision); and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine (be without divination); and the sun shall go down over (on) the prophets, and the day shall be dark over (for) them.
 
Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded (embarrassed): yea, they shall all cover their lips (mouths); for there is no answer of (from) God.’ (Mic.3:5-7)
 
Oh my fellow believers, that’s some of the kind of stuff that lies in wait for the leaders, false prophets and teachers who abuse and oppress God’s people!
 
And hear this explanation from the scholars. ‘3:5-8. Cover their lips: They will be put to shame and will show this shame openly by covering their lips, which was an oriental gesture to indicate shame and mourning.’ 
 
But that’s not all mih people. Micah continues: ‘But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgement (justice), and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the houses of Jacob, and princes (rulers) of the house of Israel, that abhor judgement (justice), and pervert all equity.
 
They build up Zion with blood (bloodshed), and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward (a bribe), and the priests thereof teach for hire (pay), and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say (saying), Is not the Lord among us? none evil (no harm) can come upon us.
 
Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps (heaps of ruins), and the mountain of the house (temple) as the high places (bare hills) of the forest.’ (Mic.3:8-12)
 
Oh my fellow believers, please rest assured that our God will not allow these evil leaders, prophets and priests who are currently abusing their power, to continue unchallenged in their evil ways, but they will eventually feel His wrath and be brought to justice.
 
So if you’re being abuse, oppressed or hurt in some form and fashion by the works and decrees of our evil leaders, please take heart, our God is still on His throne, still in control of His universe, and in His time, He will punish and destroy the evil doers. Much LOVE!
 
…believers are guaranteed…through God’s Word…that the wicked will pay for their wickedness…it’s just a matter of time…
 
P.S. Please excuse the Bit’s lateness, for as the song says, it’s just one of those days, just one of those days. (smile) Much LOVE!