Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2018 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (discipline).
 

Hear me calling: ‘Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day!’ That’s a heartfelt plea my brethren, because since I’ve come back from Jamaica, it’s been a steady diet of rain and more rain…and today looks like it might be more of the same. I guess the Lord’s reasoning is if we could have two weeks of brilliant sunshine, what’s wrong with a few days of rain eh? 

And as the duchess recently informed me, in her usual frank manner: ‘Stop complaining. You’ve been here for forty years. You should be accustomed to it by now!’ (smile) But who ever gets accustomed to the cold October and November rains eh? I know one person whom it doesn’t seem to bother though, that’s the ordinary workingman, once it’s Friday he’s happy regardless of the weather. His primary focus is having two days off from work to party. 

Hear him sing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And though the rain falling, and the place cold and miserable, I don’t care, because I don’t have to go to the massa work and slave mih life away for a small pittance and all the grief he want to cause me! Glory be! It’s the start of the weekend, that means is party time; time to swing and sway, eat and drink and let the good times roll! No holding back, just full steam ahead! Party, party, party! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, don’t you wish we could be as laid back and carefree as the ordinary workingman? We all surely do. However, as believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we can’t afford that luxury because then the enemy, the evil Satan will joyfully infiltrate our souls and cause serious havoc therein. That’s why we need some boundaries in our everyday lives, points beyond which we won’t go, and that’s also why our weekend song, our Friday Chant is so different to his. 

Chant it with me now nuh: ‘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 people, we need to be always on our p’s and q’s when dealing with this evil world we live in. We’re workers for Jesus and thus must show the character, qualities and attitude that’s becoming to His glorious name! And yes, it is difficult sometimes to stay on the straight and narrow path that Jesus recommends, but we do have the reassurance and wherewithal to stay the course. 

Listen to these fruitful and famous words of reassurance from Bruh Paul to Timothy when the youngster was going through a rough time in his ministry in Ephesus. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (discipline).’ 

Ah my people, each of us has been imbued with the Holy Spirit of Christ, which is supposed to lead and guide us in our daily lives; giving us that spirit of power, LOVE and a disciplined soul. However, it can only do its job if we listen to it and allow it to work its grace, mercy and forgiveness in our lives. So we do have what it takes to do Christ’s work, but most of us are not using those tools wisely. 

Remember, the Lord, through the Holy Spirit can’t work properly in our lives unless we give up ALL aspects of our lives to Him. Many of us hold back some areas and only give over those we think the Lord might be interested in. But that’s a sure fallacy friends, the Lord’s interested in EVERYTHING in our lives. He doesn’t want bits and pieces of it, He wants it ALL! 

Now listen, as Bruh Paul continues his reassurance to Timothy and to us. ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me in the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (time). 

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day. 

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and LOVE which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.’ (2 Tim.1:8-14) 

Oh friends, just a couple of points before we close. If we truly believe, then we cannot be ashamed of the gospel as so many of us are. And remember, Christ has abolished death and given us salvation unto eternal life. And that is assured! No one can take it from us. But we have to stand strong and steadfast in faith and do whatever it takes to win souls to Jesus and keep ourselves on the straight and narrow. 

Let’s hope that these words of Bruh Paul will reassure us and remind us of all the power and LOVE and discipline that we do have through the Holy Ghost, from the work of Jesus Christ. Amen. Much LOVE!

…a true believer…should not be ashamed…of whatever he believes in…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 August 2018 2 Corinthians 1:3.

2 Corinthians 1:3.   Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.

Ah friends, some more gentle soothing rain fell in my area this morning. Praise the Lord! And this time it was no big shower, but just a light, continuous drizzle. I was already up, but it’s soothing properties drove me back to bed, I just could not resist its siren call. (smile) That’s why the Bit might be a bit late. 

And we are going to begin with some inspirational and wise words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, where he talks about ‘Undetected Possibilities.’ 

And he reminds us that ‘To Jesus every problem was a possibility in disguise. Sickness was an opportunity for healing. Sin was an opportunity for forgiveness. Sorrow was an opportunity for compassion. Personal abuse was an opportunity to leave a good impression and show the world how Possibility Thinkers react. To Jesus every person was a gold mine of undiscovered, hidden possibilities…! 

To Jesus the important fact about you and me is not that we are sinners, but that we can be saints. So Jesus proclaimed the greatest possibility: the immeasurable mercy of God.’ 

Yes my people, in most negative occurrences or circumstances there is a seed of positive undertaking, if we will only look for it, and not concentrate solely, or so much on the negative aspect of the problem. 

And there is no better example than the one quoted above, where Jesus didn’t concentrate on the fact that we were sinners, for if He had done so, if He had thought that we couldn’t change, wasn’t worth saving, He might never have sacrificed His sinless life for us. 

But thank the Lord He saw possibilities in us! And likewise, He is calling on us to see the enormous possibilities in others and ourselves. As they say, God doesn’t make inferior stuff, so whatever He has made has positive potential. 

And Gramps Schuller continues: ‘To Jesus the whole world was jammed, pregnant, loaded, bulging with untapped, undiscovered, undetected possibilities! Jesus really believed in the supreme spiritual possibilities! Man can be born again! Character can be changed! You can become a new person! Life can be beautiful! There is a solution to every problem! There is a light behind every shadow!’ 

And so should we as His followers. ‘Yes! Jesus had an unshakable faith in these ultimate spiritual possibilities: God exists! Life goes on beyond death! Heaven is for real! Jesus was prepared to prove it. By dying – and rising again! Jesus was impressed by what the world could become – never depressed by what the world does.’ 

And friends, if we as Jesus’ followers adopt His positive attitude, we will be able to change the world, just like He did! Glory be my people! Jesus was the greatest Possibility thinker ever! And a good thing too, else we’d be Hades bound with nary a hope of redemption. 

But for that to happen Jesus had to proclaim, like Gramps Schuller says above: ‘the immeasurable mercy of God.’ Yeh friends, it’s only through God’s mercy, not giving us what we deserve, His divine favour, His wonderful compassion, that drove Him to send Jesus to our rescue, so we can now stand up proud and strong. 

As Bruh Paul puts it so appropriately in our Bit: ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’ What an awesome God we serve and worship my people! 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:3-4. Blessed (Gr. eulogetos, “well spoken of”) is used in the New Testament of God (e.g. Eph.1:3). It is a term of adoration and praise. The Father of mercies: The mercies in view here include everything from deliverance from the world, sin, and Satan, to participation in sonship, light, and life. But the force is even more than this. The stress is that the Father is characterized by mercy (cf. Ps. 86:5: Dan. 9:9; Mic.7:18).’ 

And are we ever grateful for that merciful character of our wonderful God! Now let me spoon feed you with those scriptures mentioned above. (smile) Bruh David proclaims in Psalm 86: ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.’ (Ps.86:5) What truth! 

Meanwhile, in Daniel’s prayer for his people, he solemnly declares: ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.’ (Dan.9:9) How magnanimous is the God we serve, not giving us our just deserts! 

And Micah says with strong authority and experience, as he talks about God’s concern for His people. ‘Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by (over) the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy (LOVING-kindness). 

He will turn again, he will have compassion on us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their (our) sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform (give) the truth to Jacob, and the mercy (LOVING-kindness) to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.’ (Mic.7:18-20) 

Oh friends, our God isn’t only merciful, but faithful to His promise! Praise His Holy Name! And because of all that, we the faithful believers in His Son Jesus Christ, can boldly declare our Wednesday Wail, which shows our position in the ongoing universal catharsis. (smile) 

Altogether 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 if we’re wise, we’ll continue on that path of eternal wisdom. Much LOVE!

…to live for Jesus…is the only thing worth living for…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2018 Matthew 10:28.

Matthew 10:28.    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Well hello there mih Scrip-Bit family! How goes it with you all this rainy day Thursday eh? I hope it goes better with you than with me, because the ole fella is shaking it a tad rough after spending the last two days running around in the concrete jungle called Toronto for doctor’s appointments and tests. That’s why the last two Bits were so early. (smile) 

But what a mish mash that place is; the roads are full of potholes, the traffic jams are constant…! Brother! I don’t see how people can handle that ridiculous commute for five days every week nuh. But I guess you have to do what you have to do to make a living. 

The good news though my brethren, is that the Lord’s generosity has not stopped flowing…and it never will! His ongoing showering of grace, mercy, LOVE and forgiveness on His people is guaranteed for all time. So though we may occasionally face adversity and rough times, we know for sure that our heavenly Father is right in the thick of it with us, and has promised to bring us out better than before. 

Glory to God my brethren! What a wonderful God we serve and worship! Give Him some thanks and praise nuh! 

And I just noticed an interesting and rather appropriate quote here amongst the confusion of papers on the desk in front of me. It’s attributed to one Alex Boyer, and it says: ‘When the body gets tired, you fight with your soul.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth friends! The soul is much stronger than the body, though the body leads in the fight for survival. And when the body fails or falters, it’s the soul’s job, the spiritual aspect of our humanity, to take up the battle and lead us to victory in Jesus’ name. 

I guess that’s why Jesus gave His disciples the fateful warning found in Today’s Bit. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ Ah friends, what wise and wonderful advice from our Saviour Himself; advice that is also applicable to us today. 

Hear how the scholars explain that section. ‘10:25-31. Beelzebub refers to Satan himself, the ultimate evil spirit. The disciples are told to fear…not. The disciples’ enemies can only take their physical lives, which cannot prevent their blessed resurrection to life everlasting. 

In other words, Jesus reminded them that it was more important to fear Him who had authority over the soul as well as over the body and who can bring both to eternal condemnation in hell (Gr. Gehenna). Notice that God is the One who has authority to cast men into hell, and not Satan, who will himself be ultimately cast into everlasting fire.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, it’s only Almighty God; our Creator, Controller and Provider who can sentence us to a lifetime of hell fire and damnation! And I’m sure none of us want to suffer that terrible fate. Therefore, we need to live a life down here on earth that is subject to His law and will, if we want to see His glorious face at the end of our earthly sojourn. 

Listen to how Jesus continues His warning to the disciples. ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing (1/16 of a denarius – a penny)? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt.10:29:-31) 

Oh mih breddren, what a glorious reassurance that is from our Master! We are God’s greatest creation; worth more than many sparrows, and even the very hairs on our head are numbered. Wow! The Lord knows it all and is committed to keeping us together, even though we sometimes falter. 

However, these next two verses are the ones that will cement His decision. ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32-33) There it is in black and white my people! If you deny Christ, He will deny you before His heavenly Father. 

And the scholars offer this good explanation. ’10:32-37. Confess me means “Acknowledge that you belong to me.” In reality, secret discipleship is a practical impossibility. Jesus constantly called for an open confession of Himself by His followers. That our confession is to be before men clearly indicates that a public confession of true Christian faith is a virtual necessity. 

The warning whosoever shall deny me is a comprehensive historical aorist tense, (hn!) referring not to one moment of denial (such as Peter’s), but to an entire lifelong resistance to Christ. Therefore a single act of denial does not make one unworthy of being a disciple, but a refusal to confess Christ at all eliminates one from being a true follower of Jesus Christ.’  

So all of us who claim to belong to Christ, but refuse to acknowledge Him in public, yuh better had think again! But for those of us who gladly acknowledge Him in public and enjoy His wonderful company, let’s go home now declaring the manifold grace and mercy we enjoy in our Thursday Blessings. 

In strong and sincere voice now: ‘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!’ 

Yeh mih people all of that is ours, and not just to hoard for ourselves, but to share generously with the less fortunate. So let’s go out and do that now nuh. Much LOVE!

…a true Christian is one…who is not afraid or ashamed to tell the world…and also show the world…that he is living and dying for Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 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. 

Arise friends, arise and greet this brand new day, filled with both mercy and work. The Lord is granting us new mercy so that we can be strong and courageous and go out and diligently do His work this Monday morning. So let’s rise and shine and greet the day with joy in our hearts and the LOVE of God in our souls! 

Remember it’s the Christmas season, one of the most important times of the year, when we celebrate the miraculous birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! That alone should be enough to drive our engine this morning. But just in case it isn’t we have our favourite stand by, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which fires us up, even when we are at the ebb of our spirits. So without further ado, let’s sing it out with some enthusiasm and sincerity. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Yuh see friends, when we put some zest in it, it just raises our spirits, gets our adrenaline flowing and make us just want to get out there and work our fannies off for Jesus. (smile) So having said all of that, let’s get a move on nuh, for as our Bit so rightly says: ‘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.’ 

And just for this moment we’re going to take our Bit at face value; the night is almost done and day is dawning, so we desperately need to get up and make preparations for going to work, and getting there on time too, for punctuality is one of the strong points of the followers of Jesus. 

Turning now to the philosophical side of our Bit, let’s see if we can get some more serious insight into what Bruh Paul is talking about. Now yesterday we saw it basically meant to give up the sinful ways in which we knowingly are involved; ways that don’t suit a follower of Christ. For as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17) 

Yes my people, when we become people of Christ, we are to shuck the old sinful habits we had, and pick up the new ones which reflect the nature of Christ. But a lot of us are still doing the old stuff and it’s giving both Christ and us a bad name. The unbelievers keep shouting ‘Hypocrites!’ And more often than not they are right. 

As Bruh Paul puts it later on to the Corinthians: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness (in common) with unrighteousness (lawlessness)? and what communion (fellowship) hath light with darkness? And what concord (accord) hath Christ with Belial (Satan)? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel (unbeliever). And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ (2 Cor.6:14-16) 

Yes friends, individually and collectively we are the temple of God, the church of Christ, and as such we need to live a life that reflects the nature of Christ, and obviously the unbeliever’s life doesn’t reflect that, so we shouldn’t be too chummy chummy with them and pick up their bad habits. 

Now that doesn’t mean we can’t associate or work with them, because how else would we show and teach them about Jesus eh?  However we have to make sure that their unbelief doesn’t contaminate us, and that our belief is the more powerful nature of the relationship so that we can eventually draw them to Christ. 

But seriously though my believing brethren, in these troubled and evil times, we desperately need to come up higher. There is way too much strife and evil happening in our world, not enough LOVE, joy peace and goodwill, and if it continues in the current vein, it will only lead to a massive explosion, which I’m sure none of us want. So please, please, in Jesus’ name, I implore us, let’s do better nuh, for all of us have room for improvement.  If not for our sakes, then for our children’s. Much LOVE!

…the light of Jesus’ followers…ought ALWAYS to overpower…the darkness of the unbelievers…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2017 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

And then it was Wednesday…another brand new day of mercies and God’s everlasting goodness! Wow! Are we ever blessed my fellow saints in Christ! And I do hope that we truly appreciate God’s LOVING-kindness, else we’ll be missing out on a lot, foolishly shortchanging ourselves. Anyway, that’s a sermon for another day. (smile) 

Today, we’re going to get right into our Bit. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ As we said yesterday, you cannot enjoy the good things of God, unless you change your way of thinking, adopting the way God thinks, instead of the way the world operates. 

The scholars offer this explanation: ’12:2. Be not conformed  (lit; “stop conforming yourselves”): They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’  

And the important thing there friends is to RESIST being made like the world. We have to consciously and forcefully resist the world’s titanic efforts to swallow us up in its evil schemes and dreams, because it is an unrelenting force that never stops trying. 

And the only way we can resist is by having the mindset of Christ, keeping us resilient and ever strong. Remember friends, all that we are and do begins and ends in our minds. As Sister Joyce’s (Joyce Meyer) book title indicates, it’s a battlefield, ‘The Battlefield of the Mind.’ 

And that’s no lie, for all our battles are first fought in our minds, then we put whatever it is we think into action. That’s why they say be careful what you think about, because whatever is uppermost in your mind will be revealed in your actions. 

Now listen to this cerebral quote from Dallas Willard (1935-2013), American Philosopher, great spiritual thinker and writer. He says: ‘The ultimate freedom we have as human beings is the power to select what we allow our minds to dwell on.’  Selah! 

Yeh friends, ponder that for a minute nuh. We have total control over what we think about, but like everything else we need to practice it continuously, for the enemy is always around trying to put unholy and ungodly thoughts into our minds. But when we know who we are in Christ, and consciously take control, then we can fight tooth and nail to keep our minds in a Christ-like state. 

Our minds are like a garden; it must be carefully and continuously tended, otherwise like a normal garden, the weeds and other unwanted stuff will spring up and choke the good seed. And as Jesus says, that’s when ‘the care(s) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’  (Matt.13:22b) 

Yeh mih people, if we want to be fruitful for Jesus, we have to stay attached to His vine and carefully tend the garden of our minds, otherwise we’re liable to lose whatever fruitfulness we might have. As I heard Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller) say the other day: ‘Good thoughts bear good fruit. Bad thoughts bear bad fruit.’ 

And that’s indisputable truth my brethren. So let’s try to keep good thoughts circulating in our minds nuh, so that we can bear good fruit for Jesus. Now here is another very important sister scripture to our Bit, this time from John’s first epistle. 

‘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 friends, it couldn’t be stated any simpler, and yet as profound! 

Now hear the scholars: ‘2:15. LOVE not the world is a command implying that action now in progress must cease: “STOP LOVING THE WORLD!” There is, of course, one sense in which Christians should LOVE the world, since God Himself did and does (John 3:16). But in the sense of pledging personal loyalty and devotion to one’s whole being and means, Christians are to “LOVE” God first and foremost (Deut.6:5; Mark 12:30).’  

And all God’s people declared a loud and sincere ‘Amen!’ 

Now here is some more important info from the scholars re ‘Temptation.’ ‘2:16. Though all people are tempted differently according to their individual weaknesses, temptations follow patterns. They appeal to three fundamental areas of life: (1) the lust of the flesh (physical desires; (2) the lust of the eyes (personal desires); and (3) the pride of life (self-interests). 

Illustration: When Satan caused the fall of the race, he appealed to each of these areas of weakness (Gen. 3:6). He also appealed to them when he tempted Christ (Matt.4:1-11), who defied Satan’s temptations by relying on the authority of the Scriptures. Application: The Christian today should also depend on the Scriptures to defeat temptation. (First Ref. Gen 3:1-6; Primary Ref. 1 John 2:15-17; cf. Rom.5:12).’ 

And having taken in all of that, (smile) and we do have the God-given capacity, let’s go home proudly and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know that we’re on a long and wonderful journey with Christ. 

As one 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!’ 

Oh friends, let’s weep for joy that we are in Christ, and that He is in us! Much LOVE!

…to truly know Christ…is to be totally enamoured of Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2017 John 10:10.

John 10:10.   The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

And then the rains fell – soft and gentle upon the thirsty land. Oh friends, what a joy it is to see and hear the rain falling gently, especially when you’re lying in bed with your special someone beside you! (smile) 

Oh yes, the rain fell in my neighbourhood most of yesterday afternoon and last night. And thankfully it wasn’t a great flood-like outpouring of water, but a constant, steady drizzle that resembled a gentle caress rather than a fierce bear hug. 

And I believe both the land and its inhabitants benefit more from that type of rainfall than big, gushing streams of water all at once. 

Now here is a quote attributed to Jürgen Moltmann (April 8, 1926 -) a Reformed German theologian and Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. 

He is most noted as a proponent of his “theology of hope” and for his incorporation of insights from liberation theology and ecology into mainstream Trinitarian theology. Whatever that means. (smile) 

But he is obviously a man of some learning and some importance in the church, and thus we should pay some attention to what he writes. ‘The more passionately we LOVE life, the more intensely we experience the joy of life.’ 

And that my people is gospel truth! The more we LOVE life, and throw ourselves into it, the greater joy we receive from it. It’s all about the passion we bring to whatever we do, especially the living of life itself! We can’t always hide from life, for that’s unhealthy. 

But as the devotion from our One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness tells us. It’s better to ‘live the drama, LOVE it, cry with it, and at times even hate it. Choosing to live life on its terms brings enthusiasm and passion into our experiences. 

Our decision to LOVE life – despite the highs and lows – allows us to delight in the highs and to accept the lows as unavoidable, but momentary setbacks. Although hiding from reality can sometimes insulate us from the pain, it also blinds us to the joys and wonderment of living fully.’ 

Now we all know that the basic philosophy of our Christian faith is to live life to the full, as Jesus our leader declares in our Bit. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ 

And the only way to have a truly abundant life is by getting passionately involved with it, whether it be for good or for evil. 

Obviously it’s much better to live a passionate life entrenched in goodness, by being fully yoked to the aims and desires of Jesus Christ, so that we can enjoy all the good things, the wonderful rewards He has in store for those who sincerely believe in and work for Him. 

Unfortunately though my brethren, that passion for Christ that we’re talking about seems to be sadly lacking in His church these days. 

A handful of us might be showing such passion, but most of us are simply just plodding along, taking life as it comes, which we sometimes need to do, but generally speaking, not responding with the energy and enthusiasm we need to overcome it. 

Please note that Jesus didn’t just give us abundant life, He had to painfully earn if for us, by sacrificing His sinless self on the cross. So who are we now to just expect to go through life without any problems eh? 

Remember what Job said to his wife in the middle of his calamity? She said to him: ‘Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) 

Yeh friends, it’s not easy to accept calamity with a smile, but when we look at the overall picture, sometimes we need to do it. We just cannot afford to let life dig us into a hole in both our circumstances and our emotions, because that’s a hole from which it is often very difficult to get out of. 

Now here’s an interesting explanation from the scholars on those two verses from Job. ‘2:9. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it is no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. 

But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen.50:19-20). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear in the book again.’ 

Good riddance! So friends, in general, what we bring to life, is what life gives to us. But at times, life can be quite contrary, so as believers, we need to stand strong and with the help of Jesus, fight life on our terms, not on his. And we can only do that when we bring a strong and passionate LOVE for Christ to the table. 

Now let’s go home declaring that passion we have for Jesus in our Tuesday Mantra. ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and action that LOVE…with passion. Much LOVE, my faithful brethren in Christ!

…from today…I will be enthusiastic about life…regardless of what it brings…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Awright mih breddren, it’s Monday morning, so let’s be up and at ‘em nuh! 

‘Not today,’ claim our U.S. breddren. ‘Today is our Memorial Day Holiday, where we celebrate our fallen war heroes, so no work for us today. Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, the shoe is on the other foot this week; last week we in Canada had Monday off for our Victoria Day Holiday, this week the U.S honours their patriots. But since it’s still a day of labour for most of us, we still need to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get us going. So with as much verve and enthusiasm as we can muster, let’s sing. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And as expected, the loudest and most off key voices were those who did not have to go to work today, and were already into the celebrations. But just remember, please listen to Granny’s advice. ‘Drunk or sober mind yuh business.’ We don’t want to go giving the evil one any foothold in our souls, for he is always lurking around, always on the prowl to find someone he can invade and cultivate. 

That’s why Peter, after telling us to humble ourselves before God, and to cast our care on him, because He cares for us, so strenuously warns in our Bit. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends!  Remember when Satan came before God in Job? ‘And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (Job 1:7) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:7. From going to and from in the earth refers to Satan’s activity. Though he does not admit it here, Satan’s character clearly shows that his many travels are for evil purposes.  In 1 Peter 5:8. Satan is described as “your adversary the devil…seeking whom he may devour.” 

The activity of Satan indicates that he only has limited access to God. This account in Job emphasizes that God is sovereign over Satan. It also teaches that Satan is a finite being and therefore not omnipresent (can’t be everywhere at the same time). Nor can he touch God’s servants without God’s permission.’ 

Oh glory to God my people! That means Satan has no direct say over us, he can only invade our souls and spirits if God gives him permission, or of we foolishly allow him to enter therein. That’s why Peter continues after our Bit. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh friends, I know it’s no great consolation to know that our brethren are experiencing the same temptation as us, but it just goes to show that we are not alone in being tempted, as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Now friends, we have to be careful and understand that God will not always make us escape the temptation, but will often allow us to go through it, to build our faith, but will eventually bring us out safely on the other side. Remember too, that even Jesus was tempted by Lucifer during His earthly sojourn, but He successfully rebuked Him, and we ought to try and do likewise. 

James also warns us. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ (James 4:7) Yes my fellow believers, if we keep resisting Lucifer, he will eventually flee from us; not that he won’t come back and try to tempt us later on, (smile) because he can be very persistent. 

However, we’ll end with these reassuring words of Peter. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be the glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11)

What a blessed and faithful assurance my people. So let’s go out today strengthened in the Word of God, so that we can do His will. Much LOVE!

…the stronger our faith in Jesus…the more we are able to resist temptation…

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries