Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 October 2021 John 3:17.

John 3:17.     For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Oh, what a perfect Saturday morning for sleeping in, at least in my area! We are talking about dark skies on a fairly warm morning for this time of year, and a lulling, drizzle of heavenly blessings. But here I am up early, working. Chuh! That’s because I went to bed early this morning, that’s early by my standards. (smile) 

Anyway, it’s no use griping about it now, because I’m already up and at ‘em. So, like we do every Saturday, let’s check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. I pray the Lord will give me the wisdom and understanding to do a good job on them, because it’s all for His glory. 

This first one says: ‘All great changes are preceded by chaos.’ Now I don’t know if it’s absolutely true, but there is a fair amount of truth to it. Just look at all the great changes forced upon the world by the numerous wars and strife that’s happened down through the ages. 

Look at what’s happening right now. Chaos is in our midst, with serious differences over the cause and effect of the Covid 19 pandemic, the strife that’s been injected over the vaccine, the lust for dictatorial power that’s currently running rampant, the greed of the rich, who are getting insanely richer while the world is beset by numerous natural and man-made disasters, poverty and economic misfortune, climate change, racial differences etc. etc. There’s no doubt that when the dust settles, our society will be significantly changed… but who knows how. 

And let’s not forget the chaos and great changes made by the coming of our Lord and Saviour two thousand years ago. Jesus turned His then Jewish society upside down and the world right side up! Remember what He said: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And the world has never been the same since He came…neither will it be, after He comes again! (smile) 

The second quote tells us that: ‘If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things—you don’t have enough goals.’ I don’t know about not having enough goals nuh, but rather of having the wrong goals. For if you even have one goal of sufficient interest and importance to you, then that will have you getting up every morning burning with passion to fulfill it. What’s the point of having goals that aren’t actively cultivating your interest? None whatsoever! 

The problem with today’s society, why we are so easily bored, is that life’s just too easy for too many of us. There are so many amenities now that we can easily get by without hungering and thirsting after anything, so serious goal setting is not as important as it used to be back when things were harder. 

A real goal is something that calls for elbow grease, for getting out of your comfort zone, that causes you to see a light at the far end of the tunnel and drives you towards it. But since so many of us are averse to working hard, or working at all, who wants to do that eh? Consequently, when we do set goals, they are often of the easy, lacklustre kind and obviously don’t fire us up. 

And that’s where this next quote comes in: ‘Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you can imagine it.’ Yes friends, our dreams, the things we would like to acquire or do, are extremely important, and they are the things that should usually become our goals, because they will inspire us to get up and get a move on. And the second part of the quote does have some truth to it. 

Generally speaking, you must be able to imagine something before you can do it. You don’t always need to see the finished product, but there must be ideas about whatever you want to accomplish continually buzzing about in your head. Otherwise, you won’t have the necessary incentive to keep working on it. 

That’s why the following quote is important. ‘The future belongs to people who see possibilities before they become obvious.’ No doubt about that friends. You just have to look around at all the amazing inventions in our current world to see it. They were created by those who were thinking ahead. They had an idea, a dream, a goal, to make something better, or do something differently, and they kept working at it, despite numerous failures, until they succeeded. A good example of that is the vast and tentacle-like network of social media we have nowadays. Some people saw the possibilities and took advantage of their opportunities. That’s what it takes to be successful in this world. 

And the same thing goes for believers in Christ Jesus. We also need to be forward thinking; seriously gauging possibilities and seeking opportunities to bring others to the knowledge of Christ. That’s our job as His earthly messengers and ambassadors. So don’t think for one moment that Christians don’t also need dreams, goals and successful operations in Jesus’ name. We just have to do them within His framework; that of His holy word. 

His church is His big organization here on earth. But how is that working eh? Not as good as it ought to. It cannot, with all the divisions, disunity, strife, anger and evil that’s currently going on in it. And one would think that in these terrible times, the church of Christ would take the obvious opportunity to be a calming, settling and uniting force, working to bring peace, LOVE and the Spirit of Jesus to the situation. But unfortunately, it is just as divisive and strife filled as the rest of the world. 

What can we as individuals do eh? Not a whole lot, except sincerely show Christ to those around us and pray. And what we call our Serenity Prayer is the last of our quotes for today. So, let’s pray it nuh. ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ 

Yes my fellow saints, that’s why Cousin Sol advises us through the Good Book that: ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding,’ (Prov. 4:7) It’s absolutely imperative that in in these dangerous, evil and ungodly times that the children of God seek His wisdom and learn what we need to do, by studying His word, talking to Him, and being led by His Holy Spirit. 

This is an opportunity for all true believers to step up to the plate and make a real good and Christ-like difference in the lives of others and in our scarred and scared world. That’s what Jesus is expecting of us. So please, let’s not disappoint Him nuh. Much LOVE!

…when things are getting out of hand…that’s when Christians step up and take control…                                                                                                       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 September 2021 John 8:12.

John 8:12.      I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 

Then it was Thursday…and a surge of power echoes through our work weary souls, because tomorrow is Friday, and we can see the end of the work week in sight! Oh my people, have you ever noticed the dichotomy in our souls and spirits when we are tired, but can see a light at the end of the tunnel? That light, dim, though it may be, resurrects the hope and faith in our tired beings. And that’s exactly what Jesus Christ brings to the table when we sincerely accept Him as Lord and Saviour. 

Yes friends, Jesus produces a divine light in our lives when we live for Him, a light that we look forward to, have hope and faith in. He said it Himself. ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) 

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful promise! That means a life free from the ravages of sin and evil; one where we can breathe easy despite the most enormous problems surrounding us, because we depend on the One in whom there is no darkness, only light, Jesus Christ the bright Morning star. Hear how John further puts it in his first epistle nuh. He says very confidently: ‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.’ (1 John 1:5) Wow friends! What a magnificent word and teaching. 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus. John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good; there is no sin nor evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’ And indeed they do, as we listen to the verses that the scholars refer to. ‘If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not do (practice) the truth:’ (1 John 1:6) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘1:6. Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John says boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’ 

Now, if John though that such a situation was bad in his day…brother…he ought to experience them today, where numerous supposed Christians are undoubtedly living a life of sin, while pretending to be so holy and righteous. And unfortunately, we find a lot of that in the leadership and upper echelons of Christ’s church, where those who are supposed to be setting a good example are being outed almost every day in some sinful scandal or the other. Unfortunately, Christ’s church is amongst the most scandalous organizations on the earth! 

However, as John continues: ‘But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:7) Oh my fellow believers, how wonderful is that eh? When we walk in true light and fellowship, the blood of Christ cleanses us, washes away our sin. Listen to the scholars once more. ‘1:7. “God is light” (vs. 5). To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (cf. Rom. 6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

And what a powerful antidote the blood of Jesus truly is my brethren! If it can wash away sin and keep one free from the bondage of sin, then it must indeed be extremely powerful, possibly the most powerful antidote in God’s great universe, since sin is the most powerful and pervasive negative agent around. And being the good spoon feeder that I am, (smile) here is that verse the scholars mention above from Romans, with some context.

Bruh Paul wrote: ‘But God be thanked, that (though) ye were the servants (slaves) of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you (to which you were entrusted). Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.’ (Rom. 6:17-18) Yes friends, like the church at Rome, we heard the doctrine of the gospel of Christ preached and believed. It profoundly affected our lives, as doctrine is supposed to do. And that means we are not free to do whatever we want, but must follow the doctrine, doing stuff that is consistent with God’s character. ‘True freedom is freedom from sin.’ 

That’s why John persisted in telling us about sin, its reality and remedy. ‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (sin). If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.’ (1 John 1:8-9) 

John could not have said it any clearer. And nothing has changed from his day. Just like there were some saying that they had no sin back then, we have plenty who are making the same claim today. But that’s a fool’s wisdom, since the Good Book clearly states: ‘For we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ (Rom. 3:23) Sin is what caused, and still causes the ungodliness and depravity in the world. So, if we say that we don’t have sin, then we’re lying. And furthermore, we are also making God a liar, because He says that we have sin. 

And Jesus taught us that if we owned up to our sin, we could be forgiven, ‘while those who were blind to their sin would be left mired in it (cf. John 9:41).’ And here is that verse, where Jesus said to the Pharisees in answer to the question ‘Are we blind also?’ ‘If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.’ (John 9:40-41) Count on Jesus to tie up the Pharisees with His divine logic! (smile) 

So friends, let’s admit our sin nuh, and wisely turn to Christ for forgiveness, for He doesn’t only dole out forgiveness but also incredible blessings when we sincerely try to live for Him. Now, let’s declare just a handful of them (smile) from what we call our Thursday Blessings just to show how truly wonderful our heavenly Father and Saviour are. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously with others as Jesus shared them with us. That’s what He expects of us! Much LOVE!

…sin…the cause of man’s fall…forgiveness…the divine act that makes him rise again…                                                                                                         

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