Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 September 2020 Romans 8:18.

Romans 8:18.     ​For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

And it’s another damp and cloudy morning…but this one is Friday! Whoopee de! And if it turns out as decent as yesterday, then things should be all right. Oh friends, things will be all right regardless of the weather! Remember we have Jesus, His Holy Spirit dwelling within us, to lead and guide us, and we are also with Him, and that’s a combination nothing in this evil world can ever beat. Let’s remember that God and anyone of us, are always a majority! Glory be! So with that in mind, like I promised yesterday, if the Lord willed, and it looks like He wills, (smile) we’d consider some of the awesome scripture that we couldn’t get to back then. 

But before we get to them, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say nuh. And he always opens his monologue with the same basic words, though the emphasis varies according to his state of mind. And today’s mood seems somewhat less than effusive. (smile) ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And ah really glad for this weekend yes, although I only working four days this week, what with the Labour Day holiday on Monday. For some reason though, ah more tired than usual, and I just can’t put mih finger on why. 

Steups! Now isn’t that the most irritating thing? Yuh not feeling right, but yuh can’t figure out why! Chuh man! Ah just feeling low down for no reason at all. Ah feeling drained of energy…and is not like ah work so hard this week. To be honest, I didn’t do a whole lot, so why this lousy feeling eh?. Ah don’t think ah catching a cold… so what else eh…? Heaven forbid ah pick up this Covid-19 thing yes! Ah hear is so it start…you losing energy and feeling tired, then developing a fever and cold symptoms. 

But ah not feeling feverish, or like the cold coming on… so where the hell could I have caught that nonsense eh? I didn’t go nowhere else beside work this week…unless is the li’l gathering we went to by mih in-laws on Labour Day. But everybody there was family…and we been seeing each other without mask for some time now… Oh forget the worrying yes, whatever happens going to happen, worrying not going to make it better. Later on ah going to get a few stiff ones, and that going to drive all the blues and worries away. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, that’s how the enemy works; throw out a li’l doubt and worry, then slowly rope you in like a fish on a line. Good for the ordinary workingman, he decided not to fall for the enemy’s wiles. However, sadly, many of us believers fall for it. That brings us to our Bit, the same as yesterday. ‘For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ Most definitely my fellow saints in Christ! Our ‘sufferations’ down here will seem like child’s play when we see what’s stored up in heaven for us. But enough of my talking let’s get to the truth; the Word of the Lord. 

Hear Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ (2 Cor. 4:17-18) Yeh friends, our problems here on earth, the things we see and experience are only for a short time, but the good things of heaven that we look forward to, are of eternal duration. Now which one would you prefer to have eh? 

Then listen to Bruh Paul proclaim the answer to the church at Colossae. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ (Col. 3:1-3) 

Yes my brethren, if we have turned over our lives to Christ, then we need to leave our old earthly  ways, vices, and habits behind, and instead seek things above; ‘like a deeper knowledge of Christ, a closer relationship with him, experience of His resurrection power, victory over sin (vs.5-11); the development of godly virtues (vs.12-17); the fulfillment of domestic and social responsibilities (3:18-4:1); an effective prayer life (4:2); fruitfulness in witnessing (4:3-6) – in a word, the attainment of Christian maturity, and all the spiritual benefits God has for His people during their days on earth. To have been raised with Christ and not seek these blessings would be a contradiction.’ 

And there you are, the scholars have told us in no uncertain terms that our lives no longer belong to us, but to Christ, and therefore we have to behave like Him, in true and characteristic Christian fashion, having our treasures centred in heaven rather than here on a decaying and deteriorating earth! Matter fixed! And no, I haven’t forgotten our Friday Chant. Let’s chant up a heavenly storm now. (smile) 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

So let’s go out now and do what faithful believers do nuh; handle the situation in a Christian manner! Much LOVE!

…worrying NEVER solves a problem…but involving Christ will… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 November 2015 Colossians 3:2

Colossians 3:2.  Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.

Ahoy there mates, it’s our favourite day, Monday! Oh thank the Lord for it! (smile) And I know that some of you are thinking, has he lost his mind? How could Monday ever be our favourite day eh? 

Ah mih people, it might not be, but it possibly should be, because Mondays bring the most opportunities for truly serving God, out in the busy, open world, where we have many more unbelievers to witness to. 

And remember that serving God is our first priority down here on this earth. So, though you don’t like having to get up and go back to work, there are silver linings to the black clouds you see every Monday morning. 

And as always, to help us get through that difficult time, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much gusto. Look for our choirmaster, Jesus’ direction now. 

And as one: ‘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!’ 

Oh, not too bad a rendition Friends, especially after Thanksgiving weekend, and on Cyber Monday, when the online sales are supposed to go crazy. Ah Lord eh! What next commercial day are they going to come up with? 

Although I recently read that Cyber Monday is slowly morphing into Cyber Friday, because so many people have smart phones now and can order stuff whenever they like. Good for them yes! Chuh! It’s just all about material stuff! How much material stuff can we use eh? Not much! 

I’m sure all of us can look around our houses and see stuff that we thought we must have, then soon after we bought it, something else caught our eye, and the first thing was relegated to some corner, just left sitting there in limbo, unused. Ah mih breddren, when are we going to learn eh? 

Listen to how Bruh Paul spells it out to the Colossians. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ (Col.3:1-3) 

Yes Friends, if we have been born again, become new creations in Christ, then our priorities should not be earthly things, but heavenly ones, where Christ is now seated beside the Father. That’s why our Bit clearly states that our minds ought to be on things above, not those down here on earth. 

But I guess with our fallen nature and the coercion of the world, that’s much easier said than done. However, as faithful believers, that’s what is expected of us. Our old ways and habits, values and vices, interests and sins are to be left behind. And we should seek those things which are above. 

The scholars explain that thus: ‘These “things” include deeper knowledge of Christ, closer fellowship with Him, experience of His resurrection power, victory over sin (vv.5-11); the development of godly virtues (vv.12-17); the fulfillment of domestic and social responsibilities (3:18-4:1); an effective prayer life (4:2); fruitfulness in witnessing (4:3-6) – in a word, the attainment of Christian maturity, and all the spiritual benefits God has for His people during their days on earth. To have been raised with Christ and not to seek these blessings would be a contradiction.’ 

Oh my people, the important things in this life are all right there, all laid out for us in Bruh Paul’s letter to the Colossians. It might be to our advantage if today, we spent some time pondering that letter and all the wonderful advice it has to offer to true believers in Jesus Christ. 

There’s no way we’ll lose if we did that. It’s one of those win- win situations. So that’s our homework for today. And don’t think you can get away with not doing it, because tomorrow I’m going to question us on it. (smile) 

Therefore my brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s go out boldly and confidently today nuh, and make our Lord and Saviour proud of us, by thinking of heavenly things and then putting them into action in our earthly lives, for that is indeed wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…spiritual beings ought to concentrate on spiritual things…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2015 Colossians 3:2‏

Colossians 3:2.    Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, a fair number of hypocrites came to church yesterday, (smile) and did we ever sing and dance, praise and worship God, and enjoy each other’s company! Wow! So much so that we all left the house of God in great spirits, with our LOVE, peace and godly enthusiasm boosted sky high! Oh Glory to God, my people!

That’s why on this summer’s morn, this Monday morning, we are able to get up and get ourselves together to go out and labour without a lot of fuss and complaining. We set the tone for the rest of the week by affirming our convictions with Almighty God on the first day. And that’s why I keep advising us, that our Sundays set the tone and tempo for our Mondays.

Now for those of us whose spirits are still burdened and heavy laden, let’s get our act together by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much verve and gusto. As one earthly, but angelic sounding choir, 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!’

Oh Friends, that was wonderful, marvellous! And most importantly, Jesus was thrilled. You could tell by the dazzling smile on His face as lost in the music, He swayed and wielded – no, not wielded, because that carries a sense of a crude, rough and heavy manner – but rather, as He gently, lightly, but firmly caressed the air with His conductor’s baton. (smile)

Yes my people, I don’t know what happened, but we are definitely on the ball this morning. As we sang, we must obviously have done what our Bit says. ‘Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.’

Oh, if we could only do that in all the other areas of our lives, what a truly wonderful world this would be! But unfortunately that’s not the case; the things of the world still hold too much sway over us; we’re way too materialistic and not sufficiently spiritually concerned. And per the Good Book, my brethren, that is not a very good or wise way to be.

Cousin Sol puts it this way in Proverbs. ‘Labour not to be rich (do not overwork): cease from thine own wisdom.’ (Prov.23:4)

And why is that? As Bruh Paul explains to Timothy. ‘But they that will be (desire to be) rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful (harmful) lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (ruin and destruction).

For the LOVE of money is the root of all (kinds) of evil; which while some coveted after, they have strayed from the faith (for which some in their greediness have strayed from the faith), and pierced themselves through with many arrows.’ (1 Tim.6:9-10)

Ah Friends, what absolute truth! When our main ambition is to be rich, to be materially wealthy, we lose sight of our godly purpose and fall into all sorts of compromises and wrong doing, just to make money. In other words we make money our idol, our god.

And that’s obviously not right. At least not in the eyes of our Creator and heavenly Father, who has faithfully promised that if we seek His righteousness, He will provide us with all we need to be  successful in this world. (Matt.6:33) Unfortunately, too many of us don’t seem to believe Him and thus kill ourselves working for the almighty dollar.

Now here is an important explanation from the scholars. ‘6:10. The root of all evil means a root or source of all kinds of evil. The LOVE for money is not the only source from which evil comes. Coveted after means that some have “striven after” money as the goal of life.’

Yes my brethren, money, in and of itself is not bad, and we definitely need it to live, but when we make amassing it our be all and end all, begin coveting it, that is when we lose our way. Remember the last of the Ten Commandments; thou shalt not covet. (Ex.20:17) And that means anything that belongs to someone else. Any time you covet anything, it’s a sin. So the moral of the story is to not let material wealth be your guiding light, but rather Jesus, the true light of the world.

Now let’s conclude with some more wise and wonderful advice from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute  (give), willing to communicate (share); Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim.6:17-19)

Oh Friends, what powerful and wise words! The scholars explain them thus: ‘6:17-18. Paul charges wealthy believers (1) not to be proud and look down on those who are not rich, (2) to confide in God, rather than in unstable riches, (3) to be rich in good works by generously sharing their surplus of financial resources with the needy. To be ready to distribute is to be generous in sharing. To be willing to communicate is to be liberal in giving.’

Now please notice as the scholars remind us: ‘Salvation is not purchased by the giving of money, but generosity demonstrates the reality of one’s faith. Since the believer trusts God and not money, he gives. This giving shows where his heart is and that he views his wealth in light of eternity.’

More words of wisdom Friends, so please let’s ponder on it all and then come to some right conclusions re our attitude towards money, for that will certainly make or break us. Much LOVE!

…money is good and necessary…but LOVING it…allowing it to rule your life…is fraught with many serious pitfalls…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2015 Colossians 3:2

Colossians 3:2.      Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.

And then it was Sunday! Yes Friends, it’s that wonderful day when we concentrate on family; both our individual blood families and our church families, those we acquire through faith in Christ Jesus. Yes, it’s time to spend quiet and meaningful time with our biological relatives, but also to gather together in God’s sanctuary, be it in a palace or under a coconut tree, and worship and fellowship with other believers.

We need both kinds of rejuvenation each and every week, so that we can do God’s work with an enthusiastic spirit and a willing heart, to a standard of excellence. And the best way to accomplish those desires is by getting together with others of like faith and singing, praising, worshipping and praying to Almighty God, our Creator, Controller and great Provider.

By so doing, we receive encouragement, upliftment and a sure confidence that we can do all we need to with and through God’s timely help. So please don’t ignore or find lame excuses not to go to church today. And I know there are lots of hypocrites in church, so what? You will only make one more. (smile)

Oh I know people use that foolish excuse, but we are all hypocrites to some extent or another, so if no hypocrites went to church, the churches would be empty. We go to church because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and thus need to cleanse our souls and spirits and give thanks and praise for a wonderful Deity and all that He does for us.

You can’t call yourself a Christian and not go to church, because the church is Christ’s body here on earth and we all need to mingle at some time so that we can keep up the church’s work and raise its profile, and thus spread the good news of the gospel around the world as Christ desires of us. So no more shirking going to church, right.

Now here is an interesting comment from our Friend Anselm, who only seeks to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here he’s talking about change, which we all need to do at some time or other. ‘But even though change is often difficult, many times it’s also for the best. Accomplishing anything great in life requires significant change that pushes us beyond our comfort zones.’

And that’s gospel truth my people! We don’t usually make meaningful changes without some upheaval in our normal routines and lives. That’s the only way significant change occurs. And that’s exactly what a lot of us are afraid of; the unknown, the uncomfortable and oftimes risky and challenging situations. But if we sincerely want to improve in any area whatsoever, it will be necessary to make some changes, though they may seem rough, unpleasant and foreboding.

Now here is our Bit, which, if taken seriously, will cause a whole lot of us to make a whole lot of significant changes. Bruh Paul told the Colossians in no uncertain terms: ‘Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.’ Wonderful words of wisdom and some of the best advice we can ever get my brethren.

And the scholars venture this explanation. ‘3:2. Set you affection on things above: The Greek word literally says, “Set your mind on things above.” The readers are not to be preoccupied with things on the earth, such as current heretical philosophies (2:8), legalistic practices (2:16, 21-23), and vices (v.5); nor are they to dwell on things that are not wrong in themselves (houses, jobs, careers, ambitions, etc.), but can be wrong should they become priorities above Christ.’

Unfortunately though Friends, the sad reality of today’s situation is that Christians are more preoccupied with the things of the earth rather than the things of heaven. Those very things that the scholars enunciated above there, are taking priority in the lives of too many Christians over Jesus. And that’s very wrong my people. Why? As Bruh Paul continues: ‘For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ (Col.3:3)

And what does that mean? Listen to the scholars. ‘3:3. Your life is hid with Christ in God (or, “Your life is deposited with Christ, who is in intimate relation with God”). As all wisdom and knowledge reside in Christ (2:3), so the believer’s new life is stored up in Him. This means that the Christian life belongs to the spiritual or heavenly realm. Jesus is in intimate relation with God; so are His followers.

Since the Colossians now belong to the heavenly realm and are intimate with God, they should seek those matters and interests pertaining to heaven and not to the earth.’

Yes Friends, our lives are now tied up with Christ and thus ‘When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.’ (Col.3:4)

Oh my people, how can we appear in glory with Christ when He returns in magnificent splendour, if our lives are still tied up the things of the world eh? Not very likely.

And here is the definitive word from the true source, Jesus. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21)

Ah mih people, that should be self-explanatory. But just in case it isn’t, listen to the scholars’ explanation. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term ‘treasures’ implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven).

The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather of rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’

So, it’s not simply for good works that we are rewarded, for anyone can do good for the wrong reason, but more the motives, the state of our hearts and the faithfulness of our service to God and man. That’s why we keep pointing out that God looks at our hearts rather than just our outward actions.

So please, let’s clean up our hearts and spirits nuh, and do faithful service, so that our rewards in heaven may be great. That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…the material things of the world are worthless…when compared to the spiritual things of heaven…