Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 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.

Well Thursday has opened wet and gloomy… Let’s hope it doesn’t stay that way. But the caffeine is excellent – strong and sweet. (smile) And though life might be filled with trials and adversities, anxieties and fears, we believers are able to keep on moving forward successfully because the most powerful person in the universe, Jesus Christ, dwells within us, and we are also in Him! Wow! What a wonderful situation to be in my brethren! That’s why we say with such positivity and assurance: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) 

That’s basic logic. If you are indwelt by the ONE to whom nothing is impossible, then you must also be a champion in life like Him! Glory be! So today, please let us not fall prey to the wiles and deceits and outright lies of the enemy as he tries to encumber our lives with more confusion than we already have. Let’s remember who we are; children of the Most High God Jehovah, believers in Christ Jesus, who ought to be living a Spirit filled life. As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom. 8:1) 

Yes friends, as believers who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of Christ, we ought to listen to Him and follow His direction, because He is our guide, comforter and general advisor. And Bruh Paul continues: ‘For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.’ (Rom. 8:5) And it’s been clearly stated that believers in Christ need to live by the Spirit of Christ else they don’t belong to Him. 

Hear How Bruh Paul puts it. ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.’ (Rom. 8:14-15) Oh my people, what beautiful, faith filled scriptures! We have not received Christ and his Spirit only to be filled with fear again, but have been made fearless children of God, through adoption. 

Listen to the scholars. ‘8:15. The Spirit of adoption: The Holy Spirit places the believer as a son in God’s family. Abba (Aram for “father”): This is the intimate name used only by members of the family. It’s use here denotes the intimacy of the believer’s relation to God.’ Now isn’t that a most magnificent and desirous position to be in? Certainly! How can one not desire to be in an intimate relationship with Almighty God – Creator and sustainer of ALL – and be able to go to Him with father-like intimacy, just like we can go to our earthly fathers? That’s definitely not wisdom! 

So Bruh Paul relates: ‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 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.’ (Rom. 8:16-18) 

Mama Mia! Yuh hear that mih people? If we suffer for and with Christ, we’ll also be glorified with him! And what we suffering down here on earth today can’t be compared with the glory of life with Christ when His kingdom rules! Glory be! So instead of pouting and complaining about the sufferings down here, we should be concentrating on the joys and pleasures that we will receive later on when we’re glorified with Christ! 

But let’s hear what the scholars have to say: ‘8:16. The witness of the Spirit is the inner assurance of God’s truth. One of the conditions of this inner conviction concerning the things of God is obedience to His known will (John 7:17). God uses this ministry of the Holy Spirit to convince us of truth that cannot be understood other than through divine help (Matt. 16:17). 

Illustration: This witness was obvious in Peter’s confession of Christ (Matt. 16:16-17) Even though others had observed Christ and drawn certain erroneous conclusions, Peter received spiritual insight from God as to who Jesus really was (Matt. 16:17). This enlightenment did not mean he had nothing more to learn, because perhaps within minutes of his confession, he was being rebuked by Jesus for his lack of spiritual insight – (Get thee behind me Satan) (Matt. 16:23)

Application: Christians should be careful always to obey the clearly revealed will of God, so as not to hinder this ministry in their lives. (first ref. Matt. 16:17; Primary Ref. Rom. 8:16, cf. Heb. 6:1-2).’ 

‘8:17. Joint-heirs with Christ: All believers share all of the inheritance together. They also have the promise of glorification if their lives are lived devotedly and sacrificially unto the Lord.’ Yeh friends, just like the inheritance business works down here on earth, so it going to work in Christ’s kingdom…if we live obedient to God. ‘8:18. The sufferings of this present time: See 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. The glory which shall be revealed: The blessed hope of the Christian looks ahead with anticipation to this great moment. See also 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; Titus 2:13.’ 

It’s all about anticipation precious people, about belief, about faith! And I wanted to share some of those scriptures, but we just don’t have the time or space…maybe tomorrow, if the Lord wills. But if you can, please peruse some of them, they are all very relevant to our Christian life. Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been magnanimously bestowed on us to help us in our earthly ministry. 

All together now, in strong, 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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And having confessed all those wonderful blessings, let’s get to sharing them just as magnanimously nuh! Much LOVE!

…walk in the Spirit…so we don’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2015 Luke 2:33‏‏

Luke 2:33.  And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 

And then it was Wednesday! Yes friends, the day before Old Year’s, before New Year’s Eve, when we make such a big hoopla about things changing for the New Year, when in fact they mostly remain the same. (smile) 

For the first few days we might try to keep our resolutions, but invariably we end up back at the same spot we were at, at year’s end. 

Now it’s good to make sincere and productive resolutions and all that, but the trouble is that most of just talk for talk sake, without any serious intention of making the changes we talk about. Or if we’re serious, when the enormity of the situation truly hits us, we just give up and revert back to our former state. 

Anyway, I’m not going to bad talk New Year’s resolutions anymore. (smile) Instead, let’s wail our Wednesday Wail with sincerity and a true sense of purpose. ‘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 my people, that’s all the New Year’s resolution we need right there; looking ahead to a glorious future with Jesus! 

And I’d like to plead guilty to not checking with us during the year, as I used to, and ought to, as to whether we are keeping up with our New Year’s resolutions, especially the only one I claim that we need, forging a prosperous relationship with Jesus. 

However, I do hope that all of us did improve our relationship with Christ during this past year; that we grew and matured in Him, even if it was just a li’l bit. 

Yes my fellow believers, I sincerely hope that all of us came up a little higher in living for Christ this year, and that we’ll keep on pursuing that beautiful dream in the coming year, because it’s simply the BEST option that exists. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.’ And how could they not eh mih breddren when every time they turned around, somebody had some glorious insight into Jesus’ future? 

And we’ll go back to that day in the temple when they brought Jesus to be circumcised, how the old prophet Simeon was so ecstatic at seeing the Messiah, and the Good Book invokes our Bit. But the old man wasn’t finished. 

‘And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set (destined) for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against. (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.’ (Luke 2:34-35) 

Ah friends, as if Mary needed to hear any more contentious talk re the life of her first born. Remember she was still just a teenager without a whole lot of life experience. And who knows what dire thoughts fled through her young, inexperienced mind when Simeon spoke about a sword piercing her soul? 

The scholars though explain those verses thus: ‘2:34-35. Jesus’ coming will bring deliverance, but also division and anguish. Both redemption and judgement are bound up in His advent.’ And His coming certainly did bring all those things. 

And if listening to all the stuff that Simeon said wasn’t unnerving enough, as soon as he was done, and old prophetess by the name of Anna came on the scene. 

The Good Book tells it like this. ‘And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.’ (Luke 2:37-38) 

Ah Lord eh! As though the poor parents didn’t already have enough to put up with. 

And the scholars tell us: ‘2:36-37. Like Simeon, Anna was of unusual commitment, and had been blessed, being a prophetess, with special spiritual insight.’ 

Now how would you like to be the parent of such a child eh? Many of us would have been tearing out our hair, and wondering what kind of child we had given birth to. But Mary and Joseph didn’t, because they knew that Jesus was special, though just not how special. 

And the Good book ends this period of anxiety and surprise by simply saying: ‘And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew and waxed (became) strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.’ (Luke 2:39-40) 

Yes friends, they certainly needed a break from all the attention. But don’t think that through those years of Jesus’ growth that their minds weren’t filled with wonder and worry. 

And can you even imagine Mary’s thoughts as she watched Him feeding at her breasts, drawing the life enhancing milk from her body? They must have run the whole gamut of imagination; from good to bad and back again. 

No doubt over those early years, she kept pondering all the unlikely things that had happened. But we do know that her faith was strong, and she would not give up though her trials and tribulations were plentiful. Hopefully the same can be said of us my fellow believers. Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s reaction to trials…should not be giving up…but a turning to… and crying out to God in faith…for help and mercy…as He has decreed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2013 Matthew 16:18

Matthew 16:18.    And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter (a stone) and upon this rock (large rock) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Oh Friends, it’s one more morning, one more day! And though it looks like it might be a rainy day in my area, it certainly won’t stop the outpouring of new mercies, blessings, manna and forgiveness from heaven above. Don’t you just LOVE the faithfulness and LOVING-kindness of our wonderful God? Nothing stops His daily benevolence to His children, although we most often don’t deserve it.
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and joyful shout of, “Praise the Lord God Jehovah for His unceasing goodness to the children of sinful men!’ And that’s certainly how it ought to be my brethren!
 
Anyway, I want to clear up something that I said yesterday, which was, and is liable to cause some confusion. In the last scripture I spoke of getting some wise words ‘from the Rock – Petros, Peter.’ Thankfully one of my readers pointed out the problem, that some people would take it to mean that Peter was the ‘Rock’ on which Christ intended to build His church.
 
And this would be totally plausible after reading our Bit. ‘And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter (a stone) and upon this rock (large rock) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ 
 
Now let’s get some background on it. This scripture came up after Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was. And the ever bright and feisty Simon chirped up: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona (son of Jonah): for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.16:16-17)
 
Jesus was saying there that Simon had achieved that conclusion through spiritual insight. Then He launched into our Bit.
 
I believe the problem comes from the translation of the Greek words used in the original; ‘Petros and Petra.’ The first, ‘Petros’ which we translate as Peter, apparently means a small stone, while ‘Petra,’ means a large rock. The distinction has obviously gotten lost in the English translation. And though Jesus’ next words tend to convey the ‘Rock’ meaning, we’ll see differently afterwards.
 
After our Bit, Jesus tells Peter: ‘And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: And whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ (Matt.16:19)
 
But Jesus says the same words to all the apostles later on when talking about lost sheep. ‘Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ (Matt.18:18)
 
Now hear the scholars take on the subject. ’16:18. The Greek word used for rock (petra) is played against the name Peter (Gr. Petros). Some use this passage to teach that Peter was the foundation stone of the church, that he had a primacy among the apostles, and that he became Bishop of Rome. The verse will scarcely bear the first of these propositions, and certainly none of the others.
 
Peter may be meant by the rock, but he is not the exclusive foundation. For the twelvefold foundation of the apostles of the church, see Ephesians 2:20 and Revelation 21:14. This seems borne out by the fact that the same words are spoken to all the disciples in Matthew 18:18 as are spoken to Simon Peter in 16:19. Therefore the rock or foundation of the church is the confession (ultimately, the doctrine) of the apostles, which became normative for the true church.’
 
Oh Friends, I surely hope that clears up any confusion my words may have caused yesterday. And to make life easier for us all, (smile) I’ll quote two of the other appropriate scriptures the scholars referenced, beginning with the one from Revelation. Here John is talking about the New Jerusalem which an angel spiritually carried him away to see. ‘And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in (on) them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.’ (Rev.21:14)
 
Obviously Peter was not the only foundation stone of the church, though he played a large part in its creation and continuation. Now turning to the Ephesians scripture. Bruh Paul is here telling them about the unity of all believers.
 
‘Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed (being joined) together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord.’ (Eph.2:19-21)
 
Yes my brethren, Jesus came and tore down all the barriers between Jews and Gentiles, ripped down the veil of the old temple and laid the foundation of His church on the work of the apostles and prophets, with Him being the corner stone.
 
As Jesus said when relating the parable of the wicked husbandmen: ‘Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner (cornerstone): this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?’  (Matt.21:42)
 
There Jesus is quoting the words of the psalmist, (Ps.118:22-23) words that were written long before He came to earth in human form, thus again proving the importance of the Old Testament as a foreshadowing of the New.
 
Ah mih people, I do hope that today’s message will bring some clear or even clearer insight into the rock situation with Peter. He was important in the foundation of Christ’s church, but not the rock, or even the chief stone. Much LOVE!
 
…the Church’s ONE foundation…is Jesus Christ her Lord…She is His new creation…by water and the Word…
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2012 Romans 8:16

Romans 8:16.   The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
 
Oh mih people, for once the weather forecasters were right. Yesterday was a pretty hot day. And they promise more of that summery weather for today. The A/C units will be again running nonstop, working overtime, and the power producers and technicians will be making loads of money. The technicians might be even too busy to attend to some of the service calls. Sometimes we just can’t win, because it’s either feast or famine, no safe and comfortable in between. But as I keep reminding us, we are children of the Most High God Jehovah, and consequently ours is not to worry, but to turn all our problems over to Him in prayer. And some of you might be led to ask, how do we really know that we’re children of God? Well, for a start, listen to our Bit: ‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.’ Yes Friends, when the Spirit of God dwells in us and works in tandem with our spirit to produce a Christ-like character in us, then we can be assured that we are indeed children of the Most High! Remember yesterday we said that one of the reasons we can be assured of salvation and eternal life is because we have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit? Oh Friends, without that Spirit of God dwelling in us, we’d be completely lost! Such is its importance in the lives of believers. Hear the scholars tell it: ‘The witness of the Spirit is the inner assurance of God’s truth. One of the conditions of this inner conviction concerning the things of God is obedience to His known will: ‘My doctrine is not mine, but him that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of (concerning) the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.’ (John 7:16-17) God uses this ministry of the Holy Spirit to convince us of truth that cannot be understood other than through divine help. ‘And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.16:17) Illustration: This witness was obvious in Peter’s confession of Christ. Even though others had observed Christ and drawn certain erroneous conclusions, Peter received spiritual insight from God as to who Jesus really was. This enlightenment did not mean he had nothing more to learn, because perhaps within minutes of his confession, he was being rebuked by Jesus for his lack of spiritual insight. ‘But he (Jesus) turned and said to Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savourest not (are not mindful of) the things that be of God, but those that be of men.’ (Matt.16:23) Application: Christians should be careful always to obey the clearly revealed will of God, so as not to hinder this ministry in their lives.’ We can therefore see my brethren that the Holy Spirit is of the utmost importance in the lives of all believers. He is to be the chief mover and shaker in all that we do. Now the million-dollar question is, do we allow the Spirit to do His job? That’s entirely up to us as individuals. But please note that as much as we allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, that’s how much we’ll be in God’s good graces. Remember the Spirit is the workhorse of the Holy Trinity, so if He’s not busily working in and through us, then simple logic dictates that God isn’t working in and through us. Hear Bruh Paul talking to the Ephesians re the spiritual blessings in Christ. ‘That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ (Jews). In whom ye (Gentiles) also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.’ (Eph.1:12-13) Here are some thoughts on that from the scholars. ‘There is no difference between the Jewish and Gentile Christians. Christ bestowed the same Spirit on them all. Right when, you believed you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, not after. The sealer is Jesus; the seal is the Holy Spirit. In biblical times a seal denoted both identification of ownership and protection provided by the owner.’ Oh Friends that definitely means when we’re sealed with the Holy Spirit of Jesus that we belong to Him and are protected by Him! And all God’s children shouted: ‘Glory Hallelujah to the Lamb who is most worthy to be praised!’ I like how the scholars further explain the sealing of the Holy Spirit. ‘The sealing of the Holy Spirit guarantees the benefits of our salvation, as a person might seal an envelope to guarantee its enclosures. The Holy Spirit is the seal. Illustration: The Holy Spirit as the seal to the believer is also a ‘down payment’ of His commitment to someday give him all other things God has promised. Application: Christians should be careful to ‘grieve not the holy Spirit of God, by whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ (Eph.4:30) There we have it Friends, the facts, and not fiction, on the reality that we are children of God! And we’ll end with this most appropriate verse: ‘And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.’ (Rom.8:17) Wow mih people, what an awesome promise! Now why would I trade all of that for some stupid, earthly possession that corrodes, get’s rusty and which I cannot take to heaven with me eh? No way Jose! Please ponder, think seriously on these things. and I sure hope you come to the same conclusion that I did. It’s wisdom at its highest point! Much LOVE…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…just to feel His LOVING touch…makes it all worthwhile…