Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2014 Acts 14:22

Acts 14:22.     Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

So what’s happening this fine Thursday morning eh Friends? I do hope that we’re all prepared to receive the new blessings and mercies that our wonderful Lord has earmarked for distribution today to His faithful and obedient followers.
 
And all God’s people mouthed a most grateful, ‘Thank You Lord! We Love You and praise Your Holy Name!’
 
Now here is the second half of the I CAN DO statements, acclamations of faith to get us started on our journey of faith today.
 
Please affirm with me: ‘I CAN have victory in my life by dealing with the things that are keeping me from God’s best. I AM confronting my struggles head on so I CAN overcome them. God has given me the power to rise above.
 
He has given me the strength to focus on Him and push through. NOTHING will hold me back! This is my declaration of what I CAN do through Christ!’
 
Now my people, let’s take that seriously and get ourselves together and DO what we just affirmed that we CAN and WILL DO! It’s the only way to move forward successfully in this life! 
 
That brings us to our Bit: ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’
 
Oh Friends, that’s exactly what we are endeavouring to do through the Bit; strengthen our souls so that we can continue strong in the faith, while keeping in mind the fact that we will suffer trials simply by being a follower of Jesus. So it’s all good stuff. (smile)
 
And though it can indeed be a struggle to live a good life, walking in Jesus’ footsteps, glorifying our heavenly Father, as faithful believers, we must do it, never giving up, persevering despite what ever comes against us, for in due time we will be well rewarded.
 
Now let’s continue where we left off yesterday, by looking at a couple of scripture passages that corroborate the second half of our Bit: ‘and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’
 
I know it doesn’t cause much interest and excitement to think that we need to see troubles to enter God’s kingdom, but that’s what the Word says, and the Word doesn’t lie. However, it does promise great rewards if we stand strong in the testing of our faith.
 
Listen to Bruh Paul as he tells the church at Rome about living life in the Spirit. ‘So then they that be in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
 
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (give life to) your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
 
Therefore brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 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. The Spirit itself bchildren of god, heirs of god, 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 to us.’(Rom.8:8-18)
 
Yes my brethren, the only way to live this earthly life successfully is being led and guided by the Holy Spirit of God, and not by the fleshly lusts of our carnal bodies!
 
And as Bruh Paul says in the last verse there, the trials and tribulations we endure now, will be significantly outweighed by the rewards in glory later on.
 
And if you don’t believe Bruh Paul, then listen to Jesus, as He makes the same claim when talking to His disciples about who is great.
 
‘And there was also a strife (rivalry) among them, which of them should be accounted (considered) the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
 
(Scholars’ note: Benefactors: The underlying Greek word appears nowhere else in the New Testament. Middle-Eastern kings liked to rule with an iron hand, and then take on a title that extolled their benevolence. Christians should crave neither such power nor such acclaim).
 
But ye shall not be so: but he that is the greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief (leader), as he that doth serve. For whether (who) is greater, he that sitteth at meat (at the table), or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat (at the table)?
 
But I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto (bestow upon) you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto (bestowed upon) me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’ (Luke 22:24-30)
 
Ah mih people, the world judges greatness by the material things and power we possess. But it is not so in the kingdom of God. Jesus came to earth to serve, to be a servant for His heavenly Father, to help and save those in need, and likewise, that’s what He expects of His followers.
 
Now that doesn’t mean we cannot amass great wealth and power, but we must use them wisely in doing God’s will and work here on earth, not just lay them up for our sole benefit and sit and consider how well off and wonderful we are, otherwise we’ll end up like the fool in Luke 12:16-21, who was called home the same night he decided to eat, drink and be merry over his great earthly possessions. And thus ends today’s message.
 
Oh Friends, we all know that faithfully serving Jesus in this evil, ungodly world isn’t easy, especially when He requires excellence of ALL His followers, and excellence only comes with paying a price.
 
But please remember that Jesus promises to reward all those who faithfully serve Him with rewards of excellence too, rewards like salvation and eternal life with Him and the Father. And believe me people, there is nothing on this planet Earth that’s worth more than those two things!
 
So please hang in there my brethren, and let’s faithfully spread the LOVE Revolution of Jesus all over the world, as he requires, and do it with joy and excellence! Much LOVE!
 
…all that’s required of us on this earthly pilgrimage…is to LOVE OUR GOD…LIVE OUR FAITH…AND SPREAD GOD’S WORD…