Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 October 2021 Hebrews 10:23.

Hebrews 10:23.     Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).

Well, after two days of almost steady rain, it’s finally eased up. But everything is still wet,  and the skies are still dark, no sign of the sun, so who knows what’s going to happen next. The good thing though is that despite what we see or feel, or what may come our way, the wise thing to do is to stay with God! He controls everything and has promised to not allow more than we can bear to come upon us. He will give us the strength to overcome. A strength that we never knew we had. That’s why Bruh Paul says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And don’t forget this most marvellous promise either from Peter: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (2 Pet. 5:6-7) Yes friends, when things get rough, or we just don’t know what do, wisdom dictates that we lose our inherent pride and arrogance, and humble ourselves before our heavenly Father, because He cares for us, even more than our earthly parents. We have life in Him, there’s hope, a bright future, and the awesome promise never to leave nor forsake us! 

Oh my people, Jesus promised it in so many words: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20) So we have no reason to fear or feel lost in the turmoil of this current world. That is, if we put our lives in God’s hands, let Him lead and guide us through His Holy Spirit that indwells us. He is always there for us, but we have to go to Him, and stay with Him, fully believing that He can and will do all that He has promised. Remember, walking with God calls for faith, for trust and surrender. 

As Hebrews so clearly puts it: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (that He exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) And then you ask, what then is this faith you talk about? It’s just believing for things that you don’t see, things that God’s promised, and waiting expectantly for them. For as Hebrews wisely advises: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).’ (Heb. 10:23) 

Yes, my fellow believers, we very much need to stand strong in our faith, because life is never easy, therefore, we need someone more powerful than us to help us walk through it successfully. And who is more powerful than Jesus eh? NOBODY! He conquered hell, death and the grave through His triumphant resurrection on the Easter morning so long ago. That’s why He could make this amazing statement: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Oh my brethren, who else could make such a truthful statement eh? No one but Jesus, because He did exactly what He said! That means no matter what happens we can rest assured that God is working in our lives for our good. Bruh Paul told us that in his epistle to the church at Rome. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Yes my fellow saints, if we LOVE God, put our lives in His awesome hands and try our best to walk in faith with Him, then He will eventually work everything out for our good. 

So, though the rains pour down, the skies stay dark and life seems forsaken, do not believe that all is lost, for when Christ is in your life, nothing is ever lost! It might be misplaced for a while, but NEVER lost, because Jesus has faithfully promised that it won’t be. And He never makes idle promises. Why would Father God send His only Son to die on the cross that we might be forgiven, then leave us in the lurch after that eh? 

No way! Bruh Paul made that abundantly clear to the Roman church when he wrote: ‘What shall we then say to these things (that God has done for us through Jesus, like justification, sanctification and reconciliation)? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom. 8:31-32) 

That’s only common-sense friends. Why would God put Himself out for us, then just leave us to fend for ourselves afterwards eh? No reason whatsoever, since that’s not the kind of God He is. And Bruh Paul emphasizes that in his epistle to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) Oh, how wonderful that is my fellow believers; that the Lord will continue working in us, offering us His grace, LOVE and all that we need until Christ returns! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ Glory be, mih people! The Lord’s plans for us will not be thwarted! You can’t beat that news! But that means we must also play our part in the partnership. As James advises: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw night (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye doubleminded.’ (James 4:7-8) 

So friends,  our role is basically to stay close to God, and if we do, He will work everything out for our good. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to stay attached to God, let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong. As one strong, confident and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

And the upshot of that declaration (yeah!!!) is that we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him! Much LOVE!

…in Christ Jesus…there is relief from this sinful world…and eternal freedom in the next…                        

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2021 James 1:8.

James 1:8.     A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Well friends, the holiday done now, is time to get back to work…yes, for those of us who have jobs. And just for your info, we didn’t see any of the rain promised by the weather forecasters, so it was a mostly bright and sunshiny long weekend. And although they removed some restrictions for the lockdown, like outside sports, we still had people protesting about the mask wearing and what have you. I think some of us just like to protest yes. We not happy unless we up in arms about something, whether it’s a worthy cause or not. 

But after wearing masks for over a year now, we should be comfortable with them and realize that they were the main prevention in our small arsenal of weapons against the virus. And the virus has not been licked as yet, so we still need to keep up our initial prevention mechanisms. Not to mention that there are also plenty powerful reactions and resentment against the vaccines that seem to hold our best hope of quieting the virus. 

I see stuff all the time ranting and raving against the vaccine and how it’s going to change our DNA, how it’s going to allow the world leaders to control us and have us doing all sorts of ungodly stuff. One rant recently even purported to have it turning us away from God and becoming pagans. So who knows what’s the answer eh?

Sensible followers of Jesus do. We know, without a doubt, that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the answer to all the problems of our confuffled and mislead world. But are we standing up strong and proclaiming His mighty and holy name? Are we being real salt of the earth and lights of the world as He so greatly desires us to be? Definitely not to the level we ought to! And how are we going to positively influence the world on Jesus’ behalf, if we don’t live the kind of life that will draw others to Him and thus glorify our heavenly Father eh? 

As true believers, especially in this time of pandemic, we doing too much compromising with the enemy, too much sitting on the fence, foolishly straddling it waiting to see if everything going to work their way out without any sacrifice from us. But friends, that’s a foolish and non-Christian option or notion. 

Remember what James, Christ’s brother says in his epistle. ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

And that my friends is gospel truth! A wavering person is unreliable, and a wavering believer is even more so! And sadly, too many of us believers are currently sitting on the fence, wavering, waiting to see what will happen, instead of taking a firm stand in whatever we can and making good and positive things happen in Christ’s name! That’s our job as representatives of Christ here on earth! 

And before we go further, let me put forward this interesting explanation of verse 5, offered by the scholars. ‘1:5. This verse is not a blanket promise of wisdom for any situation. In the context of life’s trials, it probably speaks of the believer being granted (1) wisdom as to the reason for his trials and (2) wisdom to endure them.’ 

Ah mih bredrin, with the number of trials and tribulations we currently going through, believers should be knocking down God’s door begging for wisdom, as to why we having so many problems, and the wisdom to endure them! Unfortunately though, too many of us are looking to the world and the rulers of the world for answers to our problems. But who and what yuh think got us in these problematic times in the first place eh? The bloody evil rulers of this world! 

It’s obvious that we have forgotten the very serious and wise warning of the psalmist: ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps. 118:8-9) And until we learn that crucial and most critical lesson, and act wisely upon it, we will always be plagued by the deceit and wrongdoing of mankind. 

That brings us to these sane and sober words of James, as he later on talks about the problems involved in worldliness and pride. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) And that’s basically what we need to do in these very sinful, evil, strife-filled and problematic times: come to God humbly, with sincere repentance and cleansing. 

Now here are some wise explanations from the scholars regarding those verses. ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 – (our lustful desires and pride). Resist the devil: do not submit to fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet. 5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps. 24:3-4).’ 

Oh my people, there’s not a whole lot more I can say, except to advise us to take a moment and read those scriptures. I just did, and they are wonderful, they opened up my understanding, and will do the same for you. Now let’s go home declaring (yessss!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’  

So then, let’s go and do just that; share the amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship of Christ with all we meet! That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…if believers won’t sincerely trust God…then what’s the point in believing in Him eh…                                                   

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8             

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2019 2 Chronicles 26:5.

2 Chronicles 26:5.    ​And he (Uzziah) sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions (fear) of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.
 

So today looks like another rainy and cloudy day, but I guess that’s what fall weather is all about. But who knows, with the way things are going these days, by lunchtime it could be pouring down sunshine! (smile) Yeh, the weather patterns are so unpredictable these days that I feel sorry for the weather forecasters. But regardless of if the physical sun is shining or not, we need to remember that we have the One who created the sun dwelling inside of us, and therefore there should always be a bright light, the bright light of Jesus, shining in our souls and spirits. 

Glory to God for that eternal sunshine! That sunshine that keeps us joyful and fresh, and peaceful and righteous and leads us along the strait and narrow path that Almighty God has ordained for us to follow! Give Him much thanks for His unceasing goodness to us, the disobedient children of men. Without His amazing grace and mercy we’d surely be lost in the mire of sinfulness, headed straight for Hades and its ruler, the evil one. And I’ve just encountered an interesting scripture in the Old Testament that is still oh so relevant to our modern times. It deals with the sixteen year old Uzziah succeeding his father Amaziah as king of Judah. It says: ‘And he (Uzziah) sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions (fear) of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.’ 

What a wonderful scripture for us meditate on and consider this wet and cloudy morning my people, because it is still a happening fact in our time. When you seek God sincerely and constantly, He causes you to prosper. And prosper doesn’t necessarily mean material wealth, but also peace and joy in your life and your surroundings, and the lack of strife and other negative emotions and situations. But before we move on, here are a couple of notices from the scholars. The first is that Uzziah is called Azariah in 2 Kings 14:21; 15:1-7. And the second is that the Zechariah named above is not the same prophet who wrote the prophecy of Zechariah. 

This brings us to another instance where the same basic ideas were floated to a Judean king. Listen to this warning from the prophet Azariah. ‘And the spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: And he went out to meet (before) Asa, (the king), and said unto him, hear ye me Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; the Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) Yeh friends, that warning still applies to us today. And I like what Azariah said after reminding them that Israel had been in a rough state for a long time, without a prophet, disobedient to God, and thus suffering much adversity. However he advised: ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ (2 Chr.15:7) 

Yeh friends, it still works even to this day! Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Colossians: ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance (salvation): for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ (Col.3:23-24) It’s like the author of Hebrews said: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God); for he that cometh to God must believe that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) That’s sort of the reverse side of the coin; you can’t come to God sincerely unless you believe that He will reward your diligent seeking of Him. Oh I just went outside to check on a problem and it’s already sunny out there. Yuh see, just like we said earlier on! (smile) Glory to God! 

Now here are James’ words on the subject. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) Oh my people, in these evil times, times of so much selfishness and greed, many of us, even Christians, need to humble ourselves before Almighty God, so that He can lift us up. 

Yes, it’s a fact; if we don’t humble ourselves before Him, there will be no lifting up! And once we do that, He will bless us so abundantly, that we won’t know what to do with the blessings. Listen to some of them. We call them our Thursday Blessings. They need to be spoken out loud for them to take effect, so please declare them with me in loud and sincere voices. ‘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 that’s gospel truth friends! But one important reminder: those blessings are for us to generously share with others, as the Lord has generously shared them with us, not for us to selfishly hoard. Much LOVE!

…you can only find God…if you diligently look for Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2019 James 4:7.

James 4:7.   ​Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
 

Beautiful…white and beautiful…but oh so dangerous…slippery like and eel…and treacherous and deceptive like the serpent who personifies our enemy Satan! That’s the snow covering our neighbourhood this Friday morning! (smile) And sadly, we in the northern climes are bracing ourselves for even more of the white stuff because we’ve been promised a major snowstorm this weekend. 

Let’s hope the duchess and I just have to stay inside and look at it and admire its beauty, but don’t have to venture forth in it, cause remember we’re not as mobile and steady as we once were, we’re not spring chickens any longer…but contrary to popular opinion we’re NOT old, just advanced in years! (smile) So for all of you in the wintry climes, remember, as the man says, if you don’t HAVE to go out, then DON’T go out! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself this winter’s morn. And I like how he’s ever so enthusiastic, regardless of the circumstances: ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend is here, which means is time to party! And though they calling for plenty snow, yuh think a li’l thing like snow going to stop me from enjoying mih li’l two days off from the slave master work? 

No way Jose! My time is my time, my time to enjoy whatever catches mih fancy! And if ah want to play in the snow, I’ll play in the snow. But if I just want to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire and sip something strong and warm, then that’s what I’ll do! It’s freedom time, come the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes in this ungodly capitalist society!’ 

Now there’s a wonderful idea for this snowy weekend; cuddle up in front of a roaring fire with a hot toddy and just commune with whoever you’re with and with God! Let the world go by however it wants to, since there’s nothing you can do about it. Just luxuriate in the warmth of your home and the comforting LOVE of your wonderful God! 

And all of God’s children declared (right ho) a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Praise Him and give Him much thanks for His undeserving goodness and mercy to us!’ Yeh friends, we must NEVER forget the goodness of God in our lives, for it’s the ONLY thing that keeps us from an even more miserable existence. 

Now let’s respond to the workingman’s exuberance with our more controlled Friday Chant. Chanting in unison: ‘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 mih people, it’s not as exuberant and fun LOVING as the workingman’s song, but it suits our purposes very well, reminding us of our purpose down here on earth, to work for Jesus, and helping us to stay out of the clutches of the ever-hovering enemy. And as true believers, we like it! Glory be! Anything that keeps us out of Satan’s evil grasp is certainly welcome! 

That’s why friends, we have to pay particular attention to James’ warning: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’  Yes my brethren, there are two things we need to do to stay out of the enemy’s clutches. The first is submit ourselves to God; then actively resist Satan’s advances! And we know that in this world he’s always lurking around offering lust and pride and other immoral and ungodly ways of life. 

But as James continues: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8-10) 

And the scholars offer this explanation re the above verses: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 (worldliness and pride). Resist the devil: Do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3: 57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’ 

Oh friends, please check out those scriptures, for they all show God’s welcoming hand to all who turn to Him. And we’ll close with these inspiring, reassuring and warning words from Peter on the subject. (smile) ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. 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 glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5: 6-11) 

Oh my people, we could not ask for more fervent and reassuring scripture this cold, snowy Friday January morning! So please let’s take it to heart and follow it nuh! That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…submitting to God…resisting Satan… 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2017 Psalm 73:28.

Psalm 73:28.   But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

And then it was Sunday: the first day of the week, where we slow down, take time to smell the roses and gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to offer Him our grateful praise and worship, and in return receive health, wealth and the ability to face the upcoming week with courage and confidence. 

Wow! What a mouthful! But a true mouthful! And all God’s people declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord for His wonderful goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

And on that glorious note, let’s offer up some sacrifice of our lips by sincerely belting out this favourite old hymn, ‘Just as I am.’ So in loud voice and sincere belief, let’s raise our voices to heaven. 

‘Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come! Just as I am, and waiting not To rid my soul of one dark blot; To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, though tossed about With many a conflict, many a doubt; Fightings within, and fears without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! 

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; Sight, riches, healing of the mind; Yes, all I need, in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, Thy love unknown Has broken every barrier down; Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!’ 

Yeh friends, it doesn’t matter what state we are in, our wonderful Saviour will accept us just we are. You know some places you have to clean up before they’ll accept you, but not with the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s looking for you at your worst possible state, because that’s one of the reasons he came to earth, to save the poor and needy, the sick and downtrodden. 

He is the ONLY One who declares that you can come to Him just as you are. And believe me, you won’t be wise if you don’t accept His wonderful invitation.  ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my brethren, every time I hear that beautiful piece of scripture, my heart just jumps for joy, knowing that I have such marvellous person to turn to in my troubles and times of need. All glory be to God for Jesus Christ! 

Anyway, before we get into our Bit, let me apologize for my typo yesterday. I don’t know how many of you noticed it, but instead of saying ‘you reap what you sow,’ I wrote ‘you sow what you reap.’ Technically speaking it’s the same thing, since you can only reap what you sow. (smile) 

And our Bit just reiterates the ideas we have declared in our hymn, and in the Great Invitation of Jesus.  ‘But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ 

Now why wouldn’t I put my trust in the Creator and Controller of the universe eh? Why would I put it in the foolish and deceitful rascal who tried to dethrone God and now aimlessly walks the earth backed by a façade of evil and deception, until the Lord is ready to immerse him in the lake of fire? I’m sorry friends, but as for me and mine, we’re rooting for Jesus! 

Now hear James, the half-brother of Christ, who like a lot of Christ’s family, did not believe until the end of His earthly ministry. Listen as James talks about worldliness and pride. ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy (yearns jealously)? But he giveth more grace; Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 

Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:5-10) 

Oh my fellow believers, God gives us more grace than any of the world’s attractions or the lusts in our spirits, which means we can withstand both of them. 

And the scholars explain the last three verses thus: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6. Resist the devil: do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead (one) into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’  

The only advice I can give after reading all of that friends, is to read those references given in the scholars note. I just did, and believe me they are invaluable, they just strengthen your spirit and help you to better understand the Lord’s word. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2013 Luke 18:14.

Luke 18:14.   I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
 
Oh Friends, can you believe that we’re already closer to the end of August than to the beginning! Where does the time fly eh? Just the other day we were all excited about the upcoming Caribana celebrations, but now we’re thinking about schools opening in early September and all that that entails. Brother!
 
And please accept my most humble apologies for forgetting to remind us (smile) about our monthly check up on the state of our great New Year’s Resolution; that of following Jesus more closely, of becoming more like Him, of maturing in His school of hard-knocks, of humility, of good works, of faithfulness, and of LOVE for God and all His creation.
 
If you haven’t done that for this month on your own, then please do it now, since it’s always easier to do it in small bits than in big chunks.
 
And we’ll continue with our Bit of the last two days, because it is extremely important for us to understand the principle it details. ‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’
 
I also have some scripture with which to try and impress the importance of that principle, humility, on us, meek and humble followers of Jesus. (smile)
 
Ah Friends, that smile is more one of heartache than happiness, because too many of Jesus’ supposed people are still too caught up in the petty, selfish, me and I stuff, the foolish self-aggrandisement that our ungodly world admires and does its best to encourage.
 
But true believers simply cannot afford to get caught up in that selfish system, where I, the first person, am always first. Instead we need to get into Jesus’ teaching, where I, always comes last.
 
Now I heard this story recently about a lady who went to church and saw the chairs in the sanctuary placed in a confirmation she didn’t like. Apparently they had been set that way for a few weeks. She then asked one of the ushers when the chairs would be replaced in their earlier configuration.
 
The usher replied that she didn’t know. And would you believe that fine, upstanding Christian lady walked out of the church and didn’t stay for the service!
 
Ah Lord eh! And then we wonder why unbelievers look at us with a scowl on their faces and a sour taste in their mouths. But it’s because of those stupid, selfish, very unchristian things that we do in front of them. Now was the position of the chairs so important to the conduct of the worshipping of God? Obviously she felt so.
 
Anyway Friends, enough of me. I’ll just let the scriptures speak directly to our hearts now. And we’ll begin with James talking about worldliness and pride. ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy (yearns jealously)?
 
But he giveth more grace, wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
 
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:5-10)
 
Ah mih people, there’s nothing I can add to that, except clear up some uncertainty by giving us the scholars explanations. 
 
Re verses 5 and 6: ‘Although many believe that verse 5 refers to the positive ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit, yearning jealously over the believer, the tenor of verse 4 and 5 is negative, speaking of man’s envy. The good work of God begins at verse 6 in contrast to 4 and 5 as the conjunction indicates.
 
But he giveth more grace is literally “greater grace” (Gr.meizona). God gives grace that is greater than the world’s attraction of verse 4 and the inner lust of verse 5 (cf. Rom. 5:20), and so can withstand both.’
 
Re verses 7-10: ‘Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6. Resist the devil: Do not submit to fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet. 5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will.
 
Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam. 3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).
 
And as always Friends, I encourage us to read the scriptures that the scholars recommend. They’re placed there for our benefit, because they do help us in understanding the Word. 
 
And I guess that’s it for today mih breddren, because we already have a lot of stuff to ponder on, and what I still have to say will definitely make the Bit too long. Please note my conscious interest in our busy schedules and short attention spans. (smile)
 
We’ll just have to continue this topic tomorrow, God in favour. Till then faithful followers of Jesus, please, please let’s look to Him for divine guidance and counsel rather than to man.
 
And may He grant us the wisdom, strength and courage to tread the difficult pilgrim’s path He’s laid out for us, plus the peace that transcends all man’s understanding, and the wonderful LOVE that flows from the everlasting wellspring of His most generous and LOVING heart. Much LOVE!
 
…when a man truly knows Jesus…oh…he can’t help but LOVE Him…with all his heart, mind, body and soul…