Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2019 Isaiah 26:3.

Isaiah 26:3.   ​Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.
 

Oh, it was a pretty good official beginning of summer yesterday! It wasn’t hot, hot, hot, (smile) but it was sunny and a decent temperature, somewhere in the low twenties. But according to the weatherman, it’s going to be warm and rainy the next week or so, even with some thunderstorms thrown in for good measure! But that’s nothing new! It’s been the norm for the last li’l while. (smile) 

So we can handle it with great aplomb, just like we handle everything else the enemy throws at us, with Jesus’ help of course, as we confidently declare. Chuh man! It looks like I can’t spell the word ‘declare’ and it’s various parts even if my life depended upon it! But I spelt it right there though! Glory be! So let’s declare then (right ho!). ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) 

Now that’s the only reason why we are able to handle life and all its complexities with great aplomb; because of the presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our lives, operating as the Holy Spirit. Glory to God for his wonderful doings in the lives of the children of men! But enough suh-so suh-so, (smile) some people are waiting this glorious looking Saturday morning to hear what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response.’ Now that’s mostly true. I think though that the first line should read: ‘When you’re angry, you assume negative intent,’ because when you’re negative it doesn’t always mean that you’re angry. You can certainly be negative without being angry. But making a decision when you’re angry is the worst thing you can do. The only decision to make then is to decide to make none at all! 

Then there’s this one that fits into the same category as the last. ‘People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom.’ For sure! Our society certainly focuses too much on what’s wrong, rather than on what’s right, on what we’ve lost, rather than on what we still have! That only leads us to being perpetrators of an overall doom and gloom attitude, which just drives us further down into the mire of life. 

We need to be as positive as we can in this life, and Christians should be the most positive people on the planet because we have the best life, both here on earth and in the future going for us with Jesus Christ at the helm! But unfortunately, in too many instances, Christians turn out to be some of the most negative and feeling sorry for themselves people on the planet. 

But here is a practical circumstance that many of us fall into because of our wallowing in negative thinking. ‘Stop allowing yourself to focus on depressing life circumstances – including focusing on being depressed about your weight. All this negative focus will only lead you to feeling bummed and wanting to pig out. Instead, consciously focus on happy life circumstances you enjoy doing, and create more of them.’ 

Now this sense of weight insecurity is rampant in our society today, and granted many of us need to lose a lot of weight because there are definitely too many overweight and obese people in our society. But the right way to go about it is not to get overly worried and negative since that attitude will only make matters worse. The most important thing there is to first accept the fact that you are overweight and seriously decide to do something about it, without putting yourself down. 

Because, here’s what happens when we give into the negative circumstances in life: ‘Worry and reasoning are two of Satan’s most successful tools. He’ll get us started with one negative thought and then sit back and watch us finish ourselves off.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! Remember the battlefield for our souls is our minds, and once the enemy is able to inject one false or negative thought there, then it’s downhill all the way after that! 

And that’s why Isaiah so rightly and wisely proclaimed in his hymn of praise: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ Yeh friends, when we keep our focus on God, He keeps our minds in good, positive and godly functioning. 

That’s also why Jesus recommended to the throng during the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) The Lord knows what we need and want before we even do, and He’s sincerely and faithfully promised that if we keep Him first in our lives, make Him the Number ONE priority, then He will look after us in spades! 

Likewise, Bruh Paul told the Philippians thus: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:6-7) And that my friends is wisdom of the utmost proportions! 

And we’ll close with these marvellous words of truth from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) Please my people, let’s use that sound mind that God has given us nuh! Much LOVE!

…for ALL anxiety…the antidote is…simply prayer with thanksgiving…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2019 Ephesians 6:18.

Ephesians 6:18.   ​Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
 

Oh yes, it’s bright and sunshiny and even warm too! Glory to God! Yeh friends, the day’s begun the way a day is supposed to begin; with the light of Jesus shining brightly in and through our lives! (smile) Oh, is it ever good to wake up to sunshine after all that watery precipitation. 

And would you believe that yesterday afternoon with sunshine flowing, the rain still made its way down! But I guess that shower was just to wash away the remaining clouds, because after that the sun came out even brighter! Thanks be to God! 

And I want to apologize for not giving us the whole story a couple of days ago when we dealt with the spiritual armour of God. Yuh know we’re fully protected once we have our loins girded with the truth of God, and the breastplate of righteousness is secured fast against our chests, and our feet are properly shod in the preparation of peace, the eagerness provided by the gospel of Christ. 

Not to mention having that all important shield of faith to protect us from the fiery darts of the enemy, our heads protected by the helmet of salvation, the hope and assurance of eternal glory in God, while wielding that terrible two edged sword of the Spirit, God’s immortal, powerful and life changing Word! 

Yes friends, it all looks good, but there is one necessary part, one thing is needed to get it all going, to galvanize us into action; and that’s prayer! Without prayer, our armour is not worth a whole lot. That’s why Bruh Paul warned after telling us all about the spiritual armour: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ 

Oh my people, prayer is always the most important item in any earthly situation! And the scholars’ explain that verse thus: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to ‘stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. 

In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both and individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that last part is especially important; we’re required not only to pray for ourselves but also for the rest of God’s church, all His saints, because we all need the Spirit of God to work productively in us, and prayer is the catalyst that gets it all going! And Bruh Paul made that abundantly clear when he continued after our Bit: 

‘And (pray) for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery (the hidden truth) of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds (chains): that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.’ (Eph.6:19-20)  

Yuh see friends, even though Bruh Paul was blessed with so much revelation from God, he still needed human prayer to help him do the job; speak boldly and openly about the truth in Christ’s gospel. Now tell me how much more do we, in these sad, stressful and strife-filled times need the prayer of our fellow believers eh? But sadly, because of the selfish, greedy and first person singular motives that currently flourish in our society, we don’t pray for our fellow believers as much as we ought to. 

Too many of us supposed believers are focused only on our own selves, our own needs, wants and problems. But there is a lot of truth in the saying, that somebody out there is always suffering more than us, and need God’s help worse than we do! Let’s just remember that, especially we believers in this wealthy and prosperous, but ever so wasteful and selfish Western society! End of Sermon! (smile) 

Oh, I forgot I wanted to add these two warnings of Jesus on the subject of prayer. First off: To His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane who should have been praying with Him, but instead fell asleep. ‘Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt.26:41) And isn’t that the awful truth! 

The second warning is this: ‘And he spake a parable unto them (the disciples) to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) And the scholars give a nice, precise explanation of that verse. ’18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ And that’s for certain sure friends, because there’s NO giving up in Jesus’ vocabulary! 

And by the way, the parable mentioned above was about the woman seeking justice from the unjust judge. (Luke 18:2-8) And she only received it because she kept on badgering him, until in disgust, he finally relented. That’s how we ought to pray my fellow saints; always…and with confidence and humility! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) those wonderful attributes bestowed on us believers in our Thursday Blessings. We’ve got to declare them for them to take effect. So as one sincere body of faith: ‘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 remember, those blessings are not granted for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with the less fortunate. So let’s go out and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Christ’s heart! Much LOVE!

…without sincere and constant prayer…a believer’s life is never fulfilled…thus falling short of his destiny…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2019 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   ​And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).

 

And then it was Wednesday, the middle of the work week…and we did get some of the promised snow, not in the afternoon though, but sometime during the early morning hours, and not as much as expected. However, if you have to venture out there, please be careful, because snow is snow; slippery and dangerous, be it plentiful or li’l bit. (smile) But as always, with Jesus riding shotgun with us, there’s not much to worry about! Praise His holy name! 

And looking through the many bits of paper I have next to the computer for something to write about, I came upon this acronym; ‘PUSH!’ And what dies it mean? Simply, PRAY until something happens!’ Yeh friends, we ought to just keep on praying, until we see some results of our prayers, because God doesn’t always say, NO, but sometimes, GO SLOW, or NOT RIGHT NOW! 

So it’s always best to keep on keeping on until you get a definitive answer…and believe me, when the Lord is ready, He will give you one. (smile) And unfortunately, for whatever reason, in these wicked and sinful times, even true and strong believers don’t pray as much as they ought. 

But please remember Jesus’ admonition: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).’ And that parable was about the persistent widow who refused to go unjustified by the wicked judge. So too should we pursue justice and pray with all our hearts, minds and souls! 

As the scholars explain, re our Bit: ‘18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.”  Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ And sadly, in this mish mash, judgemental, condemning society, it’s oh so easy to lose heart. But we have to be strong friends, and just pursue our dreams and hopes through prayer. 

And there are so many scriptures that advise and encourage and admonish us to keep on praying, especially since it’s God’s way of communicating with us, and it’s the most powerful element on earth! So let’s look at a few of them nuh, and use them to help us strengthen our resolve to keep on praying. 

And what better verse to begin with than one of my favourites, this one from Mark: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) Mama Mia! 

Oh friends, that scripture is talking about Jesus’ rising early every day to go out and pray. What a wonderful example He is! He doesn’t just tell us to do things, but leads the way Himself. Before Jesus did anything, He always sought the Father’s wisdom through prayer. And as I keep saying, if the Son of God needed to pray while down here on earth, why should we miserable sinners be any different eh? 

And then we have this wonderful statement from Bruh David: ‘For (in return for) my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.’ (Psalm 109:4) Yeh friends, it’s often best to pray when our enemies come against us, and remember Jesus said we ought also to pray for them. Meanwhile Cousin Sol gets right to the point, no beating around the bush: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’ (Prov.24:10) 

No joking friends! As the scholars say: ‘24:10. Strength in the face of adversity is the true test of endurance.’ And one of the reasons why our world is in such sad shape is simply because we supposed believers don’t have enough belly and backbone to stand up to the evil forces of the world! It’s sad but true! We’re too scared of what others might say or do, therefore we just fade off into the sunset and let the wicked do as they please. 

I’m sure it breaks Jesus’ heart every time one of His supposed followers behaves thus. And if we’re believers, then in the words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not (lose heart).’ (2 Cor.4:1) Oh my people, we have received the same mercy that Bruh Paul did, therefore, we ought also not to faint, not to lose heart! Friends, the worst thing we can ever do as a believer is to give up, to faint, to lose heart! Why? Because that attitude doesn’t exist in Jesus’ playbook! 

And as believers, it should not exist in ours either! And one of the ways we can keep it at bay is by listening and following this solid and oh so wise advice from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) And though Bruh Paul was there speaking about males only, expecting females to pray silently, in these modern times, it is extremely necessary that both men and women pray, every where; be it loudly or silently! 

And this last scripture is one we all know and quote, but don’t put it into proper action. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) Please remember that my people; we don’t only go to God to ask and ask for what we want, but we must also give thanks for what we already have, and whatever we’re asking for, believing and receiving it by faith, and not by sight. 

‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) What more can I say eh friends? I can only present the evidence, you have to make the individual decisions! (smile) Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now, in loud voice, with sincere hearts and strong 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!’ 

And if you truly believe, then you know that that future will be even brighter and more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…when one truly knows Jesus…you can’t help but LOVE Him…with all your heart, mind, body and soul…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   ​Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
 
And then it was Monday…Christmas Eve friends, Christmas Eve! The day before we celebrate the birth of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! What a momentous footnote…no, it was too big a day to be a mere footnote, but one of the most outstanding days in the annals of man! 

Praise the Lord for His goodness and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men! Yes, bless His Holy Name, for without that compassion and care we’d be still lost in the darkness and evil of a fallen world. But thanks be to Jesus we have another beautiful option; believing in Him and thus obtaining salvation and eternal life! 

Wow! The ole fella’s on a roll this morning! That’s why I can say that God is faithful and LOVE Him so much, because when I came down here just now I had no idea what I was going to write, but as you can see, I’m doing fairly well! (smile) But it’s Christmas Eve and many of us still have stuff to buy and preparations to make for the big day, the real McCoy tomorrow. And unfortunately some of us have to go to work too after preparing and also enjoying some of the goodness of the season over the weekend. 

So as always, some of us are under the weather, so let’s do as we always do on a Monday, join together to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn which always lifts our spirits and encourages to keep on walking steadfastly with the Lord. All together now, with as much enthusiasm as we can garner! 

‘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 my, oh my! I don’t know about you nuh friends, but my spirits were certainly lifted! Brother, there’s nothing in this world great like prayer nuh! That’s why we’re advised to use it constantly by Bruh Paul. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ 

What exceptional words of wisdom those are my believing brethren! It’s the basic reason why God made prayer and set such a high value on it; so that we can communicate thoroughly and properly with Him! ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh mih people, yuh see the great benefit that accrues from having serious and sincere communication with our heavenly Father? Peace! Wonderful peace! A heavenly peace! Peace that surpasses what our finite minds can comprehend! And please remember, it’s ALL for OUR benefit, not the Lord’s. As Bruh David says in Psalm 68: ‘Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.’ (Ps.68:19) 

And he again reminds us in Psalm 103: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:2-5)

Mama Yo! What a great God we serve and worship my brethren! No other supposed deity does those things for His people! Only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, can even DO those things, because HE IS THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE GOD! As we said in our prayer above, ‘the Creator of the universe and all therein!’ Give Him much thanks and praise my people! 

So please remember that when He desires us to come to Him humbly, with contrite hearts, in sincere prayer, with appreciation for His wonderful goodness to us, He’s not asking for too much, but simply His just desserts. And then again, it’s because He wants to bless us, to be involved in our earthly affairs, for who knows better than Him, how to run lives eh? NOBODY! 

So let’s cool it nuh, get wise, and don’t take so much umbrage when our Creator wants to be a big part, or rather the FIRST PART of our lives! That’s His prerogative…and we should be glad and thankful that He even wants to have anything to do with us, the sinful ingrates that we truly are! It just shows His true LOVE and compassion for His most precious creation! 

Oh mih people, let’s hope this Bit excites you all the way it excited me while writing it! (smile) It’s not only for you, but also for me! And this one touches me. (smile) Please have a blessed Christmas Eve…and remember the reason for the season…Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…God’s given me a new heart for Christmas…la la la la…God’s given me a new lease on life for Christmas…what else can I desire eh…Glory Hallelujah…Bless His holy Name…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.    Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!)

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee: On, then, Christian soldiers, onto victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! (Refrain) 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2018 James 5:16b.

James 5:16b.   The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.

Aye mih people, it looks like a glorious day is in the offing in my neighbourhood! Glory to God! But all of us are not that blessed, like the people of North Carolina who are expecting Florence, a category 4 hurricane to bombard them sometime soon. 

But all most of us can do is pray for them. So let’s do that nuh! Let’s plead with the Lord to lessen the power of the storm, lessen His wrath, and even turn it away from making landfall, because we definitely don’t need any more devastation than what we already have. 

What does the Good Book say? ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are (with a nature like ours), and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth fruit.’ (James 5:16 18) 

Yeh friends, that’s the power of prayer…unless the Lord is really tired and fed up with our sinful and ungodly shenanigans. Who knows? But as Bruh Paul wisely advised the Philippians: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) 

Then to the Thessalonians he said: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) That means prayer is ever so important my brethren! In fact it’s the most powerful tool we believers have in our arsenal. Yuh see, that even when you put on the armour of God, it’s not effective unless prayer accompanies it. (Eph.6:18) 

And we’re ever so blessed through Christ’s obedience to God’s will, that as joint heirs with Him, we can ‘come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Oh what a wonderful blessing and privilege that is my fellow believers! 

But we need to be careful, for when the Good Book says boldly, it doesn’t mean brash, bold face and arrogant, but with confidence and a suitable amount of humility because we’re going before Almighty God, the Creator and Controller of the universe and we must know our place. (smile) 

I like how the scholars put it: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus) The throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

And do we ever need God’s grace and mercy in these sinful and ungodly times friends! So prayer should be uppermost in our lives, even more than usual. It’s the only way we have to communicate with our sovereign God. So please let’s get busy nuh! 

But along with the prayer must come some repentance and desire to stop being as sinful as we are and be obedient to God’s will. We obviously can’t be as obedient as Jesus was, because of our inherent sinful nature, but we all know that we can be better, even we believers can be much better. And if we are better and the world sees it, then the world will become better too. 

And that’s all we’re seeking my brethren; the betterment of the world, through our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus! That’s why He came to earth and sacrificed His sinless life, and asked those who believe in Him to help Him make the world a better place. We surely aren’t doing that by our less than true Christian behaviour, not walking out talk like we should, and making the world turn away from Jesus, even to the point of blaspheming Him. 

That’s not right my people! As His disciples and ambassadors we have a bounden duty to show the world, through our lives, the vast merits and benefits available in turning to Him for salvation, care, comfort and eternal life! 

Hn, hn, hn! Ah mih people, it’s one of those days when the Holy Spirit just let the ole fella loose to do his thing. So I hope it all makes sense. I guess what I’m trying to advocate is the great importance of and need for prayer in our daily lives, both as individuals and as the church, the body of Christ, especially in these sinful end times. 

Remember the last time the world got so sinful, in the days of Noah, that the Lord couldn’t take anymore and He destroyed it by flood? And yes, He promised Noah that ‘the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.’ (Gen.9:15b) But friends, the Lord never promised not to destroy the world again, just not by water. 

So let’s wake up and smell the caffeine nuh; it’s percolating ever so strongly right below our very noses All is not right in our world, far from it, and we need to come to God in repentance without further ado, for who knows how much longer He will withhold His wrath on this evil world of ours? 

Now let’s go home now declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our position in Christ. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 friends, I implore us to think seriously on the matters we’ve spoken about and open up our hearts sincerely to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, for He is the ONLY answer to our many problems. Much LOVE!

…the future won’t be glorious for many of us…if we don’t repent and come to God …NOW…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2018 Ephesians 6:11.

And once again it’s Sunday friends: our day of rest from mortal toil. A day where we are expected to spend time in worship and fellowship with other believers in the house of God, so that our souls and spirits can be renewed and refreshed and our Creator praised and exalted. 

And as always, each Sunday we begin the proceedings with a song of praise and worship, because there’s nothing the Lord likes more than hearing His praises sung, and it also softens our hearts, enabling them to be more receptive to His Word. And the song we’re going to sing is an ole favourite, the American Christian Hymn, ‘Stand up, Stand up for Jesus.’ 

But before we get into it, let’s look at its supposed history, a rather interesting one. Apparently it was written by a Presbyterian Minister, George Duffield Jr. in 1858, who at that time was an associate of one Dudley Atkins Tyng; a Pastor recently ‘removed from his local Episcopalian community for speaking against slavery. Duffield assisted Tyng in supporting an evangelical revival in Pennsylvania. 

In March 1858, Tyng gave a sermon at a YMCA meeting of over 5,000 men on Exodus 10:11, “Go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord”, converting over 1,000 men listening in the crowd. The following month, Tyng was maimed in a farming accident. Before he died a few days after the accident he told his father “Tell my brethren of the ministry, wherever you meet them, to stand up for Jesus.”  

Duffield then wrote the hymn based on those words. At a memorial service for Tyng, Duffield gave a sermon based on Ephesians 6:14, “Stand firm, wearing the whole armour of God”, and ended it by reciting the new hymn he had written as a tribute. After first publication, the hymn was popular and was sung by both the Union and Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War. 

The hymn also became popular among British revivalists and within public schools in England. As a result of the images of Christian militarism in the hymn, some people object to the hymn, and some people do not stand to sing it’  With such a colourful and controversial history, it’s no wonder it’s so popular. 

And furthermore, ‘Several melodies have been written for “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”. The one used most often now was written by George James Webb, who had originally composed it in 1837 for “Tis Dawn, the Lark is Singing”, a song in a secular musical show performed on a ship travelling across the Atlantic Ocean.’ 

Now let’s belt it out like we truly mean it. ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross! Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army he shall lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; if while ye sleep he suffers, away with shame and fear. Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally.’ 

Yeah friends, that’s exactly what is required of us as followers of Jesus. We’re in a battle against the spiritual forces of evil and we must acquit ourselves as brave, courageous and loyal soldiers of Jesus. And the best words in the Good Book to describe our situation comes from the pen of Bruh Paul in his missive to the church at Ephesus, re putting on the whole armour of God. So let’s read and inwardly digest those fighting words nuh. 

‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (spiritual hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ (Eph.6:10-12) 

Oh my people, you might not see our enemy, but believe me, he and his cohorts are real, and they reside in many who hold high office in this realm. And as loyal Christians, we need to battle them to the death, or until Jesus returns. But like any soldier going into battle, we have to take serious precautions: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on), the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:13) 

Fellow believers, only when we’re wearing God’s armour are we able to withstand the powerful foe that will keep on coming against us with evil schemes and demonic attacks. But we need to ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, (the knowledge of God’s Word), and having on the breastplate of righteousness (holy character and moral conduct). And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (a sense of eagerness or willingness to advance against the devil and take the fight to him). 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, (trusting God and believing His promises), wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of (dispel all doubts induced by) the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation (the assurance of salvation), and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (rhema; selected verses of Scripture): Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18)  

Yes my brethren, we need to have all the accoutrements of war, but without prayer, it’s all in vain. Prayer is indispensable to our cause, and we must be vigilant in praying for all our fellow believers. ‘Spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ There you have it friends, a quick discourse, or hopefully, to some of us, a jolting reminder on Spiritual Warfare 101.  Now let’s go out and put it into action! Much LOVE!

…soldiers of Christ…be well armed…stand strong…and pray always…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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