Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.
 

Well friends, it’s the first Sunday in Advent! And why is that important eh? Because in the church’s calendar, this is the time of year we begin preparing for Christ’s coming! Originally it seems like it was a time to think of Christ’s Second Coming, a cry for the Messiah to come back and take over the evil world. But apparently down through the years it got intertwined with the First Coming of the Messiah, what we call Christmas, so now we celebrate Advent by looking back nostalgically at the First Coming, while excitedly and expectantly looking forward to the Second One! Only in the Christian faith can we have such double celebrations my people! (smile) 

Anyway, as we gather today in joyful fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, to give thanks and praise and worship His Holy Name, we not going to open with an Advent hymn because I got a zeppo intimating that the Lord wanted to hear this particular tune, ‘Stand up for Jesus!’ I guess He’s feeling that believers are not being strong and steadfast enough in the faith. We’re being too fearful and wishy-washy, sitting on the fence, wavering like a leaf in the wind, and too ready to compromise so that we can go on with our comfortable lives! 

Consequently, He wants us to get our acts together, get really serious about our cause, and like true warriors come out fighting valiantly under Jesus’ banner, even to the death, if needs be! So let’s raise our voices in strong and solemn song, as we sing these most excellent sentiments, but also truly fighting words, written in 1858 by George Duffield (1818-1888) in honour of his dear departed friend and leader, Dudley Atkins Tyng (1825-1858) in a tragic farm accident. It’s reputed that Tyng’s last message to his associates was for them to, ‘Stand up for Jesus,’ and this became the theme of Duffield’s song. 

And to make it even more powerful, we going to do a scintillating, rocking Reggae version, a la Miss Carlene Davis. Wow! Rockers time mih people! (smile) So altogether now: ‘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. (Bridge: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up.) 

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. (Extro: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up….!’ 

Aye friends, I hope we truly meant what we just sang, because our world is desperate for somebody, for serious somebodies to stand up to the evil one in Jesus name! And it’s sad that we all know the scripture that characterizes that song, but we’re not putting it into full and proper use. Hear Bruh Paul as he articulates to the Ephesians, re the whole armour of God: ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ (Eph.6:10) 

As Christians we’re engaged in a spiritual battle from now until Christ’s Second Coming that we’re looking forward to this first Sunday in Advent. And there must be ‘no quarter given, no ceasefire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities.’ But to do that successfully, we have to stand strong, be strengthened in and through the Lord’s might and power. And this next verse is also of the utmost importance: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, no soldier worth his salt, goes into battle without armour, without protective gear. And since in this case our battle is not physical but spiritual, we need specialized protection: Our loins must be girded with God’s truth; the knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. Our chests must be protected by a breastplate of righteousness, holy character and moral conduct, through obedience to God’s truth. And then our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We must be eager and willing to take on the satanic one and his demoniac cohorts, take the fight to him, and we get that from the gospel of peace, that frees us of any anxiety and fear. 

Then we need the shield of faith so we can repulse all the fiery darts of the wicked one. That means taking God at His Word, believing His awesome promises, dispelling all doubt Satan might try to induce. And we must have a helmet; that of salvation; the hope of and assurance of salvation, the surety, that we’re saved. And you can’t fight without a sword, in this case the sword of the Spirit; the powerful and ever-conquering Word of God! 

But along with all of that protective armour friends, we still need to use the most powerful tool in the universe; prayer! Without it, the armour is useless. So let’s hope all of this has lit a fire in our bellies, reignited our passion for Christ, so that we can become better soldiers in His victorious army! Much LOVE!

…Christians…put on your spiritual armour…the time to fight is 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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 

Oh friends of mine, it’s a beautiful white Tuesday morning in my area. Hn! Yes, we’ve finally registered our first significant snowfall of the season! It’s not too big a snowfall, and as always, it looks beautiful when unsullied by human passage through it. But trudging through it is something else…and so is shovelling it. Good thing I won’t be doing either of those activities today! (smile) 

Anyway, there’s lot’s of stuff I want to share this morning, so let’s get right to it nuh. And the first one is something called ‘The Tyranny of Things,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t remember if I’ve ever shared this before, but it’s ever so appropriate for these secular and selfish times, especially this time of year. 

Please read with me: ‘Materialism does not satisfy because it is tyrannical, and the human being was born to be free! We all know about the tyranny of things. We find that we don’t own a house – the house owns us. We are married to a mortgage. We become slaves to gadgets and garments. 

After we have all our “things” purchased, delivered, and installed, and have enjoyed a fleeting sense of pleasure, we find that they are still dominating, dictating, and demanding. “Press me, polish me, patch me, paint me, prune me, plaster me, repair me,” they shout. 

So we spend the best years of our lives and the bulk of our money working for the “things,” until, discouraged and depressed, we discover that we have no time left to pursue life’s really enjoyable avocations: visiting friends, having fun, and, yes, even going to church regularly. Thus mastered by materialism, tyrannized by things, we have no time left to do the deeds, or see the places, or visit the people, that would really give us great inner joy.’  

And isn’t all of that the living truth friends? It certainly is! In this materialistic, highly commercialized society, it’s all about things and stuff, especially at this season of Christmas. And in a couple weeks time, we’ve forgotten about all the stuff we bought – on credit; even get annoyed when we see some of the stuff, as we struggle to pay for them. Hn! Hn! 

So please, let’s take this advice to heart this Christmas season nuh, and not go overboard with the material stuff. Instead, let’s focus on the human relationships and spiritual processes that truly are the reason for the season, with Jesus being the main focus. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ More words of truth and wisdom, my brethren, whether you take them literally or figuratively! 

Time is flying by, and none of us knows how much we have left, so we need to use each second economically, purposefully and usefully, both in the human and spiritual realms. Darkness and evil have taken a stranglehold on our world, and as true believers in Christ, we can’t afford to let that happen. We need to push back…and push back hard too, if we want to make a difference in this crucial fight. 

And we have a quote ascribed to Antoine de St. Expury (1900-1944) the French author, poet and aviator. It says: ‘In these times one must write with one’s life. This is the challenge to all of us.’ 

And is that ever so true friends, especially for us Christians! We need to show the dark, evil and cruel world what true Christianity is like through the way we live our lives, rather than the way we talk. For one doesn’t always reflect the other. As the saying goes; ‘examples work more forcibly than precepts.’ 

So please let’s concentrate on living our lives as good examples of Christ’s LOVE Revolution nuh, so that the unbeliever will see our sincerity and want to follow Jesus too. That’s the whole point for our being here yes friends. 

Now let us take a quick look at the second part of our Bit; putting on ‘the armour of light.’ And all we have time for is Bruh Paul’s notable warning and brief description of God’s spiritual armour to the Ephesians. ‘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 (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (rulers), against powers (authorities), against the rulers of darkness of this world (world rulers), against spiritual wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. 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.6:10-13) 

Yeh friends, only when we’re dressed in God’s armour, can we stand strong and resist the evil one, for He will attack again and again. That means we have to be continually ensconced in our ‘girdle of truth, and breastplate of righteousness, shod with the gospel of peace, bearing the shield of faith, having on our heads the helmet of salvation, and waving the sword of the Spirit in our right hand, with prayer and supplication’ driving us ever onward and forward! That’s our spiritual armour, and how we defeat the enemy. 

Now let’s go home declaring as we do on Tuesdays, our Tuesday Mantra, singing out loud and clear to the evil world who and whose we are. In full voice and sincere heart now: 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!’ 

Mama Mia! How blessed we are eh! Now let’s go out and put it all into action; share the LOVE of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…dark and evil times…call for Christians…showing their light…the light of Jesus…and leading the way…out of the darkness…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

Well mih friends and family, it seems the ole fella was a tad late when he said yesterday that summer would be with us in a couple of days. Hn, hn! Apparently summer has officially been with us for three days now. (smile) 

And my excuse, which by the way I’m sticking to, is that I don’t remember it being on the 20th of June, but more like the 22 or 23. Just goes to show you ought to check your calendar before you make such statements. 

But be that as it may, let’s hope we have a good summer season, one worthy to be called summer; not too hot, but hot enough to make one know that it’s summer…if you follow my convoluted reasoning. So far it has been somewhat mild, with a touch of spring still present, but it’s still early days yet. 

And before we get into today’s sermon (smile), here is a nugget of gold, one of the little snippets that appear at the end of each day’s Daily Bread Devotion. It says: ‘Nothing is hidden from God’s sight. Nothing is greater than God’s LOVE. Nothing is stronger than God’s mercy and grace. Nothing is too hard for God’s power.’ 

Now if ALL of that isn’t gospel truth, then I don’t know what is! Our God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, which means He is all-powerful, all seeing and everywhere! You can’t beat that friends! 

And He has so generously granted some of His awesome power to us mere mortals, but we need to accept it, to graciously receive it, because there’s nothing we can do to work for or deserve it. It’s just His wonderful free gift. 

Now one of the things we’re talking about here is the power to rebuke and successfully conquer and control the evil enemy, who desires to take over our lives and turn us away from sincerely worshipping the One and Only True God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

So let’s bring in our Bit and continue our conversation from yesterday. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’  

And we’re going to repeat the verses that contain the description of God’s spiritual armour, so that we’ll have them right in front of us and not have to turn elsewhere to find them. 

‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your loins) 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 may 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. 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) 

Now yesterday we explained up to the breastplate of righteousness, so today we’ll continue the scholars explanations with the third piece of God’s armour: ‘Preparation of the gospel of peace (vs.15) which means “eagerness that comes from the gospel of peace.” 

That is, as the Roman soldier wore special shoes called ‘caligae’ on his feet, enabling him to advance against his enemy, so the Christian must have on his feet (possess) a sense of “eagerness” or “willingness” to advance against the Devil and take the fight to him. 

Such “eagerness” to contend with Satan “comes from the gospel of peace.” The gospel gives peace to the believer, freeing him from the anxiety though he advances against such a powerful opponent.’ 

Oh friends, how wonderful is that eh? The gospel of peace frees us from fear and anxiety and allows us to courageously battle Satan. But please note one important point, we ought not to sit back and let the evil Lucifer come against us, we must take the fight to Him, battle him on our terms, on our turf. As they say, the best defence is offence. 

And the fourth piece of God’s armour is ‘The shield of (which is) faith (vs.16). And that means taking God at His word by believing His promises. Such trust will prevent one from doubts induced by Satan.’ 

And that’s awfully important my fellow believers, for Lucifer is the father of lies and deceit and doubts, and if we’re not very careful and have a strong faith and trust in Almighty God, he can easily deceive us into thinking and doing the wrong things. 

Now time and space have run out against us, so we’ll have to continue this tomorrow. And I look at it as God’s mysterious working, not giving us too much stuff to ponder in one sitting. So please think seriously on what we’ve said to day, while we walk gratefully in God’s LOVE and mercy. 

And to end it all on a magnificent note, let’s declare our Thursday Blessings with much gusto and sincere belief. In unison now: ‘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 since blessings were meant to be shared, let’s go out and joyfully share them nuh, as Jesus so avidly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…having on God’s armour…makes us all invincible conquerors…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

Lo and behold friends, it’s already Wednesday, the middle of the workweek! These days sure are passing by quickly, and in another couple, summer should officially be upon us. 

That ought to make us happy up here in the colder climes. What a way we look forward to the hot and humid days of summer eh, after months of cold, depressing winter. But then we also complain that the summer’s too hot and humid! (smile) How to please us eh? 

Apparently we can’t be truly pleased. We are like our nowadays children, who, despite their abundance of toys, nonetheless get bored with them very quickly, and keep wanting something new to hold their short attention spans. 

That’s why some of us supposed Christians never grow in faith. We look upon Christianity as a toy, or something that will automatically bring us health, wealth and fame. But nothing is further from the truth friends. 

Of course you can become, healthy, wealthy and famous as a Christian, but that is not the reason for it all. And Christianity desires lots of perseverance, endurance, patience and oftimes much suffering and struggle. 

It’s not an easy row to hoe, especially when confronted by the many wiles and evil schemes of the devious enemy, who have set out to purposely discombobulate us. 

Consequently, many Christians fall by the wayside, because they don’t have the internal parts to run the hard race that’s set before them. But my people, if we are to be successful in the running of this earthly race, then we have to make certain preparations and hold on tightly to certain things. 

Now over the last couple of days we’ve been talking about the spiritual warfare in which we automatically enter in when we become followers of Jesus Christ. The enemy targets us, puts a big bull’s eye on our backs, once we’ve accepted Christ as our Lord and Saviour. 

And yesterday, as we saw from our Bit, one of the necessities for fighting this war is having on the protective armour of God at all times. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, without God’s armour in our possession, we’re like sitting ducks for Lucifer and his evil cohorts. But with it on, and the strength of the Lord flowing through us…oh my people, we can battle like you won’t believe. Glory to God! 

And since some of you might be wondering what this glorious armour consists of, let’s listen to Bruh Paul as he explains it to the Ephesians after our Bit. ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your loins) 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 may 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. 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 friends, those are the things we call the armour of God, with which we can fight the devil mano-a-mano, giving no ground whatsoever! 

Now let’s get a brief synopsis of all that. Having our loins girded with truth is basically having on a belt of truth, which is knowledge of the word of God. 

The scholars tell us: ‘The ancient soldier’s loins (“waist”) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the truth of Scripture.’ 

There we have it precious people of God! The first and most important piece of armour is knowing the truth of God’s word! We can’t put up any resistance until we have God’s truth firmly entrenched in our souls, since that is the basic reason for our war; the truth of God, versus the lies of the enemy. 

Then we need to put on ‘The breastplate of righteousness,’ which the scholars say ‘may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (“righteousness”).’ 

Now there is much more stuff to talk about re God’s armour, but unfortunately we’ve run out of time and space. But tune in tomorrow and we’ll continue it. In the meanwhile, please ponder on what we’ve already talked about; the first priority of knowing the truth of God’s word, and then putting it into action with a godly, moral lifestyle. 

Now let’s go home declaring the truth that’s in our hearts via our Wednesday Wail. Wailing all: ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, what bliss it is to be in league with Jesus! Now let’s go out and share that joy with those who unfortunately don’t know Him. Much LOVE!

…a soldier of Christ…desperately needs God’s armour…to successfully fight his Christian war…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2015 Psalm 31:24

Psalm 31:24.  Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Arise O people of God and put on your battle armour! Don’t you hear the trumpet sounding the call to arms? It’s Monday morning and there’s no time to waste, for the enemy is already lined up in battle formation and our fearless Leader, Jesus Christ is also out at the front surveying and reconnoitring the situation. 

So get thee up and about, arm thyself with helmet, breastplate, belt, shoes, shield and sword, and having asked protection of heaven, join in the fray with enthusiasm, strength, wisdom and expectations of victory! 

Yes Friends, it’s our favourite day Monday; the one we LOVE to hate, but one that we need to put to good use, if we want the rest of the week to go smoothly. That’s because Monday takes its cue from Sunday, and the remainder of the week from Monday. 

Have you ever noticed that when you have a rough Monday, the rest of the week usually goes the same way? That’s why I keep on encouraging us to come out strong and vibrant, just rearing to go on Mondays.  

Now let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with zest, urgency and sense of purpose. As one harmonious choir now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh Friends, that rendition wasn’t bad at all! You could see traces of a smile forming on Jesus, our choirmaster’s face, but nowhere good enough for a standing ‘O’ from the halls of heaven. (smile) Anyway we’ve gotten the message, our adrenalin is running, so let’s get out in the evil, deceitful and strife-filled world and spread some LOVE and cheer, mercy, forgiveness, compassion and good news, Jesus style nuh. 

And to help us do that with strong faith and sincere trust, listen to the encouraging and uplifting words of our Bit from the pen of Bruh David. ‘Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, when we come to the Lord with hungry hope and expectant faith, He will strengthen us and give us the wherewithal to do His will. So be not afraid to get out there and face the heathen, once you are dressed in your spiritual armour, backed up by prayer and the Lord’s power is running through your veins.  

Now let’s back that up with earlier testimony from Bruh David in Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation. ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:13-14) 

Yes my brethren, if we don’t expect to see and receive God’s goodness and blessings down here on Mother Earth, then we might as well be dead. But when we expect the Lord’s grace and mercy to flow down on us, then in faith and with patience, we wait for it. He has promised to bless us if we are obedient to His Word, and we all know that He is faithful to keep his promises. So there’s no need to worry once we’re doing our best to follow His leading and guiding. 

And this can all be reinforced by the words of Isaiah in the song of praise by the redeemed. ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord, we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is.25:9)  And yuh know Friends, that is exactly what happened. The Father sent the Son, Jesus Christ to save us, to be our salvation… Oh glory to God! 

Listen to Jesus talk about His role. ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) And again: ‘For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.’ (Luke 9:56) Then: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And finally: ‘And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.’ (John 12:47) 

Oh my people, Jesus couldn’t be any clearer about His main purpose in coming to earth…to save its inhabitants. He laid it all on the line for us, including His sinless life, so I don’t know what else we expect from Him. He threw down the gauntlet to us, now it only remains to see if we have the parts and the wisdom to accept the challenge. Only time and time alone will tell! Much LOVE!

…O LOVE the Lord…all ye his saints…for the Lord preserveth the faithful…and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer…  (Ps.31:23)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2014 Hebrews 4:12

Hebrews 4:12.    For the Word of God is quick (living, alive), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.
 

Oh my people, welcome to the first official day of winter! Yes Friends, despite all the snow and cold we’ve had for over a month now, this Sunday, four days before Christmas, is officially the first day of winter. Go think on that nuh. (smile)

But we’re not going to allow a little thing like winter to trouble us when we have such a momentous occasion to celebrate; the Birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Obviously not!
 
So let’s rejoice and be glad this beautiful Sabbath morning, while gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary with other believers, to sing songs of joy and praise and give thanks for baby Jesus, for tis the season of Christmas. The season when we share LOVE, fellowship and friendship like no other.
 
Oh how beautiful a world we would have, if we could only keep a Christmas-like spirit all year round! It might seem like wishful thinking, but remember that all things are possible when Jesus is involved.
 
Anyway, in all of the Christmas excitement, please don’t forget to go to church as often as possible during the celebrations, for that is an integral part of the whole scenario. And there is definitely nothing to match believers getting together to praise and worship Almighty God!
 
That’s when the windows of heaven are truly opened and blessings abundantly rained down on us. Our God is so touched by our devotion that He can’t help but bless us abundantly, according to the promise of His Word.
 
Now let’s turn to out Bit, which describes the importance and power of God’s Word. ‘For the Word of God is quick (living, alive), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’
 
Yes my brethren, the Word of our great God is all those things; alive and kicking, powerful, sharp enough to divide soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and also discern all our thoughts and intentions.
 
So like the scholars’ explained yesterday, we are to all intents and purposes naked before the Word. We can’t run nor hide from it, which means we have to stand up and face the music, come what may. (smile)
 
And today we’ll look at some scriptures that highlight the power and diverse uses of God’s Word. And there’s no better place to start than right at the beginning, where God created the world with His Word.
 
‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon (was hovering over) the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.’ (Gen.1:1-3)
 
And through the six days of creation, we see that everything was created through the Lord speaking it into existence. What can be more powerful than that eh Friends? Nothing really.
 
Then the psalmist, while declaring God’s wonderful works to the children of men, tells us: ‘Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
 
He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’ (Ps.107:19-21)
 
What a moving statement my people! If we really gave God the thanks and praise He deserves for His goodness to us… hn, the world wouldn’t know what to do, it would be so full of joy, peace and LOVE!

 
Meanwhile, Psalm 147, in the telling of God’s greatness and power, declares: ‘He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.’ (Ps.147:15) And yuh better believe Friends that the Word of Almighty God is alive and kicking and moves very quickly.
 
Then Isaiah describes the Word as a means of destruction. I guess that’s only logical; if it can create, then it ought to be able to destroy too. ‘But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity (decide with uprightness) for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite (strike) the earth with the rod of his mouth. And with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.’ (Is.11:4)
 
Ah mih people, just as the Word can be used for healing and other positive actions, it can also be used to cut down the wicked!
 
And furthermore, Isaiah, in talking about Israel being the Lord’s servant, confidently declares: ‘Listen, O isles (coastlands), unto me; and hearken ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels (inward parts) of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
 
And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’ (Is.49:1-3)
 
Then Jeremiah confidently proclaims: ‘The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?’ (Jer.23:28-29)
 
Yes my people, the Lord’s Word is active in all aspects of our lives, and is also capable of doing anything that’s necessary. So please don’t take it lightly, because it will be used against us if we don’t acknowledge its might and power.
 
And we’ll end with an example of that from Hosea, in Israel’s reply to God’s admonishment. ‘O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness (faithfulness) is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.
 
Therefore I have hewed them (hewn them in pieces) by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgements (the judgements on you) are as the light that goeth forth.’ (Hos.6:4-5)
 
Yes Friends, God’s Word is invincible and can be used in any situation! So let’s remember that and act accordingly, for it will be credited to us as wisdom. Much LOVE!
 
…and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit…which is the word of God… (Eph.6:17) 
 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2014 2 Corinthians 2:14.

2 Corinthians 2:14.   Now thanks be unto God , which always causeth (leads) us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour (fragrance) of his knowledge by us in every place.
 
Well a good Thursday morning to you my Friends and Scrip-Bit family members! And isn’t it wonderful and immensely reassuring to know without a doubt, that the universe is unfolding as it ought to, under the ever-watchful eye and wise guidance of its awesome Creator, Jehovah God?
 
Ah my people, it certainly is! When we have Jesus occupying First Place in our lives, then there’s NOTHING we ought to worry about, for He has promised to NEVER leave us, to NEVER forsake us, and to ALWAYS lead and guide us through His Holy Spirit which dwells in the body of every single person who believes that He is indeed the Way, the Truth, the Light and the Life, and has surrendered their lives to His will, His wise plan of action for them.
 
Hn, hn, hn! What a sentence Friends, but one of indisputable truth! That’s why we believers can all genuinely declare: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!’ (Phil.4:13)
 
And that’s also why American author and poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) could convincingly say that ‘There is nothing we cannot live down, rise above and overcome.’ We become empowered through the Spirit of Jesus Christ, so that we can triumph over whatever adversity or trouble that comes against us.
 
And that word ‘TRIUMPH’ is one we ought to think about continually, use often and get excited about my people, because there’s been no greater triumph in this world than that of Jesus over Lucifer, death and the grave, obtained by His sacrificial death on the cross, that was then solidified by His glorious resurrection on that joyful and triumphant Easter morn!
 
No wonder Bruh Paul could say in our Bit to the church at Corinth: ‘Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth (leads) us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour (fragrance) of his knowledge by us in every place.’
 
Yes Friends, victory is ours, if we walk hand in hand with Jesus!
 
For as Bruh Paul continues after our Bit: ‘For we are unto God a sweet savour (the sweet fragrance) of Christ, in (among) them that are saved, and in (among) them that perish: To the one we are the savour (aroma) of death unto death; and to the other the savour (aroma) of life unto life.
 
And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt (peddle by trickery) the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of (from) God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.’ (2 Cor.2:15-17)
 
And the scholars explain all of that thus: ‘2:14-17. Triumph (cf.Col.2:9-15): The imagery conveyed in use of this term is of the Roman general who marched in victory with his entourage, consisting of two groups: them that are saved, and …them that perish.
 
The former group referred to those allowed to live as slaves of the empire. The latter group comprised the condemned, who were being led to their death. Each group carried burning incense. The one was, verse 16, a savour of death unto death, the other was a fragrance of life unto life.
 
Calvary was the mighty display of the infinite power of a sovereign God. The human race was divided into two categories: those of life unto life and those of death unto death.’
 
Thank God, my people, that we are firmly ensconced in the life unto life group, which holds Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, as Calvary was indeed a triumphant display of God’s awesome might and power! And most important of all, it brought us Gentiles into the sphere, the fold of Jesus, a most sacred and holy place where we’d never been before.
 
And all God’s people gave out with a loud and appreciative shout of: ‘Praise God! Praise His Holy Name, for He is indeed worthy to be praised and glorified!’
 
Yes Friends, Jesus has triumphed over the powers of darkness and evil! ‘And having spoiled (disarmed) principalities and powers, he made a show (spectacle) of them openly, triumphing over them in it.’ (Col.2:15) That’s for certain sure my brethren!
 
And here is an interesting explanation of that verse by the scholars. ‘2:15. Having spoiled principalities and powers: By the Cross God disarmed or deprived Satan and all his demonic horde of the power and sway with which they formerly gripped the Colossians. By this statement Paul might well have asked the Colossians, How can you give ear to any doctrine advocating angel worship (v.18), when they are all subject to God?’
 
And so they truly are! But unfortunately these evil powers of darkness refuse to give up the fight, although they know that they have lost the war, and we live in a world where they still rule and control a lot of people and stuff.
 
That’s why Bruh Paul wisely reminds us to: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye might 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 (spiritual hosts of) wickedness 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.6:11-13)
 
Yes my people, everyday when we arise, we need to put on the spiritual armour of God – helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, sandals of peace, belt of truth, shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit – so that we are protected from the enemy’s wickedness.
 
Otherwise, he is going to find some dark and dismal means to invade, to infiltrate our souls. And we definitely don’t want that to happen. So let’s make sure that we’re clothed at all times in that protective armour!
 
And we’ll close with a simple statement made by a psalmist long ago, but one which displays great faith and assurance in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In praising God for His goodness, the psalmist unequivocally declares: ‘For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.’ (Ps.92:4)
 
And that my people is gospel truth! So let’s go out today, and everyday, believing it, so that we can do wonders, be triumphant in the name of Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!
 
…when the great triumphs of this world are listed…Jesus at Calvary…is ALWAYS NUMBER ONE…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2014 1 Peter 5:10

1 Peter 5:10.   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.

 And then it was Saturday…gaudy, colourful, party-hopping Saturday! And to make matters even worse, it’s the Saturday before Labour Day, the last long weekend of the summer cottage season, and the return to school next week. So you can imagine the amount of activities we will try to get into that small, short window of opportunity.
 
But all I have to say on that is to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And I don’t care if you all are displeased at my reminder, because this weekend is a most appropriate time for it, especially in places like New York City, where the Carnival-like celebrations will be taking place, and the leggo-beast behaviour will be on full display.
 
And don’t fool yuh fat either Friends, that sly ole crook, Lucifer, the voracious wolf will certainly be there in his best sheep skin costume, avidly seeking those undisciplined, naïve, or simply unmindful and careless ones he can capture. Do enjoy yourselves, but please try not to be counted amongst that unfortunate lot.
 
And my people, the best antidote for Lucifer’s evil forays into our lives is to be fully clothed with the whole armour of God! Read, mark and inwardly digest, as Bruh Paul declares and describes the situation to the Ephesians. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by the Lord’s mighty power).
 
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 (hosts of) spiritual wickedness 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. (Having dressed in God’s armour, be prepared to resist Lucifer, for he will continually attack you). 
 
 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist with) truth (a knowledge of the truth of God’s Word), and having on the breastplate of righteousness (holy character, moral conduct);
 
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (eagerness or willingness to take the fight to Lucifer, the gospel gives peace to the believer); Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench 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: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:10-18)
 
Yes Friends, we need all those accoutrements of war to fight a successful battle against the prince of darkness and his evil cohorts. Starting with the helmet of salvation to guard our minds, our thoughts, where the war always begins, and can be won and lost right there.
 
Then the breastplate of righteousness to guard our hearts and souls and spirit, so we can walk in obedience to Almighty God. And we need the sandals of peace so that we can walk in peace bravely, wherever we go, with the gospel as our peace initiative. In addition to that we must have the belt of truth, so that we can live in and by the truth.
 
The shield of faith is an enormous ally, because it will enable us to stand our ground and deflect the fiery arrows of the enemy as he tries to break through our defences. And last but not least, we definitely need our trusty sword, the Word of God, to mow down the enemy, bring them to their knees and have them acknowledge that Jesus Christ is indeed the Lord and Master of the universe.
 
But what we often fail to see in our rush to talk about the armour of God, is that last verse we quoted, ‘praying always with all prayer…and supplication for the saints.(vs.18) That’s because my people without prayer, God’s armour is inadequate to bring us victory. Prayer is the thing that cements it all. It’s indispensable and we need to use the Spirit’s help to pray for that divine aid.
 
And furthermore, we’re not only to pray for ourselves, but for all God’s people, because ‘spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ And none of that is a joking matter my Friends, for as you read, Bruh Paul unequivocally states that we are in a constant war against the powers of darkness and spiritual wickedness, which are situated in high places.
 
That means the enemy is firmly entrenched in the upper echelons of our society, so they have great power and control over the general state of the world. But like ALL enemies of Jesus Christ, they too can be defeated if we stand strong and resolute, protected by God’s indestructible armour and prayer!
 
Now hear Peter’s take on the subject, with our Bit tacked on at the end. ‘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)
 
Yes my brethren, in this wicked, ungodly world we have to be very careful in our manoeuvres. But NEVER NEVER FORGET that the God who reconciled us to Himself through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ, will NEVER EVER LEAVE OR FORSAKE US, but will LOVINGLY work on us, like the potter with His clay, until He has made us into Christ-like images of His BELOVED Son!
 
And for all that, we ought to be very thankful. So let’s show our gratitude by truly living for Jesus nuh, because that’s the ONLY philosophy that makes sense on this earth. It is the epitome of wisdom! MUCH LOVE!
 
…and we know…that all things work together for good…to them that LOVE God…to them who are called according to his purpose… (Rom.8:28)

 

 

 

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