Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 February 2021 1 Corinthians 3:11.

1 Corinthians 3:11.     ​For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Saturday, oh lazy Saturday! How I do LOVE thee! But I won’t count the ways for there are way too many. (smile) Yeh friends, for many of us, Saturday is the day we can do exactly as we please; laze around on the couch, watch the tube, take our time to do whatever, no rush on anything. But for some others it’s just another busy day in the life. 

And for me, I have to get my head around the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us the past week and try to make some sense of them in terms of our Christian life. And let me tell you, that’s not always easy, but the Good Lord, our Creator and Director, always lends a helping hand. Oh friends, His amazing faithfulness is unfathomable! So let’s ask Him now to lead and guide me as I wend my way through this week’s quotes from Anselm. (smile) 

And the first one is truly interesting. ‘Live the Life of Your Dreams: Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.’ Now that is good advice, but only up to a certain point. One caveat is necessary there. We should not live our lives according to the expectations of others, meaning human folks, but we should live our lives and dreams according to the will of God! And you ask why? 

Simply because it’s God who put those dreams and desires in our hearts, in the first place. And secondly, only when we live in the will and way of the Lord can our dreams and efforts meet with true and lasting success. Now those last two words are the most important ones – lasting success. If you live according to anybody else’s will, you might achieve what the world terms success, but it will never last. You’ll always be worried and concerned about it, trying to safeguard it, and you won’t have the peace you need to truly enjoy your achievements. 

Why do you think Jesus told the parable of the two foundation eh, where one man builds his house on the sand and the other on the rock eh? (Matt.7:24-27) Because only the one built on the Rock, Him and his truth, His way of life, is sustainable! Any other is like the house built by the first two pigs in the story of the three pigs and the wolf. The wolf huffed and puffed and blew down the first two houses made of straw and sticks, but could not blow down that made of bricks. 

And the moral of the story is that your materials and foundation must be of the highest quality in erecting anything. And you can never get better materials or a more solid foundation than that found in Jesus. Bruh Paul said it in spades: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 3:11) Please friends, let’s keep that thought uppermost in our minds as we build our lives and dreams nuh. Wow! That was long! (smile) But I believe the Lord was trying to drive home a most salient point; that without Him, His Leadership and Guidance, our plans are not worth very much and are liable to be brought to naught by the smallest storm. 

And that brings us to this next quote which falls into somewhat of the same vein. ‘Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.’ And that’s ever so true. We must not allow our fears to drive the engines of our lives, but rather the dreams and plans that the Lord has placed in our hearts. For as Bruh Paul so plainly proclaimed to Timothy: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (self-control).’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

That means that although fear will always be present in our lives, once we also have the Spirit of Christ living in us, we will always be able to master fear. Glory be mih brethren! Isn’t it wonderful to know that we don’t have to let fear run and ruin our lives? It surely is. But then again, we have to use the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us to deactivate the fear that naturally comes a calling. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, we must do it afraid. For courage isn’t the absence of fear, but the ability to come up over fear. 

And per the desires of your heart, Bruh David clearly said it in Psalm 37. ‘Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps. 37:4) And if anybody should know about that, surely it’s Bruh David who led a life strongly dedicated to the Lord. He was not perfect, but the Lord saw His heart was right, and He will do the same for us, if our hearts are right. 

That brings us to this pen-ultimate quote. ‘Take responsibility for your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! Happiness is OUR responsibility, not anybody else’s! Just on the purely practical level, we can’t place our happiness in any other human being’s hands because they are fallible and untrustworthy. They won’t always do what’s in our best interest but what’s in theirs. As Jeremiah so rightly said: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it?’ (Jer. 17:9) 

Oh friends, nobody but the Lord can know the true intents and motives of any human heart. That’s why it’s so important to seek our own happiness, not selfishly, but with the Lord as our number ONE guide and not humans. And Psalm 146 tells us quite plainly: ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (a human being), in whom there is no help (salvation). His breath goeth forth (spirit departs, body dies), he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:’ (Ps. 146:3-6) 

It couldn’t get any better than that my fellow saints in Christ! And the last quote says: ‘Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.’ Now that makes a whole lot of sense, especially in these troubling and worrying pandemic times. For if you can’t control it, why worry about it? For worrying gets you nowhere. And another of sister Joyce’s favourite sayings is that worry is like sitting in a rocking chair, you can sit and rock all day, but you won’t move, you’ll still be in the same spot at the end of the day. 

And if you don’t believe her, then listen to Jesus. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body more than raiment (clothes)?’ (Matt. 6:25) It surely is. And then Jesus goes on to point out how the birds and the rest of nature survive without worrying, because their heavenly Father takes care of them. 

And hear this most important question He asks His listeners. ‘Which of you by taking thought (worrying) can add one cubit unto his stature (height)?’ (Matt. 6:27) And the obvious answer is NONE of us! So why worry then over something we can’t control? Because we’re scared and faithless. 

And what’s the solution to it all? As usual Jesus gives it in plain and simple language. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) That’s the answer to EVERYTHING in this life people: put God FIRST! Much LOVE!

…God will never cede His divine power to anyone or anything…He will remain El Numero Uno forever…you can count on that…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 November 2020 Mark 3:25.

Mark 3:25.     ​And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

Well a Happy Thanksgiving to our Southern neighbours in the U.S. of A! It’s their biggest holiday, but shackled by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Presidential election shenanigans that are still going on, who knows what kind of Thanksgiving Day it will be. 

Unfortunately, there will be much strife and resentment just about visiting family and having big gatherings, mask less and not physically distanced, which means the virus will be even more prevalent in the next couple of weeks. And if you add the wide division in the election proceedings and results, it doesn’t make for a real thankful day at all. But we wish them all the best anyway. 

But I want to warn them, and us too, of two simple but ever so important factors from the mouth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who knew what He was talking about. The first is when the Pharisees accused Him of casting out demons in Satan’s name, He calmly informed them: ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.’ (Mark 3:23-26) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! But we didn’t even need Jesus to tell us that, it’s been so obvious from day one of mankind’s sojourn on the face of this earth. Look at the division between Cain and Abel and between so many of God’s people down through the ages. And surprisingly, the battling factions in the U.S. are fairly equally divided, so there is plenty strength on either side. So it won’t be a cakewalk for either side. 

That brings to mind the statement supposedly attributed to President Abraham Lincoln on the subject, at the time of the Civil War: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe the government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.’ Now those were strong words, and the Union did survive in the technically free form, but right now it is so divided that it certainly has the potential to fall apart again. 

And the second point we need to remember is the foundation on which we build our lives and societies is also ever so important in their sustainability, whether they will last or go under in short order. And there’s no better word on this than that of Jesus. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a (the) rock. 

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt. 7:24-27) 

Oh my people, when we’re building anything at all, the most important part is always the foundation, because that’s what everything else sits on. So if our lives or our societies are not built on solid foundations, the most solid being Jesus, how can they hope to last eh? Look at the number of buildings that collapse simply because the foundations are not solid enough to uphold them. Thus Bruh Paul proclaimed to the church at Corinth: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 3:11) 

Oh friends, any other foundation will just be consumed by fire eventually! That’s why Peter further explained that Christ is the living stone upon which all lives ought to be built. ‘To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed (rejected) indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also as lively (living) stones, are (being) built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect (chosen), precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded (put to shame). Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed (rejected), the same is made the head of the corner (chief cornerstone). And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient (being disobedient to the word): whereunto also they were appointed.’ (1 Pet. 2:4-8) 

Yeh friends, Peter was there quoting the prophecy from Isaiah 28:16, the promise of a sure foundation, a chief cornerstone to anchor His people. And that turned out to be none other than His glorious Son Jesus Christ, chosen and precious to Him, but rejected and unacceptable to His people Israel. Oh my people, Christ is in the amazing and wonderful process of building a spiritual house in all His believers, and He is a Master Builder, so why won’t we allow Him to build that strong, solid edifice in our lives eh? 

We’re behaving like the foolish man who built his house on the sand and the elements toppled it without a moment’s notice. But Jesus is the Rock, the solid foundation on which to build our lives, a foundation that will not be washed away or burnt away but will endure forever! Anyway, enough preaching for today. (smile) Let’s go home giving plenty thanks for all the Blessings that have been bestowed on us this cloudy, rainy Thursday morning nuh, by our magnificent and magnanimous Maker. 

All together 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 as always, the Christian reaction to that declaration (awright!) should be to get on with sharing those wonderful blessings with others less fortunate, the same way the Lord generously shared them with us!Much LOVE!

…where there is no prophetic vision…the people perish… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2019 1 Corinthians 3:11.

1 Corinthians 3:11.    ​For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday morning coming down friends…coming down hard and strong, leading to the place of worship and fellowship, where we’ll meet each other and glorify and exalt our great God, give Him much praise and thanksgiving in song and prayer, for being so faithful and merciful and gracious to us! And it’s such a privilege to get together with other believers and hear His Word, and have it fill our hearts with peace, joy, understanding and confidence; confidence in our ability to defeat our enemies and raise Christ’s banner of victory! 

And today’s song offering is a popular old hymn, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ And it seems to have a colourful history, coming about through something that’s very prevalent in Christendom, dissension within the church. Here is what supposedly caused it to be written. “The Church’s One Foundation” is a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by Samuel John Stone, with music provided by Samuel Sebastian Wesley. This hymn describes the church’s relationship to its “foundation” being Jesus Christ. The church is represented as the collective Christian fellowship of the earth as it is wholly united by its Saviour, the Son of God. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” was composed as a primary answer to the division within the Church of South Africa generated by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as untrue. This issue is referenced to within the fourth verse of the lyrics “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” When Bishop Colenso was dismissed for his teachings, he pleaded to the higher religious authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became included in the discussion. It sparked him to draft a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. “The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.” 

Ah Lord eh friends, the upheaval and dissension that Christ’s Church has seen during its two thousand years of existence! Most other organisations with that kind of upheaval would have ceased to exist long ago, but Christ’s church is built on solid rock, with Him as its true foundation, that’s why it’s still standing and going strong despite the many disputes and fragmentation it has suffered down through the ages. So let’s sing it now nuh, in full voice and sweet harmony, with a strong sense of purpose and confidence that it will last and be meaningful until Christ returns. 

All together now: ‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord, She is His new creation By water and the Word: From Heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy bride, With His own blood He bought her And for her life He died. – She is from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth; Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. -The Church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend, To guide, sustain, and cherish, Is with her to the end: 

Though there be those who hate her, And false sons in her pale, Against both foe and traitor She ever shall prevail. – Though with a scornful wonder Men see her sore oppressed, By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed: Yet saints their watch are keeping, Their cry goes up, How long? And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song! – Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace forevermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest! – 

Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won, With all her sons and daughters Who, by the Master’s hand Led through the deathly waters, Repose in Eden land. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we Like them, the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee: There, past the border mountains, Where in sweet vales the Bride With Thee by living fountains Forever shall abide!’ 

Oh my people, what fabulous words and sentiments! And they are all true. Christ came and bought the church with His precious blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary and regardless of all the isms and schisms, and the many enemies that come against her, she shall never perish because He is her protector right to the very end. And I particularly like: ‘Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses…’ Yeh friends, the church is all ONE, in Jesus name! He’s brought ALL nations under the ONE banner, with Himself as the chief cornerstone.  

Let’s look at some scripture now that corroborate all this nuh, beginning with this pronouncement by Jesus to the disciples after Peter acknowledged that He was indeed the Messiah. ‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (a stone), and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matt.16:18) Now this does not mean that Christ intended to build his church on Peter, but it was just a word play, since Peter’s name also meant a rock or stone. What He actually meant is what Bruh Paul explained to the Ephesians when talking about the unity, the oneness of all believers. 

‘For through him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In who, all the building fitly framed (being joined) together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together (being built) for a habitation (a dwelling place) of God through the Spirit.’ (Eph.2:18-22) 

So, as the scholars explain: ‘The church’s foundation is composed of the apostles and prophets, its chief corner stone is Christ, and its superstructure is composed of Christians. Oriental architecture placed greater importance on the cornerstone than the foundation, for it connected the walls and concentrated the weight of the building on itself, thus bonding and holding together the whole structure. Fitly framed together is translated above as “being carefully and harmoniously joined together.” This implies the harmonious blending of the Jewish and Gentile believers in the church. Christians are viewed as a habitation or dwelling place in whom God lives through His Holy Spirit.’ 

Christ has adroitly and adeptly brought it all together as one, under His umbrella, so much so that when the Corinthians were fighting over whom to follow, Bruh Paul or  Apollos, he ended up telling them that Christians are co-labourers, one man can plant and another water, but it’s God and God alone who gives the increase. (1 Cor.3:5-10) However they had to be very careful re the foundation of their work: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes friends, believers can build whatever they want on that foundation of Christ, but not on any other foundation, for He is the mainstay, the chief corner stone of our faith. Let’s remember that and build accordingly nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christ…the corner stone that connects His church…through the Holy Spirit…as One body…unto the glory of God the Father