Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2021 Revelation 2:7a.

Revelation 2:7a.     He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rainy days and Thursdays always get me down! Now that’s not really true, because there’s nothing like a rainy day to bring peace and quiet to your life. A rainy day just seems to draw one closer to one’s Maker, in that it brings a serenity and calm to one’s soul and spirit. And that’s how I feel today, as we open with some heavenly blessings. It just seems that when the rain falls the world is not as noisy and busy, and do we ever need to lessen the futile busyness and unnecessary noise in this modern technological age. 

So if it’s rainy in your area, please take a few quiet moments and spend with your Maker… and hopefully do less talking than listening, because I believe we tend to talk to God much more than we listen to Him, that’s why sometimes we take so long to get answers, He can’t get in a word edgeways. (smile) But since the Lord so generously gave us breath to face another glorious day on planet earth, let’s turn to the promise we made yesterday, to continue looking at some stuff from the Book of Revelation. 

Yesterday we stopped where Christ told John to write down some messages to seven particular churches, to be sent by seven angels or messengers. We won’t go through them all, just some that I think are most important. And the first one is to the church at Ephesus: ‘Unto the angel (messenger) of the church at Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks (lampstands). (Rev. 2:1) 

The seven candlesticks which Jesus walks amidst represent the seven churches to which he has messages (1:11) The seven stars in His hands represent the angels of the seven churches. According to the scholars: ‘The angels may be either literal angels, each of which has a special guardian ministry toward one specific church (cf. Heb. 1:14), or the human leaders or pastors of these churches. Angel literally means “messenger.” 

And Jesus continues: ‘I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience (perseverance), and how thou canst not bear (endure) them which are evil: and thou hast tried (tested) them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars. And hast borne (persevered), and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted (become weary). Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first LOVE.’ (Rev. 2:2-4) 

The scholars tell us that ‘The city of Ephesus was one of the most important commercial and religious cities in Asia Minor. The most famous temple of the goddess Artemis (Diana) was located there. It was also John’s headquarters before his exile. Ephesus served as the “mother” church to the others, all of which were connected by the same Roman road. And though the church is commended because of its soundness of faith and its perseverance through persecution, its people have come under Christ’s discipline for having left (not lost) their first LOVE or former devotion to Christ.’

 Does that sound familiar my people? I think it should, because a lot of us supposed believers are not as devoted to Christ as we used to be. Our devotion has dropped off at a time when it should be at it’s zenith! But as always, our Saviour offer us a lifeboat. ‘Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except (unless) thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.’ (Rev. 2:5-6) 

Yes friends, the scholars tell us that the solution the Ephesian problem is threefold: ‘(1) remember your former devotion to Christ; (2) repent of the present lack of LOVE and devotion; and (3) return – that is, do the things that were characteristic of the devotion of the church in its earlier years. Christ threatens to discipline the church by removing its light (candlestick). Today, Ephesus is in ruins, and it’s church is gone.’ 

Now was Christ’s discipline a pertinent factor in the demise of the church at Ephesus? Who knows? But it’s surely a good question for us to contemplate in these ungodly times. And as per the Nicolaitans, the scholars say they ‘were probably a libertine, antinomian sect (rejects laws and moral values) who attempted to use Christian liberty as an excuse for self-indulgence and immorality.’ 

Then comes the second letter: ‘And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue (congregation) of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried (tested); and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.’ (Rev. 2:9-10) 

A tough request that friends, but it’s also the same request the Lord is making of us today: stay faithful to the end, and He will bless us with a crown of eternal life. And just a few words from the scholars on the plight of Smyrna, ‘whose name meant “Myrrh” a fragrant spice for anointing dead bodies. It was a rich and beautiful city, some fifty miles north of Ephesus on the shores of the Aegean sea, whose believers were undergoing persecution and had been reduced to poverty. They were being reviled by unbelieving Jews. They received no condemnation from Christ but were encouraged to endure suffering faithfully. Faithful persecution through trials will bring a crown of life (cf. James 1:12). The second death is eternal destruction in the lake of fire (20:14-15), reserved for all unbelievers.’ 

Oh my people, our church life and devotion to Christ is definitely not up to scratch, and we do need to come up higher, especially in these troubled times. Please listen to what Jesus says after every message to a church: ‘He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.’ It’s a straight up warning, and to each church He promises something different if they repent and/or stand strong. 

To the church at Ephesus, He promises: ‘To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.’ (Rev. 2:7) And the scholars explain that ‘the promise to him that overcometh probably applies to all Christians with genuine faith (cf. 1 John 5:4-5) and will be fulfilled as believers enjoy the blessing of the New Jerusalem (22:2,14), the paradise of God.’ 

To the church at Smyrna it was: ‘He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.’ (Rev. 2:11) And that’s the gospel truth friends! If we persevere in good faith with Christ until the very end, we will not be cast into the lake of fire. Now shouldn’t that give us a strong sense of purpose, especially as we draw near to the end of this church age? I should think so. But sadly, not all of us agree on that point. However, for those of us who do, let’s go home this rainy Thursday declaring (wrong again!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. 

As one 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 every day! Amen!’ 

Our next move is to now go out and share those blessings just as generously as our heavenly Father shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…the Lord does not expect perfection from His followers…but He does expect diligence, devotion and excellence from them… 

P.S. Sorry for the length and lateness of the Bit, but I messed it up and had to rewrite it. Chuh! Much LOVE!                                                          

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2016 Joel 2:28.‏‏

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Oh my, my, friends, another glorious day is in the offing, and we’re alive to tell the tale! Mama Mia! 

How blessed we are, that our great God chose us to see another day of earthly pilgrimage! Give Him plenty thanks and praise for His goodness and LOVING-kindness to us nuh, for He certainly deserves it. 

I don’t know about you all, but I certainly look forward to each new day, that I know will be brim full of wonderful mercies, blessings and oodles of unimaginable opportunities to LOVE others, to do good, and to be obedient to His holy will. Glory to God! 

Ohhh, what a magnificent God we serve and worship my people! 

And since today is Wednesday, let’s wail our grateful and sincere Wednesday Wail. As one wailer now (smile): ‘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 as fine, upstanding Christians, that is exactly what we are expected to do my brethren; be glad to be alive, have our hands strong and steadfast on the plough, looking straight ahead to the glorious future that’s promised with Christ! 

And what a future that is going to be my fellow believers! I don’t think we can really imagine or contemplate it nuh with our small, finite minds. But believe me, it’s going to be extraordinary, just like everything with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is extraordinary! 

All praise and glory be to our wonderful Redeemer! 

Now let’s continue with our Bit, which was prophesied by the prophet Joel long before that momentous day of Pentecost. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

And with the universal launching of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day, that aspect of Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled. And we’ll also continue looking at Simon Peter’s great sermon on that fateful day of Pentecost. We stopped yesterday where he had explained to his listeners about the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. 

And after that, the Good Book declares thus: ‘Now when they had heard this, they were pricked in (cut to) their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren what shall we do? 

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord shall call. 

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward (crooked) generation.’ (Acts 2:37-40) 

Wow mih people! Peter certainly had the Holy Spirit moving and a grooving in him that day! 

And oh so many of us today deserve to hear that sermon, because too many of us have been separated from God, and will be left on the outside looking in when the day of judgement is fulfilled, unless we repent and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. 

And as I keep reminding us, the worse thing that can ever happen to a human being is to be eternally separated from Almighty God when the roll is called up yonder! 

Now some of us might wonder what happened on that Day of Pentecost after Peter gave his great speech. Listen to the Good Book tell it: ‘Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.’ (Acts 2:41-42) 

Ah friends, what a feast of souls was laid out before God that day! 

Hn! Just wish nowadays that we can get three hundred, or even thirty, or some days even three. But getting people to turn to God in these sad times, when they truly need Hi most, is becoming more difficult every day because of the enemy’s stranglehold on the world, and our less than satisfactory behaviour as true Christians. 

Now here is some info from the scholars re the Apostles’ doctrine. ‘2:42. The word doctrine derives from the Latin term for teaching and refers to the content that was taught in the New Testament. The proper teaching of Scripture was called “the apostles’ doctrine,” meaning that which the apostles’ taught. 

This contrasted with erroneous teaching called “doctrines of devils” (1 Tim.4:1), meaning that teaching whose source is not God but the messengers of Satan, whose desire is to substitute false religion for Christianity (2 Cor.11:13-15). 

Illustration: The apostles’ doctrine was true, not because an apostle taught it, but because it was consistent with the Scriptures. The Bereans examined the teaching of Paul in light of the Scriptures before accepting it (17:11). Also, the church at Ephesus examined some who called themselves apostles and found them liars (Rev.2:2). 

Application: A Christian should attempt to understand and believe true doctrine, while rejecting all that disagrees with the Word of God (1 John 4:1). (First Ref. Acts 2:42: cf. Titus 3:10).’ 

Now friends, those are very important distinctions, that’s why I am always admonishing us to read the scriptures for ourselves, because that’s the only way we can know if what is being preached or taught to us is truly God’s Word. 

So please, please try and read even a little of the Word each and every day, so that your knowledge of it can be steadily improved and you will better know how to pick sense from nonsense. (smile) 

So until tomorrow, God in favour, let’s get with the Word nuh friends. And may the Good Lord bless and keep us and help us to walk safely and kindly on this our earthly pilgrimage! Much LOVE!

…if you’re not aware of what the Word says…then you’ll fall for any and every thing…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2015 2 Corinthians 5:20

2 Corinthians 5:20.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you, in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.

Well Friends, it looks like it’s going to be a warm, wet and windy Wednesday in my area. The wet has not begun as yet, but the skies are dark and the wind is getting itself together. (smile) 

However, as children of God, we just have to keep moving right along as best we can. And to encourage us, let’s wail our Wednesday Wail nuh, with all sincerity and truth. 

As one now: ‘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 so it should be my brethren! Our eyes ought to be steadfastly focused on our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and not on the world and the evil involved thereof! For as Jesus prayed the Father when His time was nigh, re His disciples and eventually us: ‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one).’ (John 17:16) 

Yes Friends, Jesus wanted us to be in the world, but not be a part of the world, so that we could minister to the evil world around us. Unfortunately though, too many of us believers have been caught up in the world and all its ungodly and unrighteous activities, like steadfastly seeking  its material wealth and riches, instead of the righteousness of the kingdom of God. 

Oh my people, we need to remember that we’ve been placed here to convert the heathen, not to be converted by them. And our Bit so clearly reminds us of our earthly purpose and duty. ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you, in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.’ 

Yes my brethren, we have been charged with the most worthy job of being an ambassador for Christ here on earth, and that post, like any other earthly ambassadorial position, carries very significant and important duties. 

Now an ambassador is the representative of one country to another, and as such there are certain rules he must follow very closely. The first thing an ambassador of an earthly state does, is confer with his boss about his role and responsibility, what he can and cannot do, both pertaining to the rules and regulations of his country as well as that of the one to which he is been posted. 

And as ambassadors of Christ, we believers need to do the same thing, confer with our leader, God Almighty, through prayer, His Word and consultation with fellow Christians. Before we can begin our ambassadorial jobs we need to know what we can and cannot do. 

That means we need to be well versed in the things of God, so that we can go out into the evil, ungodly world and minister on Christ’s behalf, take His wonderful message, the good news of the gospel, of salvation and eternal life to the unbelievers. And we can only do that properly if we stay focused on, and in close communication with our heavenly Father, be led and guided by His Holy Spirit. 

The same way an earthly ambassador needs to be above reproach while living in another country, so we ambassadors of Christ also need to be above reproach in this tumultuous world. Note too, praying for each other is a very important part of our work. 

As Bruh Paul told the Ephesians re putting on the armour of God: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery (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.6:18-20) 

Yes Friends, prayer is always necessary. In fact it’s indispensable in a believer’s life. Even the wonderful and protective armour of God is useless if prayer doesn’t accompany it. We see Bruh Paul imploring the church at Ephesus to pray for him, even though he was greatly imbued with Christ’s Spirit, that he might boldly and confidently speak the truth of Christ to the heathen. 

And if Bruh Paul needed prayer to help him perform his duties, how much more do we need it eh? Ah mih breddren, that is what fellowship is about; edifying, uplifting, encouraging and praying for the saints of Jesus, so that we can do our job with excellence and thus glorify God here on earth. 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that enlighten us re our ambassadorial role in Christ Jesus. First up are Cousin Sol’s wise words from Proverbs. ‘A wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble): but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health.’ (Prov.13:17) And we all know that that’s no lie, as we see and read everyday in this confused and evil world. 

And Bruh Paul told the church at Rome in no uncertain manner. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Yes Friends, we are to seriously and sincerely resist becoming like the world, adopting its values and systems, and continually seek and search for the will of God, so that we can be worthwhile ambassadors in His name. 

And we’ll close with more words of godly wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.’ (Prov.25:13) 

Oh my people, my people, doesn’t that speak volumes to us? It ought to. That’s why today I’m imploring us to do whatever it takes to be faithful messengers of Christ, so that we can refresh His soul, put a smile on His face, and warm the cockles of His sacrificial heart. That’s not only heavenly wisdom, but also our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…to represent Jesus properly…we need to know Him intimately…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2014 Romans 12:9

Romans 12:9.    Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s time to rise and shine and give thanks to our great and merciful God for bringing us safely through the dark night of our senses, and graciously illuminating our day, brightening our spirits with the everlasting LIGHT of His wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow!
 
And on top of that, the weatherman’s promising a temperature today of plus 11 degrees Celsius, with bright sunshine! Mama Mia! What a magnanimous and magnificent God we serve and worship my people!
 
And all God’s people gave a loud and rejoicing shout of ‘Praise the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Praise Him with singing and loud shouts of joy, for He is indeed worthy to be praised! Amen!’ 
 
Yes mih people, our majestic God certainly deserves all the praise we shower on Him – and even more. Unfortunately though, since all of His human creation don’t believe in and worship Him, He is being short-changed in His praise and thanksgiving.
 
And though the Lord LOVES to hear and receive praise and thanksgiving, please remember that He DOESN’T NEED IT, but WE NEED the mercies, the grace, the goodness, the LOVING-kindness, and forgiveness that flow from such praising and thankful behaviour. 
 
It’s a good time to remember that the Lord made us to be in relationship with Him, but if we choose not to, though He will be disappointed, it won’t destroy Him. However, WE WILL BE DESTROYED if we don’t form that personal relationship and then keep it going.
 
That’s just to remind us that God isn’t there to be our servant and to bend and bow to our every petty and selfish whim. But rather, HE IS OUR MASTER, OUR CREATOR, AND WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BOW TO HIM AND FOLLOW HIS DICTATES.
 
Just thought I’d throw that in there because many supposed Christians only turn to God in desperation for some worldly thing or purpose, and expect Him to deliver or answer them right away. Nuff said on that for now though.
 
Let’s turn to our Bit: ‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good.’
 
Words of absolute truth my brethren! Without TRUE LOVE and a sincere purpose to do good, the whole edifice of Christianity, of Christ’s church crumbles, because those are the mainstays of its foundation.
 
Now yesterday we looked at scriptures that dealt with the first half of our Bit; having a true heart of LOVE, and not one of hypocrisy, like the Pharisees of old had.
 
Today, we’ll check out scriptures that deal with the second half of our Bit; of clinging to good and forsaking evil. 

And we’ll begin with some awesome words of truth from Bruh David, as he asks in Psalm 15: ‘Lord, who shall abide (sojourn) in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy Hill?
 
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up (receives) a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned (despised); but he honoureth them that fear the Lord.
 
He that sweareth to this own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.’ (Ps.15:1-5)
 
Oh Friends, I’m chuckling here because I never intended to quote the whole psalm, but after reading it through, I found that there was no right place to stop until the very end. For it all deals with goodness and truth; the necessities of character of one who hopes to dwell on God’s holy hill, in His holy sanctuary, to be welcomed into His presence.
 
Yes my fellow believers, if we hope to dwell with the Lord, goodness and truth must be firmly embedded in our spirits, our character, and our earthly behaviour, per the Lord’s commandments.
 
Meanwhile, the prophet Zechariah, in promising the restoration of Israel declares: ‘These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgement of truth and peace (for justice, truth and peace) in your gates.
 
And let none of you imagine (think) evil in your hearts against your neighbour; and LOVE no false oath: for all these are things I hate, saith the Lord.’ (Zech.7:16-17)
 
Oh Friends, that spells it right out in perfect simplicity! There’s nothing there that the least of us cannot understand. And we couldn’t write on truth and goodness without quoting these famous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus:
 
‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.’ (Eph.4:23-25)
 
Ah mih people, more clarification on our earthly status! We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and as such ought not to lie to each other, but to speak the truth at all times, because that is what our God and our Christian faith are all about.
 
And we’ll end today with some more treasured words from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘Peace be to the brethren, and LOVE with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that LOVE our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.’ (Eph.6:23-24)
 
Oh Friends, I couldn’t say it any better, so please receive that blessing as though it was just spoken over us all. Much LOVE my Christian brethren!
 
…one cannot be a true believer in Jesus Christ…unless one sincerely walks in…LOVE…TRUTH…and GOODNESS…