Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 January 2023   1 Peter 5:6.

1 Peter 5:6.        Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Oh boy, a bit of midmorning sunshine is happening out here in my area! Glory be! Unfortunately though, there are also dark clouds looming ominously all around the horizon. Well, at least we can be thankful that there’s no precipitation, at least not yet. (smile) Anyway, today I want to continue looking at Psalm 145, Bruh David’s Psalm of praise to God’s Unsearchable Greatness. 

And he hits his stride, when he eloquently and truthfully proclaims: ‘The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee, They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.’ (Ps. 145:8-13) 

Now friends, all that Bruh David says about our great and wonderful God is absolutely true: He is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, full of tender mercy, His kingdom is magnificent and will endure forever. But are we, the sons of men, making known His mighty acts and speaking of the glorious majesty of His kingdom, as we ought to eh? I don’t think so. Our overall witness and testimony to Almighty God is sadly lacking. But how can it be any better when Christ’s body, His church is in poor shape, divided and filled with much falsehood and many false teachers. And when you add the fear, lethargy and LOVE of the world that so many of us supposed believers exhibit, it can’t be otherwise. 

Remember the words of James, Jesus’ brother: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) It couldn’t be any clearer than that my fellow believers. And the scholars explain, that just ‘as Israel was a spiritual adulteress, unfaithful to God, so the church is a spiritual adulteress when she is the unfaithful bride of Christ (cf. Hos. 2:5, 19-20; Matt. 12:39). One cannot be both a LOVER of God and a LOVER of the world.’ 

No friends, that’s not possible. It’s either one or the other. Jesus said it very plainly in the Sermon on the Mount, when he spoke about laying up treasures in heaven. ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold (be loyal) to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (riches).’ (Matt. 6:24) But yet, many of us supposed believers try to do just that, we attempt to sit on the fence and have our feet in both worlds, but we’re only fooling ourselves and making a mockery of God’s word and His church! 

And also remember what James says when talking about obtaining wisdom from God. ‘But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:6-8) 

And we cannot dispute that fact my brethren. If we are unstable, waver, doubt and straddle the fence, how will we ever proceed successfully and accomplish anything worthwhile eh? We need to be strong and steadfast, faithful and true to whatever we say we believe in. We can’t be like so many of us Christians, who go to church on Sunday, exhibiting a ton of righteousness, but from Monday to Saturday live like the world. 

And the sad part is that we think we’re fooling somebody, but the truth is that we’re only fooling ourselves, for God see us quite clearly and knows exactly what we are about, and the world also sees us and laughs at us, while snickering ‘hypocrite’ behind our backs. Ah my fellow saints, I don’t know what else to say that will encourage us to drop the façade and become serious Christians, sincerely living our lives for Christ and not hanging on to the coattails of the evil and ungodly world, which only wants to drag us down to hell with it. 

And Peter hits the hail on the head when he writes: ‘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 your brethren (experienced by everyone) that are in the world.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-9) 

Now that ought to help us stand up strong and resist the enemy, who really has no power over us, but what we allow him to have. And for further help, let’s go to God in prayer, through our Friday Chant, crying out for His divine help. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the confusion and anxiety caused by the pandemic and our many other serious problems. We can’t fix them on our own Lord, so we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat the simmering unrest in our land. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, without further serious setbacks. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to return backsliders to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a new flock of believers, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic, the bubbling discontent and dissatisfaction in our land, as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, wake up and smell it sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And as always, whatever promise(s) we’ve made to God in our prayers, we need to keep them, if we want to see any positive answers from Him. Much LOVE!

…why do we foolishly try to hide from God…when He is omniscient…sees everything…                                                                                                                                                                   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2020 James 4:8a.

James 4:8a.    ​Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. 

Well it’s a wet, still and gloomy Wednesday morning… and it ought to be after the majestic thunderstorm we experienced around ten thirty last night. Yeh friends, all the heavy hitters were out: Thor had the heavens rumbling ominously with thunder, while the lightning flashes lit up the dark night sky like daylight, and the rain poured down in heavenly filled buckets! It was a wonderful spectacle, as it always is when the heavens put on a real show. It’s something that man is not even able to come close to approximating, much less beating. 

That just shows where the ultimate power lies – in heaven, not on earth. (smile) And that’s why it is ever so important to be in close contact with, have strong communication with the powers of heaven, like this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin advocates. And it is most appropriately titled ‘Intimate Closeness.’ Please pray with me: ‘You promise, dear God That when I draw close to You You will draw close to me. Lord, I give myself to You unreservedly. Teach me more and more Of intimate closeness And fill my heart with You alone. To walk arm-in-arm with You Down every winding path Seems to me The dearest of all delights.’ 

And so indeed it is my dear friends and saints in Christ! There’s no better companion in any walk or path of life than Almighty God Himself! For He is the First and Last; the Alpha and Omega, the Creator and Ruler of All that exists! So who better can we ever choose to walk with eh? That’s why James, when he talks about worldliness and pride, lambastes us thus: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is the enemy (makes himself an enemy) of God.’ (James 4:4) 

And the scholars explain that verse: ‘4:4. As Israel was a spiritual adulteress, unfaithful to God, so the church is a spiritual adulteress when she is the unfaithful bride of Christ (cf. Hos. 2:5, 19-20; Matt. 12:39). One cannot be both a LOVER of God and a LOVER of the world.’ That’s putting it very plainly my brethren, though some unwise or foolish ones of us try to live with one foot in the world and the other in the kingdom of Christ, but it’s a physical impossibility, we can’t straddle both places at once! Yes, some of us like to play both sides against the middle, and that might work in the world, but definitely not in Christ’s kingdom. 

And as James wisely continues: ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth (yearns jealously) to envy?’ (James 4:5) Oh yes it certainly does! Just look around at our envious, jealous and greedy world nuh! Then James abandons the negative aspect of his exhortation, gets positive, and tells us of God’s good work, quoting Cousin Sol’s words in Prov. 3:34. ‘But he giveth more grace; Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ (James 4:6) 

Now that’s the gospel truth friends, for God despises the proud, since they tend to have no time for or need of Him. But the humble… He greets them with open arms and ever so generously pours out grace, His underserved and unmerited favour, in and on their lives. Wow! Then James gets to the meat of his subject and strongly and wisely advises us to: 

‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) 

Oh friends, if there’s one thing this generation needs more than anything else it’s humility! Our pride has reached such incendiary levels that it’s burning us up and we don’t even realize it. Our level of technology and evolution has made everybody a genius… Hn! We don’t need anybody else; me, myself and I, are the most popular pronouns today! No wonder there’s such little togetherness and so much division, even in Christ’s church. And the only way our world will heal, that includes the church, is by turning to God, not away from Him. Becoming humble in His sight, not trying to run Him out of town! 

Why? As the scholars explain. ‘But he giveth more grace is literally “greater grace” (Gr. meizona). God gives grace that is greater than the world attraction of verse 4 and the inner lust of verse 5 ( Rom. 5:20), and so can withstand both.’ Yes mih people, the only way to withstand the devil and his lustful and prideful temptations is by seeking the greater grace of God. 

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

So it must my brethren, especially in these dangerous and turbulent times. It will also be of great benefit to us to read those scriptures mentioned above. (smile) So, for those of us who are trying to keep humble and seek God’s grace, let’s go home now declaring (oh yes!) our Wednesday Wail, telling of our wonderful situation in Christ Jesus! In strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And we know that if we endure steadfastly to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…but where sin abounded…grace did much more abound… (Rom. 5:20b)