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   10 August 2022   James 4:7.

James 4:7.      Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

I don’t understand it nuh friends…and you’re wondering just what I don’t understand eh. (smile) Well, it’s how come today can already be the tenth of August when the month just began sometime last week. And you know what happens when August is done? September rolls in with its colder temps and we on the down track to that wonderful season called winter. (smile) It’s interesting to note how the supposedly good seasons finish much quicker than those we consider less amenable. But that’s just the way of Mother Nature, and if you want to live in the Northern Climes then you will have to learn to put up with the eccentricities of the weather. 

And though you may be born and raised in the changing seasons, it’s still difficult for many people to adjust to it. I guess that’s because mankind was not really made to live in the cold, but because of our wandering hearts and minds we’ve ended up in some of the most inhospitable climates in the universe. Now, that wandering spirit that’s never contented or satisfied, also leads us to suffer other unnecessary pain and sorrow as we seem to revel in the sinful and ungodly things of Satan which only bring us death and damnation. 

Oh my wayward friends, although we know better, somehow or the other we just can’t refuse the lure, the clarion call of the enemy’s deceitful and empty promises. Meanwhile, we’re turning a blind eye to all the marvellous, magnificent and true promises that Jesus is offering, free, gratis, and for nothing! Promises of hope, faith, forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with our Creator, salvation and eternal life in heaven, where there are no tears, no pain, no sorrow and above all no death! 

Our brains must be badly muddled and addled if we consciously choose the disastrous and painful life that comes to those who follow the evil Beelzebub; things like hell, death, damnation and eventual interment in lake of fire, instead of the wonderful halls of heaven. No wonder James, the brother of Jesus wrote this tough passage on worldliness and pride to his fellow believers. 

He sagely begins by asking: ‘From whence come wars (conflicts) and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts (desires for pleasure) that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (murder), and desire to have (covet), and cannot obtain: ye fight and war (battle), yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).’ (James 4:1-3) 

Wow! What wisdom, what insight into our ungodly behaviour! And re those verses, the scholars tell us: ‘Chapter 3 ended by stressing the peace that results from heavenly wisdom. Now James emphasizes the strife common among his readers, stemming from their unsatisfied, selfish desires. Instead of wrestling with God in prayer, these believers are striving with one another.’ 

And would you believe that nothing much has changed in our society since then, except that we’ve gotten even more lustful, sinful and more interested in pleasures than the righteousness of God, with the avowed intention to kick God out. But just for the record, that’s NEVER going to happen, because God is still in control of His universe and will always be. He’s just giving us enough rope so we can hang our own selves and not blame Him when our paper houses with such beautiful facades come tumbling down. Hn! 

And I like how James doesn’t let up on the unfaithful believers. He continues taking them to task: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses (those unfaithful to God), know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be (wants to make) a friend of the world is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) Yes my brethren, we cannot be a LOVER of the world and a LOVER of God at the same time. 

Jesus said it loud and clear: ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold to (be loyal to) the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (worldly riches).’ (Matt. 6:24) But friends, unfortunately, when it comes to whom we are serving, many of us have a spiritual double vision. (smile) However, try as we might, ‘total loyalty to God cannot be divided between Him and one’s material possessions.’ And the having of material possessions is not wrong in itself, but it’s ‘our improper attitude of enslavement toward wealth’ that causes the problem. 

And James continues to lay into his readers. ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy (yearns jealously)? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ (James 5-6) Ah mih people, our natural spirits do yearn after jealousy and covetousness, but God gives us much more grace that we can overcome the attractions of the world. And there, when James talks about God giving more grace to the humble, he is quoting Cousin Sol in Proverbs 3:34. 

Now don’t think that James is done with his fellow believers or us. Not by a long shot! He’s now getting into the parts that we so badly need, as he strongly advises: ‘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 my fellow saints, I don’t think we can get a better prescription than that for what currently ails us nuh! First off, we must submit ourselves to God, who’s response is always positive and welcoming towards us. Then He will give us the grace and strength to resist Satan. Not to fear or flee from him, but to stand strong against him. And per the cleansing of our hands and hearts, that means our lives need to be cleansed ‘both by outward deeds and inner thoughts.’ 

And on that subject, the scholars give us this marvellous reference to Psalm 24. ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity (an idol), nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.’ (Ps. 24:3-5) 

Yes friends, when we come before the Lord with true confession and repentance, He will gladly lift us up. So, for those of us who are sincerely trying to live for Him in these perilous and ungodly times, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether 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!’ 

Now, let’s not forget that if we endure to the very end, that future with Jesus is going to be even more glorious than we can even ask or imagine! Wow! So, let’s use that as encouragement to keep on keeping on to the very end nuh! Much LOVE!

…it’s possibly easier to serve Satan than God…but the benefits of God far outweigh those of Satan… 

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