Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2021 Romans 8:31.

Romans 8:31.     ​What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Oh chuh friends! Late risings and early morning chores certainly inhibit the doing of the Lord’s work yes! (smile) But what to do eh, better late than never on this snowy Tuesday morning. 

We can’t complain because we have not seen any real precipitation of any kind for a while now, so the white that’s beginning to cover the ground is a nice change from the dark, damp days we’ve recently been having, except for the few cold and sunny ones last week. 

Hope you can figure that one out. (smile) And thank the Lord I don’t have to go out in it! But whatever we have, nice or not, we still give our wonderful God much thanks because we know He’s promised to work everything out, both good and bad for our benefit if we keep LOVING, trusting and being faithful and obedient to Him! Glory to His precious name my brethren! 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to this mighty piece of scripture that details it all. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) 

And according to the scholars’ explanation. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15). To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.” 

But we just got started with the whole contextual thing: ‘For whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.’ (Rom. 8:29) Yes friends, this foreknowing is a strong sense of knowing and being known, not merely an acquaintance kind of knowing! (smile) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘8:29. Foreknowledge is God’s determination from eternity to bring certain ones into a special relationship with Himself (see also 11:2). Predestinate: See Ephesians 1:5. (To mark off or choose before. God chooses those He knows will participate in His plan of salvation and extends it to all who respond in faith). 

To be conformed to the image of his Son: The goal of predestination is not to send some to hell and some to heaven, but is the believer’s glorification, to make every Christian increasingly more like His Son.’ 

Glory be mih people! As Bruh Paul said to the Corinthians: ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’

Oh fellow saints of God, unlike Moses’ who had to put a veil over his face when the Lord’s glory shone through Him (2 Cor. 3:13) but which glory eventually faded, ‘under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ That means it’s a gradual process, so we have to keep on trusting and being faithful right to the very end. 

But getting back to our original topic, Bruh Paul declares (yeah!) ‘Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.’ (Rom. 8:30)Wow! What wonderful news! ‘Predestinated, called, justified, glorified!’ Brother only our wonderful God can make those things happen! 

As the scholars explain: ‘8:30. Called: The calling of 8:28 is pretemporal; it occurred before the creation of the world (Eph. 1:4). The calling here is temporal and refers to the effectual communication of the gospel, resulting in salvation. Justified: See 3:24. (And that says being justified means being declared righteous, signifies the believer’s judicial standing before God). 

Glorified: Glorification is God’s doing. While God’s foreknowledge and predestination take place in eternity, and while God’s calling and justification are realized in history, God’s glorifying is yet future. It is as certain, however, as the previous works. Hence glorified is in the past tense. From God’s point of view it is already accomplished.’ 

Oh Mama, Mama! How great is our God eh? What assurance we have, that although something, our glorifying, is not done yet, He talks of it in past tense, as though it has already been done! So how can we not LOVE and obey and trust and surrender our ALL to Him eh? I just can’t understand it. 

Consequently, as Bruh Paul continues: ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Rom. 8:31) And the loud and clear answer to that my precious people of God is ‘NOBODY! NOT A SINGLE SOUL!’ And you ask a doubting why? 

Bruh Paul also gives us the answer. ‘He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom. 8:32) Yes people, that makes mucho sense! If God gave up His sinless Son to save sinners, why would He then refuse to help us in time of need eh? No reason whatsoever! 

No wonder, Job in all his adversity could calmly and stoically proclaim: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain (defend) mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him. Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.’ (Job 13:15-17) 

Powerful words of faith friends! But are we able to proclaim such words ourselves? Now that’s the ultimate question. But if we consider ourselves true and faithful believers, we should be able to declare (yesss!) them without a pause or doubt in our minds and speech. 

So let’s consider all that we’ve said today nuh…I know it’s plenty, but at this stage of our spiritual journey we should be eating meat and spuds, not still drinking milk, (smile) and thus be able to digest more scriptural technicalities and meanings than when we first came to Christ. 

Anyway, it’s all in the reading and learning and doing and persevering that we mature, and are raised from glory to glory; a lifelong process. So if you don’t get it all now, just keep on keeping on and eventually you will get it. That’s the Lord’s promise! 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to keep on keeping on, let’s go home now declaring (oh yes! – three times I got it right today, on the first try) (big grin) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know WHO and WHOSE we are. 

In strong voice, as one now: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

And it follows that our task is to now go out and share Christ’s LOVE and friendship with others, as He so greatly desires! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him….no doubt about it…

P.S. Yes, it’s long and late…but sweet! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
 

Well just imagine that nuh; no goat races this Easter Tuesday in Buccoo in sweet Tobago! It almost amounts to sacrilege! (smile) I don’t think that those races have been cancelled more than a handful of times ever since I was growing up there in Tobago. But today, the stadium – the only one in the world I believe that was built specifically for goat races will be empty, and no setta parties with loud music and plenty dancing will grace the beautiful seaside village of Buccoo, on this the most important day of their year. 

But what to do eh? Coronavirus has spoken: ‘thou shalt be locked down, if thou wantest to prevent my worldwide spread and ghastly destruction!’ And so, what worldwide war has not been able to do; a tiny, but rather deadly and virulent virus has succeeded in doing; shutting down the world! But friends, let us never forget that the Creator and Controller of this wonderful universe is still sitting on His heavenly throne running things, and thus this virus business will end eventually, but in His time, because He has a purpose for allowing it. 

So we just have to believe and have faith and carry on as necessary until then, for this too shall pass, as so many other disasters have, it’s just a matter of time. And to help us do that, here is an encouraging poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled, ‘My Personal Rainbow!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, right now I struggle with clutching fear. Waves of agony pour over me as I face the darkest moments In my life’s history. But my conviction still stands firm: You are my God!’ (Glory Hallelujah my people!) ‘And though I cannot predict my future Or even tomorrow I am sustained by the reminder That the longest storm The world has ever known… And the worst… Came to an end one clear-sky morning. It was true for Noah It will be true for me. Though as yet I see no deliverance I watch I wait I expect My personal rainbow!’ 

Mama oh Mama! And do we ever believe and expect to see that beautiful rainbow with it’s wonderful pot of gold at its end! Why, you ask? The answer’s simple: because the Lord God Almighty promised it, and He does not renege on His promises. They have ALL been faithfully executed since the beginning of time and will continue to be faithfully executed… until the end of time! And there’s no doubt about that because He has said so unequivocally in His Word. ‘And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ 

And if you don’t believe that, then you don’t LOVE God, and you’re not called according to His purpose! Simple as that! And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working ALL things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15). To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.” 

That’s why, as true believers, in these most trying and fearful times, we are not afraid. Yes, we are concerned, and we do pay strict attention to the rules, but fear does not take us over and make us like jelly – flapping and flubbing around uselessly. And that’s also because our great ‘God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE (His most significant attribute), and of a sound mind (discipline and self-control).’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

And with all of that solidly planted and growing in us friends, we need not be afraid of what will and can happen to us, but are able to take it all in stride as we lean and depend on the Lord, our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God to defend and protect us as He’s faithfully promised to do. Consequently, as Bruh Paul continued to Timothy: ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou (a) partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (before time).’ (2 Tim. 1:8-9) 

Yes friends, God has called and saved us with a salvation through Christ that we definitely did not deserve, but did it for His own purpose; basically, His endearing, unconditional and everlasting LOVE for us! So if we truly believe, then we need to take up our cross and follow Christ, unashamedly, through all the afflictions of this life, knowing the wonderful reward of eternal life that awaits us. And if all of that doesn’t move you, or reduce your fears and anxiety, (smile) then listen to these other most reassuring verses from Psalm 37; Bruh David’s declaration on The true state of the wicked. 

‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass… 

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:1-5; 7-9) 

Brother! What wonderful advice! And the good thing about it all, is that Bruh David is not speaking from hearsay, but from personal experience! So for those of us who truly believe, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

The natural next step is now for us to go out and do just that – share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus. Much LOVE!

…man was made by God…to LOVE…and be LOVED…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2019 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called to his purpose.
 

All I can say this cold, wet and dark October morn is ‘Thank the Lord!’ The Canadian people have not completely fallen for the vague, insincere rhetoric of the Conservative Party in yesterday’s election. Yes, they did give the returning Liberal Party a minority government, but I sincerely believe, better the devil you know than the one you don’t, especially with the dictatorial, slash and burn Conservative government we already have here in the Province of Ontario! 

Can you imagine the bosom buddies Scheer and Ford in power at the same time? The Lord forbid! Anyhow, let’s be thankful for small mercies! And we’ll leave the political question right there, because I know there will be many varying opinions. I just wanted to give my two cents worth. (smile) 

Let’s turn instead to a much more important matter; God’s timing… And yes, it did play a part in the election because He still controls all that happens in His universe, but right now we’re talking about His timing in our personal lives. So we’ll begin with a word from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. 

He wisely advises: ‘Don’t try to rush God. Mountains don’t move overnight. Give God time to work His miracles. I have seen God dissolve resentments, resolve frustrations, fill lonely hearts with new LOVE, and wash away hurts like a new wave washes away scars on the sand scratched by children’s sticks. God can get you out of a rut, onto a new road, and over the mountain that seemed impassable, if you will be patient.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my believing brethren! I can attest to it from personal experience…no, personal experiences! (smile) Ah friends, so often I’ve tried to make things happen in my own strength and failed, then just leave them up to God and see them come through miraculously. So I’ve finally come to accept the fact that if it’s not happening when and how I want it to happen, to just leave it alone and let God do what he does best…run His business! 

Now it’s not an easy attitude to come by, but it surely is a smart one. And furthermore, what I always had problems with was God’s actual timing of His appearance; it was more last minute than first. But truthfully, so far I’ve NEVER seen Him arrive late! Glory to God! And I guess that is simply another method to test our faith and trust in Him. 

So if right now you’re in the heat of a situation that is driving you crazy, please do as Gramps Schuller says: ‘Be patient; God is working everything out. At the right time and in the right way everything will evolve beautifully.’ Yes sir, it will! As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called to his purpose.’  

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate the fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15) To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or the “elect.” 

And I’ll spoon-feed us (smile) with the reference to Job. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him.’ Job 13:15) Now that is a scripture verse that we all know and claim, but the problem is can we live up to that standard of unquenchable faith when the chips are down? When it seems like God has turned against us, can we still trust Him like Job did? 

Oh, I know it’s not easy when your world seems to be falling down all around you, to actually rest and wait in and on God. But with His help it is possible my people. And that’s when our faith is really tested and we see how strong it really is. Now here is some excellent advice from Isaiah, it’s something we also know, but have a hard time putting into action. 

‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40:28-30) 

Oh my people, what greater promise can we ask eh? But we also have a part to play in its coming true – be patient, wait on the Lord and His timing. That’s eternal wisdom! Now let’s go home declaring (yeah) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In strong, sincere voice:  ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ And the natural consequence is for us to now go out and action those statements. Much LOVE!

…the Lord’s timing is perfect…to those who wait patiently…in faith…and expectantly on it…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2016 Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28.   And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

Well a blessed day to all you my Scrip-Bit family and friends! And I know that some of us will be quick to say what’s so blessed about it eh? Just look at my circumstances, look at how I’m suffering and struggling. I certainly wouldn’t call that blessed. 

I understand that friends, but it’s all in our attitude toward those circumstances and struggles. Too many Christians expect to just have a nice smooth ride through life without any problems simply because they are followers of Christ. But it doesn’t work like that. Unfortunately, the greater our calling from God, ofttimes the greater the struggle in our lives. 

Look at all the great prophets, Bruh Joseph, Moses, Bruh David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Bruh Paul, and finally Jesus Christ Himself; they all went through many trials and much tribulation to accomplish their earthly goals. Jesus even warned us: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) 

And furthermore, the Lord uses these trials and struggles to test us, to build and grow our faith; to see if we truly believe and are willing to rely on Him and His promises. As Job, another righteous man who suffered great tribulation declared during his time of trial. ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ (Job 23:10) 

And the scholars have an interesting take on that verse. ’23:10. I shall come forth as gold: His friends maintained that Job was full of dross, but Job is confident that no dross, or sin, would be revealed in the fires of refinement.’ 

Yes friends, the Lord puts us through our paces like we put metals through fire to purify them. And believe me, when you go through some of those refining fires, you will come out as bright and beautiful and strong and faithful as gold! 

And we don’t even have to go to the Good Book to learn about struggles; listen to these quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. He says first: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And the corollary to that is; Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.’ 

Gospel truth all of that my fellow believers! That’s why so many of this young generation are so soft and sappy and whiny, because they have had most everything given to them by us doting parents. They never had to struggle or work hard for something, so therefore there is no real appreciation of anything they have or get. 

In their minds the world owes them a living. And that’s a big disservice we’ve done to them. No wonder most of them have no belly or backbone, and are quick to throw in the towel as soon as hard times show up. 

Oh my people, everybody goes through struggles and hard times, whether you’re rich, poor, black, white, Muslim, Jew, or whatever, but where we believers win out over the others is that we have the rich and faithful promises of our God to depend on. 

We know for instance that as Bruh Paul told the Corinthians in his first letter: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able to bear, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13)  

Yes my struggling and suffering fellow believers, our God promises never to give or allow us to bear more than we can handle and will either make a way out for us, or give us the wherewithal to endure it. He doesn’t always make us escape it, but more often than not He brings us safely through it. Another way to boost our faith and make us spiritually strong, more Christ-like, which is the basic goal for all believers. 

That brings us to our Bit, another crucial promise from our ever-faithful God. In the momentous words of Bruh Paul: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ 

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful promise! Only we Christians are assured that our omnipotent, ever-LOVING God will work out everything in our favour eventually, according to His timetable! It’s all a matter of faith, of belief, of patience and perseverance my people! 

And this is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15) To them who are called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.”  

And for those of us who want to know what Job 13:15 says but are too lazy to look it up, let me spoon feed you. (smile) Job defends his integrity before his condescending and self-righteous friends by declaring of God: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine (defend my) own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) Just thought I’d throw in verse 16 for good measure. (smile) 

And the scholars say of ’13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, in these godless, deceitful and evil times, that is the kind of faith we believers need to have, an unquenchable kind, if we’re going to see it through to a victorious end!  

And we’ll conclude with these fateful words of Jesus: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) Much LOVE!

…Christians have to understand that struggles are a part of human life…but we have the certain promise of victory in the end…to see us through life’s storms in the middle…