Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 November 2016 2 Timothy 3:17.

2 Timothy 3:17.    That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.

Ah friends, that wonderful day called Sunday, the Lord’s Sabbath, has rolled around once more! It’s a day of rest and relaxation, but more importantly one also of worship and fellowship amongst Christians. 

That means, if we are able, we ought to get together with other believers in Jesus Christ to sing and offer praise and thanksgiving for His goodness to us, to listen to His word, as well as receive encouragement and strength to face the upcoming week. 

Now let’s begin with a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips, by singing the inspirational hymn, ‘The Church is One Foundation.’ With sincere enthusiasm and passion friends: ‘The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord; she is his new creation by water and the Word. From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride; with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died. 

Elect 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. Though with a scornful wonder the world sees her 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: O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we like them, the meek and lowly, may live eternally.’  

Glory to God my people for such a wonderful worship song, written way back at the end of the 19th century by the British pastor Samuel J. Stone! And over a century later, it’s still a worship favourite. I wonder if the songs we’ve recently penned will be sung so victoriously a century from now eh? Who knows? That’s even if the world is still around the way we know it. 

But regardless of what exists then, right now we have to go back to our Bit of a few days ago. I fully intended to continue it on Friday, but that was Remembrance Day, and the other Bit about a man laying down his life for his friend, just fit better. Then yesterday, the scripture about the true light, also seemed to be a better fit, per the direction in which I was being led. (smile) 

So let’s refresh our memories a tad with the verse before our Bit. ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.’ (2 Tim.3:16) And we said that the Bible was God’s guidebook to us for earthly righteous living, and though it was physically written by men, it was authored by God, through His divine inspiration. 

And our Bit tells us of the very important reason why the Lord authored it. ‘That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ And the scholars told us that ‘God’s inspired Word, properly used and applied provides all we need for life and ministry.’ 

Glory Hallelujah my people! We don’t need anything else to live this life proficiently, capably, righteously than God’s Book of Answers! 

Now let’s check out some scriptures on the subject. Listen to Bruh Paul admonish Timothy in his earlier letter. After talking about the LOVE of money being the root of all kinds of evil, and how some have ruined themselves through covetousness, Bruh Paul tells him. 

‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the Good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12)  

Oh friends, all of that also applies to us today, if we want to be considered a man or woman of God! 

And the scholars offer these interesting explanations. ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a LOVE for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to, God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’ 

There we have it my brethren; a chart against which we can measure our progress and success in being a true man, or woman of God. 

And the scholars continue: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Yes friends, those few words do say a lot about our Christian faith, and I think it’s a good time for us to take stock of our personal faith, or maturity, whether we’re making any progress or not. So let’s take a few moments sometime today, find a quiet spot and see how we measure up against those standards of righteousness nuh.  

Let’s see if we are truly fighting the good fight, really involved in the spiritual warfare; see how we doing with shunning the LOVE of money and the material things of the world. Let’s check to see if our faith is as strong as it ought to be, if we’re persevering and steadfast and gentle…and all the other righteous attitudes and capabilities we need to live a Christ-like life, for that’s supposed to be our earthly goal. 

And as always, wherever we find ourselves lacking, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and confidently ask for His always available help. Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s life is not an easy go…but the adventure involved is worth it…and the rewards at the end are truly phenomenal…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 September 2015 Ephesians 2:4

Ephesians 2:4.    But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.

Aye mih Christian breddren, it’s that most wonderful day we call Sunday, when most of us celebrate the Lord’s Sabbath!  It’s supposed to be a day of peace and rest and preparation for the upcoming week. But it also means that we ought to be heading out to the Lord’s sanctuary to meet and greet fellow believers and sing and dance and shout joyfully, and give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father, our Creator and generous Provider!  

It’s called regeneration of our spirit!  So let’s not dilly dally and come up with all sorts of feeble excuses not to go eh. Let’s get ourselves off to church! 

And to buoy that directive, we have a rather pertinent quote from (Henry) Havelock Ellis, (1859-1939), an English physician, writer, progressive intellectual, social reformer and student of human sexuality. Hn! Havelock was really into life sir! (smile) Anyhow, he is reputed to have said that ‘No faith is our own that we have not arduously won.’ 

And that my people has a whole lot of truth in it, because as my One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness points out: ‘Everything that touches our lives influences our level of trust and spirituality.’ 

We are all fragile and emotional humans, so there will obviously be times when our faith rises and falls due to the circumstances that surround us. We all have rough times when doubts tend to creep in, especially when we lose things or people that we always expected to be around. 

But, as my One More Day Daily Meditations further reminds us: ‘We can begin to regain that faith by remembering that our Higher Power is constant, even when our faith is not. We humans fluctuate between doubt and trust, but that doesn’t diminish the care that is always available to us. We need only surrender to that truth, and we find comfort.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth Friends! Our God is totally constant; the same yesterday, today and forever! Like the rock of ages, He’s always there ready to help and comfort us! But we have to come to Him to get that peace and comfort and renewal of faith. And that’s where so many of us fall down, because of foolish pride, self-pity or whatever, we refuse to come to God for succour. 

But here again, the Daily Meditations reminds us that: ‘My faith – in myself and in my Higher Power – is built upon my awareness that I don’t have to struggle alone. I am strengthened when I admit to my spiritual needs.’ 

More indisputable truth Friends! There is absolutely no need for us to struggle alone when we have our heavenly Father always there to comfort and care for us.  

Oh Friends, by refusing to go to God in faith and trust, we are only making our lives much more difficult than is really necessary. When we have a Bit like ours, we’re supposed to be running to God, not away from Him. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’  

Yuh hear that mih people, our God is rich in mercy and has such a great LOVE for us! We should be embracing that fact with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls; just wallowing in His mercy and LOVE, instead of ignoring it, or just being lukewarm towards it. Remember how Jesus promised to spew out the Laodicean church because they were only lukewarm?  (Rev.3:14-16) Well it’s the same thing He’s liable to do with us, if we’re not enthused about Him and all that He stands for. 

Now today I want to look at some scriptures that corroborate our Bit. And we’ll begin with these immortal words of Jesus that every believer ought to know. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Tell me people, after hearing those words from Jesus, and then seeing Him fulfill the act of saving us by sacrificing Himself on the cross of Calvary, how could we not believe the Father’s great LOVE eh? I just can’t understand it. 

Now listen to Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due (at the right) time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:6-8) 

Oh Friends, how can we even think about doubting God’s great LOVE for us after all of that eh? Chuh! 

And the scholars’ words on that last verse might bring home the situation to us more forcefully. ‘5:8. Christ died for us: His death was vicarious. That is, He did not die merely for our benefit but in our place. His was a substitutionary sacrifice.’ 

Yeh mih people, we should have been the ones dying, but Christ died in our place. Doesn’t that make you feel grateful and appreciative? It should, because the Good Book says that the wages of sin is death. (Rom.6:23a) That means, we, the abominable sinners, are the ones who should be dying, not Jesus. But in God’s great LOVE for us, He placed all our sins on Jesus and had Him pay our sin debt in full. Oh glory to God! 

So my brethren, if we doubt anything at all, which we shouldn’t, please DON’T EVER DOUBT Jehovah God’s amazing LOVE for us, His most wonderful, but also most ungrateful creation! 

And we’ll end with these powerful and true words of Jesus. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15:13). Then He went out and laid down His holy and sinless life for His friends. 

What more can I say eh? Not a whole lot. I can only ask, are you Jesus’ Friend?  Much LOVE!

…and Jesus’ definition of friends…ye are my friends…if ye do whatsoever I command you… (John 15:14)