Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2021 2 Corinthians 3:5.

2 Corinthians 3:5.     ​Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

Another merry-go-round Monday friends! It’s amazing how quickly the days are passing by although we are immersed in so much conflict and sickness. And it’s so sad that many of us don’t know whether we are coming or going, with our lives all confused and topsy-turvy, with no plausible ending currently in sight. But as positive and serious believers in Christ Jesus, we are expected to hold on tightly to Him and ride out the storm with His lead and guidance. Remember His teaching re the vine and the branches? 

‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) That’s putting it very clearly and straightforward friends! Without Christ, our abilities are very limited. But with Him, we can do all things, because He strengthens us. Glory be! 

And Bruh Paul corroborates Christ’s statement when he says to the church at Corinth: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) Now that’s exactly why we need to hold on to Christ and His faithful promises, especially in times of indecision and crisis like we’re now experiencing. And we know that many of our problems stem from our own mistakes, by our terrible inhumanity and critical lack of compassion for our fellow man, as we allowed the evil and negative aspects of the world, the lusts of the flesh, as it were, to take control of our society. 

We’re talking about the same things that Bruh Paul so long ago advised the Galatians against. ‘Adultery, fornication, uncleanness (sexual impurity), lasciviousness (sexual excess), Idolatry, witchcraft (sorcery), hatred, variance (contentions), emulations (jealousies), wrath, strife (selfish ambitions), seditions (dissensions), heresies (organized divisions or cliques), Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (excessive eating and carousing) and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ (Gal. 5:19-21) 

So, basically, most of our problems stem from those things being too prevalent in our modern-day world. We lack what Bruh Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit. And here’s how he explains it to the Galatians. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (it’s passions).’ (Gal. 5:22-24) 

And the scholars offer this basic explanation. ‘5:19-23. By contrasting the works of the flesh (vs. 19-21) with the fruit of the Spirit (vs. 22-23), the believer can know whether he is walking by the Spirit or being controlled by the flesh.’ And there’s no doubt that too many human beings are currently walking in the lusts of the flesh and not in the fruit of the Spirit, thus the ghastly and grievous situation that now exists in our world. 

Now, here’s another important scholarly explanation, I think I ought to mention. ‘5:22. The word fruit is significant for three reasons. (1) It means the result, product, outcome, or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have ALL nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular) (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the Spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight.’ That’s an important distinction we need to note between the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ and the ‘gifts of the Spirit,’ One is singular and the other is plural. 

And just for good measure, (smile) I’ll throw in some more scholarly explanations, this time in a little more detail, re the fruit of the Spirit. ‘LOVE is willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury. Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration of one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

So now, we can’t say we didn’t know what the fruit of the Spirit is, (smile) which brings us to these closing words of Bruh Paul on the subject. ‘If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal. 5:25) That means, since we are supposed to live by the Spirit as believers, let us really follow the leadings and promptings of the Spirit in our lives.

 Finally, let’s go home pleading in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, for God’s mercy and grace on our current untenable situation. As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out and seriously and sincerely live by the Spirit, if we want to see substantial change in our world. Much LOVE!

…only by sticking close to Christ…like white on rice…can we crucify…the inherent lusts of the flesh… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 August 2016 Isaiah 35:4.

Isaiah 35:4.  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.

Well a good Saturday morning to all you wonderful believers out there in LOVELAND! (smile) Yes friends, by the time we are finished with this world it will indeed be a land of LOVE, per Jesus and His LOVE Revolution! 

But you know what? To achieve that glorious aim, we, His foot soldiers have to truly be sincere and diligent and without further delay, seize the bull by the horns and just keep spreading the good news of His LOVE all over the universe! That’s the only way to ensure that the world is won for Christ!

Now it is indeed a tough situation to handle, what with Lucifer and all his evil minions also fighting for world superiority and supremacy, but look at what the handful of original disciples did with nothing but P2 (walking) and word of mouth.

It’s obvious therefore that with all the new technology available to us now, we can do umpteen times better than them! We just have to make up our minds to do it, then get on our horses and ride… (smile) 

And the wonderful thing is that nowadays you don’t have to even send out as many as missionaries as before, though they are still necessary, because a lot of the work can be done right where you are through the wonderful communications network we now possess.

So please, my brethren, let’s get really serious about spreading the LOVE of Christ nuh. Remember it’s our bounden duty, per the Great Commission. (Matt.28:19-20)  

Now let’s turn to some interesting words from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. And in his first statement today, he seriously and wisely declares.

‘Do not let another human decide whether you are going to have a positive or negative day. You’re in charge of that decision, so make the decision to have a positive day regardless of how other people try to steer you in the negative direction.’ 

Ah friends, what awesome words of wisdom! We all know the controlling temperament that is predominant in today’s world, but as true believers, and strong individuals, we cannot afford to let others control us. Christ wants us to go in a positive direction, and that’s how we must go, regardless of what others think, say or do. We must make up our own minds. 

And the second quote from our wise friend Anselm, is even wiser than the previous one. Listen up; it’s titled “Life is how we view it.” And it asks these rather important questions. 

‘In your life, do you focus on those who have more than you or those who are less fortunate than you? Do you focus on how bad your job is or that you have a job? Do you focus on the smallness of your closet and house, or do you see that you have so many clothes you don’t have room to store them?

What eye are you looking out of? If you want the world to look differently, it may be easier for you to open the other eye than to paint the world.’ 

Well my people, I do hope that our answer to each question was the second half and not the first, because the first means we are too world oriented, with big eyes (greedy and jealous), allowing the lusts of the flesh to control us. And sadly, under those circumstances it’s not conducive to work sincerely for Jesus.

So please let’s ponder our situations, re that quote above, and make sure that we bring our focus into line with that of Jesus, seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, after which all those other things will be granted to us. (Matt.6:33) 

And before we run out of space and time, let’s turn to our awesome Bit for the last time. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’  

Oh my fellow believers, that one sentence is packed with so much encouragement, reassurance and promise, that if we truly believe it, there’s nothing in this evil, ungodly world that will faze us or make us fearful!

And why is that? Because it’s the solemn and faithful promise of our omnipotent God, the Creator of the universe and all therein, who never makes idle promises,  and furthermore, He has the power to make each and every one come true. 

Now listen to an example of the great power invoked in a promise, it concerns the strengthening of Daniel to receive his vision by the great river. “Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong.

And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.’ (Dan.10:18-19) What awesome power eh friends! And only the Lord God Jehovah, our wise and great God has it! 

And we’ll close with some more awesome words, from the song of praise by the redeemed. Hear Isaiah tell it like it is. ‘He will swallow up death in victory (forever); and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is.25:8-9) 

Yes friends, that is the wonderful God that we worship! Therefore there is no need to be afraid or anxious for anything, because He will always look out for us, once we remain under the safe and protective umbrella of His everlasting wings! Much LOVE!

…all glory and honour be to the LIVING GOD…omnipotent…omniscient…and omnipresent…there’s none other like Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2016 Psalm 79:9

Psalm 79:9.   Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away (provide atonement for) our sins, for thy name’s sake.

Well friends, it was just one of those days; one of those interesting, divinely blessed days when everything just seems to go right! Glory to God! Oh, there were a few hiccups, a few bumps along the way, but none too serious to overcome or simply absorb. (smile)  

Yes precious people, yesterday was indeed a good day in the ole fella’s life; busy, but not frustratingly so. And it’s strange that those sort of days simply morph into real late nights, or very early mornings. For as Willie Shakespeare was won’t to say; to go to bed late is to be up early. 

And I had to chuckle when I heard the birds chirping their early morning songs of praise as I was going to bed this morning. Now that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it! (smile) 

But I’m sure you all don’t really care because it’s Friday, and I can hear all the hoopla about ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! The weekend has finally come and we going to live it up as much as possible! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

Ah mih breddren, that is the wrong attitude to have towards the weekend. It’s not just for play, as so many of us seem to believe, but for a combination of things, including rest and renewal for the following week. 

And to help us better understand the purpose of the weekend, let’s chant our Friday Chant, which lays out a more positive, sensible and Christ-like path. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Now that sounds more like the right way to use the weekend, not simply for partying and satisfying the lusts of the flesh! 

That brings us to our Bit, which is certainly an interesting verse of scripture. ‘Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away (provide atonement for) our sins, for thy name’s sake.’ 

Here, the psalmist Asaph, in his prayer for the destruction of heathen enemies, pleads for God’s intercession on the basis of glorifying His holy name. And he continues in the same vein. ‘Wherefore should the heathen (nations, gentiles) say, Where is their God? Let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging (avenging) of the blood of thy servants which is shed.’ 

And before we go any further, let’s check out the scholar’s take on Psalm 79. ‘Psalm 79. A companion poem to Psalm 74, this psalm laments the destruction of Jerusalem at the time of the Babylonian captivity. The psalm has two distinct parts: expression of the lament to God (vv.1-5) and petition to God for deliverance of His people and retribution on their enemies. (vv.6-13) 

Three motives for God to act are cited: the misery God’s people are experiencing (vv.1-4) the tender mercies of God Himself (v.8), and the humiliation brought to his name (v.10) Unlike Psalm 137, which seems to have been written during the Captivity, this psalm was apparently written by eyewitnesses of the desolation of Jerusalem.’ 

How typical eh friends, that after the wanton sinfulness of Israel, in the time of their comeuppance, they cry out to God for mercy, redemption and revenge. And they boldface enough to use the non-glorification, the humiliation of God’s name as an excuse for His intervention. 

But at least the Israelites recognized the existence and power of the heavenly Father, even though somewhat late. However, today, although we are in the same basic plight as the Israelites, undergoing much ‘sufferation,’ we won’t even acknowledge His existence – or rather we acknowledge it, by trying to remove Him from our society. 

Foolishly, unlike the Israelites, we figure He is of no earthly use to us. Instead of repenting and crying out to Him for help, since He’s the Creator and Controller of the universe and everything therein, we shun, make fun of, abuse His holy name and relegate Him to the backwaters of our society. 

That’s a fool’s wisdom, my brethren! And there certainly are a lot of fools walking around in this evil and ungodly world! 

Hopefully, if you are reading this, you are not one of them. Or better yet, if you are one of those unwise people, you will see the error of your ways and repent and come back home to Jesus, where you rightfully belong. 

And there’s no need to fear returning to His fold, for He will not berate or castigate you, but welcome you with open arms, showering you with LOVE and tenderness, just like Jesus talked about in the parable of the Prodigal Son. 

Oh my people, it’s about time we see the lack of wisdom in our sinful, lustful, materialistic behaviour, the futility of trying to erase God from our lives, for He is the One who gives us the very breath of life. 

Without Him, His LOVE, forgiveness, mercy, blessings and grace, we are nothing. Let us please remember that and start behaving like the children of God that we are, and not the offspring of the fool Lucifer, as our society is currently reflecting. For turning to God, is indeed the wisdom of all the ages. Much LOVE!

…even in our most sinful state…crying out to God for mercy and forgiveness…is undoubtedly…the wisest thing to do…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2014 Proverbs 22:13

Proverbs 22:13. The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.

Aye my beautiful Scrip-Bit people, our nemesis Monday is here! And the ‘steupsing’ and the ‘chuhing’ along with the moaning, groaning and complaining begin. (smile)

Yeh mih breddren, I know it’s hard to get up and get going this Monday morning after either a lazy and languishing or too busy partying weekend. But do it we must. And the bigger the positive spin we put on those dreaded circumstances, the easier we’ll be able to handle them.

And the best positive spin to put on ANYTHING is prayer! Consequently, let’s get the day going by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with a true sense of purpose. Let’s reach deep down into our very souls and raise up the dormant enthusiasm and will that’s buried there.

Altogether now, in strong voice and beautiful harmony. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’

Now that was good Friends, very good! So good that it evoked a rousing cheer from the hosts of heaven, including Jesus. Yuh see what we can do when we put our minds to it! And if we can dredge up such strength and power when we’re at low ebb, just imagine the challenges we can meet and conquer, with God’s help obviously, when we are truly feeling our oats! (smile)

That’s why, to be true believers, we need to be the exact opposite of today’s Bit. ‘The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.’

That’s utter nonsense my people! But it just goes to show how low we can sink to get out of work. As the scholars say: ’22:13. The slothful man uses preposterous excuses to avoid work.’

And that’s no lie! Far too many of us in today’s leisure and pleasure driven society, have a serious apathy towards work, and will do whatever is necessary to avoid or get out of it. But we still desire to live high on the hog though. But let’s remember some of Bruh Paul’s fateful and very relevant words on the subject.

Listen to this rather sage advice in his second letter to them. ‘For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.’ (2 Thess.3:10-12)

And the scholars tell us: ‘3:10-12. Paul expounds his simple and straightforward work ethic; if a person will not work, he should not eat. The Thessalonians’ diversion encouraged their meddlesome ways, demonstrating that “idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.”

Gospel truth that, my Friends!

And in Bruh Paul’s first missive to the Thessalonians he reminds them: ‘For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail (toil): for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable (a burden) unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.’ (1 Thess.2:9)

Yes Friends, he tried to practice what he preached, actively working wherever he went, so he wouldn’t be a burden on his hosts.

And I like this bit of advice to the Ephesians. ‘Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.’ (Eph.4:28)

Ah mih people, unfortunately, the exact opposite seems to be the norm these days, for theft, fraud and other deceitful measures are rampant in blatant form, instead of being on the wane. However, as good Christian soldiers, we need to labour honestly; put in a fair day’s labor, hopefully for a fair day’s wage.

But sadly, even that is being seriously compromised in these unsavoury, rough economic times, because  far too many employees are shirking their lawful duties, and too many employers are trying to get lots on work done for too little pay, thus the very negative and unhealthy atmosphere in the workplace.

And we’ll close with an interesting piece of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘He that laboureth, laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him (his hungry mouth drives him on).’ (Prov.16:26)

Please let’s take that to heart my people, and allow the cravings of our mouth to lead us to work. But please note, we need to do so within reason, not overdoing it, by having the lusts of the flesh drive us, through greed and ‘gravaliciousness’ to overwork, for one extreme is just as bad as the other. Much LOVE!

…as the old people were wont to say…hard work never kill anybody yet…but laziness and sloth has…