Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 November 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:2.

1 Thessalonians 5:2.       For ourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

And then it was Wednesday…already, I complain. (smile) Yes, but it’s a beautiful day in my neighbourhood; with bright sunshine, you can even feel a dash of heat from the glowing orb, no snow and temps around 7 Celsius. For this time of year, around here that’s gorgeous weather. So, let’s do like the psalmist did and declare out loud: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Yes friends, we had better enjoy this day the Lord has given us, for who knows if we’ll ever see another one. Remember, God’s mercies and compassions are new every day, like fresh bread, He gives them to us for our enjoyment. So let’s show some gratitude and appreciation by enjoying them nuh. 

And yesterday we were talking about a very important topic in the believer’s life; that of being ready for whenever Jesus returns, which to all intents and purposes will be sudden and unexpected. Please don’t laugh, it’s no joking matter, like some people think it is, because if you’re not ready when He returns, you will be left behind to suffer all the evils and persecutions of the Great Tribulation. And who wants to really suffer those indignities eh, when we can go home with Jesus in the Rapture of the church. 

But that means we have to be ready and waiting in faith whenever He returns for His bride, the church. And there are a few other scriptures we ought to look at, besides those we studied yesterday. First of all, there is the parable of the unfaithful servant (Matt. 24:45-51) who was abusing his authority in his master’s absence, when the master suddenly returned home unexpectedly and caught him red-handed. And Jesus ends that parable by declaring (steups!!!): ‘there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ And so there shall be when He returns and many are not ready. 

Then there is the parable of the ten virgins: (Matt. 25:1-13) five who were smart and took oil for their lamps to wait for the bridegroom’s coming to meet his bride, and five foolish who took no oil, and eventually got locked out of the ceremony when the bridegroom came late, and they had gone looking for oil for their lamps. And friends, Jesus ends that parable with this warning again. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 25:13) 

Now just in case you didn’t get Christ’s warning, then please check out chapter 5 of Bruh Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, where he writes: ‘For ourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess. 5:2) Jesus also issued that warning, though in a slightly different way when talking about the thief coming at an unexpected time to rob the master’s house. ‘Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:44) 

Then Bruh Paul goes on to warn the Thessalonians: ‘For when they shall say, Peace and safety (slogans of the Roman Empire); then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail (labour pains) upon a woman with child (a pregnant woman); and they shall not escape. But ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as ye also do (are already doing.’ (1 Thess. 5:3-11) 

Wow! What a momentous passage of scripture my fellow believers! It’s educational, encouraging, comforting and a serious warning, all at the same time. And that warning still holds good for us today, possibly more so than back then since Jesus hasn’t returned yet and can do so at ANY TIME; day or night, today, tomorrow…or even a hundred or a thousand years from now! But return He will! And it is certainly time for us, the supposed children of light to awaken from our lethargy and get ourselves ready for Jesus’ return. 

Meanwhile, the scholars explain that ‘The day of the Lord is an all-encompassing term to describe the period that begins with the Great Tribulation, and includes the second coming of Christ, and the millennial kingdom.’ So, there’s plenty stuff that’s coming, but exactly when, no one but the Father knows, that’s why we have to be in a state of constant preparedness! 

Then there’s this last scripture which Jesus relates to John in the Book of Revelation. ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15) That’s ‘an exhortation to the surviving believers after the last great war, Armageddon, to be watchful and alert, and to remain faithful and loyal to Christ during a time of intense persecution. To have garments rather than be naked, relates to spiritual preparedness.’ 

Yes my fellow saints, from today, right down to when Jesus actually sets up His millennial kingdom, we must remain spiritually prepared. And for those of us attempting to do that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail. 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!’ 

And believe me, if we endure right down to the end with Christ, then that future will be even more glorious than we can either ask or imagine. Now that’s good encouragement to keep us living for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…a lot of the believer’s time…should be taken up with…watching and praying…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 March 2022 Isaiah 26:3.

Isaiah 26:3.     Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee, because he trusteth in thee. 

Now is it ever bright and sunshiny this Ash Wednesday morning! We could not ask for anything better…well, perhaps no snow on the banks, (smile) although we expect some warmer temps and rain in the next couple of days, which hopefully will melt and wash most of it away. Brother, I’ve never seen such a confused mixture of snow and rain in a winter season yet. But if that’s the way Mother Nature chooses to behave these days, then there’s nothing much we can do, except grin and bear it. 

Anyway, all the frolic, the carnival and bacchanal is done now, and it’s time to get serious about life and about Jesus. The Lenten Season is here, which means a time of praying, fasting, studying God’s word, being more generous and treating each other better! And I guess the Lord knew why He had me ask yesterday about the keeping of our New Year’s resolution, because all those things back there are an integral part of not only Lent, but also of getting closer, becoming involved in a deeper and more intimate relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And do we ever desperately need that in this ungodly, strife-filled, angry and greedy world! And I just saw a scripture that admirably describes our current plight. The prophet Isaiah said of his people Israel in his hymn of praise, a prophecy of the redemption song that will be sung in the Millennial Kingdom, when Christ finally comes to reign for a thousand years. ‘O Lord our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us, but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.’ (Is. 26:13) 

And is that ever the gospel truth my people! We have allowed the evil and wicked idols and images to capture our lives and turn us away from the One and Only True God Jehovah! That’s why our lives and our world is in such a terrible mess. But as Isaiah continues: ‘They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore thou hast visited (punished) and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.’ (Is. 26:14) 

Yes friends, the Lord is the process of destroying the false gods and evildoers. He began with the coming of Jesus, that first time two thousand years ago, where He was the first and only deity to die and rise from the grave, and live forever. And the Lord will continue that cleansing of evil from His world with the Second Coming of Christ. And though we might desire the evil and iniquity workers to be gone immediately, in God’s divine wisdom, He’s made it a long, drawn out process, and we can only do as He directs, and trust in His promises and faithfulness. 

And to encourage his people, as well as subsequent believers, Isaiah, in the early part of his hymn of praise, also made this promise on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.’ (Is. 26:3-4) 

Oh my fellow saints, the Lord God Jehovah is indeed our ‘Rock of Ages,’ upon whom we ought to place all our trust and faith, to whom we surrender ourselves completely, to live for His Son Jesus, so that we can be amongst those singing that redemption song in the Millennial Kingdom, helping to run it with Jesus. 

And the scholars offer some interesting explanations of those verses. They say that ‘the emphatic expression in the promise of perfect peace (shalom), indicates a peace that goes beyond human comprehension (cf. Phil. 4:7). To have one’s mind…stayed means to lean on God in total confidence and security. Trust is the ultimate expression of that confidence. Notice that the object of one’s faith is as important as the act of trust. Here the object of faith is the Lord Jehovah.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, it’s equally important not only that we trust, but also in whom we trust. And if we want to end up in the Millennial Kingdom and see that perfect peace, we need to trust in Jehovah God, and Him ONLY, because He is the ONLY ONE that can provide the shalom we all claim to seek. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Bruh Paul as he spoke to the church at Philippi. ‘Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) 

That says it all friends! If we need that perfect peace, that shalom, then the only way to get it is to believe in, surrender to, live for, and trust in Christ Jesus! Otherwise we will always be filled with doubt, distrust and turmoil. And there’s absolutely no doubt that right now we desperately need the peace of Jesus, that passeth all understanding, since none of us can really understand the myriad of sad and unbelievable things that are currently happening in our world. Let me say it once more: It’s only through belief and trust in Christ Jesus that we will ever find some semblance of true peace in this evil world. 

And Jesus said it so clearly on two occasions during His earthly sojourn: The first one goes thus: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) So you clearly see that the peace found in Jesus Christ is not anything like the peace supposedly found in the world. It’s a spiritual kind of peace that operates at a much higher level than that of the world. 

And in the second passage Jesus says: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Now it’s up to us to believe that God is real and that His promises are faithful! And for those of us who believe that God is real, because we can feel Him deep in our soul, let’s go home joyfully declaring (yeah!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong and confident voice. ‘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 as always, we need to remember that if we endure to the end, that that future with Jesus will be even more glorious than we ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…shalom…shalom…the perfect peace…that’s only found in Jesus… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8