Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2020 Matthew 8:10.

Matthew 8:10.     ​Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

And on this bright Tuesday morning in late September of 2020, this turbulent and overwhelming year, I do hope friends that we are all bright and thankful and ever so grateful that we’ve made this morning’s wake up list! Glory Be! That means the Lord has more stuff for us to accomplish down here on this confusing and disaster filled earth, else He would have taken us home last night. 

Mama Mia! One of the best things we can do every day is to peruse the obituaries and give much thanks that our name doesn’t appear there. (smile) Oh, one day it will, but until then, we have a sacred responsibility to pursue, with diligence and excellence, whatever plan our Creator, Almighty God has purposed for our earthly lives! And one thing is for sure; our great and wonderful God NEVER gives us a task to do without the underlying anointing and grace to do it, and to do it properly too. 

That’s why we have to take the bull by the horns each and every day and work our work in His holy name. And though things will get difficult and heartbreaking at times, we cannot afford to sit down and let life pass us by, and then in our later years be filled with regrets and ‘I should haves.’ That’s why I believe these words of Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional are so important and encouraging for us today. 

This devotion is titled ‘A Life of Regrets.’ And in it, Gramps Schuller says: ‘Suppose you have a great idea, but having surrendered to fear of failure, you let the golden opportunity pass you by. You remain safe from embarrassment but now you are bored. Boredom doesn’t build self-esteem. What does boredom do? It gives you loads of time to think, “It might have worked.” To quote John Greenleaf Whittier: “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: “It might have been.” 

Yes friends, how often have we already said those sad words in our lives eh? Much too often, I believe. That’s why we can’t allow the fear of failure, or the embarrassment it often brings to keep us back from doing God’s great work! Here’s how Gramps Schuller characterizes it: ‘You grow old, collecting and nursing a multitude of regrets. Why didn’t I do this? Why didn’t I do that? Why didn’t I buy it when I had a chance? 

To further depress yourself, you may see someone else seizing the same opportunity. They are successful and you become jealous. The pangs of further jealousy will make you more bitter and inspire further negative thoughts and actions. Thus fear of failure does not protect your self respect – it prevents and aborts it. If you heed your fears you’ll die never knowing what a great person you might have been.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren? It surely is! When we let fear rule the roost, we abort whatever worthwhile job the Lord has tasked us with! And that certainly doesn’t do His kingdom, or us, any good! And that’s why the Good Book, the Lord’s Word constantly reminds to ‘FEAR NOT!’ No my people, if we want to be successful ambassadors of Christ, we cannot let fear be the uppermost factor in our lives. It has to be faith! One of Jesus’ favourite admonishments was, ‘O Ye of little faith!’ 

Remember his fateful words regarding the Roman Centurion who asked for healing for his servant, and when Christ wanted to go to his house, he said that it wasn’t necessary. ‘I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.’ (Matt. 8:8) Now back then that was indeed a big step for a Roman army leader. So much so, that ’When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ (Matt. 8:10) 

Now wasn’t that somewhat shameful, that a Roman soldier could show more faith than the Jews, the Chosen People of God, to whom Jesus was specifically sent to heal and to save? It surely was. But that’s how it was back then, and how it still is today. The ones we show special care and affection for are ofttimes the ones who show the least appreciation for it. But it never stopped Jesus from doing His God-given job, and neither should it stop us. We need to persevere and endure in the faith come what may. 

At the end of our time, our words ought to ring out as staunchly and faithfully as Bruh Paul’s last testament to Timothy. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:6-8) 

Yes my people, those are words we ought to be able to say at the end of our lives because we have sincerely kept the faith and diligently ran the race that God had set out for us. And the only way we can do that is by hunkering down in the word, in prayer and actioning all that’s set before us with LOVE, grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, etc. etc. In other words, living our lives truly led by the Holy Spirit and bearing its good fruit.

As Bruh Paul said to the Colossians: ‘Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in (the) light .’ (Col. 1:11-12) 

Yes precious people of God, persevering through problems and difficulties, and forbearing and forgiving the faults and offences of others is the cross we’re called to bear, just like Jesus did it for us. That’s spiritual understanding which produces the necessary morality and happiness, and how we live in the light of His LOVE!

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. 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!’ 

And now it’s time to put those words into godly action! Much LOVE!

…when fear comes a-calling…send faith to answer it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 2020 Hebrews 12:11.

Hebrews 12:11.     ​Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.

Well it’s Tuesday, and I’m alive and kicking, not totally true, (smile) but thankful for what I do have, and giving thanks for all the good things that are going to happen to, and through me today. I hope all of you my fine and faithful Scrip-Bit friends and family are doing, or have done the same as the new mercies from heaven on high have greeted you this marvellous summer day. But I do have another li’l something to share; that we won’t only be showered with tender mercies and compassions, but some tough times will also occasionally befall us. 

Those will be times we don’t like or appreciate, but which will all serve a useful purpose, since God allows nothing in our lives that isn’t useful for our godly growth and development. And we must learn to accept them with grace and strength, solemnly remembering the immortal words of Job in his time of immense tribulation. ‘What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)?’ (Job 2:10) Great words of wisdom and faith there my brethren! Not very easy to follow and/or accept though. (smile) 

And this Tuesday morning I’d like to share something that will help us bear those rough times; something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, appropriately titled ‘Intrusions.’ Please pray with me. ‘A thousand intrusions Have crowded in on my life today. My reaction, Lord? I’ve resented every one. And now I read in Your Word That I’m to put out the welcome signal! In fact, I must welcome each intrusion As a personal friend. (Perhaps even serve tea, Lord?) 

You assure me that You have a purpose For their continual persistence: My faith needs depth My endurance needs development. I have no argument with that, Lord But I had hoped than an hour or two Of trial and testing would suffice. Or a day at most, dear God. But again you remind me That the process must continue Until maturity becomes my password And independence becomes my goal and the Crown of Life becomes my reward.’ 

And isn’t all of that the awesome truth friends! It certainly is. We complain when the trials and testing continue, ofttimes non-stop in our lives, but our great and wonderful God has a purpose for each one of them. And remember Bruh Paul says in the Word that God will work ALL things together for good. (Rom. 8:28) That means He will use both the good and the bad to work out a wonderful scenario in our lives, so we need to be faithful and don’t worry, for the eventual outcome will be good. 

And then it’s written in Hebrews, possibly by Bruh Paul again: ‘No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening – it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained this way.’ (Heb.12:11) Now that’s the NLT (New Living Translation) used for our poem, and that sounds nice and sugary, but I think it loses the essence of the KJV (King James Version) which says; ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ 

I don’t know why, but the last one just sounds more biblical, more threatening than the first translation. (smile) And I guess it’s all because of my bias towards the King James Version of the Bible. To me, though many of the new translations might explain the situations in more understandable language, they tend to lose the essence of the writings found in the KJV. But whatever the version, they all make it clear that the Lord’s discipline, or any discipline at all, is never liked at the time it’s applied, but in time, we all realize the benefits. 

And we can all testify to that, using our parents’ discipline as the sounding board. As we got older we all realized that our parents disciplined us for our own good, and if we’re truthful, we’ll admit that it often worked out just that way. That still doesn’t mean that we like or appreciate it. It’s the same with our heavenly Father. He uses trials to test and discipline us on the way to our winning the victor’s ‘Crown of Life.’ 

At the end, we ought to be able to truthfully say, like Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:6-8) 

And if there’s one thing we know is that Bruh Paul endured a lot of trials and tribulation in doing the Lord’s will. As he recounts to the Corinthians. ‘Of the Jews five times I received forty stripes (lashes) save (less) one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils in the heathen (Gentiles), in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness (toil), in watchings (sleeplessness) often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.’ (2 Cor. 11:24-27) 

Ah friends, fortunately I don’t think any of us will be called on to go through the many trials that Bruh Paul went through, but we will be called on to go through some, for the price of discipleship is not cheap. As Jesus warned: ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) So we can all expect to go through some difficult times in this life, but the good thing about it all is that the Lord never allows us to go through them without His divine presence and help, and in the long run, He works everything out for our good and crowns us with a crown of righteousness. Glory be my people! 

So let’s go home now with fire in our bellies (like Jeremiah) sincerely declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong 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!’ 

So, having proclaimed it, being the faithful believers that we are, (smile) let’s do it then nuh! Much LOVE!

…the consequences of discipleship…are no laughing matters… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2020 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.     And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 

Well mih people, hope you all are having a fine Saturday, sleeping in or lazing on the couch. Some of us can’t afford those luxuries though, we have to get up and labour away, just like any other day. (smile) But it’s all in the Lord’s name, so I guess it’s okay. And the confusion in the streets and in the medical community still reign. In some places it’s better, in some it’s worse, but be it known that this is indeed a monumental time in the history of mankind. 

And who knows what the outcome will be? For sure there will be changes, but what changes and to what extent? And are they going to make a difference, a substantial or meaningful difference in the way our world operates. Right now, ONLY the Lord alone knows, but let’s all hope and pray, that at the end of this pandemic and these protests that our world will wake up in a new and better place. And all God’s people said a loud and prayerful ‘Amen!’ 

Now let’s get into our Saturday mode and look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one directly addresses one of our current problems. ‘It’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.’ 

And I know that some of you, particularly the privileged ones, won’t agree with that statement, because you have never walked a day in a black man’s shoes, but I do, wholeheartedly. That’s because all over the world, the people of African heritage are treated differently than others. It’s so ridiculous that even if you have a white parent, and you look white, you are considered black, because dislike of black skin or heritage is so deeply entrenched in our white ruled society. Now that’s not to say that other minorities aren’t treated in a poor manner too, but nowhere near as badly as black people are treated. 

And the next quote informs to the first one: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ And isn’t that the living truth! For some reason, possibly because we’re all so selfish and greedy, injustice travels faster and further than justice! The wheels of justice turn ever so slowly, while those of injustice just seem to race along. Have you ever noticed how quickly injustice spreads amongst a hitherto reasonably just society, but how long it takes for justice to be restored when the injustice has been broken down? 

What can I say eh? I guess it’s just the nature of the human animal, that’s why there’s so much truth in the saying, ‘Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.’ No doubt our Creator made us to be LOVING, humane beings, but with our free will, we have evolved to be the exact opposite. And the next quote interestingly advises: ‘If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.’ 

Hn, Hn! I like it. It sounds saucy and somewhat rebellious! And why not eh? If people keep jawing in your ears about your inability to move up and on, then simply do so well, move on and up so far, that you can’t hear their negative caterwauling any longer. (smile) It’s so sad when you realize the vast amount of people who never reach their potential because of loudmouthed naysayers! And that’s exactly why our next and last quote is so awesomely true: ‘It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.’ And that’s the backbone of our Christian faith: ‘NEVER GIVE UP!’ 

Yes my faithful believing friends, those words don’t exist in Christ’s vocabulary. His motto is ‘KEEP KEEPING ON!’ And anyone who chooses to seriously follow Him must also make that their number one goal. And Jesus said it ever so plainly: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ It couldn’t be any clearer than that. And for good measure, He said it a second time when talking about the signs before the end. ‘And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the LOVE of many shall wax (grow) cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matt. 24:12-13) 

And we’re seeing that right now; lawlessness abounds and LOVE is a meaningless word. But as a true believer, you just have to tell your awesome pilot, Jesus: ‘Steady as she goes!’ (smile) We just have to keep on keeping on, enduring and persevering right down to the very end. We can’t be like the seed in the parable of the sower that are sown on stony ground, who hear the word and ‘immediately receive it with gladness. And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction (tribulation) or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended (caused to stumble).’ (Mark 4:16-17) 

No friends, true believers need to react in Bruh Paul’s words, like Charity, like LOVE: ‘Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ (! Cor. 13:5-7) Yes mih people, true Christian behaviour is not an easy row to hoe, but with Jesus’ help we can certainly accomplish it, if we truly believe as we like to say: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And it’s why He also told Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship) like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:3) We believers are all supposed to be soldiers in Christ’s army, and good soldiers endure hardship for their leader and their cause. What we must therefore endeavour to truthfully say at the end, are these momentous words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:7-8) 

Now friends, if we would all make that our sincere goal, and work diligently towards it, then our world will be eventually turned right side up, and we’ll get our just rewards in heaven. Much LOVE!

…with strong faith and trust in Christ…we can persevere and endure…whatever comes our way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2020 2 Timothy 4:7.

2 Timothy 4:7.    ​I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: 

And yes, it is a cool and cloudy Tuesday morning, and we are beset by all kinds of problems, individually, nationally and internationally, but friends that is no reason to fear and be anxious and lose our cool, our joy and peace in the Lord. Remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength, (Neh. 8:10) and that the bright and energizing light of Jesus is shining powerfully right now, in the hearts and souls of every person who considers Him their Lord and Saviour! That’s His faithful promise, and as believers, we desperately need to hold on to it in these rather turbulent and dangerous times or else all will fall down. 

My brethren, we were made for these tough times, therefore we have whatever it takes to handle them successfully and see them through to the very end. And today friends, I just want to encourage us, to lift up and strengthen our faith with some enabling scriptures on enduring. So let’s begin with the indisputable truth contained in the words of the psalmist in Psalm 102 – A cry in distress. ‘My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. But thou, O Lord, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.’ (Ps. 102:11-13) 

Yes faithful saints of Christ, our great God will endure forever and will shower us with His never ending mercy. So please let’s not be afraid as the end times are getting into full swing, and to the ordinary eye, definitely not looking very encouraging. And the psalmist further encourages us: ‘Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure (continue forever): yea, all of them shall wax (grow) old like a garment; as a vesture (cloak) shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed (descendants) shall be established before thee.’ (Ps. 102: 25-28) 

What a mighty promise my people! But as always, we need to believe it and hold on tightly to it, otherwise it’s of no consequence. Yes, our great God will endure forever, there’s no doubt about that, because he is the Creator and maintainer of this wonderful universe, that is now going through the throes of its death knell. But remember this unalterable truth from the author of Hebrews: ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.’ (Heb. 13:8) Everything else has the capacity to and possibility of changing, except our Lord and Saviour, so let’s hold on to him nuh, and don’t give up or fear. 

For as Bruh Paul so famously and truthfully declared to the church at Rome: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?’ (Rom. 8:35) And the answer to that question friends, is a big, fat, loud ‘NOBODY!’ Yes indeed! And as Bruh Paul continues, quoting Ps. 44:22: ‘As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ (Rom. 8:36) 

And our enemies might consider us such, but Bruh Paul begs to differ. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:37-39) Now that’s how powerful the LOVE of our God is! 

And the scholars extend this wonderful and most encouraging explanation. ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. vs. 28).’ And we all know quite well what Rom. 8:28 says. But for posterity’s sake (smile) we’ll record it here. ‘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.’ 

So having said all of those encouraging things above, let’s continue with some more scriptures on enduring and endurance. (smile) Hear this one, from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:3) Yes friends, we are all soldiers in the army of Christ and soldiers are expected to endure hardship, so let’s do it without too much complaining nuh. For as James says: ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried (has been proved), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12) 

Oh my people, our endurance and victory over trials brings God’s blessings. Thus we are not to always seek avenues of escape from our troubles, but rather to grow and mature in those tough situations! So that at the end, we can say with full confidence, like Bruh Paul. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

What else can I say eh friends? It’s all laid out for us, but we have to do our part and accept, believe it, and work diligently (work out our salvation) towards a glorious end! And for those of us who have sincerely and diligently accepted the challenge, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, valiantly proclaiming to an unbelieving world, who and whose we are! 

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!’ 

Now let’s get up action that proclamation nuh! It’s what Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…NOW is the time…for Christians…to be the salt of the earth…and let their light shine forth… 

P.S. Yes it’s late, due to the usual late nights…or early mornings, but an ole dog can’t change his stripes in mid-stream mih friends, much less his latter days. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2019 Hebrews 12:1.

Hebrews 12:1.    ​Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

 

Awright my people, let’s do our Monday morning thing nuh: arise, give thanks for seeing another wonderful day and being imbued with the grace and mercy to face it, then get ourselves together and get out into the war-like world and battle valiantly for Jesus! Oh what a joy and a privilege it is to fight under Jesus ‘banner! Especially since there is no doubt whom the victorious conqueror will be…Jesus Christ Himself! In fact, He’s already won the battle, having defeated the toothless lion Satan and taken away the keys of hell, death and the grave through His own sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension! All praise and glory be to our Lord and Saviour my brethren! 

However, since we’re only frail humans, it’s obvious that not all of us will be bright and beautiful and enthused so early in the morning, that’s why we have this antidote for what ever ails you on a Monday morning. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and it’s specially programmed to get us in to the swing of things. (smile) So let’s declare it like we truly mean it nuh. 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

Gotcha mih breddren! The Holy Spirit is working miracles in you right now…I can see it! Your attitude has improved, you’re smiling and anxious to get into the fray now, singing psalms and hymns as you get ready, and promising to do your best, be diligent and excellent in Jesus’ name! And that’s the way it ought to be friends…Jesus’ people being ready, willing and able to do battle on His behalf at the beginning of each and every day, but more so on a Monday morning, the first day of the workweek, for generally speaking, how you begin is how you finish! 

That’s why it’s oh so important to believe and action what the scriptures tell us: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ What wonderful words of wisdom precious people of God! And yuh know what, to make it even better, we have the best example possible when coming to running the ofttimes difficult and always contrary race of life in our Lord and Saviour. 

As the author of Hebrews continues: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) Yes my fellow saints, Jesus didn’t have it easy; He was shamed, ridiculed, despised, humiliated, flogged, suffering all the negative aspects of rejection, but He never gave up, He simply focused on running the race His heavenly Father had mapped out for Him…and so too should we. 

Jesus knew there would be rewards for His obedience…and so will we. Yes, it wasn’t easy for Jesus, and it won’t be easy for us either, but that’s why we were given the Helper and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to assist us in doing it. The problem though is we have to buckle down and follow the Spirit’s leading and guidance, if we want to be successful in this earthly race. 

Now here are a couple of encouraging words from Bruh Paul on the subject. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize so run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate (has self-control) in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body (discipline it), and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (be disqualified).’ (1 Cor,9:24-27) 

Yeh my people, if we don’t want to be disqualified from Christian ministry and lose our heavenly rewards for that service, then we need to discipline both our bodies and our spirits. That’s the ONLY way we can run a successful earthly race, and thus be able to say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

Oh friends, I can’t say much more than that, except to implore us to go out today and fight a good fight, run a good race in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…pray, believe and stay steadfast…so that you don’t get weary…in running your earthly race…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2019 2 Timothy 4:8.

2 Timothy 4:8.   ​Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.
 
And then it was Saturday, and the sun seems to be fighting a losing battle against the dark clouds in my neighbourhood. But thankfully, the souls of believers in Jesus Christ never have to go through that dilemma because the bright light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ALWAYS shining brightly in our souls! 

And all God’s children gave a loud and grateful shout of: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His Holy Name! Give Him unending thanks for sending Jesus to save and rescue us!’ 

Yeh friends, what a blessed day that was when Jesus came to earth to save the lost and free those caught up in the bondage of sin! That’s why I can’t understand why so many of us still reject Him. But to each his own, we’ll have to bear the consequences of whatever decision we make, whether it’s the wise one to accept Jesus, or the foolish one to reject Him! 

But since it’s Saturday and we have several quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow, let’s check them out nuh. And the first one says: ‘A year from now you will wish you had started today.’ And that’s certainly true! 

Any project you keep putting off, will come back to haunt you. You’ll find that time has gotten away from you and nothing’s been done on the project. It’s like the Chinese Proverb says: ‘The longest journey always begins with the first step.’ So it’s advisable to take that first step as soon as possible and don’t keep putting it off. 

And the second quote advises: ‘Lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at you.’ That certainly has some wisdom in it. Not all our critics or naysayers are wrong yuh know. Sometimes they do have valid points of criticism, and the wise person listens to those criticisms, evaluates them, and then uses whatever is pertinent to their particular situation. 

Granted, a lot of us just criticize for the sake of criticizing, and there’s no real value to what we say, but in many instances, there are some gems of wisdom which we can use as strong building blocks. So never just write off criticism as useless. 

 Now hear this next quote: ‘I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.’ Words of wisdom friends! We’re not superhuman, only human, and thus are subject to frailties and weaknesses, which mean we will occasionally fail at stuff we do. 

However, failure is not really failure until we stop trying! That’s the difference between success and failure; the act of not giving up! Look at our oh so technological society, how do you think we got to where we are? It’s because many inventors and investors did not give up when they originally failed. They tried and tried again until they succeeded! 

And that’s exactly what Jesus desires and expects of his followers: NO GIVING UP! Those words are not in His vocabulary at all, and should not be in ours either! So please, let’s keep on keeping on nuh, because we have ALLthe parts to do so. Jesus gave them to us when He died on the cross at Calvary to save our sinful souls and then sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us for all time! Wow! What an awesome Lord and Saviour we have! 

And in this last quote we’re called on to prove the greatness of Jesus in our lives. It says: ‘If you run, you stand a chance of losing, but if you don’t run, you’ve already lost.’ More truth from our friend Anselm! It’s like they say: ‘If you don’t have a ticket, you don’t stand a chance of winning!’ 

So if you want to win at anything, you’ve got to get into the race and run it. You might lose, but if you’re not in it, you certainly won’t win. Non-runners can’t win a race in which they don’t run. It’s as simple as that! (smile) And my fellow believers, the most important race we’ll ever have to run is the race of life that’s set before each and everyone of us, in bright and glowing colour, Technicolor, if you will (smile) because we are followers of Jesus! 

Yes my fellow believers, there’s a light that shines so brilliantly in our lives that at times it tends to blind us, especially when we escape from any dark times in which we find ourselves. It’s like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, but in our case it’s a true and sure light, that of heaven with Jesus at the end of our earthly lives…and not just for a short time, but for all eternity! And that means forever…and ever…and ever…until forever…whenever that might be! (smile) 

But seriously though friends, listen to these immortal words of Bruh Paul, his last testament to Timothy and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: 

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

That’s the light at the end of the tunnel friends: a crown of righteousness from our heavenly Father, when we run our earthly race with steadfast faith and trust, and finish it with a fighting spirit, no matter how tired, bedraggled and abused our physical bodies might be! 

Ah friends, let me end by reminding us that the race of life is the greatest and most important race we’ll ever run, and the only way to win it is by running it with Jesus as your ever-present partner! That’s it in a nutshell! So please, let’s make the necessary arrangements to run our race of life with Jesus as our partner…RIGHT NOW! 

Why? Because we know not when our race will end; it could be shortly, or a long time from now, but wisdom dictates that we do it as soon as possibly, preferably RIGHT NOW, to avoid any unforeseen mishaps! Much LOVE!

…no Jesus in your race of life…means no winner’s crown of righteousness…at the end of your race…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2018 1 Timothy 6:12.

1 Timothy 6:12. ​   Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.

 

One more time unto the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yeh, I’ve got another medical appointment this morning, that’s why the Bit is so early again. The good thing though is that I don’t have to go into Toronto, it’s just some diagnostic testing not too far down the street from me. 

But I do have to fast for it, and fasting, or rather forced fasting and I are not the best of friends. The ole stomach is here growling away on me, calling for food, but I still have a few hours to go until I can grant it its request. (smile) But as they say, it’s all for my benefit. So just suck it up, grin and bear it! 

That brings us to this bit of good advice attributed to James J Corbett (1866-1933), the American Heavyweight fighter, better known as ‘Gentleman Jim.’ He advises: ‘Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round.’ And that from someone who knows what He’s talking about through personal experience! 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we Christians are called to do; fight one more round, even though we feel at the point of exertion, be it physical, mental or emotional. Oh, I know many of us are tired, what with all our personal problems, including health, wealth and friendship matters, but as believers, we’re not supposed to give up. Giving up doesn’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. 

And further still, they say that the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, so if you’re seeing what you consider a very dark hour, please believe that relief is right around the corner. Remember the mind is the most powerful tool in the world, and what we believe we can achieve. We have to use what resources we possess to our best advantage and keep on keeping on. 

As Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy in his first missive: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (LOVE of money, hurtful lusts, material wealth.); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ 

And as the scholars say of our Bit: ‘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 possess spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah mih breddren being a true believer in Jesus Christ is not easy, but since we have declared ourselves to be true believers, we have to just keep on keeping on. And it’s not like we don’t have ample resources and encouragement, assurance and help to fight our earthly battle. We do! Namely all the resources granted to us as believers in Jesus Christ; the biggest and most important ones being salvation and eternal life. 

As the Good Book declares: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) Oh friends, that provision alone ought to be enough to encourage us to stand strong and live and defend our faith. Which other faith has that sure promise eh…with the sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ to back it up eh? NONE! 

And then we have so many other promises of God, who has a good plan for every life, with a hope and good future. He’s also promised never to leave nor forsake us; to hear our prayers and pleas when we diligently and sincerely seek Him; to bring us out of the fire unscorched; to take us safely through the flood, and most of all grant us a Deliverer, a Messiah, one to sacrifice and atone for our sins, which He did through His only Son Jesus Christ becoming flesh and offering His sinless life upon the cross at Calvary so that our sins could be washed white as snow. 

Glory to God my people! For He has done all that He’s promised, and if we do what we’re supposed to do, then He will do the rest. The Lord will not do it all for us. He requires us to put in an effort on His behalf, since we’re partners in this New Covenant. So though life might be dark, dreary and difficult, we do have all the tools necessary to fight the good fight. 

And hopefully, at the end of our days, we’ll all be able to proudly say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

Yes mih breddren, what a joyful day that will be! But until then, let’s keep fighting the good fight nuh, and as a promise of our faithful intentions, go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our current position in Christ. All together now, let’s wail: ‘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 the future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can imagine. So think on that nuh! Much LOVE!

…when life gets difficult…consider our rewards in heaven…and the glorious future promised us there…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 December 2016 2 Timothy 4:7.

2 Timothy 4:7.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.

Ah friends, another day, another dollar! But Ho! Some of you say that a dollar isn’t a dollar anymore, it’s more like fifty cents, or even less, and that’s possibly true. 

But yuh know what my brethren, the money isn’t as important as the fact that we’re alive. Our pictures and eulogies aren’t in the obituaries, and that’s much more important than the money we might make today. 

We’re alive and have the ability to do lots of good stuff in God’s name. And if by chance we aren’t kicking as strongly as we like, then we can always turn to our heavenly Father for help. 

And here’s a good prayer that reflects our problem. I got it from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals. It simply says: ‘Father, at this moment, I turn to You for strength in my weakness, energy for my weariness, and faith in my doubt.’ 

Simple and straight to the point my people. And if you are sincere, the Lord, who gives liberally to all who ask in faith, will shower you with His blessings until you are kicking mightily. (smile) 

Now, without further ado, let’s turn to our Bit, taken from what’s called Bruh Paul’s last testament, in his second letter to his protégé Timothy. And to keep everything in context, we’ll just do it all at once. 

‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith. 

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, there is so much stuff in those verses that still pertain to us. Let’s check them out. First of all, we all will die someday. And a lot of us shy away from talk of death, but it’s the only sure thing in this crazy world, even surer than taxes. (smile) 

And blessedly, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we have a great time to look forward to. But when that time comes, will be ready to meet our Heavenly Father on the other side of the great divide with strong faith and trust; eagerly expectant for what’s over there, gladly shuffling off this rough and difficult mortal coil? 

Or will be afraid and anxious, devoid of or with little faith, not knowing, or rather believing what Jesus promised. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 

In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Ah friends, that’s the basic premise of our faith; belief in Jesus Christ! And if we aren’t ready when the time comes to depart, then obviously we won’t be able to say as proudly and confidently as Bruh Paul says in our Bit: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

And we desperately and definitely need to be able to say that at the day of reckoning! You can’t fight a good fight in Jesus’ name if you don’t truly believe all He’s said, because that belief and faith is what makes you strong, keeps you ticking, has you eager to do His will. 

Consequently, there might not be a crown of righteousness laid up for you on that judgement day. That’s why we all need strong faith, and that only comes by diligently reading and meditating on God’s Word, through regular fellowship and constant prayer. 

So if we are neglecting any of those things, our faith will definitely not grow to the point that we can fight a good fight, and run a strong race, and thus attain that crown of righteousness which is laid up in heaven for all those who surely and steadfastly anchor themselves in the Word and work of God. 

Now please don’t get discouraged if your personal situation doesn’t line up with what we’ve said, because it can always be changed, preferably right now, by going to the Father and asking for strength, guidance and direction to run a good race in His name. 

Remember while there is life, there’s ALWAYS hope. But we’re never sure when life will end, so we have to do what we need to do as soon as possible. Now let’s go home with joy and passion, proudly and boldly declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

All together now, in strong voice and perfect harmony: ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, tomorrow we might see our name in the obits, (smile) but we have God’s gift of today, so please let’s enjoy it and go out and do our best to make a positive difference in this mish mash world we live in. For that’s what is expected of us, true believers. Much LOVE!

…winning races…needs strong faith and endurance…which can only be acquired through Almighty God…