Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.
 

Well friends, it’s the first Sunday in Advent! And why is that important eh? Because in the church’s calendar, this is the time of year we begin preparing for Christ’s coming! Originally it seems like it was a time to think of Christ’s Second Coming, a cry for the Messiah to come back and take over the evil world. But apparently down through the years it got intertwined with the First Coming of the Messiah, what we call Christmas, so now we celebrate Advent by looking back nostalgically at the First Coming, while excitedly and expectantly looking forward to the Second One! Only in the Christian faith can we have such double celebrations my people! (smile) 

Anyway, as we gather today in joyful fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, to give thanks and praise and worship His Holy Name, we not going to open with an Advent hymn because I got a zeppo intimating that the Lord wanted to hear this particular tune, ‘Stand up for Jesus!’ I guess He’s feeling that believers are not being strong and steadfast enough in the faith. We’re being too fearful and wishy-washy, sitting on the fence, wavering like a leaf in the wind, and too ready to compromise so that we can go on with our comfortable lives! 

Consequently, He wants us to get our acts together, get really serious about our cause, and like true warriors come out fighting valiantly under Jesus’ banner, even to the death, if needs be! So let’s raise our voices in strong and solemn song, as we sing these most excellent sentiments, but also truly fighting words, written in 1858 by George Duffield (1818-1888) in honour of his dear departed friend and leader, Dudley Atkins Tyng (1825-1858) in a tragic farm accident. It’s reputed that Tyng’s last message to his associates was for them to, ‘Stand up for Jesus,’ and this became the theme of Duffield’s song. 

And to make it even more powerful, we going to do a scintillating, rocking Reggae version, a la Miss Carlene Davis. Wow! Rockers time mih people! (smile) So altogether now: ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross! Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army he shall lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; if while ye sleep he suffers, away with shame and fear. Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there. (Bridge: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up.) 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally. (Extro: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up….!’ 

Aye friends, I hope we truly meant what we just sang, because our world is desperate for somebody, for serious somebodies to stand up to the evil one in Jesus name! And it’s sad that we all know the scripture that characterizes that song, but we’re not putting it into full and proper use. Hear Bruh Paul as he articulates to the Ephesians, re the whole armour of God: ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ (Eph.6:10) 

As Christians we’re engaged in a spiritual battle from now until Christ’s Second Coming that we’re looking forward to this first Sunday in Advent. And there must be ‘no quarter given, no ceasefire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities.’ But to do that successfully, we have to stand strong, be strengthened in and through the Lord’s might and power. And this next verse is also of the utmost importance: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, no soldier worth his salt, goes into battle without armour, without protective gear. And since in this case our battle is not physical but spiritual, we need specialized protection: Our loins must be girded with God’s truth; the knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. Our chests must be protected by a breastplate of righteousness, holy character and moral conduct, through obedience to God’s truth. And then our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We must be eager and willing to take on the satanic one and his demoniac cohorts, take the fight to him, and we get that from the gospel of peace, that frees us of any anxiety and fear. 

Then we need the shield of faith so we can repulse all the fiery darts of the wicked one. That means taking God at His Word, believing His awesome promises, dispelling all doubt Satan might try to induce. And we must have a helmet; that of salvation; the hope of and assurance of salvation, the surety, that we’re saved. And you can’t fight without a sword, in this case the sword of the Spirit; the powerful and ever-conquering Word of God! 

But along with all of that protective armour friends, we still need to use the most powerful tool in the universe; prayer! Without it, the armour is useless. So let’s hope all of this has lit a fire in our bellies, reignited our passion for Christ, so that we can become better soldiers in His victorious army! Much LOVE!

…Christians…put on your spiritual armour…the time to fight is NOW…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.    Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!)

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee: On, then, Christian soldiers, onto victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! (Refrain) 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

Well mih friends and family, it seems the ole fella was a tad late when he said yesterday that summer would be with us in a couple of days. Hn, hn! Apparently summer has officially been with us for three days now. (smile) 

And my excuse, which by the way I’m sticking to, is that I don’t remember it being on the 20th of June, but more like the 22 or 23. Just goes to show you ought to check your calendar before you make such statements. 

But be that as it may, let’s hope we have a good summer season, one worthy to be called summer; not too hot, but hot enough to make one know that it’s summer…if you follow my convoluted reasoning. So far it has been somewhat mild, with a touch of spring still present, but it’s still early days yet. 

And before we get into today’s sermon (smile), here is a nugget of gold, one of the little snippets that appear at the end of each day’s Daily Bread Devotion. It says: ‘Nothing is hidden from God’s sight. Nothing is greater than God’s LOVE. Nothing is stronger than God’s mercy and grace. Nothing is too hard for God’s power.’ 

Now if ALL of that isn’t gospel truth, then I don’t know what is! Our God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, which means He is all-powerful, all seeing and everywhere! You can’t beat that friends! 

And He has so generously granted some of His awesome power to us mere mortals, but we need to accept it, to graciously receive it, because there’s nothing we can do to work for or deserve it. It’s just His wonderful free gift. 

Now one of the things we’re talking about here is the power to rebuke and successfully conquer and control the evil enemy, who desires to take over our lives and turn us away from sincerely worshipping the One and Only True God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

So let’s bring in our Bit and continue our conversation from yesterday. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’  

And we’re going to repeat the verses that contain the description of God’s spiritual armour, so that we’ll have them right in front of us and not have to turn elsewhere to find them. 

‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your loins) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). 

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

Now yesterday we explained up to the breastplate of righteousness, so today we’ll continue the scholars explanations with the third piece of God’s armour: ‘Preparation of the gospel of peace (vs.15) which means “eagerness that comes from the gospel of peace.” 

That is, as the Roman soldier wore special shoes called ‘caligae’ on his feet, enabling him to advance against his enemy, so the Christian must have on his feet (possess) a sense of “eagerness” or “willingness” to advance against the Devil and take the fight to him. 

Such “eagerness” to contend with Satan “comes from the gospel of peace.” The gospel gives peace to the believer, freeing him from the anxiety though he advances against such a powerful opponent.’ 

Oh friends, how wonderful is that eh? The gospel of peace frees us from fear and anxiety and allows us to courageously battle Satan. But please note one important point, we ought not to sit back and let the evil Lucifer come against us, we must take the fight to Him, battle him on our terms, on our turf. As they say, the best defence is offence. 

And the fourth piece of God’s armour is ‘The shield of (which is) faith (vs.16). And that means taking God at His word by believing His promises. Such trust will prevent one from doubts induced by Satan.’ 

And that’s awfully important my fellow believers, for Lucifer is the father of lies and deceit and doubts, and if we’re not very careful and have a strong faith and trust in Almighty God, he can easily deceive us into thinking and doing the wrong things. 

Now time and space have run out against us, so we’ll have to continue this tomorrow. And I look at it as God’s mysterious working, not giving us too much stuff to ponder in one sitting. So please think seriously on what we’ve said to day, while we walk gratefully in God’s LOVE and mercy. 

And to end it all on a magnificent note, let’s declare our Thursday Blessings with much gusto and sincere belief. In unison now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And since blessings were meant to be shared, let’s go out and joyfully share them nuh, as Jesus so avidly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…having on God’s armour…makes us all invincible conquerors…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

‘Ah feelin’ hot, hot, hot…! And friends, if you believe that, I have some beautiful land to sell you in Florida; no alligators, so swamps, no snakes, just lush parkland! (smile) And believe me, I could handle that Florida weather right now yes, despite it’s somewhat unsafe natural habitat because it’s a chilly Saturday morning in my area. But no such luck, so I’ll just have to grin and bear it. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at a trio of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. The first one is a tad heavy, (smile) and says: ‘Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.’ And that’s gospel truth my people!  

And this second quote is a companion to the first. ‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.’ Yeh friends, for serious and sincere change to occur in our lives, or around us, we must be the instigating factor, with the Lord’s help obviously! 

And this last one is indeed a gem. ‘All rewards require initial toil.’ Now that’s an eye-opener for a lot of people in these modern times of supposed entitlement. But that’s how God’s economy runs; you have to work first before you can get paid, sow good seed, before you can reap an abundant harvest.  

Unfortunately though, too many of us, Christians, included want to reap harvests without sowing seeds, and get rewards without any toil.  That’s why there are so many layabouts and hangers on to those who have. The celebrities must have their large entourages to show off their wealth, power and importance, but once the money’s gone, so are the good time friends. 

Anyhow, let’s move on to our Bit. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ Now I know that many of you are tired with it, but it is of the utmost importance in our fighting off the enemy, and if you don’t know all that it entails, then our chances for success are seriously lessened. This is the last day for it anyway – I promise. (smile) 

Now there’s one more extremely important verse in Bruh Paul’s dialogue to the Ephesians. Having put on the whole armour of God, one must continue the action by: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) 

So my brethren, the mere putting on of God’s armour doesn’t do the trick, it needs constant prayer and supplication too. Listen to the scholar’s explanation of that verse. 

‘6:19. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’  

Ah mih people, you see that prayer is the catalyst that gets the whole show going. Without it, nothing of any significance happens. And for all our benefit, I’ll stress here again, just in case we didn’t notice when the scholars declared: ‘PRAYER IS INDISPENSABLE!’ 

And that it certainly is my fellow believers! It’s basically how we communicate with our wonderful, awesome, omnipotent God, so where there is no prayer, there is no communication with the Lord God Jehovah, and mankind cannot live successfully without God in his life. Now another important point of it all, is that we must not just pray for ourselves, but for ALL believers too! 

And as a reminder of all we’ve been talking about recently, let’s remember on a practical level, to: Put on Daily: The helmet of salvation to guard our minds. The breastplate of righteousness to guard our emotions. The belt of truth, to stay centred in the Word – walk, talk, live in and testify to the truth. The sandals of peace – so that wherever we go, we’ll go in peace and tranquility – anchoring our feet boldly in the bedrock of Jesus. 

The shield of faith – so that we can deflect the fiery arrows of the enemy, and stand safely behind the massive protection of faith. The sword of the Spirit – the Good Book – the spiritual weapon that cuts deeply to bring about conviction and repentance. And then follow it all up with prayer. 

Yes friends, we need all those accoutrements of battle, not simply bits and pieces, if we hope to be successful in fighting for Jesus against the prince of darkness. Much LOVE!

…in warfare…the better protected soldier…begins with the upper hand…and can thus dictate the battle…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 February 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

Well friends, it’s Friday! That means another weekend is upon us, and the working people are delighted and shouting out their song of freedom: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the wonderful weekend is here. No punching a time clock! 

Wow! It’s time to sing and dance and party like there’s no tomorrow…for who knows if we’ll ever see tomorrow eh? But this day we’ll always remember…or maybe not! Hn! Thank God though for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

Ah mih people, nothing’s wrong with the general idea of enjoying oneself during our days off, but as usual it’s the extreme length to which the world desires to carry it that contradicts our faith. So let’s hear what our faith says to counter that extreme position. 

Let’s chant our Friday Chant with truth and sincerity. ‘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.’ 

Yes friends, that sounds like a much more sensible way of handling our short time off, so please let’s follow it, and not overdo the partying, the carnality aspect of the situation. 

Now without further ado, let’s get to our Bit. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ 

Ah mih breddren, those words are ever so important in these very evil times! We’ve just got to be always prepared, for as we saw yesterday, the prince of darkness is always on the look out for Christians he can pounce upon. 

Now, hitherto, we’ve been talking about the armour of God and what it does, today, let’s look at what it actually is. So let’s continue with Bruh Paul’s admonishment to the Ephesians. 

‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

There you have it my people, the basic breakdown of God’s powerful and protective spiritual armour! And the scholars have some good explanations of what they are and what they mean. 

‘6:14-17. The whole armour of God consists of six pieces. (1) Truth (v.14a) is a knowledge of the truth of God’s Word (cf.4:21). The ancient soldier’s loins (“waist”) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. 

Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the “truth” of Scripture. 

(2) The breastplate of righteousness (v.14b) may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (“righteousness”). 

(3) Preparation of the gospel of peace (v.15) means “eagerness that comes from the gospel of peace.” That is, as the Roman soldier wore special shoes called ‘caligae’ on his feet, enabling him to advance against his enemy, so the Christian must have on his feet (possess) a sense of “eagerness” or “willingness” to advance against the Devil and take the fight to him. 

Such eagerness to contend with Satan “comes from the gospel of peace.” The gospel gives peace to the believer, freeing him from anxiety though he advances against such a powerful opponent. 

(4) The shield of [which is] faith (v.16) means taking God at His word by believing His promises. Such trust will protect one from doubts induced by Satan. 

(5) The helmet of salvation (v.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8), they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes this helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is, the certainty (assurance) of salvation. 

(6) The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (v.17b): The Greek term rendered “word” is not ‘logos’, referring to the whole Word of God, but ‘rhema’, referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.’ 

There it is friends, the basic explanations concerning the ‘whole armour of God.’ I do hope it helps us to better understand the Word. Those are the things with which we need to be equipped, if we want to fight a serious and victorious battle against Lucifer and his evil hordes. 

Like any good soldier, we cannot go into battle unprepared, and the first thing we need is physical protection. But since our battle is spiritual, we need spiritual protection, which our God gives us totally. It is now up to us to accept it and put it to good use. 

Please my fellow believers, let’s ramp up our fight for Jesus nuh, otherwise our talk and our supposed faith are all a waste of time! Much LOVE!

…a Christian…who isn’t fighting a serious battle for Jesus…is no Christian at all…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2016 Ephesians 6:11‏‏‏

Ephesians 6:11.    Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil.

Greetings and salutations my wonderful Scrip-Bit family on this glorious Thursday morning! It’s another most worthwhile opportunity for us to serve our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in this evil and ungodly world. 

In fact, it’s not a choice, but our bounden duty as believers, and we only heap ridicule on Jesus’ holy name if we don’t pursue that challenge as we ought to. 

And there’s no time to lose, so let’s get busy and declare our Thursday Blessings that will feed our faith, uplift us, and give us the wherewithal to go out and face the enemy with much needed belly and backbone. 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Oh glory to our wonderful God my precious people, for He has generously gifted us with all that we need to succeed in this sinful world! Now let’s go out and succeed… 

But first we need to do this absolutely necessary thing as directed by our Bit: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes friends, without God’s protective armour, we’re just like innocent, naïve, sitting ducks for the enemy. He’d be all over us in no time at all. That’s why Bruh Paul seriously warned us about wearing God’s armour at all times. 

And I’m going to repeat the verses of yesterday about what the spiritual armour of God consists of, because I want to share some very useful info from the scholars on the subject. And don’t get hoighty toighty with me now because you think we’re wasting time by repeating those verses. (smile) 

Friends, we can never hear those verses enough since they are a major part of our basic Christian foundation and the deeper we write them into our souls, the better off we will be. 

Now hear Bruh Paul pontificate. ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked (one). 

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

Listen to the scholars now: ‘6:14-17. The whole armour of God consists of six pieces. (1) Truth (v.14a) is a knowledge of the truth of God’s Word (cf.4:21). The ancient soldiers loins (waist) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. 

Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the “truth” of Scripture. 

(2) The breastplate of righteousness (v.14b) may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (righteousness). 

(3) Preparation of the gospel of peace (v15) means “eagerness that comes from the gospel of peace.” That is, as the Roman soldier wore special shoes called caligae on his feet, enabling him to advance against his enemy, so the Christian must have on his feet (possess) a sense of “eagerness” or “willingness” to advance against the Devil and take the fight to him. 

Such “eagerness” to contend with Satan “comes from the gospel of peace.” The gospel gives peace to the believer, freeing him from anxiety though he advances against such a powerful opponent. 

(4) The shield of (which is) faith (v.16) means taking God at His word by believing His promises. Such trust will protect one from doubts induced by Satan. 

(5) The helmet of salvation (v.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8), they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes this helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is, the certainty (assurance) of salvation. 

(6) The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (v.17b): The Greek term rendered “word” is not logos, referring to the whole Word of God, but rhema, referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.’ 

And that takes care of the basic armour of God. But we’re not done yet my people. Listen to these other explanations from the scholars. 

‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. 

In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

And thus ends this refresher course on the armour of God! (smile) Oh friends, I know that some of the explanations might be somewhat confusing, but if you take your time and concentrate on what you read, you will understand what’s been said. 

And above all, please note the indispensability of prayer! Without it, the armour of God is ineffective. Now may the Lord bless and keep us as we go forth clothed in His protective armour, totally backed up by sincere prayer! Much LOVE!

…no Christian soldier goes out to battle without his godly armour…and prayer…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2016 Ephesians 6:11‏‏

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil.

Oh my people, who ever says that life isn’t good eh, tell them I say that deh lie! (smile)

Oh, like everybody else, I have my spate of problems, but I try to put them at God’s feet at the cross, per His Great Invitation to come and unburden ourselves on Him. (Matt.11:28-30) And that leaves me more time to enjoy His beautifully created universe. 

Now, I guess you all must be wondering what has me waxing so ecstatically this early, on a somewhat cloudy morning? Well it’s no rocket science friends. It’s simply because for the first time this year, I was able to sit comfortably on my front porch at two a.m and commune with my Maker. Oh glory to God mih people! 

And those of you who know me, know that I’m just a simple man with simple tastes, thus simple things enthuse me. 

And when I can sit on my porch in the early hours of the morning in the north country, without much clothes on, feeling the cool wind blow over me, and hear it rustle the the leaves of the fully clothed trees with song, as I look out over the quiet boulevard in a fairly decent neighbourhood, admire the lights in the surrounding gardens, and spy at the beautiful full moon through the dry, gnarled branches of the dead ash tree on my front lawn – got to cut it down soon yes – and above all, commune quietly with my God, then I must be thrilled! I couldn’t be anything other than that! 

It’s almost like being in Paradise – Sweet Tobago. All I’m missing now is the gentle crashing of the sea on the rocky shoreline. Mama Mia! So how can I not be happy eh mih breddren? Oh friends, it just makes me want to sing, to shout in praise and thanksgiving! 

So let’s do that nuh. Everyday we talk about ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps.118:24) Well the best part of rejoicing is singing praise and worship and thanksgiving. 

So please sing with me, the chorus of another of my favourite gospel songs that I recently heard; a nice li’l rocking reggae ditty by Jermain Cowan titled ‘Re-Arrange my life.’ 

Singing: ‘Things I used to do, I do them no more. Since You saved me. Places I used to go, I go there no more. Lord for You I rearranged my life. Jehovah, please stay by my side.’ 

And Again: ‘Things I used to do, I do them no more. Since you saved me. Places I used to go, I go there no more. Lord for You I rearranged my life. Jehovah please stay by my side.’ 

Oh friends, that’s how Christians are supposed to be when we get saved and become new creations in Jesus! And what more can we ask than for Jehovah God to stand always by our side eh? Not much. And we know He’ll do it, because He’s faithful to His promises. 

And we’re not done singing and rejoicing this morning my breddren. It’s Wednesday, that means we have to wail out our Wednesday Wail. 

So wailing, with sincerity and strong faith: ‘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!’ 

Ah my fellow believers, how good it is to feel the breath of life coursing through our mortal bodies this morning, especially when we’re walking steadfastly with Jesus, looking forward to the glorious future He has promised. Glory Hallelujah! 

Now I’m chuckling here because I don’t know if we have much time and space left for our Bit. But since we’ve been rejoicing and singing praise and worship and giving thanks, it surely means that we’re in full agreement with it. 

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yeh friends, we can’t give our great and wonderful God thanks and praise without having on at least some of His protective spiritual armour. Now finally, let’s see what that armour of God consists of. 

Listen to Bruh Paul enlighten the Ephesians and us. ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). 

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

Yes my breddren, that’s basically what the armour of God consists of. And we’ll end there so we can ponder it all. Tomorrow, God in favour, we’ll get into a deeper discourse of all the ramifications. (smile) 

Till then though, please, let’s walk in LOVE and true fellowship, wisely eschewing, abstaining from the lusts of the world for the rewards of heaven. For that’s the true mark of wisdom. Much LOVE!

…once the lifeblood of God is flowing through a Christian…songs of praise and thanksgiving must emanate from his mouth…

 

 

 

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