Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 April 2022 Philippians 2:12b.

Philippians 2:12b.      work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 

So friends, what are we going to do on this wet, cloudy Tuesday morning in early April, during the last two weeks of this Lenten season of 2022 eh? And I’m just being a tad humorous on this serious matter, because I very well know what’s expected of us believers each and every day of our lives; that’s a constant and faithful attitude of living for Jesus! (smile) 

And if we’re into the last two weeks of Lent, then it also means it’s two weeks to Easter, that big Christian celebration of Jesus’ death and triumphant resurrection! Yes my people, we’re talking about the rock-like foundation of our Christian faith, for without Christ’s death on the cross on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday, there’d be nothing called Christianity! 

And the awesome truth is that there’s nothing better than the wonderful story of Christianity; the good news of Christ’s coming to earth and dying for us, making us right with God, and giving us the marvellous opportunity to spend eternity with Him. Now that’s a story we ought to tell; all over the world, in every nook and cranny, because it’s a life-saving tale, the most important story ever told on planet earth! And that’s what living for Jesus is all about; simply telling His story and living the way He desires of us, that’s being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, in other words being a reflection of His caring, compassionate and LOVING self. 

Now we all know that this evil, sinful, greedy and selfish world doesn’t regard those things very highly…but Jesus does, and if we are going to live for Him, then we will be expected to put up with a lot of harassment, temptation and even persecution for our different beliefs and lifestyle. But we’ve been given all that we need to do the job by Christ our Saviour; namely His Holy Spirit as a Guide, Leader and Comforter and the fruit of the Spirit which enables us to do great works in His name. The problem though is that we must embrace those tools and use them like they were intended, which isn’t always easy to do, but try we must. 

That’s why in talking to the Philippians about being shining lights in this evil world Bruh Paul said it thus: ‘Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among who, ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:12-15) 

Yes friends, we can never get away from that image of shining like lights to the world, because that’s what Jesus requires us to be! However, it doesn’t happen without work or overnight. That’s why Bruh Paul said to ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.’ And let’s make it clear that you NEVER have to work for salvation, because that’s the free gift of God, but we have to continue working out to its logical conclusion what God has begun in us, that’s basically growing the fruit of the Spirit planted in us through right living; showing the world the awesome possibilities that exist for those who are lost, sick, downtrodden, whatever. 

And since it’s God who is doing most of the work in the working out of our salvation, then success is guaranteed. ‘For God is producing in us both to will (to desire) and to do (actually accomplish) of his good pleasure.’ So why then the need for ‘fear and trembling’? 

Because we won’t know all the sacrifices and problems we will have to undergo to do God’s will. And each of us will have to work seriously and sincerely on our individual problems, with God’s help of course, but it’s still not going to be easy. So, we have to be prepared to fight a good fight, which leaves no room for squabbling and dissension amongst believers, if we want to be seen as blameless and innocent, the children of God, shining as bright lights, in this evil generation. 

And I like how author Ed Elliot explains it in his article on the medium.com website. He says: ‘Working out our salvation is very different from working for our salvation. When Paul tells believers they need to work out their salvation, he is simply explaining that the wonderful gift they freely received from God is inside of them. We bring out those beautiful attributes and character traits by faith. Faith is a rest, but it is faith that works, not us. So, working out what is on the inside of us happens by faith. 

This process can be frightening in the beginning as a new believer discovers how to live and walk by faith. Some strong trepidation may be present at first when a person decides to trust God as his or her source and peace. I remember how scary it was for me to stop trusting in my natural abilities and trust in God’s Word. This is what Paul is referring to when he mentions “fear and trembling.” He isn’t talking about being afraid of God. Rather, he is helping the new believer to know that in the beginning, it will seem scary to walk by faith. However, it is the only way to see our inner salvation manifest on the outside through our character.’ 

Ah mih people, living the Christian life will always have roadblocks and trials, but if we hang in there and fight with God’s help, then we’ll live the joyful, abundant, interesting and blessed life that Christ died for us to have. Now, for those of us who have already made the wise decision to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and sincere 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!’ 

Now, it’s time go and work it out; (smile) that’s share the amazing friendship and LOVE of Christ with others, just as generously as He shared it with us, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…salvation is free…but to keep it blossoming beautifully…takes work…and ofttimes sacrifice… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 March 2022   1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.      But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like today’s going to be as magnificent a day as yesterday, because there are dark storm clouds all around the skies. But I have no doubt  that we will persevere in spite of whatever comes against us this Wednesday, the penultimate day of March 2022, be it rain or snow…or even shine. (smile) 

Why? Because we have been anointed as mighty conquerors in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Bruh Paul said it thus: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:37) And the prophet Isaiah was even more forceful and confident when he declared many moons ago: ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is. 54:17) 

That’s why we can be strong and steadfast in our faith my faithful brethren in Christ! Yes, many will rise up against us and try to put us down, try to silence us, even by leading us like lambs to the slaughter, when we speak of Christ Jesus, sharing the good news of His majestic gospel, brimming with forgiveness of sins, salvation and eternal life, but they will not succeed, because our Lord and Saviour has conquered the prince of darkness and his evil empire through His sacrificial death and resurrection! Glory be! 

And Bruh Paul spelled it out in even greater detail in his first letter to the church at Corinth, where, quoting the prophets Isaiah (25.8) and Hosea (13:14) he told them: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15:54-58) 

Oh Mama, Mama! What encouraging words my fellow saints in Christ! Yes friends, our work for the Lord will not be in vain, for as the author of Hebrews writes: ‘For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of LOVE, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.’ (Heb. 6:10)  

But there are a couple of scriptural reminders I think we need to hear as regards doing the Lord’s work. The first one comes from Bruh Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, where he reminds them: ‘For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings. That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked  and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:13-15) 

Now that’s indeed a very interesting scripture, and the scholars offer this explanation to it. ‘2:14. Since God is producing in the Philippians the willing and doing of His good and perfect will (vs.13), there can be no legitimate reason for murmurings and disputings. Not only are they forbidden to complain about the difficulties and persecutions that will befall them in carrying out God’s good pleasure, but quarrelling among themselves is also prohibited.’ And doesn’t that hit the nail on the head? It certainly does! For if God is working in us to do His good will, why then should there be need for complaints and disputes eh? No reason whatsoever!. 

And I like what the scholars say about ‘2:15. If the readers obey the commands of verses 12-14, they will be blameless (that’s innocent of any accusations), and harmless (i.e. morally pure). But due to party strife and bickering, this is now not true of them.’ Wow! The Corinthians were bickering and divided back then just like we are right now. So how in heaven’s name could they be like sons of God in the middle of an evil and wicked generation, without rebuke, like they ought to be, without incurring spiritual damage?  No way! 

And the same thing applies to our current situation of divisions and disputings within Christ’s church. We therefore could not be held blameless and harmless under any circumstances. And the end to that explanation is even better. (smile) ‘The proper place for God’s people is among the lost. For only in such a position can true Christian witness be borne and influence for the gospel be effectively exerted. Yet believers must remain “without rebuke” in that they suffer no moral damage by contact with the unsaved. Then among unbelievers they will shine forth as lights in the world. As stars are readily noticeable in a dark sky, so healthy Christian lives stand out in testimony among the lost and give credence to one’s witness.’ 

Now that certainly calls for another ‘Wow!’ Because it’s the gospel truth! However, it’s not so easily attained, since it calls for lots of sacrifice, LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness, even when temptations and tribulations are coming against us like mad. But then, on the other hand, that’s exactly what the Christian life, truly living for Jesus, is all about. And no, Christ doesn’t expect us to be perfect, because He knows that He is the ONLY perfect One, but He does expect us to try our very best. Sadly though, a lot of us supposed believers are not trying hard enough, and many are not trying at all! So how then can we shine forth as bright lights in this evil world, and be good testimony to Christ’s gospel eh? We can’t! 

And this is the last scripture I want to share on the subject of doing God’s will. Bruh Paul said very sternly to the Colossians: ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance (salvation); for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ (Col. 3:23-24) Oh my people, whether we be slave or free, whatever we do in this life, we ought to do it as though we’re doing it to God and not to men, although they might have current dominion over us, because it’s God who will reward us in the end. Please, let’s not forget that and raise the level of our Christian witness as is so necessary in these trying times. 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to do all that we’ve spoken of, let’s go home declaring  (yeahhh!!!) 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 it behooves us now to endure until the end, because then the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. Much LOVE!

…am I ever looking forward to that more than glorious future…because I intend to be there at the end…hope you are too…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 January 2022 Philippians 2:14.

Philippians 2:14.      Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings:    

Well it’s Wednesday, not bright like the other days, but just as cold. And would you believe I have to go into the great city of Toronto for a medical check-up. Chuh! It’s a pain going there with all the traffic and confusion, and I would just LOVE to cancel it. (smile) But I can’t find any plausible reason to do so, and, like in most of our problems, I am the beneficiary of the check-up, not the medical people. So if I don’t go, I’m not doing them anything, I’m just putting myself in harms way.

And deep down I know that the Lord will look after me, but I guess it’s just my laziness, or desire not to have to go out into the cold. But sacrifices are a part of this life, and furthermore, it’s a sacrifice for my life, not for anyone else’s. So if you can’t sacrifice for yourself, whom are you going to sacrifice for eh? So enough with the complaining, with the hemming and hawing of whether I should go or not. And I guess, under these circumstances we should take a look at what the Good Book says about complaining. Hn, Hn!

Now Bruh Paul says it loud and clear to the Philippians. ‘Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure.

Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:12-15)

Yes friends, complaining, grumbling, murmuring, disputing or any such negative sentiment, should not be numbered amongst the Christian’s tool kit. Why is that, you ask? I like how the gotquestions.org website explains it in an article on the subject.

‘Complaining is certainly not a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and, in fact, is detrimental to the peace, joy, and patience that come from the Spirit. For the Christian, complaining is destructive and debilitating personally and only serves to make our witness to the world more difficult. Who, for instance, would be attracted to a religion whose adherents are dissatisfied with life and who continually grumble and complain?’

Ah mih people, It’s hard enough to get the unbeliever to respond when we’re kind and contented, much less if we’re continually dissatisfied! And the scholars’ offer this explanation re ‘2:14. Since God is producing in the Philippians the willing and doing of His good and perfect will (vs. 13), there can be no legitimate reason for murmurings and disputings. Not only are they forbidden to complain about the difficulties and persecutions that will befall them in carrying out God’s good pleasure, but quarreling among themselves is also prohibited.’

So all of the nonsense that’s going on between us, supposed believers, re the Covid-19 virus and the many other problems is totally unchristian. And that’s one of the major reasons why we can’t solve any of them; no agreement on how to handle the situations. And that will cause problems every time. For it’s only when we agree, to at least disagree, that healing can begin. And is there ever so much disagreement in our world right now!

I don’t know if there’s anything that we even agree on, and it’s causing so many unnecessary fires both literally and figuratively, to be lit and to keep burning incessantly and with much rage. In fact, rage might be the one common denominator in our world today, for we are all up in arms about something, and nobody wants to give an inch.

That means Peter’s words are continually falling on deaf ears: ‘Use hospitality one to another without grudging (grumbling).’ (1 Pet. 4:9) It’s sad, but ever so true, that the amount of infighting that’s going on between, families, organizations, societies, and nations is mind-boggling and most definitely intolerable, if we are to ever defeat our common problems. And it’s also obvious that we have not taken the immortal words of Hebrews to heart: ‘Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ (Heb. 13:1-2)

Oh friends, we never know who is going to cross our path that will eventually play a large role in our affairs, that’s why it’s so necessary to treat each other with kindness and hospitality, and the only way to bring about some much needed peace and quiet in our tormented and troubled world. Remember what the Good Book says: We are to be ‘blameless and harmless,’ that’s innocent and above rebuke, so we could shine like bright lights in an evil and misguided generation.

That means we are also undoing and disobeying Christ’s desire, when He said: ‘Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14a, 16) And let’s remember that whomever we may be, or whatever our position, our major purpose on this earth is to glorify our heavenly Father!

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. So 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 my faithful brethren, let’s not forget either, that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! That’s just a li’l something to keep us excited, strong and continually motivated to work for Christ! (smile) Much LOVE!

…unfortunately…we believers…instead of using our light to uncover the world’s darkness…we are allowing the world’s darkness to cover our light…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 December 2021 Philippians 2:14.

Philippians 2:14.     Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings.

Well, we’ve opened unto a fairly decent Wednesday, the first day of December; with no snow and some sunshine. Yes, the clouds are there, tirelessly fighting for supremacy, but the sun is in ascendance right now. Thank the Lord! But friends, how I do wish that we, the followers of and believers in Christ had that unflagging, indomitable, unconquerable spirit like those clouds have as they fight the sun’s awesome power, where we never give up, where we are impervious to defeat and only think victory all the time! 

That’s the kind of faith and spirit we need more than ever in these over-the-top, mind-blowing times that none of us have ever before experienced. And instead of complaining like we do, we ought to be crying out to Jesus and living the way He wants us to, believing, as He faithfully promised, that everything will work out for good in the end, for those who sincerely LOVE and abide in Him. And as we promised yesterday, if God spared our lives, which He’s obviously done (smile), we’ll continue talking about that disgusting and ungodly attitude that we too often have, called ‘Complaining.’ 

Now yesterday we saw back in olden times where the Lord chastised the Israelites for too much complaining, especially when He was keeping them in food and drink. They didn’t like manna, and wanted meat, so He gave them so much meat that it eventually turned their hearts against it, became loathsome to them. And I theorized that the same thing is happening to us today with all the disasters, both natural and manmade, as well as the Covid plague that just won’t go away, because of our stubborn, foolish pride and disobedience to Almighty God. 

But enough of my theorizing, let’s turn to the New Testament for some words on the subject of complaining, since some of us wrongly believe that the Old Testament has nothing to offer us in these supposed modern times. And Bruh Paul, the wise man that he was, spoke to the subject in no uncertain terms in his letter to the Philippians. Listen as he tells them. ‘’Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.’ (Phil. 2:12-13) 

And we know that means not literally working for our salvation because that’s a free gift given by God, and has nothing to do with our works, but the carrying out of it to its logical conclusion depends on us. We need to work out the new life not just for our profit but for the benefit of others also. And if we work out and show the new life divinely worked in us, we will live worthy of the gospel, in harmony with each other, seeking the progress of the gospel. We will also regard each other as more important than ourselves, be concerned with the needs of our fellow brethren, and make the appropriate sacrifices in obedience to God, as did Jesus. 

In doing all of this, we will work out or express the new life we have through Christ. And having said a lot of that in the beginning of the chapter and elsewhere in his letter, Bruh Paul continues: ‘Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings. That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:14-15) 

Bruh Paul couldn’t be any clearer than that! Christians are not to be continual grumblers and complainers and disputers! Now remember, it’s God who is working in us, for us to do His good will and pleasure, and that can ofttimes be difficult, calling for sacrifices and such, but don’t lose sight of the fact that in the end it will all work out to our benefit. 

And I like the scholars’ explanation of verse 14. They say: ‘Since God is producing in the Philippians the willing and doing of His good and perfect will (vs.13), there can be no legitimate reason for murmurings and disputings. Not only are they forbidden to complain about the difficulties and persecutions that will befall them in carrying out God’s good pleasure, but quarreling among themselves is also prohibited.’ 

Wow! Now that declaration also stands for us today my fellow believers. And how I wish we could all function in such a Christian manner. But unfortunately, Christ’s church right now is a hot bed of grumbling and complaining, of cliques and groups resentful and jealous of each other, of a whole lot of antagonism and evil doings in the body of Christ! If we follow verses 12 and 14, then we would become blameless and harmless. But due to the significant amount strife in the current church this is presently not true 

And are we ever living in the midst of a perverse, crooked, evil and depraved world. Thus, we are expected to help the lost, since that’s the only way that they will ever know Christ. However, in doing so, we must try and not call our witness into rebuke or disfavour by behaving like the world. Instead, as Christ Himself describes us: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid….Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14, 16) 

Oh friends, our crazy, discombobulated world desperately needs us to be bright lights shining in its evil darkness! Please, please, let’s come up higher nuh, so that we can be the kind of light that Jesus desires us to be. And one way to do that is by stopping the grumbling and complaining that we do daily, over petty and unimportant stuff. Don’t you think it’s breaking Jesus’ heart when He sees the disgusting and disturbing state of disrepair that His church has fallen into? I’m sure it does. And we can’t give Him wrong if sometimes He even asks Himself if His life sacrifice was worth it, considering our willful disobedience and unchristian behaviour. 

So we all need to look in the mirror and truthfully ask ourselves if we are indeed shining lights in the world’s darkness, or just adding to its darkness. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to be lights, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful and enviable position in Christ Jesus. 

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 we need to be in it for the long haul, because those who endure to the end will find that the future is even more glorious than we can ask or even imagine! Much LOVE!

…Christians ought to…be in the world…but not of the world…  

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but life, as it is wont to do, unexpectedly intervened and delayed my writing. Thanks for the forgiveness! (smile) Much LOVE! 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2021 Job 13:15a.

Job 13:15a.     ​Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:

And after the snow comes the mild temperatures…then comes the snow again! I guess that’s how life is, how the Lord orchestrated it to happen; feast then famine, sorrow then joy, one good then bad and so on. But throughout it all He expects us to have a good attitude, to trust Him to work all things out together for our good, as His faithful promise proclaims. (Rom. 8:28) 

And yes, that good attitude is not always easy to come by, especially when the evil and trouble of the world comes against us, but if we are sincere in our trust and belief in Christ Jesus, then we will be able to do it; He will empower us to come up higher in His name. But we have to reach that level of faith where we know that we know that we know ALL His promises are faithful and leave it all in His mighty hands. 

Oh friends, we need to reach the level of faithful maturity so that we can say like Job, when his whole world suddenly came tumbling down. ‘Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (accused Him with wrong).’ (Job 1:21-22) 

Yeh mih people, all of that is much easier said than done, but as believers that’s where we need to get to in this earthly life. How many of us accuse God, even curse Him when things go wrong in our lives even while we’re trying to live right eh? Too many! We need to remember that God is the BOSS, and whatever He says goes, even though it may seem unfair to us. 

And remember too that His mind and ways are higher than ours, thus His plans and purposes we will never fully understand. And if we intend to live a fairly peaceful and productive life here on earth, we need to understand, believe and live His faithful word. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh my brethren, once we can get those promises written down deep in our hearts, minds and souls, then we can live the kind of earthly life Jesus died for us to live; one of peace and abundance, with our eyes focused on the things of heaven, not those of the earth. And if you don’t believe me, then check out how God dealt with Job nuh. After He allowed Satan to inflict wrong on Job so He could prove Job’s faithfulness, He gave Job twice as much as he had in the beginning. ‘And the Lord turned (restored) the captivity (losses) of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’ (Job 42:10) 

Please notice praying for his friends was also an important aspect of God restoring Job’s fortunes. And please note too that Satan had to go to God to get to Job. The Good Book says: ‘Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the Adversary) came also among them.’ (Job 1:6) 

And if we’re wondering how that was possible, hear the scholars. ‘1:6. Sons of God in this passage refers to angelic beings. Satan is considered one of them, though fallen from his original sinless state. His name means “Adversary,” and in this narrative he lives up to its meaning. The passage shows that Satan has access to God’s presence, though this does not seem to be Satan’s abode.’ 

Oh my people, nobody knows how God operates better than Satan, because he was once one of His top operatives before his pride and lofty position made him too big for his britches, and he got kicked out of heaven for trying to overthrow God. Just imagine the ‘boldfacedness’ of the created being nuh! Unfortunately though, we’re doing just like he did, trying to kick God our of our society. But a word of warning to the wise: that will NEVER happen! 

Anyhow, moving on with the story from the Good Book. ‘And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (Job 1:7) The scholars tell us that refers to Satan’s activity, and though he does not admit it there, his many travels are for evil purposes. (1 Pet. 5:8) 

‘The activity of Satan indicates that he has only limited access to God. This account in Job emphasizes that God is sovereign over Satan. It also teaches that Satan is a finite being and therefore not omnipresent (be in several places at once). Nor can he touch God’s servants without God’s permission.’ 

And all God’s children said a loud ‘Amen!’ to that. Then, I like how God boasted on Job to Satan. ‘Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?’ (Job 1:8) Oh brother, I don’t know if I want the Lord to boast so on me to the enemy nuh. (smile) 

But as the scholars explain: ‘1:8. The initiative in the conversation lies with God, but He may well have simply expressed what was on Satan’s mind. God’s view of Job is the same as the description given in 1:1.’ And Satan failed miserably in trying to get Job to curse God. 

Instead he worshipped Him. Despite all the inaccurate and hurtful things his supposed friends said against him, and the way that people despised and turned away from him, Job stood strong in the faith of his God. These word of his, say it all. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He shall also be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) 

Mama Yo! That’s what yuh call ‘strong faith!’ And the scholars explain: ‘13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Now friends, it’s that kind of unquenchable faith that we need to have, especially in these very rough times that we’re currently experiencing. It’s not easy, and will never be easy, once we live here on planet earth with the prince of darkness it’s ruling force. But we know that Jesus will come again and eventually make everything right. 

And this note from the scholars on the turning around of Job’s life is important. ‘The point to be garnered from the book is not that God intends to deal with every servant as abundantly as He did with Job; rather, that God holds sovereign and LOVING sway over every human life. Therefore He can be trusted implicitly in all things (cf. Rom. 8:28; 1Thess. 5:18).’ And that’s what I’ve been trying to say from the very beginning friends! (smile) 

So for those of us who sincerely believe and implicitly trust, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. As one 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!’ 

Now let’s go and do exactly that nuh! Much LOVE!

…the Christian motto…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2018 1 John 3:1a.

1 John 3:1a.   Behold, what manner of LOVE the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons (children) of God.  

And then it was Tuesday…and the much appreciated spring break amidst the winter season continues seemingly unabated. Oh Glory to God! And on top of that, both the sun and the SON are shining forth brilliantly today. Mama Yo! What more can a mortal man ask for eh? Not much really. 

But yuh know what, in our undeserving, sinful nature, our wonderful God gives us even more. Read with me, as I share this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s simply titled ‘You LOVE Me!’ 

‘God When I am wretched and weak You LOVE me. When I am steady and strong You LOVE me. When I am very right Or terribly wrong You LOVE me. When I talk too much Or laugh too loud Or sob too long You LOVE me. When I am quiet and serene You LOVE me. 

When I willingly obey You LOVE me. When I insist on my own way You LOVE me. When I fail to put you first You LOVE me. When I come running back to You You LOVE me. I need not beg You to LOVE me For You who are LOVE Cannot exist without LOVING. 

And yet this very day, dear God I have no real assurance Of Your LOVE at all. I wonder why?  (And the Lord answered)  BELOVED child The fact remains I LOVE you.’ 

Isn’t that something now mih people! Regardless of who we are, or how we behave, our amazing God LOVES US! Even when we don’t feel His LOVE, the indisputable truth still stands; He LOVES us! He just cannot help LOVING, because He is LOVE personified! 

And He caused me to share this particular poem today because He wants to remind us of that fact. He apparently sees that we don’t appreciate the true nature of His LOVE enough, that’s why we are so unsure and uncertain of ourselves in this crazy, troubled society. 

Please accept this reminder my fellow believers, and let it penetrate our hearts and minds right to the very core, so that we’ll never be in doubt, in any situation whatsoever, of our great God’s true and unconditional LOVE for us. It’s one of the elementary tenets of our faith, and if we can’t accept it without reservation, then our faith will be lacking, and won’t be able to grow and mature, as it ought to. 

That’s why John, in his first epistle thought it so necessary to remind us of God’s great LOVE for us, as stated in our Bit. ‘Behold, what manner of LOVE the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons (children) of God.’  

Ah mih breddren how can we not appreciate such an awesome bestowal eh? God didn’t have to, but He wanted to. Why? Because we are His; created by His hand, in His image, and we breathe His breath of life. And even though we have become sinful and disobedient, the facts of the matter cannot be changed. 

Now listen to the scholars on our Bit. ‘3:1. Bestowed is in the perfect tense, suggesting the enduring effect of the LOVE God has given. Believers are children of God by virtue of being born of Him (2:29). Jesus stressed a connection between how the world related to God and how it would in turn relate to Christ’s true followers (John 15:18). After ‘sons of God’ the phrase “And we are” should be added, according to many ancient manuscripts.’ 

Yeh friends, for some reason or the other that definitive statement got left out of our version of the Good Book, but there is no doubt that we are indeed children of God, once we are born again and believe in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

I think though that a part of the problem is that our minds are so small and finite, that we cannot truly grasp the concept of a mighty and holy God LOVING us, despite our sinful and blasphemous nature. But don’t we still LOVE our children though they are disobedient and go astray? So why should it be any different with God eh? Children are children, and fathers are fathers in whatever situation you place them. 

Now let’s look at a couple of scriptures that corroborate our Bit. John says in his gospel: ‘He (the true Light) was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 

But as many as received him, to them gave he power (the right) to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’ (John 1:10-13) 

We couldn’t get more authority than that to become children of God. Now hear this most momentous and eye opening scripture, re the LOVE of God from John’s first epistle. ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. BELOVED, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:10-11)  

That’s our Christian faith in a nutshell right there my brethren. Please let’s practice it in all sincerity and truth nuh. Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are in strong voice. 

‘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 since we’ve declared it, let’s go out now and action it nuh! Much LOVE!

…regardless of what we have…if we don’t have LOVE…we are nothing…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

Oh friends, the ole fella had a rather rough day yesterday, as I guess many of you also had. But yuh know what? Yesterday is dead and gone, and tomorrow never comes, so the only thing we have to deal with is today! 

And there’s nothing better than today when you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, because every morning that you awake your life is flooded with new mercies and blessings. No other faith promises, much less guarantees that! 

And all believers shouted ‘Glory to God in His high heaven, who looks after His wayward children with such care, compassion and LOVING-kindness! Bless His holy name!’ 

Yes my brethren, there’s none that can compare to Jehovah God! And in keeping with all that, let’s wail our Wednesday Wail nuh with enthusiasm and sincerity as befits the followers of Christ. 

‘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!’ 

Oh isn’t it just wonderful to be associated with Jesus my people! It surely is! With His breath of life flowing through our frail bodies we can do anything, even move mountains! All it requires is that we focus on Him and just keep looking straight ahead to the glorious life He has planned for those who believe and work on His behalf. 

And all God’s people loudly declared another joyful and grateful ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And I must apologize for the rather late Bit, but as usual, I went to bed pretty late this morning, consequently got up late, then had to go out the street to run a necessary errand. But I’m here now, all fired up with the Holy Spirit, ready to bend your ears with the Word! (smile) 

And what better way to begin than with our Bit. ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Ah friends, we cannot expect to have the good without the bad, as Job told his wife (Job 2:10) for that’s just life. So if we believe in Christ and receive all the benefits that flow from such belief, then we also have to accept whatever disadvantages spring from it. 

Now listen to Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ: if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature (creation) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.’ (Rom.8:14-19) 

Oh my brethren what a blessed situation, if we only bear the problems that we do encounter with faith and steadfastness! Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about some of that. 

‘8:15. The Spirit of adoption: The Holy Spirit places the believer as a son in God’s family. Abba (Aramaic for “father”): This is the intimate name used only by members of the family. Its use here denotes the intimacy of the believer’s relation to God.’ 

How wonderful is that eh friends, to be on such an intimate basis with Almighty God, who so LOVINGLY adopted us when we became believers in His Son Jesus Christ! 

‘8:17. Joint-heirs with Christ: All believers share all the inheritance together. They also have the promise of glorification if their lives are lived devotedly and sacrificially unto the Lord.’ 

Mama mia! Our God is so wonderful that He adopts us when we become believers, and makes us heirs of the kingdom along with Jesus! Glory be! That happens in no other faith but Christianity, so why should I embrace any other eh! 

‘8:18. The sufferings of this present time: See 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. [You can look that up yourself, or we’ll deal with it tomorrow]. The glory which shall be revealed: The blessed hope of the Christian looks ahead with anticipation to this great moment. See also 1 Thess.4-15; Titus 2:13.’ 

Yeh friends, the suffering of this age cannot be compared with the glory to come, that’s why we have to keep our focus on the future, looking ahead to our glorious time with Christ! 

‘8:19. The creature, or creation, eagerly looks forward to the revelation of the sons of God in the Millennium (Christ’s thousand year earthly reign) because that is the time when the curse will be lifted and creation will be restored to Edenic conditions.’ 

Mama yo! What a time that will be my fellow believers, when we’ve gone back to living in conditions that reflect the Garden of Eden! I can’t wait for it. (smile) But we have to learn to handle the suffering down here first friends. 

So as everything tells us, let’s not focus on the rough times we endure down here right now, but instead, have our mind’s eye set on the time of glorious fellowship with Christ, when He comes back to reign here on earth and when all wrongs will be made right. That’s the only way to handle our troubles right now. Much LOVE!

…through our eyes of faith…let’s see the good times afar off…and let them help us to endure today’s suffering… 

P.S. Sorry, but I had another couple of distractions which made the Bit even later than it should have been. But as they say, better late than never. (smile) Much LOVE!