Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 January 2022 John 10:10b.

John 10:10b.     I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Boy oh boy! Two days of decent sunshine in a row! That must be a record! But I think it’s going to be a tad on the cold side. That’s okay though, I can handle the cold when the sun’s shining. It’s just the dark, damp, dreary weather that gets to me. But all thanks to Jesus, I can handle both types of weather, if I just put my mind to it. 

And that’s the beauty of living for Jesus: He enables you to do anything that coincides with His will or plan for your life. That’s why we say, with full confidence: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ Phil. 4:13) Now just saying it doesn’t make it true. You have to sincerely believe it, and make it a customary practice, a habit in your life, so that after a while, it just blends in automatically. (smile) 

Ah friends, knowing who we are in Christ, and knowing the benefits that spring forth from such a privileged position, is extremely important if we want to live the abundant life that Jesus promised, and died for us to have. And you ask, what does it mean to be in Christ? 

Well, the simple answer is that when we are born again, when we receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour, He comes to dwell in us through His Holy Spirit, and we become a part of Him. We are made clean, renewed and acceptable to the Holy Father. But I found this article on the subject on the website which I believe explains it better than I can. (smile) 

So let’s see what it says. ‘In Christ, we are regenerated, renewed, and born again, and this new creation is spiritually minded, whereas the old nature is carnally minded. The new nature fellowships with God, obeys His will, and is devoted to His service. These are actions the old nature is incapable of doing or even desiring to do. The old nature is dead to the things of the Spirit and cannot revive itself. It is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1) and can only be made alive by a supernatural awakening, which happens when we come to Christ and are indwelt by Him. 

Christ gives us a completely new and holy nature and an incorruptible life. Our old life, previously dead to God because of sin, is buried, and we are raised “to walk in newness of life” with Him (Rom. 6:4). If we belong to Christ, we are united to Him and no longer slaves to sin (Rom. 6:5-6); we are made alive with Him (Eph. 2:5); we are conformed to His image (Rom. 8:29); we are free from condemnation and walking not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:1); and we are part of the body of Christ with other believers (Rom. 12:5). 

The believer now possesses a new heart (Ezek. 11:19) and has been blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:3). We might wonder why we so often do not live in the manner described, even though we have given our lives to Christ and are sure of our salvation. This is because our new natures are residing in our old fleshly bodies, and these two are at war with one another. The old nature is dead, but the new nature still has to battle the old “tent” in which it dwells. Evil and sin are still present, but the believer now sees them in a new perspective and they no longer control him as they once did. 

In Christ, we can now choose to resist sin, whereas the old nature could not. Now we have the choice to either feed the new nature through the Word, prayer, and obedience, or to feed the flesh by neglecting those things. When we are in Christ, “we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37) and can rejoice in our Savior, who makes all things possible (Phil. 4:13). In Christ we are LOVED, forgiven, and secure. In Christ we are adopted, justified, redeemed, reconciled, and chosen. In Christ we are victorious, filled with joy and peace, and granted true meaning in life. What a wonderful Savior is Christ!’ 

And isn’t all that the gospel truth my fellow saints! In Christ Jesus we have EVERYTHING we can ever need! In other words, the abundant life. Like he said. ‘The thief cometh not, but (except) for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Yes friends, that was Christ’s stated purpose; to save us from eternal death and damnation, to give us a better quality of life both here and in the hereafter. So please, let’s not make His sacrifice a waste of time by not enjoying the life He died for us to have. Therefore, let’s turn sincerely to Him, cling tenaciously to him, and live victoriously for Him, for that is the wisdom of the ages! 

And one of the things that come with such absolute devotion is prayer, both in good and bad times. So, in these rough times we are currently experiencing, let’s turn to our Saviour, our Creator for badly needed divine help, through our Friday Chant. As one strong, confident, but humble voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Let’s remember though, that we don’t just pray for help, but we also keep the promises we made in our prayer. Much LOVE!

…only in Christ…can one discover many of the answers…to the mysteries of life… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2020 Nehemiah 9:3.

Nehemiah 9:3.     ​And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God.

Come on friends, it’s Thursday, so let’s rejoice! Let’s rejoice that it’s Thursday nuh! And some foolish person asks: ‘Why rejoice because it’s Thursday eh? Now if it was Friday…then I could understand the rejoicing.’ And somebody answered: ‘Fool! You rejoicing that’s it’s Thursday because you’re alive and kicking on this Thursday morning! You need to rejoice everyday that yuh alive! And furthermore, if you don’t rejoice today, Thursday, who knows if you’re going to be around to see Friday so you could rejoice then eh?’ 

Ah mih people, yuh know what I’ve discovered? That the older you get, the more you become interested in life, that’s real life, not the ‘flittery’, glittery, insubstantial thing the world terms life. But stuff like the true meaning of life, why were we put here on this planet at this particular time, and not some other time? Why nature could be so wonderful at one moment then natural disaster strikes without warning? 

What is mankind really about, why the old people told us about the birds and bees, or the stork bringing life? What happens before and after our earthly journey? Why does strife seem to be an essential part of our evolution? There’s been possibly more years of strife in our world than those of relative peace. I heard somebody say once that the only years when there wasn’t strife on earth was the thirty three years that Christ lived here. Now isn’t that remarkable, if it’s really true? 

And by now some of you must be wondering where I’m going with all this? Well the truth is, I don’t know!  For all I know, they might just be the ramblings of a confused elderly man. Please note that I didn’t say old, but elderly. (smile) That’s because I don’t consider myself old, just getting on in age… 

Oh praise the Lord! I believe I was just shown where I was going with all of that rambling. To the writings of Nehemiah after they rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and listened to the law of the Lord being read to them and were so taken with it, that they fasted and repented. Hn! 

The Good Book puts it thus: ‘Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them (dust on their heads). And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers (foreigners), and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God.’ (Neh. 9:1-3) 

Yeh friends, as the scholars explain: ‘9:3. One fourth part of the day was three daylight hours, when God’s Word was read publicly, following which the people joined in a great confession of sin led by the Levites (vs. 5-37).’ Oh my people, what a marvellous day that was in old Israel: reading God’s Word publicly for three hours then confessing their sin publicly for another three hours and making a covenant with the Lord at the end. ‘And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.’ (Neh. 9:38) 

Mama Mia! I wonder if we could have something like that in these desperate times eh? Not likely because of the current laws against such large gatherings. But it sure would serve a great and useful purpose if we could have what we use to call revivals…and do we ever need them in this difficult season! But people have hardened their hearts and are afraid, panicked by too many different opinions and supposed facts which don’t seem to add up. And above all, we have turned away from the God of our forefathers on too much of a large scale. 

With God no longer in schools, public places and many homes, and with false teachers in churches teaching all sorts of nonsense, but the real truth of the Word, the reassurance and confidence needed to undergo the trials and tribulations of these times is sadly lacking in our society. Yeh mih bredrin, Bruh Paul’s words to Timothy have certainly come true in our time. Talking about the preachers he says: ‘Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.’ (2 Tim. 3:5) That’s those who have mere religion without the power, without a true spiritual life. Teaching what people want to hear, a feel-good religion without any real substance. 

And yes friends, it looks much worse on us than it did on Israel back then? Why? Because many of them were just coming back from a 70-year exile in Babylon and had never heard the word of Moses read, so it was completely new to them. But we already have a covenant; one with Jesus Christ, and a better one then they had, but we have chosen to break it, to forsake the benefits it offers because we refuse to do the obedience it calls for. 

And the truth of the matter is all the people of Israel did that day was to remember the good and wonderful things that the Lord did for their forefathers and give Him thanks and praise for not destroying them completely. This verse says it all. ‘Nevertheless for thy great mercies sake (in thy great mercy) thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.’ (Neh. 9:31) 

Now many of us have experienced God’s mercies and goodness throughout our lives, but when the hard times come, we forget what He’s already done for us. That’s foolish my people. That’s when we ought to remember how He’s brought us through all the storms and trials and be reassured that if He’s done it before, He can and will do it again. Now I don’t know if sackcloth and ashes or dust are necessary, but I’m sure that fasting and sincere repentance and remembrance of God’s forgotten mercies would help us get through these pandemic and strife-filled times. Why don’t we try them eh? We’d be surprised at their efficacy. (smile) 

Now let’s go home sincerely declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings that have been generously bestowed on us to do the Lord’s work down here on earth. All together 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!’ 

What we waiting for then eh? Let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously with others, as Jesus desires! Much LOVE!

…to survive trials…count your blessings…remember what the Lord has done…