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 3 January 2017 I Samuel 15:22.

1 Samuel 15:22.    And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Well friends, here it is at last, Tuesday’s Bit, as you know they say better late than never and the ole fella had a rough day to say the least. I don’t know whatever made me decide to take a sleeping pill last night, because it drove me up the wall, drove me crazy, as though I was taking acid and I was just there making noise, howling at the moon.

I was so tied up with it, that all during the day I couldn’t catch myself. I wanted to write the Bit early, but I just didn’t have the wherewithal to do it and then the powers that be came and took me away to do a test to see if my heart had any blockages or anything.

The good news is though that there are no blockages, just a weak heart. So we have to find out now how to handle that using medication and otherwise and the help of Number One obviously. Because between you and me people, from what the heart looks like, if it wasn’t for Number One I might not be around at all right now, so let’s give him thanks and praise for all that he has done for me, and I’m asking for some prayers so that the ole fella can get strong again and keep on doing what he was meant to do.

Anyway, the long and short of the story is that they jook up my right hand, my right wrist so I can’t use my right hand to do anything strenuous, that means that I’m here sitting down in the back of Recovery, dictating this to my young daughter so that she can type it out for me.

It’s not to say even that they jook up my left hand and I can use my right hand but them’s the breaks baby, at least we are going to get the Bit going, because you know that is the most important thing, neither rain, sleet, snow nor sickness supposed to stop the Bit.

So all you Scrip-Bit family and friends who have your knickers tied up in a knot, please untie them, the ole fella is alive, he might not be kicking too hard, but in due course he will be, so just relax yourself, offer up some prayers and let us do what we are supposed to do. Remember this is a new year and we all promised that we will follow Jesus more closely than ever, so let’s do that.

Now let’s turn to our Bit, the same as yesterday, because obedience is such a big part of following God: ‘And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren!

Listen to the psalmist Asaph, as he talks about God is the judge: ‘Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God, I will not reprove (rebuke thee) for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds; for every beast of the forest is mine and the cattle upon a thousand hills.’ (Ps.50:7-10).

So friends, whatever we give to God, is already God’s, so let’s not feel so euphoric when we make an offering to God.

And hear now, the punishment for Judah’s rebellion as declared by Jeremiah ‘Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:

But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God and ye shall be my people and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they harkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.’ (Jer.7: 21-24).

And sadly the same thing is happening to us today, we talk plenty about God, but material things and the ways of the world, are what really control us.

Hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 51 – A Prayer for Cleansing – after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba, Nathan called him out:

‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps. 51:15-17).

Now friends, let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, believing every word that we speak: ‘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!’ Much LOVE my people!

…The three most important things dealing with God…obedience… obedience… obedience…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 September 2016 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Oh friends, let’s begin this Sunday morning, the last of summer 2016, with some very appropriate praise and worship for these difficult times. 

Please sing with me: ‘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 shall He 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, the trumpet call obey; Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day. Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes; Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose. 

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 armor, each piece put on with prayer; Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post, Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host: Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain, And prove to all around you that death itself is gain. 

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 those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be; They with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.’ 

Ah mih people, in these evil days, Christians are more than ever needed to stand strong and steadfast in Jesus, if we truly want to wear that victor’s crown! Unfortunately, as individuals, as well as the body of Christ, the church, we are not doing as good a job as we should. 

And why is that eh? Who knows? I figure we are still too enthralled by the wealth and material possessions of the world, and a lot of us don’t take Jesus and his Word as seriously as we should. To many of us, He is still some ephemeral character out there in the wild blue yonder, and not the true living force that’s supposed to dwell within us. 

But whatever the reason(s) friends, the fact remains that we are definitely not fighting as sincerely, diligently and purposefully as we ought to. We are allowing the enemy to take the Lord out of our society with impunity. Then the disharmony, disunity, strife, jealousy and all the other negative things which are currently found in the church, does nothing to help the situation. 

Look at the amount of denominations we have, all supposedly preaching the same Jesus Christ, yet all going in different directions, and not ever seeming to meet. Are there denominations in heaven? I doubt it. So why are we splitting up, allowing the enemy to divide and conquer us with nary a whimper eh? 

I don’t know. But I know for sure that if we don’t pick up the intensity and desire to truly LOVE Jesus and fight for our faith, we will not be the victors in this ongoing war with the evil one and his powerful and predominant evil minions.

Friends, this is no joking matter, it is a serious one, one of life and death! And not only the physical, but more so the spiritual aspect. 

Remember the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you (put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:12-13) 

Yes friends, that’s how serious the fight is. And even when we have on the armour of God, we still need to walk carefully, and do as our Bit dictates. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Oh my people, the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell within us, so that it could lead and guide us in a godly direction. But something is obviously wrong somewhere because we’re not fighting the good fight of faith, as we ought to. The works of the flesh are still too rampant within the supposed community of faith. And what are those works of the flesh? 

Hear Bruh Paul. ‘Now the works of the flesh are manifest (evident), which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness (sexual impurity), lasciviousness (licentiousness), Idolatry, witchcraft (sorcery), hatred, variance (contentions, discord), emulations (jealousies), wrath, strife (selfish ambitions), seditions (dissensions), heresies (divisions, cliques), 

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (excessive eating, gluttony, carousing) and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ (Gal.5:19-21) 

Oh my brethren, if we look around our world, the unfortunate fact is that all those things are rampant throughout it – even in supposed Christian circles! 

And we’ll end with these words of warning from the scholars. ‘The person whose life is habitually characterized by the sins and vices of verses 19-21 shall not inherit the kingdom of God, that is, he will not be in heaven because he is not a Christian.’ It’s as simple as that my people. 

So please, I implore us to thoroughly check ourselves to see if any of those lusts of the flesh are habits of ours, and if so, pray sincerely to God to help us get rid of them, otherwise, crapaud smoke we pipe, we’ll be on the outside looking in, come the big day. Not only that, we also have to lessen the unchristian behaviour that’s happening within and between our churches. Nuff said! 

Now may the good Lord bless us and keep us safe from harm and help us to walk the straight and narrow righteous path that leads to Him and His heavenly sanctuary. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…