Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

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

Welcome, welcome, one and all to rainy day Tuesday! Yes the rain has not really eased up nuh. It drizzled most of the night. Good thing it’s mostly drizzles and not big downpours. I guess we can be thankful for small mercies there. But chuh! I’m tired talking about the rain yes! (smile) 

If it’s going to fall, just let it fall and ignore it. It’s got to stop at some time since the Lord promised that He wouldn’t ever destroy the earth by flooding again…but please note He didn’t say anything about no warnings by flooding! (smile) 

Anyway, remember last week when we heard from Gramps Schuller (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional on allowing trouble to lift you up, to let it be a golden opportunity to rise higher? Well today we’re going to continue in that vein, where he says: ‘Let Your Problems Lead You to God!’ And isn’t that the wise and sensible thing to do! 

Now listen as Gramps Schuller elucidates: ‘No problem leaves you where it found you. Read this affirmation out loud: “I will be a different person when this problem is past. I will be a wiser, stronger, more patient person; or I will be sour, cynical, bitter, disillusioned, and angry. It all depends on what I do with this problem. 

Each problem can make me a better person or a worse person. It can bring me closer to God, or it can drive me away from God. It can build my faith or it can shatter my faith. It all depends on my attitude. I intend to be a better person when this problem leaves me than I was when it met me.’ 

Glory be my precious people! That’s the ONLY wise way to go! Too many of us though go the wrong way, and then allow the problems to leave us BITTER and not BETTER! That’s a fool’s wisdom my faithful brethren! As true believers in Christ we are supposed to come up over the problem, and the first step in doing that is taking it to the Almighty, to whom we ascribe that nothing is impossible, and who promises to faithfully help us solve all our problems. 

So if we have someone to whom nothing is impossible, and whose help is assured, why don’t we run to Him with every problem eh? I’d guess that foolish pride or disbelief, or a combination of both keeps us from running to God first with our problems. Only when we discover we can’t handle them by ourselves, do we go cap in hand, miserably seeking the Father’s help. 

And one of the many ways He helps us is by providing protective armour for us in our earthly battle with the forces of evil and ungodliness. As we saw yesterday, Bruh Paul said that it was ever so important we: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes friends, the devil is always out there like a roaring, but toothless lion, looking for someone to trip up and deceive, and if we’re not wearing our protective spiritual armour, then we’re easy pickings for him. 

Now let’s refresh our memories about what exactly is this spiritual armour we’re talking about. Listen to Bruh Paul 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) 

Oh my brethren when we have those necessary pieces of protection, helmet, sword, shoes, shield and breastplate, then and only then are we ready to engage the enemy in battle. 

Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about those individual pieces of spiritual armour. ‘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. 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 (v14b) 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 the 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.’ 

Oh my people, I know it all sounds very complicated, but if we sincerely and regularly read, study and meditate on God’s Word, most of those things will come naturally to us. We’ll know the truth of His Word, as well as have a good knowledge of Scripture, that will lead us to a moral and godly life, and the peace that we find in the Word will just make us eager to go out and fight God’s battles, protected by the assurance of salvation and the strong and sturdy shield of our faith, with Bible verses just saturating in our hearts with which to rebuke the devil! 

Remember though friends that the Word is sharp like a two edged sword that cuts right down to the bone! It’s a dangerous weapon my people, so we have to be very careful how we wield it. (smile) Anyway, enough on the spiritual armour topic, it’s turned out to be longer than I planned, but it’s all for our benefit. 

And having absorbed all the above, (smile) let’s go home fully clothed in our spiritual armour sincerely and vociferously declaring (bingo!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are! All together now: ‘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!’ 

Isn’t that just a wonderful situation my faithful saints of Christ! Now let’s go out and share His awesome LOVE and amazing friendship, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…only when faced with adversity…can we know the true strength and maturity…of our Christian faith…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2019 Psalm 16:8.

Psalm 16:8.     I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Yeh mih breddren, I know Monday has rolled around again, and with it has come those dreaded Monday Blues; thoughts and worries and concerns released into our systems by our macabre enemy to steal our joy, our hope, our strength and our wonderful faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

He knows that if he can just instill some doubt and insecurity in our souls and spirits he will be able to get some sort of foothold in our lives. 

However friends, we need to deny the devil that touch of victory, deny him any victory at all! And the only way we can do that is by immersing ourselves in the Word of the Lord, in prayer and meditation and speaking that Word out loud to rebuke his satanic majesty.

We all know that Satan is only full of mouth, and once we stand up to him, with Jesus by our side, he runs and hide, because he knows he can’t win any battles involving Jesus. In fact he’s already been defeated in the war over death, hell and the grave! 

Wow! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus won it hands down when He rose majestic and victorious on Easter Sunday morn! Glory to the Father for His most wonderful and unconditional LOVE for us His stubborn, hardhearted and disobedient children, which caused Him to sacrifice His ONLY Son on our behalf! 

Oh friends, our God is a great and ever-faithful Deity yes! And I say that as I chuckle here, because when I came to write, I had no idea of what I was going to write, not even how to open the Bit. But as you can see from the above stuff, with the Lord’s help and encouragement the words and ideas just flowed! (smile) 
So how can I ever doubt Him eh? And I’m offering you the glorious opportunity to also have Him be a major part of your life, so that you too can personally experience, His awesome LOVE and faithfulness. And we’ll show you some of that faithfulness as we come to Him and ask Him to drive away those awful Monday Blues and enliven our souls and spirits once again. 
So let’s declare (right ho) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the antidote, the wrecking ball for those tired and listless feelings with full sincerity and a true sense of purpose, because, without those two elements, it won’t work. 
All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 
Oh yes my people, our God is good! And I know that you are feeling that rebirth, that refuelling of the Holy Spirit in your lives, because I too am feeling it in mine! Glory to God! So now we can truly get out into that evil world and fight a good fight in Jesus’ name, like we’ve been destined to do! 
And I was also led to some most appropriate scripture to go along with all the other aspects of our Bit. Listen to these words, heart-stopping, sincere, and ever so wise words from Bruh David, as he seeks preservation and blessing from the God of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 
‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell) in hope.
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (Sheol, the abode of the dead); neither wilt thou suffer (allow) thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ (Ps.16:8-11) 
Oh friends, all of that is oh so true because Jesus came and did it all!  He won the victory over hell, death and the grave, and showed the path of life, letting us know that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, as well as the everlasting Light that engulfs God’s universe, and that ONLY through Him can we ever come to the Father. And when we partner with Him, there is everlasting joy and pleasure, earthly and heavenly, waiting for us. 
Now what can be better than all that eh friends? Who else can provide all of that in ONE body eh? Only Jesus Christ! So there is much wisdom in coming to know and adore, admire and live for Him. 
And besides, to prove that those words of Bruh David weren’t empty words, Peter preached them in his great sermon on the Day of Pentecost, (Acts 2:25-28) letting the people of Jerusalem and all its visitors know that Jesus Christ had indeed brought that prophecy to fruition by His selfless, once and for all sacrifice of Himself on the cross at Calvary.  
So please friends, today, let’s take heart, courage and strength from the wondrous works of Jesus as He full well desires us to do. Much LOVE!
…to receive all that heaven offers…one must give all of oneself to Christ…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2019 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   ​And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
 

Ah mih people, the sun is shining brightly outside, the gloominess has been lifted, but please be careful because the weather isn’t completely done with its frustrating shenanigans! (smile) 

Yeh, yuh still hearing about the likelihood of getting all the different kinds of winter weather over the weekend, and the place is still white with ice and snow, and the wind is still blowing strong, but we not going to let it bother us. Like the workingman says in his song, we going to do our thing, regardless of what kind of weather shows up! Amen! 

And since it’s Saturday, and we have good reasons to sleep in, (smile) let’s check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first quote is interesting: ‘I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.’ 

Now I don’t know if that is completely true nuh, because oftimes our decisions are made because of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. So though the decisions may seal the deal, they can always be leveraged by the circumstances. 

And the next one says: ‘The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.’ And believe me, a lot of people will try to stop you, possibly more than will allow you to do what you want to do, especially in these turbulent times of technological advances and the rise of social media, where every fool and his brother can introduce their two cents worth without revealing their identities. 

But friends, all that foolishness should not stop us in stepping up to the plate and valiantly and powerfully doing what Jesus requires of us. Remember, He had plenty opposition too, but that never stopped Him from doing the Father’s business, and neither should we let whatever opposition comes against us stop us from doing His work. 

Then there’s: ‘Education costs money. But then so does ignorance.’ Gospel truth that! (smile) But somehow or the other, I believe that in this day and age education is costing a whole lot more than ignorance. 

You really don’t have to do much of anything to obtain ignorance nuh, just let the world go by without paying much attention to it, and you will end up ignorant, like so many of us unfortunately are today. We not even paying attention to the good free stuff like Jesus and His LOVE Revolution, so how can we be anything else but ignorant eh? 

And then this last quote says: ‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there.’ I don’t know if you’ll be quite halfway there, but your strong belief in whatever you’re doing is certainly going to get you over the top. It’s like the Chinese Proverb advocates: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’ 

And most definitely, the first crucial step in any undertaking is to believe that you can do it, otherwise your odds of success will be greatly lowered. That’s just the way the Lord set up His universe. That’s why Jesus castigated the disciples with these words, when they queried why they could not heal a mentally ill young boy. 

‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21)  

Yeh friends, we do indeed need even a small grain of belief before we can do anything successfully. Jesus even talked earlier about the parable of the mustard seed: ‘Which indeed is the least of (smallest of) all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among the herbs (greater than the other herbs), and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge (rest, sleep) in the branches thereof.’ (Matt.13:32) 

So friends, you see that all things start with small beginnings, and that also applies to our faith, our belief in Christ Jesus; we start with a small grain of faith or belief, then as time goes on and we water and feed it with the right nutrients- i.e. the Word of God, prayer and fellowship- our faith will grow stronger and stronger, and just like the mustard tree, we will be able to help others come to Jesus and grow strong in faith too. Glory Hallelujah! 

And likewise, when Jesus put a curse on the bare fig tree, and the disciples marvelled at how quickly it withered away: ‘Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:21-22) 

Yes my people, belief and believing are the corner stones to doing anything successfully in this world…and even more so in Jesus’ realm. So let’s wake up and smell the coffee nuh (smile) and start truly believing, because without true belief, we will never see Jesus! Much LOVE!

…the world says…seeing is believing…but Jesus says…believe it…then you will see it…

P.S. It nice and short and sweet today. (smile) Praise the Lord! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 February 2019 John 8:32.

John 8:32.   ​And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
 

And then it was Saturday…And are we ever breathing a sigh of relief that we might finally get a li’l relief from the deep freeze that’s held us prisoner for the last week! But plenty places are still under heavy manners from the cold spell, and it’s been forecasted that the west coast, especially down in California is going to get rain and snow and all the other negative consequences associated with those things this weekend. 

Brother! And some of us still foolishly don’t believe in climate change? Steups! It’s just simple logic: If you put a whole lot of negative stuff in the atmosphere over a number of years, it will eventually change the way atmosphere functions! Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn to some quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  

Hear this first one: ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.’ Now the basic part of that is certainly true; you have to follow your dreams. But then as a follower of and believer in Jesus Christ, you need to sync up your dreams with the plan He has for your life, otherwise you won’t be overly successful as a believer. 

 I can tell you that from personal experience, because once I decided to accept Jesus’ offer to write the Bit, my life changed substantially, both inwardly and outwardly. It was never my intention to be a Christian writer, a writer yes, but certainly not on Christian matters, but that seems to have been His plan for me. And I’m glad now that I accepted it. Now it hasn’t been all wine, roses and song, (smile) but it has certainly been very interesting and enlightening. 

So please remember to include Jesus in your dreams! That leads us to this quote: ‘The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.’ I do have some argument with that on the Christian basis, because we claim that the Lord has a plan destined for each and everyone of us, and the only way we’ll ever unfurl that plan successfully is with His help. However, technically speaking, the choice is ours, to be whom we decide to be, either within God’s plan or outside of it. 

And then we have: ‘Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.’ And that’s oh so true! We either build our own dreams, or help somebody else build theirs. The only problem there is if everybody builds their own dreams, who’s going to help them build it eh, since no man is an island and we all need help to grow. 

In the long run we have to realize that not all of us were meant to be dream makers, but some were assigned to help build those dreams, and it’s no shame or disgrace to help someone else build their dream. And we can often get more satisfaction from helping someone else build something great, than from building our own small, insignificant dream. 

Now hear this quote: ‘It is only after the deepest darkness that the greatest joy can come.’ And isn’t that gospel truth! It’s usually after the most negative circumstances occur that we get the most positive situations. And as they say, you can’t enjoy the sunshine without having experienced the rain. And as Bruh David so elegantly puts it. ‘For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.’ (Ps.30:5) Yeh friends, light certainly comes after darkness! 

Then this last quote says: ‘Any time you beg another man to set you free, you will never be free. Freedom is something that you have to do for yourselves.’ There we go again with that elusive word ‘freedom!’ Are we ever, or can we ever be truly free? No! It’s just not possible. For as the man says we all have to bow to somebody in this life! 

And freedom is NEVER free; you always have to pay a great price for whatever kind of freedom you’re seeking, and then there’s an awesome responsibility that comes with it, not even mentioning the struggle that it takes to stay free. Just look at all the struggles for freedom down through the ages! 

How many of them were considered successful eh? And how many of them lasted for any real time eh? Most of them just bred more dissension, and then, some other group decided to fight for their freedom! So there is always an ongoing fight for some kind of freedom in our messed up world! 

But all is not lost friends, hear me now, the closest we can come to real freedom in this life is that freedom offered by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And all God’s people shouted a loud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Praise the holy name of Jesus!’ Yes friends, it’s only when we know the Truth, the Truth that’s associated with Jesus, that we can ever come close to being truly free. 

 Listen to Him tell it: ‘Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue (abide) in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ (John 8:31-32) And like Pilate asked of Jesus, so do many of us: ‘What is truth?’ (John 19:38) 

My people, the ultimate truth is the Word of God, found in His Word; the Bible! As John says: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ (John 1:1) And hear Moses tell it in his song: ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord; ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.’ (Deut.32:3-4) 

And if you don’t believe Moses, then listen to Bruh David: ‘For his merciful kindness (LOVING-kindness) is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.117:2) And if you still don’t believe, then listen to the real authority on the subject, Jesus: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

Yes friends, there it is in black and white! If you desire what amounts to true freedom, then Jesus is the ONLY Way to get it! He fought to give it to us, by being crucified and thus paying for our sins. So glory to God, all those who follow Him are now free! For whom the Son sets free is free indeed! (John 8:36) Please remember that and act accordingly! Much LOVE!

…the law was given by Moses…but grace and truth came by…Jesus Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2018 John 10:10.

John 10:10.   The thief cometh  not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
 

Well it’s Saturday, that great sleep in day! And believe me, I tried to do so but I just couldn’t, got too many things to do today! Hn! How many I’ll do though is left to the Lord. I’ve got to go to an Ironman’s Breakfast at church for 9.30, which means I have to finish this before then. 

The Ironmen is a church group of manly men who get together every so often to do good deeds and feed our faces. The great thing about it is that I doubt anyone who comes regularly is under the age of sixty. Hn! Hn! And some are even over seventy! So I guess the ‘iron’ moniker is appropriate because of the length of time we’ve lived. (smile) 

Anyhow, we old Ironmen always have a good time whenever we get together. But since it’s Saturday, I guess we should look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here is the first one: ‘Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.’ 

Now that’s not totally true. You need to want to do it, but you can’t do it in your own strength, otherwise many of us would be living much better lives. That’s because only God, through His Son, our Lord and Saviour can really make any effective and long-lasting changes in our lives. Remember that! To change, we need to enlist God’s help!  

And the next three quotes basically allude to the same thing; enjoyment of life. ‘Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.’ That’s a perfectly good exercise to perform friends. It helps you to start liking and LOVING yourself, because the second big commandment says: ‘LOVE your neighbour as yourself,’ and if you don’t like or LOVE yourself, then you’ll never do the same for your neighbour. 

Now please note this is not an exercise in narcissism; you don’t have to go overboard with it and get so swollen up with pride that you’re even worse than before, LOVING yourself too much! (smile) 

Then there’s this one: ‘Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things.’ Gospel truth that my people! Laughter and an easygoing life are the best remedies for the stress and strain that’s so much a part of this too busy life. They say that laughter is the cheapest medicine you can buy, because it’s free. No lie! 

But to all of that I’d like to add, also peruse the word of God on a regular basis, and you won’t have to go to any shrink or mind doctor and pay a whole set of money for advice and medication that you can get for free in God’s free Health clinic! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness and mercy to the undeserving children of men!’ Yes friends, the Good Book, and Dr. Jesus are mostly what you need in this life to combat a lot of your illnesses. He might send you to the human doctor for the diagnosis and medication, but Dr. Jesus is where we should always begin. 

And this last quote tells us: ‘Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.’ 

Ah mih people, too many of us waste our short time here on earth waiting for stuff to happen before we can get happy and enjoy our lives. But that’s a fool’s wisdom! We have to stop allowing circumstances to make us happy. In fact just forget the word ‘happy’ and think more in terms of being joyful, which means that you’re peaceful and contented under whatever circumstances come against you. 

But then we need to have Jesus in our lives to do that. In particular we need to admit and take hold of this passage of scripture. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ 

Oh friends what an important passage of scripture! Jesus came that we might have life; both physically and spiritually, and that we might enjoy them despite the negative tendencies of the enemy, and we need to embrace that with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls if we intend to live a victorious life down here on earth. 

He didn’t only die to pay for our sins, but also that we might enjoy our earthly life, begin enjoying some of the lesser pleasures down here, so that we can truly appreciate the great ones that await us in heaven! But friends, we have to walk and live with the Lord to enjoy that kind of comfort! 

Now here are a couple of scriptures that I think might help us in the matter of enjoying our everyday lives. First listen to Moses in Psalm 90: ‘For all our days are passed away in thy wrath; we spend our years as a tale that is told (a sigh). The days of our years (lives) are threescore years and ten (70); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength (their boast only) labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away… So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom). (Ps.90:9-10,12)

Yeh friends, our lives are very short when taken into the totality of time. That’s why we have to be wise and live it in a joyful manner. And finally this gem from Bruh Paul to the Philippians in appreciation for their gift: 

‘Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil.4:11-13) 

Yeh friends, only when we can attest to those things will be truly able to enjoy our earthly lives! Much LOVE!

…but godliness…with contentment…is great gain… (1 Tim.6:6)

 

 

 

 

 

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 15 September 2018 2 Corinthian 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.   For we walk by faith, not by sight.

And then it was Saturday; the day so many of us use to sleep in. I tried to do it, but it didn’t work, the aches and pains were too powerful. Hn! I went out yesterday evening, came home tired and went to bed early, so the body responded by being up early too. But them’s the breaks! What’s the saying? Early to bed, early to rise! 

So here we are, another week of work is over and we need to recuperate in just two short days. And it’s only if and when we’re walking wholeheartedly with Jesus that we can accomplish such a miraculous task. So please check Him out. He’s anxiously awaiting your call for help. 

And you can see that by the wonderful offer of His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Ah people, what an invitation! There’s never been any like it, and will never be another like it, because Jesus is the only Being who can promise such stuff and actually provide it. Glory to His Holy Name! 

Now since it’s Saturday, we ought to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us, but unfortunately I only received one this week. But it certainly is interesting and good enough for us to build around. So here it is: ‘The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into your reality.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! But you know why? Because as true believers in Christ: ‘We walk by faith and not by sight.’ Glory be mih people! It’s our faith in Christ Jesus that allows us to see the things that are not as the things that are. We don’t first have to see something to believe it. We believe it and then we see it! Glory to God! 

That’s why we have those magnificent verses of scripture from Hebrews that tell us: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds (ages) were framed (prepared) by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (are visible).’ (Heb.11:1-3) 

Yeh friends, it’s faith that moves mountains; faith that allows us to believe what we don’t see, it’s through faith we believe that God spoke the world into existence from nothingness! And when we have great faith it can be counted to us for righteousness, like it was for Abraham. 

And then later on in Hebrews 11, we have that other famous verse on faith: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

Oh my brethren, only through faith can one believe that God, the ephemeral, spiritual, almighty Being exists, because you can’t see nor touch Him. And I’d be amiss if I didn’t share the scholars’ thoughts on the subject. 

‘11:1. Verse 1 is not so much a definition of what faith is, as it is a description of what faith does. (cf.11:6). Two truths concerning its activity are stated here. First, faith provides substance (Gr. hypostasis). Though broad in its usages, this Greek word normally has the meaning of “assurance” in the New Testament  (cf.3:14; 2 Cor.9:4; 11:17) and this seems to be the best sense here. 

Second, faith provides evidence (Gr. elegchos). It is evidence in the sense of proof that results in conviction. The difference between assurance and evidence would be minimal were it not for the phrase qualifying each: of things hoped for and of things not seen. The first involves future hope; the second involves present realities that are unseen. 

The first includes the hope of the resurrection, the return of Christ, and the glorification of the saints. The second involves unseen realities, such as the forgiveness of sin through Christ’s sacrifice and the present intercession of Christ in heaven. Hope is faith relating to the future; conviction is faith relating to the present.’ 

Ah friends, I hope (smile) that that li’l treatise on faith helps you to understand it better. And to end, we’ll get some more immortal words from Bruh Paul, this time to the church at Rome, on the subject of hope. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (wait eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Exactly my fellow believers! If you can see something, there’s no reason to hope for it. But if you can’t see it physically, then there’s all the reason to hope for it! So let’s wisely hope for all the good things we can’t see nuh, and through faith, believe that we have them and with perseverance wait eagerly for them! That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith…unless you first have hope…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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