Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2018 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.

Well friends, it’s Saturday…and yuh know what? The ole fella slept in some. (smile) But who wouldn’t want to sleep in when the spring rain is falling gently on the land, moistening and nourishing it after a long, dry, hard, ugly winter, so that the beauty of nature can sprout and gaily flourish in the spring time? 

Yeh friends, spring is God’s most colourful and productive season where He advances His grand plans for the rest of the year, letting us know through the beauty of a resurgent nature that all things are possible with Him in the lead. Glory to our great God, my people! 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes from our friend Anselm this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And it seems like he was on a happiness trip this week, because all of them either deal with happiness or being happy. (smile) 

Here’s the first one. ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’ Now that’s invariably true; regardless of your circumstances, be they good or bad, you are the one who ultimately controls your happiness, although oftimes we unwisely allow others to do so. 

And the next one says: ‘Happiness …is governed by our mental attitude.’ I guess that’s basically true, although our circumstances play a large part in our happiness. Then there’s: ‘Happy people plan actions; they don’t plan results.’  Now you might not plan the results, but you definitely put forward the actions which you believe will bring about certain results that you desire. 

Next up is: ‘The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.’ Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? (smile) Happiness depending on thoughts? But yes, they do to a large extent. And the last quote tells us: ‘Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy, and make the most of where you are.’ 

A lot of truth in that too, especially in this ‘I and me,’ selfish generation. We certainly don’t care about each other as much as we should, so it’s best if we try to enjoy where we’re at, at any particular time, without depending too much on others or our circumstances. 

That leads us to today’s Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Now friends, that is the Christian way! All this talk about striving to be happy just confuses and muddles us up. We have to learn to be content in whatever state we currently are encapsulated. 

As Bruh Paul continues: ‘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.’ (Phil.4:12) 

Yeh mih people, that’s how Christians ought to live. But remember it’s a learned behaviour, through practical experiences and the hard knocks of life, consequently, it doesn’t happen overnight. And we need to have the joy of the Lord as our strength to accomplish it. Or as Bruh Paul tells his Philippian readers: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

Now that is a magnificent verse of scripture; possibly the most endearing and reassuring for true believers. But as always, in God’s economy, we have to believe it first, before we see it. And if by faith, we don’t believe it, then we’ll never see it. That’s the foundation of our Christian way of life: all things are possible through Christ, if we believe that they are. 

So please my fellow believers, let’s stop killing ourselves to acquire the things of the world which we believe will make us happy, because happiness is but a fleeting illusion, if we depend on our circumstances, or other people, or our possessions to make us happy. Those things and people can change from one day to the next, thus will what we call our happiness. 

But if we find joy, which is a constant state and does not change with circumstances, then we’re in a much better position to live a contented life. But on the other hand, real joy can only be found in the Lord God Jehovah; in His strength, His promises and His eternal and unconditional LOVE, because they never change, but always stand steadfast and strong, and therefore can be relied upon to keep us anchored and well grounded. 

Oh friends, since we’re running later than I expected, I’ll close with this one piece of advice from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that covers it all: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Yes my faithful brethren, if we put God first in EVERYTHING that we do, we’ll want for nothing, we’ll be contented, joyful, happy and have all we need in this earthly life. That’s the promise of Jesus…and He doesn’t lie! Much LOVE!

…he who places wants above needs…will always be left wanting…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2018 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.   Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

And then it was Saturday, that long awaited day of sleeping in! ‘Yeah!’ come the joyful shouts. But others claim a big ‘Nay!’ Why?  Because they are the ones who have a lot of household chores and other stuff to do around the house that they don’t have time to do during the week. No couch surfing for them today. 

But that’s the way of life in our progressive and forward-looking society! (smile) If you want to live in what’s a supposedly first world society, then you just have to do those things that are required in it to prosper and be successful. Oh, I hope you realize that the ole fella is being a li’l sarcastic and facetious. (smile) 

Anyhow, it’s Saturday, so let’s look at some of the quotes our wonderful friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.’ 

Now that’s some thing we all strive for, but can’t always achieve, because in this fallen, mish-mash world, often are the times we have to do stuff that doesn’t make us happy. We hope that on average though, that we will have to do more happy stuff than unhappy ones. Although I recently heard that something like seventy percent of people don’t like or are unhappy in their jobs. Now that doesn’t seem to have much happiness potential. 

That brings us to the second quote: ‘The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.’ Likewise, it’s usually best to do what makes one happy, but we can’t always have it our way, sometimes it just has to be the highway. (smile)  

Then there is this: ‘Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.’ And generally speaking that’s no lie, for positive people just have this aura, like a ray of sunshine around them, that draws others to them, like bees to honey. 

However, it’s not always the good and positive kind who gather round, notice the amount of hangers ons around most celebrities today. That’s because some negative people will be smart enough to jump on the bandwagon of the positive, knowing that good things will eventually come from a positive source. Now it’s certainly better to be positive, but one has to be on the look out for the smart negative ones. 

And then we have this quote: ‘What consumes your mind controls your life.’ Another fact of life friends. Yes, the battle all takes place in our minds, and thus the things we constantly think about are what control us. So if we want to be positive, then we need to think about positive things, and if we want to be happy, then we have to think happy thoughts. 

That brings us to our last quote: ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’ And that’s gospel truth! We can’t depend on others or things to make us happy, because it’s an internal feeling, controlled by us. So regardless of the circumstances, if we want to be happy, we can make ourselves so. 

Notice how a lot of people have all the toys, wealth and excellent circumstances that the world has to offer, but they are still not happy. Meanwhile, many other folks have next to nothing but they are satisfied within themselves. That’s the secret of being happy friends; being satisfied, being comfortable with yourself in any circumstance. 

Hence the words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians in our Bit: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Wow! What a statement! The exact opposite of what the world teaches. 

Ah mih people, if we could only learn that principle and apply it to our lives…oh how much better our lives would be. We wouldn’t always be happy, but we’d be contented, satisfied, not whining and complaining about petty things like so many of us, Christians included, do nowadays. 

Listen to Bruh Paul as he explains. ‘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.’ (Phil.4:12) 

And how has he come by that remarkable ability? Because, as he proudly declares in the next verse: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that verse and spout it often, but it obviously does not ring true in our hearts, otherwise we would not be still tripping all over ourselves to get hold of the world’s wealth and other insignificant things it has to offer. 

If we truly follow Christ, who has promised to meet all our needs, we won’t be so consumed with the things of the world. And an important part of all that, is like the scholars say: ‘The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Yeh friends, contentment will not come overnight, but like life, it’s a process we have to go through, but if we sincerely stick with Jesus, He will eventually show us the way. Remember, He IS the WAY! Much LOVE!

…to be contented in this evil, greedy world…one must know Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2016 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Aye mih people, another bright, sunshiny day is in the offing… And it’s Friday to boot! So you can imagine the raucous shouts worldwide of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Hurrah for the weekend! Get yourselves together to party! No more slaving for two, whole big days! Mama yo! We going to mash up the place! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, you can’t help but voice those sentiments after facing the endless traffic jams, both morning and evening, that result from everybody commuting to work these days and working in the li’l fishbowls that so many of us toil in, five days a week. 

But we have a better perspective on the usage of the weekend. It’s called our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it and raise the stakes to a higher level nuh. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, that is a much better way to spend the weekend. It provides some semblance of balance and circumspection, along with some godly intentions, not merely a free for all of worldly lusts and pleasures. 

Now here is an interesting quote from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. It says, quite straightforwardly; ‘Almost all of our unhappiness is the result of comparing ourselves to others.’ 

And there is indeed a lot of truth in that statement friends! Comparing ourselves to others is one of the big problems in our current society. Keeping up with the Joneses causes more confusion, debt and jealousy than we can ever imagine. 

The world’s wrong definition of who and what we are, which depends on our material possessions, social standing and level of power, drives too many of us to levels of debt, work, lies and pretensions that we cannot safely manage. 

I thank the Lord everyday, that though I may desire some of the things and standards of living that others have, I’m not envious, neither do I try my level best to become like them. And the sad part is that oftimes we don’t know what others have sacrificed to get what they have and where they are. 

And if we knew, we wouldn’t be so quick to want to be like them, because many have sold their souls to Beelzebub for their power, social standing and material possessions. So friends, let me strongly dissuade us this Friday morning from comparing ourselves to others, because it’s just a fool’s game. 

The Lord in His absolute wisdom made us each different for a purpose. If He wanted us to be all the same, He would have done so. And trying desperately to be like others only drives a negative wedge in our lives. So please stop it! End of sermon. (smile) 

That brings us to our rather appropriate Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ 

Oh my brethren, learning that, takes so much stress and strain off of our frail human shoulders, especially in this show-off society of ours. 

Hear the scholars take on our Bit nuh. ‘4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication. 

I have learned …to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

And indeed so it is my people! Contentment is a learned way of life, through many trials and tribulations. Bruh Paul was here acknowledging the financial aid he’d received from the members of the Philippian church. 

‘But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of (concern for) me hath flourished (revived) again; wherein ye were also careful (though you surely did care), ye lacked opportunity.’ (Phil.4:10) They were concerned about him, but lacked the opportunity to minister to him. 

That leads Bruh Paul to continue after our Bit. ‘I both know how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

And we’ll end with some interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is, to tighten the belt in lean times. 

To abound means to live in prosperity. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed (or, “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is, “well fed.” To abound means to have plenty. To suffer need means to go without. 

Paul has acquired the skill required for successful living with little and with much, the latter being harder. “For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” (Thomas Carlyle).’ 

Yeh friends, for many of us, living in prosperity is indeed harder than living in adversity. When we have plenty, we often don’t know what to do with it. However, when we only have a little, we just have to make do. 

Now please don’t get the idea that we’re supposed to live miserly or stringently, because Christ said He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, but by the same token, we also need to know how to live when we don’t have abundance, and not be greedy or envious of those who have. 

So let’s go out there today and begin learning the life lessons we need to live as we ought nuh. (smile) Much LOVE!

…contentment can only be had through the peace of Jesus…

 

  

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2014 Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13.     I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

 
Oh Friends, I certainly wasn’t able to sit on my deck yesterday afternoon and enjoy the warm, healing rays of the sun, for it was a tad chilly, just like the weather people had said. And it looks like today will be just the same. Oh the annoying vagaries of the weather eh!
 
However, with bated breath, hungry hope and expectant faith, we are patiently waiting for those ‘lazy, crazy days of summer’ to arrive. (smile) For we know that they will eventually appear, because the Lord has decreed it, just not exactly when.
 
And so, as we wait with eager patience for all that God has in store for us, let’s make, or rather reaffirm this pledge, this declaration of intent, since we have invoked it before.
 
‘I can do all things through Christ. God has new opportunities for me. I am not settling for where I am now. I’m stretching myself, and pursuing what He (God) has put in my heart. God’s plan for my life is greater than I could imagine, and I am determined to be who He wants me to be. This is my declaration of what I can do through Christ.’
 
And all of God’s people proclaimed a loud and lusty: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’
 
Yes Friends, please remember that when we partner with Christ, when we have Him and His Holy Spirit buried deep in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, when He’s our true guide and leader, anything at all is possible through His omnipotence!
 
And that’s something we Christians don’t take as seriously and believe as strongly as we ought to, for if we did, a lot of us wouldn’t be in some of the unfortunate and/or untenable situations that we’re currently in.
 
Unfortunately, too many of us simply pay lip service to our Bit. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’
 
Oh Friends, that’s a basic tenet of our faith! If we don’t truly believe that, and even more importantly put it into practice, then our faith is useless, since we can’t successfully fight the evil powers of this world in our own strength.
 
Now just before our Bit, Bruh Paul made two other famous statements to the Philippians. Speaking in appreciation of a gift they’d sent him (most likely money), he declares: ‘But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me (concern) hath flourished again (revived); wherein ye were also careful (though you surely did care), but ye lacked opportunity.
 
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 both know 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.’ (Phil.4:10-12)
 
Oh my fellow believers, what mighty words, and also lessons that each and every Christian ought to learn and apply!
 
Now here is some worthwhile info from the scholars on those verses and our Bit. ‘4:10. Wherein ye were also careful, or, “regarding your care for me, you really were concerned”: Paul acknowledges that they were concerned about his needs all along, but they lacked opportunity to minister to him.
 
4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication.
 
I have learned…to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.
 
4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is, to tighten the belt in lean times. To abound means to live in prosperity.
 
Every where and in all things I am instructed (or, “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is, “well-fed” To abound means to have plenty. To suffer need means to go without.
 
Paul has acquired the skill for successfully living with little and with much, the latter probably being harder: “For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” (Thomas Carlyle).
 
4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman.
 
The reason he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances.
 
God orders Paul’s various situations, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’
 
Oh yes my brethren, it’s God’s provision that enables us to be strong and content in any and every situation. But it’s not an easy thing to accomplish and can only be learned though life’s hard lessons.
 
That’s why it’s so awfully important to have the Holy Spirit of Jesus firmly entrenched in our being, so that we can have the necessary help to face all our situations, be they good or bad.
 
Steups! And it’s interesting that I had one of those situations a little while ago. In the middle of copying verse 10, above, the power suddenly went, and I lost a little of what I had written. But I didn’t pull out my hair and scream to high heaven, as I would have done previously. 
 
Now I was unhappy and annoyed, but over the years I’ve learned to save stuff as I write, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, or has been in the past, when I had to start over from scratch.
 
So I had to reboot and all of that, and with my already waking up late, it just makes the Bit even later. I don’t like it when the Bit is late, but life happens, and I just have to grin and bear it. (smile)
 
Oh, one more thing, for those of you who happen to check out my Blog site, please accept my humble apologies for the different fonts and sizes that have been appearing on it lately. That’s not my fault. I post it properly, but somehow or the other when wordpress, my blogging site, converts it, these days it comes up that way.
 
I’m not thrilled with it all, and I’m trying to have it fixed. But until then please bear with me. Chuh!
 
Anyway, we have lots to meditate and ponder on today, to learn to live contentedly in whatever situation we find ourselves, so let’s get to it nuh. (smile) And I know it’s long, but that makes up for yesterday’s short one. (smile)  
 
And I hope that the Bit helps us all to keep our focus on Almighty God, as it’s designed to do. For that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Him (Jesus)…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE HIM…for He makes everything worthwhile…