Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 March 2019 Matthew 4:1.

Matthew 4:1.    

Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

 

And then it was Friday, the beginning of the March break, so I can imagine that all the airports are full and running over with the amount of people just dying to get away from the lengthy spell of cold weather that’s recently held us in its iron grip! 

Yeh, wish I was one of those crowding the airport terminals too, but my day will come, so I’m not worried, and I know too that whatever the Lord allows to come against me, He will give me the grace and strength to face it victoriously! Glory to our great and wonderful and generous and merciful, forgiving and magnanimous God my people! 

Now we have lots to cover today, so let’s get on with it; let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself today! And as always, he’s very vocal: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui; March break Friday and the children and them don’t have no school for a whole week. Steups! That means they underfoot all blooming week. Got to see if I can’t send them by their uncle up in the North Country for at least a few days. 

It would be good if I could take some time off and go somewhere with them, but the slave driver only give we holidays in the summer when he place shut down to retool…plus I don’t have enough money to carry all of us overseas to the warm climates right now anyway! So we’ll just have to make the best of a bad situation right here in cold Toronto…Hn, hn, hn! 

And ah talking as if that ever stop we before! We still going to eat and drink and party hearty this weekend. So bring it on! Let the fun and games begin, as we get into another free from work weekend! Thank God for Fridays and weekend yes! Don’t know what I would have done without them to break up the monotony and harsh reality of work nuh!’ 

Yeh friends, plenty of us believers also fall into the same category as the workingman, can’t get time off and don’t have enough money to take the family on a holiday to a warm place, but we too will manage, because we have the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ indwelling us, and He gives us the wherewithal to withstand anything that comes against us! Glory to God!

So let’s chant our weekend song, our Friday Chant, with the same, if not more enthusiasm than the workingman did in his song, since we have plenty more to be thankful for. 

All together 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!’ 

That was good friends! We could feel that deep down in our souls and our God was happy to hear us rejoice and be thankful in our relationship with Him. (smile) Now let’s turn to our Bit, those stirring words that foreshadowed some of the awful stuff that our Saviour Christ Jesus suffered on our behalf. ‘Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t think that any of us would have made it successfully through forty days and nights of fasting then serious temptation by the evil one himself. But Jesus did. Give Him the glory! And today we’ll look at the third major temptation. 

The Good Book says: ‘Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence (away with you), Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold angels came and ministered unto him.’ (Matt.4:8-11) 

Oh friends, the devil is very persistent, and we have to be very strong in our reproach and rebuke too. In this last temptation Jesus rebuked Satan with a combination of words from Deut.6:13, 10:20 and Josh.24:14.

We also need to know the proper scripture to rebuke the enemy when he comes a calling, which means we have to read and study and meditate on God’s Word. I can’t overstate the importance of knowing the Word to help us in ALL aspects of our lives! 

Now here is some pertinent info on the last temptation from the scholars. ‘4:8. The third temptation takes place on an exceeding high mountain. The mountain is clearly real in the text, though its exact location is unidentified. Despite the grandeur of the temptation, nothing in the passage itself indicates that these temptations were only in the mind of Christ.

Clearly, they are depicted as real experiences that actually occurred in the human life of the Messiah. That Satan, the usurper, would attempt to give the kingdoms of the world to Jesus, the Messiah, the rightful King, is the height of absurdity!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s how boldface Satan is, offering us stuff that already belongs to us! How boldface can some people get eh! And then this other offering from the scholars. ‘4:9-11. For Christ to fall down and worship Satan would have been to acknowledge the Devil’s lordship over Him. 

In His direct rebuke Get thee hence, Satan, Jesus clearly asserts His lordship over the old serpent whose head He will soon crush. Matthew’s statement that Satan leaveth him shows that his order of temptations is the chronological one. (cf. Luke 4:1-13).’ (Luke has the mountain temptation second and the temple pinnacle last). 

Well that brings us to the end of today’s Bit, but please, please remember my people, that though Jesus rebuked Satan and crushed him, the ole devil is still out there roaring a toothless roar; (smile) he’s all bark and no bite, and has no power to overcome us, unless we fall for his deception and allow him into our lives!

So this Lenten season, let’s get serious in our decision to get closer to God nuh, study His awesome Word and put it into practice in our lives! That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…God gave us His Word… as a guidebook for our earthly lives…let’s be wise and use it nuh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 March 2019 Matthew 4:1.

Matthew 4:1.   

Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
 
Yes mih people, it’s a brand new day, and it ‘s cold out there, but the sun’s shining and the ole fella didn’t want to get up this morning, but like the obedient soldier that he is, he forced himself to get up so he could get these precious words of godly wisdom out to you at a reasonable hour. 

Wow! That’s why they say b.s. baffles brains! (smile) But I guess I was just tired from my outing in the big city yesterday, which went quite well, as it ought to, since the Lord carried me there on His broad, strong shoulders and brought me back safe and sound. That’s what He promised, and that’s what He delivered! Yuh know He’s One to always keep His promises. 

And today, on this second day of Lent, we’ll continue to look at the temptations that Satan threw at Jesus in His hungry state in the wilderness during His forty days and nights of fasting. ‘Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ 

We saw yesterday where in the first major temptation Satan tried to get Jesus to make bread from stone to curb His hunger, but He came back with Old Testament scripture stating that man doesn’t live by bread alone but by God’s Word. (Matt.4:4; Deut.8:3) 

 Satan’s next attempt to get Jesus to sin was as the Good Book says: ‘Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple. And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’ (Matt.4:5-6) 

What a crook and con artist is the devil eh! There he uses scripture incorrectly to tempt Jesus, and does the same thing to us nowadays, in his very deceitful manner. Friends, what we need to realize is that the devil knows scripture much better than us and thus can use it in deceitful ways to trap us. But we have to do like Jesus and stop him in his tracks with powerful statements like Jesus did: ‘Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt (test) the Lord thy God.’ (Matt.4:7) 

There Jesus retorted with scripture from Deut.6:16, where Moses reminded the Israelites: ‘Ye shall not tempt (test) the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.’  When they were ready to rebel and stone him and Aaron and go back to Egypt and the Lord was ready to destroy them but withheld His wrath on Moses’ plea. 

And the scholars offer an interesting explanation of those verses above. ‘4:5-7. The second temptation took place in the holy city (Jerusalem) on the pinnacle of the temple, which towered above the Kidron Valley. Evidently, Jesus was transported there by Satan’s power, and this time the devil quoted Scripture (out of context) in order to get Him to sin and ultimately shake His faith in the Word. 

Satan used Psalm 91:11-12 urging Jesus to cast thyself down. Again Jesus replied with Scripture (Deut.6:16) that he was not to tempt…God by such a presumptuous action. The very passage of scripture quoted by Satan actually goes on to promise God’s ultimate victory over him!’ 

And because I’m so sweet and LOVING and like to spoon-feed you all, (smile) I’ll quote the scriptures that the ole crook Satan used in his second temptation on Christ. ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation (dwelling place); 

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear (lift) thee up in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder (cobra): the young lion and the dragon (serpent) shalt thou trample underfoot.’ (Ps.91:9-13) 

Yes friends, that same serpent that the Lord promised us we should tread upon is the devil, Satan himself! So as I said earlier on, we have to be very careful when he comes to tempt us, because he knows his scripture and can use it in very deceitful ways to cause us to fall into all kinds of evil and temptation. 

The only way to cancel that out is for us to know our scripture too, so like Christ, when the con-man brings his deceitful scripture to us, we can blast him back like Jesus did! That means we have to keep on seriously and steadfastly studying and meditating on the word, so we can recall it at a moment’s notice, because oftimes we don’t have much time to make our decisions, and the sooner we can call up scriptures to help us, the better off we will be. 

Now let’s move on to this most wonderful part of Today’s Bit, where we declare (right ho) our Thursday Blessings. As one, in strong voice and sincere, heartfelt sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, just having any one of those blessings is sufficient, but our Lord and God is so generous and magnanimous that He lavished oh so much more on us! Wow!  What a wonderful God we serve and worship! But wait a minute here, don’t get too carried away, those blessings aren’t only for us to hoard and keep, but more importantly for us to share, and generously too like Him, with others less fortunate than us. So let’s go out and do just that now nuh and show our true Christian nature to the fullest! Much LOVE!

…to give.. is so much better than…to receive…it brings more joy to the heart and soul…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2019 1 Corinthians 10:13.

1 Corinthians 10:13.   ​There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
 

‘It’s coming down, coming down, the snow is coming down! It’s coming down coming down, the snow is coming down!’ Yes friends, that soft white fluffy, pretty looking but ever so dangerous stuff is coming down out there, promising to lay and egg of about 15 cm high! Serious stuff that yes! Lots of schools have already shut down for the day and the roads will be a total mess, especially in the evening commute. 

But what’s a li’l snow when we have Jesus to lead and guide us eh? Nothing really! And I’m talking big here but as the Lord would have it, I have to go into the big city of T.O to check my pacemaker, and believe me I’m going, come hell or high water, because I don’t believe it’s working as it should and I’m tired with this tired, short of breath feeling I’m still getting. It’s not going to be easy slugging, but I’m going! 

Aye mih first born…aren’t you proud of the ole fella, that he’s not canceling this appointment despite the bad weather? I know you are! (smile) And talking about that I just saw an interesting and rather appropriate quote from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) on the subject. He says that ‘A trial is for the purpose of purifying and strengthening us.’ Let’s hope this trial of going into the city today in this ridiculous weather does purify and strengthen me. (smile) 

But on the other hand, Uncle Charles claims that ‘A temptation is for the purpose of enticing us to sin, to pollute us.’ And do temptations ever abound in this sinful and ungodly world. However, we have to note one important thing here; temptation is not sin, it only becomes sin when we fall for the temptation. Remember Jesus was tempted too during His fast of forty days and nights in the wilderness. (Matt.4:1-11) And He kept telling Satan ‘It is written…’ quoting the Good Book for him. 

But He never fell for any of the temptations, therefore He did not sin. And neither will we, if we don’t give into the temptations that constantly buffet and bombard us in this fallen world. And the author of Hebrews tells it to us in plain language: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb.4:15) 

Yes my people, Jesus underwent all the stuff we are going through, so He can certainly empathize with the pressures that we experience in our daily lives. That’s what makes Him so great as our High Priest and Intercessor; He has first hand knowledge of the world’s temptations and sinful conniving! 

And the scholars offer an interesting point here: ‘Temptation is greatest in duration and intensity when one does not accept the “easy” way out by sinning. If man’s temptation is greater when he endures it, surely Christ’s was great since He had no alternative, in His humanity, but to endure it.’ 

Yeh friends, Christ had no choice but to endure it, for he could not sin, otherwise the whole plan for payment of our sin debts and salvation would have gone down the drain, since only a sinless soul could pay for us. But we have the option to sin, if we so desire, not that we would desire to do such a foolish thing eh! (smile) 

And what the scholars said earlier on, that temptation lasts longer and is more intense when you resist it, is certainly true. I’m sure you’ve noticed that in your own lives. And the author of Hebrews also offers another gem in the temptation problem, re Jesus. ‘For in that He himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour (aid) them that are tempted.’ (Heb.2:18) Gospel truth that my brethren! We are ale to help others better when we have already experienced their situations. 

But listen to these words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth, outlining this glorious promise of our wonderful God, who’s always there to help us. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ 

 Yes friends, all men are subject to temptation, but we must realize three things here: (1) Our God will never give us more than we can bear. (2) He will always make a way out. Not necessarily escaping the temptation completely, but allowing us to go through it and coming out safely on the other side. (3) He will be right there with us at every step through thick and thin of that temptation! Glory to our wonderful God! 

So please remember that temptations will always assault us, but we don’t have to fall for them, because we have a High Priest who can empathize with us, and also a heavenly Father who’s made provision for us to be able to endure whatever comes against us. We couldn’t ask for more. 

Now let’s go home this Wednesday declaring (wrong again) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our serious position in Christ. Wailing, as one: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Ah mih people, how wonderful is our Jesus eh! Let’s be wise and embrace Him with all we have nuh! That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…with all that Jesus suffered for us…and currently offers us…why would we ever in our right minds…turn Him down eh…