Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 July 2021 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.        …for without me ye can do nothing.

Don’t look now friends, but it’s that big day, Monday, the first day of the new work week! (smile) And since some of those pandemic restrictions have been lifted, I guess more of us will be going back out to work today – some joyfully, others sadly, as their extended holiday is over. But let’s remember that whatever the circumstances, we can handle them successfully if we have the Holy Spirt of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ dwelling within us. That’s one of the many differences and improvements between believers and the infidel; with Jesus, we can do any and everything, through Him who strengthens us. Give Him thanks and praise my people! 

And how do we get and stay strong in Christ? Listen to His immortal words on the subject, to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ (John 15:4) How sweet is that eh mih bredrin! That’s how we get and stay strong in Christ. And if you didn’t get it the first time, He goes on to further explain. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

Wow! How direct and to the point is Jesus eh! Unless we stick with Him, we cannot do anything! And that’s the gospel truth my people! It’s only with Christ as the catalyst and moving agent in our life that we are able to do anything truly worthwhile down here on planet earth. 

And the scholars give us some useful info on that verse, re the Union with Christ.‘15:5. The uniqueness of the Christian experience results from the union of Christ and the believer. This is expressed in Scripture as Christ being in the believer and the believer in Christ. Ten times Paul uses the Greek preposition sun (“together”) to describe this relationship. Believers were crucified (Gal. 2:20), dead (Col. 2:20), buried (Rom. 6:4), quickened or made alive (Eph. 2:1-5; Col. 2:13), raised (Col. 3:1; Eph. 2:6), seated (Eph. 2:6), and glorified (Rom. 8:17) together with Christ. 

Illustration: Jesus used the image of the vine and its branches to describe His union with the believer. Application: On the basis of this union, the apostle Paul showed how the successful Christian life can be opened with four key words in Romans 6: know (vs. 6), reckon (vs. 11), yield (vs. 13), and obey (vs. 17). The Christian can conquer sin because Christ lives in him (Gal. 2:20). (First Ref. John 7:37-38; Primary Ref. John 15:1-5; cf. 1 John 5:13).’ 

Well, there you have it friends, our Bible Study for today! (smile) Lots of Scriptures for us to look up. And please do look them up, for it will be to our benefit, as they will only enhance our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. It’s all about inner growth or spiritual maturity my people. And that takes us to Bruh Paul’s prayer for just that in his missive to the church at Ephesus. 

‘That He (Christ) would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye , being rooted and grounded in LOVE, May be able to comprehend (understand) with all saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth and height; And to know the LOVE of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph. 3:16-19) 

Oh Mama, Mama! What a powerful prayer! And the scholars explain it all thus: ‘3:16-19. In these verses Paul makes three prayer requests for the addressees: (1) That they would be strengthened with might by His Spirit (vs. 16), that is, that they be divinely enabled to successfully live the Christian life. (2) That the readers be able to comprehend…the LOVE of Christ, that is to better understand the enormous LOVE Christ has for them. And (3) that they might be filled with all the fullness of God, that is, that the life, character, and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’ 

Now that does sound like a big programme for believers to undertake, but Bruh Paul knew what he was doing. Listen to how he ends that passage nuh. ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph. 3:20-21) Yes friends, Bruh Paul was not making those prayer requests for too much, because he was asking the One who could do ever so much more than we can ask or think; that’s Almighty God. 

So please don’t think that you can’t do anything because it’s too big for you. It might seem so, but it is definitely not too big for our God; the One who created us and still LOVES us dearly, despite all our faults and failures. That means we can go to Him right now with our problems and ask for His awesome help. So as one strong, confident, but humble voice, let’s offer up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

But let me warn us, that we won’t get our desires unless we sincerely turn away from our evil ways and seek God with right motives in our hearts! Much LOVE!

…we can never sell God short…for He is bigger than anything we can ask or imagine…                                                                                          

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2021 Ephesians 3:20.

Ephesians 3:20.     Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

And then, rather quickly, it was Thursday, the penultimate day of the work week, and our lives are still somewhat confused by the pandemic and racial unrest. However, despite how things may appear, regardless of all the worries and pain, if you believe that your life is in Almighty God’s hands, then those problems will become very surmountable! Yes friends, once you are in God’s hands, problems never seem as worrisome and problematic! 

Oh, you will still have them, because that’s just a part of life on this planet, but once you’re walking with Him, once you are a follower of His wonderful Son, our Sacrificial Lamb, Jesus Christ, He’s always there to help and comfort you through His Holy Spirit that indwells all His followers! 

Wow! What awesome comfort and assurance! No other Deity can provide such emotional relief and trust, because no other Deity is alive and well and powerful like the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But the important thing is that we have to embrace all the promises and benefits that the Lord has provided. They don’t come to us automatically. We have to make the decision to come to Christ and accept that He is Lord and Saviour. 

And today, what we’re going to look at is the first act in that action. (smile) It’s called prayer, or talking to God in reverential awe; humbly, but with confidence, as Hebrews tells us: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) 

Now, prayer is not only asking God for stuff we want, or think we need, it goes much deeper than that. It is in essence a communing of our spirit with that of the Father, who originally breathed His Spirit in us to give us life. And when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us to lead and guide us and to help us commune with the Almighty. Part of the Holy Spirit’s job is also to help us in prayer. 

Bruh Paul puts it like this to the church at Rome. ‘Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities (weaknesses): for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts (God) knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.’ (Rom. 8:26-27) 

Yes precious people, the Holy Spirit interprets our innermost feelings that we cannot put into words and aligns them with God’s will. For remember, before the Lord grants our requests, He looks at the motives of our hearts, to see if they’re selfish, greedy and outside of His will. 

But getting back to actual prayer. Let’s look at how Bruh Paul prayed for others. It’s strange, but he didn’t usually pray for people’s troubles to go away and that sort of thing, he mostly prayed that they would have inner growth, and thus be able to handle the problems from a point of greater maturity. Here’s how he prayed for the Ephesians, the church at Ephesus. 

‘For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named (derived). That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in LOVE, May be able to comprehend (understand) with all saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth and height; And to know the LOVE of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph. 3:14-19) 

Oh, I know that it seems like a long and complicated prayer, but in essence it’s fairly simple. Here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘3:16-19. In these verses Paul makes three prayer requests for the addressees: (1) That they would be strengthened with might by his spirit (vs.16), that is, they be divinely enabled to successfully live the Christian life. (2) That the readers be able to comprehend…the LOVE of Christ , that is, to better understand the enormous LOVE Christ has for them. And (3) that they might be filled with all the fullness of God, that is, that the life, character, and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’ 

Oh my people, doesn’t that sound like a complete prayer? It surely does! When we are strengthened by the Spirit, then we can understand Christ’s LOVE, then live the way He desires us to live, through strong and mature faith, ‘rooted and grounded in LOVE.’ And there’s no other way to live the Christian life my friends. 

But Bruh Paul wasn’t done with his prayer. He continues: ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph. 3:20-21) And the scholars tell us: ‘3:20. In making the three above petitions (vs. 16-19) Paul has not asked for too much. For he prays unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that he can ask or think.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! Our God is omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, that means He can do all things, knows all things and is everywhere at the same time! And that’s why He is GOD! So let’s try to adopt some of those prayer principles that Bruh Paul established nuh. Let’s not just pray for troubles to be over, or success to be gained, but for us to receive what we need to grow and mature in the faith, have our inner man strengthened. We will all end up better off and living a more complete Christian life. 

And now, since it’s Thursday, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, which the Lord has magnanimously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. Altogether now, in strong and sincere voice: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, it’s time for us to now share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…Christ came as a servant…and He expects the same of His followers… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2016 Ephesians 3:20.

Ephesians 3:20.   Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

Happy Birthday T&T! Wow! Congratulations! You’ve made it to a big 54 years old! 

Yes friends, today is the 54th birthday of Trinidad and Tobago. It received Independence from Britain on August 31 1962, and has certainly made its mark on the world stage in several different areas. 

Now obviously things have changed over those 54 years, some for good, others for worse, and although right now it’s allegedly steeped in crime and corruption, it hasn’t lost its essential Trini vibe; one of an easy going, come what may, fun and laughter character. 

And you can imagine the partying that will be taking place today! But please, I implore us to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, please, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ For it’s in those times of great celebration that the evil one does his best work. 

And I sincerely pray that the Lord will open the eyes of the people of T&T and show them the error of their ways and encourage them to repent of their sinfulness and return to the God who once made them the most prosperous country in the West Indies. 

I don’t know if any other small country had as many churches, and well attended ones too, in its heyday. And like so many other countries, these days that’s changing, God is also being pushed out of the society. 

That brings to mind the quote of the first Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) that says: ‘The basic fact of today is the tremendous pace of change in human life.’ Hn! 

And if Nehru thought that life was changing fast in his time, he wouldn’t like to experience it now, for at no other time in man’s history has change been as quick and revolutionary in all aspects, as today. 

Now some change is good, but others not good. Unfortunately though, our world seems to be accepting more readily the changes that are not so good, thus our continuing fall from God’s grace. 

But yuh know what my people? We’re not going to complain about all that’s wrong with our world nuh, instead we’re going to do our very best to fix it, while enjoying the good things. And that all begins with a positive, Christ like attitude which is found in our Wednesday Wail. 

So, as one strong, positive enthusiastic, energetic Christian body, let’s wail it nuh! ‘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!’ 

And if we’re true Christians, that should be gospel truth my brethren! We should be excited about being alive, of securely holding the plough and moving forward with Jesus to what ever wonderful opportunities He has planned for us! 

Remember His promise in Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11) 

And our ever faithful God is truly a man of His word. So if He says that He has a good future in mind for us, then there is an excellent plan laid out for each of our lives. I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but I believe my best years are still ahead of me…Glory to God! 

Now let’s check out our Bit. ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.’ 

Steups! As usual, I’ve left too little time and space for our Bit. But we’ll soldier on and do our best. (smile)

Now yesterday we saw that Bruh Paul was praying for the inner growth of the Ephesians, and by extension us too. Today, we’ll look at the actual prayer, the three verses before our Bit. 

‘That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in LOVE,

May be able to comprehend (understand) with all saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth, and height;

And to know the LOVE of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph.3:16-19) 

Oh friends, in these desperate times, we also desperately need that prayer over our lives. We need to understand, be strengthened, rooted and grounded in Christ’s LOVE, so that we can courageously and faithfully go about His business here on earth. 

Now here is some info from the scholars. ‘3:16-19. In these verses Paul makes three prayer requests for the addressees: (1) That they would be strengthened with might by his Spirit (v.16), that is, that they be divinely enabled to successfully live the Christian life. 

(2) That the readers be able to comprehend…the LOVE of Christ, that is, to better understand the enormous LOVE Christ has for them. And (3) that they might be filled with the fullness of God, that is, that the life, character, and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, we need to have all of that worked into our lives too. So let’s end like Bruh Paul did; sending those prayers up to the One who could successfully answer them. 

‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph.3:20-21) 

And may the Lord answer our sincere, heartfelt prayer my people, as we stay strong and steadfast in faith! Much LOVE!

…only when our lives are built on the strong foundation that’s Jesus…can we truly enjoy our earthly life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2015 Ephesians 3:20

Ephesians 3:20.    Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

Aye mateys, it’s time to roll outa your bunks and hit the decks…running! The sun’s a rising, and the Son’s a beaming His most brilliant Light all over His Father’s great universe! Glory to God! 

Ah Friends, I’m trying to be as diplomatic as I can, (smile) to let you know that it’s Monday morning and it’s time to get up and go to work. But you know it’s always better to face reality straight in the face than try to slant it, or tone it down. As the Good Book tells us, the truth will set us free. 

And the truth of the matter is that we have to rise and shine, let our saltiness flavour our world and our light lead it in a godly manner, for that is our God-given task. 

Oh, I know that many of us are still tired, lazy, depressed, whatever, and don’t really feel like getting up and getting a move on, but we have to if we want to make a living. And as usual, to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much enthusiasm and energy as we can muster.

Now, as one harmonious choir, with Jesus as our choirmaster, let’s sing.  ‘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!’ 

Not bad, not bad at all mih people! I guess we saw the stern look on Jesus’ face and the fire in His eyes, and realized that He was not in a fooling mood, He meant business this morning. (smile) 

So now that the adrenalin is pumping, providing much needed fuel for our somewhat less than warmed up motors, let’s get out there on the firing line and just do LOVE nuh, do LOVE like Jesus did, and still does. Once we’re doing LOVE with a sincere heart, then we know that we are walking obediently in His footsteps, with absolutely nothing to worry about. 

So what about it eh Friends? Are we up to the challenge this Monday morning? I’m sure we are. And why am I so sure of that? Because of our Bit, which is a promise from the Word of God, and all God’s promises are faithful and true. 

So if Bruh Paul, God’s mouthpiece and messenger says this in his missive to the church at Ephesus: ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,’ then it must be true. No ifs ands or buts about it! 

Yes my brethren, we are children of the Most High God, we belong to the family of a mighty Deity, whose power can do infinitely more than our finite minds can even imagine! And please don’t ever forget that! Your heavenly Father is the most omnipotent force in the universe that He created and still controls! 

Don’t bother with Lucifer and his li’l fool fool minions. They can’t do anything to stop or harm a child of the Most High God Jehovah!  They only have plenty mouth – like some of us Christians – but the Father can destroy them with a simple word.  Glory Hallelujah! 

Now let’s check out a few scripture passages which corroborate our Bit. In 1 Corinthians, when talking about wisdom being God’s gift, Bruh Paul reminds his readers: ‘But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that LOVE him.’ (1Cor.2:9)  

Yeh Friends, none of us really know the wonderful things that God has prepared for those of us who truly LOVE and reverence Him! They are too high and wonderful for our small minds to comprehend. 

Then, in his letter to the Colossians, Bruh Paul in talking about his service for Christ, ends the chapter with these powerful words. ‘Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.’ (Col.1:29)  

Oh my fellow believers, when we LOVE God and aspire to do His bidding, He will also work mightily in us! Oh glory to God! 

Then in his concluding doxology to the church at Rome, Bruh Paul assures them: ‘Now to him that is of power (is able) to stablish (establish) you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began. 

But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith. To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.’ (Rom.16:25-27) 

Yes Friends, the whole saga of mankind (the mystery) was prepared even before the world began, but only made known through the prophets and the coming of Jesus in God’s right timing! 

So please, let’s go out today and do what we need to do nuh, without fear or worry, because the most powerful force in the universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is looking out for us. Much LOVE!

…there’s no one better to have your back…than Almighty God…