Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2019 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.   ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

Well it’s Saturday, March break Saturday, and the airports are still full of people trying to get away from this cold weather for a few days. Some of us though are not so blessed so we have to stay and stick it out. And I hear the groaning and grumbling: ‘Chuh man! why me eh?’  

But let me remind us of this one very important fact; wherever we are right now is where Jesus wants us to be, and wherever He plants us, that’s where He’ll help us to handle all that comes against us, and we’ll even grow in our adversity and discomfort through His evergreen gardening thumb! And that’s no lie! What a Lord and Saviour we have my people! 

And since today is Saturday it means we ought to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, this week though, I’ve only received one quote from our friend Anselm, but it’s an interesting one, so let’s check it out. 

And it says: ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’ And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! It’s one of the ways the devil tries to steal our joy in Jesus, simply by letting little things offend us. 

But we have to be strong and watchful and don’t allow resentment and other negative emotions to take root and grow in our souls, else our joy in Jesus will be completely destroyed. The enemy knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh.8:10) that’s why he goes after it. And sadly, so often, so many of us allow him to steal it, which throws us into depression, resentment and not being able to focus positively on our God. 

And this Lenten season, when we are all wrapped up in getting closer to God is exactly when the devil is at his most rampant, because he obviously doesn’t want us to get closer to our Maker! That’s why Jesus warned the inner circle of His disciples, who were supposed to be praying with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but were instead sleeping: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’  

And nothing has changed since then friends, except possibly our spirit getting weaker as we go after the enticing things of the world more than we ought to. And if you don’t believe what Mark says, then hear it from Luke. After telling the disciples the parable of the fig tree, Jesus cautioned them thus: 

‘And take heed to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.’ (Luke 21:34-35) 

Yes friends, too much carousing and good times can make us miss out on Jesus’ coming. The scholars put it thus: ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetitive excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’  

And sadly again, too many of us are not getting and staying ready for whenever Jesus reappears. And how do we not fall into that very unpleasant situation? Jesus gives us the answer: ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:36) 

And here is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of Man, when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to the temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’  

So there you have it my faithful brethren, prayer is the anchor, the foundation stone on which we must build our daily lives, otherwise we’re liable to fall into temptation rather easily and damage our reputation with Christ. And yes we all know that our Christian walk is not an easy row to hoe, for even that great man of God, Bruh Paul, had a hard time fighting the lures of his flesh. 

Listen to his testimony. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. 

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not (want to do), that I do. (Rom.7:14-19)  

Yes friends, even Bruh Paul had problems with the sinful nature of his flesh, versus the spiritual nature of his mind. So we ought not to feel too badly when we experience the same struggle between out two natures, it’s a part of our earthly walk.

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s handling of the matter. ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the (this) body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom.7:24-25) 

Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about out two natures, except to try and let the spiritual law of our minds outwork the carnal and sinful nature of our flesh. And the best way to do that is through constant prayer. Much LOVE! 

…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you…quench not the Spirit… (1 Thess.16-19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 January 2018 John 15:13.

John 15:13.   Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Oh precious people of Jehovah God, welcome to another wonderful day on His great earth! Oh I know some of us will complain and ask what’s so wonderful about the day when you are surrounded by numerous problems, adversity and calamity? But let me ask you this? Would you rather be asleep in the grave this morning? 

Most of you would readily answer a big ‘NO!’ That’s because you know that once you’re alive and in partnership with Almighty God there’s always hope for successfully handling your problems. And besides, regardless of how bad earthly life might be, most of us are just not ready for the heavenly one yet. (smile) 

That brings me to an interesting ad I saw on the television recently, it said: ‘Killing can be so complicated. Mary kills people.’ That’s an ad for a t.v show about Mary killing people. Hn! How much more macabre and insensitive can we get eh? When we advertise a show about killing people, what does that say about our society eh? What does it teach our children and those that come after us? 

But yuh know, if we had an ad that says: ‘LOVE is so simple. Jesus LOVES people!’ There’d be a big hue and cry over it. We might never ever get the ad to air in the first place, because the t.v. masters would consider it inappropriate. So killing is appropriate, but LOVE is not. 

Ah Lord eh! What a downward slide our society is on! I’m reminded of the quote I got from somewhere that tells us: ‘Two natures beat within my breast. The one is foul, the one is blessed. The one I LOVE, the one I hate. The one I feed will dominate.’ 

Obviously our society is feeding the foul nature, that of sin, darkness and carnality, because that’s the one that’s dominating our world right now. But friends, as we said earlier on, once we’re alive and in partnership with our Creator, there is hope to fix whatever is amiss or broken. 

And that’s exactly what we are planning to do in this Year of LOVE: fix the things that are broken in this broken world with the help of Almighty God! But friends, we can only do that if ALL believers in Jesus Christ come together and seriously work together to overthrow the evildoers in our world. 

If we stay divided and broken, as we are, we will be of little use, since the iniquity workers will just continue to divide and conquer us. We believers are supposed to be ambassadors of Christ, here on earth, but it’s obvious we’re not doing such a great job, if evil and hate and not LOVE and compassion are still ruling the world. 

And the sad part is that so many of us have this great talk and plan to do something about it, but unfortunately only a precious few are actually doing something about it. Talk’s cheap friends, but actions are expensive and involve sacrifice, which few of us really want to offer. 

But remember what Jesus did for us? He offered His sinless life as a sacrifice for our abominable sins! He didn’t have to do it, but He LOVED us so much, and wanted a better future for us that He gave the ultimate sacrifice; His godly life. 

As He said so passionately to His disciples in our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ And what did He do? He went out and laid down His life for us, because He considered us His friends, and wanted us to become His adopted family. 

Hear How He continues after our Bit. ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known to you.’ (John 15:14-15) 

That’s about the best description of friends you can get my brethren; sharing important stuff with others. Jesus told the disciples, and consequently us, all that the Father had told Him, which put them, and us, in a position to be His friends. But then what kind of friends are we, if we don’t do what our friend asks of us eh? 

Hear Jesus again. ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained (appointed) you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give to you. These things I command you, that ye LOVE one another.’ (John 15:16-17) 

Oh fellow believers, we didn’t choose Jesus, He chose each one of us to go out and bear good fruit in His name. That means we have a serious responsibility here on earth, per doing what He commands. And one of the first and foremost, and basic commands is to LOVE one another. 

Oh my people, let’s concentrate on just doing that nuh: just LOVING each other as Jesus desires and letting go of all the resentment and negative emotions and activity that currently resides in Christ’s body, the church.  You’d be surprised at how life would change if we just did that. And why should that be so hard to do when Jesus has already been so generous to us in our Thursday Blessings? 

Let’s declare them in loud voice and sincere spirit. ‘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!’ 

Now, our bounden duty, as faithful believers, is to go out and share those blessings with others. Much LOVE!

…Christianity is not a society for hoarding…but of generously sharing the wealth and good news of Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 October 2017 Romans 7:15.

Romans 7:15.   For that which I do, I allow not (I don’t understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Ah friends, it seems like I’m one of those who slept in this October Saturday morn! But mine was not by choice though, I just had no idea of the time. And I went to bed fairly early at that too. I’m trying to go to bed at a decent hour these days… Aren’t you proud of me? (smile) 

That’s because I believe one of my problems is simply not getting enough sleep. The only problem though is when I lie in bed too long, roughly over four hours, my ole back aches like mad when I do get up. But I guess we have to suffer something to gain something better. 

Anyway, I’m up now, and it’s Saturday, so let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.’ 

Now that might be true sometimes, but we have to be very careful of what others think we might want, because it just might not jive with God’s will for us. 

That leads us to this one: ‘You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.’ 

The first part makes sense, but the last part should definitely read ‘put your trust in the One and Only Jesus Christ!’ And if you do that, you certainly won’t do this next quote. ‘Don’t live a limited life.’ 

Yeh mih people, as true believers in Jesus, you will NEVER lead a limited life, because Jesus’ basic philosophy is for his followers to lead a full, abundant and productive life. Glory to God! 

And here is the last quote. ‘Integrity is when our words and deeds are consistent with our intentions.’ And is that ever so true my brethren! 

Unfortunately though, too many of us Christians, in these evil and godless times don’t have much integrity, because our words and deeds are not consistent with our intentions. That’s why so many unbelievers, as well as believers, see us as hypocrites! 

That’s the reason a lot of people, even supposed believers, use for not going to church; they don’t want to join a bunch of hypocrites in praising God. But yuh know what friends, all of us have some hypocritical element in us – not liking someone for some foolish reason, etc. etc. – so when we go to church, all we do, is add one more hypocrite to the bunch! (smile) 

But most of us won’t see it like that. And yes, it’s very possible to have good intentions and do evil deeds, as Bruh Paul declares in our Bit: ‘For that which I do, I allow not (I don’t understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.’ 

Yeh mih brethren, that’s just the unholy struggle between our two natures; our sinful and worldly one, and our spiritual and heaven-looking other. And as you can see, even Bruh Paul, with all his spirituality, got caught in the battle between those two strong attitudes.  

So it’s not like we are totally immune to the struggle being waged between our two natures. The lure of sin and its vapid pleasures are surely strong, but like a bodybuilder, we have to build our heavenly looking spirit so that it can stand strong and steadfast against our human nature. 

As we saw yesterday, the enemy is always on the lookout to steal our joy and have us feeling guilty and miserable. However, if we do, as the Good Book says, resist the devil and draw near to God, then we’ll usually come out victorious. 

Oh friends, we know that turning away from, resisting the things of the world is not easy, certainly not an easy row to hoe, but as with EVERYTHING else in this life, with God’s help, we can overcome. 

Please don’t ever forget this seminal, foundational, fruit-bearing, productive verse from Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘I can do ALL THINGS through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ ((Phil.4:13) 

Yes friends, until we truly believe that and totally incorporate it into our lives, our faith walk will not be as good as it ought to be, and we’ll be doing many more wrong things than we want to do, but not understanding why. 

And sadly, there’s no easy way around the struggle of our two natures. To overcome our natural sinful nature, we just have to gut it out, stick close to Jesus; consistently read His Word, constantly communicate with Him in prayer, and do our best to be obedient to His dictates. 

That means having on our spiritual armour at all times, and continually swinging the mighty, ever-sharp, two-edged sword of God’s Word in the face of the oncoming enemy to keep him at bay. 

Yes friends, to win this battle, we need to keep our wits about us ALL THE TIME, but with God’s help, we can certainly do it. Let’s remember that, and write it indelibly in our hearts, souls and minds, for it’s the foundation of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…ONLY with God’s help…can we win our earthly battles…

 

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

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

Aye mih people, another great day is ahead of us, courtesy of our wonderful God! So please, let’s use it wisely nuh, guided by the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us. 

It’s okay to shout ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here…’ and what we going to do from what we not going to do, but not if they simply relate to the lustful and dangerous pleasures of the world. 

We desperately need to have better groundings, a better foundation for the way we spend our time off, if we are going to have any kind of godly success in this crazy world of ours. And our Friday Chant provides us with that solid footing, that godly balance that we need. 

So let’s chant it nuh, with sincerity, honesty and truth, praying that it will help us do better than we’re accustomed doing. 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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better template for our weekends, than just wild and crazy, dissolute, leggo beast behaviour, which so many of us unfortunately indulge in when we have the couple of days off. 

That’s why Bruh Paul spent so much time warning us against just such a thing, and gave us this godly direction in our Bit. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell within us so that we would follow it’s godly leading and direction, but first we have to stop and listen to it, otherwise we won’t know what it’s saying or where it wants to guide us. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘5:16. Walk in the Spirit (i.e. “live by the Spirit”): Christians are to live with the Spirit’s help. How does one “live by the Spirit”? (1) The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with him, having been sent by God into his heart (4:6). (2) In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit. 

(3) One must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to lead a God-pleasing life (v.5). (4) The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. The believer who “lives by the Spirit” will not fulfill (accomplish, carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful desires).’  

There you have it friends, a scholarly guide as to how the Holy Spirit should operate in our lives. Oh, we know it’s not easy living a godly and spiritual life; it takes patience, perseverance, listening, sacrificing, questioning and praying, but with God’s help we can do it all. 

And why is it so difficult to lead that godly life we so ardently desire? Bruh Paul gives us some indication in the verse after our Bit. ‘For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things ye would.’ (Gal.5:17) 

Ah mih people, it can be a monumental task, a veritable war, if we’re not strong, faithful and persevering. 

Hear how the scholars tell it. ‘5:17. One’s sinful human nature (flesh) and the Holy Spirit lusteth against one another, that is, they have desires and yearnings that are contrary to one another. The Christian, then, is a battlefield, having desires to do good and evil. The outcome is that ye cannot do the things that ye would: the flesh seeks to thwart the Spirit, who, in turn, attempts to frustrate the flesh’s evil desires.’ 

Gospel truth that my people! As Bruh Paul told the Roman church in his missive to them, talking about the struggle of our two natures. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. 

For that which I do I allow (understand) not: for what I would (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.’ (Rom.7:14-17) 

What a battlefield of life my brethren! Now listen to this important explanation of the scholars. ‘7:14. The law is spiritual: The law has the characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ 

So friends, if you are experiencing problems in fighting your fleshly desires, don’t beat yourself up, for it’s just a natural part of this earthly life. We will always have problems trying to be godly, even Bruh Paul had a hard time doing what he wanted to do, as per living by the Spirit. 

What we need to do is to be patient and persevering; keep on reading God’s word, studying it, meditating on it, storing it in our hearts for future use, praying, fellowshipping, and listening intently to what the Holy Spirit tells us. 

And we won’t always be successful, but our compassionate and understanding God knows our weaknesses and frailties, and once He sees us sincerely trying, that our hearts and motives are right, He will be forgiving and compassionate. So please, let’s all stand strong and steadfast in His great LOVE, mercy, compassion and grace. Much LOVE!

…fighting our carnal nature…is a full time spiritual job…