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…                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2020 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.

Aloha mih bredrin! Welcome to a bright, fresh, sunshiny Tuesday morning, washed clean by some blessings of water during the early morning hours! And yes, Thanksgiving Day finish now, but not the giving of thanks! The giving of thanks must be a continual thing, for without the continual giving of thanks, eventually, there will be nothing to give thanks for! Wow! What words of wisdom! 

But seriously though, there is nothing like giving thanks to the Lord our God since there’s nothing that pleases Him more than His most important creation being grateful for life and all that He has provided for them. He also hopes that that gratefulness will consequently lead them to want to know Him better. And how do we do that you wonder? 

Well here are the basics in black and white, taken from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This poem is appropriately titled ‘ Knowing God Intimately.’ And that’s how we ALL ought to know Him – through the auspices of His Son Jesus Christ! That’s His greatest desire! 

So please read with me. ‘How do we learn to know God so intimately that all of life takes on a new freshness? We acknowledge that God is the instigator. We would not be wanting Him if He did not first want us. Even a glimmer of spiritual desire is HIS desire planted in us. We resign from our self-appointed office as president of the “Me First Club,” which gives God the privilege of saying. “Good! Now I’ll promote you.” 

We focus on Jesus Christ, God’s Son. It is never a matter of how conspicuous we are. It only matters that He is conspicuous in us. We make no promise of perfection. All the perfection we’ll ever have is the perfection of Jesus living in us. We let God’s Word saturate our hearts. Five or ten minutes a day is far more helpful than three hours once a week. We trust God to do within us what we cannot do, knowing that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in us.’ 

Yeahhhh friends! That’s how we get intimate with God! And it’s not a one time, one and done thing either, but is just like the giving of thanks, a continual, continuous life-long thing, that over time turns into a wonderful personal relationship between Creator and created. Mama Mia! There’s no relation more important or more beneficial that that one my people! For when you have such a close and intimate relationship with your heavenly Father, your august Creator, then the whole world is your oyster! 

The devil will come against you in various guises, but he won’t be able to harm you, because you’ll be protected by the Most High God Jehovah and His majestic army of angels; your everlasting fortress and place of refuge. You will be able to say with supreme confidence, like Bruh David did: ‘I laid me down and slept: I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that have set them themselves against me round about.’ (Ps. 3:5-6) That’s the kind of faith and belief that wells up in our souls and spirits when we know our Lord and Saviour on an intimate basis. 

And by the way, that’s why He sacrificed His sinless self on the cross at Calvary…not to just have a religion called Christianity, but for each one within that awesome group to get to know Him intimately and personally. In other words, being a Christian means having a personally intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. And is that ever a whole lot of personal and intimate relationships! It surely is. 

But that’s how great and how LOVING and wonderful our Lord and Saviour is, that He could have so many intimate relationships at the same time and give His best to each and every one of them! Wow! Give Him some much-deserved thanks and praise my fellow believers! 

And the Bible verse associated with today’s poem is also very appropriate. Hear Bruh Paul in his missive to the church at Ephesus as he talks about prayer for inner growth. ‘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, through Christ and His church, glory must be given to God who has the amazing power to do more than our puny finite minds and imaginations can ever conceive. And just to add some biblical heft (smile) to our earlier contentions, listen to these marvellous words of Bruh David that also tell us how to achieve personal intimacy with our Creator. 

‘Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (you shall feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday. 

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (for it only causes harm). For evil doers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37: 1-9) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t get any clearer or more basic than that! So let’s hope that we’ve all received the message – once again nuh (smile), and will keep on doing just what it dictates, so we can keep that wonderful personal relationship with the Almighty going strong and fervent. And as we go home, let’s bravely tell the world who and whose we are. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’  

So what we waiting for then eh? Let’s go out and show that trust and share that wonderful LOVE nuh! Much LOVE!

…fret not…trust…delight…commit…rest …cease…wait…and thou shall inherit…