Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2019 1 Corinthians 3:11.

1 Corinthians 3:11.    ​For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday morning coming down friends…coming down hard and strong, leading to the place of worship and fellowship, where we’ll meet each other and glorify and exalt our great God, give Him much praise and thanksgiving in song and prayer, for being so faithful and merciful and gracious to us! And it’s such a privilege to get together with other believers and hear His Word, and have it fill our hearts with peace, joy, understanding and confidence; confidence in our ability to defeat our enemies and raise Christ’s banner of victory! 

And today’s song offering is a popular old hymn, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ And it seems to have a colourful history, coming about through something that’s very prevalent in Christendom, dissension within the church. Here is what supposedly caused it to be written. “The Church’s One Foundation” is a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by Samuel John Stone, with music provided by Samuel Sebastian Wesley. This hymn describes the church’s relationship to its “foundation” being Jesus Christ. The church is represented as the collective Christian fellowship of the earth as it is wholly united by its Saviour, the Son of God. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” was composed as a primary answer to the division within the Church of South Africa generated by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as untrue. This issue is referenced to within the fourth verse of the lyrics “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” When Bishop Colenso was dismissed for his teachings, he pleaded to the higher religious authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became included in the discussion. It sparked him to draft a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. “The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.” 

Ah Lord eh friends, the upheaval and dissension that Christ’s Church has seen during its two thousand years of existence! Most other organisations with that kind of upheaval would have ceased to exist long ago, but Christ’s church is built on solid rock, with Him as its true foundation, that’s why it’s still standing and going strong despite the many disputes and fragmentation it has suffered down through the ages. So let’s sing it now nuh, in full voice and sweet harmony, with a strong sense of purpose and confidence that it will last and be meaningful until Christ returns. 

All together now: ‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord, She is His new creation By water and the Word: From Heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy bride, With His own blood He bought her And for her life He died. – She is from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth; Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. -The Church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend, To guide, sustain, and cherish, Is with her to the end: 

Though there be those who hate her, And false sons in her pale, Against both foe and traitor She ever shall prevail. – Though with a scornful wonder Men see her sore oppressed, By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed: Yet saints their watch are keeping, Their cry goes up, How long? And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song! – Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace forevermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest! – 

Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won, With all her sons and daughters Who, by the Master’s hand Led through the deathly waters, Repose in Eden land. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we Like them, the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee: There, past the border mountains, Where in sweet vales the Bride With Thee by living fountains Forever shall abide!’ 

Oh my people, what fabulous words and sentiments! And they are all true. Christ came and bought the church with His precious blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary and regardless of all the isms and schisms, and the many enemies that come against her, she shall never perish because He is her protector right to the very end. And I particularly like: ‘Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses…’ Yeh friends, the church is all ONE, in Jesus name! He’s brought ALL nations under the ONE banner, with Himself as the chief cornerstone.  

Let’s look at some scripture now that corroborate all this nuh, beginning with this pronouncement by Jesus to the disciples after Peter acknowledged that He was indeed the Messiah. ‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (a stone), and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matt.16:18) Now this does not mean that Christ intended to build his church on Peter, but it was just a word play, since Peter’s name also meant a rock or stone. What He actually meant is what Bruh Paul explained to the Ephesians when talking about the unity, the oneness of all believers. 

‘For through him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In who, all the building fitly framed (being joined) together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together (being built) for a habitation (a dwelling place) of God through the Spirit.’ (Eph.2:18-22) 

So, as the scholars explain: ‘The church’s foundation is composed of the apostles and prophets, its chief corner stone is Christ, and its superstructure is composed of Christians. Oriental architecture placed greater importance on the cornerstone than the foundation, for it connected the walls and concentrated the weight of the building on itself, thus bonding and holding together the whole structure. Fitly framed together is translated above as “being carefully and harmoniously joined together.” This implies the harmonious blending of the Jewish and Gentile believers in the church. Christians are viewed as a habitation or dwelling place in whom God lives through His Holy Spirit.’ 

Christ has adroitly and adeptly brought it all together as one, under His umbrella, so much so that when the Corinthians were fighting over whom to follow, Bruh Paul or  Apollos, he ended up telling them that Christians are co-labourers, one man can plant and another water, but it’s God and God alone who gives the increase. (1 Cor.3:5-10) However they had to be very careful re the foundation of their work: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes friends, believers can build whatever they want on that foundation of Christ, but not on any other foundation, for He is the mainstay, the chief corner stone of our faith. Let’s remember that and build accordingly nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christ…the corner stone that connects His church…through the Holy Spirit…as One body…unto the glory of God the Father

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.   ​Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 
And then it was the first Friday in the new year; a day every working person was just dying to see, because it was a harbinger of the weekend and they so badly wanted to rest their tired bones, flesh and spirits after all the New Year’s celebrations! Ah mih people, the doctor’s appointments business in the big city have begun again yes. But I’m not sure that I’m keeping this one this morning nuh…

Chuh! The ole fella didn’t sleep well last night and is walking around this morning like an ole fogey. (smile) Easy mih first born easy…(smile) She’s already warned me not to cancel any appointments, but she’s not the one feeling the feelings, nor has to trek umpteen miles in the cold and traffic to hear a doctor say: ‘Oh, everything’s healing well. Just keep on doing what you’re doing!’ And I don’t believe that the duchess is too thrilled having to drive me either. But we’ll see how it shakes out after I’m done with the Bit. 

And nobody is more thrilled than the ordinary workingman to see this day as he so enthusiastically informs us: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! I couldn’t work another day even if mih life depended on it! Brother! Them Christmas and New Year’s festivities really drain me yes! Ah guess is time to realize that ah not as young as I used to be…in other words, no spring chicken, so I can’t afford to party as hearty and not feel the resulting rough consequences. Hn, hn! But where there is a will there is a way. 

So watch me, come this year Christmas and New Year’s Eve nuh! Ah going to start getting mihself ready from early o’clock…because who want to miss them fantastic celebrations, sitting down like some ole man in a wheelchair and kyar move and go round the place and eat and drink up other people stuff eh? Not me for sure nuh! So thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, that enable me to renew mih soul and body, so that I could get out and party! Party, party, party…!’ 

Yes mih breddren, it never ceases to amaze me, how we can be so kind and gracious for a couple of weeks, then go right back to the disgusting living we practiced before. But I guess that’s just nature of the human animal. However, since it’s Friday, we need to let our Christian voice be heard in our Friday Chant. It’s not as ebullient and mind chasing as the workingman’s song, but it sure fits our purposes admirably. 

 So altogether 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, it’s not spectacular, but it helps keep us out of the enemy’s reach, and doing Jesus’ work. And that’s the most important aspect of our lives, doing Jesus’ bidding! Remember His last words to the disciples, in what we term, ‘the Great Commission’?

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

There you have it friends, the imperative from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Ours is to spread the good news of His Word around the world, to all and sundry. And note, He assured us, that He would be with us all the time we’re doing His will. What an awesome Saviour we have my brethren! Always thinking of us and our welfare! 

And the scholars give us this explanation: ‘28:19. The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people. Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers. The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service. A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others. 

The Great Commission is a simple command with three steps – evangelism, baptism, and education. Illustration: The Great Commission is the strategy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel. Application: Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God’s objectives for that institution. (First Ref. Matt.16:18; Primary Ref. Matt.28:19; cf. Phil.1:27).’ 

Yes friends, our job is to let the heathen know about Christ, and all the wonderful things He has to offer to those who come to Him in humility and sincerity. And each and every Christian has a part to play in this transformation! The question that now faces us, is whether we’re doing what Jesus requires of us, and if we’re doing it to the best of our ability? 

And it’s obvious that as the body of Christ, the church, we’re not doing such a great job, otherwise our world wouldn’t be in such a state of upheaval and evil. So I’d like to invite each of us to sit down and seriously ponder our current role in Christ’s church, and then ask the Lord to help us do better, for we can ALL do better. Much LOVE!

…I must work the works of him who sent me…while it is day…the night cometh…when no man can work… (John 9:4)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2018 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Oh mih people, it’s a brand new day with new mercies and blessings, so let’s be wise and enjoy it and give the Lord thanks for allowing us to see it nuh! 

And I’d certainly like to know what it is between me and lighting yes! Remember a couple of days ago I told you about going out on my front porch to see the rain and how two flashes of lightning immediately drove me back inside? 

Well yesterday afternoon I was sitting on my porch reading, waiting for my young daughter to come and pick me up and take me out. The rain was merely drizzling, when out of the blue, a fiery bolt of Zeus’ lightning suddenly lit up the dark and dreary-looking sky. Then soon thereafter, Thor unleashed a thunderous thunderclap of thundering thunder! (smile) Hn! Yuh know where I ended up? Back inside, of course! 

Ah Lord eh! A body can’t even sit down quietly on his porch without being threatened eh, without fearing for his life! (smile) And quite appropriately, today we’re going to talk about fear, starting with some wise insights on the subject from Uncle John (John Hagee). 

And the first thing he says is ‘Don’t let fear destroy you.’ But sadly we live in such fearful times, when both the physical world and mankind seem to be in serious upheaval that fear is rampant, even among Christians. However, according to Uncle John, the two words that Jesus used most were ‘Fear not!’ And He did indeed tell us quite often not to be afraid, but so many of us lack spiritual maturity that we let fear rule our lives. 

Now hear are some things Uncle John said we should not be afraid of in particular and good reasons why not. The first is: ‘Don’t fear death – For Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Don’t fear the past – Because it’s forgotten and forgiven. Do not fear the unknown – Because God is the revealer of every secret. Do not fear powers and principalities  – Because you have the power of the cross. 

You have the power of Jesus’ Name. You have the power of His Word. You have the power of His blood. You have more firepower than the U.S President… (smile) And it comes to you just with the mention of the name of Jesus!’ 

Glory be mih people! Yuh see all the reasons why we should not be afraid. Jesus is the omnipotent ruler of this world, and if we’re supposed to be living under His umbrella, His jurisdiction, then we should have little or no cause to be afraid of anything! 

And we’ll continue by highlighting a few scriptures where Jesus told His people not to be afraid, beginning with our Bit. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the indisputable truth! Why else would He have sent his most precious possession, His Son, to die for a bunch of ingrates like us eh? But we can’t just sit on our fannies and do nothing. We have to genuinely seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, as well as watch and wait for Jesus’ return. 

And earlier on, while telling them whom to fear and whom not to fear, Jesus declared. ‘And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.’ (Luke 12:4-5) Oh my, my! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:4. The body’s death is not the end of a person’s life. 12:5. God is the One with this power (to cast into hell) (James 4:12).’ And since I LOVE you all so much, and want you to know the scriptures, and know you won’t look it up for yourselves, I’ll spoon-feed you with that verse. (smile)  

It occurs when James is talking about us having consideration for our brother. ‘There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?’ (James 4:12) And that’s a very good question with all the unsubstantiated judgemental behaviour that’s going on these days. 

But turning back to Jesus. Listen to Him on Easter morning, having triumphantly risen from the dead. To those who first saw Him, He said: ‘Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.’ (Matt.28:10) What an occasion was Jesus’ resurrection eh friends! The most momentous occasion the world has seen so far! 

And we have time for just one more of Jesus’ ‘be not afraid.’ This one to His disciples on the boat on the stormy sea, and He comes walking towards them on the water. When they saw Him, were they ever afraid and cried out in fear that it was a spirit. ‘But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I, be not afraid.’ (Matt.14:27) Ah mih breddren, what else can I say eh? You heard it all from Jesus Himself! 

Now let’s go home loudly and proudly and sincerely declaring our Thursday Blessings, a mark of Jesus’ bountiful benediction to His followers. All together now:  ‘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!’ 

The next step is to go out now and share those wonderful blessings with the less fortunate, because that’s why Jesus so generously endowed us with them. Much LOVE!

…the only fear mankind should have…is that of displeasing Almighty God…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2015 Colossians 3:2

Colossians 3:2.      Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.

And then it was Sunday! Yes Friends, it’s that wonderful day when we concentrate on family; both our individual blood families and our church families, those we acquire through faith in Christ Jesus. Yes, it’s time to spend quiet and meaningful time with our biological relatives, but also to gather together in God’s sanctuary, be it in a palace or under a coconut tree, and worship and fellowship with other believers.

We need both kinds of rejuvenation each and every week, so that we can do God’s work with an enthusiastic spirit and a willing heart, to a standard of excellence. And the best way to accomplish those desires is by getting together with others of like faith and singing, praising, worshipping and praying to Almighty God, our Creator, Controller and great Provider.

By so doing, we receive encouragement, upliftment and a sure confidence that we can do all we need to with and through God’s timely help. So please don’t ignore or find lame excuses not to go to church today. And I know there are lots of hypocrites in church, so what? You will only make one more. (smile)

Oh I know people use that foolish excuse, but we are all hypocrites to some extent or another, so if no hypocrites went to church, the churches would be empty. We go to church because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and thus need to cleanse our souls and spirits and give thanks and praise for a wonderful Deity and all that He does for us.

You can’t call yourself a Christian and not go to church, because the church is Christ’s body here on earth and we all need to mingle at some time so that we can keep up the church’s work and raise its profile, and thus spread the good news of the gospel around the world as Christ desires of us. So no more shirking going to church, right.

Now here is an interesting comment from our Friend Anselm, who only seeks to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here he’s talking about change, which we all need to do at some time or other. ‘But even though change is often difficult, many times it’s also for the best. Accomplishing anything great in life requires significant change that pushes us beyond our comfort zones.’

And that’s gospel truth my people! We don’t usually make meaningful changes without some upheaval in our normal routines and lives. That’s the only way significant change occurs. And that’s exactly what a lot of us are afraid of; the unknown, the uncomfortable and oftimes risky and challenging situations. But if we sincerely want to improve in any area whatsoever, it will be necessary to make some changes, though they may seem rough, unpleasant and foreboding.

Now here is our Bit, which, if taken seriously, will cause a whole lot of us to make a whole lot of significant changes. Bruh Paul told the Colossians in no uncertain terms: ‘Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.’ Wonderful words of wisdom and some of the best advice we can ever get my brethren.

And the scholars venture this explanation. ‘3:2. Set you affection on things above: The Greek word literally says, “Set your mind on things above.” The readers are not to be preoccupied with things on the earth, such as current heretical philosophies (2:8), legalistic practices (2:16, 21-23), and vices (v.5); nor are they to dwell on things that are not wrong in themselves (houses, jobs, careers, ambitions, etc.), but can be wrong should they become priorities above Christ.’

Unfortunately though Friends, the sad reality of today’s situation is that Christians are more preoccupied with the things of the earth rather than the things of heaven. Those very things that the scholars enunciated above there, are taking priority in the lives of too many Christians over Jesus. And that’s very wrong my people. Why? As Bruh Paul continues: ‘For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ (Col.3:3)

And what does that mean? Listen to the scholars. ‘3:3. Your life is hid with Christ in God (or, “Your life is deposited with Christ, who is in intimate relation with God”). As all wisdom and knowledge reside in Christ (2:3), so the believer’s new life is stored up in Him. This means that the Christian life belongs to the spiritual or heavenly realm. Jesus is in intimate relation with God; so are His followers.

Since the Colossians now belong to the heavenly realm and are intimate with God, they should seek those matters and interests pertaining to heaven and not to the earth.’

Yes Friends, our lives are now tied up with Christ and thus ‘When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.’ (Col.3:4)

Oh my people, how can we appear in glory with Christ when He returns in magnificent splendour, if our lives are still tied up the things of the world eh? Not very likely.

And here is the definitive word from the true source, Jesus. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21)

Ah mih people, that should be self-explanatory. But just in case it isn’t, listen to the scholars’ explanation. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term ‘treasures’ implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven).

The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather of rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’

So, it’s not simply for good works that we are rewarded, for anyone can do good for the wrong reason, but more the motives, the state of our hearts and the faithfulness of our service to God and man. That’s why we keep pointing out that God looks at our hearts rather than just our outward actions.

So please, let’s clean up our hearts and spirits nuh, and do faithful service, so that our rewards in heaven may be great. That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…the material things of the world are worthless…when compared to the spiritual things of heaven…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2014 1 Thessalonians 5:17

1 Thessalonians 5:17.      PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.

And now that it’s Saturday my brethren, what’s on the agenda eh?  I do hope that whatever you have planned includes ample time for God; sufficient time to relieve some of the stress and strain of the past workweek.
 
I’d certainly advise that before you do anything else today, to spend some quiet time with the Father; tell Him your woes and problems, give them to Him, because that’s what He wants; to relieve you of all your heavy burdens and give you His light burden and easy yoke. (Matt.11:28-30)   
 
But please remember to also thank Him for your many blessings… and you do have a lot to be thankful for if you are living in the Western world. You might not think so, but just compare your situation to the billions of others around the world who are living in so much worse situations than yours; so many in real abject poverty.
 
As the saying goes, there’s always someone worse off than us. And if you still want to complain after that, then may the Lord be with you. (smile)
 
Now here’s a little something that caught my fancy from the One Year Book of Bible Promises. It’s simply titled, ‘The Reason.’ ‘God, why am I so often defeated? Why am I so full of dread and anxiety? Why am I so lamentably weak – So perilously susceptible to temptation?
 
Why am I often inhospitable So intolerant of the needs of others? Why am I so undisciplined  So restless and dissatisfied? Why do I protest so violently? Above all, God Why do I so frequently lose The sense of Your Shining Presence? God, why?  Why?’
 
And Friends, the answer is what titillated my spirit when I first read it. ‘Because you pray so little.’
 
Oh my people those five words are filled with so much truth, it’s not funny! We will indeed feel that lost, undisciplined, weak and inhospitable state when our prayer life is not up to scratch! It’s like taking medication for an illness, and for whatever reason we let it peter off or simply stop it. The illness most likely won’t get better, because the body needs whatever is in the medication to right itself.
 
Prayer is like that to the human spirit my brethren. If we don’t do it consistently, then our spirits experience serious upheaval, with little or no joy, peace and LOVE.  And the biblical promise for that upheaval of spirit was ‘Keep on praying.’ That’s the New Life Bible version of our Bit: ‘Pray without ceasing.’
 
I prefer our old fashioned statement though, because I believe it says more, conveys a deeper meaning than just ‘keep on praying,’ which simply assumes that you have been praying. Whereas our Bit is more like a direct command: ‘Pray without ceasing.’  
 
And I think that is brought out in the scholars’ explanation. ‘5:17. The Greek word here rendered without ceasing is used in secular literature to denote a man suffering from an intermittent cough – one that is not continuous, but occurs at intervals. Just as this individual has the tendency to cough, though does not always do so audibly, so the believer ought to remain in the attitude of prayer though not always praying audibly.’
 
Yes my people, a constant stream of communication with our heavenly Father is most beneficial in this earthly life. Here’s how Bruh Paul told it to the Ephesians, after advising them to never be without their spiritual armour. (Eph.6:10-17)
 
‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18)
 
And the scholars’ tell us: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 4. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks.
 
In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’
 
All of that is oh so true my people! Prayer is indispensable! As believers, we simply can’t do without it. And the Holy Spirit was gifted to us to help us with prayer, which ought to be made both for ourselves and all other believers.
 
Remember, we are individuals on one level, but on another, we are also one body in Christ Jesus, and we sink or swim together! That’s something I don’t think we consider enough in these modern times, because individuality is touted around the world as being so important.
 
Anyway Friends, let’s close with the statement after our Bit; another positive one that again reads more like a command. ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18)
 
That too my people is indispensable for all true believers! The importance of giving thanks can never be underestimated.
 
And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’
 
And that’s gospel truth Friends; constant prayer will help us with constant giving of thanks, even in the worse of situations. So let’s get a move on now, let’s pray with a thankful attitude! That is the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…prayer and the giving of thanks…are inseparable entities in a true believer’s life…

 

 

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 October 2013 Matthew 5:8

Matthew 5:8.    Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
 
Aye Friends, a good Sunday morning to all of you, wherever you may be on God’s great earth! And I do hope that most of you are getting ready to go and worship with other believers, or have already done so, because we do need to come together every so often, preferably at least once a week. Our systems are set up so that it’s essential for us to get the refreshing rejuvenation that the fellowship of God’s children brings to our hearts and souls. Just like an engine can’t function without fuel, likewise Christians can’t function properly without fellowship.
 
And don’t forget that this is the most important day of the week because it also calls for us to rest properly, so that we can be up and about early tomorrow morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, to go out and both face and change the world for Jesus. And we can’t do that if we’re all tired, miserable and suffering from the after-effects of negative stuff.
 
Enough of that sermon for today though, tomorrow will look after itself. (smile) But as a wise man once said: ‘Keep your eyes on today, but don’t lose sight of tomorrow.’ To tell the truth, I don’t know who that wise man was, it might even have been me, because I sort of just made it up. (smile)
 
But regardless of the identity of the wise man, the good news is that we can do both those things by simply living the words of our Bit: ‘Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.’ 
 
Oh Friends, that’s certainly a most encouraging promise! Wow! If our hearts are pure, then we shall see God… Glory Hallelujah!
 
And having said all of that, the pertinent question then becomes, why aren’t we all pushing and clamouring for pure hearts eh mih people? Is it because we don’t want to see God, or that the pull of the things of the world is greater than our desire to see our heavenly Father?
 
It’s sad, but I believe that the latter answer is the true one. We’d really like to have both, but that’s not possible. And for too many of us, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to cultivate a pure heart, since it would mean giving up a lot of our worldly lusts and desires. But please remember, that if we do decide to seriously give up the things of the world, IT IS POSSIBLE with the help of Almighty God.
 
Anyway, listen to what the scholars have to say on this Beatitude from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. ‘5:8. Those who are truly saved shall see God. These are the pure in heart. Their lives have been transformed by the grace of God. They are not yet sinless but their position before God has been changed. They have the New Birth, saving faith, and holiness. The process of sanctification is ever conforming them to the image of Christ (Rom.8:29), which image consists in “righteousness and true holiness” (Eph.4:24).’  
 
Please read those references my brethren, because they are given for our edification, our enlightenment, and you never know when one of these scripture references might just speak to your heart with an upheaval or awareness of a tremendous magnitude. (smile) Now let’s look at some scripture that corroborates our Bit.
 
Regarding our pureness of heart, Bruh David puts it nicely and wisely in Psalm 15. He begins by asking: ‘Lord, who shall abide (sojourn) in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.’ (Ps.15:1-2)
 
Yes Friends, if our hearts aren’t right, then we’ll be at a serious disadvantage, for as we all know, it’s our hearts that Jehovah checks when He wants to know what’s really going on with us. So though we may fool mankind with our outward apparently pure actions, we can’t fool God, because He’ll surely see all our false and hypocritical motives when He examines our hearts.
 
Then, in Psalm 24, the King of glory, Bruh David again addresses the question: ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity (unto an idol), nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob.   Selah.” (Ps. 24:3-6)
 
Ah Friends, what wonderful rewards for simply living the way God desires us to! And I do wish that I could say like Bruh David that this was the generation of those who are truly seeking God, but it would be a lie, for the majority of the world right now is trying to get away from God, instead of turning to Him for comfort and succour.
 
Oh, I know that living for God is oftimes a rough row to hoe, but it is definitely a wise, or rather the wisest way to live this earthly life! No doubt about that my brethren!
 
Therefore, let’s ponder on, and consider our individual situations today nuh, then prayerfully go to God, and in all sincerity and truth, ask Him to help us fix whatever is wrong, whatever is hindering our communication with Him. That my Friends, is the zenith of wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…oh, for a heart that’s pure…that we may see the wondrous face of God…