Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 November 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:2.

1 Thessalonians 5:2.       For ourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

And then it was Wednesday…already, I complain. (smile) Yes, but it’s a beautiful day in my neighbourhood; with bright sunshine, you can even feel a dash of heat from the glowing orb, no snow and temps around 7 Celsius. For this time of year, around here that’s gorgeous weather. So, let’s do like the psalmist did and declare out loud: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Yes friends, we had better enjoy this day the Lord has given us, for who knows if we’ll ever see another one. Remember, God’s mercies and compassions are new every day, like fresh bread, He gives them to us for our enjoyment. So let’s show some gratitude and appreciation by enjoying them nuh. 

And yesterday we were talking about a very important topic in the believer’s life; that of being ready for whenever Jesus returns, which to all intents and purposes will be sudden and unexpected. Please don’t laugh, it’s no joking matter, like some people think it is, because if you’re not ready when He returns, you will be left behind to suffer all the evils and persecutions of the Great Tribulation. And who wants to really suffer those indignities eh, when we can go home with Jesus in the Rapture of the church. 

But that means we have to be ready and waiting in faith whenever He returns for His bride, the church. And there are a few other scriptures we ought to look at, besides those we studied yesterday. First of all, there is the parable of the unfaithful servant (Matt. 24:45-51) who was abusing his authority in his master’s absence, when the master suddenly returned home unexpectedly and caught him red-handed. And Jesus ends that parable by declaring (steups!!!): ‘there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ And so there shall be when He returns and many are not ready. 

Then there is the parable of the ten virgins: (Matt. 25:1-13) five who were smart and took oil for their lamps to wait for the bridegroom’s coming to meet his bride, and five foolish who took no oil, and eventually got locked out of the ceremony when the bridegroom came late, and they had gone looking for oil for their lamps. And friends, Jesus ends that parable with this warning again. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 25:13) 

Now just in case you didn’t get Christ’s warning, then please check out chapter 5 of Bruh Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, where he writes: ‘For ourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess. 5:2) Jesus also issued that warning, though in a slightly different way when talking about the thief coming at an unexpected time to rob the master’s house. ‘Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:44) 

Then Bruh Paul goes on to warn the Thessalonians: ‘For when they shall say, Peace and safety (slogans of the Roman Empire); then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail (labour pains) upon a woman with child (a pregnant woman); and they shall not escape. But ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as ye also do (are already doing.’ (1 Thess. 5:3-11) 

Wow! What a momentous passage of scripture my fellow believers! It’s educational, encouraging, comforting and a serious warning, all at the same time. And that warning still holds good for us today, possibly more so than back then since Jesus hasn’t returned yet and can do so at ANY TIME; day or night, today, tomorrow…or even a hundred or a thousand years from now! But return He will! And it is certainly time for us, the supposed children of light to awaken from our lethargy and get ourselves ready for Jesus’ return. 

Meanwhile, the scholars explain that ‘The day of the Lord is an all-encompassing term to describe the period that begins with the Great Tribulation, and includes the second coming of Christ, and the millennial kingdom.’ So, there’s plenty stuff that’s coming, but exactly when, no one but the Father knows, that’s why we have to be in a state of constant preparedness! 

Then there’s this last scripture which Jesus relates to John in the Book of Revelation. ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15) That’s ‘an exhortation to the surviving believers after the last great war, Armageddon, to be watchful and alert, and to remain faithful and loyal to Christ during a time of intense persecution. To have garments rather than be naked, relates to spiritual preparedness.’ 

Yes my fellow saints, from today, right down to when Jesus actually sets up His millennial kingdom, we must remain spiritually prepared. And for those of us attempting to do that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail. Altogether now: ‘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 believe me, if we endure right down to the end with Christ, then that future will be even more glorious than we can either ask or imagine. Now that’s good encouragement to keep us living for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…a lot of the believer’s time…should be taken up with…watching and praying…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2014 Psalm 16:9

Psalm 16:9. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.

Well a good Tuesday morning to all you wonderful folks out there in Scrip-Bit land! Hope all is well with you, and that the Lord in His LOVING-kindness will give you the strength, patience and wisdom to enable you to bear your burdens today.

 
But you have to ask Him, it just won’t drop in your lap, like manna from heaven. And then you have to believe that’s He’s granted you His blessings. That’s the formula Friends, ask in faith and then sincerely believe.
 
Now here’s an interesting but anonymous quote. ‘Everyone in the world smiles in the same language.’
 
That’s indisputable truth my brethren! For though we may speak and think in different languages, when it comes to smiling, there is only one language, a universal one. It takes the same facial muscles to smile in any language or culture, and the great thing about it is that words aren’t even necessary. In fact, words usually corrupt smiles, by changing them to frowns and grimaces.
 
What blessing, and what a blessed day it would be if we could just communicate with smiles! Then we’d all be on the same page. One must have hope eh. (smile)
 
But that’s the beauty of hope my people! It can exist in our minds and souls and bring smiles of joy to our faces, even though it may be just a pipe dream in the physical realm. In the spiritual realm though, we know that ALL things are possible through Christ Jesus!
 
That brings us to our Bit. ‘Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’
 
This will be the last message in the series on hope, so let’s get right down to checking out some more scriptures on that life-giving, life enhancing emotion. And we’ll begin with something from Zechariah.
 
In talking about Zion’s future, the prophet declares in God’s name: ‘Turn you to the stronghold ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech.9:12)
 
Oh Friends, I just LOVE that phrase, ‘prisoners of hope!’ I think it’s a rather fitting description of believers, for we always ought to have hope. Hope must be a defining characteristic of our lives, because without it we are spiritually dead; in other words, hopeless. (smile)
 
Now listen to the psalmist in this prayer for help in old age. ‘Let them be confounded (ashamed) and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt. But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.’ (Ps.71:13-14) Even in old age, hope in Almighty God is still alive and kicking.
 
Then Bruh Paul in his wisdom, advises the Thessalonians thus: ‘Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE: and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.’ (1 Thess.5:6-8)
 
Yes my people, that’s one of the biggest and greatest hopes we can ever have; that hoping for salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour!
 
And from the longest chapter in the Good Book comes these beautiful words of prayer: ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.’ (Ps.119:116)
 
Oh my fellow believers, please, please let’s never allow the enemy to make us fell ashamed of the hope we have in Jesus!
 
Meanwhile Bruh Paul in his missive to the church at Rome, wisely advises them to keep on: ‘Rejoicing in hope, patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer.’ (1 Thess.12:12)
 
And I like how Peter puts it in his first epistle. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet.1:3)
 
There again Friends, hope is described as a living, breathing entity, which it is. It is hope that stirs us up to get up off our fannies to do stuff. Without hope, we won’t venture to do anything at all, much less risky stuff.
 
This leads us to Peter’s advice when talking about suffering and reward. ‘But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy (blessed) are ye: And be not afraid of their terror (threats), neither be troubled.
 
But sanctify (set apart) the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer (a defence) to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (reverential awe).’ (1 Pet.3:14-15)
 
Yes Friends, we ought always be ready to defend, with humility and reverential awe, our faith, our belief, the abundant and amazing hope we have in Jesus Christ! Otherwise, why have it eh?
 
And we’ll close with these famous words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor.13:13)
 
That’s gospel truth my people! So please let’s allow those three things to be uppermost in our lives today nuh, because they form the best template for making it through each and every day in this troubled and evil world that surrounds us. Much LOVE!
 
…without hope…there is no life…