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 2 April 2015 Deuteronomy 31:8‏

Deuteronomy 31:8. And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Well Friends, it’s finally Holy Thursday; the day before the Big Day, meaning Jesus’ crucifixion. It ought to be a day of heartfelt prayer and introspection, pondering exactly what Jesus and His unbearable suffering and His sacrificial death truly means to us.

Remember, Jesus wasn’t some fly by night operator. He talked His talk, but even more importantly, walked that talk! And we need to check up on ourselves to see whether we are doing the same, or simply just talking the talk and not backing it up with sincere action.

Just think about Jesus’ mental anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before he was sacrificed for our abominable sins. The Good Book tells us he prayed, prayed fervently, saying to His inner circle of Peter, James and John: ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here and watch with me.’ (Matt.26:38)

He even beseeched the Father a couple times to take away the cup, relieve Him of His duty to die as the sacrificial Lamb. But please note Friends, that in each case He ended with the fateful words, ‘Thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:39,42)

Yes Friends, though Jesus’ soul was in serious agony, to the point where ‘his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground,’ (Luke 22:44) yet He never wavered from the plan the Father had set for Him.

Oh my people, are we made of such mettle, of such sterner stuff? Do we faithfully resign ourselves to God’s will, even though the circumstances are extremely difficult, and sometimes look impossible?

Oh, I know it’s not always easy to do, but it is our duty as believers to buckle down and do God’s will, forgetting our own selfish desires. And that’s the only way we will ever become true images of Christ, as God desires us to be.

Modern day life is so easy that we complain about simple set backs or difficulties. But my people, that’s not being like Jesus at all! And my Friend Anselm’s quote for today, inspiring us for a better tomorrow is a rather appropriate one for our purposes.

It says: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’

And that’s the gospel truth Friends! Our true measure of a man, of a Christian is where we stand when the challenges and controversies face us. Do we give up, roll over and play dead? Or do we stand up strong and steadfast and fight for what we know is true and what we sincerely believe in?

You know we ought to be in the latter group, as Christ was. Look at the ‘sufferation’ He endured for our sakes, without complaining. That’s how we are expected to operate too, though we will never reach to the heights that Jesus did.

And the wonderful thing about it all my fellow believers, is that we have the sincere and faithful promise of Almighty God in our Bit to help us through whatever comes against us. ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’

Wow! How cool is that eh people! And a few verses before that, Moses told the Israelites: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.

And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.’ (Deut.31:6-7)

So Friends, in just three verses, Moses told both the Israelites and Joshua that they had to be strong, face up to their tasks like good soldiers, because if they did, the Lord their God would certainly look after them.

Oh my people, the same promise is extended to us today. Bruh Paul puts it like this: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Acts 8:28)

So when ever we are called by God, His LOVING-kindness will always be with us, regardless of the way the situation looks. We need to remember that and act on it my brethren.

Now listen to what Bruh David told Cousin Sol when he handed over the building of the Lord’s temple to him. ‘And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.’ (1 Chr.28:20)

Oh Friends, oh Friends, what wonderful words of advice from a father to a son! And that advice must also reverberate amongst us today. It’s also what the Lord told Joshua, as we saw yesterday. ‘Be strong and of a good courage.’ (Josh.1:6) And Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men (be brave), be strong.’ (1 Cor.16:13)

Oh Friends, I can’t think of a better way to end this morning than with those words of encouragement, which we so badly need in these generally rough times, and on this occasion when we remember and relive Jesus’ upcoming death.

Please be strong and of a good courage, for that’s mark of a true Christian, and also the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness…and be content with such things as ye have…for he hath said…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee…’ (Heb.13:5)