Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2021 Romans 8:35a.

Romans 8:35a.     Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ?

It’s the mid-week rest period – Wednesday- when we catch our second wind to ready us for the homestretch. And someday, hopefully soon, the four-day workweek that people are now clamouring for will be a reality. Now, that would certainly make the workweek less ominous and frightening. (smile) It would also give us more free time. But please consider the other side of the coin; if you work less, you will also earn less, and that might not fit well with your financial situation. So please, let’s be careful of what we wish for, because ofttimes the reality of the situation is totally different to its theoretical side. 

But here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that offers blessed assurance from the vicissitudes, the vagaries of life. It’s titled ‘Romans 8…to Me.’ Please pray with me. ‘God I may fall flat on my face I may fall until I feel Old and beaten and done in Yet Your LOVE for me is changeless. All the music may go out of my life My private world may shatter to dust Even so You will hold me In the palm of Your steady hand. 

No turn in the affairs Of my fractured life Can baffle You. Satan with all his braggadocio Cannot distract You. NOTHING can separate me from Your measureless LOVE. Pain can’t Disappointments can’t Anguish can’t. Yesterday, today, tomorrow can’t. The loss of my dearest LOVE can’t. Death can’t. Life can’t. Riots war insanity unidentity Hunger neurosis disease – None of these things Nor all of them heaped together Can budge the fact That I am dearly LOVED. Completely forgiven And forever free Through Jesus Christ Your BELOVED Son.’ 

Oh friends, what a powerful and totally true statement! If we believe in Christ Jesus, NOTHING in this world can ever cause us to lose the LOVE of our heavenly Father! Wow! That ought to be ever so reassuring and encouraging to those of us who know Christ as Lord and Saviour. And where does all this reassurance and encouragement come from? From the Good Book obviously… from Romans Chapter 8, as our poem declares. Let’s read exactly what the passage about separation from God says nuh. 

‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35-39)

Yes, precious people of God, those are all undeniable facts and divine truth that Bruh Paul is writing there to the church at Rome and subsequently to us. As believers in Christ, we are inseparable from the LOVE of God! Nothing this world can throw at us will ever do it. Now here the scholars tell it. ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself. Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. vs. 28).’ 

And that’s the living truth! But unfortunately, too many of us believers don’t seem to believe that God is greater than any enemy the world can cause to rise up against us. That’s why we cringe and eventually bow down to the evil of this world. That’s why Jesus would sadly accuse us: ‘O thou of little faith!’ We talk a good talk, but when the chickens come home to roost, it’s an entirely different story; we falter, and then crumble under the reality of the situation. And no one’s saying that living a meaningful life for Christ is easy, but what’s the point, if as soon as the tough times come, we scatter and run like sheep eh? 

And very often, it doesn’t even take the real tough times to scatter us, but merely some simple recurring difficulty. Unfortunately, too many supposed believers today fall into the second and third categories of Jesus’ parable about the sower sowing seed. ‘Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith (immediately) they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.’ (Matt. 13:5-7) 

Obviously those two categories are not good my people, because the seed never grows to maturity, blossoms and bears fruit. Now listen to Jesus’ explanation of those two categories. ‘But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it. Yeh hath he no root in himself, but dureth (endures) for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended (immediately he stumbles). He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ (Matt. 13:20-22) 

And the scholars define those two categories thus: ‘13:20-23. The stony places are shallow-hearted individuals who anon (at once) receive (outwardly) the message with joy. This emotional convert is not truly born again, for hath he not root and withers away. The one who is among the thorns (cares of this world) is the carnal, worldly convert, who never really breaks with his past. Worldliness and materialism choke the word in his life, and he is finally unfruitful (unsaved).’ 

Ah mih people, what Christianity desperately needs today to conquer the power and territorial superiority of the enemy is a bushel of what Jesus described as: ‘But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.’ (Matt. 13:8) And He explained that part of the parable thus: ‘But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth (produces), some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ (Matt. 13:23) 

And the scholars follow up with this: ‘The one who received seed in the good ground is the one who both heard the word and understood it, which also beareth fruit (evidence of true conversion). While such evidence may vary in its amount, all true believers will produce some fruit.’ 

Oh friends, do we ever need more believers bearing fruit in these troubled times. It’s not so much a matter of how much fruit we bear, but that we do bear some good fruit! The world and its cares are robbing us of the good and abundant life Christ died for us to have, so please, let’s try and turn this thing around nuh. We can, if we sincerely try. And remember, with Christ in our lives, we can do all things, because He strengthens us. 

Now let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 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 as we do that, let’s remember that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…Christians make a great difference…when they bear good fruit…                                                                                             

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 June 2021 2 Timothy 3:16.

2 Timothy 3:16.     All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 

Ahoy there my fellow saints in Christ! Hope that you are having a wonderful Tuesday, walking in LOVE with our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, for that’s what this life is all about; an interesting LOVE walk with Christ! Now nobody said it was going to be all wine, roses and song. No, it doesn’t mean life will be a bed of roses just because you’re walking with Jesus, for He didn’t have an easy earthly life and even promised that those who follow Him won’t have it easy either. 

Please note these words of His: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And that’s where we believers in Christ win them! Yes friends, we have the ability to be peaceful and cheerful during all and any storms, trials and tribulations, or negative experiences that come against us in this evil and ungodly world! 

That’s because our Jesus has already conquered the prince of darkness, Satan, the evil ruler of this evil world. Mano-a mano, he wrested the keys of hell death and the grave from him! He did that when He triumphantly rose from the dead on that Easter Sunday morn some two thousand years ago, to live forever! 

Wow! What a mighty conqueror is our Jesus! And since then, Satan has had no power or authority over believers, unless we foolishly give it to Him. And as Bruh Paul so confidently proclaimed in his message to the church at Rome. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. 

For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life; nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35, 37-39) 

Now that’s something we all ought to confidently believe. Why? For as the scholars explain: ‘We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (vs. 28).’ 

Yuh hear that mih people? NOTHING can separate us from the LOVE of God that’s found in Christ Jesus! But we must believe it sincerely and confidently, then act in a manner that speaks it out loud and clear! And Bruh Paul’s words to Timothy echo the action we need to do so. 

‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ (2 Tim. 3:12-17) 

Yuh see that friends: this world is going to get even more evil, than it is already – if that is possible – but we have the wherewithal to overcome it if we live according to the Word of God, the life-map written for us. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘3:14-17. Continue literally means “remain.” The things which thou hast learned were his oral instruction in the holy scriptures (the Old Testament, here) by his mother (Eunice) and grandmother (Lois). Inspiration of God (God-breathed) describes the unique character of Scripture. 

It is not only written by men, but authored by God. For doctrine means to tell one what to believe. For reproof means to tell one what is wrong. For correction means to tell one how to correct wrong. For instruction in righteousness means to tell one how to live. Perfect (proficient, capable) is having everything needed to do what God wants. Thoroughly furnished means “thoroughly equipped.” God’s inspired word, properly used and applied, provides all we need for life and ministry.’ 

Oh Mama, Mama! We don’t need anything else to live this life friends but the inspired Word of God! But the most important thing though, is that it must be ‘properly used and applied.’ And unfortunately, that is not what’s happening in these last days, where men are becoming worse and worse, as Bruh Paul so aptly described in the earlier verses of that chapter (3:1-11). God’s Word is sadly not being preached properly, and even worse, is being used as justification for all sorts of wrongdoing and ungodly stuff. But have no fear, the workers of iniquity will eventually pay. That’s the Lord’s promise, and we know He is very faithful that promised! (smile) 

And let us not forget this most meaningful bit of scripture, which allows us to live in peace. ‘But now in Christ Jesus ye (Gentiles) who sometimes (once) were far off are made nigh (near) by the blood of Christ. For he (Himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us.’ (Eph. 2:13-14) 

Yes friends, Jesus broke down the walls between Jews and Gentiles and made one new party, the Christian church, so there should be no more feuding between the two groups. He did that by taking all the sins of the world unto Himself and paying for them all with His sinless life on the cross of Calvary. Now, we need to be living examples of that peace and joy which His death and resurrection provided. And we do that by following the life laid out for us in the Word of God, confidently knowing that we can handle anything that comes against us. 

Oh my fellow saints, when we have Jesus living in us through His Holy Spirit, to lead and guide us into all goodness and righteousness until the day of salvation, we simply can’t go wrong. And for those of us who are sincerely trying to live the good life in Christ, let’s go home proclaiming our Tuesday Mantra. 

As one strong voice: ‘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!’  Now, the upshoot of it all, is for us to go out and share that awesome LOVE and friendship of Jesus with those we meet. Much LOVE!

…Christians…ought to be the most joyful people in the world…not the poor me ones…so many of us look and behave like…                                                                        

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2021 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.     ​Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us.

Welcome to Friday; somewhat snowy and blustery, but all a part of the winter system. Hope I think so when I have to go out the street later. (smile) So how’s your day going so far eh? I hope for those of you in my time zone it’s begun on a good note, and for those of you whose day is almost ending, hoping that you had a good one, despite whatever difficulties you encountered, as you walked with Christ beside you all the way. 

Oh my people, I shouldn’t have to remind us, but I will, (smile) that walking with Christ is the ONLY way to handle, to mitigate some of the troubles and difficulties we’ll experience in this evil and dangerous world. Remember Jesus promised that we’d have problems, but once we’re walking with him, things would be all right. Here’s what He said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes friends, we all know that scripture, but do we really consider it when hard times come against us? That is the question. Do we remember promises like that when we’re facing uphill battles and need reassurance? I hope so, because that’s what those scriptures are for; to reassure us of the goodness of God and His promise to work things out eventually for the good of all those who LOVE Him, and sincerely try to do His will. 

So please, I implore us, in these rough and uncertain times, to keep the promises of our God front and centre in our lives, so we can use them to raise our faith and keep walking in His awesome and amazing LOVE! Otherwise, our supposed faith is just a waste of time. It doesn’t make sense having faith if you don’t use it positively. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s see what the ordinary workingman has to say today nuh. And he is somewhat crochety. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes, and I’m still alive, though just barely. And I don’t know what you all expect me to say nuh. Nothing has changed in the last little while; we still on lockdown, I still don’t have no job, money in short supply, the virus an’ them still running rampant all over the world…So what new thing all yuh expect me to say eh? 

Oh, they thinking about sending some of the children back to school…when? I don’t know, and don’t really understand why everybody want them to go back to school. If big people can’t handle the situation, how yuh expect children to handle it in such crowed schools like we have eh? 

Steups! I just give up yes! Things too conflicting, yuh getting all sorts of different information from different people, and everybody claiming that theirs is the truth. So what’s an ordinary body to do eh? I don’t know about nobody else nuh, but me, I’m just going to keep me peace, and do the best I can with what I have. That is provided this lock up home situation don’t drive me crazy before we get the situation under control. Until then, I’ll just have to thank God and ask Him to keep me and mine safe oui.’ 

Ah mih bredrin, I think that’s the best advice for all of us yes; don’t give up, obey the rules as best we can, don’t put ourselves in any untenable situations, and talk to the Lord in all sincerity about the situation. It’s all in His hands friends, and He’s promised that this too shall pass, and also that no weapon formed against us will prosper, and every tongue that speaks ill of us will be condemned. (Is. 54:17) 

And Bruh Paul has also reminded us of our divine heritage with these words. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35, 37-39) And all of God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

Yes friends, I do hope that we are all truly persuaded that NOTHING will separate us from God’s LOVE, because if we don’t, then our faith is again a waste of time and crapaud will smoke we pipe. And having said all that, let’s do the first thing we ought to do each and every day, and when we are in troubled times, turn to God in sincere prayer. And some of you might be wondering why I keep talking about sincerity, but that’s simply because the Lord doesn’t just hear our words, but checks the motives, the sincerity of our hearts before He considers our requests. 

So with sincere hearts (smile) let’s lift up our Friday Chant to heaven. As one voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And now that we’ve shown our hearts to be sincere, let’s show the world that we are truly faithful believers in Christ Jesus and handle the situation as we ought to! Much LOVE!

…faith is belief in action…so let’s get some serious action going nuh…to show some serious faith…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

Well it looks like it’s going to be a wet and woolly Saturday in my part of paradise, with the distinct possibility of ice pellets later on! (smile) But the sad fact of the matter is that all over the world, the weather is in a state of flux; fluctuating like we’ve never seen or experienced it before. We’re either not getting what we’re supposed to get at this time of the year, or too much or too little of it, and that’s creating a lot of havoc in our lives. Now the reason for this state of affairs, or who’s fault it is, that’s another story, (smile) which we won’t get into this morning. 

Instead, we’ll check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And speaking of Anselm, miraculously, just this morning I received an e-mail from one of our Scrip-Bit friends saying that her curiosity had been piqued by Anselm and his quotes. Consequently, she wanted to know if he was a real person and where he gets his quotes from. My answer was yes, he is a real person, but I don’t know where he gets his quotes from. And for those of you whose curiosity has also been piqued by our friend Anselm’s identity and otherwise, please remember the ole people’s saying that curiosity killed the cat, so be careful it doesn’t kill you too. (smile) 

Ah friends, it’s good to have a li’l fun sometimes, life is too short to be serious all the time. And here is Anselm’s first quote: ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ And isn’t that the living truth! So many things we need or try to do seem so hard that they teeter towards the impossible side of the ledger. But having completed the seemingly impossible task, it then seems as though it was a piece of cake, and we wonder why we thought it was impossible in the first place. But that’s just the way life is friends; tasks always seem more difficult than they really are, before we tackle them. And since we know that nothing is impossible with Jesus as the Master of our lives, let’s think in terms of possibilities rather than impossibilities nuh, our lives will improve ever so much. 

And the next quote tells us that, ‘An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.’ Now that’s surely an interesting way to put it. And the optimistic attitude is obviously the better way, since it makes us look forward to better times in the coming year than we’ve had in the one just past. Chuh! Can you imagine if I had not been optimistic in the past three years when I was so sick, even unto death, as some people thought, but definitely not me, (smile) I certainly would not be around today! 

That does say something for optimism, for looking on the bright side, even when there seems to be no reason whatsoever for doing so. That leads us to this next interesting quote: ‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.’ More optimism, more faith and hope and belief in the good and faithful promises of Jesus my people! That’s the only way to live this life with a modicum of success; optimistic, and strong and steadfast in our Christian faith; the only faith that has all the magnificent benefits like mercy and grace, salvation and forgiveness, and that’s only a few, where we don’t get what we deserve, but the good things we don’t deserve. 

Ah my people, I can’t begin to tell us how good and great and merciful and gracious is the God that we serve nuh! The Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Creator and omnipotent ruler of this magnificent universe! So here ‘s the last quote. (smile) And we keep the best for last. ‘I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.’ And do I ever, for as far as I’m concerned my best days are still ahead of me! Glory be my brethren! And so should ALL believers think and believe, because with Jesus running our lives we’re on the gravy train. (smile) 

Remember He said, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) That means He doesn’t desire us to be living struggling lives all the time, but enjoying the kingdom of heaven down here on earth too. And the talk about the gravy train was a bit facetious, because life will not always be wine, song and laughter, but as Jesus also warned us: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

What a marvellous and encouraging verse of scripture that is friends, from our Lord and Saviour Himself! But until we truly believe and live them, our lives will not improve. And in strong support of Christ’s words, here are a couple of scriptures from Bruh Paul. The first one, written to Timothy, after outlining his own suffering, he confirms our earthly ‘sufferation’ ‘Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra: what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly for Christ shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim. 3:11-12) 

So though trials and persecutions may – no, will come, if we hang in there, the Lord will eventually deliver us from them all. And as Bruh Paul defiantly proclaimed to the church at Rome: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:35 & 37) Glory Hallelujah my brethren! What words of positive and encouraging faith! 

That means, as true believers, there is a lot of good stuff for us to look forward to, including heaven and eternity with Jesus eventually. There’s nothing better than that available friends, so please, let’s keep a good attitude and believe that even better times than these are in our future. Much LOVE!

…what’s the point of faith eh…if it doesn’t give one true hope…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2016 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.    Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

One more day; one more day to be alive and kicking and enjoy God’s expansive favour! Oh what a joy that ought to be my people! Just to know that our names will not be read in today’s obituaries should bring forth a glorious song of thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Consequently, our mouths should be uttering joyful and thankful words like the psalmist did: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24)

Yes friends, the Lord has kept us alive for a purpose; to continue the good work He has planned for our lives, and also to enjoy the fruits of our labour. 

Now here’s a wise li’l secret from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster: ‘Dreams come true for those who work while they dream.’ 

Yes my brethren, in this life we ought not to just sit and wait for things to happen, for God to just bring them to pass, but we must also do our part in the wonderful partnership we share with Almighty God. 

Remember it’s a two way street; we do what we can, and wait patiently, enthusiastically and expectantly for God to do His part. We don’t just rest on our fannies and expect it to fall into our laps. 

Now let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with sincere enthusiasm and thankfulness because the reality of the situation is exactly what it deserves. 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

Oh my people, my people, what a glorious truth! We aren’t what the world says or thinks about us, but we are God’s beloved, and Jesus’ friend! Wow! That means the world cannot beat or defeat or do us any real harm, because we are God’s people! 

Oh what a triumphant blessing! But please remember the last part of that declaration; we need to share the LOVE of Jesus with the rest of the world. That’s our bounden duty. 

And it all rolls right into sync with our wonderful Bit: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ 

Ah friends, how much more favoured can we be eh? Not much more really. We are God’s flock, and He LOVED us so much that He sent His only son Jesus to die on the cross at Calvary so that we could be reconciled unto Him. How wonderful is that eh! 

And today we’re going to continue looking at the portion of our Bit that deals with LOVE. And John the apostle deals with it wonderfully in His first epistle. Let’s listen some to him. 

‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby we know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ (1 John 4:12-15) 

Now here are some thoughts from the scholars. ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yuh see that friends? If we don’t have the Spirit of God within us, then we won’t have the capacity to truly embrace the emotion of LOVE. 

‘4:15. This helps provide the context for rightly understanding verse 7. Trust in Christ as the incarnate Son of God makes genuine, God-wrought LOVE possible.’ 

And if we don’t remember what verse 7 says, let’s refresh our memories. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

That means friends, that only those who truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, can possess the LOVE of God. Now let’s continue with John’s theorizing. 

‘And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God IS LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:16) 

And hear the scholars explain that. ‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as a characteristic of God and therefore as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ 

Is LOVE a dominant characteristic of our lives my people? I surely do hope so, otherwise we’re just being hypocrites like the pseudo-religious Pharisees of old. 

And we’ll end with this very important verse. ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect (LOVE made perfect among us), that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ (1 John 4:17) 

Yes friends, when true LOVE exists among us, then our confidence rises to its zenith! 

The scholars explain that verse thus. ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16. By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, if we LOVE in this world as He does.’  

Oh friends, the importance of LOVE, within each individual believer, and consequently between all believers can never be overstated, for it’s the supreme characteristic by which the true believers in Almighty God and true followers of Christ are known. 

Please, let’s critically examine ourselves today, and see how our own characteristic of LOVE shapes up, and then, ask God to help us do better, for we can all do better. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith, hope, LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is LOVE… (1 Cor.13:13)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2016 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.   Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

Awright friends, it’s Monday, so let’s get up and get a move on nuh. There’s no time for pushing the snooze button and rolling over. The trumpet is calling out yonder: It’s time to go to work! Time to be up and about Jesus’ business! 

Yes my people, there’s no time for muttering and complaining. You weren’t muttering or complaining last night when you were up till all hours of the night having fun. So let’s cut out the negative actions now and get with the programme. 

And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty enthusiasm, energy and sense of purpose. As they say, fake it until you make it. 

So let’s sing: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’  

Oh friends, that rendition of our Battle Hymn was barely passable! How can such a lacklustre vocalization ever inspire anybody to go out and fight bravely eh? It’s obvious that our choirmaster, Jesus, wasn’t pleased. But as always, knowing our frailties, and having that great LOVE for us, He forgives us. 

Nonetheless, now that our motors are running, let’s pick up the tempo and get ourselves into the fray of this new workweek, with Jesus, beside, behind and before us; in other words, all around us as a protective shield. That’s why we can so audaciously declare in our Bit: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ 

Yes precious people of God, once you are spiritually born again through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross at Calvary, then you have indeed become a conqueror through His having conquered hell, death and the grave. The same options are open to all who sincerely believe in Him and truly surrender their souls to His leading and guidance. 

Now the last couple of days we have been talking about the conquering aspect of our Bit, today however, I want to talk about the LOVE portion. And isn’t that word LOVE, the greatest word in any language on planet earth? It certainly is! Why eh? 

Listen to the most important verse in the God’s word. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) 

That’s the major purpose behind it all my faithful brethren. God’s LOVE was so great for us, His sinful creation, that He just could not live with Himself to see us all go down to Hades with Lucifer without some option for deliverance. ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) 

And all those words were spoken by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the SON of God! So they just had to be true, since God cannot lie. That’s how blessed we are my people! Our Creator’s care and compassion for us was so strong, that He broke His own heart, by sacrificing His only Son, that we could be set free from the ravages of sin and death. 

Now doesn’t that touch a soft spot in your heart, make you everlastingly grateful? It ought to. And it also ought to raise up your own LOVE for God, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in thankful appreciation for all that they’ve done for you. But such is the ungratefulness and foolish pride of man that many of us just couldn’t care less about what the Holy Trinity has done, is doing, and will do for us.  

Now let’s further develop this theory of LOVE. We have a saying that ‘LOVE makes the world go round,’ and if we follow and believe what John says in his later writings, then it might just be true. 

Hear John theorize. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested (shown) the LOVE of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:7-11) 

And that’s the crux of the disastrous situation right now in our world; we don’t LOVE one another! 

And we not talking about no big setta LOVE nuh, with plenty hugging and kissing etc; (smile) but just simple brotherly kindness, goodwill, care and compassion for each other. Now that’s what will make our world go round! 

Ah friends, if we want to see our world become a better place, both for ourselves and our descendants, then I implore us to start showing that goodwill, that brotherly LOVE to each other. It’s not too late, and with God’s help we can certainly do it. So let’s begin today nuh; there’s no better time than right now! Much LOVE!

…without more basic LOVE…our world WILL NOT survive for much longer…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2016 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.    Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

Once again it’s Sunday friends – the day of the Lord – so let’s begin our celebrations of praise, worship and thanksgiving with a wise and sensible hymn titled ‘I choose Jesus.’  What can be wiser than that eh? Absolutely nothing! 

So let’s raise our voices in glorious song. ‘When I need someone in time of grief, Someone my cheer to be, Jesus I choose, for He gives relief, He is the best for me. (Refrain) – I choose Jesus when I need a friend, What I need I know that He will send; I have proved Him, good and true is He; I choose Jesus, He is the best for me.  

When I need someone to guide my soul Over the stormy sea, Always to Jesus I give control, He is the best for me. (Refrain) When I need help to defeat the foe, Someone my shield to be, Always to Jesus in faith I go, He is the best for me. (Refrain) 

When all my trials on earth are o’er, And the dark stream I see, Jesus shall bear me to yonder shore, He is the best for me. (Refrain) I choose Jesus when I need a friend, What I need I know that He will send; I have proved Him, good and true is He; I choose Jesus, He is the best for me.’ 

Oh my people what awesome words of truth and wisdom! Jesus is our everything; our be all and end all! Whatever we need we can find in Him, all we have to do is surrender our lives to Him. Then He comes in and takes control of our lives; leads and guides us along the straight and narrow path through the poignant and comforting power of the Holy Spirit. 

Yeh friends, all we need is Jesus. As our Bit so rightly declares: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, through Jesus sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, His glorious resurrection and ascension, we have been redeemed, justified, sanctified and become conquerors over the evil powers that be.  

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Corinthians in his first missive to them. ‘The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15: 56-58) 

Ah friends, what wonderful words of encouragement and reassurance this Sunday morning! Words of indisputable truth! Through God’s eternal LOVE for us and His sacrifice of His sinless Son, we have been granted victory over the evil twins of sin and death. Glory Hallelujah! 

But please note that everything doesn’t just fall in our laps without any sweat from us. We still need to be strong and faithful, full of plenty belly and backbone, and do God’s work, for once we diligently keep keeping on in faith, we will be well rewarded eventually. 

Sadly though, that is where a lot of us fall down. We allow the trials and tribulations and temptations of this world to wear us down so that we aren’t of much use to Christ and His LOVE Revolution. That’s very unfortunate my brethren, because Christ is depending on us to be His foot soldiers, His ambassadors in the battle with the evil forces that are fighting against Him for world supremacy. 

But we can’t be strong and faithful unless we continually read His word and meditate on it, as well as have meaningful communication with Him through constant prayer, and fellowship regularly with other believers. 

So if you find that your faith is slipping, please go to God for help through the means we’ve just outlined. Pour out your heart to Him and let Him comfort and strengthen you. That’s the only way to be reinvigorated with His awesome blessing, mercies and grace. 

But getting back to our topic, listen to Bruh Paul in his second missive to the Corinthians, as he talks about being triumphant in Christ. ‘Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to (leads us in) triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour (fragrance) of his knowledge by us in every place. 

For we are unto God a sweet savour (the fragrance) of Christ, in (among) them that are saved, and in (among) them that perish. To the one we are the savour (aroma) of death unto death; and to the other the savour (aroma) of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many who corrupt (peddle by trickery) the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of (from) God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.’ (2 Cor. 2: 14-17)  

Yeh friends, in usual Bruh Paul fashion those statements are somewhat convoluted, but the scholars offer us some explanations. ‘2:14-17. Triumph (cf. Col.2:9-15): The imagery conveyed in the use of this term is of the Roman general who marched in victory with his entourage, consisting of two groups: them that are saved…and them that perish. 

The former group referred to those allowed to live as slaves of the empire. The latter group comprised the condemned, who were being led to their death. Each group carried burning incense. The one was, verse 16, a savour of death unto death, the other was a fragrance of life unto life. 

Calvary was the mighty display of the infinite power of a sovereign God. The human race was divided into two categories, those of life unto life and those of death unto death.’ (2 Cor.2:14-17) 

Hope that explanation helps us to better understand what Bruh Paul is talking about. In ending friends, all I can say is ‘Glory to God, through Christ Jesus, that we ended up in the life unto life group!’ Much LOVE!

…who completely destroyed the prince of evil…JESUS…who had victory over hell, death and the grave…JESUS… who saved our sinful souls…Jesus…praise His holy name…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2014 1 Corinthians 2:9

1 Corinthians 2:9.    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that LOVE him.

So Friends, it’s Saturday and the weekend is well on its way. Hope you have lots of good stuff planned for it, including all the new blessings and new mercies that our omnipotent, most generous and benevolent God is going to shower down on us today. It pays to be grateful and give thanks, especially for stuff which we most definitely do not deserve. So let’s spend a moment in earnest prayer nuh. 

Please pray with me: ‘Heavenly Father, today is a new day and we give you thanks for causing us to see it. We are also thankful for your promises to look after all our needs if we walk in righteousness and obedience to your will. Unfortunately we cannot do this on our own, therefore Lord we ask you to help us stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to you and your LOVING-kindness. This we ask in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh mih people, isn’t it interesting that we cannot do what God wants us to do without His help? For sure! But there are also many times we can do better in our own strength or even with God’s help, but we don’t. Why? 

Because as our Friend Anselm, who always tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow, says in his quote from yesterday: ‘Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.’ 

And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Although Jesus assured us not fear, too many of us believers are still living fearful lives because we are sorely bombarded with all the cares of the world. Now we have to be concerned about our affairs, but even when times are bad, we don’t have to live in fear. That’s the awesome mark of a true believer in Jesus! That’s what faith and trust in Him is supposed to cure, to suppress. 

Remember what Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome? ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose…. What shall we then say to those things? If God be for us, who can be against us…? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:28, 31, 37) 

Yes Friends, if we sincerely LOVE God, and believe those truths from Bruh Paul to the Roman church, then there is absolutely no need for us to live fearful lives, but lives filled with big dreams, hungry hope and expectant faith that’s based on the solid foundation of the rock that’s our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

That brings us to our Bit, the same as yesterday, which ramps up even more the surety and confidence we can place in almighty God, our Creator and generous Provider. ‘But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that LOVE him.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, isn’t that a beautiful and assuring statement, showing how much our great God truly appreciates us. As we saw yesterday, He reveals to us the things that matter most to Him through the power of His Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Unbelievers have no idea what He’s all about…but we do. And that’s glorious! 

Now let’s continue where we left off yesterday in this important scripture passage on wisdom being God’s gift. We’ll repeat verse 13 because there are some explanations that are necessary. 

‘Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.’ (1 Cor.213-16) 

And we’ll go straight into some scholarly explanations, as there are plenty. ‘2:13. Comparing spiritual things with spiritual: The term comparing occurs only here and in 2 Cor.10:12 where the meaning is clearly “compare.” However, in classical Greek, the term was always used in a sense “to compound” or “to interpret.” 

Probably the most satisfactory interpretation is “combining spiritual things with spiritual words.” After speaking of spiritual “things,” (vv.11-13),  Paul now speaks of the “forms” in which they are conveyed. Spiritual truth is conveyed in language that is given by God’s Spirit.’ 

‘2:14. Natural man (lit. “unspiritual man”) is unreceptive. He does not admit the truth into his heart (cf. Luke 8:13; Acts 8:14; 11:1; James 1:21). As spiritual discernment is generated only by the Holy Spirit, the capacity to know spiritual truth is beyond the innate powers of the natural man. 

Spiritually discerned: The fundamental idea of discerned is that of “examination” or “scrutiny.” It is used only by Paul and Luke, and mostly of “judicial examination.” (cf. Luke 23:14; Acts 4:9; 1 Cor. 9:3; 10:25, 27). On the spiritual plane the natural man does not have the ability to sift the facts.’ 

‘2:15. The difference between the natural man and the spiritual man is primarily that the spiritual man has founded his faith on God’s revelation. He can judge now both earthly and heavenly things. He can discern what is and what is not of the gospel and salvation, and whether a man truly preaches the truth of God.’ 

‘2:16. We have the mind of Christ means that Christians possess the Lord’s own understanding, that is, His thoughts, opinions, judgements, plans, and so on. This answers the question that Paul puts in the same verse. Who hath known the mind of the Lord? The answer is, “We do!’ The term we includes the apostle Paul and to some extent all true believers, though believers today are prudent to acknowledge the superiority of apostolic insight into spiritual matters to that of their own.’ 

Oh Friends, I know that those explanations are somewhat plentiful and heavy, but they are necessary if we hope to properly understand the Word of God, be able to discern truth from falsehood and thus grow in Christ-like maturity. As Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians later on, we can’t always be drinking milk, we need to grow up and eat some solid food, some meat and potatoes from the Word. (smile) 

So please let’s sit down and take our time and read and meditate and ponder on all that’s before us, so that we can learn and truly appreciate all that the Lord’s saying to us. Much LOVE!

…like a human being needs solid food as he/she grows physically…so too do believers need to delve into the more intricate aspects of the Word and understand them…so that they can  grow spiritually in Christ…