Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 July 2021 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.        …for without me ye can do nothing.

Don’t look now friends, but it’s that big day, Monday, the first day of the new work week! (smile) And since some of those pandemic restrictions have been lifted, I guess more of us will be going back out to work today – some joyfully, others sadly, as their extended holiday is over. But let’s remember that whatever the circumstances, we can handle them successfully if we have the Holy Spirt of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ dwelling within us. That’s one of the many differences and improvements between believers and the infidel; with Jesus, we can do any and everything, through Him who strengthens us. Give Him thanks and praise my people! 

And how do we get and stay strong in Christ? Listen to His immortal words on the subject, to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ (John 15:4) How sweet is that eh mih bredrin! That’s how we get and stay strong in Christ. And if you didn’t get it the first time, He goes on to further explain. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

Wow! How direct and to the point is Jesus eh! Unless we stick with Him, we cannot do anything! And that’s the gospel truth my people! It’s only with Christ as the catalyst and moving agent in our life that we are able to do anything truly worthwhile down here on planet earth. 

And the scholars give us some useful info on that verse, re the Union with Christ.‘15:5. The uniqueness of the Christian experience results from the union of Christ and the believer. This is expressed in Scripture as Christ being in the believer and the believer in Christ. Ten times Paul uses the Greek preposition sun (“together”) to describe this relationship. Believers were crucified (Gal. 2:20), dead (Col. 2:20), buried (Rom. 6:4), quickened or made alive (Eph. 2:1-5; Col. 2:13), raised (Col. 3:1; Eph. 2:6), seated (Eph. 2:6), and glorified (Rom. 8:17) together with Christ. 

Illustration: Jesus used the image of the vine and its branches to describe His union with the believer. Application: On the basis of this union, the apostle Paul showed how the successful Christian life can be opened with four key words in Romans 6: know (vs. 6), reckon (vs. 11), yield (vs. 13), and obey (vs. 17). The Christian can conquer sin because Christ lives in him (Gal. 2:20). (First Ref. John 7:37-38; Primary Ref. John 15:1-5; cf. 1 John 5:13).’ 

Well, there you have it friends, our Bible Study for today! (smile) Lots of Scriptures for us to look up. And please do look them up, for it will be to our benefit, as they will only enhance our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. It’s all about inner growth or spiritual maturity my people. And that takes us to Bruh Paul’s prayer for just that in his missive to the church at Ephesus. 

‘That He (Christ) would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye , being rooted and grounded in LOVE, May be able to comprehend (understand) with all saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth and height; And to know the LOVE of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph. 3:16-19) 

Oh Mama, Mama! What a powerful prayer! And the scholars explain it all thus: ‘3:16-19. In these verses Paul makes three prayer requests for the addressees: (1) That they would be strengthened with might by His Spirit (vs. 16), that is, that they be divinely enabled to successfully live the Christian life. (2) That the readers be able to comprehend…the LOVE of Christ, that is to better understand the enormous LOVE Christ has for them. And (3) that they might be filled with all the fullness of God, that is, that the life, character, and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’ 

Now that does sound like a big programme for believers to undertake, but Bruh Paul knew what he was doing. Listen to how he ends that passage nuh. ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph. 3:20-21) Yes friends, Bruh Paul was not making those prayer requests for too much, because he was asking the One who could do ever so much more than we can ask or think; that’s Almighty God. 

So please don’t think that you can’t do anything because it’s too big for you. It might seem so, but it is definitely not too big for our God; the One who created us and still LOVES us dearly, despite all our faults and failures. That means we can go to Him right now with our problems and ask for His awesome help. So as one strong, confident, but humble voice, let’s offer up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

But let me warn us, that we won’t get our desires unless we sincerely turn away from our evil ways and seek God with right motives in our hearts! Much LOVE!

…we can never sell God short…for He is bigger than anything we can ask or imagine…                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2019 Isaiah 1:3.

Isaiah 1:3.    ​The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.

 

Oh yeah, the sun finally won the battle of the weather titans yesterday! It came out shining brightly in the afternoon, but without any real strength, so there was a resultant chill in the air. And some premonition tells me that this is the time for the big chill to finally begin! (smile) 

There will now be very few warmish days, as autumn gets into full swing. The leaves on the trees are already losing their green colour and turning a rustic brown, yellow and gold. Despite the cold winter months it heralds, autumn is still the most beautiful of all the seasons, colourful like a Carnival Tuesday in T&T! Remember, God invented colour! (smile) 

And the last time I looked, the sun was valiantly trying to peek out of the large cloud cover that hid it from sight. But regardless of what happens, today, or any other day, the Good Book assures us that we can do anything and everything through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who strengthens us. (Phil, 4:13) 

And that’s gospel truth my Christian brethren! Through the LOVE and grace and mercy of Christ, NOTHING is impossible to us, we can handle any situation or circumstance that comes against us with true assurance and courage…if we believe! Now let’s turn to our Saturday programme, looking at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And I had a good chuckle at this first one: ‘It’s better to sit in a bar and think about God, than to sit in a church thinking about beer.’ Now that might sound like blasphemy or some such thing, but it’s really the truth! Wherever you are, it’s always better to think about God, than what your situation might naturally induce you to think about, simply because when we think about God, we’re led to do godly things, even in a house of sin. (smile) 

Listen to this next one: ‘Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.’ Yes that’s what we all need to do. God promises us the best, but in this evil world, the worst is also possible, that means we have to be prepared for anything that comes against us. And we’ve already said that we can handle it with Christ’s help, so there’s no need to worry there, especially since we also are assured that no weapon formed against us will prosper. (Is.54:17) Glory to God my faithful brethren!  

That brings us to this similar quote: ‘When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.’ Ah mih people, in this evil and ungodly world we’re sure of one thing, obstacles! Whatever we do, especially if it’s for God, the enemy will always try to put obstacles and impediments in our way, so that we don’t reach our goals. But then we don’t need to give up or change our goals, but merely change the direction in which we originally planned to meet them. And does it ever feel good when we thwart the enemy, with God’s help of course! 

And the necessary ingredients for doing that are found in this next quote. ‘You build on failure. You use it as a stepping-stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on them. You don’t let them have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.’ Yes friends, if we try to do anything in this world, some failure is inevitable. As the saying goes, you can’t succeed until you fail. 

But please remember too that failure is not permanent, unless you allow it to be. Most of the successful people in this world have failed on numerous occasions, but they got back up, hopefully with God’s help, and kept pressing on until they were successful. And we all have to do the same thing; don’t let one or two, or even three failures cause us to give up on our godly dreams, but learn from each failure, for each one has lessons to teach us, then get up and keep on fighting the good fight. That’s the only way to really succeed. 

And this last quote is really interesting, something that most of us never really consider. ‘A person can LOVE you and still cheat, just like we LOVE God and still sin.’ Think on that for a moment nuh! So many of us claim to LOVE God, but yet we engage in a lot of sin and think nothing much of it. But let someone who claims to LOVE us go astray, or step out of line slightly, yuh see the big noise we make, the way we carry on as though the world is falling down on us! 

But have we ever considered how God feels when we betray Him? We obviously don’t class our sinful behaviour towards God in the same light as someone’s wrong toward us. We behave as though the latter is ever so important, while we sort of overlook the former, saying or thinking that God will forgive us. But what about us forgiving those who do us wrong eh? That brings us to an interesting and oh so appropriate scripture from Isaiah, where the Lord complains. 

‘Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.’ And as it was true of God’s chosen people, Israel, way back then, so is it also true of us in these sinful and ungodly times; we have rebelled against Him after enjoying His goodness and grace and mercy, becoming proud and arrogant, behaving as if we gave ourselves all the good things we have. 

And as the Lord continues: ‘Ah sinful nation, a people laden (weighed down) with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone (turned) away backward.’ (Is. 1:4) And if we are truthful, we will admit that our society, like that of ancient Israel, has become oh so evil and turned away from God so much, even trying to force Him out, that He must be seething with anger. 

And don’t tell me that God doesn’t get angry; it says so throughout the Good Book. He’s just long-suffering; holds in His anger for a long time, but when it finally erupts, as it has done, and will again some day if we keep on the way we’re going; it’s deadly! The scholars explain it thus: ‘1:2-4. Children…rebelled: Isaiah pictures the southern kingdom of Judah as ungrateful children rebelling against their parents. These verses serve as a “great arraignment” of the chosen people who have become corrupt and backslidden. The prophet calls them back to obedience to God.’ 

Likewise friends, the Lord is calling us back to obedience, to repentance and the godliness our society once knew. And if we don’t obey, but continue down the ungodly path we’re now treading, then someday, sooner or later, He’s going to lose His patience with us, and we’ll end up like the Israelites did, when they did not heed His warnings; devastated, hounded by calamity! Now that’s not a very good legacy to bequeath to our descendants, so please let’s seriously try and change it now nuh! That’s about all I can say. Much LOVE!

…continued rebellion against God…will always bring disastrous consequences…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2015 Psalm 46:1

 Psalm 46:1.  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in time of trouble.

Well Friends, Monday morning is here, time to get up and get rolling! Let’s hope that yesterday’s celebration of Mother’s Day wasn’t too incapacitating, and consequently you’re shaking it somewhat rough this morning. (smile)

I sincerely hope that Mothers all around the world were suitably revered and appreciated, but please, please, let’s keep up that adoration, respect and affection all the year round nuh. It doesn’t have to be with physical gifts, but simply spending more time than usual with them, more phone calls or visits and nicer words when they tell us something we don’t like.

Most mothers don’t want anything from their children but simple appreciation, in whatever form they can manifest it. So let’s try and do that nuh, for then we’ll be keeping one of God’s major commandments and also buoying the spirits of our mothers throughout the year, rather than one day in the month of May. We would all be much happier too, for the LOVE of Christ would then be truly spread abroad.

However, it’s now time to face the outside world once again, so let’s get the show on the road by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much verve and gusto as we can manage.

Altogether now: ‘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!’

Ah Friends, that rendition wasn’t so hot this morning nuh. You could hear the crustiness and hoarseness in the voices as a result of too much partying yesterday. (smile) But we won’t let that stop us from going out and facing the music, the ungodly clamour of the unruly heathen, for Jesus is our most able Field General and goes before us.  

And furthermore, in the encouraging and uplifting words of our Bit, the Sons of Korah truthfully proclaim: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in time of trouble.’

Oh my people, my people, those awesome words of wisdom and absolute truth ought to just lift our spirits and have us walking around like Superman; being able to do every and anything in the strength, power and majesty of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! (smile)

And somebody says, ‘Hold down brother, hold down. Don’t get carried away now.’ But Friends, that’s not getting carried away, but simply acknowledging the facts of this life. We can indeed do any and everything though Christ Jesus who strengthens us. The Good Book says that, (Phl.4:13) and the Good Book doesn’t lie.

So please let’s get excited and stirred up by the Holy Spirit which indwells us, as we go out there to face the traffic jams, the bad weather, the rude and ungodly co-workers, or whatever comes against us today! That’s the ardent desire of our Leader, Jesus Christ.

And since God is our refuge and strength, then like the Sons of Korah continue: ‘Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:2-3)

Oh my brethren, those positive words just raise the level of faith and belief in my soul, and I hope they do in yours too. For you know our major problem in this life is the thing we call fear; technically speaking, the opposite of faith. But as Bruh Paul so wisely and truthfully told Timothy; ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7)  

Oh what inspirational words of gospel truth!  And shouldn’t that just have us fighting fit and ready to have a go at the enemy, anytime? It surely should my brethren. With the omnipotent Creator of the universe on our side, we shouldn’t be afraid of anything or anybody! 

And we’ll end with this uplifting warning from Jesus. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28)

And my people, the good news is that only Almighty God, our heavenly Father has the power to kill our souls and send us to Hades. So if we obey Him, we won’t have to be worried about that. Now let’s go out there and do brave battle for and with Jesus, because that’s what He expects of His loyal followers. Much LOVE!

…there’s no need to fear anything at all…because you and all-powerful God are a majority…