Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2019 1 Timothy 2:3.

1 Timothy 2:3.    ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday’s here again friends! Glory be! It’s the day we cease from our normal labour and instead visit the Lord’s sanctuary and have fellowship with other believers! Yes mih people, it’s time for us to sing and dance and praise the Lord and give Him sincere thanks for the many blessings He’s so magnanimously bestowed on us! Wow! What a wonderful God He is! There’s none other like Him! That’s for certain sure!

That’s why we need to show our true LOVE and sincere gratitude by coming together as the body of Christ, His church, at least once a week! And not only do we offer up praise and thanksgiving, but we are renewed and refreshed in return, through hearing His Word and the encouragement of and communion with our fellow believers, so that we can go out and do His work with vim and vigour this upcoming week.

Now let’s get the show on the road by opening, as always, with a song of praise and worship. And today’s number is certainly an old but still very popular number titled ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ And I hear the excited sigh that rises from our throats as the song registers, because it is one we all LOVE to sing! So let’s sing it nuh, with plenty emotion, strong voice and the sweetest of harmonies!

All together now: ‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain]

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honor, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain 2]’

Oh friends, oh friends, what a powerful and emotionally touching rendition! Heaven could see that we truly believed what we were singing, felt it right down in the very depths of our souls! That’s what some of these old English hymns do to us. Now it’s reputed that the words to that song were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, while the music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871. And has it ever stood the test to time! Becoming the Salvation Army’s favoured processional hymn along the way.

Apparently ‘it was written to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces of the world.’ And it takes its theme from New Testament references of Christians being soldiers for Christ. One example of that is our Bit, Bruh Paul’s famous words to his young protégé Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:3-4)

Yeh friends as Christians we do need to stand up strong under whatever trials and tribulation comes against us, like a good soldier does. Consequently, that soldier doesn’t get involved with the unnecessary affairs of life, so that he can give his all, his total allegiance and attention to the business of the one who’s chosen him to be a soldier. That means, since Christ has chosen us to be His followers, then we too must endure the tribulation that will certainly come against us, as Christ promised in John 16:33, and neither get involved in the affairs of this world because we are not of it, as He says in John 17:16.

And the analogy of Christians being soldiers in Christ’s army is rather apt, since we are constantly fighting battles of temptation and deceit against Satan and his evil minions. However it’s not a physical battle, although many believers are fighting physical battles in many places in our strife-filled world, but it’s a spiritual battle that most believers face day by day. As Bruh Paul says to the Corinthians: ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ;’ (2 Cor.10:3-5)

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses. ‘10:3-5. Though we walk (live) in the flesh (in a body), we do not war (fight) after (according to) the flesh (human standards. The first phrase of verse 5 looks back to verse 3 and expresses the manner in which believers conduct spiritual warfare. It is by casting down (destroying) imaginations (false arguments), such as Paul’s opponents have raised.’

That also means refuting all the lies and deceit and the temptations the enemy constantly throws at us. And we do that by taking all those wrong thoughts captive and making them conform to Christ’s Word. Remember, our minds are where the serious spiritual battles take place, so we obviously must have our thoughts conform to Christ’s Word to be victorious. And as I was reading the words of the hymn just now, one verse struck me as being somewhat untrue in these evil, divisive times. ‘Like a mighty army moves the church of God;…We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’

I just have to shake my head and sadly chuckle because God’s church is certainly not moving in these ungodly days like a mighty army, more like a stagnant, sluggish, complacent, uninterested band of layabouts. And as to being one body with one hope and one doctrine…What a joke! Christ’s church has never been more divided and fractured and going different ways than now!

But friends, let’s remember that where there’s life there’s also hope, so it’s not too late. If we’re serious about rectifying the ills in the church we still can, if we come together, instead of moving further apart. It will take a lot of hard work and effort, putting our selfish, petty desires aside, and showing the true character of Christ. I know it sounds impossible, but remember too, that ALL things are possible with Christ! Much LOVE!

…to be true soldiers of Christ…Christians must stop seeking and seeing life…the way the world sees it…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2019 2 Corinthians 10:3.

2 Corinthians 10:3.    ​For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh.
 

And then it was Friday…the one after the Caribana long weekend…and mucho prayers are being sent up to heaven giving thanks for making it through this rough and tiring though short workweek! So what else is new eh? Heaven is always bombarded with more prayers when things are rough with mankind. And I guess that’s how it was meant to be since Jesus invited us to: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt.11:28) 

I don’t know if He meant tired from too much partying too, (smile) but I’m sure that whenever we call on Him, for whatever reason, He will NEVER turn us down, once our prayers are sincere. So please keep crying out to Him in sincerity, whatever your needs are, because Bruh Paul also promised that the Lord will meet all our needs according to his riches in glory through Christ. (Phil.4:19) 

So now that we’ve straightened that out, (smile) let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself today. As always, he’s really enthused about the weekend. ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday yes mih breddren because it’s the start of the weekend! Yeah! My time to do whatever, whenever and however I like! No slave driver in mih life for at least two big days! Wow! Thank the Lord for that yes! Work is good, but like too much of everything else, too much of it is no good! 

Well…possibly except for partying…Oh yes, I am a party animal, but I try not to overdo it, try to set a half decent example for the children, because yuh know they quick to do what they see you do, rather than what you tell them. As the old saying goes, monkey see, monkey do. Anyway, enough philosophizing…is Friday…and we starting the party right here and now…regardless of what the slave master think or say! Lift them high friends…and thank God for Fridays and weekends!’ 

Ah mih people, you have to enjoy the workingman’s zest for life though he tends to go somewhat overboard. He’s not a bad philosopher either. (smile) But his limits are just too far out for those of us who sincerely believe in Jesus. We set boundaries a li’l closer to home than he does. So let’s hear what our weekend song, our Friday Chant sounds like nuh, as we proclaim it to all and sundry in full voice and sincere hearts. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, as followers of, and true believers in Christ, we have to be somewhat more cognizant of the world around us and how the enemy is operating because we are in a big battle with the spiritual world powers of darkness and evil, so we can’t afford to be footloose and fancy free like the ordinary workingman. And that’s the gospel truth as Bruh Paul so wisely informs us: 

‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ and having a readiness to revenge (punish) all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.’ (2. Cor.10:3-6) 

Yes my fellow saints, I know that’s a mouthful and might be somewhat obscure and incomprehensible to some of us, (smile) but here’s what the scholars have to say about it, hope it will help you to better understand Bruh Paul’s teaching. ’10:3-5. Though we walk (live) in the flesh (in a body), we do not war (fight) after (according to) the flesh (human standards): The first phrase of verse 5 looks back to verse 3 and expresses the manner in which believers conduct spiritual warfare. It is by casting down (destroying) imaginations (false arguments), such as Paul’s opponents have raised.’ 

And believe you me, in these troubled and insecure times, there are so many false arguments, theories and doctrines floating about from so many false teachers, that if you’re not careful, and are not solidly grounded in the Word you can easily fall for any and all of them. That’s why it’s so important for believers to read, know, meditate and understand God’s word, because it’s the truth, and nothing but the truth! Anything that varies from it is of the enemy! 

As John says in his epistle: ‘Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of the antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.’ (1 John 4:1-3) 

Oh friends, the spirit of the antichrist is surely with us today. And though John gives us a rough benchmark to test the theories that come against us, whether they acknowledge that Jesus actually came to earth in the flesh or not, we still have to be very careful of what we let into out thinking, because the enemy is so deceitful and treacherous, he uses all and any method to deceive. 

And remember too that it all begins in our minds, our thinking. He tries to disrupt our thoughts because our mind is the battlefield, and what sticks there, shows up in our behaviour and values. That’s why Bruh Paul emphasized ‘bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ Our thoughts have to be lined up with the truth of Jesus, else we’ll be easy pickings for the enemy. 

That’s why Bruh Paul also encouraged Timothy thus: ‘Thou therefore endure harness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:3-4) 

Likewise friends, we can’t afford to get entangled in the affairs of the flesh and this ungodly, evil world, we need to concentrate on the things of Christ, and suffer whatever is necessary for His sake, so we can be good soldiers in His LOVE Revolution! Much LOVE!

…fill your mind with God’s Word…then there won’t be any space for the enemy…what godly wisdom… (smile)