Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 
Well the sun seems to be fighting a valiant battle out there against the dark, evil clouds that want to cover it up and shut it out from providing light for our day. But yuh know what friends? Whether the sun wins, or the dark clouds prevail, we will still be awright, in fact blessed, because we have the GREATEST, the ONE and ONLY, Jesus Christ in our corner, and He has the power to make ALL things right! Glory to God! 

So we don’t really have to be overly concerned about whether the sun shines or not, since Jesus is the true LIGHT of the world! Give Him much thanks and praise my people! And to further sweeten things, without His selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, and His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday, we’d all be headed for Satan’s hell instead of Jesus’ heaven! 

Wow mih breddren! No amount of thanks can ever be sufficient for those acts of selflessness by our Lord and Saviour! So let’s just worship Him, and praise Him, and give Him all the glory nuh, like we should, instead of trying to cozy up to Satan and his evil buddies, who only have evil in their hearts and no LOVE at all for their fellow man. 

No, we definitely should not be kow-towing to their values, their beliefs, their self-serving culture, seeking to build up their earthly treasures, because it all goes against the very grain of what our Leader Christ teaches us. Our concerns should be more heavenly than earthly. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have to pay serious attention to our earthly life, but that our focus should not be so steadfast on it, that we lose sight of our life to come in heaven. 

Remember what Jesus said yesterday: that wherever our treasures are stored up, that’s where our hearts will be. (Matthew 6:21) Well the same way He declared to the Father, re our worldliness: ‘I have given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:14-17) 

Ah friends, once we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and His Holy Spirit comes to indwell us, we automatically become enemies of the world, hated by it because our ways don’t conform to their evil ways. And they shouldn’t because Jesus teaches a whole different way of life; one of LOVE and caring, compassion, grace, mercy and forgiveness, and the world holds most of those things in scornful disdain. 

So as Bruh Paul said so unequivocally to the church at Rome: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) Yes friends, we are to steadfastly resist being poured into the same mould as the world, for we are only pilgrims, sojourners here on earth, and our real home is in heaven. 

And the battle all begins and ends in our minds! That’s because the mind controls our actions. So that’s where the evil one keeps fighting for supremacy. But if we keep Jesus steadfast in our hearts and sight, we will be able to defeat the enemy.

And as John in his epistle so sternly admonishes: ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.’ (1 John 2:15) 

It couldn’t get any simpler or clearer than that my fellow believers. Satan is the ruler of this world, and if you LOVE the things in his world, then you cannot have true LOVE for the Father too.

As Jesus so rightly said: ‘No man can serve two masters…Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ (Matt.6:24) And that’s gospel truth. So if the things of the world are our main focus in life, then I’m sorry friends, but we don’t truly have God in our hearts. That’s just the simple logic of the situation. 

And what’s the solution to the whole ‘confuffling’ situation? Again, Jesus provides us with the simple and straightforward answer: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Ah my people, please remember that God is the Creator and Provider of all good things, so it is certainly possible for Him to provide the things that we need in this world to live it successfully, but we have to be obedient to His will. It’s that simple. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (Spelled it right! Glory to God!) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on His followers. All together now in strong voice, for remember a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to go out and share with the less fortunate. That’s Jesus great desire. So let’s go out and do just than nuh my faithful brethren! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus can indeed be tough…but just think about all the wonderful rewards…both earthly and heavenly…that moths will not eat…that will not decay…or be stolen…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2018 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Good news friends; after about three days of wet weather, it’s cloudy but dry in my neighbourhood! Wow! Let’s hope the sun comes out later to make it an even more pleasant day. But even if it doesn’t, we still have the awesome light of the SON shining brightly in our lives, and He is more than sufficient to meet ALL of our needs! Glory to God! 

And without further ado, let me share something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, but is it ever so appropriate for our currently trying and troublesome times. It’s simply titled ‘Grow Up.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Picture it with me: a piece of gnarled bark tossed to and fro over the crashing breakers. First one direction, then another, back and forth, over and under. Aimless. No set purpose. Drifting…always drifting. What an accurate picture of an immature Christian. Nothing but spiritual puttering. Up and down, in and out. 

One study group for a few weeks, then another. One church for a while, then another. Undisciplined, unsteady, one day soaring, the next day wading in self-pity. No consistency. The apostle Paul tells us to grow up! Not grow older, but grow up into Christ. 

What we are today is more important to God than what we were yesterday. Our life journey with Jesus is now – this very day, this very hour. Why yearn for change if we’ve made no effort to follow the direction God has already given us? 

To grow spiritually we must be single-minded. Our one goal? To be conformed to the image of Christ. He longs for our willingness to let Him root us, cultivate us, water us. Above all else, God wants our total commitment. He will take anything we give Him except second place.’ 

And isn’t all that the gospel truth friends? It surely is! God wants our total commitment, but we’re not prepared to give it. We want to hold back stuff from Him. But that won’t work. As I said yesterday, God doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone! Only one fiddler in His band; that’s Him! 

And what we don’t seem to realize is that being a Christian is a process, a journey, like going to school; you begin in ABC (kindergarten) and work your way up through elementary, secondary and tertiary levels. But you must put in the effort required at each level if you wish to be successful and proceed to the next. 

Christianity is exactly the same; you get to know Christ and become more like Him by first putting your entire trust in Him, then studying His word, being obedient, sincerely and constantly praying (communicating) and thus gradually growing in His image; slowly – from glory to glory. 

But unfortunately today we have a whole lot of wishy-washy Christians, who talk a great talk, but don’t know the real Christ. We jump from church to church, apparently seeking what we want to hear, and not what the word really says. And the sad part is that plenty churches seem to preach that heresy. 

But friends, there is ONLY ONE WAY to truly grow in Christ, and that’s the one advised by Bruh Paul to the church at Rome, our Bit for today. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

Yes my brethren, it all begins and ends in our minds. The battle between a true relationship with Christ and one with the world is fought primarily in our minds. That’s why they say, as a man thinks so is he. Therefore, if we want to be born again and grow in Christ, we have to let go of the things of the world, we have to stop conforming to what the world wants us to be. 

As James so blatantly puts it: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be (wants to make himself) a friend of the world is the enemy (makes himself the enemy) of God.’ (James 4:4) 

John though puts it a little nicer: ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17)  

That’s it in a nutshell friends; we can’t be friendly with world and be friendly with God at the same time! So let’s stop trying to do it nuh. Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, that the Lord has so graciously bestowed on us who truly believe and are obedient to His will. 

In sincerity and truth now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s spoken over someone. So let’s go out and generously speak those blessings over others nuh, for that’s why God gave them to us. Much LOVE!

…sitting on the fence is not an option…you’re either FOR God…or AGAINST Him…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2017 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

And then it was Wednesday…another brand new day of mercies and God’s everlasting goodness! Wow! Are we ever blessed my fellow saints in Christ! And I do hope that we truly appreciate God’s LOVING-kindness, else we’ll be missing out on a lot, foolishly shortchanging ourselves. Anyway, that’s a sermon for another day. (smile) 

Today, we’re going to get right into our Bit. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ As we said yesterday, you cannot enjoy the good things of God, unless you change your way of thinking, adopting the way God thinks, instead of the way the world operates. 

The scholars offer this explanation: ’12:2. Be not conformed  (lit; “stop conforming yourselves”): They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’  

And the important thing there friends is to RESIST being made like the world. We have to consciously and forcefully resist the world’s titanic efforts to swallow us up in its evil schemes and dreams, because it is an unrelenting force that never stops trying. 

And the only way we can resist is by having the mindset of Christ, keeping us resilient and ever strong. Remember friends, all that we are and do begins and ends in our minds. As Sister Joyce’s (Joyce Meyer) book title indicates, it’s a battlefield, ‘The Battlefield of the Mind.’ 

And that’s no lie, for all our battles are first fought in our minds, then we put whatever it is we think into action. That’s why they say be careful what you think about, because whatever is uppermost in your mind will be revealed in your actions. 

Now listen to this cerebral quote from Dallas Willard (1935-2013), American Philosopher, great spiritual thinker and writer. He says: ‘The ultimate freedom we have as human beings is the power to select what we allow our minds to dwell on.’  Selah! 

Yeh friends, ponder that for a minute nuh. We have total control over what we think about, but like everything else we need to practice it continuously, for the enemy is always around trying to put unholy and ungodly thoughts into our minds. But when we know who we are in Christ, and consciously take control, then we can fight tooth and nail to keep our minds in a Christ-like state. 

Our minds are like a garden; it must be carefully and continuously tended, otherwise like a normal garden, the weeds and other unwanted stuff will spring up and choke the good seed. And as Jesus says, that’s when ‘the care(s) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’  (Matt.13:22b) 

Yeh mih people, if we want to be fruitful for Jesus, we have to stay attached to His vine and carefully tend the garden of our minds, otherwise we’re liable to lose whatever fruitfulness we might have. As I heard Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller) say the other day: ‘Good thoughts bear good fruit. Bad thoughts bear bad fruit.’ 

And that’s indisputable truth my brethren. So let’s try to keep good thoughts circulating in our minds nuh, so that we can bear good fruit for Jesus. Now here is another very important sister scripture to our Bit, this time from John’s first epistle. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17)  Oh friends, it couldn’t be stated any simpler, and yet as profound! 

Now hear the scholars: ‘2:15. LOVE not the world is a command implying that action now in progress must cease: “STOP LOVING THE WORLD!” There is, of course, one sense in which Christians should LOVE the world, since God Himself did and does (John 3:16). But in the sense of pledging personal loyalty and devotion to one’s whole being and means, Christians are to “LOVE” God first and foremost (Deut.6:5; Mark 12:30).’  

And all God’s people declared a loud and sincere ‘Amen!’ 

Now here is some more important info from the scholars re ‘Temptation.’ ‘2:16. Though all people are tempted differently according to their individual weaknesses, temptations follow patterns. They appeal to three fundamental areas of life: (1) the lust of the flesh (physical desires; (2) the lust of the eyes (personal desires); and (3) the pride of life (self-interests). 

Illustration: When Satan caused the fall of the race, he appealed to each of these areas of weakness (Gen. 3:6). He also appealed to them when he tempted Christ (Matt.4:1-11), who defied Satan’s temptations by relying on the authority of the Scriptures. Application: The Christian today should also depend on the Scriptures to defeat temptation. (First Ref. Gen 3:1-6; Primary Ref. 1 John 2:15-17; cf. Rom.5:12).’ 

And having taken in all of that, (smile) and we do have the God-given capacity, let’s go home proudly and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know that we’re on a long and wonderful journey with Christ. 

As one 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!’ 

Oh friends, let’s weep for joy that we are in Christ, and that He is in us! Much LOVE!

…to truly know Christ…is to be totally enamoured of Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 August 2017 Ephesians 5:10.

Ephesians 5:10.   Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Oh friends, another bright and glorious morning has dawned in my neighbourhood! All thanks to our wonderful God, who gives us our daily bread and heavenly mercies brand new, each and every day! 

What would we do without Him in our lives eh? I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out either. (smile) That’s why we should try at all times to walk faithfully in His word and have constant companionship with Him. 

And please remember, it’s not for His benefit, but for ours. He is God, and controls EVERYTHING! We are His creation, His minions, made to serve and worship Him and spread the good news gospel of His Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ around the entire world. All the while walking in LOVE! 

Now here is some solid advice from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that will help us to do just that. It was given to a young lady having a hard time living with a non-believing husband, but it also applies to all of us across the board. It’s four DON’TS and four DO’S. 

First the DON’TS (1) Don’t push. (2) Don’t preach. (3) Don’t pretend. (4) Don’t puncture his (or anyone else’s) self-esteem. 

And the DO’s tell us: (1) Do permeate your home with LOVE. (2) Do practice forgiving. (3) Do pay compliments to him (and also others) often. (4) Do persist in prayer. 

What a simple but very wonderful and workable way to live my brethren! Oh…there’s one more DON’T. ‘Don’t ever, ever, ever give up!’ 

And yuh know friends, that last DON’T is possibly the most important of them all, for with Jesus, and those who walk steadfastly with Him, there is absolutely NO giving up! 

We need to persevere in the faith and pursue His plan for our lives right to the very end. We need to run our race of life with enthusiasm and chutzpah, patience and perseverance, so that at the end we’ll receive the crown of glory that the Lord has prepared for all those who successfully finish the race. 

And on a point of interest, the lady who gave the advice above, a year later, received a thank-you note from the other lady, informing her that that strategy was working. 

Glory to God my people! Yuh see it works! (smile) We just have to be serious about it and keep working at it… with a LOVING heart, like Jesus does. 

And the scripture promise for that reading today is also our Bit. ‘Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

And what does that mean? The scholars explain: ‘5:10. Because of constant temptation and solicitations to evil, believers must always be proving or discerning what is and what is not acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

Yes friends, as Christians, we ought always to be considering what is right and wrong in God’s sight, and do the right thing. It’s not an easy row to hoe because of the numerous distractions and temptations floating around our society, but with God’s help, we can certainly discern the right from the wrong. 

Before our Bit, explaining the way of the believer, Bruh Paul said it thus: ‘Let no man deceive you with vain (empty) words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children (sons) of disobedience. Be not therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.’ (Eph.5:6-8) 

And the scholars offer this explanation of that last verse. ‘5:8. Darkness indicates that the readers used to be spiritually unenlightened, and accompanying this ignorance was immorality with its resultant guilt and misery. Light denotes that the recipients are now to be religiously informed. Their knowledge of the truth is attended by moral purity and happiness.’ 

Oh friends, life is so much better and more fruitful when we walk as children of light! That’s why Bruh Paul admonished the church at Rome thus: ‘I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service. 

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:1-2) 

Ah mih people, God has done so much for us, washing and cleansing and redeeming us from sin and offering us salvation, through Christ, that we now need to be clean before Him. And since our bodies were the original instruments of sin, we now need to present them ‘to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’ 

And we do that by not conforming to the sinful, evil and immoral works, attitudes and behaviour of the world. And since we are indeed the righteousness in Christ (smile) we can now go home declaring our Wednesday Wail which supports that contention. 

All together 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!’ 

Oh friends, what more can we ask eh? Absolutely NOTHING! Much LOVE!

…if you’re walking with Jesus…and don’t have a peaceful joy in your soul…then something is seriously wrong…ask Him to help you fix it…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 August 2017 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Wonderful days are here again! O Glory be my people! And our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is leading the big parade down Main Street decked out in all His splendour and glory! 

Let’s hope that you are a member of that glorious band of soldiers and saints, pilgrims and ambassadors for Jesus, else you’ll be missing out on the most important aspect of your life; your salvation and what will happen to your spirit in eternity! 

Yeh friends, only when you are in league with Jesus, do you know that you will live happily ever after with Him till the end of time! 

So why don’t you make that decision today eh, and stop leaving your soul in limbo? For there are only two places it can go after death; heaven or hell. And believe you me, separation from Almighty God is the last thing you want to happen to you; it’s the worst possible scenario in the chain of life. 

Anyway, today is Saturday, so let’s consider some quotes from our friend Anselm, as we do every Saturday, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.’ 

And that’s gospel truth my fellow believers, for we know that whilst there is life, there is always hope. And the greatest source of true hope is found in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! That gives us even further confirmation of the wisdom of hooking our star to His bandwagon. 

Now the second quote says: ‘Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.’ More obvious gospel truth friends! You can’t be pessimistic, looking on the dark side all the time and expect to be powerful! 

And this next quote is very interesting especially for us Christians. ‘What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.’ And why is that you ask? Simply because it’s especially true in our Christian experience. 

We can’t grow in our Christian faith unless we are tested; pass through the fire and the flood to see how strong we truly are. And oftimes what looks like a total disaster is only a trial that has a blessing waiting on the other side if you pass the test. 

And that quote segues very nicely into this one: ‘There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.’ 

Yes my brethren, we all talk about freedom, and we all want freedom, but freedom is NEVER easily gained. That’s something a lot of us nowadays still need to learn, and stop talking about it as though you can just go out and buy it cheaply or pick it up on any street corner. 

It’s something you have to work hard and constantly at, while passing through the dark, shadowy valleys many times. More lives have been lost through history in the name of freedom than any other ideal. And even when you seem to have attained the mountaintop, you still won’t have freedom, because it’s an elusive ideal, linked to utopia. 

Oh friends, we are NEVER really free, since, if we want to do it right, that thing called responsibility ALWAYS corners us. In any society, true freedom leads to anarchy, if we all want to do what we want, when and how we want to do it. Hn! Hn! But how did we get on that discourse eh? (smile) 

And the last quote is one ascribed to Marcus Garvey. It says: ‘A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’ No doubt about that people! 

As the saying goes; if you don’t know where you’re coming from, you won’t know where you’re going to! You must know something about your background to successfully plan your future. That’s why History is so important in our lives. 

And that plays right into our Bit. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

Yes, my fellow believers, we know exactly where we’re coming from – a state of total sin – but we also know where we’re going to – a state of total transformation in Jesus Christ. We’re taking off the old, sinful man and putting on the new regenerated, transformed, cleansed and saved one. Glory Hallelujah! 

And to do that successfully it has to all begin in our minds. Thus James says: ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath (to get angry). For the wrath (anger) of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God. 

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity (abundance) of naughtiness (wickedness), and receive with meekness the engrafted (implanted) word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.’ (James 1:19-22) 

There we have it friends! if we want to put on the new man, then we have to drastically change first our thinking, then our behaviour. We can’t behave and think the same we were before finding Christ. And it’s not always easy to do. But as I keep saying, if we go to God sincerely seeking help, He will ALWAYS help us. 

I speak there from personal experience. But you have to listen to Him, and do what He says, when He says to do it. That’s called obedience to His will and word. (smile) So today, let’s go out and obey nuh, for that’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…the best way to live…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…(Charles Stanley)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2015 Ephesians 5:10.‏‏

Ephesians 5:10.   Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Well Friends, welcome to a wet and windy Thursday morning. Yes the blessings from heaven eventually fell last night. And it sure was a good shower, for it wet up most of my front porch so that when I went out to commune with nature and release the day’s stress, I wasn’t able to sit in my favourite chair by the steps, but had to sit in the one by the door. 

And would you believe that habits are such strange things, that although the seats weren’t that far apart, it just never felt right. (smile) Oh I did sit and relax, but it just didn’t feel the same as in the other chair. We humans are such a piddling lot eh. (smile) 

Anyway. Here’s an interesting prayer from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from the Hour of Power Devotional. It’s titled ‘TO FACE DIFFICULTIES.’  

Please pray with me. ‘Truly, Father, all things work together for good to those who LOVE you. Thank you for the difficulties that produce divine dividends. I know that pain is only a phase of the growing process: that seed buried alive under suffocating ground in a windowless grave agonizes before it ruptures into new life. 

I know that I build hard muscles in heart, mind, and body only when I lift heavy loads. I thank you for tough times that produce calluses that could save my spirit from softness that would be weakness. There have been times, O Lord, when only through great difficulty have I learned the valuable lessons. 

I was too blind to see, too arrogant to believe, or too stubborn to accept any other way than by a bed of pain. I praise you for the times an open door slammed in my face and forced me out of an old rut that I never would have had the courage to leave, and led me down the road to a beautiful new life.

I thank you for heartbreak which causes me to bury the hatchet and speak again to someone with whom I had for far too long been out of touch. Thank you, Father, for life’s priceless times of fruitful difficulty. Amen.’ 

Ah my fellow believers, all of that is oh so true! Obviously we don’t like difficulties and pain, but it is in those times of adversity that we actually grow and mature in Christ. It’s the tough times that make us tough. But we have to be big enough and wise enough to realize it, then accept it and deal with it in a serious and sensible manner. 

If you don’t believe me, then look back at some of the rough times in your lives and see how your spirit seemed stronger and more mature after them. Every time we go through adversity, we come out stronger and more faithful on the other side. So let’s not look at difficulties as setbacks, but rather as opportunities to expand our horizons, obviously with God by our side. 

Now let’s look at our Bit. ‘Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

Yeh Friends, in all our doings we need to consider what is and what is not acceptable to our wonderful God. Once we’re born again, we become children of light, the bright and shining light that’s Jesus, so we cannot afford to be involved in anything that has to do with sin and darkness. 

Listen to how Bruh Paul puts it to the Romans. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:1-2) 

Now here are some explanations by the scholars. ’12:1. By the mercies of God summarizes all that God has accomplished for the believer in Romans 1-11 in justifying the believer (chs.1-5), enabling the believer to live a righteous life (chs.6-8), and being faithful to Israel (chs.9-11). 

That ye present refers to a definite act of presentation. The verb is used of offering a sacrifice that became “holy” under the Levitical system (cf. Ex.29:37). This shows that the Christian life begins with total commitment and irrevocable presentation. 

Your bodies: The body has been the instrument of sin (ch.6). Now it is to be presented to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’ 

’12:2. Be not conformed (lit. “stop conforming yourselves”). They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14).’ 

Oh Friends, it all still pertains to us. But unfortunately, too many of us are still conforming to the world. Remember Jesus said ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ (Matt.6:24) That means we cannot serve two masters at the same time; God and the riches or material possessions of this ungodly world. 

Now here is some more pertinent info from the scholars re Dedication to the Will of God. ’12:1-2. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in all of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God. (John 7:17) 

Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen.22:12; Primary Ref. Rom.12:1).’ 

There we have it Friends; lots of stuff to ponder on this Thursday morning. Hope it helps us stay in faith and obedience to Almighty God, the way we ought to. But it can’t unless we study it, then put it into practice. That’s where the real results, the true fruits show. Much LOVE!

…as true believers in Christ…we must not only talk the talk…but even more importantly…we must walk the walk…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2015 Romans 12:2‏‏

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

So Friends, it’s Saturday! What’s cooking? No I don’t mean what’s on the fire literally cooking, like pigeon or gungo peas soup, or callaloo – the T&T kind made with dasheen bush, or the Jamdown kind made with spinach, or even some rice and peas and curry goat, a roti or bread and shark… 

And what about some ackee and saltfish, some patties, or even a big cooking oil tin filled with curry crab and some big, cartwheel dumplings, or even some flying fish eh… Mama Yo!  

But that sounds like a rather good West Indian menu though. As I keep telling these northerners the best tasting, the sweetest food in the world comes from the West Indies. And you better believe that they have come to realize that I was right, because if you see them nowadays in the West Indian restaurants and food stores, buying up we food.

And just talking about it, I know that mouths are watering for a taste of one, or many, or all of those delicious meals! (smile) And why not, is excellent food!

But that’s a different story for another day. I meant what’s happening in our lives, how are we handling the situations that currently exist, be they good, bad or indifferent? Are we anxious, fretting and stressing ourselves over them, or are we calmly going to Jesus with our problems, and being prisoners of hope, waiting with expectant faith for His answers? I do hope it’s the latter scenario, because that’s the only one that befits a follower of Jesus Christ.

Yeh Friends, we all know that putting that stuff into practice in this selfish, evil, ungodly world is much easier said than done, but as Christians we are expected to do it, because it’s all a part of our faith, our pilgrim’s journey. That’s why Christ came to earth and died, so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin that this world has us locked up in.

As Jesus says, when referring to the sheep of His pasture and His role as the Good Shepherd: ‘The thief cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10)

Oh my people, that is such a mighty statement, but to have life like Jesus gives it, one must become a whole new creature by shaking of the shackles of sin that’s keeping us in total bondage. And to do that we have to start in our minds, like our Bit says. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

Ah mih breddren that’s gospel truth, for we can’t make any serious or lasting changes in our lives without first processing it through our minds and then keeping the other stuff out of them. But please note that all of that can only happen with God’s help. So why don’t we start making those changes right now eh Friends?

That’s provided you truly and seriously want to be freed from the shackles of sin that now bind you. But you have to go to Jesus in faith and believe that He, His precious blood spilled on Calvary can cleanse you, and then do your part, for it’s a two way street.

As Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17)  

As the scholars further explain: ‘5:17. When a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation” (cf. John 3:3; 15:5; Rom.8:1,9; Gal.6:14-15) and perceives Christ in a new way, making a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation, bringing new things into being.’

And Peter puts that transformation thus: ‘Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.’ (1 Pet.4:1-2)

Yes Friends, that’s how a follower of Christ is expected to live his or life; by the will of God, not by the lusts of men!

And in closing, let’s listen to Bruh Paul tell the Ephesians about living the new life in Christ. ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour; for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with malice: and be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:23-32)

And there we have it Friends, a general guide of how Christians ought to live. Now do we live like that, or anywhere close to it? I’d say no. That’s why we have such a bad reputation amongst the heathen. We spout a whole lot of scripture, but then live a completely different life style.

But it is possible to live much closer to those ideals than we currently do. So please my people, let’s wake up and get our act together nuh, if we want to bring others to Jesus, rather than drive them away as we’re doing now. Much LOVE!

…for Christians to bring people to Christ…we have to begin living more Christ-like lives…practice more of what we preach…

 

 

 

 
 

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