Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 January 2022 Philippians 2:14.

Philippians 2:14.      Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings:    

Well it’s Wednesday, not bright like the other days, but just as cold. And would you believe I have to go into the great city of Toronto for a medical check-up. Chuh! It’s a pain going there with all the traffic and confusion, and I would just LOVE to cancel it. (smile) But I can’t find any plausible reason to do so, and, like in most of our problems, I am the beneficiary of the check-up, not the medical people. So if I don’t go, I’m not doing them anything, I’m just putting myself in harms way.

And deep down I know that the Lord will look after me, but I guess it’s just my laziness, or desire not to have to go out into the cold. But sacrifices are a part of this life, and furthermore, it’s a sacrifice for my life, not for anyone else’s. So if you can’t sacrifice for yourself, whom are you going to sacrifice for eh? So enough with the complaining, with the hemming and hawing of whether I should go or not. And I guess, under these circumstances we should take a look at what the Good Book says about complaining. Hn, Hn!

Now Bruh Paul says it loud and clear to the Philippians. ‘Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure.

Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:12-15)

Yes friends, complaining, grumbling, murmuring, disputing or any such negative sentiment, should not be numbered amongst the Christian’s tool kit. Why is that, you ask? I like how the gotquestions.org website explains it in an article on the subject.

‘Complaining is certainly not a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and, in fact, is detrimental to the peace, joy, and patience that come from the Spirit. For the Christian, complaining is destructive and debilitating personally and only serves to make our witness to the world more difficult. Who, for instance, would be attracted to a religion whose adherents are dissatisfied with life and who continually grumble and complain?’

Ah mih people, It’s hard enough to get the unbeliever to respond when we’re kind and contented, much less if we’re continually dissatisfied! And the scholars’ offer this explanation re ‘2:14. Since God is producing in the Philippians the willing and doing of His good and perfect will (vs. 13), there can be no legitimate reason for murmurings and disputings. Not only are they forbidden to complain about the difficulties and persecutions that will befall them in carrying out God’s good pleasure, but quarreling among themselves is also prohibited.’

So all of the nonsense that’s going on between us, supposed believers, re the Covid-19 virus and the many other problems is totally unchristian. And that’s one of the major reasons why we can’t solve any of them; no agreement on how to handle the situations. And that will cause problems every time. For it’s only when we agree, to at least disagree, that healing can begin. And is there ever so much disagreement in our world right now!

I don’t know if there’s anything that we even agree on, and it’s causing so many unnecessary fires both literally and figuratively, to be lit and to keep burning incessantly and with much rage. In fact, rage might be the one common denominator in our world today, for we are all up in arms about something, and nobody wants to give an inch.

That means Peter’s words are continually falling on deaf ears: ‘Use hospitality one to another without grudging (grumbling).’ (1 Pet. 4:9) It’s sad, but ever so true, that the amount of infighting that’s going on between, families, organizations, societies, and nations is mind-boggling and most definitely intolerable, if we are to ever defeat our common problems. And it’s also obvious that we have not taken the immortal words of Hebrews to heart: ‘Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ (Heb. 13:1-2)

Oh friends, we never know who is going to cross our path that will eventually play a large role in our affairs, that’s why it’s so necessary to treat each other with kindness and hospitality, and the only way to bring about some much needed peace and quiet in our tormented and troubled world. Remember what the Good Book says: We are to be ‘blameless and harmless,’ that’s innocent and above rebuke, so we could shine like bright lights in an evil and misguided generation.

That means we are also undoing and disobeying Christ’s desire, when He said: ‘Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14a, 16) And let’s remember that whomever we may be, or whatever our position, our major purpose on this earth is to glorify our heavenly Father!

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. So 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 my faithful brethren, let’s not forget either, that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! That’s just a li’l something to keep us excited, strong and continually motivated to work for Christ! (smile) Much LOVE!

…unfortunately…we believers…instead of using our light to uncover the world’s darkness…we are allowing the world’s darkness to cover our light…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 December 2021 Philippians 2:14.

Philippians 2:14.     Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings.

Well, we’ve opened unto a fairly decent Wednesday, the first day of December; with no snow and some sunshine. Yes, the clouds are there, tirelessly fighting for supremacy, but the sun is in ascendance right now. Thank the Lord! But friends, how I do wish that we, the followers of and believers in Christ had that unflagging, indomitable, unconquerable spirit like those clouds have as they fight the sun’s awesome power, where we never give up, where we are impervious to defeat and only think victory all the time! 

That’s the kind of faith and spirit we need more than ever in these over-the-top, mind-blowing times that none of us have ever before experienced. And instead of complaining like we do, we ought to be crying out to Jesus and living the way He wants us to, believing, as He faithfully promised, that everything will work out for good in the end, for those who sincerely LOVE and abide in Him. And as we promised yesterday, if God spared our lives, which He’s obviously done (smile), we’ll continue talking about that disgusting and ungodly attitude that we too often have, called ‘Complaining.’ 

Now yesterday we saw back in olden times where the Lord chastised the Israelites for too much complaining, especially when He was keeping them in food and drink. They didn’t like manna, and wanted meat, so He gave them so much meat that it eventually turned their hearts against it, became loathsome to them. And I theorized that the same thing is happening to us today with all the disasters, both natural and manmade, as well as the Covid plague that just won’t go away, because of our stubborn, foolish pride and disobedience to Almighty God. 

But enough of my theorizing, let’s turn to the New Testament for some words on the subject of complaining, since some of us wrongly believe that the Old Testament has nothing to offer us in these supposed modern times. And Bruh Paul, the wise man that he was, spoke to the subject in no uncertain terms in his letter to the Philippians. Listen as he tells them. ‘’Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.’ (Phil. 2:12-13) 

And we know that means not literally working for our salvation because that’s a free gift given by God, and has nothing to do with our works, but the carrying out of it to its logical conclusion depends on us. We need to work out the new life not just for our profit but for the benefit of others also. And if we work out and show the new life divinely worked in us, we will live worthy of the gospel, in harmony with each other, seeking the progress of the gospel. We will also regard each other as more important than ourselves, be concerned with the needs of our fellow brethren, and make the appropriate sacrifices in obedience to God, as did Jesus. 

In doing all of this, we will work out or express the new life we have through Christ. And having said a lot of that in the beginning of the chapter and elsewhere in his letter, Bruh Paul continues: ‘Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings. That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:14-15) 

Bruh Paul couldn’t be any clearer than that! Christians are not to be continual grumblers and complainers and disputers! Now remember, it’s God who is working in us, for us to do His good will and pleasure, and that can ofttimes be difficult, calling for sacrifices and such, but don’t lose sight of the fact that in the end it will all work out to our benefit. 

And I like the scholars’ explanation of verse 14. They say: ‘Since God is producing in the Philippians the willing and doing of His good and perfect will (vs.13), there can be no legitimate reason for murmurings and disputings. Not only are they forbidden to complain about the difficulties and persecutions that will befall them in carrying out God’s good pleasure, but quarreling among themselves is also prohibited.’ 

Wow! Now that declaration also stands for us today my fellow believers. And how I wish we could all function in such a Christian manner. But unfortunately, Christ’s church right now is a hot bed of grumbling and complaining, of cliques and groups resentful and jealous of each other, of a whole lot of antagonism and evil doings in the body of Christ! If we follow verses 12 and 14, then we would become blameless and harmless. But due to the significant amount strife in the current church this is presently not true 

And are we ever living in the midst of a perverse, crooked, evil and depraved world. Thus, we are expected to help the lost, since that’s the only way that they will ever know Christ. However, in doing so, we must try and not call our witness into rebuke or disfavour by behaving like the world. Instead, as Christ Himself describes us: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid….Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14, 16) 

Oh friends, our crazy, discombobulated world desperately needs us to be bright lights shining in its evil darkness! Please, please, let’s come up higher nuh, so that we can be the kind of light that Jesus desires us to be. And one way to do that is by stopping the grumbling and complaining that we do daily, over petty and unimportant stuff. Don’t you think it’s breaking Jesus’ heart when He sees the disgusting and disturbing state of disrepair that His church has fallen into? I’m sure it does. And we can’t give Him wrong if sometimes He even asks Himself if His life sacrifice was worth it, considering our willful disobedience and unchristian behaviour. 

So we all need to look in the mirror and truthfully ask ourselves if we are indeed shining lights in the world’s darkness, or just adding to its darkness. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to be lights, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful and enviable 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 we need to be in it for the long haul, because those who endure to the end will find that the future is even more glorious than we can ask or even imagine! Much LOVE!

…Christians ought to…be in the world…but not of the world…  

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but life, as it is wont to do, unexpectedly intervened and delayed my writing. Thanks for the forgiveness! (smile) Much LOVE! 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 November 2021 Matthew 6:21.

Matthew 6:21.     For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

And then it was Wednesday…and we have our second wind…we pushing on relentlessly in the name and the power of Jesus, knowing that Friday and the weekend are just around the corner, and we’ll soon have another opportunity to gather, worship and praise our great and wonderful God, while He refreshes us for another fateful week in the trenches of life! 

Brother! Is that a great sentence or what? Reminds me of some of the convoluted ones Bruh Paul writes. So I’m not in such bad company then. (smile) But seriously though, Wednesday, the mid-week workday, is one where we should take a moment to take stock of how our week is going and if we need to make any changes or even ramp up our faith. It’s a suitable time to consider if we are actually doing what we planned, or still just talking the talk, without any, or enough of the walk that’s necessary. 

Remember, we are merely human beings with all kinds of frailties and weaknesses and we can easily get sidetracked by the enemy and the ungodly world. That’s why we need to keep a steady check on how we are progressing, if we are truly storing up heavenly treasures though living this earthly life. Jesus said it quite plainly, as He is wont to do. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt. 6:19-21) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! Wherever our treasure is hidden or laid up, there also will be our heart, because our treasure is ever so important to us. That’s why so many of us think of the banks so often. (smile) And why not eh, if all our money is in there, hopefully readily available to us when we need or want it. 

Now let’s check the explanation the scholars offer of those verses. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term ‘treasures’ implies the accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasure in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather of rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

And truly, earthly treasures are not bad in and of themselves, it is when we concentrate all our efforts on accumulating them and don’t have time for God in the unwise pursuit of what Cousin Sol calls ‘vanity’ or futile stuff. Furthermore, if we focus on earthly wealth, we stand a good chance of losing it to moth, rust and thieves. And yet furthermore, (smile) when your earthly days are over, you can’t take any of it with you. As Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy: ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (clothes) let us therewith be content.’ (1 Tim. 6:7-8) 

The scholars explain. ‘6:7. And it is certain we can carry nothing out (or, “because we are unable to carry anything out”). Man enters the world at birth possessing nothing. In order to teach him that he will exit the world in the same manner – taking nothing with him. This is a divine means of showing man that since material wealth is relatively insignificant, he should pursue the important things mentioned in verse 11.’ And as per ‘6:8. This verse prevents the wrong understanding of verse 7, that material possessions have no place in the Christian’s life. By figure of speech food and raiment stand for all of life’s basic necessities. These are all the believer needs, and having these he can be content.’ 

And my fellow saints, I would certainly be amiss if I did not point out the important things mentioned in verse 11. (smile) Bruh Paul writes: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (the LOVE of money and striving for other earthly wealth – vs. 9-10): and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness.’ (1 Tim. 6:11) 

Oh, and will I ever be my sweet self and throw in verse 12 for good measure, (smile) because it so desperately applies to us in these very dangerous and desperate times. Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim. 6:12) Now that’s exactly what we need to do in these perilous times my faithful brethren. 

And if you don’t understand it all, let’s allow the scholars to explain. ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

And I so like to spoil us, that I’ll quote John 3:36. (smile) John the Baptist, not John the disciple, is testifying of Jesus: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ Yes friends, we have salvation and are going to heaven, through God’s free gift of grace, but in the meanwhile we have to make use of all the opportunities, benefits and blessings that that salvation brings to us here on earth. We have to live out our faith. As Bruh Paul said to the Philippians: ‘…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.’ (Phil. 2:12b) 

And these two paragraphs from an article on the subject by Ed Elliot on the medium.com website explains that verse much better than I can. Ed writes: ‘Working out our salvation is very different from working for our salvation. When Paul tells believers they need to work out their salvation, he is simply explaining that the wonderful gift they freely received from God is inside of them. We bring out those beautiful attributes and character traits by faith. Faith is a rest, but it is faith that works, not us. So working out what is on the inside of us happens by faith. 

This process can be frightening in the beginning as a new believer discovers how to live and walk by faith. Some strong trepidation may be present at first when a person decides to trust God as his or her source and peace. I remember how scary it was for me to stop trusting in my natural abilities and trust in God’s Word. This is what Paul is referring to when he mentions “fear and trembling.” He isn’t talking about being afraid of God. Rather, he is helping the new believer to know that in the beginning, it will seem scary to walk by faith. However, it is the only way to see our inner salvation manifest on the outside through our character.’ 

But to do that successfully my brethren, means we have to spend serious time in the Word and with the Lord, as well as with other believers, encouraging and teaching each other. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that very thing, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong voice: ‘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 don’t forget that if we endure to the very end that the future will indeed be even more glorious that we ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…why seek finite earthly treasures…when heavenly ones last till infinity…

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I had some important errands to run and as always, the best laid plans of mice and men do tend to go astray. (smile) Much LOVE!                                                                                                                   

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