Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 June 2022 Proverbs 20:13.

Proverbs 20:13.      LOVE not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

Oh brother, did we ever have some savage winds blow yesterday… all day and into the night. It seems like they wanted to blow away everything, and it did do some damage, but the strange part is that through it all, the sun shone brightly with not a cloud in the sky and people went about their business as usual. And that strong wind looks like it wants to continue today as the trees outside are still having a rough time of it. 

This makes me think that it’s just another factor in the climate change scenario, because I don’t remember ever having so many strong windstorms, especially in the summertime, until the last few years. But recently an intense wind system has become the norm. Anyway, as Cousin Sol says so wisely in Ecclesiastes. ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.’ (Eccl. 3:1, 11:4) 

So, let’s not observe the wind or regard the clouds, but do what it’s time for under the heaven this Saturday morning, (smile) that’s checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first one tells us that ‘In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.’ Yes, there are 1440 minutes in a day, and when you put it like that, it appears like we have plenty time available to make a good impact for Christ. 

However, in reality, it doesn’t work that way because we need time to sleep and do other functions that aren’t conducive to making positive impacts on others. That means, to be a good ambassador of Christ, we have to use the time left very wisely, we can’t afford to waste even a minute of it, because every minute lost, means a soul possibly lost to Christ. That’s why we have wise sayings like ‘make hay while the sun shines,’ and Cousin Sol’s words from Proverbs; ‘LOVE not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.’ (Prov. 20:13) 

In other words, don’t be lazy or procrastinating, but be up and about, actively producing a positive impact in the world for yourself and Christ. And the next quote says: ‘There is no advertisement as powerful as a positive reputation travelling fast.’ Now that’s very true, but not very easy to do, especially in a slanderous, evil, greedy and strife-filled world like that in which we currently live. But thankfully our friend Anselm has given us some useful pointers in the other quotes that he’s sent us this week, so we’ll just use them to paint a beautiful picture…all for Jesus Christ. 

Before we get to those quotes though, we must make one definite pronouncement, remembering that we can’t do anything worthwhile without Christ in our lives. He said it as plainly as it can be said. ‘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) And if the Son of God, who is the way the truth and the light, the only way to the Father, says that, then it must be true. So the basic foundation of creating a positive and fulfilling reputation is by having Christ in our lives. 

Then, as Anselm says in the next quote: ‘It’s most important that you surround yourself with positivity always, and have it in your mind at all times.’ Yes friends, we can’t do positive things if we are not filled with positive thinking, but positive thinking based on the word of Christ. That’s the crucial aspect of it all. Christ is the most positive thinker there’s ever been, therefore, to think like Him, His word must always be uppermost in our minds. That brings us to the next quote, the next step in the building process. ‘I surround myself with positive, productive people of good will and decency.’ 

Now, that’s possibly the most essential part of the whole building process! Why? Because, although we personally have all the parts necessary for the purpose, we can’t build anything strong and worthwhile by ourselves, without good material, without good folks around us. And though we might prefer them to be Christian like ourselves, they don’t have to be, since there are good, decent hard-working folks out there who are not believers in Christ, and likewise, plenty supposed believers whom you don’t want around you at all. If you get my meaning. (smile) 

That’s how Christ desires us to build our lives and consequently His church; first on the strong foundation of His word, and then with good, positive, productive helpers, for nothing good is ever constructed with poor, negative, lazy help. And I like this last quote, because it is the sum of all that we’ve spoken about so far, it brings all those things into a Christ-like fulfillment. It says: ‘When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.’ 

Oh my people, that’s the gospel truth! When we’ve taken what Christ has given us, the fruit of the Spirit, and used it wisely, there’s a heavenly joy that rises up in us that nothing or no one can take away from us, and people see and recognize it and want to be continually around us; ‘like a sun in the centre of every constellation!’ Wow! I like that analogy because it blends in beautifully with what Jesus asks and expects of His followers. 

Remember these poignant words of His in the Sermon on the Mount? ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 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 my fellow saints, that is what Jesus expects of us, especially in these times of so much fear and confusion! He expects us to be the ones showing a positive outlook to the world since we have all the good things that He’s bequeathed to us, that He’s died for us to have, like forgiveness of sins, peace, LOVE, joy, salvation and eternal life! 

But we are not doing such a good job, because, if we were, the enemy, the purveyor of darkness would not have the death-like grip he currently has on the world. Instead, the harbinger of light; that’s Jesus, would have been in the ascendancy. So please, let’s get to work nuh. Since we claim to be true believers, it’s high time we do as Jesus desires of us, to bring forth much good fruit. We have all the tools, all the necessary credentials…so what’s holding us back eh?  Much LOVE!

…wherefore…by their fruit…ye shall know them… (Matt. 7:20)   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 June 2022 Colossians 3:2.

Colossians 3:2.      Set you affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. 

And then, finally, it was Friday… and numerous shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ rise to heaven. Sadly, many of us don’t acknowledge God or His presence except on Fridays when our work week is winding down. But that’s just why our lives are in such a sad state, for without our Creator guiding our lives, in total control of them, we can never have real prosperous, peaceful and LOVING earthly sojourns. That’s why Bruh Paul wrote thus to the Colossians about the new life in Christ. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.’ (Col. 3:1) 

Yes friends, if we have found Jesus, have suffered, died and risen with him, then our lives ought to be headed in a different direction than that of the world. If we’ve been freed from sin, through His sacrificial payment of our sin debt, then a new life must be in our future, with all the old ways, habits, values, vices, interests and sins left behind. And it’s also the reason Bruh Paul said to the church at Corinth: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) 

And the scholars explain ‘that 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.’ And that new way ought to be a continual way until one sees Jesus in person, because if we continually abide in Him, He will continually abide in us. As Jesus so plainly said 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. 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 15:4-5) 

And that’s the indisputable truth my people! Without Christ playing a significant part in our lives, we are unable to do very much. But with Him in our lives, ALL things are possible through His omnipotent power and strength! Yes my brethren, we can conquer sin when, and because Christ lives in us. But first, there are a few things we need to do. Like Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Colossae. ‘Set you affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ (Col. 3:2-3) 

That means, as the scholars tell us, ‘not to be preoccupied with things on the earth, such as current heretical philosophies (2:8), legalistic practices (2:16, 21-23), and vices (3:5); nor are they to dwell on things that are not wrong in themselves (houses, jobs, careers, ambitions, etc.), but can be wrong should they become priorities above Christ.’ 

Ah mih people, anything or anyone that takes priority over Christ in our lives causes problems. And believe me, we are being bombarded with so much stuff right now, that it’s not very difficult for something or things to rise up and replace Christ as NUMBER ONE in our lives. The sad part is that it can happen unconsciously too, that’s why we have to be very careful of what we think on and what we do. And since our life now belongs to Christ, having bought us with His precious blood shed on the cross of Calvary, and who now sits in heavenly places, our concerns should be more about heavenly than earthly things. 

That doesn’t mean earthly things are not important, but we are not to put greater emphasis on them than the things that relate to Christ and heaven. As Jesus said: ‘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 for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt. 6:16-21) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! As an article on the subject on the website gotquestions.org rightly explains. ‘Whatever we focus on dictates our actions. When we focus on earthly success and wealth, we will expend our energies on earthly matters. However, when we focus on God’s priorities, our actions will reflect different priorities—and our reward in heaven will last forever.’ 

That’s more gospel truth! And no wonder our world is in such a confused and strife-filled state; our priorities have been out of focus, with a greater concentration on the things of earth rather than those of heaven. So let’s see if we can correct some of that poor focus nuh, by going to God in prayer through our Friday Chant, asking for divine help to get twenty-twenty vision. 

As one confident but humble voice. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

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

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now it’s up to us to keep our promises so that God will help us to change our focus. Much LOVE!

…focus on earthly treasure means total eventual loss…focus on heavenly things…means treasure safely stored up for eternal life.. 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 April 2022 Romans 12:2a.

Romans 12:2a.       And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

It looks like it’s going to be a good Tuesday, but who knows with the contrary weather patterns that now seem to exist. Yesterday began and ended with rain, with some sunshine thrown in for good measure in between. (smile) Things are just not what they used to be; everything’s now in a state of upheaval and controversy. What a good thing though that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! That means we can place our utmost trust in Him to always react the same way under the same circumstances. 

And it’s ever so important in this life to have something or someone that’s steadfast and sure, that we can depend on for good guidance and safe refuge, that doesn’t change from one minute to the next. And the ONE person who fills that position so marvellously in the believer’s life is none other than the risen Christ! 

Give Him thanks and praise for His selfless sacrifice on our behalf! He died for us, rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven, where He now sits at the Father’s right hand advocating in our favour, while His Holy Spirit dwells quietly, but purposefully within us to lead and guide us in His ways and desires. 

That’s the best hand we could ever be dealt in this topsy-turvy world my brethren! So please, let’s be wise and hold on tightly to it nuh, because the only other option available, that of Satan and his evil ways is not a good one. Oh, his pleasures seem so wonderful on the outside, but deep down they are filled with misery and pain. His is just a façade to inveigle you to join in sin and foolish pleasures that in the end only bring pain and sorrow, with death and eternal separation from our Creator. 

And that’s certainly not something to look forward to. In fact, it’s the worst thing than can ever happen to a created being! But the enemy wants us to go to hellfire and damnation with him, so he makes his stuff alluring and sensual, working on the weakness of our minds, through the lusts of our flesh to bring us into his camp. And that’s where it all begins and ends friends, in our minds, for our minds are the battlefields of Jesus and the enemy. And whoever controls our minds controls our desires and behaviour. 

Thus, it is imperative to take control of our minds and keep them going along the straight and narrow path outlined by Jesus, and not the wide and destructive one used by the enemy. That’s why Bruh Paul seriously warns in his missive 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 stop conforming to the evil and lustful pleasures and desires that this world now hold so dearly, because they do not hold God’s will for us. We must stoutly resist being poured into the mold of this world’s value systems and thinking and therefore its conduct. 

And per our Dedication to the Will of God, as spoken of by Bruh Paul, the scholars tell us: ‘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. (Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice Isaac) Primary ref. Rom. 12:1.)’ 

All of that simply means living for Jesus includes ALL aspects of our lives, without any exceptions whatsoever. And that is ofttimes hard, especially for new believers, but it’s something we must attain to, set our sights on, if we are to truly live for Him. And thus Bruh Paul wrote these words in his second letter to the church at Corinth which was then undergoing a lot of controversy. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor. 5:17-18) 

Ah my people, those are words for us to treasure, and even more so to follow! (smile) That’s because when we come to Christ, all our old sinful behaviour must be cast aside, left behind, and we must become new people in Christ, living the way He expects of us. The scholars explain that ‘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. Old things are passed away, indicates a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation. Behold, all things are become new, stresses the abiding results of the Christian’s union with Christ (cf. Is. 43:18-19; 65:17; Eph. 4:24; Rev. 21:4-5)’ 

Yes, my fellow saints, once we come to Christ, we need to continually abide in Him if we want to see the fruit of the Spirit develop in our lives. And Jesus made that quite clear through these decisive words to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I abide 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. 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 15:4-5) 

Now I don’t think that needs any explanation, for Jesus said it as clearly and simply as it could be put; without Him, we can do nothing! And that’s a fact that should be written indelibly in our hearts, and thus kept uppermost in our minds as we go about our day’s tasks. And I believe we’ve said enough for today, we have enough to consider and contemplate upon. (smile) So, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and confident voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now, it behooves us to go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…in Christ…we put our everything…because He is our EVERYTHING… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 March 2022   1 John 3:24a.

1 John 3:24a.     And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.

Oh my my, another beautiful sunshiny day appears to be here! Thank the Lord! And though right now it’s a tad chilly, most likely it will warm up some later to spring-like temps, as it has done for the last two days. That’s why we can declare with gay abandon, those reassuring and encouraging words of the psalmist: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! ‘ (Ps. 118:24) Now let’s go out and action that statement, because it won’t happen unless we actively have a mindset of rejoicing and gladness. 

Wishing and hoping won’t make it happen. We must turn the wheels of action before anything we say can happen. That’s why there are so many miserable and unhappy Christians in the world, we talk plenty, but don’t take the necessary action. With the amazing benefits and blessings we have through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour we ought to be the happiest group of people in the universe, but in actual fact, we are amongst the most unhappy, simply because we don’t truly believe the promises of God and follow His guidelines. 

Now why wouldn’t you be happy with the promises of salvation, of reconciliation to Almighty God, of forgiveness of sins, of going to heaven and living with the Holy Trinity, our Godhead, for ever and ever? And those are only a few of the benefits we obtain when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. But it all rests on belief, on faith, and putting those things to good use in our lives. Now, here is this li’l poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writing by Ruth Harms Calkin, that strikes right at the heart of the matter. It’s aptly titled ‘Deduction.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Lord, when You say The same thing to me so often I surely must need it And You surely must mean it! Help me to take You seriously. May I remember that the one settled proof That I have taken you seriously Will always be – OBEDIENCE!’ Ah friends, that’s the eternal truth of living for Jesus: OBEDIENCE! It’s like the three ‘L’s in owning a good piece of property: Location, Location, Location! The same can be said for living for Jesus: the most important things is Obedience, Obedience, Obedience! 

And the scripture used for that poem is one that comes from the first epistle of John, one that we all ought to know. It says quite clearly: ‘And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ (1 John 3:24) Now if that sounds a tad difficult for us to understand, then here is the NLT or New Life Translation. And that says: ‘Those who obey God’s commandments live in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ Now you can’t say that is also too difficult to understand. (smile) 

Ah mih people, living for Christ is all about Obedience in Action! We can’t just talk the talk, but more importantly, we have to walk that talk! Listen to how Jesus said it to the disciples nuh, when He spoke of the promise of the Holy Spirit. ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him and will manifest (show) myself to him…If a man LOVE me, he will keep my words: and my Father will LOVE him, and we will come unto him and make our abode (home) with him. He that LOVETH me not keepeth not my sayings (words): and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.’ (John 14:21,23-24) 

Now that should be easy to understand… (smile) Yes friends, Jesus is simply trying to drive home the point that you can’t be a true believer unless you do what He tells you. And that pertains to the following of any leader or organization; you can’t be a true follower unless you obey their rules and regulations. Let’s also remember these telling and true words of Jesus about abiding in Him. ‘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. 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 15:4-5) Now that’s putting it as plainly and clearly as it can get! (smile) 

And as per the second part of the scripture verse used for our poem; ‘And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ Or ‘And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ I think we should also point out some important and interesting scriptures re the Holy Spirit of Christ that comes to indwell believers. 

In making the promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, Jesus told them: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) Oh Mama, Mama! What a beautiful promise, which we know was kept on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit filled the believers who were gathered together. ( Acts. 2:1-4) 

And we’ll finish with just a few important words from Bruh Paul about the Holy Spirit. To the church at Rome, he writes: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit….For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom. 8:1, 5-6) 

Now friends, for those of us who have decided to live as best as we can after the Spirit, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel! As one strong, confident and purposeful voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

So now my fellow saints, let’s go out and do just that nuh; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…if we are true believers…then LOVE for Christ ought to be just bubbling up in us…and plain for all to see… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 January 2022 Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27.     And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.    

And it’s another cloudy, frosty Wednesday morning! A little of the white stuff fell in my area last night, but not enough to make a difference, but we are still surrounded by a sea of white, although the roads are passable today, and we might have more problems with ice than snow. (smile) Oh, and by the way, the duchess’ prediction re the snow removal, did not come through, because the trucks and scoops came early in the evening to remove it, instead of late in the night as she had forecasted, and as they often do.

But that’s enough about snow and the unfortunate weather we’ve been having. It’s time to talk about something that will truly make a difference. And what’s that you ask? We’re talking about some of the many immortal words our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke while on His earthly sojourn. These were spoken around the time of His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, when the disciples informed Him that a group of Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the feast were desirous of talking to Him.

The Good Book relates it thus: ‘And Jesus answered them (the disciples), saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn (grain) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth (remains) alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that LOVETH his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honour.’ (John 12:23-26)

Yes friends, Jesus expects a high degree of selflessness from His followers, but to be sure, they are well rewarded for it. Now let’s clear up one major point before moving on. It concerns the matter of LOVE and hate in the scriptures. The scholars offer this explanation of verse 25 above. They say: ‘Whenever we see LOVE and hate contrasted we should understand that LOVE for the one is so undivided that it may appear as hate for the other; although it is not necessarily so (cf. Luke 14:26, disciples hating mother and father; Rom. 9:13. God hating Esau.’

Oftentimes, it’s not an emotional thing, but just the Father’s will; like with Jacob and Esau. Jacob was blessed while Esau was not. So every time we see LOVE and hate in the scriptures, we need to take a moment to stop and consider the true meaning, whether it was an emotional problem or just one party being more favoured than another. And if we consider the verse referenced above in Luke, we can see exactly what they are talking about.

There Jesus counted the cost of following Him, to the multitude around Him, when He says: ‘If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:26-27)

Oh my people, it is indeed a high price to pay to follow Jesus, but that’s just how important it is to follow Him. And He doesn’t mean we have to dislike our family or friends, just that, as the scholars put it. ‘In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either-or that this verse sets up.’

And that’s so sad, because Jesus never meant for us to give up our friends and families, but just to put Hm first. But in way too many cases, religiosity unfortunately, and wrongly forces us to give up one or the other. Yes, you can’t serve God and mammon or money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have much money, because money is important in forwarding Christ’s kingdom in this sinful world.

So please, let’s not allow religion to drive us to one camp or the other, for in Christ, remember, we are all ONE! There’s no difference between the rich and the poor, the slave and the free, the Jew and the Gentile in Christ’s eyes. It’s only important that we live our lives sincerely trying to obey His will. So what’s the long and short of the story, you ask?

Well, I believe it’s spelled out in two sets of scriptures. The first is Jesus’ sincere admonishment 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. 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 15:4-5) Now that’s Jesus telling it like it really is! In this world, we can do nothing of any consequence without Him!

And the second set of scriptures that I believe explains our purpose on this earth, is Jesus response to the question, posed by an uppity, self-righteous, hypocritical lawyer of the Jewish ruling class: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40)

Yes my fellow saints, from the beginning of time, that’s what the prophets been preaching; the absolute and miraculous power of LOVE! It’s marvellous ability to bring things and people together to live in harmony, with Almighty God and with each other! And that’s what our world is sadly lacking in these troubled times; a real sense of caring, of compassion, of LOVE for God and each other. So it seems that’s where our focus should be centred, be concentrated in these calamitous times, if we sincerely desire true improvement in our world. And that’s the long and short of the story! (smile)

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to preach and practice LOVE, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one loud, confident 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 believe me people, if we endure to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So let’s hang in there and acclaim Christ’s name nuh, like He so richly deserves! Much LOVE!

…to God the Father…be the glory…through Christ Jesus…the Son…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 January 2012 Ephesians 4:23.

Ephesians 4:23.        And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;   

Now that’s more like it! There’s a hint of sunshine in the air, not the total murkiness we’ve suffered for the past couple of  days. Sunshine has been so lacking that lights which are recharged by sunlight have not been coming on because there hasn’t been sufficient sunlight to recharge them. I wonder what’s happening to those who use solar powered equipment in their homes, like on their rooves to provide heat, if they don’t have a large storage of that solar power.

It’s a good thing that we don’t have to worry about our spiritual power, because we have Jesus, the ‘awesomest’ power person there is, rooting for us in everything we do! But first we need to put our trust and faith in Him, believe in what He says, and live the way he directs, otherwise His power won’t work in us. It’s all conditioned upon our sincerely accepting Him as Lord and Saviour and doing His will.

And when we do that…Brother! Such new vistas will open before us, exciting things will begin happening, good changes will be made in our lives, in fact a complete turnaround will take place, and we’ll wonder why we hadn’t accepted Him into our hearts and lives before. As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17)

Yes friends, when you’ve found Christ, you become a brand new being. As the scholars put it: ‘When a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation,” and perceives Christ in a new way.’ And that’s borne out by the words of Jesus, first to Nicodemus, who came by night seeking information from Him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3)

It’s a spiritual rebirth my brethren! And unless it happens to us, we won’t see the kingdom of God. It’s as simple as that. And Jesus drives home that point later on when He tells the disciples: ‘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) Now that’s laying it all on the line. And it is the indisputable fact; without Jesus, we are very limited in what we can do.

And when we accept Him as Lord and Saviour, we make a break with the old things of our lives. We have to, because all the old carnal, sinful, fleshly stuff doesn’t work in Christ’s domain. That means a lot of new things, interesting changes must happen in our new life with Jesus, if we are to abide in Him, and He in us. As Isaiah writes: ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider ye the things of old.’ (Is. 43:18) And the wonderful thing about it all my people, is that once we come to Christ, our union with Him abides forever!

But here are some interesting words from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians, on some of the practical changes that we make when we come to Christ. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct of) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 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 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 all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph. 4:22-32)

Yes my fellow saints, just a few practical changes to make when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour! (smile) But seriously though, we desperately need to consider how all of the above resonates in our personal lives, because it’s all a big part of our current angry, strife -filled world. And it’s not always easy to differ from the world, but we must, if we are to fulfill Christ’s mandate.

The major aspect though is a change in our mindset, because it’s in our mind that all the battles between the old and new take place. That’s why Bruh Paul wrote: ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.’ (Eph. 4:23) Now, the only way we can do that is through purposeful meditation on God’s word, sincere prayer and the genuine encouragement of other believers. And, since we’ve already pondered the Lord’s word, and encouraged each other, let’s go to Him in prayer now, through our Friday Chant, asking for His divine help and guidance.

As one strong, confident, but humble voice. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, please remember that we just portrayed ourselves as faithful believers, and unless we live up to that promise, the Lord won’t answer our prayers. Much LOVE!

…being a new creation in Christ is wonderful…but it’s not always easy…we have to keep at it…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 September 2021 Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 19:14.     Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (rock), and my redeemer.

It’s a fine looking Wednesday morning out there my people! And since we are alive to enjoy it, I believe that some thanks and praise to our great Creator is quite in order. So, let’s get a li’l thankful nuh. (smile) Please pray with me. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for allowing me to see another day, even though the times they are turbulent and troubled! I know that You only have good things in store for me, a future and a hope, like you promised in Your Word, and that no weapon formed against me will ever prosper. 

And even though I go through rough times You have promised to eventually work them all out for my good, which means that I can be assured of victory once I walk in the footsteps of Your Son, and my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! I thank you ever so much for all the blessings You bestow on me, although I don’t deserve them. But most of all I thank You for Your wonderful LOVE, a LOVE that created me and has nurtured me down through the ages. 

A LOVE so strong and unconditional that it caused You to send Your Only Son Jesus to earth to die on my behalf, so that I could be reconciled back to You, and enjoy eternal life as a member of Your marvellous flock! Mere words can never convey the gratitude and LOVE that I have for You. But I know when Your Holy Spirit reads my heart, all will be known. I bless You, and praise Your Holy Name, this day, and forever! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, I do hope that when the Lord reads our hearts, He will see the true LOVE and gratitude we have for Him, because that’s where He looks after He listens to our words. And He is very disappointed when the meditations of our hearts don’t match the words of our mouths. As Bruh David says in Psalm 19: ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (rock), and my redeemer.’ (Ps. 19:14) 

Oh my faithful brethren, our words and the motives of our hearts ought to match up in God’s sight, if we want to continually enjoy His awesome benefits. And you ask what benefits we talking about? O glory be mih people! The Lord God Almighty has the best benefits in the business, consequently that’s why so many of us are exceedingly joyful to work for Him. Hear some of them as Bruh David lists them in Psalm 103 nuh. 

He declares with a strong sense of purpose: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases: Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies: Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps. 103:2-5) Wow! No other employer can match those extraordinary benefits… And that’s only the beginning of the list yes! 

Hear these even deeper ones. ‘The Lord executeth righteousness and judgement for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.’ (Ps. 103:6-12) 

That reminds me of the pastor I heard about, who had done some bad deed in his earlier days and just could not forgive himself. Meanwhile in his congregation, there was this woman who claimed to have visions from Jesus. The pastor did not believe her, so he told her that if she could find out from Jesus, the awful sin he’d committed, then he would believe. A week later she came back to church and when the pastor asked for Jesus’ response, the woman said, He’s forgotten it! 

That’s how great and true our God is my fellow saints. He doesn’t have time for guilt and sorrow. Once we sincerely repent and ask for forgiveness, He grants it, and remembers it no more. So if God can forget our sins, why can’t we eh? That just shows how shallow, proud and stubborn we are! The Lord can forgive and forget but we can’t. And don’t believe the enemy isn’t glad when we behave so foolishly…he actually jumps for joy when we don’t accept God’s forgiveness or don’t forgive ourselves and keep harming ourselves with our guilt trips. 

But please remember that our Creator knows all our faults and foibles, and ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps. 103:13-14) Oh mih bredrin, what a great and wonderful God we serve! He knows us, because He created us, and knows that we are weak and feeble like the dust we were made from, and thus His extreme LOVE and compassion for us!  Why is it so difficult for us to accept them eh? Especially when we cannot do very much, or any better on our own. 

Remember Jesus said it quite clearly. ‘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) And that’s the long and short of the story people. Without Jesus we can’t do anything. That’s why we have to cling tightly to Him, like white on rice, if we desire to get anything worthwhile done in this life. Now for those of us who are clinging for dear life, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And though I shouldn’t have to remind us, I will err on the side of caution. (smile) Please remember that if we endure until the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…endurance…it is the bringer of good things…eventually…                                                                                                                            

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2021 Philippians 4:13.

Philippians 4:13.     I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

So Wednesday has rolled around once more, in the quickly passing weeks of summer. And I wish someone could tell me why the weeks of winter don’t pass even half as quickly. (smile) They just seem to drag on and on and on. But that’s life in the northern climes, and with the help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we handle them just the same, though we need to be a bit more careful in the nasty weather. That means with Jesus guiding our lives we can do anything that’s necessary. 

We have that ever-faithful promise from the Good Book, where Bruh Paul writes to the Philippians: ‘Not that I speak of in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:11-12) 

Yes friends, in these contrary times we believers must be good examples of contentment so that others can learn from us. And yes, contentment is something that’s learned, not in the classroom either, or overnight, but continuously through the hard knocks of life. We have become so accustomed to easy living that we complain about every single thing, and that’s the wrong attitude for believers to have. 

We need to be much more disciplined than we are; being able to tighten our belts in the hard times, or as the old people would say, band we belly when things rough, and then be able to live without airs and graces when the times get good. But it’s all a learning process, an acquired way of living. And what’s the basic underlying factor of our ability to do with or without? Bruh Paul tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

Glory to God my brethren! Yes indeed! Christ is the one who gives us the strength to live that contented life, both in need or in prosperity! Christ is the one who enables us to adapt to the various situations we encounter in this crazy and undisciplined world. Whatever He tells us to do, or wherever He sends us, He gives us the wherewithal to handle whatever comes against us. But the problem is that we don’t pay sufficient attention to Christ’s commands, that’s why we so often find ourselves in hot water, or out of our league. 

Then we blame Him, but we are the ones who need to bear the blame for our lack of obedience to His instructions. Remember Jesus’ warning 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. 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 15:4-5) 

And I like how after all the palaver, Jesus throws in that last statement that clarifies the whole situation: ‘for without me ye can do nothing.’ And that’s a fact friends! Without Christ in our lives, we can’t do much of anything that’s really worthwhile. But with Him running the show, oh brother, we can be supermen, do miracles, show wonders, prophecy, speak in tongues, etc. etc.! That’s why Christ is such a valuable part of our lives. 

And one thing I like about Jesus is that He does not mince words, but tells it straight and true. As He said above, ‘for without me ye can do nothing,’ later on He tells the disciples: ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do what I command you.’ (John 15:14) And earlier on He was just as blunt: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) And again He tells them: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yuh see friends, our entire discipleship is based on keeping the commands of Christ, which basically boil down to having LOVE for each other, that’s treating each other kindly and with compassion, like Christ treats us. And only as we show that LOVE for each other to the world, will they recognize that we are indeed His disciples. And I’m sad and sorry to say that we are not showing that LOVE for each other to the world as much as we need to. 

That’s why so many are turning away from God, or simply refusing to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. They see us supposed Christians as merely a bunch of ole hypocrites, who talk a good talk, but don’t walk it, like the Pharisees of old did! And they are quite right! There’s too much infighting, dissension and evil doing within Christ’s church; too many petty differences that breed unnecessary resentment and strife. And until we clean up our own backyard, we can’t fault the neighbours for not wanting to run with us. 

So please my brethren, this time of much strife, sickness and natural disaster, is the perfect time for us to do that, the time to come together and show the real beauty of living for Christ. Remember Christ is depending on us, His ambassadors, His earthly agents to do His work with diligence and excellence, something we are currently not doing. Yes, my fellow saints in Christ, let’s raise the level of our standards nuh, instead of following the world and lowering them. That’s Christ’s desire for us in these trying times! 

Consequently, with that on our minds, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ. 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!’ 

Oh my, my! And please remember friends, that if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So please let that wonderful thought drive us this Wednesday morning as we go out to do Christ’s work. Much LOVE!

…until you start living for Christ…you will not know how wonderful it is…                                                                                                                       

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

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…                                                                                          

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2021 2 Corinthians 3:5.

2 Corinthians 3:5.     ​Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

Another merry-go-round Monday friends! It’s amazing how quickly the days are passing by although we are immersed in so much conflict and sickness. And it’s so sad that many of us don’t know whether we are coming or going, with our lives all confused and topsy-turvy, with no plausible ending currently in sight. But as positive and serious believers in Christ Jesus, we are expected to hold on tightly to Him and ride out the storm with His lead and guidance. Remember His teaching re the vine and the branches? 

‘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. 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 15:4-5) That’s putting it very clearly and straightforward friends! Without Christ, our abilities are very limited. But with Him, we can do all things, because He strengthens us. Glory be! 

And Bruh Paul corroborates Christ’s statement when he says to the church at Corinth: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) Now that’s exactly why we need to hold on to Christ and His faithful promises, especially in times of indecision and crisis like we’re now experiencing. And we know that many of our problems stem from our own mistakes, by our terrible inhumanity and critical lack of compassion for our fellow man, as we allowed the evil and negative aspects of the world, the lusts of the flesh, as it were, to take control of our society. 

We’re talking about the same things that Bruh Paul so long ago advised the Galatians against. ‘Adultery, fornication, uncleanness (sexual impurity), lasciviousness (sexual excess), Idolatry, witchcraft (sorcery), hatred, variance (contentions), emulations (jealousies), wrath, strife (selfish ambitions), seditions (dissensions), heresies (organized divisions or cliques), Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (excessive eating and carousing) and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ (Gal. 5:19-21) 

So, basically, most of our problems stem from those things being too prevalent in our modern-day world. We lack what Bruh Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit. And here’s how he explains it to the Galatians. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (it’s passions).’ (Gal. 5:22-24) 

And the scholars offer this basic explanation. ‘5:19-23. By contrasting the works of the flesh (vs. 19-21) with the fruit of the Spirit (vs. 22-23), the believer can know whether he is walking by the Spirit or being controlled by the flesh.’ And there’s no doubt that too many human beings are currently walking in the lusts of the flesh and not in the fruit of the Spirit, thus the ghastly and grievous situation that now exists in our world. 

Now, here’s another important scholarly explanation, I think I ought to mention. ‘5:22. The word fruit is significant for three reasons. (1) It means the result, product, outcome, or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have ALL nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular) (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the Spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight.’ That’s an important distinction we need to note between the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ and the ‘gifts of the Spirit,’ One is singular and the other is plural. 

And just for good measure, (smile) I’ll throw in some more scholarly explanations, this time in a little more detail, re the fruit of the Spirit. ‘LOVE is willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury. Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration of one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

So now, we can’t say we didn’t know what the fruit of the Spirit is, (smile) which brings us to these closing words of Bruh Paul on the subject. ‘If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal. 5:25) That means, since we are supposed to live by the Spirit as believers, let us really follow the leadings and promptings of the Spirit in our lives.

 Finally, let’s go home pleading in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, for God’s mercy and grace on our current untenable situation. As one voice: ‘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!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out and seriously and sincerely live by the Spirit, if we want to see substantial change in our world. Much LOVE!

…only by sticking close to Christ…like white on rice…can we crucify…the inherent lusts of the flesh… 

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