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…

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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…                                                                                                                            

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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… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 January 2021 Jeremiah 29:13.

Jeremiah 29:13.     ​And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

So a new day has dawned, and we’re still alive to tell about it! That means there’s a reason why; a purpose for our names not being in the obits. Glory to God! Let’ seek that reason, that purpose nuh my people, why the Lord has us on the planet in these turbulent times. Yes, my fellow saints in Christ, we were made and placed here especially for this moment, this opportunity and occasion to fulfil His divine purpose and plan concerning our lives. And it is our bounden duty to enquire of Almighty God, our Creator, what that purpose and plan entails so we can diligently pursue it. 

And we know it will never be a bad plan, because our God is always good, but since sin abounds in our world, there will be troubles and adversity involved in some form and some area of our lives. Hear how the prophet Jeremiah characterizes God’s plan for us. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) But His plans don’t just unfurl before us with no sense of interest and/or activity on our part. No sir! Here’s what He further says: ‘And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer. 29:13) 

Now Jesus reiterated that when asked what was the great commandment in the law. ‘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.’ (Matt. 23:37-38) And that’s the cut-tail part of this whole life my brethren! Too many of us are either not seeking the Lord at all, or we’re not doing so with all of our heart, mind, body and soul. No wonder we’re so confused, so lost, depraved, angry and hateful and our world is in such a frightful state. 

Oh friends, when are we going to wake up and truly learn that without God in our lives, our lives are not worth a whole lot eh? It’s only with Him in the lead are we ever, and can we ever be truly fulfilled. Jesus said it quite plainly: ‘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) I don’t know how else He could have said it for us to understand nuh people. It as clear as day: if you don’t have Jesus and He doesn’t have you, then your life’s worthless! 

Please note how many rich and powerful people, who supposedly have it all are still basically miserable and unhappy. All their earthly possessions don’t satisfy a certain hunger that we all possess in our souls; that hunger which is for God, and until He comes and fills that void in our lives we’ll never be completely satisfied. Yeh friends, our God’s not stupid yuh know. Oh, He gave us free will and all that, but He also made a li’l empty space in our hearts and souls that will always yearn for Him, and can only be filled with His divine presence. 

That’s why, try as hard as we can, we can never run away from Almighty God! He’s continually monitoring us, has us on His radar 24/7. So please, let’s stop running from Him and instead run to Him through His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ nuh. It’s the only thing that makes sense in this turbulent and unstable world. Yuh think if we were keeping the first two commandments…oh, Jesus threw in this one for a lagniappe: ‘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. 23:30-40) 

Yes, friends, if we were sincerely seeking God and LOVING our neighbours as ourselves, do you think our world and consequently our lives, would be in such an awful mess? No Way Jose! Another major problem we have besides not seeking and LOVING God, is that so many of us don’t LOVE ourselves either. So how can we LOVE others if we don’t LOVE ourselves eh? And that doesn’t mean in a narcissistic manner. Oh my people, it’s all about LOVE! As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth all sins.’ (Prov. 10:12) 

And as Bruh Paul informed the church at Corinth on the way of LOVE: ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (LOVE), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal…Charity (LOVE) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not (does not brag on) itself, is not puffed up…Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things. Charity never faileth…’ (1 Cor. 13:1,4,6-8) 

Oh mih people, mih people, that wonderful thing we call LOVE, NEVER FAILS! No, it doesn’t! Why is that you ask? I believe John gives us the basic answer in his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ (1 John 4:7-8) Yes friends, to know true LOVE, one must know God; and to truly know God, one must know LOVE! For that’s whom God is; that His most outstanding trait. 

No wonder Bruh Paul put it so nicely and so succinctly: ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:13) No getting away from that friends; LOVE is indeed the GREATEST! And when we talk about LOVE here, we’re not talking about mere human LOVE, but that which comes from having Christ’s redeeming presence in our lives, cause basic human LOVE falls far short of God’s perfect and infinite compassion. 

Well I’ve done my best to convince you, hope I got through. (smile) So let’s go home now declaring (yippee!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most wonderful position in Christ. As one strong, sincere 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 we don’t need to be reminded that if we endure to the end, that that future will be even brighter than we can ask or imagine. (smile) Much LOVE!

…God made the world with LOVE…so that we all could enjoy LOVE…with Him…and with each other…

P.S. We’re a tad late because I had to go out and do some blood work this morning. But better late than never. And it’s oh so goodddd! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2021 John 3:3.

John 3:3.     ​Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Well here comes Saturday; that lazy, hazy day! And with the worldwide lockdown, there’s even more reason to have a lazy and hazy Saturday since you can’t go anywhere and do much of anything! (smile) But God is good, and He operates on both the good and bad days, so there’s nothing to fear if we have Him uppermost in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Yeh friends, if we want to make it through all in one piece in these treacherous and perilous times, then the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob definitely has to be our rock, our anchor, our place of safe refuge, our Good Shepherd. 

And as we always do on Saturdays, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And thank God it seems like he’s stopped putting that unwieldy preface before each quote! (smile) 

And the first quote says: ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.’ Now there is truth to that statement, although I don’t believe that intelligence is only the ability to adapt to change. It’s also a whole lot of other things. But you do need intelligence if you’re going to successfully adapt to change. You need to first be intelligent to know that you must adapt in some things and places, and then be intelligent enough to know which things and places to adapt to. If you don’t, the world will quickly leave you behind. 

But for heaven’s sake, don’t just adapt for adapting sake, or because everyone else is doing it. You just have to look at the state of social media nowadays and see how it’s sucking so many people into bad habits with its ever expanding tentacles and reach! You have to be intelligent enough to know how far to let it take you. 

And the next quote tells us that ‘Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.’ Now I think that’s somewhat contradictory. Granted, foolish people might never want to change, but a wise man, because he is wise, ought to know that change is sometimes very necessary, even though we may not want to make it. So personally, I think that part is wrong. And I can say that from personal experience. (smile) I’m not a great believer in change, especially just for change sake, but I do think I’m wise enough to know that at times I do need to change, although I may not want to. 

And that’s where I think wisdom becomes very necessary. Yeah, they used to tell me that I was living in the 18thcentury, but now I’ve moved up to halfway in the 20th. So you see, I was wise enough to recognize the need for some change, though they had to drag me screaming into it! (smile) And change is especially important if you want to be a true believer in Christ. A couple of scriptures will show us that. 

The first comes from Jesus Himself, when Nicodemus came to Him by night, afraid of the wrath of the Pharisees, and asked how to gain salvation.‘Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’(John 3:3) Yeh friends, that’s the first and wisest change we need to make if we want to follow Jesus! 

And it doesn’t mean entering into our mother’s wombs again, but ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) And once you’re born again of water and the Spirit, then you need to hear Bruh Paul’s words 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) 

Now that’s another time when change is oh so necessary! We have to put away the old, worldly things of our lives and pick up new spiritual practices that fall under Jesus’ guidelines. And I believe that this next quote addresses our problem with all that change very adequately. ‘If you have a purpose which is bigger than you, all your problems will become tiny.’ 

Oh,  all your problems definitely won’t become tiny, but with Jesus as your main man, with His divine help, they will become manageable. But we must have Jesus as our special purpose, a purpose bigger than us, if our problems are to become manageable. That’s just the way life is friends. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus as He talks about the vine and the branches. ‘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 that isn’t telling it like it is, then I don’t know what is nuh? 

Bruh Paul also corroborated Christ’s statement in his second letter to the Corinthians. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) And if you don’t make that change and start depending on God, then you’re not wise! (smile) 

And the last quote says: ‘The ones who can see the vision when no one else can, and work on it like there is no tomorrow, will succeed. The rest will follow.’ Oh friends, there is much truth in that statement, but the crux of it is the second part. Many of us see visions, know what we ought to do, what the Lord wants us to do, but for whatever reason we refuse or hem and haw until it’s too late to work on it. 

That’s the whole thing about being a Christian my brethren; we not only have a new and different way to live, but we also have to diligently work at it, since we are servants, workers, ambassadors of Christ on this evil earth! He is depending on us to bring about the necessary changes He desires. And truly working at being a Christian is no easy matter since the devil and his evil cronies delight in putting obstacles in our way. That’s why we need to read and know the word of God so that we can put it into use when the enemy comes against us, as he undoubtedly will. 

As Bruh Paul said to Timothy: ‘Fight the good fight of faith…’ (1 Tim. 6:12) As believers, we all have to daily fight the hardships and adversity that comes with the Christian life, show the true nature of our faith, as we daily grow and mature in it, until we can accomplish that balance between faith and works that James talks about. ‘Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2:17-18) 

Oh precious people, it’s great to have faith, but faith is useless if it isn’t put to work. Jesus didn’t come to earth to just have faith, He came to do works, and we are called to do likewise, in His name. So let’s get to it seriously nuh, the world is anxiously waiting for us to show it our true and lasting faith by our sincere works! Much LOVE!

…a believer must be responsive to change…but wisely… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 November 2020 Matthew 7:12.

Matthew 7:12.     ​Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophet.

Well finally some decent sunshine in my area! Brother! We haven’t really seen the sun in my neck of the woods this past week, just mere dark, cloudy, dreary, wet days, with the occasional ray of tarnished sunshine. Let’s hope this bright flood will last for at a least a couple of days, I’m tired with what they consider the English type weather. (smile) And yes, I know I have Jesus to warm me up and brighten my day, but that doesn’t mean some physical sunshine isn’t nice every once in a while too! 

So since it’s that lazy day called Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow. And as the new style persists, they are all prefaced by: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content,’ but I will only reference it this one time. And a gentle reminder that all of that is only possible if you’re in cahoots with Jesus! (smile) And the first quote is an ever so important one: ‘I will not compare myself to strangers on the Internet.’ 

And do we ever need to stop doing that, because it is driving us crazy, especially when the images shown on social media are often outright lies and/or doctored images. We are allowing the practice of body shaming, amongst other negative habits, to destroy our self-esteem and make us dislike ourselves; the way we look, think and behave. That’s utterly foolish my brethren, for who says we need to look like or behave like others eh? If the Lord wanted us to be all alike, He would have made us so. But He wanted us all to be different, to be unique in our own selves, that’s why He created us like we are. 

So it’s a sin against Him, our trying to look like others, most of whom are fakers anyway. Right now, social media is the biggest expletive deleted satanic thing we have in our society. It’s being used for more negative stuff than positive. No wonder our society is in the disgusting state it’s in! Nuff said on that! 

Then there’s this quote that’s contrary to the first one: ‘I LOVE myself fully, including the way I look.’ Now that’s a li’l more like it! But we must also be on guard that we don’t over LOVE ourselves, or in a manner that’s more narcissistic than godly. It’s necessary that we like ourselves because we take ourselves with us wherever we go, and it’s not wise to have a constant travelling companion you don’t like. (smile) 

Remember the premium Jesus placed on true LOVE? He broke down all the commandments to just two: LOVE the Lord God, and LOVE your neighbour as yourself. (Matt. 22:37) That means respecting and caring for your neighbour as you respect and care for yourself. I guess it could be best described by what we call the Golden Rule, more sensitive and commanding words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophet.’ (Matt. 7:12) 

Yes precious people, that ought to be the rule that we live by; do unto others as we want them to do unto us. But unfortunately that doesn’t hold true in today’s society, we practice the other side of the coin, doing to others what we don’t want them to do to us. Or as the ole people would say: ‘Do so ent like so!’ We obviously don’t like others throwing back to us what we first threw to them! Now why does that surprise us eh? 

That leads us to this next quote: ‘I am enough.’ Now that I believe is a rather disturbing thought and sentence. Why? Because in the first place we by ourselves are never enough! The saying that no man is an island is ever so true. We can’t stand alone and be as productive and useful as God desires of us. Remember why and what He said when He created Eve in the Garden of Eden? ‘And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him (a helper comparable to him).’ (Gen. 2:18) 

Then He formed Eve out of Adam’s rib. If He thought that man was sufficient alone, He would never have made woman to help him. So why do we think that we are sufficient unto ourselves eh? Remember Jesus’ words too about the vine and the branches: ‘…for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5b) And that’s the gospel truth! And until we all understand that and act wisely upon it, we won’t ever amount to what we were made to amount to! Matter fix! 

And again we have another somewhat troubling quote: ‘I choose to be proud of myself and the things I choose to do.’ Now hopefully all those things are not within the ungodly realm of Satan, but within the godly realm of Jesus! If they are within Satan’s realm, then you should not be proud of them, for why should we ever be proud of evil doing eh? 

But if they are within the realm of Jesus, you can be proud of them, but not to the exclusion of the one who gave you the strength and grace to do them; meaning Christ, through whom we can do ALL things. And in our pride, please, let’s remember these notable words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.’ (Rom. 12:3) 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation of that verse. ‘12:3. The righteousness of God will cause the believer to conduct himself in humility in the local church (vs. 3-8). Paul meets two dangers that the individual faced in the exercise of his spiritual gifts. He might overestimate himself and try to exercise a gift God never gave him. Or he might underestimate himself and fail to exercise the gift God has given to him. Paul shows that God has given each believer specific gifts to enable him to do what God wants him to do. No one is excluded.’ And that’s the indisputable truth! 

However, we must be careful to remember that it’s only through God’s underserved grace that we do all that we do, and not get too big for our britches, like our world has recently gotten, else the Lord will cut us down to size, just like He’s doing right now with all the strife and disasters and sickness He’s allowing in our oh so wonderful, but oh so sinful world! 

And the last quote says: ‘I let go of all that no longer serves me.’ And that’s what we all need to do! And I’ll give us just two scriptures on that subject. The first is this, more words of Bruh Paul 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, if we intend to live for Jesus, then we need to give up all that the world holds highly, and seek God’s righteousness first of all, by first transforming our minds, because that’s where all the major battles are fought. 

And lastly, let’s remember Bruh Paul’s words to the church at Philippi! ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung (rubbish), that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7-8) Yeh friends, Bruh Paul gave up all his many educational and religious credentials to know Christ! He even considered them rubbish in the end. 

Now let’s remember that God prizes humility above pride, but we still need to have a delicate balance between both. So let’s go home with these words of Bruh Paul ringing in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls nuh. ‘I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:14) We couldn’t do any better. Much LOVE!

… a good and successful life…all hinges on…being in sync with Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2020 John 15:5b.

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

And then it was Saturday; that lazy crazy day of the week, where we laze around doing nothing for much of it, then in the evening we hit the party trail! But I think that this Covid-19 business has put a spoke in our party wheel, (smile) and it has probably made us even lazier than usual. Yes my people, this 2020 is the year of change; a year of change like no other most of us has ever seen, and I believe 2021 will be just as chaotic and confusing. 

But enough with the predictions, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And as is his wont these days, he prefaces them with: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content.’ But let me remind us that we are all those things ONLY if we have Jesus Christ as the mainstay of our lives! And also, we won’t repeat that preface again. 

So here then is the first quote: ‘I have the power to create change.’ And that’s true to some extent, if we’re willing to invest the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to make and create significant change. Now that change can be good or bad, big, or small, we still have to take time to make it, and unfortunately, in this modern era, too many of us want change but are not willing to invest the necessary time and effort to make it happen, because we are a society of whiners, complainers and entitled. 

And furthermore, especially when it comes to changing ourselves, it’s impossible for us to do it alone; we need the divine power of Jesus! Remember His immortal words? ‘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 if that doesn’t tell the whole story, then I don’t know what does! (smile) 

And the second quote says: ‘I’m doing my best and that is enough.’ Well we’re certainly glad to hear that! And it is in fact enough, because your best is the best that you can do, and that’s all Jesus asks of us. But I doubt that many of us are indeed doing our best, because if we were, our world would not be in such a terribly evil condition; filled with so much hate, envy, strife, poverty, sickness, inhumanity, economic depression and suppression, etc. etc. 

In a time of so much plenty, sadly, there is so much lack and want. So fellow believers, can we up the ante, and begin doing our best for Jesus, so that our world could be saved, be renewed, because that’s the only way it won’t sink into the mire of hell. 

Now hear this next quote: ‘I’m in charge of my life and no one will dictate my path besides me.’ Wow! What a boast! But generally speaking, it is true. In most cases we are the pilot of our good ship, me, myself and I. The problem though is do we have the right equipment to guide our lives in the right manner? That’s the million-dollar question. And unfortunately, the answer is that most of us don’t have the parts necessary for such a big and bold task. But we think we do…and the enemy, Satan, encourages us to believe we do. 

But let me remind us here of a small verse of scripture that the Lord our Creator and Maker and Provider and Controller, had the prophet Jeremiah say to his people Israel many moons ago when they were in captivity in Babylon. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Yes friends, our great God has a powerful and great plan for each life He creates. He doesn’t just create vikey-vie, but with a sense of purpose. And the truth is, though He has given us free will to do as we generally please, we will not fulfil the extraordinary plan He has set out for us, before we were even formed in our mother’s womb, unless, and until we turn to Him and His word, and believe in His Son Jesus Christ with all of our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, and follow His commandments to the best of our ability. That is until we make Almighty God our Number ONE Priority! 

So the long and short of the story is that we can indeed do all sorts of things in our own strength, but they will never amount to what we can do with Jesus as the Guide and Leader of our lives. And this last quote proves it even more forcefully. ‘I know exactly what to do to achieve success.’ And the wise ones amongst us indeed do! Here it is in spades, in black and white, straight from the horse’s mouth: 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Oh precious people, it couldn’t be any clearer than those immortal words the Lord said to Joshua when He made him Israel’s leader after the death of Moses! 

Reading God’s word, meditating on and studying it, then putting it into practice is the best and only way to achieve lasting success. The world may inveigle you to do other things and give you some of its corruptible wealth and power, which don’t last, and which you cannot take with you when your body returns to the dust from whence it was formed. 

However, the incorruptible wealth you amass when you sincerely follow Jesus Christ and His dictates, those my people, you can take with you to heaven, where you already have more treasure stored up through the goodness, from the magnanimity of our heavenly Father! So let’s remember that without Christ we are nothing, and can do nothing. But with and through Him,ALLthings are possible, and He is the one who causes us to get wealth and true, everlasting success!Much LOVE!

…only a fool…would turn his back…on everlasting life through Jesus… 

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