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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. So altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And my faithful brethren, let’s not forget either, that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! That’s just a li’l something to keep us excited, strong and continually motivated to work for Christ! (smile) Much LOVE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So we all need to look in the mirror and truthfully ask ourselves if we are indeed shining lights in the world’s darkness, or just adding to its darkness. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to be lights, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful and enviable position in Christ Jesus. 

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

And we need to be in it for the long haul, because those who endure to the end will find that the future is even more glorious than we can ask or even imagine! Much LOVE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And don’t forget that if we endure to the very end that the future will indeed be even more glorious that we ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 October 2021 Mark 5:36.

Mark 5:36.     Be not afraid, only believe.

Saturday, oh Saturday, the day of leisure…and hopefully pleasure! Yes friends, it’s the big day called Saturday, where we party and play and do things we can’t do on workdays, including housework, laundry and grocery shopping. (smile) Yeh, some of us work harder on a Saturday than we do all week at our workplaces. But that’s all a part of our wonderful modern life. On Saturdays, we also turn to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us during the past week and see if we can make sense of them. So let’s get with that task nuh. 

And the first quote tells us: ‘Everyone visualizes whether he knows it or not. Visualizing is the great secret of success.’ And we all do visualize stuff, see it in our mind’s eye, see it the way we would like it to look in reality. But I don’t know if I will call it the secret of success, though it is an important aspect of being successful, because we can’t bring something to pass successfully unless we have some idea of how the project will look and operate. And that falls right into the lap of this next quote, which says: ‘To accomplish great things we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.’ 

That’s the gospel truth! Dreaming is a part of visualizing, of looking forward to what can be, or what you’d like to see come to pass or accomplish. And after you’ve dreamt about it, looked at it from all different angles, then you formulate a plan to make it a reality. But in all those stages, one thing is absolutely necessary for success, that’s belief that the project will be successful. You must believe it deep down in your heart and soul, else you will not put the necessary energy and effort, the plenty elbow crease, and constant starting over that some projects need to bring them to fruition. 

Belief, strong belief is vital in all we do! The problem though is often the source of our belief, whether it can actually do what it promises, or we believe it can. Note what Jesus said to Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue, who came and pleaded for Him to come and heal his sick twelve-year-old daughter. On the way there, Jesus healed the woman with the blood issue who came through the throng and touched his clothing. (Mark 5:21-34) But while He was talking to the woman, Jairus’ people came and said that his daughter had died. However, as soon as Jesus heard it, He said to Jairus: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’ (Mark 5:37) 

Now what did Jesus mean there eh? Basically, that Jairus was to believe that Jesus would and could do what He had promised, that is heal his daughter. And so it is with us, who claim to believe in Jesus. We must believe in the promises He’s made to give us a good future and a hope, of forgiveness of sins, leading to salvation and life eternal with Him in heaven. 

The problem with belief is that it must be based on something solid, like tying a rope to big, sturdy rock, or a ship to a big anchor. And the sturdiest, safest and surest thing in this world is Jesus! He’s shown how strong, sturdy and reliable He is by His death on the cross, His resurrection and ascension back to heaven, and His sending of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in His place. Wow! You couldn’t get any more reliable than that. 

Meanwhile, the next quote says: ‘Most people are thinking about what they don’t want, and they’re wondering why it shows up over and over again.’ And is that ever so true, for what we focus on is what we usually get. Cousin Sol said it long ago in Proverbs. ‘As a man thinks, so is he.’ (Prov, 23:7) That’s why, if we don’t want to reap negativity, then we need to stop concentrating on the negative aspects of life and instead concentrate on the positive ones, so that we can reap positive actions or results. 

And that segues right into the following quote. ‘Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.’ Words of heavenly wisdom my brethren! Especially in this society of plenty, where we all have so much stuff, stuff that we don’t use or can’t find, yet we still desire more. It’s a symptom of what we just spoke about; what you concentrate on is what will happen. If you keep thinking about more earthly stuff, then you will go out seeking it. With that kind of mindset you will never be satisfied with or appreciate what you already have. 

That recalls Jesus words from the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yes friends, the wise action is to seek God first; above everything else, and He will provide all that you need. Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians? ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) And He is a God who faithfully keeps His promises, as we can see from this last quote: ‘Stop waiting for somebody to elevate your game. You are already equipped with everything you need to manifest your own greatness.’ 

And if you are a believer in Christ Jesus, then that’s the indisputable truth! And you ask in a perplexed manner, what am I talking about? I’m talking about the fruit of the Holy Spirit my people; that’s LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness) meekness, temperance (self-control). (Gal. 5:22-23) Yes, it was all deposited in us when we received Christ, now it’s just left for us to water, prune and nourish those seeds so that they can grow and bear bountiful fruit, so that others can see and also believe. 

As Bruh Paul advises us, ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.’ And it’s not to work for salvation, because you can’t do that, since it’s a free gift of grace from God. (Eph. 2:8) The scholars explain it thus: ‘2:12. Work out your own salvation does not mean that you should work for salvation in order to obtain it. The Greek phrase “work out” denotes the expression, manifestation, or actualization of something one already possesses. The Philippians are to “work out” the salvation God has already wrought in them (vs. 13), carrying it to its logical conclusion. 

God has granted them salvation not just for their own profit, but for the good of others as well. If they work out and manifest the new life divinely worked in them, they will live lives worthy of the gospel (1:27), in harmony with each other (vs. 2), seeking the progress of the gospel. They will also regard one another as more important than themselves (vs.3), be concerned with the needs of their fellows (vs. 4),and make the appropriate sacrifices in obedience to God, as did Jesus, In doing all this they will work out or express the new life they have through Christ.’ 

And it’s the same thing we need to do my fellow saints in Christ, even more so in these desperate and dangerous times we are now living in. If we are to be true believers, then we need to raise the level of our faith and faithful action right now, obviously with God’s help! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t believe in Jesus…the King of Kings…Lord of Lords…the Prince of Peace… and the Son of Jehovah God…in whom then will you believe eh…                                                                                                      

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 January 2021 Ephesians 4:23.

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

HAPPY  NEW  YEAR!

Well a Happy New Year to all my Scrip-Bit friends and family! May this year of 2021 be much kinder to all of us than 2020 was. But right from the start, let us realize one thing; we can’t behave the same way we did last year and hope to receive a different ending. That’s what a lot of us do, but it’s totally unreasonable, in fact downright foolish, for how can you do old things and expect to get new and different results eh? That means we have to do new and different things if we want this year to be better than the last. 

And all of that will only work if we make ONE New Year’s Resolution; to follow Jesus more actively and sincerely this year! That’s the ONLY Resolution we need to make, for once we follow through with it, everything else will fall into place. Like Jesus said, if we seek the Lord God Almighty and His kingdom of righteousness, all our needs will be provided for. So friends, I plead with us, let’s be much better ambassadors for Christ this year of 2021 nuh. We all know, if we are truthful with ourselves, that we won’t so hot last year, we were tried and found wanting to a great extent. So this year let’s sincerely try and do better nuh.

I know we all can improve if we set our minds to it, and Jesus is expecting us to bring light and peace and LOVE to this dark sinful, angry and evil world. We are his ears, hands and feet in the world today, so only if we buck up will the world begin improving. And how do we do all of that eh, you ask? Well it’s simple, but definitely not easy. (smile) First we begin to truly live life in the Spirit. As Bruh Paul said to the Romans: ‘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. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.’ (Rom. 8:1, 5-8) That’s it right there in a nutshell my people! If we live a carnal, fleshly, earthly life we cannot please God because that lifestyle doesn’t mesh with the things of God. And how do we get to that state of spiritual living? Well by first changing our mindset.

And Bruh Paul laid it all out 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. 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) Yes friends, when we come to Christ, old ways of living need to be set aside, and though some of us have come to Christ for some time now, we’re still living life through our old habits, habits that the world find good, but which the Lord finds sinful. That brings us to this confusing but rather interesting direction from Bruh Paul to the Philippians.

‘Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputing: That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:12-15) 

Wow! What a mouthful, but a useful one! Yes friends, we need to work out, not work for our salvation. Salvation is a free gift of God, but once we’re saved we need to begin doing the things that God requires of us, to live the way He wants us to, like Bruh Paul states above, don’t grumble and complain unnecessarily, stay clean and without fault – as much as possible (smile) so that we can shine as lights in this dark world like Christ desires of us. 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, salvation is wonderful, but sincerely living for Christ in this evil and sinful world of ours is not easy, and it doesn’t just happen, we have to work at it. But the good news is that God is right in the mix helping us, because it’s His work we’re doing, and He’s always with us when we do His work sincerely. As Bruh Paul assured the Philippians earlier on. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it (keep working on you) until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) 

Oh how sweet it is my brethren! God began the work in us, and He will keep on completing it until the day Jesus comes back for us! Glory Be. So we don’t have to worry about the work being completed, but we do have to do our part, which is to keep working on our behaviour; mental, spiritual, emotional and physical. And here are some more realistic and practical things we can do to achieve those aims, in the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. 

‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to 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 may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with 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) 

And there it is my brethren, the practical stuff we need to do to work out our salvation. And it’s nothing that we all don’t know, we just don’t put it into effect for one reason or another, that’s why our witness, our testimony is not as good as it ought to be. But we going to fix that this year eh….?

And I hear a loud shout of ‘Yes! We going to fix things for Jesus this year!’ So let’s do it nuh, starting right now! Much LOVE!

…you can’t truly LOVE Jesus…and not do His bidding… 

P.S. Yes, I left out the ordinary workingman’s speech and our Friday Chant, because I thought it more important that we begin the new year with a new appreciation of Christianity 101! (smile)Much LOVE! 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2019 Philippians 2:15.

Philippians 2:15.    ​That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
 

Summer days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yes my people, it surely seems as though the summer time is fully upon us now, what with all these beautiful days all in a row with warm temps and what not! (smile) And it’s a long weekend to boot; Canada Day weekend where we celebrate our Independence from our Colonial masters. 

Yes friends, we’re a hundred and fifty two years old now; young compared to many other nations, but we’re growing in strength, faith, godliness and LOVE daily! Give God the thanks my Canadian brethren! 

And before we go any further, let me remind us of those wise, immortal words of Granny that are so applicable to this weekend of mucho celebration. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober please mind yuh business!’ Please take serious note my people and be very careful this long weekend. And is the workingman ever bursting to sing his weekend song, so let’s hear him nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui…and the weekend here at last! And was this ever a rough week because the slave master had plenty work to get out before the long weekend. And wow! Is Canada Day long weekend, which means party, party, party! And the weather supposed to be nice everlasting too, right up there in the high 20’s! Mama Yo! Are we ever going to mash up this weekend. 

Yuh can’t rightly celebrate Canada independence without a big bash! Lots ah eating and drinking, imbibing some good brew…and even some of the hard stuff too! I can imagine what cottage country going to look like this weekend. All the big shots and them going to be having a blast and the lakes and them going to be full ah boats riding up and down with parties galore on them. 

But is okay. I don’t jealous them their high life. I’m going to enjoy my low life right down here in the city. Me and my pardies, we going to have just as good a time…and possibly even better. So leh we just thank God for weekends and this wonderful country of Canada nuh!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see why Granny’s words are so important when coming to these big celebrations. In all the excitement and joy, we just liable to go overboard like the workingman’s planning to do. But as believers in Christ Jesus we can’t afford to go that far into the bacchanalian situation because the enemy will jump right into that opening and mess up our souls and spoil our witness for Christ. 

That’s why our Friday Chant is somewhat more reserved, thoughtful and even-tempered than the workingman’s weekend song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in loud voice, with a strong sense of purpose. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes mih breddren, ours is a more sedate and responsible life. Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t party and have fun too, but we just have to be a li’l more careful when we let our hair down and don’t give the enemy a chance to invade our souls and cause us to do wrong, because that is his sole purpose in life…get a Christian to fall flat on his face, both literally and figuratively, then laugh in Jesus face and gleefully declare: 

‘Look, look at yuh boy down there in the gutter nuh…drunk like a skunk! And he is the one yuh was praising up so much, about how he so good and godly. But yuh see how he really soft. Can’t even stand li’l bit a temptation! Hn, Hn, Hn! And it have plenty more like him out there too yes. Going to show yuh them every time ah conquer them!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we definitely can’t have Satan taunting and laughing up in Jesus face like that nuh! That means we have to seriously mind our p’s and q’s, else we liable to fall in the gutter too. And the church, Jesus’ body, already has enough black eyes on it, it doesn’t need anymore. That’s why friends, this Canada Day weekend, we need to consider seriously these words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. 

‘Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: 

That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth (fast to) the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.’ (Phil.2:12-16) 

And all that basically means friends, is now that we’ve been saved by the free gift of grace from God, not by anything we did, we have to stay attached to Christ and work at keeping our lives going in a godly direction. Being godly and righteous doesn’t just happen automatically once we’re saved, we have to work at it, run our race like Bruh Paul did. 

And if we are sincere about running that godly race, then the Lord will help us do so through the leading, guiding and comforting of His Holy Spirit. But that means we can’t grumble and complain when things don’t go our way, neither can we live in anger and resentment with our fellow man. We need to be bright and shining lights for and of Jesus in this most perverse generation ever of mankind. 

Remember, God has a plan for each and every one of our lives, and though He’ll gladly show us what it is, and help us accomplish it, He won’t do it all for us, we need to do our part of the covenant and put in some elbow grease too. So this Canada day weekend, let’s keep all of that in mind as we party hearty, and enjoy ourselves, for that is one of the reasons Christ died in our place; that we can rejoice and be happy in living and working for Him. Much LOVE!

…I am come…that they might have life…and have it more abundantly… (John 10:10b)