Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

And then it was Tuesday – the day after the ever-difficult day of Monday! (smile) Hope that all is well this morning and that we have less difficulty going out today than we did yesterday. But the problem is that difficulties have a way of helping us to grow, for when we just enjoy the good life we don’t grow in Christ at all. 

And this morning I have a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional that reminds us of the sublime purpose of difficulties in our lives. He calls it ‘To Face Difficulties.’

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

I thank you for tough times that produce calluses that could save my spirit from softness that could be weakness. There have been times, O Lord, when only through great difficulty have I learned the valuable lessons. I was too blind to see, too arrogant to believe, or too stubborn to accept any other way than by a bed of pain. 

I praise you for the times an open door slammed in my face and forced me out of an old rut that I never would have had the courage to leave, and led me down the road to a beautiful new life. I thank you for heartbreak which caused me to bury the hatchet and speak to someone with whom I had for far too long been out of touch. Thank you, Father, for life’s priceless times of fruitful difficulty. Amen!’ 

And yes friends, only when we can thank the Lord for those difficult times that build our faith and strength and trust in Him can we truthfully say that we’re growing in Christ! That’s Christianity 101! 

That leads me to think of all those believers out in the eastern parts of the world who are currently and constantly suffering persecution for simply believing in Christ, and are steadfastly refusing to renounce His precious name, standing strong through their difficulties, and thus growing in their faith. 

And that’s as opposed to us out here in the free western world where we can worship Christ in peace and freedom, we bitch and complain about every li’l problem and difficulty that crops up in our spoiled, lazy and complacent lives. Chuh! I’m tired hearing supposed Christians complain! And it’s even possible that we complain more than the unbelievers too. We live better than 90 percent of the world, but we also complain more than them. Life is just too nice and easy with us. 

And many believers feel that because they believe in Christ life should be just one, long, sweet, easy walk down the path of righteousness. But friends I have some unfortunate news for us; the path of righteousness  has NEVER, and will NEVER be a sweet, easy walk! Just check out what Jesus had to go through nuh. And though we won’t go through as rough a time as He did, it certainly won’t be all wine, women and song! 

Because it’s only when we face rough and tough times that we can grow, through having to actually exercise our faith and trust in Christ Jesus, our supposed Lord and Saviour! The same way we build physical muscles by lifting heavy weights, the same way we need to face difficulties to build our Christian faith! But unfortunately, too many of us are so weak and wimpy that it makes Jesus shake His head in disappointment. 

Please remember Jesus’ serious words to the disciples: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Yeh friends, in Jesus’ own inimitable style, He tells us the bad news along with the good, in one verse of scripture. Life will be rough, but settle down, look up, and be at peace, because I have already given you the victory. But so many of us are so spineless that we whimper and cry at the first sign of difficulty. 

But hear how Bruh Paul told it to Timothy: ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim.3:12) And Bruh Paul was an excellent example of those words. We wouldn’t have the wonderful news of Christ’s gospel today if he had simply refused to go through the numerous difficulties he faced in spreading it. 

And long before Bruh Paul, Bruh David said it thus: ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.’ (Ps.34:19-20) And Bruh David also knew what it was to face stormy times, but such was his trust and faith in the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that he never wavered from it, even when his life was on the line. 

So my fellow believers, it’s of the utmost importance that we stand strong and steadfast when difficulties come along, because we know that the Lord will never leave nor forsake us in the midst of them, but better still, He will help us to go through the fire and the flood and come out even stronger and more faithful than when we entered the time of storm! Now that’s a convoluted sentence of which Bruh Paul would be proud! (smile) 

But hear his famous words on the subject to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:37) And indeed we are! Glory be mih breddren! Rejoice and shout for joy because our Jesus has given us the victory! Now let’s go home declaring (yo!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole wide world know who and whose we are. 

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

Now mih people, let’s do our bounden duty by going out and cheerfully sharing the awesome LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others nuh, as he so desperately desires of us! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Christ…will show their joy and cheerfulness…during times of adversity…because of their overwhelming faith in Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2016 Judges 5:3‏

Judges 5:3.   Hear,  O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

Oh my people, another beautiful day has dawned on God’s great earth, and along with it our responsibility to walk like the children of God that we are! Glory Hallelujah! 

And our God is so great that He gives us all the tools we need to do His work. Glory to God! 

So let’s not bicker and complain this glorious Wednesday morn. Instead, let’s raise our voices and wail our Wednesday Wail with joyful enthusiasm and grateful appreciation. 

As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes precious people, that’s what we ought to be doing and feeling; be grateful that we’re still alive, for a lot of others names are in the obits today, but not ours. For that we ought to be rather thankful. 

Then we have to be serious about doing God’s work; being diligent and steadfast about it, while believing and looking forward to a wonderful future with Jesus, both down here on earth, and then in heaven for all eternity. 

And all Jesus’ followers declared loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God! Thank You Lord for giving us Jesus as our Messiah, Advocate, Saviour, Brother and Friend! We faithfully promise to do His work, serve, worship and LOVE Him for evermore! Amen.’ 

Now please remember what Cousin Sol says about promises in Ecclesiastes. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better it is that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl.5:4-5) 

Yes friends, that puts us on the spot, for we have just promised to serve and worship Jesus Christ for ever. So please, let’s not break that vow, let’s keep paying it each and every day, so that we don’t end up as fools in God’s sight. 

And today I want to share a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, simply titled ‘It’s Good.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘God, it’s good to be LOVED by You! The breathtaking knowledge Of Your life-giving LOVE Rings chimes in my tremulous heart. It fashions eternal declarations Out of unsettled questions. It creates a majestic life symphony from a solitary note. God, it’s good to be LOVED by You!’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my brethren! It’s so wonderful to be LOVED by a God as powerful and merciful and forgiving and understanding as ours! Give Him the thanks and praise He rightfully deserves my people! 

And the biblical promise for that prayer comes from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. Ethan the Ezrahite opens it thus: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.’ (Ps.89:1) 

And does that ever fit right in with our Bit, our continuing desire to sing praises to our great God. ‘Hear,  O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, I don’t think that we do that as much as we should. We don’t seem to have time, or make time to do as Bruh Paul directed the Ephesians. ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; 

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yes friends, that’s how we ought to conduct our lives as true believing Christians! Unfortunately though, not enough of us are doing it to the extent that we should, and that’s why we are not making as powerful a difference in this evil world as we should. 

And we’ll close today with some valuable info from the scholars on those verses. ‘5:19-21. There are four results of being Spirit filled (v.18): (1) believers speak to one another with psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs; that is, they exhort and instruct each other; 

(2) there is singing and the making of melody, of individual song and praise for the Lord; (3) there is giving thanks always – the Spirit enables the Christian to be grateful for all things divinely allowed to enter his life since they will be used for good;  

(4) there is mutual submission, that is, showing deference to the wishes of one another, as long as that to which the believer submits is in the fear of God, which is to say, in accord with what pleases Him.’ 

And there we have it my brethren; the way we ought to conduct ourselves as true believers in Christ. I therefore implore us, starting today, right now, to get on track and give thanks and sing praises to our wonderful God, the way we ought to, for that is indeed wisdom of the highest order. Much LOVE!

…I will praise the name of God with a song…and will magnify him with thanksgiving… (Ps.69:30)