Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2019 Revelation 1:18.

Revelation 1:18.    ​I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.

Now just in case you did not realize it, I’m here to inform you that the weekly cycle of life has come full circle again! (smile) This is the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, the day on which He rested after spending the entire week creating the universe and all therein. It’s also the day that we ought to rest from our labour and journey to His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, praising and exalting His Holy Name, giving Him exceeding thanks for all that He’s done for us. 

And last, but definitely not least, to hear His Holy Word, so that our spiritual selves can be refreshed and renewed, to enable us to rebuke and repel the evil enemy as we venture back into the ungodly working world tomorrow. And all of God’s children said a loud, proud and sincere: ‘Praise the Lord! Magnify His Holy Name!’ 

So let’s get right into the praise section by singing this old but much LOVED ‘Christian hymn, ‘Abide with Me,’ written by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte. He wrote it in 1847 while he lay dying from tuberculosis; he survived only a further three weeks after its completion.’ And was it ever a fitting going away present to leave to posterity, as he indeed wrote a telling, thoughtful and true hymn! So, in one accord, let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. 

‘Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changest not, abide with me. I need thy presence every passing hour. What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be? 

Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me. I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if thou abide with me. Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes; shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

Oh friends, those are such powerful, moving and gospel true words! Nobody else can help us in this life like Jesus can! And I like the descriptions: ‘Help of the helpless.’ That’s exactly what Jesus came to do! ‘O thou who changest not…’ More glorious truth! ‘I need thy presence every passing hour…’ And do we ever my believing brethren! Without it, we’d quickly be toast against the enemy. ‘What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?’ Exactly what we were just saying: only with Jesus in our lives can we ever hope to overcome the evil and diabolical enemy called Satan! 

Consequently, ‘I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless.’ Oh my people, living with and for Christ, certainly raises our level of courage to great heights, because we know that with Him in our corner we can conquer any and every foe! And when he asks? ‘Where is death’s sting? Where, grave thy victory?’ The thrilling, victorious answer comes: ‘I triumph still, if thou abide with me.’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends, because Christ defeated hell, death and the grave by His sacrificial death and His awesome resurrection! Note His words to John in the vision on the isle of Patmos: ‘I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers, the victory is indeed ours through Christ Jesus! Never forget that! Isaiah prophesied it: ‘He will swallow up death in victory (forever); and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. ‘ (Is.25:8) And we all know that our great and faithful God doesn’t make idle promises, His word doesn’t return to Him void, but accomplishes all its purposes. 

And Jesus certainly made mincemeat of Satan!  That’s why Bruh Paul could be so exuberant and cocksure when he wrote to the Corinthians: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades), where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2 Cor. 15:54a-57) Oh mih people, shout and jump for joy, for victory is ours! Sing ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Praise the wonderful name of the Lord for He has indeed done marvellous things on our behalf! 

And Bruh David said it too in Psalm 68 – God has gone before his people. ‘Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.   Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation: and unto God the Lord belong the issues (escapes) from death.’ (Ps.68:19-20) But my people, all that good and wonderful news of victory through Christ, doesn’t mean we can just sit on our laurels and don’t do anything to help our cause. 

That’s why Bruh Paul at the end of his victory speech, warned the Corinthians:  ‘Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (2 Cor.15:58) And it most definitely is not, for all good work will eventually be rewarded in God’s time.

Friends, I sincerely recommend then, that we all take that warning to heart and get down to brass tacks right now, standing steadfast in Christ, rebuking and repelling the enemy who is trying to be a spoilsport and curdle our victory! Please don’t let him! Much LOVE!

…Christ won the victory…but we have to keep it alive…

 

 
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Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2016 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.    Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

Once again it’s Sunday friends – the day of the Lord – so let’s begin our celebrations of praise, worship and thanksgiving with a wise and sensible hymn titled ‘I choose Jesus.’  What can be wiser than that eh? Absolutely nothing! 

So let’s raise our voices in glorious song. ‘When I need someone in time of grief, Someone my cheer to be, Jesus I choose, for He gives relief, He is the best for me. (Refrain) – I choose Jesus when I need a friend, What I need I know that He will send; I have proved Him, good and true is He; I choose Jesus, He is the best for me.  

When I need someone to guide my soul Over the stormy sea, Always to Jesus I give control, He is the best for me. (Refrain) When I need help to defeat the foe, Someone my shield to be, Always to Jesus in faith I go, He is the best for me. (Refrain) 

When all my trials on earth are o’er, And the dark stream I see, Jesus shall bear me to yonder shore, He is the best for me. (Refrain) I choose Jesus when I need a friend, What I need I know that He will send; I have proved Him, good and true is He; I choose Jesus, He is the best for me.’ 

Oh my people what awesome words of truth and wisdom! Jesus is our everything; our be all and end all! Whatever we need we can find in Him, all we have to do is surrender our lives to Him. Then He comes in and takes control of our lives; leads and guides us along the straight and narrow path through the poignant and comforting power of the Holy Spirit. 

Yeh friends, all we need is Jesus. As our Bit so rightly declares: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, through Jesus sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, His glorious resurrection and ascension, we have been redeemed, justified, sanctified and become conquerors over the evil powers that be.  

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Corinthians in his first missive to them. ‘The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15: 56-58) 

Ah friends, what wonderful words of encouragement and reassurance this Sunday morning! Words of indisputable truth! Through God’s eternal LOVE for us and His sacrifice of His sinless Son, we have been granted victory over the evil twins of sin and death. Glory Hallelujah! 

But please note that everything doesn’t just fall in our laps without any sweat from us. We still need to be strong and faithful, full of plenty belly and backbone, and do God’s work, for once we diligently keep keeping on in faith, we will be well rewarded eventually. 

Sadly though, that is where a lot of us fall down. We allow the trials and tribulations and temptations of this world to wear us down so that we aren’t of much use to Christ and His LOVE Revolution. That’s very unfortunate my brethren, because Christ is depending on us to be His foot soldiers, His ambassadors in the battle with the evil forces that are fighting against Him for world supremacy. 

But we can’t be strong and faithful unless we continually read His word and meditate on it, as well as have meaningful communication with Him through constant prayer, and fellowship regularly with other believers. 

So if you find that your faith is slipping, please go to God for help through the means we’ve just outlined. Pour out your heart to Him and let Him comfort and strengthen you. That’s the only way to be reinvigorated with His awesome blessing, mercies and grace. 

But getting back to our topic, listen to Bruh Paul in his second missive to the Corinthians, as he talks about being triumphant in Christ. ‘Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to (leads us in) triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour (fragrance) of his knowledge by us in every place. 

For we are unto God a sweet savour (the fragrance) of Christ, in (among) them that are saved, and in (among) them that perish. To the one we are the savour (aroma) of death unto death; and to the other the savour (aroma) of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many who corrupt (peddle by trickery) the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of (from) God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.’ (2 Cor. 2: 14-17)  

Yeh friends, in usual Bruh Paul fashion those statements are somewhat convoluted, but the scholars offer us some explanations. ‘2:14-17. Triumph (cf. Col.2:9-15): The imagery conveyed in the use of this term is of the Roman general who marched in victory with his entourage, consisting of two groups: them that are saved…and them that perish. 

The former group referred to those allowed to live as slaves of the empire. The latter group comprised the condemned, who were being led to their death. Each group carried burning incense. The one was, verse 16, a savour of death unto death, the other was a fragrance of life unto life. 

Calvary was the mighty display of the infinite power of a sovereign God. The human race was divided into two categories, those of life unto life and those of death unto death.’ (2 Cor.2:14-17) 

Hope that explanation helps us to better understand what Bruh Paul is talking about. In ending friends, all I can say is ‘Glory to God, through Christ Jesus, that we ended up in the life unto life group!’ Much LOVE!

…who completely destroyed the prince of evil…JESUS…who had victory over hell, death and the grave…JESUS… who saved our sinful souls…Jesus…praise His holy name…