Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 August 2013 Acts 9:16

Acts 9:16.    For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Monday! Yes, it’s time to get ready to go out and labour! And I don’t want to hear any nonsense about yuh tired or blue, or any such selfish, petty excuse. If you’re a true Christian, a true believer in Jesus Christ, then you have the necessary parts to conquer whatever is holding you back.
 
So let’s be humble and cast our cares on Jesus, as He’s repeatedly told us to do, and ask for our daily bread, our share of divine grace to handle today. And like the Lord gave the Israelites manna, food sufficient for each day, for forty years in the wilderness, He’ll do the same for us if we come before Him and ask with a humble heart and sincere reverence. 
 
So without further ado, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn as though we really mean it, because I want to finish this Bit on Bruh Paul today, and there’s still a lot to talk about.
 
With one, loud, harmonious voice then, let’s sing: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour.
 
We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
That was excellent singing Friends! Now let’s go out into this godless world and put it all into practice, like Bruh Paul did. And as we do, let’s remember to thank the Lord that we don’t have to bear the extremely hard knocks that Bruh Paul bore in spreading the good news of Christ. For the Lord certainly lived up to His promise to Ananias in our Bit. ‘For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.’
 
Now living for Christ means facing some adversity, but whatever they are, let’s hope we face them with the faith, trust and confidence that Bruh Paul did. Listen as we continue with his feelings and sentiments to the trials he experienced. This passage comes from 2 Corinthians. It’s one many of us know and use conveniently. Here, Bruh Paul is talking about living by faith.
 
‘But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (struck) down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.’ (2 Cor.4:7-11)
 
Ah mih people, that level of growth and maturity in Jesus that Bruh Paul exhibits there is not easy to obtain. But it is possible in conjunction with Christ, and as a believer, it’s expected that we’ll all seriously try to reach those glorious heights. And here’s some useful info from the scholars on verse 7 above.
 
‘Earthen vessels: In the wilderness under the old covenant, God’s presence dwelt in a tent, (the ark). Today He dwells in the believer’s heart. This is unspeakable truth and forms a theological basis for holy living (cf. 1 Cor. 6:19-20) But the stress here is on ‘earthen.’ An earthenware jar is brittle. It depicts humanity in its weakness. The gospel is not a product of human genius or clever intellect (humanity in its strength). Yet it resides in men of clay, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.’
 
Now let’s turn to Philippians, where Bruh Paul tells them: ‘But I would ye should understand (want you to know), brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen (turned) out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel. So that my bonds in Christ (chains are for Christ) are manifest (well known) in all the palace (by all the palace guard), and in all other places. And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing (becoming) confident by my bonds (chains), are much more bold to speak the word without fear.’ (Phil.1:12-14)
 
Yes Friends, lots of people in and around the palace knew of Bruh Paul’s imprisonment for Christ’s sake and thus heard about the gospel, which pleased him immensely.  And it even made some of the other believers confident enough to publicly promote the gospel. So in Bruh Paul’s mind, instead of it being a disappointment, his imprisonment actually spread the gospel more than if he’d been free.
 
Then at the end of that chapter, in exhorting them to steadfastness, he tells them: ‘For unto you it (salvation) is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.’ (Phil. 1:29-30)  
 
Oh Friends, that means that salvation from God came to us and the Philippians because of Jesus’ suffering, so that if we want it, we’ll have to suffer some, like Jesus to get it. As well, some of the Philippians were then facing persecution like they saw Bruh Paul do some ten years before in Philippi, when he was beaten and imprisoned, and was again undergoing in the Roman prison, from which he wrote. 
 
And we’ll end this series of messages on Bruh Paul with these fateful words to the Ephesian elders whom he called to Miletus to meet with him. ‘And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save (except) that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds (chains) and afflictions abide (await) me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.’ (Acts 20:22-24)
 
Oh Friends, in closing, my fervent wish and sincere prayer is that all believers will eventually come to a truly high standard of belief and faith in Christ Jesus, like Bruh Paul, and spread the Word as selflessly and unafraid as he did. Then and only then will God’s glorious kingdom be truly furthered with the zeal and passion that’s absent from our current lacklustre endeavours. Much LOVE!
 
…to move this wicked, ungodly world towards Christ…believers need to have…enormous amounts of faith, fortitude, belly and backbone…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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