Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2014 1 Corinthians 9:24

1 Corinthians 9:24.   Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.

Wednesday…oh Wednesday…you’re my ‘renewer’…my lifeline…!

Yes Friends, it’s a big Wednesday morning! That means we’re halfway home; we have won the first two rounds of the workweek battle… Glory Hallelujah!

So please don’t give up now. Don’t even think about letting go! Instead, it’s time for us to take stock, like a marathon runner, to catch our second wind, and put on a brilliant dash to the finish line that’s Friday! And all God’s people said a loud and hearty ‘Amen!’

Ah mih breddren, we need to be very thankful that we’ve been allowed to see another sunrise, because it means God’s plan for our lives isn’t over as yet. He still has a purpose for us to complete, His plan is still in full swing since we haven’t yet accomplished what He’s set forward for us to accomplish.

Therefore, we need to be trusting, faithful, energetic, courageous, bold and confident in the promises of our magnificent and magnanimous God, for there’s NO other like Him in this great universe!  

As our Bit so wisely reminds us: ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.’

Yes Friends, we need to run our race of life with plenty vim and vigour, so that we may obtain that awesome victory which awaits us at the end.

And the scholars give us some background info into what Bruh Paul was referring to. ‘9:24. Paul draws on a scene familiar to his Corinthian readers in order to drive home his point. The Isthmian Games were an athletic event known to all his readers.

They were held on alternate summers in the vicinity of Corinth. It was an event not to be missed by anyone of importance in all parts of Greece. As a national institution, it was as familiar to his readers as modern football to most Americans.’

Oh mih people, the race of life is never an easy one. In the first place it’s often a marathon-like adventure, spread over a long period of time, and certainly strewn with all sorts of pitfalls, pratfalls, options of different paths and untold kinds of obstruction along the way, stuff that wants to discourage, depress and deflate us and get us to quit in mid-stream.

But please remember that that awful word ‘quit,’ doesn’t exist in a believer’s vocabulary. And besides, we have the antidote for that rotten, wearisome word right at hand, as our great God and Guide has caused it be so eloquently written in our earthly Guidebook, the Bible!

‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher (originator and perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls).’ (Heb.12:1-3)

Yes my people, we have to buckle down now and do what is necessary to run the race of life with excellence and finish with style, as Jesus desires of us. And at those times when we falter or stumble, as we all will do, we need to look to our supreme champion, Jesus Christ, for guidance and strength, for He is also our most worthy example of successfully running this earthly race.

And as we just read, He is indeed ‘the author and finisher of our faith.’ He began our faith by running His earthly race with outstanding conviction and sense of purpose, combined with loads of perseverance and endurance. As the scholars declare: ‘He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’

The author of Hebrews also boosts our confidence earlier on as he tells us: ‘Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.’ (Heb.5:8-10)

And though we will never have all the parts that He possessed, per His being the incarnate Son of God, we can nonetheless rest assured that He WILL enable us to run our race with the same winning qualities and meet us at the finish line with a radiant smile, a big bear hug, a warm kiss, and sincere words of…

‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ (Matt.25:21)

Now NOTHING will ever surpass that glorious moment my fellow believers!

So, starting today, right now, let’s get out there and run our race of life with power and confidence nuh, so that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be magnified and glorified, as He so richly and justly deserves! That’s the wisdom of Almighty God! Much LOVE!

…to run…to run…and yet to run…even when the spirit seems to be tiring and wants to stop…by looking unto Jesus…the author and finisher of our faith…our supreme champion…

 

 
 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2014 Isaiah 61:3

Isaiah 61:3.  To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
 

And the celebrations went on late into the night! (smile) Well they might very well have, just not at my place. In fact, there were no real celebrations in my yard yesterday. We more or less took Canada Day as a day of quietness and peace, doing stuff around the house that needed to be done. And though I did get to bed rather late, it was certainly not from celebrating.
 
However, when called upon to arise and get going this morning, the old body totally rebelled. I remember getting up to go to the bathroom sometime after three o’clock and telling the Lord it was way too early to get a move on, especially since I hadn’t been to bed too long before that. But the next time I opened my bleary eyes it was after six o’clock. Hn, hn!
 
Now I’m sure there are a few of us in that predicament on this morning after. (smile) It’s a good thing though that my boss is such an understanding, forgiving and merciful boss, and He won’t rage on me or dock my pay, as some of the earthly bosses will do to those who are late this morning, especially after what has been an extraordinary long weekend for some.
 
Praise the Lord! What a life eh Friends! But these things do happen, even in the best of families. (smile)
 
Anyway, the word from my almanac for today is ‘COLLABORATE.’  And that is a most important word in all aspects of life! For remember that since no man is an island, complete unto himself, we therefore need to collaborate with others to get things done and thus have a decent and fulfilling life.
 
And the quote for today comes from Mattie Stepanek – Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek (1990-2004) American poet, peacemaker and philosopher, who published six books of poetry, he called ‘Heartsongs.’
 
Yes I know he was only fourteen when he died, but apparently his family suffered from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, which took his life and that of three other siblings at rather tender ages. Just goes to show how much we can achieve and accomplish either when pushed by things like upcoming death, or we truly put our minds to it.
 
Anyway, Mattie tells us this morning that ‘Unity is strength…when there is collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.’
 
Wow mih breddren! What an awesome truth! And that from a young pup too! It’s true in ALL aspects of life!
 
But unfortunately, nowhere is it sadly lacking and badly needed more than in the earthly body of Christ Jesus! His church is much too fractured and divisive, with way too many different religions and denominations, all purportedly teaching and celebrating the same risen Christ.
 
Well if we’re all talking about the same Saviour, and telling the same story, then why are there so many divisions eh? There can be only ONE truth, so there should be only ONE message! I guess it just means that people are seeing the message differently, and thus telling it in different ways.
 
But Friends, what a beautiful explosion of Christianity there would be in this evil and ungodly world if the true and faithful brethren in Christ would concentrate on collaborating, in getting together, rather than falling apart into small cliques and divisions! Glory Hallelujah! The world would certainly stand up and take significant notice!
 
Please remember that Christ’s church is supposed to be ONE BODY, just like the Holy Trinity is ONE GOD!
 
Sadly though, at this juncture in our history, that cannot be said of Christ’s body, when we’re fighting so terribly and frightfully amongst ourselves. How can we expect to hear good tidings of salvation under those negative circumstances eh?
 
How can we expect the Lord ‘To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.’
 
It just isn’t realistic my people. The Lord’s seeking teamwork and unity amongst His children. How can we be truthfully called ‘trees of righteousness’ and ‘the planting of the Lord’ when we’re so disjointed and divisive eh, when we’re allowing the things of the world to drive us apart, rather than enjoining the things of God to bring us together?
 
The prophet Jeremiah spells it out very clearly for us. ‘Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in (the strength of) man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath (a shrub) in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.’ (Jer.17:5-6)
 
Yes Friends, that’s one side of the equation. Now listen to the other half of it, then tell me which half makes more sense, which one is wiser to follow.
 
‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer.17:7-8)
 
Yes Friends, those are the two options available to us, and it’s plainly stated what will happen in each. And just in case we hold deceitful intentions, please note that we can’t try to cover up our dark secrets while looking good on the outside, as we can do with men, for Jeremiah continues with the Lord’s declaration.
 
‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick) who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try (test) the reins (the mind, the most secret places), even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings (deeds).’ (Jer.17:9-10)
 
For sure my brethren, the Lord will judge each individual by his or her actions. So it’s up to each of us to choose the option we think best suits us. But let me add a word of wisdom here; (smile) option two wins the contest hands down!
 
Oh Friends, we can’t glorify our great and wonderful God by fighting amongst ourselves, so starting today, right now, let’s seriously concentrate on trusting the Most High God Jehovah nuh, and consequently live in unity and collaboration with each other, so that we can reap the blessedness that He has prepared for those who truly LOVE Him and seek to be obedient to His will.
 
It’s not all that difficult to do, and furthermore, it is truly the wisdom of and for the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing…therefore choose life…that both thou and thy seed may live… (Deut.30:19)