Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2017 Philippians 1:6

Philippians 1:6.   Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Ah friends, it’s the best day of the week – Sunday –the Sabbath of the Lord! That means it’s time for worship and praise and thanksgiving and fellowship, so that we can glorify our heavenly Father together and receive His endless LOVE, grace, mercy and forgiveness in a renewal of our spiritual strength and well-being! Wow! 

And what better way to begin our day than with a song of praise. So please sing with me, this old but highly treasured hymn, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy.’ Let’s raise the roof with our sincere and heartfelt praise, so that heaven stands up and takes notice. 

‘Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee; holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity! Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee, casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee, who wert and art and evermore shalt be. 

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee, though the eye made blind by sin thy glory may not see, only thou art holy; there is none beside thee, perfect in power, in love, and purity. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea; holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity!’ 

Yes my brethren, a most appropriate way to get us clearly tuned into our God, with no static buzzing around to distort the message, ready to hear His word and consequently have His Holy Spirit move in a godly manner within us. 

And from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional comes this prayer titled ‘MY WALK.’ I might have shared it before, but what’s to stop us from sharing it again eh? (smile)  

Please pray with me. ‘O God, I’m inspired, for you have just impressed this truth into my mind. The most powerful force in the world is a positive idea in the mind of a believer who is walking in your will! I now reach forth my life and say, “God, put my life into the centre of your will.” Amen.’

 Now I do hope we all mean that friends, because there’s really nothing as powerful as a positive idea in the mind of an obedient follower of Christ! And if we’re truly sincere, God will put just such an idea into our minds and cause us to successfully run with it, right to the finish line. 

Now most likely whatever God puts in our minds to do won’t be easy, but we know that He will ALWAYS assist us in any task we undertake on His behalf! 

No wonder Bruh Paul could write to the Philippians: ‘I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy. For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:3-6) 

Yes my fellow believers, Bruh Paul is letting the Philippians know that he continually thanks God for their help in spreading the good news of Christ, even from the very first day that they heard it, right up until the time of his writing. He was also grateful for their prayers and financial support. The church at Philippi was a strong one early on in its formation. Thus Bruh Paul could write the words of our Bit, confident that they would grow and mature under the Lord’s tutelage and guidance. 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:6. Will perform it is said “will finish it.” Paul is convinced that the work of grace that God began in the Philippians at conversion will be divinely continued until the day of Jesus Christ. That is, the Lord will keep working in these believers until Jesus returns to earth, at which point He will finish His work, bringing it to completion. 

This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ 

Now friends, doesn’t that just give us encouragement and reassurance, since it’s the same programme the Lord has in mind for each believer. His avowed desire and purpose is to conform us as closely as possible to His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and once He’s begun that process, He won’t stop until He takes us home or Christ returns to earth, whichever comes first. 

Please remember my Christian brethren that God is ever-faithful, and once He takes you under His comforting wings, He’ll never let anything untoward happen to you. In other words, we are secure in His everlasting LOVE, care and concern. 

And Bruh Paul ends this section with more reinforcement. ‘And this I pray, that your LOVE may abound yet more and more in knowledge and judgement (discernment): That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil.1:9-11) 

Oh my people, the same expectations have been set in place for us in these modern times. Nothing has really changed. God’s plan is still the same for all of us. 

And the scholars explain. 1:10. Things that are excellent means “things that really matter.” This refers to important issues. As the Philippians’ LOVE increases in knowledge and discernment (v.9), they will be able to accurately distinguish the vital and worthwhile things in life from those that are not. 

Contextually, the readers’ LOVE for Paul vexes them as they are anxious over his imprisonment. He wants them to perceive his imprisonment as being among “those things that really matter” because of the good that God will bring out of it. The purpose for such discrimination is that ye may be sincere (or, morally pure) and without offense till the day of Christ.’ 

And re ‘1:11. This verse could be translated, “Filled with the fruit that is righteousness, which comes through Jesus Christ for the purpose of glorifying and praising God.” The believer who is pure and without offense before God (v.10) has divinely developed in him a practical “righteousness” or daily moral life that measures up to God’s standards in character and conduct. The ultimate purpose for this “righteousness” is to glorify God.’ 

Ah friends, that says it all. So let’s ponder what we’ve said today and see if we’re measuring up to God’s standards, then sincerely ask Him to help us do better. That’s both common sense and eternal wisdom! Much LOVE!

…without exception…believers are expected to bear righteous fruit…for the purpose of glorifying Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2015 Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11.   For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope). 

Well a good Monday morning to you all, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! Now I know that some of you are probably a bit under the weather, and are finding life rough down here on earth, but I doubt that many, if any of us are ready to check out and head for heaven, despite all the wonderful stuff that’s waiting there for us. (smile) 

We humans are something else yes; we complain vociferously about our life on earth, but nobody wants to check out the alternative just yet, because deep down we’re afraid, still not sure of what exists after this earthly life. 

So, since in our small-mindedness, we refuse to see through our eyes of faith and instead choose to stay with what we can see and touch, Mother Earth, then let’s stop complaining about our earthly lives, and do whatever it will take to make them better. We’re talking about things like going out to work this morning with a positive attitude and strong purpose, with our minds steadfastly focused on Jesus. 

And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn as though we mean it. As one fantastic choir now: ‘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!’ 

Ah Friends, that was good, heaven was pleased, but not good enough to deserve a standing ‘O’ and an encore. (smile) And to further help us with our earthly endeavours this Monday morning, we’ve been directed to a Bit that’s well known and full of promise, words of Almighty God spoken by the prophet Jeremiah.

‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ Oh my people, my people, what a wonderful promise! 

And if we sincerely believe that our God is ever-faithful, then that should fill us with such joy and enthusiasm that we’d come out fighting each and every day. We wouldn’t be miserable, anxious and doubting, because then we’d truly feel that the Lord has our back, come whatever may. But it’s obvious that we don’t feel that strongly about it at all, since we are allowing the fears and anxieties of this world to determine our moods and attitudes.  

Now we know it’s not going to be easy, but with true belief and strong faith in the awesome power of our God, we are certainly able to do much better than we’re currently doing. Remember too, that we also have this awesome promise via the words of Bruh Paul to the Romans. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Yes my fellow believers, God is indeed working all things out for those whom He has called and who LOVE Him. And they are best able to appreciate God’s purpose because they LOVE Him come what may, regardless of whatever happens. So if God has called us, and we LOVE Him, then there should be no doubts or insecurities re His intentions towards us. 

And all this is further enhanced and solidified by Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it (keep doing it) until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) 

Yes Friends, God will not stop working His good work in us until Jesus comes again. Then and only then will it be completed, finished. Until such time we have to keep on moving along with the Lord, strong in faith, diligence, integrity and excellence. 

The scholars state it thus. ‘This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned or unrealized.’  

Have faith my brethren, for that also applies to us. The Lord had a purpose when He saved us, and that purpose will be carried out to the very end, that is, the Second Coming of Jesus in all His regal majesty, as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! Oh Glory to God for His wonderful promises, plans and purposes for our lives! 

Now, with all that godly power working in us, let’s go out into the evil world and fight a good fight in Jesus’ name. Amen! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus called you…and you truly LOVE Him…then there’s no need to worry about anything…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 March 2015 Psalm 89:1‏‏

Psalm 89:1.  I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Oh Friends, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa! Truthfully, I don’t know what happened this morning. I went to bed at my normal hour, around two o’clock, expecting to get up by seven. Unfortunately though I got up after five to go to the bathroom and after that… Lord have mercy, I just turned and tossed, trying to find a comfortable position to ease the pain in my aching shoulders. Steups!

Somewhere along the line, I must have eventually fallen asleep because when I did open my eyes, it was after eight. And to make matters even worse, I got up with a cramp in my left thigh! Glory Hallelujah! What more can I say eh? (smile) And now I’m drinking a cup of caffeine that really doesn’t thrill me – not strong or sweet enough, but since I’m trying to cut back on my coffee and sugar intake, I just have to grin and bear it.

And those are my early morning woes! (smile) But yuh know what my people, I’m still very glad and thankful to be alive, regardless of my petty inconveniences. Lots of others have it much worse than you and I, so please let’s not complain too much when we’re beset by unfortunate circumstances.

Let’s just learn to take it in our stride, knowing that our wonderful God is looking after our every move. And though we might not understand how and why, He’s working it all out for our good. He has promised that and He ALWAYS fulfills His promises. So though the morning has begun on a somewhat rough note, I’m sure it will end up very well. Glory to God!

And my Friends, this morning I have a poem to share with you from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It describes us to a T. When I read it yesterday, I just had to laugh. It’s titled ‘What Is Your Schedule, God?’  

And it reads: ‘Lord Many years ago Martin Luther said “It’s God’s nature To make something out of nothing. That is why God cannot make anything Out of him who is yet nothing.” In ways I had never anticipated, Lord Slowly but persistently You continue Your hammering and crushing In every hidden crevice of my life.

You seem determined to reduce me to nothing In order to make me something. I wonder… What is Your schedule, God? As You creatively continue To reshape and remake me How long will the process last? Lord, could You hurry a little?’

Oh Friends, doesn’t that sound just like us? The Lord’s trying to remake us in the image of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but it doesn’t happen easily or quickly, and having become accustomed to the easy life and impatience of our times, we can’t stand the pain or the waiting. We want to be a beautiful image of Christ, but we don’t want to suffer the changes or spend the time necessary on the potter’s wheel of the Lord.

And the promise for that poem is a rather appropriate one. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus.’ (Phil.1:6)

Yes my fellow believers, our God will continue whatever work He has begun in us until that day that Jesus returns in all His splendour and glory. So there’s no need to worry about what we’re going through, for we have a Master Builder and Master Potter looking after us.

That’s why Friends, we can confidently say like the Ethan the Ezrahite in our Bit: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.’

Yes my people, though it is indeed our duty to pass on the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness to the up and coming generations, our souls should be so full of the joy of the Lord that all those things should just come naturally to us.

And there’s no better example of that than Bruh David in his songs. Listen to this one, his psalm of thanksgiving, when the Ark of the Covenant was brought up to Jerusalem.

‘Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.

Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgement of his mouth; O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

He is the Lord our God; his judgements are in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; and hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,

Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot (allotment) of your inheritance. When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it. And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people. He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; show forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all the nations. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared (held in reverential awe) above all gods.’ (1 Chr.16:7-25)  

Oh Friends, we have to stop there, because the psalm is at least half as long again, and we don’t have the time nor space to capture it all. But it does show how Bruh David tied in all the different aspects of Israel’s dealings with their God. It was also a teaching tool, so that the people could learn of Israel’s history, something to be orally passed down to the generations, since writing and reading weren’t as universal as they are today.

Let us therefore remember Friends, not only the Lord’s goodness to Israel in their time, but also His LOVING-kindness to us in these trying days. And thus cause our voices to be raised in song, in thanksgiving for His everlasting mercies to us, His people, the flock of His pasture, so that others can hear it, and come to know Him like we do. That is indeed heavenly wisdom. Much LOVE!

…to true followers of Jesus…singing His praises…ought to come naturally and constantly…as breathing His breath of life…