Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2017 Psalm 119:34.

Psalm 119:34.   Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Awright mih people, one of the biggest, if not the biggest weekend of the year is upon us! Wow! We’re talking about the one hundred and fiftieth birthday of this great country called Canada! Glory to God my people! For it’s only with God’s help that we’ve come so far! 

Yeh friends, tomorrow, the first of July, the BEST BIG COUNTRY in the world will be 150 years old! Oh, I know that in terms of age, it’s very young compared to many others, but its spirit is overwhelming! 

So you can just imagine how the ordinary workingman is carrying on this weekend. ‘Oh, Mama Yo! TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! But this is an extra special weekend, because we big country Canada, is a hundred and a half! 

Oh brother, the partying will be big…an beautiful…an loud…mas like crazy…with everybody ramajaying deh body…just jumping and shouting…Happy Birthday Canada! Ah just can’t wait to get started nuh! Oh thank God for Fridays and them kinda weekends like this one yes!’ 

Yes mih breddren, my sentiments exactly, but unfortunately we can’t afford to let down our hair too much and cater to the carnal lust of the flesh that comes out in these joyful situations. 

And I would certainly be amiss if I didn’t remind us of Granny’s wise warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please, ah beg yuh, please mind yuh business this weekend!’ 

And we couldn’t get any better advice for this national party weekend friends, because when we let it all hang out, the enemy can easily get a toehold, even a foothold, in our lives. And we definitely don’t want that to happen. 

So here’s how the average Christian ought to play it out. Please join me as we declare our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh, I know it sounds staid and stuffy in comparison to the workingman’s song, but it’s the safe and right attitude to adopt if we want to keep our righteousness intact. Nobody’s saying we can’t party, but we just have to do so within certain boundaries, since getting outside of them can cause serious heartache and numerous problems with everlasting consequences. 

So now that all the warning is done (smile), let’s turn to our Bit, which helps us handle the warnings, as we sincerely ask the Lord: ‘Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.’ 

Now that’s a very good request, but please note that it’s a big and often times tough one to handle, for it comes with the serious promise at the end. We’re promising to sincerely observe God’s law if He helps us to understand it. 

Remember the wise words of Cousin Sol 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 is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl.5:4-5) 

And that goes for not only vows to God, but promises to each other in this lying, fraudulent and selfish world. However, if we are sincerely looking for understanding of God’s law, He will graciously grant it to us. 

As Cousin Sol so wisely expatiates early on in Proverbs. ‘Yea, if thou criest out after knowledge (discernment), and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear (reverential awe) of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. 

For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up (stores up) sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler (shield) to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgement (guards the paths of justice), and preserveth the way of the saints.’ (Prov.2:3-8) 

Oh my people, yuh see how willing our great God is to grant us wisdom and understanding if we come asking for it in all sincerity and truth! 

And don’t worry, don’t be afraid, for the Lord expects us to make mistakes along the way. We just have to ensure that our motives and our hearts are right when He searches them. 

So let’s be brave and courageous today nuh, and ask for whatever we know is right, whatever we need, to help us live a truly godly life. Our God will NEVER turn us down, once it is in accordance with His will. Much LOVE!

…without God’s help…we can never truly understand His law…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2017 Psalm 139:23.

Psalm 139:23.   Search me,  O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts.

Welcome to another beautiful day in God’s wonderful universe, my Scrip-Bit family and friends! The day is indeed unfurling as it should, as our omnipotent God planned it. But I beg to wonder why our temperature today is supposed to go up to around ten degrees Celsius, from a low of around minus 7, or thereabouts, and then fall back to below freezing temps by Sunday night?  They say it’s climate change. 

Ah Lord eh! That’s why so many people get sick in these volatile temperature changes! Today a whole lot of people will be out in shirt sleeves, declaring what beautiful spring-like weather it is. Then they’ll get caught without proper protection from the elements later on. But that’s the nature of the beast in these parts. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s take a look at a few of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week. Remember, his aspiration is to inspire us with his thoughtful words.  The first one says: ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’ And that’s quite true! 

But there are sensible risks and not so sensible ones. So we still have to consider whether the risks are worthwhile or not. It’s brave to go out on limb that seems able to stand your weight, but foolish to go out on one that is obviously too small. The same goes for risks. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.’ That’s also true, but then again how far outside of your comfort zone do you want to go, or is it wise for you to go? It’s all a matter of your comfort level. 

And this next one declares: ‘The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today.’ More truth friends! You know how we always like to say marvelous things, then affix them with ‘a but.’ That’s the bane of our modern day language; everything, everything – but.  

And the last one tells us. ‘No one rises to low expectations.’ Yes my people, we cannot rise high unless our expectations are high. That’s just the normal workings of the universe. And our Christian faith expects us to keep on rising higher and higher, making excellence the watchword of our earthly walk with Jesus.  For if we do not aspire to excellence, the church will simply become stagnant and eventually fall apart. 

And I believe that is what’s happening right now. Christ’s church, His earthly body is not growing as it should, for numerous reasons. But we’re not here to talk about that today, we’re here to discuss the motives of our heart, of our spiritual being, as expressed by Bruh David in his grand Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. 

He boldly, but contritely states in the last two verses – the first one our Bit. ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps. 39:23-24)  

Ah mih people, the overriding question now is, whether we as Christians, are willing, and or able to declare such a brave statement to our Maker? The truth of the matter is that we ought to be. We ought to be so open and be so close to our God, that we shouldn’t fear to go to Him in any situation at all, even though we know we are on the wrong side of the fence. 

For as the author of Hebrews reminds us: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16) 

And I like the explanation the scholars put forward. ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus Christ). The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’  

Yeh friends, only our wonderful faith exhibits such a confidence in being able to go to God in any and every circumstance. He welcomes us, invites us in the Great Invitation (Matt.11:28-30) to come to Him when we‘re tired and weary and beset by life’s circumstances, and He will give us rest. 

No other faith offers such succour my brethren. So I don’t understand why so many of us are afraid to bare our hearts to the Lord. Remember though that’s He’s our Creator, and already knows what’s happening with us, even more than we know. He knows and sees the beginning to the end. 

Consequently friends, please let’s stop trying to hide our innermost secrets and fears from Him, because it’s foolish to do so. He wants us to come to Him and let it all out, to show that you truly believe in and trust Him.  

Yuh notice how Bruh David went to God without fear on everything – even eventually His adultery with Bathsheba and His murder of Uriah, her husband, after the prophet Nathan berated him about it. 

Now we won’t always get away scotch free with our wicked deeds – Bruh David paid a hefty price with strife in his house – but we’ll always get forgiveness and mercy if we sincerely repent of them. That’s wisdom for the ages my people. Please ponder on that today. Much LOVE!

…fear should never override faith…especially in dealing with God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2016 Joshua 1:6a.

Joshua 1:6a.   Be strong and of a good courage…

Greetings and salutations my fellow brethren in Christ! Welcome to what looks like a somewhat cloudy and hopefully rainy Saturday morning in my neck of the woods. And do we ever need some decent rainfall. 

But the best part of the morning is knowing that regardless of what the weather is like, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is alive and well and that His brilliant light is shining in our hearts, minds, and souls for all to see. 

And the most important part of that sentence is the last part, ‘for all to see.’ That’s because Christ is shining His light not only in, but also through us. The light is for us to share with the rest of the world who don’t know Him and cause them to come to Him for His saving grace, without which they can’t find eternal life. 

And it’s especially in these difficult and trying times that the world needs believers to stand up and declare the gospel with great zest and passion, and live it in true Christian fashion. 

We must not be seen as wishy-washy, fence sitting hypocrites, else that would just invalidate our witness for Christ and make His organization, His church, more of a laughing stock than it already is. 

So friends, please, let’s promise ourselves this morning to be excellent ambassadors for Christ so that we can raise the level, the intensity of His LOVE Revolution, that’s the only hope for our misguided, evil and increasingly ungodly world. 

Wow! Where did all of that come from eh? When I sat down just now to write, that was nowhere in my imagination, but as always, I asked for guidance, and I guess that’s where I was guided. Ah mih people, you never know with our great God nuh! 

Now let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm who always aspires to inspire us. And I like this first one: ‘Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth! For as Bruh Bob (Bob Marley) said in his song: ‘That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race. That until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizen ship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained… and everywhere will be war…ah say war…’ 

Yes friends, until equal rights and justice play a much larger role in our society, we will ALWAYS be engulfed in strife. And the second quote from Anselm tells us that, ‘The strongest people are not always the people who win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.’ 

That’s more indisputable truth my brethren! The strongest are the ones who fight the good fight of faith right down to the very end, despite all the trials and tribulations that come their way. And it all segues so smoothly into our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage…’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s all we dealing with this morning; being strong and of a good courage… Why, you ask? 

Because I believe now, more than ever, Christians need to stand up strong and steadfast and be courageous, stop being passive and allowing ourselves to be pushed around and aside by the evil world powers. 

Right now we’re definitely not doing justice to the ultimate power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, that’s supposed to lead and guide us along the straight and narrow path destined for us by our Creator. 

The anxious and fearful way in which so many of us behave, one would never believe that the Spirit of God resides within us. We have to stand up strong friends, much stronger than we’re currently doing. 

Poor Joshua was bombarded with that direction, both by Moses and the Lord. Listen up: ‘And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.’ (Deut.31:7) 

The Good Book also tells us, per the Lord’s direction: ‘Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel. And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.’ (Deut.31:22-23) 

And the Lord when He commissions Joshua as Israel’s leader, after the death of Moses, He reiterates in our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage… Then in the next verse, He tells him once more; ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous…’ (Josh.1:7a) 

And if that wasn’t enough, two verses later, the Lord reminds him. ‘Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

And that same message also applies to each and every believer today! Yes my people, it is ever so important that we Christians stand up proud and strong in these trying times, because that’s the only way we’ll ever serve Christ properly, and make a sincere and substantial difference in our world, which we are called to do. Much LOVE!…

Christians ought to be the strongest and most courageous people on earth…because of the awesome and ever-faithful promises of Christ…and His Holy Spirit which dwells in them…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2016 Psalm 12:2‏

Psalm 12:2.   They speak vanity (idly, falsely) every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with double heart (an inconsistent mind) do they speak.

Well friends, the celebrations finally over! Canada Day and 4th of July done for another year! It’s time to get back to the common grind and daily task. And we’ll begin that by singing this favourite ode to Joy. 

In harmony now: ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day! 

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed, Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in LOVE are Thine; Teach us how to LOVE each other, lift us to the joy divine. 

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.‘ 

Good show friends, good show! Hope that joy stays with us all day as we focus on doing Christ’s work. 

Oh, and here’s a little story about that hymn. Apparently one Henry J. van Dyke wrote it in 1907. He wrote it while staying at the home of Harry A. Garfield at Williams College, Massachusetts. It was first published in the Pres­by­ter­i­an Hymnal in 1911. It also appeared in the Poems of Henry van Dyke, 1911.  

Van Dyke wrote: “These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time—hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science will destroy religion, or any revolution on earth overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.’ 

And it surely is my people! So let’s continue to hold on securely to that trust and joy and hope we find in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because it’s what keeps us truly grounded in this earthly life. It is our sure foundation. 

And to further build on that sure foundation, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra like we truly believe it. As one voice now: ‘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!’ 

Oh glory to God my believing brethren! More solid and indisputable truth about the goodness and LOVING-kindness of our wonderful God! How reassuring and encouraging to know that we are His beloved children, and also the friend of Jesus! Nothing can be better than those two things! 

Now it’s our duty to go out and share the LOVE of our Lord and friend with the remainder of this our lost and quickly sinking world. But we can’t do it unless we’re very serious and diligent about counteracting the words and actions of our Bit. ‘They speak vanity (idly, falsely) every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with double heart (an inconsistent mind) do they speak.’ 

Yes precious people, that kind of ungodly activity is currently overwhelming our world, and obviously making it a place of hate and evil instead of one of peace and LOVE like our God and Saviour desire. These days one can hardly trust the words and actions of friends, much less strangers. 

Falsehood and flattery seem to be the name of the today’s game and they’re causing such havoc in the lives of so many people who are unfortunately coming under their spell. Bruh David declares in Psalm 41 –Abuse and assurance: ‘Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me (acted as a traitor against me). (Ps.41:9) 

No doubt a lot of us can attest to such traitorous treatment. That’s why we have to be ever so careful as to whom we let into our confidence. Meanwhile, in Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Romans, he quotes various scripture passages to prove the presence and extent of the problem back then. 

‘Their throat is an open sepulchre (grave); with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.’ (Rom.3:13-18) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! The enemy right now is the driver’s seat, but it is our job to dislodge him and replace him with Jesus. But again, as I said earlier on, we need to be very serious and diligent about that duty if we want to be successful. 

We can’t afford to be lackadaisical and wishy-washy in our words and actions. We need to come up higher than the enemy if we want to defeat him. We need to be able to sincerely declare like Bruh David when he fled from his son Absalom’s rebellion. ‘I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps.3:6) 

Yes my fellow warriors for Christ, until we can utter true words like those, until we can cast out our fear of the enemy, we won’t be able to break his stronghold on us and on the world. Remember, Jesus has already defeated hell, death and the grave, which means the enemy has no power over us unless we allow him to. 

So let us go out today, and everyday, with words such as these pouring out of our mouths and hearts. ‘We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the Lord fulfill all thy petitions.’ (Ps.20:5) 

Yes friends, we need to stand up very strong, steadfast and courageous in Jesus’ name, and battle to the death, if we truly want to defeat the enemy. There’s no other way. Much LOVE!

…Stand up stand up for Jesus…Ye soldiers of the cross…Lift high His royal banner…It must not suffer loss…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2016 James 2:14

James 2:14.   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 

 

Well my people, it’s the first Sunday in the New Year, and still the Christmas season, so I expect all the churches to be filled to capacity today with believers to give thanks and praise to our most wonderful God for causing us to see not only a new day, but also a brand new year charged with unlimited possibilities. 

And I included that reminder about the Christmas season for those who only go to church at Christmas and Easter.  (smile) Now, for the life of me, I just can’t figure out why supposed Christians do that. Church was meant to be a fairly regular occurrence, not once in a while, mostly at the high times of our faith. 

To my mind, if you can’t go more often than that, then why go at all eh? What does that do for you and the other people in the church eh? Nothing at all, as far as I can see! 

So you claim to your friends and family, you went to church at Christmas and Easter. Big deal! That doesn’t cut it my fellow believers. And I’m sure that’s not what Jesus expects. 

You’ll notice that wherever He was on the Sabbath, He always found Himself in the synagogue participating in the services. That’s what He also expects of us; not a wishy-washy, once in a blue moon, stick your face inside the doors of the church. Remember the church is supposed to be the body of Christ, and how can it be a properly functioning body when so many members only show up occasionally? 

Friends, no man is an island, especially a Christian in this evil and godless world. You cannot make it successfully on your lonesome; you need the help, encouragement, sentiments of praise and worship, of exhortation and teaching, and the steadfast faith from which a gathering of like believers emanates! 

That reminds me of an old adage, re those who seldom go to church.  Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact saying, but they are words to the effect that the church and its doors would crumble, would fall down when the occasional goers show up. 

Anyway my people, since we have designated and dedicated 2016 as the year of HOPE and the astronomical rise of Jesus’ LOVE Revolution, it’s therefore necessary that we sincerely come together under the umbrella of the church and decrease all the divisions and dissensions that are rife and rampant within that supposedly august body. 

Now here are some quotes from our friend Anselm, who is always trying to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first one is very appropriate for this season. It says: ‘Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.’ And do we ever need those attributes in these stressful and dangerous times! 

The next quote from Anselm declares: ‘If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.’  

Now I don’t know if that is the greatest of all blessings, but it sure is an important, indispensable teaching which builds confidence and chutzpah in our offspring. 

And the last quote segues nicely into this final one. ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’ And that is the gospel truth friends! If we don’t have the courage to take risks, sensible ones now, (smile) we will never accomplish anything worthwhile. 

And that’s exactly what is happening to Christ’s church in these modern times. Too many of us are afraid, or just too sedentary to step up and do what needs to be done to further God’s kingdom down here on earth. And yes, many of us talk a good talk, but we need to remember that Christianity is an ACTION movement, and without deeds to back up the talk, it’s all useless. 

That brings us to our Bit, where James talks about faith that works. ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’ 

Now that is certainly an interesting question my people.  And James continues his theory with this explanation. ‘If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food. And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2:15-18)  

Ah friends, the scholars have some interesting but long explanations here, though time and space might not allow me to copy it verbatim, but I believe it’s important enough to try. 

‘2:14-17. Can faith save him? This statement and others in verses 14-26 persuade some critics that James is teaching salvation through faith and works. Luther called this epistle “strawy,” believing it emphasized works too much. Today, some regard it as a late writing in which the author is reacting to Paul’s doctrine of salvation by faith alone. This is not the case. 

James’ teachings reflect neither a negative nor a positive response to Paul’s teachings. For Paul, faith practically equals salvation. James, however, sees two kinds of faith: saving faith and professing faith (much like the usage today). For Paul, justification is by faith (Rom.4:5) For James, justification is by a faith that works – by a genuine faith that manifests itself in post-conversion works. 

Before salvation, these Jews had believed in the efficacy of works. Now some were reacting at the opposite extreme, imagining that works play no part in the salvation experience. James retorts that the kind of faith that does not produce works is not saving faith. As Calvin said: ‘Faith alone saves, but a faith that saves is never alone.”  

Thus James’ question is not simply “Can faith save?” but as the Greek text may suggest, “Can that faith save him?” Can merely professed but undemonstrated faith save?  (See vv.21-24 for further discussion.) The Greek grammar expects a negative answer to the question that ends verse 14. Hence it can be rendered, “That faith (i.e. the one mentioned in verse 14a which is without works) cannot save.’ 

Ah mih people some interesting stuff for us to ponder on this first Sunday in the New Year. And the Lord in favour, we’ll continue this discussion tomorrow. Till then, please let’s darken the doors of our churches and get our New Year’s resolution to follow Jesus more closely into full swing nuh. For that’s wisdom of everlasting and eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…faith and works…one saves…the other complements it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2014 Romans 5:7

Romans 5:7.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. 

Ah Friends and neighbours, it was one of those days where at getting up time, the old body plaintively cried out; ‘More rest! In the name of God, more rest please!’
 
And being a child of God, a reflection of His mercy, LOVE and kindness, how could I refuse such a plaintive plea eh? (smile) To tell the truth, the ole bod could still use some more rest, but sometimes we just can’t let it have it’s own way and must say enough is enough, else it will simply take over and run amuck on us.
 
So Friends, when your bodies seriously cry out for rest, don’t constantly ignore it, because it often knows better than us, what it needs. And remember too that rest was a big part of God’s concern when He created the universe.
 
For as the Good Book says: ‘And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.’ (Gen.2:3)
 
So Friends, if God needed rest from His labours, or rather saw fit to rest, then why shouldn’t we also. Please be aware that rest is an integral part of our earthly lives, though the world, in its evil, ungodly state, strives to keep us continually busy, but that only causes us considerable and unnecessary stress and pain.
 
And now that I’ve formally made my excuses, my mea culpas, (smile) let’s see what good word our almanac has for us today. And though it’s a small in stature word, it is big, bold, beautiful and mighty in its impact. Believe me, it’s an awesome word that ALL God’s children ought to heed.
 
And that powerful word is ‘DARE!’
 
Now I’m not sure which Steve Marshall the following quote can be attributed to, because there are so many. But whichever one it is, he is supposed to have said these simple but powerful words of advice: ‘Dare to be the best you can – at all times, dare to be the best!’
 
What wonderful words of advice my brethren, especially for followers of the Lord Jesus Christ! Why is that you ask? Because daring allows us to move out of our comfort zone, to get up off of our fat fannies and do the things Jesus desires of us.
 
The dictionary generally defines ‘DARE’ as ‘venture to, have the courage or impudence to, feel sure that, attempt to, take the risk of, defy, challenge, be prepared to believe.’
 
So you can see Friends, that daring involves getting up and doing, meeting challenges full on, not being afraid of and running from stuff.
 
And that stand up strong and steadfast, courageous, believing I can attitude is necessary in ALL believers if we seriously intend to do God’s work here in this evil, ungodly world, because the enemy will not allow us to just go about God’s business without any challenges and evil input.
 
Yes my people, believers are called to be daring, so daring that we would follow our Bit. ‘For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die.’
 
Wow! It surely is a hefty dare, but one that we should not shy away from if necessary. Oh my brethren, I know that ALL of us are praying that it won’t be necessary in our own lives. (smile) But Bruh Paul was simply echoing Jesus’ words there in our Bit, when He told the disciples:
 
‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
 
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ (John 15:12-15)
 
Then He went out and died for His FRIENDS; laid down His life for us!
 
And all God’s children gave out a mighty and grateful shout of: ‘Oh thank you Jesus for sacrificing your holy and sinless life for us! We praise and adore You, and bless your holy name, now and forever more! Amen’
 
Yeh mih people, that’s what daring does! It causes us to rise up and meet challenges, even though we may be sorely afraid.
 
As Bruh Paul so ingeniously reasons before our Bit; ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
 
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience (produces perseverance); And patience, experience (character); and experience, hope:
 
And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due (at the right) time Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:1-6)
 
Oh Friends, what marvelous scripture! Scripture that assures and ensures us of God’s great LOVE!
 
And it’s only fitting that we end with some scholarly explanations of those verses. ‘5:1-4. Justified by faith (lit. “because we have been justified by faith”): It was God’s doing, not man’s.
 
Peace with God: This is not a feeling but a standing. God and the believer are no longer at enmity but have been reconciled (cf. 5:10-11; 2 Cor.5:18). This is a primary result of our justification.
 
Access: We can come directly into the presence of God. Jesus Christ is not only our Redeemer, but He is also our Advocate. By Him we gain entrance and acceptance before the Father (cf. 1 John 2:1)
 
Wherein we stand: This is the answer to the psalmist’s question: “If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (Ps.130:3) Rejoice (lit. “we boast”) in hope denotes the absolute certainty the believer has of God’s deliverance.
 
5:5. Holy Ghost…given: The believer has the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. This is not a “second blessing,” but is just as much a certitude as the believer’s justification (cf. 1 Cor.12:13).’
 
Oh my people, with all that assurance and certainty expressed in God’s Word, there’s no way we should fear to go out and ‘DARE!’
 
So starting today, right now, let’s put all that stuff deep in our souls nuh, bury God’s assurance deep in our hearts and thus allow it to make us not only believers, but even more importantly, daring believers. That’s heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…to dare…to dare…and yet to dare…in Jesus name…is what we’re called to do…

 

 

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