Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.

Aye friends, it’s a wet one in my area today. And the rain can be so beguiling… Earlier on, for over half an hour, I lay in my bed tossing and turning from side to side, knowing that I was not going back to sleep, especially since my nostrils were all blocked up and my mouth was dry as chip, but yuh think I could get up, as I listened to the gentle rain falling outside? 

No way! There’s just something about the rain that makes you want to stay in bed and curl up under the covers next to your special someone. And don’t forget its potent aphrodisiac properties! (smile) 

And today the Lord pointed me to some stuff I have written here on a piece of paper. I don’t know who or where I got them from, possibly from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley), but I’m sure we’re not going to like them. They have to do with our behaviour as true and faithful believers in Jesus Christ. 

And they advise: 1. Don’t leap to judgement. 2. Take blame and give credit. 3. Don’t one up people, encourage them. 4. If it hurts say so, but don’t hit back. 5. Pray for your competitors. 

Mamacita! All of that goes against the very grain of our human nature! But that’s the way our Leader and Lord and Saviour wants us to operate in this crazy, selfish and greedy world. That’s how others will know that we’re different from the madding crowd and hopefully come to realize that we have what they’re missing and oh so badly need; the eternal and unconditional LOVE and saving grace of Jesus. 

And as we look back on those five things above, if we’re true to ourselves we will admit that they all play a major part in our lives. We all leap to judgement too quickly, with absolutely no relevant facts at hand. We just see or hear someone and we can spout a litany of things that are wrong with them. 

And when coming to taking blame…Hn! That does not exist in our current society. We’re all about pointing fingers at others and hogging whatever credit there is for ourselves. Oh, and one-upmanship is the name of today’s game. Yuh ever listen to group of people talking about their possessions? 

Each one comes up with something better than the other. And that’s one of the reasons why so many of us are so stressed out and miserable; foolishly, we’re trying too hard to keep up with the Joneses. 

And when it comes to being hurt, we’ll certainly let you know, but the trouble is that we also look for vengeance. But remember the Lord says that vengeance is His, and He will repay. Well I won’t even touch praying for our competitors, because that is definitely out of our behavioural sphere. Oh yes, we’ll pray for them, but for them to go under, not to succeed. 

Oh friends, please remember that we’re supposed to be IN the world but not OF the world; meaning we should not behave as the world does. No wonder Jesus prayed to the Father on our behalf: ‘And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (evil one). They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.’ (John 17:13-16) 

Ah mih people, what more can I say eh? Not a whole lot. Jesus prayed that we would not get involved with the world order even though we lived amongst it. That was necessary so that we could tell others about and show by example the good news He ushered into this world. 

And Bruh Paul reiterated the same sentiments to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Oh my people, we can’t be IN the world, but not OF it, unless we completely renew our minds and bring it into line with the will of God. And the scholars offer this explanation on that subject: Dedication to the will of God. 

‘12:1-2. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in ALL of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God. (John 7:17) Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen. 22:12; Primary Ref. Rom.12:1).’ 

The long and short of the story my brethren, is that we’re to live the will of God as found in His Word. And the only way we’re going to find out that will is by reading and studying His Word. So let’s get on with it nuh, so that we can all become the ‘living sacrifices’ that our Lord desires. 

Now it’s time to go home letting the world know who and whose we are by declaring our Tuesday Mantra. All together now, in full voice and complete sincerity: ‘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!’ 

And the corollary to that: let’s go out and generously share what Jesus has given us. Much LOVE!

…God’s basic wish for us all…to become Christ-like clones…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 August 2017 Ephesians 5:10.

Ephesians 5:10.   Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Oh friends, another bright and glorious morning has dawned in my neighbourhood! All thanks to our wonderful God, who gives us our daily bread and heavenly mercies brand new, each and every day! 

What would we do without Him in our lives eh? I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out either. (smile) That’s why we should try at all times to walk faithfully in His word and have constant companionship with Him. 

And please remember, it’s not for His benefit, but for ours. He is God, and controls EVERYTHING! We are His creation, His minions, made to serve and worship Him and spread the good news gospel of His Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ around the entire world. All the while walking in LOVE! 

Now here is some solid advice from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that will help us to do just that. It was given to a young lady having a hard time living with a non-believing husband, but it also applies to all of us across the board. It’s four DON’TS and four DO’S. 

First the DON’TS (1) Don’t push. (2) Don’t preach. (3) Don’t pretend. (4) Don’t puncture his (or anyone else’s) self-esteem. 

And the DO’s tell us: (1) Do permeate your home with LOVE. (2) Do practice forgiving. (3) Do pay compliments to him (and also others) often. (4) Do persist in prayer. 

What a simple but very wonderful and workable way to live my brethren! Oh…there’s one more DON’T. ‘Don’t ever, ever, ever give up!’ 

And yuh know friends, that last DON’T is possibly the most important of them all, for with Jesus, and those who walk steadfastly with Him, there is absolutely NO giving up! 

We need to persevere in the faith and pursue His plan for our lives right to the very end. We need to run our race of life with enthusiasm and chutzpah, patience and perseverance, so that at the end we’ll receive the crown of glory that the Lord has prepared for all those who successfully finish the race. 

And on a point of interest, the lady who gave the advice above, a year later, received a thank-you note from the other lady, informing her that that strategy was working. 

Glory to God my people! Yuh see it works! (smile) We just have to be serious about it and keep working at it… with a LOVING heart, like Jesus does. 

And the scripture promise for that reading today is also our Bit. ‘Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

And what does that mean? The scholars explain: ‘5:10. Because of constant temptation and solicitations to evil, believers must always be proving or discerning what is and what is not acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

Yes friends, as Christians, we ought always to be considering what is right and wrong in God’s sight, and do the right thing. It’s not an easy row to hoe because of the numerous distractions and temptations floating around our society, but with God’s help, we can certainly discern the right from the wrong. 

Before our Bit, explaining the way of the believer, Bruh Paul said it thus: ‘Let no man deceive you with vain (empty) words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children (sons) of disobedience. Be not therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.’ (Eph.5:6-8) 

And the scholars offer this explanation of that last verse. ‘5:8. Darkness indicates that the readers used to be spiritually unenlightened, and accompanying this ignorance was immorality with its resultant guilt and misery. Light denotes that the recipients are now to be religiously informed. Their knowledge of the truth is attended by moral purity and happiness.’ 

Oh friends, life is so much better and more fruitful when we walk as children of light! That’s why Bruh Paul admonished the church at Rome thus: ‘I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service. 

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:1-2) 

Ah mih people, God has done so much for us, washing and cleansing and redeeming us from sin and offering us salvation, through Christ, that we now need to be clean before Him. And since our bodies were the original instruments of sin, we now need to present them ‘to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’ 

And we do that by not conforming to the sinful, evil and immoral works, attitudes and behaviour of the world. And since we are indeed the righteousness in Christ (smile) we can now go home declaring our Wednesday Wail which supports that contention. 

All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh friends, what more can we ask eh? Absolutely NOTHING! Much LOVE!

…if you’re walking with Jesus…and don’t have a peaceful joy in your soul…then something is seriously wrong…ask Him to help you fix it…