Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Well, well, well, if it isn’t Friday, that much looked forward to day! And a grateful sigh can be heard all over the land. Hn, hn! How we do look forward to our couple of days off eh. And no one gets more excited about it than the ordinary workingman, as he sings his song and does his li’l jig. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The last day of work for this wretched week! The massa and foreman were both in nasty frame of minds, so they come down on us especially hard this week. Hn! But yuh know what? Is my time, we time now! Nobody to give us orders and talk to us rough and ready, like we foolish. 

For two whole long big days, we going to do exactly as we want. So as the man says…let the good times roll! Roll on good times…roll on! And thank God for Fridays and weekends, that give us a much needed break from the bondage of work!’ 

Yeh friends, some weeks of work are definitely harder than others, but as Christians, with God’s help, we are expected to take them all in stride. Our Lord and Saviour expects much more from us than the ordinary workingman. We have to be a glowing example to them of grace, and mercy, of LOVE and forgiveness. 

That means we have to come up higher, which isn’t always easy. Consequently, our Friday Chant is so much different to the workingman’s song. We can’t let our hair down completely as he can. We need to be more circumspect and conscious of the world around us. 

So let’s chant up a storm now nuh. In unison, with a strong sense of purpose: ‘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.’ 

Ah mih breddren, our faith dictates, that we, as Brother James Brown said so long ago, ‘stay on the good foot!’ (smile) Yes, we need to be on the lookout for anything that will try to turn us away from Jesus. And believe you me, there are indeed lots of things and people in this evil world that will be only too glad to do so. 

But please remember, we are soldiers in the army of Jesus, fighting against the evil spiritual foe, and every soldier is always temperate and cautious, on the lookout for the enemy, especially in the least expected places. That means we can’t go about this life in a willy-nilly fashion, but need to have our wits about us all the time, because the enemy is at work ALL THE TIME! 

Thus the call to remember Peter’s serious warning in our Bit: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Yeh mih people, the ole crook Beelzebub is always on the lookout for even the smallest way to cause trouble in our lives and steal our joy. And as Jesus said: ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…’ (John 10:10a) And that’s Lucifer’s whole purpose and intent, when he tries to get into our lives. 

However, Jesus continues: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) So whom are you going to trust eh; someone who is only out to cause havoc, or someone who comes bringing joy and abundant life? Wisdom and common sense shout ‘Choose Jesus!’ 

Unfortunately though, a large portion of our world are listening to the evil voices that keep tantalizingly whispering in their ear; ‘Choose Lucifer…and get all the wealth, fame and power in the world!’ But yuh know what friends, those things are fleeting, just like the world is, and they will not last, nor bring you salvation or eternal life. 

So what happens to your spirit, when your body departs this mortal life and returns to the dust from whence it came eh? The ONLY thing possible then will be eternal separation from Almighty God and living in hell fire and damnation with Lucifer, whom you chose above Jesus. 

Let me remind us friends, that our mortal bodies will soon shrivel up and die, but our spirits will live forever. That means we need to make wise provision for eternal living. That’s all I can say. And we’ll end with the continued warning from Peter. 

‘Whom (the devil) resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet. 5:9-11) 

Yes my fellow believers, we will ALL suffer some in this world, but if we are serious about Jesus, through His grace we will be able to withstand the evil wiles and taunts of the enemy, and come out victorious. So please, let’s hang in there nuh, don’t lose faith, stand strong and steadfast, and keep Jesus first place in our lives. Much LOVE!

…so whom will you choose…as for me and mine….there’s no contest…we choose JESUS…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 December 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Oh my people, would you believe that that white stuff has come back again? Chuh! Thought we had gotten rid of it for a longer while with the warm temps of the last few days. But no, it’s back again, and this time it’s not as beautiful as the first. 

The idea of the second time around being better than the first is definitely not true here, because it’s a dark, cloudy day, there’s no sun to physically brighten it up. 

However, there is the Son! Glory to God! He’s always around to brighten up our lives, especially in this Christmas Season as we prepare to celebrate His first coming! And yuh better believe His Second Coming will be even bigger and better than the First! 

For then He won’t be coming as a mere babe in swaddling clothes, poor and lowly, but as a mighty King and Conqueror, coming to assert His claim to the throne of His Father, Bruh David and finally bring some true peace and LOVE to our miserable, sinful world! 

But it’s obvious you can’t have the Second without the First, and you won’t be with Him in the Second if you’re not with Him in the First! So please get with Him RIGHT NOW, otherwise it just might be too late, for He can come back at any time, like the proverbial thief in the night, and then you’ll be left out in the cold, in eternal darkness, and that’s the worst thing that can ever happen to a human being. Nuff said! (smile) 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say on this snowy morning. As usual he loudly declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And though it snow, that won’t keep me back from enjoying mih free time this weekend. No mih son, not at all! And yuh better believe is a real long weekend too, no more slave work until Tuesday, and is Christmas weekend to boot. 

Thank God for being born on the weekend oui, so that we have more time off, more time away from the slave labour, more time with we friends and family so that we could celebrate in real big fashion; plenty eating and drinking, carousing and visiting friends and neighbours. This long Christmas weekend definitely going to be a blast! One to remember for all the ages! Thank God for it yes, mih brethren!’ 

Yes friends, let’s hope that this Christmas will be one we long remember, but not just for the over-the-top celebrations, but because we truly had the Spirit of Jesus in our hearts and sincerely contemplated, really pondered, the true meaning of Christ’s First Coming. 

Now let’s declare our Friday Chant, which is much more circumspect than that of the ordinary workingman. As though we really mean it now: ‘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.’ 

Oh my people, limits and boundaries, and still putting the Lord’s work first is a condition of our earthly sojourn, which in no way detracts from our celebrations; we just celebrate a li’l more spiritually than carnally. (smile) And I’d be very amiss from my duties if I didn’t invoke Granny’s warning at this awesome time of celebration. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Beelzebub will be all about in full deceptive fashion this long Christmas weekend! You can bet yuh bottom dollar on that! What sweeter time to catch us in wrongdoing than when we’re celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? 

You can see him in the background now, with a big smile all over his evil face, just chomping at the bit, knowing that it will be open season on many of us supposed Christians. We going to let our hair down and he’s going to jump quickly into the space we afford him. 

So let’s be very careful friends. Let’s celebrate, but with a modicum of circumspection. Let’s do as our Bit so wisely advises: ’Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Ah mih people, there could be no wiser advice to us all this Christmas weekend, for the evil one will definitely be out on the prowl, knowing that at this particular time of year we are very prone to mistakes, very vulnerable to his temptations. 

But as Peter further cautions: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (are being experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) So we are all subject to like temptations and afflictions. 

‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) Yeh friends, the same Christ Jesus that we’re celebrating will help us resist the constant temptations of the evil one. Therefore, ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:11) 

Now brethren, let’s go out and celebrate Christ like we’ve never celebrated Him before, not obnoxiously, but with circumspection and common sense! Let’s win believers for Him, instead of loosing believers to the evil one. That’s the best way to celebrate Christ’s birth! Much LOVE!

…oh…what wonderful…but circumspect celebrations…are in the offing…this Christmas season…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be soberbe vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Ahoy there mates! How are your sails holding up today eh? I do hope that they are full and billowing with a strong wind so that you can be pushed smoothly along life’s wide and plentiful waterways. 

And if Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour is breathing His powerful heavenly breath upon your sails, then you can be assured of a safe journey. It won’t always be smooth sailing, for life is never completely calm, but you will reach your destination safely. With Jesus as your guide and pilot, I can guarantee you that! 

And as most of us know, (smile) it’s Friday, so it’s no surprise to hear the workingman singing his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Massa slave work soon done, then my time is all mine! Glory to God! Ah going to party and sleep and laze about … then party and sleep and laze about some more…all weekend! Thank God for Fridays and weekends, for the short respite from back-breaking labour for li’l pay!’ 

Ah mih people, the ordinary man’s life is getting harder though our society is prosperously reinventing itself at phenomenal speed. Why is that eh? In an age of so much, so many have so little… 

And it doesn’t seem to be getting better though millions of voices are crying out for help. In fact it seems to be getting worse, for the rich are indeed getting richer and greedier, while the poor are getting poorer and falling further behind, if that is at all possible. 

Ah Lord eh! When will mankind ever learn to share his bounty with others eh? I guess not until Jesus comes to set up His eternal kingdom and greed and such negative things are removed from His world. 

Anyway, for believers, we do have HOPE… lot’s of it, and we just need to hold tight to Jesus and we’ll be okay. Now let’s refute the workingman’s song with our own 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.’ 

And that’s a more sensible prayer, one in keeping with Jesus’ philosophy. It doesn’t allow us to go overboard in any area of our lives, but does it’s best to keep us on the straight and narrow, where we can have rest, enjoyment and fellowship, while being rejuvenated in body and soul, so we can start out strong next week. 

Wise, faithful believers will tend towards that guideline, while the unwise will want to overdo the partying and lazing around aspect, then come Monday morning and time to go back to work, they are of no use to themselves or anybody else. 

Boundaries, friends, boundaries, limits, cut offs, are very necessary in a believer’s life, for if we go too far, we’ll simply allow the enemy to gain footholds, toeholds, etc, in our lives, a situation that is totally unacceptable. 

Hence our Bit for today: ‘Be soberbe vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:8-9) 

And that is the gospel truth my brethren! Lucifer and his evil henchmen are constantly on the lookout for ways to invade a believer’s spirit and thus get him or her off of Jesus’ program of salvation and eternal life. Even the teeny, ‘weeniest’ chink in our spiritual armour will have them salivating. 

And remember that Lucifer and his bandits are no respecter of persons, they attack everybody, especially believers. So please don’t think that you are alone in facing and experiencing temptation. It’s a worldwide game. 

Now here is some invaluable insight from James into keeping the enemy at bay. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you…’ (James 4:7-8a) 

Yeh friends, keeping the enemy at bay involves two basic actions; vigorously and continuously resisting him, while drawing ever closer to God. They are not always easy actions to perform, but if we’re serious about our walk with God, and sincerely ask for His help, we can do it. 

And why are we sure of that? Peter explains. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11) 

Oh friends, I know we’ve heard this message over and over again, but it’s one we need to repeatedly hear so that we can stay on the right path, to remember that the enemy is always lurking, trying to bring us down to his unholy level. 

So today, I implore us to pay serious attention to our faith walk, stay close to God, and not give the enemy any chance whatsoever to devalue it. I pray this in Christ’s name. Amen! Much LOVE my brethren!

…be on the lookout…always…for the enemy’s wiles and lies…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 August 2017 John 14:6.

John 14:6.   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

Ah mih people, it’s the Sabbath Day; the day for gathering and fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, where His ardent followers praise and worship His holy name! It involves hearing His wonderful word which brings peace, strength and assurance to our tired and fragile souls, while filling His house with glorious song! Oh what a pleasure, a gift of grace it is to be able to worship Almighty God in freedom, with a strong sense of purpose. 

However, many believers around the world have to do it in hiding, afraid of serious persecution, but standing strong on His faithful promises, they do it nonetheless. And as we offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips this Sunday morning, I want us to think about all those who are not free to worship as we are, and pray that the Lord will give them that freedom someday soon, or at least keep them safe from further persecution.

Now let’s raise the roof with loud and harmonious voices, as we sing that blessed hymn ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus.’  

‘O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free. (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) 

Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion For more than conqu’rors we are! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus…) His Word shall not fail you, He promised; Believe Him and all will be well; Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of the earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.)’ 

Oh friends, what words of perfect assurance! If your soul is weary and troubled, and floundering in perpetual darkness, then Jesus is the One to turn to for relief. He died that we might live, might have eternal life, so there is NO ONE better to offer us comfort and safety and light in this tragic world. As the song says: Turn your eyes on Him, look Him straight in the face, and all of a sudden the worries and problems of this world will begin to recede. 

What a tower of strength we have in Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, our Prince of Peace, our High Priest, our heavenly Intercessor, our unmatched Messiah! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE my brethren: the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! In Him, majesty and holiness reign supreme! But what is even more important, is that He knows our fears, and can empathize with us on our pilgrim’s journey, because He faced the same things in His brief sojourn here on earth. 

That’s why He is such a Champion, such a Leader and could utter the words of our Bit to His doubting disciple Thomas with the utmost sincerity and truth. ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ 

And if you want to see why he could truly say that, then read Isaiah 53, where he describes the ‘Suffering Servant,’ a foretelling of what Jesus would suffer. I’ll just remind us of the last three verses. ‘Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise (crush) him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 

He shall see of the travail (distress) of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil (plunder) with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’ (Is.53:10-12) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s what Jesus suffered on our behalf, and therefore earned to right to say what He said. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ’53:10-12. It pleased the Lord to bruise (from daka; “to crush”) him refers to the same condition in verse 5 (utterly crush Him for our moral iniquities). Put him to grief reads “pierce” Him in the Dead Sea Scroll copy of the text. His seed refers to those who will come to believe in Him. An offering for sin (asham, “guilt offering”) involves the trespass offering described in Numbers 5:5-10. 

The phrase he shall prolong his days indicates that the Servant’s ministry will not end with His violent death, and certainly implies His resurrection. The pleasure of the Lord refers to God’s ultimate purposes which will be accomplished by the atoning death and resurrection of the Servant. His intercession refers to His high priestly ministry, by which He makes intercession on the basis of His own substitutionary death.  The chapter ends with the glorification and exaltation of the Servant of the Lord.’  

And so it very well should my people! Hn, hn! I’m chuckling because I used some poetic license there, switching the position of the last two sentences because I thought it a better ending. Christ should be glorified and exalted at the end, that’s the proper climax! (smile) 

Anyway friends, that’s just an inkling of what Jesus suffered for us, so we could be set free from sin and receive everlasting life. Shouldn’t we therefore show Him much more appreciation and gratitude? Of course we should. So let’s do better than we doing nuh! All of us can improve in some area(s) of our lives that will exalt and glorify Jesus much more than at present. 

Remember it’s in OUR best interest do so, since Jesus doesn’t really need anything from us, but we desperately need lots of stuff from Him! So please let wisdom and common sense abound! Much LOVE!

…He knew NO sin…but was made the bearer of ALL sin…FOR US…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 June 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher  (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.

Arise my people and greet the bright and bountiful Sabbath Day, when the Lord rested, having created the universe and all therein in the six previous days! And He saw that it was all good! It’s a day of fellowship, of the gathering of Christ’s church in His sanctuary to praise and sing, give thanks and worship and exalt His Holy Name! 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God in the highest! Praise His Name on high! For He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, Only He knows the true workings of the universe!’ Yes friends, He is the great I AM, the ONLY ONE who can heal your soul and take all your troubles away. 

That’s why, our song of praise and worship this morning is titled ‘The Heavenly Vision’ or ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus.’ So let’s do just that nuh, as we offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips. As one true body now: ‘O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free! 

(Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion— For more than conqu’rors we are! 

(Refrain) His Word shall not fail you—He promised; Believe Him, and all will be well: Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) 

Ah friends, such words of assurance and peace, exhortation and encouragement, penned by Helen H Lemmel (1863-1961). Her biography says that in 1918 she was given a tract by a visiting missionary. The leaflet was entitled “Focused,” and in it was this exhortation: “So then, turn your eyes upon Him [Christ]. Look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.” 

Mrs. Lemmel was riveted by those words. She says, “I stood still. And singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody.” The three stanzas of the song were added later the same week.’ My fellow believers, that’s just one of the mysterious ways in which our great and awesome God moves, His works to unfurl! 

And the scripture it seems to have been based on is our Bit for today. But first let’s look at the verse that precedes it, because that sets the context for our Bit. ‘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.’ (Heb.12:1) 

Ah mih people, the author of Hebrews looks at our Christian life like a race; one that is indeed difficult to run, but acknowledges that we have faithful heroes that have gone before us (a cloud of witnesses), who have run it successfully, and so can we. How? 

By ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (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.’ 

Yeh friends, though there were others who successfully ran the race, and gave us worthy examples to emulate, Jesus is our best example, our bright and shining star! He set the tone for it all. 

The scholars tell us: ‘12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

That means fellow believers we don’t have to blaze a new trail, just follow the one Jesus laid down, and that makes it easier for us. Imagine if we had to blaze a new trail for ourselves? We’d find it even more difficult than it is now, what with all the sin that’s lurking around the corner, just waiting to ensnare us, we need to have the utmost in patience and perseverance to last the distance and finally end up at the finish line in the welcoming and comforting arms of Jesus. Praise his Holy Name! 

And these two verses following our Bit, just bolster it. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (be discouraged) in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb.12:3-4) 

Oh friends, Jesus is the ‘supreme example of endurance.’ Just look at all the ‘sufferation’ He bore on our behalf nuh. We could not have had a finer example of perseverance and endurance. So let’s remember that, take courage from it, and steadfastly bear up under our own weight of sin in this earthly race of life. That’s the only way to do it as a true believer in Jesus. Much LOVE!

…for whatever befalls us…the ultimate answer is to turn to Jesus…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Awright mih breddren, it’s Monday morning, so let’s be up and at ‘em nuh! 

‘Not today,’ claim our U.S. breddren. ‘Today is our Memorial Day Holiday, where we celebrate our fallen war heroes, so no work for us today. Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, the shoe is on the other foot this week; last week we in Canada had Monday off for our Victoria Day Holiday, this week the U.S honours their patriots. But since it’s still a day of labour for most of us, we still need to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get us going. So with as much verve and enthusiasm as we can muster, 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!’ 

And as expected, the loudest and most off key voices were those who did not have to go to work today, and were already into the celebrations. But just remember, please listen to Granny’s advice. ‘Drunk or sober mind yuh business.’ We don’t want to go giving the evil one any foothold in our souls, for he is always lurking around, always on the prowl to find someone he can invade and cultivate. 

That’s why Peter, after telling us to humble ourselves before God, and to cast our care on him, because He cares for us, so strenuously warns in our Bit. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends!  Remember when Satan came before God in Job? ‘And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (Job 1:7) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:7. From going to and from in the earth refers to Satan’s activity. Though he does not admit it here, Satan’s character clearly shows that his many travels are for evil purposes.  In 1 Peter 5:8. Satan is described as “your adversary the devil…seeking whom he may devour.” 

The activity of Satan indicates that he only has limited access to God. This account in Job emphasizes that God is sovereign over Satan. It also teaches that Satan is a finite being and therefore not omnipresent (can’t be everywhere at the same time). Nor can he touch God’s servants without God’s permission.’ 

Oh glory to God my people! That means Satan has no direct say over us, he can only invade our souls and spirits if God gives him permission, or of we foolishly allow him to enter therein. That’s why Peter continues after our Bit. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh friends, I know it’s no great consolation to know that our brethren are experiencing the same temptation as us, but it just goes to show that we are not alone in being tempted, as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Now friends, we have to be careful and understand that God will not always make us escape the temptation, but will often allow us to go through it, to build our faith, but will eventually bring us out safely on the other side. Remember too, that even Jesus was tempted by Lucifer during His earthly sojourn, but He successfully rebuked Him, and we ought to try and do likewise. 

James also warns us. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ (James 4:7) Yes my fellow believers, if we keep resisting Lucifer, he will eventually flee from us; not that he won’t come back and try to tempt us later on, (smile) because he can be very persistent. 

However, we’ll end with these reassuring words of Peter. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be the glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11)

What a blessed and faithful assurance my people. So let’s go out today strengthened in the Word of God, so that we can do His will. Much LOVE!

…the stronger our faith in Jesus…the more we are able to resist temptation…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2017 Matthew 26:39.

Matthew 26:39.   And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Oh friends, can you believe it? My body rebelled against me again to day! Hn, hn! But what can I expect eh, when I keep pushing the envelope? 

What’s it they say about when force meets resistance – one of them has to give? Well I’m the one who’s been giving these last couple days! (smile) 

Meanwhile, the workingman is all excited, loudly declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! The weekend’s here! The weekend’s here at long last! Is our time now! Glory Hallelujah! And we going to use it just as we please; drinking and eating, dancing and romancing! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

Ah mih people, I know that after a hard week’s work, that’s the way many of us feel, but that’s not the optimum way to use our short time off. Our Friday chant presents a much better alternative. So let’s chant it out loud and clear, like how the workingman belted out his song of freedom. 

As one now: ‘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.’ 

Yes my brethren, it’s all about using our time, talents and energy in the best manner that glorifies our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Our thoughts should constantly be permeated by, ‘will this glorify Jesus?’ for that’s why we were so wonderfully made. 

Just as Jesus was made to glorify His heavenly Father, and did so above all else, as we see from our Bit. ‘And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ 

So ought we to consider the Lord’s will before we do anything at all in this earthly life.  

And today we’ll continue looking at the words of some of the saints on the topic. Listen to the author of Hebrews: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works: …

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:23-24; 35-36)  

Yes my fellow believers, we have to stand strong in faith, in LOVE and good works and concentrate on doing God’s will, so that we can receive His faithful promise afterwards. If we don’t do His will, there won’t be any rewards later on. It’s as simple as that. 

Now hear Peter as he talks about being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as (to the extent that) ye are partakers of Christ’s suffering; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 

If ye be reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody (meddler) in other men’s matters. 

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf (matter). For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 

And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.’ (1 Pet.4:12-19) 

Ah precious people of God, although our earthly circumstances may be painful and difficult, it’s only in doing God’s will, and with His help, bearing up under the pressure, that we will reap joy when Jesus returns. 

I know it sounds unfair and whatever else, but that’s the way our God operates, and we know that He is a good God, and will work everything out for our benefit in the end. So let’s not lose faith while we wait. 

And we’ll end with this admonition from Peter. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5:10-11) 

What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot. Doing God’s will is just the lot of Christians. Much LOVE!

…if ye suffer with and for Christ…you will rejoice and be glad with Him…when He returns…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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