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…

 

 

 

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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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2016 Colossians 3:17.

Colossians 3:17.   And whatsoever  ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Well friends, another apparently beautiful day has dawned in my neighbourhood, and for it we give much thanks! However, if the weather in your area isn’t so wonderful, then please don’t be overly concerned because the Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is ALWAYS shining His brilliant and comforting light on and in us… Glory to God! 

That means less fear and worry in our lives as we experience each new day, remembering the reassurance of the Good Book. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7)  And that’s indisputable truth my believing brethren! 

Now, let’s further raise our spirits and our faith by declaring our Thursday Blessings in a strong voice, filled with enthusiasm and conviction, for remember that a blessing is not a blessing until it is spoken over someone. 

All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, what a wonderful Deity we serve and worship! No other faith uplifts and comforts its believers like the Christian faith! 

And all God’s children gratefully declared a loud and sincere, ‘Thank You Lord! We truly LOVE You and praise Your Holy Name! Amen!’ 

Now to turn those words into reality, we need to follow the wise and most worthy advice of Bruh Paul to the Colossians, found in our Bit. ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ 

Yes friends, the only way we can truly show our faithfulness to the Most High God Jehovah is by letting our words and actions reflect the character of Jesus with sincere thankfulness. And Bruh Paul wrote basically the same thing to the church at Corinth. 

‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God. Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.’ (1 Cor.10:31-33). 

Ah mih people, the basic reason behind ALL that we say and do, ought to be to glorify God in some form and fashion! Remember, that’s why He created us. And Peter adds his two cents worth (smile) as he talks about being good stewards of God’s grace. 

‘But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity (LOVE) among yourselves: for charity (LOVE) shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging (grumbling). As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (utterances) of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen’ (1 Pet.4:7-11) 

Oh how I wish that more of us supposed Christians would follow that sound advice. But as you see, it means giving up our pleasure and profit for others, and that’s still a rather difficult thing for many Christians to do, especially in these very ungodly and sinful times. 

And unfortunately the only way for us, and consequently Christ’s church to grow and mature, is by us steadfastly following the advice given above by both apostles. If we keep on allowing the enemy to divide and conquer us, to fill us with fear, self-loathing, or simply uninterested, lackadaisical behaviour, then we’ll always be at their mercy, and Christ’s church will continue to be weighed down with dissension and disunity, as it currently is. 

Obviously that’s not pleasing to the Holy Trinity, our Godhead. And if we’re not pleasing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, then we’re not doing what we were created to do – as simple as that. Then we cannot expect to be blessed with all the good things and times that have been placed in store for us. 

That, however, doesn’t stop some of the more boldfaced and foolish of us from still expecting heavenly blessings, although they are living in the lusts of the flesh and not in the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit. (smile) 

Anyway friends, the long and short of the story is that as true believers we need to make sure that our words and actions glorify God, by falling into line with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. That’s what is known as heavenly wisdom, wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…obedience brings blessings…disobedience brings curses…it’s the individual’s choice…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2016 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Oh friends, it’s so good to wake up to the sound, to the riddim of the falling rain, as I did earlier on this morning. But it’s all stopped now and the dry and thirsty ground has sucked it all up like a giant sponge. The cloudiness remains though, so hopefully we’ll get some more heavenly blessings later on, because we badly need them. 

Rain has been in short supply in my area for the last little while. And though it’s nice to have bright sunshiny days, heavenly water is essential for man’s survival. So let’s pray we’ll get some more to keep everything moist and fruitful nuh. 

And now as it’s Saturday, let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm who always aspires to inspire us. This first one is humorous but nonetheless true. ‘For 24 years of my adult life, by choice I weighed well over 200 pounds. I say ‘by choice’ because I have never ‘accidentally’ eaten anything, so when I choose to eat too much, I have chosen to weigh too much.’ 

Yes friends, we can all attest to that! Our weight depends a lot on what we eat, and we don’t usually eat stuff by accident, but by choice. So what ever we weigh is a direct result of our eating habits, which means if we don’t like our weight, by choice, we’ve got to develop better eating habits. (smile) 

And the next quote is one attributed to Howard Zinn (1922-2010), an American historian, author, playwright, social activist and a professor at Boston University. He’s probably best known for his authorship of the book ‘A People’s History of the United States’. 

Anyway, Zinn reputedly made this comment. ‘Leave things to the market, and there are two million people homeless. Leave things to the market, and there are millions and millions of people who can’t pay their rent. Leave things to the market, and there are thirty-five million people who go hungry.’ 

And that’s no lie my people! The supposed market, when left uncontrolled is a boon to the rich, but a bane of great proportions to the ordinary man. It ruins the lives of so many, through no fault of their own, yet so many of us still foolishly believe in it and sadly trumpet its supposed benefits. They might look good on paper, but they certainly don’t work to the benefit of the majority of the population in actual practice. 

But as Christians, as faithful believers in Jesus Christ, we don’t need to worry too much about the market and its workings, because our Lord and Saviour has promised that if we seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, all our material wants and needs will be met. (Matt.6:33) And He is ever faithful to keep ALL of His promises. 

Then in our Bit, Bruh Paul tells us about the perfect way of walking in this life. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Yes my brethren, when we walk in the Spirit, we don’t have to worry about what’s happening, because the Holy Spirit of God that indwells us, will never lead us astray! That’s indisputable, irrefutable truth! But remember though that we need to listen closely, pay serious attention to the Holy Spirit, if it is to work in and for us. 

Now here is an interesting statement two verses down from our Bit. ‘But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.’ (Gal.5:18) 

And the scholars have this interesting explanation. ‘5:18. Verse 17 may leave the impression of a believer being caught in a hopeless tug-of-war between the flesh and the Spirit. This is not the case. The Christian is led of (by) the Spirit, when yielding to Him, to turn away from the flesh’s evil yearnings, thus putting sin out of his daily life. 

The verb “led” indicates voluntary submission; the believer decides by whom he will be led – either by his flesh or the Spirit. The Spirit-led person is not under the law. The Christian does not need the restraints of the law because his moral life is governed by the Spirit.’ 

But friends, that’s not always easy, because the flesh, our sinful desires, advocate of the enemy, is always trying to drag us back down into the mire of sin and evil. However, once we’ve decided to live by the Spirit – remember it is a positive decision we must make – our lives are not as torn apart as before because the Spirit enables us, give us the strength and guidance to walk a more righteous path. 

And we’ll end with some encouraging and uplifting words from Bruh Paul to the Roman church, as he talks to them about freedom from sin’s power. ‘Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 

Neither yield (present) ye your members as instruments (weapons) of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield (present) yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments (weapons) of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.’ (Rom.6:12-14) 

Yes my people, it’s all grace; the grace of our wonderful and merciful God! Without His grace, we’d be long ago completely destroyed, without not even a remnant left. So be very thankful for His grace. 

Now here are a couple of explanations from the scholars on those verses. ‘6:12. Let not (lit. “stop letting”). The believer is to stop letting sin have mastery over his life.’ ‘6:13. Neither yield ye (lit. “stop presenting”). In the day-to-day confrontations with sin, stop giving in. But yield (lit. “present yourselves”). Paul calls for a determined commitment.’ 

And friends, a determined commitment is exactly what is needed from us when and if we decide to follow Jesus Christ. Without that strong sense of committal our walk of faith will not be successful, for Jesus desires total involvement and obligation. 

So let’s ponder all that we’ve said today, see where we are lacking, then sincerely ask the Lord to help us improve. He will NEVER deny such a request. Much LOVE!

…to walk in the Spirit…is to walk in the footsteps of Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 August 2016 Proverbs 18:21.

Proverbs 18:21.   Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Ah mih people, on this ‘loverly’ Tuesday morn, as the summer season of 2016 winds down, it is only right and our bounden duty to give thanks to Almighty God for allowing us to see another blessed day on planet Earth! 

So, as the psalmist did, let’s declare with enthusiasm and sincerity: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) And that’s for certain sure my faithful, believing brethren! We’d be extremely foolish if we did not celebrate our life and rejoice in these trying times. 

And we’re only able to do that because Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour has already defeated hell, death and the grave and given us heaven and everlasting life to look forward to! 

And all God’s people said a loud and grateful, ‘Praise the Lord!’  

Now let’s bombard heaven with even more prayer; this from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuler) Hour of Power Devotional, titled ‘A Prayer for Solutions.’ Most likely I’ve shared it before, but that’s immaterial, since prayer never gets stale, is always fresh and welcomed in heaven. 

So please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make right decisions! Forgive me for waiting for all difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all the problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

Yes friends, all of us could do with an increase of faith in these last days. And to help us do that, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with joy and thanksgiving. 

‘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 precious people! There’s no better designation than being the beloved of God and the friend of Jesus! Wow! Right there we’ve captured the best of all worlds! However, let’s remember that those wonderful rights, also bear significant responsibilities, like LOVING others, like sharing Jesus’ LOVE with the entire world! 

And unlike the current trend of irresponsibility in our present world, Christians are expected to be totally responsible in all aspects of their lives. So let’s not forget to do as we should, otherwise we’d be failing Jesus, and that’s one thing we surely don’t want to do. 

And to help us do that (smile) let’s invoke the awesome words of our Bit. ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.’ 

Oh my brethren, when I consider the awesome power of the little tongue, I’m totally amazed. It can spread LOVE, as well as kill it. It can inflame negative things like hate, anger and resentment, and by the same token douse them like water on fire. How does James put it in his spiel on the tongue? 

‘For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:  But the tongue can no man tame: it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 

Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude (likeness) of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.’ (James 3:7-10) 

And that’s gospel truth friends! We ought not to praise God and curse people with the same tongue. But unfortunately we do it, and eventually will pay a hefty price for so doing. Now hear some explanations from the scholars. 

‘3:7. The word tamed (Gr. damazo) occurs in only one other New Testament passage (Mark 5:4), about the maniac of Gadara, which helps us to establish the proper meaning of the word in James. The “taming” has nothing to do with domesticating animals or training them to perform. The meaning is control or dominion. Mankind can control every lesser creature, but no one can control his own tongue.’ 

And is that ever so true!  But unfortunately we do it, though to our detriment. 

‘3:9. James explains that man is made in God’s image (cf. Gen.1:26-27; 5:1), so to curse people and yet bless God is inconsistent. Though the fall of mankind has marred that image or likeness, James teaches that it still exists (as do Gen. 9:6 and 1 Cor. 11:7).’ Please read those scriptures, my friends. 

Now let’s end with further words of James on the plight of the tongue. ‘Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.’ (James 3:11-12)  

And the scholars further explain. ‘3:12. The last clause of verse 12 differs from those that precede it: The former are questions that attempt to illustrate; this one is a statement to teach. As salt water cannot make sweet water, so the person who curses others cannot bless God. The cursing of people truly indicates what lies within a person.’ 

Ah mih breddren, I won’t touch that one (smile) except to say let’s take time to day to ponder how we’re doing individually on that particular problem of cursing people and blessing God. And then, ask God for His ever-available help on the situation, for that’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…if God wanted us to be double mouthed…He would have given us two mouths…

 

 

 

 

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