Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2017 Mark 13:13.

Mark 13:13.    And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure (bear patiently, be persistent) unto the end, the same shall be saved.

And then it was Saturday mih breddren; a day for lazing around for some lucky ones, while others will be forced to do household chores ignored during the week, or go grocery shopping… 

Chuh! It’s always something eh? Whatever happened to the glorious promises that technological innovation would make our lives easier eh? Our lives are busier than they ever were! Yes we have much more stuff, but we also have much more stuff to look after. Anyway friends, there’s no need to worry, for it’s all under God’s mighty and wise control! Glory to Him in the highest! 

But it’s Saturday, so let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  Hear this first one: ‘Be congruent (in harmony, together), be authentic, be your true self. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.’ 

Ah friends, that’s how we ought to be, but in these fraudulent, selfish times, too many people are not their true selves, they are two-faced for whatever reason, thus they cannot live in harmony with themselves.  

And then there’s this one: ‘See the good in people and help them. I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.’ That’s a very good philosophy my people. We should always look for the good in others, but in these current times, we still need to be very careful about whom we let into our private space.  

Now listen to this quote: ‘Take care of this moment. I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.’ Much truth lies in that. Jesus said that if we sought the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all we needed to lead a good life would be provided. 

Then He concluded: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34) That simply means that every day will take care of itself if you are living under the umbrella of the heavenly Father. 

And I like this last quote. ‘Persist. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ Yes, precious people of God,, there’s an awful lot to be said about persistence. It will get us through the most agonizing and harrowing experiences or situations when nothing else will. 

And we have one of the best examples of that in our Bit. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure (bear patiently, be persistent) unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ 

Ah friends, those are the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, expressed in the course of telling His disciples about the signs for the end times. Please note that those who shall be saved, are those who endure, persist, have the patience, the belly and backbone to stand up until the end, against all the evil and unjust stuff that will come against believers. 

And we are seeing a lot of that stuff happening nowadays my fellow believers, which means we have to band our bellies and stand strong and steadfast in Jesus’ name, if we want to see the kingdom of heaven. We can’t afford to fall down, give up, and whimper out in fear now. This is the most crucial time in our history; a time when the sheep will be separated from the goats. The sheep will follow Jesus, while the goats will lust for Beelzebub. 

And we will invoke the eternal wisdom of the author of the Hebrews. Hear this classic verse. ‘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, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

What a magnificent verse of scripture that is my brethren! So strong that it ought to light a fire under us in these end times! We need lots of patience, perseverance and endurance my people if we’re going to fight the good fight for Christ! 

And to boost our spirits and courage at this stage of the game, please listen to Jesus’ promise as told by Luke. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) 

What a promise mih people! Not a hair on our heads will perish if we stand up strong under the persecution that will come against us. Wow! And we all know that Jesus is ever-faithful to keep ALL of His promises. So please hold on strong, stand in unity, because together we’re much stronger than apart. 

Let’s raise up Christ’s church as we’re supposed to nuh. This is the time when all Christians must come together, regardless of colour, class, creed or race. Let’s do it for Jesus. It’s the least we can do for all that He’s done for us. Much LOVE!

…stand up…stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2016 Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28.   And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

Well a blessed day to all you my Scrip-Bit family and friends! And I know that some of us will be quick to say what’s so blessed about it eh? Just look at my circumstances, look at how I’m suffering and struggling. I certainly wouldn’t call that blessed. 

I understand that friends, but it’s all in our attitude toward those circumstances and struggles. Too many Christians expect to just have a nice smooth ride through life without any problems simply because they are followers of Christ. But it doesn’t work like that. Unfortunately, the greater our calling from God, ofttimes the greater the struggle in our lives. 

Look at all the great prophets, Bruh Joseph, Moses, Bruh David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Bruh Paul, and finally Jesus Christ Himself; they all went through many trials and much tribulation to accomplish their earthly goals. Jesus even warned us: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) 

And furthermore, the Lord uses these trials and struggles to test us, to build and grow our faith; to see if we truly believe and are willing to rely on Him and His promises. As Job, another righteous man who suffered great tribulation declared during his time of trial. ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ (Job 23:10) 

And the scholars have an interesting take on that verse. ’23:10. I shall come forth as gold: His friends maintained that Job was full of dross, but Job is confident that no dross, or sin, would be revealed in the fires of refinement.’ 

Yes friends, the Lord puts us through our paces like we put metals through fire to purify them. And believe me, when you go through some of those refining fires, you will come out as bright and beautiful and strong and faithful as gold! 

And we don’t even have to go to the Good Book to learn about struggles; listen to these quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. He says first: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And the corollary to that is; Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.’ 

Gospel truth all of that my fellow believers! That’s why so many of this young generation are so soft and sappy and whiny, because they have had most everything given to them by us doting parents. They never had to struggle or work hard for something, so therefore there is no real appreciation of anything they have or get. 

In their minds the world owes them a living. And that’s a big disservice we’ve done to them. No wonder most of them have no belly or backbone, and are quick to throw in the towel as soon as hard times show up. 

Oh my people, everybody goes through struggles and hard times, whether you’re rich, poor, black, white, Muslim, Jew, or whatever, but where we believers win out over the others is that we have the rich and faithful promises of our God to depend on. 

We know for instance that as Bruh Paul told the Corinthians in his first letter: ‘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 you are able to bear, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13)  

Yes my struggling and suffering fellow believers, our God promises never to give or allow us to bear more than we can handle and will either make a way out for us, or give us the wherewithal to endure it. He doesn’t always make us escape it, but more often than not He brings us safely through it. Another way to boost our faith and make us spiritually strong, more Christ-like, which is the basic goal for all believers. 

That brings us to our Bit, another crucial promise from our ever-faithful God. In the momentous words of Bruh Paul: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ 

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful promise! Only we Christians are assured that our omnipotent, ever-LOVING God will work out everything in our favour eventually, according to His timetable! It’s all a matter of faith, of belief, of patience and perseverance my people! 

And this is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15) To them who are called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.”  

And for those of us who want to know what Job 13:15 says but are too lazy to look it up, let me spoon feed you. (smile) Job defends his integrity before his condescending and self-righteous friends by declaring of God: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine (defend my) own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) Just thought I’d throw in verse 16 for good measure. (smile) 

And the scholars say of ’13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, in these godless, deceitful and evil times, that is the kind of faith we believers need to have, an unquenchable kind, if we’re going to see it through to a victorious end!  

And we’ll conclude with these fateful words of Jesus: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) Much LOVE!

…Christians have to understand that struggles are a part of human life…but we have the certain promise of victory in the end…to see us through life’s storms in the middle…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2016 Luke 9:23

Luke 9:23.   And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

And then it was a dry, warmer, sunshiny Tuesday! Glory to God! Yeh friends, Tuesday has dawned much better than Monday did, and let’s hope the remaining days of the week will do likewise. 

Oh, they are even forecasting temps up in the high teens for the latter part of the week. Let’s hope that the weather people are right, because we do need a break from this rather unseasonable weather. And all God’s people in the beleaguered northern climes shouted a loud ‘For sure!’ (smile) 

But my people, though the weather might be important to a certain extent, we cannot allow it to be a major focus in our lives. It’s not that important. Our focus must be concentrated on Jesus and doing His will here on earth. 

And to help us do that this Tuesday, spring-like morning, (smile) let’s declare, let’s confess our Tuesday Mantra with a whole lot of enthusiasm and conviction. 

As one 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.’ 

And isn’t that the glorious truth my fellow believers? Indeed it is! We are not defined by whom this evil and adulterated world says we are. No! We are defined as God’s beloved children and all the wonderful things that entails! 

All praise and glory be to our heavenly Father for His mercy and LOVING-kindness, sending Jesus to die for us, then to become our friend and most trusted confidante! Oh what an honour that is! 

Consequently, we are duty bound to share the good news of His gospel and His unconditional LOVE with all we meet, wherever we might go, for we are today’s disciples, entrusted with the sacred duty and directive, aptly named ‘The Great Commission’: 

‘Go therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Oh friends and neighbours, are we fulfilling that mandate to the best of our ability? I don’t think so nuh, else the church of Jesus; His earthly body of followers would be much larger, more cohesive and Christ-like than it is today. The divisions and dissensions, the envy and jealousy and resentment would surely not be as great as they currently are. 

Now here is some interesting info from the scholars, termed the ‘Purpose of the Church.’ ’28:19. The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people. Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers. 

The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service. A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others. The Great Commission is a simple command with three steps – evangelism, baptism, and education. 

Illustration: The Great Commission is the strategy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel. Application: Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God’s objective for that institution. (First Ref. Matt.16:18; Primary ref. Matt.28:19; cf. Phil.1:27).’ 

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, are we upholding all the aspects of the Great Commission in our local churches, are we saturating our local communities with the gospel? I don’t think so nuh. At least not to the extent that we should. 

Are we evangelizing and training disciples in the knowledge of Christ? Not as we ought to. The church of Christ ought to be more forceful and proactive, not fearful and reactive and divisive as it is. Unless we’re all on the same page, nothing truly constructive will be done to further God’s glorious kingdom. 

And it all begins with us at the individual and local level my people; right down at the grass roots. The church needs a solid foundation at the bottom, just as any successful organization needs to have, if it is to grow strong and prosper for an enduring length of time, and in Christ’s case, forever. 

That finally brings us to our Bit, where Jesus laid down the terms of discipleship in His organization. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Yes my precious people, to be true disciples of Jesus, we have to take up our cross, and follow Jesus. And please note that He emphasizes a ‘daily’ taking up of our cross, not sometimes, or when we feel like, but each and every day of our lives. 

Now listen to how Matthew characterizes it in his gospel. ‘He that LOVETH father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that LOVETH son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt.10:37-39) 

Yeh friends, Jesus is supposed to be our NUMBER ONE LOVE! No ifs ands and buts about that! And if we LOVE anybody else or anything more than Him, then unfortunately we are not worthy of Him. 

So please, today, let’s take some time to truly ponder what position Jesus holds on the depth chart of our LOVE, and do whatever it takes nuh, with God’s help obviously, to make Him Number One, El Numero Uno! For that is true wisdom. Much LOVE!

…who is the Greatest…Jesus…who is Number One…Jesus…who is our Lord and Saviour…Jesus…who is our Advocate in heaven…Jesus…it’s ALL about Jesus… 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness, but the ole fella’s life been sort of topsy turvy these last few days. Got to bring it into balance. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 June 2015 Psalm 103:8‏

Psalm 103:8.   The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).

‘Aye ah yie, mih people is Monday! (background voices) -Glory be now! – Oh yah yo, mih breddren is Monday! -Hallelujah!- That means is time to get up and get ready, ready to go out and labour; Labour for Christ Jesus, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour! -Praise His Holy Name! – Sing the chorus Friends. Aye ah yie mih people is Monday!  -Glory be now! – Oh yah yo, mih breddren is Monday! -Hallelujah…!’

Yes Friends, just a li’l ditty, a li’l kaiso to lively up ourselves, to put a li’l amusement in our spirits as we face this Monday morning at the end of June. (smile) Thankfully, the rain seems to have stopped in my area, but the ground is still soggy and the roads might still be a tad wet and slippery, so please be careful in your morning drive.

And talking about morning drive, please remember that as of today, all the major highways are down to one lane less, because those lanes, in somebody’s false wisdom, have been converted to HOV lanes, where only cars with at least three passengers can travel for the next month. Ah Lord eh! And all of that was done so that people involved in the Pan Am Games beginning sometime this week, can get around quicker.

Chuh! Obviously the people who pay for all the expenses and the corruption that goes on in these artificial games don’t really matter. They will just have to endure even more traffic snarls with one lane lost to the already parking lot status on our highways. Normal HOV lanes only require two people in the car, so this will force those who carpool to avoid the traffic, right back into even more congestion.

Steups! Let’s just hope I don’t get caught up in too much of it nuh. But there’s no use complaining now, since there’s nothing we can do about it, except in the next elections not vote back into power, this brazen, inept, inefficient, corrupt and two-faced government. So let’s move on and sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much gusto, and leave them to the Lord.

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’

That was pretty good Friends…in comparison to last week. (smile) Jesus wasn’t as disappointed. And we’ll get right into our Bit. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).’

Oh Friends, I don’t know what we would have done without such a wonderful God nuh. Just listen to this litany of wrongdoing that the Israelites committed, and yet the Lord did not destroy them totally. The scripture comes from the book of Nehemiah.

‘But they and our fathers dealt proudly (acted presumptuously or insolently), and hardened (stiffened) their necks (became stubborn), and hearkened not to (did not heed) thy commandments. And refused to obey, neither were they mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt and had wrought (worked) great provocations (wonders); Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way, neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way wherein they should go.

Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old (did not wear out), and their feet swelled not.’ (Neh.9:16-21)

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! No other Deity would have put up with the shenanigans of the Israelites; they would certainly have been destroyed, or just left to paddle their own canoe, as best they could. But instead our magnanimous God showed them mercy and forgiveness and looked after them in the wilderness, in spite of their gross disobedience and sinfulness.

But it was not all wine and roses, for none of those who came out of Egypt, except Joshua and Caleb, even Moses, never set foot in the Promised Land. So though our God is wonderful, there are consequences to be paid for continual disobedience.

And we’ll end with a passage from James, where he’s talking about patience in affliction. ‘Behold, we count them happy (blessed) which endure. Ye have heard of the patience (perseverance) of Job, and have seen the end of (intended by) the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful (compassionate), and of tender mercy.’ (James 5:11)

And every believer ought to be able to vouch for that because He has shown compassion, mercy and forgiveness to each and every one of us at one stage, or more like several stages of our lives. Now let’s go out and live up to the expectations and standards He expects of us, for that is indeed the zenith of wisdom and common sense. Much LOVE!

…how could anyone with even a drop of wisdom or common sense…not greatly appreciate the mercy…the long-suffering… the grace…the compassion…and all the other wonderful attributes of Almighty God eh…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2014 Matthew 24:13

Matthew 24:13.     But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Oh Friends, wonder of wonders, we’ve been granted another wonderful opportunity to serve Almighty God with the gift of life today! Glory Hallelujah!
 
And my people, please realize that today is today; not yesterday or tomorrow, but simply TODAY; the present time; a present from our heavenly Father! So let’s concentrate on it and no other nuh.
 
Let’s try to do our very best on this one special day, for every day that we’ve been granted the awesome privilege of drawing breath is indeed special, and ought to be treated as such. And if we just do that, treat each day as being very special and important, then it will surely satisfy the desires of yesterday, and spur on the growth for tomorrow.
 
Please note that that was what Jesus did during His earthly sojourn. He got up early, had meaningful communication with the Father, mapped out His day in accordance with the Father’s wishes and will, then He went out and worked that plan; healing and doing good.
 
He wasn’t overly concerned with what had happened yesterday, or was going to happen tomorrow, but kept His focus on, concentrated the vast majority of His energy and time on fulfilling His goals for that particular day, which is always, TODAY.
 
Therefore, in accordance with Jesus’ modus operandi, I’m asking us to please put the same perspective in our own lives; simply concentrate on what we can and have to do today.
 
As Jesus warned His listeners in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34)
 
Yes Friends, once we’re seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness today, tomorrow will look after itself. And remember that tomorrow never really comes, it simply becomes today, so we just have to keep on doing the same thing, seeking God and His righteousness every today.
 
And that’s possibly the easiest way for us to adhere to our Bit: ‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’
 
Oh mih people, as we said yesterday, the trait of endurance is a must in the believer’s life! And it’s possibly the hardest thing to do with all the pressures of life, of living, and of the world, being heaped upon us in these very sad and troubled times.
 
That’s why concentrating on just one day at a time, the day ahead of us, is so important. It frees us from all the other concerns that yesterday and tomorrow would have us pay unnecessary attention to. And just like yesterday, we’re going to look at some more of the many scripture passages that have to do with enduring.
 
And we’re going to begin with the words of Jesus, when He warns the disciples of serious persecution in their future. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.19:22)
 
Yes my brethren, as the saying goes, ‘the race is not for the swift, but for the sure of foot;’ the one who takes his time to see where he is going and spells himself, so that he can endure; last the entire race.
 
Then we have the author of Hebrews warning us: ‘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.10:35-36)
 
Again, my people, it is all about staying strong and steadfast in the work of Christ, which we know isn’t always easy, but we’re certain of His generous help when we obey His will.
 
Meanwhile, James says this on the very real and tangible subject of temptation. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12)
 
And I think Friends, that it will be an excellent idea to close with some wise, interesting and important observations from the scholars on that verse.
 
‘1:12. Mankind understandably may look on tragedy as the curse of God, as Job’s friends did. Trials are, however, the means through which God’s blessings can come. One’s endurance in and victory over trials brings God’s blessings. Christians, therefore, are not instructed to seek avenues of escape.
 
God desires that they mature in the situation rather than move from it (cf. Rom.5:3-5; 1 Pet.1:6-7). He does, however, promise to provide an escape if the testing becomes unbearable (1 Cor.10:13).’
 
And I’ll break the scholars words here to show us that scripture, since I know that many of us won’t look it up if I just say to do so, and it’s very important for us to know and understand that scripture verse.
 
‘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 (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13)
 
Yeh Friends, we all run to that verse as soon as trouble shows up, expecting God to quickly deliver us. But that’s not the purpose it serves.
 
For, as the scholars continue: ‘God’s people need to meditate more on James 1:12 than 1 Corinthians 10:13. The reason for this, and why God allows trials in the lives of His people, is revealed in the Mosaic Law: ‘That he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end.’ (Deut.8:16).’
 
Yeh mih breddren, running this race of earthly life is all about ENDURANCE; about standing strong and steadfast in God’s LOVE and plan for each and every one of us.
 
So today, let’s make it our number one priority nuh, for that is indeed the wisdom of Almighty God, and we certainly can’t get any better than that! Much LOVE!
 
…when we make up our minds to endure…rather than simply escape…our heavenly Father is pleased…and gives us even more grace to endure…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2014 Matthew 24:13

Matthew 24:13.    But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Summer, oh beautiful summer! What would we do without you eh? Hn! Possibly go more than stir crazy from being cooped up inside for so long. And I hear a lot of laughter coming from down south.

Yes you southerners, you can laugh because summer is a year round treat for you all. But we northerners do appreciate our summer, after those long, cold, winter days and nights cosseted in close quarters.

That’s why we go crazy, behave like leggo-beasts, when the summer time comes around and we experience the thrilling rays of a sun that shines not only bright, but also hot and heavy, and we can get outside in the heat, half naked – sometimes totally naked – (smile) and let loose all the passion and enthusiasm we’ve stored up during the dreadful winter months.

And so far we’ve had beautiful summer weather; not too hot, but hot enough, with decent winds to keep us comfortable, so that the days and nights aren’t too muggy and sweaty.

And all God’s people declared a loud and hearty cheer of ‘Thank you Lord for this delightful summer weather! We hope that it continues like this all summer long! And in grateful appreciation, we praise and honour your glorious name! Amen!’

But Friends, please remember that the summer has just begun, so everything and anything is still possible. But we’ve just got to hold on to our optimism with hungry hope and expectant faith, without thinking about what lies ahead after summer – winter, with its cold, lonely days and dark, dreary nights.

And now that I’ve put the fear of winter into us, (smile) let’s turn to the word from our almanac today that shouts at us: ‘ENDURE!’ 

Yes Friends, we need to endure those long, dark, lonely days and nights of winter, be they physical or emotional, so that we can eventually come into the light and lightheartedness of summer. Whatever we’re going through my people, whenever we go though it, ENDURANCE is a MUST!

For as the ensuing quote from the war days British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill (1874-1965) declares: ‘Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer.’

And that’s indisputable truth my brethren! You may not always conquer when you endure, but you’ll NEVER CONQUER, UNLESS YOU ENDURE!

And that goes for our Christian faith more than anything else in this whole wide world! Jesus clearly states the need for endurance in our Bit: ‘But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.’

Oh Friends, there are so many Scripture passages that call for the express need of endurance on our earthly pilgrimage, that I’m just going to quote a few of them. Let’s begin with something from the gospel of Mark, where Jesus is relating the parable of the sower.

‘And these (seeds) are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in them selves; and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction (tribulation) or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended (caused to stumble).’ (Mark 4:16-17)

Yes my people, in God’s great universe, even seeds need to endure in the darkness of the earth for a time, until they are ready to sprout forth. And unfortunately, too many of us today are like those seeds that are sown on stony ground. As soon as any difficulties arise, we are quick to complain and bail out.

But my brethren, the hallmark of a true believer in Christ is in our strong power of endurance, our perseverance and steadfastness, regardless of our prevailing circumstances! That’s why Jesus also told the disciples: ‘In your patience (perseverance, long-suffering) possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:19)

Patience and perseverance are paramount in Christianity my people!

Meanwhile, in Bruh Paul’s famous chapter on LOVE, he boldly declares of that most venerable emotion: ‘(LOVE) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ (1 Cor.13:7)

Yeh Friends, true LOVE is of God, and it endures everything that’s thrown against it, and in doing so, also lasts forever!

We also know Bruh Paul’s memorable words to the Galatians on the subject: ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart). As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:9-10)

And we’ll end with some more memorable words from Hebrews, re running our earthly race. ‘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 (endurance, perseverance) the race that is set before us.

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 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)

Ah mih people, standing strong and steadfast in faith, with patience, perseverance and endurance is of the utmost importance in our Christian walk!

So let’s take all we’ve heard this morning to heart and let it re-energize us nuh, help us to stand strong, bear all things, in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and thus persist, endure, and see our race of life through to the very end. That’s wisdom of and for the ages! Much LOVE!

…only as believers steadfastly endure their trials and tribulations…will the church of Christ grow…and more importantly…endure… 

P.S. Oh Friends, the ole fella’s shaking it somewhat rough this morning, due to a pretty late night and the untimely acting up of my allergies. But I’m practicing what I preach…I’m enduring. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2014 Acts 14:22

Acts 14:22.    Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Well hello there you wonderful Friends and faithful believers and followers of Jesus Christ! It’s a new day; a beautiful one, filled with new blessings and mercies, and it’s called Monday…
 
And I immediately hear the moans and groans and deleted expletives and comments like: ‘Chuh! Yuh really mean is Monday already! Steups! I really have to get up and go to this stupid job!’
 
Yes Friends, provided you want to earn a living, keep a roof over your family’s head, and bread on the table for your LOVED ones. And I am somewhat disappointed in us my brethren, because it was just last week we woke up with a better perspective, LOVING Mondays and all that it entailed.
 
Oh, so that’s what it was eh; just a dream, as someone in the penny section cried out. (smile) However Friends, the reality is that it’s Monday, and if you’re a true follower of Jesus, you have to get up and go and labour, whether you want to or not. End of story!
 
And remember, as Jesus promised, He will always help us to do whatever He desires of us. And His first helping tool today is that we sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in full, sweet voice. So let’s raise our heads, hearts, eyes and hands heavenward and sing as though there’s no tomorrow.
 
‘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!’ 
 
Not bad mih people, not bad, though I did hear some hoarse, cackling voices. (smile) Now let’s get ourselves together and hit the ground running for Christ; living up to the words of our Bit! ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’
 
Yes Friends, that’s what all believers are called to do; strengthen the faith of others, encouraging them through faithful words and good examples, because walking in the big footsteps of Jesus is not an easy job, definitely not for the faint of heart or timid of mind.
 
The unfortunate fate of the believer is to pass through many trials and tribulations, like Jesus did, before we enter God’s heavenly kingdom. But as I keep saying, the rewards for enduring are fantastic, and totally worth it.
 
Look at what happened to Jesus eh, after He endured His heart-rending tribulation, the Father anointed and exalted Him; ‘and given Him a name to which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11)
 
So if the Father did it for Jesus, why wouldn’t He do it for us eh? No reason whatsoever!
 
Our Bit comes from the section of Acts where Bruh Paul and Barnabas were on a missionary journey, including Lystra, where Bruh Paul was stoned, dragged out of the city and left for dead. (Acts 14:19)
 
But as the Good Book so famously declares: ‘Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And when they had preached the gospel to that city and had taught many (made many disciples), they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and to Antioch.’ (Acts 14:20-21)
 
Fortunately though my people, most of us won’t have to endure such tribulation. But just being a believer WILL bring us trials. As Jesus said, simply ‘For my name’s sake.’ (Luk2 21:12) But please remember Friends, that true faith, trust in and surrender to Jesus brings us an inner strength that nothing or no one can match or take away.
 
Just look at our still severely persecuted brethren all over the world. Despite disastrous persecution, they are still standing strong, not giving up. So why can’t we in this fairly free Western society do the same eh? I guess life’s just too easy for us, we take freedom of worship for granted and thus abuse it.
 
Enough batting of my gums though (smile), time to share this most appropriate scripture from Bruh Paul to Timothy, re being a good soldier in Christ.
 
‘Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:  Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evildoer, even unto bonds (chains); but the word of God is not bound (chained).
 
Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s (chosen ones) sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim.2:7-13)  
 
Oh Friends, please let those words encourage us, let them sink deeply into our consciousness, so that we can develop into good and faithful soldiers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Why? Because that’s the ultimate wisdom of life! Much LOVE!
 
…in the world ye shall have tribulation…but be of good cheer…I have overcome the world….’
 
P.S. Yes Friends, it’s long, but it’s good. (smile) Much LOVE!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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