Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 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.

Awright friends, the trumpet has sounded Monday’s battle cry! That means it’s time for us to be up and at ‘em, for Jesus is waiting at the front lines to lead us into battle. We can’t keep our leader waiting because with each passing moment the enemy is advancing closer and closer and gaining the advantage. So without further ado, let’s put on our spiritual armour and hasten to the battle lines. 

And to help raise our awareness and courage, let’s belt out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn like there was no tomorrow. And for many of us there might just be no earthly tomorrow. 

So in full voice, 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!’ 

That was good friends! It put a smile on Jesus’ face. Now let’s follow Him into battle, as we hit the highways and byways en route to the concrete jungles and brave the frantic attacks of the evil enemy, who doesn’t know that He’s already lost the battle, because Jesus died, was buried and rose from the grave, signifying the death knell of hell, death and the grave. 

Our Bit tells the story in one sentence. ‘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.’ 

Yes my precious people of God, our Lord and Saviour bravely endured the necessary shame and scandal to pay for our sins, by the shedding of His blood, by being the sacrificial Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary. Wow! What a selfless champion we have as our leader! 

And where is He now? Sitting at the right hand of God’s throne interceding for us, His adopted family and faithful followers. Now how can anything be better than that eh? No way Jose! 

Just imagine it nuh mih breddren: The Son of God, giving His life for us, for which He was then given the awesome title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords and raised to second in command of the universe, like Joseph was with Pharaoh, and is now sitting beside his Father pleading for us to be granted mercy, grace and forgiveness, not for anything we have done or can do, but because of the work He has already done! 

And all God’s children joyfully shouted: ‘Glory to Jesus, the Lamb of God who was slain for us! May He reign forever and ever!’ 

And He will friends, there’s no doubt about that, because the ole fool Lucifer is no match for our Saviour. Yuh don’t see what Lucifer does, walk to and fro about the earth, while Jesus sits in regal splendour at His Father’s side in the high heavens. So who is better off eh? 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures which corroborate our Bit: ‘who for the joy that was set before him…’ Now what reward could He have been promised to make Him do what He did eh? 

Hear Jesus rebuke the two followers He met on the road to Emmaus. ‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’ (Luke 24:25-26) Then He proceeded to explain all that the prophets had said concerning Him down through the ages. 

And the scholars explain. 24:26. Ought (Gr. dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16:22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, But Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ 

So friends, for the glory promised by the Father and just from the great desire to do the Father’s will, Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame…’ 

And Bruh Paul tells us in the Good Book, that Jesus: ‘Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’(Phil.2:6-8)  

Oh friends, there’s nothing our God cherishes as much as obedience to His will. And look at how He rewarded Jesus for His obedience. ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Yes precious people of God, that is how generous and magnanimous our heavenly Father can be when we obey His will. So let’s seriously ponder today in what way(s) we are not being obedient. Maybe that’s why our cups are not overflowing. Much LOVE!

…to obey is better than to sacrifice…

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2016 Isaiah 53:7.

Isaiah 53:7.    He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 

‘Oh friends, I, I am blessed, Yes, I want to tell the world that I, I am blessed!’ Sing it with me: ‘Oh we. We are blessed! Let’s tell the world, that we, we are blessed!’

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! For as children of the Most High God Jehovah, followers of Jesus Christ, and fertile soil in which the Holy Spirit dwells, then we must be blessed! Only thing is that a lot of the time, many of us don’t behave as though we are blessed. Instead, we moan and groan and complain about insignificant stuff. 

And yuh know what friends, a lot of the things we consider problems, are things that most of the world would only be too glad to have, along with the many benefits that we take for granted.

We are just too spoiled and complacent, expecting everything to be handed to us on a silver platter. But that’s not real life friends, for in this world serious problems abound, many of which fortunately don’t touch or concern us. 

Most of us have a job, a roof over our heads, food on table and we are reasonably healthy, and if not, we have the opportunity to go to a doctor. Meanwhile, billions of people around the world have none of those amenities, or rather necessities. But yet, we complain about petty stuff. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week’s quotes are both short and to the point. The first says: ‘Don’t expect people to listen to your advice and ignore your example.’ 

And that’s one of the biggest problems in our Christian faith! We talk a good talk, but don’t walk the necessary walk. Consequently we acquire a reputation as hypocrites, like the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.

Oh mih people, that hypocritical aspect of our earthly pilgrimage is hurting our cause so badly that Jesus’ church has now become something of a laughingstock among unbelievers. Sad but true. And it’s our own fault too. 

My fellow believers, we badly need to clean up our act on that front, otherwise all our efforts to mobilize the heathen to join Jesus’ LOVE Revolution will fall on deaf ears, and we’ll be laughed to scorn.

Now is that the result we desire for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross? NO WAY! So let’s get serious and start practicing what we preach nuh, if we truly want to represent Jesus in the best manner possible. Remember, actions work more forcibly on the mind than precepts, mere words.  

And the second of Anselm’s quotes declares: ‘Instead of complaining–contribute.’ Now that’s what we were talking about earlier on. We are a society that complains way too much about petty stuff, when we should be contributing to the solutions of the numerous problems we have.

And yuh know mih people, complaining is a sin! Too much complaining doesn’t sit right with our heavenly Father. He wants us to be giving thanks and praise, regardless of our difficult situations. 

Just look at Jesus, whom we are supposed to be the mirror image of. He had real serious problems down here on earth. But He never complained. The Good Book tells us in our Bit: ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’ 

And in yesterday’s Bit, we saw where it said that Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame….’ He certainly put up with a lot of affliction and rejection for our sakes without a whole lot of complaining. Now I know that we all can’t be as stoic and uncomplaining as Jesus, but we can surely do much better than we’re currently doing. 

And when we have problems, the best way to resist the temptation to complain and carry on is to help others with their problems. It works wonders friends! It not only takes our minds off of our own troubles, but it also pleases and glorifies our heavenly Father! 

Now here are a couple of situations where Isaiah’s prophecy about Jesus not speaking came to pass. First up is His interrogation before the high priest, where two false witnesses stated. ‘This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness (testify) against thee? But Jesus held his peace (remained silent). (Matt.26:61-63a) 

However, shortly after, when the high priest said unto Jesus, ‘I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said (it is as you said): nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’ (Matt. 26:63b-64) 

Possibly Jesus should have kept quiet then too because that only caused the high priest to throw a tantrum, rent his clothes and declare that Jesus’ statement was blasphemous for which the council found Him guilty and began to abuse him, physically and emotionally.  (Matt.26:65-68) 

But I guess Jesus had to say something like that, otherwise they would not have had a case against Him, because it’s that charge of blasphemy for which they finally brought Him before the Roman authorities, seeking His death.  

That brings us to the other time when Jesus remained silent. He was before Pilate the Roman governor. ‘And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness (testify) against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.’ (Matt.27:12-14)

Oh friends, I know it’s difficult, but sometimes it’s best for us too to keep quiet when we are being wrongfully accused. It throws off our accusers, gives us time to think and also time for God to act on our behalf. 

Well enough for us to chew on today. Please take your time, chew slowly, and ponder while you chew. (smile) Much LOVE!

…silence is usually golden in most situations…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2016 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.

Well my people, it was indeed a rainy day in my area yesterday, and today looks like it’s going to be more of the same. But as always, even when we can’t see the sun, we know it’s somewhere behind the dark clouds hovering overhead. 

Likewise, even if we don’t see the Son, we know for sure that He’s around, bright and beautiful, dwelling in our hearts minds, bodies and souls! Glory to God! 

Now it’s Friday, and despite the gloomy weather, I’m still hearing joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and two glorious days of freedom are on the horizon! Oh, the weekend is mine, to do what I want with it! Glory be! And even though the rain is falling, it’s not going to stop me from doing my own thing! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

Ah friends, the lusts of pleasure are rearing their ugly heads, so let’s counteract them with our more sensible way of spending the weekend nuh, by chanting our Friday Chant. In one strong voice 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.’ 

And please people, let’s not just chant the chant, but let’s work it too, put it into action, so that we can have a great upcoming workweek, for remember whatever we sow on the weekend we’ll reap during the week. (smile) 

And that segues quite nicely into our Bit. ‘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.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, to run this race of life successfully, we have to keep looking to Jesus every day, for He is the one who designed the Christian way of life, and faithfully lived it right through to its sacrificial end. We can do no better than emulating Him, for therein lies eternal wisdom. 

Now yesterday we continued dissecting our Bit by looking at the statement ‘who for the joy that was set before him.’ And though there was no joy in the real sense of the word, Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

His obedience to the Father’s will was outstanding. The joy came much later; after He had sacrificed His sinless soul for a bunch of ingrates. And these words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians explains it all. 

‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:5-11) 

Yuh see friends, Jesus came to earth as a man for the specific purpose of dying on the cross for our sins. Remember, He was God, but took on our humanity and humbled Himself as a man, without complaining, so that He could do the Father’s will. 

And yuh see what happened afterwards? The Father exalted Him; made His name higher than every other, and caused every tongue to declare that Christ is Lord, and He’s now set down at the Father’s right hand, offering intercession for us. 

Wow! That’s how the Lord rewards us when we stand in obedience to His word, despite the trials and tribulations involved in our circumstances. It’s not easy, Jesus proved that, and He also promised it. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes mih breddren, though the world will be full of calamity, we can afford to be peaceful and of good cheer, because our Lord and Saviour has already overcome the sinful world. So let’s keep on looking to Jesus nuh, being humble and obedient, caring and compassionate, enduring our trials and troubles with a stalwart resolve, backed by Jesus’ promise never to leave nor forsake us. 

Let’s keep on keeping on, with no thought whatsoever of giving up, until that day when we come to stand before the Father, and He invites us to live with Him forever, by uttering these wonderful words: ‘Welcome, thou good and faithful servant,’ and hugs us to His breast, the way a caring and compassionate father does his child. 

Oh friends, we couldn’t ask for a better welcome than that! So please, let’s get ourselves together and do the things we ought to do nuh – we all know what they are – so that when the trump is called up yonder we’ll be there, getting a heavenly welcome. There’s no better reward than that! Much LOVE!

…true humility and obedience to God’s word on earth…will bring untold rewards and exceeding LOVING-kindness in heaven…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2016 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 God.

Well friends, it’s a cloudy morning in my area. The sun is not shining, but thankfully the Son is holding forth as usual in all His wonderful radiance and brilliant glory! 

All thanks and praise be to our heavenly Father for giving us Jesus as our Messiah, Leader, Lord and Saviour! Without Him, we’d be certainly dead in our sins, heading for a rough and troubled eternity with Lucifer in Hades. 

But thanks to God’s great LOVE and Jesus’ selfless sacrifice, we have been reconciled to the Father and as His beloved children, can now look forward to spending eternity with Him in heaven. Glory Hallelujah! 

And on that glorious note, let’s declare out Thursday Blessings, as we remember that a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. With true belief, sincerity and enthusiasm 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!’ 

Glory to God my people! We shall be blessed when we go out and come in, when we sit or lie down… in fact in all aspects of our lives our God will cause us to prosper. Wow! Isn’t that something else? It surely is! 

That’s why we have to pay serious attention to our Bit. ‘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.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus was the original trailblazer of our faith. He first ran the race and set all the standards for it. Now we need to adhere to those standards so that we can run the race successfully too. It’s not an easy race to run, for it’s a marathon across hill and dale, rivers and streams, one fraught with all sorts of dangers and impediments. 

But thankfully Jesus has blazed the trail, shown us the way, lit the path, and if we sincerely abide by His word, then we too will have success, and one day hear the Father declare: ‘Welcome, thou good and faithful servant!’ 

Oh what a joyful day that will be my people! But first we have to get serious about looking to Jesus and following in His famous footsteps, otherwise we’re just wasting our time and His. 

Now let’s look at a couple of interesting parts of our Bit, the first being, ‘who for the joy that was set before him…’ 

Now I really don’t see the joy in what Jesus was asked to do by the Father nuh – take the sins of the world on His shoulders, be crucified in innocence to pay for the iniquity and transgressions of ungrateful people. 

It was joyful for us, because through His actions our sins were forgiven, but it must surely have been mind-bending and agonizing for Him. However, despite the affliction, His obedience to the Father’s will was perfect. 

That brings us to Jesus’ words to the two disciples He met on Resurrection Day along the road to Emmaus. He chided them for their disbelief. 

‘Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.’ (Luke 24:25-27) 

Oh friends, the Lord didn’t send the prophets because He had nothing better to do, but to open the eyes of the people unto the coming of Jesus and what His purpose was going to be. 

Hear the scholars. ’24:26. Ought (Gr. dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16; 22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, but Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ 

And unfortunately, today a lot of us are also refusing to understand the importance of the Old Testament in the formation of the New Testament. But the scholars kindly inform us: ‘24:27. The entire Old Testament is indispensable for a grounded grasp of the identity and significance of Jesus.’ 

That is friends, if we don’t understand Jesus’ role and significance in the Old Testament; His appearances, His status, His doings and the prophesies about Him, we won’t be fully able to comprehend His form and function in the New Testament. 

Therefore, please, let’s stop considering the Old Testament as passé, because it isn’t. It’s just as important as the New Testament in that it expounds the nature of our faith; it’s beginnings, its ups and downs, its promises, and above all the great message about our Messiah. 

So today, as Almighty God blesses us, and as we bless others, let’s remember where we came from – the Old Testament – because if we don’t know our history and recognize it as being important, we surely won’t know our future; where we’re going, the direction in which we’re headed and how to handle it. Much LOVE!

…only as we look to Jesus…will we see the true path to successful living…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2016 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.

Well my faithful brethren, we’ve been treated to yet another glorious day on God’s great earth! Wow! I sincerely hope that we gave much thanks when we awakened to this bright new day, for the Lord deserves our gratefulness for all the blessings He bestows on us, His beautiful children. (smile) 

Remember His tender mercies are new every morning; we don’t get yesterday’s leftovers. So please, let’s not forget to lift our voices in praise and thanks every time we open our eyes to a new morn. It is very mete and right to do so. 

Now listen to something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that is ever so appropriate to many of us believers. It’s simply called ‘EXCUSES.’  

And it says: ‘O God I’ve become a self-educated master Of a thousand polished excuses. Hoping to avoid your penetrating gaze I clutch them to me like valuable gems. When I think I have myself thoroughly covered I’m caught short with the realization That You see right through me. My flimsy excuses are never really hidden. 

I find an excuse for all my failures Wrong choices Late appointments Wasted time. I excuse my foolish blunders, my laziness My broken resolves, my unreached goals. I need Your help, Lord! To hide from You is as foolish As the Grand Canyon Attempting to hide from the sky. 

O God, my only hope Lies in Your invincible power To make me what I am not yet But what You know I can become. Strengthen my will, Lord. Make me firm, steadfast, consistent. Control my impulses, my emotions. May I keep pursuing and never quit.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately many of us believers try to hide or run from God with flimsy excuses, but common sense ought to tell us that we can never run or hide from a Deity that’s omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, for He sees and hears all. His vision is so powerful that it can see right down into the very depths of our being and discern our motives, good or bad. 

So please let’s wise up and stop trying to run and hide from our heavenly Father nuh. We might be able to do it with our earthly fathers, but definitely not with the One above. And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with enthusiasm, sincerity and truth. 

As one strong voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

Oh my people, it’s so good to be alive, to feel that glorious breath of God just flowing through my body, letting me know that I am alive; alive and LOVED! Consequently, I’m not looking back, but focusing on the wonderful future that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has planned for me! 

Glory to our most magnificent and magnanimous God! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! It never ceases to amaze me. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which is the scripture promise attached to the poem above. ‘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.’ 

Oh my brethren, what wonderful words of advice! As we said above, our eyes and hearts ought to be focused exclusively on Jesus! Why? Because He is indeed the originator and perfecter of our faith! He began it all, and He will end it all! 

And the first verse of the chapter, that before our Bit, gives us the basic reason for looking unto Jesus. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside very 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) 

Yeh friends, the author of Hebrews, which I firmly believe is Bruh Paul, uses the metaphor of a race to describe our earthly pilgrimage. Now hear is how the scholars break down that verse. 

’12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter 11. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses: (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet this Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

The race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to the impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner or the faithful Christian they must be removed. 

Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones).  

Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance (as it is in the cognate verb forms of vv. 2 –3). Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32; 36-38; 11:13).’ 

Now hear some words from the scholars on our Bit. ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and 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.’ 

Oh my people, this earthly race is often difficult to run, and to do it successfully we need to keep our eyes trained on Jesus, because He is the One who first ran the race and successfully completed it. In other words, He laid a path for us to follow. So please, let’s be wise and follow it nuh. Much LOVE!

…only as we stick to the path laid down by Jesus…with endurance and perseverance…can we run life’s race successfully…  

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I had a rather late night, which means a late morning too. (smile)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏‏‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

Aye mih breddren, it’s a white winter’s morn in my neck of the woods this Holy Thursday of 2016. Yes, it’s beautiful to the eyes, but ever so dangerous to the body. A late winter, early spring storm dumped some of the white stuff on us; thankfully not as much as the East Coast and parts to the north of us. 

The problem though is it’s not straight snow but more a combination with freezing rain, which means there’s a high ice content making things very slippery and dangerous. So those of you who have to go out there, please make sure you are very careful because it doesn’t take much under those conditions for accidents to happen. 

Thankfully I don’t have to go out there today. And besides, the last two days have been rather busy, and what with the unusually late nights too, the ole fella needs a bit of a rest. He’s not as young as he was or as mobile and agile as he thinks he is. (smile) 

And we’re going to begin today with a serious and sincere prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. We’re going to give ourselves to God, either for the first time, or if we’ve done so before, rededicate our lives to Him. 

So please pray with me: ‘Almighty God, it is a beautiful way to live to know that you are there with a plan for my life, and through prayer I can draw my life into harmony with your plan. I know, God, that your plan for my life calls for me to follow Christ. 

Jesus Christ, I give my life to you. I’ve never done it before. That has been my problem. That has been my hang up. O God, I give my life to you now. Take my life Jesus Christ, and make it yours. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your LOVE. You are doing it now and I thank you. Amen.’  

Yeh friends, what better time to dedicate or rededicate our lives to Christ than just before He sacrifices His life for us tomorrow on Good Friday! 

We all know it wasn’t an easy time for Him, how He went into the Garden of Gethsemane in the evening and with an anguished spirit, pleaded with the Father, that if it were at all possible, He would be spared the difficult and dehumanizing ordeal. (Matt.26:36-46) 

But it was not, and Jesus knew that, but it just shows that in His humanity He was as vulnerable and anxious as any man would be. 

However, finally accepting that His ordeal could not be put aside, He eventually said: ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass from me except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:42) 

Ah mih people, that is how we have to react sometimes too. Even though we know that the going will be pretty rough and painful, if it’s the Lord’s will, we just have to grin and bear it. Remember too, that He will not give us more than we can bear, and will always help us through whatever painful and sorrowful situations we go through. 

Those are the thoughts of faith we must use to get us through the rough times. For as our Bit declares: ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, unfortunately, living for Jesus is a two way street. It’s not easy, but the rewards do outweigh the pain and heartache. And as we promised yesterday, here is the rather appropriate passage from 2 Corinthians. 

‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ (2 Cor.4:17-18) 

Yeh friends, we can’t afford to merely look at and concentrate on the things that are happening to us in this life, because they are temporary, only for a short while, but through our eyes of faith must keep focused on the things of heaven which we cannot see, but which are so much more valuable and worthwhile than the destructible things of the world. 

My brethren, it’s a serious decision we have to make to follow Christ. We cannot have a wishy-washy, half-baked, fence-sitting attitude, if we really want to be a true Christian. It’s true that Christ died that we may have an abundant life, but he also said that it would be filled with persecution, just because we believed on Him. 

However, He also said that we should not be afraid, because he had already conquered the world, and there was nothing the world could do to us. And we’ll finish with another appropriate scripture passage for this Holy Thursday. 

This one from Hebrews: ‘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.’ (Heb.12:2) 

And what was that joy, you ask? ‘Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Yes precious people, that’s how the Father rewarded Jesus for sacrificing His sinless life for us. Will He not amply reward us too if we are obedient to His will? Of  course! 

So please let’s go into Good Friday with a sense of suffering for and with Christ, so that when He is exalted, we also will be exalted with Him. There’s no better wisdom than that! Much LOVE!

…any ‘sufferation’ that comes from doing God’s will…will be amply rewarded….in God’s way…and in God’s time…that’s a proven fact… 

P.S. It’s late and long, but oh so good! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2015 Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1. 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. 
 

All hail my fine Friends in Jesus Christ! It’s a brand new spanking day! Yes my brethren, we’ve been granted the fabulous gift of life on a new day through the wonderful grace of Almighty God, so please, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!
 
Let’s joyfully enjoy (smile) the new mercies and blessings that have been specially prepared for us for this day. Let’s also do our best to live up to the high ideals of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose motto is excellence at all times.
 
And having said all of that, on this chilly Thursday morning, the 15th day of January 2015, I have this most appropriate passage for this time of year to share from the One Year Book of Promises, with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s simply titled ‘January.’
 
Read with me: ‘It’s January, Lord – The drab, dreary middle – And my thoughts are as drab As the miserable month. Does everybody hit a January slump Or am I the only one? The first week wasn’t too bad: There were Christmas thank-yous to write A few resolutions to store away The huddle of year-end sales.
 
But thank-you notes bring no returns And resolutions are quickly broken And marked-down trinkets fast lose appeal. When you said Behold, I make all things new Did you forget January, Lord? Or in January do I sometimes forget You?’
 
Oh my people, those sentiments are so true, for many of us feel that way at this time of year. I guess we can call them the ‘dog days’ of January, where we’re somewhat lost in the middle of it all. The celebrations are over and done with for the old year, and the new one hasn’t quite taken shape or hold as yet.
 
Plus we’re wondering and contemplating how we’re going to pay the bills that we’ve amassed over the Christmas season. (smile) But yuh know what my fellow believers in Christ? In this time of uncertainty, we can all hold on to the promise attached to that passage, which we’ll use as 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.’
 
Yes Friends, there are so many heroes of faith that have gone before us that we don’t lack for good and positive examples in living our Christian faith. But we need to do certain things if we’re going to be successful.
 
First of all we need to throw off any weight, both literally and figuratively, any impediment at all that is holding us back from running our race. We also need to throw off any sin, large or small, that’s entangling us, that has us struggling or keeping us back from reaching the lofty goals that Christ has planned for us.
 
And above all, we need to do those things with patience and perseverance, keep a steadfast and true pace. Yes my people, we need to be always trying to improve as we run this race of life.
 
And as the author of Hebrews so wisely and rightly continues, we ought to be: ‘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.’ (Heb.12:2)
 
Oh Friends, what an encouraging and uplifting picture! Jesus is the best example of earthly living we can, and will ever have! He both began and finished the course of our faith. So we need to look to Him for proper guidance and strength to face this rat-race world that we’re currently living in.
 
We’ll never be perfect as Him, but the important thing is to try, to do our best to get as close to a Christ-like character as we can. That brings us to our New Year’s resolution of endeavouring to have a closer walk with Jesus.
 
I do hope that we haven’t already forgotten it as we get caught up again in the busyness of life. And I believe that if we’re feeling like the passage above from the Book of Promises, then we have indeed forgotten that resolution.
 
Please, let’s realign our priorities, with Jesus as NUMBER ONE, so that we can have a fruitful and successful 2015, for I firmly and faithfully believe that this will be the BEST YEAR in many of our lives!
 
Now let’s look at a scripture passage that adds weight to our Bit and empowers us in our faith. Hear Bruh Paul’s advice to the Colossians, where he’s talking about the new life in Christ. Here are some weights that we might need to throw off to lighten our load in running this race of life.
 
‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond (slave) nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.’ (Col.3:8-11)
 
Truly words of wisdom, my people! Now let’s close with some interesting and important notes from the scholars re those verses. ‘3:9. Seeing means “since.” The old man is all that a person was prior to salvation: his worldly thinking and sinful acts. Since all this was renounced at conversion, one should lie not. Falsehood ill becomes the person claiming to be a disciple of Him who said, “I am the…truth.”
 
3:10. The new man is the person one becomes after conversion: he possesses a new nature, values, aspirations, and a new life-style. This “new man” is constantly being renewed or developed until he attains a mature knowledge of the God who (re)created him. The more a believer knows and understands of God, the more he will be like God in character and conduct.’
 
‘3:11. Not only is the “new man” to put sin to death, he is also to put away man-made barriers that divide people and that nourish the vices of the old life. Among renewed humanity there are no national, ceremonial, cultural, or social distinctions. To the redeemed Christ is all; that is, He is everything, and He is what matters most to them. And Christ is…in all; that is, He dwells in all believers.’
 
Oh my people, it’s not easy trying to live a truly Christian life in this evil and ungodly world, but if we stick like glue to Christ, He will empower us to run this earthly race successfully, and that’s no lie! Much LOVE!
 
…just a closer walk with thee…grant it Jesus…is my plea…daily walking close to thee…let it be…dear Lord…let it be…

 

 

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