Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2015 Ephesians 6:12

Ephesians 6:12.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of ) wickedness in high places.

Welcome to a terrific Thursday my brethren! The sun is shining brightly, though it’s still a tad cool in my area. And don’t even talk about the Son, the spiritual light of the world, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…Oh my people, His light is just a-blazing! It’s so brilliant that if you aren’t careful, it will blind you! (smile) 

But such is the amazing and awesome characteristic of the Son of God! And do we ever need the brilliant light of Jesus to shine in this dark and desperate world of ours Friends, because the powers of darkness are ramping up their activities to try and drive the Lord out. 

But fear not Friends, they are fighting a losing battle, since our Redeemer has already conquered death, hell and the grave. When He rose triumphant on that Easter morn, all hold that death held over us was simply blown away. But the problem is that we have to sincerely believe that and consequently fight the powers of darkness with all our might. 

Remember, if we let them into our souls at all, they will only cause chaos, destruction and death. And they will do anything at all to get a foothold in our souls; from simple lies to complex deceit. So we have to be very careful when we come into contact with them or their representatives. 

For just like we are ambassadors of Christ, the evil one also has his ambassadors, and they are just as ruthless and wicked as him, taking no prisoners, destroying everything that’s godly in their path. 

No wonder Bruh Paul in his message to the Ephesians, seriously warned them. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (deceptive schemes) of the devil.’ (Eph.6:10-11) 

And my people that warning is still viable today, possibly more so, since the devil has grown stronger and more devious, deceitful and wicked over the years. Now let’s get some explanations from the scholars on those verses. 

‘6:10. Finally may be rendered “from now on” or “henceforth.” The spiritual battle Christians are engaged in exists “from now on” until the Lord’s return: there is no quarter given: no cease-fire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities. “From now on” till the end there is all-out war. 

The remainder of the verse may be paraphrased, “Let yourselves constantly be strengthened by the Lord, more precisely by His mighty power.’ Yes Friends, we are involved in a spiritual battle right to the end times. 

‘6:11. Put on (Greek ingressive aorist imperative) denotes a sense of urgency, demanding immediate action. To stand has military overtones. This verb was used in classical Greek meaning to resist the enemy and hold a critical position in battle. The wiles of the devil (or, “the Devil’s strategy”): Satan carefully devises schemes and tactics against believers.’ 

But why do we need the armour of God? Because as our Bit informs us: ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ Yes my people, we need God’s armour because we’re not in a fleshly but spiritual battle. 

‘6:12. Wrestle, used of hand to hand combat, emphasizes the personal and individual nature of spiritual warfare waged against each local church and Christian. Flesh and blood refers to humanity. Such is not the church’s adversary. Instead she opposes principalities (rulers), powers (authorities), rulers (world-rulers), spiritual wickedness (wicked spiritual beings), that is, fallen angels, demons, and Lucifer himself.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, from all of that we can obviously see that we’re in a serious spiritual battle of wits and wills with an enemy who is not going to easily give up, even though he knows that his defeat is imminent. 

‘Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:13) 

Yes Friends in our own power we are helpless, we cannot withstand the forces of evil, that’s why we need to put on God’s protective armour, which enables us to stand; to stand up strong against the enemy. 

Hear this from the scholars. ‘6:13. Wherefore means “because of this,” that is, because we face such a formidable foe, we must avail ourselves of God’s provision lest the enemy destroy our Christian witness and ministry. 

The evil day refers to the periodic demonic onslaughts and Satanic assaults. Having done all includes both dressing oneself in God’s armour and resisting Satan, Having done all these, be ready, for the Devil will attack again and again.’ 

Oh my people, those are words of indisputable truth, so please, let’s take them to heart and do what the Good Book says, that is if we want to resist the evil one and his evil cronies. The decision is up to each individual. Let’s hope we all make the right one. Much LOVE!

…it is not wise to go into any kind of battle… without good protective armour…

P.S. Sorry for the lateness of the Bit, but I just got up late and was a tad under the weather. Sister K, hope this epistle is short enough for you. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2015 Matthew 9:36‏‏

Matthew 9:36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Ah Friends, it’s Friday, and it’s supposed to be another glorious day in my neck of the woods, so you can imagine the craziness that’s going to take place this weekend if the weather stays fairly warm. All the barbecues and everything that smacks of summer will be out in full swing.

You can already hear the working populace crying out with joy. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday yes, and the weekend’s up to bat! The ribs will be a braising and the beer a flowing! The talk will be plentiful and the laughter hearty and loud! Thank God at last for a warm weekend yes!’

Ah mih breddren, those of you down south, who have warm weather and plentiful sunshine all year round, wouldn’t understand what a nice, warm weekend means to us northerners nuh. But most aspects of our lives are built around the weather. In winter we do certain things because it’s too cold outside. Then in spring and summer we do other things because it’s warm out side.

Anyway, I believe that this is the first truly warm weekend of the year, so for sure, a lot of outside activities will be on the agenda. But just to help us not get too carried away and keep the right perspective, let’s chant our Friday Chant. And I surely don’t have to tell us with much enthusiasm and energy, because those will come naturally at this time of year. (smile)

So let’s chant: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’

Yes my people, a dash of moderation and circumspection are definitely needed as we get into this weekend. Otherwise we’re going to allow the enemy to get a foothold in our souls, for he is out there ravenous and deceitful as ever, looking for any way to cause us to fall.

And that is exactly what was happening in Jesus’ time, when our Bit was written. ‘But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’

Yeh Friends, Jesus is still moved with compassion today because so many sheep are still going astray, being lost in this sinful world without any proper guidance. He wants to be, longs to be their guide and shepherd, that’s His bounden duty and purpose.

That’s why He declared during His earthly sojourn: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And that’s exactly what He did later on Friends; He sacrificed His holy and sinless life for the lost and directionless sons of man. How wonderful!

Then Jesus went on to further explain: ‘But he that is a hireling (hired man), and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling (hired hand) fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep.’ (John 10:12-13)

And that’s a proven fact my brethren, as the scholars remind us. ’10:12. A hireling  (a servant for pay) will flee in time of personal danger, because he is working for money, and neither owns nor LOVES the sheep.’

But thankfully, Jesus is ever so different! And He proudly proclaims it: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” (John 10:14)

Oh Friends, the billion dollar questions here are (1) does Jesus know you as a sheep of His flock, and (2) do you know Him as your good shepherd? I certainly do hope so, for our very lives, both earthly and eternal depend very much on those distinctions.

And Jesus continues with His monologue on the shepherd and the sheep. ‘As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.

Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (John 10:15-18) 

Oh Friends what a beautiful passage of scripture. It says so much in those few words. Jesus is about to lay down His life for the sheep of His flock, and He is so obedient to the Father’s will, that the Father has no choice but to LOVE Him. Plus He’s going to bring another flock, the Gentiles into the equation, and make it all ONE big flock, with ONE shepherd. How glorious a promise!

And as the scholars say: ‘10:17-18. Jesus does more than predict His crucifixion and resurrection, He also shows that He has the power to lay down His life and take it again, once more asserting His deity.’

And sadly my people, that has been a major stumbling block for mankind, right from Jesus’ first days on earth, up to the present time. Men have doubted His deity from day one, and continue to do so, sadly to their own detriment. But the smart few, like us, who have embraced Him in all the splendour and power of His deity are laughing all the way to the bank; figuratively of course. (smile)

On second thought, heaven might have been a better comparison. (smile) Anyway Friends, let’s not be proud and pompous at being a chosen member of Jesus’ flock, for that has never been His intention.

Let’s do like Him, have compassion for those who are still lost, and try our very best to encourage them to come to Him, to become members of His flock too, for that’s what He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…oh what a joy, pleasure and privilege it is…to be a member Jesus’ one, worldwide flock…nothing else can compare to it…