Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2017 James 1:19.

James 1:19.   Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Oh friends, I’m so glad to be alive, especially on such a wonderful summer’s morn that I just wanted to jump for joy, click my heels, and shout ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ 

But fortunately, the wise One that dwells within me immediately cautioned that the first two actions would be somewhat foolhardy, given my precarious physical state. So I simply shouted ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ (smile) 

What a bam bam it is when your body can’t keep up with your mind eh? But them’s the breaks! It’s what happens when you’ve lived a long and productive life and have finally reached the winter years. So we just have to grin and bear it. 

And with Jesus Christ in our lives, there are so many other pleasures for us to enjoy than just the physical ones, that we really lack for nothing. All glory to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And let me apologize now for the lateness of the Bit. It seems that the pain medication I took before going to bed this morning also has some sleep inducing properties, which made it difficult to get up at an earlier hour. 

Now here is a li’l something, which I shared way back when, but is still very useful in these trying times. It’s from Sholem Asch (1880-1957), a London born dramatist and writer of Polish-Jewish background, who later settled in the U.S. 

He tells us that: ‘Not the power to remember, but the power to forget is a necessary condition for our existence.’ 

And that’s quite true mih breddren, otherwise our minds would be so riddled with memories, and mostly the bad ones too, that our lives would be even more confused that they already are. 

But thankfully many of us old fogies don’t have to worry about that condition of life, because in our advanced stage we automatically forget most things anyway. (smile) 

And though it’s convenient to forget, we have to remember to follow the critical command and warning of our Bit, even in old age. ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.’ 

And why is that you ask? Listen to James’ explanation that follows. ‘For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:20) Yeh friends, uncontrolled anger and speaking have no place in the Christian’s life, because they lead us to ungodly decisions and consequently harsh repercussions. 

Hear the scholars take on those verses. ‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ 

‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ 

There you have it friends, several good reasons for controlling talk and anger! And I guess it’s only right for us to continue listening to James on the subject of hearing. 

‘Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity (abundance) of naughtiness (wickedness), and receive with meekness the engrafted (implanted) word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21) 

And the scholars offer an interesting explanation to that verse. ‘1:21. Engrafted word might better be translated “implanted word” and may reflect Christ’s parable of the seed planted in the four different soils (Matt. 13:3-9). Both Christ and James focus on the proper hearing of God’s Word (Matt.13:13, 19-20, 22-23). 

One needs to hear that Word, for it is able to save your souls. Though the phrase accurately describes the Word’s work of producing initial salvation, it is better in this context to understand it as the Word’s ability to preserve and mature the Christian’s life through trials.’ 

So anyway we cut it people, God’s Word is of the utmost importance in a believer’s life; both for producing our initial salvation and then keeping us on that straight and narrow path which allows us to grow in faith and trust in our wonderful Creator. Praise the Lord for His wonderful Word that leads and guides us safely on our earthly pilgrimage! 

And it isn’t coincidence that Bruh Paul wrote some of those same things to the Colossians. ‘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) 

Yeh friends, the believer is called to a much higher standard of living than the great unwashed. (smile) And hear Bruh Paul again agreeing with James on the power and benefits of the Word. 

This while preaching at Antioch. ‘Men and brethren, children (sons) of the stock (family) of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.’ (Acts.13:26) 

My people, I implore us, to never forget that! Consequently, we can go home now truthfully and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail. ‘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!’ 

Let’s do it for Jesus nuh mih people! Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s earthly life contains difficulties…but the rewards of heaven…especially Jesus’ eternal company… totally compensate for them…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2016 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, endurance) the race that is set before us.

Ah mih people, it’s another cold, bleak winter’s day! But we have to remember that that’s what winter is all about; cold and bleak, though it doesn’t seem so bad when the sun shines through in all its glory. (smile) 

And since this is where we live, we just have to learn to live with it, knowing that through God’s faithful help we will be able to handle it, and eventually come out victorious in the glorious springtime. Oh glory to God friends for His unceasing help! 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that probably hits the nail on the head with many of us. I couldn’t help but share it. 

It’s simply titled ‘January,’ and reads thus: ‘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 friends, that poem certainly does resemble the mid January funk that many of us find ourselves in. The weather is the pits, the Christmas bills are starting to come in, and we don’t know where the money is going to come from to pay them, and added to that anxiety, we’re still physically and mentally tired from all the Christmas and New Year’s hoopla. It certainly is a familiar predicament. 

But to answer the poets ending question, the response is a definite Yes! We do seem to forget God in these anxious times, when these are the times we should be drawing ever closer to Him. God doesn’t make mistakes or lie. If he says that everything is made new, then it IS made new! 

That means the problem lies with us, which brings us to the promise for that poem, which is also 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, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ 

Ah my fellow believers that is exactly the kind of advice we need this cold morning in mid-January. And the Lord moves in such mysterious ways, that it’s only last night I watched Uncle John (John Hagee) preach a sermon on that same verse. He titled it ‘Run To Win!’ 

And so it should be my fellow believers. Why else would we run a race if it were not to win eh? And the particular race we’re talking about here is the race of life! 

Bruh Paul likened our earthly lives to a race, having in mind the ancient Greek Olympics, which we can compare to out own modern day Olympiads. 

And the first thing he does is remind us of all the other saints, the heroes that have run this race before us, the ‘great cloud of witnesses,’ who are looking down on us as we run our race. So it’s not like we don’t have any examples or mentors to look back at. 

Then we have to ‘lay aside every weight,’ that prevents us from running this race of life. Yes my brethren we have to get rid of all the impediments that weigh us down and prevent us from putting forth our best efforts. 

And Bruh Paul refers to some of them in Colossians. ‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not to one 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) 

Oh my precious friends of faith, those are the kinds of things that prevent us from properly concentrating on running this magnificent race of life that’s set before us. 

And here are some explanations from the scholars, which will help us to further understand those scriptures. ‘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.’ 

Yes Friends, we’ll end with those wonderful words of wisdom: Christ is everything to the believer, and He dwells in each and every one of us. Oh what a wonderful scenario! 

Let’s remember that, and ponder on all that we’ve said to day, so that we can increase in the knowledge and maturity of Christ our Lord and Saviour. Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

 

 

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…