Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 June 2017 Ephesians 6:10.

Ephesians 6:10.    Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Well fathers, our special day is over now, hope we all had an enjoyable day. Mine was fairly quiet, but very interesting. However, it’s now time for us to concentrate on, and get back to labouring so that we can keep a roof over our family’s head and bread on our table. It’s nice to be pampered and spoiled, but we certainly can’t forget about our bread and butter, our jobs. (smile) 

And I know that for plenty of us fathers, after all the celebrations yesterday, it’s going to be difficult to get up this morning to go and labour, but just think about it this way nuh: no work, no pay. (smile) But as always, we have the antidote for whatever ails you this Monday morning. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and when we sing it sincerely and joyfully, it just refreshes and renews us, gets the adrenaline flowing in our bodies. 

So let’s belt it out now nuh, with plenty gusto and expectant faith. As one big earthly choir 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!’ 

Oh friends, that was a bit harsh and raucous, but the enthusiasm was great, and Jesus, our choirmaster understood our shortcomings. But now, with that same enthusiasm we just showed, aided by the adrenaline that’s coursing through our veins, let’s go out and face the enemy and battle them mano a mano in Jesus’ name. That’s what He’s expecting of us. 

And as Bruh Paul advises in in our Bit: ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’  

Yes my fellow believers, above everything else, if we want to go and fight the enemy, then we have to be strong in the Lord, because that’s where our strength and our help come from. As the psalmist declares: ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (slip): he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.’ (Ps.121:2-4) And that’s gospel truth my people! Our God will look after us at all times, under whatever circumstances and situations! 

Before we go further though, let’s check out some info from the scholars, re our Bit. ‘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.” 

Ah mih people, how mighty is our God! The mightiest of them all!!! As we’ve said a couple times above, He made the heavens and the earth and all therein, so He must be truly powerful, and He does strengthen us to do His bidding. However, regardless of what strength we have, as warriors, we also need protective covering from the enemy’s slings and arrows, that’s why the verse after our Bit is so important. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ (Eph.6:11) 

Yes friends, we need to put on our protective spiritual armour, this morning, and every morning, before we go out to fight against the enemy, so that we don’t get hurt. It’s one thing to be strong in the Lord, but it’s another to fight without protective covering.  

And the scholars offer us these explanations. ‘6:11. Put on (Greek ingressive aorist imperative) (smile) 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 positon in battle. The wiles of the devil (or, “the Devil’s strategy”). Satan carefully devises schemes and tactics against believers.’ 

So friends, it’s no joke war in which we’re involved, it’s serious business, serious stuff on which our salvation and eternal life depends. So please, let’s take it very seriously nuh, because our enemy, Lucifer, is taking it very seriously. He’s definitely out to trip us up and make us turn away from following Jesus. And that’s definitely not a wise thing to do. Therefore, let’s put on our spiritual armour, and with the strength of our great God flowing through our minds, bodies and spirits, let’s go out and battle Beelzebub – battle him to the finish! Much LOVE!

…soldiers of Christ arise…arise fully armoured and strengthened by Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2017 Psalm 37:1.

Psalm 37:1.   Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Well friends, yesterday I finally had to turn on my a/c for the first time this year. It was the first of many truly hot days I believe we’ll have this summer. But what amazes me is that though it was hot, the wind was also blowing at a brisk pace, the poor trees were dancing all day to its hectic riddim. 

But then this morning, around 3.a.m, I was outside on my porch, and though it was somewhat cooler than during the day, there was not a breeze to be had. 

I don’t know if it’s just my imagination, but in the last year or so, I’ve noticed that regardless of the season or time of day, in my area, the winds have been much stronger and more persistent than before. 

Who knows what our great God is doing eh? He controls everything, and His ways are so much higher than ours, that even if He explained it to us, we would not be able to comprehend it. So we just have to have faith, and trust and obey. 

And to help us do that, here is a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘I want to Improve.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘O God, how thankful I am that you have come into my life through the Holy Spirit. I’m willing to say: “I’m not perfect, Lord! I want to improve. Show me where I can.” So, Father, I sense that a miracle is happening in my life right now. You are doing something beautiful in my heart this very moment. I thank and praise you! Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, if we sincerely and faithfully prayed that prayer, then I’m sure something good is happening in our hearts right now.Wow! What a great God we serve and worship! 

Now it might not be a huge miracle, or manifest itself right away, but I’m sure that sometime down the line you’ll suddenly realize what’s changed, what’s improved, and then you’ll want to give even more praise, thanks and glory to our heavenly Father for His extraordinary LOVING-kindness to His undeserving but oh so faithful children! Glory to God my brethren! 

One of the problems we Christians suffer these days is that we’ve lost our passion for God, lost our zest for life, lost our faith in miracles. Chuh! 

Even worse, we expect miracles to be always big and uproarious! But the truth is that the Lord doesn’t do that many big and uproarious miracles, but He does plenty small and seemingly insignificant ones, which we either don’t notice at all or simply ignore. 

Ah friends, please remember that once we truly surrender our lives to Christ, He works continuously in them, and not everything is big and monumental. 

So please, let’s start regaining our passion for Christ nuh, which brings with an increased zest for life in general, and let’s also begin looking for and appreciating the small but still important ways He works in our lives. We are missing out on a whole lot of wonderful stuff by only looking for big, eye-catching things. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now don’t blame me, if we don’t have much space and time for our Bit, because that’s where the Lord led me. And being obedient, I had no choice. (smile) 

And is it ever an encouraging and reassuring Bit. ‘Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the amazing opening advice from Bruh David from that amazing Psalm 37- The true state of the wicked. 

And Bruh David certainly knew what he was talking about because he stuck with the Lord through thick and thin, and likewise, the Lord stuck with him. His life wasn’t easy, a lot of it because of his mistakes, but he never lost his passion for the Lord God of his fathers. 

Now, as I’ve said above, lost passion for God is one of our major problems today, that’s why we’re so tossed and upset by the storms of life, by how the wicked seem to be increasing and the righteous decreasing. 

Bruh David ran from his enemies, Saul and his son Absalom for many years, but the Lord always kept him safe and secure, then finally brought him to his divine destiny; the greatest king that Israel ever knew. That’s why he could confidently open the psalm with our Bit, and then continue with that same confidence. 

‘For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.’ (Ps.37:2-5) 

Oh friends, there’s no more encouraging scripture than those few words in the Good Book, and that from a man who truly lived them and thus knew exactly what he was talking about. 

Today I implore us to take his words to heart and put them into practice, so that we too can be led to our divine destiny. Common sense and wisdom dictate it! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra with the passion and strong belief that it ought to engender in us. In one, strong and unified voice 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 the best way to show that passion is to go out now and share the LOVE of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…a life lived without passion…is a wasted life…especially if you’re a follower of Jesus…

 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but it’s very worthwhile. (smile) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 June 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher  (perfector ) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Arise my people and greet the bright and bountiful Sabbath Day, when the Lord rested, having created the universe and all therein in the six previous days! And He saw that it was all good! It’s a day of fellowship, of the gathering of Christ’s church in His sanctuary to praise and sing, give thanks and worship and exalt His Holy Name! 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God in the highest! Praise His Name on high! For He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, Only He knows the true workings of the universe!’ Yes friends, He is the great I AM, the ONLY ONE who can heal your soul and take all your troubles away. 

That’s why, our song of praise and worship this morning is titled ‘The Heavenly Vision’ or ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus.’ So let’s do just that nuh, as we offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips. As one true body now: ‘O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free! 

(Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion— For more than conqu’rors we are! 

(Refrain) His Word shall not fail you—He promised; Believe Him, and all will be well: Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) 

Ah friends, such words of assurance and peace, exhortation and encouragement, penned by Helen H Lemmel (1863-1961). Her biography says that in 1918 she was given a tract by a visiting missionary. The leaflet was entitled “Focused,” and in it was this exhortation: “So then, turn your eyes upon Him [Christ]. Look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.” 

Mrs. Lemmel was riveted by those words. She says, “I stood still. And singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody.” The three stanzas of the song were added later the same week.’ My fellow believers, that’s just one of the mysterious ways in which our great and awesome God moves, His works to unfurl! 

And the scripture it seems to have been based on is our Bit for today. But first let’s look at the verse that precedes it, because that sets the context for our Bit. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

Ah mih people, the author of Hebrews looks at our Christian life like a race; one that is indeed difficult to run, but acknowledges that we have faithful heroes that have gone before us (a cloud of witnesses), who have run it successfully, and so can we. How? 

By ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yeh friends, though there were others who successfully ran the race, and gave us worthy examples to emulate, Jesus is our best example, our bright and shining star! He set the tone for it all. 

The scholars tell us: ‘12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

That means fellow believers we don’t have to blaze a new trail, just follow the one Jesus laid down, and that makes it easier for us. Imagine if we had to blaze a new trail for ourselves? We’d find it even more difficult than it is now, what with all the sin that’s lurking around the corner, just waiting to ensnare us, we need to have the utmost in patience and perseverance to last the distance and finally end up at the finish line in the welcoming and comforting arms of Jesus. Praise his Holy Name! 

And these two verses following our Bit, just bolster it. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (be discouraged) in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb.12:3-4) 

Oh friends, Jesus is the ‘supreme example of endurance.’ Just look at all the ‘sufferation’ He bore on our behalf nuh. We could not have had a finer example of perseverance and endurance. So let’s remember that, take courage from it, and steadfastly bear up under our own weight of sin in this earthly race of life. That’s the only way to do it as a true believer in Jesus. Much LOVE!

…for whatever befalls us…the ultimate answer is to turn to Jesus…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2017 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Aye mih breddren, Saturday has rolled around once again! What are your plans eh? I know I’m not planning to do much of anything productive. It will be mostly a day of rest and relaxation, especially if it’s another nice one like the last few. And it’s supposed to go up to around thirty degrees Celsius. 

Mama yo! Many will now complain that it’s too hot, and the a/c will be blasting cold air. But many others will also break out the sunscreen lotion and work on their tans. It’s a good thing that my tan is natural yes, I don’t have to work at it. (smile) Thank You Lord! 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm offered this week nuh, in his marvelous effort to inspire us to aspire to a better tomorrow. Hear this one: ‘Without action you aren’t going anywhere. An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.’ 

And is that ever so true and rather appropriate to our Christian faith my brethren, because we’re certainly doing more talking, more preaching, rather than putting the preaching into action, as is most necessary in this lost and evil world. 

Then he tells us: ‘Forgive and let it go. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.’ I guess you have to be strong to be able to forgive and let go of hurts inflicted by others. And the eye for an eye thing will certainly make the world blind. 

What did Jesus have to say about the blind leading the blind? ‘And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ (Matt.15:14) Gospel truth that! For Jesus doesn’t lie. 

This next quote is a bit touchy. ‘You are in control. Nobody can hurt you without your permission.’ Technically speaking it’s true, we allow others to hurt us. But when someone does dreadful things to us, it’s not that easy to say ‘I won’t let them hurt me,’ and just turn off the hurt. 

The penultimate quote advises: ‘You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.’ The only problem there is that our current ocean of humanity has much much more than just a few dirty drops in it. 

And I’ve left the best for last. ‘A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.’ More gospel truth friends! And there’s no better example of that than our own Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Just look at all He did for us nuh, all the ‘sufferation’ He endured on our behalf, and from then to now, He’s never gotten the plaudits He so rightfully deserves. But he didn’t do what he did for praise and glory, but for LOVE! Can you imagine it? Hn! Most of our leaders today are simply out for their own glorification. 

However our Bit declares of Jesus: ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ 

The Father really put Him between a rock and a hard place, but He did what He had to do without a lot of complaining. No, it wasn’t easy, even for Him as the Son of God, but it’s what the Father desired, and He wanted to please the Father. Oh, how I wish that more of us supposed Christians could feel the same way; simply desirous of pleasing the Father and doing what He asks of us without a lot of hemming and hawing. That would be the day! 

Ah friends, it’s not easy living a true Christian life, but when we put our minds to it, with the help of God, it is certainly exciting and adventurous. And I’m not talking from hearsay there, but from personal experience. 

And all I want to do today is highlight a couple of scripture verses that enhance our Bit, from the magnificent prophecy of Isaiah in chapter 53, re the Suffering servant. ‘He is despised and rejected of (forsaken by) men: a man of sorrows (pains), and acquainted with grief (sickness): and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 

Surely he hath borne our griefs (pains), and carried our sorrows (sicknesses): yet we did esteem (reckon) him stricken, smitten of (struck down by) God, and afflicted. But he was wounded (pierced through) for our transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities: the chastisement (discipline, self-control) of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ (Is.53:3-6) 

Yes friends, our leader showed us the way, by walking His talk with strength of purpose. He bore our sinful burdens selflessly and gave us His peace and righteousness. Now why can’t we just live up to the little He asks of us eh…to LOVE the Father, LOVE ourselves, not in a narcissist manner, and to LOVE our neighbours as ourselves? 

Is that so hard to do my Christian brethren? What a wonderful world we’d truly have! And there would be supreme joy both in heaven and on earth! Let’s try and make that a reality nuh my people. With God’s help it’s possible. But we have to sincerely want to do it and then put out the great effort necessary. Much LOVE!

…that tremendous gift of atonement…paid for with Jesus’ blood…should have us chomping at the bit…to do God’s bidding…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 June 2017 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Oh friends, like another sparkler of a day is in the offing in my area! Wow! Three sparkling days in a row! We need to give the Lord plenty thanks for such wonderful weather! 

I know for some of you the good weather is small potatoes, because you receive it most of the time, but we’ve had such chilly and rainy days the last couple weeks that some warm, sparkling, dry weather is greatly appreciated. 

And you certainly won’t hear the workingman complain. He is even zestier in his attitude as he unabashedly declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The weekend is upon us… And it going to be hot like hell too! Temps in the thirties! Oh party time…party time… 

Steups! Look, forget the chupid slave driver and his work yes. Work never dead yet! Just let me loose here now, so we can get the party going! Much thanks to God for Fridays and the weekends!’  

Oh mih breddren, how our flesh would LOVE to participate in such interesting endeavours, (smile) but our minds and spirits are crying out for us to resist such fleshly activity. And as sincere Christians, we ought to have some boundaries to our behaviour, not allow ourselves to go to such extremes. 

The Christian way is more like our Friday Chant, so let’s put the lust of the flesh behind us and chant it heartily nuh. ‘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 that’s the way it ought to be my people, especially when we take our Bit into account. ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ 

Yeh friends, after Jesus paid such an enormous price for us to be freed from sin, we just can’t go back and commit sin willy-nilly again. Oh, we are all still susceptible to sin, but with the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us, we ought to have a strong enough conscience to resist it. 

And we have these powerful verses of scripture from Bruh Paul to the Roman church to help explain the situation and consequently uplift us. Hear him pontificate (smile): ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely (without any cost) by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (a mercy seat) through faith in his blood, to declare (demonstrate) his righteousness for the remission (passing over of) sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.’ (Rom.3:23-26) 

Oh friends, right within those verses lies the basis of our salvation… Glory to God! Let’s see if, with the help of the scholars we can get a good understanding of what Bruh Paul is saying there. 

‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: Man can exceed his own standards but never, left to himself, can he attain God’s standard of righteousness.’ 

Ah mih breddren, regardless of how good we are, we will NEVER reach God’s standards. But He is so wonderful, that knowing that sin pervades and invades all our souls, He wisely provided provision for everybody, if we’d only believe in His Son Jesus Christ, who paid for our sins by the sacrifice, the shedding of His sinless blood on Calvary. 

‘3:24. Being justified (Gr. dikatoumenot) indicates being declared righteous. It signifies the believer’s judicial standing before God. Freely: There is no just cause in man to warrant justification. By his grace: Unmerited favour is bestowed through the redemption (release on payment of ransom). Christ’s death is the ransom. The sinner is released on the basis of the ransom having being paid.’ 

So yuh see friends, we don’t have a leg to stand on, it’s all through God’s grace and Jesus paying the ransom for our sins by the shedding of His blood at Calvary. 

‘3:25-26. Through faith: Christ’s death satisfies the Father’s righteous demands. Its benefits are appropriated only through faith in His finished work. In his blood: The emphasis is not on the blood as it coursed through Christ’s veins, but as it was shed for our sins. This is how the propitiation was accomplished. 

Just, and the justifier: God can remain just (true to His nature) and still declare sinners to be righteous only because Christ has paid for sin and satisfied (propitiated) His holy law. The sinner is not rendered guiltless but pardoned. Christ has taken the sin on Himself and has imputed His righteousness to the sinner.’ 

And all believers shouted a loud and most grateful ‘Thank You Jesus! Thank You ever so much for redeeming us from our abominable sins! We LOVE You, and give You plenty thanks and praise! Please help us to walk steadfast in Your everlasting LOVE! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, I hope we all understand now that it was all the doing of the Father and Jesus, no thanks to us whatsoever. 

So please lets be wise and accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life that’s been offered nuh. Otherwise Jesus’ sacrifice would have been all for nought, a complete waste of time. And I’m sure we don’t want that to be the case. Much LOVE!

…remember the old adage…waste not…want not…

P.S. It’s long and late, but full of redemptive grace (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2017 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

And then it was a bright, sunshiny Wednesday morning… Glory to God! And though it is still a bit cool, the temperature is expected to rise to at least twenty by mid afternoon. That we can handle. 

Unlike yesterday where it was rainy and sunny, rainy and sunny all day long. Chuh! That kind of inconsistent weather only dampens our spirits. But when both the Sun and the Son are shining, it’s a glorious world. (smile) 

Now here is a li’l something from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster, which informs us that:’No one is guaranteed happiness. Life just gives us time and space. It’s up to us to fill it with joy and meaning.’ 

And that’s gospel truth! Unfortunately though some of us don’t realize it and expect life to guarantee us happiness. But nothing could be further from the truth friends. If life had its way, we’d all be mired in unhappiness. So it’s left to us to fill our lives with pleasant and joyful stuff. 

And where can we best find that joy and happiness? Not in the things of the world; it’s false wealth and possessions. But in the strength and LOVE of Jesus Christ; the One who selflessly died on the cross for our redemption; took our sins upon His broad and able shoulders and gave us His righteousness instead. 

Hence our Bit: ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ 

Oh friends, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! No other supposed deity has ever, or can ever do that for us. Take our sins and put them on another, so that they can be forgiven. 

Listen to these powerful, exciting and heart-warming verses before our Bit nuh. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 

To wit (that is), that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor.5:17-19) 

Oh my brethren, we have to acknowledge it again: what a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship! He has reconciled us to Himself! Glory to the Most High God Jehovah! 

And if you don’t understand what reconciliation is all about, listen to the scholars’ explanation. ‘5:19. Reconciliation is the act whereby God on the basis of Christ’s death, has eliminated the cause of hostility between Himself and humanity, making possible a complete and maturing fellowship. (The hostility was caused by sin, and was eliminated by the Cross). 

Illustration: When David prepared to fight for the Philistines, they feared he might betray them in battle in order to become reconciled with Saul. They answered that such an act would greatly please King Saul and be sufficient to restore a decayed relationship between Saul and David. 

Application: Those who have become reconciled to God have also been given the ministry of reconciliation, which is fulfilled when they engage in soul-winning (v.19). (First Ref. Lev.6:30; Primary ref, 2 cor.5:19; cf. Rom.3:29).’ 

Ah mih people, yuh see how important that word ‘reconciliation’ is in our spiritual vocabulary. Out of God’s everlasting grace and LOVE, He decided to become reconciled to us, and in the process forgive us, not impute our sins to us. 

But just forgiving us out of hand would stain His sense of justice and righteousness, so someone or something had to eventually pay for our sins. The crux of the matter though was that the sacrifice had to be sinless. 

Hn! And lo, and behold ONLY His ONLY Son Jesus Christ fit the bill. I’m sure the Lord agonized over it some, but eventually His immense LOVE for us won the day, and He decided to sacrifice His Son, despite the great heartache it would cost Him. 

And here we are now friends, with so many of us ignoring and not appreciating the miraculous work that the Lord did on our behalf. How foolish and ungrateful eh! 

Without Jesus work on the cross we’d be left high and dry, to spend eternity in Hades with the evil one Lucifer. But with Jesus redemptive work, we have the option to believe in Him, surrender our all to Him and spend eternity with Him in heaven. 

Now which option makes more sense eh; Hades with Lucifer, or Heaven with Christ? My people, I humbly submit that the latter choice is the wiser one. So I’m advising us to please, please choose Christ as your Lord and Saviour, otherwise your eternal life will certainly be hell. 

Now for those of us who vote for Jesus, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, which let’s the whole world know in which camp we permanently stand. 

All together 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!’ 

Now that is what’s called wisdom of exceedingly great proportions! (smile) Much, much LOVE, my faithful brethren in Christ!

…as for me and mine…without a doubt…we will follow Jesus… 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit. It was just one of those nights, and consequently one of those mornings. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

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