Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Well friends, cloudy days are here again, but the hearts of all believers are shining brightly with the brilliant light of the Son! Glory to God! 

Yes my believing brethren, the outside weather might be dark and dreary, but there’s absolutely no reason for our hearts to look the same since we are blessed to have the Holy Spirit of our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent triumvirate God living within us, leading and guiding us to victory in Jesus! 

Wow! What a blessed honour that is my people! That’s why on this cloudy Monday morning, at least in my area, we need to get ourselves together and get out strong and work diligently on Jesus’ behalf. 

And since Mondays are not kind to many of us (smile) let’s belt out our antidote for those Monday Blues, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. With one heart and voice 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 I know friends, the adrenaline is just running through us now, and we’re rearing to go out and optimize our efforts in this evil and ungodly world and right whatever wrongs we can, all in the name of Jesus our Lord and Blessed Saviour! 

And so we should, on the basis of all that He has done for us; selflessly bringing us salvation and eternal life through His woeful death on the cross at Calvary and then His triumphant Resurrection on Easter Sunday! 

Now let’s look at our Bit, probably the last day for this one, (smile) who know eh? ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ Meaningful direction from Jesus on how we should pray. 

Now yesterday we saw how He prayed sincerely to His heavenly Father for us, and it really touched my heart. Today we’ll look at why He had to pray for us, and why we still need lots of prayer. 

Listen to James. ‘Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.’ (James 1:13) Words of absolute truth friends! 

God doesn’t tempt us, for He doesn’t want us to do wrong. But He might allow some stuff to come against us to try our faithfulness. So why then do we fall victim to temptation eh? 

James further enlightens us. ‘But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust (fleshly desires), and enticed.’ (James 1:14) Yeh mih people, it’s our sinful nature that propels us to temptation. 

And what happens when we give into temptation? Hear James again. ‘Then when the lust (fleshly desire) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin, when it is finished (full grown), bringeth forth death.’ (James 1:15) 

Oh friends, here we need to remember those immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Romans: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is everlasting life through (in) Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) 

Yes precious people of God, as the scholars tell us: ‘6:23. Wages: Emphasizes what we deserve. Gift of God: Emphasizes God’s unmerited favour.’ 

However, we can only receive that unmerited free gift by believing on God’s Son, Jesus Christ. So it’s a decision each human being needs to make. Succumb to temptation and thus death; eternal separation from Almighty God, or accept Jesus and live forever with Him in heavenly places. 

And that’s a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned, since eternal separation from God is the WORST thing that can ever happen to a human being. 

Now let’s close with an interesting statement from Peter. ‘The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished.’ (2 Pet.2:9) 

Ah mih people, hopefully that statement reverberates in our hearts today and helps to keep us away from temptation. Much LOVE!

…temptation always seems so enticing…but in reality…it holds a deathly viper’s sting…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2014 Acts 5:3

 

Acts 5:3.     But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?    

Monday, oh Monday! The day the working people LOVE to hate, and hate to LOVE! They find it to be a rather great inconvenience in their lives. (smile) But as believers, with Jesus featuring in our hearts, we ought to handle it with much ease, aplomb and peace.

Awright, so realistically we have a hard time getting ourselves together on Mondays, but that’s mostly because we don’t prepare for it properly on Sundays. And furthermore, as I keep reminding us, if we can’t do anything about it, we might as well stop complaining, since complaining doesn’t help, but just makes matters worse. We need to develop a positive mindset, so when we realize that it’s Monday, we just glow with pleasure, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Okay, okay, please don’t shoot the messenger! (smile) Anyway, to help us get over the hump that’s Monday, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with great gusto. As one harmonious and whole body of Christ 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 indeed a most rousing rendition! Jesus was greatly pleased, as He demonstrated by singing and clapping along with us. He could feel the Holy Spirit diligently moving in our hearts and souls. And today we’ll continue looking at the movement and power of the Holy Spirit back in the early days of Christianity.

Now, before we interrupted our message on the Holy Spirit for Father’s day, we had just seen where a whole lot of believers were selling their possessions and joining in a communal way of life. At the end of chapter 4 we were told about Joses, surnamed Barnabas, who sold his possessions and brought the proceeds to the apostles. And chapter 5 opens with the story of two other people who did the same thing, but with a slightly different twist.

Listen to the Good Book relate it. ‘But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to (aware of) it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles feet.’ (Acts 5:1-2)

And my people, here the Spirit of God truly begins to work, as Peter declares to Ananias starting with our Bit. ‘But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power (control)? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost (breathed his last): and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound (wrapped) him up, and carried him out, and buried him.’ (Acts 5:3-6)

Lordy, Lordy, my brethren, what a poignant and perfect example the Holy Spirit set!

Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘5:3-4. The deity of the Holy Spirit is evident within this passage. In verse 3 Peter states that Ananias has lied to the Holy Spirit. Then in verse 4 Ananias is told he has lied to God.

5:4. Communal sharing is still being practiced some weeks or months after Pentecost, but it was totally voluntary. Ananias’s sin was not that of keeping back part of what he sold, but his hypocrisy about it.

5:5. Though God does not judge every believer’s sin with death, in some situations God does. (1 Cor.11:30; 1 John 5:16).As with Achan, this first act in a new era serves as an example (Josh.7:10-26).’

That last reference is to the story of Achan, who disobeyed God’s ban on taking plunder from the fall of Jericho. That led the Lord to take away His favour from Israel in time of war. Eventually Achan confessed, then he and his family were stoned to death, and burned with fire. What a horrible way to die! But the Lord apparently desired that sacrifice to appease His anger and disappointment, and also set an example, letting the people know that disobedience would be severely punished.

Oh Friends, I think we’ll stop there for today, because what I’d like to say would definitely make the Bit too long, and I never want to tax our powers of concentration too much, especially on a Monday morning. (smile)

So let’s ponder the lessons found in today’s message and learn from them nuh, so that the same, or similar repercussions won’t befall us. It’s always better to learn from the mistakes of others. That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…totally living for Jesus… is such a beautiful and inspiring thing…there’s nothing else on earth that compares to it…nothing else even comes close…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2014 Isaiah 2:8

Isaiah 2:8.    Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.
 
Oh Friends, can you believe it’s already the 2nd of January 2014? (smile) And I’ve made one mistake already. I put 2013 in the big heading above instead of 2014. But the ole fella’s only human, and that kind of error is usual until the new year really gets into our systems. 
 
But my people, on a more serious note, the Christmas season is coming to an end, and I’m pleading with us, please, please, let’s not allow the kindness, mercy, peace, forgiveness and LOVE that we’ve shown throughout this joyous time to die. Let’s not allow it to turn back to the evil, the anger, the hatred, resentment and other negative emotions that we had, and exhibited before Christmas began.
 
It’s obvious that we can’t LOVE everybody, every minute of every day, but we definitely don’t have to descend back to the level of dislike, disgust and depravity that we were at in 2013. It’s high time we come up higher for Jesus’ sake!
 
And here’s a word, a reminder, re coming up higher, from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller). He calls it the Possibility Thinker’s Creed. And Possibility Thinking my Friends, is just faith at work, because as believers, we need to see the world through the eyes of faith.
 
So let’s remember and truly believe that: ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help.’ 
 
Yes Friends, let’s start this blessed and prosperous year of 2014, by sowing those seeds of possibility thinking, of faith, deep into the rich and fertile soil of our hearts, souls and minds!
 
Now let’s turn to our very first Bit of this new year. And it’s a very serious Bit my people. ‘Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.’
 
Oh my brethren, Isaiah could surely have been writing about us, instead of the Israelites of old! Why? Because we too have such a multiplicity of idols in our lives these days, that it’s not funny. Remember too, the definition of an idol; anything we place before God in our lives.
 
And that covers a multitude of things Friends, because we seem to place all the material things of the world, as well as all its evil, obnoxious and vexatious policies before the Creator and Controller of the universe. I don’t know how many times we must be reminded that our God is a very jealous deity and wants us to bow down to no other supposed deity but Him. And surely not those that we’ve made with our own hands!
 
It also seems that we’ve completely and conveniently forgotten Jesus’ promise, that if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, that all the stuff we need, material, spiritual, emotional and whatever else, will be provided to us by our Heavenly Father! (Matt.5:24-34)
 
Please read that again my fellow believers, so that it can sink into our minds and spirits, and thus be manifested in our conscious actions. It’s the only way we’ll ever remove the idolatry from our lives. 
 
And just to show how all this idolatry could backfire on us, we’ll recall one occasion from the Good Book, where the Lord turned His back on His chosen people, Israel.
 
‘And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth (Baals and Ashtoreths), and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the Lord, and served him not.
 
And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon.’ (Judg.10:6-7)
 
Yes Friends, the Lord allowed their enemies to humiliate them.
 
‘And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim. And the Lord said unto the children of Israel, did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines?
 
The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry (out) unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation (distress). (Judg.10:10-14)
 
What more is there to say my brethren? Not much. The children of Israel knowingly and wilfully abandoned, turned away from the God of their fathers to worship pagan gods and man-made idols. And the Lord, as promised, punished them severely.
 
Now tell me, why do you think that our individual societies, and our world in general are in such a mess eh?
 
It’s simple Friends; we too have turned away in droves from worshipping the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD, who created us, who LOVED us so much, that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be a propitiation, a human sacrifice for our sins.
 
And now, like foolish sheep, we have all gone astray, forgotten Him, and instead turned to idols of our own making. So what else can we expect but disaster and calamity eh?
 
Please ponder on these things today, my fellow believers, and then let’s make a strong and serious effort to overcome those sinful attitudes that we know displease our God. If we don’t want to do it for our sake, then please do it for the sake of our children and those who come after us.
 
Let us not allow it to be said, that our generation caused it all to fall apart. It’s not too late… if we begin RIGHT NOW! Much LOVE!
 
…when will we ever learn…that disobedience to God’s will…will ALWAYS bring serious consequences…