Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 April 2018 1 Timothy 2:4.

1 Timothy 2:4.    Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

One more day, you beautiful people of Jehovah God! Yes, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth, to enjoy His awesome LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness! How can you beat that eh? You just can’t! So let’s begin by giving the Most High some praise and thanks for all that He’s done, doing, and will do for us, even though we don’t deserve it. 

Please pray with me: ‘Oh heavenly Father, thank You for this day and all the amazing promises You’ve made! We know that You are faithful to keep them, therefore we surrender our hearts, souls and bodies to Your everlasting mercy and grace. 

Please lead and guide us to do Your will, like Jesus did. Then receive us in glory, like You did with Him. We pray this in the holy name of Jesus, the name that’s above every other name, because of His selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary for us. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, we can never give God enough thanks and praise for all that He’s done on our behalf. So please let’s not think more highly of ourselves than we should. It’s ONLY through His LOVING-kindness that we still exist. 

Now here is a li’l something from Uncle John (John Hagee) to titivate our minds. (smile) ‘Nothing has meaning until we live it. Meaning: it’s not what you know, it’s how you apply what you know.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! 

All the knowledge in the world won’t help you until you put it into action. So all those people who just keep on going to school for going to school sake, and not doing anything useful with the knowledge they acquire, are simply wasting their time and their lives. I know that they say knowledge is power, but only if you use the knowledge. 

And today we’ll contemplate what is the most important bit of knowledge a man can have, as we look at Bruh Paul’s exhortation to Timothy regarding prayer. 

He opens the chapter thus: ‘I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority (a prominent place); that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (reverence). For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.’ (1 Tim.2:1-3). 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘2:1. First of all (or, “most important of all”): Prayer is to hold the preeminent place in church meetings. Four different types of prayer are mentioned here: (1) supplications are precise requests for specific needs; (2) prayers is a general word embracing various kinds of prayer – confession, adoration, and so on; (3) intercessions denote prayer to God on behalf of others; (4) giving of thanks refers to prayers of praise.’ 

And per verses 2-3, the scholars say: ‘There are three reasons why the prayers of verse 1 are to be offered “for all men”: (1) that Christians may enjoy a tranquil life (v.2); (2) such praying is good and acceptable to God (v.3); (3) such prayers help bring about the salvation of men (v.4).’ 

So there we have it friends, prayer helps us live quiet, untroubled peaceful lives and helps with our salvation.  But all of it is a waste of time unless we truly understand the root purpose for it all, that’s found in our Bit: ‘Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’ 

Yes my people, that is our God’s greatest wish; that we all be saved and come to know the truth, which is: ‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (Jesus’ sacrifice is proof of God’s will for all to be converted). Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity (truth).’ (1 Tim. 2:5-7) 

And per the scholars: ‘2:5-7. These verses provide a threefold evidence confirming the assertion in v.4 that God “will have all men to be saved”: (1) There being but one God implies that He must have the same desire toward all people, which is, namely their salvation. 

One mediator suggests His having made the same provision for all people, namely redemption. (2) Jesusgave himself a ransom for all (v6). (3) Paul’s being divinely ordained…a teacher of the Gentiles (v.7) shows that if sinful pagans are instructed in faith and verity (truth), then surely God does indeed want all to be saved.’ 

And that’s the indisputable truth my brethren, otherwise He wouldn’t have made all the provision He’s made, especially through Christ’s sacrifice. So please, let’s keep that first place in our minds, and wisely try to live the kind of life it suggests; a godly, prayerful and righteous one. Now let’s end with our Wednesday Wail, where we tell the world about our wonderful journey with Jesus. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Ah friends, everytime I consider that glorious future laid up for us, I just LOVE Jesus more! Much LOVE!

…salvation for all…God’s number ONE desire…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2017 Matthew 24:35.

Matthew 24:35.   Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Well friends, the day has dawned somewhat cloudily in my area, but fear not, for our Redeemer lives! Glory to God! Yes my fellow believers, the light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is still shining as brightly as ever! 

Wow! Of one thing we can be sure; His light never dims or diminishes, its divine brilliance is steadfast and strong, always illuminating our lives and our paths. So as we face a new day in an ungodly world, we too need to stand steadfast and strong, gloriously basking in the light of our Saviour. 

And the workingman has already reminded us that it’s Friday by loudly voicing his anthem. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! That means the weekend is here! Glory be! Time to live, to party, to have a good time, to forget about the chupid work and all the stress that come with it…and for so li’l pay too! Steups! Thank God for Fridays and these weekends yes!’ 

And truthfully friends, we can’t deny what he’s saying; work these days, if you can get it, is truly stressful and in the majority of cases, lacking appropriate rewards. But where the workingman falters is his extreme worldly celebration of the weekend. 

Celebrations without boundaries only cause the enemy to get strongholds in our lives, and as Christians, we definitely don’t want, or can’t afford to do such a foolish thing. Therefore we must put up some boundaries, some limits to our celebration. 

And our Friday Chant offers a much better declaration. So let’s chant it as though we really mean it 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!’ 

Ah mih breddren, that’s a much more sensible plea; as we enjoy our time off, but also prepare to get back into the fray in excellent shape, so we don’t miss a beat in doing Jesus’ work; that’s raising up, furthering His LOVE Revolution! 

And that brings us to our Bit…yeh, the same one of the last couple of days. (smile) Oh I know that some of you like to have a new Bit every day, but sometimes it’s necessary to repeat them when there is a lot of information to be shared. 

I know we’ve become accustomed to the short sound bite in this communication mad world, but we’re not doing sound bites here in the Bit, we’re trying to get as full a picture and understanding as possible, which means sometimes hearing some things over and over. Consequently, you have to be totally on board with Jesus to appreciate it. 

Anyway, enough palavering, (smile) here is our Bit: ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ 

What an awesome declaration by our amazing Lord and Saviour! And the great thing about it, is it’s indisputable truth! The Word of God existed even before mankind did. In fact it was the Word, read Jesus, who created the world with words. 

And even after this world no longer exists, the Word, and the word of God will exist into eternity. That just goes to show how powerful it all is. And unless we accept and hold on to all aspects of it, we’ll be lost, eventually destroyed, just like the earth. 

Now hear the psalmist on the topic from Psalm 102 – A cry in distress, a prayer of the afflicted. ‘Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure (continue): yea, all of them shall wax (grow) old like a garment: as a vesture (cloak) shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.’ (Ps.102:25-27) 

Yeh friends, our amazing God, the ONLY TRUE AND LIVING DEITY is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, who was, is and always shall be! What wonderful news for us believers! 

On this earth, we have a solid anchor to keep us steadfast in time of storm, a comforting and healing embrace in time of affliction, a strong arm to lean on when we’re weary, and a divine guide when we’re lost and confused. But the greatest gift is that our spiritual beings have a heavenly place to go to when God’s breath of life is extinguished from our mortal bodies. 

And all God’s people cried out in gratitude: ‘Thank You Lord, for Your Word, in the form of Jesus Christ, as well as a guidebook for earthly living, overseered by Your Holy Spirit! We LOVE you and praise Your Holy Name! Amen!’ 

Oh my people, please allow the joy of our God to rise up in our souls and spirits today, so that we can enjoy our lives and do His work with a good attitude. Much LOVE!

…in the joy of the Lord…lies the believer’s strength…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2016 1 Corinthians 12: 27

1 Corinthians 12:27.  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (individually).

Aye mih friends and family – Scrip-Bit family included of course – welcome to another wonderful Tuesday on planet earth! The Lord’s on His heavenly throne running things, and Jesus is with us through the inner presence of the Holy Spirit! So what can be better than that eh? Absolutely nothing! 

Ah mih people, Jesus is so beautiful, I don’t see how people can not LOVE Him, and want to serve and worship Him in all sincerity and truth! 

Yeh friends, I truly don’t understand how people can dislike Jesus and abuse and blaspheme Him. He has the best religious teaching going, even the best philosophy for living this earthly life; one of peace and LOVE and good cheer! One couldn’t ask for more! 

But such is the fallen and dark nature of our human souls that we refuse to see the light even when it’s shining all around us. But thankfully, we smart humans will embrace Jesus in all His glory and wonder and live to serve Him now and forever! 

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud ‘Praise the Lord in Jesus’ name! Amen.’  

And to support all of what we’ve just said, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with a strong sense of purpose and true belief. As one 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.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, that li’l mantra so warms the cockles of my heart when I declare it, that…that I don’t know what to say afterwards! Hn! 

To know that I am indeed a beloved child of God and a friend of Jesus…and can simply live this life and share His awesome LOVE with the world…well that is just so mind boggling and extraordinary! 

I do hope that you, my fellow believers feel the same way, because if you don’t you are missing out on the most exciting and transformational part of your lives, since true LOVE for Jesus just lifts us up and encourages us so much! 

And we’ll continue with our theme from yesterday; members of the body of Christ, of His church, because it is very important for each believer to know and understand His place and role in that most august organization. 

Our Bit tells us quite plainly: ‘Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (individually).’ 

Yes my brethren, we are all a part of Christ’s great organization called the church, with all that’s needed to make it great, but it’s oh so necessary for the members of that organization to pull together to do that. Listen to the scholars’ input on that verse. 

’12:27. In one succinct statement, the apostle expresses both the unity and the diversity of the body of Christ. The absence of the definite article in Greek (ho, “the”) before the expression ‘body of Christ’  emphasizes character: since they are Christ’s body, their actions and attitudes toward one another should reflect His character.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, that last line there says it all; since we belong to Christ’s organization, our attitude and character ought to reflect that of Jesus! But does it? That’s the million-dollar question. 

Unfortunately, I don’t believe that it does, or at least not to the extent that it should. If we were truly reflecting the character and attitude of Jesus as an organization, there wouldn’t be so much division and disharmony within it, none of the greed, the backbiting, the resentment, and pure hatred that exists in some parts of it. 

As we said earlier, Christ’s character is one of peace, LOVE and good cheer, and that in no way represents the present day church of Christ! 

And before we go any further, listen to the scholars’ description re the Body of Christ. ‘12:27. The church in the New Testament is called the “body of Christ,” and reflects the spiritual organism of the whole church on earth. When the local church is called the body of Christ, the spiritual aspect is emphasized. 

Illustration: As the church is considered to be the body, so individual members are seen as parts of the body. For any church to function properly, every member must do his or her part in a harmonious spirit of cooperation with the other members. Had the church at Corinth learned this lesson, many of their problems would have been solved. 

Application: When Christians disrupt the harmony of a church, they bring reproach on the body of Christ. (First ref. Matt.16:18; Primary Ref. I Cor. 12:27).’ 

Oh friends, that’s the problem of today’s church right there! The spirit of harmonious cooperation is sadly lacking in many of the local churches and also in the entire body of Christendom! 

No wonder we’re bringing such reproach on Christ and His body, and people are leaving His organization as well as crying it down and calling it totally hypocritical! 

And there is a lot of truth there, since the heathen doesn’t see or perceive us as good and kindly and LOVING people from the attitude, behaviour and character we publicly display.  We behave just as badly, and sometimes even worse than them! That obviously gives Jesus a bad name and turns off the unbelievers, thus making of no effect our trying to bring them to Him. 

Ah mih people, there’s a simple solution to all of that yes, all the confusion and disharmony, the resentment, anger and hatred, backbiting and hypocrisy can be avoided if we’d just implement the words of the song: ‘Let God be God! Let God be God in your life!’ 

Yes friends, if we’d just allow the Lord to work in our lives as He desires, most of our problems would vanish, and we’d become much more like the harmonious body of Christ that we’re meant to be. 

So, starting today, right now, let’s let go and allow God to truly work in us nuh, for that is indeed the highest level of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…for Christianity to be successful…Christians must privately live…and publicly show…the true character and attitude of Jesus Christ…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2015 Deuteronomy 13:4‏

Deuteronomy 13:4.   Ye shall walk after (follow) the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto (hold fast to) him.

Well hello there all you beautiful believers in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! I do hope that this Tuesday morning finds you all basking in the glorious sunshine of His oh so warm and tender LOVE, for that’s the only way to truly live a good and successful life on this crazy earth.

And if by some unfortunate chance, you’re not basking in that brilliant sunlight of Jesus, then I’d strongly advise that you go to Him in serious and sincere prayer and humbly ask Him to rectify the situation, so that you can enjoy the peace and joy that He genuinely desires each and every one of His followers to have. That is your new birthright in Christ, and it makes no sense not to enjoy it.

And here’s a li’l something from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin to support that contention. It’s aptly titled ‘Discoveries!’

And it says: ‘Lord God Today You have penetrated My entire being With three glorious discoveries: When I am most weak You are most strong. When I am most fearful You are utterly faithful. When I am at my sinning worst You are at Your saving best.’

And isn’t all of that the God-awesome truth my people? It certainly is! For when we are at the lowest ebb in any aspect of our lives, that’s when our God is at His best. He’s always there to strengthen and raise us back up to where we’re supposed to be, to carry us until we catch our second wind.

Oh Friends, I never cease to enjoy the wonder of the great and merciful God that we serve and worship! He is indeed the BEST element in our lives!

And the promise associated with that poem is one that we all mentally know and LOVE, but in reality, don’t always faithfully feel and appreciate. ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Rom.8:31)

More awesome truth my brethren! For if the omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present Creator of this magnificent universe and all therein is in our corner, then who in heaven’s name can successfully come against us eh? NOBODY, my people! Absolutely, NOBODY!

Please believe that. Today, let’s write it deep in our hearts, souls and minds, then allow it show in our lives, lives which are to be modelled on the never changing, always enduring command of our Bit.

‘Ye shall walk after (follow) the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto (hold fast to) him.’

Ah mih people, those are certainly words of heavenly wisdom, words to faithfully live by!

Now yesterday we looked at some scripture that reinforced or recast our Bit in a slightly different light. Today, however, we’re going to look at another very important aspect of the command set out therein; what happens, or will undoubtedly happen if we don’t follow it.

Listen to Moses as he delivers the living Word of the living God to the Israelites. ‘See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to LOVE the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgements, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce (announce) unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

I call heaven and earth to record (as witnesses) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

That thou mayest LOVE the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.’ (Deut.30:15-20)

Oh my people, eons ago the Lord laid down the situation in clear and simple terms for the Israelites. And whether we like it or not, the same conditions apply even unto this day. So what more can I say that will make any difference it eh? Nothing really, since it’s all written right there in black and white in simple, everyday language.

All I can realistically do, is reiterate the Lord’s Word: ‘therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live… for he is thy life, and the length of thy days…’ That my Friends, is indeed eternal wisdom! Much LOVE!

…God has provided two avenues of living for us…blessing and cursing…we’ll be well advised to choose the first one…blessing…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 July 2014 Mark 5:36b

Mark 5:36b.        Be not afraid, only believe.
 
‘Friday, oh Friday, how I LOVE you Friday! Friday, oh Friday, doh care what nobody says, I will always LOVE you, because you bring the weekend near. That’s why I sing; Friday, oh Friday! Thank God it’s Friday!’
 
Yes my brethren, it’s that day we all wait and long so badly for, because it signals the end of the workweek. Now there’s nothing wrong with looking forward to the weekend, but technically speaking, we shouldn’t be doing as so many of us are; just going through the motions at work waiting for Friday to come so that we can go home and party the weekend away.
 
That attitude most certainly detracts from our witness for Jesus, and anything that does that is wrong! We must learn to appreciate each and everyday, and also give of our best each and everyday, for people are watching us; the way we work, the way we behave, and we therefore need to set good examples, if we want to be able to testify for Jesus.
 
Anyway, let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives us a little better insight into how we should spend our weekends. As one now; 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.’
 
And Friends, if we’ll take that to heart and follow it, we’ll be much better off when Monday and the new workweek arrives. But as Jesus says in our Bit: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’
 
And that’s gospel, my people! For we’re not very good at anything unless we believe in what we’re doing, and also believe that we can do it, with Jesus’ help of course.
 
Now today we’ll continue looking at scripture passages that call for that act of BELIEF! And we’ll begin with one of the most provocative but important statements Jesus made in His earthly sojourn.
 
When the people were clamouring for bread to fulfill their physical hunger: ‘Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life, he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35)
 
And the scholars explain that verse this way: ‘6:35. I am the bread of life means the bread that gives life. The life of which He speaks is spiritual and eternal.’
 
Oh my brethren, it is necessary to have physical bread to quench our physical hunger pangs, but it’s even more important, a vital necessity, to have the spiritual bread of life which only Jesus can give, so that we can attain salvation and eternal life!
 
We’ll always need worldly bread to quiet our complaining stomachs, but once we have the bread of life that Jesus gives, our souls, our spiritual beings, will never hunger or thirst again!
 
Now isn’t that a wonderful promise, one that we should all hasten to accept? Indeed it is! So let’s all concentrate on acquiring it today nuh, for it’s certainly heavenly wisdom.
 
Then Friends, we come to a little noticed passage of scripture, but which I believe hurt Jesus immensely. Now just before the feast of the tabernacles, Jesus’ family urged Him to go up to Jerusalem to celebrate it, but he declined, preferring to stay in Galilee, as the Jews in Judea were out to kill him.
 
‘His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and (while) he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, show thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him.’ (John 7:3-5)
 
Imagine that nuh people, Jesus’ own family didn’t believe in Him! That had to hurt and disappoint Him. This led Him to later say: ‘Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.’ (Luke 4:24) And that’s no lie, for the doubters and scoffers are usually the ones closest to the person in the limelight.
 
And we’ll close with another interesting episode from Jesus. This time the Jews were wanting to stone Him because they considered His claim to be the Son of God total blasphemy.
 
But Jesus simply reasoned to them: ‘If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.’ (John 10:37-38)
 
And the same thing applies to us today Friends. If we believe that Jesus did the miraculous works the Good Book claims He did, then we also have to acknowledge that He could only have done them by working in conjunction with God the Father. For no one could do those kinds of things on or in their own strength.
 
It therefore behooves us to believe that ALL He said was true; not to doubt, but to BELIEVE!
 
So this fateful Friday morning my brethren, let’s ramp up our belief in Jesus, and go out and do His bidding, just like He went out and did the Father’s bidding. That’s the best way to show our faith, our true and strong belief in Him. Much LOVE!
 
…you can’t put forth your best effort…unless your heart believes in what you’re doing…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2014 Matthew 24:13

Matthew 24:13.    But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Summer, oh beautiful summer! What would we do without you eh? Hn! Possibly go more than stir crazy from being cooped up inside for so long. And I hear a lot of laughter coming from down south.

Yes you southerners, you can laugh because summer is a year round treat for you all. But we northerners do appreciate our summer, after those long, cold, winter days and nights cosseted in close quarters.

That’s why we go crazy, behave like leggo-beasts, when the summer time comes around and we experience the thrilling rays of a sun that shines not only bright, but also hot and heavy, and we can get outside in the heat, half naked – sometimes totally naked – (smile) and let loose all the passion and enthusiasm we’ve stored up during the dreadful winter months.

And so far we’ve had beautiful summer weather; not too hot, but hot enough, with decent winds to keep us comfortable, so that the days and nights aren’t too muggy and sweaty.

And all God’s people declared a loud and hearty cheer of ‘Thank you Lord for this delightful summer weather! We hope that it continues like this all summer long! And in grateful appreciation, we praise and honour your glorious name! Amen!’

But Friends, please remember that the summer has just begun, so everything and anything is still possible. But we’ve just got to hold on to our optimism with hungry hope and expectant faith, without thinking about what lies ahead after summer – winter, with its cold, lonely days and dark, dreary nights.

And now that I’ve put the fear of winter into us, (smile) let’s turn to the word from our almanac today that shouts at us: ‘ENDURE!’ 

Yes Friends, we need to endure those long, dark, lonely days and nights of winter, be they physical or emotional, so that we can eventually come into the light and lightheartedness of summer. Whatever we’re going through my people, whenever we go though it, ENDURANCE is a MUST!

For as the ensuing quote from the war days British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill (1874-1965) declares: ‘Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer.’

And that’s indisputable truth my brethren! You may not always conquer when you endure, but you’ll NEVER CONQUER, UNLESS YOU ENDURE!

And that goes for our Christian faith more than anything else in this whole wide world! Jesus clearly states the need for endurance in our Bit: ‘But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.’

Oh Friends, there are so many Scripture passages that call for the express need of endurance on our earthly pilgrimage, that I’m just going to quote a few of them. Let’s begin with something from the gospel of Mark, where Jesus is relating the parable of the sower.

‘And these (seeds) are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in them selves; and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction (tribulation) or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended (caused to stumble).’ (Mark 4:16-17)

Yes my people, in God’s great universe, even seeds need to endure in the darkness of the earth for a time, until they are ready to sprout forth. And unfortunately, too many of us today are like those seeds that are sown on stony ground. As soon as any difficulties arise, we are quick to complain and bail out.

But my brethren, the hallmark of a true believer in Christ is in our strong power of endurance, our perseverance and steadfastness, regardless of our prevailing circumstances! That’s why Jesus also told the disciples: ‘In your patience (perseverance, long-suffering) possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:19)

Patience and perseverance are paramount in Christianity my people!

Meanwhile, in Bruh Paul’s famous chapter on LOVE, he boldly declares of that most venerable emotion: ‘(LOVE) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ (1 Cor.13:7)

Yeh Friends, true LOVE is of God, and it endures everything that’s thrown against it, and in doing so, also lasts forever!

We also know Bruh Paul’s memorable words to the Galatians on the subject: ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart). As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:9-10)

And we’ll end with some more memorable words from Hebrews, re running our earthly race. ‘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 (endurance, perseverance) the race that is set before us.

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. For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls).’ (Heb.12:1-3)

Ah mih people, standing strong and steadfast in faith, with patience, perseverance and endurance is of the utmost importance in our Christian walk!

So let’s take all we’ve heard this morning to heart and let it re-energize us nuh, help us to stand strong, bear all things, in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and thus persist, endure, and see our race of life through to the very end. That’s wisdom of and for the ages! Much LOVE!

…only as believers steadfastly endure their trials and tribulations…will the church of Christ grow…and more importantly…endure… 

P.S. Oh Friends, the ole fella’s shaking it somewhat rough this morning, due to a pretty late night and the untimely acting up of my allergies. But I’m practicing what I preach…I’m enduring. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2014 Ephesians 1:3

Ephesians 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.  

Well… ‘The party’s over my Friends. It’s time to call it a day…’ 

Chuhhh! How sad, that I will no longer be writing to you from the balcony of my little bungalow in the Sugar Mill Suites of Lowlands, overlooking the lush greenery, and the well kept golf course on God’s Little Acre.
 
Yes my people, the ole fella’s rather short sojourn in Paradise will end today. Steups! Ah Lord eh! The next time you hear from me, God willing, will most likely be from the cold, snowy North Country. And I just heard that there’s been a big, beautiful snowfall, just in time for my return. All praise and glory be to God Almighty! Well what else can a good Christian person say eh? (smile) 
 
But Friends, please note that my absence from Paradise will only be for a short period of time, obviously providing it’s the Lord’s will. And since we all know that where there’s life, there’s always hope, and since I still have some life left in me, I won’t give up, I won’t stop hoping and praying that I can return to sweet Tobago some time soon.
 
And if this just happens to be my swansong, then it was a great one. Mama Mia!
 
And as regards memories… Oh my people, I made a couple of dandy ones yesterday! Around lunch time, I visited one of my mother’s oldest and dearest friends living in Scarborough, Diana Plante.  And was I ever surprised to see how frail and weak she has become, for unfortunately she’s now sick with spinal problems and can’t get around much on her own.
 
She’s now a shadow of the tall, beautiful, buxom woman I once knew, who along with Mols, my mother, at one stage, were the hottest numbers in Scarborough. But as they so rightly say; after one time is certainly two. Now Mols has gone over to the other side, to the great palace in the sky, leaving Di here to suffer the painful afflictions of human existence. 
 
But thankfully, despite the physical ailments, Di’s mind, spirit and faith are all still strong, and that’s a wonderful thing! But nonetheless Friends, please, let’s remember her in our prayers. Let’s pray for her to be comforted in her time of need, for we never truly know what others are going through just from their outward demeanour and behaviour.
 
And there’s absolutely nothing in this world as powerful as prayer power!
 
I made one other good and significant memory yesterday; in the late afternoon, meeting, for the first time ever, one of my nieces, a doctor here on the island. And though we had a long and excellent visit, I was appalled by some of the negative things she recounted about the Health System in T&T in general, and in Tobago, in particular. Although Health Care is basically free, it seems that the level of service and professionalism is sadly lacking.
 
Ah mih people, what to say eh? Not much, because it’s a world-wide phenomenon; the standards in ALL areas of life have fallen to such low levels that it boggles the imagination. And the sad fact is that they are continuing to fall. Hopefully though, we staunch, strong and steadfast believers in Jesus Christ will soon wake up and begin correcting it, for no one else will do it.
 
And those are the most memorable memories I made yesterday… Oh, oh, I almost forgot. I also had my last constitutional at Store Bay, which, despite its total commercialism, is still my favourite beach! Amen!
 
And now, here’s our Bit. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’
 
Oh my brethren, have you noticed how, over the last few days, the Lord has adroitly manoeuvred me to this most appropriate Bit, one dealing with blessings? I guess He’s just making sure that I am fully cognisant of the many blessings He’s showered down on me over the last three weeks. It truly wasn’t necessary though, for the blessings have been so plentiful, that even an atheist would have been forced to say ‘Thanks!’ (smile)
 
And I’m saying that now Lord: ‘Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!’ I know it’s insufficient, but that’s the very best our inferior mortal vocabulary allows.
 
And now Friends and fellow believers, let’s continue with Bruh Paul’s explanation to the Ephesians, re the spiritual blessings received through Christ, from verse 13.
 
‘In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of (down payment or deposit on) our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.’ (Eph.1:13-14)
 
Oh Friends, what beautiful, sweet sounding terms – trust, truth, gospel, salvation, believed, sealed, holy spirit, promise – all in one sentence! Wow! Then you have down payment, deposit, inheritance, redemption, purchase, praise and glory in the next. How priceless!
 
Now let’s hear the scholars’ take on those scriptures. ‘1:13. In whom ye also (or, “by whom also you”): The first person plural (we, us) in verses 3-12 refers to Jewish Christians. The second person plural (you) refers to Gentile Christians. This seems evident from 2:11-12 where the second person is explicitly applied to non-Jews. “Ye being in time past Gentiles… ye were… aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.” Compare 3:1, where Paul calls his readers, “you Gentiles.”
 
The apostle’s point in this “we-you” distinction is that all those spiritual blessings God has bestowed upon “us” Jewish Christians, He has also granted “you” Gentile brethren. There is no difference.
 
In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise may be read, “By whom also, when you believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” The Christian receives the Spirit, not “after,” but when He believes in Christ as Saviour. The sealer is Jesus; the seal is the Holy Spirit. In biblical times a seal denoted both identification and ownership and protection provided by the owner.’ 
 
And re ‘1:14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance means “who is the guarantee of our salvation.” The Holy Spirit is here called “the earnest of our inheritance.” The word ‘earnest’ means “down payment”; as such the gift of the Spirit is viewed as an installment or as part of our salvation. God therefore assures the Christian that the realization of the rest of His salvation is forthcoming.
 
How long is the believer assured of his salvation? Until the redemption of the purchased possession may be read, “until God glorifies and perfects the believer (the purchased possession) whom He has bought by Christ’s blood.”
 
And that’s it for today, and for that message! Please Friends let’s, as always, ponder the words we’ve read, then let them stimulate our hearts, minds and souls as we go out today to do Christ’s work.
 
And now I’m going out on to my balcony and watch the sun rise up above the Eastern horizon for the last time. (smile) Much LOVE!
 
…oh what a friend…and saviour…we have in Jesus…our hopes and cares to bear…  

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