Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2018 1 John 4:11.

1 John 4:11.   Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.

And then it was Tuesday, the 2nd day of January 2018, and the festivities have been abruptly curtailed! Hn! It’s time to get back to the common task and daily grind, or however they say it. Reality has finally hit home! 

It’s time to go back to work and consider how we’re going to pay the enormous bills we’ve run up over the holiday season. Some of us are liable to drop down dead when we see the bills. But not to worry, whatever foolishness we’ve done can be rectified if we take it to Jesus. 

Remember His awesome invitation? ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, no one in this great wide world has ever offered such a sincere invitation, with the power to back up every word. So if this morning you’re straining under any kind of pressure at all, the wisest thing you can do is take it to Jesus in humble prayer and supplication. 

He will NOT, will NEVER turn you away, for He’s also faithfully promised: ‘I’ll never leave nor forsake you.’ But He can’t do anything for you until you turn to Him and ask for His help. 

Now He might not just wave away your problems, although He has the power to do so, but He’ll surely show you a way to handle them without a backbreaking effort and give you the grace and mercy to see it all through. That’s His promise and He doesn’t renege on any of His promises. 

Remember too friends, that we’ve dedicated 2018 to be the Year of LOVE…and where does true LOVE come from, where is its fountainhead? Jesus Christ! And we’ve also declared that we only need ONE New Year’s Resolution; that of following Christ more closely than ever. 

Therefore, using all that simple logic, (smile) no rocket science involved, it’s easy to deduce that ALL wise roads lead to Christ, for He is the ONLY One who’s inviting us to bring our problems to Him, and the ONLY One who has the power to solve them, and/or take us safely through them. 

Oh, and don’t forget our motto: EACH ONE LOVE ONE! Yeh mih breddren, each and every day, we’re supposed to LOVE at least ONE person. But please don’t just stop at one, the more the merrier. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ 

Oh my fellow believers no greater truth has ever been spoken. Remember all the LOVE began with God! He first LOVED us, and so much, that He sent Jesus to die for us. And as the scholars tell us: ‘4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

And here is some interesting reasoning from John, as he continues after our Bit. ‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:12-16) 

Oh precious people of God, that scripture is so rich in nutrients, that I doubt we have time and space to pull them all out. But let’s see what nuggets we can get in what time we have nuh. Hear the scholars: ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yeh friends, all this LOVING business presupposes that you are a believer in Christ, and have received the life changing and saving gift of His Holy Spirit to dwell in you. Otherwise NONE of this will work. The Holy Spirit is the catalyst that raises up our LOVE quotient. 

‘4:15. This helps provide the context for rightly understanding verse 7 (our Bit from yesterday). Trust in Christ as the incarnate Son of God makes genuine, God-wrought LOVE possible’ Oh people, only through a sincere trust in Jesus Christ can we ever achieve the LOVE that comes from God. 

‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as a characteristic of God and therefore as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ 

And unfortunately my brethren, although we might talk a lot about LOVE, it just doesn’t dominate the Church of Christ and its followers as it should. That’s why we’re talking about it and trying to build our knowledge and thus sincere participation in it, for only as the true LOVE of God is present far and wide in our individual societies and our world, will they be any good.  

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world who and whose we are. In strong, sincere 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 next step is to go out and action that last statement. Much LOVE!

…without the LOVE of Jesus in our hearts…mankind is just another mindless wild animal…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 

Oh friends of mine, it’s a beautiful white Tuesday morning in my area. Hn! Yes, we’ve finally registered our first significant snowfall of the season! It’s not too big a snowfall, and as always, it looks beautiful when unsullied by human passage through it. But trudging through it is something else…and so is shovelling it. Good thing I won’t be doing either of those activities today! (smile) 

Anyway, there’s lot’s of stuff I want to share this morning, so let’s get right to it nuh. And the first one is something called ‘The Tyranny of Things,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t remember if I’ve ever shared this before, but it’s ever so appropriate for these secular and selfish times, especially this time of year. 

Please read with me: ‘Materialism does not satisfy because it is tyrannical, and the human being was born to be free! We all know about the tyranny of things. We find that we don’t own a house – the house owns us. We are married to a mortgage. We become slaves to gadgets and garments. 

After we have all our “things” purchased, delivered, and installed, and have enjoyed a fleeting sense of pleasure, we find that they are still dominating, dictating, and demanding. “Press me, polish me, patch me, paint me, prune me, plaster me, repair me,” they shout. 

So we spend the best years of our lives and the bulk of our money working for the “things,” until, discouraged and depressed, we discover that we have no time left to pursue life’s really enjoyable avocations: visiting friends, having fun, and, yes, even going to church regularly. Thus mastered by materialism, tyrannized by things, we have no time left to do the deeds, or see the places, or visit the people, that would really give us great inner joy.’  

And isn’t all of that the living truth friends? It certainly is! In this materialistic, highly commercialized society, it’s all about things and stuff, especially at this season of Christmas. And in a couple weeks time, we’ve forgotten about all the stuff we bought – on credit; even get annoyed when we see some of the stuff, as we struggle to pay for them. Hn! Hn! 

So please, let’s take this advice to heart this Christmas season nuh, and not go overboard with the material stuff. Instead, let’s focus on the human relationships and spiritual processes that truly are the reason for the season, with Jesus being the main focus. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ More words of truth and wisdom, my brethren, whether you take them literally or figuratively! 

Time is flying by, and none of us knows how much we have left, so we need to use each second economically, purposefully and usefully, both in the human and spiritual realms. Darkness and evil have taken a stranglehold on our world, and as true believers in Christ, we can’t afford to let that happen. We need to push back…and push back hard too, if we want to make a difference in this crucial fight. 

And we have a quote ascribed to Antoine de St. Expury (1900-1944) the French author, poet and aviator. It says: ‘In these times one must write with one’s life. This is the challenge to all of us.’ 

And is that ever so true friends, especially for us Christians! We need to show the dark, evil and cruel world what true Christianity is like through the way we live our lives, rather than the way we talk. For one doesn’t always reflect the other. As the saying goes; ‘examples work more forcibly than precepts.’ 

So please let’s concentrate on living our lives as good examples of Christ’s LOVE Revolution nuh, so that the unbeliever will see our sincerity and want to follow Jesus too. That’s the whole point for our being here yes friends. 

Now let us take a quick look at the second part of our Bit; putting on ‘the armour of light.’ And all we have time for is Bruh Paul’s notable warning and brief description of God’s spiritual armour to the Ephesians. ‘Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (rulers), against powers (authorities), against the rulers of darkness of this world (world rulers), against spiritual wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yeh friends, only when we’re dressed in God’s armour, can we stand strong and resist the evil one, for He will attack again and again. That means we have to be continually ensconced in our ‘girdle of truth, and breastplate of righteousness, shod with the gospel of peace, bearing the shield of faith, having on our heads the helmet of salvation, and waving the sword of the Spirit in our right hand, with prayer and supplication’ driving us ever onward and forward! That’s our spiritual armour, and how we defeat the enemy. 

Now let’s go home declaring as we do on Tuesdays, our Tuesday Mantra, singing out loud and clear to the evil world who and whose we are. In full voice and sincere heart 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!’ 

Mama Mia! How blessed we are eh! Now let’s go out and put it all into action; share the LOVE of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…dark and evil times…call for Christians…showing their light…the light of Jesus…and leading the way…out of the darkness…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2017 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. 

Behold friends, it’s another glorious Tuesday morning in my area! And as the old people would remark ‘heat for so!’ (smile) 

Don’t know when they’re going to end. But like all things, this current beautiful summer weather will eventually morph into the cold and gloomy weather of fall and then winter. 

It’s only a matter of time. So we had better enjoy it while it lasts. That’s why we can all shout, ‘this is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Oh my people, I know that’s difficult for many of us to say and truly mean because we’re undergoing enormous stress and problems, but we just have to suck it up, raise our level of faith and carry on. 

Even me, right now, I’m having some painful hip problems, and it’s indeed a pain in the rear end, both literally and figuratively, (smile) I can’t walk properly, or sleep properly, or do any kind of physical movement without some sudden, unexpected pain in some area. 

Just coming down here to my basement office to write the Bit was a source of annoying pain. But I just have to do whatever it takes to keep on doing the Lord’s work. And from past experience, I know that He will enable me to do it, if I hang in there. 

That’s what our faith is all about friends! Let’s not forget the Lord’s goodness and mercy in our past. Remembering what He has done in the past for us, ought to make us stronger and help us to stick with His word, to keep believing and keep praying. 

And talking about praying, here is something I’ve shared before from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, but it’s one of those inspiring prayers that we need to share over and over. It’s titled ‘A Prayer For Confidence.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘It is flowing into me now, for my conscience is clear. I have made the right decision. I am not afraid of problems. I will face challenges calmly and serenely for God is behind me. He will help me. If I must go through difficult times, He will rescue me. 

I feel His spirit of confidence surging in my heart now. With Him I cannot possibly fail. “If God is for me who can be against me?” I have a strong feeling that everything is going to work out just beautifully. Thank you, God. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, what sincere words of reassurance! And I do hope that you feel the surging confidence, the ultimate and enormous power of our omnipotent and merciful God flowing through you right now! I do! 

It’s that spiritual power inspired by prayer and praise, worship and thanks that gets us moving despite all the negative aspects of our lives. We can’t give up friends, especially in these rough and devastating times. As I keep saying, right now we need prayer and faith more than ever, for our world is definitely in a dangerous tailspin. 

And there’s no better time than RIGHT NOW to invoke our Bit. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Remember that was Jesus’ advice to the throng that followed Him. And as faithful believers, we ought to take his advice seriously and do whatever He commands. 

So, please, I urge us, implore us, to keep on praying, to not give up, to not faint, even though the future seems dark and dreary because it’s often darkest just before the dawn, and with our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on our side, anything can happen at any time. 

Now let’s look at a magnificent verse of scripture which totally shows us the importance of prayer. They are the awesome words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians as he explains the putting on of God’s armour. 

At the end, he specifies: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) 

And the scholars offer this explanation of that verse. ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is when Satan attacks. 

In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that shows us how important and indispensable prayer is in our lives. Now, having read and inwardly digested all that, let’s go home joyfully declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

In unison 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!’ 

Glory to God my faithful brethren! Now let’s go out and share the LOVE, mercy and forgiveness of our Saviour, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…prayer is the believer’s lifeline…his umbilical cord to God…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

And then it was Friday, which was heralded by some pretty intense thunder showers in my area during the night. The ground should certainly be well watered this morning. 

And even if we don’t see the Sun all day, just remember folks, the SON is ALWAYS shining brightly, both day and night, and He is ALWAYS readily available to come to for succour and comfort, or just a friendly chat. 

Wow! What an awesome Saviour we have my brethren! Please give Him some well-deserved thanks and praise! 

Even the workingman does that in His own misguided way, when he joyfully declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Thank Him for the break from slave labour…even if it short…Thank Him for the time we have to party and carouse and shake we bodyline! Thank Him for the waters that will flow like water…Mama Yo! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

Ah friends, to some extent, we can all understand those sentiments, and in our lustful days, before we were filled with the Holy Spirit, many of us might have even participated in that kind of riotous living. But they are way too extreme for the true Christian. 

So let’s declare our Friday Chant nuh, which gives us a more sober view (smile) of how we ought to spend the weekend. As one now: ‘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.’ 

Now that’s much more in line with true Christian behaviour! And without further ado, let’s get to our Bit. ‘ Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s the first thing we need to do, if we intend to successfully fight and overthrow Beelzebub! Please remember that without God’s protective armour, we are no match for the enemy. 

And once again we’ll include the verses that describe the Lord’s armour, so we can have them right in front of us as we try to explain and understand them. ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your loins) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

And we’ll continue today with the fifth piece of God’s armour: ‘The helmet of salvation (vs.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8), they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes this helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is the certainty (assurance) of salvation.’ 

So my people, once we are saved, and thus assured of salvation, nothing or no one can take that from us, but we have to make good use of it, by keeping it first and foremost, front and centre in our minds, using it as a helmet. 

And now we come to the sixth and last part of God’s protective armour: ‘The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (vs.17b). The Greek term rendered “word” is not ‘logos’ referring to the whole Word of God, but ‘rhema’ referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.’ 

And the author of Hebrews tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (is able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’ (Heb.4:12) 

That’s how powerful the word of God is friends! And when we use it in all aspects of our daily life it mightily assists us in staying centred in God. And though my brethren, we put on all the armour of God, there is one more thing that’s absolutely necessary in successfully fighting Lucifer and his evil buddies; that’s Praying in verse 18. 

And the scholars tell us: ‘Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. 

In the spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Hope you all got that my people: Prayer is indispensable! It must be used with the armour of God, for us to be successful! And we need to pray for not only ourselves, but for all believers! 

So basically, God’s armour consists of our assurance of salvation, our helmet; our belt of truth; knowing the truth of God’s Word, plus our breastplate of righteousness which enables us to live a godly and moral life. 

And we definitely need a shield to protect us from Satan’s arrows, in this case our strong faith. Neither can we go into battle barefooted, we need the shoes, the eagerness that the gospel of peace offers us. And we surely can’t fight without a weapon; namely God’s word that’s so sharp and powerful, it can cut anything and discern whatever is necessary. But it must all be anchored by continuous prayer. 

Now let’s hope this brief refresher course, re God’s armour, reminded of stuff we might have forgotten, enlightened us some, and also raised our consciousness, so that we can run our earthly race more efficiently and successfully than before. Much LOVE!

…onward Christian soldiers…but remember…a soldier never goes to war…without his armour…his weapon…and prayer…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

Well mih friends and family, it seems the ole fella was a tad late when he said yesterday that summer would be with us in a couple of days. Hn, hn! Apparently summer has officially been with us for three days now. (smile) 

And my excuse, which by the way I’m sticking to, is that I don’t remember it being on the 20th of June, but more like the 22 or 23. Just goes to show you ought to check your calendar before you make such statements. 

But be that as it may, let’s hope we have a good summer season, one worthy to be called summer; not too hot, but hot enough to make one know that it’s summer…if you follow my convoluted reasoning. So far it has been somewhat mild, with a touch of spring still present, but it’s still early days yet. 

And before we get into today’s sermon (smile), here is a nugget of gold, one of the little snippets that appear at the end of each day’s Daily Bread Devotion. It says: ‘Nothing is hidden from God’s sight. Nothing is greater than God’s LOVE. Nothing is stronger than God’s mercy and grace. Nothing is too hard for God’s power.’ 

Now if ALL of that isn’t gospel truth, then I don’t know what is! Our God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, which means He is all-powerful, all seeing and everywhere! You can’t beat that friends! 

And He has so generously granted some of His awesome power to us mere mortals, but we need to accept it, to graciously receive it, because there’s nothing we can do to work for or deserve it. It’s just His wonderful free gift. 

Now one of the things we’re talking about here is the power to rebuke and successfully conquer and control the evil enemy, who desires to take over our lives and turn us away from sincerely worshipping the One and Only True God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

So let’s bring in our Bit and continue our conversation from yesterday. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’  

And we’re going to repeat the verses that contain the description of God’s spiritual armour, so that we’ll have them right in front of us and not have to turn elsewhere to find them. 

‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your loins) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). 

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

Now yesterday we explained up to the breastplate of righteousness, so today we’ll continue the scholars explanations with the third piece of God’s armour: ‘Preparation of the gospel of peace (vs.15) which means “eagerness that comes from the gospel of peace.” 

That is, as the Roman soldier wore special shoes called ‘caligae’ on his feet, enabling him to advance against his enemy, so the Christian must have on his feet (possess) a sense of “eagerness” or “willingness” to advance against the Devil and take the fight to him. 

Such “eagerness” to contend with Satan “comes from the gospel of peace.” The gospel gives peace to the believer, freeing him from the anxiety though he advances against such a powerful opponent.’ 

Oh friends, how wonderful is that eh? The gospel of peace frees us from fear and anxiety and allows us to courageously battle Satan. But please note one important point, we ought not to sit back and let the evil Lucifer come against us, we must take the fight to Him, battle him on our terms, on our turf. As they say, the best defence is offence. 

And the fourth piece of God’s armour is ‘The shield of (which is) faith (vs.16). And that means taking God at His word by believing His promises. Such trust will prevent one from doubts induced by Satan.’ 

And that’s awfully important my fellow believers, for Lucifer is the father of lies and deceit and doubts, and if we’re not very careful and have a strong faith and trust in Almighty God, he can easily deceive us into thinking and doing the wrong things. 

Now time and space have run out against us, so we’ll have to continue this tomorrow. And I look at it as God’s mysterious working, not giving us too much stuff to ponder in one sitting. So please think seriously on what we’ve said to day, while we walk gratefully in God’s LOVE and mercy. 

And to end it all on a magnificent note, let’s declare our Thursday Blessings with much gusto and sincere belief. In unison now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And since blessings were meant to be shared, let’s go out and joyfully share them nuh, as Jesus so avidly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…having on God’s armour…makes us all invincible conquerors…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

Lo and behold friends, it’s already Wednesday, the middle of the workweek! These days sure are passing by quickly, and in another couple, summer should officially be upon us. 

That ought to make us happy up here in the colder climes. What a way we look forward to the hot and humid days of summer eh, after months of cold, depressing winter. But then we also complain that the summer’s too hot and humid! (smile) How to please us eh? 

Apparently we can’t be truly pleased. We are like our nowadays children, who, despite their abundance of toys, nonetheless get bored with them very quickly, and keep wanting something new to hold their short attention spans. 

That’s why some of us supposed Christians never grow in faith. We look upon Christianity as a toy, or something that will automatically bring us health, wealth and fame. But nothing is further from the truth friends. 

Of course you can become, healthy, wealthy and famous as a Christian, but that is not the reason for it all. And Christianity desires lots of perseverance, endurance, patience and oftimes much suffering and struggle. 

It’s not an easy row to hoe, especially when confronted by the many wiles and evil schemes of the devious enemy, who have set out to purposely discombobulate us. 

Consequently, many Christians fall by the wayside, because they don’t have the internal parts to run the hard race that’s set before them. But my people, if we are to be successful in the running of this earthly race, then we have to make certain preparations and hold on tightly to certain things. 

Now over the last couple of days we’ve been talking about the spiritual warfare in which we automatically enter in when we become followers of Jesus Christ. The enemy targets us, puts a big bull’s eye on our backs, once we’ve accepted Christ as our Lord and Saviour. 

And yesterday, as we saw from our Bit, one of the necessities for fighting this war is having on the protective armour of God at all times. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, without God’s armour in our possession, we’re like sitting ducks for Lucifer and his evil cohorts. But with it on, and the strength of the Lord flowing through us…oh my people, we can battle like you won’t believe. Glory to God! 

And since some of you might be wondering what this glorious armour consists of, let’s listen to Bruh Paul as he explains it to the Ephesians after our Bit. ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your loins) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

Yes friends, those are the things we call the armour of God, with which we can fight the devil mano-a-mano, giving no ground whatsoever! 

Now let’s get a brief synopsis of all that. Having our loins girded with truth is basically having on a belt of truth, which is knowledge of the word of God. 

The scholars tell us: ‘The ancient soldier’s loins (“waist”) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the truth of Scripture.’ 

There we have it precious people of God! The first and most important piece of armour is knowing the truth of God’s word! We can’t put up any resistance until we have God’s truth firmly entrenched in our souls, since that is the basic reason for our war; the truth of God, versus the lies of the enemy. 

Then we need to put on ‘The breastplate of righteousness,’ which the scholars say ‘may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (“righteousness”).’ 

Now there is much more stuff to talk about re God’s armour, but unfortunately we’ve run out of time and space. But tune in tomorrow and we’ll continue it. In the meanwhile, please ponder on what we’ve already talked about; the first priority of knowing the truth of God’s word, and then putting it into action with a godly, moral lifestyle. 

Now let’s go home declaring the truth that’s in our hearts via our Wednesday Wail. Wailing all: ‘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 mih people, what bliss it is to be in league with Jesus! Now let’s go out and share that joy with those who unfortunately don’t know Him. Much LOVE!

…a soldier of Christ…desperately needs God’s armour…to successfully fight his Christian war…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

‘Ah feelin’ hot, hot, hot…! And friends, if you believe that, I have some beautiful land to sell you in Florida; no alligators, so swamps, no snakes, just lush parkland! (smile) And believe me, I could handle that Florida weather right now yes, despite it’s somewhat unsafe natural habitat because it’s a chilly Saturday morning in my area. But no such luck, so I’ll just have to grin and bear it. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at a trio of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. The first one is a tad heavy, (smile) and says: ‘Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.’ And that’s gospel truth my people!  

And this second quote is a companion to the first. ‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.’ Yeh friends, for serious and sincere change to occur in our lives, or around us, we must be the instigating factor, with the Lord’s help obviously! 

And this last one is indeed a gem. ‘All rewards require initial toil.’ Now that’s an eye-opener for a lot of people in these modern times of supposed entitlement. But that’s how God’s economy runs; you have to work first before you can get paid, sow good seed, before you can reap an abundant harvest.  

Unfortunately though, too many of us, Christians, included want to reap harvests without sowing seeds, and get rewards without any toil.  That’s why there are so many layabouts and hangers on to those who have. The celebrities must have their large entourages to show off their wealth, power and importance, but once the money’s gone, so are the good time friends. 

Anyhow, let’s move on to our Bit. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ Now I know that many of you are tired with it, but it is of the utmost importance in our fighting off the enemy, and if you don’t know all that it entails, then our chances for success are seriously lessened. This is the last day for it anyway – I promise. (smile) 

Now there’s one more extremely important verse in Bruh Paul’s dialogue to the Ephesians. Having put on the whole armour of God, one must continue the action by: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) 

So my brethren, the mere putting on of God’s armour doesn’t do the trick, it needs constant prayer and supplication too. Listen to the scholar’s explanation of that verse. 

‘6:19. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’  

Ah mih people, you see that prayer is the catalyst that gets the whole show going. Without it, nothing of any significance happens. And for all our benefit, I’ll stress here again, just in case we didn’t notice when the scholars declared: ‘PRAYER IS INDISPENSABLE!’ 

And that it certainly is my fellow believers! It’s basically how we communicate with our wonderful, awesome, omnipotent God, so where there is no prayer, there is no communication with the Lord God Jehovah, and mankind cannot live successfully without God in his life. Now another important point of it all, is that we must not just pray for ourselves, but for ALL believers too! 

And as a reminder of all we’ve been talking about recently, let’s remember on a practical level, to: Put on Daily: The helmet of salvation to guard our minds. The breastplate of righteousness to guard our emotions. The belt of truth, to stay centred in the Word – walk, talk, live in and testify to the truth. The sandals of peace – so that wherever we go, we’ll go in peace and tranquility – anchoring our feet boldly in the bedrock of Jesus. 

The shield of faith – so that we can deflect the fiery arrows of the enemy, and stand safely behind the massive protection of faith. The sword of the Spirit – the Good Book – the spiritual weapon that cuts deeply to bring about conviction and repentance. And then follow it all up with prayer. 

Yes friends, we need all those accoutrements of battle, not simply bits and pieces, if we hope to be successful in fighting for Jesus against the prince of darkness. Much LOVE!

…in warfare…the better protected soldier…begins with the upper hand…and can thus dictate the battle…

 

 

 

 

 

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