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

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

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

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

So let’s belt it out now nuh, with plenty gusto and expectant faith. As one big earthly choir now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

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

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

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

Before we go further though, let’s check out some info from the scholars, re our Bit. ‘6:10. Finally may be rendered “from now on” or “henceforth.” The spiritual battle Christians are engaged in exists “from now on” until the Lord’s return: there is no quarter given, no cease fire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities. “From now on” till the end there is all out war. The remainder of the verse may be paraphrased, “Let yourselves constantly be strengthened by the Lord, more precisely by His mighty power.” 

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

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

And the scholars offer us these explanations. ‘6:11. Put on (Greek ingressive aorist imperative) (smile) denotes a sense of urgency, demanding immediate action. To stand has military overtones. This verb was used in classical Greek meaning to resist the enemy and hold a critical positon in battle. The wiles of the devil (or, “the Devil’s strategy”). Satan carefully devises schemes and tactics against believers.’ 

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

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

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2013 Proverbs 10:22

Proverbs 10:22.    The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Oh Friends, I don’t know about you all nuh, but I’m tired of the snow and cold already! And that’s only the first big snowfall and cold spell of the year. I guess I’m tired mainly because I had to be out and about in it all.
 
But here this, the weather people are forecasting above freezing temps and rain for later this week! That discrepancy and uncertainty is what drives people crazy and also gets them sick, because they don’t know how to properly prepare for the weather in these changing times.
 
However Friends, I also have the answer, the antidote for it all; prayer!
 
And like Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) describes it in his devotional for yesterday: ‘Prayer is the umbilical cord that allows you – with your embryonic ideas – to draw nourishment from a source that you, like an unborn infant, can neither see nor fully know or comprehend – God our heavenly Father! Prayer is the power that pulls everything together successfully.’
 
And that’s a novel but absolutely true way to put it my people! When I read it yesterday, I just knew that I had to share it with you. And would you believe that I’ve been reading that devotional for a number of years now, and that idea did not even sound familiar when I read it yesterday.
 
Ah Lord eh! Makes you wonder what I’m thinking about when I read them. (smile) I guess though, that I wasn’t mature enough in Christ for it to make a notable impression on me, before yesterday. But who knows, since our God moves in such mysterious and unfathomable ways with His higher thoughts and methods.
 
Anyway, the important thing is that I’ve finally recognized it, so let’s turn to our Bit. ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.’
 
More undeniable truth my brethren! For when our God blesses us, we know that we are blessed, and He doesn’t include any sorrow in it. Now maybe the sorrow will come before, or even after the blessing, (smile) but the blessings are usually blessings alone.
 
And we’ll continue from where we left off yesterday, with Abraham’s servant being sent to his master’s home country, Mesopotamia, to find a wife for Isaac from his brethren. And Friends, it’s not by luck or chance, but rather by divine decree and guidance, that Abraham’s servant ended up in the city where Nahor, Abraham’s brother dwelt.
 
Neither was it luck or chance, but divine appointment, that caused Rebekah to come out and fulfill all the conditions that the servant had desired of the Lord in prayer.
 
Oh mih people, yuh see the wonderful and inescapable truth of what we’ve been saying above, about prayer being the lifeline, the umbilical cord to God! The servant prayed faithfully, setting some parameters, and asking the Lord to send someone favourable to fulfill them.
 
And I like how the Good Book says that before he was even finished making his requests known to God, that Rebekah showed up. (Gen.24:15a) Oh my brethren, we can’t ask for a better example than that of faithful and fulfilled prayer!
 
And if you read what transpired afterwards, as I asked you to do yesterday, (Gen.24:16-25), you’d have seen Rebekah offer the servant drink, as well as offer to quench his camels thirst. And when she’d fulfilled her pledge, he gave her an expensive gold nose ring, weighing half a shekel, approximately $960.00, since a shekel of gold is worth around $1920.00. To that he added 2 gold bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight. Do the math my people.
 
And after he enquired about her family, she then ran home and told her family about the strange happening that had befallen her. That brought her big brother Laban out to meet the servant. And to make a long story short, (smile) they invited him to lodge with them. He graciously accepted the offer, and after the camels were looked after, they set food before him, but he refused to eat before he divulged his purpose. (Gen.24:28-33)
 
‘And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses (donkeys).’ (Gen.24:34-35)
 
What I want us to note here my fellow believers, is the difference in blessings. In the first scenario, the Lord showed the servant favour by granting his prayerful request, while in the second, He gave Abraham material wealth.
 
So not because our Bit says that the blessings of our God make us rich, it doesn’t necessarily mean material wealth. The blessings of our great and wonderful God can come in all shapes, sizes and forms, whatever suits His purpose. His omnipotence and LOVING-kindness don’t limit Him to any one kind of blessing.
 
And that’s something all believers ought to fully understand. Not because we pray for material wealth or any other kind of blessing means that we’ll automatically receive it. We’ll be showered with whatever fits the needs of God’s plan for our lives.
 
And until we fully understand and appreciate that point, we’ll always feel disappointed and/or hard done by our God. But we need to remember that God’s not there to simply do our bidding, to serve our selfish and petty requests.
 
On the contrary, we are here to serve His desires; to LOVE Him, to LIVE out our Faith, and to SPREAD His Holy Word! At times though, we seem to forget that HE is the MASTER, and we are the SERVANTS, not vice versa! 
 
And on that oh so important remembrance, we’ll close for today. I don’t want to give us too much to ponder on, (smile) just enough to keep us focused in the right direction – on Jesus Christ, our ever-LOVING Lord and Saviour. Much much LOVE my fellow believers!
 
…this Christmas season…let’s show the world what true LOVE is all about nuh…by keeping Jesus first and foremost…in our hearts, minds, souls and actions…