Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

And then it was Tuesday…wonderful Tuesday! 

And amidst all your difficulties and troubles you ask, what’s so wonderful about it eh? 

Well for one thing you’re alive. That’s more than can be said for a lot of people. Most likely you also have a roof over your head, food on your table and a paying job. Well that means you’re better off than the majority of the world of some 7 billion souls. 

And for another you’re a Christian, a believer in the One and Only Son of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! That alone makes it a wonderful day friends, because working for Jesus is always filled with unexpected and interesting events! 

And since it’s Tuesday, before I forget, (smile) let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with true sincerity and much enthusiasm nuh. 

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.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren? It certainly is! We’re not defined by what the dark and sinful world says about us, because we know that we are the beloved of God, and that no one can deny or take away from us. Oh glory to God my fellow believers! 

The problem though is that we don’t seem to take our designation as God’s beloved children seriously enough, we’re still anxious, doubtful and fearful, and thus continue letting the world’s unwise and often untrue and foolish systems define us. It’s time to break that oh so restrictive chain my people! 

And the only way to do that is by sincerely and faithfully taking hold of what our wonderful God has said about us, and the magnificent things He’s done and continues to do for us each and every day. 

In other words friends, we need to truly believe! Without true belief and faith, we’re lost, caught up in the worries and troubles of the world and our circumstances. But when we’re truly walking with, and living for Jesus, we don’t let our circumstances overwhelm us; we rise above them, of course with Jesus’ help. 

As I keep reminding us, being a true and faithful believer is no easy or simple matter, but it is certainly doable and enjoyable if we rest all our burdens and fears on His strong and healthy shoulders, as He tells us in His Great Invitation, Matthew 11:28-30. Please look it up if you don’t know it…and even if you do know it, please read it again so it can revitalize your spirit. 

And yesterday we saw how Bruh Paul exhorted the Philippians to steadfastness in Christ’s gospel, through proper conduct and behaviour in unity and oneness of mind. ‘And in nothing (no way) terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token (proof) of perdition (destruction), but to you of salvation.’ (Phil.1:28) 

And I repeated that verse because I want to share an explanation from the scholars. ‘1:28. One of the ways in which the readers’ proper conduct benefits the gospel (v.27) is mentioned here: not being terrified by their adversaries. The lack of intimidation is a twofold sign: (1) to unbelievers it is evidence of their lost condition; (2) to believers it is an assurance of their salvation.’ 

And that my brethren is one of the problems with present day Christians; we are terrified by our adversaries, plus have adopted the selfish behaviour of the current world; everything being, ‘I, me and mine, first person singular.’  If we weren’t, we’d be standing up strong and facing them and not allowing them to take God out of our society as they are so blatantly doing. 

Oh my people, Jesus died that we could have a good and abundant life, and we definitely can’t live that kind of life if we’re afraid and/or selfish. That brings us to the next verse in Bruh Paul’s exhortation, our Bit. ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Yes friends, we have the obvious privilege of not only living the good life through Christ, but also suffering with Him. It’s a two-pronged situation, though in our selfishness and fear we expect it to be simply all good times. 

When Jesus came to die for us, He didn’t have only good times, but also plenty rough ones, especially His crucifixion, which we’ll celebrate in a few days. So why should we have it all good eh? 

And the scholars provide an interesting explanation on that passage. ‘1:29. For reinforces the assertion that the proof of the believers’ salvation, provided through their courage in persecution, comes from God. 

This justification lies in the fact of the Philippians being divinely granted the dual privilege of believing in Christ and suffering for Him. Thus the assurance of their salvation is from God, just as is their suffering for Jesus, for the latter was the occasion providing the former.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, our salvation was provided by Jesus’ suffering, let’s never forget that, and therefore let it help us to stand up strong in His name and do His will, regardless of the tough circumstances we occasionally face, for salvation is greater than anything the world can do to, or offer us! 

And all God’s children gratefully and joyfully declared: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All power and glory be to the Lamb that was slain for us!’ 

And we’ll end with these immortal and most appropriate words of Jesus from the greatest sermon ever preached; the best laid out philosophy of life ever promulgated, the Sermon on the Mount. 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which went before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

Yes my brethren, persecution will follow us simply because we believe in Jesus, that’s a fact we cannot ignore or deny since it happened to so many prophets, including Jesus, meaning we’re in excellent company. 

But by the same token, when we stand up strong during the persecution we’re blessed and are storing up rewards in heaven. No, it’s definitely not easy, but the only way to overcome it is by keeping our focus on the rewards in heaven, rather than the persecution here on earth. 

So friends, though it might be somewhat on the rough and tough side, let’s go out and put that into practice today nuh, so that our lives can be more blessed, and Jesus’ message of, and free gift of salvation can be more widely spread abroad and accepted, for that’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed… 

P.S. Unfortunately, late nights breed late mornings. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 
Advertisements

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2014 1 Kings 17:24

1 Kings 17:24.   And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth. 

And then Friends, it was Thursday! The week’s moving right along as the Lord programmed it. Likewise, our lives are moving right along in union with God’s plan for them. The difference though between the days of the week and us, is that the former has no choice, so they have to move as He dictates. 
 
But as God’s supposed greatest creation, we were given a state, an option of choice. We can choose to follow His plans for us or not. And unfortunately too many of us in the world are choosing not to follow God’s plan for their lives. That’s one of the major reasons why our world is in such a sad state of disrepair and strife.
 
Now my brethren, following our own plans, those of the world, or other people is definitely not a wise move on our part, because the best plan for each human life is the one that God has prepared for it from the beginning of time!
 
So please don’t allow the unbelievers, evildoers and other godless people to fool us into thinking otherwise, because in the long run, we are the ones who will suffer most for that mistake. When we live in union with God’s plan for our lives, they take on an entirely different character and quality; one of peace, LOVE and goodwill!
 
We have internal rest even when the storms of life are raging all around us. In other words, the strong anchor that is Jesus keeps us afloat and steady, whereas if we accept the foolish wisdom of the world, we’ll end up being thrown upon the rocks, battered and bruised, and even lifeless in the times of storm.
 
And the only way to know God’s plan for our lives is to talk to Him about it, read His Word and meditate on it. You will find succour for your pain and everything else that you need because His Word is TRUTH and nothing else!
 
As the widow in our Bit confirms to Elijah: ‘And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.’
 
And before we get into the scriptures for today, I want to share some interesting info from the scholars, re terms for those who do God’s work.
 
It’s a note for ‘1 Sam. 9:16-11. Three terms for prophet occur in these verses: Seer, which stresses the reception of God’s message; Prophet, which emphasizes that the messenger is truly called of God to pronounce His word to the people; and man of God, which underscores the messenger’s relationship to God. He is above all, God’s man.
 
Other terms include: “messenger of the Lord,” which reminds the prophet of his task of bearing God’s word and “servant of the Lord,” which underscores his task before God as called to serve.’
 
I do hope that makes our understanding of those terms a little clearer. Now what I want to do today is relate some scripture where people begin believing that Jesus was indeed Lord, and His words were absolute truth. I believe they all come from the gospel of John. 
 

And we’ll begin at the beginning, which is usually the best place to start. (smile) That brings us to Jesus’ first miracle; turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. What a miraculous wine that must have been! I’d surely like to taste it! It must have gone down real smooth, as the governor of the feast remarked. (smile)
 
The Good Book informs us: ‘This beginning of miracles (signs) did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth (revealed) his glory; and his disciples believed on him.’ (John 2:11)
 
And per the scholars: ‘2:11. Jesus’ miracles always had a purpose. This miracle resulted in the manifestation of his glory (cf.1:14), and in his disciples belief in Him (cf.20:31).’
 
Then we have the nocturnal, clandestine visit of Nicodemus, the Pharisee and Jewish leader. ‘The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles (signs) that thou doest, except God be with him.’ (John 3:2)
 
Now the scholars surmise that Nicodemus came to Jesus: ‘3:2. By night: Probably he feared criticism. John refers several times to “fear of the Jews” (see 7:13; 9:22; 12:42-43; 19:38). Nicodemus accepted Jesus as a teacher and a rabbi from God who worked miracles, but Jesus was not impressed with the depth of Nicodemus’s belief or understanding. Many unbelievers still agree that Jesus was “a great man.”
 
Oh Jesus was indeed a great man, but even more than that, He was God incarnate!
 
Then we come to that time when Jesus spoke to the disciples saying: ‘These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs (figurative language): but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs (figurative language), but I shall show (tell) you plainly of the Father.
 
At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself LOVETH you, because ye have LOVED me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
 
His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb (use no figures of speech). Now we are sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest from God. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?’ (John 16:25-31)
 
I like the little touch of sarcasm in Jesus’ question: ‘So now you believe eh? What were you doing all along?’ (smile)
 
Next up is when Jesus got on Peter’s case about feeding His sheep. ‘He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonah, LOVEST thou me (do you have affection for me)? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time LOVEST thou me (do you have affection for me)? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I LOVE (have affection for) thee, Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.’ (John 21:17)
 
Peter admits that Jesus knows everything, including His LOVE for Him, so why the continued questioning?
 
And finally, we come to Thomas’ unbelief. Only when he saw the marks on Jesus body from the cruel wounds of His crucifixion, did Thomas believe. ‘Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
 
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, ye might have life through (in) his name.’ (John 20:29-31)
 
And the scholars explain: ’20:30-31. John tells us here he wrote this gospel for purposes of conversion, that ye might believe, and of sanctification, that ye might have life.’
 
Yes Friends, there is no mistaking that Jesus, was, is and will always be the Christ, the Son of God! And believing that will bring you salvation and eternal life, the greatest gifts ever bestowed on mankind! Wow! So please, let’s be wise and truly believe! Much LOVE!
 
…ONLY BELIEVE…and the rest will follow naturally…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2014 Isaiah 49:7

Isaiah 49:7.   Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his (its) Holy One, to him whom man despiseth (the despised of soul), to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose (has chosen) thee.

And the cold spell continues in the North Country, my people. One improvement though, it’s supposed to be a little warmer… Sorry, warmer is the wrong word, for there will be no warmth, it will be simply less cold. (smile)

 
But the great thing about it all is that unless the weather is truly awful, nothing much shuts down, and everyone and everything is expected to go on as normal. It speaks volumes for the determination and hardiness of the people. Anyway, you still have to dress warm and be very careful if you’re venturing out today.
 
And you people now enjoying brilliant sunshine and warm temps, do enjoy it, but remember to pray for us poor souls up here in the cold, that we’ll successfully make it through this winter that’s wanting to prove what a ferocious lion it is. (smile)
 
Now here’s an interesting note I found among my papers today. I believe it comes from a lady called Patricia Bragg. It says that ‘Your health is your wealth.’ Now that’s certainly true, because without good health, we can’t enjoy life! 
 
Then there is what’s called the Health Food Mantra. Some of you might have heard it before, but it proclaims that ‘You are what you eat, drink, breathe, think, say and do.’
 
I believe that what you eat and drink is considered the body’s fuel. So whatever food we put in will determine how it runs; like a purring engine or a clanking, stuttering one.
 
The same goes for what we breathe. If we breathe in clean, highly oxygenated air, then the body will function at an optimum level. However, these days that kind of air is very difficult to find, especially in the big, industrialized towns and cities.
 
Then what we think is likened to a computer, and the saying, garbage in, garbage out. So if we don’t think healthy, godly thoughts, then all that will be processed and then come out of our minds is the same garbage we’ve put in, and that will show up through the words we speak and the actions we take.
 
And with the standards in all those areas sadly falling, as we supposedly get more intelligent and technologically advanced, we have to pay even more attention than before to what we eat, drink, think, say and do.
 
And the best way to do that my Friends, is by being totally connected to our God, our Creator and our Provider! Wow! What a saving grace for us! For unlike the man-controlled companies, that make us a lot of exorbitant promises, then don’t live up to them, our God, unfailingly lives up to everyone He makes, which proves that He’s ever-faithful, ever-true!
 
And the biggest promise He’s ever made is forever recorded in our Bit. ‘Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his (its) Holy One, to him whom man despiseth (the despised of soul), to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose (has chosen) thee.’ 
 
Yes Friends, the Lord promised a Saviour, a Redeemer, a Messiah, and faithfully delivered on it through His Son Jesus Christ! So why are we still so sceptical and reluctant to fully embrace Him and live a life that honours Him eh?
 
It makes no sense my brethren. We’re just selling ourselves short on the wonderful benefits that accrue to those who truly believe and diligently try to serve and worship Him. And it’s not like we can’t read in the Good Book and see in many personal lives around us the excellent results that come from accepting His promises and His faithfulness.
 
Listen to these scriptures that detail the Lord’s faithfulness. They all come from Bruh Paul’s writings. The first one is to the Corinthians.
 
‘There hath no temptation taken (befallen, overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is FAITHFUL, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13)
 
Now that doesn’t mean we’ll escape temptation, but more that He will find a way for us to endure it and come out safely on the other side.
 
Meanwhile, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, Bruh Paul writes: ‘And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is FAITHFUL, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil (the evil one).’ (2 Thess.3:2-3)
 
Yes Friends, we all know about the unfaithfulness of men, that’s why it’s so important to hold on to the faithfulness of Jehovah God. 
 
Then in his first letter to Timothy, Bruh Paul declares: ‘And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with FAITH and LOVE which is in Christ Jesus. This is a FAITHFUL saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.’ (1 Tim.1:14-15)
 
Bruh Paul considers himself the biggest sinner, and well he might have been in his early days, when he diligently persecuted the church. But through the abundant grace and mercy of Jesus Christ he was forgiven.
 
Oh Friends, today the same thing is available and possible to anyone who trusts Jesus as their Lord and Saviour! So why don’t you take advantage of it eh, RIGHT NOW?
 
And we’ll end with some moving verses from Bruh Paul’s second letter to Timothy, re being a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
 
‘It is a FAITHFUL saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth FAITHFUL: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim.2:11-13)
 
Oh my people, those are words of fact, of indisputable truth! So please, let’s write them fast and deep in our consciousness nuh, and then faithfully abide by them as we journey along our pilgrim’s route on this troubled earth. That is the mark of true wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…God has proven His faithfulness a million times over…but none as far reaching as sacrificing His only Son Jesus Christ…so that we could be reconciled to Him…what outstanding, all encompassing LOVE and FAITHFULNESS…