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 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…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2017 Psalm 37:1.

Psalm 37:1.   Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Well friends, yesterday I finally had to turn on my a/c for the first time this year. It was the first of many truly hot days I believe we’ll have this summer. But what amazes me is that though it was hot, the wind was also blowing at a brisk pace, the poor trees were dancing all day to its hectic riddim. 

But then this morning, around 3.a.m, I was outside on my porch, and though it was somewhat cooler than during the day, there was not a breeze to be had. 

I don’t know if it’s just my imagination, but in the last year or so, I’ve noticed that regardless of the season or time of day, in my area, the winds have been much stronger and more persistent than before. 

Who knows what our great God is doing eh? He controls everything, and His ways are so much higher than ours, that even if He explained it to us, we would not be able to comprehend it. So we just have to have faith, and trust and obey. 

And to help us do that, here is a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘I want to Improve.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘O God, how thankful I am that you have come into my life through the Holy Spirit. I’m willing to say: “I’m not perfect, Lord! I want to improve. Show me where I can.” So, Father, I sense that a miracle is happening in my life right now. You are doing something beautiful in my heart this very moment. I thank and praise you! Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, if we sincerely and faithfully prayed that prayer, then I’m sure something good is happening in our hearts right now.Wow! What a great God we serve and worship! 

Now it might not be a huge miracle, or manifest itself right away, but I’m sure that sometime down the line you’ll suddenly realize what’s changed, what’s improved, and then you’ll want to give even more praise, thanks and glory to our heavenly Father for His extraordinary LOVING-kindness to His undeserving but oh so faithful children! Glory to God my brethren! 

One of the problems we Christians suffer these days is that we’ve lost our passion for God, lost our zest for life, lost our faith in miracles. Chuh! 

Even worse, we expect miracles to be always big and uproarious! But the truth is that the Lord doesn’t do that many big and uproarious miracles, but He does plenty small and seemingly insignificant ones, which we either don’t notice at all or simply ignore. 

Ah friends, please remember that once we truly surrender our lives to Christ, He works continuously in them, and not everything is big and monumental. 

So please, let’s start regaining our passion for Christ nuh, which brings with an increased zest for life in general, and let’s also begin looking for and appreciating the small but still important ways He works in our lives. We are missing out on a whole lot of wonderful stuff by only looking for big, eye-catching things. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now don’t blame me, if we don’t have much space and time for our Bit, because that’s where the Lord led me. And being obedient, I had no choice. (smile) 

And is it ever an encouraging and reassuring Bit. ‘Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the amazing opening advice from Bruh David from that amazing Psalm 37- The true state of the wicked. 

And Bruh David certainly knew what he was talking about because he stuck with the Lord through thick and thin, and likewise, the Lord stuck with him. His life wasn’t easy, a lot of it because of his mistakes, but he never lost his passion for the Lord God of his fathers. 

Now, as I’ve said above, lost passion for God is one of our major problems today, that’s why we’re so tossed and upset by the storms of life, by how the wicked seem to be increasing and the righteous decreasing. 

Bruh David ran from his enemies, Saul and his son Absalom for many years, but the Lord always kept him safe and secure, then finally brought him to his divine destiny; the greatest king that Israel ever knew. That’s why he could confidently open the psalm with our Bit, and then continue with that same confidence. 

‘For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.’ (Ps.37:2-5) 

Oh friends, there’s no more encouraging scripture than those few words in the Good Book, and that from a man who truly lived them and thus knew exactly what he was talking about. 

Today I implore us to take his words to heart and put them into practice, so that we too can be led to our divine destiny. Common sense and wisdom dictate it! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra with the passion and strong belief that it ought to engender in us. In one, strong and unified 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 best way to show that passion is to go out now and share the LOVE of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…a life lived without passion…is a wasted life…especially if you’re a follower of Jesus…

 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but it’s very worthwhile. (smile) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   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 the throne of God.

Awright friends, the trumpet has sounded Monday’s battle cry! That means it’s time for us to be up and at ‘em, for Jesus is waiting at the front lines to lead us into battle. We can’t keep our leader waiting because with each passing moment the enemy is advancing closer and closer and gaining the advantage. So without further ado, let’s put on our spiritual armour and hasten to the battle lines. 

And to help raise our awareness and courage, let’s belt out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn like there was no tomorrow. And for many of us there might just be no earthly tomorrow. 

So in full voice, let’s sing. ‘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!’ 

That was good friends! It put a smile on Jesus’ face. Now let’s follow Him into battle, as we hit the highways and byways en route to the concrete jungles and brave the frantic attacks of the evil enemy, who doesn’t know that He’s already lost the battle, because Jesus died, was buried and rose from the grave, signifying the death knell of hell, death and the grave. 

Our Bit tells the story in one sentence. ‘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 the throne of God.’ 

Yes my precious people of God, our Lord and Saviour bravely endured the necessary shame and scandal to pay for our sins, by the shedding of His blood, by being the sacrificial Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary. Wow! What a selfless champion we have as our leader! 

And where is He now? Sitting at the right hand of God’s throne interceding for us, His adopted family and faithful followers. Now how can anything be better than that eh? No way Jose! 

Just imagine it nuh mih breddren: The Son of God, giving His life for us, for which He was then given the awesome title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords and raised to second in command of the universe, like Joseph was with Pharaoh, and is now sitting beside his Father pleading for us to be granted mercy, grace and forgiveness, not for anything we have done or can do, but because of the work He has already done! 

And all God’s children joyfully shouted: ‘Glory to Jesus, the Lamb of God who was slain for us! May He reign forever and ever!’ 

And He will friends, there’s no doubt about that, because the ole fool Lucifer is no match for our Saviour. Yuh don’t see what Lucifer does, walk to and fro about the earth, while Jesus sits in regal splendour at His Father’s side in the high heavens. So who is better off eh? 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures which corroborate our Bit: ‘who for the joy that was set before him…’ Now what reward could He have been promised to make Him do what He did eh? 

Hear Jesus rebuke the two followers He met on the road to Emmaus. ‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’ (Luke 24:25-26) Then He proceeded to explain all that the prophets had said concerning Him down through the ages. 

And the scholars explain. 24:26. Ought (Gr. dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16:22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, But Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ 

So friends, for the glory promised by the Father and just from the great desire to do the Father’s will, Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame…’ 

And Bruh Paul tells us in the Good Book, that Jesus: ‘Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’(Phil.2:6-8)  

Oh friends, there’s nothing our God cherishes as much as obedience to His will. And look at how He rewarded Jesus for His obedience. ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Yes precious people of God, that is how generous and magnanimous our heavenly Father can be when we obey His will. So let’s seriously ponder today in what way(s) we are not being obedient. Maybe that’s why our cups are not overflowing. Much LOVE!

…to obey is better than to sacrifice…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2017 John 3:17.

John 3:17.   For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Arise oh friends and greet the new day! It’s Monday, which means it’s time to toil, to go out and labour, so that we can eventually reap the sweat of that labour. What does the Good Book say? Something like by the sweat of thy brow thou shall eat bread. 

Well then, if we want to eat bread, let’s get a move on. Enough of the dilly-dallying and complaining about we sick and/ or tired. We weren’t too sick or tired to join in the partying though. So come on, let’s be up and at ‘em! And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with great gusto and heartfelt belief. 

In harmony 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!’ 

Good singing friends, good singing! Our harmony wasn’t perfect, but our choirmaster, Jesus, knew that our heart was in it and He was pleased. Now let’s keep that adrenaline flowing as we get out into the evil, disaster filled world to help the needy and less fortunate, and try to right whatever wrongs we can in Jesus’ name. 

That’s our mission. Jesus states it quite plainly in our Bit. ‘ For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ 

Yes friends, if it was Jesus’ mission, then it’s also ours, seeing that we are His followers, His disciples, and ought to do what He does, or commands us to do. And you know my brethren that we never deserved that LOVING-kindness, but our God has such a soft spot in His heart for us that He just couldn’t help Himself, He just had to save us, regardless of how much pain and sorrow it caused Him. And it did cause Him much grief, but He knew that the result would be absolutely worth it. 

Give Him much thanks and praise my fellow believers for providing us with an option to save our sinful souls. And if you don’t believe me, or Jesus, then listen to some corroborative scripture. Hear what the angel said to Joseph, re his betrothed Mary. ‘And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his Names JESUS (Saviour): for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matt.1:21) 

And the scholars explain. ‘1:21. Call his name JESUS: The name of the child Jesus (Heb. Yehoshua) means “Jehovah Saves.”  This points to the very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world – to save sinners. Placed early in the New Testament, this statement becomes the foundational concept of the gospel. Jesus, by His very name and nature is the Saviour.’  

And if you still doubt, then listen to Jesus after a village in Samaria refused to accept Him, because they knew he was going to Jerusalem, and James and John wanted to call down fire and brimstone on the village. ‘But he turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.’ (Luke 9:55-56) 

Ah friends, I keep reminding us about the wonderful, the magnificent and magnanimous God we serve, but a lot of us don’t pay attention, we’re too busy paying homage to the evil prince of this world, seeking his frivolous and fraudulent material possessions and earthly wealth. But please, please believe me, there will come a time when the material wealth and possessions will be of absolutely no use to you, and the only saving option for you will be Jesus. 

And if you don’t sincerely have Him in your heart, then you’ll be left forlornly, on the outside looking in. And I can guarantee that that will not be a very nice place to be. So let’s close with these warning words from John. 

‘And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ (1 John 4:14-15) 

Yes friends, trust in Jesus Christ is the only wise and sensible option in this life. Wisdom dictates that you accept Him before it’s too late. Much LOVE!

…what separates hell from heaven…belief in Jesus…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2017 Psalm 118:14.

Psalm 118:14.    The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

Saturday, oh Saturday, what do you have in store for us today eh? Ah friends, many of us who are getting up early this morning are indeed wondering what the day holds for us, and even what we hold for the day. (smile) 

But the blessed ones are those who choose to sleep in late, not worrying about what the world has planned for them, but knowing that their plan for the world is to sleep in…and enjoy it too. They are not only blessed, but wise too, not overly concerned about the mess, the tragic circumstances existing all over our world. They will probably live longer and have a more enjoyable life than those of us who allow ourselves to be frustrated by the evil and ungodly activities that are currently tearing our world apart.  

We have to remember friends that our wise and wonderful God is still on His throne and is still in control of all circumstances, and nothing will happen unless He allows it to happen. He has His long range plans that we won’t ever understand. So let’s just relax nuh, take one day at a time, do our best to work God’s plan for our individual lives, and give Him all the thanks and praise we can. Sermon done! (smile) 

Now let’s check out a few of our friend Anselm’s quotes of this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ 

That’s indisputable truth my brethren! For it’s only when we face adversity that we truly see what kind of person we are. Are we strong, do we have belly and backbone, can we handle the stuff that’s coming at us without breaking down? 

And nowhere is it more noticeable and applicable than in our Christian faith! Why you ask? Because every day in our walk of faith stuff comes against us that tests us, and we can only grow and pass the tests by handling them in a strong and faithful manner. 

Hence, we come to this next quote: ‘Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.’ More indisputable truth friends! A true leader is one who can inspire another to improve himself. 

That leads to this quote: ‘Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.’ No lie! The leader sets the agenda, while the manager carries it out. So ‘In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.’ 

We certainly can’t my people, we need to be moving onwards and upwards, becoming more Christ-like every day! That’s the basic plan for all of God’s children, but since we’re all different, He uses different ways to get us there. But my faithful followers, whatever methods and pathways our God uses to make us become like His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we must all come to the conclusion declared in our Bit. ‘The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.’  

Yes friends, until we can sincerely believe and proclaim that foundational verse with heartfelt passion, like the psalmist did so long ago, our progress will be painfully slow. That’s because we can’t become like Christ if we don’t truly believe in God and surrender our very being to Him. We can only get strong in God when we let it all go and allow Him to guide our lives. All the great men of God had to do that, otherwise they would not have become great men of God. 

Listen to how Moses puts it in his song. ‘The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation (praise Him); my father’s God, and I will exalt him.’ (Ex.15:2) 

Yeh mih people, we have to give up our will and let the Lord lead us in His. Yuh think Moses would have done all the wonders he did in God’s name if he had tried to hold on to his own will. No, never! But a lot of us nowadays try to sit on the fence, allowing God to do some things in our lives, but stubbornly withholding other stuff that we want to handle. It won’t work friends, for our God wants ALL of us, or nothing at all. He’s not a God of half measures. 

Now hear this other great man of God, Isaiah, as he talks about thanksgiving for God’s mercies. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, he also is become my salvation. 

Therefore with joy shall we draw water out of the wells of salvation.  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (mighty deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:1-6) 

Ah mih people, when we truly accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and get seriously walking with Him, we will feel those things deep down in our hearts and souls, and impulsively break out in song with the same praise and exaltation. It’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Awright mih breddren, it’s Monday morning, so let’s be up and at ‘em nuh! 

‘Not today,’ claim our U.S. breddren. ‘Today is our Memorial Day Holiday, where we celebrate our fallen war heroes, so no work for us today. Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, the shoe is on the other foot this week; last week we in Canada had Monday off for our Victoria Day Holiday, this week the U.S honours their patriots. But since it’s still a day of labour for most of us, we still need to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get us going. So with as much verve and enthusiasm as we can muster, let’s sing. 

‘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!’ 

And as expected, the loudest and most off key voices were those who did not have to go to work today, and were already into the celebrations. But just remember, please listen to Granny’s advice. ‘Drunk or sober mind yuh business.’ We don’t want to go giving the evil one any foothold in our souls, for he is always lurking around, always on the prowl to find someone he can invade and cultivate. 

That’s why Peter, after telling us to humble ourselves before God, and to cast our care on him, because He cares for us, so strenuously warns in our Bit. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends!  Remember when Satan came before God in Job? ‘And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (Job 1:7) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:7. From going to and from in the earth refers to Satan’s activity. Though he does not admit it here, Satan’s character clearly shows that his many travels are for evil purposes.  In 1 Peter 5:8. Satan is described as “your adversary the devil…seeking whom he may devour.” 

The activity of Satan indicates that he only has limited access to God. This account in Job emphasizes that God is sovereign over Satan. It also teaches that Satan is a finite being and therefore not omnipresent (can’t be everywhere at the same time). Nor can he touch God’s servants without God’s permission.’ 

Oh glory to God my people! That means Satan has no direct say over us, he can only invade our souls and spirits if God gives him permission, or of we foolishly allow him to enter therein. That’s why Peter continues after our Bit. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh friends, I know it’s no great consolation to know that our brethren are experiencing the same temptation as us, but it just goes to show that we are not alone in being tempted, as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians. ‘There hath no temptation taken (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 it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Now friends, we have to be careful and understand that God will not always make us escape the temptation, but will often allow us to go through it, to build our faith, but will eventually bring us out safely on the other side. Remember too, that even Jesus was tempted by Lucifer during His earthly sojourn, but He successfully rebuked Him, and we ought to try and do likewise. 

James also warns us. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ (James 4:7) Yes my fellow believers, if we keep resisting Lucifer, he will eventually flee from us; not that he won’t come back and try to tempt us later on, (smile) because he can be very persistent. 

However, we’ll end with these reassuring words of Peter. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be the glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11)

What a blessed and faithful assurance my people. So let’s go out today strengthened in the Word of God, so that we can do His will. Much LOVE!

…the stronger our faith in Jesus…the more we are able to resist temptation…

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries