Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Well friends, cloudy days are here again, but the hearts of all believers are shining brightly with the brilliant light of the Son! Glory to God! 

Yes my believing brethren, the outside weather might be dark and dreary, but there’s absolutely no reason for our hearts to look the same since we are blessed to have the Holy Spirit of our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent triumvirate God living within us, leading and guiding us to victory in Jesus! 

Wow! What a blessed honour that is my people! That’s why on this cloudy Monday morning, at least in my area, we need to get ourselves together and get out strong and work diligently on Jesus’ behalf. 

And since Mondays are not kind to many of us (smile) let’s belt out our antidote for those Monday Blues, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. With one heart and voice 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 I know friends, the adrenaline is just running through us now, and we’re rearing to go out and optimize our efforts in this evil and ungodly world and right whatever wrongs we can, all in the name of Jesus our Lord and Blessed Saviour! 

And so we should, on the basis of all that He has done for us; selflessly bringing us salvation and eternal life through His woeful death on the cross at Calvary and then His triumphant Resurrection on Easter Sunday! 

Now let’s look at our Bit, probably the last day for this one, (smile) who know eh? ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ Meaningful direction from Jesus on how we should pray. 

Now yesterday we saw how He prayed sincerely to His heavenly Father for us, and it really touched my heart. Today we’ll look at why He had to pray for us, and why we still need lots of prayer. 

Listen to James. ‘Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.’ (James 1:13) Words of absolute truth friends! 

God doesn’t tempt us, for He doesn’t want us to do wrong. But He might allow some stuff to come against us to try our faithfulness. So why then do we fall victim to temptation eh? 

James further enlightens us. ‘But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust (fleshly desires), and enticed.’ (James 1:14) Yeh mih people, it’s our sinful nature that propels us to temptation. 

And what happens when we give into temptation? Hear James again. ‘Then when the lust (fleshly desire) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin, when it is finished (full grown), bringeth forth death.’ (James 1:15) 

Oh friends, here we need to remember those immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Romans: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is everlasting life through (in) Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) 

Yes precious people of God, as the scholars tell us: ‘6:23. Wages: Emphasizes what we deserve. Gift of God: Emphasizes God’s unmerited favour.’ 

However, we can only receive that unmerited free gift by believing on God’s Son, Jesus Christ. So it’s a decision each human being needs to make. Succumb to temptation and thus death; eternal separation from Almighty God, or accept Jesus and live forever with Him in heavenly places. 

And that’s a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned, since eternal separation from God is the WORST thing that can ever happen to a human being. 

Now let’s close with an interesting statement from Peter. ‘The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished.’ (2 Pet.2:9) 

Ah mih people, hopefully that statement reverberates in our hearts today and helps to keep us away from temptation. Much LOVE!

…temptation always seems so enticing…but in reality…it holds a deathly viper’s sting…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2016 John 3:16

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

And the people sang: ‘Saturday, oh Saturday, what do you have in store for us today?’ 

And the Lord replied likewise in song: ‘For my beloved followers, today I have brand new blessings, brand new mercies, etched with forgiveness, grace, care, compassion and LOVING-kindness. That’s my constant menu, except they are freshly prepared each and every day. I don’t do leftovers for those I sincerely care about. 

And I have the best server in the world, My Holy Spirit. He will lead and guide you through the entire day, giving you good advice as to what to do and say. 

So if you like what I’m offering, come on down and sample my wares. I guarantee that once you’ve sampled them, you’ll never go away; you’ll just keep running back for more. So see you soon. All my LOVE! Your heavenly Father.’ 

And that’s exactly how it is friends! Our magnificent God prepares His menu of delights afresh for us every day. As he says, He doesn’t do leftovers. But the only way you can truly sample His wares is by surrendering your life and soul to Him, so that He can set up His Holy Spirit in your soul. 

The Holy Spirit is the server, so if you don’t surrender and allow Him in, then you won’t be able to sample the menu. No rocket science my brethren, just simple logic! 

And all of that is borne out in the marvelous words of our Bit. For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Oh precious people, how can we doubt or disbelieve those life-changing words eh? It’s been historically proven that Jesus did die on the cross at Calvary, and if He was indeed whom He claimed to be, and there’s no reason to doubt it, then that’s the greatest gift that has ever been given to mankind! Glory Hallelujah! 

We should all be shouting and praising and thanking God for His wonderful gift of salvation through Christ, and be ever so willing to live under His easy yoke and light burden. 

But mankind is a different animal, possessing free choice, foolish pride and a sinful nature, so he doesn’t always make the wisest decisions. And even when you read and spell for him, like I’m trying to do here, he still insists on going his own way. 

However, let’s turn to the scriptures for more facts on the subject. Yesterday we were looking at Bruh Paul’s message to the Ephesians, concerning faith and grace and how they work in a believer’s life. We ended up where he declared that God’s purpose was to demonstrate His goodness to them through Jesus Christ so they could have a better understanding of Him. (2:7) 

Today, we’ll continue from there. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and not that of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:8-10) 

Now friends, those are three of the most important verses concerning our faith! The first thing we need to realize is that we are saved by God’s grace, His unmerited favour, and nothing that we have done ourselves. 

The scholars explain that verse thus. ‘2:8. For gives the reason for this future demonstration of divine grace. It is because man owes his salvation to this grace or undeserved divine favour.’  Then they go into all sorts of explanations about the different tenses and genders of the Greek words which I will leave out. 

The long and short of the story though is: This means that no part of salvation is “of yourselves” or due to what we do – the whole of salvation is the gift of God. Man is saved “by grace” that is, by the kindness of God in having Jesus die for our sins. But this grace is appropriated through faith, that is, man believes what God has done for him and relies upon Christ’s atonement to blot out his sins and bring him into a proper relationship with God.’ 

In other words, NONE of our good works can get us into heaven. We can ONLY get there by accepting God’s LOVING-kindness and having faith, believing In Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.  Unfortunately though, a lot of people still misguidedly believe that good works will get them into heaven. I sincerely hope that they smarten up before it’s too late. 

As for ‘2:9. The reason in part, that salvation is not achieved by good works is to prevent men from bragging of having earned a place in heaven by themselves.’ 

Yuh think the Lord stupid? He made man, and He knows what we are capable of. Can you imagine the bragging and boasting that would have gone on if we could get to heaven through good works! 

‘2:10. For verifies the assertion of man’s good works having no part in obtaining salvation. Workmanship refers not to our original or physical birth, but to our spiritual birth: what we are spiritually in the good sense is due to God, not ourselves. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works means “having been (morally) recreated by Christ Jesus for good works;” that is, Jesus remade our spiritual lives so that we could then do good works. 

The apostle’s thinking is this: since the Christian has been given spiritual life for the purpose of doing good works, there could have been no good works by him prior to conversion that would merit salvation. Good works follow – do not precede – salvation.’ 

There you have it friends, Bruh Paul’s treatise on grace and faith. I know I’ve shared most of this stuff before, but it’s such an important part of our belief system that we can never hear it enough. 

So today let’s spend some time pondering on the meat and potatoes set before us nuh. It’s time we stop drinking milk and eating baby food and gain some maturity, moving on to a higher understanding of God’s Word (smile). Much LOVE!

…we can only grow in Christ…by gaining a deeper understanding of His Word…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2015 Ephesians 2:4

Ephesians 2:4.    But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.

Well Friends, it’s Saturday, what’s new with you eh?  What have you got planned for today? Hope it’s something that’s joyous and brings you delight…  And I hear some women quickly complaining in the background; ‘How the dickens could house work, cleaning and cooking be joyous and delightful eh?’ 

Sorry ladies, but that’s all part of life. Somebody has to do it and you were just unlucky enough to draw the short straw. (smile) Don’t feel too badly though, because I’m not planning on doing anything fun-like myself, just planning to spend most of the day in rest. 

Although I don’t know if that is such a wise idea, because I’ve been resting a fair amount lately, more than usual, but I’m still tired, more tired than when I wasn’t resting as much. 

Oh, who knows or understands the contradictions of this earthly life besides Almighty God? Nobody really nuh. We just have to trust Him implicitly and follow His lead and guidance for our lives, because as He promises in Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11)  

Yes my people, our wonderful God has good plans for us, so let’s be wise and place our lives in His faithful and mighty hands nuh. And if you don’t believe me about His good intentions towards us, then just listen to our Bit. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ 

Oh Friends, God’s LOVE is exceedingly great towards us, so great that our simple and finite human minds can’t understand it. That’s why some of us simply can’t wrap our minds around a Deity who LOVES fallen sinners so much. But listen to what Bruh Paul says after our Bit. 

‘Even when we were dead in sins, hath he quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved 😉 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through (in) Christ Jesus.’ (Eph.2:5-7) 

Wow mih breddren! Glory to God! What more can we say to such unmerited and undeserved favour but ‘Thank You Lord! We praise and glorify Your great name and also for giving us Your Son Jesus as our Lord and Saviour! Thank You, thank You, thank You! 

And we promise to try and show our sincere appreciation and gratitude for your wondrous works towards us, by walking obediently in Your Holy Will. This we pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.’ 

Ah Friends, that wasn’t planned nuh. It just automatically rolled out after I read the wonderful scripture displaying God’s marvelous grace and mercy to us, while we were yet sinners. He must really and truly LOVE us yes, to do such extraordinary things on our behalf when we deserved none of it! 

Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘2:4-6. But begins to disclose God’s responses to man’s sin of verses 1-3. This divine response is expressed in three main verbs: (1) God…hath quickened us. Because they were morally dead in sins, the Lord gave them spiritual life; (2) and hath raised us together, that is, God has not allowed these Christians to remain in the grave of their old life with its sinful ways and habits, but He brought them into a new life and demonstration of it; and (3) God made us sit together in heavenly places, that is, He has brought us into His presence and into intimate relationship with Himself.’ 

Oh Friends what can be more wonderful than sitting in heavenly places with Jesus in the presence of God the Father eh? Nothing my people, nothing whatsoever! That’s why I don’t understand how we can become so ungodly and evil and so bent on turfing God out of our society, after all that wonderful stuff He has done for us. 

And Bruh Paul continues to enlighten the Ephesians and us. ‘For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:8-10) 

Yes Friends, though we were made to perform good works, those good works don’t have any part in our obtaining salvation. It’s strictly by the grace of God. He was wise enough to know that if good works meant anything that proud and egotistical man would boast about it and make a mockery of it. 

Anyway, here is the scholars take on the Grace of God. ‘2:8. The grace of God is the expression of His goodness toward the underserving. Grace means unmerited favour, and can be expressed by the acrostic “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”  This grace is the basis of our salvation (1:7; 2:8). 

Illustration: In salvation, men who deserve hell obtain heaven. This cannot be explained apart from God’s grace. Every conversion in Scripture is an example of God’s grace. When Paul (Saul) met the Lord on the Damascus Road, Paul was a persecutor of the church. Yet God made him one of the church’s chief preachers. 

Application: We need to remember that we are saved, given the Holy Spirit, and allowed to serve God – by His grace. (First Ref; Gen.6:8; Primary Ref; Eph.2:8; cf. Ps.139:1).’ 

Nuff said my people. Hope it brings home to us the great and true LOVE that the Father has for His children, and the riches He’s bequeathed to us at Jesus’ expense. Much LOVE!

…But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord… (Gen.6:8)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏‏‏

Ephesians 2:8.  For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Morning Friends and neighbours! Welcome to a rainy Tuesday morning in my area, although the weather office says it’s supposed to be 25 and sunny.

Hn! Hopefully that will happen later in the day, but in the meanwhile let’s enjoy the brilliant light and blessings provided by the Son, Jesus Christ, for we know that regardless of the weather His Son is always shining. Glory to God!

And this morning we are going to start the proceedings with a simple but heartfelt prayer from the Hour of Power Devotional. This one Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) calls ‘I Want to Improve,’ something that I know we all want to do, since it’s an essential part of our ongoing Christian advancement and maturity.

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.’

And if you sincerely prayed that prayer my people, I’m sure that the Lord is doing exactly that; making the moves necessary, setting the scene that you can improve.

I can’t resist saying it Friends: ‘What a wonderful God we serve and worship!’ If we are obedient to His will, He meets all our needs. How much more than that can we ask eh? Nothing really.

Now let’s turn to our ever intriguing and most heartwarming Bit. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

And there is no more gospel truth that that Friends, for it is only through God’s LOVING-kindness are we able to avoid eternal separation from Him, and death and damnation with Lucifer.

And all God’s children cried out in sincere gratitude: ‘Oh thank You Lord for sending Jesus to die on the cross for us! Thank You for Your grace and mercy which we don’t deserve, but which You nonetheless bless us with! We praise and glorify Your Holy Name this morning, and pledge to serve You faithfully all the days of our lives! Amen.’

And we had better take all those prayers we’re praying this morning very seriously my brethren, for remember that God doesn’t only listen to the words of our mouth, but even more importantly, checks out the motives of our hearts. So please don’t be found wanting when He checks our motives.

Now let’s hear some scriptures that deal with grace. Oh Friends, there are so many that we can only share a few, and I believe that we might have at least one more day with this Bit. Let’s begin with this declaration of John’s.

‘John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me (ranks higher than I): for he was before me. And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.’ (John 1:15-17)

Words of immortal and everlasting truth my brethren!

And here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘1:15. After me: Jesus came into this world about six months after John (for human chronology, see Luke 1:56-57). He was before me: Jesus existed in eternity, so had precedence over John in authority.’

‘1:16-17. Fullness. (cf. Col.1:19): Here the fullness looks back to verse 14, “full of grace and truth.” Grace for grace means “grace heaped on grace.” Grace is evident in the Old Testament (cf. Gen.6:8; Ex.34:6) but not in the fullness now experienced in Jesus Christ. Grace is God’s unmerited favour toward sinners for their salvation (cf. Eph.2:8-9).’

Oh Friends, can you imagine the sad and sorry state we’d be in if Almighty God, our Creator and Provider had not seen fit to bestow us with His blessings of grace. Mama Mia!

Listen to Bruh Paul explain it to the Roman church nuh: ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely (without any cost) by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (a mercy seat) through faith in his blood, to declare (demonstrate) his righteousness for the remission (passing over) of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.’ (Rom.3:23-25)

Now listen to these important explanations from the scholars. ‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: Man can exceed his own standards but never, left to himself, can he attain to God’s standard of righteousness.’

‘3:24. Being justified (Gr. dikaioumenoi) indicates being declared righteous. It signifies the believer’s judicial standing before God. Freely: There is no just cause in man to warrant justification. By his grace: Unmerited favour is bestowed through the redemption (release on payment of ransom). Christ’s death is the ransom. The sinner is released on the basis of the ransom having been paid.’

‘3:25. Through faith: Christ’s death satisfies the Father’s righteous demands. Its benefits are appropriated only through faith in His finished work. In his blood: The emphasis is not on the blood as it coursed through Christ’s veins, but as it was shed for our sins. This is how the propitiation was accomplished.’

Ah mih breddren, I do hope that those explanations of the scholars helped us achieve a better understanding of God’s grace and all that it stands for, because it is ever so necessary if we truly want to live a God-filled and righteous life.

And we’ll end there for today. I know there’s a lot of heavy stuff involved and I surely don’t want to burden us with too much stuff to read, mark and inwardly digest at once. (smile)

Now may the Lord go with us and grant us His peace, mercy, grace, compassion, wisdom and understanding, as we go out to do His work today. Much LOVE!

…who but our great and wonderful God…would heap grace and more grace…on undeserving sinners eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏‏

Ephesians 2:8.  For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Oh Friends, unfortunately the two big days off for the weekend are now over… And I hear a loud ‘Steups!’ in response. (smile)

That means today is Monday…yes Monday, and we need to get ourselves up and out to labour for another week, so that we can earn some money, often a pittance, to try and lead a half-decent life.

We all know it’s not the ideal scenario, but it’s what we have, so let’s just get over ourselves, stop the pity parties, the whining and complaining and rise to the occasion as Jesus desires of us. And remember that if you abuse the weekend, you won’t be fit for anything come Monday morning. So enough with the sermon, (smile) instead let’s belt our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with a whole lot of vim and vigour.

All together 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 chuh people! That was a rather hoarse, half-hearted and off-key rendition! Jesus wasn’t thrilled at all. You could see Him shaking His head all through it, while His face bore an unhappy, puzzled ‘what else can I do eh?’ expression.

Anyway Friends, it’s too late to worry about that now. Hopefully though, just singing it boosted our adrenalin output and put a li’l pep in our step, enabling us to go out and do a good job in Jesus’ name.

We also need to remember quite clearly from whence all our blessings flow; from Almighty God. And one of the biggest blessings, if not the biggest, ever to befall mankind is enshrined in our Bit. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

Mama Mia! I can’t help but say it Friends – what a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship! And there should be NO DOUBT whatsoever about that, just judging from the fact that He gave His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for our disgusting sins. Has any of the other supposed gods ever done anything like that? Obviously not, because they are all dead, inanimate, ephemeral objects. But the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the ONE AND ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD!

And all God’s people shouted a loud and lusty: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes Friends, our God is a true living and breathing Being, who sees and knows all that goes on in our world.

Now let’s turn to some provocative scriptures that deal with grace. And one of the most famous ones occurs when Bruh Paul asks the Lord three times to take away ‘the thorn in his flesh.’ But the Lord’s response is certainly interesting. ‘And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’ (2 Cor.12:9)

Yes my people, in our weaknesses God’s power is demonstrated, for when we are unable to bear up in our own strength, God’s grace pulls us through. Please remember that in times of weakness and frailty. He doesn’t always solve our problems, but He ALWAYS gives us the wherewithal, the grace to handle them in our weakness.

Now hear what Bruh Paul says later on to the Ephesians, re the new life in Christ. ‘Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.’ (Eph.4:29)

Ah mih people, are we following those wise words of advice? I certainly hope so, because it is imperative that our words lift up, benefit those who hear them. We can’t expect others to come to Jesus if our words are negative and self-serving.

Then to the Colossians, he says: ‘Walk in wisdom toward them that are without (outside), redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.’ (Col.4:5-6)

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘4:5. Paul turns from his responsibilities for evangelism (v.3-4) to the Colossians’ evangelistic duties (v.5-6). They are to walk in wisdom or “live wisely” in their relations toward them that are without, that is, unbelievers. Redeeming the time is to make the most of every opportunity. They are to seize every opportunity to display wise behaviour toward the unsaved and to use it as a chance for witnessing.’

And yuh know what Friends? Those same sentiments apply to us in these worrisome and difficult times.

‘4:6. An example of wise conduct (v.5) is daily speech that is gracious (with grace) in nature. Such speech is to be seasoned with salt, that is, characterized by the wisdom of verse 5. Gracious, wise conversation will enable the Colossians to know how to answer every man when speaking to him about the gospel.’

That also applies to us today my brethren! 

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s words to the Thessalonians. ‘Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath LOVED us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish (establish) you in every good word and work.’ (2 Thess.2:16-17) 

Oh Friends, I wish those exact sentiments upon us all today, as we go out into the crazy world to live and work for Jesus. Much LOVE!

…grace…the totally unmerited favour of God…given to totally undeserving men…a true and wonderful testimony…of God’s great LOVE for us…

 

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8

Ephesians 2:8.    For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Aye Friends, in some parts of our world night is swiftly falling, while in others, day is slowly dawning, but be it known that the controlling factor in both circumstances is the hand of Almighty God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

So while some on the other side of the world are praying, asking for a restful and refreshing night of sleep, we on this side of the pond are giving thanks for being able to see the Son’s glorious light for another wonderful day.

And we’re also asking for strength, guidance and wisdom to do God’s Will as we go about our day, hopefully doing good like our Lord and Saviour Jesus did while He sojourned here on earth. Later on tonight, the situations will be reversed, but in His absolute wisdom, that’s just the way God planned it.

Now this past week on In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley, I heard a male quartet open the proceedings with a beautiful spiritual song that touched my heart mightily. (smile) Some of you who watch Uncle Charles might have also heard it. I don’t remember the verses of the song, but the chorus was so memorable that it stuck in my mind.

Please sing it with me. ‘Saved by grace. I have been saved by grace. My name’s written in the Book of Life. And my sins are washed away. Saved by grace. I have been saved by grace. It’s not what I deserve. But I have been saved by grace.’

One more time people, so that the truth of those statements can sink right down deep into our souls. ‘Saved by grace. I have been saved by grace. My name’s written in the Book of Life. And my sins are washed away. Saved by grace. I have been saved by grace. It’s not what I deserve. But I have been saved by grace.’

Yes Friends, it’s by God’s free gift of grace that we are saved, not by anything else! And yuh know what too? We absolutely don’t deserve it. But nonetheless, we have been saved by God’s grace.

‘And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Give the Lord much thanks and praise for His great LOVE and concern for us!’

Yuh better believe that too yes Friends, for without God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness we’d all be heading for Hades with Lucifer, with no chance for, or of redemption.  Glory be for such a wonderful Deity!

Now let’s check out our Bit and delve a little more into the ramifications of the whole situation. (smile) ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’ That’s Bruh Paul telling it to the Ephesians plain and clear!

And the scholars offer this explanation re the Grace of God. ‘2:8. The grace of God is the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving. Grace means unmerited favour, and can be expressed by the acrostic “God’s riches At Christ’s Expense.” This grace is the basis of our salvation (1:7; 2:8).

Illustration: In salvation, men who deserve hell obtain heaven. This cannot be explained apart from God’s grace. When Paul (Saul) met the Lord on the Damascus Road, Paul was a persecutor of the church. Yet God made him one of the church’s chief preachers. Application: We need to remember that we are saved, given the Holy Spirit, and allowed to serve God – by His grace. (First Ref. Gen.6:8; Primary Ref. Eph.2:8; cf. Ps.139:1).’

Yes my brethren, the whole shebang has nothing to do with us, but all with God. As Bruh Paul continues after our Bit. ‘Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:9-10)

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of those two verses. ‘2:9. The reason, in part, that salvation is not achieved by good works is to prevent men from bragging of having earned a place in heaven by themselves.’ ‘2:10. For verifies the assertion of man’s good works having no part in obtaining salvation.

Workmanship refers not our original or physical birth, but our spiritual birth: what we are spiritually in the good sense is due to God, not ourselves. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works means “having been (morally) re-created by Christ Jesus for good works”; that is, Jesus remade our spiritual lives so that we could then do good works.

The apostle’s thinking is this: since the Christian has been given spiritual life for the purpose of doing good works, there could have been no good works by him prior to conversion that would merit salvation. Good works follow – do not precede – salvation.’  

And there we have it my people, some basic facts about that most wonderful attribute of God, called grace! Unfortunately though, not a whole lot of us seem to appreciate it, because we don’t hold God in high esteem. Many of us refuse to even believe that there is a God. I’m sorry for that poor lot, but there’s not a whole lot that we can do except tell them about Christ and live the way He wants us to live. Hopefully our Christ-like example will make a bigger difference than our talking. 

And we’ll end with these moving words of John. ‘He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power (the right) to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:10-14)

Oh Friends, that puts it all into a nutshell, so that we can see it at one glance. Please ponder all that we’ve said to day, so that we can improve our faith, our Bible knowledge and our righteousness as befitting true believers. Much LOVE!

…but Noah found grace…in the eyes of the Lord…  (Gen.6:8)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 December 2013 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:9.    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Monday…Cyber Monday! So jump and shout and get on your computers and start shopping on-line, as the greedy merchants would have you do! Shop until you drop!
 
Ah Lord eh! I hope you all realize though that I’m only being sarcastic, facetious and any other terms that are synonymous with those two. Steups! I have to shake my head in both wonder and disgust, for everyday we’re encouraged to buy more stuff.
 
And we come up with such foolish names; Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. And the sad part is that they are all consolidated around some important holiday, which tends to suck the life and true meaning out of the holiday, so that it soon becomes a mere opportunity to spend what we don’t have, and buy what we often don’t need, thereby enriching the already rich.
 
But please remember Friends, that there’s an immortal and righteous God in heaven looking down on us mere mortals, who will eventually judge us on our earthly behaviour. So please let’s be wary, and don’t fall into the snares and traps of the ungodly world. For we’re only supposed to be IN the world, not OF it.
 
Anyhow, enough sermonizing from me, (smile) let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much gusto, so that we can get energized to go out and face the evil world, and be strong enough to repel them.
 
As one loud clarion call 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!’
 
Yes mih people, that ought to get our adrenalin flowing and give us the wherewithal to join the fray on Jesus’ behalf!
 
But just in case we unexpectedly falter and succumb to worldly temptations, it’s very important to know that relief is possible by following the guidelines of our Bit. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’
 
Now Friends, isn’t that a real powerful and heart-warming incentive to believe in Jehovah God? It surely is! For there’s no other supposed deity who displays such LOVING-kindness, and the ONLY ONE, who can do what He did, cause He’s alive and kicking, while all the others are dead and of no use. 
 
We talk about His faithfulness, justice and forgiveness, all truthful facts. Bruh Paul hit the nail on the head when he declared: ‘For all have sinned and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.3:23)  Sadly though my brethren, that sinful disposition has been bred into our very nature down through the ages.
 
The scholars reinforce this by saying: ‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: Man can exceed his own standards but never, left to himself, can he attain to God’s standard of righteousness.’
 
And that’s gospel truth people! However my fellow believers, please listen carefully to what our wonderful God has done for us nuh. ‘Being justified freely (without any cost) by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.’ (Rom.3:24)
 
Now doesn’t that just make your hearts sing with joy my brethren? It surely ought to. And after listening to how the scholars explain it, I surely hope it does.
 
‘3:24. Being justified (Gr. dikaioumenoi) indicates being declared righteous. It signifies the believer’s judicial standing before God. Freely: There is no just cause in man to warrant justification. By his grace: Unmerited favour is bestowed through the redemption (release on payment of ransom). Christ’s death is the ransom. The sinner is released on the basis of the ransom having being paid.’
 
Yes Friends, we only have that marvellous, soul-saving opportunity to be set free from sin, because of the monumental ransom that Jesus paid. Without Jesus’ sacrificial gift of His sinless life, we would have been held in bondage to sin forever, with absolutely NO hope of escape.
 
But thanks to Jesus’ selflessness, we now have that opportunity to tell the lying, deceitful Lucifer, ‘Bye bye,’ and instead move on to live with Jesus through salvation, in eternal life. What a glorious God we serve and worship! Let’s keep that first and foremost in out thoughts please my fellow believers.
 
And all God’s people gave a mighty shout of ‘Thank You heavenly Father for sending Jesus to die for us. And thank You Jesus for being obedient to the Father even unto death, when You didn’t have to. We praise and glorify Your Holy Name and bow to You as our Lord and Saviour. Amen!’
 
Much much LOVE, my fellow believers in Christ!
 
…only the true Creator of the universe…could have done what He did…to save our sinful souls…