Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2017 James 2:14.

James 2:14.   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

So friends, it’s Tuesday! What’s new and exciting in our lives eh? And most of us say nothing really; just the same old, same old daily grind and common task. Hn! 

And that’s the way it’s always going to be my brethren, because we really couldn’t handle something new and exciting every day. We are just not made that way. 

And our U.S brethren are going back to work today after the Memorial Day Holiday – hope they’re not too tired and bedraggled after all the celebrations. 

But friends, it hurts the ole fella’s heart to see all the pomp and ceremony that both the U.S and Canada put on in respect to celebrating their fallen brethren, while the majority of the ones who participated in the conflicts and are still alive are suffering immensely from government abuse, mismanagement and simply being ignored. Steups! 

So many of them suffer from mental and physical problems and either can’t get any help, or find it extremely difficult to get help for the wounds suffered for the freedom of our countries. 

Financially, they and their families are also suffering great need, but our governments only make feeble, if any attempts to help them. Yet on those days, those days of remembrance, they can find money to honour the dead, while the living suffer so seriously. 

Steups! What a hypocritical society we are! But that’s all a story for another day. Today though, I want to share some words of wisdom attributed to John Maxwell (1947), the celebrated American author, speaker and pastor. 

And here John talks about dreams. ‘A dream without a positive attitude produces a daydreamer. A positive attitude without a dream produces a pleasant person who never makes any progress. A dream together with a positive attitude produces a person with unlimited possibility and potential. ‘ 

Mama Mia! How true is that eh my friends? How many of us dream big but do nothing about it eh? And how many of us have positive attitudes but no dreams to be positive about? Too many of us I declare! 

It’s just like Christianity that calls for both faith and works. One without the other is of no use. And I guess that’s why a lot of us aren’t growing in Christ either; because we have either faith or works and not both. 

But friends, to be good, solid and true Christians we need to believe sincerely, and then work that belief to the glory of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Otherwise we’re just empty vessels without any real use. And all of that leads us to our Bit. ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’ 

Ah mih people, that’s a passage of scripture that has caused controversy down though the ages. Now according to the scholars, Bruh Paul’s doctrine teaches of ‘salvation by faith alone.’ 

For him ‘faith practically equals salvation. James, however, sees two kinds of faith: saving faith and professing faith (much like the usage today). For Paul, justification is by faith (Rom.4:5). For James, justification is by a faith that works – by a genuine faith that manifests itself in post conversion works.’ 

Oh friends, what unnecessary confusion! It’s obvious that we can only be saved by faith, but that faith ought to lead us to work the works of Jesus which He so clearly commanded us to do; teaching and making disciples of others, helping the sick and needy, etc. etc. 

And as the scholars quote the famous Protestant Pastor, John Calvin: ‘Faith alone saves, but a faith that saves is never alone.’ Gospel truth that my brethren! 

Therefore as James continues: ‘If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food. And one of you say unto them. Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.’ (James 2:15-17) 

The sad truth of the matter friends is that our faith these days is sadly lacking works. Oh we will go to heaven with our faith, but where will be our rewards? When the Lord asks us ‘what have you done with the talents and blessings I gave you,’ what will we reply? 

Will our reply be like the fella with one talent who buried it? Or will we declare like the one who had five talents: ‘Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.’ (Matt.25:20) 

Now that’s what we ought to be saying on that judgement day my people! So that the Lord can say to us: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ (Matt.25:21) 

Yes friends, the quintessential aim of all Christians should not just be going to heaven, but receiving a joyful welcome to eternal life by our heavenly Father! 

And with all of that in mind, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with sincere belief and enthusiastic enthusiasm! (smile) ‘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 having said that, let’s now go out and put it into action, as Jesus desires nuh. Much LOVE!

…true faith…ought to make us want to do…plenty good works…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2016 2 Timothy 4:7.

 Timothy 4:7.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.

And then it was Thursday…Wow! Only 16 more shopping day to Christmas! 

Steups! Notice the language, the commercialism? That is how we count down the days to Christmas – in shopping days, not in days till the birth of Jesus Christ – the real reason for the season. 

Ah Lord eh! After all the rigmarole of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we are still talking in terms of shopping! How much shopping can we do eh, especially when so many people are not working? 

But that seems to be the overwhelming feature of our lives in these modern times. It’s all about gifts and presents and food and what not, all the material things! 

There is precious little talk, if any at all, of Jesus being born, of Him being the real gift of Christmas, the most wonderful present ever from our heavenly Father. And then when things get rotten, or go sour, we wonder why. No wonder our world is in such a sorry mess. 

Anyway friends, please, let’s not be found carrying that baggage of the secular and commercial world; let’s concentrate on the first coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when the angels rocked heaven and earth with their great pronouncement; ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:11) 

Now that’s what we should be getting all excited and enthusiastic about! Not the rushing and pushing and confusion of unnecessary shopping. 

So, having said all that, which might not make any difference to anybody, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit, the immortal words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

Now that again is something that should be resonating in our minds, souls and bodies, rather than the shopping days till Christmas. What’s going to happen, how are we going to feel when the days of lives are coming to an end eh? 

Will we be satisfied with what we’ve done down here? Will we be able to utter words similar to Bruh Paul’s? It’s ever so important that we can my brethren. Otherwise we would have wasted our earthly sojourn on things of the world, and stand the chance of losing the righteous crown that’s been set aside for us in heaven. 

We stand the chance of losing Jesus’ greeting at the pearly gates of: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord.’ (Matt.25:21) 

No Friends, we don’t want to be missing that wonderful greeting at all! So please, let’s smarten up and get with the right programme nuh; that of Jesus and not Beelzebub! 

Now Bruh Paul thought that running a strong race was so important that he also spoke of it to the Corinthians. Listen up: ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.’ (1 Cor.9:23) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘9:24. Paul draws on a scene familiar to his Corinthian readers in order to drive home his point. The Isthmian Games were an athletic event known to all his readers. 

They were held on alternate summers in the vicinity of Corinth. It was an event not to be missed by anyone of importance in all parts of Greece. As a national institution, it was familiar to his readers as modern football to most Americans.’  

So that shows the Corinthians knew what Bruh Paul was talking about. But he doesn’t stop there, He continues forcefully: ‘And every man that striveth for mastery (competes for the prize), is temperate in all things (has self-control). 

Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown: but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified).’ (1 Cor.9:25-27) 

Yes my faithful believers, to run a good race and fight a good fight for Christ, we must have plenty self-control and self-discipline, for that’s the only way we can reject the amorous advances of the world. 

And even worse, what a shame and disgrace it would be, after we have preached to others about running the race and fighting the good fight, that we ourselves would be disqualified! Now I definitely would not like that, so I try, with God’s help obviously, to practice what I preach. (smile)

Anyhow, here’s the best part of today’s Bit nuh; we going home with the anointing of our Thursday Blessings. But remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. So in full voice and strong faith, let’s bless ourselves my people. 

‘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!’ 

Now my faithful believers in Christ, let’s go out strong and secure in those blessings and not be selfish, but remember to bless others too. Much LOVE!

…oh what a joy it will be…to win that crown of righteousness…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2014 1 Corinthians 9:24

1 Corinthians 9:24.   Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.

Wednesday…oh Wednesday…you’re my ‘renewer’…my lifeline…!

Yes Friends, it’s a big Wednesday morning! That means we’re halfway home; we have won the first two rounds of the workweek battle… Glory Hallelujah!

So please don’t give up now. Don’t even think about letting go! Instead, it’s time for us to take stock, like a marathon runner, to catch our second wind, and put on a brilliant dash to the finish line that’s Friday! And all God’s people said a loud and hearty ‘Amen!’

Ah mih breddren, we need to be very thankful that we’ve been allowed to see another sunrise, because it means God’s plan for our lives isn’t over as yet. He still has a purpose for us to complete, His plan is still in full swing since we haven’t yet accomplished what He’s set forward for us to accomplish.

Therefore, we need to be trusting, faithful, energetic, courageous, bold and confident in the promises of our magnificent and magnanimous God, for there’s NO other like Him in this great universe!  

As our Bit so wisely reminds us: ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.’

Yes Friends, we need to run our race of life with plenty vim and vigour, so that we may obtain that awesome victory which awaits us at the end.

And the scholars give us some background info into what Bruh Paul was referring to. ‘9:24. Paul draws on a scene familiar to his Corinthian readers in order to drive home his point. The Isthmian Games were an athletic event known to all his readers.

They were held on alternate summers in the vicinity of Corinth. It was an event not to be missed by anyone of importance in all parts of Greece. As a national institution, it was as familiar to his readers as modern football to most Americans.’

Oh mih people, the race of life is never an easy one. In the first place it’s often a marathon-like adventure, spread over a long period of time, and certainly strewn with all sorts of pitfalls, pratfalls, options of different paths and untold kinds of obstruction along the way, stuff that wants to discourage, depress and deflate us and get us to quit in mid-stream.

But please remember that that awful word ‘quit,’ doesn’t exist in a believer’s vocabulary. And besides, we have the antidote for that rotten, wearisome word right at hand, as our great God and Guide has caused it be so eloquently written in our earthly Guidebook, the Bible!

‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher (originator and 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. For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls).’ (Heb.12:1-3)

Yes my people, we have to buckle down now and do what is necessary to run the race of life with excellence and finish with style, as Jesus desires of us. And at those times when we falter or stumble, as we all will do, we need to look to our supreme champion, Jesus Christ, for guidance and strength, for He is also our most worthy example of successfully running this earthly race.

And as we just read, He is indeed ‘the author and finisher of our faith.’ He began our faith by running His earthly race with outstanding conviction and sense of purpose, combined with loads of perseverance and endurance. As the scholars declare: ‘He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’

The author of Hebrews also boosts our confidence earlier on as he tells us: ‘Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.’ (Heb.5:8-10)

And though we will never have all the parts that He possessed, per His being the incarnate Son of God, we can nonetheless rest assured that He WILL enable us to run our race with the same winning qualities and meet us at the finish line with a radiant smile, a big bear hug, a warm kiss, and sincere words of…

‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ (Matt.25:21)

Now NOTHING will ever surpass that glorious moment my fellow believers!

So, starting today, right now, let’s get out there and run our race of life with power and confidence nuh, so that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be magnified and glorified, as He so richly and justly deserves! That’s the wisdom of Almighty God! Much LOVE!

…to run…to run…and yet to run…even when the spirit seems to be tiring and wants to stop…by looking unto Jesus…the author and finisher of our faith…our supreme champion…