Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 September 2019 Hebrews 10:23.

Hebrews 10:23.    Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 

Well here we are once again friends, coming in from Joburg, South Africa, the Cradle of Civilization, Mother Africa! Yeh, the supposedly dark continent, that’s where it all began! And if the continent was so dark, how come people like the Egyptians had such superior scientific, technical and medical knowledge long before human life even existed on the supposed bright continents eh? Just more brainwashing in the evil and greedy process of having certain people think that they are less than they truly are. But that’s another story for another time! (smile) 

Meanwhile, on the travel scene, last night I had dinner at an African restaurant in some part of Joburg, had some African fare, don’t ask me exactly what. (smile) Then today I’ve just returned from a tour of the suburbs of Joburg and Soweto…and the latter is as bad as claimed. Well there’s a rich section with beautiful, expensive houses, then a middle classish section with so so houses, then the tin shacks. 

And when we say tin, we mean galvanize all round, from top to bottom, so that it hot as hell in the summer, and cold as ever in the winter! And it has some five to six thousand families living there…Steups! I don’t even want to get into it nuh, because it hurt mih heart to see such beautiful children living in such deplorable conditions – dire poverty. Ah, but what to do eh, it’s the reality of the situation? Not a whole lot, besides make a small donation that won’t go very far. 

Anyway, today is Friday, so let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself. And as always, he’s ebullient and optimistic: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The week finally done, and the weekend starting! Nothing could be nicer! And it don’t matter even if today is Friday the 13th, because that is only a ole wives tale! Not a blooming thing going to happen if yuh walk under a ladder, or a black cat cross yuh path! They just want to frighten people! 

But they not frightening this man nuh. I doing what I want, when I want, regardless of it is Friday the 13th, or Monday the 13th! Setta foolish people and them! Look, all yuh doh vex me here today with that nonsense nuh, when I just planning how I going to enjoy my Friday evening, and the rest of my weekend! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, regardless of the date!’ 

Hurray for the workingman! At least he has enough sense to discard those ole wives tales about Friday the 13th! But unfortunately, some believers pay serious attention to them, although they claim to believe so staunchly in Christ. However, be all that as it may, let’s sing our weekend song, our Friday Chant. As one strong voice, with a sincere and true sense of purpose…let’s chant! 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Oh my faithful brethren, our glorious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ has promised never to leave nor forsake us (Heb.13:5; Deut.31:6,8; Josh.1:5) so there is no need to worry about what others might do to us. Consequently, it is in our best interest to do as the author of Hebrews so wisely advises: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)’ 

Ah mih people, there’s nothing better or more important for us believers to do, than to stand strong and steadfast in our faith, because our God and Saviour have promised to look after all those who surrender to and trust them, and they NEVER break their promises! And Bruh Paul in his infinite wisdom has also encouraged several churches re the faithfulness of God. Let’s look at a couple of those scriptures nuh. 

This one from his first letter to the church at Corinth. ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor.1:9) And why would God put Himself out of the way, break His own heart for us by sacrificing His One Son, then renege on His promises eh? No reason whatsoever my people! What the Lord begins, He finishes! ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus.’ (Phil.1:6) And yuh know what friends, our God has begun a good work in each and every believer, so we know that He’s always in our corner! Glory be! 

And Bruh Paul said, without the faintest doubt, to the Thessalonians: ‘Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.’ (1 Thess.5:24) What a wonderful God we serve and worship precious saints of Christ! No leaving nor forsaking; steadfast and faithful right down to the wire! With all of that in mind then, our best step after sincerely believing that God is faithful is to do as the author of Hebrews continues after our Bit: ‘And let us consider one another to provoke unto (stir up) LOVE and to good works.’ (Heb.10:24) 

Yes friends, encouraging others to show LOVE and do good works is being Christ-like, because those are the things Christ did for and with us when He lived here on earth, and we ought to follow His wise and worthwhile example. For as the scholars tell us: ‘It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’ And all of God’s children said a loud and proud ‘Amen!’ 

So why don’t we go out and put it into action today nuh, it will make Christ so proud of us! Much LOVE!

…the best remedy for complacency…to stir up each other…to LOVE and good works…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2019 1 Chronicles 16:34.

1 Chronicles 16:34.    ​O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
 

Well hello there my wonderful Scrip-Bit friends and family! Greetings and much LOVE to you from South Africa, this rich, beautiful, diverse country! Oh, I haven’t seen a lot of it as yet, but I like what I’ve seen so far. And I guess where I’m staying is one of the more developed and built up areas, so it obviously looks good. But whatever happens, or doesn’t happen, (smile) I am determined to enjoy my short stay here and make a chockful of memories to remember when I sit in my rocking chair sometime down the road, when I’m too old and grey to make more memories like that. 

Oh how I LOVE those kinds of Bruh Paulian sentences, convoluted, but full of info, stuff like what Bruh Paul writes. (smile) And there isn’t a whole lot to tell today, because I spent most of it resting. I’ve finally taken the zeppo I got the other day to heart: ‘You might be feeling pretty good, but you’re not a hundred percent, so please take your time, and get sufficient rest, if you want to make it to your allotted time!’ And brother do I ever want to make it! I don’t want to shortchange myself at all, at all! 

Anyhow, after a late rising to glorious sunshine, determined by a late going to bed, (smile) the duchess and I had some breakfast, late obviously, then we went out to the front of our building and Glory be… the sunshine wasn’t only bright, but nice and warm too. The duchess obviously took pictures of the surrounding area, the nice fountain and beautiful blue flowers and palm trees growing in the front of the building, then we came back inside and just rested. At least I rested, the duchess and her young daughter went out to do the mall thing, while I stayed in…and rested! 

And now that I’m well rested, full of vim and vigour, I’m ready to do the town tonight! Mama Yo! And believe you me, our God does LOVE getting His thanks and praise yes, because earlier on, when I opened the Good Book, my eyes fell first on this wonderful, powerful and wise scripture, memorable words of thanksgiving from Bruh David to his people: ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise.’ (1 Chr.16:34-35) 

And my faithful brethren, do we ever need saving and protection from the heathen, especially in these evil and ungodly times! And the ONLY person who can give us that protection and safety is Almighty God, through His saving grace, found in the adoration and surrender to His Son, our most wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Yes friends, JESUS IS THE ANSWER! The answer to each and every question that we might have! 

Who else could have answers like Him eh? When He selflessly sacrificed His sinless life on that old rugged cross at Calvary, He sent the message to all creation that He was the MAN! The MAN for all time, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the King of all Kings, for ever and ever! And if you didn’t like it, or believe it, then that was your problem. He wants you to come to Him to receive rest and protection, salvation and eternal life, but if you choose not to, then crapaud smoke yuh pipe! 

Sadly, what you think or believe is not going to change the fact, that Christ is El Numero Uno, Number One, and what He says goes! That’s why I’m pleading to all of us today, to get in agreement with Jesus, for He’s the One who butters our bread, gives us health and long life, the opportunity to get wealth and success, and most importantly, salvation and eternal life. None of the other supposed and false gods offer the wonderful life that Christ has in store for those who LOVE Him and obediently and sincerely follow His commandments! 

The problem here is with timing my people; if we don’t accept Christ as soon as possible, that means right away, today, we’re liable to lose out on that saving grace that leads to salvation and eternal life, because once you breathe your last earthly breath, you no longer have that option. Plus the fact that Christ promised to come back to earth someday, no one but the Father knows when, but if Jesus come back and you’re not among His fold, a paid up member of His church, then you’re s.o.l! (smile) 

Yes my people, whenever Jesus returns, all options are also taken off the table, then all that’s left available is hellfire and damnation in Hades with the evil crone Satan! And believe me, you won’t like down there nuh, because it’ll just be heat fuh so! So let’s get smart today nuh and place our everlasting trust in Jesus because there’s no better option than Him! And even if you think there might not be a heaven or a hell, still be smart and hedge your bet nuh, just in case those two places do really exist. 

Now for those of who already believe, let’s go home sincerely declaring (right ho!) our Thursday Blessings, that wonderful and generous package of blessings that the Lord has bestowed on all those who LOVE, worship, adore and exalt Him! As one, in strong voice 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 every day! Amen!’ 

And because of our sinful nature, just a gentle reminder: (smile) those blessings have not been given for us to hoard selfishly, but to share generously with others. So let’s go out and do just that today nuh, and bring a smile to Jesus face and warm the cockles of His heart. Much LOVE!

…the time to accept Jesus is…NOW…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 September 2019 Psalm 36:7.

Psalm 36:7.    ​How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
 

Sorry friends for the dire lateness of the Bit, but the ole fella had some adventures to go on which necessitated not being able to write it before. The long and the short of the story is that the ole fella is in South Africa, Johannesburg to be exact. I didn’t say anything to anyone because I was not sure that the trip would come off. But thanks to my wonderful daughters, as well as the Lord’s goodness and LOVING-kindness, I arrived here about an hour ago. 

And believe me it’s not an easy journey; six hours to Amsterdam, then lay over for another five, then another ten hours to Joburg! And both planes were big planes and they were both packed to capacity. But the KLM service was excellent! The hostesses treated the ole fella royally!  And did they ever feed us. I got so much food on those two airplanes over the last two days that I’m sure I have put on some pounds. (smile) I’ve reached here now and am not even interested in food. 

And did I ever meet a lot of interesting people in those two days, both on the ground and in the air! Made some good memories to last a lifetime, to enjoy in my old age! And that’s what they were made for! The only problem with the Bit now is the time difference; I believe that South Africa is some five to six hours ahead of Toronto and it’s environs. Right now as I pen this, it’s 12.50 a.m. Thursday morning, while back home is something like 6:48. But don’t worry because the ole fella, with the Lord’s help of course, is going to try and stay in schedule, since that’s the ONLY thing I must do every day! 

So let’s turn to some scripture nuh. And as I opened the Good Book to look for an appropriate scripture, it opened at this most appropriate verse from Psalm 36, where Bruh David talks about the steadfast LOVE of our great God and Creator. Check it out nuh: ‘How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.’ Glory be mih people! 

That’s one thing, amongst many others, about our God, He is steadfast, faithful and true! Yeh I know I said one thing, but it just reads better so. (smile) And that’s why the duchess and I are here right now in Joburg; we put out trust in Almighty God to bring us safely here, and carry us back home safely when the time is right! Give Him plenty thanks and praise His holy name my people! 

And here are some of the reasons Bruh David made those oh so trusting statements nuh: ‘They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness (fullness) of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light we shall see light.’ (Ps.36:8-9) And there’s absolutely no doubt about that my brethren! Those who are faithful, trusting and true to Him will enjoy the pleasures and blessings that He so generously bestows on those who show those attributes in all sincerity. 

And since we’re short on time for Wednesday, let’s get right to one more set of scriptures which say basically the same thing. Hear the psalmist in Psalm 91 – God is a refuge and fortress. ‘I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler (bird trapper), and from the noisesome (perilous or deadly) pestilence. 

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust (take refuge): his truth shall be thy shield and buckler (small shield)  Thou shalt not be afraid for (of) the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence  that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth (lays waste) at noon day. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.’ (Ps.91:2-7) 

Yes friends, if you truly surrender your complete being, not some portion that you choose, (smile) that’s how He will make your life to unfurl! Wow! No other God does anything like that! So please, let’s get those words indelibly ingrained our souls, bodies and minds today nuh, and then put them into action. Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail with true sincerity, letting the world know of our strong position in Christ Jesus, our magnificent and magnanimous Lord and Saviour! 

All together in strong and sincere voice. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as always, let me remind us, that that future will be ever so glorious, that our puny and finite minds can’t comprehend the length, breath, width and depth of it! Much LOVE!

…faithful trust in God…is the only thing that will bring us true success…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2019 Isaiah 40:11.

Isaiah 40:11.    ​He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
 

Good news people! Today’s Tuesday! Wow! That means the frustrating and oftimes emotionally negative day called Monday is past and gone, now confined to the dustbin of history, and we can therefore move on without any fear or anxiety about it…at least for another week! (smile) Yeh, a brand new day on God’s great earth has blossomed, for which we ought to be eternally grateful. 

Now here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that highlights some of our problems, but then shows us the answer to them all. It is appropriately titled: ‘I Keep Running Back to You.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘You know how it is with me, Lord: So often I mess up my days. I judge harshly I am critical and obstinate I waste time and energy I blame others for my failure. There are people I try to avoid And tasks I try to evade And when I can’t have my own way I sulk in my own little corner. Lord, I even turn my back on You To escape Your penetrating gaze. 

Then finally I get fed up with myself. The intolerable loneliness frightens me And I can no longer endure my shame. It always happens, Lord – I keep running back to You! Where else can I go? Who else understands me so well Or forgives me so totally? Who else can save me from foolish pride? No one, Lord, but You. So thank You for accepting me For LOVING me For always welcoming me. I just can’t help it, Lord I keep running back to You!’ 

And my fellow believers that’s just wisdom at it’s highest level! For there’s NO ONE like our great, merciful and LOVING God, who is willing to accept us just as we are! And He’s even happier than us when we come running back to Him, because remember His ultimate desire is that He loses not a SINGLE ONE of His most precious creation to the evil and satanic realm! 

That’s why Isaiah proclaimed in his writings these wonderful words of hope and encouragement: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ Mama Mia! How can you not want to be a child of Almighty God with such awesome promises being made eh? 

And furthermore, we know that the Lord never breaks any of His promises, He keeps every single one, which means that offer of shepherd-like care and LOVE are not just empty words, but a most generous enticement and welcome to His wonderful fold! And there are so many scriptures that portray our great God as a wonderful and caring shepherd that today I just want to share a few of them. 

And we all know the most popular one; those remarkable words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ (Ps.23:1) Oh friends, those few, simple but endearing and enduring words say it all! With God being our shepherd we’ll never want for any good thing! 

And Jeremiah joyfully declares: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles (ends, lands) afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.’ (Jer.31:10-11) 

Ah mih people, although the Lord punished Israel for their abominable sins, His LOVE for them was so great, He promised to gather the remnant and bring them back to their homeland and treat them like a caring shepherd. What other supposed God is so magnanimous eh? NONE but ours! 

Meanwhile Ezekiel confirms: ‘Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle (sheep) and cattle (sheep). And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.’ (Ezek.34:22-24) 

And lest you think that that’s all Old Testament stuff, hear the realization of all those promises from the One and Only, Jesus Christ Himself, as He rightly and righteously proclaims: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And so He did my brethren! And so He selflessly and sacrificially did! 

And as He further declares: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10:14-16) 

Yes friends, that’s us, Gentiles, non-Jews, that Jesus is referring to there! Please note He didn’t forget about us, but very much included us in His all-encompassing flock!  One flock, and One shepherd! That’s all that’s needed when our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is so great and wonderful! Are you hearing His voice today people? Are you heeding His shepherd’s call? I certainly hope so, since your eternal destiny depends totally on it! End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (wow!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the entire world know who and whose we are. In strong and sincere voice now: ‘In God’s eyes, 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 if we’re truly sincere, then let’s go out and share that awesome and amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others who don’t know it nuh. That’s our bounden duty and Great Commission! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a sheep…then you need a shepherd…and the best there is…His name is Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2019 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.    ​To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.
 

Here we go again friends, the work week is upon us! Please let’s greet it with a positive reaction nuh since there is nothing we can really do about it. I learned that lesson a long time ago, after I quit a job to do my own thing, then had to go back to it when my business went under. I never intended to go back to that job, but then it was the easiest and best job I could get at the time and I certainly needed the money. 

So I just told myself, if you’ve got to go, then you might as well go with a good attitude, stop making yourself miserable everyday you have to go to it. And it worked for me. I eventually got to appreciate the job more then, than in my initial go round. So if it could work for me, it certainly ought to work for you too. But you need to make a conscious decision to do it, then follow through with that decision. 

However, until you get to that stage, (smile) you can join us on a Monday morning as we go to our heavenly Father in prayer, asking Him to grant us strength, wisdom and confidence to face the evil world for another week. Let’s do that now nuh; declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with strong conviction and belief, because when we ask in sincere faith, according to the Father’s will, we will receive His blessing and largesse. 

Altogether 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!’  

Ah friends, yuh feel it working? It surely is! Just check out your new energy level; your state of understanding and awareness, your level of excitement to get out and do Jesus’ work. They are all now higher and more intense than they were before we prayed, before we invoked the antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday morning! (smile) And talking about prayer, today we’ll check out Daniel’s prayer for his people Israel, because back then Israel was in captivity in Babylon because of their total disobedience to God’s Word, much like our world is right now. 

Listen to Daniel: ‘O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face (shame), to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee…Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.’ (Dan.9:8,10) Now friends, if we’re truthful, we will have to admit that the same shameful state exists in our society today, the only difference being that too many of us either don’t know the seriousness of the situation, or we choose to just ignore it. But our attitude towards our God and Creator right now is nothing less than atrocious, very foolish and unwise, and if we don’t smarten up soon, there will be a helluva price to pay. 

Yeh, the Lord is patient and long suffering and as Daniel says: ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.’ But tell me friends, how long do you think He’s going to put up with our arrogant disobedience and efforts to remove Him from our society eh? For all those who think that we’re going to be allowed to do as we sinfully and disobediently please for as long as we like, please think again. 

If it’s one thing the Lord is very protective and proud of is His power and glory, and He will not allow no creation of His to take it away from Him. Just check out the foolish Lucifer nuh! He wanted to rise, to promote himself above his Creator, but where is he now eh, residing in the depths of hell as Satan! And so will we too, if we keeping on going in the evil and ungodly direction in which we’re currently headed. 

Hear Daniel explain it nuh: ‘As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil (disaster) is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil (kept the disaster in store), and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.’ (Dan.9:13-14) 

That says it all my brethren! If the Lord punished Israel so severely for their disobedience, do you think He’ll allow us to get away with ours, which seems so much worse? I very much doubt it friends. Please note Daniel’s words back there: ‘for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth…’ That means, though He is LOVING, and forgiving and full of grace and mercy, He is also a God of justice and righteousness, and those things are very important to His character and nature. 

Why yuh think He went through the heart-wrenching scene of sending Jesus to die for us? Because righteousness and justice had to be done in whatever He undertook to save us. Please, please, let all of that be a serious and sincere warning to us nuh. We will not get away with continual sinfulness and disobedience. For certain sure, if we don’t repent and return to God, our number will play one day! Much LOVE!

…sinfulness and righteousness…cannot exist in the same place…

 

    

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2019 1 Timothy 2:3.

1 Timothy 2:3.    ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday’s here again friends! Glory be! It’s the day we cease from our normal labour and instead visit the Lord’s sanctuary and have fellowship with other believers! Yes mih people, it’s time for us to sing and dance and praise the Lord and give Him sincere thanks for the many blessings He’s so magnanimously bestowed on us! Wow! What a wonderful God He is! There’s none other like Him! That’s for certain sure!

That’s why we need to show our true LOVE and sincere gratitude by coming together as the body of Christ, His church, at least once a week! And not only do we offer up praise and thanksgiving, but we are renewed and refreshed in return, through hearing His Word and the encouragement of and communion with our fellow believers, so that we can go out and do His work with vim and vigour this upcoming week.

Now let’s get the show on the road by opening, as always, with a song of praise and worship. And today’s number is certainly an old but still very popular number titled ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ And I hear the excited sigh that rises from our throats as the song registers, because it is one we all LOVE to sing! So let’s sing it nuh, with plenty emotion, strong voice and the sweetest of harmonies!

All together now: ‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain]

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honor, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain 2]’

Oh friends, oh friends, what a powerful and emotionally touching rendition! Heaven could see that we truly believed what we were singing, felt it right down in the very depths of our souls! That’s what some of these old English hymns do to us. Now it’s reputed that the words to that song were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, while the music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871. And has it ever stood the test to time! Becoming the Salvation Army’s favoured processional hymn along the way.

Apparently ‘it was written to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces of the world.’ And it takes its theme from New Testament references of Christians being soldiers for Christ. One example of that is our Bit, Bruh Paul’s famous words to his young protégé Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:3-4)

Yeh friends as Christians we do need to stand up strong under whatever trials and tribulation comes against us, like a good soldier does. Consequently, that soldier doesn’t get involved with the unnecessary affairs of life, so that he can give his all, his total allegiance and attention to the business of the one who’s chosen him to be a soldier. That means, since Christ has chosen us to be His followers, then we too must endure the tribulation that will certainly come against us, as Christ promised in John 16:33, and neither get involved in the affairs of this world because we are not of it, as He says in John 17:16.

And the analogy of Christians being soldiers in Christ’s army is rather apt, since we are constantly fighting battles of temptation and deceit against Satan and his evil minions. However it’s not a physical battle, although many believers are fighting physical battles in many places in our strife-filled world, but it’s a spiritual battle that most believers face day by day. As Bruh Paul says to the Corinthians: ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ;’ (2 Cor.10:3-5)

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses. ‘10:3-5. Though we walk (live) in the flesh (in a body), we do not war (fight) after (according to) the flesh (human standards. The first phrase of verse 5 looks back to verse 3 and expresses the manner in which believers conduct spiritual warfare. It is by casting down (destroying) imaginations (false arguments), such as Paul’s opponents have raised.’

That also means refuting all the lies and deceit and the temptations the enemy constantly throws at us. And we do that by taking all those wrong thoughts captive and making them conform to Christ’s Word. Remember, our minds are where the serious spiritual battles take place, so we obviously must have our thoughts conform to Christ’s Word to be victorious. And as I was reading the words of the hymn just now, one verse struck me as being somewhat untrue in these evil, divisive times. ‘Like a mighty army moves the church of God;…We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’

I just have to shake my head and sadly chuckle because God’s church is certainly not moving in these ungodly days like a mighty army, more like a stagnant, sluggish, complacent, uninterested band of layabouts. And as to being one body with one hope and one doctrine…What a joke! Christ’s church has never been more divided and fractured and going different ways than now!

But friends, let’s remember that where there’s life there’s also hope, so it’s not too late. If we’re serious about rectifying the ills in the church we still can, if we come together, instead of moving further apart. It will take a lot of hard work and effort, putting our selfish, petty desires aside, and showing the true character of Christ. I know it sounds impossible, but remember too, that ALL things are possible with Christ! Much LOVE!

…to be true soldiers of Christ…Christians must stop seeking and seeing life…the way the world sees it…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.    ​This book of the law shall not depart out of (be continually in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 

What a crying shame it is friends when one can’t lie abed late on a cloudy Saturday morning because the various aches and pains in your aching body won’t allow you to find a comfortable position in that place that’s supposed to be one of quiet peace and refreshing rest! Hn, hn! 

Yeh mih people, getting old is nice in many ways, but not so nice in others. The wisdom and experience one accumulates, plus the ability to say most of what you want and get away with it (smile) is marvellous, but I can’t say the same for the many debilitating effects age brings to one’s body. However, we can’t seem to have one without the other, so I’ll just say thank you for the good parts and just grin and bear the bad ones. And that’s enough complaining for this morning! (smile) 

Let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I like this first one: ‘There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.’ Now is that ever so true! 

We all know that regardless of what today brings, tomorrow will show up right on schedule, because that’s the way our great God and Creator planned it! That means we can always have hope and faith that tomorrow, the new rising of the sun, will bring a different and better outcome to our circumstances. So please hang in there…and have hope for tomorrow! 

Now hear this one: ‘Try to find pleasure in the speed that you’re not used to. Changing the way you do routine things allows a new person to grow inside of you. But when all is said and done, you’re the one who must decide how you handle it.’ That’s somewhat complicated, but it does contain some truth. In this world we’re usually creatures of habit and comfort, and nothing’s wrong with that, because we can’t have excitement all the time. 

But the same old, same old routine does get boring and frustrating if we don’t occasionally add a li’l zing and zest to it. That’s why every so often we need to take a risk, do something new and/or different, get out of our comfort zone for a spell, take a different way home from work, eat at a new restaurant, so we can add a touch of spice to our humdrum, mundane lives. 

But having said that though, we have to be careful that we don’t change just for change sake, which is what so many of us are doing these days. We use words like ‘this is the twenty first century; this is 2019, the Old Testament doesn’t matter anymore, etc.’ insinuating that because we’ve reached a certain level of time and space and evolution that things must necessarily change. But please note the old saying, that the more things change, the more they remain the same. 

And that’s gospel truth friends! If you really check it out, most of the things we’re doing, and the reactions we’re showing to the various changes in our world, the same things have been going on for ages, possibly just on a different level. So please, especially in these explosive times of social media and technological revolution, don’t change just for change sake, or because others are doing it. The Good Book containing the Lord’s wise and precious Word must still be our guiding light! 

And I’d like to take the last two quotes as one, because they are closely intertwined. Hear them: ‘When you fail, that is when you get closer to success.’ ‘Success will be within your reach only when you start reaching out for it.’ And they are both full of awesome truth since you generally don’t have success unless you have first failed, and you can only have success if you reach out for it. 

But what do we mean by success eh? Is it how the world terms it; the accumulation of power and fame and money and worldly glory, or celebrity status? Or is it how Jesus describes it; serving the lost, the poor and downtrodden, LOVING our God with all our being, and LOVING our neighbours as ourselves, overcoming evil with good and going the second mile when it’s not necessary? 

Whichever path we choose though, the results will still be the same: we won’t always succeed the first time, or even the fourth and fifth, and we’ll never succeed if we don’t try, and that means try sincerely and wholeheartedly, give our all! Anyway, here’s the best path to any kind of success at all. Obviously it comes from the Good Book, God’s direct words of wisdom and warning to His servant Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be continually in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ 

Oh mih people, that’s Success 101 right there! And it hasn’t changed one iota since the Lord said them to Joshua! That formula for success remains constant forever because it’s God’s Word and his Word doesn’t change! And here’s something I LOVE about our God, although I don’t always appreciate it in my dealings with Him. (smile) 

He doesn’t just tell you something and leave you floundering, He often drives it home with another suitable and well placed nail, to oftimes encourage us, like He did there with Joshua, continuing thus: ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

And that’s after telling him basically the same thing two verses before. But He knew that Joshua would need a lot of strength and courage to lead the wayward and stubborn Israelites and that was His way of encouraging Him. And He does the same with us friends! The Lord will NEVER leave us alone and ‘unencouraged’ when He knows that we definitely need encouragement! Please remember that! All we have to do is call on Him in sincerity and truth and He will answer appropriately. 

Now let’s end with Jesus’ wise and faithful words on the matter of success. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) No truer words were ever spoken friends! And if we’re wise, we’ll take them to heart and sincerely and diligently put them into action in our lives! Much LOVE!

…following Jesus and His righteous ways…is the ONLY path to true success…

 

 

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