Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2009 John 18:37‏

John 18:37    Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Yes my Friends and fellow believers, those were Jesus’ last words in His defence before Pilate, the Roman governor. ‘Thou sayest that I am a king.’ Pilate was right, He was a king, but of a spiritual kingdom, not one of this world, as we saw yesterday. However, ‘To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world.’ The plot and story line for His coming had been set long before by the Father. He was born to carry out that particular assignment, that was His specific purpose on earth. As He’d said to His listeners; ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.’ (Mat.5:17) He was come so that all the prophesies about a Messiah, a Saviour, could be satisfied. "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life for a ransom for many.’ (Mat.20:28) Praise His Holy Name for that people! Without His dying for us, we’d be still mired neck deep in sin, headed for death and eternal damnation. ‘For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:10) And after teaching and healing in Capernaum, where the people desired that He stay, ‘He said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.’ (Luke 4:43) That’s one thing about Jesus, Friends, regardless of what happened to Him, or where He was, He never lost sight of, or forgot His major objective. The Father’s audacious plan was always at the forefront of His mind. ‘I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?’ (Luke 12:49) He was come to provide judgement, wishing somewhat that it had already begun. ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) ‘The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:10-11) ‘I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.’ (John 12:46-47) Yes my brethren, those are a variety of reasons that Jesus gave for His coming to this sinful earth. ‘That I should bear witness unto the truth.’ As Isaiah declared of God’s word: ‘Behold I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander of the people.’ (Is.55:4) Also, as John revealed in his greetings to the seven churches: ‘And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that LOVED us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.’ (Rev.1:5) That’s right people; Jesus was a faithful witness of the truth. And ‘Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.’ Yes Friends, if truth is a mainstay of our lives; living the Word, then we will most definitely hear His voice. ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.’ (John 10:27-28) ‘For he that is of God, heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.’ (John 8:47) John also wrote that in his first circular: ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts of him.’ (1 John 3:18-19) That’s because Jesus emphatically declared; ‘I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me. (John 14:6) So my people, if we want to have association with the Heavenly Father, we’ve got to embrace Jesus first. Only through His Son, will we get an audience with the Most High God, for Jesus, in light of the price He paid on the cross for our sins, has been given dominion over us. He’s become not only our Lord and Saviour, but also our Mediator, Intercessor and Adjudicator. In fact, He’s now become our EVERYTHING! What a wonderful change has taken place in our lives eh Friends, now that Jesus is in charge of them! ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Oh people, we couldn’t ask for a better leader, so let’s go out into all the world, and from the mountains and the rooftops, let’s proclaim His Holy Name and His awesome Majesty, so that others can come to Him and receive the truth and life that He so graciously offers to all who are willing to accept it. Yes Friends, let’s witness wholeheartedly to others of Jesus, so that they too can partake of the joyous association we have with Him. That’s His assignment for us today. Much LOVE!…Jesus…our be all…and our end all…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2009 John 18:36‏

John 18:36    Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Very important words of Jesus, my Friends! That’s His answer to Pilate’s question; ‘Art thou the King of the Jews?’  The Jews took Him before Pilate, the Roman governor, because they wanted Him sentenced to death, but had no authority to do so. But all Pilate was concerned about was if He had stirred up rebellion against Rome, and He certainly had not done that. ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ That people, is the first thing we’ve got to understand about Jesus. He’s a king, but in the spiritual realm, not like our earthly kings who deal with physical matters. And that’s where the Jewish people made a serious mistake, by assuming that because the Bible talked about the Messiah as a king coming to save them, they could only envision an earthly warrior king, like what they were accustomed to. They figured the saving was to be physical from the oppression of the Romans, and not spiritual as it turned out. But Daniel pointed the way to other possibilities. And it’s interesting to note that before Daniel interpreted king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, his own Chaldean people claimed that nobody could do it. ‘And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.’ (Dan.2:11) They didn’t know how right they were, cause eventually it was the spiritual God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who showed Daniel the interpretation that saved their lives. And part of it related to Jesus’ kingdom. ‘And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.’ (Dan.2:44) The same goes for Daniel’s own dream about four beasts. ‘I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion and glory, and a kingdom that all people, nations and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.’ (Dan.7:13-14) How could it be everlasting and not pass away and be physical and earthly eh? But I guess if you’re constantly being ruled and oppressed by other nations, and you have a promise of a saviour, you’d expect an earthly person to physically wipe away the oppression, rather than a spiritual redeemer. And although Jesus told them again and again, they never believed. As He told Pilate, ‘if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews.’ That’s obvious. Remember when they came to arrest Him in the garden of Gethsemane, Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of one of the high priest’s servants. But Jesus told him; ‘Put up thy sword in to the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?’ (John 18:11) Meaning that He had to carry out His Father’s will, and go through the mock trial and deceit of the Jewish leaders, even unto His crucifixion. That was the Father’s plan, for sadly, only His sinless blood could appease the Father’s call for justice, which He required to wipe away our horrendous sin debt. So Jesus had to play along with the farce to do His Father’s will. That meant He never desired to be an earthly king either, cause it would have messed up all the Father’s well laid plans to bring us back to right standing with Him. Note, after He performed the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes, people believed, for food was scarce, and they reasoned that if Jesus could multiply food like that, there must be something to His Messianic claim. However, ‘When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again unto a mountain himself alone.’ (John 6:15) And as He concluded to Pilate: ‘But now is my kingdom not from hence.’ Yes Friends, the earthly kingdom definitely was not a part of His first coming. And don’t think it wasn’t hard on Jesus to accept the humiliation and painful death, for He had human feelings and emotions, but it shows the high level of obedience and LOVE He possessed for His Heavenly Father. Even when His soul was crestfallen and plumbing the depths of sorrow, knowing what was to come, and asking the Father for a reprieve, which He knew would not be forthcoming, He obediently declared; ‘Not my will but thine,’ in complete surrender to the Father’s will. Friends, are we also in complete surrender to the Lord’s will? Are we being obedient, even though it hurts? Hopefully, if not right now, one day quite soon, we’ll all be able to answer a resounding, ‘Yes!’ to that most important question. Like Jesus, full surrender and complete obedience are what we should all be working towards. It’s the number 1 goal of a true believer’s life. Much LOVE!…worship Him…in spirit…in truth…and in LOVE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2009 Luke 6:35‏

Luke 6:35    But LOVE ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Wow Friends! We’re sharing more wisdom from our leader again today. This week seems to be shaping up as a showcase of His words. But nothing’s wrong with that. Every so often we’ve got to hear it right from the Chief, because He’s the One who sets the tone, the standards and direction for all of us who call ourselves His followers. Today’s advice though is sorta hard to accept because it goes against the very grain of man’s nature. ‘LOVE your enemies.’ Hn! That’s much easier said than done people. Bruh Paul puts it another way. ‘LOVE worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law,’ (Rom.12:10) It’s Jesus’ golden rule my brethren: ‘Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.’ (Mat.7:12) Now that makes a little more sense, and taken in conjunction with Jesus’ second great commandment; ‘Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself,’ (Mat.22:29) we can understand where He’s coming from, but it really doesn’t make it any easier to treat with human kindness those who abuse and ill-treat you. However people, it’s one of Jesus’ main tenets; part of the forgiving nature and turning the other cheek, and if we want to be His true followers, then we’ve got to learn to bite the bullet and return LOVE for evil, ‘and do good.’ Again, that’s not hard to follow with those who treat us likewise, but you know our sinful nature dictates that once we’re treated poorly, we should return that same treatment; an eye for an eye rational. But Jesus doesn’t hold with that principle. He wants us to do good to everybody; enemies and abusers included. Again it’s difficult in many cases, but we have to band our jaw and follow His rules. As Bruh Paul declared: ‘But to do good and to communicate (share) forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.’  (Heb.13:16) Yes my Friends, such is the nature of our Heavenly Father, and He wants us to become like Him and His Son Jesus; goodly and LOVING, ‘and lend, hoping for nothing again.’ Another directive that goes against man’s very nature; lending, without hoping for anything in return. Bruh David has plenty to say about that in Psalm 37: ‘The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous showeth mercy and giveth…The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way…He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.’ (vs.21,23,26) And that’s nothing new people, for way back in Moses’ time, when the Lord gave the Israelites His rules for living, one for dealing with the poor was, ‘But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanted.’ (Deut.15:8) And Jesus earlier stated; ‘Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.’ (Mat. 5:32) Yes my Friends, LOVING our enemies, doing good and lending without hope of returns, should be both our stated and de facto modus operandi. We have to say it and do it too. And if we follow those simple rules, (smile) Jesus promises, ‘your reward shall be great, and ye shall be called the children of the highest:’ Wow! Now isn’t that worth it all my brethren, to be called the children of the Most High God? Yes people, it certainly is! And why will we be so honoured? ‘For he is kind unto the unthankful, and to the evil.’ What a magnanimous and kind-hearted God we worship Friends. Praise His Holy Name! ‘Be ye therefore merciful as your father also is merciful.’ (Luke 6:36) And to end, we’ll let the Master put it all together for us. ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others, do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Mat.5: 43-48) Straight from the head honcho my Friends, so let’s go out and do as He says nuh. Much LOVE!…walk in obedience…so that goodness and mercy will always follow you…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2009 Matthew 23:23‏

Matthew 23:23    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Yes my Friends, more words from the greatest teacher, psychologist and philosopher ever; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He certainly had a way with words; either made it so simple that any fool could understand, or so complicated that even the learned scribes and Pharisees couldn’t comprehend His statements. And Jesus certainly knew how to get inside your head, as he does here with His favourite targets, those same scribes and Pharisees. Chap.23 of Matthew is devoted entirely to denouncing them. Jesus was surely courageous, some may say foolhardy, to go around publicly admonishing and rebuking the ones who set Jewish standards and basically ran the show. But I just admire how He gets on their case: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.’ The Jewish elite was big on outward acts to prove their righteousness, but their private lives were not always in line with the law. Here, Jesus admonishes them for doing the little things, like paying tithes of their produce, which was in accordance with the law, but neglecting the bigger, more important aspects of the law, like justice, mercy and faith. He’d already rebuked them by saying; ‘But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.’ (Mat.23:13) He’s accusing them of putting stumbling blocks in the path of sinners who wanted to repent and be converted. In Jesus’ eyes, the leaders of the Jewish religion were so hypocritical, that He called them out on every chance He got. They figured they were so righteous and despised others who weren’t like them. This brings up His parable of the two men who went into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a publican. ‘The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ (Luke 18:11-14) Yes Friends, that’s how it was then, and sadly, it’s still that way today, two thousand years later. Many of us feel we’re so good and righteous because of the little things we do around the church or the community, or the outward rites and ceremonies we adhere to, which makes us feel we’re better than the ordinary man in the street. But yuh know what my brethren, deep down we’re just like, or even worse than the tax collector in Jesus’ story; worthless sinners all, only saved by the grace of God. Yes we do small, easy things, but the heavier, more important matters we gloss over; things like justice, mercy, faith and LOVE. We don’t really practice them in our every day lives, just pay lip service to them. Technically speaking, Jesus didn’t have a problem with the Pharisees concern to be obedient even in minor things, but that interest should not outweigh more important matters like LOVE and justice. And as Samuel asked Saul, when he made excuses for disobeying God, using the spoils of war to burn sacrifices unto Him, instead of completely destroying it, as he’d been commanded; ‘Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.’ (1 Sam.15:22-23)Yes people, regardless of how good our deeds and/or our intentions, if we disobey God to do them, then He’s not pleased. He requires complete obedience from us. Just do as he says, not what we think He wants. Here’s another good example of God’s displeasure, this with the Israelites disobedience in Hosea’s time: ‘For I desired mercy, and not sacrifices; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.’ (Hos.6:6) Micah echoed that same sentiment. ‘Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?’ (Mic.6:6,8) So it wasn’t something new to the scribes and Pharisees. They knew the law better than the ordinary people, but in their self-righteousness and hypocrisy just refused to obey it. Oh Friends, let’s try not to be numbered amongst the many who are doing the same thing now. Please, let’s not give Jesus the chance to admonish and chasten us as hypocrites. And the only way to do that is to tithe, as well as prosper in acts of justice, mercy, faith and LOVE, while walking humbly and obediently before the Most High God Jehovah. Much LOVE!..the three tenets of righteousness..obedience..obedience..obedience…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 January 2009 Mark 7:9‏

Mark 7:9    And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Oh Friends, our God is such a wonderful Being; He never ceases to amaze me! Today I had nothing specific in mind to write about, so I was looking through the Good Book, the Old Testament, but nothing was touching my spirit. Then suddenly I got this urge to hear some words of Jesus, and I casually flipped to the New Testament. Lo and behold, it flipped to Mark Chap.7, which had a passage written in red, denoting Jesus’ words. I decided to check them out, and voila; there was Today’s Bit! How can I not thank, praise and revere Him eh? So many times He’s come through for me in the last minute. That’s why I call Him, the Master of Timing. Anyway, before I get carried away, (smile) let’s turn to the Bit, which sees Jesus lambasting; ‘assailing with withering oral denunciation,’ a group of scribes and Pharisees sent from Jerusalem to the Palestine hinterland to monitor His rising fame. They had seen some of the disciples eating with unwashed hands and this upset them terribly, since the upper class Jews had this traditional custom, or phobia about washing; hands, pots, pans etc. before eating. So they asked Jesus why His disciples were eating bread with unwashed hands. Hn! They didn’t know what hit them, for Jesus laid into them like white on rice. ‘Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written; (Is.29:13) This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things do ye.’ (Mark 7:6-8) I just adore it Friends! Can you imagine Jesus, dressed in ordinary Jewish garb, standing on a street corner tongue lashing the so-called upper echelons of His people? No doubt their eyes and mouths were wide open in wonder and surprise, for no one else was brazen enough to question their behaviour, especially one handed down through long years of tradition. Note too Friends, Jesus’ voice wasn’t loud and quarrelsome either, just normal volume, but the tonal quality drove home His message, laid the whip to your spirit. And Jesus was right, for certain traditions had come to be looked upon as godly directive, equal to the laws of the Old Testament itself. In this particular case, the scribes and Pharisees concern wasn’t actually the dirty hands of the disciples, but their ignoring Jewish high tradition of washing first, and so becoming ceremonially unclean. Jesus is saying that through years of tradition, some Jewish religious practices were then conflicting with the older Old Testament laws. Now don’t snicker or deride them people, for we are doing exactly the same thing today; too many of us are substituting modern religious custom for divinely revealed truth. As Jesus told them: ‘Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.’ As Wisdom says: ‘But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof.’ (Prov.1:25) They disdained God’s advice and would not accept His reprimands either. Like when Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet ever, the ordinary men, the tax collectors, believed and were baptized by John. ‘But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized by him.’ (Luke 7:28-30) We do the same thing Friends; whenever we’re admonished or warned by God of some fault in our souls, if it doesn’t sit well with us, doesn’t jive with our opinion, then we summarily reject it, to our later dismay. So, in essence, we’re no different from those Pharisees. Isaiah declared: ‘The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof: because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.’ (Is.24:5) Yes Friends, that’s true today too. We keep seeking the easy way, or the way of men, which isn’t always the way of God. Jesus used the example of Moses teaching that we should honour our mother and father, and that anyone who dishonours them should be put to death. But the Jews in Jesus’ time could declare their possessions ‘Corban’ or ‘devoted to God,’ and so shirk any further responsibility to their parents. Apparently the religious leaders condoned it, although it was clearly circumventing both the intent and the letter of the Old Testament law. ‘And ye suffer him no more to do aught for his father or his mother. Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things ye do.’ (Mark 7:12-13) That’s why Friends we have to be very careful about what we do, believing that we’re following God’s law, cause in many cases those things are also tradition oriented, but not divine revelation. We need to carefully consider our actions and compare them to the Good Book to determine what is merely man’s tradition, and what’s been divinely revealed. As Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees, their main concern wasn’t so much the dirty hands of the disciples, that they could get sick that way, but more the ritual of washing before eating; the ceremonial rite which made you clean. Oh Friends, there are many such things floating around today, where the ceremony and the rite have become more important than the law, and we’re admonished to follow them. But please, let’s not follow everything blindly, so that we won’t be guilty as the Pharisees, cause when we’re called to judgement, we can’t offer as an excuse, so and so made me do it, or told me it was right. God gave us the Good Book and free will so we could find out and decide for ourselves. So let’s check everything first with the Good Book nuh; the ultimate decider, the ultimate authority. Much LOVE!…remember…not all that glitters is gold…so please check carefully before buying…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2009 Psalm 146:5‏

Psalm 146:5    Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.
Oh Friends, more happy talk today.’ (smile) ‘Oh happy day, when Jesus washed, when Jesus washed, when He washed, all my sins away.’ Yes my people, that was indeed a happy and blessed day, for us poor sinners, but not for Jesus who gave His sinless life on the old rugged cross so that we could be free from sin and death. The problem though is for us to believe in Christ our redeemer, for without that belief we’re doomed to eternal death. Bruh David strongly advises; ‘Put not your trust in princes, or the son of man in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.’ (vs.3-4) And that’s an undeniable fact people. Man, nor the things of man, cannot be trusted, because they can both be here to day and gone tomorrow, to dust and rust. However, ‘Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea and all that therein is: which keepeth truth forever.’ (vs.5-6) That’s why it’s so mind boggling people that we’re quick to trust the words, deeds and promises of men who have no control over their own lives. Just look at the mess they’ve made now; the lies, greed, deceit, broken promises and mismanagement that’s brought our world to its very knees. But we staunchly refuse to trust the God of Jacob, the One who created the entire universe by simply speaking it into existence, then made a mould in His own image from the dirt He’d created, breathe the very breath of His life into it and called it man. And unlike man, He’s immortal; the same today, yesterday and always, only deals in truth, and still controls all aspects of the universe and creatures He created. And not withstanding our constant rejection of His sovereignty, He showed His immense LOVE for us by sending His only Son, Jesus, to die for us so we could be justly reunited with Him in a sin free environment. So why would we ever dream of choosing any other deity to serve and worship eh Friends? And it’s not like the Good Book doesn’t constantly remind us of the blessedness of trusting God. Jeremiah was instructed to go and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian when the Lord decided to destroy Jerusalem for its sinful behaviour, promising to save him. ‘For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the Lord.’ (Jer.39:18) Trust in the Lord saved him from death. Jeremiah himself declared on the Lord’s behalf: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when the heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer.17:7-8) Now Friends, explain to me, why we’d choose to worship any other deity, because I just don’t understand it. He’s promised that we’d be fruitful and productive even in times of excessive heat and drought. No other so-called god promises anything even close to that. Listen to Solomon on the subject. ‘When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.’ (Prov.16:7) Wow people! I guess that’s why there’s so much war and strife on the planet. The ways of a great number of people on it don’t please the Lord. And in Psalm 119, Bruh David enjoys the Lord so much, that he declares: ‘How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts, I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.’ (vs.103-104) And again in Psalm 34, he exalts: ‘O taste and see the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’  (vs.8) Now Friends, hear this quote attributed to Marcus Aurelius, it says; ‘To live happily is an inward power of the soul.’ And that’s the truth, but the soul is only happy when it’s at peace and good things are happening around it, and peace can only be truly achieved in this world by trusting, believing and obeying the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the same One who created the universe and all therein, including us. And we’ll tie this up with one more quote, this from Joshua Loth Liebman. ‘Self-understanding rather than self condemnation is the way to inner peace and mature conscience.’ Yes Friends, seeking to understand ourselves and why we do certain things is much more geared to the attainment of peace within our souls than condemnation. And that doesn’t mean making excuses, but genuinely seeking understanding through serious interaction with the Lord. For ‘Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.’ (Ps.128:1-2) Oh Friends, what more can we ask for eh? Nothing really. That’s why Bruh David declared at the beginning of the Psalm; ‘Praise ye the Lord! Praise the Lord O my soul! While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being!’ (Ps.146:1-2) Oh people, let’s do likewise nuh. For the Lord is exceedingly good to those who put their sincere trust and faith in Him. Much LOVE!…praise Him, praise Him…glory hallelujah…He is LOVE…He is LOVE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2009 Psalm 144:15‏

Psalm 144:15    Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.
Oh Friends, today when I enquired of the Lord what to write about, He unhesitatingly answered, continue writing about happy people and the happiness found in worshipping, serving and loving Him. So, being the obedient son I am, (smile) that’s exactly what I’m doing. Friends, this psalm of Bruh David’s is generally entitled, ‘I will sing a new song.’ It seems to be a compilation of other psalms, which the scholars claim wasn’t unusual for use in different situations. Obviously, he begins with praise and acknowledgement of the Lord’s sovereignty. ‘Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. My goodness and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.’ (vs.1-2) Yes my people, how can someone living under the influence of such a mighty, merciful Godhead not be happy eh? Bruh David continues: ‘I will sing a new song unto thee O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword.’  (vs.9-10) Then he asks the Lord to rescue him from foreigners who come with empty words and falsehood, that his people’s children grow strong and beautiful, their barns full of a variety of produce, that their sheep would be highly productive, ‘bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets. (fields) That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.’ (vs.13-14) Oh Friends, isn’t that what we all ask of the Lord; peace, LOVE and prosperity? For sure! ‘For happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.’ And that’s exactly how it should be Friends. But it certainly doesn’t seem to be that way right now with any nations of our world. Perhaps my brethren we also need to sing a new song unto the Lord and ask for all the things Bruh David requested, because our children certainly aren’t growing up strong and beautiful, and this refers to the inner, spiritual realm. Our sheep aren’t being overly productive, neither are our oxen abnormally strong. ‘No breaking in, nor going out.’ Now isn’t that a joke, for break ins abound, have become so common place that citizens all over live in a state of constant fear and worry, in a jail-like atmosphere; the current, ever-present terrorist threat, gated communities surrounded by walls, houses with metal bars on their windows and numerous locks on their doors. But that doesn’t stop the criminal element, for whatever a man makes, another man can always bypass, destroy or open. The latest thing floating around on the Internet seems to be a special key that can open dead bolts without any problems. It’s been around for sometime, but only known to locksmiths. Now though, almost everything known to man is on the Net. One of the great tragedies we suffer for this age of easy, instant, worldwide communication. Lots of people are also walking out on each other with no remorse or regrets. Family life, as it should be, is almost non-existent. And don’t talk about complaining in the streets! Hn! This generation has turned that from an art to a science. We have more abundance in every thing than any other society ever, but yet we complain the most, are the most dissatisfied and bored. Why is all this happening to us eh Friends? Is it perhaps we’re not a people, whose God is the Lord Jehovah? It’s highly possible since recently we’ve been trying to eliminate God from our lives as completely and quickly as we can. But Friends, it’s time for a short refresher course. Listen to Moses: ‘Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places. (Deut.33:29) That’s what the Lord God of Jacob does for people who serve Him faithfully. And if you don’t believe Moses, check out Bruh David. ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.’ (Ps.33:12) Judging by the sorry state of our world, it doesn’t seem as though He’s chosen any. And if you don’t believe Bruh David either, then let’s go straight to the horse’s mouth, the ultimate authority; Jesus. And He says; ‘If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.’ (John 13:17) Like everything Friends, you have to know and also do. If you want to enjoy the benefits of any organization, you’ve got to abide by their rules. The same goes for our God. We have to abide by His dictates if we want to become a peaceful, loving, prosperous nation, once again free from all fear, crime and worry. So let’s start by not only singing a new song, but also abiding by those not so onerous rules nuh. It’s the first step to prosperity, on the only road that leads there. Much Love!…in proportion to our obedience…so shall our prosperity be…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 January 2009 Proverbs 29:18‏

Proverbs 29:18    Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Yes Friends, yesterday we talked about what happens when there is no divine guidance in a nation; the people usually cast off all restraints, do as they please, then consequently suffer the pangs and pains of unrighteousness. We saw how the Lord used Samuel, while still a child, as a rudder, to start turning the immoral and unrighteous Israelites around. Today we’ll deal with the second part of the proverb; ‘but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’ In the realm of laws made by man, that isn’t always true though, for some man-made laws can be downright disadvantageous, oppressive and cause untold suffering. However, it’s very true in the law we’re talking about here; that law enshrined in and personified by Jesus. After washing His disciples feet, He told them; ‘Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well: for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.’ (John 13:13-17) Yes Friends, it’s basically the old treat others the way you’d like to be treated, and no one’s really better than the other, we’re all here to serve. James calls it the perfect law of liberty; ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.’ (James 1:25) Yes people, if we adhere to that ‘perfect law of liberty,’ the teachings of Christ and His apostles, we’ll be blessed in all that we do, and in turn be happy. The law is perfect and freeing because Jesus, through His birth, death, resurrection and ascension became the embodiment of all religious teachings and work, and it frees us from the principles of sin and death. Jesus is now the authority to whom we look on matters godly, and we no longer worry about sin and death if we believe and trust in Him. Furthermore, we can see how God actually transforms a visionless society, into one that contentedly keeps His laws, if we look through the Books of Samuel. Although Israel rejected the Lord, we can trace His mercy, wisdom and faithfulness in their lives, for when the period of the Judges ended, Samuel being the last, and the selfish, unrighteous people called for a king, the Lord selected righteous men. First Saul, who was okay in the beginning, but later allowed his insecurity and jealousy to get the better of him. Then there was Bruh David, who, with help and guidance from Samuel and later prophets, became a godly king, and turned the nation back to righteousness and reverence to the Lord. In appreciation for this faithfulness, the Lord made an everlasting covenant with Bruh David that affected the whole world, for through Bruh David’s lineage came Israel’s Messiah, the Saviour of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; the one who now rules us all. Oh Friends, new leadership is now being hailed in many parts of the world, let’s sincerely hope that there are men of God around them with a good understanding of His precepts, also power and courage enough to influence these leaders, who themselves have been blessed with godly wisdom, so that they can wisely lead their people, turn our world around, away from the path of destruction on which we’re currently travelling, back to the arms of the everlasting, ever-loving, Most High God, Jehovah. And please remember, a society is only a collection of individuals, meaning that each of us also has an important part to play in that return to righteousness. We’ve got to start it from home; make it all in the family. Much LOVE!…only in obedience to God’s will…is lasting health, happiness and prosperity possible…  And it’s so short today too (smile)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2009 Proverbs 29:18‏

Proverbs 29:18    Where there is no vision the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Now isn’t that the gospel truth my Friends? Where there is no vision, no foresight, no proper planning or looking ahead, most things eventually come to a dead end or simply fail. In this case though, the writer is talking about nations where there is no divine revelation, no divine guidance from God through one of His appointed spokespeople, be it a prophet or priest. But the same is also true of that situation. If a people don’t have divine guidance and wisdom continually pouring down on them, they will eventually perish. Their morality will suffer greatly, possibly be even non-existent, and without morality, which is basically obedience to God’s known dictates, a nation will surely go under after some time. That’s because the basic laws of God that embrace institutions like the family, the church, the courts, etc. are what keep a nation flowing smoothly and prospering too. If there’s nothing that fosters togetherness, decency, right living, non-violence, peace and LOVE, then there’ll most likely be eventual anarchy and self-destruction. When everybody’s doing their own thing without overall godly guidance, the society will implode. And Friends, that’s exactly why our world is in such a dreadful state right now. In recent years our leaders were not being guided by the moral laws of God, and neither was there much moral suasion amongst the general population. Violence and strife, greed, deceit, jealousy, rights for everybody and everything, rejection of God and widespread immorality were the guiding principles. We’d become like Israel, before Samuel came on the scene and straightened them out, had them running in a more godly direction. ‘And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no vision.’ (I Sam.3:1) Yes people, Israel had moved so far away from the Lord, abandoned their religious principles, rules and values, that it caused a famine, a drought of God’s revelations, of His guidance and direction. And as it continued, it just got worse, perpetuating itself. Eli, the chief priest wasn’t doing his job, while his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas were running amok with Lucifer. ‘Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.’ (1 Sam.2:12) Things got so bad that the Lord had to use Samuel, a mere child at the time, to start turning things around. ‘Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord; for men abhorred the offering of the Lord. But Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.’ (1Sam.2:17-18) Hn! How sad: a child wearing a priest’s robe, doing priestly duties. What a burden for poor Samuel to bear. But he bore it faithfully and valiantly! Eli’s family eventually lost the chief priest job, and his two sons died on the same day. And the Lord promised Eli: ‘I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart, and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed forever. And it shall come to pass, that everyone that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priest’s offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.’ (1 Sam.2:35-36) Wow! The Lord sure doesn’t make joke Friends. And my brethren, unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s taking place in our world today. Many people are begging for both money and bread. Many of them through no fault of their own, but that of the people on the top rungs of the ladder, who failed them, because they had no vision, they did not adhere to God’s laws, and so the people end up suffering. But we can’t blame the leaders only, we have to accept some of the blame too, for many of us know better than to follow the world’s policies, principles and values which are the exact opposite of God’s. So all of us, from top to bottom have to share in the blame. Sadly though, it’s the people at the bottom who are bearing the brunt of the ‘sufferation.’ In proportionate terms, the rich are still rich and still living comfortably, while large portions of the society have no jobs, houses or food. And it’s getting worse daily. Some pundits claim it will get even worse, before it gets better. Let’s hope they are wrong, like they’ve been on so many other occasions. However my Friends, there’s one essential fact we’ve got to remember if we hope to avert further disaster and rise like the phoenix from our ashes once again. And the essential fact is that the Lord God Jehovah is still in control, and just like he sent the child Samuel to start turning around things in Israel, He will do the same for us, cause He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us, but to be with us always, even to the end of the world. Let’s believe that, store it in our hearts, minds and souls and use it as an anchor or safe harbour when our faith becomes fragile and unsure. Let’s lean upon the Rock, that’s our God. He will not let us down. Much LOVE!…continual disobedience to God’s laws…only leads to disaster… To Be Continued.

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2009 James 5:15‏

James 5:15    And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Yes my Friends, that’s one of the many ways God bestows His mercy on us; through faithful prayer. James says that if any believer is sick, ‘let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.’ (James 5:14-15) Yes people, prayer that comes from that kind of faith will heal, because prayer that stems from true faith is effective. ‘The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:16) And James gives Elijah as an example, where ‘he prayed earnestly that it might not rain,’ and it didn’t rain for 3 1/2 years. ‘And he prayed again, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.’ (vs.17-18) This faith has been described as people acting in accord with God’s declared will. ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.’ (1 John 5:14) The Lord actually hears us all the time, but only if it’s in line with His desires, will He act on it. Let’s get it straight Friends; faithful prayer can accomplish much, but it’s not merely going through the ritual that James outlined, (vs. 14) it goes much deeper than that. And it doesn’t grant healing powers to the elders or people who pray fervently and help others to recover, or give them special strength, else believers with a high level of spirituality would be always healthy. The prayer of faith basically figures out God’s will and then perseveres until it gets done. We must also realize that God doesn’t desire to heal every time we ask for it, and the real measure of true faith is when we recognize that fact, and more so, accept it. ‘Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the heart knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.’ (Rom.8:26-27) So though we have great faith, we don’t always know the right things to pray for, but the Spirit of Jesus within us, that judicious intercessor, transmits stuff we can’t mouth, but the Lord reads the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit always acts in the will of God. And what better example of this is there than Bruh Paul himself? He claims to have had a particular ailment, ‘a thorn in the flesh…For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor.12:7-9) You couldn’t desire a man with more faith, but what he prayed for wasn’t in accordance with God’s will, so he wasn’t healed. God wanted to prove that in our weakness, our human frailty, we could still be strong by having faith in Him. Meanwhile people of lesser faith than Bruh Paul, have prayed in faith and been healed, because it fell in line with God’s plans. So I guess all my ailments don’t coincide with God’s plans then? (smile) And I seem to be getting a new one every day, sometimes age related, sometimes not. However, I must say that the old ones, although they haven’t been completely healed, they’re definitely not as bad as when I first acquired them, and I am able to plod on with a fair degree of health. For that I am eternally thankful. All of this tells us that it’s not always easy to discern God’s will, but with true faith we’ll persevere until we get an answer one way or the other, and if our prayer for the sick and suffering happens to be answered in a positive manner, all praise and glory be to the Most High. For as James says: ‘the Lord shall raise him up, and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.’ Wow! Not only shall the sick be made well, but his sins forgiven too. Yes my people, that’s the kind of merciful, forgiving God we worship! For ‘Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities, and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.’ (Mic.7:18-19) And all God’s people said, ‘Glory Hallelujah! Praise His Holy Name forever!’  Oh Friends, what more can we ask of our God eh? If we walk faithfully with Him, He’ll heal, pardon and forgive us. We might not always get what we ask for, but once we remain obedient to His will, He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us. Let’s remember that and persevere in building our faith, even in the midst of great disappointment, for whatever the Lord does, is ALWAYS in our best interest, for OUR benefit, not His. Much LOVE!…faith…it grows strong…both through triumph and adversity…

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