Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2011 Matthew 17:17‏

Matthew 17:17.    Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
 
Oh Friends, March is over now, and hopefully the snowfall too, but it’s still cold. Even the trees refuse to be fooled again and haven’t brought forth any buds as yet. Anyway, we’re alive and well, which is the important thing. And all God’s people lifted their heads, hands, hearts and eyes heavenward and offered up a grateful: ‘Thank you Lord!’ But unfortunately my brethren, there’s still one major problem; the proportion of the population that offered that thanks is way too small, it’s in the minority, while the majority fall under Jesus’ condemnation in our Bit. ‘O faithless (unbelieving) and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer (bear with) you? bring him hither to me.’ The occasion for this rebuke is a man bringing his epileptic son to Jesus to be cured after the disciples were unable to heal him. And when the disciples asked why they could not cure the child, Jesus declared these famous words: ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) Sadly though my people, there still exists today a great pool of unbelief, disbelief, non-belief, call it what you will, but too many people don’t sincerely believe in Jesus Christ as the answer to our problems, and thus we have become the most perverse and idolatrous generation ever, although we’re supposed to be the most advanced and enlightened. That might show up in other aspects of our lives, but certainly not in terms of accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. And though that’s an unfortunate fact, it’s not totally unexpected given our forefather’s behaviour down through the ages. Moses ominously declared it in his song: ‘They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children (they are not his children because of their blemish): they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite (repay) the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father that hath bought thee? Hath he not made thee, and established thee?’ (Deut.32:5-6) Unfortunately Friends, not many of us seem to think so in our current society. And Moses’ words are a direct reference to our generation since more people follow Beelzebub’s evil ways than do the Lord’s godly desires. And the blame for that lies at the feet of we believers for several reasons: for being too weak, silent and scared when Lucifer’s minions try to wipe out God from our everyday lives; for not being strong and proactive enough to mount sensible campaigns to bring unbelievers into the fold, and above all, the many dissensions and continual strife in our ranks. Remember yesterday we talked about strife being Lucifer’s number one weapon, well he’s used it very successfully on us. Jesus said it quite clearly: ‘And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.’ (Mark 3:25) And Christians are so divided that I don’t know how we survive! Meanwhile, Lucifer and his boys stand together and together corrupt the world with evil and violence. Oh Friends, in the essence of brevity, (smile) we’ll end with some wise and encouraging advice from Bruh Paul. ‘Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Eph.2:14-15) Yes my people, only if we behave like godly children and work in harmony with each other, with a strong and proactive bent, can we ever hope to retake this evil world for Christ. If we keep on allowing the enemy to divide and conquer us, then the Lord’s army will either be soon defeated or remain second-class, and neither position is tenable in the eyes of Jesus. So it’s up to us, His supposed followers to ramp up our hearts, minds and efforts and do our bounden duty. Let’s take our lights from wherever we have them hidden and bravely expose them to the world, shine them from every roof and mountain top, in Jesus name. Amen! Much LOVE mih people!…only in so far as all Christians come together…and fight a war of solidarity against the forces of evil…can the forces of good ever hope to be victorious…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2011 Proverbs 17:14‏

Proverbs 17:14.    The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
 
Oh Friends, it’s another beautiful day in God’s kingdom! Hallelujah! We’re alive and kicking! All praise and thanks be to God! Sadly though our world is too full of Beelzebub’s main weapon; strife. Everywhere we turn on God’s great earth it’s either existing in abnormal proportions, or the seeds for it’s birth have already been sown. But here are some wise words concerning it from Gloria Copeland’s book, ‘Hidden Treasures,’ re abundant living in the riches of proverbs. ‘In order to walk in God’s wisdom and keep the door of your life closed to the devil, you must diligently guard against strife and seek diligently to LOVE others.’ Yes my people, LOVE is the only antidote for strife! And I like how our Bit characterizes strife: ‘The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.’ Such words of wisdom mih Friends! Strife begins so easily; like turning on your tap, first slowly, in a trickle, then the flow grows ever bigger and faster. That’s how strife operates. Even like a dripping faucet. The drip starts out small, but note, those drips never get smaller, always bigger. I believe the Amplified Bible refers to it as a crack in a dam. It’s the same principle of starting out small. And that’s the awful truth about strife my brethren; it usually starts out small, but quickly increases if left unchecked. That’s why our Bit says we ought to ‘leave off contention, before it be meddled with.’ We need to nip it in the bud, stop the contention before the quarrel begins. It’s the only way to conquer strife my Friends, for as these two verses of the Good Book concur, strife is the devil’s own handiwork. ‘He LOVETH transgression that LOVETH strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction. He that hath a froward (deceitful or crooked) heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief (evil).’ (Prov.17:19-20) Lucifer’s followers delight in creating strife, for it kills whatever peace and LOVE that exists in a particular situation, and that’s their life’s goal. But we believers have to listen very closely to Proverbs 10:12, and diligently put it to work in all aspects of our lives. ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth all sins.’ And isn’t that the way it truly is! As James so rightly puts it: ‘For where envying and strife is (where self seeking exists), there is confusion and every evil work.’ (James 3:16) And Bruh Paul warned the Corinthians: ‘For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly) and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?’ (1 Cor.3:3-4) Yes Friends, we certainly are being carnal, of this world, when we exhibit things like greed, lust and envy, which always bring strife, much to Lucifer’s delight, but our Lord’s displeasure. However my people, there is a way to guard against that persistent enemy called strife, for just as Cousin Sol tells us about the disease, he also gives us the remedy. ‘The discretion of a man deferreth his anger (makes him slow to anger); and it is his glory to pass over (overlook) a transgression.’ (Prov.19:11) Or as James says: ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20) And Bruh Paul told the Ephesians: ‘Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:31-32) Oh Friends, there’s only one thing left to be said; make sure you keep strife out of your family and your home, for that seems to be the easiest place for it to start. And as Cousin Sol says right at the beginning of Chapter 17: ‘Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices (sacrificial meals or feasting) with strife.’ (Prov.17:1) And as the old people were wont to say: ‘Charity (LOVE) begins at home,’ and that’s the first place we’ve got to stop strife from taking root. So let’s all seriously consider the strife in our lives, and with the help of God’s Word and His awesome LOVE remove it, so that both our individual lives and our world will experience some much needed peace. Much LOVE!…unfortunately…strife in our lives and hearts…blocks the flow of communication…with our wonderful God…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2011 Psalm 104:33‏

Psalm 104:33.    I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
 
Oh Friends, the ole fella is shaking it a bit rough this morning, with some sneezing and a strep throat. Hope it’s only my sinuses acting up. But yuh know what? I am alive and kicking, so ‘Praise the Lord!’ And just as rain, snow, sleet, sun or any disaster never stops the mailman from delivering the mail, likewise, nothing, no sickness or tragedy is going to stop me from writing the Bit. (smile) But I’d better not get too high and mighty on that nuh, before the Lord challenges me, because that’s How He operates. You boast about something, then soon thereafter that very same boast comes back to haunt you. In any case my people, though something might very well stop me from writing the Bit, for sure, nothing but death will cause me to stop doing what today’s Bit proclaims: ‘I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.’ Yes Friends, nothing but death should stop us from singing the mighty and worthy praises of our Great God Jehovah! Regardless of the physical shape of our bodies, while we have breath in them, once we can put two and two together in our minds, the Lord’s praises should always permeate our souls. And all God’s people shouted a powerful ‘Amen!’ Please remember that one of the purposes for which we were created is to commune with and worship the Most High God. Our praise and worship is essential to His happiness. It won’t change who He is, but just as we expect our children to be obedient and respectful, our heavenly Father expects us to praise and worship Him. And to emphasize the importance of communication with our God, the psalmist, after writing our Bit, then continues: ‘My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.’ (Ps.104:34) And that’s exactly how it ought to be my brethren! When we read and contemplate on God’s Word, it should bring us joy, a sense of peace should overwhelm our spirits, and make our souls glad, for that is it’s purpose. It wasn’t only given to guide and educate, but also to enliven and gladden us with all the truth of God’s promises contained therein that we can boldly rely on. The Good Book was not written to make us sad, but glad; to give us encouragement and hope of a good future, especially God’s promises of salvation and eternal life through Jesus’ all-embracing sacrifice on the cross. What news can bring greater joy that that eh? NONE mih people, NONE! That’s why men of faith have been singing the Lord’s praises and blessing Him from days of old. Now hear Bruh David in Psalm 63, when he talks of God satisfying the thirsting souls of men. ‘Because thy LOVING-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied with marrow (the best fat) and fatness (abundance); and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips.’ (Ps.63:3-5) And all God’s people sang a loud ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ And Friends there was never a more righteous sinner than Bruh David, and he paid for his mistakes, but through his constant devotion to the God of his fathers, the Lord still looked upon him with great favour. Why won’t He do the same for us, if we sincerely try to walk in His will? No reason whatsoever my brethren! And we’ll end with some more encouraging words, these of Bruh Paul, re singing praises to our Father. ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) We can’t beat that advice my people, so let’s take it to heart and do it nuh. It will bring a big smile to our Lord’s face, a tear of joy to His eyes and a gentle, tender tug of LOVE to His heart. Till tomorrow then, if it’s on God’s agenda. In the meanwhile, please walk safely with Him, offering much thanks and praise for His goodness to us. Much LOVE!…it is both meet and right…to offer thanks and praise to our God… P.S. And the gospel music I’m listening to while I’m editing the Bit is saying exactly that: ‘I will lift my hands, I will worship you. We lift our hands to worship you Lord. Almighty God, I worship you. Not just for what you’ve done, But who you are. So I lift my hands and worship you Lord…’ Much LOVE!
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2011 Hebrews 2:1

Hebrews 2:1.    Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Oh thank the Lord Friends, that we’re alive to see another beautiful, sunny day, alive to admire God’s marvellous handiwork! And it’s essential, that everyday, regardless of our circumstances, we make time to admire some aspect of God’s creation; be it big or small, animate or inanimate, as that helps us keep a clear focus on the One who created the universe and all therein. And don’t say you can’t find anything, because everything that God made is a source of wonder in and of itself. It might even help to look in the mirror and declare in wonder and amazement: ‘Oh what a beautiful image of the living God! I am indeed His most marvellous creation.’ (smile) Be careful though, not to get too carried away and let it turn into narcissism. Anyway, today is Monday and we’re not in a particularly light-hearted mood because we have to go back out and face the stressful, evil workaday world. But like everything else in this life, with the Lord’s help, we can overcome that anxiety. So let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in a loud and sincere voice. ‘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!’ Now turning to our Bit: ‘Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip (drift away).’ Yesterday we saw the basic reasoning behind that statement: If all sins and disobedience were justly punished, then most of us would end up in purgatory, eternally separated from God.  But the Father, in His awesome wisdom and exceptional LOVE, made a way for us to escape that diabolical state by sending His Son Jesus as a sacrifice to pay for our wrongs, a fact we can ill afford to forget or neglect once we’ve been taught it. (Heb.2:2-3) Then the author of Hebrews goes on to prove the authenticity of Christ and His offering of salvation: ‘God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers (various) miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?’ (Heb.2:4) And here I’ll quote the scholar’s explanation of this verse, as they do a better job than I can. ‘The miraculous sign gifts of the Holy Spirit were present in the first century to confirm apostolic revelation (2 Cor.12:12; Heb.2:2-4) and are not expected today. Just as it is necessary to erect a scaffolding to aid construction when a building is being erected, so sign gifts were the spiritual scaffolding used by God to give credibility to His revelation which became the foundation of the church. When the written Word of God was complete, God removed the scaffolding. These gifts were given primarily as signs for the Jews (1 Cor.1:22). Also, as the apostles were primarily communicating an oral tradition, they needed signs to authenticate their message (2 Thess.2:15). When considering a sign gift, one should remember that gifts, such as the gift of apostles, were foundational gifts needed in the first century, and were characterized by certain qualifications that could not be met today (Acts 1:21-22) Also, Paul specifically indicated that some gifts would cease (1 Cor.13:8), and he referred to miracles seemingly in the past tense, which he would not do if they were still prevalent at the time of writing. The sign gifts would include apostles (Eph.4:11), healing (1 Cor.12:9), tongues, miracles, and interpretation of tongues (1 Cor.12:10). Some might add to that list the discernment of spirits (1 Cor.12:10)‘ Yes Friends, we no longer need some of the stuff that the first Christians needed to help them believe because we have it all written down and thus can refer to it at will, but with any kind of oral work there must be something physical to justify it, and obviously the Good Lord provided the tools His spokespeople needed to do His work, just like he does with us today, though again different tools for a different kind of society. And who says the Lord doesn’t know what he’s doing eh? Anyway mih people, please take the time to check out the references above, I found them very helpful, and I’m sure you will too. And as we noted before, unlike the early Christians, we have the Word readily available to us in all forms and fashions, but still, if we don’t read, study and practice it, it will be of no use to us. We’ll lose the hope, the motivation, the belief, the faith and the encouragement it engenders in our beings…and what then?  We’ll be lost; like dumb sheep, unable to find our way, in our own strength. And anyone who’s ever been lost knows that’s a terrible experience, one to avoid at all costs. So please, I implore us, let’s pay earnest heed to the Word so that we’ll walk safely with Jesus and not get lost in the darkness. Much LOVE!…to remain connected to God…we need to concentrate on the things of God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2011 Hebrews 2:1‏

Hebrews 2:1.    Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

And a good Sunday morning to all you wonderful Friends in Christ! Or as 3 Canal would say: ‘Mornin’ Neighbuh, morning!’ (smile) Oh mih people, I read the obits today, and I didn’t see my name or picture…’Glory Hallelujah!’ Hope you have the same feeling of joy and contentment. Now to further make your day, here are nine requisites for contented living attributed to the German novelist, lawyer, playwright and poet, Goethe (1749-1832) ‘Health enough to make work a pleasure.’ Hn! ‘Wealth enough to support your needs.’ Of course! ‘Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them.’ For sure! ‘Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them.’ O thank you Jesus! ‘Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished.’ Ah Lord eh! ‘Charity enough to see some good in your neighbour.’ Now that’s a hard one! ‘Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others.’ Well awright! ‘Faith enough to make real the things of God.’ True! ‘Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.’ But nuh must! Oh Friends, I couldn’t help putting in my own two cents comments, but if we can consistently meet those nine requirements, then we can confidently say we’re living the kind of life Jesus desires of us, for none of them are easy to come by, much less maintain in this evil, greedy, violent and stressful world. But I urge us to sincerely try and attain them. Make your own list, place it somewhere very visible, then check it every few days to see how you’re doing, concentrating on those areas in which you’re found wanting.  And as the Lord would have it, those 9 requisites do tie in rather nicely to our Bit. ‘Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip (drift away).’ Yes my people, we most definitely ought to pay diligent and sincere attention to those things we have heard, re the Good Book and the Word it contains, in case, through neglect or lack of use, we forget them and consequently stop living by them, an act with very disastrous consequences. Now though there is dissension amongst the scholars, as to who wrote Hebrews, when, where and to whom, there is general consensus as to its purpose. Its basic theme is one of comfort and encouragement, plus some warnings to those Christians living either in Jerusalem, the general Palestine area, or Rome, to stand steadfast and strong, despite the persecution they were facing from both Gentiles and other Jews, still attesting to Judaism. Some of these early Christians had either converted from Judaism, or were second-generation believers. However, everybody, family, friends and foes, seemed to be against them, for Judaism was sanctioned by Rome but not Christianity. And to make matters worse, the promises made in Christianity; that Christ would return and Israel would be saved, had not yet occurred and didn’t seem to be happening anytime soon. Those unfortunate circumstances were obviously causing them much strain and heartache. But two thousand years later Friends, Christ still has not returned, neither has Jerusalem been restored to its original glory. Now does that mean we should lose hope and give up? Absolutely not! ‘For if the word spoken by angels was (proved) steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward (penalty); How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;’ (Heb.2:2-3) Oh my people, those are all excellent questions! Before Christ came the law was given to us by angels. And we can hear this in Stephen’s monologue before he was martyred, accusing the Jews of persecuting the prophets and not keeping God’s law. ‘Who have received the law by the disposition (direction) of angels, and have not kept it.’ (Acts 7:53) Also, if every sin and act of disobedience was to be justly punished, (Num.15:30) then our only means of escape is by accepting the awesome salvation that Jesus first offered. ‘From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (near). (Matt.4:17) And luckily for the doubters amongst us, all that was confirmed by those who heard it. (Luke 1:1-4) There Luke states his purpose for writing to his associate Theophilus: ‘That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.’ (Luke 1:4) Luke plans to reinforce Theophilus’ knowledge by giving him, as it were, actual facts and figures for the things he’s been taught. Sadly my people, time and space have run out for today, but we’ll continue this topic tomorrow, if God sees fit to grant us another glorious day on planet earth. In the meantime, please pay much attention to the Word and please stand fast in your belief in Christ and the salvation His precious blood bought us, for without that surety in our hearts, we’re headed for eternal separation from the Father. Much LOVE!…I am the way, the truth, and the life…no man cometh unto the Father…but by me… (John 14:6)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2011 Mark 5:20‏

Mark 5:20.    And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

Ah Friends, old man winter, having summarily knocked out the presumptuous upstart spring, continues his stranglehold over the land. Last week we were boasting of positive double-digit temps, today though, it’s a minus double-digit reality. And who say’s Mother Nature doesn’t have a sense of humour, corny though it may be? But who’s paying attention eh? Plenty winter-weary people! (smile) Anyway, since we’re believers, followers of Christ, what’s a little cold weather eh? For we’ve been endowed with the spiritual power to endure and persevere through hell and high water, to come out smiling and undaunted on the other side. Praise the Lord, my people! And that’s exactly what our Bit is all about. ‘And he departed, and began to publish (proclaim) in Decapolis (the ten cities) how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.’ Yes my brethren, the grateful man whom Jesus cleansed of the evil spirit broadcasted His goodness to all and sundry in the ten cities around his area. That’s how we ought to behave too. And as we noted yesterday, though Jesus told him to give Jehovah God the glory, the healed man recalled the acts of Jesus Himself, so that ‘all men did marvel.’ Now that’s our topic for today, and the Good Book is full of accounts of men marvelling over the works of Jesus, so let’s check out a few. First up is Jesus healing a paralyzed man, telling him: ‘Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.’ (Matt.9:6-8) After that, He healed a dumb man possessed with a demon: ‘And when the devil (demon) was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.’ (Matt.9:33) Obviously not, since the Son of God had never before been to Israel in human form. The ordinary folk recognized that there was something very special about Jesus, but the foolish, hypocritical Pharisees declared: ‘He casteth out devils (demons) through the prince (ruler) of the devils.’ (Matt.9:34) Now that makes no sense whatsoever. Why would an agent of Lucifer cast out his master’s evil, demonic nature from his people eh? It’s like accusing Jesus of casting out God from believers. But such was the Jewish leaders’ short-sighted, selfish thinking, as it needed to be, for the Lord’s plan of salvation to come to fruition. Our next example is of Jesus Himself bringing up the notion of marvels. Talking of the Son’s relationship with the Father, Jesus told the Jewish elders: ‘My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, (by healing on it) but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God (blasphemy). Then Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father LOVETH the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth (gives life to) them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.’(John 5:17-21) Yes Friends, if we think we’ve seen or heard of marvellous works, just wait until the Father shows Jesus His whole awesome repertoire! And not only did the people marvel at Jesus’ doings, but also those of His disciples after he ascended to heaven and the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them. Check out this story in Acts 3, after Peter and John healed a lame man begging in front of the temple. The people saw him leaping and jumping and praising God: ‘and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held (on to) Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering (amazed). And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? Or why look ye so earnestly (intently) on us, as though by our own power or holiness (godliness) we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our Fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus…’ (Acts 3:10-13) The Jewish leaders were no better, for though they imprisoned Peter and John for their preaching resurrection through Jesus, when they brought them before the high priest, the Good Book recounts: ‘Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant (uneducated and untrained) men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them (realized), that they had been with Jesus.’ (Acts 4:13) Yes my brethren, the miraculous works accomplished first by Jesus, then His disciples, made the people of olden times marvel, yet many still believed not. Unfortunately the same thing is happening today. Jesus is working fruitfully in so many lives, with people seeing the results, but still not believing. What’s it going to take for us to truly believe and appreciate the awesome power of our God eh? Friends, we don’t need any more miracles to show or tell us that God’s in total control of the universe, they’ve been enough of them down through the ages. It’s time to wake up my people and sincerely recognize God’s amazing power and truth for what it really is…the saga of His unconditional LOVE that begat Jesus, our salvation and eternal life in His company. Much LOVE!…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2011 Mark 5:20‏

Mark 5:20.    And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Friday, the end of the work week! And all God’s people shouted: ‘Thank God it’s Friday!’ Now let’s give some thanks and praise to our God for guiding us through it, by chanting our Friday 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.’ Yes my people, the Lord got us through this rough week, and He’ll also rejuvenate us over the weekend, but the important question is what’s our attitude to all He does for us? The man our Bit refers to, whom Jesus healed of the demon, wanted to stay and walk with him, but Jesus told him: ‘Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.’ (Mark 5:19) This fellow was very grateful and took Jesus’ advice to heart, as our Bit shows. ‘And he departed, and began to publish (proclaim) in Decapolis (the ten cities) how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.’ A couple things to note here per the scholars: ‘Decapolis was the area southeast of the Sea of Galilee, containing many Gentile settlers. Jesus seems to have been more willing to make His deeds and identity known in a non-Jewish context. In the Capernaum area, by contrast, He felt the need to maintain a lower profile. The man tells what Jesus has done, although Jesus told him to speak of ‘the Lord,’ the God of Israel.’ So Jesus wasn’t against spreading His Word amongst the Gentiles, but He was also wary enough not to raise too high a profile amongst His own Jewish people, until His time was come, knowing that they were constantly seeking a way to get rid of Him. Anyway Friends, back to our question; how many of us are really thankful for what God has done, is doing and will do for us in the future? And if we’re so grateful, how many of us actually make it our duty to tell others; to believers to encourage them in their walk with God, and to unbelievers, to make them see the light, the inestimable benefits of walking with God, both here on earth and in heaven? I feel that not enough of us testify to what Christ has done in our lives. We’re either not proud enough or still too timid and scared to let others know the great life we’re living in Jesus, the wonderful things He’s done for us; the compassion, the mercy, the LOVE, the forgiveness, not forgetting the greatest gifts of all, salvation and eternal life. My people, we don’t have to be garrulous or so talkative that it turns others off, but there are many opportunities everyday for us to either live our testimony or tell it to someone since we’re constantly interacting with other humans. As Bruh Paul asks in Romans, re righteousness through faith in Christ: ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’  (Rom.10:14-15) Yes Friends, people need to hear the gospel before they can accept it, and telling others about it is one of our most important jobs here on earth. By the way, in the last part of that scripture, Bruh Paul is quoting Isaiah 52:7. The same argument is also found in Nahum 1:15. So my brethren, what have we got to say for ourselves eh, re proclaiming the good news of Jesus in our lives? Are we as jubilant and expressive as Moses in his song? ‘The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation (praise him); my father’s God, and I will exalt him.’ (Ex.15:2) Or are we proclaiming like the psalmist? ‘Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled (praised) with my tongue.’ (Ps.66:16-17) Now that’s how we need to be my people; ever ready to talk of what God has done for us, about the good things He’s wrought in our lives, and give Him endless thanks and praise for them. Remember others won’t know how God’s interacting with us unless we both tell and show them. Remember too that examples work much better than precepts, so our personal testimony is always more moving and thought provoking when witnessing to others. So let’s start talking up ‘bigging up’ our God some more from our personal experience nuh mih people. It’s the best way to spread the Word. More tomorrow on this, God in favour. Till then, please walk safely with the Lord and talk proudly of Him. Much LOVE!…our earthly duties are…to LOVE our God…LIVE our Faith…and SPREAD His Word…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2011 Obadiah 3‏

Obadiah 3.    The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
 
Oh Friends, like I warned, March refuses to go out with merely a whimper, so yesterday it snowed all day. How long it’s going to last though is anyone’s guess, for there are a few inches on the ground. Anyway, here’s an interesting quote that addresses the situation. It’s for all the play-it-safe among us, taken from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ poster. It says: ‘Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.’ And that’s the living truth Friends! On the majority of fruit trees the fruit is usually found out at the end of the branches, and the best fruit the furthest out. That means to get the best ones we have to put ourselves at some risk, by going out to the edge of the branch. The same principle exists in human lives. We never get the best by simply playing it safe. If we want to advance in any area of life, we must be prepared to step out of our comfort zone, to run some risks to achieve our goal(s). It’s just like you can’t really learn to swim in shallow water because there’s no danger, no incentive or compulsion to learn. But if like me, many years ago, you choose to jump off a rock out in the deep, then for sure, you’ll learn to swim very quickly. (smile) That principle also applies to working to further Christ’s kingdom. Whenever we step out to do something good and possibly big for our God, evil stuff will surely come against us. However, with God’s help, if we stand steadfast and resolute, we will overcome those tough, stressful situations and bear good fruit. But if we just play it safe in Christ’s work, we’ll never really rise above the ordinary and mediocre. It’s a simple fact Friends; the more risk, the greater the possibility of large rewards. Remember though, we are obligated to go wisely, to safely negotiate that thin red line between wisdom and stupidity. It’s like our Bit says: ‘The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?’ The prophet Obadiah was here warning the Edomites, Esau’s descendants, who lived in sin in their mountainous surroundings. They figured that they were safe from intruders because their place of abode was so high and difficult to scale. But they were in for a rude awakening, as Jeremiah also warned them. ‘Thy terribleness (fierceness) hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord. Also Edom shall be a desolation (an astonishment): everyone that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof.’ (Jer.49:16-17) Oh my brethren, unfortunately the same sort of prideful, high-minded behaviour runs rampant today. The rich and famous and powerful seek to build their homes in the hills and canyons, far from the madding crowd, with walls and guards in their gated communities, ostensibly to protect them from uninvited guests and/or intruders. But that doesn’t always help, for we know that anything a man builds or locks up, with sufficient time, another man can always gain entry. And it’s not so much their building on the mountains that irritates our God, but it’s their motives; the boastful, show-off, I’m better than you attitude because I can afford to live in the hills, in my big house, on my expansive estate. And we know, many of us from personal experience, that our God detests that attitude more than anything else, because it leaves no room for Him. That’s why Jeremiah prophesied: ‘Concerning Edom, thus saith the Lord of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is council perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished? Flee ye, turn back, dwell deep (in the depths), O inhabitants of Dedan (neighbouring desert dwellers); for I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time that I will visit (punish) him…For, lo, I will make thee small among the heathen (nations), and despised among men.’ (Jer.49:7-8,15) Yes Friends, when wisdom and prudence take leave of us, to be replaced by worldly lusts like pride and vanity, then we’re treading on sinking sand, for at some stage, our God in His eternal wisdom will take notice and do something about it. The Edomites were supposedly known for their wise teachers (Obad. 6,9) but apparently, just like us, they got swell-headed and too big for their breeches, so the Lord had no choice but to bring them back down to earth in a way they could understand. That also goes for us my people. If we get too high and mighty, for whatever reason, in whatever walk of life, and stop depending on the Lord, He will eventually bring us to heel. So please, let’s not get too full of ourselves, or place too much importance in our earthly wealth and power, or do anything that causes us to lose focus on our God. Remember, He’s a jealous God and does not take kindly to us placing anything or anyone above Him. And if you don’t believe me, listen to Obadiah’s next words to Edom. ‘Though thou exalt thyself as (high as) the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.’ (Obad. 4) And that’s gospel my people! So stop letting Lucifer foolishly massage our egos and lead us to suffer the Lord’s displeasure. Much LOVE!…a word to the wise is sufficient…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2011 Matthew 16:15‏

Matthew 16:15.    He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
 
Oh Friends, it’s a new day, with new opportunities for improvement and advancement! Wow! However, we won’t be able to harness those rich opportunities unless we walk in the wisdom of God’s Word. And here are three pieces of advice from Gloria Copeland’s book ‘Hidden Treasures,’ re abundant living in the riches of proverbs. (1) ‘Determine to be moved by God and His Word alone instead of by what you see.’ (2) ‘As you go through your day, focus on scriptures that give you the answer to any problem you face.’ (3) ‘Make sure you are walking before God in all the light that you have, so that you can approach His throne with strong confidence.’ Oh my people, we certainly won’t go wrong if we follow those gems of wisdom in our walk with God today, because they will keep us focused on, and in tune with Him and His Word all day long. Cousin Sol echoes that faith and understanding when he says: ‘In the fear (reverence) of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.’ (Prov.14:26) But before we get to that somewhat exalted stage my people, we have to truthfully answer in our hearts that age old question contained in our Bit: ‘He, (Jesus) saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?’ And for once Friends, our headstrong, impatient bubba, Simon Peter, got it right. This time Jesus had no cause to rebuke him. He quickly piped up: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ (Matt.16:16) Bravo Pietro! But the all-important, billion dollar, life-saving question now my brethren, is whether as individuals, we have also come to that conclusion? It’s imperative that we do. We can’t answer like when Jesus asked them earlier on: ‘Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.’ (Matt.16:13-14) Jesus was indeed a prophet; the greatest of them all, and public opinion did place Him at the highest level with all their other national heroes, but all His power, His humanity, His sense of service and purpose stemmed directly from Him being ‘the Son of the living God.’ If He wasn’t, He could not have done the miraculous things He did, or bear the burdens and the ‘sufferation’ He endured. And please note my people, Jesus’ answer to Peter’s strong, sure declaration: ‘Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.16:17) Now Friends, that’s an undeniable fact! Though Peter and the other disciples hung out with Jesus for a fair length of time, saw His miraculous works and heard His teachings, they truly could not have believed His claim unless the Father had planted that seed in their hearts. So many others heard him preach and saw Him do miracles, but yet believed not. When Jesus explained to the disciples that He was ‘the bread of life,’ (John 6:31-58) they found it ‘a hard saying,’ difficult to understand, and began moaning. (John 6:60) And He queried them? ‘Doth that offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth (gives life); the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.’ (John 6:61-65) And proving that Jesus’ statement was true, look at what happened after that. ‘From that time many of his disciples went back (away), and walked no more with him.’ (John 6:66) Yes Friends, a parting of ways with many of His former so-called disciples occurred, because they did not feel that strong call of the Spirit within their hearts. And despite all the evidence to support and confirm our belief that Jesus was and is the ‘Son of the living God,’ today, two thousand years later, a majority of humans on planet earth still don’t believe it, and unfortunately are thus separated from His wonderful fold. How sad it is my brethren, that Lucifer can still get to so many hearts with his evil lies and distortion of God’s truth! Thankfully we are not amongst that unfortunate lot. But we are still called to go out and bring them under His LOVING wings. And finally, what if Jesus now poses to us, His further question to the remaining twelve disciples: ‘Will ye also go away?’ (John 6:67) I hope, no, I know, that we will all come right back with an answer as strong and steadfast as Peter’s. ‘Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure (know) that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.’ (John 6:68-69) Much LOVE mih people!…we can only know the secrets of heaven… when the Lord opens our hearts and souls… P.S As I’m editing this, I’m listening to some gospel soca on Wack 90.1. In particular a song that asks, ‘Who started this waving thing?’ We believers started the waving thing. It didn’t come from Carnival. ‘Read yuh Bible, read Exodus 22, read Leviticus 10.’ And if you don’t believe, ask yuh Grandmother about when she went to church and began waving her white handkerchief in a ‘wave offering.’ Oh Friends, here comes my favourite; ‘Try Jesus: Try Jesus, He’s always around. Try Jesus, He’ll never let you down. Try Jesus, He’s such a wonderful Friend. Try Jesus, I know your heart He can mend. He was raised from the dead, so He can give you life. Try Jesus, He’s always there for you. Try Jesus, He’ll always see you through. Jesus is the answer for today. Try Jesus, I know I’ll never regret, cause Jesus never failed me yet. And that’s the gospel truth mih breddren, He won’t fail you either..! So please try Jesus….Much LOVE!
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2011 Psalm 31:14‏

Psalm 31:14.    But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God.
 
Prologue:    Oh Friends, believe me, our God is truly a most wonderful, helpful and faithful Being! He does indeed work all things together for the good of those who LOVE Him and purpose to do His work. (Rom.8:28) And you’ll notice, today we have a prologue, for the first time ever in the history of our Bit, which will begin its fifth year at the end of March. Glory Hallelujah! That’s because I wrote most of Today’s Bit yesterday morning. Why, you ask? Simple: after writing yesterday’s, the Holy Spirit reminded me of an earlier incident and guided me to put my thoughts on paper. And being the obedient servant, (smile) I did so, with no notion of if or when I would turn it into a Bit. But as I said above, the Lord does guide us when we sincerely turn to Him in faith. Anyway, the long and short of the story is that I came down to my study a short while ago, somewhat tired, not knowing what I was going to write. I read a chapter of Gloria Copeland’s ‘Hidden Treasures,’ re abundant living in the riches of proverbs, to sort of get me into the Word. At the end of the chapter I saw something there that perked me up a little. I then read what I’d written yesterday, concluding that I could use it if I found a suitable Bit. Subsequently, I opened the Good Book and as the Lord would have it, my bookmark was still at Psalm 33 that we used yesterday. So I began perusing the stuff on those two pages. And voila! Within a couple of minutes I’d found my Bit. But then I figured that what I’d written before was pretty short, even for those who like it real short (smile). However, while considering my options, the Holy Spirit in His wisdom, slipped in the idea of a prologue. At first I was sceptical, but eventually warmed to the idea, as it would give me the chance to personally show how our God does work all things together for the good of those who LOVE and obey Him. I hope the whole thing doesn’t sound too simple-minded or boring, but remember it’s in the simple, everyday things of life that we need to seek and find God’s amazing presence. Now here’s what I wrote earlier on.

Oh Friends, our God is a constant source of wonder and amazement to me yes! This latest occasion of His mysterious workings took place in church last Sunday. I don’t remember why, but at one point in the service my mind was focused on the Bit; whether what I wrote made sense, was it in accordance with God’s Word, whether people read it, and for those who did, if it made any real difference in their lives. But lo and behold, that still small voice, the Holy Spirit, zeppoed me with a little secret. He kindly informed me that though the Bit was indeed important for others to read and contemplate, the primary beneficiary of my efforts was myself. Wow! Obviously I chuckled inside. But then He went on to say that it was the Lord’s way of keeping me on the straight and narrow, of keeping me steadfast and true, engrossed in His Word, and consequently obedient to His will. And when I thought about it later on, it did make sense, because if I stopped writing the Bit, I surely wouldn’t be as involved with the Word as I am right now. I wouldn’t have any reason to delve into it as much. And who would be the chief loser in that situation eh? Me! For the Word would no longer be as important in my life as it currently is. And unfortunately Friends, whenever the Word begins to play a lesser role in our lives, then for sure, God, His presence and everything associated with Him, also decreases. Most of already don’t have enough of God in our lives, can you imagine the turn for the worse our lives would take if we lessened our association with Him? And the moral of the story, you ask? Well I can only surmise that whatever God calls us to do, whatever direction He points us in, then that’s the personal task and direction that best suits His plan for that individual. It might have a lot to do with others, or nothing at all, but for that particular person, that role and direction are of paramount importance, and if we don’t pursue it wholeheartedly, then we lose BIG TIME! We can’t be overly worried about the ministry of other believers. Our main job is to concentrate on our own purpose and direction. So all you busy bodies out there, interfering and finding fault with your fellow believers actions, please pay more attention to your own ministry. As 3 Canal says: ‘Stop minding other people’s business and mind yuh own!’ Or as Jesus would say, ‘Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote (speck) out of thy brother’s eye.’ (Matt.7:5) And that’s my testimony for today Friends! (smile) So please, let’s all look at out individual situations and discern exactly what our God has in mind for us, then let’s settle down in agreement with Him, be steadfast and faithful, and do whatever He asks to the best of our ability. It’s the only way to remain in His good graces, and enjoy the rewards and blessings He’s so richly stored up for us. Much LOVE!…listen for His call…acknowledge his sovereignty…surrender to His will…and you’ll be immensely blessed…

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