Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2011 Matthew 18:22

Matthew 18:22.    Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

‘Oh Friends, it’s Monday,’ I say in a low voice, as I enter the barracks. But nobody moves, not even the resident mouse. So I shout: ‘Oh Friends, it’s Monday!’ And surprise, surprise, pillows, blankets, books, and some unmentionables come hurtling through the darkened room at me. But I steadfastly stand my ground behind my massive shield of faith, and they either hurtle by aimlessly or bounce off my shield and fall harmlessly to the ground. Then when the air clears, I lower my shield and jubilantly declare: ‘That’s what you can do when you’re fully dressed in your spiritual armour.’ Hn, hn, hn! Anyway, enough lollygagging people, it’s Monday, time to be up and at ‘em.  A war to the death is being fought. The workweek battle lines have already been drawn. The enemy’s soldiers are already on the prowl for stragglers and malcontents. Meanwhile, our leader Jesus is at the front line devising strategy, waiting for us to show up. So let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, then get on our chargers and ride. Altogether now in loud harmony: ‘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!’ And while we’re riding to battle, let’s ponder our Bit: ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.’ Remember Friends, forgiveness is a must in God’s kingdom. If we want to be forgiven, we must first learn to forgive. And remember too, that it’s mainly for out benefit, not for anyone else’s. We know it’s not always easy to forgive, especially with some of the serious hurts and pains we experience in this life. But as the Good Book advises, if we consistently take all our troubles, big, small and in between, to Jesus in prayer, He will most certainly help us to bear our earthly burdens. Now let’s hear what another man of great faith, Bruh Paul, had to say about forgiveness. Regarding the new life in Christ, he wrote to 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) And to the Colossians, re the Christian virtues, he advised: ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing  (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ (Col.3:12-13) Yuh see Friends, forgiveness is the major thread in the knitting. If you pull that thread out, the rest of our faith unravels right before our very eyes. And just to try and hammer home the point, let’s end with Mark’s version of Christ’s warning words on the subject of forgiveness. ‘And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught (anything) against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ (Mark 11:25-26) Oh my people, there’s no more to say, for that says it all. So I’ll leave us to ponder that dire warning, or wise advice, however you choose to categorize it, and hopefully we’ll all take it to heart, and eventually learn to forgive. Much LOVE!…to have a forgiving spirit…is the surest way to receive forgiveness…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2011 Matthew 18:22

Matthew 18:22.    Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Oh Friends, it’s certainly exciting that we didn’t see our names and/or pictures in the obits this morning. Praise the Lord! That means we have another day on earth to enjoy God’s blessings and to do His will. What more can we ask for down here eh? Not much. And for those of us who celebrate the Sabbath on Sundays, it’s extremely important that we get out and fellowship and worship Almighty God with other believers this morning. Hopefully, those who celebrate it on Fridays and Saturdays have already done so. My brethren, it’s imperative that we come together at least once a week with fellow believers to socialize and cast our hands, heads and hearts heavenwards in reverence to our God, Creator, Provider and Protector. This enables our faith to be nourished and regenerated, and assures that all the doubts, anxieties and fears generated in our sinful hearts by the enemy is expunged by the Holy Spirit, and a clean heart and right spirit renewed in us. But my people, though all that’s said above is very important, perhaps the most important attitude, or aspect of our faith is forgiveness. And I believe that right now, in this bitter, angry, confused, war-torn, resentment filled world, that’s our NUMBER ONE problem. That’s because a lot of our problems are caused by unforgiveness. Many are the violations of life that are perpetrated because one person, one family, one group, one nation did not forgive another for whatever wrongdoing they believed was done to them. It’s a proven fact my brethren that wherever unforgiveness lives, resentment and bitterness are easily bred. However, where there is forgiveness, lives run much smoother. And if you don’t believe me, try it now, in your own circle of friends, family and neighbours. Hence the extreme urgency of Jesus’ words in Today’s Bit. ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.’ Selah! Jesus was so big on teaching forgiveness that it prompted Peter to ask Him: ‘Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?’ (Matt.14:21) Just imagine the surprise and consternation of the disciples when Jesus said not a mere seven times, but seventy times seven occasions. To Jesus, seven times was way insufficient, though to some of us supposed believers seven times is way too much. But as far as Jesus was concerned, His disciples were to be characterized by unlimited forgiveness. Now that’s obviously difficult to accomplish in this earthly life, but there’s one great reason that we should forgive. It’s a proviso Jesus laid down after He taught the disciples ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’ At the end, He told them, in no uncertain terms: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) Simple and straightforward Friends! You forgive others, the Lord will forgive you. You don’t forgive, neither will the Lord forgive you. That’s not rocket science Friends, yet why is there still so much unforgiveness in our crazy world eh, especially amongst friends, families and close neighbours? Many of us think that bearing grudges against those that hurt us is healthy, and think that by so doing we’re getting revenge. But Friends, the truth is that we’re only causing ourselves irreparable harm by keeping the anger and resentment fuelled within us, which only brings us unnecessary stress and eventually physical and emotional sickness. What makes it even worse, is that oftimes the person(s) we’re not forgiving doesn’t even know, or for that matter care that we’re holding an unforgiving spirit against them. We need to remember that whenever God tells us to do something, it’s usually for our benefit, not for anyone else. And that’s the very essence of forgiveness; it makes us feel better; free from anger and hatred, and also allows the Lord to forgive us. There’s much more to say on this controversial subject, but time and space dictate that we end here today. And we’ll do so with some more warning words from Jesus. After Peter’s question on how often to forgive, Jesus told them the parable of the ungrateful servant, (Matt.18:23-34) where his master forgave him a large sum, but he went and threw his fellow servant in jail over a comparable pittance. Obviously when the master heard of his unforgiveness, he threw him in jail too. Jesus ended by saying: ‘So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.’ (Matt.18:35) Please Friends, I’m asking us today to release all the accumulated hatred, bitterness and unforgiveness we have stored up in us, so that the Father will also forgive us, our world will improve, and we’ll be true disciples of Jesus. Much LOVE!…unforgiveness…a sure way to remain unforgiven…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 October 2011 Jeremiah 14:20‏

Jeremiah 14:20.    We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee.

Oh Friends it’s a new day! Can you feel the new mercies and blessings being poured down from heaven on us unworthy humans? I sure hope so, because they are coming down, and it’s our job to catch them. If we don’t, then we only have ourselves to blame. And while we’re at it, let me share two quotes that will certainly help us catch these wonderful mercies and blessings. The first one I found in my mother’s Bible, one of many things written on the blank front pages. I don’t know who said it, or where it comes from, but it’s definitely essential to our earthly well-being. And it says: ‘The Bible is God’s word to us. Still fresh through all the ages. And if we read it, we will find God’s wisdom on its pages.’ Now that’s a profound truth my brethren! The Bible IS God’s Word. But though written many, many moons ago, it is still fresh, vibrant and relevant, as though it was written today. And if we truly want to know about God; who He is and what He has to say, then we need to read it consistently and meditatively. Now the next quote comes from the booklet ’Happiness for Life.’ We often pray in Jesus’ Name, and He said that we should. (John 16:26-27) ‘But to pray in the name of Jesus is something more than a mere mention of that name at the beginning and the ending of a prayer. It is to pray in the mind and spirit of Jesus, while we believe His promises, rely upon His grace, and work His works….The life must be like Christ’s life – between the mountain and the multitude.’ And that’s an indisputable fact Friends! Simply saying the words ‘In Jesus’ Name,’ without the proper Christ like thoughts and actions avails us nothing. As the quote says, we must live between the mountain – in solitude and prayer – and the multitude – in the hustle and bustle of life doing good works. But unfortunately, in these evil, ungodly times, too many of us are not doing that, and before our lives can ever improve we have to bow to Almighty God and admit our wrongdoing, like Jeremiah does in our Bit: ‘We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee.’ And that’s putting it mildly my brethren, for the sins we’re committing today are so disgusting and repugnant that they break the hearts of all the heavenly hosts. And if it wasn’t for the cleansing blood of Jesus sacrificed on the cross to pay for our sins, the Lord would surely have wiped us out already. As the psalmist so rightly says in Psalm 106 – Israel sins against God’s LOVE- ‘We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies (LOVING-kindness); but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red Sea.’ (Ps.106:6-7) Oh Friends, we cannot deny that, neither can we simply blame it on our naturally sinful nature, because we know better. The proper avenue is to come to God and confess our sinfulness, otherwise death and damnation, eternal separation from God is our lot. Daniel said it thus: ‘O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face (shame), to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.’ (Dan.9:8-9) And when Jeremiah bemoaned the desperate state of his people, he declared: ‘Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defensed (fortified) cities, and let us be silent there: for the Lord our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall (bitter, poisonous) to drink, because we have sinned against the Lord. We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!’ (Jer.8:14-15) And that’s exactly what we’re facing now! Then later on, Jeremiah pleadingly confesses: ‘O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name’s sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee…Are there any among the vanities (idols) of the Gentiles that can cause rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Art not thou he, O Lord our God? Therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.’ (Jer.14:7, 22) Oh Friends, there is truth in all Jeremiah says, however, before the Lord changes anything, we first have to show that we are truly repentant and will wait on Him; we’ll let go of our sinful desires and bow to His will. Then and only then will we truly reap the many new blessings and mercies that are being rained down on us from heaven every day. Much LOVE!…to him that knows to do good…but doesn’t…it is accounted to him as sin…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 October 2011 Jeremiah 14:20‏

Jeremiah 14:20.    We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee.
 
Ah Friends, it’s Friday…’Yes we know. Thank God for that!’ comes the joyous response. ‘Truly thank God is Friday, because that means we get away from Babylon slave labour for two big, whole days. Praise the Lord!’ Then the little band of banjo, iron, bottle and spoon and dudup strikes up a catchy riddim as accompaniment for our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it nuh people. ‘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.’ And though it’s all well and good to chant and all that Friends, our world situation still remains chaotic and confused, in desperate need of much fixing. For as Jeremiah pleaded with God not to destroy his people a long time ago, so too we badly need to pray for our world. And it has to begin with true confession, just like Jeremiah does in our Bit: ‘We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee.’ And that’s the unvarnished truth my people! We have sinned disgracefully against the Lord in these modern times. We’ve found ways to sin that our forefathers never even dreamed of, and if they knew of our great capacity for evil, they’d be totally disgusted. They were bad, but we’ve raised the bar of sin a hundredfold. No wonder the Lord isn’t looking with much favour upon our world, raining down all sorts of natural disasters on us. And though we pray like Jeremiah: ‘Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember break not thy covenant with us.’ (Jer.14:21) It makes absolutely no difference unless we change our ungodly behaviour and return to seriously and diligently worshipping the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We need to do something as penitent and humble as Israel did in the days of Nehemiah: ‘Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them (dust on their heads). And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers (foreigners), and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God.’ (Neh.9:1-3) Yes my people, we have to truly repent, not only pay outward lip service, for the Lord will bypass all the words we so eloquently spout and go straight to our hearts to see if we really mean it. And then we’ve got to change the evil ways in which we live, for talked repentance alone doesn’t cut it, our actions must also prove that we’ve had a serious change of heart. Individually, we need to say something like Bruh David did in Psalm 32, the blessedness of forgiveness: ‘I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. (Ps.32:5-6) And collectively, as a society, a nation, a world, this should be our confession. ‘We lie down in our shame, and our confusion (disgrace) covereth us: for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.’ (Jer.3:25) Oh Friends, unless we truly repent and sincerely turn to following the Lord God Almighty, our days will continue to be dark and full of despair. Please, please let it not be said by future generations that ours failed them in pursuing the goodness of God. Much LOVE!…only through confession, sincere repentance and righteous living…can the tragedy that’s our world…be ever improved…be ever turned to true joy and gladness…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 October 2011 Psalm 84:11‏

Psalm 84:11.     For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord God will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
 
Oh Friends, you have to cut the ole fella some slack this morning. I had some important stuff doing last night and didn’t get to bed until late. Then, unfortunately, my wife’s alarm woke me up and I couldn’t get back to sleep. But getting up at minutes to six was definitely not an acceptable option when I’d gone to bed after three. And when I did fall asleep, I slept like a baby. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. (smile) And since I don’t have them canned, I have to start writing from scratch everyday, which takes longer and makes it harder. But I prefer it that way, because I can bring a fresh outlook and enthusiasm to it everyday. I’ve also been amiss in not asking us to pray for the unfortunate people in Turkey who got hit by a bad earthquake last weekend, as well as the people of Thailand engulfed by serious floods. Ah Lord eh! Everyday is some other disaster in some part of our disaster prone world. But all we can do for most of our stricken brethren is pray that Jehovah God will help them in their time of calamity. So please let’s do that on their behalf. Oh, and please thank the Lord with me for keeping my basement nice and dry during the last two days of rain. Hallelujah! I’m still a little leery though, for it wasn’t the hard-driving, windswept rain that we experienced when it leaked. But believe me, I am very thankful for small mercies, cause even a little water can do serious damage if left unchecked. Now here’s an interesting quote attributed to Kim Hubbard. ‘Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny.’ And isn’t that the truth! That’s one of the reasons why our world is in such a confused mess. Too many of us are not managing our lives properly, then are mistakenly taking that bad management as the way God intended it to be. But the only way to truly know our destiny is to daily read God’s Word, talk to Him about it, then wait patiently on Him to lead and guide us. Unfortunately though my brethren, too many of us either don’t read God’s Word regularly, or heed it, or wait patiently on Him, and are thus led astray by the evil mores of Lucifer and his wicked, ungodly cohorts. And that’s where our Bit comes in so handily: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ Wow! Aren’t those encouraging words? For sure! Today we’ll delve into the last part: ‘the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ Oh Friends, if you’re a believer, that’s one promise you definitely need to stand on, because our God is very generous to those who walk faithfully in His Will. Once we’ve truly surrendered our lives and souls to Him, and diligently attempt to LOVE Him, LIVE our Faith and SPREAD His Word, He will magnify and glorify us beyond all we can ask or imagine. That’s just kind of God He is: wonderful, magnanimous, generous to a fault. Yuh see how He lavished wealth and plenty on Cousin Sol because it greatly pleased Him that Sol asked for wisdom and understanding instead of earthly wealth. That’s still how He is today my people with all those who walk and talk sincerely in His Holy Name. Now listen to Bruh David tell it like it truly is. And if anybody should know about the Lord’s goodness, it’s surely him. ‘This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:6-10) And all God’s people jubilantly shouted up to heaven: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the Most High God that readily supplies all the wants and needs of His people. Hallelujah! Amen!’ That says it all Friends. Now let’s go out into the evil world, today and every day, and walk and talk uprightly in Jesus’ Holy Name, so that it will be well with us and all those around us. It’s the only way to enjoy a successful earthly pilgrimage. Much LOVE!…oh how wonderful it is…when we walk hand in hand with Jesus…along the rough and rugged pathways of life…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 October 2011 Psalm 84:11‏

Psalm 84:11.    For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
 
Oh Friends, our earthly pilgrimage continues, and with God’s generous help and abundant grace, we will do an awesome job! And all God’s people declared with much gratitude and adoration: ‘Thank you Lord! You are the greatest! There’s none other like you! Never was, and never will be!’ And that’s an indisputable fact Friends. Today, I’ll start with two quotes from the little booklet ‘Happiness For Life,’ because I think they are very important for all believers – young, old and in-between – to always keep before them. Here’s the first one: ‘Never should the Bible be studied without prayer. Before opening its pages we should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and it will be given.’ Now that’s something we all should practice! It’s a very healthy and wise bit of advice, because oftimes the Word is out of our league, above our comprehension, and it’s only God, through His Spirit who can help us understand it. And the second point is tied into the first. ‘The Holy Sprit exalts and glorifies the Saviour. It is His office to present Christ, the purity of His righteousness, and the great salvation that we have through Him. Jesus says, ‘He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.’ (John 16:14) The Spirit of truth is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. How must God esteem the human race, since He gave His Son to die for them, and appoints His Spirit to be man’s teacher and continual guide!’ There we have it my brethren; two everlasting truths for us to ponder! Isn’t it marvellous that God not only LOVED us so much that He sent His only son to die for us, but then He also sent His Spirit to guide and teach us about Him? He surely is a most wonderful Deity. That’s why the psalmist could proudly and confidently proclaim the words of our Bit: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ Now let’s consider the fact that the Lord’s our shield. And what’s a shield? It’s basically anything that we can hide behind, anything that can protect us from being seen or hurt by something or someone else. In olden times a soldier went out to fight with sword in one hand and shield in the other. Nowadays though we’ve become so high tech that actual shields are extinct, replaced with stuff like body armour for individuals and anti ballistic missiles for weapons of mass destruction. How sad. However, in the spiritual warfare in which believers are engaged, we still need a personal shield  in our accoutrements of war. As Bruh Paul declares, re putting on the whole armour of God: ‘Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one).’ (Eph.6:16) Yes Friends, we desperately need that shield of faith so that we can enjoy the massive protection it provides. But where does that faith come from to protect us. Obviously from the Lord God Jehovah! The Lord Himself promised it to Abram. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:1) Moses also describes our God thus, on blessing the Israelites before his death. ‘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 (majesty)!’ (Deut.33:29) And later on, the psalmist warns his people not to trust in idols, but instead wisely advises: ‘O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: he is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield. Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.’ (Ps.115:9-11) Yes Friends, our great God is not only our Creator and Provider, Anchor and Guide, but also our Protector, our Safe Harbour, our Shield against the enemy! It is to Him we should always turn FIRST, when we need help, because He’s the most mighty Being in the universe. So please, let’s do that starting today, RIGHT NOW. Let’s give all our fears, worries and anxieties to Jehovah God, and He will both fill our souls with His protective Spirit, and shield us from the enemy’s blazing arrows with His broad, expansive wings of LOVE! More on this tomorrow if our pilgrimage continues. Much LOVE!…faith in God…is the spiritual shield…that keeps us safe…in our spiritual battles…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2011 Psalm 84:11‏

Psalm 84:11.    For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk upright.
 
Oh Friends, it’s another day in the life of our earthly pilgrimage! We don’t know how it will turn out, but with our strong faith in Jesus Christ, we expect it to be wonderful. And if it happens not to be so, then again, through strong faith in Christ, we know that He will eventually make all things good for those who LOVE Him and are called to do His work. Now touching on that sore point of doing Christ’s work – and it is a sore one for many Christians who like to call His name but don’t actually want to do the work Christ did, in terms of humility and having a servant-like attitude, of foregoing their selfish pride for the good of others – here’s a passage from a little booklet, ‘Happiness for Life, I was just reading, which speaks to the problem. I wasn’t planning on sharing it, but at the last minute, the Holy Spirit guided, nudged me to do so. And it says: ‘If the followers of Christ were awake to duty, there would be thousands where there is one today proclaiming the gospel in heathen lands. And all who could not personally engage in the work, would yet sustain it with their means, their sympathy, and their prayers. And there would be far more earnest labour for souls in Christian countries.’ And isn’t that the unvarnished and awful truth! If believers would truly act like believers, Christ’s Church would be much bigger, friendlier and less divisive, while our world would not be full of so much fear, confusion and evil. That’s our wake up call for today Friends, especially if we want to embrace the goodness of God that our Bit proclaims. ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ And we all know that to be gospel mih breddren! Now let’s continue where we left of yesterday, looking at the ramifications of our God being ‘a sun.’ I still have some scripture to share on that because I didn’t want to get too long and involved yesterday. See how I’m taking your interest to heart Friends! (smile) Anyway, here’s the first scripture, taken from Malachi, re the coming day of the Lord. ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves). And ye shall tread down (trample) the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.’ (Mal.4:2-3) What a powerful, energizing and faithful promise people! It’s so sad that more of us bent for hell sinners don’t accept, believe and live as though the awesome promises of God were true. Now here’s the clincher, from John, when he beheld the New Jerusalem. ‘And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten (illuminate) it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.’ (Rev.21:22-25) Oh Friends, there’s no more to say! For as the old people would rightly point out, ‘a word to the wise is sufficient.’ So let’s digest today’s lesson, then act positively on it nuh. In accordance with our beliefs, I implore each of us to try and take even one small step for God today my people. Much LOVE!…the Sun won’t have cause to shine…when the SON truly shines…  P.S. It’s so short today that I’m scared I left out something, but I guess that’s the Spirit’s wisdom working in me. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2011 Psalm 84:11‏

Psalm 84:11.    For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Oh Friends, it’s Monday…’We know that,’ comes the sour reply. ‘We know that the few of us who have jobs need to get up and go to them so we can survive. So please doh rub it in nuh.’ Hn, hn! Ah Friends, I’m not trying to rub it in, just reminding us that the workweek battle is about to begin again, so we need to be prepared. And to help us in that preparation, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much gusto. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ I surely hope that energized us, set us on the right path, steadfastly focused on God. And with the Lord’s mysterious but well planned workings, we even have a Bit that’s very appropriate for today, one that admirably matches the sentiments of our Battle Hymn: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ Now isn’t that the gospel truth? And in affirmative answer, all God’s people declared a loud and jubilant, ‘Glory Hallelujah! Indeed our Lord God is powerful and righteous, and most worthy to be praised!’ Without a doubt He is Friends. But let’s break down our Bit some. The first part refers to the Lord as ‘a sun.’ By definition ‘a sun’ is a bright, shining orb that provides light in dark places. Now since our forefathers sinned, our souls, our spiritual arenas have been shrouded in continual darkness and so have our physical abodes and surroundings. But hear what our ever-LOVING, merciful, gracious and forgiving God promises when the future glory of Zion is proclaimed: ‘The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. The sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. The people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.’ (Is.60:19-21) Wow people! In that day of glory, both our souls and our physical surroundings will forever be lit by the Lord’s Spirit! There will be no need for any artificial light whatsoever, because the Lord’s light will be more than sufficient. Now tell me, having received such a wonderful promise from the Lord God Jehovah, why would I foolishly embrace Lucifer, the fallen angel of darkness, when he has nothing even closely comparable to offer? No Friends, true wisdom declares for God, the Creator of the universe and all therein! More on this topic tomorrow, if that same God allows us to see the light of yet another day. Much LOVE!…why choose perpetual darkness…when perpetual light is available…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2011 Ezekiel 36:26‏

Ezekiel 36:26.    A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

Oh Friends, our world is so full of corruption and evil doing that it’s time Jesus came back and cleaned it up, like He did in the temple at Jerusalem that fateful day, some two thousand years ago. I like John’s description best. ‘And (Jesus) found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting. And when he had made a scourge (whip) of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew (overturned) the tables.’ (John 2:14-15) Wow! Just imagine the scene nuh: the sudden, unexpected panic, with Jesus, in His righteous anger, like a bull in a china shop, overturning tables with His left hand, while the whip of cords flashed back and forth in His right, as the wicked stumbled over each other to get out of the way. You definitely didn’t want to feel one of those lashes, because Jesus was strong and fit, what with doing manual labour all His life and walking everywhere He went. And as He drove them out of His Father’s house, these were His prophetic words: ‘It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.’ (Matt.21:13) Oh Friends, that’s exactly what all the crooks, con artists and perpetrators of evil who currently run our broken, corrupt world need; somebody with might and right to slash and bash some sense into their evil heads and hearts. And no doubt the wicked will eventually receive their just desert, for the Lord has promised that the evil Jerusalem will be destroyed. (Jer.32:28-26) But He’s also promised that it will be restored. ‘Behold, I will gather them out of all the countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear (have reverential awe toward) me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them.’ (Jer.32:37-39) Yes people, the only way mankind can, or will ever give up his wicked ways is by the Lord removing his evil heart and replacing it with a new and godly one, as our Bit so rightly describes: ‘A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.’ Right now my brethren, men’s hearts are as cold and hard like stone, and consequently they lack LOVE, compassion, mercy and forgiveness. But when God takes away that hard heart and replaces it with a soft, fleshly one, then all those godly emotions will automatically rise up from it and change and energize us. Remember Jesus’ words to Nicodemus, the Jewish ruler who came to Him under cover of darkness; ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) Poor Nicodemus didn’t understand, and Jesus further explained: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) And Bruh Paul said it this way: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17) And when that wonderful experience takes place Friends, God gives us that new heart and new Spirit, full of LOVE and compassion, to replace our previous cold, stone-like ones. Now we’ll end with some immortal words of Bruh David on the subject of cleansing, after the prophet Nathan confronted him re his sin with Bathsheba. ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:7-10) Oh my people, that’s a prayer we should all pray as often as possible, not just by rote, but sincerely, with focus, truly desiring God to cleanse our hearts and renew that right spirit with us, so that we can joyfully go out and LOVE our God, LIVE our Faith, and SPREAD His Word. In other words, do our bounden duty. Much LOVE!…unless the hearts and souls of man…be washed clean by the purifying blood of Jesus…he shall never attain unto righteousness…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2011 Ezekiel 36:26‏

Ezekiel 36:26.    A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

Oh Friends, all I can say today is, ‘All praise and glory be to God, our ever-LOVING Father! I will also give Him thanks for the umpteenth time! Why? Because, as always, in my time of need He came through for me. He held back the rains yesterday so that I could get some much needed work done on my leaking basement. Most of the day was dark and cloudy, but thankfully no precipitation came. And again I say, ‘Thank you Lord!’ I really wasn’t looking forward to mopping up water all weekend. Now the next phase is to find out if what we did solves the problem. And we’ll find out soon enough, when the latter rains come pouring down. But Friends, though I’m glad that I got a chance to solve my problem, there are a couple of things I read this past week that saddens me terribly, and shows just how low the human condition has sunk. The first story, published in last Sunday’s weekly New York Times deals with a rape centre in Freetown, in the African country of Sierra Leone. The headline read that the patient was 3 years old. Ah Lord eh! What fun or satisfaction can you get from having sex with a 3 year old eh? And the horrific statistic at that centre states that 26% of the rape victims are 11 years old or younger. Hn! And it seems that last month a 10 month old baby was brought in for treatment after being raped. Steups! And the sad part is that the girls are being blamed. Here’s a quote from the article: ‘If a girl is raped and she’s above 5, then it’s the way she was dressed. But we’ve had a girl of 2 and a half months who was raped. Was it the way her mom put her diaper on?’ For God’s sake, two and a half months mih people! The child’s internal organs weren’t even fully developed. And she eventually died of internal injuries sustained during the rape. Humans have become lower than the lowest wild animal, because they don’t treat their young that way. And don’t think that sort of sickness is happening only in Africa. No Friends, serious crimes against women are happening all over the world! Right under our very noses in the so-called developed countries too. They’re possibly developed in physical infrastructure, but abysmally backward and depraved in their state of mind. And sadly too, a lot of it is swept under the rug, because many wealthy, powerful people are involved in the sick, psycho behaviour. I don’t know if the violence against women is actually on the upswing, or we’re jut now hearing more about it because of improved communications, but whatever the reason, my fellow men, we have to wake up to reality and realize that we’re not supposed to act like wild beasts, but the like the cherished children of the Most High God, and that sort of bestial behaviour certainly doesn’t endear us to Him. And you women out there, you’ve got to stand up strong and fight the evil presence too; report it to the authorities, do whatever you can to get it out into the public eye. I know it’s often physically and emotionally painful, and the rest of society looks at you askance, as though you were dirty and unclean, and you caused it, which makes you feel ashamed, but you have a sacred responsibility to the females coming after you. You can’t afford to condone it by hiding or covering it up, else the disgraceful and disgusting cycle will never end. I know it’s not easy to come forward with such revelations, but that’s the only way mankind will ever wake up and cut out the atrocious behaviour. Now the next thing that saddened me this week is a story out of China, where a van driver ran over a 2 year old girl in the street. He apparently stopped when he ran over her with the front wheels, but then continued and ran over her with the rear ones too. Mama mia! To make matters worse, another vehicle came along and also ran over her. And would you believe that some eighteen people passed by and nobody lent a helping hand? Unbelievable! And even when a Good Samaritan finally picked up the battered and bruised child from the street, nobody still ventured to lend a helping hand. And they’re spouting rubbish excuses about no legal protection for those who help others, lack of a Good Samaritan Act. It’s even been suggested that the van driver left her to die because it would be cheaper for him if she died, than if she lived with long-term injuries. Oh Friends, Jesus must surely be weeping bitter tears in heaven, both for the abused young, and the sick, sadistic adults existing in His future kingdom. I’m sure He realized how tame His story of the Good Samaritan was compared to this one. Oh mih breddren, how did we ever sink to such a disgusting level eh? Have we become so selfish and hard hearted that we’ve lost all the milk of human kindness? My people, there’s only one way to conquer this unfortunate malady that’s permeating our society; that’s by turning in true repentance to our Creator, because to have any hope of sincere change, we desperately need what the Lord promises in our Bit: ‘A new heart also will I give to you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.’ More on this tomorrow, if God in His wrath doesn’t decide to wipe us all out before then. And neither do I want to hear any nonsense about the Bit being too long, cause I’m sure if you or anyone close to you were involved in such shameful scenarios, you’d want the whole world to know and do something about it. I’m tired with our blooming hypocrisy. If it was a set of insipid jokes everybody would gladly read it to the end. But anything about God must be as short as possible. Chuh! But then, when we find we self between the devil and the deep blue sea, the first words we utter are ‘Oh God, help!’ And we expect Him to come running to our aid. But life doh work so nuh people. It takes two to tango and two hands to clap! Much LOVE!…a heart of stone…does not a human make…but one of LOVE…and true compassion…

 

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