Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2012 Ecclesiastes 3:8‏

Ecclesiastes 3:8,      A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Aye Friends, there’s a question I’ve been meaning to ask you all for some time, but I’ve never gotten around to it until now. If I’ve been amiss in my duty, please forgive me, because it’s a rather important question; possibly the most important question that each of us can ask ourselves right now. But then again, it might have simply been penciled in all along for today on the Lord’s calendar, so I’m right on time. (smile) However, before we get to the million-dollar question, let’s take a look at our Bit: ‘A time to LOVE, and a time of hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ We all know that comes from the famous chapter of Ecclesiastes on there being a time for every thing. And that’s the living truth Friends! And what time is this? The time for LOVE and PEACE! Oh my people the time for hate and war are over, long gone. It’s a new era now; one where peace and LOVE abound. That’s why this question is so important. And without further ado, here it is: Have you enlisted yet as a soldier in the LOVE Revolution of Jesus? Now the answer to that should ‘utopianly’ be a loud, unified, unanimous acclamation of YEAHHHHHHH!!! But unfortunately it’s not – far from it too. That’s why Jesus is now looking for soldiers, and in particular foot soldiers like Him, not those who want to sit in fancy offices in pretty uniforms with plenty medals covering their chests and give lots of orders, but soldiers who are ready and willing to go out into the field and make a difference by spreading LOVE! Oh Friends, how wonderful a job – no it’s not a job, neither a duty, but more…more of a calling, an enlightenment. So how wonderful that calling can be is something you’ll never truly comprehend from the outside looking in. You have to make a serious, conscious commitment to Jesus, to become involved in His LOVE Revolution before you can reap the benefits that are spread throughout the hard times. And believe you me, there will be hard times, I can testify to that from personal experience. But unless you get personally involved, neither will you ever know the refreshing, peaceful, exotic feeling you get when you suffer through those hard times without too much complaining, simply trusting in Jesus to fulfill the promises to see you through the difficult times, to never leave nor forsake you. Remember what Jesus said about simply working for Him. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) But He also said ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Therefore people, in the midst of all the hate and war, anger and resentment that are currently plaguing our world, Jesus has given us the power to have peace and good cheer as well as the ability to LOVE those around us. Hn! I can’t get over it nuh. What a wonderful Lord and Saviour we have mih bredden! One who hides nothing from us, tells it like it is, and keeps all His promises too! Wow! There’s NONE else like Him in the world! So Friends, why don’t we appreciate Him much more than we do eh? It grieves Him. I know that for a fact, because He wants ALL His family to come home to Him. He doesn’t want to lose even a single one to Beelzebub. And that’s what His LOVE Revolution is all about; bringing all His Father’s children home, to live in salvation and everlasting peace. So won’t you join the fight today? Open your heart. Jesus is calling, inviting you to come to Him, right this moment. And if you can’t come, or won’t come, He will gladly and willingly come to you, for He’s not too proud to do so. All you have to do is ask, and He’ll be there instantly. So as the old people would say; put your money where your mouth is nuh! Join up and let’s shower the world with LOVE in a LOVE Revolution led by none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who gave His holy, innocent and sinless life so that we undeserving sinners could be saved. Oh Friends, too many people either have not had the opportunity to hear the good news of the gospel, or they are fighting it tooth and nail. But LOVE is what makes the world go round and round, up and down. However, before people can accept it, we have to put the concept of LOVE out there for them, first in words and then most importantly IN ACTION! And we’ll end with some stirring words of Jesus that explains the whole concept: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) Oh Friends, that’s so plain and simple, self-explanatory really, like most of Jesus’ sayings. How can we not take them to heart and join His earth-shaking LOVE Revolution, which aims to revolutionize this angry, hateful, bitter world with the most wonderful emotion in existence, LOVE! Please join us today. The rewards – salvation and eternal life – are incomparable, and cannot be gotten anywhere else but under the LOVING embrace of Jesus! So before it’s too late, and there will come a time when it is, I implore us to wise up and try Jesus – RIGHT NOW! Much LOVE my brethren!…only insomuch as one LOVES…can one understand the true meaning of life…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2012 Leviticus 19:18

Leviticus 19:18.     Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

Oh Friends, it’s the big day, Friday! And all God’s people breathed a grateful sigh of relief and mouthed in true gratitude; ‘Oh, thank God it’s Friday!’ I know some of us have had a rougher week than others, but the beauty of having Jesus as our Saviour is that we can all lay down our burdens and rest in Him, in His peaceful, calm and caring personality. So let’s throw off that tiredness by now putting it in His hands, and also chanting our Friday Chant, to give us a better perspective on the upcoming weekend. As one loud and prayerful voice now: ‘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 with that perspective Friends, let’s see if we can’t do what our Bit commands us nuh: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ Some of you are displeased because we’re still focused on this Bit, but that’s just a spoiled brat attitude. And furthermore, how can we move on when we haven’t learned all the lessons it teaches? It’s like repeating a year or semester of school because we have failed our exams. And believe you me people, we are definitely failing this lesson of LOVING our neighbours as ourselves, else our world would not be in such a troubled state. The truth is that we will never be calm, peaceful and filled with true joy until we truly begin LOVING others as ourselves. But perhaps I’m being a bit presumptuous here, because if we’re not carrying out the first and greatest command of our God; to LOVE Him wholeheartedly, how can we be expected to carry out the second one; to LOVE our neighbours as ourselves? As the scriptures ask, how can you LOVE a God you can’t see, and not a neighbour that you can see? It is somewhat confusing, but believe me, it’s often much easier to LOVE the God you can’t see than the neighbour whose behaviour rankles our very being. But as believers, that’s what we’re called to do, and we’ll continue with some scriptures on the topic that I never got to yesterday. And we can only be blessed by hearing Jesus’ words once more. When asked about the most important commandments, He declared that LOVING the Father was the first and most important: ‘And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:31) Friends, those are words we ought to write indelibly in and on all parts of our beings to continually remind us of them. Then we ought to put them into sincere practice if we want to be seen as true Christians, and not the hypocrites that many, with good reason, take us to be. My brethren it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell us that we’re definitely not obeying the two most important commands of the ONE and ONLY TRUE God, Jehovah, and that if we continue this disobedience we’ll only end up in more hot water and greater calamity than we’re already facing. In Romans, Bruh Paul wisely advises us thus: ‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.’ (Rom.12:9) That should be simple common sense, not only for believers, but for all those who wish to live calm and peaceful lives, since evil only brings strife and stress. Later on, to the same Roman church, Bruh Paul, in talking about our LOVE walk, tells them: ‘Owe no man anything, but to LOVE one another: for he that LOVETH another hath fulfilled the law….LOVE worketh no ill to his neighbour; therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.’ (Rom.13:8,10) James also weighs in on the problem with these words of wisdom: ‘If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.’ (James 2:8) Oh Friends, isn’t it very encouraging to know that we’re doing well if we LOVE our neighbours as ourselves? It should be, but unfortunately it isn’t to too many of us. However, let’s go home with a biting bit of scripture from Bruh Paul to the Galatians: ‘For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.’ (Gal.5:14-15) Oh my people, truer words were never spoken, because we can now see it taking place in our crazy world, where there’s little or no LOVE, and we’re consuming each other like gluttons. How sad! But that’s the current nature of the beast. I implore us though to make positive changes as soon as possible, or else with all the strife and anger, resentment and call for vengeance, the greed and jealousy, plus the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, we’ll eventually wipe ourselves off of Mother Earth. All that’s now left to say is let’s wake up and smell the fresh bread that Jesus is so LOVINGLY baking for us, if we only do as He asks. It would surely be a sin if we allow it to go to waste, just because we didn’t LOVE each other. Much LOVE!…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…the consequences of disobedience is calamity…and ultimately death…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2012 Leviticus 19:18‏

Leviticus 19:18.     Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
 

Hi there mih people! How goes it? I hope it all goes well with you. And if by chance it doesn’t, then I certainly hope that you are resting safe and secure in the LOVING arms of Jesus, giving ALL your problems to Him, while taking up His easy yoke and light burden, for that’s why He sacrificed His holy, innocent life on our behalf. He redeemed our sins so that we could live a decent, comfortable, prosperous life here on earth. But by the same token, we also have a very important part to play in making His words come true. And today Friends, you’re not going to hear much from me, cause I’m going to jam us with scripture. And I can hear some of you in the background saying, ‘Thank you Lord.’ (smile) Today we’re going to invest in scripture that pertains to the second most important command of our God, which we are not obeying, and which is causing a myriad of serious problems in our world. And it all begins with our Bit: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ Yesterday we looked at scripture that pertained to the first part, vengeance, today we’ll look at some that deal with the second half; LOVING our neighbours as ourselves. But first, here’s a scripture on vengeance that I just discovered and felt compelled to share. It’s from Proverbs, wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Say not thou, I will recompense (repay) evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.’ (Prov.20:22) Please remember that Friends: REVENGE is the Lord’s job, not ours. We have to wait patiently and let Him do His thing on our behalf in His own, good time. Now moving on to the second part of our Bit: ‘thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ Oh Friends, when I consider how we disobey that command, I just have to bow my head in shame and ask the Lord to be merciful unto us, because our lack of decency towards each other is the major source of most of our problems. We will never like everybody, but it’s our God-given responsibility, as Christians, to treat each other decently; be kind, merciful and forgiving. Remember Jesus said that whatever we sow we shall eventually reap. And my people, that’s exactly what’s happening in our world today; we’re reaping the evil fruits of the evil seeds we’ve sown. Can you imagine what a truly wonderful world this would be if we just treated each other the way we’d like to be treated? Oh mih breddren, there’d be such joy in heaven and also here on earth! But we’ve become so selfish and greedy that we expect others to treat us well, even though we treat them like garbage. Anyway, enough of me, let’s get to the scriptures I promised before time and space runs out. And we’ll start with Jesus during the famous Sermon on the Mount, where He proclaimed: ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt.5:43-48) Oh Friends, that’s the bedrock of Jesus’ philosophy; do good regardless of the circumstances. And I did not plan to quote all of that, but the Spirit said to do it, so therefore being the obedient son I am, I did. (smile) Then later on in Matthew 19, when the rich, young ruler asks Jesus about gaining eternal life, He quotes him the Ten Commandments, amongst them being: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Matt.19:19) Again, when some smart aleck lawyer tries to give Jesus a run for His money and asks about how to inherit eternal life, Jesus asked him what was written in the law? The lawyer replied: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he (Jesus) said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.’ (Luke 10:27-28) But like most lawyers, thinking they’re so smart, he tries to one-up Jesus by asking who was his neighbour. This led Jesus to tell them the parable of the Good Samaritan. And right there Friends, we have what’s wrong with our world. The priest and Levite, supposed holy and righteous men of his own culture were too busy and selfish to look after the injured man. But the Samaritan, a veritable enemy, had the Love, mercy and kindness to stop and look after him. Oh my brethren, that’s the kind of world Jesus wants us to build! As He said earlier, LOVE thine enemies, that way they’ll see the real Christian Spirit of Jesus in us. Think back to the Bit a few days ago where we spoke of the Anglican minister with the two Muslim workers, working in harmony to help all and sundry, regardless of race or creed. That’s what LOVING our neighbours as ourselves truly is. And for all of our sakes, let’s try to do more of that nuh Friends, so that out heavenly Father will smile down on us. It’s definitely in our own best interest. Much LOVE!…it can’t be said too often… you reap what you sow…so sow good seed…that you may reap good fruit…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2012 Leviticus 19:18‏

Leviticus 19:18.     Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. I am the Lord.

Oh Friends, morning has broken, beautiful and serene, just like that first morning eons ago! And our Creator, the Lord God Jehovah, is still sitting pretty on His throne, still running things, just like back then, and will continue to do so throughout eternity. So how can we not bow in praise, thanksgiving and worship to such an omnipotent Being eh? And just to show how mighty is our God-head, let’s listen to some of the attributes of the Son, Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, from Anne Graham Lotz’s book, My Jesus is…Everything: ‘My Jesus – He guards the young. He seeks the stray. He finds the lost. He guides the faithful. He rights the wronged. He avenges the abused. He defends the weak. He comforts the oppressed. He welcomes the prodigal. He heals the sick. He cleanses the dirty. He beautifies the barren. He restores the failure. He mends the broken. He blesses the poor. He fills the empty. He clothes the naked. He satisfies the hungry. He elevates the humble. He forgives the sinner. He raises the dead! My Jesus is… Everything!’ And that’s the living truth Friends! Jesus is all that and even more! And though we know that Jesus is our be all and end all, yet we still go against the second most important command in His Word, which our Bit so poignantly describes: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ What’s so hard to understand in that eh people? The verse contains three basic facts: Don’t bear any grudges or try to avenge any wrongdoing on your own. That’s MY job! LOVE your neighbour as yourself. That’s YOUR task! And last but not least; the Lord, He is God! Two, simple, straightforward commands, and one definite statement. But somehow or other, we can’t seem to understand and/or accept them, for down through the ages we’ve been thoroughly disobedient on each count. Let’s take a closer look at the first command: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (retaliate), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people.’ But what’s ruling the world right now eh Friends? Grudges and vengeance! Strife and resentment, some that even date back centuries, are currently front and centre, causing most of our troubles. There’s strife and violent rivalries between parents, siblings, whole families, economies and nations. Gang warfare in both large and small neighbourhoods is on the increase at a time when we can least afford it, causing untold fear and worry to the residents. And instead of putting a stop to it, we seem to be stoking the fires a little more every day, with some new arena of strife coming on board, but unfortunately none leaving. Oh my brethren, the Good Book tells us several times that vengeance belongs to the Most High God whom we worship, not us. So why are we still trying to do it ourselves? Let’s refresh our memories with some of those scriptures; hopefully they’ll bring a new outlook to our minds. In Deuteronomy, the Lord once again lays down the law in no uncertain terms: ‘To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.’ (Deut.32:35) Then in 1st Samuel, when Bruh David has the opportunity to kill his deadly enemy Saul, he instead follows the Lord’s command and tells Saul: ‘The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord avenge me of (on) thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.’ (1 Sam.24:12-13) Oh people, how many of us would have passed up such a glorious opportunity for revenge eh? Most of us would have surely sent Saul to his maker. But Bruh David understood the principle and wisely left Saul to God. Then in Romans, Bruh Paul painstakingly reminds us of the vengeance situation. ‘Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom.12:19-21) Oh Friends, Bruh Paul is there quoting our Bit and the verse from Deuteronomy above, as well as Proverbs 25:21-22. Then he ends with the basic philosophy of Jesus; do good and not evil. Please, if we’re going to be true followers of Jesus, we need to get on board the train for good deeds, not the one for evil. It’s the only way our children, our world, and some of us will survive. Much LOVE!…don’t fear…we’ll all get our comeuppance… in the Lord’s time…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2012 Leviticus 19:18‏

Leviticus 19:18.       Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

Top o’ the morning to all you, my beautiful Friends in Christ Jesus! May He bless and keep you safe this day that He’s seen fit to breathe the breath of life into your temporal body. Hn! What a way the ole fella waxing preacher-like this morning. (smile) Ah Friends, we’re indeed quite lucky to be granted another day on this wonderful but very troubled planet. Now, originally I wasn’t planning to share this story, but the Spirit kept prodding me about it, so here it is. Last night I went to an Anglican Church Women’s Corporate Communion service, where, as is becoming the norm, the priest and I were the only two men amongst a bevy of women. Now whether that’s good or not, we won’t comment. (smile) However, the guest speaker, a female Anglican priest doing ministry in a lower class neighbourhood of Toronto, with a very diverse group of people and religions, told this story. To begin with, the two people who work for her are Muslims, but their religion doesn’t interfere with their daily roles of helping others who can’t help themselves. They don’t try to convert each other, although the Muslim and Christian faiths are the only two of the high profile ones that preach conversion. People of all different faiths and backgrounds, especially a lot of new immigrants come through their doors for help, and though they see her priest’s collar, know that she’s an Anglican minister, that doesn’t matter in the least, because life is not about religion, but about helping each other. And as she points out, that’s what Jesus was all about; helping others. And though He ostensibly came to save His people, Israel, He hobnobbed with all sorts of people; rich, poor, of different faiths, cultures and religions, sick, healthy, you name it and He stood up for them. But He never made conversion to His faith a basis for getting His help. Unfortunately though, in our selfish, small-minded, parochial religious world, lots of times, that’s often the case. The guest speaker gave a very telling example of this unchristian action. Recently her ministry was turfed out of their place in a neighbourhood Plaza and had to move into a condominium basement since there wasn’t enough funds to rent something more suitable. Anyhow, before it actually happened, a minister from another Christian denomination came to see how he could help, but unfortunately could not because his denomination didn’t offer help without efforts at conversion. How sad eh! She said she saw how broken up and disappointed the man was because his personal feelings were being forced aside by the foolish and selfish dictates of his denomination. Oh Friends, Christ never did, and never will turn anyone away, regardless of their personal faith, if they sincerely came to Him for practical, physical help in this sinful, ungodly world! His testimony was helping all those who needed help despite their personal beliefs. But hypocritical mankind in our subservience to Lucifer and his evil powers, seem to see it otherwise. That reminds me of some friends of my younger daughter who are of different faiths and ethnicity, but they associate very nicely together. They come to our house, eat, drink, sleep and converse without religion being a controversial topic, because we all respect the other’s faith. And that’s the way it ought to be! And isn’t it sad that the biggest players on the controversial religious stage, Muslims, Christians and Jews, are all the descendants of our father Abraham? He must be turning over in his grave, or very upset up in heaven, at the sordid mess his descendants are making of God’s beautiful planet Earth. Oh Friends, we all know that there’s ONLY ONE TRUE GOD, and that same God has seriously instructed and warned us that the most important thing in our lives after LOVING Him, is to LOVE our fellow man as ourselves, because we’re all made in His image, regardless of the faith we profess. I guess we’ll use that as our Bit, since I don’t have one as yet. ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ Oh my people the Lord gave us that directive thousands of years ago, and it still holds true, but it’s time for us to wake up and realize that religion should be a practical exercise, a practical challenge in LOVE and help, not merely a mental exercise that brings no true practicality to the basic, everyday needs of life, which Jesus was all about. Granted, He laid out doctrines, but the doctrines were never more important than the practical aspects of His ministry. So fine, the doctrine says you shouldn’t work on the Sabbath, but does that mean you shouldn’t help someone who’s suffering because it’s the Sabbath? Of course not! But unfortunately that’s the way we’re operating on too many levels. Remember religion is supposed to be the opiate of the people; something that eases pain, brings peace and calm to our souls and lives. But it’s definitely not doing that! How could it with all the divisions and divisiveness that are currently working in all the major faiths? Oh Friends, I don’t know if this Bit is cohesive and well written, because it comes from my heart and not my mind, but I implore us to get rid of our personal hang-ups, of those of our religious denominations, and to start living the practical life of LOVE that Jesus lived and died for. If we’re not living a practical life of LOVE, then we’re not walking in Jesus’ footsteps, for all He did, each and every day, was go out into the world and help whomever He could. Now that should also be our goal, both personally and as a part of His Church. As I keep telling my family, you can’t talk LOVE, you’ve got to walk it, live it out in your lives. Please, let’s concentrate on doing that nuh, rather than trying to tear each other up or down, simply because of the faith we belong to. Jesus came to unite, not separate us, so let’s concentrate on unity and not separation. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen! Much LOVE mih people!…LOVE means action…doing something to show you care…not a whole set of useless talk…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2012 Romans 12:2‏

Romans 12:2.    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

Oh Friends, our heavenly Father has once again blessed us this Monday morning with a strong breath of life, so let’s be up and about His business nuh; no mewling and whimpering. Remember Jesus’ answer when confronted by His parents, after He remained in Jerusalem reasoning with the elders in the temple: ‘How is it that ye sought me? Wist (knew) ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:49) Well Friends, unfortunately we also have important duties to perform for our God. I know it’s Monday and difficult to get moving, but it’s what we signed up for when we accepted Jesus. So let’s get energized by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in full voice. As one 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!’ That ought to get our adrenalin flowing. And to further propel us, let’s consider the wise advice of our Bit: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ Now the whole purpose of becoming a Christian is to become like Christ, as much as is humanly possible. However, that doesn’t come naturally, for our basic human nature fights against it, thus we have to consciously remake, retool ourselves in Christ’s image. And to do that we need to take three ground floor actions; don’t conform to the world’s sinful, ungodly nature, but transform ourselves, by first renewing our mind, changing the way we think, and therefore act, which will then be the way God wants us to act. John describes this quite nicely in his first Epistle: ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) Wow! Friends! That’s true, true gospel! If we follow the world and its unholy lusts, we’ll definitely end up in Hades with Lucifer and all his evil cohorts, separated from the living God for all eternity. And believe me, that’s the worst thing that can ever happen to a spiritual being, such as we are! So if we truly want to ‘prove what is (the) good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,’then we have to take Bruh Paul’s advice to the Ephesians: ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph.4:23-24) That means refraining from things like; lying; letting anger seethe in our souls, thus allowing Lucifer a foothold for evil; stealing, but instead working honestly; gossiping, but rather talking encouraging and uplifting stuff. (Eph.4:25-29) Bruh Paul then sums it up with this poignant verse: ‘And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ (Eph.4:30) Yes Friends, the Spirit of God is truly grieved and disappointed when we claim to be His children, but do things that obviously fall outside His will. Therefore, if we really want to be excellent soldiers in Christ’s army, we have to continually, read, study and meditate on His Word, then take those actions He desires us to take, not our own, or the world’s. It’s the only way to be a true believer. Much LOVE!…the transformation from sinner to saint…is a rigorous…but oh so rewarding process…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2012 Romans 12:2‏

Romans 12:2.:   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Ah mih Friends, it’s another day in the life! A life where we are constantly bombarded by the cares and concerns of the world, especially in these seriously troubled times. And being merely human, these worldly problems often weigh us down to the point where we are ready to give up. But please remember that believers in Christ NEVER GIVE UP! And a persevering and steadfast nature against whatever odds we face is one of the signs that the Spirit of Christ is truly in us. Now the best way to resist and eventually conquer worldly matters is by following our Bit: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ Yes mih breddren, the only way to beat this world is by not conforming to it, not allowing the things it considers so important to overwhelm us and/ or make us lose faith, when we can’t measure up to its demands. And that’s only possible when the LOVE of Jesus, His faith and strength are continually working in us! Remember what Bruh Paul says about accepting Christ: ‘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) That’s right Friends, to become a true believer we have to get rid of all the old, worldly stuff in our lives, and the first place that change must begin is in our minds, for our minds are the controlling mechanisms of our beings. So if we don’t change our way of thinking, then nothing much will ever change in our lives, and being born again in Christ, literally means that some things must change. As Bruh Paul says in the verse before our Bit: ‘I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service.’ (Rom.12:1) Now hear the scholars explain it; they term it Dedication to God’s Will. ‘God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in all of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a ‘living sacrifice.’ Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God. (John 7:17) Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing.’ And their First Reference is Gen.22:12, where Abraham is about to kill Isaac as God requested, but is stopped at the last moment, when God says to him: ‘for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing that thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.’ Oh Friends, that’s what you call true obedience and real faith! God had promised Abraham to be the father of many through Isaac, but was then told to sacrifice him. Hn! How many of us would have prepared for the sacrifice with no arguments, like Abraham eh? Not too many, I suspect. We’d be more like holding our heads and bawling, crying out to God for some explanation of the inconsistency.  Remember though people, ours is not to question God, just to obey whatever He says, even when things don’t look right, for He drew up the original plan for the world, and has everything under control.  Now let’s go home with some appropriate words, from James: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is the (makes himself an) enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) And the scholars weigh in with this explanation: ‘As Israel was a spiritual adulteress, unfaithful to God, so the church is a spiritual adulteress when she is the unfaithful bride of Christ (cf. Hos.2:5, 19, 20; Matt.12:39) One cannot be both a lover of God, and a lover of the world.’Let’s remember those wise and very true words my people, and let them dictate the way we live; for God. More on this tomorrow, provided we’re still alive and kicking. Much LOVE!…Ye cannot serve two masters…Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Lucifer)… (Matt.6:24)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2012 Psalm 118:6

Psalm 118:6.    The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

Ah Friends, the eccentricity of the weather in my area is causing uncertainties in both people and plants. After a few days of very warm temps, yesterday it was in the low teens, windy and cool. Now today it’s supposed to be even cooler, then warm tomorrow and cool again for the next couple days. People at least have some indication of what it will be like each day, so they can prepare to suit, but the poor plants have no such luck, they work by instinct and familiarity. However, the weather has been anything but familiar this year, and thus the flora are in a quandary as to bloom now or not. I looked out my backyard yesterday afternoon and all the trees were still dry and leafless, except for an apple tree full of yellowish leaves. Now what message did that apple tree get that the others didn’t eh? I have no idea, but Friends, I have this sure message for us; today and every day. When we are caught up in perplexing and calamitous situations, please remember these words of our Bit, taken from a Psalm of thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation. ‘The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?’ Nothing really my people, but possibly kill ourbodies. And even then, we have strong encouragement from Jesus saying not to be afraid of those who can only kill our bodies, but not our souls. However we should beware of those who can kill both in hell. (Matt.10:28) So of mankind we should not be afraid, but certainly of the powers of spiritual darkness who can kill both our bodies and souls. Now in answer to all that, Bruh David proclaims boldly and eloquently in Psalm 27: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’(Ps.27:1) And again in Psalm 56, he offers up trust and confidence in the God of his fathers: ‘When I cry unto thee, then shall my enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.’ (Ps.56:9-11) Oh Friends, I know it’s not always easy to stand on those platforms of trust and confidence when the evils of the world and their purveyors come against us. But if the Christian faith is truly strong in us, we will be able to withstand the attacks of the wicked. Unfortunately though, one can only develop true and strong faith by undergoing tough times, where we buckle down with the Word, with prayer, with remembrance and thanksgiving for all the Lord’s already done for us. It doesn’t come easy, and one has to make a conscious and serious decision to see things through the eyes of faith. The great men of faith also struggled, sometimes long and hard too. It took Moses sometime to reach the stage where he could confidently declare: ‘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) That’s after the Lord parted the Red Sea and led the Israelites safely away from the Egyptian army, which He then annihilated through the rush of the returning waters. Oh my people, doubts will always assail us in this evil and ungodly world, but if the Lord is safely and surely ensconced in our hearts minds and souls, we will be able to deflect the fiery arrows of the enemy. And sadly, right now is one of those times when we desperately need strong and steadfast faith; what with our world been in such a calamitous state. Mankind has gone astray from God’s will and is thus paying a hefty price, which will only get worse if we continue our disobedience. But please remember, as believers in Christ, we have nothing to fear but fear itself, for there is one constant in this world, the Lord God Almighty, who never changes, who has promised us security, and has definitely proven Himself faithful under all circumstances. But we first have to come to Him in true trust and surrender, believing that He is who He says He is, and will always do what He says. We went through that in our Bit of the last few days, so it should come as no surprise. Therefore, in closing, let’s listen to these words of encouragement and exhortation from Bruh David that will keep us enthused, uplifted and on the straight and narrow path to Jesus. ‘My soul (silently) wait thou only upon God: for my expectation (hope) is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (shaken). In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.’ (Ps.62:5-8) My fellow brethren in Christ, please let’s take these words to heart, so that they can enable us to stand steadfast and strong in faith as our world reels from one disaster to another. Much LOVE!…what shall we then say to these things…if God be for us…who can be against us… NOBODY…  (Rom.8:31)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2012 Numbers 23:1

Numbers 23:19.    God is not man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make good?

Oh Friends, it’s that wonderful day again, Friday! And a loud shout rises from the workforce: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes!’ Yes mih people, the weekend is upon us, bringing a brief respite from our labours. But since it’s so short, we need to use it wisely. And to help us do that, let’s chant our Friday Chant, as one grateful body now: ‘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 now that we’ve set the proper perspective for the weekend, let’s turn to our very profound and encouraging Bit: ‘God is not man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?’ Oh my people, words of gospel truth from the living God we worship! Yesterday we looked at several scriptures that dealt with the first half of our Bit: ‘God is not man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent:’ Today I have one more to share on that subject. It comes from James in his discourse on faith and humility. He wisely and sincerely tells us: ‘Do not err (be deceived), my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.’ (James:16-17) Now here’s a word from the scholars on that; ‘Since all changes are either for the better or for the worse, God is unchanging because He is perfect and cannot get better nor become worse. The Scriptures describe God’s nature, will, and character as immutable or unchanging. Illustration: To be immutable, however, does not mean to be immobile. God also has the qualities of personality and can act, think, create, and make decisions. Application: God is unchanging, therefore, Christians can depend on His LOVE and power, because God has not changed since biblical times.’ And all God’s people made a joyful noise to God for His wonderful attributes and His unchanging nature! Now let’s turn to the second part of our Bit: ‘hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?’ Oh yes my brethren, all that our great God says, He’ll definitely do and make good, no doubt about it! Listen to Him admonish Moses when the Israelites cried out for meat, which the Lord promised, but Moses doubted His ability to provide. ‘And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short (Is the Lord’s power limited)? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.’ (Num.11:23) Later on, quail rained down like water around the Israelite camp. Oh Friends, that shows that even a man of great faith like Moses, who had seen so many miracles, was still only a man, thus limited by finite faith and intelligence. Then there’s Cousin Sol, who at the end of his great prayer: ‘And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest (peace) unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.’ (1 Kin.8:55-56) And we’ll end with an everlasting declaration of truth and faithfulness, after the Lord successfully moved the Israelites into the Promised Land: ‘And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And the Lord gave them rest (peace) round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before (against) them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not aught (Not a word failed) of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of  Israel; all came to pass.’ (Josh.21:43-45) Oh Friends, there’s no more to say! We’ve heard it all! Our God is truthful, faithful and all powerful! Whatever He says or promises will come to pass, both negative and positive stuff! So if we’re wise, we’ll follow the One who truly LOVES and cares for us, the Lord God Jehovah. He’s already shown that great and wonderful unconditional LOVE by offering His Son Jesus as a one-time sacrifice for all our sins, then from His eternal store of grace, offers us free salvation and eternal life by just believing on Jesus. Wow! What an awesome and magnanimous God we serve my people! Please, don’t ever doubt or forget it! Much LOVE!…there are no suitable words in man’s limited vocabulary to truly describe our amazing God…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2012 Numbers 23:19‏

Numbers 23:19.    God is not man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make good?

Aye mih breddren, we’ve been granted another day on beautiful planet earth! Praise the Lord! And in my neck of the woods, unbelievably, it’s summer! Hn! I’m still taking it with a grain of salt though, for when and where have you ever heard of twenty something degree temps in the middle of March in the northern climes eh? It seems we’ve just bypassed spring and gone straight into summer mode, as the trees are still brown, dry and brittle, with no leaves whatsoever, for there’s been no rain to talk about either. The birds are singing their thanks and praises to God early in the mornings though. (smile) And I surely hope that we believers are doing the same. Now let’s get straight into our Bit: ‘God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?’ Yesterday we looked at its basic context; with Balak, king of Moab, hiring Balaam, a false prophet to curse the Israelites, who were coming close to his kingdom in their travel through the wilderness to the Promised Land, and since he’d heard of how they had annihilated other societies, he and his people were sore afraid. But Balaam kept saying, through God’s spiritual intervention, that he could not curse of defy Israel for God had them protected. We also saw how our Bit related to God’s unchanging nature, and His inability to lie since one of His many attributes was TRUTH. Then we began looking at scriptures that corroborated the first part of our Bit: ‘For God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent:’ Unfortunately we only got into one scripture; that where Samuel tells Saul that the Lord’s taken his kingship of Israel. (1 Sam.15:29) Now let’s continue with scriptures that pertain to the first part of our Bit. First up is Isaiah, when he tells the people, who were looking to Egypt for protection, that it’s God, not Egypt who will defend Judah: ‘Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil (disaster), and will not call back (retract) his words; but will arise against the house of evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity.’  (Is.31:2) Then in Chapter 51, re the faithful being called to courage, Isaiah again speaks to God’s unchanging nature: ‘Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax (grow) old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished (broken).’ (Is.51:6) And Jeremiah, in lamenting over Judah, solemnly and sadly declares: ‘For this hath the Lord said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent (relent), neither will I turn back from it.’ (Jer.4:27-28) Oh Friends, what will it take for us to understand the great significance and importance of God’s Word, though spoken eons ago, to our current life in these wicked and ungodly times eh? Mankind has been living basically the same way since Adam and Even sinned, but the Lord God Jehovah in His utmost wisdom and great mercy spoke through His prophets, then sent His Only Son Jesus to earth to show us exactly what He desires of us. But sadly we’re still ignoring Him. And if His Word does not change, neither His personality, what can we expect from our disobedience but sorrow and calamity? It’s written right there in the Good Book which most of us acknowledge as being a guide for earthly living, but we mostly do so with our mouth, not with our actions. It traces centuries of time, and graphically shows that when societies are obedient to His will, they prosper, and when they’re not, they suffer. Yet we still choose to follow Beelzebub and his lying, deceitful ways. How wise is that eh? The prophet Malachi, when talking about the paying of tithes, which Israel weren’t doing at the time, said on God’s behalf: ‘For I am the Lord, I change not: therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein (in what way) shall we return?’ (Mal,3:6-7) Oh my people, it’s the same thing God’s saying to us today; return to me and I will return to you. But being foolish and pigheaded, we, like the Israelites before us, are asking in what way? In every way Friends! For it’s obvious that we’re disobedient, evil, ungodly, perverse and everything that’s dark and negative – a la Lucifer! Fellow believers, the times they are getting more calamitous every day, so let’s wake up and realize what’s happening nuh. Disobedience to the Creator of the universe is a patently stupid act! Let’s stop being deceived by the powers of darkness and instead look wisely to Jesus, in whom all our needs and desires can be fulfilled, in addition to His free gifts of salvation and eternal life. Now that’s indeed true wisdom! Much LOVE!…let him who has ears, hear…disobedience to God brings negative consequences…obedience to God, brings positive consequences…and that’s the gospel truth…
 

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