Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2012 Acts 1:5

Acts 1:5.     For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
 
Well a blessed day to all you fellow believers in Christ Jesus! Our God is on His throne, in full control of the universe, and we’re alive, gratefully ready to receive the new mercies and blessings He’s pouring down on us today. Just wish though, that He’d pour down some blessings of rain in my neck of the woods. The weather forecasters have been promising rain for ages, but despite the appearance of dark clouds every so often, nary a drop of heavenly water has fallen upon the land in at least a couple weeks. But as we just said, the Lord’s in control, so hopefully He has a higher plan in mind. It would be greatly appreciated though if we could pray for some rain. In the meanwhile, let’s hear this quote from a Joyce Meyer Devotional. It tells us: ‘That the best days you live are the ones you spend LOVING other people!’ And isn’t that the God-awesome truth mih breddren! That’s because there’s no higher emotion than LOVE! So let’s get out into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us and LOVE some body or bodies’ today nuh Friends! But one word of caution; we can’t do that unless the anointing of our Bit covers us: ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ Yes mih people, we can’t truly LOVE others unless that wonderful Spirit of Jesus richly dwells in us. Now today I want to look at some other scriptures where Jesus promised the coming or sending of the Holy Spirit. But first let’s hear from the scholars, re the Spirit’s indwelling. ‘One of God’s purposes since the beginning has been to dwell with humanity and enjoy fellowship with us. He does it in this dispensation through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1) occurs automatically when a person is saved: (2) is not an ‘experience,’ but produces spiritual experiences: (3) remains permanently: (4) is the basis of all the other ministries of the Holy Spirit; and (5) is the source of new life in the believer. Illustration: When Paul met 12 disciples of John who did not know of the Holy Spirit, he knew they needed to be saved. So he preached the gospel to them (acts 19:1-5). Application: The Holy Spirit’s indwelling should motivate the believer to be careful not to harm his body nor indulge his body in sin (1 Cor.6:19-20).’ Yes Friends, that’s the basic working of the Holy Spirit. He’s the worker bee of the Trinity, as I recently termed Him. Now it’s time to hear directly from Jesus, re the provision of that Spirit. Listen to Him in John, where He tells the disciples: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (Helper), that he may abide with you for ever, Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) Oh Friends, what a wonderful man and friend is our Jesus! Now here’s another word from the scholars, re the Comforter. ‘The Greek word parakletos literally means ‘one called alongside to help,’ hence the idea of a comforter. The Holy Spirit is called another comforter because this is also one of Christ’s title (1 John 2:1, transl, ‘advocate’) Illustration: The Father is also known as the God of All Comfort (2 Cor.1:3) Though those in the early church often endured persecutions, they found their comfort in the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31). Application: Today, Christians can find comfort in the Holy Spirit when trials come. (John 7:37-39)’ Oh my people, how great and considerate is our God! There’s none other like Him! Now listen to Jesus later on in the same conversation with the disciples: ‘These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter (Helper), which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ (John 14:25-26) Yes Friends, as the scholars explain; the Holy Spirit is a person, not a force, which will enable the apostles to remember all the words and works of Jesus when they were writing the New Testament. And finally, we’ll touch on the importance Jesus placed on the coming of the Comforter. Just before His ascension, He tells the disciples: ‘And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry (stay, wait) ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.’ (Luke 24:49) And the disciples heeded His advice and stayed in Jerusalem until that remarkable and memorable Day of Pentecost when the promise of the coming of the Comforter was fulfilled. Oh my brethren, as followers of, and believers in Jesus Christ, His indwelling Spirit is the most important thing we possess! It’s been given to lead and guide us safely through our earthly pilgrimage, but sadly, many of us aren’t as well acquainted with the remarkable inner Being as we should, which is why many of us are not getting His full benefits. Please, I strongly advise us, implore us, whatever, to get in touch, in close relationship with our indwelling Helpmeet, so that both our lives and God’s glorious kingdom can prosper and flourish right here on planet Earth. Much LOVE!…oh…to be walking in step with the Spirit of Christ…it’s the most wonderful thing in a believer’s life…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2012 Acts 1:5

Acts 1:5.    For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
 
Oh Friends, it’s a new day and we’re still alive and kicking! Wow! Praise the Lord! Now here’s an interesting prayer to start our days, taken from Dr. Robert H Schuller’s Daily Devotional, attributed to Norman Grub (1895-1993) an American missionary, statesman, writer and theological teacher. It says: ‘Good morning Christ. I LOVE You! What are you up to today? I want to be part of it! Thank You God. Amen!’ Isn’t that nice Friends; simple and straightforward? For sure! I believe that’s the kind of prayer the Lord truly appreciates, because though it’s so short and simple, it still fulfills all the necessities. It glorifies Him with LOVE; is humble, yet confident, and displays a whole lot of enthusiasm and preparedness to do whatever Jesus desires. Oh my people, are we displaying those properties in our prayers to our ever-LOVING God? I sure hope so. Now let’s continue looking at the wonderful workings of the Holy Spirit, beginning with the heart warming promise of Jesus in our Bit: ‘For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ And even more compelling and heart warming was the fulfillment of that promise on the Day of Pentecost! Now today, I want to share two Old Testament examples of the Spirit being used on particular individuals, and also a couple more instances where the Lord promised it. And the first of those instances of the Holy Spirit on man that we want to share comes from the very important prophet Isaiah. In Chapter 61, where he’s bringing good tidings of salvation to Zion, he confidently declares: ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek (poor); he hath sent me to bind up (heal) the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.’ (Is.61:1) And the Spirit of God obviously had to be on him, especially in those olden times, for him to do such mighty deeds! Now hear Ezekiel after the Lord commissioned him to be a prophet: ‘So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat (anger) of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.’ (Ezek. 3:14) But nuh must Friends! The Lord’s hand is strong upon all whom His Spirit indwells! Ezekiel, like Jeremiah, had a hard time accepting God’s commission, but as always, the Lord’s will prevailed. Please my people, when the Lord comes a calling on us to perform some particular work in His Holy Name, please, let’s not fight it, for we will only cause ourselves unnecessary trouble, grief and heartache, since the Lord will eventually prevail. And I can testify to that from personal experience, for when He approached me about writing the Bit, like Sara, I laughed. But here I am some six years later, writing it with pleasure. Yes Friends, when the Lord says jump, it’s best to ask right away, how high Lord? That’s because the longer you delay and complain, the higher you’ll eventually have to jump. Now here are two more instances from the Old Testament where the Lord promised to send His Spirit upon His people. Yesterday we heard from Joel (Joel 2:28-29) today, let’s listen first to Isaiah declare that the Spirit of God would be in Israel: ‘Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.’ (Is.44:2-4) Then Ezekiel proudly proclaims in his promise of restoration and renewal of Israel: ‘And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you (them); and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances (judgements), and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.’ (Ezek.11:19-20) Ah Friends, yuh see how our wise and mighty God works! Each prophet that arose in Israel, though they brought some sad tidings, they always brought that faithful and everlasting promise of rebirth, of restoration, reconciliation and salvation from the God of their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And note too, how it all dovetailed smoothly and was fulfilled by the coming of Jesus. That was God’s plan from day one! So in light of all those promises and their fulfillment in the earthly pilgrimage and person of Jesus, how can we ever doubt the authenticity and truth of the Good Book eh? Oh Friends, I’ll leave us to ponder that today, and also strongly advise us to get in touch, in close relationship with the Holy Spirit of Christ which indwells us, for He’s there to lead and guide us. However, since He’s not the pushy, aggressive type, if we don’t consciously seek Him out and ask for His wise and godly advice, then follow it, we’ll surely get lost on the highway to hell, taunted by, and falling for Lucifer’s evil wiles and lies. And we definitely don’t want that to happen! So please cozy up to the Holy Spirit today. It’s wisdom at it’s finest. Much LOVE! …we cannot stay on the straight and narrow path…without the Holy Spirit’s help…  P.S. The Bit was late, partially because my young daughter called me on the phone this morning and had me gabbing instead of writing. (smile) 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2012 Acts 1:5

Acts 1:5.     For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
 
Oh Friends, the ole fella’s a bit messed up this morning, both in body and mind, but thankfully all’s well with my basic soul! (smile) My messed up self was caused by having to go into Toronto yesterday on one of the hottest days on record, thirty some degrees. And sadly, my once beloved T.O. is daily becoming a true example of a concrete jungle. All over the city humongous towers of concrete and steel are rising up, to capture the condo market, which doesn’t seem to be slowing down, at exorbitant prices too. The poor already find it difficult to live in the crowded city, soon it will be impossible. This only makes for even more traffic jams, which I unfortunately got caught in on my way home. But you would have been proud of me; I kept my cool, although my right knee and ankle began aching from all the stop and go, brake and gas pedal movement, I listened to some tunes and finally got home about seventy five minutes after I hit the highway, which normally would only have taken about thirty minutes. Then last night my sleep wasn’t the greatest, and this morning my sinuses are acting up some. But all praise to the Good Lord Jehovah and the amazing power of His Holy Spirit, I’m still excited about the Word and the awesome workings of that Spirit which we’ll continue to talk about today! Let’s hope I can put some meaningful stuff together. But then why not, since one of the jobs of the Spirit is to lead and guide the Lord’s people in all activities. So Holy Spirit, I humbly ask You now to move in my lowly spirit, enlighten and enable me to write encouraging truth, so that all who read it will be encouraged in the faith and trust of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen! And what better way to start off than by sharing the wonderful promise of Christ enshrined in our Bit: ‘For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ And we saw that promise faithfully fulfilled on the miraculous Day of Pentecost, some fifty days after Jesus spoke it! Now since the Holy Spirit is like the worker bee in the Trinity, it’s very important that we understand what it’s all about, so I’ll attempt to give us a brief history and explanation of its workings. And the best way to begin seems to be by an explanation of how the Spirit worked before Pentecost. Hear the scholars: ‘Before Pentecost the Holy Spirit’s work had been (1) from without (‘Spirit came upon’); (2) temporary; and (3) exceptional. After Pentecost the Spirit’s work is (1) from within (He indwells – John 7:37-39; 14:17; 1 Cor. 6:19; 1 John 3:24; 4:13); (2) permanent (Rom. 8:9); and (3) normal, involving all (1 Cor.12:12) Under the Old (Mosaic) Covenant, God’s work with Israel had been external, but under the New Covenant, it is internal (Ezek. 36:26-27; Heb.8:9-10) All that simply means Friends, that before Pentecost not everybody was infused with the Holy Spirit. One either had to be exceptionally godly, like the prophets, or chosen to perform some specific task(s) which called for spiritual power. Please read all those scriptures given by the scholars, so that you can become better acquainted with the Spirit’s workings. However, after Pentecost, the Spirit was endowed upon every individual believer in Christ. It then became a universal adjunct to all followers, infusing each and everyone with Christ’s Spirit as He had promised. That brings us to a part of Peter’s great speech on Pentecost, where he quotes the prophet Joel, who prophetically promised the eventual outpouring on all believers. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the (men) servants and upon the handmaids (maid servants) in those days will I pour out my spirit.’ (Joel 2:28-29) And as all the promises of God, that one was faithfully fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost! Oh Friends, I just can’t help reminding us of what a generous and LOVING God we serve and worship! And all God’s people cried with a joyful voice: ‘Praise the Lord God of Israel, for His wonderful dealings with the undeserving children of men!’ And we’ll close with another prophetic promise re the Holy Spirit. This one from John the Baptist: ‘I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.’ (Matt.3:11) Yes mih people, let’s get excited about Jesus, let the passion for Him burn brightly in our daily lives through the workings of His Spirit, so that others can see Him just shining out of us and come to know and LOVE Him as we do. That’s our bounden duty. More on this tomorrow, if we’re alive and kicking. Till then please, let’s get and keep in touch with the Holy Spirit and let Him lead and guide us as He is supposed to. Much LOVE!…through His Holy Spirit…is Christ manifested in our lives…   P.S. Better late than never, and hope it makes sense. (smile)  
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 May 2012 Acts 1:5

Acts 1:5.   For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Oh Friends, it’s Monday, that faithful day when we serfs have to go back out into the evil, cruel, ungodly world and labour for massa! Luckily though, not for all those in the U.S of A, where they are celebrating Memorial Day, supposedly in honour of those who died in the service of their country. That’s good and honourable, but in the meanwhile, why are those who are still alive, the veterans, especially the lame and maimed ones, celebrated on Veterans Day, suffering so much eh? Why do so many of them lack jobs, proper health care, proper pensions, while plenty families of those same heroes who died for the cause are also suffering so much want and deprivation? And the same thing is happening up here in good, upstanding Canada; the veterans are being shafted left, right and centre. Oh what a rotten and disgusting society we’ve become, with the seniors who built these countries on their sweat and blood, and the veterans who fought to protect our way of life, being systematically and callously cast aside by the greedy, uncaring, unscrupulous, corrupt politicians and warmongers! There should be a law entailing that in any war, the families and friends of the politicos and warmongers are the first to be sent to the front lines. That would soon stop the many useless, wasteful wars. However, that’s a debate for another time and place. Right now, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to put us into the right frame of mind to go out and labour. All together now, with much verve and panache: (smile) ‘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 now that we’re suitably energized by the Holy Spirit, let me apologize for a shortcoming yesterday. Unfortunately, it was only after I’d sent out the Bit, I realized that it was the Day of Pentecost, one of the most important days in the Christian Heritage, that awesome and memorable day, fifty days after Christ’s Resurrection, when the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell in individual believers. And though we didn’t mention Pentecost specifically, we did talk about the wonderful, gentle, kind and hardworking Holy Sprit that was introduced on that day. That brings us to our Bit; the fateful words of Jesus: ‘For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ And as all God’s promises, it was faithfully fulfilled some fifty days later at Pentecost. Wow! And as I keep saying, there’s no better scriptwriter, producer or director than our marvellous God. Just check out the scene He devised and orchestrated for the original coming of His Holy Spirit as a universal Helpmeet to all believers. The Good Book describes it thus: ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they (the disciples) were all with one accord (purpose or mind) in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad (sound occurred), the multitude came together, and were confounded (confused), because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue (language or dialect), wherein we were born?’ (Acts 2:1-8) The answer’s simple Friends: through the awesome power of the Holy Spirit! But can you imagine the noisy, raucous reaction to hearing those uneducated, low social class Galileans speaking in so many different languages. Some even said that the disciples were drunk, until Peter stood up and explained, preached one of the most memorable sermons in the annals of Christianity, which we don’t have time or space for, but which you can and should read in Acts 2:14-47. Oh Friends, the ole fella’s excited! There’s so much stuff I want to share with you about the Holy Spirit, but not today. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s Bit! I might just get confused with so much info though. (smile) Anyway, that’s enough for today, and the homework is to ponder the operation of the Holy Spirit in our individual lives, whether we’re letting it lead and guide us along the right paths. And if not, why not? Till we talk again down here on earth, if the Lord so desires, please walk under the guidance and leadership of the ever true and faithful Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!…oh where He leads me I will follow…the Spirit’s guidance will I always heed…cause He’s been sent…to fulfill my every need…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2012 Isaiah 42:1

Isaiah 42:1.    Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles.

 
Oh Friends, it’s a fact, a blessing; we’ve been granted one more day of life on Mother Earth to enjoy all her bountiful pleasures! All praise and thanks be to the great God we serve and worship, for without His invaluable input, we’d now be mere dust! And I won’t get into much preamble because I have a lot of interesting and enlightening scripture to share. Hopefully this will be the last day for this particular Bit since some of you like to have a different Bit every day. But sometimes that’s just not possible, for some Bits, like this one, have so much to say that you can’t get everything from them in one sitting, especially with the short attention spans of today. (smile) Now here’s our fabulous Bit: ‘Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (my chosen one), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement (justice) to the Gentiles.’ Ah mih people, though I knew this scripture before, in dissecting it over the last few days, I’ve learned even more than I expected. That’s the beauty of studying God’s Word! There’s always so much more to it than what meets the naked eye! Now let’s check out the last part of the Bit: ‘I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement (justice) to the Gentiles.’ And the first scripture dealing with that comes from good, ole Isaiah, re the righteous reign of the branch of Jesse: ‘And there shall come forth a rod (shoot) out of the stem (stock or trunk) of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots (bear fruit). And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.’ (Is.11:1-2) Yuh hear all the different spirits, or strengths with which that Branch of Jesse will be endowed? But first and foremost, the overseer Spirit of the Lord, which encompasses all the others. And I want us to specifically note the last one, ‘the fear of the Lord,’ because though Jesus was a part of the Godhead, down here on earth there’s one thing He did above all others; that’s revere and respect His heavenly Father. Now in light of that, how could we, mere mortals, not do likewise eh, especially if we claim to be followers of Christ? And that’s one of the major problems of our day; not enough people hold Almighty God in true reverence. We tend to write Him off as being unimportant, irrelevant to our modern times. But that’s a major mistake my Friends, a lie perpetrated by the evil, cunning Lucifer. No wonder our world is in such a mess! Anyway, the next scripture about putting His Spirit on His elect, is one we well know and have already covered. That’s when Jesus was baptized, and when He came up out of the water; ‘lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.’ (Matt.3:16) Then we have the revealing testimony of John the Baptist on that very situation: ‘And John bare record (witness), saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode (remained) upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record (witness) that this is the Son of God.’ (John 1:32-34) Oh my brethren, there’s absolutely no disputing that testimony! Later on, during a dispute between a group of Jews and the disciples of John the Baptist, re purifying, John again testified to Jesus being the true Son of God, telling them that Jesus must increase while he decreases, because his purpose was only to introduce Jesus to the world. ‘For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father LOVETH the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.’ (John 3:34-35) That means Friends, that the Lord doesn’t or rather didn’t play stingy with the giving of His Spirit to Jesus. Likewise He’ll be very generous in giving His Spirit to us, who believe in His Son. That brings us to an interesting comment from the scholars. ‘God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him:’ Some manuscripts read: ‘He gives the Spirit without measure,’ which would then refer to the sending of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5, 11:15-16; John 7:37-39) And we going to end with that last reference to the giving of the Holy Spirit. Hear these marvellous, inspiring words of Jesus! ‘In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.’ (John 7:37-39) By the way, the scripture that Jesus referred to there was a prophecy of Moses: ‘The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.’ (Deut.18:15) And that’s it for today Friends. I sure hope that you all got something worthwhile from the teaching today. I know that I did. Please ponder it in all seriousness. There was actually some more stuff I wanted to share on the Spirit, but will leave that for another day. Don’t need any criticisms about it being too long and involved. (smile) So till we meet again, God willing, let’s truly LOVE our God; sincerely LIVE our Faith and faithfully SPREAD His Word. Much LOVE!…what a drastic, but wonderful change occurs in man…when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2012 Isaiah 42:1

Isaiah 42:1.    Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles.

 
Oh Friends, morning has broken, just like it did on that first day back in the Garden of Eden, and our God is still in control, still showering daily blessings and mercies down upon us. Please, let’s gratefully accept them and thank Him for His unstinting generosity towards undeserving children. But so great is His LOVE towards us that His compassion just naturally surrounds us anyway. We can never earn or repay His goodness, but we can certainly LOVE and revere Him with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls as He both desires and deserves. So Friends, today, let’s faithfully promise ourselves to do just that nuh, and by so doing, bring much hope and joy to followers, both here on earth and in heaven above. Now turning to our Bit: ‘Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (my chosen one), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement (justice) to the Gentiles.’ Wonderful prophecy Friends, declared centuries before Jesus came! And we shall continue looking at the second part: ‘mine elect (my chosen one), in whom my soul delighteth;’ Yesterday I erroneously said that there were two instances of the Father showing His great delight in Jesus, His chosen one. There are actually three. We’ve already looked at the first one; Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, with the Holy Spirit descending on Him like a dove and the Father clearly stating that He was pleased with the Son. (Matt.3:16-17) The next instance is at His transfiguration. The Good Book says that Jesus took His inner circle of Peter, James and John, up into a high mountain: ‘And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment (clothes) was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear him.’ (Matt.17:2-5) Wow mih people! What an awesome, awestruck moment that must have been for the disciples! ‘And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore (greatly) afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.’ (Matt.17:6-7) So there’s another instance showing that Jesus was clearly Deity and the Father was immensely pleased with Him. But Friends, please note the last section of the voice: ‘hear ye him.’ It’s possibly the most important part of the speech specifically aimed at the disciples and consequently all believers, including us today. Are we paying attention and listening to Jesus? I sure hope so. Now here is some info on the topic from the scholars: ‘Peter, James, and John represent the ‘inner circle’ of leadership among the disciples (Luke 8:51; Matt.26:37) and serve here as ample witnesses according to Mosaic Law. They went into a high mountain apart, meaning privately, by themselves. Tradition claims this took place at Mount Tabor, but a more probable location would be Mount Hermon, near Caesarea Philippi. Jesus was transfigured before them. The verb (Gr. metamorphoo) indicates a transformation of essential form, proceeding from within. See Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18, where it is used of the spiritual transformation of the believer’s new nature. The witness of Peter in 2 Peter 1:17, 18, verifies the testimony that this was a real experience, not a vision.’ And the third instance of the Father showing public delight in Jesus is on Palm Sunday in Jerusalem. A group of Greeks had also come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover Feast, and asked Philip about meeting Jesus. (John 12:20-22) When this info was conveyed to Jesus, He answered them, ‘The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.’ (John 12:23) Then He began teaching them about a seed dying before it can bear fruit, also about the repercussions of hating and LOVING  this life, and that those who follow Him would be honoured by the Father and how His soul was troubled, but He couldn’t change the situation because that’s why He came to earth in human form. (John 12:24-27) Then Jesus said: ‘Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.’ (John 12:28-30) Oh Friends, how much more evidence do we need to believe that Jesus was truly the Son of God, come to earth as a human being, the integral part of God’s mighty plan to redeem our sinful souls and reconcile us to Himself? Throughout the Good Book we find references and prophecies being fulfilled centuries after by Jesus. Is our faith so small that unless we physically see it for ourselves, we can’t believe it? I hope not, otherwise we’re certainly in a bad way. This Saturday morning is a good time for us to sit and ponder those questions; to ponder our faith, our belief in Jesus, and in the Holy Word of God. So happy pondering! (smile) And I sure hope that we all conclude that out belief, faith and trust in the Godhead of the Holy Trinity is exceedingly strong. Much LOVE!…now faith is the substance of things hoped for…the evidence of things not seen… (Heb.11:1) 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2012 Isaiah 42:1

Isaiah 42:1.    Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Friday once again! And I can just imagine the joy, the euphoria that’s bubbling up in some of us, so much so, that we’re jubilantly crying out: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ Yes mih people, I know how it feels to be finally set free from a week of intensive labour, even though it’s only for a mere two days. And to help us handle those two days off properly, let’s chant our Friday Chant, with all the exuberance we can muster. As one 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.’ Now that ought to keep us enthused and help us use those two day off wisely. So then, let’s turn to our Bit, that awesome prophesy, foreseen so clearly by Isaiah: ‘Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (my chosen one), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement (justice) to the Gentiles.’ Yesterday we looked at the servant aspect of the prophecy and clearly saw the servanthood brought by Jesus to His unenviable task. That same attitude of humility and helping others should also be found in true believers. We all know that, though we don’t always follow it. Right here however, I want to share a glorious scripture dealing partly with the servant aspect of our Bit, but even more strongly with the Word of God, re our creation and salvation. Isaiah here is talking about the Lord, the only Redeemer. ‘Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.’ (Is.43:10-11) Oh mih breddren, that’s gospel truth like nothing else! In those two verses, the Lord spells out His raison d’être, so that we can truly understand who He is, His power and purpose. Please, let’s take those words seriously, write them indelibly in our hearts, souls and minds, then genuinely live our lives with them being the foundation, the root of our earthly pilgrimage. Now let’s look at the second part of our Bit: ‘mine elect (my chosen one), in whom my soul delighteth;’ There again Friends, the prophecy of Isaiah was so prophetic that I don’t understand how people can doubt the Word. We have two perfect instances of the Father showing His great delight in His elect, His chosen one, Jesus. The first is when John the Baptist baptizes Jesus in the river Jordan. The Good Book describes it thus: ‘And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ (Matt.3:16-17) Isn’t that just a wonderful scene! Only God writes them like that! Now here’s some input on the matter from the scholars. ‘In the process of His baptism, Jesus went up…out of the water, the prepositions suggesting that He was completely in the water and came up out from it, again indicating immersion. The descending of the Spirit of God fulfilled the predicted sign to John in order to indicate the true Messiah (c.f. John 1:33, Is.11:2). The dove was a symbol of innocence and purity (c.f  Matt.10:16) and served as an ideal symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit. The voice from heaven is that of the Father (see also Matt.17:5; John 12:28 where He speaks at the Transfiguration and  just prior to the Crucifixion), giving His verbal approval to the ministry of His beloved Son. There can be no doubt that all three persons of the Trinity are actively involved here as distinct persons of the Godhead. The Father speaks, the Spirit descends, and the Son is baptized.’ And yet people don’t take the Good Book seriously. What a crying shame! Anyway Friends, enough for today. There’s lots of stuff there for us to ponder, so please do so, because it’s only by reading, pondering and understanding the Word, that we are able to live successful lives here on earth. More on this tomorrow, if God so desires. Till then, please, let’s try to be the true believers we ought to be nuh. Much LOVE!…to be a true follower…one must know the what, where, and when…of the leader’s plans… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 May 2012 Isaiah 42:1

Isaiah 42:1.    Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles.
 
Top o’ the morning to all you godly Friends and neighbours in Jesus Christ! I sure hope this missive reaches you all in good health and wealth. And if perchance it doesn’t, then when you read it, you will be buoyed by the good news it brings, and the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus will course through your mind, body and soul to bring healing and cleansing. This is my prayer for all of us this beautiful Thursday morning, as new mercies and blessings rain down from heaven through the exceptional grace and unconditional LOVE of our Creator, Provider and Holy God. Now, without further ado, let’s turn to our Bit; one of the most powerful and prophetic prophesies (smile) found in the Good Book. ‘Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (my chosen one), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement (justice) to the Gentiles.’ Yes Friends, it’s all about Jesus; His coming to earth to save our sinful souls. Listen to the scholars’ take on it. ‘My servant is identified here as a person rather than a personification of the nation of Israel. With all the traits of King, Prophet, and High Priest. He is none other than the Messiah, Jesus Christ Himself. He is also called mine elect (bechiri; set apart for a definite purpose) and the One in whom I have put my spirit. The New Testament quotes this prophecy as being fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt.12:8-21) The ministry of the Servant of the Lord will be to bring forth judgement (or justice) to the Gentiles and in the earth. His kingdom knows no barriers of nationality or race. Of all the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah saw this fact the most clearly. While Jesus’ early ministry was to the house of Israel, His ultimate commission extended to the Gentiles as well.’ What a truly wonderful God we serve my people! It boggles my mind when I think of how His LOVE for us was so great that He sacrificed the holy, sinless life of His only Son to bring redemption and reconciliation to our worthless, sinful souls. And all God’s people raised their voices heavenward in a mighty shout of joy, praise and gratitude: ‘Oh thank You heavenly Father! Thank You for sending your Son Jesus to shed His precious blood as a sacrifice, so that our sin debt could be pain in full! We praise You, and bless Your Holy Name! Amen!’ Ah mih people, the story of Jesus, Holy God, coming to earth and doing what He did, is the most awesome and amazing one ever told and also fulfilled. Wow! And Jesus was the sure personification of that prophecy, as Matthew 12:17 declares: ‘That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying…’ And Matthew goes on to quote Isaiah 42:1-4, 49:3, as evidence for the fulfillment of the prophecy. (Matt.12:18-21) Now let’s touch on the first important point in our Bit: ‘Behold my servant…’ Yes Friends, that word ‘servant’ is ever so important in our Christian faith, because that’s the way Jesus came a calling; as a humble servant. ‘And whosoever will be chief (first) among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (served), but to minister (serve), and to give his life a ransom for many.’ (Matt.20:27-28) That definitely means, my fellow believers, that we should ALL have that spirit of servanthood in us, if we’re true believers! And if we don’t, then our faith is false, it’s not a true reflection of the character of Jesus. Now let’s close with this definitive statement on the matter from Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘Let this mind be in you, (keep thinking this, constantly maintain this attitude) which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God (didn’t assume God-like qualities); But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:5-8) Friends, oh Friends, it’s that kind of humility which our world so sadly lacks and so badly needs today! Instead of everybody wanting to be el numero uno, the first, the most powerful and popular, and sitting at the highest seat, let’s bring back the true spirit of Jesus nuh, where He desires to see us graciously and humbly serving each other, not always jockeying for the top spot. That way others will truly see His wonderful character shining out from us like the bright Morning Star which He so avidly personifies, and will come to LOVE and serve Him just as much as we do. Oh my brethren, that’s how we should be winning souls for Jesus! More on this tomorrow, the Lord willing. Till then, please let’s come down off of our high horses and walk the humble walk of Jesus. Much LOVE!…without the attributes of humility and servanthood…no man can be a true believer in Jesus…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 May 2012 Psalm 139:1‏

 Psalm 139:1.    O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, we’re alive and kicking! Wow! The Lord has granted us another day on this beautiful earth! Praise and bless His Holy Name, for He’s so good to us, His undeserving children! And on this Wednesday morning, with all the exuberance and enthusiasm for Almighty God coursing through our hearts, bodies and minds, let’s take the bull by the horns and get out into the evil and ungodly world and win some souls for Him nuh. Let’s show a disbelieving world the true character of Jesus in all our doings today. Instead of showing resentment, anger, hate and strife, let’s advance, put forward LOVE, peace, joy, and togetherness to all whom we come into contact with today! I think that just as the Lord fills us with new mercies and blessings everyday, in the same manner, we should go out everyday with a new, or at least improved attitude, using those same new gifts of grace to improve on our Christian walk of the day before. That means everyday our walk should be more Christ-like. It would be so refreshing and rejuvenating if we Christians could just adopt the kind, friendly attitude of Jesus in most of our daily dealings. We don’t have to let others run over us, or beat us down, but neither do we have to fuss, fume and fight over the many petty things that disturb our souls. And we don’t have to worry either about not being up to scratch, as Jesus-like as we ought to be. The Lord knows our frailties, for as Bruh David says in our Bit: ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.’ Oh yes Friends, the Lord knows all about us, but He wants us to come to Him and acknowledge those frailties and weaknesses, come confidently, but humbly before the throne of grace and ask for His help. And believe me, when we do that, He will look favourably upon us. Remember we can fool others and ourselves, but we can’t fool God, so it’s best just to come clean with Him, tell Him all that’s troubling our hearts. And once we do that, we’ll be pleasantly surprised by the peace that will flow through us. Oh my people, there’s no better way of obtaining peace than by baring our souls to Almighty God! And with those words of wisdom, let’s get back to our Bit, before I get too carried away. (smile) Today I want to share some more scriptures that pertain to it. The psalmist in Psalm 66, the great works of God, states: ‘For thou, O God, hast proved (tested) us: thou hast tried (refined) us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy (an abundant) place.’ (Ps.66:10-12) Yes mih breddren, the Lord’s testing can be rough, but there is always the surety that if we bear up under it, He will bring us out better than before. That’s the beauty of living for and working with Jehovah God! Meanwhile, the prophet Zechariah declares, re the cleansing of Jerusalem: ‘And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and I will try (test) them as gold is tried (tested): they shall call on my name, and I will hear (answer) them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.’ (Zec.13:8-9) Now Friends, that sounds pretty rough, but remember the Lord always helps us go through our trials. Listen to Peter now, who makes it sound a trifle easier. ‘Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness (distressed) through manifold temptations: That the trial (genuineness) of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ. Whom having not seen, ye LOVE; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.’ (1 Pet.1:6-9) Yes mih people, our faith will be tried a lot on this earth, but if it’s true faith, then it will not be destroyed even when it passes through the testing by fire. And then, when Jesus comes again, this time in glory, we will certainly be looked upon with praise and honour. Oh Friends, the glory of heaven is definitely worth the hell we often experience here on earth, so please don’t give up, don’t let the temporary afflictions of this life kill your spirit and your faith in Jesus. It’s not always easy to do, but with Jesus’ help we can surely accomplish it. When times get rough, pleas turn to Jesus; cry out to Him for assistance. You’ll be surprised at the help you’ll receive. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed. Remember Jesus knows all about us and our earthly troubles, because he experienced them too. It would surely be wonderful though, if we could all say like Bruh David: ‘Thou hast proved (tested) mine heart; thou hast visited me (searched me out) in the night; thou hast tried (tested) me, and shalt find nothing (evil): I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.’ (Ps.17:3) Friends, I think that’s a worthy goal to work towards. So let’s start today, right now nuh. It could only help our faith successfully go through the fire of testing, and would greatly please our Lord and Saviour, Jesus. Much LOVE!…oh that all believers…could have a faith…that’s successfully refined…through the fires of temptation…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2012 Psalm 139:1

Psalm 139:1.    O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
 
Oh Friends, another day has dawned bright and beautiful in the north country! Praise the Lord, for He is worthy to be praised! Are you feeling the excitement, the enthusiasm and the zest for life that a new day brings? I sure hope so, because otherwise you’ll be missing out on God’s goodness, the new mercies and blessings He’s planned for us every day. It’s a simple matter Friends; if we’re alive, then we might as well enjoy life, especially since that’s one of the reasons Jesus died: ‘The thief cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) That means Christians ought to be generally speaking, joyful, happy people, both internally and externally, starting right down here on earth, not waiting until we get to heaven! We should definitely not be the dragging, sad, poor me one, head down caricatures that so many of us are. Why would anybody want to come to Jesus if His followers demeanour and disposition is sad and sour eh? So please pluck up my people! Remember the joy of the Lord is our strength, (Neh.8:10) therefore let’s display a sunny disposition to all and sundry, so that they can wonder why we’re always so pleasant and gracious even in times of despair. That’s the attitude that draws others to Jesus! And we’re able to display that wonderful attitude because of the everlasting presence and power of God abiding in us. Thus Bruh David could truthfully declare in our Bit: ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.’ That’s true of all practicing Christians! The Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. And as Bruh David continues: ‘Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; thou understandeth my thought afar off. Thou compasseth (comprehendeth) my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it all together.’ (Ps.139:2-4) Yeh Friends, the Lord made us and knows everything about us – from our very beginning to our very end! Now let’s hear some interesting commentary on Psalm 139 from the scholars. ‘Certainly one of the grandest psalms in all of the Psalter. It is also one of the richest theologically. It combines and exposition of the greatness of God’s character with the reality of human experience. From verses 19-22 we find that David wrote the psalm during a time of opposition. It therefore contains truths that were meaningful to him during these troublesome times. They may be summarized under four key thoughts as David addresses the Lord: You know me (vv. 1-6), You are with me (vv.7-12), You created me (vv.13-18), and Your cause is my cause (vv.19-24)’ And that’s the gospel truth Friends! The psalm is definitely rich in the ways of our God, His attributes and the wonderful way in which He interacts with His sinful children! But getting back to the core of our Bit; about searching and knowing the heart of each child, let’s hear some other scriptures describing God’s detailed involvement and interaction with us in every facet of our lives. And there’s no better place to start than with Job’s immortal statement of faith: ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ (Job 23:10) Yes my friends, the Lord knows us inside out, and will test us through trials and tribulations to gauge the strength of our faith. It’s definitely one of the ways He uses to get our attention, and consequently to build our faith. I can attest to that from personal experience. It’s not always easy, but it’s certainly worthwhile! Meanwhile, Jeremiah in his complaint about the prosperity of the wicked and the happiness of the treacherous, also declares: ‘But thou, O Lord, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried (tested) my heart toward thee…’ (Jer.12:3) Ah mih people, walking with Jesus will bring constant tests and trials until the day we breathe our last breath and go over yonder to meet Him in glory! So please don’t despair when troubles come your way. It is merely our great God testing us, putting us through our paces to see how real, right and true our hearts are towards Him. And remember too, He never gives us more than we can bear, and always provides the tools we need to do what He asks. That’s why He’s such a wonderful Deity! And in recognition of His ‘wonderfulness’ (smile) all God’s people, with unspeakable joy and gratitude declared a mighty ‘Amen!’ More on this tomorrow Friends, if we wake to see another brilliant sunrise. Till then, let’s truly LOVE our God, with all of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, and our neighbours as ourselves. Much LOVE!…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…just to be with Him awhile…makes it all worthwhile…
 

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