Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2018 1 Chronicles 28:9.

1 Chronicles 28:9.   And thou, Solomon  my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.

Well friends, we’ve gotten through the horror of Good Friday, where we saw Jesus crucified to pay for our abominable sins. It wasn’t easy, but we understood the reason why it had to happen: No sacrificial death, no salvation. For the price of sin had to be paid in sinless blood, and Jesus’ blood was the ONLY one that met the full criteria. 

Now it’s time to wait for His awesome resurrection; His victory over hell, death and the grave, where He dangles the keys to the gates of hell before an awestruck, defeated Lucifer. (smile) 

Yes my fellow believers, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ gave us the victory over the enemy by His sacrificial death on the cross. The least we can do now is show a fair amount of appreciation by living and working diligently and excellently in His name, to spread the good news of His gospel around the entire world. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here’s the first one: ‘Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.’ Now that’s something a lot of us perfectionists need to understand. Perfection is not possible, and if we don’t rise above our imperfections, we’ll never be happy. 

Then there’s: ‘Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.’ That’s something else many of us need to learn and do, because we keep beating ourselves up unnecessarily. Remember we can’t be perfect, so once we’re really trying, there’s no need to abuse ourselves. And what’s so foolish and unfair about that is we give a lot of leeway to others, but not enough to ourselves. 

So what then? ‘Focus on the good.’ ‘That’s elementary, my dear Watson,’ you reply. Not really nuh, because if most of us were constantly focused on the good, our world would not be in such a sorry state. It’s because we’re NOT focused on the good that life in this realm of plenty is so rough for so many. 

And we’ll end with this quote: ‘Rule your mind, or it will rule you.’ And is that ever so true my brethren, for it all takes place in the mind, or as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) refers to it, ‘The battlefield of the mind.’ That’s where all our wars and battles take place. And that’s why when we allow the enemy to control our thoughts, he can therefore control our lives. Because as a man thinks, so is he. We become what we think about most. 

So if we think about the things of the world more than those of Jesus, then we’ll become more like the world, and vice versa. That’s why it’s necessary to have good and positive thoughts above all else. They will lift you up, while negative emotions will only drag you further down to Hades. (smile) And we don’t want that now, do we? Of course not! 

That’s why some of the best advice ever given to a son was that of Bruh David to Cousin Sol in our Bit. ‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.’ 

Yeh friends, if we want to live godly and righteous lives, we have to keep our minds focused on stuff that’s godly and righteous. And remember that God looks deep into our hearts and minds to find our true purpose and motives before considering our outward show. So if what’s in our minds and what’s in our actions are different, then the Lord will discover them and act accordingly. 

For as Jesus said: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth that defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) And what comes out of us is what we have focused in our minds. So if our thoughts are evil, then our deeds will most likely be evil too. No wonder Jesus also warned us thus: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt.11:33) 

Fellow believers, our omniscient and all powerful God knows what we need to function on this earth, and He has promised to give it to us if we keep Him first place in our minds, bodies and actions. If you think primarily on the things of the world, they will be of no avail in the long run. 

For as Jesus says: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21) 

Words of everlasting wisdom my people, from the creator of all wisdom! Now are we going to be wise and follow them, or foolish and think on the wrong things? That’s up to each individual, but please remember that there are consequences for each line of thought, and before you decide, it would be wise to consider the consequences of each. Much LOVE!

…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him… (Charles Stanley)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2018 John 13:34.

John 13:34. A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.

Well my friends and fellow believers it’s Friday, but a special Friday, one that only occurs once a year. And we call it Good Friday! I know some of us must be wondering how can we call a terrible Friday like that good, where our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was horribly crucified, shamed and violated without remorse.

But it’s not what happened, so much as the reason for the happening and the resultant consequences. Christ was crucified, gave His life for us, so that we could have eternal life. He took ALL our sins on His shoulders, so that we could have the option to return to a right relationship with Almighty God. That’s what’s good about it friends!

The once and for all sacrifice, the once and for all payment for our sins, that’s what makes it good! Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, the Lord washed clean all our sins, forgave us of our disobedience and welcomed us back as His children. Wow! How can we not call such an event good eh?

True, it resulted in the terrible abuse and violence toward Jesus, but that was the only way for our sins to become paid up; forgiveness called for a blood sacrifice. And today, as we flock to the Lord’s house to sing His praises and glorify His holy name, let’s remember the significance of this day.

And as always, before we hear the word, let’s offer up some praise and worship with sacrificial voices to our heavenly Father. And today we’ll sing one of my all time favourites, one that I cherished since I was a boy growing up in Tobago.

It appropriately describes the scene that took place at Calvary, two thousand years ago. The words apparently were written by Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895) and the music by John H Gower (1855-1922) and it was based on the scriptural texts of John 19:16-20 and Hebrews 13:12.

Please sing with me: ‘There is a green hill far away, outside a city wall, where our dear Lord was crucified who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains he had to bear, but we believe it was for us he hung and suffered there. He died that we might be forgiven, he died to make us good, that we might go at last to heaven, saved by his precious blood.

There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin, he only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in. O dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.’

Yeh friends, the story’s told simply and tenderly, but the reality of it all is oh so heart wrenching and tear jerking! Just imagine an innocent man nuh, being crucified; one of the worse methods of death and punishment ever subscribed to by man, to pay for the sins of a motley, unappreciative group of people.

And the beauty of the story is that He underwent that gruesome ordeal without a word of complaint, because He knew that He was the ONLY person who could pay for the transgressions of the entire world, and besides, that was what His heavenly Father required of Him. As the Good Book says: He was ‘obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:8)

Ah mih people, yuh see what Jesus did for us, for you and I? But how many of us are obedient to the Lord’s doing nowadays eh? Not as many as there should be. But let me point out the most important part of our hymn above: ‘O dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.’

Yes precious people of God, that’s all Jesus requires of us in return for His sacrificial death on this day so long ago: LOVE as He LOVED; trust in His redeeming blood; and do the work He wants us to do!

Oh, my fellow believers, it does look simple and sounds good on paper, but from personal experience I know that it’s not easy to do. However, if we are serious about living and working for Christ, we can do it with His help, because we know that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13)

Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.’ Yes friends, I purposely stayed away from the story of the cross, because we all know it and rehashing it isn’t going to make much difference at this stage of the game.

What we truly need to know and recognize is why Christ died for us; and the simple answer is that He LOVED us. And His earthly ministry was one of sincere LOVE. Plus the only new thing He told us is that we must LOVE each other as He LOVED us. And that LOVE is just treating each other and ourselves in a decent, pleasant manner, not necessarily going overboard in our attentions.

But unfortunately, in today’s cruel, crazy and godless society, those pleading words of Jesus have fallen on deaf ears. However friends and fellow believers in Jesus, I’m pleading with us, today, as we recognize Jesus’ immense sacrifice on our behalf, let’s learn that the lesson the cross really teaches us, is not one of death, but of LIFE and LOVE.

Jesus died because He LOVED us, and wanted us to have life eternal. Let’s show our appreciation by living the way He wants us to nuh. Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…means living in LOVE…

P.S. Yes I know we didn’t sing the workingman’s song, or our Friday Chant, but this was a special Friday. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2018 Romans 10:15.

Romans 10:15.   And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Ah mih people, it’s a somewhat dark and dreary looking Holy Thursday morning, and I’m making my apologies right up front. (smile) I’m a tad tardy today because I went to bed somewhat later than normal last night, or rather this morning. 

But not to worry, everything’s in fine shape. The sun might not be shining but the SON definitely is, and no more brighter than on this penultimate day before we celebrate His selfless sacrifice on our behalf some two thousand years ago. 

Give Him plenty thanks and praise my fellow believers, for when I think about what He so stalwartly endured for us, it severely pains my heart, although I know that if He hadn’t done it, our lives would not be as wonderful as they are today. 

And this quote from a Daily Bread Devotional shows exactly what I’m talking about. ‘Because of Christ’s cross, we can become friends of God.’ Yeh friends, it’s as simple as that. If Christ had not gone to the cross, we would not be able to have the wonderful and awesome relationship we now have with Almighty God! 

Mama Mia! How blessed we are but don’t truly recognize or appreciate it! Too many of us just seem to take everything for granted, but that’s not how it ought to be. A serious and most expensive price was paid for our freedom from the bondages of sin, and now we are expected to be grateful and give back something in return. 

And we’re talking about things like belief in Jesus, trust, and surrender to His Holy will, living and working diligently for Him. And as another Daily Bread quote tells us: ‘There is no better news than the gospel – spread it.’ Yes my fellow believers, spreading the good news of Christ’s gospel is paramount in our living for and serving Him, because that’s how others will know and understand what He died for and come to also believe in Him. 

For as Bruh Paul so plainly wrote in his missive to the church at Rome: ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Rom.10:13) But then he puts forth the dilemma inherent in accomplishing that task. ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?’ (Rom.10:14) 

Now those are all important questions re the furthering of the gospel: how can people believe and hear and thus call on God if no one tells them about Christ eh? That’s impossible. Thus the next verse in Bruh Paul’s message, which is our Bit for today. 

‘And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’ And that’s the indisputable truth my friends and faithful believers! There’s nothing as beautiful in this whole wide world as the preaching of the good news of Christ’s gospel! Glory to God! 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘10:14-15. In presenting the universal proclamation of the gospel, Paul presents the reasons why a universal proclamation is necessary: first, because the call must be preceded by faith; second, because faith must be preceded by hearing. 

This shows that knowledge is essential to belief. Faith must have a valid content; third, because hearing requires a preacher; fourth, because preaching requires being sent. The One who sends is God. Salvation is completely from God.’ 

And we all know that indelible truth my brethren! Without God and His great unconditional LOVE and concern for us, there’d be NO salvation whatsoever! 

Now here’s a li’l something for those of us who think that the Old Testament is passé, but that’s where Bruh Paul got the basis for his proclamation above. Listen to Isaiah as he reassures his people that the Lord will deliver Zion from captivity. 

‘How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (good news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace; that bringeth good tidings of good (good news of good things), that publisheth (proclaims) salvation; that saith unto Zion, thy God reigneth!’ (Is.52:7) 

And several thousands of years later my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, that is still the absolute truth! Our God reigns supreme in the universe that He created! And He HAS brought salvation to us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ! Oh what better news can there be eh? NONE WHATSOEVER! Glory to God my brethren! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, that our wonderful God has so magnanimously showered down on us because we believe. With strong conviction now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And if we sincerely believe that, then let’s go out and share those awesome blessings with others as Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…believers lives and words…ought to be all about sharing the good news of Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2018 Isaiah 30:18.

Isaiah 30:18.   And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore he will be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.

Well friends, I slept in my own bed last night, and it wasn’t half bad! At least the ole back isn’t aching nearly as much as that unforgettable night I spent in the hospital, and it was much easier to get up from too. Glory to God! So this morning we’re back to the daily task and common grind and I just have to wait and see what the Lord has in mind now. 

Over the past year I’ve been trying my best to get some closure on my major illnesses, but all to no avail. And for a moment there, I thought the Lord had finally decided it was time to do what seemed necessary, but obviously I was wrong. 

And as He is so famous for doing, He even led me to this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin simply titled ‘I Will Wait.’ Yuh get the message? (smile) 

Please pray with me: ‘O Lord Today I must face it honestly with You By pursuing the persistent questions within me. God, is there any gain at all by my doubting? Do doubts make me stronger? Do they purify my heart? Fortify my will? Are my emotions firmly established by my doubts? Are my family and friends encouraged? 

On the other hand, God Even though I see no possible way out Of the catastrophe I now face Is there anything more pleasing to You Than my personal choice to trust You? I know it is true, Lord I must rely on Your promises in the end. Would You be glorified, dear God If I trusted You now at the early beginning? 

O God, forgive me For so limiting You. Surely you know exactly what you will do. You are God, so You will not alter Your Word. Your power is instantly operative In all the strange twisting of my life. You are God, so You are good. I will hope I will trust I will wait On the living God!’ 

Yeh mih people, that is a lesson we must all learn if we are to be faithful believers. And I’ve learned it a tad in a hard manner over the last couple days. What seems to be our truth, isn’t always God’s. And what seems to be our time, isn’t always His either. We just have to learn to wait expectantly and with a good attitude until He finally decides to allow whatever He thinks is necessary to happen. 

And that’s not always easy, especially when it’s to do with sickness. But from my experiences in this past year, I can definitely say that God is good! I’ve had plenty of ups and downs, but there was always some mitigating factor to ease the downs. He never just left me alone to go through my problems by myself. I could always see His hand working in the background, possibly not as much or how I would have liked, but I could always sense His presence. 

And even when He was not alleviating my sickness, I could still feel His hand of LOVE moving as He gave me some of my heart’s desires. They certainly made up for some of the disappointment with the illness. That’s why today, I can testify that we serve such a wonderful God! He doesn’t always do what we want or when we want it, but He ALWAYS comes through in the end! 

And though I’ve had this setback with the heart problem, I know that eventually, when He is good and ready, He will make all things right. Give Him thanks and praise, my people, exalt His holy name for He is certainly good to us, sinful and undeserving children of men! 

And I have to chuckle here, because I never really intended to testify, but the Lord seems to have drawn it out of me unconsciously. And not only that, but the Lord has just shown me our doubting Thomas’ way, because from the very beginning I’ve been praying for a miracle, where I’d have to go through no invasive surgery, but now that it might have happened, I can’t truly believe or accept it. 

And that’s how we are friends; we pray for big things but when they do happen, we find it difficult to accept them. But just remember that our God is a Big God and He can do ANYTHING. So if we pray big prayers, let’s not be surprised when they happen. 

And the scripture promise for our poem today is also our Bit; wise and wonderful words of the prophet Isaiah as he appeals to his people to turn to the Lord for help. ‘And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore he will be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.’ 

Yes friends, if God can wait for us, so can we wait for Him. And remember it’s all for our benefit, not for His. The scholars offer this wise explanation. ’30:18-33. Because God is gracious and has been willing to wait for His people to return to Him, He will certainly bless those who wait for him. “Waiting” is a confident and dependent trust in God.’ And so it is my brethren. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose, letting the world know that we are truly and seriously involved with our God and Friend, Jesus. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And it will indeed be a glorious future, more mind boggling than we can ever think or imagine! Much LOVE!

…Wait (in faith)…on the Lord…and he shall strengthen thine heart…wait (in faith)…I say…on the Lord. (Ps.27:14)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2018 Romans 8:31.

Romans 8:31.    What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Ah friends, as Prince Buster, the famed Jamaican singer said in his song so long ago; ‘It was a rough night last night…’ but not in the sexual way that he meant it. (smile) I spent the night in the Toronto General Hospital in preparation for doing a heart assisted implant today, that would help the ole ticker operate more functionally than it’s currently doing. 

Everything else was okay except the bed. Chuh! These new-fangled hospital beds are so expensive and can do everything except give you a restful night’s sleep. I found it too hard to lie on and very difficult to get up from. And brother…it just kills my back! 

But there’s always a good and bad side to every story…Hn! The good side is that the Lord might have intervened miraculously on the ole fella’s behalf. Yeh friends, if the findings are true, then heavenly intervention was indeed involved. And you must be wondering what I’m being so obtuse and obscure about. (smile)

Well there seems to be something called ‘ejection fraction’ that shows how the heart is pumping the blood and my figures were low to begin with and over the past year haven’t improved a whole lot which necessitated implanting the device. 

However, yesterday, when they did the usual tests, my figures shot up so remarkably that they had to stop and review the situation. That’s why I’m talking about miracles. 

Hold down now people, hold down… there’s a new twist to the story now. I just spoke to the doctor about the surgery and they have decided to postpone it, to err on the side of caution, until they do some other tests that will give them a clearer picture. Only problem is it takes months to get that done. 

But per his reasoning, if my heart has really improved, then I should be okay. Seems though that there are two different implants for the situation and until they are sure of what’s happening it doesn’t make sense to do any surgery which could complicate matters later on. 

Ah Lord eh! When it’s not one thing, it’s certainly another. Life is always full of surprises, and who knows when they will crop up. But when you’re walking with Almighty God, He gives you the ability to handle all that comes against you. 

Hence the awesome and always encouraging words of our Bit. ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ Not a single soul, for our God will fight them off on our behalf! 

Glory to God my fellow believers! Though He allows us to go through all sorts of stuff, ultimately, He uses everything for our good, as Bruh Paul says a few verses earlier. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) We couldn’t ask for more than that. 

And furthermore, Bruh Paul clarifies our Bit by reassuring us. ‘He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom.8:32) Yeh friends, if the Lord went to that length to sacrifice His only Son for us, why wouldn’t He freely give us lesser things eh? None whatsoever! 

Thus, Bruh Paul continues later on: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:35-37) 

Oh my people, we are so blessed to have the Lord God of Hosts as our Guide and Protector, that we need nothing or no one else to advocate for us. No wonder Bruh Paul ends this remarkable chapter with these wise, wonderful and reassuring words. ‘For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:38-39) 

Yes precious people of God, NOTHING in this world can separate us from God’s LOVE! Why? As the scholars explain. ’38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. v.28).’ 

So friends, with all that reassurance let’s go home with bountiful feelings, on this rainy morning in Toronto, heartily declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In full voice now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

Now let’s go out and do just that. Much LOVE!

…with God on our side…we should be afraid of nothing…    

P.S. Oh friends, sorry the Bit is so late, I never got to finish it at the hospital and I’m just getting home. It’s just been one of those days. Hope it makes some kind of sense. (smile) Much Love!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2018 Matthew 8:26a.

Matthew 8:26a.   And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

Here we go again friends; one more time around the workweek cycle. I know it’s tiring and otherwise; the same old, same old, but that’s just life. We can only have so much fun and excitement in this mortal life before we get overwhelmed, so the constant work cycle is here to keep us on an even keel. (smile) 

But yuh know what, when we’re sincerely living for and in Jesus, that bland, oftimes hard and controversial cycle doesn’t bother us at all, because we know that Jesus has already conquered the world and all its evil, sinful ways, and given us the victory. Glory to God my brethren! 

Yeh, so though it’s hard to get up and go out to work every week, it’s just something we have to do, and when we have Jesus in our hearts, it makes it that much easier. And on days like these, when we’re struggling, it’s ever so important to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which brings us such solace and encouragement and gets our adrenaline running. So let’s sing it with as much enthusiasm as we can muster. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Mama Mia! Doesn’t that just lift your spirits my brethren! It surely does. Now let’s get ourselves together and join our Leader and Field General, Jesus Christ, on the battlefield of life, as we fight to subdue the unbelieving hordes and bring them to salvation and eternal life, in His name. Amen! 

And as we journey through this Holy Week, where Jesus suffered so many trials, moving from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, to His crucifixion on Good Friday, and His resurrection on Easter Sunday, here is a li’l something very appropriate for us to remember. It comes from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals, and says: ‘Jesus has replaced the dark door of death with the shining gate of Life!’ 

Glory be my faithful friends! For that’s exactly what He’s done, through conquering hell, death and the grave, then rising triumphantly back to life, so that we too can have life in the ever after. That’s why we should never give Jesus occasion to ask us this rather embarrassing question, as stated in our Bit. ‘And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus asked that question of His disciples, men who had been with Him for some time and seen Him do so many miracles. But yet, when they got caught in a storm, aboard a ship, and He lay sleeping quietly in the back, in considerable fright, they awakened Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us: we perish.’ (Matt.8:25). 

That’s when Jesus awoke and rebuked them with the words of our Bit. ‘And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man id this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:26-27) 

Oh precious people of Christ, please let’s not allow ourselves to fall into that trap of doubt and disbelief. Remember what we said at the beginning of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn? ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein!’ That means if the Lord created the winds and the seas and everything in the world, therefore He ought to have control over them. 

And we keep bleating that nothing is impossible with God, but do we truly believe it when push comes to shove and some circumstance faces us that needs God’s almighty power? That’s where true faith comes in my brethren! That’s when God calls us to put up or shut up! 

Oh, it’s never easy to call up great reams of faith amidst adversity, but with God’s help, we can certainly do it. So let’s remember why Christ died and rose again, and keep on fighting the good fight of faith, so that we can faithfully acknowledge all that He’s done so sacrificially and selflessly for us. Much LOVE!

…the true believer…doesn’t whine and waffle in times of calamity…but remembers Jesus’ work…and stands strong and steadfast in His name… the one that’s above all other names……

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2018 Mark 11:9.

Mark 11:9.    And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord:

Oh friends, it’s Sunday, Palm Sunday, that venerable feast day in our Christian history and calendar when our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem like a conquering hero, the king He was and is, riding on the back of a humble donkey, as the jubilant people spread their clothes and palm branches in the road for Him to ride on, and they kept singing, ‘Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest!’ 

Ah mih people, what a wonderful and moving spectacle that must have been, seeing and hearing the people give praise and honour and glory to our God and King, Jesus Christ. 

Likewise, this Palm Sunday morning, the Sunday before Easter, as we gather in the chapel, the sanctuary, or wherever, let’s lift up our voices in praise and glory like they did two thousand years ago, as we welcome Jesus into our hearts and spirits and surroundings. 

Let’s resurrect those shouts of Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest!’ As one awesome sounding choir now, let’s offer the sacrifice of praise through grateful lips from joyful hearts. ‘Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest, Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest Lord we lift up your name With our hearts filled with praise Be exalted OH Lord our God Hosanna in the Highest. 

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lamb of God Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lamb of God Lord we lift up your name With our hearts filled with praise Be exalted OH Lord our God Holy is the Lamb of God. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is the King of Kings Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is the King of Kings Lord we lift up your name With our hearts filled with praise Be exalted OH Lord our God 

Jesus is the King of Kings Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest Lord we lift up your name With our hearts filled with praise Be exalted OH Lord our God Hosanna in the Highest.’ 

Yeh friends, is it ever important that we lift up the name of Jesus, the name that’s above every other name, so that all people can bow their knees to Him and call him Lord and Saviour, for that’s exactly what He is. And now that we’ve offered praise and worship, our hearts and souls have been opened, ready to receive God’s word, that will bless and keep us for the next week. 

And here it is, describing Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. ‘And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethpage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he (Jesus) sendeth forth two of his disciples, And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against (opposite) you, and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him 

And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.’ (Mark 11:1-3) 

‘All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek (lowly), and sitting upon an ass (donkey), and a colt the foal of an ass.’ (Matt.21:4-5) 

‘And they (the disciples) went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without (outside) in a place (on the street) where two ways met; and they loose (untied) him. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye do, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go. 

And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way (road): and others cut down branches off the trees, and strewed them in the way (road). 

And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.’ (Mark 11:4-10) 

‘And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.’ (Matt.21:10-11) 

And there we have it friends; the word of the Lord! And all God’s people declared a loud, grateful and confident ‘All thanks and praise be to our wonderful and sovereign God!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, He is indeed worthy of all the praise and glory our hearts and souls can muster! And you’ll notice that I interspersed the words of Matthew and Mark in our gospel reading so that we could get the full benefit of the information contained in both, since they each tell the story in a slightly different manner. 

Now I sincerely hope that the gospel story and the praise and worship have touched our hearts and souls today, and will make us confident and secure to go out and face another week of work. Until next time then, the Lord willing, walk faithfully and carefully with the Saviour. Much LOVE!

…Hosanna…Hosanna…save me Jesus…save me…is the right cry for us all to call out… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2018 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.   Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

And then it was Saturday, that long awaited day of sleeping in! ‘Yeah!’ come the joyful shouts. But others claim a big ‘Nay!’ Why?  Because they are the ones who have a lot of household chores and other stuff to do around the house that they don’t have time to do during the week. No couch surfing for them today. 

But that’s the way of life in our progressive and forward-looking society! (smile) If you want to live in what’s a supposedly first world society, then you just have to do those things that are required in it to prosper and be successful. Oh, I hope you realize that the ole fella is being a li’l sarcastic and facetious. (smile) 

Anyhow, it’s Saturday, so let’s look at some of the quotes our wonderful friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.’ 

Now that’s some thing we all strive for, but can’t always achieve, because in this fallen, mish-mash world, often are the times we have to do stuff that doesn’t make us happy. We hope that on average though, that we will have to do more happy stuff than unhappy ones. Although I recently heard that something like seventy percent of people don’t like or are unhappy in their jobs. Now that doesn’t seem to have much happiness potential. 

That brings us to the second quote: ‘The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.’ Likewise, it’s usually best to do what makes one happy, but we can’t always have it our way, sometimes it just has to be the highway. (smile)  

Then there is this: ‘Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.’ And generally speaking that’s no lie, for positive people just have this aura, like a ray of sunshine around them, that draws others to them, like bees to honey. 

However, it’s not always the good and positive kind who gather round, notice the amount of hangers ons around most celebrities today. That’s because some negative people will be smart enough to jump on the bandwagon of the positive, knowing that good things will eventually come from a positive source. Now it’s certainly better to be positive, but one has to be on the look out for the smart negative ones. 

And then we have this quote: ‘What consumes your mind controls your life.’ Another fact of life friends. Yes, the battle all takes place in our minds, and thus the things we constantly think about are what control us. So if we want to be positive, then we need to think about positive things, and if we want to be happy, then we have to think happy thoughts. 

That brings us to our last quote: ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’ And that’s gospel truth! We can’t depend on others or things to make us happy, because it’s an internal feeling, controlled by us. So regardless of the circumstances, if we want to be happy, we can make ourselves so. 

Notice how a lot of people have all the toys, wealth and excellent circumstances that the world has to offer, but they are still not happy. Meanwhile, many other folks have next to nothing but they are satisfied within themselves. That’s the secret of being happy friends; being satisfied, being comfortable with yourself in any circumstance. 

Hence the words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians in our Bit: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Wow! What a statement! The exact opposite of what the world teaches. 

Ah mih people, if we could only learn that principle and apply it to our lives…oh how much better our lives would be. We wouldn’t always be happy, but we’d be contented, satisfied, not whining and complaining about petty things like so many of us, Christians included, do nowadays. 

Listen to Bruh Paul as he explains. ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

And how has he come by that remarkable ability? Because, as he proudly declares in the next verse: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that verse and spout it often, but it obviously does not ring true in our hearts, otherwise we would not be still tripping all over ourselves to get hold of the world’s wealth and other insignificant things it has to offer. 

If we truly follow Christ, who has promised to meet all our needs, we won’t be so consumed with the things of the world. And an important part of all that, is like the scholars say: ‘The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Yeh friends, contentment will not come overnight, but like life, it’s a process we have to go through, but if we sincerely stick with Jesus, He will eventually show us the way. Remember, He IS the WAY! Much LOVE!

…to be contented in this evil, greedy world…one must know Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2018 John 5:24.

John 5:24.   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life.  

Aye friends, can you believe it’s Friday already; the day we’ve waited for since Monday? (smile) Yes it is. And nobody is more grateful than the ordinary workingman as he shows his appreciation in his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! That means the weekend is here at last! Wow! That’s music to the workingman’s ears! No more slavish work; no more abuse from insensitive and greedy men. 

Is we time now! We time to do as we please, and how we please. And who don’t like what we do, or how we do it…chuh pool! Too bad for them. But we going to eat and drink and party and carouse to our heart’s desire. Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

Ah mih people, the workingman is surely letting it all hang out, but unfortunately as believers in Christ, we can’t go to those lengths in our song. We need to pay attention to certain boundaries and limit our licentious and carousing behaviour, so that the enemy won’t be able to get a foothold in our souls, thus the difference between the workingman’s song and our Friday Chant. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant now nuh, with commensurate enthusiasm to that of the workingman, and without too much envy, for you know mankind is always more enthusiastic and vociferous when he can let go and show his true lustful and carnal self. (smile) 

All together 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.’ 

Yeh friends, as believers we can relax, but not totally lose our focus because that’s when the evil enemy jumps right in and spoils the broth. And we certainly can’t allow him to do that, hence our more careful and controlled reaction to the weekend. 

Please remember too that next week is Holy Week, one of the most important times in our Christian faith, one that culminates in the celebration of Easter, where our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, sacrificed His sinless life for us on the cross at Calvary, then rose triumphantly from the grave, so that all who believe in Him can also be resurrected. 

Glory to God my people!  What a wonderful God we serve and worship! And don’t you ever forget it, for you do so at your own risk. For please note these memorable words of Jesus on the situation, found in our Bit. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life.’ 

Yes my brethren, Jesus is clearly telling us here that if we hear His word and believe on the Father who sent Him, then we’ll be guaranteed eternal life. However, if we reject the Father, then it’s cleaners for us; condemnation, judgement, eternal separation from Him. And He backs up all of that with some of His most profound and prophetic words from an earlier chapter of John. 

‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’ (John 3:16-18) 

There we have it friends, loud and clear, straight from Jesus Himself. So there can be no argument over the situation; believe in Him and the Father, and you’re saved. Don’t believe, and you’re condemned! Simple as that! 

I guess though that it’s too simple for some people. Just believing in Christ to be saved seems too easy for us mortals who glorify great works and accomplishments filled with much elbow grease and backbreaking labour. So how can such a magnificent thing be so easily accomplished eh? 

Our simple and finite minds can’t get around the generosity and magnanimity of our great God. His LOVE for us, His most wonderful creation, is so great that He can’t bear to be separated from us for ever, so in His ultimate wisdom, He offers us a FREE GIFT of reconciliation and salvation to prevent that most horrible of outcomes. 

Now a lot of us think that offer’s too good to be true, and usually offers like that are insincere, but remember, this is not an offer from deceitful and distrustful men, but from Almighty God, your Creator and Controller. He has no reason to lie or deceive you, but offers You His salvation from the wellspring of His amazing LOVE. 

And since He also gave you choice and freewill, it’s yours to accept or reject. But my brethren, I beg of you to accept God’s most generous offer, for it’s wisdom of the greatest magnitude. And if you don’t…then…unfortunately…crapaud smoke yuh pipe…! Much LOVE!

…the first movement in Christ’s magnificent symphony is…BELIEF…to enjoy it therefore…one must first…BELIEVE…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2018 Revelation 3:15.

Revelation 3:15.   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert (wish you were) cold or hot.

Awright mih breddren, another wonderful day on God’s great earth is upon us! Give Him thanks and praise! And you know what? I just checked the obits and none of our names or pictures are listed there! Wow! That must mean that we’re alive, alive and kicking, alive and kicking butt for Christ! (smile) I like that. 

It sounds like something we were meant to do. But are we doing it? To a certain extent yes, but definitely not as much as we ought to. The problem with our brand of Christianity these days seems to be that we are doing a lot of right things, but we are not doing them sufficiently. 

You know, you can give, volunteer, help, pray, whatever, show Christian attributes, but with a lacklustre attitude, no real passion for what you’re doing. It doesn’t seem to come from the heart, but from the mind. Like I’m supposed to do so and so, so I’ll do it, but not with any real zeal; a more legalistic approach than a heart-felt one. 

But Jesus calls for excellence, passion, and diligence in His followers. That reminds me of what He said to the church in Laodicea, through John’s vision in Revelation, our Bit for today. ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert (wish you were) cold or hot.’ 

Ah friends, that’s exactly how Christ’s church is today. The zeal and passion for growing it, for enhancing Christ’s LOVE Revolution doesn’t’ seem to be present in sufficient quantity amongst its believers. We still seem to be too taken up with the matters of the world and not enough with those of heaven. 

And as Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (spit, vomit) thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods (have become wealthy), and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.’ (Rev.3:16-17) 

Yes my people, if we look at ourselves in truth, we will see that we are still too taken up with the things of the world and not those of God, thus Jesus’ reproach. 

Listen to these explanations from the scholars. ‘3:15-16. The church is likened to lukewarm water, or as being virtually worthless. Christ says He will “spew them out,” or eject them from His company. The hot waters of nearby Hierapolis were known for their medicinal qualities, whereas Colossae was known for its cold, pure water. 

But Laodicea was forced to receive water by aqueduct from other areas. By the time it arrived at Laodicea it was lukewarm and provoked nausea. The works of the Laodicean church were as worthless as the city’s lukewarm water. The description does not refer to a backslidden condition, but rather to their lack of genuine faith.’ 

Ah friends, although I don’t think our contributions to Christ’s church are totally useless, I do believe that they are not worthwhile enough because our faith is not strong enough. Too many of us are too scared, lazy and lackadaisical about our faith. We don’t stand up steadfast and strong enough for what we believe in. 

There is too much fence sitting and compromise in our behaviour and actions. And both those things lessen the strength of anything. We talk a good talk, but we don’t walk a good enough walk. 

That’s why Jesus commanded the church at Laodicea: ‘I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried (refined) in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (garments), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (may not be revealed); and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.’ (Rev.3:18) 

I have to chuckle there friends, because nobody can turn a phrase like Jesus, can admonish you the way He does. And the scholars have this to say about that scripture. ‘3:17-19. Laodicea was famous for its wealth, its bankers, its medical school, its popular eyesalve, and its textile industry. 

Christ says that spiritually the people of the church are poor, blind, and naked. True wealth is found only in God’s grace. This church had no spiritual value (gold), virtue (white raiment), or vision (eyesalve). He urges the Laodiceans to repent of their lack of genuine faith and of spiritual understanding.’ 

Fellow believers in Christ, I believe that admonition of Jesus will also stand us in good stead today. Please, I implore us to stop running after the things and wealth of the world, because they will avail us nothing in the time to come. It’s time we raise the level of our faith and actions and concentrate on sincerely growing Christ’s church as personified by His LOVE Revolution. Why do you think He blessed us with our Thursday Blessings eh? So that we can lift Him up. 

Now let’s declare those blessings with a sincere heart and strong belief. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And if we truly believe, it, then let’s go out and share it with others as Christ desires, for a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared. Much LOVE!

…Christ wants His followers to be either hot or cold…not in between…

 

 

 

 

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