Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2018 1 Chronicles 16:8.

1 Chronicles 16:8.   Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
 
Well mih people, it’s the day that so many of us have waited for with baited breath; New Year’s Eve, or as we use to call it down south Old Year’s Day! But as they say, a rose by any other name is still a rose, and whether we refer to it as an intro to the New Year or as a goodbye to the Old Year, it’s till the same khaki pants! (smile) 

And I know that many of us are making excited preparations to ring out the old year and ring in the new one, getting out we fancy dan-dan to go out and party, and practicing puckering up we lips for that great midnight kiss, (smile) while making sumptuous plans and resolutions for the New Year. 

And believe me, I don’t want to burst yuh bubble nuh, but here’s a li’l secret; it all won’t make one iota of difference unless we change the way we think, and cleanse our hearts and spirits by getting closer to Jesus! Once the newness and its excitement wears off, we’ll, like the animals of comfort and complacency we are, simply return to our old ways of life. 

That’s why I keep saying the ONLY resolution we need to make is to sincerely promise ourselves to walk closer and more faithfully with Jesus this coming year of 2019! And friends, once we do that, everything else will fall into place; we’ll lose the necessary weight, drop the addictions, improve our financial picture, have a more caring and compassionate self and family, etc. etc. 

For remember, it’s the Lord who helps us to get wealth and all the other good things in life! Like Jesus said, seek first His kingdom and righteousness, then all that you need will be added unto you. And believe me friends, that’s not an empty promise. But you won’t experience it, until you try it! End of sermon! 

And since it’s Monday and many of us have to go to work and are in a crotchety mood, because work is interfering with our New Year’s Eve plans, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and declare our heartfelt plea, in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which has the awesome power to lift our spirits and faith in our awesome God. All together now, with as much enthusiasm as we can muster: 

‘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!’ Yes friends, let’s do whatever we have to do, as though we doing it for Jesus and we’ll find it all goes down so much easier! 

That’s the secret of living this earthly life in good form and shape; truly believe we’re doing it for our wonderful Lord and Saviour, who LOVED us so much that He chose to selflessly sacrifice His sinless life, taking our sins on His burly shoulders, so that we could receive the free grace of salvation and eternal life! Wow! 

And the Good Book opened this morning at a most appropriate place; at Bruh David’s psalm of thanksgiving after he successfully brought the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem. And having praised the Lord, offered the necessary sacrifices, given everyone meat and wine, and appointed singers and musicians to fill the air with thankful words and music, the Good Book declares: 

‘Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. 

Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgements of his mouth; O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the Lord our God; his judgements are in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.’ (1 Chr.16:7-15) 

Ah friends, on this last day of this rather disastrous and controversial year of 2018, I implore us to read those words prayerfully, and let’s action them in 2019 nuh, because it’s all for our benefit. And I’m sure none of us wants to go through another tough and trying year like 2018. However, we can only be assured of that if we sincerely and diligently seek the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob like we’ve never done before! Much LOVE!

…when sincere thanks and praise rise up to heaven…it’s doors open wide…and untold blessings pour down upon the earth…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2018 Psalm 69:30.

Psalm 69:30.   ​I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
 
And then there was snow…not a terrible amount, but enough to call it a snowy day! (smile) So it looks like the purists, though they didn’t get the white Christmas they longed for, might get a white New Year’s Eve. And now another Sunday has come around, the last one of this rather controversial year of 2018, which just means that we have to keep on keeping on, hoping, trusting and having faith in the ever-faithful promises of our ever-faithful God! 

Consequently, it behooves us to make our way today to His sanctuary to worship, praise, celebrate, fellowship, exalt His holy name and hear His reassuring word! And today we going to praise and worship with an old soca song, but one that is full of praise and exaltation for our great God. And I have a small axe to grind, to stir up a hornet’s nest, on the matter of local music being used in our local churches. Now where does it say that only the old European dirges should be used in our local praise and worship eh? 

It’s time we get rid of that colonial mindset. Nothing’s wrong with many of them, but likewise nothing is wrong with playing locally based music in our churches. God LOVES all kinds of music! In fact to make life real, wherever the gospel is preached, local music, music of the local culture should be inculcated into our praise and worship. And I know some of you die-hards won’t agree, because you’ve been brainwashed by the old ways. 

But just think about it for a moment nuh, why are we seeing so few young people in the traditional churches, where we just sing the traditional hymns eh, but so many go to the more contemporary ones, where they sing what is nowadays called Contemporary Music? Now this is the song I wanted to feature last week, but wasn’t able to. It’s a West Indian take on Mary’s Magnificat, by the Calypsonian Penguin, from way back in his 1985 ‘The King Moves’ album. 

Now I featured it one Sunday at Easter time this year, but it’s worth featuring again for this Christmas season. The words are true to the Good Book, and the music is scintillating and most excellent, sure to be LOVED by those hearing it in heaven. And there’s no reason why it can’t be played in our local churches. If you don’t believe me, then Google it and see for yourself. 

And this is what I wrote back then at Easter: ‘So without further ado let’s burst into praiseful song with the ‘Magnificat’, in an easy rocking, up-tempo Soca melody. Listen to the intro of bells, organ and crackling guitar…then shout out: ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah, (horns sing) Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!’ Now sing it again: ‘Hallelujah, (horns sing) Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!’ 

Now let’s extol the praises of our God: ‘With joyous voices, (horns sing) my spirit rejoices. (horns sing) And my soul has soared, to magnify my Lord. (horns sing) For He took me so humble, And He made me His vessel. Oh yes, He chose me from all the rest. Nations from east and west will know I have been truly blessed.’ (Chorus: For He that is mighty has done great things, I can claim, Oh yes, He is risen, mighty, glory is His name. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah! – Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!  

From generation, (horns sing) unto generation, (horns sing) He has been the same, to all who hear His name. Never vengeful nor angry, He keeps showing His mercy, a mercy that comes from up above, filled with His precious LOVE. It’s a mercy I can tell you of. (horns sing) (Chorus: For He that is mighty…) And pride and conceit, (horns sing) from right in their front seat, (horns sing) with His arm so strong, the Master pull them down. (horns sing) Those who rich and have plenty, He send them away empty. But from the poor He don’t turn His face, Fills them with LOVING grace, And raise the humble to high place. (horns sing)  

(Chorus: For He that is mighty…) He has received well, (horns sing) His good servant Israel. (horns sing) If you serve Him true, He will receive you too. Just like he spoke to Jonah, Abraham and Elijah, He still talks to us everyday, In His own special way, Listen and you’ll hear what He says. (Chorus: For that he is mighty…. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah…!’  

Oh friends, what beautiful music and words of exaltation to our wonderful God. I know heaven was dancing and singing along with us. And I was listening to the song and rocking along while I was typing it. (smile)’ I was indeed listening and rocking along while following it and adding horns sing! So tell me what’s wrong with singing that song in church nuh? Not a so and so thing? But if it was written in European style music, it would be quite all right! Ah Lord eh!  

Now that brings us to our Bit; exciting words from Bruh David: ‘I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.’  I think it is still a rather appropriate Bit for that song. That’s because God desires, and LOVES nothing more than to hear our praises and thanksgiving rising up before Him in song! 

Remember that’s one of the reasons He created us in the first place. But unfortunately I believe we’re not coming up to scratch with our praise and worship these days, simply taking His blessings and LOVING-kindness for granted. But that’s not how it ought to be my people. 

Hear Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 28- A Prayer for God’s help: ‘Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, and with my song will I praise him.’ (Ps.28:7) 

Oh my people, if God is such a prominent part of our lives, and has done so much for us, then it follows logically that we ought to sing and rejoice and give Him grateful praise and thanks, for NO ONE else is going to be so wonderful to us! But time and space are running out on us, so let’s have one more scripture for good measure nuh. (smile) 

More Bruh David – what else eh: ‘But I have trusted in thy mercy (LOVING-kindness); my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.’ (Ps.13:5-6) Yeh friends, if the Lord has dealt bountifully with us, then let’s sing and praise His holy name as though there were no tomorrow nuh! And who knows if there will be a tomorrow? Much LOVE!

…God’s heart overwhelmingly bursts with pride and joy…when sincere praise and thanksgiving…rises up to heaven from His people on earth…

…God’s

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2018 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.   ​And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.
 
And it seems like a cloudy Saturday morning, just right for sleeping in, but the ole fella is up early, couldn’t sleep in any longer. I did have a decent enough night’s rest though. The persistent cough I’ve had over the last few days seems to have eased up some, but I still can only sleep comfortably on my right side, which doesn’t enamor me to my back and right hip. (smile) And that’s what caused me to get up earlier than I desired. But that’s life! 

So what’s the action eh friends, on this Saturday two days before we ring out the Old Year and ring in the New One? Let’s hope that the LOVING and generous nature of the Christmas season is still fermenting in our souls and bodies and still being shown to all and sundry! This brings to mind an idea I recently read at the bottom of a Daily Bread Devotion, which says ‘as we put away the Christmas decorations, do not put away the Christmas spirit.’ 

Now doesn’t that sound very interesting, enlightening and Christ-like? It surely does. So let’s ponder on that statement nuh, as we begin taking down the decorations in the next week or so, and just allow the wonderful spirit of Christmas to flow over into, and all through the New Year!  Hope does spring eternal! (smile) 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm provided over the last week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one is rather interesting: ‘Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.’ And we can take that to mean that we should live extravagantly, beyond our financial means, up to our necks in debt etc. etc. 

But that is definitely not a very good way to live one’s life. One ought to live within the realm of what one can afford, and not go overboard and cause yourself more heartache and trouble than is necessary. However, the other side to statement is that one ought not to just live a comfortable life without stepping out of one’s comfort zone every so often, because that’s what really makes life interesting. 

We ought to set our goals, our caps, a little higher than we can reach on tippy toes, so that it will stretch us, cause us to put ourselves out some, and thus add some light and lustre to this dark and evil world. That’s what our Lord and Saviour expects of us when He says we are the light of the world. We are to be constantly reaching for something better and brighter in His holy name. 

Then we have this one: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ Now there’s some wisdom in that statement. Generally speaking, our decisions to be happy or sad should be ours, because we are the ones who have to bear the repercussions of either decision. Others can certainly tell us what they think, and we can listen to their well-intentioned advice, but only we can decide what state of mind is right or wrong for us at any particular time. 

Now here’s the last quote: ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ And I guess those are things we all would certainly like to do in this earthly life. But please note that the only way we can successfully do the last three is if we are successful at the first! Very little of true worth will happen to us if we don’t LOVE ourselves. And even if it does, we won’t be happy because our spirit’s not at peace. 

And we don’t mean LOVE in a narcissistic way either, but just being comfortable with whom you are, knowing that you’re doing your best, having Jesus as your guiding light. As they say, you ought to like you, because you take you everywhere with you! And that’s gospel truth! If you don’t like you, then most likely others won’t like you either. How can they when the dislike for yourself comes through in your words and behaviour eh? 

That’s why, in talking about great commandments Jesus stipulated in our Bit: ‘And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ Yeh friends, we only need two commandments yes; LOVE God, and LOVE our neighbours as we LOVE ourselves! 

Please note that Jesus didn’t just say LOVE your neighbour, but as you LOVE yourself! And that means if you don’t like yourself, then you won’t be able to like your neighbour either. So friends, it all depends on how we feel about ourselves, because what we have inside is what is going to come out. 

As Jesus specified to the multitude, and the Pharisees in particular: ‘Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:10-11) Likewise friends, if we don’t have true LOVE in our hearts, true LOVE won’t ever come out of us. And the only way to have true LOVE in our hearts is by making Jesus our Lord and Saviour and living by His example and desires. 

And we’ll close with these immortal words of Jesus on the subject. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) And that’s why our world is such an awful and evil place; we’re not LOVING each other the way Jesus LOVED us. It’s as simple as that friends! 

Now let’s spend some time seriously pondering the state of LOVE in our hearts nuh, and then ask the Lord to help us make the necessary changes. That’s the only way our world will improve. Much LOVE!

…it all begins and ends with LOVE…LOVE for God…LOVE for ourselves…and LOVE for our neighbours…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   ​Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
 
Aye mih beauties, welcome to spring time in December! It’s raining outside, and they say it might go up to as much as ten degrees Celsius today! Brother! Imagine that scene at the end of December nuh! I feel sorry for the purists who did not get their white Christmas and might not even get to ski as they ring in the New Year. But what yuh going to do eh? Everything’s changing, and changing fast too! I remember the days when you could be assured of snow, and plenty too, for Christmas! 

The duchess and I might even have wasted money paying for snow removal, since we can’t do it ourselves any longer, and there hasn’t been any to remove so far. But like my friend Scotty, I’m the eternal optimist! (smile) We will get snow, it’s only a matter of time…and then we’ll get so much, that we’ll all hold our heads and bawl! Matter fix! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman is singing this spring-like Friday morning nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And another long weekend…in cool weather to boot, as New Year’s rolls on in! Wonder what 2019 going to hold for we eh? Most likely the same old slaving for the slave driver…but we going to cross that path when we come to it yes! Right now is celebration time, ringing out the Christmas season and ringing in the New Year! 

And brother, what a Christmas we had; food and drinks and parties galore, though not as much presents under the tree as usual! But everybody was happy and had a good time. So we can say that Christmas 2018 was wonderful, as we thank the Lord for Fridays, weekends and Christmas time!’ 

Ah mih people, I do hope that we all had a good Christmas, and that unlike the workingman, we included Christ in it, because in spite of everything the unbelievers say and do, He is the reason for all this celebration, every year, in the month of December.

Let’s also hope that we didn’t overdo any aspect of the celebrations, kept Granny’s warning in mind: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And consequently, did not give the always lurking enemy a chance to get even a toehold in our souls, for we all know that’s his avowed purpose. 

Now let’s sing our weekend song, our Friday Chant. It’s not as colourful as the workingman’s but it serves our purposes admirably. 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, our song elicits a modicum of circumspection that’s absent from the workingman’s; we tend to keep narrower borders, so that the enemy isn’t given an open invitation to infiltrate our souls. That’s why Peter steadfastly warns us: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Satan is only interested in stealing our peace and joy found in Christ Jesus! When he has us low down and miserable and doubting then he laughs and believes he’s won. But the truth is he can NEVER WIN unless we allow him to, for Jesus has already won the battle for death, hell and the grave, He has the keys to eternity, and the prince of darkness is a defeated foe! He’s only trying to fool us into thinking that he has some sort of authority and power. But he’s actually a toothless tiger! (smile) 

Nonetheless, we still need to follow Peter’s advice: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) Yeh mih people, all of us experience some kind of affliction in this earthly life, because it’s a fallen world. Jesus said it clearly: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) 

Oh friends, I know that’s easier said than done, but Peter also has some advice for how we can best resist the adversary. Listen up: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7) Oh faithful believers, truer words were never spoken! Our heavenly Father cares for us more than we can ever imagine! 

And He is the ONLY ONE who can help us to steadfastly resist the enemy! But we do need to acknowledge His supremacy, and humbly come to Him asking for His help. And please note, He will NEVER turn away anyone who comes to him sincerely and humbly asking for assistance. That’s his ever-faithful promise! So let’s not be proud and foolish nuh, thinking we can do it on our own, because we can’t. 

But if we seek the Lord diligently, Peter promises: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen and settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) Wow mih brethren, what a wonderful promise! We can’t expect life to be all wine, roses and song, there must be some tough times so that we can grow spiritually, become more Christ-like! 

However, when we’ve valiantly withstood those times, with Christ’s help of course, then our wonderful God will indeed establish and strengthen us in His might and power. That’s why Peter ends thus: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5:11) Oh what a great God we serve and worship my people! Let’s not forget that He is our Alpha and Omega, our First and Last, our Everything! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…is the ONLY sensible way…to live this earthly life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2018 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.   ​But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
Ah friends, as Christmas week is winding down, and we winding up to New Year’s Eve, what’s there to say eh? The ole fella is stymied! Hn, hn! And I can hear some of you who know me chuckling and wondering if that is possible. But wonder of wonders it is possible! Contrary to popular opinion, the ole fella doesn’t always have something to say, but when he does, he makes no bones about it and says it loud and clear. 

Friends, I make no apologies for wearing my emotions on my sleeve, they might not always be appropriate, but believe me, they are always well intentioned. It’s sad though, that those who think I talk too much, on the odd occasion, when I keep quiet, they believe that I am angry. 

So how to please them eh? I guess I just don’t try, for I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t! And if anybody can tell me how we got to all of that, I’d be very happy, since I don’t have a clue! Guess the Lord thought since I didn’t have anything to say, that stuff might be a good idea. For all our sakes, let’s hope so yes! (smile) 

And I’ve just been searching through the bits of paper on my desk here, looking for something to write on – I really don’t have anything – and two quotes from the Daily Bread Devotional just jumped out at me. The first is: ‘Knowing God is what matters most!’ And the second is: ‘Jesus ALONE gives the rest we need!’ 

And yuh know friends, when you ponder those two thoughts, you can easily build a beautiful Christian life around them. They are all you really need to know! For as Jesus so strenuously and ardently emphasized in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, there are no more important words than those in the Good Book, because the first thing we need to do in this life is to seek God! And once we do that, He’s promised that everything else will fall into place! Give Him thanks and praise my people, for being such a wonderful Father to us stubborn and disobedient children! 

And as a fitting corollary to our Bit, hear these words of our wonderful God, as spoken through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah: ‘And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:13) What a beautiful assuring scripture mih people! All it entails is us seeking the Lord with all of our heart; meaning humbly, sincerely and with the right motives! 

So now that we’ve come to know God, the next important thing is to find rest and revitalization in this cruel, busy and evil world. And where best to find that than in Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the One who uttered this Great Invitation when He walked amongst fallen men here on earth. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh friends, oh friends, that’ the best invitation ever offered in this crazy, fallen world! Nobody else has ever offered such an invitation…and even if they did, it’s very unlikely that they can fulfill it, because it’s only something that Jesus can fulfill. No one else can give you rest for your souls, after He has died to atone for your sins, and bear your earthly burdens on top of all that! 

My people, Jesus knows what we’re going through here on earth, because He went through it too, that’s why He can offer the sustenance and easy yoke found in His unconditional and ever-abiding LOVE! And if you didn’t believe Jesus there, then here’s another opportunity to do so: ‘And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:36) 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus IS the bread that gives life: spiritual and eternal life! What else do we need to hear before we come to Jesus eh? Well try these words that He spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob: ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water (fountain) springing up into everlasting life.’ (John 4:13-14) 

And yuh know what friends, that Samaritan woman was smarter than many of us in this supposedly enlightened age. Without hesitation, she fervently replied: ‘Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.’ (John 4:15) Yeh mih people, she might not have understood all the ramifications of Jesus’ words, but unlike us, she knew a good thing when she heard it. What are we waiting for to seek God and come to Jesus for rest eh, my brethren? 

We waiting until He comes back again and it’s too late? Please, please, let’s not fall into that trap of the enemy, because He is only looking for company. Remember the worst fate that can befall a soul is to be on the outside looking in when Jesus returns! So please let’s smarten up today, RIGHT NOW, and look after our eternal future. That’s the wisdom of the ages! 

And having said all of that, let’s not forget to declare our Thursday Blessings that have been so lavishly bestowed on us as believers in Christ Jesus. As one, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and action, share those blessings as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…a word to the wise is sufficient

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2018 1 John 4:8.

1 John 4:8.   ​He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God IS LOVE!
 
And then it was Boxing Day! Glory be! All the confusion done now! Christmas not over, but Christmas Day has come and gone and we’re going to gradually revert to our old selves, no longer having to keep up with the hectic pace set by the world’s standards, and oftimes our own too. Except for those of you who still get caught up in the Boxing Day sales! (smile) 

And you can see by the lateness of the hour that ole fella slept in…But that’s what days like these are for…to recuperate from the joyful celebrations of yesterday! (smile) Hope you all had a good and joyful Christmas. Mine was simple but pleasant. And brother…food for days and endless days! Enough to feed an army, much less five people! (smile) And the sad part is that the ole fella is no longer able to do justice to his once upon a time favourite foods. How sad eh! (smile) But them’s the breaks! 

I do hope though that we all kept Jesus first place in our minds and lives yesterday, since He WAS and IS the reason for all our celebrations! I also hope that we found a few moments amidst all the joy and excitement to sincerely pray for those unfortunate people over in Indonesia, who recently suffered the devastating effects of a volcanic explosion that seems to have triggered an immense tsunami that washed away their lives and livelihoods. 

Another group that didn’t enjoy a festive Christmas is one out on our West Coast in British Columbia, where they suffered devastating effects from a windstorm, the worst in some two decades. Prayers, and whatever other assistance we can offer, will be in order for them my friends. 

And my eyes just fell on a piece of paper in front of me that contains a most appropriate quote from a Daily Bread Devotional. And it says: ‘In the darkest hours of life, only through the eyes of faith can we see the LOVING hand of God.’ And is that ever so true my people! In those real dark and troublesome times it’s only if our faith is strong and true that we can ever imagine a LOVING God out there in the universe! 

Otherwise, all our senses would either say there is no God, or God is not a LOVING Deity. But friends I’m here to tell us that that’s the furthest thing from the truth! There IS a God, and He’s a MOST LOVING Deity! Thus John, in his epistle seeks to strengthen our faith by letting us know that ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God IS LOVE!’ 

Yeh friends, one of the many attributes of our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God is that of LOVE! And if you don’t LOVE, then you don’t know God! Hear how John puts it: ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

However, as the scholars explain: ‘4:7. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor.13).’ Yes my brethren, unless Jesus is involved in our LOVE WALK, then we’re not truly walking in the LOVE of God. That’s why the scholars pointed us to that famous chapter in 1 Corinthians, titled the ‘Way of LOVE!’ 

And in this Christmas season, we have the perfect example of God’s unconditional and everlasting LOVE! As John says: ‘In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.’ (1 John 4:9) Ah mih people, to truly understand God’s great LOVE, we need to see how He demonstrated it. And it all began with His sending of Jesus into the world at Christmas time to put His most awesome plan into action. 

As John continues: ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that HE LOVED US, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ (1 John 4:10) Now that’s the real standard for true LOVE my fellow believers; God’s unmerited compassion for us! As Bruh Paul so bluntly and truthfully told the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth his (demonstrates his own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) 

Now only a truly magnanimous Deity would show such compassion for His enemies! And that’s also why John’s cry is so important in our faith community: ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:11) Oh my friends in faith, there couldn’t be a more appealing cry than for more real and true Christian LOVE amongst out Christian community, especially in these dark and evil times, when the enemy seems to be in the ascendance! 

Let’s listen to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as He pleaded with His disciples and also pleads with us: ‘A new commandment I give unto you. That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Ah mih Christian breddren, that’s what our faith is all about; LOVE, especially at this Christmas time! So please, please, let’s stop breaking Jesus’ heart nuh, and begin showing true LOVE to each other, so that the world can see it and want to come to Him and receive the same unconditional LOVE that we have. That’s our basic purpose here on this earth. 

Now let’s go home sincerely and powerfully declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our position in Christ! In unison 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 that future will be indeed more glorious than we can think or imagine! Much LOVE!

…let’s keep on talking our talk…and walking our walk…of LOVE…in Christ Jesus…Amen…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2018 Luke 2:7.

Luke 2:7.   ​And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough); because there was no room for them in the inn.
 
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
‘Drink ah rum and ah punchacrema, drink ah rum! It’s Christmas morning!’ Ah mih people, in my area it might be a tad early to drink a rum and a punchacrema, although some of you on the other side of the world most likely have tibbled some already. (smile) I have a brand new bottle of the rich, creamy stuff to check out later. A friend sends me one every year, that’s his Christmas present to me. 

However, let’s get to the important stuff: It’s Christmas morning! Glory be my friends and Scrip-Bit family! We’ve lived to see another one of these monumental days that ushered in the beginnings of our faith! That miraculous immaculate conception of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which ended up in His humble birth on this day some two thousand years ago in a lowly stable. 

 But that was just the planting of the seed, one of the four most important days in the annals of man, where God finally put His exemplary plan of salvation, free saving grace and eternal life for all and sundry into production, having promised it for numerous years before! Yes, it all began in a dirty animal stable with the birth of a baby boy called Jesus, our Emmanuel, our God with us! And there was such a racket around the fields of that little town of Bethlehem on this momentous night, that the world has never forgotten it. 

Now let’s remember it in praise and worshipful song as we sing the much adored song, ‘Joy to the world,’ written by that prolific writer Isaac Watts way back in the 18th century. Let’s raise the rafters with the joy that emanates from our hearts and souls this Christmas morning of 2018 as we joyously, joyfully, ‘joyeuxly’ (smile) declare: ‘Joy to the World; the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing. (Repeat line twice) 

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields & floods, rocks, hills & plains Repeat the sounding joy. (Repeat line twice) No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make his blessings flow Far as the curse is found. (Repeat line twice) He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love. (Repeat line twice) Joy to the World; the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing. (Repeat line twice).’ 

Yeh friends on this Christmas Day there should be such explosive joy in EVERY Christian heart that we should just want to burst with LOVE for Christ! For He is indeed the Way, the Truth and the Light! The awesome means by which we are saved! For NO ONE comes to the Father BUT through Him! 

Now let’s take a look at some of the miraculous action that happened around Bethlehem on that most auspicious night. Now Joseph and the pregnant Mary had gone up to Bethlehem to be registered per Roman edict. And it so happens that while up there Mary’s time came upon her: ‘And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough); because there was no room for them in the inn.’ 

Now one would think that the omnipotent Lord God Jehovah, His heavenly Father, could have made room for them at the inn, but He was out to prove a point by showing that humble and lowly beginnings don’t mean a thing! If His Son could be born in a loud, foul smelling barn of animals and do great things, so could any one else! 

Oh, listen to this explanation from the scholars: ‘2:7. Swaddling clothes were bandage-like strips of cloth wrapped around an infant to ensure that the limbs would grow straight. Not to swaddle a child would be a form of abuse (Ezek. 16:2-4). This wrapping would aid the shepherds in identifying Jesus.’ 

Now here’s the action! ‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon (stood before) them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore (greatly) afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David (Bethlehem) a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (cloths), lying in a manger (feed trough). And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:8-14) 

Wow friends! Can you imagine that quiet, silent night in the fields around Bethlehem, with shepherds sleepily guarding their animals, when an angel suddenly appears and tells them about the birth of this heavenly child, then a host of other angels arrive and begin singing, glorifying God, and exuding peace on earth and good will to all mankind! The shepherds were probably expecting another quiet, uneventful night, when to their amazement, it suddenly turned into a rather raucous affair of praise and thanksgiving and good news! 

Oh my people, those shepherds were so excited by the news that the Good Book says: ‘And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered (marvelled) at those things which were told them by the shepherd. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.’ (Luke 2:16-20) 

Ah my people, as we celebrate this most auspicious occasion, please let’s remember why it all happened, for our benefit, and let’s do like those shepherds did so long ago, when they heard the good news, praise and glorify God for the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And let’s not forget to declare our Tuesday Mantra which says who and whose we are; Christ’s! So as always, in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ And today is definitely the day to share that awesome LOVE OF JESUS! Much LOVE!

…the first time He came humbly and without much fanfare…the next time though…the heavens will burst forth…and He’ll come as the royalty…the mighty King He truly is…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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