Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2019 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   ​Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
 

Well it’s pretty white out there still, but the snow seems to have abated…till when who knows? But thankfully, I did not have to go into the city and face the mess yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I was all prepared to do it, but during the mid morning hours when the stuff just kept falling my resolve began to weaken, (smile) and I got the bright idea…or rather the Holy Spirit gave me a zeppo to call the clinic and find out how early I could get another appointment if I cancelled that one? 

Obviously I could not find a living soul to talk to since in this age of modern communications less people are answering phones, it’s all artificial intelligence. (smile) But I left a message…then waited and waited for an answer. None came until an hour before I had to leave home. The lady offered me an appointment for next week and I gladly took it, thanking her effusively, then I gave more effusive thanks and praise to our wonderful God for His timely intercession. 

Isn’t our God wonderful people? But certainly! Though His timing could be just a li’l less ‘just in time.’ (smile) The things He does for us eh, when He doesn’t have to. He could have very well said yesterday, ‘No let him go and experience the struggle out there and let it purify and strengthen him!’(smile) But instead, in His omniscience, He saw that I might not have been able to handle it, it was just too much for me to bear, so He mercifully and graciously eased up on the pedal! 

But whatever the reason, believe me friends, the ole fella is exceedingly glad and thankful that I did not have to go into the city yesterday, especially after some of the horrible stories I heard. ‘Thank You Lord, Thank You! I LOVE and adore and exalt You even more today than yesterday! Bless Your holy name! I give you thanks and praise from the very depths of my being! Help me to live the life that You’ve planned for me and run a good and strong race! In Jesus’ name I pray! Amen!’ 

Now enough about me and my thankfulness! (smile) Let’s turn to a more important subject on this last day of February; that of how we are doing with our New Year’s Resolution two months into the year? And some of you must be wondering, ‘what New Year’s Resolution is he talking about eh?’ The one that we made, on January the first, namely to walk closer with Jesus this year! I guess if we have to shrug our shoulders and jiggle our minds to remember it, then most likely we have not been doing it? 

Ah friends, what do we have to do to get us to take Jesus more seriously than we’re currently doing eh? Our world is falling apart under the tremendous evil and ungodliness that’s bearing down on it, and a strong and certain walk with Jesus is the ONLY antidote to save us from hell fire and damnation! If we continue the way we’re going, our world is going to blow up, both literally and figuratively, at some stage of the game! 

And is that what we want? Is that the legacy we want to leave for our children and grandchildren? Certainly not! Well then the only option we have to prevent that disaster is to embrace Jesus and ALL He stands for with a fierce pride and determination, for He is the ONLY One who can help us make a sincere and satisfactory difference! 

As He said so clearly to the disciples, and consequently to us: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ Wow! What can be clearer than that eh friends? But as is Jesus’ wont, He goes on to explain in greater detail: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

Mama Mia! What a powerful statement of truth is that last clause, my fellow believers! Without Christ we can do nothing! And whoever thinks otherwise is just fooling themselves! For as Jesus explains: ‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.’ (John 15:6) Yeah friends, that’s what’s going to eventually happen when the Lord sets up His judgement court. 

And believe me, that day will surely come, when all those who don’t believe will be cast out into eternal separation from the Holy Trinity, which I’ve often said is the very worst thing that can happen to a human soul! And the only way to avoid that rather disastrous ending is to do as Jesus says: ‘If ye abide in me (be my agent, my disciple), and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue (abide) ye in my LOVE!’ (John 15:7-9)  

Oh friends, remember our major job down here on earth is to let others know about God’s kingdom and thereby glorify the Father who created us in His own image. And the ONLY WAY we can accomplish that is by hooking up our broken down wagons to the magnificent and powerful carthorse that’s Jesus! So let’s wake up, let’s be wise and get with Jesus’ programme nuh. That’s our only hope! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings that our Lord and God have so magnanimously bestowed on us to help us do our job, spread His Holy Word and glorify His Holy Name! All together now, in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose with thanksgiving: ‘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!’ 

The next step is to go out and share those blessings, while staying attached to the vine so we can bear good fruit! Much LOVE!

…please remember…that Jesus is the Way…the Truth…the Life…the Light…and the Only avenue to the Father…

P.S. Yeah, it’s sorta long, but we can’t always deal in short, since short does not always convey the full message. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2019 1 Corinthians 10:13.

1 Corinthians 10:13.   ​There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
 

‘It’s coming down, coming down, the snow is coming down! It’s coming down coming down, the snow is coming down!’ Yes friends, that soft white fluffy, pretty looking but ever so dangerous stuff is coming down out there, promising to lay and egg of about 15 cm high! Serious stuff that yes! Lots of schools have already shut down for the day and the roads will be a total mess, especially in the evening commute. 

But what’s a li’l snow when we have Jesus to lead and guide us eh? Nothing really! And I’m talking big here but as the Lord would have it, I have to go into the big city of T.O to check my pacemaker, and believe me I’m going, come hell or high water, because I don’t believe it’s working as it should and I’m tired with this tired, short of breath feeling I’m still getting. It’s not going to be easy slugging, but I’m going! 

Aye mih first born…aren’t you proud of the ole fella, that he’s not canceling this appointment despite the bad weather? I know you are! (smile) And talking about that I just saw an interesting and rather appropriate quote from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) on the subject. He says that ‘A trial is for the purpose of purifying and strengthening us.’ Let’s hope this trial of going into the city today in this ridiculous weather does purify and strengthen me. (smile) 

But on the other hand, Uncle Charles claims that ‘A temptation is for the purpose of enticing us to sin, to pollute us.’ And do temptations ever abound in this sinful and ungodly world. However, we have to note one important thing here; temptation is not sin, it only becomes sin when we fall for the temptation. Remember Jesus was tempted too during His fast of forty days and nights in the wilderness. (Matt.4:1-11) And He kept telling Satan ‘It is written…’ quoting the Good Book for him. 

But He never fell for any of the temptations, therefore He did not sin. And neither will we, if we don’t give into the temptations that constantly buffet and bombard us in this fallen world. And the author of Hebrews tells it to us in plain language: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb.4:15) 

Yes my people, Jesus underwent all the stuff we are going through, so He can certainly empathize with the pressures that we experience in our daily lives. That’s what makes Him so great as our High Priest and Intercessor; He has first hand knowledge of the world’s temptations and sinful conniving! 

And the scholars offer an interesting point here: ‘Temptation is greatest in duration and intensity when one does not accept the “easy” way out by sinning. If man’s temptation is greater when he endures it, surely Christ’s was great since He had no alternative, in His humanity, but to endure it.’ 

Yeh friends, Christ had no choice but to endure it, for he could not sin, otherwise the whole plan for payment of our sin debts and salvation would have gone down the drain, since only a sinless soul could pay for us. But we have the option to sin, if we so desire, not that we would desire to do such a foolish thing eh! (smile) 

And what the scholars said earlier on, that temptation lasts longer and is more intense when you resist it, is certainly true. I’m sure you’ve noticed that in your own lives. And the author of Hebrews also offers another gem in the temptation problem, re Jesus. ‘For in that He himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour (aid) them that are tempted.’ (Heb.2:18) Gospel truth that my brethren! We are ale to help others better when we have already experienced their situations. 

But listen to these words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth, outlining this glorious promise of our wonderful God, who’s always there to help us. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ 

 Yes friends, all men are subject to temptation, but we must realize three things here: (1) Our God will never give us more than we can bear. (2) He will always make a way out. Not necessarily escaping the temptation completely, but allowing us to go through it and coming out safely on the other side. (3) He will be right there with us at every step through thick and thin of that temptation! Glory to our wonderful God! 

So please remember that temptations will always assault us, but we don’t have to fall for them, because we have a High Priest who can empathize with us, and also a heavenly Father who’s made provision for us to be able to endure whatever comes against us. We couldn’t ask for more. 

Now let’s go home this Wednesday declaring (wrong again) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our serious position in Christ. Wailing, as one: ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, how wonderful is our Jesus eh! Let’s be wise and embrace Him with all we have nuh! That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…with all that Jesus suffered for us…and currently offers us…why would we ever in our right minds…turn Him down eh…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2019 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26.   ​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 a great calm.
 

Well it’s Tuesday now, and the crazy wind storms and snow squalls that have harried us for the past couple days seem to have died down, but it’s still beastly cold, somewhere around –12 in my area. And I’m chuckling here because I know that during the inclement weather many of us were praying, trying to get God’s attention to stop it. Not me so much, because I was praying rather that He’d get me safely to where I was going, cause I got caught out in it a couple of times. 

But this time I don’t think Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat nuh, He was wide awake and just waiting to see how we’d behave. And we behaved just like the disciples did when the storm caught them going across the lake and Jesus was resting quietly, ostensibly without a care in the world, but the disciples panicked: 

‘And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 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 a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him.’ (Matt.8:25-27) And that kind of behaviour from men who had been with Jesus for quite some time and seen Him do all sorts of miracles! 

The point I’m trying to make here this morning friends is that too many of us supposed believers are still too small in faith like the disciples, though we have seen Jesus do great and extraordinary things in our lives! We talk a good talk about faith, but when the occasions come for us to show that faith, we always seem to fall short. 

Why is that eh?  Don’t we truly believe…or are we just scared and afraid of whatever comes against us? No, it’s not easy, and Jesus promised that we’d have trials and tribulations in this world…’But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes, and even with that encouragement, He knows that it will be hard for us, but He expects that our faith, which is supposed to grow each and every day we draw breath, will strengthen us and see us through whatever difficulties we encounter down here on earth! 

And the sad part is that even before Jesus came, the Lord was dissatisfied with the faith of His people Israel, as outlined in the words of Moses’ song to the Israelites. ‘And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very forward (perverse) generation, children in whom is no faith.’ (Deut.32:20) 

So I guess nothing much has changed sine way back then! And how many times did Jesus lambaste, castigate His people for not having the faith they should have eh? And there are several! Here are a couple of illustrations: In talking about nature versus Cousin Sol’s glory, nature won out every time. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe(s) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall ye not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ (Matt.6:30) 

That means we ought not to worry and be anxious or fearful of what’s going to happen because we’re more important to our heavenly Father than nature, which He looks after so well. And when the Roman centurion came to Jesus, asking Him to heal his sick servant, and Jesus offered to go to his house and do so: 

‘The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in all Israel.’(Matt.8:8-10) 

Yeh friends, the servant was healed, not because of his own faith, but because of His master, the centurion’s faith. Jesus was just showing up there the foolishness of His Jewish people who refused to accept t Him for who and what He proclaimed to be, but this supposedly heretic Roman, had no problem with doing so! And He’s doing the same thing today my people; crying out to us to truly believe and have the faith that belief ought to instill in us, but which seems to be sadly lacking! 

Remember the words of the great psalm that we all like to quote: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:1-6) 

Oh my people, how do you think all of that wonderful stuff, those mighty and awesome  promises are going to happen eh? They won’t just fall into our laps like manna from heaven nuh, but we’ve got to believe them and have the faith to expect and do our part to allow them to happen. 

So please my brethren, please let us improve our faith nuh, starting today, RIGHT NOW, both for our sakes and the sake of Jesus’ church, for if we don’t do better very soon, our world will surely fall apart with all the ungodliness and evil that’s currently being foisted upon it. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world, loud and clear, who and whose we are. In strong and sincere faith now: ‘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 the corollary to that is for us to now go out and share the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with those who don’t know Him, but desperately need to! Much LOVE!

…according to your faith…be it unto you… (Matt.9:29)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2019 Ephesians 5:18.

Ephesians 5:18.    And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit.

 

It’s Monday friends, that means it’s time to get up and do the new workweek dance: Yeah! Throw off the covers, sit up straight on the bed, give the Lord thanks for bringing you safely through another night, then put one foot on the floor, then the other, then stand up, put your left hand on your hip and your right hand in the air above your head, then twirl and sing ‘Thank You Lord, thank You,’ while simultaneously doing a two step jig! (smile) 

Oh I know that sounds foolish to many of you, especially the ones who get up irritable and miserable, but you’d be surprised how something like that could lighten your mood and set you up for a more relaxed and peace filled day. You know the best way to begin the day is by being in fine fettle. 

Anyway, if you disagree with that tactic (smile) then let’s see if this one fits you better. Please join us in declaring (right ho) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn which relieves all the tension and frustration and fear and anguish from our souls on a Monday morning. As we like to call it, the antidote for whatever ails on Monday mornings! 

So altogether now, in loud voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 
Oh me, oh my! What a wonderful high! Yeh friends, there’s no high like that the Holy Spirit of God offers! You can run on that for ages without having to refresh it. But thankfully we only have to run on it for today, because tomorrow the Lord will renew it free and gratis; no money, just sincere belief and heartfelt prayer. 
So now that we’ve gotten our fix of the Holy Spirit, it’s time to get out into the world and join the fray, fighting wisely and valiantly in Jesus’ name! No wonder Bruh Paul wisely advised the Ephesians thus: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit.’ 
Yes friends, being drunk with wine dulls the senses and leads to moral intemperance. However when one is filled with the Holy Spirit it enables one to live in a godly manner, showing off His virtues and character.
Now we need to note here that once you become a believer, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in you, but then you have to cultivate it, pay attention to it, help it to enhance your faith by reading the Word and meditating on it, as well as through prayer and fellowship with other believers. 
So on one side it’s a one and done thing; the Holy Spirit coming to dwell in you, but on the other it’s a continual renewing, as the enemy constantly attempts to break down your barriers and you keep refuelling with the Holy Spirit to help you keep those barriers erect.  
And the scholars give this interesting explanation. ‘5:18. The words ‘be filled’ here mean ‘be continually filled,’ emphasizing that the fullness of the Spirit is a repeated experience for believers. When a person is drunk with an alcoholic beverage, his walk, talk, and sight are controlled by alcohol. 
God desires that the minds of Christians be controlled by the Holy Spirit so that they will walk in the Spirit, speak on behalf of God, and understand the things of God. Because people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at salvation, they do not need to get more of the Holy Spirit, but the filling of the Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit gets more of the believer.’ 
I like that: It’s not so much we getting the Spirit, but the Spirit getting us. That means friends, to be godly we desperately need the power of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us, but He can only do that if we allow Him to do so. He just won’t jump into your life and seize control.
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and waits to be invited to do His thing. The same way you can invite an alcoholic drink to enter you and take over, is the same way you can invite the Holy Spirit to take control! (smile) 
But here’s the difference, in the words of Cousin Sol, the man about town: ‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink (intoxicating drink) is raging (arouses brawling); and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.’ (Prov.20:1) And that’s the gospel truth! And the scholars add: ‘20:1. Wine is personified as a mocker because it deceives those who partake of it. It is contrary to wise living.’ You can’t argue with that friends. 
And we’ll end with these further wise words from Cousin Sol. ‘Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour (sparkles) in the cup, when it moveth itself aright (goes smoothly). At the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder (serpent). Thine eyes shall behold strange women (strange things) and thine heart shall utter perverse things.’ (Prov.23:31-33) 
And the sad fact of the matter is that many of us have experienced that very feeling, but yet we refuse to leave it alone and turn to the Holy Spirit instead. Ah friends, that certainly is not wisdom! So let’s ‘wisen’ up nuh and let the Holy Spirit rule our lives, so that we can have the abundant and joyful life that Jesus died for us to have! Much LOVE!

 

…if you want to be lead aright in this life…then the Holy Spirit is the best…no…the ONLY option…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 February 2019 John 5:4.

John 5:4.   ​For an angel went down at a certain season (time), and troubled (stirred up) the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
 

Awright friends, it’s time once again to gather at the Lord’s house for fellowship, be it in a palatial cathedral or under a humble mango tree, for wherever two or three are gathered our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ promised that He would be there to join in praise and worship with us. (Matt.18:20) 

What a wonderful friend and Saviour is our Jesus! And there is nothing He likes more than a group of His followers getting together on a Sunday, or any day for that matter, and singing and worshipping and giving awesome praise and thanks to the Father which He so richly deserves.

Then listening to His Word and allowing it to seep into their souls and strengthen, renew and revive them so that they can go out with confidence, wisdom and discernment and face the world without any qualms, fears, or anxieties! 

That brings to mind one of my favourite scripture passages; the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome, as he paraphrases the words of Isaiah 52:7 and Nahum 1:15: ‘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 (good news) of good things!’ (Rom.10:15) Glory to God and His Word my brethren! 

And as always, we begin our Sunday festivities with song, and today’s anthem of praise is a li’l ditty we all know and LOVE titled ‘Wade in the Water.’ And like other Negro Spirituals, it’s been around forever, (smile) possibly since the days of slavery because its’ reputed to have been used by the Underground Railroad – the much celebrated network under Harriet Tubman’s direction, that helped escaped slaves make it to freedom in the North. 

According to Wikipedia: ‘Many Internet sources and popular books claim that songs such as “Wade in the Water” contained explicit instructions to fugitive slaves on how to avoid capture and the route to take to successfully make their way to freedom. An example of this is cited in the book Pathways to Freedom: Maryland & the Underground Railroad. 

The book explains how Harriet Tubman used the song “Wade in the Water” to tell escaping slaves to get off the trail and into the water to make sure that the dogs employed by slavers lost their trail.’ Who knows how much of that, if any is true eh, but we do have a wonderful and soulful version of this song to sing, done by the Fisk Jubilee singers, so let’s get on with it nuh! 

In strong voice and sincere heart, in rich song and answer mode, let’s sing praises to our Most High God Jehovah! ‘Wade in the water Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water Everybody, Wade in the water Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water. 

I looked over Jordan And what did I see? God’s gonna trouble the water. A band of Angels coming after me God’s gonna trouble the water. They’re going to take me to the heaven (event). God’s gonna trouble the water. Where the streets are paved with gold And there’s no further rage. God’s gonna trouble the water. 

So Wade in the water Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water Everybody, Wade in the water Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water. Some say I’ve never been redeemed God’s gonna trouble the water. Just follow me down to the Jordan stream God’s gonna trouble the water. I’ll tell you how the Lord has set my soul free God’s gonna trouble the water. And when I get to heaven How happy I’ll be. God’s gonna trouble the water. 

So Wade in the water Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water Everybody, Wade in the water Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water.’ 

 Yeh friends, the song is an interesting mix of Old and New Testament happenings. The verses refer to the Israelites escape from Egypt found in Exodus 14, while the chorus refers to the power of God’s healing as discussed in John 5, where Jesus healed the man who had lain for thirty eight years at the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem. 

The pool had five porches, and The Good Book states: ‘In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk (sick people), of blind, halt (lame) withered (paralyzed), waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season (time), and troubled (stirred up) the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.’ (John 5:3-4) 

So you can imagine the confusion, the rushing and pushing, shoving and angry names being shouted out when that water was stirred up once a year. Then Jesus goes and heals the man who had lain there for 38 years, from even before Jesus was born. But it all goes to show the mighty healing power of our great God and His faithfulness. He promised that He would set the Israelites free and He did just that. And today He is still faithful to ALL of His promises, and will heal ALL who come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ with sincere hearts, minds, bodies and souls. 

So friends, please, I implore us, let’s not be afraid to wade in the water nuh, if that’s what the Lord requires of us, because our heavenly Father will be right in there with us. That’s for sure! Much LOVE!

…I will never leave nor forsake you…thus saith the Lord… 

P.S. Yes it’s sorta late, but yuh know church has to come first. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2019 Romans 4:20.

Romans 4:20.   ​He staggered not (did not waver) at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God.
 

Ah Lord eh! No rest for the righteous! (smile) A body can’t even get a chance to sleep in on a Saturday morning! That’s because I’ve got to attend an Ironmen’s Breakfast at 9.30 this morning. 

The ‘Ironmen’ is a men’s group at our church. But I have to laugh when I consider that very few, if any of the group is under three score, and several are even three score and ten and over. (smile) But nonetheless, we are the Ironmen of St. Francis, committed to good works in the church and in the community we serve! Praise the Lord!  

And since it’s Saturday, let’s check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.’ 

And that’s fairly true! Most of us would much rather like to be heaped with undeserved praise rather than shrouded in deserved criticism. But remember friends, nobody has reached anywhere without some deserved criticism, and it shows how big a person you are when you can acknowledge your faults and foibles. 

Then there’s this: ‘Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.’ I guess there’s also some truth to that statement, because in many of our problems lie the basic solution to them. If something isn’t working our right, then I guess the best way to find out why is by going back to the beginning and checking all the steps along the way. We’ll usually find the fly somewhere there in the ointment. (smile) 

Now hear this: ‘Four things for success: work and pray, think and believe.’ That’s indisputable! Success does call for at least those four things…and sometimes even more! And then we come to: ‘Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have… every DAY!!!!’ And that’s no lie my brethren! 

When we stand up strong to our problems and not be wishy washy and double-minded, we’ll discover that they are not half as problematic as they first seemed. Problems have this habit of pretending that they are bigger than they really are, and when take them at face value, they tend to intimidate us and make us wary and somewhat unsure of our ability to conquer them. 

But when we come up over them, with the help of God, we discover that they are much more manageable then we originally thought. So perhaps when problems overwhelm us, it might be best to take them each with a grain of salt (smile) before tackling them. 

And the last quote says: ‘Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren, for it’s only when we face difficulties, that we get strong! And that applies to all walks of life. If you want to build physical strength, then you have to lift weights or do something that will cause your muscles to work hard and eventually expand. The same goes for spiritual strength. 

If you want to develop a greater faith in God, then you have to work hard at it, because it doesn’t just come by wishing. You have to go through trials and tribulations because we only grow when we overcome hard times. That’s just a fact of life. I’m sure you’ve noticed than when everything is nice and easy, no growth, be it physical, spiritual or emotional will really take place. 

It’s only when your heart’s been broken that you can appreciate the beneficial value of things like LOVE and romance. You obviously won’t like the broken heart, but because of it, the next time around you’ll certainly be wiser and more appreciative. (smile) 

And I don’t think we can find a better example of growing in faith than Abraham. Look at how at seventy-five the Lord told him to pack up and leave his family and just go, with no idea of where he was going. And every time the Lord told him to do something he did it, oftimes without a clue as to what was happening. And check out his approach to God’s promise of a child in his old age. 

The Good Book says: ‘And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb.’ (Rom.4;19) Friends, for decades Abraham had been trying to have a child with no success. Can you imagine the disappointment in a society that took children as a reward of God? 

Then the Lord promised him one when he was around a hundred and Sarah about ninety. Abraham must have shaken his head in amazement. But the Good Book continues: ‘He staggered not (did not waver) at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded (convinced) that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.’ (Rom.4:20-21) 

Yeh friends, it’s only because Abraham had gone through a lot of struggle, wandering all over the place and having one problem after another, but also having God bring him through them that his faith became so strong. Although he lapsed when he took his wife’s Sarah advice to go into her maid Hagar to produce the heir that didn’t seem to be coming from their own loins. (smile) And you know that caused untold problems. 

But look at how he was going to sacrifice the heir Isaac, when the Lord told him to. I’m sure he didn’t know what was happening. How could the Lord ask him to sacrifice the only child whom He had promised would give him more children that the sand of the shore? But in his heart he knew that the Lord would come through in some manner because He had kept ALL of the promises He’d made him over the many years of his nomadic existence. 

Friends, I assure us that the Lord will do the same for us, but I can also guarantee you that it won’t be all wine and roses, because we simply don’t grow unless we face some kind of difficulty in our lives. Remember that and keep the faith like Abraham did. It won’t be easy, but we’ll be well rewarded in the Lord’s time! Much LOVE!

 …you can’t appreciate the sunshine…until you have experienced the darkness…you can’t appreciate prosperity…until you have experienced serious lack…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2019 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15.   ​LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.
 

No precipitation…and the sun is shining brightly…and my desktop seems to be working decently …Glory to God! Yeh friends it looks like it’s going to be a good day all around! And even if it isn’t, we’ll still declare with sincere faith and trust: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! And the Lord will supply ALL my needs through His riches in glory! Therefore me and my house will surely follow Him!’ 

And consequently; ‘Something good is going to happen to me today!’ As well as ‘Something good is going to happen through me today!’ Oh bless the Holy Name of our great and merciful God my believing brethren and forget not His benefits! Yeh mih people, the ole fella’s on a roll this Friday morning! (smile) 

But so is the workingman, as he sings his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Never wanted to see a Friday come as badly as this one nuh! Brother! Ah really tired this week after all the partying we do in that last long weekend, then having to go to work and slave for massa everyday! Steups! 

Couldn’t even take a day off sick, because he was just waiting there like a viper ready to fire anybody who book off sick after the long weekend. So ah really don’t know how much partying we can do this weekend nuh. Ah finally realizing that ah not as young as I used to be and can’t afford to burn the candle at both ends as ah use to do! 

As the ole people would say, after one time is really too yes! So we going to catch up on some rest this weekend, renew we energy, so that the partying could continue down the line! Wow! The body really tired and calling for sleep and rest! Hope the massa doh ketch me sleeping on the work today nuh…else crapaud smoke mih pipe! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes mih people!’ 

Yes mih bredden, our chickens usually come home to roost at some time or the other. The workingman is finally feeling the strain of overdoing his worldly pleasures. That’s why our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted boundaries and cut offs for His followers.

He knew full well that overdoing the pleasures of the world would only bring heartache and suffering. And that’s why our Friday Chant is so much different to the workingman’s bacchanalian offering. 

So let’s get into our chant now nuh, with strong voice and sincere sense of purpose. ‘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!’ 

Oh I know that our song is not as glamorous and party popping like the workingman’s, but it keeps us out of trouble with the enemy, and that’s all we need to ask of it. It gives us respect and circumspection as to how far to go and also what we need to do as followers of Jesus. 

So please don’t denigrate it because it’s not as snazzy and popular as the workingman’s, which only invites the enemy to gain footholds in our souls, which is also the worst thing we could ever do, thereby jeopardizing our salvation and eternal life with Jesus. Now who would ever want to do such a foolish thing eh? 

You’d think no sane and sensible believer would do that, but unfortunately there are many of us who are doing just that, nonchalantly disobeying the solemn and wise advice of John: ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.’ That’s the living truth friends! 

As John continues: ‘For all that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.’ (1 John 2:16) Ah mih people, our natural instinct is to sin; participate in evil desires and lustful pleasures which are not a part of God’s realm and we have to stop letting the enemy deceive us with the eye candy that the world values but the Lord does not. 

As James admonishes us: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be (wants to be) a friend of the world, is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) That’s it right there in a nutshell my fellow believers! 

And also as Bruh Paul put it so plainly to the church at Rome: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Oh my people, as believers we need to be aware of God’s plan for our lives which requires our sincere dedication, surrender and submission to His guidance. And we can only achieve that by reading His Word and meditating on it, as well as through prayer and fellowship with other believers. To be truly God’s, we have to delve into and revel in what is His, not what belongs to the world. 

And I know some of you are saying that we preached this sermon just recently, but this is one of those sermons that some of us need to hear everyday! (smile) For as John so sincerely reminds us: ‘And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:17) 

Oh friends, I’m sure we all want to abide for ever, so let’s pull up our socks and do better with God’s help nuh! Wisdom and common sense dictate that we do! Much LOVE!

…one cannot be both…a LOVER of God…and a LOVER of the world…

 

 

 

 

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