Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2019 Mark 9:35.

Mark 9:35.    ​And he sat down and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
 

And then it was Saturday and the ole fella was late getting up. Late nights have a habit of doing that to you! (smile) And it’s not like I did not get up before, but I felt I wasn’t rested enough to take on the big task of writing the Bit, so I went back to bed to get better rested. And that’s why the Bit is late. However, I know that all of you will understand my sticky situation there, having also found yourselves in similar positions at some or other! (smile) 

But to tell yuh how things change, and how after one time is really two, I did not even realize that this was the long Labour Day weekend until sometime late yesterday. In times past, oh boy, I would have already been in the Big Apple (New York City), or on my way there to attend their Labour Day Carnival Parade. 

But just like the Caribana here has changed, in my opinion, become watered down, so has the New York Labour Day Parade become watered down, also with too much police control now. Steups! As soon as six o’clock comes, they rushing you off the Parkway. And when you add the setta walking …Brother! 

The last time I checked it out, believe it was 2007, mih Aunty Anne and I had to park a mile from the parade and walk like everlasting to reach it! We both said no way again Jose! I haven’t been back since then. Even mih Uncle John and them pan side stop coming out because it just wasn’t the same, didn’t have the same flavour. 

So I wish that all who go nowadays have a good time, but me ent going nowhere! Like I do with Caribana, I will just remember the good memories I have of those events, and like memories do, they won’t ever leave me! (smile) So let’s turn to the more important matters at hand now nuh; the quotes we friend Anselm sent us this past week. 

Hear this first one nuh: ‘Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes.’ And that’s for certain sure friends, because it all starts in our minds! Our mind is the battlefield of our souls and bodies. That’s where all the fighting for power goes on between the evil one and the Holy Spirit! For as Cousin Sol informs us: ‘as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.’ (Prov.23:7a). 

Yes my people, whatever we think or focus most on, that’s what we become. That’s why believers need to focus on good things, the things of God, if we want to live successful earthly lives. 

And the next quote says: ‘Happiness comes from within. It is not dependent on external things or on other people. You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend on the behavior and actions of other people. Never give your power to anyone else.’ 

The problem with that statement is the word ‘happiness,’ because that does come from external circumstances. Now if yuh talking about joy, then that’s a different story, because true joy can only come from within, and it’s there regardless of our difficult outward circumstances. 

That’ why Satan tries his very best to steal our joy, because he knows that when he does that we simply become down and out. That’s because ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength!’ (Neh.8:10) And also why you can’t afford to allow others to control your situations, since they will invariably steal your joy. 

Now listen to this: ‘If you don’t behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.’ So true friends, so true! The corresponding saying is that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything and everything! And that’s certainly not a good way to live this hallowed life. So, especially as believers in Christ Jesus, we need to have strong, godly beliefs and stand strong in them, otherwise we’d just be wishy-washy, like so much of the world is today. 

And then there’s this: ‘It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters.’ And we all know that to be gospel truth my people! As Jesus said, ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ (Matt.7:16a) 

And furthermore, come the judgement, all our works will be tried by fire, and we’ll only be rewarded for the ones that withstand the fire. (1 Cor.3:13-15) So we desperately need to build on the only true foundation, which is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! 

And the last quote wisely asks? ‘How might you serve someone today? How could you take the time to say “thank you” to someone who has graciously loved and served you?’ Ah friends, those are all questions that we should seriously ponder this Saturday morning, because our destinies depend on them. Remember our mighty and majestic Lord Jesus Christ came down from heaven and became a lowly servant, not the Crown Prince He was entitled to be. 

Remember what He said to the disciples when they were arguing amongst themselves who should be the greatest among them? ‘And he sat down and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.’ Oh my people, in Christ’s kingdom, being the greatest oftimes means being the least. And Christ’s desire for us down here is to serve and help those who need help and service. 

Remember too the great example Christ gave us when He washed the disciples feet, did possibly the lowliest and most hated job in those times of dusty streets and dirty feet. And then His memorable words to them: ‘For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.’ (John 13:15) 

Oh friends, that is certainly one area in which the overall body of Christ, His church, and we the people of that church are extremely weak! We don’t serve each other, or the numerous lost and hurting as much as we ought to, because we still have too much pride, and still believe like the world does, that the one who is being served is better than the one that’s serving. 

However, that’s contrary to Jesus’ principles. So please let’s check our service meters today nuh, and see how we rank in that area, and take it to the Lord in prayer, because we can ALL do better than we’re currently doing, and that’s a big reason why Christ’s church is not growing and is not as powerful as it ought to be. Much LOVE!

…Jesus came to save the lost…to help the lowly and downtrodden…and that’s what He expects of His church…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2019 Proverbs 2:6.

Proverbs 2:6.    ​For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
 

Aye friends, the ole fella must really be getting old yes, because believe me, the aches and pains and them seem worse today than they did yesterday. And the hard part is all I did yesterday was rest! (smile) However, not to worry, because I have the greatest healer in the world working with and on me, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And He’s also offered the Greatest Invitation ever offered: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt.11:28) 

And yuh better believe friends I’m accepting that invitation yes…in fact I’m running as fast as I can towards Him, not even thinking about falling down, because He’s also promised to catch me when I fall, to have angels guard me so that I don’t hurt myself! Wow! What a wonderful Saviour we serve and worship my people! 

And hear this li’l note of advice nuh: I’d highly advise that you run to Him with all haste too, if you have any problems whatsoever burdening you down, because He specializes in that sort of thing: His yoke is easy and His burden light! And we can learn oodles from Him, cause He is meek and gentle and lowly in heart! Glory to our great God mih faithful breddren! 

And even the ordinary workingman who isn’t as schooled in the ways of Almighty God knows that He is mighty and majestic, as he declares in his weekend song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The day He release we from jail, from slavery and torture in the slave master work! When He gives us a couple of days rest and relaxation, to do whatever we want; just relax and do nothing, or party as hearty as we want, to eat drink and be merry, just in case tomorrow we die! 

And with August coming to an end, which means summer is also drawing to a close, I just think that this weekend we going to mash up the place, inviting everybody over, partying enough – can you ever party enough though (smile) – just in case we don’t get another chance to do so before the cruel and harsh winter weather sets in! Oh thank God for Fridays and weekend yes!’ 

And don’t you just LOVE the workingman’s optimism and candour? His frankness is like a breath of fresh air in this stale and evil world! Oh yes, he does go overboard somewhat, but he’s not restrained by righteousness as we are. But our Friday Chant is still best for us believers, as it sets some boundaries for us, to help keep the always-lurking enemy out of our souls. 

Let’s chant it now nuh, with sincerity and pride: ‘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!’ 

Yuh see mih people, we too can have rest and relaxation, as well as fun and fellowship! We just have to be careful not to give the ole devil a chance to invade our righteous and godly souls. (smile) That’s called wisdom friends! And we get it by seeking it from Almighty God. 

As Cousin Sol, in the role of a wise father, so wisely says in Proverbs: ‘My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide (treasure) my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding: Yea, if thou criest after knowledge (discernment), and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 

If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear (reverential awe) of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.’ (Prov.2:1-6) 

Ah mih people, what words of wisdom! And how yuh think Cousin Sol acquired all that wisdom eh? Because he sought it and searched for it like treasure, and the Lord gave it to Him! He certainly didn’t come by it just so. But had to put some elbow grease in his efforts to acquire it. 

And likewise, so do we have to seek and search for wisdom my brethren, cause it’s essential for living a righteous and godly life, but it’s just not handed out freely, some effort, along with some faith must be put into our search so that we can truly appreciate it. Yuh know how they say we never truly appreciate something unless we work for it. The same goes for wisdom friends! And the only place to get that most valuable commodity is from Almighty God. 

As Cousin Sol says earlier on: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov.1:7) Yes friends, knowing and recognizing the ‘amazingness’ of God is the beginning of ALL wisdom! 

However fools, and those who foolishly associate with Beelzebub, despise it, since they have to abide by certain rules and regulations. But no organization, society, or whatever have you, can last for any length of time without some basic rules and regulations, otherwise there’d be simply anarchy, with everybody doing as they please, especially in this greedy and selfish world. 

So in closing, I’m asking us, pleading with us to be wise. Do like the scholars suggest: ‘2:1-22: The conditions for obtaining wisdom are given first: one must earnestly seek it, as a prospector would search for gold (vs. 1-4). It is not an undirected search, however, since the parent’s instruction is the basis. The consequences of obtaining wisdom are then listed (vs.5-22): knowledge of God (vs.5-8) and right conduct (vs.9-22).’ 

Yes friends, let’s go out today and prospect for wisdom nuh, armed with the fear and knowledge of God and right conduct. And we’ll surely find it if we’re sincere and persevering in our search! Much LOVE!

…one cannot be wise without knowing Jehovah God…for it’s from Him…that ALL true wisdom comes…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2019 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 

Ah friends, the sun is out, but even more importantly, the Son is out in the ole fella’s soul, body and spirit! Wow! And do I ever need Him this morning as the aches and pains are running somewhat rampant from all the physical activity involved in going down to the Ex last night to check out the David Rudder show. 

And it was a grand show; beautiful lighting and wonderful music from an excellent band composed of mostly local musicians! David is also an excellent performer. He went on at 8.30, and with the obvious encore didn’t finish until 10:15. And the fans LOVED him, because he is a personable and engaging raconteur, does a lot of talking and encouraging in his songs. And though the rain began drizzling around 9:15, it never stopped the Madness of the party! 

And you can imagine the crowd response when he sang some of his many hits like, Hammer, Bahia Girl, Calypso Music, This is Madness, Islands in the Sun, and ended with his anthem, Give Thanks! I never got home until around midnight, and after doing the usual bedtime routing didn’t get to bed until after one. Thus the tardy awakening and consequently the lateness of the Bit. (smile) 

But here is an interesting quote that we can all use, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, and theologian, who was active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. ‘The essence of optimism is that it…enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not abandon it to his enemy.’ 

What an eternal truth that is my people! And more so for Christians than anybody else because we have the best earthly life and eternal heavenly future planned out by our wonderful God for us! Jesus died partly so that we could have life here on earth, and have it abundantly (John 10:10), then He promised that he was going back to heaven to prepare a home for us and would eventually come back and take us with him there. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus Himself. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh my faithful brethren, what an awesome promise! And we all know that our Godhead ALWAYS keep their promises! So why are so many of us so negative and unoptimistic eh? Being a follower of Jesus is the best cause for optimism in this evil and ungodly world. Too many of us are fearful, anxious and unsure about our lives and earthly situations, but Jesus has on several occasions told us to be otherwise. 

Remember two of His favourite words were ‘FEAR NOT!’  And in our Bit He tells us quite plainly: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ How much more can He say eh? But He does say more. (smile) Hear Him when He promises the disciples the Holy Spirit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

That’s why Christians should always be the eternal optimists! And this definition of an optimist is both excellent and true. ‘An optimist, regardless of personal problems, is eager to arise in the morning – to get to work, to be with friends or family, to live the happiness of the day. People are drawn toward optimists, for their joy shines on everyone around them.’ 

And that’s exactly how we believers ought to be! But in actual fact, would that be a good description of our current lives? That’s for each of us to know and work out with God. But please remember Jesus said that we should let our light shine before men, so that they could see our good works, and thus glorify our heavenly Father. (Matt.5:16) Well friends, we can’t do that unless we truly believe in Him and are joyfully optimistic about our future. 

And I’ll quote us one more encouraging scripture from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, how else and how often must Jesus say it for us to believe it eh? 

He has already given us the victory by conquering hell, death, the grave and Satan through His sacrificial death and awesome resurrection, we just have to keep the victory going now, and we can only do so by resisting the wiles and taunts of the evil one and being strong and optimistic in Jesus! 

And I certainly hope that what we’ve said today has raised all our optimism levels, and set us on a path where our lights can shine brightly and we can make a true and useful difference in the world as Jesus so greatly desires. And He has shown us His own optimism by not only dying for us, but also by giving us His wonderful Thursday Blessings so that we can do His earthly work. 

And since they don’t work unless we invoke them, let’s declare them all now, in loud, clear, sincere and optimistic voices. As one 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!’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s the way Jesus wants us to declare His word and blessings. Now let’s go out and do the most important part; share them with the less fortunate…Remember now, don’t hoard them, share them as generously as He has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…‘life is an adventure of choices to be lived…not an ordeal to be survived…I choose…optimism…and joy…’

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2019 2 Peter 1:8.

2 Peter 1:8.    For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Sunny days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yeh, let’s hope that today is nothing like yesterday, with rain straight through until late afternoon. Got caught in it going to an appointment some distance from home, and would you believe it was terrible; traffic just crawling, with road construction like everywhere, and the rain itself one minute petering out to a light drizzle, then next picking back up steam again. Good thing that it had stopped by the time I was on my way back home. 

And we can’t have no rain today because this evening David Rudder (the Crown Prince of kaiso) is down in the Bandshell in the Ex. And that’s a totally open space. So please pray that David gets a good chance to share his beautiful kaiso (calypso) offerings later. (smile) 

Now here’s another prayer, this one from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. He calls it: ‘A Prayer for Success.’ Please pray with me: ‘As I become a success with your help, Lord, let me never forget that what I am is more than what I do. Faith stimulates success. Hope sustains success. LOVE sanctifies success. So I cannot and I dare not succeed without your power, peace, and pressure in my life, Jesus Christ. Amen!’ 

Oh friends, all of that is so true! In the first place we must realize that what we do is not the most important thing in our lives, but who we are; beloved children of God! And that alone gives us a great chance for success. But as Gramps Schuller says, we need these three untouchables and ‘unmeasurables’; faith, hope and LOVE, to even enter the ring of success, much less to achieve it. 

And Peter expounds on the subject nicely, and quite at length in his second epistle. Listen to Him as he greets his readers and reminds them of God’s provision for Christian living, past, present and future. ‘Grace and peace be multiplied unto you, through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 

According to his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’ (2 Pet. 1:2-4) 

Oh my fellow believers, we see that our most magnanimous God has already given us all the power and grace and promises that we need to succeed in this life, but we have to now raise them up from our souls through the awesome power of the Holy Spirit. 

And Peter then continues, re growing in grace. ‘And beside this, (for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE).’ (2 Pet.1:5-7) 

Ah mih people, that seems like a real rough row to hoe, but hoe it we must, if we want to succeed in this Christian walk of faith and LOVE! And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:5-7. In this section Peter urges his readers to grow to spiritual maturity. Add to your faith indicates the areas of growth that follow after salvation. Virtue is moral excellence. Knowledge is spiritual truth. Temperance is self-control. Patience is endurance. Godliness is God-likeness. 

Brotherly kindness (Gr. philadelphian) is brotherly LOVE. Charity (Gr. agapen) is volitional LOVE (making a choice or decision to LOVE). This process is a lifelong cycle of spiritual growth for all believers.’ And so indeed it is my fellow saints in Christ! And Peter reason thus for his advice: ‘For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 

Glory be mih breddren! For there’s nothing better in this life than to have a good knowledge about Christ and produce good fruit in His image! And Peter further explains: ‘But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is shortsighted), and hath forgotten that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins. 

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (stumble): For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (2 Pet.1:9-11) What a wonderful life is being set up in heaven for those of us who place Christ above all else and do our best to honour and obey Him! 

Hear how the scholars explain those last verses. ‘1:10-11. Ye shall never fall: The author is not referring to falling from salvation but to failure in Christian living. The everlasting kingdom refers to the eternal realm of God where Jesus is the undisputed Ruler. It is synonymous with heaven. Thus one who acquires the virtues of verses 5-7 will have a rich inheritance in heaven.’ 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that my people! Therefore let’s go home now joyfully declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail which let’s the whole world know of our serious position in Christ, since heaven is our ultimate home. All together 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 if you sincerely believe, then you’ll know that that future will indeed be glorious; so glorious that we cannot even imagine it! Wow! So let’s keep on hanging tight with Jesus nuh friends, for that is wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…success in anything…means learning and adhering to these three keys…hope…faith…and LOVE…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2019 Psalm 4:7.

Psalm 4:7.    ​Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain)and their wine increased.
 

Well my people, it’s a rather wet and windy day in my neighbourhood, and most likely in some of yours too. But yuh know what? Through the awesome power of the Holy Spirit which indwells us, we can both enjoy and make good use of the somewhat negative circumstances! Wow! Give our Lord and Saviour much thanks and praise for the enjoyment of life that’s been made ours through His magnanimous sacrifice at Calvary’s cross nuh, for He is fully deserving of it! 

To tell the truth, because of our limited and finite minds, we can’t even come up with a truly ‘gratitudinous’ (smile) answer to His sacrifice, so great is the price He paid for our spiritual freedom! But nonetheless, we’ll muddle along with our limited vocabulary because all He really desires is simple praise and thanks and obedience. 

And just to show how great a relationship is possible with our wonderful God, check out this marvelous poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Beautiful Things Happen!’ And indeed they do when we partner with Jesus! 

Please pray with me: ‘O God Such beautiful things happen When I meet You day by day In quietness and confidence. There is a deep inner wholeness And the assurance of Your guidance. I am not so easily disturbed by changing circumstances. I am less dependent on others And more dependent on You. 

My eyes may be full of tears But my heart is full of joy. In discovering Your hidden treasures I learn how deeply I am treasured by You. When day by day I am responsive To Your whispered secrets You do more for me in one day Than I could do for myself in a lifetime.’ 

Glory to our great and most wonderful God my faithful brethren, because that is the gospel truth! Our Lord does more for us in one day, than we could ever do for ourselves in a whole lifetime! That’s why we ought to treasure and exalt and praise and be obedient to Him! But my favourite line in the poem is ‘I learn how deeply I am treasured by You.’ 

Ah mih people, the Lord certainly treasures us yes, because when we were still sinners, God showed His awesome and unconditional LOVE for us by sending His only Son Jesus Christ to die for us so that we could renew a right relationship with Him! (Rom.5:8) How touching and heartwarming is that eh? Very! Only a truly caring personality would make such a sacrifice! And our God is caring, if nothing else! 

And that’s surely borne out by Jesus’ comments: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) And also in His parables about the lost, sheep, coin and son: ‘I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just (upright) persons, which need no repentance.’ (Luke:15:7) 

Oh friends, that just goes to show how much our Godhead treasures even the lost, in fact they don’t want to lose even a single soul to the evil one. And now we come to the scripture passage on which the above poem is based, and which is also our Bit for today. 

From the ever-encouraging words of Bruh David in his evening prayer of trust in God. ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:7-8) 

Oh precious people, that’s the living truth! When we surrender our souls to the perfect trust of God, such joy and gladness permeates our souls, more than even in the time of harvest when we reap the benefits of our labour. And thus we can lie down and sleep in peace, without any worries about what’s’ happening in the world and our individual lives, since our great God, in His awesome trustworthiness keeps us safely under His broad wings, like a mother hen does her chicks! 

Thus the psalmist concludes in Psalm 97, re the Lord is far above all gods. ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance (for the memory) of his holiness (His holy name).’ (Ps.97:10-12) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, that is wisdom of enormous proportions! So please let’s be wise and do it nuh. And we can begin right now by declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong, sincere voice 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!’ 

So let’s go out and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE and friendship with others, as He’s asked us to do nuh. Much LOVE!

…if you’re a believer…and there’s no joy in your heart…then something’s seriously wrong…talk to the Lord about it… 

P.S. It’s short and sweet today! Give the Lord thanks for that! (smile) 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2019 Psalm 1:1.

Psalm 1:1.    ​Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
 

Here we go again friends and neighbours; it’s time to join the rat race we call work, labour, drudgery, or whatever negative connotation it brings to your mind. But yuh know what, if you truly value your job, even just for the money it provides, and you do it unto Jesus, and not unto man, as He so wisely suggests, you’ll have a much easier time getting up and facing the traffic jams, the hurry and scurrying hordes in the concrete jungles where you earn a living. 

Yeh mih people, it’s all about attitude. The attitude we bring to our circumstances will invariably help or hinder our faith walk. The circumstances most likely won’t change, but we will, and those circumstances will no longer affect us as negatively as they did earlier. And yes, I know all of that is much easier said than done, but if you’re a true and serious believer, then you will be able to do it, with the outstanding help of our Helper, the Holy Spirit of course! 

And yes, it does not happen overnight, so until you make that great change, then you are most welcome to join us every Monday morning as we petition the Lord for help to handle whatever ails us. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn! And we like to think of it as the antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday Morning. (smile) So please join with us as we reach out to heaven for succour, for mercy and strength, for grace to do the right thing. 

As one strong voice 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!’ 

How can the Lord refuse that poignant plea of His children eh? He just can’t! That’s why we call it our antidote. And I’m sure we’re all feeling better already; the adrenaline’s flowing, our eyes are wide awake and we’re just brimming with energy, stepping high and just dying to get into the battle trenches and fight the good fight for Jesus! That’s the supernatural power of our God working through the Holy Spirit! 

And that brings us to our Bit for today; a wonderful promise of our great and wonderful God. Here’s how the psalmist put it many generations ago: ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night.’ (Ps.1:1-2) How cool and appropriate that the Psalms should open with such a powerful and positive scripture! 

Yes my people, as true believers in Christ, we ought not to be hobnobbing with the wicked and sinful hordes of this world. Now we have to have some communication with them if we ever hope to bring them to Christ, but our first commitment is to God; to study and ponder and meditate on His Word, His guidebook for earthly living, so that we can learn about Him; how He acts, and how He wants us to act in His service. And when we learn His Word, and also practice it, here’s what happens to us. 

The psalmist says: ‘And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps.1:3) Now isn’t that a most wonderful promise? Indeed it is! But there are conditions attached: we cannot be involved in evil doings and we need to study and know God’s law and His purpose for our lives. Then and only then will we prosper! 

However: ‘The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:4-6) There are only two ways to go in God’s world my friends: God’s way, or the highway to hell! 

As the scholars explain: ‘Psalm 1. The key word in the psalm is the word blessed. It serves here as a pronouncement upon a man – but a certain kind of man. In essence the psalm is teaching that the blessed or happy man is the righteous man. The happy man avoids evil influences, deeds, and attitudes (vs.1); he delights in God’s Word (vs.2); therefore, God causes him to prosper (vs.3) On the other hand, the ungodly is worth no more than chaff (vs.4), and his destiny is judgement (vs.5). 

Finally the evaluation by the Lord Himself is described (vs.6). There is an ellipsis (words left out, but understood by the context) which is understood with both clauses in verse 6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous (and it will be blessed), but (he also knows) the way of the ungodly (and it) shall perish. The psalm forms an appropriate introduction to the Psalter since it sets before the readers the three characters who will figure mostly in the psalms: the righteous, the ungodly, and God,’ 

And there you have it friends, the basics of Christianity 101! (smile) Adhere to it, or pay the consequences. Your choice! Much LOVE!

…best motto for living…obey God…leave all the consequences to Him… (Charles Stanley)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 2019 John 15:5.

John 15:5.    ​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.
 

It’s Happy Day! Yes friends, it’s the happiest day of the week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the day when He rested after creating His universe and all therein. When He looked at it, He smiled contentedly, like a workman knowing that he’s done a good job and said: ‘It is good!’ The Lord also wants us to rest on this day, or at least one day of the week, to renew our strength and energy, because He did not make us to be machines, constantly working. 

And the best way to regroup for next week is by joining fellow believers in worship and praise at the Lord’s sanctuary, His house of prayer, where we can commune together as one body, Christ’s church, His vehicle for saving the world. So let’s all do our very best to get to the Lord’s house some time today nuh, so that we can sing and praise and worship and exalt His name and find succour and confidence and grace and mercy and forgiveness and LOVE for our weary and burdened souls! 

Now let’s commence our proceedings with the usual, a song of praise and thanksgiving. And today it’s something from the Gaither Homecoming Festival of some time back, sung by my latest favourite gospel singer, Jessy Dixon. The song’s aptly titled, ‘I can’t even walk without you holding my hand.’ Yes friends we talking about Jesus here, so let’s get soulful and sincere as we declare these awesome words of truth in sweet harmony nuh. 

All together now: ‘I thought, that number one, would surely be me. I thought I could be, what I wanted to be. I thought I, could build on life’s sinking sand. But I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I thought that I, could do a lot on my own, I thought, I could make it, all alone. I thought, thought of myself as a mighty big man, But I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand, For the mountain, is too high, and the valley, is too wide, Down on my knees, I learned how to stand, Because I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. 

Ohh my Jesus, I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand, For the mountain, is too high, and the valley, is too wide, Down on my knees, I learned how to stand, Because I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. Yes my Saviour, I can’t walk, without you holding my hand. Thank You, for teaching me that valuable lesson, through your Word!’ 

Ah mih people, that was wonderfully soulful! (smile) And Jesus gratefully acknowledged our praise with a nod of His head and a shy smile, because He still doesn’t consider Himself number One! That’s the Father’s position, and He’s not foolish like Lucifer and try to overthrow Him. Anyway, those words are gospel truth, because without Jesus, we’re nothing and can do nothing, as He so plainly tells us in John’s gospel, re the vine and the branches. 

‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit.’ (John 15:1-2) Now that’s a tough row to how because if you don’t bear fruit, you’re taken away, and if you do bear fruit, you’re still pruned, so you can bear even more and better fruit. As I heard Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) say the other day: ‘You’re pruned if you, and pruned if you don’t.’ But that’s the Father’s way, and also the general way of husbandmen in the physical world. 

And Jesus continues: ‘Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 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. 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 15:3-5) Don’t you like how Jesus doesn’t mince words, just puts it plainly and clearly? ‘I am the vine and you are the branches…without me you can do nothing!’ 

And that’s the living truth friends. Remember in our song today, everything was about I thought I could do this, and I thought I could do that, but then we had a surprising and sudden awakening; only when we got on our knees were we able to stand, and even then we couldn’t walk without holding Jesus’ hand. And that’s how it is if we want to be a fruitful part of His LOVE Revolution! And it’s interesting how Jesus used the grape vine as a powerful example, but in the agricultural society that was Israel back then, everybody would certainly understand what He meant. 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘15:5. The uniqueness of the Christian experience results from the union of Christ and the believer. This is expressed in the scripture as Christ being in the believer and the believer in Christ. Ten times Paul uses the Greek preposition ‘sun’ (together) to describe this relationship. Believers were crucified (Gal.2:20), dead (Col.2:20) buried (Rom.6:4), quickened or made alive (Eph.2:1-5; Col.2:13), raised (Col.3:1; Eph.2:6), seated (Eph.2:6), and glorified (Rom.8:17) together with Christ. 

Illustration: Jesus used the image of the vine and its branches to describe His union with the believer. Application: On the basis of this union, the apostle Paul showed how the successful Christian life can be opened with four key words in Romans 6: ‘know’ (vs.6), ‘reckon’ (vs.11), ‘yield’ (vs.13), and ‘obey’ (vs.17). The Christian can conquer sin because Christ lives in him (Gal.2:20). First Ref. John 7:37-38; Primary Ref. John 15:1-5; cf. 1 John 5:13).’

Lots of interesting scriptures there for us to check our friends. (smile) But if you really want to make a difference on Jesus’ vine you will have to know His Word, especially as it pertains to you being in Him and He being in you, for remember you can’t do anything without Him. And we’ll close with these words from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians that also highlight that very salient fact. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God;’ (2. Cor.3:5) Wise words to live and die by my precious saints of God! Much LOVE!

…only as Christ lives and moves in us…and we live and move in Him…can we do great things for the kingdom…

 

 

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