Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 March 2022 Psalm 100:1.

Psalm 100:1.       Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). 

One more day people, one more day! Yes, through God’s overflowing grace and mercy, we’ve been granted one more day to enjoy the fruits of His great earth, in addition to His unconditional and everlasting LOVE! What a marvellous Deity we worship; One who has such care and compassion for us. That’s why scriptures like Psalm 100 – A call to praise the Lord – should continually be in our hearts and mouths. So please declare it with me this bright, sunshiny spring Thursday morning, the last day of March in this contrary year of 2022. 

Let’s ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves, we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps. 100:1-5) 

Oh my fellow saints that is the indisputable truth, and if we could just keep those sentiments in our minds and spirits and live by them, what beautiful, God-filled lives we would share! You know, a lot of us believe we must know the Bible backwards and forwards to live righteously, but that’s a big fallacy. In reality, we only need to know a few strong scriptures that embody the word of God, that speak of praise and worship, of forgiveness, of wisdom, of LOVE, and live by them. 

Scriptures like this Psalm 100, like the Lord’s Prayer: ‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one): For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ (Matt. 6:9-13) That’s the Christian life in a nutshell my brethren! 

Likewise, are those verses Prov. 3:5-10; all about trusting in God and not ourselves and sharing our first fruits with Him. The same thing goes for Psalm 23, that magnificent treatise of Bruh David’s on God’s goodness, that we affectionately refer to as ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’ And there are several other scriptures that fall into that category, which we don’t have the time nor space to get into. 

But each of us should personally search the Good Book and find scriptures that apply to our own situations and hold on to them tightly to serve us in time of need. And believe me, we will each have times when we desperately need strong scriptures to lean on and hold on to. So, yes, we do need to have a good grounding in the Good Book so that we can fight the many challenges that come against us, but for basic living, we only need a few verses that encompass the basics of Christian living. 

When we have the sentiments and guidance of scriptures like mentioned above, written deep and indelibly in our souls, hearts, spirits and minds, then we don’t have to fight to live the Christian life, it just comes naturally from that wellspring of God’s word buried in us. But until we have solid scriptures living within us, scriptures that automatically rise up to boost our faith, living for Christ will always be an inconvenient struggle. 

Now, regardless of the great faith we feel we possess, there will always be times when doubt will rear its awkward head and seriously challenge our beliefs, but generally speaking, when we are filled with mother-lode scriptures we will have comparatively smooth sailing. (smile) Remember too, that the higher we go in God’s kingdom, the greater our faith needs to become, because temptations become bigger and more plentiful as the cream rises to the top. For Satan doesn’t bother those who don’t do good and important work for Christ. 

Why would he eh? That’s because if you’re not working for Christ, then you are obviously working for him. (smile) It reminds us of how the Pharisees said of Jesus casting out demons: ‘This fellow doth not cast out devils (demons), but by Beelzebub, the prince (ruler) of the devils (demons)… Then Jesus replied: ‘And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?’ (Matt. 12:24, 26) 

That brings us to the question of the day; if Christians fight against Christians, like we are constantly doing, how then will the kingdom of Christ stand, and even more importantly move forward and grow? It won’t be able to do either, because standing strong and moving forth depends on unity and togetherness. 

And sadly, I don’t think we can genuinely say that these days Christians are united and working together for the good of Christ’s kingdom, since there is so much infighting, resentment, strife and evil-doing currently existing in the body of Christ. And it’s only when we give up those negative vibes and start living as Jesus truly desires of us, in unity and harmony, despite our many differences and disagreements, that the kingdom of God will draw unbelievers to its fold and move forward in true righteousness! 

And it’s not like we don’t have the tools and the wherewithal to do Christ’s work properly, because we do, it’s just that we are not putting our noses to the grindstone. We’re talking about tools we call our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has generously bestowed on us to do his earthly work. Now, those tools aren’t operational until we declare them, so let’s do that right now nuh. 

Altogether: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

And now that we’ve declared those blessings and thus made them operational, it’s our bounden duty to go out and share them with others just as generously as Christ shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…there’s such joy in living for Christ…when we’ve mastered the basic principles… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 March 2022   1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.      But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like today’s going to be as magnificent a day as yesterday, because there are dark storm clouds all around the skies. But I have no doubt  that we will persevere in spite of whatever comes against us this Wednesday, the penultimate day of March 2022, be it rain or snow…or even shine. (smile) 

Why? Because we have been anointed as mighty conquerors in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Bruh Paul said it thus: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:37) And the prophet Isaiah was even more forceful and confident when he declared many moons ago: ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is. 54:17) 

That’s why we can be strong and steadfast in our faith my faithful brethren in Christ! Yes, many will rise up against us and try to put us down, try to silence us, even by leading us like lambs to the slaughter, when we speak of Christ Jesus, sharing the good news of His majestic gospel, brimming with forgiveness of sins, salvation and eternal life, but they will not succeed, because our Lord and Saviour has conquered the prince of darkness and his evil empire through His sacrificial death and resurrection! Glory be! 

And Bruh Paul spelled it out in even greater detail in his first letter to the church at Corinth, where, quoting the prophets Isaiah (25.8) and Hosea (13:14) he told them: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15:54-58) 

Oh Mama, Mama! What encouraging words my fellow saints in Christ! Yes friends, our work for the Lord will not be in vain, for as the author of Hebrews writes: ‘For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of LOVE, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.’ (Heb. 6:10)  

But there are a couple of scriptural reminders I think we need to hear as regards doing the Lord’s work. The first one comes from Bruh Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, where he reminds them: ‘For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings. That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked  and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:13-15) 

Now that’s indeed a very interesting scripture, and the scholars offer this explanation to it. ‘2:14. Since God is producing in the Philippians the willing and doing of His good and perfect will (vs.13), there can be no legitimate reason for murmurings and disputings. Not only are they forbidden to complain about the difficulties and persecutions that will befall them in carrying out God’s good pleasure, but quarrelling among themselves is also prohibited.’ And doesn’t that hit the nail on the head? It certainly does! For if God is working in us to do His good will, why then should there be need for complaints and disputes eh? No reason whatsoever!. 

And I like what the scholars say about ‘2:15. If the readers obey the commands of verses 12-14, they will be blameless (that’s innocent of any accusations), and harmless (i.e. morally pure). But due to party strife and bickering, this is now not true of them.’ Wow! The Corinthians were bickering and divided back then just like we are right now. So how in heaven’s name could they be like sons of God in the middle of an evil and wicked generation, without rebuke, like they ought to be, without incurring spiritual damage?  No way! 

And the same thing applies to our current situation of divisions and disputings within Christ’s church. We therefore could not be held blameless and harmless under any circumstances. And the end to that explanation is even better. (smile) ‘The proper place for God’s people is among the lost. For only in such a position can true Christian witness be borne and influence for the gospel be effectively exerted. Yet believers must remain “without rebuke” in that they suffer no moral damage by contact with the unsaved. Then among unbelievers they will shine forth as lights in the world. As stars are readily noticeable in a dark sky, so healthy Christian lives stand out in testimony among the lost and give credence to one’s witness.’ 

Now that certainly calls for another ‘Wow!’ Because it’s the gospel truth! However, it’s not so easily attained, since it calls for lots of sacrifice, LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness, even when temptations and tribulations are coming against us like mad. But then, on the other hand, that’s exactly what the Christian life, truly living for Jesus, is all about. And no, Christ doesn’t expect us to be perfect, because He knows that He is the ONLY perfect One, but He does expect us to try our very best. Sadly though, a lot of us supposed believers are not trying hard enough, and many are not trying at all! So how then can we shine forth as bright lights in this evil world, and be good testimony to Christ’s gospel eh? We can’t! 

And this is the last scripture I want to share on the subject of doing God’s will. Bruh Paul said very sternly to the Colossians: ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance (salvation); for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ (Col. 3:23-24) Oh my people, whether we be slave or free, whatever we do in this life, we ought to do it as though we’re doing it to God and not to men, although they might have current dominion over us, because it’s God who will reward us in the end. Please, let’s not forget that and raise the level of our Christian witness as is so necessary in these trying times. 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to do all that we’ve spoken of, let’s go home declaring  (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and confident voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And it behooves us now to endure until the end, because then the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. Much LOVE!

…am I ever looking forward to that more than glorious future…because I intend to be there at the end…hope you are too…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 March 2022 John 8:12.

John 8:12.      I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Oh friends, it’s a bright sunshiny morning in my neighbourhood! This Tuesday morning in early spring, there’s nary a dark cloud in the sky! It’s so bright that I had to put on my dark glasses as I went to put out the garbage just now, else it would have blinded me! (smile) And it doesn’t even feel as cold as it did yesterday afternoon when I went out to the mailbox! 

Wow! That gives us the reassurance to confidently acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it! And don’t forget that something good is going to happen to us today, and something good is also going to happen through us today! That’s because we can do all things through Christ who strengthen us! And furthermore, our great and wonderful God will provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Mama Yo! That’s why it’s such a joy and a pleasure to live for Jesus. No one else provides the benefits and faithful promises that He does. That’s why He reassures in His word: ‘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) And don’t forget this other magnificent upliftment for our souls: ‘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 6:33) 

And that’s the gospel truth, because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has indeed overcome the world by dying and rising from the dead, thus defeating hell, death, Satan and the grave! Glory Hallelujah! What a wonderful warrior is our Jesus! That’s why one of His favourite terms and words of advice while here on earth was ‘Fear not!’ But we still fear, despite all His entreaties and reassurances. 

And truthfully, we can’t ever stop fear from coming upon or against us, but we can certainly stop it from consuming us. This morning though, I want to share a poem on that malicious word ‘fear’ that I found stuck up on the bedroom wall of my young daughter. There’s no title attached to it, so we’ll just call it ‘FEAR!’ I am sure that I’ve shared it before, but in these fearful and turbulent times, it’s certainly worth hearing again. 

So please read with me: ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. 

We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’ 

Ah mih people, I couldn’t put it any better! And there’s a lot of truth in that poem, because many of us fear to open up ourselves not wanting to overshadow those around us. But that’s not supposed to be a problem, since when we shine our lights, we give others the encouragement to rise up and shine theirs too. Why do you think Jesus made such a fuss over us being shining lights in this evil world? Because it’s of the utmost importance. We cannot be afraid of this dark and evil world or what it threatens to do to us, because the light of Jesus is greater than any darkness that’s in the world. 

Remember John’s contention: ‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (could not overcome it).’ (John 1:5) Yes friends light always opens up darkness, and the light of Jesus is the most powerful light in the world. Please remember the promise the Lord made through Isaiah, as he talks about the birth of the Prince of Peace. ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) 

That light was Jesus. And that prophecy was considered fulfilled, as it’s recorded in Matt. 4:15-16, when Jesus began His ministry in Capernaum, along the sea coast of the afflicted regions of the northern tribal areas of Israel, like Zebulun and Naphtali which suffered greatly under the Assyrian invasion. Remember too, the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah at his birth, when he got back his speech. ‘Through the tender mercy of our God: whereby the day-spring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited (will visit) us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:78-79) 

And how can we ever forget Jesus’ great pronouncement to the Pharisees; and consequently to us, and to all the world: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) And let’s not forget what Jesus said to the people when they questioned His words on His resurrection and ascension. (John 12:30-34) ‘Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children (become sons) of light.’ (John 12:35-36) 

Now that’s what we ought to become when we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour; the children, the sons of light, because Almighty God is the Father of light, and Jesus is His bright and shining star. But He can’t shine individually to everybody, that’s why He desires to use us, His supposed ambassadors, agents and followers. And that’s why He commanded us thus: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket) but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14-16) 

Jesus says it there loud and clear my people! If we are his followers, then our lights should be blazing forth to a dark and evil world, lighting it up like a Christmas tree! But unfortunately we are not doing that. Our lights are barely pouring forth, flickering like that which comes from a dying battery or a lamp low on oil, or a candle that’s at its end. And that is certainly not acceptable, not if we consider ourselves true believers in Christ Jesus! And sadly, we all know we can do better, but for whatever reason we refuse to make the effort it requires. 

Please friends, for a moment, let’s consider the ‘sufferation’ Jesus bore so that we could be set free and forgiven of our sins nuh, and in a moment of shame, let our resolve rise up to be better purveyors of His light in this dark world. That’s the only remedy that will suffice for our poor showing. Now, for those of us who are already trying to shine our light, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and walk that talk; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE him like we do! Much LOVE!

…when our light shines forth…then peace, joy and LOVE…come to our world… 

P.S.  And yes, it’s long, but I think it’s very good; a good reawakening! (smile) Much LOVE! 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 March 2022 Romans 5:6.

Romans 5:6.      For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.

Bless the Lord O my soul for life and light this last Monday morning of March 2022! The sun’s shining, though it seems somewhat chilly, but as the song is saying, ‘Lift your hands and praise the Lord despite the circumstances.’ Yes, as true believers, that’s what is expected of us. And as they are saying ‘If you want to see the glory of the Lord, Lift up your hands and praise the Lord!’ We must command our hands, feet and mouths to praise the Lord, if we want to enjoy His benefits. 

Now answer me this most important question. What do you think about Jesus? And the correct answer is that ‘Jesus is DYNOMITE!’ (smile) Yes mih faithful brethren, that’s the only word to truly describe the power and glory of our wonderful and ever-precious Lord and Saviour! His power is awesome, NOTHING is impossible to him! His forgiveness, LOVE, mercy and grace are without bounds and limits, and He gives them freely to all who sincerely desire them! No wonder we praise and worship Him that highly! 

No One else but Him could have sacrificed His holy, sinless life for our sinful ones, taking our sins unto Himself and giving us His righteousness. As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in his second missive. ‘For he (God, the Father) hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (2 Cor. 5:21) And all God’s people shouted a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to the Lamb that was slain on our behalf! Praise His holy name, that’s Jesus: the name above every other; the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!’ 

Oh my people, there’s never been as great a sacrifice on all the earth as Jesus dying in our place. But in heaven, there might have been the greatest sacrifice ever; that of the Father sacrificing His only Son, placing the sins of the whole world on His sinless shoulders so a bunch of ingrates could be saved, be made righteous and be reconciled to Him. 

Bruh Paul says it earlier on in that chapter: ‘And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given us the ministry of reconciliation. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor. 5:18-19) 

Yes friends, it was all the work of the Father, operating through Christ! And what’s reconciliation you ask? Listen as the scholars explain it. ‘Reconciliation is the act whereby God on the basis of Christ’s death, has eliminated the cause of hostility between himself and humanity, making possible a complete and maturing fellowship. (The hostility was caused by sin, and was eliminated by the Cross.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what can ever be better than that eh; sins wiped away in one fell stroke by someone else’s sacrifice? NOTHING! And we talk a lot about Jesus, and so we ought to, but I think one of the things we don’t consider enough is the great courage and LOVE it took for the Father to sacrifice Jesus on our behalf. Just consider for a moment your having to give up your only son for someone who wasn’t even truly grateful for your sacrifice. You obviously had to be very courageous and LOVE and care for that person a whole lot. 

And the Lord did have that eternal, heart-rending LOVE and compassion for us, His most important and precious creation. As Bruh Paul recounts so realistically and ‘tear-jerkingly’ in his letter to the church at Rome. ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God, commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:6-8) 

How many of us would have done that eh, despite all the LOVE we proclaim? Very few, if any. But God the Father LOVED us so much that He was willing to put His mouth and heart to the test without any reassurances from us. But sadly, so many of us refuse to return that trust and confidence, refuse to be reconciled to Him! What a pity, what a crying shame, that we have not learned from all the mistakes of our ancestors down through the ages, and all the negative consequences they’ve suffered as a result of those rebellious and ungodly errors. 

But friends, it’s not too late. In fact, it’s never too late to turn to the God of our creation and salvation, for once there is life, there is ALWAYS hope in Him. So today, let’s be wise and take a leap of faith and go confidently to the throne of the God of many chances, and through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, lay our problems before Him, all in Jesus’ name. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And now, the answers to those prayers depend upon our keeping the promises we’ve made, for as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher, puts it so clearly and bluntly in Ecclesiastes. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it: for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl. 5:4-5) 

Oh my fellow saints, that’s wisdom in spades! So please let’s take it to heart nuh, and put it into action! Much LOVE!

…God created promises to be kept…not to be broken…He made them in the Old Testament…and fulfilled them in the New Testament…all through Jesus… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 March 2022 Mark 10:15.

Mark 10:15.      Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

And sadly friends, I must inform you, that on this the Lord’s day, some of heaven’s white precipitate, has precipitated down to earth! (smile) Yes, there’s a light covering of snow on the ground this Sunday morning that began sometime after six thirty, because I looked outside at that time and the place was clean. But now, a couple hours later, it’s white. And who knows what will eventually happen, although the good news is that a short while ago, I saw the sun valiantly shining through up in the eastern skies. So anything is still possible. 

And as we gather for worship, either physically in the Lord’s sanctuary, or by some electronic means, let’s banish all anxiety and worry from our souls and spirits, because the Creator of the universe and all therein dwells within us, through the power of His Holy Spirit and has unlimited compassion and LOVE for us. That’s why we’ll open today’s proceedings with this marvellous and very popular Christian hymn written by American hymnwriter and novelist Anna B. Warner, around 1859, that demonstrates that amazing LOVE. It’s aptly titled ‘JESUS LOVES ME!’ 

Wow! What an honour and a privilege to be LOVED by the Creator and Saviour of the world! So let’s cut the talk and offer up our sacrifices of praise in a joyful, soulful, heartfelt, up-tempo version, letting all earth and heaven know that we are truly blessed by, and are sincerely grateful for the LOVE of Christ!  

Altogether now: ‘Jesus LOVES me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so; Little ones to Him belong; They are weak, but He is strong. (Refrain: Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! The Bible tells me so.) Jesus LOVES me! This I know, As He LOVED so long ago, Taking children on His knee, Saying, “Let them come to Me.” (Ref ) – Jesus LOVES me still today, Walking with me on my way, Wanting as a friend to give Light and LOVE to all who live. – (Ref.) 

Jesus LOVES me! He who died Heaven’s gate to open wide; He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in. –  (Ref.) Jesus LOVES me! He will stay Close beside me all the way; Thou hast bled and died for me, I will henceforth live for Thee. (Ref.) Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! For the Bible tells me so.’ 

And friends, if we can’t believe the Bible, the unalterable truth of God’s Word, then I don’t know what we can believe nuh! And according to the website Godtube: ‘The Bible tells us that God LOVES each and every one of us, despite our sins and faults. Be comforted by the simple lyrics of ‘JESUS LOVES ME’ and remember that our Creator is Almighty and ALL-LOVING. He is with us each step of the day and will never leave our side. We may be weak, but He is our strength.’ 

Oh my Christian brethren, that’s the gospel truth, and we need to believe it so badly in these tough and very trying times, if we are to live a successful life in and for Christ! And we do need to come to Jesus like little children in total trust and faith if we want to receive His grace and mercy. Remember His comparisons to the kingdom of heaven and children? 

When talking about greatness to the disciples, the Good Book tells us: ‘And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them. And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such child in my name, receiveth me.’ (Matt. 18:2-5) That tells us in no uncertain terms that if we want to be great in God’s kingdom, we have to be humble and trusting like a young child, not the way the world considers greatness, with arrogance and self-importance. 

Then there’s this testimony from the gospel of Mark, where parents brought their children to be blessed by Jesus, but the disciples rebuked and turned them away. ‘But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer (allow) the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them. And blessed them.’ (Mark 10:14-16) 

Wow mih people! Hearing that, how can you not be enamoured of Jesus eh?  And I want to share two very interesting explanations of the scholars on those verses. As per 10:14, they say ‘Mark often stresses Jesus showing of strong feeling.’ Now that’s the attitude of a truly caring person. And they cite these references for that conclusion. (1;41, 43; 3:5; 7:34; 8:34; 9:19). Then for 10:16, they write. ‘Every parent knows that no child is perfect. But Jesus sees their refreshing openness to new things, their eagerness to learn and follow, a welcome contrast to adult self-dependence and cynicism.’ 

And that hit’s the nail right on the very head! You can’t accept Jesus unless you’re open and eager to learn. And all Jesus desires to teach us is based on the principle of LOVE – LOVE for God, for oneself and for one’s neighbour, as He emphasizes in Matt. 22:37-40, when asked about the greatest commandments. Now, listen to how Bruh Paul puts it all together when he writes to the Ephesians re a prayer for inner growth. 

He asks that God, ‘the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named (from whom the Christian spiritual life is derived). That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye be rooted and grounded in LOVE, May be able to comprehend (understand) with all the saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth, and height, And to know the LOVE of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph. 3:14-19) 

Yes my fellow saints, Bruh Paul prays there that we would be divinely enabled to live a successful Christian life filled with the virtues and character of God, and truly come to know and understand all the various aspects of Christ’s magnificent and unmatchable LOVE! Then he ends by stating: ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church of Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph. 3:20-21) 

And yes friends, Bruh Paul knew that the Lord God Jehovah had the power and interest to do all that He asked for in the Ephesian church. Now, the important question is, do we truly believe that God can do those same things in our lives today? And until we do, we will not be able to live the successful Christian life that Christ sacrificed Himself for us to have. As they say, a word to the wise is sufficient. Much LOVE!

…to come to Christ…one must possess a child-like spirit… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 March 2022 Matthew 4:19.

Matthew 4:19.      And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him.

So, finally we come to Saturday, that in-between day where you can either do plenty or nothing at all! (smile) And though many of us choose to do the latter, a lot of folks are busy doing their household chores like laundry, house cleaning and grocery shopping, things they could not do during the work week. 

That means the malls and other business places are pretty busy on a Saturday. It’s probably the worst day to go shopping, since all those who can’t do it during the week are out shopping today. And with some of the mask restrictions lifted and the weather warming up, though it’s cloudy right now, a lot of us who have been shut in for so long, will just be out there spreading our wings and learning how to fly again. (smile) 

But before you go out and spread those wings, let’s note some good information on the subject, through the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one tells us that ‘Vision without a task is only a dream. A task without a vision is but drudgery. But vision with a task is a dream fulfilled.’ 

Now that seems very logical, because visions and tasks go together, one without the other is like a ship without a rudder or a sail. One guides and informs the other. As the man says, if you don’t have a practical point to your vision, then it’s only a dream, a figment of your imagination. And if you’re just doing practical stuff without a purpose or have a positive focus, then all you’re doing is mindless, uninspiring, fatiguing hard labour. 

That brings us to the next quote, which says: ‘A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done. A leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there.’ 

And it is the gospel truth my brethren! That’s why leaders are so important in all walks of life. They ought to possess the vision and conviction in making a dream happen, as well as the necessary ability to encourage others, to help them aspire to higher levels, and to walk with them sincerely and faithfully through the challenges, through the fire that any worthwhile dream will present before it’s successfully accomplished. 

Now that’s why there have been few real leaders down through the ages. Some have the vision and conviction, but not the leadership skills to encourage others to walk their path. Meanwhile, others have the charisma, the innate power through their speaking ability to draw followers to them, but their causes are not worthwhile and eventually go up in flames. 

But down through the ages, there’s been ONE man who stood out as a leader, who had ALL that was necessary to lead. We know Him as our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The One who came down from heaven to die on the cross to atone for the sins of man, to give us the options of salvation and eternal life. He was truly a man with a vison and strong conviction on the kingdom of heaven, as well as the unerring sense to draw people to Him, to encourage them to follow in His footsteps. 

Yuh see how easy He got Peter and Andrew, two busy fishermen to follow Him. While walking by the sea of Galilee, Jesus saw them fishing, ‘And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him.’ (Matt. 4:19-20) Now that’s what you call the ability to inspire others! But a short while later, it got even better. Jesus saw James and John sitting in their boat mending nets with their father Zebedee and called them. And in response to that call, the Good Book says: ‘And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt. 4:22) 

Mama Yo! Without even a ‘by your leave,’ they just left their poor father and followed a man whom they didn’t know from Adam. But that’s what Jesus does to you. He inspires you to reach higher, to get better, to attain to excellence through diligence and faith in Him. And that’s why this next quote is so valuable. It says: ‘Sometimes it’s worth risking it all for a dream only you can see.’ Especially if it’s a dream that Jesus has put in your heart! 

Yes friends, many of us have dreams that others can’t see or don’t agree with, but oftentimes that dream is worth risking it all to try and accomplish. Just look at the numerous inventors, like Henry Ford with the combustible engine in a car, and Thomas Edison with electricity and his many other inventions. They thought their dreams worthwhile and risked it all. Now not everyone who does that is successful, for one reason or another, but I’m here to tell you that if it’s something Jesus puts in your heart, then He will see that it’s successful. 

And I’m talking here from personal experience. This Scrip-Bit was not my idea. Never in a million years did I ever dream that I would be writing on scripture. But the Lord broached the idea and I laughed, just like Sarah did when told she would produce a boy child in her old age. But despite my pleas that I couldn’t write on scripture because I didn’t know it, the Lord refused to take ‘No’ for an answer. Just like He didn’t take Moses’ excuse saying he stuttered and couldn’t be expected to talk to Pharaoh, the most powerful man in the world at the time. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m nowhere near Moses’ class, and so the Lord didn’t get as annoyed with me as He did with Moses (smile), but He certainly kept prodding me until I agreed. Now, fifteen years later, through His awesome faithfulness, I’m writing on scripture, although I still don’t know as much as I think I ought to. But the Lord isn’t complaining, because He knows that I’m sincerely trying, and that through His encouragement, grace and mercy, I’ve come a long way since that first Bit of one scripture verse in 2007. 

And the next quote is a perfect segue: ‘Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, LOVE of what you are doing or learning to do.’ And there again, I can vouch for the truth of that quote, because it’s only through those things that I’ve reached the level I’m now at, and to grow, I must continue doing them. 

Now, in our current society, we all see a lot of people enjoying the benefits of their success and we envy them, and want to be like them, but few of us are willing to go through the hardship and pain that it takes to be successful. We like the end results but not what it takes to get there. But my people, it’s only through perseverance and hard work will we ever become successful. So, if you’re planning on being a success in anything, you’d better prepare yourself for plenty hard knocks. 

And this last quote nicely closes today’s session. ‘Raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.’ Yes my people, each time we have success, we need to set our cap a li’l higher and climb to the next level, because staying the same place, sitting on your laurels only breeds laziness, inertia and lethargy which kill your spirit and eventually set you on the road to decline and destruction. You can see examples in the fall of all the great nations and organizations that became successful then just sat on their laurels, making no efforts to keep their standards high. 

That’s why Cousin Sol’s advice is ever so important: ‘The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.’ (Prov. 18:15) And if you don’t understand that, (smile) here is the MSG (Message version). ‘Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.’ Yes friends, we must never stop learning, striving to be better, for when we do, we die. Much LOVE!

…the standards of a person, organization or society…say a lot about them…whether they are growing…or in decline… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 March 2022 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.      And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Another brand new day friends, a Friday to boot, when our names don’t show up in the obits! Praise the Lord for His goodness! And though the day may begin damp and cloudy, what really matters is that we have Jesus, the awesome Son of God dwelling in our hearts and souls through His Holy Spirit! Nothing can beat that my faithful brethren, because with Christ Jesus in our lives we can undergo and withstand anything that comes against us! 

Yes, sometimes, like in the last couple of years, life can get real rough, but if we truly believe, we know that Christ makes everything all right in His own time. We just have to keep this great and everlasting promise in the forefront of our lives, as Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28)  

Oh friends, that’s one of the greatest promises in the Good Book, but it’s definitely the hardest to hold on to! Because it often tries our faith, trust and surrender to God right to the very limit. In so many situations we have to conjure up thoughts of peace, LOVE and joy even when it seems impossible. But please remember that when talking about a camel going through the eyes of a needle, Jesus gave us this divine assurance. ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

And that’s the indisputable truth my fellow believers! The Lord God Jehovah who made the earth, heavens and all therein has the ability and power to do anything He desires! He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent! Meaning He is ALL powerful, sees everything and is present everywhere at the same time! Now that’s what you call a mighty God! And if it’s one thing I’m sure about is that our God is indeed mighty… and mighty in all aspects of life, because I’ve seen Him in action, both personally and in the lives of others! 

So there is really no need to fear although the storms of life come against us, for He will always bear us up with His righteous right hand. And I think in these perilous and uncertain times we need to hear some scripture that reassures us of God’s awesome care and concern for us, His most valuable creation. So listen up, pay careful attention, and let these scriptures seep into our hearts and souls and keep us faithful and strong. 

And we’ll begin with this marvellous verse of solid, everyday promise from Psalm 68 – God has gone before his people. Bruh David proclaims without any hesitation whatsoever: ‘Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.  Selah.’ (Ps. 68:19) Now, how reassuring is it to know that every day the great God of our salvation gives us benefits untold to help in our earthly journey! 

And if you don’t believe that, then hear the prophet Isaiah corroborate it. ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is. 40:10-11) Oh my brethren, if you are a faithful believer in Jesus that should be all you need to reassure your faith in the mighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

But if that isn’t enough, then listen to this other scripture from Isaiah. ‘Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne (upheld) by me from the belly (birth), which are carried from the womb: And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs (gray hairs) will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.’ (Is. 46:3-4) Yes my people, the Lord conceived us in the womb and will take us right through life from conception to birth, to death and then to eternal life! 

And just to reinforce those promises, (smile) let’s listen to the psalmist as he expounds on the subject from Psalm 91 – God is a refuge and fortress. He says: ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation (dwelling place);  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear (lift) thee up in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone. 

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder (cobra): the young lion and the dragon (serpent) shalt thou trample underfoot. Because he hath set his LOVE upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. he shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life (length of days) will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps. 91:9-16) 

Oh saints of Christ, what more can we ask or expect from our wonderful God eh? He’s promised us everything there, and we know he keeps His promises because He LOVES us unconditionally! So much so that He sent His only Son Jesus to die for the atonement of our sins! And if He could go to such awesome lengths to save us, why would He refuse us any lesser thing eh? No reason whatsoever! So, on this Friday morning filled with worldwide problems, let’s take the opportunity to do what He says in that scripture above there nuh, call on Him in time of trouble, so He can answer and deliver us. 

As one confident but humble voice, let’s declare our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’  

But please note, my fellow saints, that God will only answer us positively if we behave like true faithful believers and our hearts are led by the right motives. Much LOVE!

…when we are faithful…God is faithful… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 March 2022 ​Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.      The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and understanding.

It was a stormy night, with strong winds and plenty rain! But the earth is cleansed now, and the sun is striving against ominous dark clouds to come out and light our world, just like we believers are expected to light this dark, evil world in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! 

And since the Lord has granted us the amazing privilege of seeing another beautiful day in His wonderful universe, let us keep the promise we made yesterday to continue looking at the second part of that marvellous verse of scripture we couldn’t finish because of time and space restraints. It says: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and understanding.’ (Prov. 1:7) 

Oh friends, what a powerful and true scripture that is! Now yesterday we learned that the  ‘The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation.’ And that ‘The beginning does not mean that ‘the fear of the Lord’ is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ 

Therefore, to keep on acquiring wisdom throughout out earthly lives, ‘we must always have the reverence of God blossoming in our souls, bodies and spirits, for without it, true wisdom is not obtainable, no matter how hard we try.’  And remember that we’re talking about the wisdom that comes from God, the true source of it all, not what the world considers wisdom. 

Awright! ‘So, now that we have some understanding of true wisdom and understanding, (smile)’ let’s turn to the second part of our Bit – ‘but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ Now that, unfortunately, is also a glaring truth!  And Cousin Sol talks about it in Proverbs 9, where he compares invitations from Wisdom and Folly, the latter being showed as the invitation of an adulterous woman. 

Wisdom says: ‘Whoso is simple (naïve), let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth (lacks) understanding, she saith to him, Come eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled (mixed). Forsake the foolish (foolishness), and live; and go in the way of understanding. He that reproveth (rebukes) a scorner (scoffer) getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot (only harms himself). Reprove not a scorner (scoffer), lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will LOVE thee.’ (Prov. 9:4-8) 

Jesus also alluded to those last two verses when He spoke about judging in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Give that not which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your peals before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you (tear you apart).’ (Matt. 7:6) 

In other words, be careful of ‘those who have deliberately rejected the message of truth.’ Like the foolish woman on the other side of the coin who sits at her door in the high places of the city and invites passersby into her den of iniquity. (Prov. 9:13-15) Cousin Sol then says: Whoso is simple (naïve), let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’ (Prov. 9:16-17) 

And how many of us have fallen for that line eh, much to our chagrin. For as Cousin Sol so wisely ends. ‘But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.’ (Prov. 9:18) Oh my brethren, that’s where we usually end up when we don’t listen to wisdom. 

And Cousin Sol reinforces his argument with these verses on the side of wisdom. ‘Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (One) is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased (years of life will be added to you).’ (Prov. 9:9-11) 

So, we have two invitations: one representing the offer to the wise man and the other to the mocker or scoffer. Now, how do they differ, and how do we decide which one to choose? The scholars tell us, that ‘ The response to these two invitations can be that of the scoffer or mocker (vs. 7-8), or that of the wise man (vs. 9-11). To listen to Wisdom is to live (vs.6), or to gain abundant life; to listen to Folly is to die (vs.18), or tragically miss out on what life is all about. The father has properly taught the son. It is now the son’s decision as to whom to follow. One way leads to life, the other to death.’  

We certainly can’t argue with that conclusion because it’s gospel truth. And being human on this sinful earth, each of us has been personally acquainted with, or seen the benefits of true wisdom and the disadvantages of folly, but it is still our decision as to which path we choose. And believe me, the sooner we choose the path of wisdom, that’s living for Jesus, the sooner our lives will improve; the sooner we will be able to have true joy and peace in our souls despite the ‘sufferation’ currently happening in our world. 

And for those of us who have already made the wise decision to live for Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) what we call our Thursday Blessings, blessings that have been generously bestowed on us to do Christ’s earthly work. Altogether 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 every day! Amen!’ 

In return for all those wonderful blessings, it now behooves us to go out and share them just as generously with others, as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…when it comes to living wisely or foolishly…it’s clear sailing…since the first offers eternal life…and the second eternal death… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 March 2022 ​Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.      The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and understanding.

Oh friends, like so many other things in this crazy world, the bright spring-like weather was too good to last! We had it for three consecutive days. Let’s be thankful for it and show our endurance and faithfulness by embracing the cold, wet scene out there in our neighborhood, that’s even got some white precipitation, actually ice, speckling the ground. (smile) It’s not much mind you, but at this time of year, we don’t want to see any white on the ground at all. Matter fixed! 

And that’s why, this Wednesday morning in late March of this confusing and oh so uncertain year of 2022, we are going to listen to the amazing wisdom that flowed from the pen of Cousin Sol so long ago, when he declared at the beginning of Proverbs: ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain (acquire) unto wise counsels.’ (Prov. 1:5) 

And that’s the indisputable truth my faithful brethren in Christ! If one is wise, one will always pursue learning, and seek out the counsel, the wisdom and understanding of other wise persons. And that’s even truer, if possible, (smile) for believers in Christ Jesus, because He desires us to keep on learning all through our earthly lives, since we can never know enough about the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and the more we know, the better off we will be. 

Now, before we go further, let’s talk about a couple of definitions, namely that of ‘wisdom’ and ‘understanding.’ The former basically means ‘wise behaviour or living, or good sense.’ On the other hand, understanding ‘means the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.’ 

So, hopefully, when we have wisdom and understanding, we can live a full and meaningful life. However, two verses later, Cousin Sol injects one more important principle by warning that ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and understanding.’ (Prov. 1:7) 

Wow! Now that’s the key to the whole matter of wisdom and understanding; having a reverential awe of Jehovah God! Yes friends, without that awesome reverence of God we can never acquire true wisdom and understanding because they come from Him, for He is the original fountain of wisdom and understanding.

 And Cousin Sol corroborates that when he says in Proverbs 3: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) There you have it friends! As the scholars explain: ‘Wisdom is so important that God himself used it in creating the world.’ 

The patriarch Job, also had something to say about wisdom and understanding. While undergoing his trials and tribulation, he asked this most material question: ‘But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding. (Job 28:12) Then, after setting out many different scenarios, he ends with this magnificent answer. ‘And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’ (Job 28:28) 

Mama Mia! What an awesome scripture! Yes friends, wisdom is God’s gift to mankind…but we must diligently seek it throughout our lives. And now, having gained some insight into the origin of wisdom and how to acquire it, let’s go back to that most important verse which talks about ‘the fear of the Lord.’ 

And the scholars give us a good explanation on it. They say that ‘The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that ‘the fear of the Lord’ is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ 

And so it is my people! To keep on acquiring wisdom throughout our lives, like Jesus desires of us, we must always have the reverence of God blossoming in our souls, bodies and spirits, for without it, true wisdom is not obtainable, no matter how hard we try. And please remember that we’re not talking about wisdom as the world defines it, but as God, the original source of ALL wisdom does!  

So, now that we have some understanding of true wisdom and understanding, (smile) I think we’ll end for today, because it’s already late and continuing with the second part of our Bit will make it even later and too long. And for those of us who have chosen the path of true wisdom by reverencing Almighty God, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong, sincere and confident voice: ‘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 we all know that if we endure to the end, that the future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So please let’s concentrate on, plan on enduring to the end nuh, so that we can enjoy it. Much LOVE!

…with God’s gift of free will…we can either be wise or foolish…but each choice has consequences…for good…or for bad…  

P.S. Please accept my humble apologies for the lateness of the bit, but I had an important matter to go out and attend to. But as they say…Better late than never! (smile) Much LOVE! 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 March 2022   1 John 3:24a.

1 John 3:24a.     And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.

Oh my my, another beautiful sunshiny day appears to be here! Thank the Lord! And though right now it’s a tad chilly, most likely it will warm up some later to spring-like temps, as it has done for the last two days. That’s why we can declare with gay abandon, those reassuring and encouraging words of the psalmist: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! ‘ (Ps. 118:24) Now let’s go out and action that statement, because it won’t happen unless we actively have a mindset of rejoicing and gladness. 

Wishing and hoping won’t make it happen. We must turn the wheels of action before anything we say can happen. That’s why there are so many miserable and unhappy Christians in the world, we talk plenty, but don’t take the necessary action. With the amazing benefits and blessings we have through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour we ought to be the happiest group of people in the universe, but in actual fact, we are amongst the most unhappy, simply because we don’t truly believe the promises of God and follow His guidelines. 

Now why wouldn’t you be happy with the promises of salvation, of reconciliation to Almighty God, of forgiveness of sins, of going to heaven and living with the Holy Trinity, our Godhead, for ever and ever? And those are only a few of the benefits we obtain when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. But it all rests on belief, on faith, and putting those things to good use in our lives. Now, here is this li’l poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writing by Ruth Harms Calkin, that strikes right at the heart of the matter. It’s aptly titled ‘Deduction.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Lord, when You say The same thing to me so often I surely must need it And You surely must mean it! Help me to take You seriously. May I remember that the one settled proof That I have taken you seriously Will always be – OBEDIENCE!’ Ah friends, that’s the eternal truth of living for Jesus: OBEDIENCE! It’s like the three ‘L’s in owning a good piece of property: Location, Location, Location! The same can be said for living for Jesus: the most important things is Obedience, Obedience, Obedience! 

And the scripture used for that poem is one that comes from the first epistle of John, one that we all ought to know. It says quite clearly: ‘And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ (1 John 3:24) Now if that sounds a tad difficult for us to understand, then here is the NLT or New Life Translation. And that says: ‘Those who obey God’s commandments live in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ Now you can’t say that is also too difficult to understand. (smile) 

Ah mih people, living for Christ is all about Obedience in Action! We can’t just talk the talk, but more importantly, we have to walk that talk! Listen to how Jesus said it to the disciples nuh, when He spoke of the promise of the Holy Spirit. ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him and will manifest (show) myself to him…If a man LOVE me, he will keep my words: and my Father will LOVE him, and we will come unto him and make our abode (home) with him. He that LOVETH me not keepeth not my sayings (words): and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.’ (John 14:21,23-24) 

Now that should be easy to understand… (smile) Yes friends, Jesus is simply trying to drive home the point that you can’t be a true believer unless you do what He tells you. And that pertains to the following of any leader or organization; you can’t be a true follower unless you obey their rules and regulations. Let’s also remember these telling and true words of Jesus about abiding in Him. ‘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 15:4-5) Now that’s putting it as plainly and clearly as it can get! (smile) 

And as per the second part of the scripture verse used for our poem; ‘And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ Or ‘And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ I think we should also point out some important and interesting scriptures re the Holy Spirit of Christ that comes to indwell believers. 

In making the promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, Jesus told them: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) Oh Mama, Mama! What a beautiful promise, which we know was kept on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit filled the believers who were gathered together. ( Acts. 2:1-4) 

And we’ll finish with just a few important words from Bruh Paul about the Holy Spirit. To the church at Rome, he writes: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit….For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom. 8:1, 5-6) 

Now friends, for those of us who have decided to live as best as we can after the Spirit, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel! As one strong, confident and purposeful voice: ‘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 now my fellow saints, let’s go out and do just that nuh; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…if we are true believers…then LOVE for Christ ought to be just bubbling up in us…and plain for all to see… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8      

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