Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2019 Luke 1:34.

Luke 1:34.    ​Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?
 

Oh friends, there’s nothing more annoying, frustrating and depressing than waking up excitedly to greet the new day only to find a fresh coat of snow on the ground! Chuh! And it only gets more annoying, frustrating and depressing when you look out and see the small, weightless, white flakes still falling effortlessly to God’s great earth! I’m chuckling here, but you know that once the white stuff flies, lives will undoubtedly become more serious and dangerous, because it looks good when it just covers the land, but it can certainly be the devil’s associate when you have to venture out in it. 

It’s a good thing we have Jesus yes, that awesome shepherd, who leads and guides His flock with masterful precision…! Give Him some thanks and praise people, for He’s certainly deserving of it! And isn’t it strange, but certainly wonderful, how in the northern climes when the snow flies, that’s when we celebrate the birth of Jesus? Glory be mih brethren! The ole fella’s getting excited…so yuh better hold me back! I need to do like Jeeves says, have a modicum of circumspection… 

Nah, I don’t think so. When you’re excited about Jesus, you just have to let it flow! (smile) So we going to do just that by continuing where we left off yesterday, talking about Jesus’ miraculous virgin birth, His supernatural conception in His mother Mary’s womb, the wonderful incarnation where He, Jesus, God, became flesh (incarnate) to come and dwell amongst sinful man, to personally experience our hardships and then gloriously deliver us from them through His sacrificial death on Calvary’s cross, His triumphant resurrection on that wonderful Easter morn, and then His ascension back to heaven to be our friend and advocate at the Father’s right hand! 

How could it get any better than that eh mih people? No way Jose! We now have another, newer and much better option than his satanic majesty. That’s why it’s so mind-boggling when people refuse to believe in Jesus, and even go so far as to blaspheme His holy name and try to kick Him out of our society! Steups! What stupidity! Anyway, they will get their comeuppance in due time, because as the ole people say; time longer than twine, and when the good Lord ready, in His time, He will make all wrong things right. 

Now yuh see, all yuh get me so excited that I’ve gotten away from what we suppose to be talking about! (smile) And that’s the momentous occasion when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her about her favoured condition with God and the virgin birth she would have. And having listened to Gabriel’s spiel with, no doubt, bated breath, Mary finally found her voice. ‘Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?’ Oh what a most plausible question, back in those times that is. Today we do that all the time through artificial insemination.  

‘And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35-36) And so it should be, because the sperm that inseminated Mary was of God the Father, and we characterize children by their fathers, so it’s a no brainer that Jesus should be considered the Son of God. (smile) 

As the scholars explain: ‘1:35. By a process we cannot explain, Mary will find herself with child through no human agency. Conceived by God, Jesus would be of sinless nature, though no less human due to that fact.’ Wow! Both God and man at the same time! How marvellous! That means He could appreciate our trials and tribulations because He also suffered them, though He did not sin! Isn’t our God wonderful and ever so imaginative and far sighted? That’s why his thoughts and ways are higher than ours. 

And to prove my point, listen to this bit of news that Gabriel shared with Mary to boost her spirit. ‘And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:35-37) Yuh see how our great God moves in mysterious ways? Elisabeth had been barren for all of her life, but like Sara and Hannah, in her old age she was blessed with one of God’s special people, John the Baptist; Christ’s forerunner; the one lighting His way, crying out from the wilderness: ‘Repent ye: for the kingdom of God is at hand.’ (Matt. 3:2) 

Yeh friends, our God doesn’t leave anything to chance. He knew that when Mary heard of Elisabeth’s pregnancy, her spirit would be boosted. And in my humble opinion, there’s no more touching, heartfelt and faith-showing scripture than Mary’s answer to the mind-blowing info she’d just received. ‘And Mary said, behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Mama Mia! What faith and trust and surrender in such a young woman! Even today we’d have serious problems with such a situation. But can you imagine the negative connotations that held for her in a small Jewish town; betrothed, but unmarried and with child, and supposedly not her betrothed’s child either? But she didn’t whinge and whine; just said, so be it. I do hope that Mary’s story will speak to us today and raise our level of faith, because it’s such a faith inducing epic. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us who live and breathe to do His holy Will. As one, in strong voice, believing as we speak: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

Now don’t forget, we’re not to hoard those God-given blessings, but to share them generously with others! Much LOVE!

…what a wonderful world this would be…if our faith was as big as Mary’s…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 December 2019 Luke 1:28.

Luke 1:28.    ​And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail (rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
 

Give it to me one time: ‘Wednesday!’ Give it to me two times: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday!’ Give it to me three times: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday!’ Give it to me four times: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday!’ 

And now we sing: ‘Thank You Lord for this new day, even though it looks cloudy and dark! Thank You Lord for your new mercies, your compassions, that are new every morning! Thank You Lord for Jesus; Your wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour, who lights up our lives with His LOVE and Goodness! Thank you Lord for Your own amazing LOVE and faithfulness, that’s taken away the fearful thoughts of hell, and given us the glorious hope of heaven! We LOVE You and praise Your Holy Name! Now and forever more! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, those are only a few of the things that we have to be thankful for this hump day – this Wednesday morning early in Advent, as we prepare for Christ’s second coming and celebrate His first in the upcoming season of Christmas. Yes, we’re all about celebrations and gifts and food and drink, and the numerous other things we do at this time of year. We’re even nice to our enemies, (smile) wishing them ‘Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays’ etc. etc. The sad part though is that so many of us forget the real reason for the celebrations; the birth of Christ! 

We’re quick to accept and honour the man-made traditions, but the real spirit, the real importance of what happened some two thousand years ago doesn’t really concern us as much as it ought to. Where would we be if Christ hadn’t been born in that manger on that fateful day eh? Dead and dying, eternally separated from the Father, only fit to associate with the evil one. And where would our Christian faith be but for that miraculous happening? Non-existent, to say the least! That means we wouldn’t have all the blessings and promises that we currently have because of the Father’s LOVE and largesse. 

Unfortunately, not enough supposed believers contemplate these kinds of things; we don’t plumb the depths of our faith to find out why it is what is. We just get caught up in all the rigmarole of the world; the commerce, the bright lights, and what have you. That’s not good enough friends, we ought to be taking the Christmas season a li’l more seriously, trying to delve into the scriptures concerning it, and learning how important it is for the very essence of our beings. And one of the most important things we ought to consider and truly believe is the virgin birth of Christ, because if it isn’t true, then our whole faith is lies and utter foolishness. 

For if Christ wasn’t supernaturally planted by the Holy Ghost in the womb of his Mother Mary, then He could not be God, but a mere man like us, and consequently could not redeem us from our sins and all the other stuff He’s done. And all of that calls for a large measure of faith, not by seeing things as they seem with the normal eyes, but of knowing and acknowledging the might and miraculous power of our heavenly Father, who can do any and everything, even make a woman conceive without knowing a man. (smile) 

And why should that be such a big thing these days eh, when we do almost the same thing through artificial insemination? Many woman have children now without knowing the physical aspect of a man by having his sperm injected into their wombs. But don’t get carried away, (smile) we still need the man to get the sperm! That leads to this: to deny Christ’s virgin birth is to deny His deity, and thus question the integrity of the scriptures. But thankfully, we faithful Christians don’t do that. We know that Christ had the human nature of His mother and the divine, godly nature of His Father! 

And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Give thanks to God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Ghost; our triune God!’ And so we should! 

Now let’s look at some of the scripture associated with Christ’s incarnation nuh. The Good Book says: ‘And in the sixth month (of Elisabeth’s pregnancy – John the Baptist’s mother) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused (betrothed, engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail (rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast her mind (considered) what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.’ (Luke 1:26-29) 

Oh, it’s certainly reasonable for a teenaged girl in a backwater town to be somewhat confused by such and exalted greeting. But our God is a gentle and understanding deity. ‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus (Yahweh Is Salvation). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Ah my fellow believers, who but our great God could come up with such a plan eh? So let’s ponder that scripture today nuh, and contemplate on our possible reaction to such a momentous opportunity. Obviously we won’t be offered that one now, (smile) but with our very imaginative and challenging God, there’s no telling what miraculous opportunity He will still pitch to us. So we’ve got to be prepared. 

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 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!’ Now believe it, and you’ll certainly see it! Much LOVE!

…let’s keep Christ where He belongs…in Christmas…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 December 2019 John 1:9.

John 1:9.    ​That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
 

Ah friends, sorry that we’re somewhat late this Tuesday morning, but I had to go out the street to do some early morning blood work, and after I returned, I had to find something to break the long fast required for the bloodwork. (smile) Then I came down here and found a whole pile of e-mails to sort through. Steups! most of them were junk, but I had to check them out, just in case they had some important info to divulge. Chuh! I don’t know why people insist on sending me the same things, even when I say I’m not interested, block them or report them as phishing. But I guess that’s the price we pay for the convenience of the computer. 

Anyway, this Tuesday morning the sun is shining brightly, though it’s cold and icy, and filled with the remnants of the recent snowfall. Oh, I know it won’t contribute much, if anything to the temperature, but it sure does improve the psychological aspect by brightening up our spirits a little with its light. (smile) Don’t laugh though, because it’s been proven that light is oh so important in man’s life, especially in these cold, dark, dreary months of winter. As Cousin Sol says Ecclesiastes: ‘Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.’ (Eccl.11:7) 

But my fellow believers, the most important light in our lives is that of Jesus, who John correctly refers to: ‘That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ And is that ever wonderful news, because it ‘means that God’s revelation is universally available’ – to those who choose to believe, not ‘universal salvation,’ meaning whether you believe or not. And we can’t quote John there without quoting Isaiah, re the promise to Israel of the Lord’s servant. ‘And he said, it is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end(s) of the earth.’ (Is. 49:6) 

Yeh friends, the light that the Lord promised Israel would also be a light unto the whole world, bringing salvation to all and sundry! And as always, the Lord’s promise was fulfilled; this one by the coming of Jesus to earth in the form of a man and dying for our sins to make us right with the Father once again! Wow! It has always been the Father’s intention, ever since Adam and Eve screwed up, to give us another chance at redemption, another option than that of dying in our darkness and thus having no other choice than to head directly to Hades, but it had to happen in His time. 

And yuh know that His time doesn’t correspond anywhere near to ours. (smile) Remember how Peter puts it: ‘But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ (2 Pet. 3:8) So when we think and/or talk about one day, the Lord is seeing and thinking of a thousand years! But getting back to the story of light, all down through the ages, the Lord has always been a major light in the lives of His followers. Let’s see how the scriptures put it. Hear Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1) 

Very good questions my brethren! And the answer to both is ‘NOBODY!’ That’s because when we walk in the light of the Lord and in His awesome strength, we clearly see where we’re going, and nobody can mess with us. And Bruh David strengthens his argument in Psalm 36, when he declares: ‘For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ (Ps. 36:9) Yes friends, the Lord is indeed the fountain of life, the Creator, the Maker of ALL life, and when we walk in His light we will definitely see light. 

Thus the wisdom of the psalmist in Psalm 119: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps. 119:105) Glory be my people! When we sincerely follow the Lord’s Word, we’re surrounded by His amazing light, and it also displays in bright and living colour, the path we ought to walk! Thus there should be no disputing when Jesus says of us: ‘Ye are the light of the world.’ (Matt. 5:14a) He is there giving us the authority to be shining lights in this dark world, to be people who make a difference, who light up the life of others. Friends, it’s our essential mission! 

And He continues: ‘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 to 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. 5:14b-16) So please, let’s stop hiding our lights nuh, instead let’s make them shine even more brightly around the world, as we do Jesus’ work! 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know exactly who and whose we are. In 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!’ 

And now its action time my people! Much LOVE!

…God said…let there be light…and there was light… (Gen.1:3)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 December 2019 Philippians 1:6.

Philippians 1:6.    ​Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.
 

Oh friends it’s Cyber Monday… Yeah Cyber Monday! Another day the captains of commerce have dreamed up to steal your money and put you deeper in debt! Last Friday, Black Friday, they had you visiting the bricks and mortar, the actual physical stores, so you can rush and push each other and stir up mayhem. On Cyber Monday though, it’s a whole different ballgame; they rob you in cyber-space, virtual reality, where they fool you into thinking that something is out there, when it’s only a sleight of hand. (smile) 

Ah mih people, just one word of warning; remember if you fall for their evil wiles and schemes, you will most likely have many murky and miserable Mondays in your future, where you struggle to get up and go to work so you can pay for the stuff you bought on Black Friday and Cyber-Monday, a lot of which you did not need, but unfortunately got caught up in the contrived scenes and thus made unwise, spur of  the moment decisions. End of lecture! 

And I guess today is as good a day as any to begin crying out for help, since I’m sure some of you have already visited the websites and purchased stuff, so now you need some assistance to get out there and work to pay for it. (smile) With all of that in mind then, let’s approach the throne of grace, humbly but confidently, and declare (steups!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, a poignant and powerful prayer for the help we so badly need. 

As one 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!’ 

And thankfully we have a LOVING, forgiving, merciful and gracious God oui! One who listens to our sincere prayers and answers them all, though not necessarily the way we want them answered, but always in our best interest. And one prayer He will always answer in the affirmative is one for help to go out and do His will, to share His Word with others, to tell the world about His most wonderful Son, Jesus! That’s why we are now experiencing a sudden lifting of our spirits and a burgeoning desire, backed by loads of enthusiasm, to get out into the world and give them heck in Jesus name! (smile) 

Yes my faithful brethren, in answer to our sincere prayer, the Holy Spirit of God is moving within us so that we can go out and accomplish God’s plan and purpose for our lives. And He does have individual plans for each of His children, as well as a general plan that we should all grow to be like Jesus, moving from glory to glory. And one of the great truths about our God is that stated by Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) 

And if there’s one thing I can personally testify to friends, it’s God’s overwhelming faithfulness! He asked me to write the Bit, and without fail, for the last 13 years, He’s helped me write it everyday! You couldn’t get anymore faithful than that. Meanwhile, the scholars offer this explanation of the verse: ‘1:9. Unto the fellowship of his son: The term ‘fellowship’ includes both union and communion. The Corinthian believers had been brought into union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly, this great truth implies that they had been brought into communion with one another. Here in a nutshell is the theme of this epistle.’ 

That means, all those who accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour, are a part of one big, united family, which we called the body of Christ, or His church. And Bruh Paul also exuded supreme confidence in God, when he told the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ What a wonderful and faithful God we serve and worship my people! He will never stop whatever good work He’s begun in us until Jesus returns. Glory be! 

Now hear the scholars: ‘1:6: Will perform it is said “will finish it.” Paul is convinced that the work of grace that God began in the Philippians at conversion will be divinely continued until the day of Jesus Christ. That is, the Lord will keep working in these believers until Jesus returns to earth, at which point He will finish His work, bringing it to completion. This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned or unrealized.’ 

And all God’s people gratefully shouted: ‘Glory to our great God! Give Him thanks and praise for His awesome faithfulness!’ So let’s go out today and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of His ever-LOVING heart! Much LOVE!

…the best way to show gratitude for God’s faithfulness…is through our own faithfulness…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.
 

Well friends, it’s the first Sunday in Advent! And why is that important eh? Because in the church’s calendar, this is the time of year we begin preparing for Christ’s coming! Originally it seems like it was a time to think of Christ’s Second Coming, a cry for the Messiah to come back and take over the evil world. But apparently down through the years it got intertwined with the First Coming of the Messiah, what we call Christmas, so now we celebrate Advent by looking back nostalgically at the First Coming, while excitedly and expectantly looking forward to the Second One! Only in the Christian faith can we have such double celebrations my people! (smile) 

Anyway, as we gather today in joyful fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, to give thanks and praise and worship His Holy Name, we not going to open with an Advent hymn because I got a zeppo intimating that the Lord wanted to hear this particular tune, ‘Stand up for Jesus!’ I guess He’s feeling that believers are not being strong and steadfast enough in the faith. We’re being too fearful and wishy-washy, sitting on the fence, wavering like a leaf in the wind, and too ready to compromise so that we can go on with our comfortable lives! 

Consequently, He wants us to get our acts together, get really serious about our cause, and like true warriors come out fighting valiantly under Jesus’ banner, even to the death, if needs be! So let’s raise our voices in strong and solemn song, as we sing these most excellent sentiments, but also truly fighting words, written in 1858 by George Duffield (1818-1888) in honour of his dear departed friend and leader, Dudley Atkins Tyng (1825-1858) in a tragic farm accident. It’s reputed that Tyng’s last message to his associates was for them to, ‘Stand up for Jesus,’ and this became the theme of Duffield’s song. 

And to make it even more powerful, we going to do a scintillating, rocking Reggae version, a la Miss Carlene Davis. Wow! Rockers time mih people! (smile) So altogether now: ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross! Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army he shall lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; if while ye sleep he suffers, away with shame and fear. Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there. (Bridge: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up.) 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally. (Extro: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up….!’ 

Aye friends, I hope we truly meant what we just sang, because our world is desperate for somebody, for serious somebodies to stand up to the evil one in Jesus name! And it’s sad that we all know the scripture that characterizes that song, but we’re not putting it into full and proper use. Hear Bruh Paul as he articulates to the Ephesians, re the whole armour of God: ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ (Eph.6:10) 

As Christians we’re engaged in a spiritual battle from now until Christ’s Second Coming that we’re looking forward to this first Sunday in Advent. And there must be ‘no quarter given, no ceasefire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities.’ But to do that successfully, we have to stand strong, be strengthened in and through the Lord’s might and power. And this next verse is also of the utmost importance: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, no soldier worth his salt, goes into battle without armour, without protective gear. And since in this case our battle is not physical but spiritual, we need specialized protection: Our loins must be girded with God’s truth; the knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. Our chests must be protected by a breastplate of righteousness, holy character and moral conduct, through obedience to God’s truth. And then our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We must be eager and willing to take on the satanic one and his demoniac cohorts, take the fight to him, and we get that from the gospel of peace, that frees us of any anxiety and fear. 

Then we need the shield of faith so we can repulse all the fiery darts of the wicked one. That means taking God at His Word, believing His awesome promises, dispelling all doubt Satan might try to induce. And we must have a helmet; that of salvation; the hope of and assurance of salvation, the surety, that we’re saved. And you can’t fight without a sword, in this case the sword of the Spirit; the powerful and ever-conquering Word of God! 

But along with all of that protective armour friends, we still need to use the most powerful tool in the universe; prayer! Without it, the armour is useless. So let’s hope all of this has lit a fire in our bellies, reignited our passion for Christ, so that we can become better soldiers in His victorious army! Much LOVE!

…Christians…put on your spiritual armour…the time to fight is NOW…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 November 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    ​Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 

And hopefully we’ve made it through Black Friday in one piece… not having spent too much unnecessary money, or gotten into too much unnecessary debt! (smile) And hopefully there weren’t any violent episodes to endure. Haven’t heard of any so far, but man’s nature being what it is, I’m sure there were some tete a tetes! Couldn’t get the accentuation right. (smile) But you know what I mean; some close encounters of the human kind, literally head to heads. Anyway, Black Friday is history now, so let’s concentrate on Saturday, whatever colour it may be. That means turning to some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And I like this first one: ‘If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.’ We’ve got to realize that not all of us can be doers of great things; that’s left for only a small percentage. But if we’re not included in that august lot, it doesn’t mean we can’t be great. We just need to do the small things that come our way in a great and excellent manner! That’s what Jesus asks of His followers; diligence and excellence in all we do! And believe me, the greatness that the world thrusts upon us is not all it’s really cracked up to be; for once it’s found our Achilles heel, with even greater speed than it lifted us, the world can tear us back down again. But when Jesus lifts us up in our small doings, it’s for keeps! 

Then there’s this: ‘Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.’ And is that often ever so true! Like we were saying earlier in the week ‘Someday we will…!’ But if we keep putting things off, someday might never come. We do have to check out the Lord’s take on the situation before jumping in though; that’s what they call wisdom, (smile) and if He doesn’t set up any obvious roadblocks, then it should be all engines full ahead! Remember what they say about procrastination: it is the thief of time. And time is not something we have an inordinate or never-ending amount of. So ofttimes we just have to go for it! 

And that’s the text of our next quote: ‘You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.’ Now that’s true too. But one word of caution; please, please make sure you check it out with the Lord first; it only takes a few seconds to do that! Have no fear. If it’s totally wrong, He’ll let you know. And if He doesn’t say anything, it might just be that He has a lesson for you to learn. (smile) And we can paraphrase all of those quotes with this one: ‘Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.’ 

Sadly though people that’s a major failure and fault of our current world; we’re always telling each other what they can and can’t do from our puny and limited human imaginations. Just think of all the great strides we’ve made in our society, I’m sure that many of them were unthinkable until some brave, gifted and daring soul decided to seriously knuckle down and do them despite the negative voices of the doubting Thomas’s shouting ‘you can’t do that’ in their ears. But you know the One we limit the most, it’s our great God! 

We claim that He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-present; meaning that He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present, but the truth is that our faith is still sadly lacking when we need Him to do big, seemingly impossible things for us. Remember Jesus said that ALL things were possible with the Father! And if we’re true believers, then we ought to let that show up in our everyday lives, through faith in His power and grace and mercy, through belief in miracles! Yes, He still does those; not necessarily as big as He once did, but I know He does many small ones in each and every life, we’re just not looking for them, or thinking of them as such. 

How yuh think we woke up this morning eh? Just by chance? Certainly not! It was the Lord’s compassion and mercy; His miracle that kept us alive through the night and then opened our eyes to a beautiful day. So please let’s stop selling ourselves and our great God short. Remember we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us! 

And as always, we try to save the best for last. (smile) ‘No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! We just have to look at all the different types of societies that exist, or once existed in our world; communism, democracy, socialism, dictatorship. All of them began as ideas and were reinforced by words until they became reality. But the greatest change ever brought about by ideas and words is our own Christian faith. 

Mama Yo! Just look at what the words and ideas of Jesus wrought in our world nuh! Hear Him to the disciples before He went back to heaven: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Wow mih people! What a splash that Great Commission has made in our world! Twelve men believed; took Jesus’ words and commission to heart and went out and changed the world! That’s the sterling power of words and ideas. And as true believers in Christ, we’ve also been given that Great Commission, for the WHOLE WORLD has not yet been converted, or heard of Him. So please let’s take the baton, the flaming torch from those who have gone before us, and go out and help change the world! That’s our Great Commission too! Much LOVE!

…Jesus doesn’t want to come back…until EVERY living soul on earth…has had a chance to hear His words and ideas…and be saved…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2019 Proverbs 1:7.

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

Well thank the Lord for eyes that opened again this Friday morning unto another new day in God’s great universe! Although I don’t think that many of us found the time to do it for real, since we were, and are still too occupied with the man-made commercial day called Black Friday! Ah Lord eh, another day to spend our money, or rather get into debt foolishly for things we don’t need, another snare of supposed sales to get you into the stores and spend what you don’t have. And it’s become so big over the last few years that even in Canada now it’s taken over, ostensibly to stop the northerners from going south to spend their hard earned cash and credit. 

And sadly, it just shows up man’s wild beast behaviour, as we rush and push and fight, and even kill to be the first into the stores, for the storekeepers are smart enough to only advertise a few items at a true sale price, so that mayhem can erupt at their doors. I don’t know how many Thanksgiving Day parties ended early so the participants could go and line up early for Black Friday Door Crashers! 

But let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say about all of that nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday again oui! That means the weekend is here, and there’s no more work! And please doh tell me no nonsense about Black Friday eh! I work hard enough for my money, ah not going to go and throw it away now and buy stuff I don’t really need. And on top of that, to get out early and rush and push to get the few items on sale. 

No way Jose! Too much violence does go on in that Black Friday business nowadays yes! It just have we behaving like wild animals…even worse than wild animals, the way we fight each other to get in the stores and them. Steups! Let them do their do yes! I not going nowhere no stores today! I’m just going home after work, as usual, and just enjoy mih weekend, making my preparations for the real big and worthwhile celebration…Christmas! Would you believe Christmas just round the corner! Mamacita! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui people!’ 

And who says the workingman isn’t wise in his own simple way eh? There’s nothing that says you need a lot of education to be wise. In fact, in these foolish and tremulous times, more education seems to equal less wisdom. But thankfully there’s a group that specializes in wisdom, (smile) true believers in Christ Jesus. Although I’m sure many supposed believers are involved in the Black Friday crush. (smile) Nonetheless, let’s chant our Friday Chant so that we can show the world that we’re somewhat different. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s wisdom personified! If you are sincerely and diligently trying to do the will of Almighty God, then you are certainly numbered among the wise by those in heaven, though not necessarily by those on earth. But heaven is where it truly matters, since this earth will eventually pass away, but heaven, God’s Word and His Will, will not. That’s why Cousin Sol in his Book of Proverbs specified these awesome words of wisdom right at the very beginning: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ 

Oh my people, that is indeed gospel truth! If you believe that the Lord made the universe and all therein it, then to know what the universe is all about, you must first know what’s Creator is all about. I think that’s simple logic. But hear how the scholars explain that verse. ‘1:7. 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.’ 

Oh friends, how I wish that a much larger portion of this fractious world’s population truly feared, showed a reverential awe of the Lord! Then most of the nonsense that’s now happening would not even exist. And Job said it thus in his discourse on the subject. ‘But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price (value) thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.’ (Job 28:12-13) 

Then after evaluating the pros and cons of the matter (vs. 14-25) Job finally saw the light and announced: ‘When he (God) made a decree (set a limit) for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder (thunderbolt); Then did he see it (wisdom), and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out. And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’ (Job 28:28) How much clearer can it get eh people? Not a whole lot! 

Now hear the psalmist: ‘He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.’ (Ps.111:9-10) 

There’s nothing left for me to say nuh friends, since great men of God have already declared the truth of the matter. All I can do now is to implore us to diligently seek the Lord, seek His face, seek His amazing wisdom though a sincere and reverential awe, so that wisdom can be ours, this day…and forever more! Much LOVE!

…you can’t know the created…until you know the Creator…

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