Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2018 1 Timothy 6:12.

1 Timothy 6:12. ​   Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.

 

One more time unto the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yeh, I’ve got another medical appointment this morning, that’s why the Bit is so early again. The good thing though is that I don’t have to go into Toronto, it’s just some diagnostic testing not too far down the street from me. 

But I do have to fast for it, and fasting, or rather forced fasting and I are not the best of friends. The ole stomach is here growling away on me, calling for food, but I still have a few hours to go until I can grant it its request. (smile) But as they say, it’s all for my benefit. So just suck it up, grin and bear it! 

That brings us to this bit of good advice attributed to James J Corbett (1866-1933), the American Heavyweight fighter, better known as ‘Gentleman Jim.’ He advises: ‘Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round.’ And that from someone who knows what He’s talking about through personal experience! 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we Christians are called to do; fight one more round, even though we feel at the point of exertion, be it physical, mental or emotional. Oh, I know many of us are tired, what with all our personal problems, including health, wealth and friendship matters, but as believers, we’re not supposed to give up. Giving up doesn’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. 

And further still, they say that the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, so if you’re seeing what you consider a very dark hour, please believe that relief is right around the corner. Remember the mind is the most powerful tool in the world, and what we believe we can achieve. We have to use what resources we possess to our best advantage and keep on keeping on. 

As Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy in his first missive: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (LOVE of money, hurtful lusts, material wealth.); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ 

And as the scholars say of our Bit: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possess spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah mih breddren being a true believer in Jesus Christ is not easy, but since we have declared ourselves to be true believers, we have to just keep on keeping on. And it’s not like we don’t have ample resources and encouragement, assurance and help to fight our earthly battle. We do! Namely all the resources granted to us as believers in Jesus Christ; the biggest and most important ones being salvation and eternal life. 

As the Good Book declares: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) Oh friends, that provision alone ought to be enough to encourage us to stand strong and live and defend our faith. Which other faith has that sure promise eh…with the sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ to back it up eh? NONE! 

And then we have so many other promises of God, who has a good plan for every life, with a hope and good future. He’s also promised never to leave nor forsake us; to hear our prayers and pleas when we diligently and sincerely seek Him; to bring us out of the fire unscorched; to take us safely through the flood, and most of all grant us a Deliverer, a Messiah, one to sacrifice and atone for our sins, which He did through His only Son Jesus Christ becoming flesh and offering His sinless life upon the cross at Calvary so that our sins could be washed white as snow. 

Glory to God my people! For He has done all that He’s promised, and if we do what we’re supposed to do, then He will do the rest. The Lord will not do it all for us. He requires us to put in an effort on His behalf, since we’re partners in this New Covenant. So though life might be dark, dreary and difficult, we do have all the tools necessary to fight the good fight. 

And hopefully, at the end of our days, we’ll all be able to proudly say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

Yes mih breddren, what a joyful day that will be! But until then, let’s keep fighting the good fight nuh, and as a promise of our faithful intentions, go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our current position in Christ. All together now, let’s wail: ‘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 the future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can imagine. So think on that nuh! Much LOVE!

…when life gets difficult…consider our rewards in heaven…and the glorious future promised us there…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 September 2018 Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8.   ​Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

Ah friends, the vacation is over! I’m talking about my vacation from medical appointments in the city. Hn! Amazingly I had none last month. In fact I only had a couple in my area for the whole month! Wow! But that ‘s over now, and it’s why you’re getting the Bit so early. I have to journey into the fair city of Toronto for a mid morning doctor’s meet and greet. (smile)

And that’s just going to tie up the entire day! Steups! What with the travel time and waiting in the doctors office and whatever else crops up, by the time I get back home it will be late afternoon. And then to make things worse, I open my e-mail and find that they’ve changed the set up. Chuh man! I have to get accustomed to a whole new way of working. And the sad part is that the changes are always worse than what you had before.

But griping isn’t going to make it go away – and it’s free too. (smile) So here goes with something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin; something that we all need to constantly remember. It’s titled ‘The God Who Never Changes.’

Please pray with me: ‘It is irrefutably true: We have lost many opportunities that can never be retrieved. We have made foolish choices that can never be rectified. But we dare not live life in a spirit of despair and defeat. As children of God we need to understand that all God’s discipline has but one objective: To bring us to the end of ourselves and back to Him!

His desire is always to restore us, never to reject us. His goal is always to use us, never to ignore us. With confession, renewed surrender, and a heart that is fixed on Him, God will do in us whatever He needs to do to make us whatever He wants us to be. Every necessary change God chooses to make is wonderfully possible because of Jesus, who never changes.’

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful shout of ‘Glory to God for His never changing character and wonderful ways!’ Yeh friends, we have to be eternally grateful that our God never changes, else what a mess we’d be in, with Him moving from one position or character to another as the spirit moved Him.

But thankfully, as the Bible Promise for the poem above and our Bit declare: ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.’ Glory be my people! Jesus is a stalwart, an unchanging champion, therefore we can put ALL of our faith, trust and hope in Him, because what we see we will always get, it won’t change form one moment or day to another!

Knowing that our Foundation Stone, the Rock, the Fortress upon which we build our lives is unchangeable certainly breeds stability and trust my brethren! Yes, things within God’s world might change, but God doesn’t. Hear this powerful assurance of God’s, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah.

‘Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax (grow) old like a garment, and they that dwell within shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished (broken). (Is.51:6)

Ah mih people, the things that God made, the heavens, the earth and people shall disappear and fade and die, but the Lord’s salvation and His righteousness will live forever! What wonderful, reassuring news!

And if that verse didn’t touch your hearts (smile), then listen as Isaiah continues: ‘Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.’ (Is.51:7-8)

Ah mih breddren, if that did not touch you, then you don’t know righteousness and the law of the Lord is not in your heart, and for your great benefit, you’d better right that situation as soon as possible. Because here’s what will happen eventually: ‘Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning (sighing) shall flee away.’ (Is.51:11)

And the scholars offer this explanation of all that: ‘51:1-16. Heavens shall vanish away…and the earth: Isaiah looks down the corridor of human history to a time when the heavens (atmosphere) and the earth will be no more. He likens the earth to an old…garment, meaning the earth will one day wear out (a fact borne out by the second law of thermodynamics) and only the ransomed and redeemed shall return with singing unto Zion and experience everlasting joy.’

Oh what a joyful time that will be my fellow believers…but only for those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour! So I’d strongly advise you to get with the programme immediately, if you want to be one of the ransomed and redeemed singing with everlasting joy in the not too distant future! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are.

In strong voice, and with sincere sense of purpose: ‘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 having said all of that, to be true to our calling, we now have to go out and share it! Much LOVE!

…only through Jesus…will you come to everlasting singing…salvation…and joy…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2018 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.    To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.

Ah mih breddren, I know you’re feeling it in your soul; the fact that you have to go out and labour this Monday morning! Hn, Hn! And yuh know what? Many of us will feel like that at the beginning of every week for most, if not all of our working lives. It’s just something about being away from work, for even a couple of days, that causes a disconnect, and it’s so difficult to reconnect. (smile) 

I think too that the human spirit has a built in aversion to very word ‘work’, as it brings to mind, toil, physical labour and all those things that run counter to our human nature. So please don’t beat yourself up if you’re one of those who have problems getting it together on Mondays, even though you’ve rested and fellowshipped and done all the right things. Just join with us as we take it to Jesus in prayer, in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

Believe me, it will do you a lot of good; lift your spirits and have you chomping at the bit to get out there and do excellent and diligent work for Jesus. I like to call it our antidote for all that ails us on a Monday morning. So let’s get busy and sing; sing with as much enthusiasm as you can muster, but make sure that your heart’s sincere. 

All together 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!’ 

Oh mih people, yuh see the ole fella wasn’t lying when he said that it would do you good; lift your spirits and get you enthused for Jesus! Glory be mih breddren! There’s nothing like sincere and humble prayer to lift our spirits and get us back on the tried and true narrow path where Jesus reigns secure! 

And today I just want to remind us, to bring to our attention, the wonderful God we serve and worship, the way Daniel did when he prayed for his sinful people. He said: ‘O Lord, to us belongeth confusion (shame) of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.’ (Dan.9:8) And believe me people, we are living in the most sinful times ever. 

Daniel thought his time was bad, but today he would hold his head and bawl at the atrocities and shameful stuff that we’re doing, and even considering some of it normal and right. Steups! Our world’s leadership is petty, greedy, self-seeking and ever so hungry for wealth and power! And to that end, the latest trend is that they all want to be dictators, but they are the most inept and inefficient group of leaders I’ve seen in my life time. And yuh know what? 

Unfortunately their behaviour sets the tone for our society’s lifestyle and behaviour. And it’s sad how we adopt their bad habits, including turning away from God. Ah friends, it’s a good thing we have the God we do have yes, otherwise crapaud surely smoke we pipe! For as Daniel rightly says in our Bit:‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Lord for not giving us our just desserts, but instead showering us with your LOVING-kindness and forgiveness!’ And so should we be ever grateful and thankful! Oh friends, I don’t know what it’s going to take for us to realize the seriousness of our world situation nuh, with all the negative, ungodly stuff we’re so blithely and blatantly affirming. 

And as the psalmist rightly asks in Psalm 130: ‘If thou, Lord, shouldest mark (take note of) iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?’ (Ps.130:3) And the overwhelming answer to that is ‘NOBODY!’ Why? ‘For all have sinned and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.3:23) Yes friends, we have all gone astray, overstepped our boundaries, transgressed God’s law! Put it any way you want it, we’re simply not good enough to stand before a holy and almighty God in our own right. 

However, as the psalmist continues: ‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (reverenced with awe). I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning’ (Ps.130:4-6) That’s how strong the psalmist faith was!  

And in closing, I’d like to strongly advise us all to do as he suggests; wait and watch for the Lord and faithfully and patiently hope in His word, ‘for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption.’ (Ps.130:7b) Much LOVE!

…only by embracing God’s mercy and forgiveness…will we escape eternal damnation…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2018 James 4:8a

James 4:8a.   Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.

Well it’s that special time again friends; time to visit the house of God and give Him thanks through sincere praise and worship, in the company of fellow believers. It’s always a great time, both here on earth and in heaven when believers get together to sing the Lord’s praises, hear His Word and have their spirits renewed and refreshed. 

The celebration is remarkable, as all heaven gets together too, to watch and participate in their own way! And you know we always like to begin the proceedings with a song of praise to get us in the mood and soften up our hard hearts. Today’s song is the well-known hymn, ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ It’s strange, but there doesn’t seem to be any agreement on who wrote the song or where it first originated.  

But it’s a very appropriate song for believer’s needs, as one commentator says: ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor.12:9a, 10b) 

And is that ever so true, for without God’s grace and guidance our lives would not be worth even the proverbial ‘plugged nickel!’ So let’s open out hearts and mouths, and lift our hands and eyes to heaven and entreat our Lord and Saviour to generously and compassionately offer us a closer walk with Him, for without Him at our side we’re simply bound for Hades and eternal damnation. 

Altogether now my people, let’s raise the roof of the sanctuary with our sweet voices, and let our prayerful requests rise to heaven in song. ‘I am weak, but Thou art strong, Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) 

Through this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.).’ 

Oh friends, that sure was powerful, but also very sincere! And I’m positive that our requests reached the listening ear of Jesus and He immediately instructed the angels to do exactly as we asked. And they have done it, because I can feel the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour moving dramatically in me, strengthening me and reassuring me that everything will be okay, because He’s always near and will never leave nor forsake me. 

And I’m sure that you my fellow believers have also received the same message, because I can see the light of Christ shining in your eyes, with a Moses-like glow on your faces, and your bodies are now standing straight and strong. Ah mih people, that’s the wonderful effect God’s power, through His Spirit, will have on us when we reach out in all sincerity to Him. 

They say that the title and lyrics of this song allude to the Biblical passage from 2 Cor.5:7 which states, “We walk by faith and not by sight,” which we talked about a couple days ago. And also to our Bit for today: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Throughout the Good Book our God repeatedly tells us to come to Him, for succour, and comfort. We see it early on when Moses tells the Israelites about turning from their evil ways if they ever become idol worshippers. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut.4:29) 

Ah friends, that’s the real crux of the matter; not only seeking God, but also doing so with true sincerity. For remember God judges us by the state of our hearts, not by our outward show. And Bruh David tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:10) And friends, He NEVER WILL! 

And Bruh David practiced what he preached.’ When thou saidst, seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.’ (Ps.27:8) Meanwhile through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord said to the Israelites about their return from captivity in Babylon: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken (listen) unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

There again my fellow believers, that proviso of seeking God with all your heart, if you want to find Him. You can seek Him in any state, He’ll take you just as you are, but your heart must be right, be truly repentant. And let’s not forget Azariah’s warning to king Asa. ‘The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) That says it all friends! So please, let’s be wise and heed all those warnings nuh! Much LOVE!

…if we want to have a steady walk with God…then we must have a steady heart for God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2018 2 Corinthian 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.   For we walk by faith, not by sight.

And then it was Saturday; the day so many of us use to sleep in. I tried to do it, but it didn’t work, the aches and pains were too powerful. Hn! I went out yesterday evening, came home tired and went to bed early, so the body responded by being up early too. But them’s the breaks! What’s the saying? Early to bed, early to rise! 

So here we are, another week of work is over and we need to recuperate in just two short days. And it’s only if and when we’re walking wholeheartedly with Jesus that we can accomplish such a miraculous task. So please check Him out. He’s anxiously awaiting your call for help. 

And you can see that by the wonderful offer of His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Ah people, what an invitation! There’s never been any like it, and will never be another like it, because Jesus is the only Being who can promise such stuff and actually provide it. Glory to His Holy Name! 

Now since it’s Saturday, we ought to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us, but unfortunately I only received one this week. But it certainly is interesting and good enough for us to build around. So here it is: ‘The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into your reality.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! But you know why? Because as true believers in Christ: ‘We walk by faith and not by sight.’ Glory be mih people! It’s our faith in Christ Jesus that allows us to see the things that are not as the things that are. We don’t first have to see something to believe it. We believe it and then we see it! Glory to God! 

That’s why we have those magnificent verses of scripture from Hebrews that tell us: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds (ages) were framed (prepared) by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (are visible).’ (Heb.11:1-3) 

Yeh friends, it’s faith that moves mountains; faith that allows us to believe what we don’t see, it’s through faith we believe that God spoke the world into existence from nothingness! And when we have great faith it can be counted to us for righteousness, like it was for Abraham. 

And then later on in Hebrews 11, we have that other famous verse on faith: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

Oh my brethren, only through faith can one believe that God, the ephemeral, spiritual, almighty Being exists, because you can’t see nor touch Him. And I’d be amiss if I didn’t share the scholars’ thoughts on the subject. 

‘11:1. Verse 1 is not so much a definition of what faith is, as it is a description of what faith does. (cf.11:6). Two truths concerning its activity are stated here. First, faith provides substance (Gr. hypostasis). Though broad in its usages, this Greek word normally has the meaning of “assurance” in the New Testament  (cf.3:14; 2 Cor.9:4; 11:17) and this seems to be the best sense here. 

Second, faith provides evidence (Gr. elegchos). It is evidence in the sense of proof that results in conviction. The difference between assurance and evidence would be minimal were it not for the phrase qualifying each: of things hoped for and of things not seen. The first involves future hope; the second involves present realities that are unseen. 

The first includes the hope of the resurrection, the return of Christ, and the glorification of the saints. The second involves unseen realities, such as the forgiveness of sin through Christ’s sacrifice and the present intercession of Christ in heaven. Hope is faith relating to the future; conviction is faith relating to the present.’ 

Ah friends, I hope (smile) that that li’l treatise on faith helps you to understand it better. And to end, we’ll get some more immortal words from Bruh Paul, this time to the church at Rome, on the subject of hope. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (wait eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Exactly my fellow believers! If you can see something, there’s no reason to hope for it. But if you can’t see it physically, then there’s all the reason to hope for it! So let’s wisely hope for all the good things we can’t see nuh, and through faith, believe that we have them and with perseverance wait eagerly for them! That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith…unless you first have hope…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2018 2 John 7.

2 John 7.   For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

It’s glorious out there friends! Both the sun and the Son are shining forth in all their brilliant glory! That’s why we can joyfully acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! Most definitely my brethren! We’d be foolish not to rejoice in the good things our generous God has so richly provided, for they do outweigh whatever adversity comes against us. 

And I know that a lot of people are facing serious adversity all over the world, like those in North Carolina facing the ravages of hurricane Florence. But what yuh going to do eh? Just sit and bemoan your misfortune? That’s not going to help any, just make you feel worse. We need to get up and do what we can to ease the situation ourselves, plus have a good attitude, while turning prayerfully to God, our Creator and Provider. 

Remember friends, it’s God who created us and allows whatever comes against us to do so, so it just makes good sense to turn to Him in times of need. Remember too that He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, so He won’t leave us in the lurch all on our lonesome. If he decides that we should battle through the adversity, then He will be in there battling with us. That’s for sure! 

And the workingman gives us a good example of facing adversity in his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Glory be! It’s the weekend and no more labour, no more labour, no more labour for that  wicked man called massa! He can’t touch me now, so I’ll just do my own thing; eat and drink and party hearty! And when I go back Monday, if I go back, I’ll deal with that then! But right now it’s the weekend which spells, party time! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes, he is pushing a bit to the extreme, but he’s not allowing his unfortunate work predicament to spoil his overall attitude. And so should we, my fellow believers. That’s why we have our Friday Chant; to keep us level headed and aware of what’s happening. As followers of Jesus, we can’t behave like the workingman, we need some more circumspection in our faith walk, but that doesn’t preclude us from having fun, fun within certain boundaries. 

So let’s chant up a storm today nuh! In unison and with sincere sincerity: (smile) ‘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 mih breddren, it’s time to relax from our weekly labour, but not get so relaxed that we forget about Lucifer and his ever constant attacks against our immortal souls. For as John the Revelator tells us in our Bit: ‘For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.’ 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘7. The deceivers seem to have been Gnostics, pseudo-Christian individuals who denied that the Son of God had really taken on human flesh (see 1 John 2:18-27, 4:1-6). John realizes that to attack the doctrine of the Incarnation (Christ’s taking on human flesh) is to strike at the very root of Christianity.’ 

And it is! For how else would we get a sinless body to atone for our sins eh? Anybody born of man and woman will always have a sinful nature and won’t qualify as propitiation, atonement or worthwhile sacrifice for the myriad of sins we commit against a most holy God. Thus John warns: ‘Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought (worked for), but that we receive a full reward.’ (2 John 8) 

Now hear the scholars on that verse: ‘8. The first and third we should probably be “you” (plural) according to many ancient manuscripts. It is dangerous for any person, including a believer, to follow teachings contrary to Scripture.’ 

And so it is! ‘Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.’ (2 John 9) And per that verse, the scholars advise: ‘9. John makes Christology the central doctrine of the faith.’ But what else could it be eh? If the basic doctrine of Christ is not the central theme in the study and advocacy of Christ, then the whole thing is false. 

So John continues his warning. ‘If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him (give him a greeting) Godspeed. For he that biddeth him (greets him) Godspeed is partaker of (shares in) his evil deeds.’ (2 John 10-11) 

And if you’re wondering why that is, listen to the scholars’ explanation. ‘10-11. In the early decades of Christianity, local churches were planted and sustained by itinerant preachers and teachers. For those workers to survive, it was necessary for believers to show hospitality. However, one had to be sure that he was not aiding and abetting false teachers, that is, those with unorthodox views of the person and work of Christ. 

To take such people in, John says, is to endorse their teaching. John’s command forbids true Christians to actively support the ministry of false teachers. It is not a prohibition against having non-Christians (e.g. unsaved family members or neighbours) into one’s home – unless, of course, they are spreading anti-Christian doctrine, and seeking to use one’s home as a base of operations.’ 

And you know what friends? All of that still holds true today, because there are even more false teachers and preachers out there than in John’s time. So please, let’s be careful as to whom and what we open ourselves to nuh in these trying and oh so deceitful end times. Much LOVE!

…if you don’t believe exactly what Jesus says about Jesus…then you’re not believing the truth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 September 2018 Matthew 25:23.

Matthew 25:23.   His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Oh, I know it’s a tad cloudy outside, but the good news is that a couple of rays are pushing valiantly, keeping keeping on to burst through the cloud cover! Wow! And yuh know what? If only one ray is alive and persevering, then there is hope; hope that bright sunshine will eventually permeate our now cloudy atmosphere! Mama Yo! 

In the same way friends, if only one seed of faith is planted and taking root in a believer, then eventually it will grow into a big tree, blossom forth and bear much beautiful godly fruit! Glory to God my brethren! For it’s only through His supernatural auspices that such a miracle can ever happen. 

And like some form of a miracle happened when we prayed yesterday that Hurricane Florence wouldn’t devastate North Carolina, because it has been downgraded to something like a category 2 from a 4! More Glory to God my people! And it does show the power of prayer. Oh, Flo might still damage North Carolina, but definitely not as badly as when she was packing bigger winds. Thank the Lord for small mercies! 

And on that point we do have a lot of inadequacies; because we think that only the big things are important enough to thank God for. But friends, it’s those li’l, everyday occurrences that we should be ever thankful for, since they are the ones that cause our lives to run smoothly and in sync. 

And moreover, the Lord wants to be involved in EVERY aspect of our lives, even the ones that seem small, ordinary and unimportant to us. Remember when we come to God, it means FULL SURRENDER; no holding back ANYTHING, although foolishly, we always try to hold back something from His piercing gaze. 

But remember my brethren, our God is omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, so He sees all, knows all and is everywhere at the same time! That means there is nowhere or nothing we can hide from Him, but He wants us to come to Him voluntarily, through our LOVE for Him, that’s why He gave us freedom of choice. 

So please don’t try to hide yourself, or anything in your life from God, because the old saying is ever so true: ‘you can run, but yuh can’t hide!’ And many of us, even believers need to remember that! Remember again my fellow believers, if the Lord can’t trust us to be faithful in small things, why would He trust us with big things eh? 

That brings us to our Bit, where Jesus is telling the parable of the talents, and the servant given two talents, produces two more, so the master says to him. ‘His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ 

It’s the same with us friends; we trust others with small matters before we trust them with big ones. If they prove trustworthy in the small things then we promote them. It happens on our jobs all the time. And Jesus reiterates that truth later on when talking of the parable of the dishonest steward. ‘He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.’ (Luke 16:10) 

And the prophet Zechariah, long before Jesus came, in his vision with the candlestick of seven lamps and two olive trees, to rebuild the Lord’s temple, he declared: ‘For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run (scan) to and fro through the whole earth.’ (Zech.4:10) 

Joshua and Zerubbabel would be enabled to rebuild the temple through God’s Spirit: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ (Zech.4:6b) Then the small nation of Israel would be a future blessing to all the world through the coming of the Messiah, and the Lord’s Spirit would be available in abundant supply. So friends, from small beginnings do come large endings, so please don’t despise small things, rather treasure them, for you know not what they might turn out to be later on. 

And so saying, we have seen the Lord’s Spirit turn from blessing us in small ways to mighty grace and mercy. Wow! So let’s declare our Thursday Blessings so that others can see what they have to look forward to when they surrender wholeheartedly to Jesus. And remember too, that a blessing is not a blessing unless it’s spoken over someone or something. 

So, as one body now, with sincere heart: ‘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 why wouldn’t I believe sincerely in Jesus if He blesses me so wonderfully when I believe eh? The next step though for us believers is to go out and share ALL those blessings with the less fortunate, for that’s why Jesus blessed us so bountifully! Much LOVE!

…heaven’s blessings are meant…to be shared generously…not to be hoarded selfishly…

 

 

 

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