Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 January 2020 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    ​Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
 
And then it was Friday…and there was lots of shouting and jumping for joy! Hn! More of us were happy to see Friday, and the end of the work week, than to celebrate being alive and kicking in God’s great universe and being a BELOVED and saved child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

Now what’s wrong with that picture eh? Does it mean we’re putting the world before God? Maybe! And if so, then it’s a very unwise move, because when we celebrate God, with His awesome help, we are able to handle whatever the world throws at us. But following the dictates of the world, only makes life harder, for there is no help but our own, and we all know that there isn’t a lot we can do on our own. 

Remember, Jesus said that we ought to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and then all the worldly things will be added to us, we won’t have to sweat and strain and break our backs to acquire them, because the Father knows we need them. (Matt. 6:32-33) So please, let’s check out our lives today nuh, and see what’s our priority; God’s kingdom and His righteousness, or the things of the world, because it’s ever so important to get our priorities right! 

And as you’d expect, the ordinary workingman is hovering in the background, eagerly and expectantly waiting to sing his song, so let’s bring him on stage nuh. (smile) And as always, he crows: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the chains of the slave master will be unshackled for a couple of days! 

Wow! What freedom! And yuh better believe I’m going to use that freedom to the hilt; do whatever I want, whenever I want…providing the other snake in the grass, the weather allows me to! Chuh! The weather’s been so contrary these days that you can’t make any serious plans, because it changes from one minute to the next! And yet they tell me that climate change ain’t real! Pure heifer dust yes! But if I can’t go out and do whatever I want to, then I’ll certainly do it in mih own yard, where I’m king of the castle…

Hn, hn, hn! King of which castle eh? When the wife and children protest my behaviour, then I have to modify it. So even in mih own yard, ah not really the boss nuh! But what yuh going to do eh? Nothing but grin and bear it, because nobody ever send or call me to have wife and children, is I with mih fresh self, went and look for them, so now I have to put up with whatever they bring. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE them dearly, and wouldn’t want to be without them, but yuh know, sometimes…sometimes they just cramp yuh style! (smile) And the truth of the matter is that I’m still ever so thankful for Fridays and weekends, regardless of the drawbacks!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see even when God is not your first priority, you still have barriers and boundaries to your behaviour. And as a serious and practicing child of God, we have more boundaries than most since we don’t want the enemy to compromise our lives and our living for Jesus. Consequently, our Friday Chant is somewhat different to the ordinary workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in full voice with sincere hearts – yes our hearts must always be right when we come to the Father, otherwise He won’t acknowledge us. 

As one 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!’ 

Now, though we have some boundaries as believers, it doesn’t mean we have to be constantly looking over our shoulder for the devil and his evil cohorts, but we do have to be careful that we don’t go too far out on the thin limbs of life. That’s why we have to constantly remember these poignant words of Peter. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends, the enemy is always on the prowl, always looking for some way to compromise us. And not because he’s a toothless lion with more bark than bite (smile) since Jesus defeated him and now has the keys to hell death and the grave, he still can cause immense trouble in our lives if we give him the slightest opening. It’s up to us to keep our doors and windows and crevices closed so he can’t get in. 

And continuing with Peter’s advice: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (being experienced by) your brethren that are in your world.’ (1 Pet. 5:9). Oh, I know when the devil comes a calling, it doesn’t help all that much to know that other believers are suffering temptations too, but nonetheless, we must resist him through our faith in Jesus, because he’s a liar and cheat and deceiver and only wants to turn us away from God. 

Yuh see how smoothly and efficiently he made our forefathers Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit? He hasn’t changed, possibly gotten smarter and has more tools at his behest. So it’s of the utmost importance that we stand strong against him. And Peter ends with this assurance. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet. 5:10) 

Ah friends, some temptation and affliction is necessary in the lives of all believers, because that’s how we get strong, how our faith grows. But be aware that the Lord will never give you more than you can bear, and with every temptation, He will either carry you through it, or make a way for you to go through it. That’s his ever faithful promise! So let’s stand strong and steadfast in the faith! Much LOVE!

…though Jesus rules…the devil still exists…with his evil ways…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2020 John 14:6.

John 14:6.    ​I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
 
And so today, Thursday is another day…one that we should be glad and rejoice in, because we did not see our names in the obits! (smile) Oh give glory to God because He chose us to handle His affairs down here on earth! That means we have the parts to do whatever He wants us to do, and He is proud and confident that we will do His holy will! Please note the amount of people He took away last night because they either couldn’t or wouldn’t do His will. 

Ah friends, we ought to consider it a joy and privilege to be alive, and everyday we open our eyes to another day, be it rain, snow, sleet or storm, our thanks and gratitude ought to rise to high heaven with heartfelt sincerity! Yeh, life can sometimes be rough and trouble-filled, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to leave it and go home. (smile) 

Neither is the Lord ready for us to come home because there is lot’s of work yet to be done down here on earth; the gospel has not yet reached ALL of mankind, and Christ’s church is not in the ascendancy over Satan’s infidels, which means the LOVE Revolution is not going as well as it ought to. So those are things we still need to work on because the Lord does not want to lose even ONE of His human creations to that lout Beelzebub! 

There you have it then; good reasons for us to be alive and bright and bubbly and eager to get on with Christ’s winning work of calling all; (whosoever will may come) to salvation and the exclusive and overwhelming ecstasy of eternal life in His holy presence! 

Wow! What a time that will be my friends; hanging out with Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit in heaven for eternity! Nothing could be more blissful than that! It’s certainly something most worthy to look forward to…in fact, there’s nothing better to look forward to! 

And my brethren, contrary to some opinions, the ONLY WAY to get to that Utopian place of eternal rest and peace and joy is through Jesus! He said it Himself, made it very clear when Thomas refused to believe until He saw the nail marks in His hands and side. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ 

Those are strong words my people, and it takes a lot of gumption to declare them, even if they are true. And if it’s one thing our Lord and Saviour had, and still has, is gumption! (smile) He has it in spades, because He knows the extent of his power! And we ought to know it too, because He bequeathed that awesome power to us through His Holy Spirit, so that we can use that same power to do His work down here on earth. 

But getting back to Jesus’ words, we believers ought to keep reminding ourselves of them, since it’s so easy to think otherwise and go astray, especially when there are a lot of false preachers and teachers recommending all sorts of other erroneous things and methods. 

John, in his epistle thought it important enough to write: ‘Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world.’ (1 John 4:1-3) 

Yes friends, there are numerous spirits and people out there in this big, evil world trying to tell us all sorts of nonsense, and we therefore need to be very careful who and what we listen to and read and test them by comparing them to God’s Word and the knowledge of His Holy Spirit. And I like John’s subsequent contention: ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) 

And all God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout: ‘All praise and honour be to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; the most powerful being in the universe!’ And isn’t that a warm, assuring and enduring fact! The most powerful Being in the universe dwells within each and every believer through the auspices of His Holy Spirit! 

Now that should give us overwhelming confidence in our trials and tribulations in this troubled world, especially when we add it to the Lord’s promise, that He will eventually work out everything for good to those who LOVE Him and are called to do His work. 

Mama Mia! What confidence the true believer ought to have with all those things in his favour! But sadly many of us don’t, because we either truly don’t believe, or we’re fearful and full of doubt. That’s why Jesus was so critical of us and so often complained: ‘O ye of little faith!’ 

And why is that eh? Possibly because we don’t read or hear the Word sufficiently, and we don’t commune with the Father sufficiently. Those are the building blocks, the foundation of our faith friends, and we definitely need very strong faith in this overwhelmingly evil world if we want to not only survive, but even more importantly wrest power from Satan and his evil cohorts! 

So let’s get on seriously with our faith building nuh, cause Jesus is depending on us; we are his ears, eyes, feet and hands down here, His ambassadors, so let’s show ourselves to be worthy of His confidence nuh! And what I dearly LOVE about our great God is that He always gives us the tools to do His work. And so He has with our Thursday Blessings. 

So let’s declare them loudly and proudly: ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, what more do we need to do Jesus’ work eh? Nothing really! Just believe His Word and put our best foot forward…Oh, and don’t selfishly hoard those blessings, but share them generously with others, like He generously shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus…Jesus…Jesus…the ONLY name that really matters…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2020 Psalm 68:19.

Psalm 68:19.    ​Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
 
Awright mih people, we’ve been granted another wonderful day in God’s great universe, so let’s do the right, wise and sensible thing and rejoice and be glad in it nuh! Or, as Papa James Brown would say, ‘Let’s get up on the good foot people!’ And there’s absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t because we true believers in Jesus Christ are the most blessed people on the face of planet earth! And that’s just cause to rejoice and be glad! 

Yuh know how many thousands of people didn’t open their eyes this morning…but the Lord specifically chose us to get on with His work down here in this evil world, so let’s not disappoint Him and do it to the best of our ability nuh. That’s all He asks of us, to do our best, and better still, He helps us to do it, because He gives us all the tools to do what He wants us to do. So all we need to do is hunker down and put it together in His name! 

And yuh see, we’ve made it through to Wednesday, the hump day of the work week, so everything’s progressing as it should, and there ought to be big smiles on our faces and joy and gladness in our hearts! Wow! If anybody ever had a reason to be alive and kicking, it’s the true believer in Christ Jesus! As Bruh David so rightly declares in Psalm 68 – God has gone before his people: ‘Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! 

As Cousin Jerry (smile) rightly says in his Lamentations: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam. 3:22-23) And yuh better believe that we ought to be everlastingly grateful that the Lord has compassion on us, generally speaking, and specifically every day, because if He didn’t, we’d be languishing in hellfire with the ole fool, the fallen angel Lucifer, who calls himself the prince of this dark world! 

Yes friends, it’s God’s compassion, His indescribable, infinite LOVE that caused Him to send His Only Son Jesus to be offered up on the cross as a sacrificial lamb to pay for our sins. As Bruh Paul told the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated His own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 8:5) 

Yuh see that people, our wonderful, compassionate, ever-LOVING God didn’t wait for us to come to Him, cause He would have waited till thy kingdom come, (smile) but showed His awesome LOVE for us first, while we were still the mangiest of sinners! That’s why we ought to praise and worship and reverence and exalt and give endless, undying thanks to Him! For without His LOVING-kindness we’d just be blown away like chaff in the wind. But thank God, He had a heart full of compassion for His sinful creation! 

And that’s why, as Bruh David says in Psalm 103, there ought to be thanksgiving in our hearts, bodies and souls for God’s unending mercy. Please pray these awesome words of his with me: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps. 103:1-5) 

Now don’t tell me you can read those awesome words of God’s goodness to us and don’t have a tear fall from your eyes, and a spark of LOVE flame in your heart! If those words don’t touch you, then you’re no child of God! Simple as that! So friends, let’s remember that we owe it ALL to God, our mighty Creator and Redeemer! He first created us with free will, then when we fell out of favour through ungodly sin, He redeemed us through the sacrificial death of His Son, giving us another option, eternal life in heaven with Him, not just eternal separation, damnation and hellfire with Satan. 

So if we’re wise, we’d be truly grateful and rejoice and give thanks to Him all the days of our lives, because we’re headed for heaven, not hell. But there again, that’s where the free will He granted us comes in; we’re free to choose who and whom we belong to or work for. And as we go home this morning, as true believers, let’s shout out our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know just whom we serve and our current position in our heavenward journey. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, Jesus is the only wise choice there is! So let’s keep looking to him nuh, because He is indeed our EVERYTHING, and the future with Him will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…only a fool believes there’s no God…and he will pay the price for it…in hell…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2020 Hebrews 11:6.

Hebrews 11:6.    ​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.
 

So we made it through Monday quite nicely, why can’t we do the same today, Tuesday eh? Especially when we have the Creator and Controller of this great universe riding a continual and steady shotgun beside us? No reason whatsoever my faithful brethren since He’s promised to give us all that we need and never leave or forsake us! Brother! Those promises are surely worth more than their weight in gold! 

And yes, in this busy, evil, trouble-filled world, it’s sometimes hard to keep our wits about us and our heads above water, but if we truly believe in the Lord God Almighty and His awesome Son Jesus Christ and the amazing working of the Holy Spirit, then we can do whatever we need to do in their names and strength to fulfill the mandate they’ve given us; that is to spread the gospel all over the world and be obedient to their commands; living a life of LOVE and good fellowship. 

Now here’s a word from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the matter from His Hour of Power Devotional, something he calls ‘the Possibility Thinker’s Creed.’ Please pray with me: ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help!’ 

Mamma Mia! That’s what you call tenacity and stick-to-itiveness! (smile) And that’s exactly what is expected of the true believer, the true Christian soul – no giving up, because the words ‘give up’ don’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. And how could it eh friends, when He claims to be able to do ALL things, impossible or otherwise, and support us in doing the same? 

And giving up also makes this verse of scripture which we like to quote of no consequence: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) If that is a true statement then with Jesus’ help, we can keep on keeping on as long as it takes, and as difficult as the task is. 

Yuh see what Gramps Schuller says he’ll do when a mountain gets in his way: He will keep on striving, looking at all the alternatives; climb over it, find a pass through it, tunnel underneath it. And if all of that fails, then he’ll just stay right there and turn the mountain into a gold mine. And that’s how we believers ought to behave; do everything in our power, with God’s help, to succeed, but if none of our efforts are successful, then it means that the Lord wants us to stay right where we are and grow and do His will right there! 

And yuh know what my people, our unsuccessful efforts usually stem from a few basic things. First off, an insufficient amount of mountain moving faith. And one of Jesus’ most critical remarks was: ‘O ye of little faith.’ (Matt.6:30, 8:26, 14:31) Hear His rebuke to the disciples when they could not heal a demon possessed boy and asked Him why. 

‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) Yes my people, a believer with even a little faith can do a lot of things, especially if his actions are accompanied by sincere prayer and fasting. And I think that’s a catch 22 situation; the li’l faith is built up, made stronger by the prayer and fasting. (smile) 

And the next place we go wrong in living our lives is by ignoring Jesus’ serious command: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Jesus, as throughout all of the Sermon on the Mount keeps emphasizing the importance of the spiritual living over that of the material. Yes friends, once we have pledged our lives, our allegiance to Christ, we then need to live primarily in the Spirit, and not the flesh, meaning the material things of this world ought not to be our first LOVE. 

‘The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides.’ It all comes right back to faith my people: if you believe in God, then you must believe that He can and will do whatever He says. 

That’s why Hebrews tells us: ‘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.’ So basically friends, to be a true believer, we must believe that God exists, then have true faith in Him, and then live the way He wants us to live, not the way we want to live. 

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to do those things, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 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 share that amazing LOVE and friendship, as Jesus so greatly desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…believe that there is a God…have sincere faith in Him…be truly obedient to His will…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2020 Philippians 1:6.

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

Now whoever says that our God isn’t a good, great, faithful and rewarding God, tell them I say deh lie eh! Ah friends, I see God’s goodness everyday in little things, but sometimes in somewhat bigger ones, like something that happened to me yesterday morning. Yuh know the snowfall was a fairly big one, so after church I decided to go out and tackle my drive and the walkway. I turned on my car stereo, opened the trunk and was out there shovelling and dancing for about fifteen minutes, possibly done about one fifth of the two car drive, when all of a sudden, behind me, I heard: ‘Hi Randy! Let me do that nuh!’ 

It was my much younger neighbour and his son from the house opposite to mine, both with snow shovels in their hands. And they took over the job, wouldn’t let me do much, kept telling me to rest. But having some pride, I felt somewhat uncomfortable just watching them do everything, so while they were doing the driveway I did the front steps and the walkway leading up to them. That made me feel a li’l more useful. (smile) He didn’t even me allow me to pour the salt on it, but did that too. 

Obviously the job took much less time than if I had done it on my lonesome. Now was that merely a simple blessing from the Most High, or a pointed message letting me know that I wasn’t physically capable of doing it all on my lonesome? I’m taking it as both, (smile) because to tell the truth, I don’t even know if I could have done it all at once having seen how much was out there, especially with the duchess on my back, fearful that something tragic would happen, wanting me to leave it and come inside. (smile) 

And making the situation even more memorable, my neighbour promised to come over and help whenever I needed it!  So how can I not be grateful and thankful eh? And how can something like that not strengthen my faith and belief in Almighty God eh mih people? Only if I’m not a true believer! But I like to think I am, that’s why I want to encourage those of us who are shaking it rough this Monday morning to join us in that mysterious and miraculous act of communion that we call prayer, where we offer thanks to God for His many blessings as well as cry out to Him for help in times of need. 

So let’s confidently and humbly go to the throne of grace declaring (yeah!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, seeking heavenly succour. 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!’ 

And since our motives were right and our hearts sincere, we know the Lord heard our prayer. We also know that He answered it, judging by our suddenly enthused spirit and rearing to go attitude. (smile) So let’s do just that nuh; get out into the evil world and work the works of Christ, because we all have a job, a plan that He’s envisioned for us. 

And of this one thing we’re sure, that God won’t allow His plans for us to go astray, regardless of the circumstances, for as Bruh Paul said to the Philippians: ‘Being confident in this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ Yes my brethren, we can be sure that whatever God begins in us, He will complete it! 

And the scholars explain: ‘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.’ 

Neither will the saving work He began in us be ever abandoned or unrealized my people. That means we have real security in Jesus, and therefore, though we may sometimes falter, even fall, we can be assured that our wonderful Triune God will keep raising us back up if we don’t lose faith, never give up, but sincerely stick with the omnipotent Three In One Deity that created, and still rules the universe. That’s wisdom of infinite proportions friends, so let’s diligently seek it nuh! Much LOVE!

…God’s plans…ALWAYS come to fruition…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 January 2020 Philippians 4:19.

Philippians 4:19.    ​But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.
 
And the snow did fall…in copious quantities too, but thankfully my information was wrong, we were only going to get 15 cm of snow, not the 50 I wrote about yesterday. However, the east coast province of Newfoundland and Labrador did receive a solid walloping over the weekend culminating in some 70 cm of the white stuff. Obviously everything was shut down under such a blanket of snow, with power outages and other necessities sadly lacking. 

Apparently even the snow trucks had to be taken off the road, since the blizzard was so bad that visibility was impossible. Friends, please, let’s pray for them and offer any other help that we can, because we never know when it will be our turn to be in such a despairing and disastrous situation. 

So closer to home now, the snow is finished falling but we had some freezing rain overnight and with the drop in temperature, it’s possibly slick and icy out there. So please be careful if you’re venturing out. And please don’t use the weather conditions as a convenient excuse not to go to church, (smile) although some of us will find it extremely difficult, even impossible to get out and about. 

And having said all of that, let’s turn to our multi-purpose in the Lord’s sanctuary today; to worship our great God, give Him much thanks and praise from sincere and overflowing hearts of gratitude, to enjoy sweet and encouraging fellowship with other believers, to hear the awesome Word of God which refreshes and renews us and gives us oodles of confidence and reassurance to face the fallen world in which we live! 

Now how can we get all of that if we don’t go to church eh, or have a gathering of two or three somewhere convenient? For Christ did say that wherever two or three are gathered together in His name, that He would be right there in the midst of them. (Matt. 18:20) So if only a small gathering is possible, then so be it, but a big gathering would be nicer. (smile) And today’s opening song of worship is indeed very appropriate for these troubled and disastrous times. It’s aptly titled ‘Lord I Need You’ 

And do we ever need Him friends, so let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony as we call out to our Lord and Saviour for the help that only He can give. ‘(Chorus: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You) Lord, I come, I confess Bowing here I find my rest Without You I fall apart You’re the One that guides my heart (Chorus: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You) 

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more Where grace is found is where You are And where You are, Lord, I am free Holiness is Christ in me (Chorus: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You) Teach my song to rise to You When temptation comes my way And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You Jesus, you’re my hope and stay. Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You. I need You every hour, Oh Lord how I need You…Oh how I need You. yes Lord, I need You, every hour of every day…That’s how much I need you.’  

Ah mih people, from all of that we should see how desperately we need Jesus Christ and all that He stands for. And what is a need you ask? Here’s something from a website that I forgot the name. But it says: ‘A need is something that is necessary for an organism to live a healthy life. Needs are distinguished from wants in that, in the case of a need, a deficiency causes a clear adverse outcome: a dysfunction or death. In other words, a need is something required for a safe, stable and healthy life (e.g. food, water, shelter) while a want is a desire, wish or aspiration. 

When needs or wants are backed by purchasing power, they have the potential to become economic demands. Basic needs such as water, air, food and protection from environmental dangers are necessary for an organism to live. In addition to basic needs, humans also have needs of a social or societal nature such as the human need to socialize or belong to a family unit or group. Needs can be objective and physical, such as the need for food, or psychological and subjective, such as the need for self-esteem. Needs and wants are a matter of interest in, and form a common substrate for, the fields of philosophy, biology, psychology, social science, economics, marketing and politics.’ 

And yes we need all of those things, but even more importantly we need things like spiritual protection, the ability to confess our sins and know we’re forgiven, a place of rest to lay down our burdens, someone to guide us, to help us with righteousness, to provide grace and mercy, freedom from worry and anxiety, a strong tower to fall back on, not forgetting strength and faith to stand strong against temptation! Yes friends, we do need a lot, and Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can satisfy it ALL! He is indeed our ‘hope and stay!’ 

And there’s no better verse in the Good Book that guarantees our needs than Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians, after they sacrificed from their little to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.’ 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: 4:19. Because the Lord is aware of the sacrifice (v.18) that the Philippians made in meeting Paul’s needs, God will surely supply all their need. God will meet their need (1) according to his riches, that is in proportion to His unlimited resources: (2) in glory, that is, He will meet their need “gloriously” or “in a splendid manner”; and (3) by Christ Jesus.’ 

Ah friends, once we have Jesus, we don’t need anything, or anybody else! Let’s remember that and put our whole faith and trust in Him nuh, because He will see us faithfully through this live unto the next one, and long thereafter. Much LOVE!…

so let us come boldly (confidently)…to the throne of grace…that we may obtain mercy…and find grace…to help…in time of need… (Hebs. 4:16)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2020 Galatians 5:13.

Galatians 5:13.    ​For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by LOVE serve one another.

 

Well friends and neighbours, today is the day of the big snow storm! According to the weather forecasters Southern Ontario will experience oodles of snow from around midday today! And if we do, we can’t really complain nuh because we haven’t seen much of the white stuff so far this winter. But let’s hope and pray that they’re wrong, as they so often are, (smile) and that at least the quantity won’t be as much as forecasted, some 50 centimetres. And that is a lot of snow, which will just cause numerous problems, problems that we can do without right now. 

One last thing about the expected storm: it is blowing in from the south, down in the U.S. Yeh, contrary to popular opinion many of the storms we experience up here, both rain and snow, come from down south and don’t always flow the other way. Not because we’re further north, means that we’re automatically colder and given to more bad weather. In fact, the U.S. often has more bad weather than this blessed northern state! (smile) And since today is Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Unfortunately, it seems like he’s only sent us two quotes this week. I can’t find anymore, even checked my deleted files to see if I had deleted any by mistake. So we’ll just have to make do with those two, the first of which says: ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.’ And that’s ever so true! We can never get power, real or imagined, over anything or anyone without some kind of demand being made on us. 

Look at all the high-flying people; athletes, celebrities, politicians, the wealthy, leaders of any type, be they countries or organizations; they all have power, but with that power always comes some sort of responsibility from which they cannot get away. Even as parents, we have power over our children, but we also have a responsibility to raise them right. Now those in power might use it inappropriately and don’t fulfill the responsibility inherent in their positions, like so many are doing nowadays, but believe me, that responsibility will seek them out, and oftentimes cause them to lose their power. 

Ah friends, power is akin to a ravenous beast; it might give you a head start, but it’s always there, nipping at your heels, knocking at your door, ever ready to take it away too. So remember if power is something that you seek, be very careful, because from the outside it looks glorious, but it’s also like a snake in the grass, ready to bite you, to trip you up in a moment. In other words, power cannot be trusted! 

And the next quote simply says: ‘Whatever happens, take responsibility.’ Now if our world would only accept that simple statement eh, what a wonderful place it would be! But sadly, these are the days of irresponsibility; a lot of it fuelled by the hideouts and platforms provided by the  social media scene. Nowadays very few of us are ready to take the blame for our own actions, instead we keep looking for others to pass the blame to. It’s become a sad reflection on our society. Even in the halls of power, amongst international leaders, the blame game is also being played out on that big stage. So what do we expect from lesser mortals then eh? The same kind of irresponsible behaviour. 

But yuh know friends, as the old people would say; do yuh do, but remember the chickens always come home to roost! In other words, have your fun, but your sins will eventually find you out; a day will come when you have to pay for them. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘You’ll reap what you sow…more than you sow…and later than you sow.’ 

However friends, as true believers in Christ, we’re called to be different to the world. Christ has set us free, for whom the Son sets free is free indeed, (John 8:36) but we’re not to use that freedom irresponsibly. As Bruh Paul warned the Galatians: ‘For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by LOVE serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.’ (Gal. 5:13-15) 

Sadly though, we’re doing the opposite of Bruh Paul’s advice; using our liberty in Christ to hate and war with and devour and consume each other. But here’s an interesting take from the scholars on the Liberty and Responsibility of Christians based on 1 Cor. 9:19 ‘One of the results of redemption is the liberty of the believer. Christians are free from depending on the law and free from the bondage of their old nature. Christian liberty releases us to accomplish all our potential. But that liberty should not be abused to justify hedonistic behaviour. 

Although believers live in a state of freedom, concern for reaching others with the gospel and helping weaker believers grow will result in voluntary self-restraint in areas that might offend others, or hinder our efforts in reaching and helping people. Illustration: Paul referred to the example of eating meat offered to idols. He had the freedom to eat such meat, but he suggested that believers abstain because the practice acted as a stumbling block for weaker believers (Rom.14). Application: Believers should act responsibly in exercising their liberty if they wish to be most effective in service to Christ. (First Ref. Lev. 25:10; Primary Ref.. 1 Cor. 9:19; cf. Matt. 7:7).’ 

Yeh friends, though we are free to act as we please, we must always consider how we use that freedom, not take advantage of it to sin, or to hurt others who are not as strong in faith. Let’s ponder on that today nuh, and see how we shape up in the freedom scene, and obviously ask the Lord to help us come higher. Much LOVE!

…freedom is wonderful…but it’s not easy…for it also brings a lot of responsibility…

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