Today​’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2019 John 5:24.

John 5:24.   ​Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life.
 
It’s a grey, cloudy looking kind of day in my neighbourhood, with the promise of unwanted precipitation, though thankfully the precipitation will most likely be rain and not snow since the temperature is above freezing. Not much, but enough to bring rain and not the white stuff. 

However, despite all of those physical, negative possibilities, the saints of Jesus are nonetheless declaring (steups! wrong again) that ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ And moreover, ‘The Lord will provide all our needs through His riches in glory in Christ Jesus!’ 

And they boost their spirits even more with words like ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! And as for me and my house, we WILL follow the Lord, make no mistake about it!’ That means, ‘If God be for me who can be against me eh? NOBODY!’ Yeh friends, that’s one of the remarkable things of being a follower of Jesus Christ; we can boost our spirits with spoken words, promises that He’s declared over our lives! No other faith can do that! 

And that brings us to these inspirational words attributed to Orison Swett Marden (1848-1924), ‘an American inspirational author who wrote about achieving success in life and founded Success Magazine in 1897.’ Marden claims: ‘The hopeful man sees success where others see failure, sunshine where others see shadows and storm.’ 

He’s talking about us there friends, believers in the positive philosophy and promises of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! All thanks and praise be to our Lord and Saviour for the wonderful and abundant life that He died to give us! We now need to hold on to His promises, and His hand tightly and let Him guide us safely and positively through these trying times in this evil and ungodly world! That’s the only way we will ever be successful my people! 

Jesus warned early on: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life.’ Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY WAY to achieve life after death! When we believe in Him and the Father who sent Him then our bodies will die, but our spirits wont. They shall reign forever with the heavenly Triune! 

And Jesus confirms it all by saying: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) And we know He does not lie! So it only makes mucho sense to hitch our carts to His superior horse! And if you want even more encouragement, then check out these fabulous, though hard to put into action words of Jesus. ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Aren’t those wonderful words friends…and words of truth too? They certainly are! Jesus did His part, but now we have to do ours, by using our faith in Him to stand strong and steadfast when Satan and his evil cronies are fighting us tooth and nail for world control. We are the only ones who are fighting on the basis of LOVE, justice and equality, the rest are all infused with greed, lust for power and selfishness! 

And from where do we get that fighting spirit for the good things? From possibly the most important words in the Good Book; Jesus’ immortal declaration: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

There you have it in black and white my fellow believers; Jesus’ purpose for coming to earth…to save us, from ourselves and from the horrors of sin! So the ongoing logic and reasoning are very simple: If you want to be saved and live an everlasting life, then you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. If you don’t want to live and see life eternal, but prefer to be on the outside looking in with the evil one, then you simply continue in your evil ways and don’t accept Jesus. 

Those are the only two options we have my brethren! And believe me, the last option might look good and pleasurable in the here and now, but in the hereafter it will be terrible! The Lord promised it, and we know He doesn’t make idle promises! So please, I implore us to take the first option; wisdom dictates it. It might be somewhat difficult now, but the rewards you’ll reap later will be oh so worth that difficulty! 

Now for those of us who truly believe, let’s go home declaring (wrong again) our Thursday Blessings, which the Lord have poured down on us in His awesome generosity. All together now, in sincere and strong voice: ‘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!’ 

Yuh see what happens when you live for Jesus! But a word of caution here; those blessings are not for us to hoard but to share with the less fortunate in our unjust society. So let’s go out and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart! Much LOVE!

…Jesus is the ONLY ONE…who will take you just as you are…and make you what He wants you to be…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2019 Matthew 19:21.

Matthew 19:21.   ​Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
 
What did the man say? ‘Fight one more round…just one more round…before giving up!’ Ah friends, that’s exactly what the ole fella’s doing; fighting one more round, as in going into the big city of T.O. for another medical appointment, and that’s also why he’s up so early writing the Bit! Aren’t you proud of him? I know you are! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s a pain in the rear end to be always going into the city for these medical appointments, but the long and short of the story is that they are for my benefit, not the doctors. So if I don’t go, who’s going to suffer eh? They might not even make less money since there are oodles of people lining up to see them. 

And today, in this season of Lent, where we all aspire to get more spiritual, (smile) we’ll look at an interesting situation in Jesus’ time that still holds good even today, and possibly more so than ever. It all begins with this quote from Uncle John (John Hagee), which says: ‘Your spiritual strength is measured not by what you can believe, but in what you can obey.’ Living truth that my people! Believing is easy, but obeying cuts right to the quick of our sinful hearts and desires! 

And we have a great example of that in the rich young ruler who came to Jesus asking about eternal life. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And behold, one came and said unto him (Jesus), Good Master (Teacher), what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 

And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into life, keep the commandments. He (the man) saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: And thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Matt.19:16-19) 

Now that’s standard fare for us all, the basic dictates of the Ten Commandments that the Lord gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai, for the Israelites and all those who believed in Him to follow. And the Good Book continues: ‘The young man saith unto him (Jesus), All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt.19:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see what we talking about? Spiritual strength is so much more than just believing! That young rich ruler believed, but he just couldn’t obey. Selling his many possessions and then giving away the resultant funds to the poor was just too much for him to handle. And so it is for many of us in today’s very materialistic society. We believers who are supposed to be in the world but not of the world, are too often caught up in those same very materialistic situations like that young man of old. 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation. ‘19:18-22. This list of commands in verse 18 centres on outward duties, rather than inward nature, which was the young man’s real problem. He protests that he had kept these outward demands. His luxurious wealth and self-righteousness had blinded him to his real weakness. To expose this, Jesus orders, go and sell all your possessions and give to the poor…and come…follow me (v.21). 

This he would not do and went away sorrowful. Jesus thus shows him that he had not kept the commandments at all. He LOVED himself more than he LOVED his neighbour (the poor), and he LOVED his possessions more than he LOVED God (“me”). This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but it in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be a Christian.’  

No friends, the average Joe does not have to give away all his stuff, but I’m sure that we’d all agree that there is certainly too much poverty in our society, when overall there is immense prosperity. This therefore means that too few have too much, and too many have too little. Consequently there needs to be a touch of equalization, where some of us who have a lot, give to those who don’t have much. 

And that was the original purpose of the church; to help those in need, as we see from Acts 2:44-45. ‘And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted (distributed) them to all men, as every man had need.’ 

Yes friends, I know the church was much smaller then and they could do that kind of communal living, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the church today, meaning all of us believers, is definitely not as sympathetic and giving to the needy as Jesus would like us to be, because we are too attached to our earthly possessions. 

 Remember we are the hands and feet, the body of Jesus down here on earth, and whatever we do will reflect on Him. So for Jesus’ sake, my fellow believers, please, I implore us, let’s try and do better nuh. In this way, the world will have a much more accepting disposition to our Lord and Saviour and thus less souls will be lost to the enemy. 

Now let’s go home wailing our Wednesday Wail, telling all and sundry our sure-fire position in Christ. As one strong voice 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 that’s a future that none of us should  want to miss! Much LOVE!

…getting is very dependent on giving…you’ll get…as you give…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 12 March 2019 Psalm 25:1-2.

Psalm 25:1-2.   Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
 
Ah friends, in the words of that old, venerable Jamaican singer, Prince Buster: ‘I had a rough night! It was a hard night…! ‘ And for those of you old enough to remember the song I’m talking about, NO! I’m not talking about sexual activity, like the Prince was doing way back then!

Sorry to disappoint you! (smile) I’m simply talking about the aches and pains holding sway over the ole fella’s ole bod in his attempt to get some much needed rest last night. 

Brother! I could not find a comfortable spot to rest for any length of time. It seems like somewhere hurt in every position I tried. So obviously this morning I’m dragging around like a real old man. (smile)

But I’m not worried friends, and neither should those of you have the same, or any infirmities at all assailing your bodies. And why is that you ask? Because of this unassailable promise from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

It says in no uncertain terms: ‘All Will Be Well!’ Glory be! So please pray with me: ‘O Lord God In the midst of consuming sorrow When despair and loneliness hedge me in You understand my frailties – My hesitancies, my fears. As I scamper from doubt to doubt You forgive so quickly my outbursts. 

Never do you drive me away When I rail against You In peevish rebellion. When I scream “Don’t You even care?” You quiet my fragmented heart. You work in me silently Always planning in LOVE. You refine me in the white flamed Furnace of affliction. In the silent darkness You whisper: Trust me – all will be well.’ 

And so it shall be my fellow believers, because our ever-faithful God has promised it! Give Him a whole heap of thanks and praise for His abundant grace, mercy, LOVE and forgiveness to the children of undeserving men! Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship! 

Yes, I know He refines us in ‘the fires of affliction,’ but He doesn’t let us go through them alone. He’s always there right by our sides, just like He was with the three Jewish boys, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when the mighty king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar threw them in the fiery furnace, heated seven time hotter than usual, and they came out without a hair singed, not even the smell of smoke permeated their protected bodies. Glory to God! 

And that’s exactly how our wonderful God will be with any and all of us who humbly and sincerely call on Him for heavenly help! Isn’t that just glorious to behold? It certainly is! And the Bible Promise for that awesome prayer above is also our Bit for today, and it comes from a man who had a very intimate relationship with God, and experienced His many blessings, as well as the fires of affliction, but he stood tall throughout them all! 

Yes, we talking bout Bruh David here friends – the man after God’s own heart! Listen to how he puts it in Psalm 25 – A prayer for guidance and protection: ‘Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.’ 

And yuh know what my people? The Lord never allowed his enemies to triumph over him! Yes, occasionally they might have had a slight edge, they might have won a battle here and there, but ultimately they did not win the war! And that’s exactly how our God will react to all and any of us who come to Him in true sincerity. 

As He proclaimed long ago: He does not change! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! So whatever He did for somebody long ago, He will still do for us today! Yes, He is still in the helping and miracle working business! Praise His holy name! 

And the good thing about Bruh David is that he didn’t just pray for himself. Hear how he continues after our Bit: ‘Yea, let not none that wait (in faith) on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress (deal treacherously) without cause.’ (Ps.25:3) Ah friends, that’s one of the great aspects of our faith, our ability and responsibility to pray for others, especially other believers. 

And we just can’t stop there – Bruh David didn’t. (smile) He continued by beseeching his God: ‘Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies, and thy LOVING-kindness; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions, according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.’ (Ps.25:4-8) 

Oh my people, yuh think any God with a truly LOVING nature would refute such a sincere and heartfelt plea? NEVER! Despite his human shortcomings, and like us, he had plenty, Bruh David never wavered, in his faith, never gave up on the God of his forefathers. And neither should we! That’s why God called Bruh David a man after his own heart! He simply had a heart for God…and so should we in these trying times! 

Awright, enough preaching…(smile) Let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. Altogether now, in strong voice with a sincere and real sense of purpose: ‘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 having declared that (right again), let’s go out and put it into practice, as Jesus verily desires of us! Much LOVE!

…LOVING Jesus…and working for Him…it’s such an awesome privilege…I wouldn’t trade it…for anything else in this whole wide world…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2019 Psalm 36:5.

Psalm 36:5.    Thy mercy (LOVING-kindness), O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.

Stop it friends, stop it! Stop being miserable and tired on a Monday morning when you have to get up to go to work. You’ve known that from Friday evening when you stopped working, and if you had done what you’re supposed to do, get some rest and relaxation and fellowship with other believers on Sunday and refuelled your spirit, then you would be all ready and gung-ho to go out and labour diligently for Jesus this morning. 

Yes, every so often we need a tongue lashing because we complain when we ought not to. (smile) But I guess that’s human nature. And to be truthful, regardless of how you prepare for Monday morning, when it does roll around, we still experience a letdown, a drop in that spiritual fervour we had ramped up for it. 

But not to worry my faithful believers, our God is good and oh so faithful, and if we ask Him nicely (smile) to fix it, then He will. That’s His ever-faithful promise! So let’s do that right now nuh. Let’s ask Him in all sincerity and humility but confidently, to improve our spiritual fervour so we can diligently do His will. So as one strong voice, let’s pray that mighty prayer, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘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 I can just see our eyes light up and our movements get brisk as we now move with a sense of purpose as the Holy Spirit renews our energy and commitment in answer to our prayer! 

 But that’s only for those of going to work. To those of us lying somewhere on a sandy beach in a warm climate enjoying the March Break, it just makes us chuckle as we raise an early morning cocktail to our lips, or get up and run into the brilliant blue waters and immerse ourselves in it! (smile) And I have to tell myself to shut up, because I’m just raising my own longing for some sea, salt, rum and sand! 

In due time though…in due time the Lord will come through for me! I know He’s faithful! He’s done it before, so why won’t He do it again eh? No good reason my brethren. So let’s talk a li’l bit about God’s faithfulness this morning nuh. I experience it every day when I come to write the Bit, because it’s His faithfulness that drives my engine. But let’s see what some of the other more important saints had to say about it. 

In Psalm 36 – The Steadfast LOVE of God – Bruh David describes it thus: ‘Thy mercy (LOVING-kindness), O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.’ (Ps.36:5) Yes friends, God’s faithfulness is as vast as the space between the earth and the clouds. And Bruh David should know about that, because he experienced it to the max; even when he did not deserve it! 

Meanwhile the author of Psalm 119 declares (right ho): ‘For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled (stands firm) in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth (stands). (Ps.119:89-90) Please note my people, that the Lord’s faithfulness is not only there for some, but for ‘ALL generations.’  

It was there for Adam and Eve, it’s there for us, and it will be there for the last humans on planet earth, whenever the Lord decides to call it a day. So there’s no need to worry about having faith in Him. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever, and His promises are always kept. He has safer and better hands than All State. (smile) 

Now hear how Ethan the Ezrahite puts it in his great Psalm – Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.’ (Ps.89:1-2)  

More acknowledgements of our God’s forthrightness and trust! And this March Break Monday morning we going to keep it short and sweet, so we’ll end with this most popular scripture that all of us LOVE to quote, but don’t truly believe when it really matters. Here these immortal words of Jeremiah: ‘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 that’s the gospel truth! 

But friends, yuh know what? We don’t need the old timers to really tell us how faithful our God is nuh, because most of us have experienced it in some form or fashion! And if we have experienced it, then why do we still doubt it and have problems accepting it as gospel truth eh? So please, let’s stop believing what the deceitful and evil world says nuh, and start believing what our God says! That’s wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…if you can’t have faith and trust…in the One who created you…then whom will you have them in eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 March 2019 Philippians 2:8.

Philippians 2:8.   And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Well it’s here right early again! And no, I’m not talking about Sunday, but Daylight Savings Time where we push our clocks ahead one hour and screw up everybody’s timetable. So at some time this morning it was two o’clock, then all of a sudden it became three o’clock! Wonder how many people remembered to do that before they went to bed and are going to get up late for church and work? 

Then somewhere down in November we revert to Standard Time, setting the clocks back an hour, and again screwing up everybody’s timetable! One minute it’s two o’clock, then the next it’s one o’clock! Steups! I’ve yet to see anyone who likes the inconvenience, but the powers that be say they think it helps, so we do it. 

We are one of a number of fewer and fewer areas who are doing it still. You then have to unnecessarily readjust to the time difference in different parts of the world. Even in Canada, not all the provinces do it. And they don’t suffer because of it! Chuh! 

But let’s not get too worked up about that this Sunday morning nuh, let’s go to the Lord’s house and fellowship; have a good time as we give Him praise and thanks, cleanse our souls, renew a right spirit within our hearts and say the Lord be praised! And as always, we begin our praise and worship with a heartfelt song. Today’s song is one we all know, titled ‘Because He Lives,’ written by the Christian writing tandem of Gloria and William Gaither. 

And since the lyrics are ever so true my fellow believers, let’s do them justice nuh, let’s allow our voices to ring out powerfully and in sweet sincerity as we joyfully declare (wrong again): ‘(Chorus: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living Just because He lives.) (Repeat) 

God sent His Son they called Him, Jesus He came to LOVE, heal and forgive He lived and died to buy my pardon An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. (Chorus) How sweet to hold a newborn baby And feel the pride and joy he gives But greater still that calm assurance This child can face uncertain days because He lives And then one day I’ll cross the river I’ll fight life’s final war with pain 

And then, as death gives way to vict’ry I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living Just because He lives And life is worth the living Just because He lives And life is worth the living Just because He lives.’ 

Ah mih people what truthful words of solace, joy and assurance! And it’s all possible just because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ lives! Glory Hallelujah! Just imagine that nuh; because He is alive and well we can face tomorrow without any fear, and knowing that He holds our future in His mighty hands, life is worth living again! 

Oh friends, give Him much thanks and praise nuh, because He didn’t have to do what He did for us, He could have even gone against the Father’s wishes. But no, as the Good Book says: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ 

Yes my people, Jesus selflessly sacrificed Himself for us on Calvary’s cross. Imagine that nuh: the Son of God becoming man and giving His life for a bunch of ungrateful sinners, all because His Father asked Him to. Yuh think those nails that pierced Jesus’ body didn’t pierce the Father’s heart too? And believe you me, every lash and awful pain He felt, the Father felt them too. But that was the ONLY way the Father could save us sinners and retain His righteousness and justice. 

The wages of sin is death, which means somebody, some sinless body had to pay to set us free, and Jesus was the only sinless soul besides the Father.  Sacrificing His only Son for us, just goes to show how much the Father LOVED us back then, and still LOVES us even now, even though we are such ingrates! 

Yes friends, it was all based on LOVE! Jesus came to LOVE, to heal and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon. And an empty grave is now there to prove that my Lord and Saviour Lives! Glory be my people! He won the victory over hell, death and the grave, and rose to everlasting life, so that those of us who believe in Him, will die, but also rise again and experience life eternal with Him! 

And for that unstinting, willingly given obedience, the Good Book tells us: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Mama Yo! Yes people, the Father honoured Jesus with the greatest honours at His disposal! The only thing He didn’t lavish on Him was His own throne! And the Father has promised to also lavish us with honours and rewards if we remain steadfastly obedient to His will. So there you have it, the choice is ours to be obedient or not. And you can’t say you didn’t know. (smile) Much LOVE!

…trust and obey…for there’s no better way…to be happy in Jesus…than to trust and obey… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2019 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.   ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

Well it’s Saturday, March break Saturday, and the airports are still full of people trying to get away from this cold weather for a few days. Some of us though are not so blessed so we have to stay and stick it out. And I hear the groaning and grumbling: ‘Chuh man! why me eh?’  

But let me remind us of this one very important fact; wherever we are right now is where Jesus wants us to be, and wherever He plants us, that’s where He’ll help us to handle all that comes against us, and we’ll even grow in our adversity and discomfort through His evergreen gardening thumb! And that’s no lie! What a Lord and Saviour we have my people! 

And since today is Saturday it means we ought to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, this week though, I’ve only received one quote from our friend Anselm, but it’s an interesting one, so let’s check it out. 

And it says: ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’ And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! It’s one of the ways the devil tries to steal our joy in Jesus, simply by letting little things offend us. 

But we have to be strong and watchful and don’t allow resentment and other negative emotions to take root and grow in our souls, else our joy in Jesus will be completely destroyed. The enemy knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh.8:10) that’s why he goes after it. And sadly, so often, so many of us allow him to steal it, which throws us into depression, resentment and not being able to focus positively on our God. 

And this Lenten season, when we are all wrapped up in getting closer to God is exactly when the devil is at his most rampant, because he obviously doesn’t want us to get closer to our Maker! That’s why Jesus warned the inner circle of His disciples, who were supposed to be praying with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but were instead sleeping: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’  

And nothing has changed since then friends, except possibly our spirit getting weaker as we go after the enticing things of the world more than we ought to. And if you don’t believe what Mark says, then hear it from Luke. After telling the disciples the parable of the fig tree, Jesus cautioned them thus: 

‘And take heed to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.’ (Luke 21:34-35) 

Yes friends, too much carousing and good times can make us miss out on Jesus’ coming. The scholars put it thus: ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetitive excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’  

And sadly again, too many of us are not getting and staying ready for whenever Jesus reappears. And how do we not fall into that very unpleasant situation? Jesus gives us the answer: ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:36) 

And here is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of Man, when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to the temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’  

So there you have it my faithful brethren, prayer is the anchor, the foundation stone on which we must build our daily lives, otherwise we’re liable to fall into temptation rather easily and damage our reputation with Christ. And yes we all know that our Christian walk is not an easy row to hoe, for even that great man of God, Bruh Paul, had a hard time fighting the lures of his flesh. 

Listen to his testimony. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. 

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not (want to do), that I do. (Rom.7:14-19)  

Yes friends, even Bruh Paul had problems with the sinful nature of his flesh, versus the spiritual nature of his mind. So we ought not to feel too badly when we experience the same struggle between out two natures, it’s a part of our earthly walk.

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s handling of the matter. ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the (this) body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom.7:24-25) 

Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about out two natures, except to try and let the spiritual law of our minds outwork the carnal and sinful nature of our flesh. And the best way to do that is through constant prayer. Much LOVE! 

…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you…quench not the Spirit… (1 Thess.16-19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 March 2019 Matthew 4:1.

Matthew 4:1.    

Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

 

And then it was Friday, the beginning of the March break, so I can imagine that all the airports are full and running over with the amount of people just dying to get away from the lengthy spell of cold weather that’s recently held us in its iron grip! 

Yeh, wish I was one of those crowding the airport terminals too, but my day will come, so I’m not worried, and I know too that whatever the Lord allows to come against me, He will give me the grace and strength to face it victoriously! Glory to our great and wonderful and generous and merciful, forgiving and magnanimous God my people! 

Now we have lots to cover today, so let’s get on with it; let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself today! And as always, he’s very vocal: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui; March break Friday and the children and them don’t have no school for a whole week. Steups! That means they underfoot all blooming week. Got to see if I can’t send them by their uncle up in the North Country for at least a few days. 

It would be good if I could take some time off and go somewhere with them, but the slave driver only give we holidays in the summer when he place shut down to retool…plus I don’t have enough money to carry all of us overseas to the warm climates right now anyway! So we’ll just have to make the best of a bad situation right here in cold Toronto…Hn, hn, hn! 

And ah talking as if that ever stop we before! We still going to eat and drink and party hearty this weekend. So bring it on! Let the fun and games begin, as we get into another free from work weekend! Thank God for Fridays and weekend yes! Don’t know what I would have done without them to break up the monotony and harsh reality of work nuh!’ 

Yeh friends, plenty of us believers also fall into the same category as the workingman, can’t get time off and don’t have enough money to take the family on a holiday to a warm place, but we too will manage, because we have the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ indwelling us, and He gives us the wherewithal to withstand anything that comes against us! Glory to God!

So let’s chant our weekend song, our Friday Chant, with the same, if not more enthusiasm than the workingman did in his song, since we have plenty more to be thankful for. 

All together 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!’ 

That was good friends! We could feel that deep down in our souls and our God was happy to hear us rejoice and be thankful in our relationship with Him. (smile) Now let’s turn to our Bit, those stirring words that foreshadowed some of the awful stuff that our Saviour Christ Jesus suffered on our behalf. ‘Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t think that any of us would have made it successfully through forty days and nights of fasting then serious temptation by the evil one himself. But Jesus did. Give Him the glory! And today we’ll look at the third major temptation. 

The Good Book says: ‘Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence (away with you), Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold angels came and ministered unto him.’ (Matt.4:8-11) 

Oh friends, the devil is very persistent, and we have to be very strong in our reproach and rebuke too. In this last temptation Jesus rebuked Satan with a combination of words from Deut.6:13, 10:20 and Josh.24:14.

We also need to know the proper scripture to rebuke the enemy when he comes a calling, which means we have to read and study and meditate on God’s Word. I can’t overstate the importance of knowing the Word to help us in ALL aspects of our lives! 

Now here is some pertinent info on the last temptation from the scholars. ‘4:8. The third temptation takes place on an exceeding high mountain. The mountain is clearly real in the text, though its exact location is unidentified. Despite the grandeur of the temptation, nothing in the passage itself indicates that these temptations were only in the mind of Christ.

Clearly, they are depicted as real experiences that actually occurred in the human life of the Messiah. That Satan, the usurper, would attempt to give the kingdoms of the world to Jesus, the Messiah, the rightful King, is the height of absurdity!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s how boldface Satan is, offering us stuff that already belongs to us! How boldface can some people get eh! And then this other offering from the scholars. ‘4:9-11. For Christ to fall down and worship Satan would have been to acknowledge the Devil’s lordship over Him. 

In His direct rebuke Get thee hence, Satan, Jesus clearly asserts His lordship over the old serpent whose head He will soon crush. Matthew’s statement that Satan leaveth him shows that his order of temptations is the chronological one. (cf. Luke 4:1-13).’ (Luke has the mountain temptation second and the temple pinnacle last). 

Well that brings us to the end of today’s Bit, but please, please remember my people, that though Jesus rebuked Satan and crushed him, the ole devil is still out there roaring a toothless roar; (smile) he’s all bark and no bite, and has no power to overcome us, unless we fall for his deception and allow him into our lives!

So this Lenten season, let’s get serious in our decision to get closer to God nuh, study His awesome Word and put it into practice in our lives! That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…God gave us His Word… as a guidebook for our earthly lives…let’s be wise and use it nuh…

 

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