Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 January 2019 Isaiah 43:2.

Isaiah 43:2.   ​When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.
 

Welcome to a brand new day friends! Oh I know that some of you have begun your day long ago, and those of you over the pond are closer to finishing it, but the ole fella, with the Lord’s help, is just beginning his, somewhat late yes, but at least I’m around to begin! (smile) And that’s something we ought to give our wonderful God much thanks and praise for, so please join me in a short prayer. 

‘Oh God of our fathers, we thank you for allowing us to see this bright and splendid day! Our aches and pains, our worries and problems have not gone away, and we’re still living in a sinful world, but we joyfully remember Your promise that by the stripes of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we will be healed, and by the spilling of His holy blood, reconciled, justified, sanctified, and resurrected to salvation and eternal life. 

And we know that You are a Deity who keeps ALL of His promises, so we’re not worried. Consequently we give You much thanks and praise for all the mercy, grace, forgiveness and LOVING-kindness that you’ve bestowed on us in these trying times, and we ask that you continue to bless and keep us under Your safe, caring and comforting wings, till whenever You think it necessary to call us home to heaven, your wonderful place of retreat and retirement. All this we pray in Jesus’ name!’ And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful, ‘AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, I know that both you and the Lord are chuckling because I promised a short prayer, but you all know that the ole fella is a long-winded soul, so you just have to be godly and forgive me. (smile) Now let’s reinforce that short prayer with a couple of powerful scriptural acclamations. 

Here we go: ‘I am an overcomer through Christ!’ ‘I am above and not beneath! The head and not the tail! (Deut.28:13) ‘I am more than a conqueror, through Christ who LOVES me.’ (Rom.8:37) And this last one is one that I need to believe ever so much in my current state of renovation. (smile) ‘And the God of all grace, who has called me to His eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will himself restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast.’ (1 Pet. 5:10) 

And all I can say to that friends, is ‘Glory to our great God!’ That’s because He never leaves us in the lurch, never carries, or allows us to be carried where we can’t be reached by His strong, outstretched arm; never gives us more than we can bear, and even when it seems that way, He will eventually make a way for us to handle our circumstances. 

As Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Now friends, that doesn’t mean we will escape all temptation, or all rough and trying circumstances, but that the Lord will bring us through them safely, for meeting and experiencing temptations and trials is an essential part of our Christian growth, we can only become more Christ-like and grow more godly when we experience some sort of negative experience. And that brings us to this wonderful passage and promise of scripture, uttered through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, as he talks about ‘The Lord, the ONLY Redeemer.’ 

Listen up carefully: ‘But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee. 

For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable (honoured), and I have LOVED thee: therefore I will give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather them from the west.’ (Is.43:1-5) 

Oh my people, my people, what more can our God promise us eh, so that we’ll stop worrying and place our total trust in Him eh? And throughout His Holy Word, the Bible, you’ve seen numerous instances of where He has kept His promise, especially in redeeming us through the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus Christ! So let’s rise up to the heights of wisdom in these last time nuh, let’s sincerely accept Him with thankful hearts, minds, bodies and souls, as He so greatly desires. 

Now let’s go home declaring (Chuh…wrong again!) the wonderful Thursday Blessings that He’s so wonderfully bestowed on us sincere believers. All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

And the next step is to share those blessings with others, for that’s a large part of the reason they were granted to us. Much LOVE!

…those who enjoy God’s blessings…will NEVER pay attention to the enemy again…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2019 Psalm 119:133.

Psalm 119:133.   ​Order (direct) my steps in thy word: and let not any (no) iniquity (sin) have dominion (rule) over me.
 
Ah friends, can someone explain this contradiction for me please: Why do I go to bed feeling fairly agile and healthy, but wake up a few hours later feeling lousy; tired, aching, grouchy, miserable and pained in both body and soul eh? Isn’t rest and sleep supposed to renew and refresh you, make you feel better and not worse? Between both of us, I’m simply tired of it yes…and I might just give up sleep and rest completely! (smile) 

And I know that some of you, my readers, also have that age old and aging problem, and you’d like nothing better than for us to have a pity party this cloudy Wednesday morning…But sorry, it’s not going to happen! (smile) Instead we’re going to put our trust and faith in the Lord God Almighty, surrender our all to Him, like He wants us to, and joyfully and loudly and sincerely and without doubting, declare these two acclamations: 

‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (P.118:24) And, ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) Glory to our great God my brethren, for it is He who gives us breath and life and health and wealth…in fact He is the ONE who gives us EVERYTHING we have and/or need in this crazy, and rather evil world! So in times of stress and strain, He is the most logical ONE to take our cares and problems to! 

Now here is a good description of our relationship with our God, taken from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s aptly and simply titled ‘His Part – My Part.’ Please pray with me: ‘Lord You want me to trust You so totally That I am unmoved by any circumstance; Then work in me that steadfast trust. You want me to choose to do right; Then turn me from wanting any plan but Yours. You want me to revere and honour You; Then refresh and revive me. 

You want me to obey You uninterruptedly; Then make Your Word my guide. You want me to depend upon You increasingly; Then reassure me that Your promises are mine. You want Your will to be my will; Then help me to LOVE Your every wish. I expect Your help dear Lord For You’ve NEVER broken a single promise And You’re not going to start with me.’ 

 No friends, He’ll NOT start breaking promises with any of us! But please remember we also have a big part to play in this covenant, this partnership with the Lord God of Hosts. We just can’t sit on our fat fannies and expect Him to make everything good come to pass in our lives. We have to offer our trust, our faith and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, then seek His Will from His Word and obediently follow it. 

The big difference between our Christian faith and others, is that our God knows we are not perfect, because He didn’t make us so, but He still LOVES us unconditionally and will help us whenever and wherever we come to Him for help, in whatever sad and sorry state we’re in! Praise His holy name, my people! But we need to make the first move! There must be some effort on our part, otherwise it will just be a one-sided relationship, and that’s definitely not what He wants with us. 

And don’t forget, ALL that He’s doing is for OUR BENEFIT, not for His. He doesn’t really need us, but we DESPERATELY NEED HIM! We often mistakenly believe that He needs us, or take Him for granted, or think we can do without Him. But friends, here’s a li’l secret, or as my young daughter would say when she was just learning to talk, a li’l ‘secrat’: NONE of those things are true! And if we keep living by them, we’ll just paint ourselves right out of His picture and all the wonderful things He has in store for each and every one of us. 

Now here’s our Bit for the day, the same scripture verse as the promise for the above poem. ‘Order (direct) my steps in thy word: and let not any (no) iniquity (sin) have dominion (rule) over me.’ Yes my people, though we need to come close to God, and stay close to Him, it’s only with His help can we do that successfully. 

Thus the psalmist continues after our Bit: ‘Deliver (redeem) me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they (men) keep not thy law.’ (Ps.119:134-136) 

Ah mih breddren, what strong words of prayer! And do we sincerely mean them, if and when we pray them? And do we truly weep and moan when our fellow man breaks God’s laws? We ought to. But only God and each individual know for sure, as he checks the motives of our hearts and doesn’t simply rely on our outward behaviour. End of sermon! Hope it makes a good and fruitful impact! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the heathen and His leader, Satan, know our unassailable position in Christ. In unison and strong, sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if you believe it, then you’ll know that that future will be even more glorious than we can even ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…LOVING God…and LIVING for Him…oh…they’re such a beautiful way of life…that no words can truly express the joy they bring…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2019 Psalm 39:7.

Psalm 39:7.   ​And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.
 
Well it’s a wet and bright morning in my neighbourhood – bright possibly because I got up later than usual, – also went to bed later than usual. (smile) But anyway, I’d like to welcome us all back to the daily grind and common task, the banal, often boring existence we call everyday life! (smile) Yeh friends, no more celebrations until Valentine’s Day down in February. It’s mostly home and work and pay the bills until then. 

But some of us manage that quite well, possibly because we have the Hope of Jesus in our lives. And in the words of the renowned French writer of works like the Count of Monte Cristo, Twenty Years After, Ten Years Later and The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) – real name Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie; ‘All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.’  

And that is the gospel truth my believing brethren! What else is there in this life eh, but to hope for what we want and then to wait patiently for it? Without either hope or patience we’re like a duck out of water. (smile) As Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church so long ago: ‘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 for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

And that’s simple logic; why hope for something when you already have or see it eh? But friends, nobody personifies those qualities of hoping and patiently waiting more than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because He promises the best and greatest gifts of all time; salvation and eternal life, which He sacrificially and selflessly died to provide for us! And freely too, because it’s through the grace of God, we’re saved. 

As Bruh Paul points out to the Ephesians: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved…For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.2:4-5, 8-9). 

Ah mih people, Bruh Paul makes it abundantly clear that salvation and eternal life are not ours to attain on our own strength, but through hope and faith and patience and perseverance and obedience in Christ and His will and His wonderful promises. As He says, all we have to do is believe in Him! But some of us find that too simple and easy, and anything that comes to us too easily is no good; if we don’t struggle for something, then it’s not worthwhile. 

But with Jesus, my friends, it’s different. The first part, believing is the easy part, for after we believe then comes the oftimes hard part of being obedient. (smile) Anyway, all I really wanted to do this morning was to talk some about hope, and help us build it in Jesus this new year of 2019. But somewhere along the line I got lost and confused, (smile) so let’s get to some scriptures that encourage us and build our hope in Christ. 

And where better to start than with these most reassuring words of Bruh David: ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my people, when our hope is sincerely placed in the great living God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, then we’re not afraid of life, or whatever it brings against us, and we can rejoice and be safe and secure in His LOVING care! And Bruh David states it plain and simple and assured in this verse, our Bit for today: ‘And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.’  That’s exactly how we ought to also put it my people! 

And Cousin Sol has an interesting verse in Proverbs: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov.13:12) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ Yeh mih breddren, when we hope for stuff, we often feel depressed having to wait for it, but when we get what we’ve hoped for…Brother! Are we ever filled with joy! 

Now hear the lamenting prophet, Jeremiah: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ (Jer.17:7) And if Jerry could make such a statement, after all the hardship he went though on the Lord’s behalf, then there must be a whole lot of truth in it. Oh friends, there are so many wonderful scriptures on hope in the Good Book that I’m having a hard time to determine what to use. 

Anyhow, hear these last two: the first from Jeremiah in his famous Lamentations, one we all know and LOVE to quote, but don’t action so well. ‘It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:26) And this verse from Peter is a most wonderful one to end with: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet.1:3) 

Yes friends, because Jesus rose from the dead, we too have the hope that those who believe in Him will also rise at the sound of the trump on the last day! Glory be! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday mantra, loud, bold and sincere, letting the world know who and whose we are! 

In unison now: ‘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 if we truly believe, then we’ll go out and graciously action those words. Much LOVE!

…HOPE renews me…and lets me face each day…with the best possible attitude… (From One More Day -Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele) 

P.S. It’s long and late, and I hope it all makes sense, but if it doesn’t, I know you all are wise enough to pick sense from nonsense! (smile) What a nice smiley day! Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2019 Jeremiah 32:27.

Jeremiah 32:27.   Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?
 
And then it was Monday – the last first day of this new year! Hn! And everything is back to normal now! No more holidays and exorbitant festivities. Now we have to go back to work five days a week and wait anxiously for all the Christmas and New Year’s bills to come in, wondering where we going to get the money from to pay them? And to make matters worse, we still tired from all that holiday activity! 

Yes friends, it’s a hard life yes! (smile) But it’s either we live on what we make, or we pay the consequences later! However enough preaching; I know you want some consolation rather than me pushing you deeper in the dumps, so let’s go to our tried and true Monday Morning Battle Hymn and invoke the Lord’s grace and mercy on our poor, sinful and oftimes foolish souls. 

Altogether now, like we believe it: ‘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!’ 

Yes mih people, yes! That’s our great and wonderful God for you! I know your problems haven’t all just disappeared, but I’m sure that you now have the power and confidence to confidently handle them, because the Spirit of our Lord has risen up inside of you and given you the strength you so badly need! Bless His Holy Name friends, and exalt it to the ends of the earth! For He is the ONE who gives us life, and allows us to get health and wealth and all the other good things we enjoy! 

So why should we not praise Him and give Him enormous thanks eh? No reason whatsoever my faithful brethren! Now let’s look at some scriptures which reinforce the great might, strength and power of our God; His omnipotence! And we’ll begin with some words from Jeremiah’s prayer after he bought the field. (Jer. 32:1-15) 

‘Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase (deed) unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the Lord, saying, Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard (difficult) for thee.’ (Jer.32:16-17) And Jeremiah continued listing all of God’s great doings and attributes. 

But what I like is how our God doesn’t mince words or is ashamed of His power. Here’s how He answered Jeremiah’s prayer: ‘Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?’ (Jer.32:26-27) Yes friends, our God does proudly acknowledge His might and power. And so should we, because we’ve seen it in operation all down through the ages. 

Now here is another tidbit of scripture that captures my heart. Remember when Isaiah declared the prophecy of Jesus birth: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…The Prince of peace.’ (Is.9:6) Now at the end of the next verse this boast is made:’ The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:7b) 

And did He ever my people! He sent His only son Jesus to die for us and provide us a way out of total darkness into the light of His salvation and eternal life! Now why wouldn’t I put my trust and hope and faith in Him eh? Again, no reason whatsoever, since He’s shown that He is indeed capable of doing whatever He says! His boasts are not idle talk, but sure reality, stuff that we can confidently base our lives on! 

And again, when Judah was about to be besieged by Sennacherib of the Assyrians, He sent Isaiah to him with this promise: ‘And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward: For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this.’ (Is.37:31-32) 

And it did happen; whenever Jerusalem was captured or destroyed, a remnant always rose up – to facilitate the coming of Jesus and the prophecy of the Lord’s word. Even today, there is a remnant in Israel!

Yes my faithful brethren, there is omnipotence in our God; there’s nothing He can’t do, so let’s keep putting our hope, faith and trust in Him, for He has also promised never to leave or forsake us, and He keeps His word, even to the thousandth generation! Much LOVE!

…omnipotence and faithfulness…are only two of our God’s…many great and stellar attributes…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2019 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.   ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!
 

And then it was the first Sunday of the New Year! Glory Be! And all the devoted followers of Christ flocked to His sanctuary to hear His Word, to give Him the praise and worship He so obviously deserves, as well as to mix and mingle and to encourage and edify and uplift their fellow believers. And for this first Sunday in 2019, we have an awesome and most appropriate song of worship to open the proceedings. 

It’s an old 19th century British hymn whose lyrics were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865 as a processional hymn for children walking from Horbury Bridge to Horbury St Peter’s Church near Wakefield, Yorkshire, at Whitsuntide in 1865. It was originally entitled, “Hymn for Procession with Cross and Banners.”  

 Then Arthur Sullivan composed the accompanying music in 1871. They say that Sullivan first named the tune “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose home he composed it. But eventually the Salvation Army adopted it as one of their favourite processional hymns …and the rest is history! 

Oh friends, let’s belt out that well known and greatly LOVED tune that calls us to be strong and steadfast soldiers in Christ’s Name. As one great army now, marching into battle, letting the enemy know that we’re coming…and coming for only one thing; victory! 

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) 

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain] 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] 

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain] Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!)’ 

Oh my fellow believers if that doesn’t stir up the LOVE for Christ in your hearts, then something’s seriously wrong with you! It’s exactly the kind of battle cry Christians need in these turbulent, decadent and evil times! And that’s why it was written; ‘to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces throughout the world.’ 

And there’s been no other time like now, when evil is running rampant all over and the heathen seems to be winning the battle! But friends, that’s only in their imagination, because we believers are coming out loud, proud and strong this year of 2019! We’re going to mightily embrace those rich and encouraging words of Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!’ 

Wow mih people! What better words to frame our year than with those eh? We are in Christ’s army, and as good soldiers do, we WILL endure hardship for Him, and in His name! That’s our faithful promise! For as Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

Yeh friends, if we are soldiers for Christ, we can’t afford to get entangled in the affairs of this world. We have to keep our hands and hearts clean of the evil that surrounds us, so that we can please Christ who has called us, who has enlisted us in His LOVE Revolution, to fight the good fight in His name! 

As Bruh Paul told Timothy earlier on: ‘This charge I commit unto (command) thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee (previously made concerning you), that thou by them mightest war a good warfare. Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away (rejected) concerning the faith have made (suffered) shipwreck.’ (1 Tim.1:18-19) 

Oh my brethren, we need to be ever so faithful having personal confidence in God, as well as the word, the gospel that’s been handed down to us by the saints. For if we reject those things, then we’ll surely become shipwrecked, lost and left on the outside looking in; the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul!

And later on, Bruh Paul again gets on poor Timothy’s case. After warning him of the deterioration of the church in years to come, (2 Tim.4:2-4) he declares: 

‘But watch thou in all things. Endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist (preach the gospel of Christ), make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.

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 that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:5-8) 

Yes my believing brethren, we ALL ought to be able to say that at end of our lives. But for that to happen, we have to begin being good, strong and steadfast soldiers of Christ, RIGHT NOW! So let’s get to it nuh! We have a crown of righteousness to win! Much LOVE!

…to win any race…especially the race of life…one needs to have commitment…courage…perseverance…endurance…and faith…and ONLY in Christ…can one find all those attributes… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but church had to come first…and anyway I likes it…hope you do too! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 January 2019 Matthew 5:13a, 14a.

Matthew 5:13a,14a.   ​Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world!
 
Well it’s the first Saturday in the New Year, and though the ole fella was up a bit early, he’s fallen somewhat behind the eight ball. But that’s allowed eh, especially on a cloudy, winter’s Saturday morn? (smile) Hope everybody is catching up on their rest after the hectic Christmas and New Year’s seasons, but please don’t put away the Christmas spirit with the decorations, and remember that we are walking closer with Jesus this year of 2019! 

And since it’s Saturday, it’s time to look at what our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Now this is an interesting scenario that he’s submitted: ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential. 

Things to think about for 2019: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it; 6. Pray. Happy New Year to all my friends and family!‘ 

There’s nothing wrong with any of that! In fact it’s all stuff we should do, if we want to live a joyful and peaceful and blessed New Year! Then there is this quote that sort of paraphrases the thoughts above: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every New Year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Oh friends, our world is in such a sad state of disrepair, that only enormous sacrifices on the part of each and every believer could ever hope to right it! That’s why, as true believers in, and steadfast followers of Christ, we have to totally embrace this last quote: ‘The ones who can see the vision when no one else can, and work on it like there is no tomorrow, will succeed. The rest will follow.’ 

Yes my Christian brethren, that’s what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects of us; to have the vision He’s supplied and then to diligently and sincerely work on it like He desires of us. He most urgently wants us to be leaders, not followers! That’s why in His most memorable sermon, that on the Mount, He took such pains to point out what He expects of us: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world!’ 

Yeh faithful followers, in Jesus’ time, and still today, salt and light, are two of the most valuable things, much needed commodities in our world. Salt still enhances the taste of our food and keeps it fresh, while we can’t walk anywhere or do anything constructively if there’s only darkness. 

Light, especially that special light that Jesus brings and offers, is desperately needed in this terribly dark world of ours. The powers of evil and darkness are ruling the roost, and that doesn’t sit well with our Leader. And that ascendance of darkness and evil didn’t just happen overnight, it happened over a period of time when His followers were too lax, lazy, fearful and compromising to step up and confront the undesired situation! 

But remember friends, all is not yet lost, and once we have Jesus on our side, ANY and EVERYTHING is possible! However, we have to put in the sacrifices, the actual work, not just talk to improve our world! Just thing about the kind of world our grandchildren will inhabit in the next couple of decades if we do nothing NOW to make it better nuh? 

We’ve already allowed the evil and corruption of this world to fester and run like an inflamed sore, we can’t afford to let it get any worse, otherwise we’ll just have to amputate the rotting body part. That’s why these immortal words of Jesus ought always to be pounding in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls: 

‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:13-15) 

 Oh friends, what more can I say eh? Except that we can’t let down Jesus like we’re currently doing! We need to pull up our britches and tighten our bootstraps if we want to be truly successful workers in His cause. And one thing also to remember, when we fail Jesus, since we are His chosen workers, it also means that He is failing the Father! 

And under no circumstance can we allow the Father the opportunity to look askance at Jesus. That’s why we have to make the effort, the real sacrifice this year of 2019 and do as He pleaded: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) 

Yes mih breddren, letting our light shine in this dark world must be our avowed purpose for this New Year, so that our Father in heaven, our Creator, Almighty God can be glorified. Remember that’s why He created us! Much LOVE!

…the Father sent Jesus to do a job…He did His part…set the foundation…then sub-contracted the rest of building His church to us… and He’s depending on us to do our part…to bring about successful completion…all to the glory of the Father’s name…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.   ​Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 
And then it was the first Friday in the new year; a day every working person was just dying to see, because it was a harbinger of the weekend and they so badly wanted to rest their tired bones, flesh and spirits after all the New Year’s celebrations! Ah mih people, the doctor’s appointments business in the big city have begun again yes. But I’m not sure that I’m keeping this one this morning nuh…

Chuh! The ole fella didn’t sleep well last night and is walking around this morning like an ole fogey. (smile) Easy mih first born easy…(smile) She’s already warned me not to cancel any appointments, but she’s not the one feeling the feelings, nor has to trek umpteen miles in the cold and traffic to hear a doctor say: ‘Oh, everything’s healing well. Just keep on doing what you’re doing!’ And I don’t believe that the duchess is too thrilled having to drive me either. But we’ll see how it shakes out after I’m done with the Bit. 

And nobody is more thrilled than the ordinary workingman to see this day as he so enthusiastically informs us: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! I couldn’t work another day even if mih life depended on it! Brother! Them Christmas and New Year’s festivities really drain me yes! Ah guess is time to realize that ah not as young as I used to be…in other words, no spring chicken, so I can’t afford to party as hearty and not feel the resulting rough consequences. Hn, hn! But where there is a will there is a way. 

So watch me, come this year Christmas and New Year’s Eve nuh! Ah going to start getting mihself ready from early o’clock…because who want to miss them fantastic celebrations, sitting down like some ole man in a wheelchair and kyar move and go round the place and eat and drink up other people stuff eh? Not me for sure nuh! So thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, that enable me to renew mih soul and body, so that I could get out and party! Party, party, party…!’ 

Yes mih breddren, it never ceases to amaze me, how we can be so kind and gracious for a couple of weeks, then go right back to the disgusting living we practiced before. But I guess that’s just nature of the human animal. However, since it’s Friday, we need to let our Christian voice be heard in our Friday Chant. It’s not as ebullient and mind chasing as the workingman’s song, but it sure fits our purposes admirably. 

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

Yeh, it’s not spectacular, but it helps keep us out of the enemy’s reach, and doing Jesus’ work. And that’s the most important aspect of our lives, doing Jesus’ bidding! Remember His last words to the disciples, in what we term, ‘the Great Commission’?

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

There you have it friends, the imperative from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Ours is to spread the good news of His Word around the world, to all and sundry. And note, He assured us, that He would be with us all the time we’re doing His will. What an awesome Saviour we have my brethren! Always thinking of us and our welfare! 

And the scholars give us this explanation: ‘28:19. The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people. Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers. The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service. A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others. 

The Great Commission is a simple command with three steps – evangelism, baptism, and education. Illustration: The Great Commission is the strategy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel. Application: Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God’s objectives for that institution. (First Ref. Matt.16:18; Primary Ref. Matt.28:19; cf. Phil.1:27).’ 

Yes friends, our job is to let the heathen know about Christ, and all the wonderful things He has to offer to those who come to Him in humility and sincerity. And each and every Christian has a part to play in this transformation! The question that now faces us, is whether we’re doing what Jesus requires of us, and if we’re doing it to the best of our ability? 

And it’s obvious that as the body of Christ, the church, we’re not doing such a great job, otherwise our world wouldn’t be in such a state of upheaval and evil. So I’d like to invite each of us to sit down and seriously ponder our current role in Christ’s church, and then ask the Lord to help us do better, for we can ALL do better. Much LOVE!

…I must work the works of him who sent me…while it is day…the night cometh…when no man can work… (John 9:4)

 

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries