Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2019 Hebrews 4:16.

Hebrews 4:16.    ​Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Time to refuel once again friends; time to revitalize our spiritual energy with a visit to the Lord’s house this Sunday morning, or evening, where in fellowship with other believers, we give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father, hear His awesome Word, filled with wisdom and encouragement and come away strong and confident, empowered to face our turbulent world for another seven days, diligently doing His holy will! Hn, hn! I like that sentence; though it’s long, it’s chocked full of truth! And as believers in Jesus Christ, that ought to be a major priority in our lives. As Bruh David says in Psalm 25: ‘All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.’ (Ps.25:10) If you are a true believer, you certainly can’t deny that. 

Anyway, let’s get on with the praise and worship, beginning, as always, with a song of heartfelt LOVE being floated up to heaven. And today’s song is an old favourite, ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds,’ written by none other than John Newton (1725-1807); the licentious sailor, slave trader, abolitionist and priest, who contributed numerous songs to our Hymn Book, the most famous being the immortal, ‘Amazing Grace.’ So let’s sing out our souls in all sincerity to Jesus, letting Him know how much we LOVE, adore and appreciate Him. 

As one voice, in perfect harmony: ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear! It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away our fear. It makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the troubled breast; ’tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary, rest. Dear name! the rock on which I build, My shield and hiding place, My never-failing treasury, filled, With boundless stores of grace. O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend, my Prophet, Priest, and King, my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring. How weak the effort of my heart, how cold my warmest thought; but when I see you as you are, I’ll praise you as I ought. Till then I would your LOVE proclaim with every fleeting breath; and may the music of your name refresh my soul in death.’ 

Ah friends, there’s really no sweeter sound to a believer’s ear than that magical, mysterious, powerful and all-encompassing name of Jesus! Give Him much heartfelt thanks and praise for all He’s done for us miserable, sinful human beings nuh. I guess because of Newton’s ungodly early life, he was able to hit the nail on the head when writing this hymn. Most likely Jesus did it all for him; soothed his sorrows, healed his wounds, drove away his fear. I’m sure He made whole his wounded spirit and calmed his troubled breast…and undoubtedly, He was manna to his hungry soul, and in his weariness, gave him peaceful rest. And yuh know what my people, Jesus will do the same for each and everyone of us, if we will just accept Him into our hearts and be obedient to His will. 

Listen to some of the awesome, but oh so truthful statements that Jesus made in His time here on earth. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but my me.’ (John 14:6) Right there the situation is explained in living colour: only through Jesus, by believing in Him, and living a lifestyle in concert with His, will we ever get to see the Father’s face and behold His immaculate glory! Then hear Him on the shepherd scene: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep.’ (John 10:14-15) And did He ever lay down His sinless life in a most sacrificial manner for us, the sinful and willful sheep of His pasture! 

And as for obedience, hear Him: ‘A new commandment I give to you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) He also emphasized the LOVE factor later on in talking about the Holy Spirit. ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.’ (John 14:15-16)  And He kept His promise, that’s why we have the Holy Spirit indwelling each and every believer today! 

And there’s nothing in this whole wide world like Jesus’ Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me: for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Coming obediently to Jesus is wisest way to find rest friends! I can certainly vouch for that, and so too can many of you. 

And if you want more, He is also the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim. 6:15); the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last (Rev.1:8); The name above every name, to which every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11) He is also our Advocate, our lawyer in heaven. ‘And if any man sin, we have an advocate (intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous’ (1 John 2:1b) Glory be mih breddren! 

And finally, Jesus is also our High Priest: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God’ let us hold fast our profession (confession) For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’  (Heb. 4:14-16) That’s the best advice to end with today friends! Please pay significant heed to it. Much LOVE!

…Jesus is our Be All…and our End All…our Everything in ONE…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 November 2019 1 John 2:17.

1 John 2:17.    ​And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
 

Ah Lord eh people! The devil surely knows how to interrupt our day and cause us to get into an unholy tiff! I was down here fairly early to write the Bit, even opened the internet access and checked some emails, and replied to a couple. Next thing I know, the computer’s telling me there’s no internet access, so they couldn’t be sent. On checking, there seems to be some problem with my internet provider, the great Bell Canada, so right now I have no internet or TV access. Steups! I was having problems with the old computer, so I bought a new one, now I’m having problems with the internet provider. 

Then, I was planning to come and write the Bit on Word so it could be easily sent out whenever the situation is rectified, but today is Saturday, time for our friend Anselm’s quotes, but I can’t even get to them because they are in my internet mailbox. So everything will just have to wait! Glory Be! What else can I say eh? I’m chuckling here, because there’s nothing much I can do. You can’t even get through to Bell on the phone; the line’s busy. Oh, the duchess just told me that everything is back, except the internet…Whoopee dee! 

You know I’m even surprised that I have such a good attitude. I expected to be quite annoyed…and guess I was, because earlier on it gave me a headache. That good attitude must be the Lord’s doing yes, because I certainly can’t remember pressing the good attitude button. (smile) So that’s it until the internet comes back. (9.16 a.m.) Yuh know what, I can’t even save this, because it has to go through the server!  Chuh! What a way we’ve become beholden, de facto slaves, to electronic technology! 

Yeaaah! It’s come back at 922! So we can go right into our friend Anselm’s quotes and see how he aspired to inspire us this week. Here is the first one: ‘You do not find the happy life. You make it.’ And that’s oh so true! Unfortunately too many of us seem to think that a happy life comes naturally, especially believers who have just hooked up to Jesus. But that’s one of the devil’s many lies. If you want to have a happy life, even with Jesus, you have to do your part to make it so. And the best route to happiness is obviously the one that runs through Jesus! Praise His holy name! 

And the second quote advises us to ‘Limit your “always” and your “nevers”.’ Now that’s not bad advice because life is so contrary, that one moment you’ll say you’ll never do something, then the next find yourself having to do it. I can speak to that from personal experience. There have been so many things I claimed I’d never do, but eventually ended up doing them because of life and its contrary circumstances. So let’s not make too may extreme statements, because life just finds pleasure in making us eat our words. 

Moving on to the next quote: ‘When you are through changing, you are through.’ Now that leaves me somewhat confused because I don’t really understand what it means. (smile) Taken exactly as it’s written, it makes sense; when you’re done changing, you can’t change anymore. Unless it means that when you are finished changing, you have come through the changes, like coming through a tunnel or something. But let’s not forget that one of the few certainties we have in life is that it’s always changing, which means we too are always in the process of change. 

And we all know the verity of this next quote: ‘Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible!” Yeh friends and fellow believers in Jesus Christ, we know that for a fact, as the angel Gabriel told Mary, Jesus’ mother when he informed her that she was going to bear a child without knowing a man. (Luke 1:26-35) Wow! ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:37) And so it should be my people! The creator of our great universe can do any and everything! And that benefits us oh so much, that I don’t understand why so many people are turning away from Him, rather than running into His ever ready, waiting and LOVING arms! 

But hopefully this last quote will help us see the wisdom of turning to God, through Christ Jesus. It says: ‘Everything comes to pass, nothing comes to stay.’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren! And we’ll look at a few scriptures that support that statement, starting with Bruh Paul’s contention to the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17) Yes friends, the first step in becoming righteous means a passing away of one’s old life and all the ungodly things that existed in it. 

And then too friends, our earthly and mortal bodies will pass away. But, per Bruh Paul: ‘Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.’ (1 Cor. 15:51) Our bodies will go back to the dust from whence they came, but our spirits will live on forever with our Triune God, all thanks to Jesus Christ, who gives us that eventual victory! 

Now hear John in his first epistle. ‘For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.’ (1 John 2:16) Ah mih people, sin and our evil desires are so much a natural part of our human existence it’s difficult to run away from them, but we ought to, since as John continues: ‘And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.’ It could not be any plainer or straightforward than that my brethren! 

And John seals it all with this vision in his Revelations. ‘And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.’ (Rev.21:1) Yeh friends, just like Isaiah predicted in Is. 65:17 and 66:22, a new world will eventually replace this old one, a world cleansed of sin and all negativity! Wow! Am I ever looking forward to that time! But one word of warning; we’ll only be able to enjoy that sinless world if we have stood strong and steadfast with Jesus during our earthly lives. Any other lifestyle will lead to death and eternal damnation, eternal separation from Jesus! And that’s the worst thing that can happen to a spiritual being!  Much LOVE!

…what passes doesn’t matter…when you’re in league with Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2019 Matthew 5:19.

Matthew 5:19.    ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:
 

‘Sunshine makes me feel so happy…Sunshine makes me feel so sad…’ Yeh friends, sunshine has the ability to do both those things. When we see it in the early morning hours, it lifts our spirits, but when it gets too hot, or too cold, as it is now in my neck of the woods, it deflates the spirit somewhat. But let’s be thankful for small mercies nuh, be thankful that there’s a bright sun shining in God’s beautiful sky, instead of any negative precipitation like the rain we’ve been recently having, or the snow that’s in our immediate future. And the ordinary workingman reminds us of just that in his weekend song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us! Boy, is that ever the best time of the week! And the sun’s shining to boot…and no snow not falling…not yet anyway. Wow! As Brother James Brown would say: ‘Get on the good foot baby!’ Yes, I’m certainly going to do that, come rain, snow or shine, cause life’s too short to allow the vagaries of the weather to control it. And who doesn’t want to do that, that’s their business, their loss. They don’t know what a good time they passing up nuh. To some of us, it’s okay to work all week, then don’t enjoy the weekend. Well not me nuh! I’m starting right now to enjoy it oui! Come hell or highwater, my weekend going to be a blast! Yes sir! Thank God for Fridays and weekends!’ 

And so should we all, my precious people of God! Because it’s only through His grace and mercy that we can enjoy the fruits of our labour in fairly peaceful surroundings. Unfortunately, a great proportion of humanity are unable to do that, due to strife and wars and other public upheavals. So let’s give some sincere and heartfelt thanks as we declare our weekend song, our Friday Chant.

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.’ 

And as I like to remind us each week, Christianity is an action oriented, outgoing association, but not one that just runs hither, thither and yon without a sensible sense of purpose. (smile) That is to say, our Leader, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries that we should not cross over since they would just allow the ever-lurking enemy to get a foothold in our lives, something we need to avoid at all cost. So, unlike the ordinary workingman, we don’t rush out and do whatever we want, or whatever feels good, we need to examine our actions in the context of Christ’s boundaries before we do stuff. 

Now sometimes that’s difficult, or it seems to detract from what we’d naturally consider a joyful time. But friends, it’s better to be safe than sorry, for once we get into certain activities or circumstances, they will certainly come back to haunt us, possibly for the rest of our lives. Please, please, let’s remember that all that glitters is not gold, especially in the enemy’s camp. His stuff is not even gold plated, just covered with a thin veneer of gold paint, and gets rusty real quickly! (smile) That’s why Jesus went to such great length to warn us in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:’ What life changing, world beating advice my brethren! 

And it’s not like we don’t know, or have not experienced the theft and/or fraudulent gain of our earthly treasure by others, yet we continue to kill ourselves in order to accumulate earthly wealth and possessions that can be so easily violated. And Jesus doesn’t leave us hanging, He shows us where to store our treasure. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt. 6:20) That’s ageless wisdom people! If you have treasure, the best place to store it is where it’s the safest from thieves and rust…and that’s heaven. 

And furthermore, Jesus reminds us: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) Gospel truth friends! Just think about your earthly valuables right now, wherever you have them stored, your mind is always on them wondering if they are safe; in the bank, or under your mattress, or if they are making you more money, increasing in value, in places like the stock exchange. And in these oh so turbulent times, we’re thinking about our earthly treasure more than ever, since matters totally out of our control can cause us to lose it all. 

Listen to the scholars: ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (on earth, or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather as rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ Oh friends all the wealth in the world won’t get us into heaven. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to have earthly wealth, but it’s how we use it. 

Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (give), willing to communicate (share); Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim. 17-19) Yeh friends, once we believe in Christ, we must use our earthly treasures to help others, to further God’s kingdom, thus we will store up rewards, treasures in heaven…and you can’t beat heavenly treasures! Much LOVE!

…labour not to be rich…do not overwork…cease from thine own wisdom… (Prov.23:4)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 November 2019 Philippians 4:19.

Philippians 4:19.    ​But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
 

Welcome folks, welcome! Welcome to the first snowfall of this winter season in my area! And if you have forgotten, the snow does look beautiful when it covers the rooftops and the grassy areas. And how can you not admire it as it’s falling down like li’l pearl teardrops, so innocent and unassuming! (smile) Yeh, but it could also be the devil in disguise. Thankfully though, right now it’s the wet stuff that’s falling, so it’s not really causing any problems on the roads, and whatever is on the grass and rooftops hopefully won’t stay long as the day warms up. 

Ah mih people, it’s a wake up call to begin winterizing; take out your winter attire; hat’s boots, scarves, gloves etc., winterize your cars, get your snow shovels and snow blowers ready, make sure your furnace is running efficiently and all the other little things we need to get done as we set in for a long, cold season. Ah, you friends living down south don’t know how blessed you all are nuh, because winter can be such a frustrating, difficult and expensive time.

And the days can be so dark and dreary, that they automatically weaken your spirit and your desire to do anything constructive. But as always, our great God is right there with us, providing the necessary sustenance, the necessary strength of all kinds, and lifting our spirits so that we don’t fall prey to the negative emotions of despair, hopelessness, and the winter blahs, or what we now calling ‘SAD,’ Seasonal Affective Disorder). 

And there are two paramount scriptures that we need to hold dearly and tightly come the winter blahs. The first is that ole faithful; ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called (elect, saints) according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Ah friends, there is no better time to believe that verse of scripture than in the upcoming months of winter, as it gives us a solid foundation to handle all the negative winter stuff that comes against us, knowing that our wonderful God is working out everything, both good and bad, in our favour, because we truly LOVE and trust and surrender our all to Him! 

And the next verse is like the first, (smile) producing overwhelming hope and faith in a rough and tough season. Remember these awesome words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ Yes my fellow saints in Christ, our magnanimous and magnificent God WILL satisfy all our needs as we sacrifice our thoughts, words and deeds in His honour.

Hear how the scholars explain it. ‘4:19. Because the Lord is aware of the sacrifice (v.18) 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” on “in a splendid manner”; and (3) by Christ Jesus.’ 

And we know that our God keeps all of His promises, so there is no need to be anxious over our earthly needs. And to really help us set up this strong winter foundation, let’s bring to mind some other foundational and faithful scriptures nuh. (smile)

Remember this big and oh so important one from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Himself? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) That says it all right there friends, but as they say, there’s strength in numbers, so check out this one. ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6:7) 

Mamacita! What can be more beautiful or inspirational eh? How about this one? ‘And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:’ (2 Cor. 9:8) There again my people, we have the promise of God’s power, His generosity and unfailing faithfulness!

And we’ll close with some of the most awesome and inspirational verses in the Good Book; the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps. 23:1-4) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, what wonderful words of hope and reassurance! And they are not meant to strengthen only those of us preparing for winter, but for ALL believers, so that we can remain strong and steadfast against the enemy, and do the work God has planned for each of us.

Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, blessings that the Lord has magnanimously granted us so that we can do His holy will. All together in 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!’ 

And if we’re sincere in those pronouncements, then the next step is for us to go out and put those blessings to work in Jesus’ name. Much LOVE!

…I will never leave you…nor forsake you…that’s God’s faithful promise…believe it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2019 Malachi 4:2.

Malachi 4:2.    ​But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves).
 

It’s sunshine…It’s sunshine…! Yes friends and Scrip-Bit family, the sun’s shining high and bright in a clear blue sky at 8 o’clock this Wednesday morning! Glory be! And I guess it’s already so high because of the Daylight Saving’s Time change we had over the weekend, where the clocks were rolled back one hour. I don’t know why they don’t stop the foolishness nuh, because nobody likes it. There are always complaints, especially about screwed up sleep patterns, and you have to readjust all your time situations. And I really don’t know who it benefits either nuh. 

Now we’re five hours behind Europe, when last week we were four; possibly the same time as Trinidad and Tobago now, but and hour or something behind Jamaica… It just screws up everything, even between the provinces of Canada! What’s wrong with staying with ONE time eh? Not many other countries engage in the nonsense. But unless we make an unholy stink about it, the powers that be won’t see fit to change it.

However, the beauty of the situation is that whatever time line we use, or whatever the weather might be, we still have the awesome presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour constantly dwelling within us through the auspices of the Holy Ghost! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful ‘Wow!’ 

Yeh friends, when we consider how marvellous that situation is, the only word that can sometimes come to mind is ‘Wow!’ That’s because its ‘marvellousness’ transcends the capacity of our mortal minds. (smile) But it all ties in miraculously with Jehovah’s plan for His people; re His Messiah, His Saviour coming to save them from eternal damnation. Hear how the prophet Malachi puts it: ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves).’ Oh my people, no uncertain foraging for food for the Lord’s people because ‘the Sun of righteousness,’ the figurative description of Jesus Christ, our Messiah shall come and heal and feed and comfort us. Glory Hallelujah! 

And that promise wasn’t new to the Israelites at that time, because Isaiah had already promised long before: ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) And that prophecy was built upon by John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, when he declared at John’s birth: ‘And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins. Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring (Dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 2:76-79). 

And the scholars explain that passage thus: ‘1:78. Dayspring means “dawn” and figuratively refers to the coming of the Messiah. The clause should be translated, “Dawn from heaven will visit us.” That is, the Messiah from heaven will come to help us. God’s messianic deliverance is often expressed as the bursting forth of a great light.’ And so it should be because it brought out us of the darkness of sin into the light of God’s LOVE! And what I admire about God’s Word is that He left no empty spaces in it, meaning that each prophecy was rolled right into another one that led the story forth. 

For just as Zechariah prophesied that his son, John the Baptist would be a forerunner of the Messiah, the Good Book tells us: ‘In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’ (Matt. 3:1-3) So even Isaiah had prophesied about John’s role in the coming of Jesus. (Is .40:3) 

And it was all corroborated in John the disciple’s gospel: ‘There was a man sent from God, whose name was John (the Baptist). The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power (the right) to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name. which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:6-14) 

Oh my people, what a life-saving and light emitting event the coming of Jesus was! It made God’s salvation universally available to all who believed in His Son, Jesus Christ. Gave them the authority to become children of God! Glory Hallelujah! The sad part though is that people in general, and in particular, His own people, the Jews, rejected him. But mih bredden, yuh see the Lord’s faithfulness. After promising the Messiah, the Saviour of His people, down through the ages, He finally fulfilled it by the coming of Jesus! Please let us never deny His everlasting faithfulness, or that of the Good Book, His Holy Word. It will just happen in His own time.

And for all of us who have accepted the Light of the World as our own, let’s go home telling all and sundry our wonderful position in His marvellous union. As one 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!’ And as always, we can’t help rejoicing when we consider how truly great and glorious that future will be…more than we can ask or ever imagine! Much LOVE!

…the light shines in the darkness…and the darkness repels it not…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2019 1 Samuel 2:3.

1 Samuel 2:3.    ​Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy (arrogance) come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
 

It’s Tuesday morning and the ole fella is somewhat pained up in both body and soul! (smile) I guess that’s because I went to bed too early last night and did not get up during the night to do anything constructive. Oh, how I envy those blessed people who can lie in their beds for ten hours or more! Me, I’m lucky if I can get to four or five without the old aches and pains starting to act up. And I know that, but last night I was just too lazy or tired, or whatever to get up, so now I’m feeling the consequences of my actions. (smile) 

Yes friends, there are always consequences to our actions, be they good or bad. And one of the sad things about our society nowadays is that we don’t stop long enough to consider the consequences before acting. And to make matters even worse, when those unthought of consequences of our unwise actions backfire on us, we’re quick to blame everybody and everything else but ourselves! No wonder our society is going to Hades in a hand-basket! When you don’t think of consequences before acting, and can’t accept the blame for the resulting negative stuff then the society is indeed in a bad way. 

That reminds me of one of Uncle Charles’ (Charles Stanley) favourite sayings: ‘You reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow!’ And that’s just how it is in God’s economy.  And the most unwise, no, let’s not clothe it in purple robes, but show it for what it really is; the most stupid and foolish decision this society has so far made is to take God out of our lives; out of our schools and public places! And quite correctly, we are now reaping the consequences of the foolish seed we’ve sown. Just look at our world; at how strife-filled and strife-torn it is; there’s negative upheaval all over the planet; with a new age of dictatorship coming to the fore; while both natural and man made disasters are proliferating like never before! 

Do think this is just happenstance friends? Trust me, it is certainly not! Remember our God moves in mysterious ways, and He has not given up control of His universe, that means His hand can be in anything. Please remember the adversity He brought upon His chosen people, the Israelites, every time they rebelled against Him. Now why wouldn’t He do the same thing with us eh? That brings us to our Bit, which comes from the Song of Hannah, the prophet Samuel’s mother, after the Lord had ended her barrenness. ‘Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy (arrogance) come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow believers! Listen to what the Lord told Samuel later on when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons and Samuel admired the big, good looking son Eliab. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) Ah mih people what’s wrong with us eh? Why are we so stubborn and hard-headed eh? Why can’t we realize that the Lord’s hand is upon us in our foolish rebellion? 

Please take note of these significant words of the psalmist: ‘Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.’ (Ps.49:20) Oh friends, we’re supposed to be the crème de la crème of God’s creation, but when we reject His solemn word and rebel against His will, then we’re just like the wild beasts who cannot think, and thus perish in their ignorance. And there are so many scriptures that remind us of God’s power and righteousness, as well as man’s foolhardiness. Let’s check out a couple. 

Hear Isaiah, as he talks about Judah, being a sinful nation. ‘The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or fed trough): But Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.’ (Is.1:3) Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any better than that nuh! We are indeed a sinful nation, who don’t know where our bread is truly buttered, and sadly, we don’t even consider our actions regarding it. We just blunder ahead foolishly; like a horse with blinkers. And Jeremiah’s words still ring true today: ‘And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.’ (Jer. 9:3) 

Unfortunately, those words bring a sad chuckle to my soul, as we now face a diabolical debate over truth with Trump’s behaviour in the U.S. And Jeremiah continues later on: ‘Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait (inwardly he sets his ambush). Shall I not visit (punish) them for these things? Saith the Lord: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?’ (Jer.9:8-9) Personally, I think the answer to that is a resounding ‘YES!’ And the Lord has already set it in motion with all the adversity that’s happening in the land, despite the overall prosperity. 

Now for us true believers, let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘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 yuh serious, then now is time to go out and share that LOVE and friendship of Jesus with the unfortunate others who don’t know Him! Much LOVE!

…there’s none so blind…as he who refuses to see…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2019 Psalm 65:2.

Psalm 65:2.    ​O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.
 

Come Monday morning, I’ll be up and about with the rising sun, doing my Lord and Saviour’s work, because I know how important it is. His business of saving the world, of reconciling it to the Father is the most important job we disciples, we ambassadors of Christ have to do. Remember His Great Commission: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

Well that command still stands today friends, so let’s grab the bull by the horns this first day of the new workweek and get busy nuh, fulfill our bounden duty with diligence and excellence. And yes, because of our human nature, some of us do need a li’l push, some encouragement to get up and get going. But we have just the right medicine for your ailment this morning, it’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; a cry to our great God for help in handling our current rough situation. So altogether now, let’s sincerely float this prayer up to heaven, where Christ is waiting in the wings to intercede with the Father for us. 

‘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!’ 

Awright precious people of Christ, yuh feel it working? Yuh feel the power of the Holy Spirit, working in you, causing the adrenaline level to rise and your enthusiasm to soar? That’s God’s answer to our sincere, heartfelt prayer! That tells us that God answers prayer my believing brethren; no doubt about it! And today we’re just going to point out a few scriptures which assure us of that undeniable fact.

And we’ll begin with the Lord’s own words of advice to Cousin Sol when he dedicated the temple. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.’ (2 Chr.7:14-15) 

And the scholars point out right away. ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6:37-39; James 4:8-10).’ Yes friends, the first aspect of prayer is coming to God with a sincere and humble heart. Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 65 – God is powerful in nature. ‘O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.’ And judging from Bruh David’s record with God, that is the absolute truth. 

And if you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to Jesus. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt. 7:7-8) The scholars warn though: ‘7:7-10. The three imperatives ask, seek and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (v.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.’ 

There you have it friends, there’s no excuse for not praying! Jesus also reinforced that last statement by later saying: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) That introduces another essential element of successful prayer; that of belief. You must believe it before you see it! Then John, in his first epistle writes: ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.’ (1 John 5:14) That introduces another aspect of prayer; our petition must fall within the parameters of God’s will; frivolous, greedy and selfish prayers, most likely won’t be answered. 

And we’ll close with some awesome words from the scholars. ‘Prayer. Both Jesus (Luke 18:1) and Paul (1 Tim. 2:1) emphasized the importance of prayer, noting that people ought always to pray. Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God. But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God. By its nature, prayer is talking with God. It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin (1 Sam. 12:23) 

When we pray, we should follow the model prayer that Jesus gave His disciples and address it to our heavenly Father – beginning with adoration, including thanksgiving and confession of sins, making reconciliation with others, praying for our needs and the needs of others, and concluding in Jesus’ name (Matt. 6:9-15; John 14:14).’ 

Now you can’t truthfully say you didn’t know. (smile) So with all of that solid information under our belts, let’s see if we can’t improve our prayer lives nuh, it will be of great benefit to all mankind!  Much LOVE!

…men ought always to pray…and not to faint… (Luke 18:1)

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