Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 July 2021 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.        …for without me ye can do nothing.

Don’t look now friends, but it’s that big day, Monday, the first day of the new work week! (smile) And since some of those pandemic restrictions have been lifted, I guess more of us will be going back out to work today – some joyfully, others sadly, as their extended holiday is over. But let’s remember that whatever the circumstances, we can handle them successfully if we have the Holy Spirt of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ dwelling within us. That’s one of the many differences and improvements between believers and the infidel; with Jesus, we can do any and everything, through Him who strengthens us. Give Him thanks and praise my people! 

And how do we get and stay strong in Christ? Listen to His immortal words on the subject, to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ (John 15:4) How sweet is that eh mih bredrin! That’s how we get and stay strong in Christ. And if you didn’t get it the first time, He goes on to further explain. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

Wow! How direct and to the point is Jesus eh! Unless we stick with Him, we cannot do anything! And that’s the gospel truth my people! It’s only with Christ as the catalyst and moving agent in our life that we are able to do anything truly worthwhile down here on planet earth. 

And the scholars give us some useful info on that verse, re the Union with Christ.‘15:5. The uniqueness of the Christian experience results from the union of Christ and the believer. This is expressed in Scripture as Christ being in the believer and the believer in Christ. Ten times Paul uses the Greek preposition sun (“together”) to describe this relationship. Believers were crucified (Gal. 2:20), dead (Col. 2:20), buried (Rom. 6:4), quickened or made alive (Eph. 2:1-5; Col. 2:13), raised (Col. 3:1; Eph. 2:6), seated (Eph. 2:6), and glorified (Rom. 8:17) together with Christ. 

Illustration: Jesus used the image of the vine and its branches to describe His union with the believer. Application: On the basis of this union, the apostle Paul showed how the successful Christian life can be opened with four key words in Romans 6: know (vs. 6), reckon (vs. 11), yield (vs. 13), and obey (vs. 17). The Christian can conquer sin because Christ lives in him (Gal. 2:20). (First Ref. John 7:37-38; Primary Ref. John 15:1-5; cf. 1 John 5:13).’ 

Well, there you have it friends, our Bible Study for today! (smile) Lots of Scriptures for us to look up. And please do look them up, for it will be to our benefit, as they will only enhance our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. It’s all about inner growth or spiritual maturity my people. And that takes us to Bruh Paul’s prayer for just that in his missive to the church at Ephesus. 

‘That He (Christ) would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye , being rooted and grounded in LOVE, May be able to comprehend (understand) with all saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth and height; And to know the LOVE of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph. 3:16-19) 

Oh Mama, Mama! What a powerful prayer! And the scholars explain it all thus: ‘3:16-19. In these verses Paul makes three prayer requests for the addressees: (1) That they would be strengthened with might by His Spirit (vs. 16), that is, that they be divinely enabled to successfully live the Christian life. (2) That the readers be able to comprehend…the LOVE of Christ, that is to better understand the enormous LOVE Christ has for them. And (3) that they might be filled with all the fullness of God, that is, that the life, character, and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’ 

Now that does sound like a big programme for believers to undertake, but Bruh Paul knew what he was doing. Listen to how he ends that passage nuh. ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph. 3:20-21) Yes friends, Bruh Paul was not making those prayer requests for too much, because he was asking the One who could do ever so much more than we can ask or think; that’s Almighty God. 

So please don’t think that you can’t do anything because it’s too big for you. It might seem so, but it is definitely not too big for our God; the One who created us and still LOVES us dearly, despite all our faults and failures. That means we can go to Him right now with our problems and ask for His awesome help. So as one strong, confident, but humble voice, let’s offer up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

But let me warn us, that we won’t get our desires unless we sincerely turn away from our evil ways and seek God with right motives in our hearts! Much LOVE!

…we can never sell God short…for He is bigger than anything we can ask or imagine…                                                                                          

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2021 Mark 1:11.

Mark 1:11.     And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And the heat wave is on this Sunday morning in Southern Ontario! Hope your A/C units are working well, otherwise you are liable to burn up in the heat – a small preview of what hell is like. (smile) And come to think of it, that might just motivate us to turn to Christ! For if we can’t stand this minor earthly heat, then how we going to stand the blazing heat that’s supposed to exist in Hades eh? But since we not going there, we don’t have to concern ourselves about how hot it is, just think about getting through this earthly summer weather in good stead with Christ, our Lord and Saviour. 

And as is our custom when we gather to worship on the Lord’s Day, be it in person in His sanctuary, or through technological means, we open with a song of praise and worship. And today’s hymn titled ‘I Need Thee Every Hour’ is a magnificent anthem to how much we do need Jesus Christ. The song was written by Anne Hawks, an American poet and gospel hymnist, in 1872, with the music annotated by Pastor Robert Lowry. 

The website Godtube claims that Hawks explained the purpose of the hymn thus:”For myself, the hymn was prophetic rather than expressive of my own experiences, for it was wafted out to the world on the wings of love and joy, instead of under the stress of personal sorrow.” And they report Lowry as saying: “I believe it was the expression of her own experience. It came to me in the form of five simple stanzas, to which I added the chorus to make it more serviceable. It inspired me at its first reading. It first appeared in a small collection of original songs prepared for the National Baptist Sunday-school Association, held in Cincinnati, Ohio in November 1872, and was sung on that occasion.”  

Meanwhile the website umcdiscipleship.org claims ‘to have a personal account of the genesis of the song: Hawks writes, “One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks during a bright June morning [in 1872]. Suddenly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him, either in joy or pain, these words were ushered into my mind, the thought at once taking full possession of me — ‘I Need Thee Every Hour…'” 

However, ‘Following the death of her husband, Hawks reflected on the power of her song: “I did not understand at first why this hymn had touched the great throbbing heart of humanity. It was not until long after, when the shadow fell over my way, the shadow of a great loss, that I understood something of the comforting power in the words which I had been permitted to give out to others in my hour of sweet serenity and peace.”Ah friends, such is the mysterious working of our great God. He causes us to do stuff that doesn’t take on any serious personal importance until much later on, when something happens in our lives, and that same stuff is there to comfort and help us. 

So, having gotten all that info on the hymn, let’s finally sing it nuh, lifting up our hearts and voices to heaven with sincere need.‘I need thee every hour, Most gracious Lord, No tender voice like thine, Can peace afford. (Chorus: I need thee oh I need thee, Every hour I need thee, Oh bless me now my Saviour, I come to thee.) I need thee every hour, Stay thou near by, Temptations lose their power, When thou art nigh (Chorus) 

I need thee every hour, In joy or pain, Come quickly and abide, or life is vain. (Chorus) I need thee every hour; teach me thy will, and thy rich promises in me fulfill. (Chorus) I need thee every hour, Most holy one, Oh make me thine indeed Thou blessed Son. (Chorus: I need thee oh I need thee, Every hour I need thee, Oh bless me now my Saviour, I come to thee. I need thee, Oh I need thee, Oh bless me now my Saviour, I come to thee…I come to thee…’

Oh my people, what heartfelt sentiments, sentiments that are all basically about intimacy with God. And today, we’re just going to look at some scriptures that deal with that intimacy. Now it was a hard choice because there are so many, and I therefore chose those that spoke to my heart. And the first one is obviously these words of Moses to the Israelites, which Jesus hailed as the greatest commandment. ‘And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.’ (Deut. 6:5) If we’re talking about intimacy with God, we must totally give our all to Him. 

Then there are these magnificent words of intimacy written by Bruh David: ‘As the hart panteth after (deer long for) the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before him?’ (Ps. 42:1-2) And if those words of Bruh David didn’t inspire you to intimacy with God, then try these: ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land.’ (Ps. 63:1) How much more intimate can we get than by sincerely longing to be with our Maker, our Provider and our God eh? 

Now hear Jesus to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine: no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ Wow! That’s intimacy personified! One abiding in the other! You couldn’t get any closer than that! 

And we obviously could not leave out this gem from Bruh Paul: ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ…That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.’ (Phil. 3:7, 10) Yes friends, Bruh Paul wants to experience the stuff that Christ went through so that he could have a real personal experience, suffering His death, as well as His resurrection. Now that’s what you call hungering for real intimacy! 

Now, let’s close with what I believe is the most intimate scripture, that at Christ’s baptism: Mark describes it thus: ‘And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened (torn open), and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ (Mark 1:9-11) 

Oh my fellow saints, I think that is the greatest picture of intimacy we can ever get; that wonderful interaction between Father, Son and Holy Ghost, our wonderful Triune Godhead! I’m sure it warmed the cockles of Jesus’ heart, that the Father chose to acknowledge Him before the earthly crowd, and have His Spirit empower Him for His upcoming ministry. 

Now, since we are representatives of Christ, we surely need to have intimacy with Him. And the best way to get it is, as He says, abide in Him, and let Him abide in us, for when we do that, both the Father and the Holy Spirit will also come to abide in us. Then we can show intimacy to those around us. It’s all in a day’s walk with Jesus my people! Much LOVE!

…our God created us…above all else…for intimacy with Him…                                                            

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2021 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.     ​for without me ye can do nothing.

And then it was Saturday; the day for rest and laziness! (smile) Ah friends, it’s another good day in the life! And though life is not always the best it can be, we’re certain that the worst day with Christ, is better than the best day without Him! Oh glory be! 

That’s how important He is to us! Give Him thanks and praise my people, for without Him, we’d be in an even worse bind than we’re in now, and it’s only through Him that we can see a light shining in the darkness and a hope for a blessed tomorrow! Bless His holy name! 

And all God’s children said a loud, proud and grateful ‘Amen!’ Yes friends, as our great God proclaims, so let it be! 

And again, this past week I have received no quotes from our friend Anselm, so I can’t challenge my mind to come up with reasons and answers to his declarations. (smile) I have no idea why, but please, let’s pray that all is well with him. 

But not to worry, I still have some wonderful info for us, this time from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional. 

Oh mih people today we’re talking about that wonderful but ever so difficult to achieve word termed ‘Success.’ Yes, we all want it, so bad that some of us will even kill or die for it, while others refuse to put in the effort that success calls for…yet we want, and even crave it. 

And we not talking about what the world calls success, but what God considers success. And they are two radically different things, although they can both include some of the same parameters. But here are some ideas from Gramps Schuller about that marvellous thing called success. 

‘Success? It does not happen without total aliveness generated only by a revitalized imagination.’ Yes friends, as most other things, success begins in our minds! We first have to think the thoughts with a refreshed mind, one that is set on achieving a worthwhile goal. 

And then we have to keep our minds set on it, focused on the desired end, while we put in the necessary effort to make it all come true. No, it’s not always easy, but with faith, trust, and God’s divine help, we can achieve whatever we want to, once it’s within His will. 

And that’s one of the important things for believers; whatever we want to achieve must be within God’s will, or plan for our lives. And Gramps Schuller even offers us ‘A Prayer for Success.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘As I become a success with your help, Lord, let me never forget that what I am is more important than what I do. Faith stimulates success. Hope sustains success. LOVE sanctifies success. So I cannot and I dare not succeed without your power, peace, and pressure in my life, Jesus Christ. Amen.’ 

Yes precious people of Christ, only with Him churning mightily in us, can we ever hope to be truly successful. Oh, we can sell our souls to Beelzebub and achieve what the world terms success, but it won’t be as sweet and lasting as that acquired through the auspices of Almighty God. That’s for certain sure! 

And as an epilogue to his prayer for success, Gramps Schuller says: ‘Be open. Be humble. Correctable. Educable. Then you will hear God’s voice. You will see God’s plan. Grab onto it, give it all you’ve got, and you will inherit the earth!’ 

Wow! That’s the awesome truth friends, and the one true way to true success! God must be in our plans and lives for us to achieve worthwhile success! And it’s not me saying that, but the Good Book. Remember these awesome words of Jesus where He quite clearly spells it all out for us. 

‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

Oh fellow saints of Christ, it couldn’t be any clearer than that! And don’t you just LOVE it that our Leader, our Lord and Saviour doesn’t mince words, doesn’t engage in spin and double-speak, but tells it exactly like it is, and if you don’t like it, then tough tits! (smile) 

I wish most of our other leaders in today’s world would be so open, even some of our church leaders, who have unfortunately adopted the speaking habits of the world. And Bruh Paul, who didn’t mince words either, (smile) said the same thing to the Corinthians. 

‘And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able (sufficient) ministers of the new testament (covenant); not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.’ (2 Cor. 3:4-6) 

Yes my brethren, without Christ in us we are so insufficient it isn’t funny. That’s why Bruh Paul explained his defection from the old tenets of Judaism, from the externalized Mosaic Law, to the internalized covenant with Jesus. 

The law did bring men to the end of themselves, but with condemnation, while the New Covenant of Christ did not condemn, only convict unto repentance and salvation. So what yuh say we gladly and tightly embrace that New Covenant to the very end eh, so that we can have life, eternal life? (smile) 

And we’ll end with some final words from Gramps Schuller on that most important, but oh so hard to achieve quality, success. ‘Success is never-ending and failure is never final to that person who knows how to revitalize and renew the God-given powers of creative imagination.’ And that’s the indisputable truth! 

So let’s NEVER give up on God, or on ourselves nuh, and keep renewing our creative imaginations by reading and studying His word, praying and being obedient to His will. That’s the way to true success! Much LOVE!

…stop trying…and you’re a failure…never quit…and you can be a success… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 October 2020 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.      …​for without me ye can do nothing.

Well a good Saturday morning to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, wherever you are! I know that by the time some of you get this it will already be afternoon, but we hope that you’ve had a fine morning and will be having and even better afternoon. (smile) Yes, we wish nothing but peace, LOVE, joy and prosperity for us all this beautiful fall morning, when all the multi-coloured leaves are bathing in the glorious sunshine of our Creator, and thus exhibiting a cornucopia, an abundance of beautiful eye-pleasing, heart-warming colour. (smile) 

Anyway it’s Saturday, so let’s get on with our Saturday task; that of checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here’s the first one: ‘Positive affirmation: you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I am smart enough to make my own decisions.’ Now that’s certainly a situation that can only lead to confusion, especially if you’re a true believer in Christ Jesus. 

Yes, we ought always to positively affirm our worth and wisdom, but in Christ Jesus, not in ourselves. For remember His immortal words re our earthly abilities. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

Yuh see that last phrase friends: ‘for without me ye can do nothing.’ Well that’s the living, daylight truth! Without Jesus we can do very little, but with Him in us, and we in him, we can move mountains, anything’s possible, that’s when we become truly awesome! 

And this next quote leads us to delve deeper into our association with Jesus. ‘If you see that some aspect of your society is bad, and you want to improve it, there is only one way to do so: you have to improve people. And in order to improve people, you begin with only ONE thing: you can become better yourself.’ 

Ah friends, bettering oneself is what Jesus majors in! The quote itself contains much truth, to improve anyone or anything, we ought to begin with ourselves. Improvement ALWAYS begins with us! But who has the best improvement plan eh? JESUS! Yes mih people, you can’t beat Jesus’ plan for improving souls and selves, because He takes you at whatever state or level you are at and transforms you into a brand new person! 

Wow! Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Corinth nuh: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) Yes mih bredrin, when you become a follower of Christ, your old sinful life is discarded, thrown away, and Christ offers you a brand new start which certainly improves the standard of life that you had before. 

And that’s exactly what’s wrong with our current society; not enough people have thrown away their old lifestyles and taken up the new one that Jesus offers, no wonder our world is in such ungodly turmoil, featuring abundant strife and heart-breaking calamity. That only shows us the error in our first quote, that we’re not smart enough to make our own decisions. (smile) 

But having said all of that, this next quote further defines our awesomeness in Christ. ‘Not everyone will be happy when you begin to better yourself. Those who are for you will not just celebrate your triumphs, but they will also pray with you through your tribulations.’ Oh my, oh my! What words of indisputable truth! 

Unfortunately, when we try to better ourselves, be it in Jesus or any other way, not everybody will be pleased, for one reason or another. But that’s just the way life is. Some people are never pleased to see others trying to improve. However, those who are pleased with your improvement decision will go to any lengths to help you, even standing strong with you through the trials and tribulations we all encounter when we decide to improve. 

And there again, that’s what you gain when you become a follower of Jesus; a whole cloud of witnesses to help you work through that improvement! You’re never alone when your Lord and Saviour is Jesus Christ. Even in the most difficult times, He is there with you, walking alongside, and ofttimes He also encourages a living friend to walk with you through it all too. Sorry, that should be a living human being, because the three parts of our Deity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – are ALL living beings. 

That brings us to our last quote. ‘Your past is not a reflection of your future.’ And is that ever so true, especially when you become a follower of Christ! Remember we said that you become a new creation when Christ comes into your life and all the old things are thrown away? That means your past doesn’t have to affect your future anymore, because Jesus will give you a brand new life with a brand new future! Glory be! Regardless of how evil or sinful or poor or sick your old life was, a new life with Jesus washes all of that away, cleanses you and makes you whole. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to this Great Invitation from Jesus Himself nuh. ‘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) 

Mama Yo! There’s no better invitation to be found in all the world my people! And though others might offer all sort of stuff, ONLY Jesus has the true power to transform, to improve lives. We can’t even do much on our own. So please don’t listen to any falsehood or false doctrines from other false teachers. If you truly want to improve your life, in some particular area, or in all areas, the ONLY ONE to turn to is JESUS, because He holds ALL the answers to ALL the questions of life, even the very breath of life itself! Much LOVE!

…the only sensible way to live this earthly life…is with Jesus as your Lord and Saviour… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2020 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.     for without me, ye can do nothing.

It was a wet and foggy night, but surprisingly it’s turned out into a dry and sunshiny morning with a cool breeze coquettishly titillating the leaves and branches of the trees. (smile) Oh friends, words can paint such interesting pictures! Unfortunately though, too many of us are resisting the word pictures we’re painting in these troubling and turbulent times; the basic picture that Jesus is our answer, ONLY He can meet ALL of our needs… ONLY He can fix ALL of our problems, as individuals, as a nation and as a worldwide society!  

Yes my people, as I keep reminding us, Jesus is our Be All and End All! It’s as simple as that! And if we want our lives to go relatively smoothly, then we must get attached to Him. He makes it abundantly clear in these momentous words: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me, ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

Oh mih bredrin, that’s the awesome truth, and Jesus has spelled it out in black and white for us: without Him, we can do nothing! But such is our pride and ego based on the finite knowledge and technological improvements we’ve made in our lives, that we refuse to accept the fact that Jesus is all-powerful and we can’t do anything without Him being involved in it. 

But here are a couple of scriptures from Bruh Paul that reiterate Jesus’ contention. The first comes from his second letter to the church at Corinth, who were having serious behavioural problems. ‘And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;’ (2 Cor. 3:4-5) 

And that’s the major stumbling block in our world today; we think too highly of ourselves and not highly enough of God. We believe that we are self-sufficient, but that’s a ghastly lie, and we’re only fooling ourselves and digging ourselves deeper into the pits of hell because of that false and oh so erroneous belief. Just look at the problems in our world today, if we were so self-sufficient and wonderful in our own strength, don’t you think we would have solved most of them by now? 

But we haven’t! And we won’t without divine help! That’s just the way the cookie crumbles! And until we understand that, we’ll just keep cascading down the cataract filled river of life until we come to one too big for us to handle in our own strength. Possibly we’ve just reached it; the pandemic and strife that’s currently overtaken our world, might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

And the second scripture from Bruh Paul comes from his letter to the Colossians, where he’s talking about his service for Christ. ‘If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled (steadfast), and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.’ (Col. 1:23) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:23. If ye continue in the faith (or, “since you will persevere in the faith”): the Colossians future entrance in God’s heavenly presence depends on whether they remain in the Christian faith. The words “since you will persevere” indicate that they will remain loyal to Christ. Perseverance in the Christian’s faith is a test of the reality of one’s trust in Christ. This verse implies that true believers will persevere.’ 

And we better had persevere, if we want to see the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said that very clearly too. ‘But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matt. 24:13) So yuh see friends, is two things we have to do in this life; sincerely accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then persevere in the faith that He’s proscribed to the end. But unfortunately too many of us refuse to accept those terms, and that’s why our world is spinning out of control, and headed straight for Hades… yes, we going to call it by its nice name, (smile) though we know that down there is a place of utter confusion and torment. 

Remember the saying that pride goes before a fall, well that’s exactly what’s happening to us right now, we’re falling and failing because our pride refuses to accept the fact that we’re not sufficient in our own strength to run our world, and only in Christ Jesus can we do a good job. Ah mih people, this life’s not easy, but with the help of Almighty God, it certainly can be real interesting and adventurous! And that is highlighted by the awesome blessings our wonderful God has given us to do His work down here on earth. We call them our Thursday Blessings. 

So let’s shout them out loud and proud nuh: ‘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 with such an awesome array of blessings at our fingertips, let’s go out, or even stay at home, (smile) and use them to bless others just as generously as God has blessed us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…ALL we ever need… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2020 Proverbs 4:7.

Proverbs 4:7.    ​Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 
 

Yes, it’s Tuesday, the penultimate one in this contrary and unpredictable month of April, in this disastrous year of 2020! And weather-wise, today looks like it’s going to be rather unpredictable too. The sun’s shining but there are some dark clouds hanging around, and the ground’s still wet from rain that obviously fell earlier on. However, the crazy wind that’s been causing an unholy ruckus during most of the night appears to have now settled down. So like everything else, who knows what will happen to day eh? 

Only the Lord God Jehovah! Thus it is imperative that we stay close to Him; in fact cling to Him for dear life! Jesus said it so well: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

That’s telling it like it is friends! Jesus laid it all on the table right there; without Him we can do nothing, we’re helpless to bear any good fruit! So why are we so reluctant to get close and stick to Him like stick-to-itis, like white on rice eh? Because we’re either foolish, high-minded and stubborn, or severely led astray, or even all of those things! And that’s why our world is in the mess that it’s currently in. 

But what we ought to be doing is listening to, and putting into action these wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Hear ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline (turn away) from the words of my mouth. 

Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: LOVE her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver thee.’ (Prov. 4:1-9) 

Oh my people that’s more exceedingly wise advice from the Good Book – the Book of Life! What don’t we understand about ‘keep my commandments and live’ eh? Likewise, what don’t we understand about wisdom being the principal thing eh? If we don’t have wisdom we can’t live this ofttimes cruel and deceitful life wisely. But we have to seek it, and get it, and then hold on to it tightly for goodness sake! 

And the scholars offer this explanation on those verses. ‘4:3-4. Three generations are linked together in the transmission of wisdom: (the one that’s going out, the one that’s currently in ascendance, and the one that’s coming up). Note too that it is (wisdom) transmitted by personal influence, especially in the home.’ 

And that’s where we’re falling down badly my people. The Word of the Lord is no longer taught in our schools or written in public places, and neither are we teaching or practising it sufficiently in our homes, so how can the young people learn wisdom eh? And yuh see the good things wisdom and understanding will do in our lives when we adhere to their wise ways and commands? They’ll promote us, bring us honour, give us a bundle of grace, and a crown of glory! Now who wouldn’t want those things in this crazy and confusing life eh? All of us obviously. But it doesn’t just happen by osmosis my brethren, we have to make it happen. 

And how do we make it happen? Cousin Sol also gives us that info: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov. 1:7) And isn’t that the awesome truth! Wisdom comes from the Lord, and it’s oh so important in our world and life, because it’s the same wisdom the Lord used to create our universe. Hear Cousin Sol again: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) 

So friends, if the Lord God Almighty used wisdom to create our world, why wouldn’t we, in heaven’s name, need it to live in that self-same universe eh? No reason whatsoever! Except that we’re stubborn and hard-headed and like to do what we want to do, figuring that with our puny minds and free will, we know best. And perhaps to disavow that false thinking, is why Cousin Sol wrote the Book of Proverbs Here is it’s stated purpose: ‘To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding (understand or discern); To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgement, and equity; to give subtilty (prudence) to the simple. To the young man knowledge and discretion.’ (Prov. 1:2-4) 

But unfortunately too many of us shy away or simply refuse to accept those provisions for earthly living, and therefore we fail badly at it. Now let’s look at some explanations the scholars provide on the words used. ‘1:2. Wisdom is the key word of the book (of Proverbs), and basically means “skill in living.” It refers to the skill to live life successfully. Instruction refers to the moral discipline of one’s life, not to classroom instruction. Understanding means the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.’ 

‘1:3. Wisdom, a different Hebrew word from that used in verse 2, means “wise behaviour,” “wise dealing,” “good sense.” Justice is the same word as righteousness and refers to conformity to God’s law. Judgement is a legal term used of a judge’s verdict and refers to right behaviour. Equity is fairness in one’s dealing with others.’ ‘1:4. The simple are naïve young people open to any influence, among the chief addressees in the book. Knowledge mean the apprehension of reality, including an experiential knowledge of God. Discretion refers to the power of formulating and carrying out the right measures.’ 

‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ So there we have it friends, some basic descriptions on the basics of living this earthly life in a Christian manner! (smile) 

Let’s hope that these disastrous times will help draw us closer to those precepts and principles from which we have too long and too far gone astray. Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with 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!’ 

Now we need to go out, or stay in social distance (smile) and action those sentiments! Much LOVE!

…simple common sense dictates…the created must reverence the Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 October 2015 Isaiah 40:29‏

Isaiah 40:29.    He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

Aye Friends, it’s Tuesday and unfortunately the ole fella is late and somewhat under the weather. But I guess that happens in the best of families eh? (smile) 

My ole right knee’s been acting up and doing some serious aching for the last couple days… Steups! It might even force me to cancel an appointment with a medic in the fair city of Toronto later on today to talk about my shoulder. Chuh! 

But yuh know what? It isn’t going to stop me from going down the street later to see a big American Gospel concert featuring the likes of Hezekiah Walker and Donny McClurkin and a host of others. (smile) 

Isn’t life great? It surely is my people. The aches and pains of old age and otherwise might slow us down, but we must not allow them to stop us from doing God’s work to the best of our limited ability. 

And here is a most appropriate quote from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. It says: ‘No one is guaranteed happiness. Life just gives us time and space. It’s up to us to fill it with joy and meaning.’ 

Indisputable truth that my brethren! Regardless of how blessed or ‘unblessed’ we are, it is still and always will be our responsibility to put joy and meaning into our lives. So let’s stop looking to other things and people to make us happy and meaningful. It is our God-given responsibility to do that for ourselves. 

And having made that point clear, let’s turn to our Tuesday Mantra and declare it with absolute faith, joy and meaning. (smile) 

Altogether now: ‘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.’ 

More indisputable truth my people! And as the old hymn so rightly corroborates and reminds us: ‘What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!’ 

Yes Friends, whatever it is, good, bad or ugly, we need to take it all to Jesus and let Him help us sort it out, for without Him we cannot do much, but with Him…oh my people, ALL things are possible! 

That’s why we can believe our Bit. ‘He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.’ What an awesome promise! 

Then when we add the seminal, the seed bearing scripture of Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me,’ (Phil.4:13) ohhh, we get a most powerful and faithful promise that just lifts us up and takes us to a whole new level! 

Now I’d be rather amiss if I didn’t include the scholars’ explanation on that quote of Bruh Paul. ‘4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman. The reason he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. 

Rather, he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances. God orders Paul’s various situations, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’ 

Yes Friends, the same thing applies to us all; the Lord orders or allows whatever circumstances we experience, then He, in His wondrous grace and mercy gives us the wherewithal to handle them. Now isn’t our God a wonderful Deity? He surely is! No other supposed deity does that for His followers. 

And then to cap it all, we have Jesus’ take on the subject. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him; the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

Oh Friends, that’s what I LOVE about Jesus; He doesn’t hold anything back, He says it as it is: without Him, we can do nothing. And that’s the living truth! 

Now here is a short explanation on that verse from the scholars’. ‘15:1-9. Jesus explains the divine human relationship by the analogy of a grapevine. Jesus is like the main vine. The disciples are compared with branches. The Father tends the branches like a gardener. At that time of year (when Jesus spoke those words), branches of grapevines would be budding in Jerusalem.’ 

So my people, with all that evidence of Jesus’ power and LOVE and care and compassion, why do we find it so difficult to surrender our lives to Him eh? Why are we so reluctant to put our entire trust and faith in Him? 

I personally can’t see any good reason for that reluctance. But as we said earlier on, ‘life just gives us time and space. It’s up to us to fill it with joy and meaning.’ And believe me, the most joy and meaning to be found in this earthly pilgrimage is in concert with Jesus! 

That’s wisdom in spades my brethren! So please accept it, and put it into action. You will never regret it. Much LOVE!

…to know Jesus…ohhh…is just to LOVE Him…to LOVE and worship Him…with all our hearts mind, bodies and souls…what a beautiful way to live…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2015 Philippians 4:13‏‏

Philippians 4:13.    I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Aye Friends, as the old people would say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, and also, men plan while God laughs. I wanted to get up early, write the Bit and do some other stuff before the morning was finished. Hn! But obviously that was only wishful thinking. (smile)

And remember too, how a couple weeks ago when we were basking in temperatures in the upper teens and low twenties, when people were running around half naked, and all the summer accoutrements were being rolled out to enjoy it? Well that has all been reversed, without any warning either.

We’re lucky if we can get up into the high single digits now in the day time, and we’re back to bundling up in our winter coats. What a bam bam eh?

But Friends, let’s at least be thankful for one mercy; the sun is shining brightly this Friday morning and there’s no threat of snow in the offing.

So let’s rejoice, as we are wont to do, by declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday yes! The weekend’s here and labouring soon finish for another week! Our God is a good God, and He won’t give us more than we can handle! Let’s say it again: Thank God it’s Friday yes!’

Oh Friends, our God is indeed a wonderful Deity and He won’t burden us with more than we can bear, for that just doesn’t make any sense. Instead He helps us to bear our heavy loads, and invites us in His Great Invitation to come to Him for help and succour in times of need.

‘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)

Oh my people, what a magnificent offer and invitation! And since we know that God is ever-faithful, and keeps all His promises, this morning I implore all who are bearing heavy burdens, to come and lay them at the feet of Jesus and get relief from your pain, your worry, your fear and your anxiety.

That’s the wise and sensible thing to do, especially in these difficult and distressing times. No one else can even promise such things, much less keep the promise: ONLY JESUS CAN!

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant to get us in the right mood, the right perspective to handle the short but oh so volatile weekend. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’

Yes my people, we do have to handle the weekend with some circumspection, else we’ll be no good to God, or ourselves come Monday morning. And it all begins and ends with the faithful promise of our Bit. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’

Glory be, my people! With God’s help we can walk through fire like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and come out without even smelling of smoke. (Dan.3:20-30) And like Daniel, we can rest in the lion’s den without even one hair being plucked from our heads. (Dan. 6:14-23)

No wonder Bruh Paul made this bold and factual statement to the Corinthians in his second missive to them. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) And that is the gospel, gospel truth my brethren!

Now hear Jesus tell it to the disciples, and ultimately to us. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5)

And that Friends, is the indisputable truth! Without Christ we can do little or nothing at all! That’s why it is ever so important for us to believe in Him and cleave, cling to Him like super glue (smile) if we want to do good and useful stuff in this godless and evil world.

And we’ll end today with a reminder of the kinds of stuff Jesus is talking about when He refers to us bearing fruit. Listen to Bruh Paul expatiate on the subject to the Galatians. (smile)

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions).

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory (be deceitful), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:22-26)

Oh Friends, what a wonderful way to end today’s message! Please, let’s take it all to heart and go out and put it into positive action, in Jesus’ name.

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’ Much LOVE my brethren!

…remember …for whatever ails us…whatever we need…whatever we desire…whatever the problem…Jesus IS the indisputable answer…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2014 John 15:5

John 15:5.    I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
 
Aye Friends, is mid-week Wednesday! That means we’re halfway through the workweek. Only a couple more days to go before some freedom time…

And all God’s people prayerfully declared: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Thank You Saviour Jesus! Thank You for all you’ve done, all you’re presently doing, and all that you’ve promised to do in the future! Right now we need some more of your LOVE, mercy, saving grace and strength to keep persevering and walking worthy of You.
 
Please enable us to be worthy ambassadors of your kingdom as we face the evil world that surrounds us. Help us to be in it, but not of it, as You desire. This we pray in Your glorious name! Amen.‘
 
Now here is what we can do to help ourselves. Here is a prayer for success from Dr. Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional. I believe I’ve shared it already, but that was probably a year ago, and no prayer is ever too trite or unimportant not to be prayed again. And I believe we need this one right now.
 
Please pray with me: ‘As I become a success with your help, Lord, let me never forget that what I am is more important than what I do. Faith stimulates success. Hope sustains success. LOVE sanctifies success. So I cannot and I dare not succeed without your power, peace and pressure in my life, Jesus Christ. Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, in a nutshell, we need all those things to be successful, but remember the Number One ingredient for true success, is the warm and LOVING presence of Jesus in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds.
 
Regardless of what the world advocates, without Jesus as our guiding light and His Word our principal guidebook, we’ll never obtain true success.
 
That’s why Jesus drilled it into the disciples’ heads: ‘Now ye are clean through (because of) the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
 
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:3-5) 
 
And that’s the gospel, gospel truth my people! Without Jesus in our lives, we can’t do much at all. That’s why it’s so necessary to stay close to Him, to consult with Him through the Holy Spirit that indwells us, as to how to go forward successfully with the divine plan He has for each of our lives.
 
And we’re not talking about success as the world sees it, with the physical accumulation of wealth, power and celebrity status, but as Jesus sees it, with righteousness, LOVE, mercy and forgiveness, because that’s the only real, true and lasting success there is; everything else fades away eventually.
 
Bruh Paul describes our helplessness thus to the Corinthians. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5)
 
And no truer word has ever been spoken my brethren! That’s the gospel truth in another nutshell! (smile)
 
And Jesus went on to warn: ‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.’ (John 15:6-8)
 
And we all know that the fruit Jesus is talking about here, is what Bruh Paul so vividly describes to the Galatians: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control); against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23)
 
And we shall end with some wise and choice words from Hosea when he entreats Israel to return to the Lord, as we very much need to return to Him today, in these sad, strife-filled, ungodly times.
 
Thus says the Lord: ‘I will heal their backsliding, I will LOVE them freely; for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots in Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
 
They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine, the scent (remembrance) thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir (cypress) tree. From (In) me is thy fruit found.
 
Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall (stumble) there in.’ (Hos.14:4-9)
 
Yes Friends, the only way to bear good fruit is to have Jesus as our riding partner, have Him riding shotgun for us, as they did on the stagecoaches in the days of the wild, wild West, where a man with a big shotgun rode upfront, beside the driver as protection from marauders.
 
In fact, life today certainly resembles the days of the Wild West, where law and order was very difficult to keep, where everybody taught it right to do their own thing.
 
So my people, let’s get out there and show them what true believers are really like nuh, by living with Jesus in our hearts, and showing by example, the fruit of the Spirit that we’re successfully bearing. That’s wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!
 
…to dress for success…you must have Jesus residing in you…