Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 July 2022 John 15:5b.

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

Wow friends! I can’t believe another Sunday has come around so quickly! And to make matters worse, today is also the last day of July, meaning that the summer of 2022 is almost over, only August left to go. And at the rate time seems to be travelling these days, that will soon be over too, and we’ll be back into the harsh reality of winter. But that’s okay, (smile) we’re true and staunch believers in Christ Jesus, that means we can handle anything that comes against, be it heat or cold, fire or flood, hell or highwater. 

Seriously though, with all the problems our world is currently facing, like the pandemic of Covid 19, which isn’t going away, but seems to be coming back again strong, the new virus of monkeypox, aided by all the strife and dissension, plus the many natural and man-made disasters, we don’t even have time to think about the speed with which the days are passing. 

But that’s one of the reasons why we gather every Sunday, either physically in God’s sanctuary, or by technological means, so that we can pray and give thanks and ask for divine help to deal with what’s going on around us. Also to encourage each other in the joy of the Lord, and be comforted and encouraged by our omnipotent God, so that we can go back out into the world and face it mano-a-mano, without fear or worry. 

Therefore, as we always do, let’s open with some worship, with a song aptly titled, ‘I can’t even walk without You holding my hand.’ And believe me friends that’s the gospel truth! Without Christ, we can’t’ do much of anything. But we’ll talk about that later, right now let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise, sincerely singing the wonderful words that Joyce and Colbert Croft apparently penned. In a heartfelt, medium tempo, soulful, harmonious version, let’s do it justice! 

‘I thought number one would surely be me I thought I could be what I wanted to be I thought I could build on life’s sinking sand But now I can’t even walk without you holding my hand – I thought I could do a lot on my own I thought I could make it all alone I thought of myself as a mighty big man But Lord I can’t even walk without you holding my hand – Oh Lord, I can’t even walk without you holding my hand The mountains are too high and the valleys too wide Down on my knees that’s where I learned to stand Oh Lord, I can’t even walk without you holding my hand – 

I think I’ll make Jesus my all and all And if I’m in trouble on his name I’ll call If I didn’t trust him I’d be less of a man ‘Cause Lord I can’t even walk without you holding my hand – Oh Lord, I can’t even walk without you holding my hand The mountains are too high and the valleys too wide Down on my knees that’s where I learned to stand ‘Cause Lord I can’t even walk without you holding my hand Oh Lord, I can’t even walk without you holding my hand Yes my Saviour, I can’t walk without you holding my hand. Thank You for teaching me that through your Word…I can’t even walk, without holding your hand.’ 

And if you don’t believe that’s the God-awesome truth, then something’s wrong with your mind! (smile) Now, it’s not like we’re fishing and/or floundering for that truth, because Jesus said it with a straight face, a long time ago, when He told 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. 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 should make it very clear friends. Without Jesus, we’re nothing and can do nothing. But with Him…Mama oh Mama! We can do any and everything, even moving mountains with faith only as big as a grain of mustard seed! Yes friends, as Bruh Paul faithfully proclaimed to the church at Philippi: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) And the same thing applies to us; we can live under any conditions, adapt to any circumstances, be they good, bad or in-between, through Christ’s help and strength, most ably led and guided by the third member of the Trinity, the indwelling Holy Spirit. 

Meanwhile, in his second letter to the church at Corinth, Bruh Paul wrote these stirring words to them. ‘And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:4-5) And it’s not like we don’t know that the words of the song and the Good Book are very true, that we can’t do anything of value without Christ. But it’s just that we are so stubborn and pig-headed, we refuse to acknowledge it because of foolish pride. 

And please remember my people, one of the things the Lord dislikes with a burning passion is pride, because it detracts from His glory. It makes us feel He’s not important in our scheme of things, we don’t need Him, we are sufficient in and of ourselves. And that’s exactly how the world is feeling today, and why we have such a busload of unsolvable problems. I don’t know what more it will take to make us acknowledge that we can’t help ourselves, and without God we’re nothing; nothing but flimsy, flaking pottery spinning on the potter’s wheel. 

Now let’s look at a couple of statements from the song and see how they play out in real life. Right from the very beginning we get it wrong: ‘I thought number one would surely be me…I could be what I wanted to be…I could build on life’s sinking sand.’ But Jesus refutes every one of those ideas. To be number one in his kingdom, one must first learn to serve, as He told the disciples. ‘…but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (servant). And whosoever will be chief (first) among you, let him be your servant (slave). Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (to be served), but to minister (to serve), and to give his life a ransom for many.’ (Matt. 20:26-28) 

And, as per building life on sinking sand, Jesus also addressed that problem, when he preached about the two foundations for building in this life, the Rock: that’s Himself, His example and His words. And everything else, which is sinking sand, that will be washed away when the rains fall and the floods come. But those who keep His words, build on Him, their foundation will stand the test of time and nature, because it was built on solid rock. (Matt. 7:24-27) 

The same thing goes for these foolish and egotistic words: I thought I could do a lot on my own…could make it all alone…thought of myself as a mighty big man…’ No friends, those are all self-serving and untruthful words, which Cousin Sol warned us about very long ago, when he wrote: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth) thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) Now, those are really the only words we need to live by yes, my fellow saints! We satisfy all the requirements when we do those things. 

And I’ll close with my favourite line of the song: ‘Down on my knees, that’s where I learned to stand.’ And that’s the glorious truth friends! When we get down on our knees before Almighty God and declare our sincere LOVE for Him and great desire for His fellowship…that’s when we truly begin standing; standing strong in His awesome name and glorious majesty! As Luciano’s song so rightly says: Man was made to serve Jah…and to live together forever! Much LOVE!

…only safe and secure in Christ Jesus…are we anything or anybody… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 July 2022 Psalm 18:32.

Psalm 18:32.      It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

One more time around the block friends! Yes, if you didn’t know, it’s Monday, time to get out there and labour, labour as unto God. (smile) And I do hope that we are all ready, willing and able to handle our nemesis, our constant opponent, this first day of the work week, who consistently upsets our apple carts, simply because we are not ready to handle it. 

We have not made the necessary preparations to engage in the battle of wits and spirit that Monday always throws up at us, meaning too much partying and worldly things; not going to church and being spiritually refreshed through fellowship with other believers and hearing the Word of God, also not enough physical rest. But those are both essential if we want to present a good, strong front on Mondays and give the enemy a run for his money. 

And that is only possible when we acknowledge these facts that Bruh David lays out in Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance, when he confidently proclaims: ‘It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.’ (Ps. 18:32) Oh friends, that is the absolute truth, and until we sincerely believe it and put it into action, we will not be able to conquer anything the enemy sends against us. 

Why do you think we can make the authoritative boast of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors: through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:37) Yes, it’s only through the wonderful LOVE of our great and wonderful God that we are made strong, made conquering heroes in Christ! 

And Bruh David ramps it up even more when he continues: ‘He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet (the feet of the deer), and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms (a bow of bronze can be bent). Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden (held me) up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.’ (Ps. 18:33-35) That’s more absolute truth my people! It is indeed the Lord God Jehovah who enables us to first resist and then defeat the enemy. 

And Jesus reiterates that truth when He says 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. 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) Now that says it all my fellow believers: without Jesus we can do nothing! And if you don’t believe Him, then try doing stuff without Him nuh, and see how far you’ll get. (smile)  

Then Bruh Paul puts it very nicely in his second letter to the church at Corinth. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) Glory be, ye saints of Christ! And remember what Bruh Paul also said to the Ephesians. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) Oh my people, until we realize, recognize and understand that who we are, most of what we have come from the goodness of God, we’ll never live up to the plan He has set out for us, or reach the pinnacle that He desires us to reach. 

Remember what Jesus said: ‘I am come that they might have life; and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b) That means if we don’t live for Jesus, abide in Him, and have Him abide in us, then we won’t live the abundant life He died for us to have, thereby negating His sacrificial death, making all His pain and ‘sufferation’ of no use. And what I can’t understand is why in tragic and disturbing times like these, we aren’t turning back to God in greater droves than we currently are, since our own efforts are not helping to diffuse the evil and ungodly situations we’re now facing. 

In fact, our efforts are only making them worse. One would expect in a time like this a revival of God-fearing proportions would be taking place. People would be waking up, like the Israelites used to do, when they found themselves between a rock and a hard place after turning away from the God of their forefathers. But it seems the contrary thing is happening; people are turning away from God, more than they are turning to Him. Unfortunately though, there’s no wisdom in that. Wisdom dictates that if all our efforts are failing, then we try something, or somebody else…like Jehovah God. 

And I guess these words of Bruh Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, echo the sentiments that populate our world today. ‘For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men: and the weakness of God is stronger than men.’ (1 Cor. 1:22-25) 

It couldn’t be said any better my friends! That’s why, for those of us who believe, it’s essential to go to God in prayer asking for divine help and guidance. So, let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one sincere voice. ‘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!’ 

And what must we do after we pray? Wait with eager expectation, while keeping whatever promises we’ve made. Much LOVE!

 In Christ alone my hope is found…He is my light, my strength, my song… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 June 2022 Colossians 3:2.

Colossians 3:2.      Set you affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. 

And then, finally, it was Friday… and numerous shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ rise to heaven. Sadly, many of us don’t acknowledge God or His presence except on Fridays when our work week is winding down. But that’s just why our lives are in such a sad state, for without our Creator guiding our lives, in total control of them, we can never have real prosperous, peaceful and LOVING earthly sojourns. That’s why Bruh Paul wrote thus to the Colossians about the new life in Christ. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.’ (Col. 3:1) 

Yes friends, if we have found Jesus, have suffered, died and risen with him, then our lives ought to be headed in a different direction than that of the world. If we’ve been freed from sin, through His sacrificial payment of our sin debt, then a new life must be in our future, with all the old ways, habits, values, vices, interests and sins left behind. And it’s also the reason Bruh Paul said to the church at Corinth: ‘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) 

And the scholars explain ‘that when a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation” (cf. John 3:3; 15:5; Rom. 8:1,9; Gal. 6:14-15) and perceives Christ in a new way.’ And that new way ought to be a continual way until one sees Jesus in person, because if we continually abide in Him, He will continually abide in us. As Jesus so plainly said 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. 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’s the indisputable truth my people! Without Christ playing a significant part in our lives, we are unable to do very much. But with Him in our lives, ALL things are possible through His omnipotent power and strength! Yes my brethren, we can conquer sin when, and because Christ lives in us. But first, there are a few things we need to do. Like Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Colossae. ‘Set you affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ (Col. 3:2-3) 

That means, as the scholars tell us, ‘not to be preoccupied with things on the earth, such as current heretical philosophies (2:8), legalistic practices (2:16, 21-23), and vices (3:5); nor are they to dwell on things that are not wrong in themselves (houses, jobs, careers, ambitions, etc.), but can be wrong should they become priorities above Christ.’ 

Ah mih people, anything or anyone that takes priority over Christ in our lives causes problems. And believe me, we are being bombarded with so much stuff right now, that it’s not very difficult for something or things to rise up and replace Christ as NUMBER ONE in our lives. The sad part is that it can happen unconsciously too, that’s why we have to be very careful of what we think on and what we do. And since our life now belongs to Christ, having bought us with His precious blood shed on the cross of Calvary, and who now sits in heavenly places, our concerns should be more about heavenly than earthly things. 

That doesn’t mean earthly things are not important, but we are not to put greater emphasis on them than the things that relate to Christ and heaven. As Jesus said: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt. 6:16-21) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! As an article on the subject on the website gotquestions.org rightly explains. ‘Whatever we focus on dictates our actions. When we focus on earthly success and wealth, we will expend our energies on earthly matters. However, when we focus on God’s priorities, our actions will reflect different priorities—and our reward in heaven will last forever.’ 

That’s more gospel truth! And no wonder our world is in such a confused and strife-filled state; our priorities have been out of focus, with a greater concentration on the things of earth rather than those of heaven. So let’s see if we can correct some of that poor focus nuh, by going to God in prayer through our Friday Chant, asking for divine help to get twenty-twenty vision. 

As one confident but humble voice. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now it’s up to us to keep our promises so that God will help us to change our focus. Much LOVE!

…focus on earthly treasure means total eventual loss…focus on heavenly things…means treasure safely stored up for eternal life.. 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 April 2022 Romans 12:2a.

Romans 12:2a.       And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

It looks like it’s going to be a good Tuesday, but who knows with the contrary weather patterns that now seem to exist. Yesterday began and ended with rain, with some sunshine thrown in for good measure in between. (smile) Things are just not what they used to be; everything’s now in a state of upheaval and controversy. What a good thing though that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! That means we can place our utmost trust in Him to always react the same way under the same circumstances. 

And it’s ever so important in this life to have something or someone that’s steadfast and sure, that we can depend on for good guidance and safe refuge, that doesn’t change from one minute to the next. And the ONE person who fills that position so marvellously in the believer’s life is none other than the risen Christ! 

Give Him thanks and praise for His selfless sacrifice on our behalf! He died for us, rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven, where He now sits at the Father’s right hand advocating in our favour, while His Holy Spirit dwells quietly, but purposefully within us to lead and guide us in His ways and desires. 

That’s the best hand we could ever be dealt in this topsy-turvy world my brethren! So please, let’s be wise and hold on tightly to it nuh, because the only other option available, that of Satan and his evil ways is not a good one. Oh, his pleasures seem so wonderful on the outside, but deep down they are filled with misery and pain. His is just a façade to inveigle you to join in sin and foolish pleasures that in the end only bring pain and sorrow, with death and eternal separation from our Creator. 

And that’s certainly not something to look forward to. In fact, it’s the worst thing than can ever happen to a created being! But the enemy wants us to go to hellfire and damnation with him, so he makes his stuff alluring and sensual, working on the weakness of our minds, through the lusts of our flesh to bring us into his camp. And that’s where it all begins and ends friends, in our minds, for our minds are the battlefields of Jesus and the enemy. And whoever controls our minds controls our desires and behaviour. 

Thus, it is imperative to take control of our minds and keep them going along the straight and narrow path outlined by Jesus, and not the wide and destructive one used by the enemy. That’s why Bruh Paul seriously warns in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes friends, we are to stop conforming to the evil and lustful pleasures and desires that this world now hold so dearly, because they do not hold God’s will for us. We must stoutly resist being poured into the mold of this world’s value systems and thinking and therefore its conduct. 

And per our Dedication to the Will of God, as spoken of by Bruh Paul, the scholars tell us: ‘God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in ALL of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God (John 7:17). Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen. 22:12. (Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice Isaac) Primary ref. Rom. 12:1.)’ 

All of that simply means living for Jesus includes ALL aspects of our lives, without any exceptions whatsoever. And that is ofttimes hard, especially for new believers, but it’s something we must attain to, set our sights on, if we are to truly live for Him. And thus Bruh Paul wrote these words in his second letter to the church at Corinth which was then undergoing a lot of controversy. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor. 5:17-18) 

Ah my people, those are words for us to treasure, and even more so to follow! (smile) That’s because when we come to Christ, all our old sinful behaviour must be cast aside, left behind, and we must become new people in Christ, living the way He expects of us. The scholars explain that ‘when a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation.” (cf. John 3:3; 15:5; Rom. 8:1,9; Gal. 6:14-15) and perceives Christ in a new way. Old things are passed away, indicates a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation. Behold, all things are become new, stresses the abiding results of the Christian’s union with Christ (cf. Is. 43:18-19; 65:17; Eph. 4:24; Rev. 21:4-5)’ 

Yes, my fellow saints, once we come to Christ, we need to continually abide in Him if we want to see the fruit of the Spirit develop in our lives. And Jesus made that quite clear through these decisive words to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I abide 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) 

Now I don’t think that needs any explanation, for Jesus said it as clearly and simply as it could be put; without Him, we can do nothing! And that’s a fact that should be written indelibly in our hearts, and thus kept uppermost in our minds as we go about our day’s tasks. And I believe we’ve said enough for today, we have enough to consider and contemplate upon. (smile) So, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and confident voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now, it behooves us to go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…in Christ…we put our everything…because He is our EVERYTHING… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 March 2022   1 John 3:24a.

1 John 3:24a.     And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.

Oh my my, another beautiful sunshiny day appears to be here! Thank the Lord! And though right now it’s a tad chilly, most likely it will warm up some later to spring-like temps, as it has done for the last two days. That’s why we can declare with gay abandon, those reassuring and encouraging words of the psalmist: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! ‘ (Ps. 118:24) Now let’s go out and action that statement, because it won’t happen unless we actively have a mindset of rejoicing and gladness. 

Wishing and hoping won’t make it happen. We must turn the wheels of action before anything we say can happen. That’s why there are so many miserable and unhappy Christians in the world, we talk plenty, but don’t take the necessary action. With the amazing benefits and blessings we have through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour we ought to be the happiest group of people in the universe, but in actual fact, we are amongst the most unhappy, simply because we don’t truly believe the promises of God and follow His guidelines. 

Now why wouldn’t you be happy with the promises of salvation, of reconciliation to Almighty God, of forgiveness of sins, of going to heaven and living with the Holy Trinity, our Godhead, for ever and ever? And those are only a few of the benefits we obtain when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. But it all rests on belief, on faith, and putting those things to good use in our lives. Now, here is this li’l poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writing by Ruth Harms Calkin, that strikes right at the heart of the matter. It’s aptly titled ‘Deduction.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Lord, when You say The same thing to me so often I surely must need it And You surely must mean it! Help me to take You seriously. May I remember that the one settled proof That I have taken you seriously Will always be – OBEDIENCE!’ Ah friends, that’s the eternal truth of living for Jesus: OBEDIENCE! It’s like the three ‘L’s in owning a good piece of property: Location, Location, Location! The same can be said for living for Jesus: the most important things is Obedience, Obedience, Obedience! 

And the scripture used for that poem is one that comes from the first epistle of John, one that we all ought to know. It says quite clearly: ‘And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ (1 John 3:24) Now if that sounds a tad difficult for us to understand, then here is the NLT or New Life Translation. And that says: ‘Those who obey God’s commandments live in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ Now you can’t say that is also too difficult to understand. (smile) 

Ah mih people, living for Christ is all about Obedience in Action! We can’t just talk the talk, but more importantly, we have to walk that talk! Listen to how Jesus said it to the disciples nuh, when He spoke of the promise of the Holy Spirit. ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him and will manifest (show) myself to him…If a man LOVE me, he will keep my words: and my Father will LOVE him, and we will come unto him and make our abode (home) with him. He that LOVETH me not keepeth not my sayings (words): and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.’ (John 14:21,23-24) 

Now that should be easy to understand… (smile) Yes friends, Jesus is simply trying to drive home the point that you can’t be a true believer unless you do what He tells you. And that pertains to the following of any leader or organization; you can’t be a true follower unless you obey their rules and regulations. Let’s also remember these telling and true words of Jesus about abiding in Him. ‘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) Now that’s putting it as plainly and clearly as it can get! (smile) 

And as per the second part of the scripture verse used for our poem; ‘And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ Or ‘And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ I think we should also point out some important and interesting scriptures re the Holy Spirit of Christ that comes to indwell believers. 

In making the promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, Jesus told them: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) Oh Mama, Mama! What a beautiful promise, which we know was kept on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit filled the believers who were gathered together. ( Acts. 2:1-4) 

And we’ll finish with just a few important words from Bruh Paul about the Holy Spirit. To the church at Rome, he writes: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit….For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom. 8:1, 5-6) 

Now friends, for those of us who have decided to live as best as we can after the Spirit, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel! As one strong, confident and purposeful voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

So now my fellow saints, let’s go out and do just that nuh; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…if we are true believers…then LOVE for Christ ought to be just bubbling up in us…and plain for all to see… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 January 2022 Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27.     And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.    

And it’s another cloudy, frosty Wednesday morning! A little of the white stuff fell in my area last night, but not enough to make a difference, but we are still surrounded by a sea of white, although the roads are passable today, and we might have more problems with ice than snow. (smile) Oh, and by the way, the duchess’ prediction re the snow removal, did not come through, because the trucks and scoops came early in the evening to remove it, instead of late in the night as she had forecasted, and as they often do.

But that’s enough about snow and the unfortunate weather we’ve been having. It’s time to talk about something that will truly make a difference. And what’s that you ask? We’re talking about some of the many immortal words our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke while on His earthly sojourn. These were spoken around the time of His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, when the disciples informed Him that a group of Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the feast were desirous of talking to Him.

The Good Book relates it thus: ‘And Jesus answered them (the disciples), saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn (grain) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth (remains) alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that LOVETH his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honour.’ (John 12:23-26)

Yes friends, Jesus expects a high degree of selflessness from His followers, but to be sure, they are well rewarded for it. Now let’s clear up one major point before moving on. It concerns the matter of LOVE and hate in the scriptures. The scholars offer this explanation of verse 25 above. They say: ‘Whenever we see LOVE and hate contrasted we should understand that LOVE for the one is so undivided that it may appear as hate for the other; although it is not necessarily so (cf. Luke 14:26, disciples hating mother and father; Rom. 9:13. God hating Esau.’

Oftentimes, it’s not an emotional thing, but just the Father’s will; like with Jacob and Esau. Jacob was blessed while Esau was not. So every time we see LOVE and hate in the scriptures, we need to take a moment to stop and consider the true meaning, whether it was an emotional problem or just one party being more favoured than another. And if we consider the verse referenced above in Luke, we can see exactly what they are talking about.

There Jesus counted the cost of following Him, to the multitude around Him, when He says: ‘If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:26-27)

Oh my people, it is indeed a high price to pay to follow Jesus, but that’s just how important it is to follow Him. And He doesn’t mean we have to dislike our family or friends, just that, as the scholars put it. ‘In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either-or that this verse sets up.’

And that’s so sad, because Jesus never meant for us to give up our friends and families, but just to put Hm first. But in way too many cases, religiosity unfortunately, and wrongly forces us to give up one or the other. Yes, you can’t serve God and mammon or money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have much money, because money is important in forwarding Christ’s kingdom in this sinful world.

So please, let’s not allow religion to drive us to one camp or the other, for in Christ, remember, we are all ONE! There’s no difference between the rich and the poor, the slave and the free, the Jew and the Gentile in Christ’s eyes. It’s only important that we live our lives sincerely trying to obey His will. So what’s the long and short of the story, you ask?

Well, I believe it’s spelled out in two sets of scriptures. The first is Jesus’ sincere admonishment 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. 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) Now that’s Jesus telling it like it really is! In this world, we can do nothing of any consequence without Him!

And the second set of scriptures that I believe explains our purpose on this earth, is Jesus response to the question, posed by an uppity, self-righteous, hypocritical lawyer of the Jewish ruling class: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40)

Yes my fellow saints, from the beginning of time, that’s what the prophets been preaching; the absolute and miraculous power of LOVE! It’s marvellous ability to bring things and people together to live in harmony, with Almighty God and with each other! And that’s what our world is sadly lacking in these troubled times; a real sense of caring, of compassion, of LOVE for God and each other. So it seems that’s where our focus should be centred, be concentrated in these calamitous times, if we sincerely desire true improvement in our world. And that’s the long and short of the story! (smile)

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to preach and practice LOVE, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one loud, confident voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And believe me people, if we endure to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So let’s hang in there and acclaim Christ’s name nuh, like He so richly deserves! Much LOVE!

…to God the Father…be the glory…through Christ Jesus…the Son…

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

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

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

Well, a pleasant good morning to you, my beautiful Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s a pleasure to come to you and see a smile on your faces and feel the joy emanating from your hearts. For that’s what belief in Christ Jesus does! It doesn’t matter whether life is rough or smooth, Christians usually have a joyful spirit because they’ve learned to be contented in whatever situation they happen to find themselves. 

Bruh Paul spelt it out thus in his missive to the church at Philippi. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:11-12) 

Ah my fellow saints, that’s not an easy situation to conquer, because you can’t go to school to learn it, it can only be learned in the school of life, the school of hard knocks. And only one person can help you to do that: Jesus Christ! Bruh Paul declares it by saying: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil. 4:13) And that’s the gospel truth friends! It’s only with the divine help of Christ that we can ever learn to be contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. 

As Jesus said so emphatically Himself. ‘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) 

Wow mih people! Jesus laid it on the line right there! Without Him, our capabilities are severely limited. And aren’t we seeing the truth of that statement throughout our crazy and ungodly world right now? We certainly are! Without Christ playing the major part in our lives, we cannot seem to solve even the smallest problem, much less be content in our current situations. 

And I believe what our disunited and strife fille world needs to realize right now, if we want to make our world better, is the truth of these words Bruh Paul wrote in his second letter to the church at Corinth, where he emphatically states: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) 

Yes my brethren, until our world learns to accept that indisputable fact, including all the atheists, the heathen, the unbelievers, and whatever have you, our world will keep plummeting to the depths of ignominy, will continue riding that enemy handbasket all the way down to the catacombs of hell. Now, is that the legacy we want to leave behind for our children, and our children’s children? That our generation allowed the enemy to win the fight? I certainly hope not! 

And it’s definitely not too late for us to step up our fight and make a positive difference in our world…but we must begin right now, for time is running out, and we cannot afford to waste more than we already have. And it all begins with teaching the next generation, since it seems we might have already lost the current one. Unlike our parents, we obviously did not heed the words that Moses commanded the Hebrews when they came out of Egypt, since we were too busy making money and living the good life. 

But according to Moses, this is what we ought to have done. ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shall write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut. 6:4-9) 

Yes friends, our generation did not take the time to LOVE the Lord our God as we should have, neither did we teach it to our children like our parents did to us. No wonder this current generation is godless, and have been easily deceived into joining the enemy’s ranks. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. 

Remember these words of Cousin Sol in Proverbs. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov. 22:6) And that’s true friends. If you teach a child something, even though he may veer from it, he will not forget it. And we have a good example of that from the reggae song ‘August Town’, where the singer Duane Stephenson emphatically says: ‘Though I never lived the way He wanted, I never forgot what He taught me.’ 

And that’s all that’s expected of us as parents; to teach the children the right way, to keep the good news of Christ flowing down from generation to generation so that it doesn’t get lost and forgotten, as happened to the Israelites (read it in Ezra and Nehemiah) before Jesus returns to set up His earthly kingdom. So my people, please, let’s get serious and busy teaching the word of God to our grandchildren, since we seem to have lost our children to the enemy. Although that doesn’t mean we must give up on them, but just use other tactics to bring them to their Lord and Saviour. (smile) 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do our best in working and living for Christ, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether 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, let’s remember that if we endure right to the very end, that the future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Wow! What a time that will be mih bredrin! Much LOVE!

…with Jesus…we can move mountains…without Him…we can do nothing… 

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

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… 

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