Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2018 2 Corinthian 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.   For we walk by faith, not by sight.

And then it was Saturday; the day so many of us use to sleep in. I tried to do it, but it didn’t work, the aches and pains were too powerful. Hn! I went out yesterday evening, came home tired and went to bed early, so the body responded by being up early too. But them’s the breaks! What’s the saying? Early to bed, early to rise! 

So here we are, another week of work is over and we need to recuperate in just two short days. And it’s only if and when we’re walking wholeheartedly with Jesus that we can accomplish such a miraculous task. So please check Him out. He’s anxiously awaiting your call for help. 

And you can see that by the wonderful offer of His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Ah people, what an invitation! There’s never been any like it, and will never be another like it, because Jesus is the only Being who can promise such stuff and actually provide it. Glory to His Holy Name! 

Now since it’s Saturday, we ought to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us, but unfortunately I only received one this week. But it certainly is interesting and good enough for us to build around. So here it is: ‘The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into your reality.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! But you know why? Because as true believers in Christ: ‘We walk by faith and not by sight.’ Glory be mih people! It’s our faith in Christ Jesus that allows us to see the things that are not as the things that are. We don’t first have to see something to believe it. We believe it and then we see it! Glory to God! 

That’s why we have those magnificent verses of scripture from Hebrews that tell us: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds (ages) were framed (prepared) by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (are visible).’ (Heb.11:1-3) 

Yeh friends, it’s faith that moves mountains; faith that allows us to believe what we don’t see, it’s through faith we believe that God spoke the world into existence from nothingness! And when we have great faith it can be counted to us for righteousness, like it was for Abraham. 

And then later on in Hebrews 11, we have that other famous verse on faith: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

Oh my brethren, only through faith can one believe that God, the ephemeral, spiritual, almighty Being exists, because you can’t see nor touch Him. And I’d be amiss if I didn’t share the scholars’ thoughts on the subject. 

‘11:1. Verse 1 is not so much a definition of what faith is, as it is a description of what faith does. (cf.11:6). Two truths concerning its activity are stated here. First, faith provides substance (Gr. hypostasis). Though broad in its usages, this Greek word normally has the meaning of “assurance” in the New Testament  (cf.3:14; 2 Cor.9:4; 11:17) and this seems to be the best sense here. 

Second, faith provides evidence (Gr. elegchos). It is evidence in the sense of proof that results in conviction. The difference between assurance and evidence would be minimal were it not for the phrase qualifying each: of things hoped for and of things not seen. The first involves future hope; the second involves present realities that are unseen. 

The first includes the hope of the resurrection, the return of Christ, and the glorification of the saints. The second involves unseen realities, such as the forgiveness of sin through Christ’s sacrifice and the present intercession of Christ in heaven. Hope is faith relating to the future; conviction is faith relating to the present.’ 

Ah friends, I hope (smile) that that li’l treatise on faith helps you to understand it better. And to end, we’ll get some more immortal words from Bruh Paul, this time to the church at Rome, on the subject of hope. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (wait eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Exactly my fellow believers! If you can see something, there’s no reason to hope for it. But if you can’t see it physically, then there’s all the reason to hope for it! So let’s wisely hope for all the good things we can’t see nuh, and through faith, believe that we have them and with perseverance wait eagerly for them! That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith…unless you first have hope…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 May 2018 Psalm 133:1.

Psalm 133:1.   Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.

Ah mih brethren, another glorious day is in the offing in my neighbourhood! Can’t remember when last I saw so many gorgeous days strung together. And yuh know, even when the rain falls, it doesn’t fall at an inopportune time, and then those days end up glorious too. (smile) 

This springtime has really been a beautiful regeneration of nature! Glory Be! Let’s enjoy it as we thank our great and awesome God for the wonderful blessings of life and LOVE that He has given us. And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’ 

And by the way, that volcano watch on Hawaii – well it seems to be getting worse every day. I believe there have been some explosions that are causing even more problems than before. Let’s remember to keep them in our prayers, and hope it doesn’t truly erupt, as volcanoes are possibly the most terrible of all destructions that can occur; it encapsulates the real fire and brimstone, which we so mythically talk about. 

And today we’re going to get into our Bit very early, because it is possibly the most important problem facing Christ’s church right now. Hear these immortal words of Bruh David and give pause, let’s give thought to them in our own lives. ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.’ 

Oh my people, if only that state of affairs even existed to one iota in the church of today, what a great church we’d have! But bickering and quarreling and disunity are the name of the game. Thus Christ’s body has become of little use to a major part of society. They scorn it and turn away from it because of the tremendous infighting and confusion that exists therein, not to mention that we don’t walk the talk we preach. 

So how can Christ’s church ever become the focal point of our society under those conditions eh? Never! And it’s not to say that the arguments are all over major points of doctrine – No- a lot of them are over rather petty and immaterial stuff. But such is the hold of the world on us, that power and supremacy of religion or denomination keeps us from being more together. 

Ah friends, can’t we see that strife is the enemy’s number one goal amongst believers? That way he keeps us warring against each other and not living in the peace and LOVE that Jesus desires of us. How unfortunate that we are allowing it to happen. Let’s look at some scripture on the subject. 

We see way back when Lot and Abraham’s people were feuding over grazing land and water that Abraham wisely told him. ‘Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.’ (Gen.13:8) 

Oh fellow believers in Christ, right there we have the most important aspect of our being on this earth; being brethren in Christ! That means we don’t need to be fighting each other over petty stuff. We won’t ever agree on everything, but this much we ought to agree on: that we are ONE in Christ! 

And there is no better example of that than after Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit began indwelling believers and the new church was born. Hear the Good Book tell it re the day of Pentecost. ‘Then they that gladly receive his (Peter’s) word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.’ (Acts 2:41-42) 

Yuh see that friends, ‘they continued steadfastly.’ Those are the most important words in that sentence. And they didn’t believe the apostles’ doctrine because they preached it, but because it agreed with the Word of God, which also called for fellowship and prayers. 

And the Good Book continues: ‘And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by (through) the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common. And sold their possessions and goods, and parted (distributed) them to all men, as every man (anyone) had need. 

And they, continuing daily with one accord (mind) in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house did eat their meat (food) with gladness and singleness (simplicity) of heart. Praising God, and having favour with all people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be (were being) saved.’ (Acts 2:43-47)  

Wow! What a moving memorial of the early church! Now we know that the communal living couldn’t happen nowadays, and didn’t last long there either. People sold their possessions because they possibly thought that Jesus was coming back real soon (smile), but look at how they communed together ‘in one accord, one mind.’ 

That’s how we ought to commune today friends; with Jesus as our guiding light regardless of the circumstance! Not all the other nonsense that we’ve allowed the world to intersperse into the church. Anyhow, time and space are upon us, so please ponder those things and see how we can improve our own situations. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings that our LOVING God has bestowed on us, even though we don’t deserve most of them. In strong and sincere voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

And please remember those blessings were not given for us to hoard, but to go out and share with others. Much LOVE!

…stand fast…in one spirit…with one mind…striving together…for the faith of the gospel…(Phil.2:27b)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2018 Psalm 69:30.

Psalm 69:30.   I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Awright mih breddren, it’s Sunday once again, but a white one. I thought now was spring with all the beauty of nature set to erupt from the cold ground. But that’s not the reality of the situation, for from yesterday morning we’ve been grounded by an ice storm. And like it’s hit some of the U.S. Midwest too. 

All day long I could hear the ice pellets hitting against the windowpanes. And don’t be fooled by the covering of snow on top. It’s a solid ice foundation, which is even worse than the pure snow, very deceptive like our spiritual enemy. And it hasn’t stopped as yet. So please be careful if you venture out there today. 

I know that I’m not venturing out there for LOVE nor for money. Not in my mash-up state. (smile) I’m not even going to church this morning, I doubt my car tires can handle the traction, or lack thereof, and I know that the Lord will understand. They haven’t even cleaned the roads in the area. Saw one truck go up the road a while ago cleaning one half of the road. 

But friends that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate and praise our wonderful God and hear His reassuring word. And today I have a special treat to open our praise and worship, it’s an old Soca song from way back in 1985, called Magnificat, by the Calypsonian Penguin. I think it’s rather appropriate to be played in churches as what nowadays they call Contemporary Music. 

Google it and you’ll see what I’m talking about. And though you may not like the music, you can’t find any fault with the words, which are very appropriate for this Easter Season. So without further ado let’s burst into praiseful song with the ‘Magnificat’, in an easy rocking Soca melody. 

Listen to the intro of bells, organ and crackling guitar…then shout out: ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!’ Now sing it again: ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!’ 

Now let’s extol the praises of our God: ‘With joyous voices, my spirit rejoices. And my soul has soared, to magnify my Lord. For He took me so humble, And He made me His vessel. Oh yes, He chose me from all the rest. Nations from east and west will know I have been truly blessed.’ 

(Chorus: For He that is mighty has done great things, I can claim, Oh yes, He is risen, mighty, glory is His name. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah! – Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah! (2)} 

From generation, unto generation, He has been the same, to all who hear His name. Never vengeful nor angry, He keeps showing His mercy, a mercy that comes from up above, filled with His precious LOVE. It’s a mercy I can tell you of. (Chorus: For He that is mighty…) 

And pride and conceit, from right in their front seat, with His arm so strong, the Master pull them down. Those who rich and have plenty, He send them away empty. But from the poor He don’t turn His face, Fills them with LOVING grace, And raise the humble to high place. (Chorus: For He that is mighty…) 

He has received well, His good servant Israel. If you serve Him true, He will receive you too. Just like he spoke to Jonah, Abraham and Elijah, He still talks to us everyday, In His own special way, Listen and you’ll hear what He says. (Chorus: For that he is mighty…. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah…!’  

Oh friends, what beautiful music and words of exaltation to our wonderful God. I know heaven was dancing and singing along with us. And I was listening to the song and rocking along while I was typing it. (smile) Now that brings us to our Bit; exciting words from Bruh David: ‘I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.’ 

Ah mih people, although I believe we might have used that Bit recently, I thought it was the most appropriate one for the ‘Magnificat.’ For our God LOVES nothing more than to hear us praise Him and give Him thanks for all He’s done for us, since that’s one of the reasons He created us. And I don’t think we do that sufficiently, or when we do, with a sincere enough heart. We seem to take Him and His LOVING-kindness too much for granted. 

But that’s wrong my brethren, because it’s only by His great mercy and precious LOVE that we still exist in this sinful, ungodly world. That means we ought to pay much more attention to our praise and worship if we truly want to reap the fruits that the Lord has set aside for us. 

As Bruh David says in his prayer for God’s help: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ (Ps.28:7) 

Oh friends, we can perform no greater oblation to our magnificent and magnanimous God, than giving Him endless thanks and praise.

And we’ll close with some more appropriate words from Bruh David. ‘But I have trusted in thy mercy (LOVING-kindness); my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.’ (Ps.13:5-6) 

And that’s no lie my fellow believers, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with all of us, so let’s praise Him joyfully nuh and rejoice in His salvation, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…from the mouths and hearts of believers…ought to come unbidden…oodles of praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2017 Psalm 37:7a.

Psalm 37:7a.   Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: 

And this God-given Sunday might just be another rainy day in my area, like the past two days were. However friends, that should not stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship in joyful abandon, while His indispensable and indisputable Word strengthens our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, for that’s what the Lord desires of us. 

And just tonight I read this interesting quote in an article titled ‘Fun Challenged’ in the September Edition of the In Touch Magazine that immortalizes what I’m talking about. The quote is attributed to the theologian Simon Chan, who says: “Christians who do not play together do not worship well together either, since worship is a ‘religious form of play.’ Both at play and at worship the Christian community enjoys its Sabbath rest.” 

Now isn’t that the God-awesome truth friends? Christians should be the happiest and most joyful people on the planet because of what our great God and our wonderful Saviour have done for us! And I believe, both as Christians and as secular people, we have forgotten how to have fun, to laugh and be merry and carefree, which are all healthy aspects of a well-lived life. We’re taking our messed up, strife-filled world too seriously. 

Remember Jesus has already been victorious over hell, death and the grave and we have every reason to rejoice. So, on this the Lord’s Day, let’s lighten up and sing this wonderful old hymn ‘The Church’s One Foundation,’ with lyrics by Samuel John Stone (1839-1900) and music by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876). Let’s raise our voices to heaven in sacrificial praise and sweet harmony, so that there can be absolutely no doubt of our sincere and everlasting allegiance to Jesus. 

‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord; She is His new creation By water and the Word: From heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy Bride; With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died. Elect from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth, Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy Name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. 

’Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace for evermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest. Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won: O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, Like them, the meek and lowly, In love may dwell with Thee.’ 

Ah mih people, what a joy it is to sing praises to our High Priest and heavenly Advocate Jesus Christ, for He has been so wonderful to us, when He did not have to! Now let’s hear some choice tidbits from His Word based on our Bit: ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:’ Yes my fellow believers, those are absolute words of wisdom! And all the great men and women of faith practiced it and some even wrote about it. 

Listen first to Jesus when He described the signs of the end times to His disciples. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:19) As followers of Christ we just have to be trusting and patient and persevering, because that’s what His discipleship calls for. 

Now hear Bruh Paul in his treatise to the Romans, concerning ‘Life in the Spirit.’ ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for (it)? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Yeh friends, true faith in Jesus is all about hoping, waiting and persevering to the very end! 

And nobody says this better than the author of Hebrews. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)  And there’s no better example of waiting on God than the patriarch Abraham. After the Lord promised to bless and multiply him, he waited for 25 years for Isaac, the promise to show up. The author of Hebrews tells us: ‘And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’ (Heb.6:15) 

And we’ll close with these words of Bruh Paul as he talks to the church at Rome about ‘Unity in Christ.’ ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Rom.15:4-6) 

Oh friends, that is exactly my prayer for us today; that we come together in fellowship and worship, and enthusiastically and sincerely glorify and exalt our heavenly Father, for He richly deserves our reverence and exaltation! Much LOVE!

…waiting patiently…and eagerly on God…is wisdom of…and for the ages…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2017 James 2:14.

James 2:14.   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Well friends, it’s Wednesday! What’s on tap for today eh? I’m supposed to have my eaves troughs replaced today, so hopefully that will solve my problem of water leaking down into my basement when the rain falls. 

Let’s hope and pray that it actually does stop it yes, else I’ll just hold my head and bawl! Yes, I will, because I’ve been trying to fix the problem for a while now and nothing else has worked. And for the kind of money I’m expected to pay, it ought to… it better had work! (smile) 

But all I can truly do is leave it in God’s hands, for regardless of what I think or do, it’s His will that will eventually prevail, and I know that He will in His own time work everything out for my good. Glory to the great God we serve and worship my faithful brethren! 

Now here is a li’l something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It so reminded me of our foolish behaviour that I just had to share it. It’s titled ‘Two Questions.’ 

And it simply says: ‘O God In my fear and frenzy In my darkness and dread My screaming question is “Where are You?” And in reply, the Lord simply answers: ‘Wandering child When things were going well And you carelessly ignored Me Where were you?’ 

Now that’s a very question friends, to which we have no good answer. That’s because too often, too many of us conveniently forget the Lord when things are going well. But as soon as our lives begin to get topsy-turvy we’re quick to run to Him and plead, ‘Oh Lord help me!’ And we expect Him to jump right on the problem. Hn! 

But life doesn’t work like that friends. Our God is not there to simply fix our problems when we decide to ask Him. We have the whole concept wrong: We’ve been created to serve and worship Him, to be available at His behest, not He at ours. 

But He’s so wonderful that He’s arranged a covenant, a partnership with us, that if we serve and worship Him faithfully, He will indeed answer us when we call. He has even gone so far as to promise: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.13:5) 

But friends, that all depends on us keeping our part of the bargain, faithfully serving and worshipping Him. So please let’s stop the nonsense nuh. It’s high time we stop ignoring our God and our Creator when times are good, and instead constantly seek Him, whatever the state of our lives. 

And it’s all for our own benefit yes mih people. Our God doesn’t need anything from us since He owns everything and everyone in the universe. We are the needy ones. So let’s start knowing our place and begin giving Almighty God the adulation and glory He so rightfully deserves…that is if we want to see favour and length of days. 

And one of the surest ways to obtain God’s favour is by understanding our Bit and living according to it. ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’ 

As we said yesterday friends, one must have faith to be saved, but one must also show that faith by doing good works in Jesus’ name, for He expects it of His followers. 

Remember what He said about false prophets? ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:20) The same goes for us my brethren; true believers shall be known by their faithful works. It’s very easy to profess faith, but to manifest it is another story. 

That’s why Bruh Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22). And when we walk in it; in LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (self-control), then we will obviously bring forth good fruit, good works, to back up our faith. 

Now after our Bit, James goes on to argue about Abraham and his willingness to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice as an example of the faithful being recognized for good works. And then he talks of the harlot Rehab, as a non-believer being considered faithful for her good works by her saving the Jewish spies. (James 2:21-26). 

However friends, the scholars have a long explanation which I can’t go through for lack of time and space, but what they essentially say is that James and Bruh Paul are using the word for ‘faith’ with different meanings and ‘justified’ in different senses. 

Bruh Paul using his New Testament theological idea of  ‘God’s act of declaring all believers righteous on the basis of Christ’s redemptive work. But a common Old Testament and gospel usage involves demonstrating or showing something to be righteous (cf.Ps.51:4; Luke 7:35; Rom.3:4); it is this usage that James follows. 

They are discussing totally different subjects, since they are confronted by different problems. Paul opposing the Judaizers seeks to prove that the Gentiles can be saved and sanctified apart from circumcision or any other work of the law. James opposing merely nominal, professing Christians, seeks to show that true faith confirms itself by deeds of LOVE.’  

So let’s understand that they are not fighting each other, but together, against different foes on different subjects. And now that that has all been cleared up, (smile) let’s go home sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail, which addresses our faith, and consequently, our good works. 

‘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!’ 

Have a blessed day my faithful brethren, manifested by good works! Much LOVE!…

both faith and works are important parts of Jesus’ awesome LOVE…

 

 

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