Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2018 Psalm 139:13.

Psalm 139:13.    For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered me (weaved me) in my mother’s womb.
 

Aye friends and Scrip-Bit family… is Wednesday…and all is well! The ole fella’s somewhat tired though after a long day yesterday in the city, then going to bed fairly early, but not being able to rest properly, and wanting to sleep when I should be getting up. Hn! Yuh think it easy! Then not knowing what to say to you this cold morning doesn’t help matters either. (smile) 

But as always, our ever-faithful God just put this in my spirit to share with you. It’s a prayer I first discovered in the flyleaves of my mother’s Bible after her death. And though I’ve shared it before, these kinds of prayers are always useful, especially in the rough times, and it’s ever so appropriate for a morning like this. 

Please pray with me: ‘The light of God surrounds me. The LOVE of God enfolds me. The power of God protects me. The presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am…God IS…And ALL IS WELL! Amen!’  

And that is the gospel truth my fellow believers! Whatever we’re going through, and wherever we are, our great and faithful God is right there walking with us, before and behind, beside, and in us! Glory Hallelujah! No other faith can make that statement with the absolute truth that we can! Give God some of the much praise He deserves nuh my brethren! 

Yuh know for all that our heavenly Father does for us, we certainly don’t give Him enough thanks and praise nuh. Sometimes we get so accustomed to His mercy and LOVING-kindness that we just take it all for granted and forget to say ‘Thank You Father! Thank You for all You’re doing for me, even though I don’t deserve most of it!’ 

Yuh know friends, one of the things our God likes to hear from us is thanks and praise and exaltation. In fact that’s one of the reasons why He made us; so we could glorify His Holy Name, lift up His wonderful and awesome attributes, and let the evil heathen world know who is the real BOSS! 

Not Beelzebub, who the Lord just allows to run this sinful earth; but the Lord God of Hosts, the Holy One of Israel, Yahweh, Jehovah God! Now He is the real sahib: the Conquering Lion of Judah, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Creator and Controller of this amazing universe! 

That’s whom our knees should bow to and our voices declare as our Alpha and Omega; our First and our Last, our EVERYTHING! For He made us… and controls our very destiny from the moment of our conception to the time we return to the dust from which we were created! 

And trust Bruh David to have the right words for us this morning: ‘Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered me (weaved me) in my mother’s womb.’ (Ps.139:12-13) Ah friends, how can we not glorify such a wonderful Maker and Creator eh? 

Listen further to Bruh David: ‘I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well (very well).’ (Ps.139:14) Ah mih people, I have to pause here and ask this very important question: do our souls truly know the extent of God’s marvellous works and how masterfully we were made? I doubt it yes, else we wouldn’t have to be harangued and chided and often forced to give God great thanks and praise. 

But hear Bruh David as he continues to praise God’s mighty work in creating human beings. ‘My substance (frame, bones) was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as yet there was none of them.’ (Ps.139:15-16) 

Oh my people, how could we not praise and worship our God after reading that kind of truth eh? Our days were numbered in His book even before we were formed in our mother’s womb! Glory to God! And if you don’t believe me, or Bruh David, then listen to Jesus nuh, hopefully you’ll believe Him. (smile) 

‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him (God) which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt.10:28-31) 

Chuh mih people! How reassuring is that eh; to know that the Lord knows the number of hairs on our heads and we are more valuable than many sparrows, who don’t fall down without His knowledge, much less the care and concern He has for us, His most precious creation! 

 Believe friends…please believe in His goodness and mercy; believe that His presence is always watching over us, as His power protects us, and His brilliant light shines over us, while His wonderful, unconditional LOVE enfolds us in His strong embrace! 

Now let’s go home wailing our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. In unison and full sincerity: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s keep that wise position friends! Much LOVE!

…what a marvellous creation…is the human being…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 October 2018 Matthew 5:13a &14a.

Matthew 5:13a & 14a.    Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world…

So now it’s Saturday…. But don’t quote me on that nuh! (smile) Oh isn’t it nice when you don’t have to know what day of the week it really is, and they can just freely flow into each other, and all you’re concerned about is whether it’s night or day?  I’m certainly enjoying it! 

And I finally got home from Kingston around 8.pm last night, after a long and unsatisfying four hour bus ride. The youngster driving figured he was handling a toy bus, just twirling away round the corners. However, on arrival in Mo Bay, some good goat belly soup at a family member’s yard, revived my sagging energy and spirit, (smile) then I came home and just rested quietly. 

But on a more serious note, here is a prayer that I found in my mother’s Bible after she died, and I’ve shared it before, but I’ve been moved to share it again today. It’s simple but all-encompassing, and it has become one of my favourites over the last few years. Please pray with me: ‘The light of God surrounds me. The LOVE of God enfolds me. The power of God protects me. The presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is… And ALL is WELL!’ 

Oh friends, if all those things are true, then ALL must be WELL with us! And if you’re a true believer in Christ, then all those things ARE true, so you can draw the logical conclusion. But since it’s Saturday, we need to turn to some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet.’ And is that ever true! Only you, and you alone can truly make your life sweet…Sorry, I forgot to say in conjunction with Jesus, because if He is not in your life, then try as you want, your life will NEVER be truly sweet. Jesus is the key, the honey that sweetens life! 

And this next quote complements that last one. ‘The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.’ No my brethren, we certainly don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, and though life’s not always a crazy ride, for sure nothing is guaranteed, except salvation and eternal life if Jesus dwells sincerely in your soul. 

Then there’s: ‘I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.’ Oh isn’t life truly complex! But the best way to live it is with an optimistic outlook. As they say, hope for the best, but come what may. That’s all we can do, though with Jesus as the guiding light of our life lots of sunshine will surely filter in to it. 

And this next quote tells us: ‘Life doesn’t require that we be the best, only that we try our best.’ Gospel truth my fellow believers! Our Lord and Saviour knows that we are not perfect specimens, and knows our weaknesses better than us, so He doesn’t expect perfection, just that we try to be diligent and excellent representatives of His, by always putting our best foot forward. 

And finally the last quote: ‘Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.’ And that’s more gospel truth friends! Positive, Christ-like thinking is the best way to live this earthly life. And when you do so, obviously some of your good attitude will rub off on others. 

That’s what Jesus is all about. That’s why He highlighted our Bit in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world…’ Yes my fellow believers, when we behave like salt and light, then we exude the properties of Jesus. And we can’t hope to be Christ-like, raised from glory to glory, unless we give off the same properties. 

We need to be worthy citizens of our society, involved in worthwhile causes, setting a good example, shining our lights, so that others can see the true way, that hard to find hidden path that leads through Jesus to the Father. But unfortunately I don’t think that we’re really doing our best in that respect, else the world would not have been overtaken by the evil enemy and his evil cohorts.  

If we were showing up our salty flavour and shining our bright light in the darkness of this evil world, Jesus’ LOVE Revolution would have had the upper hand on the world stage by now! But since we apparently have lost our salty, tasty flavour, we don’t seem to be good for anything now, and are just being trampled underfoot. 

It’s the same thing with our light. It seems like we’re hiding it under a bushel or basket, and no light’s getting out to those around us. Remember what Jesus said: ‘A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:14b-15) 

Oh friends, I know some of us are tired of hearing this sermon, but we need to hear it until we get it right! The evil enemy is running away with the world, and we are the only ones who can take it back. So let’s get serious and become true ambassadors of Christ nuh, and truly exemplify the diligence and excellence He expects of us, by making His wish come true. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) 

That, in a nutshell is our earthly job my people. Please, I implore us, let’s go out and do it nuh, so that Jesus and the Father can be glorified. Much LOVE!

…salt and light…the major qualifications for a Jesus ambassadorship…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2016 1 Chronicles 16:34‏

1 Chronicles 16:34.   O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

Ah mih breddren, the ole fella went out and party last evening… the first time in ages too. In fact, the first time since New Year’s Eve! Glory to God! But the ole fella must really be getting old if it takes three and half months between his partying. (smile) 

Oh it was nothing spectacular, just our church’s first International Dinner and Dance held in the church’s auditorium. And was it ever well attended, over a hundred beautiful souls. And talk about food; all kinds of food from all the many cultures of our rather diverse congregation. 

And would you believe that after everybody had their fill, with seconds and thirds, and people bought food to carry home, there were still loads of food left. And this was no catered affair, just members of our congregation cooking and donating food from their particular culture. 

And please note that the West Indian fare was first and foremost  – as usual. (smile) Ah can’t help it people, ah just biased towards mih West Indian victuals and way of life. And if is one thing, no two things the St. Francis congregation can do well, is eat and party, led by our inimitable Fr. Jeff. 

And the ole fella partied too, to the good music that the D.J. spun, with my natural enthusiasm obviously, but not with my leggo beast antics. It seems that those days are over, and now I have to be more circumspect about my physical activity. 

But look at that nuh; the ole fella can’t party as physically and energetically as he used to. I guess, as they say, after one time is two. Hn, hn! And by the grace of God, and some man-made medication, the knees are holding up well this morning. Praise be! 

Anyway friends, today is Sunday, the Lord’s Day, and that means we have to get ourselves to church and praise and worship and fellowship with our Christian brethren. I do hope that all of the partiers’ last night can get up and get to church this morning, and they are not suffering from the after effects of the night before. (smile) 

Or they don’t use that as an excuse, cause you ever notice how we Christian folks can find all sorts of reasons not to go to church, but none not to go out and indulge in the lustful lifestyle of the world. We just don’t seem to hold going to church as sacred and important as we ought to. 

Now enough of my two cents worth, let’s check out our Bit. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.’ 

Yes friends, that’s what we ought to be doing this Sunday in the Lord’s sanctuary; giving thanks for His everlasting goodness to us undeserving human beings. That reminds me of the words of the old Beres Hammond song ‘Giving Thanks.’ 

‘Morning sun rising behind me, Stars at night come out to remind me, To give thanks for all the things that I have. All is well, I’ve got my health and in such good shape, Pockets broken, I’ve got nothing, waiting for that break, 

So I’m giving thanks, for all I’ve got, I’m giving thanks, whether or not, I’m giving thanks for the life I’ve got, I’m giving thanks now, Yes I’m giving thanks for all I’ve got, I’m giving thanks, whether or not, I’m giving thanks for the life in me, I’m giving thanks…I’m giving thanks…’ 

Oh my people, if we’d only give a little more thanks to our wonderful God, our lives would be so much better! I guess we don’t realize that our blessings are proportional to the thanks that we give. Even if we don’t have anything, that’s material possessions, we still have life to be thankful for. 

And to remind us that a lot of other folks don’t have even life this morning, just read the obits. So please, let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh, let’s acknowledge the mercy and LOVING-kindness of our awesome Creator. That’s all He’s asking of us yes; to appreciate what He done, is doing, and has promised to do for us. 

And we’ll continue checking out instances of our Bit being used in the Good Book. Yesterday we saw it used when Bruh David brought up the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, and when Cousin Sol finished building the Lord’s temple. Today let’s look at how it was also used when the Israelites returned from their captivity in Babylon and laid the foundation for the rebuilding of the Lord’s house. 

The book of Ezra describes it thus: ‘And they sang together by course (responsively) in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 

But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted for joy: so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.’ (Ezra 3:11-13) 

Ah friends, do we shout with such joy nowadays when we are doing the Lord’s work? I don’t think so. But you can see how happy the Israelites were that they were in the process of rebuilding God’s sanctuary. And we’ll close with an explanation from the scholars on that joyous time. 

‘3:12-13. It had been about 50 years since the first temple had been destroyed, and many of the older men (ancient men) who had seen the earlier building, wept now because of the sorrowful contrast in size and splendour. 

When the temple was completed later in 520 B.C; there were still some of these old men who wept again. Haggai 2:3 and Zechariah 4:10 relate Zechariah’s challenge to those who “despised the day of small things.” 

Oh friends, please, let’s not despise small things, because EVERYTHING, big or small has been made and provided by God. Consequently, it means that we are despising God, when we despise the things He’s made or allowed to be made. That’s certainly not wisdom! Much LOVE!

…Blessing…and glory…and wisdom…and thanksgiving…and honour…and power…and might…be unto our God…for ever and ever…Amen…  (Rev.7:12) 

P.S. Sorry friends, it could have been earlier, but I had to practice what I was preaching; I had to leave and go to church. And it’s a good thing too, because it’s in one of today’s readings that I heard the afterthought above. Please have a blessed day! Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2015 Philippians 4:13

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

Oh Friends, I really don’t know what to say this cold, wet and windy Wednesday morning nuh. I was most surprised when I opened my bleary eyes and saw that it was after eight o’clock. But I guess the Lord saw that the body needed more rest than I was prepared to give it and He allowed me to sleep in. Hn!

But then when I did get up, the ole body was aching all over, from head to foot, which also shows that too much rest is not good for it. (smile)
 
But the long and short of the story Friends is that I’m up and about, though not kicking as strongly as I would like – yet. However, I do know that our wonderful God is on His heavenly throne in full control of all activities in His beautiful universe.
 
The brilliant light from His awesome Son Jesus surrounds us. His never ending and unconditional LOVE enfolds us. His unimaginable power protects us, while His faithful and comforting presence continually watches over us. And that means that ALL is well my people!
 
So there is no need to worry, because the gracious and merciful and forgiving I AM, has everything under control, the universe is proceeding and unfolding as it should. What a marvellous God we serve and worship my brethren! Never let anybody tell you differently nuh!
 
On the other side of the coin though, this morning I read where a farmer, a middle aged woman in Oregon, U.S.A was found guilty of murdering two men over a period of a year and feeding their remains to her pigs. How gruesome a crime – especially to be perpetrated by a woman!
 
We certainly don’t expect that sort of crime to be committed by women. And the sad part is that her picture shows her like a caring, motherly type. It just goes to show that we truly can’t judge others by their outward appearances, and unfortunately only the Lord has the power to see into our hearts and discern our real motives and agenda.
 
That means we have to be very careful of whom we allow in to our lives and associate with. What a sad time we’re living in my brethren. How ironic that at the most enlightened and advanced time in man’s history, that we’re possibly the most corrupt, cruel and sadistic, though in more refined ways.
 
We’re certainly not using the advances and enlightenment for good purposes like we should, but rather for evil and wicked stuff. Things like moral character, integrity and high standards are disappearing from our world, only to be replaced by stuff like greed, selfishness, heinous cruelty and ungodliness.
 
However my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, the good news is that we’re here to try and rectify the terrible situation that now exists in our world. And though it looks like a long, uphill battle, with our kindness, caring, empathy and the good news of Jesus’ gospel, we can prevail over the evil powers of darkness and win the battle of good over evil.
 
Glory Hallelujah! And we are assured of this in the wonderful words of encouragement that flow from Bruh Paul through our Bit. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’
 
And all God’s people shouted a loud and delirious; ‘Glory to God who empowers us to do whatever He wills!’
 
Yes my fellow believers that’s gospel truth and a basic tenet of our faith, which we must clearly and dearly believe and then act upon it with faith. But before we go any further, let’s hear the scholars’ important explanation on that verse.
 
‘4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman. The reason he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability.
 
Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances. God orders Paul’s various situations, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’
 
Oh my people, my people, those words also resonate with heavenly truth in our modern day situations. God allows us to be in different kinds of situations, then gives us the wherewithal to endure them and come out more Christ-like on the other side.
 
Thus we can, or ought to be able to say like Bruh Paul does before our Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever 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 to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:11-12)
 
Oh Friends, all of that also pertains to us today! But please note one thing, that process of being content in any situation does not come easily, neither from book learning or overnight, but from hard practical experience. It has to be learned, as Bruh Paul says: ‘I have learned.’
 
So too we must learn from all the experiences that God allows us to go through, remembering that with His empowering strength, we can do whatever He calls us to do, and also that He has a good plan and a future for our lives, as well as He works everything out for the good of those who LOVE Him and are called to do His bidding.
 
Oh Friends, I had to chuckle at that last Spirit-induced sentence, as it contains three basic but ever-faithful tenets of our faith and the everlasting LOVING-kindness of our God. I’m not going to elaborate on them, because they are three faith-feeding scriptures that we all should know.
 
So let’s ponder them this fateful day, as we give thanks for the breath of life that God has allowed in us, and all the other mercies, blessings and forgiveness that He daily bestows on us, many of which we are totally undeserving of.
 
And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! For his goodness to the children of men endures for ever!’
 
And that’s gospel truth Friends! So with all that stuff in mind, let’s go out and show the world the real joy of being a follower of Jesus, so that they too can want, can greatly desire to follow in His footsteps. Much LOVE!
 
…where He leads me…I will follow, follow…for He will never lead me astray…that’s His faithful promise…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2015 1 Thessalonians 5:17

 1 Thessalonians 5:17 PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!

Ah Friends, it seems like the ole fella’s Easter Monday celebrations were a bit much for him, because he could not get up at a reasonable time this morning. Hn, hn! But the sad part is that the celebrations weren’t anything big, just a simple gathering of immediate family.

Now can that mean the ole fella is getting too old for even the simple celebrations? Definitely not! And I take great umbrage at anyone who endorses that erroneous idea! (smile)

For here are some great truths; the caffeine is hot and sweet and strong, and our great and LOVING God is still on His throne controlling His universe, which means all is well!

Now why wouldn’t things be okay eh, especially since the Father sent His only Son to be a sacrificial Lamb, to die for our sins, and then rise triumphantly from the grave a couple of days ago, so that our sins could be forgiven, our souls washed as white as snow, and we could be reconciled to Him?

That testimony Friends, I now put to us, should be the uppermost thought in our lives, not only at this Easter season, but all year round! We ought to let it buoy us up, keep us strong and faithful.

Just thinking about what Jesus did for us should raise our spirits to great levels and cause us to want to work diligently and ceaselessly to bring His Word and undying, unconditional LOVE to the heathen, to the unbelieving hordes.

And you know that’s all He really asks of us; to live according to His will and let others see the wonders He works in the lives of those who display total obedience to Him.

And I have a most appropriate and beautiful quote from my One More Day Devotional, Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. Someone in their innate wisdom gave me that devotional long before I even had any chronic illness. (smile) But this quote is attributed to one Hartley Coolidge, for whom I couldn’t find any proper info, although it seems he might have been the son of the famous British poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Anyway, Hartley is reputed to have made this statement which I’ve shared with you some time before, but it is so noteworthy that it needs to be shared again and again: ‘Be not afraid to pray, to pray is right. Pray if thou canst with hope, but even pray.’

Oh my people what wisdom and godly advice! Prayer should indeed be our number one response to our every problem and our every need. And further to that, here is how the devotional describes prayer. ‘Prayer is a creative expression of my spiritual needs. It offers me a deep sense of personal satisfaction and continuously reminds me of all life’s forces.’

And is that ever so true my people! Prayer is our lifeblood, our lifeline to our Creator, and it should never be broken! We can’t afford to have it malfunction in any way whatsoever, otherwise our lives will lose all semblance of hope, of right and wrong, of faith, of good and bad, of God and the evil one. That means, as our Bit so rightly informs us, we should ‘Pray without ceasing.’

Now it doesn’t mean we should always be audibly praying, but we should constantly have an attitude of prayer about us, which will help us ‘maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’

That means Friends that prayer is ever so important in the life of a Christian. Even to the extent that Bruh Paul tells Timothy: ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8)

So whatever your geographical position or location, you ought to pray, espousing a pure and truthful life, without disputes and angry tensions.

Meanwhile Cousin Sol tells us in Proverbs that ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.’ (Prov.15:8)

Yes my people, our God delights in the prayers of His people. Nothing warms the cockles of His heart like when His people come to Him in sincere prayer. Remember that is our most important line of communication with Him. Prayer is so important that even Jesus, though being of the Godhead, resorted to it each and every day, in every situation.

Mark informs us: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35)

Jesus made it a habit to pray, to get with God before He began His day, so the Spirit of God would be there to guide and lead Him on a right and true path, give Him the wisdom to make proper decisions.

Oh Friends, so do we also need to come to God in prayer, as early as possible on each day of our lives, so that we can receive the wisdom, strength and guidance to handle our day in a way that pleases God.

And we’ll end with this eye-opening situation, where Jesus teaches His disciples about prayer. The Good Book describes it thus: ‘And it came to pass, that, as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

And he said unto them, when ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil (the evil one).’ (Luke 11:1-4)

There we have it Friends, the basic foundation of our foundational prayer! So as we go about our earthly pilgrimage in this wild, woolly and wicked world, please let us never forget to keep prayer uppermost in our hearts and lives, for that is God’s desire for us, as well as eternal wisdom on our part. Much LOVE!

…to pray…to pray… and yet to pray…that is the substance of faith…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2015 1 John 1:9‏‏‏

1 John 1:9.     If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ah Friends, the ole fella is somewhat slow and doddering this chilly Tuesday morning in Holy Week. So please cut him some slack, have a heart, show him a li’l LOVE nuh. (smile) But the caffeine is hot and strong and sweet, and our great God is still in control, which means that all is well. Praise the Lord!

And when I say that our God is something else it’s true, for He just provided me with a lead in to what I want to preamble about today; laughter; laughter in times of trouble. I was just outside putting out the garbage and chuckling at my slow doddering steps. Hn, Hn!
 
Ah mih people, it’s not easy, but please remember that our GOD IS GOOD; He will provide for us in each and every circumstance. He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us, and He faithfully keeps all of His promises.
 
Now listen to this quote attributed to Ed Howe, and though I found several Ed Howes in my research, I do believe the one we’re looking for is Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937), an American novelist, magazine and newspaper editor. Howe is quoted as saying ‘That if you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you grow old.’
 
Ah mih breddren, that is so true that it’s not funny. If we don’t learn to laugh at some of our problems, especially when we encounter a chronic illness, we will be continually miserable and have nothing to laugh at in our winter years.
 
Thankfully, I learned that truth at a fairly early age, possibly because of the early onset of some back and knee problems, and over the years have developed that attitude. So when the aches and pains set in, though they can be very trying, I still manage to chuckle at them, while asking the Lord what’s next?
 
I don’t usually get an answer, but I know that He empathizes with my condition, and He is definitely the One who has kept me going all these years, and will keep me going for as long as it takes to fulfill His plan for my life. Glory to God!
 
So my brethren, I’d advise us to develop that attribute of laughter, for it’s often the best remedy for whatever ails us, and it’s certainly free and readily available at all times.
 
Now here’s another remedy that’s also readily available, this time for our biggest problems, our sins. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’
 
Wow! What a promise my people! And it’s the gospel truth, since our God does not lie, and has put the necessary systems in motion by sacrificing His Son Jesus as atonement for our abominable transgressions.
 
What more can we ask eh? Nothing really my fellow believers! Everything’s set in place, we just have to come to the throne of grace and ask for mercy and forgiveness and it will be granted. But foolishly, too many of us refuse to do that, that’s why we’re still tied up, mired in the quicksand that’s life.
 
Oh Friends, the only way out of that mire is by accepting Jesus Christ as the Lord and Saviour of your life, both physically and spiritually. With that acceptance comes a brand new life, you’re become a new creation in Christ; (2 Cor.5:17; Gal.6:15) with new values, new ways of thinking, accomplished by putting Christ first and foremost in all your doings.
 
Anyway, I want to close off these messages on the confession of our sins with a dramatic rendering of Jesus on the subject. This occurs when He talks about a house divided cannot stand.
 
‘He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
 
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world (age), neither in the world to come.’ (Matt.12:30-32)
 
Oh Friends, strong words indeed from our Saviour!
 
And we’ll let the scholars explain that for us. ‘12:31-38. The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is deliberate rejection of Christ, His Spirit wrought miracles and His salvation. It is the ultimate sin that by its very nature puts a man beyond the opportunity of salvation.
 
The Holy Spirit brings the offer of salvation to the heart of man. To reject Him is to act “presumptuously” and thus to “blaspheme” God. Those who reject His offer of salvation are in reality blaspheming the very nature of God Himself and the genuineness of His grace.’
 
Heavy stuff Friends!
 
And the scholars continue further with some basic Sins against the Holy Spirit. ’12:31-32. All sin is serious, and to some degree challenges and attacks the character and authority of God. But six sins are specifically identified as sins against the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit is a person, He may be sinned against. Since He is also God, it is an extremely serious matter to be guilty of sinning against Him.
 
These six sins are blaspheming (vv.31-32; Luke 12:10), lying or tempting (Acts 5:4,9), despising (Heb.10:29), resisting or striving with (Gen.6:3; Acts 7:51), vexing or grieving (Is,63:10; Eph.4:30), and quenching (1 Thess.5:19) the Holy Spirit.
 
Illustration: Because of the severity with which Jesus describes blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, some people unnecessarily fear that they may have committed the unpardonable sin. One of the characteristics of such sin is that the Holy Spirit ceases to convict of sin in one’s life – so the fact that someone may be concerned about a particular sin indicates he is not beyond grace. He should immediately repent of that sin to restore fellowship with God.
 
Application: The keys to not sinning against the Holy Spirit are to: (1) be led by the Spirit, (2) be filled with the Spirit, and (3) be illuminated by the Spirit. (First Reference, Gen.6:3; Primary Reference, John 16:13).’
 
Oh Friends, that is wonderful information, please accept it and follow it up by reading those Bible references, I just did, and they’re very enlightening and encouraging. That’s your homework for today. (smile)
 
Seriously though my people, if you want to truly understand the Lord’s Word you have to spend time in it; reading, pondering, questioning, and inwardly digesting it, so that it can become a natural way of life for you. A lot of us just pay minimal attention to the Word, but expect to be illuminated and enlightened, but that only comes with serious study.
 
So let’s decide to do that due diligence nuh my people, so that the Word can guide us through the Holy Spirit to the land of the truly living and LOVING and serving God. That is the wisdom of heaven for all ages! Much LOVE!
 
…Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people…thou hast covered all their sin…Selah… (Ps.85:2)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2015 1 John 1:9‏‏

1 John 1:9.      If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 
Ah Friends, it’s just one of those late nights that naturally morphed into a late morning. And running around in the rain yesterday didn’t help matters any, as my allergies are threatening to act up. (smile) But not to worry; the caffeine is hot, strong and sweet, and we’re riding along with Jesus, which means that all is well. Glory Hallelujah!

We couldn’t want, ask for, or find a better companion to journey with through this confused, troubled and sinful world. And the word for today is ‘LOVE!’

Oh my people, for serious believers in Jesus, LOVE should be our watchword each and every day, because that’s the quality that our Lord and Saviour put forth the most when He came to earth to be the sacrificial lamb for the atonement of our sins.

If He hadn’t LOVED us dearly and deeply, He would have remained resting on His laurels in heaven. But instead, He selflessly and obediently became man, became one of us, so that we could be released from the dark and dangerous abyss of sin in which we were then floundering.

Unfortunately though, too many of us are still floundering in that dark dungeon of sin. However, in keeping with our talk on LOVE, let me share a few words from my ‘p.s. I LOVE YOU’ poster, designed to bring out the LOVE in us. It says that, ‘LOVE is like wildflowers. It’s often found in the most unlikely places.’

And isn’t that the gospel truth Friends! LOVE, the real thing that is, often crops up in places we least expect to find it. So please, in our travels today, let’s be aware, let’s keep a sharp eye out for the LOVE we might find in those unusual places.

And though some say that it’s money which makes the world go round, I believe it’s LOVE! Just look at the numerous households and places where there’s plenty money, but also lot’s of strife and little or no LOVE.

Meanwhile, in so many other households and places, where there’s little or no money, but the absence of strife is very notable, and true LOVE abounds in abundance! (smile) 

Oh Friends, our God is a most wonderful God, please believe that! But you won’t really experience Him in all His glory until you truly surrender yourself to His will and wise plan for your life. That’s when He shows up in bright and living colour!

In other words, God makes His move when we do as our Bit advises: ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’

And that’s the living truth, my brethren! I wouldn’t lead you astray. I’m talking from personal experience, not hearsay. When you put God first in your life and sincerely and diligently work towards obedience and His glorification, you’ll see wonders that you never dreamed of, or even imagined possible!

Yes Friends, until we come to God like Bruh David did in Psalm 38 – The prayer of a penitent heart – and earnestly declare: ‘For I am ready to halt (fall), and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity, I will be sorry for my sin.’ (Ps.38.17-18) We won’t fully experience the mercies and LOVING-kindness of our magnanimous God.

And He makes that abundantly clear from this passage in Isaiah, where he calls for repentance from His sinful people, Israel. ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat of the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:18-20)

Oh my brethren, it couldn’t be put any clearer and simpler than that. And believe me, that provision still stands today. That’s one of the reasons why our world is in such a disastrous mess; we are refusing and rebelling against the Lord.

And the scholars give us some good information, re those verses. ‘1:18-20. The prophet’s appeal to come and reason together reveals God’s gracious invitation to all men. It literally means to be “reasonable” by repenting and turning to God.

Their sin is described as scarlet and red like crimson, referring to their bloodguiltiness before God. The term crimson also means “worm,” referring to the colourfast red dye of the scarlet worm.

The eradication of this stain turns it snowy white and is symbolic of the life-changing grace of God, which delivers men from the guilt and condemnation of sin. Thus the prophet reminds his readers that God stands ready to cleanse and forgive all who turn to Him.’

And Friends, today, I’m re-reminding us of all of that! So please pay serious attention, for it can mean the difference between eternal life and eternal damnation!

And we’ll end with these most appropriate words from Bruh David from Psalm 19 – The creation and covenants of God. ‘Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great (much) transgression.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (rock), and my redeemer.’ (Ps.19:12-14)

Yes Friends, that is what we need to do today, as we make our pilgrim’s journey through this wicked and deceitful world! Let’s confess our sins, then ask for guidance to do what is right in the sight of the Lord.

If we’re sincere in our requests and desires, then His mercy and LOVING-kindness will be showered down on us, for that’s the faithful kind of Deity He is! Much LOVE!

…confession is good for the soul…and repentance leads to eternal life…

 

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