Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 December 2018 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.   ​Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 
So what’s up this Thursday morning eh my people? I do hope that we all gave sincere thanks and praise to our great God when we joyfully awoke to a new day. And then, asked for His wonderful and ever-trustworthy Spirit to lead and guide us on the straight and narrow path all through our eventful day.

In fact, that’s how we ought to begin each and everyday my believing brethren; with sincere thanks and praise and a strong desire to be led by the best guide in this evil and crazy world, the Holy Spirit of our Triune God! Amen! 

And then, having done that, we need to get out there and fight the good fight, run a strong race of endurance and perseverance in Jesus’ name, so that we can bring all the glory to our heavenly Father! That’s why our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ made the time immemorial statement in our Bit: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s all about showing our good works, to the heathen; living by shining example, walking our talk, so that they can see the great benefit in our way of life and come to the Lord for safety and succour, salvation and eternal life.

Here’s how Peter puts it: ‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation (conduct) honest (honourable) among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation…. 

For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness (evil), but as servants of God. Honour all men, LOVE the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.’ (1 Pet.2:11-12, 15-17) I didn’t say it friends, but Peter. (smile) And he walked with Jesus, so obviously he knew what Jesus desired of His followers. 

Now hear Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘And this I pray, that your LOVE may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement (discernment); That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil.1:9-13) 

Yes friends, as true believers we are expected to live up to a code of moral conduct and behaviour that lives up to God’s standards! No, Christianity is not an easy row to hoe, and Jesus made that quite clear; the world is evil and doesn’t like goodness, and we’d suffer just because we believed in Him, but He also promised that if we stayed true to His word, He would lead and guide us with His Holy Spirit and we’d come out the winners in this rat race called life. 

And again He specifies that all our good deeds are not for His glory, but for that of the Father. Listen to Him with the disciples: ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.’ (John 15:7-8) One proviso there though my people; we need to ask it all in Jesus’ name, doing it the way He wants it done, abiding by His will. 

And Listen to Jesus once again as His time had come and He prays for His own. ‘These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power (authority) over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 

And this is eternal life, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with (alongside) thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.’ (John 17:1-5) 

Yeh friends, our Lord and Saviour was preparing Himself to go to the cross, rise again and be glorified by the Father on our behalf, also bringing them back to the wonderful relationship they had before all the nonsense that sin caused in the world. And I think it’s only fitting that we consider this passage of scripture in showing Jesus’ desire to glorify His heavenly Father. 

In the immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made (coming) in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:5-11) 

That says it all friends! All our efforts on this earth ought to be aimed at glorifying our heavenly Father! Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, which our magnanimous heavenly Father have bestowed on those of us who try our best to glorify Him. 

All together in loud 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 since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone, let’s go out and share them nuh, like Jesus so greatly desires of us! Much LOVE!

…the Lord made man…to be a reflection of His wonderful attributes…and to glorify His Holy Name…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 October 2017 Romans 7:15.

Romans 7:15.   For that which I do, I allow not (I don’t understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Ah friends, it seems like I’m one of those who slept in this October Saturday morn! But mine was not by choice though, I just had no idea of the time. And I went to bed fairly early at that too. I’m trying to go to bed at a decent hour these days… Aren’t you proud of me? (smile) 

That’s because I believe one of my problems is simply not getting enough sleep. The only problem though is when I lie in bed too long, roughly over four hours, my ole back aches like mad when I do get up. But I guess we have to suffer something to gain something better. 

Anyway, I’m up now, and it’s Saturday, so let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.’ 

Now that might be true sometimes, but we have to be very careful of what others think we might want, because it just might not jive with God’s will for us. 

That leads us to this one: ‘You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.’ 

The first part makes sense, but the last part should definitely read ‘put your trust in the One and Only Jesus Christ!’ And if you do that, you certainly won’t do this next quote. ‘Don’t live a limited life.’ 

Yeh mih people, as true believers in Jesus, you will NEVER lead a limited life, because Jesus’ basic philosophy is for his followers to lead a full, abundant and productive life. Glory to God! 

And here is the last quote. ‘Integrity is when our words and deeds are consistent with our intentions.’ And is that ever so true my brethren! 

Unfortunately though, too many of us Christians, in these evil and godless times don’t have much integrity, because our words and deeds are not consistent with our intentions. That’s why so many unbelievers, as well as believers, see us as hypocrites! 

That’s the reason a lot of people, even supposed believers, use for not going to church; they don’t want to join a bunch of hypocrites in praising God. But yuh know what friends, all of us have some hypocritical element in us – not liking someone for some foolish reason, etc. etc. – so when we go to church, all we do, is add one more hypocrite to the bunch! (smile) 

But most of us won’t see it like that. And yes, it’s very possible to have good intentions and do evil deeds, as Bruh Paul declares in our Bit: ‘For that which I do, I allow not (I don’t understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.’ 

Yeh mih brethren, that’s just the unholy struggle between our two natures; our sinful and worldly one, and our spiritual and heaven-looking other. And as you can see, even Bruh Paul, with all his spirituality, got caught in the battle between those two strong attitudes.  

So it’s not like we are totally immune to the struggle being waged between our two natures. The lure of sin and its vapid pleasures are surely strong, but like a bodybuilder, we have to build our heavenly looking spirit so that it can stand strong and steadfast against our human nature. 

As we saw yesterday, the enemy is always on the lookout to steal our joy and have us feeling guilty and miserable. However, if we do, as the Good Book says, resist the devil and draw near to God, then we’ll usually come out victorious. 

Oh friends, we know that turning away from, resisting the things of the world is not easy, certainly not an easy row to hoe, but as with EVERYTHING else in this life, with God’s help, we can overcome. 

Please don’t ever forget this seminal, foundational, fruit-bearing, productive verse from Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘I can do ALL THINGS through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ ((Phil.4:13) 

Yes friends, until we truly believe that and totally incorporate it into our lives, our faith walk will not be as good as it ought to be, and we’ll be doing many more wrong things than we want to do, but not understanding why. 

And sadly, there’s no easy way around the struggle of our two natures. To overcome our natural sinful nature, we just have to gut it out, stick close to Jesus; consistently read His Word, constantly communicate with Him in prayer, and do our best to be obedient to His dictates. 

That means having on our spiritual armour at all times, and continually swinging the mighty, ever-sharp, two-edged sword of God’s Word in the face of the oncoming enemy to keep him at bay. 

Yes friends, to win this battle, we need to keep our wits about us ALL THE TIME, but with God’s help, we can certainly do it. Let’s remember that, and write it indelibly in our hearts, souls and minds, for it’s the foundation of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…ONLY with God’s help…can we win our earthly battles…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2017 Habakkuk 1:2.

Habakkuk 1:2.   O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!

Oh friends, welcome to this the first day of spring in the northern climes! 

Now isn’t that something wonderful for sore ears to hear on this crisp Monday morning? It surely is! But spring weather is not guaranteed friends; according to the weather forecasters, we should have a high of about 2 degrees Celsius and possibly a drizzle of rain in the morning hours. 

However, just like we’ve had much spring time weather in winter, the tables can, and most likely will be turned somewhat. But there’s nothing to worry about, for we have you covered with our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the antidote for all your Monday morning blues and woes and complaints. 

So let’s sing it like we truly mean it nuh; in strong voice and with lots of enthusiasm so that a big beautiful smile will have no alternative but to blossom on our choirmaster, Jesus’ face. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Wow friends! That was indeed wonderful! And a bright smile did blossom on Jesus’ face! Glory Be! I don’t know if it was the thought of spring being in the air or what, but we did make an impact on heaven this Monday morning. Praise the Lord! So let’s see if we can’t take that same adrenaline fuelled attitude out with us now and do some mighty deeds in Jesus’ name, as He desires and expects of us. 

But the reality of the situation my brethren is that it’s not an easy row to hoe. We might have all the good intentions in the world, but the evil enemy will not let us go forward without a fight. And as I was seeking a Bit this morning, I was drawn to the cry of the prophet Habakkuk back when Israel was in a most ungodly and evil state. ‘O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!’ 

Oh my people, tell me if Habakkuk’s description of Israel doesn’t very closely resemble that of our current world, as he continues his cry to the Lord? ‘Why dost thou show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance (trouble or toil)? for spoiling (plundering) and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife (there is strife) and contention. Therefore the law is slacked (powerless), and judgement (justice) doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about (surround) the righteous; therefore wrong (perverse) judgement proceedeth.’ (Hab.1:3-4) 

Yes friends, our world is indeed a perfect replica of Israel back then! The violence and strife and endless toil for insufficient pay, the plundering, the wickedness, the slackness of the law which inevitably leads to injustice, the widespread hunger, poverty, sickness and disease are all very prevalent in our time too; a time that’s been the most progressive since the Lord made man from the dust of the earth and breathed His breath of life into him. Steups! 

Ah Lord eh! What’s to become of our society eh friends? Let’s hope it’s not like what befell the Israelites, where God used the Babylonian Empire to teach them a lesson; destroy them and take them away captive. Let’s hope the Rapture, Jesus’ Second Coming, occurs before World War III breaks out, because at the rate we’re currently going, that last Great War seems unavoidable. 

But be not afraid my precious people of God, remember our Lord and Saviour’s promise. ‘Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Wow mih brethren! What a wonderful promise! And we all know that Jesus never reneges on any of His promises, so once we consistently abide in Him, and He in us, we’re set for eternity! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for His goodness to the undeserving children of men. Bless His Holy Name!’ 

Now friends, let’s go out and do His work without fear of the evil enemy, blessed by the confidence and assurance His word inspires in us. That’s what true followers and believers do. Much LOVE!

…stand up…stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2016 Isaiah 55:6

Isaiah 55:6.    Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.

Yo mih Scrip-Bit breddren! What’s up with us this glorious Wednesday morning on God’s great earth eh? I do hope that we are all excited about the day that’s going to be filled with an awesome downpour of heavenly blessings and mercies from our awesome God! 
 
Isn’t he something else my people? He surely is! Wonderful is His name! Providing such good stuff for us each and every day, walking with us along our way, leading and guiding us safely with comfort and undying LOVE, like the Good Shepherd that He is… 
 
Oh it just makes me want to cry out with joy, and shout ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ every time I think about His unfailing goodness and mercy towards me! And I know you all feel the same way too, otherwise you wouldn’t be the true and ardent followers of Jesus Christ that you are! 
 
Glory be, mih people! We have such a marvellous God, please, let’s do our very best to worship and honour Him with all our hearts, souls, mind and bodies nuh, for that is what He so rightly deserves. And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with great gusto, enthusiasm and sincerity of heart. 
 
As one wailer 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!’ 
 
Oh friends, oh friends, I don’t know about you all nuh, but I for one am exceedingly glad to be alive and kicking today! I haven’t seen my name in the obits, so it just means that I’ve been granted another glorious opportunity to live and work for Christ! 
 
And I know you’ll agree that there’s nothing better than that in this earthly life my brethren! He’s been so good to us that the least we can do to show our sincere appreciation is to live our lives on His behalf, spread the good news of His gospel, His great LOVE and faithfulness to all and sundry, His heartfelt call to each and everyone to come to Him and receive salvation and eternal life! 
 
Oh what could be better than that eh folks? Nothing really! But just remember that living for Jesus is not an easy row to hoe; it’s fraught with disappointments and problems, but if we stick with Him, keep our hands steadfast on the plough, always looking forward, He WILL enable us to do what is necessary. 
 
Our faith though, our desire to do His will must be real strong in order to overcome the lies and deceit the enemy will throw at us every living day. And that can only happen when we consistently read his Word, communicate with Him through prayer and be obedient to His will. That’s what strengthens our faith and trust. 
 
And for those of us who are struggling with our faith, possibly filled with some doubt and anxiety, here’s some interesting advice from our friend Anselm, who is always aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And Anselm tells us that ‘ Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.’ 
 
And that’s gospel truth friends! We can never move forward unless we let go of something behind us, of whatever is holding us back. Remember Jesus and all the prophets kept reminding us not to fear, for we are in the BEST of hands. 
 
And though we all know that that is easier said than done, it is possible if we confidently call on our great God for His awesome, never denied help. That’s why our Bit so wisely advises us to: ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.’ And that is such an awesome piece of wisdom my people! 
 
Now listen to how Isaiah begins that chapter of a free offer of mercy to all. ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 
 
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness (abundance). Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.’ (Is.55:1-3) 
 
Oh friends, where can we ever get a better offer than that eh? NOWHERE! 
 
And we’ll end with this explanation from the scholars. ’55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 
 
Oh my people, my people, the Lord kept His promise and established a covenant wit us Gentiles through His wonderful Son Jesus Christ! Now it’s our turn to do our part in keeping that covenant. 
Please, let’s allow wisdom to abound in our souls nuh, whereby we diligently and sincerely seek our wonderful God and call upon Him in confidence and trust, for that’s what He desires of us. Much LOVE!
 
…in all circumstances…whom shall we call first…Almighty God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2015 Luke 2:33

Luke 2:33.   And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.

Oh my people, this Sunday morning, the first after Christmas Day is the perfect opportunity for us to sing and ponder this song, sung by several artists. It’s titled ‘Mary Did You Know?’ 

Please sing along with me: ‘Mary did you know that your baby boy Will one day walk on water? Mary did you know that your baby boy Will save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your baby boy Has come to make you new? This child that you’ve delivered Will soon deliver you? Mary, did you know that your baby boy Will give sight to a blind man? 

Mary, did you know that your baby boy Will calm a storm with his hand? Did you know that your baby boy Has walked where angels trod? And when you kiss your little baby You’ve kissed the face of God. 

Oh, Mary did you know   Ooh…  The blind will see, the deaf will hear, The dead will live again The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, The praises of the lamb? Mary did you know that your baby boy Is Lord of all creation? Mary did you know that your baby boy Will one day rule the nations? Did you know that your Baby Boy Is Heaven’s perfect Lamb? This sleeping child you’re holding Is the great I am?’ 

Oh Friends, I don’t know how many of those things Mary knew, but I am sure she knew that her baby boy was very special, especially from the manner in which He was conceived! Then there were so many signs and wonders along the way, how could she not know that He would indeed be a mover and a shaker. 

As our Bit so pointedly puts it:  ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 

Now let’s look at some of the signs and wonders. First off is the manner in which she was apprised of the situation by the sudden appearance of the angel telling her that she had found favour with God and would conceive and bring forth a son to be called JESUS, who would be great and called the Son of the Highest (Most High) and the Lord God shall give him the throne of his father David. And the angel went on to explain how it would all come to pass. (Luke 1:27-38) 

Now if that didn’t give her some indication that something important was going to happen, then I don’t know what would have. And by the way, Mary was no simpleton, so her unhesitating agreement, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word,’ was more a matter of faith, rather than a lack of understanding. 

After that Mary went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who previously considered barren, was then some six months pregnant with John the Baptist. And when she entered Elisabeth’s house and greeted her, John jumped for joy in his mother’s womb. (smile) 

‘And Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me (why is it) that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ (Luke 1:41-45) 

Then Mary declared the awesome words we now call the Magnificat. ‘My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maid servant): for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.’ (Luke 1:46-48) You can read the rest of it for yourselves my people. It runs up to verse 56. 

And according to the scholars: ‘1:46-56. This passage is called “the Magnificat,” based on the first word of the Latin translation (the Vulgate). It is rich in Old Testament imagery: Jesus’ coming was in fulfillment of Old Testament promises.’  

So even if Mary wasn’t too sure of the situation, once she heard Elisabeth’s pronouncement and spoke the immortal words of the Magnificat, then spending three months with Elisabeth, she must have been aware that an event of great importance was going to take place in her life. 

I am sure too that Mary was quite relieved when most likely, she very anxiously told Joseph about her situation, because the consequences of adultery or fornication were great in those days, even leading to the stoning of the woman. 

But the Good Book tells us: ‘Then Joseph, her husband, being a just (upright) man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily (secretly). 

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.’ (Matt.1:19-21)  

Now all of that was done to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy re the virgin birth of a child called Immanuel, God with us. (Is.7:14, 9:6) 

‘Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife. And knew her not (kept her a virgin) till she brought forth her first-born: and he called his name JESUS.’ (Matt.1:24-25) 

And the scholars explain: ‘1:19-20. Because Joseph was a just man, he decided to put her away (divorce her) privately (“privily”). The Jewish betrothal had to be legally broken. Joseph’s merciful attitude gives an insight into his true nature as a man.’ 

Yes friends, it wasn’t an easy row for either Mary or Joseph to hoe with the Saviour of man placed in their laps, but hoe it they did, with strength, wisdom, faith and obviously the Lord’s help. May we go forward on our own row today doing the same thing, of course with Jesus’ help. 

And we’ll continue Mary’s story tomorrow, God willing. Till then may we rest in the peace, comfort, joy and LOVE of our heavenly Father. Much LOVE!

…it’s Sunday…and still the Christmas season…so please let’s fill the churches with people…giving thanks and praise to God…as we ought to…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 June 2015 Philippians 4:6

Philippians 4:6. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Aye Friends, welcome to another day in the unfolding of God’s great universe! It is unfolding as it should. We might not think it logical or understand it, but all we need to know is that God is still on the throne, and still in control of what He made. His thoughts and abilities are way higher than ours, so our small, finite minds won’t be able to comprehend all that’s going on.

Be not afraid though, for everything is working to plan; God’s plan that is. Just rest in the comfort and reassurance of His tender, forgiving and merciful embrace and allow the Holy Spirit that dwells within you to lead and guide you on the straight and narrow path that leads to our heavenly Father. End of sermon. (smile)

And now, on this wet and cloudy Tuesday morning in my area, here’s a simple but powerful prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Shuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘I WILL MOVE…’ I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, because it doesn’t even look familiar to me. Hn! And I’ve been reading the book for several years now.

Anyway, please pray with me: ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’

Oh my people, what true and wonderful sentiments! That’s just what I was saying earlier; putting your hope and trust in Almighty God is the only wise and sensible way to proceed in this mish-mash thing we call life. Without His involvement in our lives we are simply powerless and rudderless, aimlessly drifting on a tossing sea of sin and sinfulness, which augurs no good whatsoever to anybody.

But with Jehovah God in our lives, as Gramps Schuller so rightfully declares, we keep moving ahead in an exciting life, filled with hope, glory, strength and success!

And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Glory to God! Praise Him for His wonderful LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ Yes Friends, that we certainly ought to do, for our God does deserve much reverence and thanksgiving! 

And talking about reverence and thanksgiving, listen to our Bit, which details it marvellously for us. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’

Without a doubt my brethren, the wise way is always to bring everything to God in prayer with much thanks for all that He’s done and still doing for us.

And the scholars offer this information on our Bit. ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) (‘The Lord is at hand’) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern.

The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in everything, “in every matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’

Ah Friends, unfortunately too many of us don’t put that advice in to action, therefore we are worried and anxious about all sorts of things. I guess it depends on the level of faith to which we have attained; meaning the greater our faith, the more we submit or adhere to the programme.

Consequently we need to build our faith so that going to God with EVERYTHING in prayer with thanksgiving becomes an automatic action in our lives. And I can tell you from personal example, it works my brethren, it truly works!

You might not always get the answer you want, or even deserve, but if you follow the leading of God’s Spirit that dwells within you, you will seldom go wrong. It won’t always be an easy row to hoe, but it will be definitely interesting and worthwhile.

And in support of our Bit, let’s look at some defining scriptures. First up is Jesus’ profound pronouncement from the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?’ (Matt.6:25)

And the scholars offer this splendid explanation of that verse. ‘6:25. Jesus now deals with the equally dangerous tendency of those who have few possessions: worry! Take no thought (Gr. me merimnao) means “Do not be anxious.” This word means to be so disturbed about material needs that we distrust God and are distracted from faithfully doing His will.

Anxious care is the direct opposite of faith. Therefore, even the poor are not to worry needlessly about what they should eat, drink, or wear. The question Is not life more than meat, and the body more than raiment? indicates that inner mental stability must come from the spirit of a man and not from outward physical provisions.

To set one’s heart on material possessions or to worry about the lack of them is to live in perpetual insecurity and to deprive oneself of the spiritual blessings of God.’

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. That’s why so many of us are so insecure. We place too much emphasis on the material things of life; worry too much about them, and work too hard to acquire them. We do need them, but listen to Jesus further on the issue.

‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) And if you are a person of faith, a true believer in Christ, then you will understand that if you do the will of God, Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our Provider, will indeed provide for all our material wants and needs.

It’s all a matter of faith, my brethren. Believe and you will not worry, and will be amply provided for. Do not believe, then you will worry, be anxious and stress yourself out, and still not be sure of having all your needs met. And on that most important note, we’ll end today’s message.

Oh Friends, I implore us to have faith, or to raise the level of our faith, so that we won’t have the unnecessary worry and concern that comes with lack of faith. That is the wisdom of both heaven and earth. Much LOVE!

…why walk in worry…when one can walk worry free in faith…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2015 Romans 8:1‏

Romans:8:1.     There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Well Friends, that wonderful day we call Monday has rolled around once again! Wow!

And yuh know what? I’ve just finished reading the obits and I didn’t see any of our names there. That means we’re still alive and kicking and the Lord still has wonderful plans for our earthly lives! Glory Be! Yes mih people, all glory to our wonderful God and Heavenly Father!

And I do hope that when we got up we gave Him some much appreciated thanks for getting us safely through the night and asked for His safety and guidance as we begin another week of work.

And all you sourpusses out there, who are still miserable and complaining when Monday comes, wake up and be wise nuh. There’s not much we can do about it, so we might as well accept it as a fait accompli, a fact of life and get with the programme. (smile) You’re only making yourself and those around you miserable unnecessarily.

And now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, (smile) let’s get to singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn which is guaranteed to get our spirits up and our adrenalin running.  As one big choir now, with much gusto and plenty chutzpah:

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’

Now that was most excellent Friends! One of the best renditions we’ve done in long while. Our august choirmaster Jesus, was very proud of us, so much so that He even high-fived the Father, saying with a big grin, ‘That’s my people!’ (smile) Yes Friends, that sort of thing goes on in heaven when we do excellently down here on earth.

So let’s get out there and work diligently and faithfully on Jesus’ behalf nuh, so that we can raise some more joy in heaven. And all God’s people said a loud and sincere: ‘Yes, let’s do it!’

But you know what my brethren? Before we can do ought for Jesus, we have to first read, mark, believe, digest and put our Bit into practice. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’

That’s the absolute truth! We are powerless until we truly believe that our sins have been paid for by the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross. That means we have been set free from the bondage of sin and are no longer condemned. The Father no longer considers us unseemly outcasts, but prodigal children who have finally come to their senses and have returned to the family home.

Obviously He welcomes us with open arms and there is much celebration in heaven when a wayward child returns to the roost.  But then we have to learn to give up the old lifestyle we originally embraced and take up the new one that’s prescribed by Jesus. That’s walking not after the things of the flesh, the lusts of this world, but being led and guided by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God which comes to indwell us when we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour. 

Oh my people, living for Jesus, resisting and rejecting the evil, as well as the material and worthless things of the world, is not an easy row to hoe, but believe me, the rewards are well worth the effort.

Now let’s look at some scripture that ties in admirably with our Bit. This is Bruh Paul writing earlier on in the epistle to the Romans. ‘Now if we be dead (died) with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once (once and for all): but that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Likewise reckon ye (consider) also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through (in) Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield (present) ye your members as instruments (weapons) of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield (present) yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments (weapons) of righteousness unto God.’ (Rom.6:8-13)  

Yeh Friends, I know that’s a mouthful from Bruh Paul, but here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘6:11. Reckon (Gr. logizesthe, “reckon, take into account, calculate”). The believer is to calculate all the facts as to his identification with Christ and his separation from sin, then live accordingly.’

‘6:12. Let not (lit, “stop letting”). The believer is to stop letting sin have mastery over his life.’ ‘6:13. Neither yield ye (lit. “stop presenting”): In the day to day confrontation with sin, stop giving in. But yield (lit. “present yourselves”): Paul calls for a determined commitment.’

Ah Friends, we all know that the things of the world are bright and flashy and tend to attract and drive our sinful nature, but if we want to be true disciples of Jesus, we have to make a special effort to reject sin and all that it stands for. And our God is so wonderful and well organized that He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in us to enable us to do it.

The problem though is that we have to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, because He will not force His will on us. That means it’s up to us to get serious and buckle down to the bidding of the Holy Spirit, if we’re to be truly children of God. Let’s wake up to right thinking and right living nuh my people, for that is indeed wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…humans struggle with two natures…one that tends toward sin and the things of the world…and another that looks to righteousness and the things of God…the latter is by far the much better one to adopt…