Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 August 2022 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20. Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.

Oh friends, can you believe it’s already the second of August? August just began yesterday, and we’re already into the second day. (smile) But that’s what life is all about, moving forward, and as such we can only live one day at a time, so please let’s put some more energy into living each day as fully and as godly as possible nuh. It’s all for our benefit! 

That’s one of the reasons why Christ sacrificed His sinless and holy life on the cross, so that we could live an abundant life right down here on earth, and not wait until we get to heaven to enjoy His many blessings. And many of us don’t enjoy the good life because we believe that we were not meant to enjoy life on earth, but that’s oh so wrong. The kingdom of God begins right here on earth when we believe, surrender and put our sincere trust in Christ Jesus! 

Please, let’s put these significant and magnificent words of Jesus at the centre of our hearts, minds and souls this Tuesday morning nuh. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) Yes my faithful brethren, Jesus came that we might enjoy this earthly life, even though it may be difficult and unpredictable. 

Listen to these marvellous words of His nuh. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Wow mih people! What an awesome statement! And if you’re a sincere believer then you know His words are true and thus there is no need to live anxious and afraid, or not to enjoy the life He’s so graciously granted us down here on earth. 

Too many of us go about sad and despondent, without hope and faith, especially when tough times come against us. But friends, that’s the very purpose of hope and faith; to be able to handle those hard times successfully. That’s why we have such awesome promises like ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And then there’s this big and ever powerful promise that covers everything. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) What a magnificent promise and encouraging word! It gives us the faith and strength to believe that even if things don’t work out good for us every day, in the long run though, our great God will make it all come together for our benefit. 

But we have to believe, to truly believe and put all Jesus’ promises into action if we are to live the abundant life that He died for us to have. We just can’t be wishy washy Christians, going about like the world with no sense of purpose, but we must be sincere, diligent, purposeful, and always eagerly expecting good things to happen. Like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) says: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today. And something good is going to happen through me today!’ 

Yes, that’s what Christ died to give us, ‘an expected end, a future and a hope.’ But we have first have to take hold of it and then hold on to it tightly. It won’t just fall into our laps and stay there and automatically lift us up. No! We have to put forth the effort to enjoy the benefits. Remember, we are in partnership with God, meaning that both partners have a job to do to make the partnership successful. 

And the fact is that God has already done His part, giving us Jesus to ensure that salvation and good fellowship with Him is possible. Now it’s time for us to do our part and accept His awesome but also free gifts of grace, mercy, salvation and everlasting life in His magnificent presence! Nothing else in the whole wide world can be better than that! Nothing else even comes close my people! 

However, we are doing ourselves and Christ a big disservice when we don’t sincerely take up His promises and live the lives He desires us to live. In other words, we’re making His sacrifice of no real importance, insinuating that He wasted His precious time and life to come to earth to save us woeful sinners. And refusing the gifts that Jesus died for us to have is the biggest insult, the most woeful crime or sin we can ever commit, especially if we go around telling others that we are Christians, followers of Christ, and don’t truly live for Him. 

But that’s what many of us do, live a hypocritical life, and why Christianity isn’t taken as seriously as it ought to be. Remember friends, we are Christ’s ambassadors down here, and whatever we project will reflect on Him. And if we don’t project the right thing, salt and light, then no one will ever want to come Him, because they would have seen nothing in us that makes it worthwhile. 

And the last thing Jesus told us to do was to ‘go out and make disciples of all the nations of the world, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

Now my fellow saints in Christ, the question is, are we doing as Jesus asked, to the best of our ability? And if we’re truthful, we’ll all answer a resounding, ‘NO!’ Because we are not bearing enough good fruit. And what did Jesus say about bearing good fruit? ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ (Matt. 7:23) So please, let’s take some time today to ponder our fruit bearing situation nuh; see if we are bearing any fruit at all, and if so, is it good or bad. That’s our homework for today. (smile) 

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

It’s now our bounden duty to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…Christianity is like Jesus showed it…LOVE and compassion in action… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 October 2021 John 14:6.

John 14:6.     I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

And then it was Tuesday; another bright sunshiny, though somewhat chilly day in my area. But who cares what the physical day looks like eh, when we’ve got our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to brighten it up in all circumstances eh? Ah mih people, I do hope that we are realizing just how important Jesus is to us, especially in these dangerous and unprecedented times, for without Him, we don’t stand a chance of defeating the numerous problems that are currently facing us. 

He is the ONLY One who can bring us some sort of peace and comfort within the depths of the storm! He is the ONLY One who can help us to carry the back-breaking burdens so many of us bear! And He is the ONLY One who can offer us the free and marvellous gift of salvation, of resurrection from the dead and a glorious life with Him in heaven when our feeble and fragile earthly body returns to the dust from whence it originally came! So, bearing in mind all of that, how important is He to you eh? I hope your immediate and most emphatic answer is ‘Mucho, Mucho Importante!’ (smile) 

And if you claim to be one of His followers and He isn’t very important, or rather of the utmost importance in your life, then something is seriously wrong with your belief system. Please remember this conversation that Jesus had with the disciples. He told them: ‘And whither I go ye know (talking about His return to heaven), and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:4-6) 

And don’t forget this other attribute, when He said to the disbelieving Pharisees: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) Therefore friends, if Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life and the Light, how can anything or anybody be more important than Him in our lives eh? No way! Not if we are His sincere followers. 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that certify that Jesus was indeed all those things He claimed, beginning with the Way. Before He came sins were paid for with animal sacrifices, and the high priest entered the holiest of holies once a year to offer prayers for himself and the people. But after Jesus was crucified and the veil was torn down that separated the holiest of the holies from the other parts of the temple, Jesus became the Way, the sacrifice, once and for ALL time for ALL sin! 

No more sacrificing of animals for forgiveness, or the high priest going into the holiest of holies once a year. Forgiveness and salvation were now accomplished through Christ! As Hebrews tells us: ‘Having therefore brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.’ (Heb. 10:19-20) Yes friends, Jesus is indeed ‘the new and living way by which believers have direct access into the very Holy Place of God.’ With Jesus seated at God’s right hand, we don’t need anybody else to intercede for us. We can personally go in His blessed name. 

And as per the Truth, John tells us in no uncertain terms. ‘And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth… For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.’ (John 1: 14, 17) Yuh see that people, grace and truth only came with Jesus. before that there was only the law, which was abused by man for their own evil and selfish purposes. But grace and truth could not be used thus. 

And Jesus Himself claimed truth came from Him. Listen as he speaks to the Jews who believed on Him. ‘If ye continue (abide) in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’ (John 8:31-32) Oh people of God, only if we abide in the Word of Jesus can we ever know the truth, and nothing but the truth, for He is the truth, and if you don’t know Him, you won’t know truth! It’s not complicated at all. (smile) 

And furthermore, hear Jesus as He talks to Pilate. ‘Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest (rightly) that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.’ (John 18:37) That means, if you don’t know Jesus and hear His voice, then you don’t know the truth! 

And per the Life, listen to Jesus talk to Martha before He raised her brother Lazarus from the dead. ‘Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ (John 11:23-26) 

And as the scholars explain: ‘11:25. I am the resurrection is one of Jesus’ greatest “I am” statements, signifying His power to give eternal life.’ Consequently friends, if you’re seeking eternal life, then you must go through Jesus, for that’s the only way to get it! (smile) 

And if you want to dispute about ‘no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,’ then listen to these pertinent and most decisive scriptures. This one from Bruh Paul’s first letter to Timothy. ‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.’ (1 Tim. 2:5-6) Jesus died at the right time, giving proof that God wanted all men to be saved. 

Now listen to Jesus as He spoke the parable about being the Good Shepherd and the people not understanding Him. (John 10:1-6) ‘Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:7-11) 

And that’s exactly what Christ did friends; He gave His life, as the Good Shepherd for us sinful sheep! And if we don’t appreciate it and consequently live for Him, then we’re only fooling ourselves and headed down the path of destruction and eternal separation from God. There’s no more that I can say to convince you of Jesus’ utmost importance in your life. 

However, for those of us who do believe and are trying to live a suitable life, then let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

That means we must now go out and share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do, because He is ever so essential in everyone’s life! Much LOVE!

…to put it simply…without Jesus…we are nothing…                                                                                                      

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 October 2020 John 10:17.

John 10:17.     ​Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

Break open Saturday…wide and free…sunny and bright, but somewhat chilly, as most of the days henceforth will be! (smile) But that’s just how life is, how it was made to unfurl in the northern climes, and we just have to make the best of it with the tools we’ve been given. And believe me, we can do so successfully, if we just settle down and concentrate on the Lord for He’s already given us all the tools we need to be successful. He wouldn’t create us and then leave us in the lurch. That’s definitely not His style. 

Remember these immortal words of Jesus: ‘The thief cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have live, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) Wow mih bredrin! What an amazing promise! But as always, we have to go out and receive it, make it come true, through our sincere, godly efforts. Sermon done! (smile) 

Now let’s see what words of wisdom our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Success is a process that continues, not a status that you reach. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.’ And that is ever so true! Success doesn’t just stop when you reach the top of the hill; it’s a continuous learning curve. What happens if you stop when you’re on top eh? You lose all motivation, you get lazy and apathetic, then you slowly start sliding back down to the bottom. To stay on top, you have to be continuously learning and improving in some area(s). 

As the quote says, once we’re alive, there are always things for us to learn…if we want to stay truly alive. (smile) And that’s why this next one is such good advice. ‘Don’t settle for mediocrity; never let good enough be good enough.’ Oh friends, is that ever gospel truth, especially if you’re a believer in Christ, because Christ does not do mediocrity! In his realm it’s either excellence or nothing at all! But so many of us, beset by the troubles and trials of this world settle for just good enough. That’s wrong my people. The Lord made us to excel, not to come in second, to make it just by the skin of our teeth. That’s the world’s way, not the Christian’s! 

As believers we should always be fighting to reach higher ground as we do Jesus’ work. And that nicely segues us into the next quote. ‘No matter how good you get you can always get better, and that’s the exciting part.’ That’s for certain sure precious people of God! There is always room for improvement. And when we believe that, then learning and growing gets exciting, especially if we’re living for Christ. 

Now, living for Christ is always somewhat difficult, but we know that living for Him is also always interesting and adventurous. So let’s hold on tightly to Him and all that He has and provides nuh, so that we can live the more abundant and excellent life that He expects from us and died for us to have. And the good thing about Jesus is that He does not expect whopping big miracles and deeds from us, but just that we do our daily, mundane tasks with a good attitude, a sense of pride and fulfillment, even though the everyday tasks are often boring and same old, same old. 

And that’s where this next quote comes in: ‘Small daily improvements over time lead to stunning results.’ That’s the magic formula my people! A little every day, eventually adds up to a great amount. As mih Jamaican bredrin would say: ‘One one cocoa full basket.’ And that’s the living truth! The problem with our society these days is that we all want to reach to the top, but too quickly. We don’t realize that if we don’t grow to the top, when we get there we won’t stay there. 

Just look at all the one hit wonders, all those who flew to the top on a jet plane. Hn! And what happened eh? They descended with just the same speed…or even quicker. But those who do their time in the trenches and learn what life is really all about, knowing that it takes a while to reach the top, when they get there, they will know what it takes to stay there. 

Yuh see friends, real life is all about learning and growing. It’s just like planting a seed. You have to wait for it to grow; it doesn’t just grow up overnight. But all the while you have to LOVE and nurture it; water and weed around it. That’s how we ought to treat our lives, LOVING and nurturing them as we patiently grow them. 

And this last quote gives us some invaluable advice on the whole subject. ‘A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.’ Yeh friends, real leaders help others to grow! Leadership is not about us, but about those who are following us. That’s why Jesus is such a wonderful leader. He cares about those who follow Him more than he cared about Himself. That’s why He sacrificed Himself on the cross at Calvary for a bunch of no good sinners like us. 

Yuh think He really wanted to die such a horrible death? No way! But the Father asked, and there was no other way, so He went obediently like a lamb to the slaughter. That’s what true leaders do; sacrifice themselves for their people, not ask their people to sacrifice themselves while they sit quietly by and enjoy the fruits of that sacrifice. And I believe that’s the best way to judge a leader; by what he or she is willing to sacrifice for the movement. 

And another thing about leaders, they must be able to follow. Yes friends, you can’t truly lead, unless you first know how to follow. Then you know how following feels, and that then enables you to lead properly. Sadly, that means that many leaders today are not real leaders because most of them don’t know how to follow, and are calling on others to sacrifice for them, but they themselves are not willing to sacrifice for the cause. But our Leader, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ did just that! He knew how to follow too. And that’s why He’s the greatest Leader the world has ever, and will ever see! 

These words of His will prove my contention. ‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (John 10:17-18) 

That’s true leadership my people! Jesus had the power, but He did not abuse it, as so many of today’s so-called leaders do. And He was willing to sacrifice for the cause. But He also knew how to follow because He was always obedient to the Father. As the Good Book says: ‘He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Eph. 2:8b) Now that’s the example we need to go out and do our best to follow. We won’t ever perfect it, but we’re certainly expected to try. Much LOVE!

…God’s people… learn and grow…bit by bit…as He moves them…from glory to glory… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2015 John 14:27

John 14:27.  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Well mih lovelies, it’s the first day of the week, Sunday!  And would you know that all the church bells are tolling, inviting the faithful to come and sing and praise and worship the Lord, to fellowship with those of like belief, and receive the many blessings which come from engaging in those activities!

Wow! What a mouthful Friends, but nonetheless, very true sentiments. So let’s put on our Sunday best and get us hither to the sanctuary and rejoice with loud voice in our Creator and our God, for it is indeed the wise thing to do.

And speaking of Sunday best clothing, I remember the olden days when everybody dressed up to go to church, some possibly overdressed too.  (smile) You wouldn’t be caught dead in church with shorts and jeans and sloppy attire.

Now it’s true that back then there was possibly too much emphasis on your clothing, and technically speaking, the Lord cares more about the state of our hearts than our dress, but I’m sure He still appreciates and prefers to see a congregation praising and worshipping Him looking good. It does say something about the people’s prosperity and reflects well on the Lord’s largesse.

If you see people gathering to worship a Deity and they are all looking sloppy, poor and downtrodden, why would you want to join them eh? All I’m saying though is that when we go to church we ought to look as decent as we can.

Now yesterday at our church, St. Francis in Meadowvale, we held a celebration for peace around the Peace Pole on the lawn of the property. Or as the bulletin put it: ‘The Diverse Voices in Meadowvale United in One Voice for Peace.’ We prayed for Peace in our World, our Country, in our Community and in our Families.  And then we set free some painted lady butterflies to commemorate the occasion.

We were also graced with the presence of City Councilor Pat Saito celebrating with her annual barbecue and answering the many questions her constituents had. All in all, it was a very pleasant and successful venture.  

Now here is one of the quotes from the peace service bulletin that I never knew, but which took my breath away and captured my heart. It’s attributed to Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) the Indian peace activist and leader of the fight for Indian Independence from Britain. He reputedly said: ‘The day the power of LOVE overrules the LOVE of Power, the world will know peace.’

Mama Mia! I like it! And it’s also very true.  The only problem though, is when will that blessed day come eh? Most likely not before the majestic return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who spoke the most celebrated words on the somewhat ephemeral and hard to capture or attain subject of  peace.

Listen to our Messiah in today’s Bit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’

Wow, mih breddren! What encouraging and reassuring words! And please notice the most important words in the promise ‘not as the world giveth…’ Yes Friends, our Leader is not of this world, so the peace He offers is way different to that which the world acclaims. And because His peace is different to that of the world, we don’t need to be worried, anxious or afraid of anything or anyone in the world.

Now how do you like them beans eh? (smile) I LOVE them, and sure hope you do too, because if you don’t, then your life here on earth will be miserable and fearful. And that’s definitely not what our Saviour came to give us. He said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10)

Yes my people, our Saviour came that we should enjoy this earthly life, not to live it cowed and broken. That’s why when we are filled with the peace that He offers, we won’t be terrified of life, but will take the bull by the horns and run life, instead of letting life run us.

Oh Friends, like the ole fella’s in fine form this Sunday morning, obviously being led by the Holy Spirit. Glory to God! Now let’s look at some scripture passages that deal with the very elusive term called peace. And we’ll set the scene with the well-known words of Cousin Sol in his role as the Preacher or Teacher in Ecclesiastes.

‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven… A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ ((Eccl.3:1, 8) There’s no disputing those facts Friends, the only problem is that the time for peace seems to be taking rather long to come.

Then we have this very wise advice from Bruh David from Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. ‘Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.’ (Ps.34:14)

Yuh see my brethren, peace is something we ought to actively seek out, to pursue, for it doesn’t just come about automatically. It is a lifestyle that we definitely have to be actively interested in and then get actively involved in. And the peace we’re talking about here is the peace of Jesus, not that of the world.

And we’ll end with the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. He’s talking about Christ being the only judge, therefore we should not judge each other, in this case in the things that we eat. ‘For the kingdom of God is not meat (food) and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost… Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify (build up) another.’ (Rom.14:17, 19) 

Oh Friends, with those wise words and thoughts uppermost in our minds this Sunday morning, let’s ponder them as they pertain to our individual lives nuh, and then make the necessary improvements, of course with the help of our magnanimous, gracious and merciful God. Much LOVE!

…if we have no peace…it is because we have forgotten…that we belong to each other…  (Mother Teresa)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2015 Romans 12:2‏‏

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

So Friends, it’s Saturday! What’s cooking? No I don’t mean what’s on the fire literally cooking, like pigeon or gungo peas soup, or callaloo – the T&T kind made with dasheen bush, or the Jamdown kind made with spinach, or even some rice and peas and curry goat, a roti or bread and shark… 

And what about some ackee and saltfish, some patties, or even a big cooking oil tin filled with curry crab and some big, cartwheel dumplings, or even some flying fish eh… Mama Yo!  

But that sounds like a rather good West Indian menu though. As I keep telling these northerners the best tasting, the sweetest food in the world comes from the West Indies. And you better believe that they have come to realize that I was right, because if you see them nowadays in the West Indian restaurants and food stores, buying up we food.

And just talking about it, I know that mouths are watering for a taste of one, or many, or all of those delicious meals! (smile) And why not, is excellent food!

But that’s a different story for another day. I meant what’s happening in our lives, how are we handling the situations that currently exist, be they good, bad or indifferent? Are we anxious, fretting and stressing ourselves over them, or are we calmly going to Jesus with our problems, and being prisoners of hope, waiting with expectant faith for His answers? I do hope it’s the latter scenario, because that’s the only one that befits a follower of Jesus Christ.

Yeh Friends, we all know that putting that stuff into practice in this selfish, evil, ungodly world is much easier said than done, but as Christians we are expected to do it, because it’s all a part of our faith, our pilgrim’s journey. That’s why Christ came to earth and died, so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin that this world has us locked up in.

As Jesus says, when referring to the sheep of His pasture and His role as the Good Shepherd: ‘The thief cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10)

Oh my people, that is such a mighty statement, but to have life like Jesus gives it, one must become a whole new creature by shaking of the shackles of sin that’s keeping us in total bondage. And to do that we have to start in our minds, like our Bit says. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

Ah mih breddren that’s gospel truth, for we can’t make any serious or lasting changes in our lives without first processing it through our minds and then keeping the other stuff out of them. But please note that all of that can only happen with God’s help. So why don’t we start making those changes right now eh Friends?

That’s provided you truly and seriously want to be freed from the shackles of sin that now bind you. But you have to go to Jesus in faith and believe that He, His precious blood spilled on Calvary can cleanse you, and then do your part, for it’s a two way street.

As Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17)  

As the scholars further explain: ‘5:17. When a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation” (cf. John 3:3; 15:5; Rom.8:1,9; Gal.6:14-15) and perceives Christ in a new way, making a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation, bringing new things into being.’

And Peter puts that transformation thus: ‘Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.’ (1 Pet.4:1-2)

Yes Friends, that’s how a follower of Christ is expected to live his or life; by the will of God, not by the lusts of men!

And in closing, let’s listen to Bruh Paul tell the Ephesians about living the new life in Christ. ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour; for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with malice: and be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:23-32)

And there we have it Friends, a general guide of how Christians ought to live. Now do we live like that, or anywhere close to it? I’d say no. That’s why we have such a bad reputation amongst the heathen. We spout a whole lot of scripture, but then live a completely different life style.

But it is possible to live much closer to those ideals than we currently do. So please my people, let’s wake up and get our act together nuh, if we want to bring others to Jesus, rather than drive them away as we’re doing now. Much LOVE!

…for Christians to bring people to Christ…we have to begin living more Christ-like lives…practice more of what we preach…

 

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2014 John 10:10

John 10:10. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 

Oh Friends, it’s been a Willie Shakespeare kind of night, in the sense of when he says in one of his plays – don’t remember which one – to go to bed late is to be up early. Hn, Hn! Well I was up very early because I went to bed very late, around 3:30 a.m. (smile)
 
Anyway mih people, what I want to say is that the last couple of days can be numbered amongst some of the best of my life. That’s because it’s the first time my brother and I have spent so much time continually together.
 
We were always Friends, but never hung out much together, and the thirty years I spent away from Tobago, in exile in the North Country, obviously reduced those opportunities.
 
However mih breddren, the Good Lord, our Creator and sure Provider, in His usual mysterious way, in His unending wisdom and overflowing grace, thirty odd years later has provided a surprise get together. Mama Mia! All thanks and praise to Him!
 
One day, a couple weeks ago, right out of the blue, I received an e-mail from my niece saying that her parents were coming to Canada. And they’ve been here with us the last two days, and oh my people, it’s been such a blast!
 
There hasn’t been that much laughter, merriment and family togetherness in the house for a while, because in this busy society everybody is usually off doing their own thing. But yuh know what Friends?
 
These last couple of days have shown me what Jesus truly means when He says in our Bit: ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’
 
It’s family life Friends, family togetherness He was talking about. That’s basically it. When family and friends and fellow believers get together and enjoy each other’s company under the overwhelming influence of Jesus, then life truly is graced and gifted with abundance.
 
I don’t believe Jesus was referring so much to the abundance of physical treasure and pleasures, but more to the abundance of soulful and spiritual enlightenment. And again we see Jesus emphasizing togetherness, when He says: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20)
 
And what we often forget, especially in this current selfish, cut-throat, greedy society, is that God’s greatest desire is that ALL should come to salvation; that we should live as ONE, in LOVE, joy and tenderness towards each other, as a part of His one, big, collective family. Otherwise He wouldn’t have sacrificed His One Son Jesus, to pay the price for our abominable sins.
 
And believe me people, Jesus did pay and enormous, a terribly high price to free us from the bondage of sin. Every time I consider what He went through to save us unworthy, ungrateful wretches, the very thought of His immense ‘sufferation’ hurts my heart.
 
But then, on the other side of the equation, I’m oh so thankful and grateful that He paid that exacting price, because it shows that the Father and Him truly LOVED, and still LOVES me!
 
This brings to mind Jesus’ directive: ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ (John 12-14) 
 
Then He went out and did exactly that – sacrificed Himself on the cross for us. Bless His Holy Name!
 
But please remember that one proviso: “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ So if we’re not obedient to the will of Jesus, then we’re not His friends.
 
And sadly, that means a great proportion of mankind are not friends of Jesus, since we have so rudely and foolishly removed Him from all areas of our lives; at home, at work, at school and at play.
 
But Friends, Jesus is the eternal optimist. He believed in the saying that if you build it, they will come. So He died to give us the wonderful opportunity to come to Him in LOVE and togetherness.
 
And staying with that theme of togetherness and abundant life, let’s look at a scripture that appropriately describes it. It deals with Bruh Paul at Troas. ‘And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached (spoke) unto them, ready to depart on the morrow (the next day); and continued his speech (message) until midnight.’ (Acts 20:7)
 
Again, it was a coming together of the disciples to celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
 
Oh my fellow believers, there can be no greater joy than when Jesus is amongst, reigns supreme in the lives of a group of people! That’s when the abundant life truly kicks in, and why we need to take togetherness more seriously than we currently do, both as family and fellow believers.
 
Oh my people, being obedient to Jesus so that you can be numbered amongst His friends, is not always easy. In fact it can be very rough at times, when the Lord chooses to test us. But remember that He’s promised to ALWAYS work things out for our good.
 
And I can tell you from personal experience, that if you sincerely try to live obedient to God, then you WILL certainly lead an interesting, adventurous and exciting life, filled with wonder and amazement!
 
And how can we not eh, when our lives are constantly connected to: God’s Faith, God’s Grace, God’s Favour, God’s Blessings, God’s Mercy, God’s Forgiveness, and God’s undying LOVE!
 
So please my brethren, let’s get our acts together, and COME TOGETHER IN LOVE AND OBEDIENCE TO JESUS! That’s the wisdom of all the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…and now abideth…faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… 
 
P.S. Oh Friends, I surely hope that this Bit makes sense yes, stands together as a structural whole. But even if it doesn’t, I know that you all are smart enough to pick sense from nonsense. (smile) Much LOVE!