Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2019 John 15:11.

John 15:11.   ​These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
 

What a lousy, miserable, pain filled night! Yes mih first born, the ole fella complaining! (smile) And I’m sure if you had a night like I had, you’d complain too! Can’t find a comfortable position in which to sleep, because everyone I try, some ole broken down joint cried out in anguish. Then having to get up every couple hours to go to the bathroom, courtesy of the radiation treatment. 

Steups! Is a good thing this radiation nonsense finish this week yes! Couldn’t handle no more of it nuh. Is since May I’ve been going down to the hospital every blooming day for the treatment. Now is July, time for it to done oui! And the sad part is that I try to stay away from the pain killers, since I’m already a walking pharmacy (smile) but this morning I had no choice, had to get some of father’s li’l helpers to keep the ole bod moving sprightly. And that’s my rant for this morning! (smile) 

Now here is what we should all be having…JOY! Yes friends, that’s the watchword for today – JOY! And we’ll check it out from a poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. Please pray with me: ‘JOY! My favourite word. Circumstances may determine my happiness But, Lord, You determine my joy. Joy is sweetly honest. No wonder the minister said: “You can’t hide joy if you have it – You can’t fake it if you don’t.” Who can manufacture it, Lord? Joy is Your creation. Who may have it? Anyone who asks. Thank You, Lord For JOY!’ 

Yes mih people, JOY is of the Lord! And as the poem says, anyone one who wants it can have it, they just have to ask for it! Now are we asking the Lord for joy? Or are we merely living with happiness determined by our earthly circumstances? I certainly hope we are doing the former because that is what Christians ought to have; it’s what Christ died for us to have. 

Hear these immortal words of our Lord and Saviour nuh, while talking to the disciples about Him being the vine and they the branches, who need to stay connected to Him, if they expect to grow and thrive. ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his LOVE. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:10-11) 

Oh friends, you can’t beat that! The joy of Christ in us enables us to handle any situation that comes against us with wisdom and steadfastness. We don’t get wishy-washy because of our circumstances. Now hear some more of Jesus talking to the disciples on the subject of joy. At one stage He told them this li’l riddle: ‘A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.’ (John 16:16) 

Obviously the disciples were confused and muttered amongst themselves over what His words meant. And Jesus, sensing their confusion, explained it to them. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail (labour) hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of (has given birth to) the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man (human being) is born into the world. 

And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:20-24) 

Ah mih people, words of true wisdom and enlightenment from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Words that have stood the test of time and are still applicable to these evil and troubled days! Just knowing that with Jesus in us, and we in Him, and being sure that He will come again to take us home, to be with Him in paradise forever, ought to be such a great motivator for us to live and die for Him. 

And when you add that last piece about asking for anything in His name and the Father will grant it…Hn! Our lives ought to be overflowing with joy everlasting! For no other faith, religion, or whatever you choose to call it, offers that kind of assurance and satisfaction. Now obviously Jesus is not referring to asking for selfish, ungodly stuff, but things that fall under the Father’s will. 

Too many of us though use those words to ask for selfish, ungodly stuff, and when we don’t get it, rail against God and His word. But please remember that God is not sitting in heaven like a doting grandfather to just give us any and everything we want. He has a universe to run, and doesn’t have time for our selfish, childish, petulant needs. We have a serious part to play in this world, so please friends, let’s play it nuh. 

And as the Bible verse attached to our poem says: ‘Don’t be dejected or sad, for the JOY of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh.8:10) And that’s the gospel truth friends! That’s why the enemy always targets our joy in his attacks. He knows that if he can take away our joy, then we’ll become weakened, like Samson, when Delilah cut off his hair. (smile) 

And with all of that encouragement and assurance running through our souls, spirits and bodies, let’s go home now, joyfully declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday mantra, gladly telling the world 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!’ 

Oh friends, what joy our sharing Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world will bring both to us down here on earth, and to those in heaven above! So let’s get out there and share it nuh! Much LOVE!

…though living for Jesus…can be sometimes difficult…we still experience joy…unbelievable joy in doing it…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 June 2015 Nehemiah 8:10b

Nehemiah 8:10b.    …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Oh Friends, I’ve got such a joy deep down in my soul this Thursday morning in June that I just can’t contain it! Wow! That joy just makes me feel like shouting out to the world what God has done for me! And I surely hope that you’re feeling the same way too, for that’s the beauty and benefit of being a true believer!

Oh my people, I’m talking about His unconditional LOVE, His constantly available grace and never-ending mercy, then the beautiful essence of forgiveness… and don’t even talk about salvation and eternal life! Oh my my! And what shall we say to the biggest blessing of all eh; His wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, our Leader, Lord and Saviour!

Mama Mia! What an awesome Deity we serve and worship my brethren! So how can we ever doubt or believe that the great God who created us, doesn’t LOVE and care for us eh? Steups!

What more has He got to do my brethren before we can comfortably and assuredly put our entire trust in him, to completely surrender our souls, minds and bodies to His superior guidance through the work and presence of His Holy Spirit?

I really don’t know what it will realistically take for the numerous unbelievers and backsliders to truly understand what this life is all about nuh, one controlled by the mighty but magnanimous hand of Almighty God.

Ah Friends, we’re such small-minded doubters and disbelievers that it isn’t funny. So much so that even if God did miracles in our lives every day, we’d still have doubts and refuse to believe. But here’s the good news Friends, we, a relatively small band of true believers are here to change the world, we’re going to make a radical difference.

And the best way to do that is by living lives honouring God, giving Him all the glory. And don’t think that we can’t do it because we’re too few, for if we listen to this quote by Margaret Mead (1901-1978) the famous American cultural anthropologist, we’ll see that it’s very possible.

‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’

Gospel truth that, my people! Whatever serious changes that’s ever been wrought in our world have always been by a relatively small group of its population, and with the awesome power of Jesus riding shotgun with us… Oh my Friends, all and everything is possible!

And believe you me, that’s exactly what Jesus is calling us to do; to bring some radical changes to this wicked and godless world by spreading the good news of His gospel that’s overflowing with the most important elements of PEACE and LOVE, FORGIVENESS, MERCY, GRACE, SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE!

And all God’s people joyfully shouted out: ‘All praise, honour and glory be to the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of heaven and earth, Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein!’

Now Friends, joy is something that’s always supposed to be in the spirit of the believer. As such, we therefore need to continually remember the words of our Bit: …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’

Yes my people, without God’s joy coursing through our spirits, we are weaklings. That’s why Lucifer is always trying to steal our joy, because then he knows he can get his evil claws into us without too much effort.  

And if you listen to Jesus when He was talking to the disciples about the vine and the branches, you’d hear Him say to them. ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:11) It’s obvious my people that we do need the joy found in Jesus to be able to live this earthly life fully and to be obedient to His will.

Then later on He said to the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) Yes my brethren, the joy of God is ever so important in a believer’s life. Without it, we’re powerless to resist the wiles of the enemy.

All through the Bible there are passages which proclaim the importance of godly joy in our lives. Let’s check out a couple of them. Listen to Elihu as he reasons with Job, re God’s calling on men to repent.

‘He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him (delight in him): and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto (restore to) man his righteousness.’ (Job 33:26) Joy in the Lord is ever so important my brethren.

Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 16, where he’s seeking preservation and blessing. He ends it thus: ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ (Ps.16:11) And isn’t that absolute truth? It surely is! For once the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding us, there will be joy in our souls.

Meanwhile, Isaiah, in his thanksgiving for God’s mercies, puts it this way. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord, for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout (with joy), thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:1-6)

Yes Friends, that’s how a nation, a people behaves when the joy of the Lord is amongst them. And we’ll end with a few words from John, from his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ (1 John 1:4)

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13 (please look it up), but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction and purpose that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’

Oh my fellow believers, that is indeed the gospel truth! And we’ll leave us this morning to each ponder our walk with Jesus, to see exactly how it is proceeding, and to strengthen it when and where necessary, with God’s help. Much LOVE!

…one can never fully appreciate the joy of walking with Jesus…until one really and truly walks with Jesus…