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 24 June 2019 Mark 11:22.

Mark 11:22.    ​And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
 

Rise and shine fellow warriors in Christ’s army! The trump has sounded! It’s time to gird ourselves in our protective armour and head for the frontlines, where our General, Jesus, the most highly named and exalted Commander in the universe is already there waiting for us. And like His snow-white steed that’s pawing the ground in great anticipation, He’s also eager to join the battle this good-looking summer morn, which just happens to be Monday, the first day of the new workweek (smile). 

And yes, sometimes it’s hard to get back on the merry go round of work after a couple days off, especially with summer in the air and weekend trips to the cottage up north getting into full gear. But work we must if we want to survive, so we have this fail-safe pick-me-up we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s declare (yeh!) it all together now nuh, so that we can rise to the occasion.  

‘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!’ 

And brother, yuh see how quickly we start feeling better; our eyes light up with a new gleam, our souls suddenly feel refreshed and we feel like we could fight an army or move a mountain single handedly! Wow! That’s because the Holy Spirit is working in us to give the Lord’s answer to our humble, sincere, but ever-confident prayer! And why yuh think that is eh? 

That’s because Jesus says that whenever we pray, whatever we pray for, if we believe, we will get it. ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:24) And He also says that if we ask for anything in His name, He will do it. ‘And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:13-14) 

What great promises friends! But we also know that there are certain provisos to those promises, they all depend on them being in the Father’s will, timing and purpose for our lives and coming from sincere motives of the heart; they just can’t be wishy-washy, selfish, self-aggrandizing prayers. 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘14:13-14. In my name means “as My agent.” The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf.16:23-26). It is also linked here especially in the accomplishment of the “greater works.” (vs.12) The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

But what is Jesus really talking about here eh? It’s basically about faith; the level of our faith in Him and the Father. In the passage in Mark above, He had just cursed the fruitless fig tree and caused it to suddenly wither up. That gave Him ‘the occasion to expound concerning faith, prayer and forgiveness.’ And He began thus: ‘Have faith in God.’  And that’s the whole sermon right there in a nutshell my people! 

Remember He also said these things on the subject: ‘According to your faith be it unto you,’ when He touched the two blind men’s eyes. (Matt.9:29) And when the disciples couldn’t heal an epileptic child, and wanted to know why, He admonished them: ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) 

Some important points to notice there; even a li’l faith is a powerful thing, and some jobs call for not faith alone, but also for fasting and intense prayer. And please note that in almost every occasion on which He healed someone, Jesus made it a point to invoke his or her faith into the healing. 

Note the occasion when the Roman centurion approached Him for his servant’s healing, then said that Jesus did not need to come to his house to do it, He had the power to do it right there. Jesus replied in astonishment: ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ Matt.8:10) Yes friends, a heathen Roman centurion showed more faith in Jesus’ awesome power than any of His own people! 

And what a wonderful example of great faith is the woman with the twelve year issue of blood who fought through the throng believing if she only touched the hem of Jesus’ garment she would be healed. And when she did, she was healed instantly. But Jesus also noticed that something was wrong, because He felt some of His power go out of Him, and asked: ‘Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?’ (Mark 5:25-33). 

But Jesus persisted in looking around to find the culprit, (smile) and eventually the woman fell down before Him and admitted the truth. ‘And he (Jesus) said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5:34) And there are many more instances of Jesus calling on people to show faith, which we have no time or space to get into today. But I’ll leave us with one of Jesus favourite jibes to those who reused to belief Him. ‘O ye of li’l faith.’ 

And sadly, in these ungodly and evil times, He’s saying that about a lot of us supposed Christians. Please friends and fellow believers, let’s rise up today and begin giving Him serious occasion to change it nuh to ‘How great is thy faith!’ That would surely warm the cockles of His holy and oh so LOVING heart! It’s about time we did something to cause that, don’t you think? Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please God… (Heb.11:6) 

P.S. Sorry that the Bit’s somewhat late…and somewhat long, but good, (smile) but I had some pressing problems that I had to deal with first. Much LOVE!