Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 May 2019 Psalm 55:22.

Psalm 55:22.   ​Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).
 

Big day people, big day! It being Friday and the start of the long Queen Victoria Day weekend! It’s also fairly sunny and warm, so you can imagine the barbecues will be fired up this weekend, the weather permitting, and the trek north, east and west to cottage country has already begun! You can’t go south, else you’ll end up in Lake Ontario. (smile) 

Wow! It’s a big weekend in this wonderful and blessed land of Canada with oodles of celebrations, parades and gratuitous political speeches! (smile) So please know that the enemy will be out in full swing in a decided effort to infiltrate as many believer’s souls as possible, that’s why I’m making Granny’s Plea so early: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ The Lord’s also asking that of us my people! 

Meanwhile the ordinary workingman is just bursting at the seams, dying to declare his plans for the weekend: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And thank Queen Victoria, whoever she was, bless she long departed soul for this long weekend too! It ought to hail the start of summer frolics, if the weather would only behave! 

Mama Yo! Food and drinks are at the ready! The barbecue is all cleaned up and primed with gas! I can just smell the meat cooking and the waters flowing as me and mih friends celebrate these few days off from the slave master job. And ah know that Monday he’ll be vexed like anything because he got to pay we for not working! Oh thank God and Queen Victoria for this long weekend yes!’ 

Yes friends, some of us do exhibit the same frame of mind, but we have to be a li’l less bacchanalian in our celebrations, (smile) for that’s when the enemy is liable to find a chink in our spiritual armour, and is thus able to establish a finger or toe hold there.

And we definitely don’t want that to happen, we want to do our best to stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to Jesus, that’s why our Friday Chant is somewhat more discrete and less bacchanalian. (smile) 

So let’s chant it now nuh, as if we really mean it. As one: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we can, and should enjoy the long weekend with our friends and families, but let’s not overdo it nuh, like Jeeves would say, a li’l more circumspection please! (smile) Unfortunately, not all of us will get a three-day weekend, because this holiday, in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday, (May 24) seems to be an official holiday only in Canada.

In any case, it would only have been celebrated in the British Commonwealth of nations, over whom Queen Victoria reigned from 1837-1901, the second longest reigning monarch after the current Queen Elizabeth the second. 

And today, in these extremely dangerous and ungodly times, it is necessary for us to know and hold on to words of excellent advice and wisdom like these from Bruh David, in his cry against deceitful friends. ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ 

Now if you call yourself a follower of Jesus and don’t believe that, don’t have it written indelibly in your heart, mind and soul, then you’re simply wasting your time! That’s because the Lord’s favour will only come upon us to the extent of our faith and trust in Him. 

Hear Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 37. ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass. …The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed (descendants) begging bread. He is ever merciful (merciful all the day), and his seed (descendants) is blessed.’ (Ps.37:5, 23-26) 

And that’s gospel truth my people! In these evil times the only person and thing we can truthfully hold on to and be not afraid of disappointment is the Lord God Jehovah and His everlasting and truthful Word! Hear how Peter puts it nuh: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7) 

And that friends, we can never doubt, else why would He have sent His only son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross at Calvary sacrificially for our sins, while we were yet sinners? Because HE CARED! And He still does, even though we’re still sinful and disobedient! That’s just His very nature! 

So that means Bruh David is on the right track when he declares (yes!) in Psalm 56, his confident prayer for help: ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God, I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ (Ps.56:3-5)

What words of immense faith, trust and assurance my believing brethren! Hope we can declare the same things and truly mean them, because that’s when we will truly prosper and succeed in this evil world. 

And if by chance you don’t believe Bruh David and Peter, then listen to Jesus in Matthew 6:24-34, from His Sermon on the Mount, where He warns us that we cannot serve two masters at once – God and mammon.

And if God created all of nature so beautifully, and still keeps it looking beautiful after all this time, then why wouldn’t He look after His greatest creation, humankind, even better eh? 

But we have to seek God and His kingdom above everything else, then, we’ll get what we need. That’s just the way it cracks up friends, so you either do as Jesus says, or you don’t. The choice is yours. But please remember there are repercussions for every decision we make, or do not make! Much LOVE!

…if God isn’t first in EVERYTHING we do…then we’re shortchanging ourselves…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2019 Ephesians 6:18.

Ephesians 6:18.   ​Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
 

Oh yes, it’s bright and sunshiny and even warm too! Glory to God! Yeh friends, the day’s begun the way a day is supposed to begin; with the light of Jesus shining brightly in and through our lives! (smile) Oh, is it ever good to wake up to sunshine after all that watery precipitation. 

And would you believe that yesterday afternoon with sunshine flowing, the rain still made its way down! But I guess that shower was just to wash away the remaining clouds, because after that the sun came out even brighter! Thanks be to God! 

And I want to apologize for not giving us the whole story a couple of days ago when we dealt with the spiritual armour of God. Yuh know we’re fully protected once we have our loins girded with the truth of God, and the breastplate of righteousness is secured fast against our chests, and our feet are properly shod in the preparation of peace, the eagerness provided by the gospel of Christ. 

Not to mention having that all important shield of faith to protect us from the fiery darts of the enemy, our heads protected by the helmet of salvation, the hope and assurance of eternal glory in God, while wielding that terrible two edged sword of the Spirit, God’s immortal, powerful and life changing Word! 

Yes friends, it all looks good, but there is one necessary part, one thing is needed to get it all going, to galvanize us into action; and that’s prayer! Without prayer, our armour is not worth a whole lot. That’s why Bruh Paul warned after telling us all about the spiritual armour: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ 

Oh my people, prayer is always the most important item in any earthly situation! And the scholars’ explain that verse thus: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to ‘stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. 

In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both and individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that last part is especially important; we’re required not only to pray for ourselves but also for the rest of God’s church, all His saints, because we all need the Spirit of God to work productively in us, and prayer is the catalyst that gets it all going! And Bruh Paul made that abundantly clear when he continued after our Bit: 

‘And (pray) for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery (the hidden truth) of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds (chains): that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.’ (Eph.6:19-20)  

Yuh see friends, even though Bruh Paul was blessed with so much revelation from God, he still needed human prayer to help him do the job; speak boldly and openly about the truth in Christ’s gospel. Now tell me how much more do we, in these sad, stressful and strife-filled times need the prayer of our fellow believers eh? But sadly, because of the selfish, greedy and first person singular motives that currently flourish in our society, we don’t pray for our fellow believers as much as we ought to. 

Too many of us supposed believers are focused only on our own selves, our own needs, wants and problems. But there is a lot of truth in the saying, that somebody out there is always suffering more than us, and need God’s help worse than we do! Let’s just remember that, especially we believers in this wealthy and prosperous, but ever so wasteful and selfish Western society! End of Sermon! (smile) 

Oh, I forgot I wanted to add these two warnings of Jesus on the subject of prayer. First off: To His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane who should have been praying with Him, but instead fell asleep. ‘Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt.26:41) And isn’t that the awful truth! 

The second warning is this: ‘And he spake a parable unto them (the disciples) to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) And the scholars give a nice, precise explanation of that verse. ’18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ And that’s for certain sure friends, because there’s NO giving up in Jesus’ vocabulary! 

And by the way, the parable mentioned above was about the woman seeking justice from the unjust judge. (Luke 18:2-8) And she only received it because she kept on badgering him, until in disgust, he finally relented. That’s how we ought to pray my fellow saints; always…and with confidence and humility! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) those wonderful attributes bestowed on us believers in our Thursday Blessings. We’ve got to declare them for them to take effect. So as one sincere body of faith: ‘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 remember, those blessings are not granted for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with the less fortunate. So let’s go out and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Christ’s heart! Much LOVE!

…without sincere and constant prayer…a believer’s life is never fulfilled…thus falling short of his destiny…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2019 Matthew 27:46.

Matthew 27:46.   And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
 
Home…Home…Home at last! But home sick! Steups! Ah friends, it’s great to be home, but when you come home from vacation sick with an annoying cold it doesn’t help matters at all. You’re already tired from all the vacationing, (smile) and you just want to rest, to put sickness on top of it isn’t the greatest feeling in the world. 

After the long flight and the hassle to get through the airport, I got home around eleven and expected to have a good night’s rest…Hn! What a pipe dream! I was up several times during the night bringing up stuff, my throat was raw, still is, making swallowing a tad difficult. But if one has to be sick, I guess the best place for that to happen is home. 

Home where the heart is! Home where you’re most comfortable and relaxed, be it a humble hovel or a majestic mansion! Something about home just gives one a li’l more assurance in times of trouble or illness. But enough about my woes, (smile) it’s Friday and the workingman is waiting to sing his song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Good Friday…that means the long Easter weekend! Mama Yo! Party fuh so! And the weather should be good! Good thing that Easter fall so late this year yes, so it happen in springtime and not in winter! So many things to do, and places to go, and people to see! Chuh! Don’t know where to start nuh! But as they say, the best place to start is at the beginning! So ah guess we going to start with some eating and drinking and carousing! 

Brother! Who knows whether we going to be alive come next week Tuesday when we have to go back to the slave master slave labour? One thing ah know though; when we go back, we not killing we self over the work nuh. Leh him fire we, see how long his business going last nuh! But forget he now yes! Is time for me to do my own thing! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Yes mih people, the workingman is a party animal if nothing else! But unfortunately, or should I say fortunately, as believers in Christ Jesus, we can’t afford to let our hair down like he can for fear of allowing the evil enemy to invade our righteous souls. But as I keep saying, that doesn’t preclude us from having a good time, we just don’t go to the extremes that the ordinary workingman does. 

And we have our own Friday Chant, which chronicles our thankfulness and wishes. So please, let’s chant it now nuh, in true sincerity and mucho enthusiasm. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Now, to the unbeliever, that might not sound like much, but to us believers, it’s short, sweet and to the point! (smile) And today, Good Friday, our hearts are heavy, filled with sadness as we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And some will ask why call it Good Friday when such a heinous, illegal crime was committed against an innocent person? 

That’s a good question my brethren. But the long and short of the story is that if Jesus had not died in place of us, our sins would not have been paid for, and we would not have been forgiven, redeemed, made clean and washed white as snow! Yes, it was a rough, unjust situation, but from the beginning of time the Father had decreed it to be the Son’s job to die for the abominable sins of His disobedient and rebellious creation called mankind. 

And yuh better believe it was no easy job that! The pain and agony, the ‘sufferation’ He had to endure was immense, seemingly unbearable, but He withstood it, all for our sakes, at the behest of the Father, who LOVED us so much that He didn’t want to lose even one of us to the evil enemy, Satan. 

That’s the most beautiful and compelling picture of LOVE that exists; sacrificing your only Son for a bunch of ingrates! Some people will call it crazy or stupid, but our heavenly Father called it LOVE! And since He’s the eternal Creator, He should know what He’s talking about. 

But I don’t know how Jesus handled all that unjust ‘sufferation’ nuh, without much complaining too. I guess He knew His role, and could not even consider disobedience to the Father’s wishes. As He told Peter on the night of His arrest, after Peter had cut off the high priest’s right ear. ‘Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?’ (John 18:11) Yes friends, I wonder how many of us put such a high priority on being obedient to the Father’s wishes eh? 

And what I greatly admire about Jesus are some statements He made from His painful and agonizing perch on the cross. The first one is ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) Even on the cross, His modus operandi was LOVE and forgiveness! 

Note His words to the criminal crucified with Him, who saw the light and sincerely pleaded: ‘Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:42-43) 

But the most touching and heart-rending words of Jesus on the cross are contained in this verse. ‘And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ 

Yes friends, what seemed to hurt Jesus the most was not the physical pain inflicted on His body, but the spiritual separation from His Father, the first time that had ever happened. And it had to be so since He was then the sin-bearer of the world, and the Father could not associate with sin. As the scholars explain: ‘Here we have the high cost to Christ of His atonement for our sins, who was accursed of God as our sin-bearer (cf. 2 Cor.5:21; Gal.3:13) and suffered the agony of spiritual death for us.’ 

And finally, the Good Book tells us: ‘And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost (breathed his last).’ (Luke 23:46) And the scholars explain: ‘He cried with a loud voice, as a shout of triumph, and yielded up His Spirit. In other words, having borne the wrath of God’s judgement against sin, He knew He had triumphed over Satan and the curse of sin.’ 

Oh what a blessed day that was for us my people, as Jesus gave us such a wonderful example to follow, showing LOVE and compassion and obedience even in His last agonizing moments on that old wooden cross on Calvary! Please, please, I implore us to do a better job, to improve in our own showing of LOVE, compassion and obedience, because that’s all He asks of us! Much LOVE!

…Good Friday…the darkest hour…just before the breathtaking dawn…of Easter Sunday…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2019 1 Samuel 16:7.

1 Samuel 16:7.   ​But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
 

And after the long weekend, I do hope that those of you who have to go to work today will make it without too many problems – read, hangovers, tiredness etc. (smile) Well my trusty desktop seems to be working decently again…Praise the Lord! 

Yes, I know it’s old and out of fashion and all that, but it’s like the old saying, new broom sweep clean, but old broom know the corners! And I’m just more familiar with my desktop than my laptop. The former just knows what I want to do and where I want go, especially when it comes to writing the Bit. (smile) 

Now here’s an interesting question for us from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t know if I’ve ever posed it before, but I was led to do so today. And the question is ‘Are You Happy?’ I guess though we should pose it as being joyful, since happiness is based more on our circumstances than our beliefs. 

You can read it any which way you want, but this is how Gramps Schuller put it, and it does ask a very good question which most of us should be asking ourselves. Listen up: ‘Happiness – that deep inner strength that is made up of courage, faith, hope, and peace. Mix them together, and you have happiness. Happiness – the courage to hang on in the face of severe adversity! 

Happiness – the faith that God will have the last word, and it will be good! Happiness – the hope that even though you can only see the shadow, someday the clouds will clear away and the sun will shine again! Happiness – the quiet sense of self-esteem that comes when you know you have done your best. 

Happiness – the assurance that you have been merciful and kind to enemy and friend alike. Happiness – the quiet assurance that God will be merciful and kind to you, too. Happiness – the beautiful belief that this life, no matter how difficult it may be, is not your final destination.’ 

Yes friends, if we can answer yes to all of them, then we are giants of our faith! But I doubt that most of us can answer all those questions in the affirmative. The important thing though is that we can definitely answer ‘yes’ to some, and that we are working courageously and sincerely on the others. 

Our God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, because He knows that He created us as imperfect beings, but He does insist that we try to come up as high as possible. That’s why He looks at the secret motives of our hearts rather than our outward actions to judge our sincerity. And the Lord made that quite clear long time ago, when He sent Samuel to anoint one of the sons of Jesse to be the new king of Israel. 

 When Samuel saw Eliab looking big and strapping and king-like, He said this must be the one. ‘But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ 

There we have it friends, right from the Lord’s mouth. So I don’t know why so many of us still try to fool the Lord with wonderful outward actions when our hearts are dark and black with unresolved, unrepented sin! We can fool our fellow man a lot of the time, but we can’t fool God at any time because He looks at the true story that’s hidden deep inside our sinful hearts! 

That’s why the Lord chose Bruh David to be the king over his brothers; He knew that his heart was right, as right as a human heart could be, and why, in spite of all Bruh David’s mistakes He never set him adrift, though he certainly paid for his failures.

And sadly, that’s what happening to too many of us believers today; our hearts aren’t really right with God. We put on a great Christian show on the outside, but on the inside the devil rules our spirit. 

As Jeremiah so famously said on the Lord’s behalf: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try (test) the reins (mind), even to give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.’ (Jer.17:9-10) I think that’s as clear as it can get. 

But the scholars offer this explanation: ‘17:9-10. The heart (cf. Prov.4:23) means man’s innermost being. The bent of man’s natural disposition, apart from God’s redeeming grace, is described as deceitful (lit. crooked) and desperately wicked (incurably sick).

Therefore, man cannot trust his own heart but must leave all to God who alone knows the heart and judges all men fairly. Only a person with a redeemed heart can live in proper fellowship with God (Job 11:13; 1 John 3:18-24).’ 

Please take a moment and check out those two scriptures my fellow believers, for they get right to the heart of the matter! (smile) And I’ll throw in this langniappe (li’l extra) for good measure. (smile)

Listen to Cousin Sol: ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (Prov.4:23) Yes friends, the heart is the figurative seat of our intellect and that in turn controls our minds. We therefore need to keep tight control of our minds, because that’s where all of the battles are fought. 

And having said all that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the entire world know who and whose we are. In full voice with sincere hearts and a strong sense of purpose:

‘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!’ 

And if our hearts are right, then let’s go out and action those statements, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…whatever captures the mind…captures the man…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2018 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 
Aye mih people, it’s a brand new day with new mercies, LOVE, forgiveness, blessings and all the other good things that our magnanimous and ever-LOVING God showers down on us each and every single day! Glory be! Give Him much thanks and praise for His enduring goodness and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men! Yes friends, is our God ever good to us! 

And would you believe that with only four days – not four shopping days (smile) to Christmas that we have rain in our area and not the crazy white stuff called snow! I’m surely grateful for that, although the skiers and other snow people won’t be thrilled.

Sorry people, but the Controller of the universe apparently feels for rain right now, not snow, and consequently there’s nothing we can do about it! But have no fear, we will get our fair share of the white stuff…in God’s time, that is! 

And the workingman has not forgotten us in these most celebratory times. Hear him sing his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday – the weekend! And only four days till Christmas too! Oh how we going to make merry and celebrate Christmas…but I already doing that yes!

I eating mih home made bread with ham flavoured with chow chow an’ pepper sauce! Brother does that ever taste good! Nice heavy bread with substance, not them light fluffy chupidness they sell in the bakery an’ call them bread! 

Then ah washing it down with sweet sorrel or ginger beer…an’ black cake and ice cream for dessert. Yuh smell how the alco strong in the cake? If yuh eat too much it soon black yuh up yes! (smile) And all we doing is going round to other people’s houses, singing carols and sweet parang music, an’ eating and drinking up all their Christmas goodies! Oh Christmas is such a wonderful time! Thank God for Fridays, weekends and Christmas oui!’ 

Yeh friends, Christmas is indeed a wonderful time, and all the celebrating is good, but it should not be paramount in our lives. The birth of our Lord and Saviour is what should hold first place in our lives this Christmas season, for it’s the very reason for the season! Without the birth of Christ, there’d be no Christmas! 

So why have we allowed that fact to be obscured by the foolishness of the man made festivities eh, where shopping and other bacchanalian activities seem to be honoured above the birth of our Saviour? Yuh can’t even say ‘Merry Christmas’ to some people! All they want to hear is the foolishness bout ‘Happy Holidays!’ What holiday is it eh? CHRISTMAS! So say it loud and proud: ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS!’ 

And forget the nonsensical watering down of the time when our God gave us His greatest gift ever: that of the birth of His only Son Jesus Christ, so that He would grow and show us the Father, and eventually die on the cross at Calvary to atone for our heinous and abominable sins! Brother! How can we not celebrate and give oodles of sincere thanks for such wonderful occurrences eh? 

My Christian brethren, please let’s not fall into the enemy’s trap of considering Christmas as more of a worldly time than it is eh. It’s ALL ABOUT CHRIST! So please let’s keep the CHRIST in CHRISTMAS! Keep it first place, like we ought to keep God first place in our overall lives! End of sermon! (smile) 

And I’ve talked so much about keeping Christ in Christmas that I almost forgot about our Friday Chant. Hn! So please let’s chant it up now with the same enthusiasm that the workingman placed in his song. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, it’s not as worldly as the workingman’s song, but it serves our purposes rather admirably; keeping us away from the excesses of the world, and more in line with the straight and narrow path that’s Christ desire for His people. That finally brings us to our Bit; a most wonderful piece of encouraging and reassuring scripture: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.’ 

And is that the gospel truth or what my faithful brethren! If it wasn’t for the Lord’s compassionate heart and intense care for us, we’d be long burnt up like the noonday sun burns up the dry grass! That’s why we need to take our Christian faith more seriously than many of us are doing. But hear how poor Jeremiah continues as he laments over his trials and tribulations nuh. 

‘They (the Lord’s mercies) are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:23-26) 

Oh my people, those are indeed words of eternal wisdom! If we sincerely believe in God, then we have to HOPE and WAIT for His timing and dispensation! Nothing else makes any sense. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the scholars’ explanation of that last section. ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have expressed great grief of soul (Hab. 2:20; 3:17-19; cf. Job 40:3-5; Ps.37:7; 73:23-27; Is.26:3; 2 Cor.1:7; 2 Thess.3:5).’ 

Yuh see friends, even though the great saints suffered trials and tribulations, and more than most of us do nowadays too, they all felt the assurance of hoping in and waiting for God. And I just looked up all those scriptures the scholars noted, and they are indeed interesting and inspiring stuff. So please look them up yourselves so that you too can be enthused and reassured! That’s the only sensible way to live this life my people! Much LOVE!

…ONLY because of Christ’s birth…is there Christmas…let’s remember that…and act accordingly…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 October 2018 Colossians 2:10.

Colossians 2:10. ​  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power (rule and authority).

And then it was Sunday; the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day, where fellowship, praise, worship and thanksgiving are encouraged in the Lord’s sanctuary. Let’s hope that all roads will have led there by the end of the day. Sorry for the Bit being so late, but as usual, it was due to good circumstances beyond my control. (smile) 

I went to an early breakfast, had my after breakfast nap, then went to a non-denominational service downstairs for 9.am, where we sang a couple of short hymns, and the young-boy preacher delivered a fiery sermon on the assurance of salvation and eternal life based on 1 John 5. Then, at the end, two of the dozen congregation got saved…Praise the Lord! 

However, on my way to back to my room, around ten-thirty, I met the duchess coming down, and she informed me that one of her cousins was waiting at the front to take us to brunch at the famed Pelican Restaurant in downtown Mo Bay. After that, we went to visit the owner of the restaurant in her fabulous hilltop home which is currently under renovation, but the scenery of the harbor and downtown Mo Bay is spectacular. 

Then she took us to see another even more magnificent property, this time out on the lagoon at Freeport. I was so taken with it that I asked the elderly owner if she would sell it to me, but unfortunately she said it was not for sale. I was only kidding though, because I don’t even have a pot to pee in, much less the millions that it would cost in any currency. (smile) 

Then we stopped at our cousin’s home so that she could get dressed to go to church, and we did not get back home until three p.m. Obviously I had to have a li’l nap before writing the Bit. And that’s how we’re so late. 

Anyway, as we do every Sunday, morning or evening, (smile) we sing a song of praise and worship to soften up our hearts so that they can be more receptive to the Lord’s Word. Today will be no different, and we’ll sing an old favourite by one of the most famous and prolific hymn writers, Charles Wesley, this one appropriately titled: ‘Jesus LOVER of my Soul!’

So let’s sing up a storm nuh: ‘Jesus, LOVER of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly, While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high. Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past; Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last. Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring; 

Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing. Wilt Thou not regard my call? Wilt Thou not accept my prayer? Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall – Lo! on Thee I cast my care; Reach me out Thy gracious hand! While I of Thy strength receive, Hoping against hope I stand, dying, and behold, I live. Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find; Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind. Just and holy is Thy Name, I am all unrighteousness; 

False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace. Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within. Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of Thee; Spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.’ 

What beautiful words of truth and gracious, grateful sentiment! And the Hynary.org website gives us this information: ‘Originally published under the title “In Temptation,” this hymn has as its theme the sufficiency of Christ to give comfort, power, and grace in any circumstance. It is a plea that Jesus will provide sanctuary to the tempted (st. 1), because there is no other refuge (st. 2). Christ is declared to be the sole desire of the Christian, who is undeserving (st. 3), while Christ’s grace is declared sufficient to cleanse the Christian from all his vile sins (st. 4).’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for His goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ And today we’ll deal with that theme, ‘The sufficiency of Christ,’ as much as we can. And what does that mean? Basically that we have EVERYTHING we need in Christ! We lack nothing whatsoever! As our Bit says: ‘​And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power (rule and authority).’ Yes friends, we don’t have to add or subtract anything from Jesus, for He is the END ALL and BE ALL! 

As the scholars explain: ‘2:10. Ye are complete in him (or, “you are filled by Him.”) Believers have been filled by Jesus with all the spiritual blessings they need, hence, they are “complete” and lacking nothing. This, too, refutes the heresy that denied the sufficiency of Christ and encouraged Christians to look to other spiritual beings for help.’ 

Oh friends that is totally unnecessary, for in Christ Jesus, we can find ALL we need to live a good and true Christian life. And we’ll end with this quote from the Website ‘All about Jesus,’ with this most appropriate quote: ‘Claiming the sufficiency of Christ, and realizing our sufficiency in Christ, is the absolute key to being victorious in our battles. Yes, we must be free from our attitude of self-sufficiency. We must have the might of Christ in our challenges, and in our weaknesses allow Christ to be our strength!’ 

Glory be my believing brethren! Truer words were never spoken! Please let’s take them to heart and live our lives to suit nuh, for that is the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…Christ is the complete package…thanks to the Father…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.    Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!)

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee: On, then, Christian soldiers, onto victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! (Refrain) 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

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