Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2019 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.    ​Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 

‘Monday…LOVE it or LEAVE it!’ That’s the advice from a recent panel of the comic strip ‘Mutts.’ And I would say that it’s very good advice, because what other sensible choices do we have eh? None that I can think of. I definitely won’t call the choice that too many of us make, being miserable and frustrated and tired on a Monday as being sensible, especially if you’re a true believer in, and a sincere follower of Christ Jesus, because He definitely gives us the parts, the wherewithal to LOVE Monday when we go to church on Sunday and praise and worship and glorify Him! 

Hn! I like that sentence. It sounds Bruh Paulian. (smile) Why yuh think He says to come to His house every first day of the week eh? It’s because He wants to rejuvenate and refresh us, so that we can go out and brazenly and confidently do His will starting bright and early on Monday, the second day! Ah, but since He created us, nobody knows better than Him how frail and weak we really are. That’s why He gave us the powerful communicating tool called prayer, so we can cry out to Him for help in times of need. And I know that many of us need help this Monday morning to get up and get out to labour. 

So let’s use that most useful and powerful tool named prayer, to inform the Lord of our desperate need for His help this morning nuh. Therefore, with one fervent and sincere voice, let’s float our Monday Morning Battle Hymn up to heaven in confident humility. 

‘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 as always, before we’re even finished crying out for help, the Holy Spirit begins moving in our bodies and souls, strengthening and encouraging us, so that we can go out and fight valiantly for Jesus. And that all hinges on these motivating words of Jesus to His disciples. ‘Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ Yes friends, it’s all about LOVING Jesus and doing works in His name so that our heavenly Father can be glorified. 

That was also Jesus’ purpose here on earth. Having foretold His betrayal at the Last Supper, and seen Judas go out to do his evil deed, Jesus declared to the other disciples: ‘Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.’ (John 13:31). He was referring there to His death, burial and resurrection, the plan the Father had sent Him to earth to accomplish. But let’s check out some advice from one of those who was there with Christ when He uttered those faithful words nuh. We talking about the stubborn and recalcitrant, hard to handle Peter, who later became such a tower of strength in the early church. 

Listen as he talks about living as servants of God. ‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation (conduct) honest (honourable) among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.’ (1 Pet. 2:11-12) Oh friends, are the Gentiles seeing our good works in Jesus’ name and thus glorifying God? Not as much as they ought to. But let’s see if we can’t be encouraged to do better by listening to Peter again. 

Hear him talk about being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘ But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity (LOVE) among yourselves: for charity (LOVE) shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging (grumbling). As every man hath received the gift; even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (utterances) of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in ALL THINGS may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet. 4:7-11) 

Oh my people, the last days are truly upon us, and our world is still in a terrible mess, so let’s use those wise words to  galvanize us to victory in Jesus today nuh! Much LOVE!

…God created the universe…for the express purpose …of His glory…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2018 1 Timothy 6:6.

1 Timothy 6:6.     But godliness with contentment is great gain.

All right friends and family, here we go again; one more time around the dog and pony track called Life. (smile) And though it’s oftimes a difficult journey, it certainly is an interesting and adventuresome one, made even more interesting and fruitful if you’re walking hand in hand with Jesus, the great Saviour of the world! 

Wow! What an awesome guide and leader He is! And if you’re not walking with Him, then unfortunately you’re missing out on the best part of this earthly life, and consequently the eternal life too. So please check Him out nuh. You’ll be surprised at what He has to offer…and it’s all for your benefit. 

And with it being Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes of this past week from our friend Anselm, who genuinely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And we’ll begin with the shortest one: ‘When you think positive good things happen.’ 

And that’s generally true. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have any negative things happen, but they will be mostly positive, since what the mind focuses on, is what generally comes to pass. 

And like Anselm was in a friend seeking mood this week (smile) as he offers these two quotes on the subject. ‘There is a misconception among people that the higher the number of friends you have, the more fun you’ll have. The fact is the lesser friends you have, the lesser you have to deal with. 

Trust me; it doesn’t matter how many friends you have, all that matters is how many friends you can count upon when you are in need.’ And ‘Having a single best friend is better than having ten random friends who aren’t going to be with you for long.’ 

Oh my people, how many of us have suffered betrayal and rejection by those we thought were friends eh? We all have, because it’s a human frailty. The wisdom lies in having a few staunch and genuine friends you can call on in times of need. A big posse is not a set of friends, but a group of hangers’ ons. And remember the corollary to the above; to have genuine friends, you must also be a genuine friend. 

Then there is this last one: ‘You are living in your comfort zone, having an active Internet connection, food to eat, TV to watch and a roof to sleep under. Do remember that even if you have only these four basic amenities, you are richer than 75% of the world’s population. Be happy for what you have, but don’t settle for it.’ 

I would say that you are better off than more than 90 percent of the world, and you shouldn’t just be happy, but be darm happy and contented and feel extremely blessed, because there are so many others in the world struggling and suffering with much less than you have. 

But unfortunately the nature of our society is that the more we have, the more we complain about the few things we don’t have. We never seem to value sufficiently the things we do have, always seeking for more, when we don’t even have the time or the resources to handle it. And it just results in a greedy and selfish society, of which we are the cream of the crop. 

But Bruh Paul’s words to Timothy in our Bit should be the norm in our society. ‘But godliness with contentment is great gain.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren? It surely is! When we have God first place in our lives we’re not selfish or greedy, because He induces a peace and contentment in our souls regardless of our particular situations. 

And the verse following our Bit highlights the ridiculousness of fighting and killing ourselves over the material wealth of the world. ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.’ (1 Tim.6:7) 

And the scholars offer this very interesting explanation of that verse. ‘6:7. And it is certain we can carry nothing out (or, “because we are unable to carry anything out”): Man enters the world at birth possessing nothing, in order to teach him that he will exit the world in the same manner – taking nothing with him. This is a divine means of showing man that since material wealth is relatively insignificant, he should pursue the important things mentioned in verse 11.’ 

And those things include ‘righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience and meekness.’ Now here is this very seminal verse as Bruh Paul continues: ‘And having food and raiment (clothing) let us therewith be content.’ (1 Tim.6:8) 

The scholars explain: 6:8. This verse prevents the wrong understanding of verse 7, that material possessions have no place in the Christian’s life. By figure of speech food and raiment stand for all of life’s basic necessities. These are all the believer needs, and having these he can be content.’ 

However, contentment is not a mainstay of our current society. We are more apt to follow this agenda that Bruh Paul talks about. ‘But they that will be (desire to be) rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful (harmful) lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (ruin and destruction). 

For the LOVE of money is the root of all (kinds of) evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith (for which some in their greediness have strayed from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.’ (1 Tim.6:9-10) 

Ah mih people, the desperate seeking after money and the material possessions of this world only cause more problems than they solve. So please, let’s stop it nuh, and follow Christ’s wise advice: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:32) That’s all there is to it! Much LOVE!

…you cannot serve God and mammon (money)…at the same time… (Matt.6:24b)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2016 Philippians 1:29

Philippians 1:29.    For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

Well friends, all the Good Friday hoopla is finally over. The feast of the Passover is in progress. The Romans and the ruling Jewish class are happy that Jesus the interloper, troublemaker and very possible threat to their power and political status is dead. They are exhaling a big sigh of relief and resting satisfied in the culmination of their most heinous and criminal act; causing Jesus to be crucified on lies and circumstantial evidence. 

Thanks to Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, His lifeless body is now lying in a new tomb sealed by a big rock, with soldiers guarding it, so that there is no chance of any mischief from His rag tag band of followers. 

Meanwhile, in reality, that group of followers have fled hither, thither and yon, fearful for their own lives, because of their association with Jesus. Sincere disappointment also clouds their spirits, because they had had such high hopes for and in their leader. All His great sermons and miracles and wonderful philosophy had fuelled their hearts and minds with dreams of a much better and brighter day. 

But now, in the blink of an eye, after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem some six days earlier, (Palm Sunday) everything  had suddenly been turned topsy-turvy by His sudden betrayal, arrest, mock trial and death on that wooden cross at Calvary. I guess, like any of us mired in a similarly difficult situation, they were wondering what would become of their lives, since they had given up everything to follow Jesus. 

Judas, His betrayer, has gone and hung himself, remorse and guilt having gotten the better of him. Then Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus three times, was tearing out his hair, wondering how he could have done something that stupid and cowardly. Mary, Jesus’ mother, per His dying directive, had gone to live with John, the disciple whom He LOVED. And the once solid band of believers was now in total disarray. 

It had all happened so suddenly that they had all been taken by surprise, although Jesus had tried to warn them of His impending troubles. As they were going up to Jerusalem, to celebrate the Feast of the Passover, Jesus had tried to tell them what was about to happen. 

‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles (Roman rulers): and they shall mock him, and shall scourge (flog) him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.’ (Mark 10:33-34) 

But obviously none of them were paying serious attention to His words. Even the night of the Last Supper, when He informed them that one of the group would betray Him, they still didn’t take it seriously, although they all wondered and asked if it was them. But now things had come to up bump; the Master was dead, and they were like lost, fearful sheep scattered to the four winds, without the LOVE and guidance of their shepherd. 

Yes friends, that was the general state of affairs in Jerusalem, come Saturday morning. I guess it taught that first band of believers a serious lesson; namely that being associated with Jesus could be a dangerous endeavour, entailing suffering and persecution. 

I sincerely hope it has also taught us that too, some two thousand years later, as our Bit details. For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

It’s not all wine and roses my people, we ofttimes have to get down and dirty and also suffer some on Jesus behalf. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great life, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other, but like life itself, there are problems and difficulties to encounter, bear and overcome, obviously with Jesus’ help. 

As Bruh Paul declares earlier in the chapter: ‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ (Phil.1:21) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘1:21. For explains why Paul is just as happy to magnify the Lord by death as by life (v.20). It is because to him, to live is Christ. He means that living consists of serving and glorifying the Son of God; apart from this, his life has neither meaning nor purpose. 

But why is Paul just as content to magnify Christ by death? Because to him to die is gain; that is even though living and serving God are good, death is a graduation to something better: it is a promotion to the heavenly presence of Christ and perfect fellowship with Him.’ 

Now friends, all of that is perfectly true, but like most of you, I don’t think I’m ready for that heavenly promotion just yet. I still have a lot of serving and magnifying and glorifying to do down here on earth. (smile) 

But seriously though my people, like Bruh Paul, our main objective, whether down here on earth, or in heaven on high should be to seriously magnify Christ. That ought to be our basic desire; whatever we do or say should have God’s glorification as its number ONE objective. 

Yuh see all the really rough times Bruh Paul went through fearlessly for Christ’s sake! And Christ brought him safely through them all! Now most of us won’t have to go through anything like that, but we will meet opposition and even persecution, if we become and behave like serious followers of Christ. 

Now that is the number ONE question: how many of us are willing to go through trials and tribulation in Christ’s service? 

And what better day to ponder and consider that question my people, than on the Saturday between Good Friday, when Christ sacrificed His life on the cross, and Easter Sunday, when He rose triumphantly from the grave? 

Please, let’s all do that today nuh. And hopefully we’ll all come up with the same resounding answer: ‘Yes! We will go to the grave magnifying our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! After what He’s done for us, we can do nothing less!’ 

Now let’s go out and put that promise into action this Easter Saturday nuh, before we have time to think about it and change our minds. (smile) Much LOVE!

…by His stripes we are healed…by His precious blood shed on the cross we are saved…thank You Jesus for salvation…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2016 Philippians 2:5‏‏‏

Philippians 2:5.        Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.

Well friends and neighbours, it’s Thursday, the second day of Lent in this watershed year of 2016. Yes my people, I do believe that 2016 will be a very important year in mankind’s history; it will either make or break us. 

But even better than that my people, the world is unfurling exactly as it should; exactly as the script was penned by our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God, many many moons ago. Glory to God! 

And so it should be, because the Almighty is the greatest dramatist ever! The Bible, right from the beginning in Genesis, to the very end in Revelation, is filled with all kinds of drama; good, bad and ugly, so we couldn’t want for a better script to show us how life runs, or is supposed to run. 

And today I want to share a li’l bit of solid info from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. Listen up: ‘The Bible makes it very clear that Christians are soldiers – not tourists in life. We are also servants of God, not houseguests.’ 

Yes friends, for those of us who believe we’re just here to enjoy life without any work or effort on our part, please be warned that that is not so! 

We have a big role to play in setting up Christ’s church, fighting tooth and nail to make the LOVE Revolution a wonderful and winning reality. And as such, we can’t afford to sit on our laurels and expect to be waited on hand and foot, instead, we have to do a lot of the waiting ourselves. 

Now pray this prayer with me that Gramps Schuller finishes the devotion with. ‘Father, I turn these minutes over to you. Do something beautiful in my mind, in my heart, and in my life today. So I will look back and say: “I was caught up on an inspiring spirit of the eternal God in this moment of prayer.” In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen.’ 

And if we sincerely prayed that prayer my people, then beautiful things will happen in our lives today as the Holy Spirit touches us with inspiration and encouragement! Oh glory to God from whom all mercies flow! 

Now re my activities of yesterday, the ole fella played tourist. Hn! I got up in the morning and just felt this urge to visit the town of Plymouth, the island’s capital before Scarborough. It’s not too far from where I am, all on the flat side of the island, so after lunch, the duchess and I headed out to do the tourista thing. 

We drove through the villages of Buccoo, Black Rock and Grafton before we came to Plymouth. And in line with the tourist thinking, we visited Fort James, one of the several forts set up on the island by its early colonial rulers. 

On a point of interest, I believe Tobago is called the ‘Bone of Contention,’ because of the many different colonial powers who ruled it at some time in the cantankerous era of early colonialism. Anyway, from its promontory one can get a beautiful view of that part of the island. 

And not to be amiss, we also visited the ‘Mystery Tombstone,’ located just before the entrance to the fort. It has always been a talking point and tourist attraction since I was a youth. I have inserted two photos, one of the sign and one of the tomb itself. Hope they come out properly. 

But just in case they don’t, the mystery part is the inscription on the tomb that says: ‘She was a mother without knowing it, and a wife without letting her husband know it except by her kind indulgences to him.’ 

Now you too can go out and ponder the words on the tombstone of Betty Stiven which have perplexed mankind for over two centuries. (smile) 

However my brethren, it’s now time for our rather timely Bit. ‘Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’ 

And friends, as we’ve been saying over the last few days, it is of the utmost importance and a vital necessity that followers of Christ, Christians, the church, Christ’s body or organization here on earth think like Him, if we expect to become like Him! That’s gospel truth! 

And today we’ll continue with Bruh Paul’s treatise on the subject. After our Bit, he notes with assurance: ‘Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:6-8) 

Oh my people, that is exactly what we were talking about before, where Gramps Schuller informed us that we were not tourists but soldiers in Christ’s army, and not houseguests, but servants in his household. It’s what Jesus came to earth and did, despite His godly connections. 

Now here are some scholarly explanations on verse 7, re ‘Kenosis.’ ‘2:7. The word Kenosis is the Greek word for “emptying” and is related to the verb translated here as “made himself of no reputation,” which literally means “He emptied Himself.” Christ emptied Himself by (1) veiling His glory and (2) taking on Himself a true but sinless human nature, and (3) voluntarily submitting to the will of the Father. 

Illustration: At all times, Christ remained God, retaining the nature and attributes of God, but taking a human nature in order to have a ministry among men. On the few occasions when His glory was more fully revealed during His ministry, those who saw it were unable to bear it. (cf. Matt.17:6; the transfiguration; John 18:6; His betrayal by Judas and His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane). 

Application: The apostle Paul urges that the attitude of humility (which led to the kenosis) ought to characterize every Christian (v.5). (First Ref. Phil.2:7; Primary Ref. Phil.2:7; cf. John 1:14).’ 

Oh friends, this morning I want to leave us with that same advice; let’s do some kenosis nuh; let’s empty ourselves of all the haughtiness and foolish pride that so often consumes us, and let’s take on the humility of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, as we ought to. For that is indeed the zenith of wisdom. Much LOVE

…humility and servant-hood…two of the signs of a true Christian…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2015 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:9.     If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And then my beautiful Friends and neighbours, it was Friday! The day that so many of us around the world can’t wait to come around, because it signifies the end of our labour for two, big, whole days. (smile) That’s why the joyful cry of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and the weekend’s here at last!’ rings out all over the land every Friday.

 
However Friends and neighbours, just to see Friday come around should not be the uppermost fact or factor in our lives. It does have its importance, but that’s certainly not at the head of the list.
 
Our main priority should always be our focus on the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the One who created the universe and all therein. The One who LOVED us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us on a wooden cross at Calvary’s Hill, so that we could be reconciled to Him.
 
Now that’s a more worthwhile focus, especially in this upcoming last week of the Lenten season, Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday, where we recreate Jesus’ triumphal entry into the Holy City of Jerusalem. Then during the week, we feel with Him the anguish of waiting for His betrayal, crucifixion, and burial.
 
And finally, the greatest moment of all in man’s history, when we celebrate His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday morning! For that’s what entitles us to promise of eternal life! If Christ had not arisen from the grave, having defeated death, then there’d be no after life for us to celebrate today, two thousand years later.
 
Now that’s where the Christian mind should be focused in these difficult and trying times. And to help us get into that frame of mind, rather than the ‘Thank God it’s Friday’ one, let’s chant our Friday Chant with much conviction.
 
As one powerful chanter 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.’
 
Yeh mih people, we need to concentrate on rejuvenating ourselves, so that we can continue our pilgrim’s journey with zest and panache next week. (smile) And an important part of all that is doing what our Bit advises. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’
 
Unfortunately though my brethren, a lot of us don’t seem to believe that and we just go on constantly toting the heavy load that is sin on our frail human shoulders. That’s not wisdom nor common sense my people, for long long ago the Lord promised to forgive our sins if we turned to Him in repentance.
 
Listen to these beautiful, uplifting and encouraging words of the prophet Jeremiah nuh. ‘And they shall teach no more every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.’ (Jer.31:34)
 
Oh Friends, we all know the faithfulness of our God, so why is it so difficult to embrace that promise eh? Why do we insist on letting our sins weigh us down, when it’s not necessary?
 
Bruh David is a great example of not letting his sins weigh him down too much. He did his thing, but when times got rough, he wasn’t afraid to cry out to the God of his fathers for mercy and forgiveness. Hear this cry of his from Psalm 27 – A prayer for guidance and protection.
 
‘Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies, and thy LOVING-kindness; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
 
The meek (humble) will he guide in judgement (justice): and the meek (humble) will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity; for it is great.’ (Ps.25:6-12)
 
Ah mih people, we don’t have to wax as poetic and philosophical as Bruh David, but we do have to bring our sins to Almighty God for forgiveness as often as possible, so that we can shed the heavy load that they bring to bear on us. Please remember Jesus’ great invitation to all and sundry.
 
‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30)
 
Oh Friends, there we have it in living colour, straight from Jesus Himself! What shall we do about it eh? Shall we foolishly reject such a wonderful invitation? Or shall we embrace it with joy and gratefulness?
 
I beg to advice that the latter option is the only wise and sensible one. So today, let’s ponder our true relationship with Jesus nuh, and hopefully come to the conclusion, that He is indeed the Truth, the Light, and the Way in this dark world of evil and sin. Much LOVE!
 
…the greatest wisdom mankind can embrace…is that of truly and faithfully following Jesus…

 

 

 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 June 2013 Psalm 64:1

Psalm 64:1:    Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
 
Well hello there you beautiful people of God! How goes it with you on this wet, rainy Tuesday in almost mid-June? I sincerely hope that there are many more positives than negatives in our lives.
 
But whatever our circumstances this day, I trust and pray that we’ll be dealing with them in the best way possible; that is in humble reliance on Almighty God, for He is absolutely the BEST person for us to consult on EVERYTHING in our lives, be they good or bad.
 
Well it’s been raining in my area since yesterday morning, and though the showers of blessings are welcome, like most things, too much of them is no good. Moderation in all aspects of life is the key to successful living. 
 
And in regards to too many showers of blessings, please note the serious flooding currently plaguing several countries in Europe, and send up some prayers for their well-being. 
 
And talking about prayers, here’s this one from Dr. Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional, re wanting to LOVE ourselves and consequently others, which takes great courage and fortitude. He offers this prayer that can lead us to a new life, also suggesting that we pray it everyday for thirty days.
 
‘Christ – here is my brain – think through it. Christ – here is my face – glow through it. Christ – here are my eyes – look at people through them. Christ – here is my heart – LOVE people with it.’
 
Now that’s really surrendering, truly giving ourselves over to God! And if we’re serious about learning to LOVE, then we’ll genuinely embrace it with hungry hope and steadfast faith.
 
And we’ll continue in the vein of prayer with our Bit, from another great man of God, Bruh David, as he cries out in anguish, re plots and punishment. ‘Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer (meditation or complaint): preserve my life from fear of the enemy.’
 
Now that’s something we all could cry out!
 
And Bruh David continues with his heartfelt plea: ‘Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection (tumult) of the workers of iniquity.
 
Who whet (sharpen) their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words. That they may shoot in secret at the perfect (blameless): suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.’ (Ps.64:2-4)
 
Oh Friends, one of the things I LOVE about Bruh David is that he wasn’t ashamed, afraid or too proud to open his hurting and anguished soul to God, to cry out to Him for help, regardless of his kingly estate here on earth, because he knew that the God of his fathers was much higher than him, and was also very faithful to those who sincerely trusted in and sought Him.
 
And because our God is unchangeable, nothing is different my people, except us, except our attitude to Him. We’ve grown too proud to cry out to God for help. We’ve foolishly adopted the world’s ways of looking first to ourselves, friends, families, neighbours and supposed experts. And it’s only when all of those fail to come up with a plausible solution that we turn at last to Jehovah God, and then expect Him to expedite a solution right then and there.
 
But that’s a fool’s wisdom my Friends!
 
The Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the FIRST one we should turn to in each and every circumstance, NOT the last! Then if He wants us to consult others, He’ll guide and direct us thus.
 
And I’ll repeat that for all the hard ears people (smile): In each and every situation, GOD MUST ALWAYS COME FIRST! And that’s the gospel truth!
 
Now let’s look at some other passages of scripture that corroborate the importance of prayer. First up is Bruh David’s cry in Psalm 55 against deceitful friends. ‘Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn (wander) in my complaint, and make a noise (moan noisily);
 
Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity (bring down trouble) upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is sore (severely) pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
 
Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness.  Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.’ (Ps.55:1-8)
 
Oh Friends, I never intended to include all of that scripture nuh, but after reading it a couple times, I realized that it only conveys the true rending of the heart in its fullness, its entirety. And I know that many of us can definitely understand and identify with those hurtful circumstances, for there’s nothing like being betrayed by a trusted friend. 
 
But the problem is that too few of us go to God with our prayers and supplications, trusting instead to the vain and proud ways of man. Please remember the psalmist’s wise advice: ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to put trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps.118:8-9)
 
Hopefully though, these few words of mine (smile) and the scripture involved therein, will encourage us to go to God FIRST in ALL situations, because that’s where the heart of true wisdom lies.
 
More on this topic tomorrow, provided God’s in favour. Till then my wonderful brethren in Christ, let’s lift up ALL our hopes and fears to heaven in sincere prayer.
 
And may the good and great God that we serve, our Creator and Provider, bless and keep us safe from all harm, and give us His awesome peace that our simple minds cannot begin to comprehend! Much LOVE!
 
…God created prayer so that His hurting children could commune with Him…come to Him for succour in times of need…
 
  
 
 
 
  
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2013 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?
 
Oh Friends, ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there, were you there, were you there when they crucified my Lord?’ 
 

Thankfully Friends, the answer to that question is NO! None of us was there, but judging from the reports outlined in the Good Book, it must have been a gory sight on a ghastly day. I’m ever so glad that I didn’t witness it in person, because I doubt I could have handled it. Just reading about it now, two thousand years later, is bad enough.
 
That brings me to a subject I don’t think many of us even consider; that’s the ignoble and excruciating torture that Jesus suffered for us; mentally, emotionally and physically.
 
Put yourselves in His position nuh Friends. Can you imagine being betrayed by one of your closest confidantes for money, then having to go through the unfair trials that Jesus did, being shuffled from one court to another, from one egotistic, unfair judge to another? And that’s the good part.
 
What about being slapped around, spat on, then being mocked by having a purple robe put around you, and a crown of thorns placed on your head? And I’m sure that crown wasn’t just placed, but jammed down on Jesus’ head, then a crowd of jeering soldiers bowing before you and crying out: ‘Hail, the king of the Jews!’
 
Just think about the scourging He received nuh. Think about those sadistic blows of a cat-o-nine tails raining down on His very human back. Could you handle it, with the various pieces of metal, etc, attached to the whip, just tearing away at your flesh with every lash? And then the march up to Calvary in such sorry state, bearing His cross. Hn! The only redeeming feature is that the tormentors enlisted Simon of Cyrene to help Jesus carry the cross.
 
Then when you’ve come to the ugly, hard-scrabble hill and gully called Golgotha – even the name, place of the skull, causes sordid thoughts – they lay the cross on the ground, then lay you down on it and nail your hands and feet to it. And yuh better believe it wasn’t the nice, clean, smooth, refined nails that he have nowadays, but the large, rough, crude pieces of metal of a bygone era. And I’m sure the ‘nailer’ wasn’t being kind or trying to inflict as little pain as possible, most likely the exact opposite.
 
Then they lift up the cross with you nailed to it, plant it in the hard, rocky ground, and leave you there in the hot, midday, desert sun, for your life to slowly ooze away in enormous pain and anguish. And when you say you’re thirsty, they give you gall, bitter vinegar to drink.
 
And all through this hateful and painful fiasco, they keep taunting you. If you’re God, then take yourself down from the cross. You saved others, now save yourself nuh. And to add to the shame, they crucify you between two vagabonds, deserving of crucifixion. Then just be to be sure you’re dead, they pierce your side with a spear, after you’ve visibly given up the ghost.
 
Now Friends, do you think you could handle all of that without uttering a single peep from all the pain and inhumane suffering, or not beg for mercy and recant? Most of us would have been dead before we even set out for Calvary.
 
But Jesus bore it all with great dignity and fortitude, because that was His assigned role, the role he was born to play. And if He hadn’t played it to the fullest, billions of sinners, billions of His Father’s greatest creation would have ended up in the labyrinth-like dungeons of Hades with that foolish fool Lucifer, who just like us today, didn’t realize what a good thing he had going as a high ranking angel in heaven.
 
The only thing that caused Jesus to cry out, not that He didn’t feel the physical pain, was the separation from His Father. That cut Him to the quick, hurt Him to the core, as he declares in our Bit. ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’
 
The scholars describe it thus: ‘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.’ So true Friends, so true.
 
Now recently I was thinking about all the punishment that Jesus had to bear for our abominable sins, and it struck me that the Father really extracted a terrible price from Jesus on our behalf. It got me to wondering if I could ever allow that to happen to my only and very BELOVED Son. I don’t think so.
 
But that just goes to show how righteous and just the Father is. Above all, justice must be served, for the wages of sin is death, (Rom.6:23a) and to avoid that eternal fate, a sinless, unblemished Lamb had to be sacrificed, and Jesus was the only One who met that high criteria. But I was also thinking that the Father didn’t have to be so rough on Him, make it so excruciating and torturous. Obviously He thought otherwise.
 
That brings me to two points I want to make. The first is that sin is a very serious matter, and truly disliked by God. He dislikes it so much that He went to such great lengths to provide a way out for us. Secondly, He must really LOVE us a whole heap to put both Jesus and Himself through so much pain and tribulation to redeem us.
 
And thirdly – I guess I have three points and not two. (smile) Thirdly, that we’re such a bunch of no good, ungrateful wretches, that after Jesus met such an ignominious and shameful end so that we could be reconciled to the Father, we still have the ‘boldfacedness,’ the gall to question His sacrifice, doubt His truth and make derogatory remarks about Him. Steups!
 
Oh Friends, we should be so grateful and thankful, that we’d be falling all over ourselves to not even put one foot wrong, to honour, LOVE, worship, obey and revere Him! Look at how we make obeisance to earthly rulers who only oppress and suppress us. But to the One who’s done the ‘MOSTEST’ for us, we ignore, defame and try to remove Him from our society.  How sad…
 
But my brethren, I’m begging, pleading, imploring us to change, to correct our wrong attitude today, right now, this very minute! Let’s truly begin to honour Jesus for the unselfish sacrifice He made for us. Let’s praise and glorify Him, spread His Holy Name throughout the entire world, as He asked us to do, be exceedingly glad to be His followers, and not be ashamed, as some of us are, for He is indeed worthy to be praised and glorified.
 
And please note this about the Father; He faithfully rewards obedience to His Word and Will. And Jesus was nothing but obedient during His earthly sojourn.
 
That’s why Bruh Paul could confidently and unhesitatingly proclaim to the Philippians: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things (those) in heaven, and things (those) in earth, and things (those) under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11)
 
Now that’s the gospel truth my brethren! So please, let’s live like we really believe it nuh. It speaks of both wisdom and gratefulness to the zenith. Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…just to think of what Jesus did for me…makes this earthly life all worthwhile…
 
 
 

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