Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.   ​Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 
And then it was the first Friday in the new year; a day every working person was just dying to see, because it was a harbinger of the weekend and they so badly wanted to rest their tired bones, flesh and spirits after all the New Year’s celebrations! Ah mih people, the doctor’s appointments business in the big city have begun again yes. But I’m not sure that I’m keeping this one this morning nuh…

Chuh! The ole fella didn’t sleep well last night and is walking around this morning like an ole fogey. (smile) Easy mih first born easy…(smile) She’s already warned me not to cancel any appointments, but she’s not the one feeling the feelings, nor has to trek umpteen miles in the cold and traffic to hear a doctor say: ‘Oh, everything’s healing well. Just keep on doing what you’re doing!’ And I don’t believe that the duchess is too thrilled having to drive me either. But we’ll see how it shakes out after I’m done with the Bit. 

And nobody is more thrilled than the ordinary workingman to see this day as he so enthusiastically informs us: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! I couldn’t work another day even if mih life depended on it! Brother! Them Christmas and New Year’s festivities really drain me yes! Ah guess is time to realize that ah not as young as I used to be…in other words, no spring chicken, so I can’t afford to party as hearty and not feel the resulting rough consequences. Hn, hn! But where there is a will there is a way. 

So watch me, come this year Christmas and New Year’s Eve nuh! Ah going to start getting mihself ready from early o’clock…because who want to miss them fantastic celebrations, sitting down like some ole man in a wheelchair and kyar move and go round the place and eat and drink up other people stuff eh? Not me for sure nuh! So thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, that enable me to renew mih soul and body, so that I could get out and party! Party, party, party…!’ 

Yes mih breddren, it never ceases to amaze me, how we can be so kind and gracious for a couple of weeks, then go right back to the disgusting living we practiced before. But I guess that’s just nature of the human animal. However, since it’s Friday, we need to let our Christian voice be heard in our Friday Chant. It’s not as ebullient and mind chasing as the workingman’s song, but it sure fits our purposes admirably. 

 So 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!’ 

Yeh, it’s not spectacular, but it helps keep us out of the enemy’s reach, and doing Jesus’ work. And that’s the most important aspect of our lives, doing Jesus’ bidding! Remember His last words to the disciples, in what we term, ‘the Great Commission’?

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

There you have it friends, the imperative from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Ours is to spread the good news of His Word around the world, to all and sundry. And note, He assured us, that He would be with us all the time we’re doing His will. What an awesome Saviour we have my brethren! Always thinking of us and our welfare! 

And the scholars give us this explanation: ‘28:19. The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people. Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers. The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service. A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others. 

The Great Commission is a simple command with three steps – evangelism, baptism, and education. Illustration: The Great Commission is the strategy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel. Application: Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God’s objectives for that institution. (First Ref. Matt.16:18; Primary Ref. Matt.28:19; cf. Phil.1:27).’ 

Yes friends, our job is to let the heathen know about Christ, and all the wonderful things He has to offer to those who come to Him in humility and sincerity. And each and every Christian has a part to play in this transformation! The question that now faces us, is whether we’re doing what Jesus requires of us, and if we’re doing it to the best of our ability? 

And it’s obvious that as the body of Christ, the church, we’re not doing such a great job, otherwise our world wouldn’t be in such a state of upheaval and evil. So I’d like to invite each of us to sit down and seriously ponder our current role in Christ’s church, and then ask the Lord to help us do better, for we can ALL do better. Much LOVE!

…I must work the works of him who sent me…while it is day…the night cometh…when no man can work… (John 9:4)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 January 2016 Matthew 22:37

Matthew 22:37.   Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Oh Friends, I’m getting better! Glory to God! Yeh mih people, on this cold, snowy, Wednesday, winter morn, the ole fella’s getting over this flu bug, but just not as quickly as I would like. (smile) 

I managed to nip most of the sneezing, runny nose and coughing in the bud, but the ole cold instead took a toll on me in the form of bodily weariness and a constant desire to sleep. 

It always amuses and annoys me that we can cure so many serious maladies, but not the simple, common cold. We just have to allow it to run it’s course. And in this case I have to practice what I preach, just grin and bear it. 

I don’t understand God’s reason(s) for allowing it – we never want to get sick – but since our’s is not to question why, just do and hopefully not to die, I’ll put my best foot forward and lean on God’s strength and goodness. Glory Hallelujah! 

Now let’s wail our Wednesday Wail as though we truly mean it. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh yes my brethren, that’s where our focus ought to lie; straight ahead, under the light and easy yoke of Jesus! It couldn’t get any better than that my people. Looking back at the past, as so many of us are wont to do, only stifles and retards our progress, growth and maturity in Christ. And that, we definitely don’t want to happen. 

So please, let us just keep looking to the future, where God has wonderful plans for each of our lives, filled with blessings and goodness untold. And the best way I know to do that is by following Jesus’ command in our Bit. ‘Jesus said  unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.’ 

Yes Friends, when we focus our thoughts and plans and everything else on God, then we are able to stay on the straight and narrow path. Now Jesus declared that statement after some smart-alec Pharisee lawyer tried to trap Him by asking: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?’ (Matt.22:36) 

And we have the first part of Jesus’ reply above. But then He continued. ‘This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:38-40) 

And my fellow believers, Jesus was quite right! If we’d only focus and concentrate on those two things, our lives would be way better and our world would not be filled with so much hatred, anger and strife. But obviously we are not taking those commandments to heart. 

And strangely enough, a prayer I read at the back of my mother’s Bible last night brought about this Bit. I know I’ve shared it before, but last night it just touched a concerned chord in my heart and made me want to bring it up again. 

It says: ‘Father, we confess that we do not always respond to your LOVE as we should. By the power of your spirit living in us, teach us to LOVE you as we ought to LOVE. In Christ. Amen.’ 

And isn’t that first line the gospel truth friends? It surely is! LOVE, the ‘agape,’ brotherly, caring kind is almost non-existent in our world today! And that’s why we’re in such dire straits, plummeting down to the bottom, rather than rising to the top. 

I heard someone say recently that at least 27 nations are at war in our world right now. Hn! How could that ever amount to LOVING and caring for God and each other as Jesus has directed us to eh? Under those negative circumstances it’s just impossible my people. 

So what are we going to do about it eh? There’s only ONE right and sensible thing to do; that’s start LOVING God, ourselves and our neighbours more! That’s the only thing that will turn our negative, resentful, cantankerous world around! 

Oh my people, what kind of world are we going to bequeath to our descendants eh? I do hope it’s not the one we’re currently living in. But that can only be avoided if all of us Christians, supposed believers in Christ, were to seriously come together, take up the banner of Christ’s LOVE Revolution and seriously and sincerely fight to make it come true! 

Remember our Bit: it’s LOVE that conquers all! And not the lustful, romantic type either. 

Oh Friends, I don’t know what else to say to get us worked up enough to truly fight the LOVE Revolution nuh, but in ending I want to point out one distinction that Jesus made in His declaration. 

Moses told the Israelites: ‘And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.’ (Deut.6:5) 

However Jesus changed the last part to ‘with all thy mind.’ He recognized that it all begins in our minds with our thoughts and ulterior motives. 

Yes my precious people, the major battlefield is right there in our minds, and until we start thinking right and LOVING thoughts, the enemy will continue to have a stranglehold on us. 

So please, let’s wake up and smell whatever it is we need to smell nuh, so that we can come together as the ONE body that Christ desires and fight for the LOVE Revolution tooth and nail, to provide a better day and life for our offspring. That’s what true wisdom is all about. Much LOVE!

…and the supreme call is…for Christians to come together…right now…in Jesus’ name…and walk our walk…  

P.S. Please excuse the Bit’s tardiness, but between the cold and my usual late night shenanigans, it does make getting up early a tad difficult. (smile) But as they say: better late than never. Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2014 Matthew 5:20

Matthew 5:20.    For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 
Ah Friends, the ole fella’s paying the price for disobedience this morning, an aching back. Too much rest it would seem. (smile) Apparently I ignored the wake up bell this morning and slept in. But my body was tired, I pleaded! No excuse, I was summarily informed. When the bell goes, you arise. End of story! 
 

Ah what a hard taskmaster. But I guess dem’s the breaks! (smile) I know the rules, so if I don’t abide by them, I’ll just have to pay the price. And that’s the way it is with most things in life my people. If we don’t do right, especially if we know what’s right, then we pay.
 
Anyway, today I want to share with you a couple of passages from an article in the July issue of In Touch Magazine, titled ‘Know Your Place,’ by Jim Daly. Some of you might have read it already, but didn’t even pay it any real serious attention, but Friends these words and actions are of vital importance in the life of each and every Christian believer.
 
Mr. Daly quotes Timothy Keller, from his book, ‘The Prodigal God.’ “You can’t live the Christian life without a band of Christian friends, without a family of believers in which you find a place.”
 
And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! We can’t live a truly Christian life alone, it’s too difficult to do, especially with all the inviting and exciting wrongs the world has to offer nowadays. We need the empathy, encouragement and bolstering that a tightly knit group offers.
 
And in any case, Jesus didn’t desire and plan for His people to be separate and apart, but be together as one, as one body in His name. It’s all well and good to go to church and participate in the ceremonies and rituals on an individual basis. 
 
But as Mr. Daly later adds: ‘But if we’re not making an effort to connect and engage with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we’re missing out on a key element of the church as described in the New Testament.’ And that’s the fostering of true community amongst the Christian brethren.
 
Oh Friends, that’s why there is so much resentment, jealousy and antagonism in the church today. We don’t individually nor collectively foster a sense of true community in the body of Christ. We talk it, but don’t actually walk it. Consequently, we’re not able to be as productive in spreading the good news of the gospel, as we ought to be.
 
We need to put away the selfishness and petty things that keep us apart, die to our own selves, and encourage the things that truly bring us together. And though the leaders in the church might be to blame for some of that, every single believer also has to shoulder some blame too, because it all begins with us as individuals.
 
And that brings us to this passage from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Romans, where he talks of the people having zeal but no righteousness. ‘Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel, is that they might be saved. For I bear them record (witness), that they have a zeal of (for) God, but not according to knowledge.
 
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law, for righteousness to every one that believeth.’ (Rom.10:1-4)
 
And the scholars have a good explanation of that scripture. ‘10:4. Christ is the end of the law.  Israel mistook the purpose of the law. The law pointed to the righteousness that is attainable only by belief in Christ. Israel also mistook the scope of the law.
 
The righteousness to which it pointed was universally available to all who responded to God’s revelation of Himself through the law. But by Paul’s time many had substituted works for faith. Rather than seeking redemption in God’s mercy, they pinned their hopes on their own religious achievement.’
 
And sadly my people, today too many of us are still doing the same thing; depending on our own religiosity rather than God’s available mercy and grace.
 
But please note what our Bit says about that behaviour. ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’
 
Those are the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so obviously there’s no doubting them!
 
And the scholars provide a wonderful explanation of all that. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven.
 
The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness.
 
In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action:’
 
Sadly Friends, it’s the same thing a lot of us are still doing today, depending on self, rather than God. And the scholars add a very useful list of what the Law required and what the Spirit of God desired.

 LAW                                                                        SPIRIT

 

No murder                                                                No anger

 

No adultery                                                               No lust

 

No divorce                                                                Commitment

 

No oath-taking                                                          Speak the truth

 

No retaliation                                                            Forgiveness

 

Hatred for your enemy                                              LOVE for your enemy

 

  (tradition allowed it)                                                   (commanded)

 

And there we have it my people, a simple breakdown of the things the religious Law called for and/or allowed, as well as the things that Jesus desired, and still desires, of His true and faithful followers.

 

So let’s sit down today and consider our own reaction and behaviour to all those things nuh, and then, as always, sincerely ask God to help us improve in whatever way we need to. That’s heavenly wisdom my brethren, for we know He will NEVER refuse any requests to draw closer to Him! Much LOVE!

 

…to be a true believer…one must lose the self in self-righteousness…

 

P.S. That makes up for the short Bit yesterday. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 August 2014 Matthew 6:15

Matthew 6:15.    But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Oh Friends, do you realize that we’re already in the middle of August, and that just last week it was July? (smile) Yes mih people, the days are certainly rushing ahead fast and furious. The summer’s almost over! Where did it go to eh?
 
In another few weeks the trees will begin divesting themselves of all their beautiful green foliage, getting ready to face the harsh reality that’s winter in their total nakedness, when food and nourishment become scarce.
 
Let us hope though, that no human brethren are doing, or planning to put that same strategy into effect, for there is always nourishment and succour available in the body of Christ.
 
Let me put that in more practical terms; there should always be food, clothing and comfort available to those in need, from Jesus’ earthly body, the church.
 
That’s one of the basic reasons the Lord instituted tithes; so that His personal storehouse would always have supplies for the poor and needy, for the stranger, the widow and the orphan. Note that God has a very special place in His heart for those people, and has provided for them thus.
 
Oh my fellow believers, are we tithing to our local church? We should be, for without our generous gifts, Jesus’ church would not be able to function as it ought.
 
Remember that the church is not merely the building, but even more so the believers who occupy it. And we can’t maintain the buildings, or do the outreach and missions desired by Christ without the generous help of the congregation in terms of talent, time and finances.
 
Everybody wants to see their church buildings looking spiffy and fine, and want to hear about all the good work that body of Christ is doing in their community and around the world, and that’s a very worthwhile dream and wish, but we also need to be practical and realize that none of it can happen without the generous support of the parishioners.
 
So I urge us today, to check our individual generosity to our local church, and seriously consider raising our levels of giving, in terms of time, talent and money, for that’s the only way the church, as Christ’s body here on earth, will survive and grow the way He desires it to.
 
Hn, hn, hn! Yes Friends, I’m here chuckling because I don’t know where all of that came from. I certainly wasn’t intending to write about it. I guess it must have come from the church warden’s meeting I attended last evening, where one of the topics we discussed was finances, and the need to improve, to upgrade ours. And I guess that would be the situation in many other churches too, hence the Holy Spirit’s leading to give voice to it.
 
Anyway mih breddren, let’s see if we can finish up the message on forgiveness with this Bit today. ‘But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you.’
 
Oh my people, my people, we can never overestimate the importance of forgiveness in the life of a believer! And it’s simply because we won’t be forgiven, if we don’t forgive. Jesus made that quite clear in the Lord’s Prayer: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12)
 
Please note that it’s a conditional statement; forgive us, AS we forgive. Yes my brethren, only as we forgive, will our heavenly Father forgive us. So we had better get that written indelibly in our consciousness and practice it, otherwise we’re simply out of luck. Well not really luck, but you know what I mean; crapaud smoke we pipe, we up the stream without a lifeline. (smile)
 
Now let’s look at some scriptures that emphasize forgiveness. In this first passage, Luke has Jesus saying these most meaningful words when He teaches forgiveness.
 
‘Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent; forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.’ (Luke 17:3-4)
 
Oh Friends, that means that every time we’re asked for forgiveness, we MUST give it! ‘Thou shalt forgive him,’ is a command, meaning that no flexibility is allowed in our behaviour, even though the hurt is great and the forgiveness hard!
 
I know that sounds sort of rough and unfair my fellow believers, but that’s just the way it is in Jesus’ kingdom, and if you desire to be His follower, then you need to toe the line. It’s as simple as that.
 
Every organization has rules, and if you want to be a continual member, then you must abide by their rules. The same goes for the church of Christ!
 
Now listen to James as he talks about impartiality to all. ‘So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgement without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against (triumphs over) judgement.’ (James 2:12-13)
 
Yes Friends, it all comes right back to the elementary principle in God’s handling of the universe; you reap what you sow. So if you sow things like mercy, forgiveness, justice and LOVE, those are the things you will eventually reap, in greater amount than what you sowed too.
 
So please my people, let’s faithfully go out and sow the good things of Jesus today nuh, so that tomorrow, when our harvest comes in, we will reap the wonderful abundance that’s granted to those who sow in LOVE, forgiveness, justice and mercy.
 
As Cousin Sol would say, ‘that’s the wisdom for each and every age!’ (smile) Much, much LOVE my fellow believers!
 
…and be ye kind one to another…tenderhearted…forgiving one another…even as God…for Christ’s sake…hath forgiven you… (Eph.4:32) 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2014 Isaiah 61:3

Isaiah 61:3.  To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
 

And the celebrations went on late into the night! (smile) Well they might very well have, just not at my place. In fact, there were no real celebrations in my yard yesterday. We more or less took Canada Day as a day of quietness and peace, doing stuff around the house that needed to be done. And though I did get to bed rather late, it was certainly not from celebrating.
 
However, when called upon to arise and get going this morning, the old body totally rebelled. I remember getting up to go to the bathroom sometime after three o’clock and telling the Lord it was way too early to get a move on, especially since I hadn’t been to bed too long before that. But the next time I opened my bleary eyes it was after six o’clock. Hn, hn!
 
Now I’m sure there are a few of us in that predicament on this morning after. (smile) It’s a good thing though that my boss is such an understanding, forgiving and merciful boss, and He won’t rage on me or dock my pay, as some of the earthly bosses will do to those who are late this morning, especially after what has been an extraordinary long weekend for some.
 
Praise the Lord! What a life eh Friends! But these things do happen, even in the best of families. (smile)
 
Anyway, the word from my almanac for today is ‘COLLABORATE.’  And that is a most important word in all aspects of life! For remember that since no man is an island, complete unto himself, we therefore need to collaborate with others to get things done and thus have a decent and fulfilling life.
 
And the quote for today comes from Mattie Stepanek – Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek (1990-2004) American poet, peacemaker and philosopher, who published six books of poetry, he called ‘Heartsongs.’
 
Yes I know he was only fourteen when he died, but apparently his family suffered from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, which took his life and that of three other siblings at rather tender ages. Just goes to show how much we can achieve and accomplish either when pushed by things like upcoming death, or we truly put our minds to it.
 
Anyway, Mattie tells us this morning that ‘Unity is strength…when there is collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.’
 
Wow mih breddren! What an awesome truth! And that from a young pup too! It’s true in ALL aspects of life!
 
But unfortunately, nowhere is it sadly lacking and badly needed more than in the earthly body of Christ Jesus! His church is much too fractured and divisive, with way too many different religions and denominations, all purportedly teaching and celebrating the same risen Christ.
 
Well if we’re all talking about the same Saviour, and telling the same story, then why are there so many divisions eh? There can be only ONE truth, so there should be only ONE message! I guess it just means that people are seeing the message differently, and thus telling it in different ways.
 
But Friends, what a beautiful explosion of Christianity there would be in this evil and ungodly world if the true and faithful brethren in Christ would concentrate on collaborating, in getting together, rather than falling apart into small cliques and divisions! Glory Hallelujah! The world would certainly stand up and take significant notice!
 
Please remember that Christ’s church is supposed to be ONE BODY, just like the Holy Trinity is ONE GOD!
 
Sadly though, at this juncture in our history, that cannot be said of Christ’s body, when we’re fighting so terribly and frightfully amongst ourselves. How can we expect to hear good tidings of salvation under those negative circumstances eh?
 
How can we expect the Lord ‘To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.’
 
It just isn’t realistic my people. The Lord’s seeking teamwork and unity amongst His children. How can we be truthfully called ‘trees of righteousness’ and ‘the planting of the Lord’ when we’re so disjointed and divisive eh, when we’re allowing the things of the world to drive us apart, rather than enjoining the things of God to bring us together?
 
The prophet Jeremiah spells it out very clearly for us. ‘Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in (the strength of) man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath (a shrub) in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.’ (Jer.17:5-6)
 
Yes Friends, that’s one side of the equation. Now listen to the other half of it, then tell me which half makes more sense, which one is wiser to follow.
 
‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer.17:7-8)
 
Yes Friends, those are the two options available to us, and it’s plainly stated what will happen in each. And just in case we hold deceitful intentions, please note that we can’t try to cover up our dark secrets while looking good on the outside, as we can do with men, for Jeremiah continues with the Lord’s declaration.
 
‘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 (the mind, the most secret places), even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings (deeds).’ (Jer.17:9-10)
 
For sure my brethren, the Lord will judge each individual by his or her actions. So it’s up to each of us to choose the option we think best suits us. But let me add a word of wisdom here; (smile) option two wins the contest hands down!
 
Oh Friends, we can’t glorify our great and wonderful God by fighting amongst ourselves, so starting today, right now, let’s seriously concentrate on trusting the Most High God Jehovah nuh, and consequently live in unity and collaboration with each other, so that we can reap the blessedness that He has prepared for those who truly LOVE Him and seek to be obedient to His will.
 
It’s not all that difficult to do, and furthermore, it is truly the wisdom of and for the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing…therefore choose life…that both thou and thy seed may live… (Deut.30:19)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2014 Acts 5:3

 

Acts 5:3.     But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?    

Monday, oh Monday! The day the working people LOVE to hate, and hate to LOVE! They find it to be a rather great inconvenience in their lives. (smile) But as believers, with Jesus featuring in our hearts, we ought to handle it with much ease, aplomb and peace.

Awright, so realistically we have a hard time getting ourselves together on Mondays, but that’s mostly because we don’t prepare for it properly on Sundays. And furthermore, as I keep reminding us, if we can’t do anything about it, we might as well stop complaining, since complaining doesn’t help, but just makes matters worse. We need to develop a positive mindset, so when we realize that it’s Monday, we just glow with pleasure, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Okay, okay, please don’t shoot the messenger! (smile) Anyway, to help us get over the hump that’s Monday, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with great gusto. As one harmonious and whole body of Christ now: ‘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!’

Oh Friends, that was indeed a most rousing rendition! Jesus was greatly pleased, as He demonstrated by singing and clapping along with us. He could feel the Holy Spirit diligently moving in our hearts and souls. And today we’ll continue looking at the movement and power of the Holy Spirit back in the early days of Christianity.

Now, before we interrupted our message on the Holy Spirit for Father’s day, we had just seen where a whole lot of believers were selling their possessions and joining in a communal way of life. At the end of chapter 4 we were told about Joses, surnamed Barnabas, who sold his possessions and brought the proceeds to the apostles. And chapter 5 opens with the story of two other people who did the same thing, but with a slightly different twist.

Listen to the Good Book relate it. ‘But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to (aware of) it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles feet.’ (Acts 5:1-2)

And my people, here the Spirit of God truly begins to work, as Peter declares to Ananias starting with our Bit. ‘But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power (control)? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost (breathed his last): and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound (wrapped) him up, and carried him out, and buried him.’ (Acts 5:3-6)

Lordy, Lordy, my brethren, what a poignant and perfect example the Holy Spirit set!

Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘5:3-4. The deity of the Holy Spirit is evident within this passage. In verse 3 Peter states that Ananias has lied to the Holy Spirit. Then in verse 4 Ananias is told he has lied to God.

5:4. Communal sharing is still being practiced some weeks or months after Pentecost, but it was totally voluntary. Ananias’s sin was not that of keeping back part of what he sold, but his hypocrisy about it.

5:5. Though God does not judge every believer’s sin with death, in some situations God does. (1 Cor.11:30; 1 John 5:16).As with Achan, this first act in a new era serves as an example (Josh.7:10-26).’

That last reference is to the story of Achan, who disobeyed God’s ban on taking plunder from the fall of Jericho. That led the Lord to take away His favour from Israel in time of war. Eventually Achan confessed, then he and his family were stoned to death, and burned with fire. What a horrible way to die! But the Lord apparently desired that sacrifice to appease His anger and disappointment, and also set an example, letting the people know that disobedience would be severely punished.

Oh Friends, I think we’ll stop there for today, because what I’d like to say would definitely make the Bit too long, and I never want to tax our powers of concentration too much, especially on a Monday morning. (smile)

So let’s ponder the lessons found in today’s message and learn from them nuh, so that the same, or similar repercussions won’t befall us. It’s always better to learn from the mistakes of others. That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…totally living for Jesus… is such a beautiful and inspiring thing…there’s nothing else on earth that compares to it…nothing else even comes close…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2014 Luke 21:19

Luke 21:19.         In your patience, possess ye your souls.

Oh Friends, it’s Monday… And some of us unashamedly laugh and cackle because we don’t have to go to work today. Thanks to good ole Queen Vic (Victoria), it’s a holiday in Canada and some other parts of the British Commonwealth of Nations!
 
But my cackling Friends, that’s not very Christian behaviour. You ought to be empathizing with your unfortunate brethren, who have to go out and labour today in an unfriendly world. Anyway, please repent of your petty behaviour and then sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with those unfortunates in loud, harmonious voice. 
 
As one prayerful and grateful body of Christ now: ‘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!’
 
Ah mih people, that was a good rendition, no doubt bolstered by the enthusiastic voices of those who don’t have to go to work! But whatever, Jesus was pleased. Now let’s see if we can please Him when we go out to labour and the fiery darts of the enemy begin to flash at us.
 
Let’s see if we can stand up strong, display that tenacity, that backbone and belly for which Christians have been famous for from the early days, and fulfill the words of Jesus in our Bit: ‘In your patience possess ye your souls.’
 
Yes my brethren, in our faith, patience, perseverance and endurance are everything! If we don’t major in those qualities, then we’ll never become mature Christians. For it’s in our standing steadfast and strong during times of adversity that we improve, mature in our walk of faith. And today, all I want to do is to share some seminal scriptures on the subject of patience, perseverance and endurance.
 
Hear Bruh Paul talking to the Romans about unity in Christ. ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
 
Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus. That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Rom.15:4-6)
 
Yeh Friends, to be like Jesus and the Father, we need to have patience, because they have that in abundance, and likewise all those who laboured for them, as written in the scriptures for our encouragement. 

Now listen to the author of Hebrews, as he enjoins us with a plea to hold on to our faith. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)
 
And we have a wonderful example of that in our father Abraham. ‘For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’ (Heb.6:13-15)
 
Yes Friends, our God is a faithful God, but by necessity He needs to try and test us to see if we’re made of sterner stuff, able to follow in the footsteps of His Son.
 
And we’ll close with a word on the subject from Bruh David. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass.
 
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:7-9)
 
Oh my fellow believers, we couldn’t ask for better advice than that, for Bruh David not only spoke it, but he also lived it. And we see in the God Book,  how the Lord favoured him abundantly as he stood strong under his many trials. Now let us go out today and see if we can do the same nuh – all to the glory of our wonderful God! Much LOVE!
 
…but if we hope for that we see not…then do we with patience (perseverance)…(eagerly) wait for it… (Rom.8:25)

 

 

 

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