Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2019 Hebrews 13:5a.

Hebrews 13:5a.    ​I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
 

Ah mih people, life is as changeable as the weather! Yuh remember yesterday I complained that it was going to be another ‘riney’ day? Well, lo and behold, by mid-day, it had turned into a perfectly beautiful warm and sunshiny day, lots of blue skies and cool breezes! Shorts and shirtsleeves weather! 

Well it’s the same way our lives can change rather abruptly, with no warnings at all. One moment you might be going through a perfect period of peace and calm, then all of a sudden calamity and adversity strike and you feel lost and out of your element. Or the opposite can happen; you’ll be going through a real rough time, and then for no apparent reason, the storm, the winds and the seas just suddenly become calm and you find yourself sailing along in perfect peace! 

Wow! That’s what we call life! Unpredictable, unreliable and unforeseeable! (smile) Consequently, too many of us struggle to maintain our equilibrium in the sudden and scary ups and down of life. But there is a most positive antidote, a positive and productive way to handle life…His name is Jesus! 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can help us successfully handle and navigate through the vicissitudes of life! Without Him, we are at the very mercy of life’s ever-changing circumstances. And that’s the gospel truth! But more on that later, because the workingman is just dying to bellow out his song this bright and sunshiny morning. (smile) So let’s give him a listen nuh. 

‘Woyoyo! At long last I can shout TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The weekend, the weekend, it’s here, alive and in blazing sunshine too! Let’s just hope it stays so yes. We’ve been disappointed too often in the last few weeks. And I’m all ready to get out there in mih short shots and tank top and grill a few steaks, dogs and burgers, while sipping some cold brewskis! It’s June now, a week into it, so is high time we could go out there and do that sorta thing without any worries about cold weather! 

Steups! Wuh happen, we living in the North Pole or something, that the weather so blooming cold and miserable? And if yuh check it out, up there right now they must be having long, hot bright days, enjoying a good summer already, while we down here having this expletive deleted kinda weather! 

But is not much we could really do about it nuh, so let me stop complaining and just have a positive mindset and get mih self ready to get out there this evening when ah get home and do mih own thing. Mama Yo! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, at long last, ah chance to get away from the slave driver and them work…and party hearty too! I’ll be in mih essence then!  

Yeh friends, the workingman surely tells it like he sees it. And generally speaking, nothing’s wrong with that, it’s just sometimes he goes overboard, or crosses over the line that we believers in Christ Jesus can’t afford to cross over, for fear of having the enemy infiltrate our already less than strong and mature souls. (smile) 

And there’s no shame in that, it’s just common sense to shy away from danger before it hits you…and believe me the enemy we’re fighting is pretty dangerous when we give him a chance. On his own, he’s harmless, a toothless tiger, but once we open the door, brother, he’s all over us with his evil self like white on rice! (smile) That’s why our Friday Chant is not as expansive and expressive as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in full voice and strong sense of purpose. 

‘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 brothers and sisters in Christ, ours is a dedicated life that requires some borders and fences so that we don’t cross over into enemy territory. But that’s the beauty of living for Jesus…He gives us the wherewithal to handle ALL that comes against us, as well as constantly being by our side. And furthermore, He’s made an everlasting and ever faithful promise: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ 

Wow! What an awesome promise! And we know He’ll keep it, because that’s the kind of Lord and Saviour He is. And it’s not like it’s something He just said the other day; He’s been saying it for ages now! Listen to how He said it to Joshua when He assigned him leadership of the Israelites after Moses’ death. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

And we know that the Lord kept that promise to Joshua in spades! But even before that, the Lord had made the same promise to the Israelites through Moses, when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt, leading them towards the Promised Land. Hear this encouraging and reassuring part of Moses’ last speech to the Israelites: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) 

So friends, that’s definitely not a new promise, and every time the Lord made it, He kept it, so why should it be any different now with us eh? No reason whatsoever! The Lord our God never changes, so His promises last for a lifetime. That’s why we need to embrace His Son, Jesus Christ RIGHT NOW, and gratefully and humbly accept all that’s He’s already done, as well as all He’s promised to do for us. 

That’s because there’s no one, or nothing else that can give us that kind of reliable, steady and steadfast life, through each and any situation, through calm and storm, through adversity and peace, like Jesus can! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE friends! So please, let’s be wise and come to Him in all sincerity nuh, and then hold on to Him for dear life, because He is indeed the Way, the Truth and the Life…as well as the Light! Much LOVE!

…to LOVE and LIVE for Jesus…Wow!…it’s the most wonderful thing…in God’s great universe…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2019 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   ​Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
 

Ah mih people, is it a curse or a blessing? I’m talking about the immense amount of rain that’s been falling recently, and in concert with melting snow is causing a lot of flooding all over the land! Today’s another rainy day, with more flood warnings being issued by the Weather Advisory Dept. 

Now the rain is generally supposed to be a blessing, helping to nourish the land for spring planting and such, but sometimes I believe the Lord is giving us more than we need to sort of wake us up from our evil and ungodly ways. But how many of us are paying attention to that possibility eh? Not too many. And yes, I know that He promised Noah not to ever destroy the earth by water again, (Gen.9:11,15) but He never said anything about giving warnings by that method. (smile) 

And friends, we’ve become such a wicked and ungodly people that anything is possible right now. I know that the Lord’s heart is breaking because of the rampant evil and rebellion that’s taking place amongst His most treasured and blessed creation. But who’s listening eh, who really cares about the Lord’s heart breaking? Too few of us! 

And to make matters worse, it’s the big day of Friday, so everybody is anxious to hear what the workingman has to say in his song and get on with their weekend activities, as the world dictates. And he opens with his usual semi-godly: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend is finally upon us! 

It was a short workweek, but a tough one, what with all the prior Easter celebrations! But we can’t afford to rest too much, because as soon as you turn around the lousy two days off seem to just evaporate and yuh back labouring for massa again! But the trouble is we might’n have much choice because of the blooming rain that’s threatening to spoil the weekend! 

Chuh! Doesn’t the rain know that the weekend is the only time we working people have to do stuff for ourselves, and to get in a li’l partying? Let’s hope that it’s not as bad as the weather people forecast, and that they wrong one more time, as they so often are! Hn, Hn, Hn! But we still thanking God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes friends, the workingman tells it as he sees it, no beating round the bush, but his boundaries and borders are just too wide and lax for us believers, so our Friday Chant is not as expansive and self-serving as his song. Now let’s chant our song of thanks for the weekend in sincere enthusiasm and strong voice. 

‘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 need to be somewhat more circumspect and aware of the evil and ungodly stuff that’s happening around us, so that we don’t fall into any of the many traps that the enemy sets for us. For as Peter so wisely and vividly proclaims: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And I know some of you might be tired hearing that scripture, but it’s no joke friends, it’s the reality of this evil world that we live in. And unless we are careful, that roaring, noisy lion, who is really toothless and thus can’t bite, will nab us in some ungodly and/or evil undertaking. He is powerless after Jesus’ victory over Him at Easter time, that’s why he has to resort to lies and deceit to get us into his traps. He can only get to us if we allow him. 

But the attractions of the world are so numerous and so glitzy and compelling that we have to pay serious attention to what we do, if we seriously want to live for Christ. That’s why Peter continues, re the devil: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Yeh, I hear some of you muttering: ‘So what good is that doing me eh, if others are also being afflicted? I’m solely interested in my affliction, how to fix my business!’ Now that’s not very neighbourly or brotherly my people, for we are all of ONE body in Christ, and therefore we must be all for one and one for all! 

Oh friends, Jesus said that we’d all suffer some in this evil world, especially if we believe in Him, but He also said that we should be joyful and of good cheer because He has overcome the world. (John 16:33) And we saw that in full splendour this past weekend when He rose triumphantly from the grave! 

And yes, it’s not easy to be always on your p’s and q’s, however, as Peter concludes: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) 

Glory be my people! Our great God will not allow us to undergo continual suffering or more than we can handle! Therefore: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5:11) It’s all gospel truth friends, so let’s hunker down this rainy Friday morning and do our best, with God’s help obviously, to stay out of the devil’s evil clutches! That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…you can’t want all the idols of the world…as well as the God of heaven…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2019 Habakkuk 3:18.

Habakkuk 3:18.   Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
 
Oh friends, let me apologize right at the beginning for the late start to the Bit, but I went to bed late last night and then the early morning sleep was so sweet and satisfying that I just could not resist the tempting offer of it’s siren’s call: ‘Sleep one more round…just sleep one more round…before you get up!’ 

Yeh friends, the ole fella was a sucker for that appealing temptation! (smile) But remember he’s only human and can’t be expected to resist everything that comes against him. And I know that you’ll understand and forgive me, because you are also subject to just such temptations. Praise the Lord! (smile) 

But it’s Friday and the workingman is there chomping at the bit to declare (phew…wrong again) his clarion call, so let’s hear him nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s looming large on the horizon! The March Break also finish, and everybody who went away packing up now to come back home to school and work! 

Steups! Don’t know why they make such a big to do over it nuh, because is just one lousy week, and as soon as yuh get where yuh going, yuh have to pack up and come back again! But it wasn’t a bad week here, the temp wasn’t that cold and I went out a few times with the children, so that kept them happy. 

But the backbreaking work still continuing…the slave driver not letting up at all, especially since business picking up now. Brother! He just hungry and greedy and dying to get as much work done as possible! He even offering overtime on the weekends…

But that is his problem yes! I work hard enough during the week, the weekend is for me to party and spend li’l time with mih family. If the slave driver value money over his free time and family, then later for him yes! I’m going to thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And isn’t that the living truth my people; many of us value money over spending time with our families and resting ourselves. But that’s not always wise because it breaks down everything; your family relationships as well as your own health.

So please, let’s not run down the dollars and cents, as so many of us are still doing, to the detriment of our families and ourselves. If the ordinary workingman can see and understand that principle, why can’t we believers, supposedly of wiser intellect see it too eh? 

But anyway let’s chant our reply to the workingman’s song, which wasn’t as far out on the limb today as it usually is. Our Friday Chant is still more conservative and sensible and in line with Jesus’ desires. So all together 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!’ 

Yes friends, we need to remember that we have certain borders and stop points that we ought not to go over unless we want the ever lurking enemy to get a foothold in our business and mess it up even more than it’s already messed up. (smile) We need to be always on our ‘p’s and q’s, because he is always on his. 

And he’s no more voracious than in this Lenten season when he knows that we’re all seeking spiritual upliftment with fasting and praying and meditating a bigger slice of our lives than normal. There’ nothing he would like better than to get us off course on our spiritual journey. That’s why my fellow believers we have to do like the prophet Habakkuk says in his song. Even though times are very rough and trying: ‘Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.’  

Wow friends! A few simple but powerful words can make a lot of difference to our spiritual selves! And why was Habakkuk intent on being so joyful even though his situation might be less than satisfactory?

Because: ‘The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds (deer’s) feet, and will make me to walk upon mine high places.’ (Hab.3:19) And yes friends, that’s as good a reason as any, and better than many, to put one’s everlasting and sincere trust in the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel! 

 Hear how Isaiah puts it when he declares (wrong again – going to have to stop using it) his good tidings of salvation to Zion. ‘I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.’ (Is.61:10-11) 

And friends, if you are indeed a true believer in Christ, you won’t need any other promise than that to convince you to stick with Jesus ALL THE WAY TO ETERNITY! No other supposed deity can even dream of making such a promise, much less of keeping it like Jesus will!

So let’s be courageous and steadfast and run the race that God has planned for us nuh. If we stick together and look to Him, we WILL WIN in the end! Much LOVE!

…though the storms of life billow around us…we’re sure of one thing…that Jesus is right in the middle of them with us…Praise His Holy Name…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 February 2019 John 17:17.

John 17:17.   ​Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.
 

Can you believe it friends, it’s the first day of February already! Wow! The days are certainly slipping by quite quickly. It seems like just last week we were celebrating New Years, now Valentine’s Day is already upon us. (smile) And the iron grip of the deep freeze has been loosened a little, it’s only minus 18 in my neck of the woods today! Glory Be! 

And by Sunday we are promised temps just around freezing, even some rain. Hn, hn! What a weather cycle! But as I keep saying, we sincere believers in Jesus have all the parts to handle whatever comes against us, through His ever glorious strengthening! Give Him thanks and praise my people! 

Now since today is Friday, let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself nuh. And as always, he has plenty to say: ‘TGIF! Thank the Lord is Friday oui! But Brother! This past week been cold suh! It seems as though every time I step outside it want to freeze off my li’l nutsies! (smile)

But in this country yuh know yuh can’t stay home from work because it cold, else yuh get fired…and believe me, the slave driver at my place was just itching to fire somebody this week who claim that they was sick, when is the cold have them fraid to come out to work! 

But thank the Lord, the devil man didn’t get a chance to fire anybody, because everybody come out this week…and we was punctual too! Almost give the man a heart attack when he couldn’t fire nobody or deduct money because yuh late! But is the weekend time now, we time off, and time to party…

And believe me not even this cold weather going to stop we from enjoying we self! Yuh don’t have to go outside to enjoy yuhself. So we’ll be living it up large inside, this weekend. Thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends yes mih people!’ 

Ah friends, the workingman is truly something else yes; he lays it all on the line, does whatever he feels inclined to do; loses himself in the bacchanalian manner of life without a care in the world. However, as followers of Christ, we cannot afford to be that free and easy. We have borders and boundaries to protect us from the constant attacks of the enemy. Thus our Friday Chant is different to the workingman’s song. Chant it with me now nuh, in strong voice with sincere hearts. 

‘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 friends, ours is a more sanctified, set apart lifestyle, since we don’t want the devil messing with our minds and lives. Remember where Jesus prayed for the disciples, and ultimately for us? ‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. That they all may be one; as thou, Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:16-21) 

Ah friends, yuh see how Jesus was right on the ball? He didn’t want us to be a part of the world, but knew that we could only bring the world to Him if we went to it. And He asked that we be sanctified, separated from the world by the Truth, God’s Word which is totally true! And just like the Father sent Jesus to earth to preach the gospel and bring sinners to the truth, Jesus has sent those who believe in Him out to do the same thing. 

Our purpose, the mission of Christ’s church is the same as His mission. And please note Christ’s prayerful plea, that we should ALL be one in spirit and purpose, for without spiritual unity our mission would fail miserably. Oh friends, sanctification of Christ’s people is oh so important if we want to do Christ’s work properly! 

Hear how Bruh Paul greets the church at Corinth: ‘Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.1:2-3) 

Ah mih people, we cannot be sanctified in Christ unless we have a right relationship with Almighty God. Hear how Jude puts it: ‘Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified (set apart) by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and LOVE, be multiplied.’ (Jude 1:1-2) 

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses: ‘1: Sanctified and preserved are in the perfect tense: Christians are once and continually “set apart” and “kept.” They are kept for the return of Christ (see v.21).’ ‘2. Believers who have sought God’s mercy also receive peace (“inner assurance” and “stability”) and LOVE.’ Now doesn’t it make sense to be sanctified and seek God’s mercy? It certainly does! 

Ah friends, there are many other scriptures throughout the Good Book that deal with sanctification. I’d advise us to take some time and look them up, because sanctification is very important in the life of a true believer. Much LOVE!

…believers can only be sanctified…through the work of the Holy Spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2017 Psalm 103:2.

Psalm 103:2.   Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

Well mih breddren, like we’ve successfully completed another week of work in this confused and way too evil and lustful world! 

And sadly, it leads too many of us to enjoy the lusts of the flesh too much in our short time off. We try to make up for what we think we’ve lost during the workweek. 

That’s why so many of us joyfully declare: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Oh boy, that means the weekend is here! Time for fun and games, partying and letting all our cares drift away to wherever they go! It’s all about a good time now! Oh thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

And as I keep saying, the sentiments are understandable, but the reality is not. We do have little free time during the workweek, much less that a generation ago, when times were not so hectic and busy. 

And that’s sort of strange, when all the improvements we’ve made, were supposedly to help us get more free time. How ironic eh, with plenty more amenities, we have even less free time now than then! 

But that doesn’t mean we have to overdo the lighter side of life either when we finally get some time off. If we are to keep our sanity and some sort of steadfastness, our lives must have some borders, some restraints that we will not loosen. And our Friday Chant gives us a good example of that. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, with as much enthusiasm as the misguided soul above declares his Friday mission. ‘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.’ 

And all of that segues very nicely into our Bit:‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’  

And friends that’s exactly what we ought to do, every day, every waking moment of our lives! For remember, all the earth and its contents are His, and it’s only through His magnanimity and lavish generosity that we can enjoy even one iota of the things we enjoy! 

Now let’s look at a few of those things that Bruh David declares we ought to appreciate in this psalm titled – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:3-5) 

Ah mih people, if those are not things to be everlastingly grateful for, then I don’t know what is nuh! But yuh know what? Unfortunately, too many of us, simply don’t know, don’t pay attention to, or simply take those things for granted, and that includes Christians. 

But just think about it nuh friends, we have a God who forgives all our iniquities, all our sins, all our transgressions! Wow! That certainly is something to be thankful for! Listen to these scriptures nuh that uphold that contention. 

Isaiah declares: ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us… And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven all their iniquity.’ (Is.33:22, 24). 

Now hear Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, as he declares at John’s birth. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up a horn of salvation (a Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David; 

As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 

The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives.’ (Luke 1:68-75) 

And friends, we all know that promise was miraculously and marvelously fulfilled by the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! So why we don’t appreciate our wonderful God more than we do eh? I really can’t say nuh. But eventually, we’ll all have to answer that question to our Maker. 

Now let’s close with these moving words of Bruh Paul to Titus on the Christian life. ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (age); 

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar (his own special) people, zealous of good works.’ (Tit.2:11-14) 

Oh my faithful followers of Christ, there’s absolutely no doubt that we need to be much more diligent in doing Christ’s work, if we are to truly show our thankfulness for His saving grace and mercy! Much LOVE!

…there is no greater gift in this evil world…than the forgiveness of sins…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 July 2014 Mark 5:36b

Mark 5:36b.  Be not afraid, only believe.

And then it was Saturday; a bright, vibrant, radiant day, made by Almighty God so that His people could rejoice and be glad in it! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful, ‘Thank you Father!’
 
Oh my people, can you believe that we’re more than halfway through July already, and also this year of 2014? I swear that the days are running faster than they usually do. And most of you will no doubt agree, because your lives also seem to be moving at breakneck speed, where one day just morphs into the other, without any apparent break.
 
And though I don’t remind us as often as I should about our New Year’s resolution of following Jesus more closely, I do hope that you are faithfully adhering to it. And you can tell me what you will, but the Father will read the truth in your hearts.
 
Anyway mih lovelies, this morning I want to share with you the opening couple of lines of the poem Endymion by the English Romantic Poet, John Keats (1795-1821) It reads: ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever: Its loveliness increases; it will never pass to nothingness.’
 
Now we all know that the value of art usually increases with age, but so too do people. As the days go by on our earthly journey, we get more mature and grace-filled, so that increased knowledge, experience and wisdom make us more valuable. The only problem is that unlike the physical works of art, we pass away to nothingness.
 
But that’s just our physical bodies. Our spiritual beings are still alive and kicking, especially in the LOVED ones that we have left behind. They continue to hold dear the traditions, the respect, the care and the LOVE that we lavished on them when we were alive. So all that and any other physical heirlooms we might have bequeathed to those around us will continue to live on, to survive, as they pass those things to others down through the ages.
 
So in essence, like the physical art, we too never pass into nothingness either. And here’s the end quote on the subject from the One More Day Devotional, Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. It bravely declares: ‘I am comforted by the traditions of family and faith and by the meaningfulness they add to my life.’
 
And that’s how it ought to be my brethren, for when we approach death’s door, it’s usually family we want to see, and faith we hold on to, so we can easily transition from this life to the next.
 
And it all boils down to one word: ‘BELIEF!’ We live a life guided by our beliefs. Hopefully the major belief is that in Jesus Christ, for it is the best belief to build your life around.
 
And I just LOVE how Jesus puts things so simple and straightforward, as He says to Jairus in our Bit: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’
 
Nothing to it Friends, just believe. And it is truly that simple, we just like to make a fuss over it. We believe the nonsense, the lies that the advertisers tell us in their forked tongued messages without batting an eyelash. Hn! But when it comes to believing in Jesus, the most important belief in our lives, the one that will either separate us from God forever, or keep us on the inside looking out, we get all hot and bothered, ask a whole lot of questions and put up a whole lot of roadblocks. Why eh, my people?
 
I think that it’s generally because we’re afraid. It seems to be such a big decision to make, for it deals with our lives in the hereafter, something we don’t want to think about just yet, plus the worldly artifacts are so beautiful to look at and possess, and we erroneously believe that believing in Jesus means we can’t enjoy the good things of earthly life. But that’s a fool’s wisdom Friends, for Jesus said He came so that we could have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
 
The problem is that we don’t want any borders, any boundaries placed on our activities and behaviour, but yuh see what that desire is causing all over our world; strife and destruction. But my people, this life can only be lived in prosperity and safety if we adhere to certain strict guidelines. Anything else will only bring anarchy, as we’re seeing in so many places nowadays.
 
However Friends, I’m running out of space and time, so let’s get to some scriptures where Jesus highlighted belief in God. And there’s none better than the story of Him raising His friend Lazarus from the dead.
 
Jesus was out of town when he got the message from the sisters, Martha and Mary, saying ‘Lord behold he whom thou LOVEST is sick.’ (John 11:3) But despite His great LOVE for Lazarus and his sisters Jesus remained a further two days before He went to Bethany where they lived. By the time He got there Lazarus was already dead for four days.
 
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming she ran to meet Him and rebuked Him, saying, ‘Lord if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.’ (John 11:21-22)
 
Now is that strong belief, great faith or what my people! She just knows that whatever Jesus asks of God, God will grant. How many of us are even willing to say that today, much less believe it eh, even though we have much more info and insight than Martha did?
 
The Good Book continues: the conversation: ‘Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
 
Jesus saith unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?
 
She saith unto him, Yea Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.’ (John 11:23-27)
 
What a powerful passage of scripture my brethren! Note the interplay between Jesus and Martha: He claiming to be the giver of eternal life, and she believing without missing a beat! That’s how it ought to be in all believers’ lives my Friends!
 
So today, please let’s sit and consider our personal response to Jesus’ question; ‘Believest thou this?’ And hopefully, we shall all blurt out without hesitation: ‘Yes Lord: I BELIEVE!’ Much LOVE!

…it all begins with…believing…and it all ends with…believing…only believe…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 February 2014 Luke 19:10

Luke 19:10.    For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
 
And then it was Friday…! That’s obvious with all the joyful shouting of ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Work soon over, and the partying start…! Thank God is Friday yes!’
 
And nowhere right now are the shouts louder and more joyous than in Rio for their carnival, New Orleans for their Mardi gras, and T&T for Mas… Bacchanal fuh so! As those bacchanalian celebrations are only another week away.
 
However Friends, despite your not liking to hear Granny’s words of caution, because you think it puts a spoke in your wheel, stops you from doing certain things, it is indeed necessary for your protection.
 
That’s because it’s at these kinds of ‘leggo-beast’ celebrations, where the evil, deceitful one is ever present, like a roaring lion, constantly on the lookout for someone to get his poisonous fangs into, and thus erect strongholds in our minds, souls and bodies. (1 Pet.5:8)
 
But since this is unacceptable in a believer’s life, we need to ensure that certain boundaries, certain borders are not crossed, are not invaded by the sly and malicious enemy. Thus Granny’s warning ought to be taken very seriously. ‘Sonny boy, please, ah beg yuh, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 
 
And that’s really a standard warning we should all live by, my people, especially in big celebratory times, when we let go and let our hair down.
 
And as always, to help us get the right perspective for using the weekend, let’s chant our Friday Chant with all sincerity. ‘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 Friends, the weekend’s not only for partying, but also for rest and fellowship. Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ And this is definitely the last day for it. (smile)
 
So what scriptures do we have to share that support Christ’s contention that He came to save us? Let’s begin with Bruh Paul talking to the Colossians, re reconciliation in and through Christ.
 
‘And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in (on) earth, or things in heaven. And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight.’ (Col.1:20-22)
 
Now here are some thoughts from the scholars on those verses. ‘1:21. Reconciliation is the act whereby God, through Christ’s atonement, brings men who are at odds with Him back into a peaceful, proper relationship with Himself.’
 
‘1:22. In the body of his flesh through death (or, “by His fleshly body through death”). The Colossian heretics may have argued that Jesus’ humanity and death indicate His inferiority to the angelic beings in the universe. Paul turns the argument against them, showing that His death points to His superiority; for His death is the divine means of achieving reconciliation to God.
 
To present you holy… in his sight (or, “to bring you holy… into His presence”). This expresses the ultimate purpose of reconciliation: it is to eventually usher the believer, made perfectly holy, into the heavenly presence of God.’
 
Oh my brethren, we can NEVER GO WRONG, IF WE FOLLOW JESUS! 
 
And finally, listen to Bruh Paul in his missive to the church at Rome, talking about sin through Adam, and salvation through Christ. ‘Therefore, as the offense of one (false step) judgement came upon all men to condemnation; even so be the righteousness of one (righteous act) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
 
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ (Rom.5:18-19)
 
And that’s the gospel truth of all gospel truths, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ!
 
And the scholars have this to say re those two verses. ‘5:18-19. Paul’s reference to Adam shows that he understood Adam to have been a real person. Adam was not a mythological figure any more than Jesus was.’
 
Oh Friends, our Jesus was definitely not a mythological character, for it’s only through His sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension that we are now able to come before God’s holy throne clothed in righteousness.
 
And that’s the GOOD NEWS OF JESUS’ GOSPEL, which He asked us to go forth and share with all mankind, to all the corners of the earth, so that all the earth would hear it and have a chance for salvation. (Matt.28:19-20)
 
Please my fellow believers, let’s take that commission very seriously and diligently address ourselves to its implementation. For it’s not only our bounden duty, but also heavenly wisdom, and will bring us great heavenly rewards in the future too. Much LOVE!
 
… he who doesn’t know the Son…unfortunately…will NEVER KNOW the Father…