Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2021 Psalm 127:1a.

Psalm 127:1a.      Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: 

And then it was a rainy Thursday morning. But oh, does it ever have the earth looking nice and clean! Our great God certainly provided everything for His universe when He created it. In this case, rain to wash it when it gets too mucky and yucky under the unfaithful, uncaring hands of its human occupants. And in like manner, He washes away our sins, though not with water but with the much more potent cleanser; the blood of the holy Lamb, His Son Jesus Christ! 

And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of: ‘Thank You Lord! Thank You for Jesus, who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross of Calvary so that You could wash away our sins with His cleansing blood, forgive us and bring us back into right standing with You!’ 

What an awesome truth that is my brethren! Our souls are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb! Just imagine the magnitude of such an amazing plan nuh…and one that worked…and still works! Only Almighty God could have devised such an out of sight plan, and make it work too. That’s why we praise, worship and LOVE Him with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds! He is indeed worthy of such honour and glory! And it’s also why those words combine to produce the first and greatest commandment of our faith! 

No wonder Cousin Sol could write such splendid words and accolades in Psalm 72: ‘Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever and ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen.’ (Ps. 72:18-19) What marvellous and true sentiments in honour of our great God! Only Cousin Sol could pen such glowing statements to the God of his forefathers, especially considering how much He had blessed him. 

And just for interest’s sake, the scholars tell us that Cousin Sol only wrote two psalms, 72 and 127. So let’s turn to the latter nuh, which is superscripted ‘The need of relying on God.’ And it sounds just like the other writings of Cousin Sol; very deliberate and to the point. He opens it thus: ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (stays awake in vain). It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.’ (Ps. 127:1-2) 

You could easily think you are reading Proverbs or Ecclesiastes. (smile) But as always, his words contain much truth. And then Cousin Sol turns to the matter of children: ‘Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man (a warrior); so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.’ (Ps. 127:3-5) 

Mama Mia! No wonder Cousin Sol was considered the wisest man in the world! He had a wealth of wisdom and knowledge because that’s what he asked the Lord for when he ascended to the throne of his father Bruh David. The Good Book tells us ‘In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said unto God… Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?’ (2 Chr.1:7,9) 

And it pleased the Lord so much that he hadn’t asked for wealth, long life and victory over his enemies, but wisdom and understanding, that He gave him all of it: wisdom, understanding, wealth, long life and victory over his enemies! Wow! That’s how magnanimous our God can be when our words and actions please Him! But getting back to Psalm 127. It is a serious and wise psalm because it highlights the necessity for relying on God for all of our needs. 

The scholars explain it thus: ‘Psalm 127: The principle of this psalm is that all human efforts are in vain unless they have God’s blessing. This principle is applied to four areas: building a house (vs. 1a), guarding a city (vs. 1b), working long hours (vs. 2), and having children (vs. 3-5). It is possible to accomplish all of these things without God’s blessing, but it is not possible to accomplish them purposefully and with eternal value without God’s blessing. The psalm includes, incidentally, two practical reasons for having children: they bring you joy and they protect you (vs. 5).’ 

Now you can’t argue with any of that, although in this evil and godless era there are many children who don’t bring joy to their parents or protect them. But hopefully those are the exception rather than the rule. Ah friends, we are living in very difficult and troubled times, and I feel sorry for those who don’t count Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour because too many are missing out on so much. No peace and joy in their hearts, no hope and promise of salvation and eternal life. 

But all we can do is talk to them about Him, if they allow us, and even more importantly live a life that’s true to His name and ideals. That means we have a lot of important work to do, in probably a very short time. So let’s get right to it nuh. Let’s stop making all kinds of excuses for our laziness and lethargy and pick up the baton of Jesus and run energetically and wisely with it. And to help us do that, He’s granted us so many tools, that we want for nothing to do His earthly work. 

That means it’s time for us to declare our Thursday Blessings. As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

It now becomes our bounden duty to go out and share those awesome blessings, just as generously with others, as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…you can accomplish plenty without God’s blessings…but it won’t last…                                                                                                      

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                   

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2021 Psalm 36:7a.

Psalm 36:7a.     How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God!

Then came Thursday, bright and beautiful… And all God’s children gave thanks for life and health and all the other good things that the Lord has done for them! Now please don’t make me a liar. (smile) I do hope that you all did give Jehovah some thanks and praise when you arose this morning and saw the light of day. And if by chance you forgot to offer up a little prayer of thanks, please take a moment and do so now. The Lord won’t hold it against you, for He knows that we are weak and ofttimes forgetful while we run to keep up with the fast pace of this new world. But once you remember and come to Him with sincere repentance, He will forgive. 

And as the song asks, ‘What shall I render to Jehovah, for He has done so much for me?’ The answer is simply to remember Him in all your doings, and offer heartfelt thanks and praise. Bruh David spells it out in spades in Psalm 36 – The steadfast LOVE of God, when he confidently declares. ‘Thy mercy (LOVING-kindness), O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgements are a great deep (ocean): O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. 

How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness (fullness) of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ (Ps. 36:5-9) 

Oh mercy, mercy me! How can life get any better than that eh mih people? No way! For when you are in touch, in close contact, with the fountain of life and the author of light, you’ll experience both life and light to the utmost degree possible for mere mortals! Wow! No wonder we give our great and generous God so much thanks and praise! 

And that’s only right and proper, seeing that He has done so much for us; giving us life and sustenance, and most importantly providing a means for us to be saved, to be forgiven of our abominable sins against His honourable personage, through the death and resurrection of His sinless Son on the cross of Calvary. 

Ah mih people, the answer to ALL of our problems is keeping God first place in our lives. That’s what Bruh David understood and did. Although he made numerous mistakes, and some serious ones like adultery with Bathsheba and the consequent murder of her husband Uriah, he always turned to the God of his forefathers and cried out for mercy, forgiveness and help. He knew which side his bread was buttered on. 

Hear how he cries out for deliverance in Psalm 57 nuh, when he was hiding in the wilderness in a cave, after fleeing from his deadly enemy, King Saul. ‘Be merciful unto me. O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast (pass).’ (Ps. 57:1) 

Yeh friends, do we call out to our heavenly Father with such desperation when we find ourselves falling into uncontrollable situations? I do hope so. For He is the often the ONLY One who can help, or extricate us from those soul-searing situations. And there’s no shame or disgrace in crying out to him for help nuh, because that’s what He’s there for, what He expects of us. But, in our foolish pride, too many of us try to play the big man and refuse to bow down and cry out for help. 

That’s a very bad mistake friends, for you know that if it’s one thing the Lord detests is foolish human pride, because that means we don’t need Him, and He desires us to be ever and always needed by Him. So my people, if we say we believe in and trust in God, why are afraid to, or are too proud to call out to Him for help eh? Hear Bruh David again, as he continues in Psalm 57. ‘I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.’ (Ps. 57:2) 

Now do we ever cry out like that in in times of desperate need? We ought to. But then that depends on the level of our faith in Almighty God whom we claim to believe in. Bruh David strongly believed that God would do all things for Him, so he was comfortable and secure in crying out to Him for help. And that’s the basic reason we still read about him today. His life wasn’t easy, but he firmly believed and trusted, and thus was successful. Listen to the level of faith and assurance he felt. ‘He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up (hounds me). Selah.  God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.’ (Ps. 57:3) 

Yes precious saints of Christ, that’s the level of faith, of assurance we all need to possess if we claim to believe in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! We need to be positive that the Lord God will always work on our behalf. That’s what caused Bruh David to be called the friend of God, and a man after His own heart. It wasn’t his penchant for doing right, because he did an awful amount of wrong, but He always turned to the Lord, always kept Him first place in his life, was most assured in God’s might and power, forgiveness and faithfulness to look after those who sincerely trusted in Him. 

Now that’s what is sadly lacking in the life of so many believers today. We talk a good talk, but when it comes to putting our talk into action, we fail dreadfully, because our faith, our level of trust and surrender is not as high as it ought to be, and our level of pride and trust in ourselves and of mortal man are too strong. So friends, please let’s wise up and truly realize from whence comes our help nuh. It comes from Almighty God, not his weak and finite creation, mankind. End of sermon! (smile) 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to raise the level of our faith and trust in God, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Thursday Blessings, that He has so generously provided for us to do His earthly work. Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now let’s fulfill our bounden duty by going out and sharing those amazing blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…to show true belief in God…requires plenty action…not mere talk…                                                                                  

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2021 Romans 8:31.

Romans 8:31.     What shall we then say to these things eh? If God be for us, who can be against us?

So then mih people, as we move on to another bright sunshiny day in God’s great universe, this one called Tuesday, tell me nuh, how yuh feeling today eh? (smile) Yeh, I know it’s a convoluted sentence, but so is life, and we all must answer to life. So, let’s hope we all feeling fine nuh, as we walk this crazy and confusing earth in these crazy and confusing times. But most of all, I hope that we all have Jesus walking our walk with us! 

Now that’s the answer to everything! And why is that you ask? Because Jesus IS the answer to everything! Leh me show you why nuh. In the first place, the Good Book tells us that nothing is impossible to Jesus! That means everything is possible with Him! Then as the Good Book also says: ‘We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.’ (Phil. 4:13) And yet again, it tells us: ‘But my God shall supply all our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) 

Wow mih bredrin! So it’s only logical that if Jesus could do everything, and strengthen us to do anything, as well as provide for all of our needs, then we don’t need nothing or nobody else but Jesus! Oh praise His mighty name! That’s why the psalmist so powerfully proclaimed: ‘O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.’ (Ps. 107:1) 

And Bruh David says it even more powerfully. ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1) And just in case you don’t the answer to those two questions, here it is: ‘NOBODY!’ Believers ought to fear no other human being when Christ is in our corner. 

Remember what the prophet Isaiah said on the Lord’s behalf, as he spoke of the Lord’s everlasting LOVE for Israel? ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage (the inheritance) of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is. 54:17) So what’s there to fear eh? 

As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘What shall we then say to these things eh? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Rom. 8:31) There again we have it my faithful brethren; once we have the Creator of the universe looking after us in the form of His Son Jesus, then nobody or nothing can touch us! And Bruh Paul cemented his argument with these words: ‘He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us good things?’ (Rom. 8:32) 

Mamacita! How much more scripture do we need to convince us that Jesus is indeed the way, the truth, the life and the light and we should not fear what mankind can do, but put all our hopes, dreams, faith and trust in Him? Jesus said it loud and clear: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt. 10:28) Yes mih people, the only Being that believers ought to fear, is Almighty God Himself; the ONLY ONE who can destroy both our bodies and souls! 

But strangely enough, it seems that the Lord God Almighty, our Creator and Provider, is the living being we are least afraid of in these modern times of high technology. That’s because we foolishly and fearfully kowtow to men and their evil desires, while we don’t keep God’s commandments and live the way He desires of us. We are even desperately trying to rid our society of Him! So friends, if men can’t save our souls or offer salvation, and God can do both, as well as destroy us, where is the wisdom in our current behaviour eh? 

I hope that these majestic and wise words of Bruh David help us to understand the dire situation in which we’re currently enveloped. ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass. 

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday. 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 (for it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:1-9) 

Now my fellow saints in Christ, that’s about the best advice we can find all in one place in the Good Book. It is wisdom of eternal proportions, so please, please, let’s accept it wholeheartedly nuh. Remember it’s all for our benefit, and neither Satan nor the evil men that follow him can do a blooming thing to help us when it comes to salvation and eternal life, only Jesus can! So let’s concentrate on kicking Satan and his evil minions out of our world nuh, instead of Almighty God. That’s the wise thing to do. 

And for those of us who are already engaged in the fight, let’s go home declaring (oh yeah!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole world who and whose we are. All together now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And having sincerely said all of that, our bounden duty now is to go out and generously share the awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with those who don’t know Him. Much LOVE!

…Satan…the best example of rebellion against God…hell bound and destined for destruction…                                               

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 April 2021 Luke 24:5b

Luke 24:5b.     Why seek ye the living among the dead?
HAPPY  EASTER!

At last friends, that marvelous day of celebration which we’ve waited so long for, well it’s finally here! We’re talking about Resurrection Day! All praise and glory to our omnipotent and ever-LOVING God! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has risen from the dead this Easter morn! Glory be! He has conquered the evil Satan, and taken away from him, the keys to hell, death and the grave! Christ is now Master of all He surveys! Glory Hallelujah! The seed planted in His death on Good Friday has borne fruit this Easter Sunday! 

Consequently, these words from the Simple Series musical ‘Mercy Tree,’ featured on the album inspired by the message and mission of Billy Graham’s ‘My Hope,’ are ever so appropriate for us today to hear, read, understand and digest. So please listen up. ‘We have gathered here today to lift up the name of Jesus. We rejoice in His victory over sin and the cross. Our cries of ‘Hosanna! Save us now!’ have been answered. Our Redeemer has conquered death! And because we are certain of that fact, we have reason to celebrate!’ 

Oh my people, do we ever have reason to celebrate and lift up the name of Jesus. So let’s begin doing that by singing this most celebratory and true hymn, written by one of our foremost hymnologists, Charles Wesley (1707-1788) The hymn is titled ‘Christ the Lord is Risen Today.’ And it has been considered by many Christian hymnologists as being the most definitive church anthem for Easter. Each verse features a focus on the Resurrection of Jesus. Wow! 

So enough talk, let’s sing! In an up-tempo beat, with trumps and cymbals, harps and psalteries in full voice, let’s raise our sacrifices of praise in sweet harmony to high heaven, with sincere thanks and gratitude pouring out of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls! ‘Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia! Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 

Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia! LOVE’S redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia! Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! 

Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia! Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to LOVE, Alleluia!’ 

Oh friends, what awesome bliss this Easter morning has provided to us faithful believers in Christ Jesus. For as Bruh Paul preached to the Athenians on Mars Hill: ‘For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring (his children). (Acts 17:28) And isn’t that indeed the gospel truth my fellow saints in Christ!  He is our very lifeblood, without Him, we are nothing! With Him, we are everything! We lack for nothing! 

And our celebration wouldn’t be complete without some powerful words from the Good Book. Hear Luke tell the Resurrection Story. ‘Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they (a group of women) came unto the sepulchre (tomb), bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout (about this), behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 

And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they (the men) said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.’ (Luke 24:1-11) 

Yes friends, it was difficult for Jesus followers to believe His resurrection, having seen His cruel demise three days earlier, even despite their remembering His words on the subject. They weren’t gullible religionists, but tough, skeptical, hardworking, down to earth folk, who did not find it easy to believe the rather implausible situation. But they eventually did believe when Jesus showed Himself to them, and consequently we too believe, though we haven’t seen Him in the flesh. But here is some interesting info from the scholars, re the Resurrection of Christ, that we all should certainly be aware of. 

‘The Resurrection of Christ included five accomplishments. (1) the physical renewing of His life; (2) the reunion of His body and His Spirit; (3) the subjugation of death under Him; (4) the attainment of His new position; and (5) His receiving of a transfigured body. Application: Because of the Resurrection, the Christian receives both eternal life (John 11:25) and spiritual power (Eph. 1:19-20). Christ’s resurrection also provides for the future resurrection of the believer (1 Cor. 15:20) and is the key to victory in the Christian life because of our union with Christ (Eph 2:6). (First Ref. Ps. 16:10; Primary Ref, 1 Cor. 15; cf. Acts 1:9).’ 

Oh precious people, without the resurrection of Jesus, our faith would be worthless! Let’s remember that nuh, and hold on to it with our very last breath, for it’s our golden key to heaven’s eternal sanctuary! And we’re going to end with these marvellous and ever so encouraging words from the website hymnary.org on our hymn today, and the whole resurrection business. (smile) ‘In every worship service, the words we say and the actions we participate in are somehow shaping us. 

Perhaps without even being aware of it, worship is doing something to us – it’s forming habits and language inside of us to both teach us why we are in relationship with God, and how to be in relationship with God. One practice that many liturgists and hymn authors have brought into worship is describing an event that happened in the past (usually a moment from the Gospel story) as if it were happening today, in order to instill in us the understanding that, just as God worked in the lives of people two thousand years ago, He is still working today. 

The hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” is a perfect example of this. Right in the title is an indicator of the present tense: the word “is.” As we sing this song, we are first brought back two millennia as “witnesses” of the resurrection, and then we are also made aware that though the actual event of the resurrection happened once, it is in a sense an on-going event with ever-present effects. We are called today to live out of the resurrection, to follow our risen Lord in newness of life, and to ever lift our “alleluias” in praise.’ 

So mih bredrin, as we joyfully celebrate Christ’s resurrection, let’s take that wonderful advice and go out today, and every day hence, sincerely following Christ and keeping our voices lifted up to Him, in much deserved praise. That’s our bounden duty as Christians! Much LOVE!

…because He lives…we too shall live…  

    Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2021 Acts 4:12.

Acts 4:12.     ​Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

A good Thursday morning to all you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, all over God’s good world! Blessings, and peace, and the grace of our wonderful God be with us this blessed day! Let’s remember that our waking up today was both a privilege and a blessing from our Creator, and therefore not waste this awesome day, regardless of how difficult it might be. For every awesome day we spend in His sight is precious and blessed and there is a divine purpose for our being alive to share it. 

The main aspect being that of sharing His Word, the gospel, the good news of His Son Jesus Christ, which has forgiving, saving and resurrection power! Glory be my faithful brethren! For there’s no other name by which we can be saved from eternal death and damnation than by the name of Christ Jesus! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the Good Book, when Peter preached the word to the high priest and his compatriots. 

‘Be it known unto you all, and unto all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of (rejected by) you builders, which is become the head of the corner (the chief cornerstone).Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’(Acts 4:10-12) 

Now that’s a very important scripture friends, for if you’re not saved by the shed blood of Jesus, then you’re not saved at all, and therefore your eternal destiny is set with the fallen angel and his other foolish fiends. And I don’t think that any of us would like that to be our forever destination, or those our forever friends. (smile) Therefore it is of the utmost importance that we all are saved by the blood of Jesus, which includes hearing His word, believing it, and then living faithfully by it. 

It’s no easy task in this sinful and evil world, but the wonderful thing about belief in Jesus, is that when you come to Him in true sincerity, He gives you the power, the grace, the anointing to live the life he desires of you. Yes friends, our Lord and Saviour never asks us to do anything without giving us the wherewithal to do it. Bless His holy name! And if you still find it difficult to believe that Jesus is the ONLY source of salvation, then listen to these other scriptures. The Lord promised salvation through His servant from olden times. 

Hear the prophet Isaiah. ‘Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (chosen one), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement (justice) to the Gentiles. He shall not cry (cry out), nor lift up (raise his voice), nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking (dimly burning) flax shall he not quench (extinguish): he shall bring forth judgement (justice) unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgement (justice) in the earth: and the isles (coastlands) shall wait for his law.’ (Is. 42:1-4) 

What a prophecy! And the scholars explain. ‘42:1-4. My servant is identified here as a person rather than the personification of the nation of Israel. With all the traits of King, Prophet, and High Priest, He is none other than the Messiah, Jesus Christ Himself. He is also called mine elect (bechiri, “set apart for a definite purpose”) and the One in whom I have put my spirit. The New Testament quotes this prophecy as being fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 12:18-21). 

The ministry of the Servant of the Lord will be to bring forth judgement (or justice) to the Gentiles and in the earth. His kingdom knows no barriers of nationality or race. Of all the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah saw this fact the most clearly. While Jesus’ early ministry was to the house of Israel, His ultimate commission extended to the Gentiles as well.’ 

And should we ever be glad for that my people, because if it was to the Jews alone, then we would sadly be on the outside looking in. But that just shows the great LOVE that our Creator, our wonderful God, holds for all His creation, not wanting even one of them to be lost to eternal damnation! 

Now hear the angel of the Lord to Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father when he found out that his betrothed, Mary, was with child before they were married. ‘…fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived (begotten) in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (SAVIOUR): for he shall save his people from their sins.’ (Matt. 1:20-21) 

Oh my brethren, so far we’ve been hearing from others about Christ’s purpose, now let’s hear it from Christ Himself, as He told it to the disciples when Thomas voiced doubt as to His going. ‘Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him. I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father , but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my father also, and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.’ (John 14:5-7) 

That’s the definitive scripture of them all my precious saints of Christ! Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father, and thus salvation. And furthermore, if, or when we know Jesus, we know the Father and have also seen Him, because Jesus is the spitting image of the Father! Mama Mia! That’s something significant for us to ponder on today. In the meanwhile, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings, those tools which the Lord has given us to do His earthly work. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

So, if we truly believe, then it’s our bounden duty to put those blessings to work in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…you can’t say you believe in Jesus…and don’t do the things that truly reflect His awesome character… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 January 2021 Jeremiah 29:13.

Jeremiah 29:13.     ​And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

So a new day has dawned, and we’re still alive to tell about it! That means there’s a reason why; a purpose for our names not being in the obits. Glory to God! Let’ seek that reason, that purpose nuh my people, why the Lord has us on the planet in these turbulent times. Yes, my fellow saints in Christ, we were made and placed here especially for this moment, this opportunity and occasion to fulfil His divine purpose and plan concerning our lives. And it is our bounden duty to enquire of Almighty God, our Creator, what that purpose and plan entails so we can diligently pursue it. 

And we know it will never be a bad plan, because our God is always good, but since sin abounds in our world, there will be troubles and adversity involved in some form and some area of our lives. Hear how the prophet Jeremiah characterizes God’s plan for us. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) But His plans don’t just unfurl before us with no sense of interest and/or activity on our part. No sir! Here’s what He further says: ‘And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer. 29:13) 

Now Jesus reiterated that when asked what was the great commandment in the law. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt. 23:37-38) And that’s the cut-tail part of this whole life my brethren! Too many of us are either not seeking the Lord at all, or we’re not doing so with all of our heart, mind, body and soul. No wonder we’re so confused, so lost, depraved, angry and hateful and our world is in such a frightful state. 

Oh friends, when are we going to wake up and truly learn that without God in our lives, our lives are not worth a whole lot eh? It’s only with Him in the lead are we ever, and can we ever be truly fulfilled. Jesus said it quite plainly: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) I don’t know how else He could have said it for us to understand nuh people. It as clear as day: if you don’t have Jesus and He doesn’t have you, then your life’s worthless! 

Please note how many rich and powerful people, who supposedly have it all are still basically miserable and unhappy. All their earthly possessions don’t satisfy a certain hunger that we all possess in our souls; that hunger which is for God, and until He comes and fills that void in our lives we’ll never be completely satisfied. Yeh friends, our God’s not stupid yuh know. Oh, He gave us free will and all that, but He also made a li’l empty space in our hearts and souls that will always yearn for Him, and can only be filled with His divine presence. 

That’s why, try as hard as we can, we can never run away from Almighty God! He’s continually monitoring us, has us on His radar 24/7. So please, let’s stop running from Him and instead run to Him through His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ nuh. It’s the only thing that makes sense in this turbulent and unstable world. Yuh think if we were keeping the first two commandments…oh, Jesus threw in this one for a lagniappe: ‘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. 23:30-40) 

Yes, friends, if we were sincerely seeking God and LOVING our neighbours as ourselves, do you think our world and consequently our lives, would be in such an awful mess? No Way Jose! Another major problem we have besides not seeking and LOVING God, is that so many of us don’t LOVE ourselves either. So how can we LOVE others if we don’t LOVE ourselves eh? And that doesn’t mean in a narcissistic manner. Oh my people, it’s all about LOVE! As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth all sins.’ (Prov. 10:12) 

And as Bruh Paul informed the church at Corinth on the way of LOVE: ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (LOVE), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal…Charity (LOVE) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not (does not brag on) itself, is not puffed up…Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things. Charity never faileth…’ (1 Cor. 13:1,4,6-8) 

Oh mih people, mih people, that wonderful thing we call LOVE, NEVER FAILS! No, it doesn’t! Why is that you ask? I believe John gives us the basic answer in his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ (1 John 4:7-8) Yes friends, to know true LOVE, one must know God; and to truly know God, one must know LOVE! For that’s whom God is; that His most outstanding trait. 

No wonder Bruh Paul put it so nicely and so succinctly: ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:13) No getting away from that friends; LOVE is indeed the GREATEST! And when we talk about LOVE here, we’re not talking about mere human LOVE, but that which comes from having Christ’s redeeming presence in our lives, cause basic human LOVE falls far short of God’s perfect and infinite compassion. 

Well I’ve done my best to convince you, hope I got through. (smile) So let’s go home now declaring (yippee!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most wonderful position in Christ. As one strong, sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

And we don’t need to be reminded that if we endure to the end, that that future will be even brighter than we can ask or imagine. (smile) Much LOVE!

…God made the world with LOVE…so that we all could enjoy LOVE…with Him…and with each other…

P.S. We’re a tad late because I had to go out and do some blood work this morning. But better late than never. And it’s oh so goodddd! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2020 1 Corinthians 16:13-14.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14.     ​Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you (be brave) like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity (LOVE).

Sing it with me people: ‘And after the rain, yes after the rain, then comes the snow…oh yeah…after the rain, then comes the snow, alooking so white and beautiful, just like the good Lord made it to be, just like the good Lord made it to be…’ 

Oh friends, around 4 o’clock this morning, before I went to bed, I dreamed up that li’l ditty…obviously with the Lord’s help, since I could not concoct such profound statements all on my very own. (smile) But it had been raining for most of the day, and when I looked outside then, was I surprised to see the place all covered with that white virginal stuff. 

But yuh know something, once man puts foot in that virginal snow, he sullies it, sullies it good and proper, just like he sullies everything he touches. And just for your info, that white stuff is now falling again out there, coming down in a gazillion droplets, more like rain than snowflakes, but as they say, ‘one one cocoa full basket,’ so every drop that falls adds to, and heightens the level of snow on the ground. (smile) 

And another thing, it wasn’t only the snow that God made to be beautiful, but also mankind. That’s why it so cruelly breaks His soft and tender heart when we turn away from Him, and become the evil fiends our sinful nature adores. 

And remember, yesterday we were talking about the abdominal sinfulness of man, and considering if we had reached the limit yet where God would again destroy us? Well, unfortunately, I received this mind boggling, heartbreaking response from one of our Scrip-Bit family members. In her own words: ‘We have NOT reached the breaking point of sinfulness. The human capacity for evil is unending.’ Now doesn’t that just drive you crazy, to know that we can become even more sinful that we already are? 

Brother! I can’t even contemplate another level of sin for us to ascend to! I guess my mental capacity is just too small to comprehend such a big undertaking. But I prefer it so yes, because then I might just rise to a more sinful level myself. So please, please, just leave me at this level of sinfulness eh! (smile)

And the real sad part in all our sinfulness is not that it’s directed to, or against God nuh, although it works out thus in the long run, but all the evil we perpetrate is basically directed towards our fellow man and our life-giving environment. Man seems to be truly sadistic, destroying what he portends to LOVE, and in the process, his very self. 

And very unfortunately, it seems the olden but golden words of the prophet Jeremiah ring ever so true these days: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately (incurable) wicked: who can know it?’ (Jer. 17:9) Now does that mean our hearts can’t be cured of its wickedness? I certainly hope not, else there’s no hope whatsoever for us! 

The good thing though, is that our God and Creator knows the motives and will of all of our hearts. He made them so He knows how to decipher them, and that’s exactly what He does before He answers our prayers. That’s why the Lord said to Samuel, when He sent him to Jesse’s house to anoint a new king for Israel and Samuel thought the first son, Eliab, was the one: ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) 

Oh my fellow believers, that’s why we need to often cry out to God like Bruh David did in Psalm 51 – A prayer for cleansing. ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) Yes precious people of God, if our hearts are so wicked, then it’s only the Lord who can cleanse us and renew a right and steadfast spirit within us, so that we can continue to do His work down here on earth, and make it be as it is in heaven. 

And to help us with all that we’re currently going through, I read an interesting exhortation from Bruh Paul last night that seems very apropos to our situation. In his first missive to the church at Corinth, he exhorts them thus: ‘Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you (be brave) like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 16:13-14) Now that seems to be very good advice for all believers, or even better yet, ALL mankind, considering the turbulent, controversial and uncertain situation in which our world is currently entangled. 

And now just a few scriptures to reinforce that directive. First some more prayer and exhortation from Bruh Paul. To the Ephesians, he desired: ‘That he (the Lord) would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.’ (Eph. 3:16) Yes friends, we do need divine enablement to help us successfully live the Christian life. 

And in exhorting the Philippians to steadfastness, he prayed. ‘Only let your conversation be as it becometh (let your conduct be worthy of) the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. And in nothing (no way) terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token (a proof) of perdition (destruction), but to you of salvation, and that of God.’ (Phil. 2:27-28) 

That means my brethren, we need to stand strong together, in one spirit, in unity, spreading the gospel of Christ in LOVE, and not being afraid of those who come against us. For if our great God is for us, who can be against us eh, especially since He’s so faithfully promised that no weapon formed against us will prosper or harm us. (Is. 54:17) 

And last, but certainly not least, these momentous words from Christ Jesus as to when divine intervention would come, be it good or bad. ‘Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come… Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24: 42, 44) And if we believe in Jesus, then we ought to adhere to His words – watch and pray…and be ready. 

So for those of us who sincerely try to do so, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

So precious saints of Christ, it now behooves us to stand strong and steadfast in unity and share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with ALL humanity! That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith, hope, LOVE…these three… but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor. 13:13) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 November 2020 Luke 5:32.

Luke 5:32.     ​I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Chores, chores, chores! Oh how I hate it when early morning chores impede my already slow and shaky progress in writing the Bit! (smile) Yeh, waking up, when the body is just getting into full sleep mode is hard enough to contend with after some late night shenanigans. So half asleep, all I want to do is get my strong, sweet java and come down here and ask the Lord for help and guidance to write His Bit. 

Chuh man! I don’t need no other foolish, but possibly necessary chores (smile) to intervene there. But who says that life would be easy eh? Nobody. And furthermore, I know I can handle those chores with my eyes closed because I know that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! Glory Hallelujah my faithful bredrin! 

And with Christ beside me, around me like a mighty shield, and within me, I become a mighty conqueror, so that no one can stand against me and no harm can come to me all the days of my life! Mama Yo! What a wonderful Lord, Saviour, Guide and leader we have! Please precious saints, please give Him much thanks and praise, glory and adoration, with reverence that will never end! 

And is the ole fella excited this Tuesday morning or what! But that’s what is supposed to happen to believers in Christ when we truly understand the full power and majesty of His awesome interest in our lives, and the many benefits He’s willing to provide, if we will only do His bidding. 

Ah mih people, we can’t be true Christians if we’re not excited by all that’s possible and available to us in and through Christ! A dull, dour Christian is NO Christian at all! For if we’re not excited for our sins to be forgiven, to be reconciled to Almighty God, to stand justified and righteous before Him and be awakened when the final trump (not Donald) calls, so the promise of eternal life with Christ can be fulfilled, then what’s the point in believing eh? 

I hate to see the supposed pious, the supposed humble, the poor me one, who thinks that they are being so Christian by downgrading and degrading themselves. Yes, we need to be humble and all that, but not to be ashamed to preach Christ and his gospel. Remember He died that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. What does that mean eh? Dragging and eating dust all the days of our lives? 

Certainly not! But to be standing proud and honouring His name and glory; letting ALL and sundry know what He’s done for us in particular, for this sinful world in general, and all the wonderful benefits and promises He has bestowed upon us, especially His momentous and glorious sacrifice of His sinless life for us on the cross at Calvary! And how can you tell people about that, if you’re dragging, ashamed and otherwise not excited eh? How can you offer Jesus’ Great Invitation when you seem like you’re on your last breath and expect people to believe you eh? 

Listen to Him open up His very heart and soul to all who are shaking it rough nuh: ‘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 (gentle and humble) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Now how can you invite someone to come to Jesus and enjoy those benefits eh, if you yourself are looking and behaving so rough and weary and laden eh? I certainly wouldn’t want to listen to anyone spout the great benefits available when they don’t look like they have received them! 

And that’s partly why the heathen today doesn’t pay much mind to we supposed believers; because we don’t look like and don’t behave like believers are supposed to behave! Too many of us are sour and miserable, cheap and greedy, with generosity a bad word in our vocabulary, and too much like the world around us! 

Ah mih people, why you all start me off eh? (smile) But is true. If you look at the normal, ordinary Christian you’d never know that we different from the world, and we have so many good things going for us. Half of us so unpleasant, like we always sucking lime; and the next half either too proud to beg or to lend a helping hand. But that’s what Christianity is all about. And remember when the hypocrite Pharisees asked Christ why he ate and drank with publicans and sinners, He answered: ‘They that are whole (healthy) need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ (Luke 5:31-32) 

And when Jesus spoke there about the ‘righteous’ He was just mamaguying the Pharisees. He really meant the ‘self-righteous’ like the Pharisees themselves, who thought they were so good and righteous that they needed no repentance. Oh my people, too many of us today also behave like the Pharisees, willing to tell others what to do but not doing anything of the kind ourselves. 

Remember how Jesus lambasted the scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders in Matthew 23? ‘Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter (dish), but within they are full of extortion and excess (self-indulgence). Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter (dish), that the outside of them may be clean also. 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt. 23:25-28) 

Now you can imagine how angry and upset Jesus was by the self-righteous, hypocritical behaviour of the supposed religious leaders who were leading the people astray with a whole lot of man-made tradition and not enough true religious doings, if He could spend so much time telling them off. He really got it off His chest that day. Unfortunately though, times have not changed that much for there are still too many of us supposed believers who behave and act like those long gone scribes and Pharisees, hence the Christian brotherhood, Christ’s church is not held in as high an esteem as it deserves. 

Friends, our unchristian behaviour is killing Christ’s church. Please, please, I plead with us to wake up and do better. Remember that this pandemic situation and strife filled world is nothing but a wake up call to Christ’s church to get with the true programme; help the sick and the suffering, look out for the poor and homeless, and all those who are badly wounded, thus we can sincerely bring others to Christ, which is our bounden duty as believers. And I do hope what I’ve said makes sense, but even if it doesn’t, I know that with the Holy Spirit of Christ dwelling within you, you are wise enough to pick sense from nonsense. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’  

Now let’s go out, or even stay in (smile) and do just that nuh. Much LOVE!

…true Christianity…is all about…helping each other…and spreading the LOVE of Jesus…

P.S. Yes, it long, and somewhat late, but it good…and true too! (smile) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2020 Matthew 3:17.

Matthew 3:17.     ​And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Awright, so we running a li’l long and late this cloudy Thursday morning… so what else is new eh? (smile) But that was just due to a rather late bedtime. I am trying to reform, to change my nocturnal habits, but even with the Lord’s help it is proving to be a somewhat formidable task. And I guess it would, if deep down you don’t really want to change. (smile) 

And have you ever noticed that when yuh running late that the enemy always manages to insert his obnoxious self into your business to try and make you even later? Well, just now, as I was coming down the basement stairs with my cup of java, the basement door knocked the elbow of my hand that held the cup and spilled some of it on the steps. Steups! Thus I had to stop and clean up the strong, sweet java wasted on the floor. And those are all my excuses this morning…and I am sticking to them because they are the indisputable truth! 

So what shall we talk about today eh friends? Well the Good Book opened today on an interesting subject, the temptation of Jesus, so I assume that’s what the Lord wants us to talk about. (smile) Anyway, after Jesus’ public baptism by John in the Jordan River, where John felt unworthy to baptize His awesome cousin, since He needed no repentance for sin, saying to Him: ‘I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?’ (Matt.3:14) But Jesus reasoned thus with him: ‘Suffer (allow) it to be so now: for thus it becometh us (is fitting for us) to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.’ (Matt.3:15) 

And the scholars explain: ‘3:15. Suffer it to be so means allow it to be or let it happen. Jesus sought this outward identification with John’s ministry to fulfill all righteousness. By identifying Himself with those He came to redeem, Jesus inaugurated His public ministry as the Messiah. In regard to the Jewish religious observances, such as synagogue worship, attendance at feasts, and payment of temple tax, Jesus always met the duties of a faithful Jew.’ And we all know what happened when Jesus was baptized by John. As a young boy, it used to be one of my favourite passages of scripture. 

Hear how the Good Book describes it nuh: ‘And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ (Matt. 3:16-17) Wow! Can you imagine being on the banks of the Jordan that day and experiencing that momentous experience! Unless is John alone who saw and heard it. 

And again we have some interesting info from the scholars: ‘3:16-17. In the process of His baptism Jesus went up…out of the water, the prepositions suggesting that He was completely in the water and came up out from it, again indicating immersion. The descending of the Spirit of God fulfilled the predicted sign to John in order to indicate the true Messiah (cf. John 1:33, Is. 11:2). The dove was a symbol of innocence and purity (cf. 10:16) and served as an ideal symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit. 

The voice from heaven is that of the Father (see also 17:5 where He speaks at the Transfiguration and just prior to the Crucifixion), giving His verbal approval to the ministry of His beloved Son. There can be no doubt that all three persons of the Trinity are actively involved here as distinct persons of the Godhead. The Father speaks, the Spirit descends, and the Son is baptized.’ 

Only our great God can do such things you say! And you are right! No other supposed deity can manage a task like that! And I’m chuckling here friends because I’m realizing that we are not talking about Jesus’ temptation but His baptism. And yuh think we God easy…not at all nuh, because that is what first came to my mind to talk about, but I figured that it was easier to get my mind around the temptation situation than the baptism. But the Lord, in His awesomeness, slyly guided me back to where He wanted me to go! 

Mama Mia! How can I not LOVE Him plenty plenty eh, because He is so faithful, and never gives me a task without giving me the enabling, grace, power, mercy and strength to perform it. Even when I shy away, He is wonderful enough to draw me back to where He wants me to be. And since we in Christ’s baptism, I guess it’s only right to check out the sign that John the Baptist was given for knowing the Messiah. Hear the Good Book from the gospel of John. 

One day while John the Baptist was baptizing by the Jordan, the Pharisees sent some messengers to find out who he was. And when John admitted that he was neither Christ, Elijah, nor Isaiah they wondered aloud why then was he baptizing if he was none of those three? (John 1:19-25) 

‘John answered them saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me (ranks higher than me), whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan where John was baptizing. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me (ranks higher than I): for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 

And John bare record (witness) saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode (remained) on him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record (witness) that this is the Son of God.’ (John 1:26-34) 

Now doesn’t our God work in wonderful ways! And I’ve always wondered about John the Baptist and Christ’s relationship, seeing that they were cousins. But the scholars answered my question. They explain that ‘Before Jesus’ baptism, John knew Jesus only as a good cousin, not as the Lamb of God. Not until he saw the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus did John realize that He was the Son of God.’ Our God does move in mysterious ways, way beyond our level of thinking, so anything’s possible. (smile) And to avoid any controversy and confusion between the gospels of Matthew and John, I guess ‘the next day’ John talks about is the day after Christ was baptized. 

And now that we’re all up to date on Jesus’ baptism and not His temptation, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, that have been so magnanimously bestowed on us by our most magnificent and magnanimous heavenly Father. Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

It’s now our bounden duty to go out, or stay in, in these Covid-19 times, and share them just as generously as they were shared with us. Much LOVE!

…except a man be born…of water and of the Spirit…he cannot enter into the kingdom of God… (John 3:5) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2020 James 1:17.

James 1:17.     Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.

Well at last we have a somewhat sunshiny opening to a day, not the cloudy, overcast stuff we’ve been having recently! And it’s a big Saturday in the northern climes; Halloween Day! It’s the day the society dresses up in ugly, evil looking costumes – the uglier and more evil looking, the better- and have the children go out ‘trick or treating,’ begging at other people’s houses for candy, and the adults have costumed balls and riotous parties. Well let’s see what’s going to happen this year of Covid nuh. 

Halloween hasn’t been officially banned, and there have been all sorts of comments, for and against, but the Covid-19 numbers have not been coming down, although the more populous areas are still in Stage 2 Lockdown. So, in my humble opinion, it is pure folly to have children running around the streets in the dark in this pandemic time to beg for candy from people most of them don’t know, and for adults to be having parties with unprotected crowds without any physical distancing. 

Even in the good times there have been petitions to ban the process because of the evil stuff people were putting in the candy and fruit to harm the children. And worse of all, if it glorifies the evil spirits like witches and goblins and the like, why have such a day in a supposedly godly society eh? But what does the ole fella know eh friends? Obviously not a whole lot. (smile) So we’ll just leave that subject alone and see what transpires later on. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to more appropriate things, like the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And it seems like he’s adopted a new style, prefacing each quote with the words: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are….’ 

Now I think that statement contains elements of both good and bad. The bad part is that if we focus on it too much, it could lead us to believe that we’re so wonderful and awesome in our own strength and thus we develop proud and narcissistic thoughts and behaviour. However, on the good side, we are awesome and wonderful IN Christ! No doubt about that! So let’s put some wise and sensible reins on our thoughts about our awesomeness nuh. (smile) Anyway, I’m not going to reiterate the opening sentence in each quote, since we already know what it is. I’ll just give us the important last part. 

And the first quote tells us: ‘My life is a gift and I appreciate everything I have.’ The first part is indeed true: our lives are gifts from God Himself. For God Himself, with His own hands, moulded man from the dirt of the earth, in His own image, then breathed His precious breath into his body. (Gen. 1:27; 2:7) And furthermore, James tells us thus: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17) 

It stands to reason then, that if our lives and all the good stuff we have are gifts from God, then we ought to appreciate everything we have. But do we truly appreciate them? Not really nuh, not in our current greedy and ‘gravelicious’ society. For we complain more about the few things we don’t have, than we are thankful for the plenty we do have. Consequently, many of us can’t truthfully declare the next quote. ‘I’m calm, happy, and content.’ And we will never be able to do so until we realize that ALL we have comes from Almighty God…and begin appreciating it. 

Yeh friends, calm and content only come with an attitude of appreciation. And also, until you show appreciation for all that God has done for you, and is still doing, you won’t be able to make this next statement either. ‘I’m more at ease every day.’ For ease, likewise, comes only with true appreciation of all our blessings. One can’t be cantankerous, miserable and unappreciative and enjoy the abundant life that Jesus died for us to have. (John 10:10) 

Remember too that Jesus is the biggest and best gift that God gave us, through whom we achieve eternal life, despite our sinful, ungodly beginnings. Bruh Paul put it this way to the church at Rome. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 5:23) And if we have become wise and accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then most likely we’ll be able to proclaim this next quote. ‘I’ll surround myself with positive people who will help bring out the best in me.’ 

Oh friends, that is indeed wisdom from above! Why? Because too many of us surround ourselves with those who bring out the worse and not the best in us. That’s why the Good Book tells us so specifically: ‘Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort (encourage, lift up) one another daily, while it is called TODAY; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.’ (Heb. 3:12-13) 

Oh mih bredrin, it is ever so important to surround ourselves with wise, godly people, who will encourage us to do good, to do our best, for that’s what Jesus desires of His followers. Remember too that no man is an island, and we can’t live this life alone, or in too much seclusion, for the Lord made us to have fellowship one with another. As the old people would say; ‘Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.’ And that’s the living truth, since our friends’ behaviour and attitude rub off on us. 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘I approve of myself and LOVE myself deeply.’ Now if all the other quotes are true of us, then we can make that kind of statement, but not too strenuously, (smile) because like believing we’re so awesome, it can lead us away from God, to the heights of narcissism, and we know there’s nothing the Lord dislikes like a proud, supposedly independent, self-LOVING person. Oh yes, we do need to LOVE and approve ourselves, but with a very careful attitude, so that we don’t go overboard and fall victim to the evil inherent in such thinking. As Jeeves would probably say: ‘circumspection my dear man – much circumspection.’ (smile) 

And I can’t think of a better way to end today, than with these immortal words of Jesus as per our earthly duty. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 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. 22:37-40) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people, straight from the Giver of the gospel! So let’s go out and action them nuh. It’s our bounden duty as believers in Christ Jesus! Much LOVE!

…from Genesis to Revelation…it’s all about LOVE…God’s LOVE for us…our LOVE for Him…and for each other…  

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