Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2018 1 John 4:8.

1 John 4:8.   ​He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God IS LOVE!
 
And then it was Boxing Day! Glory be! All the confusion done now! Christmas not over, but Christmas Day has come and gone and we’re going to gradually revert to our old selves, no longer having to keep up with the hectic pace set by the world’s standards, and oftimes our own too. Except for those of you who still get caught up in the Boxing Day sales! (smile) 

And you can see by the lateness of the hour that ole fella slept in…But that’s what days like these are for…to recuperate from the joyful celebrations of yesterday! (smile) Hope you all had a good and joyful Christmas. Mine was simple but pleasant. And brother…food for days and endless days! Enough to feed an army, much less five people! (smile) And the sad part is that the ole fella is no longer able to do justice to his once upon a time favourite foods. How sad eh! (smile) But them’s the breaks! 

I do hope though that we all kept Jesus first place in our minds and lives yesterday, since He WAS and IS the reason for all our celebrations! I also hope that we found a few moments amidst all the joy and excitement to sincerely pray for those unfortunate people over in Indonesia, who recently suffered the devastating effects of a volcanic explosion that seems to have triggered an immense tsunami that washed away their lives and livelihoods. 

Another group that didn’t enjoy a festive Christmas is one out on our West Coast in British Columbia, where they suffered devastating effects from a windstorm, the worst in some two decades. Prayers, and whatever other assistance we can offer, will be in order for them my friends. 

And my eyes just fell on a piece of paper in front of me that contains a most appropriate quote from a Daily Bread Devotional. And it says: ‘In the darkest hours of life, only through the eyes of faith can we see the LOVING hand of God.’ And is that ever so true my people! In those real dark and troublesome times it’s only if our faith is strong and true that we can ever imagine a LOVING God out there in the universe! 

Otherwise, all our senses would either say there is no God, or God is not a LOVING Deity. But friends I’m here to tell us that that’s the furthest thing from the truth! There IS a God, and He’s a MOST LOVING Deity! Thus John, in his epistle seeks to strengthen our faith by letting us know that ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God IS LOVE!’ 

Yeh friends, one of the many attributes of our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God is that of LOVE! And if you don’t LOVE, then you don’t know God! Hear how John puts it: ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

However, as the scholars explain: ‘4:7. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor.13).’ Yes my brethren, unless Jesus is involved in our LOVE WALK, then we’re not truly walking in the LOVE of God. That’s why the scholars pointed us to that famous chapter in 1 Corinthians, titled the ‘Way of LOVE!’ 

And in this Christmas season, we have the perfect example of God’s unconditional and everlasting LOVE! As John says: ‘In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.’ (1 John 4:9) Ah mih people, to truly understand God’s great LOVE, we need to see how He demonstrated it. And it all began with His sending of Jesus into the world at Christmas time to put His most awesome plan into action. 

As John continues: ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that HE LOVED US, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ (1 John 4:10) Now that’s the real standard for true LOVE my fellow believers; God’s unmerited compassion for us! As Bruh Paul so bluntly and truthfully told the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth his (demonstrates his own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) 

Now only a truly magnanimous Deity would show such compassion for His enemies! And that’s also why John’s cry is so important in our faith community: ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:11) Oh my friends in faith, there couldn’t be a more appealing cry than for more real and true Christian LOVE amongst out Christian community, especially in these dark and evil times, when the enemy seems to be in the ascendance! 

Let’s listen to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as He pleaded with His disciples and also pleads with us: ‘A new commandment I give unto you. That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Ah mih Christian breddren, that’s what our faith is all about; LOVE, especially at this Christmas time! So please, please, let’s stop breaking Jesus’ heart nuh, and begin showing true LOVE to each other, so that the world can see it and want to come to Him and receive the same unconditional LOVE that we have. That’s our basic purpose here on this earth. 

Now let’s go home sincerely and powerfully declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our position in Christ! In unison now: ‘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 that future will be indeed more glorious than we can think or imagine! Much LOVE!

…let’s keep on talking our talk…and walking our walk…of LOVE…in Christ Jesus…Amen…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2018 Luke 1:34.

Luke 1:34.   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?
 
So it’s a tad wet, and cloudy and still a li’l snowy from yesterday…so what? What’s the big deal eh? It’s Friday, that’s all we’re concerned about! And Friday in the Christmas season to boot! That means plenty shopping, baking, cooking, singing Christmas songs, plenty lights on trees and all over the place, hugs and kisses a plenty, plus a whole lot of pleasant greetings like: ‘Merry Christmas!’ and ‘Happy Holidays!’ etc. etc. 

But hopefully friends, underneath all that joyfulness, let’s hope the real reason for Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ surfaces and makes a true difference, not only in outward affection, but also through sincere internal appreciation and true godliness. Amen! 

And there’s nobody singing louder and more joyfully than the ordinary workingman! He’s been on his soapbox from the beginning! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday in the Christmastime! Blow me down! Christmas is just around the corner! And I don’t care about the shopping and the gifts nuh…cause I have no money to buy any! But who want to put themselves in debt…let them go right ahead yes! 

Me, I only concerned about the food and drink, and the nice time when we playing music, singing and dancing! I might even go to church for the Christmas…if I sober enough. Hn, hn, hn! But putting all joke aside, Christmas is the best time of the year oui: yuh see all yuh friends and family who you ent see for ages…and yuh nice to even the ones and them yuh doh like! Heh, heh! 

Wish it could be Christmas all year round yes! And this year it going to have plenty holidays too, because Christmas and Boxing Day on a Tuesday and Wednesday. Mama Yo! Ah can’t wait to celebrate them two days off from the massa work nuh, where he have to pay we for not working! He face going to be sour like a lime! But thank God for Fridays, weekends and Christmas time oui!’ 

Ah mih people, the workingman does have a way with words and thoughts yes. But he does have a couple of good points, like we even nice to people we don’t like, and oh…if the atmosphere, not necessarily the festive aspect, but the peace and good tidings could be present in our awful society all year round…what a wonderful world this would be! But I guess that’s just wishful thinking. No reason though why we can’t hope for it and have faith that Jesus one day will provide it. 

 Anyway, let’s sing our weekend song nuh, our Friday Chant. It might not be as colourful and imaginative as the workingman’s but it does suit our Christ-like purposes admirably. As one 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 my Christian brethren, we need to remember that even in our joyful times not to go too far out on the limb, to stay within the borders of rationality, so that we don’t open up ourselves to attacks from the enemy; physical, spiritual and emotional, because he’s just waiting like a beast of prey to attack us on any level he can.

But enough of all of that, let’s get back to one of the most wonderful stories ever told; that of the angel Gabriel informing Mary, Jesus’ future mother, of what was going to happen. 

Remember yesterday Gabriel gave her the whole spiel about; ‘she’d found favour with God,’ she’d have a son. ‘His name would be JESUS,’ ‘called the Son of the Highest,’ ‘given the throne of his father David,’ ‘reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Now how would any of us good, strong, mature Christian folk, in these modern times, react to that information eh? Either by laughing or being scared to death. But Mary didn’t even bat an eyelid. She merely asked a simple but very practical question to all that info: Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?’  

Yeh friends, a very sensible and mature answer and question from a teenage girl in a backwater town in very ancient times! How could she get pregnant and bear a child without knowing a man eh? And though her faith seemed strong, she obviously hadn’t expected to be dealing with the Creator of the universe. 

And in like fashion, the angel Gabriel gave Mary a simple and straightforward answer to her million…no billion-dollar question. That’s how expensive and controversial the situation would have been back then. 

‘And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth (John the Baptist’s mother), she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:35-37) 

Now friends, a lot of us spout that line, but how many of us really believe it and try to action it eh? Not very many! But hear Mary’s response to the whole contrary, mixed up situation: ‘And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Now that’s why I LOVE Mary! After Jesus, she’s my most favourite character in the Good Book. From the get go she was mature and faithful about the very preposterous situation. She didn’t hem and haw like so many of us would have done…even those of supposedly great faith. Even knowing the horrific situation those things would cause in her life, she said bring it on without a fuss. 

Oh my people, my people, I sure hope we can use Mary as a shining example when the Lord calls us to do something that seems difficult and overwhelming. Remember He NEVER gives us more than we can bear, and ALWAYS helps us to complete the task. So there’s no need to be afraid or worried whenever He calls! Much LOVE!

…when the Lord says jump…it’s best to say…how high Lord…the very first time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2016 Luke 1:46.

Luke 1:46.   And Mary said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord.

Well friends, all the excitement of the Christmas season is finally coming to a head. Soon the shopping and the wrapping of gifts will end and the partying will start in earnest. Hn! That is if it hasn’t begun already. 

And you know Sunday is the worst day that Christmas can fall on in terms partying, because a lot of people will be off from Friday to Wednesday, so that they can have the Christmas and Boxing Day Holidays to which they are entitled. 

However, let’s hope that the real reason for the season, the birth of Jesus Christ shines through it all, and we don’t simply make this most memorable day merely a secular time of eating, drinking and gift giving. Now those things are an important part of it, but not the MOST important. We have to get in some spiritual time in there too. 

But no doubt by the time the sun rises in the east this morning, we’re going to hear the myriad voices declaring ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And Christmas Friday to boot! We have almost a whole week to do what we want! No massa looking over we shoulder and giving us a setta chupid orders! 

The drinks will be flowing like water, and the Christmas food… Oh Lord! Look how it spread out and looking pretty nuh! Oh thank you Lord for this Friday that falls in the Christmas weekend! Is party everlasting!’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that’s not how most of us see it. Jesus has to be light shining in the dark, the prominent figure, because it’s His birthday. 

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant which is not devoid of good times, but has a more moderate and Christian perspective. In unison now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Ah mih breddren, this weekend we have more than two short days off yes, so please let’s use them wisely and remember Granny’s saying: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ 

Because for certain sure the evil one will be out on a serious hunting spree this long weekend, especially since we celebrating Christ’s birth. He won’t desire anything better than to catch a few of us offside. So please be careful. 

Now we come to a piece of news that’s not so great. I’m hearing this kind of thing too often these days yes. I just heard today that another of our Scrip-Bit family, Keith Noel, had a massive stroke in Jamaica some three weeks ago. 

Apparently his brother had died a few days earlier and he took it so hard that it brought on the stroke. So he couldn’t go to his brother’s funeral. Ah Lord eh! But the good news is that he was allowed out for two hours to celebrate his 40th wedding anniversary. Glory be!

Oh friends, please let’s send up some fervent heartrending prayers for our family member Keith, hoping that he will soon be back on his feet, praising the Lord for His goodness. It’s the least we can do. 

Finally, let’s turn to our Bit for today, the faithful and amazing words of the teenaged girl Mary, so rightly chosen it seems to be Christ’s mother. I guess the Lord would not have made a mistake there at all. (smile) 

‘And Mary said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord.’ 

Yuh know people, every time I consider the magnitude of Mary’s faith at so tender an age, in those dark and difficult times, it just boggles my imagination. But listen to her song of praise after she joyfully accepts her upcoming role with all the enormous problems it entailed. 

She begins with our Bit, then gladly declares: ‘And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maid servant): for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 

He hath put down the mighty from their seats (thrones), and exalted them of low degree (the lowly). He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen (helped) his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.’ (Luke 1:47-55) 

Oh friends, can you imagine a young girl speaking such enlightened words. The Holy Ghost must surely have been upon her to bring out that kind of reaction. And what we just read is known as ‘the Magnificat.’ 

The scholars tell us that it’s ‘based on the first word of the Latin translation (the Vulgate). It is rich in Old Testament imagery: Jesus’ coming was the fulfillment of Old Testament promises.’ And indeed it was my fellow believers! 

After Mary’s declaration, the Good Book tells us: ‘And Mary abode with her (Elisabeth) about three months, and returned to her own house.’ (Luke 1:56) 

Yuh see the wisdom of our God at work! He left Mary to bond with Elisabeth, to give her the required strength and whatever else she may have needed to perform the task He had set before her. And He does the same thing up to this day my people. He never gives us a task to do without giving us the wherewithal to do it. 

So please, let’s learn from Mary, and instead of complaining and carrying on about our God-given tasks, let’s rejoice and give Him praise instead nuh, especially in this wonderful Christmas Season. Much LOVE!

…there is no other God besides ours…great, faithful, LOVING and true…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2016 Psalm 139:1.

Psalm 139:1.    O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

So it’s Friday once again, and the roar of the working people is in full swing: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and in particular Black Friday! We going to shop till we drop, then we going to party most heartily! Shopping and partying…! Oh what a glorious weekend it’s gonna be! Wow! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, the commercialism of our society is getting from bad to worse. Steups! We’ve finally integrated another shopping day into the calendar with the woeful name of ‘Black Friday.’ 

It’s actually become the biggest shopping day of the year, substantially beating out the old Boxing Day affairs. And the behaviour has become downright animalistic, like leggo beasts, as we rush and shove and push and fight each other to get to the items we think we need. 

Ah Lord eh! And it’s right after Thanksgiving too. Some stores open at midnight, so a lot of folks don’t even get to finish the Thanksgiving proceedings properly before they rush out to the supposed sales, to line up to buy stuff they often don’t need, and in many cases cannot afford. But it’s on sale! Chuh! 

Even in Canada it’s taken on a life of its own; I’ve never heard so many Black Friday ads like this year. I guess that’s because the Canadian proprietors don’t want the Canadians to go shopping down in the U.S.; they’d much prefer them to spend their dollars up here. Hn! 

What a life eh! Anyway, for those of us who don’t allow the commercialism and licentiousness to get to us, we have our Friday Chant to bolster our emotions. So let’s chant it in sincerity and unison nuh. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Now that’s a much better way to view the weekend, especially this Black Friday madness. And our Bit is the same as yesterday: ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.’ 

And that’s indisputable truth my brethren, for our God searches and knows the hearts of all His people, all His creation! It’s on the basis of the state of our hearts that He operates, not from our outward behaviour, since that outward show can quite easily be false and contrived and not reflect the true intentions and motives of our hearts. 

And today we’ll look at the section where Bruh David talks about God creating him. ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. 

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well. My substance (frame, bones) was not hidden from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as yet they were none of them. 

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.’ (Ps.139:13-18) 

Yeh friends, our magnanimous and omnipotent God originated us in our mothers’ wombs, knew exactly how we’d turn out, wrote down our life plan in His book before we were even fully formed, as He watched us grow in delight. 

He knows all of our frailties, because He created us with them. And there’s not a moment that goes by and He doesn’t think worthily and beautifully of us, His most wonderful creation. 

As Bruh David says, those kindly and LOVING thoughts of our merciful and gracious God are more than sand in number. Wow! That just goes to show how much He thinks of us. 

Now the resulting and very important question is how much do we think about Him? Yes my people, how much do we consider our great and wonderful God in our everyday lives eh? 

For many of us, the answer is that we don’t think about Him enough. We only seem to remember Him when we are down on our luck, or want something. Then we rush to Him with all sorts of untrue endearments, and expect Him to jump to our rescue right away. 

But unfortunately, that’s not the way our God works. He expects continuous and sincere communication, from a true heart, before He opens up His treasure chest. And we’ll close with the serious and sincere words with which Bruh David closed Psalm 139. 

‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps.139:23-24) 

Ah friends, this Black Friday morning is a very good time for each of us to pray that prayer individually, and ask God to cleanse us of any evil ways or desires that linger in our hearts and lead us along the right path, the one which leads directly to Him and His LOVING-kindness. We couldn’t ask for anything better. Much LOVE!

…to know… and to understand God…one must have frequent and sincere communication with Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2015 Isaiah 9:2

Isaiah 9:2.  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Well Friends, Christmas Day is over for another year…but not the season! Today is only Boxing Day, when many of you will rush to the malls to get those bargains so widely advertised. (smile) We still have lots of celebrating to do over the next two weeks right into the New Year! 

So we still need to remember that the birth of Jesus was, and still is the reason for all the hoopla all around the world and still pay our respects and reverence like the three wise men and the shepherds did. 

Anyway, I don’t know if I have shared this prayer before, but even if I have, it’s well worth sharing again. It comes from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuler) Hour of Power Devotional. It’s called ‘A Christmas Prayer.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest. 

I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree. I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving; solid, sturdy, strong rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen forever. Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, after all that our God has done for us, how can we doubt His wonderful and heartfelt LOVE eh? But lots of people seem to do so, and sadly they will suffer for that mistake.  

Now it’s time for our Bit. But first let’s get some context of what it’s all about. Isaiah had earlier prophesied deliverance for Israel, however that would be only after a period of trouble and darkness. 

And he begins Chapter 9 thus: ‘Nevertheless the dimness (gloom) shall not be such as was in her vexation (upon who is distressed), when at the first he lightly afflicted (esteemed) the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea (he shall glorify the way), beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations (Gentiles). 

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is.9:1-2)  

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘9:1-5. The dimness of Israel’s rejection was especially prevalent in the northern tribal areas of Zebulun and Naphtali, which would suffer greatly under the Assyrian invasion. Galilee is named and identified with the nations (goyim, Gentiles). 

To those in the darkness of the north God promises to send a great light, which is quoted in Matthew 4:15-16 as being fulfilled in Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. The prophet sees these events as though they were already happening. Thus he predicts the future with certainty, as though it had already come to pass.’  

What great prophecy my people! And Isaiah could not have figured out all that by himself. It had to come from a Higher Power. And Matthew concurs in his gospel when he talks about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. 

‘Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, The Land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the gentiles; 

The people which sat in darkness saw great light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light has sprung up (has dawned). From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matt.4:12-17) 

 So Friends, Isaiah was quite right, for the child that was born unto us, called Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace etc. did begin His serious ministry in the region that Isaiah identified.  Oh glory to God my brethren for the might and depth of His Word! 

And we’ll get another prophecy fulfilled soon after Jesus’ birth. He was brought to the temple at eight days old, as per the Jewish custom to be offered to God and be circumcised. 

Now when Joseph and Mary showed up at the temple with Jesus, they met an old man named Simeon, ‘just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel (Messianic hope): and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.’ Luke 2:25-26) 

And would you believe that day the Holy Ghost led him to the temple just as Mary and Joseph showed up? ‘Then he took him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word (God’s promise): for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;  

A light to lighten (bring revelation to) the gentiles; and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of them.’ (Luke 2:28-33) 

And per the scholars: ‘2:32-33. Here for the first time the parents hear the startling prophecy that Jesus’ significance would extend even to the Gentiles. This would be surprising even if it had not come from an apparent stranger.’ 

It certainly would my people, and I can just imagine how Joseph’s and Mary’s mouths must have been wide open with wonder at the child they had borne.  

And yuh know what Friends, two thousand and odd years later, we are still drooling in wonder at the Christ child, as we should, because that is wisdom of the highest order. Much LOVE!

…no other baby ever born…can match the wonder that’s Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2014 Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 9:6.   For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
 
Greetings and salutations this Boxing Day morn, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! The big day of Christmas is over, but definitely not the season; not by a long shot!
 
The Joy. Peace, LOVE, Thanksgiving and Goodwill to all men that were engendered yesterday, that characterized that momentous day, cannot be all used up in one 24 hours span of time, Absolutely not! So let’s keep that LOVING and joyous spirit of baby Jesus going for as long as possible Friends.
 
And I know that a lot of people in the North Country were disappointed because they did not receive their traditional white Christmas. Yes mih people, there wasn’t any snow, but it surely was a wet, windy and cloudy time. In fact, on Christmas Eve night we had a wicked windstorm that played havoc with everything.
 
So, I guess it was more like a British Christmas, than a truly Canadian one. (smile) But these days with the vagaries of the weather, we don’t know what to expect. A month before winter truly set in we had snow and pretty cold temps. But now, in the heart of winter, we’re having rain and temps above freezing.
 
Who knows what’s happening in our crazy, misguided, angry and resentful world these days eh? Only Almighty God!
 
Anyway, I sincerely hope that you and yours had a wonderful time yesterday, I didn’t do much; just wrote the Bit, went to church, then came home and had a quiet time with my family.
 
And I do hope that Jesus and His incarnate birth was a trending topic in all our conversations. For He IS the reason for the season, whether you say ‘Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, or Merry Christmas!’
 
And since it is still Christmas time, please pray this wonderful ‘Christmas Prayer’ with me. It comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, and as you’ll see, was definitely too beautiful for me not to share it with you.
 
Let’s pray: ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest.
 
I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree.
 
I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving; solid, sturdy, strong-rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen for ever. Amen.’
 
Ah my brethren, what wonderful sentiments! They are sentiments that we can also acknowledge with sincere hearts, and thus make Jesus and the Father proud of us.
 
Oh Friends, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was such a simple but very important, momentous and auspicious occasion, that two thousand years later we’re still gloriously celebrating it with much ceremony, pomp and joy! Glory be!
 
And it’s so foundational to our beliefs that the prophet Isaiah prophesied it in our Bit, hundreds of years before it actually happened. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
 
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:6-7)
 
And as we all know, ‘the zeal of the Lord of hosts,’ did put this miracle into motion with the birth of Jesus Christ! As the angels told the shepherds on that first Christmas night: ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:11)
 
Oh my people, what a magnificent, magnanimous, faithful and trustworthy God we serve and worship! Please give Him much well deserved thanks and praise for His LOVING-kindness to us, the undeserving children of men!
 
And the wonderful thing about Isaiah’s prophecy, according to the scholars, is that ‘he predicts the future with certainty, as though it had already come to pass.’ Now that could only have come from God’s divine guidance, imbuing Isaiah’s spirit with a potent and positive power of discernment.
 
Now here are some important and interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘9:6-7. The Gift-Child in this passage is the same divine Child as Immanuel. Again, using the prophetic perfect, the prophet sees Him as though He were already born. Wonderful, Counselor (pele’ yo’ets) is actually one term in Hebrew.
 
A wonder is indicative of a miracle. Counselor is often used in parallel with king (cf. Mic.4:9). Thus miraculous counsel is given by this God-like King. The mighty God (El Gibor) is the strongest of these titles.
 
In Isaiah, El is always used of God and never refers to man. Gibor means “Hero.” Together they describe One who is indeed God Himself. Everlasting Father (abi’ad) literally means Father of Eternity. He alone is the source of eternal life.
 
Prince of Peace (Sar-Shalom) indicates that the mighty God will be a benevolent ruler bringing eternal peace on earth through the establishment of His kingdom. Thus the obscure figure of Immanuel is now brought to clear light: He is Himself God incarnate!’
 
Ah Friends, with all that fulfilled prophecy, how could we ever doubt that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords eh? No way!
 
Now let’s keep the faith, stand strong and steadfast this Boxing Day, which happens to fall on a Friday, as we go home chanting our Friday Chant. I didn’t forget it.
 
Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, we’ve had more than two days off with riotous celebrations, which means we need even more time for rest than usual. So please get it so that we can go out well rested and rejuvenated on Monday to continue God’s great work here on earth.  Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Jesus…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…what more can I say… 
 
P.S. The Bit’s long and late Friends, but it’s great! So that makes up for the length and lateness. (smile) Cut the ole fella some slack nuh. He needs to celebrate the birth of Jesus too yuh know, that means late to bed and late to rise. (smile)  Much Much LOVE mih people!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2013 Isaiah 33:22

 Isaiah 33:22.   For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he shall save us.
 
Ah Friends, it’s Saturday and the ole fella is tired. I don’t know why, because I didn’t do much over the Christmas and Boxing Day celebrations. I didn’t over eat or over drink. In fact I rested quite a lot; perhaps too much. (smile). Where was I to go though, with all the ice and snow and unfavourable weather?
 
I guess the tricky Lucifer must be playing some mind games with me. But I have the perfect antidote for that, my spiritual armour. Yes my people, I’m going to put it on right now, and I know that as soon as I do, then begin writing about God’s Word, His joyous Spirit will pick me up and restore a bright and sparkling outlook to my weary spirit. Yes Friends, one of the great things our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does for us is to uplift and restore our tired and sagging spirits. 
 
And contrary to my hope yesterday, I didn’t finish sharing all the scripture on the ‘lawgiver’ aspect of our Bit, so today we’ll forgo a lot of preamble and get right to it. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he shall save us.’
 
And I’m chuckling here Friends, because I’m listening to the radio while writing, which I don’t usually do because it tends to distract me.  But for some reason I tuned into Radio Trinidad, 730 AM, where they’re playing some nice Christian music and the writing just seemed to flow. So who am I to deny God’s inspiration eh? (smile)
 
Anyway, turning to the ‘lawgiver’ aspect of our Bit, let’s continue with some appropriate scriptures. Isaiah, that faithful and much inspired prophet, boldly proclaims, re the day of the Lord: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
 
And many people shall go and say, come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruninghooks (pruning knives): nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’ (Is.2:2-4)
 
Oh, what a beautiful day that will be, my brethren! But long before that the Lord was handing down laws to His chosen creation. The first basic law was given to our forefather Adam. ‘And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest eat freely: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’ (Gen.2:16-17)
 
But as we all know, Adam didn’t obey, and thus we’ve all been possessed of a sinful, rebellious nature since then. Then the Lord made circumcision the law for those of Abraham’s lineage, who wanted to covenant with him. ‘This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child (male) among you shall be circumcised.
 
And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token (sign) of the covenant betwixt me and thou. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.’ (Gen.17:10-12) 
 
And we can’t talk about laws without talking about the Big Ten, the Lord gave to the Israelites on leaving Egypt bound for the Promised Land, (Ex.20: 1-17) with the biggest being the first: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ (Ex.20:3)
 
Unfortunately though, neither the Israelites, nor many of us who came after them, have sufficiently heeded those Ten Commandments. And that foolish action, that disobedience sadly bears a direct link to why our world is in such a calamitous state today. And if you don’t believe me, then read those Ten Commandments and take out all the negativity that disobeying each one brings to our world, and see how beautiful the remnant is!
 
Now let’s turn to Isaiah again with some more interesting words from our Maker. ‘Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.’ (Is.51:7-8)
 
Then Jesus came and broke it all down to just two laws. ‘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)
 
But you think we could even keep those two? Obviously not! Therefore we’re surrounded by a negativity filled world!
 
And we’ll end with some provocative words from James on that last commandment; consideration for a brother. ‘Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?’ (James 4:11-12)
 
And that Friends, say it all! Until we stop judging and truly start LOVING, our lives and our world will continue to be one, big, disastrous mess. Let this be a wake up call for us nuh. Much LOVE!
 
…there is only ONE Lawgiver…ONE Judge…ONE King…ONE able to save us…Almighty God…the Holy Trinity…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Previous Older Entries