Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2018 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (discipline).
 

Hear me calling: ‘Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day!’ That’s a heartfelt plea my brethren, because since I’ve come back from Jamaica, it’s been a steady diet of rain and more rain…and today looks like it might be more of the same. I guess the Lord’s reasoning is if we could have two weeks of brilliant sunshine, what’s wrong with a few days of rain eh? 

And as the duchess recently informed me, in her usual frank manner: ‘Stop complaining. You’ve been here for forty years. You should be accustomed to it by now!’ (smile) But who ever gets accustomed to the cold October and November rains eh? I know one person whom it doesn’t seem to bother though, that’s the ordinary workingman, once it’s Friday he’s happy regardless of the weather. His primary focus is having two days off from work to party. 

Hear him sing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And though the rain falling, and the place cold and miserable, I don’t care, because I don’t have to go to the massa work and slave mih life away for a small pittance and all the grief he want to cause me! Glory be! It’s the start of the weekend, that means is party time; time to swing and sway, eat and drink and let the good times roll! No holding back, just full steam ahead! Party, party, party! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, don’t you wish we could be as laid back and carefree as the ordinary workingman? We all surely do. However, as believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we can’t afford that luxury because then the enemy, the evil Satan will joyfully infiltrate our souls and cause serious havoc therein. That’s why we need some boundaries in our everyday lives, points beyond which we won’t go, and that’s also why our weekend song, our Friday Chant is so different to his. 

Chant it with me now 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!’ 

Yes my people, we need to be always on our p’s and q’s when dealing with this evil world we live in. We’re workers for Jesus and thus must show the character, qualities and attitude that’s becoming to His glorious name! And yes, it is difficult sometimes to stay on the straight and narrow path that Jesus recommends, but we do have the reassurance and wherewithal to stay the course. 

Listen to these fruitful and famous words of reassurance from Bruh Paul to Timothy when the youngster was going through a rough time in his ministry in Ephesus. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (discipline).’ 

Ah my people, each of us has been imbued with the Holy Spirit of Christ, which is supposed to lead and guide us in our daily lives; giving us that spirit of power, LOVE and a disciplined soul. However, it can only do its job if we listen to it and allow it to work its grace, mercy and forgiveness in our lives. So we do have what it takes to do Christ’s work, but most of us are not using those tools wisely. 

Remember, the Lord, through the Holy Spirit can’t work properly in our lives unless we give up ALL aspects of our lives to Him. Many of us hold back some areas and only give over those we think the Lord might be interested in. But that’s a sure fallacy friends, the Lord’s interested in EVERYTHING in our lives. He doesn’t want bits and pieces of it, He wants it ALL! 

Now listen, as Bruh Paul continues his reassurance to Timothy and to us. ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me in the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (time). 

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day. 

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and LOVE which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.’ (2 Tim.1:8-14) 

Oh friends, just a couple of points before we close. If we truly believe, then we cannot be ashamed of the gospel as so many of us are. And remember, Christ has abolished death and given us salvation unto eternal life. And that is assured! No one can take it from us. But we have to stand strong and steadfast in faith and do whatever it takes to win souls to Jesus and keep ourselves on the straight and narrow. 

Let’s hope that these words of Bruh Paul will reassure us and remind us of all the power and LOVE and discipline that we do have through the Holy Ghost, from the work of Jesus Christ. Amen. Much LOVE!

…a true believer…should not be ashamed…of whatever he believes in…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2015 Matthew 9:36‏

Matthew 9:36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Oh Friends, please be advised that the NHL Hockey Playoffs began last night, with several games on every night. And since I am a fan of the game, it means there will be several late nights, like last night, in the offing. Unfortunately, those late nights will obviously lead to late mornings, like this one.

So please don’t be too peeved and upset with me if the Bits are somewhat late in the next few weeks. (smile) It’s just a fact of life. There isn’t much I watch on the tube, but hockey is one of those things.

And a much better bit of news is that it looks like spring has finally truly sprung. Yesterday was warm, not hot, and beautiful, with loads of brilliant sunshine, and today is forecasted to be more of the same.

The temps are getting up to the mid to high teens, and that’s bringing out the pent-up winter frustration, so the hot rod cars with their loud engines and mufflers are now out on the road, the walkers, runners, cyclists and the ‘motorbikers’ are getting into gear too. So look out for the madness, especially after such a long and harsh winter.

And Friends, on this Thursday morning in mid –April, I want to remind us of some rather important facts as they pertain to our faith. It comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, but they are the words of the prominent American churchman, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.

And he reputedly said that: ‘Religion can never be the answer to human problems. All of the religions of the world are inadequate. Christ alone is the Answer. Christ alone understands. Christ alone forgives. Christ alone eliminates your guilt.

Christ alone saves and then assures you that you are God’s child and the most wonderful person possible! Christ alone fills the human heart with LOVE –joy- peace- self-confidence. No wonder a genuine Christian really LOVES himself.’

Oh my people, my people, what wonderful words of utmost truth and wisdom! There is nothing in that passage that can be disputed! So please, please, this morning let’s allow those fateful words of truth to sink into our hearts, minds and spirits, so that they can reinforce, renew and reinvigorate our passion and joy in our faith and in Christ Jesus!

We need that sort of renewal regularly, because in these last days the enemy is fighting mightily, to keep us from believing and acknowledging the wonder and worthiness of our faith.

And I like that last part of Dr. Shoemaker’s statements: ‘No wonder a genuine Christian really LOVES himself.’

Why, you ask? Because if all of the previous statements are true, which they are, we ought to have such LOVE for our God, ourselves and our neighbours, that nothing whatsoever can diminish the light and joy of Jesus in our souls and lives.

That brings us to our Bit. ‘But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’

Oh Friends, can you imagine the sorrow that filled Jesus’ heart when He saw His people so lost and scattered, without any proper guidance, just going astray any which way? Remember Isaiah’s prophecy, re comfort through trust in the Lord?

He said: ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11)

And that is exactly what Jesus came to do my people! He was the fulfillment of that prophecy. Read John 10 and you can hear Him expound on the theory of the sheep and the shepherd, as pertains to Himself.

First, He tells them a parable. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:1-5)

Ah my brethren, all of that is oh so true! Now listen to some useful explanations by the scholars. ‘10:1. Door is the one who stood in the opening of the (stone) fold. (the pen where the sheep were kept at night). The thieves and robbers were the Pharisees. See also verse 8.’

’10:3. Sheep know only their shepherd’s voice. In the Near East several flocks belonging to different shepherds may be in one fold (a fenced in area). But only a shepherd’s own sheep will follow him out of the fold. Cattle can be driven, but sheep must be led.’

Obviously the people listening to Jesus didn’t understand what He was talking about. ‘Then Jesus saith unto them again, verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:7-10)

And at the remembrance of that wonderful news, all God’s people gave a mighty and glorious shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanks be to the awesome shepherd of our flock; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly!’

So my people, in ending, let me remind us, that if we are the sheep of Jesus’ flock, then it is of the utmost importance that we listen to His voice, and follow Him and Him alone. If not, then we’ll be marked for certain death, as all else are merely thieves and robbers, come to kill, steal and destroy.

So let’s open our ears and quite clearly hear our Master’s voice and follow Him down the straight and narrow, but safe path where He will inevitably lead us. That my brethren, is certainly wisdom and understanding of a heavenly nature! Much LOVE!

…all we like sheep have gone astray…but Jesus in His LOVING-kindness…has found us and brought us safely back to His fold…oh what a joy…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2013 1 John 5:14

1 John 5:14.   And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.

Oh Friends, another beautiful day is about to dawn in my neighbourhood, and I hope in yours too! This past week has really been marvellous; brilliant sunshine and temps in the high teens and low twenties! And hopefully, the weatherman is right, when he forecasts that this wonderful weather will continue for the rest of the week.

But sadly though Friends, once more I have to ask, what’s our world coming to eh? I don’t know if this story I received in a newsletter is true, but if it is, then the Lord help us yes!
 
Apparently this youth pastor in Iowa, in the U.S. confessed to raping at least four teenagers, according to him, ‘to turn them straight.’ Hn! His actions were bad enough, but listen to this. The judge sentenced him to 17 years in prison, then turned around and suspended the sentence, instead giving him 5 years probation.
 
Ah Lord eh! And it seems that he assaulted more than four teenagers over the years, for at least four more young men have come forward with the same claim. And this wasn’t simply a one and done thing either, but some of the assaults seem to have gone on for more than four years. All ‘to help them with homosexual urges.’
 
Steups! How can these young men ever trust authority figures again eh? Some of them might even continue the wrongdoing. They trusted their pastor, one of the most influential and trustworthy positions in our society, only to be physically and emotionally violated by him. And then all he gets is probation….
 
Something about all of that just doesn’t sound right nuh people. But I’ll let the Lord be the judge, and stick to my task. So here’s our Bit: ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.’
 
It’s the last day Friends… And many voices sang: ‘Hip, hip, hurray! (smile) I know some of you don’t like to see the same Bit everyday, but my brethren, when there’s a lot of scripture to share on a topic, it would be very remiss of me to not share and or point them out. Isn’t that what a teacher is supposed to do?
 
And having confidence in God, His plans, purposes and promises is of the utmost importance for all believers, because it’s hope and faith we live by, things that are not readily seen by the naked eye, but have to come from a well-spring deep inside of us.
 
And we’re going to begin in Hebrews 3, moving on from yesterday, where we saw that Moses was faithful, but yet still only a servant in God’s house, while Jesus, the Son, built His own house, the church.
 
Today, the author of Hebrews is warning that under Moses, Israel failed to believe. But if we should now hear Christ’s voice calling out to us through the Holy Spirit, we should not harden our hearts. (Heb.3:7-11)
 
‘Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called TODAY; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made (have become) partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;’ (Heb.3:12-14)
 
What wisdom and truth my Friends!
 
And the scholars have this to say about the last verse. ‘3:14. One’s conversion to Christ, which occurred in days past (we are made partakers of Christ), is proved to have been genuine by perseverance in the days to come (if we hold…our confidence steadfast unto the end). This means that continuance in the faith is a test of the reality of one’s faith in Christ.’
 
And that’s certainly true my people! If we don’t keep the faith, then we’re not true believers!
 
Now listen to this scripture from 1 John 3, where he’s trying to nurture the seed that’s already been planted in the hearts of his readers; that they should LOVE one another.
 
‘BELOVED, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1 John 3:21-22)
 
And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘3:21-22. If our heart condemn us not: We have confidence toward God if our lives are in line with the standard of Christian living set forth above. John is not saying that whether a person is right or wrong is simply a matter of how he subjectively feels about himself.
 
That is why John has given so many indicators and commands for Christians to take note of and assess themselves by. And one of the great results of a life lived in purity before God is a life where there is effective prayer. Right living is an important part of successful praying.’
 
More undeniable truth Friends!
 
And I’ve left this well known scripture for last, because it truly gets to the heart of the matter. (smile) It comes from Hebrews 10 and says: ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance, perseverance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)
 
Oh Friends, what magnificent scripture! It contains seeds of warning, wisdom, encouragement, edification, exhortation and promise! Wow! (smile)
 
Please let’s take it to heart today, and live our lives to suit, because it’s simply gospel truth! And if we do hope to see better and brighter days, then our lives must encompass all those things written in that scripture. Much LOVE!
 
…coming to believe in Christ…having the utmost trust and confidence in His power and promises…and living a life that glorifies Him…is the hallmark of a true believer…