Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 November 2022 Hebrews 11:6.

Hebrews 11:6.        But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

It’s Thursday, the penultimate day of our work week, and possibly a harbinger of what our weekend will be like; snow filled! (smile) My computer tells me that snow is in the offing. And if that’s so, then the winter weather is here to stay, meaning we had better get used to it as soon as possible, for we might just be in for a long, cold season. 

But as the familiar saying goes, ‘Who cares eh?’ Not us believers in Christ Jesus, for once you have Jesus in your life, it will be clear sailing. (smile) Well that’s not totally true, the sailing will not always be clear, but Jesus will ALWAYS be there to guide and protect you and bring you out safely from any tough times. That’s His promise! 

Listen to Bruh Paul in his first missive to the church at Corinth. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) 

What a marvellous God we serve my people! He will allow temptations to come against us, to test our faith and our backbone, but He will always be there in the wings ready to help us if we falter, either finding a way for us to escape it, or by giving us His divine help to overcome it. 

But, as with everything else in the Lord’s kingdom, that requires, belief, faith, trust, surrender and good communication with our God. And also remember what the psalmist said in Psalm 91, subtitled ‘God is a refuge and fortress,’ long before the coming of Jesus. 

Read these words of glorious promise with me. ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation (dwelling place); There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in thy ways. They shall bear (lift) thee up in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder (cobra): the young lion and dragon (serpent) shalt thou trample under feet.’ (Ps. 91:9-13) 

And if you don’t believe the psalmist, then check out Jesus’ conversation with Satan when He was tempted in the wilderness. That’s the scripture he used to inveigle Jesus to throw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple. ‘And (Satan) saith unto him (Jesus), If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’ (Matt. 4:6) 

Yes friends, Satan knows scripture, better than us to boot, for remember he was once the archangel Lucifer, and probably even had a hand in helping to write it. And that’s why He knows exactly where to strike to get us to do his evil bidding. But like Jesus we must refute his arguments with scriptural refutations. (smile) What was Jesus’ reply to Satan’s entreaty? ‘Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt (test) the Lord thy God.’ (Matt. 4:7) 

Now Jesus refutation comes directly from Deuteronomy 6:16, where Moses lectured the Israelites on the sorrows of disobedience to God’s laws. And I like to add to it, ‘neither shall thou tempt (test) the children of God.’ (smile) Oh my people, living for Jesus in this evil, sin-filled world can be difficult, but if we hold strong to our faith, then He will enable us to come through with shining colours and eventually receive that crown of righteousness that Bruh Paul told Timothy awaits all those who endure to the end with Jesus. (2 Tim. 4:8) 

And the author of Hebrews tells us thus about faith. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) That simply means we hope for what we don’t see, but by faith, strong trust in God, believe that it will come to pass. And then the author of Hebrews goes on to tell us that it was by faith that the elders received a good report. (Heb. 11:2) 

Yes, saints of Christ, it was indeed by faith, strong trust in Jehovah God, that all the forefathers of our faith did what they did, and that set the stage for us. Consequently, the writer of Hebrews can further tell us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) 

And that my fellow believers is our faith in a nutshell. We must believe that Jehovah God exists, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him and thus obey His laws. Matter fix! And it’s not rocket science, but simple common sense. Although common sense seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird in these current times. (smile) 

Now, here is the continuation of that promise from Psalm 91, which ought to lift up our faith even more this Thursday morning at the beginning of winter. ‘Because he hath set his LOVE upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in time of trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps. 91:14-16) 

Wow mih bredrin! Yuh see what the Lord promises to do for those who believe that He exists and the rewards He will offer to those who faithfully serve and revere Him! And He’s doing it every day of our lives with the blessings, the mercies and the grace He bestows on us that we don’t deserve. And there’s this particular group of blessings that we call our Thursday Blessings, which we need to activate by declaring (awright!!!) them out loud. 

So let’s do that right now nuh. 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!’ 

And having activated those blessings, it’s now our bounden duty to go out and use them for the betterment of our world and to bring others to Christ! Much LOVE!

…life is all about Almighty God…belief in…hope…faith…trust and total surrender to Him… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2020 1 Timothy 2:4.

1 Timothy 2:4.    ​Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of truth.
 
Well a fine Sunday morning to you my friends and neighbours! I do hope the Lord has blessed you mightily….and you better believe He has if you are reading this missive! (smile) He has indeed blessed us with the wonderful breath of life and clear eyesight to see the words I write. So for just that we ought to be eternally grateful. And if you add all the other blessings, then I don’t think we have the capacity for enough gratitude, (smile) but we’ll certainly try. 

And one of the ways we’ll do it is by gathering today, on His special day, in His holy sanctuary, or wherever we can, to praise and give thanks and hear His mighty Word. Oh my people, there’s nothing more moving and momentous that a group of believers fellowshipping with sincere praise and thanksgiving! 

So as always, let’s begin our proceedings with this old favourite by Isaac Watts, titled ‘At the Cross.’ And was that ever a turning point in the annals of man! So let’s convince heaven of our heartfelt thanks for Jesus’ death on the cross, and all that it accomplished in our sinful lives. 

As one, in strong, soulful and harmonious voice: ‘Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sov’reign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! 

(Refrain) Well might the sun in darkness hide And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt my eyes to tears. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away, ’Tis all that I can do. 

(Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day! At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’

Oh my people, my people, the wonder of the cross…words cannot truly describe it. Because it was there that the whole world was turned upside down and a new era in mankind’s story began! The story of salvation, of reconciliation, of total forgiveness, of redemption, justification, sanctification…and all the other good things that flowed…and are still flowing from Jesus’ selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary! 

And as the song so rightly says: ‘Drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe.’ And is that ever the gospel truth friends! No amount of tears, of heartfelt eyes water can ever repay the debt of LOVE that we owe our heavenly Father. I’m sure our puny and finite minds can’t even begin to understand the heartbreak He felt in having to crucify His one and only, so amazing Son, so that a bunch of stubborn, hard-hearted sinners could have the option to be set free. 

But such was His LOVE for us, that He took the one holy, just and righteous avenue open to Him. And it wasn’t by chance He did that either nuh, but by conscious design. Why yuh think? Listen to Bruh Paul in his first letter to Timothy, as he exhorts him to constant prayer. ‘For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of truth.’ (1 Tim. 2:3-4) 

Yes friends, that has been the Lord’s desire ever since the day He kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden. He doesn’t want to lose even one single soul of His most precious creation to the evil fool Satan. That’s why He went to such awesome lengths to get us back into right standing with Him. And He’s been saying it all the time. 

Listen to Him speak through the prophet Ezekiel: ‘Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God; and not that he should return from his ways, and live?… For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.’ (Ezek. 18:23; 32) 

Yes my breddren, our magnanimous and magnificent God doesn’t want even those who want eternal death to die! How much more does He have to so to convince us to change from our wicked ways and live eh? I really don’t know if there’s any more He can do, except strip us of our free will and make us come to Him automatically. But He’s not going to do that, because He promised us free will and He doesn’t renege on His promises. 

And yuh know the second part of our Bit which talks about coming to the knowledge of the truth? Well here is what the Lord said through Jeremiah on the subject. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercises LOVING-kindness, judgement (justice) and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.’ (Jer. 9:23-24) 

For sure, my fellow believers, the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IS MAN’S GLORY! And until we know that, accept it, and live it we’ll keep on being lost! And it’s only fitting to close with the words of Jesus on the topic. He said this when He prayed for His own. ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.’ (John 17:3) 

Yeh friends, knowing the ONE true God, through His Son Jesus Christ, is the ONLY WAY to eternal life! So let’s get smart and get to know Him nuh, so that come the last day, we will not find ourselves on the outside looking in, for that’s the worst thing that can happen to a human soul. Much LOVE!

…to know God…is to know the glorious truth…and be set free… 

P.S. Didn’t do anything yesterday because of the stormy weather. They wouldn’t even allow to me get a dip in the salt since it was so rough. I did get a burger and some jerk pork over at the beach hut though, and washed it down with two nameless exotic pink cocktails. (smile) Today is sunny, so let’s see what the Lord will bring to pass in my life. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2019 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   ​And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).

 

And then it was Wednesday, the middle of the work week…and we did get some of the promised snow, not in the afternoon though, but sometime during the early morning hours, and not as much as expected. However, if you have to venture out there, please be careful, because snow is snow; slippery and dangerous, be it plentiful or li’l bit. (smile) But as always, with Jesus riding shotgun with us, there’s not much to worry about! Praise His holy name! 

And looking through the many bits of paper I have next to the computer for something to write about, I came upon this acronym; ‘PUSH!’ And what dies it mean? Simply, PRAY until something happens!’ Yeh friends, we ought to just keep on praying, until we see some results of our prayers, because God doesn’t always say, NO, but sometimes, GO SLOW, or NOT RIGHT NOW! 

So it’s always best to keep on keeping on until you get a definitive answer…and believe me, when the Lord is ready, He will give you one. (smile) And unfortunately, for whatever reason, in these wicked and sinful times, even true and strong believers don’t pray as much as they ought. 

But please remember Jesus’ admonition: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).’ And that parable was about the persistent widow who refused to go unjustified by the wicked judge. So too should we pursue justice and pray with all our hearts, minds and souls! 

As the scholars explain, re our Bit: ‘18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.”  Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ And sadly, in this mish mash, judgemental, condemning society, it’s oh so easy to lose heart. But we have to be strong friends, and just pursue our dreams and hopes through prayer. 

And there are so many scriptures that advise and encourage and admonish us to keep on praying, especially since it’s God’s way of communicating with us, and it’s the most powerful element on earth! So let’s look at a few of them nuh, and use them to help us strengthen our resolve to keep on praying. 

And what better verse to begin with than one of my favourites, this one from Mark: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) Mama Mia! 

Oh friends, that scripture is talking about Jesus’ rising early every day to go out and pray. What a wonderful example He is! He doesn’t just tell us to do things, but leads the way Himself. Before Jesus did anything, He always sought the Father’s wisdom through prayer. And as I keep saying, if the Son of God needed to pray while down here on earth, why should we miserable sinners be any different eh? 

And then we have this wonderful statement from Bruh David: ‘For (in return for) my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.’ (Psalm 109:4) Yeh friends, it’s often best to pray when our enemies come against us, and remember Jesus said we ought also to pray for them. Meanwhile Cousin Sol gets right to the point, no beating around the bush: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’ (Prov.24:10) 

No joking friends! As the scholars say: ‘24:10. Strength in the face of adversity is the true test of endurance.’ And one of the reasons why our world is in such sad shape is simply because we supposed believers don’t have enough belly and backbone to stand up to the evil forces of the world! It’s sad but true! We’re too scared of what others might say or do, therefore we just fade off into the sunset and let the wicked do as they please. 

I’m sure it breaks Jesus’ heart every time one of His supposed followers behaves thus. And if we’re believers, then in the words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not (lose heart).’ (2 Cor.4:1) Oh my people, we have received the same mercy that Bruh Paul did, therefore, we ought also not to faint, not to lose heart! Friends, the worst thing we can ever do as a believer is to give up, to faint, to lose heart! Why? Because that attitude doesn’t exist in Jesus’ playbook! 

And as believers, it should not exist in ours either! And one of the ways we can keep it at bay is by listening and following this solid and oh so wise advice from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) And though Bruh Paul was there speaking about males only, expecting females to pray silently, in these modern times, it is extremely necessary that both men and women pray, every where; be it loudly or silently! 

And this last scripture is one we all know and quote, but don’t put it into proper action. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) Please remember that my people; we don’t only go to God to ask and ask for what we want, but we must also give thanks for what we already have, and whatever we’re asking for, believing and receiving it by faith, and not by sight. 

‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) What more can I say eh friends? I can only present the evidence, you have to make the individual decisions! (smile) Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now, in loud voice, with sincere hearts and strong sense of purpose: ‘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 if you truly believe, then you know that that future will be even brighter and more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…when one truly knows Jesus…you can’t help but LOVE Him…with all your heart, mind, body and soul…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2018 Romans 10:13.

Romans 10:13.   For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Well dear friends, family and fellow believers, we’ve come to the end of another work week. Another enticing and heartily looked forward to Friday is upon us. And with it also comes the workingman’s enthusiastic though somewhat carnal song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! No more slaving for an evil and greedy massa for a couple of days. Wow! And are we ever going to enjoy them days off; eating, drinking, partying, relaxing, doing absolutely nothing if we want to, and also tearing up the place if we so desire. 

Is our time to do whatever we want, however we want with no overseer holding the proverbial whip above we heads, ready to lash we, if we step out of bounds! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, otherwise I don’t what we’d do nuh!’ 

Ah friends, how good it would be, if as Christians, we could sometimes just let it all hang out on the weekends, without any restraints or boundaries, do whatever we want, however and whenever we so desire. 

But our Lord and Saviour, Leader and King, Friend and Heavenly Advocate desires us to be on a different plane to the ordinary workingman. He wants us to concentrate on rising up to a higher spiritual level, that’s why our Friday Chant is so much different to his Friday song. 

And why is that you ask? Because He doesn’t want the evil enemy to infiltrate our souls and spirits and thereby lessen our LOVE for, and trust in Him. That would just ruin our witness and endanger our salvation, which He so expensively bought, sacrificed with His sinless life. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh, declaring our weekend duties and festivities. (smile) 

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.’ 

Ah mih people, that doesn’t mean we don’t get to have fun, but just not the carnal, lustful, going all the way, illicit stuff that the world classifies as fun. We need to keep our wits about us, be disciplined, so that we can live out God’s word in the best possible manner. And anything that’s going to prevent us from doing it, is definitely not welcome in our lives. 

Oh by the way, let me clarify something I said in yesterday’s Bit. A friend challenged me about the validity of calling the storm in the U.S. ‘a wicked storm.’ He thought I meant the storm was evil, but that wasn’t so at all. In the vernacular, it just meant that it was a strong, terrible, severe, or bad storm. There was no intent whatsoever to classify it as evil. I just wanted to clarify that, in case any other of you readers felt the same way. 

Now here is today’s Bit. ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Simple but strong and truthful words my brethren! Whoever calls upon the Lord’s name and asked to be saved SHALL BE SAVED! No ifs ands or buts about it! 

Bruh Paul is here quoting the words of the prophet Joel from the Old Testament, when he talks about the outpouring of God’s spirit; namely the Holy Ghost coming to dwell in believers one day. (Joel 2:28-32) And we know that happened on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:4) And on that momentous day, in his great sermon, Peter also quoted the words of Joel above. (Acts 2:17-21) 

Yeh friends, salvation is fairly easy, and free too. You just have to believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sin, and then surrender your life and entrust it to Him to lead and guide you as He desires. But unfortunately for some, that’s too easy. Unless they have to suffer and sacrifice they figure they can’t attain heaven’s golden gates. 

But then you ask what exactly is salvation? Listen to the scholars. ‘10:13. Salvation is the most common biblical expression used to identify the subjective changes in people’s lives, when by faith they have received the benefit of the Christ’s death and resurrection. The term implies deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and soundness. 

It occurs in Scripture in three phases. First, the Christian has been saved from the guilt and penalty of sin (Eph.2: 5,8). Second, the Christian is being saved from the habit and dominion of sin in this life (Gal.2:19-20). Finally, when the Lord returns, the Christian will be saved from all the physical results of sin and of God’s curse on the world (8:18-23). 

Illustration: Although Jesus used this word only once (Luke 19:9), He used many other expressions to describe salvation. The dramatic change in Zaccheus was proof of his salvation. Application: The Christian today should also demonstrate a change in his life to confirm this “so great salvation.” (First Ref. Gen.3:15; Primary Ref. Romans; cf. 2 Cor.5:19).’ 

Ah mih breddren, I do hope that explanation gives us a better understanding of what salvation is all about. And to reinforce it, one should take a moment and read the scripture references given there. I just did, and they do enlighten you as to our situation under God’s saving grace. Much LOVE!

…no sincere calls to heaven are ever refused…or turned away…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2017 Ephesians 3:20-21.

Ephesians 3:20-21.   Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Cloudy days are here again…But Jesus drives all those dark clouds away when He greets us with His bright and sunny smile, an endearing brotherly hug and a heartfelt ‘I LOVE You!’ 

Oh friends, there’s no better way to wake up each and every day than in the wonderful embrace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Glory Hallelujah! 

And all I can say to those who refuse to have that kind of awakening, is that they are being rather foolish and shortchanging themselves of a most wonderful experience. And in the long run, denying themselves of ‘Enormous Rewards,’ as this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin tells us. 

Please pray with me. ‘O dear God Thank You for teaching me The enormous rewards Of walking obediently with You: There is joy without guilt Freedom without fear Satisfaction without sordidness Purpose without confusion Friendship without compromise Forgiveness without penance Fulfillment without disappointment.’ 

Wow, mih people, Wow! Where else can we find such joy and satisfaction than in walking obediently with the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob eh? NOWHERE ELSE! 

And all of that is only possible as Bruh Paul declares in our Bit: ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s ONLY the Holy One of Israel who can do such things! And what Bruh Paul was praying there for, is the same thing that I am praying for us all; prayer for inner growth. 

And hear how Bruh Paul puts it. ‘For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in LOVE, May be able to comprehend (understand) with all saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth, and height: And to know the LOVE of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph.3:14-19) 

Ah mih breddren, what a bold and caring but entirely doable prayer, because our heavenly Father can do all he requests and even more! 

Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘16-19. In these verses Paul makes three prayer requests for the addressees: (1) That they would be strengthened with might by his Spirit (v.16), that is, that they be divinely enabled to successfully live the Christian life. 

(2) That the readers be able to comprehend…the LOVE of Christ, that is, to better understand the enormous LOVE Christ has for them. And (3) that they might be filled with all the fullness of God, that is, that the life, the character, and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’  

Yes faithful friends, followers of Jesus have desperately needed those prayers all down through the ages, and so do we today. And we possibly need them more than some of the other saints because of the dreadfully evil and ungodly world in which we now live. 

And just as the believers in earlier ages received the strength and understanding through Christ’s Spirit to handle their earthly affairs, likewise, if we stay faithful and obedient to God, we will be able to handle whatever comes against us, with the help of Holy Spirit that dwells within and walks besides us. 

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Thank You heavenly Father for sacrificing Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our abominable sins! We LOVE You, praise and adore Your glorious name, and promise to live for You all our lives! Amen! And again we say Amen!’ 

Now my fellow saints, remember what Cousin Sol says about promises, especially to God. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.’ (Eccl.5:4) 

So since we have vowed to live for Him all our lives, we had better begin doing so right now, so that He doesn’t consider us fools. (smile) And we’ll begin by declaring our Wednesday Wail, which explains our current standing in the obedience to God. 

Now with strong voice and sincere heart, let’s joyfully tell the world: ‘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 what a glorious future that will be be my fellow believers! Just keep that in mind as we continue our pilgrim’s journey, and it will certainly strengthen our resolve. Much LOVE!

…only in living for Christ…can mankind be assured of a glorious future…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2017 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well friends, the 150th Canadian Birthday Party continues unabated. And though it was constrained a little by an afternoon thunder storm, after that, the sun came out brightly and the outside celebrations went on with much zest and enthusiasm, with brilliant fireworks filling the night air in many parts of the Greater Toronto Area. 

Now some people felt that all the hoopla was somewhat hypocritical because of the blemishes on our Canadian record, re the very poor treatment of the Aboriginal People up to this day, plus the insensitive handling of Chinese and Japanese immigrants during the Great War, not to mention the racism and sexism that are currently rearing their ugly heads. 

And all of those are serious problems for us to address, but if we only focus on our bad side, then no country would ever have cause to celebrate because every one has its own dark and evil problems and secrets. At least, hopefully, if we come together to celebrate a major anniversary, that togetherness will help to dissipate some of the current animosity found in our society. 

But even if we’re not together in our country, please, let’s show that we are together in our churches, in the Body of Christ, as we offer sacrifices of praise and worship in His sanctuary this Sunday morning. And today’s hymn is the old stalwart ‘At the Cross.’ So let’s rock God’s house my faithful brethren with powerful song. 

‘Alas, and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done, He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity!  grace unknown! And LOVE beyond degree! (Refrain)

Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away ’Tis all that I can do. (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’ 

Oh friends, the cross of Jesus is ever so significant in our Christian faith, for it’s there where Jesus sacrificed His life so that we could be reconciled with God and have the wonderful options of salvation and eternal life. Wow! It is indeed the centrepiece of our faith! It’s where everything begins and ends! Without it, we’d be nothing, still mere slaves to the evil Lucifer, facing death and eternal separation from Almighty God, our Creator. 

But thanks to Jesus, hanging in shame and utter cruelty on that tree at Calvary, we’ve been set free from every kind of bondage. Glory to God my people! And as the song says, once we’ve seen the light at the cross, all our burdens are rolled away, and we can be happy each and every day! Mama Mia! Thank the Lord for Jesus yes! 

And as Bruh Paul so aptly puts it in our Bit: ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Now that’s the awesome truth my fellow believers? Without Christ, we’d have no victory whatsoever! That’s why we have to be ever so thankful and show proper gratitude for all of God’s great mercies towards us. 

Remember, He didn’t have to do anything for us. But because we were His creation, and so dear to His heart, He couldn’t just sit by and see us all go the way of Beelzebub! And Jesus didn’t have to give of Himself so selflessly and sacrificially either, but He delighted in doing the Father’s will, even though it was outrageously painful and shameful. 

That’s why the Father highly exalted Jesus afterwards, ‘and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) Oh what a mighty champion is our Lord and Saviour! 

And hear how John saw it in his vision in Revelation. As Jesus took up the Book of Life, ‘the four beasts  (living creatures) and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and vials (bowls) full of odours (incense), which are the prayers of the saints. 

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book (scroll), and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred (tribe), and tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts (living creatures) and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands and thousands: Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.’ (Rev.5:8-12) 

And that’s exactly how it should be. So please my fellow believers, let’s praise and honour Jesus, and live for and LOVE Him down here on earth nuh, so that we will be able to praise and worship Him later on in heaven. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t honour Jesus on earth…you won’t praise Him in heaven…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2016 Ephesians 3:20.

Ephesians 3:20.   Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

Happy Birthday T&T! Wow! Congratulations! You’ve made it to a big 54 years old! 

Yes friends, today is the 54th birthday of Trinidad and Tobago. It received Independence from Britain on August 31 1962, and has certainly made its mark on the world stage in several different areas. 

Now obviously things have changed over those 54 years, some for good, others for worse, and although right now it’s allegedly steeped in crime and corruption, it hasn’t lost its essential Trini vibe; one of an easy going, come what may, fun and laughter character. 

And you can imagine the partying that will be taking place today! But please, I implore us to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, please, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ For it’s in those times of great celebration that the evil one does his best work. 

And I sincerely pray that the Lord will open the eyes of the people of T&T and show them the error of their ways and encourage them to repent of their sinfulness and return to the God who once made them the most prosperous country in the West Indies. 

I don’t know if any other small country had as many churches, and well attended ones too, in its heyday. And like so many other countries, these days that’s changing, God is also being pushed out of the society. 

That brings to mind the quote of the first Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) that says: ‘The basic fact of today is the tremendous pace of change in human life.’ Hn! 

And if Nehru thought that life was changing fast in his time, he wouldn’t like to experience it now, for at no other time in man’s history has change been as quick and revolutionary in all aspects, as today. 

Now some change is good, but others not good. Unfortunately though, our world seems to be accepting more readily the changes that are not so good, thus our continuing fall from God’s grace. 

But yuh know what my people? We’re not going to complain about all that’s wrong with our world nuh, instead we’re going to do our very best to fix it, while enjoying the good things. And that all begins with a positive, Christ like attitude which is found in our Wednesday Wail. 

So, as one strong, positive enthusiastic, energetic Christian body, let’s wail it nuh! ‘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 if we’re true Christians, that should be gospel truth my brethren! We should be excited about being alive, of securely holding the plough and moving forward with Jesus to what ever wonderful opportunities He has planned for us! 

Remember His promise in Jeremiah: ‘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) 

And our ever faithful God is truly a man of His word. So if He says that He has a good future in mind for us, then there is an excellent plan laid out for each of our lives. I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but I believe my best years are still ahead of me…Glory to God! 

Now let’s check out our Bit. ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.’ 

Steups! As usual, I’ve left too little time and space for our Bit. But we’ll soldier on and do our best. (smile)

Now yesterday we saw that Bruh Paul was praying for the inner growth of the Ephesians, and by extension us too. Today, we’ll look at the actual prayer, the three verses before our Bit. 

‘That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in LOVE,

May be able to comprehend (understand) with all saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth, and height;

And to know the LOVE of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph.3:16-19) 

Oh friends, in these desperate times, we also desperately need that prayer over our lives. We need to understand, be strengthened, rooted and grounded in Christ’s LOVE, so that we can courageously and faithfully go about His business here on earth. 

Now here is some info from the scholars. ‘3:16-19. In these verses Paul makes three prayer requests for the addressees: (1) That they would be strengthened with might by his Spirit (v.16), that is, that they be divinely enabled to successfully live the Christian life. 

(2) That the readers be able to comprehend…the LOVE of Christ, that is, to better understand the enormous LOVE Christ has for them. And (3) that they might be filled with the fullness of God, that is, that the life, character, and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, we need to have all of that worked into our lives too. So let’s end like Bruh Paul did; sending those prayers up to the One who could successfully answer them. 

‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph.3:20-21) 

And may the Lord answer our sincere, heartfelt prayer my people, as we stay strong and steadfast in faith! Much LOVE!

…only when our lives are built on the strong foundation that’s Jesus…can we truly enjoy our earthly life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 March 2014 Proverbs 21:17.

Proverbs 21:17.   He that LOVETH pleasure shall be a poor man: he that LOVETH wine and oil shall not be rich

                                                           ASH  WEDNESDAY !

Well Friends, the partying done now! Yes, it’s Ash Wednesday morning, the first day of Lent, so I hope that you exercised and exorcised all your pleasure demons over the last few days of serious partying. (smile) That’s because now is a time to settle down, a time for serious reflection on our relationships, especially between God and us.

Lent is the time to look deep into our souls and examine what we truly believe, and consequently how we live our lives, based on our grounding belief, our foundational faith, for all of us have faith in something, hopefully Jehovah God, and not man or some man-made idol.

Anyway, this season of Lent is a serious time, and we ought to seriously consider how we live our lives, giving the pleasure centres of our bodies and souls a well-deserved break. Hn, hn!

Now that doesn’t mean we ought to stop enjoying life, or eschew all pleasure, but rather not let the pleasures of life be all that important. Instead, let’s contemplate on how Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness and how Lucifer tempted Him, tried his very best to get Him to go against God’s will.

And in light of that, let’s see what temptations have been coming against us, and how we’ve been handling them, hopefully with graceful aplomb like Jesus, telling the deceitful fool Lucifer: ‘Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’ (Matt.4:10)

And we all know my brethren, that that’s truth of the highest order! But that doesn’t stop the ole scoundrel from continually snapping at our heels, especially in one soft and weak area of our sinful nature, that of pleasure.

That’s why Cousin Sol declared so profoundly unto us, the words of our Bit. ‘He that LOVETH pleasure shall be a poor man: he that LOVETH wine and oil shall not be rich.’ 

And unfortunately, I know that Lucifer has a wide grin on his evil, devilish face this Ash Wednesday morning, because over the last few days, he’s managed to get many of us to compromise our godly beliefs in the pursuit of fleeting worldly pleasure.

But please remember that ALL of it can be forgiven, though only some forgotten, and a lot of it will haunt us for the remainder of our lives. There will always be some reminder of our less than stellar performance during that period.

The important thing though is not to beat up ourselves and continually bewail our misery over it, since that portion of our lives cannot be relived, and our mistake(s) be undone. And this wisdom comes from personal experience, not hearsay. We need to come to God in sincere repentance, ask for His merciful and generous forgiveness, then face the problem squarely; stand our bounce.

That’s one thing I’ve always tried to drive into my children’s head from they were young, and try to practice it myself. If you’ve done something wrong, be man or woman enough to take the responsibility for it.

And after all that ‘sermonizing’, (smile) let’s look at some scriptures that uphold the truth of our Bit. And we’ll begin with some instructive words of Bruh Paul to Timothy, re widows. ‘But she that liveth in pleasure (indulgence) is dead while she liveth.’ (1 Tim.5:6)

And the scholars’ note says: ‘5:6. This may be paraphrased, “But the widow who indulges in luxurious living, though physically alive, is spiritually dead.”

And I just want to point out here my people, that that statement also applies to widowers, in fact to all and sundry, because once we’ve allowed earthly indulgences to control our lives, we do become spiritually dead. 

Then in Hebrews 11, that great chapter on faith, in talking about Moses, the author proclaims: ‘By faith, Moses, when he was come to years (came of age), refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures (passing pleasures) of sin for a season;

Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasure in Egypt: for he had respect unto (looked at) the recompense of the reward.’ (Heb.11:24-26)

Yes my brethren, likewise, we are to shun the calling of the pleasures of sin, and esteem the reproach of Christ of greater sanctity and worth than that of the world.

And we’ll let James take us home with his very voluble and valuable warning to the rich. ‘Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted (have rotted), and your garments are moth-eaten.

Your gold and silver is cankered (corroded): and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for (in) the last days.

Behold, the hire (wages) of the labourers who have reaped (mowed) down your fields, which is of you (you kept back) by fraud, crieth (cry out): and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth (Hosts).

Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton (indulgent); ye have nourished (fattened) your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.’ (James 5:1-6)

Yeh Friends, that’s the way it goes! All our riches, garnered on the backs of those unfairly treated will eventually rot and be of no use to us. We who have lived to serve pleasure, will in the end reap displeasure!

So please, as true believers, let’s wake up and see unrestrained pleasure for what it really is nuh – an unwise and foolish means of moving away from Jehovah God to the sinful camp of Beelzebub.

Now is that what we really and truly want to do? I sincerely doubt it. So please, let’s pull up our ‘britches’ (breeches) nuh, and stop allowing the sinful pleasures of our sinful world to control our lives. Now that’s the ultimate in wisdom! Much LOVE!

…Cousin Sol had it all…wisdom, wealth and time…but found no satisfying, gratifying, or long lasting pleasure…in the worldly pleasures his divine blessings afforded him…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today”s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2012 Luke 2:19

Luke 2:19.    But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Sunday; the eve of Christmas Eve! (smile) That means there are only two more days to the big one; Christmas Day. And what a celebration that will be! However, please, let’s remember we’re celebrating because of Jesus’ birth, the incarnate Son of God, come to earth as man, so that He could eventually rescue us from eternal death and separation from our Creator. And all God’s children said a loud and grateful, ‘Thank You Jesus!’  Now yesterday we saw how Jesus was born and all the ramifications necessary to fulfill the prophecies concerning Him in the Old Testament. We also saw some of the challenges Mary faced in her young, inexperienced life, and the way she handled them with graceful faith and quiet contemplation. Today, I want to continue looking at Mary’s journey as the mother of Jesus, and some of the unusual things she experienced because of it. The next instalment of the story begins when Jesus is eight days old and is taken according to custom to be circumcised and presented to the Lord. ‘As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord. And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.’ (Luke 2:23-24) The first verse there comes from Ex.13:2, and the second from Lev.12:8. And the scholars add this interesting note to the last verse. ‘It is indicative of the relative poverty of Jesus’ family that they could not afford to offer a lamb as part of the cleansing and dedicatory ritual.’  Imagine that nuh people, the earthly family of God’s Son was so poor, all they could afford to sacrifice at His presentation before His heavenly father were some cheap birds. What does that say about God wanting Him to be really lowly and suffer human lack eh? Anyway, at the temple in Jerusalem, there was this old, devout priest, Simeon, who really believed that the coming of the Messiah was the only thing that could ever bring peace and prosperity to Israel. ‘And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came (guided) by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him (Jesus) up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word (the promise earlier on); For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people. A light to lighten (to bring revelation to) the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.’ (Luke 2:26-32) There again Friends, as promised, Simeon was guided by the Holy spirit, so that he was in the right place at the right time to see and hold Jesus, the Lord’s salvation.  The next verse is interesting as it shows Joseph and Mary’s reaction to Simeon’s prophecy. The Good Book says: ‘And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.’ (Luke 2:33) But that wasn’t all: ‘And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set (destined) for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.’ (Luke 2:34-35) Wow Friends! Yuh hear all that confusion. And the scholars tell us that, ‘Here for the first time the parents hear a startling prophecy that Jesus’ significance will extend even to the Gentiles. This would be surprising even if it had not come from an apparent stranger.’ Oh fellow believers, how would you react after hearing such good and bad things about your first-born, from a total stranger eh? According to the scholars, Jesus would bring deliverance, but also division and anguish. That both redemption and judgement were bound up in His birth. And that last verse with the ominous warning to Mary, that a sword would also pierce her soul. Hn! I don’t think many of us would have been ecstatic about any of it. Then to add to their confusion, after Simeon was done, a prophetess by the name of Anna, took over. ‘And she was a widow of about four score and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.’ (Luke 2:37-38) Ah Lord eh! Poor Mary and Joseph! I’m sure that though they had some inkling that Jesus would be different, would be special in some form and fashion, I doubt that in their lowly estate they could have really comprehended the true stature of their first-born. And the Good Book ends this exercise thus: ‘And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed (became) strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.’ (Luke 2:39-40) And like most mothers, even those whose sons don’t have any exceptional qualities or abilities, I’m sure Mary kept a wary eye on Jesus, surely noticing certain nuances and idiosyncrasies, the little differences between Him and the other children in the community. And her reaction to it all was no doubt just as our Bit says: ‘But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.’ Wise woman that! Just wish that the majority of us could be like her. Much LOVE mih breddren!…not all we see or hear…will we readily understand…but as true believers…oftimes we simply must accept it all by faith…knowing that our God is always in control…