Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 March 2019 Philippians 2:8.

Philippians 2:8.   And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Well it’s here right early again! And no, I’m not talking about Sunday, but Daylight Savings Time where we push our clocks ahead one hour and screw up everybody’s timetable. So at some time this morning it was two o’clock, then all of a sudden it became three o’clock! Wonder how many people remembered to do that before they went to bed and are going to get up late for church and work? 

Then somewhere down in November we revert to Standard Time, setting the clocks back an hour, and again screwing up everybody’s timetable! One minute it’s two o’clock, then the next it’s one o’clock! Steups! I’ve yet to see anyone who likes the inconvenience, but the powers that be say they think it helps, so we do it. 

We are one of a number of fewer and fewer areas who are doing it still. You then have to unnecessarily readjust to the time difference in different parts of the world. Even in Canada, not all the provinces do it. And they don’t suffer because of it! Chuh! 

But let’s not get too worked up about that this Sunday morning nuh, let’s go to the Lord’s house and fellowship; have a good time as we give Him praise and thanks, cleanse our souls, renew a right spirit within our hearts and say the Lord be praised! And as always, we begin our praise and worship with a heartfelt song. Today’s song is one we all know, titled ‘Because He Lives,’ written by the Christian writing tandem of Gloria and William Gaither. 

And since the lyrics are ever so true my fellow believers, let’s do them justice nuh, let’s allow our voices to ring out powerfully and in sweet sincerity as we joyfully declare (wrong again): ‘(Chorus: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living Just because He lives.) (Repeat) 

God sent His Son they called Him, Jesus He came to LOVE, heal and forgive He lived and died to buy my pardon An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. (Chorus) How sweet to hold a newborn baby And feel the pride and joy he gives But greater still that calm assurance This child can face uncertain days because He lives And then one day I’ll cross the river I’ll fight life’s final war with pain 

And then, as death gives way to vict’ry I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living Just because He lives And life is worth the living Just because He lives And life is worth the living Just because He lives.’ 

Ah mih people what truthful words of solace, joy and assurance! And it’s all possible just because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ lives! Glory Hallelujah! Just imagine that nuh; because He is alive and well we can face tomorrow without any fear, and knowing that He holds our future in His mighty hands, life is worth living again! 

Oh friends, give Him much thanks and praise nuh, because He didn’t have to do what He did for us, He could have even gone against the Father’s wishes. But no, as the Good Book says: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ 

Yes my people, Jesus selflessly sacrificed Himself for us on Calvary’s cross. Imagine that nuh: the Son of God becoming man and giving His life for a bunch of ungrateful sinners, all because His Father asked Him to. Yuh think those nails that pierced Jesus’ body didn’t pierce the Father’s heart too? And believe you me, every lash and awful pain He felt, the Father felt them too. But that was the ONLY way the Father could save us sinners and retain His righteousness and justice. 

The wages of sin is death, which means somebody, some sinless body had to pay to set us free, and Jesus was the only sinless soul besides the Father.  Sacrificing His only Son for us, just goes to show how much the Father LOVED us back then, and still LOVES us even now, even though we are such ingrates! 

Yes friends, it was all based on LOVE! Jesus came to LOVE, to heal and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon. And an empty grave is now there to prove that my Lord and Saviour Lives! Glory be my people! He won the victory over hell, death and the grave, and rose to everlasting life, so that those of us who believe in Him, will die, but also rise again and experience life eternal with Him! 

And for that unstinting, willingly given obedience, the Good Book tells us: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, 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) 

Mama Yo! Yes people, the Father honoured Jesus with the greatest honours at His disposal! The only thing He didn’t lavish on Him was His own throne! And the Father has promised to also lavish us with honours and rewards if we remain steadfastly obedient to His will. So there you have it, the choice is ours to be obedient or not. And you can’t say you didn’t know. (smile) Much LOVE!

…trust and obey…for there’s no better way…to be happy in Jesus…than to trust and obey… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2016 Deuteronomy 31:8.

Deuteronomy 31:8.    And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Well friends, I hope that our fellowship yesterday, mixed with sincere praise, worship and thanks, has paved the way for us to get this work week off with a bang! That we’re soaring with confidence and energy and a passion to just get out there and do God’s will! 

But just in case we did not fellowship yesterday, or for some other reason we’re not feeling up to scratch, not excited by this new day of life, with which we’ve been blessed, we have an instant antidote for you. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s sing it all together now, in strong voice and bubbling harmony, and make our choirmaster, Jesus proud. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Now that rendition wasn’t bad at all my people, however it did not light up Jesus eyes and face like last week. But don’t feel badly because He understands our weaknesses and frailties even better than we do. He knows that we can’t put on a magnificent performance every week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t always give a creditable one. 

So with the adrenaline that our Battle Hymn has raised in our blood, let’s stop dancing around aimlessly and get ourselves out into the serious fray that awaits us. And to help us do that, we have a most encouraging Bit; the words of Moses when he anointed Joshua, Israel’s leader. 

‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we ought to know that those are words of indisputable, irrevocable, gospel truth! As the Lord was with the Israelites so long ago, He is still with us…even under better conditions now that we have Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour! 

The Lord our God proved His awesome, unconditional LOVE for us by sending His ONE and ONLY Son to die on Calvary’s cross to redeem us from our abominable sins, so why would He now stop caring for us eh? It simply doesn’t make sense. He broke His own heart to reconcile us to Himself, so simple logic would deduce that His LOVE and compassion for each one of us is still just as strong as it was back then. 

And no, it’s not easy to accept this wonderful reassurance when all the fearful negative aspects of the world appear to be coming full speed at us. But with time and the growth of our faith, enabled by the good works God continually does in our lives, we will eventually come to a point where we can accept the words of our Bit without doubt or hesitation. 

And just to give us a practical and physical example of the Lord going before us, listen to this scintillating scripture from Exodus. ‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.’ (Ex.13:21-22) 

Yuh see that friends, our God is a FAITHFUL God! What more can we ask for eh? He led His people Israel, out of bondage in Egypt, through the wilderness by pillars of cloud and fire, thus assuring them of His continual presence, and also protection from the Egyptians who were following them. 

Now hear this masterful plan of protection from our wise and powerful God. ‘And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them. And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all night.’(Ex.14:19-20) 

So though the two camps were fairly close together, darkness completely shrouded the Israelites from the Egyptians. Who else could have devised such a simple but yet masterful plan eh my brethren? NONE but Almighty God! 

So as we step out today to face the evil world and all its challenges, please don’t be afraid, for just like the Lord protected the Israelites back then, He still protects EVERY ONE of His children with His strong right hand and mighty power. That’s all we need to know and remember. Much LOVE!

…Fear not…was one of Jesus’ most used statements…believers should therefore take Him at His word…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2016 John 6:48‏‏

John 6:48.    I am that bread of life.

Well a hearty welcome to you this Thursday morning mih lovelies! The sun is shining in my neck of the woods, and I do hope it’s shining in yours too. But just in case it isn’t, please remember that the Son is ALWAYS shining even in the worst of physical weather and circumstances! 

That’s the wonderful advantage we have over the unbelievers; we know that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is there for us ALL the time! He is just a prayer away… 

And all God’s children heartily and sincerely exclaimed: ‘Glory be to the Lamb that was slain, that was sacrificed on Calvary’s cross for our sins! Long may He reign in our hearts and souls! Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, there’s none other like our wonderful Redeemer Jesus Christ! Couldn’t be, for the world only has room for ONE Prince of Peace, ONE Lord of Lords and ONE King of Kings… and that’s our Jesus, our friend and guiding light! Glory Hallelujah! 

Now I want to share an interesting and very relevant quote from my One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. I believe I’ve shared it before, but as we say, when it’s nice, you can play it twice, or even thrice! (smile) 

The quote is attributed to one Robert Nathan, but there are so many people out there with that name that I wasn’t able to identify the exact one. 

However, the quote says: ‘Give thanks for sorrow that teaches you pity; for pain that teaches you courage – and give exceeding thanks for the mystery which remains a mystery still – the veil that hides you from the infinite, which makes it possible for you to believe in what you cannot see.’ 

Yes friends, that’s what we call FAITH! And although we don’t like or want to have those negative experiences that cause us hurt and pain, we ought to embrace them because it’s only through experiencing them that we grow in courage and strength, and yes FAITH! 

If everyday was strictly wine, roses and song, we’d have no belly and backbone – we already have precious little of that. 

As the text says: ‘We cannot run away from problems. Tremendous problems must be confronted and resolved. Fears can be overwhelming. Tasks seem endless, and the challenge seems too great. It is comforting to realize we face nothing alone.’ 

And is that ever so true my Christian brethren! We’re never alone! The Holy Spirit of Christ, which indwells EVERY believer, is ALWAYS there to lead and guide us, to strengthen and comfort us in our every need! 

So Christians ought always to be positive people since we have the greatest power in the universe dwelling within us. Unfortunately that’s not the case with a lot of us. Too many believers are scared and fearful to face the days, the troubles and problems that seem to be always confronting them. 

But listen to the energizer at the end of the devotion. ‘I will not allow fear and panic to overtake me today. Courage will open the door to wisdom and peace.’ 

Yes my precious people, we need to believe that as we step out into the crazy, dangerous and ungodly world that currently surrounds us. And to help boost our spirits, and keep us on the straight and narrow path that leads to Almighty God, let’s declare our Thursday Blessings with premium confidence and glorious enthusiasm. 

All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Well said my people, well said! Now let’s act it out in real life nuh. And that shouldn’t be a problem, because as our Bit so confidently states, we follow the person, Jesus Christ, who so truthfully declared two thousand years ago: ‘I am that bread of life.’ 

And indeed He is friends! He gave His physical life for us, so that we could have eternal life, rejuvenating reconciliation with the Father. That’s what He came down from heaven to do. 

Without His selfless sacrifice, we’d have no opportunity for life, because the scripture plainly states that the penalty for sin is death, and we were certainly embroiled in sin until His death cleansed us and set us free. 

Furthermore, NOBODY can get to the Father but through Him! And a lot of people refuse to belief that. But my faithful brethren, Jesus is truly the LIGHT, the LIFE, the TRUTH, and the WAY! 

Let’s never forget that, and keep embracing Him with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, for that is indeed wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…there is power…absolute power…in the holy name of Jesus…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2015 John 14:6

John 14:6.  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Oh Friends, I don’t understand it nuh; it’s a mystery that I can go to bed feeling fairly okay and wake up a few hours later experiencing serious pain in places that weren’t paining before I went to bed. Hn! I thought rest and sleep were supposed to calm those things, not heighten them.

Chuh! I woke up a little while ago with my right knee giving me beans, and that hasn’t been hurting me, it’s the left one that’s recently been problematic. So there I was subsequently, hobbling around like the old man I refuse to be, trying to put out the garbage and chuckling somewhat unhappily to my self.

But yuh know what, it’s a conspiracy! Yes Arthur (arthritis), the minion of the evil one, is desperately trying to humble me before his wicked master. But please tell Arthur for me that that will NEVER happen!

Not as long as our great God sits on His throne in heaven on high, which He will do forever, neither as long as our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus stands by His side advocating on my behalf, or as long as the Holy Spirit dwells within me! 

No Friends Lucifer will never get his evil hooks into me, or wrap his mushy tentacles around me, once the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are in control of things. And to bring that even more forcibly home to Mr. Arthur and his evil boss, let’s wail our Wednesday Wail, which is most appropriate in this situation.

Please wail with me people: ‘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!’

Oh yes my people, if we want to make it successfully through this wicked and ungodly world we have to constantly keep our focus on Jesus! There is no other way! Remember His promise of salvation in our Bit ‘I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: no man cometh to the Father but by me.’ And He is also the LIGHT of this evil and darkened world.

And I like how the scholars put it, re our Bit. ‘14:6. Jesus does not tell them about the way, nor does He show them the way. He does not even guide them along the way. He says He is the way!’

And that’s an awesome truth that ALL believers need to acknowledge, to write indelibly in their hearts, souls and minds if they want to have a successful journey with Him. Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanks be to the Lamb that was slain for us, whose precious blood was spilled at Calvary’s cross so that we could gain atonement from our abominable sins!

Yes my brethren, Jesus is indeed THE GREATEST! The ONE and ONLY Superstar! All our hopes and dreams begin and end with Him. As the author of Hebrews so wisely reminds us; He is the author and finisher of our faith. (Heb.12:2)

Or as the scholars put it. ‘He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ So we don’t have to do any more trail-blazing, just follow the straight and narrow path that He has laid out for us, all the way to salvation and eternal life with Him and the Father. There’s absolutely nothing better than that in this confused and troubled world!

Now listen to these encouraging and uplifting words from the author of Hebrews, where he issues a plea to the early believers to hold on to their new faith. ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say the flesh; and having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering: (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching’ (Heb.10:19-25)

Oh Friends, that same plea is crying out to us today, in these dark and dismal times! Jesus is the ONLY WAY to overcome them!

Now let’s get some explanations from the scholars re those verses: ’10:20. Jesus Christ is the new and living way by which believers have direct access into the very Holy Place of God (cf. 4:14; 6:20; 7:25; John 14:6).’ Please check out those references my people, as they will certainly help to enlighten us in the scriptures.

’10:24. The word translated provoke (Gr. paroxysmos) usually has a negative sense, as is witnessed by its only other New Testament usage (Acts 15:39). The positive connotation which the word has in the present text means to stir up. It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it take much more to stir up another to LOVE and to good works.’

And isn’t that the gospel truth Friends, it’s much easier to stir up strife than LOVE, especially in these godless times!

‘10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is the outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’

And I say a loud and proud ‘Amen’ to that! There we have it Friends, the reason for going to church, for Christians assembling together in the name of Jesus Christ!

Now let’s go out today, and every day, and work diligently, sincerely and faithfully on behalf of our Lord and Saviour nuh, for that is the ultimate wisdom of this life. Much LOVE!

…following the path that Jesus blazed…and doing His will…brings the greatest joy and eventual richest reward…spending eternity with Him…

P.S. Oh Friends, I know it’s long and late, but that’s all made up for in its wonderful information and its intrinsic beauty! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2015 Colossians 3:13‏‏

Colossians 3:13.   Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Well Friends, it’s the second day of the week, but the first day of work. And I know that many of us are not happy about having to get up and go to work on this beautiful Monday morning. 

But as I keep reminding us, we have no choice, if we want to make a living and keep a roof over our heads and food on our tables, so the sooner we stop giving ourselves heartaches over it, and become contented and peaceful, the sooner we’ll understand and appreciate the joys of working.

And I know some of you are querying the term ‘joys of working,’ assuming that there can be no joy in work. But I’m here to tell you differently Friends. Many of us don’t enjoy our jobs because we come to them with the wrong mind set; a negative rather than a positive one. Granted, many of them don’t ingratiate themselves to us, are not really likeable in the natural.

But as Bruh Paul told the Philippians: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ (Phil.4:11)

Yes my people, the ability to be content in whatever situation we might find ourselves is one of the great tools of living. However, as the scholars tell us: ‘The Greek here suggests contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through practical experiences in life.’

And that’s a fact my brethren! Contentment is learned through experiencing the harsh knocks of life, and we have to consciously accept it, if we’re to be rid of most of our fears and anxieties, especially if we are followers of Jesus.

Anyway, let’s get to our Monday Morning Hymn that boosts our spirits, raises our adrenalin level and gives us the wherewithal to go out and fight the enemy, and thus bring souls to Jesus for saving.

So as one big, bold and harmonic choir, let’s sing: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’

That was a good rendition my people, but not good enough to move heaven, (smile) but our motors are running and that will enable us to face the day with faith, strength, courage and forgiveness.

Yes Friends, forgiveness must be a major part of our day, as so many things and people are out there to annoy us and bring negative emotions to our spirits, but we have to rise up over them by forgiving where forgiveness is called for. Because remember, forgiveness is for our health; physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Unforgiveness usually does nothing to the unforgiven, but it ALWAYS affects the ‘unforgiver’ negatively. So basic wisdom calls us to forgive as quickly and completely as possible. As our Bit so wisely and rightly tells us: ‘Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’

And the aspect of forgiving that I want to talk about today is extremely important, but one to which we don’t pay much, or definitely enough attention to; that’s forgiving ourselves.

Yes Friends, too many of us hold on to guilt and unforgiveness against ourselves. We tend to forgive others much quicker and more completely than we do ourselves. But that’s also wrong my brethren. Forgiveness is for everybody, including ourselves.

A good example of our negative response to ourselves, is in cases where we do things that we regret, and we even ask God for forgiveness, which He ALWAYS grants, but we still walk around with guilt and unforgiveness. Friends, it’s a basic law of nature that when we are given something, we have to receive and accept it, otherwise we won’t have it.

And the forgiveness, mercy, LOVING-kindness and saving grace of God are amongst those wonderful things that we need to receive with joy and gratitude. For if we don’t, we are doing ourselves great injustice, in fact negating the death of Jesus, making it of no account, for those are the things which He sacrificed Himself on Calvary’s cross to give us.

So if we don’t accept what Jesus died to give us, then we’re not His true followers, just seeds sown on stony ground with no real roots planted in the church and body of Jesus. The same goes for when other’s beside God forgives us. We have to learn to accept it with kindness and mercy and gratitude, else we’re still not doing ourselves any good.

And we’ll end with these wonderful and wise words on the subject; words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven (in Christ forgave) you.’ (Eph.4:31-32)

Words of everlasting wisdom my brethren! So let’s go out and put it all in to practice today nuh my people, obviously with the help of Jesus, because that’s our earthly responsibility, our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…we must learn not only to forgive…but also to receive and accept forgiveness…for it is the grace of God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2014 John 15:13

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 
And then Friends, it was Sunday, the first day of the week!
 
That means it is supposed to be a restful kind of day, including a trip to the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship with other believers, give God His praise and thanks that’s so well deserved, and get encouragement and strengthened faith from the gathering to keep on keeping on in Jesus’ name.
 
It also should encompass some quality family and/or friend time; all the while keeping our souls open to Jesus. As I keep reminding us, the way we spend the first day of the week, is usually a harbinger of how the rest of the week will unfold.
 
So if we have a busy, stressful /Sunday, then Monday will no doubt open with stress and fatigue, complaining and whining, as we have to get up and go out to labour, and the week will probably go all downhill from there.
 
However, if we spend Sunday in prayerful peace, we at least wake up rested and renewed on Monday. Then, at least we’re starting from the top and going downhill, which is always easier than starting from the bottom and having to trudge up hill.
 
And with those words of wisdom (smile) – hope you adopt them – let’s get to our Bit, the same as yesterday. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
 
And again, I will remind us, that not as servants, but as valued Friends, Jesus then went out and died for us on Calvary’s cross!
 
I therefore can’t emphasize enough, how important it is that we recognize and truly appreciate His selfless sacrifice at Calvary, for it was indeed the beginning of all our good fortune, which stemmed exclusively from the great LOVE of our heavenly Father, who desperately wanted us to be brought back in to right standing with Him.
 
It’s just like we bend over backwards sometimes with our wayward children whom we LOVE dearly and want to see get back to the right path and right standing with us.
 
Now today we’ll deal with some scriptures that highlight friendship; what it is supposed to be, and as time permits, also look at some friendships, both good and bad, from the Good Book.
 
And first off is the wisdom of Cousin Sol, telling us from Proverbs, what a friend, and friendship ought to be. Listen up closely my brethren. (smile) ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born of adversity.’ (Prov.17:17)
 
And that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be my people! As the scholars declare: ’17:17. A true friend has unquenchable LOVE that is not diminished by adversity.’
 
But today, unfortunately, as we all know, that kind of true friendship doesn’t exist as much as it used to. Now friends are only friends when times are good. When they are rough and you need support, you’ll usually find yourself alone, because all you really had were good times friends.
 
However my people, let’s look at what a true friendship ought to be like. It begins with Jehovah God’s covenant with Abraham in chapter 17 of Genesis, where He establishes Abraham as the father of His Chosen People.
 
And we all know the story of Abraham’s tumultuous but interesting pilgrimage throughout the land, and how throughout it all, he stayed faithful and true to God, and God also remained faithful and true to him.
 
It was such a great friendship that centuries later, king Jehoshaphat of Judah, when besieged by foreign armies, could cry out to God: ‘Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever?’ (2 Chr.20:7)
 
Then Isaiah, in talking of the final restoration of Israel, declares: ‘But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, my friend.’ (Is.41:8)
 
And later on, James, the half-brother of Jesus, who only believed at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, in talking about faith without works, boldly proclaims: ‘But wilt thou know (but do you want to know), O vain (foolish) man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
 
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works (was working), and by works was faith made perfect (complete)? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed (accounted) unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.’ (James 2:20-23)
 
Yes my brethren, that is what a true friendship ought to be like. Abraham is so revered, that even when we speak of God, and we qualify it by saying, the God of Abraham, everyone knows whom we’re talking about.
 
So today my people, as we fellowship and worship, peacefully rest in prayerful meditation, let’s consider the words ‘friend and friendship.’ Let’s ponder what they mean to us, then on that basis, ponder who our true friends might be in this earthly life, as well as who we might be true friends to.
 
And lastly, let’s ask the Lord for his help, so that at the end of our earthly pilgrimage, our faith and works will be of such excellence and integrity, that we too will be called the Friend of God! That’s the zenith of wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…oh…to be considered…a Friend of the Lord…and a Man after His own heart…that is my greatest desire…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2014 1 Corinthians 15:57

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

Oh Friends, it seems like spring has finally decided to stay sprung! Glory Hallelujah!

And I say that because there’s finally some green colour appearing in the previously dead looking brown grass, the temps are staying fairly standard between 7 and 12 degrees Celsius, and when I got up just now I heard some birds singing their early morning praises to their Maker!

 

How wonderful eh! It’s so refreshing and revitalizing to hear the birds singing praises, because they are ever so faithful in it. Sometimes I think the Lord should have made us like the birds, without a mind of our own, for then we would have been much more faithful than we currently are.

 

Unfortunately though, the trees don’t seem to be buying into this optimism that spring is finally getting serious about coming, for there is not one single green bud on any of them. They all still dancing stark naked in the oftimes brisk and cold spring wind.

 

We believer in Jesus Christ however, are filled with oodles of optimism, through, and for the LOVE of God! We are so filled with it that it’s overflowing, and consequently filling others with the wonderful news of this Easter Season, where Christ so triumphantly rose from the dead – Mama Mia! – and in the process defeated the twin evils of death and the grave, and therefore the ruler of Hades, Lucifer.

 

Oh Friends, this Easter Thursday morning, let’s put a big smile on our faces, and release the immense joy that’s in our hearts and souls with a song of praise to our Maker nuh!

 

Like the birds, let’s show Him our great appreciation for designing, putting into action and successfully carrying out His incredible plan of reconciliation, which so LOVINGLY brought us back into right standing with Him.

 

Please pray with me now: ‘Dear heavenly Father, You are so wonderful to Your sinful, undeserving children! We continually make You sad and mad at our misdoings, but You just keep on LOVING us! You keep on granting us Your awesome forgiveness, mercy and grace, blessing us with stuff we definitely don’t deserve.

 

Oh Father, this morning we’re here to tell You that we truly LOVE You! We sincerely worship and adore You! We do magnify Your Holy Name and give You much thanks and praise!

 

Oh gracious Father in heaven, we are especially grateful and thankful for Your most wonderful Son Jesus, who became our Lord and Saviour on that first Easter Sunday two millennia ago, by sacrificing His holy life to pay for our abominable transgressions.

 

Oh Father, we are truly sorry that You had to put such trials and tribulations on Jesus for our sakes, but we know that You are a just and righteous God and cannot just pardon sin; a price, including death and the shedding of blood must be paid for it.

 

And You LOVED us so much, considered us so worthy, that You gave Your Only son, Jesus Christ, the ONLY sinless soul beside Yourself, to pay for our sins!

 

Oh heavenly Father, You know that we can NEVER repay You for that awesome, unconditional LOVE, but we will try our best to live lives down here on earth that will magnify You. Lives that will continue to grow in the holy character of our Saviour Jesus, thus glorifying Your great Name and furthering Your glorious kingdom. We pray this on the blood of Jesus that was shed for us on Calvary’s cross. Amen!’

 

Oh mih people, mih people! What the Holy Spirit can do in your soul eh! I have to chuckle here, because I never intended to even have a prayer, much less such a long one. But as usual, the Holy Spirit guided me there. In any case, it is right, and also our bounden duty to pray and give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father, especially at this Easter season, when He so faithfully caused us to be reconciled to Him!

 

And believe me Friends, that is no small undertaking or unimportant event! In fact it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to mankind! If our wonderful, ever-faithful and ever-LOVING Creator didn’t care so much for us, we’d still be wallowing in the misery of our dreadful sins, headed for eternal death and damnation in the foul and vile company of the prince of darkness, Beelzebub.

 

For remember, as the Good Book so pointedly states: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through (in) Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23)

 

But then Bruh Paul further clarifies the situation to the Corinthians, and consequently us: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades), where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 15:54b-57)

 

Yes my fellow believers, don’t ever forget those memorable, momentous and most important words of our Bit! Let’s plant them deep, deep, deep in the inner recesses of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, because that is indeed why we are able to laugh, sing and shout ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ this Thursday morning two thousand years after Jesus gave us that everlasting victory!

 

Wow! What a mighty God we serve and worship my brethren! 

 

So as we prayed above, and Bruh Paul so timely reminds us: ‘Therefore my BELOVED brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor.15:58)

 

Absolutely not my fellow believers! So please, let’s stand steadfast and strong this morning, and all the remaining days of our lives, confident in the glory and victory of Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

 

…oh how could we not LOVE Jesus…the sinless One…who made our sins His own…and LOVINGLY set us free…to some day dwell with Him in heaven…and always faithful be…

 

 

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