Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 November 2019 Psalm 95:2.

Psalm 95:2.    ​Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs).
 

Let me open this dry but windy Thursday morning with sincere Thanksgiving wishes for our Scrip-Bit friends and family in the U.S. of A! Yes, today is their Thanksgiving Holiday, one of their biggest and most celebrated days! And so it should be, for a land that the Lord has blessed so plentifully, although now He’s definitely withdrawing some of that blessing because of their abundant and willful sinfulness. But it’s never a bad idea to give thanks, even when we don’t have a lot to give thanks for. 

Unfortunately though, the weather is not cooperating with the idea of Thanksgiving, for much of the nation is under severe warnings of snow, ice and rain, and many flights have already been cancelled and roads made impassable. So please be careful all of you who have to travel any distance to celebrate the occasion. And for those of you who have already hunkered down, please remember Granny’s warning; ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ And this is the ‘rightest’ time for that warning, because it’s the day all Americans celebrate, and there’s more eating and drinking and general partying than at any other holiday. 

So please don’t allow Beelzebub to get any deeper into your souls than he already is. If possible, use this occasion to try and flush him out. (smile) And what better time is there to get into some thanksgiving scripture than on the day of Thanksgiving eh? (smile) So let’s begin with these most appropriate words of Psalm 95, as the psalmist takes us through words of praise to our great God. ‘O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.’ (Ps. 95:1-3) 

And is that ever so true my people! Our God is the greatest of all supposed gods. In fact, He is the ONE and ONLY true God there is! And how do we know that? Listen to the psalmist again: ‘In his hand (his possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills (the heights) is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.’ (Ps. 95:4-5) Wow mih breddren! Our God must be the greatest if He did all of that! Consequently, it is only natural for us to do as the psalmist continues: ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under his care).’ (Ps.95:6-7a) 

And right there we have our very reason for being, our reason for thanksgiving precious people of God! The One and Only true God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is our Maker and Caretaker, so for that very reason, it is of the utmost importance that we offer up praise and thanksgiving and glorify His holy name! And a further consequence of all that is as the psalmist so wisely advises: ‘Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the revocation (rebellion), and as in the day of temptation (trial, testing) in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted (tried) me, and saw my work.’ (Ps. 95:7a-9) 

Yes friends, if the Lord should call to us today, please don’t harden our hearts and rebel like the Israelites did way back when, and thus experienced forty long years of ‘sufferation,’ of wandering aimlessly in the wilderness. Our God is indeed a most LOVING and compassionate Deity, but by the same token, He doesn’t take kindly to the rebellion of those whom He blesses abundantly. As a result of that foolish rebellion by the Israelites, only two people, Joshua and Caleb, of all who left bondage in Egypt, ever entered the Promised Land. Not even Moses laid foot thereon, but Lord was nice enough to show it to him from a hill on the other side. (smile) 

So this current widespread attitude we now have of trying to get rid of God from our society is pure and total foolishness…no stupidity! And here is the perfect scripture to address that stupidity, this thanksgiving day. Hear Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of God is. And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:17-21) 

Oh my people, there couldn’t be wiser advice for us this Thanksgiving Day of 2019! So let’s take it nuh, and recognize the will of God for our lives, go easy on the imbibing, and fill our souls and bodies with the Holy Spirit and not alcohol, simultaneously making melody in our hearts to the Father through Christ Jesus, as we follow the ‘royal law,’ LOVING our neighbours as ourselves.’ 

Mama Yo! Is there ever rejoicing in heaven when we give thanks! And no, I haven’t forgotten our Thursday Blessings, (smile) with which the Lord has so generously blessed us. So let’s declare them right now, in strong voice and sincere belief: ‘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!’ 

However my people, please don’t forget those wonderful blessings were not giving for us to hoard, but to share just as generously with the unfortunate ones around us. Much LOVE!

…in everything…GIVE THANKS…for this is the will of God…in Christ Jesus…concerning you… (1 Thess. 5:18)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2019 Luke 11:13.

Luke 11:13.   ​If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
 

Ah Friends, it’s still white and somewhat beautiful, but possibly even more dangerous, deceptive and slippery because it’s also deeper! Yeh, not a single snowplough nor sand truck has come by to work on my neighbourhood since the first snowfall on Friday, and it’s been snowing some everyday since! I wonder where the people whom we paid so much money a couple months ago to clean our drive way are eh? 

And I’m sure the crooked councilors on the City Council are soon going to write me raising my property taxes, citing the increased cost of snow removal, when they’re removing less and less snow every year! Chuh! And the worst part of it all is that I’d planned to resume driving today, and celebrating by driving to church, planning to boast about how I had the best shotgun rider, Jesus Christ riding shotgun with me! (smile) 

But the powers that be seem to have had other ideas. I don’t even know how deep the snow is in my driveway, and there aren’t even any tire tracks in the lane. Added to that, I’ve never driven this car in so much snow yet, because I only got it in the summer, so I don’t know exactly how it will react. 

And I definitely don’t want to go out there and screw up my shoulder fighting with the steering and whatever else might happen. I even tried to contact my pastor to find out what was happening but could not get him either. So I decided to err on the path of caution, and stay home. So having said all of that to say nothing, (smile) let’s have church! 

And today we’re going to be opening the celebrations with those wonderful words of John Newton that we all know and LOVE so much, ‘Amazing Grace.’ And as the GodTube website tells us: ‘This song isn’t a song of theology—it’s John Newton’s own heartfelt expression of gratitude to God, who helped him turn from his profane and wicked life and eventually fight against the ills he practiced. Later in life, Newton became a supporter and inspiration to William Wilberforce who lead the fight to pass the British Slave Trade Act in 1807, which abolished the slave trade in that empire.’ 

Ah my people, our great God works in such wonderful and miraculous ways, that if He could save a die-hard heathen like Newton, He can save any of us. So let’s sing those awesome words with true heartfelt gratitude, giving all praise and thanks to a most merciful and gracious God. 

‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. 

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.’ 

Ah mih breddren, can you imagine those words being written by a drunken, profligate sailor involved in the slave trade eh? But the story goes that on March 21, 1748, Newton’s ship was being battered by a major storm and he was lashed to the helm to try and keep the ship on course. He was there from one o’clock till midnight. 

That’s plenty time to think when one’s life seems to be slipping away. And apparently it was during that time the Lord knocked loudly on the door of his heart, and he never forgot it, writing:  “On that day the Lord sent from on high and delivered me out of deep waters.” 

How many of us has God delivered out of deep waters eh my people, and not necessarily deep waters literally, but figuratively? Oh people, I am one of those He delivered out of deep waters literally on Lake Ontario many years ago, and whenever I remember that traumatic experience I surely give Him thanks and praise. 

And, “Many years later, as an old man, Newton wrote in his diary of March 21, 1805: “Not well able to write; but I endeavor to observe the return of this day with humiliation, prayer, and praise.” Only God’s amazing grace could and would take a rude, profane, slave-trading sailor and transform him into a child of God. Newton never ceased to stand in awe of God’s work in his life.” 

And neither should we, my believing brethren. It’s also been said that Newton, though he realized the folly of his life, still felt that he was beyond saving, even if the Good Book was true; that is until he read the reassuring words of Jesus in our Bit. ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?’  

Now that’s a very good question my brethren! One we should truly ponder ourselves, like Newton apparently did. And while doing that, we should also consider these most appropriate verses from James. ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will he begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:17-18) 

Yeh friends, God is the Creator of Everything, and Giver of ALL good things! He’s ONLY and ALWAYS GOOD! He ‘s immutable, DOESN’T change! And all those who have been redeemed are His firstfruits; the first step in His redemption plan for ALL creation! 

So let’s consider all of that today nuh, and hope and pray and ask Him to help us come up higher in our faith walk and our undying LOVE for Him! That’s all we can do as mere mortals. But the right motives of our hearts do make a big difference with our heavenly Father! Much LOVE!

…the GRACE of God…the most powerful MOVER and SHAKER in His universe… 

P.S. The quotes above come from the GodTube website and John Newton Discovered Amazing Grace @Christianity.com. 

P.P.S. And would you believe, just as I’m about to send out the Bit, I hear them cleaning my drive way! Steups! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Ah friends, one never knows what each passing moment of each day will bring nuh! Here I was planning to come down and write about the bright and stunning day that was happening in my neighbourhood and the upcoming long Labour Day weekend. But as it recently seems to be too often the case, I open my e-mail and find news of an obituary. Steups! 

Now this one isn’t for a personal friend of mine, but someone who played an important part in my life some fifty years ago…boy some of us are sure getting long in the tooth. (smile) The gentleman I’m talking about is H.E. Cedric Lanyon Harper, St. Kitts and Nevis High Commissioner to Jamaica (1930-2018). 

My association with him took place when he was the Warden of Irvine Hall, the Hall I was associated with on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He was a big man, both in girt and height, and good be gruff at times. His bristling moustache also lent an air of intimidation to his naturally serious demeanour. A lot of the students, including me, didn’t like him and his rules for the Hall. 

But you know what? When push came to shove, he turned out to be white knight in shining armour. Hn! I’m talking about when I could not pay my tuition fees in my last year, which meant I couldn’t take my final exam, he lent me the money from the Hall’s coffers. And for that I will be eternally grateful, so should you all be too, because then you might have never known me. (smile) 

Ah mih people, just another example to show that we should not judge the book by its cover. My condolences go out to all of Mr. Harper’s family and friends as they mourn his passing, but hopefully celebrate his apparently generous and giving life as a teacher and able representative for his country of St.Kitts and Nevis. 

But the workingman is not going to let us forget that it’s Friday, as he joyfully belts out: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And a long weekend too – Labour Day! Mama Yo! All the people who labour and work hard will be celebrating the few benefits we have because of the brave resistance of so many who’ve gone before us. Yeh breddren, we have to stand up for we rights, slavery done long time ago, otherwise the greedy and hard hearted slave master going to push we right back into it. 

But he can’t stop we from celebrating how we want to on we time though. So on this last weekend of the summer, we going to throw the biggest party of the summer; nuff food and drink, music, marching and singing songs of freedom! Oh brother! What a party it going to be! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, especially the long ones and them!’ 

Yeh friends, it is the last long weekend of summer, which means closing up the vacation cottage up north! Come next week it’s back to school and back to work for those who took vacation with their children. And as believers, we too will celebrate the Labour Day long weekend, just not as boisterously and lasciviously as the ordinary workingman. And our Friday Chant is also much more subdued and responsible than his song. 

But that doesn’t mean we can’t get enthusiastic about it, so let’s chant up a storm nuh! All together 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.’ 

Yeh friends, when we work and live for Jesus, it just means that we’re a tad more responsible, more heavenly minded than earthly minded, but not so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. (smile) We have to be careful not to give the enemy any room to come into our lives and corrupt them. 

That means we always have to be on our p’s and q’s, constantly on the look out for his sly, deceitful and reasoned approaches, like the one he used on Eve in the Garden of Eden. That’s why Peter so forcefully reminds us in our Bit: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren! The ole crook Lucifer is always on the lookout for any toe or finger hold he can get in our lives. So continuing in the admonition of Peter: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh, I know some of us are going to say, knowing that others are also experiencing temptation doesn’t help me any. And that might be true. But hear this: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s exactly what will happen. After a bit of sufferation, to prove and strengthen our faith, the Lord of all grace and mercy will bring us out strong and steadfast. You can bet on it. Therefore: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.’ (1 Pet.5:11) Much LOVE!

…trials and tribulation…they are simply God’s way…of testing and strengthening our faith…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 May 2018 1 John 4:18.

1 John 4:18.   There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.

And then it was Monday; Monday of a long weekend in the British Commonwealth of nations celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday! And to tell you how far I am out of the loop, I did not even realize that this was a long weekend until yesterday. Hn! Life surely passes you by when you’re having fun! (smile) 

That means a lot of people around the world aren’t working today, but are at home or wherever celebrating, which means we also have to invoke Granny’s warning for all believers. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. And don’t give the devil any chance at all to get into your life!’ 

And a lot of stuff is going to be happening in the North Country today, especially with the glorious sunshine out there. Let’s hope the Spirit of the SON keeps us on a tight rein. (smile) 

But since in many parts of the universe life and work go on as normal this Monday morning, we need to encourage those who have to labour while we play. So let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help them gather themselves together. 

In strong voice now: ‘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!’ 

And as usual on a day like today, many of the voices that were the strongest were also harsh and out of sorts from the exuberance of the holiday weekend. (smile) But that’s just life; we’re always more enthusiastic when we don’t have to get involved in an unwanted task. 

And today we want to look at an important verse of scripture from John’s first epistle: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ 

Oh friends, those two words, ‘fear’ and ‘LOVE’ rule most of our lives. Earlier on John declares: ‘And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:16) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as  a characteristic of God, and therefore  as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ That means if true LOVE isn’t one of our dominant characteristics, then we’re not truly into God, and vice versa. 

And John continues: ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect (LOVE is made perfect among us), that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ (1 John 4:17) 

Now hear the scholars. ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16. By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, if we LOVE in this world as He does.’ 

Yes my people, we need God’s LOVE dwelling in us, if we are to walk this earth reassured and without fear of the days to come. And why is that? Because as our Bit says: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear.’ So if you have LOVE, you won’t fear, and if you have fear, you can’t have LOVE. As simple as that! 

And the scholars explain: ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: Abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. Fear is still part of the Christian walk in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us (see Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil,2:12; 1 Pet.1:17). Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be casual and flippant.’ 

Ah mih people, I think we should all take a few minutes and look at those scriptures, I just did, as they all drive home the point that though we should not fear God in the sense of having personal courage to come to Him with confidence, we definitely need to show Him deserved reverence, honour and admiration. 

And as the definition of reverence declares: a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe and veneration. Yeh friends, that’s how our God must be to us. Much LOVE!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2017 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 

And another one bites the dust…well possibly two! Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have recently felt the wicked lash of hurricane Maria, and who knows where it’s going to land next. Meanwhile, they are still trying to come to terms with the earthquake in Mexico City… 

Ah mih people, these are certainly rough and tough, but also interesting times in the annals of mankind. How will we end up, what will our society look like after the devastation eh? 

Will it be more of the same evil, godlessness, or will a wiser, repentant and godlier society rise from the ashes of our calamity? Only God knows. And only time will tell. For all our sakes though, let’s hope our future is based sincerely on the latter option. 

But with all that misfortune going on, it still doesn’t stop the workingman from declaring his Friday anthem: ’TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend is finally here! Regardless of what’s happening in the rest of the world, we going to party hearty…eat, drink and be merry! 

For who knows, tomorrow, or even today we shall die! So bring on the good times, especially in this extra summer weather we getting here! Let the waters flow…the food pile up…and the music blast out! Thank God is Friday and we done work for another week!’ 

Oh friends, that is exactly the kind of attitude we’re trying to counteract. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the end of the workweek, but the limits to which we go is another story. The workingman’s definitely goes overboard. A more sober and constructive one would be like our Friday Chant. 

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

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

Yeh mih breddren, to many of the young folks that might sound too retro for them, but it’s the kind of thing that the Lord desires; we enjoy His blessings, but keep our feet on an even keel so the enemy doesn’t get any leeway into our lives. 

And quite rightly, though we are all concerned about what’s happening worldwide, and also close to home, if we are living with and for Jesus then we should not be disturbed or blatantly afraid. 

For as He said, if we seek God’s kingdom as our priority, the Lord will satisfy all our needs. And as a lagniappe, or extra encouragement, Jesus tells us in our Bit: ‘Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’  

And if Jesus says it’s so, then it’s obviously so, for He has no reason whatsoever to lie or lead us astray. However, our natural sinful nature encourages fear much more than faith, so today we’re just going to concentrate on a few passages from God’s word on the subjects of fear and faith, beginning with this famous verse from Deuteronomy. 

‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) Oh my faithful followers of Jesus, our God can’t say it in any plainer language than that. 

But in Isaiah, He unfailingly repeats the promise, the invitation to partner with Him. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10) 

And friends, if we truly believe the Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Creator and controller of the universe, then we should not have any problems believing His word. But my favourite verses on fear and faith come from God’s command to Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:8-9) 

And if that doesn’t grab you right in your heart my people, then I don’t know what will. But we’ll end with these uplifting words from Ethan, the Ezrahite from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. 

‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:15-18) 

That’s for certain sure my fellow believers in Christ. Now let’s stand strong as soldiers of Christ, and fight the good fight of faith, as He desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…one can only stand strong…if one is bolstered by faith…and not debilitated by fear…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2017 Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27.   And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

One more day, just one more day… Yeh friends, one more day to be alive in God’s great kingdom! It’s such a pleasure to be alive again! (smile) 

But have you noticed how those one more days quickly add up to many more years? One day you’re a young pup, a spring chicken, then one day you’re suddenly a senior, an old fowl! Hn, hn! But that’s the way of life. 

And let’s hope you are enjoying each of those days to the fullest, because that’s what our Lord and Saviour desires for us and why He sacrificed His life on that wooden cross at Calvary. So if we’re not celebrating that triumph, then we’re wasting His sacrifice. And what an awful thing that would be. 

But here are a couple of good questions for us. Where is our focus concentrated today eh? And what’s on our agenda? 

Hopefully, as true believers, our focus is directly on Almighty God, and the priority on our agenda is doing the work of Jesus; spreading His awesome gospel of undying LOVE, redemption, salvation and eternal life. 

And that doesn’t always mean talking, but more so in the example of life that we live. Our lives should realistically reflect the good news of Jesus. And if they aren’t reflecting it, then we’re not doing a good job for our wonderful Leader and Saviour, we’re not being good disciples, good ambassadors for His kingdom. 

Consequently, we’re not the true Christians we ought to be. And that’s the major reason why more people are turning away from God today, than turning to Him. 

My friends, we are falling down in our Christian witness when we talk one thing, then people see us living contrary to our talk. We’re obviously not walking our talk. And it’s time to do better, if we truly want Christ’s LOVE Revolution to be successful. 

And please remember that actions speak much louder than words. So what we do, will usually have a greater impact on others than what we say. Thus the hypocrisy, the compromise and contrariness in our faith walk is souring people on the Christian lifestyle, and consequently on Christ. 

And a quote from my ‘I LOVE YOU’ Poster reminds us that ‘Dreams come true for those who work while they dream.’ The present day Christian problem seems to be that too many of us are dreaming without working, that’s why we’re not accomplishing as much as we ought to. 

Obviously we’re not complying with the words of Jesus in our Bit. ‘And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ 

Yes friends, we each have a cross to bear in our kingdom work; a task we have to perform. Now it doesn’t mean that task is necessarily onerous or body-breaking like Jesus’ cross was, but it always entails some sacrifice. 

Earlier on in Luke Jesus outlined the terms of discipleship. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will come after me (desires to follow me), let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. 

For whosoever will (desires to) save his life, shall lose it; but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (is lost)? 

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.’ (Luke 9:23-26) 

There you have it my fellow believers, the terms of discipleships as detailed by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now are we living up to those terms? Most of us aren’t. Too many of us have settled for the soft, easy comfortable life our society affords. 

And surprisingly, too many of us are ashamed of Jesus! We’re afraid to talk about Him to others. We listen to others put Him down and don’t utter a word in rebuke or support, because we don’t want them to know that we are Christians and think badly of us. 

Steups! Ah friends, if we can’t support Jesus in public, that means we hold the opinions of man more important than that of God. And that definitely does not lead to true discipleship, but rather tarnishes the image of our Saviour and His movement. 

So today is as good as any to sit down and consider the saying ‘know thyself.’ Let’s sit down and seriously inspect our own lives and see if we’re being true disciples of Jesus. Then ask the Lord to help us in our shortcomings. He won’t ever turn down our sincere pleas for help. 

Now let’s go home loudly and proudly declaring our Thursday Blessings. In unison: ‘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!’ 

And since blessings are meant to be shared, let’s go out and bless others now my fellow believers in Christ! Much LOVE!

…just like Jesus had His cross to bear…all Christians have their crosses too …Christianity is a cross bearing affair…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏‏‏‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

BLESSED  GOOD  FRIDAY!

And then it was Friday – Good Friday. Yes my brethren, it is one of the most historic and commemorative days in the Christian calendar, because this is the day that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sacrificed His sinless and holy life for us upon that old rugged cross at Calvary… 

And all God’s people gave a grateful shout of ‘All praise and glory be to the Lamb who was slain for us! May His name be revered for ever and ever!’ 

Ah mih people, it’s a sad day, but also a glad day. It’s sad because of the outrageous shame and punishment Jesus went through for our sake. But by the same token, there was gladness because that sacrificial death heralded our cleansing, our reconciliation to Almighty God! 

And all God’s people sang ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Without it we would have been all slated for death and hell, forever separated from the Father. How awful that would have been eh? But with Christ’s sacrifice, a way was prepared for us to come to Him in repentance and confession and be adopted into His household. 

Glory to God for LOVING us so much that He would give His only begotten Son to die for our disgusting sins, to bring us once again into fellowship with Him and calling us His children! 

Nothing can be sweeter and nicer and better and whatever word(s) you choose, than being a part of the family of Jehovah God, the omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present ONE who created the universe and still rules it from His throne on high! 

Now to many of the world’s population, this day is no different from any other. They still sing out ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here; a long weekend to boot! No more slaving for a few days, but plenty partying time. Thank God is Friday yes!’ 

And that’s okay to a certain extent, it’s good to be off for the weekend, but the weekend is not just to party, especially this one. It’s a time to seriously and sincerely ponder the basis of our Christian faith and our individual allegiance to it. But since the heathen has no knowledge or interest in the things of God, they just continue along their merry way rejoicing in the lust of the flesh and human senses. 

In time though, we Christians will also be celebrating, but today is a day for mourning, a time for grief and sadness, while remembering that that only lasts for a night, but joy comes in the bright light of the morning. 

And does it ever, with Jesus’ resurrection! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s stay on Good Friday, first by chanting our Friday Chant, which is still appropriate, since we’ve had a hard week of work and now have a few days off which we must use wisely. 

So please let’s chant together: ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way to use the weekend, rather than just senseless partying and fleshly lusting. And our Bit is also ever so appropriate for today. ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Ah mih people, that’s the part we don’t like; the suffering for Jesus’ sake. It was okay for Him to suffer for us, but we should just have life clear and easy now. Unfortunately that’s not how it works precious people. As Christians, followers of Christ, we will also be called on to face physical, mental and emotional pain. It’s all part and parcel of His offer of salvation. 

Oh friends, I wonder if we have ever sat down and contemplated exactly the ‘sufferation’ Jesus went through for us? Have you ever considered the flogging, with whips embedded with flesh cutting particles? Or what about the crown of thorns pressed down unto His head? Or the psychological and verbal abuse, the cruel taunting and mocking He endured between Pilate and Herod’s yards? 

Remember Jesus was human too and felt all that we feel. Then having been flogged and tormented, He was made to carry His own cross up to Calvary Hill. Thank God for Simon the Cyrene yes! I think the sight of Jesus struggling along with His cross was just too much for the Father and He introduced Simon into the mix of things. 

And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, Jesus was then nailed hand and foot to the cross and left in the hot noonday sun, approximately three hours, for the life blood to slowly but ever so painfully ebb out of His abused and banged up body. And don’t forget the javelin in His side. And when He cried out for thirst they ignominiously gave Him sour wine. 

Oh my fellow believers, ordinary crucifixion is one of the most cruel and painful ways man has ever invented for human suffering, but Jesus’ crucifixion was extraordinary, so you can imagine the pain and anguish, because both the Romans and Jewish people went to great lengths to make a sorrowful spectacle and example of Him, between two ordinary criminals, naked as a jaybird. 

But yuh know what, throughout it all, Jesus stood His bounce, He took it all like a man, ‘despising the shame,’ for the joy that was to come, and He knew that that was the main purpose for which He had come to earth. 

The only thing that seemed to truly bother Him was the purposed and painful first and last separation ever from the Father, as all our sins were placed on Him, and He cried out ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” which is, being interpreted (translated), My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Mark 15:34) 

So friends, please, let’s not make a big fuss for the comparable little suffering we sometimes have to undergo on Jesus’ behalf. We all know that suffering is painful and we’d like to avoid it, but that’s just not possible in this world. It will be in the next one, when Jesus returns as a mighty conqueror. 

So having considered the extent of Jesus’ ‘sufferation’ on our behalf, let’s just hunker down and do what we need to do, without too much complaining nuh. Remember the Lord will enable us to bear whatever He allows to come our way, just like He enabled Jesus to bear His pain on that long ago Good Friday. 

And I’d like to end with one of my favourite childhood hymns that tells of Jesus’ demise upon the cross, titled ‘There Is A Green Hill Far Away.’ Please sing it with me, as we consider and ponder this day on Calvary. 

‘There is a green hill far away, Without a city wall, Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all. (Refrain) (O dearly, dearly, has He LOVED, And we must LOVE Him, too, and trust in His redeeming blood, And try His works to do.) 

We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear, But we believe it was for us, He hung and suffered there. (Refrain) He died that we might be forgiven, He died to make us good, That we might go at last to Heav’n, Saved by His precious blood. (Refrain) 

There was no other good enough To pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate Of heav’n and let us in. Oh, dearly, dearly has he loved! And we must love him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.’ 

Yes Friends, that’s what we, as followers of Christ need to do! Have a blessed Good Friday! Much LOVE!

…what’s a little Christian suffering…compared to Christ’s ‘sufferation’ eh…

 

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