Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2016 Hebrews 12:2.

 Hebrews 12:2.    Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Well my faithful brethren, we’ve been treated to yet another glorious day on God’s great earth! Wow! I sincerely hope that we gave much thanks when we awakened to this bright new day, for the Lord deserves our gratefulness for all the blessings He bestows on us, His beautiful children. (smile) 

Remember His tender mercies are new every morning; we don’t get yesterday’s leftovers. So please, let’s not forget to lift our voices in praise and thanks every time we open our eyes to a new morn. It is very mete and right to do so. 

Now listen to something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that is ever so appropriate to many of us believers. It’s simply called ‘EXCUSES.’  

And it says: ‘O God I’ve become a self-educated master Of a thousand polished excuses. Hoping to avoid your penetrating gaze I clutch them to me like valuable gems. When I think I have myself thoroughly covered I’m caught short with the realization That You see right through me. My flimsy excuses are never really hidden. 

I find an excuse for all my failures Wrong choices Late appointments Wasted time. I excuse my foolish blunders, my laziness My broken resolves, my unreached goals. I need Your help, Lord! To hide from You is as foolish As the Grand Canyon Attempting to hide from the sky. 

O God, my only hope Lies in Your invincible power To make me what I am not yet But what You know I can become. Strengthen my will, Lord. Make me firm, steadfast, consistent. Control my impulses, my emotions. May I keep pursuing and never quit.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately many of us believers try to hide or run from God with flimsy excuses, but common sense ought to tell us that we can never run or hide from a Deity that’s omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, for He sees and hears all. His vision is so powerful that it can see right down into the very depths of our being and discern our motives, good or bad. 

So please let’s wise up and stop trying to run and hide from our heavenly Father nuh. We might be able to do it with our earthly fathers, but definitely not with the One above. And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with enthusiasm, sincerity and truth. 

As one strong voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my people, it’s so good to be alive, to feel that glorious breath of God just flowing through my body, letting me know that I am alive; alive and LOVED! Consequently, I’m not looking back, but focusing on the wonderful future that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has planned for me! 

Glory to our most magnificent and magnanimous God! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! It never ceases to amaze me. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which is the scripture promise attached to the poem above. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Oh my brethren, what wonderful words of advice! As we said above, our eyes and hearts ought to be focused exclusively on Jesus! Why? Because He is indeed the originator and perfecter of our faith! He began it all, and He will end it all! 

And the first verse of the chapter, that before our Bit, gives us the basic reason for looking unto Jesus. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside very weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

Yeh friends, the author of Hebrews, which I firmly believe is Bruh Paul, uses the metaphor of a race to describe our earthly pilgrimage. Now hear is how the scholars break down that verse. 

’12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter 11. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses: (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet this Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

The race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to the impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner or the faithful Christian they must be removed. 

Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones).  

Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance (as it is in the cognate verb forms of vv. 2 –3). Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32; 36-38; 11:13).’ 

Now hear some words from the scholars on our Bit. ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

Oh my people, this earthly race is often difficult to run, and to do it successfully we need to keep our eyes trained on Jesus, because He is the One who first ran the race and successfully completed it. In other words, He laid a path for us to follow. So please, let’s be wise and follow it nuh. Much LOVE!

…only as we stick to the path laid down by Jesus…with endurance and perseverance…can we run life’s race successfully…  

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I had a rather late night, which means a late morning too. (smile)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 May 2014 Luke 21:19

Luke 21:19.  In your patience possess ye your souls.
 

‘Wednesday, oh Wednesday, oh glorious Wednesday – the middle of the week! A bright light at the end of the tunnel! That means the weekend is near! Glory Hallelujah!’
 
Yeh Friends, it’s not only on Fridays we should celebrate, but if possible, everyday of the week, for it tells us that we’re alive and kicking through the generous bounty of our great and wonderful God!
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Thank You heavenly Father for allowing us to see another blessed day on planet earth! We bless you and praise Your Holy Name and promise to walk as worthily as we can in the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Amen.’
 
Ah mih people, it does feel great to be alive, doesn’t it? It surely does! Despite all the pains, the setbacks, the misfortunes, the trials the tribulations, I don’t think many of us would prefer to be dead.
 
We complain a lot about the negatives in this life, but remember it’s the only one we have, and furthermore, the only one we’ll ever get. So let’s enjoy it nuh, especially when we have such a wonderful faith like Christianity to live it under.
 
Remember what Jesus said in our Bit: ‘In your patience possess ye your souls.’
 
And if we don’t listen to Him and follow His wonderful example, we’ll just be wasting our God-given lives. And that would be such a tragedy!
 
And for the last day, I’ll like to bombard us with more scripture that teaches patience, perseverance, endurance, backbone and belly. (smile) No my brethren, you don’t have to tell me, for I know from personal experience, that it’s not easy, a bed of roses, working for and walking in Jesus’ footsteps, but it sure is exciting and interesting!
 
And you’ll never know how interesting and exciting it is, until YOU give it a try!
 
It’s all about a significant leap of faith Friends! A leap I enjoin us all to sincerely take today, right now, so that we can all work together to make this world a better place.
 
For that is what we were commanded to do by our leader, Jesus Christ: SPREAD the Word all over the world; LIVE our lives in true Faith, and above all, SHOW LOVE to our magnanimous and magnificent God and also our neighbours!
 
Wow! What an awesome mandate! Now let’s hear some scripture that’s supposed to encourage, uplift, exhort and keep us steadfast and strong in our earthly endeavours for Jesus.
 
Let’s start with Bruh Paul’s message to the Colossians, where he’s talking about prayer for spiritual wisdom: ‘For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 
 
(Scholars note: Wisdom is an accurate perception into the true nature of things. Understanding is the skilful application of his wisdom in practical situations).
 
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
 
(Scholars’ note: Patience is persevering through problems, trials, tribulations and so forth. Longsuffering is forbearing the faults and offences of others).
 
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in (the) light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated (transferred) us into the kingdom of his dear Son (the Son of His LOVE).’ (Col.1:9-13)
 
And the Scholars’ note in verse 12: ‘Light is the ethical condition in which God’s children live, namely, that of spiritual understanding with its accompanying morality and happiness.’  
 
Ah Friends, as I said above, it’s not easy, but working for Jesus is surely interesting! Now here these rich and encouraging verses from Hebrews 12, which we all know, but refuse to take seriously.
 
‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us,
 
Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls).’ (Heb.12:1-3)
 
Yes mih people, we find the best examples of it all in Jesus!
 
And the scholars’ have this to say: ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.
 
12:3-4. Though chapter 11 provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance is Jesus Himself.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my brethren! His is a very difficult, and possibly impossible example for most of us to emulate, but try we must. Don’t worry though, our God knows exactly what we are capable of, for He made us, and all He really expects of us is a sincere effort in our daily living.
 
And if we give that sincere effort, then He will help us to mature and grow in the image of His Son. For remember, our wonderful God doesn’t ever give us more than we can bear. And even then, He’s promised to work out everything for our good, when we’re called to do His bidding.
 
So there’s no need to worry and fret, for our heavenly Father has us in the palms of His hands, plenty better hands than All State, and will never leave nor forsake us. Ah mih breddren, what a marvellous and magnificent Deity we serve and worship! He’s just so phenomenal! I can’t understand how His human creations choose not to work for and follow His directives.
 
But we His true followers WILL change that won’t we? For sure, as we go about doing good, spreading His Word and living a life of Christian faith, celebrated with joy, peace and LOVE! Now that’s true wisdom!
 
And we’ll end here for today. You already have much scripture to ponder and meditate upon, so I won’t burden you with any more. I’m so kind and thoughtful, aren’t I. (smile) Please have a blessed day my brethren, walking in LOVE for Jesus! Much LOVE!
 
…better is the end of a thing…than the beginning thereof…and the patient in spirit…is better than…the proud in spirit…  (Eccl.7:8)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2013 Proverbs 24:10

Proverbs 24:10.    If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
 
Oh Friends, please join me in singing: ‘It’s Friday, it’s Friday! Thank God it’s Friday, and the workweek soon finish! The weekend is here…but Chuh! I have to go home and do the laundry, clean the house, make the groceries, get the children ready for next week…
 
Oh Lord I can’t wait for Monday nuh, so I can once again sit in the traffic and listen to my soothing music. Then get to work and do the stuff that’s much easier than housework. But still, I thank God that it’s Friday! I thank God for every new day that I see, despite the many pressures of life. Thank You again God!’
 
Yes mih breddren, some of us have it easier at work than at home. But that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying our busy lives, and giving thanks and praise for all that God’s doing for us, because we’re still doing better than the vast majority of the world.
 
And since it’s Friday, let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a true perspective on how to handle the weekend. With one voice 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 my fellow believers, I surely hope that between our two songs, we’ve now got enough energy and vision on how to handle the weekend. (smile) And just in case you haven’t received it, please remember that the thousand-mile journey begins with the FIRST STEP.
 
So please step out in faith this weekend, while asking our wonderful leader, Jesus, to guide you as you perform your many tasks. You can be assured that He won’t say no. On the contrary, He’ll jump for joy to be your Helper!
 
And this is where our ever so appropriate Bit comes in: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’
 
And that’s gospel truth, my brethren! For as the scholars note: ’24:10. Strength in the face of adversity is the true test of one’s endurance.’
 
We can’t be successful believers, followers of Christ and faint and fall at the slightest appearance of adversity. Remember Jesus’ life was full of adversity, and if we want to walk in His footsteps, then we must be able to endure the trials and tribulations of this world.
 
Remember too His prophetic promise. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) So right there Friends, we have one less anxiety, one less thing to worry about, and one more faithful promise to stand strong on.
 
Now I will shut up… And I hear numerous shouts of: ‘Thank You Lord!’ (smile) Yes my beautiful followers of Christ, I will endeavour to shut up and just let the scripture do the talking. And we’ll open with Psalm 94 – How long shall the wicked triumph.
 
The psalmist wisely declares: ‘Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest (instructeth), O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law; That thou mayest give him rest (relief) from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. For the Lord will not cast of (abandon) his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. But judgement shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart will follow it.’ (Ps.94:12-15)
 
So Friends, though the Lord chastens us, or allows adversity to befall us, there is no need to fear. For once we stand strong in faith and accept whatever comes our way, the just and righteous God we serve will eventually alleviate our problems. As the saying goes, this too shall pass. 
 
And this final passage of scripture comes from Hebrews 12, re God’s discipline. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as children  (sons),
 
My son, despise not the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
 
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards (illegitimate), and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence (respect): shall we not rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
 
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure (as seemed best to them); but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ (Heb.12:3-11) 
 
Yes Friends, that says it all! I’ll just add some notes from the scholars on the subject. ’12:3-4. Though chapter 11 provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance is Jesus Himself. 
 
12:6. Whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth: God’s principle of disciplining His own people is completely congruous (appropriate, fitting) with human practices. This quotation from Proverbs 3:12, stating God’s practice, corresponds to the commands God gave to the fathers:
 
“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)” (Prov.13:24; cf. 22:15; 23:13) LOVE and corporal punishment are not incongruous; they are two complementary and necessary aspects of training.’
 
There’s no more to say Friends! Now let’s take some time and ponder all that we’ve said, and see how it fits into our lives, for that’s true wisdom. Much LOVE!
 
…as many as I LOVE…I rebuke and chasten…be zealous therefore and repent… (Rev.3:19)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 August 2012 Ecclesiastes 3:14

 

Ecclesiastes 3:14.    I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
 
Oh Friends, I just got a zeppo, (smile) a brainwave, a message from on high, that the action of God is now flowing through us in a pattern of success! Wow! What a wonderful way to greet a new day, one already filled with blessings, LOVING-kindness, mercy and forgiveness! That means we’re certainly dressed for success my brethren! There’s no better way to ignite a storm of passion in our souls for Jesus! And that passion we badly need in these lean and mean times. What’s amusing here though is that the positive action statement I opened with, sits on my desk, right in front of me, printed in large white letters on a blue background, surrounded by several slips of small paper with fortune cookie sayings on them. That means it’s highly visible, and every time I sit at my desk, I ought to see it. But the reality is that very often I don’t notice it at all. I’ve grown so accustomed to it, that even if I see it with my eyes, it doesn’t register in my mind. And sadly Friends, that’s how a lot of things are in our too busy, not properly focused lives. We put up things to serve as reminders, activators and encouragers, but there comes a time when we just look right through them without them registering on our mental apparatus. And the only reason why I noticed that saying just now is because the action of God, His Holy Spirit was truly moving through me and pointed it out, no doubt bringing it to my attention so that I can bring it to yours. Besides being a wake up call for us my people, I believe God is here highlighting our less than stellar areas of reliability; of mental concentration, of self-discipline and self-control, of how we can’t stick to things for any length of time, but continually jump from one thing to another, of how quickly we tire of things that we so desperately wanted and had to have, and crave change just for the sake of change itself. Meanwhile, as Cousin Sol wisely says in our Bit: ‘I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put (added) to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.’ Now that’s all irrefutable truth my people! Our God doesn’t change, and whatever He does, lasts forever. We can’t add to, or subtract from it. Unfortunately though, we can’t say that about our sinful, wishy-washy human nature. And that my Friends is why we have to believe, trust, surrender and have faith in the Lord our God. We can’t do very much in our own strength, and the little we can do never lasts, as we’re always in some sort of quandary as to how to do it, or how it’s going to look. Our heavenly Father doesn’t have that problem, and consequently, we believers don’t need to worry or be anxious about our shortcomings, because our great God, in His awesome power and LOVE, has everything under control and keeps us together if we live in His will. He does all those things so that we can appreciate and reverence Him, truly behold His glorious majesty, and sincerely trust, worship, adore and serve Him. Now let’s listen to some scriptures that authenticate our Bit: We’ll start with words from James, Jesus’ half-brother. And he decisively tells us: ‘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 begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1: 17-18) All of that is gospel truth my people! So let’s sow those seeds of God’s power, His unchanging nature, His goodness to us, whom He made to be champions, deep in our hearts and minds nuh mih breddren. For that in turn gives us the power to walk this evil earth unafraid of Beelzebub and all his evil cohorts. Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 9, Praise for God’s justice: ‘But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgement. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgement to the people in uprightness.’ (Ps.9:7-8) More confirmation of God’s eternal attributes, and His devotion to righteousness and justice. And from Psalm 102, a cry in distress, we hear the psalmist truthfully declare: ‘My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. But thou, O Lord, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.’ (Ps.102:11-12) So why do we weak mortals, sculpted from the dust of the earth, continue to believe that we’re such hot shots eh, when in the twinkling of an eye, the Lord God Jehovah, Creator of this universe and all therein, can so easily snuff out the breath of life that He, first breathed into us? Now hear some more wise and applicable words from Psalm 102: ‘I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure (continue): yea, all of them shall wax (grow) old like a garment; as a vesture (cloak) shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years have no end.’ (Ps.102:24-27) Oh Friends, that ought to wise us up and show us that the true and only way to find peace and prosperity on this earth is by faithfully worshipping and serving Jehovah God. By the way, the author of Hebrews repeats those same words as justification for his belief. (Heb.1:11-12) So my people, let’s end today just as we began nuh; by believing that the action of God is now flowing through us in a pattern of success. And that’s the living truth! Much LOVE!…Jesus Christ…the same …yesterday…and today…and for ever… (Heb.13:8)