Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 January 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Well the weather forecasters did promise us a rather wet and woolly weekend, even to the possibility of flooding in some areas. But thankfully, we have not received that much rain in my area, and though it’s still wet outside, the day doesn’t seem to be shaping up too badly. Glory be! And I don’t know if you’re thirty years old or more, how you can’t believe in climate change nuh, because in those bygone days you wouldn’t be receiving flood warnings in early January but snow storm warnings. But whom am I to dicker with the wicked intelligentsia eh? (smile) 

It’s Saturday, and we’re very thankful for it, so let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’ And that’s the indisputable truth friends! We can’t change everything we encounter, but we will never change anything unless we stand up and face it mano-a-mano! That’s just simple logic: how can you change something if you don’t face it full on? You just can’t! 

And then Anselm writes: ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.’ Now there is much truth to that statement, although I won’t necessarily say that intelligence is solely the ability to adapt to change. Yes, it is an important part, because change is something most of us prefer not to have happen since it can be very disturbing and controversial and cause more problems than we need. But the problem though is that change is one of the few things we are certain of in this life, whether we make it or not. And if we allow life to make it for us, then it can get very hairy indeed! (smile) 

That’s why we all need to intelligently monitor the need for change in our lives, and don’t do as so many of us are currently doing; change for change sake! That is one of the worse mistakes we can ever make. There’s no reason to change just because it is the 21st century and things are more confusing and topsy-turvy than ever! If you have a good grounding and solid foundation of life, then you need change only when it’s absolutely necessary. And don’t get me going on this topic nuh, because I’m one of those fighting against change just for change sake. (smile) 

So because I don’t have or want a cell phone or I-pad, or some such foolish device that’s all the current rage and causing so much contention in our world, both monetarily and socially, does that make me stupid? Well then let me stupid yes! And I got along quite nicely without them for about 4 months last year, when I lost them both. But just for the record, my family has finally talked me into getting a cellphone and an I-pad – which I still hardly use, except to play some games – because they claim they can’t contact me if I don’t have such devices – NONSENSE! 

And yuh better believe, that since I’ve had those most necessary devices, I haven’t had any more communication with them than before. Just goes to prove my point! (smile) Yuh see, all yuh get me off track with the foolishness! But Anselm himself seemed preoccupied with change this week, as his next quote says: ‘Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.’ Now I’ve looked at that statement a few times, and I still can’t figure out what it means. So I’ll just leave it alone. Wonder which category I fall into though? (smile) 

Here’s another quote that’s got me scratching my head in thought. ‘One day or day one. You decide.’ I guess that means you can either decide that one day you’ll do such and such, or today is day one of doing such and such. That makes sense. And by the way, I just got an insight into the earlier quote. You’re either so wise that you don’t need to change, or you’re so stupid that you don’t know you should change. Still wondering which category I fall into? 

And the last quote quite wisely says: ‘If you have a purpose which is bigger than you, all your problems will become tiny.’ Yes friends, that’s just another facet of simple logic. Anything that’s bigger than you, will indeed make your problems look small by comparison, because your mind will be more on the larger problems of your purpose than on yourself.  And the biggest purpose we can ever have in this life my faithful brethren, is to work diligently and excellently for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as He set out in the Great Commission! (Matt.28:19-20) 

When we consider going out and making disciples of all nations, then we stop focusing on the problems we have in our own lives and instead concentrate on those that will bear much excellent fruit for Jesus. And we don’t have to look further than the lives of Jesus and Bruh Paul to see how those factors played out. Jesus suffered much in His earthly life, but He didn’t let that ‘sufferation’ bother Him too much, because He knew that He had a bigger purpose to achieve; that of saving mankind, and thus He kept his focus on the cross and all that it took to do the job He was sent to do. 

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.’ (Phil.2:8) Likewise, Bruh Paul suffered terribly in his work for Christ, but he didn’t let the difficulties stop him from doing the mighty task assigned to Him by Jesus; planting the New Testament Church amongst the Gentiles. Read 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 and see some of the horrible stuff he underwent to do that, never veering, despite it all, from his avowed purpose that was so much bigger than him. 

However, both Jesus and Bruh Paul knew without a doubt the efficacy and truth of this amazing scripture: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ And if you’re a faithful believer, then you sincerely LOVE God, and are called to His purpose of living for Him and helping others to come to him for hope, peace and salvation. And NEVER fret, He will always enable you to bear any burdens necessary to do that and reward you in the end! Much LOVE!

…to everything there is a season…and a time…to every purpose under the heaven… (Eccl. 3:1)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

 

Oh friends, I’ve been led to begin today’s Bit with these immortal words of William Penn (1644-1718) devout Quaker and advocate for religious freedom, the founder of Philadelphia, and whom the State of Pennsylvania is named after. He reputedly gave us these awesome words of wisdom: ‘I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now.’ 

And that’s basically Christianity 101! That’s all that Jesus desires of us. But obviously we don’t do it enough, don’t truly live it, else our world would not be in such a sad and sorry state of evil and ungodliness! But yuh know what? We all have to live with the consequences of our actions, or lack thereof, from the rich to the poor, the weak to the strong, the godly and ungodly. 

But the problem is that we’re so deeply intertwined in society, through so many different kinds of relationships, that the actions of some will definitely affect others. And the only way to assuage the negative effects is by having many more good things happen in our world, much more kindness and LOVE being spread than evil and ungodliness. 

And I’m not telling us anything new nuh, we just like to do as we please, then complain about the negative consequences. The only way to conquer that is as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) says: ‘Obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him!’ Otherwise, our unwise, ungodly actions are liable to bring serious consequences we can’t handle, that make us hold our heads and bawl! (smile) 

Anyway, enough sermonizing, let’s hear what the workingman has to say this bright and sunny Friday morning. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the weather seems to be holding up so far. At least it going to be fairly warm this weekend. Hopefully the start of a long awaited summer…and summer holidays…take a few days off from the slave master work and go out in the country with the family…provided we don’t get a wet, short and miserable summer, because that’s the way it shaping up. 

But imagine that nuh; the end of May, and the place still chilly when the night come! This climate change business eh! And people saying that it doh have nothing like that! Steups! Pure foolishness yes! The weather certainly change and become more unpredictable than ever in the last ten years or so. 

But what yuh going to do eh? The people who have the power to improve it, doh want to, so ordinary people like me and you, just have to grin and bear it. But God is good, so we going to handle it, however it come up. And we going to continue thanking God for Fridays and weekends when we could do we own thing, however we want to!’ 

Ah friends, the times they are a changing…and not seemingly for the better. But as believers in Jesus Christ, we have a much better perspective on it all. We don’t need to worry because Christ has our back, and once we walk in obedience to Him, we’ll be okay. That’s why our Friday Chant is much different from the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now with true sincerity and a strong sense of purpose nuh. 

As one 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 mih people, we’re on a different wavelength to the unbeliever, but we are indeed charged with bringing them to the awesome wavelength of Jesus, so that they too can enjoy the grace, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life found under His leadership and guidance! 

That’s why the last thing He told the disciples was to: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo. I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Those words are what we conveniently call the Great Commission, but unfortunately not enough of us are out there teaching the world about Jesus and His wonderful attributes! We are either afraid, or just lazy and doh care. But there’s no excuse for either attitude, if we consider ourselves true believers, true disciples and ambassadors of Christ. 

Yuh know Jesus could have relaxed on His laurels in heaven and leave us down here to face the Father’s music, but no, He chose to come down to earth to suffer on our behalf and save our sinful souls. So the least we can do in return is to do the simple stuff He asks of us: tell others about Him, and live the kind of life that glorifies Him, and not be wishy-washy and ashamed of being His follower. 

Please remember His fateful promise: ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32-33) 

It couldn’t be any plainer than that friends. You can’t be a disciple of Jesus in secret. You must have the parts to shout it out from the housetops to all and sundry! Otherwise you’re not worthy of being called a Christian! So let’s ponder today, how we’re doing in that respect nuh: are we proud to be called a Christian, do we tell people about Christ, do we live the kind of life that glorifies Him? 

Oh, some of us are doing better than some, but all of us are open to improvement. So please, let’s ask the Father to help us so that we can be better witnesses for his wonderful Son nuh, in the ungodly and evil society in which we live. That’s our Christian purpose and bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…living for Christ is not easy…but it’s what we signed up for…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 December 2018 Ephesians 4:32.

Ephesians 4:32.   ​And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
 
And so it’s Tuesday, the day before the next Big Day. Steups! Let’s hope it happens as planned now yes, and no more silly postponements! That means friends, many prayers bombarding heaven for the ole fella’s safe and productive surgery tomorrow. Glory be! That is if you want him to be around for a long time writing these interesting and provocative Bits! (smile) 

And I sincerely thank you for all the support I’ve gotten so far, and I know that the effective and fervent prayers of you righteous people will be heard and positively answered in heaven. So I’m not worried, just a li’l skeptical that something might happen to put it off again. Let’s hope that this is now the Lord’s time! Amen! 

And with that, let me share a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘Slow Growth!’ Please pray with me: ‘In my fretful patience I am so often inclined to ask “Why can’t she change?” “Why is he always so slow?” “Will they ever learn from their past mistakes?” 

And then You begin to impress me With my own slow progress upward. I see Your stretched-our patience. I remember how long you’ve waited for me. And I grieve that my attitude Is so often intolerant. O God, keep fresh the imprint Of my own need to grow And make me more flexible More understanding And always more LOVING.’ 

Ah mih people, not one of us can truly say we don’t see ourselves in that picture, because impatience and intolerance with the attendant hypocrisy are big parts of our society today. We all show some of those negative traits at some time or the other because we are human and live in a fallen society. But as sincere Christians, true believers in Christ, we ought to show those negative characteristics on as few occasions as possible. 

Instead my faithful brethren, we ought to let these momentous words of Bruh Paul sink into our consciousness and lead us on a more Christ-like path. Hear him to the Ephesians, re the new life in Christ: ‘And be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 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 you.’ (Eph.4:23-32) 

Oh my people, what a treasure trove of practical ideas for godly and righteous living! If we’d only adopt a few of them, our lives would be oh so much better. And it’s not like they are so difficult to put into practice. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to live within us and seals us forever. Consequently our behaviour ought to change, granted, not all at once, but there must be some newness in our behaviour otherwise Jesus is not truly dwelling within us. 

And hear these oh so practical options nuh: No more lying, but truth speaking to everybody, because we are all members of Christ’s body, His church. No keeping of anger after sundown, because it destroys our sleep and we wake up angry the next day. As best we can, don’t give the enemy any opportunities to invade our souls. Like no more stealing, but productive work, so that we can share with the unfortunate. 

No cursing and corrupt communication, but words that can edify and uplift those who hear them. And put away all the negativity of vs. 31, which tend to be Satanic in nature. But instead, we ought to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving, showing grace and mercy to others, just like our heavenly Father has showered down all that stuff on us. 

Remember these immortal words of Jesus, the basic foundation upon which our faith has been founded and still rests: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6: 14-15) 

Friends, it couldn’t be any simpler or plainer than that! So please, let’s seriously get ourselves together and begin treating each other the way we ought to nuh. Remember, it’s all for our benefit, not God’s! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we truly believe it, then let’s go out and action it! Much LOVE!

…true Christianity places much more emphasis…on action…than on talk…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2018 John 10:11.

John 10:11. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
 

Ah friends, sorry for the Bit’s lateness, but I went to bed late, got up late, and had a few things to do before I began writing. But the good news is, here I am at last! Glory! Glory! (smile) 

 Oh isn’t it just great to be alive? To be able to laugh and sing, run and jump, (not me… just yet), and even cry once in a while? It surely is, especially when we are living with and working for our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Oh praise His holy name my faithful brethren; exalt the name that’s above EVERY other name, to whom ALL knees MUST eventually bow! 

Yeh, that’s our Messiah, our Prince of Peace, our heavenly Advocate, Our Burden Bearer, Our Comforter, in fact our Be All and End All, our EVERYTHING! Wow! Are we ever so blessed to have a Leader of such awesome proportions! Let’s give Him the thanks and praise He deserves…and all day long at that! 

Yeh, the ole fella’s in a joyful, exclamatory mood this morning! And why not eh? I just got some most excellent news; news that my heart problems have improved…Glory to God! And I’m now medically fit to travel…Oh mih brethren, that’s the best news ever! 

It’s been almost three years that I’ve been parked up here without the ability to get on an iron bird. But yuh know what, as I keep saying our God is ever so faithful, because many a day I’ve lain in my bed and looked through my window at the iron birds coming and going to and from the nearby airport, wondering when I’d be able to get on one. 

And the Good Lord has always quieted my heart by promising that one day, in the not too distant future, He will lift the medical limitations and free me from this onerous bondage… And now He has done just as He has promised! Bless His holy name! So in light of that extraordinary faithfulness, why wouldn’t I just offer up my whole heart and soul, thanks and praise to Him eh? No reason whatsoever my people! 

But enough of my excitement…let’s get on with the Bit. It’s Saturday, that means we need to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. And we do have a whole slew of then this week, all dealing with change. And we will begin with this one: ‘If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.’ 

I’m not so sure about that nuh, because the human animal is so eccentric and confusing, and dislikes change so much, that a lot of us will probably prefer to be irrelevant rather than to change. That leads us to this quote: ‘The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.’ 

Now that I definitely disagree with! In my many years and much trial and testing on God’s earth, I’ve usually found that the price of change is usually much higher than the price of standing stationary. In particular the effort that one has to put out to make whatever change is necessary. That’s why so many people just stay the same way in the same place. 

That’s why this next quote is the living truth! ‘Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.’ Now that’s exactly why so many of us resist change, even change that’s obviously in our best interest! Change just doesn’t come easy. And this one mirrors the truth of the last. ‘The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.’ And so it has my brethren… though not always for the better! 

That brings us to the last quote: ‘I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.’ And isn’t that that the undeniable truth people? Unless our world changes, and drastically too, and also towards Jesus, until we stop trying to drive God out of our society and instead, embrace Him with all our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, our world will just continue sinking inexorably, relentlessly into the muck and mire of Lucifer’s evil empire. 

And that is not what our Saviour came to earth and suffered so much for. That’s definitely not why He suffered such pain and humiliation and eventually gave up His sinless life on that wooden cross at Calvary. If He wanted us to become part and parcel of Lucifer’s evil empire, He would have just remained in His cozy corner in heaven enjoying all the exotic delights provided by His Father. But He sacrificially gave all of that up to come and save our sinful souls. 

Remember friends, Lucifer is the master of thievery, lies and deception, an evil genius in leading mankind astray. Just look at how he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he’s still doing it to us to this day. However Jesus declared, and proved it too: ‘The thief cometh not, but (except) for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:10-11) 

And there is absolutely no doubt that that’s what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary; give His sinless, holy life on behalf of our abominable sinful souls, so that the Father could justifiably forgive us and reconcile us to Himself. So why are we still foolishly running behind Lucifer and his evil, lustful, carnal, ungodly way of life eh? A way of life that will only lead to eternal separation from our heavenly Father; the worst fate that can ever befall a human soul! 

I don’t know the answer to that nuh friends, but I am surely trying my best to stay away from that end result…and I sincerely hope that you are trying to do the same, because that’s the ultimate in wisdom! Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we will definitely follow Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2018 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   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.

‘Shalom friends, Shalom! Peace! Everlasting Peace! May the peace of God, that peace that passes all human understanding, which is instilled in us by the Holy Spirit, be unto you and yours this somewhat cloudy Saturday morning!’ 

And all God’s people said a loud and grateful, ‘Thank You Lord!’ For there is nothing that’s so badly needed right now in our world, than peace, the peace of Almighty God! And though it’s cloudy, the sun is valiantly pushing through, just like our efforts in Jesus Christ to transform this evil world, to have His LOVE Revolution conquer it! Have faith my brethren. If we persevere in Jesus’ name, it will happen. 

Now let’s look at some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.’ Now that’s simply logical. If you look at things differently, then in the majority of cases, they will appear differently to you. I guess it’s all about our perspective. 

And the second one tells us: ‘You are not stuck where you are unless you decide to be.’ And isn’t that the glorious truth! My people, wherever we are, is where we have decided to be, at least for the time being, otherwise we’d be somewhere else. 

That’s unless we’re living for Jesus, and He has us in a particular position or situation right now that we don’t like, and as far as we’re concerned, He is moving us too slowly from glory to glory. But even then, we can always change it. It might not work out for the best under your terms, but it’s always changeable. 

Now this quote is simple but ever so important in a believer’s life. ‘Spread LOVE wherever you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.’ Yeh friends, that’s what Jesus has called us to do, ‘SPREAD LOVE!’ 

His kind of LOVE; the kind that’s sincere and true and really caring and compassionate, not the empty, insincere, deceitful words that the world utters. That means whoever we interact with, we must leave them with a li’l bit of Jesus, so that their souls and spirits can be lifted through His awesome power. 

That leads us to this last quote: ‘With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.’ That’s also very true my people! We might not be able to always control our situations, but we always have the power to control our attitudes towards them. 

What did Jesus say about such situations? ‘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) 

Wow! What assurance friends! Our Lord and Saviour has already overcome the world, so we should not allow our circumstances to drag us down and keep us down for too long. Through His Holy Spirit that dwells within us, we can have peace in even the most unpleasant and unpalatable situations. 

Bruh Paul told Timothy in no uncertain terms: ‘Persecutions. Afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim.3:11-12) 

And that’s indisputable truth! Once we stand up and proclaim the name of Jesus, the enemy WILL come against us. But as the Good Book says, he will come against us one way, but flee seven ways! Glory to God! 

Now let’s end up with some significant scriptures on peace. Hear Bruh Paul to the Ephesians, re Christ: ‘For he (he himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us.’ (Eph.2:13) Yeh people, by His death and resurrection Christ has broken down all barriers between Jews and Gentiles. We are all one body, one church under His name now. 

Meanwhile to the Colossians, Bruh Paul advised: ‘ And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.’ (Col.3:14-15) Oh friends, LOVE is the crowning grace of a believer, and right behind it is peace! 

And to the Philippians, Bruh Paul wrote: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard, sustain) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:6-7) 

Now isn’t that wonderful! Though we don’t understand God’s peace, we certainly have it available to us. So let’s use it nuh mih breddren, for it’s wisdom personified. Much LOVE!

…walking with Christ…brings tranquility of mind…frees us from fear and worry…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 June 2018 Acts 12:5.

Acts 12:5.   Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

And then it was Friday; that magical day of the week that has us all gushing with the promise of a wonderful and relaxing weekend! 

But I don’t think the people on the Big Island of Hawaii, where the volcano has now swallowed up some 600 hundred homes, or those in Guatemala, where their volcano is starting to act up again, are thinking about a relaxing weekend. Neither are the people in Colorado where the wildfires continue spreading like wildfire. Hn! So please, let’s continue to keep them in our prayers. 

And on a note of interest, the people of the Province of Ontario here in Canada have decided to vote for change. The Progressive Conservative Party was elected with a safe majority in yesterday’s Provincial Election. Let’s hope that the change we voted for doesn’t end up worse than what we had before. 

And why you ask? Because the Leader of the party is none other than Doug Ford, the brother of the late Rob Ford, who as mayor of Toronto recently made the city the laughing stock of the world with his ‘unmayoral’ antics. Let’s hope that brother Doug is not cut from the same cloth. But remember too, that a people get the government they deserve. 

Then we have the workingman, who is more than ecstatic about the day and rejoices in song: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and soon a release from slavery! The weekend…the weekend…it’s here at last…and is it ever going to be great! Lots of wining and dining…carousing and cart wheeling! Nobody can stop we now from doing what we want to do, because now is our time. Yay! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, I wish we were as enthusiastic about our weekends as the workingman is about his. And there’s no reason why we should not be, it’s just that after hearing his song, our sinful nature hungers for the lack of boundaries, the licentiousness that’s open to the workingman which is not open to us as believers in Jesus Christ. (smile) 

Nonetheless, let’s enthusiastically chant our Friday Chant which states our belief. ‘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 people, our Leader, Jesus Christ, doesn’t want us involved in the lascivious and lustful activities of the world, that’s why He has sanctified and set us apart. Remember, we should be in the world, but not of the world. That brings us to our Bit, which is the same as yesterday. ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.’ 

And if you’re wondering why, it’s because the story of Peter’s miraculous escape from prison has another part to it. Yesterday we ended where the angel left Peter in the street and he realized that the Lord had delivered him out of Herod’s deadly clutches. 

And the Good Book continues: ‘And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken (answer), named Rhoda. 

And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad (out of your mind). But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. 

But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace (keep silent), declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go show these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.’ (Acts 12:12-17) 

Ah friends, can you imagine how jittery Peter must have been waiting openly in the street, knocking with no one answering. What I want to point out in this message is what the scholars explain here. ‘12:12-16. Though the prayer of the church was fervent due to Peter’s situation (v.5), there was a deficiency in faith (vs.15-16). Evidently they did not believe God would answer in this miraculous way, or so soon.’ 

And unfortunately the same thing happens today: we pray fervently, but don’t believe wholeheartedly. But what’s the point in praying if we don’t truly believe eh friends? None whatsoever. Remember Jesus’ admonishment to the disciples after He cursed the barren fig tree and it died? ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:24) 

The only corollary to that my brethren, is that whatever we pray for must be in God’s will, otherwise we won’t receive it, no matter how fervent our pray and strong our belief. So please, as individuals, as well as Christ’s body here on earth, His church, let’s ramp up our belief in our prayers nuh, because as I said yesterday, miracles are still happening each and everyday to those who sincerely believe. Much LOVE!

…you won’t get a miracle…unless you truly believe for one…


 

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘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.5:18-21) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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