Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2019 1 Timothy 2:3.

1 Timothy 2:3.    ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday’s here again friends! Glory be! It’s the day we cease from our normal labour and instead visit the Lord’s sanctuary and have fellowship with other believers! Yes mih people, it’s time for us to sing and dance and praise the Lord and give Him sincere thanks for the many blessings He’s so magnanimously bestowed on us! Wow! What a wonderful God He is! There’s none other like Him! That’s for certain sure!

That’s why we need to show our true LOVE and sincere gratitude by coming together as the body of Christ, His church, at least once a week! And not only do we offer up praise and thanksgiving, but we are renewed and refreshed in return, through hearing His Word and the encouragement of and communion with our fellow believers, so that we can go out and do His work with vim and vigour this upcoming week.

Now let’s get the show on the road by opening, as always, with a song of praise and worship. And today’s number is certainly an old but still very popular number titled ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ And I hear the excited sigh that rises from our throats as the song registers, because it is one we all LOVE to sing! So let’s sing it nuh, with plenty emotion, strong voice and the sweetest of harmonies!

All together now: ‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain]

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honor, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain 2]’

Oh friends, oh friends, what a powerful and emotionally touching rendition! Heaven could see that we truly believed what we were singing, felt it right down in the very depths of our souls! That’s what some of these old English hymns do to us. Now it’s reputed that the words to that song were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, while the music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871. And has it ever stood the test to time! Becoming the Salvation Army’s favoured processional hymn along the way.

Apparently ‘it was written to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces of the world.’ And it takes its theme from New Testament references of Christians being soldiers for Christ. One example of that is our Bit, Bruh Paul’s famous words to his young protégé Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:3-4)

Yeh friends as Christians we do need to stand up strong under whatever trials and tribulation comes against us, like a good soldier does. Consequently, that soldier doesn’t get involved with the unnecessary affairs of life, so that he can give his all, his total allegiance and attention to the business of the one who’s chosen him to be a soldier. That means, since Christ has chosen us to be His followers, then we too must endure the tribulation that will certainly come against us, as Christ promised in John 16:33, and neither get involved in the affairs of this world because we are not of it, as He says in John 17:16.

And the analogy of Christians being soldiers in Christ’s army is rather apt, since we are constantly fighting battles of temptation and deceit against Satan and his evil minions. However it’s not a physical battle, although many believers are fighting physical battles in many places in our strife-filled world, but it’s a spiritual battle that most believers face day by day. As Bruh Paul says to the Corinthians: ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ;’ (2 Cor.10:3-5)

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses. ‘10:3-5. Though we walk (live) in the flesh (in a body), we do not war (fight) after (according to) the flesh (human standards. The first phrase of verse 5 looks back to verse 3 and expresses the manner in which believers conduct spiritual warfare. It is by casting down (destroying) imaginations (false arguments), such as Paul’s opponents have raised.’

That also means refuting all the lies and deceit and the temptations the enemy constantly throws at us. And we do that by taking all those wrong thoughts captive and making them conform to Christ’s Word. Remember, our minds are where the serious spiritual battles take place, so we obviously must have our thoughts conform to Christ’s Word to be victorious. And as I was reading the words of the hymn just now, one verse struck me as being somewhat untrue in these evil, divisive times. ‘Like a mighty army moves the church of God;…We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’

I just have to shake my head and sadly chuckle because God’s church is certainly not moving in these ungodly days like a mighty army, more like a stagnant, sluggish, complacent, uninterested band of layabouts. And as to being one body with one hope and one doctrine…What a joke! Christ’s church has never been more divided and fractured and going different ways than now!

But friends, let’s remember that where there’s life there’s also hope, so it’s not too late. If we’re serious about rectifying the ills in the church we still can, if we come together, instead of moving further apart. It will take a lot of hard work and effort, putting our selfish, petty desires aside, and showing the true character of Christ. I know it sounds impossible, but remember too, that ALL things are possible with Christ! Much LOVE!

…to be true soldiers of Christ…Christians must stop seeking and seeing life…the way the world sees it…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2019 2 Peter 1:8.

2 Peter 1:8.    For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Sunny days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yeh, let’s hope that today is nothing like yesterday, with rain straight through until late afternoon. Got caught in it going to an appointment some distance from home, and would you believe it was terrible; traffic just crawling, with road construction like everywhere, and the rain itself one minute petering out to a light drizzle, then next picking back up steam again. Good thing that it had stopped by the time I was on my way back home. 

And we can’t have no rain today because this evening David Rudder (the Crown Prince of kaiso) is down in the Bandshell in the Ex. And that’s a totally open space. So please pray that David gets a good chance to share his beautiful kaiso (calypso) offerings later. (smile) 

Now here’s another prayer, this one from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. He calls it: ‘A Prayer for Success.’ Please pray with me: ‘As I become a success with your help, Lord, let me never forget that what I am is more than what I do. Faith stimulates success. Hope sustains success. LOVE sanctifies success. So I cannot and I dare not succeed without your power, peace, and pressure in my life, Jesus Christ. Amen!’ 

Oh friends, all of that is so true! In the first place we must realize that what we do is not the most important thing in our lives, but who we are; beloved children of God! And that alone gives us a great chance for success. But as Gramps Schuller says, we need these three untouchables and ‘unmeasurables’; faith, hope and LOVE, to even enter the ring of success, much less to achieve it. 

And Peter expounds on the subject nicely, and quite at length in his second epistle. Listen to Him as he greets his readers and reminds them of God’s provision for Christian living, past, present and future. ‘Grace and peace be multiplied unto you, through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 

According to his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’ (2 Pet. 1:2-4) 

Oh my fellow believers, we see that our most magnanimous God has already given us all the power and grace and promises that we need to succeed in this life, but we have to now raise them up from our souls through the awesome power of the Holy Spirit. 

And Peter then continues, re growing in grace. ‘And beside this, (for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE).’ (2 Pet.1:5-7) 

Ah mih people, that seems like a real rough row to hoe, but hoe it we must, if we want to succeed in this Christian walk of faith and LOVE! And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:5-7. In this section Peter urges his readers to grow to spiritual maturity. Add to your faith indicates the areas of growth that follow after salvation. Virtue is moral excellence. Knowledge is spiritual truth. Temperance is self-control. Patience is endurance. Godliness is God-likeness. 

Brotherly kindness (Gr. philadelphian) is brotherly LOVE. Charity (Gr. agapen) is volitional LOVE (making a choice or decision to LOVE). This process is a lifelong cycle of spiritual growth for all believers.’ And so indeed it is my fellow saints in Christ! And Peter reason thus for his advice: ‘For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 

Glory be mih breddren! For there’s nothing better in this life than to have a good knowledge about Christ and produce good fruit in His image! And Peter further explains: ‘But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is shortsighted), and hath forgotten that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins. 

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (stumble): For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (2 Pet.1:9-11) What a wonderful life is being set up in heaven for those of us who place Christ above all else and do our best to honour and obey Him! 

Hear how the scholars explain those last verses. ‘1:10-11. Ye shall never fall: The author is not referring to falling from salvation but to failure in Christian living. The everlasting kingdom refers to the eternal realm of God where Jesus is the undisputed Ruler. It is synonymous with heaven. Thus one who acquires the virtues of verses 5-7 will have a rich inheritance in heaven.’ 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that my people! Therefore let’s go home now joyfully declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail which let’s the whole world know of our serious position in Christ, since heaven is our ultimate home. All together 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!’ 

And if you sincerely believe, then you’ll know that that future will indeed be glorious; so glorious that we cannot even imagine it! Wow! So let’s keep on hanging tight with Jesus nuh friends, for that is wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…success in anything…means learning and adhering to these three keys…hope…faith…and LOVE…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2019 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.   ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!
 

And then it was the first Sunday of the New Year! Glory Be! And all the devoted followers of Christ flocked to His sanctuary to hear His Word, to give Him the praise and worship He so obviously deserves, as well as to mix and mingle and to encourage and edify and uplift their fellow believers. And for this first Sunday in 2019, we have an awesome and most appropriate song of worship to open the proceedings. 

It’s an old 19th century British hymn whose lyrics were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865 as a processional hymn for children walking from Horbury Bridge to Horbury St Peter’s Church near Wakefield, Yorkshire, at Whitsuntide in 1865. It was originally entitled, “Hymn for Procession with Cross and Banners.”  

 Then Arthur Sullivan composed the accompanying music in 1871. They say that Sullivan first named the tune “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose home he composed it. But eventually the Salvation Army adopted it as one of their favourite processional hymns …and the rest is history! 

Oh friends, let’s belt out that well known and greatly LOVED tune that calls us to be strong and steadfast soldiers in Christ’s Name. As one great army now, marching into battle, letting the enemy know that we’re coming…and coming for only one thing; victory! 

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) 

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain] 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] 

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain] Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!)’ 

Oh my fellow believers if that doesn’t stir up the LOVE for Christ in your hearts, then something’s seriously wrong with you! It’s exactly the kind of battle cry Christians need in these turbulent, decadent and evil times! And that’s why it was written; ‘to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces throughout the world.’ 

And there’s been no other time like now, when evil is running rampant all over and the heathen seems to be winning the battle! But friends, that’s only in their imagination, because we believers are coming out loud, proud and strong this year of 2019! We’re going to mightily embrace those rich and encouraging words of Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!’ 

Wow mih people! What better words to frame our year than with those eh? We are in Christ’s army, and as good soldiers do, we WILL endure hardship for Him, and in His name! That’s our faithful promise! For as Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

Yeh friends, if we are soldiers for Christ, we can’t afford to get entangled in the affairs of this world. We have to keep our hands and hearts clean of the evil that surrounds us, so that we can please Christ who has called us, who has enlisted us in His LOVE Revolution, to fight the good fight in His name! 

As Bruh Paul told Timothy earlier on: ‘This charge I commit unto (command) thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee (previously made concerning you), that thou by them mightest war a good warfare. Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away (rejected) concerning the faith have made (suffered) shipwreck.’ (1 Tim.1:18-19) 

Oh my brethren, we need to be ever so faithful having personal confidence in God, as well as the word, the gospel that’s been handed down to us by the saints. For if we reject those things, then we’ll surely become shipwrecked, lost and left on the outside looking in; the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul!

And later on, Bruh Paul again gets on poor Timothy’s case. After warning him of the deterioration of the church in years to come, (2 Tim.4:2-4) he declares: 

‘But watch thou in all things. Endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist (preach the gospel of Christ), make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:5-8) 

Yes my believing brethren, we ALL ought to be able to say that at end of our lives. But for that to happen, we have to begin being good, strong and steadfast soldiers of Christ, RIGHT NOW! So let’s get to it nuh! We have a crown of righteousness to win! Much LOVE!

…to win any race…especially the race of life…one needs to have commitment…courage…perseverance…endurance…and faith…and ONLY in Christ…can one find all those attributes… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but church had to come first…and anyway I likes it…hope you do too! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 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.
 
Well it looks like it’s Wednesday, the middle of the work week…but don’t quote me on that nuh, because I’m not completely sure. (smile) I’m just assuming that because I was so busy on the first two days, that this next one is indeed Wednesday, since Wednesday is supposed to be the third one in the troika!  And that’s why they say B.S baffles brains! 

Lighten up mih people, the Lord Jesus Christ is in the house, and all’s right with His people, because He says so: ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, I know that’s a very big, broad and difficult statement to handle, especially with all the stuff that’s going on in the world today. And I’m sure if you are one of those people in California who have lost everything through those terrible wild fires, and are now being threatened by flash floods, mudslides and landslides, it might be near impossible to accept that. But being a true believer means that you ought to accept whatever Jesus says as gospel truth, even though your circumstances are crying out in a much different manner. 

Ah mih people, it’s only faith, buoyed by hope that will take us through the terrible times. Without faith and hope in Jesus Christ, you’re just completely lost, because He is the ONLY ONE who can really turn things around in your favour. And yes, it is hard, and difficult and heart-rending, but with Him in your corner, please remember that ALL things are possible. End of Sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s try and break down our Bit into its salient parts and find passages of scripture that agree with it. Let’s begin with ‘in me ye might have peace.’ Listen to Bruh Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians. ‘But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes (once) were far off are made nigh by the blood of 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. 

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain (put to death) the enmity thereby. And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.’ (Eph.2:13-17) 

And what that’s basically saying is that Jesus came and broke down the walls of enmity between Jews and Gentiles and made them into one body, the Christian Church. The Jews felt that they were better than the Gentiles because they had a close relationship with God, and they considered the Gentiles outcasts.

But Jesus came and removed the dividing wall, the Mosaic Law, which had been instituted to protect the Jews from pagan corruption, and which the Jews were abusing anyway. So that now, through Jesus’ coming and sacrifice, both Jews and Gentiles are now one; Christians in Christ! Glory to God! 

And as pertaining to: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer;’ hear Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘But thou hast fully known (followed) my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity (LOVE), patience, 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. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.’ (2 Tim.3:10-13) 

Yes friends, even Jesus, when speaking of the signs for the world’s end, said it in so many words: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) Ah mih people, we simply have to keep the faith and believe in the promises of Jesus! 

And finally, as per ‘I have overcome the world,’ listen to Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life; nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:37-39) Now that’s surely a most powerful statement my fellow believers…and a very true one at that! 

Hear the scholars: ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (v.28).’

Glory to God my believing brethren! Nothing can harm us because our heavenly Father is the most omnipotent power in His universe! Wow! 

Now let’s go home telling this evil world our position in that omnipotent force, Jesus Christ, through our Wednesday Wail! In loud, proud and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

…believing in Jesus here on earth might be rough…but brother…are the heavenly rewards ever awesome and amazing…simply stupendous…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.   My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Ah Lord, when is it going to stop eh? When are we going to learn eh friends? By now most of you would have heard of the deadly shooting spree at a Florida High School yesterday afternoon by a 19 year old ex-student. He mowed down 17 people and put another dozen or so in the hospital, some with life threatening injuries. So this morning the death toll might even be higher. 
 
Sadly, it’s not the first, and most likely will not be the last shooting rampage, but what amazes me is why it’s being done so often in schools, and by students too? I won’t even bother to talk about the various government agencies, both State and Federal, doing nothing to alleviate the situation. That’s because the NRA, the Gun Lobby has it all locked up tight in a barrel. Steups! 
 
Now no one is saying that a whole set of laws will stop the shooting, but in the U.S. it’s definitely too easy to acquire a firearm, and of the most dangerous varieties too. And overall, instead of gun laws becoming tighter, they are becoming looser. There are a whole lot of places where you can now walk around legally with an exposed firearm, like the days of the good ole West. 
 
Well then, it stands to logic that if firearms are as prevalent and open as in the West, then you can expect to have many shootings like they supposedly had back then. Meanwhile, the firearms manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank, because they are not only making a killing in the U.S, but they are also the world’s biggest arms dealers. So which politician is going to want to mess with them eh? 
 
Apparently the shooter bought the assault rifle legally some months ago, and furthermore, it’s been alleged that he had a social media page where he boasted about and showed off his personal armoury. And nobody complained to the police about it. Hn! What does that say about our society eh?  
 
And unfortunately it also happened when Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fell on the same day. Ash Wednesday, a day for turning to God to begin seeking spiritual cleansing, and Valentine’s Day, a day when LOVE is supposed to have a small grip on our normally hateful world. It obviously didn’t have that grip on one young man yesterday. 
 
I really don’t know what to say nuh friends, except to keep promoting LOVE, because that’s the ONLY thing that will truly bring an end to the pandemic violence that’s currently strangling our world. That’s why I turned again to our Bit of the last two days: ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ 
 
What else can I do, but plead for LOVE, that wonderful attribute of our great God to be our guiding light and not the evil sentiments and actions of Beelzebub. Consequently, today I’m just going to quote some of the attributes of LOVE, from the LOVE Chapter of the Good Book, 1 Corinthians 13, in the hope that it will soften our hearts and bring us back to our true selves. 
 
Listen as Bruh Paul expounds on the way of LOVE. ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (LOVE), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (LOVE), I am nothing. 
 
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (LOVE), it profiteth me nothing. Charity (LOVE) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (LOVE) envieth not; charity (LOVE) vaunteth not (does not brag on) itself, is not puffed up (arrogant), 
 
Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth: Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ (1 Cor.13:1-7) 
 
Yeh friends and fellow believers, that’s just a brief synopsis (smile) of what LOVE is all about. And regardless of what else you have, if you don’t have LOVE, you are NOTHING! 
 
Oh, I know that some of it is very difficult to practice in real life, but as children of God, it is our bounden duty to put LOVE into action as best we can. And with God’s help, doing a good job is very possible. So let’s take a moment today and ponder all those things that LOVE embodies and embraces nuh, see where we are lacking and ask the Lord to help us in those places. It will be of such benefit to all of us. 
 
Now, for those of us who sincerely try to action LOVE, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, reminding ourselves that when we live with LOVE for God and others, He showers us with extraordinary blessings. 
 
In strong voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 
 
I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 
 
Let’s remember too that blessings are meant to be shared, so our next step is to go out and share them with the less fortunate, as Jesus so greatly desires. Much LOVE!
 
…And now abideth faith, hope and charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE)… (1 Cor.13:13)
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2017 Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 4:4.   Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Welcome friends to another marvelous day in God’s extensive repertoire of marvelous days! (smile) 

As always, He was up bright and early to blend all the necessary ingredients, like grace, mercy, compassion, LOVE, forgiveness and understanding so that He could offer us just the kind of day He had earmarked for this Wednesday January 25th 2017. 

Wow! What a wonderful Deity we serve and worship my people! As we keep saying, there’s none other like Him! How could there be eh? No two beings could possess all those awesome attributes in such amazing quantities! 

And in consideration of all that, let’s pray this wonderful prayer written in 1968 by Annie A Zeidman, co-founder of the Scott Mission in Toronto, a Christian non-denominational charity for the homeless. 

‘May the Lord grant you Special grace to LOVE Him, special strength to serve Him, special peace in Him to rest, special faith to know Him best. May no war alarm you, may no evil harm you. May your sheltered dwelling stand, roofed with joy, beneath His hand.’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that just beautiful! And we just prayed it for each other. Glory to God! 

And all of that just enhances our ability to do what Bruh Paul calls for in our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’  

Oh what a joyful and positive bunch of people we Christians are eh! (smile) And so we should be, because we have the Lord God Jehovah, Creator and Controller of this great universe providing all our wants and needs for us! 

As Bruh David confidentially proclaims in Psalm 23: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (lack).’ And that’s the gospel truth my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! 

Now here comes the proviso after our Bit, from Bruh Paul. We must rejoice, however: ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.’ (Phil.4:5) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. 

The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. His imminent coming as judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all of his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. 

Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And verse 6 says: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) 

And this is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. 

The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

Now when we do all of that, what happens eh? ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Wow mih brethren! What an awesome promise if we follow the Lord’s word! 

Now hear the scholars. ‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and his ability to cope with and solve it. 

Shall keep means “shall guard.” This is a military term for a sentinel standing guard duty. As Philippi was guarded by a Roman garrison, and its citizens were accustomed to seeing soldiers protecting the city, this word would be especially appreciated by the readers.’ 

And so it should still be greatly appreciated by us today my fellow believers, for the Lord, or His Word, NEVER changes! And do we ever need release from fear and anxiety in this crazy, strife-filled world of today. 

However, since we are true believers and don’t fear, then we can thankfully go home now faithfully and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

All together 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!’ 

Now let’s put all those statements in to true action nuh, because that’s the only way others will recognize us as true followers of Christ. Much LOVE!

…to serve humbly…is to be like Christ…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 December 2016 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.

Aye friends, we all know that like oil and water, late nights and early mornings don’t mix. So please tell me why I insist on trying to make them mix eh? I guess you’ll realize by now that I had one of those extremely late nights, and the ole body refused to get up too early to write the Bit. (smile) 

But that’s life mih breddren. At least I’m alive and kicking, though somewhat late. And enough with the excuses, let’s get to a rather appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Slow Growth.’ 

And it says: ‘In my fretful impatience I am so often inclined to ask “Why can’t she change?” “Why is she always so slow?” “Will they ever learn from past mistakes?” And then You begin to impress me With my own slow progress upward. 

I see Your stretched-out 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, how many of us fall into that trap eh? We complain about the slowness and negative attitudes of others, only to later on find out that our progress is just as slow and negative, if not slower and more negative. 

We just seem to take immense pleasure in judging others, without paying any, or sufficient attention to our own shortcomings. Now that’s definitely not right my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Instead we should have the attitude as declared by the Bible Promise for that poem, which is also our Bit for today. 

However, let’s begin with the verse before it, so that we can have a better idea of the context. Bruh Paul was here explaining to the Ephesians the new life in Christ that Christians ought to live after they are saved. 

And having given them a long list of do’s and don’ts, he finally ends up thus: ‘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.4:31-32) 

Yeh friends, if there are two things we always need to remember in our dealings with our fellow man are the forgiveness and LOVING-kindness that the Lord God Almighty has shown us in our own lives, and show the same to those we come into contact with. 

Remember what Jesus said to His disciples after the withering of the fig tree. ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught (anything) against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ (Mark 11:24-26) 

Oh precious people of Christ, I don’t see how Jesus could have made the utmost importance of forgiveness any clearer nuh! But yet we still refuse to forgive others, while seeking forgiveness from heaven. 

It’s NEVER going to work my brethren! Only as we forgive, will we be forgiven. Forgiveness begins with us! Let’s try and remember that nuh, especially in this Christmas season, one of LOVE, caring and compassion in honour of Christ’s birth. 

And in regards to tenderheartedness, let’s check out this sermon on the Christian virtues, as outlined by Bruh Paul in his letter to the Colossians. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; 

Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And 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. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col.3:12-17) 

Oh my people, my people, what a wise and powerful prescription for earthly living! Can you imagine if Christians even put half of that stuff into their everyday lives, what a wonderful world we’d have? 

But as usual, we like to merely talk the talk and not walk the walk. But let me remind us friends that Christianity is an action movement, not simply a talk show. Jesus came and died for us, putting His words into actions. Now it’s up to us to do the same. 

And to help us do that, let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra with power and faith, and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘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 as we believe those foundational truths my brethren, let’s put them into action nuh, otherwise it’s all a big waste of time. Much LOVE!

…only as we are tenderhearted and forgiving…will we receive the same…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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