Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2019 Mark 2:22.

Mark 2:22.    ​And no man putteth new wine into old bottles (wineskins): else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottle will be marred (ruined): but new wine must be put into new bottles.
 

Oh brother, I can’t believe how dark it is still is in my area at eight o’clock on this early November morning! Not even a wisp of sunlight is showing on the eastern horizon. But the good thing is that it’s not raining…at least not yet. (smile) Nowadays, who knows what the weather will turn out to be on any given day, so it’s best not to worry about it. Just remember that Jesus is our Lord, Saviour and Guiding Light, and once He is in us, and we are in Him, then everything will work out for good eventually, as He faithfully promised! Glory to our great and ever-LOVING God! 

And since we said it’s Saturday, I guess it’s time to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘One small positive thought can change your whole day.’ And that’s the absolute truth my people! And we have the perfect example above, where we just think about Jesus, and our whole day gets brighter! There’s no more positive thought that that! So let’s wake up thinking on Jesus…and during the day think on Him…and go to bed at night…still thinking on Him! Wow! That way our whole day will be positive! (smile) 

Now listen to this next quote: ‘Every new day is another chance to change your life.’ I certainly can’t dispute that reasoning, for everyday that we’re given to breathe God’s air, is a new chance to improve our lives. God gives it to us because He knows that we need more time to come to Him, to grow more Christ-like and to complete the work He’s assigned us. So please, let’s not waste every new day that we’ve been so generously given nuh. Instead, as the old people would say, make hay while the sun shines, because you don’t know when the sun will stop shining, neither for how long, and if it isn’t shining, then you certainly can’t make hay. (smile) That means you can’t waste time; you must do whatever you have to do while there’s time – that means today – since there’s no guarantee that we’ll ever see tomorrow. Were the ole people ever so wise my brethren! Wish we were even half as wise. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘When life changes to be harder, change yourself to be stronger.’ Ah friends, that’s the only way to survive, for if you don’t get stronger as life gets harder, life will only beat you down. And this life is certainly getting harder, despite all our improvements and amenities. And don’t fool yuh fat either (don’t be deceived), for some reason I can’t fathom, life just enjoys beating us down. I’ve seen it happen often enough in my three score and ten. So you have to possess plenty belly and backbone to live what we call life. You also have to keep improving, keep adding to the strength of your backbone and belly everyday, because life doesn’t ever take a day off, so neither can you. And we all know the best way to do that is by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and let him lead and guide our mis-mash lives! 

And here’s another area where following Jesus will come in ever so handy. ‘Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.’ Oh my people, is that ever so true! Very few good opportunities are ever easy. I guess by definition they are innately difficult, and in this lazy, selfish, greedy society of ours, hard work is something we don’t relish. We don’t even want to work, much less work hard. That’s why so many glorious opportunities are passing us by in this prosperous society where good opportunities abound…if we’re only willing to work hard at them. Here again, with Jesus running our lives, we will see the opportunities, and we will work diligently and excellently to bring them to fruition. Glory be! 

Now here’s the last quote: ‘Old ways won’t open new doors.’ But we still try anyway. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say; ‘You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.’ So we’ve got to stop trying to open new doors with old ways. That brings us to some very interesting  words of Jesus when asked by John’s disciples, why they and the Pharisees fasted, but His disciples did not? Apparently the Pharisees fasted twice weekly. He basically answered that fasting is done in times of grief, not of joy, and while He was with them, they were joyful, but when He went back to heaven, that would be the time for grief and fasting. (Mark 2:18-20) 

And furthermore, Jesus enlightened them: ‘No man also seweth a piece of new (unshrunk) cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh (pulls) away from the old, and the rent (tear) is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles (wineskins): else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottle will be marred (ruined): but new wine must be put into new bottles.’ (Mark2:21-22) Oh friends, how can you not be impressed by Jesus eh, no one else uses simple words and ideas like He does! 

And what does all of that mean? Listen to the scholars: ‘2:22. Bottles are wineskins, the old ones figuratively representing Judaism and the new ones Christianity. Old wineskins lose their elasticity and would be burst open by the fermentation of new wine put into them. The point: the old faith of Judaism and the new faith of Christianity cannot be mixed, nor can the practices or traditions (e.g., the time of fasting) of Judaism be forced on Christianity.’ Now that doesn’t mean we have to throw away all that is old, because it’s the old stuff that gives us the true and solid foundations, but if old ways aren’t working, then we do have to try new, but always godly ones. (smile) Much LOVE!

…new brooms sweep clean…but old brooms know the corners…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 July 2019 Hebrews 10:23.

Hebrews 10:23.    ​Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 

Oh brother, I can’t believe it’s Thursday already nuh! The week’s flying by so fast, it gets sorta blurry! (smile) And was yesterday ever a strange sorta day. In my area we had intermittent periods of sun and rain, until in the early evening hours the sun finally prevailed. But Toronto seemed to be completely different. They apparently had long periods of steady rain that resulted in severe flooding in several areas. 

And today it looks cloudy out there again, plus I’ve got to go into the city for a doctor’s appointment. What a life! But what to do eh? Nothing but put our sincere trust and hope in Jesus and believe that He will do as promised; meet all our needs through His riches in glory. (Phil.4:19) That’s what our faith is all about people, and it’s in times of adversity and trouble that we need it to show up in large amounts. 

Consequently, I want to share two interesting and reassuring quotes. The first one is comprised of these wise words reputedly attributed to Grady Nutt (1934-1982) a Southern Baptist minister. It says: ‘God should be a resource in the struggle, not a way around it.’ 

And is that ever so true my fellow believers. We ought to use God to help us get through the adversity rather than as a way to get around it. But in these days of easy and comfortable living, no one wants to go through anything, we all want to avoid, to go around it. But the truth is that it’s only when we go through stuff with God that we really grow and mature in our faith. 

And the second quote is from a Daily Bread Devotional footnote that dispenses these words of wisdom: ‘The best reason for hope is God’s faithfulness.’ Oh my people, my people, that is indeed gospel truth! Our God is so wonderfully faithful that there’s nothing we can’t face when we place our hope and trust in Him! All praise and glory be to Him, my faithful brethren! If we were even one smidgen as faithful as our great God, what amazing changes would take place in our troubled world! 

That brings us to these intriguing and most interesting, uplifting and reassuring words of scripture found in the Book of Hebrews. ‘And having a high priest (Jesus) over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)’ (Heb.10:21-23) 

Oh friends, if there’s anything I can personally testify to it’s God’s faithfulness, because that’s the only way that I can write this Bit everyday. He called me to do it, and without His faithful help to do His work, I’d be lost without a prayer and /or a hope. But through His faithfulness, His guidance and assurance, I come down here every morning, not knowing what I’m going to write about most days, but eventually write more than I can ask or imagine. 

Like today, I only had the beginning and the end, absolutely nothing in the middle. But look at how much I’ve written. And most of the time it does make sense. (smile) And those of you who are mature in faith know what I’m talking about, because you’ve put in the time and effort and patience and waiting and seen Him work wonders on your behalf. 

For you young believers though, you just have to take our word for it and go up to bat assuredly with your great God, for that’s the only way you’ll ever discover His true faithfulness. You’ve got to go through the fire with Him and experience Him bringing you out like the three Hebrew Boys, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, without even the smell of smoke on you. (Dan.3:27) 

Yes mih people, faith and faithfulness are works in progress, you’ll never stop needing them and having to grow in them until the day you go over to the other side. And don’t think that just because you seem mature in faith that you’ve conquered it all nuh, because the more you grow in faith and get promoted, the more the Lord will test you. 

Oh we don’t want to hear that, but it’s an unavoidable fact. We like to think that once we reach a certain level, we’ll free from all temptations and tests and troubles, but Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians seem to contradict that. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) 

So friends, that seems to mean until we die or Christ comes back we’ll be growing and becoming more Christ-like every day. That’s the Lord’s plan, and once He begins it, He won’t stop until we go home to Him, so we’d better be prepared to face adversity and negative stuff throughout our lifetime. And the best way to do that is through hope, faith, trust and surrender in Almighty God. 

As Cousin Sol so wisely puts it: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’ (Prov.3:5-6) There’s no wiser advice in all the world my brethren, so please let’s take it to heart as we go home declaring (yeh!) our Thursday Blessings. Out loud now, because a blessing is not truly a blessing until it’s declared. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And every Thursday I have to warn us that those blessings are not granted for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with the less fortunate, with those who don’t know Christ. So let’s go out and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…and hope is that which springs eternal from God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2019 Matthew 25:40.

Matthew 25:40.    ​Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
 

Ah well, another glorious summer Saturday in the year of 2019! So, whenever you rise and shine, please enjoy it as though it was your last day on planet earth, for who knows, it just might well be. (smile) A lot of people who went to bed hale and hearty last night, did not get up this morning, for one reason or another. And the Lord died that we could have joy and peace right down here on this conflicted earth, not wait until we get to heaven. 

So despite our circumstances, let’s all give a shout of joy and declare: ‘All praise and glory be to the Most High God, our heavenly Father, who dearly LOVES us and looks after us like His own beloved children; who has promised never to leave nor forsake us and to see us through whatever troubles come our way in this earthly life!’ Give Him much thanks and praise for His awesome faithfulness, LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness my believing brethren! 

Ah friends, when you really get to know our heavenly Father, you’ll be amazed at how wonderful He is! But it takes time and serious commitment to get to that point; things that not too many of us are willing to spend or give, but we still want to receive all of His blessings. It doesn’t work that way though. 

As Moses told the Israelites so long ago: ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut. 4:29) And in all those years, that hasn’t changed one iota my people! So let’s all seek Him sincerely nuh, starting Right Here and Now! 

And enough palavering, (smile) let’s see what words of wisdom our friend Anselm had to share with us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.’ And that’s ever so true! 

A lot of us sit around and expect others to make us happy, but that’s not very realistic, since all of us have different agendas, and very few of them in this selfish and greedy world are to make others happy. They are more self-centred and concentrate on making I, me and myself happy. So if you want to be happy, you’ve got to get out there and do it for yourself! Nobody’s going to do it for you. 

And then there’s this: ‘Just remember: The people that say, ‘your dreams are impossible’ have already quit on theirs.’ More likely than not yes! Yeh friends, in this world there seem to be many more negative thinking people than positive thinking ones, even amongst our Christian community…

Brother! I can’t spell for hell this morning! I made more spelling mistakes in that last sentence than I’ve made in the rest of the Bit. Even spelled brother wrong! (smile) But moving along. Too many of us tend to discourage others from pursuing their dreams. But what’s a dream eh? Basically something that seems impossible in the naked light of day. Remember though, that with Jesus on our side, any and everything is possible! 

Consequently, ‘There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.’ And is that ever so true! For once you think you’ll fail, you most likely will, because you introduce into your psyche a negative, self-defeating idea, which then tends to manifest itself in your attitude and the level of work you’re willing to put into making the dream a reality. 

Like a li’l mole, it just keeps eating away at your creativity and you end up not putting in the amount of work really need to make the project a success. So don’t listen to the naysayers…listen to Almighty God! That means, the first thing to do is to find out from God, whether the dream fits His will and purpose for your life, for if it doesn’t, then it won’t ever succeed, no matter how much effort and elbow grease you put into it. 

Now here’s this very interesting quote: ‘Are you living out things that will affect your résumé or your eulogy? How would your life change if you lived each day with your eulogy in mind?’ That’s a very good question! One we should all take a moment or two to ponder. It’s basically asking are we living our lives to please man or God; to meet the world’s standards or God’s? 

And it’s strange, but I heard a preacher ask that very question recently, just in a different form: ‘What would we like our eulogy to be: praise for wealth and power, worldly things, or praise for being godly and Christ-like?’ I suggest the latter is the more worthwhile, but it doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process, which means you have to start living it NOW! 

And the final quote asks very significantly: ‘What needs around you touch your heart? What’s one thing you can do to help others—even if it seems insignificant?’ Right there friends is the heart of our Christian ministry; helping others. Remember Jesus said that He came to seek and to save those who were lost. (Luke 19:10) 

But even more importantly listen to His words re when He comes back to set up His kingdom and He sets the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left and invite the sheep to live with Him for ever after, while condemning the goats to hellfire and eternal damnation. Why? Because the sheep, true believers, helped those who were sick and suffering, lost and lonely, while the goats did not. 

‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me.’ (Matt.25:35-36) And when the righteous ask when they did all of that, He will reply: ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’  

Yes friends, our earthly job includes helping the poor, the lost and the unfortunate, just like Jesus did. So let’s get with it nuh, and stop concentrating solely on ourselves and our friends and families, because there is so much unmet need out there in today’s crazy world, that even the most insignificant help we can give will be joyfully looked upon by heaven and in due time, well rewarded. Much LOVE!

…you can’t call yourself a Christian…and don’t help anybody in need…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 January 2019 Isaiah 43:2.

Isaiah 43:2.   ​When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.
 

Welcome to a brand new day friends! Oh I know that some of you have begun your day long ago, and those of you over the pond are closer to finishing it, but the ole fella, with the Lord’s help, is just beginning his, somewhat late yes, but at least I’m around to begin! (smile) And that’s something we ought to give our wonderful God much thanks and praise for, so please join me in a short prayer. 

‘Oh God of our fathers, we thank you for allowing us to see this bright and splendid day! Our aches and pains, our worries and problems have not gone away, and we’re still living in a sinful world, but we joyfully remember Your promise that by the stripes of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we will be healed, and by the spilling of His holy blood, reconciled, justified, sanctified, and resurrected to salvation and eternal life. 

And we know that You are a Deity who keeps ALL of His promises, so we’re not worried. Consequently we give You much thanks and praise for all the mercy, grace, forgiveness and LOVING-kindness that you’ve bestowed on us in these trying times, and we ask that you continue to bless and keep us under Your safe, caring and comforting wings, till whenever You think it necessary to call us home to heaven, your wonderful place of retreat and retirement. All this we pray in Jesus’ name!’ And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful, ‘AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, I know that both you and the Lord are chuckling because I promised a short prayer, but you all know that the ole fella is a long-winded soul, so you just have to be godly and forgive me. (smile) Now let’s reinforce that short prayer with a couple of powerful scriptural acclamations. 

Here we go: ‘I am an overcomer through Christ!’ ‘I am above and not beneath! The head and not the tail! (Deut.28:13) ‘I am more than a conqueror, through Christ who LOVES me.’ (Rom.8:37) And this last one is one that I need to believe ever so much in my current state of renovation. (smile) ‘And the God of all grace, who has called me to His eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will himself restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast.’ (1 Pet. 5:10) 

And all I can say to that friends, is ‘Glory to our great God!’ That’s because He never leaves us in the lurch, never carries, or allows us to be carried where we can’t be reached by His strong, outstretched arm; never gives us more than we can bear, and even when it seems that way, He will eventually make a way for us to handle our circumstances. 

As Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Now friends, that doesn’t mean we will escape all temptation, or all rough and trying circumstances, but that the Lord will bring us through them safely, for meeting and experiencing temptations and trials is an essential part of our Christian growth, we can only become more Christ-like and grow more godly when we experience some sort of negative experience. And that brings us to this wonderful passage and promise of scripture, uttered through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, as he talks about ‘The Lord, the ONLY Redeemer.’ 

Listen up carefully: ‘But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee. 

For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable (honoured), and I have LOVED thee: therefore I will give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather them from the west.’ (Is.43:1-5) 

Oh my people, my people, what more can our God promise us eh, so that we’ll stop worrying and place our total trust in Him eh? And throughout His Holy Word, the Bible, you’ve seen numerous instances of where He has kept His promise, especially in redeeming us through the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus Christ! So let’s rise up to the heights of wisdom in these last time nuh, let’s sincerely accept Him with thankful hearts, minds, bodies and souls, as He so greatly desires. 

Now let’s go home declaring (Chuh…wrong again!) the wonderful Thursday Blessings that He’s so wonderfully bestowed on us sincere believers. All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And the next step is to share those blessings with others, for that’s a large part of the reason they were granted to us. Much LOVE!

…those who enjoy God’s blessings…will NEVER pay attention to the enemy again…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   ​Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
 
Aye mih beauties, welcome to spring time in December! It’s raining outside, and they say it might go up to as much as ten degrees Celsius today! Brother! Imagine that scene at the end of December nuh! I feel sorry for the purists who did not get their white Christmas and might not even get to ski as they ring in the New Year. But what yuh going to do eh? Everything’s changing, and changing fast too! I remember the days when you could be assured of snow, and plenty too, for Christmas! 

The duchess and I might even have wasted money paying for snow removal, since we can’t do it ourselves any longer, and there hasn’t been any to remove so far. But like my friend Scotty, I’m the eternal optimist! (smile) We will get snow, it’s only a matter of time…and then we’ll get so much, that we’ll all hold our heads and bawl! Matter fix! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman is singing this spring-like Friday morning nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And another long weekend…in cool weather to boot, as New Year’s rolls on in! Wonder what 2019 going to hold for we eh? Most likely the same old slaving for the slave driver…but we going to cross that path when we come to it yes! Right now is celebration time, ringing out the Christmas season and ringing in the New Year! 

And brother, what a Christmas we had; food and drinks and parties galore, though not as much presents under the tree as usual! But everybody was happy and had a good time. So we can say that Christmas 2018 was wonderful, as we thank the Lord for Fridays, weekends and Christmas time!’ 

Ah mih people, I do hope that we all had a good Christmas, and that unlike the workingman, we included Christ in it, because in spite of everything the unbelievers say and do, He is the reason for all this celebration, every year, in the month of December.

Let’s also hope that we didn’t overdo any aspect of the celebrations, kept Granny’s warning in mind: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And consequently, did not give the always lurking enemy a chance to get even a toehold in our souls, for we all know that’s his avowed purpose. 

Now let’s sing our weekend song, our Friday Chant. It’s not as colourful as the workingman’s but it serves our purposes admirably. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

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

Yeh friends, our song elicits a modicum of circumspection that’s absent from the workingman’s; we tend to keep narrower borders, so that the enemy isn’t given an open invitation to infiltrate our souls. That’s why Peter steadfastly warns us: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Satan is only interested in stealing our peace and joy found in Christ Jesus! When he has us low down and miserable and doubting then he laughs and believes he’s won. But the truth is he can NEVER WIN unless we allow him to, for Jesus has already won the battle for death, hell and the grave, He has the keys to eternity, and the prince of darkness is a defeated foe! He’s only trying to fool us into thinking that he has some sort of authority and power. But he’s actually a toothless tiger! (smile) 

Nonetheless, we still need to follow Peter’s advice: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) Yeh mih people, all of us experience some kind of affliction in this earthly life, because it’s a fallen world. Jesus said it clearly: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) 

Oh friends, I know that’s easier said than done, but Peter also has some advice for how we can best resist the adversary. Listen up: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7) Oh faithful believers, truer words were never spoken! Our heavenly Father cares for us more than we can ever imagine! 

And He is the ONLY ONE who can help us to steadfastly resist the enemy! But we do need to acknowledge His supremacy, and humbly come to Him asking for His help. And please note, He will NEVER turn away anyone who comes to him sincerely and humbly asking for assistance. That’s his ever-faithful promise! So let’s not be proud and foolish nuh, thinking we can do it on our own, because we can’t. 

But if we seek the Lord diligently, Peter promises: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen and settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) Wow mih brethren, what a wonderful promise! We can’t expect life to be all wine, roses and song, there must be some tough times so that we can grow spiritually, become more Christ-like! 

However, when we’ve valiantly withstood those times, with Christ’s help of course, then our wonderful God will indeed establish and strengthen us in His might and power. That’s why Peter ends thus: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5:11) Oh what a great God we serve and worship my people! Let’s not forget that He is our Alpha and Omega, our First and Last, our Everything! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…is the ONLY sensible way…to live this earthly life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2018 Luke 1:34.

Luke 1:34.   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?
 
So it’s a tad wet, and cloudy and still a li’l snowy from yesterday…so what? What’s the big deal eh? It’s Friday, that’s all we’re concerned about! And Friday in the Christmas season to boot! That means plenty shopping, baking, cooking, singing Christmas songs, plenty lights on trees and all over the place, hugs and kisses a plenty, plus a whole lot of pleasant greetings like: ‘Merry Christmas!’ and ‘Happy Holidays!’ etc. etc. 

But hopefully friends, underneath all that joyfulness, let’s hope the real reason for Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ surfaces and makes a true difference, not only in outward affection, but also through sincere internal appreciation and true godliness. Amen! 

And there’s nobody singing louder and more joyfully than the ordinary workingman! He’s been on his soapbox from the beginning! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday in the Christmastime! Blow me down! Christmas is just around the corner! And I don’t care about the shopping and the gifts nuh…cause I have no money to buy any! But who want to put themselves in debt…let them go right ahead yes! 

Me, I only concerned about the food and drink, and the nice time when we playing music, singing and dancing! I might even go to church for the Christmas…if I sober enough. Hn, hn, hn! But putting all joke aside, Christmas is the best time of the year oui: yuh see all yuh friends and family who you ent see for ages…and yuh nice to even the ones and them yuh doh like! Heh, heh! 

Wish it could be Christmas all year round yes! And this year it going to have plenty holidays too, because Christmas and Boxing Day on a Tuesday and Wednesday. Mama Yo! Ah can’t wait to celebrate them two days off from the massa work nuh, where he have to pay we for not working! He face going to be sour like a lime! But thank God for Fridays, weekends and Christmas time oui!’ 

Ah mih people, the workingman does have a way with words and thoughts yes. But he does have a couple of good points, like we even nice to people we don’t like, and oh…if the atmosphere, not necessarily the festive aspect, but the peace and good tidings could be present in our awful society all year round…what a wonderful world this would be! But I guess that’s just wishful thinking. No reason though why we can’t hope for it and have faith that Jesus one day will provide it. 

 Anyway, let’s sing our weekend song nuh, our Friday Chant. It might not be as colourful and imaginative as the workingman’s but it does suit our Christ-like purposes admirably. 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!’ 

Yes my Christian brethren, we need to remember that even in our joyful times not to go too far out on the limb, to stay within the borders of rationality, so that we don’t open up ourselves to attacks from the enemy; physical, spiritual and emotional, because he’s just waiting like a beast of prey to attack us on any level he can.

But enough of all of that, let’s get back to one of the most wonderful stories ever told; that of the angel Gabriel informing Mary, Jesus’ future mother, of what was going to happen. 

Remember yesterday Gabriel gave her the whole spiel about; ‘she’d found favour with God,’ she’d have a son. ‘His name would be JESUS,’ ‘called the Son of the Highest,’ ‘given the throne of his father David,’ ‘reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Now how would any of us good, strong, mature Christian folk, in these modern times, react to that information eh? Either by laughing or being scared to death. But Mary didn’t even bat an eyelid. She merely asked a simple but very practical question to all that info: Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?’  

Yeh friends, a very sensible and mature answer and question from a teenage girl in a backwater town in very ancient times! How could she get pregnant and bear a child without knowing a man eh? And though her faith seemed strong, she obviously hadn’t expected to be dealing with the Creator of the universe. 

And in like fashion, the angel Gabriel gave Mary a simple and straightforward answer to her million…no billion-dollar question. That’s how expensive and controversial the situation would have been back then. 

‘And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth (John the Baptist’s mother), she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:35-37) 

Now friends, a lot of us spout that line, but how many of us really believe it and try to action it eh? Not very many! But hear Mary’s response to the whole contrary, mixed up situation: ‘And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Now that’s why I LOVE Mary! After Jesus, she’s my most favourite character in the Good Book. From the get go she was mature and faithful about the very preposterous situation. She didn’t hem and haw like so many of us would have done…even those of supposedly great faith. Even knowing the horrific situation those things would cause in her life, she said bring it on without a fuss. 

Oh my people, my people, I sure hope we can use Mary as a shining example when the Lord calls us to do something that seems difficult and overwhelming. Remember He NEVER gives us more than we can bear, and ALWAYS helps us to complete the task. So there’s no need to be afraid or worried whenever He calls! Much LOVE!

…when the Lord says jump…it’s best to say…how high Lord…the very first time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2018 Luke 1:27.

Luke 1:27.   To a virgin espoused (engaged, betrothed) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
 

Aye friends, is Thursday…and we still alive and kicking! Thanks and glory be to our wonderful heavenly Father for that energizing gift of life. Life might be a tad on the rough side, but our God is good, so we don’t have anything to worry about. Bless His Holy Name! 

And outside is white; a decent amount of snow fell during the night. It wasn’t there when I went to bed, at some early hour (smile) but I looked outside around four a.m. and there it was, covering everything, blanketing it all white. And I said yes, today is the perfect day for that poem! 

Hn! I’m talking about one I recently read on the wall of my young daughter’s room, something she must have written ages ago when she toyed with the idea of becoming a writer. There is no title attached to the poem, but I’m naming it ‘The Alluring Beauty of Snow.’ Hope that title satisfies you daughter? (smile) 

Now please read with me, ‘The Alluring Beauty of Snow,’ by Lisa O’Brien. ‘I watched the snow drift lazily down from the overcast sky. I marvelled at the breathtaking beauty of the picture being painted right before my eyes: Snowflakes gently caressed the barren branches of the trees, leaving them awash in a dazzling whiteness. Virgin snow carpeted the streets and rooftops…

And if I didn’t know better, I would have sworn that thousands of tiny little diamonds winked out at me that early December morn… like a buried treasure…a fantasy that wasn’t real… that was intangible as the wispy cotton of the clouds! And then I waited…waited with a breathless yet uneasy sense of anticipation, for something to come along and mar this beautiful scene of serenity and perfection.’ 

Yeah mih young D! That was exactly how it looked out there this early December morn! But sadly, as always, mankind eventually comes along and dirties everything he touches. And the snow on the ground is no longer virginal, but has been raped by the cars and the feet and the bikes we use to get us around in this fallen world. 

And for those of you who have never seen virgin snow covering everything in a dim, white darkness, (smile) it does look really beautiful. But trudging and driving through it is a horse of an entirely different colour. But enough about snow, it’s the Christmas season, so let’s deal with the real reason for the season; Jesus! 

Wow friends, what a mighty name that is! Wherever it’s spoken it causes tongues to wag, either in joy, or displeasure. But the name of Jesus is never mouthed without discussion, even to the point of coming to blows. Isn’t that strange, when He is the Prince of Peace? That just goes to show the power that’s inherent in the name! 

Now let’s have a glimpse of how the whole thing began nuh. The Good Book tells us: ‘And in the sixth month (of Elizabeth’s pregnancy; John the Baptist’s mother) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused (engaged, betrothed) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail (Rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Luke 1:26-28) 

Ah friends, sometimes the way our God introduces Himself and His desires can be truly heart stopping. If our hearts aren’t strong we can certainly go under. Just imagine this teenaged Jewish girl nuh, sitting quietly in her house one afternoon and all of a sudden this angel shows up in all His glory and greets her in such a gracious manner. How would you react eh? It would obviously be a rather perplexing situation to us mere mortals! 

But the Good Book continues: ‘And when she (Mary) saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast (considered) in her mind what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.’ (Luke 1:29)

But our God is so wonderful that whenever He comes a calling with a task, He never leaves us without a decent explanation…according to His standards that is. (smile) We might however not be satisfied with His explanation, because He always leaves it somewhat open-ended, leaving room for our faith to step up and fill the gap. 

‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS (Yahweh is Salvation). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Mama Yo mih breddren! Can you imagine Mary’s consternation when Gabriel lays all that heavy stuff on her? She’s already engaged, but then she shall have a son, apparently out of wedlock. Can you imagine what her small, closed knit, hypocritical society will do to her? She would be the absolute scorn of the whole town! And poor Joseph would be the laughingstock! 

But friends, our God does not put us in situations we, or He can’t handle. Please remember these immortal words of Bruh Paul on the Lord’s behalf, and let our faith be strong and steadfast in whatever He asks us to do. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Yeh friends, if God calls us and we sincerely acknowledge that calling with genuine LOVE for Him, then He will eventually work it all out for our good. That’s His promise! And our ever-faithful God NEVER reneges on a promise! So we can afford to stand strong in any circumstance whatsoever! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, goodness and mercy that the Lord has bestowed on those who LOVE Him and willingly do His work!

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

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

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

And His raison d’etre (purpose) for granting us so many wonderful blessings, is for us to go out and share them with the less fortunate. So, especially at this Christmas time, when there are so many poor and lonely folks out there, let’s share generously with them nuh, so that they too can enjoy the season of Christ’s birth; God’s greatest gift to man! Much LOVE!

…sharing with others…is Christ-like…and what Christianity is truly all about…

 

 

 

 

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