Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2021 Luke 14:33.

Luke 14:33.     ​So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

It’s gathering time again friends! Time to gather, praise and worship our heavenly Father on this first Sunday after Easter, the greatest day in the Christian faith! Wow! Please, let’s always keep that awesome day of Christ’s triumphant resurrection at the forefront of our memories nuh, because without it, there would be no Christianity, forgiveness of sins or basic salvation and eternity in heaven with Christ our Lord and Saviour! Glory to God the Father, who gave His only Son as a living sacrifice to pay for our sins! 

So, as always, let’s open with a song of praise and worship. And the lyrics to today’s hymn is one of the many written by American hymn writer Judson Van De Venter (1855-1939), the tune composed by Winfield Weeden. The song was first published in 1896, and it’s still one of our favourites today. We know it as ‘All to Jesus I Surrender.’ Now, as we raise our voices in harmony, in sacrificial praise, let’s sincerely open our hearts, souls and minds and surrender our all to Jesus, our High Priest, Lord and Saviour, Advocate, Prince of Peace, Mighty Counsellor, and all the other titles He holds, because it is right proper for us to do so. 

In an up-tempo beat, because we’re celebrating, not mourning: ‘All to Jesus I surrender. All to Him I freely give; I will ever LOVE and trust Him, In His presence daily live. (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all.) All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow, Worldly pleasures all forsaken. Take me, Jesus, take me now. (Refrain: I surrender all..) All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Saviour, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. 

(Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy LOVE and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame; Oh, the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory, to His name! (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all…I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all…’  

Yes friends, that was most excellent! And doesn’t it make you feel good, make you feel free and unburdened? Surrendering yourself to Jesus certainly does that! It lightens your load and puts some pep in your hitherto haunting step. So why are we so reluctant to surrender our all to Christ eh? We might surrender some, to Him, but too many refuse to surrender all. But that’s what He desires: ALL of us! As the old saying goes: All or nothing at all! 

And this explanation from the hymnary.org website puts it in an interesting manner. ‘It is human nature to seek power and accomplishment through conflict, hence the popularity of athletic contests. Defeat in a championship game is humiliating, and giving up is even more so. Nevertheless, Christ calls His followers to totally surrender themselves to Him. 

He described it this way: “Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:31-33 ESV) 

There’s no mincing of words in that statement my brethren. Remember the rich young ruler, who wanted to be perfect and had been faithfully keeping the commandments all His life? ‘Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt. 19:21-22) 

Then Jesus told the disciples about it being easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, and they were all amazed, wondering then, just who could be saved. ‘But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this impossible, but with God, all things are possible. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?’ (Matt. 19:23-27) 

Oh friends, Jesus is not a hard task master, He just wants to see how faithful we are. In any case, when we give up earthly treasures on His behalf, He will repay us with even greater heavenly ones. Hear His answer to Peter’s question. ‘And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands (property), for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.’ (Matt. 19: 28-29) 

Yuh see people, sacrificing for Jesus here on earth will be handsomely rewarded in heaven. We’ve got to note though, Jesus’ last word on the subject. ‘But many that are first shall be last: and many that are last shall be first.’ (Matt. 19:30) Yes my fellow saints, the value system in heaven is very different to that here on earth. Not all that are important down here will be important in heaven. And likewise, not all that are despised and rejected will be so in heaven. 

As one commentator realistically puts it: ‘Don’t get caught up in the world’s way of ranking things; it’s too prone to error. Those who are first in the opinion of others (or first in their own opinion!) may be surprised to learn, on Judgment Day, they are last in God’s opinion.’ 

And I think that’s a very good note for us to end on today. Let’s remember it, so we don’t get any false opinions about our importance, be it here on earth, or up in heaven. Much LOVE!

…to get ALL that Jesus offers…we have to give Him ALL of us… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8             

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 December 2019 Luke 1:28.

Luke 1:28.    ​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.
 

Give it to me one time: ‘Wednesday!’ Give it to me two times: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday!’ Give it to me three times: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday!’ Give it to me four times: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday!’ 

And now we sing: ‘Thank You Lord for this new day, even though it looks cloudy and dark! Thank You Lord for your new mercies, your compassions, that are new every morning! Thank You Lord for Jesus; Your wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour, who lights up our lives with His LOVE and Goodness! Thank you Lord for Your own amazing LOVE and faithfulness, that’s taken away the fearful thoughts of hell, and given us the glorious hope of heaven! We LOVE You and praise Your Holy Name! Now and forever more! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, those are only a few of the things that we have to be thankful for this hump day – this Wednesday morning early in Advent, as we prepare for Christ’s second coming and celebrate His first in the upcoming season of Christmas. Yes, we’re all about celebrations and gifts and food and drink, and the numerous other things we do at this time of year. We’re even nice to our enemies, (smile) wishing them ‘Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays’ etc. etc. The sad part though is that so many of us forget the real reason for the celebrations; the birth of Christ! 

We’re quick to accept and honour the man-made traditions, but the real spirit, the real importance of what happened some two thousand years ago doesn’t really concern us as much as it ought to. Where would we be if Christ hadn’t been born in that manger on that fateful day eh? Dead and dying, eternally separated from the Father, only fit to associate with the evil one. And where would our Christian faith be but for that miraculous happening? Non-existent, to say the least! That means we wouldn’t have all the blessings and promises that we currently have because of the Father’s LOVE and largesse. 

Unfortunately, not enough supposed believers contemplate these kinds of things; we don’t plumb the depths of our faith to find out why it is what is. We just get caught up in all the rigmarole of the world; the commerce, the bright lights, and what have you. That’s not good enough friends, we ought to be taking the Christmas season a li’l more seriously, trying to delve into the scriptures concerning it, and learning how important it is for the very essence of our beings. And one of the most important things we ought to consider and truly believe is the virgin birth of Christ, because if it isn’t true, then our whole faith is lies and utter foolishness. 

For if Christ wasn’t supernaturally planted by the Holy Ghost in the womb of his Mother Mary, then He could not be God, but a mere man like us, and consequently could not redeem us from our sins and all the other stuff He’s done. And all of that calls for a large measure of faith, not by seeing things as they seem with the normal eyes, but of knowing and acknowledging the might and miraculous power of our heavenly Father, who can do any and everything, even make a woman conceive without knowing a man. (smile) 

And why should that be such a big thing these days eh, when we do almost the same thing through artificial insemination? Many woman have children now without knowing the physical aspect of a man by having his sperm injected into their wombs. But don’t get carried away, (smile) we still need the man to get the sperm! That leads to this: to deny Christ’s virgin birth is to deny His deity, and thus question the integrity of the scriptures. But thankfully, we faithful Christians don’t do that. We know that Christ had the human nature of His mother and the divine, godly nature of His Father! 

And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Give thanks to God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Ghost; our triune God!’ And so we should! 

Now let’s look at some of the scripture associated with Christ’s incarnation nuh. The Good Book says: ‘And in the sixth month (of Elisabeth’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 (betrothed, engaged) 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. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast her mind (considered) what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.’ (Luke 1:26-29) 

Oh, it’s certainly reasonable for a teenaged girl in a backwater town to be somewhat confused by such and exalted greeting. But our God is a gentle and understanding deity. ‘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) 

Ah my fellow believers, who but our great God could come up with such a plan eh? So let’s ponder that scripture today nuh, and contemplate on our possible reaction to such a momentous opportunity. Obviously we won’t be offered that one now, (smile) but with our very imaginative and challenging God, there’s no telling what miraculous opportunity He will still pitch to us. So we’ve got to be prepared. 

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 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 believe it, and you’ll certainly see it! Much LOVE!

…let’s keep Christ where He belongs…in Christmas…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.
 

Welcome, welcome, one and all to rainy day Tuesday! Yes the rain has not really eased up nuh. It drizzled most of the night. Good thing it’s mostly drizzles and not big downpours. I guess we can be thankful for small mercies there. But chuh! I’m tired talking about the rain yes! (smile) 

If it’s going to fall, just let it fall and ignore it. It’s got to stop at some time since the Lord promised that He wouldn’t ever destroy the earth by flooding again…but please note He didn’t say anything about no warnings by flooding! (smile) 

Anyway, remember last week when we heard from Gramps Schuller (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional on allowing trouble to lift you up, to let it be a golden opportunity to rise higher? Well today we’re going to continue in that vein, where he says: ‘Let Your Problems Lead You to God!’ And isn’t that the wise and sensible thing to do! 

Now listen as Gramps Schuller elucidates: ‘No problem leaves you where it found you. Read this affirmation out loud: “I will be a different person when this problem is past. I will be a wiser, stronger, more patient person; or I will be sour, cynical, bitter, disillusioned, and angry. It all depends on what I do with this problem. 

Each problem can make me a better person or a worse person. It can bring me closer to God, or it can drive me away from God. It can build my faith or it can shatter my faith. It all depends on my attitude. I intend to be a better person when this problem leaves me than I was when it met me.’ 

Glory be my precious people! That’s the ONLY wise way to go! Too many of us though go the wrong way, and then allow the problems to leave us BITTER and not BETTER! That’s a fool’s wisdom my faithful brethren! As true believers in Christ we are supposed to come up over the problem, and the first step in doing that is taking it to the Almighty, to whom we ascribe that nothing is impossible, and who promises to faithfully help us solve all our problems. 

So if we have someone to whom nothing is impossible, and whose help is assured, why don’t we run to Him with every problem eh? I’d guess that foolish pride or disbelief, or a combination of both keeps us from running to God first with our problems. Only when we discover we can’t handle them by ourselves, do we go cap in hand, miserably seeking the Father’s help. 

And one of the many ways He helps us is by providing protective armour for us in our earthly battle with the forces of evil and ungodliness. As we saw yesterday, Bruh Paul said that it was ever so important we: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes friends, the devil is always out there like a roaring, but toothless lion, looking for someone to trip up and deceive, and if we’re not wearing our protective spiritual armour, then we’re easy pickings for him. 

Now let’s refresh our memories about what exactly is this spiritual armour we’re talking about. Listen to Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Oh my brethren when we have those necessary pieces of protection, helmet, sword, shoes, shield and breastplate, then and only then are we ready to engage the enemy in battle. 

Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about those individual pieces of spiritual armour. ‘6:14-17. The whole armour of God consists of six pieces. (1) Truth (v.14a) is a knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. The ancient soldier’s loins (waist) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place, by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the truth of scripture. 

(2). The breastplate of righteousness (v14b) may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (righteousness) (3) Preparation of the gospel of peace (v15) means “eagerness that comes from the gospel of peace.” 

That is, as the Roman soldier wore special shoes called ‘caligae’ on his feet, enabling him to advance against the enemy, so the Christian must have on his feet (possess) a sense of “eagerness” or “willingness” to advance against the devil and take the fight to him. Such “eagerness” to contend with Satan “comes from the gospel of peace.” The gospel gives peace to the believer, freeing him from anxiety though he advances against such a powerful opponent. 

(4) The shield of (which is) faith (v.16) means taking God at His word by believing His promises. Such trust will protect one from doubts induced by Satan. (5) The helmet of salvation (v.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8) they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes this helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is, the certainty (assurance) of salvation. (6) The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God(v.17b): The Greek term rendered “word” is not ‘logos,’ referring to the whole word of God, but ‘rhema,’ referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.’ 

Oh my people, I know it all sounds very complicated, but if we sincerely and regularly read, study and meditate on God’s Word, most of those things will come naturally to us. We’ll know the truth of His Word, as well as have a good knowledge of Scripture, that will lead us to a moral and godly life, and the peace that we find in the Word will just make us eager to go out and fight God’s battles, protected by the assurance of salvation and the strong and sturdy shield of our faith, with Bible verses just saturating in our hearts with which to rebuke the devil! 

Remember though friends that the Word is sharp like a two edged sword that cuts right down to the bone! It’s a dangerous weapon my people, so we have to be very careful how we wield it. (smile) Anyway, enough on the spiritual armour topic, it’s turned out to be longer than I planned, but it’s all for our benefit. 

And having absorbed all the above, (smile) let’s go home fully clothed in our spiritual armour sincerely and vociferously declaring (bingo!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are! All together now: ‘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!’ 

Isn’t that just a wonderful situation my faithful saints of Christ! Now let’s go out and share His awesome LOVE and amazing friendship, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…only when faced with adversity…can we know the true strength and maturity…of our Christian faith…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2019 Psalm 31:7.

Psalm 31:7.   ​I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities (troubles).
 

‘Saturday, oh Saturday; day of not getting up early, of sleeping in, of lying on the couch like a couch potatoe and just letting the world pass me by…Oh how I LOVE thee! Let me count the ways…’ (smile) Yeh friends, Saturday is one of our friendliest days in this busy modern universe, although for some it’s rougher than having to get up and go to work because they have all the household chores to do that have been put off during the week. 

And no, I did not sleep in, I’ve been down here for a while fighting with my computer, it wanting to do its own thing and not my will, then having the audacity to freeze up on me. Oh the boldfaceness of these technological do-dads eh! But it makes me smile, because that’s just the way we behave with our heavenly Father; audaciously wanting to do our will and not His. And when He steps on us, we quick to cry foul. Hn! Hn! But that’s His prerogative as our Maker and Controller. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one answers a question that many of ask: “Why am I as I am? To understand that of any person, his whole life, from Birth must be reviewed. All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.” 

Yeh friends, we can’t disconnect ourselves from anything that has ever happened to us, because they all come together to make us who we are. And then there’s this: ‘Read absolutely everything you get your hands on because you’ll never know where you’ll get an idea from….’ Holy smokes! Reading! What is that eh? Our children don’t know the a from b about that! 

Neither do some of us big people. It’s only the nonsense found on the tube and texting the mindless new language that’s developed for these technological toys! One friend sent me an e-mail yesterday with some symbols that seemed to tell me to stick whatever it was where the sun doesn’t shine, only to find out that they meant praying hands. (smile) 

Ah mih people, reading is the best form of quiet recreation, and it also opens up your mind to so many other things and places. And as for me, you can’t be a writer unless you read. There’s nothing like curling up with a good book and just getting lost in it. Even if it’s an electronic one! (smile) 

And we all know this one: ‘If you don’t stand for something you fall for everything.’ How true that is! Being wishy-washy, double-minded and that sort of thing only makes our lives bounce insecurely from one thing to another, with no steadfastness on the horizon. That’s why as Christians, we are encouraged, and admonished to STAND UP for Jesus, because then we have security and sense of purpose! 

And that segues very nicely into this next quote: ‘Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again. Most of us adults are so afraid, so cautious, so ‘safe,’ and therefore so shrinking and rigid and afraid that it is why so many humans fail. Most middle-aged adults have resigned themselves to failure.’ And that’s no lie! But please remember the old saying: ‘try, try again…until you succeed.’ And as believers in Jesus Christ that should be one of the top priorities in our lives, because in Jesus’ kingdom there is NO GIVING UP! 

And though we won’t like this last quote that complements the others very well, it’s very true: ‘There is no better school than that of adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ 

Ah mih people, it’s only in adversity that we grow and hopefully learn from our mistakes. So although many of us are going through some rough times now, please remember they are building blocks for our future, they are the experiences as we said above that make us who we are, and lead us to a future and a hope as the Lord promised. (Jer.29:11) And also that ALL things work together for good to those who LOVE God and are called to do His work. (Rom.8:28) 

That means whatever we’re going through has a definite meaning and correlation to the plan that the Lord has in mind for us and there’s no need to run from or bemoan too much the adversities that come against us, for the Lord would not have allowed them if they were going to damage us. Remember He said that when we walk through the fire or the flood, He would always be with us. (Is.43:2) 

And since many of us have been walking with God for sometime we must have seen the goodness of His hand on our lives, more than once too, thus we ought to be able to say like Bruh David does in our Bit: ‘I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities (troubles).’ 

Yeh friends, when we can say that in our times of trouble then we know that our faith is strong. For as Cousin Sol so truthfully and plainly says: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’ (Prov.24:10) And the scholars tell us: ’24:10. Strength in the face of adversity is the true test of one’s endurance.’ And in terms of our Christian faith and maturity, that is oh so true. 

And yes, it is not easy to be strong when troubles strike, but we also have that most faithful and true promise of Jesus to hold on to. ‘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) Now friends, as supposedly true believers in Christ, if we can’t rest in, and on that promise…then I don’t know what else to say nuh. Much LOVE!

…adversity brings out the best…in true believers…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2019 Psalm 119:133.

Psalm 119:133.   ​Order (direct) my steps in thy word: and let not any (no) iniquity (sin) have dominion (rule) over me.
 
Ah friends, can someone explain this contradiction for me please: Why do I go to bed feeling fairly agile and healthy, but wake up a few hours later feeling lousy; tired, aching, grouchy, miserable and pained in both body and soul eh? Isn’t rest and sleep supposed to renew and refresh you, make you feel better and not worse? Between both of us, I’m simply tired of it yes…and I might just give up sleep and rest completely! (smile) 

And I know that some of you, my readers, also have that age old and aging problem, and you’d like nothing better than for us to have a pity party this cloudy Wednesday morning…But sorry, it’s not going to happen! (smile) Instead we’re going to put our trust and faith in the Lord God Almighty, surrender our all to Him, like He wants us to, and joyfully and loudly and sincerely and without doubting, declare these two acclamations: 

‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (P.118:24) And, ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) Glory to our great God my brethren, for it is He who gives us breath and life and health and wealth…in fact He is the ONE who gives us EVERYTHING we have and/or need in this crazy, and rather evil world! So in times of stress and strain, He is the most logical ONE to take our cares and problems to! 

Now here is a good description of our relationship with our God, taken from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s aptly and simply titled ‘His Part – My Part.’ Please pray with me: ‘Lord You want me to trust You so totally That I am unmoved by any circumstance; Then work in me that steadfast trust. You want me to choose to do right; Then turn me from wanting any plan but Yours. You want me to revere and honour You; Then refresh and revive me. 

You want me to obey You uninterruptedly; Then make Your Word my guide. You want me to depend upon You increasingly; Then reassure me that Your promises are mine. You want Your will to be my will; Then help me to LOVE Your every wish. I expect Your help dear Lord For You’ve NEVER broken a single promise And You’re not going to start with me.’ 

 No friends, He’ll NOT start breaking promises with any of us! But please remember we also have a big part to play in this covenant, this partnership with the Lord God of Hosts. We just can’t sit on our fat fannies and expect Him to make everything good come to pass in our lives. We have to offer our trust, our faith and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, then seek His Will from His Word and obediently follow it. 

The big difference between our Christian faith and others, is that our God knows we are not perfect, because He didn’t make us so, but He still LOVES us unconditionally and will help us whenever and wherever we come to Him for help, in whatever sad and sorry state we’re in! Praise His holy name, my people! But we need to make the first move! There must be some effort on our part, otherwise it will just be a one-sided relationship, and that’s definitely not what He wants with us. 

And don’t forget, ALL that He’s doing is for OUR BENEFIT, not for His. He doesn’t really need us, but we DESPERATELY NEED HIM! We often mistakenly believe that He needs us, or take Him for granted, or think we can do without Him. But friends, here’s a li’l secret, or as my young daughter would say when she was just learning to talk, a li’l ‘secrat’: NONE of those things are true! And if we keep living by them, we’ll just paint ourselves right out of His picture and all the wonderful things He has in store for each and every one of us. 

Now here’s our Bit for the day, the same scripture verse as the promise for the above poem. ‘Order (direct) my steps in thy word: and let not any (no) iniquity (sin) have dominion (rule) over me.’ Yes my people, though we need to come close to God, and stay close to Him, it’s only with His help can we do that successfully. 

Thus the psalmist continues after our Bit: ‘Deliver (redeem) me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they (men) keep not thy law.’ (Ps.119:134-136) 

Ah mih breddren, what strong words of prayer! And do we sincerely mean them, if and when we pray them? And do we truly weep and moan when our fellow man breaks God’s laws? We ought to. But only God and each individual know for sure, as he checks the motives of our hearts and doesn’t simply rely on our outward behaviour. End of sermon! Hope it makes a good and fruitful impact! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the heathen and His leader, Satan, know our unassailable position in Christ. In unison and strong, 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 if you believe it, then you’ll know that that future will be even more glorious than we can even ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…LOVING God…and LIVING for Him…oh…they’re such a beautiful way of life…that no words can truly express the joy they bring…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2019 Psalm 133:1.

Psalm 133:1.   ​Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
 
Oh, it looks so beautiful undisturbed…but disturb it…and like a disturbed cobra it can bite you in an unexpected second! Ah friends, I’m talking about the blanket of snow that’s covering my area this morning. Yeh it does look white and beautiful when just lying there undisturbed by man. But once you get into it, if you’re not careful it can cause you all kinds of damage and disaster. So like we finally had a snowfall where the people we pay to clean our driveway had to do some work; the first time for the season. And I doubt it will be the last. 

Anyway, today’s the 3rd day of the New Year, let’s hope that we haven’t already forgotten our resolution to walk more closely with Jesus this year. And as we begin putting away this season’s Christmas decoration, we won’t also put away the Christmas spirit with it, but allow that wonderful spirit of Christ to dwell with us all year long. And that would make Christ’s heart just overflow and burst with joy! Why, simply because of the immense joy to be found in brotherhood! 

 Hear how Bruh David puts it in our Bit: ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment (oil) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts (edge) of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.’ (Ps.133:1-3) 

Yeh friends, three simple verses make up that psalm, but they’re all so wonderful and appropriate to our Christian faith and walk in these treacherous and turbulent times! Hear this explanation from the scholars: ‘Psalm 133. This psalm is all about the preciousness of family unity. Its blessedness is exclaimed in (vs.1) and explained in (vs.2-3). It sanctifies (vs.2) and solidifies (vs.3).’ 

Ah mih people, if individual families in our society could only live that way eh…And even more importantly, if the family of Christ, His church could only do that…Oh what a wonderful place our world would be! We seem to have forgotten that Jesus came to make all nations, all believers in Him ONE! So let’s remind ourselves of some of the ONENESS that Jesus preached so avidly. 

He begins with this awesome statement: ‘I and the Father are ONE.’ (John 10:30) Then, as He prayed to the Father for us, Jesus pleaded: ‘And now I am no more (longer) in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be ONE, as we are ONE.’ (John 17:11) 

And later on in that same awesome prayer Jesus reiterates: ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be ONE; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be ONE in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:20-21) Yes my people, Jesus is there praying that those like us, who believe after He’s gone, should also live as ONE. 

And the scholars specify ‘17:21. They may be …one conveys spiritual unity, not organizational unity (cf. 1 Cor.12:13; 2 Cor.1:11; Eph.2:19; 4:3-16; Heb.10:25).’  But friends, my contention is that if we live in spiritual unity, there ought to be much more organizational unity among us than is currently in vogue. We have thousands of sects and denominations and religions, all purportedly teaching Christ crucified, why is that eh? 

That doesn’t spell unity, but rather reeks of disunity and division in what is supposed to be one body of Christ. The enemy is using the age-old tactic of divide and conquer amongst the Christian brethren, and we are foolishly and compromisingly allowing him to do it! That’s not right nor wise my friends in Christ! 

Now hear Bruh Paul on the subject: ‘For as the body is ONE, and hath many members, and all the members of that ONE body, being many, are ONE body: so also is Christ. For by ONE Spirit are we all baptized into ONE body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond (slaves) or free; and have been all made to drink into ONE Spirit ….For the body is not ONE member, but many…Now are they many members, yet but ONE body.’ (1 Cr.12:12-14, 20) 

Oh my faithful believers in Christ, it’s not rocket science, as Bruh Paul explains using our human body. Although our human body is made up of many dissimilar parts, it is still ONE body, and all the parts need to work together in harmony for the body to function properly. It’s the same with Christ’s church: we are made up of different races, cultures, languages, etc. but we need to come together and do Christ’s work as ONE, otherwise we defeat His whole purpose. 

Yes friends, like the believers in the early church, we need to get together in ONE accord (Acts 2:46) and pursue Christ’s work, not be fighting against each other like hungry wild animals. And if wild animals of the same type can band together against a common foe, why can’t we spiritually led believers do the same eh, instead of foolishly fighting against each other, even purporting it to be in Christ’s name? Steups! End of Sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring those wonderful Thursday Blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us, expecting us to dwell in unity. In loud and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share and declare those blessings over the less fortunate, for that’s a big part of the reason they were bestowed on us. Much LOVE!

…and be ye kind one to another…tenderhearted…forgiving one another…even as God…for Christ’s sake…hath forgiven you… (Eph.4:32) 

P.S. Yeh it’s long, but it’s also early…and it’s ALL for Christ! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2018 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 
Aye mih people, it’s a brand new day with new mercies, LOVE, forgiveness, blessings and all the other good things that our magnanimous and ever-LOVING God showers down on us each and every single day! Glory be! Give Him much thanks and praise for His enduring goodness and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men! Yes friends, is our God ever good to us! 

And would you believe that with only four days – not four shopping days (smile) to Christmas that we have rain in our area and not the crazy white stuff called snow! I’m surely grateful for that, although the skiers and other snow people won’t be thrilled.

Sorry people, but the Controller of the universe apparently feels for rain right now, not snow, and consequently there’s nothing we can do about it! But have no fear, we will get our fair share of the white stuff…in God’s time, that is! 

And the workingman has not forgotten us in these most celebratory times. Hear him sing his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday – the weekend! And only four days till Christmas too! Oh how we going to make merry and celebrate Christmas…but I already doing that yes!

I eating mih home made bread with ham flavoured with chow chow an’ pepper sauce! Brother does that ever taste good! Nice heavy bread with substance, not them light fluffy chupidness they sell in the bakery an’ call them bread! 

Then ah washing it down with sweet sorrel or ginger beer…an’ black cake and ice cream for dessert. Yuh smell how the alco strong in the cake? If yuh eat too much it soon black yuh up yes! (smile) And all we doing is going round to other people’s houses, singing carols and sweet parang music, an’ eating and drinking up all their Christmas goodies! Oh Christmas is such a wonderful time! Thank God for Fridays, weekends and Christmas oui!’ 

Yeh friends, Christmas is indeed a wonderful time, and all the celebrating is good, but it should not be paramount in our lives. The birth of our Lord and Saviour is what should hold first place in our lives this Christmas season, for it’s the very reason for the season! Without the birth of Christ, there’d be no Christmas! 

So why have we allowed that fact to be obscured by the foolishness of the man made festivities eh, where shopping and other bacchanalian activities seem to be honoured above the birth of our Saviour? Yuh can’t even say ‘Merry Christmas’ to some people! All they want to hear is the foolishness bout ‘Happy Holidays!’ What holiday is it eh? CHRISTMAS! So say it loud and proud: ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS!’ 

And forget the nonsensical watering down of the time when our God gave us His greatest gift ever: that of the birth of His only Son Jesus Christ, so that He would grow and show us the Father, and eventually die on the cross at Calvary to atone for our heinous and abominable sins! Brother! How can we not celebrate and give oodles of sincere thanks for such wonderful occurrences eh? 

My Christian brethren, please let’s not fall into the enemy’s trap of considering Christmas as more of a worldly time than it is eh. It’s ALL ABOUT CHRIST! So please let’s keep the CHRIST in CHRISTMAS! Keep it first place, like we ought to keep God first place in our overall lives! End of sermon! (smile) 

And I’ve talked so much about keeping Christ in Christmas that I almost forgot about our Friday Chant. Hn! So please let’s chant it up now with the same enthusiasm that the workingman placed in his song. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Ah friends, it’s not as worldly as the workingman’s song, but it serves our purposes rather admirably; keeping us away from the excesses of the world, and more in line with the straight and narrow path that’s Christ desire for His people. That finally brings us to our Bit; a most wonderful piece of encouraging and reassuring scripture: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.’ 

And is that the gospel truth or what my faithful brethren! If it wasn’t for the Lord’s compassionate heart and intense care for us, we’d be long burnt up like the noonday sun burns up the dry grass! That’s why we need to take our Christian faith more seriously than many of us are doing. But hear how poor Jeremiah continues as he laments over his trials and tribulations nuh. 

‘They (the Lord’s mercies) are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:23-26) 

Oh my people, those are indeed words of eternal wisdom! If we sincerely believe in God, then we have to HOPE and WAIT for His timing and dispensation! Nothing else makes any sense. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the scholars’ explanation of that last section. ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have expressed great grief of soul (Hab. 2:20; 3:17-19; cf. Job 40:3-5; Ps.37:7; 73:23-27; Is.26:3; 2 Cor.1:7; 2 Thess.3:5).’ 

Yuh see friends, even though the great saints suffered trials and tribulations, and more than most of us do nowadays too, they all felt the assurance of hoping in and waiting for God. And I just looked up all those scriptures the scholars noted, and they are indeed interesting and inspiring stuff. So please look them up yourselves so that you too can be enthused and reassured! That’s the only sensible way to live this life my people! Much LOVE!

…ONLY because of Christ’s birth…is there Christmas…let’s remember that…and act accordingly…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2018 John 14:6.

John 14:6.   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

And the Canada Day celebrations continue apace! And the weather seems to be in full cooperating mood too; it’s supposed to be a scorcher, possibly worse than yesterday. So get on your sunscreen and turn on the A/C, and celebrate the birth of this wonderful country called Canada, within the limits of Granny’s warnings though! (smile) 

Oh we have our problems too, but of all the big countries in the world, I still believe that Canada is the BEST! Go Canada! 

And so having ‘big-upped’ Canada; I hate the word, ‘big-up’ but I couldn’t think of anything more suitable at the time, let’s move on to our Saturday treat of this weeks quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And this week there’s a whole slate of them, starting with: ‘Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.’ And there’s absolutely no doubt about the truth and wisdom in that statement, for optimism is a foundation stone of our Christian faith. 

That leads to the next quote: ‘Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.’ That also has many grains of truth in it, for if we begin our day with positive thoughts, we will indeed be starting out on the right foot.  

Then there is: ‘Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, while bad luck is when lack of preparation meets reality.’ It’s basically true, but we believers just don’t dabble in bad luck and good luck, but more the blessed favour, grace and mercy of our awesome God. 

But we must do our part in the partnership and be prepared for them. If we aren’t prepared, when those opportunities appear or arise, then we’ll simply lose out on a chance, no, an opportunity to be blessed by Almighty God. 

Listen to this one: ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.’ 

Now I don’t know if I agree with that totally, because there are times when people do things because of us, and we ought to take them personally. The problem is to know when and what things to take issue with. A lot of the time what others do and say is indeed because of their own problems or inadequacy and we have to be wise and somewhat tough skinned to recognize those times and not allow them to bother us. 

It’s all a balancing act my people, and we do need God’s help to set the balance right. And the last quote says: ‘The more you are positive and say, ‘I want to have a good life,’ the more you build that reality for yourself by creating the life that you want.’ 

Ah friends, that statement is only true in the context of Christianity! If you say you want to build a good life under Christ, then fine. But if you want to build what the world and the prince of darkness call a good life, then you’re definitely on the wrong track. Remember the immortal words of Jesus: ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus was very emphatic in that pronouncement, so if your life is not modelled on His, then you’re indeed going the wrong way, building your life, earthly as well as eternal, on the wrong foundation. 

And Jesus makes His point earlier when He declares that He is the Good shepherd: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep… 

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:1-2, 9-11) 

And that is exactly what Jesus did friends: give His life for us, the sheep of His pasture. So why would we look for some other foundation on which to build our lives eh? Building our lives upon Jesus is like building them on a rock; a rock which stands the test of time and the elements of nature. Building our lives on anything else is like building them on sand, which cannot repel or withstand anything. Check out Jesus’ analogy re the two foundations, in Matthew .7:24-27. 

And we’ll close with some more immortal words of Jesus on the subject, as He spoke to Martha when He arrived late on purpose for Lazarus’ burial. ‘Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die) yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ (Matt.11:25-26) 

And as the scholars say: ‘11:25: I am the resurrection is one of Jesus’ greatest “I am” statements, signifying His power to give eternal life.’ 

And oh my people, if Jesus has that awesome power, why wouldn’t I believe in Him eh, and shout out a bold and confident ‘YES’ to the question He asked Martha at the end of the last passage above: ‘Believest thou this?’ 

Oh friends, believing in Jesus is not only the epitome of wisdom, it is wisdom itself! Much LOVE!

…the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…but fools despise wisdom and instruction… (Prov.1:7)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2018 John 14:6.

John 14:6.   I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Well friends, it seems like it’s another strife filled day in our strife filled world. Hn! Nothing much has changed from yesterday. But blessed are we of the Christian faith, who don’t have to allow all the bad news around the world to affect us too much. 

Oh we should be concerned about all the unnecessary nonsense that’s taking place, but with Christ first and foremost in our hearts we know the eventual outcome of the situation and our preferred place in it. Thus we do our best to alleviate what we can in our small circle and leave the rest to God, for it’s His universe and He’s the Controller. Amen! 

Now it’s Saturday, sleepy time day, (smile) so let’s look at a couple of quotes I received from our friend Anselm this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first says: ‘No matter how hard you try to make a person who’s miserable all the time happy it’ll never work, until they get a handle on their life and try being happy without a reason. Life doesn’t owe anyone happiness, only you owe yourself happiness.’ 

And that’s the basic truth friends. If a person truly doesn’t want to be happy, you can never make them so. That’s because true happiness has to come from the inside and not merely from outward circumstances. You’re fighting a losing battle from the start if you try to make a diehard grouch happy. (smile) 

Until they wake up and want to be happy, all your efforts will be wasted. As the man said, life doesn’t owe us happiness, but we owe it to ourselves to be happy. 

And the next and last quote declares that ‘ People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.’ I’m sorry friends, but if they are not on the road to and with Jesus, then they are definitely and surely LOST! 

Remember our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ made it so plain when He declared in no uncertain terms: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ Yes my brethren, those immortal words were spoken in response to Thomas, he of the doubting disciple fame. Jesus had just told them that He was going back to heaven to prepare a place for them. 

‘And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:3) What a glorious promise people, because that promise extends also to us today! Then Jesus adds: ‘And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.’ But Thomas with his bright self, pipes up: ‘Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?’ (John 14:4-5) 

That’s when Jesus lets him have both barrels with our Bit., worthy of being repeated again: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ 

And until the unbelievers and doubters of this fallen and sinful world get that down their unbelieving craw, they will remain lost! That’s just the simple, indisputable and incontrovertible fact of the matter! All who don’t believe in Jesus will be lost! The Good Book says so, and the Good Book does not lie, because it is the unadulterated word of God, inspired to men of true faith through the Holy Spirit. 

And I like this explanation of the scholars. ‘14:6. Jesus does not tell them about the way, nor does He show them the way. He does not even guide them along the way. He says He IS the way!’ 

And that’s all there is to it my brethren! It’s either the narrow and righteous way of Jesus, or the broad and sinful highway of the enemy! Those are the only choices we have. There is no in-between option. So those of us, who are trying to straddle the fence, please stop it, because there is absolutely no hope of attaining heaven in that manner. 

Remember how in the Old Testament the priest went into the secluded Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, by himself, once every year and offered a blood sacrifice for the sins of the people. (Heb.9:7) That meant that the people did not have a direct connection to God; only the priest had that once a year. 

However my friends, however, when Jesus died to pay for our sins, everything changed miraculously! The heavy veil that separated the Holy of Holies was rent asunder from top to bottom, because the blood of the Holy sacrificial Lamb had paid for ALL SINS, for ALL TIME! Glory Hallelujah! 

Listen to how the author of Hebrews puts it. ‘And their sins and iniquities (lawless deeds) will I remember no more. Now where remission (forgiveness) of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.’ (Heb.10:17-20) 

And the scholars add: ‘10:20. Jesus is the new and living way by which believers have direct access into the very Holy Place of God. (cf.4:14; 6:20; 7:25; John 14:6).’ Please check out those scriptures. 

That brings us to this dramatic and glorious end: ‘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;) And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works.’ (Heb.10:21-24) 

Ah friends, with Jesus leading and guiding our lives, EVERYDAY is one of celebration, of hope, sure faith, and eternal glory! Much LOVE!

…without Jesus as the rudder in life…you’re inevitably drifting to eternal damnation…

 

                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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