Today​’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2019 Exodus 20:8.

Exodus 20:8.    ​Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
 
Hello there my people, it’s Sunday, the day we set aside for fellowship, praise and thanksgiving in the Lord’s sanctuary. And today is a special Sunday, one we call Palm Sunday, where we celebrate Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, like a king, with the people throwing their clothes and palm branches in the road for Him to ride on and joyfully shouting: ‘Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.’ (Matt.21:9) 

Yes friends on a beautiful Sunday like today, two thousand years ago, they welcomed Jesus as a king and conquering hero, but one week later they were howling like crazy for His blood to be shed on a wooden cross! Hn! That’s the fickleness of ungrateful and unfaithful man! Anyway, we’re not going to get into the Palm Sunday routine today because everyone else is doing it, and here on the Bit we try to be a li’l different from the rest. (smile) 

And as we are wont to do every Sunday, let’s open the proceedings with a song of praise and worship. Today’s ditty is called ‘In the midst of the rain,’ taken from the Bebe Winans album titled ‘In Harm’s Way.’ It’s a beautiful Christian, soulful ballad, so let’s raise our voices in song and do it justice nuh: 

‘Every time I lift my eyes to the sky, I’m reminded of a time in my life, When all the dark clouds hung over me, I was lost inside, in search of a key. I remember LOVED ones being so kind, Saying things would get much better with time. And I admit sometimes they did for a while, And then I’d find myself back under the cloud. 

(Chorus: Right in the midst of the rain, My heart was so full of pain. Jesus, You came and rescued my soul, And then your LOVE took control. Right in the midst of the rain, You caused me to smile again. My life was awesomely changed, Right in the midst of the rain.) 

When it comes right down to just you and me, There’s nothing better now that these eyes can see. And tell me what compares to all that you are? You are everything, yes my morning star! My mind, my heart and soul I now give to you. I’m under your command so what can I do? Cause I surrender all, all that I owe, And will follow wherever you go. (Chorus) 

There will never be another, Cause You’re nothing like the others. This LOVE I find in you, I found to be true! Right in the midst of the rain, My heart was so full of pain. But Jesus, You came and rescued my soul, And then your LOVE took control. Right in the midst of the rain, You caused me to smile again. My life was awesomely changed, Right in the midst of the rain.’ 

Oh friends isn’t that beautiful! The words are marvellous, filled with awesome truth and our sweet, powerful and harmonious voices raised to heaven did it immense justice! All heaven had a tear escaping because of our heartfelt rendition! And how could it not be heartfelt eh, with touching situations like Jesus rescuing our souls right in the midst of a terrible downpour, when we feel so lost and alone? And having done that, then His amazing LOVE simply takes control of our lives and leads us down the right path, the straight and narrow one. 

All power and praise and glory be to out wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the name that’s above every other name, to whom ALL knees will eventually bow! Yes friends, He certainly deserves all the pomp and glory with which we honour Him! 

However, I want to turn our attention to another important subject, one that we don’t seem to keep and revere as we ought to. I’m talking about the observance of the Sabbath. Now that’s always been important to our God, and it still is, but with man’s growing arrogance and prideful ways, the sabbath is constantly being diminished in our lives.

 Hear God’s commandment to the Israelites from the early days, even putting it in the Ten Commandments: ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.’ (Ex.20:8-11) 

Yuh see friends, God gave us seven days in a week, but we ought to work only six and rest at least one every week, the way He did when He created the universe. I believe the Israelites took it to the extreme, taking every little thing as work, and ranting on Jesus when He healed a woman on the Sabbath. So Jesus had to smarten them up. 

‘The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass (donkey) from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed (put to shame): and all the people (multitude) rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.’ (Luke 13:15-17) 

Yes friends our God is not that strait-laced to expect us to do absolutely nothing on a sabbath! We just should not engage in too much stuff that not’s restful and pertaining to Him. And the scholars offer this explanation of the above verses: ‘13:15-17. Jesus makes His point well. But there remains in every generation the temptation for traditions and programs to take priority over people.’ 

So true that my people! No wonder Jesus had to inform the rulers of His time that ‘The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.’ (Mark 2:27) And as the scholars tell us: ‘2:27-28. Jesus’ reasoning is that divine institutions on earth are to have a God-honouring, noble, and liberating function. Sabbath laws had for some degenerated into a mockery of God’s intent.’ 

And so it also has in our time. But please note that if we honour the Sabbath. ‘Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places (hills) of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.58:14) That’s God’s promise friends! Much LOVE!

…honour the sabbath…and the Lord will honour you…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2019 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.   ​This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
 
Ah friends, in the wonderful words of Bruh Paul: ‘Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (age), according to the will of God and our Father; To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Gal.1:3-4) 

Yes my faithful brethren, greetings in the name of our most amazing and magnanimous God and His awesome Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on this dry but somewhat chilly Thursday morning! And please don’t marvel at how early the Bit is because it’s just an anomaly. I simply have to go out of town early this morning and so decided to write it before I go, rather than when I reach my destination, which could be fairly late. 

So please don’t go getting any weird ideas about receiving it at this hour every morning. (smile) Tomorrow, God willing, we’ll be back at the usual time. And today, on a most practical level we’ll talk about this quote from a Daily Bread Devotional: ‘Our lives speak louder than our words!’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! Those around us pay more attention to how we live than what we say. They quickly forget what we say, but quite easily remember the things we do. That’s why we can’t talk one thing and then do something else in our daily walk with the Lord. 

And that’s what a lot of us supposed believers do, no wonder so much of the world consider us to be such hypocrites, whitewashed tombs, like Jesus called the hypocritical and overbearing Pharisees of His day. Yes, there are still a lot of Pharisees in our midst today, and please don’t go passing too much judgement, like they did, because you never know, you might just be numbered amongst that sorry lot. (smile) 

So how do we get our lives to speak louder than our words eh? As Bruh Paul says, to do that, we need to walk and live in the Spirit; the Holy Spirit of God! ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’ (Gal.5:16-17) 

And the scholars offer these interesting and useful explanations. ‘5:16. Walk in the Spirit (i.e., “live by the Spirit”). Christians are to live with the Spirit’s help. How does one “live by the Spirit”? (1) The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with him, having been sent by God into his heart (4.6). (2) In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit. 

(3) One must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to live a God-pleasing life (v.5). (4) The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. The believer who “lives by the Spirit” will not fulfill (accomplish, carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful nature).’ 

Yes mih people, it’s all about our living this earthly life in strong association with the Holy Spirit of God, who was sent by the Father to live within us when we believed on His Son, to help us live a holy and sanctified life. But if we don’t acquiesce to the Spirit’s desires, then we make a mockery of the whole thing. 

For as the scholars explain: ‘5:17. One’s sinful human nature (flesh) and the Holy Spirit lusteth against one another, that is, they have desires and yearnings that are contrary to one another. The Christian, then, is a battlefield, having desires to do good and evil. The outcome is that ye cannot do the things that ye would: the flesh seeks to thwart the Spirit, who, in turn, attempts to frustrate the flesh’s evil desires.’ 

Yes friends, it’s a constant tug of war between our flesh and our Spirit. And it’s only with a constant effort and the help of the Spirit, that we can overcome the evil desires our flesh. The Spirit will guide us, but we have to accept it’s guidance, otherwise it will be all for nought. And we won’t bother to list the sinful desires of the flesh because we all know them, (smile) and it’s the fruit of the Spirit that we really want to show in our lives, so that we can practice what we preach. 

So here is what Bruh Paul says constitutes the fruit of the Spirit. ‘But the fruit of the spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23) And that’s how we make our lives speak louder than our words my fellow believers; by letting the fruit of the Spirit proceed from us, rather than the evil desires of the flesh! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings, those most generous and magnanimous blessings that our great God has poured down on us as sincere believers. In strong voice and heartfelt sense of purpose: ‘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 please don’t forget that those blessings were not given so we can hoard them, but to share them just as generously with others less fortunate than us. So let’s go out and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…Jesus said of His followers…by their fruit ye shall know them…

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2019 Matthew 19:21.

Matthew 19:21.   ​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.
 
What did the man say? ‘Fight one more round…just one more round…before giving up!’ Ah friends, that’s exactly what the ole fella’s doing; fighting one more round, as in going into the big city of T.O. for another medical appointment, and that’s also why he’s up so early writing the Bit! Aren’t you proud of him? I know you are! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s a pain in the rear end to be always going into the city for these medical appointments, but the long and short of the story is that they are for my benefit, not the doctors. So if I don’t go, who’s going to suffer eh? They might not even make less money since there are oodles of people lining up to see them. 

And today, in this season of Lent, where we all aspire to get more spiritual, (smile) we’ll look at an interesting situation in Jesus’ time that still holds good even today, and possibly more so than ever. It all begins with this quote from Uncle John (John Hagee), which says: ‘Your spiritual strength is measured not by what you can believe, but in what you can obey.’ Living truth that my people! Believing is easy, but obeying cuts right to the quick of our sinful hearts and desires! 

And we have a great example of that in the rich young ruler who came to Jesus asking about eternal life. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And behold, one came and said unto him (Jesus), Good Master (Teacher), what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 

And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into life, keep the commandments. He (the man) saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: And thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Matt.19:16-19) 

Now that’s standard fare for us all, the basic dictates of the Ten Commandments that the Lord gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai, for the Israelites and all those who believed in Him to follow. And the Good Book continues: ‘The young man saith unto him (Jesus), All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 

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.19:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see what we talking about? Spiritual strength is so much more than just believing! That young rich ruler believed, but he just couldn’t obey. Selling his many possessions and then giving away the resultant funds to the poor was just too much for him to handle. And so it is for many of us in today’s very materialistic society. We believers who are supposed to be in the world but not of the world, are too often caught up in those same very materialistic situations like that young man of old. 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation. ‘19:18-22. This list of commands in verse 18 centres on outward duties, rather than inward nature, which was the young man’s real problem. He protests that he had kept these outward demands. His luxurious wealth and self-righteousness had blinded him to his real weakness. To expose this, Jesus orders, go and sell all your possessions and give to the poor…and come…follow me (v.21). 

This he would not do and went away sorrowful. Jesus thus shows him that he had not kept the commandments at all. He LOVED himself more than he LOVED his neighbour (the poor), and he LOVED his possessions more than he LOVED God (“me”). This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but it in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be a Christian.’  

No friends, the average Joe does not have to give away all his stuff, but I’m sure that we’d all agree that there is certainly too much poverty in our society, when overall there is immense prosperity. This therefore means that too few have too much, and too many have too little. Consequently there needs to be a touch of equalization, where some of us who have a lot, give to those who don’t have much. 

And that was the original purpose of the church; to help those in need, as we see from Acts 2:44-45. ‘And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted (distributed) them to all men, as every man had need.’ 

Yes friends, I know the church was much smaller then and they could do that kind of communal living, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the church today, meaning all of us believers, is definitely not as sympathetic and giving to the needy as Jesus would like us to be, because we are too attached to our earthly possessions. 

 Remember we are the hands and feet, the body of Jesus down here on earth, and whatever we do will reflect on Him. So for Jesus’ sake, my fellow believers, please, I implore us, let’s try and do better nuh. In this way, the world will have a much more accepting disposition to our Lord and Saviour and thus less souls will be lost to the enemy. 

Now let’s go home wailing our Wednesday Wail, telling all and sundry our sure-fire position in Christ. As one strong voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

Now that’s a future that none of us should  want to miss! Much LOVE!

…getting is very dependent on giving…you’ll get…as you give…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 March 2019 John 10:10.

John 10:10.   ​The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
 

And then it was the big day of mas, Carnival Tuesday! Wow! The day when all the big bands with their pretty costumes would fill the streets, while the pavements and them jam packed with sweaty bodies, everybody just wining down and jumping up in the hot sun as the music jamming, not so much D.J music as now, but with the big brass bands and them just raising ruckus in the heat of the day and the carnival atmosphere! Now that use to be mas! (smile) 

And for those of you who still missing it, as I said yesterday, just put it aside for this year, yuh can’t do anything about it now, and start saving yuh money and vacation time for next year. And if you don’t want to listen to me, then please listen to Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) as he leads us in this ‘Prayer for Change’ from his Hour of Power Devotional. I think it’s rather appropriate for these cold, dreary and tough times. 

So please pray with us: ‘O God, when a life has been so richly blessed as mine has been, it is not right for me not to be laughing! I confess that I am responsible for my moods. I have no right to selfishly indulge in negative feelings of self-pity. It’s time for me to change my mental dial, Lord. You are helping me. This will be the moment when the sun breaks through the parted clouds, and the springtime returns after winter. 

Thank you, Lord! The dreary, depressing, disconsolate mood disappears like the morning mist in the glowing sunshine of your LOVE! And joy moves in! And hope begins to build up within me! And a beautiful feeling of LOVE starts to surround me! Thank you, God, for the great things you are doing within me now in this moment of prayer. Amen!’ 

Mama Yo mih people! All yuh feel that sunshine of God’s LOVE? Ah hope so yes, because if you don’t then things real rough with you yes! Yuh bet yuh bottom dollar I feel it! And as Gramps Schuller declares (right ho) when that sunshine of God’s LOVE comes creeping in on you, all the negative feelings will disappear like the night time mist in the morning sun, the joy and hope and consequently the faith and LOVE, mercy and forgiveness, and all the wonderful attributes of our wonderful God begin to fill our sorrowful souls! 

Oh how great is prayer my people! And even greater is our God’s answer to it! For we have ALL been richly blessed through it! Praise His Holy Name; exalt Him and His wonderful, awesome and magnanimous doings to the entire world! Remember that’s the main reason He made us; to worship and glorify and have constant communication with Him! 

Awright…so the ole fella get carried away there…but that’s how it’s supposed to be! If sincere communication with our heavenly Father doesn’t enable and energize and raise up our spirits, then what’s the purpose of it eh? And I do like that li’l phrase of Gramps Schuller; ‘the sunshine of God’s LOVE!’ 

Because that’s exactly how God’s LOVE operates; it rises up like the brilliant morning sunshine out of the East. One moment there’s simply darkness, then gradually those depressing clouds begin to disappear as His LOVE filters into our souls…until suddenly it’s there…like the sun hovering over the eastern horizon…big and bright and beautiful! 

Oh friends, I’m sorry…NO, I’M NOT – for taking such enjoyment in the great and unconditional LOVE of our awesome and amazing God! I only wish that you could take the same pleasure with me, so that we don’t miss all the wonderful things that our wonderful God has in store for us, for those who LOVE Him, and are called according to His mighty purpose! 

It’s truly sad and unfortunate that so many supposed believers don’t really enjoy their faith, enjoy their Christian attributes that have been paid for at such great price by our Lord and Saviour, Leader and Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. What’s the point in having them if you don’t enjoy them eh? NONE WHATSOEVER! 

Remember these moving and momentous words of Jesus? ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’  So if He came to give us abundant life, why aren’t we enjoying it eh? Then His unimaginable sacrifice would simply have been a waste of time! 

Chuh mih people! Let’s not waste Christ’s selfless sacrifice on the cross for us nuh! Let’s be wise and enjoy the good things He offers and be obedient to His will. Remember it’s all for our benefit yes, not His! As Bruh David so candidly says: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’ (Ps.103:2) We’d be real foolish to do otherwise! 

And we can’t finish without hearing this next momentous statement of Jesus: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And friends, that’s exactly what our Saviour did for us on that old rugged cross of Calvary! He endured all the pain and shame and humiliation and burden of sin placed on His sinless soul and shoulders by the Father, so that we could be set free! So how could we now not be grateful and gladly follow Him eh? 

I can’t answer that question for you, you will have to answer it to the Father come the judgement day! Now let’s go home sincerely declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, joyfully letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and heartfelt sincerity: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…oh…how a believer’s soul is moved…is lifted up…when the sunshine of God’s LOVE…joyfully enters it…

P.S. I likes it…I truly do! And I enjoyed writing it too! Why? Perhaps because it reflects the sunshine of God’s LOVE! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2019 James 4:3.

James 4:3.   ​Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).

 

Different day, friends, but the same khaki pants! Hn! Ah have to laugh yes, because it seems like more inclement weather is forecasted for today. Steups! Yuh just can’t win with this weather nuh! But you can’t let it keep you locked up indoors forever either. So if you have to go out, just go out and be damned the consequences! 

Just take Jesus’ hand and let Him guide you! He’ll take you out and back safely; that’s His promise! But then again, if you don’t have to go, don’t just go for the sake of going! (smile)  

And today we’re going to talk a li’l about the most powerful tool of communication in our world…it’s called prayer! We know of it, talk a lot about it, but for whatever reason, don’t use it sufficiently. And the first words on it come from the celebrated German writer, philosopher, dramatist and art critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), one of the bright lights of the German Enlightenment era. 

And he said way back then: ‘A single grateful thought toward heaven is the most perfect prayer.’ And so it is my brethren. We don’t have to have long, gushing, ornate prayers to be praying right, but just a heartfelt thank you and request is sufficient. And not only that, it’s possibly more quickly answered than the long, overflowing, flowery words prayer. 

The important thing though my Christian brethren is that we pray, and pray sincerely, whether they be long or short, they must be constant and sincere, because remember, God looks at state of our obedience and the motives of our hearts and not our outward show, before He replies to our prayers. 

Now hear these awesome words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the subject of prayer, from His Hour of Power Devotional. He starts out by making this true and most incredible claim: ‘The greatest power in the world today is the power of people to communicate with Almighty God. 

Prayer is not a scheme whereby we can move God into our lives, but rather a spiritual exercise through which we draw ourselves toward God until we are a part of His plan and His purpose. The purpose of prayer is not to give you what you want when you want it, but to make you the kind of person God wanted you to be when He put you on the planet earth.’ 

There you have it friends, the true purpose of prayer; to draw closer to God and to become what He wants us to be! Not to merely be asking Him for stuff that we desire, most of the time to be applied to our fleshly lusts and desires. Now it’s not wrong to ask for stuff that we need, and even our hearts desires, but they must fall under the will of God, be somewhere in His plan for our lives. 

As James castigates us when he talks about worldliness and pride: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).’ And most of us can’t find fault with that statement, especially in today’s sinful and ungodly world! 

But listen to Job’s discourse on the hypocrite’s hopelessness: ‘For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God?’ The most likely answer to all of that is a simple ‘NO!’ 

For as the psalmist declares (right ho) plain and straight: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ (Ps.66:18) And that’s the gospel truth; anytime the Lord discovers improper motives in our hearts, He won’t answer our prayers!

That brings us to these most important questions of Jesus: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt.17:26) And the answer to the first question is ‘ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!’

And the psalmist answers the second one this way: ‘They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious (costly), and it ceaseth for ever.’ (Ps.49:6-8) That ought to teach us friends to trust absolutely in God, and not in wealth! 

And Job’s supposed friend, Elihu, adds his two cents worth, as he talks about the results of Job’s sins: ‘Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. Will he esteem thy riches? No, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.’ 

Again we see my people, that nothing that the world possess is sufficient to ransom our immortal souls, only the word of God and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can keep us from the hell fires of death and destruction! 

Now, enough of all that negative talk (smile), let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so magnanimously poured down on us nuh, for being such good followers of His Son Jesus Christ! (smile) 

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 He didn’t grant us all that because we were so sweet and obedient, but also to share it with others less fortunate. So let’s go out now and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus shared the Father’s LOVE and benefits with us…so must we share His LOVE and benefits with others…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2018 1 John 4:8.

1 John 4:8.   ​He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God IS LOVE!
 
And then it was Boxing Day! Glory be! All the confusion done now! Christmas not over, but Christmas Day has come and gone and we’re going to gradually revert to our old selves, no longer having to keep up with the hectic pace set by the world’s standards, and oftimes our own too. Except for those of you who still get caught up in the Boxing Day sales! (smile) 

And you can see by the lateness of the hour that ole fella slept in…But that’s what days like these are for…to recuperate from the joyful celebrations of yesterday! (smile) Hope you all had a good and joyful Christmas. Mine was simple but pleasant. And brother…food for days and endless days! Enough to feed an army, much less five people! (smile) And the sad part is that the ole fella is no longer able to do justice to his once upon a time favourite foods. How sad eh! (smile) But them’s the breaks! 

I do hope though that we all kept Jesus first place in our minds and lives yesterday, since He WAS and IS the reason for all our celebrations! I also hope that we found a few moments amidst all the joy and excitement to sincerely pray for those unfortunate people over in Indonesia, who recently suffered the devastating effects of a volcanic explosion that seems to have triggered an immense tsunami that washed away their lives and livelihoods. 

Another group that didn’t enjoy a festive Christmas is one out on our West Coast in British Columbia, where they suffered devastating effects from a windstorm, the worst in some two decades. Prayers, and whatever other assistance we can offer, will be in order for them my friends. 

And my eyes just fell on a piece of paper in front of me that contains a most appropriate quote from a Daily Bread Devotional. And it says: ‘In the darkest hours of life, only through the eyes of faith can we see the LOVING hand of God.’ And is that ever so true my people! In those real dark and troublesome times it’s only if our faith is strong and true that we can ever imagine a LOVING God out there in the universe! 

Otherwise, all our senses would either say there is no God, or God is not a LOVING Deity. But friends I’m here to tell us that that’s the furthest thing from the truth! There IS a God, and He’s a MOST LOVING Deity! Thus John, in his epistle seeks to strengthen our faith by letting us know that ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God IS LOVE!’ 

Yeh friends, one of the many attributes of our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God is that of LOVE! And if you don’t LOVE, then you don’t know God! Hear how John puts it: ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

However, as the scholars explain: ‘4:7. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor.13).’ Yes my brethren, unless Jesus is involved in our LOVE WALK, then we’re not truly walking in the LOVE of God. That’s why the scholars pointed us to that famous chapter in 1 Corinthians, titled the ‘Way of LOVE!’ 

And in this Christmas season, we have the perfect example of God’s unconditional and everlasting LOVE! As John says: ‘In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.’ (1 John 4:9) Ah mih people, to truly understand God’s great LOVE, we need to see how He demonstrated it. And it all began with His sending of Jesus into the world at Christmas time to put His most awesome plan into action. 

As John continues: ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that HE LOVED US, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ (1 John 4:10) Now that’s the real standard for true LOVE my fellow believers; God’s unmerited compassion for us! As Bruh Paul so bluntly and truthfully told the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth his (demonstrates his own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) 

Now only a truly magnanimous Deity would show such compassion for His enemies! And that’s also why John’s cry is so important in our faith community: ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:11) Oh my friends in faith, there couldn’t be a more appealing cry than for more real and true Christian LOVE amongst out Christian community, especially in these dark and evil times, when the enemy seems to be in the ascendance! 

Let’s listen to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as He pleaded with His disciples and also pleads with us: ‘A new commandment I give unto you. That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Ah mih Christian breddren, that’s what our faith is all about; LOVE, especially at this Christmas time! So please, please, let’s stop breaking Jesus’ heart nuh, and begin showing true LOVE to each other, so that the world can see it and want to come to Him and receive the same unconditional LOVE that we have. That’s our basic purpose here on this earth. 

Now let’s go home sincerely and powerfully declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our position in Christ! In unison now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And that future will be indeed more glorious than we can think or imagine! Much LOVE!

…let’s keep on talking our talk…and walking our walk…of LOVE…in Christ Jesus…Amen…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 December 2018 Luke 1:45.

Luke 1:45.   ​And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.
 
And so we’ve finally arrived at Saturday; a day unlike any other, where we can work, play or simply rest…or even do all three if we so desire! I guess you can call Saturday a day of different things to different people, filled with a hodgepodge of situations and choices. 

But it is a good day also for reflection on our past week; what we’ve done, what we haven’t done, what we liked, what we didn’t like, and most importantly, if we’ve walked with the Lord on a satisfactory level. Let’s hope we will all reflect and discover that we’ve made good progress in our daily walk with the Lord. Praise His holy name! 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s see what gems of wisdom our friend Anselm sent us this past week in his noble aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one tells us: ‘At the end of the day, life is about being happy being who you are, and I feel like we are so blessed to have the support system and the best family to really just support each other no matter what we’re going through.’ 

Now that is surely the epitome of family relationships! But unfortunately too many of those relationships nowadays are clothed in distrust and resentment, turning against each other, instead of standing strong for and trying to help one another. Even when we are happy and contented in being who we are, our support systems are usually sub-par. And one can’t build a good life on that! 

However, having solid support systems, regardless of our differences is something that  ALL families, especially the Christian ones, should purposely aspire to. And with Christ dwelling securely in us, it IS possible, we just have to put our minds to it, and our shoulders to the wheel. 

Then the next quote wisely advises: ‘Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not clichés but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path.’ You can’t beat that wisdom my people! 

The only proviso is that our path coincides with that of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for remember He specifically stated a long time ago: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6)

And that hasn’t changed my brethren! Jesus is still the ONLY way to the Father! So unless all our dreams and desires are in sync with His plan for our lives, all our efforts will not produce much success. Yes friends, it all depends on taking the route Jesus maps out for us! 

And the last quote simply states: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ That’s also gospel truth! Remember Jesus’ immortal words: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) Oh my fellow believers, life was definitely made for living! 

That’s why God made us and gave us all the wonderful things we have, and why Jesus came and died to continue that line of thinking. We are not to be filled with a lot of negativity and dark, evil forebodings, but be filled with the positive effects of the light that’s Jesus! 

And there again, that’s why I like Mary so much. She understood this principle long before Jesus spoke it. Though a young girl who had not seen much of life yet, she realized her call by God and accepted it without any fuss, regardless of the upheaval she knew it would cause in her life. 

Just contrast her behaviour with that of Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, earlier on in Luke 1.11-22. Zechariah was a man about town, so to speak, a priest who had seen much life, but when Gabriel showed up and told him he would have a son, John the Baptist, he doubted, claiming he was too old and all the other nonsense that we conveniently find to obstruct God’s work.  Thus he became dumb until John’s birth. 

Mary however was like a breath of pure, fresh spring air, positive and constantly moving forward in God’s appointed path. And after the angel Gabriel left her, The Good Book says: ‘And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah: And entered into the house of Zechariah, and saluted (greeted) Elisabeth. 

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation (greeting) of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence (why) is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation (greeting) sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in mine womb for joy.’ (Luke 1:39-44) 

Oh friends, oh friends, how great, marvellous and mysterious is our God eh! Elisabeth didn’t know anything about Mary’s predicament, but once she heard her voice, John the Baptist jumped for joy in her womb, because he felt the good and positive vibes that were emanating from Mary, and the Holy Spirit let Elisabeth into the secret, so much so that she could continue their discourse with these prophetic words: 

‘And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ Mama Mia! Does our God ever move in mysterious ways! Elisabeth’s eyes were opened in a second, and she knew that it would all end the way it was stated. And so it did, with the Immaculate Conception and magnificent birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! 

Ah my fellow believers, how great is our God eh! Hope you enjoyed that heartwarming story as much as I did! (smile) Much LOVE!

…it all begins…and ends…with sincerely believing in Almighty God…the undisputed Creator and Controller of the universe…

 

 

 

 

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