Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2019 John 17:16.

John 17:16.    They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 

And no, yesterday wasn’t a drizzly day like the day before, but it sure was cloudy for a lot of it. That means the Labour Day Monday celebrations weren’t marred by rain and the proceedings could be held outside like it ought to be. However, unfortunately, that also spells the end of the summer vacation period, it’s now back to school and back to work time for the thousands who were merry and carefree all summer long! 

And along with that comes a lot of complaining and anxiety as the cold weather and strenuous times of school and work become a reality. (smile) Yeh friends, good things don’t last forever…except the LOVE and salvation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

Yes my faithful Christian brethren, there’s nothing we should be more thankful and grateful for than the unconditional and amazing LOVE of our Triune God and their even more amazing and awesome promise of salvation to all those who sincerely believe, worship and obey them! 

It’s the second greatest thing that has ever happened to mankind! First, there was the original creation, then came the re-creation; the coming of Jesus Christ to earth in human form to save mankind from their abominable sins! Wow! How wonderful, generous and selfless was that eh? Words cannot fully describe it nuh! 

And though, on a mental level we sort of understand it, deep down in our hearts we still have some resistance, else we wouldn’t be behaving in the reckless, sinful and ungodly manner that so many of us supposed believers still do. Yeh friends, as the body of Christ, His church, and as individual believers, we simply don’t come up to scratch! 

We’re certainly not investing enough of our time, talent and resources in fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

What’s in that not to understand eh friends? Absolutely nothing! We’re supposed to get up off of our fat, lazy, comfortable fannies and spread the good news of Christ’s gospel to all and sundry, save the lost, help the poor, spread LOVE, mercy, kindness and forgiveness! But are we doing that to the best of our ability? Certainly not! In our comfortable and supposedly prosperous society so many are poor, sick, suffering, and still oh so lost! 

And does the church, as it’s supposed to, helping as much as it can? Certainly not! The church and its hierarchical system and too many of us supposed believers are too interested in building wealth, power and success as the world sees it. Like we’ve forgotten, or simply choose to ignore, those memorable words of Jesus chocked full of heavenly advice! ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Oh my people, that is possibly the most important and significant advice that Jesus ever gave us! Our future, our eternal home lies in heaven, not here on earth, consequently we ought to be seeking the things of God, not the things of the world. Remember too that Jesus prayed the Father that He should keep us out of the world, that though we had to be in it to do His bidding, we should not be a part of it. 

‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

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 may also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:16-21) 

Ah mih people, two thousand years ago, Jesus even prayed for those who would eventually believe in Him, that’s you and me, to be set aside for God’s work, and be one in unity of spirit, so that we could be salt and light in this dark, evil and ungodly world. But we’re not fulfilling His mighty purpose; for whatever reason, too many of us have lost our salty flavour and our batteries need serious recharging! 

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘17:18. Sent me…sent them means the mission of the church corresponds to that of Christ. Their tasks are alike – in fact, in purpose, and in results, as this prayer shows.’ And so it should be, if we are serious and sincere followers of Jesus Christ! ‘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).’ 

Yeh friends, all those scriptures preach unity of spirit and purpose, however organizational unity makes it so much easier to have spiritual unity. And I’m sure that Jesus and Bruh Paul didn’t expect or want us to have so much organizational disunity, with so many religions, denominations, sects and what have you, that obviously causes a serious problem with achieving and attaining spiritual unity! End of sermon! 

But seriously though friends, we all know deep down in our hearts and souls that we can ALL come up higher in God’s work, that includes many of the leaders of the church, whose indescribable atrocities are turning more people away from Christ than to Him. 

I therefore implore us, if we’re serious about leading people to Christ, let’s clean up our acts nuh, come to the Father in humble and sincere prayer, offer repentance, ask for forgiveness and mercy and help to do better. He will NEVER turn away or not positively answer such heartfelt requests. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yehhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong and sincere voice 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!’ 

So please, please mih people, let’s go out today and do just that nuh! It’s all that Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…the believers duty…to let our saltiness flavour the whole earth…and our lights shine brightly in its darkness…to lead the way to Christ…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2019 Mark 1:35.

Mark 1:35.   ​And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place and there prayed.

Summer time, summer time, summer time! It’s a good time…but it’s moving oh so quickly! Can you believe that we just finished celebrating Canada Day at the beginning of July and it’s already the middle of July? Where are the days flying by to eh? And next thing yuh know is September and the summer done and yuh haven’t had a good chance to really enjoy it, because it seems so short. Meanwhile, winter just seems to prolong and prolong…like forever. 

I guess that’s because good and pleasant things don’t last as long as we’d like, while the unpleasant ones last much longer than we want. And I guess the same goes for weekends, which morph into Mondays much too quickly. But that’s life friends. We can’t change it, so we just have to make the best of it. And if you happen to be suffering from the Monday Blues, then you’ve come to the right place, because we have the antidote for just such ailments, in the form of sincere prayer, namely, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s put our hearts and souls into it nuh, as we confidently, but humbly approach the throne of grace, imploring our heavenly Father for His help. 

As one strong voice: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Mama Mia! Our wonderful God will never refuse such sincere requests, especially since all we’re asking for is His strength, confidence, leading and guidance to go out and do His will! No wonder you suddenly feel a renewed strength, with a bouncy spring in your step and an overwhelming desire to get out there and engage the enemy in fierce warfare! That’s the Father’s answer to our prayer, through His Holy Spirit. 

Ah mih people, prayer is such a wonderful thing! And why shouldn’t it be eh, since it was devised by the One true and living God, for direct communication between Him and His people; that’s us, believers in His Son Jesus Christ! And there are so many nuances to prayer that we can never cover them all here in the Bit. But let it be known that prayer is, and will always be the best form of therapy, for each and every need, in this evil plagued and ungodly world! 

Yes friends, whatever the problem is, prayer should ALWAYS be our first resort…not our last one! Oh, and don’t forget to give thanks through prayer, when things are going right too eh. Prayer is not just for problems, but also for thanksgiving. And believe you me, our heavenly Father gets annoyed and disappointed when we don’t come to Him first with our problems, because He sees Himself as our great problem solver. And the one thing that all men of great faith had in common was prayer; they offered up prayer for any and everything. So why should we be any different in these troubled times eh? 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Bruh Paul. He said that we should be ‘Praying ALWAYS, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’  (Eph.6:18) And don’t forget to ‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thess.5:17) But also ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. ’ (1 Tim.2:8) So you see that prayer is an indispensable, continuous, any and everywhere aspect of a believer’s life. And Jesus said it best: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ (Luke 18:1) 

How can you refute Jesus’ command if you are a sincere believer then eh? You can’t. But unfortunately a lot of us still try to do it. Maybe that’s because we’re not sincere. Who knows? But one thing about our Saviour, unlike so many of us, He always walked His talk. And there are so many instances in the Good Book which showed Jesus just leaving the crowds, even the disciples, and going off by Himself somewhere quiet to pray. And I just LOVE this particular scripture, our Bit for today: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place and there prayed.’ 

Wow friends! That just talks to my soul and spirit! I guess that’s why I like to sit on my front porch in the early hours of the morning; it’s so conducive for communing with the Father. The only difference is that I don’t like to get up early, I prefer to go to bed late. (smile) Just goes to show that Jesus began each day with prayer, and if the Son of God needed to hear from His heavenly Father before going out into the world, then who are we to be any different eh? 

So my fellow saints in Christ, I implore us, from this day forth, to make prayer a big, constant and anywhere thing in our lives. Remember, it’s all for our benefit…not God’s. So let’s show some serious wisdom and reverence nuh, it will pay off in the end. Much LOVE!

…PRAYER…the lifeblood of the Christian believer…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2019 Philippians 2:15.

Philippians 2:15.    ​That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
 

Summer days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yes my people, it surely seems as though the summer time is fully upon us now, what with all these beautiful days all in a row with warm temps and what not! (smile) And it’s a long weekend to boot; Canada Day weekend where we celebrate our Independence from our Colonial masters. 

Yes friends, we’re a hundred and fifty two years old now; young compared to many other nations, but we’re growing in strength, faith, godliness and LOVE daily! Give God the thanks my Canadian brethren! 

And before we go any further, let me remind us of those wise, immortal words of Granny that are so applicable to this weekend of mucho celebration. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober please mind yuh business!’ Please take serious note my people and be very careful this long weekend. And is the workingman ever bursting to sing his weekend song, so let’s hear him nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui…and the weekend here at last! And was this ever a rough week because the slave master had plenty work to get out before the long weekend. And wow! Is Canada Day long weekend, which means party, party, party! And the weather supposed to be nice everlasting too, right up there in the high 20’s! Mama Yo! Are we ever going to mash up this weekend. 

Yuh can’t rightly celebrate Canada independence without a big bash! Lots ah eating and drinking, imbibing some good brew…and even some of the hard stuff too! I can imagine what cottage country going to look like this weekend. All the big shots and them going to be having a blast and the lakes and them going to be full ah boats riding up and down with parties galore on them. 

But is okay. I don’t jealous them their high life. I’m going to enjoy my low life right down here in the city. Me and my pardies, we going to have just as good a time…and possibly even better. So leh we just thank God for weekends and this wonderful country of Canada nuh!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see why Granny’s words are so important when coming to these big celebrations. In all the excitement and joy, we just liable to go overboard like the workingman’s planning to do. But as believers in Christ Jesus we can’t afford to go that far into the bacchanalian situation because the enemy will jump right into that opening and mess up our souls and spoil our witness for Christ. 

That’s why our Friday Chant is somewhat more reserved, thoughtful and even-tempered than the workingman’s weekend song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in loud voice, with a strong sense of purpose. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yes mih breddren, ours is a more sedate and responsible life. Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t party and have fun too, but we just have to be a li’l more careful when we let our hair down and don’t give the enemy a chance to invade our souls and cause us to do wrong, because that is his sole purpose in life…get a Christian to fall flat on his face, both literally and figuratively, then laugh in Jesus face and gleefully declare: 

‘Look, look at yuh boy down there in the gutter nuh…drunk like a skunk! And he is the one yuh was praising up so much, about how he so good and godly. But yuh see how he really soft. Can’t even stand li’l bit a temptation! Hn, Hn, Hn! And it have plenty more like him out there too yes. Going to show yuh them every time ah conquer them!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we definitely can’t have Satan taunting and laughing up in Jesus face like that nuh! That means we have to seriously mind our p’s and q’s, else we liable to fall in the gutter too. And the church, Jesus’ body, already has enough black eyes on it, it doesn’t need anymore. That’s why friends, this Canada Day weekend, we need to consider seriously these words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. 

‘Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: 

That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth (fast to) the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.’ (Phil.2:12-16) 

And all that basically means friends, is now that we’ve been saved by the free gift of grace from God, not by anything we did, we have to stay attached to Christ and work at keeping our lives going in a godly direction. Being godly and righteous doesn’t just happen automatically once we’re saved, we have to work at it, run our race like Bruh Paul did. 

And if we are sincere about running that godly race, then the Lord will help us do so through the leading, guiding and comforting of His Holy Spirit. But that means we can’t grumble and complain when things don’t go our way, neither can we live in anger and resentment with our fellow man. We need to be bright and shining lights for and of Jesus in this most perverse generation ever of mankind. 

Remember, God has a plan for each and every one of our lives, and though He’ll gladly show us what it is, and help us accomplish it, He won’t do it all for us, we need to do our part of the covenant and put in some elbow grease too. So this Canada day weekend, let’s keep all of that in mind as we party hearty, and enjoy ourselves, for that is one of the reasons Christ died in our place; that we can rejoice and be happy in living and working for Him. Much LOVE!

…I am come…that they might have life…and have it more abundantly… (John 10:10b)

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 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…

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