Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2020 Zechariah 4:6.

Zechariah 4:6.     ​Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
 

Well hello there mih lovelies! Greetings and salutations! It’s so good to come to you again in fellowship with LOVE and peace in Christ uppermost in our minds and souls! It means that the Lord has granted us another day to do His work down here on earth, to complete the plan He’s ordained since the beginning of time for our lives. And this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin admirably describes how our heavenly Father works in our lives when we are obedient to His will. It’s simply titled ‘The Task.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord you give me a task So utterly impossible So totally beyond comprehension – The very thought of it Startles me. I want to run hide escape Anything, Lord. Then you electrify me You invade and permeate me You penetrate every fibre of me Until the task is accomplished By Your own magnificent power. Then You praise the performance Your creativity achieved And You reward me beyond expectation – As though I had done it All by myself. My Father.’ 

Now how wonderful is that eh? I’d say, most wonderful! (smile) That’s why I keep telling us about the magnificent and magnanimous God we serve. No other supposed deity would ever do such a thing; give you a tough task, then help you do it, then give you credit for it when it was done strictly under His watchful eye and mighty power! But that’s how the great God; Jehovah, Yahweh, I Am, whatever you choose to call him, operates! And that’s why I also can’t understand why we don’t live in greater obedience to Him, but foolishly prefer to run behind the things of the world. 

And our stupidity just boggles my mind, because He’s most faithfully promised that if we seek first his kingdom and His righteousness that all those worldly things we need…and much more too, will be given to us! Our problem is that we’re proud and greedy and impatient. We want it all, and right now, so we kill ourselves working for it, and sadly end up with no time to truly enjoy the worldly fruits of our labour. Now does that make sense my brethren? Obviously not! 

And even in these dangerous times of pandemic and strife, it’s still the worldly things for which we’re hungering, instead of being peaceful and calm and using this imposed time to come closer to our God, the One who LOVES unconditionally, and so much that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die, to be led like a sacrificial lamb to the slaughter, so that our sins could be paid for by His sinless blood. And yet still…we refuse to believe and obey… Ah mih people, I don’t know what else to say nuh to get us to truly embrace our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and to do His works down here on earth as He so greatly desires. 

So let’s turn back to our poem and the Bible verse to which it’s associated. It’s a promise of our God to the prophet Zechariah, re His doing of difficult or seemingly impossible things. In a vision the prophet saw a golden candlestick and two olive trees and did not understand their meaning. The angel of the Lord told Zechariah. ‘This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ (Zech. 4:6) Oh friends, what a most wonderful promise! 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘4:1-14. The fifth vision, the golden candlestick and the two olive trees: The work of God (the rebuilding of the temple) would be accomplished through God’s leaders, Joshua and Zerubbabel, who would be enabled to perform their tasks by the Spirit of God….’ Ah mih people, that was not the first time that the Lord had used His Spirit to enable His followers to perform His work. How do you think that Nehemiah was able to rustle together the remnants in Jerusalem and rebuild the walls of the city in only fifty two days eh? (Neh. 6:15) It was through the Spirit of the Lord! 

And it’s a promise that the Lord made several times in the Old Testament. Hear Him to the prophet Hosea with his unfaithful wife. ‘But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.’ (Hos. 1:7) And then to the prophet Joel, our great God proclaimed: ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the (men) servants and the handmaids (maidservants) in those days will I pour out my spirit.’ (Joel 2:28-29)

 Oh what a marvellous promise! And we’ll go back to the scholar’s explanation of Zechariah’s vision. ‘…The vision indicates that future Israel will be a blessing to all the nations of the world through an abundant supply of the Spirit of God as the result of the coming of the Messiah, who will unite the offices of priest and king in Himself.’ 

And yes, that’s exactly what happened when Jesus came, and when He promised the coming of the Comforter. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you’ (John 14:16-17) 

And furthermore, Jesus reassured them.. and us: ‘But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ (John 14:26) Ah my fellow saints in Christ, how beautiful is our Lord and Saviour eh! And it happened exactly as promised on the day of Pentecost, some fifty days after Jesus ascended to heaven, after telling them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father. (Acts. 1:4) 

They were all in one place, with the same purpose in mind. ‘And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like of fire, and sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:2-4) 

Oh mih people, yuh think we God easy nuh! Not at all! He likes to show off His awesome power on behalf of His people, and since that momentous day of Pentecost, His Holy Spirit has dwelt within every believer, leading and guiding, comforting and renewing and helping us to live this earthly life in godly fashion! Wow! What more can we ask for eh? Not much! So let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail letting the world know of our awesome position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 we know for sure that if we hold our positions, endure to the end, then that promise will be kept, even more gloriously than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…to sincerely follow Jesus…that’s the ONLY way to live…   

P.S. Yes, it’s somewhat long…but oh so informative and reassuring! (smile) Much LOVE! 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2020 Acts 1:5.

Acts 1:5.    ​For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Come on mih bredrin, it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, time for worship, although we’re still not allowed to gather physically to sing and praise and worship our great and wonderful God! But the miraculous strides we’ve made in technology enable us to gather nonetheless, regardless of time and through space. (smile) And if it’s one thing we know for sure, is that this too must pass! 

But enough talking, today we celebrating one of the great days in our faith, the day when our church was born, the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was noised abroad upon the believers in Jerusalem; the day the awesome prophecy of the prophet Joel was fulfilled. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ (Joel 2:28) 

What a marvellous and miraculous day that was my people, probably only bested in the New Testament by Christ’s Birth and His Resurrection. But it was just the beginning… the beginning of times and things to come, which Christ’s birth stirred up. Anyway, let’s open the proceedings as always, with a song of praise. And today’s song is ever so appropriate to the celebration. It’s a rocking Reggae tune written by Noel Willis and performed by a Jamaican group called the Grace Thrillers, and the tune is aptly titled: ‘The Holy Ghost Power!’ 

Wow! And we all know the enormous power the Holy Ghost possesses. So let’s get rocking in soulful harmony and let heaven know that we’re ever so thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Please ignore the Repeats, otherwise we’d be here singing all day long. (smile) All together now: ‘The Holy Ghost power movin’ just like a magnet The Holy Ghost power movin’ just like a magnet Movin’ here, movin’ there, just like the day of Pentecost The Holy Ghost power movin’ just like a magnet. (Repeat) Welcome, welcome, welcome Blessed Holy Ghost, we welcome you Come with power and fill our temple Holy Ghost, we welcome you (Repeat) 

Fire, fire, fire When my soul caught fire When my soul caught fire When my soul caught fire It burnt out carnal nature Hallelujah what a Saviour When my soul, when my soul When my soul caught fire (Repeat) Fire, fire, fire, fire will fall on me Fire, fire, fire, fire will fall on me Just like the day of Pentecost Fire will fall on me Just like the day of Pentecost Fire will fall on me (Repeat) It’s coming down, down, down It’s coming down When the glory of the Lord is coming down When the saints begin to pray And the Lord shall have His way When the glory of the Lord is coming down (Repeat) 

Blessed Holy Ghost come down, fall on Zion Blessed Holy Ghost come down, fall on Zion If you call at midnight, Jesus hears and He answers If you call at midnight the Holy Ghost sets your soul on fire The inspiration from the preacher, sent the sinner to the altar Sets your soul on fire Blessed Holy Ghost come down, fall on Zion (Repeat) Oh, let the power fall on me, my Lord Let the power fall on me Oh, let the power from heaven, fall on me Let the power fall on me Let the power fall on me Let the power fall on me… Power, power, power, power, power Power, power, power, power, let the power fall on me fall on me… 

I feel like the fire shut up in my bones (fire, fire) I feel like the fire shut up in my bones (fire, fire) Singing Glory, Hallelujah, oh yes I feel like the fire shut up in my bones, ooh… Send some more Elijah to pray the power down (Amen) Send the fire, also send the rain To heal the sick, raise the dead and glorify His name I would like to hear Elijah pray again (More Elijah, more Elijah) Send some more Elijah to pray the power down (More Elijah, more Elijah, more Elijah, more Elijah) 

The Holy Ghost power is movin’ just like a magnet (movin’, movin’) The Holy Ghost power is movin’ just like a magnet (movin’, movin’, movin’) Movin’ here, movin’ there, just like the day of Pentecost The Holy Ghost power is movin’ just like a magnet (movin’, movin’, movin’) just like the day of Pentecost The Holy Ghost power is movin’ just like a magnet (movin’, movin’, movin’) 

Oh mih people, mih people, what a rocking rendition! After the first few bars, all of heaven was rocking and dancing with us! You can’t celebrate the Holy Ghost and heaven not participate, for He is indeed One of the Holy Triumvirate; the One who looks after us, comforts and guides us all down here on earth. And it’s so sad that so many in our world don’t believe in our ever-faithful God, for this day was also promised by Jesus to His disciples before He ascended to heaven. ‘For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ 

That’s why Jesus told them shortly before to remain in Jerusalem ‘but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.’ (Acts 1:4b) He is referring to His promise: ‘And if you LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.’ (John 14:15-16) Jesus Himself couldn’t stay with them in person, but when He went back to heaven the Father would send a spiritual replacement to be with them forever. And though we read about the coming of the Holy Spirit every year at Pentecost, it’s such a remarkable story that it keeps turning us on every time we read it. 

Please note though that Pentecost was already a feast day of the Jewish Passover, so the day the Holy Spirit began living in believer’s hearts was not the first day of Pentecost. Now hear how the Good Book details it nuh. ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (one purpose in mind) in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

The mighty hand of God moved friends… and not in no simple minuscule way, but with power; with wind and fire! Thus all the people who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover heard the Holy Ghost baptized brethren speak to them in their own native language, which obviously surprised them, mere uneducated Galileans speaking so many different languages…they must be drunk. But big Peter got up and made the speech of his life, giving them the true story. Time and space preclude us from telling it, but you can certainly read it for yourself.  (Acts 2:14-42) 

And yuh know what happened at the end of that most memorable day my bredrin? Three thousand people were saved…! Yes, the church grew by three thousand in that first day… And how could we not LOVE and glorify, and adore and revere our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who sacrificed everything for us eh? Think on it nuh friends…just think on it nuh! Much LOVE!

…the Holy Ghost power…the most powerful force in a believer’s life…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2019 Joel 2:28.

Joel 2:28.   ​And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.
 
And after the snow and the freezing cold, come the rain and the flood! Yeh friends, flood warnings have been issued in these parts for the next couple days due to the quickly melting snow and the rain accompanying it. As they say, when it’s not one thing, it’s another! 

But that’s just life, and we have to roll with the punches, and as believers in Christ we are better prepared to do that than most of the population, so there should be no cause for overly serious concern.

Nonetheless, we’re only human and still liable to fall prey to the deceitful whispers of the enemy, which means we’re somewhat less than up to scratch this wet and rainy Monday morning. (smile) But it’s all good, for we have just the right pick-me-up to solve your problem; that’s our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; antidote of much repute! 

So without further ado, let’s get seriously, but humbly and confidently communicating with the Father. As one body now: ‘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!’ 

There you go friends, matter fixed! We’re bright and bubbly now as the Holy Spirit works in us to put a smile on our faces, strength and confidence in our hearts and souls and have us excited to go out now and work for Jesus! Wow! What a transformation can take place when the Spirit of the Lord God Jehovah goes to work in His children! There’s nothing else like it in this whole wide world! 

And that points us to God’s promise of that future event through the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

And then Joel goes on to prophesy about the things that will go on during the Great Tribulation and the establishment of the earthly Davidic millennial kingdom that follows the events of the Great Tribulation. However, we’re only interested here in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh, and we all know that happened on the miraculous Day of Pentecost! 

What a majestic showing that was mih people! Nobody can put on a show like our omnipotent God nuh! Can you imagine sitting down in that room with the disciples, and all of a sudden you hear this sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind which then proceeded to fill the whole house? (Acts 2:2) I know they were all waiting for and anticipating the coming of the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised, but I doubt that they were expecting it to be so such a heart-stopping event. 

And the mighty rushing wind wasn’t all, for as the Good Book tells it: ‘And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:3-4) 

And can you imagine the confusion when these uneducated men from the surrounding area came out and began speaking in the languages of the different Jews who had come to Jerusalem for the big feast? They were all amazed, some even claimed that they were drunk: ‘Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.’ (Acts 2:13) 

But that’s when Peter gave his great speech: ‘ But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said, unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day (9.am). But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;’ (Acts 2:14-16) And then he goes on to specify the words of our Bit and the rest of Joel’s prophecy.  

So you see friends, it’s not wise to write off any of God’s promises, especially if He doesn’t give a definite time frame, for remember His thoughts and ways and times are not like ours, so some of those promises could be earmarked for hundreds of years later, like that of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon all believers. 

Now I sincerely hope we have all been encouraged some this Monday morning, and that our faith has also been strengthened by this review of one of God’s great promises! So please hang in there and don’t ever give up, even when things seem like they can’t get any worse, because they can always get better when our hope and trust and faith are safely placed in our Triune God! Much LOVE!

…logic dictates…that when you’re at the bottom…the only place left to go is up…and Jesus can…and will reach down and pull you up… 

P.S. I’m chuckling here as I just realized that I passed the test, and thus have a testimony! Hear it nuh. The ole fella had a rough night, and so was one of those in the not up to scratch group today, (smile) and was really struggling to write the Bit. But I hung in, didn’t give up, and yuh see how Jesus eventually reached down and pulled me up out of the mire and helped me to write something sensible. (smile) Bless His holy name and His faithfulness! That means He can and will do the same for you too. Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2018 John 14:15.

John 14:15.   If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.

And then it was Friday…already? Yes already. Remember, it was just a short workweek, what with the Caribana Monday holiday. Ah yes! I remember now! That means we into the weekend. Yes. We’re into the weekend. 

And does it ever warm the cockles of the workingman’s heart that he sings out with joyous abandon: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And we only work four days this week! Mama Yo! Ah don’t see why they can’t make it just a four day week all the time nuh. Then we’ll have so much more time to party. Party…Party…Party! 

Yeh, life is all about partying, about living it up, about eating and drinking and having a good time, wining down like we did this past Caribana weekend. What did Solomon, the wisest man ever say? Something like eat and drink today, for tomorrow you may die. Well that is exactly what we doing! So if we die tomorrow, we won’t have no regrets. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, that is how the world thinks, how the unwise adherents of the prince of darkness behave. But as followers of, and true believers in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Light, we cannot afford to think or behave like that. Our Crown Prince wants us to behave with a tad more restraint than the workingman. It’s not that we can’t enjoy ourselves, but not to the extent that the world does, in terms of lewdness and leggo beast behaviour. 

That difference shows up in our weekend song, our Friday Chant, a much more responsible ditty. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh, in response to the workingman’s proclamation. 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.’ 

Now that’s more like it mih breddren! We still have fun and enjoy ourselves, but we just don’t take things to the extreme, we exhibit a li’l more care and concern, like Jesus desires of us. As He says so simply and explicitly in our Bit: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ 

It couldn’t get any plainer or simpler than that my people. If we LOVE Jesus we WILL keep His rules and regulations, for every organization has to have a stated, streamlined and orderly manner in which to carry out their business, if they want to grow and prosper. And that’s what Jesus definitely desires of His organization, the church! 

So if we want His church to grow and prosper, we must abide by His commands, toe the party line as it were, and not behave like the irresponsible workingman. Jesus said those words in our Bit to His disciples when He was preparing to go back to heaven. Obviously they were grieved and disappointed, but He solemnly promised. 

‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you. 

Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him, and will manifest (reveal) myself to him.’ (John 14:16-21) 

Oh mih people, what marvellous and miraculous promises, all of which have been kept! And we especially talking about the promise of the new Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which came to earth on the Day of Pentecost and made mas in Jerusalem, with a rushing wind and cloven tongues like fire sitting on the followers of Jesus.

It caused them to speak in foreign languages, and they were so excited, behaving like the workingman I suppose,(smile) that the people of Jerusalem thought they were drunk at that early hour in the morning. And Peter preached one of the best sermons ever preached. You can read all about it in Acts 2. 

That’s when the Holy Ghost began to indwell ALL believers…and it still does today! Yes friends, that’s the Comforter Jesus promised, the Spirit of truth, and it certainly does all the things He promised it would. And the world still cannot see it because they don’t believe in and follow Jesus. 

And we’ll end with some reinforcements from John in his first epistle. ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome). For whatsoever (whosoever) is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:3-5) 

Mama Mia! What indisputable truth! Only those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God can overcome this dark and evil world controlled by the fallen angel Lucifer! That’s it, plain and simple! So what shall your decision be eh? Do you want to overcome the world? I certainly hope so. Then you know what to do. Much LOVE!

…if you want to dwell in the light…and overcome the world…then you must accept Jesus as the Master of your life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2018 2 Corinthians 9:8.

2 Corinthians 9:8.    And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

It’s Sunday once again friends, the Lord’s Day, and all roads lead to His sanctuary, to praise, worship, fellowship, hear His word and receive strength and confidence to go out and do His work with diligence and excellence in the upcoming week! 

And that’s partly why the Bit is this late; the ole fella finally darkened the church’s door after about three or four weeks of absence. Hn! I can’t remember being that long away from church for several years now. Anyway, we’re back, and did enjoy the fellowship and the reading of the word. 

And as always, on Sundays we begin by opening our mouths, and lifting up our voices in songs of worship and praise. It helps to soften our hearts for the word that comes later. (smile) And today’s song of praise is simply titled ‘Our God is able.’ And that’s an undeniable fact. So let’s belt it out with sincere hearts and strong voices. 

‘Our God is able. He will never fail. He is Almighty God. Greater than all we seek. Greater than all we ask. (Chorus: He has done great things. Lifted up. He defeated the grave. Raised to life. Our God is able. In His name we overcome. For the Lord, Our God is able.) 

God is with us. God is on our side. He will make a way. Far above all we know. Far above all we hope. (Chorus) God is with us. He will go before us. He will never leave us. He will never leave us. God is for us. He has open arms. He will never fail us. He will never fail us. (Chorus -repeat).’ 

Oh friends, every word we sang there is indeed gospel truth, for our God is indeed able, as Bruh Paul declared to the Corinthians in his second missive to them. ‘And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.’ What an awesome God we serve and worship my brethren! 

And if you don’t believe, just look at what happened on the Day of Pentecost, which the church is celebrating today. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the disciples to remain in Jerusalem: ‘For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ (Acts 1:5)

…But ye shall receive power, after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8) 

Yeh friends, who could make such a remarkable promise and keep it eh? ONLY our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And we read it every year at Pentecost time, but it still boggles our imagination. 

The Good Book says that on the Day of Pentecost, ‘they were all with one accord (purpose or mind) in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Wow, mih people! Can you imagine that scene back in ole Jerusalem on that first day of Pentecost? It must have been really wild, since there were oodles of people in Jerusalem at that time, many of them foreign born, and when the disciples emerged from their house and began to speak in several languages, so that those foreign born could understand in their own languages. Mama Yo! It must have been almost cataclysmic! (smile) 

‘Now when this was noised abroad (the sound of the wind occurred) the multitude came together and were confounded (confused), because every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 

And how hear we every man in our own tongue (language or dialect) wherein we were born? …And they were all amazed and, and were in doubt (perplexed), saying one to another, What meaneth this?’ (Acts 2:6-8, 12-13) 

Oh fellow believers, ONLY our God is great enough to turn things on their head like that! But as always there are disbelievers and mockers, who said that the men were drunk. But Peter got up and preached his finest sermon that day, informing them that it was the coming to pass of an old promise of our God, from the days of the prophet Joel: 

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God. I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams… And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Acts 2:17,21) 

Yeh mih people, the Lord promised many other signs and wonders within that passage, but the most important was the last one; that whosoever should call on His name will be saved. Glory Hallelujah! The most glorious promise in the Good Book! 

And that also marked the beginning of the Holy Spirit coming to dwell within every believer to lead and guide them in the ways of the Lord. So it’s obvious that our God is able my brethren…able to do all that’s necessary to keep us going. Please don’t ever doubt God’s ability, and give Him plenty thanks and praise, for that is wisdom at its highest. Much LOVE!

…if God could speak the world into existence…what other mighty works can’t He do eh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2018 Ezekiel 11:19.

Ezekiel 11:19.    And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you (them); and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.

Wow friends, it’s Friday already! A week since I had the surgery, and hopefully I’m on my way to a full recovery. But it’s going to take time.  And isn’t it strange how time seems to go by quickly when you don’t want it to, and slowly when you want it to go by quickly. 

Hn! I guess you’d call that life. But anyway, there’s not much we can do about it, but hope that it comes up in our favour and we have the patience and perseverance to bear how ever long time takes. (smile) 

Anyway, sorry about that break, a friend came to visit and we had a nice long chat. Thanks for the visit Mabel. And regardless of what I might have to say, the workingman is still going to sing his song: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Oh people, oh people, the weekend here! Is we time now. No more work…just party and enjoy we selves… and doh care who doh like it. Heh, heh, heh! Enjoy yourself…Enjoy yourself…it’s later than you think…and yuh better believe it! Time not waiting on you. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, as usual, the workingman does have some good points, but he just goes a tad too far out on the limb. We believers are not allowed, or rather supposed to go that far out. We have boundaries that serve to keep the enemy from getting even a toehold in our affairs. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different from the workingman’s song. So with just as much, if not more enthusiasm, let’s chant it now nuh. 

‘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 mih breddren, as faithful followers of Jesus, our lot is to stay within the boundaries that Jesus set. Enjoy ourselves, but don’t get too lustful and licentious. Don’t allow our flesh to control us, but rather let the Spirit of Jesus lead and guide our earthly journey. 

Oh my people, from way back when, the Lord promised that Holy Spirit. Listen to Him through Ezekiel from our Bit.‘And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you (them); and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.’ 

Why, you wonder? ‘That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances (judgements), and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.’ (Ezek.11:20) And as always friends, the Lord kept His promise on that first day of Pentecost. 

As the Good Book tells it: On that faithful day, the apostles were all sitting together, ‘And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:3-4) 

What a faithful and awesome God we serve people! One who keeps His promises though we may have to wait on His timing for them. Under the Mosaic covenant, the Holy Spirit would fall upon individual people at certain times, and act in an external manner, but after Jesus ascended back to heaven, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, then was sent to dwell in the hearts and souls of each and every believer. 

The Lord took away our hearts of stone and gave us hearts of soft, pliable and malleable flesh, hearts filled with His LOVE and compassion, rather than the enemy’s hate, anger and evil purposes. Glory to our great and wonderful God my brethren! Such an awesome and ever-LOVING Deity who while we were yet sinners, sacrificed His Only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our abominable sins, so that we could be made sons, heirs to His kingdom. 

Mama Mia! How could we not LOVE and revere, and adore and exalt Him eh? We’d have to be the most ungrateful and selfish of creatures. And unfortunately there are way too many of us like that. And I’m not going to get into all the works and actions of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we all know them, or should by now. 

I’m just going to end with two pieces of Old Testament scripture that are still very relevant to our modern day lives. The first is a warning from Cousin Sol: ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’ (Prov.16:32) 

That means, controlling ourselves is of enormous importance, and although the Holy Spirit is there to lead and guide us, we still have to make the decision to listen to the Spirit’s guidance and accede to His wishes. And we’ll end with this beautiful bit of heart-felt scripture from Bruh David, after he acknowledges his sin with Bathsheba. 

‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) Yeh friends, our magnanimous God will NEVER turn down a sincere, heartfelt plea like that. So when we feel things aren’t right with us, don’t be afraid to call out to Him for help. He’s always available to help us. Much LOVE!

…the worker bee of the Holy Trinity…Holy Spirit…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2017 John 14:16.

John 14:16.   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.

Arise my brethren, it is the Lord’s Day, and we must be trekking to His sanctuary to engage in blissful fellowship with other believers. What a time it will be, with joyful songs of praise and worship, the reading of God’s word, which enlivens our spirit, and words of encouragement and prayer for and with each other. 

But notwithstanding all of that, these are indeed disastrous times in our world, and we need extra comfort from our faith, thus we’ll open this morning with the old hymn ‘Precious Lord, take my hand’ that fits the bill. The song was written in 1932 by Thomas A Dorsey, a black man from Chicago after his wife Nettie died while giving birth to a child (who also died shortly thereafter). Dorsey sang the song for his friend, Gospel singer Theodore Frye, and Frye’s choir sang it the next Sunday at the Ebeneezer Baptist Church. 

So please friends, and fellow believers, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise from our lips, as we seek comfort from our comforting God. In rich and soulful harmony now, as we feel it down in our very beings. ‘Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) 

When my way grows drear, Precious Lord, linger near, When my life is almost gone, Hear my cry, hear my call, Hold my hand lest I fall: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) When the darkness appears And the night draws near, And the day is past and gone, At the river I stand, Guide my feet, hold my hand: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) 

Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on, let me stand, I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m alone; Through the storm, through the night Lead me on to the light Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home (lead me home)’ 

Oh my brethren, there is NONE other than Almighty God who can satisfy that need for reassurance and comfort in our hurting souls! That’s why we need to call out to Him first when terrible times overcome us, for He is our indispensable Healer and Comforter. Listen as Jesus offers assurance to His disciples in our Bit. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.’ 

Oh friends, what a wonderful Lord and Saviour we have! He knew that He had to go away and that the disciples would be left in the lurch without Him around.  So He made arrangements with the Father to send them another Comforter, like Jesus, the Holy Spirit, that would dwell within them forever. And he continues: ‘Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’ (John 14:17) 

And the scholars tell us: ’14:17. The Spirit…shall be in you: The ministry of the Holy Spirit, promised to believers of this age, is unique, since it is given to all believers alike, and is permanent (dwelleth, that is “takes up residence”). See verse 23.’  

And we all know that the Holy Spirit made that magnificent appearance to all believers on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus had told them to stay in Jerusalem until the new Comforter came, because they would not have had the parts to go out and do what He required of them. The Good Book describes that momentous event thus: ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (one purpose, mind) in one place. 

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Ah mih friends, our God doesn’t too things in half measures! When He decides to put on a show, He puts on a big one, with all the bells and whistles, not a little Mickey-Mouse event! (smile) But Jesus’ most touching words to me, were the ones He spoke after promising to send the Holy Spirit. ‘I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:18) 

What care and compassion Jesus shows for those distraught men who had given up everything they had to follow Him, thinking that He would be setting up a new kingdom at that time, only to later learn that He would be killed and then He would go away and leave them…but not alone. That’s not Jesus’ style friends. Once you come to Him, He will ALWAYS be with you: ‘for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb:13:5) 

Oh my people, in ending, all I can says is that the best place to find comfort and compassion in times of sorrow, is in the ever-open and ever-LOVING arms of Jesus. He has already offered the great invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt.11:28-30)  

Friends, it doesn’t get any better than that. But please remember, YOU have to make a serious decision to go to Him to find succour. It won’t just fall in your lap. Much LOVE!

…on a comfort scale of 1-10…Jesus is 11 plus…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2016 Joel 2:28

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

And then it was the first day of the week – Sunday – the Lord’s Day…Glory Hallelujah! That means it’s time to get our weekly God-fix! And that’s meant in a positive manner.  It’s time to hie thee to the Lord’s sanctuary and raise the roof, or if it’s outdoors raise heaven’s roof, with songs of praise and worship, of adoration and awe and reverence to our wonderful Creator! 

And the good thing about all that is that it’s not a one way street. In return we will receive God’s peace and confidence, His encouragement and assurance, His strength and steadfastness so that we can successfully face the workday world for another week. 

And all God’s children gave out a delightful and grateful shout of ‘All praise and thanks be to our awesome God, who was, who is, and who always will be! Bless His holy name! Amen.’ 

And friends, today is a special day in the life of believers; it spells the formal beginning of Christ’s church; it’s the day of Pentecost, when the beginning of God’s promise in our Bit was fulfilled. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’  

Before this, the Spirit of God worked from the outside, came upon believers individually, temporarily, often to perform some special work. But after that, the Lord’s Spirit was going to work internally, in a permanent manner. It would come upon each and every believer and dwell within them as soon as they believed; accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. 

And that promise from Joel was also renewed by Jesus just before His ascension, when He told the disciples: ‘And, behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry (stay) ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.’ (Luke 24:49) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘24:49. Here is the source of strength for effective evangelism. The promise of my Father stresses that the Spirit’s coming is not an afterthought, but an integral part of God’s eternal will. Endued conveys the picture of one being clothed with God’s enablement. Waiting is part of necessary preparation for the reception of God’s guidance and sanction.’  

And that is exactly what the disciples did; they waited in Jerusalem until they were clothed with God’s Holy Spirit, His enablement!  

Now listen to Luke describe the Day of Pentecost: ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (purpose or mind) in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  

And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Oh how great is our God, my brethren! For as Jesus also told the disciples before His ascension: ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ (Acts 1:5) And so said, so done! 

Now let me see if I can paraphrase an important distinction made here by the scholars. ‘2:4. Though verse 4 mentions only the filling with the Spirit, both the filling and the baptism occurred. Christ promised that the baptism would occur (1:4-5) and Peter later affirms that it did happen at Pentecost (11:15-16). 

The filling and the baptism are two different works performed by the Holy Spirit. Note their contrasts: (1) Following Pentecost every believer receives the baptism of the Spirit (1 Cor.12:13); hence the New Testament never commands the Christian to receive it. But the filling of the Spirit is not experienced by all believers, and so is commanded (Eph.5:18). 

(2) The baptism is permanent, happening but once and for all. The filling is ongoing, occurring continuously as seen in the present tense imperative of Ephesians 5:18, that is, “Keep on being filled.” The verse commands: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (riotousness): but be filled with the Spirit.” 

The filling of the Spirit is the controlling influence of the Spirit within the believer. Such control is neither universal or unending, thus it must be commanded and does recur within the believers (cf.4:8,31) The baptism is the act by which Jesus, through the Spirit, at conversion brings the believer into relation with Himself and makes the believer part of God’s people, the church. The filling is the continuous experience within the Christian whereby the Spirit, who already indwells him, keeps control over his life.’ 

Ah mih people, I know that sounds somewhat confusing, but if you take your time and read it, you will eventually understand what it’s all about.  (smile) 

And we’ll conclude with some of what happened after the Holy Spirit came upon the early church. ‘And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad (this sound occurred), the multitude came together and were confounded (confused) because every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 

And how hear we every man in our own tongue (language or dialect), wherein we were born… Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt (perplexed), saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.’ (Acts 2:5-8, 11-12) 

Oh my fellow believers, that must have been a rather tumultuous day in ole Jerusalem! When you hear a bunch of uneducated Galileans speaking about God in your own language, it must give you pause for wonder. And you can’t blame those who thought that the Christians were somewhat inebriated either.  

So today, please, let’s sit and ponder what the Holy Spirit has done, is doing and has promised to do in our lives. And above all let’s try and keep our souls continually filled with Him, and thus let Him control us, for that is the epitome of wisdom! Have a blessed day of Pentecost! Much LOVE!

…what’s there to control and baptize us and keep us filled with Christ…the Holy Spirit…