Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Come Sunday morning, me and my friends are heading for the Lord’s sanctuary, to celebrate His day, to give Him thanks and praise, to call to Him for help, and receive said help through the hearing of His Word, the supernatural moving of His Holy Spirit and encouragement from our fellow believers! That’s what me and my friends are going to do this Sunday morning – or evening – come hell or high water! 

Oh my people, a li’l cold or inclement weather shouldn’t stop us from getting out to the celebrations at some time of the day. Just think what our lives would be like if Jesus didn’t feel like coming to earth and going to the cross nuh? Remember the Father didn’t force Him, but He agreed to do it after He pointed out that Jesus was the only choice the bunch of sinful ingrates He created had of bypassing the consuming fires of hell. So having to make a bit of a sacrifice to go out one day a week and praise and give Him the glory He so assuredly deserves, should not be a big thing. 

Anyway, as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with some worship. And today’s hymn is an old one we all know and LOVE. It’s titled, ‘It is Well with my Soul.’ It highlights the incredible story of faith of one Horatio Spafford (1828-1888), who at the height of success and prosperity, like Job, suffered much tragedy. A prominent and prosperous Christian Chicago lawyer, he first suffered the loss of his son, then the Great Chicago Fire destroyed his real estate investments, then in 1873, he sent his wife and four daughters on a boat trip to Europe. 

However, a few days later, he received a telegram from his wife that said: ‘Saved alone…’ The boat had been shipwrecked and all four daughters lost. And ostensibly this oldie but goldie was created a short time later when Spafford on his way to meet his wife, was passing over the area where his daughters lost their lives. Now having heard that background, let’s open our hearts and voices to high heaven in a soulful and harmonious rendition of this testament to faith, and the resilience that can be found in Christ when it’s called for. 

As one now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul (Chorus: It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Chorus) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul (Chorus) 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Chorus) But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Chorus) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.’ 

Oh my people, what strong, incredible faith, what inordinate trust what herculean courage was called for to pen those awesome, but oh so true words! I doubt many believers (steups!) would have been able to do it, because not many of us have those magnanimous parts. Many of us would have been cursing God, even turned away from Him. But Mr. Spafford, in his tragic circumstance probably remembered Job’s story, possibly even read it, and like Job, concluded that ranting and raving against God would not help the situation. 

He obviously rejected Job’s wife’s advice in favour of Job’s wisdom: ‘Then said his (Job’s) wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall nor receive (accept) evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) Friends, that’s one of the most interesting and enlightening conversations in the Good Book. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘2:9-10. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it was no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen. 50:19-20; Bruh Joseph’s story). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear again in the book.’ 

And I guess Horatio Spafford also proved Satan wrong, because instead of cursing God, he wrote a touching testimonial to His awesome comfort and consolation in times of heartbreak and severe tragedy. And the only thing we can really do in those cases, unless we want to drive ourselves crazy, is hang on to this awesome scripture verse of hope: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ No other scripture can give us a supposedly comforting reason for why bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. 

Friends, we just have to put our total trust in Almighty God and remember what He’s done for us in the past, and lean on His promise that He will never leave or forsake us. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and He knows the end from the beginning, so we just have to surrender our all to Him, regardless of the circumstances. That’s what true faith is all about! Much LOVE!

…ours is not to question…just to trust and obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 October 2019 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.     If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.
 

It’s a somewhat damp and foggy Tuesday morning in my neck of the woods, so please be careful all you who have to get out on the road, because you know the kind of craziness that exists on our roadways these days. If you can wait until the fog lifts, please do so. And today we’re going to look at a very interesting quote from one of the leading Protestant Theologians of our age, Jurgen Moltman (1926) of the German Reformed Church. And the quote says: ‘The more passionately we LOVE life, the more intensely we experience the joy of life.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! When we’re passionate about life, or anything really, we enjoy the experience that thing brings more than if we’re not passionate about it. And there’s nothing to be more passionate about than the LOVE of God and the LOVE of life! Unfortunately though, too many of us have lost the passion we once had for real life and for God, and instead have embraced the unrealistic, soul destroying, short-lasting and unproductive passion for worldly stuff. We have to remember that life is not, and will never be completely smooth sailing, but a combination of storms and calms, highs and lows, and ‘choosing to live life on its terms brings enthusiasm and passion into our experiences. Our decision to LOVE life – despite the highs and lows – allows us to delight in the highs and to accept the lows as unavoidable, but momentary setbacks.’ 

Yeh friends, as someone once said, ‘setbacks are only opportunities in disguise.’ Therefore, though we may not like them, and they may prove to be difficult and frustrating, we still need to embrace them as important aspects of our lives, because we know that it is only through setbacks and adversity that we truly grow. We can’t hide from the difficult things, or those we don’t like, else we’ll never know or experience the true fullness and joy of life. Those who are passionate and enthusiastic about life, despite its many shortcomings, are the ones who rise to the top of the enjoyment heap. (smile) 

And the BEST way to handle life’s ups and downs is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ in our everyday lives! If you didn’t know that before, then you know it now! (smile) Oh my people, with Jesus as the mainstay, the mainmast, the pilot of our lives, we can remain calm through every storm, and handle every high and low with equanimity. But only the LOVE and acceptance of Jesus enables us to have those wonderful qualities! And why is that eh? Because when Jesus enters into our hearts and lives He puts the power of His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, and it’s that Holy Spirit that leads and guides, teaches and convicts, comforts and LOVES us, so that we can handle whatever comes against us with a good and sane attitude. 

Now, before we go any further, let’s make one thing real clear; following Jesus is wonderful, but it’s not always easy! And unless you’re ready to truly hunker down and do what He asks, then you’ll find yourself frustrated and unhappy from the very get go. So let’s look at some of the important but difficult stuff that Jesus laid out for His followers. The first and most important, but also most difficult requirement is laid down in these words of our Lord and Saviour to the disciples. ‘If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.’ That statement there usually stops many of us right in our tracks! The idea of denying ourselves and taking up a cross doesn’t sit well with any of us, but to follow Jesus they are necessary prerogatives. 

And here’s what the scholars have to say about it. ‘16:22-28. Deny himself, that is, refuse his own claims upon himself. Take up: The meaning is “lift up.” It is a stronger word than that used in 10:38, and implies a lifting up of the cross on high, so that all may see it. This is the strongest statement in the New Testament about the disciple’s need to crucify himself, by yielding to the claims of Christ’s lordship over him.’ Ah mih people, although it seems like we’re asked to give up so much for Christ, the reality is that we get back much much more than we give up when we’re steadfast and sincere. 

Now here’s what I LOVE about Jesus; He can give you comfort at the same time as promising adversity. Listen to Him to the disciples, and consequently to all His future followers. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Oh glory be my faithful brethren! What a mighty promise! The world is full of trials and tribulation, but when we embrace Jesus, we can have His peace! And what kind of peace is that? Listen to Jesus again: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

And hear how Bruh Paul describes that peace to the Philippians nuh. ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) And what kind of peace is all of that? The scholars explain: ‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and his ability to cope with and solve it.’ 

Yeh friends, when you walk sincerely with Jesus, ALL bases are covered! That’s not say you won’t have problems and face adversity, but you will be able to handle them with the awesome help of the Holy Spirit! Wow! Now, for those of us who truly believe and try to be faithful, let’s go home lifting up our crosses high, so the whole world can know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 let’s go out and do exactly that nuh my faithful brethren, as it behooves us as true followers of Christ. Much LOVE!

…to walk with Christ…is to walk in true peace…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2019 Isaiah 55:1.

Isaiah 55:1.    ​Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
 

Ah friends, it looks like it’s going to be one of those days; all the joints are aching and the ole fella’s dragging like an old man! Chuh! I hate when that happens, especially when I’m on a nice, fairly long, pain free run…well not completely pain free, because it’s never that nowadays. (smile) 

Yuh know what I mean though; not having to take no setta pain pills and moving along smooth and easy, the way the duchess likes to see her husband move. (smile) But as you also know, prayer is the panacea, the cure-all for ALL the ills of the soul, so let’s get into a nice li’l uplifting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional nuh. It’s simply titled: ‘Fill Me!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘O Lord, like the thirsty deer which goes to drink from the mountain springs; like the growing flower which turns hungrily to the satisfying sun; like the empty pitcher which is carried to the fountain to be filled; so I come, O God, knowing that in this time of prayer my soul will be filled with your LOVE and your truth. Thank you Lord! Amen.’  

Yes my people, if we were sincere and humble in that prayer, but also confident that God would grant our desire, then right now we’re being filled with the LOVE and truth of our heavenly father by the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Glory be, precious saints of Christ! What a great and wonderful God we serve my faithful brethren! 

A God who desires us to come to Him whenever we’re tired and thirsty, famished and broken down for rest, comfort and succour. That’s why the prophet Isaiah wisely advised his people, the Israelites, to ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found. Call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is.55:6) 

Yes friends, that’s simply common sense imbued with heavenly wisdom! (smile) He’s our Creator and Provider, so who else we going to call on eh? Surely not Ghostbusters, nor the evil one! And in keeping with the thirsty theme, I just want to look at some of the scriptures that powerfully illustrate our message, beginning with this wonderful, unimaginable invitation from God Himself, through Isaiah, to His people Israel, and consequently to us. 

‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ Wow! What an invitation mih breddren! Nobody else can ever match that! Buying spiritual milk and water and food for free! Only in the realm of our magnificent and magnanimous God is that possible! 

Hear what the scholars say about that nuh. ’55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to ALL who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to ALL men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

And here now are a few scriptures where men hungry and thirsty for God did just that, beginning with this favourite from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘As the hart (deer) panteth after (longs for) the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:1-2) 

Oh my people, are we that hungry and thirsty for our great God? I would certainly like to think so, but unfortunately the reality of our actions in these evil times doesn’t show it. It’s more like we’ve forgotten that God exists, and more like we’re trying to get rid of Him from our broken down and evil society. 

But just a word of caution; that’s impossible to do. He might allow us to carry on with our nonsense for a time, but in the end, He will have the last word and the last laugh. So please let’s wake up and realize that our world is on the brink of destruction and only real and strong faith in Christ Jesus can ever help us to fix it. Enough preaching though. (smile) 

Hear Bruh David now from Psalm 63 – God satisfies the thirsting soul. ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.’ (Ps.63:1) 

And in Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men, the psalmist declares thus: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness (LOVING-kindness).’ (Ps.107:8-9) Oh that men nowadays would really take those words of wisdom to heart and action them! Our world would be a much better place! 

And one more time from Bruh David from Psalm 143 – Teach me to do thy will. ‘ I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse (ponder) on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.   Selah.’ (Ps.143:5-6) Ah mih people, again we see Bruh David in anguish of spirit and soul, possibly beset by enemies thirstily crying out for God to fill him with grace and mercy and LOVING-kindness! So who are we not to do the same eh? 

Anyway, here is the definitive word on a spiritually hungry and thirsty soul…from none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt.5:6) And isn’t that the gospel truth! Those of us who are poor and hungry in spirit and realize the depth of our need and faithfully seek God, will indeed be filled with the Lord’s grace, mercy and LOVING-kindness! 

And having imbued our soul and spirit with those uplifting, assuring and comforting words, let’s go home now declaring (yes!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the world who and whose we are! In strong voice, as one: ‘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!’ 

Oh glory be mih people! What joy it brings to the soul when we are beloved of Jesus and can sincerely count Him as our friend! So please let’s go out and share that good news now nuh! It’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…oh, words cannot describe…how wonderful it feels…to have Jesus…living right here within me…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2019 Psalm 108:5.

Psalm 108:5.    ​Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth.
 

Oh yes friends, I had another first last night, or rather this morning: sitting on my porch, dressed in next to nothing  (smile) at minutes to two in the morning enjoying peaceful communion with my Maker! Wow! Is that ever peaceful and nice! What with few lights around and the stillness, except for the highway sounds in the far background! Is it ever a great time to enjoy quiet communion with our heavenly Father. 

And He likes it too, because there are fewer distractions available to come between us. Just like they say an empty church has more room for God, likewise, a quiet time offers more opportunity for serious communication with Him. I’d certainly advise trying it sometime. (smile) And since we’re talking about good, quiet times with the Father, then here is a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s aptly titled ‘Rare Moments of Delight!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Because You are God And Your Word is unquestionable There are things I assuredly know Even when my heart is a brambled desert And every ounce of emotion is drained: I know Your LOVE is everlasting I know You will NEVER forsake me Nor will You leave me comfortless I know I may come to You boldly 

I know You will teach and instruct me You will guide me with Your eye I know my past is forgiven And my future is secure. But oh, dear God How I praise You for the marvel Of those rare moments When suddenly, without a flash or a sound You add to my knowing The ecstasy of feeling And I am lifted to peaks of delight!’ 

Wow mih people! Wow! What else can I say eh? It’s one of those peaks of rare and sudden delight that I experienced this morning out on my porch, just me and the Lord alone! And what’s amazing and amusing is that I wasn’t planning on going outside nuh, I just came downstairs to get something to munch on, then as I was coming down the stirs the idea to check out the porch just occurred. 

But getting back to the poem, yuh see friends, how many things we are assured of by our heavenly Father, and how many things we are supposed to know for certain? The only problem is that we might know them in our heads, but we don’t action them enough in our hearts, where it really matters! And that’s where our version of Christianity breaks down in these evil and ungodly times. We badly need to action those things in our hearts if we’re to survive and be successful in these very trying and strife-filled days. 

Oh, we claim to know that God LOVES us unconditionally, and He’ll never leave us or forsake us, and we can go to Him at any time for comfort and guidance, but most of it is just talk. How many of us actually do that in the good times eh? And even when times get tough, and we seem lost in a fog, plenty of us still refuse to turn to our Creator and Provider because of foolish pride! 

But friends, the truth is that our Father who is in heaven truly desires us to come to Him, at any time, for EVERYTHING! He wants to be our difference maker! And if we know all those things that poem says we know, why is there such lack of communication between our Creator and us eh? But enough lecturing, (smile) everybody has to make their own decisions and do what they think is best, but for me and my house, we will follow the Lord! And family, please don’t make me a liar on that point eh! (smile) 

Now the Bible verse for that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth.’ And that’s exactly how it ought to be my fellow saints in Christ! If God has been so good to us, then we should be exalting and praising and lifting Him up to the high heavens. And the interesting part about our Bit is that the first five verses of Psalm 108 are also the last five of Psalm 57. And Bruh David even thought it important enough that he also made it verse 5 of Psalm 57. 

So let’s hear what he has to say in the other verses nuh. ‘My heart is fixed (steadfast), O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory, awake psaltery (lute) and harp: I myself will awake early (awaken the dawn). I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.’ (Ps.57:7-11; Ps.108:1-5) 

And until we seriously begin doing what those verses say my people, our witness won’t be worth very much. But our God is so good and gracious and has so much faith in us, (smile) that despite our reluctance to exalt and glorify Him, He has still seen it fit to bless us with the ‘numerosity’ (smile) of our Thursday Blessings. And since they only come into play when we declare them, let’s do that right now nuh, with plenty gusto and confidence. 

‘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 lest we forget, or allow the greedy and selfish purposes of the world to blind us, those blessings were not given to us to selfishly hoard, but to share with the less fortunate in our suffering world! So please, let’s do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart! Much LOVE!

…he that has ears to hear…let him hear…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2019 Colossians 3:16.

Colossians 3:16.    Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

 

Well a blessed Sunday to all you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, in whatever part of God’s great universe that you might currently be ensconced! (smile) Consequently, it being the Sabbath Day, the Day of the Lord, we are expected to join other believers at the Lord’s house to praise, give thanks, fellowship, hear His Word and receive His awesome strength and confidence to go forth into the new week, refreshed and renewed! 

 

Oh how wonderful that is my brethren! And what an amazing situation it also is when we lift our heads, hand, eyes and hearts to heaven in humble and sincere gratitude for all that our heavenly Father has done on our behalf. And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with song! There’s nothing like song to convey true, heartfelt gratitude! 

 

And this morning we have a song that will do just that in spades mih people! It’s simply titled ‘THANK YOU!’ It’s another Bebe Winans tune from his ‘In Harm’s Way’ album. And this morning mih brethren we going funky; funky as funky can be; real up-tempo style! 

 

And I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed that when we giving sincere thanks in song, it always seems to sound more authentic when it’s upbeat, than when it’s just slow and soulful!  And that’s what we going to do this morning in our time of worship!  Pure funk right through mih people! 

 

So let’s clap it in: One Clap, Two Claps, Three Claps, Four Claps! And vocals: ‘Yeh, yeh, yeh! Say it again, say – Thank You, Thank You! All I want to do is…Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! Feel my emotions, You keep me going strong.

 

Source of my solution, When things are going wrong. When my life’s uncertain, There’s no place I’d rather be, Than standing here beside You. Your LOVE always comforts me! So – Thank You, Thank You! Thanks for being a friend! Thank You, Thank You! Over and over again. Thank You, Thank You!

 

I could never repay, The LOVE You sent in my way, my way. Thank You, Thank You! Something else I want to tell You. You’re my salvation…Oh yes You are! Don’t You know You’re everything? Set my feet a dancing, When I think of all You’ve done for me…Thank You, Thank You! Just for being a friend…Thank You, Thank You! Over and over again, Thank You, Thank You!

 

I could never repay, the LOVE You sent my way, my way. Here and now my heart’s confirmation…You are awesome and true! You’ve been better to me, than I’ve been to myself. I’ll always give thanks to You, to You, to You! I will, Oh yes I will! 

 

Heavenly Father…Right now…I want to Thank You for what You’ve done for me. Right now…I want to Thank You for taking good care of me. Right now…I want to Thank You for all that You mean to me. Right now, right now…I can’t live without Your LOVE! 

 

Thank You, Thank You! Right now…I don’t want to live without Your LOVE! No doubt about it! Thank You, Thank You! For all that You’ve been to me…Thank You, Thank You!

 

And all that You’ve done for me… I can’t live without Your LOVE…Can’t live without Your touch…No doubt about it! I just have to say…Thank You, Thank You! From the depths of my heart…Thank You, Thank You! Thank You, Thank You…!’ 

 

Oh friends, wasn’t that just wonderful! It surely was! I don’t know about you, but it surely set my feet a dancing, my soul a rocking, as I sang along, sang those oh so true words, and my fingers flew over the keyboard. (smile)

 

Obviously, in my excitement I made several mistakes, but that was okay, because the joy it brought my heart certainly overwhelmed the effort it took to correct a few mistakes. And don’t think it wasn’t funky in heaven too, because they like nothing better than a good funk tune, especially when it’s all about praise to our wonderful Triune God!

 

And yuh know what friends, we truly can’t ever thank or repay the Lord enough for all that He’s done for us nuh, especially for all the LOVE that He’s sent our way. How can we ever thank Him for Jesus eh? Or even the comfort and guidance of His Holy Spirit? What about salvation…peace…mercy…forgiveness…grace etc. etc.? 

 

But we not going to dwell on all of that this morning, because if you’re a true believer, you already know it. Instead, let’s get to the Word; God’s magnificent guide for kingdom living here on earth.  And in the words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians, let’s check out a li’l Christian virtue nuh. 

 

‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies, heartfelt compassion), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering ; Forbearing  (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 

 

And above all these things put on charity (LOVE) which is the bond of perfectness (the crowning grace). And let the peace of God rule in your hearts. To the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 

 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col.3:12-17) 

 

That says it all my people. And the scholars offer this explanation of our Bit. ‘3:16. When believers are forbearing, forgiving (v.13), and LOVING (v.14) toward one another , when peace reigns among God’s people (v.15) then the church is fertile soil for the blessings produced by the word of Christ.’ 

 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that right now that the church is not fertile soil for Christ’s Word because there is too much disunity and dissension amongst its members, not enough compassion, LOVE or forgiveness. And I’m sure this breaks Jesus heart every time He thinks about the ‘sufferation’ He went through to bring us the Father’s good news of salvation and eternal life. 

 

Please, let’s not let Him down nuh. Let’s make the effort to pull things together for His sake, in His precious name. That’s wisdom of the highest calling! Much LOVE!

 

…if Christ’s people can’t live in LOVE…then who else can eh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2018 James 4:8a

James 4:8a.   Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.

Well it’s that special time again friends; time to visit the house of God and give Him thanks through sincere praise and worship, in the company of fellow believers. It’s always a great time, both here on earth and in heaven when believers get together to sing the Lord’s praises, hear His Word and have their spirits renewed and refreshed. 

The celebration is remarkable, as all heaven gets together too, to watch and participate in their own way! And you know we always like to begin the proceedings with a song of praise to get us in the mood and soften up our hard hearts. Today’s song is the well-known hymn, ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ It’s strange, but there doesn’t seem to be any agreement on who wrote the song or where it first originated.  

But it’s a very appropriate song for believer’s needs, as one commentator says: ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor.12:9a, 10b) 

And is that ever so true, for without God’s grace and guidance our lives would not be worth even the proverbial ‘plugged nickel!’ So let’s open out hearts and mouths, and lift our hands and eyes to heaven and entreat our Lord and Saviour to generously and compassionately offer us a closer walk with Him, for without Him at our side we’re simply bound for Hades and eternal damnation. 

Altogether now my people, let’s raise the roof of the sanctuary with our sweet voices, and let our prayerful requests rise to heaven in song. ‘I am weak, but Thou art strong, Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) 

Through this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.).’ 

Oh friends, that sure was powerful, but also very sincere! And I’m positive that our requests reached the listening ear of Jesus and He immediately instructed the angels to do exactly as we asked. And they have done it, because I can feel the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour moving dramatically in me, strengthening me and reassuring me that everything will be okay, because He’s always near and will never leave nor forsake me. 

And I’m sure that you my fellow believers have also received the same message, because I can see the light of Christ shining in your eyes, with a Moses-like glow on your faces, and your bodies are now standing straight and strong. Ah mih people, that’s the wonderful effect God’s power, through His Spirit, will have on us when we reach out in all sincerity to Him. 

They say that the title and lyrics of this song allude to the Biblical passage from 2 Cor.5:7 which states, “We walk by faith and not by sight,” which we talked about a couple days ago. And also to our Bit for today: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Throughout the Good Book our God repeatedly tells us to come to Him, for succour, and comfort. We see it early on when Moses tells the Israelites about turning from their evil ways if they ever become idol worshippers. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut.4:29) 

Ah friends, that’s the real crux of the matter; not only seeking God, but also doing so with true sincerity. For remember God judges us by the state of our hearts, not by our outward show. And Bruh David tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:10) And friends, He NEVER WILL! 

And Bruh David practiced what he preached.’ When thou saidst, seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.’ (Ps.27:8) Meanwhile through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord said to the Israelites about their return from captivity in Babylon: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken (listen) unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

There again my fellow believers, that proviso of seeking God with all your heart, if you want to find Him. You can seek Him in any state, He’ll take you just as you are, but your heart must be right, be truly repentant. And let’s not forget Azariah’s warning to king Asa. ‘The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) That says it all friends! So please, let’s be wise and heed all those warnings nuh! Much LOVE!

…if we want to have a steady walk with God…then we must have a steady heart for God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2018 James 5:16b.

James 5:16b.   The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.

Aye mih people, it looks like a glorious day is in the offing in my neighbourhood! Glory to God! But all of us are not that blessed, like the people of North Carolina who are expecting Florence, a category 4 hurricane to bombard them sometime soon. 

But all most of us can do is pray for them. So let’s do that nuh! Let’s plead with the Lord to lessen the power of the storm, lessen His wrath, and even turn it away from making landfall, because we definitely don’t need any more devastation than what we already have. 

What does the Good Book say? ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are (with a nature like ours), and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth fruit.’ (James 5:16 18) 

Yeh friends, that’s the power of prayer…unless the Lord is really tired and fed up with our sinful and ungodly shenanigans. Who knows? But as Bruh Paul wisely advised the Philippians: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) 

Then to the Thessalonians he said: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) That means prayer is ever so important my brethren! In fact it’s the most powerful tool we believers have in our arsenal. Yuh see, that even when you put on the armour of God, it’s not effective unless prayer accompanies it. (Eph.6:18) 

And we’re ever so blessed through Christ’s obedience to God’s will, that as joint heirs with Him, we can ‘come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Oh what a wonderful blessing and privilege that is my fellow believers! 

But we need to be careful, for when the Good Book says boldly, it doesn’t mean brash, bold face and arrogant, but with confidence and a suitable amount of humility because we’re going before Almighty God, the Creator and Controller of the universe and we must know our place. (smile) 

I like how the scholars put it: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus) The throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

And do we ever need God’s grace and mercy in these sinful and ungodly times friends! So prayer should be uppermost in our lives, even more than usual. It’s the only way we have to communicate with our sovereign God. So please let’s get busy nuh! 

But along with the prayer must come some repentance and desire to stop being as sinful as we are and be obedient to God’s will. We obviously can’t be as obedient as Jesus was, because of our inherent sinful nature, but we all know that we can be better, even we believers can be much better. And if we are better and the world sees it, then the world will become better too. 

And that’s all we’re seeking my brethren; the betterment of the world, through our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus! That’s why He came to earth and sacrificed His sinless life, and asked those who believe in Him to help Him make the world a better place. We surely aren’t doing that by our less than true Christian behaviour, not walking out talk like we should, and making the world turn away from Jesus, even to the point of blaspheming Him. 

That’s not right my people! As His disciples and ambassadors we have a bounden duty to show the world, through our lives, the vast merits and benefits available in turning to Him for salvation, care, comfort and eternal life! 

Hn, hn, hn! Ah mih people, it’s one of those days when the Holy Spirit just let the ole fella loose to do his thing. So I hope it all makes sense. I guess what I’m trying to advocate is the great importance of and need for prayer in our daily lives, both as individuals and as the church, the body of Christ, especially in these sinful end times. 

Remember the last time the world got so sinful, in the days of Noah, that the Lord couldn’t take anymore and He destroyed it by flood? And yes, He promised Noah that ‘the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.’ (Gen.9:15b) But friends, the Lord never promised not to destroy the world again, just not by water. 

So let’s wake up and smell the caffeine nuh; it’s percolating ever so strongly right below our very noses All is not right in our world, far from it, and we need to come to God in repentance without further ado, for who knows how much longer He will withhold His wrath on this evil world of ours? 

Now let’s go home now declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our position in Christ. 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!’ 

Oh friends, I implore us to think seriously on the matters we’ve spoken about and open up our hearts sincerely to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, for He is the ONLY answer to our many problems. Much LOVE!

…the future won’t be glorious for many of us…if we don’t repent and come to God …NOW…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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