Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2018 John 15:13.

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 

Looks like a gloomy, ‘riney’ day. But who knows eh? By the time I go back upstairs after writing the Bit, bright sunshine might be flooding the land. The weather is so temperamental these days; temperamental like… wisdom dictates that I not say it, else I might just have a whole horde of women on my case like a plague of locusts. (smile) 

But brother, a majestic clap of thunder echoed through the area sometime in the early hours of the morning! It resonated like a true thunderous boom – that’s the only comparison I can find. I haven’t heard one as loud and powerful as that in a long time. It sure did catch my attention though I was caught up in the throes of sleep. 

This interesting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional also caught my attention, and I’m going to share it once again because we desperately need this kind of prayer in these desperate times in which we live. This one’s titled ‘What a Friend!’ Wow! And you should know who that friend is! 

But please pray with me. ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen!’ 

Oh my people, my people, what a friend we do indeed have in Jesus! None else can compare to His everlasting friendship! And He backs that up with the words of our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth! The most valuable gift we can give to someone is our life on their behalf. 

And Jesus did just that for us! Glory to the Most High God for preparing such a wonderful plan and then bringing it to fruition! And we have to give Jesus much thanks and praise too, because if He wasn’t obedient to the Father’s wishes, we’d ALL be headed for hellfire and damnation eternally. But because of His death on the cross at Calvary, we have a second option; salvation and eternal life, but only through belief and faith in Him. 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that deal with friendship. First off is Cousin Sol’s famous statement that: ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov.17:17) That just happens to be the true purposes of a friend and brother; to stand by one’s side, especially in the rough times. And as the Greek philosopher Euripides said so long ago: ‘Friends show their LOVE in times of trouble, not in happiness.’ 

Oh my faithful brethren, we do have the greatest friend in the universe always by our side, that’s Jesus, but we do need a few human friends too, but not too many, as Cousin Sol wisely says: ‘A man that hath friends, must show himself friendly,’ (Prov.18:24a) meaning that if you have too many friends, you’re likely to come to ruin. 

And that’s the gospel truth, as some of us have experienced, and we still see happening in our society everyday. Those people with the large entourages never seem to last long, because when their money is gone, so are the supposed friends. However, Cousin Sol does wisely continue: ‘and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov.18:24b) That’s Jesus my people! 

But there are a few human friends who will stick closer than a brother, and we are certainly blessed if we can find just one of those. One like this moving bit of scripture indicates between Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi, after their men-folk had passed into eternity and Naomi decided to return to her homeland of Bethlehem. Naomi tells Ruth to go back to her people. 

‘And Ruth said, Entreat me not (urge me not) to leave thee, or to return (turn back) from following thee: for wither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.’ (Ruth 1:16-17) What faithfulness my brethren! 

As the scholars explain: ‘1:16-17. Ruth’s faith and faithfulness are in evidence throughout the book, as expressed here in her commitment to Naomi’s God as her own. Ruth’s own concern for Naomi is bound by a strong oath made before the Lord Himself.’ 

And yuh know what friends, our God is so wonderful and faithful and rewarding that for her kindness and steadfastness to Naomi, Ruth ended up being the great-grandmother of Bruh David, and thus of the lineage of Jesus! Wow! Imagine that nuh! A pagan woman being in Jesus ‘ lineage! Only our God could and would do such nonconformist things. (smile) And we don’t have time for that other great friendship between Jonathan, Saul’s son, and Bruh David. But you can read about it in 1 Samuel 20. 

Yes my people, let’s hope that in this lifetime we can all have at least one lasting and faithful friendship, because we all need one. Now let’s go home declaring (spelled it right) our Thursday Blessings, letting the world know what it’s like to live and work for Jesus. 

Altogether now, in sincerity and truth: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now remember we were given those blessings to share with others, not to hoard for ourselves. So please let’s go out and faithfully do that nuh, in Jesus Name. Much LOVE!

…when we are steadfast and faithful in our friendships…the Lord reciprocates with overwhelming godly favour… 

P.S. I went upstairs a while ago, and the sun is out. Glory be! And yes, it’s long…and late, but good! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2016 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.   To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him. 

Oh friends, doesn’t it feel good to be alive on this Tuesday morning? It certainly does, especially when we are members of that glorious body, the church of Jesus Christ! 

Wow! What a privilege and a blessing to be numbered amongst the brothers and sisters of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Consequently, our attitude should be one of great appreciation and a burning desire to do the Lord’s will. In keeping with all that, then let us sincerely declare, as the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. We WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

Yes my brethren, though the day may look dark and bleak, we know for a fact that the light of Jesus is shining in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, and therefore we have the wherewithal to go out into the evil world and make a positive difference on His behalf. 

And to boost, to bolster our faith and courage, to reaffirm our sense of purpose, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra, with certainty and passion. As one now: ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, as I said earlier on, it’s sure good to be in league with Jesus and the heavenly father. How can we be beaten or discouraged when we are God’s beloved and the friend of Jesus eh? No way Jose! 

But we also need to remember that we have a part to play in the relationship; and our part is to share the LOVE of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to know Him, to receive His awesome offer of salvation and eternal life! 

And all God’s people declared a loud, sincere and appreciative: ‘All praise and glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for taking us under their mighty wings and keeping us safe and warm, like babes in their mother’s arms!’ 

And in so doing friends, the Holy Trinity takes the interest of each believer and deals with them personally, helping them to walk the straight and narrow path that leads to God, while they spread the good news of Jesus’ wonderful gospel. 

Nothing could be better than that my brethren! And when we consider the glorious words of our Bit, we become even more appreciative of God’s LOVE for us, His greatest creation. ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.’ 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my fellow believers! No other Deity is willing to offer mercy and forgiveness to rebellious followers. That means the Lord must be strong and secure in His own Spirit. For only a very powerful and secure Being could afford to be so generous. And for that generosity, we offer a most heartfelt thanks! 

Now let’s continue looking at some scriptures that uphold the argument of our Bit. And we’ll begin with words from the prophet Joel, as he calls Israel to repentance and fasting. 

‘Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and  with mourning: 

And rend (tear) your heart and not your garments, and turn (return) unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness (LOVING-kindness), and repenteth him of the evil (relents from doing harm).’ (Joel 2:12-13) 

And the scholars have an interesting commentary on those verses. ‘2:12-13. The customary way a Jew showed his grief was to tear his outer garment. This external sign could be meaningless. The tearing of the outer garment is useless, unless the heart is broken in repentance and contrition.’ 

And that still holds true up to these ungodly times my people. Outward show does not move God’s heart. That’s why He seeks our true motives by examining the state of our own hearts before answering our prayers. 

Now listen to the words of Bruh David from Psalm 86 – Teach me thy way, O Lord. ‘Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.’ (Ps.86:4-5) 

And nobody knew God’s forgiveness and mercy better than Bruh David. Now let’s end with some more of his awesome words from Psalm 86. ‘I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest (the depths of) hell. 

O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men (mobs) have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. 

O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. Show me a token (a sign) for good: that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast helped me, and comforted me.’ (Ps.86:12-17) 

Oh friends, definitely a great prayer on which to begin our day! Now let’s go out there feeling helped and comforted by our God and do His wondrous will for our lives. Much LOVE!

…with our wonderful God…mercy and forgiveness are possible…even though rebellion fills our hearts…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2016 Psalm 66:4.

Psalm 66:4.   All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name.   Selah.

And then it was Wednesday… another glorious day to be alive and kicking! All thanks and praise be to our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who selflessly sacrificed His sinless life so that we could be reconciled to the Father, and thus enjoy sincere communion with Him once again! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Praise be to Jesus the Son for being obedient to the Father’s wishes! May He be glorified forever and ever. Amen!’ 

And the Father did just that by making His name higher than every other name, and having every knee bow to Him and call Him Lord, to the glory of God. (Phil.2:10-11) 

But you know what my fellow believers, Jesus is more than just our Lord and Saviour, He is also our best friend. Listen to this poem from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled ‘What a Friend!’ I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but as we say, once it’s nice, we can share it twice, and even thrice. (smile)  

Please read with me: ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a friend I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’ 

And all of that is gospel truth my people! There is no better friend in the entire universe than Jesus! Please remember that so you can take ALL your concerns to Him and be received with comfort and LOVING-kindness. He will NEVER turn you away, regardless of the evil you’ve done. 

Remember His 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 and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh friends, what a marvellous invitation! Please don’t let it go to waste! Now let’s wail our Wednesday Wail, confirming our great appreciation, LOVE, trust and faith in Jesus. 

Wailing: ‘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 my fellow believers, we need to be ever thankful for the wonderful breath of life that God has blessed us with! We must also stop allowing the past to control us, but instead stay strong and steadfast in our duties and look to the beautiful future Jesus has promised us. Remember He NEVER reneges on a promise. 

Consequently, with all wonderful mercies and blessings and grace that God has undeservedly showered down on us, we ought to honour Him by acclaiming our Bit. ‘All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name.   Selah.’ 

Yes friends, the Lord our God certainly deserves all the honour, praise and glory that we can give, for He is a most awesome, gracious and merciful Deity! Now hear what the prophet Zechariah has to say, re the glorious time when Zion shall reign supreme, with Jesus as the Judge. 

‘And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of the tabernacles.’ (Zech.14:16) Oh mih breddren, everybody will be trekking to Jerusalem to worship King Jesus! What a pilgrimage!

And the scholars offer this explanation. ’14:16-21. The feast of tabernacles is the joyous feast of ingathering, rest, and thanksgiving. Israel celebrated it when they returned from the Exile (in Babylon). (Neh.8:14-18). The millennial reign of the Messiah is the realization of the Feast of Tabernacles. No other feast will be observed because the realities they foreshadowed will have been realized.’ 

Ah my faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, what a time of celebration that will be! Now let’s end with Isaiah’s take on the subject of Israel’s deliverance. ‘And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt; and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount of Jerusalem.’ (Is.27:13) 

Yes my fellow believers, ALL roads lead to Jerusalem, where Christ will sit on the throne of His forefather, Bruh David, and rule the world! And all God’s children gave a loud shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to enact justice in the world, now and forever more. Amen!’ 

So friends, yuh see what a wonderful life and time we have to look forward to when we sincerely hook up with Jesus and obediently do His bidding? Please, let’s not be foolish and pledge our loyalty to any other, for there is truly NONE like Jesus! Much LOVE!

…oh what a friend we have in Jesus…all our sins and hopes to bear…