Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2019 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.   ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!
 

And then it was the first Sunday of the New Year! Glory Be! And all the devoted followers of Christ flocked to His sanctuary to hear His Word, to give Him the praise and worship He so obviously deserves, as well as to mix and mingle and to encourage and edify and uplift their fellow believers. And for this first Sunday in 2019, we have an awesome and most appropriate song of worship to open the proceedings. 

It’s an old 19th century British hymn whose lyrics were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865 as a processional hymn for children walking from Horbury Bridge to Horbury St Peter’s Church near Wakefield, Yorkshire, at Whitsuntide in 1865. It was originally entitled, “Hymn for Procession with Cross and Banners.”  

 Then Arthur Sullivan composed the accompanying music in 1871. They say that Sullivan first named the tune “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose home he composed it. But eventually the Salvation Army adopted it as one of their favourite processional hymns …and the rest is history! 

Oh friends, let’s belt out that well known and greatly LOVED tune that calls us to be strong and steadfast soldiers in Christ’s Name. As one great army now, marching into battle, letting the enemy know that we’re coming…and coming for only one thing; victory! 

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) 

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain] 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] 

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain] Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!)’ 

Oh my fellow believers if that doesn’t stir up the LOVE for Christ in your hearts, then something’s seriously wrong with you! It’s exactly the kind of battle cry Christians need in these turbulent, decadent and evil times! And that’s why it was written; ‘to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces throughout the world.’ 

And there’s been no other time like now, when evil is running rampant all over and the heathen seems to be winning the battle! But friends, that’s only in their imagination, because we believers are coming out loud, proud and strong this year of 2019! We’re going to mightily embrace those rich and encouraging words of Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!’ 

Wow mih people! What better words to frame our year than with those eh? We are in Christ’s army, and as good soldiers do, we WILL endure hardship for Him, and in His name! That’s our faithful promise! For as Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

Yeh friends, if we are soldiers for Christ, we can’t afford to get entangled in the affairs of this world. We have to keep our hands and hearts clean of the evil that surrounds us, so that we can please Christ who has called us, who has enlisted us in His LOVE Revolution, to fight the good fight in His name! 

As Bruh Paul told Timothy earlier on: ‘This charge I commit unto (command) thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee (previously made concerning you), that thou by them mightest war a good warfare. Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away (rejected) concerning the faith have made (suffered) shipwreck.’ (1 Tim.1:18-19) 

Oh my brethren, we need to be ever so faithful having personal confidence in God, as well as the word, the gospel that’s been handed down to us by the saints. For if we reject those things, then we’ll surely become shipwrecked, lost and left on the outside looking in; the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul!

And later on, Bruh Paul again gets on poor Timothy’s case. After warning him of the deterioration of the church in years to come, (2 Tim.4:2-4) he declares: 

‘But watch thou in all things. Endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist (preach the gospel of Christ), make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:5-8) 

Yes my believing brethren, we ALL ought to be able to say that at end of our lives. But for that to happen, we have to begin being good, strong and steadfast soldiers of Christ, RIGHT NOW! So let’s get to it nuh! We have a crown of righteousness to win! Much LOVE!

…to win any race…especially the race of life…one needs to have commitment…courage…perseverance…endurance…and faith…and ONLY in Christ…can one find all those attributes… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but church had to come first…and anyway I likes it…hope you do too! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2018 Psalm 89:1.

Psalm 89:1.   I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Rise and shine my people, it’s a brand new Monday, of a brand new work week, and it’s overflowing with brand new mercies and blessings! Glory to God my brethren, for He will never leave us to suffer unnecessarily. Where there is no way, He will make a way! And when it seems we’ll be consumed by the fires of this world, oh friends, He’ll bring us through them unscathed, not even smelling of smoke. 

What an awesome God we serve my fellow believers! And it’s the same with the floods; when they seem ready to overwhelm us, to drown us, He’s promised to bring us through them safely. So what is there for us to be afraid of in this world eh? Absolutely NOTHING! Because the universe belongs to our God, our Father, and He is in total control and will not let evil overcome His children! 

His commitment to that was so strong that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to save us from our evil doings. So if this Monday morning you are troubled, in dismay, or simply tired and down in the dumps, then please join us in singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, for it lifts our spirits and puts us back on the good foot, like Papa James Brown would say. (smile) 

So without further ado, let’s get into it nuh, as one purposeful choir, in strong voice and sincere hearts. ‘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!’ 

Now that’s the antidote for whatever ails us this Monday morning! I’m sure you can feel your spirit rising and your soul being reinvigorated, as the adrenaline courses through your body. That’s the power of the Holy Spirit working in us friends! And with such a marvellous transformation taking place, we subsequently have to go out and work the works of Jesus, with a good attitude and a joyful spirit. 

It’s imperative that we let the world know, not only by our talk, but more importantly by our walk, of the abundant goodness of God and His exceeding faithfulness and their need to come to Him, just as they are, for comfort and succour. Yeh friends, we have to go out and do like the psalmist Ethan says in our Bit. ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to ALL generations.’ 

Now that’s our bounden duty my fellow Christians! Remember Jesus’ Great Commission to His disciples and to all subsequent believers: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:18-20) 

Yeh friends, as the scholars explain: ‘28:18-20. The triumphant living Lord sends forth His ambassadors to proclaim His gospel throughout the world. The Great Commission is not just an order but a pronouncement of victory (mundus regium Christ) by the risen Saviour through His disciples. All power or authority (Gr. exousia) is now in the hands of Christ, in heaven and on earth. On the basis of that authority and power the Christian disciple is to carry out the Great Commission of the church.’ 

And it’s a joy to go out into this evil world and do that. Why? Listen to the psalmist as he further exalts the Lord, extols His wonderful attributes. ‘Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. Justice and judgement (righteousness and justice) are the habitation (foundation) of thy throne: mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth shall go before thy face. 

Blessed is the people that know the joyful song: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (our strength) is exalted.’ (Ps.89:13-17) 

Now, with all of that going for us, how can we not be excited and enthused, and delighted to go out and extol the wonders of our God eh? We’d be truly a sorry bunch of ingrates if we felt otherwise. Much LOVE!

…the mercies and faithfulness of our God…can never be surpassed by anyone else…for there is ONLY ONE GOD…the ONE we worship…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 May 2018 Psalm 143:10.

Psalm 143:10.    Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

Home, home, home at last! Glory to God! Yeh mih people, the ole fella is back in his yard after a five-day stay in the hospital, although it took me almost two hours to get home in the crazy early afternoon traffic. But I did get home in time to enjoy a few minutes of bright sunshine and brisk spring breeze on my porch on this twenty something degrees spring day. Hope this is just the first of many. 

And is it ever good to be home friends! You know they say that home is where the heart is. And I’m certainly where my heart is; down in my confused study, writing the Bit on my ancient and slow but trusted desktop computer. So all’s well with the world! 

And today I have something interesting to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Three Discoveries.’ Please read with me: ‘I have made three overwhelming discoveries regarding God’s reliable faithfulness: The first: God will never let us go – never! We may fall flat on our faces. We may resist until we feel exhausted, but nothing can separate us from His matchless LOVE. 

The second: God will never let us down – never! He is forever faithful, even when we are faithless. He cannot deny Himself. He will never leave us nor forsake us. The third: He will never let us off – never! Whenever we give in to temptation, when we determine to have our own way – He says, with all the LOVE of His Father-heart, “I LOVE you too much to excuse disobedience.” 

Whom He LOVES, He chastens. God is determined to bless us. He is eager to show us His kindness. He is glad to teach us the proper paths; but He must have access to our hearts. He will allow our guilt to become a burden until conviction comes, then confession, and finally renewed commitment! May David’s prayer be our prayer.’ 

And that immortal statement of Bruh David is our Bit today: ‘Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, we have such a faithful and LOVING God, that He WILL NOT ALLOW us to go astray. When we want to have our own way, He will give us a li’l line and then reel us back in. Just enough line for us to realize that we are heading down the wrong path and need to come back to Him. Like a fisherman allows a truculent fish to carry on with its antics at first, then firmly reels him in. 

That’s exactly how our ever-LOVING God deals with us. So it doesn’t make any sense for us to try to seriously stray from Him, for His Spirit seals us to Him from the day we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. As Bruh Paul says: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ eh…?’ (Rom.8:35) And he goes on to list a whole number of things, powers and people who can’t do it. 

That’s why it doesn’t make sense to fight the Spirit of God, as so many of us try to do. We just can’t win! That’s why Bruh David pleads earlier on in Psalm 25 – A prayer for guidance and protection – ‘Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.’ (Ps.25:4-5) 

Oh my people, instead of trying to get away from the Lord, we ought to be asking Him to help us find Him and learn His ways more and more. That’s the only thing that makes sense in our relationship with Him. I really don’t need to tell you all that, but I just felt like I should throw in a gentle reminder. (smile) 

And since it’s Tuesday, let’s go home telling the entire world, who and whose we are, by declaring our Tuesday Mantra in strong and sincere voice. All together 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!’ 

Yeh mih fateful breddren, now let’s seriously go out and share the LOVE of our friend Jesus with the rest of the world, as He desires of us. Much LOVE

…to serve Jesus…is the greatest honour in the world…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2018 Matthew 5:20.

Matthew 5:20.   For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Oh friends, out there is like a true winter wonderland! Everything is as white as ever, for as far as you can see. And the white stuff has begun coming down again, at least in my area. Chuh! 

But that’s the Lord’s will. There isn’t anything we can really do about it. It’s winter, and that’s what happens in winter. We’ve just been lucky over the last few years not to see so much snow, so early in the season. 

But remember, anything God brings us to, He will bring us through. So if you have to go out today, please be careful, because that white stuff, though it may look beautiful on the ground, like the enemy it can be very deceiving and dangerous. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one. ‘When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.’ And why would you want to do that eh? It’s your life. You have to control it. 

Now check this out. ‘All the days that you wake up, you got one job, and that’s to get better every single day.’ And that’s oh so true, especially for a Christian. We need to aspire to grow in maturity and Christ-likeness every day that we draw breath. 

That leads us to: ‘Clear your mind of can’t!’ Wonderful advice! For as a believer in Jesus Christ, ‘can’t’ is not supposed to be in our vocabulary, since ALL things are possible with God, and we are God’s chosen people! 

And here’s an interesting one. ‘If you wanna fly, you got to give up the useless stuff that weighs you down.’ Is that ever so true friends! You can’t fly, or prosper, or take off, or rise up if you are being weighed down by useless and unnecessary stuff. 

Note how they carefully pack airplanes and ships for balance, and consider how much stuff is placed in them, otherwise they won’t be able to lift off the ground or sail. The same goes for people, improperly placed and unnecessary baggage will hold us back. 

And this last quote says: ‘If you do not go after what you want, you will never have it. If you do not ask, the answer will always be NO. If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.’ 

And that is certainly true, but for believers a serious proviso has to be added to it: All we do, must be done under the will of God, His leading, and in His awesome timing! If not, our seeking will be to no avail; we’ll never truly fly, or write a good life story. And I do hope those quotes give us something to ponder this snowy Saturday morning, as we laze around the house. (smile) 

And we have a very interesting Bit today; memorable words of Jesus, as He talks about the law. ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ 

Wow mih people! Imagine that nuh! And those people were supposed to be the most religious in their day, but Jesus lambasted them right, left and centre for their hypocritical behaviour. 

Hear how the scholars explain it. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered those people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. 

In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action.                                  

              Law                                           Spirit                         

             No Murder                               No anger

              No adultery                            No lust

              No divorce                               Commitment

              No oath-taking                      Speak the truth

              No retaliation                        Forgiveness

              Hatred for your enemy       LOVE for your enemy                  

             (tradition allowed it)                  (commanded)

Ah mih people, yuh see the basic difference between the laws of man and those of God. Our God expects us to come up to a higher standard than that of the basic law. Just living by the law is not good enough. And the scribes and Pharisees didn’t even truly live by the law that they propagated. 

Unfortunately, so do a lot of us supposed Christians in these end times. Some of us put on a great outward show, talk a good talk, but behind closed doors it’s an entirely different story.

But please remember Jesus’ words; unless we are more righteous than the religious leaders of His day, we won’t enter heaven. Now, that’s something of immeasurable value and importance for us to ponder this Saturday morning. Much LOVE!

…unless you walk the walk…in God’s eyes…where it really matters…talking the talk is useless…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2017 Psalm 18:20.

Psalm 18:20.   The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

Well friends, it’s the Tuesday after Labour Day, which means that all the fun and frolic of summer is drawing to an end. As the D.J plays that famous last tune: ‘The party’s over my friends. It’s time to call it a day…’ Yeh mih breddren it’s back to school and work time now. 

And to add fuel to that fire, here’s a li’l blurb from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the subject. He says: ‘Possibility Thinking isn’t just dreaming. It’s faith in action.  That translates into W-O-R-K with a patient commitment to excellence.’ 

And that is exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects of His followers; a serious commitment to excellent work! And in these end times, we all need to step up our work in and for the kingdom of Christ. 

He’s losing more followers than He’s gaining, and that’s due in large part to our lack of commitment, our compromises, generally taking the easy way out and preferring to enjoy the easy life of the world, rather than go the extra mile for Christ. 

Why? Because that might include some ‘sufferation,’ some adversity on our part, and we’ve gotten so soft and afraid of adversity nowadays, that we’d rather allow Christ’s work to suffer, than we break a nail trying to further His kingdom. 

And when the unbeliever looks at our hypocritical lifestyles, what can we expect but criticism and disbelief eh? Too many of us are not living true Christian lives; we’re like the Pharisees of old, who preached one thing in public and did something completely different in private. That’s why Jesus continually lambasted them. 

And if we seriously believe in Jesus and sincerely want to do His work and try our best to become like Him, then we’ve got to clean up our act, and begin walking our talk. Oh, many of us are doing it, but definitely not enough to make any worthwhile difference. 

There are too many divisions in Christ’s body, too many cliques and too much dissension for it to function at a consistently high level, and until we stop fighting amongst ourselves, Christ’s church will not grow the way it is supposed to. 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.’ And that’s exactly what happens in God’s kingdom; we’re rewarded for our faithfulness and obedience to His Word. 

And Bruh David continues in his thanksgiving for deliverance from his enemies, after our Bit: ‘For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgements were before me, and I did not put his statutes from me. 

I was also upright before (with) him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.’ (Ps.18:21-24) 

How much plainer can it be eh friends? We do right and the Lord rewards us. We do wrong, and He doesn’t. Oh my brethren, Christianity is not rocket science. It’s simply believing in God and doing our best to be obedient to Him and His word. 

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He knows we will make mistakes, because we’re frail and foolish, (smile) that’s how He made us. But He does expect us to try our best. And that is simply what too many of us supposed believers are not doing. 

Now listen to Job’s friend, Elihu, as he reasons with Job about God’s forgiveness when men repent. ‘His flesh shall be fresher than (young as) a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him (delight in him): and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render (restore) unto man his righteousness. 

He (God) looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver (redeem) his soul from going into the pit (hell), and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.’ (Job 33:25-30) 

Yes friends, our God is a most merciful and forgiving God, but we have to be honest and up front with Him. Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, which clearly states who and whose we are. 

‘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 share that LOVE nuh, for that’s what Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…Jesus calls us to action…much more than to talk…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2017 Matthew 9:29b.

Matthew 9:29b.   According to you faith be it unto you.

Well friends, it’s  Tuesday. Were any of you lucky enough to see the mercurial eclipse yesterday? I wasn’t. But it seems like the most powerful man in the world thought he was powerful enough to view it without the special glasses recommended. (smile) 

But that’s what he’s all about ego and power. Enough of the tongue in cheek stuff though. Here is something to help us face the day successfully, from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘A Prayer for Solutions.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make the right decision! Forgive me for waiting for all difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

Now have we been guilty of that kind of thing? I’m sure all of us have at some time or another. And what’s the first right decision we’re always supposed to make? Turning to God with the problem! 

Yeh friends, whether the problem be big or small, hard or simple, the Lord God Almighty IS ALWAYS THE FIRST ONE we should talk to about it, for He is the Master Problem Solver. Have the faith to let Him direct our steps. 

And what did Jesus say unto the two blind men who wanted him to heal them. ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened…’ (Matt.9:28-30) 

Yes my brethren, our Bit says it all! Our power and blessedness will be defined by the maturity and strength of our faith, for Christianity is a faith-based organization. 

What does Hebrews say about the subject? ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

And there was nobody who had more faith, or gave us a better example of it, than Jesus, for though He was God in the flesh, He never took credit for anything, but always deferred to the Father. 

Even as a youth, when He strayed from His parents in Jerusalem, when they finally found Him debating with the elders in the temple, His words to them were: ‘How is it that ye sought me? wist (knew) ye not that I must be about my father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.’ (Luke 2:49-50) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘2:49. Wist ye not or “Did you not realize?” There is a certain tension between Jesus’ responsibility to parents on the one hand and to His heavenly Father on the other.’ 

Though He was somewhat rude to His earthly parents with that answer, Jesus clearly showed from early on that His heavenly Father’s business was NUMBER ONE! 

And when the Jews tried to tell Him He had a devil (demon spirit), He bluntly answered. ‘I have not a devil (demon spirit): but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.’ (John 8:49) 

And later on when they asked if he was greater than Abraham and the prophets, His answer was: ‘If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me…’ (John 8:54) Yuh see mih breddren, with Jesus, it was all about the Father. And so should it be with us. 

Hear Him once more: ‘For I have not spoken of myself (my own authority), but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore; even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.’ (John 12:49-50) 

And whom did Jesus turn to in His time of greatest sorrow? The Father! That memorable night in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He fell on His face and prayed: ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:39) 

Even in His most fervent prayer, Jesus still acknowledged that His journey would be led by the Father’s will, not His. 

And finally, here is this episode from Mark which really shows Jesus’ strong, steady and faithful connection to His heavenly Father. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) 

The scholars then tell us: 1:35. Mark emphasizes that it was a great while before day. Showing that Jesus began each day of His earthly ministry with prayer is only the secondary intention of this verse. The primary aim is to show how Jesus made important decisions: by earnest, persistent prayer. 

Here Jesus stands at the crossroads of decision: His first year of public preaching (vs. 9-20) has borne little visible fruit. But His miracles of healing are drawing huge crowds (vs.31-32) and bringing Him recognition (v.28). 

So the question is whether He should continue to put the stress of His ministry on the preaching of the gospel for the healing of man’s diseased soul, or place the stress of His work on the more popular performing of miracles for the healing of man’s body. To make the proper choice, He seeks by prayer the Father’s wisdom.’  

And He certainly received the right answer: place the stress on healing our sinful souls! All praise and thanks to God for filling Him with that heavenly wisdom! Otherwise our bodies would have been healed, but our souls would still have been bound for Hades. 

Now let’s go home, safe and secure in the knowledge of our Tuesday Mantra, as we declare it loudly, proudly and sincerely. ‘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!’ 

And if you truly believe it, then let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus made it a point to first talk to the Father…then why shouldn’t we lesser mortals do the same eh…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2017 Matthew 25:35.

Matthew 25:35.    For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.

Ah mih people, our favourite lazy day, Saturday, is here at last! God bless Saturdays! And I see some big smiles and hear some sweet sighs as we just plan on lazing through Saturday, doing as little as possible. 

But don’t worry, that’s your entitlement. You are allowed at least one day each week to just commune with yourself and your Maker, while just rolling along with the tumbling tumbleweeds. (smile) 

So as we laze along this blessed Saturday morn, let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I like this week’s quotes because they are simple and practical. 

Hear this first one: ‘It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it.’ Now isn’t that the very truth? It surely is, because in these whatever you may call them times, nobody wants to do anything that’s difficult. Easy living is the name of the game! 

And that goes for our Christian faith too. As soon as a lot of believers’ come upon adversity, they are quick to think about giving up. They don’t realize that it’s the adversity that builds our faith. And that’s why our standards are continually falling.  

And the second quote says: ‘How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.’ Oh so true my people! It’s just another way of warning us that we’ll reap what we sow, and we need to treat others the way we want to be treated. 

This next one sounds like something Granny would say: ‘As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.’ Ah friends, where has that sense of purpose, that commitment to helping others gone eh? 

Nowadays it’s predominantly each man for himself, and let the other one get by as best he can. I remember the days when the world wasn’t as prosperous, but there also wasn’t as much hunger and poverty, for we shared whatever little we had with the unfortunates. But today, in a world filled with plenty, hunger and poverty are rampant, pandemic to say the least. 

Steups! The Lord must look down from His high heaven and sadly shake His head sometimes, asking Himself, just where did He go wrong. But it wasn’t Him that went wrong it was us, we had too much free will and evil had a stronger pull on us than good. 

But hopefully this last quote will help us. ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’ It’s as simple as that friends, we can’t do better until we know how to do better. So I guess our quest now is to learn how to do better. 

And I have to laugh here at the philosophical stuff than Anselm’s quotes bring out every week. But it does the soul a lot of good, gets us thinking a little more than we normally might. It also brings us to our Bit, Jesus immortal words on the topic. 

‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.’ (Matt.25:35-36) 

Yeh friends, that’s the kind of stuff that Jesus is looking for from His followers. If we do those things, then when Jesus comes into His kingdom, we’ll be like the sheep, on His right hand, and not goats on His left. ‘Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ (Matt.25:34) 

Oh my brethren, we seem to forget that Jesus came to save the lost, the sick, the hungry, the poor; in other words, those who were having a hard time making it in life. If we go back to Isaiah, where he describes true religion, we’ll see where the Lord rags on Israel for their hypocritical fasting in the first 5 verses of chapter 58. 

Then He says: ‘Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal (share) thy bread to (with) the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out (wandering) to thy house? 

When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health (healing) shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee: the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward ( rearguard). 

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord will answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of these the yoke, the putting forth (pointing) of the finger, and speaking vanity (wickedness).’ (Is.58:6-9) 

Oh friends, that’s what true religion is supposed to be about, not the hypocritical rules and regulations that pass for it today. And you’ll see that it’s not only when Jesus came that caring for the poor and downtrodden became a part of our faith. 

So let’s get serious about what we’ve said here this morning nuh, and try to do what we know is right, so that at the coming of Jesus’ kingdom, we’ll end up on His right hand and be called blessed. Much LOVE!

…unless we sincerely try to help others…we can’t truly say…we have a heart for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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