Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2018 1 John 4:8.

1 John 4:8.   ​He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God IS LOVE!
 
And then it was Boxing Day! Glory be! All the confusion done now! Christmas not over, but Christmas Day has come and gone and we’re going to gradually revert to our old selves, no longer having to keep up with the hectic pace set by the world’s standards, and oftimes our own too. Except for those of you who still get caught up in the Boxing Day sales! (smile) 

And you can see by the lateness of the hour that ole fella slept in…But that’s what days like these are for…to recuperate from the joyful celebrations of yesterday! (smile) Hope you all had a good and joyful Christmas. Mine was simple but pleasant. And brother…food for days and endless days! Enough to feed an army, much less five people! (smile) And the sad part is that the ole fella is no longer able to do justice to his once upon a time favourite foods. How sad eh! (smile) But them’s the breaks! 

I do hope though that we all kept Jesus first place in our minds and lives yesterday, since He WAS and IS the reason for all our celebrations! I also hope that we found a few moments amidst all the joy and excitement to sincerely pray for those unfortunate people over in Indonesia, who recently suffered the devastating effects of a volcanic explosion that seems to have triggered an immense tsunami that washed away their lives and livelihoods. 

Another group that didn’t enjoy a festive Christmas is one out on our West Coast in British Columbia, where they suffered devastating effects from a windstorm, the worst in some two decades. Prayers, and whatever other assistance we can offer, will be in order for them my friends. 

And my eyes just fell on a piece of paper in front of me that contains a most appropriate quote from a Daily Bread Devotional. And it says: ‘In the darkest hours of life, only through the eyes of faith can we see the LOVING hand of God.’ And is that ever so true my people! In those real dark and troublesome times it’s only if our faith is strong and true that we can ever imagine a LOVING God out there in the universe! 

Otherwise, all our senses would either say there is no God, or God is not a LOVING Deity. But friends I’m here to tell us that that’s the furthest thing from the truth! There IS a God, and He’s a MOST LOVING Deity! Thus John, in his epistle seeks to strengthen our faith by letting us know that ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God IS LOVE!’ 

Yeh friends, one of the many attributes of our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God is that of LOVE! And if you don’t LOVE, then you don’t know God! Hear how John puts it: ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

However, as the scholars explain: ‘4:7. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor.13).’ Yes my brethren, unless Jesus is involved in our LOVE WALK, then we’re not truly walking in the LOVE of God. That’s why the scholars pointed us to that famous chapter in 1 Corinthians, titled the ‘Way of LOVE!’ 

And in this Christmas season, we have the perfect example of God’s unconditional and everlasting LOVE! As John says: ‘In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.’ (1 John 4:9) Ah mih people, to truly understand God’s great LOVE, we need to see how He demonstrated it. And it all began with His sending of Jesus into the world at Christmas time to put His most awesome plan into action. 

As John continues: ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that HE LOVED US, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ (1 John 4:10) Now that’s the real standard for true LOVE my fellow believers; God’s unmerited compassion for us! As Bruh Paul so bluntly and truthfully told the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth his (demonstrates his own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) 

Now only a truly magnanimous Deity would show such compassion for His enemies! And that’s also why John’s cry is so important in our faith community: ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:11) Oh my friends in faith, there couldn’t be a more appealing cry than for more real and true Christian LOVE amongst out Christian community, especially in these dark and evil times, when the enemy seems to be in the ascendance! 

Let’s listen to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as He pleaded with His disciples and also pleads with us: ‘A new commandment I give unto you. That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Ah mih Christian breddren, that’s what our faith is all about; LOVE, especially at this Christmas time! So please, please, let’s stop breaking Jesus’ heart nuh, and begin showing true LOVE to each other, so that the world can see it and want to come to Him and receive the same unconditional LOVE that we have. That’s our basic purpose here on this earth. 

Now let’s go home sincerely and powerfully declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our position in Christ! In unison now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And that future will be indeed more glorious than we can think or imagine! Much LOVE!

…let’s keep on talking our talk…and walking our walk…of LOVE…in Christ Jesus…Amen…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   ​Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
 
And then it was Monday…Christmas Eve friends, Christmas Eve! The day before we celebrate the birth of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! What a momentous footnote…no, it was too big a day to be a mere footnote, but one of the most outstanding days in the annals of man! 

Praise the Lord for His goodness and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men! Yes, bless His Holy Name, for without that compassion and care we’d be still lost in the darkness and evil of a fallen world. But thanks be to Jesus we have another beautiful option; believing in Him and thus obtaining salvation and eternal life! 

Wow! The ole fella’s on a roll this morning! That’s why I can say that God is faithful and LOVE Him so much, because when I came down here just now I had no idea what I was going to write, but as you can see, I’m doing fairly well! (smile) But it’s Christmas Eve and many of us still have stuff to buy and preparations to make for the big day, the real McCoy tomorrow. And unfortunately some of us have to go to work too after preparing and also enjoying some of the goodness of the season over the weekend. 

So as always, some of us are under the weather, so let’s do as we always do on a Monday, join together to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn which always lifts our spirits and encourages to keep on walking steadfastly with the Lord. All together now, with as much enthusiasm as we can garner! 

‘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!’ 

Oh my, oh my! I don’t know about you nuh friends, but my spirits were certainly lifted! Brother, there’s nothing in this world great like prayer nuh! That’s why we’re advised to use it constantly by Bruh Paul. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ 

What exceptional words of wisdom those are my believing brethren! It’s the basic reason why God made prayer and set such a high value on it; so that we can communicate thoroughly and properly with Him! ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh mih people, yuh see the great benefit that accrues from having serious and sincere communication with our heavenly Father? Peace! Wonderful peace! A heavenly peace! Peace that surpasses what our finite minds can comprehend! And please remember, it’s ALL for OUR benefit, not the Lord’s. As Bruh David says in Psalm 68: ‘Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.’ (Ps.68:19) 

And he again reminds us in Psalm 103: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:2-5)

Mama Yo! What a great God we serve and worship my brethren! No other supposed deity does those things for His people! Only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, can even DO those things, because HE IS THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE GOD! As we said in our prayer above, ‘the Creator of the universe and all therein!’ Give Him much thanks and praise my people! 

So please remember that when He desires us to come to Him humbly, with contrite hearts, in sincere prayer, with appreciation for His wonderful goodness to us, He’s not asking for too much, but simply His just desserts. And then again, it’s because He wants to bless us, to be involved in our earthly affairs, for who knows better than Him, how to run lives eh? NOBODY! 

So let’s cool it nuh, get wise, and don’t take so much umbrage when our Creator wants to be a big part, or rather the FIRST PART of our lives! That’s His prerogative…and we should be glad and thankful that He even wants to have anything to do with us, the sinful ingrates that we truly are! It just shows His true LOVE and compassion for His most precious creation! 

Oh mih people, let’s hope this Bit excites you all the way it excited me while writing it! (smile) It’s not only for you, but also for me! And this one touches me. (smile) Please have a blessed Christmas Eve…and remember the reason for the season…Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…God’s given me a new heart for Christmas…la la la la…God’s given me a new lease on life for Christmas…what else can I desire eh…Glory Hallelujah…Bless His holy Name…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2018 Ecclesiastes 5:2.

Ecclesiastes 5:2.   Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few.

 

Wow Friends, these Sundays come around so quickly that sometimes you don’t even have time to think! (smile) We just get up and go to church by rote, like robots, without preparing properly for it. And though it’s good to go to the house of the Lord and worship with fellow believers, I believe we should pay careful attention to these words of Cousin Sol writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes: 

‘Keep thy foot (walk prudently) when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few.’ (Eccl.5:1-2) 

Yeh friends, we have to be careful when we go to church, not to get too caught up in the moment and make vows and promises we can’t or won’t keep. The scholars offer this explanation on the verses. ‘5:1-7. The emphasis on the passage is on the folly of an empty religious profession before a sovereign God: God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth. God expects sincerity and meaningfulness in worship. He is not impressed with foolish vows.’  

And sadly many of us don’t take worship seriously enough. But please, let’s not do that today. Instead, let’s lose the empty religiosity, and gather together with the sincerity and meaningfulness that our God expects of His faithful followers. And let’s begin by showing it in our song of praise, which today is possibly one of the master hymn writer Charles Wesley’s most popular: ‘LOVE Divine, All LOVES Excelling.’  

As one harmonious and melodious choir, let’s put our hearts and souls into it. ‘LOVE divine, all LOVES excelling, joy of heav’n, to earth come down, fix in us thy humble dwelling; all Thy faithful mercies crown. Jesus, thou art all compassion; pure, unbounded LOVE Thou art; visit us with Thy salvation; enter ev’ry trembling heart. Breathe, O breathe Thy LOVING Spirit into ev’ry troubled breast! 

Let us all in Thee inherit; let us find the promised rest. Take away the LOVE of sinning; Alpha and Omega be; end of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty. Come, Almighty, to deliver; let us all Thy life receive; suddenly return and never, nevermore Thy temples leave. Thee we would be always blessing, serve Thee as Thy hosts above, pray and praise Thee without ceasing, glory in Thy perfect LOVE. 

Finish then Thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be. Let us see Thy great salvation perfectly restored in Thee. Changed from glory into glory, till in heav’n we take our place, till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, LOVE, and praise.’ 

What a marvellous hymn my brethren! And we sang it with much fervour and sincerity too! I’m sure heaven was deeply touched! (smile) Now here is a brief explanation of the hymn from Wikipedia: ‘Like many hymns, LOVE DIVINE, is loosely Trinitarian in organization: Christ is invoked in the first stanza as the expression of Divine LOVE; the Holy Spirit in the second stanza as the agent of sanctification; the Father in the third stanza as the source of life; and the Trinity (presumably) in the final stanza as the joint Creator of the New Creation. 

Like many hymns, too, this one is a tissue of Biblical quotations, including “Alpha and Omega” (st.2) as an epithet of Christ, from Revelation 21:6; the casting of crowns before God’s throne (st.4), from Revelation 4:10; the promise that Christians shall be “changed from glory into glory” (st.2 and 4), from 2 Corinthians 3:18; as well as other, more general allusions.’ 

Whew! That’s what you call a brief, in depth, general explanation! (smile) But it all makes sense. Ah friends, today is also the day we celebrate as ‘Remembrance Day,’ in the British system, and ‘Veteran’s Day’ in the U.S. The day we remember all those who died fighting for our freedom and democracy. And believe me many many gave their lives on our behalf. So today we honour them with marches and speeches and memorials and services at their gravesites, etc. 

And this year it’s the 100 Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty that ended the first Great War. But we never learned from it, and unfortunately the celebrations are somewhat tainted, because those who survived all our wars, and the relatives of those who died, are finding it very difficult to get the monetary benefits, housing and medical attention that they deserve. Our governments talk a good talk on days like these, but when it’s time to get down into the trenches, it’s all hypocrisy. 

Just this past week the Canadian Government finally allocated a hundred and something million dollars that should have been paid to the veterans some time ago. And even with that allocation, who knows how long that will take to filter down to those in need. It’s the same poor attitude in the U.S. However, although we don’t treat the vets and their families as well as we should, at least we remember them in our prayers and ceremonies. 

And we’ll close with that ever-popular poem ‘In Flanders Field,’ written in their honour by Lieutenant Colonel John McRae: ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, LOVED and were LOVED, and now we lie In Flanders Fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’ 

Ah friends, so many young men died in those unnecessary wars without having even lived life…But we thank them for their sacrifice and today we remember them, with LOVE and gratitude. Much LOVE!

…besides saying…lest we forget…what about saying…we won’t let it happen again eh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 
Well the sun seems to be fighting a valiant battle out there against the dark, evil clouds that want to cover it up and shut it out from providing light for our day. But yuh know what friends? Whether the sun wins, or the dark clouds prevail, we will still be awright, in fact blessed, because we have the GREATEST, the ONE and ONLY, Jesus Christ in our corner, and He has the power to make ALL things right! Glory to God! 

So we don’t really have to be overly concerned about whether the sun shines or not, since Jesus is the true LIGHT of the world! Give Him much thanks and praise my people! And to further sweeten things, without His selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, and His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday, we’d all be headed for Satan’s hell instead of Jesus’ heaven! 

Wow mih breddren! No amount of thanks can ever be sufficient for those acts of selflessness by our Lord and Saviour! So let’s just worship Him, and praise Him, and give Him all the glory nuh, like we should, instead of trying to cozy up to Satan and his evil buddies, who only have evil in their hearts and no LOVE at all for their fellow man. 

No, we definitely should not be kow-towing to their values, their beliefs, their self-serving culture, seeking to build up their earthly treasures, because it all goes against the very grain of what our Leader Christ teaches us. Our concerns should be more heavenly than earthly. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have to pay serious attention to our earthly life, but that our focus should not be so steadfast on it, that we lose sight of our life to come in heaven. 

Remember what Jesus said yesterday: that wherever our treasures are stored up, that’s where our hearts will be. (Matthew 6:21) Well the same way He declared to the Father, re our worldliness: ‘I have given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:14-17) 

Ah friends, once we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and His Holy Spirit comes to indwell us, we automatically become enemies of the world, hated by it because our ways don’t conform to their evil ways. And they shouldn’t because Jesus teaches a whole different way of life; one of LOVE and caring, compassion, grace, mercy and forgiveness, and the world holds most of those things in scornful disdain. 

So as Bruh Paul said so unequivocally to the church at Rome: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) Yes friends, we are to steadfastly resist being poured into the same mould as the world, for we are only pilgrims, sojourners here on earth, and our real home is in heaven. 

And the battle all begins and ends in our minds! That’s because the mind controls our actions. So that’s where the evil one keeps fighting for supremacy. But if we keep Jesus steadfast in our hearts and sight, we will be able to defeat the enemy.

And as John in his epistle so sternly admonishes: ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.’ (1 John 2:15) 

It couldn’t get any simpler or clearer than that my fellow believers. Satan is the ruler of this world, and if you LOVE the things in his world, then you cannot have true LOVE for the Father too.

As Jesus so rightly said: ‘No man can serve two masters…Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ (Matt.6:24) And that’s gospel truth. So if the things of the world are our main focus in life, then I’m sorry friends, but we don’t truly have God in our hearts. That’s just the simple logic of the situation. 

And what’s the solution to the whole ‘confuffling’ situation? Again, Jesus provides us with the simple and straightforward answer: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Ah my people, please remember that God is the Creator and Provider of all good things, so it is certainly possible for Him to provide the things that we need in this world to live it successfully, but we have to be obedient to His will. It’s that simple. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (Spelled it right! Glory to God!) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on His followers. All together now in strong voice, for remember a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

‘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 those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to go out and share with the less fortunate. That’s Jesus great desire. So let’s go out and do just than nuh my faithful brethren! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus can indeed be tough…but just think about all the wonderful rewards…both earthly and heavenly…that moths will not eat…that will not decay…or be stolen…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2018 1 Peter 1:7.

1 Peter 1:7.    That the (genine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.
 

Ah friends, life can be so unfair at times eh! Chuh! For the past two weeks I was waking up to bright sunshine, blue skies, aquamarine surf rolling up on the shores, and tall coconut tress swaying gently in the cool North East Trade Winds, with refreshing island talk drifting up to my room. 

But all of a sudden, I got up this morning and looking out my bedroom window, somewhat cloudy skies, multihued trees and a set of dead brown leaves on the cold looking grass shockingly greeted my sleepy eyes. It certainly brought my system to a standstill. (smile) 

But there was one redeeming feature; my neighbour has a tall tree in his backyard, don’t ask me what kind, and it is covered in golden yellow leaves from head to foot! It looks real beautiful, could be a wonderful poster tree for the colourful fall season. 

Yeh mih people, the ole fella is back home, dressed in his old red spring jacket, sitting in his old chair before his aged desktop, and writing much more comfortably than I did for the last two weeks on my laptop in J.A. But that vacation has been enshrined in the top ones that the duchess and I have taken. 

It definitely is not number one. That place of honour permanently resides in one we took some fifteen to twenty years ago, in the same Jamaica, but we stayed in a town house somewhere down in the Parish of Trelawney. And brother, the things we did; climbing Dunns River falls, rafting down the White River and numerous other tours. 

But I guess the highlight was boating up some river in the night with flambeaus, flaming torches all around, and drums beating in the distance, going to a night time barbecue somewhere along the river bank. Sorry, don’t ask me any more, because it seems I was totally wasted that night. (smile) The things we do when we are young eh! 

But in my maturity and brokenness, I was still able to do one amazing feat; walk up the winding, dangerous nature trail to the Blue Hole Waterfall, and then walk back down in my flip-flops. And I would indeed be foolish to take all the credit, or rather any of it, because it was the Lord who carried me back and forth on His strong, massive, magnificent shoulders. 

If I had known what it was like before attempting it, I doubt I would have done so. So please give the Lord all the glory, because in my weakness, His grace and strength were more than enough to see me through. Glory to the wonderful Deity we serve! 

And on that note of thanksgiving, here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that certainly describes my life in the past couple of years. It’s titled ‘Don’t Stop Lord.’ Please pray with me. ‘Lord In asking You to make me whole I certainly didn’t know What I was in for. You have ransacked me Until I sometimes feel There is nothing left. But don’t stop Lord Please don’t stop! I’m trusting that the product Will be worth the process.’ 

Yes mih breddren, when I asked the Lord for healing, I surely didn’t know the paces He would put me through. And if I had known, I can’t say for sure that I would have asked for it. But since we’ve come so far, it’s too late to turn back now. And even if I don’t feel like crying out to Him to continue, the wise and sensible thing to do is let Him finish the renovations and refurbishment, because as Bruh Paul confidently told the Philippians: 

‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) Yes my brethren, once the Lord begins working in us, He never stops until the job is done, even if it takes till Jesus’ Second Coming. So please don’t ever give up on Him! 

And the Bible Promise for the poem above is also our Bit. ‘That the (genuine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.’ 

Oh friends, the Lord puts us through some tough trials to simply test our faith, to see how committed we truly are to Him. But He only does it for a ‘season,’ a short time. And if we stand strong and steadfast, He will bring us out of the testing fire, stronger, purer and more mature, like when gold and silver are burnished. 

As James says: ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.’ (James 1:2-3) And patience, re perseverance, is something ALL believers need to acquire, and sadly, it cannot be acquired without going through tough times. 

So please friends, let’s all try and bear up under whatever adversity comes against us, knowing that our ever-faithful God will not give us more than we can handle, and in any case will help us through the fire and the flood. And it’s going home time, so let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much sincerity, in loud voice and strong sense of purpose, proudly letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In unison now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And to be true to our word, let’s go out now and share the wonderful LOVE and compassion of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus is not easy…but praise the Lord…it is certainly very rewarding…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 October 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23

Lamentations 3:22-23. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

 
Glory be! It’s Sunday my people! That means the Lord’s house is open to whosoever will, that may come in humble repentance and expectant heart to receive His wonderful mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness! Please, let us not refuse this divine invitation, because it might just be the best decision we ever make. 
 
And as always, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to God’s Word, we open with some praise and worship, sending up thanks and glory to our heavenly Father for His undeserving goodness to the children of men. And today’s hymn is that ole faithful from Charles Wesley; ‘LOVE Divine, All LOVES Excelling.’ 
 
So, without further ado, let’s raise our hearts, heads, hands and voices heavenward and give God the glory. As one magnificent choir now: ‘LOVE divine, all LOVES excelling,joy of heav’n, to earth come down, fix in us Thy humble dwelling; all Thy faithful mercies crown. Jesus, Thou art all compassion; pure, unbounded LOVE Thou art; visit us with Thy salvation; enter ev’ry trembling heart. 
 
Breathe, O breathe Thy LOVING Spirit into ev’ry troubled breast! Let us all in Thee inherit; let us find the promised rest. Take away the LOVE of sinning; Alpha and Omega be; end of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty. Come, Almighty, to deliver; let us all Thy life receive; suddenly return and never, nevermore Thy temples leave. 
 
Thee we would be always blessing, serve Thee as Thy hosts above, pray and praise Thee without ceasing, glory in Thy perfect LOVE. Finish then Thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be. Let us see Thy great salvation perfectly restored in Thee. Changed from glory into glory, till in heav’n we take our place, till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, LOVE, and praise.’ 
 
Yeh friends, mighty sounds of praise and worship! And before I add my two cents worth, (smile) I’d like to include a short description of that hymn from the Hymnary.org site. It says: ‘Addressed to Christ, this text begins as a prayer for the indwelling of his LOVE in our lives: “fix in us thy humble dwelling” and “let us all thy life receive” (st. 1-2). 
 
A tone of praise and adoration runs throughout the text. But the final stanza is clearly a prayer for sanctification, for consistently holy lives. Though this stanza was an outcome of the Specifically Wesleyan doctrine of perfection, it is our fervent Christian prayer that our sanctification will ultimately lead to glorification. As is customary in a Charles Wesley text, biblical allusions abound.’ 
 
And it’s some of those allusions that I want to deal with today. And we begin with ‘joy of heav’n, to earth come down, fix in us Thy humble dwelling; all Thy faithful mercies crown.’ They say that alludes to: ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.’ (Rev.21:3) 
 
And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘The presence of God will be with His people, and He will forever dwell with them. A primary purpose of redemption will be accomplished: the complete fellowship of God with His redeemed people.’  Oh my fellow believers, what a glorious day that will be, when the Lord will wipe away all tears and pain, sorrow and crying and no more death will grieve our souls. (Rev.21:4) 
 
And turning now to our Bit which talks about the Lord’s compassion. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ Yeh friends, if the Lord wasn’t like Wesley says: ‘Jesus; Thou art all compassion; pure, unbounded LOVE Thou art;’ we’d be gone through long, long time. 
 
And how can we forget the first words of the hymn eh? ‘LOVE divine, all LOVES excelling…’ That certainly purports to one of the greatest passages in the Good Book: ‘For God so LOVED the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Mama Mia! Where, and what would we be without God’s great unconditional LOVE eh? I shudder to contemplate it!  
 
And when Charles talks about ‘Alpha and Omega,’ the passage that immediately comes to mind is again from John’s Revelation: ‘And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst (thirsty) of the fountain of water of life freely.’ (Rev.21:6) Yes friends, I can’t wait to get that ‘water of life,’ the eternal sustenance and provision. (smile) 
 
And ‘Praise thee without ceasing,’ surely refers to the constant praise that goes on in heaven, where the seven beasts and twenty four elders bow continuously before the Lord and cry, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.’ (Rev.4:8) Meanwhile the elders throw their crowns and themselves before the throne of grace and sincerely declare: ‘Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.’ Rev.4:11) 
 
Now when he talks about, ‘Changed from glory into glory,’ there’s no doubt that the scripture he’s referencing is: ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (3 Cor.3:18) Yeh friends, bit by bit we’re becoming more Christ-like, led by the Holy Spirit, as is the Father’s dearest desire. 
 
And finally, ‘thy new creation,’ refers to one of our favourite and well known passages from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17) 
 
Friends, I have to leave to go and get ready to go to Kingston, the duchess is on my case. (smile) So I pray that we will all have a blessed and perfect day, as we live in faith for Jesus. Much LOVE!
 
…living for Jesus…is infinitely more rewarding…than living without Him… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2018 Matthew 5:13a & 14a.

Matthew 5:13a & 14a.     Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world…
 
And Saturday has dawned somewhat cloudy, chilly and damp from early evening drizzle. And in Mother Nature’s eccentric way, a lot of the trees that only two days ago I said were surprisingly still green, are now almost all golden yellow. She’s delivered the final message; it’s time to buckle down for the cold winter months ahead. And we, people of God, should also be heeding Mother Nature’s missive, because I believe we’ll be in for some rather tough times in the near future. 

And talking about tough times, I was negligent in mentioning Hurricane Michael that devastated parts of Florida a couple days ago. It came up suddenly, did, it’s dirty work and was gone again. Please let’s pray for those unfortunate people, and do whatever else we can to help them. But that might just be the pattern of natural disasters, or really any kind of disaster that might soon befall us. 

You’ll notice how disasters of all kinds have happened all over the world this year with surprising regularity. I don’t want to read too much into it, but friends, if we are wise, we will at least suspect the hand of our omnipotent God somewhere about in them, sending us a warning, to repent from our sinful ways. 

I don’t know if the world has ever been this evil, adding to the fact that we’re trying so desperately to oust God from our society. Do you think He’ll just sit quietly by and let it happen? I doubt it. But that’s just a word of warning to the wise. 

And since today is Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And first up is this: ‘All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.’ I’m not so sure about that nuh. 

Yes, life is indeed experimental; you have to try stuff to see if it works for you. But I truly wonder if the more experiments we try, the merrier, or better off we are? I think at some stage, when we find our true calling, that the experimenting must either cease or slow down. 

Then there is this: ‘A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.’ Now that’s basically true, but some will need a definition of wasting time before they agree, since to them doing nothing, is not always a waste of time, sometimes it can be a means of refreshing and renewing oneself. But generally speaking, just letting time fly by, and it does fly by, without doing positive and productive stuff, even if it’s simply regenerating oneself, isn’t a wise way to use it. 

Now hear this quote: ‘All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.’ That makes sense. We can’t afford to be moving too often from top to bottom, because that just saps the energy and spirit of our souls. We need to try and establish a nice balance between the good times and the rough times, plus don’t stay down too long, or fly too high before we develop wings. (smile) 

And the last quote says: ‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.’ 

Now that is gospel truth my brethren! We were not placed down here to merely survive, to go about like ‘poor me ones,’ but to be salt and light and magnificent examples to the unbeliever: in other words to be excellent ambassadors of Christ. As Jesus so adamantly stated in His famous Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world…’ 

Yes friends, that’s what Christ’s followers are expected to be; full of vim and vigour, showing their excellence in all matters, leading the parade in His name! Now are we leading the parade in Jesus’ name, my fellow believers? I don’t think so nuh, otherwise the evil-doers would not be having the upper hand in the world today, and we’d not be trying like hell to kick Christ out of our society. 

That just shows we’re not on top of things. We seem to be more like how Christ described flavourless salt: ‘but if the salt has lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men’ (Matt.5:13b) Likewise: ‘A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:14b-15)  

Now if those two negative situations Jesus describes are true of us in these trying times, then it doesn’t speak well of us my believing brethren. And sadly, there is a whole lot of truth to it! Our efforts for Christ are simply not up to scratch; there are too many divisions, too much petty resentment and feuding between so-called believers, plus too much compromise with the heathen, and too much of just sitting on our laurels and figuring everything will just work itself out for good. 

No friends, winning souls for Christ, and the world for His LOVE Revolution WILL not happen without our saltiness and light blaring forth, dazzling the entire world! 

Now listen to Jesus final words on the subject. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) 

Yes friends, that’s how true believers ought to be behaving, so that God can be glorified! Remember that’s our chief mission here on earth! So let’s pull up our socks and go out and do better for Jesus nuh mih breddren! Don’t you feel bad that we’re letting the world blaspheme His holy name and kick Him around like a bloody football, after all He’s done for us? We ought to! Much LOVE!

…if you’re not flavouring the world with your saltiness…and dazzling them with your light…then you’re a poor ambassador for Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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