Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 July 2019 John 17:16.

John 17:16.    ​They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

 

Ah mih people, late nights usually lead to late mornings, and I was out on my porch this morning at 3.a.m enjoying some silence and solitude with nature and my Maker, so no wonder the Bit’s somewhat late. (smile) But please look at it from my point of view nuh. 

Being up at those late hours means that I’m getting back somewhat to my old self, not needing to sleep through most of the night like I’ve been recently doing. Hopefully too, I will be more productive in my endeavours, because I certainly haven’t been thus in the last li’l while. 

And the best news though friends is that 32 are down, with only one more to go! Yeah! Today is the last day of the radiation treatment! Wow! My time will be my own now! No more having to go to the hospital five times a week at varying times – with empty bowels and a full bladder too! 

Oh boy, I’m going to feel like I’ve been set free from jail, don’t know what I’m going to do with myself! Just hope the radiation stuff does what it’s supposed to do though, because I definitely don’t want to have to do it again. But who knows eh? All that’s in the Lord’s hands, the Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein! 

And the workingman is also excited this Friday morning, as he belts out his weekend song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend is here at last! Brother! It was a busy week in the slave camp, as it always is in the summertime, but now freedom at last for a couple of days. Glory be! 

And isn’t this summer going smashingly? No setta rain or extreme heat. Plenty time to barbecue and party. Have fun with the children…and with the wife…Ooh la la! Who says it’s not good to be alive eh? 

Is true the slave master liable to drive me crazy during the week, but come the weekend, I forget all about that, and just concentrate on me and my family’s enjoyment. The work hard, and the pay not commensurate with it, but it keeps the bailiff at bay, and I’m no longer a young man, so I don’t have that many opportunities to get a better job. 

And then there’s the old saying, better the devil you know, than the one you don’t! I can handle my slave master, and when things are going good, like they usually are in the summer, he’s not too bad. So why should I get all upset and spoil mih comfortable life eh? That’s why I’m always thankful for Fridays and weekends!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, right there many of us have a similar problem; not wanting to disturb our comfortable lives, even though Jesus is calling us to get out there on the limb and do His bidding. Too much LOVE of comfort and worldly pleasure, too much compromise with the world and it’s ungodly ways are causing too many of us to fall through the cracks and become more worldly than we ought to be. 

Remember Jesus desires us to be in the world, but not a part of it. And basically there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be comfortable, but at what expense? If it prohibits or inhibits your work for Christ, then you have to carefully consider that comfortable condition. 

Remember His prayer to the Father for us: ‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.’ (John 17:15-16) What more can I say eh friends, except to quote a few scriptures that also encourage us to be not of this evil and ungodly world. 

Hear Bruh Paul 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 my fellow believers in Christ, as the scholars say: ‘We need to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world.’ 

Meanwhile James says it a li’l more forcefully: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) Yeh friends, one cannot be a LOVER of God and a LOVER of the world. You either have to serve God or mammon! 

As John so nicely puts it: ‘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. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

Ah my people, yuh see that last line, it’s possibly the most important, letting us know that whatever the world holds dearly will eventually pass away, but the things of God, and those who do His will, will surely abide till eternity! What wonderful news that is! So let’s stop trying to be like the world, and be like Christ instead nuh. 

And no, I did not forget our Friday Chant, it’s just that it fell more conveniently at the end than in the middle today. (smile) So as true believers in Christ, let’s chant it now in strong voice with all sincerity nuh! ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! 

It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes, let’s all have a happy weekend glorifying God and renewing our spiritual and physical selves so that we can join the battle with new energy and confidence next week. Much LOVE!

…God says…if we seek Him first…He will give us all that we ever need…so why worry about the perishable things in the world eh…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2018 Ephesians 3: 20-21.

Ephesians 3:20-21.   Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
 

Oh friends, this early going to bed and early morning waking up is for the birds yes! I can’t stand the emotional pain of waking up at 7 a.m and seeing outside still dark. Chuh! And by this weekend it will be even worse when we turn the clocks back one hour in the senseless ritual of Daylight Savings Time. 

And since I can’t lie in my bed for many hours like some of us, because the ole bod tightens up on me, the only solution to cover both aspects of the problem is to return to my old habit of going to bed late! Glory be! And those were also the days when I got much more work done during a twenty-four hour period. 

What a pleasure it will be to get up and see the sun out and about. It will also give me some get up and go. Oh I know it might make the Bit a tad later than usual, but that’s a small price to pay for the ole fella’s happiness eh. (smile) 

And though I try to limit the poems from Our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin to one a week, I just could not resist sharing this one that I read yesterday, because it’s so appropriate and enlightening for these troubled and worrisome times. It’s titled ‘Enormous Rewards.’ 

So please pray with me. ‘O dear God Thank You for teaching me The enormous rewards Of walking obediently with You: There is joy without guilt Freedom without fear Satisfaction without sordidness Purpose without confusion Friendship without compromise Forgiveness without penance Fulfillment without disappointment.’ 

Oh mih breddren what glorious rewards can be had from walking in obedience to God’s will! No other faith or Deity can promise and produce that extraordinary stuff for being faithful to them. Wow! So why aren’t we all just dying to walk in obedience to God eh? 

 I really can’t answer that question nuh, except by possibly saying that we’re foolish and unwise, proud and narcissistic, worshipping the angel of this world, Satan, rather than Christ, and thus catering to the whims, fancies, pleasures and treasures of the evil world in which we dwell. How else can we explain not intentionally walking obediently with God, the Creator and Controller of the universe, when so many rewards await us eh? 

However we explain it friends, walking obediently with Almighty God is the only approach that makes sense, that’s why I had to share this poem today! It was just crying out to be shared! (smile)

And the Bible Promise for this poem is also our Bit; a most moving and reassuring piece of scripture. ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, what powerful words relating to a most powerful God. Yuh see, Bruh Paul says that our God can do even much more than we can ask or think! Our minds are small and finite but the Lord’s is infinite, and that’s why He solemnly declares in Isaiah:

‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is.55:8-9) That says it all my brethren! 

And why did Bruh Paul make those statements in our Bit? Because he had just prayed for inner growth in the Ephesian church: That they would be granted ‘the riches of his glory…strengthened with might by his Spirit…

That Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith; that they be rooted and grounded in LOVE; and be able to comprehend the vastness, the enormity, the height and breadth, length and depth of that LOVE; while knowing the peace and LOVE of Christ which passes all human understanding, and that their lives would be fully developed with all the wonderful characteristics of God.’ (Eph.3:16-19) 

Now friends, please tell me who would be able to do all of that in sinful men eh? None but the Lord of Hosts, our Maker and Provider, our Omnipotent Godhead! That’s why Bruh Paul was so confident that his prayers would be answered. And as he tells the Corinthians, paraphrasing a couple of verses from Isaiah (64:4, 65:17) ‘But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that LOVE him.’ (1 Cor.2:9) 

Oh my people, my people, in light of that statement, why aren’t we falling all over ourselves to worship and be obedient to God eh? We must have a screw, or a couple of screws missing yes! Otherwise we’d be all over God like white on rice! (smile) And would He ever LOVE that! Heaven would mash up with rejoicing! 

So let’s get wise and turn to God nuh, for He is the ONLY one able to provide us with ALL that we need. And that is sincerely and faithfully shown in our Thursday Blessings, which we will now declare, because a blessing isn’t a blessing until it’s declared over someone. 

So in full voice and heartfelt 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!’ 

Glory to God my brethren! And the other side of that coin is for us now to go out and share those blessings with others, for that’s why we were so graciously granted them. Much LOVE!

…living under God’s amazing and LOVING grace…brother…it just can’t be beat nuh…

 

 

 

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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2018 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15.   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.

Oh friends, like Job so famously said, we can’t expect to receive good all the time and no bad. That means we can’t expect glorious sunshine every day, there must be some rain too. And really, the rain’s not bad nuh, it’s just the opposite of sunshine, and it is in fact very good itself, for if we had no rain there’d be no food crops or beautiful nature to admire, just a dry, brown inhospitable desert. 

Hn! And all of that just to say it’s a rainy day in my neighbourhood today. (smile) Now here’s a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. Don’t know if I’ve shared it before, but when I read it yesterday, it reminded me so much of our behaviour, that I just had to share it. It’s titled ‘Divided Heart,’ like ours are so much of the time. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord I am so often tormented By my lack of clear direction – So often disturbed By my divided heart. I am like a little child Who wants to rock her doll And jump rope at the same time. I want to obey You in part If I can choose the area of obedience. I want to be real except at those moments When compromise is more appealing. I want to be half-motivated And half-satisfied with things as they are. 

I want to walk a straight path If now and then I can enjoy A few side trips into the far country. I don’t want to be a miserable sinner but neither do I feel excited About being a stoic saint. I want to be partly Yours And partly my own. But in the secret chamber Of my divided heart I am so often disquieted By the pointed question: “Why do you so foolishly Mix weeds with seeds?” 

Now isn’t that a very good question my brethren? We all do it at some time or the other, because we find it difficult to surrender our ALL to Christ. And oh, do we ever want to choose our areas of obedience to God! But God wants it ALL! And isn’t it a good thing, that when we foolishly take a side trip into the far country, like the prodigal son did, He welcomes us back with open arms when we come to our senses! 

And yuh know what friends, there’s no reason to be a miserable sinner or a stoic saint, because we’ve become a new creation in Christ, which puts us on firm and solid ground, makes us able to go to the Father with confidence and ask for whatever we need, with Jesus right there advocating on our behalf. So there’s no need to compromise; just take it ALL to the Father in prayer! 

And the Bible Promise for that prayer is also our Bit for today; those famous words of John in his first epistle. ‘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.’ Yes my people, it’s that simple. As Jesus said, you can’t serve two masters at the same time; you can’t serve God and mammon (earthly wealth) too. (Matt.6:24) 

And John continues: ‘For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:16-17) 

That puts it so plainly and simply my people; all the evil things of the world will one day disappear, go up in smoke, but those obedient to God’s will, will live forever Now it’s your decision to make; whether you’ll go up in smoke, or live forever.  

And the scholars tell us: ‘2:16. World for John signifies the evil desire and sin so much a part of human existence.’  Therefore we are to sincerely pledge our loyalty and devotion to God first and foremost. Like Jesus said: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things (worldly needs) shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

And we’re going to add Bruh Paul’s voice to it all, as he wrote 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) 

Yeh friends, again we’re reminded that it all takes place FIRST in our minds; that’s where the change needs to be made before it can me manifested anywhere else. Unless we bring our minds into true acceptance and conformity with God, His will and His word, we’ll continue to follow the unhealthy and ungodly value systems and evil conduct of the world. Nuff said! 

Now for those of us who have made the right decision and are truly trying to be righteous, (smile) let’s go home sincerely acclaiming to the world, our position in Christ, by declaring our Wednesday Wail. Altogether in strong voice 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 what a glorious future that will be! Our puny minds can’t even imagine it. But we know that it will be great, because Jesus promised it! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus…is the wisest decision a human being can ever make…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2018 Revelation 3:15.

Revelation 3:15.   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert (wish you were) cold or hot.

Awright mih breddren, another wonderful day on God’s great earth is upon us! Give Him thanks and praise! And you know what? I just checked the obits and none of our names or pictures are listed there! Wow! That must mean that we’re alive, alive and kicking, alive and kicking butt for Christ! (smile) I like that. 

It sounds like something we were meant to do. But are we doing it? To a certain extent yes, but definitely not as much as we ought to. The problem with our brand of Christianity these days seems to be that we are doing a lot of right things, but we are not doing them sufficiently. 

You know, you can give, volunteer, help, pray, whatever, show Christian attributes, but with a lacklustre attitude, no real passion for what you’re doing. It doesn’t seem to come from the heart, but from the mind. Like I’m supposed to do so and so, so I’ll do it, but not with any real zeal; a more legalistic approach than a heart-felt one. 

But Jesus calls for excellence, passion, and diligence in His followers. That reminds me of what He said to the church in Laodicea, through John’s vision in Revelation, our Bit for today. ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert (wish you were) cold or hot.’ 

Ah friends, that’s exactly how Christ’s church is today. The zeal and passion for growing it, for enhancing Christ’s LOVE Revolution doesn’t’ seem to be present in sufficient quantity amongst its believers. We still seem to be too taken up with the matters of the world and not enough with those of heaven. 

And as Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (spit, vomit) thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods (have become wealthy), and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.’ (Rev.3:16-17) 

Yes my people, if we look at ourselves in truth, we will see that we are still too taken up with the things of the world and not those of God, thus Jesus’ reproach. 

Listen to these explanations from the scholars. ‘3:15-16. The church is likened to lukewarm water, or as being virtually worthless. Christ says He will “spew them out,” or eject them from His company. The hot waters of nearby Hierapolis were known for their medicinal qualities, whereas Colossae was known for its cold, pure water. 

But Laodicea was forced to receive water by aqueduct from other areas. By the time it arrived at Laodicea it was lukewarm and provoked nausea. The works of the Laodicean church were as worthless as the city’s lukewarm water. The description does not refer to a backslidden condition, but rather to their lack of genuine faith.’ 

Ah friends, although I don’t think our contributions to Christ’s church are totally useless, I do believe that they are not worthwhile enough because our faith is not strong enough. Too many of us are too scared, lazy and lackadaisical about our faith. We don’t stand up steadfast and strong enough for what we believe in. 

There is too much fence sitting and compromise in our behaviour and actions. And both those things lessen the strength of anything. We talk a good talk, but we don’t walk a good enough walk. 

That’s why Jesus commanded the church at Laodicea: ‘I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried (refined) in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (garments), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (may not be revealed); and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.’ (Rev.3:18) 

I have to chuckle there friends, because nobody can turn a phrase like Jesus, can admonish you the way He does. And the scholars have this to say about that scripture. ‘3:17-19. Laodicea was famous for its wealth, its bankers, its medical school, its popular eyesalve, and its textile industry. 

Christ says that spiritually the people of the church are poor, blind, and naked. True wealth is found only in God’s grace. This church had no spiritual value (gold), virtue (white raiment), or vision (eyesalve). He urges the Laodiceans to repent of their lack of genuine faith and of spiritual understanding.’ 

Fellow believers in Christ, I believe that admonition of Jesus will also stand us in good stead today. Please, I implore us to stop running after the things and wealth of the world, because they will avail us nothing in the time to come. It’s time we raise the level of our faith and actions and concentrate on sincerely growing Christ’s church as personified by His LOVE Revolution. Why do you think He blessed us with our Thursday Blessings eh? So that we can lift Him up. 

Now let’s declare those blessings with a sincere heart and strong belief. ‘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 if we truly believe, it, then let’s go out and share it with others as Christ desires, for a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared. Much LOVE!

…Christ wants His followers to be either hot or cold…not in between…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2017 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Ah mih people, it’s the Eve of New Year’s Eve, and I guess everybody is getting their dan-dan (finery) ready to go out and tear the house down tomorrow night. (smile) Good for them yes, but the ole fella is going to stay right here in his yard and celebrate whatever celebrations he celebrates! 

The days for going out in the cold and then having to drive back home under the watchful eyes of Babylon are done. And this year I’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve at home, and not in the hospital. Glory to God! 

But what a bam-bam eh! To end up in the hospital on New Year’s Eve. But I guess the Lord was trying to tell me something. Let’s hope I learned whatever it was. (smile) Enough about my woes though, let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say this week. 

I only got three quotes, so I guess he must be a public servant, doesn’t work on holidays. (smile) And the first one says: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ And if we haven’t learned that lesson yet, then it’s high time we do. Other people should not control our happiness and sadness, but invariably many of us allow it to happen. Please stop it! 

And while you are at it, please remember to ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ Remember what Jesus told us to do? LOVE our neighbours as ourselves, which means if we don’t LOVE ourselves in a healthy, non-narcissistic manner, then we can’t LOVE anybody else. 

And He also died that we could have an abundant life. So please don’t shortchange yourself of all the good things Jesus died so that we could have. Jesus was a calm, good-natured, generous, positively thinking fellow who enjoyed life, and so should we be also, if we claim to be His followers. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Ah friends, it is a proven fact of history, if you want to be great, you must be prepared to face sacrifices. No one has ever become great without sacrificing something to achieve that greatness. So if we desire to be great in 2018, then we’d better prepare ourselves from now to sacrifice something for that chance at greatness. 

And the best sacrifice one can ever make is sacrificing one’s own interest to follow Christ. As Jesus said to His disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt.16:24-25) 

Yeh friends, following Christ is the best route we can take in this life, but it also means giving up, sacrificing our selfish desires, and bringing them into sync with those of Jesus. And on top of that He declares in our Bit: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ 

Ah mih breddren, only as we stay close to Christ can we bear good fruit. As the scholars explain: ‘15:1-9. Jesus explains the divine-human relationship by the analogy of a grapevine. Jesus is like the main vine. The disciples are compared with branches. The Father tends the branches like a gardener. At that time of year, branches of grapevines would be budding in Jerusalem.’ 

Yuh see mih people; it’s a family affair! It has to be, if it is going to work properly. That’s why Jesus refers to His followers as ONE BODY! Only when we all have the same interest at heart – that of Jesus – and are going in the same direction can we ever be successful. 

And that’s exactly why today’s church is not as successful as it ought to be; too many divisions, petty squabbles, selfishness, power struggles, strife, and all the other negative stuff that’s disrupting the world. Those things should not be as rampant as they are in Christ’s church. 

It’s obvious then, that as a body, we are not abiding in Christ, nor is He in us sufficiently, else the body would not be as maimed and sick as it is. We all talk a good talk, but only a small proportion of us actually walk that talk. So please, if we consider ourselves followers, disciples of Jesus, let’s plan to put on a better show this upcoming year nuh. Let’s make Him proud of us nuh. 

So when the Father complains about our complacency, compromise and lack of progress in becoming truly Christ-like, Jesus can excitedly and truthfully say: ‘Look Father! They are improving, they are getting better! There’s less compromise and complacency, and they are indeed walking their talk more than last year! Bless their souls!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s the good news we want to be giving Jesus this upcoming year of 2018. He deserves it. Much LOVE!

…as His church…we’ve let Jesus down enough…it’s time to give Him something He can be proud of…sincerely walking our talk…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2017 Matthew 5:14.

Matthew 5:14.   Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Oh friends, the time is drawing ever nearer to that most significant day – Christmas Day – when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory Hallelujah! Give God the Father all thanks, praise and glory for the awesome miracle that He wrought in the lives of, and on behalf of sinful men that day some two thousand years ago! 

And even more importantly, please, we need to see that thanks and glory reflected in our homes as the poem ‘You Cannot Be Hid,’ from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin so avidly describes. 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I’ve discovered it’s never a secret When You live in a home For You simply cannot be hid. The neighbours soon know You are there Even strangers learn of Your presence. When You are the Great First in a home 

There is a radiance that speaks of joy There is gentleness, kindness Laughter and LOVE. There is commotion mixed with contentment There are problems mixed with prayer. Lord, Your own word says it so vividly: “It was known that He was in the house.” 

Yes my people, anytime the Lord God Almighty is the ‘Great First’ in our homes, that most excellent and welcome fact cannot be hid, because it shows in the way the family interacts with each other and with those who come around them! 

Wow! What a joyful home that becomes! That doesn’t mean that problems and other negative aspects of life don’t exist in the homes where God is FIRST. It just means that they are dealt with in a healthy, godly manner, and a continual strife-filled environment doesn’t exist there. 

Oh how I wish many many more of our homes, especially the Christian ones, were truly like that. Yeh friends, we all know that a lot of homes that seem Christian on the outside don’t really behave in good Christian fashion on the inside. 

So please, for this Christmas season, in these ongoing strife-filled and negative times, let’s try and bring a true Christian feeling, a true Christian environment to our homes nuh. Let our neighbours and the stranger just passing through see it written loud and clear in the way we interact, so that they can appreciate our way of life and come to know Jesus too. 

Remember, it’s not just the presents, the food, decorations and outward atmosphere that are important at Christmas time, but also the internal, the spiritual accent, for they bring the true Spirit of Christ to the situation. And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit, the well-known words of Jesus to His disciples and also to us. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ 

Oh my people, that is exactly what Jesus expects from us; to be a blazing light of holiness and righteousness to the evil and sinful world that surrounds us! Then He continues with an addendum: ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:15) 

Yeh friends, Jesus expects us to show our Christianity to the whole world, so that they can see and believe the awesome benefits inherent in becoming His follower. 

And furthermore, in the verse before our Bit, He declares another truth that He expects from His followers: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have 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 under foot by men.’ (Matt.5:13) 

Oh friends, yuh better believe that Christians, as a unified and righteous body have lost their salt and their light is not shining as brightly as it ought to! Who knows exactly why? 

But there are some reasons that definitely contribute to the unfortunate situation; reasons like fear of what man can do to us, disunity between Christians, too many factions and divisions of Christians, unnecessary compromise with the world, and simple sloth and laziness, with the avowed intention to just enjoy the things of the world and the things of God be put on the back burner. 

But friends, our avowed intention ought to be what Jesus demanded of us: ‘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) That’s the crux of the matter right there my believing brethren! We simply need to come up higher in our Christian living. 

And this Christmas season is the best time to do it. So please, let’s all promise our God, and ourselves, that this Christmas, Christ will truly be in our houses and our lives, and be clearly visible to all and sundry. And having made that promise, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our position in Christ. 

In truth and sincerity 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 what a truly glorious future that will be my people! And it all began with Christ’s birth at Christmas! Much LOVE!

…if Christians don’t advertise their wonderful faith…then who will eh…

 

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