Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Awright friends and faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth! So let’s take advantage of it nuh, because we don’t know how many more we will be blessed with, if any, and let’s open today by declaring like the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

Wow! What a positive opening statement friends! That sets the tone for the rest of our day. We have the opportunity now to go out and enjoy God’s favour; His mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness as we work with diligence and excellence to do His awesome, holy will. 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that in this sinful and wicked world nuh mih people! Living under Christ’s umbrella is the best antidote for all that ails the world and us. 

And I have a li’l something to share from C.S. Lewis that describes our Christian walk. He says: ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! God has forgiven us so greatly that it’s only reasonable and to be expected that we forgive others. 

And you know what friends? That isn’t even an individual choice we have, because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader and heavenly King, Jesus Christ enshrined it as a decree in what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer, as our Bit declares: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

Now what does that mean? The scholar’s offer this explanation: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’  

A good thing too, else some of us would still be confessing. (smile) And why is forgiveness so important you wonder? Well Jesus explains a couple of verses later. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.12:14-15) 

It’s as simple as that my brethren! Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Don’t forgive, and you won’t be forgiven. As the old people would say, ‘tit for tat.’ And would you believe, that in spite of Christ’s serious warning, forgiveness is currently one of the world’s biggest problems? And not only on the small, individual scale, but also on the large national stage. 

What do you think is causing so many small wars and skirmishes to continue to flower and flourish all over the world eh? Memories of wars and other atrocities committed by long ago descendants. But the current ones have not forgotten or forgiven, so the anger, bitterness and hatred continue, unfortunately festering the souls of legions of people who had nothing to do with the initial atrocities. 

Just look at the distrust and angst between the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese that now plays out in international affairs because of the way the Japanese ravaged the Chinese and Koreans in the recent wars. It’s the same thing in the Middle East. Thousands of years have passed and old wounds are still festering. Look at Britain, with Wales, Scotland and Ireland; the same thing is happening. 

Old injuries and slights are still playing a vibrant part in today’s scenarios. And we won’t even talk about what’s happening with the individual members of our society. Forgiveness is anathema; repugnant and odious to so many of us, as we scurry through the rat race, the dog eat dog scene that’s today’s world. 

We’re only interested in our own aggrandizement, and anyone that gets in our way, too bad for them. We want to be forgiven, but we refuse to forgive. And if yuh think that forgiving is a one-time deal, you better had think again. For when Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother ‘till seven times?’ Jesus replied: ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:21-22) 

So friends, forgiveness is an ongoing action. It never stops. Once there has been an infraction, there needs to be forgiveness. And the sad part of the matter is that forgiveness isn’t so much for the other person, but for you the forgiver. It releases your spirit from anger and bitterness and all the other negative emotions that clutter up your soul when you refuse to forgive. 

Oftimes the person who you think has done you wrong, doesn’t even know it, or care, and goes on about their business regardless, while you hold all the unforgiveness in your heart. You are the one who’s suffering because you refuse to let go of the wrong. That’s not a very wise way to live my brethren. So please, let’s raise our level of forgiveness, and see how it raises the level of the remainder of our life nuh. 

Now let’s go home shouting out to the world, our position in Jesus Christ through our Wednesday Wail. Altogether 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 oh, how glorious indeed, will be that future with Jesus! I cant wait to experience it! Much LOVE!

…to forgive, forgive…and yet to forgive…that’s the message of Christ…and His cross…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2018 1 John 4:17.

1 John 4:17.   Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, for His bountiful kindness to the sinful children of men! Bless Him for the indescribable mercy that’s new every morning to undeserving men! Bless the Lord, O my soul, for the saving grace, the reconciliation He has provided for us through the awesome sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, so that we can believe on His Son and be called the children of God! 

Oh bless His holy name people, for the breath of life that He breathed into us when He so tenderly formed us from the clay of the ground! That was His awe-inspiring LOVE that He placed in us. And even though we’ve turned away from Him, He has not turned away from us, because that LOVE is unconditional and eternal, needing nothing from us, but to come to Him, just as we are, in whatever shape we’re in, and we’ll receive, with no questions asked, His fatherly care and all the comforts of home. 

And finally, bless the Lord, O my soul, for that amazing thing called forgiveness! That miraculous situation where the Lord forgives and washes away my awful sins numerous times per day, once I sincerely confess them and try not to repeat them. Oh bless the Lord, O my soul for the wonderful God we serve! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The God who made heaven and earth, and all therein! Bless His holy name, and serve Him with a wholesome heart, for therein lies true and eternal wisdom! 

Ah friends, whether you like it or not, that is how I was guided to open today’s Bit. (smile) And it’s all true! No other faith has anything that comes even close to our Christian way of life. And if you add them all up, you’ll see what a treasure trove of blessings we enjoy, even though we don’t deserve them. So for the life of me, I can’t see why we so steadfastly refuse to faithfully serve and worship the ONE true and living God of this universe! 

But friends, all I can do is give you the truth, we each have to make up our individual minds on the path we’re going to follow. Let’s hope that like Joshua, we all sincerely declare: ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15) 

And our Bit for today just reassures and convinces us that when we follow the Lord we don’t need to fear anything. ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ 

And the scholars tell us: ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16 (dwelling in LOVE). By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, IF we LOVE in this world as He does.’ 

Please notice that big ‘IF’ there mih people! At some stage of the life hereafter we WILL be judged, whether we believe it or like it. However, ‘IF’ we live in LOVE in this world, we won’t have to fear that judgement. And John explains further. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) 

Yeh friends, if we sincerely live in LOVE, then there’s no need to be afraid, because there’s NO fear whatsoever in LOVE. Listen to the scholars: ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. 

Fear is still part of the Christian walk, in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us. (See Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil.2:12; 1 Pet.1:17). Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be casual and flippant.’ Please read the references, I just did, and they are interesting. (smile) 

Yes my faithful breddren, not because we don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgement, means we have to live like leggo-beasts. We still need to reverence Him, give Him the honour and glory He deserves. For as John tells us: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us. 

If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:19-21) 

And the scholars declare: ‘4:19-21. Our LOVE, if it exists and mirrors God’s LOVE at all, is not our own, but God’s doing. The epitome of hypocrisy is the claim to LOVE God while withholding LOVE from others. For Jesus Himself commanded that he who LOVES God is to demonstrate this through LOVING others.’ 

Unfortunately though friends, that hypocrisy is very rampant throughout Christ’s church. We talk the LOVE but don’t walk it. That’s why so many unbelievers just look at Christians, shake their heads, laugh and declare ‘Hypocrites!’ But this year we going to change that my fellow believers, because 2018 is the year of real and true godly LOVE! 

And to cement that promise, let’s go home by letting the world know our sincere and secure position in Christ, as we declare our Wednesday Wail with strong conviction, in loud voice. All together 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 since all God’s promises are true, we know that the future with Jesus will indeed be glorious! Much LOVE!

…to truly know Jesus…is to certainly LOVE Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2018 1 John 4:11.

1 John 4:11.   Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.

And then it was Tuesday, the 2nd day of January 2018, and the festivities have been abruptly curtailed! Hn! It’s time to get back to the common task and daily grind, or however they say it. Reality has finally hit home! 

It’s time to go back to work and consider how we’re going to pay the enormous bills we’ve run up over the holiday season. Some of us are liable to drop down dead when we see the bills. But not to worry, whatever foolishness we’ve done can be rectified if we take it to Jesus. 

Remember His awesome invitation? ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, no one in this great wide world has ever offered such a sincere invitation, with the power to back up every word. So if this morning you’re straining under any kind of pressure at all, the wisest thing you can do is take it to Jesus in humble prayer and supplication. 

He will NOT, will NEVER turn you away, for He’s also faithfully promised: ‘I’ll never leave nor forsake you.’ But He can’t do anything for you until you turn to Him and ask for His help. 

Now He might not just wave away your problems, although He has the power to do so, but He’ll surely show you a way to handle them without a backbreaking effort and give you the grace and mercy to see it all through. That’s His promise and He doesn’t renege on any of His promises. 

Remember too friends, that we’ve dedicated 2018 to be the Year of LOVE…and where does true LOVE come from, where is its fountainhead? Jesus Christ! And we’ve also declared that we only need ONE New Year’s Resolution; that of following Christ more closely than ever. 

Therefore, using all that simple logic, (smile) no rocket science involved, it’s easy to deduce that ALL wise roads lead to Christ, for He is the ONLY One who’s inviting us to bring our problems to Him, and the ONLY One who has the power to solve them, and/or take us safely through them. 

Oh, and don’t forget our motto: EACH ONE LOVE ONE! Yeh mih breddren, each and every day, we’re supposed to LOVE at least ONE person. But please don’t just stop at one, the more the merrier. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ 

Oh my fellow believers no greater truth has ever been spoken. Remember all the LOVE began with God! He first LOVED us, and so much, that He sent Jesus to die for us. And as the scholars tell us: ‘4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

And here is some interesting reasoning from John, as he continues after our Bit. ‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:12-16) 

Oh precious people of God, that scripture is so rich in nutrients, that I doubt we have time and space to pull them all out. But let’s see what nuggets we can get in what time we have nuh. Hear the scholars: ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yeh friends, all this LOVING business presupposes that you are a believer in Christ, and have received the life changing and saving gift of His Holy Spirit to dwell in you. Otherwise NONE of this will work. The Holy Spirit is the catalyst that raises up our LOVE quotient. 

‘4:15. This helps provide the context for rightly understanding verse 7 (our Bit from yesterday). Trust in Christ as the incarnate Son of God makes genuine, God-wrought LOVE possible’ Oh people, only through a sincere trust in Jesus Christ can we ever achieve the LOVE that comes from God. 

‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as a characteristic of God and therefore as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ 

And unfortunately my brethren, although we might talk a lot about LOVE, it just doesn’t dominate the Church of Christ and its followers as it should. That’s why we’re talking about it and trying to build our knowledge and thus sincere participation in it, for only as the true LOVE of God is present far and wide in our individual societies and our world, will they be any good.  

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world who and whose we are. In strong, sincere voice 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!’ 

And the next step is to go out and action that last statement. Much LOVE!

…without the LOVE of Jesus in our hearts…mankind is just another mindless wild animal…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2017 Psalm 84:11.

Psalm 84:11.   For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

 HAPPY  ARMISTICE,  REMEMBRANCE,  VETERAN’S  DAY!

Yeh friends, it’s the 99th anniversary of the Great War; the First World War; the war that was supposed to end ALL WAR! Hn! But they didn’t count on the Second World War less than 30 years later. 

And I seriously doubt that war will ever disappear from man’s agenda until our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ returns in all His splendiferous glory and takes control, for mankind from his fall, has been an angry, war-like animal. Peace and LOVE are only overlays, cover ups for his naturally aggressive and warmongering nature. 

In the United Kingdom they call it Armistice Day, in Canada Remembrance Day and in the U. S of A, Veteran’s Day. And we honour our fallen dead by wearing poppies on our clothes during this sad time of remembrance and awful waste of human life. 

And all over the world, this most famous war memorial poem, In Flanders’ Fields, is read on this day. It was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in May 1915, on the battlefields of Belgium, after the death and burial of one of his friends, Alexis Helmer by a German shell. 

Please remember with me: ‘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 mih people, sadly, there are even more quarrels and foes than when this poem was written. Man has not learned anything from the ravages of war. But we won’t linger on the topic of war, instead we’ll turn to a more uplifting subject, quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Here is the first one: ‘I Am Thankful For All Of Those Who Said, “No” To Me. It’s Because Of Them I’m Doing It Myself.’ And in some respects I can attest to that, because some of the things I am doing for myself now are because others didn’t want to do them for me. Refusal often leads to your getting up and doing stuff yourself. 

But in saying that, we have to realize that ‘Success Does Not Consist In Never Making Mistakes, But In Never Making The Same One A Second Time.’ We all make mistakes, but when we keep making the same one(s) over and over, then something’s definitely wrong with our modus operandi. 

That leads us to this next quote: ‘Your Life Only Gets Better When You Get Better.’ Truth in a nutshell people! Then there is this one: ‘Think Big And Don’t Listen To People Who Tell You It Can’t Be Done. Life’s Too Short To Think Small.’ 

Now there is much to be said for that, but to a certain extent we also have to recognize our limitations, although with our awesome and omnipotent God, anything at all is possible. Glory to God! 

And I like this last quote: ‘Trust is like an eraser, it gets smaller and smaller after every mistake.’ Now isn’t that the gospel truth! Every time we abuse the trust others have in us, the supply gets lower, until it just plain runs out, and they don’t trust us anymore, regardless of what we say or do. 

In fact, we’re lucky to get more than one chance at that state of trust. The only place where second, third, fourth and even fifth chances are possible without condemnation and disgrace is with the Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven, earth and all therein. 

As our Bit tells us: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ 

But even then, in general, He expects us to walk in His will, not in disobedience all of the time. But you do have chances to repent and confess and be forgiven. And though His trust in you won’t diminish, you will feel the consequences of disobedience, you will be chastened in some form and fashion. 

But He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you! You have His ever-faithful promise on that.  As Bruh David so rightly declares in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. 

‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:8-10) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler than that. So today, as we remember the fallen, and ponder the unfortunate ravages of war, let’s be wise nuh, try and walk uprightly, and reach out to our God with penitent and contrite hearts; seek Him in all honesty, so that He can bless and forgive and restore our fallen world. That is heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!

…seek…knock…ask…and you will be answered…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2017 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.   I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Welcome to Wednesday friends and neighbours! For some of us it’s going to be a fine day, for others it could be disastrous. 

And just looking at the possibilities in our hemisphere; Jose is still moving up the North American east coast causing some damage, while Maria is tossing a hissy fit in the Caribbean, steadily moving in the direction of Puerto Rico and some of the smaller Caribbean Islands. 

But to add to all of that, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake apparently has hit Mexico City with a significant loss of life and physical structures. When is it going to end eh friends? 2017 has definitely been a watershed year, a milestone in our society from the antics of Donald Trump to the natural disasters we’re experiencing. 

But my faithful brethren, there’s no need to fear, for our omnipotent God is still on His heavenly throne and still in control of the universe He created. He’s just sending us some serious messages. 

And to help us, this Wednesday morning, here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calking that simply tells us: ‘Fear Not.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Again and again, dear Lord I read Your words, “Fear Not.” Surely You would not say it so often If there were any reason to fear. Nor would You command it so explicitly If You could not keep me from fearing. 

God, You have given me a Fear Not For every puzzling circumstance For every possible emergency For every trial and testing Real or imagined. Yet I confess wasted hours – Even days, dear Lord When fear clutches and clobbers me Until I am physically and emotionally spent. 

Lord, when David cried to You, You delivered him from all his fears. On this gray-sky morning I kneel before You with David’s cry. O my Father, I cannot believe You would be less kind to me Than You were to David.’ 

And no my people, our most merciful and forgiving God would NEVER be less kind to you than He was to Bruh David, if you cry out to Him in your time of fear! 

And our Bit for today, which comes from Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous – the words of none other than Bruh David proves it in spades. Bruh David declares in no uncertain terms: ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ 

Oh my people, I know that some of you will say that your faith is not as strong as Bruh David’s was, and that will surely be true, because not too many of us will have His strong faith, but remember what Jesus said to the disciples when they could not heal a demon infested child. 

‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you.’ (Matt.17:20) 

So friends, once you have true faith, all sorts of miraculous things are possible, with God’s help. Therefore, please don’t sell yourself short. And the Bible verses associated with the poem above, are the two verses after our Bit. 

‘They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.’ (Ps.34:5-6) 

Again my brethren, yuh see how our faces become radiant and we’re not ashamed when we look to the Lord for our daily needs? And when we cry out to him, even in our physical and spiritual poverty, He hears us and delivers us. 

Hear Bruh David further: ‘The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. 

O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:7-10) 

And all of that friends, is a personal testimony of Bruh David, when he narrowly escaped death at the hands of Saul, his archenemy. So it’s not mere talk, but true reality. That means we can rely on it without any fear. 

And seeing that we have now eased ALL of our fears (smile), let’s go home loudly, proudly and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail, which tells of our profound faith and trust in Almighty God. 

‘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!’ 

Now let’s put it all into action, so others can see it and come to Jesus. Much LOVE!…

living with…and for Jesus…is such a beautiful experience…it just warms the cockles of one’s heart…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2017 John 3:17.

John 3:17.   For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Arise oh friends and greet the new day! It’s Monday, which means it’s time to toil, to go out and labour, so that we can eventually reap the sweat of that labour. What does the Good Book say? Something like by the sweat of thy brow thou shall eat bread. 

Well then, if we want to eat bread, let’s get a move on. Enough of the dilly-dallying and complaining about we sick and/ or tired. We weren’t too sick or tired to join in the partying though. So come on, let’s be up and at ‘em! And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with great gusto and heartfelt belief. 

In harmony now: ‘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!’ 

Good singing friends, good singing! Our harmony wasn’t perfect, but our choirmaster, Jesus, knew that our heart was in it and He was pleased. Now let’s keep that adrenaline flowing as we get out into the evil, disaster filled world to help the needy and less fortunate, and try to right whatever wrongs we can in Jesus’ name. 

That’s our mission. Jesus states it quite plainly in our Bit. ‘ For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ 

Yes friends, if it was Jesus’ mission, then it’s also ours, seeing that we are His followers, His disciples, and ought to do what He does, or commands us to do. And you know my brethren that we never deserved that LOVING-kindness, but our God has such a soft spot in His heart for us that He just couldn’t help Himself, He just had to save us, regardless of how much pain and sorrow it caused Him. And it did cause Him much grief, but He knew that the result would be absolutely worth it. 

Give Him much thanks and praise my fellow believers for providing us with an option to save our sinful souls. And if you don’t believe me, or Jesus, then listen to some corroborative scripture. Hear what the angel said to Joseph, re his betrothed Mary. ‘And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his Names JESUS (Saviour): for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matt.1:21) 

And the scholars explain. ‘1:21. Call his name JESUS: The name of the child Jesus (Heb. Yehoshua) means “Jehovah Saves.”  This points to the very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world – to save sinners. Placed early in the New Testament, this statement becomes the foundational concept of the gospel. Jesus, by His very name and nature is the Saviour.’  

And if you still doubt, then listen to Jesus after a village in Samaria refused to accept Him, because they knew he was going to Jerusalem, and James and John wanted to call down fire and brimstone on the village. ‘But he turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.’ (Luke 9:55-56) 

Ah friends, I keep reminding us about the wonderful, the magnificent and magnanimous God we serve, but a lot of us don’t pay attention, we’re too busy paying homage to the evil prince of this world, seeking his frivolous and fraudulent material possessions and earthly wealth. But please, please believe me, there will come a time when the material wealth and possessions will be of absolutely no use to you, and the only saving option for you will be Jesus. 

And if you don’t sincerely have Him in your heart, then you’ll be left forlornly, on the outside looking in. And I can guarantee that that will not be a very nice place to be. So let’s close with these warning words from John. 

‘And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ (1 John 4:14-15) 

Yes friends, trust in Jesus Christ is the only wise and sensible option in this life. Wisdom dictates that you accept Him before it’s too late. Much LOVE!

…what separates hell from heaven…belief in Jesus…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2017 1 John 1:9.

1 John 1:9.   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And then the rains, the early rains came to water the land to prepare it for the sowing of grain. Yeh friends, it’s not a bright sunshiny day like the last several, but cloudy and wet, however it’s also warmer. I think we’re actually in for a spring like weekend. Glory Be! 

And something happened last night that has happened in years; the ole fella went to the theatre. Wow! I can’t tell when last I went to a place like that. (smile) 

Anyhow I went down to the entertainment capital of the North, T.O. to the Ed Mirvish Theatre on the main drag, Yonge Street, to see the musical ‘Bodyguard,’ a take on the Whitney Houston movie of the same name. 

I’ve never seen the movie, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be good show, with lots of nice rich music and dancing. I wasn’t sure whether the skits were meant to be serious or not, but the singing and dancing made up for whatever the acting lacked. 

A British singer, Beverley Knight, played Whitney’s part. She was worth her salt, although some thought that the sister, played by Rachel John had a better voice. Anyway, it was a most worthwhile evening. 

And the theatre itself was just to die for; all old world elegance; lots of marble, beautiful frescoes, chandeliers and a cupola over the auditorium featuring a splendid scene of what I can’t remember. (smile) But I know it was beautiful to the eyes. The Mirvish boys, Toronto’s current theatre impresarios did spend their money well to refurbish it. 

But you know what? While I’m here regaling you with my evening’s activities at the theatre, the workingman, who couldn’t remotely afford the prices of the theatre, is outside having his simple, but heartfelt fun, declaring: 

‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Spring is in the air! And who knows I’ll be where this weekend? But wherever that is, I’ll be drinking and eating and partying. Partying hearty for sure! Having the time of mih life! That’s why we have to thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’  

And we do have to thank Almighty God for Fridays and the weekends, but not to such extremes. Our Friday Chant provides a much more balanced and practical way to do it. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, in close harmony 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 my brethren the Lord will prefer that attitude, and it will also be better for us, physically, emotionally and mentally. And tied up with all of that is our Bit. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 

Yeh friends, that ought to be a major part of our everyday life as sincere believers. Now yesterday we saw how the prophet Nathan draped up Bruh David for his hidden adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah. Hear what happened after that. 

‘And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.’ (2 Sam.12:13-14) 

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses. ’12:13. David genuinely grieved and repented (cf. Ps.32:5;51:3-4). However, the seed of sin was immediately to bear bitter fruit, for the child born of the adultery became grievously ill and died (vs.15-18).’ 

‘12:14. David’s sin had brought the name of God into disrepute. Such knowledge ought to serve as a deterrent to willful sin on the part of believers (cf. 1 Tim.5:14; 6:1).’ 

Yes my fellow believers, the disrepute that our sins cause to God’s name and the blasphemy it allows the enemy is what mars our godly walk, deeply stains our ministry. 

Yuh see how quickly God put Bruh David in his place. And the sad part is that Bruh David was so righteous and walking so closely with Him. Just goes to show that we are all human and possess the innate frailties thereof. 

The Lord knew that despite his terrible sins, Bruh David’s heart was all for Him, that’s why He did not take him home right away. But He could not afford to let such abominable sins be whitewashed, someone had to pay. 

For as Bruh Paul so succinctly put it to the Romans: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) 

And as the scholars explain: 6:23. Wages: Emphasizes what we deserve. Gift of God: Emphasizes God’s unmerited favour.’  

So Friends, having heard and read all of that, I implore us to be rather careful in how we walk this earthly life, trying to sin as little as possible. 

And when we do, not if we do, to immediately turn to our merciful and gracious God, sincerely confess our iniquity and humbly ask for His forgiveness. That’s the only wise and sensible way to live this earthly life. Much LOVE!

…to sin is human…but to confess and ask for forgiveness…is heavenly wisdom…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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