Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2019 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   ​God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.

 

Allow Trouble to Lift You: ‘Truly we learn courage when we face danger; we learn patience when we endure suffering; we learn tenderness when we face pain; we learn to prize true friends when false ones forsake us; we treasure health when illness strikes and we learn to prize freedom when we are in danger of losing it! 

Without trouble we would be like plants that have sprouted, grown, and been nurtured in the overprotected shelter of a hothouse, too tender ever to live in the open.’ Oh what words of gospel truth those are! 

And furthermore: ‘We have matured as Christians when we learn that there is no progress without pain; there is no conversation without crises; there is no birth without painful travail; there is no salvation without agonizing repentance and no Easter without a Good Friday! There is no service without suffering…’ 

Yes friends, I couldn’t put it any better than that! Unfortunately those are not my words, but Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional. And yes, until we supposed Christians realize that a Christian life is not a sweet and fairytale life devoid of pain and hardship, but one fraught with periods of suffering, just like Christ’s, we’ll never mature, never grow in Christ as we ought to. 

Because as Gramps Schuller so rightly points out, if our lives are just easy and smooth, we won’t be able to face the rough and tumble trials that are truly life in this evil and ungodly world! In good, smooth, comfortable times we don’t grow, we just float along without a care in the world. But when adversity hits, that’s when we separate the goats from the sheep, that’s when we see what we’re truly made of, how strong is our backbone and belly! 

And in so doing, if we have the necessary faith and courage to stand strong in Christ, that’s when we grow! As Gramps Schuller also says later on: ‘Your trouble may be your greatest opportunity!’ And that’s no lie, because then you have to stir yourself and get yourself moving to solve your problems, in tandem with Almighty God if you’re wise! 

Remember Jesus didn’t promise that His followers would have clear and uneventful sailing in this topsy-turvy world, but exactly the opposite: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And if you’re a true believer, then you’ll know that Jesus doesn’t lie. Neither does He make idle promises. So if He says that life will contain rough times, then it will, but on the other hand, if He promises His peace during those times, then that will also come to pass. 

And remember He’s already vanquished the devil in his own territory; hell, death and the grave, by rising triumphantly on Easter Sunday, so we should not be overwhelmed by all the nonsense the enemy tries to tell us, for the victory is already ours! Glory to God! 

So now, let’s check out some scriptures that can help us handle trouble when it comes against us. And if anybody knew trouble, though he was certainly blessed, it was Bruh David. But he stoically declares (steups, wrong again) ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.’ (Ps.27:4-5) 

That means friends we just can’t run to God when times become rough, but must be in good communication with Him during the good times too. Now listen to the Sons of Korah: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3) 

Yes my brethren, let’s take a moment and contemplate on that nuh! Is our faith that strong? It ought to be, if we are truly walking in righteous and godly paths. And listen to Bruh David once again: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ (Ps.138:7) 

Oh my people, that’s the kind of unwavering confidence we ought to have in our omnipotent God, for with Him ALL things are possible! And no treatise on trouble would be complete without these famous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (struck) down, but not destroyed;’ (2 Cor.4:8-9) 

And why is that my faithful brethren? Because we’re ‘Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:10) And now that we’ve conquered trouble, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) all the wonderful things contained in our Thursday Blessings. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘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 as always, I have to remind us that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others less fortunate than us! Much LOVE!

…if we are in Christ…and Christ is in us…then we can overcome ANYTHING that comes against us…

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 27 April 2019 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.
 
Ah friends, thankfully my area did not get as much rain as expected yesterday, but we did get a lot of wind! Chuh! The wind howled most of the afternoon straight through the night, and at 7.30 this cloudy Saturday morning it is still carrying on out there. At one stage I wanted to go out the street and run some errands, but after hearing the wind on a particularly loud pass with stuff rattling all around, I decided to leave them for another day. (smile) 

Let’s hope that no serious damage was done to any properties around here. Unfortunately though, several places around the country have been flooded due to excessive rain. The least we can do is pray for them, but if we can also help in any other way, please let’s do so. 

Ah mih people, when it’s not one thing, it’s another yes! But that’s life, and fortunately, as true believers in Jesus Christ we have the wherewithal to withstand all the stuff that comes against us in this crazy world. Give Him some much deserved thanks and praise my brethren! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s have a look at the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one is awesome truth: ‘Take responsibility for your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands.’ 

Oh friends, that’s one of the first things we ought to learn in this life: we are responsible for our own happiness! We can’t depend on others to make us happy, because too often they will take advantage of our situations and instead cause us unhappiness. It’s just a part of man’s selfish nature! 

And then there’s this: ‘Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.’ More awesome truth my people! Why worry about something you have no control over eh? Remember our Tuesday Mantra, where we don’t hurry or worry, just go about our business basking in Jesus’ awesome friendship and sharing His amazing LOVE with the world? 

Worrying just brings wasted energy. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘Worry is like a rocking chair, you can do it all day, but it will get you nowhere.’ Instead, we need to use that energy we waste in worry on stuff that’s productive and moves our lives along. 

Now hear this: ‘Do what is right, not what is easy nor what is popular.’ That’s nothing new, because we’ve been taught that all our lives. However, the problem is that the right thing is usually not easy or popular! It’s often very difficult and very unpopular, especially if you’re trying to live a righteous life with Jesus as your bright and shining example. 

But please note, Jesus didn’t do what was easy or popular. He went against the religious hypocrites of His day, and suffered horrific torture and crucifixion for His beliefs and earthly agenda. Now most of us won’t have to make such a critical and crucial sacrifice, but we will be required to make lesser ones, all in His name, because that’s what He was and is all about; sacrificing for others! 

And He gave us that awesome reassuring scripture to hold on to when things get difficult. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

What a mighty and magnificent scripture that is my brethren! It gives us something to hold on to, to take courage from, knowing that Christ has already won the victory over the evil world, and we just have to hang in there and put our best foot forward. 

And all of that just segues nicely into the last quote: ‘Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.’ Glory to God my people! That’s what Jesus is asking of every believer: help somebody! That’s why He came to earth, to help us! As He said so plainly: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ 

Mama Mia! Therefore, if we want to be true believers and followers of His, our earthly days should also be spent helping others, like He helped us. Remember, the Father doesn’t want to lose even one of His most precious creation to the enemy, that’s why Jesus called us out to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. (Matt.5:13-14) 

Salt adds flavour to stuff and also helps it last, while light shines through the darkness and shows the way. That’s what Jesus did for us: He came to earth as the LIGHT of the world, shining His awesome light into this dark and evil world and illuminating it, showing those who believe in Him a straight and narrow path to walk safely along, leading to salvation and eternal life! 

And right now, because He can’t be several places at once, He’s imbued us with His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, so that we can truly become His hands, ears, eyes and feet down here on earth, and take responsibility for showing others the way out of their darkness into His brilliant and life-saving light. And to do that effectively, we need to do as he asked: ‘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) 

Oh my faithful saints in Christ, it’s obvious that we’re not doing such a good job on that request, otherwise our world wouldn’t be in such a topsy-turvy, evil, ungodly, strife-filled mess. So please, let’s pledge today to do better nuh, for Christ is depending on us. And if we get real serious about it, with God’s help, we can certainly make our world a better place to live, both for our descendants and ourselves. Much LOVE!

…I am the good shepherd…the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep… (John 10:11)

P.S. Let me apologize for the confusing dates on yesterday’s Bit. The first one said the 26th, which was right, but the second said the 27th. Friends, the ole fella is only human, so as Jesus taught us, please forgive him. (smile) Much LOVE!

Visit the Scrip-Bit Blog at https://randyopbrien50.com

 

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2019 Philippians 2:8.

Philippians 2:8.   ​And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
 
Well a blessed Thursday to you my faithful Scrip-Bit brethren! I do hope that the day has and or will bring you substantive joy and peace as you walk the strait and narrow path that our Lord and Saviour Jesus desires of you. Oh, we all know that this earthly life is not an easy one to hoe, but with Jesus on our side, right beside us all the time as He sincerely promised, we do have a better chance than the unbelievers to live a life blessed with joy and peace. 

But it just won’t fall into our laps, as some of us seem to think. We need to get up and do our part in this partnership, this everlasting covenant with Almighty God. If we do our part, He will certainly do His, but if we don’t, He won’t. It as simple as that my people! 

And what’s our part you ask? Again, it’s pretty simple: believe in His Son Jesus Christ and walk in faithful obedience to His Word! Granted, it’s much harder than it sounds, but then again the Lord has promised to help us in any area in which we are deficient or lacking. We just have to come to Him in sincere prayer and ask for his help. 

And He’s also promised not to give us more than we can handle. He’s God, and merciful, gracious and forgiving, plus He knows all our frailties and weaknesses, so why will He give us more than we can handle eh? No reason whatsoever! Oh, He will test us occasionally to see if we really believe the stuff we talk. And I can personally tell you about that, because some days before I’m even finished writing the Bit, I’m bombarded with tests about what I’ve written. 

But then again, if we fail, He always gives us more chances to come back and take them. That’s why He’s known as the God of Numerous Chances! And that’s all to our benefit! Praise His holy name my people! For though He’s righteous, a stickler for justice, He’s also a pardoning judge. Because He created us, and thus knows what we’re all about, He has great empathy and LOVE for us. 

And He proved it by the celebrations we just had this past Easter weekend, where He sacrificed His Son for us, to pay for our sins once and for all time. There could be no greater LOVE than that! The Creator of the universe, and all therein, sacrificing His sinless Son to appease the need for sinless blood to cleanse the sins of His disobedient, rebellious creation. He LOVED and cared for us so much that He went to such drastic lengths to provide a means of redemption for us. 

How wonderful He is my brethren! There is NONE other like Him in the world! All the others are mere pretenders, jokers and fools! So since He’s provided ALL that we need to live a godly and righteous life, and come to salvation through His resurrected Son, then technically speaking, the problem(s) we face nowadays stem mainly from our lack of obedience to His Word. And if you claim that you don’t know His Word, then that’s still disobedience, because He’s admonished us many times to read, study and meditate on it. 

And since we’re talking about obedience, I believe it’s only right to mention two of the most profound statements on the subject in the Good Book, both not surprisingly made by Bruh Paul. The first one is found in his missive to the church at Rome: ‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ (Rom.5:19) 

Yeh friends, we all fell into sin by Adam’s disobedience. Although, come to think of it, I don’t know why Adam get’s blamed for the dastardly deed nuh, when it’s Eve who supposedly first took a bite of the apple, and Adam foolishly followed? But be that as it may, our forefathers weighed us down with sin by their disobedience, and it was only with the coming of Jesus Christ that we were granted a way to get out from under that deathly and damning sin. 

And as Bruh Paul says to the church at Philippi: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ 

Oh friends, do you think Jesus wanted to die, and even more, such a murderous, unfair and painful death! Obviously not! But He knew that the Father wanted to save us more than anything else, and that He was the ONLY ONE who had the parts to accomplish the Father’s plan. So He obediently went along, even to that disturbing and horrible death on the cross because displeasing the Father was a no no in His mind. 

And all I’m trying to point out here, by saying so much (smile) is that if Jesus, God’s Son was obedient to the point of giving His life for us, we, mere mortals, mere puny and flimsy creations of God, should also be very obedient to God’s Word because we have so much to gain and so much to lose. Please remember that ALL the Father and the Son did, was purely for OUR benefit not theirs. 

And Jesus has already been exalted for His sacrifice with a name above all names and to whom each knee must eventually bow, and sits comfortably at the right hand of the Father, so we are the ones who now need to take up the baton and lead a righteous and obedient life, if we want to enjoy salvation and eternal life with our Triune God. Sermon done! (smile) 

Now for those of us who are sincerely attempting to do as Jesus asks, let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Thursday Blessings, those wonderful aspects of life that He’s showered down on us to help us do the job. 

So altogether now: ‘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 the corollary to all that is that we must now go out and share them with others, not selfishly hoard them for ourselves, because that’s why we were given so much! Much LOVE!

…the best way to live…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him… (Uncle Charles – Charles Stanley) 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2019 Matthew 26:36.

Matthew 26:36.   Then cometh Jesus with them (His disciples) unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder (over there).
 
Well it’s the last day in Paradise…Steups! But I guess all good things must come to an end at some time or another! And being in sweet Tobago was indeed a good thing, or rather a wonderful thing! I don’t know where all the time went nuh, because I still haven’t seen or spoken to several people I wanted to connect with. I haven’t had a coconut water since I’ve been here…Imagine that nuh! 

I only bathed in my favourite beach, Store Bay once! Brother that sure is shocking! (smile) I did bathe in other beaches several times though. And the rain has continued through the night and the early morning. Think it might clear up later though. 

And yes, it’s Holy Thursday too, the day before Good Friday, when believers hunker down and consider their faith in light of Jesus’ upcoming crucifixion! The night when He bared His hurting soul and spirit in the Garden of Gethsemane in a futile attempt to change the course of His destiny. 

Jesus knew deep down that the Father wasn’t going to change His plans, but the human element in Him, and the upcoming separation from the Father, the first time in their long existence, plus the great weight of sin that would be placed on His shoulders forced Him to His knees in humble prayer. ‘Then cometh Jesus with them (His disciples) unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder (over there). 

And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee (James & John), and began to be sorrowful (grieved) and very heavy (deeply distressed). Then said he unto them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye (stay here), and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt.’ (Matt. 26:36-39) 

Ah friends, yuh see the heavy sorrow that Jesus felt! It wasn’t easy for Him, although He was the Son of God. And I like the scholars’ explanation here. ‘The prayer for the cup to pass is not due to Jesus’ fear of death. Jesus questions the will of the Father as to the necessity of drinking the cup. 

While this may refer to death (“he tasted death”) it is more likely that the cup represents the wrath of God against sin, the divine wrath Christ would incur on the cross as man’s sin-bearer. In the awful anguish of that moment, the sin of the world was poured on Christ and he became “sin for us” (2 Cor.5:21). Thus the Righteous One dies a substitutionary death for guilty mankind.’ 

So true friends, so true! He sacrificed His sinless life so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin and death, and have eternal life; the greatest gift ever given to mankind, and yet we still don’t appreciate Him the way we should! Why is that eh friends? I don’t know the answer, neither do I understand it. We should be so grateful and jumping with joy, and living so sincerely for Him, that the world would open their mouths and wonder in astonishment at our godly and righteous lifestyle. 

But instead in our hypocrisy and lust for the things of the world, we make a mockery of His sacrifice with mostly a lot of talk and no real substance in our actions. Chuh! When I see how the leaders of Christ’s church, and consequently the followers behave in such ungodly fashion, it’s no wonder that the unbelievers don’t take us seriously. Christ’s church has as many scandals and unrighteousness as the evil world does. In fact, we seem to take our lead from the world and not from Christ! As they say, spiritual wickedness and corruption is rampant in high places! 

Oh my people, I do hope that this season of Lent has been one of deep concern and pondering on our faith and how we live it daily, because that’s how the world and the Lord will judge us; how good were our fruits, and how bright was our light? And when we come to the tremendous conclusion in a triumphant Easter resurrection, let’s hope that we will all have raised the level of our faith and practice of it thereof, so that we can be better witnesses and disciples for Christ! For that’s what it’s all about; spreading the good news of His gospel far and wide! 

Now let’s go home thankfully declaring (right ho!) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

And the next movement is to go out and share it all with the less fortunate as Christ intends for us to do. It’s not for us to hoard, but to share! Much LOVE!

…He died that we might be set free…forgiven…the least we can do…is show some sincere appreciation…

P.S. Tomorrow, God willing, I’ll be writing from the northern climes…good and bad… (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2019 1 Samuel 16:7.

1 Samuel 16:7.   ​But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
 

And after the long weekend, I do hope that those of you who have to go to work today will make it without too many problems – read, hangovers, tiredness etc. (smile) Well my trusty desktop seems to be working decently again…Praise the Lord! 

Yes, I know it’s old and out of fashion and all that, but it’s like the old saying, new broom sweep clean, but old broom know the corners! And I’m just more familiar with my desktop than my laptop. The former just knows what I want to do and where I want go, especially when it comes to writing the Bit. (smile) 

Now here’s an interesting question for us from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t know if I’ve ever posed it before, but I was led to do so today. And the question is ‘Are You Happy?’ I guess though we should pose it as being joyful, since happiness is based more on our circumstances than our beliefs. 

You can read it any which way you want, but this is how Gramps Schuller put it, and it does ask a very good question which most of us should be asking ourselves. Listen up: ‘Happiness – that deep inner strength that is made up of courage, faith, hope, and peace. Mix them together, and you have happiness. Happiness – the courage to hang on in the face of severe adversity! 

Happiness – the faith that God will have the last word, and it will be good! Happiness – the hope that even though you can only see the shadow, someday the clouds will clear away and the sun will shine again! Happiness – the quiet sense of self-esteem that comes when you know you have done your best. 

Happiness – the assurance that you have been merciful and kind to enemy and friend alike. Happiness – the quiet assurance that God will be merciful and kind to you, too. Happiness – the beautiful belief that this life, no matter how difficult it may be, is not your final destination.’ 

Yes friends, if we can answer yes to all of them, then we are giants of our faith! But I doubt that most of us can answer all those questions in the affirmative. The important thing though is that we can definitely answer ‘yes’ to some, and that we are working courageously and sincerely on the others. 

Our God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, because He knows that He created us as imperfect beings, but He does insist that we try to come up as high as possible. That’s why He looks at the secret motives of our hearts rather than our outward actions to judge our sincerity. And the Lord made that quite clear long time ago, when He sent Samuel to anoint one of the sons of Jesse to be the new king of Israel. 

 When Samuel saw Eliab looking big and strapping and king-like, He said this must be the one. ‘But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ 

There we have it friends, right from the Lord’s mouth. So I don’t know why so many of us still try to fool the Lord with wonderful outward actions when our hearts are dark and black with unresolved, unrepented sin! We can fool our fellow man a lot of the time, but we can’t fool God at any time because He looks at the true story that’s hidden deep inside our sinful hearts! 

That’s why the Lord chose Bruh David to be the king over his brothers; He knew that his heart was right, as right as a human heart could be, and why, in spite of all Bruh David’s mistakes He never set him adrift, though he certainly paid for his failures.

And sadly, that’s what happening to too many of us believers today; our hearts aren’t really right with God. We put on a great Christian show on the outside, but on the inside the devil rules our spirit. 

As Jeremiah so famously said on the Lord’s behalf: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try (test) the reins (mind), even to give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.’ (Jer.17:9-10) I think that’s as clear as it can get. 

But the scholars offer this explanation: ‘17:9-10. The heart (cf. Prov.4:23) means man’s innermost being. The bent of man’s natural disposition, apart from God’s redeeming grace, is described as deceitful (lit. crooked) and desperately wicked (incurably sick).

Therefore, man cannot trust his own heart but must leave all to God who alone knows the heart and judges all men fairly. Only a person with a redeemed heart can live in proper fellowship with God (Job 11:13; 1 John 3:18-24).’ 

Please take a moment and check out those two scriptures my fellow believers, for they get right to the heart of the matter! (smile) And I’ll throw in this langniappe (li’l extra) for good measure. (smile)

Listen to Cousin Sol: ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (Prov.4:23) Yes friends, the heart is the figurative seat of our intellect and that in turn controls our minds. We therefore need to keep tight control of our minds, because that’s where all of the battles are fought. 

And having said all that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the entire world know who and whose we are. In full voice with sincere hearts and a strong sense of purpose:

‘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 if our hearts are right, then let’s go out and action those statements, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…whatever captures the mind…captures the man…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2019 Matthew 10:16.

Matthew 10:16.   ​Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.
 

Moving on…Moving on…! Yes friends, we’re moving on… onwards and upwards! As believers in Jesus Christ we’re supposed to be always moving onwards and upwards in our faith and Christ-likeness – even till the day our earthly breath expires, or Jesus comes back, whichever one happens first. But unfortunately too many of us believers tend to stop learning, stop moving up, stop growing when we most need to – that’s everyday! (smile) 

We can’t enjoy the abundant life Christ died for us to have and be cheerful because He’s overcome the world, unless we’re filled with His Word and His Spirit. The great spiritual writer C.S. Lewis puts it this way: ‘God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it’s not there!’ Yes my brethren, it’s only in God that we can find true peace and happiness, because that’s the only place it really exists! 

And the more peace and happiness we want, the deeper and higher we’ve got to get involved in God-like matters! Rejoice and exult in His goodness and mercy! Hear, read and study His Word, then entrench it deeply in our hearts, so that when the evil tempter comes a calling we can brush him aside with powerful words and actions from the Good Book! 

It’s all a part of growing up as Christians my people! Of becoming strong, steadfast and true! And that’s the ONLY way we can ever carry out Jesus’ directive: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’ 

Ah mih people, working for Jesus is not easy, but He does give us all the tools we need to do the job! What a directive eh! Like dumb, innocent sheep in a pack of hungry, angry wolves, but wise like the serpent and yet harmless like a dove! That’s certainly a hard row to hoe with all the contrariness and contrasts it entails. But as I said before, as true believers, we have everything we need to do it! 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus further: After warning that we’d be unfairly persecuted, He calmly and sincerely directs us: ‘But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what (do not worry about what) ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in the same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.’ (Matt.10:19-20) 

Mamma Mia! What reassurance my brethren! Yuh see, our Lord and Saviour doesn’t leave anything to chance. He has a provision for each and every situation that we might find ourselves in. The Holy Spirit that dwells in us will prompt us what to say and do in every situation that we face! Glory to God! Give Him thanks and praise for being so attentive to the needs of us undeserving children! 

But here is the really rough part: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) Now therein lies the heart of the story. Just for being believers in Christ, we’ll be persecuted. But those who endure; stand, strong, steadfast and true throughout the severe persecution WILL be saved! 

That’s Jesus’ faithful promise my fellow believers! And we all know that He doesn’t make idle promises. If He says it WILL be so, then you can bet your bottom dollar that it WILL be so! (smile) But we have to endure, and we can only do that by being shrouded in His Word and Will.

 Now hear these words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians as he explains to them the way of the believer. ‘But all things that are reproved (exposed) are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light (all sins are exposed by light). Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ (Eph.5:13-14) Yes my brethren, all we that are less than right with Christ need to turn from our sin and accept the promise of spiritual enlightenment that Christ offers! 

And furthermore: ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise (watch carefully how you live), Redeeming the time (making the most of every opportunity), because the days are evil (and are they ever). Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of Lord is.’ (Eph.5: 15-17) And the only way we can understand the Lord’s will is by having constant and excellent communication with Him and His Word! 

‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be (continually) filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

There you have it friends, Christianity 101: be filled with the Holy Spirit and not wine, which leads to moral intemperance. Learn God’s will, give continual thanks and praise in everything, and defer to others if it is in God’s will. End of sermon! (smile) And when we try to live like that, then our blessings will fall down like rain, as outlined in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s declare them (spelled it right!) in loud voice with sincere hearts. 

‘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 that needs to be a big ‘AMEN’ my people because of the staggering proportions of blessings we undeservedly enjoy, and remember, are also called to share with the less fortunate.  Much LOVE!

…working for Jesus is not easy…but brother…are the rewards ever excellent…and certainly worth it all…

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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