Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2019 Psalm 81:9.

Psalm 81:9.    ​There shall no strange (foreign) god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

Welcome to another wonderful day on God’s great earth my people! And I won’t be presumptuous and pass judgement on the kind of weather we’re going to have today, although it is dark and cloudy. (smile) Why you ask? Because I did that yesterday and much to my surprise the ugly duckling at the beginning had turned into a beautiful princess by early afternoon, with bright sunshine and temps up to 8 degrees Celsius! (smile)

And if the weather forecasters are right, today is supposed to follow in the same footsteps. So instead of bad-mouthing the day, let’s look forward to another glorious one, with a good attitude, in which we do God’s will and work in an excellent and diligent manner. 

And all God’s children said, ‘Praise the Lord!’ And speaking of praise, last night while reading the Daily Bread Devotional, I learned that the Israelites had a psalm appointed to be sung on each day of the week, and Thursday’s was Psalm 81, a psalm of Asaph, so I decided we should check it out and sing it today.

So here we go: ‘Sing aloud unto God our strength; make a joyful noise (shout) unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm (raise a song), and bring hither (strike) the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery (lyre). Blow up the trumpet in (at the time of) the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was the statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.’ (Ps. 81:1-4) 

And according to the scholars: ‘Psalm 81. The background of the psalm appears to be the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:34-44) which reminded the people of God’s law and also constituted the feast of ingathering (Ex. 23:16).’ So the people had constant reminders of God’s law and His overwhelming goodness to their forefathers! 

Ah friends, if we could only begin each day with songs of praise and worship to Almighty God, how wonderful that would be! But most of us just get up and go our way, without even a thought of giving thanks for seeing another day, possibly so overwhelmed by the troubles facing us, that that’s all we can think about. But if we would do like Jesus says and bring all our burdens to Him, we’d find rest and peace for our weary souls. (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Now hear this part of the psalm that the Lord kept pounding in the Israelites’ ears, and is still pounding in our own to this day: ‘There shall no strange (foreign) god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.’ (Ps. 81:9-10) Yes people, that’s the First Commandment of the ten that the Lord gave to Moses for the Israelites to live by, and consequently all later believers. (Ex. 20:3) 

I don’t know what’s so hard to understand in that nuh: No other God is supposed to rival the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! But Israel only listened when it was convenient to them, when they found themselves between a rock and a hard place because of their obstinate and willful disobedience. And sadly, we’re doing the same thing today; we’re trying to push God out of our society, a society that became prosperous and powerful because of His goodness and mercy. Steups! How foolish can we get eh? 

No wonder the Lord commented: ‘But my people would not hearken (heed, listen to) my voice; and Israel would (have) none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust (stubbornness), and they walked in their own counsels.’ (Ps. 81:11-12) And yuh see what happened to Israel when they walked in their own counsel…sufferation everlasting! And it’s the same so and so thing that’s happening to us today because we refuse to walk in God’s will! Look at the strife torn world we’re currently living in nuh! 

Look at the great amount of poverty, sickness, joblessness and homelessness in the midst of so much plenty! No generation has ever been as prosperous and powerful as ours, but we’re letting it go down the drain because of our greed, foolish pride and refusal to worship the One True God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the One who gives us power to get wealth! (Deut. 8:18) Yes friends, it’s not our own strength or wisdom that causes us to prosper in this evil world, and until we come to our senses and remember that, our world will continue to fall apart and go right down to hell in a handbasket! 

And as Bruh Paul later put it to the church at Rome: ‘And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate (debased) mind, to do those things which are not convenient (fitting); Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate (strife), deceit, malignity (evil-mindedness); whisperers…’ (Rom. 1:28-29)

And that’s not the whole list. But seriously my brethren, if we take a look around us that’s what our world has become; one of pure evil and ungodliness, and if we continue down that path, all we’ll eventually reap is death and destruction, because that is what God has promised to those who don’t follow His will. 

But the wonderful thing about our God is that He never gives up on us. Hear how He agonized over the Israelites, and still agonizes over us. ‘Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.’ (Ps. 81:13-14) So let’s remember that while there is life, there’s always hope. Consequently, for those of us who seriously believe and are concerned about the state of our world, let’s use these tools, what we call our Thursday Blessings, that God has so generously granted us, to right our fallen world nuh. 

So let’s declare them now with loud voice and strong conviction, for they are only invoked when we speak them aloud. Altogether: ‘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!’ 

Yes mih faithful breddren, now it’s time to go out and generously share them with the unfortunate and unwise, as Jesus so dearly desires! Much LOVE!

…history speaks for itself…the haters of God were destroyed…and will continue to be destroyed…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 October 2019 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Corinthians 5:17.    ​Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

‘Sleeping in, sleeping in…that’s what we do on a Saturday morning!’ Yeh people, that’s why so many of us like Saturdays; no getting up early and rushing off to work, we can sleep in and laze away the whole day if we so desire…unless we have young children to look after, or lot’s of house work to do. (smile) But however you take it, Saturday belongs to us! Praise the Lord! 

We also need to take a look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Nothing happens unless something is moved.’ And I believe that’s fairly true. If everything stays the same, nothing much will happen. However if something is moved, it’s liable to stir up stuff, either desirable or undesirable. 

That leads us to this next quote: ‘The larger the change, the more people will resist it. Thus, make it seem so tiny and trivial that people don’t even realize it.’ And I guess we would all agree on the first part; the bigger and more invasive the change, the more opposition one will get, although one will get some opposition to any change at all, big or small. 

And as to the second half, I’m not sure that a serious change can be made so small that people won’t even notice it. That’s because serious change usually comes in big packages, and you do notice big packages. I’d say, if the change is worthwhile, then the size of the package doesn’t really matter. 

Although the norm nowadays is for politicians to hide important changes in large omnibus bills covering many things, hoping that you won’t have the time or energy to dig and delve into them that much. Oh the crooked, tangled and evil web we weave, when we practice to deceive! But that’s the politician’s raison d’etre; spin, spin, and more spin! 

For example, this Monday is our Federal Election here in Canada and the four political parties involved are making all sorts of glowing promises, but the sad reality is that when one of them gets in power, none, or very little of what they promised will ever see the light of day. And don’t fool yuh fat, they will have some reason that sounds plausible for reneging on their promises. 

But let’s move on the next quote, since there’s nothing much we can do about the politicians right now. On a point of interest though, we advocate putting up righteous Christians for election, but most righteous Christians don’t want to become embroiled in the serious and dangerous charade that is politics. And many of those who do get involved, end up compromising their godly principles in the hothouse that is modern politics. 

And that’s a good lead in to the next quote: ‘The day the power of LOVE overrules the LOVE of power; the world will know peace.’ Oh how true that is my brethren! The LOVE of power is so prevalent these days, that it’s seen from the top of the socio-economic ladder, where all the leaders now want to be defacto dictators, right down to the bottom, where things like bullying and advantage taking have become serious problems on social media platforms and even in places like kindergarten. 

That’s how far the LOVE of power has eclipsed the power of LOVE! And the way things are going, I doubt we’ll see a reversal until Christ comes back and sets up His eternal kingdom. Now here is the last quote, which says:‘When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.’ 

That’s for sure my people! In a whole lot of situations, the only change that’s possible is ours. We see that in our Christian life all the time. And there’s no better example than when we receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour. As Bruh Paul says in 2 Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ 

Yeh friends, once we accept Christ, we can’t be the same old sinful people that we once were. We have to become new people, morally new and different, change ourselves with the help of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said it to Nicodemus in so many words. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) That means change is expected, a new beginning has to be made, for Christ’s lifestyle does not mesh with that of the world. 

And that lifestyle is simply described by Bruh Paul in his message to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:1) Yeh friends, our new lifestyle in Jesus should be walking in the leading and guiding of His Holy Spirit, not that of the flesh. 

‘For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.’ (Rom.8:5-8) 

So let’s spend some time pondering that today nuh; whether we are still walking in the flesh, or in the Spirit, and ask the Lord to help us, for the world and it’s sinful ways still offer powerful attractions to our fallen nature. Much LOVE!

…to be in Christ…one must become a new person…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2019 Revelation 20:15.

Revelation 20:15.    ​And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

Come Sunday morning…I will be going to church! Come Sunday morning…to fellowship with other believers…to hear God’s word…sing His praises…give Him thanks…and receive strength and guidance for the upcoming week! That’s what I’m going to do, come Sunday morning! Yeh friends, Sunday is the day most believers set aside for going to church, so let’s do just that this morning nuh. 

And you know we always begin the proceedings with a song of praise and thanksgiving, so let’s belt out this 1893 hymn by James Milton Black that’s still a crowd favourite.  It’s titled: ‘When the roll is called up yonder.’ ‘This hymn’s central theme is being in Heaven when your time has come and not missing out on the eternal salvation of God.’ And since all of us expect to be there, let’s sing it in loud voice, with the appropriate enthusiasm and sincerity and all the background voices that makes it such a sweet hymn. (smile) 

 As one harmonious choir: ‘When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more, And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there (Chorus: When the roll…when the roll… is called up yon-der, When the roll…when the roll…is called up yon-der, When the roll…when the roll…is called up yon-der, When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.) 

On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise, And the glory of His resurrection share When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. (Chorus…When the roll…when the roll…I’ll be there) Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun, Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. (Chorus: twice. When the roll…when the roll…is called up yonder, I’ll be there.)’ 

What a joyous day that will be my fellow believers! There’ll be singing and dancing and joyful shouting as each name is read from the Book of Life. Unfortunately though, some of us might be disappointed when we don’t hear the names of some friends and family. But they will only have themselves to blame, as they had every opportunity like we had to come to Jesus and surrender their souls to Him. And before we get into the scriptural aspect of the Bit, let’s get some idea of how the hymn came about, as per the web site God Tube. 

They say it ‘was inspired by the idea of The Book of Life mentioned in the Bible, and by the absence of a child in Black’s Sunday school class when the attendance was taken.  The thought of someone’s being not in attendance in heaven haunted Black, and after visiting the child’s home and calling on a doctor to attend her for pneumonia, he went home and wrote the song after not finding one on a similar topic in his hymn collection.’ Ah mih people, these wonderful old hymns we sing nowadays have such diverse and inspirational backgrounds, and sadly we don’t know the inspiration behind many of them. 

Now let’s check out some relevant scripture. Those of us who get to heaven will have complied with the messages Jesus sent to a couple of the churches in His Revelation to John. In the message to the church at Thyatira, He promises: ‘And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over nations.’ (Rev.2:26) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘3-26-29. The obedient believer will be given a reward of power or authority in the millennial kingdom as he reigns with Christ (12:5; 19:5; 20:4).’  

And to the church at Sardis, the conclusion of the message was: ‘He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment (garments); and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.’ (Rev.3:5-6) And this is the scholars’ explanation: ‘3:5-6. The one who has genuine faith in Christ has the righteousness of Christ accounted to him through the redeeming blood of the Lamb. This is the white raiment (cf.7:14). 

The book of life is a list of the saved of all ages (cf. Phil.4:3; rev.20:12, 15). The promise not to blot out his name out of the book of life is an emphatic assurance of the eternal security of the true believer. The statement in Greek contains a double negative, which may be translated, “I will be no means blot out his name.” Christ will confess the name only of genuine believers (cf. Matt.10:32-33).’ 

Oh my people, hopefully we will be in the first resurrection (Rev.20:5) which includes the resurrection of Christ, of the Church (the dead in Christ), and of Old Testament and Tribulation saints. The second resurrection though will be for all the unbelieving dead of all ages. ‘And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.’ (Rev.20:12-13)  

And the scholars explain. ‘20:12-13. The unbelieving dead are judged from two sets of books. The books contain the record of every unsaved person’s life. Each unsaved person is judged in accordance with his works (cf. Rom.2:6; 16), which clearly show that each one is a guilty  sinner (cf. Rom.3:9-19) deserving of eternal death (cf. Rom.3:23; 6:23). The book of life contains the name of every saved person who has received eternal life through faith alone (cf. John 20:31; 1 John 5:11-13). These unsaved people are shown that they did not take advantage of the offer of eternal life through faith (cf. Rom.9:32; 10:3) Death and hell (Hades) are the temporary holding places of unsaved men’s bodies and souls, respectively (cf. Luke 16:19-31).’ 

So what happens after that? ‘And death and hell (Hades) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.’ (Rev.20:14-15) That says it all people! As the scholars explain: ‘20:14-15. The second death is eternal punishment in the lake of fire, experienced only by the unsaved. Once this final judgement occurs, there is no further need for either death or hell (Hades) (cf. 1:18, 6:8; Is.25:8; 1 Cor.15:26, 55). An eternal separation is now made between those who have life, and those who have “death” (cf. Dan.12:2; John 5:29).’ 

Oh friends, there are a lot of scripture references and plenty stuff that will happen when the time comes, but all you need to worry about is basically getting saved through faith in Jesus, obeying His words, and thus having your name written in the Book of Life! Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will surely feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2019 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 

Ah friends, the sun is out, but even more importantly, the Son is out in the ole fella’s soul, body and spirit! Wow! And do I ever need Him this morning as the aches and pains are running somewhat rampant from all the physical activity involved in going down to the Ex last night to check out the David Rudder show. 

And it was a grand show; beautiful lighting and wonderful music from an excellent band composed of mostly local musicians! David is also an excellent performer. He went on at 8.30, and with the obvious encore didn’t finish until 10:15. And the fans LOVED him, because he is a personable and engaging raconteur, does a lot of talking and encouraging in his songs. And though the rain began drizzling around 9:15, it never stopped the Madness of the party! 

And you can imagine the crowd response when he sang some of his many hits like, Hammer, Bahia Girl, Calypso Music, This is Madness, Islands in the Sun, and ended with his anthem, Give Thanks! I never got home until around midnight, and after doing the usual bedtime routing didn’t get to bed until after one. Thus the tardy awakening and consequently the lateness of the Bit. (smile) 

But here is an interesting quote that we can all use, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, and theologian, who was active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. ‘The essence of optimism is that it…enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not abandon it to his enemy.’ 

What an eternal truth that is my people! And more so for Christians than anybody else because we have the best earthly life and eternal heavenly future planned out by our wonderful God for us! Jesus died partly so that we could have life here on earth, and have it abundantly (John 10:10), then He promised that he was going back to heaven to prepare a home for us and would eventually come back and take us with him there. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus Himself. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh my faithful brethren, what an awesome promise! And we all know that our Godhead ALWAYS keep their promises! So why are so many of us so negative and unoptimistic eh? Being a follower of Jesus is the best cause for optimism in this evil and ungodly world. Too many of us are fearful, anxious and unsure about our lives and earthly situations, but Jesus has on several occasions told us to be otherwise. 

Remember two of His favourite words were ‘FEAR NOT!’  And in our Bit He tells us quite plainly: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ How much more can He say eh? But He does say more. (smile) Hear Him when He promises the disciples the Holy Spirit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

That’s why Christians should always be the eternal optimists! And this definition of an optimist is both excellent and true. ‘An optimist, regardless of personal problems, is eager to arise in the morning – to get to work, to be with friends or family, to live the happiness of the day. People are drawn toward optimists, for their joy shines on everyone around them.’ 

And that’s exactly how we believers ought to be! But in actual fact, would that be a good description of our current lives? That’s for each of us to know and work out with God. But please remember Jesus said that we should let our light shine before men, so that they could see our good works, and thus glorify our heavenly Father. (Matt.5:16) Well friends, we can’t do that unless we truly believe in Him and are joyfully optimistic about our future. 

And I’ll quote us one more encouraging scripture from Jesus: ‘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) Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, how else and how often must Jesus say it for us to believe it eh? 

He has already given us the victory by conquering hell, death, the grave and Satan through His sacrificial death and awesome resurrection, we just have to keep the victory going now, and we can only do so by resisting the wiles and taunts of the evil one and being strong and optimistic in Jesus! 

And I certainly hope that what we’ve said today has raised all our optimism levels, and set us on a path where our lights can shine brightly and we can make a true and useful difference in the world as Jesus so greatly desires. And He has shown us His own optimism by not only dying for us, but also by giving us His wonderful Thursday Blessings so that we can do His earthly work. 

And since they don’t work unless we invoke them, let’s declare them all now, in loud, clear, sincere and optimistic voices. As one 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!’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s the way Jesus wants us to declare His word and blessings. Now let’s go out and do the most important part; share them with the less fortunate…Remember now, don’t hoard them, share them as generously as He has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…‘life is an adventure of choices to be lived…not an ordeal to be survived…I choose…optimism…and joy…’

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2019 Revelation 1:18.

Revelation 1:18.    ​I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.

Now just in case you did not realize it, I’m here to inform you that the weekly cycle of life has come full circle again! (smile) This is the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, the day on which He rested after spending the entire week creating the universe and all therein. It’s also the day that we ought to rest from our labour and journey to His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, praising and exalting His Holy Name, giving Him exceeding thanks for all that He’s done for us. 

And last, but definitely not least, to hear His Holy Word, so that our spiritual selves can be refreshed and renewed, to enable us to rebuke and repel the evil enemy as we venture back into the ungodly working world tomorrow. And all of God’s children said a loud, proud and sincere: ‘Praise the Lord! Magnify His Holy Name!’ 

So let’s get right into the praise section by singing this old but much LOVED ‘Christian hymn, ‘Abide with Me,’ written by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte. He wrote it in 1847 while he lay dying from tuberculosis; he survived only a further three weeks after its completion.’ And was it ever a fitting going away present to leave to posterity, as he indeed wrote a telling, thoughtful and true hymn! So, in one accord, let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. 

‘Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changest not, abide with me. I need thy presence every passing hour. What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be? 

Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me. I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if thou abide with me. Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes; shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

Oh friends, those are such powerful, moving and gospel true words! Nobody else can help us in this life like Jesus can! And I like the descriptions: ‘Help of the helpless.’ That’s exactly what Jesus came to do! ‘O thou who changest not…’ More glorious truth! ‘I need thy presence every passing hour…’ And do we ever my believing brethren! Without it, we’d quickly be toast against the enemy. ‘What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?’ Exactly what we were just saying: only with Jesus in our lives can we ever hope to overcome the evil and diabolical enemy called Satan! 

Consequently, ‘I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless.’ Oh my people, living with and for Christ, certainly raises our level of courage to great heights, because we know that with Him in our corner we can conquer any and every foe! And when he asks? ‘Where is death’s sting? Where, grave thy victory?’ The thrilling, victorious answer comes: ‘I triumph still, if thou abide with me.’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends, because Christ defeated hell, death and the grave by His sacrificial death and His awesome resurrection! Note His words to John in the vision on the isle of Patmos: ‘I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers, the victory is indeed ours through Christ Jesus! Never forget that! Isaiah prophesied it: ‘He will swallow up death in victory (forever); and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. ‘ (Is.25:8) And we all know that our great and faithful God doesn’t make idle promises, His word doesn’t return to Him void, but accomplishes all its purposes. 

And Jesus certainly made mincemeat of Satan!  That’s why Bruh Paul could be so exuberant and cocksure when he wrote to the Corinthians: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades), where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2 Cor. 15:54a-57) Oh mih people, shout and jump for joy, for victory is ours! Sing ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Praise the wonderful name of the Lord for He has indeed done marvellous things on our behalf! 

And Bruh David said it too in Psalm 68 – God has gone before his people. ‘Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.   Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation: and unto God the Lord belong the issues (escapes) from death.’ (Ps.68:19-20) But my people, all that good and wonderful news of victory through Christ, doesn’t mean we can just sit on our laurels and don’t do anything to help our cause. 

That’s why Bruh Paul at the end of his victory speech, warned the Corinthians:  ‘Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (2 Cor.15:58) And it most definitely is not, for all good work will eventually be rewarded in God’s time.

Friends, I sincerely recommend then, that we all take that warning to heart and get down to brass tacks right now, standing steadfast in Christ, rebuking and repelling the enemy who is trying to be a spoilsport and curdle our victory! Please don’t let him! Much LOVE!

…Christ won the victory…but we have to keep it alive…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 June 2019 Proverbs 18:21.

Proverbs 18:21.    ​Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it, shall eat the fruit thereof.
 

Brother, it’s Saturday and I’m up early to write the Bit so that I can go to a Pentecost Prayer breakfast at my church, though I would have liked to sleep in some. But them’s the breaks. And it’s usually a good time and well attended, so no worries really. Oh, and Alyssa is home from the hospital, doing fairly well, as well as can be expected after major surgery. She sends her thanks for all the prayers you sent up to heaven on her behalf, and wouldn’t mind some more for a speedy not so painful recovery. (smile) 

And yuh better believe that the workingman was in seventh heaven yesterday afternoon when he got home and found that it was a wonderful summer’s day! I can just imagine how he quickly threw on his short shorts and tank top, then went outside and fired up the barbecue, threw on his meats, then sat quietly, or listening to some joyful music, sipping some brewskis and contemplating life, while the meat sizzled on the grill. Now is that the life or what! 

And I’m sure the same thing will be happening all around the place today, as it seems to be another nice day in the offing. Wow! Three nice days in a row! That’s what you called blessed! (smile) But enough with the small talk, because it’s Saturday and our friend Anselm sent us a whole slew of quotes this week, and some long ones too. So let’s get to them nuh, showing our appreciation for his sincere aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And here is the first one: ‘I think it’s important to get your surroundings as well as yourself into a positive state – meaning surround yourself with positive people, not the kind who are negative and jealous of everything you do.’ And I couldn’t agree more. Jesus also agrees, because negative and jealous people only drag you down, while you are trying to build yourself up. And to be a follower of Jesus, you must be a positive thinker, because He was the most positive thinking person that ever lived. He had to be, since He was the Son of God, and in God there is no negativity. 

Then there is this related quote. ‘Spending time with negative people can be the fastest way to ruin a good mood. Their pessimistic outlooks and gloomy attitude can decrease our motivation and change the way we feel. But allowing a negative person to dictate your emotions gives them too much power in your life. Make a conscious effort to choose your attitude.’ Ah friends, all of that is so true! And a successful life is based so much on our attitude toward our situations and circumstances, we can’t give others the leeway to make us become a negative person. 

And thus we have to make a conscious effort to resist negativity, because ‘It’s not the situation, but whether we react negatively or respond positively to the situation that is important.’ Yeh mih people, many of us face the same basic situations, but our responses to them vary a lot, thus our results also vary a lot. And those who have a positive outlook, with Jesus as their anchor and foundation, usually have better outcomes. No ifs and buts about that! 

Therefore, ‘Stop saying these negative things about yourself. Look in the mirror and find something about yourself that’s positive and celebrate that!’ Oh friends, remember God spoke the world into existence, that means words are powerful, and what we say, usually comes to pass. As Cousin Sol so wisely and rightly tells us: ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it, shall eat the fruit thereof.’ 

And as Jesus also informs us: ‘For by words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.’ (Matt.12:37) So if we keep saying negative things about ourselves it’s obvious that our lives will proliferate with negative stuff. Now we don’t have to go overboard and get narcissistic with it, (smile) but a healthy dose of self-LOVE and self-confidence goes a long way towards brightening our lives. 

And instead of celebrating our faults and failures, let’s start celebrating our good points and successes, even though they may be few. Jesus didn’t die for us to lead a miserable, negative and unhappy existence, but for us to enjoy life, in abundance, with joy and laughter uppermost in our lives. So let’s do that nuh. 

And to successfully accomplish that goal, the first thing we need to do is to think right thoughts, as our last quote reminds us. ‘I realized that if my thoughts immediately affect my body, I should be careful about what I think. Now if I get angry, I ask myself why I feel that way. If I can find the source of my anger, I can turn that negative energy into something positive.’ 

Ah mih people, that’s the answer to our many problems right there; our thoughts! We need to understand that the battle for supremacy over our lives begins right in our minds. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) calls it: ‘The Battlefield of the Mind!’ And count on Cousin Sol to have a word on it. ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ (Prov.23:7) 

Yes friends, as we think, so are we! Whatever is uppermost in our minds, is the direction in which we will generally be led. That’s why the enemy keeps flooding our minds with all of his deceit and lies, for he knows that if we think on them, we will eventually end up going in that direction. 

And that’s why Bruh Paul admonished the Philippians, and consequently us, thus: ‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil.4:8-9) 

It couldn’t be put any clearer than that my fellow saints in Christ. As the scholars explain: ‘In order to keep God’s peace, the readers must occupy their minds with the right things (v8) and busy themselves with the right activities (v.9).’ Now it’s all up to us to integrate those attitudes into our lives. Much LOVE!

…one must make a conscious decision…to think right…and to do right…they won’t happen by osmosis…(smile)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 May 2019 John 14:27.

John 14:27.   ​Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
 
To all my Scrip-Bit friends and family, ‘beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!’ Yes fellow saints in Christ, may God’s grace and peace be with us this day, as we go out to do His will. 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation of Bruh Paul’s favourite greeting. ‘1:7. Called to be saints: This tells how they got to be saints, namely by way of God’s call. (cf. Rom.8:30) Grace is the typical Greek greeting, whereas peace is the traditional Hebrew greeting.’ 

So canny man that he was, Bruh Paul put the two together to make his own. And believe you me friends, we need both the grace and peace of God, everyday we awaken to the cacophony and evil that’s currently going on in our world, if we’re to ever make a move forward! They are the only things that will keep us steady and steadfast and allow us to manoeuvre successfully in this world. 

And what is grace you ask? It’s simply God’s unmerited favour! He gives us stuff that we don’t deserve; stuff to help us get through this life in His way, as we seek first His kingdom. Just like mercy is basically not receiving the punishment we truly deserve. Yeh, they are simple terms, but are they ever important and effective if we want to live a truly Christian life! 

And peace…Oh friends, that’s the most wonderful of all God’s valued gifts. For when there is peace in your soul and spirit nothing moves you, nothing disturbs your equilibrium! Even in the most dangerous and life threatening storms you are calm and unmoveable because you have that wonderful peace of Jesus within you! Wow! 

And what kind of peace are we talking about, what peace is that, that’s so powerful it can calm us even in the time of storm? Remember, He’s the man who literally calmed the storm! ‘Even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt.8:23-27) Oh friends, there is ONLY one kind of peace that’s so powerful, and that is the peace we receive from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ when we sincerely believe in and follow Him! 

And all His saints gratefully cried out: ‘Thank You Lord Jesus! Thank You for Your amazing peace so that we can handle this crazy, strife-filled, ungodly and evil world!’ And why is this peace so different from any other kind of peace? Because it comes from Jesus and it’s just different. Hear him tell it: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ 

Hello there mih breddren! Jesus’ peace is nothing like what the world offers, because He’s conquered the world and all it’s evil, and like a mighty conqueror gives his citizens peace after the war, so does Jesus give His peace when you come to Him in humble sincerity. Hear these winning words of His later on. ‘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 1:33) 

Glory to God my people! Jesus, by His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday, has indeed defeated hell, death and the grave and taken away the keys from the evil one. Therefore in that immortal victory, all of His followers can find a substantial peace, a peace that’s not available to anyone else, or from anywhere else! 

As Bruh Paul so appropriately declared (yeh!) to the Romans: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:35-38) 

Mama Yo! What powerful and reassuring scriptures my brethren! If we sincerely believe in Jesus then all the problems of the world will not separate us from His awesome, amazing and ever-so-wonderful LOVE! That’s the power that’s found in Him! And you see it in Bruh Paul’s own life. All the trials and tribulation he endured, didn’t turn him away from Christ! In fact it made him stronger! 

As he said so powerfully in his missive to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul wisely put his guilt from his earlier harassment of the church, as well as all his previous successes in building Christ’s church behind him, so that he could press on to the high calling of God, meaning there was still work to be done, and he could not afford to rest on his laurels. 

Oh my people, the same thing applies to us today. Please, let’s put all our guilt and whatever else behind us and press forward to the high calling that God has in store for each and every one of us! It’s time we took the bull by the horns and just moved forward as one, as one body, as Christ’s strong and immovable church! Amen! (smile) 

And with that stirring plea, let’s go home now declaring (yes!) our Thursday Blessings, outlining some of the grace that our God has so plentifully bestowed on us as believers in His only Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In full voice, sincere hearts and strong sense of purpose: ‘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 be mih people! But please note the proviso in that bountiful display of grace: we are not to hoard it, but to share it generously with others, just like Christ shared it generously with us! Much LOVE!

…sailing in this life… with Jesus as your guide and pilot…NO storm can disturb your peace of mind…

 

 

 

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