Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2018 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.  But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Another wet morning, without even a hopeful ray of sunshine! Steups! But thankfully, there’s no precipitation currently descending from on high! (smile) Ah friends, the gloom persists, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have all we need to handle it. And to boot, we can also truthfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

And we would indeed be foolish if we did not enjoy this extra day the Lord has granted us on His great earth. And yes, every day we’re here is an extra day, so be wise and enjoy it and live obediently for Christ, do the work God has entrusted to you!

For we each have a purpose and a plan of God for this earthly life. Our God doesn’t move vie-ke-vie; in a careless, unplanned manner, so each day we’re down here means we still have work to do under His awesome, gracious, merciful and LOVING plan. So let’s get to it nuh! 

And it being Saturday, we will take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’

And that’s oh so true! But unfortunately very few of us ever get to truly live the life of our dreams, because life is such a series of ups and downs, and none of us ever experience any downs in our dream life. (smile) 

The fact is that most of us have unreasonable dreams, and even with the reasonable ones, we’re not willing to work towards them. Now dreams are important in this life, but until we’re willing to action them, they will always remain dreams. 

 And the next quote tells us: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ Now that ought to be motto of the Christian believer! Christ said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) What’s the point of having abundant life and not enjoying it to the fullest eh? It would only make Christ’s sacrifice a waste down. 

But to enjoy our lives, we also have to focus on the positive aspects, especially of Christ’s teaching, because the negative aspects of the world only beat and break us down. 

And the last quote says: ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Now that is gospel truth my brethren! In fact, death is not a loss of life at all, for believers it’s only a journey from one realm to the other, and even more importantly it’s from a short, finite and rough earthly life, to a long and glorious infinite eternal life. So we don’t suffer a loss of life at all, but move up to a higher, spiritual one. 

The problem is the stuff that dies inside of us while we’re living this earthly life. We’re talking about stuff like, hope, faith, joy, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, empathy, self-control and self-discipline; the attributes of God we need to live a faithful and fruitful life; things we call the fruit of the Spirit.

Thus our Bit: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, those are the things we want alive and well in all of us, so that we can live the life Jesus died for us to have, and to do His work. Unless those things are reigning in our lives we’ll be unable to live good, Christian, fruitful lives like Jesus desires of us.

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer, and is there for the express purpose of leading and guiding us in God-filled lives. That means we have to follow the Spirit’s direction if we want to live successful Christian lives. 

As Bruh Paul so astutely continues: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions). If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal.5:24-25) 

Now here are a few explanations from the scholars: ‘5:22-23. The word fruit is significant for three reasons (1) It means the result, product, outcome or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury.

Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration in one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

And there you have it friends, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit Lecture 101!’ (smile) Yes, I know it’s not easy to cultivate all those wonderful attributes, especially with the world on our back to do differently, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can certainly work towards them and be fairly successful if we set our minds to it. 

Remember, as believers in Christ, we are done with carnal fleshly matters, and are supposed to live by the Spirit of Christ imbued in us. So let’s do that nuh, and consequently fulfill Bruh Paul’s desire: ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:26). Much LOVE!

…to grow good fruit…we have to sow good seed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2018 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Oh mih people, it’s a brand new day with new mercies and blessings, so let’s be wise and enjoy it and give the Lord thanks for allowing us to see it nuh! 

And I’d certainly like to know what it is between me and lighting yes! Remember a couple of days ago I told you about going out on my front porch to see the rain and how two flashes of lightning immediately drove me back inside? 

Well yesterday afternoon I was sitting on my porch reading, waiting for my young daughter to come and pick me up and take me out. The rain was merely drizzling, when out of the blue, a fiery bolt of Zeus’ lightning suddenly lit up the dark and dreary-looking sky. Then soon thereafter, Thor unleashed a thunderous thunderclap of thundering thunder! (smile) Hn! Yuh know where I ended up? Back inside, of course! 

Ah Lord eh! A body can’t even sit down quietly on his porch without being threatened eh, without fearing for his life! (smile) And quite appropriately, today we’re going to talk about fear, starting with some wise insights on the subject from Uncle John (John Hagee). 

And the first thing he says is ‘Don’t let fear destroy you.’ But sadly we live in such fearful times, when both the physical world and mankind seem to be in serious upheaval that fear is rampant, even among Christians. However, according to Uncle John, the two words that Jesus used most were ‘Fear not!’ And He did indeed tell us quite often not to be afraid, but so many of us lack spiritual maturity that we let fear rule our lives. 

Now hear are some things Uncle John said we should not be afraid of in particular and good reasons why not. The first is: ‘Don’t fear death – For Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Don’t fear the past – Because it’s forgotten and forgiven. Do not fear the unknown – Because God is the revealer of every secret. Do not fear powers and principalities  – Because you have the power of the cross. 

You have the power of Jesus’ Name. You have the power of His Word. You have the power of His blood. You have more firepower than the U.S President… (smile) And it comes to you just with the mention of the name of Jesus!’ 

Glory be mih people! Yuh see all the reasons why we should not be afraid. Jesus is the omnipotent ruler of this world, and if we’re supposed to be living under His umbrella, His jurisdiction, then we should have little or no cause to be afraid of anything! 

And we’ll continue by highlighting a few scriptures where Jesus told His people not to be afraid, beginning with our Bit. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the indisputable truth! Why else would He have sent his most precious possession, His Son, to die for a bunch of ingrates like us eh? But we can’t just sit on our fannies and do nothing. We have to genuinely seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, as well as watch and wait for Jesus’ return. 

And earlier on, while telling them whom to fear and whom not to fear, Jesus declared. ‘And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.’ (Luke 12:4-5) Oh my, my! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:4. The body’s death is not the end of a person’s life. 12:5. God is the One with this power (to cast into hell) (James 4:12).’ And since I LOVE you all so much, and want you to know the scriptures, and know you won’t look it up for yourselves, I’ll spoon-feed you with that verse. (smile)  

It occurs when James is talking about us having consideration for our brother. ‘There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?’ (James 4:12) And that’s a very good question with all the unsubstantiated judgemental behaviour that’s going on these days. 

But turning back to Jesus. Listen to Him on Easter morning, having triumphantly risen from the dead. To those who first saw Him, He said: ‘Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.’ (Matt.28:10) What an occasion was Jesus’ resurrection eh friends! The most momentous occasion the world has seen so far! 

And we have time for just one more of Jesus’ ‘be not afraid.’ This one to His disciples on the boat on the stormy sea, and He comes walking towards them on the water. When they saw Him, were they ever afraid and cried out in fear that it was a spirit. ‘But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I, be not afraid.’ (Matt.14:27) Ah mih breddren, what else can I say eh? You heard it all from Jesus Himself! 

Now let’s go home loudly and proudly and sincerely declaring our Thursday Blessings, a mark of Jesus’ bountiful benediction to His followers. All together 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!’ 

The next step is to go out now and share those wonderful blessings with the less fortunate, because that’s why Jesus so generously endowed us with them. Much LOVE!

…the only fear mankind should have…is that of displeasing Almighty God…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2018 James 1:19.

James 1:19.   Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Ah friends, after looking at some of the news headlines and seeing the unnecessary strife and the many natural disasters that are plaguing our once beautiful world, I decided that there was only one way to begin today’s Bit; that’s with some acclamations of our faith to bolster our courage and help us keep keeping on in the face of so much negative happenings. 

So let’s affirm with sincere heart and ongoing faith. ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! If God be for us, who can be against us eh? NOBODY whatsoever! I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! And isn’t that a fact, a most awesome one! And last but not least: God will supply all my needs through His riches in glory through Jesus Christ! 

Glory be mih people! That should get us going and hold us for today as we hear about and see the ungodly and disastrous things that are happening in our world. 

And it’s only fitting that with the great amount of talk and li’l action taking place in our world that we should continue with our Bit from yesterday, where James talks about hearing and doing the word. ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.’ 

And he told us why?  ‘For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:20) Therefore we should put away all evil and lustful stuff and concentrate on the Word that’s implanted in our hearts, since it is what keeps us going on the course of faith, thus helping us to mature as time goes by. 

And he continues with this warning: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror): for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (what he does).’ (James 1:22-25) 

Ah mih people, that is so reminiscent of so many of us today; we hear the word, then immediately forget it, and don’t put it into practice. And I believe it happens very much on a Sunday, where we go to church and hear God’s word preached, but as soon as we get out, we continue with our old way of living and don’t put what we heard into practice. 

That’s obviously not good enough my people, for God’s Word is a practical treatise on daily living, and needs to be actioned if it is to be useful! So what’s the point of hearing it if we don’t intend to put it to good use in our lives eh? None whatsoever! 

Anyway, listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect, since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law (cf. Matt.5:17-20; Rom.10:4) It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death (Rom.8:2-3; Gal.5:1,13). James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King (cf. Gal.6:2).’ 

Ah precious people, what a day it was when Jesus defeated hell, death and the grave and set us free from all the terrorizing religious laws of Moses’ time, which no one could keep. And I’d like to say read those scriptures above, but I know very few of you will, but because I LOVE you all so much and care so much about your souls, I will spoon feed you with a couple of them. (smile) 

Listen to Jesus on the Law of Moses. ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prohets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.’ (Matt.5:17) Yes friends, Jesus was the fulfillment of the old law! 

As the scholars tell us: ‘The New Testament Gospel is not contradictory to the Old Testament Law; rather it is the ultimate fulfillment of the spiritual intention of the law. Where the law had degenerated into legalism among the Pharisees, Jesus now takes the law beyond mere outward observance to the inner spiritual intention of God.’ God had always intended for us to end up with an inner connection, through His Holy Spirit, and that’s what Jesus came to do. 

Now hear Bruh Paul as he talks to the Roman church about life in the Spirit. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom.8:1-2) And we all know that whom the Son sets free is free indeed! 

So James concludes: ‘If any man among you seem to be (thinks he is) religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (useless). Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:26-27) So friends, true religion is neither mere hearing or mere doing but a timely balance of both aspects of our faith. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, proud of our position in Christ. 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 as always, merely thinking about how glorious that future will be, just boggles my small mind! Much LOVE!

…to be on the same page as Jesus…we must hear…as well as do…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2018 Romans 8:1.

Romans 8:1.  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Well friends, it seems like the heat wave is finally over! Thank the Lord! Some rain fell yesterday evening and in the night and cooled down the place some, but the heat wave certainly wreaked havoc in the Province of Quebec, where it seems thirty something people died during that excessively hot time. 

Steups! When it’s not one thing, it’s certainly another. Meanwhile down in the U.S. some places had an exceeding amount of rain that caused extensive flooding. And out in Northern California that wildfire we spoke of yesterday is expanding its reach with a vengeance. 

But yuh know what friends, all is not lost because of these negative circumstances, since we know that our omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present God is still on His heavenly throne overseeing things, and in His own time and way, everything will be made right. Glory to God! 

And anyway, today is Friday, and nothing is going to stop the workingman from declaring his heartfelt song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Brother! Don’t know if I could have made it one more day nuh. What with all the partying and lack of sleep from last weekend’s Canada Day celebrations, and the hard work on massa slave job, the ole body was really tired. 

Glad that this was just a short week yes! Anyhow, is still the weekend, and the summer weekend calls for getting out there and making exciting things happen. And that’s what we’ll do, tired or not. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’  

Ah mih people, I’m sure many of us feel the same way; tired after a long weekend of celebrations, then straight into a week of work under hot and exhaustive temperatures. But hopefully, we will not do like the workingman and continue in excessive celebrations over the weekend, because it doesn’t fit who we are. 

We are followers of Jesus Christ and we have boundaries, limits to how far we can go along the continuum of celebrations…certainly not as far as the workingman goes. So let’s declare our weekend song, our Friday Chant, which is entirely different to that of the workingman. 

All together now: ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, ours is a much more responsible situation. Oh we can party and such, but not to extremes, and we’re always on the lookout for ways to increase Christ’s kingdom and not denigrate it. That’s why we do not live by the flesh, by the wicked, ungodly ways of the world, but by the pure Spirit of Christ. 

As Bruh Paul tells us in our Bit: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ 

Oh my people, my people, what a delicious situation! Wow! If we live in Christ’s Spirit, under His law, we are no longer condemned, just convicted; not sentenced to die, but merely reminded and possibly punished, but given another chance, a much better situation. ‘For the law of the Spirit of life in Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom.8:2) 

Glory be mih breddren! Christ’s sacrificial death paid for our sins, and when we place our sincere trust and belief in Him, we no longer live under the negative law of sin, which says: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) Praise Christ’s Holy Name for all that He’s done for us undeserving children of men! 

As Bruh Paul continues to the church at Rome: ‘For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for (on account of) sin, condemned sin in the flesh. That the righteousness (righteous requirement) of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:3-4) 

And all God’s people gave out a loud and sincere ‘Thank You Jesus!’  And so we should, because it’s only through Jesus becoming human and coming to earth, but not committing sin, and dying on our behalf, in our place, that we’ve been set free from the weak law of the flesh. 

As the scholars explain: ‘8:3. Law…was weak: There is nothing inherently wrong with the law. The presence of sin renders the believer powerless to do what the law demands. The likeness of sinful flesh: Christ was truly human but not a sinner (2 Cor.5:21).’ 

And instead of asking you to check out that scripture, which most of you will not do, we’ll just end with it instead. Oh, the spoon-feeding! (smile) ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us (to bear our sins), who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in (through) him.’ (2 Cor.5:21) 

Oh friends, please remember and be very appreciative of the fact, that whatever we are today; righteous in the eyes of God, justified, sanctified, etc. etc. it’s all because of Jesus and His enormous selfless sacrifices! Much LOVE!

…if you know about Jesus…and don’t LOVE and worship Him…then something’s sadly wrong with you and your mind…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2018 Psalm 119:105.

Psalm 119:105.   Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Well friends, amongst all the strife, war, hatred, anger and all the other negative stuff that’s taking place in our once beautiful world, I noticed one of the most foolish and insensitive actions take place yesterday. Yuh know the big contention that’s currently going on in the U.S… and some of you are asking which one? (smile) Well I’m talking about the recent major push to separate immigrant children from their parents. 

Now apparently, yesterday, the first lady of the U.S went to visit one of the centres where children are being held and she wore a jacket that had written on the back in big white letters: ‘I don’t really care, do u?’ How how insensitive is that eh? Even if you don’t care, half of the country you represent cares, and that’s only a slap in the face to them. But that’s the state of the U.S. these days. Matter done! 

It’s Friday, and the workingman is out there singing his happy song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The working soon finish… and the partying soon start! What a bam bam! It’s going to be party fuh so in this summertime weather! Nobody going to stop we from carrying on anyway we want! 

And who doh like it…Hn! Tough tits yes! Let them try to do something about it nuh. They don’t know how we grateful for the break from all the weekday slavery nuh, both physical and mental. Steups!  Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Yeh mih people, we Christians are also grateful for Fridays and the weekends, but we just show it in a less bacchanalian way. (smile) We don’t go to the extremes, like the worldly culture around us does. So let’s chant our corresponding Friday Chant and show them how we believers do it nuh. 

As one sincere voice now: ‘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 friends, we have a more organized way to spend or use our weekends – while celebrating, still keeping our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ uppermost in our minds and behaviour. And I just spied a quote from a Daily Bread Devotional that highlights it quite nicely. I’ve shared it before, but it’s important enough to share again and again. ‘Commitment to Christ is a daily calling.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Everyday we awaken, we need to commit ourselves anew to Christ! That’s the only way we can stay on the tried and true path that leads to the Father. That’s why the psalmist declared in our Bit: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’  

Yeh mih breddren, the only way to stay committed to Christ is by constantly reading, meditating and putting His word into action, for the enemy is fighting an ever-constant battle to win our souls. Remember those memorable words of the Lord to Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death? 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh.1:8) 

Oh friends, that one verse says it all: to be prosperous and have success, one must know the word and practice it! And yet we wonder why so much of us individually, as well as nationally are not having success. But the answer is right there before our very eyes; turn to God and do His will. That’s not rocket science; it’s plain and straightforward. 

And though in some cases it might be somewhat difficult to do, the Lord has faithfully promised us His awesome help all along the way. But like the workingman, many of us seem to prefer Beelzebub’s easy and sinful ways, which only lead to hellfire, death and eternal damnation. 

Yuh see how EVERY TIME, Israel turned away from God how they suffered, and how we are suffering now in our ungodliness? It’s no mistake that our world is currently engulfed in all sorts of negative problems; the hand of God and a touch of His wrath are upon us. Notice I said only a touch of His wrath, because we could never withstand the full force of His anger. 

Oh friends, the Good Book is the inspired Word of our Creator and it does not lie. So why do we think we can go against what it says and be truly successful eh? That’s why I’m imploring us, like the Lord implored Joshua and all the other leaders of the faith, to sincerely meditate on His Word, talk about it to our children and each other, and then put it into action. That’s the ONLY way our desperately struggling world and us will ever know peace and success. Much LOVE!

…how can the blind lead the blind out of darkness eh…only through the light inspiring word of Jesus…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2018 Matthew 28:20b.

Matthew 28:20b.    and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.

Aw friends, what kind of crazy, evil, ungodly, unsafe world are we living in eh, when in broad daylight a young man can drive his vehicle into a crowd of innocent people and kill nine or ten of them and injure a whole lot more? Or another young person can enter a restaurant and just open fire with his AK 15, or some such firearm and kill four people? 

The first incident happened in Toronto, the northern section of the city yesterday, and the second down in Nashville, U.S, a couple days ago. It seems we’re safe NOWHERE on the planet. Steups! And then the popular excuse is that these people have mental issues. Chuh! Well then too large a proportion of our society has mental problems! And if that’s a fact, then why aren’t we addressing them properly eh? 

Ah mih people, nowadays our favourite pastime seems to be talk; talk for just talk sake, and get nothing done. Our society is fast going to hell in a basket and our politicians and power brokers still only seem to care about getting in power and lining their own pockets. It’s a good thing that we believers have Jesus and His many faithful promises to hang on to yes, otherwise I don’t know what would happen to us nuh. 

And as we continue looking at some of the many wonderful promises that our faithful God has made us, we open with one of the most steadfast and uncompromising, that contained in our Bit: ‘and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.’ 

What a powerful promise that is my fellow believers, from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as He sent the disciples out to proselytize the world! And it’s that kind of stuff that we need to hang on to as we navigate this unsafe and crazy world; look to heaven rather than to mankind who is as evil as the night is dark. 

And if that doesn’t quell your worries, then listen to this promise. ‘Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath saith, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.13:5) 

Glory be my breddren! What wonderful words of assurance given to us by our God and our Creator and Saviour. The author of Hebrews is there reiterating God’s promise to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses: ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

However friends, there is ONE thing God asked of Joshua, and is also asking of us in these dangerous and trying times: ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left that thou mayest prosper (have success, or act wisely) whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, regardless of the number of great promises God has made us, we still have to take them to heart and stand strong under them. That’s our part of the bargain: stand strong and steadfast in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! But that’s exactly what a lot of us are not doing, thus our fears, worries and anxieties every day of our lives. 

Now hear these marvellous words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church on the separation of Christ from His people. ‘Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the 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. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:34-39) 

Oh precious people of God, if that powerful assurance of Christ’s irremovable presence from our lives doesn’t move and reassure you, then I don’t know what will nuh! That’s possibly one of the greatest promises a believer has to hang on to. Once Christ comes into our lives, we cannot be separated from Him. He will NEVER leave or forsake us, unless we push Him away or turn against Him. 

Therefore friends, in these troubled times, I implore us to hold on tightly to the promises of our ever-faithful God, to stand strong and courageous as He asks of us, so that we can conquer this evil word in His name. Now let’s go home showing the world that we are indeed standing strong in Christ. Let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much vim and vigour. 

As one loud and purposeful 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 if we’re sincere, then let’s go out and share Jesus’ LOVE and everlasting friendship with world, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…standing on the promises of God…standing safe and secure… on the promises of God, my Lord…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘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 Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word 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.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation), but be 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) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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