Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 November 2021 John 10:11.

John 10:11.     I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

It’s that time again my brethren, Sunday morning, where we gather to worship our wonderful God, to sing His praises, hear His refreshing and enlightening Word, and give Him much thanks for His awesome LOVE and compassion towards us, His most undeserving children. But that’s the kind of God we serve and worship. And today’s opening song is a not so old hymn, (smile) as compared to some others we sing, written by John Willard Peterson (1921-2006), in the early years of his ministry, and aptly titled ‘No One understands like Jesus.’ 

And believe me friends, that’s the indisputable truth! And why shouldn’t it be true eh, since He is God whose thoughts and understanding are incomparable, and when you add the fact that Jesus Himself underwent all the stuff that we go through down here on earth, it certainly adds up to a wealth of understanding. That’s why Hebrews can tell us: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (who cannot sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:15-16) 

Anyway, enough talk, time to do some singing. And in our usual harmonious and soulful manner let’s offer up our sacrifices of praise to heaven and our marvellous Godhead. ‘No one understands like Jesus. He’s a friend beyond compare; Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for you there. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him!) No one understands like Jesus; Ev’ry woe He sees and feels; Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. 

(Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When the foes of life assail; You should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail! (Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When you falter on the way; Tho’ you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon you today. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him! Cast your every care on Him, Cause no one understands like Jesus.’ 

You can say that again my people: ‘No one understands like Jesus!’ (smile) And there seems to be an interesting and heart-felt story behind the writing of this song, as there usually are behind many of our favourite tunes. Mr. Peterson appears to have been quite involved in Christian music and tells the story thus: ‘”At one time I had a responsible position with a well-known gospel ministry. One day a supervisory position opened up in my department. I was led to believe that I was to be promoted to this position. I was thrilled and challenged by the prospect of a new joy. But I was by-passed, and a man from the outside was brought in to fill the position.  

There followed days of agonizing heart searching. It was all I could do to keep from becoming bitter. One night I had occasion to spend an evening with the man who was brought in for “my” position. For some reason or other, though otherwise a very pleasant fellow, that night he became quite caustic in some of his remarks to me; and I was deeply hurt. Later that evening, after returning home, I was sitting in our living room thinking about the events of the past days and about the bitter experiences of that evening. I began to feel very alone and forsaken. 

Suddenly, I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation–in fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as did He. Before long, the idea for the song came and I began to write. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you” (Ps. 55:22). 

And Peter, who witnessed the perfidy of Judas, echoed his words: “Casting all your care [anxiety] upon Him, for He cares [is deeply concerned] for you” (I Pet. 5:7). Discouragement gripped him. He felt alone and forsaken, and was tempted to become bitter, until he began thinking about the great compassion of the Lord. Who cares? He does!’ 

Yes friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does care deeply about us, else why would He leave the joys and comforts of heaven and come to earth in human flesh to suffer the humiliation and abuse He did eh? These awesome words of His speak plainly of caring. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (Jon 3:16) There was no reason for the Father to do that, except that His LOVE and compassion for us was so great, He couldn’t just allow us to lose our souls and end up in Hades with Beelzebub. 

So Jesus’ coming to earth was all about caring. And the Good Book tells us in so many instances of God’s care and concern for us. Let’s check out a few nuh. Mr. Peterson mentioned a couple. The first one being the words of Bruh David from Psalm 55 – A cry against deceitful friends – where he declares in no uncertain manner: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit, allow) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 55:22) and if you are a believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then it’s imperative that you believe those words! 

Then there was Peter, who experienced Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, as well as his own, when he thrice denied knowing Christ, having been forewarned by Christ that he would do it. And when the cock crowed and Jesus looked around at Peter, he must have wished the earth could open up and swallow him, the shame he felt. (Luke 22:55-62) But the Lord not only forgave Peter, but also encouraged him, ‘Feed my sheep.’  (John 21:15-19) And Peter rose to be one of the leaders of the church. 

All of that caring and compassion of Jesus, must have compelled him to write: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Peter experienced it, so he could testify to it. Likewise, many of us have also experienced the Lord’s care and compassion in our normal everyday lives, but you know what, in these turbulent and dangerous times we need to seek His care and compassion even more than usual, since the world is in such turmoil. 

And Psalm 37 – the true state of the wicked – has a couple of interesting verses that we should all take hold of. ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass…The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.’ (Ps. 37:5, 23-24) 

Oh my fellow believers there’s no doubt whatsoever that Jesus cares for us. How else can you interpret these words of His: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) My fellow saints, please ponder those words today, and see if they don’t add up to a tender and heartfelt caring on the part of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!

…no one understands…or cares…like Jesus… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2020 1 Peter 5:7.

1 Peter 5:7.    ​Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
 

One more Sunday, one more day of technological fellowship and thanksgiving. Hn! And are we ever getting good at it! But it’s never ever going to be the same as worshipping our great God in a physical space together, with hugs and kisses and handshakes and godly greetings, because the Lord made us to be people of physical fellowship, not this over the airwaves stuff. (smile) But since we don’t have much choice right now, let’s enjoy what we have, because the Lord is ALWAYS pleased with praise and worship however, or wherever we perform it. 

So let’s get to some praise with this awesome and oh so appropriate hymn for these turbulent times, written by John W. Peterson (1921-2006) and titled ‘No One Understands Like Jesus.’ And if that isn’t the living truth friends, then I don’t know what is nuh! Therefore, with raised voices, in heartfelt sincerity and soulful harmony let’s thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for His unbiased understanding and sincere empathy, because as a man, He experienced the trials and tribulation of earthly life, like we’re currently doing. 

Now let’s unleash our sacrifice of praise which our God LOVES to hear. ‘No one understands like Jesus; He’s a Friend beyond com-pare. Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for You there. (Chorus: No one under-stands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim. No one is so near, so dear as Jesus; Cast Your every care on Him.) No understands like Jesus; Every woe He sees and feels. Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. 

(Chorus ….) No one understands like Jesus When the foes of life assail. You should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail. (Chorus…) No one understands like Jesus When you falter on the way. Though you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon You today. (Chorus: No one under-stands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim. No one is so near, so dear as Jesus; Cast Your every care on Him.) 

Ah mih people, in this time of sickness and strife, there’s no better place to cast our care than upon Jesus, for remember He understands what we’re going through, since He also went through dark nights of rejection, discouragement and enormous pain and suffering. So our troubles are nothing new to Him. That’s why Peter tells us so emphatically: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ And that’s gospel truth or God would not have sacrificed Jesus and have Him pay for our sins. 

And Jesus Himself dearly and desperately wants us to come to Him for hope, comfort and succour, peace, LOVE and joy; all the wonderful things that heaven allows. Hear Him in the Great Invitation nuh… and don’t tell me yuh tired hearing it either, because if we’d only listen and accept it, we wouldn’t have half the problems we now have. So please listen up and positively action the invitation, the greatest one that’s ever been offered! ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Oh friends, I don’t understand us nuh; man is supposed to be the wisest creature in the universe, but when we find ourselves in trouble and can’t get out of it on our own accord, we still refuse to turn to Jesus for help. We prefer to suffer in our despair and tribulation. Now is that wisdom? Not in my book! And the sad part is that the scriptures have so many encouraging and comforting words, if we’d only wake up and own them. Let’s check out a couple nuh. Hear this one from the longest chapter in the Good Book, Psalm 119: ‘Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me (given me life).’ (Ps.119:49-50) 

Oh my people, we were created to use the Word as a lifeline; to give us hope and comfort from our afflictions! So why aren’t we using it eh? And hear Bruh David from Psalm 61: ‘Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.’ (Ps. 61:1-3) Oh my fellow saints in Christ, if Bruh David, a man after God’s own heart, could cry unto the Lord when his heart was overwhelmed and find succour, why can’t we eh? 

Now hear Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.’ (Rom.15:4) Yes mih bredrin, the scriptures were indeed authored so that we could have hope! And if in these disastrous times you don’t have hope, then turn to the scriptures, that’s simple common sense! If there’s one thing we need to live this life successfully it’s hope! Without it, we’re dead in spirit. 

And here’s something I believe I’ve quoted before, but it’s ever so timely right now. It comes from an article titled ‘Prisoners of Hope,’ by one Joshua Ryan Butler. And he unequivocally states: ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks in from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into now – an explosion of life into a world marked by death. It changes everything.’ 

And that’s the kind of world we’re currently living in; one marked by death, and the only real hope for us to move from death to life, is to embrace Jesus and His wonderful revolution of hope, which ultimately fosters His LOVE Revolution. Yes friends, Jesus is, was, and always will be the ultimate revolutionary! Much LOVE

…want to be in a successful revolution… then join Jesus’…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 May 2020 1 Samuel 30b.

1 Samuel 30b.    ​But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
 

Well friends, it looks like another glorious sunshiny, summer-like day in my neck of the woods! And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘It’s about time! Praise the Lord!’ Yes my brethren, there’s nothing better we can do than to praise and thank our mighty Creator for all that He’s done for us, is currently doing, and has promised to do in the future. That’s our basic downfall; lack of thanks and prayer and praise! But He doesn’t change; He’s still the long-suffering, LOVING, merciful and gracious God He always was, and always will be. 

We are the ones who change, not Him. So let’s see if we can’t do better in our appreciation of His glorious majesty and magnanimity and obedience to His will nuh, so that we can enjoy even more of His wonderful blessings. Yeh, right now we can certainly use some of His awesome blessings in our fight against the tiny virus that’s got us by our manly parts, (smile) that’s holding us hostage to its every demonic whim and fancy! Ah mih people, I’m glad to see that more and more people are turning to prayer in these troubled times. 

But are we serious, are we truly repentant, or is it just a lark, to see what happens, since we can’t find any real success in our own efforts? Just remember though, that the Lord doesn’t simply listen to the words we spout out of our mouths, no matter how godly and spiritual they sound, but He investigates our hearts to see if we have the right motives, and then considers how to answer our prayer. So if you’re not sincere, don’t pray it. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to our friend Anselm and see what quotes he sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And for the second week running, the quotes are negligible. Last week I got one, this week I’ve gotten two. And don’t ask me what’s wrong? It seems like he’s alive, so I don’t know if his fount of quotes has just dried up, (smile) though I doubt it. Anyway, let’s deal with what we have. And the first quote says: ‘Your limitation—it’s only your imagination.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! The limits of our imagination are the only limitation in our lives! Wherever our imagination takes us we can go…with the Lord’s help obviously! Just think about all the wonderful inventions that we’ve enjoyed down through the years; things like the printing press that made books, including the Bible, more easily available, the telephone, telegraph and radio, which made communication so much easier, and our social media and technological revolution right now, which brings almost instant communication. 

They are all products of someone’s imagination! They had the idea, then worked on it, despite many naysayers and discouragers. They might have failed often, but they never gave up, and kept refining their ideas until…Bingo! They worked. Walt Disney was ridiculed, Thomas Edison failed at his numerous inventions several times, but eventually succeeded. So did Henry Ford with his gasoline powered horseless carriage, that eventually became our modern-day motor car. So please my fellow believers, let’s not say we can’t do it, or it’s impossible. If the Lord puts it in our minds, then it’s certainly doable. And furthermore, let’s remember that with God, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! 

That brings us to our second quote, which nicely resonates with the first. It tells us: ‘Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.’ And to a certain extent that is quite true, but a lot of us are pushed by others, although in many of those cases it’s not in the direction we want to go. The long and short of the story though is that we need to have some basic push and determination for ourselves, especially if we have serious goals that we want to reach or there are wonderful desires that the Lord has placed in our hearts to accomplish for His name’s sake. 

And we have that glorious scripture of Bruh David’s from Psalm 37 which categorically states: ‘Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps. 37:4) Yes friends, when we go with God, He will indeed enable us to fulfill the dreams He’s put in our hearts. And I know that it’s not always easy to find that push, that determination in ourselves, that we all need, for the enemy is always fighting against us. And ofttimes those around us are not willing to push and encourage us either, in fact they might just want to do the opposite, discourage us and pull us down, disparaging our efforts in the difficult process of bringing our dreams to reality. 

But my people, even when we’re at the lowest point, the very ebb of our determination and the last dregs from our fountain of hope, let’s never forget that there’s always One person who’s always there to encourage us, especially if you’re doing His holy will; that’s the Lord God Jehovah, our Creator and wonderful Provider! We never lack for encouragement when we turn to our great God! But that last push has to come from us; we need to turn to him, to sincerely seek Him. 

And the best example of that in the Good Book, I believe is when Bruh David’s men considered stoning him, after they came back from war and found their city of Ziklag burned to the ground by their enemies the Amalekites, and all their kinfolk and worldly possessions taken captive, including Bruh David’s two wives and his children. And everybody; all those brave and mighty men cried like babies. But then, something changed in Bruh David’s men. And the Good Book relates it thus: ‘And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved (bitter), every man for his sons and his daughters…’ (1 Sam. 30:6a) 

So what happened there eh? Why stone their leader eh? Didn’t Bruh David lose his sons and daughters too? Of course! But that’s just the blaming nature of mankind. We always need to find someone else to blame beside ourselves, where often the blame really lies. So imagine Bruh David’s situation now nuh: he’s lost his own family, and his men are threatening to stone him. So what does he do? With everybody against him, he does what we all need to do at times. The Good Book says: ‘But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ 

Mama Yo mih bredrin! It doesn’t get any better than that! So please, today, if any of us are suffering the painful pangs of discouragement and lack of hope, let’s do the wise and sensible thing like Bruh David did nuh; let’s turn to our great God and encourage ourselves in Him, for in Him there is always hope and the prospect of peace and joy despite discouraging circumstances. Much LOVE!

…when despair and hopelessness threaten…turn to God…for He’ll surely keep His promise…to comfort and guide you in such times…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2018 Isaiah 43:2.

Isaiah 43:2.   When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.

Well it’s a brand new day and brand new mercies are being noised abroad by our wonderful God! Give Him plenty, plenty thanks nuh people, for the grace and unadulterated LOVING-kindness He shows to us when we absolutely don’t deserve it. But that’s the kind of God He’s always been and will always be! 

Look at how while we were still sinners He sent His only Son Jesus to die for us… Does that tell of an unmerciful and angry God? No way Jose! So let’s be wise and grateful and give Him thanks for ALL that He’s done, is doing and has promised to do for us in the future. 

In the meanwhile let’s pray for those unfortunate people undergoing the volcano situation in Hawaii, and also in Guatemala where the Fuego volcano exploded a couple of days ago, causing much loss of life and many injuries. I tell you friends, a volcanic explosion is the closest thing we can come to hell here on earth. And remember too the people in Colorado and New Mexico where the first wild fires of the season are blazing away. 

Brother! The natural disasters are beginning to pile up already. But friends, there is no need to panic, because our great and mighty God is still on the throne in full control of things! 

And to help us handle whatever comes against us, here are these encouraging words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘I Will Move…’  I’ve shared them before, but I think we need to share them again. 

So please pray with me. ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you, Lord. Amen!’ 

Oh my people, is there any other way we can come up higher than through the Lord’s help? Absolutely not! So I implore us this morning to turn to Him for help in whatever situation or circumstance that we’re going through. Now he might not change or ease up the situation, but He will certainly give you the strength, wisdom and whatever you need to come through it successfully. That’s the magnanimous and magnificent God we serve! 

Yuh see what he says in our Bit, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah? ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers, what marvellous promises! And did the Lord keep them? Of course He did! Just look at how He parted the Red Sea for His people to cross over on dry land, while drowning Pharaoh and His Egyptian army behind them! Then check out how He backed up the Jordan River for them to cross over into the Promised Land! 

And if you say that’s only water, He can’t handle fire, then think again and see how the Hebrew lads, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, when they refused to bow down to a golden image, survived the fiery furnace that was heated seven times hotter than normal, and came out not even smelling of smoke! 

Mama Yo! That’s the amazing and awesome power of our God my brethren! And He is still in the business of doing miracles and such amazing things for His people, if we turn to Him and sincerely and humbly seek Him. As He said again through Isaiah: ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is.55:6) Are we doing that my brethren? For all our sakes, I sincerely hope so. 

But just in case we aren’t, listen to the following verse, which expands on the first. ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’ (Is.55:7) 

Oh friends, I don’t know why it’s so difficult for us to follow the Lord’s guidelines nuh, since He spells them out so plainly and simply! Especially when we’re in dire need of mercy and pardon! But we can only talk; talk till we’re blue in the face (smile), everyone still has to come to their own decision; to accept, or not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour in their individual lives. 

Let’s hope we ALL will make a positive decision, sooner, rather than later, for a time will come when it will be too late. Now for those of us who have already made it, let’s go home positively declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

Altogether 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share all of that with other unfortunate folks, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…if you don’t need your Maker…then who else do you need eh…Lucifer…hn, hn!…what a joke…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2017 John 3:17:

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

Ah friends, on this somewhat damp and dreary looking June morning, it’s ever so important for us to have the unique and exquisite LOVE of Jesus flowing sincerely, briskly and securely in our hearts, so that we can have ready access to the wherewithal to face whatever may befall us today. 

Yes my faithful brethren, only the overwhelming, the ever abiding and abundant LOVE of Jesus has the power and the spiritual mystery to carry us through each and every day of our lives. 

Therefore, as we open our eyes to greet each and every new day, we ought to give Him thanks and praise and ask for his wise guidance as He accompanies us on our earthly journey. 

And that He does friends! Having promised never to leave nor forsake us, He walks beside, before and behind us each and every minute of each and every day, once you accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. 

As the psalmist says, He’s our shield and guiding light. NEVER forget that! 

Now here is a simple but stirring and heart-moving prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. It’s also simply titled; ‘I Will Move…’ I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but it’s one of those prayers that are certainly worth sharing again and again. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, I want your heart to be my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. 

In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank You Lord. Amen.’ 

Oh friends, that is ALL so true! It’s only with the promises, the power, the pardon and providence of Almighty God that we can truly move from death to life, abundant life that is, and have lasting success in this evil world. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ 

And if you believe that with all your heart, soul, body and mind, then you’re on your way to a great life in the wonderful and unique company of Jesus! 

Wow mih breddren! It couldn’t get any better than that! Hanging out with Jesus is the BEST THING that can ever happen to a human being! And if you already know Jesus, you’ll know that what I’m saying is absolutely true! 

Oh, I’ve just got to say it again: ‘Wow, mih breddren! Walking with Jesus is the BEST THING that can ever happen to a human being!’ (smile) 

He’s so sweet, and kind, humble, LOVING, generous, forgiving, merciful and gracious…etc…etc! And once you truly get to know Him, every so often, you’ll sit down and ask yourself, ‘how ever did I live before He came into my life eh?’ 

Well you simply weren’t living before that, just existing. But once Jesus entered your life, He made you a brand new person, regenerated you, made you to be born again spiritually…and everything changed…your mindset, your view of life, your habits and behaviour, all began to change for the better. That’s the saving power of Jesus friends! 

As our Bit says, He didn’t come to condemn but to save. However, it doesn’t happen automatically; we need to accept His saving grace, that free gift of God. 

As Jesus says after our Bit: ‘He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’ (John 3:18) 

So you see friends, it’s a conscious decision that every one of us has to make; to either believe or not believe in Jesus, the only begotten Son of God! 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘3:18. This verse answers the question, “Why do people go to hell?” It is because they do not believe in Jesus.’ 

That’s straight and to the point people! It couldn’t be any simpler. Believe and you’re saved; don’t believe, and you spend eternity separated from God, the worst thing that could ever happen to a human soul. 

And we’ll give one more example of the saving grace of Jesus, His words after He had lunch with the tax collector Zaccheus. 

After Zaccheus repented of his sins, ‘Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10) 

And the scholars tell us: ’19:10. The words seek, save, and lost all appear elsewhere in Scripture in a shepherd context. This verse may be taken as the kernel statement of the central theme of Luke: Jesus is the compassionate, searching Herdsman who seeks to save those who can by no means save themselves.’ 

Truer words were never written friends! And since we believe it all, we can go home joyfully and sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra. 

All together now, in strong voice and confident humility: ‘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!’ 

All glory and honour to our most kind and LOVING Saviour! Now let’s go out and share His LOVE and friendship as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…when Jesus comes into our hearts…His light and LOVE…will faithfully lead and safely guide us…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 June 2015 Philippians 4:6

Philippians 4:6. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Aye Friends, welcome to another day in the unfolding of God’s great universe! It is unfolding as it should. We might not think it logical or understand it, but all we need to know is that God is still on the throne, and still in control of what He made. His thoughts and abilities are way higher than ours, so our small, finite minds won’t be able to comprehend all that’s going on.

Be not afraid though, for everything is working to plan; God’s plan that is. Just rest in the comfort and reassurance of His tender, forgiving and merciful embrace and allow the Holy Spirit that dwells within you to lead and guide you on the straight and narrow path that leads to our heavenly Father. End of sermon. (smile)

And now, on this wet and cloudy Tuesday morning in my area, here’s a simple but powerful prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Shuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘I WILL MOVE…’ I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, because it doesn’t even look familiar to me. Hn! And I’ve been reading the book for several years now.

Anyway, please pray with me: ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’

Oh my people, what true and wonderful sentiments! That’s just what I was saying earlier; putting your hope and trust in Almighty God is the only wise and sensible way to proceed in this mish-mash thing we call life. Without His involvement in our lives we are simply powerless and rudderless, aimlessly drifting on a tossing sea of sin and sinfulness, which augurs no good whatsoever to anybody.

But with Jehovah God in our lives, as Gramps Schuller so rightfully declares, we keep moving ahead in an exciting life, filled with hope, glory, strength and success!

And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Glory to God! Praise Him for His wonderful LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ Yes Friends, that we certainly ought to do, for our God does deserve much reverence and thanksgiving! 

And talking about reverence and thanksgiving, listen to our Bit, which details it marvellously for us. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’

Without a doubt my brethren, the wise way is always to bring everything to God in prayer with much thanks for all that He’s done and still doing for us.

And the scholars offer this information on our Bit. ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) (‘The Lord is at hand’) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern.

The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in everything, “in every matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’

Ah Friends, unfortunately too many of us don’t put that advice in to action, therefore we are worried and anxious about all sorts of things. I guess it depends on the level of faith to which we have attained; meaning the greater our faith, the more we submit or adhere to the programme.

Consequently we need to build our faith so that going to God with EVERYTHING in prayer with thanksgiving becomes an automatic action in our lives. And I can tell you from personal example, it works my brethren, it truly works!

You might not always get the answer you want, or even deserve, but if you follow the leading of God’s Spirit that dwells within you, you will seldom go wrong. It won’t always be an easy row to hoe, but it will be definitely interesting and worthwhile.

And in support of our Bit, let’s look at some defining scriptures. First up is Jesus’ profound pronouncement from the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?’ (Matt.6:25)

And the scholars offer this splendid explanation of that verse. ‘6:25. Jesus now deals with the equally dangerous tendency of those who have few possessions: worry! Take no thought (Gr. me merimnao) means “Do not be anxious.” This word means to be so disturbed about material needs that we distrust God and are distracted from faithfully doing His will.

Anxious care is the direct opposite of faith. Therefore, even the poor are not to worry needlessly about what they should eat, drink, or wear. The question Is not life more than meat, and the body more than raiment? indicates that inner mental stability must come from the spirit of a man and not from outward physical provisions.

To set one’s heart on material possessions or to worry about the lack of them is to live in perpetual insecurity and to deprive oneself of the spiritual blessings of God.’

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. That’s why so many of us are so insecure. We place too much emphasis on the material things of life; worry too much about them, and work too hard to acquire them. We do need them, but listen to Jesus further on the issue.

‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) And if you are a person of faith, a true believer in Christ, then you will understand that if you do the will of God, Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our Provider, will indeed provide for all our material wants and needs.

It’s all a matter of faith, my brethren. Believe and you will not worry, and will be amply provided for. Do not believe, then you will worry, be anxious and stress yourself out, and still not be sure of having all your needs met. And on that most important note, we’ll end today’s message.

Oh Friends, I implore us to have faith, or to raise the level of our faith, so that we won’t have the unnecessary worry and concern that comes with lack of faith. That is the wisdom of both heaven and earth. Much LOVE!

…why walk in worry…when one can walk worry free in faith…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2013 Hebrews 10:23

Hebrews 10:23.     Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 
And then it was Wednesday, my beautiful Friends in Christ Jesus! Meaning that another new and glorious morn is in the offing, bringing with it exciting and unbelievable opportunities to enjoy the everlasting and bountiful mercies, goodness, blessings, forgiveness and LOVING-kindness of our magnificent and magnanimous God!
 
And the hearts of God’s people were so touched by those sentiments that they erupted in unison, in one loud voice: ‘Oh praise and sanctify the Most High God Jehovah! He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who dwells in the high heavens, but unstintingly pours out His wonderful grace on His adoring people, the children of men, here on earth!
 
Yes mih people, that’s the kind of adoration our Creator, our Provider and most generous, LOVING and faithful God deserves, each and every day of our blessed, mercy-filled lives! 
 
In truth, there are really no words in the human language to truly describe the awesome greatness, splendour, largesse and LOVE of our God, but we do have to try and make do with what we have, because it’s our bounden duty to worship and glorify Him and spread His glorious kingdom to all the ends of the earth, so that when the last trumpet sounds, not a single soul of His creation will be lost to mammon. 
 
And all God’s children declared a loud and glorious shout of ‘Amen! And again we say, Amen!’ 
 
Ah mih breddren, the ole fella just seems to have gotten up in a real praising and thankful mood this morning. (smile) But that’s really the way we ought to be each and every day. So let’s endeavour to pick up our praise and thanksgiving, starting today nuh. We’ll undoubtedly enjoy much better, much happier lives if we do that.
 
Now here’s a prayer from Dr. Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional that will certainly help us to do that. It’s titled, ‘I Will Move.’
 
Pray with me: ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, what a beautiful, heart-moving prayer! I sure hope that it gets all of us worked up for Christ this morning!
 
Now let’s look at how our Bit comes about; it stems from a plea to hold to the new faith. ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say his flesh;
 
And having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
 
Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 
And let us consider one another to provoke (stir-up) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:19-26) 
 
Now what does all of that mean eh? Let’s get some insight from the scholars. First off: ‘Jesus Christ is the new and living way by which believers have direct access into the very Holy Place of God (cf. 4:14; 6:20; 7:25; John 14:6)’
 
Then: ‘The word translated provoke (Gr. paraoxysmos) usually has a negative sense, as is witnessed by its only other New Testament usage (Acts 15:39). The positive connotation which the word has in the present text means to stir up. It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! We can very easily stir up ourselves and each other to anger and other unfruitful stuff, but doing it for the positive things takes much more work and time.
 
And finally: ‘Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition.
 
The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained form one another. (cf. Col. 3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor. 12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’
 
And to that Friends, I can only say ‘Amen!’ For it’s something I’ve been trying to instil in us all along; the necessity for fellowship and believer interaction at all levels, times and places in our lives, because it’s from that coming together, that physical and spiritual mixing, we’re supposed to draw strength, inspiration and faith to carry on.
 
So let’s come together nuh mih people, as Jesus would have us do, to exhort and inspire each other. That’s true wisdom and Christian faith at its everlasting best. Much LOVE!
 
…when Christians join together in true fellowship…all the hosts of heaven rejoice…
 
P.S. Oh my brethren, please remember to check out the scripture references given above, because they are for our benefit, further enlightening us as to the meaning(s) of the Word of God. And if you don’t read the scriptures for yourselves, you’ll NEVER truly understand them. And that’s gospel truth! Much LOVE! 
 
 
  
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 September 2012 3 John 4

3 John 4.     I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
 
And a blessed good morning to all you beautiful people out there in Scrip-Bit Land! It’s supposed to be cool and rainy in my neck of the woods today, (it’s already raining) but that’s of no importance. Why, you ask? Because just like neither sleet nor snow stops the mail delivery, so nothing stops the followers of Jesus on their earthly mission to spread the good news of the gospel to all and sundry. And what’s the good news? The peace, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, truth, justice, wisdom, understanding, salvation and eternal life that’s found in Jesus and His humble but ever so powerful way! And all God’s people shouted a joyous: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ But the truth of the matter my Friends is that it’s not always easy to follow in Jesus’ path, for Lucifer and his evil minions have made believers the number one target of their wicked and ungodly fiery darts. Today though, I have a few words to share from the Hour of Power Devotional by Robert H. Schuller which will help us in repelling Lucifer and his evil works. The words are: ‘If you will learn how to be disappointed without being discouraged, you need never be defeated.’ What an awesome truth Friends! And when I read them today, a flashlight just went off in my brain, and I knew I had to share them. It’s a simple but powerful strategy, for what’s the first thing or thought we embrace when we experience disappointment? It’s discouragement, oftimes laced with a strong desire to just give up, to let it all go to waste. But my people, that’s the wrong attitude to adopt, for disappointment doesn’t always mean failure or defeat, and if we truly learn to endure disappointment without it making us want to throw away all our hard work, then we’re winning. Believers need to have what the old people called ‘a thick skin.’ That means not letting unimportant things get us down or all worked up. I’m learning that with writing this Scrip-Bit, because not everybody agrees with or like what I write. And believe you me, supposed believers can be the nastiest critics when they’re ready. However, please remember that giving up on Jesus is NOT an option in a believer’s playbook! Those words don’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary, which means we have to stand strong and steadfast regardless of what or who comes against us. That’s why John so happily declared in our Bit: ‘I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.’ He was exceedingly happy to hear that his buddy Gaius was standing strong and true in the faith. And he also expresses that joy in his second epistle, where he begins thus: ‘The elder unto the elect (chosen) lady and her children; whom I LOVE in the truth; and not I only, but also they that have known the truth. For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth (abides) in us, and shall be with us for ever.’ (2 John 1-2) Now the ‘elder’ there is John himself, and according to the scholars, the ‘elect (chosen) lady’ could either mean a personal friend and her family or a local church. Now, re the truth John speaks of, it will be helpful to have some explanation from the scholars. They declare that: ‘To LOVE in the truth means (1) truly, really to LOVE, and (2) to LOVE in a fashion consonant with the Christian meaning of that word. The truth which John and others have known is a combination of factual knowledge regarding the Word of God and personal knowledge of Jesus Christ.’ Also, ‘John LOVES his readers for the truth’s sake or “because of the truth,” which likely has reference to the personal presence of Christ (John 14:6) The cardinal fruit of the Spirit of Christ is LOVE (Gal..5:22)’ Then a couple verses later, John states: ‘I rejoiced greatly that I found (some) of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.’ (2 John 4) Listen to the scholars here again: ‘Walking is a Jewish idiom for “living.” John is saying that we should “live by the truth,” or in accordance with God’s revealed word and will.’ That’s gospel my brethren! How else can we live for God if we don’t live by His Word and His Will eh? It’s just like living in any group, be it two or more; certain rules and regulations must be laid down and followed, if there is to be harmony and not anarchy in the group. Likewise if there’s to be harmony amongst the followers of Jesus, then we all need to live in close agreement and joyful practice of His dictates. And not to be outdone, when Bruh Paul couldn’t go to visit the Thessalonians, he also told them of his happiness at their steadfastness in the faith. ‘For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.’ (1 Thess.2:19-20) Yes my brethren, all believers should be filled with unspeakable joy when they hear of others walking steadfastly in the LIGHT and LOVE of Jesus, for that’s what this life is all about. And what better way to end than with the words of Jesus. When Pilate asked Him if He was a king, Jesus answered: ‘Thou sayest (rightly) that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.’ (John 18:37) End of story Friends! So now, if we have indeed heard Jesus’ voice, then let’s go out and sincerely and energetically live that truth nuh! Much LOVE!…to truly LOVE Jesus…we must walk steadfastly in His way…just like He walked steadfastly in His Father’s…