Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2019 2 Peter 1:8.

2 Peter 1:8.    For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Sunny days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yeh, let’s hope that today is nothing like yesterday, with rain straight through until late afternoon. Got caught in it going to an appointment some distance from home, and would you believe it was terrible; traffic just crawling, with road construction like everywhere, and the rain itself one minute petering out to a light drizzle, then next picking back up steam again. Good thing that it had stopped by the time I was on my way back home. 

And we can’t have no rain today because this evening David Rudder (the Crown Prince of kaiso) is down in the Bandshell in the Ex. And that’s a totally open space. So please pray that David gets a good chance to share his beautiful kaiso (calypso) offerings later. (smile) 

Now here’s another prayer, this one from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. He calls it: ‘A Prayer for Success.’ Please pray with me: ‘As I become a success with your help, Lord, let me never forget that what I am is more than what I do. Faith stimulates success. Hope sustains success. LOVE sanctifies success. So I cannot and I dare not succeed without your power, peace, and pressure in my life, Jesus Christ. Amen!’ 

Oh friends, all of that is so true! In the first place we must realize that what we do is not the most important thing in our lives, but who we are; beloved children of God! And that alone gives us a great chance for success. But as Gramps Schuller says, we need these three untouchables and ‘unmeasurables’; faith, hope and LOVE, to even enter the ring of success, much less to achieve it. 

And Peter expounds on the subject nicely, and quite at length in his second epistle. Listen to Him as he greets his readers and reminds them of God’s provision for Christian living, past, present and future. ‘Grace and peace be multiplied unto you, through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 

According to his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’ (2 Pet. 1:2-4) 

Oh my fellow believers, we see that our most magnanimous God has already given us all the power and grace and promises that we need to succeed in this life, but we have to now raise them up from our souls through the awesome power of the Holy Spirit. 

And Peter then continues, re growing in grace. ‘And beside this, (for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE).’ (2 Pet.1:5-7) 

Ah mih people, that seems like a real rough row to hoe, but hoe it we must, if we want to succeed in this Christian walk of faith and LOVE! And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:5-7. In this section Peter urges his readers to grow to spiritual maturity. Add to your faith indicates the areas of growth that follow after salvation. Virtue is moral excellence. Knowledge is spiritual truth. Temperance is self-control. Patience is endurance. Godliness is God-likeness. 

Brotherly kindness (Gr. philadelphian) is brotherly LOVE. Charity (Gr. agapen) is volitional LOVE (making a choice or decision to LOVE). This process is a lifelong cycle of spiritual growth for all believers.’ And so indeed it is my fellow saints in Christ! And Peter reason thus for his advice: ‘For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 

Glory be mih breddren! For there’s nothing better in this life than to have a good knowledge about Christ and produce good fruit in His image! And Peter further explains: ‘But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is shortsighted), and hath forgotten that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins. 

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (stumble): For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (2 Pet.1:9-11) What a wonderful life is being set up in heaven for those of us who place Christ above all else and do our best to honour and obey Him! 

Hear how the scholars explain those last verses. ‘1:10-11. Ye shall never fall: The author is not referring to falling from salvation but to failure in Christian living. The everlasting kingdom refers to the eternal realm of God where Jesus is the undisputed Ruler. It is synonymous with heaven. Thus one who acquires the virtues of verses 5-7 will have a rich inheritance in heaven.’ 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that my people! Therefore let’s go home now joyfully declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail which let’s the whole world know of our serious position in Christ, since heaven is our ultimate home. 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 if you sincerely believe, then you’ll know that that future will indeed be glorious; so glorious that we cannot even imagine it! Wow! So let’s keep on hanging tight with Jesus nuh friends, for that is wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…success in anything…means learning and adhering to these three keys…hope…faith…and LOVE…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2019 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.    ​Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.
 

Well it’s the first of August, that means the summer is almost done, one more month, then any number can play. But that’s okay, we can handle it, with Jesus’ help. But today we going to get into a serious concoction in the Bit. Yuh know like in the olden days when you had a cold and fever and your mother just boiled up a whole lot of different bushes and made tea for you, bad, horrible tasting stuff…Ugh! 

And she also mixed up a whole lot of different medicines and rubbed your chest and back and forehead with them, and put some coconut oil in your head – will make the cold run down? Hn, hn! We didn’t like it, but it worked. Well that’s what we making here today: a concoction of scripture and good advice. And let’s hope that that will work for us today too. (smile) 

Now let’s begin with this most appropriate ingredient from one Joseph Addison (1672-1719), an English essayist, poet, playwright and politician. And he reputedly said that ‘There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! For there is nothing we dislike more than advice because it suggests that we don’t know what we’re doing. 

And even when it’s given with the best interests at heart, and we know it’s the best advice we can get, something though still sticks in our craw, and we don’t really treasure it as we should. I guess though that’s just man’s independent nature showing up, where we don’t like anybody telling us what to do, even though it’s right. 

And the next choice ingredient comes from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller), from his Hour of Power Devotional, where he sincerely and wisely advises us to: ‘Choose the best, shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’ Wow friends! Pure words of wisdom and mucho good advice and also what Jesus desires of His followers. 

But are we going to take it? Hn! Who knows? Because though it’s true and good and wise and of Jesus, there’s just something that sits wrong with us in taking advice. But then I’m only here to bring you wise words and wise, godly advice, so please don’t blame or get annoyed at me, for I’m only the messenger. (smile) 

And the last ingredient of our concoction comes from an old Devotional of Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) called ‘Starting Your Day Right.’ Could barely make out the name because it’s so old and faded, and the pages are falling apart, so I keep it together with a rubber band, (smile) because I like it’s simple, down to earth style. Can’t take all this new-fangled stuff. 

Anyhow, Sister Joyce gives this wonderful advice at the end of one of the devotionals. ‘The way to victory is a narrow path that requires discipline regardless of our feelings. Sometimes it may look too narrow to even squeeze through. But victory comes by obeying God’s Word to us, in spite of our feelings. Follow faith, not feelings today.’ 

Mama Mia!  What wonderful advice! What godly advice! And are we going to take it my brethren? I surely hope so, because as she so rightly says, we can only get victory by obeying God’s Word, and it takes a strong and sincere faith to do so, not wishy-washy feelings, like so many of us live by. 

And that’s why, Jesus, in His immortal wisdom, knowing that too many of us live by our wishy-washy feelings, directed us to ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.’ (Matt.7:13) 

Oh my people, how true that is in these ungodly times. People are just ‘LOVERS of pleasure,’ as Bruh Paul told Timothy. (2 Tim.3:4) And like foolish sheep without a shepherd, are all blindly headed for the precipice of damnation! But thankfully precious people, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is a good, kindly and caring shepherd and he takes wonderful care of His own. But His own also have to listen to His voice, else they too will go astray on the wide and destructive path. 

And He says to us: ‘Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.’ Yes friends, those are words we have to pay serious attention to, because if we want to live and work for Jesus and eventually gain eternal life with Him, then we can’t go the way of the world. We have to follow the straight and narrow path that calls for obedience, discipline and excellence. 

And we all know those are things against which our human flesh naturally rebel, which means calling forth a superhuman effort if we have to do it alone. But thankfully we don’t have to do it alone! Jesus Christ foresaw our problems and wisely gave us the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in His ways! Glory to God! We’re not alone…will never be alone once we stay in Jesus’ fold! 

And let’s remember friends, that Jesus is both the way that leads to life, and also the life. As He said to doubting Thomas: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Please my people, let’s write those words indelibly in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, because they are ever so important for our life-long journey. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) those Thursday Blessings the Lord has so generously lavished on us nuh so we can do His work. In strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

Oh my people, what a generous God we serve and worship! Now let’s go out and share those blessings with the less fortunate as Jesus intends for us to do, and not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Yes, I’ve got to remind us, else we tend to forget. (smile) And let’s hope that the concoction we made up today also works, because we all need it badly! Much LOVE!

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

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2019 Isaiah 51:12.

Isaiah 51:12.    ​I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a (mortal) man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass.
 

Welcome friends and neighbours to a wet and cloudy Tuesday morning, the penultimate day of July 2019! It might not seem like a beautiful day, but it is another day in the oh so small number of days in our life basket – like a breath of air compared to the life of the universe! So please let’s be determined to rejoice and enjoy it nuh, for that’s why the Lord gave it to us, and if we don’t, He will be heartbroken! (smile) 

And since I know that sometimes the cloudy weather depletes our natural enthusiasm and energy, I’m here to day to help us build up both. Now Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) claims that ‘Enthusiasm begets energy. Success depends on positive energy that enables you to stick with it. Energy that is positive is energy fed by enthusiasm. 

Enthusiasm produces such positive energy that even when you’re physically exhausted you can’t wait to wake up the next morning to climb to a higher ledge. Positive energy moves you forward. Enthusiasm lifts you higher. Success becomes self-perpetuating. Negative thinking fatigues you, but positive energy replenishes you!’ 

So let’s see if we can’t get some positive thinking in our spirits today nuh, so that we can replenish what the negativity has lost. And we’ll begin with this short prayer from Gramps Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional. Please pray with me: ‘Jesus Christ, come into my life. Flush all negative thinking out of my mind. LOVE people through me. 

I believe you are coming into me now in the form of God-filled ideas. I know I have enormous undiscovered, untapped energy within me. I feel young, I have energy, I am energetic. Thank you for this vitality and strength of mind and body. Live within me, O God, and do good works through me. Thank you again. Amen!’ 

And if you were sincere in that prayer, then friends, I can guarantee that you now feel much more positive and enthusiastic about your life and whatever difficult circumstances might be currently swirling around you! I certainly am more encouraged and enthusiastic! I just have to go and find a suitable Bit now to keep our engines running on positive energy. Soon come! 

And it didn’t take me long to find this most interesting and encouraging scripture from the book of the prophet Isaiah, where he promises, in the Lord’s name, that the faithful, who are first called to courage, WILL be comforted. ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a (mortal) man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass. 

And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready (when preparing) to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?’ (Is.51:12-13) 

Wonderful questions those are my people! The fury of the oppressor has been stilled by the victory of Christ over him! Thus we have no need to be afraid of his satanic majesty. And even before that, both the psalmist and Isaiah had given us reason not to fear. 

In his declaration of thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation, the psalmist confidently proclaimed: ‘The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?’ (Ps.118:6) Not a lot friends. He can kill our bodies but not our souls. Only the Lord Jehovah can kill both, so we ought to be more concerned with His wishes. 

And Isaiah, while talking about comfort through trust in the Lord, made it very clear when he cried, that: ‘All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness (loveliness) thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit (breath) of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.’ (Is.40:6-8) 

And that my brethren, we all know as gospel truth! The world shall pass away, but NEVER the word of our Mighty Jehovah God. Now let’s turn to the New Testament for a couple of scriptures of comfort and encouragement. First off, listen to Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: 

‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of god.’ (2 Cor.1:3-4) What a brilliant strategy my people! Our God comforts us in our times of trouble, so that we can comfort others, in their troubled times! 

And Peter adds his two cents worth: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again into a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Yes friends, treasures and rewards, incorruptible and undefiled are stored up in heaven for those who believe and run the great race of faith through the salvation of Christ! Wow! What can be more encouraging and comforting that eh? Absolutely nothing! So please, let’s put all this fearful and negative thinking out of our minds, bodies and souls, and instead rejoice in the positive things that the Lord has done for us, and also has stored away in heaven for us. That’s the whole purpose of our faith! 

Consequently, let’s go home now in excellent, positive spirits, as we declare (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. All together in unison and harmony now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Oh my precious peeps, with that positive spirit now flowing and flowering through our souls, let’s go out and share Jesus’ great LOVE and friendship, like He desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…when one sincerely serves Jesus…there’s noting to worry about…because He has all the bases covered…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2019 Isaiah 55:1.

Isaiah 55:1.    ​Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
 

Ah friends, it looks like it’s going to be one of those days; all the joints are aching and the ole fella’s dragging like an old man! Chuh! I hate when that happens, especially when I’m on a nice, fairly long, pain free run…well not completely pain free, because it’s never that nowadays. (smile) 

Yuh know what I mean though; not having to take no setta pain pills and moving along smooth and easy, the way the duchess likes to see her husband move. (smile) But as you also know, prayer is the panacea, the cure-all for ALL the ills of the soul, so let’s get into a nice li’l uplifting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional nuh. It’s simply titled: ‘Fill Me!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘O Lord, like the thirsty deer which goes to drink from the mountain springs; like the growing flower which turns hungrily to the satisfying sun; like the empty pitcher which is carried to the fountain to be filled; so I come, O God, knowing that in this time of prayer my soul will be filled with your LOVE and your truth. Thank you Lord! Amen.’  

Yes my people, if we were sincere and humble in that prayer, but also confident that God would grant our desire, then right now we’re being filled with the LOVE and truth of our heavenly father by the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Glory be, precious saints of Christ! What a great and wonderful God we serve my faithful brethren! 

A God who desires us to come to Him whenever we’re tired and thirsty, famished and broken down for rest, comfort and succour. That’s why the prophet Isaiah wisely advised his people, the Israelites, to ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found. Call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is.55:6) 

Yes friends, that’s simply common sense imbued with heavenly wisdom! (smile) He’s our Creator and Provider, so who else we going to call on eh? Surely not Ghostbusters, nor the evil one! And in keeping with the thirsty theme, I just want to look at some of the scriptures that powerfully illustrate our message, beginning with this wonderful, unimaginable invitation from God Himself, through Isaiah, to His people Israel, and consequently to us. 

‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ Wow! What an invitation mih breddren! Nobody else can ever match that! Buying spiritual milk and water and food for free! Only in the realm of our magnificent and magnanimous God is that possible! 

Hear what the scholars say about that nuh. ’55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to ALL who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to ALL men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

And here now are a few scriptures where men hungry and thirsty for God did just that, beginning with this favourite from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘As the hart (deer) panteth after (longs for) the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:1-2) 

Oh my people, are we that hungry and thirsty for our great God? I would certainly like to think so, but unfortunately the reality of our actions in these evil times doesn’t show it. It’s more like we’ve forgotten that God exists, and more like we’re trying to get rid of Him from our broken down and evil society. 

But just a word of caution; that’s impossible to do. He might allow us to carry on with our nonsense for a time, but in the end, He will have the last word and the last laugh. So please let’s wake up and realize that our world is on the brink of destruction and only real and strong faith in Christ Jesus can ever help us to fix it. Enough preaching though. (smile) 

Hear Bruh David now from Psalm 63 – God satisfies the thirsting soul. ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.’ (Ps.63:1) 

And in Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men, the psalmist declares thus: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness (LOVING-kindness).’ (Ps.107:8-9) Oh that men nowadays would really take those words of wisdom to heart and action them! Our world would be a much better place! 

And one more time from Bruh David from Psalm 143 – Teach me to do thy will. ‘ I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse (ponder) on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.   Selah.’ (Ps.143:5-6) Ah mih people, again we see Bruh David in anguish of spirit and soul, possibly beset by enemies thirstily crying out for God to fill him with grace and mercy and LOVING-kindness! So who are we not to do the same eh? 

Anyway, here is the definitive word on a spiritually hungry and thirsty soul…from none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt.5:6) And isn’t that the gospel truth! Those of us who are poor and hungry in spirit and realize the depth of our need and faithfully seek God, will indeed be filled with the Lord’s grace, mercy and LOVING-kindness! 

And having imbued our soul and spirit with those uplifting, assuring and comforting words, let’s go home now declaring (yes!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the world who and whose we are! In strong voice, as one: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Oh glory be mih people! What joy it brings to the soul when we are beloved of Jesus and can sincerely count Him as our friend! So please let’s go out and share that good news now nuh! It’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…oh, words cannot describe…how wonderful it feels…to have Jesus…living right here within me…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2019 John 15:5.

John 15:5.   ​I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
 

Well it seems like another ‘riney’ day is in the offing! Brother, when is it going to stop eh? Doesn’t look like anytime soon. But who cares eh? Oh, how I dislike that term that’s so popular in our current parlance! Because we all ought to care, since too much rain means flooding and a whole set of other problems. Some places up around the nation’s capital of Ottawa are still flooded, and some parts up there recently received a telling blow from a powerful tornado! 

So why don’t we care eh? Because we’re selfish and greedy and not truly Christian-like! Let’s try and change that nuh by praying for those who are suffering from the recent ravages of the unpredictable and contrary weather, while helping in any other capacity that we can. That’s the Christian thing to do. And to help us do that, here is a prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled, ‘I Will Move…’ 

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 friends, therein lies the true way of life…in sincere partnership and cooperation with Almighty God, our Creator and Provider! Without Him in our lives we’re absolutely nothing! He made us, with a plan for every life, and He still controls them even though we have free will. Nothing happens in our lives without His knowledge and acceptance. 

Granted, some of the things He allows to happen are tough and burdensome, but those things are just tests and ways and means of building our faith, since we only grow during times of adversity. So if He didn’t allow adversarial things in our lives, we would just stay as Christian babies, forever drinking milk and not being able to eat solid food. (smile) 

And that’s not His plan. His plan is to have us all become strong and mature and adult in the faith – as Christ-like as His Son. But in keeping with that desire, our God is so wonderful that He never gives us more than we can bear, or if it seems so, He is always there to help us bear it. That’s why it’s ever so important to have meaningful and constant communication with Him through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Listen to Jesus tell it nuh: ‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman (vinedresser). Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through (because of) the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ (John 15:1-4) 

Oh friends, don’t you like how Jesus just puts it out there, without any fuss or fancy! And then He rubs it in further: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ 

And that’s oh so true my brethren! Without Jesus first and foremost in our lives we are incapable of producing much, if any positive fruit. But with Him taking a meaningful part in our lives, we abiding in Him, and He in us, oh, we’re capable of producing enormous amounts of good and wonderful fruit! 

And Jesus does not leave us wondering about what happens if we don’t abide in him, and He in us: ‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.’ (John 15:6) And the scholars tell us that that verse ‘refers to the judgement of believers at the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10).’ 

So basically speaking, ‘Jesus explains the divine-human relationship by the analogy of a grapevine. Jesus is like the main vine. The disciples are compared with branches. The Father tends the branches like a gardener. At that time of year, branches of grapevines would be budding in Jerusalem.’ 

So the disciples would have understood exactly what He meant. That’s another wonderful things about Jesus; His analogies are always about things that we can understand, things that are prevalent in our lives, so we don’t have to go wondering what He’s talking about. 

The long and short of the story friends, is that walking with Jesus involves constant movement and growth, no sitting on one’s laurels admiring one’s earlier successes. If you’re not bearing good fruit, then the Father will cut you off and throw you away. But even if you’re bearing good fruit, He will prune you occasionally so that you can bear even more fruit! So you’re in a no win situation! Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t! (smile) 

The Father requires constant growth and the bearing of much fruit, and He pursues His plan with great conviction and sense of purpose, therefore we need to pull up our britches and get with the programme, if we say we are, or want to be true believers! Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

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!’ 

Oh my people, let’s be wise and keep our eyes fixed steadfastly on Jesus nuh, and know that the future with Him will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…oh Jesus…oh Jesus…what would we do without you eh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.    ​This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be 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 thou shalt have good success.
 

 

And then it was Saturday, the first of June; somewhat sunny, but still a tad chilly. And the first order of business is to ask us to continue praying for our Scrip-Bit family member Alyssa. She came through the surgery successfully…Glory to God! And she thanks us all for our prayers, but she is having a difficult time with the pain, so it would be nice if we ask the Lord to help her in that respect; either reduce it, or give her the strength to handle it. 

And believe you me, I know what it is to be in pain after surgery, I’ve had enough of it to last me a lifetime! But the fact is that’s the only way we grow in our Christian faith; through difficult times, which teaches us to hold on tightly to the Lord and the awesome promises found in His Word. 

The problem with most of us believers is that we talk the faith very well, but don’t do it as well when the time calls for it. Anyway, let’s just pray for Alyssa and by faith, know and believe that He will help her. Remember, believing is the most important part of prayer. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And he sent us a whole slew this week, and some long ones as well! Hear this first one: ‘Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.’ 

Now that’s ever so obvious! You can’t have positive results with negative thoughts. And Positive Thinking is the way to go in this life, because Cousin Sol says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (Prov.23:7) And that’s gospel truth friends! However we think, that’s the way we will behave, that’s the direction in which we’ll go. 

And remember, the greatest positive thinker of all time was our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. How else would He imagine that He could come to earth, die for our sins, then expect us to lead others to Him eh? Only positive thinking at it’s highest pinnacle could cause Him to believe such an extraordinary thing. And since we’re supposed to have the mind of Jesus, then our thinking ought to be along positive lines too. 

That’s why this next quote is also true. ‘Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.’ Oh friends, this life is all about attitudes, our attitudes to life’s circumstances! If we have the right attitude, then we’ll be able to handle whatever comes against us, especially if we’re in concert with Jesus! 

And all of that segues quite nicely into this other quote: ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’ 

Mama Yo! Yuh ever see Jesus allow the li’l things to bother Him? No way! Is only when big things like the supposed people of God using His Father’s house of prayer as a den of iniquity, that He allows His anger to burst forth! (Matt.21:13) And talking about attitudes, hear this quote: ‘You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.’ 

Yes my brethren, the only smart and sensible way to see life is through rose coloured glasses. (smile) We have to consider our difficulties as opportunities to grow, or we’ll just stay and wallow in the mire of disaster and hopelessness all our earthly lives…And that’s definitely not what Jesus died for us to do! 

He gave His sinless life so that we could have a good, rich and abundant life, beginning right here on earth! But as always, in partnership with Christ, we have a part to do. And yes, our part is not always easy to do, but with Jesus by our side it is eminently doable. And He expects us to do it! 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.’ 

And I vividly remember that advice from one of Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) messages in his Hour of Power Devotional. He tells how one winter his father saw a tree that seemed dead and cut it down for firewood, but come the springtime, the remnants of that tree blossomed again, and his father gave him that same very sound advice. 

Oh friends, this world is so contrary and ungodly and evil, and brings so many negative things against us that it is difficult to do all that we need to do. That’s why we have to stay in constant contact with God, read, meditate and inwardly digest His amazing Word, which contains promises for every area of our earthly walk. It’s our Guidebook for LIVING; both here on earth and also in heaven for eternity, for it tells us what we’ll be doing then too! 

And it all comes right back to the Lord’s own unbeatable advice to Joshua long, long ago: ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be 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 thou shalt have good success.’ 

Ah mih breddren, that’s not new news! And we’re not prosperous and don’t have good success because we don’t practice what the Lord tells us! He is the Creator and Ruler of the universe, and if He tells us we need to do such and so to be successful in the life He’s planned and ordained for us, then why would we do otherwise eh? 

Because with our free will, we’ve become foolish and full of too much pride, and feel we know better than the One who created us and blew His breath of life into our feeble lungs! But as Jesus so simply and eloquently puts it: He that hath ears to hear…let him hear! Matter fix mih people! 

So let’s sit down today and do some serious and wise hearing nuh! It’s all for our own benefit! Much LOVE!

…mixed up moods and attitudes…only bring a mixed up and unsuccessful life…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And as always, I have to remind us that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others less fortunate than us! Much LOVE!

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

 

 

 

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