Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 October 2021 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).

Well, after two days of almost steady rain, it’s finally eased up. But everything is still wet,  and the skies are still dark, no sign of the sun, so who knows what’s going to happen next. The good thing though is that despite what we see or feel, or what may come our way, the wise thing to do is to stay with God! He controls everything and has promised to not allow more than we can bear to come upon us. He will give us the strength to overcome. A strength that we never knew we had. That’s why Bruh Paul says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And don’t forget this most marvellous promise either from Peter: ‘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.’ (2 Pet. 5:6-7) Yes friends, when things get rough, or we just don’t know what do, wisdom dictates that we lose our inherent pride and arrogance, and humble ourselves before our heavenly Father, because He cares for us, even more than our earthly parents. We have life in Him, there’s hope, a bright future, and the awesome promise never to leave nor forsake us! 

Oh my people, Jesus promised it in so many words: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20) So we have no reason to fear or feel lost in the turmoil of this current world. That is, if we put our lives in God’s hands, let Him lead and guide us through His Holy Spirit that indwells us. He is always there for us, but we have to go to Him, and stay with Him, fully believing that He can and will do all that He has promised. Remember, walking with God calls for faith, for trust and surrender. 

As Hebrews so clearly puts it: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (that He exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) And then you ask, what then is this faith you talk about? It’s just believing for things that you don’t see, things that God’s promised, and waiting expectantly for them. For as Hebrews wisely advises: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).’ (Heb. 10:23) 

Yes, my fellow believers, we very much need to stand strong in our faith, because life is never easy, therefore, we need someone more powerful than us to help us walk through it successfully. And who is more powerful than Jesus eh? NOBODY! He conquered hell, death and the grave through His triumphant resurrection on the Easter morning so long ago. That’s why He could make this amazing statement: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Oh my brethren, who else could make such a truthful statement eh? No one but Jesus, because He did exactly what He said! That means no matter what happens we can rest assured that God is working in our lives for our good. Bruh Paul told us that in his epistle to the church at Rome. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Yes my fellow saints, if we LOVE God, put our lives in His awesome hands and try our best to walk in faith with Him, then He will eventually work everything out for our good. 

So, though the rains pour down, the skies stay dark and life seems forsaken, do not believe that all is lost, for when Christ is in your life, nothing is ever lost! It might be misplaced for a while, but NEVER lost, because Jesus has faithfully promised that it won’t be. And He never makes idle promises. Why would Father God send His only Son to die on the cross that we might be forgiven, then leave us in the lurch after that eh? 

No way! Bruh Paul made that abundantly clear to the Roman church when he wrote: ‘What shall we then say to these things (that God has done for us through Jesus, like justification, sanctification and reconciliation)? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom. 8:31-32) 

That’s only common-sense friends. Why would God put Himself out for us, then just leave us to fend for ourselves afterwards eh? No reason whatsoever, since that’s not the kind of God He is. And Bruh Paul emphasizes that in his epistle to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) Oh, how wonderful that is my fellow believers; that the Lord will continue working in us, offering us His grace, LOVE and all that we need until Christ returns! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ Glory be, mih people! The Lord’s plans for us will not be thwarted! You can’t beat that news! But that means we must also play our part in the partnership. As James advises: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw night (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye doubleminded.’ (James 4:7-8) 

So friends,  our role is basically to stay close to God, and if we do, He will work everything out for our good. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to stay attached to God, let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong. As one strong, confident and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the upshot of that declaration (yeah!!!) is that we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him! Much LOVE!

…in Christ Jesus…there is relief from this sinful world…and eternal freedom in the next…                        

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2021 2 Corinthians 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.       For we walk by faith and not by sight.

And another summer Sunday is upon us, my dear friends in Christ! And you know that calls for praise and worship and thanksgiving to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider; the One who LOVES us unconditionally, LOVED us so much that He sent His Son to die on our behalf, that our sins could be forgiven and we could be adjudged righteous in His holy and glorious name. That’s why we praise and give Him thanks every Sunday. 

And today we’ll open with a very popular traditional gospel song titled ‘Just a Closer Walk with Thee.’ The precise author of the song is unknown, but obviously there are various theories. One holds that it goes right back to the days of slavery, sung by slaves as they laboured in the fields of the plantations in the Southern States of the U.S. of A. 

Another angle claims that Kenneth Morris an American composer, on a trip from Kansas City to Chicago, heard a porter singing the song at one of the train stops where he got off to get some fresh air. At that time, he did not pay much attention to it, but as he continued his trip the song just flooded his mind, and at the next stop, he got off the train and took another one back to the earlier station. He had the porter sing the song for him, and he wrote down the words and music. Then in 1940, after adding some of his own lyrics to add more breadth, he published the song. 

Now it does seem that Morris did arrange and publish the song for the first time, but another theory says that happened only after a group of musicians heard a live version in Kansas City and then brought it to Morris’ attention. The long and short of the story though is that it soon became a gospel standard, a Jazz standard and a part of American folk music. However, it is agreed that the first recording was done by the Selah Jubilee singers on October 8, 1941, in New York city. 

And now that we have some idea of its history, (smile) let’s sing an up-tempo version, a la Anne Murray, not like the traditional dirge renditions in new Orleans jazz funerals. In full, sweet, harmonious voice, with the appropriate background vocals, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise to heaven. ‘I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. 

(Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. [Refrain] When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. [Refrain].’ 

That’s oh so refreshing my people! There’s nothing better in this life than a steady walk with Jesus. And that all started right at the very beginning when the Lord told the 99-year-old Abram: ‘I am the Almighty God (El Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect (blameless).’ (Gen. 17:1) One translation says: ‘Walk before the Lord in a way that is pleasing to Him.’ And that’s the God awesome truth! We ought to walk before our God and Creator and heavenly Father in a manner that pleases Him, not the lewd, lustful and ungodly way that so many of us walk nowadays. 

And the scholars tell us that the title of the song and the lyrics allude to these two verses of scripture. The first one is this popular verse: ‘For we walk by faith and not by sight.’ (2 Cor. 5:7) And that’s a foundational scripture friends, since in the Lord’s economy seeing is not believing, walking by faith and trust in His promises and power is what He expects of us. That’s the realization of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

And the second scripture verse is another popular one: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ (James 4:8a) And I want to add this other verse that seems ever so appropriate. ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ James 4:10) Yes friends, if we don’t humble ourselves before the Lord, He certainly won’t lift us up, neither down here on earth, nor to heaven. (smile) 

Now here is this interesting commentary from the website Hymnary.org. ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even such an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace after he asked the Lord three times to remove the thorn from his flesh: “But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

And Paul’s response to that was brilliant: ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10) 

Oh my people, regardless of how mature we are in Christ, it is impossible for us to walk righteously, properly, blamelessly or in a pleasing manner before the Lord without His anointing, His grace supporting us. Please, let’s always remember that. It’s His amazing grace that keeps us walking this earth, and without it, we are done like dinner! That means every day we must give God thanks and ask for His grace to do His will, to walk worthy of Him. Much LOVE!

…only as we walk in faith…will we be anointed with grace…                                                                                               

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2020 Psalm 51:10.

Psalm 51:10.     ​Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.

Ah friends, it’s so true that if it isn’t one thing, then it’s another, and when one thing happens, another soon follows it. Steups! I already got up late then I had some computer problems…possibly because I didn’t know what I was doing. (smile) But the enemy never makes it easy, he’s always trying to get in a word edgewise or a toehold somewhere. But don’t worry, we going to drive the ole fool right outa town because after all these years of going to and fro about the earth, he still hasn’t learned the gospel truth that faith conquers fear and anxiety each and every time! 

And though the sunny Saturday has opened somewhat on the rough side, we going to bring it right into line with God’s Word and get the victory He has so faithfully promised. Glory Hallelujah! So let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week as he aspires to inspire us for tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.’ Now if that isn’t the awesome truth, I don’t know what is nuh! 

Oh my people, our world is in such a mess, such a state of uproar and dissension, of strife, resentment, anger and hatred, like we’ve never seen it before that there is a whole lotta room for improvement. And the sad part is that what we’re seeing is only the half of it, because a whole lot more negative emotions are quietly seething below the surface and could break out any day, any time now in full blown violence and war. 

And that helps us segue right into the next quote. ‘Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.’ Now that applies so perfectly to our world that it’s not funny. We can’t measure the amount of unrest, dissension, distrust and division that’s currently running riot in our world, so how can we control it eh? 

In fact, it seems that things are daily getting more out of control. The worldwide unhappiness that’s been seething like the magma (molten rock and gas) of a boiling volcano for so long, is now rising in a groundswell of public outcry and indignation! The volcano that’s our world is bubbling and boiling, with pre-eruption lava already flowing down the sides, and who knows when the whole thing is going to erupt eh? That brings us to this next quote: ‘Don’t say it cannot be done, rather say, you don’t know how to do it yet.’ 

Ah friends, a lot of us are saying that our world cannot be saved, because we don’t how to fix it. But we believers ought never to say that because we know that with Christ ALL THINGS are possible, and we can do ALL THINGS through Him, who strengthens us! Mamacita! What a blessing and Saviour He is to us! The logic here now is simply this: if all things are possible with Christ, and He gives us strength to do all things, then the solution to our worldwide problem is to turn en masse, like one big, full body to Christ, with repentance and thanksgiving! 

But the enemy doesn’t want that, that’s why he’s fighting tooth and nail to keep the volcano bubbling and boiling hoping that it would erupt and turn things in his negative, warlike favour. That’s not going to happen though, because Christ’s army of saints are going to stand strong in Christ and fight tooth and nail to defeat the divisive enemy! Glory be! 

Now listen to this next quote: ‘If you can’t reward then you should thank.’ And that makes sense. If you can’t reward someone for what they’ve done, then the next best thing is to thank them. Hopefully they’ll understand. Although the way our society is greedy and selfish nowadays, many won’t. Instead they’ll clamour for a tangible reward. But there’s one person who will never do that, who will be ever grateful for just our thanks. That’s our Lord God Jehovah! 

Yes, He doesn’t want, or rather we can’t give him a reward, since everything in the world belongs to Him, but He does want to hear our thanks for all He’s done, is doing and has promised to do for us. That’s all He really desires from us. That’s why Bruh Paul repeatedly told us about the giving of thanks. ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:18) ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;’ (Eph. 5:20) 

But yuh know my people, giving thanks is only possible when one thing is present. Our last quote tells it: ‘Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing… a grateful heart.’ Yes mih bredrin, only when we have a grateful heart is the giving of thanks truly possible! And that’s’ why our world is in such turmoil; there aren’t enough grateful hearts in it. That brings us to this most important point; a truly grateful heart can only be obtained through sincere communication and reverence with the Lord. That’s why there are so many scriptures about the heart in His Word. 

Why yuh think Bruh David desired the Lord after he repented of his sin with Bathsheba – ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) Because when our hearts are of full of unrepentant sin, we can’t be truly grateful. And remember too what the Lord told Samuel when he sent him to anoint Bruh David as the next king of Israel and Samuel was looking at the outward appearances of Jesse’s sons. ‘For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7b) 

And that’s why James, Christ’s brother warns us so passionately: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded… Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8, 10) Oh my people, I don’t think we can have a better scripture to ponder on this Saturday morning. So let’s do that nuh. Much LOVE!

…see that ye LOVE one another…with a pure heart…fervently… (1 Pet. 1:22) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2020 James 4:8a.

James 4:8a.    ​Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. 

Well it’s a wet, still and gloomy Wednesday morning… and it ought to be after the majestic thunderstorm we experienced around ten thirty last night. Yeh friends, all the heavy hitters were out: Thor had the heavens rumbling ominously with thunder, while the lightning flashes lit up the dark night sky like daylight, and the rain poured down in heavenly filled buckets! It was a wonderful spectacle, as it always is when the heavens put on a real show. It’s something that man is not even able to come close to approximating, much less beating. 

That just shows where the ultimate power lies – in heaven, not on earth. (smile) And that’s why it is ever so important to be in close contact with, have strong communication with the powers of heaven, like this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin advocates. And it is most appropriately titled ‘Intimate Closeness.’ Please pray with me: ‘You promise, dear God That when I draw close to You You will draw close to me. Lord, I give myself to You unreservedly. Teach me more and more Of intimate closeness And fill my heart with You alone. To walk arm-in-arm with You Down every winding path Seems to me The dearest of all delights.’ 

And so indeed it is my dear friends and saints in Christ! There’s no better companion in any walk or path of life than Almighty God Himself! For He is the First and Last; the Alpha and Omega, the Creator and Ruler of All that exists! So who better can we ever choose to walk with eh? That’s why James, when he talks about worldliness and pride, lambastes us thus: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is the enemy (makes himself an enemy) of God.’ (James 4:4) 

And the scholars explain that verse: ‘4:4. As Israel was a spiritual adulteress, unfaithful to God, so the church is a spiritual adulteress when she is the unfaithful bride of Christ (cf. Hos. 2:5, 19-20; Matt. 12:39). One cannot be both a LOVER of God and a LOVER of the world.’ That’s putting it very plainly my brethren, though some unwise or foolish ones of us try to live with one foot in the world and the other in the kingdom of Christ, but it’s a physical impossibility, we can’t straddle both places at once! Yes, some of us like to play both sides against the middle, and that might work in the world, but definitely not in Christ’s kingdom. 

And as James wisely continues: ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth (yearns jealously) to envy?’ (James 4:5) Oh yes it certainly does! Just look around at our envious, jealous and greedy world nuh! Then James abandons the negative aspect of his exhortation, gets positive, and tells us of God’s good work, quoting Cousin Sol’s words in Prov. 3:34. ‘But he giveth more grace; Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ (James 4:6) 

Now that’s the gospel truth friends, for God despises the proud, since they tend to have no time for or need of Him. But the humble… He greets them with open arms and ever so generously pours out grace, His underserved and unmerited favour, in and on their lives. Wow! Then James gets to the meat of his subject and strongly and wisely advises us to: 

‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) 

Oh friends, if there’s one thing this generation needs more than anything else it’s humility! Our pride has reached such incendiary levels that it’s burning us up and we don’t even realize it. Our level of technology and evolution has made everybody a genius… Hn! We don’t need anybody else; me, myself and I, are the most popular pronouns today! No wonder there’s such little togetherness and so much division, even in Christ’s church. And the only way our world will heal, that includes the church, is by turning to God, not away from Him. Becoming humble in His sight, not trying to run Him out of town! 

Why? As the scholars explain. ‘But he giveth more grace is literally “greater grace” (Gr. meizona). God gives grace that is greater than the world attraction of verse 4 and the inner lust of verse 5 ( Rom. 5:20), and so can withstand both.’ Yes mih people, the only way to withstand the devil and his lustful and prideful temptations is by seeking the greater grace of God. 

Listen to how the scholars explain it nuh. ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6. Resist the devil: Do not submit to fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet. 5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam. 3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps. 24:3-4).’ 

So it must my brethren, especially in these dangerous and turbulent times. It will also be of great benefit to us to read those scriptures mentioned above. (smile) So, for those of us who are trying to keep humble and seek God’s grace, let’s go home now declaring (oh yes!) our Wednesday Wail, telling of our wonderful situation in Christ Jesus! In strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘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 we know that if we endure steadfastly to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…but where sin abounded…grace did much more abound… (Rom. 5:20b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2019 James 4:7.

James 4:7.   ​Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
 

Beautiful…white and beautiful…but oh so dangerous…slippery like and eel…and treacherous and deceptive like the serpent who personifies our enemy Satan! That’s the snow covering our neighbourhood this Friday morning! (smile) And sadly, we in the northern climes are bracing ourselves for even more of the white stuff because we’ve been promised a major snowstorm this weekend. 

Let’s hope the duchess and I just have to stay inside and look at it and admire its beauty, but don’t have to venture forth in it, cause remember we’re not as mobile and steady as we once were, we’re not spring chickens any longer…but contrary to popular opinion we’re NOT old, just advanced in years! (smile) So for all of you in the wintry climes, remember, as the man says, if you don’t HAVE to go out, then DON’T go out! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself this winter’s morn. And I like how he’s ever so enthusiastic, regardless of the circumstances: ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend is here, which means is time to party! And though they calling for plenty snow, yuh think a li’l thing like snow going to stop me from enjoying mih li’l two days off from the slave master work? 

No way Jose! My time is my time, my time to enjoy whatever catches mih fancy! And if ah want to play in the snow, I’ll play in the snow. But if I just want to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire and sip something strong and warm, then that’s what I’ll do! It’s freedom time, come the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes in this ungodly capitalist society!’ 

Now there’s a wonderful idea for this snowy weekend; cuddle up in front of a roaring fire with a hot toddy and just commune with whoever you’re with and with God! Let the world go by however it wants to, since there’s nothing you can do about it. Just luxuriate in the warmth of your home and the comforting LOVE of your wonderful God! 

And all of God’s children declared (right ho) a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Praise Him and give Him much thanks for His undeserving goodness and mercy to us!’ Yeh friends, we must NEVER forget the goodness of God in our lives, for it’s the ONLY thing that keeps us from an even more miserable existence. 

Now let’s respond to the workingman’s exuberance with our more controlled Friday Chant. Chanting in unison: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes mih people, it’s not as exuberant and fun LOVING as the workingman’s song, but it suits our purposes very well, reminding us of our purpose down here on earth, to work for Jesus, and helping us to stay out of the clutches of the ever-hovering enemy. And as true believers, we like it! Glory be! Anything that keeps us out of Satan’s evil grasp is certainly welcome! 

That’s why friends, we have to pay particular attention to James’ warning: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’  Yes my brethren, there are two things we need to do to stay out of the enemy’s clutches. The first is submit ourselves to God; then actively resist Satan’s advances! And we know that in this world he’s always lurking around offering lust and pride and other immoral and ungodly ways of life. 

But as James continues: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8-10) 

And the scholars offer this explanation re the above verses: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 (worldliness and pride). Resist the devil: Do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3: 57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’ 

Oh friends, please check out those scriptures, for they all show God’s welcoming hand to all who turn to Him. And we’ll close with these inspiring, reassuring and warning words from Peter on the subject. (smile) ‘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. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5: 6-11) 

Oh my people, we could not ask for more fervent and reassuring scripture this cold, snowy Friday January morning! So please let’s take it to heart and follow it nuh! That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…submitting to God…resisting Satan… 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2018 James 4:8a

James 4:8a.   Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.

Well it’s that special time again friends; time to visit the house of God and give Him thanks through sincere praise and worship, in the company of fellow believers. It’s always a great time, both here on earth and in heaven when believers get together to sing the Lord’s praises, hear His Word and have their spirits renewed and refreshed. 

The celebration is remarkable, as all heaven gets together too, to watch and participate in their own way! And you know we always like to begin the proceedings with a song of praise to get us in the mood and soften up our hard hearts. Today’s song is the well-known hymn, ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ It’s strange, but there doesn’t seem to be any agreement on who wrote the song or where it first originated.  

But it’s a very appropriate song for believer’s needs, as one commentator says: ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor.12:9a, 10b) 

And is that ever so true, for without God’s grace and guidance our lives would not be worth even the proverbial ‘plugged nickel!’ So let’s open out hearts and mouths, and lift our hands and eyes to heaven and entreat our Lord and Saviour to generously and compassionately offer us a closer walk with Him, for without Him at our side we’re simply bound for Hades and eternal damnation. 

Altogether now my people, let’s raise the roof of the sanctuary with our sweet voices, and let our prayerful requests rise to heaven in song. ‘I am weak, but Thou art strong, Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) 

Through this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.).’ 

Oh friends, that sure was powerful, but also very sincere! And I’m positive that our requests reached the listening ear of Jesus and He immediately instructed the angels to do exactly as we asked. And they have done it, because I can feel the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour moving dramatically in me, strengthening me and reassuring me that everything will be okay, because He’s always near and will never leave nor forsake me. 

And I’m sure that you my fellow believers have also received the same message, because I can see the light of Christ shining in your eyes, with a Moses-like glow on your faces, and your bodies are now standing straight and strong. Ah mih people, that’s the wonderful effect God’s power, through His Spirit, will have on us when we reach out in all sincerity to Him. 

They say that the title and lyrics of this song allude to the Biblical passage from 2 Cor.5:7 which states, “We walk by faith and not by sight,” which we talked about a couple days ago. And also to our Bit for today: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Throughout the Good Book our God repeatedly tells us to come to Him, for succour, and comfort. We see it early on when Moses tells the Israelites about turning from their evil ways if they ever become idol worshippers. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut.4:29) 

Ah friends, that’s the real crux of the matter; not only seeking God, but also doing so with true sincerity. For remember God judges us by the state of our hearts, not by our outward show. And Bruh David tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:10) And friends, He NEVER WILL! 

And Bruh David practiced what he preached.’ When thou saidst, seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.’ (Ps.27:8) Meanwhile through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord said to the Israelites about their return from captivity in Babylon: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken (listen) unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

There again my fellow believers, that proviso of seeking God with all your heart, if you want to find Him. You can seek Him in any state, He’ll take you just as you are, but your heart must be right, be truly repentant. And let’s not forget Azariah’s warning to king Asa. ‘The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) That says it all friends! So please, let’s be wise and heed all those warnings nuh! Much LOVE!

…if we want to have a steady walk with God…then we must have a steady heart for God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2017 Psalm 73:28.

Psalm 73:28.   But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

And then it was Sunday: the first day of the week, where we slow down, take time to smell the roses and gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to offer Him our grateful praise and worship, and in return receive health, wealth and the ability to face the upcoming week with courage and confidence. 

Wow! What a mouthful! But a true mouthful! And all God’s people declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord for His wonderful goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

And on that glorious note, let’s offer up some sacrifice of our lips by sincerely belting out this favourite old hymn, ‘Just as I am.’ So in loud voice and sincere belief, let’s raise our voices to heaven. 

‘Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come! Just as I am, and waiting not To rid my soul of one dark blot; To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, though tossed about With many a conflict, many a doubt; Fightings within, and fears without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! 

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; Sight, riches, healing of the mind; Yes, all I need, in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, Thy love unknown Has broken every barrier down; Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!’ 

Yeh friends, it doesn’t matter what state we are in, our wonderful Saviour will accept us just we are. You know some places you have to clean up before they’ll accept you, but not with the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s looking for you at your worst possible state, because that’s one of the reasons he came to earth, to save the poor and needy, the sick and downtrodden. 

He is the ONLY One who declares that you can come to Him just as you are. And believe me, you won’t be wise if you don’t accept His wonderful invitation.  ‘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 my brethren, every time I hear that beautiful piece of scripture, my heart just jumps for joy, knowing that I have such marvellous person to turn to in my troubles and times of need. All glory be to God for Jesus Christ! 

Anyway, before we get into our Bit, let me apologize for my typo yesterday. I don’t know how many of you noticed it, but instead of saying ‘you reap what you sow,’ I wrote ‘you sow what you reap.’ Technically speaking it’s the same thing, since you can only reap what you sow. (smile) 

And our Bit just reiterates the ideas we have declared in our hymn, and in the Great Invitation of Jesus.  ‘But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ 

Now why wouldn’t I put my trust in the Creator and Controller of the universe eh? Why would I put it in the foolish and deceitful rascal who tried to dethrone God and now aimlessly walks the earth backed by a façade of evil and deception, until the Lord is ready to immerse him in the lake of fire? I’m sorry friends, but as for me and mine, we’re rooting for Jesus! 

Now hear James, the half-brother of Christ, who like a lot of Christ’s family, did not believe until the end of His earthly ministry. Listen as James talks about worldliness and pride. ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy (yearns jealously)? But he giveth more grace; Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 

Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:5-10) 

Oh my fellow believers, God gives us more grace than any of the world’s attractions or the lusts in our spirits, which means we can withstand both of them. 

And the scholars explain the last three verses thus: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6. Resist the devil: do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead (one) into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’  

The only advice I can give after reading all of that friends, is to read those references given in the scholars note. I just did, and believe me they are invaluable, they just strengthen your spirit and help you to better understand the Lord’s word. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…