Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2019 Luke 4:24.

Luke 4:24.   ​And he said unto them, Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
 

And it continues, seemingly unabated…Yes friends, I’m talking about the iron grip that the soul, body, spirit and mind numbing cold spell currently has on most of North America! Brother! It’s something like minus 23 degrees Celsius in my area. In one part of Minnesota yesterday they said it was minus forty, not Celsius, but Fahrenheit. 

Can you imagine what walking around in that weather is like? Give you a li’l example; yesterday evening I took my fresh self and went across the street to get the mail from the communal mail boxes, and would you believe that by the time I got back from the say twenty yards walk, two minutes exposure, I was coughing and hacking like nobody’s business. And the message for all you people down in the southland, where it’s always nice and warm, is please stay there! 

I know that plenty of you want to come a foreign because you believe that it’s so wonderful, but it’s not really as wonderful as you believe and your friends and family don’t just go out and pick up money from the street or the trees so that they can afford to send you all the setta money and expensive foolishness that you all ask for. If you don’t have a work down there, you can at least plant something and stay alive. Up here, if you don’t have a job, nobody gives you much of anything. 

And believe me, you have it real good down there yes. For when it rains you can call and tell the boss it raining, so you not coming to work. Up here though, in all the ice and snow yuh can’t call and tell them it snowing or too icy for you to come in, else most likely that’s the last phone call you’ll make to that number. You get my drift? (smile) 

And I recently saw a video that hit the nail on the head. This Jamaican fella, dressed to the hilt in his snow clothes pleading to his people back home not to send and ask for anything before March, and not the beginning of March, but the end, because it so and so cold, and he has to go out and work in it, and it not easy… so please doh send and beg for anything before the end of March! 

And I think that’s a very good idea for us to adopt because it really hard and unfair to the people up here working their tail of in the cold to send back money and stuff for their people lazing and lounging in the sunshine waiting for the big barrel to roll in or the call to go to Western Union! Steups! I guess by now you know my take on the situation; it’s totally ridiculous! I’m blessed I don’t have any family or friends who behave that way. Thank you yes Lord! 

And now that I’ve finished my rant, what’s next eh? (smile) And I think we’re going to talk a li’l about criticism today. Now Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller – Hour of Power Programme) says that ‘Criticism is training: a temporary opportunity for a permanent gift.’ And so it is, if you are wise enough to accept the criticism for whatever it’s worth. 

You’ll never get anywhere, be successful at anything without coming under some form of criticism, whether it be good or bad, and you need to develop a sense of resilience to it, if you want to truly succeed. Like someone else said: ‘To avoid criticism: Say nothing, do nothing, be nothing…’ So there you have the two options available; be damned if you do, and also be damned if you don’t! So what’s it going to be eh? 

As believers in Christ we’re expected to do and be damned! In other words roll with the punches, but get the job done. I don’t believe any of us will ever be criticized as much as Jesus was, and yet He persevered. Even His own family rejected His claim of being the Messiah. Look at how they treated Him in His hometown of Nazareth nuh. 

This Sabbath day He got up to read the scriptures in the synagogue there and read Isaiah 49:8-9 where he wrote: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (oppressed). To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ (Luke 4:18-19) Then He told them: ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (hearing).’ (Luke 4:21) 

And they were all filled with wonder at his wisdom, but then they reasoned: ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’ (Luke 4:22b) And it all went downhill from there, especially when Jesus declared: ‘Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.’ And isn’t that the living truth! People of fame and success are much less appreciated in their own homes and hometowns than elsewhere in the world. 

And Jesus made it even worse by telling them about the three years and six months of famine in Israel in Elijah’s time, that though there were many widows in Israel at the time, he was sent to a widow in Sarepta (Zarephath) a city in Sidon, outside of Israel. He also told them about the many lepers in Israel at the time of Elisha, but only Naaman the Syrian was healed. (Luke 4:25-27) 

And the response to Jesus words? The Good Book says: And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath (rage), and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way.’ (Luke 4:28-30) Can you imagine it my brethren, Jesus’ own people in His hometown of Nazareth, so enraged by His words, trying to cast Him over the nearby cliffs! 

Now I don’t think that many of us who want to work for Jesus will face such craziness, but we will face serious criticism from all around, even our friends and families, but like Jesus, please don’t let it stop us. Just imagine our position now nuh, if Jesus had succumbed to the overwhelming criticism that He faced in His three years of ministry! Now we’d be like crapaud done smoke we pipe! So let’s be strong and hang in there and do His work, so that we can be ultimately blessed with our Thursday Blessings. 

In strong voice and plenty faith, let’s declare (right ho) them: ‘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!’ 

Now it’s time to go out and share those wonderful blessings with the less fortunate! Much LOVE!

…to successfully work for Jesus…one must have plenty belly and backbone…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2018 James 5:16b.

James 5:16b.   The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.

Aye mih people, it looks like a glorious day is in the offing in my neighbourhood! Glory to God! But all of us are not that blessed, like the people of North Carolina who are expecting Florence, a category 4 hurricane to bombard them sometime soon. 

But all most of us can do is pray for them. So let’s do that nuh! Let’s plead with the Lord to lessen the power of the storm, lessen His wrath, and even turn it away from making landfall, because we definitely don’t need any more devastation than what we already have. 

What does the Good Book say? ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are (with a nature like ours), and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth fruit.’ (James 5:16 18) 

Yeh friends, that’s the power of prayer…unless the Lord is really tired and fed up with our sinful and ungodly shenanigans. Who knows? But as Bruh Paul wisely advised the Philippians: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) 

Then to the Thessalonians he said: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) That means prayer is ever so important my brethren! In fact it’s the most powerful tool we believers have in our arsenal. Yuh see, that even when you put on the armour of God, it’s not effective unless prayer accompanies it. (Eph.6:18) 

And we’re ever so blessed through Christ’s obedience to God’s will, that as joint heirs with Him, we can ‘come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Oh what a wonderful blessing and privilege that is my fellow believers! 

But we need to be careful, for when the Good Book says boldly, it doesn’t mean brash, bold face and arrogant, but with confidence and a suitable amount of humility because we’re going before Almighty God, the Creator and Controller of the universe and we must know our place. (smile) 

I like how the scholars put it: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus) The throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

And do we ever need God’s grace and mercy in these sinful and ungodly times friends! So prayer should be uppermost in our lives, even more than usual. It’s the only way we have to communicate with our sovereign God. So please let’s get busy nuh! 

But along with the prayer must come some repentance and desire to stop being as sinful as we are and be obedient to God’s will. We obviously can’t be as obedient as Jesus was, because of our inherent sinful nature, but we all know that we can be better, even we believers can be much better. And if we are better and the world sees it, then the world will become better too. 

And that’s all we’re seeking my brethren; the betterment of the world, through our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus! That’s why He came to earth and sacrificed His sinless life, and asked those who believe in Him to help Him make the world a better place. We surely aren’t doing that by our less than true Christian behaviour, not walking out talk like we should, and making the world turn away from Jesus, even to the point of blaspheming Him. 

That’s not right my people! As His disciples and ambassadors we have a bounden duty to show the world, through our lives, the vast merits and benefits available in turning to Him for salvation, care, comfort and eternal life! 

Hn, hn, hn! Ah mih people, it’s one of those days when the Holy Spirit just let the ole fella loose to do his thing. So I hope it all makes sense. I guess what I’m trying to advocate is the great importance of and need for prayer in our daily lives, both as individuals and as the church, the body of Christ, especially in these sinful end times. 

Remember the last time the world got so sinful, in the days of Noah, that the Lord couldn’t take anymore and He destroyed it by flood? And yes, He promised Noah that ‘the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.’ (Gen.9:15b) But friends, the Lord never promised not to destroy the world again, just not by water. 

So let’s wake up and smell the caffeine nuh; it’s percolating ever so strongly right below our very noses All is not right in our world, far from it, and we need to come to God in repentance without further ado, for who knows how much longer He will withhold His wrath on this evil world of ours? 

Now let’s go home now declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our position in Christ. 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!’ 

Oh friends, I implore us to think seriously on the matters we’ve spoken about and open up our hearts sincerely to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, for He is the ONLY answer to our many problems. Much LOVE!

…the future won’t be glorious for many of us…if we don’t repent and come to God …NOW…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2018 Psalm 69:30.

Psalm 69:30.   I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Awright mih breddren, it’s Sunday once again, but a white one. I thought now was spring with all the beauty of nature set to erupt from the cold ground. But that’s not the reality of the situation, for from yesterday morning we’ve been grounded by an ice storm. And like it’s hit some of the U.S. Midwest too. 

All day long I could hear the ice pellets hitting against the windowpanes. And don’t be fooled by the covering of snow on top. It’s a solid ice foundation, which is even worse than the pure snow, very deceptive like our spiritual enemy. And it hasn’t stopped as yet. So please be careful if you venture out there today. 

I know that I’m not venturing out there for LOVE nor for money. Not in my mash-up state. (smile) I’m not even going to church this morning, I doubt my car tires can handle the traction, or lack thereof, and I know that the Lord will understand. They haven’t even cleaned the roads in the area. Saw one truck go up the road a while ago cleaning one half of the road. 

But friends that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate and praise our wonderful God and hear His reassuring word. And today I have a special treat to open our praise and worship, it’s an old Soca song from way back in 1985, called Magnificat, by the Calypsonian Penguin. I think it’s rather appropriate to be played in churches as what nowadays they call Contemporary Music. 

Google it and you’ll see what I’m talking about. And though you may not like the music, you can’t find any fault with the words, which are very appropriate for this Easter Season. So without further ado let’s burst into praiseful song with the ‘Magnificat’, in an easy rocking Soca melody. 

Listen to the intro of bells, organ and crackling guitar…then shout out: ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!’ Now sing it again: ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!’ 

Now let’s extol the praises of our God: ‘With joyous voices, my spirit rejoices. And my soul has soared, to magnify my Lord. For He took me so humble, And He made me His vessel. Oh yes, He chose me from all the rest. Nations from east and west will know I have been truly blessed.’ 

(Chorus: For He that is mighty has done great things, I can claim, Oh yes, He is risen, mighty, glory is His name. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah! – Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah! (2)} 

From generation, unto generation, He has been the same, to all who hear His name. Never vengeful nor angry, He keeps showing His mercy, a mercy that comes from up above, filled with His precious LOVE. It’s a mercy I can tell you of. (Chorus: For He that is mighty…) 

And pride and conceit, from right in their front seat, with His arm so strong, the Master pull them down. Those who rich and have plenty, He send them away empty. But from the poor He don’t turn His face, Fills them with LOVING grace, And raise the humble to high place. (Chorus: For He that is mighty…) 

He has received well, His good servant Israel. If you serve Him true, He will receive you too. Just like he spoke to Jonah, Abraham and Elijah, He still talks to us everyday, In His own special way, Listen and you’ll hear what He says. (Chorus: For that he is mighty…. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah…!’  

Oh friends, what beautiful music and words of exaltation to our wonderful God. I know heaven was dancing and singing along with us. And I was listening to the song and rocking along while I was typing it. (smile) Now that brings us to our Bit; exciting words from Bruh David: ‘I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.’ 

Ah mih people, although I believe we might have used that Bit recently, I thought it was the most appropriate one for the ‘Magnificat.’ For our God LOVES nothing more than to hear us praise Him and give Him thanks for all He’s done for us, since that’s one of the reasons He created us. And I don’t think we do that sufficiently, or when we do, with a sincere enough heart. We seem to take Him and His LOVING-kindness too much for granted. 

But that’s wrong my brethren, because it’s only by His great mercy and precious LOVE that we still exist in this sinful, ungodly world. That means we ought to pay much more attention to our praise and worship if we truly want to reap the fruits that the Lord has set aside for us. 

As Bruh David says in his prayer for God’s help: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ (Ps.28:7) 

Oh friends, we can perform no greater oblation to our magnificent and magnanimous God, than giving Him endless thanks and praise.

And we’ll close with some more appropriate words from Bruh David. ‘But I have trusted in thy mercy (LOVING-kindness); my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.’ (Ps.13:5-6) 

And that’s no lie my fellow believers, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with all of us, so let’s praise Him joyfully nuh and rejoice in His salvation, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…from the mouths and hearts of believers…ought to come unbidden…oodles of praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2017 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).

Ah friends, it’s just been one of those crazy nights and mornings. Steups! I went to bed at a decent hour, fell asleep, then got up about an hour later. 

Obviously I refused to get out of the bed, because I’m supposed to be resting (smile) so I turned and tossed, fell asleep again, then repeated the whole manoeuvre once more. 

The sad part is that when it was really time to get up, I couldn’t, the sleep had me all wrapped up then. And when I did get up, I felt all lousy and drowsy, so I had to spend some time catching myself. And that’s why the Bit is so late. 

I had even contemplated going to church this morning, but obviously that never happened. So on this cold Sunday morning let’s offer up some praise and worship to get us ready for the hearing of the word. Let’s raise the roof with this musical tribute to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

In full voice now: ‘Crown Him with many crowns, The lamb upon the throne: Hark! How the heav’nly anthem drowns All Music but its own! Awake, my soul, and sing Of Him who died for thee, And hail him as thy matchless King Through all eternity. 

Crown Him with many crowns Crown Him with many crowns Crown Him the Lord of Heav’n: One with the Father known. One with the Spirit through Him giv’n From yonder glorious throne. To Thee be endless praise. For Thou hast died for me; 

Be Thou, O Lord, through endless days Adored and magnified Adored and magnified Crown Him with many crowns His glories now we sing, Who died and rose on high, Who died eternal life to bring And, lives that death may die. Crown Him with many crowns.’ 

Ah my fellow believers, Jesus Christ is indeed worthy of many crowns, since He is indeed King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! He is also worthy to be adored and magnified for the selfless sacrifice He made on the cross of Calvary on our behalf. He died so that we might live… 

Wow! What an awesome and amazing gesture! So I really can’t understand why so many people turn away from Him, blaspheme His holy name and revile Him is such despicable ways. But yuh know what, they’ll all get their comeuppance one day. 

In the meanwhile, we who truly believe, let’s continue to praise and glorify Him with all out hearts, minds, bodies and souls! And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

That brings us to our Bit, one of the most famous verses of the Good Book. ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).’ 

What an amazing line! It captures the whole essence of our God and our awesome relationship to Him! Simply stated, it means our God will guide us safely and provide us with all necessities. Glory Be! That can truthfully be said of no other deity. 

Then Bruh David expatiates further, expands the wonder of the Lord even more. ‘He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (pastures of tender green grass): he leadeth me beside the still waters (waters of rest).’ (Ps:23:2) 

Oh friends, I can think about so many still waters and pastures green that I could be currently resting beside in sweet Tobago! (smile) 

‘He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.’ (Ps.23:3) What can be better than all that eh mih people? Nothing really! 

It reminds me of how the Lord, in a time of drought, sent the prophet Elijah to hide by the brook of Cherith, where he rested, was fed by the ravens and his soul restored. (1 Kin.17:2-7) Oh how mighty and faithful is our God! 

And if all of that wasn’t sufficient, Bruh David adds this very crucial statement. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) 

Mama Mia! What wonderful assurance my brethren! Even though I’m going through some sad and deathly looking times, I won’t be afraid! Glory Hallelujah! Because like a true shepherd, the Lord’s rod and staff will protect and comfort me, even in the most evil of days. 

Yuh know what friends? I think we’ll stop there for today and give us time to ruminate on all we’ve said so far. I don’t want to push our short attention spans, (smile) but there is much more to be said. 

So tomorrow, the Lord in favour, we’ll continue studying one of the two most popular and beloved passages of scripture. The other one is ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’ 

Please, let’s spend sometime today meditating on the Lord’s word, and in particular, His shepherd-like qualities towards us, His wonderful adopted children. That will most certainly bring us comfort and joy and restore our souls! Much LOVE!

…in earthly pastures green…by quiet and soothing waters…my soul finds heavenly rest…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2016 Matthew 17:5

Matthew 17:5.  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye (listen) to him.  

Well Friends, it’s Sunday once again; time for us to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary and worship and praise Him with joyful voices. Hope you are either there now, have gone already, like me, or are preparing to go at some time in the day. Remember it’s where we get our weekly anointing to be able to carry out our godly duties in the ungodly world in which we now live.

Ah mih people, I certainly enjoyed the church service at my Tobago St. Francis church. Not that I don’t enjoy and appreciate the one at my Canadian St. Francis, but this one has more of a West Indian flavour, where you are a little more involved. There’s no organist or choir, that means most of it is left up to the congregation to get involved…

And do they get involved! You have to, otherwise the service will fall flat on its face. And you should hear the ole fella singing hymns and shaking his tambourine, having read the first lesson, like I usually do back in Canada, at the early morning service.

Now today is Transfiguration Sunday. Jesus was about to set off for Jerusalem to fulfill His mission, and this was a sort of reinvigoration, a strengthening of His sense of purpose. Jesus took Peter, James and John (his top men) up a high mountain. ‘And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment (clothes) was white as the light.

And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ (Matt.17:2-4)

Yeh Friends, it’s obvious that the disciples did not understand what was really going on, and Mark tells us that Peter was only talking because he was so afraid, he did not know what else to say (Mark 9:6)

But as our Bit states: ‘While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye (listen) to him.

And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man save (except) Jesus.’ (Matt.17:5-8)

Can you imagine the confusion and fear between the three men? One moment they see their teacher’s face and clothes change; the first glistens like the sun and the second is white as snow.

Then two long dead prophets appear from nowhere and begin conversing with their teacher. Then they are covered by a cloud and hear a voice coming from the sky, then the next there’s just Jesus alone. It’s enough to drive one crazy.

But right now, let’s get some info from the scholars on the situation. ’17:1-9. See Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36. Peter, James and John represent the “inner circle” of leadership among the disciples (cf. Luke 8:51; Matt.26:37) and serve here as ample witnesses according to Mosaic Law.

They went into a high mountain apart, meaning privately, by themselves. Tradition claims that this took place at Mount Tabor, but a more probable location would be Mount Hermon, near Caesarea Philippi.

Jesus was transfigured before them. The verb (Gr. metamorphoo) indicates a transformation of essential form, proceeding from within, but the transformation is outwardly visible. See Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18, where it is used of the spiritual transformation of the believer’s new nature. The witness of Peter in 2 Peter 1:17-18 verifies the testimony that this was a real experience not a vision.’

So friends, it’s clear that the transfiguration scene was not a mere vision, but reality. And I like how Mark describes it: ‘And his raiment (clothes) became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth (no launderer) can white (whiten) them.’ (Mark 9:3) You can imagine how white Jesus’ clothes must have been then!

I also like how Luke puts in his description of Moses and Elijah: ‘Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease (death) which he should (was about to) accomplish at Jerusalem.’ (Luke 9:31)

And the scholars tell us: ‘9:31. If Jesus is being reminded of His impending death, He will also have been assured of His promised resurrection. (Mark 9:9).’ And as the scholars also point out: ‘Luke 9:35. Compare the voice at Jesus’ baptism (3:22). There, however, God speaks to Jesus; here the message is to the disciples.And what is the crux of the message my fellow believers? ‘Hear, listen to Him!’

Oh friends, that’s the same message we are still getting today: Listen to Jesus! But not sufficient of us are listening to it, much less taking it to heart and seriously practicing it. That’s a large part of why our world is so evil and ungodly.

We need true believers to stand up strong, to listen and put the Word into action so that the heathen, the unbeliever will see how we live and behave, how we’re blessed by our great and bountiful God and will thus want to turn away from their sinful attitudes and embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour too.

Oh friends, we are supposed to be the modern day disciples, following in Jesus’ footsteps, bringing others to Him through our example. Unfortunately, though, our examples are either not good enough or plenty enough, because the heathen isn’t coming to Jesus as he should. In many cases he is turning away from Jesus because of our hypocritical examples.

Anyway my brethren, I can only try to encourage us to do better, the rest is left up to each individual, and we’ll each have to answer to the judge on our individual behaviour.

Now listen to Peter. ‘For we have not followed cunningly devised fables. When we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.’ (2 Peter 1:16) So Peter is claiming that he was actually there at the transfiguration of Christ.

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘1:16. In Matthew 17 Jesus was temporarily glorified in the presence of three disciples. This was a foreshadowing of Christ’s coming in power and glory to establish His kingdom. The presence of Moses and Elijah on the mountain represented all those who enter the kingdom by death or translation.

The declaration of the Father reinforces Christ’s dominion over His kingdom. Application: Since Christians live expectantly looking forward to the return of Christ, they ought to give Him first place in their lives today, just as He will have in the kingdom.’

Yes my people, the scholars hit the nail on the head; it’s time truly give Jesus first place in our lives. That’s truly wisdom at its highest! Much LOVE!

…oh…if we all could be transfigured today…like Jesus was back then…what an awakening the world would witness…


 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2015 James 4:8‏‏

James 4:8.     Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. 

And then it was Saturday; a supposedly rainy day. But who knows eh? We’ve been promised some showers of blessing for the longest while, but we haven’t seen hide nor hair of heavenly water for at least two, possibly three weeks in my area. It’s been cloudy at times, but not even rain-clouding dark, and the strong winds we’ve recently been having have blown those wispy rain clouds away. (smile)

They remind me of the story of Elijah when he prayed for rain in Israel. On the seventh time Elijah’s servant went to see if any rain was in the offing per Elijah’s prayers, he came back and reported: ‘Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.’ (1 Kin.18:44)

That was the beginning of an abundance of rain for Israel, but no such luck for us. Anyway, it’s still pretty early in the morning to despair, for with our God’s omnipotent powers anything can happen at any time,  in the blink of an eye.

But here’s an interesting general prayer that we can say every morning when we arise. It’s attributed to Norman Grubb (1895-1993), a British Christian missionary, writer and theological teacher. Please pray with me. ‘Good morning, Christ. I LOVE you! What are you up to today? I want to be a part of it! Thank you, God. Amen!’

Now my people, isn’t that simple and straight to the point? It certainly is. And it does help to get you connected with the Father as soon as you get up, before any evil and negative thoughts can enter your still fragile and not wide awake mind and spoil your day. And that’s all it takes Friends, something short and to the point to get us running on the correct spiritual track.

But before we can get to that, we first have to put into operation the words of our Bit, where we’re born again and can have that kind of ongoing relationship with Almighty God. ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.’

Yes my people, it’s of the utmost importance that we have a close personal relationship with the Father, through the Son, Jesus Christ, while being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And we can only do that by repenting of our sins, cleansing our hearts and turning over a new leaf, becoming a new creation in Christ.

Now listen to how Peter deals with the matter. ‘Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned (sincere) LOVE of the brethren, see that ye LOVE one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible (perishable) seed, but of incorruptible (imperishable), by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

For all flesh is as grass, and the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the (spoken) word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.’ (1 Pet.1:22-25)

Yes Friends, Peter is there repeating the words of Isaiah 40:6-8, where  mankind is likened to the grass that sprouts up bright and fresh in the morning, but soon withers and dies, especially when the hot sun beats down on it. And that’s the absolute truth!

But unlike that short-lived grass, the word of our Creator lives for ever, through the gospel being preached throughout the earth; the good news of his Son Jesus Christ, who was sacrificed for us on Calvary’s cross, then rose again in glory and ascended to heaven, where He now sits on the right hand of the Father, advocating for us.

Wow! What an omnipotent, but magnanimous God we serve and worship my brethren! It just can’t get any better than that, though a lot of us seem to think otherwise. But as I keep saying Friends, refusing to accept God’s grace and mercy and His free offer of salvation through Jesus Christ, which ultimately leads to eternal life, is the wisdom of a fool. And there surely are a lot of fools in this evil and ungodly world.

Anyway, enough of my carping, or proselytizing (smile), whichever one catches your fancy, and listen instead to an explanation by the scholars on the topic at hand. ‘1:23. Being born again (lit., “having been born again”) refers to all believers having been regenerated by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, which communicates His offer of salvation to mankind. Thus our salvation rests, from the human perspective, upon OUR willing reception of that offer.’

Yuh see Friends, it all depends on us willingly receiving God’s wonderful offer, that’s why I capitalized and highlighted ‘our’ above. The Lord has done His part by putting the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ on the table, so like any contract that is worthless unless there’s offer and acceptance, we now have the opportunity to accept or reject God’s offer.

However Friends, in this case, rejection of the Lord’s offer will bring disastrous and calamitous consequences, namely eternal separation from Him, and eventual death and damnation. So as far as I can see, with my limited human reasoning powers, accepting God’s offer is the wise thing to do.

I’m therefore urging us to do so as quickly as possible, if possible right now, because the time for Jesus’ return is imminent, and once He returns in majestic splendour and awesome might, that offer will be taken off the table…forever. So please take my wise advice and seriously get involved with Jesus. It will be the best decision you’ve ever made. I guarantee it! Much LOVE!

…to be separated from Christ…for all eternity…is the biggest mistake  a man can make…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2015 2 Chronicles 7:14.

2 Chronicles 7:14.    If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 

 
Well Friends, it’s a cool, cloudy and windy Wednesday morning in my area…and still no signs of rain. Chuh! Yesterday we definitely needed some showers of blessings to cool the hot and humid day, but since we don’t control the weather we just have to grin and bear it. Hn, hn! Today won’t be as hot and humid though. Glory to God!
 
So since it’s Wednesday, the mid point of our workweek, it naturally implies that we have to keep pushing ahead, no looking back, for he who looks back is not worthy of ploughing for Jesus. And I come bearing tidings this morning re patience, something a whole lot of us need to learn in this very impatient world.
 
And I can vouch for that by the different dates on yesterday’s Bit. The top heading was right, the 26th but the one later on was wrong, the 25th. How many of you noticed that eh? (smile) But that stems from laziness and trying to do it the easy way, by copying and pasting, rather than typing it out again. I obviously forgot to change the second date. Please accept my most humble apologies.
 
As Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H Schuller) says in his Hour of Power Devotional, patience is the single most identifiable quality of successful people. And that’s no lie Friends! This generation has grown up looking for too many shortcuts and other cheap and easy ways of getting by.
 
We refuse to adopt the discipline necessary to harness our dreams and see them through to fulfillment. The easy road my people, is certainly no remedy for true success. That ephemeral dream that we’re chasing always demands, patience, perseverance and hard work.
 
Listen to these words from Gramps Schuller. ‘The people who win in life are the people who have harnessed the power of patience. You can move a mountain, Christ said – but He didn’t say how long it would take.’
 
And that’s the absolute truth my brethren! Mountains are indeed moveable, but it takes time, patience and hard work to accomplish any dream, be it worthwhile or not.
 
Now without further ado, let’s get to our Bit, this one for the last time… and I hear relieved shouts of ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ in the background. Yeh Friends, this has indeed been a long standing Bit, but as we said before, it’s a rather important verse of Scripture that determines our eternal salvation or eternal death and damnation.
 
‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ Ah mih breddren, it’s so plain and straightforward… but yet we refuse to accept it, or even consider it.
 
And we’ll get straight into the scriptures that deal with the last of the four things we need to do to have God act positively on our behalf; ‘and turn away from their wicked ways.’
 
Listen to Isaiah as he declares that suffering is a result of sin. ‘They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.’ (Is.42:17) That’s gospel truth my people! And put in simple, unequivocal language too.
 
And this next scripture is from Jeremiah, re the lesson from the potter. ‘Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil (am fashioning a disaster) against you, and devise a device (plan) against you: return ye now everyone from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
 
And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices (according to our own plans), and we will everyone do the imagination (stubbornness) of his evil heart.’ (Jer.18:11-12)
 
Unfortunately Friends, that’s the same foolishness we’re talking today, as we recklessly head down the destructive path of sin and ungodliness! 
 
Now hear the prophet Malachi, re the coming day of the Lord. ‘For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
 
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves). And ye shall tread down (trample) the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.
 
Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgements. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.’ (Mal. 4:1-6)
 
Oh my people, what another wonderful promise of our most faithful God, most of which has already been fulfilled with the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
 
Now hear this excellent explanation from the scholars. ‘4:1-6. The coming day is the day of the Lord (or the Great Tribulation), which is in view of the birth pangs for the millennial kingdom. Sun of righteousness is a figurative representation of the Messiah. Moses represents the law and Elijah represents the prophets. Both of them appeared at the transfiguration of Christ (Matt.17:3).
 
The Old Testament ends with the promise of the coming of Elijah, which the New Testament identifies as John the Baptist (Matt.3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23). John’s own disclaimer (John 1:21) was simply a denial that he was literally Elijah. Jesus, on the other hand, clearly stated that John the Baptist came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Matt.11:14; 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13).
 
Malachi’s promise is quoted by the angel in Luke 1:17 as referring to the ministry of John the Baptist as the forerunner of the Messiah. Therefore, the Old Testament ends in anticipation of the coming of the Messiah and His prophetic forerunner, John the Baptist, who appears in the likeness of Elijah.’
 
Yuh see friends, the Good Book was not, is not, a haphazard concoction by a group of fuddy-duddy old men, but a well laid our plan by the Creator. And for those of you who don’t know, Malachi Chapter 4, is indeed the last chapter in the Old Testament. (smile)
 
And we’ll end this series of messages quite appropriately with the warning and wisdom of the Messiah. ‘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. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14)
 
Oh my people, my people, please, let’s go out today with those wonderful words of wisdom and warning ringing in our ears, and bubbling up in our hearts, minds and souls, as we continue to live and work diligently and excellently for Jesus! For that’s wisdom at its very highest. Much LOVE!
 
…wisdom and common sense both cry out loudly…accept Jesus…for He is indeed…the Way, the Truth, the Life and the Light…and no one comes to the Father…achieves heavenly citizenship… but through Him…
 
P.S.  Oh Friends, I know it’s long, but it’s beautiful, (smile) and a special, just for today! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

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