Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2019 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   ​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.
 

Well it’s pretty white out there still, but the snow seems to have abated…till when who knows? But thankfully, I did not have to go into the city and face the mess yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I was all prepared to do it, but during the mid morning hours when the stuff just kept falling my resolve began to weaken, (smile) and I got the bright idea…or rather the Holy Spirit gave me a zeppo to call the clinic and find out how early I could get another appointment if I cancelled that one? 

Obviously I could not find a living soul to talk to since in this age of modern communications less people are answering phones, it’s all artificial intelligence. (smile) But I left a message…then waited and waited for an answer. None came until an hour before I had to leave home. The lady offered me an appointment for next week and I gladly took it, thanking her effusively, then I gave more effusive thanks and praise to our wonderful God for His timely intercession. 

Isn’t our God wonderful people? But certainly! Though His timing could be just a li’l less ‘just in time.’ (smile) The things He does for us eh, when He doesn’t have to. He could have very well said yesterday, ‘No let him go and experience the struggle out there and let it purify and strengthen him!’(smile) But instead, in His omniscience, He saw that I might not have been able to handle it, it was just too much for me to bear, so He mercifully and graciously eased up on the pedal! 

But whatever the reason, believe me friends, the ole fella is exceedingly glad and thankful that I did not have to go into the city yesterday, especially after some of the horrible stories I heard. ‘Thank You Lord, Thank You! I LOVE and adore and exalt You even more today than yesterday! Bless Your holy name! I give you thanks and praise from the very depths of my being! Help me to live the life that You’ve planned for me and run a good and strong race! In Jesus’ name I pray! Amen!’ 

Now enough about me and my thankfulness! (smile) Let’s turn to a more important subject on this last day of February; that of how we are doing with our New Year’s Resolution two months into the year? And some of you must be wondering, ‘what New Year’s Resolution is he talking about eh?’ The one that we made, on January the first, namely to walk closer with Jesus this year! I guess if we have to shrug our shoulders and jiggle our minds to remember it, then most likely we have not been doing it? 

Ah friends, what do we have to do to get us to take Jesus more seriously than we’re currently doing eh? Our world is falling apart under the tremendous evil and ungodliness that’s bearing down on it, and a strong and certain walk with Jesus is the ONLY antidote to save us from hell fire and damnation! If we continue the way we’re going, our world is going to blow up, both literally and figuratively, at some stage of the game! 

And is that what we want? Is that the legacy we want to leave for our children and grandchildren? Certainly not! Well then the only option we have to prevent that disaster is to embrace Jesus and ALL He stands for with a fierce pride and determination, for He is the ONLY One who can help us make a sincere and satisfactory difference! 

As He said so clearly to the disciples, and consequently to us: ‘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.’ Wow! What can be clearer than that eh friends? But as is Jesus’ wont, He goes on to explain in greater detail: ‘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.’ (John 15:5) 

Mama Mia! What a powerful statement of truth is that last clause, my fellow believers! Without Christ we can do nothing! And whoever thinks otherwise is just fooling themselves! For as Jesus explains: ‘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) Yeah friends, that’s what’s going to eventually happen when the Lord sets up His judgement court. 

And believe me, that day will surely come, when all those who don’t believe will be cast out into eternal separation from the Holy Trinity, which I’ve often said is the very worst thing that can happen to a human soul! And the only way to avoid that rather disastrous ending is to do as Jesus says: ‘If ye abide in me (be my agent, my disciple), and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue (abide) ye in my LOVE!’ (John 15:7-9)  

Oh friends, remember our major job down here on earth is to let others know about God’s kingdom and thereby glorify the Father who created us in His own image. And the ONLY WAY we can accomplish that is by hooking up our broken down wagons to the magnificent and powerful carthorse that’s Jesus! So let’s wake up, let’s be wise and get with Jesus’ programme nuh. That’s our only hope! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings that our Lord and God have so magnanimously bestowed on us to help us do our job, spread His Holy Word and glorify His Holy Name! All together now, in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose with thanksgiving: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

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

The next step is to go out and share those blessings, while staying attached to the vine so we can bear good fruit! Much LOVE!

…please remember…that Jesus is the Way…the Truth…the Life…the Light…and the Only avenue to the Father…

P.S. Yeah, it’s sorta long, but we can’t always deal in short, since short does not always convey the full message. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2019 1 Corinthians 10:13.

1 Corinthians 10:13.   ​There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
 

‘It’s coming down, coming down, the snow is coming down! It’s coming down coming down, the snow is coming down!’ Yes friends, that soft white fluffy, pretty looking but ever so dangerous stuff is coming down out there, promising to lay and egg of about 15 cm high! Serious stuff that yes! Lots of schools have already shut down for the day and the roads will be a total mess, especially in the evening commute. 

But what’s a li’l snow when we have Jesus to lead and guide us eh? Nothing really! And I’m talking big here but as the Lord would have it, I have to go into the big city of T.O to check my pacemaker, and believe me I’m going, come hell or high water, because I don’t believe it’s working as it should and I’m tired with this tired, short of breath feeling I’m still getting. It’s not going to be easy slugging, but I’m going! 

Aye mih first born…aren’t you proud of the ole fella, that he’s not canceling this appointment despite the bad weather? I know you are! (smile) And talking about that I just saw an interesting and rather appropriate quote from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) on the subject. He says that ‘A trial is for the purpose of purifying and strengthening us.’ Let’s hope this trial of going into the city today in this ridiculous weather does purify and strengthen me. (smile) 

But on the other hand, Uncle Charles claims that ‘A temptation is for the purpose of enticing us to sin, to pollute us.’ And do temptations ever abound in this sinful and ungodly world. However, we have to note one important thing here; temptation is not sin, it only becomes sin when we fall for the temptation. Remember Jesus was tempted too during His fast of forty days and nights in the wilderness. (Matt.4:1-11) And He kept telling Satan ‘It is written…’ quoting the Good Book for him. 

But He never fell for any of the temptations, therefore He did not sin. And neither will we, if we don’t give into the temptations that constantly buffet and bombard us in this fallen world. And the author of Hebrews tells it to us in plain language: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb.4:15) 

Yes my people, Jesus underwent all the stuff we are going through, so He can certainly empathize with the pressures that we experience in our daily lives. That’s what makes Him so great as our High Priest and Intercessor; He has first hand knowledge of the world’s temptations and sinful conniving! 

And the scholars offer an interesting point here: ‘Temptation is greatest in duration and intensity when one does not accept the “easy” way out by sinning. If man’s temptation is greater when he endures it, surely Christ’s was great since He had no alternative, in His humanity, but to endure it.’ 

Yeh friends, Christ had no choice but to endure it, for he could not sin, otherwise the whole plan for payment of our sin debts and salvation would have gone down the drain, since only a sinless soul could pay for us. But we have the option to sin, if we so desire, not that we would desire to do such a foolish thing eh! (smile) 

And what the scholars said earlier on, that temptation lasts longer and is more intense when you resist it, is certainly true. I’m sure you’ve noticed that in your own lives. And the author of Hebrews also offers another gem in the temptation problem, re Jesus. ‘For in that He himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour (aid) them that are tempted.’ (Heb.2:18) Gospel truth that my brethren! We are ale to help others better when we have already experienced their situations. 

But listen to these words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth, outlining this glorious promise of our wonderful God, who’s always there to help us. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ 

 Yes friends, all men are subject to temptation, but we must realize three things here: (1) Our God will never give us more than we can bear. (2) He will always make a way out. Not necessarily escaping the temptation completely, but allowing us to go through it and coming out safely on the other side. (3) He will be right there with us at every step through thick and thin of that temptation! Glory to our wonderful God! 

So please remember that temptations will always assault us, but we don’t have to fall for them, because we have a High Priest who can empathize with us, and also a heavenly Father who’s made provision for us to be able to endure whatever comes against us. We couldn’t ask for more. 

Now let’s go home this Wednesday declaring (wrong again) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our serious position in Christ. Wailing, as one: ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, how wonderful is our Jesus eh! Let’s be wise and embrace Him with all we have nuh! That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…with all that Jesus suffered for us…and currently offers us…why would we ever in our right minds…turn Him down eh…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2017 Revelation 3:20.

Revelation 3:20.   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.

And then it was Wednesday, the mid-point of our workweek! Yeh friends, some light is showing up at the end of the tunnel. It’s interesting though, how we all look forward to the weekend so that we can get some time off work, but very few of us look forward to the workweek so that we can make some money to support our families and ourselves. 

One would think that working would be the more important part of the equation, but apparently it’s not. I guess that’s just the nature of the human animal, especially in these turbulent and transitional times. (smile) 

But here is something to help us from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. I’ve shared it before, but it’s one of those things that seem to need repeated sharing for us to get it indelibly written in our hearts, souls and minds. It’s called ‘Learn to Know God.’  

Please pray with me. ‘Dear Jesus, I’ve got to know You better. Please help me! I can feel my spiritual and emotional walls crack. I can hear old chains break. I can feel my heart opening like a heavy old door whose ancient seals have just begun to break. I can sense the footsteps of Jesus walking into my life. I am beginning to experience the joy of a soul that is being saved, a life that is being born again. Thank You, Lord! Life’s not fair, but God is good. Amen!’ 

 Ah mih people, I do hope that those words, especially the fact that life’s not fair, but God IS good, are having some positive effects on us this day, because we ALL need to improve our knowledge and experiences with Jesus, our Redeemer and heavenly Advocate. And we can only do some of that by constant repetition. 

Oh, I know some of us want to hear something new everyday, but what’s the point when we haven’t learned what we heard the day before eh? Like everything else in this fallen world, we only learn stuff when we encounter it regularly, and that’s never more true that with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

The more we interact with him, the more we come to learn about and LOVE Him. And that’s the only way we can ever be changed into His Christ-like image, which is the heartfelt desire and purpose of our heavenly Father for each of us, His adopted children. 

Consequently the message of Jesus to the church at Laodicea through John’s revelation is extremely important for believers right down through the ages, especially for us in these grossly evil times. ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ 

Yes friends, when Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts let’s be quick to answer, throw it wide open and embrace Him without any hesitation, for that’s wisdom of unmatched magnitude! 

And please note I said, when He knocks, not if He knocks, for Jesus is continually knocking at the portals of our hearts, just dying to come in and have an intense and ever so satisfying relationship with us. We don’t know what we’re missing out on, when we reject the advances of Jesus. 

Listen to what He says after our Bit. ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in (on) my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in (on) his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.’ (Rev. 3:21-22) 

Yuh hear that awesome promise my people? If we stand up strong with and for Jesus, we’ll have the everlasting privilege of sitting with Him on His heavenly throne, just like He sits with the Father now, after He overcame His earthly trials and tribulations. 

And the scholars offer these explanations to those verses. ‘3:20-22. In light of the spiritual conditions of the Laodiceans described in verses 17-18, (pride in their wealth and rejection of Jesus) the invitation of verse 20 seems to be evangelistically addressed to individual members of an apostate church (religious abandonment), so they might receive Christ genuinely as Saviour and Lord (cf. John 1:12; 10:27). 

To sup (dine) means to have fellowship (cf. Luke 22:30; John 14:23) and to enjoy Christ’s blessings. The promise to sit with Christ in His throne refers to reigning with Christ in His kingdom (cf. Matt.19:28; Rev. 20:4; 22:1). Verse 22 contains the last reference to the church before chapter 22, implying that the Rapture will occur before the events of chapters 4-19 and thus that the church will not be present on earth during the Great Tribulation.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ And so we should, if we know we’re not going to be here on earth when the great upheaval comes. 

Oh friends, I don’t know how else to put it so that we can be convinced of Jesus’ eventual victory nuh, but as they say, the smart money IS on Jesus! 

And for those of us who sincerely believe, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail with much gusto and enthusiasm. ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share the good news with others. Much LOVE!

…two ears…and only one mouth…means we need to listen more than we talk…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2016 1 Corinthians 12: 27

1 Corinthians 12:27.  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (individually).

Aye mih friends and family – Scrip-Bit family included of course – welcome to another wonderful Tuesday on planet earth! The Lord’s on His heavenly throne running things, and Jesus is with us through the inner presence of the Holy Spirit! So what can be better than that eh? Absolutely nothing! 

Ah mih people, Jesus is so beautiful, I don’t see how people can not LOVE Him, and want to serve and worship Him in all sincerity and truth! 

Yeh friends, I truly don’t understand how people can dislike Jesus and abuse and blaspheme Him. He has the best religious teaching going, even the best philosophy for living this earthly life; one of peace and LOVE and good cheer! One couldn’t ask for more! 

But such is the fallen and dark nature of our human souls that we refuse to see the light even when it’s shining all around us. But thankfully, we smart humans will embrace Jesus in all His glory and wonder and live to serve Him now and forever! 

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud ‘Praise the Lord in Jesus’ name! Amen.’  

And to support all of what we’ve just said, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with a strong sense of purpose and true belief. As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, that li’l mantra so warms the cockles of my heart when I declare it, that…that I don’t know what to say afterwards! Hn! 

To know that I am indeed a beloved child of God and a friend of Jesus…and can simply live this life and share His awesome LOVE with the world…well that is just so mind boggling and extraordinary! 

I do hope that you, my fellow believers feel the same way, because if you don’t you are missing out on the most exciting and transformational part of your lives, since true LOVE for Jesus just lifts us up and encourages us so much! 

And we’ll continue with our theme from yesterday; members of the body of Christ, of His church, because it is very important for each believer to know and understand His place and role in that most august organization. 

Our Bit tells us quite plainly: ‘Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (individually).’ 

Yes my brethren, we are all a part of Christ’s great organization called the church, with all that’s needed to make it great, but it’s oh so necessary for the members of that organization to pull together to do that. Listen to the scholars’ input on that verse. 

’12:27. In one succinct statement, the apostle expresses both the unity and the diversity of the body of Christ. The absence of the definite article in Greek (ho, “the”) before the expression ‘body of Christ’  emphasizes character: since they are Christ’s body, their actions and attitudes toward one another should reflect His character.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, that last line there says it all; since we belong to Christ’s organization, our attitude and character ought to reflect that of Jesus! But does it? That’s the million-dollar question. 

Unfortunately, I don’t believe that it does, or at least not to the extent that it should. If we were truly reflecting the character and attitude of Jesus as an organization, there wouldn’t be so much division and disharmony within it, none of the greed, the backbiting, the resentment, and pure hatred that exists in some parts of it. 

As we said earlier, Christ’s character is one of peace, LOVE and good cheer, and that in no way represents the present day church of Christ! 

And before we go any further, listen to the scholars’ description re the Body of Christ. ‘12:27. The church in the New Testament is called the “body of Christ,” and reflects the spiritual organism of the whole church on earth. When the local church is called the body of Christ, the spiritual aspect is emphasized. 

Illustration: As the church is considered to be the body, so individual members are seen as parts of the body. For any church to function properly, every member must do his or her part in a harmonious spirit of cooperation with the other members. Had the church at Corinth learned this lesson, many of their problems would have been solved. 

Application: When Christians disrupt the harmony of a church, they bring reproach on the body of Christ. (First ref. Matt.16:18; Primary Ref. I Cor. 12:27).’ 

Oh friends, that’s the problem of today’s church right there! The spirit of harmonious cooperation is sadly lacking in many of the local churches and also in the entire body of Christendom! 

No wonder we’re bringing such reproach on Christ and His body, and people are leaving His organization as well as crying it down and calling it totally hypocritical! 

And there is a lot of truth there, since the heathen doesn’t see or perceive us as good and kindly and LOVING people from the attitude, behaviour and character we publicly display.  We behave just as badly, and sometimes even worse than them! That obviously gives Jesus a bad name and turns off the unbelievers, thus making of no effect our trying to bring them to Him. 

Ah mih people, there’s a simple solution to all of that yes, all the confusion and disharmony, the resentment, anger and hatred, backbiting and hypocrisy can be avoided if we’d just implement the words of the song: ‘Let God be God! Let God be God in your life!’ 

Yes friends, if we’d just allow the Lord to work in our lives as He desires, most of our problems would vanish, and we’d become much more like the harmonious body of Christ that we’re meant to be. 

So, starting today, right now, let’s let go and allow God to truly work in us nuh, for that is indeed the highest level of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…for Christianity to be successful…Christians must privately live…and publicly show…the true character and attitude of Jesus Christ…

 

 

 

 

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 31 December 2015 Luke 2:33‏‏‏

Luke 2:33.  And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 

Well Friends, it’s Old Years, New year’s Eve; 2015 is on its last legs. And it’s a day that many of us have been looking forward to, hoping to come out from under its suffocating shroud and shadow into a new year that promises so much. 

But let’s remember friends that a new year is just another day, and nothing much changes from one day to the next. And though we might have several areas of our lives that need upgrading, let’s not burden ourselves with too many resolutions. 

As I said sometime before, there’s only ONE that we really need to make, and that’s being a stronger and more faithful follower of Jesus!  

When we accomplish that, everything else will fall into place. So just enjoy the partying and don’t be overly concerned about New Year’s resolutions, just concentrate on Jesus, and everything will be fine. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, because I want to finish this series of messages on Mary today. ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.’ 

Ah mih people, what an interesting and no doubt sometimes frustrating experience Joseph and Mary had as Jesus’ parents. And none was more frustrating than this one. We’re talking about the time when Jesus was twelve and his family went up to Jerusalem as usual for the feast of the Passover. 

Because of the big gathering of the extended family from Nazareth, when they left for home they automatically thought that Jesus was in the company of his relatives. But unfortunately he was not. When they realized this they turned back to Jerusalem. 

And the Good Book details it thus: ‘And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the midst of the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors (teachers), both hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.’ (Luke 2:46-47) 

Wow! Imagine a twelve year old reasoning intelligently with the rabbis and teachers of the Jewish nation nuh. That also begs the question where did He eat and sleep and wash for those three days? Hn! 

The scholars explain that last verse by saying: ‘2:47. This may be due not only to Jesus’ person but also to a careful upbringing by His parents. The Old Testament placed great responsibility on parents to saturate their children’s minds with Scripture. (Deut. 6:7).’ 

And yuh know what my people? That responsibility has never been cancelled! It’s still our duty today to inculcate the Scriptures into the minds of our children. It’s jut that we have shrugged it off. That’s why our children are the godless way they are right now, and we have no one else to blame but ourselves. 

But anyway, can you imagine the concern, the anxiety Jesus’ parents must have had, no doubt blaming them selves for not paying closer attention to his whereabouts? Unlike a lot of us today who don’t know where our children are, and don’t seem to care. 

And the Good Book continues the story: ‘And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us (done this to us)? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing (anxiously). And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist (know) ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:48-49) 

Ah Lord eh! Imagine at twelve years old talking to your parents like that nuh! Hn! Some of us would have been begging Santa to bring us some new teeth. (smile) 

The scholars explain that bit of impropriety by saying: ‘2:49. Wist ye not or “Did you not realize?” There is a certain tension between Jesus’ responsibility to parents on the one hand and to His heavenly Father on the other.’

I guess you could quite rightly say that, although at twelve years of age it does seem a bit much. 

However the Good Book goes on to say: ‘And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.’ (Luke 2:50-52) 

Poor Mary and Joseph didn’t know what was really happening, and though Jesus went home with them and seems to have behaved properly after that, Mary still kept all those things in her heart, and no doubt pondered them regularly. 

And again, like after His circumcision, we see that Jesus grew strong and wise and found favour with everybody. 

The scholars tell us there: ‘2:52. The picture is one of consistent and well-rounded growth. There follows a gap of nearly two decades in Jesus’ life. When we see Him again, He is prepared for the task set before Him.’ 

He certainly is, and thus set to cause His poor mother more grief when they lock up Him up for sedition and blasphemy. How do you think she felt when she saw or heard about His beatings and scourging and the crown of thorns upon His head, traipsing back and forth between Pilate and Herod like a common criminal, being made a pappyshow instead of a royal show? 

And how do you think she felt when she saw Him faltering under the heavy load of the cross, struggling up Calvary’s hill? 

But most of all, what do you think it did to her very heart and soul when she saw her wonderful son, all battered and bruise, impaled on that wooden cross, His life blood slowly ebbing away in the hot noonday sun? 

I’m sure it brought back to her memory the fateful words of Simeon some three decades before, re the division and anguish His life would cause, but especially the words ‘(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also).’ (Luke 2:35) 

And I guess what must have hurt Mary the most is that she couldn’t do anything about her son’s situation, because deep down inside she knew that that was His destiny, that is what He was born for. 

And regardless of how His earlier acts might seem, Jesus did have a soft spot for His mother, because He knew that was the only one who even had an inkling of His true earthly purpose. 

Listen to the Good Book. ‘Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he LOVED, (John) he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.’ (John 19:25-27) 

Ah mih people, though Jesus caused Mary some worries in His life, in His death, He made sure that she had somewhere safe to go, like all good sons ought to. 

That brings us to the end of Mary’s story, and I do hope that I was able to bring home to us, just how important she was and is to our faith, for without her strong and unbroken faith, the story of Jesus might have turned out differently. 

Now let’s ring out the old year and ring in the new, prepared to embrace Jesus even deeper in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Much LOVE!

…there’s no human LOVE…to beat a mother’s LOVE… 

P.S. Friends, I know it’s long, but I couldn’t shorten it without having it run on for another day. You can’t have it both ways. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2015 Matthew 27:35

Matthew 27:35. And they crucified him, and parted (divided) his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted (divided) my garments among them, and upon my vesture (clothing) did they cast lots.

Oh Friends, it’s Friday! And one we call Good Friday to boot. How can that be though, when such a dastardly deed, such a great injustice, a crucifixion, was perpetrated on a holy and sinless man two thousand years ago? How can it be that we call such a day good eh, especially when it was no ordinary crucifixion, but a horrific and cruel one, filled with all sorts of unimaginable brutality and inhumanity?
 
That’s the epitome of our saying that man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands suffer and mourn!  But I guess we call it good because it was the beginning, the initializing of some thing good. Without that sacrifice on Good Friday, there would have been no resurrection on Easter Sunday, no victory over hell, death and the grave.
 
And it’s also good in the sense that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ gave His life so that we could be free from the bondage of sin once and for all. We have to look at it that way Friends, otherwise it was just a brutal injustice.
 
And believe you me, Jesus paid a heavy, heavy price for our disgusting sins, for as we said above, it was no ordinary crucifixion, but a most cruel and heartless one, fuelled by fear and greed and the lust for power, the same things that are still controlling our world today.
 
Oh my people, please take a moment and consider the inhumanity that Jesus suffered before He even reached Calvary; the scourging, the spitting, the ridicule, the mocking, the slapping, the crown of thorns, the tearing of His flesh by the cruel whips with all sorts of sharp things attached meant exactly for that purpose.
 
In this modern day and age, although we’re still cruel, I don’t think we can truly capture the thoroughly disfigured and tattered picture of Jesus when He came out of Pilate’s place, then was given His cross to carry, though He could barely walk and His wounds were by then terminal. It was only a matter of time.
 
It’s a good thing that somebody had the bright idea to get Simon the Cyrene to help Him bear the cross, otherwise I doubt He would have made it to Golgotha that evil place of the skull, which we Christians now term Calvary, a much nicer name. Then being made to lie outstretched on two planks of wood and nailed to them with huge metal nails, in such a way that death would be painful and prolonged. Steups!
 
Can you imagine that gruesome scene Friends, of Jesus being put to lie down on the cross and nailed to it, then have it raised upright and what little lifeblood He had left, being set to drain slowly and painfully out of Him? And to make matters worse, they crucified Him between two common criminals. Chuh!
 
Ah mih people, can you look through your eyes of faith and see Jesus, all torn and tattered, just languishing up there on that cross in the hot noonday sun? Believe me Friends, it was definitely no little price that Jesus paid for the banishment of our sins nuh! That’s what you call real ‘sufferation.’ The Father really put it to Him.
 
In my humble opinion it did not have to be so cruel, but I guess it just goes to show how disgusting and diabolical sin is and was, and that the only way to truly get rid of it was by a serious sacrificial death of a sinless person. And unfortunately Jesus was the ONLY ONE who fit that description.
 
It also shows how serious the Father is and was about His dislike for sin, if He could allow such terrible atrocities to be performed on His only Son. If you think it hurts us, just imagine the heartache He must have felt nuh, seeing His Son go through so much agony, and knowing that He could stop it with a simple word, but also knowing that if He did, sin would then forever run rampant throughout His universe, with no end in sight, and the evil Lucifer would have won the war.
 
Being a holy and just God, He just could not allow that, so like we say, He just had to grin and bear it. And yet we still doubt His wonderful and unconditional LOVE for us!
 
What hurts too Friends, is that after that most expensive price Jesus paid for our forgiveness, for our reconciliation and atonement, for our salvation and eternal life, so many of us simply ignore Him, or don’t take him as seriously as we should.
 
That’s not only unfortunate my brethren, but rather foolish, for if we don’t embrace Jesus and all that He stands for then we’ll still end up in the pool of fire come the judgement day with the wicked Beelzebub and all his other minions, and His sacrifice would have been worthless.
 
Oh Friends, the Father sent His son to pay the price for our abominable sins because He did not want to lose even one of His most wonderful creations, mankind, to Lucifer. So why aren’t we being wise and truly accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour eh? That’s the multi-million dollar question?
 
Instead, we’re sadly moving away from Him in droves, embracing the worthless and sinful stuff of the world, foisted on us by the prince of darkness and his evil lackeys. That’s only going to bring us more sin and suffering, and it’s oh so foolish, when Jesus has already paid the price for us to be free from the bondage and torment of sin.
 
But yuh know what my brethren, Jesus was such a mighty and majestic man, that throughout it all He didn’t complain. He knew that that was the reason for which He was made man, and though He pleaded some with the Father to change the plans, deep down He knew that it was not going to happen, so again, like we all have to do at times, He just grinned and bore it.
 
He withstood the mockery and jeers and otherwise that were hurled at him while He hung there limp and helpless on the cross. The only sad words that reached His lips on the cross were as the Good Book says: ‘And about the ninth hour (noon) Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt.27:46)
 
Yes Friends, in that moment, as the scholars explain; ‘Here we have the high cost to Christ of His atonement for our sins, who was accursed of God as our sin-bearer, (cf.2 Cor.5:21; Gal.3:13) and suffered the agony of spiritual death for us.’ 
 
Ah mih breddren, as our Bit so sadly says too: ‘And they crucified him, and parted (divided) his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted (divided) my garments among them, and upon my vesture (clothing) did they cast lots.’ That prophecy comes from Psalm 22:18, words of Bruh David.
 
But you know what Friends, Jesus is so beautiful, that even on the cross He still reached out to us. He pleaded with the Lord; ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) Then to one of the criminals who were crucified with Him and who embraced His sanctity as they hung there together, He sincerely promised: ‘Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:43)
 
And to show how much He cared for His mother, the Good Book tells us: ‘When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by whom he LOVED (John), he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.’ (John 19:26-27)
 
What’s left to be said eh, my people? Only this: ‘And when Jesus had cried with aloud voice, he said, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost (breathed his last).’ (Luke 23:46)
 
Oh Friends, on this solemn Friday which we call good, and on which we didn’t even shout for joy, ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ since most people are already off work, for it’s a public holiday in most places, let’s Chant our Friday Chant nonetheless as we spend the day in worship and ponder what the day means to us as a congregation, as well as individuals.
 
Let’s chant: ‘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.’
 
Oh my people, it’s long and somewhat involved. (smile) But that’s what I was guided to write. I just hope it brings home to us the real hefty price that Jesus paid for our sins to be forgiven, and brings us ever closer to Him. Much LOVE!
 
…to all serious believers…today…let’s take up our crosses and follow Jesus…for that’s what he desires of us…

 

 

 

 
 

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