Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2017 1 Samuel 16:7.

1 Samuel 16:7.   Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Eight days friends, eight long days to Christmas Day! And can you imagine the loud voices raised in glorious  song, in praise and worship all over the world as that day draws nigh, and we gather in the Lord’s house this and next Sunday to fellowship with joy and gladness! And when you add heaven’s rejoicing with their own songs of praise and worship, what a joyful cacophony of harmonious singing there will be in the universe! (smile) 

So let’s not waste any time in joining that awesome choir of celebration, let’s declare our own joy by offering up our rendition of the old but much beloved hymn, ‘Hark the herald angels sing,’ written by Charles Wesley in the early 18th century. With much pomp and pride and heartfelt sincerity, let’s open up our mouths, and with sacrificial praise let the world know how glad and grateful we are for Jesus’ birth.  

In perfect harmony now: ‘Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies; With th’angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!” (Refrain: Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”) Christ, by highest Heav’n adored; Christ the everlasting Lord; Late in time, behold Him come, Offspring of a virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail th’incarnate Deity, Pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel. (Refrain) 

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings. Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth. (Refrain) Come, Desire of nations, come, Fix in us Thy humble home; Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed, Bruise in us the serpent’s head. Now display Thy saving pow’r, Ruined nature now restore; Now in mystic union join Thine to ours, and ours to Thine. (Refrain) 

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface, Stamp Thine image in its place: Second Adam from above, Reinstate us in Thy LOVE. Let us Thee, though lost, regain, Thee, the Life, the inner man: Oh, to all Thyself impart, Formed in each believing heart. (Refrain).’

Ah friends, how beautiful it is to give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father! Nothing moves our heart like that. And it also moves the Father’s heart when He sees the outpouring of real LOVE from the very depths of our hearts towards Him, not just us spouting inane platitudes to try and win His attention. That’s why it’s ever so important to have right motives in our hearts at all times my brethren. 

Remember what the Lord said to Samuel in our Bit when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the next king of Israel. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we can carry on with all sorts of righteousness and holiness in public, like the Pharisees did, but if our heart isn’t right, then the Lord will simply ignore us. And unfortunately, in this current version of our society, outward appearance is a very big factor in how we react to and treat each other. That’s why there are so many outwardly good-looking ungodly, incompetent, simple-minded and evil people in our world today. Oh we can certainly put on a good outward show, be kind and generous and all that, but when the Lord checks us out and realizes that we’re only doing it just for our personal benefit, He’s simply going to cut us off at the knees. 

And a very good example of that is Jesus’ position on the offering of a poor widow and that of the rich folks. ‘And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites (small copper coins), which make a farthing.  And he (Jesus) called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance (surplus); but she of her want (out of her poverty) did cast in all that she had, even all her living (her whole livelihood).’ (Mark 12:42-44) 

Yeh friends, in the Lord’s eyes, it’s not always about how much you give, but more often what sacrifice you make to give whatever it is. If we have plenty, we can always give plenty. But it’s when we don’t have plenty, then we see the true nature of our hearts. As the scholars say: ‘12:43-44. God does not measure giving by conventional human standards.’ And that’s gospel truth! 

Thus friends, it’s ever so important for us have the kind of heart that the Lord approves of, and the best way to get that is by going to Him in sincere prayer and asking for His help, like Bruh David did at the end of Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. He humbly pleads: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try (test) me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps.139:23-24)

Yes my people, that’s the best way to acquire a right heart…go directly to the Father! Much LOVE!

…a man whose heart is not right…will not find favour with the Lord…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2014 Romans 10:13

Romans 10:13.   For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 Halfway home Friends, yes we halfway home this Wednesday morning! So please, just hang in there by standing strong in faith and steadfastly focusing on our Lord and Saviour, the Prince of Peace, our Emmanuel, our Advocate, our High Priest and Great Redeemer! 
 
And we all know that to be Jesus Christ – the ONE and ONLY SUPERSTAR in this great universe; the ONE who looks after all our needs!
 
So let’s take courage and continue to sincerely LOVE our God; faithfully LIVE our lives as He desires, and SPREAD His true and holy Word, so that others can hear it and also come to salvation and eternal life.
 
And my brethren, just in case you’ve forgotten, or are simply taking it for granted, please remember that Jesus is the magnificent embodiment of the Word, the Way, the Truth and the Life! NOBODY comes to the Father but THROUGH HIM!
 
Now having set the stage, let’s get on with the drama, (smile) our Bit: ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
 
Ah Friends, what a very poignant, powerful and encouraging scripture!
 
There, Bruh Paul is quoting the prophet Joel, just as Peter does in his most moving sermon on the day of Pentecost, (Acts 2:21) when the Holy Spirit came to earth to indwell ALL believers from that time henceforth.
 
Joel says it thus: ‘And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered (saved): for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance (salvation), as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. (Joel 2:32)
 
Now here’s a note the scholars’ have posted, re our Bit. ’10:13. Whosoever: As chapter 9 stressed divine sovereignty in salvation, this passage stresses the human responsibility. Scripture does not view these two principles as paradoxical or contradictory, but as mutually compatible truths.’
 
And why should they be incompatible eh, since salvation is of, or comes from the Lord, while accessing it is a human responsibility?
 
Anyway my fellow believers, though it’s all well and good to have people call upon God’s name and be saved, there are also a few equally important questions, as Bruh Paul so rightly points out: ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
 
And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’ (Rom.10:14-15)
 
My sentiments exactly! (smile) Yes Friends, people can only call on the name of the Lord to save them after they have heard the good news of Jesus’ gospel preached. And that entails a preacher explaining it to them, which therefore means that we need preachers to go out to those who have not heard the Word and deliver it to them.
 
For remember, that is the Great Commission that Jesus gave to the disciples, and consequently us, before He left this earth and ascended back to heaven.
 
‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20)
 
So my brethren, it’s our bounden duty to teach those around us the Word, and send out others to all nations to broadcast the good news of Jesus, because that’s the only way they will ever hear it, and thus have the most wonderful option of salvation and eternal life.
 
Fortunately for us, in this technological age, it doesn’t depend entirely on sending out preachers, but we can transmit the Word all over the world by means of radio, television, and all the new-fangled do-dads of wireless communication. The world has never been ripe like it is right now for us to get the Word out my people.
 
And we’ll close with some important info from the scholars re verses 14-15 above. ‘10:14-15. In presenting the universal proclamation of the gospel, Paul presents the reasons why a universal proclamation is necessary: First, because the call must be preceded by faith; second, because faith must be preceded by hearing.
 
This shows that knowledge is essential to belief. Faith must have a valid content; third, because hearing requires a preacher; fourth because preaching requires being sent. The One who sends is God. Salvation is completely from God.’
 
Words of indisputable truth my people! So today let’s contemplate what part each of us has to play in the furthering of the gospel, whether it be close to home or far away, whether it be through personal appearances or by technological means.
 
But remember, we are all supposed to be, and even more importantly, act as disciples of Christ, which means being involved in spreading the good news of Jesus, wherever, and to whomever we have the opportunity.
 
So let’s get with it nuh, for Jesus is depending on us to spread His Word, so that not even ONE soul will be lost, and that ALL will come to salvation and eternal life. Much LOVE!
 
…in this fallen world…there’s no greater…or more important news that needs to be universally proclaimed…than the gospel of Jesus Christ…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 November 2013 Genesis 17:1-2

Genesis 17:1-2.    And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God (El Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect (blameless). And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
 
Oh Friends, is Sunday morning! Hear them church bells ringing nuh! Is we deh calling yes, saying: Come and worship, praise and thank Him; Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; our Prince of Peace; our Emmanuel; the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, to whom every knee shall one day bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord indeed, to the glory of God the Father! 
 
What an awesome, divine, undeniable, indisputable truth my people! And all God’s children shouted ‘Praise the Lord!’
 
And continuing on with God’s promises to Abram, we see from our Bit, that thirteen years after Ishmael is born to Hagar, Sarai’s Egyptian maid, the Lord comes back to Abram with the promise of giving him a multitude of descendants. ‘And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God (El Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect (blameless). And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.’
 
Ah Friends, I wonder what went through Abram’s mind eh? Did he think thoughts like: ‘But Lord you promised me that some twenty three years ago, and still nothing has happened. I only have this child by Hagar which doesn’t seem to fit your plans. How long am I supposed to wait eh? Sarai and I are getting older and closer to death everyday.’
 
The important point here though my fellow believers is that despite what Abram felt or thought, his response to God’s promises was certainly respectful and reverential. The Good Book describes it thus: ‘And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many (a multitude of) nations. Neither (no longer) shall thy name any more be called Abram (High, Exalted Father), but thy name shall be Abraham (Father of a multitude); for a father of many nations have I made thee.
 
And I will make thee exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. and I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed (descendants) after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. and I will give unto thee, and to thy seed, the land wherein thou art a stranger (of your sojourning), all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.’ (Gen.17:3-8)
 
Oh Friends, what a weighty set of promises to lay on a hundred year old man eh! Now to us it might seem like a lot, but back in those day men lived for hundreds of years and continued fathering children. (Gen.11:10-32) Even Abraham’s father, Terah must have sired him around age 130, since Abram was 75 when he left home and Terah died at 205 years old. (Gen.11:32)
 
So here’s poor Abram, God has piled up the promises: He’s changed his name from Abram to Abraham. All sorts of royalty will come from him, and the land of Canaan would belong to his descendants in perpetuity, and El Shaddai will be their God. Abraham’s mind must have been spinning. But God wasn’t done, He finally adds the clincher.
 
‘And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in (throughout) their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token (sign) of the covenant betwixt me and thou.’ (Gen.17:9-11)
 
Ah Friends, the stakes were now getting higher. As a sign of the covenant with God, Abraham, his male descendants and all other males born or dwelling in their community had to be circumcised. At eight days old every male child had to be circumcised. And anyone who wasn’t circumcised would be considered cut off from God’s people, a breaker of the holy covenant. (Gen.17:12-14)
 
Hear how the scholars put it: ’17:9-14. Abraham’s part in the covenant-making process was circumcision, which God established as a sign of the covenant to indicate that his offspring were uniquely dedicated to God. (Ex. 4:24-26; Rom. 4:11). A Hebrew who failed to observe this rite would be cut off from the covenant community. Circumcision was to serve as an outward sign of inward dedication to God. In itself it (circumcision) was neither efficacious, nor unique to Israel.’ 
 
Now Friends, that wasn’t all that God laid on Abraham that day nuh: ‘And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah (Princess) shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of (by) her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. 
 
Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
 
And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
 
And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time next year. And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.’ (Gen.17:15-22)
 
Oh my brethren, can you imagine your reaction to God laying all of that on you at one time? Mama Mia! But such was the strength and faithfulness of Abraham, that although he laughed and doubted in his heart that Sarah would eventually produce a son, nevertheless after the Lord left him, he took all the males in his household, including Isaac and himself, and they were circumcised according to the sign which God, declared would be the sealing of the covenant. That’s surely indicates great faith and trust.
 
Anyway Friends, enough for today. Let’s read, mark, ponder and inwardly digest what we’ve read and heard, because it’s important that we know where and how our faith came about.
 
Much LOVE!…if we don’t know where we’re coming from…where our roots lie…then how can we know where we’re going…what kind of fruit we shall bear…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 June 2013 1 John 4:8

1 John 4:8.    He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE!
 
Oh Friends, family, neighbours and enemies, this is Sunday, the day when many of us go to church to worship God! But that doesn’t seem to be helping us nuh, because our world is still going to the dogs, and very quickly too.
 
Obviously one day a week is just not sufficient for us to pour out praise and thanksgiving, for every day there’s more talk about the escalation of ongoing wars and rumours of new wars starting up. There’s plenty of strife, anger, hatred, greed, pride, persecution, suppression, oppression and all the other negative things – but NO LOVE!
 
And that’s just unacceptable my people. Our world needs a LOVE Revolution in the worst way! My brethren we need one bad, bad, bad – and right now too! And the sad part is that it won’t take much LOVE to straighten out most of the problems nuh. But unfortunately we can’t seem to find any true LOVE at all. 
 
Remember what B.J. Thomas says in his song?  ‘A little bit of LOVE is better than no LOVE at all.’ So all we’re looking for to start us out on the right foot Friends is just a l’il bit o’ LOVE. And we’d be surprised at the substantial change that just a l’il LOVE would make. But for some reason we can’t seem to get around to that, however we do seem to find the time and effort to revel in the inappropriate evils of the world.
 
Oh my people, yuh see what our Bit says: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE!’ And that’s the undeniable truth!
 
So if, as we claim, we believe in God, then we ought to have LOVE for God and also for each other. And not only have LOVE, but more importantly SHOW it! My family will tell you that one thing I’ve always tried to drill into their heads is that you just can’t talk LOVE, you have to SHOW it, because just talking it does no good to the hearer, they need to feel it too, for true Christianity is simply LOVE in action. 
 
That’s why unbelievers view us as a bunch of hypocrites, because we only talk the talk, but don’t walk it. Just look at how Jesus showed His LOVE for us nuh; by selflessly sacrificing His sinless life for our sinful ones.
 
The Good Book describes it thus: ‘In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ (1 John 4:9-10)
 
And if that’s not real true LOVE Friends, then I don’t know what is.
 
And hear this next verse nuh mih people. ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:11) And therein lies the crux of the matter my brethren. Too many of us out there in the world, in the body of Christ’s church claim to LOVE, but sadly, we don’t show it.
 
And here’s what the scripture says about that: ‘If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God, whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:20-21)
 
And yuh know what my people, Jesus isn’t asking us to die for anybody, although that could be a very LOVING and Christian thing to do. All He’s asking of us is a l’il thoughtfulness, a l’il caring, a l’il decency, a l’il compassion, a l’il mercy and a l’il forgiveness, which, when all put together, equals a L’IL LOVE! 
 
Oh my fellow believers, what’s so hard about that eh? And it doesn’t even have to be anybody outside, although it’s good to treat strangers decently, for unawares we might just be entertaining angels. (Heb.13:2) But we can begin right in our own family, for as the old people were won’t to say, ‘Charity begins at home.’
 
And that is the gospel truth! For if you can’t LOVE the people closest to you, how can you LOVE somebody you don’t know anything about, although it’s quite possible in true Christianity. 
 
So my brethren, what do you all have to say about all that eh? Are we going to do this LOVE Revolution thing?
 
I vote very vociferously that we should, because it’s a perfect win-win situation. We have absolutely nothing to lose, and absolutely everything to gain. So come on nuh, please join with me, starting today, in fact RIGHT NOW, let’s pledge our LOVE and allegiance to the LOVE Revolution in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Alpha and Omega, our Emmanuel, our Advocate, and don’t forget our High Priest… Wow!
 
So let me put it to you this way then mih people; if a man with all those awesome and amazing titles – and I’m sure I’ve left out some – gives up His innocent life for your evil one, then plays all those rather important roles in your life, why wouldn’t you want to associate with Him eh? Especially if when you associate with Him from a right and decent heart and motive, He will lift you up, exalt you more that you can ever expect or imagine. The Bible terms it: ‘unto him that can do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.’ (Eph.3:20)
 
Oh Mama Mia! How could I not want to be a part of all that nuh! No way José! I want to get in on the ground floor of that LOVE Revolution, because it’s the BEST THING this world has to offer!
 
So let’s say this pledge together nuh Friends. ‘Oh Jesus, today I pledge my allegiance to You and Your LOVE Revolution! I promise to do my very best to work towards the high standards of excellence you seek for those who desire to join your movement. Please help us to fulfil all your desire. We pray this in Your Name and on Your sacrificial blood. Amen.’
 
So we’re all official members of the LOVE Rev. Club now people! (smile) Therefore, let’s go out into the world and let our light shine, be the salt of the earth, show them what real LOVE is all about, what Jesus is truly about, by helping and serving those in need. For that was Jesus’ purpose here on earth; to serve, not to be served. And we’d do Him proud by continuing in that same humble and righteous vein.
 
So let’s glorify Him by both walking and talking the Christian talk. And all God’s people cried a loud ‘Amen!’ Much, much LOVE mih breddren!
 
…if God is LOVE…and shows LOVE…then God’s children should be LOVE…and show LOVE too…