Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2020 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.     ​Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!
 

And this Wednesday morning has opened completely different to the past two days! We’re bathed in bright sunshine and enveloped in cool, gentle breezes, unlike Monday and Tuesday that began with rain and continued all day with a rotation of sunshine and heavenly blessings. But let’s not talk too quickly, because with all the stormy weather in the area, Wednesday could end being just the same, except for the start and finish. And having philosophized on the weather, which we have absolutely no control over, let’s turn now to something that we have some control over, that godly thing we call JOY! 

And that’s the simple but overwhelming title of today’s poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. So please pray with me: ‘Joy! My favourite word. Circumstances may determine my happiness But, Lord, You determine my joy. Joy is sweetly honest. No wonder the minister said: “You can’t hide joy if you have it – You can’t fake it if you don’t.” Who can manufacture it, Lord? Joy is Your creation. Who may have it? Anyone who asks. Thank You, Lord For JOY!’ 

Oh mih people, mih people, I sure hope all of that just brought your own joy bubbling up from the depths of your souls to the surface, like it did mine! For there’s nothing in this world sweeter and more refreshing than JOY! It’s like the difference between honey and sugar. Happiness is like sugar; sweet but uncertain and fleeting and dependent on circumstances. Meanwhile, joy is like honey; thick and rich, steadfast and long lasting, because it comes solely from God! 

Yeah! If you don’t have the Spirit of God, the One True and Living God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob dwelling in you, then it’s impossible for you to have joy! You might have happiness, but certainly not that long-lasting, steadfast emotion we call joy! That’s why the Bible Promise for today’s poem, which is also our Bit, solemnly declares (ah Lord eh!) ‘Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!’ (Neh. 8:10) 

Mama oh Mama! What an awesome truth! That’s why the enemy’s biggest and strongest efforts are all geared towards stealing our joy, making us dejected and sad, fearful and without faith, for he knows that once he steals our joy, he has us like jelly, in the palms of his hands. We’re unable to function the way we ought to without the Lord’s joy, our very strength. And by the way, that translation comes from the New Living Translation. I usually stick to my King James Version, but this one just sounded more in tune with the times and our disastrous situation right now. (smile) 

And I’m chuckling here with joy and mirth because I just turned to the Good Book to find the scripture, and lo and behold it was already opened at Nehemiah, though not at the exact spot! I usually just open it and see if it opens at anything that seems like it’s good and useful for the day, but today I just opened it and didn’t look at where it opened at, but the Good Lord in His mysterious and fascinating ways was, as usual, way ahead of me. How can I not LOVE and cherish him when He looks after me so well eh? (smile) 

Ah friends, knowing the Lord, and having a personal relationship with Him is the best thing you can do in this life! Note, it’s not easy living and working for Him, because He often makes big and scary demands, but He ALWAYS gives us the grace and power to fulfill them. And though we ofttimes have to step out in faith to do His will, His work is always interesting, adventurous and totally fulfilling. 

Believe me, I’m talking from experience here. If you want to experience the most interesting, adventurous and fulfilling life this world has to offer, then you need to consider seriously working for Jehovah God! He will lead you into some times and places that will have you shaking your head in awe and wonder, even as you’re going through some rough times. That’s the beauty of working for Him: you know that you’re in good hands even though the situations might seem to dictate otherwise. 

But friends, you’ll never know or experience much of His largesse and awesome adventures until you make a conscious decision to step up and out and do whatever He’s called you to do. And yes, many times that stepping out will mean taking a big chance, with many voices crying out a loud warning of “NO!” But please note, in the Lord’s economy, there’s no such thing as chance. All His moves are well planned and orchestrated and He never leaves you in the lurch, always gives you the grace and power to do whatever He calls you to do. 

That I can personally testify to! How do you think I’ve been writing this Bit for some thirteen years now eh, possibly only missing two days in all that time? Because of the Lord’s faithfulness and LOVING-kindness! And if you compare where and how I started out with where I am now, it’s like night and day! That’s because the Lord worked with me, once I decided to stop laughing and heed His call to write the Bit. Yes, for those of you who don’t know the story, I did laugh when He first approached me with the idea. Just like Sara did when He promised her a child in her old age. 

But here’s another thing. Whenever the Lord comes a calling, it’s always in your best interest to agree on the first approach, for He’ll make your life miserable and intolerable until you do agree. Yeh, that happened to me. My life just wasn’t running right; not terrible, but not right either. Then I realized why. Hn! Hn! The Lord doesn’t give up on you, when He’s serious. So, finally I agreed. In the beginning I couldn’t write much, because I didn’t know much. My exact excuse for turning down the job. Now, however, I’m writing too much! (smile) 

And again I’m chuckling as I realize the testimonial direction He’s led me in today. And that’s where the joy and strength comes from; that knowing that regardless of what happens on the outside, on the inside there’s a surety that all will be well, because our great and faithful God has promised to work ALL things out for good to those who LOVE Him and are called to do His awesome bidding. Now it’s time us to go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

So 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!’ 

That’s another faithful promise you can’t beat friends. It just requires that we endure steadfastly to the end! Much LOVE!

…working for God is not easy…but it sure has wonderful and everlasting benefits… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2020 Zechariah 4:6.

Zechariah 4:6.     ​Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
 

Well hello there mih lovelies! Greetings and salutations! It’s so good to come to you again in fellowship with LOVE and peace in Christ uppermost in our minds and souls! It means that the Lord has granted us another day to do His work down here on earth, to complete the plan He’s ordained since the beginning of time for our lives. And this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin admirably describes how our heavenly Father works in our lives when we are obedient to His will. It’s simply titled ‘The Task.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord you give me a task So utterly impossible So totally beyond comprehension – The very thought of it Startles me. I want to run hide escape Anything, Lord. Then you electrify me You invade and permeate me You penetrate every fibre of me Until the task is accomplished By Your own magnificent power. Then You praise the performance Your creativity achieved And You reward me beyond expectation – As though I had done it All by myself. My Father.’ 

Now how wonderful is that eh? I’d say, most wonderful! (smile) That’s why I keep telling us about the magnificent and magnanimous God we serve. No other supposed deity would ever do such a thing; give you a tough task, then help you do it, then give you credit for it when it was done strictly under His watchful eye and mighty power! But that’s how the great God; Jehovah, Yahweh, I Am, whatever you choose to call him, operates! And that’s why I also can’t understand why we don’t live in greater obedience to Him, but foolishly prefer to run behind the things of the world. 

And our stupidity just boggles my mind, because He’s most faithfully promised that if we seek first his kingdom and His righteousness that all those worldly things we need…and much more too, will be given to us! Our problem is that we’re proud and greedy and impatient. We want it all, and right now, so we kill ourselves working for it, and sadly end up with no time to truly enjoy the worldly fruits of our labour. Now does that make sense my brethren? Obviously not! 

And even in these dangerous times of pandemic and strife, it’s still the worldly things for which we’re hungering, instead of being peaceful and calm and using this imposed time to come closer to our God, the One who LOVES unconditionally, and so much that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die, to be led like a sacrificial lamb to the slaughter, so that our sins could be paid for by His sinless blood. And yet still…we refuse to believe and obey… Ah mih people, I don’t know what else to say nuh to get us to truly embrace our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and to do His works down here on earth as He so greatly desires. 

So let’s turn back to our poem and the Bible verse to which it’s associated. It’s a promise of our God to the prophet Zechariah, re His doing of difficult or seemingly impossible things. In a vision the prophet saw a golden candlestick and two olive trees and did not understand their meaning. The angel of the Lord told Zechariah. ‘This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ (Zech. 4:6) Oh friends, what a most wonderful promise! 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘4:1-14. The fifth vision, the golden candlestick and the two olive trees: The work of God (the rebuilding of the temple) would be accomplished through God’s leaders, Joshua and Zerubbabel, who would be enabled to perform their tasks by the Spirit of God….’ Ah mih people, that was not the first time that the Lord had used His Spirit to enable His followers to perform His work. How do you think that Nehemiah was able to rustle together the remnants in Jerusalem and rebuild the walls of the city in only fifty two days eh? (Neh. 6:15) It was through the Spirit of the Lord! 

And it’s a promise that the Lord made several times in the Old Testament. Hear Him to the prophet Hosea with his unfaithful wife. ‘But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.’ (Hos. 1:7) And then to the prophet Joel, our great God proclaimed: ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the (men) servants and the handmaids (maidservants) in those days will I pour out my spirit.’ (Joel 2:28-29)

 Oh what a marvellous promise! And we’ll go back to the scholar’s explanation of Zechariah’s vision. ‘…The vision indicates that future Israel will be a blessing to all the nations of the world through an abundant supply of the Spirit of God as the result of the coming of the Messiah, who will unite the offices of priest and king in Himself.’ 

And yes, that’s exactly what happened when Jesus came, and when He promised the coming of the Comforter. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you’ (John 14:16-17) 

And furthermore, Jesus reassured them.. and us: ‘But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ (John 14:26) Ah my fellow saints in Christ, how beautiful is our Lord and Saviour eh! And it happened exactly as promised on the day of Pentecost, some fifty days after Jesus ascended to heaven, after telling them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father. (Acts. 1:4) 

They were all in one place, with the same purpose in mind. ‘And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like of fire, and sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:2-4) 

Oh mih people, yuh think we God easy nuh! Not at all! He likes to show off His awesome power on behalf of His people, and since that momentous day of Pentecost, His Holy Spirit has dwelt within every believer, leading and guiding, comforting and renewing and helping us to live this earthly life in godly fashion! Wow! What more can we ask for eh? Not much! So let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail letting the world know of our awesome position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And we know for sure that if we hold our positions, endure to the end, then that promise will be kept, even more gloriously than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…to sincerely follow Jesus…that’s the ONLY way to live…   

P.S. Yes, it’s somewhat long…but oh so informative and reassuring! (smile) Much LOVE! 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2020 Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 19:14.     ​Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.
 

Well friends, Wednesday has opened bright and sparkling and promises to be a hot one, not like the last two days that have been comparatively cool. But it’s summer and that’s what we expect…until it gets too hot. (smile) And this morning we have something to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that will break down all the walls and barriers and impediments that we have built up around ourselves and those with whom we interact. It’s appropriately titled, ‘LISTENING LOVE!’ 

Yeh mih people, it’s LOVE that listens. So please pray with me: ‘Listening LOVE is one of the greatest gifts we can give our mates, our families, and our friends. Too often we settle for surface talk or icy silences, for monologues or cutoffs, for defences. What a difference when we follow the principles of Listening LOVE. Listening LOVE is courteous. It says… I will strive not to interrupt or outguess you. I will not finish your sentences or break into your thoughts. Listening LOVE is attentive. It says… I will give you my undivided attention. I will not turn you off or leave you isolated. 

Listening LOVE is patient. It says… I will not rush you or insist on a right-now conclusion. Listening LOVE is kind. It says… I will not shame you with sarcastic retorts. I will not belittle you. Listening LOVE is objective. It says… I will try to be informative rather than opinionated. I will not attempt to think for you. Listening LOVE is unselfish. It says… I will guard against overconfidence and trite “spiritual” answers. Listening LOVE is prayerful. It says… I will pray for insight, for wisdom, and for gentle reactions.’ 

Oh my people, Listening LOVE is indeed difficult to practice when all the problems of the world are weighing us down! But please pray that there will be Listening LOVE between the duchess and I today, (smile) because I’ve already turned on the A/C  after it was off for the last two days, and that’s usually a source of contention between us. But although practicing Listening LOVE is difficult, it is indeed possible, if we took our time and thought about our reactions before we engaged them. Unfortunately though, that’s also a difficult thing in this new and modern world of speed and now for now decision making. 

And I guess that’s why Bruh David prayed this solemn prayer at the end of Psalm 19, which is our Bit and also the Bible Verse associated with today’s writing. ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.’ Yes my brethren, it’s only with the Lord’s help that we can truly practice Listening LOVE! The world and the sinful nature that exists within us do not allow us to be patient, thoughtful, kind, courteous and all the other things that Listening LOVE requires. 

 I guess that’s why Cousin Sol also wisely proclaimed: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth all sins.’ (Prov. 12:19) And again why he later on declared (yeahhh!) ‘Better is a dinner of herbs (vegetables) where LOVE is, than a stalled ox (fatted calf) and hatred therewith.’ (Prov. 15:17) Oh my people, LOVE is such a wonderful thing! And it ought to be, since it’s the most valuable attribute of our magnanimous and magnificent God! ‘And now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.’ (1 Cor. 13:13)

But since the fall of man, when sin entered our lives, true LOVE seems to be so difficult for us to practice. And the great efforts of the fallen angel Lucifer, now his satanic majesty, against it doesn’t help us in the least. Satan hates LOVE because he knows that LOVE comes from God. and he doesn’t like it one bit when John says: ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

But as true believers in Christ, that is exactly what we are called to do! All the greed and selfishness of the world should not be showing up in the sons and daughters of Almighty God. Sadly, however, it is showing up to a great extent because we are still too contaminated by the ways of the world and we are not seeking the righteousness of God as much as we ought to. And a very good example of how we ought to behave is given by Bruh David when the prophet Nathan eventually accosted him re his adultery with Bathsheba and the premeditated murder of her husband Uriah. 

He prayed: ‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps. 51) Yeh friends, our sin nature is responsible for a lot of stuff. But please listen to these wise words from the scholars. 

‘Sin nature: 51:5. When the word sin appears in the singular, it usually denotes the sin nature of humanity. This sin nature, which everyone possesses, influences us to sin and is the source of lust. It negatively affects people’s minds (Rom. 1:28). Illustration: The sin nature is partially responsible for blinding people’s thoughts and understanding, so that they cannot perceive spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Although our sin nature continues to operate within us, it was judged when Christ died (Rom. 6:6-7). 

Application: Until Christ returns, we must live in the strength of the new man, to overcome the sinful desires arising from the sin nature. We cannot eradicate our sin nature, but we can allow the Holy Spirit to control us so that we do not give in to temptation. (First Ref. Gen. 6:5; Primary Ref. Rom. 3; cf. Rom. 5:12).’ 

Ah friends, life can be somewhat difficult at times, but with Christ in us, and we in Him… Oh we can do any and all things through His most wonderful strength and grace and mercy. So please, let’s not fall or falter by anything evil that comes against us. And please read those scriptures the scholars outlined above, because they are so educational and uplifting, and do we ever need uplifting stuff in these turbulent times! Now let’s go home declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our serious, sincere and most excellent position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if we endure to the end, we WILL experience that glorious future with Christ! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t know Christ…you’re missing real life…the best life possible… 

P.S. Sorry it’s late, but I had to go out the street and do some time sensitive stuff first. But it’s a good read. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2020 Job 32:8.

Job 32:8.    ​But there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration (breath) of the Almighty giveth them understanding. 
 

Well I’m like the weather this morning; some early rain with the sun pushing through some dark clouds that are still hanging around. Hn! I guess the truth is I don’t have any remarkable opening remarks to offer this morning. There are some things I would like to say, but prefer not to touch on because they will only provide negative vibes, and I really don’t want to sully my soul, or yours, with too much negative stuff since there’s enough circulating around the globe in what we call the news to dampen the spirit of the strongest personality in the universe.

 Instead, I’m going to throw out a few verses that I just noticed in the Good Book, verses that seem to have a particular reference to these troubling times. They come from the book of Job, when Elihu, the youngster in the group of Job’s friends finally got up to speak. Like a well-mannered young man, he had allowed his elders to speak first… something that’s no longer an accepted way of life in these modern days. Elihu had been afraid to voice his thoughts because of the age of his friends and his relative youth. 

‘I said, Days (age) should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration (breath) of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men (men of many years) are not always wise: neither do the aged (always) understand judgement.’ (Job 32:7-9) Ah friends, those words are even truer today than they were back in Elihu’s day. Technically speak, men of great years ought to be wise, but as we are seeing in these turbulent times that is certainly not the case. 

And even with the Holy Spirit now living in believers, and ought to give us understanding, for whatever reason, too many of us are not listening to the Lord’s Spirit and following its instructions. That’s why there is so much strife and dissension and struggle in our world. We’re not seeking wisdom and understanding like Cousin Sol did back when the Lord raised him up to the throne of his father, Bruh David. When the Lord asked him in a night vision what he wanted, he replied: ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people.’ (1 Kin. 3:9) 

And it pleased the Lord that Cousin Sol hadn’t asked for long life, riches, or the life of his enemies. Unfortunately though friends, those are the things that too many of us are asking for these days, instead of wisdom and understanding. And what did the Lord do? ‘Behold I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour: so that there shall not be any (anyone) among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.’ (1 Kin. 3:12-14) 

Yuh see friends, that’s the magnanimity of our great and wonderful God showing out there. When we’re not preoccupied with the things of this world, then the Lord showers us with some of those very things. As Christ advised. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) My people, the Lord knows what we need to live this earthly life and if we keep Him first in our lives, we will be well looked after. That’s His faithful promise. 

And it’s a sad commentary on Cousin Sol, that when he got on in years he turned away from the Lord who had given him such wisdom and understanding and wealth. His many wives apparently led him to turn to their pagan gods. And no, I won’t say it. Don’t want to get into trouble with the wives. (smile) I guess what I’m trying to say is that our elders and leaders with age and experience behind them, ought to be doing a better job of leading the people than they’re doing. 

And whether it’s through their own greed, lust for power, the devil’s machinations, or simply failing brain functions, or a combination of them all, the world leaders are not leading properly, there’s no wisdom and understanding amongst them, and consequently the world’s going up in both real and psychological flames. You can’t remove the great stabilizing power of Jehovah God from society and expect it to run smoothly, for Beelzebub is the prince of chaos and destruction. And right now he is indeed ruling the roost. 

Friends, we need leaders and elders who are actively seeking wisdom and understanding to lead their people, rather than wealth and power and revenge and a heavy hand to keep them in subjugation. And as James says: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Oh my people, faith in Almighty God ought to be our driving force, else we’ll end up lost and drifting aimlessly in the wilderness like the Israelites. And above all, we must seek wisdom and understanding, so that we can appoint the proper people to lead and guide us, for remember the words of Cousin Sol: ‘Where there is no vision (revelation), the people perish (cast off restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’ (Prov. 29:18) Our leaders need to have more godly counsel, and our morality must be based on God’s revealed will. 

Fellow believers, the long and short of the story is we the people must be actively involved in our government, not just leave it up to a bunch of greedy and evil politicians. We must elect godly people, and make sure they toe the line. Ensure that they remember, they are working for us, not we for them! Now let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, describing our wonderful situation in Jesus. 

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And it will be, if we endure to the end. Much LOVE!

…righteousness exalteth a nation…but sin is a reproach (shame, disgrace) to any people… (Prov. 14:34)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2019 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.    ​And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 

Ah friends, Saturday, the day of all days! (smile) What’s on the agenda for today eh? For most of us it’s sleeping in, then a lazy day on the couch, or fun and games, barbecuing and enjoying the summer weather. For others though it can mean a busy day at home; cleaning and washing and replenishing groceries and stuff; possibly harder work than what you get paid to do during the week. (smile) 

But that’s how life goes, and once you have Jesus walking in you and with you, then you don’t have to worry about getting whatever job it is done. Oh yes, it might be somewhat difficult, but you’re assured that with Jesus’ help, you will get it done successfully! All praise and glory to our great and wonderful God for the help He gives to us frail and mortal humans! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s see what gems of wisdom our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this one: ‘Life is too short to waste in the company of those who can’t wait to put you down. Let them say what they want. Their opinions aren’t your problem. Keep doing good, as you’ve always done. No matter what they do or say, don’t doubt who you are and what you’re doing.’ 

That’s wise advice friends! In this current mish-mash world, people are only too glad to put you down once you’re trying to improve yourself and your situation. Possibly because of jealousy, or their own laziness, they don’t want you to rise above them. But once you’re sure of who and whose you are, that you belong to Jesus, for you were bought with a high price, that of His precious blood, then you can ignore all the naysayers and go about Jesus’ business with confidence. 

And then there’s this: ‘Being quiet and calm doesn’t mean you’re weak. Such people show strength that’s under control. The most intelligent people know when to speak, know when to listen, and know when to be quiet.’ Oh what truth my brethren!

But unfortunately, with the current burst of technology that makes communication so easy, everyone has an opinion on everything and are not bashful to share it, thus the great explosion of social media and the large amount of nonsense, endless talking, false information, lies and deceit they provoke. 

Now here’s a gem: ‘You’ve been in situations where you thought you’d never make it out, but you did. You’ve lived through it, you’ve learned from it and you survived. So whatever it is that you’re currently going through right now, you can and will get through it if you are determined to push thru.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren. We’ve lived through numerous times of adversity and trouble, but with the Lord’s help we got through them all, stronger and more mature. So why worry about whatever tough situation you’re experiencing now eh? It’s a problem too many Christians face; not turning back and remembering what the Lord brought us through, and realizing and believing that if He’s done it a million times already, He’ll do it a zillion times in the future, for that’s His awesome, unbreakable and ever-faithful promise. 

And I particularly like the last two quotes, which fit together quite nicely. The first says: ‘People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.’ That’s an undeniable fact! That’s possibly because of the leader’s charisma or charm, or some sense of trust and reliability that they exude. There’s no better example of that than Jesus. Look at how He chose His first four disciples: 

‘And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers (fishermen). And he saith unto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him.

And going on from thence, he saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother in a ship with Zebedee their father mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:18-22) 

Ah mih people, those fishermen must have seen something in Jesus to just drop their livelihood and follow him, the last two leaving their poor father to manage on His own. And Jesus called Matthew the same way. Matthew was sitting at his tax office, adding up his money, when Jesus passed by and said to him, ‘Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.’ (Matt.9:9) 

Now who in their right mind would give up the lucrative position that the tax man held back in those olden times to follow some itinerant preacher eh, and more importantly why? But Matthew did it, so he must have seen something in Jesus or felt some abnormal pull to just give up his lucrative tax job to become a fisher of men. 

Now the last quote says: ‘Leadership is not wielding authority — it’s empowering people.’ And that’s exactly how a true leader ought to operate. If you’re secure in yourself and your authority and power, then there’s no need to blatantly wield said power. What you need to do is raise up your followers so that they too can embrace your vision and help you bring it to fruition. 

And again, Jesus is the best example of empowering leadership. He knew who He was, and what power He had, and realized that He could not proselytize the whole world on His own, so He brought together the twelve most unlikely candidates to help Him, and over a three year period He taught them and empowered them, so that they could go out and do His work after He was gone. 

I like how He told them: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’  (Matt.10:16) Imagine telling your workers that nowadays nuh! I doubt you’d have too many after that. And that did happen to Jesus. When some of them saw how difficult the task was, they simply quit. 

Furthermore, He warned them thus: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ Oh friends, those are indeed tough statements to hear and bear, and they still pertain to us today. But please note that the true disciples bought into Jesus’ vision and did withstand all the trials and tribulations they encountered to spread His Word. 

And they did such a wonderful job, that two thousand years later, despite all sorts of problems, that magnificent and true Word has come down to us, with all the same provisos and tough conditions.

Yes friends, the baton, the glowing torch of Christ’s salvation, has now been passed to us, to keep it burning, until we pass it on to the next generation. Please, I implore us, don’t let it be said that that eternal torch was extinguished on our watch! That would be such a dismal stain on our report card. Let’s stand strong and endure to the end! Much LOVE!

…to be eligible for a prize…one must finish the race…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2016 Matthew 24:4‏

Matthew 24:4.    And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Oh friends, it’s a bright and sunshiny morning in my neighbourhood, everything having been washed nice and clean by the wicked thunderstorm we experienced last evening. 

Now if my plans had worked out, I would have been out on the road in the heart of the rush hour and the storm, but due to the Lord’s mysterious hand working on my behalf, my plan fell through and I remained safely ensconced at home for it all. Thank you Lord! 

One friend later told me she had been caught in the storm on the highway, and it wasn’t a very nice experience, but also with the Lord’s help she managed to get through it safely. What a good God we serve and worship my people! 

Anyway, today’s a new day, and a new beginning, so let’s get some new info into us by means of a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, this one simply titled ‘Take Over.’ 

And it says: ‘At first, Lord, I asked You To take sides with me. With David the Psalmist I circled and underlined “The Lord is for me… Maintain my rights, O Lord…” “Let me stand above my foes…” But with all my pleading I lay drenched in darkness Until in utter confusion I cried “Don’t take sides, Lord Just take over.” And suddenly it was morning.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s how we usually are, selfish to a fault, wanting it all our way. But we’ll never get satisfaction until we leave it ALL to our wonderful, omnipotent and understanding God! 

And the Bible Promise for that comes from Psalm 143, wise words of Bruh David: ‘Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness (on a firm footing).’(Ps.143:10) 

Ah mih breddren, that’s exactly how and where we need to walk if we’re to be successful in this our earthly journey. Now let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with a true sense of purpose and strong conviction. 

As one voice 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 isn’t that just a great testament my people! We are the beloved of God, and the friend of Jesus! Nothing can be better than that eh! 

That brings us to the serious warning of Jesus in our Bit. ‘And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.’ 

Now that my fellow believers is a warning that we ought to heed with all diligence and concern, for it holds the very disposition of our souls in the end times. If we allow false teachers and messiahs to deceive us, then we’ll most certainly end up on the outside looking in, not a very nice place to be. 

That’s why Jesus specifically warned His disciples, and consequently all those who came after, about the great importance of staying true to His Word and not following any of the many impersonators that would come after Him. 

Listen to His description of how it will all pan out. ‘And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse (various) places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.’ (Matt.24:6-8) 

Oh my brethren, there’s no doubt that we are currently in the end times, ‘the beginning of sorrows,’ for all that Jesus spoke about is currently happening around the world. 

And He continues: ‘Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted (tribulation), and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 

And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the LOVE of many shall wax (grow) cold. 

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all of the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ (Matt.24:9-14) 

Oh friends, we’re not quite there yet, but we’re well on our way! 

Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘24:5-14. Wars and rumours of wars refers to peace being taken from the earth and the constant wars that have continually marked the “age of the Gentiles.” Famines and pestilences: These events mark only the beginning of sorrows (Gr. odin), “birth pangs.” 

This is followed by martyrdom and the rise of false prophets and the abounding of iniquity. The “gospel of the kingdom” refers to the missionary expansion of the church in all the world. The gospel shall be preached in all the world (Gr. oikoumene), the inhabited world, and unto all nations (Gr. ethnos), “Gentile nations,” as contrasted with the Jews. Then shall the end come would then refer to the end of the church age.’ 

Oh friends, we even teaching Greek in the Bit. (smile) But on a serious note, there’s no doubt that we’re moving, and moving fast too, towards the end of the church age, when the world will be plunged into even more iniquity and disaster than we already are seeing. 

Now can you imagine that? I don’t even want to imagine it, much less experience it, that’s why I’m doing my level best to stay rooted in Jesus, and you would be wise to do the same too. Much LOVE!

…to be saved…one must endure to the end…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2014 Matthew 24:13

Matthew 24:13.    But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Summer, oh beautiful summer! What would we do without you eh? Hn! Possibly go more than stir crazy from being cooped up inside for so long. And I hear a lot of laughter coming from down south.

Yes you southerners, you can laugh because summer is a year round treat for you all. But we northerners do appreciate our summer, after those long, cold, winter days and nights cosseted in close quarters.

That’s why we go crazy, behave like leggo-beasts, when the summer time comes around and we experience the thrilling rays of a sun that shines not only bright, but also hot and heavy, and we can get outside in the heat, half naked – sometimes totally naked – (smile) and let loose all the passion and enthusiasm we’ve stored up during the dreadful winter months.

And so far we’ve had beautiful summer weather; not too hot, but hot enough, with decent winds to keep us comfortable, so that the days and nights aren’t too muggy and sweaty.

And all God’s people declared a loud and hearty cheer of ‘Thank you Lord for this delightful summer weather! We hope that it continues like this all summer long! And in grateful appreciation, we praise and honour your glorious name! Amen!’

But Friends, please remember that the summer has just begun, so everything and anything is still possible. But we’ve just got to hold on to our optimism with hungry hope and expectant faith, without thinking about what lies ahead after summer – winter, with its cold, lonely days and dark, dreary nights.

And now that I’ve put the fear of winter into us, (smile) let’s turn to the word from our almanac today that shouts at us: ‘ENDURE!’ 

Yes Friends, we need to endure those long, dark, lonely days and nights of winter, be they physical or emotional, so that we can eventually come into the light and lightheartedness of summer. Whatever we’re going through my people, whenever we go though it, ENDURANCE is a MUST!

For as the ensuing quote from the war days British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill (1874-1965) declares: ‘Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer.’

And that’s indisputable truth my brethren! You may not always conquer when you endure, but you’ll NEVER CONQUER, UNLESS YOU ENDURE!

And that goes for our Christian faith more than anything else in this whole wide world! Jesus clearly states the need for endurance in our Bit: ‘But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.’

Oh Friends, there are so many Scripture passages that call for the express need of endurance on our earthly pilgrimage, that I’m just going to quote a few of them. Let’s begin with something from the gospel of Mark, where Jesus is relating the parable of the sower.

‘And these (seeds) are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in them selves; and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction (tribulation) or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended (caused to stumble).’ (Mark 4:16-17)

Yes my people, in God’s great universe, even seeds need to endure in the darkness of the earth for a time, until they are ready to sprout forth. And unfortunately, too many of us today are like those seeds that are sown on stony ground. As soon as any difficulties arise, we are quick to complain and bail out.

But my brethren, the hallmark of a true believer in Christ is in our strong power of endurance, our perseverance and steadfastness, regardless of our prevailing circumstances! That’s why Jesus also told the disciples: ‘In your patience (perseverance, long-suffering) possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:19)

Patience and perseverance are paramount in Christianity my people!

Meanwhile, in Bruh Paul’s famous chapter on LOVE, he boldly declares of that most venerable emotion: ‘(LOVE) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ (1 Cor.13:7)

Yeh Friends, true LOVE is of God, and it endures everything that’s thrown against it, and in doing so, also lasts forever!

We also know Bruh Paul’s memorable words to the Galatians on the subject: ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart). As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:9-10)

And we’ll end with some more memorable words from Hebrews, re running our earthly race. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (endurance, perseverance) the race that is set before us.

Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls).’ (Heb.12:1-3)

Ah mih people, standing strong and steadfast in faith, with patience, perseverance and endurance is of the utmost importance in our Christian walk!

So let’s take all we’ve heard this morning to heart and let it re-energize us nuh, help us to stand strong, bear all things, in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and thus persist, endure, and see our race of life through to the very end. That’s wisdom of and for the ages! Much LOVE!

…only as believers steadfastly endure their trials and tribulations…will the church of Christ grow…and more importantly…endure… 

P.S. Oh Friends, the ole fella’s shaking it somewhat rough this morning, due to a pretty late night and the untimely acting up of my allergies. But I’m practicing what I preach…I’m enduring. (smile) Much LOVE!