Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 April 2022 Luke 24:5b.

Luke 24:5b.      Why seek ye the living among the dead? 

HAPPY  EASTER! 

It’s the big day friends; the day we’ve been so eagerly awaiting – that’s Easter Sunday! That most memorable day of Christ’s resurrection, which resulted in a resounding victory over his satanic majesty, the prince of darkness and his dark dominion of hell, death and the grave! And is it ever a perfect day for a resurrection; bright and sunshiny, though somewhat cool. It’s the most joyful day in Christendom because Christ’s resurrection made it possible for our sins to be forgiven and the free gift of salvation and eternal life a blessed reality! Oh, please give Him a shout of praise and honour my people. 

And do I ever like this commentary on the day taken from the Simple Series musical ‘Mercy Tree,’ which was featured on the album inspired by the message and mission of Billy Graham, titled ‘My Hope.’  It says: ‘We have gathered today to lift up the name of Jesus. We rejoice in His victory over sin and the cross. Our cries of ‘Hosanna! Save us now!’ have been answered. Our Redeemer has conquered death! And because we are certain of that, we have reason to celebrate!’ 

And we most certainly have reason to celebrate my people! It’s the day of mankind’s greatest gift, next to his creation; when the Lord blew His breath of life into man’s frail and fragile body! It’s not every day that your sins are forgiven, and you can look forward to a life of close encounters with your Lord and Saviour. So that’s indeed a cause for celebration! 

And to get us started on that celebration, we are going to sing this most appropriate hymn written by one of the great hymn writers of all time Charles Wesley, titled ‘Christ the Lord is Risen Today.’ ‘It’s considered the most definitive church anthem for Easter. Each verse features a focus on the Resurrection of Jesus.’ But before we get into the actual singing, I have one more commentary to share, and I’m not sure where I got it from, (smile) but it is very interesting and uplifting. 

Please read with me. ‘In every worship service, the words we say and the actions we participate in are somehow shaping us. Perhaps without even being aware of it, worship is doing something to us – it’s forming habits and language inside of us to both teach us why we are in relationship with God, and how to be in relationship with God. One practice that many liturgists and hymn authors have brought into worship is describing an event that happened in the past (usually a moment from the Gospel story) as if it were happening today, in order to instill in us the understanding that, just as God worked in the lives of people two thousand years ago, He is still working today. 

The hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” is a perfect example of this. Right in the title is an indicator of the present tense: the word “is.” As we sing this song, we are first brought back two millennia as “witnesses” of the resurrection, and then we are also made aware that though the actual event of the resurrection happened once, it is in a sense an on-going event with ever-present effects. We are called today to live out of the resurrection, to follow our risen Lord in newness of life, and to ever lift our “alleluias” in praise.’ 

So let’s do exactly that nuh friends, lift our ‘alleluias’ in sacrificial praise this Easter Sunday morn of this controversial and difficult year of 2022. Therefore, in an upbeat tempo, with loud voices, joyful hearts and souls, let’s sing this magnificent anthem of praise. ‘Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia! Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where’s thy victory, O grave? Alleluia! 

LOVE’S redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia! Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia! Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to LOVE, Alleluia!’ 

Yes mih bredrin. That’s indeed a magnificent song for a magnificent day, and we did full justice to it. Praise the Lord! And I do hope we noticed the focus in every verse on the resurrection of Christ as mentioned above. And I particularly like the line that says: ‘LOVE’S redeeming work is done,…’ To me, that describes it best. It’s all the work of LOVE, which it so truthfully is: beginning with the Father’s LOVE for us, then the Son’s LOVE for the Father, which led Him to an obedient death on the cross. 

But the story of Christ’s triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday is never complete without some retelling of it from the Good Book, how the women came to the tomb early in the morning to embalm Jesus, wondering how they would roll away the stone, but much to their amazement found the stone had already been rolled away and the tomb was empty. And they saw two men standing in the tomb with shining garments. They bowed their heads in fear, but the men said to them, ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spoke unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying , The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words. And they returned from the sepulchre and told all these things unto the eleven and to all the rest.’ (Luke 24:1-9) 

Now all the gospels give their version of the resurrection events, But there’s something about John’s version I like. Where, after the news of the empty tomb was noised about, Peter and John went to the tomb and also found it empty, and they too went away perplexed. ‘But Mary Magdalene stood without (outside) the sepulchre weeping, (this was her second visit) and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre. And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence (carried him away), tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni, which is to say Master (Teacher). Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not (stop clinging to me); for I have not yet ascended unto my Father: (do not worry, I’m not going away immediately): but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and he had spoken these things unto her.’ (John 20:11-18) 

What a moving story of reunion and reconnection my people! And I believe it’s important to note that Jesus chose a female, Mary Magdalene to be the first human contact on His resurrection day, and not one of His male disciples. She apparently was one of Jesus’ trusted female followers, female disciples, who travelled with Jesus and His ‘nowherian’ band (band of no fixed abode). And females were indeed an important part of Christ’s ministry, but I guess because of the paternalistic nature of the society their importance was consistently overlooked, just like it still is today. 

Anyway friends, I hope this short treatise (smile) on Easter Sunday has encouraged us, made us more aware of the great importance of this day in the annals and life of our Christian faith, for without it, there would be no Christianity, no salvation, and no eternal life, just hellfire and damnation. So please let’s rejoice, be merry and enjoy it, but let’s take time to consider how important Jesus really is to us, and repledge our allegiance to him on this Easter, this Resurrection Sunday! It’s the least we can do to show our eternal gratitude. Much LOVE!

…no resurrection means…no church…and worst of all…NO Rapture… 

P.S. Sorry it’s so late…but dem’s the breaks! (smile) Much LOVE! 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 April 2022 Matthew 27:46.

Matthew 27:46.      ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ 

A BLEESED GOOD FRIDAY! 

And then it was Friday…Good Friday to be exact; the end of our Lenten season, the day our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross of Calvary to pay for our abominable sins! And why that name on one of the most horrendous days in History? There are all sorts of reasons, but I like this one. It’s a Good Friday in the sense that on this particular day, ALL of our sins were washed away! That’s not only what‘s good about it, but what is exceedingly and abundantly wonderful! 

Yes, we know that Christ suffered terribly on our behalf, but that’s considering the glass half empty. However, looking at what that sacrifice entailed and accomplished – atonement, forgiveness of sins – means looking at the glass half-full. And no one wanted, or wants anyone to undergo such ‘sufferation’ as Jesus did – and that’s the only word that can truly explain what He went through for us undeserving and ungrateful sinners – but without someone sinless paying for our sins we would ALL still be headed for damnation and hellfire with no options of salvation and eternal life. 

And since Jesus was the only sinless soul available, it was obvious that the Father had to sacrifice Him if He wanted our sin debt to be paid. And oh, how it hurts my heart when I consider the unfairness and misery Jesus went through on our behalf. Sometimes I don’t even want to read about the shame hurled on Him during the mock trials He went through. And the flogging, oh brother, that wicked beating that cut His back to tatters brings tears to my eyes. 

Then the ignominy, the embarrassment and humiliation of dragging that heavy wooden cross on which He would be crucified through the streets of Jerusalem, falling under its weight, just like he would later fall under the weight of our sins that the Father would ultimately lay on His shoulders. It’s like our modern-day trait of having someone dig their own grave. Just listen to this description of Christ’s early suffering as told by Matthew, and if it doesn’t break your heart and bring tears to your eyes…then…I don’t know what to say about you nuh. 

After Pilate delivered Jesus to be crucified, ‘Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall (the governor’s headquarters where everyone could see), and gathered unto him the whole band (cohort) of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had plaited (twisted) a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put on his own raiment (clothes), and led him away to crucify him.’ (Matt. 27:27-31) 

Oh friends, can you imagine how Jesus must have been totally humiliated, especially after only a week earlier, the same crowd that had cheered His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, singing ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ was now shouting ‘Crucify Him!’ But yuh know what, our heavenly Father is always a kind and LOVING God, and even in the depths of Jesus’ despair, though He knew that He could not take away the cup that Jesus must drink, He could soften the blow somewhat. Thus, the following scriptures: ‘And as they led him (Jesus) away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.’ (Luke 23:26) 

Oh my people, do you think that Simon just happened to appear there when Jesus was so exhausted and broken after all that He’d suffered in the last several hours. No, I don’t think so. I think the Father, knowing the terrible state that Jesus was in, placed him there for just that purpose. And isn’t it strange that the first three gospels all named Simon by name, a supposed casual passer-by? Mark even named his two sons, Alexander and Rufus. And every Good Friday since then, we too are also calling Simon the Cyrene’s name. As they say, people are not named in scripture without a purpose. So the story had to be true. 

And I like what this one author, Chris Nye, says on importance of Luke’s words, ‘that he might bear it after him.’ That means Simon was walking behind Jesus with his cross. Nye writes: ‘Before his arrest and betrayal, Jesus said to his would-be followers, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). To be a Christian is to live a “cruciform life,” a kind of existence that is shaped by and through the cross. 

We bear the cross Jesus provides for us. This is precisely what Simon did and precisely what we must do too. As St. Paul wrote, we do this so that we may know Jesus “and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10). Simon of Cyrene, following behind Jesus with the cross, is the picture of discipleship. Christ has gone first. He has gone and is going to where we cannot. Still, we follow in his steps, bearing the cross behind him.’ 

Ah mih fellow saints, the cross is indeed the symbol of our faith! Everything in Christianity points to it and leads away from it. Without the cross there’d be no solid foundation for us to build our lives upon. And we all know the rest of the story of that First Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified naked like a jay bird, the ultimate shame in His Jewish faith, between two thieves, with nails in his hands and feet, and left hanging on the cross for some five hours in the hot midday sun to die from dehydration and loss of blood. The ultimate cruelty ever devised by man! 

But we also know that Jesus bore His ‘sufferation’ like the true Son of God that He was, mostly in silence too. His only complaint being at about the ninth hour, when He cried out to the Father: ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt. 27:46) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, on that old rugged cross, bearing the sins of the whole world on His shoulders, that was the ONLY time that Father and Son had ever been separated, and apparently that was the only thing that troubled Jesus deeply. He was otherwise so in control that He promised the repentant thief crucified with Him: ‘Verily, I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:43) 

Even in His misery, His dying moments, Jesus was cognitive enough to plead on our behalf. ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) He is asking forgiveness for the people who are unjustly crucifying Him, the same ones for whose sins He was sent to atone for! Now doesn’t that say everything about our magnificent Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? It certainly does! What a fine example He is for us to follow! And that’s all He’s asking of us this Good Friday, this immortal day on the Christian calendar; to take up our cross, just like He did His two thousand years ago, and faithfully follow Him to salvation and eternal life! Much LOVE!

…if you’re not faithfully bearing your cross…then you’re not following Jesus… 

P.S. Sorry for the lateness of the Bit, but I had to go to church, because the 10 o’clock service was the only one we have today. But as always…better late than never. (smile) Much LOVE! 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 October 2021 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.     And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Another rainy Friday evening, Friday night and Saturday morning. Much rain, but excellent weather for sleeping and also for sleeping in. However, I could not sleep in, much as I wanted to, that’s because I went to bed early, by my standards that is, and after some four or five hours in the bed, the ole body began complaining with aches and pains, so I had to get up, because resting was becoming more problematic than staying in bed. (smile) 

Anyway, here we are talking about too much rain, while so many unfortunate others in other parts of the world are dying from drought and lack of heavenly blessings. But whoever said that life was fair eh? It certainly isn’t. Our God though is fair and just! So, with that good thought in mind, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And we’ll deal quickly with this one, because he also sent it to us last week. That’s ‘To accomplish great things we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.’ Back then, we spoke of the importance of dreaming and planning, but more so the overwhelming importance of belief in accomplishing anything at all. Also very important was the source of our belief, or what we placed our belief in. And we gave the example of the synagogue ruler, Jairus, approaching Jesus to ask Him to come and heal his twelve year old daughter. 

But while Jesus was on the way to do it, Jairus’ people came and said that the girl was dead. But as soon as Jesus heard it, He said to Jairus: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’ (Mark 5:37) Meaning that Jairus was to believe He would and could do what He had promised, that is heal his daughter. And so it is with us, who claim to believe in Jesus. We must believe in the promises He’s made to give us a good future and a hope, of forgiveness of sins, leading to salvation and life eternal with Him in heaven. 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Nothing is, unless our thinking makes it so.’ I really don’t know what context our friend Anselm means that in, be it physical or mental. As per the physical aspect, I won’t say it’s totally true, because many things exist physically although we don’t think they are. In the mental realm though, a lot of things won’t exist for us, unless we think that they truly are. 

I guess we can use the allegory of philosophical theories, where some believe and even die for them, while others don’t. For the former they exist because they think on and about them, but for the latter they are non-existent, since they don’t spend time thinking about them. And I’m chuckling here because I was just thinking that that quote might fall into the philosophical realm of uncertainty. 

Meanwhile, the next quote tells us: ‘When you visualize, then you materialize. If you’ve been there in the mind, you’ll go there in the body.’ That quote is also similar to one we had last week, re ‘Visualizing is the great secret of success.’ And visualizing is an important part of success. You have to think of and on things, see them in your mind’s eye first, if you ever hope to reproduce them in real form. The world tells us that seeing is believing, but our Christian belief tells us, you must first believe it before you can ever see it, or bring it to reality. 

That’s what great inventors do; they picture something in their minds, then proceed to bring it to reality by whatever means necessary. And it is important to note, that unless you conjure up something in your mind, flesh it out first in your mind, be it a philosophical theory or physical product, you usually can’t bring it to fruition. Because that’s just the process of life, as the last quote says: ‘Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the truth in spades, whatever we continually think about and ponder on will usually come to pass, be it something we make or an attitude that we adopt. Ofttimes we associate it with the words of Cousin Sol, ‘As a man thinks in his heart so is he.’ (Prov. 23:7) And that’s quite true, although that’s not all of the proverb. The verse actually says: ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.’ (Prov. 23:7) There Cousin Sol is referring to someone who tells you outwardly to do one thing, but inwardly he really doesn’t mean it. I believe we call those kinds of people, hypocrites! (smile) 

And I want to share some remarks of an article on the crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study website by Clarence L Haynes Jr. titled ‘3 Reasons Proverbs 23:7 Says ‘As a Man Thinks, So He Is’ The article begins: ‘One of the most amazing gifts that God has given us is the human mind. The ability to learn, think, choose, and reason is the essence of what makes us human. While the ability to think makes us human, it actually goes deeper. Your thoughts become a reflection of who you really are. God certainly understands this, and he speaks to this in various places all throughout his word.’ 

Now that is the indelible truth! Whatever you steadily focus on for a length of time will eventually seep into your soul and become a part of you. That’s why the Bible warns us so much about the way we think; carnally and sinfully as opposed to godly and spiritually. So let’s check out a couple of those important scriptures on the subject. This first one is from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome, where he tells them: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

That means we are to stop allowing ourselves to be conformed to ‘the present thinking, value systems and conduct of this world.’ And why is that? Because they run contrary to the Word of God. And what kind of thinking then are we supposed to embrace? Here are some wise and valuable words on it from Bruh Paul to the church at Philippi. 

‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil. 4:8-9) 

And we could not end today’s message with better words of advice my faithful saints. So please let’s spend the weekend thinking and meditating on those kinds of things, so that we can have the peace of God in our lives. Much LOVE!

…the human mind…God’s most amazing invention…let’s use it wisely nuh…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2021 Proverbs 3:1.

Proverbs 3:1.     My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments.

Oh friends, this cool Thursday morning in early September is another day for us to live gratefully and enjoy the new mercies and compassions of God. And if you have been walking the same old roads that are leading you to sure destruction, and hearing the same old lies from the enemy of your soul, then it’s time to turn to the One who can change all of that, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Yes, He’s the One that LOVED us so much that He sacrificed His life that we could be saved from eternal damnation and separation from Almighty God! And yes, that’s a mighty fine thing He did there, the only One who could have accomplished it, for being eternally separated from the Creator of this universe is the worst thing that can ever happen to a human being. So please, it’s not wise to allow that selfless action of Jesus to go unused, to go to waste, by not accepting Him as Lord and Saviour, Redeemer, Prince of Peace and the many other things that He is and stands for. 

But unfortunately, living for Jesus is not a nice easy walk in the park kind of life, for there are pitfalls and tribulations and all sorts of unhappy things can happen along the way. However, we are assured that despite the many problems we may face, there will also be lots of enjoyment and refreshment along the way, and eventually everything will work out for our good. That’s the Lord’s ever-faithful promise! And if you want to hook up with Jesus, you have to believe His many promises; that’s what we call faith! And with faith comes sincere obedience too. 

And these wise words from the wisest man ever, Cousin Sol, as he exhorts us to obedience, should take first place in our hearts if we are to enjoy all the beautiful things that Christ has promised us, ending with salvation, eternal life in heaven with Him and our Triune God. So, let’s check out these most important words from the Good Book that ought to be our guide for daily living. Cousin Sol begins thus: ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments.’ (Prov. 3:1) 

Yes my brethren, it’s ever so important that we obey the rules and regulations involved in worshipping and living for Christ! All organizations have rules and regulations for its members to follow, otherwise there will be anarchy, with everyone doing as they please. And Jesus said it loud and clear to the disciples: ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) So if you don’t intend to keep God’s commands, then you are just wasting His time and yours. And please remember that God doesn’t really need us nuh, but we definitely need Him. So all of this is for our benefit, not His. 

And one of the major benefits that come from keeping His commandments is this: ‘For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.’ (Prov. 3:2) Oh mih people, who doesn’t want all of that eh? We all do! But we won’t get it unless we obey our heavenly Father’s commands. And Cousin Sol continues with his wise words. ‘Let not mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart (mind). (Prov. 3:3) And why should we do that? The answer is quite simple: ‘So shalt thou find favour and good understanding (high esteem) in the sight of God and man.’ (Prov. 3:4) 

Oh people, people, there is always a good reason for accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour and obeying His commandments! It’s not just a disorganized, quickly thrown together thing. It’s taken thousands of years for this plan to come to fruition, and it’s not quite done yet. But for us to be a successful part of it we must do wise, though sometimes hard stuff like ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) 

Oh, how can we ever go wrong when we allow the Creator of the universe to guide our lives eh? No way! But it has to be a constant, continual way of life. Like Cousin Sol says: ‘Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength, refreshment) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:7-8) Wow mih bredrin! Who again doesn’t want those benefits eh? We all do. But they don’t come by just wishing and hoping, but by being continually faithful, obedient and trusting! 

Now hear this next directive from Cousin Sol nuh. ‘Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov. 3:9-10) Ah mih people, that’s oh so important in the Lord’s economy, yet so many of us refuse to do it. We stubbornly refuse to give back to the Lord the first portion of what we earn or harvest through His bounty. Yes, it’s through the Lord’s bounty that we gain anything, as Moses reminded the Israelites long ago: ‘Remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth…’ (Deut. 8:18) 

And it’s not like the Lord needs it nuh, but He just wants to see if we really and truly believe Him when it comes to giving. In the Old Testament times they called it a tithe, or a tenth of what you earned. And it was also a means for the priests and people who worked in the church and could not work the land or raise animals, to get food, and to have food to share with the poor and the stranger. 

And it was so important to the Lord that in Malachi, He claimed that the Israelites robbed Him, then challenged them thus: ‘Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat (food) in mine house, and prove (test) me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.’ (Mal. 3:10) 

Yes friends, that’s how generous and faithful our great God is! But we also have to be faithful and trusting by giving back a fair portion of our goods for His work. And believe me, no one that has ever tithed will tell you it doesn’t work! Now it’s not just a matter of giving to get, but it must come from a sincere place in our hearts; a place of true belief and trust. And it does take time to mature in the grace and mercy of God, so all that stuff we’ve spoken about won’t happen overnight, but we do need to make a serious effort to live it. 

And when we do that, Almighty God blesses us even more, bestowing what we call our Thursday Blessings, so that we can do a good job for Him down here on earth. So let’s declare them together now nuh, because they don’t come into effect until they are declared. As one strong voice: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

That’s for sure my fellow saints! But now we must go out and share those blessings just as generously with others as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…for an organization to be successful…all members must obey its rules…                                                                                                       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2021 John 14:1.

John 14:1.     Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

And then it was Friday; the start of the weekend! So what are the plans for this holiday weekend with a few of the restrictions lifted this past week? The cottage, dinner at the restaurant, either inside or on the patio, barbeques outside, with a few more people allowed, provided the weather cooperates? Or are you going to get that much needed haircut and perm, or simply beautify your nails, since I believe those personal salons are now open. I saw a cashier in the pharmacy yesterday with one hand painted yellow and the other green! How very lax and compromising we’ve become, especially in morals and fashion. 

Oh, our weekend might even include church with a few more congregants, but still the mask and physical distancing. Ah Lord eh! There are endless possibilities! (smile) But please check out the necessary regulations and precautions before you venture forth. You don’t want to get caught by the Covid police infringing any rules and regulations. 

Now, two years ago, who would have thought that our lives, our world, could ever become such a battleground of sickness, restrictions and immense suffering eh? Nobody! But that just goes to show how fragile and easily compromised our new global village is. It only takes one person in the right place, at the right time, with the right illness to shut it down. And though we have so much technology and modern medicine, there are still simple things that we can’t handle. Look at this Covid-19 business nuh. Although we developed a vaccine for it in record time, it has mutated itself in several different ways from the original, and it’s now those variants that are causing havoc in our world. 

That’s why friends, we need something more substantial to hold on to, to put our trust in, because mankind obviously can’t satisfy all our wants and needs. And the ONLY person who can do that is Almighty God, through the august personage of his Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! He is the ONLY One who can truthfully offer us that Great Invitation, to come to Him and find rest and peace for both our bodies and our souls! He can do that since He is the Prince of Peace, who has conquered the world and brought salvation to the masses. 

Please remember these most potent and encouraging words He spoke while here on earth. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ (John 14:1) And in your doubt, you sarcastically ask why? Well because, as He says later on. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) Now that’s a very powerful statement for anyone to make, and as far as I know, NO ONE has ever made it but Jesus! That just goes to show the power and confidence that He possesses. 

And I guess you are wondering if He can back up that statement? Oh yes, He can! Just look at all the miraculous stuff He did down here on earth. He was even crucified for us, so that our sins could be paid for, for ever and all time. Now who else could do that eh? And in His triumphant resurrection from the dead, He defeated all the evil forces of the enemy, also granting us resurrection, salvation and eternal life, if we believed in Him. 

He is the fountain of life my people! As he said to the Samaritan woman at the well. ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well (fountain) of water springing up into everlasting life.’ (John 4:13-14) And though the woman did not really understand what Jesus was talking about, she intuitively recognized that He had something good to offer and asked for it. 

However, so many of us today, who know what Jesus has to offer, still blatantly refuse to accept that magnificent offer. How foolish that is my brethren! Listen again, to how Jesus tried to drive home to His accusers the importance of believing in Him. ‘For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth (gives life to) them; even so the Son quickeneth (gives life to) whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father, which hath sent him. 

Verily, verily, (truly, truly) I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement), but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgement also, because he is the Son of man.’ (John 5:24) 

Yes friends, because of Jesus’ supreme sacrifice and obedience to the Father’s will – that’s His substitutionary death on our behalf, on the cross at Calvary – He has given Him authority over everything in the universe – the name above every other name and the One to whom all knees must bow! As Jesus confirms to His disciples before His ascension: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ (Matt. 28:18) So my people, please realize that Jesus is the supreme ruler over the universe, and only in and through Him can we find peace, rest and salvation for our weary and troubled souls and bodies. 

Therefore, with that in mind, let’s go to Him in prayer, right now nuh, through our Friday Chant, asking for His divine help in our troubled earthly affairs. As one sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife is causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And if we want to receive positive answers to our prayer, then we have to go out and truly be examples of faithful believers. Much LOVE!

…he that hears now…shall live in the hereafter… 

 Visit the Scrip-Bit Blog at https://randyobrien50.com                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 June 2021 John 3:17.

John 3:17.     For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

And a good Tuesday morning, or afternoon, (smile) to you my Scrip-Bits friends and family! Well, it seems like we’re having a couple of hot summer days in a row, with temps in the high twenties, even the low thirties! Wow! Now isn’t that wonderful! It’s tanning time in the northern climes! Saw one fella out the street just now in shorts and no top, barebacked, trying to assimilate some rays. Hope he has on sunscreen though, because that sun can sure be powerful and deadly at times! 

All the air conditioners are running in the area. But who knows how long that will last eh? The weather has been so topsy-turvy recently, that the temperature can go right back down tomorrow. But thank God we have a Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who is not topsy-turvy, but steady, steadfast, reliable, faithful and unchangeable! Bless His holy name my people! That’s why the song declares: ‘Give me Jesus, because that’s all I need!’ And isn’t that the living truth! Jesus is all we ever and will ever need, both in this world and in the next! 

And why is that you ask? Because He is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings! The warrior General with a two-edged sword in His mouth; that means He can create and destroy with His powerful words! The One who fought the enemy, that foolish fellow called Satan, fought Him tooth and nail, mano-a-mano, and took away the keys to Satan’s kingdom, hell, death and the grave, by His death on the cross at Calvary and His triumphant resurrection three days later! 

Now, Satan is a toothless enemy, a dog with plenty bark, but no bite, unless we give him the opportunity to get a toehold in our lives. And on top of all that, Jesus is our refuge, our fortress, our good shepherd, our comforter, the answer to our every need, our strength and joy. No wonder so many of us are calling out for Jesus, we bow down and worship Him, because He’s our shelter in the storm, our guide and co-pilot, who never leads us wrong. 

However, the path that He chooses to lead us along is not an easy one; it’s straight and narrow, with many pitfalls along the way, but with His unerring guidance, we can be certain to make it to the very end of that straight and narrow road, where an eternal rest called heaven and eternal life awaits those whose who sincerely believe in and follow him! Glory be mih brethren! 

Oh my people, how can we ever go wrong when we faithfully desire the person whose name is above every other name eh, and to whom all the world will eventually bow to and worship? No way friends! That’s why, in birth, life and death, Jesus is all we need! And Jesus Himself said so on several occasions. Let’s look at a couple nuh. First and foremost are His immortal words to Nicodemus, who, under the cover of night, came seeking wisdom and understanding. 

‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

What a remarkable and momentous pronouncement my fellow believers! It’s the basic reason for all that He’s done! This sinful world of ours needed saving, and that’s what Jesus came to do. He came to show the great LOVE of the Father towards His human creation. And as Bruh Paul so rightly said to the church art Rome: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Yes friends, Christ died a substitutionary death for us, meaning he died in our stead, that because He died, we don’t have to die. Now how thankful should we be for that largesse eh? Very, very thankful, I would think! 

Then listen to Jesus as He rebukes His disciples when they wanted to call down fire and brimstone on a Samaritan village that refused to make Him welcome. ‘Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.’ (Luke 9:55-56) There again friends, in His own words, Jesus proclaims that He is our Saviour, not our destroyer, like the evil enemy and his evil cohorts try to make us believe, because His way is not as broad and destructive as theirs. 

And when Jesus talks about the parable of the lost sheep, He once more reiterates His basic purpose: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt. 18:11) And we see it even more forcefully, when Jesus ate at the house of Zaccheus, the tax collector, who afterward repented and promised to restore fourfold to anyone whom he had wronged. Jesus said to him. ‘This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10) 

And as the scholars explain: ‘19:10. The words seek, save, and lost all appear elsewhere in Scripture in a shepherd context. This verse may be taken as a kernel statement of the central theme of Luke: Jesus is the compassionate, searching Herdsman who seeks to save those who can by no means save themselves.’ Now, right there in a nutshell is our major problem friends; we cannot save ourselves, that’s why we needed someone like Jesus to save us! 

And believe me, He was, and is, and will forever be, the ONLY ONE who’s capable of saving us from the abominable sinful condition we were in, and still are in. That’s because our salvation needed a sinless soul to pay for those abominable sins of ours, and Jesus was the ONLY sinless soul beside the Father in existence. And that’s why He’s the Greatest, the ONE and ONLY Superstar in the universe! All else is folly and foolishness! 

So friends, I do hope that these few words (smile) I’ve penned this morning will bring you to a knowledge of Jesus, and activate you to find out more about Him, then accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. And if you have already done that, then hopefully, these words will draw you even closer to Him. Now for those of us who are serious about Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. 

So as one strong voice, ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And if we are sincere, then, as good representatives, we’ll go out now and spread, generously share that amazing friendship and awesome LOVE of Jesus with those we meet. Much LOVE!

…all I need is Jesus… He is the answer to ALL my prayers…today, tomorrow, and through eternity…                                                                                      

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2021 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.     ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. 

Showers of blessing, Oh showers of blessing! That’s what we are experiencing in my area this Friday morning friends! And are we ever thankful and grateful to know that the good Lord is looking down with oodles of LOVE on our li’l community. (smile) We need to be, because, for whatever reason, He’s not looking down on many others with showers of blessings, but with drought and famine. So when you are blessed, you need to acknowledge it and give grateful thanks! 

Now, today, I’ve been led to offer scriptures on encouragement since our world is in such turmoil and upheaval, both literally and figuratively, and we believers need to remember and hold on tight to the many promises of Christ, that we should not be afraid, but to feel secure in His fold. And the first scripture I want us to look at, is that in Bruh Paul’s second message to Timothy, when the young pastor’s church in the big, turbulent city of Ephesus was undergoing some problematic times, and he was becoming discouraged. 

After reminding Timothy of the faith that ran down through his family; his grandmother Lois, his mother Eunice and in him too, (2 Tim. 1:5) Bruh Paul tells him. ‘Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting (laying) on of my hands.’ (2 Tim. 1:6) Now that’s the same thing I want to do today my faithful brethren: put us in remembrance of the gift of grace which we all got from God, when we received Christ, and which we need to stir up, to refresh, to lay new coals or wood on to relight the fires that once burned so brightly within each of us. 

Remember we are supposed to be the light of the world in Jesus’ place! However, at this current time, because of all the troubles in the world and in the church and the resultant fear, anxiety and insecurity, we have allowed those fires to burn low, or in many cases, to die out completely. But friends, this is the exact time that we believers are expected to stand strong and show the rest of the world the necessity of living for Jesus. And we have the ability and God-given capacity to do that, as Bruh Paul’s next words to Timothy prove. 

‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. Be thou not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’ (2 Tim. 1:7-10) 

Now fellow saints, the long and short of the story is this: From day one, God decided that at some stage his Son Jesus would die to redeem the sins of mankind. And He did this some two thousand years ago on the cross at Calvary and His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday, making possible salvation and eternal life. However, to achieve that forgiveness of sin, mankind would have to believe in Jesus and live the way He desired them to through His holy gospel. Believers would also be expected to tell others about the wonderful value and benefits involved in living for Jesus, though the work would not necessarily be easy. 

But since God is a good God and does not ask you to do anything without giving you the wherewithal to do it, He has graced us not with a sense of fear, but of power and of LOVE, and of a sound or disciplined mind. Now, that power comes directly from the Holy Spirit that indwells each believer, and is there to lead and guide us into all truth. Remember Jesus’ words to the disciples before He ascended to heaven, that they should stay in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father. (Acts 1:4) 

Then later on, He further explains: ‘But ye shall receive power, after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8) Yes friends, Jesus knew they could not accomplish the Great Commission, evangelizing the world, without the power of the Holy Ghost, which finally descended on them on the upcoming day of Pentecost. (Acts 2) 

Now, that Great Commission was given to ALL believers down through the ages, likewise the Holy Ghost. That means we have the necessary power to do whatever is necessary on Christ’s behalf, as well as His unconditional LOVE for us, which also brings out our feelings of compassion and caring for others, and we can do it all with a sound and well-disciplined mind. So truly, there is no need for us to fear and be anxious about all the confusion circling around us today. 

Remember this promise of Jesus. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Now, if we are true believers in Jesus, that ought to quieten our hearts. 

Then listen to this scripture from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘’For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.’ (Rom. 8-15-16) Yes my fellow believers, the very indwelling of the Holy Spirit makes us children of God! And if we are children of the Most High God, then there is no need to fear anything or anyone in our Father’s universe! 

But since we are imperfect and ofttimes stubborn, hard headed beings, we don’t always do as we ought to, and so things go wrong in our lives. That means we still need to go to our heavenly Father in prayer and ask for His help. Let’s take the opportunity to do that right now nuh, through our Friday Chant. 

As one sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife is causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, hopefully the Lord will respond positively to our petition, but you know that depends on us keeping our promise to be faithful believers. Much LOVE!

…when believers fear…it doesn’t give unbelievers any encouragement to seek Jesus…                                                                           

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2021 Matthew 8:26a.

Matthew 8:26a.     ​And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

Let’s go, let’s go friends! Time to gather around our electronic devices to sing, praise, worship and glorify our great God on this His Sabbath Day! Yes, most of our sanctuaries are closed, but the Lord in His manifold wisdom made it possible to come to Him in prayer, with thanksgiving despite that unfortunate circumstance. What a mighty God He is – the One who makes a way where there seems to be no way! 

So, without further ado, let’s get on with our heavenly Father’s business this bright, summer-like Sunday morning. And, as always, we’ll open the proceedings with a song of praise. Today’s’ anthem is rather appropriately titled: ‘LOVE LIFTED ME!’ Wow! Isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren, there’s nothing that lifts us up like LOVE, especially the LOVE of Jesus! 

And I know we are dying to burst open our vocal pipes, (smile) but before we do that, just a li’l background on the author of the hymn, James Rowe (1865-1933). He was an English immigrant to the U.S. in 1889, where he worked as a railroad worker for ten years in New York, then became an inspector for the Hudson River Humane Society. The hymn was written and published in 1912 and soon became popular amongst the United Methodist congregation. 

Awright, time to finally sing (smile). So let’s raise our eyes and hearts to heaven as we declare in sincerity and truth, the awesome fact that Jesus’ LOVE lifted us when we were sinking in the mire of sin. In sweet harmony, in an up-tempo riddim, because it’s a song of joy, let’s offer up our sacrifices of praise. 

‘I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more; But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, From the waters lifted me, now safe am I. (Refrain: LOVE lifted me! LOVE lifted me! When nothing else could hep. LOVE lifted me. LOVE lifted me. LOVE lifted me! LOVE lifted me. When nothing else could help. LOVE lifted me.) All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling, In his blessed presence live, ever his praises sing. LOVE so mighty and so true merits my soul’s best songs; Faithful LOVING service, too, to Him belongs. [Refrain] 

Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves; He will lift you by His LOVE out of the angry waves; He’s the master of the sea, billows His will obey He your Saviour wants to be, be saved today. [Refrain: LOVE lifted me! LOVE lifted me! When nothing else could help, LOVE lifted me. LOVE lifted me! LOVE lifted me! Oh yes, When nothing else could help, LOVE lifted me!’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my faithful brethren! It’s the LOVE of God for us that sent Christ to earth, and the LOVE of Christ for the Father that made Him obediently face the cross and all the cruelty and ‘sufferation’ involved so that He could atone for, be the propitiation for our sins! It was all LOVE my brethren; LOVE the driving force behind forgiveness of sins! 

And no doubt most of us know that Rowe’s hymn is based on the two stories of Jesus and His disciples out on the stormy waters of the Sea of Galilee, that we find in the gospel of Matthew. The first one is after Jesus feeds the five thousand, then sends them away in the boat while He goes up the mountain to pray. (Matt. 14:15-21) Then, in the fourth watch, 3-6 a.m. during a terrible storm, He comes to them walking on the water. When they see Him, they cry out in fear, saying it’s a spirit. But Jesus immediately quietens them by saying, ‘Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’ (Matt. 14:27) 

That’s when the impulsive Mr. Peter tells Jesus: ‘Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come.’ (Matt. 14:28-29) And we know that Peter bravely got out of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus. But halfway there, he began to sink because he took his eyes off Jesus and instead concentrated on the strong wind. That obviously scared the living daylights out of him, and he cried out to Jesus for help. And what did Jesus tell him after saving him? ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt. 14:31). 

And not surprisingly, those words are very applicable to a whole lot of us, especially in these pandemic and strife-filled times! Too many of us are doubting our faith and thus are sinking into the mire of things like depression, anxiety, fear and poor mental health. And would you believe the same thing happened in the other story on which Rowe based his song. This time Jesus was with them as they crossed the sea and a huge storm unexpectedly burst upon them. The disciples were scared to death, but Jesus slept quietly in the back of the boat as though nothing was happening. 

And when they woke Him up, saying ‘Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?’ (Matt. 8:25-26) Once more the matter of faith rose its ugly head! And to make matters worse, after Jesus calmed the storm, the disciples were thoroughly amazed, by the fact that the sea and the wind obeyed Him. 

But didn’t they see Him do all kinds of miracles? Yes! And don’t we also see Him work all sorts of wonders in our own lives? Yes! But still we doubt. And sadly, that doubt just prevents Him from doing more amazing things in our lives. It’s all about faith my fellow believers. That means putting our belief in Jesus Christ into action, not just thinking or talking it. As one person says: ‘Belief is of the mind, but faith is of the heart and spirit!’ 

Now here is this interesting commentary on our hymn. Not sure where I got it from, (smile) but it does make sense. ‘Rowe’s hymn masterfully incorporates both stories, using sinking or being swamped into the sea as an illustration for “sinking deep in sin…sinking to rise no more.” Jesus, “Master of the sea,” hears our pleas for help, reaches out to us in LOVE, and lifts us up into the well being of grace.’ 

And is that ever so true friends. Jesus certainly can lift us from death, despair and every other negative circumstance to salvation and eternal life. Please, for all our sakes, let’s not stop Him from doing so nuh, because it’s all to our benefit. Much LOVE!

…to live and work for Jesus…one’s faith must be strong…                                  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2021 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26. ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ 

Come on down Tuesday and let’s get going for Jesus! No time to waste or linger, for time is in short supply! All roads this morning are leading to the cross of Jesus, those two pieces of old wood upon which He fashioned the greatest miracle and gift of all time; salvation for sinners like you and I! 

So let’s give Him much thanks and praise for that indomitable feat, that selfless act of great courage, His awesome LOVE and outstanding obedience! If we only had one iota… sorry, that should be, if we had only shown one iota of the courage, LOVE and obedience that Jesus showed, our world would definitely not be in the mess that it currently is in. 

Yes friends, it’s not that we believers don’t have the parts to change the world, but rather, we have not used them sufficiently for that purpose. Consequently, the evil enemy has stepped into the breach that we left wide open, took advantage of our lackadaisical attitude and set up his dominion, and now has a stranglehold on our society. That means we must work even harder than ought to be necessary, to remake our world into a Christian stronghold. 

And, based on the authoritative words of Jesus, that’s not an impossible feat my fellow believers. Remember what He told the disciples after mentioning that it was easier for a camel to go a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God? (Matt. 19:24) ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) That needs to be in the forefront of our thinking friends: ALL things are possible with God! When we sincerely believe that, then we can truly go on to move mountains in His omnipotent name! 

So, it’s up to us, the die-hard followers of Christ, to get a move on and begin changing the terribly negative situation in our world. Jesus is depending on us to do it. It won’t be easy, but if we put our best foot forward, we will make a sizeable impact, because right now, with all the strife and sickness that’s in our world, people are desperately seeking solace and sustenance like never before. That means, now is our time to shine, our time to roll out all the wonderful things that Jesus has bestowed on us to help our fellow human beings. 

And before we give up and claim that the task is too great, let’s hearken back to these encouraging words of the prophet Isaiah. ‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding.’ (Is. 40:28) Yes friends our mighty God doesn’t faint or get weary, and neither can we understand how He moves, because as He says later on in Isaiah, that His thoughts and ways are much higher than ours. (Is. 55:8-9) 

So please stop using our finite minds to judge what the Creator of the universe can or cannot do. Instead, let’s believe that nothing is impossible to Him, and live our lives on that solid premise of faith! Remember these momentous words of Isaiah. ‘He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is. 40:29-31) 

Oh my people, what encouraging words in this time of pandemic and strife; words that we so desperately need to hear, understand and believe, if we are going to make a serious difference in the current world! Yes friends, now, in this time of much fainting and weariness, it therefore behooves us to not fall into those categories, but instead to turn to our great God and let Him renew our strength, so that we can rise up with wings like eagles, and walk and run as necessary, but certainly not faint! 

That’s the only way we will ever take back what the enemy has stolen from us and remake the world into what Jesus desires it to be! Oh yeah, I know that we won’t fully accomplish our task until Jesus comes back, but in the meantime, we have to do our best, do what we can, so that souls are not lost to the enemy, but won for Christ. That’s our job as His ambassadors, as His earthly representatives; to show the world what wonderful opportunities He provides for those who believe in and follow Him. The end results being salvation and eternal life! 

Consequently, my fellow believers, this is not a time to give up, but to rise up, for we were made for such a time as this, when we can stand strong and show the world what Jesus is really all about, and the immense, the eternal value that He offers to fallen human beings! 

Now, let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole world who and whose we are, to whom we so safely and strongly belong! As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’  

And the obvious consequence to that declaration, (yeah!!!) is for us to now go out and generously share the awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so they too can receive the amazing benefits He bestows on His followers. Much LOVE!

…when times get tough…the tough…that’s Christians…rise up and show their mettle… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2021 James 2:17.

James 2:17.     ​Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Oh, how lovely it looks out there my people; white and virginal! (smile) Yes friends, there’s snow on the rooftops and the hitherto blossoming green trees. Was I ever surprised when I saw it this morning, but apparently it was predicted by the weather department. I don’t expect it to cause any serious problems though, because the roads seem bereft of the white stuff, and most likely it will all melt by this afternoon. Let’s hope so anyway. (smile) 

But that’s one of the exciting and adventurous things about living in the northern climes; you’re never sure when Mother Nature will surprise you with something that’s supposedly out of season. And that’s exactly how our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ surprises us with good things when we walk sincerely with Him. So, although this earthly life provides many trials and much tribulation, let’s not lose faith and give up, because those are the times when the Lord acknowledges our trust in Him and sends deliverance. 

Oh yes, He sees all of our struggles and helps us get through them all. Even when He’s testing our faith and commitment to Him. And in these turbulent and controversial times, we need to hang on to Jesus even tighter than before, because no other system or faith, or whatever, appears to have the power to answer all the questions and problems we are now facing worldwide. And believe me, if you stick close to Jesus, it will all be worth it in the end. That’s His promise: ‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matt.24:13) And we know that all His promises are true and faithful, though probably not in our timing. (smile) 

And yes, sometimes it feels like He will never show up, and I can personally tell you about that, for many times, He’s taken me right to the brink of the precipice, but He’s NEVER allowed me to go over. So I can also testify that Jesus is NEVER late! It might seem so to us, but He always catches the crisis before it drags us under. The problem is that we like to be relieved of our problems right away, but Jesus likes to test our faith, to see us walk our talk, and that’s what He is expecting of us right now in this unusual time of pandemic, strife and natural disasters. 

So it’s a matter of digging deeper into the word of God, more prayer…and the sincere kind at that, and living good with our friends, families and neighbours. This is a time when Christians and the church of Christ are expected to come to the forefront and help our world understand that Christ is the answer to ALL of our many problems. As we said yesterday, we desperately need to be good and worthwhile ambassadors for Christ. That means we have to set a good example, and we can only do that when we are well grounded in the faith.

 And there are several instances in the Good Book where Bruh Paul admonishes the brethren to be go deep in the faith. Listen to this verse to the Colossians as he talks about his service for Christ. ‘If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled (steadfast), and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; wherefore I Paul am made a minister;’ (Col. 1:23) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:23. If ye continue in the faith (or “since you will persevere in the faith”): the Colossians future entrance into God’s heavenly presence depends on whether they remain in the Christian faith. The words “since you will persevere” indicate that they will remain loyal to Christ. Perseverance in the Christian’s faith is a test of the reality of one’s trust in Christ. This verse implies that true believers will persevere.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth friends! We are expected to walk out our trust in the reality of the way we live our lives. And never more so than in these critical times of our world! And as true believers we WILL persevere unto the end! That’s also an indisputable fact! Glory be my people! It certainly warms the cockles of Jesus’ heart to hear us say that so definitely and confidently! 

But it’s more than talk friends, it’s even more walk! Faith is indeed necessary, but that faith ought to show out in our works. As James says: ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food. And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed, and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.’ (James 2:14-16) 

Now that’s the gospel truth friends. We can talk all the talk we want, but if we have the wherewithal to help another and don’t, then our faith is worthless. That’s why Jesus showed it was ever so important to help the poor and downtrodden as He spoke the parable of the talents (Matt. 25) and ended with these words. ‘For I was hungered, and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.’ (Matt. 25:35-36) 

Then, when the righteous look at Him in astonishment and ask when they did these things? ‘And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch, as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ (Matt. 25:40) Yes, my fellow saints, in as much as we help the poor, downtrodden and needy, we’re helping Jesus; that’s what He desires of us, which means we need to take our responsibilities as a Christian very seriously. 

And as one commentator questions? ‘Are you enriching that (Christian) relationship every day through your communication with God? Listen to His voice as He gets your attention while reading His Word. Talk back to Him in prayer. Communicate with Him! Do you truly know Him friend? Will He recognize your voice when you call out to Him?’ 

Oh my people, I believe those are all important questions that we need to seriously ponder and then do our best to live up to the desires of Jesus in these sinful, godless and evil times! And for those of us who have already decided to work for Jesus, despite the trials and tribulations, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

So as one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 as we all know, if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can think or imagine! So let’s keep on working diligently and efficiently for Jesus my fellow saints, for it will all be worth it, when He comes into His kingdom! Much LOVE!

…on earth with Christ…unknown adventures await…but for sure…eternal life with Him in heaven… 

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

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