Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2020 Matthew 1:21.

Matthew 1:21.     ​And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (Saviour): for he shall save his people from their sins.

By Jove mih bredrin, it’s Thursday; Christmas Eve! The day before Christ’s birth! Wow! Can you imagine the celebrations and otherwise that’s going on around the world right now in anticipation and preparation for that glorious morn, even though it might be somewhat muted this year because of all our unforeseen problems, especially the corona virus pandemic? 

But however yuh take it friends, Christmas is still Christmas, and unless we in real straightened circumstances, we believers in Christ will make every effort to celebrate His awesome and incarnate birth! No pandemic, or political strife, or whatever, is going to stop us from worshipping and giving much thanks to our wonderful God for initiating salvation and eternal life through His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ with His birth! 

Please let the world know it and take serious note! Christians are rising up in the name of Christ! We taking back the world for God the Father through Jesus, the Son! Mama Mia! And when Christians rise up in and through Christ, NOTHING can stop them; certainly not the defanged and ‘detoothed’ evil lion called Satan, since He has no authority or power over us, except what we allow him to have. 

That’s because he was totally defeated at Calvary’s cross by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who summarily took away the keys of hell, death and the grave from his evil highness, and now he’s just like a li’l loopy dog, going home whining with his tail between his legs after he got crushed in the biggest fight of his evil life! Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit! 

Yeh friends, the ole fella waxing philosophical this Christmas Eve morning. (smile) And why not eh, when we celebrating the faithful keeping of a promise made centuries before the actual event occurred? The prophet Isaiah told it to us quite clearly: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is. 9:6-7) 

And yuh better believe the beginning of this promise was fulfilled on Christmas day some two thousand years ago, when the Christ child, the incarnate one was born of the virgin Mary. As the angel reassured her husband Joseph: ‘Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived (begotten) in her is of the Holy Ghost. 

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (Saviour): for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet (Isaiah), saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted (translated) is, God with us.’ (Matt. 1:20-23) 

Oh mih people, what a great and faithful God we worship! That prophecy was made by Isaiah, way back when (Is. 7:14), and though it took a long time to come true, it did eventually. That’s the important thing: our God keeps all His promises, He just doesn’t tell us when He will fulfill them. That means we have to learn to wait in trusting faith, with eager expectation, and there is where we too often break down and fall apart. But as Jesus keeps on saying, ‘only believe, fear not, have faith.’ That’s all we need to do. And yes, it’s not easy, but with Him in our lives, it is certainly doable. 

And I want to elaborate a bit on some of those scriptures with the knowledgeable words of the scholars. ‘1:21-22.Call his name JESUS: The name of the child Jesus (Heb. Yehoshua) means “Jehovah Saves.” This points to the very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world – to save sinners. Placed early in the New Testament, this statement becomes the foundational concept of the gospel. Jesus, by His very name and nature, is the Saviour.’ And as Jesus Himself plainly said: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) 

And that’s it right there in a nutshell friends. Our God LOVED us so much that He wanted to save us from eternal damnation. And the only righteous and just way He could do that, since sins needed to be paid for, was to have His only Son come to earth in human form and pay for them on our behalf. Please note too that ONLY an unblemished, a sinless body could pay for sins, and Jesus was the only person like that. 

So just contemplate for a moment the heartache that the Father felt knowing that to save a bunch of ungrateful sinners, He had no alternative but to place our punishment on His wonderful Son. Now please let that sink into our souls and minds and remind us of how we hurt when our children suffer. Maybe then we’ll realize what a big gift the Lord made to us on that first Christmas Day. 

And as per the scholars, re “Immanuel, which being interpreted (translated) is, God with us: This is a title describing the deity of the person of the Son of God rather than a name actually used by Him. It implies God will come to dwell among His own people, which He did in the person of Christ.’ So friends, the coming of Jesus, His earthly birth, is not be taken lightly, because it marks the beginning of the era of our salvation, something for which we should be eternally grateful. 

And for those of us who are truly grateful for what our Holy Trinity has done, is doing, and will continue to do for us, let’s go home now declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been so magnanimously granted to us to do their earthly work. Altogether now in strong sincere voice, with a thankful Christmas Spirit. (smile) 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And since it’s Christmas, a time of celebration, and a time of severe shortage of most things, especially LOVE, it’s even more important than ever that we share those blessings just as generously with others. Much LOVE!

…please remember…that CHRIST…is the ONLY reason…for the season…   

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2020 Romans 5:8.

Romans 5:8.     ​But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

‘Good golly Miss Molly! It’s Monday!’ Yes friends, the Monday before Christmas, four more days to the Big One! Are you ready for it? Have you done all your Christmas shopping? Hn, hn! It will certainly be a different kind of Christmas this pandemic year of 2020; not as much physical gathering, nor even eating and drinking and exchanging of gifts, as lots of people can’t afford the stuff they are accustomed buying. But that doesn’t mean the season can’t be festive, if we remember the real reason for the season in the first place -the birth of Christ. 

Now that was the first step in God’s long promised, great gift of reconciling us to Himself and providing salvation and eternal life through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. But to die as a man, Christ first had to be born, born of that virgin mother, in that li’l town called Bethlehem, before He could eventually make His way to the cross in Jerusalem and pay our sin debt in full. 

Wow! No other supposed deity is as magnanimous as our God! All those other supposed gods want us to sacrifice our lives to them, but the wonderful God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sacrificed His Son for us woeful sinners to show His amazing unconditional LOVE! As the Good Book says: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) All praise and glory to His holy name! 

And all He asks of us is to believe in His Son and be obedient to His word. But because of the free will God gave us, too many of us are filled with pride and lust and big egos and hard hearts, and thus refuse to bow down to the name that’s above every other name. Now though our God is gracious and merciful and all those other wonderful things, He’s also a stickler for justice and righteousness and obedience, and the non-doing of those things usually cause serious consequences in our lives. And when plenty of us refuse to toe the line, like right now, that means there are plenty of serious consequence in our world, like right now. 

Jesus also said: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) And though we claim to LOVE Him, we definitely aren’t keeping His commandments the way He desires, otherwise our world would not be in such a terrible mess. Even this big do we make about Christmas, a lot of it is false and/or pseudo-Christianity, because our attention is more wrapped up in the gifts and food and shopping, the commercial aspect of the situation, not truly in the birth of Christ and what it really meant, and still means for mankind. 

The celebration has taken on too much of a worldly and commercial overtone these days, meaning, that like so much else in this world, the things of God have taken a step or two back, and no longer predominate in our society. And that should give us serious cause for concern my people, for when a society has lost its way, when Almighty God is not first and foremost in the equation, then that society, like Humpty Dumpty, is slated for a fall, and ofttimes a rather big fall at that, from which it never recovers its previous prosperity. 

And right now, I believe we are at that stage, at the brink of the precipice, because God is no longer Number One in our society. Oh yes, we talk the talk, but remember He looks at our hearts, and currently the motives therein are not God-centred. So what’s the position eh? It’s dark and dreary…unless we come to our senses and return to the ways of God; ways that our forefathers embraced more faithfully than we have done. 

Friends, the only thing that can save us now is a revolution; a LOVE Revolution, for there is way more hate and negativity in our world right now than there is LOVE! And remember God is LOVE! So the less LOVE we have, the less of God we will also have. But we are people of faith, great faith, and anything we put our minds to, we can do, provided we have God involved. So if we require a LOVE Revolution to save our world, then we need to go to God to help us. As Jesus specified: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ (Matt. 7:7) 

And the way we go to God is in prayer; that’s His desire. So as one sincere voice, let’s take all our problems to Him now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. 

We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. 

That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now let me remind us again, that the Lord looks at the motives of our hearts before He answers our prayers, so if they weren’t right just now, and we’re not prepared to turn back to Him in true repentance, then we’ll be left out in the darkness, with no forthcoming light, a rather sad situation indeed. Much LOVE!

…to have a successful society…the LOVE of God…must predominate… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 December 2020 Matthew 5:14.

Mathew 5:14.     ​Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Yes friends, we pretty late this chilly Saturday morning. And as usual, it’s because the ole fella did one of his real late nights, or early mornings, and the ole bod rebelled at getting up at the normal time without sufficient rest. (smile) And who says our body doesn’t have a mind of its own eh? So we’ll just get right down to business on this last Saturday before Christmas. 

Just imagine it nuh, Christmas is only six days away! And what a joyful time it will be, despite the many problems and much strife in our current world, because the birth of Jesus was the beginning of true hope for mankind. Glory be! And every time His birthday rolls around we’re filled with such hope, joy, LOVE, wonder and gratitude that we set aside our earthly problems to rejoice in His everlasting goodness, grace and mercy! So let’s see what our friend Anselm had to tell us this past week nuh, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the new style persists, of prefacing each quote with these words: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content.’ But then I have to turn around and remind us that we can only be all those things if we’re truly in partnership with Jesus, for awesomeness, calmness, happiness and contentment don’t occur unless you have a strong personal relationship with the One who provides those things; Jesus Christ! Matter done! 

So to the quotes, and I believe we can tie the first two together: ‘I’m bold, beautiful, and brilliant,’ and ‘My body shape is perfect in the way it’s intended to be.’ And yes, we ought to become bold, beautiful and brilliant when we become members of Christ’s august body, the church, because according to Bruh Paul: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold ALL THINGS are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) 

And when all things become new in Christ my brethren then we do become bold and beautiful and brilliant because we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God which is sent to live in us and make us that way; bring us to a wonderful maturity in Christ! Give Him some thanks and praise nuh! And that maturity in Christ certainly gives our spiritual bodies a perfect body shape. I can’t say the same for the physical aspect, although with Christ in us and we in Him, some have been known to pursue right eating and consistent exercise to make our physical bodies look pleasing to the eye of the beholder. (smile) 

Then there’s this quote: ‘ I’m open to new adventures in my life.’ Oh yes friends, when we work and live for Jesus, we’re always open to new adventures. We have to be, because undertaking or being involved in new adventures is one of the many ways He uses us to promote His gospel. As a member of Christ’s church and body, you can be sure that life will not be humdrum and very ordinary all the time. 

Something new, or some variation of the old will always crop up to keep you on your toes, actively involved in His awesome ministry. And I can testify to that from personal experience. Since I’ve gotten closer to God, so many unexpected things have happened in my life, that sometimes I just have to sit down and ponder them in true amazement. So yes, walking with Christ is an adventure in itself. 

But this next quote, ‘I’m free to create the life I desire,’ is definitely not true if you are a serious believer in Christ. And to tell the truth, you’re not even free to create the life you desire if you hold the prince of darkness as your standard bearer, because he too makes certain unwarranted and disliked demands of his followers, which don’t fall into step with their own plans for their lives. So you’re never totally free to live the life you desire, because as they say, you have to bow to somebody; either God or mammon. 

And even then, life itself takes pleasure in throwing a monkey wrench into our best laid plans. But the best of all the worlds though is bowing to Christ Jesus, the One who’s name is above EVERY other name, and the One to whom EVERY knee will eventually have to bow. So the earlier you do that, the better it is for all concerned. (smile) 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘I allow my light to shine, I unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.’ Now that will certainly please the heart of Jesus, for that’s what He longed for, when He spoke these encouraging words during His earthly sojourn. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (a lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt. 5:14-15) 

And that’s the indisputable truth friends; a city that’s set on a hill can’t hide its light, neither do we light a light only to then hide it. But light is to drive away darkness and that’s what Jesus came to earth to do; to drive away the darkness from our imprisoned lives, give us a future and a hope, an expected end, not calamity, which darkness will always cause since you can’t see where you’re going. And that’s why too His word is a lamp unto our feet, and a light to our path; (Ps. 119:105) so that it can safely guide us as we traverse this dark and evil world. 

That’s why Jesus’ next words are ever so important. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) Oh my people, we are Christ’s ambassadors in this dark world, that means He expects us to shine brightly, to do His work diligently and efficiently, so that all the world can see what His Father and Him and the Holy Spirit are all about; abundant earthly life, LOVE, joy, salvation and eternal life! 

And only as we diligently spread the Word and sincerely live the example, will others be willing to embrace our wonderful God and all that He so gloriously stands for! And when that happens, then we make that last quote ever so true; our light shining brightly, and allowing others to shine their light’s brightly too, so that God can be greatly and wonderfully glorified! Much LOVE!

…in this oh so dark world…Christians need to turn on their high beams…right now…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2020 Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.     ​For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving).

Come Tuesday – another nice summery day, just like Monday! Oh yes, that would indeed be wonderful my people! That’s why we need to give much thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s continually bestowing on us. As the psalmist so rightly says: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.‘ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Wow! What awesome words of wisdom and truth! And don’t forget what our Lord and Saviour Jesus said on the subject. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Mama Mia! If that isn’t a direct directive (smile) of our Lord’s to enjoy and be thankful for this earthly life, then I don’t know what is nuh! In addition to salvation and eternal life when our frail and fragile bodies wear out and return to the dust from which they came, He also desires us to enjoy and prosper and succeed in this earthly life. Oh, He certainly knows that it will not always be wine and song, because like us, He experienced trials and tribulations too. As the Good Book proclaims: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:15) 

Yes my brethren, Jesus experienced all the problems that we experience down here on this evil and ungodly earth, but never did you see Him miserable and downcast, regardless of the circumstances He faced. Just look at how brutally they treated Him in His own home town of Nazareth nuh. I like how the website waynestiles.com puts it. ‘When Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, He found a warm welcome at the synagogue—that is, until He preached. The young carpenter claimed to have fulfilled the messianic prophecy He had just read from Isaiah 61:1–2 (Luke 4:16-30). 

The hearers took offense that the local-yokel Jesus would dare to be remarkable. After all, wasn’t He the guy who built their dining tables? The townspeople were so enraged that they took Jesus to the edge of the Nazareth Ridge and wanted to fling Him off into the Jezreel Valley. But He passed through their midst and departed. You think that made for awkward subsequent holiday gatherings?’ 

Yes friends, Jesus always exuded a good attitude, which He also expects His followers to exemplify. No, it’s not easy, and He promised us that it wouldn’t be, but with His help we could make it. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And if we’re finding it difficult of be of good cheer, then we can always go to our understanding and sympathetic High Priest, who will empathize with us and enable us to have good cheer. 

Hear the author of Hebrews on the topic nuh. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Brother! Mercy and grace are the two great attributes the Lord uses in our everyday lives. Mercy is not receiving what we ought to, for example punishment for some disobedient act. Many of us know about that from our youth when our parents mercifully did not punish us for some verboten behaviour. 

While grace…ohhh…grace is so marvellous, that there are no words to truly explain it. It’s basically God’s favour; the wonderful things He does for us that we do not deserve. Even salvation is through grace. The Good Book puts it thus: ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving). Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) So grace is the basis of our salvation, the unmerited favour of God. 

The scholars offer this acrostic of grace. ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth, for it’s only through the expense of Christ’s life on the cross at Calvary did we receive salvation and the marvellous promise of eternal life! 

And hear this li’l tidbit from the great English Baptist Preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) affectionately known as ‘The Prince of Preachers.’ On the subject of ‘By Grace Ye Are Saved,’ he apparently wrote: ‘It is by the grace of God that ungodly men are preserved from instant death. The sharp axe of justice would soon fell the barren tree if the interceding voice of Jesus did not cry, “Spare him yet a little.” And isn’t that the indisputable truth! Were it not for Jesus, the sharp axe of justice would certainly have fallen on sinful, disobedient, ungodly man long ago. 

And yuh know friends, there’s only ONE real reason for all of that mercy and grace yes; God’s unconditional, irrational, indisputable, undying LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient creation. Hear the Good Book: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ (Eph. 2:4) And Jesus verified it, like only He could. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And that says it all my precious saints of Christ! 

So for those of us who sincerely believe, and also try to be diligent and excellent followers of Christ, wisely accepting God’s LOVE, grace and mercy, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are! 

All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts! ‘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 natural consequence of that pledge is for us to keep on trusting Jesus and generously share His awesome LOVE with others! Much LOVE!

…without God’s grace and mercy…His LOVE would have been just an ordinary word… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2020 Ecclesiastes 9:7.

Ecclesiastes 9:7.     ​Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. 
 

Oh friends, oh friends, thank you ever so much for your prayers on Listening LOVE yesterday! Wow! The duchess and I shared some of it on the A/C problem. She talked… I listened – attentively! (smile) Then I did what she wanted – not turn the A/C as low as I had originally intended. Yuh see it works! That’s why they say: ‘A happy wife, usually leads to a happy life!’ Usually yes, but not all the time. (smile) 

Ah mih people, it’s such a joy to be able to laugh and be lighthearted amidst all the sickness, death and confusion that’s currently besieging our world. But you can only do that sincerely when you have Jesus truly running your life, because you are assured that He’s the best pilot there is and He would NEVER guide or lead you astray. Thus, I am asking all of us who sincerely believe in Christ to take life seriously, but please overlay it with that attitude of joy which can only be found in Christ Jesus, especially in troubled times like these. 

It’s that inherent joy that sets us apart from the rest of the world. As the Good Book says: ‘For the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) And that’s why the enemy always tries to steal our joy first and foremost, because he knows that once he gets us down and depressed, we’re weak and very vulnerable, and thus easily influenced by his evil schemes and lustful desires. But please, let’s remember that our God is a God of joy, of laughter and mirth. 

Hear these memorable words of Moses to the Israelites when he told them about bringing their first fruits to God. ‘And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.’ (Deut. 26:11) Yes friends, our God wants us to enjoy ALL that’s He’s given to us or allowed us to have. He is not a mean, incentive, scrooge-like deity, but a most generous and magnanimous God, desiring to bless his people, when they obey His Will and Word. 

That’s why Cousin Sol, the Preacher said in these Principles for Living. ‘Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment (oil). Live joyfully (enjoy life) with the wife whom thou LOVEST all the days of the life of thy vanity (empty life), which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest (performest) under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.’ (Eccl. 9:7-10) 

What wisdom my people! No wonder Cousin Sol was known as the wisest man ever. And the scholars explain those scriptures thus: ‘9:7-10. For the first time in the passages on enjoyment, the key words of the exhortation are put into the imperative mood; eat, drink, live, and so on. Also, a new motivation is expressed: God now accepteth thy works (vs.7), meaning clearly that God approves of the enjoyment of life. His will is that men enjoy life. 

The idea of enjoyment is further reiterated in verse 8 with two directives. White garments on the body and ointment on the head made life more comfortable in the torrid near Eastern climates; they serve here to symbolize purity (cf. Rev. 3:4) and the enjoyment of life. Another command concerns the enjoyment of life with one’s wife (vs.9). The reasons for these commands are: It is man’s portion in this life (vs.9), and there is no working in the grave (vs.10).’ 

So there is no reason for us not to enjoy our earthly life. Remember Jesus’ memorable words: ‘The thief cometh not, but (except) for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) And what does ‘abundant life’ mean eh? Wikipedia says it ‘refers to life in its abounding fullness of joy and strength for mind, body and soul.’ Another website explains: ‘Abundant life is eternal life, a life that begins the moment we come to Christ and receive Him as Saviour, and goes on throughout all eternity.’ 

Another website breaks it down as ‘knowing God,’  ‘First John 5:12 says “Whoever has the Son has life,” so Christians have this eternal life from the moment of salvation.’ And it’s also ‘a continuous process. Like salvation, we are given abundant life at the moment of salvation, but we will grow into it.’ 

And finally another website describes the abundant life as ‘a state of being from within, not a result of external circumstances. It is the result of the pruning God does to make us more like Him, and it is what we will take to heaven with us. (1 Cor. 3:11-15). An abundant life is one that keeps on giving. Which is Better – Abundance or an Abundant Life?’ Now that’s a very good question! And I do hope that all of us will answer that the latter is oh so much better. (smile) 

So however we define it friends, Christ came to earth and died not only to pay for our sins, but also that we might have a good life beginning right here on MOTHER EARTH! We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to start enjoying life. Please, let’s remember that nuh and perk up and wear a smile and have a pleasant attitude despite all our problems, for we claim to have a Saviour who can do anything and also enable us to do anything, so let’s live like it’s true and we believe it nuh! 

Ah mih people, I had some other things to say yes, but I got sidetracked with the abundant life story, or the Lord led me to hone in on it. Take your pick. (smile) So let’s go home now declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to enable us to do His work. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

And those blessings have been given to us for a troubled time such as this, so please, let’s go out and share them just as generously as we received them! Much LOVE!

…enjoy the honest work of thy hands…it is thy God-given right…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2020 John 3:3.

John 3:3.    ​Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.
 

‘Beautiful days are here again…Beautiful days are here again…’ Sing it with me please friends: ‘Beautiful days are here again… Beautiful days are here again…. Glory Hallelujah!’ Yeh, the days themselves have recently been physically beautiful, but what’s been happening within them, is a completely different story. 

But as children of God, imbued with His awesome power of word and mind, we need to see it all by faith and not by sight, we have to call it as we want it to be, not as it is. That’s why we’re singing: ‘Beautiful days are here again…Beautiful days are here again… Glory Hallelujah!’ And they will be, in the Lord’s time, as all our current difficulties and troubles will eventually pass – if only to make room for new ones, (smile) but pass they will, that we can be sure of! 

And I know that many of you are just dying to hear what our friend Anselm said this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. So here goes. The first quote advises: ‘Dream bigger. Do bigger.’ I guess the psychological principle is being invoked here, of the bigger you dream, the bigger will be your results and success, as compared to small dreams which reputedly only bring small success. 

Yes, there is this theory that if we want ten, we need to dream for twenty, because we always seem to get less than what we dream for. My only contention with all of that is we also need to realize that the bigger we dream, it’s the more responsibility and work we’ll have to contend with. So if you don’t want those last two, then don’t do the first one. (smile) 

Then there’s this: ‘Little things make big days.’ And we Christians ought to be more aware of that then the rest of the world, because that’s the way our great God usually works in our lives. But then again, that’s why so many of us are lost and can’t fathom why miracles aren’t happening in our lives…because we have this mindset that miracles are big, newsworthy things, when in fact miracles in God’s understanding are small, everyday occurrences. If we look at the small happenings in our lives, we’ll see that on a daily basis the Lord does something that doesn’t all add up in our way of thinking. Those are the daily miracles, the small things we need to look for and appreciate. 

It’s like the Jews who knew a Messiah was coming to save them, but they mistakenly taught that it was a warrior statesman who would rid them of their enemies and slave-like conditions. But in fact it was a simple rabbi coming to sacrifice His life, so that their sins could be forgiven and give them another option besides merely going to hell at death. 

They didn’t want that though, they wanted the now for now physical solution to their earthly life. But unfortunately friends, life doesn’t always go as we desire. So let’s be wise and look for, and appreciate the small things in life nuh, because that’s where we usually find God, more often than in the big things. 

And this next quote should be self-explanatory: ‘Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.’ Yes mih bredrin, we ought to wake up determined to do something good for God…and do it too! Each and every day, let’s put in a sincere and genuine effort, and if we can, bring some good work to fruition, so that both God and us can be satisfied with our days efforts, as we lay us down to sleep. That’s how I understand it. (smile) 

And what about this one eh? ‘Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.’ That’s gospel truth friends, and we need to hear it ever so much, especially in this soft, pampered and fragile society in which we currently live, where everybody gets tired so quickly, and are quick to stop, to give up, when they aren’t seeing any quick positive results. 

But believers are not supposed to be of that ilk. We’re supposed to keep on keeping on, go the extra mile, don’t stop till we’re done! When we’re tired, that’s when we take a deep breath, catch a second wind and get back into the race. There’s no stopping for believers until Christ takes us home…and even then, we’ll be continually celebrating and regaling Him in heaven, so our work is never done…just getting more enjoyable! (smile) 

And as always, we’ve left the best for last. ‘Do something today that your future self will thank you for.’ And the best thing we can ever do for ourselves, today, or any other day that we’re alive, is to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour! Yes friends, it’s what our great God greatly desires of us, that’s why He sacrificed Jesus on Calvary’s cross to pay for our sins. 

Sins that would have caused eternal death and separation from the Almighty, but through Jesus’ sacrificial payment, we now have the option to come to Him in reconciliation and forgiveness and receive the free gift of grace that leads to salvation and eternal life, eternal dwelling with Him in what we call heaven, a place of unimaginable beauty and exceptional living. 

As Jesus so plainly stated to Nicodemus when he came asking for information. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ And when Nicodemus queried Jesus’ answer, He further explained: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth (wishes), and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whiter it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.’ (John 3:5-8) 

So my brethren, the best thing we can ever do today for our future lives is to be born again! There needs to be a new work from above in our sinful lives, a new beginning; a supernatural spiritual birth is called for if we want to enjoy God’s kingdom. That’s the long and short of the story! Much LOVE!

…eternal life calls for…two births…one earthly…one spiritually…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2020 John 6:39.

John 6:39.    ​And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 
 
Ah mih people, life really not fair nuh, and it is indeed a bully-boy. Just when you’re down, it chooses to put you even further down! Steups! Good example. A few minutes ago I came down with my coffee, already feeling lousy from lack of sleep, and telling the Lord that I needed His help ever so badly this morning because of my poor state. Next thing I know, I put down the coffee and spill it! Chuh man! That only made me more aggravated and later than I already was, because I had to spend some valuable time cleaning up the mess. 

And would you believe in all the years I’ve been doing this, I can’t remember ever spilling the coffee, even one time before now. But as they say, after one time is two. And I have to chuckle, because I didn’t have any opening remarks in mind, so the Lord gave me something to write about. Oh, how He does move in ever-faithful but ofttimes mysterious ways eh! (smile) How then can we not LOVE and adore Him eh? The One who LOVED us so much that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us while we were yet sinners and had no positive relationship with Him? 

The One who created us from the dust of the earth, then breathed His miraculous and marvellous breath of life into our mortal souls eh! The One who makes a way, where there seems to be no way, and eventually works everything out for our good, despite the prevailing circumstances! And yuh know what friends, our great, merciful and miracle working God is the same one who will find a way for us to withstand the rigours and trepidation and calamity of this Coronavirus pandemic that has so many of us living in fear. As He says, this too will pass! 

But as Jesus told His disciples when they could not cure a young epileptic boy: ‘Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt. 17:21) Likewise, this pandemic will only pass through sincere prayer and repentance! Oh friends, I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong nuh, but I feel it deep down in my soul that this plague is a serious wake up call from our heavenly Father. Yes, He is long-suffering and merciful and all that, but there comes a time when even He must get tired of our disobedience and say enough is enough! 

And I believe this is what He’s saying right now. He’s tired and fed up with our efforts to throw Him out of our society and the awful sinful way in which we’re currently living. Remember, He’s a living God, with feelings and emotions just like us, and He’s promised that NO ONE will ever take away His glory: ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) And right now in our sinful, idol worshipping society, that’s exactly what we’re trying to do; rob Him of His awesome might and power and honour and glory! 

So don’t be surprised that He might be fighting back. I can assure you, He’s not going to go down without a major fight. That again just goes to show how much He LOVES us, that He’s not willing to see us waste our lives and end up eternally separated from Him, dwelling with the fallen angel Lucifer in Hades, and being eventually destroyed in the lake of fire. Oh friends, Jesus came to earth to save us from sin, and as our Advocate in heaven right now He’s still fighting to save us and give us eternal life. 

Hear these wonderful, reassuring words He spoke down here on earth nuh. ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35). Yeh mih people, Jesus is the One through whom eternal life is found! Glory be! And remember what He told 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 of water (fountain) springing up into everlasting life.’ (John 4:13-14) 

And how can we consider ourselves wise and not want that eternal life eh? But here’s the crux of the matter. Jesus said: ‘All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise (certainly not) cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up the last day.’ (John 6:37-40) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, what wonderful and encouraging sentiments! And if that doesn’t touch you, then listen to these further words of Jesus to the doubting Jews: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck (snatch) them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:27-30) 

And the scholars say of those verses: ‘10:27-29. Never perish: These verses declare the assurance that all believers will be utterly safe from any creature that might wish to destroy them.’ Mama Yo! That’s the best news I’ve heard for the day mih bredrin! No one can take us away from Christ or destroy us if we walk sincerely with Him! So why wouldn’t I want to walk in company with him eh? Ah friends, to me it’s cut and dried that the best way to live this life is by following Christ. 

But we each have to make our own decision on that matter, that’s why the Father gave us free will. But please remember that whatever decision we make, once we depart this earthly life, or Jesus comes again, we cannot change our minds then, and we’ll have to bear whatever consequences those decisions bring, come eternity. Matter fix! 

Now for those of us who choose to follow Christ, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world of our wonderful and secure position in Christ. 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 if we endure until the end, then it will be even better than we can ask or imagine! Much  LOVE

…let him who has ears to hear…hear…else he’ll certainly feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2020 Isaiah 33:22.

Isaiah 33:22.    For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.
 

And it’s a cloudy, drizzly Tuesday morning…Thank the Lord for Life and some spring blessing, so that in these cold and dry northern climes, His earth can return to it its wonderful green and flowery nature! Yeh friends, whatever the situations or circumstances in our individual lives and our overall world, we need to give our heavenly Father much thanks and praise for His LOVING-kindness and mercy and grace to us undeserving children of men. For without those benefits, we’d be lost forever in a state of sin, shame, disgrace and eventual death! 

Now here’s a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that brings home that very truth. It’s most appropriately titled ‘Wrong Question.’ Please pray with me: ‘My faithful God I see afresh this morning The grave error of my question “Don’t You LOVE me anymore?” I ought always to ask instead “How can You LOVE me so continually With such immeasurable LOVE?” Now that my fellow saints in Christ is the zillion dollar question – how can a holy, just and righteous Deity LOVE a bunch of ingrates so much eh? 

Well the answer is really quite simple: our God is also a God of LOVE, of mercy, of grace and of forgiveness, and above all, we are His own creation, created to have purposeful fellowship and communion with Him, so it’s obvious that He can’t simply throw us away even though we’re rather disobedient and sinful! Remember too that He’s also the God of second, third, fourth and unlimited chances. So it would be against His very nature to just cast us off without any form of help. As Bruh Paul told Timothy: ‘If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim. 2:13) 

Yes friends, the Lord cannot deny what He is, or go against His natural attributes. And remember too, He promised to redeem mankind after He kicked our forefathers Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden for their unfaithfulness. So it’s finally come right around full circle: the Lord’s kept His word and gave us a Saviour in Christ Jesus, redemption and salvation bought and paid for by His precious blood shed sacrificially on the cross at Calvary. So alright, I said it was simple, and to the Lord it was and is; though to us it might seem rather convoluted. (smile) 

But precious people, all we need to know and believe is that Christ died to save us, and true belief in Him and His righteous cause will lead us to eternal life. And a li’l while ago, when I opened the Good Book, what positive and proactive and promising scripture do you think it opened at eh? Hear the voice of the prophet Isaiah: ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.’ Mama Mia! That says it all my brethren! The Lord God of Israel is all of those things to us, and we need to badly acknowledge Him as them if we want to see long life and good days. 

Unfortunately though, our world has turned away from God and has made the prince of darkness it’s new leader. But friends, lemme tell you a li’l ‘secrat’ nuh; the Lord is not going to allow the fallen angel Lucifer to usurp His earthly creation, just like He didn’t allow him to usurp His heavenly kingdom. So for all of those who want to put their trust in Satan now, it will be a sad day for them when that day of judgement arrives, as it most certainly will. The Good Book says it quite plainly: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement:’ (Heb. 9:27) 

And then it will be too late to change our minds, so please, please, I beg of us, let’s disassociate ourselves from the darkness of the world nuh, and instead seek the light, the bright, shining and everlasting light of Jesus, for in Him will we find the true life, the true reason for living! And I just got a good allegory for that: like we doing social distancing now for Covid-19, the same way we ought to do social distancing from Satan! Oh yes, I likes it! It’s rather appropriate! Let’s keep our social distance from this world and all it’s sinful temptations and cling to that Master vine that’s Jesus, so that crapaud don’t smoke we pipe when the end times come. 

That’s wisdom at its highest mih people, so please let’s joyfully embrace it now nuh. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) defines wisdom: something you do now that will benefit you later on down the road of life! And believe me, clinging to Jesus is the most beneficial thing we can ever do in this life! And the scripture verses for the poem above is also rather apropos for today’s discussion. They’re taken from, or rather all of Psalm 117 – ‘The truth of the Lord endureth forever.’ 

So please declare (steups!) with me: ‘O Praise (glorify) the Lord, all ye nations (gentiles): praise (glorify) him, all ye people. For his merciful (LOVING) kindness is great towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise (glorify) ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 117:1-2) And it couldn’t be said, any sweeter or shorter than that nuh mih bredrin. So let’s do it right now nuh; praise and glorify our magnificent and magnanimous God by declaring (Steups! Like I have to go back to school and learn to spell declare (yeah!) and its derivations yes!) our Tuesday Mantra. 

So in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 though the Coronavirus and social distancing might bridle us a bit, they certainly won’t stop us from sharing Christ’s LOVE and friendship with the many others who desperately need it in these calamitous times! Much LOVE!

…it’s definitely foolish…for one created…to trust another created…more than their common Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2020 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 
 

Aye mih bredrin, we’re back to Sunday, the Lord’s Day, and we still don’t have the option to fellowship together in the Lord’s sanctuary because of the social distancing business, but that’s never stopped us before, and believe me, it won’t stop us today either because we have technology! Technology, the wizardry that allows us to communicate live and in person across major distances, so though we can’t hug and kiss and shake hands, we can still celebrate the Lord’s Day with thanks and praise and reading of His Word and getting His assurance and confidence to successfully handle our difficult circumstances. 

I don’t know how our forefathers managed during their time of plagues and pandemic problems. But they still managed to hand down the gospel to us. Yet we, with all our technology, can’t get it into our children’s heads. But that’s another story for another day. So let’s get to some praise and worship to open the proceedings. And today’s song is of the contemporary Christian genre, titled ‘I’m just a Nobody.’ 

Now there seems to be at least two versions, each with different lyrics in the verses, one a soulful version by the Williams Brothers, but we’re going to follow the Casting Crowns version featuring Matthew West; a rocking, raunchy, good times one, with lots of clapping, dancing, and of course singing! (smile) We’ll begin with some hand clapping, in three fourths time, then sing the first line of the chorus three times acapella, then get into the full chorus as the music comes up. So here goes: clap, clap: ‘I’m just a nobody…clap, clap: I’m just a nobody…clap, clap: I’m just a nobody…’ and then music and everybody going crazy! 

‘Chorus: I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul. Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!)  Why you ever chose me, has always been a mystery. All my life, I’ve been told I belong, at the end of the line. With all the other “Not Quites” with all the “Never-Get-it Rights” But it turns out, they’re the ones you’ve been looking for all this time, (Chorus:  Cause I’m just a nobody… living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!) 

Moses had stage fright, and David brought a rock to a sword fight, You picked twelve outsiders, nobody would have ever chosen, and you changed the world. Well the moral of the story is, Everybody’s got a purpose. So when I hear that devil start talking to me saying, “Who do you think you are?” (Chorus: I say, I’m just a nobody… living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!) So let me go down, down, down in history, as another blood-bought faithful member of the family. And if they all forget my name, well, that’s fine with me. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus… 

So let me go down, down, down in history, as another blood-bought faithful member of the family…That’s all I ever want to be… And if they all forget my name, well, that’s fine with me. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus… Cause I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul. Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!’ 

Oh yes friends, that was indeed a happily sung ditty; one of hope, faith and rejoicing! And I like what one web site says about the song: ‘The lyrics describe how God uses ordinary people to spread the Gospel of Jesus! We are all flawed, yet the Lord has a purpose for us. In our joy of having been forgiven, we excitedly point to the forgiver, Jesus Christ!’ And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ And that’s indeed our main purpose in this life my brethren; to ‘excitedly point to the forgiver;’ to spread the gospel of Christ with unyielding zest and holy enthusiasm. 

As Jesus declared to His disciples: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:18-20) And that my people is what we refer to as ‘the Great Commission!’ And moreover, against all odds, the disciples were indeed able to do that seemingly impossible task; twelve poor, uneducated men charged with proselytizing the entire world! 

And they certainly laid a good foundation for us to further build onLet’s not forget that we are Christ’s arms, legs, head, hands and body in this dark and sinful world, and that He’s depending on us to show the lost the light of His gospel and lead them to Him so they can be saved; forgiven, granted salvation through grace, which leads to eternal life. Remember Jesus memorable words about why He came into the world: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) And that philosophy hasn’t changed down through the ages friends, which means we still need to show interest in and help those lost in the darkness of Satan’s world. 

Jesus also made His Father’s intentions quite clear in these momentous and memorable words that we all know: ‘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) 

Let’s remember that this Sunday friends, as we are unable to worship in physical proximity, and realize in that sense, we are still the lost, and that we still need saving from the Coronavirus, and that Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can do it! Much LOVE!

…without Jesus…we’re all hopelessly lost…

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