Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 December 2021 John 8:12.

John 8:12.      I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Well it’s another dark, cloudy, damp winter’s day…just like the past few have been. No wonder so many people are depressed and sad, for that’s what miserable weather can do to you if you don’t have Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. But when you have Yeshua, as your Guiding Light, even the worse weather won’t get you down. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) probably one of the enemy’s new tools, won’t disturb your calm soul. (smile) 

And some of you might be wondering what’s SAD? ‘It is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same time every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Some of the common symptoms include having low energy, losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, having problems with sleep and feeling sluggish or agitated.’ 

It’s also been associated with the lack of sunlight during the winter months, and one of the treatments is having bright artificial light engulfing you. But when the LIGHT of the world dwells within you, in the form of the Holy Spirit, then you ought not to suffer from those seasonal bouts of depression, because Jesus constantly shines His light in your life and provides enough motivation for you to get on with His earthly tasks. The world tries to drive us crazy with all its busyness and complicated living, but Jesus keeps us calm and unshackled from the annoying and debilitating ways of the world. 

Remember His fabulous claim: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12). Now that was no spurious or boastful claim, but the awesome truth! For when Jesus comes into your life, you become a new person. As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be on Christ, he is a new creature (creation); old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) 

And that’s just the way it is my brethren! You can’t come sincerely to Jesus and not have serious changes in your life, because accepting Jesus, automatically means making some changes, giving up some of the ungodly ways of the world, though not necessarily all at once, but over time. Remember Jesus is not a hard task master, for as He says: ‘My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:30) 

So He doesn’t expect you to change all at once, and will probably deal with you, one problem at a time, but deal with you He will. (smile) But in a LOVING and fatherly manner, unless you get stubborn and irascible. Then He can, and won’t be afraid to call in the heavy rollers to deal with your intransigence. 

Yuh know friends, when we live for, or claim to live for Jesus, there’s one overriding factor that’s necessary in all our doings, and that’s OBEDIENCE! Like with any organization, you can’t be a true member and not pay obedience to its leader, and its aims and goals. The same holds true for being a part of Christ’s body, His church. Obedience is the Number One Rule! 

And it’s not only something that Jesus asks of us, but something He also practiced. He’s not a leader, like the hypocrite Pharisees and them, who don’t practice what they preach. And the Good Book supports that truth by telling us: ‘And (Jesus) being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil. 2:8) 

Yes friends, Jesus didn’t want to go to the cross, like nobody really wants to, but because the Father asked, and that was the only way to justly save our sinful souls, He acquiesced to the Father’s wish. And that’s what we need to do as serious and sincere followers of Christ; acquiesce to His every wish, even when it seems difficult or impossible, because He never asks us to do something unless He gives us the wherewithal to do it. That’s the extent of His faithfulness. 

Wow! And the good thing about doing Jesus’ will is that there are also rewards attached to them. Just like we read in the Good Book about Jesus’ rewards for being obedient to the Father. ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:9-11) 

Ah mih people, likewise our obedience to Christ’s wishes will bring rewards, both here on earth and eternally. So, it’s ever so important that we obey if we want to be a solid rock of His church. And I believe the words of this old, reworked pop song, personify exactly what we’ve been talking about, and what it means to become a member of Jesus’ team. 

It says: ‘Since I met you Jesus, my whole life has changed… And everybody tells me that I’m not the same. Since I met you Jesus, I’m a happy man…I’m going to do my best to please you, In every way I can. I don’t need nobody to tell my troubles to…No, No, No. All I need is Jesus, He makes my life brand new. Oh, since I met you Jesus, all I want is you. Yes, since I met you Jesus, all I want is you.’ Now that’s what meeting Jesus is all about my people! 

And for those of us who have already met Him and are happy in His employ, and are doing our best to please Him in every way we can, then let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. So, as one sincere, powerful and confident 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 yuh better believe my fellow saints, that if we endure until the end, that the promised future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask of imagine! Wow! Praise His holy Name! Much LOVE!

…the best way to live this life…obey God and leave all the consequences to Him… (Uncle Charles – Dr. Charles Stanley) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 September 2021 Proverbs 24:1.

Proverbs 24:1.     Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them. 

Oh friends, another beautiful morning in God’s great universe! Give Him much thanks for it nuh! Yes, if we drew breath this sunny morning, that means He still has a plan for us to live through this day, to experience His wonderful grace and mercy, good conversation and timely blessings! Wow! How can we not LOVE our marvellous God eh, with all that He does for us, with His faithful promise to give us a future and a hope, and fulfilling it by giving us the most wonderful gift ever… 

His name is called Jesus, the Lord and Saviour of the world, the King of Kings and the name above every other name, to which every knee must bow and every tongue declare that He is Lord to the glory of the Father! Death could not keep Him in the grave, He won that victory hands down! And thus, He is the reason why our sins can be washed away, and our souls made clean and we have another opportunity to come before our heavenly Father in confidence and joy and be called children of God! Oh mercy, mercy me! 

And that’s why we also declare in the utmost sincerity, that there’s NO God like our God Jehovah! And whether you believe it or not, that’s the indisputable truth! So we had all better come to acknowledge it asap, because our destiny depends on admitting and believing that unalterable truth, and by living our earthly lives in a manner that glorifies Jehovah God. For once we admit and believe that truth, our lives are no longer ours, but we then belong to Him, and must follow His divine will. And how do we do that you ask? 

Well, here’s one wise and practical application as declared by the ever-wise Cousin Sol in the Book of Proverbs. He gives this marvelous advice at the beginning of chapter 24: ‘Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction (devises violence), and their lips talk of mischief (trouble). (Prov. 24:1-2) Yes friends, when we surrender our lives to God, we cannot go against His will, and that means not getting involved in stuff like envy, violence, wickedness and evil doings. 

And Cousin Sol’s father, Bruh David wrote a lot on that particular subject, including this marvellous advice from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. Bruh David declared in the utmost sincerity and faith,: ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness).’ (Ps. 37:1-3) 

That’s the good news of the gospel my brethren: trust in God, stay away from evil and do good, and all will be well with you! Even the other great psalmist Asaph, recognized that amazing truth in his own life. And in that famous Psalm 73, re The mystery of prosperous wickedness – he humbly declares: ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone (I had almost stumbled); my steps had well-nigh slipped: For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’  (Ps. 73:1-3) 

Ah mih people, that is so easy to do when we see the obviously wicked and deceitful getting rich and powerful through their evil deeds and fraudulent schemes. I know it seems that the world thrives on evil, but that’s only on the surface. For when we get right down to the nitty gritty, evil is thrown aside by God, and righteousness conquers all! So even that great man of God, Asaph was intimidated by, and envious of the prosperity of the wicked, because he was human just like us. But though he almost stumbled spiritually and lost his faith, he didn’t quite go over the threshold to the side of evil. 

Hear how he regained his equilibrium nuh, how he conquered that negative, ungodly attitude. He says: ‘Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.’  (Ps. 73:16-17) Yes friends, ‘not until the psalmist entered God’s sanctuary and received a divine perspective on the wicked’s prosperity did he find his answer to the problem.’ And sometimes we also need to get closer to God to find solutions to our problems. 

But it’s worthwhile noticing how Asaph closes out the psalm: ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength (rock) of my heart, and my portion for ever. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed them all that go a whoring from thee (who are unfaithful to thee). But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ (Ps. 73:25-28) 

Oh my fellow saints, those are indeed wise and marvellous words for all of us to live by! So please let’s faithfully embrace them nuh and draw close to God, for the closer we get to Him, the better it is for us. As Bruh David so wisely said: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’ (Ps. 103:2) And there is no better time than now to remember some of those many benefits of God, which we describe as our Thursday Blessings. So, in strong voice, with the utmost of faith and confidence let’s declare them nuh. 

‘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!’ 

And if we truly believe it, then we need to go out and generously share those wonderful blessings with others, just like the Lord did with us. That would surely warm the cockles of His hurting heart. And don’t think for one moment that Christ’s heart isn’t hurting because of the ungodly way His church and followers are behaving down here on earth. You’ll be oh so wrong!  Much LOVE!

…Jesus said it loud and clear…if ye LOVE me…keep my commandments… (John 14:15)                                                                                                                

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 March 2021 Philippians 2:9.

Philippians 2:9.     ​Wherefore God also hath exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Aloha…Shalom – LOVE, peace, hope, happiness and joy, my Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s the first day of the week! Yes, Sunday morning has come down and that means ‘gatheration,’ (smile) worship, praise, thanksgiving and all the other good benefits we derive from getting together to offer Almighty God the reverence He so richly deserves. And though the ‘gatheration’ is still mostly through technological means, with the various lockdowns still in place because of the Corona virus pandemic, the physical aspect or site of our worship isn’t as important as the fact that we are indeed worshipping. 

So let’s get a move on with our song of praise for today which is titled ‘All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.’And isn’t that of the utmost importance to us believers in Christ? It certainly is, because there is immense power in His name; power like there is in no other name in the universe! Wow! That already raises the passion in my soul! (smile) 

It’s a popular hymn sung by many Christian denominations, and is often called the “National Anthem of Christendom.” The lyrics were written by Edward Perronet (1721-1792) a prominent British Pastor, at one time affiliated with the Wesley’s of the Methodist persuasion, but afterwards became a pastor of a dissenting congregation. Just goes to show that there have always been divisions between leaders of the church which have unfortunately brought about way too many denominations and cliques and have consequently led to the disunity and weakness of the church. 

But enough talk, time for the raising of voices in sacrificial praise; strong, sincere and passionate ones, in an up-tempo beat, like we really joyful in singing about the power of Jesus’ name. ‘All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall; Let angels prostrate fall; Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown him, crown him, crown him, And crown him Lord of all. Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race, Ye ransomed of the fall, Ye ransomed of the fall, Hail him who saves you by his grace, And crown him, crown him, crown him, And crown him Lord of all. 

Let ev’ry kindred, ev’ry tribe, On this terrestrial ball, On this terrestrial ball, To him all majesty ascribe, And crown him, crown him, crown him, And crown him Lord of all. O that with yonder sacred throng We at his feet may fall; We at His feet may fall; We’ll join the everlasting song, And crown him, crown him, crown him, And crown him Lord of all. Yes, crown him, crown him, crown him, crown him Lord of all!’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, our heavenly Father has indeed crowned the first born Son, Lord of all! Hear the scriptures tell it nuh, through these magnificent words of Bruh Paul to the church at Philippi. ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself , and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:’ (Phil. 2:8-9) 

Yuh see that precious people, yuh see what a magnanimous God we worship? He highly exalted Christ for His humility and obedience and selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary! So what do you think He would do for us if we were humble, obedient and selflessly sacrificial eh? Exalt us in His own way and time too! 

And the Father didn’t merely exalt Jesus with a high name, but hear this: ‘That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:10-11) 

Yuh see how our God moves in mighty ways mih people! He didn’t just give Jesus a big name, but the biggest name after His, one where in the fullness of time, the whole heaven, earth and everywhere else in the universe, would have to fall on their knees and worship Christ and proclaim that He is Lord over all! Mama Yo! 

And Peter, in his famous Pentecost Day sermon did wax eloquent in talking about Bruh David’s seed that the Lord would raise up to sit on his throne. ‘He (Bruh David) seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.’ (Acts 2:31-33) 

Yes friends, Peter was telling them that Christ through the promise of God had sent the Holy Spirit down and filled them with new life and understanding that made them able to speak in various languages. Now hear Bruh Paul again, this time to the church at Ephesus, as he prays that they may receive knowledge and understanding. 

‘That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set (seated) him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world (age), but also in that which is to come. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.’ (Eph. 1:17-23) 

Oh friends, we don’t have time nor space to get into all the ramifications of those scriptures, but suffice it say that Bruh Paul prayed that the Ephesians would be given the disposition to see and understand God’s wisdom and revelation. First as it referred to them; the certainty of their heavenly destination, the priceless value of their salvation and the priceless treasure they are to God, which would all lead to a divine strength in their daily walk. 

And then, as it referred to Christ, whom He raised from the dead, seated Him at His right hand, and gave ultimate power over all the angelic hosts of heaven and made Him the head of the church, through His great intimacy with that body. And I do hope that I’ve convinced you that there’s power in Jesus’ name and that you’ll look to Him for help from this time forward. Much LOVE!

…our saviour’s name is so powerful…that when trials assail us and we need help…all we have to do is cry out…JESUS… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2020 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.

Oh mih people, the time for praise and worship and ‘gatheration’ (smile) – if you can – has come around again, and we must not be found wanting in keeping the Lord’s Day holy as He desires, in whatever form and fashion we can. Good sentence eh? Bruh Paul would have been proud of it. (smile) The long and short of the story though is if we can go to church, let us go to church, and if we can’t, then let us get together through the radio, telephone, t.v., computer or however we can, for it’s important that Christians assemble, or congregate or worship together. 

Remember the words of Hebrews: ‘Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is: but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:25) And no, that doesn’t mean we can’t miss a church service here and there, but that it is important for us to gather so we can encourage and exhort each other to keep the faith, especially in tough and uncertain times like these. As the scholars tell us: ‘The church is a body interacting (1 Cor. 12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’ Although that’s also a part of its job. (smile) 

So now that we’ve gathered on this Sabbath Day in late October of this watershed year of 2020, let’s do our best to encourage and exhort each other to stay the course with Jesus, difficult as it might be. And as always we going to begin the proceedings with a song of praise and worship, a li’l soulful ditty written by one Fernando Ortega, but today we’re doing a live soulful version by Danny Gokey. 

I first heard it last week when I asked the duchess for something to sing, and soon thereafter she sent me ‘Buried Alive’ by Buju Banton, which we sung last week, and this tune by Danny Gokey, which I told myself that we’d sing this week, and which I sent to some of you by what’s app. That means some of you already know it, so it won’t be hard to sing. (smile) And it’s strange that after listening to several different versions of the song, I came right back to this one because of its powerful, soulful and heart-rending appeal. 

So let’s all join together and raise our voices in harmonious, sincere, soulful, sacrificial praise, declaring the thing, the person, we desire most in this world. As the song says: ‘Give Me Jesus!’ Yes friends, He is definitely ALL we need in this world. Singing: ‘Ohhh ohhh, Give me Jesus… Give me Jesus… In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise Give me Jesus. (Chorus: Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus.) 

When I am alone, Oh When I am alone, When I am alone, Give me Jesus. (Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. For He is all that I need. Just give me Jesus) When I come to die, Oh, When I come to die, When I come to die, Give me Jesus. Ohhhh Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. Oh it’s all I need, all I need is Jesus. So Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, You can have all this world, You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus, He’s all I need. He’s all I need. 

Give me Jesus…in the morning when I rise…when I lay my head down… when I wake up, when I lay my head down, said I need him, said I need you… said I only want Jesus…when I wake up… Just give me Jesus. All I need is him. We worship you, we worship you, I say we worship you Lord. You’re the answer to my prayers, you’re the calm in the storm, you’re my rest and my refuge…oh yeahhh…’ 

Oh my brethren, that was indeed heart-rending. Jesus couldn’t doubt the sincerity of our plea to have Him in our lives. And why wouldn’t we desire Him when He’s so omnipotent and compassionate and LOVING eh? Let’s look at a few scriptures that paint that wonderful picture. To begin with, John tells us that Jesus was the Word, and that He was with God from the beginning. Then He was made flesh to come into this world to bring light to us poor sinners who were living in darkness, but who unfortunately did not understand the light. (John 1:1-5) 

‘That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ (John 1:9) And Jesus Himself corroborated that truth when He told His doubting listeners: ‘I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) That just goes to show Jesus’ amazing power. As a part of the Godhead, the Holy Trinity, how can we not be drawn to Him eh? 

And then what greater LOVE could He show than coming to earth to sacrifice His sinless life to save us from the fires of hell eh? Hear Him: ‘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) Now why would He do such a thing if He didn’t care deeply and dearly for us eh? It’s all about LOVE, my people, that outstanding characteristic the Lord holds for His creation, mankind. And Jesus puts it in a nutshell. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Yeh people, the only way one can receive salvation is through Jesus Christ! NO OTHER WAY! 

And hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Rome nuh. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ (Rom. 5:19) And that ONE is Jesus! The ONE who died on the cross to pay for our sins! So why wouldn’t we want Him eh, why wouldn’t He be our FIRST and ONLY choice eh, when He’s done so much for us, done what no one else could ever do? 

And when yuh talking about ‘sufferation’ on our behalf, nobody did it like Jesus. Look at what He bore so that we could be set free. As Hebrews says: ‘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) That’s why He can be our Comforter and Intercessor friends! He was tempted and suffered just like us, so He fully understands what we’re going through. 

And we’ll end with these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:5-11) 

And if all of that doesn’t convince you that Christ is ALL you need in this world, then I don’t know what will nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christ is our…High Priest…Lord…Saviour…King…Comforter…Intercessor…our EVERYTHING… 

P.S. Yes, it’s long, but justifiably so. (smile)  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2020 Philippians 2:5.

Philippians 2:5.    ​Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 
 

And here we are again, another Sunday without corporate worship! But friends, they might be able to keep us apart physically, but never spiritually, for the mighty Spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ dwells in all of His saints and can traverse physical space so that we can still come together in worship through the technological revolution. How can they keep God’s people apart eh? Never! But enough talk, (smile) let’s get to some worship. And today’s song of praise is a wonderful, well-known hymn by blind hymn writer Francis Jane Crosby, better known as Fanny Crosby. 

And the website Godtube had this to say about the hymn. ‘Each and every day we sing praises to His name. We are thankful for all of the blessings that He bestows upon us. The lyrics of the classic hymn ‘Blessed Assurance’ is the perfect way to worship. And when you hear the story behind the hymn, you will be even more in awe of His amazing grace. Thank you, Jesus, for dying for our sins!’ 

And the synopsis of the story is that Fanny Crosby, born in 1840, became blind as a baby through a badly treated eye infection. Then her father died shortly thereafter, and while her mother went out to work to support the family, she was raised by a Christian grandmother who ‘became her eyes, vividly describing the physical world.’ This obviously helped to develop Fanny’s descriptive abilities. She also nurtured Fanny’s spirit. ‘She read and carefully explained the Bible to her, and she always emphasized the importance of prayer. When Fanny became depressed because she couldn’t learn as other children did, Grandmother taught her to pray to God for knowledge.’ 

At 12 years of age, Fanny entered the New York Institute for the blind and never looked back after that, eventually teaching at the school for some 23 years. The story continues that while visiting one evening with Fanny, her friend, composer Phoebe Palmer Knapp played a tune on the piano for her and asked what she thought it sounded like. Fanny’s reply was, ‘Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!’ And the rest is history; they continued singing the melody and writing the lyrics together. Now isn’t that a wonderful story? It surely is, showing the power of God’s Spirit, what we can do with a li’l help from our supportive friends and family! 

So let’s finally sing that wonderful hymn ‘Blessed Assurance’ nuh. (smile) In strong voice, in perfect harmony, with deep soulful feeling, echoing straight from our hearts, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise. ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood (Chorus: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.) 

Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; Angels, descending, bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. (Chorus…) Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His love. (Chorus: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long…. Praising my Savior all the day long.)’ 

Oh my people, heaven was touched! And as always when we sing praises to Jesus, all of heaven joins in, even the Father, for He is indeed worthy of much praise and worship and glory. And while all of the praise and worship is going on, Jesus just sits there blushing, with a shy smile on His face, for He still not enamoured of the limelight. (smile) 

And to justify it all, the Good Book explains: ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made (coming) in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:5-11) 

Ah friends, Jesus’ sacrifice was no easy task, but because of the LOVE for His Father and perfect obedience to His will, He endured the shame and ‘sufferation’ of the cross. Oh, if we could only have a li’l more LOVE for the Father, who LOVES us so much, that He sacrificed His only Son for us, and be just a tad more obedient to His holy will, our world would be such a wonderful place, not the crazy, troubled maelstrom that it now is. 

And yuh know, all this turbulence that we’re currently experiencing, that the enemy is perpetrating, that God is allowing, is just a simple cry from Him for us to turn back to Him, not try and shut Him out of our society, for He knows that without Him, we are nothing, our lives would be total chaos. Jesus didn’t mince words, He said it plainly: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

How long is it going to take us to realize that’s the gospel truth eh friends? We need to have the same mind that Jesus had, as Bruh Paul describes it: ‘Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem (the) other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but also every man also on the things of others.’ (Phil. 2:2-4) 

Yes friends as believers in Christ, we are to live harmoniously, like He did, otherwise all our big talk is worthless, and more a hindrance, rather than a help to the kingdom! Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but action calls for sacrifice…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2020 Philippians 2:9.

Philippians 2:9.    ​Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.
 
One more Sunday without corporate worship my fellow believers… But that’s okay, just like our overwhelming technological society has driven us away from God, that same technology will now help us come back to Him! Glory to God and the mysterious ways in which He works! So we will worship by radio, TV, internet, telephone, whatever it takes. Believers can be very astute innovators when the time calls for it. (smile) So let’s have church nuh; with praise and worship and thanksgiving and the Word of God to keep us bright and fresh, assured and energized and courageous in these turbulent and unsure times.  And all God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

And that’s exactly what we’re going to do by opening today’s proceedings with a marvellous song. Oh my people, my people, it’s going to be a wonderful day of worship, so let’s get to singing this most appropriate contemporary song written by Brooke Ligertwood and Ben Fielding down under (Australia) back in 2015. It’s elegantly titled: ‘What A Beautiful Name!’ And it’s obvious that they are referring Jesus, for there’s no other name in all the universe as beautiful as His. And if you don’t know the song you can check it out on YouTube, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir or the Times Square Church Choir versions. 

So let’s belt out a harmonious, soulful, rocking version a la Times Square Church Choir, beginning with (Chorus 1: ‘What a beautiful Name it is What a beautiful Name it is The Name of Jesus Christ my King What a beautiful Name it is Nothing compares to this What a beautiful Name it is The Name of Jesus.) You were the Word at the beginning One with God the Lord Most High Your hidden glory in creation Now revealed in You our Christ. (Chorus 1: What a beautiful name it is…. The Name of Jesus.) You didn’t want heaven without us So Jesus You brought heaven down My sin was great Your LOVE was greater What could separate us now. 

(Chorus 2: What a wonderful Name it is What a wonderful Name it is The Name of Jesus Christ my King What a wonderful Name it is Nothing compares to this What a wonderful Name it is The Name of Jesus What a wonderful Name it is The Name of Jesus.) (Bridge: Death could not hold You The veil tore before You, You silence the boast of sin and grave The heavens are roaring The praise of Your glory For You are raised to life again You have no rival You have no equal Now and forever God You reign Yours is the kingdom Yours is the glory Yours is the Name above all names. 

(Chorus 3: What a powerful Name it is What a powerful Name it is The Name of Jesus Christ my King What a powerful Name it is Nothing can stand against it What a powerful Name it is The Name of Jesus. What a beautiful Name it is What a beautiful Name it is. What a wonderful Name it is What a wonderful Name it is. What a powerful Name it is What a powerful Name it is… The Name of Jesus Christ my King… The Name of Jesus Christ my King…’ 

Mama, Mama! Was that ever moving my brethren! You could hear the sincerity in our voices, rising from the depths of our hearts! And the harmony was truly awesome! Wow! And as usual, Jesus sits at the Father’s side with a shy, boyish smile, acknowledging our praise and gratitude, but not really wanting to be in the limelight. And you know what? I found something written by the composers on the Hillsong Worship site explaining some of their thoughts about the song, and it sounds much better than anything I could write, so I’ll just share it. 

The core scriptures for the song were Hebrews 1:1-4 and Colossians 1:15-20, 26-27. And they go on to say: “To know God and to worship Him (“to enjoy Him forever) is the most fundamental reason for our existence. As Jesus reveals the great mysteries of God, we come to know more of who God is, glimpsing new facets of His beauty, wonder and power. “Beauty” evokes the tenderness of His LOVE and the sweetness of His presence. “Wonder” speaks to our gratitude for salvation, awe at the length of His sacrifice. “Power” affirms His supremacy and Sovereignty – an exhortation to remember our access to the power of God in every situation, as we call upon and declare the Name of Jesus. 

‘What a beautiful name it is What a wonderful name it is What a powerful name it is The Name of Jesus.’ Jesus has the Name above all others. Anything that we can name – from our greatest triumphs to our greatest challenges – comes under the authority of His Name. This song confesses that no greater beauty or source of wonder exists outside of Jesus, “the radiance of God’s glory” (Heb.1:3). The song is also a statement that Jesus has no rival or equal. His power is unmatched and absolute. Perhaps some of us understand God LOVES us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but haven’t grasped His power, ability and will to move strongly in our present circumstances. 

Or perhaps, we understand God as the supreme, omnipotent Deity He is, but have never known Him close and tender, as a friend acquainted with the depths of our humanity, knowing our flaws cannot perturb His LOVE. Our prayer for this song is that we can all enter into a deeper, more lateral, revelation of the person of Jesus Christ – the epitome of beauty!” 

Wow! How is that for a sermon in these troubled times eh? I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments of the writers. This is the time for ALL of us to come to a strong understanding and appreciation of the wonderful, powerful and beautiful Lord and Saviour that we have dwelling in us, with us, and around us! Whose abounding and everlasting LOVE caused Him to selflessly sacrifice His holy life for us on the cross at Calvary, so that we could be redeemed! 

No wonder the Good Book excitedly declares: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:9-11) That seals the case friends! Matter fix! Put that in yuh pipe and smoke it! (smile) Much LOVE!

…Jesus is…El Numero Uno…no ifs, ands or buts about it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2020 Isaiah 52:12.

Isaiah 52:12.    ​For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward (rear guard).

 

Then it was Wednesday… and everybody breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that they had survived, gotten through the most onerous part of the work week and the rest was just cool sailing until their big day of Friday came around again! It’s surprising how we are creatures of habit yes friends. We begin on Monday like a storm assailed vessel, writhing in the throes of agony, can’t make head nor tail of anything…then by Wednesday the storm has calmed and the ship has righted itself…then we look forward to clear and calm sailing as we round the bend of life and see heaven on Friday. (smile) 

But my people, there is no reason whatsoever to fear the storms of life and wait until Friday before we experience a slice of heaven, for the Lord our God made an ever-faithful promise to us long long ago through the prophet Isaiah, that He will deliver Zion (Jerusalem) from captivity by the hands of His suffering servant, the Messiah. ‘For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward (rear guard).’ 

Oh friends, if the Lord promised it, then you can rest assured that it will happen. Yuh see how He guarded and guided the Israelites when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt? ‘ And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.’ (Ex. 13:21-22) 

Wow mih breddren! What a mighty and faithful God we serve! He guided the Israelites through the wilderness, assuring them of His enduring and powerful presence, protecting them from their enemy back then. And He has not forgotten us, those who have come after. 

Listen to this immortal promise: ‘Behold, my suffering servant shall deal prudently (prosper), he shall be exalted and extolled (lifted up), and be very high. As many were astonished at thee; his visage (appearance) was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle (startle) many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.’ (Is.52:13-15) 

That’s what you call prophecy! (smile) Now listen as the scholars explain: ‘52:13-15. These verses actually stand as the introduction to the prophecy of the Suffering Servant in chapter 53. The subject of both passages is the servant of the Lord individualized as the Messiah who suffers for our sins. He is the culmination of all of Isaiah’s messianic prophecies. He is the miraculously born Son of the Virgin – Immanuel, “God with Us” (7:14; cf. Matt. 1:23). He is the Branch (11:1) who springs up out of the stump of the Davidic line. 

He is the new David (9:7) who will bring in a new Exodus and a new redemption for the people of Israel. Further, He is the One who deserves to rule the world because He is the One who suffers redemptively for all humanity. The terms exalted and extolled, and be very high are used only in 33:10 and here, but nowhere else in the prophets. It refers to the ultimate and final exaltation of His spiritual glory. Thus He will not remain in the humiliation which is described here but will rise above it (cf. Phil. 2:9-11). 

There is a deliberate contrast between the many who are astonished and the kings who will shut their mouths at him. The idea is that both the common man and the potentate will stand speechless in awe of Him. His visage refers to His appearance (or face), which will become so marred (disfigured) by beatings and scourgings that He will be barely recognizable. The verb for shall he sprinkle is a technical term found in the Mosaic Law for the sprinkling of blood in order to cleanse or purify from sin. 

This reference has nothing to do with water baptism. Here the servant of the Lord is viewed as our High Priest who offers His own blood for our sins. Before this Suffering Servant, the nations of the world are rendered speechless as they observe this unbelievable demonstration of God’s LOVE.’  

All I can say is ‘Wow, friends, Wow!’ Yuh see how the coming of Jesus was prophesied right down to the nth degree! All that we talked about there has happened already, or will happen in the Lord’s time. So remember, Jesus Himself spoke of His coming again in glory: ‘For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt. 16:27) 

Please be careful then friends, for remember what was prophesied by Isaiah about Jesus came through, so it’s fairly certain that what Jesus says will also come through. So let’s not be found on the outside looking in when He comes again nuh. For the wise money is on Jesus: He’s the odds on favourite; the One who can’t lose! 

So let’s wisely align our lives with him nuh: The One whom ‘God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.’ (Phil. 2:9-11) 

Now that ought to seal the deal people! Jesus is officially the NAME above every other, to whom ALL knees will eventually bow! And it’s ALL to the glory of the Father…as it ought to be, for He is the One who made the plan and carried it out, based on His undying, everlasting and unconditional LOVE for us! So let’s acknowledge Him with gratitude and reverence as we declare (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail, letting everyone know our wonderful position in Christ, our Lord and Saviour. 

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!’ 

Oh Mama, Mama! And what a glorious future that will indeed be. Our puny minds can’t even picture how glorious it will really be! Much LOVE!

…the most important name we can ever call…JESUS…!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2020 Hebrews 12:1.

Hebrews 12:1.    ​Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us.
 

Greetings and salutations this dreary looking Tuesday morning my Scrip-Bit friends and families! And as Bruh Paul liked to say in his letters to the New Testament churches: ‘Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (age), according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen!’ (Gal. 1:3-5) Yes my faithful brethren, EVERY DAY, we ought to remember the Father and the wonderful things He’s done for us through Christ Jesus and give Him the necessary praise and thanksgiving! 

And please don’t tell me it’s too difficult, or you’re too busy and you don’t have time…Make time! You make time for other not so important stuff, but you can’t make time for God, the most important thing, being and element in your life? Steups! Just take a moment and consider your state if He had not shown His amazing LOVE and compassion through the incomparable gift of His Son! You’d be headed straight for hell and the eternal company of Lucifer, the fallen angel and now the deceitful, lying devil! 

But through Christ, He’s offered us another option, much better than what we had – eternal life with Him and Christ in heaven – and yuh boldfaced enough to tell me that you can’t make time to spend a few minutes with Him every day! Chuh! Pure foolishness that mih breddren! Anyway, here’s a most appropriate writing for this time of year and our current winter affliction; SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. And it’s also appropriately titled ‘January.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘It’s January, Lord – The drab, dreary middle – And my thoughts are as drab As the miserable month. Does everybody hit a January slump Or am I the only one? The first week wasn’t too bad: There were Christmas thank-yous to write A few resolutions to store away The huddle of year-end sales. But thank-you notes bring no returns And resolutions are quickly broken and marked-down trinkets fast lose appeal. When You said “Behold I make all things new” Did You forget January, Lord? Or in January do I sometimes forget You?’ 

Ah friends, I think the correct answer is more like the last one – we forget the Lord, because He’s promised NEVER to leave nor forsake us, and He always keep His promises. That we know for a fact. So if any forgetting goes on, it’s most surely on our side of the equation. And the strange thing is that the drearier and more downcast the weather and our souls are, the more we need to find consolation in God, not forget or move further away from Him. It’s like when you’re sick, that’s when you certainly need a doctor, and the worse you get, the more you need the medic! You run to Him more than ever then, not away from him. 

And it’s the same with our great God; we need Him more than ever when things are not going so good. So let’s think on that some today nuh, and see if we’re falling into that common rut. And we should also think on the Bible Promise from the poem, which is our Bit for today. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us.’ 

Yes friends, we have so many heavenly witnesses looking on at our race of faith, who earlier ran the same race and testified to the LOVE and faithfulness of God, that we need to get serious and put aside any and everything that will hinder us in our own faith walk. And please remember that our race of faith is not a sprint, but a long-distance race, a marathon; one that requires lots of endurance and energy, not merely simple patience. As Bruh Paul said to the Roman church: ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer.’ (Rom.12:12) 

That’s the kind of belly and backbone we need to run our race friends! And though we have plenty of other believers to look at as examples, the best and brightest is as the Good Book says: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher (originator and perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) 

Oh my people, how can there ever be a better example than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ eh? NEVER! For He is the One who blazed the trail, made the way, didn’t consider the shame or rejection or all the other negative stuff thrown at Him, and finished the race in steadfast and enduring faith! Wow! What a giant is our Jesus! That’s why the Father exalted Him to sit at His right hand of His throne ‘and given Him a name which is above every other name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

And likewise my brethren, if we are faithful and run our race with an abundance of the necessary Christian elements, then we too will also be rewarded at the end. As Peter calls it: ‘a crown of glory that fadeth not away.’ (1 Pet. 5:4) So let’s up the ante this cold and dreary-looking winter’s day nuh – and even if you’re in the blazing sunshine too! (smile) Let’s raise the level of our faith so that we can witness for Jesus, like the true salt and light we’re meant to be. 

And we can begin doing that by declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra with strong voice and sincere hearts. As one now: ‘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!’ 

Then the next move is to actually go out and share Jesus’ wonderful LOVE and amazing friendship! Much LOVE!

…the race of life…the hardest to run…but the most rewarding to win…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 December 2019 Philippians 2:8.

Philippians 2:8.    ​And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
 
Yes friends, it’s Sunday, that wonderful day of the Lord, and it’s also the Eve of the Eve of Christmas Eve! (smile) Only three more days to the Big One! And all God’s children sang a loud and grateful chorus of ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanksgiving to the Father, for the Son born on that long ago Christmas Day: our Emmanuel, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!’ Oh my people, let’s never forget that that lowly and humble birth in that faraway manger was the BEST THING that ever happened to mankind, after Adam and Eve turned Paradise into hell with their sinful disobedience! And all God’s children said a loud and sincere ‘Amen!’ 

Anyway, we‘re here in the Lord’s house today to joyfully fellowship with each other, to praise and worship Him, hear His Word and receive a renewal of strength and confidence, so let’s begin as we always do with a song of praise. And I have to chuckle at the Lord’s method of getting my attention for what song He wanted to hear today. For the last few days I’ve found myself singing the last line of the verses in this particular song, the only one I knew anyway, (smile) and I just couldn’t figure out why this song came popping up into my mind and mouth when I didn’t know it very well and hadn’t heard it recently. But it eventually dawned on me that that was the song the Lord wanted us to sing today. 

And it’s a rather appropriate one too, titled ‘When a Child is Born.’ So let’s raise the roof of this house and heaven too, with our sweet, soulful and harmonious rendition nuh. Altogether now: ‘A ray of hope flickers in the sky A tiny star lights up way up high All across the land, dawns a brand new morn This comes to pass when a child is born – A silent wish sails the seven seas The winds of change whisper in the trees And the walls of doubt crumble, tossed and torn This comes to pass when a child is born – A rosy hue settles all around You’ve got the feel you’re on solid ground For a spell or two, no one seems forlorn This comes to pass when a child is born – 

( Talk – And all of this happens because the world is waiting, Waiting for one child Black, white, yellow, no one knows But a child that will grow up and turn tears to laughter, Hate to love, war to peace and everyone to everyone’s neighbor And misery and suffering will be words to be forgotten, forever)  – (Sing – It’s all a dream, an illusion now It must come true, sometime soon somehow All across the land, dawns a brand new morn This comes to pass when a child is born.) – (Repeat.) Yes this comes to pass when a child is born….when a child is born…when a child is born…’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers that was so sweet and touching that it brought tears of joy to all the eyes in heaven, especially Jesus’. He couldn’t have asked for better Birthday song! And what I especially LOVED about Him there is that He didn’t try to stop the tears of joy flowing. He just sat there with a sort of embarrassed look, like most of us have when we’re being serenaded, and let the tears flow freely. Then the Father hugged Him and whispered: ‘Happy Birthday Son! Thank You for all You’ve done.’ 

And Jesus, humble as always, and never wanting to take away the Father’s glory, quietly replied amidst His tears: ‘That’s okay Father. I was proud and glad to do it, because it was Your Will, and I was the only one who could do it.’ The Father with His tear-filled eyes, released Jesus from the bear-hug, took Him by the shoulders, looked into Jesus’ tear-filled eyes, shook His head in pride and wonder, then embraced Him once more in a tight bear-hug, saying: ‘What a wonderful Son You are, I am so proud of You!’ And all of heaven sang with and for joy at the open display of LOVE between Father and Son! 

Wow mih people! Can you imagine that most touching and dramatic scene! I tell you, NOWHERE can put on drama like heaven! (smile) And no, I’m not crazy or under the influence of anything else but the Holy Spirit! (smile) As the ole people would say, ah just selling it how ah buy it! So it’s no wonder that the Father desires all of us be like the Son, to follow in His footsteps, not be perfect, but as Christ-like as is humanly possible. 

And friends, I couldn’t find a more appropriate set of scripture to describe Christ’s earthly behaviour than these magnificent and oh so true words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of nor reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made (coming) in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil. 2:5-8) 

And yuh know mih breddren, that’s all the Lord is asking of us too; to be humble and obedient to His will. And yuh see how He rewarded Jesus: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:9-11) Well friends, the Lord will also reward us if we do His bidding with humility, excellence and diligence. 

And if you don’t believe me, hear these encouraging words from Hebrews. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb. 10:35-36) Please think on that friends, and let it motivate us to do God’s work today…and everyday from henceforth! Much LOVE!

…he that comes to God…must believe that He rewards…those who diligently seek Him… (Heb.11:6b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2019 Hebrews 4:16.

Hebrews 4:16.    ​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.

Time to refuel once again friends; time to revitalize our spiritual energy with a visit to the Lord’s house this Sunday morning, or evening, where in fellowship with other believers, we give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father, hear His awesome Word, filled with wisdom and encouragement and come away strong and confident, empowered to face our turbulent world for another seven days, diligently doing His holy will! Hn, hn! I like that sentence; though it’s long, it’s chocked full of truth! And as believers in Jesus Christ, that ought to be a major priority in our lives. As Bruh David says in Psalm 25: ‘All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.’ (Ps.25:10) If you are a true believer, you certainly can’t deny that. 

Anyway, let’s get on with the praise and worship, beginning, as always, with a song of heartfelt LOVE being floated up to heaven. And today’s song is an old favourite, ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds,’ written by none other than John Newton (1725-1807); the licentious sailor, slave trader, abolitionist and priest, who contributed numerous songs to our Hymn Book, the most famous being the immortal, ‘Amazing Grace.’ So let’s sing out our souls in all sincerity to Jesus, letting Him know how much we LOVE, adore and appreciate Him. 

As one voice, in perfect harmony: ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear! It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away our fear. It makes the wounded spirit whole and calms the troubled breast; ’tis manna to the hungry soul, and to the weary, rest. Dear name! the rock on which I build, My shield and hiding place, My never-failing treasury, filled, With boundless stores of grace. O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend, my Prophet, Priest, and King, my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring. How weak the effort of my heart, how cold my warmest thought; but when I see you as you are, I’ll praise you as I ought. Till then I would your LOVE proclaim with every fleeting breath; and may the music of your name refresh my soul in death.’ 

Ah friends, there’s really no sweeter sound to a believer’s ear than that magical, mysterious, powerful and all-encompassing name of Jesus! Give Him much heartfelt thanks and praise for all He’s done for us miserable, sinful human beings nuh. I guess because of Newton’s ungodly early life, he was able to hit the nail on the head when writing this hymn. Most likely Jesus did it all for him; soothed his sorrows, healed his wounds, drove away his fear. I’m sure He made whole his wounded spirit and calmed his troubled breast…and undoubtedly, He was manna to his hungry soul, and in his weariness, gave him peaceful rest. And yuh know what my people, Jesus will do the same for each and everyone of us, if we will just accept Him into our hearts and be obedient to His will. 

Listen to some of the awesome, but oh so truthful statements that Jesus made in His time here on earth. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but my me.’ (John 14:6) Right there the situation is explained in living colour: only through Jesus, by believing in Him, and living a lifestyle in concert with His, will we ever get to see the Father’s face and behold His immaculate glory! Then hear Him on the shepherd scene: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep.’ (John 10:14-15) And did He ever lay down His sinless life in a most sacrificial manner for us, the sinful and willful sheep of His pasture! 

And as for obedience, hear Him: ‘A new commandment I give to you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) He also emphasized the LOVE factor later on in talking about the Holy Spirit. ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.’ (John 14:15-16)  And He kept His promise, that’s why we have the Holy Spirit indwelling each and every believer today! 

And there’s nothing in this whole wide world like Jesus’ Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me: for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Coming obediently to Jesus is wisest way to find rest friends! I can certainly vouch for that, and so too can many of you. 

And if you want more, He is also the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim. 6:15); the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last (Rev.1:8); The name above every name, to which every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11) He is also our Advocate, our lawyer in heaven. ‘And if any man sin, we have an advocate (intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous’ (1 John 2:1b) Glory be mih breddren! 

And finally, Jesus is also our High Priest: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God’ let us hold fast our profession (confession) For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 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. 4:14-16) That’s the best advice to end with today friends! Please pay significant heed to it. Much LOVE!

…Jesus is our Be All…and our End All…our Everything in ONE…

 

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