Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Ah mih Scrip-Bit breddren another hot summer’s day is in the offing… But what do we expect eh? It’s summer! It’s supposed to be hot! We’re just a bunch of pampered, selfish people, who only want it to be the way we want it! It’s a good thing though that our God thinks differently. (smile) 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s get going with some really interesting quotes this week from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.’ And that’s no lie friends, for all the material wealth in the world cannot be compared to the figurative wealth, talking about wisdom and experience and simple joy that one gets from living a full and productive life. 

That brings us to this next quote that’s tied up with the first. ‘Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think, and experience life. I realize how important it is to use the time I have.’ 

And is that ever so true! When we’re young, energetic and supple, we feel like time is there waiting on us, like we have oodles of it. But the older we get, the more restricted our bodies become and we realize that time’s not waiting on us, and we need to use whatever we have left in a big way. The old fogies like me, will recognize the ultimate truth in that statement. (smile) 

Therefore, one has to ‘Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.’ That also relates back to our first quote, because we all know that a life lived on the safe side does not produce any real joy and excitement, just a bland, so-so existence, and that’s not the kind of life that Jesus died for us to have. 

We were put down here to experience life, not merely go through the motions. That means we need to step out of our comfort zone and take some risks every so often; for that’s the only way we will ever grow, both in Christ and in the living world. 

And the last quote is rather eye opening: ‘Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms.’ 

Yes friends, if we could only see life through another’s eyes, we would not be as judgemental and cynical and repulsive and repugnant as we are. And only when we try to understand another’s position or circumstance can we have that wonderful trait called empathy, which is just another name for compassion. 

That brings us right to our Bit. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

h mih people, it’s the Lord’s empathy towards us that has us breathing and experiencing another day in His world! That’s what Jesus had for us, that’s why he came and died to pay for our sins, and it’s the same thing we need to have for others, even though they may be different in many or all respects from us. And I want to finish the scriptures on compassion today, so let’s get right to it. 

And the first scripture comes from a parable of Jesus, one we all know and talk about but don’t practice nearly as much as we ought to, else life would not be as bad as it is. (smile)  That’s the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Levite and the priest, supposedly good and religious people, passed by the wounded man on the ground with nothing but a mere glance. 

Regardless of what excuses they might have had for their behaviour, in Jesus’ eyes, they were heartless, unsympathetic people. ‘But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.’ (Matt.10:33) And we all know the story of how he looked after him, took him to an inn and paid for his recovery. 

And the scholars offer a good explanation of the situation surrounding the parable. ‘10:33. Jews and Samaritans were bitter rivals (John 4:9). The Samaritans were despised for having at least partially Gentile ancestry (due to Assyria’s conquest of Samaria in 721 (B.C) and for having a different worship centre (Mount Gerizim; John 4:20). 

Thus Jesus’ parable was highly provocative. Samaritan was to Jesus’ hearers automatically a term of reproach. To portray a Samaritan as fulfilling the commandment (see v.27) (LOVE thy neighbour as thyself), but Jews as circumventing it, would be a supreme insult to the listening lawyer (v.25) and to the rest of the audience.’ 

Unfortunately though my brethren, that’s exactly how a lot of us supposed believers behave, while unbelievers offer more empathy, sympathy and compassion to their fallen brethren. And just like it shone a poor light on the priest and the Levite, it likewise shines a poor light on us. So let’s try and be more supportive of others nuh, regardless of their race, creed or class, because that’s what Jesus asks of, and expects of His followers. 

And we’ll end this series of messages on compassion with the most important scriptures of them all on the subject; Jesus’ Great Invitation to a suffering mankind. ‘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) 

Oh my people, my people, what a magnificent offer! No one else has ever offered such an invitation besides Jesus, because NO ONE else had, or has the ability to keep it! So please, I implore us, in these crazy times, let’s turn to Jesus and accept His invitation nuh, it’s the wisest decision we can ever make. And furthermore, let’s also try and get others to do the same, for it’s our bounden duty as followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…the Christian life is all about…compassion…compassion…compassion…as per Jesus’ example…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2017 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

And as the church bells peal the call to church, we put on our Sunday best and get ready to gather in the house of God, be it a magnificent cathedral or a manger like where Christ was born. The physical place is not as important as the people who gather in Christ’s name, and what they do there; sing, praise, worship and glorify His holy name. 

Oh friends, only the ole fogeys will remember the simpler days when church bells rang to tell us how long before church began. And you’d see a whole lot of us hurrying into church just as the last bell was ringing. (smile) But sadly church bells are now a thing of the past, just like church going is for way too many of us. 

Anyway, enough reminiscing, let’s get on with today’s proceedings. And we’ll open with this well-known 18th century hymn by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 90:1, to instill a sense of assurance and a place of refuge in Almighty God. 

So let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise like we’ve truly found that sense of assurance and place of refuge nuh. ‘O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same. 

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust, “Return, ye sons of men”: All nations rose from earth at first, And turn to earth again. A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun. The busy tribes of flesh and blood, With all their lives and cares, Are carried downwards by the flood, And lost in foll’wing years. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day. Like flow’ry fields the nations stand Pleased with the morning light; The flow’rs beneath the mower’s hand Lie with’ring ere ’tis night. O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home.’ 

Oh my people, those words come close, but they can’t really do our great God justice, for there are no words to truly describe what He means to mankind.  He is our BE ALL and END ALL! We are created by Him, live physical life under His dominion, then end up wherever He thinks our spiritual life is best suited. So since He is Master of ALL He surveys, true wisdom will dictate that we put ALL of our trust and hope in Him. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ And we only had time yesterday to admit to that truth; when we don’t have hope, we’re depressed and miserable, but when we do have it, we’re revitalized and joy abounds. But what actually is that thing we call Hope eh? 

Here is an interesting definition from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional.  He says: ‘HOPE. It is a scientific experience of the presence of God operating in your personality… Your good luck is really your good Lord. Hope is a mystery. God always offers hope regardless of your beliefs, whether you are an agnostic or atheist. Hope is the presence of a God of LOVE coming into your mind, your spirit, your body, your personality. This is God. This is HOPE!’ 

And who are we to doubt him eh? However we define hope, it is important to realize that it comes from our LOVING Creator, and it is given to reassure and encourage us to have faith in Him. Moses so rightly declared in the opening of his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)  And if all of that is true my people, then the only logical place to look for succour and refuge, to acquire that mysterious, scientific uplifting experience termed hope, is from Almighty God! 

And another stalwart of faith, Bruh David concurs completely with Moses, as he questions his depressed mood. ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) Yuh see friends, Bruh David is there seeking refuge, hope, relief from his depression, revitalization through God’s presence. And if we are wise, we will do the same thing. 

Now hear how Bruh Paul describes hope in his epistle to the Roman church, as he expounds on the results of justification. ‘And patience, experience (character); and experience hope: And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:4-6) Yes friends, Christ died that we might have hope, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us is the living sign of that hope, as He walks and talks with and for us. 

And we’ll close with one more applicable scripture from Bruh Paul to the Romans, as he talks about Life in the Spirit. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Truer words were never spoken my brethren! Now let’s put our hope and trust in God nuh, so that our faith can be boosted and our lives become more Christ-like. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…for hope is the underlying nature…the foundation of faith…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 December 2016 1 Peter 4:12.

1 Peter 4:12.   Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

Aloha friends, and family, Aloha! Is Friday one more time… And as expected, the place is already hopping in expectation of a wild and wicked weekend, especially with Christmas time in the air. 

Yeh, mih people, all around the place yuh hearing the usual ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank God for the weekend in this Christmas season, where we going to eat and drink and party fuh so…and even fall down drunk sometimes too! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend, come Christmas time!’ 

And believe me, this time when we celebrate the birth of Christ, is used to cover a lot of debauchery and licentiousness. But thankfully, we believers know better, we know the true reason for the season; the birth of Christ, and we celebrate it in a much more godly manner, don’t just use it as an excuse to party. 

Anyway, since it’s Friday let’s chant our Friday Chant, which shows a better standard of behaviour in the use of the weekend. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way to spend the weekend, getting some balance and restoration in our souls, without which we won’t be able to do Christ’s work in the excellent manner that He expects from His followers. 

Now let’s get to our Bit, which a lot of believers still can’t fathom. (smile) ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ 

Ah mih people, working for Jesus does not come easy, for at times, much of them unexpected, we are put through the fire to test our mettle, to see how our faith matches up with the words we speak and the behaviour we display. And it’s never easy to welcome these unexpected trials with the joy that is required of us. 

However, as we grow in faith, as we stay in close proximity to Almighty God, taking all our problems to Him, finding joy in tribulation becomes easier. We have to go through it several times before we can truly appreciate the truth and the vitality contained therein. 

Now we’ve heard James’ and Peter’s take on the subject, but no word on trials and tribulations will be worth its salt if it doesn’t contain these fiery words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. 

‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience (produces perseverance); And patience, experience (character); and experience, hope: 

And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ (Rom.5:1-5) 

So friends, since we have been justified through Christ, through God’s doing, not man’s, and thus have right standing with Him through reconciliation, we can therefore rejoice in whatever befalls us, because we are sure of God’s deliverance. 

Hn! Hope that makes sense. (smile) That’s why Bruh Paul says we can glory, can boast in all the negative stuff that comes upon us, since they only grow us, make us stronger in our faith, bring us closer to God and more Christ-like, which is our end-goal. 

Now here is the crowning glory of it all, found in the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ that He delivered in the Sermon on the Mount. This is the last of the Beatitudes, and I don’t know if Jesus had a special reason for putting it last, possibly because He knew that it would be the hardest one to live by. 

Nonetheless, please listen closely my brethren. ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars give us this interesting and uplifting explanation. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase Rejoice, and be exceeding glad means even more, exult! 

Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Oh friends, we know that our wonderful God is real, He is who He claims to be, plus the Bible is true, so no earthly trouble should take away our joy in the salvation of Christ Jesus! 

So let’s go out today and just exult nuh; exult in the glory of God, knowing that our place in heaven is safe and secure! That’s what it means to be a true and mature Christian! Much LOVE!

…mourning may last for a night…but joy comes in the morning…because our faith is strong…and Christ’s salvation is real… 

P.S. I visited our bubba Scotty yesterday afternoon. He is doing much better. He says he’s alive but can’t kick too hard just yet. (smile) So let’s keep on praying for him to make a full recovery very soon. Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2016 Psalm 66:16.

Psalm 66:16.    Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

Well friends, it’s Saturday…and at last we received a decent shower of rain, which the dry and thirsty land lapped up like there was no tomorrow. And who knows if there will a tomorrow, the way the world is currently going? 

But one thing is sure and certain…or rather two things are certain; God is on His throne in heaven letting His awesome plan for the world play out until Jesus is ready to come back again. And return He will because He promised it! 

So with the Father running things, Jesus waiting in the wings to ride the clouds in heavenly splendour when the trump blows, and the Holy Spirit indwelling each and every believer, there’s nothing really for Christians to fear in these rather tempestuous times. So please, let us stand strong in our faith and do our duty as prescribed by Christ. 

In the meanwhile, listen to this quote from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us with his wise words. And it declares: ‘If you think about disaster, you will get it. Brood about death and you hasten your demise. Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience.’ 

More words of wisdom and truth friends; based on the psychological premise that generally speaking, you become whom or what you think about. That means our thoughts play an extremely important function in our lives; if we think negatively we’ll be overtaken by a lot of negative stuff. However, a positive, faith filled mind can work wonders in our everyday lives. 

And you couldn’t have a more positive thinker than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now please don’t confuse His words, His teachings, which are very positive, with His unfortunate, negative demise. He came to earth to be our holy, sinless sacrifice, so the negativity that He encountered was not a result of negative thinking, but of the Father’s awesome plan to redeem us from sin. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.’ And believe me friends, our wonderful God has done lots of things for our souls; some we appreciate, some we take for granted, but the Lord in His faithfulness is still doing stuff for us. 

And today we’ll look at the story, the testimony of how God took care of the soul of a man who truly reverenced Jehovah God. We’re talking about Bruh Joseph. We know how his father Jacob favoured him over his older brothers, gave him a coat of many colours, and how the brothers disliked him, especially after he told them his dream about them bowing down before him. (Gen.37.5-11) 

We also know how they hatched a plot of get rid of him, selling him into slavery, then telling their father Jacob that his favourite son had been killed by a wild animal. But little did they know the ultimate plan of God, how their deceit and lies would play a big part later on in their lives. Now when Bruh Joseph was brought to Egypt, he was sold to one Potiphar, an officer in Pharaoh’s guards. 

And the Good Book tells us: ‘And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous (successful) man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand (to be successful). And Joseph found grace (favour) in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand (care). 

And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand (care); and he knew not aught (anything) he had, save (except) the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person (handsome in form and appearance) and well-favoured’ (Gen.39:2-6) 

But sadly, that same handsomeness was his downfall. The master’s wife took a liking to Him, and when he refused her advances she cried rape. Poor Potiphar had no recourse but to throw him in prison. But there again ‘the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy (LOVING-kindness), and gave him and gave him favour (caused him to be viewed with favour) in the sight of the keeper of the prisoner.’ (Gen.39:21) 

Soon thereafter Bruh Joseph was running the prison and the prison keeper had no worries because the Lord caused everything that Bruh Joseph touched to prosper.  And in the Lord’s mysterious working, Pharaoh threw his baker and butler in to Bruh Joseph’s prison, and while there he interpreted dreams for them. The baker was beheaded and the butler returned to his former position. 

But as often happens the butler forgot the promise he made to Bruh Joseph to help get him out of jail, until two years later when Pharaoh dreamed a dream that none of his magicians could decipher. Then the butler remembered Bruh Joseph and Pharaoh sent for him. And the rest is history. He interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and was made Prime Minister of the country, second in power only to Pharaoh himself. 

And the purpose of all Bruh Joseph’s troubles? To strengthen him and prepare him for that role, and to place him in a position to help the same family of brothers who had sold him into slavery, in a time of terrible famine. Please note friends, that all during Bruh Joseph’s trials and tribulations he never behaved disreputably and stayed totally in faith. 

Obviously it would not have been easy for a teenager in a foreign land as a slave, but because of his faithfulness the Lord caused others to show him favour. It took him something like thirteen years to reach the pinnacle that Lord had made for him. 

And I want to end with these immortal words he spoke when he finally accosted his family. ‘But as for you, ye thought (intended) evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people.’ (Gen.50:20) 

Yes my people, many times we find ourselves in undeserved situations and can’t figure out why. But the secret to success in those situations is to simply stay in faith, for we know not what the Lord’s plans are. It might not be easy to do so, but it would surely be the wisest course of action. Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…faith must be strengthened to overcome them…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 October 2015 Proverbs 16:31

Proverbs 16:31.  The hoary (silvery) head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

Awright mih people! It’s a brand new day, with plenty new mercies and blessings forecasted. Oh glory to God! 

And I do hope that you have given your praise and thanks this October morn to Almighty God, your Creator and sure Provider, and are in complete agreement with His excellent plan for your earthly life, so that you can be listed among those chosen recipients for God’s amazing grace and favour to day. 

And all God’s people loudly and confidently declared: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! 

Yes Friends, indeed we will, because it’s a wonderful day and we are in an amazing relationship with a wonderful Deity! Glory Hallelujah! 

And since today is Wednesday, we also need to proclaim our Wednesday Wail. So please let’s do so with much vim and vigour and sincerity and truth nuh. 

Wailing… ‘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!’ 

Ah mih breddren, if we are sincere in that prayer, then we truly are on our way to glory, for their could be no better life lived on this earth than one with Jesus at the helm! 

So I am encouraging us this morning to seriously get together with our Lord and Saviour, to up our knowledge and pleasure in Him through reading and studying His word and talking personally with Him. Remember it takes two to tango, and Jesus is the best dancing partner we can ever have! 

Oh Friends, don’t you just LOVE the sound of His name – Jesus…Jesus… Oh it rolls off the tongue so easily and effortlessly, and it has such a LOVING, calm calling, friendly and homely quality to it, that we just gravitate naturally to it! Ah mih people, like the ole fella is in his essence this morning! (smile) 

Oh, but before I forget, let me apologize for understating our new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau’s age yesterday. I said he was thirty something, but he’s actually in his early forties. Please forgive the ole fella, his brain is not as young and agile as it was. (smile) 

And that brings us to our Bit, wise words from Cousin Sol in Proverbs. ‘The hoary (silvery) head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.’ What a beautiful statement my people! 

And I like to tell people with silvery or white hair that that denotes a sign of age, wisdom, experience and maturity; something that they should be proud of, not something to hide under a wig or commercial hair colouring. Hn, hn! 

But here’s an important note from the scholars on the verse. ’16:31. The hoary head or white head of old age is only a crown if it is accompanied by righteousness.’ 

And that’s no lie Friends! So it’s not everybody that we see with white hair means that they are crowned with glory. Only if they are sated in the righteousness of Almighty God, can that very noticeable white hair be considered a crown of glory. 

So what does that say about me eh, because I don’t have much white in my hair? It’s still mostly black…at least the last time I saw it. (smile) 

But don’t fear my fellow believers, having black hair doesn’t mean you aren’t or can’t be righteous. It’s not the colour of the hair, but the state of the heart that’s important to our God. Otherwise a whole heap of wicked people with white hair would be considered righteous and have a crown of glory. But we know that cannot be, for the wicked have no part in God’s kingdom. 

Now here’s an interesting Proverb from Cousin Sol that lends authenticity to our Bit. ‘The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.’ (Prov.20:29) 

And in our modern-day society we do tend to make those distinctions. We consider young men to be gloriously strong in their physical appearance, while older men are adjudged wise and wonderful with a head of gray. Now that’s not always the case, but that’s the generalization we make in this society. 

Youth is always looked upon as being strong and vital, while the old are considered frail and doddering. (smile) Anyway Friends, the important thing is not our age or how we look, whether we’re physically strong or not, whether our hair is grey or not, but if our hearts, minds, bodies and souls are filled with the righteousness of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

And if the answer is a resounding yes! Then hear these words of James. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried (has been proved), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12) 

Then Peter concludes: ‘And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.’ (1 Pet.5:4) 

So Friends, if our lives are wrapped up in the righteousness of Christ, then there are at least two crowns for us to receive; one of life, and one of glory. Now isn’t that something significant enough to eagerly look forward to? It surely is! Much LOVE!

…be thou faithful unto death…and I will give thee a crown of life…  (Rev.2:10b)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2014 Romans 5:7

Romans 5:7.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. 

Ah Friends and neighbours, it was one of those days where at getting up time, the old body plaintively cried out; ‘More rest! In the name of God, more rest please!’
 
And being a child of God, a reflection of His mercy, LOVE and kindness, how could I refuse such a plaintive plea eh? (smile) To tell the truth, the ole bod could still use some more rest, but sometimes we just can’t let it have it’s own way and must say enough is enough, else it will simply take over and run amuck on us.
 
So Friends, when your bodies seriously cry out for rest, don’t constantly ignore it, because it often knows better than us, what it needs. And remember too that rest was a big part of God’s concern when He created the universe.
 
For as the Good Book says: ‘And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.’ (Gen.2:3)
 
So Friends, if God needed rest from His labours, or rather saw fit to rest, then why shouldn’t we also. Please be aware that rest is an integral part of our earthly lives, though the world, in its evil, ungodly state, strives to keep us continually busy, but that only causes us considerable and unnecessary stress and pain.
 
And now that I’ve formally made my excuses, my mea culpas, (smile) let’s see what good word our almanac has for us today. And though it’s a small in stature word, it is big, bold, beautiful and mighty in its impact. Believe me, it’s an awesome word that ALL God’s children ought to heed.
 
And that powerful word is ‘DARE!’
 
Now I’m not sure which Steve Marshall the following quote can be attributed to, because there are so many. But whichever one it is, he is supposed to have said these simple but powerful words of advice: ‘Dare to be the best you can – at all times, dare to be the best!’
 
What wonderful words of advice my brethren, especially for followers of the Lord Jesus Christ! Why is that you ask? Because daring allows us to move out of our comfort zone, to get up off of our fat fannies and do the things Jesus desires of us.
 
The dictionary generally defines ‘DARE’ as ‘venture to, have the courage or impudence to, feel sure that, attempt to, take the risk of, defy, challenge, be prepared to believe.’
 
So you can see Friends, that daring involves getting up and doing, meeting challenges full on, not being afraid of and running from stuff.
 
And that stand up strong and steadfast, courageous, believing I can attitude is necessary in ALL believers if we seriously intend to do God’s work here in this evil, ungodly world, because the enemy will not allow us to just go about God’s business without any challenges and evil input.
 
Yes my people, believers are called to be daring, so daring that we would follow our Bit. ‘For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die.’
 
Wow! It surely is a hefty dare, but one that we should not shy away from if necessary. Oh my brethren, I know that ALL of us are praying that it won’t be necessary in our own lives. (smile) But Bruh Paul was simply echoing Jesus’ words there in our Bit, when He told the disciples:
 
‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
 
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ (John 15:12-15)
 
Then He went out and died for His FRIENDS; laid down His life for us!
 
And all God’s children gave out a mighty and grateful shout of: ‘Oh thank you Jesus for sacrificing your holy and sinless life for us! We praise and adore You, and bless your holy name, now and forever more! Amen’
 
Yeh mih people, that’s what daring does! It causes us to rise up and meet challenges, even though we may be sorely afraid.
 
As Bruh Paul so ingeniously reasons before our Bit; ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
 
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience (produces perseverance); And patience, experience (character); and experience, hope:
 
And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due (at the right) time Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:1-6)
 
Oh Friends, what marvelous scripture! Scripture that assures and ensures us of God’s great LOVE!
 
And it’s only fitting that we end with some scholarly explanations of those verses. ‘5:1-4. Justified by faith (lit. “because we have been justified by faith”): It was God’s doing, not man’s.
 
Peace with God: This is not a feeling but a standing. God and the believer are no longer at enmity but have been reconciled (cf. 5:10-11; 2 Cor.5:18). This is a primary result of our justification.
 
Access: We can come directly into the presence of God. Jesus Christ is not only our Redeemer, but He is also our Advocate. By Him we gain entrance and acceptance before the Father (cf. 1 John 2:1)
 
Wherein we stand: This is the answer to the psalmist’s question: “If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (Ps.130:3) Rejoice (lit. “we boast”) in hope denotes the absolute certainty the believer has of God’s deliverance.
 
5:5. Holy Ghost…given: The believer has the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. This is not a “second blessing,” but is just as much a certitude as the believer’s justification (cf. 1 Cor.12:13).’
 
Oh my people, with all that assurance and certainty expressed in God’s Word, there’s no way we should fear to go out and ‘DARE!’
 
So starting today, right now, let’s put all that stuff deep in our souls nuh, bury God’s assurance deep in our hearts and thus allow it to make us not only believers, but even more importantly, daring believers. That’s heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…to dare…to dare…and yet to dare…in Jesus name…is what we’re called to do…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2014 Mark 5:36b

Mark 5:36b.      Be not afraid, only believe.
 

Oh Friends, it’s Sunday; the Lord’s Day, so let’s be up and rejoicing nuh, giving thanks that we’ve been blessed to see it! And hopefully too, we are all getting ready to go out and worship Him in the sanctuary with other believers, singing songs of praise and thanksgiving for all His LOVING- kindness to us, because it is mete and right to do so.
 
And glorifying God not only warms the cockles of His heart, but it also invigorates us, strengthens our faith, as we exhort and encourage each other to keep on keeping on despite the trials and tribulations in our individual circumstances.
 
And I’m going to keep the preamble short because I want to get in a lot of scripture, so that I can finish the messages on this Bit today. But there’s no guarantee on that, since who knows where the Holy Spirit will lead me. (smile)
 
But as Jesus says: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’
 
Anyway, we left off yesterday where Martha, Lazarus’ sister declared her unswerving belief that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. (John 11:27) Now later on, when they had taken Jesus to Lazarus’ tomb, and He told them to roll away the stone from the tomb’s entrance, Martha was aghast and ’saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
 
Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I know that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 11:39-42)
 
Yes my brethren, Jesus was doing all that stuff so that the people could believe. Why? Because mankind is so unstable, doubting and fearful that we tend to believe more readily when we actually see physical evidence of what is being proposed to us. Unlike our physical sight, our eyes of faith don’t come automatically, they have to be developed through experience and understanding.
 
And we see that Jesus’ strategy worked, because after He called forth Lazarus from the opened tomb, and he came out alive and kicking, the Good Book declares: ‘Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.’ (John 11:45)
 
Glory Hallelujah, my people! But as we just said, man’s fear is usually his downfall. For as the Good Book continues: ‘But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.
 
Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we (shall we do)? For this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone (alone like this), all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.’ (John 11:46-48)
 
Ah Friends, the Jewish rulers were sore afraid that if Jesus was left to His own devices, the people would believe that He was indeed the Messiah, and the Romans would come in to halt the LOVE Revolution that He’d set in motion, and they would lose their positions of power and influence.
 
Now here is some interesting info from the scholars. ’11:45-48. The Pharisees had tried to kill Jesus on several occasions, always by the orthodox Jewish method of stoning. The Sadducees were willing to accomplish it through their political union with the Roman power. Thus prophecy was fulfilled (Ps.22:1-18).
 
Of course the Sadducees were particularly agitated by Lazarus’ resurrection, since they did not believe in the resurrection. However, their main concern with Jesus was that He might cause a messianic uprising (v.48). Unlike the Pharisees, their interests were political, not theological: blasphemy or healing on the Sabbath did not particularly disturb them.’
 
So both power-broking groups of Jews had a lot to lose if Jesus was allowed to freely continue His ministry. Ah Friends, belief is truly the nemesis of fear yes; for fear cringes in the presence of belief, as we can see from the behaviour of the ruling Jewish classes.
 
And we’ll close with one more passage of scripture from Jesus, a rather significant passage, this when He was teaching a group of Greeks who had come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast.
 
At one stage He told them about the Son of man being lifted up: ‘This he said, signifying what death he should die. The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?
 
Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knowest not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children (sons) of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.’ (John 12:33-36)
 
I don’t give Jesus wrong at all for getting away from them nuh, because listen to the next verse. ‘But though he had done so many miracles (signs) before them, yet they believed not on him. (John 12:37)
 
Oh Friends, what is wrong with us eh, why are we so hardhearted and refuse to believe despite all that Jesus has done and is still doing for us?
 
Anyway, my brethren, let us not be like those people of old nuh, we have many more facts and figures than they had, so please let us believe. For it is the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!
 
…just like light covers and consumes darkness…so too does belief strangle and kill fear…it’s therefore wise to walk in light and belief…

 

 

 

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