Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2021 Matthew 5:12.

Matthew 5:12.     ​Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Oh friends, this lazy, hazy, bleak looking Saturday morning in the winter of 2021 has begun a tad rough on the ole fella. (smile) Ah the pleasures of a late night…but the travesty of an early morning. But as the ole people would say, when you do not listen you will feel, and believe me, I am feeling now. (smile) But that’s neither here nor there, God’s work needs to be done, and I know that He will give me the strength and wisdom to do it in a good and sound manner. Why? Because He has faithfully promised: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor. 12:9a) 

Yes friends, that’s what the Lord told Bruh Paul after he had complained for the third time about a nagging and uncomfortable body problem. And that’s the promise He makes to all of us who are weak and pained; in our pain and weakness His strength and glory are shown forth. Please remember that in those times when you feel weak and in pain; the Lord’s grace will show out in you if you turn to Him in all sincerity. Enough preaching now though. And I know you’re thankful for that. (smile) 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this past week. And the first one, makes this dramatic statement. ‘Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.’ Now that statement does have a lot of truth in it, but whether it’s the greatest enemy of truth, I don’t know. And we do have an exceptionally good recent example of it; the crowds of Americans who listened to the lying and deceitful rhetoric of Donald Trump and the other high up, powerful but oh so deceitful crooks around him, and blindly believed in the lies and deceits they so blatantly spouted. That is what has caused the wide, unamicable split, the hateful and resentful division we now have in the U.S. of A. 

So blind belief in authority does carry serious negative problems to overall truth. And the second quote proudly proclaims: ‘Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.’ And you really can’t find any problems with that statement nuh my people, for it’s totally true. All those characteristics are choices that one must make if you want to embrace them. 

And furthermore, they are all characteristics that the believer in Jesus Christ ought to espouse, because they are all a part of his philosophy, a part of His wonderful gospel! That means choices are an invaluable part of our life, we can’t get away from them, but the essence of the whole thing is that we must be sure to choose wisely, for unwise decisions usually cause, or bring dire consequences, even life-changing, lifetime ones. And having said that, I would be amiss not to tell us that the best choice we can ever make in this life is to believe in Jesus Christ, make him our Lord and Saviour and follow him from now until eternity! 

And interestingly enough, that last quote segues nicely into this next one. ‘When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow saints in Christ! Although we know that when the Lord closes one door He usually opens another, we get so caught up in what we might have lost, that we fail to realize and recognize the better things that the Lord is offering in the new situation. 

I guess that’s just a normal human reflex action. We miss the good things we lose, more than we look forward to the better things that are ahead. But let’s not beat up ourselves over that fact nuh because mourning and grief over the lost all takes time. But we do have to make sure that we don’t make that sad time too long since it would just break us up even further. Remember the Lord doesn’t close doors on us, unless he has better ones to open. And when those doors close in future, let’s contemplate the promise He made to His people, Israel, through the prophet Isaiah so long ago; ‘to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ (Is: 61:3) 

But as sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘You can’t get the beauty until you give up the ashes.’ And that’s oh so true. We have to turn away from the closed door, though it may be sad and hard, else we’ll never see the newly opened one. It’s all a matter of maturity, of growing in God’s Spirit, of being lifted up from glory to glory! 

And the last quote trumpets this eternal truth: ‘Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.’ And yes, that’s an indisputable fact! If mankind would only change its evil, wicked, inhumane and unjust ways, this world would be such a wonderful place! But I guess that’s never going to happen, at least until Jesus sets up His kingdom here on earth. 

In the meanwhile though, He expects his faithful and sincere followers to exhibit those magnificent tendencies of truth, compassion, honesty and justice, and to stand up forcefully against the powers of greed, inhumanity, injustice and all the other negative things that make life so difficult for so much of mankind. And I believe the best way to close today is with some memorable words of Jesus taken from His Sermon on the Mount., the opening of His earthly ministry. 

And it’s worthwhile to note that He began with the Beatitudes, statements that the scholars explain ‘deal with the inner state of mind and heart that is the indispensable absolute truth of true Christian discipleship. It delineates the outward manifestations of character and conduct of true believers and genuine disciples… It’s a life of grace and glory, which comes from God alone.’ 

So let’s listen to these last few Beatitudes. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 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. 5:9-12) 

Oh friends, it is tough living for Jesus, but oh so rewarding. Hear the scholars as they explain just why living for Jesus is the most glorious thing we can do in this life. ‘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 (triumph, jubilation)! Great is your reward in heaven focusses 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.’ 

Let’s think on that nuh this Saturday my precious people. Much LOVE!

…blessed are those who believe in Jesus…and follow His example… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2019 Matthew 10:16.

Matthew 10:16.   ​Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.
 

Moving on…Moving on…! Yes friends, we’re moving on… onwards and upwards! As believers in Jesus Christ we’re supposed to be always moving onwards and upwards in our faith and Christ-likeness – even till the day our earthly breath expires, or Jesus comes back, whichever one happens first. But unfortunately too many of us believers tend to stop learning, stop moving up, stop growing when we most need to – that’s everyday! (smile) 

We can’t enjoy the abundant life Christ died for us to have and be cheerful because He’s overcome the world, unless we’re filled with His Word and His Spirit. The great spiritual writer C.S. Lewis puts it this way: ‘God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it’s not there!’ Yes my brethren, it’s only in God that we can find true peace and happiness, because that’s the only place it really exists! 

And the more peace and happiness we want, the deeper and higher we’ve got to get involved in God-like matters! Rejoice and exult in His goodness and mercy! Hear, read and study His Word, then entrench it deeply in our hearts, so that when the evil tempter comes a calling we can brush him aside with powerful words and actions from the Good Book! 

It’s all a part of growing up as Christians my people! Of becoming strong, steadfast and true! And that’s the ONLY way we can ever carry out Jesus’ directive: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’ 

Ah mih people, working for Jesus is not easy, but He does give us all the tools we need to do the job! What a directive eh! Like dumb, innocent sheep in a pack of hungry, angry wolves, but wise like the serpent and yet harmless like a dove! That’s certainly a hard row to hoe with all the contrariness and contrasts it entails. But as I said before, as true believers, we have everything we need to do it! 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus further: After warning that we’d be unfairly persecuted, He calmly and sincerely directs us: ‘But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what (do not worry about what) ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in the same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.’ (Matt.10:19-20) 

Mamma Mia! What reassurance my brethren! Yuh see, our Lord and Saviour doesn’t leave anything to chance. He has a provision for each and every situation that we might find ourselves in. The Holy Spirit that dwells in us will prompt us what to say and do in every situation that we face! Glory to God! Give Him thanks and praise for being so attentive to the needs of us undeserving children! 

But here is the really rough part: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) Now therein lies the heart of the story. Just for being believers in Christ, we’ll be persecuted. But those who endure; stand, strong, steadfast and true throughout the severe persecution WILL be saved! 

That’s Jesus’ faithful promise my fellow believers! And we all know that He doesn’t make idle promises. If He says it WILL be so, then you can bet your bottom dollar that it WILL be so! (smile) But we have to endure, and we can only do that by being shrouded in His Word and Will.

 Now hear these words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians as he explains to them the way of the believer. ‘But all things that are reproved (exposed) are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light (all sins are exposed by light). Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ (Eph.5:13-14) Yes my brethren, all we that are less than right with Christ need to turn from our sin and accept the promise of spiritual enlightenment that Christ offers! 

And furthermore: ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise (watch carefully how you live), Redeeming the time (making the most of every opportunity), because the days are evil (and are they ever). Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of Lord is.’ (Eph.5: 15-17) And the only way we can understand the Lord’s will is by having constant and excellent communication with Him and His Word! 

‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be (continually) filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

There you have it friends, Christianity 101: be filled with the Holy Spirit and not wine, which leads to moral intemperance. Learn God’s will, give continual thanks and praise in everything, and defer to others if it is in God’s will. End of sermon! (smile) And when we try to live like that, then our blessings will fall down like rain, as outlined in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s declare them (spelled it right!) in loud voice with sincere hearts. 

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

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

And that needs to be a big ‘AMEN’ my people because of the staggering proportions of blessings we undeservedly enjoy, and remember, are also called to share with the less fortunate.  Much LOVE!

…working for Jesus is not easy…but brother…are the rewards ever excellent…and certainly worth it all…

 

 

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 10 August 2015 Hebrews 10:35

Hebrews 10:35.   Cast not therefore away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s Monday! Yes, Monday, the first day of this new workweek! Glory Hallelujah! So let’s rise and shine and greet it with a grateful and joyful spirit nuh! It’s our Christian heritage you know. Remember Jesus sacrificed His sinless life in part so that we could have a vibrant and abundant one ourselves. And there’s no knowing what wonderful things and situations our magnificent and magnanimous God has in store for us today. 

Wow! Let’s get excited nuh my people! Oh I know that Job wisely said that we can’t have good without bad, (Job 2:10) but today, and everyday hence, we must be positive and believe that the good, whatever it may be, will certainly outweigh the bad. Glory to God! 

And with all that passion and enthusiasm for Jesus bubbling up in us, let’s give the earth…and the heavens too, a rousing and most awesome rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

All together now:  ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, that was beautiful; magnifico, tres magnifique! – couldn’t get in the accents (smile). We were so into it, so sincere and true that tears of joy were flowing down Jesus, our choir director’s cheeks, as our passion was contagious, and He in turn wielded a tantalizing baton to direct us. 

Oh Friends, the angels… in fact all of heaven was eventually singing along with us, including the Father. And they all stood up afterwards and clapped for an encore! What a wonderful way to begin our day my brethren! Heaven’s on our side, and thus everything is right with our world! 

Now if we could only package that enthusiasm and emotion for Jesus and distribute it all over the earth, then there would certainly be great improvement all around. Jesus’ LOVE Revolution then would be in full swing. But unfortunately, the reality is that we cannot simply package it and send it off. Somewhere along the line we also have to live it, and let others see the passion in our souls. 

For remember that actions usually speak louder than words, and people are most likely to do as we do, rather than as we say. If I remember correctly, ‘examples speak more forcibly than precepts (words),’ is how the author of the novel Joseph Andrews puts it. That brings us to the intriguing and encouraging words of our Bit. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.’ 

Yes Friends, in this earthly life, this pilgrim’s journey, one of the most important things we have to do is to stay confident in the faith, the belief and promises of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It’s not always easy, especially with the enemy and his evil minions constantly breathing down our necks and whispering foolish lies and deceits in our ears. 

But as the author of Hebrews continues after our Bit: ‘For ye have need of patience (perseverance, endurance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb. 10:36) Yes my people, our faithful God will not fail to reward us for the sincere work we’ve done in His name. 

The author of Hebrews also addressed that problem earlier on in the chapter. ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering: (for he is faithful that promised :)’ (Heb.10:23) Those are certainly words to live by my fellow believers. It’s even better than money in the bank! (smile) 

Jesus even spelled it out for us in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘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 have a great explanation of that verse. ‘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.’ 

Wow! What powerful words! And we all know that there are no ifs and buts, doubts and questions about Jesus, heaven, salvation and eternal life. They are for real. So people, let’s do the wise thing nuh and Rejoice… be exceedingly glad, exult, for that is the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Jesus…should be the most exultant lot on God’s planet earth…because of the reality and blessedness…of salvation and eternal life…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2013 Matthew 5:12

 Matthew 5:12. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
 
Oh Friends, do you realize that in a mere 2 months we’ll be into the new year of 2014? This year of 2013 has really passed by quickly, and today I’m asking us to check on how we’ve done on the main New Year’s Resolution we made back in January; the promise to walk more closely and sincerely with Jesus than we did before. I’ve also been encouraging us to reflect on it every month rather than at the end of the year. That way we have time to catch up on and/or make amends to any aspect(s) on which we we’ve been lagging. 
 
And what about the resolution we made last week eh; the one to try and change the world a little bit everyday? Have we been doing anything about that? I surely hope so. And if you have, then you’re also working on the first one, because making a positive difference in this crazy, troubled world everyday, is indeed walking closer with Christ, since that’s exactly what He did, and also desires of us.
 
Anyway, your reactions and answers to those questions above are between you and our heavenly Father. I am just the messenger, so please don’t shoot me. (smile)
 
And today we’ve come to the last part of the Sermon on the Mount that deals particularly with the Beatitudes. Today’s Bit: ‘Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you,’ follows from yesterday’s.
 
That Beatitude informed us: ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.’ (Matt.5:11) And we saw how many believers are being persecuted, even unto death, for just believing in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
 
Now none of that is easy my people, but Jesus is telling us that we should rejoice and be exceedingly happy when we’re persecuted for following Him. Why? Because our reward for standing steadfast and strong in faith down here on earth, will be great in heaven; also that’s how the heathen and false believers persecuted the prophets that came before us. 
 
Now that last part is certainly true as the Good Book records all the persecution the early prophets endured, including Jesus, and the general church after that. But Friends, standing strong in the face of persecution, especially if and when it’s unfair, is definitely not that easy. And the promised rewards way up in heaven at some later date, doesn’t make it any easier for most of us, because we’re still living by sight and not by faith as we ought to.
 
It’s only when we have a real strong, steadfast and mature faith in Christ, will we be able to truly consider those rewards in heaven, against the persecution here on earth. And that can only come with time, constant communication with Almighty God, delving deeply into His Word, writing it indelibly in our souls, then trying to live by it.
 
And Friends, we’re so lucky out here in the Western world to be able to freely worship the ONE TRUE GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob without any fear of serious repercussions, but many others in distant lands are not so fortunate. And please, please, I sincerely implore us not to get too lost in that freedom which we now take for granted, because if you haven’t noticed, it’s being slowly eroded by the evil powers that be.
 
At this juncture in our evolution, the LOVE Revolution, we need to stand up even firmer and stronger against the forces of evil, so that we don’t lose what our forefathers gave their very lives for; the right to worship in freedom and peace. And that’s no joke Friends, because more and more everyday, prayer and God are being removed from schools and public places.
 
Therefore it’s imperative that we stop being as complacent as we are about it, and instead be very vigilant and pro-active if we don’t want to lose those rights. For remember, whatever freedom that’s been won, can always be taken away, and the evil minions of Lucifer are just chomping at the bit to take away our freedom to worship.
 
Now listen to the scholars’ interesting take on our Bit. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase, ‘Rejoice, and be exceedingly 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.’
 
And that’s gospel truth my brethren! But as we’ve said above, it won’t just happen automatically, we have to work seriously and consciously on it.
 
Now I have some scriptures to share, but they’ll make the Bit too long, so we’ll address them tomorrow, our great God in favour. In the meanwhile, please let’s concentrate on truly following Jesus, doing the things we know we ought to do, so that we can gain all those rewards laid up in heaven for us.
 
And may the Lord bless and keep us, cause His wonderful countenance to shine upon us, and give us His everlasting peace and divine wisdom, so that we can greatly glorify His Holy Name and further His glorious kingdom down here on this wicked, ungodly earth. Much LOVE!
 
…to successfully handle persecution…we must focus steadfastly on what Jesus has done for us…and on the heavenly rewards He’s promised…