Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
And on a rainy, somewhat gloomy looking Saturday morning, the urge to sleep in was irresistible, especially when the beddy-bye time was the wee hours of the morn. (smile) I was up late watching the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it has to be one of the best movies ever made, simply because of it’s scope, grandeur and length; 4 hours. It must have taken a long time to make since they didn’t have all the computer stuff and special effects back in 1939 when it was first released, that we have now. 

And it just shows the utter wastefulness of war; the civil war in the U.S, where the old South is fighting to keep a style of life that has outlived its usefulness, with slavery and the grand families, plantations and mansions of the time as its centre piece. However, by the time I got to the intermission, it was already 4 a.m. so I shut it down until another time. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what mental goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I’m in a quandary here, not knowing where to begin and end, as each of the quotes seem to have real truth, substance and body to them. (smile) Ah, the best place to begin is always the beginning! And the first quote tells us: ‘Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.’

 Now that’s ever so true my faithful brethren! It’s exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects from ALL His followers! It’s not easy to do, but with His help we can do it. That’s why He told us to not to indulge in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth situation, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to give away our coat too, and to LOVE our enemies, bless them and pray for them.’ (Matt.5:38) That’s also why Bruh Paul told us not to recompense evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

And that runs right into the next dandy of a quote: ‘There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ Ah friends, none of us like adversity, but unfortunately that’s the only way we grow in our faith walk and learn from our mistakes. It’s only when we go through rough times that we actually have to use our faith to help us get through them. Otherwise our faith just sits dormant and thus cannot grow. 

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

Then there are also these awesome words of wisdom: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.’ Yes friends, none of us began our lives as wise as we now are. That’s because true wisdom comes with age and experience. So we don’t need to knock the young as much or as hard as we sometimes do, for hopefully they too will get wise with age and experience. 

Remember Jesus words: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt.7:1-2) Oh my people, if our current, oh so quick to judge and judgemental world would only adopt that teaching eh! Unfortunately it doesn’t like that’s going to happen at any time soon, because we’re all so engrossed on judging each other; just look at the foolishness that’s going unhindered on the social media platforms nuh. Some of us with the biggest planks in our eyes are daring to judge those with mere specks in theirs!  (Matt.7:3-5) 

Now here’s the piece de resistance (smile): ‘Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.’ And we all know that as gospel truth because we serve a God of new beginnings, new chances and starting over as often as is necessary. That’s why Bruh Paul admitted to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached where I want to be, the ultimate pinnacle): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul didn’t think he was a hot shot, although he could boast about many things, his religious credentials and past Christian achievements. As the scholars say: ‘In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life (v.11).’ 

And so should we be evermore focused on what’s coming up and not what’s gone before. Hear the scholars: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, my people, this Saturday morning I sincerely implore us to be wise and diligently seek that mark, that objective of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection, so that we can all eventually receive the wonderful heavenly prize given to those who have received and accepted the divine summons of salvation! Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence! (smile) And we can then declare like Bruh Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7)  Much LOVE!

…Christians should always be looking forward to the ultimate prize…that of being with Christ in heaven…for eternity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 January 2020 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    ​Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
 
And then it was Friday…and there was lots of shouting and jumping for joy! Hn! More of us were happy to see Friday, and the end of the work week, than to celebrate being alive and kicking in God’s great universe and being a BELOVED and saved child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

Now what’s wrong with that picture eh? Does it mean we’re putting the world before God? Maybe! And if so, then it’s a very unwise move, because when we celebrate God, with His awesome help, we are able to handle whatever the world throws at us. But following the dictates of the world, only makes life harder, for there is no help but our own, and we all know that there isn’t a lot we can do on our own. 

Remember, Jesus said that we ought to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and then all the worldly things will be added to us, we won’t have to sweat and strain and break our backs to acquire them, because the Father knows we need them. (Matt. 6:32-33) So please, let’s check out our lives today nuh, and see what’s our priority; God’s kingdom and His righteousness, or the things of the world, because it’s ever so important to get our priorities right! 

And as you’d expect, the ordinary workingman is hovering in the background, eagerly and expectantly waiting to sing his song, so let’s bring him on stage nuh. (smile) And as always, he crows: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the chains of the slave master will be unshackled for a couple of days! 

Wow! What freedom! And yuh better believe I’m going to use that freedom to the hilt; do whatever I want, whenever I want…providing the other snake in the grass, the weather allows me to! Chuh! The weather’s been so contrary these days that you can’t make any serious plans, because it changes from one minute to the next! And yet they tell me that climate change ain’t real! Pure heifer dust yes! But if I can’t go out and do whatever I want to, then I’ll certainly do it in mih own yard, where I’m king of the castle…

Hn, hn, hn! King of which castle eh? When the wife and children protest my behaviour, then I have to modify it. So even in mih own yard, ah not really the boss nuh! But what yuh going to do eh? Nothing but grin and bear it, because nobody ever send or call me to have wife and children, is I with mih fresh self, went and look for them, so now I have to put up with whatever they bring. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE them dearly, and wouldn’t want to be without them, but yuh know, sometimes…sometimes they just cramp yuh style! (smile) And the truth of the matter is that I’m still ever so thankful for Fridays and weekends, regardless of the drawbacks!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see even when God is not your first priority, you still have barriers and boundaries to your behaviour. And as a serious and practicing child of God, we have more boundaries than most since we don’t want the enemy to compromise our lives and our living for Jesus. Consequently, our Friday Chant is somewhat different to the ordinary workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in full voice with sincere hearts – yes our hearts must always be right when we come to the Father, otherwise He won’t acknowledge us. 

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!’ 

Now, though we have some boundaries as believers, it doesn’t mean we have to be constantly looking over our shoulder for the devil and his evil cohorts, but we do have to be careful that we don’t go too far out on the thin limbs of life. That’s why we have to constantly remember these poignant words of Peter. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends, the enemy is always on the prowl, always looking for some way to compromise us. And not because he’s a toothless lion with more bark than bite (smile) since Jesus defeated him and now has the keys to hell death and the grave, he still can cause immense trouble in our lives if we give him the slightest opening. It’s up to us to keep our doors and windows and crevices closed so he can’t get in. 

And continuing with Peter’s advice: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (being experienced by) your brethren that are in your world.’ (1 Pet. 5:9). Oh, I know when the devil comes a calling, it doesn’t help all that much to know that other believers are suffering temptations too, but nonetheless, we must resist him through our faith in Jesus, because he’s a liar and cheat and deceiver and only wants to turn us away from God. 

Yuh see how smoothly and efficiently he made our forefathers Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit? He hasn’t changed, possibly gotten smarter and has more tools at his behest. So it’s of the utmost importance that we stand strong against him. And Peter ends with this assurance. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet. 5:10) 

Ah friends, some temptation and affliction is necessary in the lives of all believers, because that’s how we get strong, how our faith grows. But be aware that the Lord will never give you more than you can bear, and with every temptation, He will either carry you through it, or make a way for you to go through it. That’s his ever faithful promise! So let’s stand strong and steadfast in the faith! Much LOVE!

…though Jesus rules…the devil still exists…with his evil ways…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2020 John 14:6.

John 14:6.    ​I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
 
And so today, Thursday is another day…one that we should be glad and rejoice in, because we did not see our names in the obits! (smile) Oh give glory to God because He chose us to handle His affairs down here on earth! That means we have the parts to do whatever He wants us to do, and He is proud and confident that we will do His holy will! Please note the amount of people He took away last night because they either couldn’t or wouldn’t do His will. 

Ah friends, we ought to consider it a joy and privilege to be alive, and everyday we open our eyes to another day, be it rain, snow, sleet or storm, our thanks and gratitude ought to rise to high heaven with heartfelt sincerity! Yeh, life can sometimes be rough and trouble-filled, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to leave it and go home. (smile) 

Neither is the Lord ready for us to come home because there is lot’s of work yet to be done down here on earth; the gospel has not yet reached ALL of mankind, and Christ’s church is not in the ascendancy over Satan’s infidels, which means the LOVE Revolution is not going as well as it ought to. So those are things we still need to work on because the Lord does not want to lose even ONE of His human creations to that lout Beelzebub! 

There you have it then; good reasons for us to be alive and bright and bubbly and eager to get on with Christ’s winning work of calling all; (whosoever will may come) to salvation and the exclusive and overwhelming ecstasy of eternal life in His holy presence! 

Wow! What a time that will be my friends; hanging out with Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit in heaven for eternity! Nothing could be more blissful than that! It’s certainly something most worthy to look forward to…in fact, there’s nothing better to look forward to! 

And my brethren, contrary to some opinions, the ONLY WAY to get to that Utopian place of eternal rest and peace and joy is through Jesus! He said it Himself, made it very clear when Thomas refused to believe until He saw the nail marks in His hands and side. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ 

Those are strong words my people, and it takes a lot of gumption to declare them, even if they are true. And if it’s one thing our Lord and Saviour had, and still has, is gumption! (smile) He has it in spades, because He knows the extent of his power! And we ought to know it too, because He bequeathed that awesome power to us through His Holy Spirit, so that we can use that same power to do His work down here on earth. 

But getting back to Jesus’ words, we believers ought to keep reminding ourselves of them, since it’s so easy to think otherwise and go astray, especially when there are a lot of false preachers and teachers recommending all sorts of other erroneous things and methods. 

John, in his epistle thought it important enough to write: ‘Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world.’ (1 John 4:1-3) 

Yes friends, there are numerous spirits and people out there in this big, evil world trying to tell us all sorts of nonsense, and we therefore need to be very careful who and what we listen to and read and test them by comparing them to God’s Word and the knowledge of His Holy Spirit. And I like John’s subsequent contention: ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) 

And all God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout: ‘All praise and honour be to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; the most powerful being in the universe!’ And isn’t that a warm, assuring and enduring fact! The most powerful Being in the universe dwells within each and every believer through the auspices of His Holy Spirit! 

Now that should give us overwhelming confidence in our trials and tribulations in this troubled world, especially when we add it to the Lord’s promise, that He will eventually work out everything for good to those who LOVE Him and are called to do His work. 

Mama Mia! What confidence the true believer ought to have with all those things in his favour! But sadly many of us don’t, because we either truly don’t believe, or we’re fearful and full of doubt. That’s why Jesus was so critical of us and so often complained: ‘O ye of little faith!’ 

And why is that eh? Possibly because we don’t read or hear the Word sufficiently, and we don’t commune with the Father sufficiently. Those are the building blocks, the foundation of our faith friends, and we definitely need very strong faith in this overwhelmingly evil world if we want to not only survive, but even more importantly wrest power from Satan and his evil cohorts! 

So let’s get on seriously with our faith building nuh, cause Jesus is depending on us; we are his ears, eyes, feet and hands down here, His ambassadors, so let’s show ourselves to be worthy of His confidence nuh! And what I dearly LOVE about our great God is that He always gives us the tools to do His work. And so He has with our Thursday Blessings. 

So let’s declare them loudly and proudly: ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, what more do we need to do Jesus’ work eh? Nothing really! Just believe His Word and put our best foot forward…Oh, and don’t selfishly hoard those blessings, but share them generously with others, like He generously shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus…Jesus…Jesus…the ONLY name that really matters…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2020 Hebrews 11:6.

Hebrews 11:6.    ​But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
 

So we made it through Monday quite nicely, why can’t we do the same today, Tuesday eh? Especially when we have the Creator and Controller of this great universe riding a continual and steady shotgun beside us? No reason whatsoever my faithful brethren since He’s promised to give us all that we need and never leave or forsake us! Brother! Those promises are surely worth more than their weight in gold! 

And yes, in this busy, evil, trouble-filled world, it’s sometimes hard to keep our wits about us and our heads above water, but if we truly believe in the Lord God Almighty and His awesome Son Jesus Christ and the amazing working of the Holy Spirit, then we can do whatever we need to do in their names and strength to fulfill the mandate they’ve given us; that is to spread the gospel all over the world and be obedient to their commands; living a life of LOVE and good fellowship. 

Now here’s a word from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the matter from His Hour of Power Devotional, something he calls ‘the Possibility Thinker’s Creed.’ Please pray with me: ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help!’ 

Mamma Mia! That’s what you call tenacity and stick-to-itiveness! (smile) And that’s exactly what is expected of the true believer, the true Christian soul – no giving up, because the words ‘give up’ don’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. And how could it eh friends, when He claims to be able to do ALL things, impossible or otherwise, and support us in doing the same? 

And giving up also makes this verse of scripture which we like to quote of no consequence: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) If that is a true statement then with Jesus’ help, we can keep on keeping on as long as it takes, and as difficult as the task is. 

Yuh see what Gramps Schuller says he’ll do when a mountain gets in his way: He will keep on striving, looking at all the alternatives; climb over it, find a pass through it, tunnel underneath it. And if all of that fails, then he’ll just stay right there and turn the mountain into a gold mine. And that’s how we believers ought to behave; do everything in our power, with God’s help, to succeed, but if none of our efforts are successful, then it means that the Lord wants us to stay right where we are and grow and do His will right there! 

And yuh know what my people, our unsuccessful efforts usually stem from a few basic things. First off, an insufficient amount of mountain moving faith. And one of Jesus’ most critical remarks was: ‘O ye of little faith.’ (Matt.6:30, 8:26, 14:31) Hear His rebuke to the disciples when they could not heal a demon possessed boy and asked Him why. 

‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) Yes my people, a believer with even a little faith can do a lot of things, especially if his actions are accompanied by sincere prayer and fasting. And I think that’s a catch 22 situation; the li’l faith is built up, made stronger by the prayer and fasting. (smile) 

And the next place we go wrong in living our lives is by ignoring Jesus’ serious command: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Jesus, as throughout all of the Sermon on the Mount keeps emphasizing the importance of the spiritual living over that of the material. Yes friends, once we have pledged our lives, our allegiance to Christ, we then need to live primarily in the Spirit, and not the flesh, meaning the material things of this world ought not to be our first LOVE. 

‘The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides.’ It all comes right back to faith my people: if you believe in God, then you must believe that He can and will do whatever He says. 

That’s why Hebrews tells us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ So basically friends, to be a true believer, we must believe that God exists, then have true faith in Him, and then live the way He wants us to live, not the way we want to live. 

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to do those things, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship, as Jesus so greatly desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…believe that there is a God…have sincere faith in Him…be truly obedient to His will…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2020 Ephesians 2:10.

Ephesians 2:10.    ​For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.
 
Ah mih people, another alive day in God’s great universe! Wow! What a blessing! That means there’s a purpose for us to accomplish, otherwise the Lord would not have allowed us to see the light of day. So what say we buckle down and seek out that purpose eh, or if we know it, buckle down and do it, be obedient to the Lord’s will, because that’s all He ever asks of us; simple obedience and trust. And right now I want to share an anomaly with you, one  of which I’m not overly proud, (smile) and I think it’s a symptom of the busyness of our lives. Good excuse! 

And the scoop is that the walls of my office and the door are littered with pictures and articles and handwritten stuff supposedly placed there so when I come into it, I can see them and be encouraged and energized. Hn! But the truth is that I come into the office every day I’m at home, but very seldom, no…don’t ever seem to see them. I just walk in and out, spend time writing the Bit and doing other paperwork, and don’t notice any of the supposed encouraging words and pictures. Now why is that eh? 

I really don’t know nuh. Have I just become so accustomed to them as eye candy rather than brain or spirit candy? (smile) And some of the stuff is big and colourful, especially what’s on the door, but I still pass by them every day, sometimes several times, and they still don’t register on my brain cells. This morning though, as I was going back up the stairs to make some caffeine, I was sombrely presented with that realization, most likely by the Lord, because He desired me to share some stuff about Him and us that’s on one of the posters on the door. 

Now I put that up there some time ago, but I don’t think I’ve ever read it, since I put it up. What a crying shame! And though it’s stuff we all ought to know, it’s also stuff that we have to keep hearing about and keep remembering because it mightily affects our faith walk with God. So here’s what the poster says, the info God wanted me to share this Thursday morning in mid January of the upheaval year of 2020. (smile) 

It says: ‘When God created you…HE CREATED A MASTERPIECE! God created something truly special when He created you. Here are just a few things God says about you: You are holy and blameless, redeemed and forgiven. (Eph. 1:4, 7) You are God’s workmanship. (Eph. 2:10) You are more than a conqueror. (Rom. 8:37) You are healed and whole in Jesus. (Is. 53:5. 1 Pet. 2:24) You are greatly LOVED by God. (John 3:16. Eph. 2:4) You are a brand new creation, alive and made new in Christ Jesus. (2 Cor. 5:17) Your strength, your joy, your provision, your confidence and boldness…it is all found in HIM!’ 

Yes my people, all that we are stems directly from Almighty God! Please check out those scriptures for yourselves so that they can energize you and strengthen your faith. And when you sit down and analyze it seriously, the human body is a masterpiece! Just look at how all the different parts interlock together. They all have different functions but are synced are primed down to the nth degree. No man made piece of machinery is as perfectly primed and synced as the human body, God’s greatest creation! 

And when you add all the other things on top of that; things like the LOVE of God, the saving grace of Jesus, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and faithful promises like salvation and eternal life…Chuh! A Christian must be the masterpiece of the world! The sad fact is that most of us don’t seem to think so. But then too, we ought not to let that most salient fact go to our heads and boast about it, or be exceptionally proud and prideful because of it. (smile) 

That’s why Bruh Paul stops us in our tracks from the very get go: ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: for it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph. 2:8-10) 

Yeh friends, it’s all God’s handiwork; from our physical birth to our spiritual renewal to the good works we do; it was all a part of God’s plan, because He knew the boastful type of being He was going to make. (smile) But that doesn’t stop us from being boastful and full of ourselves! Why yuh think the world is in the sad and sorry state it’s now experiencing eh? Because mankind has gotten too big for his britches and figures that he runs and controls the universe and all the innovations and otherwise come from his wonderful, puny and finite brain. 

He has forgotten that He’s merely dust in a concentrated form, and that to that dust he must eventually return. Neither does he stop to think that he has no control whatsoever over the length of his days on this God-given earth, and that the breath of life he so arrogantly breathes come directly from the Lord God Himself. And friends, until we come to the true and real realization that we are not our own, but God’s, and we ought to bow to His wishes and desires, then our lives will be in a state of constant upheaval. 

Now for those of us who sincerely believe and sincerely try to do His will, let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings, so generously bestowed on us by our heavenly Father so that we can do the good works He ordained for us. All together now in loud voice and 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 one more thing to remember; Jesus desires us to share those blessings with others, just as generously as He shares them with us. Much LOVE!

…blessings are meant to be generously shared…not selfishly hoarded…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2020 Psalm 71:23.​

Psalm 71:23.    My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
 
And another Sunday has dawned; wet and icy and dark in the Greater Toronto Area! We did get that rain storm that was promised, and sincerely hope that it soon peters out to dry weather, because it has caused some damage in several areas. Unfortunately, I know that the inclement weather is going to be used as a convenient excuse not to attend the Lord’s sanctuary today and fellowship with other believers. 

But friends, we’re only doing ourselves a serious injustice when we stay away from church, unless it’s for a very good reason. That’s because we miss the camaraderie, the encouragement, the praise and thanksgiving, and the hearing of the Lord’s uplifting and guiding Word that such fellowship entails, and which allows us to leave the proceedings filled with trust and confidence in our omnipotent God! But to each his own. And as always, we’ll get the celebrations going with a song of praise. 

And today’s song is a wonderful one, officially titled ‘Hymn of Joy,’ but which most of us know as ‘Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,’ from its first line. Apparently it was a poem written by minister Henry van Dyke in 1907, inspired by the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, with the intention of musically setting it to the famous “Ode to Joy” melody of the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s final symphony, Symphony No. 9. 

Van Dyke explained the hymn thus: ‘These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time—hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science will destroy religion, or any revolution on earth overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.’ And therefore rather appropriate for today’s gathering! So let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony to heaven, with joy, hope, trust and overwhelming sacrifices of praise in our mouths and our hearts. 

As one awesome choir now: ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Op’ning to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day! All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest, Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, All who live in LOVE are Thine; Teach us how to LOVE each other, Lift us to the joy divine. Mortals, join the happy chorus, Which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, Brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life. You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore Thee, Lord of mercy and of grace…We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy…’ 

And does our great and wonderful God ever bring us joy by the bucketful my faithful brethren! You also see the amazing sentiments we can glean from merely admiring God’s handwork in nature, making the hymn one of the most joyful in our English language hymnal! Oh, friends, our God is indeed exceptional; exuding trust, LOVE, hope and faithfulness in miraculous and enormous quantities! There is none other like Him in this universe precious people! 

That’s why the psalmist who penned Psalm 71 – A prayer for help in old age – could confidently declare: ‘I will praise thee with the psaltery (lute or lyre), even thy truth (faithfulness), O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they (mine enemies) are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.’ (Ps. 71: 22-24) 

Yeh friends, the old man had seen enough of God’s goodness and mercy in his younger days that he had ho hesitation in placing his utmost trust in Him during the winter of his days! Can we say the same thing? I certainly hope so! And just to stir us up some more, (smile) listen to Bruh David as he offers thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:1-5) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler and more straightforward than that! God’s goodness to the children of men is so wonderful, and the truth is, we don’t deserve any of it. But that’s the kind of magnanimous God He is! So please, I implore us, today, let’s spend some time pondering on His individual goodness and mercy and grace and forgiveness etc. etc. to us nuh, so that our spirits will be refreshed and our trust renewed, and thus give us the courage and confidence to go out and work diligently and excellently for Christ in this upcoming week. Much LOVE!

…remembering God’s goodness in our lives…raises our trust and faith in Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2020 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.    ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
 
Well who says that this life isn’t interesting eh? When I got up about half an hour ago, it only seemed to be a cold, dreary looking kind of day in my neck of the woods. However, on going back upstairs just now to make a cup of caffeine, I happened to look outside again, and boy was our friend, those beautiful looking white flakes ever coming down out there! Yeh! With a vengeance too! Just goes to show how quickly things and times can change – except for ONE all-important fact; the unchangeability, the unchanging nature of our great God, Jehovah! The steadfast and everlasting sameness of His sovereignty and faithfulness! 

And all of God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!  Praise Him for being the same yesterday, today and forever! Praise Him for being ever-faithful and constantly watching over us like a good shepherd does over his flock! We thank You Lord for giving us this day, and know that despite the difficulties we may face, you are always right there beside us, riding shotgun, through the flood, through the fire and through the storm, ably leading and guiding us! We give you thanks and praise in the most holy and revered name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, our God is indeed a great and very interesting deity. It wasn’t my plan to get into that prayer above, but I guess He wanted to hear some sacrifice of praise from us this morning, so He led me there. (smile) And if that’s the case, then I had better do the other thing He seems to want me to do. What’s that you ask? Well yesterday when I opened the Good Book, it opened at this particular scripture, but I ignored it and looked elsewhere for our Bit. However, today, it’s opened at the very same scripture! 

Now would you call that coincidence…or luck…or some such worldly thing? Well it just might be, but I’m not taking the chance to ignore it for another day. I’m going to behave as if it’s a sign from the Almighty, that He wants us to delve into this particular Bit of scripture on this particular, cold and snowy day! Call me cowardly if you want. (smile) So here s that particular Bit of scripture…and it’s a powerful one too! Hold on to your hats and your horses, as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher -Ecclesiastes, gives us the benefit of his extensive research. 

‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ Yes friends and fellow believers, that is the wisest and most sensible course of action we can ever take in this life. And how did Cousin Sol come to that awesome and auspicious conclusion? Because with his time, money and wisdom, he had embarked on a thorough research project of seeking work, pleasure and all the other vices known to man and had found them to be all less than fulfilling. In his own words, it was all, nothing but vanity; futility. 

And what made him conclude thus? I suppose this certain fact he discovered: ‘For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:14) And that’s something most of us either don’t know, or forget or just casually ignore. But please listen to these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, re Jesus Christ being the only wise foundation to build on. 

‘Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (straw); Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (through) fire.’ (1 Cor. 3:11-15) Oh my people, those are words of mighty importance to our lives. 

Listen to the scholars explain them. ‘3”13. The day is the day of the judgement seat of Christ (cf. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10). Fire is figurative for judgement, more specifically, the absolutely righteous judgement of God. Fire is used here to denote, not enlightening power, but consuming power. Of the six types of material mentioned, three are combustible and three are incombustible. See also Deut.4:24; Malachi 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 12:29.’  That means our work for Christ has to be solid, not cheap and frivolous, built on gold, silver, or precious stones, not hay, wood and straw, which will be quickly consumed in the judgement day fire. 

‘3:14. Reward (lit. “wages,” cf. 3:8). Of course, even the “wages” mentioned here are entirely a gift of grace (cf. 1 Cor.9:17; 2 John 8; Rev. 11:18).’ Yeh friends, we can get many rewards in this life and the next, but ALL are based on the grace of God, not on our efforts. ‘3:14. Saved: Such a one does not suffer the loss of his salvation, but the loss of reward. The stress in this entire passage is not on a person’s relationship to Christ, but on service to Christ.’ Hope those explanations bring a greater understanding to Bruh Paul’s words. But it’s also important for us to check out the scriptures listed in the explanations of the scholars. You will be surprised how they can enlighten you on a particular topic. 

So having said all of that, we come back to Cousin Sol, who from all he’s seen and experienced, reasons thus: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.’ (Eccl. 5:18). Ah my fellow believers, as the scholars explain: ‘5:18-20. Enjoyment is a gift of God, and man should be motivated by the brevity of his own life to experience it.’ 

No wonder Jesus said that He came so that we could have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) And He’s certainly given us the tools to do so; our Thursday Blessings. So let’s invoke them now in loud voice and sincere hearts 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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And the same way those blessings were so generously bestowed on us, the same way we have to generously bestow them on others, not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…working diligently for Jesus…doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life…

Previous Older Entries