Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2018 Ecclesiastes 3:12.

Ecclesiastes 3:12.    ​I know that there is no good in them (nothing better for them), but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

 

Whoever said that yesterday was going to be a ‘riney’ day eh? What a joke! By mid-morning the sun had come out, not in all its glory, but strong enough to make it a sunny day, all day. Luckily too, or rather blessedly, before going for those tests yesterday, I realized that I had done something which would have negated them, so I had to cancel them, and just spent a lazy, hazy fall day at home. (smile) 

Wow! Aren’t those types of days delicious? They surely are. But like everything else in life, we can’t have them too often else the sheen, the ‘delicioso’ will wear off and they’ll become routine and mundane. What words of wisdom my brethren! The ole fella’s waxing philosophical this morning. Hn! 

And here is an interesting li’l prayer I recently got from a Daily Bread Devotional. ‘Please pray with me: ‘Father in heaven, please help us to remember that anything that frightens us comes with an invitation to find the strength of knowing and trusting you.’ Now that’s a most important fact to remember friends! Whenever we’re afraid, we have an open invitation to run to our Father and cling to Him and thereby receive the strength and trust inherent in His awesome power! Glory to God! 

It’s just like when a young child is walking with his or her parents and anything along the way frightens them, they quickly run and grab on to one of their parents because they know that there is strength and security to be found in them. Our situation with our heavenly Father is no different. And we’d be extremely foolish not to use the amenities He’s provided for our well-being. 

So having said all of that, what’s next eh? I really don’t know. (smile) But as always, wisdom dictates; when in doubt, check the Good Book. Give me a minute to do that and see where the Lord leads us… 

And talk about faithfulness! Our God is truly ever-faithful! I randomly opened the Good Book a minute ago, and lo and behold it opened unto Ecclesiastes 3, the famous chapter where Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher, talks about a time for everything. 

And there I saw this most inspiring and reassuring declaration. ‘I have seen the travail (task or endeavour) which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it (with which to be occupied). He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world (eternity) in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh (does) from the beginning to the end.’ (Eccl.3:10-11) 

And the scholars explain that last verse thus: ‘3:11: The world is better translated “eternity.” God has given man a desire for eternity and perpetuity; therefore man cannot be satisfied with what is merely temporal. Man’s quest for the eternal, however, is frustrated by his finite limitations.’ 

And that might very well be so my brethren, but nonetheless, as Cousin Sol acknowledges in our Bit: ‘I know that there is no good in them (nothing better for them), but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.’ 

Yes friends, our God made us to enjoy the beauty and fulsomeness of his universe, not to suffer incessantly in an evil world. We do have to endure some suffering and some testing to build our faith, but overall the Lord wants His people to have joyful lives and earnest and wonderful communication with Him, else why would He make all that beautiful stuff in the universe eh? 

And Cousin Sol continues: ‘And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.’ (Eccl.3:13) And indeed enjoying the fruit of our labour is God’s gift to us. Note though, he said, ‘our labour,’ not someone else’s! (smile) 

That reminds us of Jesus statement that ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) Yes my brethren, throughout the Good Book we see that the Lord fully intended for us to enjoy His universe, it’s just that our natural desire to embrace sin and its evil ways that has derailed us. 

And I want to point out an important point in our Bit; we are not only called to rejoice, but even more importantly to do good! It’s all a part of enjoying the fruit of our labour, and generally speaking, our labour won’t bear much good fruit if we don’t sprinkle it with good doings. 

Listen to this heartwarming story the apostles tell about Jesus. ‘How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.’ (Acts 10:38) 

Yes my faithful followers of Christ, God is also with us: we have His Holy Spirit dwelling within us, and also the power that Christ had, thus to be truly Christ-like, we also have to go out and do good. And why do you think we’ve been as extremely blessed as we are eh? It’s so that we can do good by sharing them. Now let’s go home declaring (spelled it right, glory to God!) our Thursday Blessings, showing the world what can also be theirs if they embrace Jesus. 

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

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

What a blessed life we live my brethren! Now let’s go out and share it with the less fortunate, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…half the joy in having blessings…lies in sharing them…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2018 Matthew 18:11.

Matthew 18:11.   For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

And so friends, with God’s help, we’ve come to Thursday and are about to enjoy another awesome day in the life! Wow! Christians are so blessed eh, I can’t imagine what we’d do, or be like, without Almighty God in our lives! Let’s give Him some much deserved praise and thanks nuh people, for being such a wonderful Father, for giving us blessings, mercy, grace and forgiveness that we don’t truly deserve. 

Please pray with me: ‘Oh Father in heaven, we sincerely thank You for allowing us to see another day on planet earth. Life might sometimes be rough, causing our faith to waiver, and neither are we always obedient to Your will, but You made us and You still LOVE us despite our imperfections and disobedience. We thank You and praise your holy name for ALL that You are doing in our lives. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen!  

Yeh friends, without God in our lives, we’d be lost and gone astray like so many people out there, headed for eternal damnation and separation from Him. And as I keep reminding us, separation from Almighty God is the very worst thing that can happen to a human being, that’s why it’s ever so necessary to get involved with Jesus RIGHT NOW, for He is the ONLY way that we can connect with the Father. 

And as sincere disciples of Christ, His ears, hands, mouth and feet here on earth, we are expected to help bring those who are lost to Him. As He says in our Bit: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ Awright mih breddren, Jesus came to save such as you and I, who had gone astray, who had developed strong connections with the evil one, which was definitely not in our best interest. 

And Jesus continues: ‘How think ye? If a man have a hundred sheep, and if one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?’ (Matt.18:12) Oh precious people, do you realize what that means? That if the only lost soul in the world was you or I, Jesus would still have done what He did; come to earth to die and save us! What a wonderful Lord and Saviour we have! 

And that’s not all, because Jesus continues: ‘And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.’ (Matt.18:13) Wow mih breddren wow! Yuh see how important that lost sheep, that lost you and I are to Jesus? He rejoices over the lost that’s been found more than the many others who had not gone astray. 

No wonder Jesus declared: ‘I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just (upright) persons, which need no repentance.’ (Luke 15:7) Jesus also spoke the parables of the lost coin and the lost, prodigal son, showing just how important the lost is to His kingdom. (Luke 15:8-32) And He wraps it up in Matthew with this: ‘Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.’ (Matt.18:14) 

Oh people, oh people, yuh see it all stems from the Father! He doesn’t want to lose even one of His greatest creations to the fool Lucifer, that’s why He sent Jesus to save us. We are His very heartstrings! Whatever happens to us affects Him. But now that Jesus has gone back to heaven and is sitting at the Father’s right hand, interceding for us, it has now becomes our responsibility to look for those who are lost and help them become saved. 

The question is, are we shouldering that responsibility responsibly? And the answer is, I don’t think so. Too many people are turning away from God these days for us to be doing a responsible job. In fact, if we give them a chance, they’d toss God completely out of midst. What a foolish thing to even consider, much less do. 

But that’s how much sway Lucifer has over the world these days. And it’s up to you and I, as true believers to try and mitigate that evil hold, by living lives of good example and spreading God’s Word far and wide. We have the awesome capabilities to do that now, so there’s no excuse for the Word not to be broadcast all over the world. 

So let’s seriously ponder, think on, consider, our actions along those lines nuh, and do our best to come up higher, for we can ALL come up higher and thus bring more of the many lost to Christ. And He’s already given us all the tools to do that through the bestowing of our Thursday Blessings. Now let’s go home declaring them for all and sundry to hear, that they might receive inspiration to want those same blessings. 

In full 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 since we were not granted such an abundance of blessings to hoard for ourselves, but to share with the less fortunate, let’s go out and do that now nuh, so the lost will have some good reason to come to Jesus. Much LOVE!

…sharing…caring…LOVING…that’s true Christianity in action…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2017 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Sorry that the Bit is a tad on the late side friends, but I had an Ironman’s Breakfast to go to early this morning at the church. And like every time I go out I seem to come back tired, so I had to rest a spell. Chuh! I’m tired of being tired yes! 

The great thing about this Ironman side though, is that none of us are under fifty…and possibly older. What a hoot! But we do get done the things we need to get done. And that’s the important thing. 

Now since today is Saturday, let’s contemplate a few of our Friend Anselm’s quotes of this past week. And this first one is very interesting and meaningful to many of us. ‘If I have something to say, I want it to be meaningful.’ 

Oh friends, so often, especially in this world of social media, we talk such foolishness; stuff that doesn’t deserve to be even thought about, much less spoken! Where has the wisdom gone of if you don’t have anything sensible to say, shut up? I guess that we all feel that what we’re saying is sensible. I beg to differ. 

This second quote is also interesting and pertains very nicely to our Christian faith. ‘Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.’ And isn’t that gospel truth! As Christians, we’re taught that ‘this too shall pass.’ 

And that better had be true, because that’s what I’m counting on in these days of medical malaise. (smile) But under no circumstance are we ever to quit, for quitting does not exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. Every time we fail or fall, we’re to get right back up, and with God’s help, continue pushing forward.  

And the last quote says: ‘A lot of times I find that people who are blessed with the most talent don’t ever develop that attitude, and the ones who aren’t blessed in that way are the most competitive and have the biggest heart.’ 

Now that is ever so true! I’ve seen it happen over a lifetime, where the most talented are the least motivated, and the ones that rise to the pinnacle of their profession, are usually the least talented but hardest working. 

Some might even dare to put me in that category, especially my High School Principal, who liked to write on my report card: ‘Lazy boy, could do better.’ But I don’t think I’m that talented in any particular area. I’m more a jack-of-all-trades kind of guy. (smile) 

Anyway, here is our Bit for today: ‘Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ And this is definitely the last day for it. I just never got in all I had to say yesterday. 

Now we’re going to quote some of Bruh Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, per the new life in Christ, when we’re born again. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; 

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph.4:22-24) 

Yes friends, when we receive Christ, we’re to renounce our old way of living, and renew our minds with the things of God, constantly improving, getting stronger in our walk of faith. 

Then Bruh Paul offers some practical guidelines on how to throw off the old man and put on the new. Here are a few of them. ‘Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good for edifying, that it may minister grace unto hearers. 

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice: 

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:29-32) 

Yeh mih breddren, those are just some of the things we need to work towards when we become Christians. And please notice how Bruh Paul ends the exhortation; with the tenet on forgiving. 

Ah mih people, forgiving in our Christian faith is so important, that I’ll end this series on it by reminding us of some of Jesus’ words on the subject. 

‘And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught (anything) against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ (Mark 11:25-26) 

That says it all my fellow believers. So until we meet again tomorrow, the Lord in favour, please let’s get serious about practicing forgiveness nuh, because however we mete it out, that’s exactly how it will be meted back out to us. Much LOVE!

…and forgive us our debts…as we forgive our debtors… (Matt.6:12)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2017 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Well hello there mih lovelies! This is the ole fella, alive and kicking…decently! (smile) If I wasn’t, then I wouldn’t be able to run from pillar to post to all these doctors for numerous tests. And they keep telling me that my heart is weak. Steups! 

Anyway the lateness for the Bit was caused by one of those early morning forays into the big city for more tests, and by the time I got home it was early afternoon and the ole bod was crying out for rest. 

But we’re up and about now, and we’ll begin the proceedings with this essay from our ‘One year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin.’ It’s titled ‘Forgiveness,’ and I just could not pass up sharing it. 

Please read with me. ‘Forgiveness. What does it do for us? In an amazing way it creates a fresh beginning. It lifts us out of the tangled seaweed of resentment. A miracle is performed! It may not happen in a moment or a day. We may have to forgive at six o’clock on Monday and start over again at two o’clock on Tuesday. 

There is no magic wand to simplify forgiveness. Forgiveness is a deliberate setting of our will, often with no emotional high whatsoever. But once having genuinely forgiven, our soul is washed clean. We walk in dignity again. We sense a new vitality. We’re no longer concentrating on hurts; we’re concentrating on God. 

If we would only forgive, our lives would undergo transformations beyond our highest expectations. Above all, Jesus Christ would be exalted, for it is His forgiveness that makes the difference. 

Forgiveness is a beautiful word. It is God’s word passed to us to use freely, joyfully. When we ask for the gift of forgiveness, God always says yes. He gave His Son to make us free, and forgiveness is the secret key to freedom.’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that beautiful? It surely is! It’s one of, if not the best writing I’ve ever heard on forgiveness! And would you believe, I don’t remember ever seeing it before in the two or three years that we’ve been using this devotional. 

Hopefully it’s just my mind is a tad foggy, and I’ve shared it before. It’s too beautiful not to be shared again and again. And what I like about it, is how it covers every aspect of forgiveness; from what it does for us, to how we came by it; through God and His Son Jesus. 

So much of it is true: ‘there is no magic wand to it.’ It’s a definite decision we have to make to forgive, and then work painfully through it. ‘But once we have genuinely forgiven, our soul is washed clean.’ 

Oh how precious that feeling of being washed clean is, my precious people! It’s like when you take a shower after rolling around in the mud. You just feel refreshed and exhilarated; like a new you has been born. 

And believe me when you truly forgive, a new you is really born, because then you stop focusing on yourself and begin to focus on Almighty God, your Creator and benevolent Provider! 

And if we would only concentrate on forgiving, rather that holding anger and resentment in our hearts, our lives would truly undergo such beautiful transformations, transformations beyond all that we can ask or imagine. 

But instead too many of us, (Christians included) choose to foolishly hold on the negative emotional aspects of life, that’s why our lives are so topsy-turvy and we have so little peace and contentment. 

And certainly, our constant use of forgiveness exalts and glorifies our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because that’s one of His foundation themes. As He says plainly in Mark. ‘And when you stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought (anything) against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ (Mark 11:25-35) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t get any simpler or more straightforward than that! Forgive, and you will be forgiven! Don’t forgive, and you won’t be forgiven! 

However, many of us go to God crying out for forgiveness, but are still harbouring unforgiveness in our hearts towards others. God won’t answer those prayers. God forgave us our sins against Him, by sacrificing His Son Jesus for us, therefore He expects us to forgive others of their wrongs against us. There are no ifs ands and buts about it!  

And before I forget, (smile) let’s check out the promise for that writing, and also our Bit for today. ‘Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’  

Yeh mih people, forgiveness is one of the foundation blocks of Jesus’ philosophy and eternal kingdom! If you don’t practice it, then it won’t be practiced on you. Now let’s go home, energized and refreshed, burning inside with forgiveness, (smile) and gratitude and thanks and praise, as we declare our Wednesday Wail. 

In all sincerity and truth now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, I can’t find appropriate words, words that truly reflect the wonder and glory of sincerely following Jesus nuh! You won’t believe it, until you experience it! Why don’t you open your heart to Him today, and see the wonderful difference He’ll make in your life. Much LOVE!

…forgiveness is the secret key to FREEDOM…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2016 John 15:5.

John 15:5.    I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Ah friends, it’s been one of those pretty late nights or early mornings, so the ole fella is a bit behind in his activities. (smile) Anyway, it’s a glorious day to be alive on God’s great earth. 

We don’t know exactly what will happen to us, how our day will go, but we do know that our wonderful Father in heaven is controlling everything for our good. Therefore we can confidently proclaim like the psalmist: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

Yeh mih people, what’s the use of having a day given to you as a gift and not enjoy it eh? None whatsoever! But please remember too that the Lord expects good stuff from us in return, so let’s do our best to please Him. 

And I got a bookmark from the Prostate Cancer Society yesterday with this interesting quote from Tom Bodett (1955), American author, voice actor and radio host. It says: ‘They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to LOVE, something to do, and something to hope for.’ 

Well I don’t know if those three things will necessarily keep us happy, but I do know that without them, we’ll be very miserable and unhappy. (smile) 

Yeh friends, LOVE, Action and Hope are all very necessary ingredients of a successful and happy earthly life. But sadly, a lot of people lack them all. 

And the only place you’ll truly find them in all their glorious splendour is in an intimate relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came to earth, was born in this Christmas season, so that we could understand more about our Creator and heavenly Father. 

Now let’s declare our Wednesday Wail, which helps us keep our eyes on Jesus, who gives us the LOVE, Action and Hope we so fervently desire. 

Altogether now: ‘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, isn’t it just great to be associated with Jesus and all the wonderful things He has in store for us! 

And what could be more invigorating and pleasing than the awesome breath of life that He has breathed into our mortal bodies eh? Nothing really! For without it, we’re nothing; nothing but a dead set of bones and flesh. 

And yuh know, even with the breath of life in us, if we don’t have Jesus too, then we’re still nothing, because as He says in our Bit:‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers! In the relationship between man and God, Jesus is indeed like the vine, and we are the branches, offshoots of that vine. Just like in real vines, the branches can’t produce anything unless they are attached to the vine, likewise, we can’t do anything without being attached to Jesus. 

And to make it even more lifelike, the Father tends the branches, like a real gardener, pruning and watering and doing whatever is necessary to keep the branches alive and fruitful. 

Now here is an interesting explanation from the scholars re our Union with Christ. ’15:5. The uniqueness of the Christian experience results from the union of Christ and the believer. This is expressed in scripture as Christ being in the believer and the believer in Christ. 

Ten times Paul uses the Greek preposition ‘sun’  (“together”) to describe this relationship. Believers were crucified (Gal.2:20), dead (Col.2:20), buried (Rom.6:4), quickened or made alive (Eph 2:1-5; Col.2:13), raised (Col.3:1; Eph.2:6), and glorified (Rom.8:17) together with Christ. 

Illustration: Jesus used the image of the vine and its branches to describe His union with the believer. Application: On the basis of the union, the apostle Paul showed how the successful Christian life can be opened with four key words in Romans 6: know (v.6), reckon (v.11), yield (v.13), and obey (v.17). 

The Christian can conquer sin because Christ lives in him. (Gal.2:20). (First Ref. John 7:37-38; Primary Ref. John 15:1-5; cf.1 John 5:13).’ 

Ah friends, I do hope those explanations helped us to better understand our relationship with Christ. And what would be a good exercise would be to check out all those scriptures. I just did that, and they are very interesting and useful. 

And we’ll end with one of those inspirational scriptures. ‘In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38) 

Oh precious people, what a Titan, what a gigantic figure is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Please, let’s show wisdom and common sense by staying attached to Him. Much LOVE!

…oh what beautiful fruit we bear…when Jesus waters our hearts… 

P.S. It’s somewhat late, but it wasn’t all my fault (smile) for while writing, I also had to get up and attend to a couple of technicians who came to do some work on my new furnace. Ah Lord eh! That wasn’t connected properly in the first place. But them’s the breaks. Have a blessed day my people! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 May 2016 Joel 2:28.‏

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Welcome to another brand new day in the life friends! It means that God still has great plans for us to accomplish, other wise He would have taken us home. 

Now we got through Monday with a smile, so Tuesday should be even easier, especially when it abounds with new mercies and blessings from our wonderful Father in heaven. 

And even if the physical state of your day is rainy, or cloudy like mine, just remember that that physical aspect doesn’t really matter that much, because we ALWAYS have the brilliant spiritual light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shining in our hearts. Glory to God! 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with plenty verve, sincerity and truth. All together now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! What the world says and does, doesn’t define us. We are the beloved children of God! That’s who we are. And NOBODY can take that from us! 

Please remember that. Let’s write it indelibly in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies. We are the beloved children of God! Never forget it! 

But please remember too that those great privileges – a child of God, and a friend of Jesus – also carry a great responsibility; sharing Christ’s LOVE with the world. We cannot be true believers or faithful Christians until and unless we are doing that. 

Oh I know I’m preaching to the choir, (smile) but sometimes even the choir needs preaching to. Now let’s get to our Bit. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

Yes friends, we’re continuing with the Pentecost story, another great day in the annals of Christianity! Yesterday we began looking at Simon Peter’s great sermon on that most momentous day, and we’ll continue with the same today. 

After quoting the prophecy of Joel and tying it into the Pentecost situation, he then declared: ‘Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of (attested by) God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know. 

Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked (lawless) hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up having loosed (destroyed) the pains (birth pangs) of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of (held by) it.’ (Acts 2:22-24) 

Hey people, just imagine Peter pontificating to that crowd nuh. Then he went on to quote Bruh David from Psalm 16:8-11, where he talks about the Lord not leaving his soul or Jesus’ in hell. 

‘Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher (tomb) is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne (Ps.132:11); 

He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell (Hades) neither his flesh did see corruption (Ps.16:10). This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses. 

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, 

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. (Ps.110:1) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ (Acts 2:29-36) 

Wow friends, Peter is surely on a roll! Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘2:22-36. The main point of Peter’s sermon is to prove that Jesus is both God and the Messiah (v.36). Peter seeks to prove this through Christ’s miraculous works (v.22), His resurrection (vv.23-32), and His sending of the Holy Spirit (vv.33-35).’ 

And some more scholarly explanations: ‘2:27. Hell is the word Hades and does not refer to the eternal lake of fire but to the intermediate state of the Old Testament dead. In the New Testament the term also refers to the grave. Peter states that David’s words of Psalm 16:10 are a prophecy concerning the immediate resurrection of the Messiah, of whom David is a type.’ 

Ah mih people, the Day of Pentecost was indeed a red letter day in the history of Israel, also in the annals of Christianity, marking the true beginning of the body of Christ, His church. 

So please, as we go about our earthly business today, let’s contemplate the miraculous events that took place on that momentous day in Jerusalem, some two thousand years ago, and let’s also contemplate the part that the Holy Spirit has played, is playing and will play in our own lives, for that is indeed the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…the workhorse of the Holy Trinity…the Holy Spirit…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2014 Hebrews 10:24

Hebrews 10:24.      And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. 
 

Oh Friends and neighbours, what can I say to us this fateful Wednesday morning eh, the last day of the very troubled and tumultuous year that was 2014?
 
As we said a few days ago, circumstances don’t really change much from one day to the next, but our attitudes and mindsets can. And it’s in that vein I want to address us today.
 
First of all, I want to remind us of a very salient and most important fact, through a prayer from the back of my late mother’s Bible. It says: ‘Father in heaven, we thank You for Your faithfulness during the past year. Help us to remember that Your faithfulness will go with us into the New Year. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.’
 
Yes my people, we need to remember that God’s faithfulness will not change, and hopefully, neither will ours. In fact, it’s a sincere wish that our faithfulness to Almighty God will grow with each passing day, so that we can have a win-win relationship with our Creator and Provider.
 
For no relationship can progress, or even last for any length of time if it is constantly weighted on one side, like our faithfulness to God can often be. We must keep being aware that God doesn’t change. He has no need to.
 
But we, His followers can change, and do need to in many respects. We definitely need to come up higher, to grow and mature in the nature and character of Jesus Christ.
 
That’s why we resolved to have only ONE overriding resolution this past year; to grow closer to Jesus each and every day, in some form and fashion. And we’ll continue to let that be our Number ONE promise to ourselves and each other for the coming year of 2015.
 
Oh my people, I know that all of us grew some this past year, some more than others. But the good news is that if we were truly concentrating on Christ in 2014, we would definitely have improved our relationship with Him. How much, only you and God can tell.
 
By the same token, we all have room for improvement, for growth. So let’s continue to stay the course, difficult though it may sometimes be, remembering that our faithful God has promised to be with us wherever we go, and to bring us out safely, more Christ-like, from whatever situations we’re forced to endure.
 
That brings us to some rather appropriate scripture verses that includes out Bit. The author of Hebrews, whom I sincerely believe is Bruh Paul, timely reminds us: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 
And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb.10:23-25)
 
Yes my brethren, if we want to see the full effect of God’s faithfulness, we do have to stand strong and steadfast in our faith, without wavering, without being wishy-washy.
 
But then we also have to stir up, to encourage our fellow believers, promoting LOVE and good works, which are the foundations of our Christian faith! We need to do this through constant assembling, regular fellowship, not a once in awhile attendance at church meetings.
 
Now hear some important explanations from the scholars on those verses above. ’10:24. The word translated provoke (Gr. paroxysmos) usually has a negative sense, as is witnessed by its only other New Testament usage (Acts 15:39).
 
The positive connotation which the word has in the present text means to stir up. It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my people! It’s ever so much easier for us to do evil and ungodly deeds than to do godly and good ones!
 
Then ‘10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition.
 
The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16).
 
It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’
 
Oh Friends, unfortunately that is often what we refuse to see. The church is supposed to be a totality of all things that pertain to Christ, and consequently to life itself. It’s where believers ought to go for succour and sustenance in whatever circumstance that afflicts us.
 
Anyway, I know you all are busy making your New Year’s preparations, so I won’t keep you any longer. (smile) We’ll end with this rather appropriate poem, an excerpt from an editorial by Ann Daily Goodwin published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on December 31 1986.
 
‘Peace rises like dawn in the hearts of hope…. Peace reaches from warm and welcoming houses when workers go home. Peace wraps congregations as worship comes to comforting conclusions…. Peace floats like music through cabin windows to porch-sitters outside. Peace shimmers like lake water on star-dashed extravagant nights….
 
Peace blesses the day’s end, in the Dylan Thomas way: “I turned the gas down. I got into bed. I said some words into the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.” And so the last page turns to the new page, and we wish the world a happy new year. In peace.’
 
Oh my beautiful Friends and Scrip-Bit family members, let’s hope and pray that 2015 is not such a tumultuous year as 2014 was! Let’s hope that it is filled with much more peace and LOVE and good deeds!
 
And we can start it off on the right foot by not overdoing it later tonight, by paying serious attention to Granny’s warning: drunk or sober, mind yuh business. That’s truly wisdom at its zenith! Have a happy New Year’s Eve my brethren in Christ. Much much much LOVE!
 
…if we make following Jesus our number ONE priority…then everything else in our lives will fall into place… 
 
P.S. Please don’t expect the Bit too early tomorrow morning. For though my celebrations may be somewhat muted, compared to yours, they will continue late into the night, or early in the morning; your choice.  (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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