Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 November 2020 2 Corinthians 1:3.

2 Corinthians 1:3.     ​Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort,

Aye mih people in my area, I think the time has finally come for us to begin experiencing that small white, cold, fluffy substance called snow! (smile) Yes, it’s all a part of living in the northern climes, but yet still when we see it for the first time in a year, it still astonishes us, although we’ve been expecting it all along. So I saw some of the wet stuff yesterday on my way out the street, and this morning I saw some flakes gently dawdling down from the cloudy sky. Don’t think there’s any risk of the real hard stuff falling right now, but just giving us a heads up, because it will come hard and fast eventually. (smile) 

But yuh know what? When it comes we don’t have to worry because we have been assured by our heavenly Father of His awesome comfort and mercy in whatever adversity comes against us. Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous Deity we serve my brethren! Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Corinth nuh. 

‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor, 1:3-4) Oh my fellow saints in Christ, isn’t our God wonderful? He surely is! Comforting us in our troubles so that we can comfort others in theirs. 

And I just want to add a note from the scholars. ‘1:3-4. Blessed (Gr. eulogetos, “well spoken of”) is used in the New Testament of God, (e.g., Eph. 1:3). It is a term of adoration and praise. The Father of mercies: The mercies in view here include everything from deliverance from the world, sin, and Satan, to participation in sonship, light, and life. But the force is even more than this. The stress is that the Father is characterized by mercy (cf. Ps. 86:5: Dan. 9:9, Mic. 7:18).’ 

Oh friends, until we fully realize that one of our God’s greatest attributes is His merciful character, we will never fully understand and appreciate how great a God He is! It all begins with His unconditional LOVE, where He simply cannot disregard His most wonderful creation. That then leads Him to be merciful unto us, with forgiveness and redemption and reconciliation through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, all of it is a free gift through His awesome grace! Now after all of that mercy and grace, undeserved goodness and favour, how can we not bless, adore and praise Him eh? 

Hear how Bruh David says it in Psalm 86 – Teach me thy way, O Lord. ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto them that call upon thee. (Ps. 86:5) But it’s all important that we acknowledge the last aspect of Bruh David’s words there: ‘them that call upon thee.’ We do need to sincerely call upon God to receive His blessings and mercies. 

And as Bruh Paul said to the church at Ephesus: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) Yes friends, our Lord is indeed worthy of much praise because He has bestowed so many heavenly blessings on us through Christ. Things like our citizenship (Phil. 3:20), our high priest (Heb. 4:14), our hope (Col. 1:5), our inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4) our treasure (Matt. 6:20-21). So there is much to be thankful for through Christ. 

But getting back to our major point of comfort from God, let’s hear some relevant scriptures nuh. And the prophet Isaiah had a lot to say about it. In talking about the comfort of the faithful, he says on God’s behalf: ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die (a mortal man), and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgetteh the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready (as when preparing) to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?’ (Is. 51:12-13) 

Yes my people, down through the ages we have indeed feared man rather than God, but please remember these momentous words of Jesus: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ And the only person who can do that is God Almighty, so it’s about time we learn to fear Him, rather than mankind which shall perish as the grass in the noonday sun. 

And now this last word on comfort from our Lord God, as spoken through His prophet, Isaiah on the future hope of Zion: ‘As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb (grass): and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward (to) his servants, and his indignation toward (to) his enemies.’ (Is. 66:13-14) 

Oh precious people of God, our heavenly Father has done so much to relieve us of fear, anxiety and tension through the fulfilled promises of His word, I don’t see how we can still be so fearful and anxious about life nuh. From the day He created the world and its life, right through to the day He promises to destroy it, He has ensured safety for those who belief in and look to Him for help and succour. He even sacrificed His only son Jesus for us, so I don’t know what more He needs to or can do to make us believe in Him. 

So the ball is in our court; each of us has to make that fateful decision; to believe, or not to believe. And just a li’l tip, the smart money is on believing. Now for those of us who have chosen the wise way, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our most wonderful position in Almighty God and His most wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And remember, we’re guaranteed that if we endure until the end, our future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine!Much LOVE!

…the comfort of man…begins in the bosom of God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8‏‏‏‏

Ephesians 2:8.    For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Oh Friends, welcome to a beautiful morning in this part of God’s great universe! And it’s Wednesday morning too, which means that it’s Wailing Time! Yes my people, it’s time to wail our Wednesday Wail. So let’s wail on them nuh, let’s wail down the place. (smile)

As one set of harmonic wailers, let’s wail: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of live 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, it’s such a wonderful feeling to be alive, though our world is more than a bit topsy turvy! But when we have the Creator of the universe as our God and heavenly Father, our guide and protector, there’s absolutely nothing to fear! Glory be!

Remember these wonderful inspiring and uplifting words of Bruh David from Psalm 27. ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps.27:1) And the answer to those questions is simply, NOBODY!

But then, just in case the situation does arise, Bruh David faithfully declares: ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ (Ps.56:3-4) Strong words of faith my people.

Then dwell on these reassuring words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) The death of the body is not the end of life, and the only person with power to destroy both body and soul my Friends is Almighty God!

So He is the ONLY Being we ought to fear. And if we have a personal relationship with Him, then our fear should not be as someone scared, for we can come to Him at any time with confidence and courage, but a respect and reverence for His awesome power and incredible magnanimity.

And that’s shown to full effect by the words of our Bit. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’

Oh my people, my people, I certainly don’t understand how anyone can turn away from such a wonderful Deity, for even a little common sense should tell us that’s where our bread is truly buttered, not with the untrustworthy things and evildoers of the world. Now let’s continue looking at scriptures that deal with the truly wonderful blessing of grace.

And we’ll begin with Bruh Paul’s words to the Galatians, when he explained how he came to be an apostle. ‘But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen (Gentiles); immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.’ (Gal.1:15-17)

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:15-16. Since Paul’s conversion to Christianity was due to God and not man, and since he did not consult with men subsequent to his conversion, then the apostle could not have received the gospel from any but the Lord. To reveal his Son in (to) me: The divine disclosure to man of the person and work of Christ is the essence of the gospel.’

‘1:17. Following his Damascus road conversion Paul made no trip to Jerusalem, where the apostles were, but spent approximately three years in Arabia. It is implied that he conferred with God there. During these three years he was not taught by men.’

But by the grace of God, Friends! How else could he divine all the heavenly stuff that he divined eh? Our God works in so many different ways that it’s nothing but amazing!

And to Timothy, when exhorting him to endurance, Bruh Paul declares: ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me in the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God;

Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (before time). But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’ (2 Tim.1:8-10)

And the scholars’ tell us: ‘1:8-10. The testimony of our Lord refers to the gospel Paul preached. Me his prisoner indicates that although Paul is actually a prisoner in a dungeon cell in the city of Rome, he regards himself there in the directive will of God. Hence he is really God’s prisoner, and Rome is merely God’s agent to put him where God wants him.

Who hath saved us refers to the ultimate effect: our salvation. And called us with a holy calling looks at the means by which our salvation was effected. His own purpose and grace…was given us indicates that our salvation was totally unmerited.

Abolished death (“having rendered death ineffective”): By His vicarious death, Christ reversed the curse of sin and brought life (eternal union of the soul with God) and immortality (“incorruption”) which is guaranteed by His resurrection.’

Ah Friends, I know it does seem like a lot of heavy stuff, but we need to understand the Good Book as best we can, so that we can make worthwhile decisions and thus live righteous lives.

Now we’ll end today’s message with these well know words from Hebrews. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16)

Now those are definitely words of awesome heavenly wisdom, so please my people, let’s put them into action in our lives today, and every day that we draw the Lord’s breath of life. Much LOVE!

…this earthly Christian life is nothing but grace…God’s free gift of grace…grace upon grace…so that we can have a beautiful eternal relationship with Him…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2015 Psalm 46:1

 Psalm 46:1.  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in time of trouble.

Well Friends, Monday morning is here, time to get up and get rolling! Let’s hope that yesterday’s celebration of Mother’s Day wasn’t too incapacitating, and consequently you’re shaking it somewhat rough this morning. (smile)

I sincerely hope that Mothers all around the world were suitably revered and appreciated, but please, please, let’s keep up that adoration, respect and affection all the year round nuh. It doesn’t have to be with physical gifts, but simply spending more time than usual with them, more phone calls or visits and nicer words when they tell us something we don’t like.

Most mothers don’t want anything from their children but simple appreciation, in whatever form they can manifest it. So let’s try and do that nuh, for then we’ll be keeping one of God’s major commandments and also buoying the spirits of our mothers throughout the year, rather than one day in the month of May. We would all be much happier too, for the LOVE of Christ would then be truly spread abroad.

However, it’s now time to face the outside world once again, so let’s get the show on the road by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much verve and gusto as we can manage.

Altogether 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!’

Ah Friends, that rendition wasn’t so hot this morning nuh. You could hear the crustiness and hoarseness in the voices as a result of too much partying yesterday. (smile) But we won’t let that stop us from going out and facing the music, the ungodly clamour of the unruly heathen, for Jesus is our most able Field General and goes before us.  

And furthermore, in the encouraging and uplifting words of our Bit, the Sons of Korah truthfully proclaim: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in time of trouble.’

Oh my people, my people, those awesome words of wisdom and absolute truth ought to just lift our spirits and have us walking around like Superman; being able to do every and anything in the strength, power and majesty of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! (smile)

And somebody says, ‘Hold down brother, hold down. Don’t get carried away now.’ But Friends, that’s not getting carried away, but simply acknowledging the facts of this life. We can indeed do any and everything though Christ Jesus who strengthens us. The Good Book says that, (Phl.4:13) and the Good Book doesn’t lie.

So please let’s get excited and stirred up by the Holy Spirit which indwells us, as we go out there to face the traffic jams, the bad weather, the rude and ungodly co-workers, or whatever comes against us today! That’s the ardent desire of our Leader, Jesus Christ.

And since God is our refuge and strength, then like the Sons of Korah continue: ‘Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:2-3)

Oh my brethren, those positive words just raise the level of faith and belief in my soul, and I hope they do in yours too. For you know our major problem in this life is the thing we call fear; technically speaking, the opposite of faith. But as Bruh Paul so wisely and truthfully told Timothy; ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7)  

Oh what inspirational words of gospel truth!  And shouldn’t that just have us fighting fit and ready to have a go at the enemy, anytime? It surely should my brethren. With the omnipotent Creator of the universe on our side, we shouldn’t be afraid of anything or anybody! 

And we’ll end with this uplifting warning from Jesus. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28)

And my people, the good news is that only Almighty God, our heavenly Father has the power to kill our souls and send us to Hades. So if we obey Him, we won’t have to be worried about that. Now let’s go out there and do brave battle for and with Jesus, because that’s what He expects of His loyal followers. Much LOVE!

…there’s no need to fear anything at all…because you and all-powerful God are a majority…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 March 2015 1 Corinthians 3:11‏‏

1 Corinthians 3:11.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Well my wonderful Friends and neighbours, a good Tuesday morning to you all! I hope that these words meet or find you in a state of good health, peace and happiness. But if they don’t, then I hope that they will help to bring you to that place where you can access the comfort and joy of our healing, peace-giving and ever-LOVING God.

And with that, I must say that this Daylight Saving Time thing is not thrilling me at all, for it’s playing games with my mind. I wake up and see it that it’s still pretty dark and think it is yet the middle of the night, when it is already far gone into the morning.

And this is no excuse for the Bit being late. (smile) I was just tired and didn’t feel like getting up early. But as so many things we can’t do anything about, we just have to grin and bear it and work it into our schedules, as best we can.

And today we’re going to check out a most interesting quote attributed to an old-time politician. His name was Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960). He was the Minister of Health in the post-war Attlee government in Britain, also a social reformer and the chief architect of the British National Health Service.

Now Mr. Bevan is reputed to have said that ‘The purpose of getting power is to be able to give it away.’ Wow!

When I read that on the February page of the almanac, I was certainly taken aback. What! A politician talking about giving away power! Hn! It just doesn’t jive with the actions of today’s politicians, where they all want to cling forever to all the power they can get.

And it certainly doesn’t line up with the sentiments of another British politician, Lord Acton (1834-1902), who reputedly said that ‘Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are always bad men.’

Now that sounds more like what a lot of us tend to believe from the actions of our politicians and power-brokers. But in my research I found one journal also stating an interesting fact on the matter, that ‘The part of the truth Lord Acton did not realize when stating “power corrupts” is that the corrupted seek power.’

And that’s absolutely true, because if you want to be a successful corrupted person or entity, then you must have the power to both do your corrupt deeds and then have the power or wherewithal to hide them.

But who knows what really goes on in the minds of corrupt and power-hungry people eh? For example, which leads the other eh? It’s like the conundrum of the chicken and the egg; which one came first?

Anyway Friends, if there is one thing we can be sure of, is that the modern day politicians, or those in any other walk of life today, are NOT seeking power to be able to give it away, but to cling to it for dear life.

And my kind regards to Mr. Bevan for thinking that, and I’m not being cynical, for I wish it were really true, but I’ve yet to see it in action. But enough about man’s thirst and struggle for power and their subsequent abuse of it.

Let’s turn to our Bit, which tells us of where the true power in the universe lies. ‘For other foundation can no man lay that that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’  

Yes my people, as Christians, we know that’s where the true power in this world lies; in Jesus Christ our wonderful Lord and Saviour, who sacrificed His holy and sinless life for us, was crucified, died and was buried, then on the third day rose triumphantly from the grave, thus defeating hell and death, and ascended into heaven, where He’s now advocating to the Father on our behalf!

Mama Mia! Can any mortal man, regardless of how much earthly power he possesses, do that? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

So please let’s not be too worried or concerned about the power of men, for as Jesus said: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28)

And yes my brethren, I know it’s very easy to quote all these wonderful scriptures, but actually living them, or putting them into action is not simple or easy.

However, we do have to try and live by the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit that indwells us, if we want to have a successful earthly journey with Christ, that eventually leads to eternal life in heaven with Him.

And per our Bit, listen to these fateful words of Jesus, as He spoke the parables of the two sons and wicked husbandmen, re obedience, to the Pharisees and chief priests. ‘Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner (chief cornerstone):

This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whosoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.’ (Matt.21:42-44)

Ah mih breddren, that’s what the unfaithful have to look forward to – be crushed like powder! And the Jewish elders realized that Jesus was referring to them, in their refusal to accept Him as the Messiah. But they were afraid to touch Him, because the crowd revered Him as a prophet.

And we’ll end to day with these explanations from the scholars. ’21:44-46. The warning The kingdom of God shall be taken from you (v.43) was fulfilled at Pentecost when the kingdom was mediatorily (like in mediation) transferred to the church. Yet, within this warning of judgement, Jesus offers mercy to those falling on this stone, meaning, falling upon Him in repentance and faith. But His falling upon man in judgement will grind him to powder.’

Oh my people, what more can I say to encourage us to fall on Jesus through sincere faith and repentance eh? Not much, because Jesus Himself spelled it out in clear and simple terms. It’s now left up to us, as individuals, whether or not we’re going to accept His free offer of grace and mercy that lead to salvation.

For all our sakes though, I’d strongly recommend that we grab it as fast and as quickly as we can, because He’s not going to offer it again. When He returns in all His glory and majesty, which can be anytime, all the wonderful offers will then be made null and void.

So please, I implore us to let wisdom reign, and let us grasp the hand of Jesus, hold it tightly, and walk in obedience and LOVE with Him, for that’s what our Creator and heavenly Father desires of us. That’s why He sacrificed Jesus on the cross at Calvary. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will pay a grave price for his disobedience…eternal separation from God…