Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 August 2019 John 1:5.

John 1:5.    ​And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.
 

Welcome to a glorious Friday friends! And it’s all the Lord’s doing on our behalf! All praise and glory to His holy name! So please, let’s make the effort, show the necessary gratitude and rejoice and be glad in it nuh! That’s the only wise and sensible thing to do in light of His wonderful gesture. But yuh know, sometimes it seems that the unbelievers are more grateful for the good days they enjoy than we believers. 

Listen to the ordinary workingman, as he sings his Friday song nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! My most favourite day, because it heralds the start of the weekend, where my time is my own, to do with as I like and please. And I can tell anybody to go jump in the lake if I don’t like their suggestions for how I’m spending, or planning to spend my time! 

And it sure feels good when you can tell some farse or nosy somebody to mind their own business! Too many people in this world today don’t have no business of their own, or just like to mind other people’s business! Chuh! I don’t mind theirs, so why they have to bother with mine eh? But enough about them yes! Today is Friday, and it bright and sunshiny, so me and mine going to enjoy it to the fullest. 

I’m even going to take a half-day off from the slave master work – tough if he doh like it – and go home and spend it with the children. Might even take them down to the Ex; that big country fair down by the CNE grounds on the Lakeshore. They would certainly enjoy that! But let’s see how the day plays out nuh, before we make any firm commitments. We’ll just be thankful that it’s Friday and the start of the weekend! Praise God for that yes!’ 

Ah mih fellow saints, how many of us get so excited about another supposed ordinary day eh? Not too many of us, who are supposed to be the most joyful people in the world. But we not going to preach on the subject (smile), let’s just chant our Friday Chant, sing our weekend song. 

As one, strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh, it’s not as enthusiastic and colourful as the workingman’s offering, but it sure does keep us on the straight and narrow. And today, I want to share the scriptures I had planned to share yesterday when the Lord guided me in a different direction. It’s the same Bit: ‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ And unfortunately that hasn’t changed much since John wrote that some two thousand years ago. And why is that eh? 

Possibly because as Jesus explains: ‘And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth (practices) evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deed should be reproved (exposed).’ (John 3:19-20) And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers? We hide what we don’t want others to see in the darkness, behind closed doors. 

But please remember Jesus’ warning: ‘Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed, neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets (secretly in inner rooms) shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.’ (Luke 12:1b-3) 

Oh my people, all the things we hide and do in the darkness will one day be revealed publicly! And besides the Lord sees them when we do them now, so what’s the purpose of hiding eh? As they say, our true self is reflected in what we do in darkness, behind closed doors, when no one else is around. So anything else we do differently in the light is pure hypocrisy. 

As the scholars explain: ‘12:1-2. Hypocrisy, piety just for the sake of appearance is futile; for even hidden motives will one day be laid bare by God.’  Please believe that my people, and let’s try our best to only deal with true and godly motives, it will pay big dividends for us in the long run. Now let’s see how many of those original scriptures on light we can get in now, because the Bit’s again gone in a slightly different direction than I had planned. (smile) 

And I guess the best one to begin with is Bruh David’s proclamation in Psalm 27: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?’ (Ps.27:1) Not a single soul my people! Then in Psalm 119, the psalmist declares: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps.119:105) So true friends, the Lord’s Word is our guidebook for earthly living! 

And Isaiah declares: ‘Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.’ (Is.5:20) Yuh better believe it! And what better way to end than with John’s poignant declaration: 

‘This the is the message which we have heard of him (Jesus), and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not (practice) the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

Please friends, let’s ponder on those oh significant and important words today nuh, and see if we’re truly walking in the light or just fooling ourselves, and actually walking in darkness. But whatever answer we get, please let’s also ask the Lord for His awesome help to truly walk in His Light. That’s wisdom of undeterminable proportions! Much LOVE!

…you can’t truly walk in the Light of Christ…and in the darkness of Satan…at the same time…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2019 Daniel 6:16b.

Daniel 6:16b.    ​Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
 

Yes friends, we late! That’s because I was up at around 3 a.m, sitting out on my porch, doing my usual communicating thing with God and nature, then I had a li’l fight with my computer again…But that’s all in the past now, especially since it’s Friday and everybody is happy that the weekend is here at last…none more so than the ordinary workingman, as he joyfully exclaims: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend finally here! Mama Yo! Two days of rest from the slave master work! In the summertime to boot! That’s the best time ever! Can go around half-naked, enjoy the sunshine and hot weather, get a tan…do almost anything I want to do, with li’l or no restrictions. 

There’s no better time than a weekend in the summer…and also in the summer of my days! Yeah! I’m strong, healthy and have a fairly good life! I’m not rich, but I’m not poor either. And it’s not easy all the time, but I do my best. That’s all I can do! So this weekend is going to be a blast! Have a couple parties to go to. The wife and I going to step out for a change. 

Yeh, with her busy with the children at home and working part time, and I busy five days a week, as well as the odd overtime shift at the slave master’s job, we don’t have much alone time together. But brother, we certainly going to fix that this weekend. That’s why we have to thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And yuh know friends, that’s the unfortunate state of many a household in our supposedly prosperous society. Too many parents don’t have the necessary time to spend together because they are so busy working and trying to make a decent life for their children to enjoy. And do the children appreciate it? Well that’s an entirely different can of worms! 

But what yuh going to do eh? That’s the way our society is currently set up. Many of us are even lucky to have part time jobs. And the wicked and greedy slave masters are taking advantage of the part time situation that their friendly governments are allowing to happen, with no benefits or surety of jobs. Just wait by the phone until we call. And if we call and you don’t answer…then crapaud smoke yuh pipe! 

Chuh! It’s sad and disgusting, but we seem to be reverting to the bad, old days, when the slave master held all the marbles and could dish them out how he wanted and to whom he wanted. Equity and fairness and social responsibility seems to have gone bye bye in this new world – read greedy, selfish, ungodly, and only interested in the first person singular. 

But thankfully, we Christians are different…Not as much as we ought to be though, for we are allowing the evil and selfishness of the world to invade our space and bring us more like them, instead of us invading their space and bringing them more Christ-like. We just have to keep praying and hoping, and doing the best we can, with God’s help of course! So let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh, which isn’t as worldly and rambunctious as the workingman’s, but does serve our Christ-like purpose. 

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!’ 

Oh, it doesn’t go as far out on the limb, as the workingman’s, but it keeps us in check, keep us on our toes, so that the enemy doesn’t get an easy and convenient toehold in our souls. And that’s our main purpose – to keep God in, and the evil one out! And yuh know my people, the best way to do that is to continually serve our heavenly Father. 

When I opened the Good Book this morning it opened at this wonderful verse in Daniel, as he was thrown into the lion’s den. ‘Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.’ What amazing words of encouragement from a pagan king! But the Lord put them there. 

The king knew that Daniel had been a faithful servant to him, the kings before him, and of the Lord, ever since He had been brought captive to Babylon, and he had heard of and experienced enough of God’s wonders and mercy through Daniel’s prophecy and general Christ-like behaviour to know that there was a God in heaven, who could do mighty things. 

And who hadn’t heard of the three Hebrew boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego brought out of the flaming fire with not even the smell of smoke clinging to them. So expecting the Lord to work a miracle on Daniel’s behalf was something he could comprehend. And when the Lord did act on Daniel’s behalf and saved him from the mouth of the lions, hear these astounding words that the king wrote to all his constituents. 

‘Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth. ‘Peace be multiplied unto you. (shades of Bruh Paul) I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men (must) tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power (paws) of the lions.’ (Dan.16:25-27)

Oh friends, I know that most of us won’t make a splash as big as Daniel did, but I know that we can make a bigger splash than we are currently making. Let’s remember that it’s all for Jesus nuh. Our lives are supposed to bring others closer to Him, not drive them away, as so many of us are currently doing. Please, for all of our sakes, let’s truly live the life that Jesus intends for us to live nuh! We all know what we’re supposed to do, so let’s buckle down and do it…in Jesus’ name. Much LOVE!

…there’s no better way to serve Jesus…than letting our lives speak for Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2019 Revelation 19:16.

Revelation 19:16    ​And he hath on his vesture (robe) and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

 

That day friends, the most important day of the week, the Lord’s Day, Sunday, it’s here! And we all know what that means: a joyful journey to the house of the Lord to praise and worship Him, to fellowship with other believers, to hear His Holy Word, and be refreshed and renewed with His strength, confidence and vitality to keep on fighting the good fight in which we’re engaged. And as always, we begin the day’s proceedings with a song of praise and thanksgiving, both to show our gratitude and to soften up our hard hearts, so we can receive His Word with more effectiveness. 

And today’s song is the well known and popular one titled ‘The Days of Elijah. (No God Like Jehovah).’ It was supposedly written by one ‘Robin Mark a Northern Irish Christian singer, songwriter, worship leader, and recording artist based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mark has written several songs sung throughout the world. He is best known for his songs “Days of Elijah”, “Revival”, “All for Jesus”, “The Wonder of The Cross”, “Not by Might”’ So let’s get into those Days of Elijah nuh, in a rocking, up-tempo, yet with a soulful feeling. 

All together now: ‘These are the days of Elijah, Declaring the word of the Lord And these are the days of Your servant Moses, Righteousness being restored. And though these are days of great trial, Of famine and darkness and sword, Still, we are the voice in the desert crying “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!” (Chorus: Behold He comes riding on the clouds, Shining like the sun at the trumpet call, Lift your voice, it’s the year of jubilee, And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes.) 

These are the days of Ezekiel, The dry bones becoming as flesh, And these are the days of Your servant David, Rebuilding a temple of praise. These are the days of the harvest, The fields are as white in Your world, And we are the labourers in Your vineyard, Declaring the word of the Lord! (Chorus: Behold He comes riding on the clouds, Shining like the sun at the trumpet call, Lift your voice, it’s the year of jubilee, And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes. 

Oh, there’s no God like Jehovah, there’s no God like Jehovah; Yes there’s no God like Jehovah; there’s no God like Jehovah; there’s no God like Jehovah! Believe me, There’s no God like Jehovah; There’s no God like Jehovah! (Chorus: Behold He comes riding on the clouds, Shining like the sun at the trumpet call, Lift your voice, it’s the year of jubilee, And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes. (Repeat)’ 

What a rocking tune, filled with loads of truth! And we certainly did it justice! All heaven was rocking along with us! Wow! When you can get heaven to rock with you, you must be singing good! (smile) Ah mih people, though our world is in a sad and miserable state, filled with all kinds of disasters, poverty, sickness, strife and dissension, of great trials, we’re still hear declaring (steups!) the Word of the Lord. And we’re gladly looking forward to the next coming of Jesus, hearing that heavenly trump sound the good news, and see Him coming in the clouds on His magnificent white steed… ‘shining like the sun!’  What a wonderful day that will be! 

And John, the Revelator saw it all in his vision. ‘And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed in a vesture (robe) dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture (robe) and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’ (Rev.19:11-16). 

Yes friends, that’s how it’s going to be when Christ comes back for the last time to rule with and iron fist for one thousand years! And just a few explanations from the scholars. ‘19:14-16. The armies may be (1) angels (cf. Zech.14:5; Matt.26:53); (2) the raptured church or (3) all the inhabitants of heavenly Jerusalem: angels, the church, and spirits of the Old Testament and Tribulation saints (cf. Heb.12:22-24) They will share in Christ’s victory and glory (cf. Rom.8:18-19). The linen symbolizes righteousness (cf. v.8). The sword from His mouth depicts judgement through His spoken Word (cf.1:16; 2:12, 16; Is. 11:4; 2 Thess. 2:8). 

Smite the nations: Christ will destroy all unbelievers (cf. 19:21; Matt.25:41, 46; 2 Thess.1:8-9). Rod of iron: Christ will subject all nations to Himself, and destroy all His enemies (cf. Ps.2:8-9; 1 Cor.15:24-25). Winepress: See 14:17-20. Words relating to wrath and anger are found 15 times in Revelation. KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS: Christ has universal sovereignty. He is King over all who call themselves kings, and Lord over all who call themselves lords (cf.17:14; Deut.10:17. Dan.2:47; 1 Tim.6:15).’ 

Ah friends, lots of explanations and scriptures for you to check out. (smile) But I thought it important to give you the info so that you will be better able to understand what the Good Book is talking about. And that’s the magnificent ending we have to look forward to once we stand strong and endure the race. So please, let’s all remember, and write it indelibly in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, that there’s No God like our Jehovah! 

As Bruh David said so long ago: ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods (rivers)…So Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.   Selah.’ (Ps.24:1-2; 9-10). That says it all! So please have a blessed Sunday my fellow saints in Christ, as you ponder and ruminate on all that we’ve said! (smile) Much LOVE!

…JEHOVAH…the One, True, Living God…the Alpha and Omega…the First and the Last…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 July 2019 Proverbs 11:25.

Proverbs 11:25.    ​The liberal (generous) soul shall be made fat (prosperous): and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
 

And then it was Friday; the worker’s favourite day, especially in the summer where the dress rules are sometimes relaxed for something called ‘casual Fridays.’ Some people don’t even work on Fridays during the summer months, they take the time off to get to the cottage and enjoy a longer weekend. 

All power to them yes! Less wealthy or privileged folks like me can’t afford to do that, so we have to stay here in the city and bear the brunt of, endure the heat of the raging sun. (smile) But I’m okay with that, because going to the cottage also has its own drawbacks. I’m comfortable right where I am, and with age creeping up on me, the desire for change is not that strong. (smile) 

And the ordinary workingman seems to agree with my sentiments as he belts out his weekend song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Thank Him for granting us this release in the weekend, specially in the summer, else we’d all die from heat exhaustion and overwork. And though the weekend sorta too short, we still going to enjoy it as much as possible. 

And where yuh see we in the full swing of summer now, with all the summer heat and flash floods and inconsistent rain, the weekend is we only saviour, where we could get to do what we want, when we want, with no slave driver flashing his figurative whip at you any time yuh try to take a rest. 

But nobody ever said life was going to be easy, but you have to enjoy the fruits of your labour, and this weekend we surely going to do that; eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you might die! We going to party, go out and play in the park… and since I can’t afford to go to the cottage by the lake, we just going to go and dunk we self in the public swimming pool, like all mih other working class friends and them. 

We not greedy, but we do like to be able to enjoy we time some. So as you enjoy the weekend, please remember to give thanks to God for whatever li’l you have eh, because it have plenty people who have plenty less than you!’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! Whatever little you have, there is always someone, somewhere who has even less than you. What a paradox! Even in the supposedly first world countries there’s a level of poverty in some areas that’s just mind-boggling. You can’t believe that amongst all the prosperity there is such a dearth of basic necessities. But that’s the reality of life, and for some reason or other we just can’t seem to, or want to fix it. 

However my fellow saints in Christ, please remember what Jesus said, about the unfortunates and those who helped them. ‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.’ (Matt.25:35-36) 

Yes precious people of God, that’s the kind of thing we’re supposed to be doing as servants and followers of Jesus, because if we don’t, when Jesus comes to judge, He’ll put us on the left hand with the goats, who’ll be thrown ‘into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.’ (Matt.25:41) Yes friends, ‘even as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ (Matt.25:40) 

So please, let’s stop concentrating on ourselves and concentrate on what Jesus wants us to do nuh; that’s helping the poor and needy. Remember too that we reap what we sow. And as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say, we reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow. So be it bad or good, our sowing produces a big harvest of the same things we sow. 

And though it’s nice to have earthly wealth and be comfortable, that’s not the prescription for greatness in Christ’s kingdom. Hear how Cousin Sol, in his God-given wisdom, puts it nuh. ‘The liberal (generous) soul shall be made fat (prosperous): and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.’ That’s how it is in God’s kingdom my people. The more you give, from a right heart, with proper motives, the more the Lord will increase you. And that’s exactly how it ought to be. 

Consequently, Christians ought to be the biggest and most generous givers in this whole wide world! But unfortunately we’re not. We’re even more miserly than plenty of the unbelievers. And strangely, but unfortunately, where we’re most miserly is in giving to God’s church. 

We’ll go out and buy all the nonsense the world has to offer without a qualm, but giving an extra penny to help do God’s work, brother, for so many of us believers, it’s like pulling teeth without any anesthetic. But everybody wants to see a nice, clean, spruced up church. How yuh thing it’s going to get so eh, if we don’t give generously of our time, talent and treasure eh? 

Anyhow, enough sermonizing for today! And who knows if it will make any difference anyway. (smile) So let’s go home chanting our Friday Chant, in all sincerity and true sense of purpose. ‘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!’ 

Enjoy the weekend friends, but please keep in the back of your minds, which hand you want Jesus to put you on; on the left as goats, or on the right as sheep, for your actions today, will help make that monumental decision then. Much LOVE!

…Jesus came to help…the poor, the sick, the lost and the needy…and that’s also what He expects of His followers…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2019 1 Corinthians 3:11.

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

Sunday morning coming down friends…coming down hard and strong, leading to the place of worship and fellowship, where we’ll meet each other and glorify and exalt our great God, give Him much praise and thanksgiving in song and prayer, for being so faithful and merciful and gracious to us! And it’s such a privilege to get together with other believers and hear His Word, and have it fill our hearts with peace, joy, understanding and confidence; confidence in our ability to defeat our enemies and raise Christ’s banner of victory! 

And today’s song offering is a popular old hymn, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ And it seems to have a colourful history, coming about through something that’s very prevalent in Christendom, dissension within the church. Here is what supposedly caused it to be written. “The Church’s One Foundation” is a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by Samuel John Stone, with music provided by Samuel Sebastian Wesley. This hymn describes the church’s relationship to its “foundation” being Jesus Christ. The church is represented as the collective Christian fellowship of the earth as it is wholly united by its Saviour, the Son of God. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” was composed as a primary answer to the division within the Church of South Africa generated by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as untrue. This issue is referenced to within the fourth verse of the lyrics “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” When Bishop Colenso was dismissed for his teachings, he pleaded to the higher religious authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became included in the discussion. It sparked him to draft a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. “The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.” 

Ah Lord eh friends, the upheaval and dissension that Christ’s Church has seen during its two thousand years of existence! Most other organisations with that kind of upheaval would have ceased to exist long ago, but Christ’s church is built on solid rock, with Him as its true foundation, that’s why it’s still standing and going strong despite the many disputes and fragmentation it has suffered down through the ages. So let’s sing it now nuh, in full voice and sweet harmony, with a strong sense of purpose and confidence that it will last and be meaningful until Christ returns. 

All together now: ‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord, She is His new creation By water and the Word: From Heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy bride, With His own blood He bought her And for her life He died. – She is from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth; Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. -The Church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend, To guide, sustain, and cherish, Is with her to the end: 

Though there be those who hate her, And false sons in her pale, Against both foe and traitor She ever shall prevail. – Though with a scornful wonder Men see her sore oppressed, By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed: Yet saints their watch are keeping, Their cry goes up, How long? And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song! – Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace forevermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest! – 

Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won, With all her sons and daughters Who, by the Master’s hand Led through the deathly waters, Repose in Eden land. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we Like them, the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee: There, past the border mountains, Where in sweet vales the Bride With Thee by living fountains Forever shall abide!’ 

Oh my people, what fabulous words and sentiments! And they are all true. Christ came and bought the church with His precious blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary and regardless of all the isms and schisms, and the many enemies that come against her, she shall never perish because He is her protector right to the very end. And I particularly like: ‘Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses…’ Yeh friends, the church is all ONE, in Jesus name! He’s brought ALL nations under the ONE banner, with Himself as the chief cornerstone.  

Let’s look at some scripture now that corroborate all this nuh, beginning with this pronouncement by Jesus to the disciples after Peter acknowledged that He was indeed the Messiah. ‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (a stone), and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matt.16:18) Now this does not mean that Christ intended to build his church on Peter, but it was just a word play, since Peter’s name also meant a rock or stone. What He actually meant is what Bruh Paul explained to the Ephesians when talking about the unity, the oneness of all believers. 

‘For through him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In who, all the building fitly framed (being joined) together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together (being built) for a habitation (a dwelling place) of God through the Spirit.’ (Eph.2:18-22) 

So, as the scholars explain: ‘The church’s foundation is composed of the apostles and prophets, its chief corner stone is Christ, and its superstructure is composed of Christians. Oriental architecture placed greater importance on the cornerstone than the foundation, for it connected the walls and concentrated the weight of the building on itself, thus bonding and holding together the whole structure. Fitly framed together is translated above as “being carefully and harmoniously joined together.” This implies the harmonious blending of the Jewish and Gentile believers in the church. Christians are viewed as a habitation or dwelling place in whom God lives through His Holy Spirit.’ 

Christ has adroitly and adeptly brought it all together as one, under His umbrella, so much so that when the Corinthians were fighting over whom to follow, Bruh Paul or  Apollos, he ended up telling them that Christians are co-labourers, one man can plant and another water, but it’s God and God alone who gives the increase. (1 Cor.3:5-10) However they had to be very careful re the foundation of their work: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes friends, believers can build whatever they want on that foundation of Christ, but not on any other foundation, for He is the mainstay, the chief corner stone of our faith. Let’s remember that and build accordingly nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christ…the corner stone that connects His church…through the Holy Spirit…as One body…unto the glory of God the Father

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2019 1 John 1:4.

1 John 1:4.    And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!
 
And was it ever a beautiful day yesterday…a perfect representation of what a typical summer day should be – bright, warm sun, blue skies, birds singing merrily, and a cool breeze to keep it all refreshing! And this Canada Day Monday is supposed to be an exact replica of yesterday. So there should be nothing like rain to rain on our parade, (smile) and celebrations all over this beautiful country should go off without a hitch, this one hundred and fifty second year of our blessed existence! 

 

But let’s remember right off the bat to heed Granny’s wise warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, for heaven’s sake, please mind yuh business!’ And yes, I know yuh tired hearing it, but is only for your good, because when we celebrating too heartily, we tend to lose our sense of balance, both literally and figuratively, (smile) and morality, as well as right and wrong just go flying through the window, and in comes the enemy to make us do stuff we’ll seriously regret when we regain our balance. 

So do celebrate, but as Jeeves would say, with a modicum of circumspection, please keep one eye open all the time! And I feel for those of you who have to go out and labour this loverly Monday morn, but them’s just the breaks, you need to put food on the table. Doh worry, your day will come, and then you can laugh and croak hoarsely as we declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to boost our spirits, chase away the evil one and lighten our load.  

So 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!’ 

And as always, those who don’t have to go to work today, and most likely have been partying all weekend were the loudest and most raucous. But it did lift our spirits and get us enthused enough to go out and do Jesus’ work with a healthy and wholesome attitude! 

And to boost us even more, listen, as I do like John in his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ Oh mih breddren, how wonderful is that eh? The ole fella writing you so that you could be full of joy! (smile) 

And the scholars explain our Bit thus: ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13, but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’ 

Yes friends, knowing Christ, and walking with Him does bring a great sense of satisfaction and purpose! And who would know that better than John eh, as he walked personally with Jesus here on earth, and reminds us that his is an eyewitness account, (vs.1-3)  not hearsay like so many others. Anyway, here is John’s secondary purpose in writing his first epistle. 

‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not do (practice) the truth; But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

And all Christ’s followers cried out with a loud voice: ‘Praise His Holy Name! For He is indeed worthy of praise!’ And without a doubt our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is indeed worthy of our praise my people! Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about all of that nuh. 

‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus: John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good: there is thus no or evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’ 

‘1:6.Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John says boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’ And unfortunately, we do have too many of those hanging out in the church these days. But we just have to leave them to God…and their consciences, if they have any left. 

‘1:7. “God is light” (vs.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (cf.Rom.6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth, for it is by the shedding of Jesus’ blood that we were set free from sin! His sacrificial blood paid the overwhelming price, the gargantuan debt for our sin. And that’s why it’s ever so important for His followers to recognize the exceeding great value of blood in our freedom and thus work sincerely and diligently to make it worth Jesus’ while by living good with each other and spreading the good news of His gospel! Much LOVE!

…if blood doesn’t flow…sin can’t be forgiven…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2019 Philippians 2:15.

Philippians 2:15.    ​That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
 

Summer days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yes my people, it surely seems as though the summer time is fully upon us now, what with all these beautiful days all in a row with warm temps and what not! (smile) And it’s a long weekend to boot; Canada Day weekend where we celebrate our Independence from our Colonial masters. 

Yes friends, we’re a hundred and fifty two years old now; young compared to many other nations, but we’re growing in strength, faith, godliness and LOVE daily! Give God the thanks my Canadian brethren! 

And before we go any further, let me remind us of those wise, immortal words of Granny that are so applicable to this weekend of mucho celebration. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober please mind yuh business!’ Please take serious note my people and be very careful this long weekend. And is the workingman ever bursting to sing his weekend song, so let’s hear him nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui…and the weekend here at last! And was this ever a rough week because the slave master had plenty work to get out before the long weekend. And wow! Is Canada Day long weekend, which means party, party, party! And the weather supposed to be nice everlasting too, right up there in the high 20’s! Mama Yo! Are we ever going to mash up this weekend. 

Yuh can’t rightly celebrate Canada independence without a big bash! Lots ah eating and drinking, imbibing some good brew…and even some of the hard stuff too! I can imagine what cottage country going to look like this weekend. All the big shots and them going to be having a blast and the lakes and them going to be full ah boats riding up and down with parties galore on them. 

But is okay. I don’t jealous them their high life. I’m going to enjoy my low life right down here in the city. Me and my pardies, we going to have just as good a time…and possibly even better. So leh we just thank God for weekends and this wonderful country of Canada nuh!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see why Granny’s words are so important when coming to these big celebrations. In all the excitement and joy, we just liable to go overboard like the workingman’s planning to do. But as believers in Christ Jesus we can’t afford to go that far into the bacchanalian situation because the enemy will jump right into that opening and mess up our souls and spoil our witness for Christ. 

That’s why our Friday Chant is somewhat more reserved, thoughtful and even-tempered than the workingman’s weekend song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in loud voice, with a strong sense of purpose. ‘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!’ 

Yes mih breddren, ours is a more sedate and responsible life. Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t party and have fun too, but we just have to be a li’l more careful when we let our hair down and don’t give the enemy a chance to invade our souls and cause us to do wrong, because that is his sole purpose in life…get a Christian to fall flat on his face, both literally and figuratively, then laugh in Jesus face and gleefully declare: 

‘Look, look at yuh boy down there in the gutter nuh…drunk like a skunk! And he is the one yuh was praising up so much, about how he so good and godly. But yuh see how he really soft. Can’t even stand li’l bit a temptation! Hn, Hn, Hn! And it have plenty more like him out there too yes. Going to show yuh them every time ah conquer them!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we definitely can’t have Satan taunting and laughing up in Jesus face like that nuh! That means we have to seriously mind our p’s and q’s, else we liable to fall in the gutter too. And the church, Jesus’ body, already has enough black eyes on it, it doesn’t need anymore. That’s why friends, this Canada Day weekend, we need to consider seriously these words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. 

‘Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: 

That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth (fast to) the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.’ (Phil.2:12-16) 

And all that basically means friends, is now that we’ve been saved by the free gift of grace from God, not by anything we did, we have to stay attached to Christ and work at keeping our lives going in a godly direction. Being godly and righteous doesn’t just happen automatically once we’re saved, we have to work at it, run our race like Bruh Paul did. 

And if we are sincere about running that godly race, then the Lord will help us do so through the leading, guiding and comforting of His Holy Spirit. But that means we can’t grumble and complain when things don’t go our way, neither can we live in anger and resentment with our fellow man. We need to be bright and shining lights for and of Jesus in this most perverse generation ever of mankind. 

Remember, God has a plan for each and every one of our lives, and though He’ll gladly show us what it is, and help us accomplish it, He won’t do it all for us, we need to do our part of the covenant and put in some elbow grease too. So this Canada day weekend, let’s keep all of that in mind as we party hearty, and enjoy ourselves, for that is one of the reasons Christ died in our place; that we can rejoice and be happy in living and working for Him. Much LOVE!

…I am come…that they might have life…and have it more abundantly… (John 10:10b)

 

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