Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 April 2022 Philippians 2:12b.

Philippians 2:12b.      work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 

So friends, what are we going to do on this wet, cloudy Tuesday morning in early April, during the last two weeks of this Lenten season of 2022 eh? And I’m just being a tad humorous on this serious matter, because I very well know what’s expected of us believers each and every day of our lives; that’s a constant and faithful attitude of living for Jesus! (smile) 

And if we’re into the last two weeks of Lent, then it also means it’s two weeks to Easter, that big Christian celebration of Jesus’ death and triumphant resurrection! Yes my people, we’re talking about the rock-like foundation of our Christian faith, for without Christ’s death on the cross on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday, there’d be nothing called Christianity! 

And the awesome truth is that there’s nothing better than the wonderful story of Christianity; the good news of Christ’s coming to earth and dying for us, making us right with God, and giving us the marvellous opportunity to spend eternity with Him. Now that’s a story we ought to tell; all over the world, in every nook and cranny, because it’s a life-saving tale, the most important story ever told on planet earth! And that’s what living for Jesus is all about; simply telling His story and living the way He desires of us, that’s being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, in other words being a reflection of His caring, compassionate and LOVING self. 

Now we all know that this evil, sinful, greedy and selfish world doesn’t regard those things very highly…but Jesus does, and if we are going to live for Him, then we will be expected to put up with a lot of harassment, temptation and even persecution for our different beliefs and lifestyle. But we’ve been given all that we need to do the job by Christ our Saviour; namely His Holy Spirit as a Guide, Leader and Comforter and the fruit of the Spirit which enables us to do great works in His name. The problem though is that we must embrace those tools and use them like they were intended, which isn’t always easy to do, but try we must. 

That’s why in talking to the Philippians about being shining lights in this evil world Bruh Paul said it thus: ‘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 who, ye shine as lights in the world.’ (Phil. 2:12-15) 

Yes friends, we can never get away from that image of shining like lights to the world, because that’s what Jesus requires us to be! However, it doesn’t happen without work or overnight. That’s why Bruh Paul said to ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.’ And let’s make it clear that you NEVER have to work for salvation, because that’s the free gift of God, but we have to continue working out to its logical conclusion what God has begun in us, that’s basically growing the fruit of the Spirit planted in us through right living; showing the world the awesome possibilities that exist for those who are lost, sick, downtrodden, whatever. 

And since it’s God who is doing most of the work in the working out of our salvation, then success is guaranteed. ‘For God is producing in us both to will (to desire) and to do (actually accomplish) of his good pleasure.’ So why then the need for ‘fear and trembling’? 

Because we won’t know all the sacrifices and problems we will have to undergo to do God’s will. And each of us will have to work seriously and sincerely on our individual problems, with God’s help of course, but it’s still not going to be easy. So, we have to be prepared to fight a good fight, which leaves no room for squabbling and dissension amongst believers, if we want to be seen as blameless and innocent, the children of God, shining as bright lights, in this evil generation. 

And I like how author Ed Elliot explains it in his article on the medium.com website. He says: ‘Working out our salvation is very different from working for our salvation. When Paul tells believers they need to work out their salvation, he is simply explaining that the wonderful gift they freely received from God is inside of them. We bring out those beautiful attributes and character traits by faith. Faith is a rest, but it is faith that works, not us. So, working out what is on the inside of us happens by faith. 

This process can be frightening in the beginning as a new believer discovers how to live and walk by faith. Some strong trepidation may be present at first when a person decides to trust God as his or her source and peace. I remember how scary it was for me to stop trusting in my natural abilities and trust in God’s Word. This is what Paul is referring to when he mentions “fear and trembling.” He isn’t talking about being afraid of God. Rather, he is helping the new believer to know that in the beginning, it will seem scary to walk by faith. However, it is the only way to see our inner salvation manifest on the outside through our character.’ 

Ah mih people, living the Christian life will always have roadblocks and trials, but if we hang in there and fight with God’s help, then we’ll live the joyful, abundant, interesting and blessed life that Christ died for us to have. Now, for those of us who have already made the wise decision to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now, it’s time go and work it out; (smile) that’s share the amazing friendship and LOVE of Christ with others, just as generously as He shared it with us, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…salvation is free…but to keep it blossoming beautifully…takes work…and ofttimes sacrifice… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8    

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 February 2020 Psalm 18:32.

Psalm 18:32.    ​It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
 
Monday, oh Monday, how good you are to me! I truly do LOVE you! You cause me to get up early in the morning…while it’s still dark…and I haven’t had enough sleep…to fumble around and struggle to get dressed and go out in the freezing cold, to a freezing car, and then inch my way on a blocked up highway, full of sleepy-eyed and grouchy people just like me. 

And after it takes me an hour to make a normal fifteen minute drive, I get to the concrete jungle and search for another fifteen minutes to get a parking spot, that costs an arm and a leg, I finally get to my desk and plop myself down in the chair more tired than ever, but now expected to put in a full and productive 8 hour day, doing stuff that doesn’t turn my crank! And this is only the first of five consecutive days of this nonsense! (smile) 

Ah friends, we give Mondays such a bad rap eh, when the problem lies with us; we don’t prepare ourselves properly for what we know is going to happen on most Mondays of our working life! But it’s a long time human trait; cast the blame everywhere else than where it rightfully belongs, on us. Check out our forefathers, Adam and Eve after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent, and Adam blamed Eve. (Gen.3:12-13) 

So now that we’ve eased our conscience by blaming Monday for our woes, (smile) let’s get serious and go to the ONLY One who can really help us at this stage of the game nuh, our heavenly Father. And to make it easy, we’ve developed this ‘antidotal’ prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, that automatically fills in all the blank spaces, but does not get us an answer unless we go about it the right way; that’s humbly, confidently and sincerely to the throne of grace. 

So as one humble, confident and sincere voice now, let’s lift up our petition to heaven: ‘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 yes, that incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit is now moving in all of us who prayed that prayer sincerely and humbly! That’s how quickly our God can move when it’s necessary! He knows that we have to go out and do Jesus’ work at a certain time, with not much to spare, so right away He acts on our request, raising our spirits, strengthening our belly and backbone, thus giving us the courage and confidence we need to go out and fight a good fight in His Son’s name. 

No wonder Bruh David could proclaim with such certainty in Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance, when the Lord delivered him from the hands of all his enemies. ‘As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried (proven): he is a buckler (shield) to all those that trust in him. For who is God save (except) the Lord? Or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.’  (Ps.18:30-32) 

And that is the indisputable, gospel truth friends! Our God, the most potent Being in the universe, is the One who looks after all our needs on this troubled earth, just like Bruh Paul declared (yeah!) it to the Philippians. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

And when Bruh David wrote that psalm, his needs were mainly those of a warrior, thus he declared (steups!): ‘He maketh my feet like hinds’ (deer) feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken (a bow of bronze can be broken) by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of salvation: and thy right hand hath holden (held) me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.’ (Ps.18:33-35) 

Ah precious people of Christ, wherever we are, at whatever stage of life we’ve reached, the Lord God Almighty, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will supply whatever we need to be victorious! It’s imperative that we believe it and act like we believe it too, through the auspices of our wonderful faith! Otherwise our faith is useless. Remember faith involves believing for something like we’ve already seen it and received it, when, in reality it hasn’t yet happened, but we know for sure that through God’s largesse and faithfulness it will happen in His time! 

So this Monday morning, although things might be a tad on the rough side, let’s believe that the situation will change because our wonderful and ever-faithful God has promised that it will! He will work all things out for our good! (Rom.8:28) Now that should be more than enough to raise our desire to get out into our distressed world and do our best for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…working for Jesus can be difficult…but it’s ALWAYS rewarding…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2017 1 Corinthians 1:4.

1 Corinthians 1:4.   I thank my God always on your behalf (concerning you) for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.

Well another year has come around, and it’s Thanksgiving time in the U. S. once again! I’d like to wish them a most Happy Thanksgiving Day, probably their most widely celebrated holiday. But in doing so, I would also like us to remember that we should not just give thanks on a single man-declared day, but EVERY DAY; EVERY DAY that the Lord allows us to draw breath on His gracious earth. 

And though the once great nation is now in sad decline and turmoil because of their ungodliness, their overwhelming desire to purge God from their society, and instead form a great attachment to sin, there are still lots of things to be truly thankful for, and no reason why the wallowing ship cannot be successfully righted with the right leadership and the strong and sincere backing of its still numerous godly citizens. 

Remember, as Cousin Sol so rightly warns us: ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach (shame, disgrace) to any people.’ (Prov.14:34)  And that’s no lie! Therefore the Christians need to step up to the plate and fight a good fight. And that’s not only required in the U.S. but ALL OVER THE WORLD! 

Friends, if we want Christianity to not only exist, but to flourish, we who call ourselves the body of Christ, desperately need to improve our act. The evil side seems to be winning because of their greater effort, while we, the supposedly good side either rest on our laurels or are afraid to get up and perform the necessary actions that are required of us. 

And yuh know my fellow believers, it’s not that we need any great evangelical meetings, revivals and all that, although those are useful, the most important thing that we can do is simply start living like the Christians we claim to be, by showing sincere LOVE and kindness to other believers, as well as the unbelievers. The only way that the unbelievers will ever come to Christ is if they see us living the kind of life we talk so much about. 

But the sad fact is that we do more talking than walking. Just imagine nuh, if all Christians rose up and truly began living the way Christ desires us to, what a monumental impact we’d have on this sinful old world! Glory be mih people! Heaven would ring with exceptional joy! There would be such dancing and singing like heaven has never seen before! 

But it all depends on US, my brethren. If WE don’t get up and begin living right and fighting and standing steadfast and strong, the sadness right now in heaven will continue and possibly get worse. That brings us to our Bit, which shows how Bruh Paul prayed and thanked God for the welfare and fellowship of the believers in Corinth. 

Oh precious people of God, this morning I believe that we all need to consider these wonderful, prayerful and thankful words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians and let them resonate in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls as we go about improving our Christian image. 

‘Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf (concerning you) for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ. That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you. 

So that ye come behind (short) in no gift; waiting for the coming (revelation) of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor.1:3-9) 

Ah friends, what a powerful and all-encompassing prayer! And I believe we badly need it today. Many of us desperately need God’s peace and grace as we struggle through unfortunate circumstances in our lives. We also need to be enriched by His word and our knowledge of it, so that we can perform our God-given tasks, using the various gifts that the Lord has so generously granted to each of us. 

All the while remaining in fellowship with Christ and with each other. That’s when and where we are strong my brethren. Otherwise the enemy will just divide and conquer us, like they are currently doing. Let’s remember too that our wonderful God is ever-faithful, and if He has called us to His body, then He WILL provide all that we need to do His work, until His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ returns to take over His kingdom. 

So please, I implore us to be strong and steadfast in Christ and with each other, so that the unbeliever can see what true Christianity is really all about and thus acquire that great desire to come to Jesus. Wow! What a time that will be! Now let’s be thankful for all the wonderful gifts the Lord has showered upon us, as we declare with loud voice and true sincerity our Thursday Blessings. 

All together now: ‘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 now, as Jesus desires of us, let’s go out and share those blessings with others in His holy name. Much LOVE!

…rejoice…and give thanks…ALWAYS…in EVERY circumstance…that’s God’s will…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 December 2016 2 Timothy 4:7.

2 Timothy 4:7.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.

Ah friends, another day, another dollar! But Ho! Some of you say that a dollar isn’t a dollar anymore, it’s more like fifty cents, or even less, and that’s possibly true. 

But yuh know what my brethren, the money isn’t as important as the fact that we’re alive. Our pictures and eulogies aren’t in the obituaries, and that’s much more important than the money we might make today. 

We’re alive and have the ability to do lots of good stuff in God’s name. And if by chance we aren’t kicking as strongly as we like, then we can always turn to our heavenly Father for help. 

And here’s a good prayer that reflects our problem. I got it from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals. It simply says: ‘Father, at this moment, I turn to You for strength in my weakness, energy for my weariness, and faith in my doubt.’ 

Simple and straight to the point my people. And if you are sincere, the Lord, who gives liberally to all who ask in faith, will shower you with His blessings until you are kicking mightily. (smile) 

Now, without further ado, let’s turn to our Bit, taken from what’s called Bruh Paul’s last testament, in his second letter to his protégé Timothy. And to keep everything in context, we’ll just do it all at once. 

‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith. 

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, there is so much stuff in those verses that still pertain to us. Let’s check them out. First of all, we all will die someday. And a lot of us shy away from talk of death, but it’s the only sure thing in this crazy world, even surer than taxes. (smile) 

And blessedly, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we have a great time to look forward to. But when that time comes, will be ready to meet our Heavenly Father on the other side of the great divide with strong faith and trust; eagerly expectant for what’s over there, gladly shuffling off this rough and difficult mortal coil? 

Or will be afraid and anxious, devoid of or with little faith, not knowing, or rather believing what Jesus promised. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 

In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Ah friends, that’s the basic premise of our faith; belief in Jesus Christ! And if we aren’t ready when the time comes to depart, then obviously we won’t be able to say as proudly and confidently as Bruh Paul says in our Bit: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

And we desperately and definitely need to be able to say that at the day of reckoning! You can’t fight a good fight in Jesus’ name if you don’t truly believe all He’s said, because that belief and faith is what makes you strong, keeps you ticking, has you eager to do His will. 

Consequently, there might not be a crown of righteousness laid up for you on that judgement day. That’s why we all need strong faith, and that only comes by diligently reading and meditating on God’s Word, through regular fellowship and constant prayer. 

So if we are neglecting any of those things, our faith will definitely not grow to the point that we can fight a good fight, and run a strong race, and thus attain that crown of righteousness which is laid up in heaven for all those who surely and steadfastly anchor themselves in the Word and work of God. 

Now please don’t get discouraged if your personal situation doesn’t line up with what we’ve said, because it can always be changed, preferably right now, by going to the Father and asking for strength, guidance and direction to run a good race in His name. 

Remember while there is life, there’s ALWAYS hope. But we’re never sure when life will end, so we have to do what we need to do as soon as possible. Now let’s go home with joy and passion, proudly and boldly declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

All together now, in strong voice and perfect harmony: ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, tomorrow we might see our name in the obits, (smile) but we have God’s gift of today, so please let’s enjoy it and go out and do our best to make a positive difference in this mish mash world we live in. For that’s what is expected of us, true believers. Much LOVE!

…winning races…needs strong faith and endurance…which can only be acquired through Almighty God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2015 Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11.   For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope). 

Well a good Monday morning to you all, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! Now I know that some of you are probably a bit under the weather, and are finding life rough down here on earth, but I doubt that many, if any of us are ready to check out and head for heaven, despite all the wonderful stuff that’s waiting there for us. (smile) 

We humans are something else yes; we complain vociferously about our life on earth, but nobody wants to check out the alternative just yet, because deep down we’re afraid, still not sure of what exists after this earthly life. 

So, since in our small-mindedness, we refuse to see through our eyes of faith and instead choose to stay with what we can see and touch, Mother Earth, then let’s stop complaining about our earthly lives, and do whatever it will take to make them better. We’re talking about things like going out to work this morning with a positive attitude and strong purpose, with our minds steadfastly focused on Jesus. 

And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn as though we mean it. As one fantastic choir 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 was good, heaven was pleased, but not good enough to deserve a standing ‘O’ and an encore. (smile) And to further help us with our earthly endeavours this Monday morning, we’ve been directed to a Bit that’s well known and full of promise, words of Almighty God spoken by the prophet Jeremiah.

‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ Oh my people, my people, what a wonderful promise! 

And if we sincerely believe that our God is ever-faithful, then that should fill us with such joy and enthusiasm that we’d come out fighting each and every day. We wouldn’t be miserable, anxious and doubting, because then we’d truly feel that the Lord has our back, come whatever may. But it’s obvious that we don’t feel that strongly about it at all, since we are allowing the fears and anxieties of this world to determine our moods and attitudes.  

Now we know it’s not going to be easy, but with true belief and strong faith in the awesome power of our God, we are certainly able to do much better than we’re currently doing. Remember too, that we also have this awesome promise via the words of Bruh Paul to the Romans. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Yes my fellow believers, God is indeed working all things out for those whom He has called and who LOVE Him. And they are best able to appreciate God’s purpose because they LOVE Him come what may, regardless of whatever happens. So if God has called us, and we LOVE Him, then there should be no doubts or insecurities re His intentions towards us. 

And all this is further enhanced and solidified by Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it (keep doing it) until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) 

Yes Friends, God will not stop working His good work in us until Jesus comes again. Then and only then will it be completed, finished. Until such time we have to keep on moving along with the Lord, strong in faith, diligence, integrity and excellence. 

The scholars state it thus. ‘This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned or unrealized.’  

Have faith my brethren, for that also applies to us. The Lord had a purpose when He saved us, and that purpose will be carried out to the very end, that is, the Second Coming of Jesus in all His regal majesty, as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! Oh Glory to God for His wonderful promises, plans and purposes for our lives! 

Now, with all that godly power working in us, let’s go out into the evil world and fight a good fight in Jesus’ name. Amen! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus called you…and you truly LOVE Him…then there’s no need to worry about anything…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2015 Jeremiah 31:33

Jeremiah 31:33   But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts (mind), and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Well my brethren it’s the first day of the week, Sunday! And we all know what that means? It’s time to get ourselves out to God’s sanctuary, whether it’s a big cathedral, a secret basement hiding from persecution, or simply in the open air, under the blues skies of heaven. And there, in whatever physical space we’re located, however large or small our numbers, we praise and worship Him as one body; that of Christ’s church. 

Remember Jesus promised ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20)  And He is indeed a faithful keeper of His promises. So Friends, it’s time once again to renew the strength, faith, encouragement and passion for Jesus that we get when we come together to sing and praise Him in all sincerity and truth. 

It gives us the spiritual wherewithal we need in the upcoming week to face the evil world in which we dwell, and fight a good fight of faith for Jesus. Without God’s grace propelling us on my people, we will just be sitting ducks for Lucifer, since we are unable to do very much in our own frail human strength. 

And before we go any further, let me remind us of two things – I think it’s time to trot them out again. (smile) The first is that ‘The Bible is God’s word to us; still fresh through all the ages. And if we read it, we will find God’s wisdom on its pages.’ It’s hard to argue with that eternal truth my brethren. 

But how will we ever know what it says and gain the wisdom it details eh, when in too many cases God’s Word simply sits collecting dust somewhere in our homes; that is if we own a Bible at all? 

And the second revelation is that ‘One truth from the Bible is worth more than all the wisdom of man.’ And there’s simply no disputing that indisputable truth, (smile) although many try to and fail miserably! 

But the point I’m trying to make is that we definitely need to do more Bible reading my fellow believers. And not simply reading, but more like studying and meditating, so that the Word of God can filter into our innermost beings and raise the level of our faith in and knowledge of God, two things we desperately need to live successfully down here on planet earth. 

And all that rambling eventually brings us to our Bit. (smile) ‘But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts (mind), and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ 

Ah Friends, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! Here the prophet Jeremiah is declaring to the Israelites that God was going to make a new agreement with them to replace the old one made at Mt. Sinai, when Moses received the law on tablets of stone. However, this time, the law would not be written on stone tablets but in their hearts, so that everyone could know and reckon individually with Jehovah God. This will be the biggest and the best covenant; the one that will last for all time.  

And as the scholars explain: ‘the new covenant assimilates the elements of the promises made to Abraham and channeled with progressive light through David, and brings them to full realization. Thus the final blessing of Abraham’s seed will find fruition in Israel’s possession of the Promised Land in perpetuity under the rulership of Christ, the Greater Son of David, the Seed par excellence. 

Further, by faith in Christ, Gentile believers also become the spiritual seed of Abraham and members of the family of God. Although the new covenant is now operative, and is attended by the ministry of the Holy Spirit who is resident in believers’ lives, the full realization of the new covenant, as the capstone of all covenants, awaits the second coming of Christ. 

He will give to Israel the promises distinctive to that nation, and will rule over the earth in an unprecedented period of universal peace, prosperity, and the full knowledge of the abiding presence of God’ 

Yes my people, that new covenant now just awaits Jesus’ second coming for it to be fully realized. Aren’t you grateful for all that? We surely ought to be. Note I didn’t mention any references in the scholars explanations because there just too many, and I know that most people would not check them out anyway. (smile) But a lot of it you can find on your own, if you are interested, through diligent checking, studying and meditating on the Word. 

And we’ll continue with the verse after our Bit. ‘And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.’ (Jer.31:34) 

And all God’s people loudly and boldly declared: Oh what a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship!’ That’s for certain sure my brethren! 

Oh Friends, there’s no other deity who is as interested in the lives and welfare of His people like Almighty God, and who wants everyone to come to salvation and eternal life through faith in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And it’s all so wonderful that I just want to stand up, jump and shout for joy! (smile) 

Yes Friends, Christians ought to be the happiest and most joyful people on planet earth, given all the stuff; the promises, the grace, the mercy, forgiveness, compassion and unconditional LOVE that the Most High God has for us. Wow! 

So please let’s show that joy nuh through the way we talk and live our lives, so that we can encourage others to come to Jesus and be born again into a new spiritual life. That is the epitome of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…truly following Jesus…transforms our hard hearts of stone…into soft ones of flesh…like His…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2014 Psalm 5:3

Psalm 5:3.     My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, what an awesome, amazing and incomparable God we serve and worship!
 
And recognizing the indisputable truth of that statement, all God’s people at once responded with a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord God Jehovah! For He is truly mighty, and indeed worthy of our reverence and worship!’ 
 
And I know that because of the fastness, the curiosity, your natural inquisitiveness, (smile) you’re wondering what brought on that beautiful burst of adoration. Well nothing more than His LOVING-kindness and faithfulness!
 
A short while ago, as I was getting ready to write the Bit and pondering what to put in the preamble, I opened a desk drawer looking for paper, and lo and behold, I came upon this Christmas tract put out by Sally Anne (the Salvation Army), and right at the end was this short but beautiful poem that touched me, and I immediately knew that I had to share it with you. 
 
A title isn’t listed, but the author’s name is Christina G Rosetti. The poem is printed above what looks like a charcoal drawing or dark picture on a white background, of a new born babe peacefully lying in a bassinet made of reeds or some other fibrous material that can be plaited together, with the mother sitting on the left side, while the father kneels on the right, both tenderly and LOVINGLY gazing down at their new bundle of joy, much like how Mary and Joseph must have gazed down at baby Jesus with wonder and LOVE. (smile)
 
And having set the scene, this is what the poem says: ‘What can I give Him, Poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would give Him a lamb; If I were a wise man, I would do my part. But what can I give Him – I give Him my heart.’
 
Oh mih people, there’s no better gift that we can give to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, than our hearts; the very lifeblood of our souls! In fact, that’s all he ever asks of us. As He so generously offers in Revelation. ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ (Rev.3:20)
 
What an invitation, Friends! It’s the door to our hearts that Jesus is knocking on! How can we ever refuse to open it eh? For it’s the BEST INVITATION THERE IS!
 
Sadly though, millions of people around the globe are indeed refusing it every day. How unwise and foolish of them! Instead they are accepting Lucifer’s deceitful invite to sample the evil things of the world and the ungodly lusts of the flesh. But that’s a story for another day, so let me leave it alone, before I get carried away. (smile)
 
Let’s belatedly turn to our Bit; a glowing proclamation and testimonial of Bruh David, from his prayer for protection. ‘My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.’
 
Again my people, once we’ve given our hearts to Jesus, that is the BEST ACTION we can take at the beginning of each and every day!
 
Why? Because it gets our day off on the right foot, gives us a positive start. We get infused with strength and guidance from the Holy Spirit right from the get go, before the wily Beelzebub can get into our consciousness with his negativity and have us all tied up in knots, with doubts, fear, anger and self-pity.
 
That is why my people, it’s ever so important that the first set of clothes we put on every day is our battle dress, our suit of spiritual armour. As Bruh Paul told the Ephesians. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.’ (Eph.6:11)
 
And the scholars define that verse thus: ‘6:11. Put on (Greek ingressive aorist imperative) denotes a sense of urgency, demanding immediate action. To stand has military overtones. This verb was used in classical Greek meaning to resist the enemy and hold a critical position in battle. The wiles of the devil (or, “the Devil’s strategy”): Satan carefully devises schemes and tactics against believers.’
 
And is that ever the disgusting truth my brethren! And for those of you who don’t know or are too lazy to read it, the description of the spiritual suit of armour is found in Ephesians 6:13-18.
 
But I spoil you all so much, (smile) that I’m going to give you a brief description of what they are: the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the sandals of peace, the shield of faith, and the mighty sword of the Spirit, the omnipotent Word of God.
 
Oh Friends, I’m so excited and enthused and chuckling as I write this Bit, that I’m not sure if I’m on course or not. And the truth is, I really don’t care, because I know that it will turn out all right… no, not just all right, but most excellent, through the Lord’s guidance and help. So how can I not praise and serve and worship and LOVE Him eh?
 
Ah Friends, that is what happens when you get caught up in the excitement of Jesus!
 
But yuh know what mih breddren? I think we’ve run out of space and time for today. (smile) But we’ll close with the definitive statement on prayer that totally supports our Bit.
 
And as we like to do whenever possible, it’s from none other than our Master, Jesus. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) 
 
Immortal words of awesome truth and wisdom Friends, straight from the author of all truth and wisdom! We certainly can’t do any better than that. So please, from henceforth, let’s begin each day with prayer nuh.
 
And it doesn’t have to be anything lengthy, just acknowledging that the Lord is the strength and joy of our life and that during the ensuing day, we’ll try to walk and talk and be obedient to His holy will, be worthy of being called His child. By so doing, right from the outset, we’ll be filled with strength, truth and wisdom, spiritually enabled to fight a good fight in Jesus’ name, each and every day.
 
Oh my fellow believers, that’s such tremendous wisdom, that I don’t even know how to categorize it! (smile) It’s surely been a smiley day, but that’s a great medicine for anything that ails us, and besides it’s also the cheapest. Much LOVE!
 
…there’s no greater power in this world…than sincere prayer…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 November 2013 Genesis 18:10.

Genesis 18:10.     And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
 
Aye mih Friends, is Monday morning! Wow! And all God’s people are joyously singing, ‘TGIM! Thank God is Monday! TGIM! Thank God is Monday! What a joyful day!’
 
Yes my people, it is Monday, and it is indeed a joyful day! In fact every day we open our eyes in God’s beautiful universe ought to be a joyful day, for it’s in the joy of the Lord that our strength lies. (Neh.8:10)
 
And I know that some of us still have that bad Monday morning attitude – blue and miserable and tired – an ungodly attitude which sadly permeates our modern world, and consequently drags it down. But don’t worry my brethren, never fear, our great God is in control, and slowly but surely He will turn the tide in our favour.
 
Anyway, to help us get with it this mid-November morning, let’s joyfully sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one now, let’s allow our beautiful voices to soar in prayer, praise and thanksgiving to the high heaven. 
 
‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour.
 
We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
Oh mih people, that was magnificent! All heaven was accompanying us, Jesus was rocking, and the Father was tapping His feet in time to the groovy riddim! And since the Lord has granted all our requests – His Spirit is now moving and grooving in us – let’s then go out and do what we have promised, do our bounden duty, fight a good fight in Jesus’ name. 
 
And speaking of promises, listen to this awesome one from our Bit, made, or rather reiterated by our God to Abraham, when the three angels visited him. (Gen.18:1-9) ‘And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.’
 
And why should we consider that such an awesome promise? We’ll let the Good Book explain. ‘Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of woman (Sarah had passed child-bearing age). Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed (grown) old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
 
And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.’ (Gen.18:11-15)
 
Oh Friends, what a moving bit of Scripture! Now here’s what the scholars have to say, re that most memorable occasion. ’18:1-15. The three men who appeared to Abraham were the preincarnate Christ (Yahweh) and two angels (v.22; 19:1) Here we find an example, not only of “entertaining angels unawares” (Heb.13:2), but also of God becoming the guest of one of His saints (cf. John 14:23; Rev.3:20).
 
Sarah laughed within herself either because she did not know of the promise of 17:19 or because she was unconvinced it would be fulfilled. In either case, one of the three men was now clearly identified as Yahweh, who knew Sarah’s thoughts.’
 
Now some of you might find all that somewhat controversial, but if you’ll notice vs.13 says;  ‘And the Lord,’ and vs.14 continues that trend: ‘Is there anything too hard for the Lord?’ And in vs.15, it shows that the man speaking, must have read Sara’s thoughts, since she had not laughed aloud. Do angels read minds? I don’t know.
 
But to get a little deeper on that topic, let’s go back to some notes the scholars have on Chapter 16, when the angel speaks to Hagar at the well after she ran away from Sarai.
 
’16:7. In the Old Testament, and angel identified as the “angel of the Lord” (v.7), the “angel of God” (21:17), the “angel of his presence” (Is.63:9), and the “messenger of the covenant” (Mal.3:1) appeared to individuals. A closer look at the context of His appearances reveals that He is more than another angel. He is God. The expression usually signifies a preincarnate appearance of Christ, and is sometimes called a “Christophany,” meaning the visible and bodily manifestation of God the Son before His incarnation.
 
Illustration: That He is not merely another angel is evident in those appearances where He is called God. This was recognized by Hagar (v.13), Abraham (22:14), Moses (Ex.3:14), Gideon (Judg. 6:22), and Manoah (Judg.13:18, 22). The expression is also used of men, but on such occasions is translated “the Lord’s messenger” (Hag. 1:13).
 
Application: The Angel of the Lord no longer appears to men today, since God has commissioned Christians to be His messengers to the world. (First Ref. and Primary Ref; Gen.6:17.)’  
 
And there we have it Friends; the argument for “Christophany.” But before we make any decisions, for or against it, please let’s check out all the references.
 
Now we’ll end today with a little Christian ditty that I hear every so often on the radio. I heard it last night and it just seemed so appropriate for today’s ending.
 
A young lady is singing quietly, but with feeling: ‘If God be for you, who can be against you? Let God be God. Let God be God, in your life.’
 
And that my fellow believers is divine truth and wisdom. So let’s ponder and digest what we’ve read today, then simply let God be God in our lives. That’s the way He desires it. Much LOVE!
 
…we can’t be really in tune with God…unless and until we truly surrender our lives to Him…thereby giving Him full control… 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2013 John 13:35

John 13:35.    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one for another.
 
Oh Friends, through the eternal LOVING-kindness of our heavenly Father, we’ve been granted another day on planet earth, with all its new mercies, blessings, and forgiveness! Wow!
 
And it plans to be either a bright, scorching hot summer’s day, or a hot rainy one, to kick off the last long summer weekend of this year, which culminates on Labour Day on Monday.
 
I’ve said that it could either be sunny or rainy because I’ve seen and heard forecasts for both types of weather. We definitely have to say some prayers for the poor weather forecasters yes, for their job was hard and unrewarding enough before, but now with the changing weather patterns that are devastating our world, it becomes an even more impossible task.
 
But Friends, be the day sunny or grey, it’s still Friday…
 
And that obviously brings forth joyful shouts from tired workers. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday again yes! We’ve been working hard all week, and with this long Labour Day weekend on tap… Mama yo! We going to party down the place like we crazy!’
 
Oh mih breddren, please take care, we can’t let it all hang out like that, for remember the evil one is out there prowling, just trolling for defenceless victims, like the true predator that he is. And it’s in these throw down, anything goes party times that he catches us napping and very vulnerable to his wiles and lies.
 
So here’s Granny’s perennial warning, that most of us don’t like because we feel it inhibits us, but which we certainly cannot afford to set aside. ‘Son, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And that’s a most essential warning for this weekend my beautiful friends in Christ!
 
Now to tone down the party-hearty attitude somewhat, not to kill it completely, and thus get things in their right perspective, let’s chant our Friday Chant, with extra special emphasis for this long and dangerous Labour Day weekend.
 
All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Yeh Friends, we definitely need to handle this weekend with a modicum of circumspection and prevention! And please, let’s wear our spiritual armour all the time! Don’t leave home without it! (smile) Because that’s the only way we can fight a good fight when the enemy calls us out to do battle.
 
And all that we do this day my people, please, pretty please, let’s do it with feelings and actions of LOVE nuh. For as Jesus tells us in our Bit: ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one for another.’
 
And I know that we all desperately want to be true disciples of Christ… but we aren’t ever going to be, if we’re not dealing in that wonderful emotion termed LOVE, the exciting, titivating and Christ-like attribute that makes the world go round.
 
Awright Friends, so I’m laying it on a bit thick, (smile) but isn’t that what LOVE is supposed be all about? But anyway, enough with the dilly-dallying, let’s get to the rest of the scriptures I promised yesterday.
 
And we’re going to begin with John, from his first epistle, re tests of true knowledge and LOVE, where he wisely declares: ‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
 
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6)
 
Yes Friends, that’s the conundrum many of us face. We claim to know Jesus, but we don’t keep His commandments, or walk as He walked here on earth, humble and LOVING, so therefore we’re liars and only fooling ourselves and each other.
 
And Bruh Paul had this to say to the Thessalonians: ‘But as touching brotherly LOVE ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to LOVE one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;’ (1 Thess.4:9-10)
 
He didn’t need to teach them the rudiments of brotherly LOVE, because Christ Himself, through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit plus hearing of the Word had taught them that. And furthermore they were doing a good job of showing it towards the believers throughout all Macedonia.
 
What Bruh Paul expected of them was that they continually increased in the showing of that brotherly LOVE! 
 
AND MY PEOPLE, THE VERY SAME THING IS EXPECTED OF US TODAY!
 
Please note I put it in capitals and also highlighted it, because it’s very important that we understand the pre-eminent position that walking in LOVE plays in our discipleship of Christ, especially in these very trying and dangerous times. 
 
And since we have many more advantages and opportunities than the Thessalonians had, why can’t we, or aren’t we doing a better job than them of showing brotherly LOVE eh? Why are so many millions of people still suffering sickness, poverty, hunger and oppression all over God’s great earth eh? Possibly because we’re still too caught up in the selfish ways and material things of the world.
 
But if that’s so, then Friends, we’re not doing what Jesus expects of us, we’re not showing that we’re His true disciples. In fact we’re being more His dire enemies, because we’re turning others away from Him by our selfish, worldly ways.
 
And we’ll end with some of Cousin Sol’s wise words from his Song. And though in this particular instance, it pertains more to romantic than brotherly LOVE, it truly shows the power of ALL and ANY kind of real LOVE. Listen up now my brethren.
 
‘Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for LOVE is strong as death; jealousy is cruel (hard, severe) as the grave: the coals (flames) thereof are coals (flames) of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
 
Many waters cannot quench LOVE, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance (wealth) of his house for LOVE, it would be utterly contemned (despised).’ (Song 8:6-7)
 
Now this is what the scholars have to say about those two verses: ‘These verses are clearly the climax of the story. The maiden describes in the most vivid terms the unquenchable nature of true LOVE: it cannot be destroyed by death or the grave; it burns like a blazing fire that cannot be extinguished; and it cannot be bought.’
 
And that my fellow believers in Christ is everlasting truth! True LOVE cannot be bought or extinguished!
 
Let’s ponder on that today nuh, and see if we can’t improve on our own LOVE-walk, because then, and only then, will we be true disciples of Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!
 
…and his banner over me was…LOVE… (Song 2:4b)
 
        
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2013 Luke 18:14

Luke 18:14.    I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Monday once again, time to get ready for a new week of work! And though by nature, mankind is lazy and likes to procrastinate, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have the responsibility to get up and get things done in His name.
 
That’s why on Mondays we shouldn’t be miserable and complain about having to go to work, but be happy that we have the opportunity to get out and fight a good fight for Jesus; a fight that will consequently have lost souls falling at His feet in repentance, seeking mercy and salvation.
 
Now let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, in full voice, with purposed hearts, to energize our selves and get us ready to face the wicked and godless world that awaits us.
 
All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.
 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’
 
That certainly was a most hearty rendition my people! All heaven was pleased. Now let’s check out our Bit. ‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’
 
Yes my brethren, today we’re again going to look at two major problems in our society, foolish pride and false exaltation. Now the world places great emphasis on our physical attributes, achievements, power and social status, but Jesus teaches the greater benefits to be had from the virtue of humility. That’s because a humble spirit is one of the most important principles in God’s realm. We cannot come before Him without a humble and contrite spirit.
 
Note what Jesus said about the Pharisee and the publican in our Bit. The former, who exhibited a proud and arrogant spirit, would be abased, cast down from his haughty heights, while the latter with a genuinely humble heart, though a corrupt sinner, would be exalted, simply because of his contrition.
 
Ah mih people, it’s the very same lesson that Jesus taught in the parable of the wedding feast. (Luke 14:7-14) There He tells us that when we’re invited to a function with no specific seating arrangements, don’t run up to the front, or the place that is the most visible, where you can be seen by everyone and have them think that you’re so important.
 
But rather, stay in the background, find a seat that’s not so visible, so that when the host or hostess comes and sees you sitting in that lowly position, they will move you up, exalt you to a higher position and chase one of those self-important, social status seekers, who had proudly vaulted himself, down to your position. ‘For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased (humbled); and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ (Luke 14:11) And Jesus says the same thing again when He denounces the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:12.
 
Oh my brethren, how many times does Jesus have to repeat that all important principle for us to accept it and actually put it into practice eh? Remember we can’t be straddling the fence, having one foot in the ungodly world and one in the divine realm. It has to be both feet in one or the other.
 
Yes, we do have to be IN the world to see and know what’s happening and help to make it right, but we cannot be OF the world, advancing its immorality, ungodliness and evil practices. And with our sinful human nature, that’s not always easy to do, but with a conscious decision, serious determination, the help of the Holy Spirit and our continued concentration on the things of God, we can do a fantastic job.
 
And we have time and space for one scripture that also reminds us of the immeasurable value of humility in God’s arena. It comes from Job, when his good buddy Eliphaz was lambasting him for his supposed sins. And though Eliphaz was on the wrong track in particular with Job, in general, he had the right idea, as he tells him. ‘When men are cast down, then shalt thou say, There is lifting up (exaltation); and he shall save the humble person.’ (Job 22:29)  
 
Now Friends, that’s eternal wisdom, for wherever and whenever men are abased for their proud, haughty behaviour, they can yet be exalted by our merciful God of second chances with the proper contrition. So please let’s embrace it and go out and fight a good fight in Jesus’ name today, well suited up in our spiritual armour plus all the other necessities of war. Much LOVE!
 
…if we truly LOVE Jesus…then we’ll do our very best to fulfill His desires…