Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 September 2022 John 8:42a.

John 8:42a.        If God were your Father, ye would LOVE me:

It’s Tuesday, another glorious late summer’s day… and we’re still around. Thank the Lord! And you know what that means? We still have work to do down here in God’s great plan for our lives. So please, let’s get ourselves together and do what we need to do, be it big or small, significant or insignificant in our sight, because every little cog is important in God’s eyes and plans. 

And that goes sort of double for me this morning, because I was very late to bed and thus was somewhat tardy in rising, (smile) and then some other things got in the way, as things always do when you’re late and behind schedule, so I’m only now, almost noon, getting to writing the Bit. But even in that unfortunate circumstance, there are a couple lessons to be learnt; like get to bed early if you want to get up early, and give yourself some extra time to do the unlikely things that are likely to happen every day. And all God’s people, said a loud and sincere ‘Lesson learnt!’ (smile) 

Ah friends, there are so many lessons for us to learn, especially in these grievous times, these times of so many unexpected storms, both literal and figurative. But unfortunately, we don’t seem to be learning them at all, because we’re still exhibiting the ungodly, angry and divisive actions that have brought us to this desperate point. One would think that because we’re the Lord’s most magnificent creation, with minds capable of wisdom, understanding and reason, that we’d wake up and realize that continual division and dissension would only breed further disillusionment, anger, hate and warfare amongst brothers and sisters, all creations of the One True God Jehovah. 

But it seems like our selfish, warlike human nature has taken over, while wisdom, understanding and reason have conveniently fled the coop. In other words, the enemy is winning this current round of warfare; ungodliness is trumping godliness. And we all know that’s just a recipe for total disaster and destruction! For all the enemy does is come to steal, to kill and destroy, to reap havoc amongst God’s people. No wonder Jesus berated the Pharisees thus, when they spoke of God being their Father. 

‘If God were your Father, ye would LOVE me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts (desires) of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode (stands) not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own (from his own nature): for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.’ (John 8:42-45) 

Yes friends, the devil, the author of lies and deceit is still around today and is even more powerful than ever, as the great turmoil engulfing our world readily shows. That turmoil can only be the work of the enemy, not of God. For God does not deal in such upheaval and deceit. He is not a warmonger like the enemy. That simply means we are listening to the devil more than we are listening to God. 

And John corroborates this in his first epistle, when he writes: ‘He that committeth (practices) sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit (practice) sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that LOVETH not his brother.’ (1 John 3:8-10) 

Now what does all of the mean? The scholars tell us that ‘John is not speaking of sinless perfection (see 1:8,10; 2:2). He speaks here of habitual practice of known sinful acts. The true believer’s actions will conform to the character of his true father, either God or Satan. The person born of God will reflect this in his behaviour.’ And furthermore, ‘For John, a mere “profession of faith” in Christ was insufficient if not accompanied by the outward marks of divine parentage.’ And on top of that, ‘He links LOVE for other Christians closely with righteous living. (see John 13:35) 

Yes, we all know that scripture, or ought to know it, and have it stenciled indelibly in our hearts, souls and minds. For they are the defining words of a true disciple of Christ, as He said it. ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples; if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:35) But it’s oh so obvious by the ungodly turmoil in our world that LOVE for each other is not paramount amongst our concerns, but rather the things of the devil; hate, anger, deceit, lies and unnecessary destruction. 

Instead of building, we seem bent on destroying what has taken us so long to build. It’s rather unfortunate that what has taken years, even centuries to build, can be totally destroyed in the blink of an eye. And that’s what the human animal seems hell bent on doing in these turbulent and ungodly times. The devil must be in his glee with all the destructive stuff that’s happening these days. 

But yuh know what my faithful brethren, we need to totally realize and fully believe that good is more powerful than evil, and LOVE than hate. And don’t think the devil doesn’t know that, he knows it better than us, that’s why he’s fighting tooth and nail to have our sinful natures come to the forefront and not our godly ones. 

So what’s the answer? Believers have to come together and show that we are true disciples of Christ, by LOVING each other, and working together to build Christ’s kingdom, instead of working against each other and thus tearing it down like the devil desires. 

Jesus said it this way. ‘But I say unto you which hear, LOVE your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you.’ (Luke 6:27-28) And Bruh Paul put it even simpler than that: ‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:21) And that my fellow saints in Christ should be our simple motto for these trying and troubled times, because LOVE indeed makes the world go round! 

So, for those of us who are truly trying to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) 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!’ 

And having made that commitment, lets’ now go out and share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with all those we meet, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…the most powerful weapon…LOVE…but it must be used…if it is to work… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 January 2017 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).

Ah friends, it’s another Monday, but not another working Monday for many of our friends in the U.S. of A, as they are celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. 

It’s nice to have a holiday named after him, but what difference it’s going to make is another subject, especially with the seemingly divisive actions being pursued by the incoming President-elect, Donald Trump. But we won’t get into that, because by the weekend we’ll have a much better grasp on the situation when he’s inaugurated. 

Meanwhile, plenty of us have to go out and labour so that the big-wigs can cash their kingly cheques, so let’s get ourselves together and sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn that helps us to labour in LOVE and peace. 

As one 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 was good friends and Jesus was pleased. But obviously the U.S. family was singing the loudest and heartiest as they relaxed in the comfort of their homes. (smile) Let us not envy them their day of relaxation though, as we have to carry the load today, working righteously for Jesus. 

And we are certainly encouraged in that endeavour by our Bit, one of the most popular verses in all Scripture: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).’ 

Yes my people, those are some of the most encouraging words one can ever read. Simply because they mean that our wonderful God is continually acting like a shepherd in our lives; guarding us from harm and providing us with whatever we need. 

As the Lord’s Prayer says: ‘Give us this day, our daily bread.’ And that’s exactly what our heavenly Father does, each and every day of our earthly lives. 

Now let’s continue looking at the remaining verses of that awesome psalm. Yesterday we stopped at the promise that even when we’re in the dire depths of death and evil, we will not be afraid, because our God, again shepherd-like, will be right there with us, fighting tooth and nail on our behalf. 

And if you think all of that was too good to be true, listen to these remarkable words of Bruh David as he continues his story. ‘Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.’ (Ps.23:5) 

Wow! How bold and daring and confident is our God, to prepare a table of good things for us in the midst of our enemies! And to further His good office, He also anoints us with oil. That’s a sacred blessing that only a few people received in the Old Testament days, but it meant a lot, like when Aaron was anointed as the high priest. (Ps.133:2) 

And the last verse confidently declares: ‘Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:6) 

Oh friends, oh friends, what a glorious ending to following the Lord God Jehovah eh! His goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives, and we shall dwell with Him forever. 

Oh my, oh my, I can’t withhold the excitement and assurance those words provoke in my soul! So again friends, I’m asking us to sit down and ponder the wonderful benefits that can emanate from following the Lord Jesus Christ! If you don’t, you’ll be doing yourself a very serious injustice. Much LOVE!

…wonder of wonders…the name of Jesus proclaims…in every area of our lives…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2016 Matthew 18:3

Matthew 18:3.    And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 Oh friends, it’s a glorious Saturday morning on God’s wonderful earth! So like children, let’s take some time out to play nuh. Playing is a wholesome, healthy and hearty retreat from the pressures of this world. 

Remember what Jesus said when the disciples refused to let the children come to Him? ‘Suffer (allow the) little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt.19:14)  

Yeh friends, heaven is made up of simple, trusting, innocent people with child-like faith. So to keep our minds and bodies in a healthy state, sometimes, especially on beautiful days like these, we just need to let all our cares, worries and anxieties go and just play like innocent children. 

You’d be surprised how refreshed and renewed our souls, minds and bodies would be with a little mindless, free spirited playing. Believe me people, we all need to have some regular playtime in our lives. This evil, stressful, dangerous and angry world calls for it. 

Otherwise, it wouldn’t be long before we go stark raving bonkers, holding all the stress and tension that this world generates inside of us. Our bodies were not made to bear a whole lot of negative emotions, but positive ones. You see how quickly they deteriorate when they are consumed by too much negativity. 

So please, let’s lighten up some, and don’t try to take on all the worries of the world on our frail and mortal shoulders. Our Creator doesn’t seem overly worried, so why should we be, especially if we sincerely believe that He is in control of the universe He created?  

Now here is a little tidbit from our friend Anselm, who always tries to inspire us to reach for a better tomorrow. He says that ‘Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren! It’s simple, straightforward logic. You will accomplish more if you control what you can, instead of selfishly trying to control what you can’t. But that’s a regular pattern of life with many of us, as the crazy, selfish world we live in sets us that example.  

Just look at how our world is populated with control freaks; those who want to control everything and everyone, and fighting tooth and nail to do so. Meanwhile, if they would just concentrate on those things they do have power over, their lives would be so much happier and longer. 

That brings us to our Bit, where Jesus explains greatness to the disciples by calling a child to Him and setting him in the middle of the crowd: ‘And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ 

There we have Jesus again referring to the importance of a child-like nature. And He continues: ‘Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones (cause them to sin) which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offenses (enticements to sin)! For it needs be that offenses come; but woe to the man by whom the offense cometh.’  (Matt.18:4-7) 

And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘18:1-7. The dispute over who is the greatest was settled by Jesus’ emphasis that it was the one who was willing to forgive the most! 

Be converted means a “turning” of one’s whole life and person toward God. This is the true biblical picture of conversion. It is far more than mental acknowledgement of the truth or intellectual assent to certain ideas. 

To become as little children means to be born again (converted) as a newborn spiritual child, characterized by faith and humility. The little child represents a new convert or young believer. To receive such a fellow believer is to welcome Christ Himself. Therefore the basis of true Christian fellowship is established in Christ Himself. 

Offenses are viewed as a reality that must be accepted in the present world, but woe (the prophetic condemnation to death) to the one who is the source of the offense. A millstone is literally an “ass-stone,” or a large grindstone turned by an ass.’  

So you see my people, to enter heaven we must humble ourselves and have faith like a young child. And beware, if we cause one of these young children, the new spiritual converts to sin, then we’re surely in for a rough time; ‘woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.’  It would be like dissing and demeaning Jesus Himself. 

And Jesus ends that section with this warning. ‘Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.18:10)  

And the scholars tell us: ‘Just as temptation arises from within, so does offending others and being offended. The reference to their angels (v.10) supports the idea of individual guardian angels for believers (see Heb.1:14). Salvation is not just a privilege to be enjoyed by a select few, but it is also to be shared with the lost, so that they too can be saved.’ 

Now friends, today as we play and pray, let us ponder how all that we’ve said pertains to us nuh. Are we causing others of less faith to sin, are we hogging salvation and not sharing it with others, are we being humble and faithful? Those are multi-million dollar questions my brethren, but questions only the individual can answer, before a just but kind and merciful God. 

It’s therefore imperative that we take stock of ourselves now and make whatever amends are necessary, so that that “ass-stone’ is not hung around our necks and we be deposited in the deep. Wisdom is desperately calling for that my people! Much LOVE!

…the open door to heaven calls for…innocent, child-like surrender, trust, faith and humility…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2016 Philippians 2:5‏‏‏

Philippians 2:5.        Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.

Well friends and neighbours, it’s Thursday, the second day of Lent in this watershed year of 2016. Yes my people, I do believe that 2016 will be a very important year in mankind’s history; it will either make or break us. 

But even better than that my people, the world is unfurling exactly as it should; exactly as the script was penned by our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God, many many moons ago. Glory to God! 

And so it should be, because the Almighty is the greatest dramatist ever! The Bible, right from the beginning in Genesis, to the very end in Revelation, is filled with all kinds of drama; good, bad and ugly, so we couldn’t want for a better script to show us how life runs, or is supposed to run. 

And today I want to share a li’l bit of solid info from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. Listen up: ‘The Bible makes it very clear that Christians are soldiers – not tourists in life. We are also servants of God, not houseguests.’ 

Yes friends, for those of us who believe we’re just here to enjoy life without any work or effort on our part, please be warned that that is not so! 

We have a big role to play in setting up Christ’s church, fighting tooth and nail to make the LOVE Revolution a wonderful and winning reality. And as such, we can’t afford to sit on our laurels and expect to be waited on hand and foot, instead, we have to do a lot of the waiting ourselves. 

Now pray this prayer with me that Gramps Schuller finishes the devotion with. ‘Father, I turn these minutes over to you. Do something beautiful in my mind, in my heart, and in my life today. So I will look back and say: “I was caught up on an inspiring spirit of the eternal God in this moment of prayer.” In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen.’ 

And if we sincerely prayed that prayer my people, then beautiful things will happen in our lives today as the Holy Spirit touches us with inspiration and encouragement! Oh glory to God from whom all mercies flow! 

Now re my activities of yesterday, the ole fella played tourist. Hn! I got up in the morning and just felt this urge to visit the town of Plymouth, the island’s capital before Scarborough. It’s not too far from where I am, all on the flat side of the island, so after lunch, the duchess and I headed out to do the tourista thing. 

We drove through the villages of Buccoo, Black Rock and Grafton before we came to Plymouth. And in line with the tourist thinking, we visited Fort James, one of the several forts set up on the island by its early colonial rulers. 

On a point of interest, I believe Tobago is called the ‘Bone of Contention,’ because of the many different colonial powers who ruled it at some time in the cantankerous era of early colonialism. Anyway, from its promontory one can get a beautiful view of that part of the island. 

And not to be amiss, we also visited the ‘Mystery Tombstone,’ located just before the entrance to the fort. It has always been a talking point and tourist attraction since I was a youth. I have inserted two photos, one of the sign and one of the tomb itself. Hope they come out properly. 

But just in case they don’t, the mystery part is the inscription on the tomb that says: ‘She was a mother without knowing it, and a wife without letting her husband know it except by her kind indulgences to him.’ 

Now you too can go out and ponder the words on the tombstone of Betty Stiven which have perplexed mankind for over two centuries. (smile) 

However my brethren, it’s now time for our rather timely Bit. ‘Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’ 

And friends, as we’ve been saying over the last few days, it is of the utmost importance and a vital necessity that followers of Christ, Christians, the church, Christ’s body or organization here on earth think like Him, if we expect to become like Him! That’s gospel truth! 

And today we’ll continue with Bruh Paul’s treatise on the subject. After our Bit, he notes with assurance: ‘Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:6-8) 

Oh my people, that is exactly what we were talking about before, where Gramps Schuller informed us that we were not tourists but soldiers in Christ’s army, and not houseguests, but servants in his household. It’s what Jesus came to earth and did, despite His godly connections. 

Now here are some scholarly explanations on verse 7, re ‘Kenosis.’ ‘2:7. The word Kenosis is the Greek word for “emptying” and is related to the verb translated here as “made himself of no reputation,” which literally means “He emptied Himself.” Christ emptied Himself by (1) veiling His glory and (2) taking on Himself a true but sinless human nature, and (3) voluntarily submitting to the will of the Father. 

Illustration: At all times, Christ remained God, retaining the nature and attributes of God, but taking a human nature in order to have a ministry among men. On the few occasions when His glory was more fully revealed during His ministry, those who saw it were unable to bear it. (cf. Matt.17:6; the transfiguration; John 18:6; His betrayal by Judas and His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane). 

Application: The apostle Paul urges that the attitude of humility (which led to the kenosis) ought to characterize every Christian (v.5). (First Ref. Phil.2:7; Primary Ref. Phil.2:7; cf. John 1:14).’ 

Oh friends, this morning I want to leave us with that same advice; let’s do some kenosis nuh; let’s empty ourselves of all the haughtiness and foolish pride that so often consumes us, and let’s take on the humility of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, as we ought to. For that is indeed the zenith of wisdom. Much LOVE

…humility and servant-hood…two of the signs of a true Christian…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2015 Psalm 3:8

Psalm 3:8.     Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people.   Selah.

Aye mih people, is Thursday morning, another chilly one, and the ole fella fighting this cold tooth and nail! (smile) We going down to the wire with it, we not giving up! It’s a fight to the death!

 
Oh I know that it has to run its course, but while it’s doing its thing, I’m also doing my own, trying not to let it make me feel too terrible, because you know that nothing in this world makes you feel as miserable as a simple fresh cold.
 
Ah Lord eh! We can put man on the moon and voyage out to Venus and Mars, but we can’t cure a simple cold! Steups! But I guess them’s the breaks! And believe me, it was difficult to get up this morning, although I wasn’t sleeping. But a certain malaise in my spirit just said lie down and rest. (smile)
 
And I did for a short while. But knowing that the Bit had to go out, I eventually forced myself out of the bed. And I believe I have the right medication for whatever is ailing us this morning, in the words of The One Year Book of Promises, with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin.
 
This passage is titled ‘God’s Promises,’ and it says: ‘With increasing joy I am discovering that God’s promises do not suddenly disappear when our courage fails and our fears become overwhelming. Feeling or no feeling, when God gives a promise that speaks directly to our need, it stands firm regardless of negative circumstances.
 
There may be times of questioning, and we may not understand God’s timing, but His promise remains certain during our deepest trial. If we consistently rely on His immutable Word, we can disregard the darkness.
 
Oswald Chambers says, “Are you in the dark right now regarding your circumstances? Then listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you are in the light.” God waits for us to trust Him when trusting seems the most difficult thing to do.’
 
Ah Friends, the cruel, evil and ungodly world that we’re currently living in, is certainly making it hard for us to trust God and rely on His promises. But if we want to succeed, we have to truly stand in faith on His word, even though we may seem completely surrounded by darkness.
 
And as the Bible promise for that passage so truthfully declares: ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance, perseverance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)
 
Yes mih breddren, the one thing we CAN’T DO, is GIVE UP! And it’s when life seems the darkest that we need to hold on to God’s promises the strongest. For as the saying goes; the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn. And that’s no lie! We experience the roughest times just before we experience our breakthrough.
 
So please, let’s hang in there with Jehovah God, for He knows what He’s doing. His thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours that we don’t, and can’t always understand what He’s about. In His omnipotence He created us, and still controls the universe, and sincerely promised that all His plans for us were all for good, for peace, with hope for a bright future. (Jer.29:11)
 
And as our Bit so wisely and rightly declares: ‘Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people.   Selah.’ And of that my people, there is absolutely no doubt! That’s why so many people of great faith in the Bible declared it.
 
Now let’s look at a few more of those scripture passages that declare salvation comes from God, as we’ve been doing for the last few days. And we’ll begin with words of Bruh David, who called out to God so often and so seriously in his writings. Listen to how he begins Psalm 35 – A prayer for rescue from enemies.
 
‘Plead my cause (contend for me), O Lord, with them that strive (contend) with me: fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler (a small shield), and stand up for mine help.
 
Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me (stop those who pursue me): say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.’ (Ps.35:1-3)
 
And we all know the turbulent and tumultuous life that Bruh David lived, but he never forgot or gave up on the God of his fathers, who faithfully saved him from his enemies whenever he cried out for help.
 
Now hear the author of Hebrews, whom I can’t help but think is Bruh Paul, with all the similarities of speech and mannerisms.
 
‘Though he (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.’ (Heb.5:8-10)
 
And isn’t that the gospel truth Friends! Jesus died, rose from the grave and ascended into heaven so that we could have eternal salvation! Without those wonderful, selfless acts of His, there would be no general salvation. Many of us would stay lost and unsaved.
 
So let’s give Him a big shout of praise and thanks for saving our sinful souls from eternal separation from Almighty God, the worst fate that can befall a human being.
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and heartfelt: ‘Thank You Jesus! Thank You ever so much for sacrificing Your holy, sinless life on the cross, so that Your shed blood, precious as it was, could pay for, atone for our abominable sins. We praise You, bless and glorify Your holy name! Amen.’
 
And now Friends, we’ll end with this well known verse from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God – a contemplation from the sons of Korah.
 
And it simply says: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5)
 
Yes my people, I implore us to keep hoping in God, though our souls might not feel like doing it, for regardless of what anyone else says, only from Him is true salvation and eternal life possible. Much LOVE!
 
…to EVERY problem in our lives…Jesus IS the answer…

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2013 Mark 6:50

Mark 6:50.    For they all saw him, and were troubled. and immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.
 
Oh Friends, the ole fella’s a bit under the weather this Wednesday fall morning. I got up from a good sleep with my nasal allergies acting up some, which caused my spirit to fall a tad, but the Bit has to go out under any circumstance… except death obviously. (smile)
 
And I have no doubt that the Lord will enable me to write something sensible that will encourage His followers and glorify Him.
 
And we’ll begin with the latest story that’s making world headline from Toronto; that’s the inappropriate, ‘unmayoral’ behaviour of Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford.
 
I have to shake my head and sigh, ‘Ah Lord eh.’ That’s because for several months now there’s been talk et al about a video showing him smoking crack cocaine with some youngsters from the Somali community, his hanging out with other undesirables, drunkenness in public and a host of other misdemeanours.
 
Obviously he claimed that none of them were true. But apparently yesterday he changed his tune and confessed to the crack cocaine smoking.
 
This deserves another heartfelt sigh and ‘Ah Lord eh,’ for all that the two Ford boys, the mayor and his brother Doug, a councilman, have done since they were elected two years ago, is cause untold and unnecessary controversy and make the city a laughingstock around the world with their antagonistic behaviour.
 
I stopped paying much attention to them long ago because they behave like a pair of arrogant, bully-boy buffoons, and then they get on their radio talk show and make matters even worse. It even seems that brother Doug is the de facto mayor, because in all the nonsense, you’ve heard more from him than the supposed mayor.
 
They both should resign, but neither of them seems to have even considered that action. And sadly, it’s been said that Rob Ford has a good chance of again winning the mayor’s position in an election scheduled for the not too distant future.
 
The good Lord forbid! Then they’ll truly feel that the city is their personal fiefdom and commit even worse actions. But just remember Friends, that we always get the government we deserve. And that’s enough of the foolish Fords. I’ve spent more time on them than I’d planned.
 
Let’s get to something more important, positive and uplifting like our Bit. ‘For they all saw him, and were troubled. and immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.’
 
Yes mih Friends, powerful and encouraging words from a real leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
 
He spoke those words to His disciples when He came walking over the water towards them, as they were fighting to stay afloat and alive in their little boat amidst a terrible storm.
 
All of this happened after He’d fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes. He then compelled the disciples to get into the boat and cross over to Bethsaida, while He sent away the multitudes, then went up into a mountain to pray.
 
Please note my people, that everyday Jesus got up early and prayed, strengthening His Spirit, before intermingling with the crowds. He also took time to refresh His Spirit in prayer after engaging the multitudes. We would be wise to do likewise; pray before and after our engaging the world and all its evil, deceit and treachery.
 
It’s amazing and also interesting that after seeing Jesus do the feeding miracle earlier on, the disciples were still terribly afraid when they saw Him walking on the water towards them. In their abject fear, they believed it was an apparition, a ghost. That’s until Jesus spoke those gentle, encouraging and comforting words: ‘Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.’
 
Oh Friends, it wasn’t the first or last time that Jesus said those comforting words, ‘Be of good cheer.’ He first said it to a man sick of the palsy (paralyzed), lying on his bed, before He healed him. ‘Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.’ (Matt.9.2b)
 
And He repeated it again in His famous words to the disciples, and by extension us: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33)  
 
Oh my people, we couldn’t ask for more encouraging and comforting words than those! But yet we’re still afraid of life and what the world brings against us. If we weren’t, we’d be fighting tooth and nail to change our disgusting, deteriorating, evil world. But unfortunately Lucifer and his wicked bully-boys have us scared of what they’ll do to us if we stand up and seriously fight for our Christian ways and rights.
 
Oh my brethren, as true followers of Christ, we cannot go around living a scared and half-hearted life! Jesus has already given us the victory, we now have to accept it, and behave as though we’ve won the battle, remember we live by faith and not by sight. Otherwise all Jesus’ sacrifices on our behalf would be in vain. And we certainly don’t want that to happen. 
 
The fact of the matter is that long before Jesus even came to earth, many times the Lord instructed His people not to be afraid. Listen to these powerful, encouraging and comforting words from Isaiah, talking of the final restoration of Israel.
 
‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded (disgraced): they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.’ (Is.41:10-11)
 
Ah mih breddren, what else do we expect our God to do eh – come and hold our hands and lead us like little children? Chuh! We’re big children, full of talk in good times, but we behave like ‘scaredy’ cats when adversity arises.
 
Oh Friends, I’m imploring us today to get rid of that fearful attitude and scared mentality. Instead let’s staunchly accept and believe the ever-faithful promises of our Lord and Saviour like true believers should.
 
As Bruh Paul tells Timothy: ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim.3:12)
 
But then he encourages the Roman church with these words. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:37) And that’s the gospel truth people!
 
Oh my fellow believers, we shall suffer adversity here on earth, but through the steadfast faith and strength in the promises of Jesus, who’s already conquered the world, we too shall conquer our adversity and adversaries. Please take comfort in that and let’s stand strong and fight the good fight in His Name. That’s the mark of true believers! Much LOVE!
 
…nothing can separate us from the LOVE OF GOD…which is in Christ Jesus our Lord… (Rom.8:39b)