Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well my faithful brethren, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day, and with it come certain commitments: namely to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary in true fellowship to praise and worship Him with humble and sincere hearts.  And though we are scheduled to get a bundle of snow in the Toronto area today, we must not let that stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to exalt and glorify His holy name and receive His strength, confidence and assurance for the upcoming week. 

Glory to God my people! When believers get together to worship the Lord…Chuh! There’s nothing on earth like it. We sing and dance and pray and praise and listen to His awesome word that’s indisputable truth! Wow! How could any other gathering beat that eh? 

And as always, we shall open today’s proceedings with song. The Lord likes prayer, but I believe He is partial and sentimental to getting His glory and praise delivered in song. (smile) And that’s exactly how all the elders and other heavenly populace constantly praise Him. So let’s do just that by offering up a sacrifice of praise with our lips as we sincerely belt out the old Isaacs Watts favourite, ‘Our God, our Help in ages past.’ 

And please note, it seems like Isaac wrote it as ‘Our God,’ and not ‘O,’ or ‘Oh God,’ as has become popular. And as our voices rise to heaven in sweet song, let’s consider each word and sentiment we sing and realize, admit that they are gospel truth. 

As one earthly host now: ‘Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Yes friends, EVERY sentiment we just sang there is the living truth, and I hope it just melted our hearts, but simultaneously had it bursting with joy and LOVE for our wonderful God! 

No wonder Peter could so confidently declare in our Bit and following: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Oh friends, if there is one thing we’re certain of is hope of salvation because of Jesus’ resurrection! Glory Be! Now listen to the scholars: ‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vs.3-5) is described as to its effect. 

Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible, imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e., morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away, means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved, that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin, and into the presence of God.’ 

How could it get any better than that eh my people? When we place our sincere trust in Jesus we end up in a new stage of life, salvation, with an assured inheritance that cannot be corrupted, does not deteriorate, is morally untainted, and is specially reserved for us in heaven! And on top of all that, we are guarded night and day by an omnipotent Deity, who never sleeps. 

Mama Mia! Now I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but to me, that’s an offer I cannot refuse! And I do hope that ALL of you reading today’s Bit will feel the same way, because the other option is a terrible one; separation from God, and companionship with the evil Lucifer and his legion of evil cohorts.  

But to get that lively hope friends, we need to be born again. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked puzzled and asked about physically entering again into one’s mother’s womb, and being born again, Jesus clarified it for him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) 

So friends, if we are not born of the Spirit, have a supernatural spiritual birth in the name of Jesus, most likely we will be excluded  from heaven. And that is certainly the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. So please be warned, and wisely take the necessary steps to assure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, for therein lies salvation and eternal life. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…brother…we are definitely riding shotgun with Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2017 John 1:14.

John 1:14.   And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Well friends, the big day has come and gone; the purists got their white Christmas and I do hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful day with friends and families, keeping Jesus first place in your thoughts as He is the reason for all the celebrations. 

But yuh know what? Christmas Day might be gone, but the Christmas season is not over as yet, there’s still a lot of peace, LOVE and good cheer yet to be spread. And on this Boxing Day, here is something titled ‘It’s Christmas,’ from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, to bring the Christmas season into true perspective. 

Please read with me: ‘It’s Christmas!  Sing! Rejoice! Celebrate! Let God create in you Colourful explosions Of joy and excitement. Smile away fears, push away tears. Out with pretense, in with praise. It’s Christmas! Open your heart to light To trust, to LOVE, to hope. Awaken slumbering memories Stir up stupendous dreams Anticipate surprises Open your arms wide.  

It’s Christmas!  Time for candles and cards For carols and cookies For brightly lit trees With the fragrance of pine. Time to hug and hold To think and thank Time to greet the world With the Good News.  It’s Christmas!  Thank God for life Thank Him for the manger For the splintered cross For the empty tomb. Thank Him for His only Son The Saviour of the world.  Shout! Laugh! Share! Care! And say to God On Christmas morning: “I entrust myself anew To You.” 

Oh friends, doesn’t that picture of Christmas sound wonderful? It surely does! And though we may not be in a position to do all that’s suggested there, we can ALL do the most important things, like give God thanks and praise for all that He’s done for us through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and pledge our LOVE and allegiance anew to Him EVERY day! 

Ah mih people, the Lord God Almighty certainly went out on a limb for us when in His awesome LOVING-kindness He decided to save us from our sinful selves. The least we can now do is to show some sincere appreciation and gratitude as we enjoy all of the blessings and mercies that He’s poured down on us, especially in this season of Christmas, when we celebrate Christ’s birth, the beginning of the whole beautiful, heartwarming and revolutionary drama. 

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace and goodwill to men!’ 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today. ‘And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ How majestic and marvellous for the Son of God to become human and dwell amongst us! 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘1:14. Made flesh indicated the incarnation (the miracle) of God the Son becoming human yet remaining God, and bringing us into full conviction of Christ’s humanity. The use of flesh contradicts the Gnostic heresy that God could not be united with human flesh, which was seen as evil. 

Dwelt among us: John uses the word for “tabernacled,” here translated “dwelt.” The Old Testament tabernacle was where God dwelt among the Jews in the wilderness. In this context, God is dwelling in the person of Jesus Christ. We beheld his glory: Perhaps John refers to the Shekinah glory which appeared in the tabernacle of the Old Testament. The expression signifies the visible manifestation of God. John later uses glory to refer to Jesus’ life (2:11), death, and resurrection (12:23).’ 

So my people, we could not ask for a greater gift, especially at this time of gift giving. We need to remember that God the Father gave us the greatest gift ever, God the Son, in our veritable time of need; a time when we were headed directly for eternal damnation and darkness. Not that we aren’t still heading for it, but at least now we have an option to avoid it. 

Before Jesus came and sacrificed his sinless life on our behalf, we had no option but to go straight to Hades with Lucifer and his evil band. But all praise to Jesus for giving the option of believing in Him and thus having reconciliation with the Father and eventual salvation and eternal life! Wow! If that isn’t the GREATEST my brethren, then I don’t know what is! 

Now let’s go home this Tuesday morning, letting the world know whom and whose we are by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with much gumption and truth. As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And since we’re truly Christ’s people, then let’s go and truly share His LOVE with the rest of the world nuh! Much LOVE!

…oh…there’s not enough thanks in the world…to truly give to Jesus…for His sacrifice on our behalf…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 December 2017 John 6:47.

John 6:47.   Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

Ah friends, unlike yesterday, my area is somewhat dark and cloudy today… But yuh know what? The awesome light of the Son is shining just as brilliantly as it always does! Up and down this old world, wherever His name is called, His light shines brightly at all times! 

Glory to God! Give Him exceedingly much thanks and praise for LOVING us so much that He gave His most wonderful Son, Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, our Redeemer and High Priest! 

And what better time is there to adore and celebrate Jesus than at Christmas, the time He came to earth in human form, as a beautiful baby boy, to begin the awesome process of redemption! Mama Mia! 

What a great and wonderful God we serve and worship my people! How could we ever think of throwing Him aside eh, of worshipping anyone else, when there’s NO other Deity who’s truly alive, and as great and wonderful, as LOVING and caring of mankind as Him? 

Give Him innumerable praise and thanks my brethren, exalt His Holy Name, for He is the ONE, TRUE and LIVING GOD; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein! 

And now that we’ve praised and raised up our wonderful God, this Saturday morning, let’s turn to some quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week he’s picked some simple, basic but very powerful and truthful quotes. 

Hear this first one: ‘The less you respond to negative people, the more peaceful your life will become.’ And that’s no lie! The less you have negative people in your life, the less controversy there’ll be. Listen to this: ‘Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.’ 

What an awesome truth my people! The sun, moon and the truth can only be hidden for so long until they burst forth in splendour and reality. It’s only a matter of time friends. As Jesus said, ‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ (John 8:32) 

And this one is interesting: ‘If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.’ True! What’s the point of having dreams if we know we can easily meet them. But we have to be careful not to make our dreams too big, that they indeed scare us from trying to implement them. There’s got to be some circumspection in those dreams. 

And I’ve saved the best for last: ‘Life is a gift. Never take it for granted.’ How very true that is my brethren! Our lives can be put out at such short notice, even in the midst of our youth, that we ought never to take it lightly. We see it so often, especially in these tumultuous times, one moment we’re here, then the next, we’re not. 

So we have to cherish this earthly life and use it wisely. But then too friends, we also have to be cognizant of the life after this earthly sojourn; eternal life, whether we’ll live forever, or be thrown into outer darkness with Lucifer and his evil cohorts. And therein lies the big question, how do we achieve or acquire eternal life? 

And the question is answered simply, but truthfully in our Bit, in the words of Jesus. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.’ 

It’s oh so simple people! So simple that some of us think it’s too simple to be true. But believe me, it is true! If you’ll read Jesus words in the Good Book, they are usually very simple and straightforward, except perhaps His parables. And He’s made this most important aspect of life as easy as possible so that ALL can obtain it, regardless of level of understanding or education. 

And we all know the great reason behind it all, found in the corollary to our Bit. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Yes friends, that’s the long version. (smile) 

Now let’s go back to after our Bit, where Jesus gives a more detailed explanation. ‘I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’ (John 6:48-51) 

Obviously His listeners back then didn’t understand Him. ‘The Jews therefore strove (quarreled) among themselves, saying how can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ (John 6:52) 

But all Jesus was really saying was that instead of them having to make continual animal sacrifices for their sins, He would pay for their sins and all the sins forevermore with the sacrifice of His flesh. And that He certainly did my people! 

So please, let’s take life a little more seriously than we seem to do these days nuh, especially our eternal life, for what we do on that front now, will mean EVERYTHING in the long run. Much LOVE!

…who gave His life…so that we could have life…life eternal and everlasting…JESUS…Glory to God…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2017 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Well friends, that joy-filled day called Sunday has rolled around again! And with it, we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship, joyfully sing and praise His holy name. There’s nothing that can compare to a gathering of fellow believers singing and praising Almighty God! That’s because it’s the essence of who we are, why we were so gloriously made. 

So let’s not make me a liar (smile), let’s send up to heaven wonderful words of praise and glory, joy and thanksgiving as we sing the beautiful and grateful words of the hymn; ‘New every morning is the LOVE!’ Yes my fellow believers, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise with heartfelt song,. As an earthly choir, sounding like heavenly angels, let’s sing!

‘New every morning is the LOVE Our wakening and uprising prove; Through sleep and darkness safely brought, Restored to life and power and thought. New mercies, each returning day, Hover around us while we pray; New perils past, new sins forgiven, New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven. If, on our daily course, our mind Be set to hallow all we find, New treasures still, of countless price, God will provide for sacrifice. 

Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be, As more of heaven in each we see; Some softening gleam of LOVE and prayer Shall dawn on every cross and care. We need not bid, for cloistered cell, Our neighbor and our words farewell, Nor strive to find ourselves too high For sinful man beneath  the sky.

The trivial round, the common task, Will furnish all we ought to ask; Room to deny ourselves, a road To bring us daily nearer God. Seek we no more; content with these, Let present rapture, comfort, ease As heaven shall bid them, come and go: The secret this of rest below. Only, O Lord, in Thy dear LOVE, Fit us for perfect rest above, And help us, this and every day, To live more nearly as we pray.’ 

Yes friends, each and every day the Lord showers down new mercies, blessings, grace, forgiveness, strength…you name it…He provides it free of charge. What an awesome God we serve and worship my brethren! I wonder if we truly realize that eh? No other faith on this earth can truthfully declare the things that we declare. 

Neither is any other faith as joyful, sorry, should be joyful as we Christians. And I corrected myself there because too many of us supposed believers walk around sad and lethargic, bowed and bending, as though we are carrying the whole weight of the world on our shoulders. But precious saints of God, two thousand years ago our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary and took all our burdens, all our sins, all our transgressions on His strong and comely shoulders! 

Why?  So that we would not have to be sad and miserable and burdened any more, but be filled with His wonderful peace, abundant joy and glorious unconditional LOVE! So why, as a group, are we so unhappy eh? Or rather why don’t we show the true external realities that our internal blessings ought to engender? Because we’re ashamed, afraid, lackadaisical, don’t truly believe…  

Who knows eh? But the long and short of the story friends, is as Jeremiah says in his Lamentations, which includes our Bit. Poor Jerry had been battered and beaten and locked up by his fellow countrymen when he preached repentance to them. But when he had time to reflect on it all, this is what he said. 

‘Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness), My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:20-23) 

Oh friends, what a marvellous testimony, based on gospel truth! And think about it nuh, Jerry didn’t have Jesus in the manner that we now have Him, and all the wonderful stuff that He bequeathed us. But yet still he (Jerry) knew on which side his bread was buttered, and despite his calamities, gave God the thanks and the praise He so rightfully deserved. 

Listen as he continues. ‘The Lord is my portion saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) Words of indisputable truth my brethren! 

And the scholars tell us that ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have experienced great grief of soul.’ And they reference people like, Habakkuk, Job, Bruh David, Isaiah and Bruh Paul. So friends, serving God is wise, wonderful and right, but not always easy. But we have to remember too that the Lord will never give us a task to accomplish without giving us the wherewithal to accomplish it. 

That’s His outstanding modus operandi, as you can see from the records of all the great men of faith we just mentioned. They all  had it tough, but they all accomplished their given tasks with flying colours. God never forsook them, even when they were out of step with His plan for their lives, but was instead merciful and compassionate because He knew their human frailties would sometimes lead them astray. 

My precious people of God, it’s the same way He behaves with us. But we have to stand strong during our adversities and trials, otherwise we’ll forsake the good things He has in store for us. Hear Asaph tell us about the Israelites plight from Psalm 78 – A reminder of God’s goodness to Israel. 

‘For their heart was not right (steadfast) with him, neither were they steadfast (faithful) in their covenant. But he being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time he turned his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passeth away; and cometh not again.’ (Ps.78:37-39)  So friends, the Lord knows our capabilities, since He created us, and will not leave us high and dry because we make mistakes. 

Bruh David says it best in the closing verse of Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd. ‘Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) will follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:6) And if we refuse to believe that, then it’s to our great detriment my brethren. Much LOVE!

…only the Lord’s mercies…through Christ’s shed blood at Calvary…keeps us from being annihilated for our abominable transgressions…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 December 2013 Ecclesiastes 12:14

Ecclesiastes 12:14.   For God shall bring every work into judgement with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
 
And then it was Friday – a wintry Friday! There’s already some precipitation on the ground in my area – not much, but precipitation nonetheless. And who knows what’s going to follow eh; snow or freezing rain, or a combination of both? Anyhow we cut it, if the weather people are right, today’s going to be a dangerous day.
 
So please people, let’s all take very good care as we go about our business outside, for the weather conditions will not be ideal… Hn! And we don’t want any accidents or misfortunes just before Christmas. So if you don’t HAVE to go out, then DON’T GO OUT! Words of true wisdom Friends. (smile)
 
I also noticed that the weather warning somewhat dampened our usually glorious shout of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ But with prayer and care, we ought to make it safely through another winter’s day.
 
And to top it all off, let’s chant out Friday chant, with joy and gladness, simply because we’re alive and kicking, have jobs to go to, and live under the umbrella of a mighty, magnificent and magnanimous God!
 
So my brethren, let’s chant: ‘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.’
 
Now let’s get that perspective firmly grounded in our beings, so that we can live it out over the weekend. And do we ever need stuff like that to keep us on the straight and narrow, especially when we have a Bit like today’s: ‘For God shall bring every work into judgement with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’
 
Yeh mih people, all our words and actions WILL indeed be judged on the big day! But as the saying goes; to be forewarned is to be forearmed. So now that we know what’s going to eventually happen, we have no excuses for making bad, or wrong, or evil decisions and choices.
 
Yesterday we saw the Preacher telling us to sow diligently in the mornings, then in the evenings, hold out our hands expectantly, in faith, because we don’t know which seed that we planted will prosper. But then again, in our rejoicing, we also have to pay attention to the many dark days of trial and struggle that will surely come during our lifetimes. It’s a fine balancing act my brethren! That’s what life is.
 
Now hear this wise advice from the preacher to the young. Oh if many of us had heard it when we were young!
 
‘Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways (impulses) of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes (as you see to be best): but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgement. Therefore remove sorrow (vexation) from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth (prime of life) are vanity.’ (Eccl.11:9-10)
 
And isn’t that the awesome truth my people! When we are young, we feel the world’s our oyster, and we can do whatever we want to, without fear of repercussions or consequences. But that’s a deceitful conception, propagated by evildoers, for as we are seeing, God will one day judge all that we ever did here on planet earth.
 
And please note the scholars’ take on the situation. ‘Once again the exhortation to enjoyment is put in the imperative mood. Here the appeal is particularly addressed to the youth to admonish him to enjoy life before the onset of the feeble years described in 12:1-7.
 
Verse 9 can hardly be taken in a hedonistic sense, because the controlling factor in the youth’s enjoyment is said to be God’s judgement. Rather, it is a warning against a life misspent in self-indulgence.’
 
Oh Friends, the sooner we learn these lessons, the better off we’ll all be! For yesterday we saw Jesus declare the truth of the judgement day. (Matt.12:35-37) Now listen to Bruh Paul in his first missive to the church at Corinth, talking about real judgement.
 
‘For I know nothing by (against) myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest (reveal) the counsels (motives) of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.’ (1 Cor.4:4-5)
 
Ah mih people, more words of divine truth, which will do us a lot of good to hear and inwardly digest! 
 
And here’s an interesting note from the scholars’. ‘4:4. I know nothing by myself (lit. “I know nothing against myself”). This sort of total commitment gave Paul the authority to make such a statement as “be ye followers of me” (cf. 1 Cor.4:16; 11:1).’
 
Yes Friends, let’s be followers of Bruh Paul nuh, as he was a follower of Jesus! We certainly can’t go wrong if we follow his example. Much LOVE!
 
…and the heavens shall declare his righteousness…for God is JUDGE himself…  Selah (Ps.50:6)
 
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2013 1 Corinthians 1:29

1 Corinthians 1:29. That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Oh Friends, it’s Monday, time to rise and shine and be about our heavenly Father’s business! Yeh, I know you’re tired from too much partying and insufficient rest and relaxation, but that’s too bad. You’ve already danced to the music, now you have to pay the piper. (smile) But I have just the remedy for this lacklustre Monday morning attitude; our Monday Morning Battle Hymn! So let’s sing it with all the exuberance and enthusiasm we can muster. It will be a tad rough to start, but I assure you, by the time we’re halfway through, we’ll be brimming over with much zeal and confidence, just impatiently tugging at the reins to go out there and battle for Jesus. And some of you are looking at me with a knowing half smile, half concern, as if I’m crazy. But no, I’m not crazy, just a tad out to lunch. (smile) So without further ado, let’s sing our hearts out, in harmony and loud voice. ‘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!’ Yuh see Friends, I wasn’t lying. We were certainly singing up a storm by the time we ended. So much so, that it brought strong applause from the rooting section in heaven. Praise the Lord! And now we all have our motors primed and ready, just waiting to hit the gas and zoom away to engage in the ensuing fray! Ah mih people, that’s what the Spirit of Christ does for us, when we surrender to it and allow it to run the show. And that segues quite nicely into our Bit: ‘That no flesh should glory in his presence.’ But in any case, what do we really have to glory about eh mih breddren? Not a single thing! We didn’t create ourselves, or give ourselves health and strength, or the ability to get wealth. All those things are the gifts of our wonderful and generous Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Therefore we shouldn’t be foolishly boasting of any accomplishments that He might have used us to bring to fruition. As Bruh Paul so rightly tells the Ephesians: ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of your yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:8-10) And that’s the unvarnished truth my people! There is indeed method to God’s madness; so that proud, foolish men would not boast about getting into heaven on their own strength, earning salvation by their good works. You know what a bam bam that would cause if it were at all possible. That means it’s only through a spiritual rebirth in Christ, which God accomplishes, and which then leads to good works, that we can receive salvation, and consequently a place in heaven. And that’s nothing new, for our God declared His intentions, re man’s boasting, a long time ago, through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise LOVING-kindness (true covenant loyalty), judgement (justice), and righteousness (what’s right in His sight), in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. (Jer.9:23-24) And nothing has changed since then my fellow believers, or will ever change, to make those words untrue! So all our pride, haughtiness and boasting is just useless nattering, useless batting of our gums, for without the Lord’s help, we can do nothing. We’re just like little babies, helpless and in need of constant care. As Bruh Paul asked of the Romans, after showing how righteousness can only be gained by starting with faith in Jesus. (Rom.3:21-26) ‘Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.’ (Rom.3:27)  And that my fellow believers is indeed the good news of the New Testament! All good things are had through faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, the Way, the Life, the Truth, the Light! Hn! That doesn’t only encompass everything in our earthly lives, but also in the life to come. Therefore, as Bruh Paul reminds the Corinthians in his second letter: ‘But he that glorieth let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.’ (2 Cor.10:17-18) Gospel truth Friends! Gospel truth! So let’s get out into the evil world, kill the foolish selfish pride and the worthless boasting that currently abounds out there, because in our own strength, we’re basically powerless. Only through Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father, are we able to function at all. We owe it all to our triune God! Please remember that, and don’t let lying Lucifer tell us otherwise and lead us astray. Much LOVE!…I am the vine…ye are the branches…WITHOUT ME…ye can do nothing…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2013 1 Corinthians 1:29

1 Corinthians 1:29.       That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Oh Friends, once again a beautiful day is dawning and the many parcels of mercies and blessings are being prepared by the heavenly hosts for distribution down here on earth, as they do on a daily basis. How lucky – no, lucky is not the right word. How privileged we are to worship such a kind, LOVING and generous Deity! Who, instead of giving us our just deserts for our sinful nature, capital punishment, gives us mercy. And on top of that, He then gives us more of what we don’t deserve; His wonderful, refreshing, revitalizing grace. Mama Mia! That ought to just warm the cockles of our hearts to the extent that it causes us to cry out in pure unadulterated joy: ‘Oh thank You Lord! Thank You for Your mercy and grace! Thank You for LOVING us so much, that You broke Your own heart by sacrificing your only Son Jesus to save us from death and eternal damnation! We LOVE You Lord with all our heart, and promise to sincerely serve You until eternity! Amen.’ Yes Friends, that’s the kind of emotion God’s goodness ought to stir up in our hearts, minds and souls. And talking about God sacrificing His only Son Jesus for us, a bunch of unworthy sinners, reminds me of something I had planned to share before this, but either forgot, or the Lord didn’t deem it suitable until now. And I’m talking about the hour I spent alone in the candle-lit church on Holy Thursday night pondering the actions of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. At one point during that fateful hour, it suddenly occurred to me that we were all so worried and heartbroken over Jesus demise and the terror that ran through His disciples and followers at His trial and eventual crucifixion, that we’ve conveniently forgotten the most heartbroken of all the players on that tragic stage – God, the Father. Remember He’s a living being, and if we’re made in His image, then He must have feelings like us too. So put yourself in His place: You have sinful, unfaithful creations that you don’t want to lose, but because of your sense of justice and righteousness, you just can’t wipe clean their sinful slate, for you have already decreed that the wages of sin is death. You find yourself in a conflict of interest with your holy, righteous self, between the proverbial rock and a hard place. The only way to save the lost souls and justify your sense of justice, is to find a sacrifice worthy enough to pay the price. Unfortunately it has to be an unblemished, sinless soul. And the only one fitting that characteristic beside yourself, is your only Son, Jesus. Can you imagine how the Lord must have agonized over the situation? I don’t know if I could have willingly sacrificed my beautiful, obedient son for a bunch of ungrateful jerks nuh. Ponder that situation for a moment nuh people. But I guess that’s why He is God; His thoughts, ways and actions are much higher than ours, absolutely incomprehensible to our small, feeble minds. Just imagine how the Father mush have felt, having to lay the excessive weight of sin on Jesus’ innocent shoulders, then create the separation necessary between them, the first ever in all their days together, so that His awesome, mind boggling plan could come to fruition. And Jesus only increased His heartache by obediently going along with the plan. Ah mih people, we really and truly do serve a most excellent and incomparable God yes! And then to make matters worse, after suffering so much heartache so that we could get a second chance, we become even more sinful and disobedient, heaping abuse, doubt and ridicule on the Sacrificial Lamb and all He stands for. Oh Friends, I know that I would have been very upset by that ungodly behaviour and prone to revoking everything. But fortunately our God is a much bigger Being than that, with a heart of solid gold, so He perseveres with us. We just don’t understand, are unable to comprehend His ways, His motivation for doing what He does. No wonder the Good Book tells us: ‘But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound (put to shame) the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound (put to shame) the things which are mighty; And base (insignificant) things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought (nothing) things that are:’ (1 Cor.1:27-28)  Yes Friends, we see that eccentricity of God all through the Good Book, and right down through the ages, even till today. And I’m a perfect example of that. (smile) The people whom God chooses to do His work are the most unlikely ones, the ones whom the world would never choose. Why is that eh? Our Bit gives us the answer: ‘That no flesh should glory in his presence.’ Words of absolute truth and wisdom on God’s part my brethren! Man would not be able to indulge in one of his favourite pastimes – boasting! And Bruh Paul continues: ‘But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us (became for us) wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.’ (1 Cor.1:30-31) What amazing wisdom and glorious truth, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! Now here’s some enlightenment on that last scripture from the scholars. ‘Of him (because of the Father’s work) are ye in (intimate with) Christ Jesus: Paul concludes that all the riches of salvation exist in Christ Jesus. All that the Corinthian believers are, they owe to Him. Thus it is not in oneself, or in party alignment, or in supposed human ability that any believer ought to glory. Paul tabulates the qualities that belong to the believer in Christ. Wisdom is not merely the acquisition of intellectual skills but the gaining of spiritual discernment based on the wisdom of God as demonstrated in the cross. Righteousness is a legal concept and has in mind the righteousness that is applied to the believer’s account the moment he believes. (Rom.5) Sanctification has already been mentioned in verse 2, “sanctified in Christ Jesus” This contemplates the work of Christ “in” the believer, as opposed to that which He does “for” the believer in justification. Redemption underlies all the above. Christ’s redemptive work opened the way for God to extend His grace to sinful man and to pour out upon him such benefits as wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification.’ And on that note of enlightenment, we’ll end this session. We have enough to ponder on for today.    Selah. More on this topic tomorrow, God in favour. Till then Friends, let’s walk hand in hand with the Lord, so that He might continue to bless, comfort and keep us safe. Much LOVE!…if we truly appreciate the magnitude of God’s LOVE for us…then we’ll have no problem accepting His Son Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour…and gladly walk the path He desires us to walk…