Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 November 2021 John 10:11.

John 10:11.     I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

It’s that time again my brethren, Sunday morning, where we gather to worship our wonderful God, to sing His praises, hear His refreshing and enlightening Word, and give Him much thanks for His awesome LOVE and compassion towards us, His most undeserving children. But that’s the kind of God we serve and worship. And today’s opening song is a not so old hymn, (smile) as compared to some others we sing, written by John Willard Peterson (1921-2006), in the early years of his ministry, and aptly titled ‘No One understands like Jesus.’ 

And believe me friends, that’s the indisputable truth! And why shouldn’t it be true eh, since He is God whose thoughts and understanding are incomparable, and when you add the fact that Jesus Himself underwent all the stuff that we go through down here on earth, it certainly adds up to a wealth of understanding. That’s why Hebrews can tell us: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (who cannot sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:15-16) 

Anyway, enough talk, time to do some singing. And in our usual harmonious and soulful manner let’s offer up our sacrifices of praise to heaven and our marvellous Godhead. ‘No one understands like Jesus. He’s a friend beyond compare; Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for you there. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him!) No one understands like Jesus; Ev’ry woe He sees and feels; Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. 

(Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When the foes of life assail; You should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail! (Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When you falter on the way; Tho’ you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon you today. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him! Cast your every care on Him, Cause no one understands like Jesus.’ 

You can say that again my people: ‘No one understands like Jesus!’ (smile) And there seems to be an interesting and heart-felt story behind the writing of this song, as there usually are behind many of our favourite tunes. Mr. Peterson appears to have been quite involved in Christian music and tells the story thus: ‘”At one time I had a responsible position with a well-known gospel ministry. One day a supervisory position opened up in my department. I was led to believe that I was to be promoted to this position. I was thrilled and challenged by the prospect of a new joy. But I was by-passed, and a man from the outside was brought in to fill the position.  

There followed days of agonizing heart searching. It was all I could do to keep from becoming bitter. One night I had occasion to spend an evening with the man who was brought in for “my” position. For some reason or other, though otherwise a very pleasant fellow, that night he became quite caustic in some of his remarks to me; and I was deeply hurt. Later that evening, after returning home, I was sitting in our living room thinking about the events of the past days and about the bitter experiences of that evening. I began to feel very alone and forsaken. 

Suddenly, I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation–in fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as did He. Before long, the idea for the song came and I began to write. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you” (Ps. 55:22). 

And Peter, who witnessed the perfidy of Judas, echoed his words: “Casting all your care [anxiety] upon Him, for He cares [is deeply concerned] for you” (I Pet. 5:7). Discouragement gripped him. He felt alone and forsaken, and was tempted to become bitter, until he began thinking about the great compassion of the Lord. Who cares? He does!’ 

Yes friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does care deeply about us, else why would He leave the joys and comforts of heaven and come to earth in human flesh to suffer the humiliation and abuse He did eh? These awesome words of His speak plainly of caring. ‘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.’ (Jon 3:16) There was no reason for the Father to do that, except that His LOVE and compassion for us was so great, He couldn’t just allow us to lose our souls and end up in Hades with Beelzebub. 

So Jesus’ coming to earth was all about caring. And the Good Book tells us in so many instances of God’s care and concern for us. Let’s check out a few nuh. Mr. Peterson mentioned a couple. The first one being the words of Bruh David from Psalm 55 – A cry against deceitful friends – where he declares in no uncertain manner: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit, allow) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 55:22) and if you are a believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then it’s imperative that you believe those words! 

Then there was Peter, who experienced Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, as well as his own, when he thrice denied knowing Christ, having been forewarned by Christ that he would do it. And when the cock crowed and Jesus looked around at Peter, he must have wished the earth could open up and swallow him, the shame he felt. (Luke 22:55-62) But the Lord not only forgave Peter, but also encouraged him, ‘Feed my sheep.’  (John 21:15-19) And Peter rose to be one of the leaders of the church. 

All of that caring and compassion of Jesus, must have compelled him to write: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Peter experienced it, so he could testify to it. Likewise, many of us have also experienced the Lord’s care and compassion in our normal everyday lives, but you know what, in these turbulent and dangerous times we need to seek His care and compassion even more than usual, since the world is in such turmoil. 

And Psalm 37 – the true state of the wicked – has a couple of interesting verses that we should all take hold of. ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass…The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.’ (Ps. 37:5, 23-24) 

Oh my fellow believers there’s no doubt whatsoever that Jesus cares for us. How else can you interpret these words of His: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) My fellow saints, please ponder those words today, and see if they don’t add up to a tender and heartfelt caring on the part of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!

…no one understands…or cares…like Jesus… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 November 2021 Psalm 84:12.

Psalm 84:12.     O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Now, since each day unerringly follows the other, like the moon automatically follows the sun, today had to be Monday because yesterday was Sunday, when we gathered in worship and the Lord refreshed and strengthened us to begin the new workweek with a strong fighting spirit, seeking nothing but victory for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His righteous kingdom! 

And yes, I know that’s a long, convoluted sentence, but sometimes those sentences are good, because they get us to stop and think about what they really mean, especially in this age of the short attention span, where we don’t have to use our brains to figure out anything, since it’s laid out right on a silver platter, short and sweet for us. But please remember that old saying, ‘if you don’t use it, you will lose it.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people. If we don’t use our God-given gifts, they will atrophy and eventually become useless. 

And sadly, that’s where our world is headed right now, what with things like robots, artificial intelligence and self-driven vehicles becoming more a part of our everyday life. Soon we won’t have to do anything for ourselves and consequently we’ll lose the use of most of our faculties. In fact, a lot of us have already begun losing the use of many of our faculties with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic where we were isolated for a long period of time. That only lead to a higher than normal amount of fear, anxiety, depression, mental illness and domestic abuse. 

But since the pandemic doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon, we desperately need to have a strategy in place to help us cope with all the negative stuff that’s currently circulating in our world. Now my brethren, the only avenue I see open and able to deal with our situation is living for Jesus! That’s the long and short of the story! Jesus is the ONLY One who can help us to successfully handle all the negativity that’s coming against us at this present time. 

And what grounds do I have for saying so. Listen to these encouraging and uplifting words of the psalmist. He positively proclaims: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps. 84:11-12) 

Wow friends! What a marvellous declaration! That’s why we believe, or rather we know that those who worship the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be able to withstand anything that comes against them. The Lord God Himself has promised it. As Jeremiah declared: ‘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).’ (Jer. 29:11) And we all know that Jehovah God keeps ALL of His promises! He’s not reneged on a single one down through the ages. 

However, to command His marvellous benefits, we need to walk uprightly and obediently before Him. And with the free will He’s given us, it’s our choice, our decision to make. Please note though, these most important words of Moses to the Israelites. ‘I call heaven and earth to record (witness) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ (Deut. 30:19) And that charge still stands today my people! 

We still have the free will, the opportunity to choose life or death, blessing or cursing. Unfortunately though, many of us seem to be choosing death and cursing over life and blessing by refusing to follow the Lord, to walk uprightly and obediently before Him. That’s a totally unwise decision friends, one that we will pay for in the long run when we are eternally separated from God, and cast into the lake of fire with Satan, the prince of darkness and disobedience. 

Remember, what Bruh Paul said about disobedience: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is sternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) And just like the Lord keeps the good promises, He also keeps the tough ones. So, there will be no getting away in the end if you don’t walk uprightly and follow His Son Jesus. 

And that’s the very reason He sent Jesus to die on the cross. Hear Jesus tell it nuh. ‘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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) And that’s it in a nutshell. If you don’t believe in Christ, you will perish, as simple as that. 

And friends, from personal experience, I can tell you that though living for Jesus might seem difficult in this evil and ungodly world, the reality is that He gives you the wherewithal to handle whatever comes against you. He won’t always make life easy, but He will enable you to handle life. No other supposed deity can sincerely and successfully promise that. So I plead with you, please rethink your options, and if you haven’t already chosen Jesus, please do so asap, in fact right now, because tomorrow, or even later, could be too late. 

So, let’s go to the Lord in prayer, through what we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and sincerely open up our hearts and souls to Him, pleading for His help. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now, if we want the Lord to keep His promises, it behooves us to keep ours. Much LOVE!

…free will is good…but only if used wisely…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2021 Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8.     Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.

One more rainy day, sleeping-in summer Saturday! And we sure are having a few of them. But who’s complaining eh? Certainly not me. (smile) I guess the Lord’s trying to make us appreciate the sunshine more when we do get it. And imagine, at nine o’clock on a summers’ day, the temperature is only 19 degrees. And this the height of summer. The weather patterns sure are changing. But thank God that One situation, or pattern NEVER changes: that’s Almighty God sitting strong and sure upon His heavenly throne controlling ALL things! Glory to God my faithful brethren! 

And by the way, I did not receive any quotes from our friend Anselm this week, so we just have to fly by the seat of our pants today. (smile) But the Lord has already pointed out the direction in which He wishes us to proceed; His unchanging and thus stable nature. And on the Pastor’s Corner Website, I found this interesting commentary on the subject by Brian Moore – not the one that some of us know (smile). 

It opens thus: ‘The God of the Bible never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. That is why He is the only secure place man can put his faith and trust in. The fact that God is eternally unchanging makes Him unlike any other being in existence. Everything and everyone else in life changes constantly. Relationships change, people change, landscapes change, health changes, culture changes, etc. With everything around us changing so rapidly and our immediate future being filled with such uncertainty, we need to find an unchanging place to put our hope in. 

Lamentations 3:22-24 says, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,“Therefore I hope in Him!”” Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” God is unchanging in His existence, in His Attributes, and in His counsel. That is why He is where unshakeable hope comes from.’ 

And that’s the everlasting truth my people! Our God never changes, and because some of us don’t believe it, or still have some doubts, today we are going to look at some scriptures that authenticate that statement. We’ve already heard what Malachi and Jeremiah has to say, so let’s move on to Hebrews, and the author of that Book, which many believe was written by Bruh Paul, unequivocally says: ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.’ (Heb. 13:8) 

Oh friends, you could not get any closer to unchanging than that! Meanwhile James, Jesus’ brother, tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17) And the scholars add their two cents worth to James’ statement. 

On the Immutability of God, which James specifies in that verse, they say: ‘Since all changes are either for the better or for the worse, God is unchanging because He is perfect and cannot get any better nor become worse. The Scriptures describe God’s nature, will and character as immutable or unchanging. Illustration: To be immutable, however does not mean to be immobile. God also has the qualities of personality and can act, think, create, and make decisions. Application: God is unchanging, therefore, Christians can depend on His LOVE and power, because God has not changed since biblical times, (First Ref. Ps. 9:7; Primary Ref. James 1:17; cf. Lev. 19:2).’ 

Now a tidbit from Isaiah on the subject. ‘The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God will stand for ever.’ (Is. 40:8) Mama O Mama! What constancy and stability we have in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Now hear these remarkable, but oh so true words from the psalmist as he cries out for help to the Lord. 

‘I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundations of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure (continue): yea, all of them shall wax (grow) old like a garment; as a vesture (cloak) shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.’ (Ps. 102:24-27) 

Oh my people, my people, how much more do we need to satisfy us that our God is not only good, LOVING, generous, merciful and kind, but also unchangeable eh?  And don’t think for one moment that we’ve run out of scripture that attest to that fact nuh. (smile) So listen up. The psalmist declares with sure authority: ‘The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.’ (Ps. 33:11-12) 

What wonderful assurance of stability! And doesn’t it make you feel like you’re riding on a cloud of joy, knowing that you are one of those people whom the unchangeable, everlasting, ever-LOVING God has chosen for His own inheritance? It ought to. And we can never leave out these marvellous words of Isaiah. ‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.’ (Is. 40:28) 

What more can we ask eh friends? But just in case you still have doubts, let’s listen to Moses, who probably had more intimate dealings with God during his lifetime, than any other human being. He says in his only Psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (given birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’ (Ps. 90:1-2) 

And yuh know what everlasting means mih people; never-ending, endless, without end, perpetual, undying…that means forever! So, if you want something or someone to hold on to that does not change or die, then the Lord God of Israel is the One to hold on to. 

And we are going to end with the best scripture of all time: ‘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) And that’s the crowning scripture my fellow saints in Christ, for without that magnanimous gesture on the part of our great God, everything else is meaningless. 

So please, let’s not allow it go to waste nuh, let’s accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, so that we can dwell with Him, the Father, and the Holy Spirit right down through eternity. That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…our God is a rock…a fortress… a strong foundation…on which to lean and build on…                                                                                         

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 June 2021 John 3:17.

John 3:17.     For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

And a good Tuesday morning, or afternoon, (smile) to you my Scrip-Bits friends and family! Well, it seems like we’re having a couple of hot summer days in a row, with temps in the high twenties, even the low thirties! Wow! Now isn’t that wonderful! It’s tanning time in the northern climes! Saw one fella out the street just now in shorts and no top, barebacked, trying to assimilate some rays. Hope he has on sunscreen though, because that sun can sure be powerful and deadly at times! 

All the air conditioners are running in the area. But who knows how long that will last eh? The weather has been so topsy-turvy recently, that the temperature can go right back down tomorrow. But thank God we have a Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who is not topsy-turvy, but steady, steadfast, reliable, faithful and unchangeable! Bless His holy name my people! That’s why the song declares: ‘Give me Jesus, because that’s all I need!’ And isn’t that the living truth! Jesus is all we ever and will ever need, both in this world and in the next! 

And why is that you ask? Because He is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings! The warrior General with a two-edged sword in His mouth; that means He can create and destroy with His powerful words! The One who fought the enemy, that foolish fellow called Satan, fought Him tooth and nail, mano-a-mano, and took away the keys to Satan’s kingdom, hell, death and the grave, by His death on the cross at Calvary and His triumphant resurrection three days later! 

Now, Satan is a toothless enemy, a dog with plenty bark, but no bite, unless we give him the opportunity to get a toehold in our lives. And on top of all that, Jesus is our refuge, our fortress, our good shepherd, our comforter, the answer to our every need, our strength and joy. No wonder so many of us are calling out for Jesus, we bow down and worship Him, because He’s our shelter in the storm, our guide and co-pilot, who never leads us wrong. 

However, the path that He chooses to lead us along is not an easy one; it’s straight and narrow, with many pitfalls along the way, but with His unerring guidance, we can be certain to make it to the very end of that straight and narrow road, where an eternal rest called heaven and eternal life awaits those whose who sincerely believe in and follow him! Glory be mih brethren! 

Oh my people, how can we ever go wrong when we faithfully desire the person whose name is above every other name eh, and to whom all the world will eventually bow to and worship? No way friends! That’s why, in birth, life and death, Jesus is all we need! And Jesus Himself said so on several occasions. Let’s look at a couple nuh. First and foremost are His immortal words to Nicodemus, who, under the cover of night, came seeking wisdom and understanding. 

‘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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

What a remarkable and momentous pronouncement my fellow believers! It’s the basic reason for all that He’s done! This sinful world of ours needed saving, and that’s what Jesus came to do. He came to show the great LOVE of the Father towards His human creation. And as Bruh Paul so rightly said to the church art Rome: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Yes friends, Christ died a substitutionary death for us, meaning he died in our stead, that because He died, we don’t have to die. Now how thankful should we be for that largesse eh? Very, very thankful, I would think! 

Then listen to Jesus as He rebukes His disciples when they wanted to call down fire and brimstone on a Samaritan village that refused to make Him welcome. ‘Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.’ (Luke 9:55-56) There again friends, in His own words, Jesus proclaims that He is our Saviour, not our destroyer, like the evil enemy and his evil cohorts try to make us believe, because His way is not as broad and destructive as theirs. 

And when Jesus talks about the parable of the lost sheep, He once more reiterates His basic purpose: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt. 18:11) And we see it even more forcefully, when Jesus ate at the house of Zaccheus, the tax collector, who afterward repented and promised to restore fourfold to anyone whom he had wronged. Jesus said to him. ‘This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10) 

And as the scholars explain: ‘19:10. The words seek, save, and lost all appear elsewhere in Scripture in a shepherd context. This verse may be taken as a kernel statement of the central theme of Luke: Jesus is the compassionate, searching Herdsman who seeks to save those who can by no means save themselves.’ Now, right there in a nutshell is our major problem friends; we cannot save ourselves, that’s why we needed someone like Jesus to save us! 

And believe me, He was, and is, and will forever be, the ONLY ONE who’s capable of saving us from the abominable sinful condition we were in, and still are in. That’s because our salvation needed a sinless soul to pay for those abominable sins of ours, and Jesus was the ONLY sinless soul beside the Father in existence. And that’s why He’s the Greatest, the ONE and ONLY Superstar in the universe! All else is folly and foolishness! 

So friends, I do hope that these few words (smile) I’ve penned this morning will bring you to a knowledge of Jesus, and activate you to find out more about Him, then accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. And if you have already done that, then hopefully, these words will draw you even closer to Him. Now for those of us who are serious about Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. 

So as one strong 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 if we are sincere, then, as good representatives, we’ll go out now and spread, generously share that amazing friendship and awesome LOVE of Jesus with those we meet. Much LOVE!

…all I need is Jesus… He is the answer to ALL my prayers…today, tomorrow, and through eternity…                                                                                      

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2021 John 3:16.

John 3:16.     ​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.

So friends, we have at last come to that sorrowful day of mourning in the lives of Christ’s followers! A day that we contrarily call Good Friday. But the truth is, that day, two thousand years ago, was one in which a most horrific crime was committed, the inhumane abuse and eventual crucifixion of Jesus Christ on an old, rugged cross on the hill of Calvary on the outskirts of Jerusalem. And the unbelievable thing is that this took place, less than a week after they had welcomed Him in such a wonderful manner on Palm Sunday, hailing Him as their Saviour, their Immanuel, with Hosannas to the Son of David! 

And it’s not so much the crucifixion itself that was most hurtful, but the shameful manner in which the dastardly act was perpetrated. As the song, ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ puts it, that Cross was and still is ‘the emblem of suffering and shame.’ But the most important point of that day is the purpose behind Christ’s crucifixion, why He allowed Himself to be so abused and demeaned. Hear His fateful words on the subject as He talks about there being one fold and one shepherd in His kingdom. 

‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it up again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (John 10:17-18) Yes friends, as Jesus said, they didn’t take His life from Him, He gave it to them, willingly, so that a world of lost sinners could be saved, so that our horrible sins could be forgiven by a just and righteous God the Father, otherwise we would be heading directly to eternal damnation! 

But Christ’s sacrifice on that old, rugged cross gave us another option, a most wonderful one, that of reconciliation with our Creator! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘All praise to Jesus and His atoning death on our behalf!’ And what’s so great about Jesus’ sacrifice, is that the Father didn’t force Him to do it, but He did it willingly, because of His LOVE for the Father, and knowing the Father’s great LOVE for us! And that’s why we call it Good Friday, because the good of salvation, of atonement, of sin debt relief in full was embedded in, and born of that fateful act! 

Oh, glory be mih people! What a mighty and unselfish act! And that’s why we cherish that old, rugged cross, though it’s the ‘emblem of suffering and shame,’ the manifestation of an act that could only be described as ‘sufferation!’ And yuh know what friends? We ‘LOVE that old cross with the dearest and best, for a world of lost sinners were saved.’ And we’ll keep cherishing that old, rugged cross ‘till my trophies at last I lay down. I will cling to the old, rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown.’ 

Oh my fellow saints, what a wonderful Saviour Christ is! Who else would have spilled His divine blood on a rugged, man-made cross for a bunch of ungrateful sinners eh? NOBODY! In fact, nobody else possessed the ability to pay for the sins of a lost and fallen world, just the sinless Son of God. And God LOVED us so much, despite the bunch of disobedient ingrates we had become, that He broke His own heart and sent His Son to earth to sacrifice His life on our behalf, so that we could have an opportunity to be reconciled to Him. Now if that isn’t real, true LOVE,I don’t what is nuh. 

As Jesus so graciously puts it. ‘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 precious people, all we need to do is believe in Christ, and we become saved, sanctified, justified, forgiven, indwelt by His Holy Spirit, with our name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that means eternal life with Christ! Now what could ever be better than that eh? Absolutely NOTHING! 

So those of us who simply refuse to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour are just fooling ourselves, laying down a most unwelcome path to eternal damnation with that ole fool Satan, when we could have a most excellent journey through eternity with Christ. But as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. And that’s the same way with us hard-headed, stubborn sinners, who believe in the now pleasures of sin, and don’t think of the serious then consequences of our ungodly behaviour. 

Oh yes, there are always consequences to sin, because our righteous and just God can’t stand sin, can’t stand disobedience, and the pleasures of sin only last for a fleeting moment, while the consequences can last a lifetime, even an eternity. So my people, there’s no better day to embrace Christ and all that He stands for, than on this Good Friday, when He selflessly gave His life, His all for us, so that we could be filled with new and eternal life. 

And do we ever need His saving grace in this time of pandemic and strife that’s engulfing our entire world. So please, let’s go to Him in prayer nuh, the medium that He’s set out to communicate with us. So as one strong, sincere, but humble voice, let’s offer up our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and show the Lord that we are indeed faithful believers nuh, by handling the situation in a godly manner! Much LOVE!

…weeping may endure for a night…but joy comes in the morning…Easter Sunday soon come…

P.S. I didn’t forget the ordinary workingman’s spiel, but he was so angry today because the province wide lockdown that starts tomorrow, has cancelled his long awaited return to work, and he bluntly refused to talk to us. Them’s the breaks! (smile) Much LOVE!

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 March 2021 John 3:16.

John 3:16.     ​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.

Welcome to another day in the life friends! And as I keep reminding us, this life might sometimes be on the rough side, but it certainly is worth living, especially if you have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! Glory be mih bredrin! That just got the ole fella excited, energetic and encouraged to start another brand new day, filled with new mercies, compassions and all the other good things our amazing, magnanimous and magnificent God delights in showering down on us new every day! 

Yes, there’s no doubting His magnificence and magnanimity! He shows it in oh so many ways. And today we’ll look at a few scriptures that show that generous and big-hearted nature of our God. And I think the most generous and kind thing our God has ever done is sacrificing His Son Jesus Christ on our sinful behalf. The Good Book tells us, from the very mouth of that sacrificial Lamb: ‘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) 

Now if that isn’t magnanimous, and generous…and all those other synonyms, then I don’t know what is. You can your bottom dollar that I wasn’t sending my only one son to die for no bunch of ungrateful sinners! (smile) And I believe that very few of us would have done it too. But that just shows the expansiveness of God’s heart and His undying LOVE for us, His most precious creation. 

And Jesus followed that up with this other magnificent verse that shows the awesome care and compassion of our heavenly Father. ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) Oh yeah precious people! Instead of wiping us off the map, as God had every reason to do because of our abominable sinfulness, He instead chose to save us. Hn! And are we thankful for that compassion and mercy? A lot of us aren’t. 

That leads us to this other magnificent scripture…oh, they are quite a few in the Good Book! (smile) Bruh Paul tells the church at Rome: ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly… But God commendeth (demonstrates His own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:6,8) I don’t know how we cannot take away or derive immense generosity and largesse from those actions nuh. 

And James describes the Lord’s goodness and non-discrimination thus: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.’ (James 1:5) Yuh see that friends? God is no discriminator of persons. He gives to each generously. And then in Acts, as Peter preaches to the Gentiles, the Good Book says: ‘Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons (He’s impartial): But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.’ (Acts. 10:34-35) 

But it’s important to note that God is impartial to those who fear, reverence Him, do His bidding, and live by His standards, for sin is sin, and if you don’t accept His Son as your Lord and Saviour, then there’s nothing He can do, since that’s the law He laid down as a just and righteous God. And being just and righteous, He must uphold His law. It means He does not change His standards for anyone. 

Now hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. 

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear (reverence) him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps. 103:8-14) 

Oh fellow saints of Christ, do we really appreciate the magnanimity of what Bruh David is saying there? The Lord doesn’t give us what we deserve, and even casts away our sins and forgets them if we serve and reverence Him in all sincerity and truth! And I think it’s only fitting to declare the words of the Lord Himself on the subject, this when He passed before Moses on Mt. Sinai. 

‘And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him (Moses) there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.’ (Ex. 34:5-7) 

And since the Lord Himself said it, and He’s not a man, therefore has no cause to lie, then that must be the ultimate truth! Matter fixed! Our God is a wonderful magnanimous, magnificent, holy, just and righteous Deity! Therefore we will serve and worship Him with all our heart, strength, soul, body and mind! And to show that we are sincere, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now: ‘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!’ 

So let’s keep our eyes focused on Jesus and endure unto the end, when that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…if after all God’s done for us…we don’t revere and LOVE Him…then something’s definitely wrong with us… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 July 2020 Romans 5:8.

Romans 5:8.     ​But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 

It’s Sunday my fellow believers, so let’s have church nuh! And all the faithful cried out: ‘Yeah! Yeah! Let’s have church! Let’s sing and dance and give much praise and thanks unto our most merciful, gracious and forgiving God!’ Then let’s gather; either in the few physical sanctuaries that are opened, or around our technological toys, for there is no way to stop the faithful if they truly want to worship their heavenly Father. 

And as always, we begin with a song of praise, today’s being that ole faithful ‘Jesus LOVES Me!’ Why? Because that’s where the Holy Spirit led me. While contemplating a couple others, that one just flashed into my mind, and you can’t disregard zeppos like that. (smile) But before we get into it, here’s a li’l background to its creation. 

The comforting and peaceful words were first written by Anna B Warner as a poem in 1860 for a dying child on her sister Susan’s request. Then a couple years later William Bradbury put the beautiful and heartfelt words to music. And after a century and a half in existence, it’s now become one of the most popular Christian hymns around the world, and because of its simple direct message, is one of the first hymns missionaries teach to new converts. So all together now, in soulful harmony, with total sincerity, let’s make our earthly voices ring out to heaven sweet and pure, in praiseful sacrifice. 

Jesus LOVES me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so; Little ones to Him belong; They are weak, but He is strong. (Refrain: Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! The Bible tells me so.) Jesus LOVES me! This I know, As He LOVED so long ago, Taking children on His knee, Saying, “Let them come to Me.” (Refrain) Jesus LOVES me still today, Walking with me on my way, Wanting as a friend to give Light and LOVE to all who live. 

(Refrain) Jesus LOVES me! He who died Heaven’s gate to open wide; He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in. (Refrain) Jesus LOVES me! He will stay Close beside me all the way; Thou hast bled and died for me, I will henceforth live for Thee. Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! The Bible tells me so. Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! The Bible tells me so.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! It’s exactly what the Bible tells us: He LOVED us so much that He came down from heaven and died to save our sinful souls. Jesus said it in His most famous words: ‘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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) Now if that isn’t a stirring and sterling declaration of LOVE, then I don’t know what is nuh! 

And furthermore, Bruh Paul declares (yeahh!) it thus: ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly… But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:6, 8). Yeh friends, ALL that Jesus did for us was done out of true LOVE! Why, you ask? Because the Father’s greatest attribute is LOVE! As Bruh Paul says, ‘And now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three, but the greatest is these is LOVE.’ (1 Cor. 13:13) And there’s no disputing that! 

John meanwhile said it this way: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God, for God is LOVE.’ (1 John 4:8) Simple and to the point my people. Then, when we add the fact that we are the Father’s creation and He did not want to lose us to the enemy, be eternally separated from us if we continued living in sin, He made a way for us to reverse that eventuality, by sending His only Son to be the propitiation, the atonement for our sins. In other words, to pay our sin debt in full and give us the opportunity to spend eternity with Him, like He had planned it from the very beginning. 

The only difference is that because sin came into our world, we now have to make a conscious choice of where we want to spend eternity. So it’s all up to us as individuals now my people: if you want to spend eternity in hell with the fallen angel Lucifer, then you simply continue living in sin. However, if you decide you want to spend eternity with Christ in heaven, then you need to believe in Him and live according to His rules, which are not onerous. As He truthfully says: ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:30). 

Now let’s go home this morning energized and reassured with these wise words from the web site God Tube. ‘The Bible tells us that God LOVES each and every one of us, despite our sins and faults. Be comforted by the simple lyrics of ‘Jesus LOVES Me’ and remember that our Creator is Almighty and ALL-LOVING. He is with us each step of the day and will NEVER leave our side. We may be weak, but He is our strength.’ 

Please, let’s take those words to heart today my friends, as they are filled with eternal truth! Much LOVE!

…‘Jesus LOVES me…simply states…the profound truth of God’s LOVE.’ 

P.S. It’s short and sweet…and early! Wow! Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2020 John 3:16.

John 3:16.    ​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.
 
And Sunday, the great day of wonderful fellowship has arrived! Not that fellowship can’t happen at other times, but Sunday has been set aside by the Lord as the day He wants as many believers as possible to gather together in His sanctuary to sing and praise and exalt His holy name, to hear His amazing Word, then leave there with batteries thoroughly recharged, filled with LOVE, joy, grace, peace, mercy, spiritual strength and confidence to face the evil world in which we dwell! 

So let’s make a special effort to gather in the Lord’s house today nuh my people, so that we can have joyful communion with our great God and with fellow believers! Steups! Like I can’t spell believers either! Ah Lord eh! And in a most appropriate manner, let’s open the proceedings with a favourite song of praise that tells of the true greatness of our magnificent God, one aptly titled ‘How Great Thou Art!’ Oh, some people leave out the second verse, but I think that’s wrong, because like the first it describes God’s great work in nature. So we won’t leave out anything that glorifies our God! (smile) 

In full voice, like one harmonious whole, let’s raise our voices to heaven in sacrificial praise, sincerely believing the words we sing: ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder Consider all The works Thy Hand hath made, I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, Thy pow’r throughout The universe displayed, (Chorus: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!) 

When through the woods And forest glades I wander I hear the birds Sing sweetly in the trees, When I look down From lofty mountain grandeur And hear the brook And feel the gentle breeze, (Chorus:) And when I think, that God His Son not sparing, Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in. That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing He bled and died, to take away my sin. (Chorus: ) 

When Christ shall come, With shouts of acclamation, And take me home, What joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow In humble adoration And there proclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!” (Chorus: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!’ 

Oh friends what a joyful and grateful song! The Lord was most pleased with our praise. How could He not eh, when the words were oh so true and the sentiments sincere? For throughout the scriptures there are acknowledgments of all that we have sung above. And it’s said nowhere better than in Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord. 

Please declare with me: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah) from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.’ Ps. 148:1-6) 

Yes friends, it’s all been the Lord’s doing! As another psalmist gave voice: ‘By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as a heap: he layeth up the depth (deep) in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast.’ (Ps.33. 6-9) What an omnipotent God we serve and worship my people! 

But yuh know what, the second half of our song is even greater than the first half, because it shows God’s true greatness through His mercy, grace, compassion and LOVE for us sinful children of men. Only a truly great, and in total control Deity could have espoused a scheme so magnanimous as sending His only Son to pay for our sins as a sacrificial lamb on the cross of Calvary. The old song says that ‘Only a fool breaks his own heart,’ but our God was no fool nuh when He broke His own to save us from eternal separation from Him. That just showed the immense LOVE He had for His creation, though that creation had turned against Him. 

Here these poignant words of Bruh Paul nuh: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 8) And Jesus Himself made it very clear with these awesome words: ‘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.’ It couldn’t get any better than that nuh friends! The Creator giving up His Son, His sinless wonderful Son to save a bunch of reprobates like us…

Chuh! I don’t see how we could not sincerely LOVE, worship, reverence, exalt and be obedient to Him nuh, after all that He’s done and has faithfully promised to do for us. But since we have free will, freedom to choose whom or what we serve, we getting stubborn and rebellious. Remember though friends, our God might be a compassionate Deity, but He’s also a God of justice and righteousness, and one day we all will have to answer to him for our earthly behaviour. Hebrews warns us quite clearly: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.’ (Heb.9:27) Please put that in yuh pipe and smoke it. Much LOVE!

…he who doesn’t hear…will certainly feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2019 John 3:16.

John 3:16.    ​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.
 

And then it was Tuesday…Christmas Eve! Wow! One more day to the Big One! And the preparations are certainly in full swing now; the food is plentiful – too plentiful, the decorations are plentiful – too plentiful, with Christmas trees and stockings and all the other whatnots that show up at Christmas time. Yes, the house seems more congested than ever…too much stuff – not enough room for the people who are supposed to be celebrating. 

And NO, I’m not a grinch or some such negative Christmas person, but I think we tend to overdo the physical and worldly aspects of the season and don’t pay enough attention to the spiritual side. But that’s just my humble opinion… so who’s paying any attention to it eh? (smile) And to help us get a li’l more into the spiritual aspect of the season, let’s get into something interesting from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. It’s aptly titled ‘A Christmas Prayer.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger (food trough) carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest. I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. 

So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree. I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving, solid, sturdy, strong-rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen forever. Amen!’ Oh my fellow believers, what beautiful Christian sentiments, so appropriate for not only this festive Christmas season, but for all the year, for all our lives! 

And yuh know friends, the whole thing is so simple, but through our foolish pride and stupid disobedience we make it seem so complicated. Yes mih people, it’s all simply about LOVE; about the LOVE of God! And consequently our LOVE for Him and for our fellow man. And if you don’t believe me, let’s look at some relevant scripture that proves my point. First off is this momentous declaration (steups!) by none other than Jesus Himself, re the purpose and reason for His coming to earth as a man. ‘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.’ 

Oh my people, we all know that monumental scripture, and mouth it often, but do we ever take a moment to truly think about it, and how it ought to affect our lives? I don’t think so. Or if we do, not nearly enough, because it’s only the LOVE of God that caused Jesus to come to earth at Christmas, so He could eventually save our sinful souls by dying on Calvary’s sacrificial cross; nothing else but LOVE my brethren!  And how should this wonderful and marvellous emotion be played out in our own lives? 

Listen to Jesus again, as the foppish, hypocrite Pharisee lawyer asked Him: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40) Yuh see mih breddren, EVERYTHING, from day One, right to the end of time, has to do with LOVE!  

And the apostle John puts it all so beautifully in his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:7-11) 

That’s it in a nutshell people! God first LOVED us, that’s why we’re celebrating the birth of Christ in this Christmas season. And furthermore, He requires His followers to both LOVE Him and our fellow human beings. That’s not a desire or a wish; it’s His command! So please, in this time of over-the-top celebrations, when there’s still so much, sickness, poverty, homelessness, hatred, strife and war in our rather prosperous world, please, I implore us, as true believers in Christ, let’s sincerely show the LOVE of God to those around us nuh, especially the less fortunate, for that’s when we’re most Christ-like. 

Now let’s go home this Christmas Eve day declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. Altogether now in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 let’s go out and walk that talk, like we ought to. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith, hope, LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor. 13:13)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 November 2019 John 3:16.

John 3:16.    ​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.
 

Ah friends, yesterday was beautiful; bright and sunshiny…and as always, also filled with the illuminating and reassuring presence of Jesus! Wow! That surely made it an extraordinary autumn day. (smile) The good thing though is that we’ve been promised another one like that today… Glory be my people! Let’s hope the weather forecasters are not wrong nuh, because Sunday is the worst day for any kind of precipitation, because we then conveniently use it as an excuse not to join other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary to praise, worship, give thanks and exalt His holy name.

And it is indeed a very handy and common excuse, so please don’t deny it. But yuh know what; rain, sleet or snow doesn’t stop us from going out to party. That just shows how high the Lord is on our list of priorities. He should be at the head of the list; as Jesus wisely advised: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…’ (Matt. 6:33) And if He’s not, then we will eventually have to answer, why not? Let’s stay in the moment though, we’ve come to praise and worship Almighty God and hear His Word, so lets commence in our usual fashion with a song.

But first, listen to how it became today’s song nuh. A couple of days ago, as I laid me down to have an evening nap, the thought of what song to use this Sunday suddenly flitted through my mind, and just as suddenly the answer came: ‘Because He Lives!’ That wasn’t even on my radar of possibilities, but it seems like the Lord wanted to hear that one today, and who am I to say Him nay eh? (smile) So let’s get it all together nuh and sing those wonderful words, penned by Bill and Gloria Gaither, outlining and praising Jesus amazing work on our behalf.

Now, in soulful, heartfelt and grateful harmony, let’s raise our voices to heaven on high, where Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand, advocating for us, and let Him know without a doubt, how much we truly LOVE and appreciate Him! ‘(Chorus: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living Just because He lives.) (Repeat) God sent His Son they called Him, Jesus. He came to LOVE, heal and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. (Chorus)

How sweet to hold a newborn baby And feel the pride and joy he gives But greater still that calm assurance This child can face uncertain days because He lives And then one day I’ll cross the river I’ll fight life’s final war with pain And then, as death gives way to vict’ry I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!  Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living…Just because He lives. And life is worth the living…Just because He lives, And life is worth the living…Just because He lives.’

Oh friends, oh friends, that was such a moving rendition that it caused tears to well up both in the Father’s and Jesus’ eyes! And it just boggles my imagination to think that people don’t take Jesus seriously, but still abuse and blaspheme His holy name like they did way back  when He came to earth and gave His sinless life as a sacrifice for us, so that we could be reconciled to, made right with the Father!

That’s the major reason that He came, as He so eloquently declared in the scripture that we all know and cherish, but still don’t take seriously enough, otherwise there wouldn’t be as much sin and unrighteousness still existing in our world. ‘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.’ That’s it right there in a nutshell friends! God’s LOVE and compassion for us sinful children was so great that He sacrificed the sinless life of His only Son to pay for our sins, for always and ever.

Jesus became the official sacrificial Lamb for ALL mankind, and that’s why the words of our song are so true! We can live now, without fear of the future, because His death and resurrection opened up a bright new, righteous world for us! He defeated hell, death and the grave so that we could be pardoned, and an empty grave and a downtrodden Satan are there to prove it! And it’s gospel truth that He came to LOVE, to heal and forgive, because we see it all in living colour in His ministry, both here on earth, and continuing in heaven above.

As He further declared: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And so said…so done! And is it ever mightily reassuring to know that because Christ lives, our children don’t have to fear the uncertain circumstances of this life either? But the greatest part though friends, is on that fateful day, when we cross over to the other side, when we’ve left pain and war and all negative things behind, He’ll be there waiting for us with opened arms, sincerely declaring (steups!): ‘Oh welcome thou good and faithful servant…welcome home!’

That’s certainly worth all the negativity, all the ‘sufferation’ down here on earth my brethren! So please let’s be wise nuh; let’s do as He says and abide in Him, for His reasoning is flawless: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Matter done! Much LOVE!

…to experience true victory…and real glory in eternity…one must hook one’s cart to Jesus’ horse…

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