Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 November 2021 Matthew 5:10.

Matthew 5:10.      Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

What a morning! The day’s half done, and I haven’t done my business yet. (smile) But that’s how life intervenes sometimes; getting you behind the eight-ball before you have even begun. So, without further ado, let’s begin. And the Good Book opened today on the Beatitudes, those blessings with which Christ began His Sermon on the Mount, and though we are only going to look specifically at the last section, the scholars offer an excellent explanation of Jesus’ message. 

They say: ‘The opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount indicate that the message deals with the inner state of mind and heart that is the indispensable absolute of true Christian discipleship. It delineates the outward manifestation of character and conduct of true believers and genuine disciples. Thus, the life of the believer, described by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, is a life of grace and glory, which comes from God alone. To make this quality of life the product of man’s human efforts (as does the liberal) is the height of overestimation of man’s ability and underestimation of his depravity. 

To relegate this entire message, Jesus’ longest recorded sermon, to a Jewish only life-style, as do some dispensationalists, is to rob the church of her greatest statement of true Christian living. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus states the spiritual character and quality of the kingdom He would establish, and the basic qualities of this kingdom are fulfilled in the church He would establish. Virtually every section of this message is repeated in substance elsewhere in the New Testament. Nothing here indicated that this message is to be limited in its application to the people of Israel only.’ 

Awright friends, so we now have a working knowledge of what the Beatitudes are supposed to mean, because just reading them without a proper understanding, will lead us astray, since all of them begin with ‘Blessed,’ which means “happy,’ but seem to be applicable to people who are suffering. They all seem rather contradictory to what the world expects. How can a suffering person be blessed and happy eh? But that’s because Jesus is talking about His spiritual kingdom, not that of this physical world, and the spiritual world always seems to be the opposite of the physical. 

Now, according to the scholars ‘Blessed is a basic description of the believer’s inner condition as a result of the work of God. These Beatitudes, like Psalm 1, do not show a man how to be saved, but rather describe the characteristics of one who has been saved.’ 

And finally, (smile) we come to the section we want to look at. It says: ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.’ (Matt. 5:10-11) Yes, my fellow saints, if we live the way Jesus wants us to live, we will face persecution, ridicule and hate from the world around us. 

And the scholars explain: ‘5:10.  As Jesus develops His message, He clearly teaches that such a life causes His people to be in direct contrast to the world in which they live. Therefore He reminds us, Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. The plural use of  “ye” in verse 11 indicates that He foresaw this persecution as touching all His followers. Notice 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”  

There’s absolutely no doubt about that friends! No wonder so many of us don’t acknowledge Christ, or our faith in Him in public, because we are either and/or ashamed and afraid of the repercussions from those around us. But we must remember that no cause is ever easily invoked or maintained. 

Please note what the scholars tell us, re verse 11. ‘Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. This persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that’s why I chose that section of the Beatitudes to look at today my fellow brethren. Some of us are naïve, or just don’t know what to expect in being a true and devout Christian and trying to live by the principles that Christ taught. But it is not a simple matter, as we see from the beginning of the church all the way down to right now. And yuh better believe that in many places, it’s open season on persecuting believers. So it’s not something to be taken lightly. 

However, as our Lord and Saviour always does, He provides solace for us even in those times of persecution. He says: ‘Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’  (Matt. 5:12) And I know that’s difficult to do when persecution is staring you straight in the face, but it’s a necessary part of walking with Jesus. 

Listen to the scholars again: ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase ‘Rejoice and be exceeding glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

And that’s the God-awesome truth! We have to keep our minds tuned to the home we have waiting in heaven for us. Although this one will be pretty rough, the ultimate one will be worth all and any suffering we do down here. Please remember what Jesus said to the disciples later on when He was explaining the whole scenario of His coming and going to them? ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And He has overcome the world through His death, resurrection and ascension, but we have to be strong and remember that this earth is not our home, and for Jesus’ sake, with His strength and wisdom, handle whatever comes against us, knowing that He is faithful who promised. And for those of us who are sincerely attempting to do that, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) 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!’ 

Yes friends, let’s keep that glorious future of heaven in our mind’s eye as we walk this evil and ungodly earth. Much LOVE!

…whatever ‘sufferation’ this earthly life brings…the joy of heaven will supersede and totally erase it…as soon as we get there…                                                                                                                              

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2021 Matthew 5:12.

Matthew 5:12.     ​Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Oh friends, this lazy, hazy, bleak looking Saturday morning in the winter of 2021 has begun a tad rough on the ole fella. (smile) Ah the pleasures of a late night…but the travesty of an early morning. But as the ole people would say, when you do not listen you will feel, and believe me, I am feeling now. (smile) But that’s neither here nor there, God’s work needs to be done, and I know that He will give me the strength and wisdom to do it in a good and sound manner. Why? Because He has faithfully promised: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor. 12:9a) 

Yes friends, that’s what the Lord told Bruh Paul after he had complained for the third time about a nagging and uncomfortable body problem. And that’s the promise He makes to all of us who are weak and pained; in our pain and weakness His strength and glory are shown forth. Please remember that in those times when you feel weak and in pain; the Lord’s grace will show out in you if you turn to Him in all sincerity. Enough preaching now though. And I know you’re thankful for that. (smile) 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this past week. And the first one, makes this dramatic statement. ‘Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.’ Now that statement does have a lot of truth in it, but whether it’s the greatest enemy of truth, I don’t know. And we do have an exceptionally good recent example of it; the crowds of Americans who listened to the lying and deceitful rhetoric of Donald Trump and the other high up, powerful but oh so deceitful crooks around him, and blindly believed in the lies and deceits they so blatantly spouted. That is what has caused the wide, unamicable split, the hateful and resentful division we now have in the U.S. of A. 

So blind belief in authority does carry serious negative problems to overall truth. And the second quote proudly proclaims: ‘Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.’ And you really can’t find any problems with that statement nuh my people, for it’s totally true. All those characteristics are choices that one must make if you want to embrace them. 

And furthermore, they are all characteristics that the believer in Jesus Christ ought to espouse, because they are all a part of his philosophy, a part of His wonderful gospel! That means choices are an invaluable part of our life, we can’t get away from them, but the essence of the whole thing is that we must be sure to choose wisely, for unwise decisions usually cause, or bring dire consequences, even life-changing, lifetime ones. And having said that, I would be amiss not to tell us that the best choice we can ever make in this life is to believe in Jesus Christ, make him our Lord and Saviour and follow him from now until eternity! 

And interestingly enough, that last quote segues nicely into this next one. ‘When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow saints in Christ! Although we know that when the Lord closes one door He usually opens another, we get so caught up in what we might have lost, that we fail to realize and recognize the better things that the Lord is offering in the new situation. 

I guess that’s just a normal human reflex action. We miss the good things we lose, more than we look forward to the better things that are ahead. But let’s not beat up ourselves over that fact nuh because mourning and grief over the lost all takes time. But we do have to make sure that we don’t make that sad time too long since it would just break us up even further. Remember the Lord doesn’t close doors on us, unless he has better ones to open. And when those doors close in future, let’s contemplate the promise He made to His people, Israel, through the prophet Isaiah so long ago; ‘to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ (Is: 61:3) 

But as sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘You can’t get the beauty until you give up the ashes.’ And that’s oh so true. We have to turn away from the closed door, though it may be sad and hard, else we’ll never see the newly opened one. It’s all a matter of maturity, of growing in God’s Spirit, of being lifted up from glory to glory! 

And the last quote trumpets this eternal truth: ‘Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.’ And yes, that’s an indisputable fact! If mankind would only change its evil, wicked, inhumane and unjust ways, this world would be such a wonderful place! But I guess that’s never going to happen, at least until Jesus sets up His kingdom here on earth. 

In the meanwhile though, He expects his faithful and sincere followers to exhibit those magnificent tendencies of truth, compassion, honesty and justice, and to stand up forcefully against the powers of greed, inhumanity, injustice and all the other negative things that make life so difficult for so much of mankind. And I believe the best way to close today is with some memorable words of Jesus taken from His Sermon on the Mount., the opening of His earthly ministry. 

And it’s worthwhile to note that He began with the Beatitudes, statements that the scholars explain ‘deal with the inner state of mind and heart that is the indispensable absolute truth of true Christian discipleship. It delineates the outward manifestations of character and conduct of true believers and genuine disciples… It’s a life of grace and glory, which comes from God alone.’ 

So let’s listen to these last few Beatitudes. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt. 5:9-12) 

Oh friends, it is tough living for Jesus, but oh so rewarding. Hear the scholars as they explain just why living for Jesus is the most glorious thing we can do in this life. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase “Rejoice and be exceeding glad,” means even more, exult (triumph, jubilation)! Great is your reward in heaven focusses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Let’s think on that nuh this Saturday my precious people. Much LOVE!

…blessed are those who believe in Jesus…and follow His example… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2020 Hebrews 12:2a.

Hebrews 12:2a.     ​Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith;

Well friends, it was nice while it lasted; I mean the physical ‘gatheration’ in the Lord’s sanctuary for the past couple of months. But with the Covid -19 business coming back with a vengeance in a second wave, it’s been thought prudent, in my local church, after today, to suspend the physical gathering for a month and revert to just the virtual stuff. And if that saves lives, then so be it. It was good seeing a few people after such a long time though, but the virus is no respecter of persons and it doesn’t make sense trying to buck it if it’s not necessary. 

So let’s get down to the business of worship now nuh. And today we’ll sing a song penned by Marijohn Wilkins and Kris Kristofferson back in the last half of the last century, a favourite of all believers, titled ‘One Day At A Time Sweet Jesus.’ And no, we not doing a strictly soul version, but an easy rocking reggae version, a la Carlene Davis, the well-known Jamaican Gospel singer. So altogether now, let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony as we give praise, thanks and adoration to our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

And we opening with the chorus…some easy skanking now. (smile) ‘(Chorus: One day at a time sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking from you Give me the strength To do everything that I have to do Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Help me today, show me the way One day at a time) I’m only human I’m just a woman (man) Help me believe in what I could be and all that I am. Oh show me the stairways I have to climb Lord for my sake teach me to take One day at a time. 

(Chorus: One day at a time sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking from you Just give me the strength To do everything that I have to do Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Help me today, show me the way One day at a time) Oh do you remember? When you walked among men? Well Jesus you know If you’re looking below That its worse now than then Oh there’s Cheating and stealing, violence and crime. So Lord for my sake teach me to take One day at a time) 

(Chorus: One day at a time sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking from you Just give me the strength To do everything that I have to do Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Help me today, show me the way One day at a time Oh help me today Show me the way One day at a time… One day at a time…Sweet Jesus…Teach me to take One day at a time…One day at a time…Lord help me today…Show me the way…One day at a time.’ 

Oh mih people, that was some nice easy rocking! And what I like about it all is that when the riddim is rocking down here on earth, heaven rocks with us! Glory be! And so it should be, all God’s creation ought to praise Him. As the psalmist so rightly says in Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord. It’s a universal declaration: 

‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord 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. 

Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons (sea creatures), and all deeps. Fire and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men and maidens; old men, and children: 

Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn (strength, dominion) of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah)!’ 

Yes mih people, the psalmist is calling on everybody, all of God’s creation; heavenly beings and heavenly bodies, as well as earthly beings and earthly substances to give God praise because of His creative power and the towering majesty of His awesome glory. Yes, our great and powerful God should always be showered with praise because He undoubtedly deserves it! And no more so than for giving us the greatest gift ever, salvation and eternal life through the sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Wow mih bredrin! If that isn’t something to give much thanks and praise for, then I don’t know what is nuh. For Jesus is all that we can ever ask for or desire! He’s our EVERYTHING! He came to earth and experienced the evil and tough times like we’re doing, was tempted just like we are, but did not sin, so He understands our predicament from personal experience, not hearsay. That’s why it’s simple common sense to turn to Jesus for help. 

And I want to leave us with a couple of appropriate scriptures that proclaim such wisdom. Both are from the Book of Hebrews. The first says we can run our race day by day: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) 

And the second scripture tells us of the sympathetic Christ. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our 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. 4:14-16) 

Yes precious saints of Christ, that’s why we can look to Jesus for grace and mercy to live each day as we ought to, in His name, doing His work, diligently and excellently! Much LOVE!

…if yuh not turning to Jesus for help…then yuh being foolish… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2019 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.    ​If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
 
Oh isn’t it great to be alive on a sunshiny morning my faithful brethren in Christ? It surely is! And though it’s still somewhat chilly in my area, life gets even better when we realize the treasure we have in Jesus Christ being our Lord and Saviour, our Leader and Guide, etc. etc! That’s just the cat’s pajamas; (smile) the best it can get, both in this world and the next! 

So let’s not murmur and complain about the problems we have nuh, instead, let’s give thanks and praise and glory to Almighty God for the great blessings He’s bestowed on us, especially that of His Son, Jesus Christ! And since it’s Saturday, let’s get right to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.’ And is that ever so true. This earthly life is chocked full of problems, but we can’t allow them to get us down, otherwise we’d just lead a negative and depressed life. 

And remember Jesus said that He had overcome the world and we should cheer up, be glad, in spite of the tribulations we encounter. (John 16:33) So please, let’s not allow problems to ruin our happiness. With Jesus help, they are all conquerable! 

And listen to this quote: ‘Make improvements, not excuses. Seek respect, not attention.’ More truth there friends! Our society nowadays is one of excuses and casting blame everywhere else but on ourselves, where more often than not, it truly belongs! But let’s not play the blame game nuh, because it doesn’t help, just causes more confusion and bitterness and disunity. And above all, it doesn’t show the kind of people we ought to be as followers of Jesus. 

And I like this quote: ‘The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living.’ Oh is that truth in spades my people! The past is very useful, but only as a guide to the future, to show you what mistakes you should not make again. But unfortunately too many of us live in the past, that’s why we’re so unhappy and unfulfilled. We let the past colour our present and future lives too much. 

Living in the past is the worst thing we can do to our present day lives. Therefore: ‘Do not let the memories of your past limit the potential of your future. There are no limits to what you can achieve on your journey through life, except in your mind!’ So true friends so true! All the past does is limit our future and hold us back from the awesome life that God has prepared for us. So please, let’s just learn from the past nuh, but not live there in squalor and hopelessness. (smile) 

And this last quote also aligns nicely with those gone before, sort of paraphrasing them. ‘Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.’ And before we even talk about the challenges, let’s remember that life is a journey, one we ought to enjoy, one in which we grow from glory to glory, meeting the challenges that this evil and ungodly world constantly throws at us with the help of the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us. 

Some of us believe that life is just something to muddle through and be constantly depressed and negative. But remember what Jesus said, that He came that we might have life, and have it in abundance! (John 10:10) Now does that sound like we should always be down in the dumps, beaten by the challenges of life? No! Exactly the opposite! 

We talk about how Jesus has conquered, hell, death and the grave, so if He’s conquered the evil forces of this world, why should we be mired in depression and negativity, anxiety and fear eh? The victory is already ours, we just have to live it out in confidence and assurance, if we truly believe in Jesus and all that He’s said. 

But yuh know what friends, for us to successfully do all that we’ve talked about above, we have to do one basic thing, sincerely take up our cross and follow Jesus! That’s the ONLY way our lives will ever be truly worthwhile! Jesus didn’t mince words when He said it. ‘If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Oh my people, I know that many of us believe that taking up our cross and following Jesus is extremely difficult. And at times it is yes; like giving up our selfish desires to help others, facing up to challenges that we want to shy away from, going the extra mile and turning the other cheek, like Jesus desires of His followers. Yes, we are not supposed to be like the world, but show the world a different style. 

And I bypassed the most important word in Jesus’ statement on purpose; ‘daily.’ Now that’s the magic word friends. We don’t pick up our cross when we feel like, or when it’s convenient for us, but each and every day of our earthly lives, if we are truly sincere believers in Jesus! Yes, it’s hard. But nobody ever said that life would be easy. And just look at what Jesus suffered for us nuh. The least we can do is to show a li’l gratitude and gratefulness by picking up our cross and following Him daily. 

‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.’ (Luke 9:24-26) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t be any plainer and clearer than that! So please, let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh, because Jesus can return at any time, and if you’re caught napping when He comes, then crapaud smoke yuh pipe! Much LOVE!

…to truly serve Jesus…one must take up one’s cross…DAILY…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2019 Matthew 6:34.

Matthew 6:34.   Take therefore no thought for the morrow (don’t worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for (worry about) the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.

 

Awright friends, it’s Sunday, that great first day of the week that we all know and LOVE! Some of us just like it because we can laze around in it, conveniently using the biblical contention that it’s supposed to be a day of rest. (smile) Meanwhile, to others, it is also a day to get together with fellow believers and celebrate God’s goodness, give Him praise and thanks and exalt His holy name in return for all that’s He done for us! 

And that’s what I’d suggest we all do on this cold Sunday in February; hie thee hither to the Lord’s sanctuary and worship and sing praises to our omnipotent and magnanimous God, hear His awesome Word, and receive His healing power and confidence to face the upcoming week! Now that’s what a Sunday should be all about! 

And as always, we open the proceedings with a song of praise and thanksgiving. Today’s song will be a popular gospel tune written I believe somewhere in the 1970’s by Marijohn Wilkins and Kris Kristofferson; a heartfelt plea to be granted mercy and grace, forgiveness and all that’s necessary to live a righteous life ‘One Day at a Time Sweet Jesus!’ 

So let’s raise the roof of the sanctuary- if there is one – (smile) as we raise our voices to heaven, humbly imploring our heavenly Father to grant our heart’s desire. As one body in Christ now:  (Chorus: One day at a time, sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking of You Just give me the strength to do every day What I have to do Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Lord, help me today Show me the way One day at a time) 

I’m only human, I’m just a woman (man) Help me believe in what I could be And all that I am Show me the stairway That I have to climb Lord, for my sake, teach me to take One day at a time. (Chorus) Oh, do you remember When You walked among men Well, Jesus, You know If You’re looking below It’s worse now, than then, Cheating and stealing, violence and crime So for my sake, teach me to take One day at a time 

(Chorus: One day at a time, sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking of You Just give me the strength to do every day What I have to do Oh, yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Lord, help me today Show me the way One day at a time Lord, help me today Show me the way One day at a time One day at a time.’ 

Yeh friends, fortunately or unfortunately, one day at a time is the only way we can live this earthly life and we do need God’s provision to do so successfully. And He is only too eager to provide them for us every day! Remember what Jeremiah says in his Lamentations? ‘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.3:22-23) 

 That’s a crucial bit of scripture friends, something we should all pay serious attention to, for just consider what our state would be if the Lord didn’t provide us with new mercies and compassion and LOVE each and every day nuh? Putting it simple and straightforward; crapaud smoke we pipe! That’s for sure! 

But even more important than God’s mercies being available new every morning, is the inescapable fact that we have to do our part to get, to receive them. They just don’t fall in our laps like manna from heaven. Each day that we draw the breath of life, we need to be actively engaged in God’s work and try to live right, to let His will be our top priority. 

And Jesus, who knows best, because that’s exactly what He did in His earthly life – draw inspiration and strength from the Father each and every day through prayer and thanksgiving – gives us this serious and wise advice during His famous Sermon on the Mount. 

‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (don’t worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for (worry about) the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34) 

 And if we’d only follow those words of wisdom from our High Priest, our Lord and Saviour, our lives would be so much better. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make some plans for the future, but today should bear most of our concentration, for we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, we might not even be around, and most likely it will have its own troubles. 

I like how the scholars put it: ‘When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’ 

So friends, it’s not like we don’t know what we’re supposed to do, but we either don’t believe it, are afraid to do it, or our faith just isn’t strong enough. But whatever the reason why we aren’t making God and today our primary focuses, let’s promise ourselves to change it nuh. 

Let’s go to the source of ALL help, our heavenly Father Himself and pour out our hearts, just like we did in the song above. Remember, He will NEVER turn away anyone who sincerely and humbly comes to Him for help! Much LOVE!

…Lord help me today…show me the way…one day at a time…only one day at a time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2018 Matthew 10:16.

Matthew 10:16.   Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.

Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful! That’s the only way I can describe yesterday friends. It was more of a summer than a spring day, with the heat from the sun radiating somewhere in the mid-twenties, suitably accompanied by a cool, brisk breeze. And today seems like it’s going to be more of the same. Glory be! 

Oh I know you folks who live in the tropics are accustomed to that kind of weather all the time, but we poor northerners have to be thankful and celebrate when we get it, especially after the strange winter weather we’ve just had. (smile) 

But unfortunately all is not wine and roses, for it seems that two misguided men went into a Bombay Bhel Indian Restaurant in my city of Mississauga last night around 10.30 p.m and exploded a crude bomb of projectiles injuring about 15 people, some of them critically. Ah Lord eh! They were obviously well covered from head to foot, so that the video surveillance couldn’t detect them. 

Obviously they had no manly parts, injuring innocent people for whatever foolish reason. I don’t know exactly where this particular restaurant of the chain is located, but it certainly doesn’t feel good when these sorts of things begin happening close to home. We can’t allow those fools to have us live in fear though, so let’s keep on going with God and hope the powers that be catch them soon. 

Now it’s Friday and the workingman is out there lustily singing his lustful song. (smile) ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And it come quickly this week because was only four days of labour for that greedy and unfair massa. And I know how it burn him to pay us for that holiday, but we do get a break here and there. 

But enough about massa, is the weekend and we time, so let’s get on with enjoying it nuh. And the good weather is providing so many more options for doing that. So eat, drink and party like leggo beasts’ mih people! For who knows whether you’ll be around tomorrow! Hn, Hn! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

So what do we believers have to say to that eh? Too much leeway, not enough boundaries! It’s only allowing Lucifer to get into our souls and destroy them. And we counter with our Friday 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.’ 

Yeh friends, we always have to be on our p’s and q’s when we live and work for Jesus because there is nothing the enemy likes more than to get into our souls and spoil our witness. That brings us to our Bit, a strange but interesting pronouncement of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to His disciples. ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’  

Oh my brethren, to be wise but innocent is not an easy task to accomplish in this evil, very wolfish world! But if Jesus says to do it, then it must be doable and He will give us the wherewithal to do it. 

But Jesus does warn: ‘But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against (to) them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up take no thought how or what (do not worry about) what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 

For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:17-22) 

Yes faithful believers, we’re living in a very deceitful world and thus need to be very careful of whom we pick as our associates. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘10:17-22. Take no thought means “Do not be anxious.” (See Mark 13:9-13; Luke 12:11-12; 21:12-19) It shall be given you promises that the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit would tell them what to say in each situation they would face. 

For my name’s sake: They would endure great persecution because of their identification with Jesus Christ. But he that endureth to the end shall be saved is a promise of perseverance, not a teaching that salvation may be lost. Rather, it indicates that those who are truly saved will indeed endure to the end.’  

There we have it friends: We will face persecution and discrimination because of our association with Jesus. But we need not worry about what to say or do, because the Holy Spirit that dwells within us will advise us. And we just need to hang in, to truly believe, to persevere in His name right to the end. 

Remember, Jesus has promised never to leave nor forsake us once we stay true to Him, and if we believe, we’ll grab hold of that promise so tightly we’ll never loose it. Much LOVE!

…all we do…must be all for Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2018 Hebrews 10:35.

Hebrews 10:35.   Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Oh friends, we late! Yuh like how I included you all in that, even though you all are not to blame? (smile) That’s what they call ‘author’s convenience.’ I guess the ole bod was just more tired than I realized, and when I did open my eyes it was already minutes to nine. 

Well no palavering, let’s get right down to business, which begins with something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings By Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘God’s Promises.’ 

Please read with me. ‘With increasing joy I am discovering that God’s promises do not suddenly disappear when our courage fails and our fears become overwhelming. Feeling or no feeling, when God gives a promise that speaks directly to our need, it stands firm regardless of negative circumstances. 

There may be times of questioning, and we may not understand God’s timing, but His promise remains certain through our deepest trial. If we consistently rely on His immutable Word, we can disregard the darkness. 

Oswald Chambers says, “Are you in the dark right now regarding your circumstances? Then listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you are in the light.” God waits for us to trust Him when trusting seems the most difficult thing of all.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my people? For sure! When times are good, it’s easy to trust God, but it’s in those dark and difficult times that God wants to see us sincerely trusting Him and waiting patiently for His timing, because that’s when He knows that we are growing in faith, we are becoming more Christ-like, mature Christians. 

Yeh friends, trusting God when the circumstances are negative and you don’t understand what’s happening; you’re doing right, but wrong things proliferate, is indeed difficult. But we have to learn that with God, a promise is a promise, regardless of the circumstances that surround it. 

And it’s only by undergoing such tests that we will ever be truly able to trust God and wait on His impeccable timing. One thing’s for sure; He is NEVER late! We might think so, but if you check out the facts of the situation, you’ll discover that He is ALWAYS right on time. I can tell you that from personal testimony. 

Anyway, the Bible Promise for the story above is also our Bit for today. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.’ And that is more awesome truth my fellow believers! Too many of us have lost faith in the Almighty because it seems like He was taking His own sweet time to come to our rescue. 

But He is the Creator and the Controller, He sees the big picture and knows what He is doing. That’s why the verse after our Bit explains: ‘For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:36) 

Yeh friends, it’s usually after we’ve done God’s will, that we receive the promise, and nowhere does He say that it comes immediately after. In God’s economy, we usually have to wait for things to prove our faith. And furthermore, as the author paraphrases what the Lord told Habakkuk in Hab.2:3-4.

‘For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry (delay). Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But ye are not of them who draw back unto perdition (destruction); but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.’ (Heb.10:37-39) 

Oh my people, let’s hope that that is true of all of us! Let’s hope that we learn to wait on God to fulfill the promises He’s made us, in spite of how long it takes, or how dark and dangerous it might seem. And what did Jesus say about all that in the Beatitudes, in the famous Sermon on the Mount? 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

Ah mih breddren, Jesus never promised that it would be easy, but He did promise that those who faithfully stood the test of time would be faithfully rewarded. Now would you like to be amongst that lot or not? I’d suggest that that’s where we should all be actively heading for, since that’s wisdom personified. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know without a doubt, just who and whose we are. In loud voice and strong conviction 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, if that’s true, then let’s go out and share our friend Jesus and His awesome LOVE with the world, for there’s nothing He desires more than that! Much LOVE!

…there’s no bigger act of LOVE…than sharing the LOVE of JESUS…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2017 Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27.   And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

One more day, just one more day… Yeh friends, one more day to be alive in God’s great kingdom! It’s such a pleasure to be alive again! (smile) 

But have you noticed how those one more days quickly add up to many more years? One day you’re a young pup, a spring chicken, then one day you’re suddenly a senior, an old fowl! Hn, hn! But that’s the way of life. 

And let’s hope you are enjoying each of those days to the fullest, because that’s what our Lord and Saviour desires for us and why He sacrificed His life on that wooden cross at Calvary. So if we’re not celebrating that triumph, then we’re wasting His sacrifice. And what an awful thing that would be. 

But here are a couple of good questions for us. Where is our focus concentrated today eh? And what’s on our agenda? 

Hopefully, as true believers, our focus is directly on Almighty God, and the priority on our agenda is doing the work of Jesus; spreading His awesome gospel of undying LOVE, redemption, salvation and eternal life. 

And that doesn’t always mean talking, but more so in the example of life that we live. Our lives should realistically reflect the good news of Jesus. And if they aren’t reflecting it, then we’re not doing a good job for our wonderful Leader and Saviour, we’re not being good disciples, good ambassadors for His kingdom. 

Consequently, we’re not the true Christians we ought to be. And that’s the major reason why more people are turning away from God today, than turning to Him. 

My friends, we are falling down in our Christian witness when we talk one thing, then people see us living contrary to our talk. We’re obviously not walking our talk. And it’s time to do better, if we truly want Christ’s LOVE Revolution to be successful. 

And please remember that actions speak much louder than words. So what we do, will usually have a greater impact on others than what we say. Thus the hypocrisy, the compromise and contrariness in our faith walk is souring people on the Christian lifestyle, and consequently on Christ. 

And a quote from my ‘I LOVE YOU’ Poster reminds us that ‘Dreams come true for those who work while they dream.’ The present day Christian problem seems to be that too many of us are dreaming without working, that’s why we’re not accomplishing as much as we ought to. 

Obviously we’re not complying with the words of Jesus in our Bit. ‘And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ 

Yes friends, we each have a cross to bear in our kingdom work; a task we have to perform. Now it doesn’t mean that task is necessarily onerous or body-breaking like Jesus’ cross was, but it always entails some sacrifice. 

Earlier on in Luke Jesus outlined the terms of discipleship. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will come after me (desires to follow me), let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. 

For whosoever will (desires to) save his life, shall lose it; but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (is lost)? 

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.’ (Luke 9:23-26) 

There you have it my fellow believers, the terms of discipleships as detailed by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now are we living up to those terms? Most of us aren’t. Too many of us have settled for the soft, easy comfortable life our society affords. 

And surprisingly, too many of us are ashamed of Jesus! We’re afraid to talk about Him to others. We listen to others put Him down and don’t utter a word in rebuke or support, because we don’t want them to know that we are Christians and think badly of us. 

Steups! Ah friends, if we can’t support Jesus in public, that means we hold the opinions of man more important than that of God. And that definitely does not lead to true discipleship, but rather tarnishes the image of our Saviour and His movement. 

So today is as good as any to sit down and consider the saying ‘know thyself.’ Let’s sit down and seriously inspect our own lives and see if we’re being true disciples of Jesus. Then ask the Lord to help us in our shortcomings. He won’t ever turn down our sincere pleas for help. 

Now let’s go home loudly and proudly declaring our Thursday Blessings. In unison: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And since blessings are meant to be shared, let’s go out and bless others now my fellow believers in Christ! Much LOVE!

…just like Jesus had His cross to bear…all Christians have their crosses too …Christianity is a cross bearing affair…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

Welcome friends to a wet Caribana Friday; at least in my neighbourhood! It didn’t seem to be much of a shower though, but more like a short drizzle, and I doubt that it will last for the day. 

And even if it does, it will not stop the workingman from being exuberant in his declarations, especially on this long Civic Holiday weekend, with the numerous festivities planned for the Greater Toronto Area. 

I can already hear him proclaiming to all and sundry: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank Him for this long Caribana weekend, where the partying will be enormous, in fact outa sight! Pan Competition tonight…then the big Parade tomorrow…mas in yuh mas mih breddren! 

So this Carnival weekend is pure partying – Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Mama Yo! We go mash up the town this weekend! Thank God for this break from slave labour oui!’ 

And believe you me, some people are going to do just as he says; party the weekend away. But we all know my fellow believers in Christ that that is not such a wonderful idea, for it just invites the ever-lurking enemy to find a foothold in our souls and spirits. 

Nothing is wrong with partying, but with a modicum of circumspection, with certain boundaries that we make sure not to cross. That means Granny’s warning is ever so important this weekend, even though some of you don’t like to hear it. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And I believe that if we keep that in mind, we will not fall victim to the enemy. Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives a better, or more focused reality for the weekend. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s more in tune with our Christian faith. So let’s pay serious attention to it nuh, along with our Bit, the warning from the proper Azariah to King Asa and all of Judah. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Ah mih breddren, if believers would only put their hands to the plough seriously and do what’s expected of them, what a wonderful world this would be. But as I said yesterday, too many of us have gotten soft and wishy washy, have lost whatever belly and backbone we had by living in this plush and comfortable society. 

So, as a result, Christianity is steadily losing ground in the spiritual warfare in which we’re engaged. Friends, we have to pick up the slack, be strong if we want to see Jesus’ LOVE Revolution win the day! There’s no two ways about that. 

Consequently, I’m imploring us, asking us to remember our bounden duty as Christians, to be strong and work sincerely and diligently for Christ Jesus! Otherwise our faith will surely crumble and all Jesus’ sacrifices would be a waste of time. And I know you wouldn’t want that. So let’s ramp up our efforts nuh. 

And to help us do that, here are a couple of examples of scripture which corroborate our Bit. And the first, possibly the most important, comes right at the beginning of God’s word, His promise to Abram. He was still known by that name. Abram had just won a battle for the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and had refused their reward. (Gen.14:1-24) 

The Good Book tells it thus. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:1) 

And the scholars explain: ’15:1. Thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. The word ‘shield’ is translated in other passages as “believed.” 

Thus, God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom. God Himself would be Abram’s true reward (cf.Ps.127:3).’ 

And what greater reward can there be than Almighty God Himself eh mih people? None whatsoever! 

And we’ll end, most appropriately, with the words of Jesus Himself, words of wisdom from the Sermon on the Mount, from the Beatitudes. 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘5:11. Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. The persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that is still happening today, and will continue to happen until Jesus comes again. All we can do is simply grin and bear it, and think about out rewards accruing in heaven for the unfair and unjust persecution. 

But now hear this other explanation: ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase ‘rejoice and be exceeding glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. 

If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Isn’t that marvellous? Nothing can stop us! So let’s get strong and retake the world for Jesus nuh, for that’s what He expects of us! Much LOVE!

…believers should concentrate more on their rewards…than their problems…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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