Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2019 John 17:16.

John 17:16.    They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 

And no, yesterday wasn’t a drizzly day like the day before, but it sure was cloudy for a lot of it. That means the Labour Day Monday celebrations weren’t marred by rain and the proceedings could be held outside like it ought to be. However, unfortunately, that also spells the end of the summer vacation period, it’s now back to school and back to work time for the thousands who were merry and carefree all summer long! 

And along with that comes a lot of complaining and anxiety as the cold weather and strenuous times of school and work become a reality. (smile) Yeh friends, good things don’t last forever…except the LOVE and salvation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

Yes my faithful Christian brethren, there’s nothing we should be more thankful and grateful for than the unconditional and amazing LOVE of our Triune God and their even more amazing and awesome promise of salvation to all those who sincerely believe, worship and obey them! 

It’s the second greatest thing that has ever happened to mankind! First, there was the original creation, then came the re-creation; the coming of Jesus Christ to earth in human form to save mankind from their abominable sins! Wow! How wonderful, generous and selfless was that eh? Words cannot fully describe it nuh! 

And though, on a mental level we sort of understand it, deep down in our hearts we still have some resistance, else we wouldn’t be behaving in the reckless, sinful and ungodly manner that so many of us supposed believers still do. Yeh friends, as the body of Christ, His church, and as individual believers, we simply don’t come up to scratch! 

We’re certainly not investing enough of our time, talent and resources in fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

What’s in that not to understand eh friends? Absolutely nothing! We’re supposed to get up off of our fat, lazy, comfortable fannies and spread the good news of Christ’s gospel to all and sundry, save the lost, help the poor, spread LOVE, mercy, kindness and forgiveness! But are we doing that to the best of our ability? Certainly not! In our comfortable and supposedly prosperous society so many are poor, sick, suffering, and still oh so lost! 

And does the church, as it’s supposed to, helping as much as it can? Certainly not! The church and its hierarchical system and too many of us supposed believers are too interested in building wealth, power and success as the world sees it. Like we’ve forgotten, or simply choose to ignore, those memorable words of Jesus chocked full of heavenly advice! ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Oh my people, that is possibly the most important and significant advice that Jesus ever gave us! Our future, our eternal home lies in heaven, not here on earth, consequently we ought to be seeking the things of God, not the things of the world. Remember too that Jesus prayed the Father that He should keep us out of the world, that though we had to be in it to do His bidding, we should not be a part of it. 

‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:16-21) 

Ah mih people, two thousand years ago, Jesus even prayed for those who would eventually believe in Him, that’s you and me, to be set aside for God’s work, and be one in unity of spirit, so that we could be salt and light in this dark, evil and ungodly world. But we’re not fulfilling His mighty purpose; for whatever reason, too many of us have lost our salty flavour and our batteries need serious recharging! 

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘17:18. Sent me…sent them means the mission of the church corresponds to that of Christ. Their tasks are alike – in fact, in purpose, and in results, as this prayer shows.’ And so it should be, if we are serious and sincere followers of Jesus Christ! ‘17:21. They…may be one conveys spiritual unity, not organizational unity. (cf. 1 Cor.12:13; 2 Cor.1:11; Eph.2:19; 4:3-16; Heb.10:25).’ 

Yeh friends, all those scriptures preach unity of spirit and purpose, however organizational unity makes it so much easier to have spiritual unity. And I’m sure that Jesus and Bruh Paul didn’t expect or want us to have so much organizational disunity, with so many religions, denominations, sects and what have you, that obviously causes a serious problem with achieving and attaining spiritual unity! End of sermon! 

But seriously though friends, we all know deep down in our hearts and souls that we can ALL come up higher in God’s work, that includes many of the leaders of the church, whose indescribable atrocities are turning more people away from Christ than to Him. 

I therefore implore us, if we’re serious about leading people to Christ, let’s clean up our acts nuh, come to the Father in humble and sincere prayer, offer repentance, ask for forgiveness and mercy and help to do better. He will NEVER turn away or not positively answer such heartfelt requests. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yehhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong and sincere voice now:  ‘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!’ 

So please, please mih people, let’s go out today and do just that nuh! It’s all that Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…the believers duty…to let our saltiness flavour the whole earth…and our lights shine brightly in its darkness…to lead the way to Christ…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2019 Hosea 8:7.

Hosea 8:7.     ​For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind; it hath no stalk (the stalk has no bud): the bud shall yield no meal (it shall never produce meal): if so be it yield (if it should produce), the strangers (aliens) shall swallow it up.
 

(Scottish brogue please): ‘It was a drizzily day…a drizzily, drizzily day!’ (smile) Let’s hope today is not the same nuh, spoiling the Labour Day holiday. Yes, we can always move the celebrations inside, but it just doesn’t seem right when this is our last long weekend of the summer. We ought to be celebrating labour’s partial freedom in the bright sunshine outside. And yes, we’re only partially free because the employer has wrested back many of the benefits our forefathers won on the picket lines and serious physical clashes with the goons of the advantageous power-brokers. 

And they are still doing their best to take us back to those long-ago days when they could do whatever they wanted and we had no voice or say in the matter. Please don’t allow them to do it, else our grand- children will find themselves right back where we were a few generations back. It won’t be easy since the employer has most of the leverage, but they had it back then too, and we were able to break their advantageous hold because we stuck together and fought together through thick and thin. And that’s what it will take to best them again! So let’s stand strong together nuh and put up a good fight like our forefathers did, although those who control the means of production are doing their best to divide and conquer us. 

And now, our society has become so big and commercially inclined that even on Public Holidays we can’t afford to shut it down completely, which means some of us have to go to work on this Labour Day holiday Monday, and that is never easy when everybody else is at home having a good time. So it’s understandable when those unfortunates grimace and complain about the unfairness of life. (smile) Anyway, let’s help them by leading them in prayer, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which drives away all the doubts and fears and whatever is ailing us on a Monday morning. 

In strong, sincere voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And as always, the voices of those not going to work are the loudest and most gravelly, ostensibly from all the celebrating they’ve been doing over the last couple of days. But please remember Granny’s advice: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, ah beg yuh, please mind yuh business!’ And that’s exactly what I’m asking us to do; celebrate, but watch your p’s and q’s as the enemy is excitedly lurking around for us to give him just a toehold of opportunity so he can jump into our souls and begin creating the havoc for which he is famous. 

That’s why friends in these last days, these utterly troublesome and difficult times, it is ever so important for us to carefully watch the way we live, both as individuals and as a society as a whole. We cannot afford to be like Israel, who, back in the days of the prophet Hosea, had forgotten where their bread was buttered, and had gone a whoring after other gods. But the One, True and Living God will not be played for a fool my people. Hear His response to the Israelites folly. ‘For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind; it hath no stalk (the stalk has no bud): the bud shall yield no meal (it shall never produce meal): if so be it yield (if it should produce), the strangers (aliens) shall swallow it up.’  

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘8:7. They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: They have sown the wind (Heb. ruach), but they will reap a hurricane (Heb. supah). They will be swept away in the judgement of God, and any benefits that they desired would fall to the hands of strangers to whom God would deliver them.’ And it happened to the Israelites several times friends. Each time they turned away from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they suffered serious calamity. But they didn’t seem to learn. Please, please, I implore us not to be like them, although that’s the direction in which our evil and ungodly world is currently headed. 

Oh yes, our God is patient and longsuffering, but only up to a point, and if we continue to ignore Him and push Him out of our lives, don’t think He won’t retaliate. And believe me, we don’t ever want to feel God’s wrath, because we simply could not handle it. As Cousin Sol so wisely informs us: ‘He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity (trouble): and the rod of his anger (wrath) shall fail (perish)’ (Prov.22:8) 

So today let’s contemplate our lives seriously nuh and see if we’re sowing the wind, sowing iniquity, and if so, wisely and quickly come before the Lord in sincere repentance, asking for forgiveness, so that we don’t reap the whirlwind. That’s wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…you can only reap what you sow…you can’t plant sin…and expect to reap righteousness…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 2019 John 15:5.

John 15:5.    ​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.
 

It’s Happy Day! Yes friends, it’s the happiest day of the week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the day when He rested after creating His universe and all therein. When He looked at it, He smiled contentedly, like a workman knowing that he’s done a good job and said: ‘It is good!’ The Lord also wants us to rest on this day, or at least one day of the week, to renew our strength and energy, because He did not make us to be machines, constantly working. 

And the best way to regroup for next week is by joining fellow believers in worship and praise at the Lord’s sanctuary, His house of prayer, where we can commune together as one body, Christ’s church, His vehicle for saving the world. So let’s all do our very best to get to the Lord’s house some time today nuh, so that we can sing and praise and worship and exalt His name and find succour and confidence and grace and mercy and forgiveness and LOVE for our weary and burdened souls! 

Now let’s commence our proceedings with the usual, a song of praise and thanksgiving. And today it’s something from the Gaither Homecoming Festival of some time back, sung by my latest favourite gospel singer, Jessy Dixon. The song’s aptly titled, ‘I can’t even walk without you holding my hand.’ Yes friends we talking about Jesus here, so let’s get soulful and sincere as we declare these awesome words of truth in sweet harmony nuh. 

All together now: ‘I thought, that number one, would surely be me. I thought I could be, what I wanted to be. I thought I, could build on life’s sinking sand. But I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I thought that I, could do a lot on my own, I thought, I could make it, all alone. I thought, thought of myself as a mighty big man, But I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand, For the mountain, is too high, and the valley, is too wide, Down on my knees, I learned how to stand, Because I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. 

Ohh my Jesus, I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand, For the mountain, is too high, and the valley, is too wide, Down on my knees, I learned how to stand, Because I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. Yes my Saviour, I can’t walk, without you holding my hand. Thank You, for teaching me that valuable lesson, through your Word!’ 

Ah mih people, that was wonderfully soulful! (smile) And Jesus gratefully acknowledged our praise with a nod of His head and a shy smile, because He still doesn’t consider Himself number One! That’s the Father’s position, and He’s not foolish like Lucifer and try to overthrow Him. Anyway, those words are gospel truth, because without Jesus, we’re nothing and can do nothing, as He so plainly tells us in John’s gospel, re the vine and the branches. 

‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit.’ (John 15:1-2) Now that’s a tough row to how because if you don’t bear fruit, you’re taken away, and if you do bear fruit, you’re still pruned, so you can bear even more and better fruit. As I heard Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) say the other day: ‘You’re pruned if you, and pruned if you don’t.’ But that’s the Father’s way, and also the general way of husbandmen in the physical world. 

And Jesus continues: ‘Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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 15:3-5) Don’t you like how Jesus doesn’t mince words, just puts it plainly and clearly? ‘I am the vine and you are the branches…without me you can do nothing!’ 

And that’s the living truth friends. Remember in our song today, everything was about I thought I could do this, and I thought I could do that, but then we had a surprising and sudden awakening; only when we got on our knees were we able to stand, and even then we couldn’t walk without holding Jesus’ hand. And that’s how it is if we want to be a fruitful part of His LOVE Revolution! And it’s interesting how Jesus used the grape vine as a powerful example, but in the agricultural society that was Israel back then, everybody would certainly understand what He meant. 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘15:5. The uniqueness of the Christian experience results from the union of Christ and the believer. This is expressed in the scripture as Christ being in the believer and the believer in Christ. Ten times Paul uses the Greek preposition ‘sun’ (together) to describe this relationship. Believers were crucified (Gal.2:20), dead (Col.2:20) buried (Rom.6:4), quickened or made alive (Eph.2:1-5; Col.2:13), raised (Col.3:1; Eph.2:6), seated (Eph.2:6), and glorified (Rom.8:17) together with Christ. 

Illustration: Jesus used the image of the vine and its branches to describe His union with the believer. Application: On the basis of this union, the apostle Paul showed how the successful Christian life can be opened with four key words in Romans 6: ‘know’ (vs.6), ‘reckon’ (vs.11), ‘yield’ (vs.13), and ‘obey’ (vs.17). The Christian can conquer sin because Christ lives in him (Gal.2:20). First Ref. John 7:37-38; Primary Ref. John 15:1-5; cf. 1 John 5:13).’

Lots of interesting scriptures there for us to check our friends. (smile) But if you really want to make a difference on Jesus’ vine you will have to know His Word, especially as it pertains to you being in Him and He being in you, for remember you can’t do anything without Him. And we’ll close with these words from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians that also highlight that very salient fact. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God;’ (2. Cor.3:5) Wise words to live and die by my precious saints of God! Much LOVE!

…only as Christ lives and moves in us…and we live and move in Him…can we do great things for the kingdom…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 August 2019 Psalm 103:2.

Psalm 103:2.    ​Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
 

Happy Friday my people! Now let’s get right into the programme by declaring that it’s the day the Lord has made and we’re supremely glad that we’re alive to rejoice and give thanks for it! Let’s say with Bruh David: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.’ (Ps.103:1) 

Yeh friends, life might be a bit on the rough side sometimes, but I think that only a very few of us are ready and willing to give up this earthly life for the heavenly one that awaits. The basic reasoning being: Oh, we have eternity to enjoy heaven, but only a few short years to enjoy God’s great earth! (smile) And the ordinary workingman totally agrees, as he sings in his weekend song: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The week wasn’t too bad, didn’t work too hard at the slave master’s job, but Friday is Friday! Yuh know what I mean? It heralds the weekend! And that’s definitely my time! My time to do as I please; sleep, eat, get wasted or black up, or whatever I choose to do! It’s the only time that somebody else doesn’t have a bit in mih mouth leading me round like a jack! That’s why I appreciate and enjoy the weekends so much. 

And I get time to spend with the family too. Not that I don’t get it during the week, but on the weekend it’s not broken up and fractionalized…Wow! What a way we using big words today sir! (smile) But family is very important. And though you can’t have a good family without a good job, sometimes the job does have to take second place. That’s why we say ‘Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’  

Oh friends, the ordinary workingman might not be overly godly, but he’s not foolish either. He has most of his priorities right. Let’s hope that we believers also have our priorities right… but are also righteous and godly! And we’ll see that by how sincere we are as we chant our Friday Chant. Remember the Lord looks at the motives of our hearts, not our outward actions. So altogether now, let’s chant: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my people, we’re not as free and easy as the ordinary workingman. We have certain boundaries set by our Lord and Saviour and Leader, Jesus Christ. Boundaries that hopefully keep the enemy from infiltrating our righteous lives and causing us more problems than we already have. 

That’s why we can’t be as blasé and carefree as the unbeliever. But that doesn’t mean we can’t or should not enjoy life, because that’s exactly one of the reasons Jesus gave up His sinless life on the cross; that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) 

All praise and glory be unto our heavenly father for His great, unconventional, unconditional, indescribable and everlasting LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient children! And that’s why this morning we will wisely and thankfully say like Bruh David did so long ago: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’ 

Wow! Is that ever wisdom in spades my faithful, believing brethren! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to some of the reasons Bruh David gave for his proclamation of thanks and praise. ‘Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103: 2-5) 

Oh my people, if those aren’t things to greatly rejoice over and give much thanks and praise for to Almighty God, our Creator and heavenly Father, then I don’t know what is nuh! And that’s not all we need to thank and praise Him for nuh! Hear Bruh David as he continues his litany of God’s goodness. 

‘The Lord executeth righteousness and judgement for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. 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 (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear (reverence) him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.’ (Ps.103:6-12) 

Oh friends, oh friends, if we’re not thankful for anything else, we should be everlastingly thankful and grateful that the Lord doesn’t deal with us as we deserve, otherwise we’d all be dust and ashes, sweltering in Hades with the evil one himself as our eternal companion! 

But thanks be to God that he casts away our sins, and gives us a chance to come to know and accept His Son Jesus Christ, so that we can receive forgiveness and salvation and dwell with Him in heaven, instead of that other disgusting option! (smile) Yeh friends, ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear (reverence) him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps.103:13-14)  

And so He should my brethren, because He is the one who created us from the dust of the earth, to which we all must return some day. So please ponder all that we’ve spoken about today and wisely turn to our Creator for whatever we need, because everything in His universe belongs to Him, and He is indeed the One who enables us to get health, wealth and good times! Much LOVE!

…eternal life is a must…but where we spend it…depends solely on us…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2019 Acts 1:5.

Acts 1:5.    ​For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
 

And the Caribana celebration is still going strong this Monday morning, though many have gone back home or are in the process of doing so. In fact, today’s the day when a lot of the big parties will be held, but unfortunately, or otherwise, (smile) the ole fella will not be a part of any of those celebrations. I’m just going to spend a quiet day of rest and relaxation at home with the duchess. Yes, we getting old, and we value our quiet time at home now, much more than we ever did. (smile) 

However, some of us do have to go to work, and when we read about the partying and the rest and relaxation, only to realize that we’re not a part of either one of those preferable situations, understandably, we liable to get somewhat jealous and irritable. But fear not working friends, we have the antidote for whatever’s ailing you this Caribana Monday morning. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; a mighty prayer of praise, of asking, of seeking and knocking on heaven’s door. 

So as time is of the essence, let’s get right to it nuh. All together now, in strong voice, sincerely believing, for though Jesus said ask and you shall receive, (Matt.7:7) He also specified: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) So yuh see friends, the asking part is important, but the believing part is even more so. Therefore, let’s ask and believe and receive nuh. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And as always, you can tell those who not going to work today, because their voices were the loudest and hoarsest; residual effects from a lot of partying. But I’m sure that for those of us who sincerely prayed and believed, our attitude and perspective has now changed. Our batteries are suddenly fully charged, and our energy level is much higher than before, and we just dying to get out into the evil world and give the enemy heck in Jesus’ name! (smile) 

Oh my people, it’s so good when our spirits are raised and we are in full Jesus mode, because our lives run so much better and smoother. We’re not as short-tempered and irritable. Kindness and forgiveness come to us more readily and easily, and we’re not ashamed or afraid to share the gospel and LOVE of Jesus with others. And it all comes when we follow the leading and wise advice of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose. 

Consequently, Jesus warned the disciples to remain in Jerusalem after His ascension: ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ And when, in their impatience, they asked: ‘Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?’ He calmly replied: ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power (authority). But ye shall receive power, after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ (Acts 1:6-7) 

Yeh friends, Jesus just reiterated what we know as the Great Commission. (Matt.28:19-20) Our raison d’etre is to spread Jesus gospel to all parts of the world and the Holy Ghost is our lead and guide for doing that. And we all know how Jesus’ words came to pass on Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Ghost invaded the souls of the believers in the upper room, appearing like cloven (divided) tongues of fire and sitting on each of them, giving them such supernatural power that they were able to speak in other languages of which they previously had no knowledge. (Acts.2:3-4) 

And after that the Holy Spirit began indwelling EVERY believer, so that they could have the intimate and personal power of Jesus living with them. It couldn’t get any more personal or intimate than that my people! That’s the kind of hands on, always right there with you kind of person that our Jesus is! So how can we not do His bidding eh? 

We not playing fair if we don’t put out our best on His behalf because He gave His ALL; His very life; sacrificed it for us, so His blood could pay our sin debt in full. And now, so many of us want what He offers, but refuse to do what He asks. That just doesn’t compute my people. So sometime today, let’s take a moment or two and ponder our situation nuh, our relationship to Christ and see whether we are doing the best we can for His kingdom. Remember, there will be rewards for good work with good motives! Much LOVE!

…after all Jesus has done for us…how can we not LOVE Him eh…and strive to do our best for Him…

 

  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2019 John 10:11.

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

Please get with the programme friends! What programme you ask? How yuh mean what programme eh? It’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, that means church calls! Yes, we’re required to join with other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and exalt our heavenly Father, encourage each other, hear His Holy Word and get confidence to go out and fight another week of victorious battles in His name! Yes friends, it’s the biggest day of the week! So let’s begin the celebrations in our usual manner nuh; in song, in praise and worship, telling our wonderful God how much we LOVE and admire and revere Him. 

And today’s song of praise is possibly the second most known and LOVED bit of scripture, after the ‘Our Father,’ or ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ And we talking about Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd! Yes mih people, Bruh David’s amazing and immortal words celebrating the care, compassion and LOVING-kindness of the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! So in strong voice, with plenty soul and sincere emotion, truly believing those simple but awesomely descriptive words and sentiments, let’s sing!  

‘The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want He makes me lie down in green pastures He leads me beside the still waters He restore’th my soul And guides my path in righteousness For His name’s sake Surely goodness and mercy Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. 

Yea, Though I walk through the valley Of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, For Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou prepar’est a table Before me in the presence of my enemies Thou anoint’est my head with oil My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and LOVING-kindness Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. Amen!’ 

What a marvellous description of our Jehovah God! I don’t think it could be described any better, for we are indeed lost and dumb like sheep and we desperately need a good and kindly shepherd to lead and guide and take care of us. And there’s none who does it better than Yahweh; our Creator, Provider, Healer, Comforter, our Be All and End All! Yes indeed, our heavenly Father is all those things to us, and when you add His unconditional LOVE, grace, and forgiveness to the already long list of His wonderful attributes, you just have to jump and shout for joy and declare: ‘Oh what a good thing I’ve got!’ 

And yuh know what friends, Bruh David could only have written such touching and heartfelt words because He experienced first hand the Lord’s goodness and LOVING-kindness in His blessed but oh so tumultuous and eventful life! And the imagery of God being our shepherd would have resonated quite well with the agrarian Israelites back then, because it was language they understood. 

And following that story line, the scholars make an interesting observation: ‘Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. The believer is more than a dependent sheep, however; he is also like and honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ Oh brother! What could be better than all that eh? Absolutely NOTHING! 

And Isaiah also writes of God looking after His people in the shepherd metaphor. ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11) 

Oh my people, there’s something that just resonates of calm and comfort and compassion and caring when we talk about shepherding. And I guess because in our current society we are more into manufacturing and technology than farming, and actual sheep herding is not a big thing, we don’t understand all the nuances involved, and thus cannot really appreciate the great importance of a shepherd to a flock of sheep. But believe me, without a shepherd, a kind and caring one, a flock of sheep would not last very long in the great outdoors. Consequently, when Jesus came He continued the metaphor of the shepherd looking after his flock. Thus, He made this magnificent proclamation: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’  

Oh friends, mankind should be ever so ecstatic and joyful that Jesus made such a statement then went on to make it true, laying down His sinless life for our sinful ones, so that we could be reconciled with the Father, and have our sins forgiven and our souls washed white as snow! But I guess because we don’t fully understand the chemistry and sync between shepherd and sheep we’re lost and unaware of the deep relationship that exists between them. 

But Jesus reminds us of that important relationship. ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:14) Yes precious people, the shepherd knows all his sheep, and the sheep know their shepherd as Jesus earlier stated. ‘But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:2-5) 

Now that’s what our Lord and Saviour is expecting of us friends; to know His voice and follow His call, not that of stranger’s, for they will just lead you astray. And to make the picture complete, listen to Bruh Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians when they sacrificed to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all of your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) That means when we remain in Jesus’ fold we will be well fed by the Father through Him. 

‘Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Phil.4:20) Please have a blessed day my fellow saints in Christ! Much LOVE!

…sheep without a shepherd…is like the blind leading the blind…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2019 Genesis 28:15.

Genesis 28:15.    ​And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
 

Sunday morning, Sunday morning, the Lord is calling‘Come to my house, hear my Word, sing my praises, encourage each other and find joy, unspeakable joy in the house of your God!’ Oh friends, it’s an open invitation to ALL: whosoever will may come! Now that’s an offer we surely can’t refuse, because there’s none better than it! And if you don’t believe me, then please take up the Lord’s offer, try Him, test the reality and faithfulness of His promise. And if it doesn’t work out like He says, then I’ll be your slave for life! (smile) 

And I can make that bold promise because I know from personal experience, that if you check out the Lord’s sanctuary today, you’ll have such a great time, you’ll want to come back each and every week. Mama Mia! Fellowshipping with other believers under the Lord’s watchful and parental eye, with His mercy, grace and forgiveness just flowing freely into our souls and spirits… Brother…it’s just the greatest! 

So let’s start the proceedings as always with a song of praise and exaltation to our great and wonderful Jehovah God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And today’s song is another marvellous hymn that we all know and LOVE: it’s titled ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ The internet site, God Tube, rightly tells us that “Even when we cannot see or feel Him, the Lord never leaves our side. As we walk through each day, let us remember to call upon His name and give thanks. The beautiful lyrics of ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ are the perfect call to the Lord.” 

 It was reputedly written by British hymnist Sarah Flowers in the mid 19th century as a follow up to her pastor’s sermon on Genesis 28:11-19, known as the story of Jacob’s ladder, or Jacob’s dream. As one vibrant and harmonious voice now, let’s thrill the hordes of heaven with a moderate tempo version of the song. ‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Saviour’s LOVE, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!’ 

Yes friends, the hymn does do the story of Jacob’s dream justice and we also pleased heaven with our rendition. So let’s delve into Jacob’s story a li’l deeper now nuh. All of this happened when his father Isaac sent him away to his families’ homeland of Padan-aram to get a bride from his uncle Laban’s daughters because the daughters of the Canaanites weren’t good enough for him. This was after Jacob had deceived the blind Isaac, who blessed him with what was supposed to be Esau’s birthright. (Gen.27) 

Obviously that created a serious feud in the family, and no doubt Jacob was only too glad to get away from Esau. And it’s said that Jacob’s name meant, cheat, deceiver, con-man, etc. so he certainly lived up to his name. Now one night on his journey, as the sun set, he stopped at a certain place, took up some stones to use for a pillow and went to sleep. Then the Good Book tells us: ‘And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 

And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land where thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed (descendants). And thy seed (descendants) shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.’ (Gen.28:12-15) 

Now doesn’t that just boggle the imagination, that God would use such a trickster to do such meaningful work on his behalf. Change His name to ‘Israel – Prince with God – (Gen.32:28) and thus have him become the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. But He did! Just goes to show how He likes to confuse mankind by using those we’d consider very unlikely to be His front-line people. But the Lord’s unconventional approach did seem to work on Jacob, because he awakened afraid, realizing that the Lord was there, unbeknownst to him. 

Then, taking the stone he had used for a pillow, he set it up as an altar to God and poured oil on it, and called the place ‘Bethel’ (the house of God) (Gen.28:16-19) Then he made this life changing vow. ‘If God be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar (altar), shall be God’s house: and all of that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.’ (Gen.28:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see how our mighty God moves in mysterious ways? Who would ever have thought that He would use Jacob as one of His main men eh? But that ought to give us hope and encouragement, that no matter how bad we are, how low we fall, that it doesn’t prevent our God of many chances from using us to do big things in His name. So please let the words of the Good Book and the hymn detailing Jacob’s change of heart, resonate in our own hearts, souls, bodies and minds today, and thus cause us to desire the most wonderful option possible… ‘Nearer My God to Thee…Let me draw… Nearer My God to Thee…! Much LOVE!

…no one’s past…eliminates them…from being involved in God’s future…

 

 

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