Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 November 2019 Psalm 55:22.

Psalm 55:22.    ​Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).
 

Come Sunday morning, we’re going to the house of the Lord, to have sweet fellowship with other believers. And there we will encourage each other, as we sing and dance and praise His holy name, while giving thanks for His faithful mercies and compassions that are new each and every day. And by the hearing of His life-giving Word, our minds will be renewed, our faith will grow stronger, and we shall be uplifted in soul, body and spirit! Glory be my people! There’s no one place beside the Lord’s sanctuary that we can go and leave so strong and refreshed. That’s because the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh. 8:10) And in His house, His joy resonates like nowhere else. (smile) 

And this morning, to get us going, we’re going to sing a rather poignant and soul-searching hymn written by John Willard Peterson (1921-2006). It’s titled ‘No One Understands Like Jesus.’ And if you’re a true believer, you know that’s the gospel truth! But before we get into the song, here is a li’l background on its composition. Apparently, in his early days of ministry, Mr. Peterson held a fairly high post  at a well-known gospel ministry. One day a supervisory position became available, and he was led to believe that it would be given to him. But as so often happens, someone from outside was eventually brought in to fill it. 

Obviously he was broken-hearted and struggled to keep a good attitude. To make matters even worse, he happened to spend an evening with that new man, and though he seemed to be a decent sort, for some reason that night he made some caustic, unfeeling remarks that obviously hurt Mr. Peterson. And as he sat at home, later that evening, contemplating all the recent hurting and negative experiences, a terrible feeling of being alone and forsaken overcame him. 

But then suddenly, in his own words: “I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation – in fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as He did. Before long, the idea for the song came and I began to write.” 

Only with Jesus, yes friends, only with Jesus, can that kind of experience be experienced! Now let’s sing what he wrote, in a sincere, soulful and heartfelt manner. Altogether now, let’s raise our earthly voices to heaven and acknowledge Jesus’ Kingship and Lordship over the earth and all therein! 

‘No one understands like Jesus. He’s a friend beyond compare; Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for you there. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him!) No one understands like Jesus; Ev’ry woe He sees and feels; Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. (Chorus) 

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

Oh my people, what words of indisputable truth! No one cares like Jesus! When the hard, dark times come, as they do for all of us, the best source of comfort, care and healing is certainly the arms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For He is the Great Healer, the Great Comforter, the Great Carer…in fact He is the Great I AM, the Great EVERYTHING! Glory to God! Just like the Lord’s sanctuary is a one stop-shop, likewise Jesus is a one stop healing and caring and comforting station. In your deepest sorrow, He is the best one to run to, for He will NEVER turn you away, but will instead welcome you with wide opened arms. 

And there are no better words to describe His compassion and care than His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Ah people, if you don’t take advantage of that glorious invitation, then, as the old people would say, yuh not righted, yuh mental! Yeh! Is only crazy people who wouldn’t accept such a wonderful, life-giving, life-saving invitation! 

And yuh know what, long before Jesus ever came to earth, Bruh David’s been saying the same thing. Listen to him in Psalm 55; his plaintive cry against deceitful friends. ‘The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken). But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody (bloodthirsty) and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.’ (Ps. 55:21-23) And friends, we all know how Bruh David overcame his many enemies through that sincere trust in Almighty God. 

And after Jesus, Peter, with his own problems of denying Jesus, received healing, comfort and forgiveness, thus he could later on declare: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) And if you can’t believe the words of Bruh David, Peter and Jesus, then all that’s left for me to say is… Much LOVE!

…like mothers care greatly for their children…so does our heavenly Father care greatly for His children…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2019 Matthew 5:20.

Matthew 5:20.    ​For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by any means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 

Oh, how I wish it wouldn’t rain…how I wish it wouldn’t rain…! An unfulfilled wish most likely, since they’ve forecasted lots of rain for this Halloween day. I believe they even considered postponing it until tomorrow due to the deluge expected. But in my opinion, they should just abolish the whole stupid, ungodly ritual because it’s just a celebration of evil and greed! When you have the ugliest, scariest and most inappropriate costumes for children; things like witches, ghouls, hobgoblins and the like being a big deal in the society, what does it teach them eh? And now there are also a whole lot of restrictions on what you can wear, what is culturally or religiously acceptable, that it makes a mockery of the whole thing. 

But what amazes me is we teach them that candy is bad for their health and well being, then we have a big celebration where they go out in the dangerous dark night to see who can collect the most candy! Who do you think eats it eh? The very same children who are taught that it’s bad for them. But I doubt it will be abolished anytime soon, even with it’s inherent dangers, since it strengthens the bottom line of the costume people, the candy makers and the dentists, politically powerful and monied groups in our society. 

That brings us to our Bit for this Halloween Thursday, very poignant and important words of Jesus to His listeners on the law, from the Sermon on the Mount. ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by any means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ Now that was a heavy blow to those religious leaders for they were considered the creme de la creme of righteousness in their day. And the scholars obligingly explain. 

‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of the Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action.’ 

And sadly, nothing much has changed to this day; there are still a lot of religious leaders; modern-day scribes and Pharisees who only offer lip service and outward show to the true tenets of Christianity. Meanwhile, their inner man is more attuned to the things of the law, of the world, than those of God. Here’s a list of the contrasts between living under the Law and living by the Spirit as provided by the scholars. ‘The Law says No murder, the Spirit, No anger. No Adultery…. No Lust. No Divorce… Commitment. No oath-taking… Speak the truth. No retaliation… Forgiveness. Hatred for your enemy (tradition allowed it) … LOVE for your enemy (commanded).’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, the Law isn’t basically wrong, but the demands of the Spirit carry us to a higher level of spirituality and righteousness. And it’s that high level we need to enter the kingdom of heaven. I didn’t say so, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ said it long ago, and nothing has happened since to change it. And after expounding our Bit to His listeners, Jesus then went on to individualize the stuff that we just wrote. He then taught on Anger, Adultery, Divorce, Oaths and LOVE for enemies. (Matt.5:21-48) 

Ah friends, it’s sad and rather unfortunate that we’re living in such a sinful and unrighteous society these days. No wonder we’re at such a low ebb, in ALL aspects of life. There’s absolutely no situation in which we can say we’re winning! Even the fools who are trying to throw God out of our society will eventually lose, though they seem to have the upper hand now. Please pay attention though to these momentous words of Cousin Sol: ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach (shame or disgrace) to any people.’ (Prov.14:34) And the scholars explain: ‘14:34. National righteousness and national sin have opposite effects: exaltation versus reproach.’ No wonder we have national reproach, because our society is as sinful as eternity is long. 

And Bruh Paul made it clear to the church at Rome when he talked about zeal but no righteousness. ‘For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law of righteousness to every one that believeth.’ (Rom.10:3-4) And the scholars explain: ‘10:4. Christ is the end of the law: Israel mistook the purpose of the law. The law pointed to the righteousness that is attainable only by belief in Christ. Israel also mistook the scope of the law. The righteousness to which it pointed was universally available to all who responded to God’s revelation of Himself through the law. But by Paul’s time many had substituted works for faith. Rather than seeking redemption in God’s mercy, they pinned their hopes on their own religious achievement.’ 

And that’s still happening on too large a scale today my people. It’s true that faith without works is dead, (James 2:17) but works alone will get us nowhere either! Let’s remember that nuh and proceed to build up both our faith and works through righteousness in Christ Jesus. Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our enabling Thursday Blessings. As one, in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose. ‘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 let’s also remember that they are for generous sharing, not selfish hoarding. (smile) Much LOVE!

…without true righteousness…we shall never see God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2019 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    ​And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 

Ay mih people, is Tuesday…and the ole fella is tired. Just finished having a nap after breakfast. Believe me, it was hard to get up, and I still can’t catch mihself, so if some strange things happen in the Bit, don’t be surprised eh. (smile) Today seems to be a rest day, as the people who were supposed to come from the country to visit won’t be coming, but some of the town folks will, so it won’t all be rest. 

Oh, yesterday was certainly a busy day, out and about in the hot sun, visiting a friend in the afternoon, stopping along the way for a couple of the famous Devon House patties – add a piece of a nice bread pudding to that – then getting home just in time to shower and change and go back to an Open Week Library function on the university campus, acknowledging and celebrating some of the educational books, some twenty of them, published in the last year by university people. 

That was a good time too, some singing by a young lady, Mrs. Alicia Taylor, I believe that was her name. Then we had some fine words from our guest speaker, Poet Laureate Lorna Goodison, wine and scrumptious finger food and good mingling. Just for your info, they appreciated the ole fella’s lively spirit. And why wouldn’t they eh? (smile) Enough of my rambling though, let’s get to what the Lord put in my heart and soul to talk about today. 

And friends, today’s topic is oh so important; it’s possibly the most important element in a Christian’s life after acceptance of Jesus…and we talking about FORGIVENESS! Yeh fellow saints, it’s so important that Jesus included it in the prayer He taught His disciples, and consequently us, to offer up to the Father, each and every day: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ Oh precious people, those words are so important that we ignore them to our peril. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus again. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) Yes people, as always, Jesus spells it out loud and clear: forgive and you will be forgiven; do not forgive, and you will not be forgiven! It’s as simple as that. But you know that we selfish and sinful humans like to ask, even beg the Lord for forgiveness, but hesitate, no, bluntly refuse, to offer forgiveness to others. How can that ever stand us in good stead eh my fellow believers? It certainly won’t. 

But even putting aside Jesus’ warning, what we foolishly don’t seem to realize is that forgiveness is not really for the other person but for us. When we forgive, we are set free from whatever bitterness and anger and any other negative emotion that we’re holding on to by not forgiving. A Bruh Paulian sentence that! (smile) Ofttimes the other person, or persons, are not even aware of any wrong they’ve done you, or know and really don’t care, so it’s just you who’s holding and strangling your soul with all that ungodly emotion. 

And you don’t necessarily have to tell them that you forgive them either. You just make a conscious decision to do so, ask the Lord for His help, let it go, and move on with your life. Yeh, I know it’s seldom that easy, taking into consideration some of the awful wrongs that have been done, and are being done in these evil times, but like life itself, it is a process, and the sooner you make that decision to forgive  and actively work towards that forgiveness, the sooner it will happen, and the better off you will be. 

Now hear this rather informative exchange between Jesus and Peter on the subject. ‘Then came Peter to him (Jesus), and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times.’ (Matt.18:21) Peter must have figured that he was being very generous to forgive his brother seven times. But listen to Jesus’ answer. ‘Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:22) Mamacita! Can you imagine forgiving somebody 490 times – especially for the same wrong! Not many of us can, but it’s what we’re required to do if we want to be faithful believers and workers for Jesus. 

And these words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians, highlighting the Christian virtues, admirably guide us in this respect. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of (tender) mercies (heartfelt compassion). Kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ (Col.3:12-13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:13. The fact of believers being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’ 

Friends, that means we need to be forbearing and forgiving until we die, or Jesus’ comes back, because NONE of us will ever arrive spiritually before those times! So for all of our sakes, let’s ponder the state of our hearts today, and see if there be any unforgiveness in them nuh, then ask the Lord to help us. As Bruh David requested of the Father: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) And you know the Lord will always answer that kind of prayer if it’s sincere.  

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with all sincerity: ‘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 let’s go and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…forgiveness benefits the forgiver…more than the forgiven…both emotionally and spiritually…

​Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2019 Nehemiah 1:7.

Nehemiah 1:7.  We have dealt (acted) very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgements (ordinances), which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Greetings my people! It’s somewhat late, but the sun is shining brightly and the temp is somewhere up in the high twenties! Wow! It’s a bit cloudy though, so it’s obscuring the downtown and harbour scene somewhat… Ah friends, the ole fella’s in sunny Jamaica! Yeh, the land of wood and water! And ah know some of you jealous too, (smile) wondering how he could be travelling so much. But friends, no one was sorry for me when I never left good ole Canada for three sickly years, from March 2016-October 2018. No one was there when I lay in the lonely bed looking out at the planes flying by and wondering when, if ever, I’d be able to travel in one again! 

No one heard my sobs and cries to Almighty God asking what’s going on? Neither did they hear His rely of ‘Keep your peace my son! All in good time! Just trust me!’ And I did. Now He’s keeping the promise He made, enabling me to fly all over the world! So how can I not LOVE Him eh? He’s always done as He says…though not necessarily on my timetable! (smile) All praise and glory to our wonderful and faithful God my fellow saints in Christ, for He is indeed a keeper of His Word! 

But the real reason I’m in J.A. right now is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Graduating Class of the University of the West Indies, of which I am a member. That means I’m going to see some people I haven’t seen for fifty odd years! Can you believe it? I saw some of them when I was down here a year ago, and will most likely see them again, but there are many others I haven’t seen since 1969. That just brings back the good memories…and a few of the rough ones…that I experienced back then, when J.A. didn’t have as many problems as it now has, was a comparative paradise!  

And talking about problems, I’m having one here with my hitherto trustworthy mouse. Steups! The bloody thing not working. I thought it might have been the battery, went and bought two new ones at some exorbitant price, only to find out that the battery is not the problem. And since I’m not the fingers guy on the computer, I’m having a hard time doing some of the stuff I want to do, like highlighting stuff. Don’t laugh mih young daughter. But the ole fella’s plodding along nonetheless. And I know the Lord will help us to do a good job anyway…because that’s just the kind of helpful Deity He is! Bless His holy name! 

So what we writing about today eh? Let me open the Good Book and see what the Lord has in mind nuh. Soon come. And I’m back in less than a minute, chuckling too, for the Good Book opened at this rather appropriate verse of Nehemiah’s prayer: ‘We have dealt (acted) very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgements (ordinances), which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.’ Now I believe we might have used that for a Bit just recently, I’m not sure, but even if we have, it’s still the Lord’s prerogative to tell us again, because it is still a most appropriate scripture for these evil and ungodly times! 

Oh friends, our world is so evil and ungodly nowadays that it just boggles the imagination! I don’t know if there’s ever been a generation that’s as bad as this one. Maybe it’s just that we have easier and faster communication these days, so we know about more stuff. But the same quick communication is itself causing all sorts of evil and ungodliness in our world! Without the social media and all the platforms that facilitate it, many of those who are pursuing evil now would not have been able to pursue it, especially so blatantly, recklessly and anonymously! 

Sometimes when I hear about some of the stuff that’s pervading social media, as well as the atrocities committed in many of our societies, by our own supposed leaders, especially those against women and innocent children, it just makes me want to hold mih head and bawl! How can we be so cruel and evil to our own people eh? I guess I must be just naïve yes. But I like me the way I am. And the sad part is that many who are committing these atrocities are calling themselves Christians too. What a crying shame! And even declaring that some of those awful deeds are being done in the name of Jesus! Steups! 

Ah Lord eh! It’s a good thing the Lord is still on His throne oui, looking down at things and taking notes until He’s ready to act. The old people say, ‘time longer than twine,’ and is true, but ‘even the longest rope does have an end.’ And I wouldn’t want to be around when the Lord reaches the end of His rope nuh because it will be hellfire and damnation for the wicked! And it’s very instructive to listen to the voice of Daniel in his prayer from so long ago, because the content of his words still resonate very loudly today. 

‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.’ (And in our time, that includes Jesus.) ‘Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.’ (Dan.9:9-11) Oh my people, our sin profile today is much like the Israelites’ back then, way too high, and if we continue along the same sinful path, we will also pay the price for our ungodliness. 

And as Daniel writes: ‘As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil (disaster) is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.’ (Dan.9:13) Yes my people, the Lord has given us an out from the calamity stored up for the wicked, but we have not, and apparently are not going to repent of our sinful ways and go back to obeying His commandments. But please, please remember these fateful words of Daniel: ‘Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil (kept the disaster), and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.’ (Dan.9:14) 

Friends, God cannot, and will not tolerate sin, and if we continue to blatantly disobey God’s commandments, as we are currently doing, you think we’re going to get away Scot free? Not on your life! Remember what Samuel said to Saul: ‘Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken (listen) than the fat of rams.’ (1 Sam.15:22) Saul didn’t do what the Lord commanded him to do, so he lost the kingship. And remember too, what the Lord promoted Jesus to the highest name there is besides His…for OBEDIENCE! Nuff said! Much LOVE!

…sin can be forgiven…but only through repentance…belief in Jesus…and righteous living…

P.S. Certainly hopes this turns out good yes, cause I had a hell of a time writing it! (no smile)  Much LOVE!

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…

 

 

 

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…

 

 

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