Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2019 Psalm 81:9.

Psalm 81:9.    ​There shall no strange (foreign) god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

Welcome to another wonderful day on God’s great earth my people! And I won’t be presumptuous and pass judgement on the kind of weather we’re going to have today, although it is dark and cloudy. (smile) Why you ask? Because I did that yesterday and much to my surprise the ugly duckling at the beginning had turned into a beautiful princess by early afternoon, with bright sunshine and temps up to 8 degrees Celsius! (smile)

And if the weather forecasters are right, today is supposed to follow in the same footsteps. So instead of bad-mouthing the day, let’s look forward to another glorious one, with a good attitude, in which we do God’s will and work in an excellent and diligent manner. 

And all God’s children said, ‘Praise the Lord!’ And speaking of praise, last night while reading the Daily Bread Devotional, I learned that the Israelites had a psalm appointed to be sung on each day of the week, and Thursday’s was Psalm 81, a psalm of Asaph, so I decided we should check it out and sing it today.

So here we go: ‘Sing aloud unto God our strength; make a joyful noise (shout) unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm (raise a song), and bring hither (strike) the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery (lyre). Blow up the trumpet in (at the time of) the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was the statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.’ (Ps. 81:1-4) 

And according to the scholars: ‘Psalm 81. The background of the psalm appears to be the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:34-44) which reminded the people of God’s law and also constituted the feast of ingathering (Ex. 23:16).’ So the people had constant reminders of God’s law and His overwhelming goodness to their forefathers! 

Ah friends, if we could only begin each day with songs of praise and worship to Almighty God, how wonderful that would be! But most of us just get up and go our way, without even a thought of giving thanks for seeing another day, possibly so overwhelmed by the troubles facing us, that that’s all we can think about. But if we would do like Jesus says and bring all our burdens to Him, we’d find rest and peace for our weary souls. (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Now hear this part of the psalm that the Lord kept pounding in the Israelites’ ears, and is still pounding in our own to this day: ‘There shall no strange (foreign) god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.’ (Ps. 81:9-10) Yes people, that’s the First Commandment of the ten that the Lord gave to Moses for the Israelites to live by, and consequently all later believers. (Ex. 20:3) 

I don’t know what’s so hard to understand in that nuh: No other God is supposed to rival the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! But Israel only listened when it was convenient to them, when they found themselves between a rock and a hard place because of their obstinate and willful disobedience. And sadly, we’re doing the same thing today; we’re trying to push God out of our society, a society that became prosperous and powerful because of His goodness and mercy. Steups! How foolish can we get eh? 

No wonder the Lord commented: ‘But my people would not hearken (heed, listen to) my voice; and Israel would (have) none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust (stubbornness), and they walked in their own counsels.’ (Ps. 81:11-12) And yuh see what happened to Israel when they walked in their own counsel…sufferation everlasting! And it’s the same so and so thing that’s happening to us today because we refuse to walk in God’s will! Look at the strife torn world we’re currently living in nuh! 

Look at the great amount of poverty, sickness, joblessness and homelessness in the midst of so much plenty! No generation has ever been as prosperous and powerful as ours, but we’re letting it go down the drain because of our greed, foolish pride and refusal to worship the One True God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the One who gives us power to get wealth! (Deut. 8:18) Yes friends, it’s not our own strength or wisdom that causes us to prosper in this evil world, and until we come to our senses and remember that, our world will continue to fall apart and go right down to hell in a handbasket! 

And as Bruh Paul later put it to the church at Rome: ‘And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate (debased) mind, to do those things which are not convenient (fitting); Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate (strife), deceit, malignity (evil-mindedness); whisperers…’ (Rom. 1:28-29)

And that’s not the whole list. But seriously my brethren, if we take a look around us that’s what our world has become; one of pure evil and ungodliness, and if we continue down that path, all we’ll eventually reap is death and destruction, because that is what God has promised to those who don’t follow His will. 

But the wonderful thing about our God is that He never gives up on us. Hear how He agonized over the Israelites, and still agonizes over us. ‘Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.’ (Ps. 81:13-14) So let’s remember that while there is life, there’s always hope. Consequently, for those of us who seriously believe and are concerned about the state of our world, let’s use these tools, what we call our Thursday Blessings, that God has so generously granted us, to right our fallen world nuh. 

So let’s declare them now with loud voice and strong conviction, for they are only invoked when we speak them aloud. Altogether: ‘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!’ 

Yes mih faithful breddren, now it’s time to go out and generously share them with the unfortunate and unwise, as Jesus so dearly desires! Much LOVE!

…history speaks for itself…the haters of God were destroyed…and will continue to be destroyed…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 September 2016 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Oh friends, let’s begin this Sunday morning, the last of summer 2016, with some very appropriate praise and worship for these difficult times. 

Please sing with me: ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross; Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear; Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey; Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day. Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes; Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone; The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer; Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post, Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host: Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain, And prove to all around you that death itself is gain. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be; They with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.’ 

Ah mih people, in these evil days, Christians are more than ever needed to stand strong and steadfast in Jesus, if we truly want to wear that victor’s crown! Unfortunately, as individuals, as well as the body of Christ, the church, we are not doing as good a job as we should. 

And why is that eh? Who knows? I figure we are still too enthralled by the wealth and material possessions of the world, and a lot of us don’t take Jesus and his Word as seriously as we should. To many of us, He is still some ephemeral character out there in the wild blue yonder, and not the true living force that’s supposed to dwell within us. 

But whatever the reason(s) friends, the fact remains that we are definitely not fighting as sincerely, diligently and purposefully as we ought to. We are allowing the enemy to take the Lord out of our society with impunity. Then the disharmony, disunity, strife, jealousy and all the other negative things which are currently found in the church, does nothing to help the situation. 

Look at the amount of denominations we have, all supposedly preaching the same Jesus Christ, yet all going in different directions, and not ever seeming to meet. Are there denominations in heaven? I doubt it. So why are we splitting up, allowing the enemy to divide and conquer us with nary a whimper eh? 

I don’t know. But I know for sure that if we don’t pick up the intensity and desire to truly LOVE Jesus and fight for our faith, we will not be the victors in this ongoing war with the evil one and his powerful and predominant evil minions.

Friends, this is no joking matter, it is a serious one, one of life and death! And not only the physical, but more so the spiritual aspect. 

Remember the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you (put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:12-13) 

Yes friends, that’s how serious the fight is. And even when we have on the armour of God, we still need to walk carefully, and do as our Bit dictates. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Oh my people, the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell within us, so that it could lead and guide us in a godly direction. But something is obviously wrong somewhere because we’re not fighting the good fight of faith, as we ought to. The works of the flesh are still too rampant within the supposed community of faith. And what are those works of the flesh? 

Hear Bruh Paul. ‘Now the works of the flesh are manifest (evident), which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness (sexual impurity), lasciviousness (licentiousness), Idolatry, witchcraft (sorcery), hatred, variance (contentions, discord), emulations (jealousies), wrath, strife (selfish ambitions), seditions (dissensions), heresies (divisions, cliques), 

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (excessive eating, gluttony, carousing) and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ (Gal.5:19-21) 

Oh my brethren, if we look around our world, the unfortunate fact is that all those things are rampant throughout it – even in supposed Christian circles! 

And we’ll end with these words of warning from the scholars. ‘The person whose life is habitually characterized by the sins and vices of verses 19-21 shall not inherit the kingdom of God, that is, he will not be in heaven because he is not a Christian.’ It’s as simple as that my people. 

So please, I implore us to thoroughly check ourselves to see if any of those lusts of the flesh are habits of ours, and if so, pray sincerely to God to help us get rid of them, otherwise, crapaud smoke we pipe, we’ll be on the outside looking in, come the big day. Not only that, we also have to lessen the unchristian behaviour that’s happening within and between our churches. Nuff said! 

Now may the good Lord bless us and keep us safe from harm and help us to walk the straight and narrow righteous path that leads to Him and His heavenly sanctuary. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2015 Luke 2:33

Luke 2:33.   And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.

Oh my people, this Sunday morning, the first after Christmas Day is the perfect opportunity for us to sing and ponder this song, sung by several artists. It’s titled ‘Mary Did You Know?’ 

Please sing along with me: ‘Mary did you know that your baby boy Will one day walk on water? Mary did you know that your baby boy Will save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your baby boy Has come to make you new? This child that you’ve delivered Will soon deliver you? Mary, did you know that your baby boy Will give sight to a blind man? 

Mary, did you know that your baby boy Will calm a storm with his hand? Did you know that your baby boy Has walked where angels trod? And when you kiss your little baby You’ve kissed the face of God. 

Oh, Mary did you know   Ooh…  The blind will see, the deaf will hear, The dead will live again The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, The praises of the lamb? Mary did you know that your baby boy Is Lord of all creation? Mary did you know that your baby boy Will one day rule the nations? Did you know that your Baby Boy Is Heaven’s perfect Lamb? This sleeping child you’re holding Is the great I am?’ 

Oh Friends, I don’t know how many of those things Mary knew, but I am sure she knew that her baby boy was very special, especially from the manner in which He was conceived! Then there were so many signs and wonders along the way, how could she not know that He would indeed be a mover and a shaker. 

As our Bit so pointedly puts it:  ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 

Now let’s look at some of the signs and wonders. First off is the manner in which she was apprised of the situation by the sudden appearance of the angel telling her that she had found favour with God and would conceive and bring forth a son to be called JESUS, who would be great and called the Son of the Highest (Most High) and the Lord God shall give him the throne of his father David. And the angel went on to explain how it would all come to pass. (Luke 1:27-38) 

Now if that didn’t give her some indication that something important was going to happen, then I don’t know what would have. And by the way, Mary was no simpleton, so her unhesitating agreement, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word,’ was more a matter of faith, rather than a lack of understanding. 

After that Mary went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who previously considered barren, was then some six months pregnant with John the Baptist. And when she entered Elisabeth’s house and greeted her, John jumped for joy in his mother’s womb. (smile) 

‘And Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me (why is it) that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ (Luke 1:41-45) 

Then Mary declared the awesome words we now call the Magnificat. ‘My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maid servant): for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.’ (Luke 1:46-48) You can read the rest of it for yourselves my people. It runs up to verse 56. 

And according to the scholars: ‘1:46-56. This passage is called “the Magnificat,” based on the first word of the Latin translation (the Vulgate). It is rich in Old Testament imagery: Jesus’ coming was in fulfillment of Old Testament promises.’  

So even if Mary wasn’t too sure of the situation, once she heard Elisabeth’s pronouncement and spoke the immortal words of the Magnificat, then spending three months with Elisabeth, she must have been aware that an event of great importance was going to take place in her life. 

I am sure too that Mary was quite relieved when most likely, she very anxiously told Joseph about her situation, because the consequences of adultery or fornication were great in those days, even leading to the stoning of the woman. 

But the Good Book tells us: ‘Then Joseph, her husband, being a just (upright) man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily (secretly). 

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.’ (Matt.1:19-21)  

Now all of that was done to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy re the virgin birth of a child called Immanuel, God with us. (Is.7:14, 9:6) 

‘Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife. And knew her not (kept her a virgin) till she brought forth her first-born: and he called his name JESUS.’ (Matt.1:24-25) 

And the scholars explain: ‘1:19-20. Because Joseph was a just man, he decided to put her away (divorce her) privately (“privily”). The Jewish betrothal had to be legally broken. Joseph’s merciful attitude gives an insight into his true nature as a man.’ 

Yes friends, it wasn’t an easy row for either Mary or Joseph to hoe with the Saviour of man placed in their laps, but hoe it they did, with strength, wisdom, faith and obviously the Lord’s help. May we go forward on our own row today doing the same thing, of course with Jesus’ help. 

And we’ll continue Mary’s story tomorrow, God willing. Till then may we rest in the peace, comfort, joy and LOVE of our heavenly Father. Much LOVE!

…it’s Sunday…and still the Christmas season…so please let’s fill the churches with people…giving thanks and praise to God…as we ought to…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 September 2015 Colossians 3:1‏‏

Colossians 3:1.  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, as I opened my door this morning, I heard a group of workers singing: ‘Friday, oh Friday! Thank God it’s Friday! I’m starting my weekend early. Taking the afternoon off work, going down to the outdoor café and watch the chicks and chicklets come and go, while sipping a bottle of ale or two…or even three. Thank God it’s Friday yes, and the weekend’s here! Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my people, that’s often the preferable way for mankind to spend their weekend, but it’s obviously influenced by Lucifer and the ungodly things of this world. And it’s definitely not the right one for a believer in Christ. So let’s chant our Friday Chant that gives us a better and brighter perspective on how to use our weekends. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Now that’s a much better way to spend our weekends my brethren, and it makes a whole lot more sense than spending it idly in a pub watching chicks go by, feasting on eye candy. (smile) 

And that all segues quite nicely into our Bit. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.’ Yes Friends, believers in Jesus Christ ought to be seeking the higher things of God, rather than the lower things of Lucifer and this ungodly world. 

And Bruh Paul continues his admonition to the Colossians. ‘Set your affections (mind) on things above, not on the things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory. 

Mortify (put to death) therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection (passion), evil concupiscence (evil desire), and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.’ (Col.3:2-6) 

Now let’s get some explanations on those verses from the scholars. ‘3:2. Set your affections on things above: The Greek word literally says, “Set your mind on things above.” 

The readers are not to be preoccupied with things on the earth, such as current heretical philosophies (2:8), legalistic practices (2:16, 21-23), and vices (v.5ff); nor are they to dwell on things that are not wrong in themselves (houses, jobs, careers, ambitions, etc), but can be wrong should they become priorities above Christ.’ 

Unfortunately though my people, a lot of us mistakenly spend way too much time concentrating on just such things, making them of more importance than Christ, and thus having them become idols we worship. That is obviously not right, for Christ should always be NUMBER ONE, EL NUMERO UNO, in our thoughts and actions! 

That means we have to clean up our acts and get with the programme, for you see what the last verse we quoted above declares: ‘the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.’ And that’s no lie my people! 

‘3:3. Your life is hid with Christ in God (or, “Your life is deposited with Christ, who is in intimate relation with God”). As all wisdom and knowledge reside in Christ (2:3), so the believer’s new life is stored up in Him. This means that the Christian life belongs to the spiritual or heavenly realm. 

Jesus is in intimate relation with God; so are His followers. Since the Colossians now belong to the heavenly realm and are intimate with God, they should seek those matters and interests pertaining to heaven and not to earth.’ 

Oh my brethren the same warning and message applies to us today! Our eyes are expected to be gazing heavenward, rather than towards the evil earth. 

‘3:5. Mortify means to “put to death.” By a figure of speech members is put in place of the various sins that exist in, and seek to express themselves through different “members” of the human body. Paul urges his readers to “put to death all sins residing in your bodily members.” 

Therefore looks back to verse 3: inasmuch as they “are dead” to sin, they are to make this death to the old life a reality in daily living.’ 

Oh Friends, those words are ever so applicable to our situation today! Believers need to die to self possibly more than at any other time in history, for the amount of evil and sinful things that abound today are way more than at any other time. 

And to make matters worse, mankind has been, and is still being skillfully weaned off of God, so we are therefore more susceptible to the wickedness that the world puts forth as being okay. 

So please realize that now is a very important time in our lives, the last days are in the offing, and we need to make serious choices, whether we are going to follow Lucifer and the things of the world, or Christ and the things of heaven. 

To me it’s a no-brainer; Christ obviously comes FIRST! But everybody has to make his or her own decision. And please remember that where we spend eternity, depends upon that decision. Therefore, please let the wisdom of God guide us. Much LOVE!

…obedience to God’s Word brings salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven…disobedience brings death and eternal damnation with Lucifer in the lake of fire…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2015 Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

And then it was Wednesday – the middle of the work week, and sadly too my pen-ultimate day in Paradise! And I was just about to go for possibly my last morning work along the shoreline, when strong winds and a sudden shower of rain put paid to that little jaunt. So I began writing the Bit before I intended to.

Ah Friends, it’s been a wonderful time in sweet Tobago! I met so many people and went to so many places, places and people I haven’t seen in donkey years. (smile) Several of them that I never even remembered. And now that it’s drawing to a close, there’s an underlying sadness in my spirit.

But I won’t complain, get greedy, resentful or any of those negative things. Instead I’ll thank the Lord for granting me this wonderful reprieve from the cold! In His great wisdom and mercy, He obviously realized that I needed a break from the harsh, unforgiving weather, and from the exceeding busyness of my usual surroundings. And for that I will be most thankful and grateful!

In, and through the vacation, the Lord has certainly raised the level of my hope, faith and trust in Him! The way certain things came together to make it all possible meant only one thing; that His faithful hand and LOVING –kindness were working on my behalf. And all I can say is: ‘Thank You Lord, thank You!’

Ah mih people, as I keep telling us, the more we put our trust and faith in God, and wait on Him in hungry hope and expectant faith, the more we see of His blessings and great favour. But we have to believe, truly believe, and surrender our entire lives to Him. It’s not always easy to do, especially in the negative and ungodly kind of world in which we’re now living.

But it is essential, if we want to enjoy the peace, LOVE and understanding that He brings to those who put their faithful and undying trust in Him. And the beautiful thing about our magnificent, majestic and magnanimous God is that He WILL help us to understand His ways and means when we sincerely ask for His help to do so.

Which other supposed deity does that eh; put’s you through tests, then helps you work through them? NONE! And that’s because there is no other true, real and living deity besides the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! All the other stuff that man worships, are either inanimate, dead, or will die someday. Only the Holy One of Israel is alive and kicking; has been from day one, and will still be there till eternity!

Oh Friends, I’m chuckling here because I don’t know where all of this is leading to. But with the Lord leading and guiding me, I know that whatever it turns out to be, it will be helpful and useful to somebody who reads it. And unusually, in this dry season, another shower of rain has just come down. I like how the rain’s been falling during my stay here; fall strong for about ten or fifteen seconds, then let up, no continuous downpour.

But enough of my rambling, let’s turn to our wonderful Bit, chocked full of so much wise and wonderful advice from Bruh Paul. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’

Ah mih breddren, those are indeed golden words for us to live by! When we have found God, when Jesus comes to live in our hearts as our personal Lord and Saviour, then we definitely need a do over in our lives, to turn over a new page. New things have to happen in our lives, and some of the old things have to be consciously put aside, because they just don’t fit into the lifestyle of the followers of Jesus.

And don’t worry, the changes won’t happen overnight, for you didn’t become what you are overnight. But the Lord will gradually show you what He wants you to give up, and what He wants you to take up. But to successfully do that, you have to seriously communicate with Him, through prayer, Bible reading and study, and fellowship with other believers.

And what I LOVE about Jesus is that if you don’t understand what’s happening, you can always go to Him and ask about it, and He WILL give you an answer. Not necessarily right away, or in a manner that you like. But an answer will be forthcoming, involving a test of your faith and maturity, dependent on how you react to the answer.

If you react negatively, then it’s your loss. If you react positively, even if you don’t like the answer, then it’s your great gain, it might even be accorded to you as righteousness, as happened with Abraham. But know one thing Friends, our lives in Jesus are one unbroken line of tests.

From the moment we claim to believe, we are entered into a lifelong test; a cycle of ups and downs, zigs and zags, that sometimes seem unnecessary and even painful and unfair.

But fellow believer, if we have put our complete trust in Jesus, we have the faithful promise that in the end, it will all work out for our good. The Lord God is our Creator and Controller, and as such, His thoughts and ways are much higher than ours, and we won’t always understand what He’s all about. In fact we don’t need to understand everything, just trust Him to be our strong fortress, guide and Provider.

That’s where our level of faith comes into play. God deals with us according to the level of our faith, and we must realize that until the day He decides to take us home, our earthly lives will always be bound up in tests, trials and tribulations that we don’t enjoy, or even deserve. But it’s the Lord’s way of remaking us into the image of His Son Jesus!

And that’s what the whole programme is about my brethren – when we look in the mirror, to see Jesus smiling back at us.

And we’ll go home with some words of practical advice on Christian living, on truly living for Jesus from Bruh Paul’s second missive to the Thessalonians. ‘Furthermore then we beseech (urge) you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication (sexual immorality): That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence (passion of lust), even as the Gentiles, which know not God:

That no man go beyond and defraud (take advantage of ) his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us into uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth (rejects), despiseth (rejects) not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.’ (1 Thess.4:1-8)

Yes Friends, those are some practical words of advice in living for Jesus! So please let’s consider them today and try to inculcate them in to our daily lives as required nuh. That’s wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…living for Christ is no easy matter…but the rewards…both earthly and heavenly…are certainly worth it…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 2013 Jeremiah 17:9

Jeremiah 17:9.   The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it?
 
Oh Friends, morning is breaking, just like all those other mornings of the past! And to sweeten matters, God’s daily blessings are also being prepared anew – no stale stuff – as has been done each and every day, right down through the ages. So our daily bread is on its way, accompanied by new mercy and forgiveness. What an awesome package that is my people!
 
And all God’s children declared a loud, joyous and grateful: ‘Thank You Lord for Your overwhelming generosity and LOVING-kindness! We LOVE You Lord, and praise Your Holy Name! Please help us to continue serving and worshipping You with fullness of hearts, souls, bodies and minds. Amen.’ 
 
Yes my Friends, our God is ever-faithful and generous to us, although we don’t deserve it. But that’s just the kind of Deity He is; that’s just the kind of heart He possesses. The problem though is that our honesty and faithfulness cannot be guaranteed. For as our Bit so wisely declares: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it?’
 
And the answer to that rather imposing question my brethren, is ONLY Jehovah God!
 
That’s because our hearts are naturally inclined to deceit and selfishness. It can get so bad, that at times we even fool ourselves, thinking that we have such wonderful and upright hearts, only to later discover the true wickedness buried deep in them.
 
Cousin Sol, in describing a worthless and wicked man, said it a long time ago. ‘Frowardness (perversity) is in his heart, he deviseth mischief (evil) continually; he soweth discord. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.’ (Prov.6:14-15)
 
And sadly Friends, that’s a rather apt and appropriate description of a great number of humans on God’s great earth, including many so-called believers. No wonder our world is in the sorry state it’s in!
 
Jesus Himself, on the subject of good and corrupt fruit, had this to say re our hearts. ‘O generation (brood, offspring) of vipers, how can ye being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.’ (Matt.12:34-35)
 
And if anybody should know about that sort of thing, it’s certainly Jesus!
 
Then later on, in explaining what defiles, Jesus says: ‘That which cometh out of the man defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness (licentiousness), an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.’ (Mark 7:20-23)
 
Ah mih people, I guess Jesus condemns us all right there, since we all are guilty of at least one or more of those misdeed, and they all stem from what’s happening down in the depths of our souls.
 
Now listen to the scholars: ‘Many apparently thought that the food itself forbidden by parts of the Old Testament (see, e.g. Lev.11) rendered the eater unclean. Jesus is not challenging the accuracy of the Old Testament. He is pointing out that what one produces from, not what he takes into, himself is the essence of the human sin.
 
In context, Jesus is pointing out the futility of seeking spiritual salvation by means of ritual observances, like dietary laws, which are incapable of purifying the heart (i.e., the moral life) A clean heart is something different from a properly cared for digestive tract.’
 
And while declaring that all things come to the righteous and to the wicked, the Preacher imparts this bit of wisdom. ‘This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.’ (Eccl. 9:3)
 
But why is the heart so maligned eh? That’s partly because as the scholars explain: ‘Heart could often be translated “mind” in the book. Since the Hebrews had no separate word for “mind,” the word “heart” often served to represent the seat of the intellect. The key to the whole man is his mind. Whatever captures the mind captures the man.
 
The Old Testament word ‘heart’ often refers to the physical organ of the circulatory system. Both Testaments also see the heart figuratively as the centre of the personality or spiritual life. The heart is the seat of intellect, emotions, will, and moral consciousness. It is the personality which has that extraordinary ability to perceive itself.
 
The heart is presented as the seat of conscious life and the fountainhead of life. Illustration: Jesus taught that sin came out of the heart of people, thus defiling them (Mark 7:21-23). Yet after conversion, one of the characteristics of Christians is that they have the law of God written in their hearts. (Heb.8:8-12). Application: Christians should LOVE the Lord with all their hearts (Matt.22:37). (First ref. Gen.6:5; Primary ref. Prov.4:23; cf. Rom.2:15) 
 
Please note that I’ve quoted several of the references the scholars gave us, so you shouldn’t have any problems reading the rest. (smile) Remember though that the references are for our benefit; to help us better understand the scriptures.
 
And we’ll end with this rather appropriate reference from Cousin Sol. ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (Prov.4:23) 
 
Yes Friends, it all begins in the heart and the mind, and then spreads like wildfire after that! So to avoid all the evil and ungodly things that we can become involved in to our detriment, we need to guard our thinking and emotions very carefully, otherwise we’ll certainly get caught up in plenty calamity.
 
And that definitely doesn’t smack of that most worthwhile attribute called wisdom. So let’s consider ourselves warned. Much LOVE!.
 
..to him that hath ears…let him hear…or else he’ll pay an exorbitant price for his disobedience…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2013 Matthew 12:33

Matthew 12:33.     Either make the tree good, and his fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

Oh Friends, Friday’s up…! And it’s not Robinson Crusoe’s man… (smile) It’s another new today named Friday, bringing all the new daily mercies and blessings of our wonderful God! And the effervescent cries, shouts, hoots and hollers of ‘TGIM! Thank God is Friday, and the labouring for another week soon finish!’ echo all around the globe. But sadly they echo in too many polluted areas, a fact that causes untold problems for the human breathing apparatus. But that’s the price of progress, they say… Hogwash! The price of cheap, greedy, ‘gravalicious’, doh-care-about the planet progress yes! Anyway mih people, it’s Friday and a lot of the world’s happy because they won’t have to labour for massa for two whole days. And all God’s children gave a mighty shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes my brethren, it’s certainly nice not having to hit the road and the unending traffic jams for two days, but by the same token, we need to use that time off wisely. So let’s chant our Friday Chant that helps us put the weekend into proper perspective. ‘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.’ And having reminded ourselves of how to use the weekend properly, let’s turn to our very interesting and important Bit. ‘Either make the tree good, and his fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt (bad), and his fruit corrupt (bad): for the tree is known by his fruit.’ And that’s gospel truth Friends! Now yesterday we saw where Jesus told the multitude that stuff we put into our mouths doesn’t defile, but what comes out of us does. (Mat.15:10-11) Later though, Peter came back and asked Jesus to explain the parable because the Pharisees had been angered by it. (Matt.15:15) And Jesus gets a little testy with Peter. ‘Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man; but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:16-20) Oh my people, that’s the living truth, as we all know, if we’re honest with ourselves. That’s because deep down inside of us, our souls, is really where all our good and evil thoughts and actions begin, take root, sprout, then are noised abroad. So again we have to be rather careful about what’s in our souls, for what’s there will eventually come forth from our mouths, and if they are evil intents, then evil words will emanate and unfortunately spoil our witness. Jesus felt that our internal intent was so important, that He also used the good and bad tree analogy when talking about false prophets. ‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (ravenous) wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil (bad) fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:15-20) Please note Friends, the emphasis Jesus places on the fruit; the work, the action, the deeds of those involved in ministry. What we say is important, but lots of times, what we do is actually much more important. Our actions should at all times reflect our words. As James says, ‘faith without works is dead.’ (James 2:20) Meaning we can talk all we want, but if we don’t back up that talk with action, the talk is of no use, simply wasted breath. And we’ll end with another analogy of Jesus to trees and fruits, where He talks to the disciples about the vine and the branches. ‘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. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it will be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples.’ (John 15:4-8) Oh Friends, Jesus could not have explained the philosophy of His ministry any simpler or clearer! Now it’s up to us to embrace it and comply with it as fully as we can. If we don’t, then we’ll be cut down like the useless, withered branches and cast into the fire, as well as have to account for all our words on the judgement day. So let’s be very careful of what we say and how we act, because inappropriate words and actions not only affect our witness here on earth, giving Jesus a bad name, but also where we spend eternity. Much LOVE!…Christians…by their very nature…with the Holy Spirit dwelling in them…ought to be always good trees…thus always bearing good fruit…