Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2019 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   ​And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).

 

And then it was Wednesday, the middle of the work week…and we did get some of the promised snow, not in the afternoon though, but sometime during the early morning hours, and not as much as expected. However, if you have to venture out there, please be careful, because snow is snow; slippery and dangerous, be it plentiful or li’l bit. (smile) But as always, with Jesus riding shotgun with us, there’s not much to worry about! Praise His holy name! 

And looking through the many bits of paper I have next to the computer for something to write about, I came upon this acronym; ‘PUSH!’ And what dies it mean? Simply, PRAY until something happens!’ Yeh friends, we ought to just keep on praying, until we see some results of our prayers, because God doesn’t always say, NO, but sometimes, GO SLOW, or NOT RIGHT NOW! 

So it’s always best to keep on keeping on until you get a definitive answer…and believe me, when the Lord is ready, He will give you one. (smile) And unfortunately, for whatever reason, in these wicked and sinful times, even true and strong believers don’t pray as much as they ought. 

But please remember Jesus’ admonition: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).’ And that parable was about the persistent widow who refused to go unjustified by the wicked judge. So too should we pursue justice and pray with all our hearts, minds and souls! 

As the scholars explain, re our Bit: ‘18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.”  Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ And sadly, in this mish mash, judgemental, condemning society, it’s oh so easy to lose heart. But we have to be strong friends, and just pursue our dreams and hopes through prayer. 

And there are so many scriptures that advise and encourage and admonish us to keep on praying, especially since it’s God’s way of communicating with us, and it’s the most powerful element on earth! So let’s look at a few of them nuh, and use them to help us strengthen our resolve to keep on praying. 

And what better verse to begin with than one of my favourites, this one from Mark: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) Mama Mia! 

Oh friends, that scripture is talking about Jesus’ rising early every day to go out and pray. What a wonderful example He is! He doesn’t just tell us to do things, but leads the way Himself. Before Jesus did anything, He always sought the Father’s wisdom through prayer. And as I keep saying, if the Son of God needed to pray while down here on earth, why should we miserable sinners be any different eh? 

And then we have this wonderful statement from Bruh David: ‘For (in return for) my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.’ (Psalm 109:4) Yeh friends, it’s often best to pray when our enemies come against us, and remember Jesus said we ought also to pray for them. Meanwhile Cousin Sol gets right to the point, no beating around the bush: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’ (Prov.24:10) 

No joking friends! As the scholars say: ‘24:10. Strength in the face of adversity is the true test of endurance.’ And one of the reasons why our world is in such sad shape is simply because we supposed believers don’t have enough belly and backbone to stand up to the evil forces of the world! It’s sad but true! We’re too scared of what others might say or do, therefore we just fade off into the sunset and let the wicked do as they please. 

I’m sure it breaks Jesus’ heart every time one of His supposed followers behaves thus. And if we’re believers, then in the words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not (lose heart).’ (2 Cor.4:1) Oh my people, we have received the same mercy that Bruh Paul did, therefore, we ought also not to faint, not to lose heart! Friends, the worst thing we can ever do as a believer is to give up, to faint, to lose heart! Why? Because that attitude doesn’t exist in Jesus’ playbook! 

And as believers, it should not exist in ours either! And one of the ways we can keep it at bay is by listening and following this solid and oh so wise advice from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) And though Bruh Paul was there speaking about males only, expecting females to pray silently, in these modern times, it is extremely necessary that both men and women pray, every where; be it loudly or silently! 

And this last scripture is one we all know and quote, but don’t put it into proper action. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) Please remember that my people; we don’t only go to God to ask and ask for what we want, but we must also give thanks for what we already have, and whatever we’re asking for, believing and receiving it by faith, and not by sight. 

‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) What more can I say eh friends? I can only present the evidence, you have to make the individual decisions! (smile) Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now, in loud voice, with sincere hearts and strong sense of purpose: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if you truly believe, then you know that that future will be even brighter and more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…when one truly knows Jesus…you can’t help but LOVE Him…with all your heart, mind, body and soul…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 November 2018 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.   And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
And the spinning wheel spins…but no one knows where it’s going to stop! And isn’t that the awesome truth friends! But thankfully our spinning wheel has stopped on Tuesday…and hooray! The rain seems like it’s finally stopped too! Praise be!

Brother! Yesterday this area was as dreary and gloomy and rainy as I’ve seen it in some time! I went out in the morning in rain…came back in rain. Went out in the evening in rain…came back at midnight in rain! 

Chuh! And it wasn’t even like it was good showers but a puerile, incessant drizzle, which is more annoying than a big shower, which just comes down and stops.

Today has opened dark and cold, let’s hope it’s not more SAD weather. (smile) Anyhow, to conquer all of that negativity, here is an interesting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. He calls it, ‘A Prayer for Hope.’ And do we ever need hope in these trying times! 

Please pray with me: ‘I have a strong, serene feeling that God is planning something good for me today. I cannot explain it, but I have a deep feeling that wonderful things are in store for me. I am expecting God to surprise me with His tender mercy. He will turn my hurts into halos. He is guiding my life in such a way that whatever happens to me will prove to be a beautiful blessing. Thank You, Lord. Amen!’ 

And that’s what hope is friends, a positive expectancy that God is working on our behalf! Bless His Holy name. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Something good is going to happen TO ME today…Something good is going to happen THROUGH ME today!

That’s how we need to feel each and every day my fellow believers. I know it’s not always easy to be upbeat and positive, but the more we are, the better our lives will be. 

And please remember that great promise of the Lord’s that gives us eternal hope. Bruh Paul reminded the Romans of it: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ 

Yeah friends! What a mighty promise that! And if it’s one thing we’re very sure of is that our wonderful God keeps ALL of His promises! Glory be! So let’s ride on that sure wave nuh, like a surfer seeing a big one coming and just dying to ride it. Once we LOVE the Lord and are called to do His work, He will eventually work out everything for our benefit. The catch there is that oftimes backbreaking word ‘eventually.’ 

The Lord does His work in His time, and nothing is really going to change that. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts, wisdom and knowledge are greater than ours, so we just have to be patient, persevering and long-suffering and wait for Him to work His work. It’s not an easy row to hoe, but in the end it will work out magnificently, if we don’t lose heart and faint or give up. 

And the only way to overcome all the heartache, trials and pain my people, is to have the attitude that it’s all for our benefit, to grow and mature us, to make us more Christ-like. Remember we can’t grow unless we face some adversity, since we don’t truly grow in the good times. 

But the Lord NEVER gives us more than we can handle, and even when it seems so, He’s ALWAYS there with a helping hand to take us through the flood and the fire! Oh my brethren, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! Give Him some much deserved praise and thanks nuh! 

Ah friends, when we are the called, the elect, the saints of God, we LOVE Him with such a fierce and undying fervour, that no matter what happens we’ll NEVER leave His fold! As Job said so magnificently so long ago: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him.’ (Job 13:15) 

What a powerful statement my people! Like the scholars declare, those first words of that verse ‘express the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust God.’ Oh my faithful brethren, can we say those words and mean them? We ought to be able to as true believers in Christ. 

And as Bruh Paul explains to Timothy: ‘(God) Who hath saved us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world (time) began. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:’ (2 Tim.1:9-10) 

Yuh see friends, our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God has it all planned out: from day one to the last day, it’s only a matter of waiting on His timing. And believe me, there’s no better dramatist than our God! If you haven’t observed that in your own life, then you’re not truly involved with Him, you’re not paying proper attention. End of sermon! (smile)

Now let’s go home declaring (Yay, spelled it right!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In powerful unison now and strong sense of purpose:

‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we truly mean it, then let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…oh…the innumerable and immeasurable joys…of LOVING and serving Jesus…they can’t ever be quantified or qualified…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2018 Lamentations 3:21.

Lamentations 3:21.   This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope.

Aye friends, yuh ever wake up in the morning and just feel tired, exasperated and frustrated with mankind? Well that’s the way I feel this morning. Before I begin writing the Bit, I usually take a gander at the news headlines to get some idea of what’s happening around the world…

And…oh Lord…it’s only strife, anger, war, resentment and hatred! Nothing uplifting! Unless the newsmongers don’t consider anything uplifting to be news! But it’s just so much confusion and ‘cantankerousness’ that it leaves the spirit longing for the day the Lord shuts it all down. 

But yuh know what? It’s Friday, and it’s the big-wigs who are causing all the heartache, but the workingman does have something to say that will bring a chuckle to the soul and lift the spirit some. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And though the summer finish and school start back, and the long holiday weekends done for now, we still going to have a good time on the weekends! 

Why? Because that’s the only time we have to have a good time! The rest of the week we labouring for massa for piddling, can’t make ends meet wages. So when we get the chance, come hell or high water, we certainly going to party for so, and say, ‘In yuh face massa! Stop we now nuh! But he can’t! That’s why we have to say Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, there’s a certain kind of earthiness in the workingman that you can’t beat. He just lays it out there bare, fair and square. Meanwhile we, the supposed intelligentsia, make such a fuss, have so many unnecessary hang-ups, that we make our own lives more difficult than they need to be. 

Yes, the workingman does tend to go too far out on the limb, but he wears his emotions on his sleeve. Hopefully, we believers are a li’l more cautious, but still capable of real and true emotion, and show it when it’s necessary. And right now is one of those times, as we declare our Friday Chant with as much enthusiasm as the workingman sang his song. 

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!’ 

Yes friends, our intentions are different from the workingman, but our enthusiasm for the things of Jesus should be just as great, if not greater! And I’m chuckling here mih people, because I don’t know where all of this is leading to, but the Lord must have a purpose for it all. Let’s see if we can find it…

Glory to God, I found it! I just opened the Good Book and it opened right to the page with these immortal words of Jeremiah in his soulful Lamentations. ‘He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: 

I forgat prosperity (good). And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me.’ (Lam.3:15-20) 

Ah mih breddren, Jeremiah did have a pretty rough time in trying to bring his people to the Lord. But yuh know what? In his reminiscence, he rightly and sagely concludes. ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. 

The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.’ (Lam.3:21-28) 

And Jeremiah did bear the Lord’s yoke in his youth, as did many of us believers. So friends, even though we might be going through a pretty difficult time, there’s no reason to get discouraged and give up, because as Jerry says, the Lord is good to those who seek Him and wait on Him. 

And later on he further declares: ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly (with delight), nor grieve the children of men.’ (Lam.3:31-33) Yeh, friends, though our God is a God of justice, He is also a God of great mercy; He does not take delight in afflicting us. He will punish us for our sins, but nowhere near what we deserve. 

So please, I implore us this Friday morning, to not give up, even though you may not see a way out of your troubles. Remember that our God is the Creator of the universe and He ALWAYS finds a way. So put your trust and hope in Him, hang in there, and eventually, in His time and manner, He will lift the burdens from your soul. He has done it for countless other saints. He will do it for you too…just have faith and hang in there. Much LOVE!

…if the Lord gave His Son’s sinless life for our sinful souls…why would he withhold anything else from us eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2017 Jeremiah 29:13.

Jeremiah 29:13.   And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Well friends, that white stuff looks like it’s here to stay for a while yes! Steups! And more is forecasted to fall over the next couple of days. Brother! So the folks who so desire might get their white Christmas after all. Good for them! 

The rest of us will simply have to suffer in silence, (smile) because that’s just the way it is: if you live in the northern climes, then you can expect snow in the wintertime. 

But somehow you never seem to get accustomed to it. And in any case, we’re lucky or blessed, because with the effects of climate change, we don’t get half as much snow now as we used to get when I first came here forty something years ago. 

Oh how sweet it would be to be lying in the sun on the warm beaches of God’s li’l Acre, Tobago! But right now that’s just a dream for the future. You can’t allow those dreams to die though. (smile) 

Now, since it’s Saturday, -and several different kinds of hot, nourishing soup are being concocted up Calder Hall Road in Tobago – Oh just smell the beautiful, mouthwatering aroma nuh! Dreams friends, dreams; without them we’re just empty vessels. (smile) 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this week. Listen to this first one: ‘Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.’ Yeh mih people, what we do today is important, because that sets the tone for our tomorrows. If you want to have good, productive tomorrows, you have to begin by having good, productive todays. 

And remember that ‘All things are difficult before they are easy.’ Well I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘all,’ but certainly many things begin with such difficulty that unless we’re strong, focused and truly committed, we’re likely to give up before we really get started. 

But here’s a li’l secret: ‘When life gets blurry Adjust your focus.’ Ah mih breddren, unfortunately life is getting very blurry these days, and there is only so much focus to adjust. Only if you are focused on Jesus can you have enough leeway for proper adjustment. 

Another helpful hint is to ‘Start telling the universe what you want instead of what you don’t want.’ Yeh more positive talking and thinking will certainly be of more benefit than dwelling on the negatives of life. And finally, remember this: ‘The control center of your life is your attitude.’ 

Oh friends, you’ll be surprised at how much our attitude controls our life, especially in our Christian faith. Sour attitudes simply suck! They turn others off and away. On the other hand, a good, positive, pleasant attitude draws people to you and encourages them to either help you, or be helped themselves. 

It’s like the saying you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. And that’s definitely the kind of attitude we need this Christmas season of peace, LOVE and good cheer, because that’s what Christ came to spread amongst us angry, evil, warmongering humans. Yeh friends, Jesus did come to save us, but that salvation is not automatic. We need to first turn to Him and accept Him before we can find salvation. 

Listen to the Lord’s promise to the children of Israel during their time of captivity, which in the first place happened because of their gross disobedience. ‘For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place (Jerusalem). 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity) to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:10-12) 

It’s the same basic idea and promise God held out to Jews and Gentiles alike when He sent His only Son Jesus into the world to save it. Jesus made that very clear several times. ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) ‘For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them…’ (Luke 9:56) 

Oh my people, Jesus came as a Saviour, not a destroyer. However, like any other offer, His is also dependent on acceptance. Saving grace, salvation doesn’t just fall on everyone like a blanket. No, we have to come to Jesus and consciously accept His offer of salvation. 

Like the Lord said through Jeremiah: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

Yes friends, salvation and eternal life have been guaranteed to us through the sinless sacrifice of Jesus’ life, but we have to go seeking it diligently and sincerely in and through the Lord. Until we come to Him and confess our sins with a humble heart, salvation will elude us. 

The important thing my brethren, is truly searching and seeking out God because we can’t handle our sinful life any longer and we need the forgiveness, the mercy, the grace, the comfort and LOVE that only He can provide. 

So this Christmas season, when we celebrate Christ’s birth, I implore us to sincerely seek out the Lord and let Him give us all that He’s promised to those who diligently search for Him. That’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…anything worthwhile is worth seeking…and nothing’s more worthwhile…than the saving grace of Jesus…so please be wise…and seek it…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2017 John 3:16.

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

And then it was a spring- like Saturday: with even more spring like temps forecasted into the upcoming week, except for a few short-lived pockets of winter weather in between. Ah friends, I’ll take that weather any time yes, especially since in my less than perfect state, I’ve been grounded, can’t go anywhere to get away from the winter season. 

By rights, I should now be in warm, sunny Tobago, but the good Lord in His mysterious and merciful manner, after causing me to be grounded, as promised, has made a way for me to handle the situation by making the place not as cold and snowy as it usually is. All thanks and praise to Him! I have to believe that otherwise I would just go crazy. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s check out a couple of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he endeavours to inspire us. The first one states: ‘Just because Fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.’ 

And we all know about that my believing brethren; it simply means no giving up, because while there is life there is hope, and with Christ, anything is possible. So we just have to play with the hands that we’re dealt. The Lord has a reason for dealing them to us. We just have to go to Him and find out how to play them. 

And the second quote is even more interesting. It tells us: ‘The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.’ 

Some of you might have heard that quote before, but it is gospel truth! And why is that? Because a lot of those people gave up, they refused to plod on with the talent that God gave them, and therefore so many unfilled dreams and actions died with them. What a waste! As they say: Talent will not, education will not, wealth will not; only patience, perseverance and hard work will. 

Yeh mih people, we need to get down and dirty, put our noses to the grind stone and our hands securely to the plough, without looking back, if we want to be successful in this world. 

Now it’s time to bring in our Bit; that awesome fulfillment of one of Almighty God’s promises in Isaiah 9:6 – a Saviour for the world! ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

And it was all based on the magnificent and magnanimous emotion termed ‘LOVE! Wow! How wonderful is that eh friends? There are no words to suitably describe the emotion or God’s action. And today I won’t get into any ‘sermonizing,’ (smile) I’m just going to share some scripture passages that highlight the word LOVE and it’s association with Jehovah God. 

Listen closely my fellow believers to the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us,  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. 

That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness (LOVE) toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.’ (Eph.2: 4-8) 

That ought to be self-explanatory to believers. Now hear John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us.’ (1 John 4:7-12) 

I don’t think there is a better treatise on the topic of LOVE, my brethren. And we’ll close with these words from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath LOVED us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish (establish) you in every good word and work.’ (2 Thess.2:15-17) 

And that’s my sincere hope and wish and desire for all of us today my brethren. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2015 Deuteronomy 31:8‏

Deuteronomy 31:8. And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Well Friends, it’s finally Holy Thursday; the day before the Big Day, meaning Jesus’ crucifixion. It ought to be a day of heartfelt prayer and introspection, pondering exactly what Jesus and His unbearable suffering and His sacrificial death truly means to us.

Remember, Jesus wasn’t some fly by night operator. He talked His talk, but even more importantly, walked that talk! And we need to check up on ourselves to see whether we are doing the same, or simply just talking the talk and not backing it up with sincere action.

Just think about Jesus’ mental anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before he was sacrificed for our abominable sins. The Good Book tells us he prayed, prayed fervently, saying to His inner circle of Peter, James and John: ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here and watch with me.’ (Matt.26:38)

He even beseeched the Father a couple times to take away the cup, relieve Him of His duty to die as the sacrificial Lamb. But please note Friends, that in each case He ended with the fateful words, ‘Thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:39,42)

Yes Friends, though Jesus’ soul was in serious agony, to the point where ‘his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground,’ (Luke 22:44) yet He never wavered from the plan the Father had set for Him.

Oh my people, are we made of such mettle, of such sterner stuff? Do we faithfully resign ourselves to God’s will, even though the circumstances are extremely difficult, and sometimes look impossible?

Oh, I know it’s not always easy to do, but it is our duty as believers to buckle down and do God’s will, forgetting our own selfish desires. And that’s the only way we will ever become true images of Christ, as God desires us to be.

Modern day life is so easy that we complain about simple set backs or difficulties. But my people, that’s not being like Jesus at all! And my Friend Anselm’s quote for today, inspiring us for a better tomorrow is a rather appropriate one for our purposes.

It says: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’

And that’s the gospel truth Friends! Our true measure of a man, of a Christian is where we stand when the challenges and controversies face us. Do we give up, roll over and play dead? Or do we stand up strong and steadfast and fight for what we know is true and what we sincerely believe in?

You know we ought to be in the latter group, as Christ was. Look at the ‘sufferation’ He endured for our sakes, without complaining. That’s how we are expected to operate too, though we will never reach to the heights that Jesus did.

And the wonderful thing about it all my fellow believers, is that we have the sincere and faithful promise of Almighty God in our Bit to help us through whatever comes against us. ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’

Wow! How cool is that eh people! And a few verses before that, Moses told the Israelites: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.

And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.’ (Deut.31:6-7)

So Friends, in just three verses, Moses told both the Israelites and Joshua that they had to be strong, face up to their tasks like good soldiers, because if they did, the Lord their God would certainly look after them.

Oh my people, the same promise is extended to us today. Bruh Paul puts it like this: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Acts 8:28)

So when ever we are called by God, His LOVING-kindness will always be with us, regardless of the way the situation looks. We need to remember that and act on it my brethren.

Now listen to what Bruh David told Cousin Sol when he handed over the building of the Lord’s temple to him. ‘And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.’ (1 Chr.28:20)

Oh Friends, oh Friends, what wonderful words of advice from a father to a son! And that advice must also reverberate amongst us today. It’s also what the Lord told Joshua, as we saw yesterday. ‘Be strong and of a good courage.’ (Josh.1:6) And Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men (be brave), be strong.’ (1 Cor.16:13)

Oh Friends, I can’t think of a better way to end this morning than with those words of encouragement, which we so badly need in these generally rough times, and on this occasion when we remember and relive Jesus’ upcoming death.

Please be strong and of a good courage, for that’s mark of a true Christian, and also the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness…and be content with such things as ye have…for he hath said…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee…’ (Heb.13:5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2015 Matthew 10:16

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

Well Friends, it’s a Saturday morning that’s calling for snow and rain and freezing rain! Wow!

Over these next two days like we’re going to run the whole gamut of weather problems. We really can’t complain too much though, because we’ve been fairly snow and rain free for at least a couple of weeks now. And besides that, we’re God’s children and a little bad weather doesn’t deter us from doing Jesus’ work. (smile)

Of course it could get fairly rough, like the ice storm we had last year, but even then, we brave the elements like true soldiers of God’s army. What wonderful designations we embrace my people; a child of God, and a soldier in His army! His army of pioneers and pilgrims, going forth to spread His holy Word all over the universe He’s created.

And in the remarkable words of our Bit, Jesus sends us forth, just like He did the first disciples, to do just that: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’

And the scholars tell us, re ‘Wise as serpents (cf. Gen.3:1). In the ancient Near East, the serpent was considered the wisest of beasts. A cautious wisdom was necessary to deal with the fierce opposition that the disciples would face.’

Yes my people, it is a wonderful honour to work for Jesus, winning souls for Him, or rather causing lost souls to come to Him for comfort and succour, salvation and eternal life! But unfortunately it is a job that can also entail severe repercussions. That’s why Jesus warned the disciples, and has the same warning for us.

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

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over (through) the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.’ (Matt.10:17-23)

Oh my fellow believers, working for Jesus can indeed be a dangerous job. All the stuff that Jesus spoke about befell the disciples. They suffered serious persecution on Jesus’ behalf, and so will we, possibly not to the death, as they did, and some are still experiencing in some parts of the world, but serious enough to cause us to consider our options.

But when times do get rough, just remember Jesus’ advice: ‘Don’t worry about what you’ll say, for the Holy Spirit will tell you what to say.’ Yes Friends, the Holy Spirit is our guide and director, and He will not leave us helpless and defenceless when we stand up strong for Jesus!

And then we come to the most important part of His message; that those who endured, who withstood the trials and tribulations in His name would be saved. And all God’s children shouted a lusty ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the Lamb that was slain for us!’

Yeh mih people, we can shout all sorts of niceties now, but when the time of persecution comes, will we still sing that song? For all our sakes, I do hope so. It’s just that in these spoiled, selfish and easy living times, most of us have lost our belly and backbone, and cave in and give up under the smallest of trials.

But remember too, that we’ve promised that this year of 2015 will be one in which we will rise, without fear and anxiety, to each and every occasion to promote Jesus and His lifestyle.

Now let’s take a gander at some explanations of the scholars for those verses. ‘!0:17-22.  Take no thought means “Do not be anxious.” (See Mark 13:9-13; Luke 12:11-12). It shall be given you promises that the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit would tell them what to say in each situation they would face.

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

And that’s the gospel truth my people! If we persevere to the end, great shall be our rewards in heaven!

And I want to close with a very true and enlightening quote that’s rather appropriate to our situation. It’s attributed to Margaret Mead (1901-1978), the world renowned American anthropologist. And it says: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’

And she doesn’t lie Friends, for look at what a small group of twelve men started. It changed the world! And we are proud and grateful recipients of their commitment. Now let’s go out and do likewise, even though we Christians are in the minority, for with Jesus in the mix, anything and everything is possible. Much LOVE!

…today is all we have…so let’s use it wisely…