Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2019 Isaiah 1:18.

Isaiah 1:18.   ​Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
 
No rain! No rain! Glory be! But the skies on the eastern horizon do look a tad dark for this hour of the morning. (smile) And just to let you know that by lunchtime yesterday, rainy day Tuesday had turned into dry and sunny day Tuesday!

Oh the weather system is so tricky and unreliable these days. But thank God our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the most reliable Being in God’s great universe, so we don’t have anything much to worry about, just our own unnecessary worries. (smile) 

And when I read this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin yesterday, it just spoke to me, saying ‘You’ve got to share me!’ So here it is. It’s titled ‘God’s Searchlight.’  Please pray with me: ‘O God If suddenly You were to reveal To my family, my friends, my neighbours Every real thought behind my courteous words If you were to point to my clenched fists While my other hand is openly extended 

If you were to bring to light Every masked motive, every selfish act I would cringe with remorse And beg You to remove Your light of revelation. Yet, Lord, when the searchlight of the Holy Spirit Begins to reveal me to myself I so often close my eyes and turn my back In a frantic but impossible effort To escape Your penetrating gaze. 

What a staggering contradiction, Lord what appalling hypocrisy. Apart from your grace I am utterly shattered. I ask you to sweep through me Purify me, cleanse me completely. From the depth of my penitent heart I thank You for Your continual assurance As I turn toward Your splintered cross. Because of Your LOVE I became Your child Because of Your GRACE I remain Your child.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, that is all so true! We try to be tried and true believers, but that sinful aspect of our nature too often raises its ugly head and makes us behave very hypocritically! And don’t fool your fat, we’re all a bunch of ole hypocrites, just some to a higher or lower degree than others, because we all dislike things and people and otherwise for which we have no good grounds, and behave in ways that are very unchristian. 

However when the Holy Spirit convicts us, hopefully we turn to the cross of Jesus and cry out for the help we so badly need! And those last two lines say it all: By God’s unconditional and awesome LOVE, we became His children, and by His amazing GRACE, we remain His children! Yes friends, it’s all because of our wonderful God that we’re saved from a life of sin, shame and eternal damnation! 

And I like the scripture verse that Ruth uses for this poem ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ 

Oh my people, which other supposed deity is willing to sit down and reason with His sinful disobedient subjects eh? Only the Lord God Jehovah, because He is sure and secure enough in His own omnipotence and omniscience to do so! But please note, that though He is willing to sit down and talk, He is still the one laying down the basic groundwork for our relationships. 

And that is: ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:19-20) 

And for some reason or other we don’t tend to take the Lord’s promises as seriously as we should. The Israelites didn’t several times, and felt the wrath He promised. Now we’re doing likewise, and so many of us are falling by the sword and numerous old and new diseases, and we still aren’t paying attention to God’s Word! How unwise my people! 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of those verses. ‘1:18-20. The prophet’s appeal to come and reason together reveals God’s gracious invitation to ALL men. It literally means to be “reasonable” by repenting and turning to God. Their sin is described as scarlet and red like crimson, referring to their bloodguiltiness before God. 

The term ‘crimson’ also means “worm,” referring to the colourfast red dye of the scarlet worm. The eradication of this stain turns it snowy white and is symbolic of the life-changing grace of God, which delivers men from the guilt and condemnation of sin. Thus the prophet reminds his readers that God stands ready to cleanse and forgive all who will turn to Him.’ 

All praise and glory to our wonderful God! And it’s not the only time the Lord calls His people to talk with Him about their sins. Listen to Him again, later on in Isaiah: ‘I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead (contend) together: declare thou (thy case), that thou mayest be justified.’ (Is.43:2-26) 

Oh friends, what more can we ask for eh? We have such a wonderful God, who is willing and able to cast aside and forget our sins if we repent and become obedient to His Word. And that’s why the Lord LOVED Bruh David; he wasn’t afraid to confess his sins, even the most abominable ones. 

Listen to him from Psalm 51, when Nathan drapes him up with his sin with Bathsheba. ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities, Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:7-10) 

Yeh mih people, though Bruh David looked good on the outside, He was suffering mightily with the immense guilt on his heart, but when he repented, that guilt lifted because the Lord forgave him, though he paid a serious price for his sin later on in life, a sin which brought serious disrepute to God’s cause. The same thing goes for us today; we can ALL be forgiven through sincere repentance, but more likely than not, there will be consequences to pay for our sins. 

So fully knowing and acknowledging that, let’s go home declaring (yes!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our wonderful and illustrious position in Christ. As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh yes my breddren, let’s keep on keeping on strong and steadfast, and that future will be indeed more than we can ask or ever imagine! Much LOVE! 

As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) so rightly says…the best way to live this life is to…simply obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 May 2019 Philippians 2:5.

Philippians 2:5.   ​Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
 

Well hello there you beautiful people; my Scrip-Bit family and fellow saints of Jesus Christ! Oh, isn’t it great to be alive, especially on such a sunny morning? It surely is! There’s just something special about waking up to bright sunshine… How did John Denver describe it in his popular song, of the same name written by himself and Barry Manilow? 

‘Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry Sunshine on the water looks so lovely Sunshine almost always makes me high!’ And isn’t that the awesome truth! Sunshine just has a wonderful and positive effect on us, like the light of Jesus when it shines upon us and brings us out of the darkness! 

Oh what a wonderful Being is our Jesus! Without Him we’re nothing! And the sooner we realize that tremendous truth, the better off we’ll all be! And that fact is most important in this Easter Season as we celebrate His death and then His triumphant resurrection from the grave, conquering the evil one in the process! For it’s that action that assures us of forgiveness, reconciliation and a family relationship with out heavenly Father, both now and forever more! 

Before that we were all useless sinners, headed for damnation and hellfire, but when Christ paid for our sins with the shedding of His holy blood and sacrifice of His sinless life on the cross of Calvary, then a whole new world suddenly opened to us! No wonder we sing and shout: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes friends, that momentous occasion is possibly the most important aspect of our faith, because without it, all the good stuff now available to us would never have been. That’s why we ought to be so thankful and grateful to Jesus for His awesome and selfless sacrifice. He did not have to do it, but it was the Father’s wish, and He never wanted to do anything but what the Father desired. Wish that we could be so obedient…or even half so obedient! (smile) 

Jesus in His time on earth continually made it known that He was here to do the Father’s will, and that everything He did was what the Father wanted. Listen to some of His sayings on that subject. In speaking to the Jews about them being the children of Abraham: ‘Then answered the Jews and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil (demon)? Jesus answered, I have not a devil (demon); but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. And I seek not mine own glory: there is ONE that seeketh and judgeth.’ (John 8:48-50)  

And again He said, ‘I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.’ (John 9:4) And again He told them: ‘Many good works have I showed you from the Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?’ (John 10:32) And furthermore: ‘If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.’ (John 10:37-38) 

Yes friends, Jesus never did anything in his honour, but always the Father’s. No wonder Bruh Paul could say to the Philippians: ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made (coming) in the likeness of men: 

And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 25:5-11) 

Oh my fellow believers, why can’t we see the great premium that our heavenly Father places on obedience to His holy will eh, and just obediently do what He desires of us! Look at how He exalted Jesus for being obedient to His will! It’s the same way He will exalt us for doing what He asks of us! 

But no, we claim to be believers, but constantly shy away from, and oftimes blatantly refuse to do God’s bidding. How does that endear us to him eh? How does that encourage Him to lift us up? It doesn’t at all. But we all desperately want to be lifted up… Ah mih people, our God is wonderful and all that, but He is also a stickler for obedience, and if we don’t obey, then we won’t enjoy all the blessings He’s got stored up for us. 

So please, let’s stop talking about obedience to God, and just do it nuh! We all know what we’re supposed to do, so please, let’s just do it. Let’s make what we say in our Wednesday Wail a reality and not simply lip service! All together now, let’s tell the world our position in Christ. ‘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 we’re obedient and sincere, then that future will indeed be rather glorious…more than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing the Father LOVES more…than an obedient child…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2019 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.   ​According to your faith be it unto you. 
 
And so we come to Wednesday…the mid-week catch yuh breath, second wind day! Everybody feeling refreshed now, having gotten back into the work week routine, and looking forward with much expectancy to the big day of Friday, so they can do their own thing. 

Ah mih people, I wish we could look forward with the same amount of expectancy to the things of Christ, to the things that concern our faith! Yuh remember how Jesus kept complaining about the faith of His people…’O ye of little faith!’ 

He said that several times. Even to His disciples who had been with Him for years and saw all the miracles He had done. When the storm arose on the Sea of Galilee and He was asleep in the back of the boat, they woke him up scared to death. Only to be rebuked after He calmed the storm, by His lashing words: ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt.14:31) 

And remember too what He said when He healed people. ‘Go, your faith has made thee whole!’ Even when He healed the Roman Centurion’s slave from afar, He commented: ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ (Matt.8:10) Yeh friends, in several circumstances Gentiles, or people of other nationalities showed more faith in Him than His Jewish people. But overall people were not being buoyed by their supposed faith. 

And I believe the same thing is also happening now. A lot of us talk a good talk about faith, but when it comes to putting that supposed faith into action we sadly fall down and start thrashing about and looking for other avenues instead of first turning to God and waiting on Him. But friends, it’s ALL about our faith, our sincere trust and reliance on the powers and mercy and grace of Jesus! 

Remember what He said to the two blind men who came to him to have their sight restored? ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened…’ (Matt. 9: 28-30) 

And nothing has changed since then my people, for our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So why do we think that our faith won’t get us through these rough and difficult times like it did those people of old eh! We have numerous examples of how faith propelled people, armies and nations to victory. Just check out that great chapter of the Good Book, Hebrews 11, where it tells you of all kinds of people who lived and died by faith. 

Think about Abraham leaving his homeland at seventy five to journey into an unknown land just because God told Him to and promised Him great things. That could only come through faith. His wife Sarah also had a son in her old age when she lived up to the faith expected of her. Look at the stories of Isaac and Jacob, of Bruh Joseph and Moses, of Abel and Enoch, of Gideon and Samson, of Bruh David and Bruh Paul, and even of Jesus. 

It was faith by which all of them traversed this evil world. Though Jesus was God, He was also man in the flesh and He too had to have strong faith in His Father else He would not have been able to do all those amazing things He did! Yuh think He just suffered all the abuse and pain of the cross just so? No! The Father enabled Him to go through it all!

And God hasn’t stopped working in believers lives just because this is the 21st century and mankind is on top of His technological and greedy wealth seeking game! In fact we need faith even more now with all the distractions and lies and falsehood and wiles that are now coming against us. 

We need faith to help us discern the sense from the nonsense that is so prevalent in today’s evil and ungodly world. And faith isn’t something we can just pick up or set down anytime we want to! It’s a process, like sowing a seed and watching and waiting for it to grow. And the Lord has done many good things for many of us over our lifetimes, but yet when the rough times come, we forget about those fulfilled promises and cower and fear and doubt under the onslaught of the enemy’s false fire! 

But remember too friends, these precious and immortal words of Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (1 Tim.1:7) 

And what is this thing called faith you all ask? The Good Book tells us that ‘Faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yeh friends, simply put faith is what we don’t see now, but which we hope for and believe that we will get later on. We never seen Jesus, but we believe in Him. We never seen God create the world or us, but we believe it. 

All of that is done through faith! For as Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘For we walk by faith, not by sight.’ (2 Cor.5:7) That’s it plain and simple my brethren! In God’s economy and universe He expects us to believe His Word and the promises contained therein and walk expectantly and eagerly with faith, knowing that they will all come to pass in His time!

And if we can’t do that, if we need to see everything before we believe, like the world proposes, then our faith is small or even non-existent, and we won’t receive ALL the wonderful benefits we can from our wonderful God. Nuff said! 

So for those of us who say we believe and have faith, let’s go home now declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our enviable position in Christ. With much fervor and 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!’ 

Now don’t forget, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or even imagine…and it’s all based on our faith! Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please God… (Heb.11:6a)

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2019 Joshua 24:15d.

Joshua 24:15d.   But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
 
Well friends, what do we have to say about Wednesday eh? Does it bring us the mid-week blues? Or does it offer us a li’l encouragement, knowing that we’ve made it successfully to the middle of the week, thus causing a dim light to appear at the end of the tunnel? However yuh take it, it’s Wednesday, and you can’t get away from it! (smile) 

So just buckle down and keep on fighting the good fight in the glorious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; the name that’s above every other name, and to whom all knees must eventually bow and worship to the glory of God the Father!

Wow! What a mouthful! But what a truthful, energizing and encouraging one! One that will reward us with everlasting life and unimaginable blessings, mercies, grace, forgiveness and unfathomable, unconditional LOVE! 

You certainly can’t get any better than that nuh my people! That’s why I’m always amazed and sorrowful when believers turn away from Jesus, and proceed to blaspheme His holy name, or others simply reject Him out of hand. That’s not wisdom, but pure stupidity, for who or what else offers the benefits that Jesus does eh? NOBODY or NOTHING! 

It’s like when we’re looking for a job, we usually try to find one with good benefits, even though the pay might be a bit smaller, because benefits cost much more and thus we often can’t afford to pay them out of our own pockets, even when we get a healthy raise. 

No wonder many companies these days are not offering the kind of benefits they used to, because they’ve become so expensive and hurt the bottom line…and we know in our capitalistic, read greedy society, everything is about the bottom line, the social aspect hardly matters anymore! 

So as the man says, when times get tough, who yuh gonna run to eh? Beelzebub? Steups! He doesn’t have anything good to offer. All he has is a nice looking façade on the outer portion of his business, the inner portion stinks; because it’s rotten, evil, greedy and strife-filled! Plus he lies, steals and is very deceitful. 

You can’t believe anything he says. Not to mention the fact that all the supposed fancy baubles he offers are just nicely coated junk, and start to deteriorate as soon as they are made and you certainly can’t take them with you when you die! So why would anybody in their right minds want to knowingly associate with the prince of darkness eh? But that just means there are a lot of people in this world who are definitely not in their right minds! (smile) 

Thankfully my fellow brethren, we are not numbered amongst that unfortunate lot. For we believe in the ONE TRUE and FAITHFUL GOD, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who’s Son is Jesus, our Redeemer, heavenly Advocate and Prince of Peace, amongst many other things, and as we said before, the Name that’s above every other name! Praise His High and Holy Name! He is faithful and true and offers benefits like they’re going out of style! (smile) 

And Jesus goes one step further, the extra mile, by showing concern for our earthly status as well as our life in the hereafter. Satan doesn’t give a damn about that! He just wants to get us in his evil grip here on earth, and then see us perish down in Hades with him. 

But hear what Jesus says: ‘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.’ (John 3:16)  You can’t beat that friends! The Lord our God is concerned about all aspects of our existence because He created us with His own two hands, that’s why He LOVES us so much and was willing to undergo extreme heartbreak to save us. 

As Jesus continues: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) Glory to our great God! In other words, God is concerned with saving us from the damnation of hell, while Lucifer wants us to go down there and suffer with him. Now which one will you choose? I do hope you choose the right one yes friends, because if you don’t, life will be a real hell, both here on earth and in hell below. 

And I’ll quote these famous words of Joshua to the Israelites on the above subject. ‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (Euphrates river), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. 

And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood (Euphrates River), or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:14-15) 

Yes friends, in this world we must serve somebody, and there are really only two options, Satan or Jehovah God. The decision is yours to make. Let’s hope you choose the wise one like Joshua and myself, and choose to serve the Lord God Almighty, your Creator as well as your eventual judge. 

And for those wise ones, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, proudly letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And that future will certain sure be glorious indeed my people! If Jesus promised it, then you can bet your bottom dollar on it! Much LOVE!

…you’ve got to serve either God…or mammon…you can’t serve both…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2019 Matthew 4:1.

Matthew 4:1.   ​Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
 

Well friends, the ole fella is up much earlier than he would have liked, but that’s because I have to go into the city to check on this ole heart of mine, to keep the appointment I missed during the big snow storm last week. And since I don’t want leave you all bereft of spiritual succour for too long, (smile) I had to get up earlier to write the Bit and get out on time. Last week it was an afternoon appointment, so I had time to palaver, but this week it’s in the morning. That’s how much the ole fella cares about you! Glory to God! 

So what shall we talk about this Wednesday morning, this Ash Wednesday morning, when all the frivolities and sinfulness of Carnival finish eh? I don’t have a clue! (smile) Hope those of you who participated in the festivities, wherever in the world, had a good time and didn’t go too much overboard and thus give the enemy some ungodly purchase in your souls, because it’s very easy to do that when you let your hair down, as so many of us do, at Carnival time. 

But now it’s the season of Lent in the Christian calendar; forty days and forty nights, a reflection of Jesus forty days and nights in the wilderness before He began His ministry and was tempted by Satan, but stood strong in His resolve to do the Father’s work. It’s a time where we hopefully get more spiritual, contemplate the things of God more, get into Bible Studies and spend more serious time with God. 

It’s when fasting and praying and self-examination become a larger part of our lives. The popular action is to give up things we enjoy for Lent. I don’t know if it really makes a difference to most of us, who just do it because it’s the norm, but if it helps to bring us closer to God, then so be it. Now let’s look at what happened to Jesus in the wilderness and how He handled it all. 

The Good Book says: ‘Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ 

And the scholars have a long, involved explanation which I’ll share. ‘4:1. Following His public baptism, Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness referring to the elevation of the Judean wilderness. The historical setting of the temptation, which was directed against Jesus’ human nature, indicates that this was a literal experience, which He really conquered, not merely a mental victory over His own thoughts. 

That Jesus was tempted of the devil is clearly presented as a fact. The attack against Christ’s humanity was a genuine temptation that would have overcome any ordinary man. However, Jesus was no mere man. As the virgin-born God-man, His divine nature could not sin (cf. 1 Sam.15:29), and this held His human nature in check. Some have objected that the impeccability of Christ (that He was not able to sin) denies the reality of Satan’s temptation. 

Such an objection is meaningless when one remembers that Satan’s rebellion against God has already been defeated in Christ’s atonement, but his rebellion is nevertheless real, even though the outcome of God’s victory is certain. The same is true of the temptation of Christ. One may attack a battleship with a canoe. The outcome of the attack will be certain defeat for the canoe, but the attack is nonetheless real.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus was indeed tempted of the devil, but did not succumb to that temptation, as the Good Book tells us. ‘And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungered (hungry). And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt.4:2-4) 

Yes my people, that temptation was real, and Jesus was there quoting Moses’ words of Deut.8:3, where he reminded the Israelites how the Lord humbled them in the wilderness and made them eat manna so that they could know that He was God, and that bread was not the most important thing in their lives, but His Word. As the scholars put it: ‘The source of bread, is more important than the bread itself.’ Oh so true my fellow believers! 

Before we close today though, I want to share some more of the scholars’ insight into Jesus fasting. ‘4:2-3. Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, a remarkable feat of human endurance, indicating the physical strength of the former carpenter. While the three major tests followed this period, other tests evidently had occurred throughout the 40 days (Luke 4:2). 

His real physical hunger serves as the setting for the first temptation by the tempter (Satan). The conditional clause, If thou be the Son of God, indicates Matthew’s purpose for including this record of Jesus’ victory: it proves that He is, in fact, the Son of God.’ 

Yes friends, He was indeed the Son of God, and Satan knew this to be a fact, that’s why He tried to break down His hungry human nature with the temptation of bread, knowing that a great victory would be his if Jesus succumbed. But instead Jesus stood strong and steadfast and rebuked the enemy and won the victory! All praise and honour to our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Now friends, it’s our turn to stand strong and steadfast against the evil enemy! We don’t naturally have all the parts and power that Jesus had, but He’s faithfully promised that through His Holy Spirit, He will empower us to rebuke the tempter when He comes a calling in our earthly lives. And He’ll do just that if we sincerely turn to Him for help! 

Now let’s go home declaring (steups – wrong again) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! Wailing as one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Ah mih people, it will indeed be so very wonderful in those future times, that our finite minds can’t even begin to comprehend it! Think on it, and let Jesus warm the cockles of our hearts this Ash Wednesday morning! Much LOVE!

…Lent…a time of personal introspection…and a closer look at the kingdom of God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2019 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   ​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.
 

And the snow has stopped falling – at least for the time being! Who knows what’s next eh? But what to do, nothing but grin and bear it as best you can. It’s not like we don’t expect snow to fall in winter, but yet we complain so much when it does! (smile) 

Anyway friends, we not going to talk anymore about the weather, I have to go out the street and do some stuff today, so we’ll just leave it all in the Master’s hands, to carry me and bring me back safely. I do hope though, that the fellow we’ve already paid to clean our driveway will come and do so before I’m ready to go out. End of complaining! (smile) 

Now let’s move on to the topic for the day; a rather important one in the lives of ALL believers, and one which we don’t do as well as we should, we’re talking about ‘Forgiveness.’ And that’s the title of the reading from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

It says: ‘Forgiveness. What does it do for us? In an amazing way it creates a fresh beginning. It lifts us out of the tangled seaweed of resentment. A miracle is performed! It may not happen in a moment or a day. We may have to forgive at six o’clock on Monday and start over again at two o’clock on Tuesday. 

There is no magic wand to simplify forgiveness. Forgiveness is a deliberate setting of our will, often with no emotional high whatsoever. But once having genuinely forgiven, our soul is washed clean. We walk in dignity again. We sense a new vitality. We’re no longer concentrating on hurts; we’re concentrating on God. If we would only forgive, our lives would undergo transformations beyond our highest expectations. 

Above all, Jesus Christ would be exalted, for it is His forgiveness that makes the difference. Forgiveness is a beautiful word. It is God’s word passed to us to use freely, joyfully. When we ask for the gift of forgiveness, God always says yes. He gave His Son to make us free, and forgiveness is the key to freedom.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends; we can’t be free until we’ve been forgiven…and we have forgiven! That’s just the way the Lord set it up! And the most important thing we need to know, understand and get deep down in our spirits is that forgiveness is not merely for the forgiven, who oftimes don’t even know or care, but forgiveness most of all is for the forgiver! It’s for us above all else. Because it sets us free from resentment and all the other negative emotions that can occur through a spirit of unforgiveness. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Colossians nuh, when talking about the Christian virtues. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of 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 have an interesting explanation of that last verse. ‘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.’ 

That’s simple common sense friends, all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, therefore we need to be compassionate and forgiving of each other’s faults and weaknesses, just like Christ forgave us. And so many of us forget that oh so important fact; that Christ forgave us, that’s why our sin debts have been paid and we’re heaven bound. 

But foolishly and selfishly and arrogantly we refuse to forgive others while we go with hypocritical hearts to God crying out for forgiveness for our own deficiencies. That’s so wrong my brethren. And Jesus made that quite clear early on in His ministry. Note in the prayer that He taught, which we call the Lord’s Prayer, the second to last line says: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12) And it means just that; as we forgive, so we will be forgiven! 

And Jesus made it even clearer a couple of verses later: ‘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 Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) It couldn’t be any clearer than that friends! 

So let’s get some wisdom and common sense going in respect of forgiveness nuh, because we only hurt ourselves when we don’t forgive. No one says it’s always easy, but with God’s help we can ALWAYS accomplish it, no matter how long it takes! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our position in Christ Jesus: With sincerity, in loud voice 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 please believe it, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…forgiveness frees the forgiver…so that Christ can forgive them… 

P.S. I just went upstairs to reheat my coffee, and looked outside…and wonder of wonders, the snow has begun falling again! So who knows what the day will bring eh? (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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