Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2020 Hebrews 9:22.

Hebrews 9:22.     Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.

Well faithful soldiers and saints of Christ, that big day, the day of the Lord is here again, calling us to praise and worship in whatever way we can. And this Sunday is Thanksgiving weekend here in luverly Canada, so there is no better time than this to ramp up our thanks and praise to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider, who has done so much for us, a bunch of poor, pathetic, undeserving sinners. 

And also, there’s no better song to sing today than this one which talks about our greatest gift from God; forgiveness of our sins through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. That precious fountain of blood which flowed from Immanuel’s veins and paid for our awful debt of sin, for evermore. And the official name of the hymn was ‘Praise for the Fountain opened.’ But now it’s generally known by its first line. ‘There is a Fountain filled with blood.’ It’s based on the Old Testament verse from Zechariah 13:1, re the cleansing of Jerusalem. ‘In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness.’ 

But before we get into this beautiful old hymn, let’s get a li’l background on it and its writer, William Cowper, an English poet of great renown. (1731-1800) Born to an English clergyman father, physically frail and emotionally unstable, which the death of his mother at six further complicated. He studied law, but when called to the bar he experienced a panic attack which led to a mental breakdown and attempted suicide. That consequently led to a stay in a mental asylum. 

It’s claimed that during that time, while reading the Bible, he came across Romans 3:25 that Jesus Christ is “set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” And through reading of the Scriptures, Cowper realized his need for a Savior and the need for forgiveness of sins. Consequently, in 1764, at the age of thirty-three, he dedicated his life to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Bouts of depression, melancholia and attempted suicide apparently peppered his life, but they say that ironically some of his best hymns were written during those times. And wonder of wonders, whom do you think he linked up with later in life – the one and only John Newton, the slaver turned Anglican Pastor, and writer of ‘Amazing Grace.’ And they teamed up over the years to write ‘The Olney Hymns’ Hymnal, (349 hymns) named after the town where Cowper and Newton were then living. 

Just more amazing instances of the Lord’s mysterious movements in getting His work done, through rather unlikely people. That’s why the Good Book says: ‘But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound (put to shame) the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound (put to shame) the things which are mighty.’ (1 Cor. 1:27) 

So let’s get to it now nuh: in full, soulful and sincere voice, in a slightly rocking tempo, like the live worship video done by the band, Shane and Shane, let’s offer up our sacrificial praise. No dirge like music this Thanksgiving weekend, especially for such a wonderful gift from our Creator. 

‘There is a fountain filled with blood Drawn from Immanuel’s veins; And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains: Lose all their guilty stains, Lose all their guilty stains; And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains. The dying thief rejoiced to see That fountain in his day; And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away: Wash all my sins away, Wash all my sins away; And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood Shall never lose its pow’r, Till all the ransomed Church of God Be saved, to sin no more: Be saved, to sin no more, Be saved, to sin no more; Till all the ransomed Church of God Be saved to sin no more. E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply, Redeeming LOVE has been my theme, And shall be till I die: And shall be till I die, And shall be till I die; Redeeming LOVE has been my theme, And shall be till I die. 

When this poor lisping, stamm’ring tongue Lies silent in the grave, Then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save: I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save, I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save; Then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save….I’ll sing thy pow’r to save…’ 

Oh my people, what truthful and most magnificent sentiments! The precious shed blood of Christ is the greatest thing in this world, because it is the only thing that can take away our sins, when, like the thief who died on that fateful day with Christ, we come to the cross and let that crimson blood cleanse us white as snow! Mama Mia! No other faith can match the power of Jesus, because He is the Son of the One True God Jehovah! 

And interestingly enough there’s a book titled ‘Immanuel’s Veins,’ by Ted Dekker. The author apparently says that Christ bled on the cross for us…’For the heart of man.’ And talking about ‘Immanuel, God with us – that he would leave the spiritual realm and be present in flesh and blood in such an act of humility is a staggering notion.’ And it surely is! ‘He willingly gave His blood, in the flesh, so that others might find life, for it is written: “He did not come by water only, but by blood” (1 John 5:6), and ‘Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.’ (Hebrews 9:22). 

This why blood is required for us to have life. And He didn’t give ‘just enough to satisfy the requirement, to fulfill a covenant or agreement? No. He gave it all. He gave His life. For us. Because He LOVED us.’ Yes friends, Jesus sacrificed His sinless life because He LOVED us. As Isaiah tells it: ‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us have turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’ (Is. 53:5-6) 

And He did it all for LOVE, my brethren! That just goes to show the awesome power of LOVE! And I guess it’s appropriate here to quote the most important verse in the Good Book; the raison d’etre for it all: ‘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) And that’s why Jesus said the greatest commandment is to LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, body and soul, and the second is to LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. (Matt. 22:37-39) 

Consequently, if we don’t have LOVE, and show LOVE, then we are not true followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…from the creation…to the revelation…it’s all about LOVE… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2018 Luke 2:7.

Luke 2:7.   ​And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough); because there was no room for them in the inn.
 
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
‘Drink ah rum and ah punchacrema, drink ah rum! It’s Christmas morning!’ Ah mih people, in my area it might be a tad early to drink a rum and a punchacrema, although some of you on the other side of the world most likely have tibbled some already. (smile) I have a brand new bottle of the rich, creamy stuff to check out later. A friend sends me one every year, that’s his Christmas present to me. 

However, let’s get to the important stuff: It’s Christmas morning! Glory be my friends and Scrip-Bit family! We’ve lived to see another one of these monumental days that ushered in the beginnings of our faith! That miraculous immaculate conception of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which ended up in His humble birth on this day some two thousand years ago in a lowly stable. 

 But that was just the planting of the seed, one of the four most important days in the annals of man, where God finally put His exemplary plan of salvation, free saving grace and eternal life for all and sundry into production, having promised it for numerous years before! Yes, it all began in a dirty animal stable with the birth of a baby boy called Jesus, our Emmanuel, our God with us! And there was such a racket around the fields of that little town of Bethlehem on this momentous night, that the world has never forgotten it. 

Now let’s remember it in praise and worshipful song as we sing the much adored song, ‘Joy to the world,’ written by that prolific writer Isaac Watts way back in the 18th century. Let’s raise the rafters with the joy that emanates from our hearts and souls this Christmas morning of 2018 as we joyously, joyfully, ‘joyeuxly’ (smile) declare: ‘Joy to the World; the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing. (Repeat line twice) 

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields & floods, rocks, hills & plains Repeat the sounding joy. (Repeat line twice) No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make his blessings flow Far as the curse is found. (Repeat line twice) He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love. (Repeat line twice) Joy to the World; the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing. (Repeat line twice).’ 

Yeh friends on this Christmas Day there should be such explosive joy in EVERY Christian heart that we should just want to burst with LOVE for Christ! For He is indeed the Way, the Truth and the Light! The awesome means by which we are saved! For NO ONE comes to the Father BUT through Him! 

Now let’s take a look at some of the miraculous action that happened around Bethlehem on that most auspicious night. Now Joseph and the pregnant Mary had gone up to Bethlehem to be registered per Roman edict. And it so happens that while up there Mary’s time came upon her: ‘And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough); because there was no room for them in the inn.’ 

Now one would think that the omnipotent Lord God Jehovah, His heavenly Father, could have made room for them at the inn, but He was out to prove a point by showing that humble and lowly beginnings don’t mean a thing! If His Son could be born in a loud, foul smelling barn of animals and do great things, so could any one else! 

Oh, listen to this explanation from the scholars: ‘2:7. Swaddling clothes were bandage-like strips of cloth wrapped around an infant to ensure that the limbs would grow straight. Not to swaddle a child would be a form of abuse (Ezek. 16:2-4). This wrapping would aid the shepherds in identifying Jesus.’ 

Now here’s the action! ‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon (stood before) them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore (greatly) afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David (Bethlehem) a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (cloths), lying in a manger (feed trough). And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:8-14) 

Wow friends! Can you imagine that quiet, silent night in the fields around Bethlehem, with shepherds sleepily guarding their animals, when an angel suddenly appears and tells them about the birth of this heavenly child, then a host of other angels arrive and begin singing, glorifying God, and exuding peace on earth and good will to all mankind! The shepherds were probably expecting another quiet, uneventful night, when to their amazement, it suddenly turned into a rather raucous affair of praise and thanksgiving and good news! 

Oh my people, those shepherds were so excited by the news that the Good Book says: ‘And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered (marvelled) at those things which were told them by the shepherd. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.’ (Luke 2:16-20) 

Ah my people, as we celebrate this most auspicious occasion, please let’s remember why it all happened, for our benefit, and let’s do like those shepherds did so long ago, when they heard the good news, praise and glorify God for the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And let’s not forget to declare our Tuesday Mantra which says who and whose we are; Christ’s! So as always, in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 today is definitely the day to share that awesome LOVE OF JESUS! Much LOVE!

…the first time He came humbly and without much fanfare…the next time though…the heavens will burst forth…and He’ll come as the royalty…the mighty King He truly is…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 24 December 2015 Luke 1:38

Luke 1:38. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s Christmas Eve; just one more day to that wonderful occasion, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Glory to God! So in celebration let’s begin with some soulful singing of this famous carol, ‘Hark! The Herald angels sing.’ 

With all the gusto and enthusiasm we can muster now. ‘Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King. Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled. Joyful all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies, With angelic host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem. Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King. 

Christ by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord. Late in time behold He’ll come. Offspring of a Virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see. Hail the incarnate deity,.Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel. Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King. 

Hail, the heaven born Prince of Peace, Hail, the Son of Righteousness. Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings. Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die, Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth. Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King.’ 

Yes my brethren, our Jesus, our Lord and Saviour is all those things: our Emmanuel, God with us; the Prince of Peace, the Son of Righteousness; Light and Life to all; Our Redeemer, so that we won’t face or fear death anymore; the One who causes us to be spiritually born again, plus several more like King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

Oh what a blessed privilege it is to serve such a mighty, but gracious and merciful King! 

And all God’s children triumphantly shouted: ‘Blessed is His Name, Jesus! The Name above all names! To whom every knee shall bow and declare that He is Lord indeed, all to the glory of God!’ 

Mama Mia! The most superlative blessing ever bestowed on man; the birth and subsequent death and rising up again of Jesus Christ! Glory Hallelujah! 

That brings us hope…and joy…and faith for all eternity! No other supposed God can offer those things, ONLY the ONE, TRUE and LIVING GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

So why do we not appreciate them as we should eh? Why are we allowing the evil minions of Lucifer to deprive us, to take away our Christian heritage? 

Just sit for a moment and imagine what this Christmas season means to us all nuh; a bright and bold and confident future, filled with the faith of all God’s promises. 

So please let’s stop giving in so easily to the evil nature of our society, and instead stand up strong for our beliefs nuh, because that’s why Jesus sacrificed His sinless life; so that we won’t be kicked around like footballs anymore. 

And if we don’t stand up strong, we’ll just be making a mockery of His selfless sacrifice and show that our faith is mere thought and talk, but severely lacking in action. 

And talking about faith, faith in action, our Bit describes, to my mind, the greatest faith, beside that of Jesus shown in the bible; that of His mother, Mary. ‘And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’  

Oh my people, just imagine yourselves a most likely uneducated teenaged girl in the backwater town of Nazareth, in the backwater province of Galilee, just betrothed, engaged to be married, and suddenly one day, out of the blue an angel, a supernatural being, suddenly appears and says to you. ‘Hail (rejoice), thou art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Luke 1:28) 

Obviously, like Mary, we would have been surprised, taken aback by such an unusual exalted greeting. ‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.’(Luke 1:30-31) 

Most of us would have stopped the angel right there. ‘Whoa, brother whoa! What yuh talking about eh? How am I going to bear a child when I’ve just been engaged, and won’t know my husband for a while yet?’ 

But Mary kept silent and allowed the angel to continue. ‘He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): And the Lord shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:32-33) 

Only then did Mary question the angel. ‘How shall this be seeing I know not a man (am a virgin)? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall over-shadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:34-35) 

Even today Friends, knowing what we know, most of us would certainly be afraid and shaking in our figurative boots. First of all, just talking to an angel would have frightened us. Then the seemingly impossible things he said would just make our fear worst, or we might just burst out laughing figuring that he must be joking. 

But Mary, who most likely had some biblical knowledge about the Messiah, did none of these things. And after that, the angel also told her that her cousin Elisabeth, previously considered barren, was pregnant (with John the Baptist), ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:37) 

Then having heard it all, Mary calmly made her decision and spoke the immortal words of our Bit. ‘Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word.’ 

And the whole history of the world was changed by her calm acceptance of the angel’s words. Oh my fellow believers, would we be able to calmly accept those words from a spiritual being so easily. I very much doubt it. But Mary did! And that’s what I consider faith in true action! 

Oh, how I wish that we could be so faithful in this evil day and age! Oh I know too friends that that kind of faith is not easy to come by, but please, beginning right now, on this Christmas Eve day, let’s work on improving ours nuh, growing daily in the trust and promises of our great and wonderful God. For that is indeed the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…according to your faith…be it unto you…(Matt.9:29) 

P.S. More late night, or rather early morning celebrations friends, simply lead to late Bits. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2013 Matthew 25:35-36

Matthew 25:35-36.  For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
 
Oh Friends, I don’t think I like my prediction nuh, re that this will be the year of the flood, especially when it seems to be coming through, and quite close to home too. Unfortunately, Toronto and some surrounding areas were flooded out yesterday.
 
Rain fell for most of the day; 106 ml. at the airport alone, with the record for all of July being 119 ml. But I never realized it was that bad until in the evening when I saw pictures of the flooded streets of Toronto on the newscast.
 
The most disheartening picture was one of the Go Train, the provincial train service that runs between Toronto and some outlying communities. This particular train, emblazoned in its familiar green and white colours, seemed stuck by, or in a river bed. But in reality it was the floodwaters surrounding and engulfing the train tracks.
 
It appears too that some passengers were breaking the windows, jumping out and trying to swim to safety. You also saw interior pictures where commuters were trying to get away from the rising floodwaters in the train itself, by climbing up on the seats. Apparently those poor people had been trapped there for some three to four hours.
 
And if the flooding wasn’t bad enough, some three hundred thousand people were without light and power for most of the evening. Luckily I wasn’t one of those, although the power outage seems to have come fairly close to my area.
 
The sad part is that though it’s stopped raining now, rain is again forecasted for parts of today, and I have to go to the hospital to remove the stitches form my trigger finger surgery. I can just imagine what the rush hour traffic will be like this morning.
 
As usual, let’s do whatever we can to help those unfortunate souls in this misfortune, especially praying for them, because we know that prayer is the most powerful force in the universe, and our wonderful God answers the prayers of the righteous.
 
Anyway let’s turn to our Bit. ‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.’
 
As promised my people, it’s the same Bit as the last few days, because I believe it’s very important, one of the foundation blocks of our faith; to help, to serve, to take care of those in need, because that’s what Jesus did during His earthly sojourn.
 
The Good Book puts it this way: ‘How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.’ (Acts 10:38)
 
And the same thing goes for us my fellow believers! God has anointed us with the Holy Spirit and with power, so that we too can go out and do good, just like Jesus, because that means truly following Him, truly walking in His footsteps, thus maturing, becoming more like Him in character, which is one of our basic purposes here on earth.
 
Now let’s get into these last scriptures that corroborate our Bit, beginning with Job, speaking of his integrity, performing his small part to help the less fortunate. ‘The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.’ (Job 30:32)
 
Oh my brethren are we also fulfilling that requirement, opening our doors to friends and strangers in need? We should be, because the Good Book clearly reminds us to: ‘Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
 
Remember them that are in bonds (prison), as bound (chained) with them; and them which suffer adversity (are mistreated), as being yourselves also in this body.’ (Heb.13:1-3)
 
It can’t be put any clearer than that my people! Meanwhile Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy about his time in prison. ‘Thus thou knowest that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus: for he oft (often) refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
 
But when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things (ways) he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.’ (2 Tim.1:15-18)
 
And I won’t even comment, because I know most of us turn away from even our family and best friends when they get caught up in stuff that gets them imprisoned. The talk about paying our debt to society and all that is just talk, because the stigma of doing time never really leaves us in this hypocritical society.
 
But strangely enough, if you study the lives of many of the world’s greatest and most renowned leaders, you’ll find that prison time was part of their résumé. 
 
And we’ll close with some timely words from John’s 3rd epistle: ‘Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to (for) the brethren, and to (for) strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity (LOVE) before the church: whom if thou bring (send) forward on their journey after a godly sort (in a manner worthy of God), thou shalt do well:
 
Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of (from) the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellow helpers to (for) the truth.’ (3 John 5-8)
 
Oh my people, please let’s write these scriptures indelibly in our hearts and minds nuh, so that they can help us successfully do the work of Christ here on earth!
 
When we read, mark, meditate and inwardly digest them, then they’ll raise our energy level, our passion, gumption and self-sacrifice need to do the servant-like work of Jesus, which we’re called to do! Much, much LOVE, my fellow believers!
 
…Jesus said He came to serve…not to be served…thus His followers ought to concentrate on serving too…rather than being served… 
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2013 Luke 1:27

Luke 1:27:  To a virgin espoused (engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
 
Oh Friends, this really is the year of the flood yes! Look at the above average rainfall that’s caused terrible flooding and all the other inherent disasters that’s happened this past week in Northern India and also here at home in the Western Province of Alberta.
 
The city of Calgary, one of the five largest in Canada, and the surrounding areas of High River and Medicine Hat, were literally under water. The newspaper claims that Calgary, possibly the country’s most progressive city, has been left in shambles. River-like torrents of water have been running down the city’s streets, and thousands have been evacuated.
 
Add all of that to the wicked flooding we recently saw in much of Europe and in the Western Province of Saskatchewan, and we have to admit that flood damage seems to be this year’s chosen area of disaster. And the hurricane season is just starting, so who knows what’s going to happen eh. We just have to be prepared to face whatever disaster comes our way.
 
And Friends, despite all the negative news, as true believers in Jesus Christ, we can all relax – well not really relax, we still have to mind our business, drunk or sober, (smile) but we don’t have to go crazy with worry, anxiety and overwhelming concern, because our God has promised to look after us in whatever situation we may find ourselves. And we all know that He’s always faithful in keeping His promises.
 
Besides, worry and anxiety never fix anything, just cause more problems and negative consequences. And today, please let’s give God enormous thanks for our safety and well-being, and also pray for the thousands of unfortunates who are caught up in the numerous disasters around the world.
 
Individually, we may not be able to do much to help them, but together we can certainly move mountains on their behalf, with the help of Jesus. So please let’s remember them in our prayers, because the day will certainly come when we’re undergoing our own disasters and need them to pray for us.
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit, which is the same as yesterday. ‘To a virgin espoused (engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.’
 
And according to the scholars: ‘Espousal (similar to our engagement period) was, under Jewish law as binding as marriage. It lasted about a year, during which time the woman’s purity was maintained.’
 
Yesterday we talked about the new Norwegian version of the Good Book changing the word ‘virgin’ in Mary’s case to that of ‘young woman,’ which entirely misses the point, and thus fails to convey the fundamental aspect that Mary’s virginity had and has on the Christian faith.
 
Today we’ll look at two other scriptures and hear from the scholars, per the great importance and relevance of Mary’s virginity to our beliefs. And the whole virginity business began with Isaiah’s prophecy to King Ahab at an upcoming Assyrian invasion of Israel.
 
‘Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’ (Is.7:14)
 
Then Matthew, in his gospel, referring to Isaiah’s prophecy, declares: ‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted (translated) is, God with us.’ (Matt.1:23)
 
And the scholars tell us that: ‘A virgin relates Mary, the mother of Jesus, to the prediction found in Isaiah 7:14. Matthew used the Greek word, ‘parthenos’ to translate the Hebrew word ‘almah.’ His contextual usage of ‘fulfill’ is certainly indicative of his understanding the Isaiah passage to contain a definitely predictive element.
 
The quotation of Isaiah 7:14 follows the Septuagint (Old Testament in Greek) rendering where ‘parthenos’ is also used to translate the Hebrew ‘almah.’ There can be no doubt that the Greek term ‘parthenos’ is always to be translated ‘virgin.’
 
The Hebrew ‘almah’ is the most accurate and precise term for virgin used in the Old Testament. Therefore Matthew is clearly correct in quoting Isaiah 7:14 as being fulfilled in the virgin birth of Christ.
 
Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us: This is a title describing the deity of the person of the Son of God rather than a name actually used by Him. It implies God will come to dwell among His own people, which He did in the person of Christ.’
 
Ah Friends, some of that might be slightly confusing, but the scholars want to show how truly important the concept of Mary’s virginity and Christ’s virgin birth are to our Christian faith. And not totally acknowledging it as such, in essence denies the basic tenet of our faith; that of Christ being the incarnate (spiritually conceived) Son of God and not the physical conception of man.
 
In other words, Jesus was the human embodiment of God, God in the flesh of man. That means that if Mary wasn’t a virgin in the real and true sense of the word, then Jesus’ father had to be a human being, and that would totally negate all of the New Testament.
 
So please my brethren, let’s be careful to try and keep the true meaning of the Good Book in all we say and do, so that we don’t mislead others, or give them the wrong perspective on what our faith really is all about. And I daresay that in many modern translations that is already taking place.
 
But Friends and fellow believers, the Good Book MUST NOT be watered or dumbed down to meet the dumb and watered down minds of this current age. Instead we should concentrate on lifting, upgrading the minds of our young people to meet the understanding of the Good Book. Please, I implore us to make that a critical part of our outreach, our ministry. 
 
And in closing, I’m asking us to float up a few words of prayer to heaven for the ole fella, who’s going to have some surgery this morning on his right hand to rectify a condition they call ‘trigger finger.’ Please pray for it to be successful, and that I can continue writing the Bit without missing any days, because that would be very disappointing.
 
I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but since our God is omnipotent, and we can do all things through His empowerment, I feel confident that He will help me find a way, even if in the natural, there seems to be none. Much LOVE!
 
…let’s remember that God’s Word never changes…so don’t go changing it on the whims and fancies of this fallen world…
 
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2012 Acts 10:38

Acts 10:38.      How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
 
Ah Friends, we back, back home to our cluttered basement office, in our medium sized house in the north country. (smile) No more balconies in little mansions atop high hills, with cool breezes and lush gardens to titivate the senses. Now it’s books, papers, pictures and all kinds of other stuff surrounding me. But yuh know what? It’s HOME! And I’m comfortable, like the old broom that knows all the corners. It also fits me like a hand in glove because it’s of my making. As the elderly limo driver that brought me home from the airport last night so wisely noted: ‘That’s why it’s called HOME SWEET HOME!’ And that’s the living truth mih people! Be it ever so humble or ever so grand, wherever your heart and soul are comfortable, wherever you lay your head most nights of the year, that’s HOME! One more thing mih people; please don’t expect any extraordinary revelations or words of untoward wisdom from me today, since the ole fella’s in somewhat rough shape. I had to go back to the airport at 2.30 this morning to meet the Duchess, so I didn’t get to bed until the wee hours. In fact I had to put in a most heroic effort to get up just now because I didn’t want any more complaints about the Bit arriving later and later. Hn, hn! Yuh see the sacrifices your ole father makes for you, mih big daughter! (smile) The caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet either. Instead I burned my mouth with the very first sip. And the strange thing about vacations is that when you get back, you’re as tired as ever. You went away to rest and relax, but you usually return home even more fatigued than when you left, and you now need some time to recover from the holiday. I can testify to that right now. But what a way we ‘funnicurious’ eh! But the worst part is all the stuff that’s piled up for you to do in the few days you’ve been away; the snail and e-mail, the bills, the phone calls… Chuh! This 21st century life too busy yes! Anyway, enough of my preamble, let’s see what our Bit has to say. And it’s the same one as yesterday: ‘How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.’ Those my Friends, were the truthful, factual words of Peter, when he preached to the amazingly receptive Gentiles at the house of Cornelius the centurion in Caesarea, explaining to them in a clear and concise manner how the whole scenario of Jesus, the gospel, salvation and eternal life came about. Yesterday we jumped the gun and looked at the middle section, how Jesus went about doing good and healing the sick and oppressed because it suited my immediate purpose. Today we’ll look at the first part: ‘How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power:’ Oh Friends, we all know of that great moment in time when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the river Jordan: ‘And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened (torn open), and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ (Mark 1:10-11) That was effectively the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, where the Holy Spirit of His heavenly Father empowered Him to do the Father’s will. Without it, He would not have been able to do all those wonderful, miraculous things He did. Likewise Friends, without the marvellous Spirit of Jesus constantly coursing through our bodies and souls, we are unable to do much of anything. As Jesus so clearly stated to His disciples: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) And that’s the gospel truth Friends! Without the empowering Spirit of our Saviour flowing through us, we’re helpless! Unfortunately though, a lot of believers either don’t know, understand or accept this fundamental, foundational truth of the Christian life. And it’s of the utmost importance that we know, understand and accept it, because just like Jesus was relatively powerless without His Father’s Spirit, we can’t do anything without the Spirit of Jesus. It’s therefore very critical to our well-being my brethren that we allow the Spirit of Jesus, which comes to dwell in us when we believe in Him, to lead and guide us on our earthly pilgrimage. We have to consistently listen to and be led by it. And not only when it suits our individual purpose, but even more so when it doesn’t fit into our personal agenda. I’m chuckling as I realize that my writing this Bit right now is a very good example of that, because I certainly didn’t want to get up when I did, but the Lord woke me up when He thought it was time. Now though I could have gone back to bed, most likely I would have just tossed and turned because of my reluctance to follow the Spirit’s lead. As I keep saying Friends, working for Jesus is not a bed of roses, but it’s always interesting and adventuresome, and above all else, He ALWAYS empowers us to do whatever He asks of us. My writing this Bit this morning is a perfect example of that. Judging from the way I felt when I began, I never expected to write such a coherent Bit, but as I went along, the ideas began to flow in an exceedingly helpful manner. Do you think that was my brilliance? Definitely not, since my brain was all fuzzy with tiredness and sleep! So Friends, in closing, I just want to exhort, encourage, admonish, whatever the word that best conveys the extreme importance of living in harmony with the Spirit for all believers. That’s because the Spirit of Jesus is the true mover and shaker in the lives of all His followers, and without our submission to it, our faith is essentially useless. Consequently my brethren, please let our relationship with the Spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be the significant thought we ponder on today. More on this tomorrow, if Almighty God so favours. Till then, please walk safely, peacefully and LOVINGLY with Him and all those with whom we come into contact. Much LOVE!…the only way to truly fathom Jesus…is through the working of His Spirit which dwells in us… P.S. Hopefully it won’t be as late now that I’m back home daughter. (smile) Much LOVE!