Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.    Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!)

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee: On, then, Christian soldiers, onto victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! (Refrain) 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2018 Matthew 10:29.

Matthew 10:29.    Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father.  

 

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh what a wonderful idea that is this Sunday morning my brethren, the first day of autumn in the abnormal year of 2018! Bruh David was ever so glad for that invitation to go to the Lord’s sanctuary because he knew the amazing benefits it produced. 

And going to God’s house still produces wonderful benefits to this day my people! Where else can you get the peace and joy, confidence and reassurance that come from a session of praise and thanksgiving, and hearing the Lord’s word being read and feeling it seeping into the deepest recesses of your hurting heart? Nowhere else friends, but in a place where the Lord reigns supreme! 
And today we’re going to open with a Gospel Hymn written in 1905 by Civilla D. Martin and composer Charles H. Gabriel. ‘It is most associated with actress singer Ethel Waters who used the title for her autobiography. Mahalia Jackson’s recording of the song was honoured with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2010.’ Most of us though, might be more familiar with the Kirk Franklin version of a few years ago. And the name of that revered and moving song is ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow.’ 

So without further ado, let’s reach deep down into our souls and produce a real soulful version that will bring tears to the eyes of heaven. As one now: ‘Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me 

(Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.) “Let not your heart be troubled,”  His tender word I hear, and resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. (Refrain: I sing…) 

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw closer to Him, from care he sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. (Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ (Repeat). 

What a marvellous song my fellow believers! And it’s also filled with God-awesome truth! Everything it says is true! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is constantly looking out for us, just like He’s doing for the sparrows of this world. And when life gets rough and tough we can simply go to Him and ask for comfort and reassurance…and we’ll get it. Glory to God! 

 

The song was obviously inspired by words from the scriptures. Hear these reassuring words of Jesus in our Bit: ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt.10:29-31) That’s the gospel truth friends! 

We are indeed more important than the birds of the air, as Jesus says earlier on: ‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’ (Matt.6:26) Ah mih people, we are indeed higher up the totem pole that the birds and other animals, which the Lord looks after so faithfully, so why won’t He look after us in the same, or even better manner eh? No reason whatsoever! We just have to have faith, trust in and surrender our lives to Him. 

 

Now listen to this testimony and let it uplift our lives, because only a few of us can, or will ever personally know this level of suffering. Civilla Martin, who wrote the lyrics, claimed this story as her inspiration. ‘Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle – true saints of God. 

Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for night twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittle’s, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. 

 

Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” was the outcome of that experience.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ Yes friends, that is indeed what you call boundless faith! Not too many of us would go through such difficulties today with such aplomb, even though we now have many more amenities to alleviate that kind of suffering.  

 

And Bruh David adds his two cents worth (smile) Of the Lord he says: ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way in which thou shalt go: I will guide the with mine eye… Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.’ (Ps.32:8, 11)Yes friends, we couldn’t get any better advice on this the Lord’s Day, so let’s be wise and take it nuh. Much LOVE!

…man is God’s greatest creation…and He certainly treats us like such…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 July 2017 Psalm 42:2.

Psalm 42:2.   My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

Oh friends, welcome to a brand new day with brand new blessings, mercies, and forgiveness! And it was all made especially for us, therefore it is essential that we be glad and enjoy this day that our wonderful God has given us! 

And all God’s people said a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Praise be to God, our Maker, our Helper, our Comforter and our strong Provider! May He reign forever!’ 

And don’t doubt it friends, He will reign forever and ever and ever, because that’s just how strong and powerful and infinite He is! 

Now let’s continue that joyful and grateful tone with which we began by checking out this amazing poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, simply titled ‘Roses and Rivers.’ 

Please accompany me, as we pray: ‘O my Father My heart longs for You! Fill me to capacity with Your Spirit…No, Father, I’m sorry – That’s not sufficient. Fill me to overflowing with Your Spirit And then increase my capacity That there might still be more overflow. 

Out of my life May there flow rivers And rivers And still more rivers of Living Water Bringing relief, release And exhilarating refreshment To a bruised and broken world Where thirst can never be quenched Apart from You.’ 

Mama Mia! Isn’t that just beautiful my people! It surely is! And not just for how it sounds, but also for the sentiments it invokes; truly Christ-like desires that ought to come from the hearts of all believers. 

Please, let’s allow those sentiments to be spoken from our hearts today, as we walk in friendship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for if we do, they will certainly keep us on the straight and narrow path that leads to God the Father. 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is one that we all know and have written in our hearts. ‘In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38) 

Yeh mih bredden, yeh! It’s promises like those that we must fill our hearts and minds with, so that we can live the prosperous, righteous and abundant life that our Lord has promised to all who believe in Him! 

Wow! With Promises like those, I don’t see how some believers, or rather any believer, cannot live a joyful, Christ-filled life! 

And the only reason I can see why believers are not sincerely joyful most of the time is because deep down, they don’t truly seek or wish for the Lord. They don’t have the hunger and thirst for Him as depicted in our Bit. ‘My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ 

Yes friends, when we truly hunger and thirst for God, sincerely seek His righteousness, then our souls overflow with his goodness and mercy. Listen to the sons of Korah as they sing from Psalm 84 – Blessed are they that dwell in thy house. 

‘How amiable are thy tabernacles (how lovely are thy dwellings), O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. 

Yea, the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will still be praising thee.   Selah.’ (Ps.84:1-4) 

That’s how the pilgrim feels when he has completed his long and difficult pilgrimage to God’s house in Jerusalem. 

Then he continues: ‘Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca (weeping) make it a well (spring); the rain also filleth the pools (covers them with blessings). 

They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God (appears before God in Zion). O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob.   Selah. 

Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed (commissioned one). For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper (stand in the threshold) in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. 

For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:5-12)  

Oh friends, what more can I say eh? The pilgrim says it all: Blessed are those who dwell in the Lord’s temple, blessed are those who come to it, and blessed are those who trust in the Lord. If that doesn’t speak mightily to our hearts, then I don’t know what will. 

That brings us to our Tuesday Mantra. Let’s declare it now as though we truly know and believe it. In unison and strong voice: ‘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 it’s truly true (smile), then let’s go out and share that magnificent friendship with Jesus and His extraordinary LOVE with others nuh. He’s depending on us to raise His Name throughout the earth. Much LOVE!

…truly seeking Jesus…and sincerely living for Him…oh…it’s the most beautiful and fulfilling vocation in the world…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2014 Luke 4:16

Luke  4:16.     And he came to Nazareth. Where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

And then it was Sunday – the first day of the week! Yes Friends, the day that we believers use to get up close, comfortable and personal with our omnipotent, but ever so magnanimous and generous God, by extending much praise and worship to His divine majesty!

Wow! What an awesome privilege! But please note that I said the first day of the WEEK, not the work-week, for they are two different things.

Sunday is the day we prepare ourselves with joyful worship to start a new week on the right foot, in a relaxed atmosphere with other believers, so that when the alarm goes off on Monday morning, the first day of the WORK-WEEK, we’re not tired, miserable and disjointed. We rise with a preparedness, with a high energetic level, which sets the standard for the rest of that day, and also for the rest of the week.

Oh my people, to be ready for whatever Monday brings, we have to start preparing from Sunday. And the best place to begin that preparation is in God’s house, listening to His Word, and bringing down, or rather raising the roof with songs of praise, thanksgiving and worship!

In other words, the best way to greet Monday, is by going to church on Sunday! (smile)  And this behaviour of going to God’s house on the Sabbath day is best exemplified by none other than our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Listen up as our Bit informs us. ‘And he came to Nazareth. Where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.’

Now the overriding words in that sentence my brethren, are, ‘and, as his custom was.’ That tells us that wherever Jesus found Himself on the Sabbath day, He made sure and attended the synagogue to praise and worship with others of His faith.

And remember what the scholars told us recently: ’12:3-4. Though chapter 11 (of Hebrews) provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance (and all else) is Jesus Himself.’

Consequently, using that undeniable logic, (smile) if Jesus could make sure that He was in His Father’s house on the Sabbath day, then why should we, His ardent and true followers be any different eh mih bredden, when He is our guide and esteemed leader? No reason at all my people!

Our God did not establish His house, His sanctuary, for no good reason. There’s always a legitimate purpose and reason behind anything our heavenly father does. And His house was established as a meeting place for His followers, so that they could glorify Him as one big family.

And as Jesus so rightly declared when He threw out the moneychangers and other business people from the temple: ‘It is written, My house shall be called the House of Prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.’ (Matt.21:13)

Mark also tells us about Jesus’ habitual presence in the synagogue on the Sabbath. ‘And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.’ (Mark 1:21)

But Friends, Jesus wasn’t the only man of faith to make it a regular habit to visit God’s house on the Sabbath. Listen as Acts describes Bruh Paul and Barnabas’ actions at Antioch. ‘But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down.’ (Acts 13:14)

Now hear of Bruh Paul in Thessalonica: ‘Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner (custom) was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.’ (Acts 17:1-2)

Note Friends, the Good Book specifies, ‘as his manner (custom) was.’ And he spent three Sabbaths there reasoning with them on the scriptures.

And though we’ve been talking about the House of God for worship and prayer, a building or a tent, or some physical structure isn’t necessary for prayer and worship, the true criteria is basically wherever God’s people choose to congregate. As Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20)

And a good example of that is also found in Acts, where Bruh Paul is in Philippi. ‘And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a riverside, where prayer was won’t to be (customarily) made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither (met there).’ (Acts 16:13)

And the scholars offer this info: ’16:13. Jews often gathered by a riverside on the Sabbath when their community lacked enough Jewish males to establish a synagogue. Since the institution of the synagogue is usually dated with the Exile (as in Ezek.11:16), this practice may also have arisen from Ezekiel (1:1; 3:15).’

So Friends, it’s obvious that gathering to celebrate and worship our God is essential for our wellbeing on at least one day in seven. Now that isn’t too much to ask, is it? If God could rest from His labour of creation on one day to admire His handiwork, then so can we rest on one day to give Him praise and thanks.

So the obvious inference from all of that my people, is that we should get up and go to church today, and if possible, every Sabbath day. For in that rests heavenly wisdom. It’s so good for both the body and the soul! Much LOVE!

…one day…only one day the Lord asks for…to rest and pay special attention to Him…and only Him…therefore…remember the Sabbath day…to keep it holy… (Ex.20:8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2014 Ecclesiastes 7:20

Ecclesiastes 7:20.     For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
 
So how is the Scrip-Bit family this Sunday morning eh? I hope we’re all standing strong and steadfast in faith, and giving God all the glory, as we should.
 
And as always, we expect those who celebrate the Sabbath on a Sunday are going to get to God’s house, at sometime today, to fellowship with other believers. That’s one of the best ways to share our faith and keep it strong.
 
Now I want to share an interesting quote from one Abraham Mazlow (1908-1970), an American psychologist, considered the Father of Modern Management Psychology. He states: ‘This confrontation with death… makes everything look so precious, so sacred, so beautiful, that I felt more strongly than ever the impulse to live it, and to let myself be overwhelmed by it.’
 
Wow! How true that is my Friends! For I’m sure you’ve noticed that whenever we become really sick, unto possible death, or have been in a life threatening accident, or narrowly escape serious injury from whatever circumstances, how we suddenly become very concerned about our lives?
 
And it doesn’t even have to be us who has the close call with the grim reaper, but just someone we know, and it forces us to consider our own mortality. Then we suddenly wake up and realize how wonderful life is, and begin to, or promise ourselves to enjoy it more fully.
 
Ah mih people, why wait till we come face to face with death before we truly appreciate life eh? Life is indeed beautiful, and despite the many negatives in our world, none of us really want to go over to the other side just yet. (smile)
 
So regardless of our circumstances, let us buck up and start enjoying this mortal life today nuh! This life that Almighty God has so generously breathed into our bodies. That was His original purpose for doing so yuh know. And if we don’t enjoy and appreciate it, means we’re being disobedient to His wish.
 
Now here is another interesting proposition, namely our Bit: ‘For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.’
 
And that, most of us realize is indeed gospel truth! Our sinful nature began when our forefathers Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, against God’s very specific command not to do so. Hn!
 
And since then, that sinful nature has just become more sinful and despicable with each passing day. Until now, in this wealthy, modern technological society, sin is the number one box office draw, being totally rampant in its many forms and fashions.
 
And though some of us might try to do good, try to be righteous, unfortunately the seeds of sin have been so deeply sown in our souls, and have sprouted up in so many different ways to make that virtually impossible. No wonder Bruh Paul could write to the Romans: ‘For all have sinned, and come (fall) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.3:23)
 
And to help us understand that, here are some thoughts from the scholars. ‘3:23. A personal sin may be one of commission (doing something that is prohibited) or a sin of omission (failing to do what is required of us). It may also express itself in either an act or attitude.
 
Illustration: Sin is portrayed in Scripture as falling short of God’s glory (v.23), going astray like a wandering sheep (Is.53:6), transgressing or overstepping the law (Ps.51:1; Luke 15:29), and trespassing, which means exercising our own wills in the realm of divine authority (Eph.2:10).
 
Sin brings hideous results, affecting not only our relationship with God, but also our relationship with others. If not checked, sin will destroy the natural process of every person.
 
Application: Christians should not sin, but if they do, they should remember their Advocate (Jesus Christ), and confess their sins in order to restore fellowship with God (1 John 1:9-2:2). (First Ref. Gen.3:6; Primary Ref. Rom 3; cf. Ps. 51:5).’
 
Yes Friends, I surely hope that gives us a better appreciation of what sin is, and what it can do. Please check out those reference verses too. If we’re not careful, sin can, and will totally destroy us, as well as those associated with us.
 
That’s why we keep stressing not to let the ole crook, the wily deceiver Beelzebub to get even a fingernail hold in our lives. We have enough sinful nature already, no need to encourage him and make it even worse.
 
And we’ll close with some verses from Cousin Sol’s prayer when he dedicated the temple. ‘If they, (Israel) sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near;
 
Yet if they bethink themselves (come to their senses) in the land whither they are carried away captive, and turn  and pray unto thee (repent) in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly;
 
If they return to thee with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: 
 
Then hear thou them from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.’ (2 Chr. 6:36-39) That speech can also be found in 1 Kings 8:46-50, with a few variations.
 
However my people, in this oh so sinful world of ours, what we desperately need to do is what Cousin Sol advised; sincerely repent and turn back to Jehovah God so that He can forgive us of our abundant sins. That Friends, is the ultimate in wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…so what’s it going to be eh…forgiveness and eternal life…or stupidity and eternal death…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2014 Isaiah 9:16

Isaiah 9:16.    For the leaders of this people cause them to err: and they that are led of them are destroyed.

Oh Friends, it’s Sunday morning, time for some serious fellowship with other believers in God’s house, that is if you consider Sunday to be the Sabbath Day. But on whatever day you consider the Sabbath, I surely hope that you had wonderful fellowship with other like-minded Christians.
 
That’s because it is very important for believers to come together, at least once a week, to praise and worship God for His LOVING-kindness, to encourage each other in the faith, to make plans for outreach, and share our Christian testimony, for that’s the only way Christ’s church is going to prosper and be of some earthly benefit.
 
On a point of interest, we’re now 9 days into February, how is your New Year’s resolution of having a closer walk with Jesus holding up? I hope you haven’t fallen back into your old ways and habits, now that all the celebrations have ended, because it’s so easy to do. We all start out with good intentions, but good intentions alone don’t cut it; the action’s the thing!
 
So please let’s make this our first monthly check on how we’re doing, re that closer walk with the Saviour. Then, let’s do whatever it takes to either bring, or keep it in line with our most worthy objective. Remember, once you’re walking with Jesus, everything else will automatically fall into place. And it’s definitely too early for us to fall off the wagon! (smile)
 
Ah mih people, this weather is for the birds yes! Well not even for them, because most of them fly south as soon as it begins to get cold. I’ll have to find a way to do the same thing too yes, for while I was down south, I felt like a million dollars; hale and hearty, strong like an ox, no set of aches and pains, wheezing or allergies.
 
Hn! But I’ve only been back a couple days and already the old aches and pains are acting up, so are my allergies and the wheezing, plus I feel old, weak and tired. Ah Lord eh! The things we have to suffer on this earthly pilgrimage!
 
And though I have no doubts about being able to handle it with the Lord’s help, I still believe the weather down south suits me much better than this northern one, especially when we’re expecting more of that cold, white stuff today. (smile)
 
But unfortunately my brethren, that is not the main concern of our earthly lives – only wish that it was. What our Bit has to say is much more important. ‘For the leaders of this people cause them to err: and they that are led of them are destroyed.’
 
Ah Friends, the truth of that statement applies to this current society, or rather current world, possibly more than it did to the people of long ago Israel. For there is such blatant corruption, abuse, insensitivity, greed, evil intentions and dirty ‘politrics’  on display worldwide by our leaders, that it makes Israel’s behaviour seem like kindergarten!
 
And Isaiah had the right perspective and description for our despicable behaviour. ‘For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up (rising) of smoke.’ (Is.9:18)
 
Yes my fellow believers, if we allow the wickedness that’s currently permeating our society to continue, eventually it will consume us like an angry fire. Now is that what we want to happen to God’s beautiful planet Earth? I don’t think so. That means we believers have a mighty task ahead of us, to clean up the all-pervasive evil that is becoming entrenched around the world, in our society, and therefore in our lives and those of our families.
 
As I said yesterday, it’s not an easy task, or one for the fainthearted, but please remember, that with Jesus’ backing, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! That’s why a closer walk with Jesus is imperative; to strengthen our faith and have us taking serious action against the infidels of this evil, ungodly world. 
 
Now listen to what the prophet Micah had to say about judgement on Israel’s leaders. ‘And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes (rulers) of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgement (justice)? Who hate the good, and LOVE the evil; who pluck (strip) off their skin from off them (My people), and their flesh from off their bones;
 
Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the cauldron. Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they behaved themselves ill (been evil) in their doings (deeds).’ (Mic.3:1-4)
 
Yes Friends, that’s exactly how it will be with our evil leaders! Exactly what they’ve done to the Lord’s people, will be done to them.
 
Oh my brethren, wickedness is so prevalent, perverse and pervasive across our modern world that it cannot be ignored. We believers have to rise up and fight it ‘mano a mano’ with God’s help, if we want to make it a better place for future generations. So let’s ponder on all we’ve read today, then ask God’s help to take the necessary action to help make right whatever is wrong in our world. That’s a believer’s bounden duty! Much LOVE!
 
…wickedness may prosper for a day…but righteousness will rule forever…

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2013 1 John 5:14

1 John 5:14.   And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.

Oh Friends, another beautiful day is about to dawn in my neighbourhood, and I hope in yours too! This past week has really been marvellous; brilliant sunshine and temps in the high teens and low twenties! And hopefully, the weatherman is right, when he forecasts that this wonderful weather will continue for the rest of the week.

But sadly though Friends, once more I have to ask, what’s our world coming to eh? I don’t know if this story I received in a newsletter is true, but if it is, then the Lord help us yes!
 
Apparently this youth pastor in Iowa, in the U.S. confessed to raping at least four teenagers, according to him, ‘to turn them straight.’ Hn! His actions were bad enough, but listen to this. The judge sentenced him to 17 years in prison, then turned around and suspended the sentence, instead giving him 5 years probation.
 
Ah Lord eh! And it seems that he assaulted more than four teenagers over the years, for at least four more young men have come forward with the same claim. And this wasn’t simply a one and done thing either, but some of the assaults seem to have gone on for more than four years. All ‘to help them with homosexual urges.’
 
Steups! How can these young men ever trust authority figures again eh? Some of them might even continue the wrongdoing. They trusted their pastor, one of the most influential and trustworthy positions in our society, only to be physically and emotionally violated by him. And then all he gets is probation….
 
Something about all of that just doesn’t sound right nuh people. But I’ll let the Lord be the judge, and stick to my task. So here’s our Bit: ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.’
 
It’s the last day Friends… And many voices sang: ‘Hip, hip, hurray! (smile) I know some of you don’t like to see the same Bit everyday, but my brethren, when there’s a lot of scripture to share on a topic, it would be very remiss of me to not share and or point them out. Isn’t that what a teacher is supposed to do?
 
And having confidence in God, His plans, purposes and promises is of the utmost importance for all believers, because it’s hope and faith we live by, things that are not readily seen by the naked eye, but have to come from a well-spring deep inside of us.
 
And we’re going to begin in Hebrews 3, moving on from yesterday, where we saw that Moses was faithful, but yet still only a servant in God’s house, while Jesus, the Son, built His own house, the church.
 
Today, the author of Hebrews is warning that under Moses, Israel failed to believe. But if we should now hear Christ’s voice calling out to us through the Holy Spirit, we should not harden our hearts. (Heb.3:7-11)
 
‘Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called TODAY; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made (have become) partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;’ (Heb.3:12-14)
 
What wisdom and truth my Friends!
 
And the scholars have this to say about the last verse. ‘3:14. One’s conversion to Christ, which occurred in days past (we are made partakers of Christ), is proved to have been genuine by perseverance in the days to come (if we hold…our confidence steadfast unto the end). This means that continuance in the faith is a test of the reality of one’s faith in Christ.’
 
And that’s certainly true my people! If we don’t keep the faith, then we’re not true believers!
 
Now listen to this scripture from 1 John 3, where he’s trying to nurture the seed that’s already been planted in the hearts of his readers; that they should LOVE one another.
 
‘BELOVED, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1 John 3:21-22)
 
And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘3:21-22. If our heart condemn us not: We have confidence toward God if our lives are in line with the standard of Christian living set forth above. John is not saying that whether a person is right or wrong is simply a matter of how he subjectively feels about himself.
 
That is why John has given so many indicators and commands for Christians to take note of and assess themselves by. And one of the great results of a life lived in purity before God is a life where there is effective prayer. Right living is an important part of successful praying.’
 
More undeniable truth Friends!
 
And I’ve left this well known scripture for last, because it truly gets to the heart of the matter. (smile) It comes from Hebrews 10 and says: ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance, perseverance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)
 
Oh Friends, what magnificent scripture! It contains seeds of warning, wisdom, encouragement, edification, exhortation and promise! Wow! (smile)
 
Please let’s take it to heart today, and live our lives to suit, because it’s simply gospel truth! And if we do hope to see better and brighter days, then our lives must encompass all those things written in that scripture. Much LOVE!
 
…coming to believe in Christ…having the utmost trust and confidence in His power and promises…and living a life that glorifies Him…is the hallmark of a true believer… 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

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