Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 July 2022 John 14:6.

John 14:6.       I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 

Well, it’s Tuesday now, a wet, dark day, and all the Happy Canada Day and Fourth of July festivities are over! It’s back to the same ole, same ole, unappealing, unexciting, dreary, tiring working life. But isn’t it amazing that we can party all day and all night and not get tired, but work a couple of days, oh brother, and like we’re so tired, we can’t even move, we just ready for the grave. (smile) I guess that’s the difference between doing things we like and things we don’t like, and maybe it’s also why so many of us don’t read God’s word and then live by it; we simply don’t enjoy reading or living by it. (smile) 

But listen up here: we don’t like working but we go to work though, because we know that’s the source of our livelihood, the source of money or remuneration to put bread on our table, a roof over our head and clothes on our backs. Well reading and living by God’s word is even more important than that, because it’s the source of true peace, LOVE, joy, salvation, heaven and eternal life! And it’s quite okay not to read or live by it if you don’t desire those things…but if you do, then living for, with and in Christ is absolutely necessary. 

Now here are a couple of Bible verses which I think solidify that argument. (smile) The first one is what Jesus said to Thomas, the doubting disciple, when he proclaimed not knowing the way to where Jesus was headed, that’s back to heaven. Jesus solemnly informed him. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) So, right there we see that if we don’t embrace Jesus and all that He stands for, we will NEVER be seeing the Father or entering heaven, like a snowball’s chance of surviving in hell. (smile) 

And the next foundational scripture comes from The Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus pointed out how nature and its many creatures lived without having to worry about what to eat, drink or wear, neither where to lay their heads, because God knew exactly what they needed for their earthly sojourn. Then He told them, in very clear and explicit terms, what they needed to do. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:33-34) 

Oh my people, that is ever such an important aspect of our Christian faith. We must continually seek the spiritual side of life, and to a greater degree than the material aspect. As the scholars explain. ‘The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added unto him.’ In other words: ‘When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (vs. 34) This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’ 

So friends, the two basic and fundamental aspects of the Christian life are first to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, the Way Maker and Light Bearer, the One who lights the way to heaven, and the second is to seek the spiritual righteousness of God. That means concentrate more on the spiritual aspects of our lives than the material because our God is a good, omnipotent, omniscient, all-knowing God, and therefore knows our every need and is very capable of providing them when we seek Him with our whole heart, body and soul. 

It’s a simple philosophy friends. However, the inherent sinful nature we possess, plus the rampant evil and evil doers in our world makes it somewhat difficult to action. But then again, with the help of the Holy Spirit of God which dwells within believers, and our own persistence and perseverance, we can fight off the enemy’s evil wiles and schemes and do what is required of us. We just have to want to do it. And that’s the problem so many of us supposed believers have right now: we don’t want to do what God desires of us…but we do want to get all the benefits He provides! 

Unfortunately though my people, it doesn’t work like that. In God’s kingdom, you reap what you sow. And as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to add: ‘more than you sow and later than you sow.’ So, if you sow evil, down the road, you’ll get even more evil. And if you sow good, then down the road you’ll get even more good than you’ve sown. It’s like getting interest on your money. And believe me there’s nobody as generous as our great and faithful God! 

Listen to how He puts it in Malachi, re the payment of tithes. ‘Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat (food) in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shalt not be room enough to receive it.’ (Mal. 3:10) Yeh friends, that’s how generous our God can be. 

That reminds me of when the Israelites were in the desert on their way to the Promised Land and kept complaining about the bland tasting manna with which the Lord was feeding them and wanted meat. So what happened? The Good Book tells us: ‘And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.’ (Num. 11:31) Can you imagine how many dead birds that was? A day’s journey on either side of the camp and two cubits high! 

But greed is a hell of a thing my brethren, and the Lord doesn’t play that game at all, at all, at all. So, when the Israelites stood up all day and night and gathered the meat they had so craved and spread it around their tents, the Good Book declares (yesss!!!) ‘And while the flesh (meat) was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, (the anger of the Lord was aroused) and the Lord smote (struck down) the people with a very great plague.’ (Num. 11:33) 

Yuh see what happens when we too craven, too greedy and ‘gravalicious’ mih bredrin? Our God is sweet and long-suffering and all that good stuff, but there comes a time when He says enough is enough, and believe me, as we see from the many examples of Israelite folly, He is a serious God, He doesn’t make joke. When He says something, He means it. So, I would advise us all to take whatever He says in His Word very seriously and do our best to live by it, otherwise we will indeed pay the hefty price of disobedience and unbelief, when He is good and ready. And believe me, that time will surely come! 

Now for those of us who truly believe, and try our best to do His will, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. Altogether now: ‘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 the corollary to that is for us to now go out and share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…only a fool…will refuse the good life that Jesus offers… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2020 John 17:17.

John 17:17.     ​Sanctify them (set them apart for your purposes) through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Welcome to the winter wonderland! Ah friends, that white stuff made its first grand entrance into my area for this pandemic year of 2020! And every time you see the vast amount of angelic and virgin whiteness covering everything, you can’t help but think how beautiful it looks! That is until mankind dirties it. (smile) Yes, you know we spoil everything we touch. Just look at the mess we left on the moon; everywhere we go we leave behind a setta garbage. 

And though the snow has stopped falling, with the temperature dropping overnight and freezing up stuff, it’s going to be a rough commute this Monday morning. So if you have to be out there in those unpleasant conditions, please be very careful, especially for the crazies. However, I do believe that the traffic will be somewhat less than normal because of the red stages of pandemic lockdown in the Greater Toronto and surrounding area, where the incidence of the Covid -19 has recently been heightened, setting new records almost every day. 

And sadly, there is so much misunderstanding, misinformation and unfounded theories on the virus that our society is terribly conflicted about it. That means, even when we do get a vaccine that will ease the pressure, many people will refuse to take it for any number of reasons, including these two that are currently making the rounds; a chip is being put in our bodies to control us, or whatever is in the vaccine will change our DNA, and thus our lives. 

Hn! How strange it is, that the more advanced our society becomes, the more we seem to question, disbelieve and come up with all kinds of ridiculous theories and truths, and eventually lose sight of the real truth: God’s Word. Like if there can be more than one truth eh? The truth is always the truth, it doesn’t change. 

And how do we know that God’s Word is the ultimate truth eh? In the first place, Jesus, amongst other things said that He was the truth. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Then in that same chapter, when Jesus talks about the promise of the Holy Spirit, He tells the disciples: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’ (John 14:15-17) 

Yes friends, the Holy Spirit, another part of our Godhead, the Holy Trinity is also truth, and He dwells in ALL believers. And later on, when Jesus prays for the disciples, He says: ‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart for your purposes) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:15-17) So you see, however you take it, truth stems from our Godhead! 

And furthermore, as Jesus said to the Jews who believed in Him. ‘If ye continue (abide) in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ (John 8:31-32) What more can I say eh mih people…to know truth you have to know Jesus, abide in Him and He in you, and then that glorious, that everlasting truth, the truth which changes not, like our God doesn’t change, will set you free, and bring peace, joy and eternal life to your spirit which is made in the magnificent image of our mighty God! 

Wow! Isn’t that wonderful? It surely is! So now, let’s come to that same Godhead in sincere prayer, just like He desires us to, and through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, place all our wants, desires and needs, cast all of our cares upon Him, because He cares for us. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

So what’s the next move now eh? To stand by our vow of repentance and abide in His word and truth, that He can heal us and our land! Much LOVE!

…only when one knows God…can one know truth… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 December 2019 Hebrews 4:12.

Hebrews 4:12.    For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner (able to judge) of the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.
 
Ah mih people, just six more days to that magical, mysterious, miraculous day we call Christmas Day! Wow! Can you imagine the stir it made in ole Bethlehem that Christmas Eve night when the angels came a-singing and a glorifying and exalting our new born Saviour? Anyhow, today we’re not dealing with the birth of Christ so much as the source from which we get that news: ‘The BOOK OF ALL BOOKS!’ 

Mama Mia! What a marvellous book is our Bible! And so it should be since it’s the Lord’s Word. No other tome has such drama, and in such abundance! The stuff written today pales in dramatic content, promises and story-telling. So let’s get to today’s poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I am overshadowed As I read Your living Word. What power, what pungency I find within its pages. It stirs me, burns within me It challenges me, invigorates me And often disturbs me. When I obey its commands The results are what You claim: Darkness becomes light Crooked places become straight The more I seek, the more I find. Within its pages, God I see beyond mere philosophy I see beyond a neat package of ethics. I crash head-on with a living Person The One who makes all things new. No other book can claim as much.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow believers! No other book is as powerful, mind-bending and moving as the Word of God! I like how the author of the poem talks about its power, its pungency! And ALL of us who have read it, have found it to be at times, burning like a fire within us, like it was with Jeremiah when he lamented against God. ‘Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak anymore in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing (holding back), and I could not stay (endure it).’ (Jer. 20:9) 

Yeh friends, that’s just how the Lord’s Word acts on us, especially when we get discouraged. We don’t want to deal with it, but it’s so powerful that it forces us to do so! And which one of us hasn’t found the Word to be ofttimes challenging, invigorating, and downright disturbing eh? NONE! And it will ALWAYS be so, because that’s the purpose of the Word; to challenge, invigorate and disturb us to come to and stay obedient to the Lord! And the great thing is that when we obey the Word, we find the results are exactly what it claims; light overshadows darkness, joy comes in the morning, crooked places are made straight, and we do find more when we seek more. 

But unfortunately, and rather sadly, too many of us read the Word, know that it’s true, but still don’t follow it. Thus our lives are never as successful and prosperous as they can be. Please, please, I implore us to remember the momentous words the Lord spoke to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) 

Oh my people, my people, that is perhaps the most important, provocative, wise and revealing verse in all of the Good Book! It gives us the blueprint for successful and prosperous living in just a few words, and from the Lord Himself! What could be more enlightening eh? Absolutely NOTHING! But yet so many of us supposed believers refuse to take it seriously, or as seriously as we ought to. But friends and neighbours, please listen very closely to these words as found in the Good Book that rather frighteningly describe the true power of God’s Word.

‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner (able to judge) of the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart. Neither is any creature that is not manifest in (hidden from) his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (must give account to).’ (Heb. 4:12-13) Oh friends, please allow all of that to sink in deep into our souls nuh! The Lord’s Word is indeed living and sharp and very discerning, thus we have to pay serious attention to how we live it. 

Hear the scholars: ‘4:12-13. For the word of God: The reason given for one’s careful scrutiny of his life involves the reality that God is intently scrutinizing it. His word is quick (living). This word is first in the Greek and is the emphasis. God’s Word is not old or archaic; it is alive. It is not inept or inactive; it is powerful (active). It reaches into the inner secrets of man’s mind to discern even his thoughts and intents. Likewise, God’s eye sees man as though he were naked, unable to hide behind excuses or pretense.’ 

Bubba! If that doesn’t shake us up to the reality of God’s ever searching, discerning and plumbing of all our thoughts and intentions, I don’t know what will nuh. All I can say now is let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously granted us. In loud and sincere voice now, because they don’t come into play until we speak them out. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And the thing to remember now is that those awesome blessings were granted to us so generously so that we can turn around and share them generously with others. So let’s do that nuh, especially at this Christmas season, the season of giving! Much LOVE!

…God’s Word…created the world…keeps it alive…and will in His time…destroy it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 December 2019 Psalm 104:13.

Psalm 104:13.    ​He watereth the hills from his (upper) chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
 
Well, I guess we can handle a li’l white amongst the dark and dreary grey of most of these winter days. Note, just a li’l snow like we got last night. And with the bright sunshine we also blessedly have, it just lifts up the whole spectre of winter. (smile) Yeh friends, you’d be surprised at how a li’l snow and some sunshine can brighten up your winter days. And I just looked to see where the Good Book had opened at this morning, and behold it was opened unto a most appropriate scripture, Psalm 104 – God’s preservation of nature. 

And I read these wonderful words: ‘He watereth the hills from his (upper) chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? Our great God looks after the universe, the nature He created with the LOVE and tender care of an expert, as well as a compassionate gardener. Hear how the psalmist describes it nuh: ‘He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: (sorry, not the herb you’re thinking about, but vegetation (smile) that he may bring forth food out of the earth. And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.’ (Ps. 104:14-15) 

And who says that God doesn’t have man’s best interest at heart eh? No wonder the psalmist could later on proclaim: ‘O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches (possessions).’ (Ps. 104:24) And if you didn’t believe the last psalmist, then listen to this one, as he proclaims the greatness of our God and His amazing power, His omnipotence! ‘Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite. The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked to the ground. 

Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp to our God. Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy (LOVING-kindness).’ (Ps. 147:5-11) 

Yuh see that mih people? The Lord likes all that He’s made and expertly services them, but His first LOVE is those who seek Him, revere Him and put their sincere trust in His awesome power and mercy! Can we count ourselves amongst that blessed lot? I certainly hope so, for all of our sakes, otherwise crapaud certainly smoke we pipe! Now this bit of the psalm is for those of us who live in the wintry climes. (smile) ‘He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoar frost like ashes. He casteth forth his ice like morsels (fragments of food): who can stand before his cold?’ (Ps. 147:16-17) 

And as always friends, the sad answer to that last question is ‘NOBODY!’ That’s simply because the created can never hope to stand before the awesome might of their Creator. That’s a lesson the foolish Lucifer never learned, to his sad demise, and too many of us are following in his stupid footsteps. But hear how the Lord melts the ice and connects to all that are in his fold. ‘He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters to flow. He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgements unto Israel.’ (Ps. 147:18-19) 

Ah friends, the Word of the Lord is the encyclopedia for living! Knowing it and living it brings success. The opposite brings only failure. And Cousin Sol in his finite wisdom confirms it. ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew. My son, let them not depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace (favour) unto thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.’ (Prov. 3:19-24) 

Yes friends, wisdom is indeed the essence to this life. And is that possibly why so many of us don’t have sweet sleep at nights? As the scholars say: 3:19-20. Wisdom is so important that God Himself used it in creating the world.’ So if God used it to create us, the universe and all therein, who are we to do otherwise eh? But it’s all a cosmic cycle friends (smile) As Cousin Sol wisely advises: ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.’ (Prov. 4:7) 

But then we ask, where can wisdom be found? Cousin Sol also provides the answer. ‘The fear (reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov. 1:7) That says it all friends: We need wisdom to live this life successfully, but to get it, we need to begin by revering our Creator, who made us through wisdom, and keeps us going by the same. Ah mih people, why can’t we see that it all begins and ends with our omnipotent God eh? 

Now for those of us who have gotten the picture, the truth, let’s declare (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our secure position in Christ. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 friends, we’ll never know just how glorious that future will be nuh until we experience it! Much LOVE!

…man cannot live by bread alone…but by the wisdom of God’s Word…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.
 

Well friends, it’s the first Sunday in Advent! And why is that important eh? Because in the church’s calendar, this is the time of year we begin preparing for Christ’s coming! Originally it seems like it was a time to think of Christ’s Second Coming, a cry for the Messiah to come back and take over the evil world. But apparently down through the years it got intertwined with the First Coming of the Messiah, what we call Christmas, so now we celebrate Advent by looking back nostalgically at the First Coming, while excitedly and expectantly looking forward to the Second One! Only in the Christian faith can we have such double celebrations my people! (smile) 

Anyway, as we gather today in joyful fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, to give thanks and praise and worship His Holy Name, we not going to open with an Advent hymn because I got a zeppo intimating that the Lord wanted to hear this particular tune, ‘Stand up for Jesus!’ I guess He’s feeling that believers are not being strong and steadfast enough in the faith. We’re being too fearful and wishy-washy, sitting on the fence, wavering like a leaf in the wind, and too ready to compromise so that we can go on with our comfortable lives! 

Consequently, He wants us to get our acts together, get really serious about our cause, and like true warriors come out fighting valiantly under Jesus’ banner, even to the death, if needs be! So let’s raise our voices in strong and solemn song, as we sing these most excellent sentiments, but also truly fighting words, written in 1858 by George Duffield (1818-1888) in honour of his dear departed friend and leader, Dudley Atkins Tyng (1825-1858) in a tragic farm accident. It’s reputed that Tyng’s last message to his associates was for them to, ‘Stand up for Jesus,’ and this became the theme of Duffield’s song. 

And to make it even more powerful, we going to do a scintillating, rocking Reggae version, a la Miss Carlene Davis. Wow! Rockers time mih people! (smile) So altogether now: ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross! Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army he shall lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; if while ye sleep he suffers, away with shame and fear. Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there. (Bridge: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up.) 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally. (Extro: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up….!’ 

Aye friends, I hope we truly meant what we just sang, because our world is desperate for somebody, for serious somebodies to stand up to the evil one in Jesus name! And it’s sad that we all know the scripture that characterizes that song, but we’re not putting it into full and proper use. Hear Bruh Paul as he articulates to the Ephesians, re the whole armour of God: ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ (Eph.6:10) 

As Christians we’re engaged in a spiritual battle from now until Christ’s Second Coming that we’re looking forward to this first Sunday in Advent. And there must be ‘no quarter given, no ceasefire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities.’ But to do that successfully, we have to stand strong, be strengthened in and through the Lord’s might and power. And this next verse is also of the utmost importance: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, no soldier worth his salt, goes into battle without armour, without protective gear. And since in this case our battle is not physical but spiritual, we need specialized protection: Our loins must be girded with God’s truth; the knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. Our chests must be protected by a breastplate of righteousness, holy character and moral conduct, through obedience to God’s truth. And then our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We must be eager and willing to take on the satanic one and his demoniac cohorts, take the fight to him, and we get that from the gospel of peace, that frees us of any anxiety and fear. 

Then we need the shield of faith so we can repulse all the fiery darts of the wicked one. That means taking God at His Word, believing His awesome promises, dispelling all doubt Satan might try to induce. And we must have a helmet; that of salvation; the hope of and assurance of salvation, the surety, that we’re saved. And you can’t fight without a sword, in this case the sword of the Spirit; the powerful and ever-conquering Word of God! 

But along with all of that protective armour friends, we still need to use the most powerful tool in the universe; prayer! Without it, the armour is useless. So let’s hope all of this has lit a fire in our bellies, reignited our passion for Christ, so that we can become better soldiers in His victorious army! Much LOVE!

…Christians…put on your spiritual armour…the time to fight is NOW…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2019 2 Corinthians 10:3.

2 Corinthians 10:3.    ​For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh.
 

And then it was Friday…the one after the Caribana long weekend…and mucho prayers are being sent up to heaven giving thanks for making it through this rough and tiring though short workweek! So what else is new eh? Heaven is always bombarded with more prayers when things are rough with mankind. And I guess that’s how it was meant to be since Jesus invited us to: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt.11:28) 

I don’t know if He meant tired from too much partying too, (smile) but I’m sure that whenever we call on Him, for whatever reason, He will NEVER turn us down, once our prayers are sincere. So please keep crying out to Him in sincerity, whatever your needs are, because Bruh Paul also promised that the Lord will meet all our needs according to his riches in glory through Christ. (Phil.4:19) 

So now that we’ve straightened that out, (smile) let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself today. As always, he’s really enthused about the weekend. ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday yes mih breddren because it’s the start of the weekend! Yeah! My time to do whatever, whenever and however I like! No slave driver in mih life for at least two big days! Wow! Thank the Lord for that yes! Work is good, but like too much of everything else, too much of it is no good! 

Well…possibly except for partying…Oh yes, I am a party animal, but I try not to overdo it, try to set a half decent example for the children, because yuh know they quick to do what they see you do, rather than what you tell them. As the old saying goes, monkey see, monkey do. Anyway, enough philosophizing…is Friday…and we starting the party right here and now…regardless of what the slave master think or say! Lift them high friends…and thank God for Fridays and weekends!’ 

Ah mih people, you have to enjoy the workingman’s zest for life though he tends to go somewhat overboard. He’s not a bad philosopher either. (smile) But his limits are just too far out for those of us who sincerely believe in Jesus. We set boundaries a li’l closer to home than he does. So let’s hear what our weekend song, our Friday Chant sounds like nuh, as we proclaim it to all and sundry in full voice and sincere hearts. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, as followers of, and true believers in Christ, we have to be somewhat more cognizant of the world around us and how the enemy is operating because we are in a big battle with the spiritual world powers of darkness and evil, so we can’t afford to be footloose and fancy free like the ordinary workingman. And that’s the gospel truth as Bruh Paul so wisely informs us: 

‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ and having a readiness to revenge (punish) all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.’ (2. Cor.10:3-6) 

Yes my fellow saints, I know that’s a mouthful and might be somewhat obscure and incomprehensible to some of us, (smile) but here’s what the scholars have to say about it, hope it will help you to better understand Bruh Paul’s teaching. ’10:3-5. Though we walk (live) in the flesh (in a body), we do not war (fight) after (according to) the flesh (human standards): The first phrase of verse 5 looks back to verse 3 and expresses the manner in which believers conduct spiritual warfare. It is by casting down (destroying) imaginations (false arguments), such as Paul’s opponents have raised.’ 

And believe you me, in these troubled and insecure times, there are so many false arguments, theories and doctrines floating about from so many false teachers, that if you’re not careful, and are not solidly grounded in the Word you can easily fall for any and all of them. That’s why it’s so important for believers to read, know, meditate and understand God’s word, because it’s the truth, and nothing but the truth! Anything that varies from it is of the enemy! 

As John says in his epistle: ‘Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of the antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.’ (1 John 4:1-3) 

Oh friends, the spirit of the antichrist is surely with us today. And though John gives us a rough benchmark to test the theories that come against us, whether they acknowledge that Jesus actually came to earth in the flesh or not, we still have to be very careful of what we let into out thinking, because the enemy is so deceitful and treacherous, he uses all and any method to deceive. 

And remember too that it all begins in our minds, our thinking. He tries to disrupt our thoughts because our mind is the battlefield, and what sticks there, shows up in our behaviour and values. That’s why Bruh Paul emphasized ‘bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ Our thoughts have to be lined up with the truth of Jesus, else we’ll be easy pickings for the enemy. 

That’s why Bruh Paul also encouraged Timothy thus: ‘Thou therefore endure harness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:3-4) 

Likewise friends, we can’t afford to get entangled in the affairs of the flesh and this ungodly, evil world, we need to concentrate on the things of Christ, and suffer whatever is necessary for His sake, so we can be good soldiers in His LOVE Revolution! Much LOVE!

…fill your mind with God’s Word…then there won’t be any space for the enemy…what godly wisdom… (smile) 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2019 Ephesians 6:18.

Ephesians 6:18.   ​Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
 

Oh yes, it’s bright and sunshiny and even warm too! Glory to God! Yeh friends, the day’s begun the way a day is supposed to begin; with the light of Jesus shining brightly in and through our lives! (smile) Oh, is it ever good to wake up to sunshine after all that watery precipitation. 

And would you believe that yesterday afternoon with sunshine flowing, the rain still made its way down! But I guess that shower was just to wash away the remaining clouds, because after that the sun came out even brighter! Thanks be to God! 

And I want to apologize for not giving us the whole story a couple of days ago when we dealt with the spiritual armour of God. Yuh know we’re fully protected once we have our loins girded with the truth of God, and the breastplate of righteousness is secured fast against our chests, and our feet are properly shod in the preparation of peace, the eagerness provided by the gospel of Christ. 

Not to mention having that all important shield of faith to protect us from the fiery darts of the enemy, our heads protected by the helmet of salvation, the hope and assurance of eternal glory in God, while wielding that terrible two edged sword of the Spirit, God’s immortal, powerful and life changing Word! 

Yes friends, it all looks good, but there is one necessary part, one thing is needed to get it all going, to galvanize us into action; and that’s prayer! Without prayer, our armour is not worth a whole lot. That’s why Bruh Paul warned after telling us all about the spiritual armour: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ 

Oh my people, prayer is always the most important item in any earthly situation! And the scholars’ explain that verse thus: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to ‘stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. 

In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both and individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that last part is especially important; we’re required not only to pray for ourselves but also for the rest of God’s church, all His saints, because we all need the Spirit of God to work productively in us, and prayer is the catalyst that gets it all going! And Bruh Paul made that abundantly clear when he continued after our Bit: 

‘And (pray) for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery (the hidden truth) of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds (chains): that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.’ (Eph.6:19-20)  

Yuh see friends, even though Bruh Paul was blessed with so much revelation from God, he still needed human prayer to help him do the job; speak boldly and openly about the truth in Christ’s gospel. Now tell me how much more do we, in these sad, stressful and strife-filled times need the prayer of our fellow believers eh? But sadly, because of the selfish, greedy and first person singular motives that currently flourish in our society, we don’t pray for our fellow believers as much as we ought to. 

Too many of us supposed believers are focused only on our own selves, our own needs, wants and problems. But there is a lot of truth in the saying, that somebody out there is always suffering more than us, and need God’s help worse than we do! Let’s just remember that, especially we believers in this wealthy and prosperous, but ever so wasteful and selfish Western society! End of Sermon! (smile) 

Oh, I forgot I wanted to add these two warnings of Jesus on the subject of prayer. First off: To His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane who should have been praying with Him, but instead fell asleep. ‘Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt.26:41) And isn’t that the awful truth! 

The second warning is this: ‘And he spake a parable unto them (the disciples) to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) And the scholars give a nice, precise explanation of that verse. ’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 that’s for certain sure friends, because there’s NO giving up in Jesus’ vocabulary! 

And by the way, the parable mentioned above was about the woman seeking justice from the unjust judge. (Luke 18:2-8) And she only received it because she kept on badgering him, until in disgust, he finally relented. That’s how we ought to pray my fellow saints; always…and with confidence and humility! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) those wonderful attributes bestowed on us believers in our Thursday Blessings. We’ve got to declare them for them to take effect. So as one sincere body of faith: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And remember, those blessings are not granted for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with the less fortunate. So let’s go out and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Christ’s heart! Much LOVE!

…without sincere and constant prayer…a believer’s life is never fulfilled…thus falling short of his destiny…

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2019 Philippians 2:8.

Philippians 2:8.   ​And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
 
Well a blessed Thursday to you my faithful Scrip-Bit brethren! I do hope that the day has and or will bring you substantive joy and peace as you walk the strait and narrow path that our Lord and Saviour Jesus desires of you. Oh, we all know that this earthly life is not an easy one to hoe, but with Jesus on our side, right beside us all the time as He sincerely promised, we do have a better chance than the unbelievers to live a life blessed with joy and peace. 

But it just won’t fall into our laps, as some of us seem to think. We need to get up and do our part in this partnership, this everlasting covenant with Almighty God. If we do our part, He will certainly do His, but if we don’t, He won’t. It as simple as that my people! 

And what’s our part you ask? Again, it’s pretty simple: believe in His Son Jesus Christ and walk in faithful obedience to His Word! Granted, it’s much harder than it sounds, but then again the Lord has promised to help us in any area in which we are deficient or lacking. We just have to come to Him in sincere prayer and ask for his help. 

And He’s also promised not to give us more than we can handle. He’s God, and merciful, gracious and forgiving, plus He knows all our frailties and weaknesses, so why will He give us more than we can handle eh? No reason whatsoever! Oh, He will test us occasionally to see if we really believe the stuff we talk. And I can personally tell you about that, because some days before I’m even finished writing the Bit, I’m bombarded with tests about what I’ve written. 

But then again, if we fail, He always gives us more chances to come back and take them. That’s why He’s known as the God of Numerous Chances! And that’s all to our benefit! Praise His holy name my people! For though He’s righteous, a stickler for justice, He’s also a pardoning judge. Because He created us, and thus knows what we’re all about, He has great empathy and LOVE for us. 

And He proved it by the celebrations we just had this past Easter weekend, where He sacrificed His Son for us, to pay for our sins once and for all time. There could be no greater LOVE than that! The Creator of the universe, and all therein, sacrificing His sinless Son to appease the need for sinless blood to cleanse the sins of His disobedient, rebellious creation. He LOVED and cared for us so much that He went to such drastic lengths to provide a means of redemption for us. 

How wonderful He is my brethren! There is NONE other like Him in the world! All the others are mere pretenders, jokers and fools! So since He’s provided ALL that we need to live a godly and righteous life, and come to salvation through His resurrected Son, then technically speaking, the problem(s) we face nowadays stem mainly from our lack of obedience to His Word. And if you claim that you don’t know His Word, then that’s still disobedience, because He’s admonished us many times to read, study and meditate on it. 

And since we’re talking about obedience, I believe it’s only right to mention two of the most profound statements on the subject in the Good Book, both not surprisingly made by Bruh Paul. The first one is found in his missive to the church at Rome: ‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ (Rom.5:19) 

Yeh friends, we all fell into sin by Adam’s disobedience. Although, come to think of it, I don’t know why Adam get’s blamed for the dastardly deed nuh, when it’s Eve who supposedly first took a bite of the apple, and Adam foolishly followed? But be that as it may, our forefathers weighed us down with sin by their disobedience, and it was only with the coming of Jesus Christ that we were granted a way to get out from under that deathly and damning sin. 

And as Bruh Paul says to the church at Philippi: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ 

Oh friends, do you think Jesus wanted to die, and even more, such a murderous, unfair and painful death! Obviously not! But He knew that the Father wanted to save us more than anything else, and that He was the ONLY ONE who had the parts to accomplish the Father’s plan. So He obediently went along, even to that disturbing and horrible death on the cross because displeasing the Father was a no no in His mind. 

And all I’m trying to point out here, by saying so much (smile) is that if Jesus, God’s Son was obedient to the point of giving His life for us, we, mere mortals, mere puny and flimsy creations of God, should also be very obedient to God’s Word because we have so much to gain and so much to lose. Please remember that ALL the Father and the Son did, was purely for OUR benefit not theirs. 

And Jesus has already been exalted for His sacrifice with a name above all names and to whom each knee must eventually bow, and sits comfortably at the right hand of the Father, so we are the ones who now need to take up the baton and lead a righteous and obedient life, if we want to enjoy salvation and eternal life with our Triune God. Sermon done! (smile) 

Now for those of us who are sincerely attempting to do as Jesus asks, let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Thursday Blessings, those wonderful aspects of life that He’s showered down on us to help us do the job. 

So altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And the corollary to all that is that we must now go out and share them with others, not selfishly hoard them for ourselves, because that’s why we were given so much! Much LOVE!

…the best way to live…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him… (Uncle Charles – Charles Stanley) 

 

 

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