Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 August 2019 Luke 12:5.

Luke 12:5.    ​But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
 

Welcome to Wednesday, friends and neighbours! Oh me oh my, another wonderful day is in the offing for us in God’s great universe, His marvellous creation called Planet Earth! Let’s give Him some thanks and praise for that awesome privilege nuh, and show sincere gratitude by going out today, with godly excitement and passion, and doing a good job in Christ’s name, because nothing pleases our heavenly Father like us being good Christ-like examples! 

And all God’s children responded with a mighty shout of ‘Praise the Lord for His extreme grace and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And is He ever gracious and merciful! And are we ever undeserving of those precious gifts! But such is His amazing and never-ending LOVE towards us, His most wonderful creation, that He just can’t help Himself! And thus His goodness and grace just flows unrestricted down from heaven to us here on earth! 

But are we truly appreciative of those blessings, especially the breath of life that flows through us that emanates solely from Him? I don’t think so, else so many of us would not be involved in trying to oust Him from our society, especially at this crucial and critical time, when we really need Him more than ever! 

Oh friends, don’t we see the disgraceful and disgusting state of our world? How it’s filled with greed, corruption, strife, war, rumours of war and so many other negative things? The evil and negative things certainly outweigh the good and positive ones. And with each passing day it seems to get worse. 

Leaders cannot agree on anything that will benefit their people and are constantly fighting to accrue more and more power.I don’t remember a time in my life when there have been more dictators in the world, with all of them trying to run roughshod over their people in a vain and futile effort for more wealth and power! And the people themselves have become so timid and acquiescent that those wanna be dictators are finding it very easy to do as their evil hearts desire. 

Ah mih people, it’s time the supposedly righteous stood up and took a serious stand in the affairs of our world, our nations, our cities, our neighbourhoods and our families! Let me ask you this nuh? Do like the way our world and lives are going? Most of you will say definitely not! But then, here’s the clincher: If the righteous don’t get up and do something positive and godly, how will it ever get fixed eh, or even improve some? 

Let me tell you friends, it WON’T! That’s because the evil rulers now in power won’t give up their power voluntarily. We have to take it from them; remove them from the gilded positions they have built for themselves, and above all, restore God to the first and preeminent place in our society! But for that to happen, we the righteous have to get up and get a serious move on! We can’t be just talk, a set of hot air, like we currently are; afraid to challenge the powers that be. 

Please remember that our God, Jehovah, is the de-facto ruler of the universe, and yes, He’s still on His throne, ruling from heaven on high. But we are the ones to whom He’s contracted the business of setting this world right. But we have to get a move on, RIGHT NOW, for time is quickly running out! And for everyday that the evil are in ascendance, it gets more difficult to remove them. And we certainly can’t do it in our own strength; we definitely need the Father’s help. 

And it’s not like He hasn’t given us the most awesome Helper in the universe, His Holy Spirit that dwells within us to lead and guide and empower us in conquering the evil that’s in the world! But unfortunately, like we seem to be afraid, lazy, complacent and just downright uninterested in doing His will. 

But friends, we need to remember two things here: the first being the Great Commission that Jesus gave us; to go out and make disciples of all the world, and He will be with us, ALL the time, as He is through the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19-20). And secondly the fact that we should not be afraid of what man can do to us. We should preach the word everywhere fearlessly, for everything will be brought to light eventually. 

Matthew puts it thus: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) Meanwhile, this is Luke’s version: ‘And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.’ (Luke 12:4-5) 

That my brethren is wisdom of heavenly proportions, for the death of the body is not the end of our lives, because our spirit lives on. And even more importantly, Almighty God, is the ONLY One who can both kill the body and soul and cast into to hell, so it’s wise to fear Him above men, who can only kill the body. Let’s hope the words the Holy Spirit has guided me to share today makes a big impression on us and inspires us to get up and get a serious move on in winning the world for Jesus! 

Time to go home now, declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our sincere and secure position in Christ. As one strong voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

And will that future ever be glorious if we keep our hands on the plough and our eyes fixed steadfastly on Jesus! Much LOVE!

…you can have hell…if you so desire…but I’m setting my sights on heaven…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2019 John 10:11.

John 10:11.    ​I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
 

Please get with the programme friends! What programme you ask? How yuh mean what programme eh? It’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, that means church calls! Yes, we’re required to join with other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and exalt our heavenly Father, encourage each other, hear His Holy Word and get confidence to go out and fight another week of victorious battles in His name! Yes friends, it’s the biggest day of the week! So let’s begin the celebrations in our usual manner nuh; in song, in praise and worship, telling our wonderful God how much we LOVE and admire and revere Him. 

And today’s song of praise is possibly the second most known and LOVED bit of scripture, after the ‘Our Father,’ or ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ And we talking about Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd! Yes mih people, Bruh David’s amazing and immortal words celebrating the care, compassion and LOVING-kindness of the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! So in strong voice, with plenty soul and sincere emotion, truly believing those simple but awesomely descriptive words and sentiments, let’s sing!  

‘The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want He makes me lie down in green pastures He leads me beside the still waters He restore’th my soul And guides my path in righteousness For His name’s sake Surely goodness and mercy Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. 

Yea, Though I walk through the valley Of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, For Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou prepar’est a table Before me in the presence of my enemies Thou anoint’est my head with oil My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and LOVING-kindness Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. Amen!’ 

What a marvellous description of our Jehovah God! I don’t think it could be described any better, for we are indeed lost and dumb like sheep and we desperately need a good and kindly shepherd to lead and guide and take care of us. And there’s none who does it better than Yahweh; our Creator, Provider, Healer, Comforter, our Be All and End All! Yes indeed, our heavenly Father is all those things to us, and when you add His unconditional LOVE, grace, and forgiveness to the already long list of His wonderful attributes, you just have to jump and shout for joy and declare: ‘Oh what a good thing I’ve got!’ 

And yuh know what friends, Bruh David could only have written such touching and heartfelt words because He experienced first hand the Lord’s goodness and LOVING-kindness in His blessed but oh so tumultuous and eventful life! And the imagery of God being our shepherd would have resonated quite well with the agrarian Israelites back then, because it was language they understood. 

And following that story line, the scholars make an interesting observation: ‘Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. The believer is more than a dependent sheep, however; he is also like and honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ Oh brother! What could be better than all that eh? Absolutely NOTHING! 

And Isaiah also writes of God looking after His people in the shepherd metaphor. ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11) 

Oh my people, there’s something that just resonates of calm and comfort and compassion and caring when we talk about shepherding. And I guess because in our current society we are more into manufacturing and technology than farming, and actual sheep herding is not a big thing, we don’t understand all the nuances involved, and thus cannot really appreciate the great importance of a shepherd to a flock of sheep. But believe me, without a shepherd, a kind and caring one, a flock of sheep would not last very long in the great outdoors. Consequently, when Jesus came He continued the metaphor of the shepherd looking after his flock. Thus, He made this magnificent proclamation: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’  

Oh friends, mankind should be ever so ecstatic and joyful that Jesus made such a statement then went on to make it true, laying down His sinless life for our sinful ones, so that we could be reconciled with the Father, and have our sins forgiven and our souls washed white as snow! But I guess because we don’t fully understand the chemistry and sync between shepherd and sheep we’re lost and unaware of the deep relationship that exists between them. 

But Jesus reminds us of that important relationship. ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:14) Yes precious people, the shepherd knows all his sheep, and the sheep know their shepherd as Jesus earlier stated. ‘But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:2-5) 

Now that’s what our Lord and Saviour is expecting of us friends; to know His voice and follow His call, not that of stranger’s, for they will just lead you astray. And to make the picture complete, listen to Bruh Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians when they sacrificed to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all of your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) That means when we remain in Jesus’ fold we will be well fed by the Father through Him. 

‘Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Phil.4:20) Please have a blessed day my fellow saints in Christ! Much LOVE!

…sheep without a shepherd…is like the blind leading the blind…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2019 Genesis 28:15.

Genesis 28:15.    ​And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
 

Sunday morning, Sunday morning, the Lord is calling‘Come to my house, hear my Word, sing my praises, encourage each other and find joy, unspeakable joy in the house of your God!’ Oh friends, it’s an open invitation to ALL: whosoever will may come! Now that’s an offer we surely can’t refuse, because there’s none better than it! And if you don’t believe me, then please take up the Lord’s offer, try Him, test the reality and faithfulness of His promise. And if it doesn’t work out like He says, then I’ll be your slave for life! (smile) 

And I can make that bold promise because I know from personal experience, that if you check out the Lord’s sanctuary today, you’ll have such a great time, you’ll want to come back each and every week. Mama Mia! Fellowshipping with other believers under the Lord’s watchful and parental eye, with His mercy, grace and forgiveness just flowing freely into our souls and spirits… Brother…it’s just the greatest! 

So let’s start the proceedings as always with a song of praise and exaltation to our great and wonderful Jehovah God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And today’s song is another marvellous hymn that we all know and LOVE: it’s titled ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ The internet site, God Tube, rightly tells us that “Even when we cannot see or feel Him, the Lord never leaves our side. As we walk through each day, let us remember to call upon His name and give thanks. The beautiful lyrics of ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ are the perfect call to the Lord.” 

 It was reputedly written by British hymnist Sarah Flowers in the mid 19th century as a follow up to her pastor’s sermon on Genesis 28:11-19, known as the story of Jacob’s ladder, or Jacob’s dream. As one vibrant and harmonious voice now, let’s thrill the hordes of heaven with a moderate tempo version of the song. ‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Saviour’s LOVE, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!’ 

Yes friends, the hymn does do the story of Jacob’s dream justice and we also pleased heaven with our rendition. So let’s delve into Jacob’s story a li’l deeper now nuh. All of this happened when his father Isaac sent him away to his families’ homeland of Padan-aram to get a bride from his uncle Laban’s daughters because the daughters of the Canaanites weren’t good enough for him. This was after Jacob had deceived the blind Isaac, who blessed him with what was supposed to be Esau’s birthright. (Gen.27) 

Obviously that created a serious feud in the family, and no doubt Jacob was only too glad to get away from Esau. And it’s said that Jacob’s name meant, cheat, deceiver, con-man, etc. so he certainly lived up to his name. Now one night on his journey, as the sun set, he stopped at a certain place, took up some stones to use for a pillow and went to sleep. Then the Good Book tells us: ‘And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 

And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land where thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed (descendants). And thy seed (descendants) shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.’ (Gen.28:12-15) 

Now doesn’t that just boggle the imagination, that God would use such a trickster to do such meaningful work on his behalf. Change His name to ‘Israel – Prince with God – (Gen.32:28) and thus have him become the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. But He did! Just goes to show how He likes to confuse mankind by using those we’d consider very unlikely to be His front-line people. But the Lord’s unconventional approach did seem to work on Jacob, because he awakened afraid, realizing that the Lord was there, unbeknownst to him. 

Then, taking the stone he had used for a pillow, he set it up as an altar to God and poured oil on it, and called the place ‘Bethel’ (the house of God) (Gen.28:16-19) Then he made this life changing vow. ‘If God be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar (altar), shall be God’s house: and all of that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.’ (Gen.28:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see how our mighty God moves in mysterious ways? Who would ever have thought that He would use Jacob as one of His main men eh? But that ought to give us hope and encouragement, that no matter how bad we are, how low we fall, that it doesn’t prevent our God of many chances from using us to do big things in His name. So please let the words of the Good Book and the hymn detailing Jacob’s change of heart, resonate in our own hearts, souls, bodies and minds today, and thus cause us to desire the most wonderful option possible… ‘Nearer My God to Thee…Let me draw… Nearer My God to Thee…! Much LOVE!

…no one’s past…eliminates them…from being involved in God’s future…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2019 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.    ​For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).
 

One more day friends, the Good Lord has generously granted us one more day of life on His great planet earth, so let’s live it the way He intended us to nuh. That’s with forgiveness, mercy, kindness, grace, mercy, LOVE and joy; all to the max, in abundance and overflowing! It’s the reason Christ gave His life selflessly and sacrificially on the cross of Calvary for us. So as His supposed followers, it behooves us to live as He desires, not as the world dictates. 

And to support that doctrine, (smile) here are some meaningful words of John Wesley (1703-1791) one of the founders of the Methodist church. He reputedly said that ‘The world hopes for the best, but the Lord offers the best hope!’ Wow! What words of truth and wisdom my faithful saints of Christ! It was true in Wesley’s day, and it’s even truer in these mystifying, troubled and strife-filled times! 

For as Bruh Paul told the Romans: ‘And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ (Rom.5:5) And is that ever so true! Without a doubt, we, as believers in Christ, have the Holy Spirit abiding within us to lead and guide us in all truth and sincerity. 

On the other hand though, right now the world doesn’t know whether  it’s coming or going; there’s so much despair in it, with so many divisions, dissensions, directions and disappointments that the natural outcome is simply confusion and war-like tendencies. 

The one still strong, solid and sure option left is that of Christ, of hope in Almighty God because He doesn’t change, there’s no sense of darkness in Him, only light and unconditional LOVE! His direction has been the same from day one, and will be the same until eternity! He’s not a wishy-washy God, unlike the rulers of darkness of this woe-be-gone world. With Him there is strength, consistency, and a known path; the straight and narrow one. 

With Him, you know exactly what you’re supposed to do and where you’re going. And I just LOVE how He lays it out through the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ 

Yes friends, when you walk with the Lord, you know you’ll be getting the best, because there’s no evil in Him. He created us and He still LOVES us dearly. So much so that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay our sin debt! Hn! Why would He do such a crazy thing eh, if He didn’t hold us in very high regard? 

Bruh Paul puts it in the right perspective in his letter to the church at Rome. ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly…But God commendeth his LOVE (demonstrates His own LOVE) toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5: 6,8) 

Oh mercy, mercy me! What a validation of the Father’s LOVE that is my brethren! And the great thing about Christ’s death on the cross is that He didn’t die merely for our benefit, but in our place, as a substitutionary sacrifice! Yeh people, the price of sin is death. It can only be atoned for by the shedding of blood. 

And whereas all through the Old Testament the Lord was prepared to accept the sacrifice of animal blood to keep sin death at bay, because that’s all the animals did. They themselves could not truly atone for our sins, just give us a li’l leeway. However, come the New Testament, the Lord decided it was time to get the sin problem over and done with once and for all. 

The problem though was it needed a pure and unblemished, sinless sacrifice, and since all men were the output of sin, no man however holy could accomplish that task. And I’m sure when the Lord looked at His options and saw the only one possible, He shuddered in distaste. How could He not eh? 

Being a living and LOVING Father, He must have felt some trepidation at committing His Son, His ONLY Son to boot, to die for a bunch of ungrateful and disgusting sinners. But that just goes to show how much He really cared for us. How much He wanted to give us another option beside death, hellfire and damnation in the arms of the evil one, that He broke His own heart and sacrificed His Son for us. 

And how are we repaying that awesome LOVE eh? By trying to drive Him out of our society and our lives. Taking His Word, His commandments out of our schools and public places, replacing them with the evil, incestuous, sinful, ungodly acts and attitudes of this fallen world. 

Ah friends, unfortunately there are consequences for all of our actions, be they godly or ungodly, and believe me, the chickens will soon come home to roost for our current ungodly behaviour. The Lord is getting tired of our sinful attitudes. Just look around and you’ll see it emblazoned in the natural and man-made disasters and changes that are destroying the world as we know it. 

The end might be nigh friends, but we still can’t afford to give up, we have to keep on fighting valiantly until our Lord and Saviour comes back for us. Therefore, in the fighting spirit we possess as followers of Jesus Christ, let’s vociferously and sincerely declare (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the evil world know our certain position in Christ. 

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

And believe me friends, it will indeed be a glorious future if we just hold on in faith, hope and LOVE! Much LOVE!

…only in Christ…can you find the answers…to the world’s problems…

P.S. For those of you who noticed (smile) I apologize for the discrepancy in the dates on the headings of yesterday’s Bit. . One said 9 July and the other said 8 July. The first one was the right one. Just goes to show my human frailty. (smile) Much LOVE! 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2019 Matthew 25:40.

Matthew 25:40.    ​Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
 

Ah well, another glorious summer Saturday in the year of 2019! So, whenever you rise and shine, please enjoy it as though it was your last day on planet earth, for who knows, it just might well be. (smile) A lot of people who went to bed hale and hearty last night, did not get up this morning, for one reason or another. And the Lord died that we could have joy and peace right down here on this conflicted earth, not wait until we get to heaven. 

So despite our circumstances, let’s all give a shout of joy and declare: ‘All praise and glory be to the Most High God, our heavenly Father, who dearly LOVES us and looks after us like His own beloved children; who has promised never to leave nor forsake us and to see us through whatever troubles come our way in this earthly life!’ Give Him much thanks and praise for His awesome faithfulness, LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness my believing brethren! 

Ah friends, when you really get to know our heavenly Father, you’ll be amazed at how wonderful He is! But it takes time and serious commitment to get to that point; things that not too many of us are willing to spend or give, but we still want to receive all of His blessings. It doesn’t work that way though. 

As Moses told the Israelites so long ago: ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut. 4:29) And in all those years, that hasn’t changed one iota my people! So let’s all seek Him sincerely nuh, starting Right Here and Now! 

And enough palavering, (smile) let’s see what words of wisdom our friend Anselm had to share with us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.’ And that’s ever so true! 

A lot of us sit around and expect others to make us happy, but that’s not very realistic, since all of us have different agendas, and very few of them in this selfish and greedy world are to make others happy. They are more self-centred and concentrate on making I, me and myself happy. So if you want to be happy, you’ve got to get out there and do it for yourself! Nobody’s going to do it for you. 

And then there’s this: ‘Just remember: The people that say, ‘your dreams are impossible’ have already quit on theirs.’ More likely than not yes! Yeh friends, in this world there seem to be many more negative thinking people than positive thinking ones, even amongst our Christian community…

Brother! I can’t spell for hell this morning! I made more spelling mistakes in that last sentence than I’ve made in the rest of the Bit. Even spelled brother wrong! (smile) But moving along. Too many of us tend to discourage others from pursuing their dreams. But what’s a dream eh? Basically something that seems impossible in the naked light of day. Remember though, that with Jesus on our side, any and everything is possible! 

Consequently, ‘There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.’ And is that ever so true! For once you think you’ll fail, you most likely will, because you introduce into your psyche a negative, self-defeating idea, which then tends to manifest itself in your attitude and the level of work you’re willing to put into making the dream a reality. 

Like a li’l mole, it just keeps eating away at your creativity and you end up not putting in the amount of work really need to make the project a success. So don’t listen to the naysayers…listen to Almighty God! That means, the first thing to do is to find out from God, whether the dream fits His will and purpose for your life, for if it doesn’t, then it won’t ever succeed, no matter how much effort and elbow grease you put into it. 

Now here’s this very interesting quote: ‘Are you living out things that will affect your résumé or your eulogy? How would your life change if you lived each day with your eulogy in mind?’ That’s a very good question! One we should all take a moment or two to ponder. It’s basically asking are we living our lives to please man or God; to meet the world’s standards or God’s? 

And it’s strange, but I heard a preacher ask that very question recently, just in a different form: ‘What would we like our eulogy to be: praise for wealth and power, worldly things, or praise for being godly and Christ-like?’ I suggest the latter is the more worthwhile, but it doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process, which means you have to start living it NOW! 

And the final quote asks very significantly: ‘What needs around you touch your heart? What’s one thing you can do to help others—even if it seems insignificant?’ Right there friends is the heart of our Christian ministry; helping others. Remember Jesus said that He came to seek and to save those who were lost. (Luke 19:10) 

But even more importantly listen to His words re when He comes back to set up His kingdom and He sets the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left and invite the sheep to live with Him for ever after, while condemning the goats to hellfire and eternal damnation. Why? Because the sheep, true believers, helped those who were sick and suffering, lost and lonely, while the goats did not. 

‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me.’ (Matt.25:35-36) And when the righteous ask when they did all of that, He will reply: ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’  

Yes friends, our earthly job includes helping the poor, the lost and the unfortunate, just like Jesus did. So let’s get with it nuh, and stop concentrating solely on ourselves and our friends and families, because there is so much unmet need out there in today’s crazy world, that even the most insignificant help we can give will be joyfully looked upon by heaven and in due time, well rewarded. Much LOVE!

…you can’t call yourself a Christian…and don’t help anybody in need…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2019 1 John 1:4.

1 John 1:4.    And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!
 
And was it ever a beautiful day yesterday…a perfect representation of what a typical summer day should be – bright, warm sun, blue skies, birds singing merrily, and a cool breeze to keep it all refreshing! And this Canada Day Monday is supposed to be an exact replica of yesterday. So there should be nothing like rain to rain on our parade, (smile) and celebrations all over this beautiful country should go off without a hitch, this one hundred and fifty second year of our blessed existence! 

 

But let’s remember right off the bat to heed Granny’s wise warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, for heaven’s sake, please mind yuh business!’ And yes, I know yuh tired hearing it, but is only for your good, because when we celebrating too heartily, we tend to lose our sense of balance, both literally and figuratively, (smile) and morality, as well as right and wrong just go flying through the window, and in comes the enemy to make us do stuff we’ll seriously regret when we regain our balance. 

So do celebrate, but as Jeeves would say, with a modicum of circumspection, please keep one eye open all the time! And I feel for those of you who have to go out and labour this loverly Monday morn, but them’s just the breaks, you need to put food on the table. Doh worry, your day will come, and then you can laugh and croak hoarsely as we declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to boost our spirits, chase away the evil one and lighten our load.  

So altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And as always, those who don’t have to go to work today, and most likely have been partying all weekend were the loudest and most raucous. But it did lift our spirits and get us enthused enough to go out and do Jesus’ work with a healthy and wholesome attitude! 

And to boost us even more, listen, as I do like John in his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ Oh mih breddren, how wonderful is that eh? The ole fella writing you so that you could be full of joy! (smile) 

And the scholars explain our Bit thus: ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13, but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’ 

Yes friends, knowing Christ, and walking with Him does bring a great sense of satisfaction and purpose! And who would know that better than John eh, as he walked personally with Jesus here on earth, and reminds us that his is an eyewitness account, (vs.1-3)  not hearsay like so many others. Anyway, here is John’s secondary purpose in writing his first epistle. 

‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not do (practice) the truth; But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

And all Christ’s followers cried out with a loud voice: ‘Praise His Holy Name! For He is indeed worthy of praise!’ And without a doubt our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is indeed worthy of our praise my people! Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about all of that nuh. 

‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus: John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good: there is thus no or evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’ 

‘1:6.Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John says boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’ And unfortunately, we do have too many of those hanging out in the church these days. But we just have to leave them to God…and their consciences, if they have any left. 

‘1:7. “God is light” (vs.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (cf.Rom.6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth, for it is by the shedding of Jesus’ blood that we were set free from sin! His sacrificial blood paid the overwhelming price, the gargantuan debt for our sin. And that’s why it’s ever so important for His followers to recognize the exceeding great value of blood in our freedom and thus work sincerely and diligently to make it worth Jesus’ while by living good with each other and spreading the good news of His gospel! Much LOVE!

…if blood doesn’t flow…sin can’t be forgiven…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2019 Isaiah 30:21.

Isaiah 30:21.    ​And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
 

Well it was a beautiful Father’s Day yesterday! The weather was stellar! NO RAIN! Wow! And for the first time in about three years my church was able to hold their annual outdoor picnic outdoors. (smile) Who knows what’s going to happen today though, as it’s somewhat cloudy out there. But it should be okay for most of us to get in our early morning commute to our places of daily grind and common task. (smile) 

Oh my people, we might as well smile yes, because being sad and miserable and crying won’t change the situation. We’ve got to go to work if we want to eat, and it’s best to do that in good and high spirits. And yes, I know that that’s easier said than done, but we’re children of the Most High God, which means that nothing is too difficult, or even impossible for us, once we have His wonderful Spirit operating within us. 

So if you’re just not up to scratch this morning, let’s just dissipate those Monday Blues by declaring (steups!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the antidote that ALWAYS gets our engines running smoothly. 

So as one strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

YES my brethren! Yuh feel it? Yuh feel the awesome power of the Holy Spirit moving…moving just like a magnet.within you….moving here, moving there, like on the day of Pentecost (smile) raising your own spirit, enabling you to get yourself together and go out and face the enemy with brass and panache, all for Jesus’ sake? That’s what it’s all about my fellow saints of Christ – empowering us to do Jesus’ work with diligence and excellence! 

And I was just going to write: Now where is all of that going to lead us to this morning eh, when I opened the Good Book and behold, there it was in bright and living colour, our Bit for today! The words of the prophet Isaiah as he appeals to his people to turn to the Lord for help. 

‘And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers. And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.’ (Is.30:20-21) 

Yes friends, the Holy Spirit has been given to us to lead and guide us along the right and righteous pathways of this earthly life. But that can only happen if we listen to and pay serious attention to what the Holy Spirit tells us to do. As Isaiah says at the top of that section: ‘For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness, and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. 

But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift. One thousand shall flee at the rebuke (threat) of one; at the rebuke (threat) of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon (a pole) upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign (banner, flag) on a hill. 

And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy on you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.’ (Is.30:15-18) 

How many times friends, did the Israelites turn away from God and suffer eh? But He, in His grace and mercy, always offered them a way out, if they returned to Him in sincere sorrow and repentance. And though they oftimes refused, He, in His longsuffering, waited for them. 

It’s the same way He’s calling us to come back to Him today, but we’re not listening; too busy doing our own earthly things to be concerned about His heavenly stuff. But He’s patiently waiting. But please note, that even the Lord’s patience will run out at some time, and when He gets tired of waiting we will pay a hefty price for our disobedience. 

And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘30:18-33. Because God is gracious and has been willing to wait for His people to return to Him, He will certainly bless those who wait for him. “Waiting” is a confident and dependent trust in God. The reference to the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction shows that God teaches us lessons through circumstances when we will not listen to our teachers who call us to walk in the way (i.e., the way of God).’ 

So please friends, please listen to me, and walk in the way of God, (smile) so that you won’t have to eat the bread of adversity and drink the water of affliction. That’s wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…be thou strong and courageous…turn not from the Lord’s law…neither to the right nor to the left…so thou can prosper…wherever you go…(Josh.1:7)

 

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