Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2019 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.    ​If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
 
Oh isn’t it great to be alive on a sunshiny morning my faithful brethren in Christ? It surely is! And though it’s still somewhat chilly in my area, life gets even better when we realize the treasure we have in Jesus Christ being our Lord and Saviour, our Leader and Guide, etc. etc! That’s just the cat’s pajamas; (smile) the best it can get, both in this world and the next! 

So let’s not murmur and complain about the problems we have nuh, instead, let’s give thanks and praise and glory to Almighty God for the great blessings He’s bestowed on us, especially that of His Son, Jesus Christ! And since it’s Saturday, let’s get right to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.’ And is that ever so true. This earthly life is chocked full of problems, but we can’t allow them to get us down, otherwise we’d just lead a negative and depressed life. 

And remember Jesus said that He had overcome the world and we should cheer up, be glad, in spite of the tribulations we encounter. (John 16:33) So please, let’s not allow problems to ruin our happiness. With Jesus help, they are all conquerable! 

And listen to this quote: ‘Make improvements, not excuses. Seek respect, not attention.’ More truth there friends! Our society nowadays is one of excuses and casting blame everywhere else but on ourselves, where more often than not, it truly belongs! But let’s not play the blame game nuh, because it doesn’t help, just causes more confusion and bitterness and disunity. And above all, it doesn’t show the kind of people we ought to be as followers of Jesus. 

And I like this quote: ‘The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living.’ Oh is that truth in spades my people! The past is very useful, but only as a guide to the future, to show you what mistakes you should not make again. But unfortunately too many of us live in the past, that’s why we’re so unhappy and unfulfilled. We let the past colour our present and future lives too much. 

Living in the past is the worst thing we can do to our present day lives. Therefore: ‘Do not let the memories of your past limit the potential of your future. There are no limits to what you can achieve on your journey through life, except in your mind!’ So true friends so true! All the past does is limit our future and hold us back from the awesome life that God has prepared for us. So please, let’s just learn from the past nuh, but not live there in squalor and hopelessness. (smile) 

And this last quote also aligns nicely with those gone before, sort of paraphrasing them. ‘Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.’ And before we even talk about the challenges, let’s remember that life is a journey, one we ought to enjoy, one in which we grow from glory to glory, meeting the challenges that this evil and ungodly world constantly throws at us with the help of the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us. 

Some of us believe that life is just something to muddle through and be constantly depressed and negative. But remember what Jesus said, that He came that we might have life, and have it in abundance! (John 10:10) Now does that sound like we should always be down in the dumps, beaten by the challenges of life? No! Exactly the opposite! 

We talk about how Jesus has conquered, hell, death and the grave, so if He’s conquered the evil forces of this world, why should we be mired in depression and negativity, anxiety and fear eh? The victory is already ours, we just have to live it out in confidence and assurance, if we truly believe in Jesus and all that He’s said. 

But yuh know what friends, for us to successfully do all that we’ve talked about above, we have to do one basic thing, sincerely take up our cross and follow Jesus! That’s the ONLY way our lives will ever be truly worthwhile! Jesus didn’t mince words when He said it. ‘If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Oh my people, I know that many of us believe that taking up our cross and following Jesus is extremely difficult. And at times it is yes; like giving up our selfish desires to help others, facing up to challenges that we want to shy away from, going the extra mile and turning the other cheek, like Jesus desires of His followers. Yes, we are not supposed to be like the world, but show the world a different style. 

And I bypassed the most important word in Jesus’ statement on purpose; ‘daily.’ Now that’s the magic word friends. We don’t pick up our cross when we feel like, or when it’s convenient for us, but each and every day of our earthly lives, if we are truly sincere believers in Jesus! Yes, it’s hard. But nobody ever said that life would be easy. And just look at what Jesus suffered for us nuh. The least we can do is to show a li’l gratitude and gratefulness by picking up our cross and following Him daily. 

‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.’ (Luke 9:24-26) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t be any plainer and clearer than that! So please, let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh, because Jesus can return at any time, and if you’re caught napping when He comes, then crapaud smoke yuh pipe! Much LOVE!

…to truly serve Jesus…one must take up one’s cross…DAILY…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2018 Psalm 144:9.

Psalm 144:9.   I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery (harp) and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

To go or not to go? That is the question: whether, on this summer Sunday morning, I should stay in my warm, comfortable bed, roll over and go back to sleep, or make a determined effort to roll out, get dressed and go to the Lord’s sanctuary, to praise and worship, give thanks and fellowship with other faithful believers? 

Hn! Oh friends, I daresay that many of us are facing that question, or have already faced it. Let’s hope that your reaction was, or will be the wise one; getting up and going to church. And while there you sincerely open your heart and soul to your heavenly Father, and you also take in all that He has to offer, so you can leave there stronger, more faithful and full of confidence. 

And today friends, in our li’l get together, we’re going to open the proceedings the way we always do, by softening up our hearts in song, making them more receptive to God’s word, by first giving Him thanks and praise. And we’re going to do exactly what our Bit tells us to do: ‘I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery (harp) and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.’ 

Oh what a joy it is to sing unto the Lord my brethren, especially a new song, one that He hasn’t heard us sing before, because then He is eagerly looking forward to the praise we have to offer. Yuh know that’s one of the reasons He created us; to praise Him? So let’s not keep Him waiting any longer nuh, let’s belt out this new song with strong voices and sincere hearts. 

As one soulful choir now: ‘(Chorus: Sing a new song unto the Lord, Let your song be sung from mountains high. Sing a new song unto the Lord, Singing Alleluia! Alleluia!) The Lord’s people dance for joy. O come before the Lord And play for Him on glad tambourines and let your trumpets sound. (Chorus) 

Rise, O children from your sleep your Saviour now has come. He has turned your sorrow to joy, and filled your soul with song. (Chorus: Sing a new song unto the Lord, Let your song be sung from mountains high. Sing a new song unto the Lord, Singing Alleluia! Alleluia!) 

Yes my people, that’s the way it ought to be! The Lord is good and merciful and LOVING, so His people should show their appreciation and gratefulness by dancing before Him with joy! That reminds me of when Bruh David danced before the Lord with all his might when they brought up the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (2 Sam.6:14) 

And the Lord just LOVES His music, so it’s a no-brainer that we should play happily and sweetly on our musical instruments and thus bring Him pleasure. So let those tambourines jangle, the harps sing and the trumpets sound out! An’ yuh see, even the song says we must rise up from our sleep, because our Saviour, Jesus has come! Glory be! 

And what’s even better, is that He has turned our sorrow to joy, and filled our souls with song! Mama Mia! How can we beat that eh friends? No way! And as I keep saying, with a Saviour like Jesus, and all that He’s done for us, we Christians should be the happiest people in the world! Joy should be our watchword; ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength,’ (Neh.8:10) And since we know that salvation has been granted and eternal life is waiting in heaven, our earthly life should be just one big sing along! (smile)  

Like the Good Book says: ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp; sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (a shout of joy). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:1-5) And there is no disputing any of that my people! 

And now hear Bruh David in Psalm 40 nuh –Praise for answered prayer. ‘I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings (my steps). And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’ (Ps.40:1-4) 

Ah friends, that’s the power of trusting in the Lord: you cry out to Him in patient and sincere trust, and He raises you up, and puts a new song in your soul, so you can praise Him even more! Glory to our heavenly Father! 

And we’ll end with this wonderful advice from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

We couldn’t get any better advice than that nuh friends, so let’s take it to heart and put it into action today nuh! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing our God LOVES more…than us giving Him sincere thanks and praise…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 March 2018 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.   Because strait (narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

‘Enough now…enough of this spring-like break nonsense yes!’ said the snow. ‘This is supposed to be the winter season, and that means snow…lots of it…!’ So we’ve reverted to the white stuff being on the ground. 

Yeh friends, the spring break is over, we got some snow overnight, and a serious winter storm of rain and snow is scheduled for the North Eastern side of North America. Let’s hope and pray that it doesn’t do too much damage and cause any loss of life. 

But none of that prevents the workingman from singing His Friday song with much gusto and gratefulness. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Whoopee! No more work for a couple days! Spit in the massa eye! Is my time now to do whatever I want to do. And come rain or snow I’m going to do it. 

And ah going to start by partying like there’s no tomorrow…for who knows if there’ll be a tomorrow…And if I don’t show up for work Monday morning…then let the greedy, stupid massa fire me nuh. Ah going to get another job. Thank God for Fridays and the weekends and them yes!’ 

Ah friends, sometimes it would be nice to have that attitude, and get away from all the Christian responsibility, but unfortunately our Leader Jesus Christ does not cotton to that kind of behaviour. He wants a high level of responsibility and some tighter boundaries in His organization, and if we intend to be a part of it, then we have to meet those levels. 

No two ways about it. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different to the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now with a strong sense of purpose. ‘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.’ 

Yeh mih people, in Jesus’ organization we need to keep a balanced outlook on life and the things He calls us to do. We can’t afford to go overboard, otherwise we’ll give the enemy a chance to infiltrate the organization, and with his deceitful, lying self, do untold damage to Christ’s body. 

That’s why we need to walk the straight and narrow path that doesn’t offer as many enticements as the broad highway that the world favours. And that’s why, amongst the many warnings Jesus gave in His Sermon on the Mount this one containing our Bit, was included. 

‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait (narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

Yes friends, there are only two ways to live this life; like the workingman, letting it all hang out, or like the believer, keeping within certain circumspect boundaries. Listen to the scholars on those two verses. ‘7:13-14. The closing section of the Sermon on the Mount presents two choices to the listener. 

These are presented in a series of contrasts: two ways (vs.13-14); two trees (vs.15-20); two professions (vs.21-23); and two foundations (vs.24-29). This was a common method of teaching in both Jewish and Greco-Roman thought. Enter ye in at the strait gate (narrow) means that one must come through the narrow gate in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life. 

Though many are on the broad…way, that leadeth to destruction (eternal separation from God) the gate that leads to life is so narrow that few there be that find it. Christ Himself is both the gate and the way (cf. John 14:6), and God enables men to find that gate (cf. John 6:44).’ 

Oh my fellow believers the gate to the eternal life path is indeed narrow, that’s why so few people find it. First you must sincerely want to find it, and then look very closely and search diligently for it. But I’ll be so kind and generous as to show you both the gate and the way. (smile) And His name is JESUS! 

Yes people, as Jesus Himself said: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Yes friends, JESUS IS EVERYTHING! Please remember that. 

And just in case you don’t know the verse that the scholars refer to about God enabling men to find the narrow gate, here it is. Oh, I’m being so generous this morning, I can’t stand it. (smile) ‘No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day.’ (John 6:44) 

Yuh see, we can’t even get to Jesus, unless the Father points us to Him. However, the Father IS pointing and directing all creation to His Son, it’s just left up to the creation to decide whether or not he’ll accept the directive. And if we’re wise, we’ll run to Him, and accept it with open arms. Much LOVE!

…Jesus said…come unto me…that’s an offer too generous and worthwhile to refuse…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 January 2018 Psalm 16:8.

Psalm 16:8.   I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

And another one bites the dust! Yeh people, another of my associates from university days in Mona, Jamaica, has apparently gone home to the Father. Dr. Emmanuel Griffith M.D. passed away yesterday in a nursing home in South Trinidad. He’s been sick, partially paralyzed for a number of years, initially felled by a stroke, and another stroke carried him home. 

One thing’s for sure; Emmanuel Griffith, better known as ‘Griff,’ a Trini South Boy, LOVED life. Tall, dark and full-bodied, with his thick black frame glasses, he was loud and talkative, but friendly, and was always ready for a party or a lime. He was good people. Once he became your friend, he’d do anything for you. Some of you who read the Bit knew Griff, possibly even participated in some of his hijinks, because he also liked his pranks. 

But that’s why it is important to make good memories in your young days. And Griff mih brother, we certainly made some good ones back in those youthful times. I can look back now and chuckle at the many nights you had me walking the dark, back roads of Kingston, after the busses had stopped running, trying to get back to the Mona campus, because I had naively allowed you to talk me into accompanying you to see a lady friend. 

But in hindsight now, it seems that even back then, the Lord’s hand was actively involved in my life, because it’s on one of those night excursions that I initially got involved with the lady who would eventually become my wife. Brother! I can’t believe I’m talking about 50 years, a half century ago. 

I know we lost touch once I left the Mona campus and returned to T&T, and by the time you came back to T&T, I had migrated to Canada. But over the years through a mutual friend, I’d occasionally hear revelations of your still crazy life. But who am I to judge you eh brother? I haven’t been the greatest either. 

And now your body will be returned to the dust from whence it came, free of all the pain and earthly sorrow, but thankfully your spirit will be free to roam the halls of heaven. I know that you will enjoy that! Happy roaming my friend! My condolences go out to your family and friends, left behind to mourn and celebrate your life. 

Yeh people, it’s a fact that as you get older you find your friends slowly dwindling. Over the last few years I can count at least six of my friends going home to be with the Lord. And just this past week an older friend and I were discussing the situation, because he had just come from the funeral of one of his already few friends. 

But that’s life! We’re only here for a short time, and hopefully we’ll all meet up again in the wild blue yonder when Jesus comes back for us. But until then, we just have to grin and bear what ever befalls us on this evil earth. 

And the wisest way to do that is by leaning on Jesus, as Bruh David says so eloquently in our Bit, while seeking preservation and blessing. ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.’ And that my friends is not only the absolute truth, but also indisputable wisdom! Glory to God! 

Whenever we sincerely look to, partner with Almighty God, we place ourselves in the very best position to have an abundant and joyful life, despite the adversity and calamity that will inevitably crop up on occasion. Nobody faced more adversity than Bruh David, but when he placed his sincere trust in God, after our Bit, he was able to say with great conviction: 

‘Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer (allow) thine Holy One (Jesus Christ) to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ (Ps.16:9-11) 

What absolute confidence and trust in Almighty God, Bruh David shows there my fellow believers! That’s the kind of trust and surrender and confidence each and every Christian ought to have. And I think I’ll just order the reading of Palm 16, as today’s homework, (smile) so you can understand the scholar’s explanations thereof. 

‘Psalm 16. The attitude of the righteous man is described in life (vs.1-8) and death (vs.9-11). In life, his attitude is one of trust (v.1), gratefulness for God’s goodness (v.2), delight in God’s people, (v.3), separation from idolatrous worship (v.4; cf. Ex.23:13; Deut. 12:3), satisfaction in God’s gracious provisions (vs.5-6), praise for the Lord’s counsel (v.7), and steadfastness in spiritual devotion (v.8). 

In facing death, the righteous man rejoices and is hopeful (v.9). He is confident that God will preserve him from the decay of death and that death will not result in his corruption (v.10). Rather, he will travel down the path of life, that is, the path leading to life, which will terminate in God’s joyful presence (v.11). David’s confidence in his ultimate destiny is valid for him (and for all believers) only because Christ has travelled down that path and paved the way for all who believe in him (Acts 2:25-28).’ 

Oh friends, it could not be said any better. So if we’re wise, we’ll try and live that lifestyle, as it’s the optimum one available here on earth. And by the way, Acts 2:25-28 is only Peter’s paraphrasing of vs.9-11 in his big sermon on Pentecost day. Now let’s go home declaring our stellar position with Christ Jesus. 

In all sincerity and truth 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 if we truly believe, then we know that there is indeed a glorious future ahead with Jesus Christ for all those who believe in and obey Him! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…  

P.S. Yeh, it’s long and late, but nonetheless very worthwhile! (smile) 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2017 Psalm 139:23-24.

Psalm 139:23-24.   Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

It ‘s Sunday friends, what we consider the Lord’s Day! That means it’s time to get ready and join other believers in the sanctuary to praise and worship, glorify and exalt our magnificent and magnanimous God! 

Wow! How excellent it is to have the chance every week to offer up our thanks and praise, our gratefulness for His awesome and undeserving grace and mercy, and have Him strengthen our faith and refill, renew our souls with His Holy Spirit, so that we have the wherewithal to face another trying but joy-filled week! 

And to begin the celebrations, let’s offer up a sacrifice of praise with our lips, through the singing of this old but wonderful hymn – Rock of Ages. 

In full voice and sincerity of heart, let’s sing: ‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure; Save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labor of my hands, Can fulfill Thy law’s demands; Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears forever flow, All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to the cross I cling; Naked, come to Thee for dress; Helpless look to Thee for grace; Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me, Savior, or I die. While I draw this fleeting breath, When mine eyes shall close in death, When I soar to worlds unknown, See Thee on Thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.’ 

Oh my precious people of God, there’s no better place to run for help and succour than to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for He has already paid the exceedingly great price for our sins by His selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary! Glory to God! And by His stripes we are healed! 

So if we don’t run to Him, and cling to Him, and find security and comfort, rest and LOVE with Him, then His most awesome sacrifice would have been a complete waste of time. Remember He offered up His Holy and precious life so that we could be saved from sin, be made righteous in the eyes of our heavenly father and receive eternal life. 

Ah friends, every time I think about how great Jesus is, I just want to jump and shout for joy – Glory Hallelujah! All praise and glory to the Lamb that was slain for us! He is indeed the Greatest!’

But let me curb my enthusiasm a tad and get to our Bit, (smile) otherwise I can take up all the time and space by just adding adoration upon adoration. That’s the kind of space I’m in right now.  Not that that’s wrong, but it’s not our avowed purpose at the present time. 

So hear these heartfelt words of Bruh David to his God. ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, I’ve expanded the Bit today, because the first part just didn’t seem right without the second. For why are we asking the Lord to search our hearts, but to see if there’s anything wrong or wicked therein, and then to correct it through His LOVING and merciful guidance? 

Now let’s put some flesh on the bones of our Bit with other scripture that corroborate it. Listen to Job, when he speaks to his supposed friends of his integrity. ‘Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?  If I have walked with vanity (falsehood), or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed (let him weigh me) in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. 

If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved (any spot adheres) to mine hands: Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring (harvest) be rooted out (uprooted). (Job 31:4-8) 

Ah friends, Job knew that he had not committed any great sin or sins, which had caused his sudden, dramatic downfall. Now a lot of us end up being blamed for things we haven’t done, and nothing we can say to our accusers will change their minds. But once we are sure of our innocence, let us take heart that our Lord, the righteous judge, will in His time recompense us for all that we’ve lost and suffered. 

And Job is also a very good example of that, as the Good Book informs us. ‘And the Lord turned (restored) the captivity (losses) of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’ (Job 42:10) 

Please note a couple of things here though my people. The Lord restored Job’s wealth and family and friends, after he prayed for his friends. And as the scholars explain: ‘The point to be garnered from the book is not that God intends to deal with every servant as abundantly as He did with Job; rather that God holds sovereign and LOVING sway over every human life. Therefore, He can be trusted implicitly in all things (cf. Rom.8:28).’ 

Yes friends, if our God is as great and good as we claim, the Creator of the universe and all therein, then we have to acknowledge His sovereignty and trust Him to do the best on our behalf, otherwise our claims are spurious and useless. 

Unfortunately time and space have run out, so until tomorrow, the Lord in favour, please sincerely ponder all that we’ve talked about. And may He bless and keep us safe, shine His regal presence upon us and give us His peace which passes all understanding. Much LOVE!

…if we can’t trust our Maker…then whom can we trust eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2016 Hebrews 12:2.

 Hebrews 12:2.    Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Well my faithful brethren, we’ve been treated to yet another glorious day on God’s great earth! Wow! I sincerely hope that we gave much thanks when we awakened to this bright new day, for the Lord deserves our gratefulness for all the blessings He bestows on us, His beautiful children. (smile) 

Remember His tender mercies are new every morning; we don’t get yesterday’s leftovers. So please, let’s not forget to lift our voices in praise and thanks every time we open our eyes to a new morn. It is very mete and right to do so. 

Now listen to something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that is ever so appropriate to many of us believers. It’s simply called ‘EXCUSES.’  

And it says: ‘O God I’ve become a self-educated master Of a thousand polished excuses. Hoping to avoid your penetrating gaze I clutch them to me like valuable gems. When I think I have myself thoroughly covered I’m caught short with the realization That You see right through me. My flimsy excuses are never really hidden. 

I find an excuse for all my failures Wrong choices Late appointments Wasted time. I excuse my foolish blunders, my laziness My broken resolves, my unreached goals. I need Your help, Lord! To hide from You is as foolish As the Grand Canyon Attempting to hide from the sky. 

O God, my only hope Lies in Your invincible power To make me what I am not yet But what You know I can become. Strengthen my will, Lord. Make me firm, steadfast, consistent. Control my impulses, my emotions. May I keep pursuing and never quit.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately many of us believers try to hide or run from God with flimsy excuses, but common sense ought to tell us that we can never run or hide from a Deity that’s omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, for He sees and hears all. His vision is so powerful that it can see right down into the very depths of our being and discern our motives, good or bad. 

So please let’s wise up and stop trying to run and hide from our heavenly Father nuh. We might be able to do it with our earthly fathers, but definitely not with the One above. And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with enthusiasm, sincerity and truth. 

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!’ 

Oh my people, it’s so good to be alive, to feel that glorious breath of God just flowing through my body, letting me know that I am alive; alive and LOVED! Consequently, I’m not looking back, but focusing on the wonderful future that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has planned for me! 

Glory to our most magnificent and magnanimous God! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! It never ceases to amaze me. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which is the scripture promise attached to the poem above. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Oh my brethren, what wonderful words of advice! As we said above, our eyes and hearts ought to be focused exclusively on Jesus! Why? Because He is indeed the originator and perfecter of our faith! He began it all, and He will end it all! 

And the first verse of the chapter, that before our Bit, gives us the basic reason for looking unto Jesus. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside very weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

Yeh friends, the author of Hebrews, which I firmly believe is Bruh Paul, uses the metaphor of a race to describe our earthly pilgrimage. Now hear is how the scholars break down that verse. 

’12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter 11. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses: (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet this Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

The race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to the impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner or the faithful Christian they must be removed. 

Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones).  

Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance (as it is in the cognate verb forms of vv. 2 –3). Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32; 36-38; 11:13).’ 

Now hear some words from the scholars on our Bit. ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

Oh my people, this earthly race is often difficult to run, and to do it successfully we need to keep our eyes trained on Jesus, because He is the One who first ran the race and successfully completed it. In other words, He laid a path for us to follow. So please, let’s be wise and follow it nuh. Much LOVE!

…only as we stick to the path laid down by Jesus…with endurance and perseverance…can we run life’s race successfully…  

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I had a rather late night, which means a late morning too. (smile)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2016 Matthew 5:16.‏

 Matthew 5:16.   Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s another beautiful Tuesday on God’s earthly heaven! Glory be to our heavenly Father! It means we’ve been granted another day with God’s breath of life still flowing rich and strong through our physical bodies! 

And for that we ought to be most thankful, be ever grateful for all that He’s done for us in the past, is doing for us right now, and has faithfully promised to fulfill in the future. Now that also ought to lead us to offering some sincere thanks and praise to His most holy and honourable name. 

And the best way to give thanks and praise, to offer sincere gratitude and gratefulness is in joyful song. So let’s sing praises and give thanks to our Creator and Provider! Let’s shout out this powerful gospel song that I recently heard. Heard it a few times on different radio stations too. 

The singer is blessed with the name Tasha Cobbs, and I believe she was in Toronto last weekend for a live concert. The song is appropriately titled, ‘Power in the name of Jesus.’ 

Please sing it with me. ‘There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. Yes there is power in the name of Jesus…. To break every chain… Break every chain…Break every chain. 

There’s an army rising up. There’s and army rising up. There’s an army rising up…To break every chain…Break every chain…Break every chain. 

There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. Oh there is power in the name of Jesus…To break every chain…Break every chain…Break every chain…’ 

Now friends, I’m doing this from memory, but I’m pretty sure that’s how the song goes. In any case, that’s our version. (smile) 

And oh yes my fellow believers, there is indeed power…and awesome power at that, in the holy and majestic name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! A power so absolute and strong that it’s able to break any chain that binds us, any chain that holds us captive to the evil tendencies of this evil world! Glory Hallelujah! 

So please, let’s never forget that remarkable power and use it to break whatever is binding us to the things of this world. And now, since it’s Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much sincerity and sense of purpose. 

All together now: ‘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.’ 

Oh my people, whenever we declare that mantra, I just feel real uplifted in my spirit. Why? I’m not sure. But I guess it’s because it defines me in the best way possible: the beloved of God and a friend of Jesus! 

Now there could never be a better definition of who we are than that…And better still, NO ONE can take it from us! Oh glory to our great God my believing brethren! 

That brings us to our Bit; the avid desire and command of our Leader, Jesus Christ. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ 

Unfortunately though my people, that is one command we don’t seem to be following too well because instead of coming to Christ, people are walking away from Him in droves. That’s definitely not good my fellow believers, because it means we’re not doing our part to assure the success of Christ’s LOVE Revolution. 

Through fear and pressure from the evil world, we are allowing our spirits to fall into a sad state of disrepair; a malaise of enormous proportions seems to have taken over the Christian brotherhood, where we don’t fight as much and as hard as we used to do for our beliefs. 

That’s not right my brethren. We are supposed to be soldiers in Christ’s army, and soldiers are supposed to fight; to fight tooth and nail for what they believe in! 

What’s happening with us eh? Don’t we believe anymore? Or are we just comfortable and contented and want to enjoy the things of the world? Or are we simply so scared of Lucifer and His evil minions that we refuse to fight for what we say we believe in? 

I don’t have the answers nuh friends. But I do know that we’re definitely not letting our light shine sufficiently before our fellow men, they’re not seeing enough of our good works, and thus are not glorifying our heavenly Father the way that He desires. 

And we’ll end with an appropriate call from Bruh David from Psalm 22 – A cry of anguish and song of praise. ‘Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed (descendants) of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him (hold Him in awesome reverence), all ye the seed of Israel. 

For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.’ (Ps.22:23-24) 

Ah mih people, let’s try and do better than we doing nuh! Let’s look deep inside and see where we are falling down, then with all sincerity and truth call upon the Lord to help us. As Bruh David says, He will hear and help us. Much LOVE!

…Christ’s earthly army needs a boost…probably a good, swift kick in the tail…to get us going like we ought…

 

 

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