Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2019 Joel 2:28.

Joel 2:28.   ​And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.
 
And after the snow and the freezing cold, come the rain and the flood! Yeh friends, flood warnings have been issued in these parts for the next couple days due to the quickly melting snow and the rain accompanying it. As they say, when it’s not one thing, it’s another! 

But that’s just life, and we have to roll with the punches, and as believers in Christ we are better prepared to do that than most of the population, so there should be no cause for overly serious concern.

Nonetheless, we’re only human and still liable to fall prey to the deceitful whispers of the enemy, which means we’re somewhat less than up to scratch this wet and rainy Monday morning. (smile) But it’s all good, for we have just the right pick-me-up to solve your problem; that’s our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; antidote of much repute! 

So without further ado, let’s get seriously, but humbly and confidently communicating with the Father. As one body 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!’ 

There you go friends, matter fixed! We’re bright and bubbly now as the Holy Spirit works in us to put a smile on our faces, strength and confidence in our hearts and souls and have us excited to go out now and work for Jesus! Wow! What a transformation can take place when the Spirit of the Lord God Jehovah goes to work in His children! There’s nothing else like it in this whole wide world! 

And that points us to God’s promise of that future event through the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

And then Joel goes on to prophesy about the things that will go on during the Great Tribulation and the establishment of the earthly Davidic millennial kingdom that follows the events of the Great Tribulation. However, we’re only interested here in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh, and we all know that happened on the miraculous Day of Pentecost! 

What a majestic showing that was mih people! Nobody can put on a show like our omnipotent God nuh! Can you imagine sitting down in that room with the disciples, and all of a sudden you hear this sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind which then proceeded to fill the whole house? (Acts 2:2) I know they were all waiting for and anticipating the coming of the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised, but I doubt that they were expecting it to be so such a heart-stopping event. 

And the mighty rushing wind wasn’t all, for as the Good Book tells it: ‘And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:3-4) 

And can you imagine the confusion when these uneducated men from the surrounding area came out and began speaking in the languages of the different Jews who had come to Jerusalem for the big feast? They were all amazed, some even claimed that they were drunk: ‘Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.’ (Acts 2:13) 

But that’s when Peter gave his great speech: ‘ But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said, unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day (9.am). But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;’ (Acts 2:14-16) And then he goes on to specify the words of our Bit and the rest of Joel’s prophecy.  

So you see friends, it’s not wise to write off any of God’s promises, especially if He doesn’t give a definite time frame, for remember His thoughts and ways and times are not like ours, so some of those promises could be earmarked for hundreds of years later, like that of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon all believers. 

Now I sincerely hope we have all been encouraged some this Monday morning, and that our faith has also been strengthened by this review of one of God’s great promises! So please hang in there and don’t ever give up, even when things seem like they can’t get any worse, because they can always get better when our hope and trust and faith are safely placed in our Triune God! Much LOVE!

…logic dictates…that when you’re at the bottom…the only place left to go is up…and Jesus can…and will reach down and pull you up… 

P.S. I’m chuckling here as I just realized that I passed the test, and thus have a testimony! Hear it nuh. The ole fella had a rough night, and so was one of those in the not up to scratch group today, (smile) and was really struggling to write the Bit. But I hung in, didn’t give up, and yuh see how Jesus eventually reached down and pulled me up out of the mire and helped me to write something sensible. (smile) Bless His holy name and His faithfulness! That means He can and will do the same for you too. Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2018 Isaiah 25:4.

Isaiah 25:4.   For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 

Ah friends, we’re sailing on the good ship Sunday, towards the sanctuary of God, where we will fall on our knees and praise and worship Him, give Him innumerable thanks, exalt His holy name and glorify Him without ceasing! 

Wow! What a time we will have in the sanctuary as we fellowship with each other, encourage each other, hear God’s word and bury it deep in our hearts, and souls, and eventually leave the sanctuary fortified with His strength and confidence, able to withstand whatever comes against us. And please remember the immortal words of the psalmist; this is the day the Lord hath made, let us all rejoice and be glad in it! That’s both wisdom and common sense friends! 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with worship in sweet song. This morning we’ll sing a Christian Gospel tune titled ‘The Anchor Holds.’ It was originally written by a pastor, songwriter called Lawrence Chewning. Apparently the year of 1992 became known as the year of sorrows for him and his family. 

One sorrow after another hit them and finally Lawrence, depressed and discouraged, was left burnt out, so he took a six month sabbatical from his pastoring duties and during that time began playing the piano more, in an attempt to get closer to God. In this sorrowful time he read stuff about the long dark night of the soul, when it seems you just can’t find God anywhere, and also experienced that emptiness for a while. 

Then, one day, in his many hours of playing the piano, he discovered that he was writing a song, a song that was coming from deep down in his soul. It was so touching that it provided him with therapeutic help in his depression and discouragement. But the song was some ten minutes long. However, a couple of years later, he offered the song to his friend, Christian singer songwriter, Ray Boltz, who edited and recorded it and made it a hit. 

Ah friends, ‘The Anchor Holds’ is one of my favourite Gospel songs because I can testify to the truth of those immortal words. And if you’re a true believer, so too can you. So let’s offer it up through the sacrifice of our lips now nuh, with appropriate reverence and heartfelt sincerity. In glorious harmony: ‘I have journeyed Through the long dark night Out on the open sea By faith alone Sight unknown And yet His eyes were watching me (Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn) 

I have fallen on my knees As I faced the raging seas The anchor holds In spite of the storm I’ve had visions I’ve had dreams I’ve even held them in my hand But I never knew They would slip right through Like they were only grains of sand (Chorus) I have been young But I am older now And there has been beauty these eyes have seen But it was in the night Through the storms of my life Oh that’s where God proved His LOVE to me. 

(Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn. Ohhh yes, The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn).’ 

Ah mih people what words of truth and encouragement! And it’s only when we are going through a stormy period in life that we can write such heartfelt words. You’ll notice too, that it’s during the storm that God proves His wonderful and unconditional LOVE to us, more so than when the seas are calm and quiet. 

Because that’s when we need Him the most, when we discover that our efforts are too puny to withstand the storm that’s bruising and battering us. And only when we take refuge in His safe harbour, when we allow Him to anchor our hearts and souls in the sheltered bay that’s His awesome LOVE and grace that we truly find rest and rejuvenation for our troubled, storm-filled lives. 

Oh what a wonderful God is our God! No wonder in Isaiah’s song of praise by the redeemed the survivors of the Great Tribulation exalt the Lord, lift their voices in praise to God for His protection. ‘O Lord, thou art my God: I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For thou hast made of a city an heap (a ruin); of a defensed (fortified) city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built (rebuilt). 

Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:1-4) 

Yeh friends, our God runs things; He controls it all. So in your time of need, who are you going to call eh, who are you going to run to for refuge? Almighty God, if you are wise! As the old reggae song says, ‘You’ll run to the rock for rescue, but there will be no rock.’ But if you run to the Creator of the universe, you’ll find Him ready, willing and able to offer help. 

As Isaiah prophesies about Jerusalem’s glorious future. ‘And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow (shade) in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert (shelter) from the storm and from rain.’ (Is.4:6) 

Oh friends, there’s no better place to hunker down in stormy times than under the wings of our heavenly Father, just like chicks hide under the mother hen’s wings when it rains, for under there we are guaranteed safe passage through the storms of life. Much LOVE!

…through the heartache…through the storm…take my hand precious Lord…lead me on…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2013 Habakkuk 2:4

Habakkuk 2:4.   Behold, his soul which is lifted up (proud) is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. 

 
Oh Friends, another God-sent day is on the horizon. But whether it’s going to be hot and sunny, like the past two days, or cold and rainy, I can’t tell you, because I’ve seen two different forecasts in the last few hours. Around 10 p.m. last night, it said 31 degrees and rain, but at 2.30 this morning, it’s saying 24 and sunshine, and that’s after rain, thunder and lightning last night. So you go figure nuh!
 
The weather forecaster’s job right now is one of the most unpredictable in the world. But my brethren, regardless of what happens with the weather, believers in Jesus will stand strong, steadfast and upright because of their enduring faith, as our Bit so wisely declares: ‘Behold, his soul which is lifted up (proud) is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.’ 
 
And I guess you’re wondering why there’s no wandering preamble? Well I have plenty stuff to share, and I want to get it all in today, while keeping the Bit at a reasonable length. So right away, let’s get to some scholarly explanations re our Bit.
 
‘2:4. Two classes of people are contrasted (1) the proud, haughty Chaldeans who will be the victors in the forthcoming conflict; and (2) the righteous ones of Judah who will appear to be defeated in the forthcoming conflict, but in reality will be the victors because of their faith in the Lord.
 
The just shall live by his faith is often quoted in the New Testament in support of the doctrine of justification by faith. (See Rom.1:17; Gal.3:11; Heb.10:38) Thus, this Old Testament prophecy anticipates the New Testament gospel which shall ultimately conquer the nations and bring them to Christ.’
 
And that’s exactly what the New testament Gospel has been doing Friends; conquering both individuals and nations and having them kneel at Christ’s footstool in true repentance to receive His ultimate gifts of salvation and eternal life! What can be more pleasing to our heavenly Father eh? Nothing, except for the whole, entire earth to believe and receive salvation, not losing a single soul to the enemy Beelzebub!
 
But just remember my fellow believers, that our most important job here on earth, our bounden duty, is to help bring those lost souls to Jesus. So if we don’t do right, that’s LOVE God, LIVE our Faith, and SPREAD His Word, then we’re part of the problem and not of the solution.
 
Oh, and by the way, I hope you all checked out the reference from yesterday, Daniel 5:30-31, where Habakkuk’s prophecy came through in the middle of the night. Belshazzar, the Chaldean king was slain and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom.
 
And today’s certainly your lucky day Friends, sorry blessed day (smile) because I’ve planned to quote all the scriptures the scholars referenced above, including this one from John.
 
 ‘The Father LOVETH the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:35-36)
 
Yes my people, those who don’t believe in the light and life of the Son, darkness, death and destruction will continue to dog them forever. And as Bruh Paul said to the Roman church, when he talked about the power of the gospel and the guilt of mankind.
 
‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.’ (Rom.1:16-18)
 
Ah mih breddren, the gospel of Christ is so powerful that it can propel you from the very demonic gates of sin, death and Hades right to the golden arches of heaven, through salvation, so you can enjoy life eternal.
 
Wow! I say it every day: what a mighty and LOVING God we serve my people! Everyday we should just be falling all over ourselves to live for Him, to give Him the thanks and praise He so worthily deserves!
 
But instead we foolishly resist His entreaties and advances, push Him aside, and live with hate, bitterness, anger and revenge as the prominent emotions in our lives, rather than those of Peace, LOVE, Mercy and Forgiveness which flow from Him.
 
And then we wonder why life is so rough. Hn! The answer is so simple; we’ve turned away from Almighty God. We no longer obey His commandments, so how do we expect to receive His blessings and LOVING-kindness eh?
 
Oh Friends, I think I have to change my plans here yes, because I’ve just seen some explanations from the scholars re the last two verses above, which I believe will help us understand those scriptures better, so here goes.
 
‘1:17. Righteousness, God’s essential attribute is revealed. It is not man’s invention; it is God’s revelation. Left to himself, man would never have thought of it. From faith to faith: It’s source and end are the same. To those who possess God’s righteousness Paul pronounces, The just shall live by faith. What one believes does make a difference. If he believes the gospel he has life (union with God); otherwise he has death (separation from God).
 
1:18. The wrath is not the revelation of a future judgement of God or of the Great Tribulation, but a present revelation that parallels the present revelation of God’s righteousness (cf.1:17). This revelation comes from heaven.
 
Ungodliness is failure in the religious realm. Unrighteousness is failure in the moral sphere or injustice toward man. Who hold (lit. “hold down,” “suppress”) the truth in unrighteousness. They received the truth concerning the wrath of God but hindered it and prevented it from completing its work.’
 
Oh my fellow believers, I do hope that brings a clearer understanding of those scriptures. So we’ll end there, and if God’s willing, will continue this topic tomorrow, for we all know that the best laid plans of mice and men usually go astray, (smile) and it’s the Lord’s plan that carries the day.
 
Till we meet tomorrow then, may we walk in the sunshine of God’s countenance, may peace and LOVE guide our footsteps as we continue looking to Jesus for strength and faith to face this evil, ungodly world. Much LOVE!
 
…if you don’t believe in Jesus…then you’ll pay the price…just like Lucifer is doing…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2013 1 John 4:2

1 John 4:2.     Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is God.
 
And then it was Saturday! One of the two days a body can sleep in, if it so desires. However, some of us are still not that lucky because we either have to get up and look after young children, or get out and do the weekly shopping, which we’re too tired to do after a stressful work day. But please remember Friends, that whether you can sleep in or not, God’s new mercies and blessings are still showered down every day, and if we look for them, we’ll surely find them. I believe that’s possibly the biggest reason why believers don’t see God’s blessings. We hear a lot of talk about new mercies and blessings every day, but many of us are left wondering about the whereabouts of God’s riches. That brings us to one of two problems; we expect whatever God offers us to just fall directly into our laps, without any work on our part. But that’s not always the case my people. Oftimes we have to seek out, search for those blessings, cause God will not always spoon feed us with whatever we want or whatever He offers. As He says, if you seek me, you’ll find me. (Deut.4:29) That refers to everything that has to do with God. We should always be seeking Him, talking to Him, praising and thanking Him. Many times we whine about not receiving a blessing, when it’s right in front of us, if we’d only look for it. That brings us to the second problem; the size of the blessings. Many of us subconsciously think of blessings and mercies as being large in size and provide bountiful resources. But the truth is that most are small, everyday occurrences that just make our lives a tad easier, or puts a smile both in our hearts and on our faces. So it’s time to stop looking for the big prize all the time, for that makes us miss the small ones that are there everyday. The whole point is we should try to be more proactive than reactive. Let the passion and LOVE for Jesus cause us to want to know Him, to want to work diligently on His behalf. But we also need to be careful and not allow that passion to run away with us, by examining things very carefully before committing to them. It’s like our Bit. ‘Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is God.’ Yes Friends, we need to know that what we’re doing and believing is truly of God, as our Bit warns. Then John continues his exhortation: ‘And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.’ (1 John 4:3) And yuh better believe mih people that the antichrist spirit is alive and kicking throughout the world right now, more widespread and with better deceptive tools than in John’s day. And as John earlier declares: ‘I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.’ (1 John 2:21-22) Now here’s a note from the scholars on the antichrist. ‘The term antichrist refers to anyone usurping the place of Christ or opposing Christ. But the title of the Antichrist identifies a person who emerges during the Great Tribulation to lead Satan’s strategy on earth. The term is used five times in the New Testament and only by John, although the Antichrist of the Great Tribulation is identified by many other names and titles in Scripture: “that wicked” (2 Thess.2:8); “the son of perdition” (2 Thess.2:3); “the wilful king” (Dan.11:36) He is chiefly depicted in the Scriptures as an immensely powerful political leader. He apparently heads the revived Roman Empire, but will not be revealed until after the Rapture (2 Thess.2:3). He is the ultimate opponent of God, God’s plans, and God’s people. The presence of so much false teaching, John implies, reminds believers of the constant threat posed by evil to believers. Yet they need not fear; they need only be diligent and not slack.’  And the main reason believers need not be afraid is stated in John’s next verse. ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) And all God’s people shouted a glorious ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ because Jesus is stronger than Lucifer. The scholars note it thus: ‘Christ indwells believers; Satan is likewise the lord of his own followers. But Christ is greater than he who wreaks havoc in the world. Have overcome is in the perfect tense, stressing the abiding nature of their victory. Their strength lies in the fact that they are (born) of God.’ Now that’s sure refreshing and assuring! And John continues: ‘They are of the world; therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.’ (1 John 4:5) That’s so true! Those who bow to the spirit of the antichrist are of the world, a world which prefers the teachings of the false prophets and antichrist agents to that of God’s truth. How sad Friends. But thankfully my fellow believers, as John further declares: ‘We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.’ (1 John 4:6) And here’s how the scholars explain that verse. ‘Those who acknowledge the truth of the apostolic (New Testament) witness to Christ will recognize and conform to the teaching John is presenting. Those who do not are animated by a common and unifying spirit of error. John warns his readers against this spirit by contrasting their false views of Christ with the views that he, a personal follower and witness of Christ proclaims.’  Yeh Friends, it’s only logical that we should accept John’s proclamation, since he personally walked with Christ here on earth. In any case though my people, the important thing is that we always seek to find the truth…and not the world’s truth, but that of Jehovah God, which has the divine ability to set us free from both spiritual and physical bondage in this evil, ungodly world. So please, let’s try and make that our life’s goal, because it is wisdom at its highest level, and our diligent efforts will also be highly rewarded at the end time. Much LOVE!…the enemies of Christ seek ways to defame Him…but true believers know the truth…because of His Holy Spirit that dwells in them…