Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 July 2019 John 15:10.

John 15:10.    ​If ye keep my commandments; ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his LOVE.
 

Greeting and salutations this summer Thursday morning from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to all who truly believe in Him and sincerely strive to be obedient to His holy will! Oh friends, it is necessary to believe in Jesus if you desire to be saved, but that’s just the easy part of it. To truly be a worthwhile part of His kingdom, we also need to obey His rules and regulations. 

I know some of you are going to say that is bunkum, because Christ died to get us away from the rules and regulations of religion. But just think for a moment, how can any organization survive and thrive unless there are some basic rules and regulations for those involved to follow? 

It won’t. It will just turn into a free for all with everybody wanting to and doing their own thing, which is the current reflection of our society, as well as Christ’s church; strife-filled, greedy, selfish, power hungry, filled with cliques that are resentful to each other, immoral, without true LOVE and forgiveness, etc. etc. 

You know that even in the kingdom of the wild animals there are basic rules, or more like basic behaviour patterns that they all uphold, because they know that if they don’t, their species are liable to suffer irreparable harm. But not the great creation, mankind, who behaves even wilder than the wildest wild animal, and will tear his fellow human being to shreds without even a pang of remorse. 

That’s the kind of world we’re living in now my people! A dog eat dog kind of society; where the first person singular is the most important, and the remainder can simply go suffer as best they can! But that’s not how Jesus expects His followers to live and behave. 

Listen to Him as He spells it out for the disciples. ‘As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue ye (abide) in my LOVE. If ye keep my commandments; ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his LOVE.’ (John 15:9-10) Yuh see friends, even Jesus had rules from His Father to follow… and He followed them. 

As Bruh Paul puts it to the Philippians: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phil.2:8) Yeh mih people, yuh think Jesus really wanted to die such a horrible sacrificial death as He did? No way! But because the Father asked, and He respected and LOVED the Father, He did it. 

That’s why the Father exalted Him thus, with the name that’s higher than every other name in the universe, and to whom all knees should bow and every tongue confess that He’s Lord, to the glory of the Father. (Phil.2:9-11) And my fellow believers, though Jesus’ sacrificial death was very important, in and of itself, what’s truly heart stopping, is His level of obedience to the Father’s wishes. 

He never did anything down here on earth without first consulting the Father, and throughout His entire earthly life always noted that He was doing the Father’s will not His own. In like fashion, we, Christ’s supposed followers in this age, His church in these trying and troubled times, ought to be very concerned about doing His bidding. 

Not fighting amongst each other, being hypocritical and compromising, and causing His body to get a bad reputation from the unbeliever, with people turning away from Him in droves. But that’s exactly what we’re doing these days. Yuh think if the majority of supposed Christians would behave like real Christians, walk their talk; our world would be in such a miserable, degraded and degenerate state? 

Of course not! But instead of being the salt and light that Jesus expects us to be, we are behaving just like the evil world; not merely being in it, as He desires, but woefully being a part of it! That’s not good enough my brethren, because all it does is bring disrepute to Christ and all that He stands for. I don’t know how we can stand up and call ourselves Christians when we don’t abide by His commandments. 

Listen to Him to the disciples again. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you. Greater LOVE hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ (John 15:12-14) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, it couldn’t be put any plainer than that! All Jesus requires of us is that we LOVE each other, and that simply means treat others kindly and with respect, and to do as He desires. And if we do, then He considers us His friend. The sad fact of the matter though is that right now too many of us are not His friends, because we’re not doing as He commands. 

But remember friends, we each will have to stand before Him on the judgement day and give account of our earthly lives, and when He tells us to stand on His left hand, not His right because we’re goats and not sheep, (Matt.25:31-46 – Please take a moment and read it), many of us will hold our heads and bawl, but then it will be too late. So please, let’s do as He commands now nuh, while we still have the ability to improve our standing in His organization. That’s wisdom of the highest order! 

And now, having preached fire and brimstone (smile) let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Thursday Blessings, the Lord’s goodness and mercy so undeservedly showered down on us to help us do His earthly work. In full voice and sincere belief: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

Oh my people, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! No other deity would ever give us all those blessings, even if we deserved them. But remember, they are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to go out and generously share them with others as He generously shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…on the judgement day…to be counted as sheep and not goats…one must obey Christ’s commands…TODAY… 

P.S. Sorry that the Bit’s a tad late, but I went to bed in the early hours of the morning, and thus got up in the late ones. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2016 John 15:13.

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE  hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Well friends, it’s Friday, and many of us are singing our Friday jig: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! At last it’s our time to do as we please. No more massa looking over we shoulder to see what we doing. It’s our time to fly, as high as we want to; to touch the sky even. Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

But as always, that jig is a little too expansive with room for things that ought not to be indulged in. And we have our Friday Chant that offers a much better, healthier and godlier perspective. 

So let’s chant it now nuh. ‘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.’ 

Yes my Christian brethren, that’s a much better way to use the weekend. Behaving like leggo beast, with all sorts of licentiousness and ungodliness isn’t appropriate behaviour for a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ. So as Jeeves would say, let’s moderate our behaviour with a modicum of circumspection nuh. (smile) 

Now this Friday is a special and somewhat melancholy one in man’s memory, as we celebrate Remembrance Day, in honour of all those brave people who died in the Great Wars, especially the First World War. We remember those who gave their most precious possession, their lives, so that we could have a basic freedom in our lives. 

Now unlike what some think, freedom isn’t just granted, more times than not it has to be fought for. And those brave men and women did just that for us. So it’s essential that we remember them and give many thanks for their Christ-like behaviour, as least one day in every year. 

And in their honour, I’d like to share the world’s most famous War Memorial Poem, ‘In Flanders Fields,’ written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on the morning of May 3 1915, at the battlefront during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium. 

Please read with me: ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead: Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, LOVED and were LOVED: and now we lie In Flanders fields! 

Take up our quarrel with the foe To you, from failing hands, we throw The torch: be yours to hold it high If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’ 

Oh my people, the many wasted lives created by that war eh! Young people died by the thousands. We claimed there’d never be another war like that, yet some thirty years later we’re fighting another World War, and several smaller ones after that. 

Steups! Mankind just seems to like war yes; innately he is a warmonger, rather than a peacemaker. 

And on this Remembrance Day of 2016, I believe that our Bit serves as a most appropriate reminder of all those deaths. Listen to Jesus, as He talks to His disciples about LOVE and friendship. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ 

And that’s indisputable, irrefutable, gospel truth! Yes my precious people of God, those soldiers laid down their lives for us, so that we could have the opportunities we now have and to continue their efforts to have a free world. They have passed the torch to us. 

It’s just like Jesus laid down His life so that we could have salvation and eternal life and show others the way to Him. 

However, though we seem to appreciate to some extent the loss of lives back in the war, we don’t seem to particularly like or adopt Jesus’ words before our Bit. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12) 

Now, if friends give up their lives for us, because they LOVED us, in keeping with Jesus’ commandment, we ought to LOVE and cherish those who remain. But unfortunately, in these times of worldwide anger and strife, the true meaning of the word LOVE is still eluding us. 

We tend to talk it a lot, but seldom do the acts required of it. How can we call ourselves true Christians then eh my brethren, when we are not following the commandment of Jesus? 

Now hear how John puts it in his first epistle. ‘Hereby perceive we the LOVE of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good (goods), and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion (heart) from him, how dwelleth the LOVE of God in him?’ (1 John 3:16-17) 

That’s a very good question, friends! And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘3:16-17. The standard for our LOVE is God’s LOVE in Christ, who died for us. LOVE that observes need, and does not act to minister to it, is NO LOVE at all. Bowels of compassion in modern English would be “heart,” proceeding from our inward core of awareness and action.’ 

Ah mih people, sadly that does not happen in our poverty-stricken and sickly world as much as it ought to. That means we are falling down as Christians. Anyway, let’s close with the words of Bruh Paul while explaining to the Ephesians, the ways of a believer. 

‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour (aroma).’ (Eph.5:1-2) 

I couldn’t have said it any better, so please friends, let’s see if we can’t ramp up, improve the incidence of true LOVE in our lives and our societies nuh. It’s the ONLY thing that will stop our world from the current free-fall that it’s currently in. Much LOVE!

…true LOVE is the motor that should drive our lives…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2015 Psalm 95:1

Psalm 95:1. O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.

Welcome to a wet and woolly Wednesday Friends! (smile) I guess you can say we’ve been enjoying a touch of British weather. I’ve never experienced it personally, but I understand that it can be damp and drizzly for extended periods of time. 

Well that’s the kind of weather we’ve been having in my neighbourhood since yesterday afternoon. It also means that it might put a damper on some of the Remembrance Day Celebrations. 

Yes Friends, it is Remembrance Day, when we remember those who gave their lives for us in the wars all over the world, particularly World War 1, where so many brave young men and women died needlessly. But that’s the nature of war. 

We must never forget them because they are the ones who allowed us to have the freedoms that we now enjoy. It’s one of those things we ought also to teach our children, so that future generations will also remember the greatest gift possible of a man to his fellow beings. 

As Jesus said to His disciples. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) 

Yes my people, a whole lot of friends, and families laid down their lives for us in those wars, so please let’s take a moment to reflect on it and appreciate their gift of LOVE. And because of that, some of us also have the day off from work, so please use it wisely, not in unholy debauchery. (smile) 

Now the sun is actually trying to push its way through the clouds, but without too much success. However, although we can’t see it, we know for a fact that it’s somewhere out there rolling along on its own sweet, merry way, just shining brightly as it was programmed to do by its Maker. 

Contrary to that though my brethren, the brilliant LIGHT of the SON is always shining brightly on us. Because He lives within us, He is ALWAYS with us. No clouds can block His radiant light from us! Glory Hallelujah! 

And it’s something NO ONE can ever take from us, for once we are filled with the Holy Spirit, sealed as a child of God, and our name’s written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, we are His FOREVER! Glory to God! 

So though the physical outlook on life this morning might be somewhat grey and dreary, the spiritual light of Jesus is just blazing away, leading us down paths of righteousness. Paths we don’t need the sun for, because we already have the SON! 

And since it’s Wednesday, we also need to declare our Wednesday Wail. All together now, let’s wail! 

‘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 Friends, what a wonderful feeling it is to be alive and active in the ministry of Christ! There is no better way to live this earthly pilgrimage than in consort with Jesus, the One who selflessly sacrificed His holy, sinless life on the cross at Calvary, so that we could be made into the righteous children of God. 

He took all of our sins on Himself and gave us His holiness and righteousness. Oh glory to the Lamb of God, who is most worthy to receive all our praise and adoration! For without Him, hn…! 

I don’t even want to contemplate that situation… for we would all be headed for death and damnation in the fold of Lucifer and his evil minions, but through Jesus’ sacrifice, we’ve been given a second chance. 

Oh my people, please let’s use that new chance wisely and turn in repentance, with all sincerity and truth to our wonderful heavenly Father, who LOVED us so much that he gave His only SON that we might be saved from the evil clutches of sin. 

That’s why we are continuing this series of message of praise and thanksgiving, because we don’t pay enough reverence to our heavenly Father. We should be doing much more of what our Bit tells us. ‘O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.’ 

Oh my people, what can be better than giving praise and thanks to our awesome God eh? Nothing at all! For it is in those acts of faithfulness that our souls are renewed and refreshed, our faith is strengthened, we are once more invigorated to go out and live a good and true life in Jesus’ name. 

As the psalmist continues in Psalm 95 – A psalm of praise to the great God: ‘Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). 

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all Gods. In his hand (possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength (the heights) of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.’ (Ps.95:2-5) Words of indisputable truth Friends! 

So today, on this Remembrance Day of 2015, as we reflect on all the wars and lives lost in them, please, let us also consider the most important life that’s ever been lost, well not lost, but given on our behalf, that of Jesus Christ, and let it cause us to be ever so thankful for the gracious opportunity to have the options of salvation and eternal life that His death provided. For that my people is wisdom everlasting. Much LOVE!

…lest we forget…let us remember…all those who have given the greatest gift a man can give…their lives on our behalf…especially Jesus…

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit. It was just one of those days, or rather nights that the ole fella was up pretty late, thus necessitating  a late awakening. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2015 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Corinthians 5:17.  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.

Well Friends, that wonderful day called Sunday has rolled around once more. And we all know what that means; joyful praise and worship, thanksgiving and celebration, encouragement and upliftment in God’s sanctuary, for all those who believe in His glorious Son Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to whom every knee must bow and every tongue declare that He is the Sovereign Lord indeed! 

Oh Glory to God my people, for such a wonderful champion! There’s none else as mighty, as LOVING, as forgiving, merciful and compassionate as Him! 

Those who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ need to have their heads, hearts and souls thoroughly examined for stupidity and/or madness because He is the be all and end all to every human being. There’s nothing we can ever want that won’t be found in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Unfortunately though, the Father gave human beings the freedom of choice; the freedom to believe or not to believe in His Son, and with our naturally sinful, disobedient, prideful and rebellious nature, a whole host of humans are foolishly reviling and refusing to believe and put their trust in Him. 

Thank God we are not amongst that ignorant lot my brethren! We believe…and will keep on believing until the very end, because He walked His talk: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ (John 15:13-14)  

Then He went out and showed His great LOVE for us by sacrificing His holy and sinless life on the cross at Calvary, so that we could have salvation and eternal life. Now to prove that we are indeed His friends, we need to do what He’s commanded, otherwise we’re no friends of His. As simple as that. 

Now here’s an interesting quote from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. It says: ‘How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.’ 

When I read that a few days ago, it brought a chuckle to my soul and I knew that at some time I’d have to share it. But it does make a whole lot of sense. To become a butterfly you must stop being a caterpillar, and if you want to fly so badly, the only way to do that is to stop being a caterpillar. 

And the good thing about that statement my people, is that it applies to almost everything in our lives. If we want to be one thing, we need to stop being something else. We simply cannot be two things at once. And becoming something else is very seldom easy as the lowly caterpillar and many of us can attest to. 

And it’s very applicable to our becoming believers in Christ, as our Bit informs us. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.’ 

That’s indisputable truth my people! To be a true believer in Christ, we must stop crawling through the ungodly things of this world, shed that old caterpillar skin and soar like a brand newborn butterfly into things of heaven! 

Please note what Jesus told Nicodemus when he inquired about salvation. ‘Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

So like the caterpillar that goes through a metamorphosis, a significant change to become a butterfly, so too we humans have to go through a significant change to become a true believer in Christ. 

Now it’s not an easy task, especially with all the evil and ungodly bombardments we experience in this world. But with God’s help it can be accomplished, and believe me friends, it’s very worthwhile and rewarding. When we are born again, we develop an entirely new perspective about life, about living for Christ. 

Listen to how Bruh Paul talked about the new life in Christ to the Ephesians. ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’ (Eph.4:22-24) 

Yes my brethren, as new born believers in Christ we need to renounce our old worldly ways and sins, constantly being changed to become more like Christ every day, seeking the things that are God, and seeing the world from His viewpoint. All of that helps us to develop a new and godly character, so that we can walk in righteousness and truth. 

As Bruh Paul continues to the Ephesian’s. ‘Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.’ (Eph.4:25-27) 

Yes Friends, those are just a few of the things that we need to cut out from our old behaviour, and replace them with their opposite and godly behaviour. And there are many more characteristics of daily living that Bruh Paul advises us to change, which I won’t go through in detail, but you can read for yourself in Ephesians 4:28-32. 

So my brethren, now that we are new creatures, new creations in Christ, let’s act and look the part nuh. We can’t afford to be exhibiting the same ungodly traits and characteristics we showed before we were born again, otherwise we’d be considered hypocritical, like the Pharisees of old, and give Christ a bad name and a less than stellar reputation. 

And we surely don’t want to do that, so let’s grab the bull by the horns, get ourselves together, so that we can be good ambassadors for Christ. That’s everlasting wisdom! Much LOVE!

…to truly live for Christ…means throwing out the old ways of the world…and bringing in the new ways of heaven…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 September 2015 Ephesians 2:4

Ephesians 2:4.    But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.

Aye mih Christian breddren, it’s that most wonderful day we call Sunday, when most of us celebrate the Lord’s Sabbath!  It’s supposed to be a day of peace and rest and preparation for the upcoming week. But it also means that we ought to be heading out to the Lord’s sanctuary to meet and greet fellow believers and sing and dance and shout joyfully, and give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father, our Creator and generous Provider!  

It’s called regeneration of our spirit!  So let’s not dilly dally and come up with all sorts of feeble excuses not to go eh. Let’s get ourselves off to church! 

And to buoy that directive, we have a rather pertinent quote from (Henry) Havelock Ellis, (1859-1939), an English physician, writer, progressive intellectual, social reformer and student of human sexuality. Hn! Havelock was really into life sir! (smile) Anyhow, he is reputed to have said that ‘No faith is our own that we have not arduously won.’ 

And that my people has a whole lot of truth in it, because as my One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness points out: ‘Everything that touches our lives influences our level of trust and spirituality.’ 

We are all fragile and emotional humans, so there will obviously be times when our faith rises and falls due to the circumstances that surround us. We all have rough times when doubts tend to creep in, especially when we lose things or people that we always expected to be around. 

But, as my One More Day Daily Meditations further reminds us: ‘We can begin to regain that faith by remembering that our Higher Power is constant, even when our faith is not. We humans fluctuate between doubt and trust, but that doesn’t diminish the care that is always available to us. We need only surrender to that truth, and we find comfort.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth Friends! Our God is totally constant; the same yesterday, today and forever! Like the rock of ages, He’s always there ready to help and comfort us! But we have to come to Him to get that peace and comfort and renewal of faith. And that’s where so many of us fall down, because of foolish pride, self-pity or whatever, we refuse to come to God for succour. 

But here again, the Daily Meditations reminds us that: ‘My faith – in myself and in my Higher Power – is built upon my awareness that I don’t have to struggle alone. I am strengthened when I admit to my spiritual needs.’ 

More indisputable truth Friends! There is absolutely no need for us to struggle alone when we have our heavenly Father always there to comfort and care for us.  

Oh Friends, by refusing to go to God in faith and trust, we are only making our lives much more difficult than is really necessary. When we have a Bit like ours, we’re supposed to be running to God, not away from Him. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’  

Yuh hear that mih people, our God is rich in mercy and has such a great LOVE for us! We should be embracing that fact with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls; just wallowing in His mercy and LOVE, instead of ignoring it, or just being lukewarm towards it. Remember how Jesus promised to spew out the Laodicean church because they were only lukewarm?  (Rev.3:14-16) Well it’s the same thing He’s liable to do with us, if we’re not enthused about Him and all that He stands for. 

Now today I want to look at some scriptures that corroborate our Bit. And we’ll begin with these immortal words of Jesus that every believer ought to know. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Tell me people, after hearing those words from Jesus, and then seeing Him fulfill the act of saving us by sacrificing Himself on the cross of Calvary, how could we not believe the Father’s great LOVE eh? I just can’t understand it. 

Now listen to Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due (at the right) time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:6-8) 

Oh Friends, how can we even think about doubting God’s great LOVE for us after all of that eh? Chuh! 

And the scholars’ words on that last verse might bring home the situation to us more forcefully. ‘5:8. Christ died for us: His death was vicarious. That is, He did not die merely for our benefit but in our place. His was a substitutionary sacrifice.’ 

Yeh mih people, we should have been the ones dying, but Christ died in our place. Doesn’t that make you feel grateful and appreciative? It should, because the Good Book says that the wages of sin is death. (Rom.6:23a) That means, we, the abominable sinners, are the ones who should be dying, not Jesus. But in God’s great LOVE for us, He placed all our sins on Jesus and had Him pay our sin debt in full. Oh glory to God! 

So my brethren, if we doubt anything at all, which we shouldn’t, please DON’T EVER DOUBT Jehovah God’s amazing LOVE for us, His most wonderful, but also most ungrateful creation! 

And we’ll end with these powerful and true words of Jesus. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15:13). Then He went out and laid down His holy and sinless life for His friends. 

What more can I say eh? Not a whole lot. I can only ask, are you Jesus’ Friend?  Much LOVE!

…and Jesus’ definition of friends…ye are my friends…if ye do whatsoever I command you… (John 15:14)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2014 Romans 5:8.

Romans 5:8.  But God commendeth (demonstrates) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Well well mih breddren, it’s Wednesday…! We’re halfway home in our workweek race…and we’re winning too! So please don’t let up, keep the pedal to the metal (smile) and just keep on doing whatever has been working for you so far.

Our omnipotent and merciful God is still on the throne, still in control, and He has the lives of all His children in good standing, calmly and blessedly working out His glorious plan for their good.

And all God’s children boldly and gratefully declared: ‘All praise and thanks be to the Lord our God, who in His great unconditional LOVE reconciled us to Himself, through the sacrifice of His son Jesus, while we were yet sinners!’

Oh what a truly wonderful and glorious God we serve and worship, my people!

And if by sad chance, you don’t happen to know that awesome Deity, or don’t know Him well enough, then here’s a li’l something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional to help you ‘Learn to Know God.’

Please acclaim with me: ‘Dear Jesus, I’ve got to get to know you better. Please help me! I can feel my spiritual and emotional walls crack. I can hear old chains break. I can feel my heart opening like a heavy door whose ancient seals have just begun to break.

I can sense the footsteps of Jesus walking into my life. I am beginning to experience the joy of a soul that is being saved, a life that is being born again. Thank You, Lord! Life’s not fair, but God is good. Amen.’

And if you said that prayer sincerely, then you will indeed feel all those old walls and encumbrances breaking down, falling apart, as Jesus fully enters your life. Wow Friends, our God is truly awesome, truly something else yes! 

And Bruh Paul points it out so clearly in our Bit: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrates) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’

And all God’s children declared a loud and thankful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All thanks and praise be to the Lamb who was slain for us!’ Yes my people, we can never repay, or thank Jesus enough for dying in our place.

As the scholars explain it: ‘5:8. Christ died for us: His death was vicarious. That is, He did not die merely for our benefit but in our place. His was a substitutionary sacrifice.’

That means we don’t have to die again for our sins; Jesus’ death paid for everything! Glory Be! And that’s why I can’t understand why so many people today are running away from Jesus instead of running towards Him.

But yuh know what my brethren, it all stemmed from the Father’s great LOVE for us! He didn’t have to send Jesus to the cross on our behalf nuh, He could just have left us to wallow in our abominable sins and end up in death and eternal separation from Him.

But His undying LOVE for us, His greatest creation, was so strong, it outweighed the grief, losing us would have caused Him. So in His vast, unending wisdom, He devised a plan to give us access to His holiness, righteousness and justice. Now, offering His One Son as a sacrifice hurt Him too, but He considered it the lesser of two evils.

As Jesus so boldly proclaims in a scripture we all know: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16)

Oh Friends, I can’t think of a greater sacrifice than that; a Father giving up His only Son for a bunch of obnoxious, sinful ingrates!

But then again, as Jesus so poignantly declares: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) Then He went out and died for us to prove it.

Friends, Jesus put His money where His mouth was, are we doing the same? I certainly hope so, because there’s a very important addendum to that statement He made above there. ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ (John 15:14)

Yes my fellow believers, we can only be His true friends if we are obedient to His commands! If we are disobedient to His dictates, then we are not His friends. And that’s quite logical. It doesn’t make sense my dying for you, if you won’t live for me.

Now here’s an interesting bit of scripture on the subject from Peter, with which we’ll close today’s proceedings. Peter talks somewhat graphically about Christ’s suffering.

‘Who in his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes (wounds) ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of your souls.’ (1 Pet.2:24-25)

Oh my people, please, let’s put that on our plate to ponder on today nuh. Let that image of Christ on the cross be in our mind’s eye today, as we journey through life in this sinful and ungodly world, being His friend, doing as He commands, remembering that it was by His ‘sufferation’ that we were made whole, and given a once in a lifetime chance to return to the safe and LOVING fold of our great God and Creator: Yahweh! Much LOVE!

…friends stand by each other…so let’s stand by Jesus…as He stood by us two thousand years ago…and still stands by us everyday…

P.S. Oh Friends, it’s so short and sweet today! Glory be! So no complaints from the penny section. (smile) Much LOVE!

P.S.S. Would you believe that as soon as I was ready to send out the Bit, the ole computer froze on me. Chuh! It sure is trying to drive me crazy! But with the awesome help of Jesus, I won’t allow it to do so. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2014 John 15:13

John 15:13.   Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

One more day Friends, one more day! Wow! We’ve been granted life anew for another day, so let’s use it wisely please. Let’s use it like the present God desires it to be, with all the new mercies, blessings, forgiveness and LOVE that He’s showering down on us.
 
Let’s keep our focus on God: praise and serve Him diligently and sincerely, and do the works He desires of us. He has given us all we need to accomplish the tasks on our task sheets, so there should be no serious problems involved.
 
But if perchance, one does crop up, we have the freedom, or rather we’re expected to call on Him for assistance, which He’ll never refuse, once we’re sincere. For as Jesus says in His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30)
 
So my fellow believers, with those words of comfort and encouragement bubbling in our souls, let’s not allow anything or anyone to cause us anxiety, fear or worry today. Let’s stand strong in the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour, and try our very best to make a positive difference in this crazy, troubled world in which we now live.
 
That’s what Jesus desires of us! And remember that He is indeed our be all and end all! He is our Healer, our Helper, our Redeemer and our Friend! What more can we ask eh? Nothing really.
 
So let’s look at our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
 
And it’s worth repeating and remembering that after He spoke those purposeful words, He went out and died for us at Calvary… as Friends, not servants.
 
And we’ll continue looking at the interplay of ‘friends and friendships’ as found in the Good Book. Then there was Job and his supposed friends. They ostensibly came to comfort him in his sorrow and grief, but unfortunately ended up beating him down emotionally, claiming that his hidden sins had caused his disastrous experience.
 
And God’s wrath was kindled against them, because they had not spoken rightly of Him as His servant Job had done, and He commanded them to repent and offer burnt offerings.  (Job 42:7-9)
 
But hear this: ‘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)
 
Yes my people, the Lord turned Job’s adversity around when he prayed for his friends, and also worked some serious miracles on his behalf, blessing him with twice as much as he had lost. Oh how good our God is to us!
 
That brings us to this rather important point; the importance of praying for others, even when they’ve done us wrong. I know that’s sometimes pretty hard to do, but it’s required of believers.
 
Jesus said it loud and clear: ‘But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you; That ye may be children (sons) of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.’ (Matt.5:44-45)
 
So if you ought to pray for your enemies, it’s logical to assume that you ought to pray for your friends and fellow believers too. (smile)
 
Now let’s look at some wisdom of Cousin Sol, re ‘friends and friendships’ as divined in Proverbs. He declares first of all that: ‘The poor is hated even of (by) his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends (the LOVERS of the rich are many).’ (Prov.14:20)
 
And isn’t that the gospel truth! The scholars explain it thus: ’14:20-21. Social standing is improved with riches, but the good neighbour will have concern for all, regardless of their status.’ That’s how it ought to be, but sadly in this topsy-turvy world of ours, we still look down on the poor and up at the rich.
 
And here’s a fitting companion to that Proverb. ‘Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour (friend).’ (Prov.19:4) 
 

And we see that everyday. Many of us have also experienced it. When times are good and we are rolling in plenty, we have plenty supposed friends around us, but as soon as the good times stop flowing, they all disappear.
 
Now listen to these Proverbs. ‘A froward (perverse) man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief (the best of) friends.’ (Prov.16:28) Or as the scholars say: ’16:28. Gossip destroys friendships.’ That we all know and have experienced too.
 
Here is a companion to that one. ‘He that covereth a transgression seeketh LOVE; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very (the best of) friends.’ (Prov.17:9) More reflections on gossip.
 
Then we have this bit of wisdom. ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly (may come to ruin): and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov.18:24)
 
The scholars explain that this way: ’18:24. A man that hath friends must show himself friendly may also be translated, “A man of many friends comes to ruin.” In other words, a man must not spread himself too thin among many superficial relationships. Far better it is to have genuine friends who become like family and LOVE at all times. (17:17).’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my people! It surely is!
 
And we’ll close with this priceless gem of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.’ (Prov.27:17)
 
Mama Mia! Wisdom from heaven Friends!
 
The scholars explain it thus: ’27:17. As the proper tool shapes and sharpens iron for its desired use, so a man sharpens his friend morally and intellectually by their personal friendship.’
 
Now that’s the kind of friends we need to have and need to be! Friends, who encourage, comfort, exhort, educate and uplift each other in as many walks of life as possible.
 
So let’s go out today and be that kind of friend nuh mih people. It could only make our world a better place for our children and us. Much LOVE!
 
…the fewer the friends…the less possibility of strife and troublesome friendships…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2014 John 15:13

John 15:13.  Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 
 
Oh Friends, like the world renowned Canadian balladeer, Gordon Lightfoot says in his old song: ‘Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.’ And it looks like we’re going to have a rainy day Monday today.
 
But you know what? We don’t have to let those rainy day Mondays, or any other kind of days, get us down, because we have the omnipotent Spirit of the Living God, and the unbridled passion of Jesus living within us, and they can certainly drive away every fear and care! And that’s the gospel truth my people, as so many of us can testify to!
 
So when you get up this morning and come face to face with the gloomy, rainy, chilly weather, please don’t get too upset. It’s just one of those days where the sailing might not be as smooth as you like, but remember Jesus is in the boat with you, and if things get really bad, He will rise and calm the storm.
 
Consequently, on this rainy October morn, let’s all say a loud and cheerful, ‘TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday, and we’re alive to tell the tale!’ (smile) Now before anybody starts chirping and calling me crazy, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty chutzpah, so that the dark clouds hanging over our spirits will disappear.
 
All together 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!’
 
Wow Friends! That was particularly good for such a rainy, miserable Monday! (smile) That means our faith is getting stronger with each passing day. Glory Hallelujah! And now with our motors running smoothly, let’s get out and show the enemy what’s what, in Jesus’ name.
 
All the while not forgetting those momentous words that Jesus spoke in our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
 
And today we’ll continue looking at Bible verses re friends and friendship, beginning with a couple more Friends of God. Here’s what the Good Book says about Moses, after the Israelites, in their impatience and stubbornness had made the golden calf as an idol of worship, (Ex.32) while Moses was up the mountain getting the Ten Commandments.  
 
The Lord commanded him to move the tabernacle from out of the camp, calling it the Tabernacle of the congregation. ‘And it came to pass, that everyone which sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.
 
And it came to pass, when Moses went out into the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle.
 
And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.
 
And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.’ (Ex.33:7-11)
 
Yes my brethren, the Lord spoke to Moses face to face like a friend, with trust, dignity, faithfulness and integrity! Those are the qualities inherent in true friends. Do we possess those qualities, and do those we consider our friends, possess them? That’s of the utmost importance in these crucial and critical times. Therefore we need to be very careful who we let into our inner sanctuary.
 
That brings us to another Friend of God, Bruh David. The Lord valued Bruh David so highly that after Saul had done wrong by usurping the priest’s duties and offering burnt offerings, (1 Sam.13:9-10) Samuel told him. ‘But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.’ (1 Sam.13:14)
 
Bruh David was described as a man after God’s own heart! Wow! Can you imagine that my people? And note, at a very tender age too. As far as I’m concerned, there can be no higher accolade given to a mortal man. That’s better than being called a friend, because friends don’t always agree or see things the same way. But when you have the heart of God, it means you continually see things the way He does.
 
And what’s important to notice in those relationships my fellow believers, is that neither man was an angel; Moses was considered a murderer and Bruh David an adulterer, but they still found favour in God’s eyes, that means there’s hope for all of us yet. (smile)
 
And we’ll stop there for today… don’t want to disrupt your busy, short attention spans and schedules. (smile) So till we meet again tomorrow, the Lord willing, let’s just go out and sincerely and diligently do our best nuh, because that’s all the Lord asks of us. Much LOVE!
 
…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) says…the best way to live life… is to simply obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…and that’s indisputable truth…

 

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2014 John 15:13

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 
And then Friends, it was Sunday, the first day of the week!
 
That means it is supposed to be a restful kind of day, including a trip to the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship with other believers, give God His praise and thanks that’s so well deserved, and get encouragement and strengthened faith from the gathering to keep on keeping on in Jesus’ name.
 
It also should encompass some quality family and/or friend time; all the while keeping our souls open to Jesus. As I keep reminding us, the way we spend the first day of the week, is usually a harbinger of how the rest of the week will unfold.
 
So if we have a busy, stressful /Sunday, then Monday will no doubt open with stress and fatigue, complaining and whining, as we have to get up and go out to labour, and the week will probably go all downhill from there.
 
However, if we spend Sunday in prayerful peace, we at least wake up rested and renewed on Monday. Then, at least we’re starting from the top and going downhill, which is always easier than starting from the bottom and having to trudge up hill.
 
And with those words of wisdom (smile) – hope you adopt them – let’s get to our Bit, the same as yesterday. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
 
And again, I will remind us, that not as servants, but as valued Friends, Jesus then went out and died for us on Calvary’s cross!
 
I therefore can’t emphasize enough, how important it is that we recognize and truly appreciate His selfless sacrifice at Calvary, for it was indeed the beginning of all our good fortune, which stemmed exclusively from the great LOVE of our heavenly Father, who desperately wanted us to be brought back in to right standing with Him.
 
It’s just like we bend over backwards sometimes with our wayward children whom we LOVE dearly and want to see get back to the right path and right standing with us.
 
Now today we’ll deal with some scriptures that highlight friendship; what it is supposed to be, and as time permits, also look at some friendships, both good and bad, from the Good Book.
 
And first off is the wisdom of Cousin Sol, telling us from Proverbs, what a friend, and friendship ought to be. Listen up closely my brethren. (smile) ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born of adversity.’ (Prov.17:17)
 
And that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be my people! As the scholars declare: ’17:17. A true friend has unquenchable LOVE that is not diminished by adversity.’
 
But today, unfortunately, as we all know, that kind of true friendship doesn’t exist as much as it used to. Now friends are only friends when times are good. When they are rough and you need support, you’ll usually find yourself alone, because all you really had were good times friends.
 
However my people, let’s look at what a true friendship ought to be like. It begins with Jehovah God’s covenant with Abraham in chapter 17 of Genesis, where He establishes Abraham as the father of His Chosen People.
 
And we all know the story of Abraham’s tumultuous but interesting pilgrimage throughout the land, and how throughout it all, he stayed faithful and true to God, and God also remained faithful and true to him.
 
It was such a great friendship that centuries later, king Jehoshaphat of Judah, when besieged by foreign armies, could cry out to God: ‘Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever?’ (2 Chr.20:7)
 
Then Isaiah, in talking of the final restoration of Israel, declares: ‘But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, my friend.’ (Is.41:8)
 
And later on, James, the half-brother of Jesus, who only believed at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, in talking about faith without works, boldly proclaims: ‘But wilt thou know (but do you want to know), O vain (foolish) man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
 
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works (was working), and by works was faith made perfect (complete)? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed (accounted) unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.’ (James 2:20-23)
 
Yes my brethren, that is what a true friendship ought to be like. Abraham is so revered, that even when we speak of God, and we qualify it by saying, the God of Abraham, everyone knows whom we’re talking about.
 
So today my people, as we fellowship and worship, peacefully rest in prayerful meditation, let’s consider the words ‘friend and friendship.’ Let’s ponder what they mean to us, then on that basis, ponder who our true friends might be in this earthly life, as well as who we might be true friends to.
 
And lastly, let’s ask the Lord for his help, so that at the end of our earthly pilgrimage, our faith and works will be of such excellence and integrity, that we too will be called the Friend of God! That’s the zenith of wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…oh…to be considered…a Friend of the Lord…and a Man after His own heart…that is my greatest desire…

 

Previous Older Entries