Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 July 2018 Matthew 19:14.

Matthew 19:14.   But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven.

                               HAPPY  4TH  OF  JULY  U. S. OF A !

Oh friends, this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it nuh! And you ask why? Because it’s the wisest and most sensible thing to do…And because that’s why the Lord made it…And because that’s why Jesus died, so we could have life and have it more abundantly….And abundantly means plentiful. So if we don’t enjoy each and every day that we’re alive, we’re just wasting Jesus’ sacrificial death. 

And having settled that argument (smile) let’s move on to wishing the U.S. of A, a very Happy 4th of July, Independence Day. Now they are a tad older than us in Canada, 242 to 150, but in terms of age, compared to other European and Asian countries they are still young pups. 

And for all you believing celebrants down there, please don’t forget Granny’s warning: Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. That’s right, we don’t want to give Lucifer even a li’l toenail entrance into our spirits. (smile) Because if he gets even that, he’ll just settle himself there and unobtrusively dig and dig and dig until he gets right into our lives and spoil them. 

Anyway, like us, down south they will be having a scorching, steamy day to celebrate one of their biggest holidays. Let’s hope there are no negative happenings to mar the day. What with the current state of confusion and divisiveness that’s overshadowing the country. And I know one place that will be definitely feeling the heat is out in Northern California where firefighters are battling a wildfire, hampered by winds of up to 25 miles (40 km) per hour. 

Ah mih people, let’s pray for them, and the country as a whole, because they are certainly mired in some deep and uncharted waters, and only the Lord in His grace, mercy and forgiveness can extricate them without even more strife and hatred than what’s already being experienced.  

And here is a li’l something from the Daily Bread Devotions that dovetails nicely with what we’re talking about; joy in our spirits. Please pray with me. ‘Father in heaven, please restore to us the childlike joy that appreciates your good gifts.’ 

And do we ever need to have a childlike appreciation of God’s great gifts to us my brethren! We’ve become so hardhearted and worldly, taking all that God has given us so much for granted, that most of us can’t even recognize those excellent gifts again. 

But please remember what Jesus said, and how He rebuked the disciples when they tried to stop children from coming to Him. ‘But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven.’ 

Yeh friends, heaven is made up of people with childlike faith and joy! And besides, you really can’t believe in and about Jesus until you experience simple faith and trust like that exhibited in children. Yuh see how your children trust you to take care of them and not to abuse and mistreat them, even though their small and undeveloped minds don’t understand what’s really going on? 

Well it’s the same way we have to accept Jesus in simple, childlike fashion, if we are going to grow in faith and produce good fruit in His name. And please remember His immortal words when the disciples came and asked Him about the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 

‘And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them. And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 

And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me. But whoso shall offend (cause to sin) one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.’ (Matt.18:2-6) 

Extremely strong words my brethren! And if Jesus used them, then they must be true. So to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must be converted, (born again) and become humble and obedient like little children. And just like He said about the poor and needy, if you receive a young believer with open arms, it’s like you are receiving Him. However, if you cause one of those young believers to go astray, then your punishment will be great. 

So friends, the long and short of the story is that believers ought to be humble, obedient, sincere and kind to others, including strangers. If we are not those things, then we are simply fooling ourselves, and when Jesus comes to His throne, unfortunately, we will be numbered amongst the goats who will be thrown into outer darkness. 

Now that is a situation we definitely don’t want to experience. So please, let’s use the wisdom that God has so generously granted us and do whatever it takes to be numbered amongst the sheep that will dwell serenely in heaven with Jesus for all time nuh. And for those of us who have already made that wisest of all decisions, let’s go home proclaiming to all the world, our enviable situation in Christ. 

Altogether 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 because Jesus promised it, we know that eternity with Him will indeed be glorious. Much LOVE!

…it’s not always easy to have childlike faith…but to be a sincere Christian…it is essential…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2018 Zechariah 4:6b.

Zechariah 4:6b.   Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

‘Heat wave! It’s a heat wave! Yes a heat wave!’ Ah friends, the summer heat wave continues on this Tuesday morning after our hearty Canada Day celebrations, and the reality of work hits us once again. (smile) And I believe the searing heat might continue all week. As they say, be careful of what you wish for. We wished for summer weather, and we’re getting truly summer weather. 

That brings me to a poem I want to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s called ‘The Task’, and it resembles our reality so much that I just had to share it. Please read with me: ‘Lord, You give me a task So utterly impossible So totally beyond comprehension – The very thought of it Startles me. I want to run hide escape Anything, Lord. 

Then you electrify me You invade and permeate me You penetrate every fibre of me Until the task is accomplished By your own magnificent power. Then you praise the performance Your creativity achieved And you reward me beyond expectation – As though I had done it All by myself My Father.’ 

Oh precious people of God, isn’t that just how our wonderful heavenly Father behaves! He gives us something to do that seems impossible and we want to run and hide, escape somehow from doing it because it just boggles our imagination. But then, in His LOVING-kindness, our Father steps in and lends a hand, guides us, and sometimes does most of the hard work, until we accomplish the seemingly impossible task He assigned us. 

And then, wonder of wonders, He gives us much praise and glory and reward, as though we had done it all on our lonesome! Wow! How wonderful is He eh! 

Mankind always want to take the glory for what they do, but our heavenly Father shares it with us, so that we can be encouraged and grow in faith and LOVE, because in the natural, we can’t do very much on our own. That’s why He never gives us more than we can do, and when our tasks seem overwhelming, He steps in and helps us to accomplish them. Now that’s the kind of God I can LOVE and revere, and praise and give thanks to! 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today, the awesome verse from the prophet Zechariah: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ 

Yes my faithful breddren, our omnipotent God from way back when, does most of His work quietly and efficiently through the third part of the Holy Trinity; the Holy Spirit that now indwells us. You won’t see a lot of huffing and puffing and exaggerated action, just a cool and powerful mystique as it were. That just shows the awesome power that resides in the Godhead that we serve and worship! And so it should be, otherwise there’s no reason to worship it. 

Now hear this scripture from Hosea that emphasizes God’s unreal power. Per the unfaithful people of Judah, He promised: ‘But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.’ (Hos.1:7) 

Glory be mih people! The Lord doesn’t have to use man, nor animals, nor manmade implements to fight and win battles for us! He simply uses His Holy Spirit; what I term the Worker Bee of the Holy Trinity, because He does ALL the work that’s necessary in the Father’s domain. 

But unfortunately too many of us don’t pay sufficient attention to the Holy Spirit, even though He now dwells in us and is there to lead and guide us in righteousness. That’s why we so often go astray. The problem is that the Holy Spirit will not shout and bark at us, but will gently whisper to our spirit, letting us know what’s right from wrong. So if we don’t listen carefully, and don’t know the word, it’s easy to bypass the Spirit’s guiding. 

That’s why it’s so essential my brethren to know God’s word and to pay attention to what His Spirit is saying and doing within us, because that’s how He generally communicates with us. It’s all through the Holy Spirit friends! So to grow and mature in the faith, we need to be more circumspect in listening to and learning of and from the hard working Spirit of God that lives in us and is continually sharing the Father’s intentions with us. 

And it just doesn’t happen overnight, or by osmosis, (smile) but by diligent study and sincere determination. So true wisdom dictates that we start paying better and more serious attention to what the Holy Spirit is doing within us. End of sermon! 

Now for those of us who are serious about communicating with the Father through His Spirit, let’s go home today declaring our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the world who and whose we are. 

In one, strong and enthusiastic voice 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!’ 

And as always, the corollary to that mantra is to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…the Spirit of God works within us…to show us the intentions of God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 August 2017 Proverbs 9:10.

Proverbs 9:10.   The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (Holy One) is understanding.

Awright mih breddren, the big Caribana party done now! Is time to get back to some serious living, and concentrate on winning back this evil world for Jesus! 

As Cousin Sol so wisely and rightly says: ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.’ (Eccl.3:1) Glory be, my people! 

And is it ever a glorious morning out there; both the Sun and the SON are shining in all their brilliant splendour! Wow! 

And when that happens you know for a fact that our great God, Jehovah, is still on His heavenly throne and still in control of the universe He created!  Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And all God’s children responded with a loud and grateful: ‘O heavenly Father, on this beautiful Tuesday morning we give you everlasting thanks and praise for all Your LOVING-kindness to us. 

We bless Your Holy Name, we exalt and glorify You and pray that You will continue blessing and protecting us even if we don’t deserve it. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, we do serve and worship an incredibly merciful and LOVING God! And there’s NONE OTHER like Him; the ONE and ONLY true LIVING GOD! 

Let’s never forget that and keep living in His will and giving Him thanks and praise on a continual basis, for that’s why He created us. 

Now here is our Bit, the same as yesterday. ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (Holy One) is understanding.’ 

Oh friends, that is such an important aspect of our faith that we can’t just deal with it in one day. In fact it’s the very basis of our Christian faith! Without the reverential awe of God, we simply cannot gain an understanding of what He is all about. 

That’s why Cousin Sol says the getting of true wisdom, that which comes from God, and not from man, is so important for all believers. For then and only then can we grow in the faith and worship of our heavenly Father. 

If you don’t know what He’s about, then you obviously can’t do Him and His word proper justice. And that’s why Cousin Sol wrote the Book of Proverbs: ‘To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive (understand or discern) the words of understanding: To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgement, and equity: To give subtilty (prudence) to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.’ (Prov.1:2-4) 

And what does all of that mean? Let’s hear the scholar’s explanations. ‘1:2: Wisdom is the key word of the book and basically means “skill in living.” It is used in the Old Testament to refer to a physical skill such as tailoring (Ex.28:3), metalwork and woodwork (Ex.31:3-6), spinning (Ex.35:26); engraving and designing (Ex.35:35), and warfare (Is.10:13). 

Used metaphorically, as in Proverbs, it refers to the skill to live life successfully. Instruction refers to moral discipline of one’s life, not to classroom instruction. Understanding means the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.’ 

So yuh see friends, wisdom is simply how to live a successful life, and the best way to acquire that knowledge is from the One who created us. 

And the scholars continue: ‘1:3: Wisdom, a different Hebrew word from that used in verse 2, means “wise behaviour,” “wise dealing,” “good sense.” Justice is the same words as righteousness and refers to conformity to God’s law. Judgement is a legal term used of a judge’s verdict and refers to right behaviour. Equity is fairness in one’s dealings with others.’ 

‘1:4:The simple are naïve young people open to any influence, among the chief addressees in the book. Knowledge means the apprehension of reality, including an experiential knowledge of God. Discretion refers to the power of formulating and carrying out the right measures.’ 

Ah mih people, it all tells us that living a successful life is not easy, even with the wisdom of God. However, one cannot live a successful life WITHOUT the wisdom of God! 

And you can only acquire that wisdom when you spend serious time with Him, read His word, and live life the way He wants. Remember He is the Creator, the BOSS, and we are mere servants. A lot of us seem to forget that crucial distinction. 

And what happens when we sincerely seek to acquire wisdom. Cousin Sol says: ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning: and a man of understanding shall attain unto (acquire) wise counsels:’ (Prov.1:5) In other words, both the ‘wise as well as the untaught can learn from this book (Proverbs).’ 

And we need to remember friends, that Cousin Sol was talking here not from mere hearsay, but he actually lived that life, even to showing how to be foolish at the end, by moving away from the God who had blessed him so much.

So please, let’s be wise and sow those seeds deep in our hearts, bodies, souls and minds, that we can live successful lives. Now, as we always do on a Tuesday, let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, telling the evil and ungodly world just who and whose we are. 

‘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!’ 

Action stations my people! Much LOVE!

…sharing the LOVE of God…is a Christian’s bounden duty…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2017 Psalm 119:34.

Psalm 119:34.   Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!

Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy One fiftieth Dear Canada! Happy Birthday to You! Yeh friends, Canada is one hundred and fifty years old today! 

That takes us back to July 1. 1867 when the British North America Act was signed, paving the way for the Confederation of the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to become the Dominion of Canada. And what a colourful history it has complied over the years; both good and bad, and is now aspiring to move to the forefront in this new technological age. 

And regardless of what anybody else says or thinks, I will keep on saying that right now, it is the best big country in the world. Matter done! (smile) 

So let’s move on to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of this past week nuh, as he tries to inspire us to a better tomorrow. And this first one is rather appropriate. ‘Start your day in a positive way.’ Simple and to the point my brethren! There’s no better way to begin our day than on a positive note. 

And that leads us to this long one. ‘Mindfully move through your day. When you spend your time in the present moment then it becomes so much easier to access positive emotions and to stay practical about what you can actually do about something in your life.’ 

But it’s true. We need to live much more in the present than in the past or the future. What did Jesus say, words to the effect that we should not worry about the future, but more about today, for tomorrow will take care of itself. (Matt.6:34) 

That then leads to this wise advice. ‘Exercise regularly and eat and sleep well.’ Now that is godly wisdom that too many of us refuse to follow in this oh so busy world, where everything is go, go, go! And the big pharma companies and shrinks are making a killing on all the therapy, drugs and over the counter stuff we use to counter the effects of poor sleeping, eating and exercising habits. 

And this last quote is very useful: ‘Learn to take criticism in a healthy way.’ But we need to take it with a grain of salt, because there are a lot of folks out there who just like to criticize, but don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. And it’s getting even worse with all the social media and evolving technology, where everybody is a critic. So just make sure you listen to someone who has something productive to offer. 

And there is no better way of acquiring discernment than by following the advice of our Bit and sincerely asking the Lord: ‘Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.’ 

Yeh friends, when you have the wisdom of God flowing through you, accentuated by His Holy Spirit, you can work wonders and move mountains! And how do we come by that awesome wisdom of God? 

Listen as James explains it. ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Oh my brethren, godly wisdom is easy to come by, we just have to ask the Lord for it, but we have to do so in strong faith, not doubting. Jesus said: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt.7:7-8) 

Yes my fellow believers, we need to sincerely ask and seek and knock, otherwise we won’t receive much. And James admonishes us when he talks about worldliness’ and pride. ‘Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (murder), and desire to have (covet), and cannot obtain: ye fight and war (battle), yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures).’ (James 4:2-3) 

Oh friends, it’s all right there in black and white: we don’t receive because we don’t ask, and when we do ask, we ask for the wrong things, things that are not in the will of God! And it’s obvious that if we ask for things outside of God’s will, He will not grant them to us. So we try to do stuff on our own and fail miserably. What a waste of time and effort friends, when we could be getting good things from God. 

And you know it all boils right back down to Jesus’ advice: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) And I can tell you from personal experience my fellow believers, once you sincerely try living for God, there won’t be a whole lot of things you’ll have to ask Him for. He will provide most of what you need at the time you need it. 

As I keep saying, my only problem with the Lord is His timing. Now I know without a doubt that He will show up on time, but too often He waits for the last minute! But I guess that’s just another way to test our faith. 

Oh friends, our God is a good God; or rather a most excellent God! You just have to surrender your life to Him, trust Him and have faith in the promises in His word. And as you grow in faith, you’ll see the wonders He works in your life. 

Right now the Lord has me on a merry-go-round of sickness, and I believe that He will eventually work it all out for my good, but what took me by surprise, and what has endeared Him even more to me, is that even in these times of trial, He is also helping to bring the desires of my heart to fruition!  

And those are the desires that He placed there! So how can I not LOVE Him then eh mih breddren and try my best to please Him?  And He will do the same for you, if you give yourself, heart, body and soul to Him. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, for He knows He made us as imperfect beings, but He does ask for obedience, above all things. Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) so eloquently puts it…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

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

Lo and behold friends, it’s already Wednesday, the middle of the workweek! These days sure are passing by quickly, and in another couple, summer should officially be upon us. 

That ought to make us happy up here in the colder climes. What a way we look forward to the hot and humid days of summer eh, after months of cold, depressing winter. But then we also complain that the summer’s too hot and humid! (smile) How to please us eh? 

Apparently we can’t be truly pleased. We are like our nowadays children, who, despite their abundance of toys, nonetheless get bored with them very quickly, and keep wanting something new to hold their short attention spans. 

That’s why some of us supposed Christians never grow in faith. We look upon Christianity as a toy, or something that will automatically bring us health, wealth and fame. But nothing is further from the truth friends. 

Of course you can become, healthy, wealthy and famous as a Christian, but that is not the reason for it all. And Christianity desires lots of perseverance, endurance, patience and oftimes much suffering and struggle. 

It’s not an easy row to hoe, especially when confronted by the many wiles and evil schemes of the devious enemy, who have set out to purposely discombobulate us. 

Consequently, many Christians fall by the wayside, because they don’t have the internal parts to run the hard race that’s set before them. But my people, if we are to be successful in the running of this earthly race, then we have to make certain preparations and hold on tightly to certain things. 

Now over the last couple of days we’ve been talking about the spiritual warfare in which we automatically enter in when we become followers of Jesus Christ. The enemy targets us, puts a big bull’s eye on our backs, once we’ve accepted Christ as our Lord and Saviour. 

And yesterday, as we saw from our Bit, one of the necessities for fighting this war is having on the protective armour of God at all times. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, without God’s armour in our possession, we’re like sitting ducks for Lucifer and his evil cohorts. But with it on, and the strength of the Lord flowing through us…oh my people, we can battle like you won’t believe. Glory to God! 

And since some of you might be wondering what this glorious armour consists of, let’s listen to Bruh Paul as he explains it to the Ephesians after our Bit. ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your loins) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

Yes friends, those are the things we call the armour of God, with which we can fight the devil mano-a-mano, giving no ground whatsoever! 

Now let’s get a brief synopsis of all that. Having our loins girded with truth is basically having on a belt of truth, which is knowledge of the word of God. 

The scholars tell us: ‘The ancient soldier’s loins (“waist”) were girt about with a leather belt which held most of the other pieces of his armour in place. Similarly, the other pieces of the Christian’s armour depend on, and are held in place by his spiritual “belt” or his knowledge of the truth of Scripture.’ 

There we have it precious people of God! The first and most important piece of armour is knowing the truth of God’s word! We can’t put up any resistance until we have God’s truth firmly entrenched in our souls, since that is the basic reason for our war; the truth of God, versus the lies of the enemy. 

Then we need to put on ‘The breastplate of righteousness,’ which the scholars say ‘may be read “the breastplate which is righteousness.” It represents a holy character and moral conduct. Obedience to the “truth” known produces a godly life (“righteousness”).’ 

Now there is much more stuff to talk about re God’s armour, but unfortunately we’ve run out of time and space. But tune in tomorrow and we’ll continue it. In the meanwhile, please ponder on what we’ve already talked about; the first priority of knowing the truth of God’s word, and then putting it into action with a godly, moral lifestyle. 

Now let’s go home declaring the truth that’s in our hearts via our Wednesday Wail. Wailing all: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

Ah mih people, what bliss it is to be in league with Jesus! Now let’s go out and share that joy with those who unfortunately don’t know Him. Much LOVE!

…a soldier of Christ…desperately needs God’s armour…to successfully fight his Christian war…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2016 Philippian 3:13.

Philippians 3:13.   Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

Well mih people, the long Christmas weekend is finally over, and it’s time to get back to some semblance of normalcy, especially where work is concerned. Some of us might even have forgotten how to do our jobs having being off for so long. (smile) 

But not to worry, our great God is still in control of His universe and everything will fall into place as He decrees it. But we still have to get one more holiday out of the way, New Years Eve. 

Hn! And sometimes that can be even more deadly than the Christmas cheer, since it’s an out and out party scene. The coming of a new year changes nothing, for most of our resolutions get thrown by the wayside soon thereafter. But I guess it’s just a way to party hearty and fool ourselves. 

Anyway, enough of throwing my cold water on the New Year’s Eve celebrations, (smile) for the Christmas season is still with us. And please friends, when we go back out to work today, let’s keep that sense of Christmas, that sense of peace and goodwill to all, still burning bright nuh. 

Let’s not be like the radio stations; as soon as Christmas day is past, they stop playing Christmas music, but let’s continue sharing all the good things that Christ’s birth brought. Now before we get into our Bit, let’s check out a couple verses before it, so that we can have some idea of the context in which Bruh Paul is speaking. 

In verse 10, he declares: ‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. (Phil.3:10) Bruh Paul wants to personally know Christ so that he can experience His resurrection power and share in His sufferings, which will make him more conformable to Christ’s death. 

‘If by any means I might attain unto (arrive at) the resurrection of the dead.’ (Phil.3:11) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘3:11. If by any means I might attain means “in order that I may attain” the resurrection from the dead. Like the preceding verse, this one also contains a literal and a non-literal interpretation. 

Paul is eager to become more like Jesus in His death (v.10) so that he can (1) progressively experience more of the believer’s resurrection life to be enjoyed now (“newness of life,” Rom.6:4), and (2) so that he can someday undergo physical resurrection from the grave, thus experiencing God’s power in one of its greatest aspects.’ 

And he continues: ‘Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am also apprehended of Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:12) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:12. Paul denies that he has already attained his objective of verse 10 and 11. That objective is to know Christ and all that is in included in this knowledge, that is experiencing His power, sharing His sufferings, being made like Jesus in death, and experiencing resurrection from the dead. 

At this point in his life the apostle does know Christ, but not to the full extent possible. He has experienced His power, but not to the degree he desires. He has been made like Jesus in His death, but he can still die more to sin and self. He does “walk in newness of life,” but there is room for improvement. 

Either were already perfect: Unlike the perfectionists who claim to be sinless in this life, Paul admits that he is not. If the chief of the apostles does not feel he has “arrived” spiritually, then neither should we. 

I follow after…Christ Jesus. Christ “laid hold of” Paul on the Damascus road for the very objective mentioned in verses 10 and 11: “to know him.” Paul concedes that he has not yet realized this goal to the full extent possible, but he is in hot pursuit of it.’ 

Ah friends, I hope that we too are in hot pursuit of knowing Jesus, for it’s the only that makes sense in a Christian’s life. 

And finally, we come to our Bit. ‘Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Oh mih people, Bruh Paul was certainly something else yes. Whatever he pursued, he pursued with lots of zeal. I only hope that we could have half of his zeal as we live our lives for Christ in these modern but evil and ungodly times. 

Now hear what the scholars have to say about that verse. 3:13. Those things which are behind refers both to his religious credentials (vs.5-6), now counted as “loss” (v.7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. 

In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. 

Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life.’ 

Oh friends, I know that the Bit is long, somewhat heavy and confusing this morning, (smile) but it is essential that as we grow in faith we also grow in scriptural knowledge. And that can only be done by taking time to read and study and meditate on God’s word. 

The important thing is that we truly want to know God, Bruh Paul style, so please let’s get serious about it and truly delve in to it, stop merely playing around the fringes. Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday wail with much zest and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

Now please let’s go out and put all that we’ve said today into action, as true believers. Much LOVE my people!

…we can only know Jesus…if we work steadily and steadfastly with Him…forgetting what has gone before and looking to the future with Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 December 2016 1 Peter 4:12.

1 Peter 4:12.   Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

Aloha friends, and family, Aloha! Is Friday one more time… And as expected, the place is already hopping in expectation of a wild and wicked weekend, especially with Christmas time in the air. 

Yeh, mih people, all around the place yuh hearing the usual ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank God for the weekend in this Christmas season, where we going to eat and drink and party fuh so…and even fall down drunk sometimes too! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend, come Christmas time!’ 

And believe me, this time when we celebrate the birth of Christ, is used to cover a lot of debauchery and licentiousness. But thankfully, we believers know better, we know the true reason for the season; the birth of Christ, and we celebrate it in a much more godly manner, don’t just use it as an excuse to party. 

Anyway, since it’s Friday let’s chant our Friday Chant, which shows a better standard of behaviour in the use of the weekend. As one now: ‘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 friends, that’s a much better way to spend the weekend, getting some balance and restoration in our souls, without which we won’t be able to do Christ’s work in the excellent manner that He expects from His followers. 

Now let’s get to our Bit, which a lot of believers still can’t fathom. (smile) ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ 

Ah mih people, working for Jesus does not come easy, for at times, much of them unexpected, we are put through the fire to test our mettle, to see how our faith matches up with the words we speak and the behaviour we display. And it’s never easy to welcome these unexpected trials with the joy that is required of us. 

However, as we grow in faith, as we stay in close proximity to Almighty God, taking all our problems to Him, finding joy in tribulation becomes easier. We have to go through it several times before we can truly appreciate the truth and the vitality contained therein. 

Now we’ve heard James’ and Peter’s take on the subject, but no word on trials and tribulations will be worth its salt if it doesn’t contain these fiery words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. 

‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience (produces perseverance); And patience, experience (character); and experience, hope: 

And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ (Rom.5:1-5) 

So friends, since we have been justified through Christ, through God’s doing, not man’s, and thus have right standing with Him through reconciliation, we can therefore rejoice in whatever befalls us, because we are sure of God’s deliverance. 

Hn! Hope that makes sense. (smile) That’s why Bruh Paul says we can glory, can boast in all the negative stuff that comes upon us, since they only grow us, make us stronger in our faith, bring us closer to God and more Christ-like, which is our end-goal. 

Now here is the crowning glory of it all, found in the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ that He delivered in the Sermon on the Mount. This is the last of the Beatitudes, and I don’t know if Jesus had a special reason for putting it last, possibly because He knew that it would be the hardest one to live by. 

Nonetheless, please listen closely my brethren. ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars give us this interesting and uplifting explanation. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase Rejoice, and be exceeding glad means even more, exult! 

Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Oh friends, we know that our wonderful God is real, He is who He claims to be, plus the Bible is true, so no earthly trouble should take away our joy in the salvation of Christ Jesus! 

So let’s go out today and just exult nuh; exult in the glory of God, knowing that our place in heaven is safe and secure! That’s what it means to be a true and mature Christian! Much LOVE!

…mourning may last for a night…but joy comes in the morning…because our faith is strong…and Christ’s salvation is real… 

P.S. I visited our bubba Scotty yesterday afternoon. He is doing much better. He says he’s alive but can’t kick too hard just yet. (smile) So let’s keep on praying for him to make a full recovery very soon. Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2016 Psalm 40:4‏‏

Psalm 40:4.   Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Oh friends, it’s Sunday! That means it’s church time!

Now please, no simpering excuses why you can’t attend. Remember Jesus said wherever two or three are gathered together He will be there. So please, let’s gather nuh, in great numbers too, because it’s also true that there is strength in numbers, and worshipping God together brings more benefits than if we continually try to go it alone.

Anyway, as true believers, it is our duty to gather in the Lord’s house and send up our thanks and praise and receive His blessings, encouragement, and strength to face another day and another week. We also need to mix and mingle with other Christians, hear their stories, share ours, encourage each other and thus grow in the faith.

That’s the only way we will ever truly mature in Christ. It simply cannot be done alone and/or in private! End of sermon!

Hn! But I’m now thinking why do we have to beg Christians to go to church eh? I mean it’s a part of their faith, the Good Book requires it, wherever Jesus was, He made sure that He attended the synagogue on the Sabbath day. So why are we so anti church eh?

Is it just pure laziness, or is there a deeper reason? I don’t know nuh friends, and I refuse to speculate. All I can do is encourage us to go, and to do so myself. And one of the reasons I’m up so early this morning, is so that I can write the Bit before I go to church. You know I hate the late Bits, even though occasionally I do indulge. (smile)

And today is Harvest Sunday up at St. Patrick’s in Mt. Pleasant! Glory be! All like that friends, where we are supposed to offer our first fruits to God, how can we do it when we’re absent from church eh?

When I was growing up we excitedly looked forward to Harvest Sunday, and more so the Monday after, when school was closed and all the produce was set up there to be sold. I doubt today’s children would have any interest in such mundane things. Thank the Lord I was born when and where I was yes!

But let us move on to the matter at hand, our Bit. ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’

Ah mih people, trust is such an important thing in our everyday lives. We trust that when we turn the switch, the lights will come on, the cell phone will also come on so that we can text. And when we turn on the tap, we expect to see water flowing out.

We trust all these man-made things, especially computers now, where our entire life is somehow tied to the man-made system, but we have problems trusting Almighty God; the Creator and Provider of EVERYTHING we have and enjoy.

Why do you think the psalmist so adamantly declared? ‘It is better to put your trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps.118:8-9)

Because man is untrustworthy! And all of us have suffered some sort of deceit or untrustworthiness at the hand of men at some stage in our lives, but yet we continue to trust them! However, the great and ever-LOVING and faithful God, who has never let us down or deceived us, we are rather reluctant to trust.

Hn! That just doesn’t compute my brethren. It makes no sense whatsoever. No wonder so many of our prayers go unanswered! The Lord looks at our hearts and sees that they are not truly right. Deep down our motives are wrong, we’re selfish and just want to grab the lusts of our flesh and do our own thing.

And if you don’t believe me, listen to the psalmist in Psalm 146 – The blessedness of trusting God. ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth (his spirit departs), he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps.146:3-5)

Yes friends, even man’s breath of life is not his to control! One minute he’s here, then the next his life is extinguished and he returns to the earth from which he was formed. So why do we insist on trusting him above the One who made him eh?

Good question that? One which I can’t answer with any certainty, so I won’t try. I can just give us scriptures that will help us to trust in the Lord. So let’s start with the wisdom of Cousin Sol from Proverbs.

‘He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat (prosperous). He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.’ (Prov.28:26-27)

And believe me my people, we can only walk wisely when we walk with the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Without His eternal guidance we’re just like lost sheep wandering in the wilderness.

Now listen to Bruh David as in Psalm 143, he desires of God – Teach me to do thy will. ‘Hear (answer) me speedily, O Lord; my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be (become) like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy LOVING-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.’ (Ps.143:7-8)

Yes my fellow believers in Christ, until we truly start not only believing and trusting God to direct our lives, but more so letting go, so that He can have free rein, we will forever be hampered and confused in our earthly sojourn. Much LOVE!

…truly trusting God…means to completely let go…and let Him do His thing in our lives…

 

 

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