Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 October 2021 Ephesians 5:8.

Ephesians 5:8.     For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now ye are light in the Lord: walk as children of light. 

No more rain…And the sun is finally peeking out…Glory! Oh, the dark clouds are not all gone, but there is a great possibility of light, (smile) much more than we’ve had for the past few days. And that’s exactly how our Jesus comes and shines through our personal darkness. When we think that there is no hope, that the darkness will overwhelm us, He shows up unexpectedly with the bright light of His presence and chases the evil darkness away! Give Him some thanks and praise my faithful brethren for He is indeed a Saviour to those whose lives are consumed by the evil enemy. 

As the prophet Isiah so prophetically declared long ago, re the Prince of Peace: ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath a light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) And that’s one of the most potent and prophetic prophecies ever prophesied! (smile) It heralded the coming of Jesus…the light of the world! 

But the sad news is that, as Jesus said: ‘And this is the condemnation that (the) light is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth (practices) evil hateth light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed).’ (John 3:19-20) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Those of us with evil deeds in our repertoire hate the light and will refuse to accept Jesus because we are afraid that those evil deeds will be exposed, for that’s what light does; it exposes the darkness, the sin, the evil in our souls! And we are not talking about physical light, but spiritual light, ‘light that shines on our hearts.’ 

I like how this article on thebereancall.org website with a conversation between Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon describes the situation. T. A. McMahon says: ‘And men loved darkness rather than light.  Dave, is this in the statistical manual it talked about earlier? (Referring there to a manual on the power of DNA to operate without words or a language).

Dave Hunt replies: ‘Yeah, they don’t want to know the truth. I would say that whole statistical manual is a witness to this fact; men loved darkness rather than light. Instead of accepting the truth that we are separated from God by sin, that we are rebels in our hearts, that we need to be reconciled to God, we need to recognize that Jesus Christ is God who became a man to die for our sins, paid the penalty for our sins, died for our sins, rose from the dead and we open our hearts to Him and we allow Him to come in and He changes us completely. 

We are born again of the Word of God, Peter says. This Word that brings understanding, the truth that is the light that Jesus brought.  Now, it says they hated me without a cause because the light of Jesus Christ shows up the darkness, the darkness being what? Well, rebellion against God, running to hide from God, not wanting to know the truth and so forth.’ 

Now this passage from an article on the subject on the mtvchurchofchrist.org, further enlightens us. ‘The reason for the world’s LOVE affair with darkness is that it hides sin, or so it is believed. As long as it is dark, as long as there is no light of truth, those in sin can perpetuate their evil. But let one beam of truth pierce the darkness of sin and error, let one ray of goodness break through, and those in darkness scatter like so many roaches exposed to daylight. But the feeling of having hidden sin is only an illusion, for all things are open and naked before God (Heb. 4:13).’ 

And I’ll just insert that verse here. ‘Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight (hidden from his sight): but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (must give account).’ (Heb. 4:13) So, as we well know, there is absolutely no hiding from God, but many of us still foolishly try to retain the illusion. 

The article then continues with this interesting slant. It says: ‘One of the reasons, if not the main reason, those in the world often feel uncomfortable around faithful Christians is that the faithful child of God reminds sinners of their sins. The faithful child of God might well feel uncomfortable around the sinner, as well (Eph. 5:11).’ Oh friends, I surely hope we do feel uncomfortable around evil doers, but nonetheless show them the light of Christ shining through our words and actions. 

And to substantiate all that we’ve said, let’s listen to the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus on the ways of the believer. ‘Let no man deceive you with vain (empty) words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be ye not partakers with them. For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now ye are light in the Lord: walk as children of light. (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.’ (Eph. 5:6-12) 

Yes my brethren, once upon a time we too walked in darkness, but then we saw the light of Christ, and our lives were transformed. And the scholars explain it all thus: ‘5:8. Our knowledge of the truth is attended by moral purity and happiness. 5:10.  Because of constant temptations and solicitations to evil, believers must always be proving or discerning what is and what is not acceptable unto the Lord. 

5:11. Reprove is better translated “expose.” The believer’s duty is expressed here in two ways. Negatively, he is not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, that is, not indulge in the sins of the unsaved. Positively, he is to “expose” (reprove) these sins, that is bring them to light and show them for what they really are, so that the unbeliever may see their hideous nature and their terrible consequences. 5:12. For tells why the Christian must expose the sins of the lost. If it is shameful even to discuss their iniquities in decent company how much the worse is the committing of these sins. Hence the need to bring them to light.’ 

Ah my fellow saints, I do hope that all the above has now elucidated and enlightened us about walking in darkness and light, (smile) so that we are now capable of making good decisions on it. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to walk in the light, let’s go home declaring (oh yes!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

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 believe me, if we endure until the very end, then that future will be even more glorious than we ask or imagine. So please, let’s hang in there my faithful brethren! Much LOVE!

…if light brings truth and happiness…why fool with darkness…which only keeps one trapped in sin and rebellion towards God…                                                                                                     

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 September 2021 John 4:24.

John 4:24.     God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.

Another day my people; another day of new mercies and compassions from Almighty God! Wow! What a marvellous God we serve and worship! No other supposed deity puts themselves out to give us new stuff every single day. But our great God Jehovah does! That’s because He LOVES us with the everlasting LOVE of a Father and only desires the best for us! 

And that led to Him sending His sinless Son Jesus Christ to earth to die for the propitiation of our abominable sins. All other false gods expect mankind to sacrifice to and for them, but ONLY the One true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was willing to sacrifice for mankind. And not just a simple unimportant sacrifice, but His most beloved, the apple of His eye, His one Son Jesus. And if that doesn’t tell us the depth of LOVE and compassion that the Lord holds for us, I don’t know what else will nuh. 

The false gods, and the man-made idols that so many of us worship, don’t do a thing for us, and in fact they can’t do a bloody thing for us since they are all dead, inanimate and without life. So how can a dead object do anything for you eh? But the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is alive and kicking, that’s why He can make promises and keep them! So today we are just going to look at a few scriptures that describe our God as a living being. And the first scripture comes from Jesus Himself, when He told the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob: ‘God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.’ (Matt. 4:24) 

Yes friends, our God exists, but not as a being with a body, but as a Spirit. And the scholars give us this explanation re, the Definition of God. ‘4:24. John gives us three descriptions of God. He is Spirit (John 4:24), LOVE (1 John 4:8), and Light (1 John 1:5). God is a spiritual being who is invisible and without a body; He is a divine person who reveals Himself in perfect intellect, emotion, and will: He is the source and personification of all material and spiritual life. 

He is self-existent; He is eternal in relationship to time; He is unlimited in relationship to the immensity of space; He is immutable in His nature; He is the unity of all existence; and He is consistent in His being – that is, He corresponds in actual fact to His nature and attributes as they are revealed to us. (First Ref. Gen. 1:1; Primary Ref. John 4:24).’ 

So you see friends, the only thing our God lacks is a material body. But as a Spirit, it means He can be all places at the same time. And that’s one of the many reasons He’s so valuable to us; He can be with ALL of us ALL of the time. And if we turn to Genesis 1:3, we will find the first and biggest reason why we say that God is alive and kicking. The Good Book tells us: ‘And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.’ Now please tell me, how can a dead God speak eh. One must have life, that’s breath to speak. And it’s oh so worthwhile to know that God spoke everything in the world into existence, except man. 

And if you still don’t believe that God is alive and speaks, then check out Deuteronomy 5, where Moses reminds the Israelites of how they heard God’s voice in the fire at Mt. Horeb on their journey through the wilderness, when He made the covenant with them and gave them the Ten Commandments. Moses recounts: ‘And ye said, Behold, the Lord our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth (still lives).’ (Deut. 5:24) 

So God doesn’t only talk to the universe, He also talks to man, whom He created to be in relationship with Him including to talk with Him. But like everything that concerns the ears, you won’t hear God, or anything or anyone else unless you LISTEN! That’s the crux of the matter…LISTENING! And unfortunately, that’s something we don’t do very well at in these modern times. We all desire to talk, to be heard, but we rebel when it comes to listening. 

Just like the church leaders in Jesus’ time weren’t listening to Him when He quoted them the scriptures re marriages in heaven. ‘But as touching (concerning) the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living,’ (Matt. 22:31-32) Ah mih people, if our God is the God of the living then it means that He must also be alive! Glory be! Bless His holy name! 

And though there are several other scriptures I would like to include, because of time and space this is the last one. And it’s a scripture that’s always fascinated me. They are the words of the pagan king of Babylon, Darius, after Daniel walked out of the lion’s den unscathed. He right royally declared: ‘I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men (must) tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power (paws) of the lions.’ (Dan. 6:26-27) 

Now if an idol worshipper can make such a testimony to the power of Almighty God, a God who doesn’t change, why do we have such trouble acknowledging Him and His sovereignty eh? I don’t know, and I won’t venture to comment. (smile) But anyway, here is an interesting part of a commentary from the Christian Science Monitor website – It’s titled ‘A Christian Science perspective: What does it mean that God is a ‘living God’? By Liz Butterfield Wallingford. 

She ends the article by saying: ‘To know God as a truly “living God” goes beyond simply acknowledging that He exists. He is unceasing, unending Life itself. His goodness can’t fade. Our receptivity to His infinite goodness, inherent in our very nature as the reflection of the living God, can’t be diminished. When we wholeheartedly yearn to know God better, to receive the forever-active Christ, to understand that God could never for a second stop expressing His LOVE and goodness in each of us – then we begin to see this spiritual fact increasingly evidenced in our everyday lives.’ 

And that’s totally true my brethren. The more we yearn for the living spirit-filled God and all that pertains to Him, the more we will see real evidence of Him in our everyday lives. So, for those of us who have that eternal yearning for Almighty God, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail letting all and sundry know of the wonderful position we now enjoy in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong voice: ‘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 yuh better believe friends, that if we endure unto the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. So let’s hang in there nuh, and with Jesus’ awesome help live and LOVE for Him! Much LOVE!

…now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible…the only wise (living) God…be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen… (1 Tim. 1:17)                                                                                                                

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8      

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 2021 Micah 7:7.

Micah 7:7.      Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

 Oh my, it’s the mid-week blues day…Wednesday! Yes, only two days of the working week have gone by, and there are two more still left to go, which leaves you in a sort of no man’s land, in limbo, not knowing whether to be happy that half the week’s gone, or sad that there’s still another half to go. Thus the blues day of Wednesday! 

Ah mih people, we can be so trifling and petty! Instead of thanking the Lord for another day on His beautiful earth with His many blessings, and that we at least have a job to go to, unlike so many others in these troubled and trying times. Although we may not like or appreciate our job, the hard, cold fact of the matter is that it takes care of our basic necessities, putting bread on our tables and a roof over our heads. But no, too many of us would rather lol around and do nothing all day. How could we ever get any satisfaction from constantly doing nothing eh? Especially when you don’t even have the funds, or the wherewithal to do fun nothings! (smile) 

In our rush to achieve material things and earthly power, our society has reached such immoral and evil heights that we no longer have a heart for God nor each other. It recalls the prophet Micah’s lament over the moral sins of Israel way back when. In his despair, he laments: ‘The good (loyal, faithful) man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. 

That they may do evil with both hands earnestly (successfully), the prince asketh (asks for gifts), and the judge asketh for a reward (bribe); and the great man he uttereth his mischievous (evil) desire: so they wrap it up (scheme together). The best of them is as a brier (thorny or prickly plant): the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation (punishment) cometh; now shall be their perplexity.’ (Mic. 7:2-4) 

And if we are truthful friends, we will admit that’s a very good and accurate description of our current society! Things like loyalty and faithfulness have gone out of style. Some of our young people don’t even know the meaning of those words, having never encountered the situations and behaviour to which they refer. Too many of us are just out for blood, just out to get whatever we can from whomever we can, and be it family, friend, or foe, it doesn’t matter in the least. We just want whatever we think should be coming to us. Even the best of us is sharp and prickly like a thorn bush, which isn’t a good recommendation! 

And we have gone so far along the wide and winding path to destruction, like Israel did, that Micah’s advice and warning now stands us in good stead, just like it did Israel. It’s so sad when he warns: ‘Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide (companion): keep (guard) the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.’ (Mic. 7:5-6) 

Yes friends, it’s all true! You can’t be too careful, because nowadays everyone seems to have some nefarious scheme up their sleeves. And if you can’t trust your lifelong friend, or your wife, who can you trust then eh? In actual fact NOBODY! And we are seeing an increase in family quarrels and sibling rivalry, as well as increased litigation over petty and unimportant stuff. Fraud, or as we so nicely label it, ‘white collar crime’ is so rampant that we can’t keep up with it, even if we dared to try. 

And the sad part is that all these fraudsters are doing with the money they get by fraudulent means is spending it wastefully on lavish living. You can only own and enjoy so many, houses, cars, boats, yachts and planes, as well as indulge in only so much wine, women and song. Your body will eventually give out, if your funds don’t depart first. But friends, there is good news… yes good advice from Micah. Despite all the immorality and evil around him, he unabashedly declares: ‘Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.’ (Mic. 7:7) 

And that my brethren is the only hope for our society. If we don’t turn to the God of our forefathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob very soon, like right now, our society will keep plunging into the dark abyss of depravity and sin, and will eventually become of no account, or extinct, like so many other immoral and depraved ones that have gone before. That’s the long and short of the story my people! Without our turning back to Jehovah God, and allowing His Son Jesus Christ to come into our hearts and show us the way to the Father, we’re done, like dinner. 

Are the blinkers put over our eyes by Satan so strong that we can’t see the gradual, but ever quickening demise of our society, even the earth we inhabit? When have we ever experienced so many disastrous natural disasters all at once eh? Right now, we have wildfires burning all over the world. Many are suffering from drought and famine, while many more are suffering from excessive rainfall and floods. And we also have volcanoes going off all over the world like crazy. But we are fighting over climate change, instead of seriously dealing with it. 

Look at the pandemic that’s so suddenly hit us and doesn’t seem like it’s going away any time soon because we can’t agree on what it is and how to handle it. And I won’t even mention the widespread strife and many wars that are currently taking place in so many divided places around the globe. And if you want to, you can also consider the enormous state of poverty and economic suffering that currently exists in a world that has enough for everybody, because a few have too much, while many have too little. 

And it’s so cruel and heartbreaking to see that even in this time of pandemic that the rich are getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer. And what really hurts is that the rich have no conscience, they go around boasting about their increase in material wealth, while they keep the poor in economic sufferation! But as Micah said so long ago: ‘the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation (punishment) cometh; now shall be their perplexity.’ Yes people, we all shall get our comeuppance sooner or later, and if we don’t repent and turn away from our evil deeds now, there will soon be much weeping and gnashing of teeth. End of Sermon. 

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to make a difference, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 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 though it’s difficult under our current circumstances, please, let’s never forget that if we endure to the very end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…to God the Father be the glory…through Jesus Christ the Son…                                                                                                                               

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                        

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2021 Romans 12:2 a+b.

Romans 12:2 a+b.     And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

Well, a great Wednesday to you my Scrip-Bits friends and family! I hope the peace and LOVE of Christ is flowing smoothly and sweetly through you this new day, and that you are doing your best to live for Him, as is expected of you. Yes my people, living for Jesus is wonderful, though sometimes difficult. (smile) But He gives us new, strong breath and energy every day to help us along our journey, plus new compassions and mercies so that we are not bowed down. 

That means every day is a new and remarkable event, not a mundane, same old, same old, like so many of us think it to be, and thus behave in a mundane, lackadaisical manner. But every day is a present friends, a wonderful gift from God, and we ought to treat it like such, appreciate it and use it in a manner to bring the utmost glory to His holy name! 

Consequently, we ought to begin the day with words like the psalmist of old did: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:24) And then we go out and do exactly that; make the most of every opportunity that comes our way to live for Him as well as enjoy our lives. Because that’s what He desires of us. Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that ‘I came that they might have life, and that they might have it abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) 

Now that certainly doesn’t mean we should live measly, merely eking out existences, but full and abundant lives with all that He has to offer. But it all begins with a change to our mindsets, because what we think, what we focus on, usually leads to the direction we follow and the actions we commit. So if we want to have different actions, then it’s obvious we need to think differently. 

And Bruh Paul gives us this wonderful advice in his epistle to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) Yes friends, we need to stop conforming to the thinking and dictates of this world. 

As the scholars say: We ‘are to resist being poured into the mold of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world.’ And no, it’s not easy to do when the things and values of the world are always in your face, like the bombardment of commercials, infomercials and all the other worldly stuff we have targeted towards us every day. But we can thwart the continual bombardment to our carnal lusts if we seriously want to do it. Here’s how…by seeking God’s will for our lives every day. 

And what’s God’s will for our lives? Listen, as the scholar’s talk about ‘Dedication to the Will of God. ‘12:1-2. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in all of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God, we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God (John 7:17). Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing (First Ref. Gen. 22:12; Primary Ref. Rom. 12:1).’ 

So you see friends, we can beat the world system and it’s sinful and ungodly values, but it takes a lifetime commitment to seeking God’s will for our lives every day that we draw breath on this earth! And I like how the scholars say that ‘Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ.’ Glory Hallelujah my faithful believing brethren! 

Now, you know that’s been God’s plan for us from day one; raising us from glory to glory, transforming us to the image and likeness of Christ, day by day. As Bruh Paul said to the Corinthians. ‘But we all with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘3:18. Beholding as in a glass: The term ‘beholding’ can have the sense of ‘reflecting.’ The believer himself ‘reflects’ the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the glory of the Lord. For Moses, the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ 

And yuh better believe that the Lord will never give up on us! Once we stay connected to Him, continually seeking Him, He will continue to work His glory in us. Bruh Paul puts it thus to the church at Philippi: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) What encouraging words mih bredrin! 

Once God begins our transformation to a Christlike image, through His awesome grace, He will never stop until the day Christ returns! That confers an amazing amount of security on us believers! But on the other hand my people, it’s ever so important that we do our part, that’s keep believing and trusting in Christ Jesus, and putting our best foot forward in doing His awesome will. We all know it’s not an easy lifestyle to maintain, but it sure is wonderful, adventurous and fulfilling when we sincerely try, because that’s the marvellous kind of God we serve! 

And with all that encouragement and excitement bubbling up in our spirit, (smile) let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! All together 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 what a glorious future that will be, if we stand strong and steadfast and endure to the very end! Much LOVE!

…Jesus is so wonderful…it’s impossible to not LOVE Him…                                                                                                              

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2021 Psalm 145.4.

Psalm 145:4.      One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

Just one of those days…just one of those days! Yes friends, it’s just been one of those days. I went to bed early, that’s by my standards, (smile) but the sleep wasn’t refreshing, the dreams though not nightmares, were nerve racking, as they always are. Then I got up late, with all sorts of aches and pains, so it took me some time to get going. Unfortunately, that’s what happens as the body ages – you never know what state of body you’re going to wake up in. (smile) 

But my state of mind is excellent! Thank the Lord for that! Couldn’t handle it if both body and mind were in a state of sub-par health. And you wouldn’t like to see me now, after being up for a while – moving like an Olympic athlete! That’s the goodness of our great God. He never leaves you in the lurch for long. And that’s why this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, called out to me so powerfully this morning! It’s aptly titled ‘Celebration!’ 

So please pray with me: ‘’When I think of Your lavish goodness The longings You’ve satisfied The forgiveness You’ve granted The promises You’ve kept. When I think of Your irresistible LOVE Your ceaseless care Your unfailing protection… O Lord God I want to raise flags And fly banners and sound bugles. I want to run with lighted torches And praise You From the mountaintop. I want to write symphonies And shout for joy. I want to throw a festive party For ten thousand guests. I want to celebrate with streamers And bright lights And an elaborate banquet.  (And the Lord excitedly replies😊)  Fine dear child… I’m ready.’  

Oh friends, that’s the way we should feel each and every day, joyfully worshipping and celebrating our wonderful God! And you know, nobody likes a party like Him, especially if it’s one thrown in His praise and honour. And the Bible Promise for our poem today is none other than that great psalm of praise penned by Bruh David – Psalm 145 – The Lord is gracious. So let’s declare the opening verses with the kind of sincerity and joy they deserve nuh. 

‘I will extol (praise, exalt) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding). One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.’ (Ps. 145:1-4) 

Oh my people, that’s the way we ought to be worshipping our God, with much praise and thanksgiving! And yes, a minority of us are doing our best, but too many supposed believers are not even making the effort. And I especially want to point out that last verse there, which says that ‘one generation shall praise thy works to another, and declare thy mighty acts.’ Now, there’s no way we can say that we have done, or are doing that to the current generation. We have fallen down terribly in that department, no wonder this generation has produced such a high number of ungodly children. 

Our parents taught us about God…even possibly forced it into our heads and behaviour too much. But we have gone the exact opposite route and not taught our children enough or as intently as we ought to. And that’s one of the major reasons that our world is currently in such an ungodly mess: the young people either don’t know about God, or their faith is very small, because we the parents haven’t taught them the way we should have. 

And please remember that God is supposed to be taught and shown how He works first in the home, not in schools or churches. That’s because you don’t know what your children will be taught out in the ungodly world. If they don’t have a strong, basic foundation in God from home, they will fall for all sorts of nonsense out there in the big and evil world. 

From the very beginning, God, through Moses, told the Israelites. ‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.’ (Deut. 6:6-7) Please note friends, the word of the Lord should be found in all walks of our lives, and should be taught ‘diligently’ to our children. 

Now hear King Hezekiah when God healed him of his sickness. ‘The living, the living shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.’ (Is. 38:19) It’s indeed the job of the parents to teach the children about God! And why yuh think Cousin Sol wrote: ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and even when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov. 22:6) 

That doesn’t mean that our children will always follow the good way if we raise them right. But if they learn about God at home, like they should, then when they go out into the world, they will have a better appreciation, more options, and a greater wisdom when the things of the world come against them. Our job is to teach them about God and show them how it works in a familial situation. What they do with that knowledge when they go out on their own, is up to them, and they will pay the price for whatever decisions they make. But one of their excuses should never be, ‘I was not taught about God, at home.’ 

And it’s sad to think that so many of us parents in this generation, have fallen down on the job. I guess the reasons can fall amongst the sad demise of the family unit, our busyness in making a living, and our own sad lack of faith. Now, I don’t know if we can ever repair the damage done to our children, but we certainly can try in whatever time is left to us. However, we should probably concentrate our efforts now on the younger generation, our grandchildren, and give them the start that we forfeited their parents of. 

Enough preaching now though. (smile) But please remember this is not for condemnation, but for conviction, so that we can see the error of our ways and do better in the little time we have left. Now let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

All together 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 as the Good Book reminds us, if we endure right to the very end, then that future with Jesus will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. Much LOVE!

…the home…that’s where children should learn first…and the most about God…                                                                                                           

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2021 Romans 8:35a.

Romans 8:35a.     Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ?

It’s the mid-week rest period – Wednesday- when we catch our second wind to ready us for the homestretch. And someday, hopefully soon, the four-day workweek that people are now clamouring for will be a reality. Now, that would certainly make the workweek less ominous and frightening. (smile) It would also give us more free time. But please consider the other side of the coin; if you work less, you will also earn less, and that might not fit well with your financial situation. So please, let’s be careful of what we wish for, because ofttimes the reality of the situation is totally different to its theoretical side. 

But here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that offers blessed assurance from the vicissitudes, the vagaries of life. It’s titled ‘Romans 8…to Me.’ Please pray with me. ‘God I may fall flat on my face I may fall until I feel Old and beaten and done in Yet Your LOVE for me is changeless. All the music may go out of my life My private world may shatter to dust Even so You will hold me In the palm of Your steady hand. 

No turn in the affairs Of my fractured life Can baffle You. Satan with all his braggadocio Cannot distract You. NOTHING can separate me from Your measureless LOVE. Pain can’t Disappointments can’t Anguish can’t. Yesterday, today, tomorrow can’t. The loss of my dearest LOVE can’t. Death can’t. Life can’t. Riots war insanity unidentity Hunger neurosis disease – None of these things Nor all of them heaped together Can budge the fact That I am dearly LOVED. Completely forgiven And forever free Through Jesus Christ Your BELOVED Son.’ 

Oh friends, what a powerful and totally true statement! If we believe in Christ Jesus, NOTHING in this world can ever cause us to lose the LOVE of our heavenly Father! Wow! That ought to be ever so reassuring and encouraging to those of us who know Christ as Lord and Saviour. And where does all this reassurance and encouragement come from? From the Good Book obviously… from Romans Chapter 8, as our poem declares. Let’s read exactly what the passage about separation from God says nuh. 

‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35-39)

Yes, precious people of God, those are all undeniable facts and divine truth that Bruh Paul is writing there to the church at Rome and subsequently to us. As believers in Christ, we are inseparable from the LOVE of God! Nothing this world can throw at us will ever do it. Now here the scholars tell it. ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself. Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. vs. 28).’ 

And that’s the living truth! But unfortunately, too many of us believers don’t seem to believe that God is greater than any enemy the world can cause to rise up against us. That’s why we cringe and eventually bow down to the evil of this world. That’s why Jesus would sadly accuse us: ‘O thou of little faith!’ We talk a good talk, but when the chickens come home to roost, it’s an entirely different story; we falter, and then crumble under the reality of the situation. And no one’s saying that living a meaningful life for Christ is easy, but what’s the point, if as soon as the tough times come, we scatter and run like sheep eh? 

And very often, it doesn’t even take the real tough times to scatter us, but merely some simple recurring difficulty. Unfortunately, too many supposed believers today fall into the second and third categories of Jesus’ parable about the sower sowing seed. ‘Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith (immediately) they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.’ (Matt. 13:5-7) 

Obviously those two categories are not good my people, because the seed never grows to maturity, blossoms and bears fruit. Now listen to Jesus’ explanation of those two categories. ‘But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it. Yeh hath he no root in himself, but dureth (endures) for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended (immediately he stumbles). He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ (Matt. 13:20-22) 

And the scholars define those two categories thus: ‘13:20-23. The stony places are shallow-hearted individuals who anon (at once) receive (outwardly) the message with joy. This emotional convert is not truly born again, for hath he not root and withers away. The one who is among the thorns (cares of this world) is the carnal, worldly convert, who never really breaks with his past. Worldliness and materialism choke the word in his life, and he is finally unfruitful (unsaved).’ 

Ah mih people, what Christianity desperately needs today to conquer the power and territorial superiority of the enemy is a bushel of what Jesus described as: ‘But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.’ (Matt. 13:8) And He explained that part of the parable thus: ‘But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth (produces), some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ (Matt. 13:23) 

And the scholars follow up with this: ‘The one who received seed in the good ground is the one who both heard the word and understood it, which also beareth fruit (evidence of true conversion). While such evidence may vary in its amount, all true believers will produce some fruit.’ 

Oh friends, do we ever need more believers bearing fruit in these troubled times. It’s not so much a matter of how much fruit we bear, but that we do bear some good fruit! The world and its cares are robbing us of the good and abundant life Christ died for us to have, so please, let’s try and turn this thing around nuh. We can, if we sincerely try. And remember, with Christ in our lives, we can do all things, because He strengthens us. 

Now let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 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 as we do that, let’s remember that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…Christians make a great difference…when they bear good fruit…                                                                                             

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2021 Mark 4:40.

Mark 4:40.     And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 

Then it was Wednesday, and the heat wave we have had for the past few days, with temps in the thirties, seems to have suddenly disappeared, with the high today expected to be in the low twenties, with rain and cloudy skies. What a contrary summer it’s turning out to be; a few hot days backed by a few cool ones. And the rain and thunderstorms seem to be even more prevalent now than in the springtime. It’s therefore no surprise that my sinus allergies are having a right ole time with the temperature vacillation. 

But that’s climate change for you! (smile) However we must learn to weather it like we do everything else. And as with everything else, the best way to weather it is with Jesus as our guide and pilot. There’s no doubt whatsoever that with Jesus leading, we can handle anything, ride out any storm, be it literal or figurative, for He is the man who calms the winds and seas, again, both literally and figuratively. 

We find this highlighted in the Good Book, where while He and the disciples were crossing the sea of Galilee a terrible storm arose – ‘insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves’ – ‘and they were filled (filling) with water, and were in jeopardy.’ The first quote there is from Matt. 8:24, and the second from Luke 8:23. So they did seem to be in mortal danger. But where was Jesus during this crucial and critical time eh? Mark tells us: ‘And He was in the hinder part of the ship (the stern) asleep on a pillow:’ Mark 4:38a) 

Now imagine that nuh…the boat is being tossed to and fro, taking in water, in danger of sinking, and Jesus is comfortably asleep in the stern. That abnormal situation certainly perturbed the disciples, ‘and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?’ (Mark 4:38b) 

Most likely Jesus was upset that they had woken Him from a comfortable sleep, even possibly a sweet dream. ‘And he arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:39-41) 

Now that’s why we are so highly recommending Jesus for the position of Lord and Saviour, Guide and Pilot of our lives! He doesn’t get all anxious and afraid in storms. And if you call out to Him, when you are immersed in them, like we all are at some time or other, He will even take the time and calm those storms for you. That’s how seriously He takes His task as your storm pilot! 

Furthermore, once you engage Him as your dedicated mentor and guide, He has promised never to leave nor forsake you, to stay always by your side and help you through everything in this life, be they good or bad! He said it directly to the disciples: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) 

Wow! How good is that for a life mentor eh? Most wonderful, I’d say! (smile) So you see friends, it’s no half-baked tale I’m spinning you, but the story of real people, and a real God-man. ‘The Son of man,’ was Jesus’ favourite terminology when referring to Himself. But coming back to the story of the storm, it shows that though the disciples had seen Jesus do several miracles their faith was still small. 

Then, as one commentator, Evelyn Oliver/Christian Disciplines says: ‘This story has a lot of importance for us today. It is incredible to see the peace that Jesus had in this situation and the complete turmoil that the disciples were in. Jesus was at peace and not worried about the storm around them. There was no reason for the disciples to be afraid…. We know that Jesus knew what was going on from the beginning because he reprimanded the disciples for their lack of faith. They did not trust in Jesus and all he could and would do. At that moment, the disciples had more fear of the storm than trust in God.’ 

And sadly my people, that same situation still exists with us today. In too many cases, we fear the storms that come upon us more than we trust our Lord and Saviour, Guide and Mentor, Jesus. And that’s a crying shame! For if, in the good and calm times, you ask anyone of us so-called believers about trust and faith in Jesus, we would certainly serenade you with a powerful version of our strong faith. But as soon as the storm approaches, when reality hits, that strong faith seems to just disappear into thin air. 

And we are seeing that show forth very clearly in this pandemic situation. Instead of doing our part, and then standing strong in faith, knowing that this too must pass eventually, we get all worked up and anxious about stuff we have absolutely no control over. And we listen to every Tom, Dick and Harry, who are spouting so much incorrect stuff, so much disinformation, and thus feeding the devil’s fear mongering machine. 

Consequently, in a time when we need to show forth the most faith – which doesn’t mean being foolish like so many of us supposed believers, and refusing to take the few measures within our ability to stop the spread of the virus – our number one     response is fear. No wonder the virus is taking much longer to go away. 

So friends, in times like these, it’s very important for us to remember the memorable words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) And God expects us to use those abilities in a sensible manner, which means faithfully turning to Him in the time of storm, with few doubts and little anxiety. Those are human traits that we cannot completely eradicate, but we surely can keep them to a minimum with strong faith in Christ Jesus. 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely endeavouring to keep Jesus first place in our lives, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our most wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong voice. ‘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 just in case you don’t remember, or your faith flounders some, (smile) if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…how many times do I have to say it eh…Jesus is the answer…Jesus is the answer…Jesus is the answer to EVERYTHING…                                                                                            

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2021 Psalm 119:34.

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

Well, it looks like a new day, Wednesday to be exact. So I guess that means we’re moving on, hopefully in a positive and godly manner, for those are the only ways we will ever be truly successful! And if we’re being godly, then we most certainly will give, or will have given thanks for the wonderful blessing of being able to see another glorious day on God’s great earth, only rivalled by the exotic pleasures of heaven. 

Ah mih people, if we’re down here now, we might as well enjoy it, since being miserable and unhappy won’t solve matters. And furthermore, if you’re a believer in Christ Jesus, then you have oodles of promises to help you feel better in the many storms of life and handle them in a positive manner, with your Lord and Saviour at the helm of your tossed and battered ship. Remember the joy of the Lord is our strength, and once we have Him bubbling up in us, we can handle anything that comes against us. 

And if we’re finding it difficult to handle our current circumstances then listen to these words of comfort from Psalm 119, the section titled – ‘Give me understanding.’ Please pray with me: ‘Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law, yea, I shall observe it with all my heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. 

Incline my heart unto (cause me to long for) thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity (looking at worthless things); and quicken (revive) thou me in thy way. Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear (to fearing thee). Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgements are good. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken (revive) me in thy righteousness.’ (Ps. 119:33-40) 

Yes friends, therein lies a path of prayer to understanding. (smile) Now, here are some explanations from the scholars on the meaning of some of the terminology found in the psalm. ‘The multifaceted character of God’s Word is revealed by at least eight key synonyms for it in the psalm. (1) Law (torah) is the most frequent of the words. It comes from a verb meaning “to teach,” and thus came to be applied to a wide range of revelation, from an individual directive to the entire Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). It emphasizes that God has taught us in His Word what He requires of us. 

(2) Testimonies (‘edot) emphasizes the content of the Word as that which God has testified of Himself and His will. (3) Precepts (piquidim) refers to instructions from a superior regarding the duties of those under him, in this case, from God to man. (4) Statutes (huqim) is related to a verb meaning “to engrave” and thus implies permanent and unchangeable regulations. (5) Commandments (mitswot) is a word assuming the authority of the commander and the inherent necessity of obeying the content of the charge. 

(6) Judgements (mispatim) or ordinances refers to decisions God has made as a judge in order to make earthly behaviour conform to His heavenly standard. (7) Word (dabar) is an all-embracing term for God’s revelation in any form. (8) Word (imra) might also be translated “promise,” though the translation does not distinguish it from the preceding term to whose meaning it relates closely. It comes from the verb “to say” and assumes that the content of revelations is from the mouth of God. Other terms that seem to speak of God’s Word include ways (vs. 3, 37), name (vs. 55), and faithfulness (vs. 90). 

With these key words to express the substance of God’s revelation, the psalmist explores the entire gamut of human response to the Word of God: praise and thanksgiving for it, petitions that it may be kept, petitions that the psalmist may experience its comfort or conviction, confidence that its promises will be fulfilled, prayer for the ability to understand it, petitions that those who disregard it (the wicked) may be judged and so on. Because of this exaltation of the Word of God, this psalmist has sometimes been accused of worshiping the Word itself. However, his adoration of the Word always leads to its Author who inspired it. All believers should be accused of this kind of LOVE for the Bible.’ 

What a day that would be eh my people, when we are accused of such an uproarious LOVE for God’s word! Glory Hallelujah! But seriously though, that’s the direction in which our lives ought to be moving every day that we draw breath; a greater LOVE for God and His Word! That’s why we talk about moving up from glory to glory; everyday improving our understanding of the Word and becoming a li’l more like Jesus character wise. 

Oh friends, if we’re not growing, becoming more mature in our faith, then we are not fulfilling the Lord’s desire for our lives. Remember Bruh Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving to the church at Philippi, where he declares: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath began a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil 1:6) 

Yes my faithful brethren, our God will not stop working His goodness in us until His Son returns. That means we also have a responsibility to learn what He desires of us and behave the way He has set out in His Word. We have no excuses whatsoever, for He has laid out exactly what He desires in His Law. His testimonies are sure and true. In His superior position, He has made clear His precepts, the duties He expects us to perform and live up to. 

And because His Word is so important to our earthly lives, He expects His statutes, steadfast and unchangeable as they are, to be engraved in and on our hearts, so that we can dutifully obey His commandments as our Guide and Leader. And if we don’t conform to His heavenly standard here on earth, then we will be subjected to His divine judgement, which can be pretty tough at times. 

So friends, the long and short of the story is that we are God’s creation, and He desires us to be obedient to Him and His dictates, otherwise there will be a price to pay. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘The best way to live is to obey God, and leave all the consequences up to Him.’ And that’s wisdom in spades friends. If we obey God to the best of our ability, we will reap a bushel of blessings. 

And now, since it’s Wednesday, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most wonderful position in Christ Jesus! As one strong, sincere and confident voice: ‘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 we all know that if we faithfully endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious that we can ask or even imagine. Much LOVE!

…the Word of God…our guide, our road map to earthly living…our entrance exams for heaven…                                                                                        

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2021 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.     And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Ah mih people, the ole fella’s shaking it a bit rough this morning through lack of sleep. Went to bed pretty late this morning. What else is new eh? (smile) And that accounts for my lateness in rising and getting down to the Lord’s work. But our God is a good God, rather magnanimous I should say, and He has forgiven me for my tardiness. Let’s hope you do the same. (smile) Remember, He forgives when we forgive. 

And I guess that’s the topic He wants us to look at this bright, sunshiny but cool Wednesday morning. And it’s an important topic friends, one that’s very near and dear to the Lord’s heart. Please note that it takes a solemn place in the prayer our Lord and Saviour Jesus taught us that we call, ‘The Lord’s Prayer. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt. 6:11-12) 

You’ll notice that after giving the Father the glory and recognition He deserves, Jesus asks for daily bread, that’s the provision God provides for us each day, and then comes the petition of forgiveness, but it’s very dependent on the forgiveness in our own lives. And Jesus goes on to point it out Himself: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt. 6:14-15) 

Oh friends, as always, Jesus states it true and clear. He doesn’t mince words. If we don’t forgive our earthly brothers and sisters their trespasses, neither will He forgive ours. But right now, one of the biggest problems in our world, one that’s possibly causing the most anger, strife, resentment and negative situations is the overwhelming state of unforgiveness that’s dwelling in our hearts and souls! We have completely forgotten Christ’s message – you must forgive if you want to be forgiven.

It could not get any clearer than that! But yet, how many of us supposed Christians run to God for forgiveness while still harbouring lots of unforgiveness towards our neighbours in our hearts eh? Plenty of us, my brethren, plenty of us! And we expect God to forgive us, although we feel we have this inalienable right to seek revenge on those who have hurt us. That’s indefensible in our Christian faith friends. Remember what the Lord told the Israelites through Moses a long, long time ago? ‘To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.’ (Deut. 32:35) 

And Bruh Paul in his missive to the church at Rome puts it even more clearly and powerfully. ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men (have regard for good things). If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends upon) you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with the good.’ (Rom. 12:17-21) 

There it is again friends, the basic tenets of our faith: forgiveness with doing good, not avenging ourselves, but leaving it to God, because that’s His department. But yuh better believe that vengeance is ripe and overflowing in today’s society, with too many of us wanting to take revenge and repayment into our own hands. But my people that only breeds anger and strife and a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye. And if we follow it logically, the cycle of revenge will never end, because once you do it to me, I will have to do it back to you, and so we will go on interminably! 

Just think about the overbearing feuds of the clans in Scotland, especially that infamous one of the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s in the rough hills and valleys of Virginia and Kentucky. Apparently, the families were neighbours and friends, who even intermarried, but when the Civil War came they had to choose sides, and after the war that enmity remained and the killing, kidnapping and other forms of violence went on for a long time. And what did it achieve eh? Nothing but hate and violence! 

Yuh see how easy it is to move from peaceful, coexisting neighbours, even family, to vengeful hatred and violence. And we’re definitely seeing too much of that in our selfish, me first modern society, and it can never bode any good for us or our societies. That’s why we have to be so mindful of forgiveness and repay evil with good my fellow saints. 

Oh, before I forget, (smile) here are some interesting explanations from the scholars on the verses we quoted above. ‘12:19-21. Give place unto wrath: Paul quotes Deuteronomy 32:35 to show that only God has the right to avenge, and He certainly will avenge. Heap coals of fire on his head (cf. Prov. 25:22). This may refer to a sense of shame or remorse engendered when we treat an evildoer kindly. Paul is discussing personal not national enemies. He is not teaching pacifism.’ 

Right there we see the benefit of knowing our Bible. It allowed Bruh Paul to quote from two separate sources and make one whole. And that’s the kind of Bible knowledge we all need to have, so that we could use it in our time of need, which sadly is every day, with the kind of antagonistic and strife-filled society in which we currently live. And it will only get better when we believers in Christ Jesus start to truly live the way He expects us to live; like the salt of the earth and the bright shining light of a city on a hill!  We all know that! Matter finished! 

So, for those of us who are sincerely trying to live like Christ desires, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our wonderful position in Jesus. 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!’  

Now, we must endure to the end…and then we’ll discover that that future is even greater than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…the quickest way to destroy a society or a relationship…unforgiveness and vengeance…                                                                        

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8        

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2021 Revelation 1:8a.

Revelation 1:8a.     ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord,

On and on we go friends, walking down the road of life with our marvellous Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! You know, every day seems the same, but they are all different when you partner with Jesus, because He makes every day special, unique, in its own way. Now who else can do that for us eh? Nobody! Not a single soul can give us the joy, the hope, the peace, the LOVE, the salvation and friendship that we find with Jesus! 

Wow! No wonder so many of have chosen, and are choosing to follow Him right down to the very end! And that decision is the wisest one we can ever make, for when we live for Jesus, our earthly lives may sometimes be rough, but our end will be great, greater than if we follow any other path. And why is that you ask? Well let’s hear some scriptures that ought to bring the true story to you and help you decide to live for Jesus. 

The Book of Revelation, Jesus’ account of what’s to happen, as He revealed to His disciple John on the isle of Patmos tells us in the early verses: ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.’ (Rev. 1:3) And believe me friends, the time is truly at hand. The world is in such an ungodly and unstable mess, that even if God doesn’t put forth His hand to destroy it, it will implode soon, because of the inordinate strife, anger, sickness and inhumanity that’s permeating it right now. 

Then, the terrible way in which we’re treating the earth, continually ravaging it for our greedy, selfish purposes, without any plans for replenishing it, there must come a time when there’s nothing left to be ravaged. And though Bruh Paul wasn’t referring to the physical earth when he proclaimed: ‘For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain (suffers birth pangs) together until now,’ (Rom. 8:22) we can certainly make a point for its continual physical deterioration through all the mining and deforestation and other bad treatment we inflict on it. 

Then look at the number of volcanoes that are currently erupting all over the globe, many of which have been dormant for long periods. I don’t know if we have ever had so many erupting simultaneously as we do today. And when we add the other natural disasters that seem to be occurring more often, with greater intensity, there’s little hope for us, unless we quickly and completely change our attitudes towards God, each other and the earth. 

Now, it doesn’t matter so much what happens to our physical bodies, but it’s of the utmost importance what happens to our spiritual selves when the physical body returns to the earth from whence it came. And I’m here to tell us that following Jesus is the best thing we can do for our spiritual lives, which shall live on for a long, long time after our physical bodies die. 

And John vividly details, some verses later in his revelation: ‘Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds (the tribes) of the earth shall wail (mourn) because of him. Even so, Amen.’ (Rev. 1:7) Those words refer to Christ’s return to earth to establish His kingdom, not to the Rapture. There, everyone will see Him, including all those who rejected Him, and wanted Him dead and participated in His death, will then repent and mourn. 

But hear what Jesus tells John. ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.’ (Rev. 1:8) The scholars tell us that ‘Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and refer to God’s eternality and sovereignty, and possibly to the fullness of God’s self-revelation.’ Now God revealing Himself to us should come as no surprise, for He’s done it right down through the ages through His prophets. 

And I like how from heaven, just like on earth, when Jesus appears to John, who falls down at His feet as though dead. He tells him: ‘Fear not; I am the first and the last. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.’ (Rev. 1:17-18) Yes friends, Christ is alive and well! 

The scholars explain: ‘As God in the Old Testament is called “the living God,” so Christ is he that liveth. He became dead when He humbled Himself to die on the cross (Phil. 2:6-8), but then rose to live for evermore. Three tenses of Christ’s existence are emphasized: (1) His ever-abiding life; (2) his death as God-man; and (3) His resurrection to everlasting and authoritative life. He has authority over death and judgement and therefore has the keys of hell (hades) and of death (cf. 20:14).’ 

Then we come to this most pertinent instruction of Jesus’ to John. ‘Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.’ (Rev. 1:19) According to the scholars ‘This is the key verse of the Book. Revelation has three major sections: (1) the things which thou hast seen – chapter 1, especially the vision of Christ (cf. vs. 11 -: “what thou seest”); (2) the things which are – chapters 2 and 3, the conditions in the churches; and (3) the things which shall be hereafter – chapters 4-22, beginning with the judgements of the Tribulation period (cf. 7:1) – “after these things”). 

Ah mih people, I know many of us don’t like or read, or understand the Book of Revelation, because it can be confusing and has some gory details that turn us off, but in truth, it’s the best Book of the Bible, because it tells us exactly what will happen at the very end to those who follow Jesus sincerely and those who don’t. It doesn’t mince words at all. However, I think we’ll stop here for today, since it will get much too long if I continue with it all at once. Tomorrow, God spare life, we will get into Revelation a little more, and hopefully, by the time we are finished, we’ll all have a better idea of what’s going to happen in the future. 

So, for those of us who are totally interested in walking with Jesus, let’s go home now declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Him. 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 to further boost our enthusiasm, let’s remember that if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…one truth from the Bible…is worth…more than all the wisdom of man…                                                   

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8               

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