Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 November 2022 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.        For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).

Well friends, it seems like we’re alive for another day! Glory to God! And it also seems to be another glorious sunshiny autumn day in my neighbourhood! More glory to God! Ah mih people, all that we are, and all that we have are directly attributable to our marvellous, merciful, generous, gracious and ever-LOVING God! Please, let’s never forget that. 

And today I want to share an interesting prayer that’s all tied up with the goodness of our omnipotent God, a prayer from Bubba Joel Osteen Ministries that’s been sitting on my desk for ages, supposedly to inspire me, but which I have not even noticed, much less read and invoked for donkey’s years. (smile) I rediscovered it yesterday while cleaning up my desk and thought it would be very useful to us all today; give a kickstart to our day 

And the title of the prayer is most appropriate: ‘TODAY IS MY DAY!’ Oh my fellow saints, let’s remember that today is all we have; yesterday’s past and gone down into the annals of history, and tomorrow is still germinating, so it behooves us to concentrate on today, which is in the palm of our hands. 

So please pray with me: ‘God has destined me to be a barrier breaker! He created me to be uncontainable. I have talent and potential given to me by the Creator of the universe. There are seeds of greatness inside of me. Today, I choose to break free from a limited mindset and enlarge my vision. Today, God is taking me places that I’ve never even dreamed of before. Today, God is fulfilling His purpose and destiny in my life. Today, I will experience His favour like never before in every area of my life.’ And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

Yes mih bredrin, it’s time for us to break free from our limited mindset and pursue the glorious purpose and destiny that the Lord has set out for us in His Master Plan. Remember His promise in Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh yes, our God has big, good plans for us, but unfortunately our problem is that we speak of the greatness of our God, but we don’t really believe it, because we don’t think big, don’t truly consider His omnipotence, His awesome power, when talking to Him. But He’s placed talents and greatness in all of us. The main ones being seeds of the fruit of His Spirit that He’s planted in ALL believers, but which we have to allow His Holy Spirt to water and nurture to maturity. 

Bruh Paul listed those gifts to the Galatians as follows. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness, faithfulness, Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal. 5:22-23) Wow! What an array of seeds the Lord has planted in each of us! And that’s not all, there are other spiritual gifts that God has given to His people. Bruh Paul mentions some of them to the church at Corinth in his first letter. 

Listen up and take note. (smile) ‘Now there are diversities (various kinds) of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations (ministries), but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations (activities), but it is the same God which worketh all in all (all things in all of us). But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (for ALL to profit from). 

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues (foreign languages); to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing (distributing) to every man severally (individually) as he will.’ (1 Cor. 12:4-11) 

So you see my fellow believers, the many and varied kinds of gifts that our God, through His Holy Spirit imparts to his followers. And He doesn’t give them to us just to keep them locked up, but to shed them forth abroad to bring others to the knowledge and embracing of His Son Jesus Christ, and consequently bring glory to His Holy and Mighty Name – Jehovah! 

The problem is that we, through either fear or simple lethargy, refuse to use the gifts imparted to us by the Holy Spirit in the way they were meant to be used. But ALL of us have some gift(s) beside the fruit of the Spirit that the Lord gave us so that we could use to enlighten others and bring them to Christ. And it would be a crying shame, and big disaster, come the Judgement Day, when the Lord asks us what we did with this or that gift that He had given us, and we look at Him, with astonishment and stammer: ‘Lor…Lord, I didn’t know I had that gift.’ And then He will recall our lives and show us exactly how it was planted in us, but for whatever reason we did not use it to further His kingdom. 

It’s true my people, many of us are walking around carrying worthwhile gifts of God not being used for His glory. And that’s one of the reasons why our world is in such a terrible state, with so many people turning away from God instead of towards Him in this crucial and very critical time of the ages. So please, let’s wake up and do better nuh! Let’s actually walk the talk we’re so good at spouting. These are the times for which we’ve been specifically made my brethren. The Lord chose to put the future of His kingdom in our hands in these critical times, so please let’s not disappoint Him nuh, by not putting His magnificent gifts to work! 

It will be a tragedy if immense proportions if we allow Beelzebub to completely take over the world. But for those of us who are sincerely trying to use what gifts we have, let’s go home now declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail letting all and sundry know of our marvellous position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong and sincere 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 if we endure right down to the very end with Jesus, then I can assure us the future we just spoke of will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. So, let’s work together to make it happen nuh. It’s all for Jesus’ sake! Much LOVE!

…gifts are given to be unselfishly and productively used…not locked away…and/or only used for selfish purposes…

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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…                                                                                                              

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 March 2021 John 3:16.

John 3:16.     ​For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Welcome to another day in the life friends! And as I keep reminding us, this life might sometimes be on the rough side, but it certainly is worth living, especially if you have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! Glory be mih bredrin! That just got the ole fella excited, energetic and encouraged to start another brand new day, filled with new mercies, compassions and all the other good things our amazing, magnanimous and magnificent God delights in showering down on us new every day! 

Yes, there’s no doubting His magnificence and magnanimity! He shows it in oh so many ways. And today we’ll look at a few scriptures that show that generous and big-hearted nature of our God. And I think the most generous and kind thing our God has ever done is sacrificing His Son Jesus Christ on our sinful behalf. The Good Book tells us, from the very mouth of that sacrificial Lamb: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) 

Now if that isn’t magnanimous, and generous…and all those other synonyms, then I don’t know what is. You can your bottom dollar that I wasn’t sending my only one son to die for no bunch of ungrateful sinners! (smile) And I believe that very few of us would have done it too. But that just shows the expansiveness of God’s heart and His undying LOVE for us, His most precious creation. 

And Jesus followed that up with this other magnificent verse that shows the awesome care and compassion of our heavenly Father. ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) Oh yeah precious people! Instead of wiping us off the map, as God had every reason to do because of our abominable sinfulness, He instead chose to save us. Hn! And are we thankful for that compassion and mercy? A lot of us aren’t. 

That leads us to this other magnificent scripture…oh, they are quite a few in the Good Book! (smile) Bruh Paul tells the church at Rome: ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly… But God commendeth (demonstrates His own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:6,8) I don’t know how we cannot take away or derive immense generosity and largesse from those actions nuh. 

And James describes the Lord’s goodness and non-discrimination thus: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.’ (James 1:5) Yuh see that friends? God is no discriminator of persons. He gives to each generously. And then in Acts, as Peter preaches to the Gentiles, the Good Book says: ‘Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons (He’s impartial): But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.’ (Acts. 10:34-35) 

But it’s important to note that God is impartial to those who fear, reverence Him, do His bidding, and live by His standards, for sin is sin, and if you don’t accept His Son as your Lord and Saviour, then there’s nothing He can do, since that’s the law He laid down as a just and righteous God. And being just and righteous, He must uphold His law. It means He does not change His standards for anyone. 

Now hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. 

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear (reverence) him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps. 103:8-14) 

Oh fellow saints of Christ, do we really appreciate the magnanimity of what Bruh David is saying there? The Lord doesn’t give us what we deserve, and even casts away our sins and forgets them if we serve and reverence Him in all sincerity and truth! And I think it’s only fitting to declare the words of the Lord Himself on the subject, this when He passed before Moses on Mt. Sinai. 

‘And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him (Moses) there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.’ (Ex. 34:5-7) 

And since the Lord Himself said it, and He’s not a man, therefore has no cause to lie, then that must be the ultimate truth! Matter fixed! Our God is a wonderful magnanimous, magnificent, holy, just and righteous Deity! Therefore we will serve and worship Him with all our heart, strength, soul, body and mind! And to show that we are sincere, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) 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!’ 

So let’s keep our eyes focused on Jesus and endure unto the end, when that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…if after all God’s done for us…we don’t revere and LOVE Him…then something’s definitely wrong with us… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2021 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

1 Thessalonians 5:6.     ​Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled).

Well it’s another new day, another Wednesday, with lots of new mercies and compassion for which we are eternally grateful! Therefore we will give the Lord much thanks and praise and enjoy the day as we sincerely, diligently and efficiently do His holy will! And His children’s voices were raised in a loud, grateful and spontaneous ‘Amen!’ 

Today is also Ash Wednesday, the day in our religious calendar that begins our season of Lent. And what is Lent, you ask? Basically it’s a time of fasting and praying, of reflection and thanksgiving, of abstinence and self-denial, of desiring to get more intimate with our God, of giving up some of the things that we enjoy, but which keep us from giving our all to Him. It corresponds to the forty days that Christ spent in the wilderness fasting, being tempted by the devil, while preparing Himself for His upcoming earthly ministry. (Matt. 4:1-11) 

Likewise, every so often, not necessarily in the Lenten season alone, we ought to empty ourselves, get serious and talk as intimately as possible with our great and wonderful God; go to Him with life changing and puzzling questions and await His faithful answers. Oh friends, it’s only as we sincerely seek God that we can ever get answers. For as Jesus said so plainly: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33). 

That’s why we should always endeavour to keep God in first place in our lives, for without Him in that Number One position, we will not be beneficiaries of all the wonderful and immeasurable benefits that He has prepared for us. And one of those immeasurable benefits is life – both earthly and eternal! 

Ah mih people, it’s so good when you can wake up another day and don’t see your name listed in the obits. (smile) Yes, heaven might be wonderful and all that, but I’m sure that most of us are not quite ready to go there. There’s something about earthly living; could be the enticing promises of sinful living, (smile) or better yet, the desire to do God’s work here on earth. But whatever it is, in most of our hearts and souls, we’re not ready just yet to give up this tempestuous, troubled, evil, dangerous and uncertain earthly life. (smile) 

I pray though, that we’re all ready, just in case the Grim Reaper shows up unexpectedly and calls our name, or Jesus happens to come again to receive His own unto himself. That is all important friends; the preparation, the readiness for heaven whenever it calls. We cannot be found wanting when Christ calls us to come home, whether it be in death or His Second Coming. When either of those times arrive, He must be our Lord and Saviour, or else we will not spend eternity with Him, and that will indeed be a crying shame, with much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but then it will be too late. 

As Jesus clearly stated; when He shall return, and when we shall be called home, no man knows it. ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only…Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.’ (Matt. 24:36, 42) And since ALL options will be off the board when either of those situations occur, it’s of the utmost importance to always be in a state of readiness for either occasion. 

‘Be prepared; be ready,’ should be our watchwords and motto in this earthly life, for we don’t want to miss out on the eternal and heavenly one with Jesus. The only other option; hell, eternal darkness and the lake of fire with Satan is unthinkable! So let’s just concentrate on being with Jesus nuh, which means putting Him first place in our lives, and doing whatever He requires of us. 

And Bruh Paul spelled it out quite clearly in his first epistle to the Thessalonians. ‘For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night…But ye, brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children (sons) of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). 

For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.’ (1 Thess. 5:2, 4-10) 

Yes my brethren, that’s exactly why we do what we do; so that we can live together with Jesus forever! And one of the ways to ensure that in this evil world, comes from Bruh Paul’s last command. ‘Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as also ye do (are now doing).’ (1 Thess. 5:11) 

Oh my people, it’s ever so important for the saints of Christ to encourage, teach and build up each other, especially in these times of rampant sickness, evil, loneliness, depression and inhumanity. So like now, when isolation is the norm, let’s try and stay in touch with each other nuh. We have the means and the technology to do it, but we need to dig down deep and find the will, for it’s what Jesus desires of us. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and sincere 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 let’s not forget that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can even contemplate. Much LOVE!

…when the roll is called up yonder…will you be there…that’s the most important question… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 December 2020 Psalm 145:1.

Psalm 145:1.     ​I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

‘Oh Lord, why Lord eh? Yuh know I wanted to go out the street today and do some things that I believe would bring glory to your name, so why yuh make the day so dark and dreary and wet and snowy eh? Yuh know the ole fella don’t like to go out in them conditions… Chuh man Lord! 

Now ah not really complaining, (smile) and yuh know is not the cold I’m on about, but it’s just so much better and safer and more encouraging when the place dry and sunny. And though I know that you’ll protect me in both my comings and goings, that doesn’t mean I have to like the nasty weather. 

And yes Lord, if you say I should sacrifice and go out the street later, then you know that I will, even though I don’t like it. And that’s my resolve for today Lord! Thank You for all the many blessings you keep sending me. I LOVE and worship you with all my heart. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, the ole fella is only human, please remember that, and not as young and spry as he used to be, so though my head may be a bit muddled, there’s nothing wrong whatsoever with my heart, and after that plaintive concern above, I went looking for something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin to sort of purge my soul. (smile) 

And this is what I came up with. It’s titled ‘Celebration!’ 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… 

Oh 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 replies) ‘Fine dear child I’m ready.’ 

Oh yes my faithful brethren, that’s how we ought to feel about our great and wonderful God! And He’s certainly up to any celebrations we want to throw on His behalf! Nobody likes a party in their honour like our God! I think the three words that best describe Him are majestic, magnificent and magnanimous! They just seem to encompass all that He is in our poor, finite vocabulary. 

And we ought to celebrate Him everyday, for without Him, where would we be eh? I hate to really contemplate the answer to that question yes. So I’ll just leave it alone and simply be grateful for all the many blessings, the awesome grace and undeserved mercy He showers me each and every day! 

And that’s why I can’t understand why we don’t acknowledge and reverence the Lord more than we do. He’s done, is doing, and has promised to do so much for us… but giving Him a li’l LOVE, a li’l thanks and praise, we find it so hard, behave as though it’s pulling teeth without anesthetic… 

Chuh mih people, our God deserves much more and much better than what we grudgingly and ‘chinksily’ offer Him, as though we doing Him some big favour. Steups! Is a good thing that ‘The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.’ (Ps. 145:8) Otherwise we’d already been consumed by hellfire and damnation yes! 

Anyway friends, is time we change the not so important attitude we have towards our Maker to one of oh so important; more important than anything or anyone else! And when we do, we’ll see a wonderful change in our lives. But enough of me, let’s hear the Bible Promise for our poem today. 

And they are momentous and marvellous and indisputable words of Bruh David, from psalm 145 – The Lord is gracious. ‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Everyday will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps. 145:1-2) 

Yeh precious people, Bruh David found those words so nice that he had to say them twice! (smile) And so should we! And what he says afterwards is also wonderful and of great value. ‘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. 

I will speak of the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible (awesome) acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter (eagerly bubble forth) the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.’ (Ps. 145:3-7) 

Mama Mia! Now that’s how the Lord’s people are supposed to behave! But unfortunately we’re not doing it to the extent needed and necessary. In the first place, our generation hasn’t really praised the Lord’s works to the upcoming one, that’s why they have very little or no knowledge of Him and are falling for the world system of Beelzebub. We haven’t spoken enough about God’s mighty works, or His awesome acts, or His majestic splendour! No wonder the new generation doesn’t hold Him in high regard! 

We certainly aren’t eagerly bubbling forth reciting His great goodness and singing of His divine righteousness. But yuh know what friends? It’s not too late for us to begin doing better. For remember that while there is life, there is ALWAYS Hope! And hopefully (smile) this scathing commentary on our rather unsatisfactory behaviour will touch our hearts and bring us to our knees, and ultimately raise the level of our hope and faith. That’s my prayer for us this cloudy, snowy Wednesday morning. 

And now, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus our marvellous Lord and Saviour. 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 brother, if we endure till the end, that future will be even more glorious than our finite minds can comprehend! Much LOVE!

…God made man to be…first and foremost…an instrument of praise an adoration… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2020 Colossians 1:10.

Colossians 1:10.     ​That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Chuh man! It’s a wet and dreary looking Wednesday morning in my neck of the woods! But it would not really matter to me if I didn’t have to go out the street later to run some errands. Let’s hope the rain stops by then. But be that as it may, the most important thing though is that we are alive and kicking, meaning that there’s work for us to do, and we have Jesus for our Comforter, Guide and Saviour! Glory Be! 

That means nothing can stop us, because when He’s walking beside us we’re unstoppable, invincible and everlastingly mighty! (smile) That’s the power He has and so generously shares with us. Give Him some much deserved thanks and praise my fellow saints! 

And today I think we should take a look at Bruh Paul’s prayer for the church at Colossae, a church and people he had never seen but had heard of their problems from his friend in ministry, Epaphras, who had planted the church. Now hear his prayer: ‘For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;’ (Col. 1:9) Please notice the first thing Bruh Paul desires for the Colossians; ‘a knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.’ Not clothes, or food or money or some material stuff, but spiritual food. 

And the scholars explain that verse thus:‘1:9. Wisdom is an accurate perception into the true nature of things. Understanding is the skillful application of this wisdom in practical situations.’ And oh my people, how insanely important it is in these perilous and troubled times for us all to pray for wisdom and understanding; the knowledge of truth and how to practically apply it, because we definitely lack it right here and now, when we need it most, that’s why we are foundering on the rocks of total disaster! 

Remember, without a vison, the people perish. (Prov. 29:18a) That’s Cousin Sol’s wisdom, and there certainly doesn’t seem to be any revelation of God’s will, and thus a morality based on it, in our current society. That’s why we are now wallowing in the mire of strife and sickness and sinking fast, like we’re in quicksand. And Bruh Paul continues: ‘That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;’(Col. 1:10) 

Yeh friends, knowledge of God helps us to walk worthy of Him, and what Bruh Paul so desired for the Colossians, is also what we desperately need today. And not only a static understanding of our Lord and God, but even more importantly, an ever increasing and growing knowledge that will enable us to stay on the straight and narrow path. 

And Bruh Paul then breaks it down: ‘Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in (the) light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated (transformed) us into the kingdom of his dear Son (the Son of His LOVE):’ (Col. 1:11-13) What a powerful message my brethren! One that we need ever so badly today, if we are going to avoid the many pitfalls that are heading our way. 

But let’s hear the scholars now with some interesting explanations of all that wonderful scripture.‘1:10.This verse expresses the reason that in verse 9 Paul wants the Colossians to obtain a knowledge of God’s will. It is that they may walk (live) properly and fully please God. In Greek, the four explanatory participles of verses 10b-12 spell out and precisely define what a worthy walk entails: the believer is (1) fruitful in every good work, productive in Christian service; (2) constantly increasing in the knowledge of God, ever coming to know the Lord better; (3) always strengthened with all might, becoming spiritually stronger and stronger; and (4) in the habit of giving thanks, sincerely expressing gratitude to God in both the pleasant and unpleasant experiences in his life.’ 

Mama Mia! It’s definitely not an easy walk that Bruh Paul’s asking and praying for, but he knows, from his own personal experience, that the Lord won’t ask it of us and not give us His divine help to accomplish it. And sadly, that’s where many of us fall down. We don’t acquire the ever-increasing knowledge and wisdom of God and thus our faith doesn’t grow, so we’re not able to withstand the wiles and lies of the devil and the storms of life that naturally come against us. 

Hear the scholars further: ‘1:11. Patience is persevering through problems, trials, tribulations, and so forth. Long-suffering is forbearing the faults and offences of others.’ But with ever increasing knowledge of God, and His generous grace and mercy, it is all possible. And some more from the scholars: ‘1:12. This verse also might be translated “thanking the Father, for He made us fit to share in the salvation belonging to the saints who are in the light.” Light is the ethical condition in which God’s children live, namely, that of spiritual understanding with its accompanying morality and happiness.’ 

And finally from the scholars.‘1:13. Darkness is the religious state in which unbelievers exist, namely, that of spiritual ignorance with its attending immorality and misery.’ Thus friends, I guess it all boils down to whether we want to live in darkness with immorality and misery, or in the light, with its attendant morality and happiness. We have to choose one or the other, we can’t live on the fence, as so many of us are trying to do. It’s either heaven or the world that eventually leads to hell, we can’t have both. 

And in my humble opinion, heaven is indeed the better choice, although the pathway to it might be a tad more difficult. (smile) But as we keep on saying, if we choose heaven, God will give us the tools, the grace, mercy and wherewithal to make it safely and successfully. Now it’s up to you to choose your eternal destiny. But for those of us who have already chosen heaven, let’s go home now joyfully declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if we stick it out to the end, the future will be indeed even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine!Much LOVE!

…two ways to live out eternity…in the comfort of heaven…or the misery of hell…take your pick… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2020 Proverbs 6:6.

Proverbs 6:6.     ​Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

Let’s start off on the right foot this morning by apologizing. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa! (smile) The first apology concerns the lateness of the Bit. I had to go down the street for some early morning tests my doctor deemed imperative. Hn! When yuh getting old, the ole quacks and them deem too many things imperative yes! But what yuh gonna do eh? Generally speaking, they know more than you. 

The next apology is for not including our Tuesday Mantra in yesterday’s Bit. Wonder how many of you noticed that eh? (smile) I had it written at the bottom of the page, but never saw or even thought of it at the end. And I’ll try not to make that mistake again. (smile) Thanks ever so much for forgiving me, you are ever such a Christ-like group! (smile) 

But then I was led to these somewhat condemning words of Cousin Sol regarding our daily behaviour. ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide (leader), overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat (bread, grain) in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.’ (Prov. 6:6-8) Yeh friends, laziness and the enjoyment of good living without any labour is becoming rampant in our society. We all want to live high on the hog, but few of us are willing to put in the hours and effort that usually entails. 

And Cousin Sol continues in the same vein: ‘How long wilt thou sleep (lie down), O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth (a prowler), and thy want (need) as an armed man.’ (Prov. 6:9-11) Those are good questions Cousin Sol poses, and also a true result of those actions. And we are seeing that kind of attitude increasingly in our society as we get wealthier and have more amenities to do more of our daily tasks, be they hard, menial or complicated. 

Now hear how the scholars characterize all of Cousin Sol’s words nuh. ‘6:6-11. The sluggard is the habitually lazy person. He is admonished to learn two important lessons from the ant: (1) the ant has no guide, overseer, or ruler (vs.7), meaning that the ant does not have to have a taskmaster standing over it to make it work; it is a self-starter. (2) The ant is wise enough to prepare for predictable circumstances (vs.8). Two questions about sleep are posed to the sluggard (vs.9). His answer is given in verse 10: “Just a little more sleep!” The result of such laziness is dire poverty, which will come as suddenly and destructively as a robber.’ 

Oh mih people, mih people, there’s so much wisdom in those words! And it’s not like we haven’t seen it, or experienced it. We all have in some form and fashion, at some time in our long lives. We haven’t been as proactive as we should, then suddenly find ourselves cornered by a predictable circumstance. No, we cannot prepare for the unpredictable ones, but we certainly can for the many predictable ones. And the big one that jumps to my mind right now is preparation for spending eternity with Jesus, wherever that might be! 

That’s the most important predictable circumstance we all must face – where to spend eternity. And the wise money is on Jesus! No doubt about that? Now, have we made those preparations yet, by receiving Him as our Lord and Saviour? I can’t tell you how important that is, because the Grim Reaper can come calling at any unpredictable time, and likewise Jesus can come back at any unpredictable time. And once either of those two things happen, and you haven’t received Jesus as your eternal destiny, then you’re doomed to spending eternity with the prince of darkness in the heat and torment of hell. 

And to make matters worse, Jesus referred to His second coming like that of a thief in the night. ‘Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:43-44) We have been forewarned friends, so now it’s up to us to make the necessary preparations for whenever that event occurs if we’re still alive and kicking. Bruh Paul also warned us in his first letter to the Thessalonians: ‘For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess. 5:2) 

Oh my people, the Great Tribulation will begin suddenly, without any kind of imminent warning. But we have the certain knowledge that it will happen and those who don’t revere Christ as Lord and Saviour at that most critical time will suffer irreparable damage. So please, please, I implore us, let us get ready for that moment whenever it comes nuh! Let us therefore be like the wise ant nuh, and wisely prepare for that one big circumstance, either death, or Christ’s return, both of which we sure are coming at some future, but unknown time. 

And having decided we’re going to do just that, let’s go home now declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know, in no uncertain terms, our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Yes my bredrin, if we hang on to the vine that’s the Life of the world, until the very end, then we’re assured that the future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom is knowing what’s coming…and being prepared…whenever it comes… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2019 Matthew 6:25.

Matthew 6:25.    ​Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?
 

What a way we’ve reached Wednesday, the hump day of our work week, rather quickly! (smile) And I know that many spirits are now relaxed and looking forward to the weekend. But friends, let’s not look too far ahead, for many things, both good and bad, can happen in the interim time. So please, let’s concentrate on today, and do like Bruh David said: ‘This is the day, the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)

That’s the best way to live people, taking one day at a time, and enjoying it too, because God has made the wise decision to only give us one day at a time to live. That’s hard enough to handle, so why bother ourselves too much with the upcoming days eh? As Jesus said: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow); for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34) 

Yeh mih people, as the scholars explain: ‘When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’

And that brings us to some truths about worry from Pastor Corville Peters of the ‘At the Cross Live’ Television Programme. He says: ‘Worry doesn’t take sorrow out of tomorrow, but it does take the joy out of today. Worry pulls tomorrow’s clouds over today’s sunshine. Worry doesn’t help us get ready for tomorrow because God only gives us strength for today.’ 

Wow! What words of indisputable truth my fellow saints in Christ! Worry doesn’t help us at all, it just drags us further down into the mire of life. But unfortunately a whole heap of us nowadays, Christians included, go to the devil’s life school of worry, and worry about everything, resulting in no peace and joy in our lives.

It’s true that our world has become a rather formidable place to live securely and without worry, but if you’re a true believer in Jesus Christ, then your worries should be at a minimum after hearing this awesome advice from our Lord and Saviour. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?’ And it is indeed my people! 

And I like how the scholars explain that verse. ‘6:25. Jesus now deals with the equally dangerous tendency of those who have few possessions: worry! Take no thought (Gr. me merimnao) means “Do not be anxious.” This word means to be so disturbed about material needs that we distrust God and are distracted from faithfully doing His will.

Anxious care is the direct opposite of faith. Therefore, even the poor are not to worry needlessly about what they should eat, drink, or wear. The question Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? indicates that inner mental stability must come from the spirit of a man and not from outward physical provisions. To set one’s heart on material possessions or to worry about the lack of them is to live in perpetual insecurity and to deprive oneself of the spiritual blessings of God.’ 

Mama Mia! What words of awesome truth my brethren! Yes, I know it’s hard to not have, and yet to be comfortable and satisfied, but that’s the way it is in Christ’s kingdom. Remember how after our Bit, He points out all the wonderful aspects of nature and its mindless creatures; how they grow and thrive through God’s help, and that we’re much more important to God than them, so why would He not look after us just as well eh? He knows what we need better than we do. (Matt. 6:26-32)

The problem though is that we have to stop worrying about our material needs and possessions, and instead: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yeh friends, if we make God our Number One Priority, put Him FIRST in our lives, then all that we need will be given unto us. Note, it doesn’t say all that we WANT, but all that we NEED! Remember what we said above? ‘Where God guides, He provides.’ 

So please, let’s stop all the needless worrying that’s killing our spiritual selves, holding back our maturity in Christ, and instead, concentrate on seeking God and His righteousness, for He’s also promised, that if we seek Him diligently, we will find Him. Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail, which let’s the world know of our steadfast and faithful position in Christ Jesus.

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!’ 

And if we stick steadfastly with Jesus, then that future will indeed be glorious, more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…in Christ’s kingdom…all needs will be met…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2019 Joshua 24:15d.

Joshua 24:15d.   But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
 
Well friends, what do we have to say about Wednesday eh? Does it bring us the mid-week blues? Or does it offer us a li’l encouragement, knowing that we’ve made it successfully to the middle of the week, thus causing a dim light to appear at the end of the tunnel? However yuh take it, it’s Wednesday, and you can’t get away from it! (smile) 

So just buckle down and keep on fighting the good fight in the glorious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; the name that’s above every other name, and to whom all knees must eventually bow and worship to the glory of God the Father!

Wow! What a mouthful! But what a truthful, energizing and encouraging one! One that will reward us with everlasting life and unimaginable blessings, mercies, grace, forgiveness and unfathomable, unconditional LOVE! 

You certainly can’t get any better than that nuh my people! That’s why I’m always amazed and sorrowful when believers turn away from Jesus, and proceed to blaspheme His holy name, or others simply reject Him out of hand. That’s not wisdom, but pure stupidity, for who or what else offers the benefits that Jesus does eh? NOBODY or NOTHING! 

It’s like when we’re looking for a job, we usually try to find one with good benefits, even though the pay might be a bit smaller, because benefits cost much more and thus we often can’t afford to pay them out of our own pockets, even when we get a healthy raise. 

No wonder many companies these days are not offering the kind of benefits they used to, because they’ve become so expensive and hurt the bottom line…and we know in our capitalistic, read greedy society, everything is about the bottom line, the social aspect hardly matters anymore! 

So as the man says, when times get tough, who yuh gonna run to eh? Beelzebub? Steups! He doesn’t have anything good to offer. All he has is a nice looking façade on the outer portion of his business, the inner portion stinks; because it’s rotten, evil, greedy and strife-filled! Plus he lies, steals and is very deceitful. 

You can’t believe anything he says. Not to mention the fact that all the supposed fancy baubles he offers are just nicely coated junk, and start to deteriorate as soon as they are made and you certainly can’t take them with you when you die! So why would anybody in their right minds want to knowingly associate with the prince of darkness eh? But that just means there are a lot of people in this world who are definitely not in their right minds! (smile) 

Thankfully my fellow brethren, we are not numbered amongst that unfortunate lot. For we believe in the ONE TRUE and FAITHFUL GOD, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who’s Son is Jesus, our Redeemer, heavenly Advocate and Prince of Peace, amongst many other things, and as we said before, the Name that’s above every other name! Praise His High and Holy Name! He is faithful and true and offers benefits like they’re going out of style! (smile) 

And Jesus goes one step further, the extra mile, by showing concern for our earthly status as well as our life in the hereafter. Satan doesn’t give a damn about that! He just wants to get us in his evil grip here on earth, and then see us perish down in Hades with him. 

But hear what Jesus says: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16)  You can’t beat that friends! The Lord our God is concerned about all aspects of our existence because He created us with His own two hands, that’s why He LOVES us so much and was willing to undergo extreme heartbreak to save us. 

As Jesus continues: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) Glory to our great God! In other words, God is concerned with saving us from the damnation of hell, while Lucifer wants us to go down there and suffer with him. Now which one will you choose? I do hope you choose the right one yes friends, because if you don’t, life will be a real hell, both here on earth and in hell below. 

And I’ll quote these famous words of Joshua to the Israelites on the above subject. ‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (Euphrates river), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. 

And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood (Euphrates River), or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:14-15) 

Yes friends, in this world we must serve somebody, and there are really only two options, Satan or Jehovah God. The decision is yours to make. Let’s hope you choose the wise one like Joshua and myself, and choose to serve the Lord God Almighty, your Creator as well as your eventual judge. 

And for those wise ones, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, proudly letting the world 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 that future will certain sure be glorious indeed my people! If Jesus promised it, then you can bet your bottom dollar on it! Much LOVE!

…you’ve got to serve either God…or mammon…you can’t serve both…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2019 Matthew 4:1.

Matthew 4:1.   ​Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
 

Well friends, the ole fella is up much earlier than he would have liked, but that’s because I have to go into the city to check on this ole heart of mine, to keep the appointment I missed during the big snow storm last week. And since I don’t want leave you all bereft of spiritual succour for too long, (smile) I had to get up earlier to write the Bit and get out on time. Last week it was an afternoon appointment, so I had time to palaver, but this week it’s in the morning. That’s how much the ole fella cares about you! Glory to God! 

So what shall we talk about this Wednesday morning, this Ash Wednesday morning, when all the frivolities and sinfulness of Carnival finish eh? I don’t have a clue! (smile) Hope those of you who participated in the festivities, wherever in the world, had a good time and didn’t go too much overboard and thus give the enemy some ungodly purchase in your souls, because it’s very easy to do that when you let your hair down, as so many of us do, at Carnival time. 

But now it’s the season of Lent in the Christian calendar; forty days and forty nights, a reflection of Jesus forty days and nights in the wilderness before He began His ministry and was tempted by Satan, but stood strong in His resolve to do the Father’s work. It’s a time where we hopefully get more spiritual, contemplate the things of God more, get into Bible Studies and spend more serious time with God. 

It’s when fasting and praying and self-examination become a larger part of our lives. The popular action is to give up things we enjoy for Lent. I don’t know if it really makes a difference to most of us, who just do it because it’s the norm, but if it helps to bring us closer to God, then so be it. Now let’s look at what happened to Jesus in the wilderness and how He handled it all. 

The Good Book says: ‘Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ 

And the scholars have a long, involved explanation which I’ll share. ‘4:1. Following His public baptism, Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness referring to the elevation of the Judean wilderness. The historical setting of the temptation, which was directed against Jesus’ human nature, indicates that this was a literal experience, which He really conquered, not merely a mental victory over His own thoughts. 

That Jesus was tempted of the devil is clearly presented as a fact. The attack against Christ’s humanity was a genuine temptation that would have overcome any ordinary man. However, Jesus was no mere man. As the virgin-born God-man, His divine nature could not sin (cf. 1 Sam.15:29), and this held His human nature in check. Some have objected that the impeccability of Christ (that He was not able to sin) denies the reality of Satan’s temptation. 

Such an objection is meaningless when one remembers that Satan’s rebellion against God has already been defeated in Christ’s atonement, but his rebellion is nevertheless real, even though the outcome of God’s victory is certain. The same is true of the temptation of Christ. One may attack a battleship with a canoe. The outcome of the attack will be certain defeat for the canoe, but the attack is nonetheless real.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus was indeed tempted of the devil, but did not succumb to that temptation, as the Good Book tells us. ‘And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungered (hungry). And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt.4:2-4) 

Yes my people, that temptation was real, and Jesus was there quoting Moses’ words of Deut.8:3, where he reminded the Israelites how the Lord humbled them in the wilderness and made them eat manna so that they could know that He was God, and that bread was not the most important thing in their lives, but His Word. As the scholars put it: ‘The source of bread, is more important than the bread itself.’ Oh so true my fellow believers! 

Before we close today though, I want to share some more of the scholars’ insight into Jesus fasting. ‘4:2-3. Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, a remarkable feat of human endurance, indicating the physical strength of the former carpenter. While the three major tests followed this period, other tests evidently had occurred throughout the 40 days (Luke 4:2). 

His real physical hunger serves as the setting for the first temptation by the tempter (Satan). The conditional clause, If thou be the Son of God, indicates Matthew’s purpose for including this record of Jesus’ victory: it proves that He is, in fact, the Son of God.’ 

Yes friends, He was indeed the Son of God, and Satan knew this to be a fact, that’s why He tried to break down His hungry human nature with the temptation of bread, knowing that a great victory would be his if Jesus succumbed. But instead Jesus stood strong and steadfast and rebuked the enemy and won the victory! All praise and honour to our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Now friends, it’s our turn to stand strong and steadfast against the evil enemy! We don’t naturally have all the parts and power that Jesus had, but He’s faithfully promised that through His Holy Spirit, He will empower us to rebuke the tempter when He comes a calling in our earthly lives. And He’ll do just that if we sincerely turn to Him for help! 

Now let’s go home declaring (steups – wrong again) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! Wailing 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!’ 

Ah mih people, it will indeed be so very wonderful in those future times, that our finite minds can’t even begin to comprehend it! Think on it, and let Jesus warm the cockles of our hearts this Ash Wednesday morning! Much LOVE!

…Lent…a time of personal introspection…and a closer look at the kingdom of God…

 

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