Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2020 Hebrews 11:6.

Hebrews 11:6.    ​But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
 
Oh friends, the birds are singing their Hallelujah Chorus… but sadly there’s no one out and about to hear their beautiful song of praise and thanksgiving to their omnipotent Creator and ever-generous Provider! And Jesus made it quite clear about the birds when He said in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’ (Matt. 6:26). 

I guess in the big picture the answer to that question might be yes, but in relation to our reactions to our heavenly Father, the answer is certainly no! That’s because we don’t worship and praise and give as much thanks to our Creator and Provider as they do, or as we should. We seem to feel that He doesn’t do anything for us, that all we have and have achieved have come through our own efforts. But that’s not true, for remember Bruh Paul assured us that ‘my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) And He will…if we follow His Word and Will. 

But instead, we foolishly still insist in going our own way. We foolishly shout: ‘Yippee! We have free will, so we will use it as we please!’ But what good has that done us eh? None whatsoever! For from the day Eve bowed to the duplicity of the wily ole enemy, Satan, he has used that free will to dupe us into doing his desires instead of the Lord’s! And because of it, we are engaged in constant strife, resentment, anger, war and a host of other negative actions and activities. Because we refuse to listen, as per the Bill Gates warning yesterday, we’re caught up in another germ attack, this one seeming to be the most pervasive and widespread yet. 

Ah mih people, what’s wrong with our minds eh? Why have we been caught flat-footed by Aids, Sars, Ebola and now the Coronavirus eh, when there’s enough brain power, wealth and technology in the world to either prevent them, or stop them sooner in their tracks? I guess because we concentrate on the things of the world too much and not enough on the things of God. Too many of us apparently don’t take Jesus’ words as seriously as we should. When He says earlier on in the Sermon on the Mount: 

‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold (be loyal) to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (riches, material things). 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 (clothes)?’ (Matt. 6:24-25) Yes my faithful and precious people of God. Life certainly is more than food and clothing. 

And that’s when Jesus spoke about the fowls of the air. Then asked: ‘Which of you by taking thought (worrying) can add one cubit unto his stature (height)?’ (Matt.6:27) And the answer is not a single one of us! So Jesus continues: ‘And why take ye thought for raiment (do you worry about clothes)? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed (clothed) like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe (clothes) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith.’ (Matt.6:28-30)

 Oh friends, we do not serve a stupid or unconcerned  God! Whatever He’s made, He will take care of! That’s all Jesus is trying to point out to us. So if He looks after the birds and flowers so wonderfully, and they are low down the totem pole, why wouldn’t He look after us, His children even better eh? But the problem seems to stem from Jesus’ last words above: ‘O ye of little faith.’ That seems to be the tantamount problem with God’s children; a sad lack of sufficient faith. 

And the Good Book says it right up front: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ That’s what it’s all about friends; belief and faith! We talk a lot about having faith, but when the time comes to put it into action we falter and fail. And that’s exactly why Jesus directed us in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (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.6:33-34) 

He wasn’t joking my brethren. He was quite serious. We ought to concern ourselves first of all with spiritual things, make God our first priority, and then He will give us all the material things we need. For as the scholars so wisely say: ‘Where God guides, He provides.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people…but we must have sufficient faith to live it. And hopefully, this dreadful time in which we’ve found ourselves, will have a lot more people sincerely crying out to God for help, and will help to build the faith of those of us who already believe. Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our serious and faithful position in Christ. 

As one, 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 is that ever something to look forward to friends: the day when there’ll be no more pain, sorrow, sickness, death or tears, just eternal joy and life with Jesus! Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2019 Revelation 20:15.

Revelation 20:15.    ​And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

Come Sunday morning…I will be going to church! Come Sunday morning…to fellowship with other believers…to hear God’s word…sing His praises…give Him thanks…and receive strength and guidance for the upcoming week! That’s what I’m going to do, come Sunday morning! Yeh friends, Sunday is the day most believers set aside for going to church, so let’s do just that this morning nuh. 

And you know we always begin the proceedings with a song of praise and thanksgiving, so let’s belt out this 1893 hymn by James Milton Black that’s still a crowd favourite.  It’s titled: ‘When the roll is called up yonder.’ ‘This hymn’s central theme is being in Heaven when your time has come and not missing out on the eternal salvation of God.’ And since all of us expect to be there, let’s sing it in loud voice, with the appropriate enthusiasm and sincerity and all the background voices that makes it such a sweet hymn. (smile) 

 As one harmonious choir: ‘When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more, And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there (Chorus: When the roll…when the roll… is called up yon-der, When the roll…when the roll…is called up yon-der, When the roll…when the roll…is called up yon-der, When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.) 

On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise, And the glory of His resurrection share When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. (Chorus…When the roll…when the roll…I’ll be there) Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun, Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. (Chorus: twice. When the roll…when the roll…is called up yonder, I’ll be there.)’ 

What a joyous day that will be my fellow believers! There’ll be singing and dancing and joyful shouting as each name is read from the Book of Life. Unfortunately though, some of us might be disappointed when we don’t hear the names of some friends and family. But they will only have themselves to blame, as they had every opportunity like we had to come to Jesus and surrender their souls to Him. And before we get into the scriptural aspect of the Bit, let’s get some idea of how the hymn came about, as per the web site God Tube. 

They say it ‘was inspired by the idea of The Book of Life mentioned in the Bible, and by the absence of a child in Black’s Sunday school class when the attendance was taken.  The thought of someone’s being not in attendance in heaven haunted Black, and after visiting the child’s home and calling on a doctor to attend her for pneumonia, he went home and wrote the song after not finding one on a similar topic in his hymn collection.’ Ah mih people, these wonderful old hymns we sing nowadays have such diverse and inspirational backgrounds, and sadly we don’t know the inspiration behind many of them. 

Now let’s check out some relevant scripture. Those of us who get to heaven will have complied with the messages Jesus sent to a couple of the churches in His Revelation to John. In the message to the church at Thyatira, He promises: ‘And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over nations.’ (Rev.2:26) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘3-26-29. The obedient believer will be given a reward of power or authority in the millennial kingdom as he reigns with Christ (12:5; 19:5; 20:4).’  

And to the church at Sardis, the conclusion of the message was: ‘He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment (garments); and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.’ (Rev.3:5-6) And this is the scholars’ explanation: ‘3:5-6. The one who has genuine faith in Christ has the righteousness of Christ accounted to him through the redeeming blood of the Lamb. This is the white raiment (cf.7:14). 

The book of life is a list of the saved of all ages (cf. Phil.4:3; rev.20:12, 15). The promise not to blot out his name out of the book of life is an emphatic assurance of the eternal security of the true believer. The statement in Greek contains a double negative, which may be translated, “I will be no means blot out his name.” Christ will confess the name only of genuine believers (cf. Matt.10:32-33).’ 

Oh my people, hopefully we will be in the first resurrection (Rev.20:5) which includes the resurrection of Christ, of the Church (the dead in Christ), and of Old Testament and Tribulation saints. The second resurrection though will be for all the unbelieving dead of all ages. ‘And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.’ (Rev.20:12-13)  

And the scholars explain. ‘20:12-13. The unbelieving dead are judged from two sets of books. The books contain the record of every unsaved person’s life. Each unsaved person is judged in accordance with his works (cf. Rom.2:6; 16), which clearly show that each one is a guilty  sinner (cf. Rom.3:9-19) deserving of eternal death (cf. Rom.3:23; 6:23). The book of life contains the name of every saved person who has received eternal life through faith alone (cf. John 20:31; 1 John 5:11-13). These unsaved people are shown that they did not take advantage of the offer of eternal life through faith (cf. Rom.9:32; 10:3) Death and hell (Hades) are the temporary holding places of unsaved men’s bodies and souls, respectively (cf. Luke 16:19-31).’ 

So what happens after that? ‘And death and hell (Hades) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.’ (Rev.20:14-15) That says it all people! As the scholars explain: ‘20:14-15. The second death is eternal punishment in the lake of fire, experienced only by the unsaved. Once this final judgement occurs, there is no further need for either death or hell (Hades) (cf. 1:18, 6:8; Is.25:8; 1 Cor.15:26, 55). An eternal separation is now made between those who have life, and those who have “death” (cf. Dan.12:2; John 5:29).’ 

Oh friends, there are a lot of scripture references and plenty stuff that will happen when the time comes, but all you need to worry about is basically getting saved through faith in Jesus, obeying His words, and thus having your name written in the Book of Life! Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will surely feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2019 Psalm 108:5.

Psalm 108:5.    ​Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth.
 

Oh yes friends, I had another first last night, or rather this morning: sitting on my porch, dressed in next to nothing  (smile) at minutes to two in the morning enjoying peaceful communion with my Maker! Wow! Is that ever peaceful and nice! What with few lights around and the stillness, except for the highway sounds in the far background! Is it ever a great time to enjoy quiet communion with our heavenly Father. 

And He likes it too, because there are fewer distractions available to come between us. Just like they say an empty church has more room for God, likewise, a quiet time offers more opportunity for serious communication with Him. I’d certainly advise trying it sometime. (smile) And since we’re talking about good, quiet times with the Father, then here is a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s aptly titled ‘Rare Moments of Delight!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Because You are God And Your Word is unquestionable There are things I assuredly know Even when my heart is a brambled desert And every ounce of emotion is drained: I know Your LOVE is everlasting I know You will NEVER forsake me Nor will You leave me comfortless I know I may come to You boldly 

I know You will teach and instruct me You will guide me with Your eye I know my past is forgiven And my future is secure. But oh, dear God How I praise You for the marvel Of those rare moments When suddenly, without a flash or a sound You add to my knowing The ecstasy of feeling And I am lifted to peaks of delight!’ 

Wow mih people! Wow! What else can I say eh? It’s one of those peaks of rare and sudden delight that I experienced this morning out on my porch, just me and the Lord alone! And what’s amazing and amusing is that I wasn’t planning on going outside nuh, I just came downstairs to get something to munch on, then as I was coming down the stirs the idea to check out the porch just occurred. 

But getting back to the poem, yuh see friends, how many things we are assured of by our heavenly Father, and how many things we are supposed to know for certain? The only problem is that we might know them in our heads, but we don’t action them enough in our hearts, where it really matters! And that’s where our version of Christianity breaks down in these evil and ungodly times. We badly need to action those things in our hearts if we’re to survive and be successful in these very trying and strife-filled days. 

Oh, we claim to know that God LOVES us unconditionally, and He’ll never leave us or forsake us, and we can go to Him at any time for comfort and guidance, but most of it is just talk. How many of us actually do that in the good times eh? And even when times get tough, and we seem lost in a fog, plenty of us still refuse to turn to our Creator and Provider because of foolish pride! 

But friends, the truth is that our Father who is in heaven truly desires us to come to Him, at any time, for EVERYTHING! He wants to be our difference maker! And if we know all those things that poem says we know, why is there such lack of communication between our Creator and us eh? But enough lecturing, (smile) everybody has to make their own decisions and do what they think is best, but for me and my house, we will follow the Lord! And family, please don’t make me a liar on that point eh! (smile) 

Now the Bible verse for that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth.’ And that’s exactly how it ought to be my fellow saints in Christ! If God has been so good to us, then we should be exalting and praising and lifting Him up to the high heavens. And the interesting part about our Bit is that the first five verses of Psalm 108 are also the last five of Psalm 57. And Bruh David even thought it important enough that he also made it verse 5 of Psalm 57. 

So let’s hear what he has to say in the other verses nuh. ‘My heart is fixed (steadfast), O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory, awake psaltery (lute) and harp: I myself will awake early (awaken the dawn). I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.’ (Ps.57:7-11; Ps.108:1-5) 

And until we seriously begin doing what those verses say my people, our witness won’t be worth very much. But our God is so good and gracious and has so much faith in us, (smile) that despite our reluctance to exalt and glorify Him, He has still seen it fit to bless us with the ‘numerosity’ (smile) of our Thursday Blessings. And since they only come into play when we declare them, let’s do that right now nuh, with plenty gusto and confidence. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And lest we forget, or allow the greedy and selfish purposes of the world to blind us, those blessings were not given to us to selfishly hoard, but to share with the less fortunate in our suffering world! So please, let’s do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart! Much LOVE!

…he that has ears to hear…let him hear…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.    ​This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 

 

And then it was Saturday, the first of June; somewhat sunny, but still a tad chilly. And the first order of business is to ask us to continue praying for our Scrip-Bit family member Alyssa. She came through the surgery successfully…Glory to God! And she thanks us all for our prayers, but she is having a difficult time with the pain, so it would be nice if we ask the Lord to help her in that respect; either reduce it, or give her the strength to handle it. 

And believe you me, I know what it is to be in pain after surgery, I’ve had enough of it to last me a lifetime! But the fact is that’s the only way we grow in our Christian faith; through difficult times, which teaches us to hold on tightly to the Lord and the awesome promises found in His Word. 

The problem with most of us believers is that we talk the faith very well, but don’t do it as well when the time calls for it. Anyway, let’s just pray for Alyssa and by faith, know and believe that He will help her. Remember, believing is the most important part of prayer. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And he sent us a whole slew this week, and some long ones as well! Hear this first one: ‘Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.’ 

Now that’s ever so obvious! You can’t have positive results with negative thoughts. And Positive Thinking is the way to go in this life, because Cousin Sol says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (Prov.23:7) And that’s gospel truth friends! However we think, that’s the way we will behave, that’s the direction in which we’ll go. 

And remember, the greatest positive thinker of all time was our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. How else would He imagine that He could come to earth, die for our sins, then expect us to lead others to Him eh? Only positive thinking at it’s highest pinnacle could cause Him to believe such an extraordinary thing. And since we’re supposed to have the mind of Jesus, then our thinking ought to be along positive lines too. 

That’s why this next quote is also true. ‘Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.’ Oh friends, this life is all about attitudes, our attitudes to life’s circumstances! If we have the right attitude, then we’ll be able to handle whatever comes against us, especially if we’re in concert with Jesus! 

And all of that segues quite nicely into this other quote: ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’ 

Mama Yo! Yuh ever see Jesus allow the li’l things to bother Him? No way! Is only when big things like the supposed people of God using His Father’s house of prayer as a den of iniquity, that He allows His anger to burst forth! (Matt.21:13) And talking about attitudes, hear this quote: ‘You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.’ 

Yes my brethren, the only smart and sensible way to see life is through rose coloured glasses. (smile) We have to consider our difficulties as opportunities to grow, or we’ll just stay and wallow in the mire of disaster and hopelessness all our earthly lives…And that’s definitely not what Jesus died for us to do! 

He gave His sinless life so that we could have a good, rich and abundant life, beginning right here on earth! But as always, in partnership with Christ, we have a part to do. And yes, our part is not always easy to do, but with Jesus by our side it is eminently doable. And He expects us to do it! 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.’ 

And I vividly remember that advice from one of Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) messages in his Hour of Power Devotional. He tells how one winter his father saw a tree that seemed dead and cut it down for firewood, but come the springtime, the remnants of that tree blossomed again, and his father gave him that same very sound advice. 

Oh friends, this world is so contrary and ungodly and evil, and brings so many negative things against us that it is difficult to do all that we need to do. That’s why we have to stay in constant contact with God, read, meditate and inwardly digest His amazing Word, which contains promises for every area of our earthly walk. It’s our Guidebook for LIVING; both here on earth and also in heaven for eternity, for it tells us what we’ll be doing then too! 

And it all comes right back to the Lord’s own unbeatable advice to Joshua long, long ago: ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ 

Ah mih breddren, that’s not new news! And we’re not prosperous and don’t have good success because we don’t practice what the Lord tells us! He is the Creator and Ruler of the universe, and if He tells us we need to do such and so to be successful in the life He’s planned and ordained for us, then why would we do otherwise eh? 

Because with our free will, we’ve become foolish and full of too much pride, and feel we know better than the One who created us and blew His breath of life into our feeble lungs! But as Jesus so simply and eloquently puts it: He that hath ears to hear…let him hear! Matter fix mih people! 

So let’s sit down today and do some serious and wise hearing nuh! It’s all for our own benefit! Much LOVE!

…mixed up moods and attitudes…only bring a mixed up and unsuccessful life…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2019 Luke 16:23.

Luke 16:23.   ​And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
 
Another wet and cloudy morning! But that’s nothing new, and the good news is that the sun does look like it’s going to put up some kind of battle to come out later on. But the best news is that as believers in Jesus Christ we have His bright light surrounding us and living in us all the time! Glory Hallelujah! So, regardless of what the physical day looks like, we are always clothed in His sunshine! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

Unfortunately though, one community in the Ottawa Valley is still suffering from the effects of the recent floods, apparently their area has now been made an island with water all around it, and they have to use boats to get around. Hn! Can you imagine that? Please, let’s pray for them to return to normal soon, for all these unforeseen and unexpected difficulties when they drag out for a long time also take a severe toll on people’s humanity. 

But the fact that it’s Friday takes away a li’l of the rain pain, (smile) and the workingman is just dying to broadcast his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And the weekend’s here! But this blooming rain just looking to spoil my weekend activities yes! With the weather getting warmer, I expected to be able to go outside and frolic in just mih shirtsleeves and shorts…possibly even set up the barbecue and have a few while the meat cooking. 

But chuh! This rain becoming a real spoilsport yes! Curtailing all mih outdoor fun! You could only have so much fun inside for just so long, before the wife and children get tired of you. But anyway, thank God is Friday and the weekend oui, no more labouring for the greedy slave master for a couple days! Thank God for that small mercy yes!’ 

Yeh friends, many of us are thankful for the two days off from work, though as believers we don’t get as worked up as the workingman when the rain rains on our parade… ‘Who says so?’ you shoot back? ‘We have the same feelings like the workingman, but we just don’t show them to his extreme!’ Sorry mih people, sorry! And since we’re not that extreme, let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh to show our less extreme feelings. (smile) 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, we are a li’l more reined in by Jesus’ dictates than the ordinary workingman is by his worldly desires. But please, let’s not resent it, because it’s only for our benefit! It helps to keep us on the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation and eternal life, which we all believe is the best option we have going here on earth. 

You know there are ONLY two options; Satan and Jesus, and as for me and mine we will gladly follow Jesus because he has the best long-term plans and solutions. Satan has a lot of stuff he offers in the here and now, but what happens in the hereafter eh? Nothing but hellfire and damnation! And if you think that’s all a bunch of hogwash, then go ahead and accept the earthly benefits of the devil. But just supposing it’s true eh? What then when you pass into the next world? 

Some of us know the parable of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar, but for those of us who don’t, here is a brief outline. The Good Book says: ‘There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously (lived in luxury) every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 

And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried into Abraham’s bosom (enjoying the messianic banquet in Abraham’s company): the rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ (Luke 16:19-24) 

Now friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke that parable, and if, as we contend, He cannot lie, why is it so hard to believe the presence of hell eh? And please note the reply the rich man received from Abraham. 

‘But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.’ (Luke 16:25-26) 

Yuh see friends, after our earthly death, there is no second chance. All the second, third, fourth and numerous other chances are present here on earth. And to make matters worse, there’s no mercy available in hell, just here on earth! And if you read the rest of that passage (Luke 16:27-31) you’ll see that in hell you’re still aware of what’s going on, both in heaven and on earth, but you can’t do anything about your situation or your family’s. 

As Abraham told the rich man when he asked for him to send someone to talk to his family about the terrible situation he was in. ‘And he (Abraham) said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.’ (Luke 16:31) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ’16:31. If here carries the weight of “since.” They were not paying attention to the light they already had. Hard-heartedness is not necessarily overcome by miraculous signs.’  

So friends, it just comes back to prove that we need to make the right decision before we die, and since we don’t know when that will be, it’s best to decide for Jesus RIGHT NOW, so that your salvation and eternal life can be secured, your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and yuh not lost somewhere down in the burning fires of hell, tormented like crazy, going through ‘sufferation’ that you couldn’t even imagine in earthly life, crying out, pleading for mercy, begging for just a drop of water to wet yuh flaming tongue! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus said…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will eventually feel…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2019 Isaiah 53:7.

Isaiah 53:7.   ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’  
 

Aye friends, just a gentle reminder that this is vacation time so the Bit will not always be early or even at the same time every day. (smile) It all depends on where I have to go or what needs to be done. So please don’t feel badly, or take umbrage, if it shows up at all weird sorts of times. 

Anyhow, we done late already this Sunday morning, or rather afternoon; had to go to church and then fellowship afterwards, then come home and eat some of the breakfast stuff I bought at church, bake and saltfish, then rest. Yuh know the rest is essential for the ole fella these days. (smile) 

So let’s go directly to our song of praise and worship. It’s one of my favourite hymns from my boyhood days, and as I was resting there a while ago contemplating what song we’d sing today, the Lord reminded me of that one and requested it. And it’s obvious I could not refuse His request. (smile) 

It’s titled ‘There is a green hill far away.’ It was written many moons ago by Cecil Frances Alexander (nee Humphreys) (1818-1895), the Anglo-Irish hymnodist and poet. And just for your info, she apparently also wrote that other popular hymn ‘All things bright and beautiful,’ and the Christmas Carol, ‘Once in Royal David’s City.’ 

So let’s now sing those fateful and true words of ‘There is a green Hill far away,’ like if we really mean them nuh, because in another few weeks, on Good Friday, we ‘re going to be truly celebrating the sad and sorrowful but oh so necessary and important demise of Christ on that cross in a far away land! 

All together in strong, sweet, harmonious voices: ‘There is a green hill far away, Without a city wall, Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear, But we believe it was for us He hung and suffered there. He died that we might be forgiven, He died to make us good, That we might go at last to Him, saved by His precious blood. 

There was no other good enough To pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate Of heav’n and let us in. Oh, dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, we cannot doubt those truth bearing words of Cecil Frances Alexander, because without the redeeming deeds of Jesus we’d still be living in darkness and headed for Hades at the end of this miserable earthly life. But all thanks and praise be to God the Father, who sent Him, and to Jesus, God the Son, who obediently went to the cross to die for our abominable sins which had kept us very removed from the holy and righteous Jehovah God! 

Ah mih people, I don’t know about these words of Frances nuh: ‘We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear,’ because the Good book plainly states them; lashes with a cruel whip, taunting and jeering and spitting, a crown of thorns pressed down upon his head, then made to carry His cross through Jerusalem like a common thief, then to make matters even worse, nailed to that cross between two common criminals after being speared in the side and His clothes auction off by casting lots! 

So don’t tell me we don’t know what pain He had to bear, because it was immense and inhumane! But it definitely was for us that He underwent that horrific ‘sufferation!’ No doubt about it! As Isaiah had foretold eons before that terrible day at Golgotha: ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’  

Yes friends, Jesus did it all for us on the basis of LOVE which personifies the Father, and also to bring to reality, the magnificent and ever-faithful promise of the Father, as Isaiah also prophesied when talking about the Lord’s servant. ‘Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (my chosen one), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement (justice) to the Gentiles. 

He shall not cry (cry out), nor lift up (raise his voice), nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking (dimly burning) flax shall he not quench (extinguish): he shall bring forth judgement (justice) unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgement (justice) in the earth: and the isles (coastlands) shall wait for his law.’ (Is.42:1-4) 

And so said so done, my people! In fact it’s not quite done as yet, because Jesus has to return to clean up the mess that’s the earth today. As the scholars explain: ‘The ministry of the Servant of the Lord will be to bring forth judgement or justice to the Gentiles and in the earth. His kingdom knows no barriers of nationality or race. Of all the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah saw this fact most clearly. While Jesus’ early ministry was to the house of Israel, His ultimate commission extended to the Gentiles as well.’ 

And just for our info, the New Testament quotes this prophecy as being fulfilled in Jesus in Matt.12:18-21. Please check it out. (smile) So what’s the long and short of the story my people? Christ died that our sins might be forgiven, He paid the price that ONLY He could pay with His precious, sinless blood, so that we could be reconciled to the Father and thus have the wonderful option of enjoying eternal life in the company of the Triune God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Ah friends, it was not an easy row that the Father gave Jesus to hoe, but He did it obediently because He LOVED both the Father and us. Consequently, our response to all of that should be exactly what we sung in the hymn above: ‘Oh, dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.’ Nuff said! Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…otherwise the consequences will be…extremely disastrous…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2018 Luke 9:62.

Luke 9:62.   And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

And so we come to Saturday; a day when so many of us breathe a huge sigh of relief, like a great burden has been lifted off our shoulders. And a great burden has indeed been lifted off of many shoulders, and I’m not simply talking about having to go to work, but the effort it takes to get to and from work. 

We’re talking about the endless traffic jams, morning and evening, the hustling along the crowded sidewalks, the rushing and pushing to catch Public Transportation, and then being packed like sardines in the subways and buses. Hn! No wonder so much fatigue, tiredness and lack of incentive exists in our society, and people are prone to do just as much as they can get by with. 

And then, come Saturday, they just lie around like beached whales, too tired to do much of anything but eat and sleep. I don’t know the solution to the problem nuh, but I do know that we waste a lot, too much time and energy just getting to and from work. 

One would think that mankind, as this great thinking machine, as this great font of wisdom, would be able to devise a better, more productive system. Unfortunately though, I don’t see it happening any time soon, so we’d better look about strengthening our backbones and our minds so that we can bear it. Sermon done! (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes of our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I don’t know what happened, but I only got one quote from him this week, but it’s a good one. ‘We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.’ 

What words of absolute wisdom my brethren! Looking back is not something we ought to do too often because it keeps us from moving forward. As Anselm says, we should only look back to learn from our mistakes and use them to make our future more productive. 

Unfortunately though, many of us live in the past. We keep rehashing the things that have happened and keep bringing all that baggage to our current situations. Therefore we can never get ahead with all that negative stuff weighing us down. Please remember my brethren that the past is dead and gone, it’s history, and we can never get it back no matter how we romanticize it, talking about the good old days. 

Now here is the definitive word on the subject, from none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  ‘And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’ 

That’s one of the tests of discipleship, and what Jesus told the man who wanted to follow Him, but first desired to go and tell his family farewell. Ah mih people, it sounds like a rough, unfeeling statement, but workers for Jesus must be forward looking, forward thinking people, not dwellers in the past. 

Hear the scholars’ explanation. ‘9:62. Fit, occurring elsewhere only in 14:35 and Hebrews 6:7, means “suitable” or “usable.” One who makes life’s lesser matters of greater priority than God’s work is of little use to Him.’ 

Remember how Jesus recruited Peter and Andrew and James and John, the sons of Zebedee? He just passed by the seashore and saw Peter and Andrew casting their nets: ‘And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him. 

And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:19-22) What obedience my people! Can you imagine Zebedee’s consternation; his sons’ just walking away with a total stranger? 

And the scholars tell us: ‘The statement in verse 22 that they immediately responded to His call gives us a perfect picture of true obedience to the lordship of Christ.’ 

And we also have the perfect example of how looking back can affect us negatively in the story of Lot when the Lord warned him to flee from the area of Sodom and Gomorrah where he lived. The angels took him and his family out to the city limits. ‘And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad (outside), that he (they) said, Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain, escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.’ (Gen.19:17) 

But Lot begged them to let him escape to a small city nearby, called Zoar, and they agreed. (Gen.19:18-23) Then the Lord rained down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah. ’But his (Lot’s) wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.’(Gen.19:26) 

And the scholars explain: ‘She became a pillar of salt: Jesus used this incident as a warning to others not to look back (Luke 17:21-33). Lot’s wife apparently lingered behind, continually and longingly looking back on her beloved possessions, and was buried by the explosion that resulted from the destruction of the city. Brimstone and fire may refer to a meteorite shower that literally burned up the whole area.’ 

Nuff said my people. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will surely feel…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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