Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 April 2018 1 Timothy 2:4.

1 Timothy 2:4.    Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

One more day, you beautiful people of Jehovah God! Yes, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth, to enjoy His awesome LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness! How can you beat that eh? You just can’t! So let’s begin by giving the Most High some praise and thanks for all that He’s done, doing, and will do for us, even though we don’t deserve it. 

Please pray with me: ‘Oh heavenly Father, thank You for this day and all the amazing promises You’ve made! We know that You are faithful to keep them, therefore we surrender our hearts, souls and bodies to Your everlasting mercy and grace. 

Please lead and guide us to do Your will, like Jesus did. Then receive us in glory, like You did with Him. We pray this in the holy name of Jesus, the name that’s above every other name, because of His selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary for us. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, we can never give God enough thanks and praise for all that He’s done on our behalf. So please let’s not think more highly of ourselves than we should. It’s ONLY through His LOVING-kindness that we still exist. 

Now here is a li’l something from Uncle John (John Hagee) to titivate our minds. (smile) ‘Nothing has meaning until we live it. Meaning: it’s not what you know, it’s how you apply what you know.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! 

All the knowledge in the world won’t help you until you put it into action. So all those people who just keep on going to school for going to school sake, and not doing anything useful with the knowledge they acquire, are simply wasting their time and their lives. I know that they say knowledge is power, but only if you use the knowledge. 

And today we’ll contemplate what is the most important bit of knowledge a man can have, as we look at Bruh Paul’s exhortation to Timothy regarding prayer. 

He opens the chapter thus: ‘I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority (a prominent place); that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (reverence). For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.’ (1 Tim.2:1-3). 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘2:1. First of all (or, “most important of all”): Prayer is to hold the preeminent place in church meetings. Four different types of prayer are mentioned here: (1) supplications are precise requests for specific needs; (2) prayers is a general word embracing various kinds of prayer – confession, adoration, and so on; (3) intercessions denote prayer to God on behalf of others; (4) giving of thanks refers to prayers of praise.’ 

And per verses 2-3, the scholars say: ‘There are three reasons why the prayers of verse 1 are to be offered “for all men”: (1) that Christians may enjoy a tranquil life (v.2); (2) such praying is good and acceptable to God (v.3); (3) such prayers help bring about the salvation of men (v.4).’ 

So there we have it friends, prayer helps us live quiet, untroubled peaceful lives and helps with our salvation.  But all of it is a waste of time unless we truly understand the root purpose for it all, that’s found in our Bit: ‘Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’ 

Yes my people, that is our God’s greatest wish; that we all be saved and come to know the truth, which is: ‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (Jesus’ sacrifice is proof of God’s will for all to be converted). Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity (truth).’ (1 Tim. 2:5-7) 

And per the scholars: ‘2:5-7. These verses provide a threefold evidence confirming the assertion in v.4 that God “will have all men to be saved”: (1) There being but one God implies that He must have the same desire toward all people, which is, namely their salvation. 

One mediator suggests His having made the same provision for all people, namely redemption. (2) Jesusgave himself a ransom for all (v6). (3) Paul’s being divinely ordained…a teacher of the Gentiles (v.7) shows that if sinful pagans are instructed in faith and verity (truth), then surely God does indeed want all to be saved.’ 

And that’s the indisputable truth my brethren, otherwise He wouldn’t have made all the provision He’s made, especially through Christ’s sacrifice. So please, let’s keep that first place in our minds, and wisely try to live the kind of life it suggests; a godly, prayerful and righteous one. Now let’s end with our Wednesday Wail, where we tell the world about our wonderful journey with 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!’ 

Ah friends, everytime I consider that glorious future laid up for us, I just LOVE Jesus more! Much LOVE!

…salvation for all…God’s number ONE desire…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation), but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 November 2016 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.    Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Well, well, well, if it isn’t another Sunday, another Sabbath Day! That means it’s also time for praise, worship, fellowship, thanksgiving, rejuvenation of spirit and encouragement in the Lord’s house! So without any preamble, let’s get into some worship, raising our voices and our hearts in sincere song to heaven with this 19th century hymn by Sarah F. Adams. 

‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.  (Refrain) Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! – Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) 

There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) 

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain 2).’ 

What a song of hope and faith my brethren! Regardless of our circumstances, our most prominent thought is to draw close to our wonderful God. And that’s really wisdom of the highest order, for He is the ONLY One who can make everything right from every and anything wrong. 

Oh, and before I forget, let me apologize for a typo in yesterday’s Bit. I gave the scripture passage for my favourite phrase, ‘prisoners of hope’ as Zechariah 12:2, when it should have been 9:12.  Don’t know where my mind was nuh. It must have been lost in the prison of hope. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit now, the same one as yesterday: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And we all know that there’s plenty truth in that statement, because all of us have experienced situations where our hope was non-existent, or at a pretty low level, and consequently, our emotional state became very negative. However, once our hope returned, our emotions became positive again. 

Now it’s time to get into some scriptures which show the importance of hope in our lives. But before we do that here is an interesting parochial, or patois quote on the subject from my Trini friend. 

Trini Quote Of De Day. ‘De longest rope have ah end.’ Generally said to someone who is going through rough times, letting them know that bad conditions must come to an end.’ 

In other words, have hope, this too will pass, things will get better. And they say our old people weren’t wise… Chuh! Foolishness that! (smile)  

And my Trini friend concludes his message by saying: ‘Have a GREAT day, every DAY!!!! Watch your thoughts: They become words Watch your words: They become actions Watch your actions: They become habits Watch your habits: They become your character.’ 

Gospel truth my fellow believers! We need to watch those things very closely, beginning with our thoughts, for as a man thinks, so is he. 

And the first scripture we are going to check out on hope is Bruh Paul’s famous words to the church at Rome. At the end of his lecture on Life in the Spirit, he tells them: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Yeh friends, what’s the use in hoping for something we can see eh? Hope is only alive and involved when we can’t see what we want. And then, we ought to wait patiently and eagerly for it. 

Now listen to Peter in his call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ (1 Pet. 1:13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s hope involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober (Gr. neophontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 

And Jeremiah puts it beautifully in his Lamentations. ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) Those are indeed words to live by my fellow believers! 

And the scholars say this about that verse. ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have experienced great grief of soul (Hab.2:20; 3:17-19; cf. Job 40:3-5; Ps.37:7; 73:23-27; Is.26:3; 2 Cor.1:7; 2 Thess.3:5).’  

Oh friends, there’s an interesting exercise for you all; checking out those scriptures!  It will only take a few minutes, and will be to your benefit. You’ll discover that some of them you already know. I checked them all, and they are indeed very valuable, a veritable treasure trove to a believer. 

Now let’s end with this simple but wonderful exhortation of Bruh Paul’s to the Romans, as he tells them about the service of LOVE to all. ‘Rejoicing in hope…’ (Rom.12:12a) Simple, but to the point precious people of God. So let’s go out today and see if we can’t put that into action nuh. Rejoicing in hope will surely boost and brighten our day. Much LOVE!

…it’s only hope… that allows us to contemplate a better day…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2014 Psalm 22:11

Psalm 22:11.  Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

Well Friends, since it’s Thanksgiving weekend here in good ole Canada, it’s only mete and right that we give some thanks at the beginning of the proceedings, this chilly Saturday autumn morn.

Please pray with me: ‘Dear Father in heaven, we’ve set aside this weekend to celebrate your generous Deity; to give you much deserved praise and thanks for all the LOVING-kindness, grace, mercy and prosperity you’ve bestowed on us this past year. In reality Father, one weekend is nowhere near enough to satisfy your goodness. We need to do it each and every day…and even then it still won’t be sufficient.
 
But Father, that’s the beauty and wonder of your unconditional LOVE! Even though our efforts are insufficient, you still LOVE us with a burning passion, because we are your greatest creation. Today, we praise you, we bless your Holy Name and give you our heartfelt thanks, humbly asking that you continue to bless and LOVE us, even though we are unworthy.
 
Please lead and guide us, so that we can do your work down here on earth, all to your honour and glory. We pray this in the blessed name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ, by whose stripes we are healed, and by whose blood we’ve been set free from the bondage of sin.’ And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’  
 
Yes Friends, thanks and praise are supposed to be an integral part of every believer’s life! Unfortunately though, we get so caught up in the busyness of life, that we forget it’s our duty.  But the good thing about our wonderful God is that he doesn’t need a whole lot of bowing and scraping to satisfy His desire for praise and thanks.
 
In fact that outward show doesn’t move Him at all! What He requires is a simple, genuine thank you from our hearts. And that we can do at any time, several times throughout the day. Remember, He judges us by the motives that govern our hearts, not by our outward actions, which can be very hypocritical, totally different from our inner desires.
 
So this coming year, let’s try and be a little more thankful during each and every day nuh. Every time something good happens, let’s give our God some genuine thanks! And even when bad stuff happens, let’s still give Him thanks, because we know that eventually He is going to work out all the bad stuff for our good, for our improvement, and promotion. (Acts 8:28)
 
And above all Friends, let’s remember the words of our Bit: ‘Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.’
 
And that is ever so true my brethren! There is none to truly help us but our omnipotent and ever-faithful God! For man’s help is unreliable and often deceitful too.
 
Now let’s continue looking at some scriptures that impart that message, starting with some wise words from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘Why art thou cast down (bowed down, depressed) O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5)
 
Now that my people is undeniable truth! It brings to mind what we just said above; that even in in rough times we must constantly hope in and praise our merciful God. And we have an excellent example of that in Jonah’s trials; when he disobeyed God’s direction to go to the wicked city of Nineveh and warn them of God’s forthcoming wrath if they did not repent.
 
He foolishly went in the opposite direction and ended up in the belly of a great fish, which the Lord had prepared to teach him a lesson. He spent three days and nights in the belly of that giant fish before he came to his senses.
 
‘Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine (because of my) affliction unto the Lord, and he heard (answered) me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice… Then said I, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple…
 
When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in (went up) unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities (worthless idols) forsake their own mercy (LOVING-kindness). But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited Jonah upon the dry land.’ (Jon2:1-2, 4, 7-10)
 
Yes my fellow believers, our God is so wonderful, it’s truly unbelievable! (smile) That’s why He is called the God of second chances! Who else would have made a way out for Jonah after such serious rebellion eh, and given him another chance to do His bidding? None but Jehovah God!
 
Now listen to Bruh Paul as he testifies to King Agrippa, re his conversion and the Lord’s helping hand. ‘For these causes the Jews caught (seized) me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and to great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
 
That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show (proclaim) light unto the people, and unto the Gentiles.’ (Acts 26:21-23)
 
Oh my people, our God is ALWAYS there for us in times of trouble! Please believe and remember that!
 
And we’ll close with these most encouraging words from Hebrews. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16).
 
Oh Friends, please, I implore us to write that indelibly in our hearts, so that we can always remember and act on it, for it is wisdom of the highest order! Now let’s go out and have a blessed day, trusting in, and working on behalf of Jehovah God! Much LOVE!
 
…in all thy ways acknowledge him…and he shall direct (make smooth) thy paths…  (Prov.3:6)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2014 Ephesians 1:3

Ephesians 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.  

Well… ‘The party’s over my Friends. It’s time to call it a day…’ 

Chuhhh! How sad, that I will no longer be writing to you from the balcony of my little bungalow in the Sugar Mill Suites of Lowlands, overlooking the lush greenery, and the well kept golf course on God’s Little Acre.
 
Yes my people, the ole fella’s rather short sojourn in Paradise will end today. Steups! Ah Lord eh! The next time you hear from me, God willing, will most likely be from the cold, snowy North Country. And I just heard that there’s been a big, beautiful snowfall, just in time for my return. All praise and glory be to God Almighty! Well what else can a good Christian person say eh? (smile) 
 
But Friends, please note that my absence from Paradise will only be for a short period of time, obviously providing it’s the Lord’s will. And since we all know that where there’s life, there’s always hope, and since I still have some life left in me, I won’t give up, I won’t stop hoping and praying that I can return to sweet Tobago some time soon.
 
And if this just happens to be my swansong, then it was a great one. Mama Mia!
 
And as regards memories… Oh my people, I made a couple of dandy ones yesterday! Around lunch time, I visited one of my mother’s oldest and dearest friends living in Scarborough, Diana Plante.  And was I ever surprised to see how frail and weak she has become, for unfortunately she’s now sick with spinal problems and can’t get around much on her own.
 
She’s now a shadow of the tall, beautiful, buxom woman I once knew, who along with Mols, my mother, at one stage, were the hottest numbers in Scarborough. But as they so rightly say; after one time is certainly two. Now Mols has gone over to the other side, to the great palace in the sky, leaving Di here to suffer the painful afflictions of human existence. 
 
But thankfully, despite the physical ailments, Di’s mind, spirit and faith are all still strong, and that’s a wonderful thing! But nonetheless Friends, please, let’s remember her in our prayers. Let’s pray for her to be comforted in her time of need, for we never truly know what others are going through just from their outward demeanour and behaviour.
 
And there’s absolutely nothing in this world as powerful as prayer power!
 
I made one other good and significant memory yesterday; in the late afternoon, meeting, for the first time ever, one of my nieces, a doctor here on the island. And though we had a long and excellent visit, I was appalled by some of the negative things she recounted about the Health System in T&T in general, and in Tobago, in particular. Although Health Care is basically free, it seems that the level of service and professionalism is sadly lacking.
 
Ah mih people, what to say eh? Not much, because it’s a world-wide phenomenon; the standards in ALL areas of life have fallen to such low levels that it boggles the imagination. And the sad fact is that they are continuing to fall. Hopefully though, we staunch, strong and steadfast believers in Jesus Christ will soon wake up and begin correcting it, for no one else will do it.
 
And those are the most memorable memories I made yesterday… Oh, oh, I almost forgot. I also had my last constitutional at Store Bay, which, despite its total commercialism, is still my favourite beach! Amen!
 
And now, here’s our Bit. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’
 
Oh my brethren, have you noticed how, over the last few days, the Lord has adroitly manoeuvred me to this most appropriate Bit, one dealing with blessings? I guess He’s just making sure that I am fully cognisant of the many blessings He’s showered down on me over the last three weeks. It truly wasn’t necessary though, for the blessings have been so plentiful, that even an atheist would have been forced to say ‘Thanks!’ (smile)
 
And I’m saying that now Lord: ‘Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!’ I know it’s insufficient, but that’s the very best our inferior mortal vocabulary allows.
 
And now Friends and fellow believers, let’s continue with Bruh Paul’s explanation to the Ephesians, re the spiritual blessings received through Christ, from verse 13.
 
‘In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of (down payment or deposit on) our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.’ (Eph.1:13-14)
 
Oh Friends, what beautiful, sweet sounding terms – trust, truth, gospel, salvation, believed, sealed, holy spirit, promise – all in one sentence! Wow! Then you have down payment, deposit, inheritance, redemption, purchase, praise and glory in the next. How priceless!
 
Now let’s hear the scholars’ take on those scriptures. ‘1:13. In whom ye also (or, “by whom also you”): The first person plural (we, us) in verses 3-12 refers to Jewish Christians. The second person plural (you) refers to Gentile Christians. This seems evident from 2:11-12 where the second person is explicitly applied to non-Jews. “Ye being in time past Gentiles… ye were… aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.” Compare 3:1, where Paul calls his readers, “you Gentiles.”
 
The apostle’s point in this “we-you” distinction is that all those spiritual blessings God has bestowed upon “us” Jewish Christians, He has also granted “you” Gentile brethren. There is no difference.
 
In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise may be read, “By whom also, when you believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” The Christian receives the Spirit, not “after,” but when He believes in Christ as Saviour. The sealer is Jesus; the seal is the Holy Spirit. In biblical times a seal denoted both identification and ownership and protection provided by the owner.’ 
 
And re ‘1:14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance means “who is the guarantee of our salvation.” The Holy Spirit is here called “the earnest of our inheritance.” The word ‘earnest’ means “down payment”; as such the gift of the Spirit is viewed as an installment or as part of our salvation. God therefore assures the Christian that the realization of the rest of His salvation is forthcoming.
 
How long is the believer assured of his salvation? Until the redemption of the purchased possession may be read, “until God glorifies and perfects the believer (the purchased possession) whom He has bought by Christ’s blood.”
 
And that’s it for today, and for that message! Please Friends let’s, as always, ponder the words we’ve read, then let them stimulate our hearts, minds and souls as we go out today to do Christ’s work.
 
And now I’m going out on to my balcony and watch the sun rise up above the Eastern horizon for the last time. (smile) Much LOVE!
 
…oh what a friend…and saviour…we have in Jesus…our hopes and cares to bear…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2014 Psalm 15:1

Psalm 15:1.    Lord who shall abide (sojourn) in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?  

And then Friends, it was Tuesday! Unfortunately, the vacation time is winding down. But not to worry, for there’s yet sufficient time to get in whole lot more activities and make many more memories, so that when I’m sitting in my rocking chair in the cold North Country, I can just reminisce and chuckle at the reminiscences.

And that’s what life really is all about yes people; making good memories. For when old age arrives and you physically can’t do much of anything, all you will have then are memories of the way your life was spent. Therefore it’s very important that we make as many good ones as possible.
 
For as the Johnny Bristol sings in his song of some years ago: ‘Memories don’t leave like people do. They always stay with you. Whether they been good or bad. They’re never something that you had.’
 
Gospel truth my brethren! Memories never leave us. When all else fails, memories will still be there. So let’s try and make as many good ones as possible nuh. Now let’s see what good ones I made yesterday. (smile)
 
Oh, in the early morning hours, some wicked wind and rain lashed my little area – twice to be exact. And what amused me was that in between each episode, the sun came out in all its fiery splendour. Also, around lunch time some friends from Canada came to visit. They are only here for about three days.
 
Then in the afternoon, I went down to Store Bay for my daily constitutional. I believe the last time I mentioned that, I said testimonial, but it was really constitutional I meant. And that’s simply something good that you do for yourself on a fairly regular basis.
 
But lo and behold, as I entered the change room at Store Bay, I saw a man sitting there buckling the straps on his sandals. His face seemed familiar, but his cap was hiding the upper portion of his face. So I looked closer at him, only to realize that it was another old friend from Canada, one whom I hadn’t seen in ages, although we don’t live far from each other in the North Country.
 
But the busyness of life and the disgusting weather often keep people apart for long periods of time. You might talk to them regularly on the phone but hardly ever see them.
 
Anyway, as the Lord would have it, his wife, daughter and himself were just finished bathing and were planning to drop in on us on their way home. So we just visited right there, since they were only in Tobago for the day.
 
Nothing much happened after that. I got my dip, said some thanks to a couple of people who had been instrumental in safely securing my bag last week, stopped in the grocery and a food place, then came home and relaxed as best I could with the stupid headache still bothering me.
 
A couple pardners dropped by for a short visit later in the evening. But other than that it was quiet, had an early night because of the headache, which unfortunately is still bugging me some, almost two days later. I guess though, as the old people would say; after one time is two, since I hardly ever have headaches, especially ones of this magnitude and length. 
 
But for whatever purpose the Lord’s allowing it, I just have to get a grip and keep on doing what I have to, knowing that eventually He will make all things right. And those are the good memories I made yesterday. (smile)
 
Now let’s see what the Lord wants me to write on biblically speaking, today? And Friends it seems like He wants us to focus today on the important question of: ‘Lord who shall abide (sojourn) in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?’ 
 
Yes my fellow believers, that’s an interesting and also very important question! Who is worthy to serve in the Lord’s tabernacle, what are the qualifications necessary for that awesome job?
 
And Bruh David answers the question he just posed in the following two verses. ‘He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up (receives) a reproach against his neighbour.’ (Ps.15:2-3)
 
Oh Friends, that means that the person who serves in the tabernacle must have personal purity. But all those things also pertain to the ordinary Christian. EVERY follower of Christ needs to walk uprightly, work righteousness and speak truth from their hearts. It’s all a part of the Christian make up and character. Neither can we be spreading deceit and false rumours with our wicked, hard to control tongues, or doing evil against our neighbours.
 
As Bruh David also asks in Psalm 24, the King of glory: ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? (Ps.24:3)
 
And his answer is basically the same: ‘He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity (to an idol), nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.’ (Ps.24:4-5)
 
Unfortunately though mih breddren, those characteristics are in very short supply these days, even amongst supposed believers! That serious drop in moral standards and otherwise, are why our world is now such a troubled, evil, disaster-prone and calamitous place.
 
The attributes of good character and personal integrity have sadly lost their position of high standing and importance. They are no longer considered necessary aspects of human life. These days fraud, corruption, deceit, unfaithfulness, selfishness, pride and greed rule the roost.
 
And it’s sad that many of us believers dabble too much in such unchristian activity, instead of being the ones to uphold the Christ-like character and integrity. That brings us back to Psalm 15, where Bruh David continues his discourse on the qualifications for working in the Lord’s sanctuary. 
 
One ‘In whose eyes a vile person is contemned (despised); but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.’ (Ps.15:4-5) 
 
Yes my people, those are all qualifications that the ordinary but serious believer also needs to possess. We ought not to uphold the works of the unrighteous, but remember they are also God’s creation. And furthermore, at times we also behave unrighteous, and we surely don’t want others to despise or condemn us then.
 
We need to honour those who reverence God, and promises and vows should be taken seriously, neither should we take advantage of the already disadvantaged. But unfortunately all the negative aspects of those things are rampant in our troubled, misguided world. Like the constant and severe oppression and suppression of the poor and needy and the insatiable greed of the wealthy.
 
Oh my brethren, those things should not be happening on such a large scale. And it is our responsibility, the responsibility of the true and serious believer, first to eradicate those negative things from our own lives, set a proper example, then try and eradicate them from our immediate circle and surroundings, then keep moving up to the higher levels of our society, and finally the world.
 
That’s our bounden duty Friends, for nobody else has any real and serious interest in the overall betterment of mankind, which is what Jesus came to do, and what His followers ought to be doing!
 
Therefore, please let’s ponder our individual situations today, re the things we’ve talked about, then, with the Lord’s help obviously, try to make the necessary improvements. And even for those who are already fairly decent, there is always room for improvement.
 
Let’s make Jesus proud of us nuh, by living the kind of life He desires of His followers. That’s heavenly wisdom my people! Much LOVE!
 
…until believers improve their own performance…the unbelievers will rule…and the world will remain in shambles…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 January 2014 Romans 13:10

Romans 13:10.     LOVE worketh no ill (does no harm) to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.
 
Oh Friends, can you believe it’s already the 11th of January! But we just celebrated New Year’s Day last week!
 
Yes, it seems 2014 is going to be a fast moving year like 2013, so we had better shape up and do the things we need to do; stop procrastinating, stop believing that we have lots of time to accomplish our life’s work. For some wise people said long ago, that time waits on no one, and that lost time can never be regained, so it’s best to make hay while the sun shines. (smile)
 
And how do we do all of that? First of all by finding out the plan God has for our lives, then diligently living it out with His help. And He does have a plan for each every life that He creates. He doesn’t just make us on a whim and fancy, but for a specific purpose. That means if you don’t know His plan for your individual life, then you have to ask Him. And you know He’ll never refuse to answer sincere, heartfelt prayer.
 
But Friends, whatever specific plan God has in store for us, it always has the appendage of LOVE attached to it. Why? Because God is LOVE! (1 John 4:8b) That is one of His many glorious attributes, possibly the most important one as it pertains to human life. For as Jesus said the most important aspects of human life are to LOVE God, ourselves and our neighbours. (Matt.22:37-40)
 
Therefore, if we are to be true followers of Jehovah God, then LOVE MUST play a very large and important part in our lives. 1 John 4:10 tells us that it’s because God LOVED us so deeply that He sent Jesus to die as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, so He could cover His attributes of holiness and justice. Consequently, ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:11) That means followers of Jesus ought to walk in LOVE!
 
And our Bit certainly confirms that LOVE is of the utmost importance in a believer’s life. ‘LOVE worketh no ill (does no harm) to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.’ So if we’re walking in LOVE, then we’re fulfilling the law of God! 
 
However Friends, talking about walking in LOVE, and actually doing it, are two entirely different things, if only because of man’s sinful and rebellious nature and the unbelievable negativity that our world embraces. Therefore to truly walk in LOVE is not easy, it is indeed a serious challenge. But as everything else in our world, it is doable with our diligence and the help of God.
 
And the beauty of the whole LOVE experience is that when we truly put it into action, that’s the time we come closest to spiritually resembling Jesus. Oh what joy that ought to produce in a believer’s life!
 
However, our nature is also to shy away from anything that’s difficult; anything that takes some time, discipline and diligent effort. But just look at what Jesus suffered for us nuh my brethren. Our difficulties are a joke compared to what He went though to save our wretched souls. And all for one big reason…the LOVE OF THE FATHER!
 
So why can’t we now show a little gratefulness, a little thankfulness by grabbing hold of our plough and looking straight ahead, plough some beautiful furrows of LOVE eh? It’s the least we can do to show our appreciation. We won’t always be perfect and/or successful, but the Lord knows this, and it’s the sincerity of effort that counts.
 
And sadly my brethren, too many of us refuse to make that effort, that’s why Christ’s church and His LOVE Revolution is losing the battle to Lucifer and his evil cohorts. We seem to want the easy life, but life’s not easy; it never was, and never will be, however you cut or slice it!
 
Oh Friends, have you noticed how hard the evil powers fight for what they believe in? They don’t sit on their laurels and fat fannies and spout a lot of rhetoric. They get up and work seriously and diligently towards their goals. And if the church of Christ wants to win the battle of this world, then we have to do the same thing. And I don’t mean working hard to acquire the baubles and bangles of the world, but letting the LOVE of God show in our earthly walk, through what Bruh Paul terms the fruit of the Spirit.
 
And he describes it thus: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23)
 
Now mih people, that is what we, as Christians, as followers of Jesus Christ, ought to be showing to the world! But are we doing that? Not half as much as we should! And oftimes it’s just mere token spiritual fruit we offer, from our minds, but not sincerely from our hearts, which defeats the whole purpose, because God doesn’t look at our outward actions, but at the motives of our hearts. 
 
So Friends, let’s get up and get a serious move on nuh. Yuh see how our world is both literally and figuratively sliding down into hell! And we supposed Christians are suffering the downward slide because we’re not doing enough to convince unbelievers that Jesus and His church are worthwhile institutions to support and enjoy.
 
Oh mih breddren I know I’m coming on somewhat strong, but I’m just tired of seeing the evil and corruption, the poverty, the homelessness, the oppression and suppression that’s currently dominating our world. And sadly, it’s getting worse daily, while we believers squabble amongst ourselves over petty concerns, instead of standing up steadfast and strong against the evil doers, and living the kind of life that truly reflects Jesus. We’re either kow-towing to the evil doers in fear, or joining them because we too enjoy their evil ways.
 
And we’ll end with some wise words on the subject from Cousin Sol. ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth all sins.’ (Prov.10:12) 
 
Oh my people, with those awesome words of wisdom and truth ringing in our ears this Saturday morning, please, let’s go out into the sinful world that surrounds us and cover up plenty more sins than we’re currently doing nuh. It’s what Jesus commanded us to do. (Matt.28:19-20) Let’s show the world what true LOVE really is! That would bring such joy to heaven. Much LOVE!
 
…to be successful at anything…you need to stay several steps ahead of your competitor…so let’s rev up the LOVE Revolution nuh…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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