Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2020 John 10:11.

John 10:11.     ​I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Oh friends, the Lord’s Day has rolled around once again, but sadly, this time His house, His sanctuary is desolate because of the Coronavirus lockdown. Thankfully though, that doesn’t mean He can’t bless us and make His face to shine upon us, because we’ll still be gathering to sing and praise and worship Him, though through virtual means, through the wonders of technology. 

And because of all the strife, confusion, upheaval and discontent that’s currently running rampant in our world, I decided that we needed a real thankful and joyful song to open our worship today, something to lift our spirits and remind us of our God’s goodness and LOVING-kindness. And I’m sure you’ll all agree that there could not be a better song than this one to do it. I’m talking about ‘Oh Happy Day!’ 

Yes mih people, up on point today is that 1967 gospel music arrangement by the Edwin Hawkins Singers of the 18thcentury hymn written by clergyman Philip Doddridge, which in the intervening years has certainly become a gospel music standard. Just check out YouTube and you’ll see the many different versions. And today we’re really going to get into it, giving it the full gospel treatment, with lots of hand clapping, the music rich and soulful and scintillating, with the tambourines jangling and the call and answer response right up front, for that’s what really lends the song its verve and chutzpah. (smile) 

So altogether now, in full voice, letting heaven know that we’re serious and sincere: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) 

He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) 

He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day).’ 

Yes mih bredrin, that was an awesome version! Heaven had no doubt that we were sincere! And this time, Jesus couldn’t just sit smiling shyly by the Father’s side…how could He when all heaven was dancing, singing and clapping too eh…including the Father? Jesus had to get up and do a li’l two step to acknowledge the praise and worship. And believe me precious people, Jesus deserves all of that adoration and reverence for the willing sacrifice; crucifixion on the old rugged cross at Calvary, that He made on our behalf! 

Wow! What a day it truly was when He washed our sins away, when He paid the Father’s steep price to cleanse and save us from hellfire and damnation! It was indeed the happiest day that mankind had ever experienced, and the best gift ever given to us after the Lord breathed His breath of life into our forefather Adam’s nostrils! As Jesus so rightly said of Himself: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And that’s exactly what He did; gave His life for us on the cross, so that we could be reconciled to the Father and live…live forever! Glory be people! 

How amazing and sacrificial is that eh! And hear Him later on nuh: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck (snatch) them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:27-30) Mama Mia! What beautiful words of reassurance? 

And the scholars express it thus: ‘10:27-29. Never perish: These verses declare the assurance that all believers will be utterly safe from any creature that might wish to destroy them.’ Can any other faith sincerely promise that? Absolutely not! And what’s so great about Jesus is not that He just washed our sins away, but He also taught us to how to watch and fight and pray! Glory Hallelujah! What a giant He is! 

And to add to all that, He taught us how to live rejoicing every day too! So why wouldn’t we proud of Him eh? And revere and adore and worship Him; as well as call Him Lord and Saviour? No reason whatsoever to do otherwise my fellow saints in Christ! 

But unfortunately I have to muddy the waters here, cause not all of His followers walk the talk that they talk. Too many of us don’t watch and fight and pray, nor live rejoicing every day, although our sins have been washed away and we’ve been guaranteed eternal life. Now isn’t that a crying shame, because it just makes Jesus’ sacrifice of no account if we keep on living that joyless, ungodly life. Remember what He also said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) That means we’re supposed to enjoy our earthly lives if we’re true believers, not live downtrodden and dismal existences. 

Oh my people, heaven begins here on earth if you’re a follower of Jesus, and we ought to be the happiest and most joyful group of people on the planet because of all that He’s done and promised to do in the future. So let’s get with the programme nuh, let’s change our attitudes, lift our heads and give God the glory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for that’s why He sacrificed His sinless life! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a true believer…then you ought to be joyful…for the joy of the Lord is your strength… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 November 2020 Isaiah 30:21.

Isaiah 30:21.     ​And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

Well this Tuesday morning has opened somewhat hazy and cloudy in my area. Let’s hope that will not be the state of affairs for the day, because I have to go out the street and run some errands later on in the day. But be that as it may, I will not cower and run from the physical weather, (smile) because I have the bright sunshine of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour permeating my very being, and with that holy presence in me, and also in you believers, we can withstand anything that comes against us, with an amazing attitude of peace and joy too! Oh glory be to Jesus my people for all His wonderful sacrifices and gifts to us, the very undeserving children of men! 

And I recently came upon a rather interesting poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that seem very appropriate for these confusing, uncertain and strife-filled times. It’s titled ‘Competition with God.’ Now doesn’t that stir up some puzzled and/or scary thoughts, leading us to think and ask, just how could we be in competition with God eh? Well here’s the substance of it all. (smile) 

Please read with me: ‘Often we must ask, what is my competition with God? When life seems to stand still, when my thoughts saunter through blind alleys, those very thoughts become my competition with God. When I embrace my personal desires instead of giving allegiance to God, desire becomes my competition with God. When I waste valuable time, ignoring God-assigned tasks, time becomes my competition with God. 

When personal possessions erase my concern for a desperately needy world, possession become my competition with God. If we allow a controversy in our lives, our praying may be with pretense, but it will not be with power. Walking the path of self-indulgence eventually leads to emptiness. Seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness leads to freedom and joy.’ 

Oh my people, I couldn’t have put it any better than that! And that’s why Jesus specifically spoke those awesome words. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) But the truth of the matter is that we callously disregard His words, believing that we know better, and that we can make it happen in our own strength! No wonder our world is in such a shameful and confused state right now! With our every gain in knowledge and technology we become less comfortable and less believing in the Word of God and end up in foolish competition with Him. 

Friends, that’s a competition we can NEVER win because God is the Creator and we’re simply the frail and finite created. Please remember the archangel’s Lucifer (Bright Morning Star) fall from heaven when he foolishly tried to overthrow God. (Is. 14:12-16) That’s the same foolish path on which we’re now engaged, which the world is hell bent on treading, obviously with his satanic encouragement, because he’s now God’s adversary. 

But please, let’s stop for a moment and seriously consider the situation nuh. If the powerful archangel Lucifer, couldn’t overthrow God, how can we so much lesser mortals do it eh? No way! But we still allow him to keep egging us on, and he’s very persuasive, so we have to be real careful. My people, nobody knows better than his satanic majesty the overwhelming power of God, and he’s just trying to bring us down to his foolish level as a means of getting back at God. 

But please, please, I’m asking, no, pleading with us to rebuke him, and refuse to become a part of his most foolish and doomed to failure plan. Instead, let’s stand strong with God. Let’s stop being in competition with Him. Let’s allow our thoughts, our desires and our time to line up with His demands instead of our own. Let’s not allow controversy and self-indulgence to fill our lives with demonic thoughts, sentiments and behaviour, which only lead to even more confusion and condemnation and eventually emptiness. 

Remember how Bruh Paul put it to the church at Rome? ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom. 8:1-2) What beautiful words and sentiments my brethren! It just assures us that when we walk with Jesus, in the law of His Spirit, we find freedom, but with the law of the flesh, the carnality of Satan’s world, all we find is sin and death; hellfire and damnation! 

And Jesus Himself made it abundantly clear when He told the hypocrite Pharisees, whom He called children of the devil. (John 8:44) ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’ (John 8:36) Mama Mia! Glory to God, for whom the Son sets free is indeed free and cannot be taken captive by Satan and his evil minions! What life changing sentiments my brethren! But we must take them to heart and consciously practice them in our earthly lives if they are to be helpful to us. 

And how do we do that? The Bible verse that’s the promise for our poem above, gives us this direction. ‘And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.’ (Is. 30:21) 

Yes precious saints of God, the Holy Spirit of Christ which indwells every believer is our guide and director. He tells us where to walk and where not to walk. But we have to listen to Him, pay serious attention to Him, because He usually speaks in a still, small voice. He doesn’t shout out often, so you have to develop the skill and a good listening ear if you want to walk the true and godly path you were destined to walk. 

And God said it to Joshua way back when He made him the leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoserver thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:7) And nothing has changed since then friends, walking in the way of the Lord is still the only sure way to have success or to act wisely. 

So with all of that in mind this fateful Tuesday in November, in this crazy and eccentric year of 2020, let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’  

Now let’s go out and do just that nuh; share His awesome LOVE with the world! Much LOVE!

…ONLY in Christ…can one find true freedom… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 May 2015 Matthew 22:37‏

Matthew 22:37.    Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Well Friends, I don’t need to tell you, (smile) but I will anyway: it’s Friday! And like clockwork, the working masses declare a loud and joyful: ‘Thank God it’s Friday! The weekend’s here! Glory Hallelujah! And what a weekend it will be, with Mother’s Day and the hot weather! Thank God for that yes!’

Yes, the weather’s been pretty good this past week, but still no blessings of rain, and today we’re expecting thirty-degree temps. Wow! Can you imagine the mess it’s going to be with cottages been opened, motorcycles and rag tops (convertibles) out in full swing.

The traffic won’t be any different, and with all the road construction and stuff going on, it’s going to be a real pain in the butt getting anywhere fast. The backyard parties will be a flourishing with barbecues a flaming and drinks and food being guzzled down.

But Friends, please let’s remember to do that all with a modicum of circumspection nuh, and not give the enemy a chance to get a foothold in our lives. For when we celebrate, we tend to let our hair down and thus give him room to deceitfully inveigle himself into our lives.

And as always, to help us gain the right perspective for the weekend, let’s chant our Friday Chant with sincerity, wisdom and overstanding. All together 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.’

Yes my people, we’ve got to set some hard and fast boundaries before we get into the celebrations, so that they won’t be marred by the guile and lies of Lucifer and his evil henchmen.

And the best way to do that is by concentrating on the words of our Bit. ‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.’

Oh Friends, there is no better way to keep Beelzebub out of lives than by focusing on Almighty God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

And I guess by now you’ve realized that the operative word for today is again that wonderful emotion called LOVE! Ah my people, LOVE is what makes the world go round, not money or power, and it’s also what our world desperately needs right now, if we’re going to stop it from both imploding and exploding.

For sadly, man’s inhumanity to man has reached a very cruel and critical stage. We no longer seem to care if our fellow man lives or dies, once we’re doing okay. But that’s a very shallow and selfish way to look at life my brethren.

Just stop for a moment and think what we’d be like if the Father had said, ‘Oh chuh! Let’s just leave those worthless, ungodly sinners to suffer in their own mess yes.’

We’d be headed for Hades and the torments of hellfire and damnation! But instead, with His ever-LOVING heart, He developed a plan, a tough one too, on Him and His Son, so that we, the same ungodly sinners could be saved, washed white as snow, and be reconciled to Him!

And all God’s people gave a loud and glorious shout of ‘Praise ye the Lord, for His wondrous works and saving grace to the undeserving children of mankind!’

Yes my fellow believers in Jesus Christ we ought to be very, very grateful to our heavenly Father for all that He’s done for us. But enough talk, let’s get to the meat of the session. And since I can’t get some of you to go to your Bible, I’ve decided to bring the Bible to you in all its glorious and living colour.

Let’s hear Bruh Paul speak rather eloquently on the way of LOVE!  Pay serious attention now class. (smile) ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (LOVE), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (LOVE), I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (LOVE), it profiteth me nothing.

Charity (LOVE) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (LOVE) envieth not; charity (LOVE) vaunteth not (does not brag on) itself, is not puffed up (arrogant). Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no accounts of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity (LOVE) never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail (cease); whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away (cease). For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect (complete) is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass (mirror) darkly (dimly); but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:1-13) 

And there you have it brethren, Bruh Paul’s famous treatise on God’s most wonderful attribute! Now let’s allow it all to sink deeply into our consciousness nuh, so that we can become all that God has planned for us to become; strong, steadfast, sincere, faithful and LOVING beings, just like Him.

We talk about becoming Christ-like, well the first step in that transformation is to learn to LOVE! Let’s take it nuh my people. Much LOVE!

…herein is LOVE…not that we LOVED God…but that He LOVED us…and sent His Son…to be the propitiation of our sins… (1 John 4:10)