Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2019 1 John 4:4.

1 John 4:4.   Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them (the spirit of the antichrist): because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
 

Awright people, let’s go get ‘em this Monday morning nuh! Yes it is Monday, and the battle lines are already drawn! Satan is already working against you as sit on the side of the bed contemplating what to do; to call in sick, or force yourself to get up, do the three esses, get dressed, then face the awful traffic jam involved in getting to a job you totally detest. And in the midst of all that, you’re wondering how Monday has come around again so quickly? I’m sorry, but I can’t help you there nuh, because I’m wondering the same thing too. (smile) 

But I can help you to drive the enemy away and consequently change your thinking and attitude towards the whole scenario. And we do that through prayer, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which we put forth as the antidote for whatever ails you on a Monday morning. (smile) But believe me, it  works! So let’s try it nuh. All together, as one voice, in sincerity of hearts and minds. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Yeah friends! Yuh feel the Holy Spirit moving ahready nuh! Yuh see how yuh spring up from the bed, full of vim and vigour, when just a minute ago yuh didn’t have the energy to even lift a finger! And now yuh enthusiastic as ever to get out there and do battle with ole Beelzebub himself! That’s what yuh call the power of the Holy Spirit! When it moves, it moves like a magnet, separating the sheep from the goats, the men from the boys, and God’s saints from Lucifer’s evil minions! 

Wow! So why wouldn’t you want that positive, powerful, vibrant life-force moving within you, and guiding your footsteps through this evil world eh, rather than the debilitating, negative, evil spirit that belongs to Satan? If you are wise, you will follow it, because it indwells every believer. And please remember Jesus’ words to the disciples when He promised them the Holy Spirit. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Comforter (Helper, Advocate), that he may abide with you for ever.’ (John 14:15-16) 

And the scholars explain: ‘14:16. Another (Gr. allon) stresses that the Holy Spirit would be “another” like Jesus. A Comforter (Gr. Paraclete) is an advocate called alongside for aid in time of trouble. See the same word in 1 John 2:1, “Advocate.” And Jesus continued: ‘Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:17-18) 

Yuh see friends, the world didn’t even know the Holy Spirit back then, and it still doesn’t! But we believers do, because as of Pentecost Sunday the Holy Spirit began dwelling in believers as Jesus promised: ‘But ye shall receive power, after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8) 

And yuh see how the Holy Ghost come and mash up the place, create havoc on Pentecost Sunday: It showed up ‘like a mighty rushing wind from heaven and filled the house where they were sitting… appearing unto them (the disciples) like cloven (divided) tongues of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:3-4) That’s the amazing power of the workhorse of the Holy Trinity! 

But it can also work silently and subtlety, as Jesus indicated when He first promised it to His followers. ‘But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ (John 14:26) Ah mih people, that Holy Spirit is usually a silent worker these days; it talks to us from within, and we ought to pay serious and strict attention to what it says, because it is there to lead us along paths of righteousness and godliness. 

But here is one fact that we should always keep uppermost in our minds. John puts it nicely in his first epistle. ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them (the spirit of the antichrist): because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ Mamma Mia! What a wonderful and encouraging statement of fact my faithful brethren! 

The scholars explain it thus: ‘4:4. Christ indwells believers; Satan is likewise the Lord of his own followers. But Christ is GREATER than he who wreaks havoc in the world. Have overcome is in the perfect tense, stressing the abiding nature of their victory. Their strength lies in the fact that they are (born) of God.’ 

Oh my people, please remember that all of that also applies to us, because we are also born of God, and Jesus has also provided us with the abiding victory over Satan, hell, death and the grave, our job now is to simply keep that victory going strong! Much LOVE!

…true believers…wisely use the Holy Spirit…to guide them aright…in this evil world…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 August 2019 Luke 12:5.

Luke 12:5.    ​But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
 

Welcome to Wednesday, friends and neighbours! Oh me oh my, another wonderful day is in the offing for us in God’s great universe, His marvellous creation called Planet Earth! Let’s give Him some thanks and praise for that awesome privilege nuh, and show sincere gratitude by going out today, with godly excitement and passion, and doing a good job in Christ’s name, because nothing pleases our heavenly Father like us being good Christ-like examples! 

And all God’s children responded with a mighty shout of ‘Praise the Lord for His extreme grace and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And is He ever gracious and merciful! And are we ever undeserving of those precious gifts! But such is His amazing and never-ending LOVE towards us, His most wonderful creation, that He just can’t help Himself! And thus His goodness and grace just flows unrestricted down from heaven to us here on earth! 

But are we truly appreciative of those blessings, especially the breath of life that flows through us that emanates solely from Him? I don’t think so, else so many of us would not be involved in trying to oust Him from our society, especially at this crucial and critical time, when we really need Him more than ever! 

Oh friends, don’t we see the disgraceful and disgusting state of our world? How it’s filled with greed, corruption, strife, war, rumours of war and so many other negative things? The evil and negative things certainly outweigh the good and positive ones. And with each passing day it seems to get worse. 

Leaders cannot agree on anything that will benefit their people and are constantly fighting to accrue more and more power.I don’t remember a time in my life when there have been more dictators in the world, with all of them trying to run roughshod over their people in a vain and futile effort for more wealth and power! And the people themselves have become so timid and acquiescent that those wanna be dictators are finding it very easy to do as their evil hearts desire. 

Ah mih people, it’s time the supposedly righteous stood up and took a serious stand in the affairs of our world, our nations, our cities, our neighbourhoods and our families! Let me ask you this nuh? Do like the way our world and lives are going? Most of you will say definitely not! But then, here’s the clincher: If the righteous don’t get up and do something positive and godly, how will it ever get fixed eh, or even improve some? 

Let me tell you friends, it WON’T! That’s because the evil rulers now in power won’t give up their power voluntarily. We have to take it from them; remove them from the gilded positions they have built for themselves, and above all, restore God to the first and preeminent place in our society! But for that to happen, we the righteous have to get up and get a serious move on! We can’t be just talk, a set of hot air, like we currently are; afraid to challenge the powers that be. 

Please remember that our God, Jehovah, is the de-facto ruler of the universe, and yes, He’s still on His throne, ruling from heaven on high. But we are the ones to whom He’s contracted the business of setting this world right. But we have to get a move on, RIGHT NOW, for time is quickly running out! And for everyday that the evil are in ascendance, it gets more difficult to remove them. And we certainly can’t do it in our own strength; we definitely need the Father’s help. 

And it’s not like He hasn’t given us the most awesome Helper in the universe, His Holy Spirit that dwells within us to lead and guide and empower us in conquering the evil that’s in the world! But unfortunately, like we seem to be afraid, lazy, complacent and just downright uninterested in doing His will. 

But friends, we need to remember two things here: the first being the Great Commission that Jesus gave us; to go out and make disciples of all the world, and He will be with us, ALL the time, as He is through the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19-20). And secondly the fact that we should not be afraid of what man can do to us. We should preach the word everywhere fearlessly, for everything will be brought to light eventually. 

Matthew puts it thus: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) Meanwhile, this is Luke’s version: ‘And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.’ (Luke 12:4-5) 

That my brethren is wisdom of heavenly proportions, for the death of the body is not the end of our lives, because our spirit lives on. And even more importantly, Almighty God, is the ONLY One who can both kill the body and soul and cast into to hell, so it’s wise to fear Him above men, who can only kill the body. Let’s hope the words the Holy Spirit has guided me to share today makes a big impression on us and inspires us to get up and get a serious move on in winning the world for Jesus! 

Time to go home now, declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our sincere and secure position in Christ. As one strong voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And will that future ever be glorious if we keep our hands on the plough and our eyes fixed steadfastly on Jesus! Much LOVE!

…you can have hell…if you so desire…but I’m setting my sights on heaven…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2019 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.    ​Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.
 

Well it’s the first of August, that means the summer is almost done, one more month, then any number can play. But that’s okay, we can handle it, with Jesus’ help. But today we going to get into a serious concoction in the Bit. Yuh know like in the olden days when you had a cold and fever and your mother just boiled up a whole lot of different bushes and made tea for you, bad, horrible tasting stuff…Ugh! 

And she also mixed up a whole lot of different medicines and rubbed your chest and back and forehead with them, and put some coconut oil in your head – will make the cold run down? Hn, hn! We didn’t like it, but it worked. Well that’s what we making here today: a concoction of scripture and good advice. And let’s hope that that will work for us today too. (smile) 

Now let’s begin with this most appropriate ingredient from one Joseph Addison (1672-1719), an English essayist, poet, playwright and politician. And he reputedly said that ‘There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! For there is nothing we dislike more than advice because it suggests that we don’t know what we’re doing. 

And even when it’s given with the best interests at heart, and we know it’s the best advice we can get, something though still sticks in our craw, and we don’t really treasure it as we should. I guess though that’s just man’s independent nature showing up, where we don’t like anybody telling us what to do, even though it’s right. 

And the next choice ingredient comes from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller), from his Hour of Power Devotional, where he sincerely and wisely advises us to: ‘Choose the best, shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’ Wow friends! Pure words of wisdom and mucho good advice and also what Jesus desires of His followers. 

But are we going to take it? Hn! Who knows? Because though it’s true and good and wise and of Jesus, there’s just something that sits wrong with us in taking advice. But then I’m only here to bring you wise words and wise, godly advice, so please don’t blame or get annoyed at me, for I’m only the messenger. (smile) 

And the last ingredient of our concoction comes from an old Devotional of Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) called ‘Starting Your Day Right.’ Could barely make out the name because it’s so old and faded, and the pages are falling apart, so I keep it together with a rubber band, (smile) because I like it’s simple, down to earth style. Can’t take all this new-fangled stuff. 

Anyhow, Sister Joyce gives this wonderful advice at the end of one of the devotionals. ‘The way to victory is a narrow path that requires discipline regardless of our feelings. Sometimes it may look too narrow to even squeeze through. But victory comes by obeying God’s Word to us, in spite of our feelings. Follow faith, not feelings today.’ 

Mama Mia!  What wonderful advice! What godly advice! And are we going to take it my brethren? I surely hope so, because as she so rightly says, we can only get victory by obeying God’s Word, and it takes a strong and sincere faith to do so, not wishy-washy feelings, like so many of us live by. 

And that’s why, Jesus, in His immortal wisdom, knowing that too many of us live by our wishy-washy feelings, directed us to ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.’ (Matt.7:13) 

Oh my people, how true that is in these ungodly times. People are just ‘LOVERS of pleasure,’ as Bruh Paul told Timothy. (2 Tim.3:4) And like foolish sheep without a shepherd, are all blindly headed for the precipice of damnation! But thankfully precious people, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is a good, kindly and caring shepherd and he takes wonderful care of His own. But His own also have to listen to His voice, else they too will go astray on the wide and destructive path. 

And He says to us: ‘Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.’ Yes friends, those are words we have to pay serious attention to, because if we want to live and work for Jesus and eventually gain eternal life with Him, then we can’t go the way of the world. We have to follow the straight and narrow path that calls for obedience, discipline and excellence. 

And we all know those are things against which our human flesh naturally rebel, which means calling forth a superhuman effort if we have to do it alone. But thankfully we don’t have to do it alone! Jesus Christ foresaw our problems and wisely gave us the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in His ways! Glory to God! We’re not alone…will never be alone once we stay in Jesus’ fold! 

And let’s remember friends, that Jesus is both the way that leads to life, and also the life. As He said to doubting Thomas: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Please my people, let’s write those words indelibly in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, because they are ever so important for our life-long journey. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) those Thursday Blessings the Lord has so generously lavished on us nuh so we can do His work. In strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

Oh my people, what a generous God we serve and worship! Now let’s go out and share those blessings with the less fortunate as Jesus intends for us to do, and not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Yes, I’ve got to remind us, else we tend to forget. (smile) And let’s hope that the concoction we made up today also works, because we all need it badly! Much LOVE!

…the best way to live life…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him… (Uncle Charles – Charles Stanley)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2019 Isaiah 41:6.

Isaiah 41:6.    ​They helped everyone his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage (Be strong).
 

It done, it done! Yes friends and family, the radiation business finally done! Thank the Lord! I went back yesterday for the final zap and it went off as smooth as oil, none of the problems of last Friday! Let’s just hope that it accomplished what it was meant to accomplish, because I really don’t want to go back through the inconvenience and side effects again. 

So all I can say is, ‘Thank You yes Lord! Thank You for bringing me through it safely, and I’m leaving everything in your hands. But please give me a break from all the medical issues nuh. I know you are trying to lengthen my life, but by the same token, it does get a bit tiresome and discouraging. Anyway Lord, my life is in your hands, please do as you will with it. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, yuh think it easy? No, it not easy nuh! And remember that Jesus didn’t have it easy either, and He said that we’d face trials and tribulations in this evil and ungodly world, but we were to have peace and be of good cheer, because He had overcome the world. (John 16:33) 

And we all know that that is much easier said than done, especially with all the distractions and enemy attacks that we are currently facing in this degenerate world. But if we are serious and truly turn to Almighty God for help, we WILL be able to handle the world like Jesus recommended. So let’s look at some encouraging stuff nuh. 

And first off is this footnote from a Daily Bread Devotional. It tells us that ‘Encouragement is water to the soul!’ And is it ever my people! For just like our physical bodies need water to survive, so does our souls need encouragement to stay hopeful and alive! Without positive encouragement, we all will sink to undesirable depths of hopelessness, something that Jesus doesn’t want us to ever do. That’s why we need to get together and encourage each other. 

But in these days of lightning quick communication, we can also encourage each other from afar. The important thing is to keep in contact with people of the faith. Now here is this prayer of encouragement, enshrined in plastic, (smile) that I found on my desk from the Anglican Church, Diocese of Toronto. Please pray with me: ‘Sustain us, O Lord, with Your Holy Spirit. Give us an enquiring mind and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to LOVE You, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, a simple but ever so far-reaching prayer! And it asks for exactly the things we need to get us successfully through this trouble-filled world. And I do hope that it encouraged us, that it strengthened our backbone and belly some, (smile) caused us to stand up a li’l stronger and straighter, and to keep the faith in, and of Jesus, burning like a holy fire in our souls, bodies, hearts and minds! 

Wow! What a way the ole fella waxing philosophical and encouraging this Tuesday morning in the wonderful summer of 2019! (smile) But that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the whole purpose of the Bit; to keep us strong and encouraged in the faith! So if I’m not encouraging you, then I’m not doing what the Lord requires of me…And no way, do I want Him to ask me, come the judgement day, why I didn’t do what He asked. So let’s keep up with the encouragement nuh. (smile) 

Brother! Is it ever a smiley kind of day! But that’s how it ought to be anyway. (smile) And it’s no mistake that within a couple of chapters of the Good Book that the Lord commanded Moses to encourage Joshua. ‘But Joshua, the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go thither (into the promised land): encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.’ (Deut.1:38) 

And the Lord commanded Moses again when He took him up the mountain to see the Promised Land from afar. ‘But charge (command) Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.’ (Deut.3:28) That shows how big our God is on encouragement, and so should we be too. 

Now hear this wonderful and encouraging scripture from Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel. ‘They helped everyone his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage (Be strong). So the carpenter (craftsman) encouraged the goldsmith (refiner), and he that smootheth with the hammer, him that smote (struck) the anvil, saying, It is ready for sodering  (of the soldering, it is good): and he fastened it with the nails (pegs), that it should not be moved (totter).’ (Is.41:6-7) 

Ah mih people, if only the saints of Jesus would be as encouraging to each other eh! What a wonderful world this would be! But too often, those who should encourage us, discourage us instead, and then we need to take matters into our own hands, like Bruh David did when his men wanted to stone him, after the Amalekites burned down their city of Ziklag and took all their women and children captive. The Good Book tells us: ‘But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ (1 Sam.30:6b) 

Yes precious people of God, we can’t always depend on others to encourage us, but when the heifer dust hits the fan (smile) we need to also be able to encourage ourselves in Jehovah God. That’s when the true strength and maturity of our faith really shows out. So please be encouraged today…and everyday, for we serve an encouraging and faithful God! 

Now let’s show that faith by declaring (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and 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!’ 

Wonderful friends, wonderful! Now let’s go out and fulfill that promise by encouraging others, through sharing Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the less fortunate. That’s His ultimate desire! Much LOVE!

…encouragement…one of the believer’s most important tools…in his or her ministry…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2019 Mark 1:35.

Mark 1:35.   ​And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place and there prayed.

Summer time, summer time, summer time! It’s a good time…but it’s moving oh so quickly! Can you believe that we just finished celebrating Canada Day at the beginning of July and it’s already the middle of July? Where are the days flying by to eh? And next thing yuh know is September and the summer done and yuh haven’t had a good chance to really enjoy it, because it seems so short. Meanwhile, winter just seems to prolong and prolong…like forever. 

I guess that’s because good and pleasant things don’t last as long as we’d like, while the unpleasant ones last much longer than we want. And I guess the same goes for weekends, which morph into Mondays much too quickly. But that’s life friends. We can’t change it, so we just have to make the best of it. And if you happen to be suffering from the Monday Blues, then you’ve come to the right place, because we have the antidote for just such ailments, in the form of sincere prayer, namely, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s put our hearts and souls into it nuh, as we confidently, but humbly approach the throne of grace, imploring our heavenly Father for His help. 

As one strong voice: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Mama Mia! Our wonderful God will never refuse such sincere requests, especially since all we’re asking for is His strength, confidence, leading and guidance to go out and do His will! No wonder you suddenly feel a renewed strength, with a bouncy spring in your step and an overwhelming desire to get out there and engage the enemy in fierce warfare! That’s the Father’s answer to our prayer, through His Holy Spirit. 

Ah mih people, prayer is such a wonderful thing! And why shouldn’t it be eh, since it was devised by the One true and living God, for direct communication between Him and His people; that’s us, believers in His Son Jesus Christ! And there are so many nuances to prayer that we can never cover them all here in the Bit. But let it be known that prayer is, and will always be the best form of therapy, for each and every need, in this evil plagued and ungodly world! 

Yes friends, whatever the problem is, prayer should ALWAYS be our first resort…not our last one! Oh, and don’t forget to give thanks through prayer, when things are going right too eh. Prayer is not just for problems, but also for thanksgiving. And believe you me, our heavenly Father gets annoyed and disappointed when we don’t come to Him first with our problems, because He sees Himself as our great problem solver. And the one thing that all men of great faith had in common was prayer; they offered up prayer for any and everything. So why should we be any different in these troubled times eh? 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Bruh Paul. He said that we should be ‘Praying ALWAYS, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’  (Eph.6:18) And don’t forget to ‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thess.5:17) But also ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. ’ (1 Tim.2:8) So you see that prayer is an indispensable, continuous, any and everywhere aspect of a believer’s life. And Jesus said it best: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ (Luke 18:1) 

How can you refute Jesus’ command if you are a sincere believer then eh? You can’t. But unfortunately a lot of us still try to do it. Maybe that’s because we’re not sincere. Who knows? But one thing about our Saviour, unlike so many of us, He always walked His talk. And there are so many instances in the Good Book which showed Jesus just leaving the crowds, even the disciples, and going off by Himself somewhere quiet to pray. And I just LOVE this particular scripture, our Bit for today: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place and there prayed.’ 

Wow friends! That just talks to my soul and spirit! I guess that’s why I like to sit on my front porch in the early hours of the morning; it’s so conducive for communing with the Father. The only difference is that I don’t like to get up early, I prefer to go to bed late. (smile) Just goes to show that Jesus began each day with prayer, and if the Son of God needed to hear from His heavenly Father before going out into the world, then who are we to be any different eh? 

So my fellow saints in Christ, I implore us, from this day forth, to make prayer a big, constant and anywhere thing in our lives. Remember, it’s all for our benefit…not God’s. So let’s show some serious wisdom and reverence nuh, it will pay off in the end. Much LOVE!

…PRAYER…the lifeblood of the Christian believer…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2019 1 John 1:4.

1 John 1:4.    And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!
 
And was it ever a beautiful day yesterday…a perfect representation of what a typical summer day should be – bright, warm sun, blue skies, birds singing merrily, and a cool breeze to keep it all refreshing! And this Canada Day Monday is supposed to be an exact replica of yesterday. So there should be nothing like rain to rain on our parade, (smile) and celebrations all over this beautiful country should go off without a hitch, this one hundred and fifty second year of our blessed existence! 

 

But let’s remember right off the bat to heed Granny’s wise warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, for heaven’s sake, please mind yuh business!’ And yes, I know yuh tired hearing it, but is only for your good, because when we celebrating too heartily, we tend to lose our sense of balance, both literally and figuratively, (smile) and morality, as well as right and wrong just go flying through the window, and in comes the enemy to make us do stuff we’ll seriously regret when we regain our balance. 

So do celebrate, but as Jeeves would say, with a modicum of circumspection, please keep one eye open all the time! And I feel for those of you who have to go out and labour this loverly Monday morn, but them’s just the breaks, you need to put food on the table. Doh worry, your day will come, and then you can laugh and croak hoarsely as we declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to boost our spirits, chase away the evil one and lighten our load.  

So altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And as always, those who don’t have to go to work today, and most likely have been partying all weekend were the loudest and most raucous. But it did lift our spirits and get us enthused enough to go out and do Jesus’ work with a healthy and wholesome attitude! 

And to boost us even more, listen, as I do like John in his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ Oh mih breddren, how wonderful is that eh? The ole fella writing you so that you could be full of joy! (smile) 

And the scholars explain our Bit thus: ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13, but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’ 

Yes friends, knowing Christ, and walking with Him does bring a great sense of satisfaction and purpose! And who would know that better than John eh, as he walked personally with Jesus here on earth, and reminds us that his is an eyewitness account, (vs.1-3)  not hearsay like so many others. Anyway, here is John’s secondary purpose in writing his first epistle. 

‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not do (practice) the truth; But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

And all Christ’s followers cried out with a loud voice: ‘Praise His Holy Name! For He is indeed worthy of praise!’ And without a doubt our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is indeed worthy of our praise my people! Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about all of that nuh. 

‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus: John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good: there is thus no or evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’ 

‘1:6.Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John says boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’ And unfortunately, we do have too many of those hanging out in the church these days. But we just have to leave them to God…and their consciences, if they have any left. 

‘1:7. “God is light” (vs.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (cf.Rom.6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth, for it is by the shedding of Jesus’ blood that we were set free from sin! His sacrificial blood paid the overwhelming price, the gargantuan debt for our sin. And that’s why it’s ever so important for His followers to recognize the exceeding great value of blood in our freedom and thus work sincerely and diligently to make it worth Jesus’ while by living good with each other and spreading the good news of His gospel! Much LOVE!

…if blood doesn’t flow…sin can’t be forgiven…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2019 Philippians 2:15.

Philippians 2:15.    ​That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
 

Summer days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yes my people, it surely seems as though the summer time is fully upon us now, what with all these beautiful days all in a row with warm temps and what not! (smile) And it’s a long weekend to boot; Canada Day weekend where we celebrate our Independence from our Colonial masters. 

Yes friends, we’re a hundred and fifty two years old now; young compared to many other nations, but we’re growing in strength, faith, godliness and LOVE daily! Give God the thanks my Canadian brethren! 

And before we go any further, let me remind us of those wise, immortal words of Granny that are so applicable to this weekend of mucho celebration. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober please mind yuh business!’ Please take serious note my people and be very careful this long weekend. And is the workingman ever bursting to sing his weekend song, so let’s hear him nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui…and the weekend here at last! And was this ever a rough week because the slave master had plenty work to get out before the long weekend. And wow! Is Canada Day long weekend, which means party, party, party! And the weather supposed to be nice everlasting too, right up there in the high 20’s! Mama Yo! Are we ever going to mash up this weekend. 

Yuh can’t rightly celebrate Canada independence without a big bash! Lots ah eating and drinking, imbibing some good brew…and even some of the hard stuff too! I can imagine what cottage country going to look like this weekend. All the big shots and them going to be having a blast and the lakes and them going to be full ah boats riding up and down with parties galore on them. 

But is okay. I don’t jealous them their high life. I’m going to enjoy my low life right down here in the city. Me and my pardies, we going to have just as good a time…and possibly even better. So leh we just thank God for weekends and this wonderful country of Canada nuh!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see why Granny’s words are so important when coming to these big celebrations. In all the excitement and joy, we just liable to go overboard like the workingman’s planning to do. But as believers in Christ Jesus we can’t afford to go that far into the bacchanalian situation because the enemy will jump right into that opening and mess up our souls and spoil our witness for Christ. 

That’s why our Friday Chant is somewhat more reserved, thoughtful and even-tempered than the workingman’s weekend song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in loud voice, with a strong sense of purpose. ‘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 mih breddren, ours is a more sedate and responsible life. Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t party and have fun too, but we just have to be a li’l more careful when we let our hair down and don’t give the enemy a chance to invade our souls and cause us to do wrong, because that is his sole purpose in life…get a Christian to fall flat on his face, both literally and figuratively, then laugh in Jesus face and gleefully declare: 

‘Look, look at yuh boy down there in the gutter nuh…drunk like a skunk! And he is the one yuh was praising up so much, about how he so good and godly. But yuh see how he really soft. Can’t even stand li’l bit a temptation! Hn, Hn, Hn! And it have plenty more like him out there too yes. Going to show yuh them every time ah conquer them!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we definitely can’t have Satan taunting and laughing up in Jesus face like that nuh! That means we have to seriously mind our p’s and q’s, else we liable to fall in the gutter too. And the church, Jesus’ body, already has enough black eyes on it, it doesn’t need anymore. That’s why friends, this Canada Day weekend, we need to consider seriously these words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. 

‘Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: 

That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth (fast to) the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.’ (Phil.2:12-16) 

And all that basically means friends, is now that we’ve been saved by the free gift of grace from God, not by anything we did, we have to stay attached to Christ and work at keeping our lives going in a godly direction. Being godly and righteous doesn’t just happen automatically once we’re saved, we have to work at it, run our race like Bruh Paul did. 

And if we are sincere about running that godly race, then the Lord will help us do so through the leading, guiding and comforting of His Holy Spirit. But that means we can’t grumble and complain when things don’t go our way, neither can we live in anger and resentment with our fellow man. We need to be bright and shining lights for and of Jesus in this most perverse generation ever of mankind. 

Remember, God has a plan for each and every one of our lives, and though He’ll gladly show us what it is, and help us accomplish it, He won’t do it all for us, we need to do our part of the covenant and put in some elbow grease too. So this Canada day weekend, let’s keep all of that in mind as we party hearty, and enjoy ourselves, for that is one of the reasons Christ died in our place; that we can rejoice and be happy in living and working for Him. Much LOVE!

…I am come…that they might have life…and have it more abundantly… (John 10:10b)

 

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