Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2021 Isaiah 12:2a.

Isaiah 12:2a.     ​Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid:

 Aye mih people, can you believe that we are already entering the fourth month of this most controversial and troubling year of 2021? We thought 2020 was bad, but this one could be even more problematic. And would you believe that we’re on the verge of another province-wide lockdown in this wonderful Province of Ontario? 

And no, it’s not an All Fools, or April Fool’s joke. It seems that all the ICU Departments in the hospitals are filled to overflowing, and we’re back up to some two thousand cases of Covid a day. And yuh better believe more confusion will reign after that decision is announced, because some things that were originally locked down, will apparently now stay open, while others that seem similar will stay closed. 

Why is all of this happening eh? Is it because with vaccines available, some people are no longer obeying the few options we have to keep the virus in check? Or is it that the new variants are more highly contagious and the vaccines are not working so well on them? No one seems to have a good answer for our predicament, which might just be a combination of those two things, and even more. And though this is a serious matter, at times it seems even jokified, that the great creation called human beings with all their knowledge and understanding and foolish pride can’t get a handle on a li’l virus, that you can’t even see without a powerful microscope. 

What does that tell us eh? That mankind is not as powerful, knowledgeable, and smart as we think, and that we’re only an imperfect created being, who ought to bow to his Creator and obey His commandments, not belittle and blaspheme His holy name and try to eradicate Him from our society. I don’t know why we can’t learn from other people’s mistakes nuh. 

And we have a great example from which we can learn; that’s the demise of the archangel Lucifer, (Is. 14:12-16) a created being so much more powerful than us, but who, in his foolish pride and selfish ambition tried to overthrow Almighty God, and was kicked out unsavourily from heaven with the other angels, who foolishly sided with him. They were committed to a life of hell on earth after enjoying the glories of heaven, and eventual eternal damnation. So, why do we think a lesser mortal like us can overthrow our Creator eh? 

It’s so senseless, so ridiculous, and on this Holy Thursday morning, the day before our Lord and Saviour, Jesus sacrificed His sinless life for us on the cross of Calvary two thousand years ago, I’m pleading with us, that instead of trying to get rid of God, to embrace Him with all our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, because He is the one who created us, and still looks after us, the One who owns the future and thus holds our future in the palms of His mighty, scar flecked hands. 

Yes friends, instead of turning away from God, we should thank Him for all that He’s done for us, the breath of life He’s given us so we can go through today, the family and LOVED ones He’s provided, the food on our tables, the roof over our heads, the opportunity to get wealth and so much more! We should be offering thanksgiving for His mercies and not blasphemy! 

And the Good Book opened today at this most appropriate song of triumphant praise from the mouth of the prophet Isaiah. So please offer praise with me. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedest me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (awesome deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is. 12:1-6) 

Now that is the kind of stuff we should be doing and saying my people, in appreciation of all that our wonderful God has done for us. Remember all the pain and sorrow Jesus suffered that we could be saved from hell fire and damnation! And on the day before we mourn His sacrificial death, this is a rather good time to think on all the things we’ve spoken about this morning and get ourselves together so we can raise up His name instead of tear it down. And to further show our appreciation, let’s declare (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, that He so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. 

Altogether now: ‘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 every day! Amen!’  

Now friends, it’s our bounden duty to go out and share those blessings just as generously with others, not selfishly store them all for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…religious ritual…without spiritual reality…is worthless to our sovereign God…

P.S. Isn’t it wonderful that it’s so short today! (smile) Much LOVE!

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2020 Matthew 26:28.

Matthew 26:28.     ​For this my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.
 
Ah Lord eh…it’s just one of those days! Yuh know when nothing seems to go right. Chuh! I got up late, what else is new eh? (smile) Then I began writing the Bit…but lo and behold the Roofers finally showed up to fix my roof, from which shingles had blown off during the strong winds in the past couple of weeks. So I dealt with them, then came back to the Bit, only to discover that I could not find all the information I needed to continue in that vein. Steups! And it was a very interesting vein. That meant I had to discard all that I’d previously written and start all over again. 

So obviously I’m not a happy camper, as I hear the roofers pounding on the roof, for a significant outlay of money, and I am having to reset my thoughts. But I’ll just have to grin and bear it, as I keep telling others when they go through some annoying times. (smile) And on this Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday in Holy Week, why should I expect to have no problems eh, when Jesus trials were just coming to a head? If we expect to rise with him, then we should also expect to suffer with Him. 

Anyway, on this Maundy Thursday, so called because of Jesus washing His disciples feet. He also instituted the ceremony of Communion or Holy Eucharist, during what we call the Last Supper that He held with His disciples at the beginning of the Passover Feast. It was a very moving supper. First off, as they sat eating, Jesus declared : ‘Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.’ (Matt. 26:21) What a bombshell to throw out to your followers on a supposed day of rejoicing!  

Obviously that stirred up things. ‘And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, (“that indicated the highly personal and intimate nature of the betrayal”) the same shall betray me. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born.’ (Matt. 26:23-24) Steups! Just had another interruption. The roofers were finished and I had to go and pay them. But we’ll get through it, with the Lord’s help…and it will be good! (smile) 

Now after that, there’s a verse that in my opinion is very significant, but you never hear anybody really talking about. ‘Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master (Rabbi), is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said (it)’ (Matt.26:25) In other words, Jesus told him, ‘yes.’ So how come more attention isn’t paid to that by any of the gospel writers eh? Matthew and John and Simon Peter were there. But as John writes, I guess Simon and he were too busy with their own li’l drama, with John, the disciple Jesus LOVED, (Hn!) leaning back on Jesus’ chest, and Simon motioning that he should ask who it was. 

And according to John, ‘Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop (a piece of bread) when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon (not Simon Peter). And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly…. He then having received the sop went immediately out, and it was night.’ (John 13:26-27, 30) 

Now according to John, nobody in the gathering knew why Jesus spoke thus to Judas, possibly thinking that because he held the communal money, he was to go out and buy things for the feast or give to the poor. (John 13:28-29) But the scholars seem to think that possibly only John heard the exchange between Jesus and Judas.

 ‘And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, Drink ye all of it (drink from it all of you – hence the communal cup); For this my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.’ (Matt. 26:26-28). Oh friends, what a monumental moment that was! 

Now let’s get some explanations from the scholars. ‘Jesus took bread: The head of the Jewish household was accustomed to doing this during the Passover Feast. Jesus gave a completely new significance to the action. This is my body: During the Passover feast the Jewish householder took bread in his hand  and said, “This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt,” meaning of course, that the one represented the other. 

By His words the Lord changed the whole significance and emphasis of the feast from looking back to the typical redemption from Egypt to faith in the redemption from sin accomplished by His death. The bread and wine were only outward symbols of our Lord’s death. Nothing in the Gospels indicates that these were to be viewed as a means of grace, sacraments, or that they were physically necessary for one’s salvation.’ 

Yes friends, celebrating the Eucharist is important, but it’s only and outward sign of our inner acceptance of Christ as our Lord and Saviour. And we have one more set of explanations from the scholars. ‘The cup: Three cups were passed around by the Jewish householder during the Passover meal; the third, which is probably the one referred to here, being known as “the cup of blessing.” My blood of the new testament taken from the Greek Septuagint version of Exodus 24:8, (please read it) with allusions to Jeremiah 31:31 and Zechariah 9:11. 

The covenant in Exodus was sealed with blood. The word ‘testament’ (Gr. diatheke) can also mean “a covenant.” Shed for many for the remission of sins: Here is a clear statement that the death of Jesus was necessary to enable God to forgive sins. It, in fact, made it right or morally justifiable for Him to do so.’ 

Oh my people, so many other important things happened on Maundy Thursday that we don’t have space nor time to talk about them. Like Jesus foretelling Peter’s denial, then going to the Garden of Gethsemane and praying for guidance and strength, so impassioned that His sweat seemed like drops of blood, and finally being arrested through Judas’ recognizing kiss and a mock trial, where Peter betrayed Him. But you can read all of that for yourself in the gospels. I just hope that this Bit makes sense and gives us some new insight into the last supper and it’s meaning, since I had so many interruptions and changes of mind set. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, so generously granted to us to help us with our earthly work…spreading the gospel of Jesus. In strong voice, with sincere hearts – that’s the only way to do it (smile) –  ‘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!’ 

Now let’s share those divine blessings as best and as generously we can with the tough constraints we’re currently under. Much LOVE!

…to be blessed is wonderful…but to share the blessing is heavenly…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2019 Matthew 26:36.

Matthew 26:36.   Then cometh Jesus with them (His disciples) unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder (over there).
 
Well it’s the last day in Paradise…Steups! But I guess all good things must come to an end at some time or another! And being in sweet Tobago was indeed a good thing, or rather a wonderful thing! I don’t know where all the time went nuh, because I still haven’t seen or spoken to several people I wanted to connect with. I haven’t had a coconut water since I’ve been here…Imagine that nuh! 

I only bathed in my favourite beach, Store Bay once! Brother that sure is shocking! (smile) I did bathe in other beaches several times though. And the rain has continued through the night and the early morning. Think it might clear up later though. 

And yes, it’s Holy Thursday too, the day before Good Friday, when believers hunker down and consider their faith in light of Jesus’ upcoming crucifixion! The night when He bared His hurting soul and spirit in the Garden of Gethsemane in a futile attempt to change the course of His destiny. 

Jesus knew deep down that the Father wasn’t going to change His plans, but the human element in Him, and the upcoming separation from the Father, the first time in their long existence, plus the great weight of sin that would be placed on His shoulders forced Him to His knees in humble prayer. ‘Then cometh Jesus with them (His disciples) unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder (over there). 

And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee (James & John), and began to be sorrowful (grieved) and very heavy (deeply distressed). Then said he unto them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye (stay here), and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt.’ (Matt. 26:36-39) 

Ah friends, yuh see the heavy sorrow that Jesus felt! It wasn’t easy for Him, although He was the Son of God. And I like the scholars’ explanation here. ‘The prayer for the cup to pass is not due to Jesus’ fear of death. Jesus questions the will of the Father as to the necessity of drinking the cup. 

While this may refer to death (“he tasted death”) it is more likely that the cup represents the wrath of God against sin, the divine wrath Christ would incur on the cross as man’s sin-bearer. In the awful anguish of that moment, the sin of the world was poured on Christ and he became “sin for us” (2 Cor.5:21). Thus the Righteous One dies a substitutionary death for guilty mankind.’ 

So true friends, so true! He sacrificed His sinless life so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin and death, and have eternal life; the greatest gift ever given to mankind, and yet we still don’t appreciate Him the way we should! Why is that eh friends? I don’t know the answer, neither do I understand it. We should be so grateful and jumping with joy, and living so sincerely for Him, that the world would open their mouths and wonder in astonishment at our godly and righteous lifestyle. 

But instead in our hypocrisy and lust for the things of the world, we make a mockery of His sacrifice with mostly a lot of talk and no real substance in our actions. Chuh! When I see how the leaders of Christ’s church, and consequently the followers behave in such ungodly fashion, it’s no wonder that the unbelievers don’t take us seriously. Christ’s church has as many scandals and unrighteousness as the evil world does. In fact, we seem to take our lead from the world and not from Christ! As they say, spiritual wickedness and corruption is rampant in high places! 

Oh my people, I do hope that this season of Lent has been one of deep concern and pondering on our faith and how we live it daily, because that’s how the world and the Lord will judge us; how good were our fruits, and how bright was our light? And when we come to the tremendous conclusion in a triumphant Easter resurrection, let’s hope that we will all have raised the level of our faith and practice of it thereof, so that we can be better witnesses and disciples for Christ! For that’s what it’s all about; spreading the good news of His gospel far and wide! 

Now let’s go home thankfully declaring (right ho!) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

And the next movement is to go out and share it all with the less fortunate as Christ intends for us to do. It’s not for us to hoard, but to share! Much LOVE!

…He died that we might be set free…forgiven…the least we can do…is show some sincere appreciation…

P.S. Tomorrow, God willing, I’ll be writing from the northern climes…good and bad… (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2018 Romans 10:15.

Romans 10:15.   And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Ah mih people, it’s a somewhat dark and dreary looking Holy Thursday morning, and I’m making my apologies right up front. (smile) I’m a tad tardy today because I went to bed somewhat later than normal last night, or rather this morning. 

But not to worry, everything’s in fine shape. The sun might not be shining but the SON definitely is, and no more brighter than on this penultimate day before we celebrate His selfless sacrifice on our behalf some two thousand years ago. 

Give Him plenty thanks and praise my fellow believers, for when I think about what He so stalwartly endured for us, it severely pains my heart, although I know that if He hadn’t done it, our lives would not be as wonderful as they are today. 

And this quote from a Daily Bread Devotional shows exactly what I’m talking about. ‘Because of Christ’s cross, we can become friends of God.’ Yeh friends, it’s as simple as that. If Christ had not gone to the cross, we would not be able to have the wonderful and awesome relationship we now have with Almighty God! 

Mama Mia! How blessed we are but don’t truly recognize or appreciate it! Too many of us just seem to take everything for granted, but that’s not how it ought to be. A serious and most expensive price was paid for our freedom from the bondages of sin, and now we are expected to be grateful and give back something in return. 

And we’re talking about things like belief in Jesus, trust, and surrender to His Holy will, living and working diligently for Him. And as another Daily Bread quote tells us: ‘There is no better news than the gospel – spread it.’ Yes my fellow believers, spreading the good news of Christ’s gospel is paramount in our living for and serving Him, because that’s how others will know and understand what He died for and come to also believe in Him. 

For as Bruh Paul so plainly wrote in his missive to the church at Rome: ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Rom.10:13) But then he puts forth the dilemma inherent in accomplishing that task. ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?’ (Rom.10:14) 

Now those are all important questions re the furthering of the gospel: how can people believe and hear and thus call on God if no one tells them about Christ eh? That’s impossible. Thus the next verse in Bruh Paul’s message, which is our Bit for today. 

‘And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’ And that’s the indisputable truth my friends and faithful believers! There’s nothing as beautiful in this whole wide world as the preaching of the good news of Christ’s gospel! Glory to God! 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘10:14-15. In presenting the universal proclamation of the gospel, Paul presents the reasons why a universal proclamation is necessary: first, because the call must be preceded by faith; second, because faith must be preceded by hearing. 

This shows that knowledge is essential to belief. Faith must have a valid content; third, because hearing requires a preacher; fourth, because preaching requires being sent. The One who sends is God. Salvation is completely from God.’ 

And we all know that indelible truth my brethren! Without God and His great unconditional LOVE and concern for us, there’d be NO salvation whatsoever! 

Now here’s a li’l something for those of us who think that the Old Testament is passé, but that’s where Bruh Paul got the basis for his proclamation above. Listen to Isaiah as he reassures his people that the Lord will deliver Zion from captivity. 

‘How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (good news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace; that bringeth good tidings of good (good news of good things), that publisheth (proclaims) salvation; that saith unto Zion, thy God reigneth!’ (Is.52:7) 

And several thousands of years later my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, that is still the absolute truth! Our God reigns supreme in the universe that He created! And He HAS brought salvation to us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ! Oh what better news can there be eh? NONE WHATSOEVER! Glory to God my brethren! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, that our wonderful God has so magnanimously showered down on us because we believe. With strong conviction now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And if we sincerely believe that, then let’s go out and share those awesome blessings with others as Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…believers lives and words…ought to be all about sharing the good news of Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2017 Matthew 26:38.

Matthew 26:38.   Then said he (Jesus) unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye (wait) here, and watch with me.

‘Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! Oh what a beautiful morning! Everything’s going my way!’ (smile) Well not exactly everything on this Holy Thursday morn, but sufficient stuff to keep me rather grateful. Glory to God! 

Some of you ole fogies might remember that song from way back when, but it’s still very applicable in these trying times, for everyday that we open our eyes and greet the world, it’s a beautiful day and things are going our way! 

And today I want to especially give thanks and praise to our ever-faithful heavenly Father for getting me out of the quandary that I was in yesterday; meaning having my friend Jackie’s funeral and an important doctor’s appointment the same time to day. 

But in His wonderful mysterious workings I called the doctor’s office and was able to get my appointment time pushed back to later. Thank You Lord! 

I would have been very disappointed if I couldn’t go to Jackie’s memorial service, because over the last year or so we had gotten fairly close, and would take interest in each other’s medical affairs, boosting each other to hang in and hope for the best. 

Right now she indeed has the best, while I am still here doing my pilgrim’s thing, (smile) but with her memory forever etched on my heart. 

And yuh know what friends, our God is so good and wise and wonderful, that the very night before Jackie died, I was watching a programme ‘At the Cross’; a call in religious show for prayer and godly help, and the topic of the night just happened to be, ‘Are you grieving a loss?’ 

And that loss could be anything at all, a house, a dear one, a job, finances, etc. Once the loss touched you severely, there was room for grief. And the host of that night’s programme identified two types of grieving; one he called demonic grief and the other cleansing grief. 

The demonic one was obviously the type of grief that just throws you down and keeps you down for a long time, where you can’t function at all, can’t go on with your life, and there is a lot of bitterness and anger and negative emotions in your soul. 

Meanwhile the cleansing grief is the grief that helps you get over your loss. It may take a long while, but in the meantime you will be able to function, because you have given your grief and sorrow to Christ and He has kept His promise of Matthew 11:29: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s the only way that makes sense; take it all to Jesus, admit that you can’t handle it and ask for his saving grace and LOVING-kindness. Then and only then will you be able to handle your grief in a wholesome manner. 

And that is one testimony that I can most definitely attest to; a moment in time I’ll never forget. I’m talking about when my mother unexpectedly went to be with the Lord some years ago while I was in California, an unexpected aura of peace just floated over me. 

I was most surprised by it, and though deep down I was devastated by the loss, I was able to hold up quite well. Some people were skeptical bout my calm attitude, but I never took offense, because I knew that the Spirit of the Lord had imbued me with the peace to set things in order. 

And yuh know what friends? Even Jesus had grieving and sorrowful moments, the main one being His rough moments in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Holy Thursday night before he was crucified. 

Listen to our Bit. ‘Then said he (Jesus) unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye (wait) here, and watch with me.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus agonized over stuff too, that’s why He can understand our human frailties and emotions. Thus the Good Book tells us: ‘And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:39) 

Then He went back to the disciples and found them sleeping, and admonished Peter, ‘What could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt.26:40-41) 

Extremely good advice for us to take to heart my brethren! Then Jesus went away and prayed a second time, ‘Saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.’ (Matt.26:42-44) 

Yes my people, three times Jesus prayed for the cup to pass away. Meanwhile Luke tells us that during His first prayer session: ‘And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:43-44) 

And the scholars explain thus: 22:43-44. Only Luke notes this. Jesus is borne up in His hour of greatest need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. 

Agony appears only here in the New Testament; it points to the intensity of Jesus’ struggle. Surely Jesus wrestles not so much with death itself, but with His own destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.’  

Now hopefully friends, we’ll truly appreciate the great weight, the severe burden that Jesus had to bear on our behalf, and in future give Him much more thanks and praise. So let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, which, despite our sinfulness, the Lord still doles out so generously to us. 

‘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!’ 

Now remember a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared over someone, so let’s go out now and declare blessings over plenty some ones. Much LOVE!

…grief and sorrow are natural human emotions…but through Jesus …we can bear them successfully…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2016 Philippians 1:29‏‏‏

Philippians 1:29.   For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

Aye mih breddren, it’s a white winter’s morn in my neck of the woods this Holy Thursday of 2016. Yes, it’s beautiful to the eyes, but ever so dangerous to the body. A late winter, early spring storm dumped some of the white stuff on us; thankfully not as much as the East Coast and parts to the north of us. 

The problem though is it’s not straight snow but more a combination with freezing rain, which means there’s a high ice content making things very slippery and dangerous. So those of you who have to go out there, please make sure you are very careful because it doesn’t take much under those conditions for accidents to happen. 

Thankfully I don’t have to go out there today. And besides, the last two days have been rather busy, and what with the unusually late nights too, the ole fella needs a bit of a rest. He’s not as young as he was or as mobile and agile as he thinks he is. (smile) 

And we’re going to begin today with a serious and sincere prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. We’re going to give ourselves to God, either for the first time, or if we’ve done so before, rededicate our lives to Him. 

So please pray with me: ‘Almighty God, it is a beautiful way to live to know that you are there with a plan for my life, and through prayer I can draw my life into harmony with your plan. I know, God, that your plan for my life calls for me to follow Christ. 

Jesus Christ, I give my life to you. I’ve never done it before. That has been my problem. That has been my hang up. O God, I give my life to you now. Take my life Jesus Christ, and make it yours. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your LOVE. You are doing it now and I thank you. Amen.’  

Yeh friends, what better time to dedicate or rededicate our lives to Christ than just before He sacrifices His life for us tomorrow on Good Friday! 

We all know it wasn’t an easy time for Him, how He went into the Garden of Gethsemane in the evening and with an anguished spirit, pleaded with the Father, that if it were at all possible, He would be spared the difficult and dehumanizing ordeal. (Matt.26:36-46) 

But it was not, and Jesus knew that, but it just shows that in His humanity He was as vulnerable and anxious as any man would be. 

However, finally accepting that His ordeal could not be put aside, He eventually said: ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass from me except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:42) 

Ah mih people, that is how we have to react sometimes too. Even though we know that the going will be pretty rough and painful, if it’s the Lord’s will, we just have to grin and bear it. Remember too, that He will not give us more than we can bear, and will always help us through whatever painful and sorrowful situations we go through. 

Those are the thoughts of faith we must use to get us through the rough times. For as our Bit declares: ‘For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, unfortunately, living for Jesus is a two way street. It’s not easy, but the rewards do outweigh the pain and heartache. And as we promised yesterday, here is the rather appropriate passage from 2 Corinthians. 

‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ (2 Cor.4:17-18) 

Yeh friends, we can’t afford to merely look at and concentrate on the things that are happening to us in this life, because they are temporary, only for a short while, but through our eyes of faith must keep focused on the things of heaven which we cannot see, but which are so much more valuable and worthwhile than the destructible things of the world. 

My brethren, it’s a serious decision we have to make to follow Christ. We cannot have a wishy-washy, half-baked, fence-sitting attitude, if we really want to be a true Christian. It’s true that Christ died that we may have an abundant life, but he also said that it would be filled with persecution, just because we believed on Him. 

However, He also said that we should not be afraid, because he had already conquered the world, and there was nothing the world could do to us. And we’ll finish with another appropriate scripture passage for this Holy Thursday. 

This one from Hebrews: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

And what was that joy, you ask? ‘Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Yes precious people, that’s how the Father rewarded Jesus for sacrificing His sinless life for us. Will He not amply reward us too if we are obedient to His will? Of  course! 

So please let’s go into Good Friday with a sense of suffering for and with Christ, so that when He is exalted, we also will be exalted with Him. There’s no better wisdom than that! Much LOVE!

…any ‘sufferation’ that comes from doing God’s will…will be amply rewarded….in God’s way…and in God’s time…that’s a proven fact… 

P.S. It’s late and long, but oh so good! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2015 Deuteronomy 31:8‏

Deuteronomy 31:8. And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Well Friends, it’s finally Holy Thursday; the day before the Big Day, meaning Jesus’ crucifixion. It ought to be a day of heartfelt prayer and introspection, pondering exactly what Jesus and His unbearable suffering and His sacrificial death truly means to us.

Remember, Jesus wasn’t some fly by night operator. He talked His talk, but even more importantly, walked that talk! And we need to check up on ourselves to see whether we are doing the same, or simply just talking the talk and not backing it up with sincere action.

Just think about Jesus’ mental anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before he was sacrificed for our abominable sins. The Good Book tells us he prayed, prayed fervently, saying to His inner circle of Peter, James and John: ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here and watch with me.’ (Matt.26:38)

He even beseeched the Father a couple times to take away the cup, relieve Him of His duty to die as the sacrificial Lamb. But please note Friends, that in each case He ended with the fateful words, ‘Thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:39,42)

Yes Friends, though Jesus’ soul was in serious agony, to the point where ‘his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground,’ (Luke 22:44) yet He never wavered from the plan the Father had set for Him.

Oh my people, are we made of such mettle, of such sterner stuff? Do we faithfully resign ourselves to God’s will, even though the circumstances are extremely difficult, and sometimes look impossible?

Oh, I know it’s not always easy to do, but it is our duty as believers to buckle down and do God’s will, forgetting our own selfish desires. And that’s the only way we will ever become true images of Christ, as God desires us to be.

Modern day life is so easy that we complain about simple set backs or difficulties. But my people, that’s not being like Jesus at all! And my Friend Anselm’s quote for today, inspiring us for a better tomorrow is a rather appropriate one for our purposes.

It says: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’

And that’s the gospel truth Friends! Our true measure of a man, of a Christian is where we stand when the challenges and controversies face us. Do we give up, roll over and play dead? Or do we stand up strong and steadfast and fight for what we know is true and what we sincerely believe in?

You know we ought to be in the latter group, as Christ was. Look at the ‘sufferation’ He endured for our sakes, without complaining. That’s how we are expected to operate too, though we will never reach to the heights that Jesus did.

And the wonderful thing about it all my fellow believers, is that we have the sincere and faithful promise of Almighty God in our Bit to help us through whatever comes against us. ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’

Wow! How cool is that eh people! And a few verses before that, Moses told the Israelites: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.

And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.’ (Deut.31:6-7)

So Friends, in just three verses, Moses told both the Israelites and Joshua that they had to be strong, face up to their tasks like good soldiers, because if they did, the Lord their God would certainly look after them.

Oh my people, the same promise is extended to us today. Bruh Paul puts it like this: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Acts 8:28)

So when ever we are called by God, His LOVING-kindness will always be with us, regardless of the way the situation looks. We need to remember that and act on it my brethren.

Now listen to what Bruh David told Cousin Sol when he handed over the building of the Lord’s temple to him. ‘And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.’ (1 Chr.28:20)

Oh Friends, oh Friends, what wonderful words of advice from a father to a son! And that advice must also reverberate amongst us today. It’s also what the Lord told Joshua, as we saw yesterday. ‘Be strong and of a good courage.’ (Josh.1:6) And Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men (be brave), be strong.’ (1 Cor.16:13)

Oh Friends, I can’t think of a better way to end this morning than with those words of encouragement, which we so badly need in these generally rough times, and on this occasion when we remember and relive Jesus’ upcoming death.

Please be strong and of a good courage, for that’s mark of a true Christian, and also the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness…and be content with such things as ye have…for he hath said…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee…’ (Heb.13:5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2014 Psalm 19:14

Psalm 19:14.     Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (rock), and my redeemer.
 
Oh Friends, it’s been a while now since I reminded us of our Scrip-Bit motto, but I was guided to share it this Holy Thursday morning. It’s a simple but truthful and compelling motto: ‘LOVE YOUR GOD – LIVE YOUR FAITH – SPREAD HIS WORD!’
 
Nothing can be simpler and more straightforward than that my people! And it’s all based on Jesus’ commands. The first of which is: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:37-38)
 
So above all else, we need to truly LOVE OUR GOD!
 
Then Jesus desired us to live out our faith when He declared that we should not hide our lights, our talents, under a bushel, a basket or lampshade, but to be the bright and shining lights of the world, the salt of the earth, worthy examples for all to see and emulate. (Matt.5:13-16)
 
And finally, He commanded us to spread His Word in the Great Commission: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’ (Matt.28:19-20)
 
So Friends, we can surely see that if we sincerely and diligently do those three things, we are very much in obedience to Jesus’ desires, and walking steadfastly in His will!
 
And that’s all we’re trying to establish with the Scrip-Bit; to keep us focused on the Word and Will of God in our earthly lives. But such is the power of the enemy and our own natural sinfulness and weakness, that we need constant reminders to stay on the tried and true, straight and narrow path that leads to heaven and our Father, our Creator.
 
And that’s exactly what our Bit is trying to establish: ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (rock), and my redeemer.’ 
 
Yes my people, we certainly need to let good, positive thoughts and desires develop in our hearts, if our words are to be godly and righteous. We should not be cursing, but rather blessing each other. For how can we curse a man made in God’s image, and then declare we LOVE God eh? That’s not possible my brethren.
 
Anyway, turning back to our Bit, yesterday we looked at a couple scriptures that dealt with the meditation of our hearts. Today we’ll check out some that depict the Lord as our strength and our redeemer. And obviously we’ll begin with words from Bruh David, (smile) taken from Psalm 31.
 
He begins it with a wonderful acclamation of faith: ‘In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust (take refuge); let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock (of refuge), for a house of defence (fortress) to save me.
 
For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily (secretly) for me: for thou art my strength. In to thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.’ (Ps.31:1-5)
 
Oh my people, we couldn’t ask for a better and more convincing example of trust and faith in Almighty God!
 
Meanwhile, Jeremiah declares it in full voice in his prophecy against Babylon. ‘Thus saith the Lord of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captive held them fast; they refused to let them go. Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is his name: he shall thoroughly plead their cause (case), that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.’ (Jer.50:33-34)
 
The Lord of hosts is our Redeemer, Friends – none but the Lord of hosts!
 
And if you don’t believe Jeremiah, then listen to Isaiah, who states it loudly, clearly and proudly in Chapter 47 – Judgement on Babylon. ‘As for our redeemer, the Lord of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel.’ (Is.47:4)
 
There’s definitely no doubting there my people, of whom the Redeemer is! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Great Redeemer of His people Israel!
 
Let’s keep that in mind my fellow believers. Let’s write it indelibly in our hearts, souls and minds this Holy Thursday morning, as we keep prayerful vigil with Jesus Christ in His passion, His agony, contemplating His abominable fate of going to the cross of Calvary tomorrow, to redeem not only Israel, but the whole world, both Jews and Gentiles, through the most imaginative and daring plan ever executed in man’s history!
 
It was by no means an easy task, but Jesus completed it without complaining. So please, my fellow believers, let’s fully appreciate our Lord and Saviour’s selfless sacrifice on our behalf, and be truly grateful. For that’s nothing but heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…oh what an awesome and magnanimous God we serve…One who selflessly and graciously redeems His sinful people from their heinous sins…  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2013 Luke 22:42

Luke 22:42.     Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
 
Oh Friends, ignorance is something else yes! As the old people said, when you don’t hear, you feel. And I’m definitely feeling this morning with an aching back. I went to bed last night at a decent hour, but got side swiped when I decided to read a few pages of a novel I had on the go. Needless to say the novel was interesting and I lay in bed reading until I finished it at one thirty this morning. Hn! Now the problem is not that I didn’t get to sleep until late, but that I lay in bed all that time while reading, then continued by going right to sleep afterwards. And it’s not like I don’t know that I can’t do the reading in bed thing for any length of time, then go straight to sleep without my back aching when I get up. Where some people can lie in bed all day and have no problems, after five or six hours in bed, my back starts to act up. But such is the stubbornness and rebelliousness of man, that we insist on doing what we shouldn’t do, although we know the negative consequences that will arise from those negative actions. And my people, that’s the lesson our God wants to put before us this Holy Thursday morning; think before you act, consider the consequences before you put your hand, foot or mouth in the proverbial whatever it is. (smile) In fact the Lord’s been trying to teach us that since Adam was a little boy and ate the forbidden apple, when he knew full well he shouldn’t. But do we listen? Obviously not! For even in our childhood there’s that spirit of rebellion which causes us to go against the wishes of our parents and teachers. The same goes for when we achieve adulthood, for just look at our society today. Look at the numerous things we do, even though we know that they are wrong and the consequences can and/or will be painful, even disastrous. Oh my brethren, what is it in mankind that makes him think he can constantly disobey his Creator and not pay the price for that disobedience eh? I certainly don’t know nuh friends. But today we have a most excellent example of obedience in Jesus, who knowing the fate that awaited Him the next day on Calvary’s cross, and who had ample reason and opportunity to rebel, fortunately did not do it, else crapaud would certainly have smoked we pipe. And it’s not like He didn’t feel anxious and somewhat fearful, for who in human flesh wouldn’t be appalled at the thought of being cruelly and criminally nailed to a wooden cross and left to perish in the hot sun. Remember that though Jesus was God, here on earth He had all the human weakness and frailties except sin. But instead of out and out rebelling, what did He do? After the Last Supper, where He blessed His disciples with the body and blood of His spiritual self, He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, to spend some quiet, if agonizing time with His heavenly Father. And though He anguished over the upcoming events, even praying that the Father might excuse Him from the task at hand, He knew that that wasn’t possible, for it was that very event, crucifixion, sinless sacrifice, for which He had come to earth. Our Bit details His predicament and resolve in a few simple words. ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.’ Yes my brethren, for us followers of Christ, it’s never really about our will, but our heavenly Father’s. Jesus even enshrined that in the example He gave us of prayer. ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.’ (Matt.6:10) That means our prayer is to be in conformity with God’s will, not the other way around. And if we think that Jesus didn’t endure real anxiety in the garden that fateful Holy Thursday night, just listen to what the Good Book says after He stated our Bit. ‘And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:43-44) Oh my people, we can’t sweat to such an extent, without physical labour, unless we’re very anxious about something. The scholars claim: ‘Surely Jesus wrestles, not so much with death itself, but with His own destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.’ And why wouldn’t it eh, especially for a bunch of rebellious ingrates! And to buttress the fact that Jesus totally saw His role as doing God’s will, let’s look at several scriptures where He emphasizes it. First though, listen to Isaiah, who foresaw Jesus’ great dilemma. ‘The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters (those who struck me), and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair (beard). I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded (disgraced): therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.’ (Is.50:5-7) And that’s exactly what Jesus did! Now hear Him enshrine the Father’s will. It all comes from John’s gospel. The first example is after He’s spoken to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well and His disciples not knowing that fact, offer Him food, and He answers them thus: ‘Jesus saith unto them, My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.’ (John 4:34) Then, in talking about the Son’s relationship to the Father, He humbly declares: ‘I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just (righteous); because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.’ (John 5:30) And when saying that He’s the bread of life, Jesus offers these words as His earthly purpose. ‘For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.’ (John 6:38) And finally, in talking about being the light of the world, Jesus concludes: ‘And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.’ (John 8:29) Oh Friends, fellow believers and followers of Jesus Christ, on this Holy Thursday, when we commemorate the selfless sacrifice that Jesus suffered for us two thousand years ago, please, I sincerely plead with us, to take serious stock of ourselves, note any rebellious behaviour we have towards our heavenly father, and consequently Jesus, then purposely try to correct that ungodly behaviour with sincere repentance and prayer, so that in these very trying, confused and troubled times, we will measure up much better than ever to the character of Jesus, where He always considered the Father’s will before committing any action. I pray that as of this day, we’ll all come up a little higher, losing most of our rebelliousness, coming ever closer to the perfection that’s Jesus. In Jesus’ Holy Name, I pray. Amen. Much LOVE my people!…free will is nice to have…but it means being very disciplined…or facing negative consequences…  P.S. Oh Friends, our God is so wonderful that I came down here this morning with nothing to write about, feeling lousy, and consequently figuring that the Bit would be pretty late. But He didn’t even give me a chance to cry out to Him for help and guidance, but simply guided me to write about my aching back, because of my wilful disobedience to my physical problem, then everything just fell right into place. So how can I not sincerely LOVE, ADORE, PRAISE, THANK and WORSHIP Him eh? Much LOVE!