Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2019 2 Peter 1:8.

2 Peter 1:8.    For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Sunny days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yeh, let’s hope that today is nothing like yesterday, with rain straight through until late afternoon. Got caught in it going to an appointment some distance from home, and would you believe it was terrible; traffic just crawling, with road construction like everywhere, and the rain itself one minute petering out to a light drizzle, then next picking back up steam again. Good thing that it had stopped by the time I was on my way back home. 

And we can’t have no rain today because this evening David Rudder (the Crown Prince of kaiso) is down in the Bandshell in the Ex. And that’s a totally open space. So please pray that David gets a good chance to share his beautiful kaiso (calypso) offerings later. (smile) 

Now here’s another prayer, this one from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. He calls it: ‘A Prayer for Success.’ Please pray with me: ‘As I become a success with your help, Lord, let me never forget that what I am is more than what I do. Faith stimulates success. Hope sustains success. LOVE sanctifies success. So I cannot and I dare not succeed without your power, peace, and pressure in my life, Jesus Christ. Amen!’ 

Oh friends, all of that is so true! In the first place we must realize that what we do is not the most important thing in our lives, but who we are; beloved children of God! And that alone gives us a great chance for success. But as Gramps Schuller says, we need these three untouchables and ‘unmeasurables’; faith, hope and LOVE, to even enter the ring of success, much less to achieve it. 

And Peter expounds on the subject nicely, and quite at length in his second epistle. Listen to Him as he greets his readers and reminds them of God’s provision for Christian living, past, present and future. ‘Grace and peace be multiplied unto you, through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 

According to his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’ (2 Pet. 1:2-4) 

Oh my fellow believers, we see that our most magnanimous God has already given us all the power and grace and promises that we need to succeed in this life, but we have to now raise them up from our souls through the awesome power of the Holy Spirit. 

And Peter then continues, re growing in grace. ‘And beside this, (for this very reason), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE).’ (2 Pet.1:5-7) 

Ah mih people, that seems like a real rough row to hoe, but hoe it we must, if we want to succeed in this Christian walk of faith and LOVE! And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:5-7. In this section Peter urges his readers to grow to spiritual maturity. Add to your faith indicates the areas of growth that follow after salvation. Virtue is moral excellence. Knowledge is spiritual truth. Temperance is self-control. Patience is endurance. Godliness is God-likeness. 

Brotherly kindness (Gr. philadelphian) is brotherly LOVE. Charity (Gr. agapen) is volitional LOVE (making a choice or decision to LOVE). This process is a lifelong cycle of spiritual growth for all believers.’ And so indeed it is my fellow saints in Christ! And Peter reason thus for his advice: ‘For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 

Glory be mih breddren! For there’s nothing better in this life than to have a good knowledge about Christ and produce good fruit in His image! And Peter further explains: ‘But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is shortsighted), and hath forgotten that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins. 

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (stumble): For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (2 Pet.1:9-11) What a wonderful life is being set up in heaven for those of us who place Christ above all else and do our best to honour and obey Him! 

Hear how the scholars explain those last verses. ‘1:10-11. Ye shall never fall: The author is not referring to falling from salvation but to failure in Christian living. The everlasting kingdom refers to the eternal realm of God where Jesus is the undisputed Ruler. It is synonymous with heaven. Thus one who acquires the virtues of verses 5-7 will have a rich inheritance in heaven.’ 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that my people! Therefore let’s go home now joyfully declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail which let’s the whole world know of our serious position in Christ, since heaven is our ultimate home. All together 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 if you sincerely believe, then you’ll know that that future will indeed be glorious; so glorious that we cannot even imagine it! Wow! So let’s keep on hanging tight with Jesus nuh friends, for that is wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…success in anything…means learning and adhering to these three keys…hope…faith…and LOVE…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2019 Genesis 28:15.

Genesis 28:15.    ​And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
 

Sunday morning, Sunday morning, the Lord is calling‘Come to my house, hear my Word, sing my praises, encourage each other and find joy, unspeakable joy in the house of your God!’ Oh friends, it’s an open invitation to ALL: whosoever will may come! Now that’s an offer we surely can’t refuse, because there’s none better than it! And if you don’t believe me, then please take up the Lord’s offer, try Him, test the reality and faithfulness of His promise. And if it doesn’t work out like He says, then I’ll be your slave for life! (smile) 

And I can make that bold promise because I know from personal experience, that if you check out the Lord’s sanctuary today, you’ll have such a great time, you’ll want to come back each and every week. Mama Mia! Fellowshipping with other believers under the Lord’s watchful and parental eye, with His mercy, grace and forgiveness just flowing freely into our souls and spirits… Brother…it’s just the greatest! 

So let’s start the proceedings as always with a song of praise and exaltation to our great and wonderful Jehovah God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And today’s song is another marvellous hymn that we all know and LOVE: it’s titled ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ The internet site, God Tube, rightly tells us that “Even when we cannot see or feel Him, the Lord never leaves our side. As we walk through each day, let us remember to call upon His name and give thanks. The beautiful lyrics of ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ are the perfect call to the Lord.” 

 It was reputedly written by British hymnist Sarah Flowers in the mid 19th century as a follow up to her pastor’s sermon on Genesis 28:11-19, known as the story of Jacob’s ladder, or Jacob’s dream. As one vibrant and harmonious voice now, let’s thrill the hordes of heaven with a moderate tempo version of the song. ‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

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

Yes friends, the hymn does do the story of Jacob’s dream justice and we also pleased heaven with our rendition. So let’s delve into Jacob’s story a li’l deeper now nuh. All of this happened when his father Isaac sent him away to his families’ homeland of Padan-aram to get a bride from his uncle Laban’s daughters because the daughters of the Canaanites weren’t good enough for him. This was after Jacob had deceived the blind Isaac, who blessed him with what was supposed to be Esau’s birthright. (Gen.27) 

Obviously that created a serious feud in the family, and no doubt Jacob was only too glad to get away from Esau. And it’s said that Jacob’s name meant, cheat, deceiver, con-man, etc. so he certainly lived up to his name. Now one night on his journey, as the sun set, he stopped at a certain place, took up some stones to use for a pillow and went to sleep. Then the Good Book tells us: ‘And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 

And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land where thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed (descendants). And thy seed (descendants) shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.’ (Gen.28:12-15) 

Now doesn’t that just boggle the imagination, that God would use such a trickster to do such meaningful work on his behalf. Change His name to ‘Israel – Prince with God – (Gen.32:28) and thus have him become the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. But He did! Just goes to show how He likes to confuse mankind by using those we’d consider very unlikely to be His front-line people. But the Lord’s unconventional approach did seem to work on Jacob, because he awakened afraid, realizing that the Lord was there, unbeknownst to him. 

Then, taking the stone he had used for a pillow, he set it up as an altar to God and poured oil on it, and called the place ‘Bethel’ (the house of God) (Gen.28:16-19) Then he made this life changing vow. ‘If God be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar (altar), shall be God’s house: and all of that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.’ (Gen.28:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see how our mighty God moves in mysterious ways? Who would ever have thought that He would use Jacob as one of His main men eh? But that ought to give us hope and encouragement, that no matter how bad we are, how low we fall, that it doesn’t prevent our God of many chances from using us to do big things in His name. So please let the words of the Good Book and the hymn detailing Jacob’s change of heart, resonate in our own hearts, souls, bodies and minds today, and thus cause us to desire the most wonderful option possible… ‘Nearer My God to Thee…Let me draw… Nearer My God to Thee…! Much LOVE!

…no one’s past…eliminates them…from being involved in God’s future…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 July 2019 Hebrews 10:23.

Hebrews 10:23.    ​Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 

Oh brother, I can’t believe it’s Thursday already nuh! The week’s flying by so fast, it gets sorta blurry! (smile) And was yesterday ever a strange sorta day. In my area we had intermittent periods of sun and rain, until in the early evening hours the sun finally prevailed. But Toronto seemed to be completely different. They apparently had long periods of steady rain that resulted in severe flooding in several areas. 

And today it looks cloudy out there again, plus I’ve got to go into the city for a doctor’s appointment. What a life! But what to do eh? Nothing but put our sincere trust and hope in Jesus and believe that He will do as promised; meet all our needs through His riches in glory. (Phil.4:19) That’s what our faith is all about people, and it’s in times of adversity and trouble that we need it to show up in large amounts. 

Consequently, I want to share two interesting and reassuring quotes. The first one is comprised of these wise words reputedly attributed to Grady Nutt (1934-1982) a Southern Baptist minister. It says: ‘God should be a resource in the struggle, not a way around it.’ 

And is that ever so true my fellow believers. We ought to use God to help us get through the adversity rather than as a way to get around it. But in these days of easy and comfortable living, no one wants to go through anything, we all want to avoid, to go around it. But the truth is that it’s only when we go through stuff with God that we really grow and mature in our faith. 

And the second quote is from a Daily Bread Devotional footnote that dispenses these words of wisdom: ‘The best reason for hope is God’s faithfulness.’ Oh my people, my people, that is indeed gospel truth! Our God is so wonderfully faithful that there’s nothing we can’t face when we place our hope and trust in Him! All praise and glory be to Him, my faithful brethren! If we were even one smidgen as faithful as our great God, what amazing changes would take place in our troubled world! 

That brings us to these intriguing and most interesting, uplifting and reassuring words of scripture found in the Book of Hebrews. ‘And having a high priest (Jesus) over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)’ (Heb.10:21-23) 

Oh friends, if there’s anything I can personally testify to it’s God’s faithfulness, because that’s the only way that I can write this Bit everyday. He called me to do it, and without His faithful help to do His work, I’d be lost without a prayer and /or a hope. But through His faithfulness, His guidance and assurance, I come down here every morning, not knowing what I’m going to write about most days, but eventually write more than I can ask or imagine. 

Like today, I only had the beginning and the end, absolutely nothing in the middle. But look at how much I’ve written. And most of the time it does make sense. (smile) And those of you who are mature in faith know what I’m talking about, because you’ve put in the time and effort and patience and waiting and seen Him work wonders on your behalf. 

For you young believers though, you just have to take our word for it and go up to bat assuredly with your great God, for that’s the only way you’ll ever discover His true faithfulness. You’ve got to go through the fire with Him and experience Him bringing you out like the three Hebrew Boys, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, without even the smell of smoke on you. (Dan.3:27) 

Yes mih people, faith and faithfulness are works in progress, you’ll never stop needing them and having to grow in them until the day you go over to the other side. And don’t think that just because you seem mature in faith that you’ve conquered it all nuh, because the more you grow in faith and get promoted, the more the Lord will test you. 

Oh we don’t want to hear that, but it’s an unavoidable fact. We like to think that once we reach a certain level, we’ll free from all temptations and tests and troubles, but Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians seem to contradict that. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) 

So friends, that seems to mean until we die or Christ comes back we’ll be growing and becoming more Christ-like every day. That’s the Lord’s plan, and once He begins it, He won’t stop until we go home to Him, so we’d better be prepared to face adversity and negative stuff throughout our lifetime. And the best way to do that is through hope, faith, trust and surrender in Almighty God. 

As Cousin Sol so wisely puts it: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’ (Prov.3:5-6) There’s no wiser advice in all the world my brethren, so please let’s take it to heart as we go home declaring (yeh!) our Thursday Blessings. Out loud now, because a blessing is not truly a blessing until it’s declared. 

‘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 every Thursday I have to warn us that those blessings are not granted for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with the less fortunate, with those who don’t know Christ. So let’s go out and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…and hope is that which springs eternal from God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2019 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.    ​For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).
 

One more day friends, the Good Lord has generously granted us one more day of life on His great planet earth, so let’s live it the way He intended us to nuh. That’s with forgiveness, mercy, kindness, grace, mercy, LOVE and joy; all to the max, in abundance and overflowing! It’s the reason Christ gave His life selflessly and sacrificially on the cross of Calvary for us. So as His supposed followers, it behooves us to live as He desires, not as the world dictates. 

And to support that doctrine, (smile) here are some meaningful words of John Wesley (1703-1791) one of the founders of the Methodist church. He reputedly said that ‘The world hopes for the best, but the Lord offers the best hope!’ Wow! What words of truth and wisdom my faithful saints of Christ! It was true in Wesley’s day, and it’s even truer in these mystifying, troubled and strife-filled times! 

For as Bruh Paul told the Romans: ‘And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ (Rom.5:5) And is that ever so true! Without a doubt, we, as believers in Christ, have the Holy Spirit abiding within us to lead and guide us in all truth and sincerity. 

On the other hand though, right now the world doesn’t know whether  it’s coming or going; there’s so much despair in it, with so many divisions, dissensions, directions and disappointments that the natural outcome is simply confusion and war-like tendencies. 

The one still strong, solid and sure option left is that of Christ, of hope in Almighty God because He doesn’t change, there’s no sense of darkness in Him, only light and unconditional LOVE! His direction has been the same from day one, and will be the same until eternity! He’s not a wishy-washy God, unlike the rulers of darkness of this woe-be-gone world. With Him there is strength, consistency, and a known path; the straight and narrow one. 

With Him, you know exactly what you’re supposed to do and where you’re going. And I just LOVE how He lays it out through the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ 

Yes friends, when you walk with the Lord, you know you’ll be getting the best, because there’s no evil in Him. He created us and He still LOVES us dearly. So much so that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay our sin debt! Hn! Why would He do such a crazy thing eh, if He didn’t hold us in very high regard? 

Bruh Paul puts it in the right perspective in his letter to the church at Rome. ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly…But God commendeth his LOVE (demonstrates His own LOVE) toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5: 6,8) 

Oh mercy, mercy me! What a validation of the Father’s LOVE that is my brethren! And the great thing about Christ’s death on the cross is that He didn’t die merely for our benefit, but in our place, as a substitutionary sacrifice! Yeh people, the price of sin is death. It can only be atoned for by the shedding of blood. 

And whereas all through the Old Testament the Lord was prepared to accept the sacrifice of animal blood to keep sin death at bay, because that’s all the animals did. They themselves could not truly atone for our sins, just give us a li’l leeway. However, come the New Testament, the Lord decided it was time to get the sin problem over and done with once and for all. 

The problem though was it needed a pure and unblemished, sinless sacrifice, and since all men were the output of sin, no man however holy could accomplish that task. And I’m sure when the Lord looked at His options and saw the only one possible, He shuddered in distaste. How could He not eh? 

Being a living and LOVING Father, He must have felt some trepidation at committing His Son, His ONLY Son to boot, to die for a bunch of ungrateful and disgusting sinners. But that just goes to show how much He really cared for us. How much He wanted to give us another option beside death, hellfire and damnation in the arms of the evil one, that He broke His own heart and sacrificed His Son for us. 

And how are we repaying that awesome LOVE eh? By trying to drive Him out of our society and our lives. Taking His Word, His commandments out of our schools and public places, replacing them with the evil, incestuous, sinful, ungodly acts and attitudes of this fallen world. 

Ah friends, unfortunately there are consequences for all of our actions, be they godly or ungodly, and believe me, the chickens will soon come home to roost for our current ungodly behaviour. The Lord is getting tired of our sinful attitudes. Just look around and you’ll see it emblazoned in the natural and man-made disasters and changes that are destroying the world as we know it. 

The end might be nigh friends, but we still can’t afford to give up, we have to keep on fighting valiantly until our Lord and Saviour comes back for us. Therefore, in the fighting spirit we possess as followers of Jesus Christ, let’s vociferously and sincerely declare (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the evil world know our certain position in Christ. 

As one 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 believe me friends, it will indeed be a glorious future if we just hold on in faith, hope and LOVE! Much LOVE!

…only in Christ…can you find the answers…to the world’s problems…

P.S. For those of you who noticed (smile) I apologize for the discrepancy in the dates on the headings of yesterday’s Bit. . One said 9 July and the other said 8 July. The first one was the right one. Just goes to show my human frailty. (smile) Much LOVE! 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2019 Matthew 5: 13a;14a.

Matthew 5:13a;14a.    ​Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world.
 

Well like another beautiful summer’s day is in the offing friends! Glory to our great God! How many is that eh…like four straight without any serious rain during the day! Mama Mia! 

And with Jesus riding a sure shotgun with us, how can we not make assured and confident declarations (steups!) as these: ‘I am an overcomer through Christ!’ I am above and not beneath. The head and not the tail.’ (Deut.28:13) ‘I am more than a conqueror, through Christ who LOVES me!’ (Rom.8:37) ‘And the God of all grace, who has called me to His eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will Himself restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast.’ (1 Pet.5:10) 

Glory to God my brethren! And I can speak personally to that last acclamation because that’s exactly what our God is doing in my life right now, making me strong and steadfast after all the medical problems I’ve experienced over the last few years. Yes friends, our God won’t allow us to go through what He’s not prepared to bring us through. 

But please remember, oftimes we need to go through the fire, not escape it, if, like silver and gold we need to be purified, and thus increase our worth and value with greater faith. And to help us believe that, here is this encouraging quote from Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, the pastor, positive thinker, and author of several books, amongst which is the memorable one, ‘The Power of Positive Thinking.’ 

Dr. Peale reputedly said: ‘Hope is the great power that can move you to success. Why? Because when a man expects to win, he does not hold anything back, but gives his project all that he’s got. Most people fail not because they lack ability, intelligence, or opportunity, but they fail because they don’t give it all they’ve got.’ 

Words of absolute truth my people, especially in this lazy, sitting on one’s laurels, expecting someone else to do it society in which we’re currently living! We’ve become so addicted to easy and cheap and right away, that putting out any extra effort is anathema, repellant, repugnant, to us, even when the extra effort will assure us of success. 

But friends, if we’re living and working for Jesus, then we’re required to make that extra effort, to go that extra mile, because that’s what His economy is based on. In fact no economy whatsoever can succeed unless that extra effort becomes a basic part of it. Only when one is diligent and hardworking and pursues excellence, will one be successful! 

No wonder our society is on its way down and out, because those elements are conspicuously lacking from it. But if we supposed believers actually behaved like real believers, and not like worldly people, you’d be surprised to see the difference in our world. But we only talk a good talk, and not walk the good walk we’re supposed to. That’s why the evil element of the world is now holding the upper hand. 

Remember what Jesus declared and expected of us: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world.’ But somewhere along the way we have lost our salty flavour and have hidden our lights under a bushel? Why? Perhaps through fear of the enemy, or more likely the extra effort it takes to be bright and salty. 

But look at what Jesus said about those situations nuh: ‘but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.’  (Matt.5:13) And also: ‘A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:14-15) 

Oh my fellow believers, as a group, the church, the body of Christ, we have lost our salty flavour and our light is no longer shining forth into this evil world as brightly as it ought to, and thus we are being trodden underfoot by the rulers of darkness. Now that is a most untenable situation in the sight of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who admonished us to: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) And unless we obey that command, then the church, Christianity will be of very li’l or no use to mankind. 

Hear this most interesting explanation from the scholars on all that nuh. ‘5:14-16. Ye are the light of the world describes the essential mission of the Christian to the world. He is the condition (salt) to meet the world’s needs and he has a mission (light) to the world. His light is to clearly shine forth into the darkness of human depravity. He is to set his light upon a candlestick, not hide it under a bushel, that is a basket. Darkness is the absence of light, and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness.’ 

Oh friends, the Christian body, the church today is certainly not helping to reduce the world’s depravity, in fact it is contributing greatly to it, because we have become like the world, seeking the things of the world more than the things of God! Just look at the immorality, the scandals, the evil doings that are daily being uncovered in our churches eh! No wonder the unbelievers look at us and laugh and rightly shout out ‘Hypocrites!’ 

But to those of us who sincerely try to be salt and light, let’s go home today declaring (right ho!) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has generously granted us to help us in our earthly work. As one, with sincere belief 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 unfortunately, I have to remind us every week, that those blessings were not granted to us to selfishly hoard, but to share with the less fortunate, as we spread our salty flavour and shine the light of Jesus throughout this dark world! Much LOVE!

…how can we say we LOVE Jesus…and are a part of His body…his church…when we ‘re not doing as He commands eh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2019 Mark 11:22.

Mark 11:22.    ​And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
 

Rise and shine fellow warriors in Christ’s army! The trump has sounded! It’s time to gird ourselves in our protective armour and head for the frontlines, where our General, Jesus, the most highly named and exalted Commander in the universe is already there waiting for us. And like His snow-white steed that’s pawing the ground in great anticipation, He’s also eager to join the battle this good-looking summer morn, which just happens to be Monday, the first day of the new workweek (smile). 

And yes, sometimes it’s hard to get back on the merry go round of work after a couple days off, especially with summer in the air and weekend trips to the cottage up north getting into full gear. But work we must if we want to survive, so we have this fail-safe pick-me-up we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s declare (yeh!) it all together now nuh, so that we can rise to the occasion.  

‘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 brother, yuh see how quickly we start feeling better; our eyes light up with a new gleam, our souls suddenly feel refreshed and we feel like we could fight an army or move a mountain single handedly! Wow! That’s because the Holy Spirit is working in us to give the Lord’s answer to our humble, sincere, but ever-confident prayer! And why yuh think that is eh? 

That’s because Jesus says that whenever we pray, whatever we pray for, if we believe, we will get it. ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:24) And He also says that if we ask for anything in His name, He will do it. ‘And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:13-14) 

What great promises friends! But we also know that there are certain provisos to those promises, they all depend on them being in the Father’s will, timing and purpose for our lives and coming from sincere motives of the heart; they just can’t be wishy-washy, selfish, self-aggrandizing prayers. 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘14:13-14. In my name means “as My agent.” The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf.16:23-26). It is also linked here especially in the accomplishment of the “greater works.” (vs.12) The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

But what is Jesus really talking about here eh? It’s basically about faith; the level of our faith in Him and the Father. In the passage in Mark above, He had just cursed the fruitless fig tree and caused it to suddenly wither up. That gave Him ‘the occasion to expound concerning faith, prayer and forgiveness.’ And He began thus: ‘Have faith in God.’  And that’s the whole sermon right there in a nutshell my people! 

Remember He also said these things on the subject: ‘According to your faith be it unto you,’ when He touched the two blind men’s eyes. (Matt.9:29) And when the disciples couldn’t heal an epileptic child, and wanted to know why, He admonished them: ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) 

Some important points to notice there; even a li’l faith is a powerful thing, and some jobs call for not faith alone, but also for fasting and intense prayer. And please note that in almost every occasion on which He healed someone, Jesus made it a point to invoke his or her faith into the healing. 

Note the occasion when the Roman centurion approached Him for his servant’s healing, then said that Jesus did not need to come to his house to do it, He had the power to do it right there. Jesus replied in astonishment: ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ Matt.8:10) Yes friends, a heathen Roman centurion showed more faith in Jesus’ awesome power than any of His own people! 

And what a wonderful example of great faith is the woman with the twelve year issue of blood who fought through the throng believing if she only touched the hem of Jesus’ garment she would be healed. And when she did, she was healed instantly. But Jesus also noticed that something was wrong, because He felt some of His power go out of Him, and asked: ‘Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?’ (Mark 5:25-33). 

But Jesus persisted in looking around to find the culprit, (smile) and eventually the woman fell down before Him and admitted the truth. ‘And he (Jesus) said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5:34) And there are many more instances of Jesus calling on people to show faith, which we have no time or space to get into today. But I’ll leave us with one of Jesus favourite jibes to those who reused to belief Him. ‘O ye of li’l faith.’ 

And sadly, in these ungodly and evil times, He’s saying that about a lot of us supposed Christians. Please friends and fellow believers, let’s rise up today and begin giving Him serious occasion to change it nuh to ‘How great is thy faith!’ That would surely warm the cockles of His holy and oh so LOVING heart! It’s about time we did something to cause that, don’t you think? Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please God… (Heb.11:6) 

P.S. Sorry that the Bit’s somewhat late…and somewhat long, but good, (smile) but I had some pressing problems that I had to deal with first. Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2019 Isaiah 30:21.

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

Well it was a beautiful Father’s Day yesterday! The weather was stellar! NO RAIN! Wow! And for the first time in about three years my church was able to hold their annual outdoor picnic outdoors. (smile) Who knows what’s going to happen today though, as it’s somewhat cloudy out there. But it should be okay for most of us to get in our early morning commute to our places of daily grind and common task. (smile) 

Oh my people, we might as well smile yes, because being sad and miserable and crying won’t change the situation. We’ve got to go to work if we want to eat, and it’s best to do that in good and high spirits. And yes, I know that that’s easier said than done, but we’re children of the Most High God, which means that nothing is too difficult, or even impossible for us, once we have His wonderful Spirit operating within us. 

So if you’re just not up to scratch this morning, let’s just dissipate those Monday Blues by declaring (steups!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the antidote that ALWAYS gets our engines running smoothly. 

So as one strong voice 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!’ 

YES my brethren! Yuh feel it? Yuh feel the awesome power of the Holy Spirit moving…moving just like a magnet.within you….moving here, moving there, like on the day of Pentecost (smile) raising your own spirit, enabling you to get yourself together and go out and face the enemy with brass and panache, all for Jesus’ sake? That’s what it’s all about my fellow saints of Christ – empowering us to do Jesus’ work with diligence and excellence! 

And I was just going to write: Now where is all of that going to lead us to this morning eh, when I opened the Good Book and behold, there it was in bright and living colour, our Bit for today! The words of the prophet Isaiah as he appeals to his people to turn to the Lord for help. 

‘And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers. And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.’ (Is.30:20-21) 

Yes friends, the Holy Spirit has been given to us to lead and guide us along the right and righteous pathways of this earthly life. But that can only happen if we listen to and pay serious attention to what the Holy Spirit tells us to do. As Isaiah says at the top of that section: ‘For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness, and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. 

But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift. One thousand shall flee at the rebuke (threat) of one; at the rebuke (threat) of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon (a pole) upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign (banner, flag) on a hill. 

And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy on you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.’ (Is.30:15-18) 

How many times friends, did the Israelites turn away from God and suffer eh? But He, in His grace and mercy, always offered them a way out, if they returned to Him in sincere sorrow and repentance. And though they oftimes refused, He, in His longsuffering, waited for them. 

It’s the same way He’s calling us to come back to Him today, but we’re not listening; too busy doing our own earthly things to be concerned about His heavenly stuff. But He’s patiently waiting. But please note, that even the Lord’s patience will run out at some time, and when He gets tired of waiting we will pay a hefty price for our disobedience. 

And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘30:18-33. Because God is gracious and has been willing to wait for His people to return to Him, He will certainly bless those who wait for him. “Waiting” is a confident and dependent trust in God. The reference to the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction shows that God teaches us lessons through circumstances when we will not listen to our teachers who call us to walk in the way (i.e., the way of God).’ 

So please friends, please listen to me, and walk in the way of God, (smile) so that you won’t have to eat the bread of adversity and drink the water of affliction. That’s wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…be thou strong and courageous…turn not from the Lord’s law…neither to the right nor to the left…so thou can prosper…wherever you go…(Josh.1:7)

 

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